Dropbox is an American file hosting company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It offers cloud storage, personal cloud, file synchronization, and client software services. It is one of the leading collaboration platforms in the world. The company was founded in 2007 as Evenflow Inc. by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. It rebranded to Dropbox Inc. in 2009. It has operations in about 180 countries with over 600 million registered users. Dropbox services are available on Android, Windows Phone, iOS, Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. As of 2019, the company had 2,801 employees and a revenue turnover of $1.66 billion.
|HEADQUARTERS||San Francisco, California|
|INDUSTRY SECTOR||Software technology|
|TRADING SYMBOL||Nasdaq: DBX|
Dropbox competitors include: Box, Google Drive, MEGA, Amazon Cloud Drive, SpiderOak, Tresorit, Microsoft OneDrive, IDrive, Backblaze, and Sync.com.
How Dropbox Makes Money
Dropbox makes its money from customer subscriptions to its services. It has a freemium business model in which users get a free account with given storage size then get additional features and capacity for paid subscriptions. Free members get up to 2GB of free storage space on signing up. But they can also get up to 16GB additional space for referring other users to the platform.
Its subscriptions plans include the following;
- Basic: It is the platform’s most popular subscription plan. There are no charges to this plan and users get up to 2GB of free storage. They are able to share, sync, backup files, and even collaborate on them. Subscribers have access to 30-day history.
- Pro: Users can choose to pay $19.99 per month or $198.96 annually on this plan. They get 3TB of storage space. Subscribers also get access to file recovery, version history up to 180 days, and customer support among other tools. Both the Basic and Pro plans are targeted at individual users.
- Standard: Users on this subscription plan get 5TB of storage space. It is targeted at teams and also offers Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance tools besides admin features. Dropbox charges $15 per month or $150 annually for every user on this plan.
- Advanced: The advanced plan is also targeted at teams. It costs $25 per month or $240 annually per user. The plan offers unlimited storage robust admin features like audit logs, and the ability to permission user devices.
There is also an Enterprise plan which is priced according to business needs.
Box is a cloud storage service headquartered in Redwood City, California. It mainly targets collaborative team members and businesses. Box offers a single payment plan starting at $10 per month for 100GB of storage space. Its free subscription plan comes with 10GB of space. It also offers MS Office 365 home integrations, user management tools, and access across a number of devices. The company was founded in 2005 by Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith. As of 2019, it had 2,046 employees and $608 million in revenues.
Box provides one of the best cloud storage services to businesses and collaborative teams. Its collaboration tools and security features are unmatched in the industry. It comes with 256-AES encryption that ensures only partners can access files. Dropbox, on the other hand, is very popular among individual users. But it offers a limited number of collaboration tools for users. In spite of this, Dropbox made almost twice the revenue Box made in 2019.
Google Drive is part of the Google suite of apps. It was launched in 2012. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California. Users get up to 15GB free storage which they can extend to 30TB on paid subscription plans. There are six different payment plans for Google Drive. The service uses AES 128-bit encryption to protect user files on the platform. Google Drive has over 2 billion active users. In 2019, Google made $8.9 billion in revenues from its cloud storage business. The company, which owns Google Drive, has 118,899 employees.
Google revealed the revenue it makes from its cloud storage business for the first time ever. And it confirms the common notion that Google Drive is the most popular cloud storage service around the world. Its revenue is 8 times that of Dropbox. One of the features that make Google Drive loved among cloud storage users is its continuous backup option. It also comes with free access to the other suite of office apps such as Google Docs and Sheets among others. Not to mention its diverse range of payment plans that start as cheap as $1.99 per month.
Headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, MEGA is a cloud storage service that was founded by Kim Dotcom in 2013. It offers up to 15GB of free storage space. But paid subscription plans offer up to 16TB of storage space. Besides its zero-knowledge service and end-to-end encryption, MEGA also gives users the option of using private encryption on their files and folders. It also has a chat feature through which users can send encrypted messages to other users. In 2019, MEGA made $3.8 million in revenues and had 58 employees.
MEGA is much more expensive than Dropbox if you compare the pricing against the storage space offered. It is often preferred by users for its zero-knowledge service and end-to-end encryption. But Dropbox takes the overall crown with MEGA only making a fraction of its revenue. One of the reasons why MEGA is still lagging that much behind Dropbox is because it has had its fair share of troubles. In 2015, the founder said he did not trust the service because it had been taken over by a fraudulent Chinese investor and would be launching a rival cloud storage service.
Amazon Cloud Drive
Amazon Cloud Drive is a cloud storage service owned by eCommerce giant Amazon. It was established in 2011. Amazon Cloud Drive offers up to 5GB storage space and unlimited photo storage on its free subscription plan. It has 13 payment plans that offer storage space up to 30TB. The cheapest subscription plan starts at $1 per month for 100GB of storage space. The cloud storage service brought in $35.02 billion of Amazon’s revenues in 2019. The parent company employs 798,000 people and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
Amazon Cloud Drive has a much cheaper subscription plan compared to Dropbox. Its offer of 2TB of storage space for $10 per month beats Dropbox’s $19.99 per month for an additional TB of storage space. Amazon Cloud Drive also has a diverse range of subscription options for its users. The only downside to Amazon Cloud Drive is that it lacks at-rest encryption and users have to encrypt their files before uploading.
SpiderOak is a suite of cloud storage apps that primarily targets businesses. It also offers cloud storage backup services under SpiderOak One. The suite allows users to access, synchronize, and share data on a cloud-based server. The company uses encrypted cloud storage and client-side encryption key creation to protect users’ files and data. Ethan Oberman and Alan Fairless founded the company in 2007 as an encrypted program for private backup. It is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. As of 2019, it had 45 employees and a revenue turnover of $12 million.
SpiderOak primarily targets enterprises and as such, it doesn’t have any free subscription plans. Its paid plans are also quite expensive compared to Dropbox. But for all the trouble, it is a secure platform that offers zero-knowledge service. Dropbox wins when it comes to its productivity features and intuitive user experience. SpiderOak’s revenue is also a fraction that of Dropbox.
Tresorit was founded in 2011 by Istvan Lam. the company is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, but it also has an office in Budapest, Hungary. It offers online cloud storage services for individuals, freelancers, and enterprises with an emphasis on data encryption and security. Users can access the service on a mobile app, client desktop software, and a web-based application. It is available for Android, Windows Phone, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Windows operating systems.
Over 10,000 organizations use Tresorit cloud storage services. The company made $13 million in revenues in 2019 and had 80+ employees.
Tresorit is more expensive than Dropbox. But it is also more secure. It is one of the best cloud storage services that uses zero-knowledge encryption. Dropbox, on the other hand, is quite excellent at third-party integrations, productivity features, and file sharing. And that makes Dropbox the overall winner with a massive revenue gap between the two.
Microsoft OneDrive was launched in 2007 under the name SkyDrive. It is owned by Microsoft and offers file hosting and synchronization services. Users can use the platform to store personal data and files, share files, and sync them across mobile devices and computers. They can also upload Microsoft Office documents to the platform. Microsoft OneDrive comes with up to 5GB of free storage besides other paid subscription plans. As of 2019, the parent company (Microsoft) had 144,000 employees. Its cloud business operations brought in $38 billion in revenue in the last financial year.
At $38 billion, Microsoft runs the world’s largest cloud storage business. But it also reports its Azure server, database, networking, and software businesses under this segment. But it is still way ahead of Dropbox in terms of free storage offered (5GB vs 2GB) and the paid subscription plans come with Office 365 free access. One Drive also offers recovery capabilities for business accounts, ransomware detection, multi-factor authentication, and built-in compliance standards.
IDrive is a tech company that offers data backup application services on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. The company was founded in 1995 in Calabasas, California, under the name Pro Softnet Corp. It rebranded to IDrive in 2003. Its cloud storage solutions primarily target resellers, professionals, businesses, and enterprises. The free subscription plan comes with 5GB of storage space. IDrive gives users the option of enabling private encryption. As of 2019, the company had 421 employees and a revenue turnover of $10 million.
IDrive has much larger free storage compared to Dropbox. On its paid plan, IDrive gives you 2TB of storage space at $59.12 for the first year while Dropbox charges $99 per year for 1TB of storage space. Besides that, users can enable private encryption when they sign up on IDrive. It sounds like a better deal at IDrive than Dropbox. But Dropbox still made more than 10 times what IDrive made in 2019.
Backblaze was founded in 2007 in San Mateo, California. It is one of the leading cloud storage and backup companies in the US. Its services include personal backup, business backup, and B2 Cloud backup. Users get unlimited backup storage space even when of a free trial. As of 2019, the company had 89 employees and $40 million in revenues.
Backblaze is one of the best alternatives to Dropbox when it comes to cloud storage and computer backup solutions. It has no traffic restrictions and offers unlimited storage space. While Dropbox made more revenue in 2019 than Backblaze, it is not that far much behind.
Darius Antia, Thomas Savundra, and Suhan Shan founded Sync in 2011 in Toronto, Canada. The company offers cloud storage services with users getting up to 5GB of free storage space. It is known for its end-to-end encryption of user data and files. More than 750,000 people and businesses use Sync services. As of 2019, the company had 50 employees and $4 million in revenues.
In terms of pricing, Sync is cheaper than Dropbox. It also offers free apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac to enable users sync and access their files across devices. Sync also gives you 5GB of free storage space compared to Dropbox’s 2GB. However, its revenue is still a fraction of what Dropbox made in 2019.
The top 10 Dropbox competitors are: Box, Google Drive, MEGA, Amazon Cloud Drive, SpiderOak, Tresorit, Microsoft OneDrive, IDrive, Backblaze, and Sync.com. They had a total of $82.61 billion in revenues. Their cumulative number of employees in 2019 was 1,063,688. In terms of cloud storage, Google Drive is Dropbox’s biggest competitor.
|Box||2005||Redwood City, California||2,046|
|Google Drive||2012||Mountain View, California||118,899|
|MEGA||2013||Auckland, New Zealand||58|
|Amazon Cloud Drive||2011||Seattle, Washington||798,000|
|SpiderOak||2007||Kansas City, Missouri,||45|
|Microsoft OneDrive||2007||Redmond, Washington||144,000|
|Backblaze||2007||San Mateo, California||89|