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Dropbox, cloud storage company and tech unicorn, files for IPO

Dropbox, cloud storage company and tech unicorn, files for IPO

Dropbox said publicly February 23 that it has filed for an initial public offering after threatening to do so for more than five years. However, as CNBC reported last month, mutual funds have most recently valued the company at between about $6.6 billion and $8.5 billion in SEC filings. But as Dropbox matured over the years, it shifted its focus to business customers, and has since debuted paid versions of its online storage service as well as work collaboration software meant to make it more attractive to companies.

Going public is a huge milestone for Dropbox and has been one of the most anticipated tech IPOs for several years now. That's a sentiment the protagonists of The Emoji Movie - who learn to work together to accomplish their goals and self-actualise while giving back to the community they exist in - could nearly certainly empathise with.

Dropbox's expenses have been driven by a swelling R&D budget, but the company became free-cash-flow positive in 2016.

The company's biggest challenge is explaining to Wall Street what differentiates Dropbox from its many competitors, Box Chief Executive Aaron Levie told Reuters on Friday. Average revenue per paying user was $112 in 2017, just a 1 percent increase over 2016. The offering could come as early as March 19.

More news: Weather: How cold will next week get?

For over a decade, Dropbox has been a staple of the cloud storage industry, despite hard competition from larger players like Google and Microsoft. The big unanswered question at this stage would be to see if the company would manage to achieve the $10 billion valuations, as it did in the private market. That includes a loss of US$112 million on revenue of US$1.1 billion past year. This comes ten years after the company was founded, nine years after CEO Drew Houston turned down an offer from Steve Jobs, and a few years after it was valued at $10 billion. Therefore, the company didn't need to hire a lot of sales and marketing staff.

Goldman Sachs & Co LLC, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank Securities are some of the leading underwriters for the IPO. It doubled that in two years, to 11 million.

"Our business depends on our ability to retain and upgrade paying users, and any decline in renewals or upgrades could adversely affect our future results of operations", the company said in the filing when referring to one of its "risk factors".


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