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Box sharpens iOS app, Web interface in fight to stand out against big rivals

Juan Carlos Perez | Nov. 12, 2014
As it seeks differentiation with collaboration, workflow and document management features, Box has revamped its iOS app and Web interface to simplify how users and IT administrators interact with files kept in its cloud storage service.

It's unclear whether Box can evolve fast enough. It must continue developing new collaboration, document and business process management features that businesses will pay for. Simultaneously, it has to keep getting its cloud storage service integrated with as many third-party business software systems as possible via partnerships and via its open APIs.

Box, whose storage service is in use at 240,000 businesses by 27 million employees, announced in March its intention to launch an IPO, but it has yet to pull the trigger on those plans.

Critics interpret the delay as a sign the company isn't as confident anymore about its prospects as a publicly traded company, while co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie has responded that the company never had a specific IPO launch date in mind.

In the IPO registration papers Box submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Los Altos, California company acknowledged that profitability wasn't on the horizon, that it's spending money hand over fist in sales and marketing, and that only 7 percent of its approximately 25 million end users pay for the service.

However, Box raised another $150 million this summer from its backers, on top of the more than $300 million investors had previously injected into the company, which has about 1,000 employees. Among its big-name customers are GE, which is rolling out Box to its 300,000 employees globally, and DreamWorks Animation.

 

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