Box's S-1 update: Revenue climbed toward Q3 2014, losses less severe

Since the S-1 landed in early 2014, the enterprise cloud company has deflected analysis and criticism over severe losses matched by high spending rates.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Box CEO Aaron Levie hinted at a coming update to its S-1 paperwork on Tuesday. Just 24 hours later, that update is live.

Filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, Box provided financial results through the third quarter of its current fiscal year, ending January 31, 2015.

For the nine months ended October 31, 2014, Box generated roughly $153.8 million in revenue, compared to $85.36 million during the same window the previous year, translating to an 80 percent uptick.

Box attributed the revenue growth to "an increase in subscription services." The platform now retains more than 32 million registered users across 275,000 organizations spanning over 200 countries and territories.

Approximately 44,000 of these organizations are paid Box customers.

For the third quarter alone, Box reported a little over $57 million in revenue, up from $33.6 million the previous year.

Losses are down, albeit slightly, to $45.4 million at the end of the third quarter, down from $51.4 million in Q3 2013.

However, there are still a few question marks -- namely estimated share prices and an actual debut date.

A Box spokesperson provided ZDNet with the following statement: "Our plan continues to be to go public when it makes the most sense for Box and the market. As always, investing in our customers, technology, and future growth remains our top priority."

Levie had provided a sound bite-sized update during a fireside chat at The Atlantic's one-day tech summit earlier this week.

Since the S-1 landed in early 2014, the enterprise cloud company has deflected analysis and criticism over severe losses matched by high spending rates as revealed on the paperwork filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Revenue had climbed 111 percent year-over-year to $124.2 million by the end of January 2014, according to the S-1.

But Box also sustained losses of $50.3 million, $112.6 million and $168.6 million year-over-year for the 12-month time frames ending December 31, 2011, January 31, 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Levie countered that when the S-1 was filed in March, the form only displayed "last year's numbers," which Levie explained reflected a time in which Box has been investing the most ever in its 10-year history. Most of those investments were directed toward product development and acquisitions, he elaborated.

Box's acquisition history consists of online document tool maker Increo Solutions in 2009, iOS app Folders and document embedding service Crocodoc in May 2013 , and dLoop in November 2013 for stepping up data analytics and security.

When Box updates its filings, "it's a little bit of a different story," Levie told The Atlantic's Washington editor-at-large Steve Clemons.

Levie refrained from speaking any further about the IPO, deferring to SEC regulations about speaking to the media ahead of an official public debut.

The Los Altos, Calif.-based company was founded in 2005 by Levie and chief financial officer Dylan Smith.

Simplified from Box.net to Box, the company has since grown to employ nearly 1,000 people, most of whom are based in Silicon Valley. Additional sales offices have popped up in San Francisco and London with international expansion continuing throughout Europe and soon Asia.

Growing its repertoire of services from much more than just cloud-based storage space, Box.com has emerged as a fully-fledged collaboration and productivity platform of apps and services for the enterprise. With more than 200,000 businesses already subscribed, Box asserts that it serves 97 percent of the Fortune 500.

Describing itself as "emerging growth company," Box initially filed privately thanks to a special rule under the Jumpstart Our Businesses (JOBS) act, which stipulates a company seeking to go public can file confidentially if it is valued at less than $1 billion.

When the IPO does take place, Box is headed to the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, "BOX."

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