Dropbox Snaps up Private Messaging Startup Droptalk

By Pedro Hernandez

In a sign that businesses demand more than standalone cloud file sharing and sync services, Dropbox, the San Francisco-based cloud storage pioneer, has acquired Droptalk, a mobile-friendly messaging startup, for an undisclosed amount.

Formed about a year ago by ex-Facebook and LinkedIn engineers, Droptalk is a private, communications platform that enables users to share links and content. In a blog post confirming the deal, the startup's founders, Anand Prakash, Ash Bhardwaj, Rakesh Mathur, Manveer Chawla and Nirmesh Mehta, said that they "set out to end the unnecessary friction around communication and collaboration by killing "the work email.'"

Now, the startup is bringing their technology to Dropbox.

Instead of trading emails, Droptalk conversations occur in a browser, via a Chrome add-on, and in iOS and Android apps that bring the experience tablets and smartphones. "What's more is anytime you updated your shared folders in the cloud, everyone else in the conversation could see the updated version and go directly to the document or link right in the very same thread," boasted the company.

The buy may bring native collaboration tools to the popular cloud-based file sharing and sync company, particularly its corporate-flavored offering, Dropbox for Business. In a video demo, the company showed off how users of the Chrome browser can chat, share links and even share content privately with drag and drop ease.

The tech is closed to new users after the buy, however. "As part of our transition to Dropbox, we are no longer accepting new beta signups," said Droptalk's founders. "We are grateful for your support and we will keep you updated as we join forces with Dropbox to make collaboration easier for everyone."

The Droptalk deal follows the March 2013 acquisition of Mailbox, an Android and iOS email client. Among the touch-first app's hallmark features is an interface that employs swipes and taps, enabling users to quickly organize their inboxes.

In December, the company announced that it was teaming with Dell to integrate the cloud storage service into the PC and server maker's sweeping IT portfolio. The companies are also targeting enterprise cloud backup market with a product called Dropbox for Business plus Dell Data Protection Cloud.

Currently, Dropbox boasts over 300,000,000 users. Its platform has attracted 300,000 apps. Corporate adoption is widespread -- 97 percent of Fortune 500 companies use the cloud storage service, according to the company.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on June 09, 2014