SAN FRANCISCO – Box CEO Aaron Levie announced today that his enterprise storage software company has teamed up with venture capitalists from Bessemer Venture Parters and Emergence Capital Partners to offer $40 million to startups that build applications on top of Box.
Both venture firms are investors in Box, and they will each be chipping in $20 million for the cause. Entrepreneurs will be able to contact them for funding through dedicated email addresses. Box will be providing support for companies that take advantage of the program in the form of strategic technical and go-to-market support. In addition, the cloud storage company will give startups access to key stakeholders inside the industries their applications are targeted for, like healthcare.
Emergence Founder and General Partner Jason Green said that he’s interested in pursuing investments in companies using Box because he sees great potential for the company to become a key platform for developers, similar to what Salesforce’s platform offerings have become.
“We’ve had a good experience working with Salesforce, we were early investors there and then invested in a number of companies built on the Salesforce platform, which became a public company,” he said. “And we think the same opportunity exists for Box to become one of those key cloud companies.”
The news comes after the announcement of Box Developer Edition, a new product built on the company’s platform that allows developers to build applications using Box as their storage backend. That product makes it possible for a startup to leverage Box’s capabilities like its security and compliance work for their own applications without revealing that Box is the company powering the experience.
The investment opportunity unveiled today could help kick-start startups’ interest in using Box Developer Edition at a key time for the company.