On Wednesday, roughly a year after Dropbox launched Dropbox for Business, Dropbox announced a Dropbox for Business API which allows third party applications to integrate with the Dropbox application. Examples of third party applications that integrate with Dropbox for Business through the Dropbox for Business API include Splunk, which provides machine data analytics on Dropbox usage and Data Loss Prevention applications such as CirroSecure, CloudLock, Elastica, Netskope, and Skyhigh Networks that additionally deliver auditing and compliance functionality. Other applications that integrate with Dropbox for Business via its API include Centrify, Meldium, Microsoft Azure AD, Okta, OneLogin, and Ping Identity for identity management and single sign-on functionality as well as ediscovery and legal applications such as Guidance and Nuix. The new API takes Dropbox for Business to a new level by enabling the product to live up to the stringent and varied requirements of IT protocols related to corporate compliance and information security. Moreover, the recently released API stands to catapult Dropbox’s market share amongst enterprise customers by facilitating the integrations required by different industries and organizations to ensure that Dropbox usage conforms to their larger IT strategy and policy. Today, roughly 100,000 companies use Dropbox for Business including Hyatt, News Corp and MIT. While the Dropbox API represents a key step forward for Dropbox with respect to its battle to carve out greater enterprise market share, the enterprise content management and collaboration space remains highly competitive and features the likes of Box, Redbooth and Huddle.
Last Wednesday, Amazon Web Services announced the general availability of Zocalo, the cloud storage and collaboration platform, to AWS customers. Zocalo will be available free of charge for a 30 day period for up to 200 GB of storage for a maximum of 50 users. After the 30 day free trial, users can access the Zocalo platform at a rate of $5 per user per month. The announcement of the general availability of Zocalo also featured news that AWS CloudTrail now records API calls made to the Zocalo API and subsequently delivers log files containing details such as API caller identity, time, source, the nature of the API request and Zocalo’s corresponding response. More than just a cloud storage platform, Zocalo provides users with the ability to annotate and provide feedback on files and to additionally receive email notifications regarding team feedback and task-related deadlines. Zocalo has been in limited preview since July but now emerges as a serious contender in the hotly contested cloud storage and collaboration space amongst the likes of Box, Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.
Dropbox, for example, recently announced 1 TB of storage for Dropbox users at the rate of $10/month, in contrast to the 100 GB of storage per month to which Dropbox Pro customers were previously entitled. Moreover, Dropbox Pro now features enhanced security features such as passwords for shared links to Dropbox files, expiration dates for shared links and the ability to delete Dropbox files from lost or stolen devices. Zocalo now joins the cloud storage party with pricing and functionality to match its competitors, although it remains to be seen whether enterprise customers will choose to opt for AWS for their cloud storage and sharing needs given the heterogeneity of its other cloud products and services, or select to instead opt for a vendor dedicated purely to building a storage and document sharing platform for the enterprise such as Box or Dropbox. Regardless, the battle for cloud storage and collaboration continues to evolve with new twists and turns as AWS throws it hat into the ring with its now generally available Zocalo platform. Amazon Zocalo is now generally available in the US-West-2 (Oregon), US-East-1 (N.Virginia) and the EU (Ireland) AWS Regions.
On Thursday, Google slashed prices on its cloud storage platform by lowering the price of 100GB storage from $4.99/month to $1.99/month, and 1TB from $49.99 to $9.99/month. Meanwhile, the price for 10TB is only $99.99/month. In comparison, Dropbox charges $10/month for 100GB and Microsoft OneDrive charges $50/year, or roughly $4.17/month. Google’s decision to cut Google Drive prices is likely to precipitate Dropbox and competitors to respond with similar cuts to stay competitive. More importantly, however, the price cut sends a subtle signal on Google’s part that it is gearing up to go after business customers both for cloud storage, and for its cloud offerings more generally via its Google Compute Engine platform. By increasing market share in the cloud storage space, Google affirms and underscores the reliability and cost-effectiveness of its cloud-based storage offering, and thereby continues to demonstrate its competency in verticals other than keyword search. Thursday’s aggressive price cut positions Google as a leader in the cloud storage space and stands to continue the transformation of Google’s market perception to a leader in cloud-based infrastructures more generally.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Dropbox has raised $250M in a recent funding round that brings the company’s valuation to $10 billion. The capital raise is led by BlackRock Fund, and brings the total funding raised by Dropbox to over $500M. Dropbox’s valuation at $10 billion means that the company’s value has more than doubled since its $4 billion valuation in late 2011.The recent funding raise is intended to accelerate product development and business development activities targeted to enterprise customers interested in features related to enhanced security, role based access, audit controls and related features. This is not the first time Dropbox has raised a quarter of a million dollars in capital: Dropbox raised $250M in 2011 in a round financed by Goldman Sachs, Sequoia, Index Ventures and Accel Partners. Dropbox’s recent funding raise is set to pit it squarely with competitor Box, which raised $100M at a $2 billion valuation in December 2013. As IPO rumors proliferate about both Dropbox and Box, consumers stand to benefit from ever increasing free storage allotments for both platforms designed to boost usage of and familiarity with the cloud-based file sharing and storage vendor in question.