There are signs that Dropbox would move towards making an initial public offering this year, this would most likely happen in the second half of the year.
According to Quartz.com, the online file storage company has already been meeting with bankers, trying to assess who will handle the public offering. The company has an estimated $4 billion value and when compared to its peers, such as Box who is also thinking about dipping its toes into the public markets, it has appealed to many consumers. The company has grown to approximately 200 million users.
But questions have lingered about its future. Fortunately, Dropbox may have offered some clues this week with the introduction of new features called Dropbox for Teams.
On Tuesday, the company rolled them out for IT administrators. Anand Subramani, product manager for Dropbox for Teams, repeated that business will be a “very big focus” for the company this year, reported ZDNet and this launch represented the first major one for the admin side.
Dropbox is trying make a move toward IT consumerization and it asseses that customers want to have technology for use both at home and at work.
For IT administrators using Dropbox, they have to balance different priorities and responsibilities and with Dropbox for Teams, it will make things easier for them.
According to user feedback, Dropbox for Teams has two focuses: visibility and control.
For visibility, IT managers will have data exemplifying how employees are utilizing Dropbox for both teams and individuals.
On the control side, it will focus on allowing managers to take action when needed.
Dropbox’s new features focused toward businesses, this will provide a new growth area. It takes the competition up a notch against Box, which has primarily focused on corporate customers. The company, which is also interested in an IPO, more likely to happen in 2014, has a projected value of $2 billion.
The move to business users further exemplifies the evolution of tech companies as they’ve moved to public markets. Examples include Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD), which has an emphasis on professionals as well as the security software firm, Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), which is geared toward corporations. They have performed better as compared to their consumer counterparts such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), and Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA).
Just last week, Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) reported an 81% increase in revenue, while Palo Alto saw a 50% revenue jump in December.
Dropbox’s expansion to corporate customers may show it has learned something from previous IPO’s, but it’s hard not to forget some offerings that went very wrong for some companies (see Facebook and Zynga).
Will investors see a repeat with Dropbox? That may be the biggest question.