Levie at a speaking engagement in 2011
|Born||Aaron Winsor Levie
Boulder, Colorado, U.S.
|Residence||Los Altos, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Occupation||CEO at Box|
|Known for||Co-founder of Enterprise Cloud Software Box|
Early life and education
Aaron Levie was born to a Jewish family from Mercer Island, Washington, a small suburb of Seattle. His parents are Ben and Karyn Levie. Levie attended the University of Southern California before taking a leave of absence in 2005 to start cloud storage company Box.
The idea for Box originated as a college business project that Levie was working on in 2004. The project examined cloud storage options for businesses and after contacting several organizations to ask how they are storing their content and data, Levie came to the conclusion that the market was fragmented. Levie saw an opportunity to build an online file storage business as a way for individuals to access and store documents and files.
In December 2005, during his junior year at USC, Levie took a leave of absence to launch Box (originally called box.net) with his friend and Box CFO, Dylan Smith who was attending Duke University. At the time, Box was a storage service where users could pay to store their files in the cloud.
Levie and Smith incorporated Box in April 2005 while operating the company out of Smith’s parents’ house on Mercer Island. Soon after, they moved the company to Berkeley, California. Levie and Smith first secured angel investment for Box from Texas billionaire Mark Cuban after a cold e-mail.
In 2007, as the consumer cloud storage marketplace was becoming increasingly crowded, Levie and Smith decided to shift Box from a consumer service to one focused on selling to businesses (cloud storage).
Box expanded its operations into Europe in 2012, with the opening of its first office in London, England.
As of 2014, Box reported that 40% of Fortune 500 companies are paying Box customers. The company is headquartered in Redwood City and was backed by several venture capital firms and investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, General Atlantic, Meritech Capital Partners, New Enterprise Associates, U.S. Venture Partners, and Salesforce.com. The company filed for IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in March 2014. Citing market fluctuations the company delayed its IPO until January 23, 2015.
Speaking and contributed writing
Levie has spoken at industry events such as Fortune Brainstorm Tech, Dreamforce, LeWeb, RSA, MobileBeat, GigaOm Structure, TechCrunch Disrupt and DEMO. He has also written articles on innovation in the technology industry for publications such as The Washington Post, CNN.com, Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Forbes, ZDNet and Fast Company.
- Kim, Eugene. "Box's $1.5 billion business was once called a 'house of horrors' — now its 31-year old CEO is proving everyone wrong". Business Insider. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- Liedtke, Michael (28 February 2011). "Investing in a Box: $48M Bet On Storage Service". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 23 August 2012 – via HighBeam. (Subscription required (. ))
- Matt Rosoff (2011-08-29). "This 26-Year Old Founder Is Raising $100 Million To Take On Giants Like Microsoft - Business Insider". Articles.businessinsider.com. Archived from the original on 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- Cassidy, Mike (17 February 2011). "Cassidy: Silicon Valley start-ups provide their own education". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
- Holland, Joel (2010-07-16). "I'm an Entrepreneur; Get Me Out of Here!". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- "Bill Robinson: Aaron Levie and Box: Thinking Outside Of It". Huffingtonpost.com. 2012-01-10. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- Matt Rosoff (2011-10-11). "Box.net Just Scored $81 Million - Here's What They'll Spend It On". Business Insider. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- Marcus Austin (21 June 2012). "US Cloud Storage Player Box Come To The UK". Tech Radar. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
- Hardy, Quentin (24 March 2014). "Box, a Cloud Storage Firm, Plans I.P.O." The New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- "Microsoft "not even relevant," says Box CEO Aaron Levie". VentureBeat. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- "Cloud storage provider Box.net spurns $500M offer (exclusive)". VentureBeat. 2011-09-15. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- Wilhelm, Alex (19 June 2014). "Box Said To Move Forward With Its Debut As Tech IPO Market Perks Up". TechCrunch. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Hu, Denni (23 October 2014). "Venture Capital Confidence Drops as Market Fluctuates". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- Picker, Leslie; Antonia, Massa (23 January 2015). "Box Surges in Cloud-Storage Debut After $175 Million IPO". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- Lien, Tracey. "Box CEO Aaron Levie learned to trust his friends and change directions". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
- "A Visit With Box.net's Aaron Levie at His New Office (Video) - Arik Hesseldahl - Enterprise". AllThingsD. 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- "Aaron Levie of Box on This Week in Startups #224 | ThisWeekIn". Thisweekin.com. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- Aaron Levie (2011-12-02). "VatorNews - Aaron Levie on Box's competitive edge". Vator.tv. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- Kym McNicholas (2011-05-08). "Why Box.net's CEO Aaron Levie's The Next David Copperfield". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- Krigsman, Michael. "Box CEO Aaron Levie on cloud, tech stacks, and the future of work | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-03-29.