Friday, May 27, 2011

The Economics of Carbonite and Dropbox

Dave Cahill (via Hacker News):

The recent Carbonite IPO filing, and related S1 documentation, has opened the kimono on the economics of online backup. Until now opportunities to get a real handle on the business model of the online storage/file sharing business have been limited. Vendors, both new and old, are happy to provide customer adoption metrics and the number of objects/files stored as an indicator of uptake. But extrapolating more precise details about the business model has been nothing more than “fun with numbers”. Fortunately for us, Carbonite’s S1 filing (shown here) is chock full of data points and financial metrics that enable a much deeper glimpse into the economics (or lack thereof) of this business. The data seems to reveal a stark contrast between the traditional online backup model and that of the newer generation of “freemium” file protection/sharing services like Dropbox.

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[...] I’m not exactly sure what “very small” means here. Doesn’t Dropbox have more than 25 million users? I still think Dropbox could be more transparent. In the past, they posted important stuff [...]

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