Box.net closes $48M funding round

The company will use the money in part to boost its hosted content management application technology and grow its sales team

In yet another sign of cloud-hosted software's momentum in the business market, Box.net, which makes a software-as-a-service content management application, announced on Thursday that it has closed a US$48 million funding round.

The round was led by Meritech Capital Partners and also featured Andreessen-Horowitz and Emergence Capital Partners. Existing Box.net backers include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Scale Venture Partners and US Ventures Partners

The company, founded in 2005, plans to use the money to boost technology development of its application, grow its sales team, expand internationally and implement new data centers, CEO Aaron Levie said.

"The single largest area of investment will be on our product, our technology. Also, to support the largest CIOs we need a sophisticated and mature sales organization, so we'll invest heavily on our sales capacity," he said. "So we'll be investing in scaling up our business and supporting the needs of large organizations."

Box.net's content management application competes at the high end with products like Microsoft's SharePoint and EMC's Documentum, and at a lower level with companies like Dropbox and SugarSync.

In January, Box.net unveiled a major redesign of its application's user interface and added new collaboration features and real-time notification capabilities.

The Palo Alto, California, company currently has about 140 employees, up from 125 at the end of 2010 and from 65 in 2009. The company expects to double its staff in the coming 12 to 18 months.

Box.net's application is used by about 5 million end users in 60,000 companies, including T-Mobile, Discovery Networks, DreamWorks, Cisco and Dell.

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