Dropbox Acquires Online Collaboration Tool Cove, Co-Founded By Ruchi Sanghvi (AKA Facebook’s First Female Engineer)

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By Samihah Azim (User Experience Product Manager, 6waves Lolapps)

The past week has been a particularly exciting week for women in technology. First, mobile search engine startup Chomp, co-founded by CTO Cathy Edwards, was acquired by Apple.

Then Dropbox announced their acquisition of Cove, an online collaboration tool for groups, co-founded by Ruchi Sanghvi. She was also the first female engineer at Facebook.

Cove’s founders, Aditya Agarwal, Ruchi Sanghvi, and Akhil Wable had previously been Facebook executives. Agarwal and Sanghvi came up with the idea for an online collaboration tool for groups after leaving Facebook.

Dropbox’s acquisition of Cove is huge for two reasons. First, Dropbox has experienced tremendous growth as consumers look for easier ways to share files. And building collaboration functionality to Dropbox is the next logical step, making Dropbox a more competitive solution in the enterprise cloud file-hosting space.

There’s a very real enterprise need for a solution that allows for real-time collaboration within teams on documents. Although there are a few solutions, such as Google Docs which allow users to do this to some extent, it isn’t without its flaws.

Within the consumer space, adding functionality to allow real-time collaboration has the potential of pushing Dropbox towards the social space. Users can upload content, such as photos, then share it with a select number of people that can then make edits or comments to that content. There are already use-cases of musicians using Dropbox to collaborate on music.

By incorporating collaboration functionalities, Dropbox becomes much more powerful as a tool to aggregate all feedback and notes with the file. Sharing files without having to figure out privacy controls, whether photos or other content, is made easier with Dropbox. With the acquisition of Cove, Dropbox can incorporate the collaboration product Cove was developing to create a more social experience.

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About the guest blogger: Samihah Azim is a User Experience Product Manager at 6waves Lolapps, a leading social gaming company. She enjoys gaming, is passionate about user experience, and obsessed with product development. She is based in San Francisco, CA. Follow her on Twitter at @Samihah.