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Dropbox IPO Valuation Set between $7bn and $8bn

Dropbox IPO Valuation Set between $7bn and $8bn

The silver lining appears to be coming off Dropbox, the cloud storage company set to go public next week.

On Monday 12 March, the company set terms for its initial public offering (IPO) that values the company at between $7bn and $8bn – well below the $10bn valuation when the company had raised private capital in 2014.

Dropbox’s IPO is one of the most closely watched stock offerings in years and comes as a stable of so-called unicorn tech companies – those valued at over $1bn – consider going public.

Another unicorn – music streaming service Spotify – also plans to go public soonbut has eschewed the IPO route and will sell its shares directly to the public. It is likely to be valued at more than $20bn.

Uber, valued at $48bn last year, is considering going public in 2019. Airbnb, valued at $30bn, recently moved to tamp down expectations that it will go public this year but still looks set to start the sale process in the near future. Tech news site TechCrunch lists 279 unicorns with a total valuation of $1tn.

The sale will be the largest since Snap Inc, owner of the Snapchat app, made its stock market debut in March 2017. That sale has worried investors – its share price is now slightly higher than its $17 IPO price after reaching a high of $27.

Dropbox, which is used by more than 500 million people, allows users to share and collaborate on files stored online. It was founded in 2007 by MIT computer science students Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. Houston, 35, is the company’s CEO and largest shareholder with a stake of about 25%. Ferdowski, 32, owns about 10% of the company.

The pair, along with investors Sequoia Capital and T Rowe Price, will keep control of the company even after the sale. As has become common with tech IPOs two classes of shares are being issued. Dropbox is selling Class A shares to the public which will represent 2% of the vote while the Class B shares held by the founders and early investors will account for 98% of votes.

The company filing also revealed that the corporate investment group of Salesforce.com will buy $100m shares in a private placement. Salesforce, a cloud computing company, is an investor in Dropbox and the two have a strategic partnership. The cloud storage company set the pricing well below the $10bn valuation when the company had raised private capital in 2014, the Guardian reports.

The company’s roadshow, where executives and bankers will market the deal to investors, begins on Monday with meetings in New York and in Boston later this week.

Dropbox’s shares are scheduled to begin trading late next week and will be listed on the tech-heavy Nasdaq exchange under the symbol DBX.


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