Dropbox zooms to ‘run rate’ high, but cloud is getting competitive

3 Feb 2017

Image: Sabphoto/Shutterstock

Dropbox is celebrating reaching $1bn in revenues (with a twist) faster than its rivals, but life is tough at the top of the cloud.

Dropbox has achieved $1bn in revenue run rate. This means that its latest quarter saw $250m in revenues, which the company extrapolates over a full year for the run rate total.

According to Dropbox, it has now become the fastest SaaS company to achieve this, after eight years of trying.

Only five SaaS companies have reached this $1bn revenue target to date, as Dropbox is joined by Salesforce (nine years), Workday (9.2 years), ServiceNow (10.7 years) and Athenahealth (15.6 years).

“No SaaS company to date has been able to cross that threshold faster than Dropbox,” said IDC analyst Robert Mahowald.

Dropbox’s glee comes at a time when its competition is starting to seriously ramp up.

Satya Nadella’s reign as Microsoft CEO has seen the tech giant shift more and more of its focus towards cloud services, an ethos that has proved quite profitable indeed.

In the company’s Q2 results, its Azure platform showed that revenue returns jumped by an emphatic 93pc in just one quarter, after doubling in Q1.

Salesforce’s plans, despite missing out on LinkedIn, are also forging a deeper path into cloud and data services.

In the past 12 months, it has acquired Krux, HeyWire, BeyondCore, Quip, Coolan, Demandware, Implisit, MetaMind, PredictionIO, SteelBrick and MinHash. Some of those deals were minor, others massive. Demandware, for example, set Salesforce back to the tune of $2.8bn, its costliest purchase yet.

As an outsider challenging the established order, Snapchat is soon to get involved – though this is destined to aid Google.

According to Snap’s IPO filing, it is planning a $2bn investment into cloud infrastructure in partnership with Google.

Both companies have signed a licence platform agreement, with Snap committing to purchase at least $400m in cloud services for each of the next five years.

Elsewhere Google’s G Suite is part of an expansion by the tech giant into Dropbox’s realm.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic