Box limbers up with $100 million funding
Box is interesting because it looks like its getting ready for a shot at becoming a core ‘Office’ solution in the cloud with a view to attacking the paid-for (no ads) market assumed to exist there. Unlike, say, Google Apps which is pretty-much a stripped down cloud version of Microsoft’s Office with its separate apps, Box comes at application design from the other direction. It starts with the notion of stored and collaborated upon documents (which is really a good definition of what office work involves) and works its way out from there.
What it ends up with is a system which majors on collaboration and how it might best be accomplished without the mess and fuss - something we keyboard peckers of the world would all like to see and use, if only someone somewhere would come up with something which wasn’t simply a virtualised document/folder/filiing cabinet system.
Well, Box may have. It lets you do things like work simultaneously on a document so you can see in real time what the other participant(s) are typing as they type it (there’s probably some sort of typing game in there somewhere).
Is this going to be an Office and Google Docs killer? A significant number of heavyweights seem to think it might (no doubt all staffed by keyboard peckers like us).
The $100 million in new funding for Box comes from Itochu Technology Ventures, Macnica, and Mitsui USA and MKI, with strategic investments from Telefónica Digital, and Australian telco Telstra.
This year Box has pulled off major deployments with major global companies, such as Schneider Electric, Toyota USA, Rosetta Stone and eBay.