Cloud storage and collaboration startup Box.net has raised $48 million in new funding led by Meritech Capital Partners with Andreessen Horowitz, Emergence Capital Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Scale Venture Partners and US Venture Partners. This brings the company’s total funding to $78 million.
Over the past four years, Box has evolved from a simple cloud storage platform to a collaborative enterprise offering with mobile and social capabilities. The company now stores 300 million documents on its platform (more than the Library Of Congress) and has accumulated 5 million users (up from 4 million last year).
Enterprise customers include DreamWorks, Cisco and Dell and 60,000 other companies, or 73% of the Fortune 500, use Box to share, access and collaborate on business content online, as well as from iPads, iPhones and Android devices. In fact, Box has seen 400,000 downloads for its iOS and Android apps.
A month ago, Box unveiled a brand new version of its storage application, with a new UI, seamless document viewing experience and more collaborative features around file sharing and document storage. Box also added an application marketplace that include apps from Salesforce, Google Apps, NetSuite, Yammer and others. And last year brought storage plans, file syncing and more to Box’s platform.
So how is Box performing in terms of sales? CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie says that Box tripled revenue in 2010, which he says was in the eight figure range, and he fully expects to double, triple or even quadruple that number this year. While the company is not yet cash flow positive, Levie says that Box is approaching that milestone.
Levie clearly has big ambitions for Box. First and foremost, Box.net wants to take on Microsoft Sharepoint, and has aggressively campaigned for existing Sharepoint users to switch to the company’s cheaper, simpler option. Levie says, “Box is positioned to redefine an industry, much as Salesforce.com has done for CRM and NetSuite for ERP…We want to bring Box’s cloud content management to businesses of all sizes, all over the world…”
Box plans to use the funding for hiring talent and will double the engineering and sales teams this year (Box currently has 140 employees). Levie plans to do a few small acquisitions in the coming year. The funding will also be used to build a new data center on the east coast; Box currently operates two data centers in California. And the company plans to aggressively push sales outside of the U.S. and increase international capabilities. Currently, businesses outside the U.S. account for 15 percent of Box’s customer base.
We sat down with Levie a few weeks ago to talk about Box’s future strategy, mobile platform and war for talent.
After starting as a college business project in 2005, Box was officially launched in March of 2006 with the vision of connecting people, devices and networks. Box provides more than 8 million users with secure cloud content management and collaboration. They say their platform “allows personal and commercial content to be accessible, sharable, and storable in any format from anywhere”.