Box.net, a cloud computing services provide, finally launched its Box Innovation Network (/bin) designed to create an ecosystem for enterprise and mobile applications.
We need to provide an amazing experience for the 100,000 businesses already using Box, including 77 percent of the Fortune 500, while growing our global user base at an unprecedented pace, Box.net CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie wrote in a blog post. We need to invest aggressively in scaling our team and infrastructure, two things that will always require significant capital, when done correctly.
Box, which boasts 8 million users and stores over 300 million documents, allows businesses and enterprises to communicate and collaborate on documents, sync files remotely and integrate with over 120 applications, such as Salesforce.com and Google Apps, among others. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company recently raised $81 million in a funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners and NEA, strategic investors SAP Ventures and Salesforce.com, and prior investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) Growth and Andreesen Horowitz. Including the latest round, Box has raised $162 million, reportedly earning a valuation above $600 million.
Box will use $2 million to invest in the enterprise applications built on the /bin platform. With /bin, Box will further extend its reach to the API developer community to build enterprise-grade apps.
Slow-moving enterprise software giants have produced very little innovation in recent years, and their closed ecosystems have made it all but impossible for outside players to create compelling experiences for customers on legacy systems, Levie said.
Box has partnered with Appcelerator, Rackspace, Heroku, SnapLogic, Twilio and VMWare's Cloud Foundry to offer special hosting and mobile services to developers wishing to build applications through Box. /Bin will provide new resources and features for members looking to build applications through the Box APIs, and the company's $2 million fund will invest in the development of these enterprise applications.
The general idea behind /bin and the investment fund is to cultivate a strong community and network for developers to get the right resources and support to build enterprise applications, Levie said. There's so much change taking place in the enterprise, and we're trying to build out a go-to platform for how people use data, work and collaborate.
Box currently has 4,500 API partners and is reportedly receiving about 180 million API calls a month. Levie says there are four times more developers creating Box applications than a year ago, and mobile deployments rose more than 30 times in the third quarter.
Box is helping organizations make better decisions faster by bringing new innovation to business information, said Jai Das, managing director at SAP Ventures. As an investor and partner, we're excited about how Box is reinventing content management and collaboration, and look forward to working with them to make customers more productive.
Levie says users can expect a major product update for Box's enterprise offerings soon. In the next year, Box hopes to gain a number of partnerships in the mobile space and use some of its funds for international expansion and opening a third data center. The company has not yet considered an IPO but Josh Stein, managing director of DFJ, believes Box absolutely should be a public company.
Box currently sees 250,000 new users joining its platform each month.