Dropbox Files for IPO, and Other 'Unicorns' Are Watching

That includes a loss of $112 million on revenue of $1.1 billion previous year.

Per the filing itself, Dropbox has over 500 million registered users but only 11 million of those are paying subscribers. Dropbox is heading into a potentially choppy market, too: stock prices have been on a roller-coaster ride over the past several weeks, though the market has rebounded significantly from lows earlier this month.

A host of other firms invested in Dropbox in 2011 at a $4 billion valuation and need a significant post-IPO rally to get much of a return.

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

Dropbox's move to go public isn't all that surprising, but it is an important step for the company and the larger tech industry. The company shared it has 500 million registered users, with 100 million users having signed up since the beginning of 2017.

Box, a similar service focused on businesses, went public in 2015.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Dropbox said it planned to raise up to $500 million in the offering, and meant to use the money for a variety of purposes, including potential acquisitions. The company's revenue growth rate has begun to slow, however.

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.

"It has always been important to me and to Arash (Ferdowsi) to create a company with a diverse team and where everyone feels welcome", says Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. Investor Sequoia Capital has 24.8 percent. Obviously, lots of companies are still happy to pay AWS to manage their infrastructure, as evidenced by the steady gains the cloud market leader made in 2017. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Allen & Company and BofA Merrill Lynch are the joint bookrunners on the deal.

Dropbox said its shares will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol "DBX".

  • Fernando Stephens