Cloud firm Dropbox surges in Wall Street debut

Above Dropbox app Image Credit Paul Sawers  VentureBeat

Dropbox Inc. exceeded its most recent private valuation in its market debut, as shares jumped after pricing above their marketed range in the biggest technology initial public offering of the year. It had climbed as high as $31.60 during the day. Dropbox shares are set to start trading on Friday at the Nasdaq under the symbol "DBX".

According to its website, the company has over 500 million registered users and more than 300,000 teams are using Dropbox business. The challenge for the company moving forward will be how it can convert its large base of unpaid users in hopes of erasing its $112-million loss on revenue of $1.11 billion past year. Snap's shares soared soon after but went on to fall below the... Dropbox's IPO was one of the more high anticipated ones in 2018, after the company filed for a confidential IPO back in January. analyst Tom Taulli suggests that "in the case of Dropbox, investors get a chance to get exposure to a next-generation tech company, which is a proven business model".

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The San Francisco-based company, which started as a free service to share and store photos, music, and other large files, competes with much larger technology firms such as Alphabet's Google, Microsoft, Amazon and also with Box. The company was hacked in 2012, and more than 68 million users' emails and passwords were leaked on the internet four years later. 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. As a public company Dropbox will be under pressure to quickly trim its losses. Full-year net loss almost halved from the $210.2 million in 2016.

Of course, these IPOs are such exciting times for investors that they can (and often do) get a little carried away with themselves, and in the weeks and months that follow we could see the market correct that price down to a more stable figure.

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