Box.net Receives $81 Million More in Cloud Storage Funding
Cloud storage provider Box (neé Box.net) is growing even more with the closing of an $81 million round of funding from NEA, Bessemer Venture Partners, salesforce.com, SAP Ventures and existing investors. That’s right — this funding, which is going toward helping Box grow its large enterprise play — represents a deepening of the relationship between the cloud storage provider and SaaS firebrand Salesforce.
The official blog entry by Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie doesn’t spend much time on the funding announcement proper before turning into a manifesto on cloud momentum and providing IT value in an economic downturn. It’s well worth a read for cloud industry watchers. But here’s the part that stuck out to me about Box’s next moves:
“[…] enterprises across the world are experiencing a formidable and fundamental transition by moving their applications and data to the cloud. Box is uniquely positioned to help with this shift, but we need get a number of things right, all at once: build the best technology possible, provide unmatched support, and repeatedly out-innovate the competition. We need to provide an amazing experience for the 100,000 businesses already using Box, including 77% of the Fortune 500, while growing our global user base at an unprecedented pace. And we need to invest aggressively in scaling our team and infrastructure – two things that will always require significant capital, when done correctly.”
Levie also uses the word “social” quite a bit, referring to the fact that modern applications need to have sharing baked in or they’re simply behind the times — representing an ideological alignment with the Salesforce Social Enterprise initiative.
And as an extension of that social philosophy, Levie said November will see the formal launch of the Box Innovation Network, a technology partner program designed to build out the company’s ecosystem by reaching out to technology partners.
Needless to say, Box’s funding momentum alone would be a reason to keep close tabs on it, with more than $164 million raised just in 2011 by my math. Stay tuned to TalkinCloud for more on how Box entering growth mode might impact the cloud services channel.