The rumors are true! Dropbox has acquired stealth collaboration startup Cove for its talent, namely the brilliant engineering duo and couple Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvi.
Agarwal and Sanghvi were both well-respected at Facebook, where they lead product efforts from 2005 to 2010. Sanghvi, who oversaw the Facebook Platform and News Feed was first female engineer at Facebook. She recently received a TechFellow award for her contribution and I got to interview her briefly after the awards ceremony.
In a press release, Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston said: “Building a world-class engineering organization is a top priority for us…The team at Cove represents some of the best talent in the Valley and we look forward to the technology, skills and perspective they will bring to Dropbox.”
Dropbox didn’t give too many details on what the Cove team would be working on but Aditya said that the “product vision for Cove and Dropbox is very much aligned and the infrastructure we’ve built at Cove can be utilized at Dropbox.”
This is Dropbox’s first acquisition and from what I heard before the press release went out, the buy was purely for talent — Aditya Agarwal will become Dropbox VP of Engineering according to one source. The addition of Sanghvi is also notable, as she worked on Facebook Connect while at the social network — Dropbox is rumored to be planning its own “Dropbox Connect” feature soon.
“We’ve known Ruchi and Aditya for awhile and have been longtime admirers of their work, there are not too many people that not only think big but have also created things that hundreds of million of people use,” Houston told me in a phone interview.
“It’s important for us to integrate deeply into a variety of different experiences, as we transition to Dropbox not being just an app on your phone. Our ambitions are much larger than file-sharing,” Houston emphasized.
It will be interesting to see if Dropbox uses some of its $250 million in funding for further acquisitions geared at platform expansion. On the product side, the startup just launched a new version of its Desktop and Android clients that automatically uploads your photos to your Dropbox account, and Houston hinted that there were more of these “collaboration and sharing” type features on the horizon.