Box secures $100m from telcos, trading and investment firms
Cloud-based storage service provider Box announced a slew of strategic partnerships and new investment Friday worth over $100m. The deals, which include commercial agreements with Telstra and Telefónica Digital, will help fuel the company’s expansion in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific.
According to Box co-founder and chief executive officer Aaron Levie the company has cemented a number of partnerships with key tech investment and trading firms, telcos and IT service providers to bring its cloud storage service to more businesses globally.
Box is partnering with Telefónica Digital, the innovation and IT service delivery arm of Spain’s Telefónica to bring the service to its small and medium-sized business users in Europe and Latin America. The company also inked a similar deal with Australian telco Telstra, which will offer the service to private sector enterprises and government sector organisations.
Commenting on the partnership for Telefónica Digital, Tracy Isacke, Executive Vice President of Investment and Business Development at the company said its business customers are looking for more flexible ways of sharing and storing content. “Box is the clear leader in this space,” she added.
Telstra, which has invested in Box through its investment wing Telstra Ventures said its parent will bring Box’s service to its enterprise and small business users “in the coming months”.
Levie said telecom operators are of significant strategic important for Box as it looks beat out rivals like Dropbox and Workshare and acquire new enterprise users globally. It recently struck similar partnerships with UK operator EE and German incumbent Deutsche Telekom, which are interested in deploying more enterprise-focused cloud-based offerings to increase customer retention and attract business users to their growing IT service portfolios.
Box also announced that it will officially launch its services in Japan early next year, and has inked deals with trading firms Itochu Technology Ventures and Mitsui & Co as well as systems integrator Macnica, which will help Box hit the ground running in the new region. To lead Box Japan the company has hired Katsunori Furuichi, who was most recently the president and chief executive officer of Verisign Japan, a Symantec-owned company specialising in security solutions and digital authentication services.
“As evidenced by the dramatic growth of Salesforce.com, Google Apps, and other cloud solutions in Japan ($3bn will be spent on cloud solutions by 2017), there’s an incredible wave of IT transformation occurring [there],” Levie said.
The recent funding brings Box’s total investment to just over $400m and the company is also in the midst of readying an IPO that could go live as early as January.
The company doesn’t comment on financials but it said it is on track to double last year’s sales, reaching $100m by the end of 2013 according to analysts. The company plans to begin expanding beyond its 90-staff London headquarters to new locations in mainland Europe, Asia and Latin America sometime next year, adding up to 200 sales and support staff.