Ian Kar, Benzinga Staff Writer
Box, the online cloud-storage company, has quietly filed for an initial public offering, according to a report from Quartz and confirmed by Forbes.
Box, one of the main competitors to the extremely popular cloud-storage service Dropbox, took a page out of Twitter's playbook by opting to secretly submit its IPO filing. A provision for companies within the JOBS act allow startups that have less than $1 billion in yearly revenue to file for an IPO confidentially.
According to Quartz, Box CEO Aaron Levie is looking to raise about $500 million in its IPO.
Box has separated itself from competitors like Dropbox by focusing on enterprise services for businesses and their needs for cloud-storage services and file-sharing. By honing in on the corporate world, Box has made itself even more valuable to Wall Street by having a consistent, paying user base.
According to a Forbes source, this was the company's intention all along. “This was always the plan, to go this route and do it quick and super silent a la Twitter... It happened in the last week, it was days ago.”
The report also said Morgan Stanley will be taking the lead on the IPO and Box could be trading publicly as soon as April 2014, depending on the market. In addition, another source said that rumors about a Dropbox IPO didn't force Box to file early and that this decision is independent of Box's competitors.
“We don't have anything to share at this time. We're focused on continuing to build our business and expand our customer relationships globally,” Box told Quartz and others who inquired about the IPO rumors.
Box just completed a recent funding of $100 million back in December 2013, valuing the company at $2 billion. While the timing seems unusual after reports of the IPO came out, Forbes says that the extra financing was to attract international investors and “getting a new, stronger business portfolio to show off to Wall Street during the process of going public,” writes TechCrunch.