Dropbox to go public 10 years after launch
The company’s losing money, but it’s been growing rapidly
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A decade after it was founded, Dropbox has filed to go public. The beloved, easy-to-use (if somewhat stagnant) file syncing service had documents unsealed at the SEC today revealing plans for an initial public offering, where Dropbox is looking to raise up to $500 million. The company will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol “DBX.”
Thanks to its first public filing, we’re learning that the company’s revenue has been increasing for the past three years, growing from $603 million in 2015 to $1.1 billion last year. And while Dropbox lost money overall all of those years, it’s been losing less and less, falling from a loss of $326 million in 2015 to $111.7 million last year.
Dropbox has done very well over the past two years. In 2016, it had 6.5 million paying users. It doubled that in two years, to 11 million. Dropbox says that 90 percent of its revenue comes from users who purchase a subscription on their own. That suggests it hasn’t made huge headways with businesses, but also that it has a lot of room to grow if it can tap into them.
Dropbox was founded in 2007 and launched to the public in 2008, when it pretty immediately became a hit, thanks to just how simple it made file syncing. While it’s still hard to beat Dropbox’s simplicity, the company hasn’t done much to expand on that in the past 10 years. Its core product is pretty much the same, and while it’s also added a collaborative document editor, that’s a product offered by many much bigger competitors, too.
The numbers revealed today show that Dropbox is doing well with the customers who already love its product; but its continued success depends on whether it’ll be able to keep finding users as Apple, Microsoft, and others improve their own file syncing products and accompanying online productivity suites. Dropbox also faces major competition in the business world, against, among others, the similarly named Box, which is already popular with large companies.