Ten years after its launch, Dropbox has filed for an IPO. The company’s S-1 filing with SEC reveals revenue of $603.8 million, $844.8 million, and $1,106.8 million in 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively, representing an annual growth rate of 40% and 31%.
Dropbox generated net losses of $325.9 million, $210.2 million, and $111.7 million in 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively. It also generated positive free cash flow of $137.4 million and $305.0 million in 2016 and 2017 compared to negative free cash flow of $63.9 million in 2015.
Currently, Dropbox has over 11 million paying users.
The company’s growth strategy is as follows:
● Increase adoption and paid conversion
We designed Dropbox to be easy to try, use, and buy. Anyone can create an account and be up and running in minutes. We believe that our current registered user base represents a significant opportunity to increase our revenue. We estimate that approximately 300 million of our registered users have characteristics—including specific email domains, devices, and geographies—that make them more likely than other registered users to pay over time. Substantially all of our paying users share at least one of these characteristics. We reach our users through in-product notifications on our website and across hundreds of millions of actively connected devices without any external marketing spend. We define an actively connected device as a desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet on which our app has been installed, and from which our app has been launched, and made a request to our servers at least once in the most recent quarter.
● Upgrade our paying users
We offer a range of paid subscription plans, from Plus and Professional for individuals, to Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise for teams. We analyze usage patterns within our network and run hundreds of targeted marketing campaigns to encourage paying users to upgrade their plans. For example, we prompt individual subscribers who collaborate with others on Dropbox to purchase our Standard or Advanced plans for a better team experience. In 2017, over 40% of new Dropbox Business teams included a member who was previously a subscriber to one of our individual paid plans. We believe that a large majority of individual customers use Dropbox for work, which creates an opportunity to significantly increase conversion to Dropbox Business team offerings over time.
● Apply insights to build new product experiences
As our community of users grows, we gain more insight into their needs and pain points. We translate these insights into new product experiences that support the entire content lifecycle. For example, we learned through analytics and research that our users often work with many different types of content. As a result, we added the ability to embed rich media in Paper so they can pull everything together in one place—from InVision graphics and Google slides to Spotify tracks and Vimeo clips.
● Expand our ecosystem
Our open and thriving ecosystem fosters deeper relationships with our users and makes Dropbox more valuable to them over time. The scale and reach of our platform is enhanced by a number of third-party applications, developers, and technology partners. As of December 31, 2017, Dropbox was receiving over 50 billion API calls per month, and more than 500,000 developers had registered and built applications on our platform.
Notably, Dropbox warns that its revenue growth rate has declined in recent periods and may continue to slow in the future. It also notes that “We have a history of net losses, we anticipate increasing expenses in the future, and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability.”
The company says its IPO is targeting a $500 million fundraise. It has applied to list its Class A common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “DBX”.
You can download Dropbox from the App Store for free.