Box, the startup that makes online storage services for businesses,
previewed a new app today called Box Notes.
Think of the app as an alternative to Google Docs or Microsoft Office. It turns your Box account into an Evernote-like note taking app and lets you chat with the people you collaborate on documents with.
Like Evernote, you can drop in videos, images, audio to your note.
Like Google Docs, Notes you can do realtime concurrent editing, too.
Like Facebook’s Chat Heads, it has a feature it calls “Note Heads” that let’s you see who’s online and who’s editing what.
It works on the Web, Android, iPhones, and iPads and is built on Box’s enterprise-grade, secure file-sharing platform, the company says.
It shouldn’t be too shocking that Box is moving far beyond its roots as a secure cloud storage service. Box CEO Aaron Levie has been acquiring people and tech to turn Box into a modern-day, mobile-friendly alternative to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Sharepoint.
He spent almost seven years wooing Sam Schillace to lead enginnering at Box and about a year ago succeeded, Levie told Business Insider at the time. Schillace created the tech that eventually became Google Docs (by way of cofounding a company called Writerly, acquired by Google).
In May, Levie acquired a tiny Y-Combinator startup called Crocodoc. Its tech embeds documents into websites. All seven members joined Box. Founder Ryan Damico became Box’s new Director of Platform
Still, there are countless other tech companies gunning for Google Docs and Evernote. Box has a good chance at besting them for a few reasons: a big base of business customers, 180,000 to date, the company says, including big names like Procter & Gamble. Box is also extremely well funded and well advised. It’s raised more than $US300 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Salesforce.com.
Its advisory board includes names like Jonathan Heiliger former VP of Technical Operations at Facebook, Kevin Scott VP of Engineering at LinkedIn and, as of a couple of weeks ago, Steven Sinofsky, former head of Windows for Microsoft.
Box Notes is currently in limited a private beta, launching first with Box’s customers, a spokesperson told us. The company hasn’t committed to when it will roll it out to the general public.