Box, a cloud storage provider, has received strategic investments from Japanese partners Itochu Technology Ventures, Macnica and Mitsui USA and MKI, as well as strategic investments from Telefonica Digital and Telstra, a telecommunications and information services company in Australia. Coatue, DST Global and existing Box investors Bessemer Venture Partners, DFJ and The Social+Capital Partnership also participated.
Box today announced new strategic partnerships as part of its international expansion. The new relationships include commercial agreements and strategic investments from Japanese partners Itochu Technology Ventures, Inc., Macnica, and Mitsui USA and MKI, as well as strategic investments from Telefónica Digital, the innovation arm of one of the largest integrated telecom operators in Europe and Latin America, and Telstra, the leading telecommunications and information services company in Australia. Coatue, DST Global, and existing Box investors also participated.
“The combination of cloud and mobile technologies creates an entirely new way of working that will fundamentally reshape the IT industry,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO, Box. “Our new partners will help us connect and work with businesses in key global markets as they manage this transition.”
The new partnerships build on Box’s success in 2013, highlighted by deployments with major global companies, such as Schneider Electric, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Rosetta Stone, and eBay Inc.
Since first opening a London office in June 2012, Box has also opened offices in Munich and Paris, while adding employees throughout Europe to address growing demand for partnerships and sales in the Nordics, Benelux, Spain and Italy.
In Asia-Pacific, Box recently hired Katsunori Furuichi as President, KK Box Japan. Furuichi has a deep track record in enterprise leadership, most recently serving as president and CEO of Verisign Japan. Box will leverage the expertise and reach of its key strategic partners and investors — Mitsui, Itochu and Macnica — as it readies for an official launch in Japan in 2014.
Overall, Box has more than 20 million users worldwide at more than 180,000 businesses, and has been named a leader by both Forrester Research (“The Forrester Wave™: File Sync and Share Platforms, Q3 2013.”1) and Gartner, Inc. (“MarketScope for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing2”) for file sync and sharing.
New Strategic Partners
ITOCHU, one of the leading /sogo shosha/, engages in domestic trading, import/export, and overseas trading of various products such as textile, machinery, metals, minerals, energy, chemicals, food, information and communications technology, realty, general products, insurance, logistics services, construction, and finance, as well as business investment in Japan and overseas. The company has approximately 130 offices in 66 countries worldwide.
“We’ve seen first-hand how a new wave of information technology is transforming every industry, from manufacturing to finance,” said Toshihisa Adachi, CEO, ITOCHU Technology, Ventures, Inc. “We’re excited to work closely with Box as it brings its leading cloud platform to individuals, businesses and industries all over the world.”
Macnica provides services and high-value technology products to Japanese and foreign electrical and electronics manufacturers who lead the information and telecommunication industry. Founded in 1972, Macnica has focused on technical support and the continuous advancement of its technological capabilities. A unique global company, Macnica has a growing network of operations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia through its 53 local business centers in 14 countries.
“As Box continues to expand globally into Japan and other regions, we’re excited to enter into a deeper partnership,” said Masahiro Miyabukuro, President of Macnica Networks Corp. “Leveraging our expertise in technology and services, we’ll help bring Box’s information management and collaboration platform to the millions of businesses looking to move their operations to the cloud.”
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc. and Mitsui Knowledge Industry Co., Ltd (MKI)
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc. was incorporated in 1966 in New York as a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, one of the most diversified and comprehensive trading, investment and service enterprises in the world, with 147 offices in 67 countries as of November 1, 2013. Mitsui is multilaterally pursuing business that ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects in the following fields: Iron & Steel Products, Mineral & Metal Resources, Infrastructure Projects, Integrated Transportation Systems, Chemicals, Energy, Food Resources, Food Products & Services, Consumer Service, and Innovation & Corporate Development. Mitsui USA aspires to meet the needs of its customers as “Your Global Business Partner®,” while remaining committed to sustainable growth and good corporate citizenship. More information on Mitsui USA may be found at www.mitsui.com/us.
Mitsui Knowledge Industry is a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., specialized in providing services and products related to ICT (Information and Communication Technology).
Partnering with various global ICT venders and supporting more than 1,500 companies, MKI offers best-in-class solution to customers.
“This investment is an opportunity to partner more deeply with Box, bolstering their entry into the Japanese market and other global regions,” said Masaki Saito, President & CEO of MKI. “We’ve been impressed with Box’s management team, product roadmap, and operational process, and we’re excited to play a role in their continued growth.”
Telefónica Digital, a division of Telefonica, the fifth largest telecom company globally, invests and partners with innovative startups and enterprises to bring innovative and desirable services to its 320 million customers across Europe and Latin America.
“We know how much our customers, both large and small, value the convenience and flexibility of cloud storage, and Box is the clear leader in this space,” said Tracy Isacke, Telefonica Digital’s Executive Vice President of Investment and Business Development. “We look forward to working with Box as an investor and partner to bring the best possible cloud-based products and services to our customers, helping to transform the way they operate.”
Telstra is a leading telecommunications and information services company, headquartered in Australia with an international presence spanning 15 countries. Every day, Telstra helps millions of Australians connect to the people and things that matter most to them, leveraging the company’s easy to use global technology and content solutions — including Australia’s largest fully integrated IP network and Australia’s largest and most reliable mobile network.
“As businesses and people worldwide begin to adopt the cloud, Telstra is investing globally to build relationships and cultivate the new technologies and applications that will shape how we work and collaborate,” said Telstra Ventures Managing Director Mark Sherman. “Box is a leading platform for the next generation of cloud software. With a focus on security and mobility for the enterprise and small business markets, Box provides customers an on the go solution that is simple to use. We’re excited to be working with them as they grow and expand into new markets, connecting businesses globally.”
Coatue is a privately owned investment firm focused on technology, media and telecommunications, in addition to other sectors.
“Box has already established itself as the innovator in its category, and our goal is to help the company grow from rising star into one of the next great enterprise software companies,” said Thomas Laffont, Senior Managing Director, Coatue. “Every business in the world is making the transition to all-new tools and an all-new way of working, and Box is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this dramatic shift.”
DST Global is an international investment firm focused on the Internet sector.
“Box has demonstrated outstanding vision and execution in making collaboration dramatically more efficient. We are excited to join them as investors and look forward to their continued success,” said Yuri Milner, founder, DST Global.
Existing Box investors Bessemer Venture Partners, DFJ and The Social+Capital Partnership also participated.
Box’s mission is to make businesses of all sizes more productive, competitive, and powerful by connecting people and their most important information. Content on Box can be securely shared and easily accessed on the web, through iOS, Android and Windows Phone applications, and extended to partner applications, such as Google Apps, NetSuite and Salesforce. Headquartered in Los Altos, CA, Box is privately held and backed by several leading venture capital firms and strategic investors. To learn more about Box, visit www.box.com.
1 Forrester Research, Inc. “The Forrester Wave™: File Sync and Share Platforms, Q3 2013” by Ted Schadler and Rob Koplowitz, July 10, 2013.
2 Gartner “MarketScope for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing” by Monica Basso, Jeffrey Mann, February 12, 2013.