Dropbox reinvents itself on the back of shift to remote work

“We are shifting and really focused on supporting distributed work and distributed teams,” Mr Young said.

It’s a significant change of direction for Dropbox, which was started in 2007 by chief executive Drew Houston as a file storage solution.

The company grew steadily and listed on the Nasdaq in 2018 in a $756 million initial public offering despite facing strong competition in storage from Alphabet’s Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive.

Like many technology companies, the coronavirus pandemic has bolstered Dropbox’s bottom line with the company reporting third quarter revenue of $US487.4 million ($A667.4 million), representing 14 per cent year-on-year growth. Dropbox has 600 million registered users worldwide with a paid user base of 15.25 million.

Mr Young said remote work offered more flexibility for employees and gave employers access to a broader and more diverse global talent base. It is these benefits that led Dropbox to dramatically shift its own business operations with all staff working remotely for solo work, and meeting in person for collaborative team work.


“If we want to build the future we need to live in it,” Mr Young said. “We think that’s going to give us a huge advantage for building software to support this more flexible way of working.”

Mr Young said Australia was one of Dropbox’s top growth areas and was a critical market for the business.

Australia has one of the highest levels of penetration for the company with over 15 million registered users.

“No matter where companies are headquartered, we feel strongly that more and more will have people distributed everywhere and so we want to make sure our software, not only works but also works in these particular geographies,” he said. “So Australia and New Zealand are critical for us as we move forward and for our growth.”

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