Cloud Storage Vendor Box Receives $125M Investment, Targets The Enterprise

Cloud-based storage provider Box on Tuesday said it has received $125 million in investments it intends to use to continue its expansion into the enterprise storage market.

Box also said it intends to add new features this year to the channel partner program it launched last June.

Box is pursuing a strategy that counts on businesses moving data to cloud-based storage services, which it says can be less expensive and easier to manage than traditional on-premise data storage systems.

New funding will help further that strategy.

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’The investment will fund continued support of Box’s growing enterprise customer base -- building tools that will make Box more appealing to large enterprises, international growth and expansion and [investing] aggressively in talent,’ Whitney Tidmarsh Bouck, general manager of enterprise at Box, said in an email to CRN.

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Investors' interest in Box is a sign that cloud-based storage has great potential, said one analyst.

’Cloud storage is definitely not a fad,’ said Al Hilwa, program director for applications development software at research firm IDC. ’We will see increasing use of cloud file storage over the next few years by both consumers and enterprises. Clearly, the monetization opportunity is much greater for enterprises.’

In May, the company released storage features geared to large-scale storage deployments and an enterprise licensing agreement.

Box also plans to launch more programs related to its reseller program.

"Last June we announced programs for Certified Reseller and Solution Providers, and you’ll definitely be seeing more from us around these programs in the coming year,’ Tidmarsh Bouck wrote, without providing more details.

NEXT: General Atlantic Partner Joins Box Board

Box also announced Tuesday that Gary Reiner, operating partner at General Atlantic and a former CIO of General Electric, has joined its board of directors.

Private Equity company General Atlantic invested $100 million in Box, with the rest coming from Bessemer Venture Partners, DFJ Growth, New Enterprise Associates, SAP Ventures and Scale Venture Partners, as well as Social + Capital Partnership.

Last year, Box raised $81 million in venture funding from investors including and SAP Ventures.

Box said that in the first six months of 2012, enterprise sales increased 200 percent year over year, with the average deal size nearly doubling.

In the second quarter, the company increased its presence in Europe by opening a London office, along with a third data center.

More action is planned.

’In addition to building sales and professional services teams to serve Europe, we are also localizing our site and plan to soon deploy IT infrastructure improvements to boost the performance of Box outside of the U.S.,’ Box's Tidmarsh Bouck wrote. ’Once we establish a good operating rhythm and blueprint in EMEA, we'll begin expanding into other markets like Asia.’