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Summary:

Cloud collaboration star Box has filed for an IPO, according to a report in Quartz. It would be a wise move for the company, which is riding mega goodwill — and mega challenges — as it scales its business and its infrastructure.

Aaron Levie, CEO and co-founder of Box
photo: Box

Cloud collaboration pioneer Box has filed paperwork for its initial public offering, according to a report on Quartz. The article cites an unnamed source who said Box filed its S-1 form in secret — as did Twitter over the summer — taking advantage of a provision in the JOBS Act for companies earning less than $1 billion in annual revenue.

While the exact timing might have come as a surprise, if the report is accurate, it was no secret that Box has been positioning itself for an IPO for some time.

The company has been growing like crazy, too, and racking up stacks of venture capital along the way. Box Founder and CEO Aaron Levie told us on a podcast appearance in September that the company grew revenue 150 percent in 2012 and expected it to increase another 100 percent in 2013. The company announced a $100 million round of venture capital financing in December (part of about $250 million it has raised since its 2005 launch) at a valuation of nearly $2 billion.

If recent IPOs by other companies with Box’s level of goodwill are any indication, going public could be very lucrative for Box. It might be necessary, too, as the company attempts to scale up its research and engineering efforts. As the company’s user bases and account sizes grow, it might need to invest significantly in better infrastructure and better data analysis to ensure the product keeps up.

You can hear the entire interview with Levie here.

To hear about Box’s challenges and plans to scale its infrastructure, read this interview with VP of Engineer Sam Schillace, or check out our discussion with him at Structure 2013.

Box representative declined to comment on the Quartz report, stating via email, “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.”

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