Cloud computing and storage are becoming some of the biggest parts of the tech industry, judging simply by where the money seems to be going these days. A single day after virtualization software giant VMware bought start-up Nicira for over $1 billion, another cloud computing service is reportedly about to stake a big claim for itself as well.
Though no specific fundraising goal was specified, the report says that latest round would bring the company’s valuation to 1.2 billion.
Sources also told the Journal that Box plans to go public next year, with an IPO valued at $2 or $3 billion.
Founded in 2005 by CEO Aaron Levie and CFO Dylan Smith when they were both still in college, Los Altos-based Box has previously raised around $162 million. (Note: Levie is a great speaker. See his keynote at Vator Splash SF 2012)
Box raised $48 million in February 2011, in a round led by Meritech Capital Partners, with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Emergence Capital Partners and prior investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Scale Venture Partners and US Venture Partners. In October 2011, Box raised $81 million from Salesforce.com and SAP Ventures, with help from Bessemer Venture Partners, NEA, and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and DFJ Growth. Its valuation at the time was $600 million.
What does Box do?
The idea behind Box is that it helps businesses manage their cloud storage, as well as provides security for content management.
“Box lets you store all of your content online, so you can access, manage and share it from anywhere. Integrate Box with Google Apps and Salesforce and access Box on mobile devices,” it says on Box’s homepage.
A mobile version of Box's service is available on Android, iPhone, iPad, and BlackBerry. Just yesterday Box debuted its app for Windows Phone.
Cloud storage is a booming business, with many other start-ups, and established players, trying to a piece of the action.
Jive Software, Dropbox, Egnyte, Nirvanix, Workday and Basecamp, among others, are all similar services competing with Box in the cloud storage industry. Dropbox, for example, recently raised $250 million from venture capital investors and has a valuation of $4 billion.
All of these start-ups also have to compete with some of the biggest heavy hitters in the tech game, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple, who have all developed their own cloud storage systems.
Box was not available for comment
(Image source: techcrunch.com)