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CEO and founder Aaron Levi on growth, marketing strategy, and attracting 100,000 new users each week
Box.net is adding more than 100,000 new users each week and is seeing a tripling in revenue from last year. It's no wonder the company just raised $81 million, and reportedly turned down a $500 million acquisition offer. Today, six-year-old Box.net eight million users and more than 100,000 companies using its service.
In this interview, the second part of a four-part series, Aaron Levie, founder and CEO, talks about Box's business model and marketing strategy.
Here's some highlights:
- Box.net has a freemium model. Typically, users are the ones bringing Box into the organizations vs companies adopting the solution for the organization. The service is then adopted by IT departments and then eventually the CIO will determine whether to deploy the service company wide.
- Sales efforts are therefore geared toward getting new users to adopt the product as opposed to sit-down conversations with the CIO. One promotion to get Box into the hands of new users was an iPad and iPhone storage give-away. Box gave away 50 gigabytes of storage. The campaign resulted in a million downloads in the first five days. "We're aggressive about getting Box into the hands of professionals," said Aaron.
- Box's customers run the gamut. They range from a three-person startup to tens of thousands of employees at a given company. There are no typical use cases. MTV uses Box to transfer video clips; hospitals use Box to transfer patient files; constructions companies use Box to transfer blueprints. Levie would not disclose the average monthly spend.
- Box plans to add more "social" features to its tool kit. According to Levie, the company wants to apply the social functionalities consumers are used to interacting with and bring those to the enterprise.
Watch the rest of the interview for more on Box's product strategy, including how Box balances feature bloat with customer requests, and what percent of Box's features are currently used by customers.
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Box provides secure, scalable content sharing that both users and IT love and adopt, including 82% of the FORTUNE 500. Box's dynamic, flexible content management solution empowers users to share and access content from anywhere, while providing IT enterprise-grade security and oversight into how content moves within their organizations. Content on Box can also be accessed through mobile applications, and extended to partner applications such as Google Apps, NetSuite and Salesforce. Box is a privately held company and is backed by venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Emergence Capital Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, NEA, Scale Venture Partners, and U.S. Venture Partners, and strategic investors salesforce.com and SAP.