What do you get when you put together a popular online storage system with a popular to-do and mailbox service? About to find out are the "bring your own device" (BYOD) world, along with virtual office workers, mobile professionals and other tech consumers.
That's because Dropbox on Friday said it acquired Orchestra, maker of the Mailbox app, which is available for both the iPhone and Android devices. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but some news reports put the sale price around $100 million.
A competitor with Box.com, Dropbox is a "freemium" cloud service that lets you store your photos, docs, and videos for access or sharing anywhere. More than 100 million people use the service, which was founded in 2007. By adding Mailbox to its service list, Dropbox is moving to contend for more workers in the BYOD world.
Making Mobile Work Easier
Orchestra's Mailbox app has been a popular draw for smartphone users. Mailbox aims to make e-mail light, fast and mobile-friendly. Users can swipe messages for archiving or deleting and scan conversations with chat-like organization. You can also "snooze" e-mails until later by tapping a button.
"Like many of you, when we discovered Mailbox we fell in love -- it was simple, delightful, and beautifully engineered. Many have promised to help us with our overflowing inboxes, but the Mailbox team actually delivered," Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, founders of Dropbox, wrote in a blog post.
After spending time with the team, the two said, it became clear that Orchestra's and Dropbox's callings were one and the same -- to solve life's hidden problems. By merging, they figured, they could "save millions of people a lot of pain."
"Dropbox doesn't replace your folders or your hard drive: it makes them better. The same is true with Mailbox," the two wrote. "It doesn't replace your e-mail: it makes it better. Whether it's your Dropbox or your Mailbox, we want to find ways to simplify your life."
A Mobile Foothold
According to Orchestra, Mailbox delivers more than 100 million e-mails a month. The app just debuted in February. Mailbox aims to help consumers get their e-mail to "zero" every day. There has been high demand for the service, which is available by reservation on a first-come, first-served basis.
Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, is bullish on the acquisition's prospects.
"Mailbox and Orchestra complement Dropbox and give it a stronger foothold in mobile," Sterling told us. "Dropbox gives Mailbox additional resources and reach and can accelerate its adoption."