Fascinating Things From Dropbox's IPO Filing

Dropbox logos

Photo Drew Houston, chief executive of Dropbox, which was most recently valued at about $10 billion by private-market investors. Dropbox shares could begin trading as early as the week of March 19.

Dropbox's SEC filing can be read here, and the script of The Emoji Movie (2017), where Dropbox is mentioned by name over half a dozen times, can be read here.

The company made public its filing on Friday, but noted that it submitted documents a year ago in a confidential filing with the SEC under rules for "emerging" growth companies. The big question over the next few weeks - in advance of the company share price being set by bankers - is whether the company will meet its $10 billion valuation set during its last round of private financing in 2014.

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While there were more than 500 million registered Dropbox users at the end of past year, only 11 million of them were paying subscribers, the firm said in the regulatory filing.

This makes Dropbox the first of the many high-valued tech "unicorns" expected to file to go public in 2018.

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. But as Dropbox matured over the years, it shifted its focus to business customers, and has since debuted paid versions of its online storage service as well as work collaboration software meant to make it more attractive to companies.

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The money from the IPO will be used to expand by getting more users to opt for paid subscriptions and integrating more with other software companies, following previous integrations with Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Slack Inc. and others. On Feb. 23, Dropbox announced its plans to raise $500 million through an IPO on Nasdaq (pdf) under the ticker "DBX".

Of course, Dropbox is quite a different business.

About $576 million of Dropbox's 2017 revenue came from the US, with $531 million coming from other countries.

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The main underwriters for the offering are Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., though the filing lists many other participating banks: Deutsche Bank Securities, Allen & Co. Houston, the CEO, owns about 25 percent of the company, according to the documents, and Sequoia Capital owns about another 25 percent. "This is the world we want to live in".

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