Dropbox has secretly filed for a US IPO

Drew Houston

File-storage company Dropbox confidentially filed for a USA initial public offering Thursday, people familiar with the matter said. Bloomberg notes that Dropbox hopes it will get listed in the first half of this year.

It is also in communication with other banks to fill additional roles on the IPO sources told Bloomberg. It also allows Dropbox to wait until it's truly ready before listing its shares, as opposed to the regular process, where the clock starts once the S-1 filing hits the internet. Perhaps even more notably, the provider claims to be profitable excluding interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, which is something of a rarity among the tech firms that have filed to go public in recent quarters.

Founded over a decade ago by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi when they were students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dropbox was one of the first companies to popularize file storage via the web.

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"Cash is oxygen", Houston said in an onstage interview at the time. Some critics called it too high compared to what the value would be on public markets.

The company, valued at nearly $10 billion in a private fundraising round in 2014, was seeking to hire underwriters for an IPO, Reuters had reported in June.

Dropbox's financials results are not publicly known, but the company said in January 2017 that it was on track to generate $1 billion in revenue on an annualized run rate.

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The company is aiming to begin trading on a stock market in the spring, one of these people added, cautioning that the timing of an IPO is fluid and may change.

Representatives for Dropbox, Goldman and JPMorgan declined to comment on the filing, which was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.

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