S-1
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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 23, 2018

Registration No. 333-            

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM S-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

Under

The Securities Act of 1933

 

 

Dropbox, Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   7372   26-0138832

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(Primary Standard Industrial

Classification Code Number)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

Dropbox, Inc.

333 Brannan Street

San Francisco, California 94107

(415) 857-6800

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of Registrant’s principal executive offices)

 

 

Andrew W. Houston

Chief Executive Officer

Dropbox, Inc.

333 Brannan Street

San Francisco, California 94107

(415) 857-6800

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

Copies to:

 

Tony Jeffries, Esq.

Rezwan D. Pavri, Esq.

Lisa L. Stimmell, Esq.

Shannon R. Delahaye, Esq.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.

650 Page Mill Road

Palo Alto, California 94304

(650) 493-9300

 

Bart E. Volkmer, Esq.

Mary Anne Becking, Esq.

Cara M. Angelmar, Esq.

Dropbox, Inc.

333 Brannan Street

San Francisco, California 94107

(415) 857-6800

 

Kevin P. Kennedy, Esq.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

2475 Hanover St

Palo Alto, California 94304

(650) 251-5000

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after this registration statement becomes effective.

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933 check the following box.  ☐

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer   ☒  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)    Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of each Class of

Securities to be Registered

 

Proposed

Maximum
Aggregate

Offering Price(1)(2)

 

Amount of

Registration Fee

Class A Common stock, par value $0.00001 per share

  $500,000,000   $62,250.00

 

 

(1) Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee in accordance with Rule 457(o) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
(2) Includes the aggregate offering price of additional shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase, if any.

 

 

The Registrant hereby amends this registration statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant will file a further amendment which specifically states that this registration statement will thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or until the registration statement will become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 


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The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. These securities may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell nor does it seek an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

Subject To Completion. Dated February 23, 2018.

                Shares

 

 

LOGO

 

Class A Common Stock

This is an initial public offering of shares of Class A common stock of Dropbox, Inc.

Dropbox, Inc. is offering to sell                      shares of Class A common stock in this offering. The selling stockholders identified in this prospectus are offering to sell an additional                      shares of Class A common stock. We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the shares being sold by the selling stockholders.

We have three classes of authorized common stock, Class A common stock, Class B common stock, and Class C common stock. The rights of the holders of Class A common stock, Class B common stock, and Class C common stock are identical, except with respect to voting and conversion. Each share of Class A common stock is entitled to one vote per share. Each share of Class B common stock is entitled to ten votes per share and is convertible at any time into one share of Class A common stock. Shares of Class C common stock have no voting rights, except as otherwise required by law, and will convert automatically into Class A common stock, on a share-for-share basis, upon the conversion of all outstanding shares of Class B common stock into shares of Class A common stock. Following this offering, outstanding shares of Class B common stock will represent approximately     % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock.

Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for the Class A common stock. It is currently estimated that the initial public offering price per share will be between $         and $        . We have applied to list the Class A common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “DBX”.

We will be treated as an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, for certain purposes until we complete this offering. As such, in this registration statement we have taken advantage of certain reduced disclosure obligations that apply to emerging growth companies regarding selected financial data and executive compensation arrangements.

 

 

See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 15 to read about factors you should consider before buying shares of our Class A common stock.

 

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

     Per share      Total  

Initial public offering price

   $                     $                 

Underwriting discount(1)

   $      $  

Proceeds, before expenses, to Dropbox, Inc.

   $      $  

Proceeds, before expenses, to Selling Stockholders

   $      $  

 

(1) See the section titled “Underwriting (Conflicts of Interest)” for a description of the compensation payable to the underwriters.

To the extent that the underwriters sell more than              shares of Class A common stock, the underwriters have the option to purchase up to an additional              shares from Dropbox, Inc. and the selling stockholders at the initial public offering price less the underwriting discount.

The underwriters expect to deliver the shares against payment in New York, New York, on or about                     , 2018.

 

         
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC   J.P. Morgan   Deutsche Bank Securities   Allen & Company LLC   BofA Merrill Lynch
RBC Capital Markets   Jefferies   Macquarie Capital
Canaccord Genuity   JMP Securities   KeyBanc Capital Markets   Piper Jaffray

Prospectus dated             , 2018

 


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Prospectus

 

     Page  

Prospectus Summary

     1  

Risk Factors

     15  

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

     43  

Industry And Market Data

     45  

Use of Proceeds

     46  

Dividend Policy

     47  

Capitalization

     48  

Dilution

     52  

Selected Consolidated Financial and Other Data

     55  

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

     57  

A Letter from Drew & Arash

     88  

Business

     92  

Management

     126  

Executive Compensation

     135  

Certain Relationships, Related Party Transactions, and Other Transactions

     150  

Principal and Selling Stockholders

     154  

Description of Capital Stock

     158  

Shares Eligible for Future Sale

     165  

Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences to Non-U.S. Holders of Our Class A Common Stock

     168  

Underwriting (Conflicts of Interest)

     172  

Legal Matters

     182  

Experts

     182  

Where You Can Find Additional Information

     182  

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements

     F-1  

 

 

Through and including                     , 2018 (the 25th day after the date of this prospectus), all dealers effecting transactions in these securities, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This is in addition to a dealer’s obligation to deliver a prospectus when acting as an underwriter and with respect to an unsold allotment or subscription.

 

 

Neither we, the selling stockholders, nor any of the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectuses we have prepared. Neither we, the selling stockholders, nor any of the underwriters take responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. This prospectus is an offer to sell only the shares offered hereby, but only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. The information contained in this prospectus is current only as of its date, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or of any sale of our Class A common stock.

For investors outside the United States: Neither we, the selling stockholders, nor any of the underwriters have done anything that would permit our initial public offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons outside the United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the shares of our Class A common stock and the distribution of this prospectus outside the United States.


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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This summary highlights selected information that is presented in greater detail elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information you should consider before investing in our Class A common stock. You should read this entire prospectus carefully, including the sections titled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and our consolidated financial statements, and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus, before making an investment decision. Unless the context otherwise requires, the terms “Dropbox,” “the Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” in this prospectus refer to Dropbox, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, and references to our “common stock” include our Class A common stock, Class B common stock, and Class C common stock.

DROPBOX, INC.

Our Business

Our modern economy runs on knowledge. Today, knowledge lives in the cloud as digital content, and Dropbox is a global collaboration platform where more and more of this content is created, accessed, and shared with the world. We serve more than 500 million registered users across 180 countries.

Dropbox was founded in 2007 with a simple idea: Life would be a lot better if everyone could access their most important information anytime from any device. Over the past decade, we’ve largely accomplished that mission—but along the way we recognized that for most of our users, sharing and collaborating on Dropbox was even more valuable than storing files.

Our market opportunity has grown as we’ve expanded from keeping files in sync to keeping teams in sync. Today, Dropbox is well positioned to reimagine the way work gets done. We’re focused on reducing the inordinate amount of time and energy the world wastes on “work about work”—tedious tasks like searching for content, switching between applications, and managing workflows.

We want to free up our users to spend more of their time on the work that truly matters. Our mission is to unleash the world’s creative energy by designing a more enlightened way of working.

We believe the need for our platform will continue to grow as teams become more fluid and global, and content is increasingly fragmented across incompatible tools and devices. Dropbox breaks down silos by centralizing the flow of information between the products and services our users prefer, even if they’re not our own.

By solving these universal problems, we’ve become invaluable to our users. The popularity of our platform drives viral growth, which has allowed us to scale rapidly and efficiently. We’ve built a thriving global business with over 11 million paying users.

Our revenue was $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%, respectively. We generated net losses of $325.9 million, $210.2 million, and $111.7 million in 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively. We also generated positive free cash flow of $137.4 million and $305.0 million in 2016 and 2017, respectively, compared to negative free cash flow of $63.9 million in 2015.



 

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Our Users

We’re constantly inspired by the diverse ways people use Dropbox to bring their ideas to life and achieve their missions faster. Here are just a few examples:

 

    Nobel Prize-winning researchers sync data with collaborators to speed development of new scientific breakthroughs.

 

    Designers for a sustainable apparel company iterate on new designs and coordinate store openings.

 

    A commercial construction company shares blueprints with subcontractors on job sites and sends bids to prospective clients.

 

    A Fortune 500 online travel company keeps its global workforce connected with business partners around the world.

 

    Pro bono lawyers at a refugee assistance organization collect and share information across continents to save lives.

What Sets Us Apart

Since the beginning, we’ve focused on simplifying the lives of our users. In a world where business software can be frustrating to use, challenging to integrate, and expensive to sell, we take a different approach.

Simple and intuitive design

While traditional tools developed in the desktop age have struggled to keep up with evolving user demands, Dropbox was designed for the cloud era. We build simple, beautiful products that bring joy to our users and make it easier for them to do their best work. Unencumbered by legacy features, we can perfect the aspects of our platform that matter most today, such as the mobile experience and the ability to work in teams.

Open ecosystem

We know people will continue to use a wide variety of tools and platforms. That’s why we’ve built Dropbox to work seamlessly with other products, integrating with partners from Google and Microsoft to Slack and Autodesk. More than 75% of Dropbox Business teams have linked to one or more third-party applications.

Viral, bottom-up adoption

Our 500 million registered users are our best salespeople. They’ve spread Dropbox to their friends and brought us into their offices. Every year, millions of individual users sign up for Dropbox at work. Bottom-up adoption within organizations has been critical to our success as users increasingly choose their own tools at work. We generate over 90% of our revenue from self-serve channels—users who purchase a subscription through our app or website.

Performance and security

Our custom-built infrastructure allows us to maintain high standards of performance, availability, and security. Dropbox is built on proprietary, block-level sync technology to achieve industry-leading performance. In 2016, IDC highlighted our sync performance as best-in-class, outperforming competitors on multiple sync tests, including upload and download speeds for large files. We designed our platform with multiple layers of redundancy to guard against data loss and deliver high availability. We also offer numerous layers of protection, from secure file data transfer and encryption to network configuration and application-level controls.



 

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Industry Trends in Our Favor

Content is increasingly scattered

The proliferation of devices, operating systems, and applications has dramatically increased the volume and complexity of content in the workplace. Content is now routinely scattered across multiple silos, making it harder to access. According to a 2016 IDC report, more than half of companies ranging from 100 to 5,000+ employees use at least three repositories for accessing documents on a weekly basis.

The tools people use are fragmented

Content created at work tends to follow a predictable pattern: It’s authored, sent out for feedback, and shared or published once it’s done. At the same time, teams are organizing that content and coordinating tasks around it. But many of the tools people use today don’t work well together and support only one or two steps of the content lifecycle. This requires users to constantly switch between these tools and makes it even harder to get work done.

Teams have become more fluid and global

Technology hasn’t kept up with a modern workforce that’s increasingly fluid and mobile. People work together on teams that span different functions, organizations, and geographies. A 2016 study by Deloitte found that 37% of the global workforce is now mobile, 30% of full-time employees primarily work remotely, and 20% of the workforce is made up of temporary workers, contractors, and freelancers. The ability to swiftly disseminate content and its relevant context is critical to keeping teams in sync.

“Work about work” is wasteful and stifles creativity

The combination of scattered content, fragmented tools, and fluid team structures has led to decreased workplace productivity. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, knowledge workers spend approximately 60% of their time at work on tedious tasks such as searching for content, reviewing email, and re-sharing context to keep team members in the loop—what we call “work about work.” This means they spend just 40% of their time doing the jobs they were hired to do.

Individual users are changing the way software is adopted and purchased

Software purchasing decisions have traditionally been made by an organization’s IT department, which often deploys products that employees don’t like and many refuse to adopt. As individuals increasingly choose their own tools at work, purchasing power has become more decentralized. A 2017 IDC report noted that new devices and software were being adopted at a faster rate by individual users than by IT departments.

Our Solution

Dropbox allows individuals, teams, and organizations to collaborate more effectively. Anyone can sign up for free through our website or app, and upgrade to a paid subscription plan for premium features. Our platform offers an elegant solution to the challenges described above.

Key elements of our platform

 

   

Unified home for content. We provide a unified home for the world’s content and the relevant context around it. To date, our users have added more than 400 billion pieces of content to Dropbox, totaling over an exabyte (more than 1,000,000,000 gigabytes) of data. When users join Dropbox, they gain



 

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access to a digital workspace that supports the full content lifecycle—they can create and organize their content, access it from anywhere, share it with internal and external collaborators, and review feedback and history.

 

    Global sharing network. We’ve built one of the largest collaboration platforms in the world, with more than 4.5 billion connections to shared content. We cater to the needs of dynamic, dispersed teams. The overwhelming majority of our customers use Dropbox to share and collaborate. As we continue to grow, more users benefit from frictionless sharing, and powerful network effects increase the utility and stickiness of our platform.

 

    New product experiences. The insights we glean from our community of users lead us to develop new product experiences, like Paper, Smart Sync, and Showcase. Machine learning further improves the user experience by enabling more intelligent search and better organization and utility of information. This ongoing innovation broadens the value of our platform and deepens user engagement.

These elements reinforce one another to produce a powerful flywheel effect. As users create and share more content with more people, they expand our global sharing network. This network allows us to gather insights and feedback that help us create new product experiences. And with our scale, we can instantly put these innovations in the hands of millions. This, in turn, helps attract more users and content, which further propels the flywheel.

Our Growth Strategy

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.



 

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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.

Our Market Opportunity

Over the past decade, Dropbox has pioneered the worldwide adoption of file sync and share software. We’ve since expanded our capabilities and introduced new product experiences to help our users get work done. For the second consecutive year, Gartner has named Dropbox a leader in their Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms.

Our addressable market includes collaborative applications, content management, project and portfolio management, and public cloud storage. IDC estimates that investment in these categories will total more than $50 billion in 2019.

As one of the few large-scale collaboration platforms that serves customers of all sizes, we also have an opportunity to reach a broad population of independent knowledge and creative workers. We believe that this market hasn’t traditionally been included in IT spending estimates.

Risk Factors Summary

Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those highlighted in the section titled “Risk Factors” immediately following this prospectus summary. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

    Our business depends on our ability to retain and upgrade paying users, and any decline in renewals or upgrades could adversely affect our future results of operations.

 

    Our future growth could be harmed if we fail to attract new users or convert registered users to paying users.

 

    Our revenue growth rate has declined in recent periods and may continue to slow in the future.

 

    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.

 

    Our business could be damaged, and we could be subject to liability if there is any unauthorized access to our data or our users’ content, including through privacy and data security breaches.

 

    Our business could be harmed by any significant disruption of service on our platform or loss of content.

 

    We generate revenue from sales of subscriptions to our platform, and any decline in demand for our platform or for content collaboration solutions in general could negatively impact our business.

 

    Our business depends upon the interoperability of our platform across devices, operating systems, and third-party applications that we do not control.

 

    We operate in competitive markets, and we must continue to compete effectively.

 

    We may not be able to respond to rapid technological changes, extend our platform, or develop new features.


 

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    We may not successfully manage our growth or plan for future growth.

 

    The multi-class structure of our common stock will have the effect of concentrating voting control with those stockholders who held our capital stock prior to the completion of this offering, and it may depress the trading price of our Class A common stock.

Channels for Disclosure of Information

Investors, the media, and others should note that, following the completion of this offering, we intend to announce material information to the public through filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, the investor relations page on our website, press releases, public conference calls, webcasts, our company news site at dropbox.com/news, and our corporate blog at blogs.dropbox.com.

The information disclosed by the foregoing channels could be deemed to be material information. As such, we encourage investors, the media, and others to follow the channels listed above and to review the information disclosed through such channels.

Any updates to the list of disclosure channels through which we will announce information will be posted on the investor relations page on our website.

Corporate Information

We were incorporated in May 2007 as Evenflow, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and changed our name to Dropbox, Inc. in October 2009. Our principal executive offices are located at 333 Brannan Street, San Francisco, California, 94107, and our telephone number is (415) 857-6800. Our website address is www.dropbox.com. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website does not constitute part of this prospectus and inclusions of our website address in this prospectus are inactive textual references only.

“Dropbox,” “Dropbox Paper,” “Dropbox Smart Sync,” “Dropbox Showcase,” our logo, and our other registered or common law trademarks, service marks, or trade names appearing in this prospectus are the property of Dropbox, Inc. We refer to Dropbox Paper as Paper, Dropbox Smart Sync as Smart Sync, and Dropbox Showcase as Showcase in this prospectus. Other trademarks and trade names referred to in this prospectus are the property of their respective owners.

JOBS Act

We will be treated as an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, for certain purposes until we complete this offering. As such, in this registration statement we have taken advantage of certain reduced disclosure obligations that apply to emerging growth companies regarding selected financial data and executive compensation arrangements.



 

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THE OFFERING

 

Class A common stock offered by us

             shares

 

Class A common stock offered by the selling stockholders

             shares

 

Class A common stock to be outstanding after this offering

             shares

 

Class B common stock to be outstanding after this offering

             shares

 

Class C common stock to be outstanding after this offering

             None

 

Total Class A common stock, Class B common stock, and Class C common stock to be outstanding after this offering

             shares

 

Option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock from us

             shares

 

Option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock from the selling stockholders

             shares

 

Use of proceeds

We estimate that the net proceeds to us from the sale of shares of our Class A common stock in this offering will be approximately $         (or approximately $         if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from us and the selling stockholders is exercised in full), based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

 

The principal purposes of this offering are to increase our capitalization and financial flexibility, create a public market for our Class A common stock, and enable access to the public equity markets for us and our stockholders. We intend to use a portion of the net proceeds we receive from this offering to repay $         that is expected to be outstanding immediately prior to the completion of this offering under our revolving credit facility, which we intend to draw down prior to the completion of this offering to satisfy tax withholding and remittance obligations of $         related to the settlement of certain restricted stock units, or RSUs, for which the service condition was satisfied as of December 31, 2017, and for which we expect the liquidity event-related performance vesting condition, or the Performance Vesting Condition, to be satisfied upon



 

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the effectiveness of our registration statement related to this offering. This amount is based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. We also intend to use the net proceeds we receive from this offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses, and capital expenditures. Additionally, we may use a portion of the net proceeds we receive from this offering to acquire businesses, products, services, or technologies. However, we do not have agreements or commitments for any material acquisitions at this time. We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of Class A common stock in this offering by the selling stockholders. See “Use of Proceeds” for additional information.

 

Voting rights

Shares of our Class A common stock are entitled to one vote per share.

 

  Shares of our Class B common stock are entitled to ten votes per share.

 

  Shares of our Class C common stock have no voting rights, except as otherwise required by law.

 

  Holders of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock will generally vote together as a single class, unless otherwise required by law or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. The holders of our outstanding Class B common stock will hold approximately      % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock following this offering and will have the ability to control the outcome of matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, including the election of our directors and the approval of any change in control transaction. Additionally, our executive officers, directors, and holders of 5% or more of our common stock will hold, in the aggregate, approximately      % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock following this offering. See “Principal and Selling Stockholders” and “Description of Capital Stock” for additional information.

 

Proposed Nasdaq Global Select Market trading symbol

“DBX”

 

Conflict of interest

Affiliates of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, underwriters in this offering, will receive at least 5% of the net proceeds of this offering in connection with the repayment of $         that is expected to be outstanding immediately prior to the completion of this offering under our revolving credit facility. See “Use of Proceeds.” Accordingly, this offering is being made in compliance with the requirements of FINRA Rule 5121. This rule requires, among other things, that a “qualified independent underwriter” has participated in the preparation of, and has exercised the usual



 

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standards of “due diligence” with respect to, the registration statement.              has agreed to act as qualified independent underwriter for this offering and to undertake the legal responsibilities and liabilities of an underwriter under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act.

The number of shares of our Class A common stock, Class B common stock, and Class C common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on 17,727,212 shares of our Class A common stock, 522,752,944 shares of our Class B common stock, and no shares of our Class C common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, and reflects:

 

    (i) 387,934 shares of preferred stock and 3,914,934 shares of Class B common stock that will convert into Class A common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering pursuant to the terms of certain transfer agreements, and (ii) 220,965,979 shares of preferred stock that will automatically convert into shares of Class B common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering pursuant to the terms of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, which we refer to, collectively, as the Capital Stock Conversions; and

 

    23,844,147 shares of our Class B common stock subject to RSUs, for which the service condition was satisfied as of December 31, 2017, and for which we expect the Performance Vesting Condition to be satisfied upon the effectiveness of our registration statement related to this offering (after repurchasing 15,244,619 shares of our Class B common stock subject to RSUs to satisfy tax withholding obligations at an assumed tax rate of 39%, with an equivalent number of shares of our Class A common stock becoming available for issuance under our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan, or our 2018 Plan), or the RSU Settlement.

The shares of our Class A common stock, Class B common stock, and Class C common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017 excludes the following:

 

    22,100,000 shares of our Class A common stock subject to restricted stock awards, or RSAs, that were granted to our co-founders, or collectively, the Co-Founder Grants, and vest upon the satisfaction of a service condition and achievement of certain stock price goals;

 

    7,439,253 shares of our Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our Class B common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, with a weighted-average exercise price of $7.01 per share;

 

    25,061,536 shares of our Class A common stock and 18,240,237 shares of our Class B common stock subject to RSUs outstanding, but for which the service condition was not satisfied, as of December 31, 2017;

 

    14,865,820 shares of our Class A common stock subject to RSUs granted after December 31, 2017;

 

    98,969,443 shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our equity compensation plans, consisting of:

 

    77,297,109 shares of our Class A common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Plan, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering (including the shares that will be repurchased by us in connection with the RSU Settlement);

 

   

15,467,085 shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2017 Equity Incentive Plan, or our 2017 Plan, which number of shares includes an additional 2,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock reserved for issuance under our 2017 Plan that was approved by our Board of Directors in February 2018 (and which we expect our stockholders to approve),



 

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and will be added to the shares of our Class A common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Plan upon its effectiveness;

 

    6,205,249 shares of our Class A common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or our ESPP, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering, but no offering periods under the ESPP will commence unless and until otherwise determined by our Board of Directors; and

 

    68,257,739 shares of our Class C common stock reserved for future issuance under certain other equity compensation plans, consisting of:

 

    62,052,490 shares of our Class C common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Class C Stock Incentive Plan, or our 2018 Class C Plan, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering; and

 

    6,205,249 shares of our Class C common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Class C Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or our Class C ESPP, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering, but no offering periods under the Class C ESPP will commence unless and until otherwise determined by our Board of Directors.

Our 2018 Plan and ESPP each provides for annual automatic increases in the number of shares of our Class A common stock reserved thereunder, and our 2018 Plan also provides for increases to the number of shares of our Class A common stock that may be granted thereunder based on shares under our 2008 Equity Incentive Plan, or our 2008 Plan, and 2017 Plan that expire, are forfeited, or otherwise repurchased by us, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation—Employee Benefits and Stock Plans.” Additionally, if and when our Board of Directors determines to use our 2018 Class C Plan and Class C ESPP, such plans will provide for annual automatic increases in the number of shares of our Class C common stock reserved thereunder.

Except as otherwise indicated, all information in this prospectus assumes:

 

    the Capital Stock Conversions will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering;

 

    the filing and effectiveness of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation in Delaware and the effectiveness of our amended and restated bylaws, each of which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering;

 

    the conversion of shares of our Class B common stock held by certain selling stockholders into an equivalent number of shares of our Class A common stock upon the sale by the selling stockholders in this offering;

 

    no exercise of outstanding stock options or settlement of outstanding RSUs subsequent to December 31, 2017, other than the RSU Settlement; and

 

    no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to an additional              shares of our Class A common stock from us and the selling stockholders.


 

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SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OTHER DATA

The following summary consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. The consolidated statements of operations data for each of the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016, and 2017, and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements that are included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of our future results. The summary consolidated financial data in this section are not intended to replace the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus and are qualified in their entirety by the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015     2016     2017  
    

(In millions, except for per share amounts)

 

Revenue

   $ 603.8     $ 844.8     $ 1,106.8  

Cost of revenue(1)

     407.4       390.6       368.9  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

     196.4       454.2       737.9  

Operating expenses:(1)

      

Research and development

     201.6       289.7       380.3  

Sales and marketing

     193.1       250.6       314.0  

General and administrative

     107.9       107.4       157.3  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     502.6       647.7       851.6  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (306.2     (193.5     (113.7

Interest expense, net

     (15.2     (16.4     (11.0

Other income (expense), net

     (4.2     4.9       13.2  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss before income taxes

     (325.6     (205.0     (111.5

Provision for income taxes

     (0.3     (5.2     (0.2
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (325.9   $ (210.2   $ (111.7
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted(2)

   $ (1.18   $ (0.74   $ (0.38
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used in computing net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted

     276.8       283.7       293.9  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted(2)

       $ (0.21
      

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used in computing pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted

         537.9  
      

 

 

 


 

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(1)  Includes stock-based compensation as follows:

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015      2016      2017  
     (In millions)  

Cost of revenue

   $ 2.6      $ 8.2      $ 12.2  

Research and development

     36.1        72.7        93.1  

Sales and marketing

     19.8        44.6        33.7  

General and administrative

     7.6        22.1        25.6  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total stock-based compensation

   $ 66.1      $ 147.6      $ 164.6  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(2)  See Note 12, “Net Loss Per Share” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for an explanation of the method used to calculate basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders and Note 13, “Unaudited Pro Forma Net Loss Per Share” for an explanation of the method used to calculate pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders.

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data

 

     As of December 31, 2017  
     Actual      Pro
forma(1)
     Pro forma
as adjusted(2)(3)
 
     (In millions)  

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 430.0        

Working capital

     (220.3      

Property and equipment, net

     341.9        

Total assets

     1,019.9        

Total deferred revenue

     419.2        

Total capital lease obligations

     174.3        

Revolving credit facility

     —          

Total stockholders’ equity

     102.9        

 

(1)  The pro forma column in the balance sheet data table above reflects (a) the Capital Stock Conversions, as if such conversions had occurred on December 31, 2017, (b) the filing and effectiveness of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation in Delaware that will become effective immediately prior to the completion of this offering, (c) stock-based compensation expense of $415.6 million associated with the RSU Settlement, (d) the net issuance of 23,844,147 shares of our Class B common stock upon the RSU Settlement, (e) the borrowing of $            million under our revolving credit facility to satisfy our tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the RSU Settlement, and (f) a cash payment of $         to satisfy our tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the RSU Settlement, which amounts in (e) and (f) are based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus.
(2)  The pro forma as adjusted column in the balance sheet data table above gives effect to (a) the pro forma adjustments set forth above, (b) the sale and issuance by us of              shares of our Class A common stock in this offering, based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, and (c) the use of proceeds from the offering to repay $         drawn down under our revolving credit facility to satisfy our tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the RSU Settlement.
(3) 

Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, (a) the amount of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets, and total stockholders’ equity by $        , assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us, (b) the



 

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  amount we would be required to draw down under our revolving credit facility to satisfy our tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the RSU Settlement by $        , and (c) the amount we would be required to pay to satisfy our tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the RSU Settlement by $        . An increase or decrease of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares offered by us would increase or decrease, as applicable, the amount of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets, and total stockholders’ equity by $        , assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us.

Key Business Metrics

We review a number of operating and financial metrics, including the following key metrics to evaluate our business, measure our performance, identify trends affecting our business, formulate business plans, and make strategic decisions.

Paying users

We define paying users as the number of users who have active paid licenses for access to our platform as of the end of the period. One person would count as multiple paying users if the person had more than one active license. For example, a 50-person Dropbox Business team would count as 50 paying users, and an individual Dropbox Plus user would count as one paying user. If that individual Dropbox Plus user was also part of the 50-person Dropbox Business team, we would count the individual as two paying users.

The below table sets forth the number of paying users as of December 31, 2015, 2016, and 2017:

 

     As of December 31,  
     2015      2016      2017  
     (In millions)  

Paying users

     6.5        8.8        11.0  

Average revenue per paying user

We define average revenue per paying user, or ARPU, as our revenue for the period presented divided by the average paying users during the same period. For interim periods, we use annualized revenue, which is calculated by dividing the revenue for the particular period by the number of days in that period and multiplying this value by 365 days. Average paying users are calculated based on adding the number of paying users as of the beginning of the period to the number of paying users as of the end of the period, and then dividing by two.

The below table sets forth our ARPU for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015      2016      2017  

ARPU

   $ 113.54      $ 110.54      $ 111.91  

Free cash flow

We define free cash flow, or FCF, as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures.



 

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The following is a reconciliation of FCF to the most comparable GAAP measure, net cash provided by operating activities:

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015      2016      2017  
     (In millions)  

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $ 14.8      $ 252.6      $ 330.3  

Capital expenditures

     (78.7      (115.2      (25.3
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Free cash flow

   $ (63.9    $ 137.4      $ 305.0  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

See the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Non-GAAP Financial Measure” for additional information.



 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our Class A common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should consider carefully the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this prospectus, including the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes, before making a decision to invest in our Class A common stock. Our business, results of operations, financial condition, or prospects could also be harmed by risks and uncertainties that are not presently known to us or that we currently believe are not material. If any of the risks actually occur, our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In that event, the market price of our Class A common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to Our Business and Our Industry

Our business depends on our ability to retain and upgrade paying users, and any decline in renewals or upgrades could adversely affect our future results of operations.

Our business depends upon our ability to maintain and expand our relationships with our users. Our business is subscription based, and paying users are not obligated to and may not renew their subscriptions after their existing subscriptions expire. As a result, we cannot provide assurance that paying users will renew their subscriptions utilizing the same tier of our products or upgrade to premium offerings. Renewals of subscriptions to our platform may decline or fluctuate because of several factors, such as dissatisfaction with our products and support, a user no longer having a need for our products, or the perception that competitive products provide better or less expensive options. In addition, some paying users downgrade or do not renew their subscriptions.

We encourage paying users to upgrade to our premium offerings by recommending additional features and through in-product prompts and notifications. Additionally, we seek to expand within organizations through viral means by adding new users, having workplaces purchase additional products, or expanding the use of Dropbox into other departments within a workplace. We often see enterprise IT decision-makers deciding to adopt Dropbox after noticing substantial organic adoption by individuals and teams within the organization. If our paying users fail to renew or cancel their subscriptions, or if we fail to upgrade our paying users to premium offerings or expand within organizations, our business, results of operations, and financial condition may be harmed.

Although it is important to our business that our users renew their subscriptions after their existing subscriptions expire and that we expand our commercial relationships with our users, given the volume of our users, we do not track the retention rates of our individual users. As a result, we may be unable to address any retention issues with specific users in a timely manner, which could harm our business.

Our future growth could be harmed if we fail to attract new users or convert registered users to paying users.

We must continually add new users to grow our business beyond our current user base and to replace users who choose not to continue to use our platform. Historically, our revenue has been driven by our self-serve model, and we generate more than 90% of our revenue from self-serve channels. Any decrease in user satisfaction with our products or support could harm our brand, word-of-mouth referrals, and ability to grow.

Additionally, many of our users initially access our platform free of charge. We strive to demonstrate the value of our platform to our registered users, thereby encouraging them to convert to paying users through in-product prompts and notifications, and time-limited trials of paid subscription plans. As of December 31, 2017, we served over 500 million registered users but only 11 million paying users. The actual number of unique users is lower than we report as one person may register more than once for our platform. As a result, we have fewer unique registered users that we may be able to convert to paying users. A majority of our registered users may never convert to a paid subscription to our platform.

 

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In addition, our user growth rate may slow in the future as our market penetration rates increase and we turn our focus to converting registered users to paying users rather than growing the total number of registered users. If we are not able to continue to expand our user base or fail to convert our registered users to paying users, demand for our paid services and our revenue may grow more slowly than expected or decline.

Our revenue growth rate has declined in recent periods and may continue to slow in the future.

We have experienced significant revenue growth in prior periods. However, our rates of revenue growth are slowing and may continue to slow in the future. Many factors may contribute to declines in our growth rates, including higher market penetration, increased competition, slowing demand for our platform, a decrease in the growth of the overall content collaboration market, a failure by us to continue capitalizing on growth opportunities, and the maturation of our business, among others. You should not rely on the revenue growth of any prior quarterly or annual period as an indication of our future performance. If our growth rates decline, investors’ perceptions of our business and the trading price of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.

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.

We have incurred net losses on an annual basis since our inception. We incurred net losses of $325.9 million, $210.2 million, and $111.7 million in 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively, and we had an accumulated deficit of $1,049.7 million as of December 31, 2017. As we strive to grow our business, we expect expenses to increase in the near term, particularly as we continue to make investments to scale our business. For example, we will need an increasing amount of technical infrastructure to continue to satisfy the needs of our user base. We also expect our research and development expenses to increase as we plan to continue to hire employees for our engineering, product, and design teams to support these efforts. In addition, we will incur additional rent expense in connection with our move to our new corporate headquarters, and additional general and administrative expenses to support both our growth as well as our transition to being a publicly traded company. These investments may not result in increased revenue or growth in our business. We may encounter unforeseen or unpredictable factors, including unforeseen operating expenses, complications, or delays, which may result in increased costs. Furthermore, it is difficult to predict the size and growth rate of our market, user demand for our platform, user adoption and renewal of our platform, the entry of competitive products and services, or the success of existing competitive products and services. As a result, we may not achieve or maintain profitability in future periods. If we fail to grow our revenue sufficiently to keep pace with our investments and other expenses, our results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.

Our business could be damaged, and we could be subject to liability if there is any unauthorized access to our data or our users’ content, including through privacy and data security breaches.

The use of our platform involves the transmission, storage, and processing of user content, some of which may be considered personally identifiable, confidential, or sensitive. We face security threats from malicious third parties that could obtain unauthorized access to our systems and networks. We anticipate that these threats will continue to grow in scope and complexity over time. For example, in 2016, we learned that an old set of Dropbox user credentials for approximately 68 million accounts was released. These credentials consisted of email addresses and passwords protected by cryptographic techniques known as hashing and salting. Hashing and salting can make it more difficult to obtain the original password, but may not fully protect the original password from being obtained. We believe these Dropbox user credentials were obtained in 2012 and related to a security incident we disclosed to users. In response, we notified all existing users we believed to be affected and completed a password reset for anyone who had not updated their password since mid-2012. We have responded to this event by expanding our security team and data monitoring capabilities and continuing to work on features such as two-factor authentication to increase protection of user information. While we believe our corrective actions will reduce the likelihood of similar incidents occurring in the future, third parties might use techniques

 

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that we are unable to defend against to compromise and infiltrate our systems and networks. We may fail to detect the existence of a breach of user content and be unable to prevent unauthorized access to user and company content. The techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently and are often not recognized until launched against a target. They may originate from less regulated or remote areas around the world, or from state-sponsored actors. If our security measures are breached, or our users’ content is otherwise accessed through unauthorized means, or if any such actions are believed to occur, our platform may be perceived as insecure, and we may lose existing users or fail to attract and retain new users.

We may rely on third parties when deploying our infrastructure, and in doing so, expose it to security risks outside of our direct control. We rely on outside vendors and contractors to perform services necessary for the operation of the business, and they may fail to adequately secure our user and company content.

Third parties may attempt to compromise our employees and their privileged access into internal systems to gain access to accounts, our information, our networks, or our systems. Employee error, malfeasance, or other errors in the storage, use, or transmission of personal information could result in an actual or perceived breach of user privacy. Our users may also disclose or lose control of their passwords, or use the same or similar passwords on third parties’ systems, which could lead to unauthorized access to their accounts on our platform.

Any unauthorized or inadvertent access to, or an actual or perceived security breach of, our systems or networks could result in an actual or perceived loss of, or unauthorized access to, our data or our users’ content, regulatory investigations and orders, litigation, indemnity obligations, damages, penalties, fines, and other costs in connection with actual and alleged contractual breaches, violations of applicable laws and regulations, and other liabilities. Any such incident could also materially damage our reputation and harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition, including reducing our revenue, causing us to issue credits to users, negatively impacting our ability to accept and process user payment information, eroding our users’ trust in our services and payment solutions, subjecting us to costly user notification or remediation, harming our ability to retain users, harming our brand, or increasing our cost of acquiring new users. We maintain errors, omissions, and cyber liability insurance policies covering certain security and privacy damages. However, we cannot be certain that our coverage will be adequate for liabilities actually incurred or that insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all. Further, if a high profile security breach occurs with respect to another content collaboration solutions provider, our users and potential users could lose trust in the security of content collaboration solutions providers generally, which could adversely impact our ability to retain users or attract new ones.

Our business could be harmed by any significant disruption of service on our platform or loss of content.

Our brand, reputation, and ability to attract, retain, and serve our users are dependent upon the reliable performance of our platform, including our underlying technical infrastructure. Our users rely on our platform to store digital copies of their valuable content, including financial records, business information, documents, photos, and other important content. Our technical infrastructure may not be adequately designed with sufficient reliability and redundancy to avoid performance delays or outages that could be harmful to our business. If our platform is unavailable when users attempt to access it, or if it does not load as quickly as they expect, users may not use our platform as often in the future, or at all.

As our user base and the amount and types of information stored, synced, and shared on our platform continues to grow, we will need an increasing amount of technical infrastructure, including network capacity and computing power, to continue to satisfy the needs of our users. During 2015 and 2016, we migrated the vast majority of user content to our own custom-built infrastructure in co-location facilities that we directly lease and operate. As we add to our infrastructure, we may move or transfer additional content.

Further, as we continue to grow and scale our business to meet the needs of our users, we may overestimate or underestimate our infrastructure capacity requirements, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

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The costs associated with leasing and maintaining our custom-built infrastructure in co-location facilities and third-party datacenters already constitute a significant portion of our capital and operating expenses. We continuously evaluate our short- and long-term infrastructure capacity requirements to ensure adequate capacity for new and existing users while minimizing unnecessary excess capacity costs. If we overestimate the demand for our platform and therefore secure excess infrastructure capacity, our operating margins could be reduced. If we underestimate our infrastructure capacity requirements, we may not be able to service the expanding needs of new and existing users, and our hosting facilities, network, or systems may fail.

In addition, the datacenters that we use are vulnerable to damage or interruption from human error, intentional bad acts, earthquakes, floods, fires, war, terrorist attacks, power losses, hardware failures, systems failures, telecommunications failures, and similar events, any of which could disrupt our service, destroy user content, or prevent us from being able to continuously back up or record changes in our users’ content. In the event of significant physical damage to one of these datacenters, it may take a significant period of time to achieve full resumption of our services, and our disaster recovery planning may not account for all eventualities. Damage or interruptions to these datacenters could harm our platform and business.

We generate revenue from sales of subscriptions to our platform, and any decline in demand for our platform or for content collaboration solutions in general could negatively impact our business.

We generate, and expect to continue to generate, revenue from the sale of subscriptions to our platform. As a result, widespread acceptance and use of content collaboration solutions in general, and our platform in particular, is critical to our future growth and success. If the content collaboration market fails to grow or grows more slowly than we currently anticipate, demand for our platform could be negatively affected.

Changes in user preferences for content collaboration may have a disproportionately greater impact on us than if we offered multiple platforms or disparate products. Demand for content collaboration solutions in general, and our platform in particular, is affected by a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Some of these potential factors include:

 

    awareness of the content collaboration category generally;

 

    availability of products and services that compete with ours;

 

    ease of adoption and use;

 

    features and platform experience;

 

    performance;

 

    brand;

 

    security and privacy;

 

    customer support; and

 

    pricing.

The content collaboration market is subject to rapidly changing user demand and trends in preferences. If we fail to successfully predict and address these changes and trends, meet user demands, or achieve more widespread market acceptance of our platform, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be harmed.

Our business depends upon the interoperability of our platform across devices, operating systems, and third-party applications that we do not control.

One of the most important features of our platform is its broad interoperability with a range of diverse devices, operating systems, and third-party applications. Our platform is accessible from the web and from

 

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devices running Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, WindowsMobile, and Linux. We also have integrations with Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Salesforce, Atlassian, Slack, IBM, Cisco, VMware, Okta, Symantec, Palo Alto Networks, and a variety of other productivity, collaboration, data management, and security vendors. We are dependent on the accessibility of our platform across these third-party operating systems and applications that we do not control. Several of our competitors own, develop, operate, or distribute operating systems, app stores, third-party datacenter services, and other software, and also have material business relationships with companies that own, develop, operate, or distribute operating systems, applications markets, third-party datacenter services, and other software that our platform requires in order to operate. Moreover, some of these competitors have inherent advantages developing products and services that more tightly integrate with their software and hardware platforms or those of their business partners.

Third-party services and products are constantly evolving, and we may not be able to modify our platform to assure its compatibility with that of other third parties following development changes. In addition, some of our competitors may be able to disrupt the operations or compatibility of our platform with their products or services, or exert strong business influence on our ability to, and terms on which we, operate and distribute our platform. For example, we currently offer products that directly compete with several large technology companies that we rely on to ensure the interoperability of our platform with their products or services. As our respective products evolve, we expect this level of competition to increase. Should any of our competitors modify their products or standards in a manner that degrades the functionality of our platform or gives preferential treatment to competitive products or services, whether to enhance their competitive position or for any other reason, the interoperability of our platform with these products could decrease and our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be harmed.

We operate in competitive markets, and we must continue to compete effectively.

The market for content collaboration platforms is competitive and rapidly changing. Certain features of our platform compete in the cloud storage market with products offered by Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, and in the content collaboration market with products offered by Atlassian, Google, and Microsoft. We compete with Box on a more limited basis in the cloud storage market for deployments by large enterprises. We also compete with smaller private companies that offer point solutions in the cloud storage market or the content collaboration market. We believe the principal competitive factors in our markets include the following:

 

    user-centric design;

 

    ease of adoption and use;

 

    scale of user network;

 

    features and platform experience;

 

    performance;

 

    brand;

 

    security and privacy;

 

    accessibility across several devices, operating systems, and applications;

 

    third-party integration;

 

    customer support;

 

    continued innovation; and

 

    pricing.

With the introduction of new technologies and market entrants, we expect competition to intensify in the future. Many of our actual and potential competitors benefit from competitive advantages over us, such as greater

 

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name recognition, longer operating histories, more varied products and services, larger marketing budgets, more established marketing relationships, access to larger user bases, major distribution agreements with hardware manufacturers and resellers, and greater financial, technical, and other resources. Some of our competitors may make acquisitions or enter into strategic relationships to offer a broader range of products and services than we do. These combinations may make it more difficult for us to compete effectively. We expect these trends to continue as competitors attempt to strengthen or maintain their market positions.

Demand for our platform is also sensitive to price. Many factors, including our marketing, user acquisition and technology costs, and our current and future competitors’ pricing and marketing strategies, can significantly affect our pricing strategies. Certain of our competitors offer, or may in the future offer, lower-priced or free products or services that compete with our platform or may bundle and offer a broader range of products and services. Similarly, certain competitors may use marketing strategies that enable them to acquire users at a lower cost than us. There can be no assurance that we will not be forced to engage in price-cutting initiatives or to increase our marketing and other expenses to attract and retain users in response to competitive pressures, either of which could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

We may not be able to respond to rapid technological changes, extend our platform, or develop new features.

The content collaboration market is characterized by rapid technological change and frequent new product and service introductions. Our ability to grow our user base and increase revenue from existing users will depend heavily on our ability to enhance and improve our platform, introduce new features and products, and interoperate across an increasing range of devices, operating systems, and third-party applications. Users may require features and capabilities that our current platform does not have. We invest significantly in research and development, and our goal is to focus our spending on measures that improve quality and ease of adoption and create organic user demand for our platform. For example, we recently introduced Paper, a new collaborative product experience, and Smart Sync, a new advanced productivity feature, to add additional functionality to our platform. There is no assurance that our enhancements to our platform or our new product experiences, features, or capabilities will be compelling to our users or gain market acceptance. If our research and development investments do not accurately anticipate user demand, or if we fail to develop our platform in a manner that satisfies user preferences in a timely and cost-effective manner, we may fail to retain our existing users or increase demand for our platform.

The introduction of new products and services by competitors or the development of entirely new technologies to replace existing offerings could make our platform obsolete or adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. We may experience difficulties with software development, design, or marketing that could delay or prevent our development, introduction, or implementation of new product experiences, features, or capabilities. We have in the past experienced delays in our internally planned release dates of new features and capabilities, and there can be no assurance that new product experiences, features, or capabilities will be released according to schedule. Any delays could result in adverse publicity, loss of revenue or market acceptance, or claims by users brought against us, all of which could have a material and adverse effect on our reputation, business, results of operations, and financial condition. Moreover, new productivity features to our platform, such as Smart Sync, may require substantial investment, and we have no assurance that such investments will be successful. If users do not widely adopt our new product experiences, features, and capabilities, we may not be able to realize a return on our investment. If we are unable to develop, license, or acquire new features and capabilities to our platform on a timely and cost-effective basis, or if such enhancements do not achieve market acceptance, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

We may not successfully manage our growth or plan for future growth.

Since our founding in 2007, we have experienced rapid growth. For example, our headcount has grown from 1,446 employees as of December 31, 2015, to 1,858 employees as of December 31, 2017, with employees

 

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located both in the United States and internationally. The growth and expansion of our business places a continuous significant strain on our management, operational, and financial resources. Further growth of our operations to support our user base or our expanding third-party relationships, our information technology systems, and our internal controls and procedures may not be adequate to support our operations. In addition, as we continue to grow, we face challenges of integrating, developing, and motivating a rapidly growing employee base in various countries around the world. Certain members of our management have not previously worked together for an extended period of time and some do not have experience managing a public company, which may affect how they manage our growth. Managing our growth will also require significant expenditures and allocation of valuable management resources.

In addition, our rapid growth may make it difficult to evaluate our future prospects. Our ability to forecast our future results of operations is subject to a number of uncertainties, including our ability to effectively plan for and model future growth. We have encountered in the past, and may encounter in the future, risks and uncertainties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly changing industries. If we fail to achieve the necessary level of efficiency in our organization as it grows, or if we are not able to accurately forecast future growth, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be harmed.

Our lack of a significant outbound sales force may limit the potential growth of our business.

Historically, our business model has been driven by organic adoption and viral growth, with more than 90% of our revenue generated from self-serve channels. As a result, we do not have a significant outbound sales force, which has enabled us to be more efficient with our sales and marketing spend. Although we believe our business model can continue to scale without a large outbound sales force, our word-of-mouth and user referral marketing model may not continue to be as successful as we anticipate, and our limited experience selling directly to large organizations through our outbound sales force may impede our future growth. As we continue to scale our business, an enhanced sales infrastructure could assist in reaching larger organizations and growing our revenue. Identifying and recruiting additional qualified sales personnel and training them would require significant time, expense, and attention, and would significantly impact our business model. Further, adding more sales personnel would change our cost structure and results of operations, and we may have to reduce other expenses in order to accommodate a corresponding increase in sales and marketing expenses. If our limited experience selling and marketing to large organizations prevents us from reaching larger organizations and growing our revenue, and if we are unable to hire, develop, and retain talented sales personnel in the future, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

We may expand sales to large organizations, which could lengthen sales cycles and result in greater deployment challenges.

As our business evolves, we may need to invest more resources into sales to large organizations. Large organizations may undertake a significant evaluation and negotiation process, which can lengthen our sales cycle. We may also face unexpected deployment challenges with large organizations or more complicated deployment of our platform. Large organizations may demand more configuration and integration of our platform or require additional security management or control features. We may spend substantial time, effort, and money on sales efforts to large organizations without any assurance that our efforts will produce any sales. As a result, sales to large organizations may lead to greater unpredictability in our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Any failure to offer high-quality customer support may harm our relationships with our users and our financial results.

We have designed our platform to be easy to adopt and use with minimal to no support necessary. Any increased user demand for customer support could increase costs and harm our results of operations. In addition, as we continue to grow our operations and support our global user base, we need to be able to continue to provide

 

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efficient customer support that meets our customers’ needs globally at scale. Paying users receive additional customer support features and the number of our paying users has grown significantly, which will put additional pressure on our support organization. For example, the number of paying users has grown from 6.5 million as of December 31, 2015, to 11 million as of December 31, 2017. If we are unable to provide efficient customer support globally at scale, our ability to grow our operations may be harmed and we may need to hire additional support personnel, which could harm our results of operations. Our new user signups are highly dependent on our business reputation and on positive recommendations from our existing users. Any failure to maintain high-quality customer support, or a market perception that we do not maintain high-quality customer support, could harm our reputation, business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our quarterly results may fluctuate significantly and may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business.

Our quarterly results of operations, including our revenue, gross margin, operating margin, profitability, cash flow from operations, and deferred revenue, may vary significantly in the future and period-to-period comparisons of our results of operations may not be meaningful. Accordingly, the results of any one quarter should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. Our quarterly results of operations may fluctuate as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control, and as a result, may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business. Fluctuation in quarterly results may negatively impact the value of our securities. Factors that may cause fluctuations in our quarterly results of operations include, without limitation, those listed below:

 

    our ability to retain and upgrade paying users;

 

    our ability to attract new paying users and convert registered to paying users;

 

    the timing of expenses and recognition of revenue;

 

    the amount and timing of operating expenses related to the maintenance and expansion of our business, operations, and infrastructure, as well as entry into operating and capital leases;

 

    the timing of expenses related to acquisitions;

 

    any large indemnification payments to our users or other third parties;

 

    changes in our pricing policies or those of our competitors;

 

    the timing and success of new product feature and service introductions by us or our competitors;

 

    network outages or actual or perceived security breaches;

 

    changes in the competitive dynamics of our industry, including consolidation among competitors;

 

    changes in laws and regulations that impact our business; and

 

    general economic and market conditions.

Our results of operations may not immediately reflect downturns or upturns in sales because we recognize revenue from our users over the term of their subscriptions with us.

We recognize revenue from subscriptions to our platform over the terms of these subscriptions. Our subscription arrangements generally have monthly or annual contractual terms, and we also have a small percentage of multi-year contractual terms. Amounts that have been billed are initially recorded as deferred revenue until the revenue is recognized. As a result, a large portion of our revenue for each quarter reflects deferred revenue from subscriptions entered into during previous quarters, and downturns or upturns in subscription sales, or renewals and potential changes in our pricing policies may not be reflected in our results of operations until later periods. Our subscription model also makes it difficult for us to rapidly increase our revenue through additional sales in any period, as subscription revenue from new users is recognized over the

 

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applicable subscription term. By contrast, a significant majority of our costs are expensed as incurred, which occurs as soon as a user starts using our platform. As a result, an increase in users could result in our recognition of more costs than revenue in the earlier portion of the subscription term. We may not attain sufficient revenue to maintain positive cash flow from operations or achieve profitability in any given period.

We depend on our key personnel and other highly qualified personnel, and if we fail to attract, integrate, and retain our personnel, and maintain our unique corporate culture, our business could be harmed.

We depend on the continued service and performance of our key personnel. In particular, Andrew W. Houston, our President and Chief Executive Officer and one of our co-founders, is critical to our vision, strategic direction, culture, and offerings. Some of our other key personnel have recently joined us and are still being integrated into our company. We may continue to make changes to our management team, which could make it difficult to execute on our business plans and strategies. New hires also require significant training and, in most cases, take significant time before they achieve full productivity. Our failure to successfully integrate these key personnel into our business could adversely affect our business.

We do not have long-term employment agreements with any of our officers or key personnel. In addition, many of our key technologies and systems are custom-made for our business by our key personnel. The loss of key personnel, including key members of our management team, as well as certain of our key marketing, sales, product development, or technology personnel, could disrupt our operations and have an adverse effect on our ability to grow our business.

To execute our growth plan, we must attract and retain highly qualified personnel. Competition for these employees is intense, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area where our headquarters are located, and we may not be successful in attracting and retaining qualified personnel. We have from time to time in the past experienced, and we expect to continue to experience, difficulty in hiring and retaining highly skilled employees with appropriate qualifications. Our recent hires and planned hires may not become as productive as we expect, and we may be unable to hire, integrate, or retain sufficient numbers of qualified individuals. Many of the companies with which we compete for experienced personnel have greater resources than we have. In addition, in making employment decisions, particularly in the internet and high-technology industries, job candidates often consider the value of the equity they are to receive in connection with their employment. Employees may be more likely to leave us if the shares they own or the shares underlying their equity incentive awards have significantly appreciated or significantly reduced in value. Many of our employees may receive significant proceeds from sales of our equity in the public markets after this offering, which may reduce their motivation to continue to work for us. If we fail to attract new personnel, or fail to retain and motivate our current personnel, our business and growth prospects could be harmed.

Additionally, if we do not maintain and continue to develop our corporate culture as we grow and evolve, it could harm our ability to foster the innovation, creativity, and teamwork we believe that we need to support our growth. Additions of executive-level management and large numbers of employees could significantly and adversely impact our culture.

Our business depends on a strong brand, and if we are not able to maintain and enhance our brand, our ability to expand our base of users will be impaired and our business, results of operations, and financial condition will be harmed.

We believe that our brand identity and awareness have contributed to our success and have helped fuel our efficient go-to-market strategy. We also believe that maintaining and enhancing the Dropbox brand is critical to expanding our base of users. We anticipate that, as our market becomes increasingly competitive, maintaining and enhancing our brand may become increasingly difficult and expensive. Any unfavorable publicity or consumer perception of our platform or the providers of content collaboration solutions generally could adversely affect our reputation and our ability to attract and retain users. Additionally, if we fail to promote and maintain

 

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the Dropbox brand, or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our business, results of operations, and financial condition will be materially and adversely affected.

We are continuing to expand our operations outside the United States, where we may be subject to increased business and economic risks that could impact our results of operations.

We have paying users across 180 countries and approximately half of our revenue in the year ended December 31, 2017 was generated from paying users outside the United States. We expect to continue to expand our international operations, which may include opening offices in new jurisdictions and providing our platform in additional languages. Any new markets or countries into which we attempt to sell subscriptions to our platform may not be receptive. For example, we may not be able to expand further in some markets if we are not able to satisfy certain government- and industry-specific requirements. In addition, our ability to manage our business and conduct our operations internationally requires considerable management attention and resources and is subject to the particular challenges of supporting a rapidly growing business in an environment of multiple languages, cultures, customs, legal and regulatory systems, alternative dispute systems, and commercial markets. International expansion has required, and will continue to require, investment of significant funds and other resources. Operating internationally subjects us to new risks and may increase risks that we currently face, including risks associated with:

 

    recruiting and retaining talented and capable employees outside the United States, and maintaining our company culture across all of our offices;

 

    providing our platform and operating our business across a significant distance, in different languages and among different cultures, including the potential need to modify our platform and features to ensure that they are culturally appropriate and relevant in different countries;

 

    compliance with applicable international laws and regulations, including laws and regulations with respect to privacy, data protection, consumer protection, and unsolicited email, and the risk of penalties to our users and individual members of management or employees if our practices are deemed to be out of compliance;

 

    management of an employee base in jurisdictions that may not give us the same employment and retention flexibility as does the United States;

 

    operating in jurisdictions that do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as does the United States;

 

    compliance by us and our business partners with anti-corruption laws, import and export control laws, tariffs, trade barriers, economic sanctions, and other regulatory limitations on our ability to provide our platform in certain international markets;

 

    foreign exchange controls that might require significant lead time in setting up operations in certain geographic territories and might prevent us from repatriating cash earned outside the United States;

 

    political and economic instability;

 

    double taxation of our international earnings and potentially adverse tax consequences due to changes in the income and other tax laws of the United States or the international jurisdictions in which we operate; and

 

    higher costs of doing business internationally, including increased accounting, travel, infrastructure, and legal compliance costs.

Compliance with laws and regulations applicable to our global operations substantially increases our cost of doing business in international jurisdictions. We may be unable to keep current with changes in laws and regulations as they change. Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to support compliance with these laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that we will always maintain compliance

 

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or that all of our employees, contractors, partners, and agents will comply. Any violations could result in enforcement actions, fines, civil and criminal penalties, damages, injunctions, or reputational harm. If we are unable comply with these laws and regulations or manage the complexity of our global operations successfully, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Our results of operations, which are reported in U.S. dollars, could be adversely affected if currency exchange rates fluctuate substantially in the future.

We conduct our business across 180 countries around the world. As we continue to expand our international operations, we will become more exposed to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates. This exposure is the result of selling in multiple currencies and operating in foreign countries where the functional currency is the local currency. In 2017, 29% of our sales were denominated in currencies other than U.S. dollars. Our expenses, by contrast, are primarily denominated in U.S. dollars. As a result, any increase in the value of the U.S. dollar against these foreign currencies could cause our revenue to decline relative to our costs, thereby decreasing our gross margins. Our results of operations are primarily subject to fluctuations in the euro and British pound sterling. Because we conduct business in currencies other than U.S. dollars, but report our results of operations in U.S. dollars, we also face remeasurement exposure to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could hinder our ability to predict our future results and earnings and could materially impact our results of operations. We do not currently maintain a program to hedge exposures to non-U.S. dollar currencies.

We depend on our infrastructure and third-party datacenters, and any disruption in the operation of these facilities or failure to renew the services could adversely affect our business.

We host our services and serve all of our users using a combination of our own custom-built infrastructure that we lease and operate in co-location facilities and third-party datacenter services such as Amazon Web Services. While we typically control and have access to the servers we operate in co-location facilities and the components of our custom-built infrastructure that are located in those co-location facilities, we control neither the operation of these facilities nor our third-party service providers. Furthermore, we have no physical access or control over the services provided by Amazon Web Services.

Datacenter leases and agreements with the providers of datacenter services expire at various times. The owners of these datacenters and providers of these datacenter services may have no obligation to renew their agreements with us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Problems faced by datacenters, with our third-party datacenter service providers, with the telecommunications network providers with whom we or they contract, or with the systems by which our telecommunications providers allocate capacity among their users, including us, could adversely affect the experience of our users. Our third-party datacenter operators could decide to close their facilities or cease providing services without adequate notice. In addition, any financial difficulties, such as bankruptcy, faced by our third-party datacenters operators or any of the service providers with whom we or they contract may have negative effects on our business, the nature and extent of which are difficult to predict.

If the datacenters and service providers that we use are unable to keep up with our growing needs for capacity, or if we are unable to renew our agreements with datacenters, and service providers on commercially reasonable terms, we may be required to transfer servers or content to new datacenters or engage new service providers, and we may incur significant costs, and possible service interruption in connection with doing so. Any changes in third-party service levels at datacenters or any real or perceived errors, defects, disruptions, or other performance problems with our platform could harm our reputation and may result in damage to, or loss or compromise of, our users’ content. Interruptions in our platform might, among other things, reduce our revenue, cause us to issue refunds to users, subject us to potential liability, harm our reputation, or decrease our renewal rates.

 

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We have relationships with third parties to provide, develop, and create applications that integrate with our platform, and our business could be harmed if we are not able to continue these relationships.

We use software and services licensed and procured from third parties to develop and offer our platform. We may need to obtain future licenses and services from third parties to use intellectual property and technology associated with the development of our platform, which might not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all. Any loss of the right to use any software or services required for the development and maintenance of our platform could result in delays in the provision of our platform until equivalent technology is either developed by us, or, if available from others, is identified, obtained, and integrated, which could harm our platform and business. Any errors or defects in third-party software or services could result in errors or a failure of our platform, which could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

We also depend on our ecosystem of developers to create applications that will integrate with our platform. 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. Our reliance on this ecosystem of developers creates certain business risks relating to the quality of the applications built using our APIs, service interruptions of our platform from these applications, lack of service support for these applications, and possession of intellectual property rights associated with these applications. We may not have the ability to control or prevent these risks. As a result, issues relating to these applications could adversely affect our business, brand, and reputation.

We are subject to a variety of U.S. and international laws that could subject us to claims, increase the cost of operations, or otherwise harm our business due to changes in the laws, changes in the interpretations of the laws, greater enforcement of the laws, or investigations into compliance with the laws.

We are subject to compliance with various laws, including those covering copyright, indecent content, child protection, consumer protection, and similar matters. There have been instances where improper or illegal content has been stored on our platform without our knowledge. As a service provider, we do not regularly monitor our platform to evaluate the legality of content stored on it. While to date we have not been subject to material legal or administrative actions as result of this content, the laws in this area are currently in a state of flux and vary widely between jurisdictions. Accordingly, it may be possible that in the future we and our competitors may be subject to legal actions, along with the users who uploaded such content. In addition, regardless of any legal liability we may face, our reputation could be harmed should there be an incident generating extensive negative publicity about the content stored on our platform. Such publicity could harm our business and results of operations.

We are also subject to consumer protection laws that may impact our sales and marketing efforts, including laws related to subscriptions, billing, and auto-renewal. These laws, as well as any changes in these laws, could adversely affect our self-serve model and make it more difficult for us to retain and upgrade paying users and attract new ones.

Our platform depends on the ability of our users to access the internet and our platform has been blocked or restricted in some countries for various reasons. For example, our platform is blocked in the People’s Republic of China. If we fail to anticipate developments in the law, or fail for any reason to comply with relevant law, our platform could be further blocked or restricted and we could be exposed to significant liability that could harm our business.

We are also subject to various U.S. and international anti-corruption laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act, as well as other similar anti-bribery and anti-kickback laws and regulations. These laws and regulations generally prohibit companies and their employees and intermediaries from authorizing, offering, or providing improper payments or benefits to officials and other recipients for improper purposes. Although we take precautions to prevent violations of these laws, our exposure for violating

 

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these laws increases as we continue to expand our international presence and any failure to comply with such laws could harm our reputation and our business.

We are subject to export and import control laws and regulations that could impair our ability to compete in international markets or subject us to liability if we violate such laws and regulations.

We are subject to U.S. export controls and sanctions regulations that prohibit the shipment or provision of certain products and services to certain countries, governments, and persons targeted by U.S. sanctions. While we take precautions to prevent our products and services from being exported in violation of these laws, including implementing IP address blocking, we cannot guarantee that the precautions we take will prevent violations of export control and sanctions laws. For example, in 2011, we provided certain downloadable portions of our software to international users that, prior to export, required either a one-time product review or application for an encryption registration number in lieu of such product review. These exports were likely made in violation of U.S. export control and sanction laws. In March 2011, we filed a Final Voluntary Self Disclosure with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, or BIS, concerning these potential violations. In June 2012, BIS notified us that it had completed its review of these matters and closed its review with the issuance of a Warning Letter. No monetary penalties were assessed against us by BIS with respect to the 2011 filing. In addition, in 2017, we discovered that our platform has been accessed by certain users in apparent violation of United States sanctions regulations. We filed an Initial Voluntary Self Disclosure in October 2017 with the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, and a Final Voluntary Self Disclosure with OFAC in February 2018. If we are found to be in violation of U.S. sanctions or export control laws, it could result in substantial fines and penalties for us and for the individuals working for us.

In addition, various countries regulate the import and export of certain encryption and other technology, including import and export permitting and licensing requirements, and have enacted laws that could limit our ability to distribute our products or could limit our users’ ability to access our platform in those countries. Changes in our platform or client-side software, or future changes in export and import regulations may prevent our users with international operations from deploying our platform globally or, in some cases, prevent the export or import of our platform to certain countries, governments, or persons altogether. Any change in export or import regulations, economic sanctions or related legislation, or change in the countries, governments, persons or technologies targeted by such regulations, could result in decreased use of our platform by, or in our decreased ability to export or sell subscriptions to our platform to, existing or potential users with international operations. Any decreased use of our platform or limitation on our ability to export or sell our products would likely adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial results.

Our actual or perceived failure to comply with privacy, data protection, and information security laws, regulations, and obligations could harm our business.

We receive, store, process, and use personal information and other user content. There are numerous federal, state, local, and international laws and regulations regarding privacy, data protection, information security, and the storing, sharing, use, processing, transfer, disclosure, and protection of personal information and other content, the scope of which are changing, subject to differing interpretations, and may be inconsistent among countries, or conflict with other rules. We are also subject to the terms of our privacy policies and obligations to third parties related to privacy, data protection, and information security. We strive to comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and other legal obligations relating to privacy, data protection, and information security to the extent possible. However, the regulatory framework for privacy and data protection worldwide is, and is likely to remain, uncertain for the foreseeable future, and it is possible that these or other actual or alleged obligations may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another and may conflict with other rules or our practices.

We also expect that there will continue to be new laws, regulations, and industry standards concerning privacy, data protection, and information security proposed and enacted in various jurisdictions. For example,

 

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European legislators have adopted a General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, that will, when effective in May 2018, supersede current European Union, or EU, data protection legislation, impose more stringent EU data protection requirements, and provide for greater penalties for noncompliance. Further, following a referendum in June 2016 in which voters in the United Kingdom approved an exit from the EU, the United Kingdom government has initiated a process to leave the EU, or Brexit. Brexit has created uncertainty with regard to the regulation of data protection in the United Kingdom. In particular, it is unclear whether the United Kingdom will enact data protection laws or regulations designed to be consistent with the pending EU General Data Protection Regulation and how data transfers to and from the United Kingdom will be regulated. Additionally, although we have self-certified under the U.S.-EU and U.S.-Swiss Privacy Shield Frameworks with regard to our transfer of certain personal data from the EU and Switzerland to the United States, some regulatory uncertainty remains surrounding the future of data transfers from the EU and Switzerland to the United States, and we are closely monitoring regulatory developments in this area.

Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with our privacy policies, our privacy-related obligations to users or other third parties, or any of our other legal obligations relating to privacy, data protection, or information security may result in governmental investigations or enforcement actions, litigation, claims, or public statements against us by consumer advocacy groups or others and could result in significant liability or cause our users to lose trust in us, which could have an adverse effect on our reputation and business. Furthermore, the costs of compliance with, and other burdens imposed by, the laws, regulations, and policies that are applicable to the businesses of our users may limit the adoption and use of, and reduce the overall demand for, our services.

Additionally, if third parties we work with, such as vendors or developers, violate applicable laws or regulations or our policies, such violations may also put our users’ content at risk and could in turn have an adverse effect on our business. Any significant change to applicable laws, regulations, or industry practices regarding the collection, use, retention, security, or disclosure of our users’ content, or regarding the manner in which the express or implied consent of users for the collection, use, retention, or disclosure of such content is obtained, could increase our costs and require us to modify our services and features, possibly in a material manner, which we may be unable to complete, and may limit our ability to store and process user data or develop new services and features.

Our business could be adversely impacted by changes in internet access for our users or laws specifically governing the internet.

Our platform depends on the quality of our users’ access to the internet. Certain features of our platform require significant bandwidth and fidelity to work effectively. Internet access is frequently provided by companies that have significant market power that could take actions that degrade, disrupt or increase the cost of user access to our platform, which would negatively impact our business. We could incur greater operating expenses and our user acquisition and retention could be negatively impacted if network operators:

 

    implement usage-based pricing;

 

    discount pricing for competitive products;

 

    otherwise materially change their pricing rates or schemes;

 

    charge us to deliver our traffic at certain levels or at all;

 

    throttle traffic based on its source or type;

 

    implement bandwidth caps or other usage restrictions; or

 

    otherwise try to monetize or control access to their networks.

On December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the “net neutrality” rules and return to a “light-touch” regulatory framework. However, the repeal has not yet taken effect and a number of parties have already stated their intent to appeal this order; thus, the future impact of such repeal and any

 

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challenge thereto remains uncertain. The rules were designed to ensure that all online content is treated the same by internet service providers and other companies that provide broadband services. Should the repeal of net neutrality rules take effect, we could incur greater operating expenses, which could harm our results of operations.

As the internet continues to experience growth in the number of users, frequency of use, and amount of data transmitted, the internet infrastructure that we and our users rely on may be unable to support the demands placed upon it. The failure of the internet infrastructure that we or our users rely on, even for a short period of time, could undermine our operations and harm our results of operations.

In addition, there are various laws and regulations that could impede the growth of the internet or other online services, and new laws and regulations may be adopted in the future. These laws and regulations could, in addition to limiting internet neutrality, involve taxation, tariffs, privacy, data protection, content, copyrights, distribution, electronic contracts and other communications, consumer protection, and the characteristics and quality of services, any of which could decrease the demand for, or the usage of, our platform. Legislators and regulators may make legal and regulatory changes, or interpret and apply existing laws, in ways that require us to incur substantial costs, expose us to unanticipated civil or criminal liability, or cause us to change our business practices. These changes or increased costs could materially harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

We are currently, and may be in the future, party to intellectual property rights claims and other litigation matters and, if resolved adversely, they could have a significant impact on our business, results of operations, or financial condition.

We own a large number of patents, copyrights, trademarks, domain names, and trade secrets and, from time to time, are subject to litigation based on allegations of infringement, misappropriation or other violations of intellectual property, or other rights. As we face increasing competition and gain an increasingly high profile, the possibility of intellectual property rights claims against us grows. From time to time, we are party to litigation and disputes related to our intellectual property and our platform. The costs of supporting litigation and dispute resolution proceedings are considerable, and there can be no assurances that a favorable outcome will be obtained. We may need to settle litigation and disputes on terms that are unfavorable to us, or we may be subject to an unfavorable judgment that may not be reversible upon appeal. The terms of any settlement or judgment may require us to cease some or all of our operations or pay substantial amounts to the other party. With respect to any intellectual property rights claim, we may have to seek a license to continue practices found to be in violation of third-party rights, which may not be available on reasonable terms and may significantly increase our operating expenses. A license to continue such practices may not be available to us at all, and we may be required to develop alternative non-infringing technology or practices or discontinue the practices. The development of alternative, non-infringing technology or practices could require significant effort and expense. Our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected as a result.

Our failure to protect our intellectual property rights and proprietary information could diminish our brand and other intangible assets.

We rely and expect to continue to rely on a combination of patent, patent licenses, trade secret, and domain name protection, trademark, and copyright laws, as well as confidentiality and license agreements with our employees, consultants, and third parties, to protect our intellectual property and proprietary rights. In the United States and abroad, we have over 600 issued patents and more than 600 pending patent applications. However, third parties may knowingly or unknowingly infringe our proprietary rights, third parties may challenge our proprietary rights, pending and future patent, trademark, and copyright applications may not be approved, and we may not be able to prevent infringement without incurring substantial expense. We have also devoted substantial resources to the development of our proprietary technologies and related processes. In order to protect our proprietary technologies and processes, we rely in part on trade secret laws and confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants, and third parties. These agreements may not effectively prevent disclosure of

 

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confidential information and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of unauthorized disclosure of confidential information. In addition, others may independently discover our trade secrets, in which case we would not be able to assert trade secret rights, or develop similar technologies and processes. Further, laws in certain jurisdictions may afford little or no trade secret protection, and any changes in, or unexpected interpretations of, the intellectual property laws in any country in which we operate may compromise our ability to enforce our intellectual property rights. Costly and time-consuming litigation could be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our proprietary rights. If the protection of our proprietary rights is inadequate to prevent use or appropriation by third parties, the value of our platform, brand, and other intangible assets may be diminished and competitors may be able to more effectively replicate our platform and its features. Any of these events could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our use of open source software could negatively affect our ability to offer and sell subscriptions to our platform and subject us to possible litigation.

A portion of the technologies we use incorporates open source software, and we may incorporate open source software in the future. Open source software is generally licensed by its authors or other third parties under open source licenses. These licenses may subject us to certain unfavorable conditions, including requirements that we offer our platform that incorporates the open source software for no cost, that we make publicly available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon, incorporating or using the open source software, and/or that we license such modifications or derivative works under the terms of the particular open source license. Additionally, if a third-party software provider has incorporated open source software into software that we license from such provider, we could be required to disclose any of our source code that incorporates or is a modification of our licensed software. If an author or other third party that distributes open source software that we use or license were to allege that we had not complied with the conditions of the applicable license, we could be required to incur significant legal expenses defending against those allegations and could be subject to significant damages, enjoined from offering or selling our solutions that contained the open source software, and required to comply with the foregoing conditions. Any of the foregoing could disrupt and harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our ability to sell subscriptions to our platform could be harmed by real or perceived material defects or errors in our platform.

The software technology underlying our platform is inherently complex and may contain material defects or errors, particularly when first introduced or when new features or capabilities are released. We have from time to time found defects or errors in our platform, and new defects or errors in our existing platform or new software may be detected in the future by us or our users. There can be no assurance that our existing platform and new software will not contain defects. Any real or perceived errors, failures, vulnerabilities, or bugs in our platform could result in negative publicity or lead to data security, access, retention, or other performance issues, all of which could harm our business. The costs incurred in correcting such defects or errors may be substantial and could harm our results of operations and financial condition. Moreover, the harm to our reputation and legal liability related to such defects or errors may be substantial and could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

We also utilize hardware purchased or leased and software and services licensed from third parties to offer our platform. Any defects in, or unavailability of, our or third-party software, services, or hardware that cause interruptions to the availability of our services, loss of data, or performance issues could, among other things:

 

    cause a reduction in revenue or delay in market acceptance of our platform;

 

    require us to issue refunds to our users or expose us to claims for damages;

 

    cause us to lose existing users and make it more difficult to attract new users;

 

    divert our development resources or require us to make extensive changes to our platform, which would increase our expenses;

 

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    increase our technical support costs; and

 

    harm our reputation and brand.

We may acquire other businesses or receive offers to be acquired, which could require significant management attention, disrupt our business, or dilute stockholder value.

Part of our business strategy is to make acquisitions of other companies, products, and technologies. We have limited experience in acquisitions. We may not be able to find suitable acquisition candidates and we may not be able to complete acquisitions on favorable terms, if at all. If we do complete acquisitions, we may not ultimately strengthen our competitive position or achieve our goals, and any acquisitions we complete could be viewed negatively by users, developers, or investors. In addition, we may not be able to integrate acquired businesses successfully or effectively manage the combined company following an acquisition. If we fail to successfully integrate our acquisitions, or the people or technologies associated with those acquisitions, into our company, the results of operations of the combined company could be adversely affected. Any integration process will require significant time and resources, require significant attention from management, and disrupt the ordinary functioning of our business, and we may not be able to manage the process successfully, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. In addition, we may not successfully evaluate or utilize the acquired technology and accurately forecast the financial impact of an acquisition transaction, including accounting charges.

We may have to pay cash, incur debt, or issue equity securities to pay for any such acquisition, each of which could affect our financial condition or the value of our capital stock. The sale of equity to finance any such acquisitions could result in dilution to our stockholders. If we incur more debt, it would result in increased fixed obligations and could also subject us to covenants or other restrictions that would impede our ability to flexibly operate our business.

Our business may be significantly impacted by a change in the economy, including any resulting effect on consumer or business spending.

Our business may be affected by changes in the economy generally, including any resulting effect on spending by our business and consumer users. Some of our users may view a subscription to our platform as a discretionary purchase, and our paying users may reduce their discretionary spending on our platform during an economic downturn. If an economic downturn were to occur, we may experience such a reduction in the future, especially in the event of a prolonged recessionary period. As a result, our business, results of operations, and financial condition may be significantly affected by changes in the economy generally.

Our business could be disrupted by catastrophic events.

Occurrence of any catastrophic event, including earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, or other weather event, power loss, telecommunications failure, software or hardware malfunctions, cyber-attack, war, or terrorist attack, could result in lengthy interruptions in our service. In particular, our U.S. headquarters and some of the datacenters we utilize are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for seismic activity, and our insurance coverage may not compensate us for losses that may occur in the event of an earthquake or other significant natural disaster. In addition, acts of terrorism could cause disruptions to the internet or the economy as a whole. Even with our disaster recovery arrangements, our service could be interrupted. If our systems were to fail or be negatively impacted as a result of a natural disaster or other event, our ability to deliver products to our users would be impaired or we could lose critical data. If we are unable to develop adequate plans to ensure that our business functions continue to operate during and after a disaster, and successfully execute on those plans in the event of a disaster or emergency, our business, results of operations, financial condition, and reputation would be harmed.

 

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We may have exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities, which could adversely impact our results of operations.

While to date we have not incurred significant income taxes in operating our business, we are subject to income taxes in the United States and various jurisdictions outside of the United States. Our effective tax rate could fluctuate due to changes in the mix of earnings and losses in countries with differing statutory tax rates. Our tax expense could also be impacted by changes in non-deductible expenses, changes in excess tax benefits of stock-based compensation, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities and our ability to utilize them, the applicability of withholding taxes and effects from acquisitions.

Our tax provision could also be impacted by changes in accounting principles, changes in U.S. federal, state, or international tax laws applicable to corporate multinationals such as the recent legislation enacted in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, other fundamental law changes currently being considered by many countries, and changes in taxing jurisdictions’ administrative interpretations, decisions, policies, and positions. Additionally, in October 2015, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development released final guidance covering various topics, including transfer pricing, country-by-country reporting, and definitional changes to permanent establishment that could ultimately impact our tax liabilities.

We are subject to review and audit by U.S. federal, state, local, and foreign tax authorities. Such tax authorities may disagree with tax positions we take and if any such tax authority were to successfully challenge any such position, our financial results and operations could be materially and adversely affected. We may also be subject to additional tax liabilities due to changes in non-income based taxes resulting from changes in federal, state, or international tax laws, changes in taxing jurisdictions’ administrative interpretations, decisions, policies, and positions, results of tax examinations, settlements or judicial decisions, changes in accounting principles, changes to the business operations, including acquisitions, as well as the evaluation of new information that results in a change to a tax position taken in a prior period.

Our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be limited.

As of December 31, 2017, we had $312.2 million of federal and $143.0 million of state net operating loss carryforwards available to reduce future taxable income, which will begin to expire in 2031 for federal and 2030 for state tax purposes. As of December 31, 2017, we also had $289.3 million of foreign net operating loss carryforwards available to reduce future taxable income, which will carryforward indefinitely. In addition, we had $22.9 million of foreign acquired net operating losses, which will carryforward indefinitely. It is possible that we will not generate taxable income in time to use these net operating loss carryforwards before their expiration or at all. Under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change,” the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards and other pre-change attributes, such as research tax credits, to offset its post-change income may be limited. In general, an “ownership change” will occur if there is a cumulative change in our ownership by “5-percent shareholders” that exceeds 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. Similar rules may apply under state tax laws. We performed a study for the period through December 31, 2017, and determined that no ownership changes exceeding 50 percentage points had occurred. Our ability to use net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards to reduce future taxable income and liabilities may be subject to annual limitations as a result of ownership changes from January 1, 2018, and subsequent years or as a result of this offering.

Our operating results may be harmed if we are required to collect sales or other related taxes for our subscription services in jurisdictions where we have not historically done so.

We collect sales and value-added tax as part of our subscription agreements in a number of jurisdictions. One or more states or countries may seek to impose incremental or new sales, use, or other tax collection obligations on us, including for past sales by us or our resellers and other partners. A successful assertion by a state, country, or other jurisdiction that we should have been or should be collecting additional sales, use, or other

 

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taxes on our services could, among other things, result in substantial tax liabilities for past sales, create significant administrative burdens for us, discourage users from purchasing our platform, or otherwise harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our results of operations and financial condition could be materially affected by the enactment of legislation implementing changes in the U.S. or foreign taxation of international business activities or the adoption of other tax reform policies.

On December 22, 2017, the legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or the Tax Reform Act, was enacted, which contains significant changes to U.S. tax law, including, but not limited to, a reduction in the corporate tax rate and a transition to a new territorial system of taxation. The primary impact of the new legislation on our provision for income taxes was a reduction of the future tax benefits of our deferred tax assets as a result of the reduction in the corporate tax rate. However, since we have recorded a full valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets, we do not currently anticipate that these changes will have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. The impact of the Tax Reform Act will likely be subject to ongoing technical guidance and accounting interpretation, which we will continue to monitor and assess. Provisional accounting impacts may change in future reporting periods until the accounting analysis is finalized, which will occur no later than one year from the date the Tax Reform Act was enacted. As we expand the scale of our international business activities, any changes in the U.S. or foreign taxation of such activities may increase our worldwide effective tax rate and harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.

As a public company, we will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the rules and regulations of the applicable listing standards of the Nasdaq Global Select Market, or Nasdaq. We expect that the requirements of these rules and regulations will continue to increase our legal, accounting, and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming and costly, and place significant strain on our personnel, systems, and resources.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. We are continuing to develop and refine our disclosure controls and other procedures that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we will file with the SEC is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in SEC rules and forms and that information required to be disclosed in reports under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to our principal executive and financial officers. We are also continuing to improve our internal control over financial reporting. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, we have expended, and anticipate that we will continue to expend, significant resources, including accounting-related costs and significant management oversight.

Our current controls and any new controls that we develop may become inadequate because of changes in conditions in our business. Further, weaknesses in our disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting may be discovered in the future. Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement could harm our results of operations or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and may result in a restatement of our financial statements for prior periods. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting also could adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual independent registered public accounting firm attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting that we will eventually be required to include in our periodic reports that will be filed with the SEC. Ineffective disclosure

 

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controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial and other information, which would likely have a negative effect on the trading price of our Class A common stock. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on Nasdaq. We are not currently required to comply with the SEC rules that implement Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and are therefore not required to make a formal assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for that purpose. As a public company, we will be required to provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting commencing with our second annual report on Form 10-K.

Our independent registered public accounting firm is not required to formally attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until our first annual report filed with the SEC where we are an “accelerated filer” or a “large accelerated filer”. At such time, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue a report that is adverse in the event it is not satisfied with the level at which our internal control over financial reporting is documented, designed, or operating. Any failure to maintain effective disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition and could cause a decline in the trading price of our Class A common stock.

Although we ceased to be an “emerging growth company,” we can continue to take advantage of certain reduced disclosure requirements in this registration statement, which may make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.

We ceased to be an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act, on December 31, 2017. However, because we ceased to be an “emerging growth company” after we confidentially submitted our registration statement related to this offering to the SEC, we will continue to be treated as an “emerging growth company” for certain purposes until the earlier of the date on which we complete this offering or December 31, 2018. As such, we have taken advantage of certain reduced disclosure obligations regarding selected financial data and executive compensation arrangements in our registration statement related to this offering that are not available to non-emerging growth companies. We cannot predict if investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive because we have relied on these exemptions. If some investors find our Class A common stock less attractive as a result, there may be less demand for our Class A common stock and the price that some investors are willing to pay for our Class A common stock may decrease.

Our reported results of operations may be adversely affected by changes in accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.

Generally accepted accounting principles in the United States are subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, the SEC, and various bodies formed to promulgate and interpret appropriate accounting principles. A change in these principles or interpretations could have a significant effect on our reported results of operations, and may even affect the reporting of transactions completed before the announcement or effectiveness of a change. For example, in May 2014, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update, or ASU, No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), or Topic 606, which superseded nearly all existing revenue recognition guidance. We adopted the requirements of Topic 606 as of January 1, 2017, utilizing the full retrospective method of transition. As such, Topic 606 is reflected in our financial results for all periods presented in this prospectus. The adoption of Topic 606 primarily resulted in changes to our accounting policies for revenue recognition and deferred commissions, which we believe to be critical accounting policies. While the impact of adopting Topic 606 on our revenue was not material, it is difficult to predict the impact of future changes to accounting principles or our accounting policies, any of which could negatively affect our results of operations.

 

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We recently implemented a new enterprise resource planning system, and if this new system proves ineffective or if we experience issues with the transition, we may be unable to timely or accurately prepare financial reports, make payments to our suppliers and employees, or invoice and collect from our users.

In 2017, we implemented a new enterprise resource planning, or ERP, system, including our systems for tracking revenue recognition. Our ERP system is critical to our ability to accurately maintain books and records and to prepare our financial statements. The transition to our new ERP system may be disruptive to our business if the ERP system does not work as planned or if we experience issues relating to the implementation. Such disruptions could impact our ability to timely or accurately make payments to our suppliers and employees, and could also inhibit our ability to invoice, and collect from our users. Data integrity problems or other issues may be discovered which, if not corrected, could impact our business or financial results. In addition, we may experience periodic or prolonged disruption of our financial functions arising out of this conversion, general use of such system, other periodic upgrades or updates, or other external factors that are outside of our control. If we encounter unforeseen problems with our ERP system or other related systems and infrastructure, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Certain of our market opportunity estimates, growth forecasts, and key metrics included in this prospectus could prove to be inaccurate, and any real or perceived inaccuracies may harm our reputation and negatively affect our business.

Market opportunity estimates and growth forecasts are subject to significant uncertainty and are based on assumptions and estimates that may not prove to be accurate. The estimates and forecasts in this prospectus relating to the size and expected growth of our target market may prove to be inaccurate. Even if the markets in which we compete meet the size estimates and growth forecasted in this prospectus, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, if at all. We also rely on assumptions and estimates to calculate certain of our key metrics, such as paying users, average revenue per paying user, and free cash flow. We regularly review and may adjust our processes for calculating our key metrics to improve their accuracy. Our key metrics may differ from estimates published by third parties or from similarly titled metrics of our competitors due to differences in methodology. We have found that aggregate user activity metrics are not leading indicators of revenue or conversion. For that reason, we do not comprehensively track user activity across the Dropbox platform for financial planning and forecasting purposes. If investors or analysts do not perceive our metrics to be accurate representations of our business, or if we discover material inaccuracies in our metrics, our reputation, business, results of operations, and financial condition would be harmed.

Our revolving credit facility provides our lenders with a first-priority lien against substantially all of our intellectual property and certain other assets, and contains financial covenants and other restrictions on our actions that may limit our operational flexibility or otherwise adversely affect our results of operations.

We are party to a revolving credit and guarantee agreement, as amended, which contains a number of covenants that limit our ability and our subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things, incur additional indebtedness, pay dividends, make redemptions and repurchases of stock, make investments, loans and acquisitions, create liens, engage in transactions with affiliates, merge or consolidate with other companies, or sell substantially all of our assets. We are also required to maintain certain financial covenants, including a maximum consolidated leverage ratio and a minimum liquidity balance. The terms of our revolving credit facility may restrict our current and future operations and could adversely affect our ability to finance our future operations or capital needs or to execute preferred business strategies. In addition, complying with these covenants may make it more difficult for us to successfully execute our business strategy and compete against companies who are not subject to such restrictions.

A failure by us to comply with the covenants or payment requirements specified in our credit agreement, as amended, could result in an event of default under the agreement, which would give the lenders the right to terminate their commitments to provide additional loans under our revolving credit facility and to declare all

 

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borrowings outstanding, together with accrued and unpaid interest and fees, to be immediately due and payable. In addition, the lenders would have the right to proceed against the collateral we granted to them, which consists of substantially all our intellectual property and certain other assets. If the debt under our revolving credit facility were to be accelerated, we may not have sufficient cash or be able to borrow sufficient funds to refinance the debt or sell sufficient assets to repay the debt, which could immediately materially and adversely affect our business, cash flows, results of operations, and financial condition. Even if we were able to obtain new financing, it may not be on commercially reasonable terms or on terms that are acceptable to us.

Our operations may be interrupted and our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected if we default on our leasing or credit obligations.

We finance a significant portion of our expenditures through leasing arrangements, some of which are not required to be reflected on our balance sheet, and we may enter into additional similar arrangements in the future. As of December 31, 2017, we had an aggregate of $1,687.0 million of commitments to settle contractual obligations. In particular, we have used these types of arrangements to finance some of our equipment and datacenters. In addition, we may draw upon our revolving credit facility to finance our operations or for other corporate purposes, such as funding our tax withholding and remittance obligations in connection with the settlement of restricted stock units, or RSUs. If we default on these leasing or credit obligations, our leasing partners and lenders may, among other things:

 

    require repayment of any outstanding lease obligations;

 

    terminate our leasing arrangements;

 

    terminate our access to the leased datacenters we utilize;

 

    stop delivery of ordered equipment;

 

    sell or require us to return our leased equipment;

 

    require repayment of any outstanding amounts drawn on our revolving credit facility;

 

    terminate our revolving credit facility; or

 

    require us to pay significant fees, penalties, or damages.

In October 2017, we entered into a new lease agreement to rent office space in San Francisco, California, to serve as our new corporate headquarters. The total minimum obligations under this lease agreement are expected to be approximately $827.0 million. Before moving to our new corporate headquarters, we will continue to operate in our current corporate headquarters, during which time we will be incurring rent expense on both our current and new corporate headquarters. After moving to our new corporate headquarters, we plan to vacate our current corporate headquarters with the intention of subleasing the space to a third-party for the remainder of the lease term, which terminates in the third quarter of 2027. If we are unable to find sublessors for all or a portion of our current corporate headquarters, our results of operations will be adversely impacted as a result of this additional rent expense through 2027.

If some or all of these events were to occur, our operations may be interrupted and our ability to fund our operations or obligations, as well as our business, results of operations, and financial condition, could be adversely affected.

We may need additional capital, and we cannot be certain that additional financing will be available on favorable terms, or at all.

Historically, we have funded our operations and capital expenditures primarily through equity issuances, cash generated from our operations, and debt financing for capital purchases. Although we currently anticipate that our existing cash and cash equivalents, amounts available under our existing credit facilities, and cash flow

 

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from operations will be sufficient to meet our cash needs for the foreseeable future, we may require additional financing. We evaluate financing opportunities from time to time, and our ability to obtain financing will depend, among other things, on our development efforts, business plans, operating performance, and condition of the capital markets at the time we seek financing. We cannot assure you that additional financing will be available to us on favorable terms when required, or at all. If we raise additional funds through the issuance of equity or equity-linked or debt securities, those securities may have rights, preferences or privileges senior to the rights of our Class A common stock, and our stockholders may experience dilution.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock

An active trading market for our Class A common stock may never develop or be sustained.

We have applied to list our Class A common stock on Nasdaq under the symbol “DBX”. However, we cannot assure you that an active trading market for our Class A common stock will develop on that exchange or elsewhere or, if developed, that any market will be sustained. Accordingly, we cannot assure you of the likelihood that an active trading market for our Class A common stock will develop or be maintained, the liquidity of any trading market, your ability to sell your shares of our Class A common stock when desired or the prices that you may obtain for your shares.

The trading price of our Class A common stock may be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for shares of our Class A common stock. The initial public offering price of our Class A common stock was determined through negotiation among us, the selling stockholders, and the underwriters. This price does not necessarily reflect the price at which investors in the market will be willing to buy and sell shares of our Class A common stock following this offering. In addition, the trading price of our Class A common stock following this offering is likely to be volatile and could be subject to fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control. These fluctuations could cause you to lose all or part of your investment in our Class A common stock since you might be unable to sell your shares at or above the price you paid in this offering. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the trading price of our Class A common stock include the following:

 

    price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;

 

    volatility in the trading prices and trading volumes of technology stocks;

 

    changes in operating performance and stock market valuations of other technology companies generally, or those in our industry in particular;

 

    sales of shares of our Class A common stock by us or our stockholders;

 

    failure of securities analysts to maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by securities analysts who follow our company, or our failure to meet these estimates or the expectations of investors;

 

    the financial projections we may provide to the public, any changes in those projections, or our failure to meet those projections;

 

    announcements by us or our competitors of new products, features, or services;

 

    the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements, and filings with the SEC;

 

    rumors and market speculation involving us or other companies in our industry;

 

    actual or anticipated changes in our results of operations or fluctuations in our results of operations;

 

    actual or anticipated developments in our business, our competitors’ businesses or the competitive landscape generally;

 

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    litigation involving us, our industry, or both, or investigations by regulators into our operations or those of our competitors;

 

    developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property or other proprietary rights;

 

    announced or completed acquisitions of businesses, products, services, or technologies by us or our competitors;

 

    new laws or regulations or new interpretations of existing laws or regulations applicable to our business;

 

    changes in accounting standards, policies, guidelines, interpretations, or principles;

 

    any significant change in our management; and

 

    general economic conditions and slow or negative growth of our markets.

In addition, in the past, following periods of volatility in the overall market and the market price of a particular company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against these companies. This litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources.

The multi-class structure of our common stock will have the effect of concentrating voting control with those stockholders who held our capital stock prior to the completion of this offering, and it may depress the trading price of our Class A common stock.

Our Class A common stock, which is the stock we are offering in this offering, has one vote per share, our Class B common stock has ten votes per share, and our Class C common stock has no voting rights, except as otherwise required by law. Following this offering, our directors, executive officers and holders of more than 5% of our common stock, and their respective affiliates, will hold in the aggregate     % of the voting power of our capital stock (including the Co-Founder Grants). We are including the Co-Founder Grants in this calculation since our co-founders are able to vote these shares immediately upon grant and prior to their vesting. Because of the ten-to-one voting ratio between our Class B and Class A common stock, the holders of our Class B common stock collectively will continue to control a majority of the combined voting power of our common stock and therefore be able to control all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval. This concentrated control will limit or preclude your ability to influence corporate matters for the foreseeable future, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transaction requiring stockholder approval. In addition, this may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our capital stock that you may feel are in your best interest as one of our stockholders.

Future transfers by holders of Class B common stock will generally result in those shares converting to Class A common stock, subject to limited exceptions, such as certain transfers effected for estate planning purposes and transfers between our co-founders. The conversion of Class B common stock to Class A common stock will have the effect, over time, of increasing the relative voting power of those individual holders of Class B common stock who retain their shares in the long term. In addition, because our Class C common stock carries no voting rights (except as otherwise required by law), if we issue Class C common stock in the future, the holders of Class B common stock may be able to elect all of our directors and to determine the outcome of most matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders for a longer period of time than would be the case if we issued Class A common stock rather than Class C common stock in such transactions. See the section titled “Description of Capital Stock—Anti-Takeover Provisions” for additional information.

In addition, in July 2017, FTSE Russell and Standard & Poor’s announced that they would cease to allow most newly public companies utilizing dual or multi-class capital structures to be included in their indices. Affected indices include the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400, and S&P SmallCap 600, which

 

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together make up the S&P Composite 1500. Under the announced policies, our multi-class capital structure would make us ineligible for inclusion in any of these indices, and as a result, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and other investment vehicles that attempt to passively track these indices will not be investing in our stock. These policies are very new and it is as of yet unclear what effect, if any, they will have on the valuations of publicly traded companies excluded from the indices, but it is possible that they may depress these valuations compared to those of other similar companies that are included.

A substantial portion of the outstanding shares of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock after this offering will be restricted from immediate resale, but may be sold on a stock exchange in the near future. The large number of shares of our capital stock eligible for public sale or subject to rights requiring us to register them for public sale could depress the market price of our Class A common stock.

The market price of our Class A common stock could decline as a result of sales of a large number of shares of our Class A common stock in the market after this offering, and the perception that these sales could occur may also depress the market price of our Class A common stock. Based on 17,727,212 shares of our Class A common stock (including the Capital Stock Conversions) and 522,752,944 shares of our Class B common stock (including the Capital Stock Conversions and the RSU Settlement) outstanding as of December 31, 2017, we will have              shares of our Class A common stock and              shares Class B common stock outstanding after this offering. Our executive officers, directors, and the holders of substantially all of our capital stock and securities convertible into or exchangeable for our capital stock have entered into market standoff agreements with us or have entered or will enter into lock-up agreements with the underwriters under which they have agreed or will agree, subject to specific exceptions, not to sell any of our stock for 180 days following the date of this prospectus. We refer to such period as the lock-up period. Pursuant to the lock-up agreements with the underwriters, if (i) at least 120 days have elapsed since the date of this prospectus, (ii) we have publicly released our earnings results for the quarterly period during which this offering occurred, and (iii) such lock-up period is scheduled to end during or within five trading days prior to a broadly applicable period during which trading in our securities would not be permitted under our insider trading policy, or a blackout period, such lock-up period will end ten trading days prior to the commencement of such blackout period. We and the underwriters may release certain stockholders from the market standoff agreements or lock-up agreements prior to the end of the lock-up period.

As a result of these agreements and the provisions of our investors’ rights agreement described further in the section titled “Description of Capital Stock—Registration Rights,” and subject to the provisions of Rule 144 or Rule 701, shares of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock will be available for sale in the public market as follows:

 

    beginning on the date of this prospectus, all shares of our Class A common stock sold in this offering will be immediately available for sale in the public market; and

 

    beginning 181 days after the date of this prospectus (subject to the terms of the lock-up agreements and market standoff agreements described above), the remainder of the shares of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock will be eligible for sale in the public market from time to time thereafter, subject in some cases to the volume and other restrictions of Rule 144, as described below.

Upon completion of this offering, stockholders owning an aggregate of up to 220,965,979 shares of our Class B common stock and 387,934 shares of our Class A common stock will be entitled, under our investors’ rights agreement, to require us to register shares owned by them for public sale in the United States. In addition, we intend to file a registration statement to register shares reserved for future issuance under our equity compensation plans. Upon effectiveness of that registration statement, subject to the satisfaction of applicable exercise periods and the expiration or waiver of the market standoff agreements and lock-up agreements referred to above, the shares issued upon exercise of outstanding stock options or upon settlement of outstanding RSU awards will be available for immediate resale in the United States in the open market.

 

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Sales of our shares as restrictions end or pursuant to registration rights may make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate. These sales also could cause the trading price of our Class A common stock to fall and make it more difficult for you to sell shares of our Class A common stock.

If you purchase our Class A common stock in this offering, you will incur immediate and substantial dilution.

The initial public offering price is substantially higher than the pro forma net tangible book value per share of our outstanding common stock of $         per share as of December 31, 2017. Investors purchasing shares of our Class A common stock in this offering will pay a price per share that substantially exceeds the book value of our tangible assets after subtracting our liabilities. As a result, investors purchasing Class A common stock in this offering will incur immediate dilution of $         per share, based on the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus.

This dilution is due to the substantially lower price paid by our investors who purchased shares prior to this offering as compared to the price offered to the public in this offering, and any previous exercise of stock options granted to our service providers. In addition, as of December 31, 2017, options to purchase 7,439,253 shares of our Class B common stock with a weighted-average exercise price of approximately $7.01 per share were outstanding as well as 25,061,536 shares of our Class A common stock and 57,329,003 shares of our Class B common stock subject to RSUs. The exercise of any of these options and settlement of any of these RSUs would result in additional dilution. Our Board of Directors has approved the acceleration of the Performance Vesting Condition for 39,088,766 RSUs (which are included in the 57,329,003 shares of our Class B common stock subject to RSUs referenced above) for which the service condition was satisfied as of December 31, 2017, to occur upon the effectiveness of our registration statement related to this offering, which will result in the net issuance of 23,844,147 shares of our Class B common stock upon the RSU Settlement. As a result of the dilution to investors purchasing shares in this offering, investors may receive less than the purchase price paid in this offering, if anything, in the event of our liquidation.

We have broad discretion over the use of the net proceeds from this offering and we may not use them effectively.

We cannot specify with any certainty the particular uses of the net proceeds that we will receive from this offering. Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from this offering, including for any of the purposes described in “Use of Proceeds,” and you will not have the opportunity as part of your investment decision to assess whether the net proceeds are being used appropriately. Because of the number and variability of factors that will determine our use of the net proceeds from this offering, their ultimate use may vary substantially from their currently intended use. The failure by our management to apply these proceeds effectively could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Pending their use, we may invest our proceeds in a manner that does not produce income or that loses value. Our investments may not yield a favorable return to our investors and may negatively impact the price of our Class A common stock.

Delaware law and provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation and restated bylaws could make a merger, tender offer, or proxy contest difficult, thereby depressing the market price of our Class A common stock.

Our status as a Delaware corporation and the anti-takeover provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law may discourage, delay, or prevent a change in control by prohibiting us from engaging in a business combination with an interested stockholder for a period of three years after the person becomes an interested stockholder, even if a change of control would be beneficial to our existing stockholders. In addition, our restated certificate of incorporation and restated bylaws contain provisions that may make the acquisition of our company more difficult, including the following:

 

    any transaction that would result in a change in control of our company requires the approval of a majority of our outstanding Class B common stock voting as a separate class;

 

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    our multi-class common stock structure, which provides our holders of Class B common stock with the ability to significantly influence the outcome of matters requiring stockholder approval, even if they own significantly less than a majority of the shares of our outstanding Class A common stock, Class B common stock, and Class C common stock;

 

    our Board of Directors is classified into three classes of directors with staggered three-year terms and directors are only able to be removed from office for cause;

 

    certain amendments to our restated certificate of incorporation or restated bylaws will require the approval of 80% of the combined vote of our then-outstanding shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock;

 

    our stockholders will only be able to take action at a meeting of stockholders and not by written consent; and

 

    vacancies on our Board of Directors will be able to be filled only by our Board of Directors and not by stockholders;

 

    only our chairman of the Board of Directors, chief executive officer, or a majority of Board of Directors are authorized to call a special meeting of stockholders;

 

    certain litigation against us can only be brought in Delaware;

 

    our restated certificate of incorporation authorizes undesignated preferred stock, the terms of which may be established and shares of which may be issued, without the approval of the holders of Class A common stock; and

 

    advance notice procedures apply for stockholders to nominate candidates for election as directors or to bring matters before an annual meeting of stockholders.

These anti-takeover defenses could discourage, delay, or prevent a transaction involving a change in control of our company. These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for stockholders to elect directors of their choosing and to cause us to take other corporate actions they desire, any of which, under certain circumstances, could limit the opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their shares of our capital stock, and could also affect the price that some investors are willing to pay for our Class A common stock.

Our amended and restated bylaws will designate a state or federal court located within the State of Delaware as the exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, and also provide that the federal district courts will be the exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act, each of which could limit our stockholders’ ability to choose the judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or employees.

Our amended and restated bylaws, which will become effective immediately prior to the completion of this offering, will provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the sole and exclusive forum for (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, or other employees to us or our stockholders, (3) any action arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or the certificate of incorporation or the amended and restated bylaws or (4) any other action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine shall be a state or federal court located within the State of Delaware, in all cases subject to the court’s having jurisdiction over indispensable parties named as defendants.

Our amended and restated bylaws will also provide that the federal district courts of the United States of America will be the exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act.

 

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Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our Class A common stock shall be deemed to have notice of and consented to this provision. These exclusive-forum provisions may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum of its choosing for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or other employees, which may discourage lawsuits against us and our directors, officers, and other employees. If a court were to find either exclusive-forum provision in our amended and restated bylaws to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving the dispute in other jurisdictions, which could harm our results of operations.

Affiliates of two of the underwriters in this offering will receive at least 5% of the net proceeds of this offering and have an interest in this offering beyond customary underwriting discounts and commissions.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are underwriters in this offering and their affiliates will receive at least 5% of the net proceeds of this offering in connection with our repayment of $             that is expected to be outstanding under our revolving credit facility immediately prior to the completion of this offering. As such, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are each deemed to have a “conflict of interest” under Rule 5121 of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., or Rule 5121. Accordingly, this offering will be made in compliance with the applicable provisions of Rule 5121. This rule requires, among other things, that a “qualified independent underwriter” has participated in the preparation of, and has exercised the usual standards of “due diligence” with respect to, the registration statement.              has agreed to act as qualified independent underwriter for this offering and to undertake the legal responsibilities and liabilities of an underwriter under the Securities Act.              will not receive any additional fees for serving as qualified independent underwriter in connection with this offering. Although              has, in its capacity as qualified independent underwriter, participated in due diligence and the preparation of this prospectus and the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, we cannot assure you that this will adequately address all potential conflicts of interest. We have agreed to indemnify              against liabilities incurred in connection with acting as qualified independent underwriter, including liabilities under the Securities Act. Pursuant to FINRA Rule 5121, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC will not confirm sales of securities to any account over which it exercises discretionary authority without the prior written approval of the customer. See “Underwriting (Conflicts of Interest)” for additional information.

Our Class A common stock market price and trading volume could decline if securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business.

The trading market for our Class A common stock will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. The analysts’ estimates are based upon their own opinions and are often different from our estimates or expectations. If one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrade our Class A common stock or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the price of our securities would likely decline. If few securities analysts commence coverage of us, or if one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our securities could decrease, which might cause the price and trading volume of our Class A common stock to decline.

We do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.

We have never declared nor paid cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain any future earnings to finance the operation and expansion of our business, and we do not expect to declare or pay any dividends in the foreseeable future. As a result, stockholders must rely on sales of their Class A common stock after price appreciation as the only way to realize any future gains on their investment. In addition, our revolving credit facility contains restrictions on our ability to pay dividends.

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, which statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or our future financial or operating performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” or “continue” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations, strategy, plans, or intentions. Forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus include, but are not limited to, statements about:

 

    our ability to retain and upgrade paying users;

 

    our ability to attract new users or convert registered users to paying users;

 

    our future financial performance, including trends in revenue, costs of revenue, gross profit or gross margin, operating expenses, paying users, and free cash flow;

 

    our ability to achieve or maintain profitability;

 

    the demand for our platform or for content collaboration solutions in general;

 

    possible harm caused by significant disruption of service or loss or unauthorized access to users’ content;

 

    our ability to effectively integrate our platform with others;

 

    our ability to compete successfully in competitive markets;

 

    our ability to respond to rapid technological changes;

 

    our expectations and management of future growth;

 

    our ability to grow due to our lack of a significant outbound sales force;

 

    our ability to attract large organizations as users;

 

    our ability to offer high-quality customer support;

 

    our ability to manage our international expansion;

 

    our ability to attract and retain key personnel and highly qualified personnel;

 

    our ability to protect our brand;

 

    our ability to prevent serious errors or defects in our platform;

 

    our ability to maintain, protect, and enhance our intellectual property;

 

    our ability to successfully identify, acquire, and integrate companies and assets;

 

    the increased expenses associated with being a public company; and

 

    our anticipated uses of net proceeds from this offering.

We caution you that the foregoing list may not contain all of the forward-looking statements made in this prospectus.

You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to risks,

 

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uncertainties and other factors described in the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus. We cannot assure you that the results, events, and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur, and actual results, events, or circumstances could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements made in this prospectus relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this prospectus to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this prospectus or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures, or investments we may make.

In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this prospectus, and while we believe such information forms a reasonable basis for such statements, such information may be limited or incomplete, and our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.

 

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INDUSTRY AND MARKET DATA

This prospectus contains estimates and information concerning our industry, including market size of the markets in which we participate, that are based on industry publications and reports. This information involves a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to these estimates. We have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the data contained in these industry publications and reports. The markets in which we operate are subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in the section titled “Risk Factors.” These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in these publications and reports.

The source of certain statistical data, estimates and forecasts contained in this prospectus are the following independent industry publications or reports:

 

    Gartner, Inc., Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms, July 2017.*

 

    International Data Corporation, Inc., Market Forecast: Worldwide Collaborative Applications Forecast, 2017-2021: Creating Productivity Growth with Customer Experience, July 2017.

 

    International Data Corporation, Inc., Market Forecast: Worldwide Project and Portfolio Management Forecast, 2017-2021: Agile Governance in the Cloud Drives Market, June 2017.

 

    International Data Corporation, Inc., Market Forecast: Worldwide Enterprise Content Management Software Forecast, 2017-2021, May 2017.

 

    International Data Corporation, Inc., IDC’s Forecast Scenario Assumptions for the ICT Markets and Historical Market Values and Exchange Rates, Version 1, March 2017.

 

    International Data Corporation, Inc., Market Forecast: Worldwide Storage for Public and Private Cloud Forecast 2016-2020, December 2016.

 

    International Data Corporation, Inc., EFSS Evaluation Guide: Dropbox Sync Performance, July 2016.

 

    International Data Corporation, Inc., Knowledge Worker Outlook on Content Managed Systems, June 2016.

 

    McKinsey Global Institute, The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity Through Social Technologies, July 2012.

 

    Deloitte Consulting LLP, Transitioning to the Future of Work and the Workplace: Embracing Digital Culture, Tools and Approaches, A White Paper on the Future of Work Research Study, 2016.

 

*  The Gartner Report described herein, or the Gartner Report, represents research opinion or viewpoints published, as part of a syndicated subscription service, by Gartner, Inc., or Gartner, and are not representations of fact. The Gartner Report speaks as of its original publication date (and not as of the date of this prospectus), and the opinions expressed in the Gartner Report are subject to change without notice. Gartner has advised us that it does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner has advised us that it disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that the net proceeds to us from the sale of shares of our Class A common stock in this offering will be approximately $        , based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. If the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from us is exercised in full, we estimate that the net proceeds to us would be approximately $        , after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of Class A common stock in this offering by the selling stockholders.

Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease the net proceeds that we receive from this offering by approximately $        , assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us. Similarly, each increase or decrease of 1.0 million in the number of shares of our Class A common stock offered by us would increase or decrease the net proceeds that we receive from this offering by approximately $        , assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us.

The principal purposes of this offering are to increase our capitalization and financial flexibility, create a public market for our Class A common stock, and enable access to the public equity markets for us and our stockholders.

We intend to use a portion of the net proceeds we receive from this offering to repay $         that is expected to be outstanding immediately prior to the completion of this offering under our revolving credit facility, which we intend to draw down prior to the completion of this offering to satisfy tax withholding and remittance obligations of $         related to the RSU Settlement. This amount is based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. See the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources” for additional information regarding our revolving credit facility.

We also intend to use the net proceeds we receive from this offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses, and capital expenditures. Additionally, we may use a portion of the net proceeds we receive from this offering to acquire businesses, products, services, or technologies. However, we do not have agreements or commitments for any material acquisitions at this time. We cannot specify with certainty the particular uses of the net proceeds that we will receive from this offering. Accordingly, we will have broad discretion in using these proceeds. Pending the use of proceeds from this offering as described above, we may invest the net proceeds that we receive in this offering in short-term, investment grade, interest-bearing instruments.

 

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DIVIDEND POLICY

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain any future earnings and do not expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to declare cash dividends will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors, subject to applicable laws, and will depend on a number of factors, including our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, contractual restrictions, general business conditions, and other factors that our Board of Directors may deem relevant. In addition, the terms of our revolving credit facility place certain limitations on the amount of cash dividends we can pay, even if no amounts are currently outstanding.

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth cash and cash equivalents, as well as our capitalization, as of December 31, 2017, as follows:

 

    on an actual basis;

 

    on a pro forma basis, giving effect to (i) the Capital Stock Conversions, as if such conversions had occurred on December 31, 2017, (ii) the filing and effectiveness of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation in Delaware that will become effective immediately prior to the completion of this offering, (iii) stock-based compensation expense of $415.6 million associated with the RSU Settlement, (iv) the net issuance of 23,844,147 shares of our Class B common stock upon the RSU Settlement, (v) the borrowing of $     under our revolving credit facility to satisfy our tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the RSU Settlement, and (vi) a cash payment of $             to satisfy our tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the RSU Settlement, which amounts in (v) and (vi) are based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus; and

 

    on a pro forma as adjusted basis, giving effect to (i) the pro forma adjustments set forth above, (ii) the sale and issuance by us of              shares of our Class A common stock in this offering, based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, (iii) the conversion of              shares of our Class B common stock held by certain selling stockholders into an equivalent number of shares of our Class A common stock upon the sale by the selling stockholders in this offering, and (iv) the use of proceeds from the offering to repay $     drawn down under our revolving credit facility to satisfy our tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the RSU Settlement.

 

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The pro forma as adjusted information set forth in the table below is illustrative only and will be adjusted based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. You should read this table together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes, and the sections titled “Selected Consolidated Financial and Other Data” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” that are included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     As of December 31, 2017  
     Actual     Pro
forma(1)
     Pro
forma as
adjusted(2)
 
     (In millions, except share and per
share data)
 

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 430.0     $      $  
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Revolving credit facility

   $ —       $      $  

Stockholders’ equity:

       

Convertible preferred stock, par value $0.00001 per share: 226,818,439 shares authorized, 221,353,913 issued and outstanding, actual; no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, pro forma, and pro forma as adjusted

     615.3          —    

Preferred stock, par value $0.00001 per share: no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;              shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding, pro forma, and pro forma as adjusted

     —            —    

Class A common stock, par value $0.00001 per share: 800,000,000 shares authorized, 13,424,344 shares issued and outstanding, actual;              shares authorized, 17,727,212 shares issued and outstanding, pro forma, and      shares authorized,              shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

     —         

Class B common stock, par value $0.00001 per share: 700,000,000 shares authorized, 281,857,752 shares issued and outstanding, actual;              shares authorized, 522,752,944 shares issued and outstanding, pro forma, and              shares authorized,              shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

     —         

Class C common stock, par value $0.00001 per share: no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;              shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding, pro forma, and              shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

       

Additional paid-in capital

     533.1       

Accumulated deficit

     (1,049.7     

Accumulated other comprehensive income

     4.2       
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total stockholders’ equity

     102.9       
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total capitalization

   $ 102.9     $               $  
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)  The pro forma data as of December 31, 2017, gives effect to stock-based compensation expense of $415.6 million associated with the RSU Settlement. The pro forma adjustment related to stock-based compensation expense of $415.6 million has been reflected as an increase to additional paid-in capital and accumulated deficit.
(2) 

Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, (i) the amount of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity, and total capitalization by approximately $            , assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us, (ii) the amount we would be required to draw down under our revolving credit facility to satisfy our tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the RSU Settlement by $            , and (iii) the amount we would be required to pay to satisfy our tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the RSU

 

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  Settlement by $            . An increase or decrease of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares offered by us would increase or decrease, as applicable, the amount of our pro forma as adjusted cash, and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity, and total capitalization by approximately $            , assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us.

If the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from us were exercised in full, pro forma as adjusted cash, and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity, total capitalization, and Class A shares outstanding as of December 31, 2017, would be $            , $            , $            , $            , and             , respectively.

The number of shares of our Class A common stock, Class B common stock, and Class C common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on 17,727,212 shares of our Class A common stock (including the Capital Stock Conversions), 522,752,944 shares of our Class B common stock (including the Capital Stock Conversions and the RSU Settlement), and no shares of our Class C common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, and excludes the following:

 

    22,100,000 shares of our Class A common stock subject to RSAs that were granted pursuant to our Co-Founder Grants, and vest upon the satisfaction of a service condition and achievement of certain stock price goals;

 

    7,439,253 shares of our Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our Class B common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, with a weighted-average exercise price of $7.01 per share;

 

    25,061,536 shares of our Class A common stock and 18,240,237 shares of our Class B common stock subject to RSUs outstanding, but for which the service condition was not satisfied as of December 31, 2017;

 

    14,865,820 shares of our Class A common stock subject to RSUs granted after December 31, 2017;

 

    98,969,443 shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our equity compensation plans, consisting of:

 

    77,297,109 shares of our Class A common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Plan, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering (including the shares that will be repurchased by us in connection with the RSU Settlement);

 

    15,467,085 shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2017 Plan, which number of shares includes an additional 2,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock reserved for issuance under our 2017 Plan that was approved by our Board of Directors in February 2018 (and which we expect our stockholders to approve), and will be added to the shares of our Class A common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Plan upon its effectiveness;

 

    6,205,249 shares of our Class A common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our ESPP, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering, but no offering periods under the ESPP will commence unless and until otherwise determined by our Board of Directors; and

 

    68,257,739 shares of our Class C common stock reserved for future issuance under certain other equity compensation plans, consisting of:

 

    62,052,490 shares of our Class C common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Class C Equity Incentive Plan, or our 2018 Class C Plan, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering; and

 

   

6,205,249 shares of our Class C common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Class C Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or our Class C ESPP, which will become effective prior

 

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to the completion of this offering, but no offering periods under the Class C ESPP will commence unless and until otherwise determined by our Board of Directors.

Our 2018 Plan and ESPP each provides for annual automatic increases in the number of shares of our Class A common stock reserved thereunder, and our 2018 Plan also provides for increases to the number of shares of our Class A common stock that may be granted thereunder based on shares under our 2008 Equity Incentive Plan, or our 2008 Plan, and 2017 Plan that expire, are forfeited, or otherwise repurchased by us, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation—Employee Benefits and Stock Plans.” Additionally, if and when our Board of Directors determines to use our 2018 Class C Plan and Class C ESPP, such plans will provide for annual automatic increases in the number of shares of our Class C common stock reserved thereunder.

 

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DILUTION

If you invest in our Class A common stock in this offering, your ownership interest will be diluted to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per share of our Class A common stock and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our common stock immediately after this offering. Net tangible book value dilution per share to new investors represents the difference between the amount per share paid by purchasers of shares of our Class A common stock in this offering and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our common stock immediately after completion of this offering.

Net tangible book value per share is determined by dividing our total tangible assets less our total liabilities by the number of shares of our common stock outstanding. Our historical net tangible book value as of December 31, 2017, was $(13.0) million, or $(0.04) per share. Our pro forma net tangible book value as of December 31, 2017, was $         million, or $         per share, based on the total number of shares of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, after giving effect to the Capital Stock Conversions and the RSU Settlement.

After giving effect to the sale by us of              shares of our Class A common stock in this offering at the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of December 31, 2017, would have been $            , or $             per share. This represents an immediate increase in pro forma net tangible book value of $             per share to our existing stockholders and an immediate dilution in pro forma net tangible book value of $             per share to investors purchasing shares of our Class A common stock in this offering at the assumed initial public offering price. The following table illustrates this dilution:

 

Assumed initial public offering price per share

      $               

Pro forma net tangible book value per share as of December 31, 2017

   $                  

Increase in pro forma net tangible book value per share attributable to new investors purchasing shares of Class A common stock in this offering

     
  

 

 

    

Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering

     
     

 

 

 

Dilution in pro forma net tangible book value per share to new investors in this offering

     
     

 

 

 

Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share to new investors by $            , and would increase or decrease, as applicable, dilution per share to new investors purchasing shares of our Class A common stock in this offering by $            , assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Similarly, each increase or decrease of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares of our Class A common stock offered by us would increase or decrease, as applicable, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by approximately $             per share and increase or decrease, as applicable, the dilution to new investors purchasing shares of our Class A common stock in this offering by $             per share, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

If the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from us is exercised in full, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our common stock, as adjusted to give effect to this offering, would be $             per share, and the dilution in pro forma net tangible book value per share to new investors purchasing shares of our Class A common stock in this offering would be $             per share.

 

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The following table presents, as of December 31, 2017, after giving effect to the Capital Stock Conversions and the RSU Settlement, the differences between the existing stockholders and the new investors purchasing shares of our Class A common stock in this offering with respect to the number of shares purchased from us, the total consideration paid or to be paid to us, which includes net proceeds received from the issuance of our Class A common stock and the average price per share paid or to be paid to us at the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, before deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us:

 

     Shares purchased     Total consideration     Average
price per
share
 
     Number      Percent     Amount      Percentage    
     (In millions, except for per share amounts)  

Existing stockholders

               $                            $               

New investors

             $  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

Totals

        100   $        100  
     

 

 

      

 

 

   

Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, the total consideration paid by new investors and total consideration paid by all stockholders by approximately $             , assuming that the number of shares of our Class A common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Similarly, each increase or decrease of 1.0 million in the number of shares of our Class A common stock offered by us would increase or decrease the total consideration paid by new investors and total consideration paid by all stockholders by approximately $            , assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us.

Except as otherwise indicated, the above discussion and tables assume no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from us. If the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock were exercised in full, our existing stockholders would own     % and our new investors would own     % of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding upon completion of this offering.

Sales by the selling stockholders in this offering will cause the number of shares held by existing stockholders to be reduced to              shares, or             % of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding following the completion of this offering, and will increase the number of shares held by new investors to              shares, or             % of the total number of shares outstanding following the completion of this offering.

The number of shares of our Class A common stock, Class B common stock, and Class C common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on 17,727,212 shares of our Class A common stock (including the Capital Stock Conversions), 522,752,944 shares of our Class B common stock (including the Capital Stock Conversions and the RSU Settlement) and no shares of our Class C common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, and excludes the following:

 

    22,100,000 shares of our Class A common stock subject to RSAs that were granted pursuant to our Co-Founder Grants, and vest upon the satisfaction of a service condition and achievement of certain stock price goals;

 

    7,439,253 shares of our Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our Class B common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, with a weighted-average exercise price of $7.01 per share;

 

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    25,061,536 shares of our Class A common stock and 18,240,237 shares of our Class B common stock subject to RSUs outstanding, but for which the service condition was not satisfied, as of December 31, 2017;

 

    14,865,820 shares of our Class A common stock subject to RSUs granted after December 31, 2017;

 

    98,969,443 shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our equity compensation plans, consisting of:

 

    77,297,109 shares of our Class A common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan, or our 2018 Plan, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering (including the shares that will be repurchased by us in connection with the RSU Settlement);

 

    15,467,085 shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2017 Equity Incentive Plan, or our 2017 Plan, which number of shares includes an additional 2,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock reserved for issuance under our 2017 Plan that was approved by our Board of Directors in February 2018 (and which we expect our stockholders to approve), and will be added to the shares of our Class A common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Plan upon its effectiveness;

 

    6,205,249 shares of our Class A common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our ESPP, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering, but no offering periods under the ESPP will commence unless and until otherwise determined by our Board of Directors; and

 

    68,257,739 shares of our Class C common stock reserved for future issuance under certain other equity compensation plans, consisting of:

 

    62,052,490 shares of our Class C common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Class C Stock Incentive Plan, or our 2018 Class C Plan, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering; and

 

    6,205,249 shares of our Class C common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Class C Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or our Class C ESPP, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering, but no offering periods under the Class C ESPP will commence unless and until otherwise determined by our Board of Directors.

Our 2018 Plan and ESPP each provides for annual automatic increases in the number of shares of our Class A common stock reserved thereunder, and our 2018 Plan also provides for increases to the number of shares of our Class A common stock that may be granted thereunder based on shares under our 2008 Equity Incentive Plan, or our 2008 Plan, and 2017 Plan that expire, are forfeited, or otherwise repurchased by us, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation—Employee Benefits and Stock Plans.” Additionally, if and when our Board of Directors determines to use our 2018 Class C Plan and Class C ESPP, such plans will provide for annual automatic increases in the number of shares of our Class C common stock reserved thereunder.

To the extent that any outstanding options to purchase our common stock are exercised, RSUs are settled or new awards are granted under our equity compensation plans, there will be further dilution to investors participating in this offering.

 

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SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OTHER DATA

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. The consolidated statements of operations data for each of the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016, and 2017 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2016 and 2017, are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements that are included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of our future results. The selected consolidated financial data in this section are not intended to replace the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus and are qualified in their entirety by the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015     2016     2017  
     (In millions except for per share
amounts)
 

Revenue

   $ 603.8     $ 844.8     $ 1,106.8  

Cost of revenue(1)

     407.4       390.6       368.9  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

     196.4       454.2       737.9  

Operating expenses:(1)

      

Research and development

     201.6       289.7       380.3  

Sales and marketing

     193.1       250.6       314.0  

General and administrative

     107.9       107.4       157.3  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     502.6       647.7       851.6  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (306.2     (193.5     (113.7

Interest expense, net

     (15.2     (16.4     (11.0

Other income (expense), net

     (4.2     4.9       13.2  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss before income taxes

     (325.6     (205.0     (111.5

Provision for income taxes

     (0.3     (5.2     (0.2
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (325.9   $ (210.2   $ (111.7
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted(2)

   $ (1.18   $ (0.74   $ (0.38
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used in computing net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted

     276.8       283.7       293.9  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted(2)

       $ (0.21
      

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used in computing pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted

         537.9  
      

 

 

 

 

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(1)  Includes stock-based compensation as follows:

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015      2016      2017  
     (In millions)  

Cost of revenue

   $ 2.6      $ 8.2      $ 12.2  

Research and development

     36.1        72.7        93.1  

Sales and marketing

     19.8        44.6        33.7  

General and administrative

     7.6        22.1        25.6  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total stock-based compensation

   $ 66.1      $ 147.6      $ 164.6  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(2)  See Note 12, “Net Loss Per Share” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for an explanation of the method used to calculate basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders and Note 13, “Unaudited Pro Forma Net Loss Per Share” for an explanation of the method used to calculate pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders.

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data

 

     As of December 31,  
     2016      2017  
     (In millions)  

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 352.7      $ 430.0  

Working capital

     (221.9      (220.3

Property and equipment, net

     444.0        341.9  

Total assets

     1,004.2        1,019.9  

Total deferred revenue

     354.9        419.2  

Total capital lease obligations

     257.2        174.3  

Total stockholders’ equity

     122.8        102.9  

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the section titled “Selected Consolidated Financial and Other Data” and the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed below. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified below and those discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” included elsewhere in this prospectus.

Our Business

Our modern economy runs on knowledge. Today, knowledge lives in the cloud as digital content, and Dropbox is a global collaboration platform where more and more of this content is created, accessed, and shared with the world. We serve more than 500 million registered users across 180 countries.

Dropbox was founded in 2007 with a simple idea: Life would be a lot better if everyone could access their most important information anytime from any device. Over the past decade, we’ve largely accomplished that mission—but along the way we recognized that for most of our users, sharing and collaborating on Dropbox was even more valuable than storing files.

Our market opportunity has grown as we’ve expanded from keeping files in sync to keeping teams in sync. Today, Dropbox is well positioned to reimagine the way work gets done. We’re focused on reducing the inordinate amount of time and energy the world wastes on “work about work”—tedious tasks like searching for content, switching between applications, and managing workflows.

We’ve built a thriving global business with 11 million paying users. Our revenue was $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%, respectively. We generated net losses of $325.9 million, $210.2 million, and $111.7 million in 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively. We also generated positive free cash flow of $137.4 million and $305.0 million in 2016 and 2017, respectively, compared to negative free cash flow of $63.9 million in 2015.

 

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Our History

Since our founding, we’ve built one of the largest collaboration platforms in the world.

 

 

 

LOGO

Our Subscription Plans

We generate revenue from individuals, teams, and organizations by selling subscriptions to our platform, which serve the varying needs of our diverse customer base. Of our 11 million paying users, approximately 30% use Dropbox for work on a Dropbox Business team plan, and we estimate that an additional 50% use Dropbox

 

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for work on an individual plan, collectively totaling approximately 80% of paying users. As of December 31, 2017, approximately 92% of Fortune 500 companies had paying Dropbox users within their organization, and approximately 56% had at least one paying Dropbox Business team. We had more than 300,000 paying Dropbox Business teams as of December 31, 2017. Each Dropbox Business team represents a separately billed deployment that is managed through a single administrative dashboard. Each team must have a minimum of three users, but we also serve teams that can have more than tens of thousands of users. Customers can choose between an annual or monthly plan, with a small number of large organizations on multi-year plans. A majority of our customers opt for our annual plans. We typically bill our customers at the beginning of their respective terms and recognize revenue ratably over the term of the subscription period. International customers can pay in U.S. dollars or a select number of foreign currencies.

 

 

LOGO

 

Individuals Dropbox Business Basic Plus Professional Standard Advanced Enterprise First launched 2008 2008 2017 2011 2017 2015 Number of users 1 user 1 user 1 user 3+ users 3+ users Large deployments Base price ($USD) per user Free $9.99/month $19.99/month $15.00/month $25.00/month Negotiated pricing $99/year $199/year $150/year $240/year Advanced sharing permissions Version history 30 days 30 days 120 days 120 days 120 days 120 days Smart Sync Showcase Team folders Unlimited API access Paper Storage 2GB 1TB 1TB 2TB As much as needed As much as needed Support Basic email support Priority email support Priority chat support Live chat support Business hours phone support 24/7 phone support Assigned account success manager Advanced admin & security features Remote device wipe Remote device wipe Admin console Managed groups Access permissions Account transfer tool HIPAA support Everything in Standard Device approval Audit log Tiered admin roles SSO integration Everything in Advanced EMM Network control Domain insights Integration support

 

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Our premium subscription plans, such as Professional and Advanced, provide more functionality than other subscription plans and are offered at higher prices per user. Our Standard and Advanced subscription plans offer robust capabilities for businesses, and the vast majority of Dropbox Business teams, including those at Fortune 500 companies, purchase our Standard or Advanced subscription plans. While our Enterprise subscription plan offers more opportunities for customization, companies can subscribe to any of these team plans for their business needs.

Our Business Model

Drive new signups

We acquire users efficiently and at relatively low costs through word-of-mouth referrals, direct in-product referrals, and sharing of content.

Anyone can create a Dropbox account for free through our website or app and be up and running in minutes. These users often share and collaborate with other non-registered users, attracting new signups into our network. For example, many people use Dropbox for work and spread our platform by collaborating on projects or sharing content externally. We also acquire a small proportion of our registered users through paid marketing and distribution partnerships in which hardware manufacturers pre-install our software on their devices.

We have over 500 million registered users on our platform, of which over 100 million signed up since the beginning of 2017.

Increase conversion of registered users to our paid subscription plans

Dropbox Basic, the free version of our product, serves as a major funnel for conversions to our paid subscription plans. It fosters brand awareness, product familiarity, and organic adoption of Dropbox. When they purchase a subscription, our users gain access to premium features such as richer collaboration tools, administrative controls, and advanced security features, as well as larger storage capacity. 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 at least one characteristic that we believe makes them more likely than other registered users to pay over time. These characteristics include: (i) having signed up for Dropbox with a business domain email; (ii) having used specific types of computers or mobile devices to access our platform; or (iii) having signed up from certain countries in more developed markets in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, and having linked a desktop or laptop to our platform. Substantially all of our paying users share at least one of these characteristics. We’ve found that aggregate user activity metrics aren’t leading indicators of revenue or conversion. For that reason, we don’t comprehensively track user activity across the Dropbox platform for financial planning and forecasting purposes.

We generate over 90% of our revenue from self-serve channels—users who purchase a subscription through our app or website. We actively encourage our registered users to become paying users through in-product prompts and notifications, time-limited free trials of paid subscription plans, email campaigns, and lifecycle marketing.

During the fourth quarter of 2017, hundreds of millions of devices—including computers, phones, and tablets—were actively connected to the Dropbox platform. Because our users have installed Dropbox on many devices, we have multiple opportunities to inform them about new product experiences and premium subscription plans via in-product notifications, without any external marketing spend.

Our scale enables us to experiment and optimize the conversion marketing process. We run hundreds of product tests and targeted marketing campaigns simultaneously, and analyze usage patterns within our network to continually improve our user targeting and marketing messaging.

 

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Upgrade and expand existing customers

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. They can do this by either joining an existing Dropbox Business team or by creating a new Dropbox Business team and inviting others to join. 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. We also encourage existing Dropbox Business teams to purchase additional licenses or to upgrade to premium subscription plans.

Within an organization, Dropbox usage may be spread between a mix of Basic users, Plus and Professional subscribers, and one or more Dropbox Business teams. Our outbound sales team focuses on converting and consolidating these separate pockets of usage into a centralized deployment. Nearly all of our largest outbound deals originated as smaller self-serve deployments.

Our Attractive Cohort Economics

We define a cohort as all registered users who signed up for Dropbox in a given period of time. We track the total monthly subscription amount of all paying users in each cohort as of the end of the month, or the monthly subscription amount. For paying users who opt for our monthly plans, the monthly subscription amount is equal to the price of the monthly plan. For paying users who opt for our annual plans, which a majority of our users do, the monthly subscription amount is equal to the price of the annual plan divided by twelve. These amounts increase as more registered users in each cohort convert to paying users, paying users upgrade to premium subscription offerings, and team administrators purchase additional licenses. These amounts decrease when paying users terminate their subscriptions, downgrade their subscriptions to a lower tier, or team administrators reduce the number of licenses on their subscription plans. We continuously focus on adding new users and increasing the value we offer to them. As a result, each cohort of new users typically generates higher subscription amounts over time.

 

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The chart below reflects the monthly subscription amount from January 2013 to December 2017 of all paying users in each quarterly cohort, including those who signed up for our platform prior to 2013.

 

LOGO

We continuously focus on adding new users and increasing the value we offer to them. As a result, each cohort of new users typically generates higher subscription amounts over time. For example, the monthly subscription amount generated by the January 2015 cohort doubled in less than three years after signup. We believe this cohort is representative of a typical cohort in recent periods.

 

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Moreover, as we continue to innovate and optimize our go-to-market strategy, we have successfully increased monetization for subsequent cohorts. Comparing January cohorts from the last three years, at virtually every point in time after signup, the January 2017 cohort generated a higher monthly subscription amount than the January 2016 cohort, which in turn generated a higher monthly subscription amount than the January 2015 cohort.

 

LOGO

Our Global, Diversified Customer Base

The growing need for a unified home for content and the viral nature of our business have allowed us to scale globally. We have paying users across 180 countries, and we generated approximately half of our revenue in 2017 from customers outside the United States.

Our customer base is highly diversified, and in the periods presented, no customer accounted for more than 1% of our revenue. Our customers include individuals, teams, and organizations of all sizes, from freelancers and small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. They work across a wide range of industries, including professional services, technology, media, education, industrials, consumer and retail, and financial services. Within companies, our platform is used by all types of teams and functions, including sales, marketing, product, design, engineering, finance, legal, and human resources.

 

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Our Predictable Subscription Revenue

Taken together, our subscription revenue model, consistent cohort trends, self-serve monetization engine, and large and diversified global customer base resulted in linear and predictable revenue generation over the duration of the quarters presented in the chart below.

 

 

LOGO

As of December 31, 2017, more than 80% of our annualized revenue came from existing individual users and Dropbox Business teams who were on our platform as of December 31, 2016.

As of December 31, 2017, our Annualized Net Revenue Retention for paying Dropbox Business customers was approximately 100%. Annualized Net Revenue Retention is the percentage of annualized revenue retained over a 365-day period, inclusive of changes in price, changes in number of licenses, upgrades and downgrades to different subscription plans, and churn. We calculate Annualized Net Revenue Retention by aggregating the annualized revenue from all paying Dropbox Business customers subscribing to a Dropbox Business plan at the beginning of the period, then aggregating the annualized revenue from those same Dropbox Business customers at the end of the period. For customers whose renewal is pending at the end of the period, we include their annualized revenue in the ending total if they resume payment within 30 days from the end of that period. Annualized Net Revenue Retention is equal to ending annualized revenue divided by beginning annualized revenue.

As of December 31, 2017, our blended Annualized Net Revenue Retention across the entire business, including individuals and Dropbox Business customers, was over 90%.

Key Factors Affecting Our Performance

We believe that the growth and future success of our business depends on many factors. While each of these factors presents significant opportunities for our business, they also pose important challenges that we must successfully address in order to sustain our growth and improve our results of operations.

 

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Attract Users and Expand Relationships with Them. Our business model is based on attracting new users to our platform, converting registered users to paying users, and retaining and expanding paying users’ subscriptions over time. Our continued success depends in part on our ability to offer compelling subscription plans with valuable capabilities, and to market these plans effectively to users. In addition, we must continue to provide a quality user experience to retain paying customers and encourage existing Dropbox Business teams to purchase additional licenses for their organizations over time. We intend to continue driving organic adoption by individual users and Dropbox Business teams through our self-serve model, and supplement this with our outbound sales force.

Continued Investment in Growth. We intend to continue to make focused investments to increase revenue and scale operations to support the growth of our business, and therefore expect expenses to increase. We plan to further invest in research and development as we hire employees in engineering, product, and design to enhance our platform and support the needs of our growing user base. We also plan to invest in sales and marketing activities to drive our self-serve business model and increase our brand awareness. We expect to incur additional general and administrative expenses to support our growth and our transition to being a publicly traded company. Further, we continue to make investments in our technical infrastructure to support user growth, and in our office locations to support employee growth, which will increase expenses and capital expenditures. As cost of revenue, operating expenses, and capital expenditures fluctuate over time, we may experience short-term, negative impacts to our results of operations and cash flows, but we are undertaking such investments in the belief that they will contribute to long-term growth.

Ongoing Innovation in a Rapidly Changing Environment. The market for content collaboration platforms is characterized by rapid technological change and frequent new product and service introductions. Our ability to acquire, retain, and upgrade paying users will depend in part on our ability to enhance our platform, introduce new features, and interoperate across an increasing range of devices, operating systems, and third-party applications. Certain features of our platform compete directly with products offered by Amazon, Apple, Atlassian, Box, Google, and Microsoft. We will need to continue to innovate in the face of this rapidly changing landscape to remain competitive.

Key Business Metrics

We review a number of operating and financial metrics, including the following key metrics to evaluate our business, measure our performance, identify trends affecting our business, formulate business plans, and make strategic decisions.

Paying users

We define paying users as the number of users who have active paid licenses for access to our platform as of the end of the period. One person would count as multiple paying users if the person had more than one active license. For example, a 50-person Dropbox Business team would count as 50 paying users, and an individual Dropbox Plus user would count as one paying user. If that individual Dropbox Plus user was also part of the 50-person Dropbox Business team, we would count the individual as two paying users.

We have experienced growth in the number of paying users across our products, with the vast majority of paying users for the periods presented coming from our self-serve channels.

The below table sets forth the number of paying users as of December 31, 2015, 2016, and 2017:

 

     As of December 31,  
     2015      2016      2017  
     (In millions)  

Paying users

     6.5        8.8        11.0  

 

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Average revenue per paying user

We define average revenue per paying user, or ARPU, as our revenue for the period presented divided by the average paying users during the same period. For interim periods, we use annualized revenue, which is calculated by dividing the revenue for the particular period by the number of days in that period and multiplying this value by 365 days. Average paying users are calculated based on adding the number of paying users as of the beginning of the period to the number of paying users as of the end of the period, and then dividing by two.

Our ARPU declined for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to the year ended December 31, 2015, primarily due to foreign currency fluctuations related to our sales that are denominated in foreign currencies. Our ARPU increased for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to the year ended December 31, 2016, primarily due to an increased mix of sales towards our higher priced subscription plans, including our new Dropbox Business Advanced plan.

The below table sets forth our ARPU for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015      2016      2017  

ARPU

   $ 113.54      $ 110.54      $ 111.91  

Non-GAAP Financial Measure

In addition to our results determined in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, we believe that free cash flow, or FCF, a non-GAAP financial measure, is useful in evaluating our liquidity.

Free cash flow

We define FCF as GAAP net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures. We believe that FCF is a liquidity measure and that it provides useful information regarding cash provided by operating activities and cash used for investments in property and equipment required to maintain and grow our business. FCF is presented for supplemental informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP. FCF has limitations as an analytical tool, and it should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of other GAAP financial measures, such as net cash provided by operating activities. Some of the limitations of FCF are that FCF does not reflect our future contractual commitments, excludes investments made to acquire assets under capital leases, and may be calculated differently by other companies in our industry, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure.

We have experienced an increase in our FCF as a result of an increase in net cash provided by operating activities, primarily due to our Infrastructure Optimization discussed below in “ —Recent Initiative,” increased sales in the periods presented, and a decrease in capital expenditures relating to infrastructure equipment and leasehold improvements for our office spaces. We expect our FCF to fluctuate in future periods as we purchase infrastructure equipment to support our user base and invest in our new and existing office spaces, including our new corporate headquarters, to support our plans for growth. These activities, along with certain increased operating expenses as described below, may result in a decrease in FCF as a percentage of revenue in future periods.

 

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The following is a reconciliation of FCF to the most comparable GAAP measure, net cash provided by operating activities:

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015      2016      2017  
     (In millions)  

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $ 14.8      $ 252.6      $ 330.3  

Capital expenditures

     (78.7      (115.2      (25.3
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Free cash flow

   $ (63.9    $ 137.4      $ 305.0  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Recent Initiative

Infrastructure Optimization

In recent years, we have taken several steps to improve the efficiency of the infrastructure that supports our platform. These efforts include an initiative that focused on migrating the vast majority of user data stored on the infrastructure of third-party service providers to our own lower cost, custom-built infrastructure in co-location facilities that we directly lease and operate. In order to host user data on our own infrastructure, we leased or purchased infrastructure that is depreciated within our cost of revenue. During the migration to our internal infrastructure, we duplicated our users’ data between our internal infrastructure and that of our third-party service providers, resulting in higher storage costs. We reduced this practice over time until we completed the migration in the fourth quarter of 2016. Related to this initiative, we no longer duplicate data between our internal infrastructure and that of any third-party service providers. We expect to continue to realize benefits from expanding our internal infrastructure due to our operating scale and lower unit costs.

Throughout 2016, we also took measures to manage the storage footprint of certain long-inactive Basic users, freeing up additional storage capacity. Specifically, we closed the accounts of certain Basic users who had not engaged in any activity on the Dropbox platform in the last year and did not respond to multiple e-mail inquiries from us regarding their inactivity. We continue to regularly take similar measures to manage long-inactive and non-responsive Basic user accounts, and our total registered user numbers do not include accounts that have been closed. This effort, along with additional usage optimizations in 2017, enabled us to continue operating our business within our existing infrastructure base without a need for extensive incremental capital expenditures and leasing activity.

These efforts are collectively referred to as our Infrastructure Optimization, and some are ongoing.

Our Infrastructure Optimization reduced unit costs and helped limit capital expenditures and associated depreciation. Combined with the concurrent increase in our base of paying users, we experienced a reduction in our cost of revenue, an increase in our gross margins, and an improvement in our free cash flow in the periods presented.

Components of Our Results of Operations

Revenue

We generate revenue from sales of subscriptions to our platform.

Revenue is recognized ratably over the related contractual term generally beginning on the date that our platform is made available to a customer. Our subscription agreements typically have monthly or annual contractual terms, although a small percentage have multi-year contractual terms. Our agreements are generally non-cancelable. We typically bill in advance for monthly contracts and annually in advance for contracts with terms of one year or longer. Amounts that have been billed are initially recorded as deferred revenue until the revenue is recognized.

 

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Our revenue is driven primarily by the number of paying users and the price we charge for access to our platform, which varies based on the type of plan to which a customer subscribes. We generate over 90% of our revenue from self-serve channels. No customer represented more than 1% of our revenue in the periods presented.

Cost of revenue and gross margin

Cost of revenue. Our cost of revenue consists primarily of expenses associated with the storage, delivery, and distribution of our platform for both paying users and Basic users. These costs, which we refer to as infrastructure costs, include depreciation of our servers located in co-location facilities that we lease and operate, rent and facilities expense for those datacenters, network and bandwidth costs, support and maintenance costs for our infrastructure equipment, and payments to third-party datacenter service providers. Cost of revenue also includes costs, such as salaries, bonuses, benefits, travel-related expenses, and stock-based compensation, which we refer to as employee-related costs, for employees whose primary responsibilities relate to supporting our infrastructure and delivering user support. Other non-employee costs included in cost of revenue include credit card fees related to processing customer transactions, and allocated overhead, such as facilities, including rent, utilities, depreciation on leasehold improvements and other equipment shared by all departments, and shared information technology costs. In addition, cost of revenue includes amortization of developed technologies, professional fees related to user support initiatives, and property taxes related to the datacenters.

We plan to continue increasing the capacity and enhancing the capability and reliability of our infrastructure to support user growth and increased use of our platform. We expect that cost of revenue, excluding the impact of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation”, will increase in absolute dollars in future periods. In addition, as a result of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation,” we expect our cost of revenue to increase significantly in absolute dollars in the quarter during which we complete this offering.

Gross margin. Gross margin is gross profit expressed as a percentage of revenue. Our gross margin may fluctuate from period to period based on the timing of additional capital expenditures and the related depreciation expense, or other increases in our infrastructure costs, as well as revenue fluctuations. As we continue to increase the utilization of our internal infrastructure, we generally expect our gross margin, excluding the impact of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation”, to remain relatively constant in the near term and to increase modestly in the long term. Taking into account these charges, we expect our gross margin to decrease significantly in the quarter during which we complete this offering.

Operating expenses

Research and development. Our research and development expenses consist primarily of employee-related costs for our engineering, product, and design teams, and allocated overhead. Additionally, research and development expenses include internal development-related third-party hosting fees. We have expensed almost all of our research and development costs as they were incurred.

We plan to continue to hire employees for our engineering, product, and design teams to support our research and development efforts. We expect that research and development costs will increase in absolute dollars in future periods and, excluding the impact of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation”, vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue.

Sales and marketing. Our sales and marketing expenses relate to both self-serve and outbound sales activities, and consist primarily of employee-related costs, brand campaign fees, lead generation fees, and allocated overhead. Sales commissions earned by our outbound sales team and the related payroll taxes, as well as commissions earned by third-party resellers that we consider to be incremental and recoverable costs of

 

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obtaining a contract with a user, are deferred and amortized over an estimated period of benefit of five years. Additionally, sales and marketing expenses include non-employee costs related to app store fees and fees payable to third-party sales representatives.

We plan to continue to invest in sales and marketing to grow our user base and increase our brand awareness, including marketing efforts to continue to drive our self-serve business model. The trend and timing of sales and marketing expenses will depend in part on the timing of marketing campaigns. We expect that sales and marketing expenses will increase in absolute dollars in future periods and, excluding the impact of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation”, vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue.

General and administrative. Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of employee-related costs for our legal, finance, human resources, and other administrative teams, as well as certain executives. In addition, general and administrative expenses include allocated overhead, outside legal, accounting and other professional fees, and non-income based taxes.

We expect to incur additional general and administrative expenses to support the growth of the Company as well as our transition to being a publicly traded company, which includes the recognition of stock-based compensation expense related to grants of restricted stock made to our co-founders. We expect that general and administrative expenses will increase in absolute dollars in future periods and, excluding the impact of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation”, vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue.

As a result of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation,” we expect our research and development, sales and marketing, and general and administrative expenses to increase significantly in absolute dollars and as a percentage of revenue in the quarter during which we complete this offering.

Interest expense, net

Interest expense, net consists primarily of interest expense related to our capital lease obligations for infrastructure and our imputed financing obligation for our obligation to the legal owner of our previous corporate headquarters, partially offset by interest income earned on our money market funds classified as cash and cash equivalents.

Other income (expense), net

Other income (expense), net consists of other non-operating gains or losses, including those related to ongoing subleases and foreign currency transaction gains and losses.

Provision for income taxes

Provision for income taxes consists primarily of U.S. federal and state income taxes and income taxes in certain foreign jurisdictions in which we conduct business. For the periods presented, the difference between the U.S. statutory rate and our effective tax rate is primarily due to the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets. Our effective tax rate is also impacted by earnings realized in foreign jurisdictions with statutory tax rates lower than the federal statutory tax rate. We maintain a full valuation allowance on our net deferred tax assets for federal, state, and certain foreign jurisdictions as we have concluded that it is not more likely than not that the deferred assets will be realized.

As of December 31, 2017, we had $312.2 million of federal and $143.0 million of state net operating loss carryforwards available to reduce future taxable income, which will begin to expire in 2031 for federal and 2030

 

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for state tax purposes. As of December 31, 2017, we also had $289.3 million of foreign net operating loss carryforwards available to reduce future taxable income, which will carryforward indefinitely. In addition, we had $22.9 million of foreign acquired net operating losses, which will carryforward indefinitely. It is possible that we will not generate taxable income in time to use these net operating loss carryforwards before their expiration. In addition, under Section 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change,” the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards and other pre-change attributes, such as research tax credits, to offset its post-change income may be limited. In general, an “ownership change” will occur if there is a cumulative change in our ownership by “5-percent shareholders” that exceeds 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. Similar rules may apply under state tax laws. We performed a study for the period through December 31, 2017, and determined that no ownership changes exceeding 50 percentage points have occurred. Our ability to use net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards to reduce future taxable income and liabilities may be subject to annual limitations as a result of ownership changes from January 1, 2018, and subsequent years, or as a result of this offering.

On December 22, 2017, the legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or the Tax Reform Act, was enacted, which contains significant changes to U.S. tax law. Among other provisions, the Tax Reform Act reduces the U.S. corporate income tax rate to 21% and repeals the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, effective in 2018. As a result, we have remeasured our U.S. deferred tax assets and liabilities as of December 31, 2017 to reflect the lower rate expected to apply when these temporary differences reverse. We estimate the remeasurement of our deferred tax assets and liabilities resulted in a reduction in deferred tax assets of $63.1 million, which is fully offset by a corresponding change to our valuation allowance. As a result of the repeal of AMT, we have recognized a benefit and established a receivable to reflect anticipated refunds of $1.4 million for our 2016 AMT credit carryforward during the year ended December 31, 2017. Provisional accounting impacts may change in future reporting periods until the accounting analysis is finalized, which will occur no later than one year from the date the Tax Reform Act was enacted.

Results of Operations

The following tables set forth our results of operations for the periods presented and as a percentage of our total revenue for those periods:

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015      2016      2017  
     (In millions)  

Revenue

   $ 603.8      $ 844.8      $ 1,106.8  

Cost of revenue(1)

     407.4        390.6        368.9  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Gross profit

     196.4        454.2        737.9  

Operating expenses:(1)

        

Research and development

     201.6        289.7        380.3  

Sales and marketing

     193.1        250.6        314.0  

General and administrative

     107.9        107.4        157.3  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     502.6        647.7        851.6  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (306.2      (193.5      (113.7

Interest expense, net

     (15.2      (16.4      (11.0

Other income (expense), net

     (4.2      4.9        13.2  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Loss before income taxes

     (325.6      (205.0      (111.5

Provision for income taxes

     (0.3      (5.2      (0.2
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (325.9    $ (210.2    $ (111.7
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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(1)  Includes stock-based compensation as follows:

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015     2016     2017  
     (In millions)  

Cost of revenue

   $ 2.6     $ 8.2     $ 12.2  

Research and development

     36.1       72.7       93.1  

Sales and marketing

     19.8       44.6       33.7  

General and administrative

     7.6       22.1       25.6  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total stock-based compensation

   $    66.1      $  147.6      $    164.6   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 
     Year ended December 31,  
     2015     2016     2017  
     (As a % of revenue)  

Revenue

     100     100     100

Cost of revenue

     67       46       33  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

     33       54       67  

Operating expenses:

      

Research and development

     33       34       34  

Sales and marketing

     32       30       28  

General and administrative

     18       13       14  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     83       77       77  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (51     (23     (10

Interest expense, net

     (3     (2     (1

Other income (expense), net

     (1     1       1  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss before income taxes

     (54     (24     (10

Provision for income taxes

     —         (1     —    
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

     (54 )%      (25 )%      (10 )% 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Comparison of the year ended December 31, 2016 and 2017

Revenue

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
               
       2016          2017        $ Change      % Change  
     (In millions)                

Revenue

   $ 844.8      $ 1,106.8      $ 262.0        31

Revenue increased $262.0 million or 31% during 2017, as compared to 2016. This increase was primarily due to a 25% increase in the number of paying users between periods. The average revenue per paying user also increased slightly between periods primarily due to an increased mix of sales towards our higher priced subscription plans, including our new Dropbox Business Advanced plan.

Cost of revenue, gross profit, and gross margin

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
              
     2016     2017     $ Change      % Change  
     (In millions)               

Cost of revenue

   $ 390.6     $ 368.9     $ (21.7      (6)%  

Gross profit

     454.2       737.9       283.7        62%  

Gross margin

     54     67     

 

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Cost of revenue decreased $21.7 million or 6% during 2017, as compared to 2016, primarily due to a $35.1 million decrease in our infrastructure costs due to our Infrastructure Optimization. Further, the decrease in cost of revenue was due to a $5.9 million decrease in amortization of developed technologies, as certain intangible assets became fully amortized during 2016. These decreases were partially offset by an increase of $11.0 million in employee-related expenses, which was due to headcount growth, an increase of $5.3 million in credit card transaction fees due to higher sales and an increase of $3.0 million in professional fees for user support.

Our gross margin increased from 54% during 2016 to 67% during 2017, primarily due to a 31% increase in our revenue during the period and our Infrastructure Optimization.

Research and development

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
               
     2016      2017      $ Change      % Change  
     (In millions)                

Research and development

   $ 289.7      $ 380.3      $ 90.6        31

Research and development expenses increased $90.6 million or 31% during 2017, as compared to 2016, primarily due to an increase of $64.7 million in employee-related expenses, which was due to headcount growth. Further, the increase in research and development expense was due to an increase of $14.1 million in overhead-related costs and an increase of $4.5 million in internal development-related third-party hosting fees.

Sales and marketing

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
               
     2016      2017      $ Change      % Change  
     (In millions)                

Sales and marketing

   $ 250.6      $ 314.0      $ 63.4        25

Sales and marketing expenses increased $63.4 million or 25% during 2017, as compared to 2016, primarily due to an increase of $40.9 million in variable spend related to brand campaign fees, lead generation fees, and third-party sales representative fees. In addition, sales and marketing expenses increased due to $17.8 million in employee-related expenses excluding stock-based compensation, which was due to headcount growth. Stock-based compensation decreased $10.9 million due to the modification of an executive stock grant during 2016, that resulted in a charge of $18.8 million in that prior period. Sales and marketing expenses also increased $8.4 million due to app store fees as a result of increased sales and $7.6 million due to overhead-related costs.

General and administrative

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
               
     2016      2017      $ Change      % Change  
     (In millions)                

General and administrative

   $ 107.4      $ 157.3      $ 49.9        46

General and administrative expenses increased $49.9 million or 46% during 2017, as compared to 2016, primarily due to an increase of $17.3 million in non-income based taxes as a result of the growth in our business. General and administrative expenses during 2016 included a $12.4 million benefit relating to a non-income based tax ruling. In addition, employee-related expenses increased $13.3 million during 2017, as compared to 2016,

 

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due to headcount growth, and other general and administrative expenses increased $11.3 million related to the funding of the Dropbox Charitable Foundation. Included in this amount was an equity-based charitable contribution of $9.4 million and cash contributions of $1.9 million. Further, general and administrative expenses increased $4.3 million due to legal-related expenses and accounting services.

Interest expense, net

Interest expense, net decreased $5.4 million during 2017, as compared to 2016, primarily due to a decrease in interest expense of $3.3 million due to fewer assets acquired under capital leases. In addition, interest income from our money market funds increased by $2.1 million.

Other income (expense), net

Other income (expense), net increased $8.3 million during 2017, as compared to 2016, primarily due to an increase of $8.6 million in foreign currency gains related to monetary assets and liabilities denominated in euros and British pound sterling.

Provision for income taxes

Provision for income taxes decreased by $5.0 million during 2017 as compared to 2016, primarily as a result of a change in our U.S. AMT position. We were subject to U.S. AMT during 2016, and we do not expect to be subject to U.S. AMT during 2017. In addition, as a result of the repeal of AMT as part of the Tax Reform Act, we recognized a benefit and established a receivable in 2017 to reflect anticipated refunds of our 2016 AMT credit carryforward.

Comparison of the year ended December 31, 2015 and 2016

Revenue

 

     Year ended
December 31,
               
     2015      2016      $ Change      % Change  
     (In millions)                

Revenue

   $ 603.8      $ 844.8      $ 241.0        40

Revenue increased $241.0 million or 40% during 2016 as compared to 2015. This increase was primarily due to a 35% increase in the number of paying users between periods. The average revenue per paying user also decreased slightly between periods.

Cost of revenue, gross profit, and gross margin

 

     Year ended
December 31,
              
     2015     2016     $ Change      % Change  
     (In millions)               

Cost of revenue

   $ 407.4     $ 390.6     $ (16.8      (4)%  

Gross profit

     196.4       454.2       257.8        131%  

Gross margin

     33     54     

Cost of revenue decreased $16.8 million or 4% during 2016, as compared to 2015, primarily due to a net decrease of $39.5 million in our infrastructure costs due to our Infrastructure Optimization. The net decrease of $39.5 million included a $92.5 million decrease in expense related to our third-party datacenter service provider, offset by a $53.0 million increase in depreciation, facilities, and support expense related to our infrastructure

 

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equipment in co-location facilities that we directly lease and operate. Further, the decrease in cost of revenue was due to a $5.2 million decrease in amortization of developed technologies, as certain intangible assets became fully amortized during 2016. These decreases in cost of revenue were also partially offset by an increase of $13.8 million in employee-related expenses due to headcount growth, an increase of $5.5 million in credit card transaction fees due to higher sales, an increase of $9.9 million related to property taxes for our co-location facilities, professional fees for user support, and overhead-related costs primarily due to the completion of construction on our new corporate headquarters.

Our gross margin increased from 33% during 2015 to 54% during 2016 primarily due to our Infrastructure Optimization and a 40% increase in our revenue during the period.

Research and development

 

     Year ended
December 31,
               
     2015      2016      $ Change      % Change  
     (In millions)                

Research and development

   $ 201.6      $ 289.7      $ 88.1        44

Research and development expenses increased $88.1 million or 44% during 2016, as compared to 2015, primarily due to an increase of $66.9 million in employee-related expenses due to headcount growth. Further, the increase in research and development expense was due to an increase of $17.7 million in overhead-related costs primarily due to the completion of construction on our new corporate headquarters, and an increase of $5.3 million in internal development-related third-party hosting fees.

Sales and marketing

 

     Year ended
December 31,
               
     2015      2016      $ Change      % Change  
     (In millions)                

Sales and marketing

   $ 193.1      $ 250.6      $ 57.5        30

Sales and marketing expenses increased $57.5 million or 30% during 2016, as compared to 2015, primarily due to an increase of $53.4 million in employee-related expenses. This increase in employee-related expenses was primarily due to an increase in stock-based compensation of $24.8 million, which included a charge of $18.8 million due to the modification of an executive stock grant, headcount growth, and an increase in commission and bonus expense. In addition, the increase in sales and marketing expense was due to an increase of $10.1 million in overhead-related costs primarily due to the completion of construction on our new corporate headquarters. The increase in sales and marketing expense was partially offset by a decrease of $11.8 million in marketing expenses primarily due to a reduction in brand campaign fees.

General and administrative

 

     Year ended
December 31,
               
     2015      2016      $ Change      % Change  
     (In millions)                

General and administrative

   $ 107.9      $ 107.4      $ (0.5      —  

General and administrative expenses decreased $0.5 million during 2016, as compared to 2015, primarily due to a decrease of $12.4 million resulting from a non-income based tax ruling and a decrease of $7.3 million in

 

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other non-income based taxes in 2016. These decreases were offset by an increase of $7.3 million in employee-related expenses, which was due to headcount growth. Further, the decrease in general and administrative expense was offset by an increase of $8.0 million in overhead-related costs primarily due to the completion of construction on our new corporate headquarters, and an increase of $3.4 million in professional fees for increased legal and accounting services.

Interest expense, net

Interest expense, net increased $1.2 million during 2016, as compared to 2015, primarily due to an increase of $1.9 million in interest expense primarily due to assets acquired under capital leases, offset by $0.7 million of interest income from our money market funds.

Other income (expense), net

Other income (expense), net increased $9.1 million during 2016, as compared to 2015, primarily due to the commencement of sublease income of $7.0 million and a net gain of $1.6 million related to fixed asset disposals.

Provision for income taxes

Provision for income taxes increased by $4.9 million during 2016, as compared to 2015, primarily due to an increase in taxes as a result of being subject to the U.S. alternative minimum tax and foreign taxes related to our foreign operations.

Quarterly Results of Operations

The following table sets forth our unaudited quarterly statements of operations data for each of the last eight quarters ended December 31, 2017. The information for each of these quarters has been prepared on the same basis as the audited annual financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and, in the opinion of management, includes all adjustments, which includes only normal recurring adjustments, necessary for the fair statement of the results of operations for these periods. This data should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. These quarterly results of operations are not necessarily indicative of our future results of operations that may be expected for any future period.

 

    Three months ended  
    March 31,
2016
    June 30,
2016
    September 30,
2016
    December 31,
2016
    March 31,
2017
    June 30,
2017
    September 30,
2017
    December 31,
2017
 
    (In millions)        

Revenue

  $ 185.0     $ 200.8     $ 221.0     $ 238.0     $ 247.9     $ 266.7     $ 286.7     $ 305.5  

Cost of revenue(1)

    99.8       102.7       98.8       89.3       93.5       92.2       91.5       91.7  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

    85.2       98.1       122.2       148.7       154.4       174.5       195.2       213.8  

Operating expenses:(1)

               

Research and development

    67.9       72.6       75.1       74.1       89.3       89.8       97.2       104.0  

Sales and marketing

    73.8       57.5       55.4       63.9       67.2       69.2       74.7       102.9  

General and administrative

    25.3       18.4       32.8       30.9       31.3       42.2       39.6       44.2  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

    167.0       148.5       163.3       168.9       187.8       201.2       211.5       251.1  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

  $ (81.8   $ (50.4   $ (41.1   $ (20.2   $ (33.4   $ (26.7   $ (16.3   $ (37.3
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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(1)  Includes stock-based compensation as follows:

 

    Three months ended  
    March 31,
2016
    June 30,
2016
    September 30,
2016
    December 31,
2016
    March 31,
2017
    June 30,
2017
    September 30,
2017
    December 31,
2017
 
    (In millions)        

Cost of revenue

  $ 1.5     $ 2.1     $ 2.3     $ 2.3     $ 3.1     $ 3.3     $ 2.9     $ 2.9  

Research and development

    14.5       19.0       19.3       19.9       21.8       21.7       22.9       26.7  

Sales and marketing(a)

    24.4       6.6       6.7       6.9       7.7       7.7       7.5       10.8  

General and administrative

    3.5       4.7       9.0       4.9       6.2       6.0       6.4       7.0  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total stock-based compensation

  $ 43.9     $ 32.4     $ 37.3     $ 34.0     $ 38.8     $ 38.7     $ 39.7     $ 47.4  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(a)  Stock-based compensation included in sales and marketing expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2016 includes $18.8 million related to a stock option modification for an executive officer.

 

    Three months ended  
    March 31,
2016
    June 30,
2016
    September 30,
2016
    December 31,
2016
    March 31,
2017
    June 30,
2017
    September 30,
2017
    December 31,
2017
 
    (As a % of revenue)        

Revenue

    100     100     100     100     100     100     100     100

Cost of revenue

    54       51       45       38       38       35       32       30  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

    46       49       55       62       62       65       68       70  

Operating expenses:

               

Research and development

    37       36       34       31       36       34       34       34  

Sales and marketing

    40       29       25       27       27       26       26       34  

General and administrative

    14       9       15       13       13       16       14       14  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

    90       74       74       71       76       75       74       82  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

    (44 )%      (25 )%      (19 )%      (8 )%      (13 )%      (10 )%      (6 )%      (12 )% 
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Quarterly revenue trends

Our revenue increased sequentially in each of the quarters presented primarily due to increases in the number of paying users. Seasonality in our revenue is not material.

Quarterly cost of revenue and gross margin trends

Our cost of revenue fluctuated in each of the quarters presented primarily due to the timing of our Infrastructure Optimization, which combined with increases in our revenue caused our gross margins to increase or remain constant.

Quarterly operating expense trends

Except for the three months ended June 30, 2016, our total quarterly operating expenses increased sequentially in the quarters presented primarily due to headcount growth in connection with the expansion of our business and other events that are discussed herein.

 

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Research and development

Our research and development expenses increased at a faster rate during the three months ended March 31, 2017, comparatively to other quarters, primarily due to headcount growth and employee-related costs.

Sales and marketing

Our sales and marketing expenses generally increased in the quarters presented primarily due to employee-related expenses and brand advertising campaigns. The timing of brand advertising campaigns can impact the trends in sales and marketing expenses. The sequential decline in our sales and marketing expenses during the three months ended June 30, 2016 was due to a stock-based compensation charge of $18.8 million related to the modification of an executive stock grant recorded in the three months ended March 31, 2016. Our sales and marketing expenses increased at a faster rate during the three months ended December 31, 2017, as we accelerated our investment in our global brand advertising campaign.

General and administrative

Our general and administrative expenses fluctuated in the quarters presented, primarily due to increases in employee-related expenses and legal, accounting, and other professional fees. Our general and administrative expenses for certain quarters included certain charges and benefits as follows: the three months ended June 30, 2016 included a benefit of $12.4 million resulting from a non-income based tax ruling, and the three months ended June 30, 2017 included expense of $9.4 million for a non-cash charitable donation of shares of our common stock as initial funding for the Dropbox Charitable Foundation.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of December 31, 2017, we had cash and cash equivalents of $430.0 million. Our cash and cash equivalents consist primarily of cash and money market funds. As of December 31, 2017, we had $86.3 million of our cash and cash equivalents held by our foreign subsidiaries. We do not expect to incur material taxes in the event we repatriate any of these amounts.

Since our inception, we have financed our operations primarily through equity issuances, cash generated from our operations, and capital leases to finance infrastructure-related assets in co-location facilities that we directly lease and operate. We enter into capital leases in part to better match the timing of payments for infrastructure-related assets with that of cash received from our paying users. In our business model, some of our registered users convert to paying users over time, and consequently there is a lag between initial investment in infrastructure assets and cash received from some of our users. We expect to increase our use of capital leases to finance infrastructure equipment as certain assets reach the end of their useful lives in future periods.

Our principal uses of cash in recent periods have been funding our operations, making principal payments on our capital lease obligations, the satisfaction of tax withholdings in connection with the settlement of restricted stock units, and making capital expenditures.

In April 2017, we entered into a $600.0 million credit facility with a syndicate of financial institutions. The revolving credit facility has an accordion option, which, if exercised, would allow us to increase the aggregate commitments by up to $150.0 million, subject to obtaining additional lender commitments and satisfying certain conditions. Pursuant to the terms of the revolving credit facility, we may issue letters of credit under the revolving credit facility, which reduce the total amount available for borrowing under such facility. The revolving credit facility terminates on April 4, 2022.

Interest on borrowings under the revolving credit facility accrues at a variable rate tied to the prime rate or the LIBOR rate, at our election. Interest is payable quarterly in arrears. Pursuant to the terms of the revolving credit facility, we are required to pay an annual commitment fee that accrues at a rate of 0.20% per annum on the

 

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unused portion of the borrowing commitments under the revolving credit facility. In addition, we are required to pay a fee in connection with letters of credit issued under the revolving credit facility that accrues at a rate of 1.5% per annum on the amount to be drawn under such letters of credit outstanding. There is an additional fronting fee of 0.125% per annum multiplied by the average aggregate daily maximum amount available to be drawn under all letters of credit.

The revolving credit facility contains customary conditions to borrowing, events of default, and covenants, including covenants that restrict our ability to incur indebtedness, grant liens, make distributions to our holders or our subsidiaries’ equity interests, make investments, or engage in transactions with our affiliates. In addition, the revolving credit facility contains financial covenants, including a consolidated leverage ratio covenant and a minimum liquidity balance. We were in compliance with all covenants under the revolving credit facility as of December 31, 2017.

As of December 31, 2017, we had no amounts outstanding under the revolving credit facility and an aggregate of $82.6 million in letters of credit outstanding under the revolving credit facility. Our total available borrowing capacity under the revolving credit facility was $517.4 million as of December 31, 2017.

In February 2018, we amended our revolving credit facility to, among other things, permit us to make certain investments, enter into an unsecured standby letter of credit facility, and increase our standby letter of credit sublimit to $187.5 million. We also increased our borrowing capacity under the revolving credit facility from $600.0 million to $725.0 million. We may from time to time request increases in our borrowing capacity under our revolving credit facility of up to $275.0 million, provided no event of default has occurred or is continuing or would result from such increase.

We believe our existing cash and cash equivalents, together with cash provided by operations and amounts available under the revolving credit facility, will be sufficient to meet our needs for the foreseeable future. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors including our revenue growth rate, subscription renewal activity, billing frequency, the timing and extent of spending to support further infrastructure development and research and development efforts, the timing and extent of additional capital expenditures to invest in existing and new office spaces, such as our new corporate headquarters, the satisfaction of tax withholding obligations for the release of restricted stock units, the expansion of sales and marketing and international operation activities, the introduction of new product capabilities and enhancement of our platform, and the continuing market acceptance of our platform. We may in the future enter into arrangements to acquire or invest in complementary businesses, services, and technologies, including intellectual property rights. We may be required to seek additional equity or debt financing. In the event that additional financing is required from outside sources, we may not be able to raise it on terms acceptable to us or at all. If we are unable to raise additional capital when desired, our business, results of operations, and financial condition would be materially and adversely affected.

Our cash flow activities were as follows for the periods presented:

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2015     2016     2017  
     (In millions)  

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $ 14.8     $ 252.6     $ 330.3  

Net cash used in investing activities

     (85.6     (118.0     (23.9

Net cash used in financing activities

     (89.6     (134.5     (231.7

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents

     (0.9     (4.3     2.6  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

   $ (161.3   $ (4.2   $ 77.3  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Operating activities

Our largest source of operating cash is cash collections from our paying users for subscriptions to our platform. Our primary uses of cash from operating activities are for employee-related expenditures,

 

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infrastructure-related costs, and marketing expenses. Net cash provided by operating activities is impacted by our net loss adjusted for certain non-cash items, including depreciation and amortization expenses and stock-based compensation, as well as the effect of changes in operating assets and liabilities.

For the year ended December 31, 2017, net cash provided by operating activities was $330.3 million, which mostly consisted of our net loss of $111.7 million, adjusted for depreciation and amortization expenses of $181.8 million and stock-based compensation expense of $164.6 million, and net cash inflow of $81.3 million from operating assets and liabilities. The inflow from operating assets and liabilities was primarily due to an increase of $64.3 million in deferred revenue from increased subscription sales, as a majority of our paying users are invoiced in advance. The increase in net cash provided by operating activities during the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to the year ended December 31, 2016, was primarily due to a reduction of our net loss, as adjusted for stock-based compensation and depreciation and amortization expenses, as well as cash inflow from changes in operating assets and liabilities.

For the year ended December 31, 2016, net cash provided by operating activities was $252.6 million, which primarily consisted of our net loss of $210.2 million, adjusted for depreciation and amortization expenses of $191.6 million and stock-based compensation expense of $147.6 million, as well as a net cash inflow of $118.8 million from operating assets and liabilities. The inflow from operating assets and liabilities was primarily due to an increase of $87.6 million in deferred revenue from increased subscription sales, as a majority of our paying users are invoiced in advance, and an increase of $35.6 million in accrued compensation and benefits due to the introduction of our annual bonus plan. The increase in net cash from operating activities during 2016 compared to 2015 was primarily due to a reduction of our net loss, as adjusted for stock-based compensation and depreciation and amortization expenses, as well as cash inflow from changes in operating assets and liabilities.

For the year ended December 31, 2015, net cash provided by operating activities was $14.8 million, which mostly consisted of our net loss of $325.9 million, adjusted for depreciation and amortization expenses of $149.6 million and stock-based compensation expense of $66.1 million, as well as a net cash inflow of $123.6 million from operating assets and liabilities. The inflow from operating assets and liabilities was primarily due to an increase of $82.0 million in deferred revenue from increased subscription sales, as a majority of our paying users are invoiced in advance, and an increase of $50.6 million in current and non-current liabilities.

Investing activities

Net cash used in investing activities is primarily impacted by purchases of property and equipment, particularly for purchasing infrastructure equipment in co-location facilities that we directly lease and operate, and for making improvements to existing and new office spaces.

For the year ended December 31, 2017, net cash used in investing activities was $23.9 million, which mostly consisted of capital expenditures related to our infrastructure equipment and office build-outs. The decrease in cash used in investing activities during the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to the year ended December 31, 2016, was primarily due to decreases in capital expenditures for infrastructure equipment and leasehold improvements related to our current corporate headquarters.

For the year ended December 31, 2016, net cash used in investing activities was $118.0 million, which mostly consisted of capital expenditures related to our infrastructure and office build-outs. The increase in cash used in investing activities during 2016 compared to 2015 was primarily due to increases in capital expenditures and patent purchases.

For the year ended December 31, 2015, net cash used in investing activities was $85.6 million, which mostly consisted of capital expenditures related to our infrastructure equipment and office build-outs.

 

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Financing activities

Net cash used in financing activities is primarily impacted by capital lease obligations for our infrastructure equipment and repurchases of common stock to satisfy the tax withholding obligation for the release of restricted stock units (“RSUs”). In 2017, we began releasing shares of common stock underlying vested one-tier RSUs, which generally have a service-based vesting condition over a four-year period and resulted in cash outflows to satisfy the employee tax withholding obligation for those employees who elected to net share settle their awards. See “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation” for additional information.

For the year ended December 31, 2017, net cash used in financing activities was $231.7 million, which primarily consisted of $133.0 million in principal payments against capital lease obligations and $87.9 million for the satisfaction of tax withholding obligations for the release of restricted stock units. The increase in cash used by financing activities during the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to the year ended December 31, 2016, was primarily due to the increase of $87.9 million related to the satisfaction of tax withholding obligations for the release of restricted stock units.

For the year ended December 31, 2016, net cash used in financing activities was $134.5 million, which primarily consisted of $137.9 million in principal payments against capital lease obligations and $3.8 million in principal payments against the note payable issued in 2015 as described below, offset by $8.8 million in proceeds received for a sale-leaseback agreement. The increase in cash used in financing activities during 2016 compared to 2015 was primarily due to an increase of $36.7 million in principal payments on capital leases for our infrastructure, a decrease of $11.9 million in cash received through the issuance of a note payable issued in 2015, as well as an increase of $3.8 million in payments against the note payable in 2016, partially offset by $8.8 million in cash received in a sale lease-back agreement.

For the year ended December 31, 2015, net cash used in financing activities was $89.6 million, which primarily consisted of $101.2 million in principal payments against capital lease obligations, offset by $11.9 million in cash received through the issuance of a note payable to finance our infrastructure.

Contractual Obligations

Our principal commitments consist of obligations under operating leases for office space and datacenter operations, and capital leases for datacenter equipment. The following table summarizes our commitments to settle contractual obligations in cash as of December 31, 2017, for the periods presented below:

 

     Total      Less than
1 year
     1 - 3 years      3 - 5 years      More than
5 years
 
     (In millions)  

Operating lease commitments(1)

   $ 1,349.9      $ 91.5      $ 336.8      $ 201.8      $ 719.8  

Capital lease commitments(2)

     182.0        108.3        73.7        —          —    

Other commitments(3)

     155.1        64.0        86.3        0.6        4.2  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total contractual obligations

   $ 1,687.0      $ 263.8      $ 496.8      $ 202.4      $ 724.0  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) Consists of future non-cancelable minimum rental payments under operating leases for our offices and datacenters, excluding rent payments from our sub-tenants and variable operating expenses. Non-cancelable rent payments from our sub-tenants as of December 31, 2017, for the next six years are expected to be $72.1 million.
(2) Consists of future non-cancelable minimum rental payments under capital leases primarily for our infrastructure.
(3) Consists of commitments to third-party vendors for services related to our infrastructure, infrastructure warranty contracts, payments related to the imputed financing obligation for our previous headquarters, asset retirement obligations for office modifications, and a note payable related to financing of our infrastructure.

In addition to the contractual obligations set forth above, as of December 31, 2017, we had an aggregate of $82.6 million in letters of credit outstanding under our revolving credit facility.

 

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In October 2017, we entered into a new lease agreement for office space in San Francisco, California, to serve as our new corporate headquarters. We expect to start making recurring rental payments under the lease in the third quarter of 2019. Included in the operating lease commitments above are our total expected minimum obligations under the lease agreement of $827.0 million, which exclude expected tenant improvement reimbursements from the landlord of approximately $73.6 million and variable operating expenses. Our obligations under the lease are supported by a $34.2 million letter of credit, which reduced the borrowing capacity under our revolving credit facility.

We plan to take possession of our new corporate headquarters over several phases. We expect to take initial possession in mid-2018, after which time we plan to incur capital expenditures on leasehold improvements and to begin recording rent expense for the portion of the new corporate headquarters that we have the right to use. Capital expenditures will continue to increase as we take possession of the remaining space over the next few years. We will continue to operate in our current corporate headquarters until the new corporate headquarters is ready for occupancy, which is expected to be in 2019. We intend to sublease our current corporate headquarters once we occupy the new corporate headquarters. However, unless we transfer our contractual obligation, we will continue to include the committed lease payments for our current corporate headquarters in the table above.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

As of December 31, 2017, we did not have any relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, such as entities often referred to as structured finance or variable interest entities, which would have been established for the purpose of facilitating off balance sheet arrangements or other contractually narrow or limited purposes.

Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation

Restricted Stock Units

We have granted restricted stock units, or RSUs, to our employees and members of our Board of Directors under our 2008 Equity Incentive Plan, or 2008 Plan, and our 2017 Equity Incentive Plan, or 2017 Plan. We have two types of RSUs outstanding as of December 31, 2017:

 

    One-tier RSUs, which have a service-based vesting condition over a four-year period. These awards typically have a cliff vesting period of one year and continue to vest quarterly thereafter. We recognize compensation expense associated with one-tier RSUs ratably on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period.

 

    Two-tier RSUs, which have both a service-based vesting condition and a liquidity event-related performance vesting condition. These awards typically have a service-based vesting period of four years with a cliff vesting period of one year and continue to vest monthly thereafter. Upon satisfaction of the Performance Vesting Condition, these awards will vest quarterly. The Performance Vesting Condition is satisfied on the earlier of (i) an acquisition or change in control of the Company or (ii) the earlier of (a) six months after our initial public offering or (b) March 15 of the year following our initial public offering. Our Board of Directors has approved the acceleration of the Performance Vesting Condition for two-tier RSUs for which the service condition was satisfied as of December 31, 2017, to occur upon the effectiveness of our registration statement related to this offering. Our last grant date for two-tier RSUs was May 2015.

As of December 31, 2017, all compensation expense related to two-tier RSUs remained unrecognized because the Performance Vesting Condition was not satisfied. At the time the Performance Vesting Condition becomes probable, we will recognize the cumulative stock-based compensation expense for the two-tier RSUs that have met their service-based vesting condition using the accelerated attribution method. If the Performance Vesting Condition had occurred on December 31, 2017, we would have recorded $415.6 million of stock-based compensation expense. As of December 31, 2017, 42.2 million two-tier RSUs were outstanding, of which 39.1 million had met their service condition. If the Performance Vesting Condition had been satisfied on these two-tier RSUs as of December 31, 2017, we would recognize unamortized stock-based compensation expense of $5.6 million over a weighted-average period of approximately one year if the requisite service is provided.

 

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Co-Founder Grants

In December 2017, the Board of Directors approved a grant to our co-founders of restricted stock awards, or RSAs, with respect to 22.1 million shares of Class A Common Stock in the aggregate, or collectively, the Co-Founder Grants, of which 15.5 million RSAs were granted to Mr. Houston, the Company’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, and 6.6 million RSAs were granted to Mr. Ferdowsi, the Company’s co-founder and Director. These Co-Founder Grants have service-based, market-based, and performance-based vesting conditions. While the Co-Founder Grants have certain stockholder rights, such as the right to vote the shares with the other holders of our Class A common stock, the Co-Founder Grants will be excluded from Class A common stock issued and outstanding until the satisfaction of these vesting conditions.

The Co-Founder Grants are eligible to vest over the ten-year period following the closing of this offering. The Co-Founder Grants comprise nine tranches that are eligible to vest based on the achievement of stock price goals, or, each, a Stock Price Target, measured over a consecutive thirty-day trading period during the Performance Period, as follows:

 

Company Stock Price
Target
     Shares Eligible to Vest for
Mr. Houston
     Shares Eligible to Vest
for Mr. Ferdowsi
 
  $20.00        3,100,000        1,320,000  
  $25.00        1,550,000        660,000  
  $30.00        1,550,000        660,000  
  $35.00        1,550,000        660,000  
  $40.00        1,550,000        660,000  
  $45.00        1,550,000        660,000  
  $50.00        1,550,000        660,000  
  $55.00        1,550,000        660,000  
  $60.00        1,550,000        660,000  

The Performance Period begins on the first trading day following the later of (a) the expiration of the lock-up period following the first date the Company’s shares are traded on an established national securities exchange or automated quotation system, or the IPO Date, and (b) January 1, 2019, and ends on the earliest to occur of: (i) the date on which all shares subject to the Co-Founder Grants vest, (ii) the date the applicable co-founder ceases to satisfy the service-based vesting condition, (iii) the tenth anniversary of the IPO Date, and (iv) the occurrence of an acquisition of the Company prior to the IPO Date.

During the first four years of the Performance Period, no more than 20% of the shares subject to each Co-Founder Grant would be eligible to vest in any calendar year. After the first four years, all shares are eligible to vest based on the achievement of the Company Stock Price Targets.

The Co-Founder Grants contain an implied performance-based vesting condition satisfied upon the IPO Date, because no shares subject to the Co-Founder Grants will vest unless the IPO Date occurs. Accordingly, as of December 31, 2017, all compensation expense related to the Co-Founder Grants remained unrecognized because the performance-based vesting condition was not deemed probable of being achieved.

We estimated the grant date fair value of the Co-Founder Grants using a model based on multiple stock price paths developed through the use of a Monte Carlo simulation that incorporates into the valuation the possibility that the Stock Price Targets may not be satisfied. The average grant date fair value of each Co-Founder Grant was estimated to be $7.07 per share, and we will recognize total stock-based compensation expense of $156.2 million over the requisite service period of each tranche, which ranged from 2.9 to 6.9 years, using the accelerated attribution method. If the Stock Price Targets are met sooner than the derived service period, we will adjust our stock-based compensation to reflect the cumulative expense associated with the vested awards. We will recognize stock-based compensation expense if the requisite service period is provided, regardless of whether the market conditions are achieved.

 

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In the period the relevant performance vesting condition becomes probable, we will recognize the cumulative unrecognized expense of our two-tier RSUs and Co-Founder Grants, which will increase our cost of revenue and operating expenses with respect to our two-tier RSUs, and will increase our general and administrative expenses with respect to our Co-Founder Grants, for the quarter and year of our initial public offering. We expect that our research and development expenses will be the line item most significantly impacted by the cumulative expense to be recognized.

See Note 1, “Description of the Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” and Note 11, “Stockholders’ Equity” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for more information.

Critical Accounting Policies and Judgments

Our consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, in the United States. The preparation of consolidated financial statements also requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, costs and expenses, and related disclosures. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results could differ significantly from the estimates made by management. To the extent that there are differences between our estimates and actual results, our future financial statement presentation, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows will be affected.

We believe that the accounting policies described below involve a greater degree of judgment and complexity. Accordingly, these are the policies we believe are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating our consolidated financial condition and results of operations.

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, issued Accounting Standards Update, or ASU, No. 2014-09 Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), or Topic 606. Topic 606 supersedes the revenue recognition requirements in Accounting Standards Codification, Revenue Recognition, or Topic 605, and requires the recognition of revenue when promised goods or services are transferred to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled to in exchange for those goods or services. Topic 606 also includes Subtopic 340-40, Other Assets and Deferred Costs—Contracts with Customers, which requires the deferral of incremental costs of obtaining a contract with a customer.

We adopted the requirements of Topic 606 as of January 1, 2017, utilizing the full retrospective method of transition. As such, Topic 606 is reflected in our financial results for all periods presented in this prospectus. The adoption of Topic 606 resulted in changes to our accounting policies for revenue recognition and deferred commissions.

The impact of adopting Topic 606 on our revenue was not material to any of the periods presented. The primary impact of adopting Topic 606 relates to the deferral of incremental costs of obtaining customer contracts and the amortization of those costs over a longer period of benefit.

Revenue recognition

We generate revenue from sales of subscriptions to our platform. Subscription fees exclude sales and other indirect taxes. We determine revenue recognition through the following steps:

 

    Identification of the contract, or contracts, with a customer

 

    Identification of the performance obligations in the contract

 

    Determination of the transaction price

 

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    Allocation of the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract

 

    Recognition of revenue when, or as, we satisfy a performance obligation

Our subscription agreements typically have monthly or annual contractual terms, and a small percentage have multi-year contractual terms. Revenue is recognized ratably over the related contractual term generally beginning on the date that our platform is made available to a customer. Our agreements are generally non-cancelable. We typically bill in advance for monthly contracts and annually in advance for contracts with terms of one year or longer.

Deferred commissions

Sales commissions and the related payroll taxes earned by our outbound sales team, as well as commissions earned by third-party resellers, are considered to be incremental and recoverable costs of obtaining a contract with a customer. These costs are deferred and then amortized over a period of benefit that we have determined to be five years. We determined the period of benefit by taking into consideration our historical customer attrition rates, the useful life of our technology, and the impact of competition in our industry. Changing the period of benefit by one year would result in a change to expense of approximately $1.0 million or less in each of the periods presented. Amortization of deferred commissions is included in sales and marketing expenses.

Common stock valuations

Since August 2015, we have granted RSUs as the only stock-based payment awards to our employees, excluding the Co-Founder Grants. While we stopped granting stock options in August 2015, we currently have stock options outstanding that will continue to vest through 2019 if the requisite service is provided.

The fair values of the common stock underlying the RSUs were determined by our Board of Directors, with input from management and contemporaneous third-party valuations, which were performed at least quarterly. If RSUs were granted a short period of time prior to the date of a valuation report, we retrospectively assessed the fair value used for financial reporting purposes after considering the fair value reflected in the subsequent valuation report and other facts and circumstances on the date of grant as discussed below.

Given the absence of a public trading market for our common stock, and in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Practice Guide, Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation, or AICPA Guide, our Board of Directors exercised reasonable judgment and considered numerous objective and subjective factors to determine the best estimate of the fair value of our common stock including:

 

    The results of contemporaneous valuations of our common stock by unrelated third parties;

 

    The rights, preferences, and privileges of our convertible preferred stock relative to those of our common stock;

 

    Market multiples of comparable public companies in our industry as indicated by their market capitalization and guideline merger and acquisition transactions;

 

    Our performance and market position relative to our competitors, who may change from time to time;

 

    Our historical financial results and estimated trends and prospects for our future performance;

 

    Valuations published by institutional investors that hold investments in our capital stock;

 

    The economic and competitive environment;

 

    The likelihood and timeline of achieving a liquidity event, such as an initial public offering or sale, given prevailing market conditions;

 

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    Any adjustments necessary to recognize a lack of marketability for our common stock; and

 

    Precedent sales of or offers to purchase our capital stock.

In valuing our common stock, our Board of Directors determined the fair value of our common stock using both the income and market approach valuation methods. The income approach estimates value based on the expectation of future cash flows that a company will generate. These future cash flows are discounted to their present values using a discount rate based on our weighted average cost of capital, and is adjusted to reflect the risks inherent in our cash flows. The market approach estimates value based on a comparison of the subject company to comparable public companies in a similar line of business. From the comparable companies, a representative market value multiple is determined and then applied to the subject company’s financial forecasts to estimate the value of the subject company.

For valuations prior to August 31, 2017, the equity valuation was based on both the income and the market approach valuation methods, in addition to giving consideration to recent secondary sales of our common stock. The Option Pricing Method was selected as the principal equity allocation method. These methods were consistent with prior valuations.

For valuations as of and subsequent to August 31, 2017, we have used a hybrid method to determine the fair value of our common stock, in addition to giving consideration to recent secondary sales of our common stock. Under the hybrid method, multiple valuation approaches were used and then combined into a single probability weighted valuation. Our approach included the use of initial public offering scenarios, a scenario assuming continued operation as a private entity, and a scenario assuming an acquisition of the company.

Application of these approaches involves the use of estimates, judgment, and assumptions that are highly complex and subjective, such as those regarding our expected future revenue, expenses, and cash flows, discount rates, market multiples, the selection of comparable companies, and the probability of future events. Changes in any or all of these estimates and assumptions, or the relationships between those assumptions, impact our valuations as of each valuation date and may have a material impact on the valuation of common stock.

For valuations after the completion of this initial public offering, our Board of Directors will determine the fair value of each share of underlying common stock based on the closing price of our Class A common stock as reported on the date of the grant.

Fair value of market condition awards

The Co-Founder Grants contain market-based vesting conditions. The market-based vesting condition is considered when calculating the grant date fair value of these awards, which requires the use of various estimates and assumptions. The grant date fair value of the Co-Founder Grants was estimated using a model based on multiple stock price paths developed through the use of a Monte Carlo simulation that incorporates into the valuation the possibility that the market condition may not be satisfied. A Monte Carlo simulation requires the use of various assumptions, including our underlying stock price, volatility, and the risk-free interest rate as of the valuation date, corresponding to the length of time remaining in the performance period, and expected dividend yield. A Monte Carlo simulation also calculates a derived service period for each of the nine vesting tranches, which is the measure of the expected time to achieve the market conditions. Expense associated with market-based awards is recognized over the requisite service period of each tranche using the accelerated attribution method, regardless of whether the market conditions are achieved.

Business combinations and valuation of goodwill and other acquired intangible assets

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the fair value of acquired assets and assumed liabilities requires management to apply significant judgment, especially with respect to intangible assets, which consist primarily of developed technologies.

These estimates are based upon a number of factors, including historical experience, market conditions, and information obtained from the management of acquired companies. To determine the fair value of acquired intangible assets, we make estimates that can include, but are not limited to, the cash flows that an asset is expected to generate in the future, the appropriate weighted-average cost of capital to utilize, the cost savings expected to be derived from acquiring an asset, and the expected use of the asset. These same factors are also considered in determining the useful life of acquired intangible assets, which impacts the timing of future amortization expense.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). Most prominent among the changes in the standard is the recognition of right of use assets and lease liabilities by lessees for those leases classified as operating leases under current GAAP. Under the standard, disclosures are required to meet the objective of enabling users of financial statements to assess the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. We will be required to recognize and measure leases existing at, or entered into after, the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented using a modified retrospective approach, with certain practical expedients available. The new standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018. Early adoption by public entities is permitted. We are in the initial stage of our assessment of the new standard and are currently evaluating the timing of adoption, the quantitative impact of adoption, and the related disclosure requirements. We anticipate the adoption of this standard will result in a substantial increase in our non-current assets and liabilities recorded on the consolidated balance sheets. The adoption of the standard is not expected to have a material impact on the consolidated statement of operations. While we are assessing all potential impacts of the adoption of the standard, we currently expect the most significant impact to be the capitalization of right-to-use assets and lease liabilities for our office space and datacenter operating leases. We expect our accounting for capital leases related to infrastructure equipment to remain substantially unchanged under the new standard.

See Note 1, “Description of the Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for more information about other recent accounting pronouncements.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

We are exposed to market risks in the ordinary course of our business, including interest rate, foreign currency exchange, and inflation risks.

Interest rate risk

We had cash and cash equivalents of $430.0 million as of December 31, 2017. We hold our cash and cash equivalents for working capital purposes. Our cash and cash equivalents are held in cash deposits and money market funds. The primary objectives of our investment activities are the preservation of capital, the fulfillment of liquidity needs, and the control of cash and investments. We do not enter into investments for trading or speculative purposes. Due to the short-term nature of these instruments, we believe that we do not have any material exposure to changes in the fair value of our investment portfolio as a result of changes in interest rates. Decreases in interest rates, however, would reduce future interest income.

Any borrowings under the revolving credit facility bear interest at a variable rate tied to the prime rate or the LIBOR rate. As of December 31, 2017, we had no amounts outstanding under the revolving credit facility. We do not have any other long-term debt or financial liabilities with floating interest rates that would subject us to interest rate fluctuations.

 

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A hypothetical 10% change in interest rates during any of the periods presented would not have had a material impact on our financial statements.

Foreign currency exchange risk

Our results of operations and cash flows are subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates relative to U.S. dollars, our reporting currency. Our revenue is generated in U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds sterling, Australian dollars, Canadian dollars, and Japanese yen. Our expenses are generally denominated in the currencies in which our operations are located, which are primarily the United States and, to a lesser extent, Europe and Asia. The functional currency of Dropbox International Unlimited, our international headquarters and largest international entity, is denominated in U.S. dollars. Our results of operations and cash flows are, therefore, subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates in ways that are unrelated to our operating performance. As exchange rates may fluctuate significantly between periods, revenue and operating expenses, when converted into U.S. dollars, may also experience significant fluctuations between periods. Historically, a majority of our revenue and operating expenses have been denominated in U.S. dollars, euros, and British pounds sterling. Although we are impacted by the exchange rate movements from a number of currencies relative to the U.S. dollar, our results of operations are particularly impacted by fluctuations in the U.S. dollar-euro and U.S. dollar-British pounds sterling exchange rate. In 2017, 29% of our sales were denominated in currencies other than U.S. dollars. Our expenses, by contrast, are primarily denominated in U.S. dollars. As a result, any increase in the value of the U.S. dollar against these foreign currencies could cause our revenue to decline relative to our costs, thereby decreasing our gross margins.

We recorded $4.6 million and $3.6 million in net foreign currency transaction losses in the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2016, respectively, and $5.0 million in net foreign currency transaction gains in the year ended December 31, 2017. A hypothetical 10% change in foreign currency rates would not have resulted in material gains or losses for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

To date, we have not engaged in any hedging activities. As our international operations grow, we will continue to reassess our approach to managing risks relating to fluctuations in currency rates.

Inflation risk

We do not believe that inflation has had a material effect on our business, results of operations, or financial condition. Nonetheless, if our costs were to become subject to significant inflationary pressures, we may not be able to fully offset such higher costs. Our inability or failure to do so could harm our business, results of operations, or financial condition.

 

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LOGO

 


 

A letter from Drew & Arash The early days Arash and I started Dropbox with the idea that life would be better if our most important information lived in the cloud. Seemingly overnight, millions of people around the world were using Dropbox to sync their photos and documents. Many of them would write in saying how much they loved the product, and their stories were fascinating. We heard from scientists researching Alzheimer’s, filmmakers at Sundance, and disaster relief workers rescuing earthquake victims. We even got fan mail from an inventive group of farmers who were using Dropbox to coordinate tractors via satellite (we never really figured out how that worked). These people had something in common. For them, Dropbox wasn’t just about keeping files in sync. It was about keeping people in sync—connecting people and their most important information. We were intrigued. Helping teams work better wasn’t the problem we set out to solve, but following our users would take us on a much bigger journey. How teams work today As we observed teams more closely, it became clear to us that while technology had made working life better in many ways, there was also a dark side. We were shocked by how much time our users were spending on things like searching for information, keeping teammates in the loop, and dealing with email. In fact, many employees spent more time on these tasks—all the “work about work”—than the jobs they were hired to do. This overhead only increased as teams grew larger. To make matters worse, newer collaboration tools were turning the workday into a blizzard of interruptions. Notifications pinged at all hours, demanding immediate responses. Work was spilling over into every waking moment, contributing to deeper problems like anxiety and burnout.

 


 

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LOGO

 


 

Modern technology is clearly making us busier. But is it making us more productive? It feels like our “productivity tools” are robbing us of the time and space to think. You’d think they’d be working for us, but somehow we’ve ended up working for them. Why this matters “Work about work” and constant distractions aren’t just exhausting us, they’re also wasting our potential. Think about it: if Einstein were alive today, he’d start his day by clearing Groupons and LinkedIn invitations out of his inbox. Then he’d get down to work—and right before his Eureka moment, his phone would buzz with a Slack message. Would we still understand relativity? As a species, over and over we’ve used our ingenuity to profoundly improve our lives. This is the engine of human progress: our time and creativity go in, and solutions to our biggest problems come out. So we need to start treating our collective creative energy like the incredibly precious resource it is—the fuel for human progress. We can’t make more of this fuel. But we can get better mileage. We can fix this In the last decade, psychology and neuroscience have shed light on what we need to be productive and feel fulfilled. Research shows that we perform at our best when we can focus, when we’re well rested, and when we have a sense of purpose. Wouldn’t it be great if our working environment—and the tools we use—were designed with these needs in mind? Imagine if we finished work every day knowing what we did really mattered. This is possible, and Dropbox is connecting the dots. Last year, we unveiled a new mission: . That might sound a little out there, but our first mission did, too.

 


 

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LOGO

 


 

How we’ll get there The path to enlightened work starts with creating a better environment. More and more, the work we do every day happens on screens. We believe that these virtual spaces should be as thoughtfully designed as our most inspiring physical spaces. How will Dropbox make this happen? To start, teams need to have all their information in one place. It’s crazy that in 2018, it’s easier to search all of human knowledge than a company’s knowledge—at home we have one search box, but at work we have ten. We see a big opportunity to solve this problem by continuing to tie the world’s different tools and ecosystems together. We also need to design a calm environment that fosters flow. Our workspace should feel organized and surface only what’s relevant. It should tune out the chatter—more communication isn’t always better. The experience should be seamless. You shouldn’t have to use one app to write a doc and another to talk about it. Our newer products like Dropbox Paper are designed with these principles in mind. And over time, machine intelligence will allow Dropbox to better understand both you and your team. Imagine getting to work in the morning to find your calendar reorganized so you have a three-hour block of time to actually focus. Imagine starting your day and seeing the perfect to-do list—one based on a deep understanding of your priorities and your team’s priorities. We’re on our way For millions of people and businesses, Dropbox is already a living workspace—the place where people come together and their ideas come to life. These users entrust us with their most valuable information. We think this is a huge advantage that will serve as the foundation of our reimagined work experience. Dropbox is also operating at a scale that few companies have achieved. We have over 500 million registered users who store a billion gigabytes of their data on our platform. And we’ve made this cost-effective by building one of the largest, most efficient cloud infrastructures in the world. Along the way, we’ve written a new playbook for business software. Our millions of users are our best salespeople and have helped us acquire customers with incredible efficiency. As a result, we reached a billion dollar revenue run rate faster than any software-as-a-service company in history.

 


 

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LOGO

 


 

And while we’re at scale, we can still move quickly. We have a lot less baggage than the incumbents. The legacy office suites have had a good run, but they were designed for a world where the most important thing you did was print something out. There’s a reason why BlackBerry didn’t come up with the iPhone. Sometimes it’s better to start fresh. But what gives Arash and me the most confidence is our team of nearly 2,000 Dropboxers around the world. We’re a little biased, but we think we have one of the most talented teams ever assembled, and we grow stronger every year. Join us We all deserve a fulfilling work life. Imagine if every minute at work were well spent—if we could focus and spend our time on the things that matter. Imagine how much more inspired we’d be. Imagine how much better equipped we’d be to tackle humanity’s biggest challenges. This is the world we want to live in. We hope you’ll join us. Drew & Arash

 


 

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BUSINESS

Our Business

Our modern economy runs on knowledge. Today, knowledge lives in the cloud as digital content, and Dropbox is a global collaboration platform where more and more of this content is created, accessed, and shared with the world. We serve more than 500 million registered users across 180 countries.

Dropbox was founded in 2007 with a simple idea: Life would be a lot better if everyone could access their most important information anytime from any device. Over the past decade, we’ve largely accomplished that mission—but along the way we recognized that for most of our users, sharing and collaborating on Dropbox was even more valuable than storing files.

Our market opportunity has grown as we’ve expanded from keeping files in sync to keeping teams in sync. Today, Dropbox is well positioned to reimagine the way work gets done. We’re focused on reducing the inordinate amount of time and energy the world wastes on “work about work”—tedious tasks like searching for content, switching between applications, and managing workflows.

We want to free up our users to spend more of their time on the work that truly matters. Our mission is to unleash the world’s creative energy by designing a more enlightened way of working.

We believe the need for our platform will continue to grow as teams become more fluid and global, and content is increasingly fragmented across incompatible tools and devices. Dropbox breaks down silos by centralizing the flow of information between the products and services our users prefer, even if they’re not our own.

By solving these universal problems, we’ve become invaluable to our users. The popularity of our platform drives viral growth, which has allowed us to scale rapidly and efficiently. We’ve built a thriving global business with over 11 million paying users.

Our revenue was $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%, respectively. We generated net losses of $325.9 million, $210.2 million, and $111.7 million in 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively. We also generated positive free cash flow of $137.4 million and $305.0 million in 2016 and 2017, respectively, compared to negative free cash flow of $63.9 million in 2015.

Our Users

We’re constantly inspired by the diverse ways people use Dropbox to bring their ideas to life and achieve their missions faster. Here are just a few examples:

 

    Nobel Prize-winning researchers sync data with collaborators to speed development of new scientific breakthroughs.

 

    Designers for a sustainable apparel company iterate on new designs and coordinate store openings.

 

    A commercial construction company shares blueprints with subcontractors on job sites and sends bids to prospective clients.

 

    A Fortune 500 online travel company keeps its global workforce connected with business partners around the world.

 

    Pro bono lawyers at a refugee assistance organization collect and share information across continents to save lives.

 

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What Sets Us Apart

Since the beginning, we’ve focused on simplifying the lives of our users. In a world where business software can be frustrating to use, challenging to integrate, and expensive to sell, we take a different approach.

Simple and intuitive design

While traditional tools developed in the desktop age have struggled to keep up with evolving user demands, Dropbox was designed for the cloud era. We build simple, beautiful products that bring joy to our users and make it easier for them to do their best work. Unencumbered by legacy features, we can perfect the aspects of our platform that matter most today, such as the mobile experience and the ability to work in teams.

Open ecosystem

We know people will continue to use a wide variety of tools and platforms. That’s why we’ve built Dropbox to work seamlessly with other products, integrating with partners from Google and Microsoft to Slack and Autodesk. More than 75% of Dropbox Business teams have linked to one or more third-party applications.

Viral, bottom-up adoption

Our 500 million registered users are our best salespeople. They’ve spread Dropbox to their friends and brought us into their offices. Every year, millions of individual users sign up for Dropbox at work. Bottom-up adoption within organizations has been critical to our success as users increasingly choose their own tools at work. We generate over 90% of our revenue from self-serve channels—users who purchase a subscription through our app or website.

Performance and security

Our custom-built infrastructure allows us to maintain high standards of performance, availability, and security. Dropbox is built on proprietary, block-level sync technology to achieve industry-leading performance. In 2016, IDC highlighted our sync performance as best-in-class, outperforming competitors on multiple sync tests, including upload and download speeds for large files. We designed our platform with multiple layers of redundancy to guard against data loss and deliver high availability. We also offer numerous layers of protection, from secure file data transfer and encryption to network configuration and application-level controls.

Industry Trends in Our Favor

Content is increasingly scattered

The proliferation of devices, operating systems, and applications has dramatically increased the volume and complexity of content in the workplace. Content is now routinely scattered across multiple silos, making it harder to access. According to a 2016 IDC report, more than half of companies ranging from 100 to 5,000+ employees use at least three repositories for accessing documents on a weekly basis.

The tools people use are fragmented

Content created at work tends to follow a predictable pattern: It’s authored, sent out for feedback, and shared or published once it’s done. At the same time, teams are organizing that content and coordinating tasks around it. But many of the tools people use today don’t work well together and support only one or two steps of the content lifecycle. This requires users to constantly switch between these tools and makes it even harder to get work done.

Teams have become more fluid and global

Technology hasn’t kept up with a modern workforce that’s increasingly fluid and mobile. People work together on teams that span different functions, organizations, and geographies. A 2016 study by Deloitte found

 

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that 37% of the global workforce is now mobile, 30% of full-time employees primarily work remotely, and 20% of the workforce is made up of temporary workers, contractors, and freelancers. The ability to swiftly disseminate content and its relevant context is critical to keeping teams in sync.

“Work about work” is wasteful and stifles creativity

The combination of scattered content, fragmented tools, and fluid team structures has led to decreased workplace productivity. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, knowledge workers spend approximately 60% of their time at work on tedious tasks such as searching for content, reviewing email, and re-sharing context to keep team members in the loop—what we call “work about work.” This means they spend just 40% of their time doing the jobs they were hired to do.

Individual users are changing the way software is adopted and purchased

Software purchasing decisions have traditionally been made by an organization’s IT department, which often deploys products that employees don’t like and many refuse to adopt. As individuals increasingly choose their own tools at work, purchasing power has become more decentralized. A 2017 IDC report noted that new devices and software were being adopted at a faster rate by individual users than by IT departments.

Our Solution

Dropbox allows individuals, teams, and organizations to collaborate more effectively. Anyone can sign up for free through our website or app, and upgrade to a paid subscription plan for premium features. Our platform offers an elegant solution to the challenges described above.

Key elements of our platform

 

    Unified home for content. We provide a unified home for the world’s content and the relevant context around it. To date, our users have added more than 400 billion pieces of content to Dropbox, totaling over an exabyte (more than 1,000,000,000 gigabytes) of data. When users join Dropbox, they gain access to a digital workspace that supports the full content lifecycle—they can create and organize their content, access it from anywhere, share it with internal and external collaborators, and review feedback and history.

 

    Global sharing network. We’ve built one of the largest collaboration platforms in the world, with more than 4.5 billion connections to shared content. We cater to the needs of dynamic, dispersed teams. The overwhelming majority of our customers use Dropbox to share and collaborate. As we continue to grow, more users benefit from frictionless sharing, and powerful network effects increase the utility and stickiness of our platform.

 

    New product experiences. The insights we glean from our community of users lead us to develop new product experiences, like Paper, Smart Sync, and Showcase. Machine learning further improves the user experience by enabling more intelligent search and better organization and utility of information. This ongoing innovation broadens the value of our platform and deepens user engagement.

These elements reinforce one another to produce a powerful flywheel effect. As users create and share more content with more people, they expand our global sharing network. This network allows us to gather insights and feedback that help us create new product experiences. And with our scale, we can instantly put these innovations in the hands of millions. This, in turn, helps attract more users and content, which further propels the flywheel.

Our Growth Strategy

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

 

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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.

Our Market Opportunity

Over the past decade, Dropbox has pioneered the worldwide adoption of file sync and share software. We’ve since expanded our capabilities and introduced new product experiences to help our users get work done. For the second consecutive year, Gartner has named Dropbox a leader in their Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms.

Our addressable market includes collaborative applications, content management, project and portfolio management, and public cloud storage. IDC estimates that investment in these categories will total more than $50 billion in 2019.

As one of the few large-scale collaboration platforms that serves customers of all sizes, we also have an opportunity to reach a broad population of independent knowledge and creative workers. We believe that this market hasn’t traditionally been included in IT spending estimates.

Our Capabilities

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ways our users make Dropbox work for them. We monetize through a range of subscription plans. Our platform capabilities are described below:

 

 

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The Dropbox Collaboration Platform Access and organize Home Search Previews Smart Sync Version history Third-party ecosystem Share Folders Shared links Showcase File requests Create Paper Mobile doc scanner Collaborate Paper Comments and annotations File activity stream Notifications Viewer info and presence Secure Administrator controls File recovery Encryption Third-party security integrations

 

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Create

Paper. We introduced Paper in January 2017 as a collaborative surface to bring people and ideas together. With Paper, users can co-author content, tag others, assign tasks with due dates, embed and comment on files, tables, checklists, code snippets, and rich media—all in real-time. We designed Paper to be simple and beautiful so users can focus on the most important ideas and tasks at hand.

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Doc scanner. The doc scanner in our mobile app lets users create content in Dropbox from hard copies. This includes transforming everything from printed materials to whiteboard brainstorming sessions into digital documents that users can edit and share. We apply proprietary machine learning techniques to automatically detect the document being scanned, extract it from the background, fit it to a rectangular shape, remove shadows, adjust the contrast, and save it as a PDF or image file. For Dropbox Business teams, scanned content is analyzed using Optical Character Recognition so text within these scans is searchable in Dropbox.

 

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Access and organize

Search. Dropbox has powerful search capabilities that allow users to quickly find the files and folders they need. Our autocomplete technology surfaces and prioritizes content based on users’ previous activity. For Dropbox Professional subscribers and Dropbox Business teams, full text search allows users to scan the entire content of their files.

 

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Rich previews. Rich previews allow users to easily interact with files across any device without having to open different applications. Users can comment on, annotate, review, and present files, and see who viewed and edited them. We support previews of over 280 file types, and Dropbox users currently preview files tens of millions of times every day.

 

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Smart Sync. With Smart Sync, users can access all of their content natively on their computers without taking up storage space on their local hard drives. We intelligently sync files to a user’s computer as they need them, and users can control which files or folders are always synced locally. With Smart Sync, files that are only stored in the cloud appear in the local file system and can be opened directly from Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder, instead of having to navigate to our web interface. Smart Sync is available to Dropbox Professional subscribers and Dropbox Business teams.

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Version history. As paying users work on files, our servers keep snapshots of all their changes. Users can see a file’s complete version history so they can reference and retrieve older versions if needed. Version histories are kept between 30 to 120 days for paying users, depending on subscription plan.

Third-party ecosystem. Our open and thriving ecosystem fosters deeper relationships with our users and developers. Developers can build applications that connect to Dropbox through our DBX Developer Platform. For example, email apps can plug into Dropbox to send attachments or shared links, and note-taking apps can allow users to save to Dropbox so they can open their notes on another device. As of December 31, 2017, Dropbox was receiving over 50 billion API calls per month and over 500,000 developers had registered and built applications on our platform. In addition, more than 75% of Dropbox Business teams have linked to one or more third-party applications.

Share

Folders. There are three types of folders in Dropbox: private, shared, and team folders. A private folder allows an individual to sync files between devices. A shared folder allows users to quickly and easily start a project space for group collaboration. A team folder, which is only available for Dropbox Business teams, is a central, administrator-managed hub where they can store and collaborate on content.

 

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Shared links. Users can share files and folders with anyone, including non-Dropbox users, by creating a Dropbox link. Once created, the link can be sent through email, text, Facebook, Twitter, instant message, or other channels. The recipient can view the file with a rich preview or see all the files in a shared folder. Dropbox Professional subscribers and Dropbox Business teams can set passwords and expiration dates and specify whether recipients can comment on or download the files.

Showcase. Showcase gives users a way to present their work to clients and business partners through a customizable, professionally branded webpage. Users can display visual previews of multiple files on the same page and add relevant context with introductory text and captions and an introduction. Showcase also lets users track how recipients engage with their content, including analytics on who has viewed, commented, or downloaded content on a per-person and per-file basis.

 

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File requests. With file requests, users can invite anyone to submit files into a specified Dropbox folder through a simple link—regardless of whether the recipient has a Dropbox account. File requests are ideal for tasks such as collecting bids from contractors or requesting submissions from coworkers and clients. All submitted files are organized into a Dropbox folder that’s private to the requesting user.

 

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Collaborate

Comments and annotations. Dropbox comments and annotations marry content with the conversations and relevant context around it. Instead of being scattered across separate silos, such as email and chat, the editing and development of content are tied to a file. Users can give feedback on specific parts of files through a rich, innovative overlay on our web and mobile platforms.

 

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File activity stream. An activity feed lives next to every file preview on our web interface, telling users what’s happening with a file. The feed shows when someone opens a file, edits a file, or shares a file.

Notifications. We use real-time notifications across all our channels—web, desktop, email, and mobile—to keep users up-to-date on what’s happening with their work. Users can choose to be notified when someone opens, edits, shares, or comments on a file, or adds a file to their shared folders. These notifications keep collaborators in sync without having to open the file or doc.

Viewer information and presence. On both file previews and Paper docs, Dropbox shows users in real-time who’s viewing a doc and when a doc was last viewed by other users. On desktop, the Dropbox badge is a subtle overlay to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that lets users know if someone opens or edits the file they’re working in. The Dropbox badge gives users real-time insight into how others are interacting with their content, bringing modern collaboration features often found only in web-based documents to desktop files.

Secure

Security protections. We employ strong protections for all of the data on our platform.

 

   

Encryption. Dropbox file data at rest is encrypted using 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES. To protect data in transit between Dropbox apps such as desktop, mobile, API, or web and our

 

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servers, Dropbox uses Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, and Transport Layer Security, or TLS, for data transfer, creating a secure tunnel protected by 128-bit or higher AES encryption.

 

    File recovery. Every deletion event in Dropbox is recorded, including when groups of files are deleted. Users can easily recover files through our web interface. Dropbox Plus subscribers may recover prior versions for up to 30 days after deletion, and Dropbox Professional and Dropbox Business subscribers may recover prior versions for up to 120 days after deletion.

Administrator controls. Dropbox Business team administrators have many ways to customize security settings in both global and granular ways.

 

    Sharing permissions: Team administrators can set up and monitor how their members share team folders, and can set sharing permissions on all folders, sub-folders, and links through the sharing tab.

 

    Remote device wipe: Team administrators can delete their organization’s Dropbox content from a member’s linked devices, which is especially useful should someone lose a device or leave the team.

 

    Audit log: Team administrators can monitor which members are sharing files and logging into Dropbox, among other events. They can review activity logs, create full reports for specific time ranges, and pull activity reports on specific members. Advanced and Enterprise team administrators have access to audit logs with file-event tracking.

 

    Device approvals: Advanced and Enterprise team administrators can manage how members access Dropbox on their devices.

 

    Tiered administrator roles: Advanced and Enterprise teams have the ability to set multiple administrator roles, each with a different set of permissions.

 

    Network control: Enterprise team administrators can restrict personal Dropbox usage on their organization’s network.

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Third-party security integrations. We’ve partnered with industry-leading third parties to enable us to provide a wide range of IT processes and satisfy industry compliance standards, including:

 

    Security information and event management: Allows Dropbox Business administrators to oversee and manage employee activity, and access sensitive data through the administrator page.

 

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    Data loss prevention: Protects sensitive data like personally identifiable information and payment card industry data stored in Dropbox Business accounts.

 

    eDiscovery and legal hold: Enables secure search and the ability to collect and preserve electronically stored information in Dropbox Business accounts.

 

    Digital rights management: Provides third-party encryption for company data stored in Dropbox Business accounts.

 

    Data migration and on-premises backup: Assists in transferring large amounts of data between locations and securing sensitive information with on-site data backup.

 

    Identity management: Allows companies to keep their Dropbox Business team authenticated with an external identity provider like Active Directory.

 

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Our Subscription Plans

We offer subscription plans to serve the varying needs of our diverse customer base, which includes individuals, teams, and organizations of all sizes.

 

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Our Customers

We’ve built a thriving global business with over 11 million paying users. Of these subscribers, approximately 30% use Dropbox for work on a Dropbox Business team plan, and we estimate that an additional 50% use Dropbox for work on an individual plan, collectively totaling approximately 80% of paying subscribers. As of December 31, 2017, we had more than 300,000 paying Dropbox Business teams, and approximately 56%

 

Individuals Dropbox Business Basic Plus Professional Standard Advanced Enterprise First launched 2008 2008 2017 2011 2017 2015 Number of users 1 user 1 user 1 user 3+ users 3+ users Large deployments Base price ($USD) per user Free $9.99/month $19.99/month $15.00/month $25.00/month Negotiated pricing $99/year $199/year $150/year $240/year Advanced sharing permissions Version history 30 days 30 days 120 days 120 days 120 days 120 days Smart Sync Showcase Team folders Unlimited API access Paper Storage 2GB 1TB 1TB 2TB As much as needed As much as needed Support Basic email support Priority email support Priority chat support Live chat support Business hours phone support 24/7 phone support Assigned account success manager Advanced admin & security features Remote device wipe Remote device wipe Admin console Managed groups Access permissions Account transfer tool HIPAA support Everything in Standard Device approval Audit log Tiered admin roles SSO integration Everything in Advanced EMM Network control Domain insights Integration support

 

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of Fortune 500 companies had at least one Dropbox Business team within their organization. Our customer base is highly diversified, and in 2015, 2016, and 2017, no customer accounted for more than 1% of our revenue. Our customers include individuals, teams, and organizations of all sizes, from freelancers and small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. They work across a wide range of industries, including professional services, technology, media, education, industrials, consumer and retail, and financial services. Within companies, our platform is used by all types of teams and functions, including sales, marketing, product, design, engineering, finance, legal, and human resources.

How we support our customers

All of our users can access support through the following resources:

 

    Help center: Provides an online repository of helpful information about our platform, responses to frequently asked questions, and best practices for use.

 

    Community support: Facilitates collaboration between users on answers, solutions, and ideas about our platform in an online community.

 

    Twitter support: Provides users real-time product and service updates, and offers tips and troubleshooting information.

 

    Guided troubleshooting: Offers step-by-step instructions to resolve common questions and provides a portal to submit help requests for questions that aren’t otherwise available.

We also offer additional support for our paying users as described above in “Our Subscription Plans.”

Case Studies

The customer examples below illustrate how businesses from different industries benefit from our platform.

 

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Expedia Expedia offers online travel booking for flights, hotels, car rentals, and more through its portfolio of over 200 web properties. The company encourages its more than 20,000 employees in 72 offices worldwide to use technology they know and love. This presents a unique business challenge: how does a global team work well together when their tools do not? After learning that many employees already relied on Dropbox to coordinate on projects, Expedia purchased 10,000 Dropbox Business licenses in 2015. It was an easy transition: the platform required little or no training, and Dropbox integrated seamlessly with the wide array of platforms and apps the business ran on—a key reason why so many Expedians had already adopted Dropbox. After just one month of deployment, the number of shared Dropbox folders increased six-fold and the number of mobile devices connected to Dropbox doubled, supporting greater productivity for employees as they traveled. Expedia also saved on IT costs as their workflows moved to the cloud. “A lot of times when we deploy software, we first hear about the challenges. But during our phased deployment of Dropbox Business, we mostly just heard employees saying, ‘Can I get that now?’” Chris Burgess Vice President of Information Technology Expedia Group

 

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Golden State Warriors The defending NBA champions are known for their innovative thinking and teamwork on and off the court. Part of the Warriors’ organizational philosophy is to break down communication barriers, but their existing tools weren’t maximizing efficiency. Ease of use, security, and seamless on-boarding were among the deciding factors in adopting Dropbox. The IT team also loves that Smart Sync frees up hard drive space, allowing for leaner hardware choices. After starting with 15 Dropbox Business licenses in 2013, today the Warriors have requested 450 Business licenses to keep up with user demand. The Warriors use Dropbox across the organization. Basketball operations and analytics departments share scouting videos, “heat maps” that show where a player is most successful on the court, and complex models in Excel to ensure they’re keeping their competitive edge. As the Warriors prepare for their move to Chase Center in 2019, designers, architects, and engineers collaborate on CAD file schematics in Dropbox. The Warriors say that using Dropbox helps keep them ahead of the curve in their industry. “The beauty of Dropbox is that it lets us collaborate across any team, from any location. We owe a lot of our success to how well our organization works together, and Dropbox is right there at the top of the list of reasons why.” Chip Bowers Chief Marketing Officer Golden State Warriors


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Les Lune Les Lunes is a fashion and apparel company. Designers in Paris and Los Angeles, manufacturers in Shanghai, and business teams in San Francisco and New York collaborate to make clothing out of sustainable bamboo fabrics. As the company grew from three employees to 20, Les Lunes adopted Dropbox Business in 2013 to centralize their workflow. Les Lunes’ entire product development process now happens in Dropbox Paper. Designers use it to iterate on sketches in real time, while store managers comment in the same document to relay customer feedback. Employees track everything from vendor deliveries to logo approvals with Paper’s task management and deadline features. To date, Les Lunes has used Paper to design 10 clothing lines and plan six new store and showroom openings. Since adopting Dropbox, Les Lunes has also saved around $200,000 a year on infrastructure, including costs associated with laptops, on-premise storage systems, security software, file servers, IT personnel, and competing SaaS solutions. “Dropbox Paper is our new best friend. It has eliminated long email chains and really enabled us to communicate better as a team—it saves us hours of work on every project.” Tobe Sheldon Regional Manager Les Lunes


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Brandt Brandt is a large mechanical, electrical, and plumbing contractor that services facilities like schools and hospitals across Texas. Before adopting Dropbox, Brandt’s field technicians relied on paperwork, scanners, printers, and fax machines to communicate with their company headquarters and customers. In 2014, Brandt purchased 120 Dropbox Business licenses and deployed them on tablets for technicians on job sites to update forms and work orders in shared Dropbox folders. Brandt also integrated its own digital signature app with Dropbox to make the process even easier. Signed forms save automatically to the appropriate Dropbox shared folder, which notifies the approving supervisor. Brandt has since expanded its deployment to 250 Dropbox Business licenses, and estimates that each field technician saves up to one hour per service call on document processing. With 120 technicians each completing two service calls per day on average, Brandt calculates savings of $400,000 per year—or more than three times the annual cost of the company’s Dropbox Business subscription. “Our technicians are more efficient, our customers are getting what they need more quickly, and we are delivering to the bottom line in ways that were unforeseeable when we began this process.” Jim Stagg Vice President of Service Brandt

 

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Maple Hill Creamery is the pioneer in organic 100% grass-fed dairy products with top-selling items in stores across the U.S. As the company grew to include 150 organic dairy farms across the state of New York, and remote teams across the country, they needed a more sustainable and centralized way to share information than email and personal Dropbox accounts. In 2015, Maple Hill upgraded to Dropbox Business—a decision they now describe as “priceless.” By creating shared folders with each of their team members and departments, Maple Hill manages contracts, organic certificates, and other key documents without having to track down email attachments. Salespeople use shared folders to access product summaries, distributor profiles, and other marketing assets. With the Dropbox badge, employees keep tabs on milk flow as production from 150 farms is updated to reflect expected volumes in Excel spreadsheets. By making it easy to coordinate with distributors and eliminating the need to maintain file servers, Dropbox has helped Maple Hill keep IT costs low as they’ve expanded into the dairy aisles of more than 6,000 stores. “We’re able to do things you could do in the past only with a full-fledged IT department. So Dropbox keeps us very small and nimble.” Tim Joseph Founder

 

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World Bicycle Relief World Bicycle Relief (WBR) was founded in the aftermath of the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Co-founders F.K. Day and Leah Missbach Day saw how bicycles helped the people who had been relocated from their homes, schools, and places of work to get moving again. The nonprofit designs, manufactures, and delivers durable bicycles to developing countries where typically available, low-quality bikes often fall apart in these rugged, rural conditions. Operating on a limited budget, WBR needed a better way to centralize collaboration among employees on four continents who often needed to share large files. In 2015, WBR decided to buy 50 Dropbox Business licenses because many of its employees were already familiar with the product. Employees in Chicago and Europe use Dropbox to share design files with manufacturers in Taiwan and distribute product manuals with field teams in Africa, who then assemble the bicycles. The platform’s reliable performance in low-bandwidth environments has allowed WBR to effectively manage its supply chain communications and product orders, enabling the nonprofit to put more bicycles in the hands of people who need them. To date, WBR has delivered over 350,000 Buffalo Bicycles in 19 countries. “Our investments in technology are a key reason we’ve been able to scale our efforts, and Dropbox is right at the top of the list of tools we use every day.” Ruth-Anne Renaud Director of Global Marketing World Bicycle Relief


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Our Sales and Marketing Approach

As users share content and collaborate on our platform, they introduce and invite new users, driving viral growth. We generate 90% of our revenue from self-serve channels, which reduces customer acquisition costs.

We’ve developed an efficient marketing function that’s focused on building brand awareness and reinforcing our self-serve model. Our goal is to rapidly demonstrate the value of our platform to our users in order to convert them to paying users and upgrade them to our premium offerings. We reach them through in-product prompts and notifications, time-limited trials of paid subscription plans, email, and lifecycle marketing. During the fourth quarter of 2017, hundreds of millions of devices—including computers, phones, and tablets—were actively connected to the Dropbox platform, representing a large number of touchpoints to communicate with our users.

We complement our self-serve strategy with a focused outbound sales effort targeted at organizations with existing organic adoption of Dropbox. Once prospects are identified, our sales team works to broaden adoption of our platform into wider-scale deployments. We also acquire some users through paid marketing and distribution partnerships in which hardware manufacturers pre-install our software on their devices.

Our Technology Infrastructure and Operations

Our users trust us with their most important content, and we focus on providing them with a secure and easy-to-use platform. More than 90% of our users’ data is stored on our own custom-built infrastructure, which has been designed from the ground up to be reliable and secure, and to provide annual data durability of at least 99.999999999%. We have datacenter co-location facilities in California, Texas, and Virginia.

We also utilize Amazon Web Services, or AWS, for the remainder of our users’ storage needs and to help deliver our services. These AWS datacenters are located in the United States and Europe, which allows us to localize where content is stored. Our technology infrastructure, combined with select use of AWS resources, provides us with a distributed and scalable architecture on a global scale.

We designed our platform with multiple layers of redundancy to guard against data loss and deliver high availability. Incremental backups are performed hourly and full backups are performed daily. In addition, as a default, redundant copies of content are stored independently in at least two separate geographic regions and replicated reliably within each region.

Our Research and Development Approach

We invest substantial resources in research and development to enhance our platform, develop new products and features, and improve our infrastructure.

Our research and development organization consists of world-class engineering, product, and design teams. As of December 31, 2017, we had more than 870 professionals across these teams, representing approximately 47% of our full-time employees. They have a diverse set of skills and industry experience, including expertise in massively distributed systems and user-centric application engineering.

Our engineering, product, and design teams work together to bring our products to life, from conception and validation to implementation. We continually improve our existing products, update them to work with the latest platforms and technologies, and launch new and innovative products and features.

 

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Our Values

Since our founding, we’ve focused on building a culture of innovation and teamwork. As our company grew, we developed five core values that are critical to our success. Our values are a compass and part of everyday life for Dropboxers. Each one guides how we treat each other and our users.

 

    Be worthy of trust

Take care of each other and our users, and keep their best interests at heart. Millions of people and businesses trust us to safeguard their most important information. We strive to be as transparent as possible with them and each other.

 

    Sweat the details

Obsess over quality and strive to master your craft. We believe that truly insightful solutions emerge from a deep understanding of problems and a dedication to iteration. We push ourselves (and each other) to get to the root of problems, and we don’t accept sloppy solutions or band-aids.

 

    Aim higher

Set audacious goals. We believe in taking risks and being willing to disrupt ourselves, so we don’t squander an opportunity to build something much bigger. With the density of incredible talent at Dropbox and the size of the opportunity in front of us, we owe it to each other to push limits.

 

    We, not I

We’re a village, and as members, we each need to do our part for the village to thrive. We tackle a never-ending stream of people, product, and business challenges, many of which are far too hard to be solved by a single person or team. We believe in people really knowing each other and in putting the welfare of the company and our users before ourselves.

 


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Surprise and delight each other and our users. Cupcake is about adding an authentic, human touch to everything we do. But more than that, it’s about finding creative ways to make our users (and each other) smile—whether it’s our quirky illustrations, or bringing a roving ice cream cart to the office to celebrate a product launch. We believe that the magic we create together as Dropboxers translates into magic for our users.

Our Employees

As of December 31, 2017, we had 1,858 full-time employees. We also engage contractors and consultants. None of our employees are represented by a labor union. We have not experienced any work stoppages, and we believe that our employee relations are strong.

Our Commitment to Security and Privacy

Trust is the foundation of our relationship with our users, and we take significant measures every day to protect their privacy and security.

Security

Our sophisticated infrastructure is designed to protect our users’ content while it is transferred, stored, and processed. We offer multiple layers of protection, including secure file data transfer, encryption, network configuration, and application-level controls. For Dropbox Business teams, our tools also empower

 

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administrators with control and visibility features that allow them to customize our platform to their organizations’ needs. Our information security policies and management framework are designed to build a culture of security, and we continually assess risks and improve the security, confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our systems.

We voluntarily engage third-party security auditors to test our systems and controls at least annually against the most widely recognized security standards and regulations. Our Dropbox Trust Program consists of key infrastructure processes such as change management, access control, security management, and human resource management. Our program also serves as an Information Security Management System, or ISMS, as prescribed by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, and the International Electrotechnical Commission 27001:2013 international information security standard. It also qualifies as a Business Continuity Management System, or BCMS, as prescribed by the ISO 22301:2012 international business continuity standard.

The ISO has developed a series of standards for information security and related areas. We’ve received the following ISO certifications:

 

    ISO 27001 (Information Security Management)

 

    ISO 27017 (Cloud Security)

 

    ISO 27018 (Cloud Privacy and Data Protection)

 

    ISO 22301 (Business Continuity Management)

We’ve also completed a SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 examination. Service Organization Controls, or SOC, are standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for reporting on internal control environments implemented within an organization. Our datacenter facilities and services providers also regularly undergo ISO 27001, SOC 1, and/or SOC 2 audits to verify their security practices. The ISO 27001 security standard specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining, and improving a documented Information Security Management System within the context of the organization’s overall business risks. This standard addresses confidentiality, access control, vulnerability, and risk assessment.

In addition, we have CSA STAR Level 1 and Level 2 certifications from the Cloud Security Alliance, or CSA, a security assurance program for cloud services. CSA Security, Trust & Assurance Registry, or STAR, is a free, publicly-accessible registry that offers a security assurance program for cloud services, helping users assess the security posture of cloud providers they currently use or are considering contracting with. CSA STAR Level 2 Certification requires a third-party independent assessment of our security controls based on the requirements of ISO 27001 and the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix, or CCM, v.3.0.1, a set of criteria that measures the capability levels of cloud services. The CSA STAR Level 1 Self-Assessment is a rigorous survey based on CSA’s Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire, which aligns with the CCM, and provides answers to almost 300 questions a cloud customer or a cloud security auditor may ask. We’re also listed in the UK Digital Marketplace for government cloud services procurement under the current framework, known as G-Cloud 9.

Dropbox supports HIPAA and HITECH compliance. We sign business associate agreements with our customers who require them in order to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH. We also offer a HIPAA assessment report performed by an independent third party.

Privacy

We’re committed to keeping user data private. Our privacy policy details how users’ information is protected and the steps we take to protect it. Dropbox also has terms and guidelines for third-party developers to create applications that connect to Dropbox while respecting user privacy. Dropbox is certified under the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield and is working towards compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, framework.

 

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We believe in transparency with our users and have adopted guiding principles regarding how we handle requests from government and law enforcement agencies seeking information about our users and their content. These guiding principles are:

 

    Be transparent

 

    We believe that online services should be allowed to publish the number and types of government requests they receive, and to notify individuals when information about them has been requested. We’ll continue to publish detailed information about these requests and advocate for the right to provide more information.

 

    Fight overly broad requests

 

    We believe that government data requests should be limited in the information they seek and narrowly tailored to specific people and legitimate investigations. We’ll resist blanket and overly broad requests.

 

    Provide trusted services

 

    We believe that governments should never install backdoors into online services or compromise infrastructure to obtain user data. We’ll continue to work to protect our systems and to change laws to make it clear that this type of activity is illegal.

 

    Protect all users

 

    We believe that laws that give people different protections based on where they live or their citizenship are antiquated and don’t reflect the global nature of online services. We’re committed to providing the same level of protection to all of our users. That means that we use our guiding principles to scrutinize all the requests we receive, regardless of the origin of the request or user.

Our Competition

The market for content collaboration platforms is competitive and rapidly changing. Certain features of our platform compete in the cloud storage market with products offered by Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, and in the content collaboration market with products offered by Atlassian, Google, and Microsoft. We compete with Box on a more limited basis in the cloud storage market for deployments by large enterprises. We also compete with smaller private companies that offer point solutions in the cloud storage market or the content collaboration market.

We believe that the principal competitive factors in our markets include the following:

 

    user-centric design;

 

    ease of adoption and use;

 

    scale of user network;

 

    features and platform experience;

 

    performance;

 

    brand;

 

    security and privacy;

 

    accessibility across several devices, operating systems, and applications;

 

    third-party integration;

 

    customer support;

 

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    continued innovation; and

 

    pricing.

We believe we compete favorably across these factors and are largely unhindered by legacy constraints. However, some of our competitors may have greater name recognition, longer operating histories, more varied services, the ability to bundle a broader range of products and services, larger marketing budgets, established marketing relationships, access to larger user bases, major distribution agreements with hardware manufacturers and resellers, and greater financial, technical, and other resources.

Intellectual Property

We believe that our intellectual property rights are valuable and important to our business. We rely on patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, know-how license agreements, confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements, employee disclosure and invention assignment agreements, and other contractual rights to establish and protect our proprietary rights. In addition, from time to time we’ve purchased patents, inbound licenses, trademarks, domain names, and patent applications from third parties.

We have over 600 issued patents and more than 600 pending patent applications in the United States and abroad. These patents and patent applications seek to protect our proprietary inventions relevant to our business. In addition, we have a large number of inbound licenses to key patents in the file collaboration, storage, syncing, and sharing markets.

We have trademark rights in our name, our logo, and other brand indicia, and have trademark registrations for select marks in the United States and many other jurisdictions around the world. We also have registered domain names for websites that we use in our business, such as www.dropbox.com, and similar variations.

We intend to pursue additional intellectual property protection to the extent we believe it would be beneficial and cost effective. Despite our efforts to protect our intellectual property rights, they may not be respected in the future or may be invalidated, circumvented, or challenged. In addition, the laws of various foreign countries where our products are distributed may not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as laws in the United States.

Legal Proceedings

We are currently involved in, and may in the future be involved in, legal proceedings, claims, and government investigations in the ordinary course of business, including legal proceedings with third parties asserting infringement of their intellectual property rights. For example, in April 2015, Synchronoss Technologies, Inc., a public company that provides cloud-based products, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against us in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, claiming three counts of patent infringement and seeking injunctive relief. The case was subsequently transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. We do not currently believe that this matter is likely to have a material adverse impact on our consolidated results of operations, cash flows, or our financial position, and we intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit, and believe we have valid defenses to the claims. However, any litigation is inherently uncertain, and any judgment or injunctive relief entered against us or any adverse settlement could materially and adversely impact our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects.

Future litigation may be necessary, among other things, to defend ourselves or our users by determining the scope, enforceability, and validity of third-party proprietary rights or to establish our proprietary rights. The results of any current or future litigation cannot be predicted with certainty, and regardless of the outcome, litigation can have an adverse impact on us because of defense and settlement costs, diversion of management resources, and other factors.

 

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Our Facilities

Our corporate headquarters is located in San Francisco, California, pursuant to operating leases that expire in 2033. We lease additional offices in San Francisco and around the world, including in Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; New York, New York; Dublin, Ireland; London, United Kingdom; Tel Aviv, Israel; Sydney, Australia; and Tokyo, Japan. We have datacenter co-location facilities in California, Texas, and Virginia. We believe that these facilities are generally suitable to meet our needs.

 

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MANAGEMENT

Executive Officers and Directors

The following table provides information regarding our executive officers and directors as of December 31, 2017:

 

Name

   Age   

Position

Executive officers:

     

Andrew W. Houston

   34    Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder, and Chairman

Arash Ferdowsi

   32    Co-Founder and Director

Quentin J. Clark

   46    Senior Vice President of Engineering, Product, and Design

Ajay V. Vashee

   34    Chief Financial Officer

Bart E. Volkmer

   43    General Counsel

Dennis M. Woodside

   48    Chief Operating Officer

Non-executive directors:

     

Donald W. Blair

   59    Director

Paul E. Jacobs

   55    Director

Robert J. Mylod, Jr.

   51    Director

Condoleezza Rice

   63    Director

R. Bryan Schreier

   39    Director

Margaret C. Whitman

   61    Director

Executive officers

Andrew W. Houston. Mr. Houston is one of our co-founders and has served as a member of our Board of Directors and our Chief Executive Officer since June 2007. Mr. Houston holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Houston was selected to serve on our Board of Directors because of the perspective and experience he brings as our Chief Executive Officer and as one of our co-founders.

Arash Ferdowsi. Mr. Ferdowsi is one of our co-founders and has served as a member of our Board of Directors since June 2007. From June 2007 to October 2016, Mr. Ferdowsi served as our Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Ferdowsi attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Ferdowsi was selected to serve on our Board of Directors because of the perspective and experience he brings as one of our co-founders.

Quentin J. Clark. Mr. Clark has served as our Senior Vice President of Engineering, Product, and Design since September 2017. From November 2014 to September 2016, Mr. Clark served as Executive Vice President for SAP America, Inc., a developer of business software solutions, as its Chief Business Officer from October 2015 to September 2016, and as its Chief Technology Officer from November 2014 to October 2015. Prior to joining SAP, Mr. Clark served at Microsoft Corporation, a global technology company, and as a Corporate Vice President of enterprise business units since 2011, and held various engineering and product leadership roles at Microsoft since 1994. Mr. Clark holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Ajay V. Vashee. Mr. Vashee has served as our Chief Financial Officer since September 2016. From February 2015 to September 2016, Mr. Vashee served as our Head of Corporate Development. From April 2012 to February 2015, Mr. Vashee served as our Head of Finance. Mr. Vashee holds a B.A. in Economics-Political Science from Columbia University.

 

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Bart E. Volkmer. Mr. Volkmer has served as our General Counsel since June 2016. From August 2011 to June 2016, Mr. Volkmer served as our Head of Litigation & Regulatory. Mr. Volkmer holds a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law and a B.A. in English from Creighton University.

Dennis M. Woodside. Mr. Woodside has served as our Chief Operating Officer since April 2014. From May 2012 to April 2014, Mr. Woodside served as Chief Executive Officer for Motorola Mobility LLC, a consumer electronics and telecommunications company now owned by Lenovo Group Ltd. From March 2009 to September 2011, Mr. Woodside served as President, Americas & Senior Vice President for Google Inc., a global technology company. Mr. Woodside holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.S. in Industrial Relations from Cornell University.

Non-executive directors

Donald W. Blair. Mr. Blair has served as a member of our Board of Directors since December 2017. From November 1999 to October 2015, Mr. Blair served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for NIKE, Inc., or NIKE, a global footwear and apparel company. Prior to joining NIKE, for fifteen years, Mr. Blair served in a number of senior executive-level corporate and operating unit financial assignments for PepsiCo, Inc., or PepsiCo, a food and beverage company, including Chief Financial Officer for PepsiCo Japan (based in Tokyo) and Pepsi-Cola International’s Asia Division (based in Hong Kong). Mr. Blair currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Corning Incorporated, a global manufacturing company. Mr. Blair holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Blair was selected to serve on our Board of Directors because of his extensive financial expertise, and business management and governance experience.

Paul E. Jacobs, Ph.D. Dr. Jacobs has served as a member of our Board of Directors since April 2016. Dr. Jacobs has served as the Executive Chairman for Qualcomm Inc., a semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company, since March 2014 and as the Chairman of its board of directors since March 2009. From July 2005 to March 2017, Dr. Jacobs served as Chief Executive Officer for Qualcomm Inc. Dr. Jacobs also currently serves as a member of the board of directors for a number of private companies. Dr. Jacobs holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Jacobs was selected to serve on our Board of Directors because of his extensive business, operations, and management experience.

Robert J. Mylod Jr. Mr. Mylod has served as a member of our Board of Directors since September 2014. Mr. Mylod has served as Managing Partner for Annox Capital Management, a venture capital firm that he founded, since January 2013. Mr. Mylod served as Head of Worldwide Strategy & Planning and Vice Chairman for The Priceline Group Inc., an online travel services provider, from January 2009 to March 2011 and as its Chief Financial Officer and Vice Chairman from November 2000 to January 2009. Mr. Mylod currently serves as the Chairman of the board of directors for Redfin Corporation, a real estate company that provides web-based real estate database and brokerage services, and as a member of the board of directors for The Priceline Group, Inc. and a number of private companies. Mr. Mylod holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an A.B. in English from the University of Michigan.

Mr. Mylod was selected to serve on our Board of Directors because of his financial expertise and extensive business, operations, and management experience.

Condoleezza Rice, Ph.D. Dr. Rice has served as a member of our Board of Directors since April 2014. Since September 2010, Dr. Rice has served as the Denning Professor of Global Business and the Economy for the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Since March 2009, Dr. Rice has served as a Senior Fellow of Public

 

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Policy for the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, as a Senior Fellow for the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, and as a Professor of Political Science for Stanford University. Dr. Rice has served as a partner at RiceHadleyGates LLC, an international strategic consulting firm that Dr. Rice founded, since November 2009. From January 2005 to January 2009, Dr. Rice served as the Secretary of State of the United States of America. From January 2001 to January 2005, Dr. Rice served as Chief National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. Beginning in 1981, she served in various roles at Stanford University, including serving as Provost from 1993-1999. Dr. Rice previously served as a member of the board of directors of Charles Schwab Corporation, a bank and brokerage firm, Chevron Corporation, a multinational energy corporation, Transamerica Corporation, a life insurance and investment company, and KiOR, Inc., a renewable fuels company. Dr. Rice currently serves as an advisor for a number of other public companies, and as a member of the board directors for a number of private companies, including C3IoT and Makena Capital Management, LLC. Dr. Rice holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Denver, an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A in Political Science from the University of Denver.

Dr. Rice was selected to serve on our Board of Directors because of her deep global expertise and business experience from her prior roles as a director of multiple public companies and her background in policymaking, education, and innovation.

R. Bryan Schreier. Mr. Schreier has served as a member of our Board of Directors since July 2009. Since March 2008, Mr. Schreier has served as a partner at Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm. Mr. Schreier currently serves as a member of the board of directors for a number of private companies. Mr. Schreier holds a B.A. in Computer Science from Princeton University.

Mr. Schreier was selected to serve on our Board of Directors because of his financial and managerial experience and because he represents our largest stockholder.

Margaret C. Whitman. Ms. Whitman has served as a member of our Board of Directors since September 2017. Since February 2018, Ms. Whitman has served as Chief Executive Officer for NewTV, a mobile media company. From June 2017 to January 2018, Ms. Whitman served as Chief Executive Officer for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, or HPE, a multinational enterprise information technology company, and as its President and Chief Executive Officer from November 2015 to June 2017. From July 2014 to November 2015, Ms. Whitman served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman for Hewlett-Packard Company (now known as HP Inc.), the former parent of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, and as its President and Chief Executive Officer from September 2011 to November 2015. Prior to joining HP Inc., Ms. Whitman was the Republican Party’s nominee for the 2010 gubernatorial race in California. From March 2011 to September 2011, Ms. Whitman served as a part-time strategic advisor to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a private equity firm. From 1998 to 2008, Ms. Whitman served as President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay Inc., an online marketplace and payments company. Ms. Whitman also currently serves as a member of the board of directors for The Procter & Gamble Company, a consumer goods company, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, and DXC Technology Company, an information technology and consulting services company. Ms. Whitman previously served as a member of the board of directors for HP Inc. and for a number of private companies. Ms. Whitman holds an M.B.A from Harvard Business School and an A.B. in Economics from Princeton University.

Ms. Whitman was selected to serve on our Board of Directors because of her extensive leadership, strategy, risk management, and consumer industry experience.

Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

Our Board of Directors has adopted a code of business conduct and ethics that applies to all of our employees, officers, and directors, including our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and other executive and senior financial officers. The full text of our code of business conduct and ethics will be posted on

 

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the investor relations page on our website. We intend to disclose any amendments to our code of business conduct and ethics, or waivers of its requirements, on our website or in filings under the Exchange Act.

Board of Directors

Our business and affairs are managed under the direction of our Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors consists of eight directors, six of whom qualify as “independent” under the listing standards of Nasdaq. Pursuant to our current certificate of incorporation and amended and restated voting agreement, our current directors were elected as follows:

 

    Messrs. Ferdowsi, Houston, Blair, Jacobs, and Mylod, and Mmes. Rice and Whitman were elected as the designees nominated by holders of our common stock, excluding the common stock issued upon conversion of our convertible preferred stock; and

 

    Mr. Schreier was elected as the preferred stock designee nominated by entities affiliated with Sequoia Capital.

Our amended and restated voting agreement will terminate and the provisions of our current certificate of incorporation by which our directors were elected will be amended and restated in connection with this offering. After this offering, the number of directors will be fixed by our Board of Directors, subject to the terms of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws that will become effective immediately prior to the completion of this offering. Each of our current directors will continue to serve as a director until the election and qualification of his or her successor, or until his or her earlier death, resignation, or removal.

Classified Board of Directors

We intend to adopt an amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will become effective immediately prior to the completion of this offering. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will provide that, immediately after the completion of this offering, our Board of Directors will be divided into three classes with staggered three-year terms. Only one class of directors will be elected at each annual meeting of stockholders, with the other classes continuing for the remainder of their respective three-year terms. Our current directors will be divided among the three classes as follows:

 

    the Class I directors will be                     ,                     , and                     , and their terms will expire at the annual meeting of stockholders to be held in 2019;

 

    the Class II directors will be                         ,                     , and                     , and their terms will expire at the annual meeting of stockholders to be held in 2020; and

 

    the Class III directors will be                      and                         , and their terms will expire at the annual meeting of stockholders to be held in 2021.

Each director’s term will continue until the election and qualification of his or her successor, or his or her earlier death, resignation, or removal. Any increase or decrease in the number of directors will be distributed among the three classes so that, as nearly as possible, each class will consist of one-third of our directors.

This classification of our Board of Directors may have the effect of delaying or preventing changes in control of our company.

Director Independence

Our Board of Directors has undertaken a review of the independence of each director. Based on information provided by each director concerning his or her background, employment and affiliations, our Board of Directors

 

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has determined that Mmes. Rice and Whitman and Messrs. Blair, Jacobs, Mylod, and Schreier do not have a relationship that would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a director and that each of these directors is “independent” as that term is defined under the listing standards of Nasdaq. In making these determinations, our Board of Directors considered the current and prior relationships that each non-employee director has with our company and all other facts and circumstances our Board of Directors deemed relevant in determining their independence, including the beneficial ownership of our capital stock by each non-employee director, and the transactions involving them described in the section titled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions.”

Lead Independent Director

Our Board of Directors intends to adopt corporate governance guidelines that will provide that one of our independent directors should serve as our Lead Independent Director at any time when our Chief Executive Officer serves as the Chairman of our Board of Directors or if the Chairman is not otherwise independent. Because Andrew W. Houston is our Chairman and is not an “independent” director as defined in the listing standards of Nasdaq, our Board of Directors has appointed              to serve as our Lead Independent Director. As Lead Independent Director,              will preside over periodic meetings of our independent directors, serve as a liaison between our Chairman and our independent directors, and perform such additional duties as our Board of Directors may otherwise determine and delegate.

Committees of the Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors has established an audit committee, a compensation committee, and a nominating and corporate governance committee. The composition and responsibilities of each of the committees of our Board of Directors is described below. Members will serve on these committees until their resignation or until as otherwise determined by our Board of Directors.

Audit committee

Following the completion of this offering, our audit committee will consist of Ms. Whitman and Messrs. Blair and Mylod, with Mr. Mylod serving as Chairperson, each of whom will meet the requirements for independence under the listing standards of Nasdaq and SEC rules and regulations. Each member of our audit committee also meets the financial literacy and sophistication requirements of the listing standards of Nasdaq. In addition, our Board of Directors has determined that Ms. Whitman and Messrs. Blair and Mylod are audit committee financial experts within the meaning of Item 407(d) of Regulation S-K under the Securities Act. Following the completion of this offering, our audit committee will be responsible for, among other things:

 

    selecting a qualified firm to serve as the independent registered public accounting firm to audit our financial statements;

 

    helping to ensure the independence and overseeing performance of the independent registered public accounting firm;

 

    reviewing and discussing the scope and results of the audit with the independent registered public accounting firm, and reviewing, with management and the independent registered public accounting firm, our interim and year-end operating results;

 

    reviewing our financial statements and our critical accounting policies and estimates;

 

    reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of our internal controls;

 

    developing procedures for employees to submit concerns anonymously about questionable accounting, internal accounting controls, or audit matters;

 

    overseeing our policies on risk assessment and risk management;

 

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    overseeing compliance with our code of business conduct and ethics;

 

    reviewing related party transactions; and

 

    pre-approving all audit and all permissible non-audit services, other than de minimis non-audit services, to be performed by the independent registered public accounting firm.

Our audit committee will operate under a written charter, to be effective prior to the completion of this offering, that satisfies the applicable rules and regulations of the SEC and the listing standards of Nasdaq.

Compensation committee

Following the completion of this offering, our compensation committee will consist of Ms. Rice and Messrs. Mylod and Schreier, with Ms. Rice serving as Chairperson, each of whom will meet the requirements for independence under the listing standards of Nasdaq and SEC rules and regulations. Each member of our compensation committee will also be a non-employee director, as defined pursuant to Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act, or Rule 16b-3. Following the completion of this offering, our compensation committee will be responsible for, among other things:

 

    reviewing, approving, and determining, or making recommendations to our Board of Directors regarding, the compensation of our executive officers, including our CEO;

 

    administering our equity compensation plans;

 

    reviewing, approving, and administering incentive compensation and equity compensation plans;

 

    reviewing and approving our overall compensation philosophy; and

 

    making recommendations regarding non-employee director compensation to our full Board of Directors.

Our compensation committee will operate under a written charter, to be effective prior to the completion of this offering, that satisfies the applicable rules and regulations of the SEC and the listing standards of Nasdaq.

Nominating and corporate governance committee

Following the completion of this offering, our nominating and corporate governance committee will consist of Ms. Whitman and Mr. Jacobs, with Ms. Whitman serving as Chairperson, each of whom will meet the requirements for independence under the listing standards of Nasdaq and SEC rules and regulations. Following the completion of this offering, our nominating and corporate governance committee will be responsible for, among other things:

 

    identifying, evaluating, and selecting, or making recommendations to our Board of Directors regarding, nominees for election to our Board of Directors and its committees;

 

    overseeing the evaluation the performance of our Board of Directors and of individual directors;

 

    considering and making recommendations to our Board of Directors regarding the composition of our Board of Directors and its committees;

 

    overseeing our corporate governance practices;

 

    contributing to succession planning; and

 

    developing and making recommendations to our Board of Directors regarding corporate governance guidelines and matters.

Our nominating and corporate governance committee will operate under a written charter, to be effective prior to the completion of this offering, that satisfies the applicable listing standards of Nasdaq.

 

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Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation

None of the members of our compensation committee is or has been an officer or employee of our company. None of our executive officers currently serves, or in the past year has served, as a member of the board of directors or compensation committee (or other board committee performing equivalent functions) of any entity that has one or more of its executive officers serving on our Board of Directors or compensation committee.

Non-Employee Director Compensation

Our employee directors, Messrs. Houston and Ferdowsi, have not received any compensation as directors.

The following table provides information regarding compensation of our non-employee directors for service as directors, for the year ended December 31, 2017. In 2017, we did not pay any compensation to any person who served as a non-employee member of our Board of Directors who is affiliated with our greater than 5% stockholders.

 

Name

   Stock
awards($)(1)
     Total($)  

Donald W. Blair(2)

     —          —    

Paul E. Jacobs

     —          —    

Robert J. Mylod, Jr.

     —          —    

Condoleezza Rice

     —          —    

Margaret C. Whitman(3)

     908,800        908,800  

R. Bryan Schreier

     —          —    

 

(1) The amounts reported represent the aggregate grant-date fair value of the RSUs awarded to the director in 2017, calculated in accordance with ASC Topic 718. The assumptions used in calculating the grant-date fair value of the RSUs reported in this column are set forth in the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Policies and Judgments.”
(2)  Mr. Blair became a member of our Board of Directors in December 2017.
(3) Ms. Whitman became a member of our Board of Directors in September 2017.

The following table lists all outstanding equity awards held by non-employee directors as of December 31, 2017:

 

Name

   Date of
grant
    Number of shares underlying
unvested stock awards(1)
 

Donald W. Blair(2)

     —         —    

Paul E. Jacobs

     5/24/16 (3)      40,000  

Robert J. Mylod, Jr.

     10/27/14 (4)      36,650  
     5/24/16 (5)      80,000  

Condoleezza Rice

     7/29/14 (6)      36,650  
     5/24/16 (7)      80,000  

Margaret C. Whitman

     9/8/17 (8)      80,000  

R. Bryan Schreier

     —