The Dropbox IPO is finally happening

Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston co-founders of Dropbox
Getty Images Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston co-founders of Dropbox

24 February, 2018

That includes a loss of $112 million on revenue of $1.1 billion past year. Still, revenue growth has slowed and the vast majority of its more than 500 million users don't pay. Dropbox is heading into a potentially choppy market, too: stock prices have been on a roller-coaster ride over the past several weeks, though the market has rebounded significantly from lows earlier this month.

Dropbox was most recently valued at $10 billion and is now seeking to raise $500 million. Dropbox has become one of the leaders in business storage along with Google, Microsoft and Box but faces mounting competition.

Dropbox has done very well over the past two years.

Dropbox, which was founded in 2007 and was valued at $10bn (£7.2bn) at a fundraising round in 2014, filed with an offering size of $500m, although this amount is normally a temporary placeholder and often changes. Its model of attracting paying consumer users through a pair of premium plans alongside business sales has generated a ton of revenue, as well as potential up-sell opportunities going forward. To compete, Dropbox is pouring money into research and development to convert non-paying users to paid subscribers, and to enhance collaborative tools.

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Dropbox was once the quintessential cloud success story, a startup that built a massive user base and brand presence thanks to its use of Amazon Web Services.

"While we're at scale, we can still move quickly", Dropbox co-founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi said in a letter to shareholders included in Friday's filing. The company employed 1,858 people as of the end of 2017.

It will be interesting to see how this offering compares to Spotify's reported plans to directly list itself on the New York Stock Exchange.

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank are among underwriters of the IPO, according to the filing. LLC, BofA Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, Jefferies, Macquarie Capital, Canaccord Genuity, JMP Securities, KeyBanc Capital Markets and Piper Jaffray.

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