Dropbox uploads its biggest document yet: Read its IPO filing

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Dropbox said it planned to raise up to $500 million in the offering, and meant to use the money for a variety of purposes, including potential acquisitions.

People familiar with the offering told the Wall Street Journal that Dropbox is expected to seek a public valuation of about $7 billion to $8 billion, making it the largest tech IPO since Snap in March 2017, but a far cry from its private valuation in 2014 of $10 billion.

The stock will trade under the ticker symbol DBX. The company has been around since 2007 and has raised over $600 million in funding. A few details in the form do stick out-namely its growth. In 2017 it recorded $1.1 billion in revenue, up from $603 million in 2015. If the best point of public-market comparison is Atlassian, which has a revenue multiple of about 15, then Dropbox could be valued at over $16 billion on public markets.

Dropbox is popular among individuals users who like the simplicity of the company's cloud storage products, but it has struggled to make inroads in the enterprise space.

Dropbox, one of technology's "unicorns", has filed for an initial public offering.

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The filing indicates the San Francisco-based firm, valued most recently at $10 billion, plans to raise at least $500 million, though that figure could be a placeholder that could change as pricing of the offering firms up.

Dropbox will also be the first IPO for Y Combinator, the accelerator program that has become a hallmark of Silicon Valley promise.

Dropbox says it has 11 million paying users, just a small fraction of the over 500 million registered users who use its cloud services for free.

About $576 million of Dropbox's 2017 revenue came from the USA, with $531 million coming from other countries. That's a statistic that the company acknowledges it needs to improve. Dropbox has demonstrated impressive growth since 2015, roughly doubling the number of paying users and revenue. That same year, Dropbox lost $111.7 million, a 47% less than the $305.0 million it lost in 2016.

Goldman Sachs & Co., JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank Securities are some of the leading underwriters for the IPO.

  • Marjorie Miles