Dropbox Indeed Balked at Major Acquisition Offer from Apple
Last month, word surfaced that popular file storage and sharing service Dropbox may have declined an $800 million acquisition offer from Apple, instead deciding to remain independent and raise its own financing.
A new profile of Dropbox appearing as the cover story for a forthcoming issue of Forbes reveals that Apple did indeed pursue Dropbox, with Steve Jobs personally meeting with Dropbox founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi amid the possibility of a "nine-digit" deal.
“I mean, Steve friggin’ Jobs,” remembers Houston, now 28. “How do you even prepare for that?” When Houston whipped out his laptop for a demo, Jobs, in his signature jeans and black turtleneck, coolly waved him away: “I know what you do.”
As Jobs made his pitch for Dropbox, Houston cut things short, telling Jobs that Dropbox was not interested in being acquired.
Jobs smiled warmly as he told them he was going after their market. “He said we were a feature, not a product,” says Houston. Courteously, Jobs spent the next half hour waxing on over tea about his return to Apple, and why not to trust investors, as the duo—or more accurately, Houston, who plays Penn to Ferdowsi’s mute Teller—peppered him with questions.
Jobs reportedly attempted to follow up with Dropbox after the initial meeting, suggesting a second meeting at Dropbox's headquarters. But when Houston said that he preferred to meet elsewhere, so as to not give Jobs personal insight into Dropbox's operations, Jobs went silent. Apple of course introduced iCloud, its own syncing solution, earlier this year and went live with the service just last week.