Dropbox boosts mobile talent with CloudOn buy

The latest in the cloud-storage company's shopping spree also delivers a ready-made presence in Israel.

Keep remote file access simple with Dropbox or another cloud storage service.

Keep remote file access simple with Dropbox or another cloud storage service.

Dropbox on Tuesday added yet another young startup to its brain trust with the acquisition of Israeli mobile-productivity app maker CloudOn.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move also broadens Dropbox's presence outside the U.S., where some 70 percent of its 300 million users are located, the company said. CloudOn's engineers will form Dropbox's first Israel office, which joins locations in San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Dublin.

CloudOn has now stopped accepting new users for its service, which will shut down for good on March 15, the company said.

Among numerous other companies acquired by Dropbox over the past couple of years are photo-storage firm Snapjoy, email-management provider Mailbox, mobile-coupon company Endorse, text-editor app Hackpad and photo-sharing app Bubbli.

Continuing its mobile efforts further, Dropbox last fall partnered with Microsoft to enable Dropbox access from within Office apps and to allow users to edit Office files from the Dropbox mobile app.

Now, Dropbox will gain document-creation capabilities through CloudOn's technology allowing users to create, review, edit and share Microsoft Office and other files from any platform or device.

Following its founding in October 2009, CloudOn raised more than $26 million in funding and won some 9 million users around the world.

"In CloudOn, Dropbox has found a partner whose expertise in optimizing productivity applications like Microsoft for mobile devices fits like a glove with Dropbox's goal of enhancing and expanding its services for businesses and mobile workers," said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT. "In addition, CloudOn's estimated 9 million users are a powerful attractant, and I expect Dropbox will make it as seamlessly easy as possible for those folks to migrate to the company's platform."

How the acquisition affects Dropbox's partnership with Microsoft -- which in many ways shares similar goals -- remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, by giving Dropbox an established location for its first office in Israel, the union offers the company a ready-made entrée into "a hotbed for IT startups and developers," King suggested -- one that could allow the company to successfully scout out and pursue additional acquisitions.

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Tags cloud computinginternetstoragesoftwareapplicationsdropbox

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Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
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