Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Box Mimics the Consumer Web to Challenge IBM in the Cloud

Aaron Levie at the Box World Tour in San Francisco
Aaron Levie at the Box World Tour in San FranciscoPhotograph by Nick Stern, Courtesy Box

Aaron Levie created Box, a startup that sells online data storage to companies such as DirecTV and Procter & Gamble, mainly with consumers in mind. He ordered up a website that would be easy for customers to navigate. Levie gives away Box’s basic product for free and the company’s Los Altos, Calif., headquarters even boasts orange hammocks and a giant yellow slide.

Startups across Silicon Valley that cater to businesses are adopting features pioneered by consumer-focused Web peers such as Facebook. These companies are taking advantage of the low cost of delivering products over the Web and benefiting from a surge in venture funding for enterprise software—which jumped 74 percent, to $3.71 billion, in the two years through 2011, according to data from the National Venture Capital Association.