About three years before Box went public this past January, two of the company’s biggest shareholders, venture capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson and U.S. Venture Partners sold 6% of their stakes for a collective total $20 million, a big gain on the $1.6 million the shares cost.
Box wanted early investors to sell some shares as part of a new fundraising round, DFJ partner and Box board member Josh Stein says. Still, DFJ now acknowledges leaving some money on the table with the deal. DFJ sold at $9.07 a share, while today Box stock trades at around $13. Worse, the firm bought more stock in later fundraising rounds at prices of up to $18 a share, costing it millions more, he said. Mr. Stein half-jokingly calls the sale “terrible” for the firm’s return on its Box investment.