Box Launches Investor Roadshow Ahead Of Long-Awaited IPO

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Box IPO could value cloud firm at £1 billion

Box has moved closer to its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) by amending its filing with the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and launching its investor roadshow.

The cloud storage specialist says it plans to offer 12.5 million ‘Class A common stock’ in its IPO, with shares priced between $11 and $13. This would raise $137.5m (£90.94m) and when combined with existing ‘Class B’ stock, this gives Box an estimated value of up to $1.55 billion (£1.03bn).

It’s worth noting that this price may not be the final cost of shares when Box officially goes public, presumably later in 2015.

Box IPO

Box Boxworks 2014 (3)“We’re incredibly excited for the coming year and the next phase of Box’s growth,” said a Box spokesperson. “As always, our goal is to deliver amazing technology that transforms the way individuals and businesses work.”

Box originally filed for an IPO in March 2014, announcing plans to raise $250 million (£181m). However it postponed these plans following uncertainty in the market and instead secured $150 million (£93 million) in another round of private investment last summer.

Last year, Box COO Dan Levin told TechWeekEurope that the company would go public at an “appropriate time” with stronger investor confidence following the latest round of funding.

“We were a little unfortunate with the timing of the unveiling of our S-1 in late March, but we continue to be very pleased with the performance of the business,” he said the firm’s Boxworks event in San Francisco in September. “We continue to feel that the credibility and visibility of being a listed company is important for an enterprise software company and it’s a path we’re on.”

Growing revenues

These plans were reiterated in December, when Box updated its S-1 filing, a document that must be completed by all companies wishing to list publically in the US, with the SEC.

Updated, but unaudited figures, for the nine months leading up to the 31 October 2014 revealed that Box’s revenue had revenue has risen year-on-year from $85m to $154 million during the period, as the number of paying customers jumped from 34,000 to 44,000.

However the cloud specialist is still not profitable, recording a three-quarter loss of $121.5m – although this is less than the $125.2m it lost during the same time last year. These losses can be partly explained by high sales and marketing costs, which were one of the main concerns about its initial S-1, although they are now less than revenue.

Such expenditure is vital for Box, whose business strategy involves luring in users with free storage before converting them into paid users. It now has 32 million users at 275,000 organisations.

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