Dropbox was profitable for the first time since going public

Christine Fisher
Contributing Writer
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Drew Houston and Greg Brockman speak onstage during the Dropbox Work In Progress Conference at Pier 48 on September 25, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Dropbox)

While many companies struggle through the pandemic, Dropbox seems to be doing well. In its first quarter, it brought in $455 million, an increase of 18 percent compared to the same period last year. According to Bloomberg, last quarter was the first time that Dropbox recorded net income since going public in 2018. In other words, it took a pandemic to make the company profitable.

Since mid-March, Dropbox Business Teams trials have increased 40 percent, and Plus individual plan trials have increased over 25 percent. In the first two weeks of March, Dropbox saw a jump in Basic sign ups in countries highly impacted by COVID-19, including Italy, France, Germany and Spain. Use of its Zoom integration is on the rise, too.

“Our customers are turning to Dropbox for help with this transition to remote work,” CEO Drew Houston said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We’ve certainly seen record trial volumes, we’ve seen increases in direct purchases, we’ve seen increases in engagement.”

While companies like Airbnb, Lyft and Uber are laying off thousands, Dropbox has slowed its rate of hiring but is still filling certain roles.

“We are mindful of the macroeconomic environment and the unpredictability that the second half of the year may bring,” Houston said.

When Dropbox filed to go public in 2018, it was valued at $10 billion, but it reported a $1 billion deficit. According to Bloomberg, Dropbox has exceeded analysts’ estimates for sales and profit every quarter since going public. So even without the drastic shift to remote work driven by the pandemic, Dropbox was headed in the right direction.

The company now has 14.6 million paying users. That’s up from 13.2 million at this time last year and 11 million in March 2018.