Dropbox IPO filing shows more than $1B in annual revenue

The company, one of the first of the Silicon Valley unicorns, says it has 11 million paying subscribers out of 500 million total registered users.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Ed is a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world who enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
  • Ed was a member of the CNET crew that won a National Magazine Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors for general excellence online. He's also edited pieces that've nabbed prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists and others.
Edward Moyer
2 min read
Dropbox logos

With its SEC filing, the unicorn lets its user and revenue numbers out of the box.


Dropbox hopes to upload 500 million files to its account. Little green files, with pictures of presidents on them.

The cloud-based file-storing and -sharing company submitted paperwork Friday to raise up to $500 million in an initial public offering.

Apple's Steve Jobs once famously wrote off the Dropbox service as a "feature, not a product," but that didn't stop the company from becoming one the first and largest Silicon Valley unicorns, or businesses valued at more than $1 billion.

Dropbox lets you easily upload computer files to a storage drive in the cloud. From there, you can access them on other computers or share them with friends and co-workers. There's a free version, as well as a "premium" subscription offering.

In its IPO filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Dropbox said it has 11 million paying subscribers out of 500 million total registered users in 180 countries. Its average revenue per paying user is $111.91. The service brought in $1.1 billion in revenue last year, the company said. That's up from $845 million in 2016 and $604 million in 2015.

Dropbox isn't profitable yet, though: It lost almost $112 million in 2017. That's less than the $210 million loss the year before and 2015's deficit of $326 million.

And it's not the only player in the market. In its filing, the company name-checks Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft as rivals in the cloud storage space. It further names Atlassian, Google and Microsoft as competitors when it comes to content collaboration. It also says it competes with Box in cloud storage used by large enterprises.

Other tidbits from the filing: Founder Drew Houston owns 25.3 percent of the company; the board includes former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former HP CEO and onetime California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman; and the company will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol DBX.

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