Box sets sights on Japan as international expansion continues apace

News Maggie Holland Sep 17, 2013
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Australia, Brazil and New Zealand are up next, according to Box’s CEO.

Box is planning to expand its operations into Japan as well as targeting other countries that are particularly tech-hungry.

Its growth in the UK market, in particular, has also exceeded expectations, showing how much demand there is for cloud-based collaboration, according to the firm.

“Japan is the next major market for us,” Aaron Levie, Box’s CEO and co-founder, said at the company’s annual BoxWorks event in San Francisco.

“You’ll see us move to other locations too. Australia, New Zealand, Brazil – some of the other heavily IT-penetrated markets.”

You certainly see a difference in cloud readiness that varies from geography to geography so I think we’re being really smart about that and trying to expand first into the areas that are the most ready and the most cloud friendly.

An office in Japan will be open by early next year, according to Whitney Bouck, Box's senior vice president and general manager of enterprise.

“We’re also looking at more European expansion and figuring out where we go next. The Nordics seem like a very natural place to go,” Bouck told Cloud Pro.

In 2012, Box opened its UK headquarters to mark its foray into European waters. It aimed to have 100 employees based in the UK by the end of 2013 – a target Bouck says the company is likely to smash.

“We’re already at 70 or so people. It’s happened ridiculously fast. From an employee perspective and having feet on the street there to engage directly with customers we’re ahead of plan and in a great way,” she said.

“On the revenue side, as in our customers actually buying from us, we’re seeing faster growth in Europe than we are in the US. It’s not surprising in a way because Europe is maybe a year behind where we were in the US of putting people all over the country and making sure they had face-to-face relationships. We’re growing at 160 per cent year-on-year, and Europe is something like 3X that. It’s a lovely trend.”

In addition to geographical expansion, Box is also focused on broadening its presence in vertical sectors such as healthcare and media and entertainment, Bouck said.

“I think there is different appetite [around the world] as some parts of the world are more technologically advanced than others. You certainly see a difference in cloud readiness that varies from geography to geography so I think we’re being really smart about that and trying to expand first into the areas that are the most ready and the most cloud friendly,” Bouck added.

“We’re now seeing a pace of change that is just so fast. It’s like trying to assemble the airplane while you’re mid flight. How on earth do you stay with it, let alone ahead of it?”