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Box News & Analysis

Why Box's Bad Financials Might Be Right on the Money

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In the weeks surrounding Box’s initial public offering announcement, the enterprise file sync and share vendor (EFSS) and its founder, Aaron Levie, couldn’t make enough news.

There was a mention of Levie’s appearance at SXSW and his name-dropping about Ashton Kutcher being an investor. And there was boxdev, Box’s Developers conference, which intended to build a community of 1,000 plus developers and give them the tools that they need to build rich solutions around Box.

While each of the aforementioned went off fabulously well, the IPO announcement sandwiched in between left the reputations of both Levie and Box less than optimal.

Why? Because Box’s S-1 filing revealed the company is spending much more than it is making — specifically, for every one dollar the company takes in, it spends $1.38.

Is Dropbox's Condoleezza Problem Gone?

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It was supposed to be a feel-good week for Dropbox. CEO Drew Houston unveiled a handsome stack of new, well-received products. Then he invited Condoleezza Rice to serve on his board.

We’ll get to that problem in a second, first a recap of the other Dropbox announcements.

It was with great delight last Wednesday that Houston introduced Carousel, a place in the Cloud where you could store the pictures and videos of your life and access them from any device. The user experience is not only delightful, but it also has some interesting filters and features which, in comparison, make Instagram less cool.

Dropbox's Enterprise Invasion Starts Now

And there’s a prize inside …

Hey CIO, you can stop pulling out your hair, Dropbox is going to help you gain control of your rogue company files.

There’s no one that can do this the way Dropbox can -- they claim 275 million (passionate) users.

OpenText Wants to Shut the Box

Talk about a roller coaster. The last two weeks have been full of highs and lows for Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie.

Last Monday, Box filed its S-1 on its way to an IPO.  Instead of elation, most market watchers reacted with shock — and not the good kind. The Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) company revealed losses of $168 million on revenue of $124 million. Even those who adore Levie called those stats “horrific”.

On Wednesday, Box held its first developers conference boxdev — Levie’s big shot supporters, like former Microsoft Windows’ chief Steven Sinofsky, were there, as well as VC’s  like Jerry Chen of Greylock Partners, Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz, Mamoon Hamid General Partner — The Social+Capital Partnership, and several others. And the developers building solutions on top of Box’s platform were there for the lovefest as well. Levie was clearly king for a day.

But then Friday Box rival, Dropbox, revealed it had just purchased Readmill, a German company whose collaborative and social features could provide Dropbox with the same functionalities as Box’s Box View, which it announced at boxdev.

And then late last night OpenText, one of the top companies in the Enterprise Information Management space, announced it was seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions halting the sale of Box's products in connection with an ongoing patent infringement lawsuit.

Dropbox Bought Readmill - We Know Why

Or at least we think we know why.

On Friday, as you were heading out for happy hour, we found out that Dropbox had acquired Readmill, a reading app that allows users to do things like highlight passages, take notes and share notes as they read, discuss passages and so on.

Will Box Developers Make @Levie King?

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You could sense the excitement around Box’s first developers conference before it even began — there was an all-star line-up of venture capitalists, tech executives and, of course, Box’s own CEO, Aaron Levie on the agenda. The night before there was a picture of Levie rehearsing his keynote, in what looked to be peach-colored pants posted on Instagram (they were not Khakis).

A Box employee had put up a tweet that links to a funny, old video of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shouting “developers, developers, developers” while sweating. He was taunting Levie that he would be calling Box developers to action in the very same way the following day.

No matter what you could point to, it was clear that yesterday was planned to be a big, potentially pivotal day for Box. A pivot which could move the company beyond its present status as cloud-based file sync and share provider to that of a platform vendor for computing’s next era.

Will the Box Bubble Start Deflating Now?

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Everyone seems to love Box, whether they use the cloud sync and storage company’s products or not.

Aaron Levie, the company’s co-founder and CEO, seems to be the perfect front man for a generation of digital natives that refuses to be tethered to their desks, to be told where to keep their “things” or to be asked to tone it down when they know it is their birthright to be bold.

More than eight years ago, Levie and his high school buddies stepped outside of their dorm rooms and committed their brains, their energies and their brawn to build a service that provides companies and individuals with the ability to store and synchronize their documents and other content in the cloud which they can later access from anywhere, at any time, via (almost) any device.

Their timing was perfect — within a few short years mobile devices emerged as our windows to the world and everyone wanted to keep their documents, and other content in the Cloud.

Box quickly became one of the most talked about companies in Silicon Valley.

That hasn’t changed. In fact the chatter just got louder.

Yesterday, via Twitter, Levie announced that Box was filing an initial public offering.

Nuxeo Releases Open Source Box API

Nuxeo just released a new Box API — something it hinted it would do at Nuxeo World in October. The new API is Nuxeo’s contribution to a growing ecosystem of pure cloud and hybrid developments. With it, enterprises can build and support applications that connect to both the Box and Nuxeo platforms.

The release comes, coincidentally, just hours after Box filed for a US initial public offering.

In a statement, Nuxeo CEO and Co-Founder Eric Barroca note Nuxeo decided to build the Box API because the cost of infrastructure is currently low enough for enterprises to develop applications that support their business goals. 

“Box is the leader in cloud-based content collaboration. We took this initiative to support Box developers and open up opportunities for them that were previously unavailable because of the cloud only deployment,” he said.

Is Box Really All That?

Levie's Socks.jpgAll eyes are on Box as the world waits for the file sync and share startup to reveal its financials in preparation for its pre-IPO road show.

Today, at SXSW, Box CEO Aaron Levie revealed that Ashton Kutcher (yes, the Ashton Kutcher) and Guy Oseary (Madonna’s manager) have invested in his company. The investment happened in December, but why announce it then when you can do it just before IPO-time?

Opportune, no?

On Friday Bloomberg reported that the company plans to make its prospectus public in the next few weeks.

Does Dropbox for Business Have a Secret Weapon?

Dropbox for Business launched in the middle of last year, rebranding its "Teams" product to appeal more to the larger enterprise customers. Since then uptake has been steady, with Dropbox claiming 4 million business users worldwide. But in an increasingly crowded marketplace how does Dropbox stand out?

Exclusive: EMC Syncplicity is About to Cozy Up to SharePoint #SPC14

Some cloud-based file sync and share vendors bill themselves as replacements for SharePoint. Syncplicity isn’t one of them.

The rockin’ hot EMC subsidiary has all of the good things that great start-ups are known for, plus a keen understanding of how enterprises operate and their requirements.

Dropbox Gets Big Bucks, Box Gets Talent, Syncplicity Gets Analytical

These are golden days for enterprise (and wanna be enterprise) IT vendors, especially for those that offer consumer-like experiences in the cloud.

You don’t have to look any further than the (now confirmed) $350 million Dropbox raised last month to prove it. That puts the file sync and share vendor’s valuation at over $10 billion. It’s a pretty hefty sum for any company, let alone one which may be giving many of its products/services away for free.

That being said, Dropbox is loved by the masses; last November it reported that it had 200 million registered users. It’s safe to assume that most of them registered as individuals versus as members of corporations.
 

All Eyes on Box After Reports of Its Not-So-Secret IPO Filing

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Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but online file sharing company Box has reportedly (secretly) filed for its IPO.

The story was “broken” by Quartz, reported on by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and all but verified by Forbes.

Read on because we have reasons to believe what they’ve written is true. Reasons that no one else seems to have written about thus far.

Look Out Box, EMC Syncplicity, IBM: Could $250M Fill Dropbox's Enterprise Gap?

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Dropbox wants to be the cloud solution enterprises turn to for online file sharing, but there’s a problem. At many companies, workers are prohibited from accessing the service. “It’s blocked,” were the two words we heard most often this morning when we asked a few dozen people to enter the site from their offices.

This is both a problem and an opportunity for Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox. And if reports are correct, he has a big pile of cash to throw at it.

Document Mgt Roll-Up: Google Improves Drive, Box Rebuilds iOS App

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A busy week in the document management space with the  relaunch of the rebuilt iOS app from Box and the addition of a new activity stream to Google Drive,. There is also a new mobile capture platform from Kofax and more SharePoint migration expertise from Metalogix. 

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