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Photo illustration: Axios visuals

File storage and sharing company Dropbox went public earlier today, and has seen its shares pop more than 40%.

Axios spoke to company co-founder and CEO Drew Houston about why Dropbox went public now ("we were ready"), his message to employees ("enjoy it") and if he sweated yesterday's market drop ("you don't like to see giant blinking red anything").

Message to Dropbox employees about today:

First, just enjoy it. Celebrate this, because it is the result of a lot of hard work. That said, this is one step in a longer, more important journey. If you look at the great Internet companies, they have most of their success and financial upside after going public.
Also, we're going to have what I'd call an outside scorecard in a market that's going to do all kinds of things. We need to be focused on our inner scorecard, which is about keeping customers happy and building good products.

Sweating yesterday's market drop?

You don't like to see giant blinking red anything the day before your IPO.

On choosing NASDAQ over NYSE:

They've been a great supporter and partner for us, and a customer. I find it fascinating how they use Dropbox to produce listing day stuff like photos.

Why go public now:

Today is the product on a long-term investment that has paid off. We felt that we're at the right balance of growth and scale and that the business is just at a really healthy place. If you look at the tech companies we've admired, they're public.

Should other software companies follow Dropbox's lead and build their own cloud infrastructure?

For 99.99% of companies the public cloud is a great fit, but we're operating one of the largest cloud companies so, for us, the decision made sense.

Any takeover offers since filing to go public?

No, we’ve been focused on being independent.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Omicron gives a shot to boosters

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows.

By the numbers: The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago.

Scoop: Over 200 papers quietly sue Big Tech

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Newspapers all over the country have been quietly filing antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms monopolized the digital ad market for revenue that would otherwise go to local news. 

Why it matters: What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of states.