Today Box.net closed the massive funding round it’s been working on for the last few months, giving the company $81 million more dollars to conquer the enterprise.Box.net CEO Aaron Levie said that the funding will partly go toward building Box’s enterprise sales staff and infrastructure.
The company is growing extremely fast, adding more than 250,000 end users every month, and now has more than 100,000 businesses as customers. With that kind of growth, a cloud-based service like Box needs to invest to make sure it can serve customers without breaking down.
Levie is also going to be spending a lot more time on turning Box into a platform.
The Box Innovation Network launches in November and is designed to spark a generation of new corporate apps where information is easy to share, rather than being locked down.
As Levie said, “We want to be the simplest way for businesses to manage and share their information at scale….But it’s hard to build all the customisations themselves. That’s where traditional enterprise software has often gone in the wrong direction.”
The idea to provide support for other startups, Box partners, and even customers to build custom apps that let users share information in the same way Box does. “We don’t see enough enterprise innovation today,” Levie adds.
Investors in the round include more established enterprise software companies: Salesforce (as previously reported) and SAP Ventures.
Salesforce makes sense — it’s another disruptive cloud-based innovator that’s making great progress in enterprises — but SAP is the epitome of the old-line enterprise software that Box is trying to displace.
It seems like an odd fit, but Levie explained, “they get involved in what they see in the next-generation technologies emerging. They invested in LinkedIn, in Greenplum which got bought by EMC, and now they’re investing in Box….It’s a way for them to really keep current with the pulse of what’s going on in the enterprise.”
Box board member Josh Stein of VC firm Fisher Draper Jurvetson, which also invested in this round (as well as earlier rounds), explained that Box would rather cooperate with big enterprise players where possible.
“When you talk about technology companies that understand and work at a deep level with the world’s largest enterprises, SAP is certainly at the top of anyone’s list….We want to work with everybody that’s out there. That’s the nature of Box’s solution, it’s the kind of solution that should and needs to work with other kinds of systems.”
Other investors in the round include Bessemer Partners, NEA, and prior investors Andreessen-Horowitz. Box has now raised more than $160 million in funding.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.