File sharing service Dropbox is looking to raise another $250m (£155m) in capital to fuel its growth and develop resources for expansion into enterprise accounts and channel relationships.
The company isn't officially commenting on funding reports. However, if Dropbox goes out to the venture capital market looking for money, the target amount would place the company's valuation at $8bn.
Dropbox is one of the fastest-growing companies in the tech segment. Though primarily a consumer service, Dropbox is steadily pushing business sales. In 2012, Dropbox for Business launched, providing SMBs with a version of its file sharing services under a bundled pricing scheme and greater user group manageability.
Last week, Dropbox announced plans to expand its presence in enterprise accounts, saying that most of the Fortune 500 is already using Dropbox on some level and individual users are leveraging the service to simplify their work routines.
To make the service more palatable to businesses, Dropbox introduced new desktop and mobile applications that segment personal and business files.
"People love that they can work from anywhere. People love they can have their work stuff and personal stuff together for the first time," said Dropbox CEO and founder Drew Houston at a press event in San Francisco last week.
In recent weeks, Dropbox has had significant presence at channel events, such as ConnectWise's IT Nation and Spiceworks' SpiceWorld and Channel Partner's Cloud Partners. At these events, the company touts tech providers' ability to use the file sharing in their operations as well as resell to SMB customers.
Dropbox is increasingly seen as a competitive threat to cloud storage and backup companies.
Directly, Dropbox competes with Microsoft Skydrive and Google Drive, among others, in cloud file sharing services. Commercially, it's a direct competitor to Box, which offers file sharing and content management services similar to Microsoft's SharePoint.
In the channel, Dropbox could prove a potent competitor to storage and backup vendors, including Carbonite, Mozy, Axcient, Datto and others.
While Dropbox doesn't offer the security or manageability, and certainly isn't a true backup and disaster recovery service, its low cost and ease of use makes it a backup alternative.
When Dropbox started eyeing business accounts and channel relationships, detractors dismissed its ability to translate a consumer service into a viable, competitive business offering. Dropbox's unbridled ambition and continued march into the channel and business-level accounts is now making doubters doubt their initial assessments.
Larry Walsh is chief executive and president of Channelnomics
As part of our special editorial relationship, CRN is republishing this article from Channelnomics
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