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Box’s Aaron Levie: We’re Misunderstood

By
Steve Nellis
 |  Nov. 5, 2014 11:15 AM PST
Photo: Illustration by Matt Vascellaro.

Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, wants you to know that his company is not a storage company and that a partnership announced by two of his biggest rivals—Microsoft and Dropbox—is a great thing for Box’s future.

In an interview with The Information, the 29 year old also discussed “misunderstandings” around the company’s delayed IPO. Box filed for an IPO in March but held off, citing market volatility. Instead, it raised $150 million at a valuation of $2.4 billion in July. Its S-1 filing remains active.

But Box’s losses are steeper than even growth-hungry tech investors might tolerate. The company notched a $168.5 million loss between 2013 and 2014, as revenues more than doubled to $124.1 million. The losses improved for the quarter ended this April, with a $38.5 million loss on $45.3 million in revenue. Box also said that billing growth had slowed, which it attributed to the fact that more customers were choosing monthly or quarterly plans instead of annual plans.

Mr. Levie and Box now have their eye on new verticals, going deep into areas like health care. The company bought MedXT, a Y Combinator-backed medical image file storage and sharing service, on Oct. 9 for an undisclosed sum. “You’ll see us enter new categories in the next quarter or two that are important and are dealing with IT transformation right now,” Mr. Levie said.

The Information chatted with Mr. Levie about the impact of a partnership between his competitors, why Box isn’t a storage company and who the famously funny CEO follows on Twitter. Edited excerpts below.

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