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Dropbox files for IPO with potential $10bn valuation

Tim Maytom

Cloud storage company Dropbox has reportedly filed confidentially for a US initial public offering, with Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase set to lead the potential listing, according to sources familiar with the matter.

According to Bloomberg, the company is aiming to list during H1 2018, and is still talking to other banks to fill additional roles in the IPO. Dropbox could prove to be one of the largest US tech IPOs in several years, thanks to the company's solid revenues and recent focus on boosting profits.

Unlike other recent tech IPOs such as Snap, where companies have listed on the stock market despite losing money, Dropbox boasts annual revenues of around $1bn (£734m), and has reportedly been profitable, excluding interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. For the past two years, the company has been focusing on expanding its enterprise product suite and reducing its expenses, according to CEO Drew Houston.

The company's last valuation was in 2014, which it underwent its last private funding round. At the time, it was valued at $10bn, although it's not clear whether the IPO would take place at the same price.

With 500m users including 200,000 businesses, according to figures from last August, the company is a big player in the cloud storage market, but will have to prove to potential investors how its offering is different to those of Google, Microsoft and other rivals.

One of Dropbox's biggest selling points is likely to be the money it has spent developing its own data centres and cloud storage. The firm has spent hundreds of millions on this project, and is now largely independent from Amazon's servers, which it previously relied on. This has enabled it to speed up file transfers while also reducing costs, according to Dennis Woodside, chief operating officer at the company.

Since Snap's IPO last March, tech companies have been under greater scrutiny when it comes to launching on the stock market, with investors less willing to take a chance on companies that have yet to establish a solid business model. Given Dropbox's focus on revenues and cutting costs, it may well prove to be one of the most successful IPOs of the year when it goes public.