With Dropbox appraising itself at $8 billion, has the valuation of tech companies officially gone too far?
Online storage company DropBox believes it is worth almost a third of Twitter.
The San Francisco-based start up is seeking to raise $250 million more in funding after already raising hundreds of millions, which would bring the valuation of the company to $8 billion. Though the source of this funding has yet to be seen, the move has raised some concerns in tech and business circles that Silicon Valley may be on the verge of another bubble.
The company has already raised $257 million in its five-year history, and says it makes more than $200 million per year in sales from more than 200 million customers. According to the company, more than 1 billion files are uploaded to the site every day, and more than 4 million businesses use its services.
So why the extra funding push? Dropbox is hoping to focus on making a more refined corporate product that would give IT staff an easy, secure way to manage employees’s personal and business files. The company has also been on an purchasing spree, snagging online sales app Sold and email app Mailbox in the past year, though the purpose of these two acquisitions still under wraps.
Drew Houston, chief executive of Dropbox, says he sees growth ahead for online storage and for the company.
“It’s a huge market,” he said, speaking at a conference in San Francisco on Monday organized by Salesforce, according to the New York Times. “The experience of Dropbox will be hugely different a year from now.”
This isn’t the company’s first financial foray: In its first funding drive in 2011, Dropbox raised more than $250 million and was valued at $4 billion.
However, though the online storage game may not appear to be the glamorous side of technology start-ups, the playing field has some fierce competition. Aside from competing with Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and other cloud services, snappy start-ups such as Box are seeking the same niche as Dropbox, which could create an intense rivalry and split in consumers.
Plus, with recent NSA online surveillance allegations and hacks on major tech companies, people are more wary of where they put their personal data than ever before.
Despite all this, it isn’t clear where Dropbox will get its funding, if it is successful, and it comes on the heels of a rapidly inflating tech valuation bubble which has caused some to raise concern. Pinterest, a social media site aimed at consumer products and shareable content, was recently valued at $3.8 billion despite no sign (yet) of revenue. Twitter, which recently filed its IPO is currently valued at $22 billion, though its revenue is far less. Snapchat, a temporary photo-sharing app, reportedly turned down a $3 billion cash acquisition offer from Facebook.
Is the tech world heading toward an upcoming Icarus moment? For now, the funding flight certainly seems to be soaring to dizzying heights. Whether its wings will burn remains to be seen.