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Box Inc. may delay IPO in latest sign of Silicon Valley cool-down

Box Inc. may delay its IPO in latest sign Silicon Valley may be cooling off

Even as the debate continues about whether Silicon Valley is in a bubble, there is evidence that the region may be losing steam. 

It's a paradox, perhaps. But, that's life in Silicon Valley for you.

The latest sign for the losing-steam argument is word that high-flying startup Box Inc. may be delaying its hotly anticipated initial public offering. The development was reported by the Wall Street Journal

The news come as the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index has been up and down of late. (Though Box plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange, the widely followed index of Nasdaq-listed stocks serves as a kind of tech proxy.)

The gyrations have come in the wake of a bullish run since last summer that had some folks wondering whether the index was going to reach its dot-com bubble high. Instead, in recent weeks, several tech companies delayed IPOs or were forced to price their offerings at the lower end of the expected range.

Box, however, also faces some issues specific to its own business.

The cloud file-storage service that Box offers is in a highly competitive area, with other start-ups such as Dropbox racing against big names such as Microsoft for the attention of consumers and businesses.

Also, Box's financials, disclosed last month when it made its IPO filing public, did not exactly set the world on fire. 

In the filing, Box reported revenue of $124.2 million for the year that ended Jan. 31. That was up from $58.8 million the previous year. The bad news, though, was that its loss widened to $168.9 million from $112.8 million.

Box had $109 million in cash on hand after burning through $92 million in cash over the previous year. That means it has some breathing room to delay its IPO, but it can't wait forever before raising more money.

Still, the fact that a money-losing company, even one with a lot of buzz and a chief executive in Aaron Levie who's hilarious on Twitter and has funky hair, isn't getting a free ride to an IPO shows that just maybe Silicon Valley hasn't gone completely bonkers.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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