Dropbox seeking to raise $500 million in stock market debut

Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston co-founders of Dropbox

One of the most long-awaited initial public offerings of stock could finally happen soon, as cloud storage giant Dropbox Inc. today officially filed for an IPO.

The San Francisco-based company brought in $1.1 billion in revenue a year ago, with a net loss of $111 million.

The San Francisco company claimed 500 million users in 180 countries and $1 billion in annual revenues in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. On Feb. 23, Dropbox announced its plans to raise $500 million through an IPO on Nasdaq (pdf) under the ticker "DBX".

Dropbox, which was valued at $10 billion in its 2014 funding round, would be one of the biggest US enterprise technology companies to list domestically in several years. Snap Inc. gave CEO Evan Spiegel shares worth $636.6 million as the firm went public previous year. Some 300,000 teams also use its beefier Dropbox Business service, which starts at $12.50 a month for teams of three users. Some might sign up multiple times for multiple accounts, so the number of unique users is certainly lower.

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Dropbox, which was founded in 2007, has been the subject of IPO rumors since at least 2013. And while the company lost money overall all of those years, it's been losing less and less, falling from a loss of $326 million in 2015 to $111.7 million last year.

"As we strive to grow our business, we expect expenses to increase in the near term", Dropbox said. However, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, the IPO will value Dropbox at $7 billion to $8 billion.

Companies often grant large blocks of equity to executives when they go public, saying such awards are necessary to keep them on the job.

However, Dropbox warned on competition in the market, saying that "certain features of our platform compete in the cloud storage market with products offered by Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, and in the content collaboration market with products offered by Atlassian, Google, and Microsoft". "We have put a lot of work into being intentional".

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