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Dropbox is going public: Here's who's making money

Key Points
  • CEO Drew Houston and venture firm Sequoia Capital each own more than a 20 percent stake in Dropbox.
  • The company filed its IPO prospectus on Friday.
  • It was last valued at $10 billion in 2014, but investors have since marked that price down.
Dropbox files for IPO
Dropbox files for IPO

Dropbox has taken a very unconventional route to an IPO. Four years ago, the cloud software vendor raised $350 million in private capital at a $10 billion valuation and has since struggled to justify that price.

On Friday, Dropbox filed its long-awaited prospectus, providing the first official look at its financials as well as which investors are poised to get rich and which ones need a big stock pop to make any money.

Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston, co-founders of Dropbox
Getty Images

Dropbox said it plans to raise $500 million, but it didn't provide a price range, so it's not possible to know the potential valuation. However, as CNBC reported last month, mutual funds have most recently valued the company at between about $6.6 billion and $8.5 billion in SEC filings.

Co-founder and CEO Drew Houston is Dropbox's biggest shareholder, owning 25 percent of the shares before the offering. Arash Ferdowsi, the other co-founder and former chief technology officer, owns 10 percent.

Among institutional investors, Sequoia Capital, which led Dropbox's seed round in 2007 and first venture round the following year, owns 23 percent, followed by Accel at 5 percent and T. Rowe Price at 3.5 percent.

Dropbox shareholders

Investor Stake before IPO
Drew Houston25.3%
Arash Ferdowsi10.3%
Accel 5.0%
T. Rowe Price3.5%

Based on the middle of the valuation range among mutual funds — about $7.5 billion — Houston's stake is worth about $1.9 billion, and Sequoia's shares would be valued at about $1.7 billion. Those numbers could change wildly when the company prices and after the stock starts trading.

A host of other firms invested in Dropbox in 2011 at a $4 billion valuation and need a significant post-IPO rally to get much of a return. Index Ventures, Benchmark, Greylock Partners and Institutional Venture Partners all participated in that round, but have such a small percentage of shares that they're not included in the prospectus.

BlackRock led the 2014 round at a $10 billion valuation, with T. Rowe Price and Morgan Stanley joining in the $350 million round.

WATCH: Dropbox has 500 million registered users across 180 countries

Dropbox has 500 million registered users across 180 countries
Dropbox has 500 million registered users across 180 countries