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6. Dropbox

Documents in the cloud

Founders: Arash Ferdowsi, Drew Houston
Date launched: 2007
Funding: $1.1 billion
Industries disrupted: Data storage, cloud services, consumer technology

Cloud-based file-sharing company Dropbox is counting on international expansion and more business customers to fuel growth if and when it files for an initial public offering. In January the San Francisco-based company opened offices in London and Israel after adding two others in Sydney and Japan last year. It also recently signed a deal with Japan's SoftBank, whereby its commerce and service arm will be the primary reseller and distributor of Dropbox's business products in Japan.

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The company was started in 2007 by MIT graduate Drew Houston, who soon brought on fellow classmate Arash Ferdowsi to help develop Dropbox's early plans. The New York City-based firm now has more than 300 million users worldwide and is used within 4 million businesses, including 97 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

As a private company, it's already raised more than $1 billion in venture financing from Benchmark, Greylock Partners and BlackRock and is valued at around $10 billion. CB Insights, a research firm specializing in venture capital and IPOs, estimates that Dropbox had revenues of $400 million last year, double the amount in 2013.


Arash Ferdowsi (left) and Drew Houston, co-founders of Dropbox
Source: Dropbox
Arash Ferdowsi (left) and Drew Houston, co-founders of Dropbox
"...it's exciting to see that (Dropbox) has become the home where our users collaborate and connect in new ways, share their most important stuff, and bring it to life." -Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO

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