SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Online storage provider Box is seeking to raise $250 million in an initial public offering that will become the latest test of investors' interest in rapidly growing technology companies suffering huge losses while being led a precocious CEO.
With Monday's IPO filing, Box Inc. took the wraps off its finances for the first time since the Los Altos, Calif., company was founded nearly nine years ago by college dropout Aaron Levie and his friend, Dylan Smith. The documents showed Box has lost a total of $337 million since the end of 2011 alone, including a $169 million setback during its last fiscal year.
Levie, 29, serves as Box's CEO while Smith, 28, is the company's chief financial officer.
"At times, we may get some things wrong, but we respond quickly and 'fail fast,'" Levie wrote in a letter accompanying the IPO filing. "More often, however, our speed affords us an incredible competitive advantage."
Although he is still relatively young, Levie is well regarded in Silicon Valley and has become known for a glib sense of humor that has helped attract more than 90,000 followers to his Twitter account. He also joined another 29-year-old technology whiz, Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, among a contingent of Silicon Valley executives who met with President Barack Obama in Washington last week to vent their frustration with the U.S. government's surveillance of Internet services.
Although investors initially were turned off by Zuckerberg's penchant for wearing hoodies when Facebook filed for its IPO in 2012, Wall Street has since warmed up to him and his social networking company.
Facebook's stock closed Monday at $64.10, a nearly 70 percent gain from the company's IPO price of $38. Investors also have shrugged off Twitter Inc.'s uninterrupted history of losses since the company went public last November. Twitter's stock finished Monday at $48.77, nearly doubling from its IPO price of $26.
Box's losses have mounted amid increased spending on service improvements and payroll expansion. The company has tried to take advantage of demand for online storage services that store digital files in remote data centers so people are able to fetch the content on whatever device that they may be using at the time.
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