Dropbox Could Beat Box To An IPO This Year

drew houston dropboxDropbox CEO Drew Houston

Dropbox is talking to investment bankers about going public, according to business news site Quartz.If the talks bear fruit, the file-sharing company, valued at around $4 billion in its most recent financing, could go public this year.

This week, Dropbox unveiled new features targeted at business customers, who could prove to be a lucrative market. Early on, Dropbox became popular with consumers and design professionals who needed to store and transfer large files.

Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, a file-sharing and collaboration startup more focused on selling to businesses, has said his company might go public in 2014.

One hitch: Dropbox doesn’t appear to have a chief financial officer.

Early on, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston also wore the CFO hat, with help from Betty Kayton, a finance consultant who has acted as interim CFO for many early-stage startups. 

In September, Dropbox signed on former Demand Media CFO Charles Hilliard as an advisor. Hilliard previously worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley. It also has several people with investment-banking experience in more junior roles, holding jobs in “strategic finance.”

It’s not clear from the Quartz report which banks Dropbox is talking to. But Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other banks have dramatically stepped up their Silicon Valley presence in recent years to capture an expected crop of new tech IPOs.

Dropbox is the second-most-watched IPO candidate on SecondMarket’s list of private companies.

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