Box Files for $250M IPO

By Pedro Hernandez

Box, the Los Altos, Calif.-based cloud storage company, announced on March 24 after market close that it had filed an S-1 registration statement with the SEC, setting the stage for the company's awaited initial public offering (IPO).

Several details are still up in the air, including the IPO's timing. However, the company is aiming to raise $250 million. "The number of shares to be sold and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined," said the company in a statement. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan are handling the deal, with BMO Capital Markets acting as lead manager. Shares in the company are expected to trade under the BOX ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.

Box, often considered the business-class alternative to consumer favorite Dropbox, has racked up a big enterprise customers base. According to the company's filing with the SEC, it has attracted "more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 20 percent of Global 2000 companies." The mobile-optimized file storage, sync and share platform has 25 million registered users, including workers from 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

Alluding to Box's enterprise-grade user management and security capabilities, the company added that some users hail from "highly regulated industries such as healthcare and life sciences, telecommunications, energy and financial services." And in recent months, the company has been strengthening its grip on big business IT environments.

The company joined the AppConnect partner program in February. AppConnect enables administrators to manage mobile apps, Box's in this case, from MobileIron's mobile device management (MDM) platform. "Together, Box and MobileIron offer the security, visibility, and policy management that IT demands, while providing the ease-of-use and productivity that users expect," said Justin Somaini, Chief Trust Officer at Box, in a statement. In 2012, it tapped data center operator and services provider Equinix to expand its global footprint.

The company forged major alliances, including Salesforce and Netsuite, that give its "users full access to Box without leaving partner applications," said the company in a filing. Additionally, "tens of thousands of third-party developers have leveraged our platform as the secure content layer for their applications."

Over 225,000 organizations use Box, 34,000 of which are paying customers. In total, the company's data centers handle over 2.5 billion "content interactions" every three months. Its largest deployment involved over 60,000 users, revealed Box. Customers include Ameriprise Financial, Gap and Schneider Electric.

Offering a look into its financials, Box boasted that the company "experienced significant growth" since 2005, the year of its incorporation. "For the 12 months ended December 31, 2011, January 31, 2013 and 2014, our revenue was $21.1 million, $58.8 million and $124.2 million, respectively, representing year-over-year growth of 179 percent and 111 percent."

Despite the sales momentum, losses have mounted as the company invests heavily to capitalize on its "large market opportunity." Box revealed that it has "incurred net losses of $50.3 million, $112.6 million and $168.6 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2011, January 31, 2013 and 2014, respectively."

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on March 25, 2014