There’s something Aaron Levie can do even better than pulling a rabbit out of a hat — charm VC’s into investing in his ideas.
As the co-founder and CEO of money-losing Enterprise File Sync and Share service Box, Levie, an amateur magician, had to make a big move to assure doubting Wall Street investors that he was on to something big.
Yesterday he began to do exactly that at his company’s developers’ conference in San Francisco. He tried to convince the 1500 plus coders gathered there that Box could provide the platform and the tools they need to become the big enterprise application builders of the future. Sort of like the next Aaron Levies.
His pitch went way beyond bringing tech luminaries like Salesforce’s Marc Benioff and Google’s Eric Schmidt onto the stage. He also pulled out a bag of cash. Not his own money, mind you, but that of Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Bessemer Venture Partners and Emergence Capital. They have each committed to invest as much as $20 million into startups that build applications on Box’s platform.
But it will take more than the lure of cash and a pep rally to get developers going. They’ll also need great tools so they can build on Box’s platform.