Dropbox Finally Makes It Public That It's Going Public

The San Francisco-based cloud storage and business productivity tool maker, which had secretly filed to go public in January, plans to raise $500 million to push the business forward.

Dropbox.logo

It had to happen sometime. Dropbox said publicly Feb. 23 that it has filed for an initial public offering after threatening to do so for more than five years.

The San Francisco-based cloud storage and business productivity tool maker, which had secretly filed to go public in January, plans to raise $500 million to push the business forward.

The listing will be led by Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

Dropbox, founded in June 2007 and launched in 2008 but still was late to the cloud-storage market behind Box, Mozy, Carbonite and several others, has about 300,000 paying Dropbox Business teams worldwide. A business team could be a departmental team, a corporate team or another business entity that has its own Dropbox Business subscription.

Thanks to its freemium service model, Dropbox has about 500 million registered users—11 million of which are paying individual users.

Because its file containers can be opened by non-Dropbox customers, the service has been used at least once by an estimated 1 billion people worldwide to store and share files.

Its private-market valuation, based on previous venture capital fund-raising, is estimated at $10 billion. CEO Drew Houston reported a while ago in eWEEK that the company had reached a $1 billion annual revenue run rate.

In its SEC filing affidavit, Dropbox said it brought in $1.1 billion in revenue last year with a net loss of $111 million. Like a lot of tech companies, the company’s annual revenue has grown decently year-over-year, but it’s still losing less than it did previously.

Dropbox, which has never seen black ink on its bottom line, has managed to trim its net loss $215 million from a whopping $326 million in 2015.

Investors and the tech industry in general will be watching the results of this IPO closely, and not just because it is the first big tech IPO of 2018. Dropbox is entering a potentially volatile market, because stock prices in all sectors have been on a roller-coaster ride in the first two months of the calendar year.

Dropbox has raised a total of $1.7 billion in equity and debt financing and is backed by venture capital firms that include Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital, Accel, Institutional Venture Partners and bankers that include JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Dropbox’s last round funding round resulted in $350 million in February 2014.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...