Dropbox now claims to have 400 million registered users, up from 300 million just a little more than a year ago.
Those users sync more than 1 billion files per day, and create over 100,000 shared folders every hour.
That’s pretty impressive for an eight-year-old company, although registered users are not the same as the monthly average and daily average users that companies like Facebook and Twitter report.
Even so, that kind of usage and growth is how Dropbox has been able to raise approximately $US1.1 billion to date, landing a hefty $US10 billion valuation back in 2014.
The trick is converting that massive user base into paying customers.
But in an interview with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston stumbled a little when answering questions about the company’s paid product for businesses.
Houston said Dropbox for Business now has 8 million businesses using it, which is about double from one and a half to two years ago.
When Chang asked how many of the users are paying customers, he said, “Most people are using it for free…we have 100,000 paying business customers.”
That’s the same number of paying customers Dropbox cited in December 2014. Plus those customers might include companies that only have 5 employees using it, which doesn’t add much to Dropbox’s revenue.
Chang also asked him to name the biggest Fortune 500 company that Dropbox has signed up, and he didn’t name one. Instead, he said, “The vast majority of the Fortune 500 are using Dropbox in some capacity.”
That’s undoubtedly true if you include employees at companies who are using the service without an official business account. But it doesn’t say anything about how many Fortune 500 customers are paying for the product.
He then went on to give “household name kind of companies,” including Under Armour and Hyatt, neither of which are on the Fortune 500 list.
Companies on the Fortune 500 list are some of America’s largest and oldest businesses, and having them as customers is a sign of becoming a more mainstream business — and a validation of your product as a serious enterprise player.
It may not matter for now. Houston said Dropbox has enough cash on its balance sheet that it doesn’t really need another fund raising event, like an IPO.
He declined to answer if Dropbox is profitable, but he said it has enough cash to remain a standalone company, even adding that Dropbox is financially healthy enough to go public if it really wanted to (he said he has “no plans” to go public now during the interview).
“Our investors are happy, things have been going well. Our focus isn’t really on profitability, it’s on investing and growing,” he said.
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