Dropbox secretly files for an IPO in the US

Sources suggest the $10 billion company will go public in the first half of 2018

Dropbox has reportedly confidentially filed for an initial public offering  (IPO) in the US, ending months of speculation that the company was preparing to go public.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are set to lead the public listing, which Dropbox expects will appear in the first half of 2018, according to anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg. As part of the preparation, the cloud-based file-sharing company will also seek talks with other banks later this month to fill additional slots on the IPO.

Reports surfaced in June last year that Dropbox, which was valued near $10 billion (7.4 billion) in 2014, was hiring underwriters in preparation for an IPO. However, the company has been quiet ever since.

The listing will make it one of the largest US technologies to go public in recent years, particularly given the fairly disappointing IPO by Snap Inc. last March. A company marred by early claims that it would struggle to maintain profits, Snap has faced difficulty in trying to inspire its investors as share prices have since dipped below their $17 opening price.

However, Dropbox is in a particularly strong position ahead of its IPO, having recently boasted annual sales of $1 billion. CEO Drew Houston also revealed in April that the company had become profitable, excluding interest, taxes and depreciation.

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Dropbox also has 500 million users, 200,000 of which are business accounts, according to the company's most recent figures. It has worked hard to differentiate itself from rival firms such as Box, including investing heavily in its own data centres.

The company has continued to ramp up over the past few months, having secured a deal with the University of Cambridge to provide collaboration software to its staff and students. It also recently released its Smart Sync feature as part of its business tier, allowing users to choose which files and folders to sync locally.

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