Box is partnering with OpenAI to bring generative AI tools across the platform

We’ve seen a number of enterprise software companies making announcements related to generative AI in the last six weeks from established companies like Salesforce and Adobe to startups like Ada and Forethought. Box is the latest to be announcing its own flavor of the technology under the moniker Box AI, and it will be teaming up with OpenAI to deliver the first tools on the platform.

Like many of the other companies making these announcements, they don’t have a product quite ready yet, but they are working with early customers to refine the functionality they have built in recent months. The company chose to call this Box AI because the two features being announced today are part of a much broader product road map of AI being added to the platform in the coming months.

Box CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie says that on one hand, the new AI features will help generate more content, but the real strength is helping people understand that content. “These large language models are uniquely good at reasoning through content. And so a lot of the use cases that we’re excited about are actually ones where you can use the large language model, not as the database of knowledge, but as a reasoning engine to work through your data,” Levie told TechCrunch.

For now the company is focusing on a couple of use cases in its initial announcement. For starters, you can click the Box AI button and ask questions of a document like, “Summarize this document for me,” or “What are five key points about this document?” And Box’s generative AI will provide an answer. This could come in handy for long reports or complex contracts.

Box AI example showing generative AI interface to ask questions about a contract. In this case it's asking what date the NDA expires.

In this example, you can ask Box AI about the details of this agreement. Image Credits: Box

Being able to iterate over a document and ask increasingly specific questions means that you can produce content like a quiz or summary and the AI should be able to improve as you ask more questions.

The other thing you can do is create new content in Box Notes. Say, you create 10 bullet points from a meeting about a new product. You could ask Box AI to make a blog post out of that list and it can do it pretty much instantly, working in a similar way to ChatGPT, OpenAI’s generalized generative AI tool.

The company is working closely with customers to refine these tools and Levie says that in time, you will be able to analyze multiple documents with refinements like the maximum age a document can be. Over time, you will also be able to build automated workflows, but these elements are on the product roadmap and are not part of this announcement.

Although, the company is working with OpenAI API for starters, the idea is to be flexible enough to accommodate any large language model, or even alternative model types that could develop over time.

Levie says he’s announcing these products now, even prior to beta, because he’s been getting a constant stream of questions from customers about the company’s plans for generative AI and he wants them to know what’s coming.

Box is partnering with OpenAI to bring generative AI tools across the platform by Ron Miller originally published on TechCrunch

Box reaches $1B run rate in spite of a quarter dogged by currency challenges

Prior to launching as a startup in 2005, Box began as an idea that co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie had for a marketing class — to bring the power of the internet to file-sharing. The concept may not feel revolutionary today, but back then, you could email a file if it was small enough, or you could put it on a thumb drive and physically deliver it to the recipient. Other options were limited.

It’s hard to believe now, but the original academic idea grew into a startup, and later a way to take on the entrenched enterprise content management industry.

Box, which began so modestly, reported an even $250 million in revenue for the most recent quarter, the third quarter of its fiscal 2023, putting it on a $1 billion run rate for the first time. (Notably, we were told back in 2014 or so by venture capitalist Jason Lemkin that Box would reach the $1 billion run rate figure one day; he also predicted that it wouldn’t be easy. Two points, Lemkin.)

“We’re really proud of the fact that this is our first billion-dollar revenue run rate quarter, so we can now say that we’ve crossed that billion revenue threshold, which is super exciting,” Levie told TechCrunch.

Revenue was up 12% in the quarter compared to last year, more modest growth than Box has posted in recent quarters. What contributed to the slowdown? Levie said growth was affected by the strong U.S. dollar, which is impacting many companies right now. Measured using older currency exchange rates (“constant currency,” in corporate speak), Box’s growth would have been 17%, much more in line with recent reports.

“It’s pretty material actually, and the way we talk about it is that previously if we’d sold the deal for $1, we’re getting 80 cents now on that deal. So that’s a material headwind,” he said.

But in spite of the economic challenges that everyone is facing right now, Box is taking advantage of the need for customers to work remotely, or at least spend significantly less time away from a conventional office, and Levie said his company’s solutions have become mission-critical for customers.

“I think we’re being very strategic. I think the way companies manage content is very strategic, and so I think that puts us in a good position relative to other software companies because of that value proposition,” he said.

While he doesn’t have a crystal ball to see what budgets will look like moving forward, he does believe that Box remains in a strong position. The company seems to be looking at emphasizing profitability over growth, something that should please Wall Street investors right now. How did that translate into this quarter’s numbers? Let’s have a look.

Box reaches $1B run rate in spite of a quarter dogged by currency challenges by Ron Miller originally published on TechCrunch

How Box is balancing growth and profit as it nears $1B ARR

Box reported fiscal Q2 2023 revenue of $246 million last week, up 15% from its year-ago result. While that pace was down slightly from the 18% growth Box posted in its prior quarter, the rate of expansion appears to be what the company fancies in terms of growth moving forward.

That $246 million figure puts the company on a run rate of nearly $1 billion, a magic milestone for any SaaS company. What’s more, the company’s guidance for the current quarter of between $250 million and $252 million puts it over the top in terms of reaching a 10-figure run rate.

By now, it’s well-known that Box has not had an easy time in the public markets. To get to today, it had to survive the slings and arrows of an activist investor, to pick an example, something that it has now come out the other side of.

Box CEO Aaron Levie on where web3 doesn’t make sense

It’s been a rough week for the crypto community as top tokens have seen massive selloffs, pushing some in the space to double down while leaving others to take stock off how the industry got to this point and what widely accepted truths need to be re-evaluated as the crypto internet matures.

There haven’t been many tech executives repeatedly criticizing the idea of what a “web3” crypto internet represents, but Box CEO Aaron Levie has certainly been more vocal than most. Earlier this week, we had the chance to catch up Levie on TechCrunch’s crypto podcast Chain Reaction, pushing him to dial in on some of the promises surrounding web3 that he was most skeptical about.

You can listen to the full episode below:

“I think the philosophy behind much of web3 is compelling. I think it would be very hard to argue with the idea that more decentralized innovation wouldn’t be a good thing,” Levie told us. “I think the implementation that I’ve seen has a lot of challenges of actually getting to that philosophy being realized.”

Levie isn’t an executive of a crypto startup and he doesn’t seem to be exploring a web3 pivot for Box, but he tells us that he tweets about web3 as much as he does because “by virtue of being a startup founder, you sort of have to understand where the world is going — and then you have to make choices about if you believe the world is actually going in the direction that other people are saying or not.”

Some have looked at the high-profile failures in recent weeks of highly-centralized players in the the decentralized world of blockchain as proof that more organizations should be run collectively. Levie doesn’t seem to anticipate DAOs or collective ownership replacing the traditional structures of the startup world anytime soon, though.

“We rely on people in Cupertino to make decisions to build the iPhone and then we get to decide if we want to buy it or not buy it. That’s our only decision that we get to make in the iPhone, we don’t get to vote on anything, and if we voted on anything it would dramatically slow down the system and you just wouldn’t be able to innovate very quickly,” Levie says. “For collective movements, [DAOs] are super exciting, like no arguing that but to replace the organizational structure of a fast-moving startup or company — I just don’t think it’s going to work.”

As crypto VCs push for entrepreneurs to consider the idea of replacing traditional advertising-based business models with tokens and NFTs that push consumers towards owning slices of the services they use, Levie questions how widespread some of those mechanisms actually are.

“We might be over-estimating the consumer demand for ‘ownership,’ and the reason why I can say that is because you get real trade-offs in products when you are deciding that it’s going to be a product where you can own the items versus participate in a network but not really own much,” Levie notes. “I happen to be bullish on the power of advertising because it does make products cheaper and it does facilitate businesses being able to go and find consumers. There are some that take the other side — that’s totally great. I think the question is what’s the size of the market that’s willing to take that trade-off and is the size of the market big enough to warrant talking about a revolution in how the internet works?”

You can hear more of Levie’s interview by listening to our latest episode. Subscribe to Chain Reaction on AppleSpotify or your alternative podcast platform of choice to keep up with us every week.

Down bad

Welcome back to Chain Reaction.

Last week, we talked about layoffs and the Winklevoss rock gods. This week, we’re looking at a new layer of crypto doom and gloom.

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crash redux

We’ve talked crypto crashes a couple times already in the short life of this newsletter but the sell off this week has spooked crypto insiders in a very different way. Things are happening so quickly right now that even seasoned crypto investors seem to be feeling uneasy about this one.

While crypto winters have come before, they’ve never aligned with warning signs of a broader prolonged recession. Things have already plunged so quickly at the signal of a recession that insiders fear a lengthy bear market could hit crypto far more brutally than expected — tearing tokens to lows far below the highs of the 2017 bull run.

This means rough things for tokens, but also more brutal realities for the entire ecosystem.

This week, we saw the interconnectedness of major institutions as crypto lending protocol Celsius stuttered and brought down Ethereum prices with it as investors feared a price collapse brought on by reportedly over-leveraged players like 3 Arrows Capital. Despite the decentralization ethos of crypto, the potential for cascading failures seems every bit as possible for the crypto world as it does for traditional finance markets.

If things do fail harder and faster than before, the question is how quickly young startups and crypto communities can adjust to shifting fortunes. Few companies have to deal with the stressed of both crypto and public markets like Coinbase which laid off more than 1,100 people this week, but plenty of startups raised mega-rounds in 2021 to theoretically future-proof their companies. For DAOs and protocols with treasuries sitting in ETH, many have seen their budgets for community efforts and stretch projects decimated, threatening their survival.

Without the promise of riches or with reduced interest in blockchain-based exclusivity, where will consumer demand go? Will governance communities grow more self-motivated and more concerned about short-term goals when their groups have gone from being filled with millionaires to seeing their profits disappear into thin air? How much worse will things get?

the latest pod

Somebody call 911. Crypto lending protocol Celsius isn’t fire burning, but it did freeze all customer withdrawals this past weekend, citing concerns about its own liquidity amid “extreme market conditions.” Since then, the firm, which claimed to have 1.7 million users before the pause, has seen its own token plummet (and then recover, and plummet again), and sent the already-struggling crypto markets into a tailspin. We talked through what went wrong on the Celsius network and how it’s surprisingly intertwined with the rest of crypto.

Regulators are seizing this moment in the downturn, while web3 is already looking pretty shady and investors are pissed about losing money, to crack down on certain firms in the space. From BlockFi to Binance.US, some of the biggest names in crypto are facing lawsuits and/or fines for their practices. 

The tech billionaire bros are still alright, though, for better or for worse. Block’s Jack Dorsey announced this week that he’s ready to cancel web3 and move on to his vision of the internet, which he’s calling “web5.” Elon Musk weighed in with a particularly creative proposal too, which we discussed in this week’s episode. 

Our guest, Aaron Levie, built a successful SaaS business in Box, and now he’s on a mission to beef – respectfully – with web3 stans all over Twitter. Levie explained to us how he manages to walk the fine line of being a crypto critic without landing in the bulls’ bad books. 

Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple, Spotify or your alternative podcast platform of choice to keep up with us every week.

follow the money

Where startup money is moving in the crypto world:

  1. Indonesian fintech platform Flip raised a $55 million Series B extension led by Tencent with participation from Block (formerly known as Square) and existing backer Insight Partners.
  2. NFT infrastructure startup NFTPort raised a $26 million Series A round led by Atomico.
  3. ScienceMagic.Studios, a digital asset-focused brand studio, bagged $10.3 million in pre-seed investment from investors including Liberty City Ventures, Digital Currency Group and Coinbase Ventures.
  4. A co-founder of Words With Friends raised $46 million in a Series A round led by Paradigm for their web3 gaming startup, The WildCard Alliance.
  5. Molecule, a platform where DAOs can back medical research projects, secured $13 million in seed funding led by Northpond Ventures.
  6. Metaverse play-and-earn company Atmos Labs brought in $11 million in a seed round led by Sfermion.
  7. Creator-focused web3 sitebuilder Tellie nabbed $10 million in Series A funding from investors including Malibu Point Capital, Galaxy Digital and Dapper Labs.
  8. Crypto payment platform Nume raised $2 million in a pre-seed round led by Sequoia India.
  9. Dutch fintech Bits of Stock, which offers crypto rewards, raised €4.2 million in its seed round from Keen Venture Partners, Yellow Accelerator and others.
  10. Decentralized trading infrastructure startup Orderly Network raised $20 million in Series A funding from investors including ​​Three Arrows Capital, Pantera Capital and Dragonfly Capital.

the week in web3

Crypto markets were down pretty bad last week (though admittedly, it’s only been downhill since then). But temperatures were up in Austin, Texas, as 20,000 people in the crypto community came together to discuss how to navigate their industry looking like it might go up in flames. Anita had the chance to attend the conference, so she’s back with some thoughts from the field: 

I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who aren’t nearly as deep in crypto as I am, and one question I’ve heard over and over again these past few weeks is whether this downturn in the digital asset markets is the death knell for web3. In other worlds, now that the music has stopped, is the party actually over?

I shared my two cents/two Satoshis on the matter on Los Angeles public radio this week (check it out), but I want to use this space to highlight some thoughts I have after hearing from folks in the industry at Consensus. In short, I don’t think this is the end of crypto by any means, but it’s certainly going to be a tough time for the space. 

On a panel about how to invest in web3 in a turbulent market, Arca’s Chief Investment Officer Jeff Dorman made an interesting point about what makes web3 so different from most other sectors, at least as they’re defined by the financial markets. 

“I don’t even think digital assets [are] an asset class. I think it’s a technology that is now wrapping all asset classes,” Dorman said. In tradfi, investors can specialize based on products (e.g. debt, equity, derivatives) or sectors (e.g., industrials, retail, real estate). But in web3, those categories haven’t been clearly defined, because blockchain technology has been used in so many different ways, from file storage, to selling digital art, to tracking peer-to-peer money transfers.  

That’s part of why I think we can’t group “crypto” or “web3” or “blockchain technology” in the same bucket – even those three terms all have slightly different meanings. Perhaps that’s also why the vibe at Consensus felt puzzlingly positive despite the market turmoil. Each project is so different, and each builder has conviction in why their own use case for the blockchain makes sense and isn’t like all those other projects that are losing value or seem like scams. At a time of so much uncertainty, the most important thing reporters and analysts can do is look at this industry with nuance, and evaluate each project case-by-case. It’s going to be a wild ride, but I believe at least some parts of web3 are here to stay, and I see it as my job not only to shed light on what applications of this technology are working and not working but also to try and make sense of why.

TC+ analysis

Here’s some of this week’s crypto analysis you can read on our subscription service TC+ (written by TC’s Jacquelyn Melinek): 

As Celsius accelerates the crypto sell-off, who pays the price?
This week, the global crypto market capitalization fell below $1 trillion for the first time since January 2021 after one of the largest centralized crypto lenders, Celsius, landed in hot water after it paused all withdrawals, swaps and transfers for users. The driver behind its freeze isn’t completely clear, yet, but it resulted in another bank-run scenario similar to what we saw last month with the UST and LUNA situation – and it’s causing another drop in the crypto market. 

Hedge funds plan to buy more crypto amid a down market and potential regulatory clarity
What seemed like a rare sector is now gaining popularity as the number of specialized crypto hedge funds has grown to over 300 globally, according to PwC’s Global Crypto Hedge Fund report. These funds are on “the search for alpha” to beat the benchmarks and are willing to try something new and different, John Garvey, global financial services leader principal at PwC, said to TechCrunch. Even though markets are highly volatile, two-thirds of all hedge funds surveyed that are currently investing in the space plan to deploy more capital into the market by the end of 2022, it said.

As DAOs continue to blossom, here’s how to keep yours from wilting
This past year has been one big growth spurt for DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) but not everyone in the space is convinced that they’re being formed properly or in a way that ensures success. But what happens when the hype fades? People stop voting, treasuries can wither and abandoned, dead communities turn into “DAO graveyards.” To prevent that from happening, some say there needs to be a restructuring of the way DAOs are formed.

Thanks for reading and you can get this newsletter in your inbox every Thursday by subscribing on TechCrunch’s newsletter page.


Lucas and Anita

As crypto selloff accelerates, how much worse can things get?

Image Credits: TechCrunch

The crypto markets buckled this week as fears of cascading failures of key blockchain finance players showed just how fragile things are for the asset class, which dipped below a $1 trillion total market cap as Bitcoin and Ethereum led a plunge in token prices.

There was plenty for us to talk about this week’s episode of the Chain Reaction podcast, where we unpack and explain the latest crypto news, drama and trends, breaking it down block by block for the crypto curious.

Alongside the latest flavor of crashing crypto prices, we talked about some of the existential risk ahead and how blockchain bulls or growing increasingly bearish as broad economic uncertainty points to a recession-sized winter which could drag tokens to unexpected lows and kill off even the most-prepared startups. The downturn isn’t coming at a great time as regulators start to take more pronounced aim at the crypto industry, launching investigations, lawsuits and legislation.

We spent a little time diving into some of the week’s less gloomy news, including Jack Dorsey’s newly announced “web5” efforts.

Our guest: Box CEO Aaron Levie

The guest on our show this week was a prolific web3 critic who just happens to also run a very successful tech business. We chatted with Box CEO Aaron Levie who hasn’t been secretive of his web3 skepticism. On this week’s episode, we got him to lay out some of his critiques while highlighting where he does see promise in crypto’s model for a more decentralized web.

Chain Reaction podcast episodes come out every Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PDT. Subscribe to us on AppleSpotify or your alternative podcast platform of choice to keep up with us every week.

How Box escaped the SaaS growth trap

Enterprise productivity company Box reported results earlier this week for the first quarter of its fiscal 2023, the three-month period ending April 30. Box managed to beat revenue expectations, though it missed on adjusted per-share profit. Shares of the company initially lost modest ground.

You might read the above paragraph and wonder why we’re digging into a SaaS company that had a quarter that appeared to be somewhat mixed in results terms and largely neutral from an investor perspective. The reason is that Box is accelerating out of a period in which external investors took aim at its leadership over complaints about flagging growth; the company managed to fend off activist investor demands and is now reaping the results of the work it did while out of favor with Wall Street.

Box’s revenue expansion decelerated to single-digit percentage points. Since Box went through the activist wringer, we’ve seen other public software companies with similar growth rates come under external pressure. This is what we’re calling the SaaS growth trap — a time when a company’s revenue expansion has slowed, but its profitability has not sufficiently scaled to keep investors content with its performance.

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Public software companies in the trap have to find a way to ignite growth without torching profitability. It’s akin to the position that many startups find themselves in today, with growth expectations staying high as private-market investors are simultaneously less interested in high-burn models. Startups have to keep the growth coming while also paying double attention to their cost structure. It’s a hard path to navigate.

Box managed it, though it took time. The company’s $238 million worth of Q1’F23 revenue was up 18% compared to its year-ago period, a growth rate that bested the 17% it managed in the quarter prior, and the 14%, 12% and 10% growth rates it reported in the quarters stretching back to the first quarter of its fiscal 2022. Notice the upward trajectory — it’s important.

So how did Box manage to get out of the growth trap while also growing its gross margins, operating income and net profit in its most recent quarter? Let’s talk about it. It’s a lesson for public companies, yes, but also one that startups will want to understand as they navigate a more complex and demanding investment market for early-stage technology shares.

Box positive momentum continues with revenue up 18% and improved guidance

Hey, it wasn’t that long ago that Box was lost in single-digit growth doldrums being dogged by activist investors. But today, the company announced its earnings, and revenue was up 18% over the prior year to $238.4 million, easily beating consensus estimates of $235 million, according to the company.

This marks the fifth consecutive quarter of increased growth rate, and they were so positive on that outlook they improved their guidance slightly for FY2023 from $992 million to $996 million, up from the previous range of $990 million to $996 million, as the company edges toward the $1 billion revenue mark.

The quarter is in line with its prior quarter in which revenue grew 17%. It’s the kind of steady growth that is looking pretty good in the current climate. Consider that Zoom reported the other day with revenue up 12%, and Dropbox reported revenue up 9.9% in its report earlier this month.

Company co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie says the momentum is being driven by the continuing platform expansion. “So our expansion in e-signature, workflow automation, data security and compliance are all driving these results, and we’re seeing more and more of our customers adopt our multiproduct packaging and suites,” he said.

Levie said that the company is working hard to ensure that it is well positioned for the softening economy, which enabled it to increase guidance incrementally on revenue growth for this year, as well as guide up on its operating margin and EPS targets for the year.

He is cognizant of the shifting economic conditions, and although he is reluctant to make any predictions in this regard, he believes Box is well positioned to withstand economic ups and downs.

“Everything I will say is based on how things are today and I can’t predict where the economic trends go next, but in general, we’ve tried to build a platform that is able to be very successful in any kind of economic environment,” he said.

That’s because he believes the platform’s capabilities are relevant, regardless of external conditions. “We’re moving to an economic environment where necessity is going to trump all else … And we believe that our product roadmap has many characteristics that align well to either lowering costs for your customers or making them more efficient as they as they run their businesses.”

Amid crypto market turmoil, Andreessen Horowitz announces $4.5 billion web3 fund

Despite a gloomy outlook for crypto markets based on the past few weeks of token turbulence, venture capitalists looking to spend their way into a web3 future aren’t taking their foot off of the gas.

Andreessen Horowitz, which has underwent a bit of a transformation over the past few years scaling its headcount to scale its deals, has closed on its latest crypto fund and it’s a whopper. The new $4.5 billion fund doubles the size of their last crypto fund and showcases the widening interest among the firm’s limited partners in increasing their exposure to crypto startups. The firm specifies that one-third of the new mega-fund will be earmarked for seed deals exclusively.

It’s been less than one year since the firm announced its $2.2 billion Crypto Fund III, and the firm has endured just as many changes as the broader crypto market during that time. Recent months have seen the further ascent of crypto native firms like Paradigm and Electric Capital which have raised mega funds to challenge a16z’s dominance. The firm also endured the exit of its crypto co-lead Katie Haun who split off from a16z taking a number of colleague with her to launch Haun Capital with $1.5 billion spread across two funds.

Crypto Fund IV continues to be helmed by long-time GP Chris Dixon who has seemed to up his public persona in recent months particularly on Twitter, where he breathlessly defends the web3 space from its detractors, getting into occasional spats with figures like Block’s Jack Dorsey and Box’s Aaron Levie. The continued skepticism among plenty of investors and entrepreneurs has grown more loud in recent weeks following the particularly ugly collapse of the Terra ecosystem and its stablecoin UST which imploded seemingly over night, evaporating tens of billions in value while renewing calls among federal lawmakers to fast track legislation aimed at reining in the industry.

When asked whether the market’s cooling will scare traditional firms away from continuing their crypto bets, a16z’s Arianna Simpson told TechCrunch that “it’s likely other firms will pull back,” but that “the size of our new fund speaks to the level of excitement and belief we have in this category.”

When a16z announced its last blockchain fund, crypto markets had recently crashed but would soon mount an impressive comeback pushing the Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies to new all-time-highs. The outlook among crypto investors seems a bit less rosy these days as public tech stocks continue to get hammered — Robinhood and Coinbase are both down over 75% from their debuts — and watchers forecast that turbulent times lie ahead, not only for crypto but the tech industry generally.

Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto arm is well-positioned with a hefty war chest of fresh capital to keep scaling operations, but uncertain times ahead have left plenty of new founders concerned about the availability of capital during another potential “crypto winter.”

“We can’t predict the future state of the market,” Simpson tells TechCrunch. “But we work with our companies to make sure they’re well capitalized to handle the storms.”


Subscribe to TechCrunch’s crypto newsletter “Chain Reaction” for news, funding updates and hot takes on the wild world of web3 — and take a listen to our companion podcast!

Box is adding free whiteboarding tool for collaborating on visual content

When you talk to folks about what they have missed most about the office since we moved to work from home in 2020, people often point to whiteboarding in a conference room with colleagues, something they have said was hard to do in a digital context. Many companies have tried to fill that void including startups Mural and Miro, the latter of which had a fat $17.5 billion valuation in its most recent round.

Today, Box is entering the fray with the announcement of Box Canvas, a tool that lets you do virtual whiteboard-style brainstorming, but also gives you a place to collaborate on various types of visual content such as a product workflow or a brick and mortar merchandising plan.

Box CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie says that his company integrates with the Microsoft and Google office suites for structured document collaboration, and it also has its own native tooling with Box Notes, but the idea is to bring that ability to collaborate from the realm of structured documents to more visual kinds of content.

“With Canvas, we’re bringing that same kind of experience, but more to visual collaboration, so that kind of virtual whiteboard type experience. I think even though it’s a space that has seen great innovation from many companies, I still believe it’s actually extremely early in this market. And I think we’re only just starting to see the kind of potential of what work is going to look like in this hybrid way of working.”

Box Canvas

Image Credits: Box

While Box will bundle Canvas into its new suite offering at no additional charge, it also intends to make it available for free as a stand-alone offering for anyone who wants to use it with no limits. He said the intention is to never charge for this capability moving forward.

“There are a bunch of core activities that we think every user on the planet is going to want to do with their content. You’re going to want to store it, share it, collaborate around it, get it signed. And so we want to make as many of those core capabilities available to the widest number of people — and then we’ll have advanced features based on your ability to govern that data or make it compliant for a specific industry. Those will be very advanced capabilities that we continue to have more and more of over time [and we will charge companies for those capabilities],” he said.

Product-led growth has worked for the company from its earliest days when it began offering a free tier of Box, and Levie sees offering Canvas for free as an extension of that thinking, something the company intends to fully embrace moving forward.

As for those other companies producing similar software, Levie says this isn’t about competing with them because it’s a free add-on. “I don’t really think about it as having to compete with anyone, frankly, because it’s for our customers. So if you’re a Box customer and you’re using a Box for managing your most important content, this is just another really valuable way to get your work done.”

Box Canvas will be available in the fall, according to the company.