Box, the cloud storage specialist, raises $ 500 million. This fundraising, announced Thursday April 8, 2021, is carried out with KKR, one of the main private investment funds in the world. Concretely, these funds will be used to finance a repurchase of shares of the company to the tune of 500 million dollars. This process, which is due to begin after the announcement of its quarterly results in May 2021, should allow the company to extricate itself from the pressure of the activist investor Starboard Value.
Starboard Value is putting pressure on Box and demanding better financial results. The fund was even considering forcing the sale, according to Reuters, before KKR offered the $ 500 million investment. “KKR’s investment is a strong vote of confidence in our vision, our strategy, and our continued efforts to strengthen our growth and profitability.”, commented Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box.
Box takes the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to achieve a growth rate of its revenues of between 12 and 16%, with operating margins of between 23 and 27%, by fiscal year 2024. The company adds that it wants to “accelerate its strategy and support, via Box Content Cloud, customers in the modernization of their way of working and their digital transformation”.
Demand for Box’s products has increased with the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to a sharp acceleration in teleworking and associated tools. However, Box is faced with competitors like Microsoft, which offers similar services for free or at a lower cost. The company tries to differentiate itself with products with added value such as Box Relay, which has tools to automate business processes in various sectors, as well as Box Shield and Box Governance which are composed of advanced tools for security and conformity.
Box explains that it wants to expand its product portfolio and continue to expand in key markets. Going in this direction, the company recently took over SignRequest, a start-up specializing in electronic signatures. Thanks to this acquisition, it now offers its customers Box Sign, a new natively integrated electronic signature tool at no additional cost.