Box CEO Aaron Levie
Box CEO Aaron Levie

Box, the cloud data storage company started by a pair of Mercer Island High School grads, has picked up an additional $150 million in funding from private equity firm TPG and hedge fund Coatue Management, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The deal pegs Box’s value at $2.4 billion, up from $2 billion when Box picked up financing last December.

The additional cash should provide Box with some breathing room as it continues to move towards an IPO. The company filed to go public earlier this year, but did so right as Wall Street softened on tech stocks. The company’s SEC filings at the time of its filing showed that Box was burning through cash in an attempt to acquire more users.

User acquisition is key for Box’s long-term prospects, especially since the company is competing against Microsoft, Apple, Google, Dropbox and other cloud providers for the same set of customers. But the company’s massive spending – it lost $168.6 million in its 2013 fiscal year – may be a turn-off for investors.

A report last month said the company was seeking this financing, and that it had curtailed its marketing efforts in an attempt to control costs. The WSJ’s anonymous sources said that the company has indeed cut back on marketing, and would post a slower burn rate when it discloses its first quarter financial results. According to one of the sources, Box plans to wait until after Labor Day to go public.

In past communication, the company has been more tight-lipped.

“Our plan continues to be to go public when it makes the most sense for Box and the market,” a company spokesperson said last month in an email to GeekWire.

Update: Box has issued a press release confirming the deal, though it did not discuss the company’s valuation. As a part of the deal, TPG Growth will appoint a director to Box’s board.

“Our plan continues to be to go public when it makes the most sense for Box and the market,” a representative for the company told GeekWire in an email. “As always, investing in our customers, technology, and future growth remains our top priority. TPG and Coatue have great track records with growth companies like Box and we’re excited to work with them as we execute on our strategy.”

In addition, the company has updated its S-1 filing with the SEC. In the first quarter of this year, the company made $45.3 million, almost double what it made during the same period last year. However, the company’s losses widened in the same period. Box reported a quarterly net loss of $38.45 million this past quarter, compared to a loss of $34 million in the year-ago quarter.

 

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