Dropbox will purchase the secure document sharing startup DocSend for $165 million.


Dropbox announced today that it will buy DocSend for $165 million. The company helps customers organise and share documents by sending them a secure link rather than an attachment.

“We are acquiring DocSend to help us deliver an even broader set of tools for remote work, and DocSend’s powerful engagement analytics help customers share and manage their business-critical documents securely,” Dropbox CEO Drew Houston told me.

Together with the digital signature capabilities of HelloSign that Dropbox bought in the year 2019, this acquisition gives Dropbox the ability to share documents in an end-to-end workflow that it was lacking. “Dropbox, DocSend, and HelloSign will be able to offer our millions of customers a full suite of self-service products to manage the entire critical document workflow and give them control over all aspects of that,” Houston explained.

Houston, along with DocSend founder and chief executive Russ Heddleston, have known each other for a number of years and have a long-standing relationship. Actually, Heddleston worked for Dropbox as an intern during the summer of 2010. He even conceived the business idea through Houston before launching the company in 2013, and Houston then signed off on the idea with his stamp of approval. Both companies have been working together for quite some time.

“We have been following the trend of changing and expanding external messaging to different workflows.””It’s really fascinating that by focusing on this, we have created a product that is loved hugely by users,” Heddleston said.

The workflows are sales, creative, and startup services or startups using DocSend to provide pitches or pitch decks and monitor engagement. Actually, one of the first use cases of the business was to help startups monitor engagement on their pitch decks to VC companies.

The company only raised a small amount of money during the process, only $15.3 million, as per Crunchbase; however, Heddleston claims that he wanted to create a business that was self-sufficient, and raising additional VC dollars was not necessary or even a priority. “We are constantly trying to get more money from [VCs], and we advise our employees not to count the funds that were raised or the headcount. “It’s all about creating an excellent firm,” he said.

This builder’s mindset was among the factors that attracted Houston to DocSend. “We’re big believers in product growth, capital efficiency, and building intuitive, viral products, which is what attracted us to DocSend,” Houston said. Although DocSend has 17,000 users, Houston says the acquisition will allow the company to reach more customers under the umbrella of Dropbox.

It’s important to note that Box provides a secure document-sharing feature that allows users to share links instead of an attachment. It recently purchased e-signature startup SignRequest with a purchase price of $55 million with a view to creating more sophisticated workflows for documents like the ones Dropbox is currently offering using HelloSign along with DocSend. PandaDoc PandaDoc is a unique competitor in this field.

Dropbox and DocSend Both Dropbox and DocSend took part in TechCrunch’s Disrupt Battlefield, and DocSend was among the companies that participated. Houston was the first to launch Dropbox in 2008 at TechCrunch 50, the original name of the event. In addition, DocSend participated in 2014 at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City.

DocSend’s 50 employees will join Dropbox at the time of its closing this year, which is expected to happen shortly, subject to regulatory oversight.

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