5 Interesting Learnings from Box at $1 Billion in ARR

So I’ve been waiting for this milestone for some time, ever since 2014, when we wrote in TechCrunch that Box would eventually get to $1B in ARR.  It was just a matter of time.  That Box would of course get to $1B in ARR given how much momentum it had at $200m in ARR — that’s the magic of recurring revenue.  At the time, most folks didn’t really get SaaS, NRR, and recurring revenue.  We all do now.

And now we’re here!

Box is now crossing $1B in ARR.  In fact, it’s growing the fastest at $1B ARR it has in quite some time, with its all-time highest NRR ever!

5 Interesting Learnings:

#1. Growing 18% at $1B in ARR — versus just 10% a year ago (!).  Going multi-product continues to be the secret to acceleration at scale. Suite (i.e. multi-product) momentum drove a Net Retention Rate of 111%, up 8% basis points from 103% a year ago.

#2. Box has now hit the magic number of 20%+ operating margins, becoming a cash flow engine.  From 1% in 2020 to 20% today. Key to this, as you can see, is driving down Sales & Marketing to a low 28% of revenue vs. a SaaS public company average of ~50%.  Box does have a viral / PLG component to rely on to drive down some costs here, but this is still probably the lowest sales & marketing can be in a sales-driven SaaS company that is still growing.

#3. Expansion of NRR is truly impressive — and a reminder it’s never too late to drive up your NRR. Box is >increasing< NRR as it passes $1B in ARR!  The keys, here again, are going multi-product and more enterprise.

#4. 37% of revenue now from “Suites”, or multi-product companies, and the number of $100k+ deals here have more than doubled.  You have to start single-product to stay focused and find your 10x wedge in a market. But at scale, continued growth requires a multi-product strategy.

#5. Box needed to get to scale to get there, like most SaaS companies — but now it’s a true Free Cash Flow Machine. It generated $91m in free cash flow last quarter and $170m in FY22 That’s approaching 20% of revenue as Free Cash Flow.

And a deep dive on how Box went multi-product and more enterprise at scale with CRO Mark Wayland here:

 

An incredible story we’ve all been a part of over the years, one way or another.  Box took its time to go multi-product, and with it, even more enterprise.  But once it did, it got its second wind.  At $1 Billion in ARR.

Published on June 1, 2022

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