Dropbox buys Cove, start-up run by former Facebook engineers

Dropbox has made its first acquisition, landing Cove, a start-up from two of Facebook’s first engineers.

The husband-and-wife team of Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvi will play key roles at the San Francisco start-up that syncs and shares files across devices. Agarwal will run Dropbox’s engineering team and Sanghvi will lead recruiting and other operations, reporting to Dropbox’s chief executive and founder, Drew Houston.

Houston said he recruited them as much for their technical chops as their experience building Facebook from start-up to standout.

“There aren’t too many people who both think big and want to have a big impact who have actually done it,” Houston said.


Houston declined to comment on the financial terms of the transaction.

Dropbox is on a tear. In October it raised $250 million, valuing the company at $4 billion. But it faces rising competition from Silicon Valley heavyweights Apple and Google, both of which are treading on its turf.

Agarwal and Sanghvi joined Facebook when it was still upstairs from a Chinese restaurant. Sanghvi was Facebook’s first female engineer and led the development of Facebook’s News Feed. Agarwal was Facebook’s director of engineering.

They started Cove in January 2011 with funding from Facebook founder Dustin Moskovitz and early Facebook employee Adam D’Angelo. Some of the technology developed for Cove will be integrated into Dropbox. The four-person Cove team will join Dropbox, including Akhil Wable, another early Facebook engineer, and Joshua Jenkins, a former technical consultant for Hewlett-Packard.


Sanghvi said she was drawn to Dropbox for its simplicity, beauty and ease of use.

“It has the people, the product and the potential,” she said. “We think it has the potential to be the next big tech company.”


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