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Dropbox files for IPO as market competition increases

Dropbox files for IPO as market competition increases”

The online storage and workplace software company's debut on Wall Street would be one of the most highly anticipated in the tech industry in recent years because of its $10 billion private valuation. 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. The company will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol "DBX". Apart from this, Dropbox managed to create $1.11 billion in revenue just a year ago which gives it a total increase if 31 percent compared to its stats in 2016. Still, revenue growth has slowed and the vast majority of its more than 500 million users don't pay. There are over 500 million registered users, with 100 million just from 2017 alone. This compares to $845 million in revenue the year before and $604 million for 2015.

In short, Dropbox said it is not yet profitable, having lost $111.7 million in 2017.

"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". Chief among Dropbox's challenges are its lack of growth with businesses, and its core products - file syncing and collaborative document editing - seeing increased competition from Microsoft, Apple, Google, and other big tech companies.

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Dropbox's SEC filing can be read here, and the script of The Emoji Movie (2017), where Dropbox is mentioned by name over half a dozen times, can be read here.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and Allen & Co. are leading the offering. Their shares will vest if Dropbox's stock achieves a series of price hurdles ranging from US$20 to US$60 within a decade of the offering's close, the filing said. The company confidentially filed for its IPO in October past year, but the information did not become publicly available until Friday.

Quentin Clark, who joined previous year to oversee engineering, product and design, was given shares worth $34.1 million in September. Many startups have become huge in terms of revenue but have held off going public longer than startups traditionally have because they've been able to raise large amounts of private cash. He also received a $340,000 signing bonus.



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