Dropbox acquires Mailbox – battle for the mobile cloud begins

16 Mar 2013

Fast-moving cloud player Dropbox revealed a new acquisition that indicates its destiny lies in the direction of the mobile cloud with the purchase of mobile mail start-up Mailbox. This is in addition to other recent acquisitions that include mobile cloud music service Audiogalaxy, tablet advertising platform TapEngage and photo service Snapjoy.

Dropbox, which counts more than 100m users worldwide and which plans to create up to 40 new jobs in Dublin is assembling many of the components it needs to become a next-generation IT giant.

Dropbox is a free cloud service that lets users bring all photos, docs and videos into a folder that can be accessed on any PC, Mac, iOS, BlackBerry or Android device and across a variety of web browsers.

MIT graduates Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi began work on Dropbox in 2007, as a Y Combinator start-up. It emerged in April last year that U2’s Bono and the Edge took part in a US$250m second-round funding of Dropbox.

The mobile cloud is the cloud

Writing in the Dropbox blog, founders Houston and Ferdowsi said not had they fallen in love with the Mailbox app, they said they felt it actually was one of the few mail apps to actually deliver on the promise of helping users with their overflowing inboxes.

They said that Dropbox and Mailbox were a natural fit.

“We all quickly realised that together we could save millions of people a lot of pain.

“Dropbox doesn’t replace your folders or your hard drive: it makes them better. The same is true with Mailbox. It doesn’t replace your email: it makes it better. Whether it’s your Dropbox or your Mailbox, we want to find ways to simplify your life.

“We’re all looking forward to making Mailbox even better and getting it into as many people’s hands as possible. There’s so much to do and we’re excited to get started,” Houston and Ferdowsi wrote.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years