Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Don’t Look Now, but Box’s Last Funding Round Just Got Bigger

a-big-fat-wad-of-moneyRemember over the summer how Box, the enterprise cloud services company, raised a gargantuan $125 million in a Series E round led by General Atlantic? Yeah? Well, it just got bigger.

A new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission appears to show that the round has swelled to $150 million. I’ve reached out to Box CEO Aaron Levie for a comment, but haven’t heard back yet.

The upward tick in funding is especially interesting now that Levie has publicly put a firm target on 2014 for Box’s inevitable IPO, an event that would follow its global expansion, which began in earnest in June with the opening of an office in Europe. Box needs the money mainly because securing the data center capacity it needs to keep its cloud humming isn’t cheap.

Anyway, to refresh your memory about that funding round: General Atlantic’s Gary Reiner, the former CIO of General Electric, joined Box’s board of directors. The Wall Street Journal reported prior to the funding announcement that Box was raising money at an implied valuation of $1.2 billion.

The expansion of the round would bring Box’s total capital raised to $312 million. And it hasn’t been all that long since Box took an $81 million strategic investment round from Salesforce.com and SAP Ventures with several venture capital participating, funds including New Enterprise Associates and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Also, there’s still the mystery of Box’s institutional investors. I heard from sources close to the deal last summer that Box had been courting some institutional investors and that at least two decided to take part. The new filing sheds no light on who they are as yet, but it would make sense. Taking institutional investments, as part of a late-stage investment, Box would be following a variant of the strategy that companies like Facebook and Workday have followed on the way to their own IPOs. It’s a good way to get to know the banks that will be selling your shares to their clients someday. The upshot of all this is that the pace of chatter about a Box IPO is only quickening and will do so all year.

Update: Box just confirmed this in a statement sent to me by a company spokesperson.

“After the initial announcement of our series E round in August 2012, some of our current venture and strategic investors made additional investments. Today we filed the official form D for the series E round, which is now closed at a total $150 million.”

So there you have it.


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— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald