Dropbox submits confidential filing for an IPO


File-storage company Dropbox confidentially filed for a USA initial public offering Thursday, people familiar with the matter said.

The sources said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are acting as underwriters, which was reaffirmed by a tipster who spoke separately to CNBC.

Dropbox is reportedly aiming to list in the first half of this year.

Several big US technology companies such as Uber Technologies Inc and Airbnb Inc have resisted going public in recent months, concerned that stock market investors, who focus more on profitability than do private investors, would assign lower valuations to them.

Dropbox's main competitor, Box Inc, was valued at roughly $1.67 billion in its IPO in 2015, less than the $2.4 billion it had been valued at in previous private fundraising rounds.

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The San Francisco-based business has been around since 2007 and there's been speculation for years that it was getting closer to going public. Chief Executive Officer Drew Houston (pictured) a year ago revealed that his company has reached the $1 billion annual run rate mark. The company declined to comment on the news, as did Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

In June, in hopes of spurring more IPOs, the Securities and Exchange Commission broadened the rules to allow all companies to confidentially submit their IPO registration documents.

The two lead banks have a history of working with Dropbox.

Dropbox claims 500 million people are on its software service that allows consumer and enterprise users to store and share files with one another.

Box trades at about six times its sales for the last 12 months, according to data from Standard & Poor's Global Market Intelligence, giving it a market capitalization of about $3 billion.