10 Jan Box.com & the IPO "Bull Run"
TechCrunch reported today that Box.com is finally getting ready for its road show. The company filed its S-1 last year and is looking to capitalize on while the IPO window is still open. The company which still is growing in start-up fashion has had a great deal of press, both good and bad over the last several years as it’s gone through its growing pains. One thing that is most certain about this particular company is that they now have the powerhouse talent to take the company to the next level. Former execs from Microsoft, EMC and Intuit grace the halls and the board. And, much to CEO Aaron Levie’s credit, the company successfully pivoted from a consumer-driven company to a complete enterprise application platform–boasting the likes of General Electric as “cloud” clients.
The public offering waters don’t seem to be cold yet, but things are certainly cooling down. Some are expressing opinions that the pricing, acceptance and ultimate success of the Box.com offering will weigh heavily on the success of the tech IPO market for the rest of the year. Dropbox may be the next company to jump in, as long as the waters aren’t too cool.
While the IPO market begins to cool, we’re starting to see a large uptick in the interest in reverse mergers and other alternative public offerings. While there is correlation between the RM market and IPOs, the swings in the IPO market over the last 15 years have been very binary: either you’re hot or you’re not. Luckily most public offerings don’t have to boast the size or overall publicity as something like Box.com. And, even if the IPO window does eventually close, I suspect alternative methods for heading public will be alive and well. I just hope it’s not nearly as bad as 2008.
I hope for the sake of the overall tech IPO market in 2015, that Box prices its offering well. From what the analysts are saying the pricing looks to be comparatively cheap. It’s such a tightrope. Price too high and you have a repeat of the Facebook debacle: not enough market support. Price too low and large amounts of money can be left on the table. I simply hope the “bull run” continues as long as possible. The economy and the people could use it.
Here’s to wishing that 2015 is everything we wish it will be!