FORTUNE -- Quick -- name a cloud-based, file-sharing provider that's expected to go public later this year and has the word "box" in its name. (Hint: there's more than one right answer.)
Whether you guessed Box or Dropbox, you're correct. That's because, on the surface, the two appear to be very similar companies, especially now that both startups are nearing their respective IPOs and catering more and more to enterprise customers. Both have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from top venture capital firms, touted impressive growth -- both in employee count and customer base -- and managed to nab some high-profile executives in recent months. Both are run by young, sneaker-wearing entrepreneurs who weren't yet alive when former president Ronald Reagan took office. And, bottom line, both companies have similar offerings: web-based storage, syncing and sharing for photos, documents, and other files.
But Box and Dropbox do have some noteworthy differences. Yes, there are variations in their pricing plans. (For a comparison, check out their fees and storage capacities here and here.) The real difference, though, can be plainly seen by viewing each company's homepage. Scroll through Box's website and you'll see multiple tabs -- Box for personal, business, and enterprise IT needs, plus information on pricing and a sales contact number. You'll also see words like "security leadership" and "scalable." And the logos of some of Box's most recognizable corporate customers, including Procter & Gamble (PG) and Pandora (P). Browse through Dropbox.com, however, and you won't find any of the above information. There's just a small sketch of a laptop and mobile device, a big blue button that lets you sign up for an account, and the company's simplistic tagline: "Your stuff, anywhere."
The companies' respective websites clarify the differences between the two: Box is focused on enterprise customers (who care about encryption, integration with other enterprise applications, and which other businesses are using the service) while Dropbox's bread and butter are consumers (who just want to get up and running with the service as quickly and smoothly as possible). Despite the fact that Box didn't start out as an enterprise player, co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie quickly realized that would be his sweet spot. The company offers a free account for consumers, but Levie's efforts have gone toward integrating Box's offering with existing enterprise apps like Salesforce (CRM) and Google (GOOG) Apps. The company says it now has about 20 million individual users spread across over 200,000 businesses, including users within nearly all of the companies in the Fortune 500.
Dropbox, meanwhile, has long catered to the everyday consumer -- co-founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi started the company back in 2007 because they were tired of e-mailing files to themselves to be able to work from multiple computers. Today, over 200 million people use Dropbox to store and share content, but only a small percentage of them pay to do so. That's why the startup is eyeing the enterprise market, where paying money for a service is a much more acceptable way of doing business. In recent months, Dropbox has rolled out a handful of features for corporate users and infused some enterprise DNA in the company. But, as a cursory glance at the startup's website will tell you, it's still very much a consumer play.
The companies' valuations are yet another difference between the two file-sharing services. But with Box reportedly worth about $2 billion and Dropbox valued at upwards of $10 billion, both are being heralded as two of the largest expected tech IPOs this year. Which company's strategy and market focus -- not to mention which one will get the ticker symbol "BOX" -- remains to be seen.
Dropbox grabs Google's Motorola Mobility boss, Dennis Woodside.
FORTUNE -- Dennis Woodside ran Motorola Mobility for Google, but apparently he won't be doing the same for Lenovo.
Just weeks after Google (GOOG) agreed to sell the money-losing unit for $2.9 billion, Woodside has agreed to join storage company Dropbox as its chief operating officer.
Dropbox has raised $507 million in venture capital funding. Its most recent deal, a $250 $350 million Series C round that valued MOREErin Griffith - Feb 13, 2014 10:24 AM ET
The file-syncing startup is reportedly seeking to raise hundreds of millions at an astronomical valuation.
FORTUNE -- Just how much does Dropbox need to fuel an aggressive push into the enterprise space? $250 million, if a report today is correct.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the rapidly-expanding file-syncing business is looking to raise $250 million at an $8 billion valuation in the next few weeks. That would price it higher than other promising MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Nov 18, 2013 7:26 PM ET
The file-syncing startup wants you to mix business and pleasure.
FORTUNE -- If you're a working professional and Dropbox user, you're in luck. With the revamped Dropbox for Business, accessing -- and separating -- your business and personal content on the cloud storage startup should soon be a quicker, simpler process.
At a San Francisco press event earlier Wednesday, Dropbox demonstrated how its business tool enables users to link together and securely MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Nov 13, 2013 3:37 PM ET
Ex-AOL and Yahoo exec Brad Garlinghouse gives his file-sharing service a makeover.
FORTUNE – What do you do with a nine-year-old file-sharing service that trails behind startups like Dropbox and Box? If you're Palo Alto-based YouSendIt CEO Brad Garlinghouse, you change the name, experience, and pricing. With "Hightail," Garlinghouse hopes to attract new users but also have a name hip enough to turn into a user catchphrase.
"We wanted to choose a MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 10, 2013 2:12 PM ET
Also: Samsung unveils new Galaxy S IV; inside Microsoft's poor Surface tablet sales.
Dropbox buys Mailbox, an app with some buzz [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]
"We felt we could help Mailbox reach a much different audience much faster," said Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, who said both companies shared the goal of making people's lives easier.
He said Dropbox will keep the Mailbox service running as a stand-alone app, and over time Dropbox will MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Mar 15, 2013 1:43 PM ET
The popular start-up says it grew more than 500% in 15 months. How's that for viral effectiveness?
FORTUNE -- As many in Silicon Valley know, very few start-ups succeed, and even if they do, even fewer stumble upon the kind of growth Dropbox has in such little time. But since January 2010, CEO Drew Houston and CTO Arash Ferdowsi's file-syncing and sharing service has exploded, from 4 million to 25 million, with MORE
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