Dropbox files for public stock offering of US$500 mln

Isaac Cain
February 24, 2018

Dropbox has officially filed its initial public offering to be listed as a common stock on the Nasdaq, under the ticker "DBX".

Dropbox on Friday disclosed reams of financial information in its S-1 filing as it prepares at long last to go public. 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. Dropbox shares could begin trading as early as the week of March 19.

While there were more than 500 million registered Dropbox users at the end of a year ago, only 11 million of them were paying subscribers, the firm said in the regulatory filing. The company's last private valuation put it at $10 billion.

Dropbox woos users with a free version of its online file-storing service, then entices with premium features to upgrade to paid subscriptions. Numerous unicorns have taken big chunks of private capital to put off an IPO.

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Meanwhile, Dropbox said it now has 11 million paying users, which is far less than the 500 million registered users who access its services for free. The unicorns still on the IPO sidelines include ride-hailing company Uber and home-sharing company Airbnb. Similarly its losses have shrunk-in 2015 it lost $325.9 million, and in 2017 that stat hit $111.7 million.

"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.

Founder and CEO Drew Houston owned 25.3% of the company.

Exact pricing on the shares will arrive in the upcoming weeks from Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, who are leading this IPO.

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