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Aaron Levie

Box, the online cloud storage company that was started in Seattle in 2005 by Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith, just announced that it has raised $81 million from Salesforce.com, SAP Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, NEA and others. TechCrunch puts the deal at a $600 million valuation, a painful reminder of a fast-growing company that got away from Seattle.

The deal had been rumored for several weeks, and now that it is done CEO Levie is throwing down the gauntlet on Microsoft.  In a press release, he notes:

“Businesses of all sizes are moving their information and collaboration to the cloud, and with this new capital we’ll support their transition by continuing to aggressively out-innovate legacy players like Microsoft,” he said.

It is a bit unusual for a company to call out its competitor in a press release. But Box has been pretty adamant about its attacks on Microsoft and its SharePoint service.

Total capital raised by Box now stands at $162 million, with previous investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth also participating in the new round.

“Box is poised to redefine the content management and collaboration industry by challenging the enterprise status quo and building a powerful, open ecosystem of partners,” said Byron Deeter, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners

Previously on GeekWire: Box.net: A case study in why Seattle needs to hold onto young tech talent

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