42. Dropbox

Founders: Drew Houston, Arash Ferdowsi
Launched: 2007
Funding: $1.1 billion
Valuation: $10.4 billion
Disrupting: Data storage, cloud services, consumer technology
Rival: Box.com

Dropbox CEO and co-founder Drew Houston
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Dropbox CEO and co-founder Drew Houston

The cloud-based file-sharing company, Dropbox, is continuing its expansion outside the United States. In late May, it announced the opening of its first office in Hamburg, Germany. This new location is part of a bigger push into Europe, which also includes a recent office opening in Amsterdam. Dropbox already has offices in Dublin, London and Paris and says that more than 75 percent of its 500 million users are outside the United States. In fact, the company has users in about 200 countries, and its product is available in 20 languages.


Dropbox was started in 2007 by MIT graduate Drew Houston, who soon brought on fellow classmate Arash Ferdowsi to help develop its early plans. The New York City-based firm claims it has 150,000 business customers who pay about $150 per employee each year. (Consumers can use up to 2GB of data for free.)

Dropbox says it is adding about 25,000 new business customers each quarter. They'll be in good company: Current customers include Under Armour, National Geographic, Hyatt Hotels, MIT, Hearst and Yahoo.

As a private company, it's already raised more than $1 billion in venture financing from Benchmark, Greylock Partners and BlackRock, and at press time it was valued at around $10 billion. The company doesn't release revenue figures, but the last time it raised money in 2014, reports pegged its top line at $400 million, nearly double the amount the year before.

Latest Special Reports

  • The personal and economic pain from the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt all over the world. As a result of this unprecedented disruption, businesses owners and employees are dealing with an immeasurable level of suffering and facing scenarios they never could have imagined. Through expert analysis and advice from proven business leaders, The Path Forward explores the extraordinary challenges businesses are facing and offers ideas to help owners navigate this global crisis and thrive once again.

  • Automation, AI and machine learning will radically influence the relationship between employers and their workforce.

  • A look at 50 private companies set to reshape the business landscape.