Dropbox Acquires Mailbox iOS App, Enters Email Management Space


Dropbox on Friday expanded the scope of its business from cloud file sharing and synchronization to email by acquiring Mailbox, an iOS mobile app designed to manage emails on iPhones and iPads.

In a Friday blog post, Dropbox co-founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi announced the acquisition and explained the rationale behind it.

"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," Houston and Ferdowsi wrote.

[Related: Dropbox To Adopt Two-Factor Authentication After Spam Campaign]

Mailbox was developed by Orchestra, a small software house best known for Orchestra To-Do, an app for managing tasks. Orchestra released Mailbox on Apple's App Store a month ago but is rolling it out to users slowly; the company says it has taken 1.3 million reservations so far and is processing more than 60 million emails a day.

Orchestra has much greater goals, however. "Our goal is to put Mailbox in the hands of everyone who wants it. That means supporting additional email providers and mobile devices," as well as building more features and scaling the service, the company said in the blog post.

In the blog post, Orchestra described Dropbox as a "profoundly talented bunch who build great tools that make work frictionless," adding that Mailbox fits well with Dropbox's mission.

Dropbox has the experience to handle the kind of volume and the kind of security needed to manage mobile email, Orchestra said in the blog post.

"Rather than grow Mailbox on our own, we’ve decided to join forces with Dropbox and build it out together. To be clear, Mailbox is not going away. The product needs to grow fast, and we believe that joining Dropbox is the best way to make that happen," Orchestra wrote.

Dropbox didn't respond to a request for comment on the acquisition.

Dropbox is currently available for PCs, and as Apple iOS, Google Android, and Windows Phone apps.