Dropbox, the popular file-storage company, has met with advisers to discuss the possibility of an initial public offering (IPO) as soon as 2017, according to people familiar with the matter.
Management wanted to talk about the feasibility of a listing and get a sense of the valuation the company could fetch from public market investors, the sources said.
The conversations were exploratory and no final decision has been made on a potential IPO, said the sources.
The meetings, which the sources said Dropbox had sought out, signal a shift in thinking by the closely held company and its chief executive officer Drew Houston, who said last year it had no plans to go public anytime soon.
Dropbox, based in San Francisco, has faced questions over whether it is worth the $10bn (€8.95bn) valuation it was awarded in a 2014 funding round.
Since then, a number of investors who also invest in both public and private stocks have written down the value of their holdings in the company.
Though not yet profitable, the company is free-cash-flow positive, Mr Houston said in June.
Getting to that point took revenue growth and greater discipline on costs, said Todd Jackson, the company’s vice president of product and design.
Some 200,000 business teams pay for Dropbox products, Mr Houston said at Fortune’s Brainstorm conference last month. The company recently added sports retailer Adidas to its list of enterprise customers.
It has 500m users, according to its website.
After making its name in file-syncing and sharing, Dropbox has been trying to expand into the larger market of cloud-based collaboration.
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