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GSV Capital is the first publicly traded security giving growth equity investors access to the world's most dynamic, VC-backed private companies.

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Why We Like

$19.1 million FMV|8.9% of GSVC



Capital Raised




GSV Investment Theme

  • Cloud/Big Data
  • Marketplaces
  • Sustainability
  • Education


Dropbox a the leader in cloud-based digital file storage and device-agnostic sharing/syncing. Its service enables the user to access and edit files from any device at any time. Frustrated by working from multiple computers, founder Drew Houston was inspired to create a service that would let people access their files anywhere, with no need to email attachments or share via physical media. Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi (Co-founder) moved to San Francisco in fall 2007, received seed funding from Y Combinator, and launched Dropbox.

Why We Like It: The Four Ps

Why We Like Dropbox

As services and products continue their relentless “march to the cloud,” Dropbox is strongly positioned to both capture and accelerate this move, from individual consumers to entire enterprises. Dropbox is a powerful platform that is disrupting the file storage space by providing a solution for users and businesses to easily share, edit, store, and access files, and to collaborate from any device at any time. In addition, the freemium model has proven to be extraordinarily powerful in driving user growth—and ultimately provides Dropbox a massive barrier to entry.


Dropbox was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. Houston graduated from MIT in 2006 with a BS in Computer Science. Prior to Dropbox, Houston founded Accolade, an online SAT prep course while still in college. Ferdowsi, also a graduate of MIT, earned his degree in 2008. Key investors include Sequoia, Accel, Benchmark, Index Ventures, IVP, Greylock and Goldman Sachs.


Dropbox allows users to securely share files with other people, sync them across multiple machines, and access them from various computers and mobile devices. Once users install the app or download the software, they enjoy free storage and sharing space to a limit, and can pay for increased storage space. Additionally, Dropbox for Business provides teams with advanced sharing, backup, working tools, and security features.


Dropbox has established itself as a leader in the Storage-as-a-Service market, a subset of the Cloud Computing market. According to Forrester Research, the global cloud computing market is expected to reach $241 billion in 2020 compared to $41 billion in 2010.


Internet; Knowledge; Social; Globalization; Brands; Convergence; Free

How Big Can This Be?

With its slick technology and intuitive, super-simple smart interface, Dropbox trends ahead of Apple, Google, and Amazon in file storage and sharing. With individuals and businesses moving increasing amounts of data onto the cloud, Dropbox stands on the forefront to be the leader in this emerging megatrend.


By employing a freemium model as a Trojan horse, Dropbox has already built a formidable economic moat around its core business. Users quickly reach their data storage limit to reach a pay-for-storage level, and given the proliferation of personal and enterprise content/data, Dropbox should continue to see rapid revenue growth driven by strong user adoption, with well over 500 million users.


The company faces competition from established players in the space, as well as startups like Box.net. Apple, Amazon and Google have similar products.

GSVC percentage figures are based upon the fair value of each holding as of the quarter ended March 31, 2019, or the cost basis of the holding (exclusive of transaction costs) if the investment closed subsequent to March 31, 2019. In either case, these values are divided by the fair value of total portfolio investments of GSV Capital as of March 31, 2019.

GSV stands forGlobal Silicon Valley