Deals

Box strikes back at Dropbox with $100M round and a $2B valuation

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Image Credit: Photo Illustration: Eric Blattberg

Cloud storage provider Box is raising a $100 million round, according to a public document filed last month.

On Oct 14., Box authorized the sale of 5.55 million shares of preferred stock at $18 a share — or a total of $100 million  — which would value the company at just shy of $2 billion, according to VC Experts. The filing was made last month, but apparently it had gone unnoticed until today, when VC Experts brought it to our attention. It’s unclear whether it has finished raising the round or not, but it shows that Box is busy bring in cash — just like Dropbox is — and reaffirms cloud storage as one of the hottest tech sectors right now.

“It’s possible that the round is still going on and it hasn’t been closed, but it is in place,” said Justin Byers, the director of business intelligence at VC Experts, in a conversation with VentureBeat. “They wouldn’t go out of the way to get legal and the board involved in authorizing these shares if it wasn’t going to happen.”

Box is a cloud storage provider that targets the enterprise crowd. It competes with Dropbox, which is seeking to raise $250 million of its own at an $8 billion valuation. Dropbox is increasingly targeting business customers — as are other cloud storage providers like Hightail (formerly YouSendIt) and Egnyte — but Box has a perceived security advantage among enterprises, which are wary of Dropbox’s poor security record.

Box appears to be preparing for an IPO in the first half of 2014. The company has selected Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and JPMorganChase to lead the proposed public offering, according to Reuters. This latest funding round may just be an attempt to bolster the balance sheet ahead of an IPO, which could generate around $500 million for the company.

In response to a request for more information, a Box representative commented, “We’ve got nothing to share at this time.”

Box announced an earlier $125 million funding round in the summer of 2012, and then it extended that to $150 million this January, when it actually filed the SEC paperwork.