Business Irish

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Bono's pick Dropbox to double Irish staff by 2014

Singer invested in data storage giant and helped lure it to capital

Tom Lyons

Dropbox, the Californian technology firm backed by Bono and the Edge, hopes to double its Dublin staff numbers to close to 100 by 2014.

The data storage company, which has 100 million users worldwide, will focus its initial 40 hires on technical sales and support but Mitra Lohrasbpour, its head of European operations, said: "Our long- term goal is much grander than that."

"We will branch out into regional marketing and regional partnerships and potentially some policy and legal work," she added.

Dropbox's user numbers have doubled in the last year and about a third of that total is in Europe. "In Europe we expect growth to continue to be strong," Lohrasbpour said.

Dropbox, which is headquartered in San Francisco, allows users to store and share content in the cloud using multiple devices like smart phones, laptops and tablets.

The late Steve Jobs once dismissed it as "a feature, not a company" but Dropbox has proven him wrong, and its product is now used by 95 per cent of all Fortune 500 companies.

The company was founded in 2007 by MIT graduates Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. Bono and the Edge invested in the company in April at around the same time Dropbox started talking to the IDA about locating here.

The two U2 members were a factor in convincing Dropbox, which has been valued at $5bn to $10bn (€3.9bn to €7.7bn), to come here. Galway-man Sean Byrne, an employee of Dropbox in California, also vouched for us.

Lohrasbpour said Dropbox had already begun to advertise its first series of jobs to join a five-strong team moving to Dublin from California.

"The number one thing we we are looking for is passion for technology and helping people," Lohrasbpour said. "When you satisfy that need, it would certainly be a plus to have multilingual skills."

She said Dropbox was looking for a lot more than just people capable of answering users' questions. "They will also be looking for trends in usage and bugs and helping to solve problems with our engineers," she added.

"Tablets, phones, computers are all using Dropbox to connect to each other, so Dropbox is becoming more important," Lohrasbpour said. "It is about helping you keep all your stuff with you, use it, store it, access it and share it wherever. We think first about where is the technology going and then let's build out our teams to support those needs."

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