Box Forgoes $500M Offer, Reportedly From Citrix, for Bigger Things

Most companies less than five years old would be happy to entertain an offer to sell for $500 million.

But Box.net, which provides cloud content management and collaboration services, reportedly spurned an offer that size from a suitor earlier this summer.

As reported earlier today by VentureBeat, Box reportedly turned down a $500 million acquisition offer. A source in the cloud industry had separately told me the same thing, as well as that Citrix Systems was the interested buyer.

What’s more, the source said Box countered with $1.5 billion, in an indication of just how much the company expects to expand.

CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie (pictured), through a spokesperson, had no comment on the reported acquisition offer. I left messages with Citrix that have not yet been returned. I’ll update the story if they provide more information.

In July, Citrix bolstered its cloud computing software services when it bought VC-backed Cloud.com, which makes cloud infrastructure software, in a deal reportedly worth up to $250 million. It’s unclear if Citrix’s reported attempt to snag Box came before or after it purchased Cloud.com.

Meanwhile, Box has been on a growth curve all year. The company, which relocated last year to larger digs in Palo Alto, Calif., is already in search of larger space to house some 200 employees. The company is also well-financed, having raised nearly $90 million in VC funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Emergence Capital Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Scale Venture Partners and U.S. Venture Partners. The company also raised $10 million in debt funding from Hercules Technology Growth Capital.

Just last month, Box raised $18.6 million of an anticipated $35 million round, according to a regulatory filing. The latest funding reportedly came at a pre-money valuation of more than $500 million.

The 27-year-old Levie–who co-created Box in his dorm room at the University of Southern California with the now current CFO of Box, Dylan Smith–is a rising star in the Silicon Valley tech scene and has been talked about as the next Steve Jobs.

Full Disclosure: Aaron Levie is delivering a keynote address at VCJ’s Venture Alpha conference on Oct 20.