Dropbox files for IPO

“Dropbox has taken a very unconventional route to an IPO,” Ari Levy reports for CNBC. “Four years ago, the cloud software vendor raised $350 million in private capital at a $10 billion valuation and has since struggled to justify that price.”

“On Friday, Dropbox filed its long-awaited prospectus, providing the first official look at its financials as well as which investors are poised to get rich and which ones need a big stock pop to make any money,” Levy reports. “Dropbox said it plans to raise $500 million, but it didn’t provide a price range, so it’s not possible to know the potential valuation. However, as CNBC reported last month, mutual funds have most recently valued the company at between about $6.6 billion and $8.5 billion in SEC filings.”

“Co-founder and CEO Drew Houston is Dropbox’s biggest shareholder, owning 25 percent of the shares before the offering. Arash Ferdowsi, the other co-founder and former chief technology officer, owns 10 percent,” Levy reports. “Among institutional investors, Sequoia Capital, which led Dropbox’s seed round in 2007 and first venture round the following year, owns 23 percent, followed by Accel at 5 percent and T. Rowe Price at 3.5 percent.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We haven’t used Dropbox for many years now, preferring Apple’s iCloud Drive. Regardless, good luck, Dropbox!

Which is better for file sharing, Apple’s iCloud Drive or Dropbox? – December 6, 2017
Switching from Dropbox to Apple’s iCloud – June 22, 2017
Biting the iCloud storage bullet – June 22, 2017
Apple doubles storage on $9.99/month iCloud tier to 2TB; iOS 11 lets you share single plan with whole family – June 6, 2017
Dropbox responds to Mac ‘security risk’ accusations – September 12, 2016
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014
Dropping Dropbox: Exploring alternatives – July 7, 2014


  1. I’ve been a dropbox user for years and find the product remarkable, I’ve never had a sync problem moving often between a Macbook Pro, iMac, iPad and iPhone. I tried to move to iCloud two years ago and it was a disaster. The syncing NEVER worked. I would love to move to a 200Gig plan and move back to iCloud but I’m scared of a repeat of the last time. Hopefully one day iCloud is ready for Primetime!

  2. I wish iCloud was as good as Dropbox.

    I still don’t understand why I can’t stream a movie from my iCloud account yet basically every other cloud service can. iCloud forces me to download the stupid file to my device in order to watch the video 😡

      1. We may never know the reasons that Apple media services are not particularly transparent, but yes they now do their best to apply DRM and remove user control like any other corporation wants to do.

        Piracy is a lost cause. If it can be pumped out of a speaker or displayed on a screen, anyone can capture it. Some of the draconian attempts to minimize piracy ended up driving consumers away. The media industry is revising their distribution strategy to cope with it:
        1) ISP & cable TV model: once you integrate to own the pipes and own a Pai, you have gatekeeper power. The mandatory subscription guarantees steady income and if you happen to also own a media creation company, you now get to prioritize your own content and raise prices for anyone else. This has extended the most corrupt aspects of the cable industry and undercut the companies trying to offer ala carte or help users cut the subscription cord.
        2) The Apple model was once to own the gateway/ interface and rely on brand power to keep people coming for convenience. But when Steve died, they got lazy. Why work so hard to make user music or video discovery easy? iTunes used to be simple but it did require user effort. Now Apple is abandoning their former user control expertise and using algorithms (“genius” and others) to push feeds that the user no longer controls. As they go to the subscription model, look as iPods and iTunes rot. Is it more convenient? Cheaper? No, rental is never cheaper if you cherish it. You can let Apple play the top 40 over and over for you, but can you get Siri to put 5 specific deep cut favorite songs together in order? Heck no. Audio management using Apple software is more precise and faster on a Mac with iTunes 10.0.
        3) sell top quality. This is NOT Apple in the media world. BluRay 4K resolution discs with high resolution multichannel audio remains the best quality video a consumer can buy. SACD discs and super high resolution audio downloads are available elsewhere, not from Apple.
        4) gonsee live performances. The emotional experience is more meaningful than most corporate pre-canned music.

        Bottom line, Apple isn’t cutting piracy, it is just maximizing profits. Tim decided to swerve away from user media collection and top quality files and software, and now have dived into corporate subscription services that use the same popularity based algorithms to push content as social media platforms use to shove cat videos to the top of your news feed. Doesn’t matter the art you care about, Apple wants you to subscribe to access it. No more easy local photo management with Aperture, no easy to use iMovie, no simple clean AM free iTunes, no unique app to locally manage videos. Apple’s answer to piracy is to make all devices thin clients that require constant umbilical cord connection to the Apple server.

  3. I don’t really see the point in putting Dropbox up for an IPO. They do one service, they do it well.

    They’re even more limited in avenues of meaningful expansion than GoPro was at the time of their IPO, and look at how well that turned out.

    IPOs to me are like wifi-enabled smart devices: on some things they work really well. On others, they don’t make much sense.

    1. What I question on Dropbox is … just what is their business plan?

      In a nutshell, it appears to be to give away a little bit of free storage in the hopes that those customers will like it enough to use more and then enter into a “this space for rent” revenue stream.

      That’s a fine approach – – if the conversion rates are good.
      Otherwise, you’re just hemorrhaging money.

  4. I’ve become more reliant on iCloud more than ever. I’ve been a loyal Dropbox customer for several years now. I’m to the point where I’ll likely stop using Dropbox this year. I’ve stored all of my important files in iCloud starting last summer.

    1. The last time I looked at this, Dropbox had clear advantages for me – syncing files with a spread out team and making downloads available to customers.
      What makes it worth the hassle of moving? Time is a cost. No sense in bothering unless there is some advantage to be gained.
      What do you think?

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