Amazons next conquest will be apparel

Dropbox sets IPO range $16-18, valuing it below $10B, as Salesforce ponies up $100M

After announcing an IPO in February, today Dropbox updated its S-1 filing with pricing. The cloud service and storage company said that it expects to price its IPO at between $16 and $18 per share when it sells 36,000, 000 shares to raise $648 million as “DBX” on the Nasdaq exchange.

In addition to that, Dropbox announced that it is likely to be selling $100 million in stock to Salesforce — its new consolidation partner — right after the IPO, “at a price per share equal to the initial offering price.”

A specific date has not yet been set for Dropbox’s listing later this month.

The IPO pricing values the company at between$ 7 billion and nearly$ 8 billion when you factor in restricted stock units — stimulating it the biggest tech IPO since Snap last year, but still falling well below the $ 10 billion valuation that Dropbox crept up to back in 2014 when it created $350 million in venture funding.

Many will be watching Dropbox’s IPO to see if it stands up longer term and becomes a bellwether for the lucks and fates of many other outsized “startups” that many have also is hoping to list, including those that have already filed to go public like Spotify, as well as those that have yet to make any official pronouncements, like Airbnb.

Some might argue that it’s illogical to compare a company whose business model is built around cloud storage with a travel and accommodation business, or a music streaming platform. Perhaps especially now: at a time when people are still wincing from Snap’s drastic drop — the company is trading more than 30 percent down from its IPO debut — Dropbox presents a challenging picture.

On the plus side, the company has helped bring the concept of cloud storage services to the masses. Riding on the wave of mobile devices, lightweight apps, and faster internet connects, it has changed the conversation about how many conceive of handling their data and offloading it off of their devices. Today, Dropbox has more than 500 million users in more than 180 countries.

On the minus side, only around 11 million of those customers are paying users. The company reported around $1.1 billion in revenues in 2017, representing a rise on $845 million in 2016 and $604 million in 2015. But it’s unprofitable, reporting a loss of $112 million in 2017.

Again, that’s a large improvement when you compare Dropbox’s 2016 loss of $210 million in 2016 and $326 million in 2015. But it does beg more pressing topics: Does Dropbox has got a big plan for how to convert more people into paying users? And will its investors have the patience to watch its business models play out?

In that consider, the Salesforce investment and consolidation, and its timing of being announced alongside the sober IPO range, is a notable vote of confidence in Dropbox. Salesforce has staked its whole business model around cloud services — its ticker is a possibility “CRM”, but its logo is its name inside a cloud — and it’s passed into the pantheon of tech giants with flying colors.

Having Salesforce buy into Dropbox not only shows how it’s bolstering its new partner Dropbox in the next phase, but I’d argue also dedicates Dropbox one potential exit strategy.( Salesforce, after all, has been interested in playing most directly in this space for years at this phase .)

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Ink raises $7M to make printing on college campuses less painful

Ink, a Nebraska-based startup focused on revamping on-campus print, has raised$ 7 million from VTF Capital, SQN Venture Partners, Invest Nebraska and NE Angeles. This brings total funding to $15 million, with previous participants of advisors Tony Hsieh of Zappos and Greg Silverman of Warner Brothers.

If you’re a college student or recent alumnu, you already know what it is frustrating it is to publish on campus. But for everyone else, here’s a quick explainer 😛 TAGEND

Most colleges allow students to print by deploying giant enterprise-scale printers( like you’d find in a law office ), and connecting them to some adjacent terminal or computer laboratory where a student log in, pays and selects their publish job. But it’s often very difficult to get a document from laptop to this terminal. Students usually end up having to email the document to themselves, use a flash drive or even upload it to the printer’s website. If a school is “high-tech” then maybe there will be some wireless solution that involves downloading a half-baked printer driver that works about 50 percentage of the time.

Why does the process suck so much? First, the campus usually employs software that is supposed to work with thousands of different types of printers — and this quest for compatibility usually outcomes in very high fault percentages. Another reason — the UI is almost always awful, since the publish management software was probably constructed a decade ago for a statute firm or office set, and was haphazardly retooled for a campus environment.

This is where Ink’s two products comes in. The first one, SmartStation, is a giant touch screen that merely connects to HP printers( the startup has a partnership with them ), meaning software error rates and paper jam rates are much lower. There’s also a product called inkTouch that works with existing printers, but still provides the cloud-based services available on the SmartStation.

To print, students tap or swipe their campus ID card to authenticate themselves, then can access their Dropbox or Google Drive or a bunch of other cloud services to select a document to print. And they are “re going to have to” log into these services once, as Ink will create a keychain that lives on the student’s campus ID card to automatically log them into these cloud services the next time they want to print.

There are a few other cool features — you can scan a document and have it is displayed in the giant touch screen where you can sign it with your finger and email it immediately to a recipient, or do things like edit and print photos. And students also can wirelessly use AirPrint if they’re operating a new version of iOS or MacOS, which is a convenience unheard of in enterprise-scale printing.

Essentially the startup is trying to take the~ 10 -minute process of publishing on campus( if you’ve tried it recently you know this isn’t an exaggeration) and make it happen in less than a minute.

Ink has two pricing models — they’ll deploy machines for free and charge the students $. 09 cents per page, or lease the machines to the school and let them manage student payment alternatives. They’ll be live in about 30 schools by the end of the year, including Stanford, UCLA, SUNY and more.

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