Which Londoner has invested in Dropbox?
So six-year-old online storage service Dropbox just raised a $250m in a Series C investment led by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.
It’s current valuation? A whopping $10bn, up from $4bn in 2011.
Here are five things you need to know about Dropbox:
1. It was launched by accident
It’s true. Like you and me, Dropbox founder Drew Houston had a habit of forgetting USB sticks with important files. His solution? No, not running like a mad dog to go fetch the USB stick. He instead backed up his files on a server and wrote a programme to access it remotely. What came next was launching Dropbox as a service and scaling it to a billion dollar company.
2. Steve Jobs wanted to “kill” Dropbox
“Oh sh-t” was Houston’s reaction after Steve Jobs launched iCloud, Apple’s answer to Dropbox. This was after Houston declined Jobs’ nine-figure offer to buy the company.
In a keynote speech a few months after their discussion, Jobs openly said he wants to “kill Dropbox” with iCloud.
Guess that didn’t happen as today Dropbox has 45 million users in 175 countries, saving one billion files every three days.
3. IPO this year?
With the latest funding in its kitty, Dropbox is now rumoured to be gearing up for its stock market debut.
Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013, Houston said: “We use this time to stay focused on products and building the business,” Houston asserted. “I’m sure we’ll go public at some point. But fortunately it’s not something we have to think about right now.”
4. Houston’s infallible business lesson
Houston’s business mantra? Be surrounded by inspiring people. Simple.
“They say that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Think about that for a minute: who would be in your circle of five? I have some good news: MIT is one of the best places in the world to start building that circle. If I hadn’t come here, I wouldn’t have met Adam (Houston’s classmate and founder of email software Xobni), I wouldn’t have met my amazing co-founder, Arash, and there would be no Dropbox. “One thing I’ve learned is surrounding yourself with inspiring people is now just as important as being talented or working hard. Can you imagine if Michael Jordan hadn’t been in the NBA, if his circle of five had been a bunch of guys in Italy? Your circle pushes you to be better, just as Adam pushed me.”
5. Did you know a Londoner is an investor?
Did you know Queen Park Rangers Football Club vice-chairman and London Loves Talent Awards judge Amit Bhatia is a Dropbox investor?
Read our exclusive interview with Bhatia to find out about why he invested in the company…