Dropbox has filed for an initial public offering in the U.S., documents released on Friday revealed, in what is likely to be the largest float since Snapchat owner Snap.
"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. The company plans to list on Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol DBX.
Dropbox is seeking to raise $US500 million ($638 million) - a USA dollar for each of its registered users - an order of magnitude more than the budget of The Emoji Movie, in which Dropbox was mentioned repeatedly and ham-fistedly, only to have its significance to the plot immediately stripped away by an antagonistic robot who kidnaps the film's hero, Gene Meh (TJ Miler), from the cloud.
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.
BlackRock led the 2014 round at a $10 billion valuation, with T. Rowe Price and Morgan Stanley joining in the $350 million round. If the point of comparison is Box, then Dropbox is staring at a downround IPO that would value the company at under $7 billion.
Going public is a huge milestone for Dropbox and has been one of the most anticipated tech IPOs for several years now. This comes ten years after the company was founded, nine years after CEO Drew Houston turned down an offer from Steve Jobs, and a few years after it was valued at $10 billion.
Dropbox will also be the first IPO for Y Combinator, the accelerator program that has become a hallmark of Silicon Valley promise.
About $576 million of Dropbox's 2017 revenue came from the US, with $531 million coming from other countries. Therefore, the company didn't need to hire a lot of sales and marketing staff. The company's net loss narrowed to $111.7 million in 2017 from $210.2 million in 2016. The company also impressively posted $305 million in free cash flow in 2017 - far better than Box, which had only a positive free cash flow of $6.3 million in its latest quarterly filing at the end of 2017.
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank are among underwriters of the IPO, according to the filing.