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Growth Strategies

The Cloud Wars Rage On: Dropbox Raises Mega Money as Box Has Reportedly Filed for IPO

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Keeping your head in the clouds has become a multi-billion dollar proposition. And Silicon Valley is practically tripping over itself to invest in the burgeoning space.

After weeks upon weeks of speculation and rumors, cloud-storage company Dropbox’s latest mega raise is finally confirmed. San-Francisco based Dropbox filed its Form D with the Securities and Exchange Commission last night disclosing that the company has inked a deal worth as much as $450 million.

This most recent round of funding is Dropbox’s third, and was led by BlackRock, Morgan Stanley and T. Rowe Price and Associates, according to venture-capital industry deal book CrunchBase. CrunchBase priced the round at $350 million because Dropbox has reportedly opted to secure another $25 million as part of the round, but will hold the line there, despite having the option to pull down as much as another $125 million.

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As Dropbox moves to become more enterprise-friendly, it has also been staffing up aggressively. Just last week, Dropbox announced that its new Austin office would be growing from 30 to 200 people.

The timing of Dropbox’s mega raise is notable because it’s just weeks after rival cloud-storage company Box reportedly filed to go public. The Box filing is under wraps thanks to a new regulation passed as part of the JOBS Act -- or Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act -- allowing companies with annual revenue of less than $1 billion to file their initial public offering prospectus with the SEC confidentially. (If you remember, the option for confidential filing was how Twitter got its IPO process started.)

Box’s move to go public comes on the heels of its own fundraising blitz. The Los Altos, Calif.-headquartered company secured $100 million in funding -- its sixth raise, or in VC jargon, its Series F -- in December led by Itochu Technology Ventures, Mitsui & Co, Telefónica Digital, Telstra, Macnica Networks Corp. and DFJ Growth, according to CrunchBase.

Related: Facebook Buys WhatsApp in Whopping $19 Billion Deal

That Box would be going public was not really in question. Nor is it for Dropbox. The Silicon Valley cloud-based storage rivals Dropbox and Box both have scores of venture capitalists nipping at their heels, anxious for a return on their investment. That is, after all, what makes the venture capital industry go round.

As Dropbox and Box stay at each other’s necks, it’ll be curious to see whether being bigger or first is the better IPO strategy. 

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