Cloud player Box valued at US$1.7bn as IPO looms today

23 Jan 2015

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Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie

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Box, the cloud player headed by 29-year-old Aaron Levie, has been valued at US$1.7bn – or US$14 a share – ahead of what is one of the most hotly anticipated tech IPOs today.

Box will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today using the ticker symbol “BOX”.

However, the US$1.7bn valuation is significantly below the US$2.4bn valuation the company enjoyed last year when selling the IPO to investors, raising concerns over the stability of valuations given to tech companies.

A cover story in Fortune this week pointed to more than 80 tech start-ups in the world today valued at more than US$1bn.

Box provides corporate customers with storage in the cloud and competes against Dropbox, Google and Microsoft in the online storage market.

The platform is used by more than 11m individuals and 120,000 businesses worldwide.

Who is Aaron Levie?

Born in Boulder, Colorado, Levie dropped out of college in 2005 to start Box. The idea for Box came out of a college project where he examined cloud storage options for businesses at the time and he realised the market was fragmented in the area.

Spotting a market in the gaps, Levie and his friend Dylan Smith left college and started Box in April 2005 out of Smith’s parents’ house.

A cold email to Texas billionaire Mark Cuban secured Box’s first angel investment. Since then, major investors have come on board, including Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, General Atlantic, Meritech Capital Partners, US Venture Partners and Salesforce.com

As of 2014, some 40pc of Box’s paying customers are Fortune 500 companies, including P&G.

Levie is understood to have a personal net worth of US$100m.

Interview with Aaron Levie at the Dublin Web Summit in 2013

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com