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Business & Real Estate

Startup draws investors’ millions


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

Box, a 7-year-old cloud storage company based in Los Altos, raised 5 million in its latest round of funding. The equity firm General Atlantic is among Box’s investors.

A new cash infusion raised the profile of Los Altos-based cloud storage company Box last week.

The 7-year-old company raised $125 million from a group of four institutional investors, with the largest chunk coming from General Atlantic, an equity firm that backs companies with explosive growth potential. GA’s investment portfolio includes Facebook, Gilt, Trent and Renren.

By providing accessible, cloud-based information storage for companies, Box has brought some of the qualities of mobile and social innovation to the business world. In the funding announcement, Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie said the cash infusion “allows us to invest aggressively in the talent, technology and global expansion efforts required for Box to sit at the center of this shift and define the next generation of enterprise software.”

In the first half of 2012, Box reported a 200 percent increase in enterprise sales over the previous year, and it recently announced plans to open a London office. The privately held company has raised a total of $287 million and reportedly rebuffed a $700 million purchase offer last spring.

With clients such as Procter & Gamble, Netflix and Random House Inc., Box has begun to corner the Fortune 500 market when it comes to collaborative information management. The company provides a secure content-sharing platform accessible to mobile devices. Gary Reiner, an operating partner at General Atlantic and former chief information officer at General Electric, joined Box’s board of directors at the same time his firm invested in the startup.

“The move to the cloud is one of the most transformative shifts in the history of enterprise technology, and many CIOs are re-evaluating and re-architecting their organizations’ IT strategies to take advantage of this trend,” Reiner said in the same announcement.

In addition to General Atlantic, current Box investors contributing to the new round of funding include Bessemer Venture Partners and SAP Ventures, and new investor Social + Capital Partnership joined the group.

Box moved to its Los Altos headquarters in March and has been hiring at a pace to fill the 700-person space, formerly occupied by Rambus, along El Camino Real.

Users outside the U.S. account for 50 percent of overall traffic among the company’s clients, and Box has been expanding a collaboration with Hewlett-Packard in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

For more information, visit www.box.com.

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