The Dropbox IPO filing is here

Dropbox files to go public 10 years after launch

In its regulatory filing, Dropbox reported 2017 revenue of $1.11 billion, up 31 percent from $844.8 million a year earlier.

The company said it has 500 million registered users, 100 million of whom have signed up since the start of 2017, but only 11 million paid users.

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.

This makes Dropbox the first of the many high-valued tech "unicorns" expected to file to go public in 2018. Or is it more like Atlassian, the successful workplace collaboration company that offers a more friendly point of comparison for Dropbox investors? In the same period, the company's net losses shrank to $112 million from $210 million.

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Dropbox chief executive officer Drew Houston received restricted shares worth US$109.6 million and Arash Ferdowsi, who cofounded the firm with Houston, was handed stock worth US$46.7 million. Their shares will vest if Dropbox's stock achieves a series of price hurdles ranging from $20 to $60 within a decade of the offering's close, the filing said.

Dropbox's expenses have been driven by a swelling R&D budget, but the company became free-cash-flow positive in 2016. 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 has demonstrated impressive growth since 2015, roughly doubling the number of paying users and revenue. It says it plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker "DBX". As per CNBC, the company's $500 million IPO matches precisely with its 500 million users, however, the digit is just a placeholder. Dropbox acknowledged that it had to pay more money to maintain all that extra copied data, but it's since "reduced this practice" over the years. If the point of comparison is Box, then Dropbox is staring at a downround IPO that would value the company at under $7 billion.

Because Dropbox plays in different markets like cloud storage and workplace software, it faces tough competition from some of the biggest companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. That's a statistic that the company acknowledges it needs to improve.

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