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Dropbox To Open International HQ In Dublin

Max ‘Beast from the East’ Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope.

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The new office will handle sales and support, and employ 30 to 40 staff

Cloud storage company Dropbox has announced it has chosen Dublin as the location for its first office outside the US.

The new headquarters will support the growth of Dropbox user base, a third of which is located in Europe, as well as make it easier for the company to comply with EU data protection rules.

Irish hospitality

Dropbox was founded in 2007 by MIT graduates Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi and currently has over 100 million users around the world. The company offers cloud storage and file synchronization services, which are available on every popular platform, from Windows PC to BlackBerry OS and Linux.

 Box world © koya979 Shutterstock 2012The office in Dublin will focus on sales of the enterprise services and technical support, not engineering or development. Its neighbours, already based in the Irish capital, will include Google, Twitter, Facebook, Apple and LinkedIn.

Some analysts have suggested that one of the reasons Dropbox chose Dublin is Ireland’s favourable tax regime. Others see the move as the attempt to ease compliance with the EU Data Protection Directive, since user data needs to conform to EU rules when it travels to the US. However, since Dropbox is a US company, the data will still be subject to the US Patriot Act.

Dropbox has already started the recruitment drive, and plans to hire between 30 and 40 people by the end of 2013.

“We took a look at cities in Europe with strong technical people – Dublin had a passionate pool of talent. There are many cities were technical company can be successful, but Dublin had a strong user base and they also had multilingual skills that weren’t available elsewhere,” Mitra Lohrasbpour, head of business development told the Guardian.

“There are other considerations, such as the timezone, as they had to coordinate with the headquarters in San Francisco, and the expansibility of the office.”

The Irish government has welcomed the decision. “As part of Ireland’s mission to become the best small country in the world for business we have become the European hub for many of the world’s leading digital companies, and the arrival of a top cloud company like Dropbox indicates Dublin’s growing capacity to usher in the next generation of Internet companies,” said Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

Earlier this year, Dropbox added a new feature that allowed people without a registered account access files hosted on its servers through a specially generated link. And in August, the company introduced two-factor authentication to its services, after passwords stolen from other sites were used to compromise user accounts and spread spam.

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