Dropbox continues raising money, and prepares for big announcement this week

Dropbox has lined up more than $500 million in debt financing, according to the Financial Times. Apparently, it is growing its own infrastructure, (now a hybrid of its own and Amazon’s), and even though the company raised $350 million in venture earlier this year (see Dropbox, now valued at $10B, raises $250M), there is a great deal of interest to make bets on the leaders in the exploding work tech sector.

Phe price pressures in the file sync-and-share market are rising as prices fall: Google has dropped it prices, for example, and I would personally save over $15/month if I switched from Dropbox (see Google Drive changes the economics of file sync-and-share). Dropbox has real pressure to match these price shifts, and data center efficiencies is one aspect of that.

Liz Gannes at Re/Code notes that Dropbox will be launching new product this week on Wednesday, and rumors suggest ‘productivity’ — office — tools are coming. I’ve written about this many times: see Dropbox for Business is only the start: next, work management and office apps and Dropbox acquires Zulip, readies two-headed client. This week we’ll see what they announce. My prediction:

  • Some reworking of the Zulip chat app — recently acquired — closely integrated with Dropbox, providing a Yammer-like (or Yammer-lite) experience for small workgroups.
  • Announcing or maybe releasing applications to edit and create Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents. These applications will likely run in the browser only at first, but on Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android in the near future.

This will be melded with the new Dropbox for Business, so that some functionality may require signing up for that premium service. For example, I currently use the Packrat Service on my Dropbox account, so that files I delete from my hard drive are not actually deleted in the cloud. I pay a large premium for that service, and business users would likely do so.

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Stowe Boyd

Stowe Boyd

Lead analyst, future of work Gigaom Research and stoweboyd.com

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