Mega-float looms for Dropbox
Web storage company Dropbox has confidentially filed to go public, in what stands to be one of the largest tech IPOs in the past few years.
The offering, expected in the coming months, would mark a rare move among a class of richly valued tech start-ups that have put off IPOs with ample amounts of capital still flowing in from giant investment firms such as Japanese firm SoftBank.
Last year, 26 US venturebacked tech companies held IPOs, according to Dow Jones VentureSource, and few of them aside from social media company Snap involved prominent start-ups. More than 100 US companies valued at $US1 billion ($1.3bn) or more privately are still on the sidelines, including ride-hailing firm Uber and home-rental company Airbnb.
Eleven-year-old Dropbox, which lets users and businesses store and manage files online, has struggled to meet the expectations of its lofty $US10 billion valuation reached when it raised private capital in 2014.
Investors from top venturecapital firms such as Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners as well as mutual funds including Fidelity Investments and T Rowe Price collectively pumped more than $US600 million into the business, viewing it as having enormous potential to dominate the consumer business of file storage.
But over the past few years, Dropbox has been outflanked by tech giants like Google and Apple that rushed into the consumerstorage space, forcing it to shift its focus to offering storage for businesses.
This shift has allowed Dropbox to build a large business with $US1bn in annualised revenue.