The popular file storage company Dropbox Inc.(DBX) has experienced enormous financial success by almost any measure. The company, founded in 2007 and based in San Francisco, California, has amassed 500 million registered users and 200,000 paying business customers. 11 years later, it publicly filed to raise $500 million for an IPO on February 23, 2018. Ahead of its IPO, Dropbox announced deeper integration with Salesforce (CRM) in early March of 2018. Dropbox claims that it is profitable and has annualized sales of over $1 billion, setting its IPO valuation at $7 billion to $8 billion, with shares priced between $16 and $18. The expected price range was raised by $2 to between $18 and $20 per share on March 21, 2018, due to strong demand.
On August 8, 2018, the company reported Q2 2018 earnings with revenue at $339.2 million, up 27% over the same period last year, and 11.9 million paying users, an increase of 2 million over the same period last year. Despite these impressive numbers, three well-capitalized Dropbox competitors in the file-sharing and cloud storage space pose competitive threats to the company.
Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX) runs an enterprise management platform for individuals and businesses. The company serves a wide range of customers, including individuals who need to share and access files across multiple devices, and large businesses that need secure document retention. Box was founded in 2005 and has 41 million users and over 85,000 business customers. The company manages data for 69% of Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries. Its solutions include collaboration, file sharing, mobility, security, content management, and its proprietary content platform service. Box offers its customers three types of pricing plans: personal plans, business plans, and platform plans.
Box's focus on the enterprise and businesses segment of the market presents a competitive threat to Dropbox. Dropbox has focused its efforts on growing its large consumer user base, while Box has focused on implementing data security and compliance features into its products. As a result, businesses that need to regulate and control access to data are likely to prefer Box's solutions. As businesses become more concerned about security, Dropbox may have to catch up with Box.
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) operates Google Drive, which allows users to store files in the cloud, access them from anywhere and export them when needed. Google provides synergies for its users by integrating its service with Google Docs, Gmail and other collaboration tools. Google Apps customers receive video and voice calls, and access integrated online calendars, online spreadsheets, and slides, in addition to Google Drive. Google Drive users can share specific files and folders, grant read or write access to those files, and sync files across multiple devices. For an additional $5 a month, users receive unlimited storage and other features, including email archiving and advanced administrative controls for information technology (IT) managers.
Google has successfully marketed a large suite of related products to its users. One of the challenges that Dropbox faces is generating the high level of engagement that Google achieves with its users. Customers who use Google's search engine, Chrome browser and Google Docs spreadsheets may rapidly adopt Google Drive for cloud storage. Dropbox offers a solution to one problem, while Google's tools offer a seamless, integrated solution to multiple problems. Ultimately, to avoid losing market share to Google, Dropbox must differentiate its storage solution or match Google's level of engagement with its customers.
If there's a product out there, of course, its available on Amazon (AMZN). Not only does the tech-giant offer cloud services to small businesses and large enterprises, but the Amazon Drive is also where even individuals car store and share files. The service was launched in March 2011 and today offers services across different price tiers. The most basic tier is the free 5GB storage, followed by the tier called Prime photos — unlimited photo storage in addition to 5 GB for videos and other files free with the Amazon Prime membership. It also offers a 100GB Amazon Digital Storage plan for $11.99 a year and the priciest plan is the 1TB+ Amazon Digital Storage plan that is $59.99 per 1TB per year.