Box: From College Project to $1.2Bil Startup

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Nov. 04 (Bloomberg) -- Aaron Levie, CEO and Co-Founder of Box, discusses the possibility of Box going public and valuations being bandied about. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's “The Pulse.” (Source: Bloomberg)


That is valued at more than $1 billion.

Aaron joins us to talk about his company's exit strategy, expansion strategy.

Can we say exit?

We can talk about growth strategy.

When does it happen?

I think i know what you are referring to.

We are very focused on growing a large, sustainable business.


Probably know.

-- no.

We are focused on building a sustainable company, that could mean we are a public company.

Is that your goal?

You hear so many of these companies saying that the problem is then you have to give in to shareholders' demand, it does not bring the company where you want it.

Realistically, we will end up public because of the size and scale of business we are building.

It is a goal to be the kind of business that you would see as a public company.

You have been over here for the dublin conference.

What do you see exciting and the european tech space?

The ecosystem is very different.

The ecosystem of silicon valley has had 30 years of this symbiotic relationship between businesses and venture capitals and universities working to build up companies.

That is a model that is now being well understood and matched in a lot of areas.

It is more important that in different regions and countries, a model that is unique to that environment should be followed.

You are going to see different innervation internationally -- innovation internationally.

We have people in our london headquarters, we are building a platform of developers and partners with different innovations.

You want to talk about growth.

What is your biggest concern?

Is it people like dropbox?

Are you focused on something that you have to execute at your company?

The biggest inhibitor is time it takes for large enterprises to move off of the legacy way of doing business and technology.

Workday,, netsuite are a crop of companies stating this transition from legacy i.t. to the future of doing things, mobile, clout, efficiency.

That takes time.

It takes time for enterprises to move into the new way.

Revelations about the nsa, does that present a challenge for cloud computing?

It is certainly not positive for cloud computing companies.

We wish the nsa were not doing that.

It has not really slowed down our business.

It has added some friction to companies who were already concerned about the cloud.

It is not so much about do you go with the cloud, it is about what cloud do you choose.

Box is one of the most secure and trusted providers of cloud storage.

We end up winning deals because of that.

This deal, do you have clients calling up and saying i am concerned about privacy issues?

We have a very strong set of policies and controls and analytics that we put in place for customers.

We are world class in that respect.

I was flying into berlin in the morning it was confirmed that the u.s. was lurking at merkel -- looking at merkel's phone.

It was about customers understanding what cloud they are going to be working with.

For european customers, will they take a european-based cloud?

We are optimistic that things will improve.

We do not think that the u.s. government and its relationship with the technology industry can remain as it has.

There is no way that we would be able to progress forward in today's operating environment.

That said, our vision and our goal is to be an open and secure platform for companies.

We do not think that a balkanization of clouds makes sense.

The way that the world is moving is to be more flat and more connected.

Most customers use box to connect with companies -- globally.

That is why you use the internet as a business.

We do not really think that having isolated and regionalized could -- cloud services is the way forward.

But something needs to change.

How much do you think box is worth -- how much will it be worth when you want to go public?

It is hard for me to say what that will be.

We will look for other people to value it.

We are hopefully aiming for an attractive valuation.

How many zero's? it is less in pounds.


I cannot do that conversion.

Are you looking at twitter, how concerned are you i now valuation?

For twitter or box?

Twitter will have an impact on how you value.

I do love twitter, it is a great website and application.

We think that that will be an attractive ipo.

They are doing amazing things, it could be the way that the world communicates and shares information.

I am very long on twitter.

Calendar games.

How many more ipo's over $1 billion will we have between twitter and box?

I don't know who else is lined up.

You can speculate.

0-100. you are hiring?

What kind of turnover, i went numbers.

It would be helpful if we were public.

All of our numbers are private.

The growth in the past years have been something we have been very excited about.

We grew 150% last year, europe has been a growth driver.

We had zero people in europe one point five years ago.

Now we have 80 people.

These are people centralized in london and selling to european customers.

We are seeing tremendous growth from companies, a lot of businesses moving to box.

Massive growth will stimulate that.

Who are you looking at over your shoulder?

As a paranoid tech company, we are looking at big and small are companies.

Microsoft, oracle, ibm.

You think of yourself as more nimble?

You always have to be worried that they buy somebody into space, they move down market with a better product.

You'll is want to pay attention and be on your toes around how you compete with them.

The biggest challenge is not leveraging that asymmetric advantage of being more nimble.

We are always paying attention of how we can invest in that.

What is your best advice for someone who wants to make it in the tech world?

The singer we try and do, we always try and act like a startup that we were with 5-10 people.

What is that thing that is changing in the world.

What is going to change how people communicate?

Even though we are larger, our job is to make sure that we are building to the future.

Thank you so much.

Asymmetry, symbiosis, ecosystem.


We will see you in january when you go public.

Aaron levie of box.

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This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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