Dropbox eyes security, machine learning technologies in Israel

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - U.S. file-sharing and storage company Dropbox DBX.O plans to expand its development center in Tel Aviv by hiring more staff and looking out for potential partnerships and acquisition opportunities in security and machine-learning.

FILE PHOTO: The Dropbox app logo seen on a mobile phone in this illustration photo October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

Israel’s education system and military service have created a pool of talented people working in cybersecurity and “that is something we deeply need to take advantage of”, Quentin Clark, who leads engineering, product and design at Dropbox, told reporters on Tuesday during a visit to Israel.

Dropbox, which went public on Nasdaq in March in the biggest tech IPO in over a year, established a presence in Israel in 2015 when it bought mobile productivity startup CloudOn.

Clark said it was now looking for potential acquisitions in the fields of security and machine learning.

He said he would be visiting universities in Israel this week to look at machine-learning technologies.

“There may be an opportunity for us to go deeper in that space as well,” he said, noting that in San Francisco there is stiff competition for talent in this field.

“There is a fairly significant pressure on that expertise in the market,” Clark said.

Dropbox’s Tel Aviv development center, which focuses on enterprise administrative capabilities, has a staff of more than 40 people and is the company’s largest overseas office after Dublin.

“We can more than double our staff here,” said Meir Morgenstern, head of the Israeli development center.

Dropbox, which had revenue of $1.1 billion in 2017, has more than 500 million registered users and 11.5 million paying subscribers.

(This version of the story refiles to add word ‘partnerships’ in first paragraph.)

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Susan Fenton