Box (company)

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Box, Inc.
Box, Inc. logo.svg
Type of businessPublic
Type of site
Content Management and File sharing
Traded asNYSEBOX
HeadquartersRedwood City, California, U.S.
Created byAaron Levie and Dylan Smith
Key peopleAaron Levie, CEO
RevenueIncrease $770 Million (2020)[1]
Employees1,934 (as of 2021)[1]
Launched2005; 16 years ago (2005)[2][3] (as
Mercer Island, Washington, U.S.

Box, Inc. (formerly is a public company based in Redwood City, California. It develops and markets cloud-based content management, collaboration, and file sharing tools for businesses. Box was founded in 2005 by Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith. Initially, it focused on consumers, but around 2009 and 2010 Box pivoted to focus on business users. The company raised about $500 million over numerous funding rounds, before going public in 2015. Its software allows users to store and manage files in an online folder system accessible from any device. Users can then comment on the files, share them, apply workflows, and implement security and governance policies.


The idea for started in 2003 with Aaron Levie, who was a business student at University of Southern California.[4] He wrote a paper for school on the industry for storing digital files online[4] and started developing the Box service in 2004.[4] In 2005, Levie dropped out of school to work on Box full-time with long-time friend and cofounder Dylan Smith.[5][6][7] Initially, the software was developed in the attic of Smith's parents' house, then in a garage owned by Levie's uncle that had been converted into a living space.[4] Levie and Smith were joined by cofounders Jeff Queisser and Sam Ghods.[8] The founders relied on their own money as well as support from friends and family members, until Mark Cuban invested $350,000 in seed funding in 2005.[4]

The Box service was released in 2005.[4][5] In the first year after its release, the company's revenue was in the tens of thousands of dollars.[7] It raised $1.5 million in series A funding in 2006 and $6 million in Series B funding in 2008.[4] Box's revenues grew 500% from 2008 to 2009. By 2010, the company had raised $29.5 million in funding and the service had four million users.[9]

Box was initially focused on consumers, but many of those consumers used the service at work. Box pivoted to focus on business users around 2009 and 2010.[4][7][10] The company developed features to embed Box in common business applications or use APIs to integrate with them.[10] In 2009, it acquired Increo Solutions, which developed software for previewing and collaborating on digital files.[5][11] In 2011, a reworked version of the Box service was released with technical improvements designed for handling large numbers of business users, changes to the user interface, and more collaboration features.[12] The company started developing its first industry-specific features for heavily regulated industries in 2012, when it introduced tools for HIPAA compliance at healthcare organizations.[4]

Box also expanded internationally, with offices in London, Berlin, and Tokyo, among other locations.[4][13] In 2011, the company raised $48 million in funding to support its data centers.[7] This was followed by an additional $125 million in funding round the next year,[14] $100 million in 2013,[15] and $150 million in 2014.[16] By 2014, Box had made five acquisitions.[11] These included the 2013 acquisition of Crocodoc, which developed software for opening documents online, and dLoop, which focused on analytics related to digital files.[11] The company also purchased Streem for its technology that synchronizes files between devices and online files.[11]

Box had an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange on January 23, 2015.[5] The IPO price was $14.00. It opened at $20.20 and closed at $23.23. The IPO raised $175 million and established a market capitalization of about $1.6 billion.[17] In November 2014, Box acquired MedXT, which developed medical software, for $3.84 million.[18] The following February, it acquired cloud management service Airpost.[19] Box moved its headquarters to its current location in Redwood City, California in January 2016.[20] In July 2018, Box acquired search engine company[21] Box acquired e-signature startup SignRequest for $55 million, in February 2021.[22][23]

Box accelerated its development plans for certain features in response to the number of people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. It announced a new version with improved integration with video-conference software like Zoom, as well as a feature called Collections that allows users to customize their personal folder structure.[24]


A screenshot of's mobile user interface is a cloud-based content management system with collaboration, security, analytics and other features related to files and information.[25][26] There is a core Box service, then add-ons for different industries and situations.[27][28] Box is used to manage, share, and collaborate on digital files.[29] As of 2017, there are about 41 million users,[29] constituting 6.5% of the market for software that helps manage, share, and collaborate on digital files.[30]

Box stores files in an online folder system that can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.[29] Often, a copy of the files are also stored on the user's devices, then synchronized with the online version.[29] Users can invite "collaborators" that can upload or modify files[31] or the user can share specific files or folders.[29] Users can also create certain files directly in and add comments or notes that are visible from the folder system.[31]

Box began as a simple service for storing, sharing, and syncing files among different users and devices, but developed over time into an enterprise product with features for security and compliance.[25][32][26] Files on Box are encrypted using TLS encryption.[5] Each user has access to their own documents, as well as to corporate files that the IT department manages.[12] IT staff can also set other access and security policies,[12] get audit information like who accessed what files, and receive alerts for suspicious downloads.[29] Box's open APIs allow it to integrate with common business applications.[31][32] For example, one integration allows users to save files to their folders directly from Microsoft applications.[31] The company also provides consulting, support, and other services.[33]

Box held its first annual conference, BoxWorks, in January 2010, initially under the name Altitude.[4][7] The first conference drew about 300 attendees, but grew to about 3,000 by 2013.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Box 2020 Annual Report (PDF), Box
  2. ^ Rachel King (March 6, 2014). "How Aaron Levie and his childhood friends built Box into a $2 billion business, Box V4, without stabbing each other in the back". TechRepublic. Retrieved December 1, 2016. Development for Box, then, started at the end of 2004, but really got off the ground and went online in 2005 during their second years of college.
  3. ^ Aaron Levie (September 14, 2011). "Commentary: Why we had to leave Seattle to build". GeekWire. Retrieved December 1, 2016. Box – which now competes with Redmond's very own Microsoft SharePoint – had been started in early '05 from college dorm rooms in California and North Carolina.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l King, Rachel (March 6, 2014). "How Aaron Levie and his childhood friends built Box into a $2 billion business, without stabbing each other in the back". TechRepublic. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Box: The smart person's guide". TechRepublic. March 15, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  6. ^ Mazarakis, Anna; Shontell, Alyson. "'I was having nightmares for a few weeks': Box CEO Aaron Levie reveals how hard it was to build a $2.5 billion business and take it public by age 29". Business Insider. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e Lynley, Matthew (September 29, 2011). " founder Aaron Levie is poised on the edge of startup stardom". VentureBeat. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  8. ^ Mazarakis, Anna; Shontell, Alyson (July 18, 2017). "What it's like when someone offers you $600 million, and you say no". Business Insider. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  9. ^ Rao, Leena (April 7, 2010). " Raises $15 Million To Take On Microsoft SharePoint In The Cloud". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  10. ^ a b Miller, Ron (January 22, 2015). "Box Has Always Been About Reshaping Enterprise Software – TechCrunch". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d Loeb, Steven (June 16, 2014). "When Box was young: the early years". VatorNews. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c Gruman, Galen (January 20, 2011). " moves cloud storage further into business collaboration". InfoWorld. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  13. ^ Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura (April 1, 2013). "Box, a Data Storage Company, Prepares to Expand in Europe". The New York Times. p. B6. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  14. ^ Ha, Anthony. "Box Raises $125M To Target Global Growth And Large Enterprises, Round Led By General Atlantic". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  15. ^ Darrow, Barb. "Yowza: Box touts $100M investment to fund global land grab". Gigaom. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  16. ^ Wilhelm, Alex. "Box Picks Up $150M More As It Waits For Favorable IPO Winds". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  17. ^ Matt Egan, CNN Money. "Box jumps 66% in first big IPO of 2015."
  18. ^ By Jordan Novet, VentureBeat. "Box paid out $3.8M in stock to buy MedXT." November 17, 2014. November 17, 2014.
  19. ^ Ha, Anthony. "Box Acquires Cloud Management Startup Airpost". Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  20. ^ "Redwood City Welcomes First Wave of Box Employees – RealSmart Group". Archived from the original on May 18, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  21. ^ Miller, Ron. "Box acquires to make search smarter". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  22. ^ Miller, Ron. "Box acquires e-signature startup SignRequest for new content workflows". TechCrunch. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  23. ^ Savitz, Eric J. "Box Takes on DocuSign and Adobe in e-Signature Market". Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  24. ^ Forrest, Conner (May 21, 2020), Box accelerates new UI beta to support remote workers in wake of COVID-19, 451 Group
  25. ^ a b McMullen, Evelyn; Peck, Barbara (January 19, 2021), 2021 Outlook Assessment - Box, Nucleus Research
  26. ^ a b McMullen, Tevelyn (February 11, 2020), Box Advances Efficiency with Ease, Nucleus Research
  27. ^ Woodbridge, Michael; Sillanpaa, Marko; Severson, Lane (October 30, 2019), Critical Capabilities for Content Services, Gartner
  28. ^ Woodbridge, Michael; Sillanpaa, Marko; Severson, Lane (October 30, 2019), Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, Gartner
  29. ^ a b c d e f Rich, J.R. (2017). Working in the Cloud: Using Web-Based Applications and Tools to Collaborate Online. Pearson Education. pp. 94–100. ISBN 978-0-13-483490-0. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  30. ^ Maddox, Marci (July 2, 2020), Worldwide Enterprise Content Management Applications and Content Sharing and Collaboration Applications Market Shares,2019: Delivering Agile Content Management in the Cloud
  31. ^ a b c d Ovadia, S. (2013). The Librarian's Guide to Academic Research in the Cloud. Chandos Information Professional Series. Elsevier Science. pp. 70–73. ISBN 978-1-78063-381-7. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  32. ^ a b Peck, Barbara; Elman, Daniel, ECM Technology Value Matrix 2019, Nucleus Research
  33. ^ Woodbridge, Michael; Sillanpaa, Marko; Severson, Lane (May 11, 2020), Market Guide for Content Collaboration ToolsPublished

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