Dropbox Shuts Down E-Mail and Photo Apps as It Gets Back to Businesses

The cloud storage company is increasing its focus on corporate customers as it tries to develop a sustainable business.

Why Is Dropbox Shutting Down Its E-Mail and Photo Apps?

Cloud storage provider Dropbox is killing off two applications it introduced to much fanfare, including a photo-sharing app released last year. The San Francisco company has placed more focus recently on creating tools companies are willing to pay for, while these apps were designed with everyday consumers in mind.

The photo app, called Carousel, offered to automatically back up photos stored on a phone and display them alongside images already stored in a Dropbox account. The other app, an e-mail and task manager called Mailbox, came through an acquisition Dropbox made in 2013. The company said in a statement that features from each app will make their way into other Dropbox services.

After achieving a valuation of $10 billion in a financing round last year, Dropbox is under pressure to increase its revenue and eventually go public or sell itself. Fidelity Investments and BlackRock wrote down the stakes of their Dropbox investments this year.

Dropbox has tried to straddle two missions in recent years: to build a product beloved by consumers and to create a service that satisfies businesses' unique needs. The former strategy, which includes these apps, has fallen somewhat out of favor since the company brought in Chief Operating Officer Dennis Woodside from Google last year. In a June 2015 interview, Woodside said he has been pushing the company to give corporate customers more priority.

The photo and e-mail apps were championed by Gentry Underwood, the former head of design at Dropbox who stepped down from that role this year. Both Carousel and Mailbox competed unsuccessfully with much more popular services from Google and Apple. Mailbox will shut down on Feb. 26, 2016, and Carousel on March 31, 2016.

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