Decacorn watch: Dropbox files for a $500 million IPO

File-sharing firm Dropbox files for initial public offering

The company hopes its IPO will give it the cash it needs to beat out rivals that also offer cloud documents, storage, and collaboration (like Box, Microsoft, and Google), as well as retain the individual users that have fueled most of Dropbox's growth.

Its valuation based on recent funding in the group stands at around $10 billion, making Dropbox one of the biggest Silicon Valley venture-backed "unicorns", or startups with a private valuation of more than $1 billion.

"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.

Dropbox has filed for an initial public offering in the United States, documents released on Friday revealed, in what is likely to be the largest float since Snapchat owner Snap. The filing noted the company ended 2017 with a $1 billion deficit, though its rate of net losses had decreased from nearly $326 million in 2015 to almost $112 million in 2017. "This is the world we want to live in". It will also be interesting to see how Dropbox fares on Wall Street compared to Snap's disappointing performance over the a year ago. On Feb. 23, Dropbox announced its plans to raise $500 million through an IPO on Nasdaq (pdf) under the ticker "DBX". It lost $111.7 million in 2017, about $100 million less than in 2016. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Allen & Company and BofA Merrill Lynch are the joint bookrunners on the deal.


The shares awarded to Houston and Ferdowsi vest if Dropbox's stock price reaches $20 to $60 within 10 years of the close of the offering, the filing said. It doubled that in two years, to 11 million.

"Our market opportunity has grown as we've expanded from keeping files in sync to keeping teams in sync", the company said in the filing.

Meg Whitman, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. who joined Dropbox's board in September, received stock worth $908,800. Snap Inc. gave CEO Evan Spiegel shares worth $636.6 million as the firm went public a year ago.

Now we know the first big tech company to go public in 2018.

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