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Asa Mathat

General


Box, the enterprise cloud storage and collaboration company, is exploring the possibility of raising $100 million or more from private investors ahead of its planned initial public offering.

Box is in the early stages of talks with private equity firm TPG, sources familiar with the matter tell Re/code, though no final decision has been made on whether or not to accept the funding. As we noted Thursday, any new private funding would have no immediate effect on Box’s plans to complete its IPO within the coming one to two months, though the timing might slide by a matter of weeks. Sources familiar with the situation stress that the talks may not result in an investment.

Box is in the process of finalizing the timing of its IPO, now expected in July or August. The additional funding would give it the flexibility to wait should market conditions, which have recently been improving, worsen again.

TPG would be a new investor in Box. Terms of the new funding may include considerations that would give TPG the right to more shares of Box should the company’s valuation not exceed $2 billion after an IPO.

A Box spokeswoman declined to comment on the funding talks. “Our plan continues to be to go public when it makes the most sense for Box and the market,” she said. “As always, investing in our customers, technology and future growth remains our top priority.”

Box initially filed for its IPO confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under conditions allowed by the federal JOBS Act. The filing first became public on March 24, days before a sudden drop in the valuation of several cloud software stocks.

Now that the shares of those companies are tracking upward again in recent weeks, and in the wake of three successful IPOs of Zendesk, MobileIron and Arista Networks, Box has begun moving ahead with its IPO plans, and is expected to complete its offering before the end of the summer.

Box’s last funding round came in December. It raised $100 million at an implied valuation of about $2 billion from investors in four international markets into which it has been expanding in recent months. The new investors included Itochu Technology Ventures, Macnica and Mitsui in Japan, Telefonica in Europe, Telstra in Australia.

Before that it raised $150 million in a round led by the private equity firm General Atlantic, closed in January of 2013. Since its founding in 2006 it has raised a total of $412 million from venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz and Draper Fisher Jurvetson as well as Salesforce.com.




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