Box moves forward with IPO, hoping to raise $187 million

Nearly a year after filing for an IPO, Box finds market conditions more favorable for going public.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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Box CEO Aaron Levie at BoxWorks 2013 in San Francisco. Donna Tam/CNET

Data-storage service Box is back on track with its initial public offering after months of delays.

The company on Friday filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating that it could offer as many as 14.4 million shares when it goes public. The company has yet to price the shares, but said that they could be as high as $13 per share on its IPO day. In the best-case scenario, Box could raise up to $186.9 million.

Box, which will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "BOX," filed for an IPO in March, but decided to delay its plans and wait for a stronger market. The company was then said to have plans to go public in the fall, but that again didn't happen.

In the meantime, Box raised funds through private equity. The company announced over the summer that it raised $150 million from investment firms TPG Growth and Coatue Management. The investment round was said to have valued Box at around $2 billion.

The filing on Friday said that Box estimates its value at approximately $1.5 billion.

As consumers and companies accumulate ever more and ever larger digital files -- especially photos and video -- storage has become a thriving business. That dovetails with a shift toward documents of all kinds being housed not on a local PC or tablet, but on servers provided by companies including Box, Dropbox, Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Box has also been looking to broaden its product offerings beyond cloud storage, with offerings such as Box Notes, a free Web-based note-taking tool, and the document-handling app Box View.

Friday's filing peels the curtain back a bit on Box's operations. Box has over 44,000 paying corporate customers and 32 million registered users. At the end of October, Box had user "interactions" with content stored on its servers reach 4 billion over a period of three months.

Since Box is on a fiscal year that ends in January, the company could only provide financial data through October 31. During the nine months ended October 31, 2014, Box generated $153.8 million in revenue and lost $129 million. While revenue nearly doubled compared to the same period in 2013, the company's losses widened from the $125.4 million it lost in the prior year.

Box did not say when it plans to go public and would not comment on exact pricing. It did, however, voice optimism for 2015.

"We're incredibly excited for the coming year and the next phase of Box's growth," a company spokeswoman said.