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Dropbox Isn't Going Public Just Yet

August 09, 2016 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated April 29, 2020 18:13 PM UTC

According to COO Dennis Woodside.

Dennis, everyone knows Dropbox, the popular cloud storage service grown dramatically over the last 10 years so. Now what? What's the next major goal? Yeah. So really, at Dropbox, we're moving from keeping your files in sync to keeping your team in sync. And by that, we mean we have 500 million people using Dropbox today. They've increasingly brought us into work, so eight million businesses are using Dropbox. And we're seeing the opportunity to serve work in a very different way. So it's pretty exciting for us. Innovations and new ideas are the lifeblood of a company like Dropbox. Where do you get your ideas from? Well, so really all over. And one of the things we do, each year, we have what we call a Hack Week. It's actually coming up in about two weeks. We give the engineers the entire week to do whatever they want, invent whatever they want, whatever projects they've been thinking about that they haven't been able to get the time to do. So we find some really big innovations coming out of that kind of a project that have changed the company. Do you really institute them? Do they become real? Yeah. So Dropbox Business-- the original concept of having two accounts, a personal account and a work account, came out of Hack Week. So it was just it was a engineer's idea. What changes and trends are you seeing in your industry as it moves away from just pure storage into more specialized functions? Much more about productivity. And again, not just Dropbox, but people are taking control of their own time, and they're finding applications that can help them save time. So part of what we're doing a Dropbox is building some of those applications into the product. A couple of weeks ago, we launched new features in Dropbox that allow you-- as an example-- to scan documents and save them directly to your Dropbox. Now, the reason that's important is we have a lot of mobile workers using Dropbox. They need to collect receipts and submit expense reports. It's all electronic today. So if you can scan a document easily, get it right your Dropbox, share it with and integrate it back into your expense reporting system, it's a lot easier and you save time. You probably been anticipating when am I'm going to ask you a question about going public. Because we've seen Dropbox grow so dramatically over the last 10 years or so, $10 billion valuation. What's your timetable for going public? We're focused on building the business, making sure we've got the infrastructure in place to support potentially at some point being a public company. And then of course, the market is always a factor in when you decide to go. We, don't any plans at the time but those are the three factors that we're looking at. On your checklist, what about being a profitable company? How important is that milestone? Well, it's absolutely important for us in the long run. And one milestone we recently reached is we're free cash flow positive on a GAAP basis meaning that when you take all of the costs of our business and subtract them from revenue, we have some money left over, and we're adding cash to the business. We're not spending investor-funded cash. As you look at the IPOs of your competitors like Box a year ago, Twilio more recently, how has this influenced your thinking about going public? The IPOs that have done well our businesses that are growing and that are profitable. So I don't think it's changed our view. Maybe it's reaffirmed our view of how we're trying to build our business.