Dropbox IPO Priced Higher Than Expected at $21 on Strong Demand

Drew Houston the cofounder and CEO of Dropbox

Having topped expectations with the upsized price of its initial public offering, Dropbox Inc on Friday faces its next big challenge: a successful launch of trading when global stock markets are on the defensive and tech shares are particularly soft.

In what is expected to be the largest IPO this year, China video-streaming company iQiyi plans to raise $2.25 billion by offering 125 million American depository shares at a price range of 17 to 19.

The cloud-based file-storage firm on Wednesday raised the expected price range by $2 to $18 to $20 per share, on the back of strong demand.

Dropbox shares traded up 42 percent from their IPO price at 12:34 p.m.in NY, valuing the company at $11.7 billion.

The company's shares surged by 50 percent on Friday, March 23 2018, its first day of trading.

The 11-year-old company reported revenue of $1.11 billion in 2017, up from $844.8 million a year earlier.

It's hard to believe because the company still feels new and fresh, but Dropbox was born over 10 years ago, when co-founder and CEO Drew Houston was taking a bus from Boston to New York City, and realized he had forgotten his thumb drive.

Dropbox has been facing steep expenses driven by a growing R&D budget but became free-cash-flow positive in 2016.

Including the restricted stock units, the value of the company now increases to over $9.1 billion.

Harvard Business School professor of investment banking Josh Lerner explained that "Dropbox is going public at the right time".

Dropbox attracted many other investors such as Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.

"But at the same time, the environment is also competitive". The company's net loss shrank to 111.7 million Dollars previous year, compared to 210.2 million USD in 2016.

The cloud storage service has many large competitors such as Alphabet's (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google and Apple Inc.

Around 11 million users pay for a more advanced service.

Like Snap, Dropbox warned prospective investors that it may never be profitable.

The underwriters for the offering are Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Allen, Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, Jefferies, Macquarie Capital, Canaccord Genuity, JMP Securities, KeyBanc Capital Markets and Piper Jaffray.

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