Published: Sat, February 24, 2018
Industry | By Faith Ward

Dropbox Gave Three Executives $190 Million in Stock Before IPO

Dropbox Gave Three Executives $190 Million in Stock Before IPO

It's official - Dropbox has finally filed for an initial public offering (IPO) after years of rumors and speculation.

The place where you may or may not store and share your photos, PDFs, and other documents is going public. To compete, Dropbox is pouring money into research and development to convert non-paying users to paid subscribers, and to enhance collaborative tools.

Dropbox, which was founded in 2007, has been the subject of IPO rumors since at least 2013. Still, revenue growth has slowed and the vast majority of its more than 500 million users don't pay.

Dropbox was once the quintessential cloud success story, a startup that built a massive user base and brand presence thanks to its use of Amazon Web Services.

According to the public filing, Dropbox revenue in 2017 rose 31% to $1.1 billion and its net loss of $111.7 million shrank from 2016 when it recorded a net loss of $210.1 million. It says it plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker "DBX".

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"As we strive to grow our business, we expect expenses to increase in the near term", Dropbox said. Today, knowledge lives in the cloud as digital content, and Dropbox is a global collaboration platform where more and more of this content is created, accessed, and shared with the world.

"Our market opportunity has grown as we've expanded from keeping files in sync to keeping teams in sync", the company said in the filing.

In recent years, however, the service has faced more competition from the likes of Google, Microsoft and Apple.

The startup is among the few "unicorns" turning to the public stock market, with its larger peers such as Uber and Airbnb relying on private funding without the scrutiny of an IPO to become a publicly traded company.

Reports emerged in January that the file-sharing company had confidentially filed for an IPO, although Dropbox declined to comment at the time. However, as CNBC reported last month, mutual funds have most recently valued the company at between about $6.6 billion and $8.5 billion in SEC filings.

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