Belfast Telegraph

U2 stars put millions into firm tipped to take bite out of Apple

By Adam Sherwin

U2 stars Bono and the Edge are gambling on their biggest hit yet after investing millions of dollars in an internet storage company tipped to become the next Apple.

The Irish musicians were announced as individual investors in Dropbox, a file-sharing service that lets users retrieve their photos, videos and documents from any web-connected device.

One of Silicon Valley's hottest properties, Dropbox has attracted 50 million users by word of mouth and is already valued at $4bn (£2.5bn). The company plans to challenge Apple and Google in the rapidly expanding "cloud" online storage business.

Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston tweeted a picture of himself with Bono and the Edge to announce the investment.

Bono has become a shrewd investor in web technology firms through Elevation Partners, a $1.9bn (£1.2bn) fund which he co-founded in 2004.

A $270m (£170m) investment in Facebook has already paid dividends. The stake is valued at $1bn (£0.63bn) before its Initial Public Offering this year.

Dropbox offers its storage service for free but is marketing a $20 (£13) a month upgrade for heavy users.

The size of the stars' investment was not disclosed.

Elevation is run by a former Apple executive, Fred Anderson, with Bono listed as managing director.

The star is not involved in day-to-day administration, but is flown in to woo potential investors.