Dropbox picks up two new startups: Loom and Hackpad

Photo management app Loom will be shut down, collaboration tool provider Hackpad will stay open

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 17, 2014
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Dropbox, it seems, doesn't just do one announcement a day anymore. Only a week after debuting a bunch of new features, products, two new executives and a new board member on the same day, the company has now decided to reveal two of its acquisitions at the same time as well.

The company has picked up photo management app Loom, as well as collaboration service Hackpad, it was revealed on Thursday. The financial terms of neither deal were made public.

Loom, is a service which puts all its users photos and videos in the cloud, and its acquisition makes a lot of sense in conjunction with the debut of Dropbox's new photo and video sharing gallery called Carousel.

The app sounds like it does something pretty similar to Loom, in that it combines photos that users have stored on Dropbox with those that they have on their phones and makes it easier to share them. It also automatically backs up new ones as soon as the user takes them.

In fact, the team at Loom makes it sound as though Carousel is most likely what they will be working on.

"We have worked hard on our product and feel that our vision aligns perfectly with Dropbox’s vision for Carousel. Dropbox has invested the past seven years focusing on building a secure home for your files. And now with Carousel comes a home for your photos and videos as well. We share the common goal of crafting a high quality product, always putting users’ needs first," " Loom CEO Jan Senderek wrote in a blog post.

"After spending some serious time investigating if this was the right move for us, we realized that Dropbox has solved many problems around scaling infrastructure and at Dropbox the Loom team will be able to focus entirely on building great features with a fantastic user experience."

VatorNews has reached out to Dropbox to confirm that the Loom team will, in fact, be working on Carousel. We will update if and when we learn more.

As you may have guessed already, Loom will be shutting down. Users can continue to use the service until May 16th. Users can export their data to Dropbox, and users that switch to Carousel will receive the same amount of free space that they previously had on Loom forever. Paid users will receive the same quota on Carousel/Dropbox for free, for an entire year.

The San Francisco-based company raised $1.4 million in seed funding from Google Ventures, Tencent, Great Oaks VC, Overbrook Entertainment and Damon Way in October of last year.

HackPad acquisition

HackPad, meanwhile, is not suffering the same fate as Loom: the company revealed in a blog post that it will continue to "be supported for both existing and new customers, and we'll continue to work closely with the innovative teams that choose to make Hackpad their home."

The Y Cominbator graduate provides tools for organizing, and collaborating on, documents. Those tools include as the ability to see edit history; control who can see, and edit, documents; and offline sync to Dropbox. It allows its users to work together on documents in real-time on both the Web and via its app. 

"The Dropbox Team shares many of our fundamental values including simplicity in design and putting users first," HackPad wrote in its FAQ about the acquisition. "With over 270 million users and the resources of a large company, joining forces gives us the ability to empower many more people with next generation collaboration and communication tools."

HackPad receieved an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Y Combinator in 2012. 

These two startups are the third and fourth acquisitions for Dropbox this year so far. In March it purchased workplace chat app Zulip, which remained operational; it then bought up social and shareable reading platform Readmill, which was an acqui-hire. 

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