Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

Company | Profile

Box

"I'm loading some innovation on my phone right now," Box CEO Aaron Levie quips as he pulls out his iPhone. He demos a 360-degree view of a brain scan, the result of Box acquiring 3-D modeling company Verold.

Box--which boasts over 50,000 clients, from General Electric to prized startups like Spotify and Airbnb--is to cloud storage what Slack has become to team communication. Think the "Switzerland of enterprise," as Levie says. Box pivoted to enterprise before it became sexy--and soon after Levie started the company in 2005 with now-CFO Dylan Smith--giving the company a leg up on a major rival, Dropbox. After kicking off 2015 with an IPO, Box brokered partnerships with heavyweights like IBM, Apple, and even the once-aloof Microsoft.

These allies lend Box both cachet and visibility. And 2016 will bring more partners into the fold: Box is developing a plugin with Oculus that, coupled with the virtual reality firm's headset, will make those 3-D models immersive.

The company's competitive advantage in 2016:

Big clients, including IBM, Apple, Microsoft, and GE

The biggest challenges standing in this company's way in 2016:

Profitability
Plunging stock post-IPO

What to look out for:

Box is working with Oculus to create a plugin that can be used in tandem with an Oculus headset. A client like GE could use Box's newly acquired 3-D modeling tech--through its recent purchase of Verold--to immerse themselves in, say, a model of an engine prototype.

Social media handles:

Twitter: @boxhq
Facebook: Facebook.com/box
Youtube: Youtube.com/box
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/box.net

50 Most Innovative Companies 2016

Data

competition
Dropbox, Microsoft, Google
people
Cofounder, CEO and chairman Aaron Levie; Cofounder and CFO Dylan Smith; President and COO Dan Levin
valuation
$1.6 billion
public or private
Public
profitable
No
revenue
$200-300 million
staff
1,400
users
50,000 clients; 40 million users; 300,000 users within GE alone
headquarters
Redwood City, CA

More About Box: