Dropbox files to go public 10 years after launch

Posted February 25, 2018

Almost everyone is familiar with the name Dropbox, one of the biggest file syncing and cloud storage services, and now the company is looking to take itself public.

Like many recent tech companies to IPO, Dropbox is unprofitable.

Photo Drew Houston, chief executive of Dropbox, which was most recently valued at about $10 billion by private-market investors. The company plans to list on Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol DBX. The company's revenue increased more 30 percent past year to $1.1 billion from $845 million in 2016.

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Based in California, the digital storage firm has around 11 million paid users across 180 countries, with about half of its 2017 revenue coming from customers outside the United States.

"We estimate that approximately 300 million of our registered users have characteristics - including specific email domains, devices, and geographies - that make them more likely than other registered users to pay over time", the company said in the filing. The service brought in $1.1 billion in revenue previous year, the company said. Similarly its losses have shrunk-in 2015 it lost $325.9 million, and in 2017 that stat hit $111.7 million.

In the company's registration for the IPO, it said it granted about $190 million in stock awards to three top executives a year ago.

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Because Dropbox plays in different markets like cloud storage and workplace software, it faces tough competition from some of the biggest companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. What are your thoughts on Dropbox filing for IPO of up to $500 million?

Goldman Sachs & Co LLC, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank Securities are some of the leading underwriters for the IPO. Their shares will vest if Dropbox's stock achieves a series of price hurdles ranging from $20 to $60 within a decade of the offering's close, the filing said.

A smaller competitor, Box Inc, went public at US$14 per share two years ago and the stock shot to US$23.23 on its first day of trading. They'll vest over five years as long as he remains on the job. He also got a US$340,000 signing bonus.

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It shouldn't be a surprise that Dropbox and tech giant Hewlett Packard Enterprise are cozy with each other considering that former HPE CEO Meg Whitman is on Dropbox's board.