Dropbox today announced through an SEC filing that it has raised a $325 million funding round. That’s far more than earlier reports, which expected a $250 million raise at a $10 billion valuation, indicated in January.
Fortune reports that the company has actually raised $350 million in this latest funding round, which valued the company at the previously-reported $10 billion valuation. The company could still raise an additional $100 million in the round, but it might also stop at the current amount. Re/code reports that the investment comes from BlackRock, Fidelity, and T. Rowe Price.
Dropbox has long been rumored to be considering an initial public offering some time later this year. Quartz reported in February 2013 that the company has already held talks with banks about the IPO — now, over a year later, the IPO rumors have reached a fever pitch. This funding round will almost certainly add to the furor.
Dropbox versus Box, at last?
The seemingly-inevitable IPO has raised the pressure for Dropbox to focus on consumers or enterprise customers instead of trying to serve both. The company has recently boasted about its popularity in the workforce, but that might not be enough; investors like companies that fit into neat little boxes, not those that try to be everything to everyone.
Dropbox’s decision will certainly frame the narrative around its public offering and, more specifically, how it will relate to Box’s anticipated IPO. The companies can either be fighting for the same customers, or they can be battling to show that one approach — serving consumers or enterprise customers — will prove successful in the long run.
The companies might not see it that way. As Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Cromwell Schubarth wrote in January:
[Box CEO Aaron] Levie downplays talk of a rivalry between the companies, pointing to questions about which social network would survive in the early days of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Just as those online social networks have all thrived, he has said there is room for a number of online storage and sharing businesses.
The company also introduced arbitration clauses to its business agreement, which would require all business customers to resolve legal disputes through arbitration instead of state or federal courts.
The change, which has attracted ire from those who see it as a way for Dropbox to avoid class-action lawsuits instead of a way to increase the speed with which it can respond to complaints, will take place on March 24. Businesses then have 30 days to opt-out of the clause, which Dropbox claims will not “terminate or result in changes to the services.”
This story is still breaking, and this post will be updated as we learn more. In the meantime, here’s the full video of our PandoMonthly interview with Dropbox CEO Drew Houston: