Aaron Levie: “US$500 million investment and new board member from KKR”
● Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, announces a new US$500 million investment from KKR.
● “KKR is getting more active in cloud and SaaS...and while we didn’t need the primary
capital...we did think that the long-term support of KKR would be strategic to have.”
● Levie also said KKR’s lead tech investor, John Park, will join the Box board of executives, while Bethany Mayer, who has served on the board for a year, will become chairperson.
● Levie was in conversation with Jessica Lessin, founder and editor-in-chief of the Information, at the 40,000-attendee online conference Collision 2021.
“It’s just another indication of us evolving as a larger company”
Levie said that this new company structure will help Box to scale in the coming years. He also said that Box will be initiating a share buy-back with all of the proceeds of the KKR investment.
“Ultimately, we are going to make sure that this is actually accretive to shareholders and we continue to drive strong capital allocation decisions across the company.”
Levie was satisfied that the new board structure would see him remain separated as CEO, saying it improves Box’s corporate governance.
“We can take a long view of the market and take full opportunity of it”
Levie said that, with the KKR investment, Box can afford to be strategic in its decision making.
He went on to emphasize that the company’s success to date – a US$800 million revenue run rate – is exciting, but should be considered in the context of a US$55 billion market, meaning there is potential for growth.
Levie noted that Box experienced growth in financial services and life sciences businesses, as well as with federal government clients, but also felt pressure in the hospitality, travel and
entertainment sectors. Coming into 2021, he feels robust growth returning to most industries.
Despite all of these changes, Levie also noted strength in the purpose of Box’s long-term aims.
“When we started the company, we had this simple vision to make it easy and secure to access shared data from anywhere. 15 years later, that remains our vision.”
When Collision, North America’s fastest growing technology event, moved online, the pivot to host thousands of attendees online was coined by the Sunday Times as a “pretty big experiment”. For the second year in a row, Collision will host attendees online on its proprietary software. After hosting 32,000 attendees at its first online event in June 2020, the Collision platform was called “the stunning future of online events” by Digital Trends. This year, the platform will host more than 40,000 attendees for the three days of the conference.
About Web Summit:
Forbes says Web Summit is “the best tech conference on the planet”; Bloomberg calls it “Davos for geeks”; Politico, “the Olympics of tech”; the Guardian, “Glastonbury for geeks”; and, in the words of Inc. magazine, “Web Summit is the largest technology conference in the world”.
Collision images: https://www.flickr.com/photos/collisionconf/
Collision YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6MiQVyK_WaFlU5IvIT2b8A
Collision speaker lineup: https://collisionconf.com/speakers
Sponsored content: The views expressed in the post are those of the author