Why Box Is Raising $125 Million to Change the Enterprise

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." – Popular Mechanics, 1949.

We’re at the beginning of a transformative and discontinuous shift in the enterprise landscape. The confluence of mobile, social, and cloud technology is changing how businesses of all sizes manage their information and where they can access their data, challenging longstanding enterprise software status quos in the process.

Much like the transition from mainframes to minicomputers in the ‘60s and ‘70s extended the computing market beyond the world’s largest enterprises, and the move from minicomputers to PCs in the 80s and 90s gave rise to the knowledge worker, this shift brings entirely new capabilities to an expanded audience – and audience that will include 1.3 billion “mobile workers” by 2015. And as a substantial portion of the $280 billion spent on enterprise technology each year moves to the cloud and unseats legacy services, it creates a window for new players to emerge and define this next wave of solutions.

Which is why we’re excited to share that we’re investing aggressively and enthusiastically in the future of Box and the future of our customers. We’re taking on a $125 million investment round, led by General Atlantic (GA), and welcoming Gary Reiner, an investment partner at GA and former CIO at General Electric, to our board of directors.

The speed of change and disruption in this industry has never been faster, the competition has never been fiercer, and we’ve never been more excited about what’s ahead. When we started Box as an all-purpose cloud storage solution in 2005 and later narrowed our focus to serving businesses in 2007, we had a hunch that the opportunity was big. Now, years later, we’re truly realizing just how vast and important the market is for helping businesses of all sizes to manage information and collaboration in the cloud.

I’d like to take a moment to share our strategy for how Box will continue to innovate and compete going forward, fueled by this new financing and GA’s impressive network:

  • Building Unparalleled Technology: Our mission is to build the simplest way for users to share and manage content, on a secure platform that businesses trust. You’ll see us invest heavily in creating an amazing end user experience with all-new ways to interact with and collaborate on content, while also continuing to ensure that we provide the security and administrative capabilities that enterprises require. And of course, we’re going to continue to build for and support every mobile platform that our customers want to work from. We have an exciting slate of upcoming technology, with more innovation in the next few quarters than in our entire company’s history.
  • Global Expansion: The amazing advantage of cloud solutions is they’re international on day one. We pride ourselves on serving a global customer base – 20% of our revenue, and nearly 50% of our activity is outside of the US – and we’re focused on significantly expanding out international efforts. Just last month we announced our entry into Europe, but this is just the start. We’ll be bringing operations to new regions, as well as technology that improves the performance of Box for our distributed customer base.
  • Supporting Large Customers: As we continue to work with companies like Procter & Gamble, AAA, and McAfee, MGM, and Random House, our support and service capabilities have begun to expand commensurately. The addition of Gary Reiner, GE’s former CIO, to our board brings an additional, unique view of the needs of these enterprises to Box. We’ll continue to make dramatic investments in serving our increasingly larger customers – from technology to product to and integration services.
  • Expanding our Ecosystem: The Box platform is one of the most critical and high growth components of our business. Box’s APIs are used by over 10,000 developers, and we work with hundreds of leading commercial applications, including over 100 OneCloud apps across iOS and Android. Our partners, apps like PlanGrid (enabling construction workers to pull down blue prints on tablets) and CloudOn (streaming Microsoft Office to your iPad), are instrumental to facilitating the Post-PC enterprise. We’ll continue to aggressively build out our platform capabilities, ecosystem partnerships, and efforts to make sure Box partners are successful in entering the enterprise with us.

If Microsoft’s vision was to put “a computer on every desk and in every home,” then the vision of Box (and the post-PC movement more broadly) is to get the right information into every individual’s hands. We believe that companies with cloud, mobile and social in their DNA are best positioned to serve the increasingly dynamic needs of today’s enterprises. We’re just a fraction of the way into a shift that is going to dramatically remake today’s enterprises, as well as the vendors that serve them. We’re excited to be among a generation of incredibly transformative companies like Workday, Yammer, Atlassian, Salesforce, GoodData, Domo, Jive, Netsuite, SuccessFactors and Zendesk.

There’s nothing short of a revolution going on in enterprise software today, and we’re inspired and humbled to be on this journey with wonderful colleagues, customers and partners. We’re determined to prove that innovation is possible in the enterprise, and that software – along with companies – can be built differently in this new era.

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