Just how much does Dropbox need to fuel an aggressive push into the enterprise space? $250 million, if a report today is correct.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the rapidly-expanding file-syncing business is looking to raise $250 million at an $8 billion valuation in the next few weeks. That would price it higher than other promising startups, including home-renting startup Airbnb ($2.5 billion) and the file-storing Evernote ($1 billion-plus). A source close to Dropbox confirmed to Fortune that Dropbox is already talking to potential investors about fundraising, and while the reported figures are a “reasonable guess,” the amount they end up raising is “by no means set in stone.”
“What we can say is that with over 200 million users and 4 million businesses, Dropbox has continued strong momentum,” a company spokesperson said. Dropbox declined further comment.
Earlier this month, the company revealed a revamped Dropbox for Business experience that will allow business professionals to pair their personal and professional folders when it officially launches early next year. “People think there’s this consumer version of Dropbox, and there’s this enterprise version of Dropbox,” CEO Drew Houston said then. “We think that’s ridiculous: There should only be one.”
Still, there’s no denying that the enterprise market potential remains vast and potentially more lucrative for a company like Dropbox as businesses continually migrate away from cost-prohibitive on-site servers to more cost-effective cloud-based services. (Certainly Houston believes in that potential. Earlier today, the Dropbox CEO joined Marc Benioff onstage at Salesforce’s (CRM) Dreamforce conference.) And although Dropbox would not disclose how many paid business customers it has, the number of businesses using it in some fashion has doubled to 4 million year-over-year. Put another way, Dropbox is present in over 97% of Fortune 500 companies.
Certainly, the new round of funding would help Dropbox ramp up even further against companies ranging from Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) to scrappier competitors such as Box, the last of which is also no stranger to huge funding rounds.
“Every major Internet company competes with us,” Houston said at the Dropbox for Business event several weeks ago. “We get it.” Perhaps Houston also understands that tackling the competition head-on means fighting fire with fire, or in at least in this case, serious financial backing.