Dropbox shares priced higher than expected at $21.
- Dropbox will make its trading debut on Friday as the most prominent tech initial public offering so far in 2018.
- The cloud-storage company’s shares priced higher than expected at $21, giving it a valuation of about $9.2 billion.
- Dropbox is the most prominent so-called unicorn since Snap to test the public market’s appetite for tech startups.
Dropbox is set to make its trading debut on Friday as the most prominent tech initial public offering so far this year.
The cloud-storage company priced its IPO at $21 a share on Thursday, above its previously expected range. This gave it a valuation of $9.2 billion — higher than expected, but just shy of the $10 billion it was worth at its last funding round in 2014.
The stock is indicated to open for trading at $27.30, Reuters reported. It’s now in a so-called Display-Only period, during which investors can indicate how many shares they want to buy and at what price.
This period usually lasts for about 10 minutes, after which the lead underwriter decides whether additional price discovery is needed before trading starts.
The IPO will be yet another gauge of the ability of unicorns — tech startups valued at $1 billion or more — to thrive on the public market. The most recent and prominent example of such an IPO was Snap, which went public last March. The stock popped on the first trading day, but has since fallen by about 28% amid concerns about competition and its high valuation.
Uber, the most valuable private tech company, is not expected to go public until next year.
The regulatory filing Dropbox submitted for its IPO showed the company had more than 11 million paying users. It earned $1.106 billion in revenue last year, up 32% from the prior year. Its net loss, however, was nearly halved to $111.7 million. It stopped bleeding cash in 2015 and maintained a positive free-cash flow over the following two years.
Like Snap, Dropbox warned potential investors that it may never be profitable.
Dropbox also warned that data and security breaches could hurt its ability to keep customers or attract new ones. The company was hacked in 2012, and over 68 million users’ emails and passwords were leaked on the internet four years later.
Dropbox will have a dual-class stock structure that gives outsized power to some insiders. For example, Andrew Houston, the co-founder and CEO, will have 24% of the company, while the the venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital will own a 25% stake.
Dropbox will trade on the Nasdaq with the ticker “DBX.”