Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Box Expands Mobile Offerings, Names Yahoo’s Chris Yeh as VP of Platforms

Box, the enterprise-focused file-sharing and collaboration service, says it’s expanding its ability to connect with mobile applications running on Apple’s iOS, including the iPhone and iPad, and on devices running Google’s Android. Enterprises are embracing mobile devices very quickly, and app developers are looking for easy ways to share files and resources in several places. That’s something Box does well, with its store-once, use-anywhere approach.

Legacy software vendors aren’t keeping up, says Box CEO Aaron Levie. “Many of today’s entrenched software solutions don’t have mobile counterparts — let alone an open platform for third-party mobile developers to leverage,” he wrote in a blog post this morning.

To support the expansion, and to handle Box’s relationships with developers, Box has hired Chris Yeh, former head of the Yahoo Developer Network, as its VP of Platform. Before Yahoo, Yeh (pictured above) was VP of marketing at Tacit Software, which was acquired by Oracle in 2008.

Things are moving fast for Box. The service is seeing 200 million calls to its API every month, which is a pretty good indicator that developers are building applications on top of Box that are getting used. And Box itself has more than six million active customers, including 60,000 companies. In February, it raised a combined $48 million in a Series D funding round from Meritech Capital Partners, with Andreessen Horowitz and Emergence Capital Partners joining prior investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Scale Venture Partners and US Venture Partners. The round included $10 million in debt financing from Hercules TGC. As The Wall Street Journal reported in March, Levie saw huge interest and had to turn down several investors who wanted in on the deal.

The company is also trying to give mobile app developers an additional jolt by offering a $35,000 cash prize to the winner of its Box Mobile Dev Challenge. The winners won’t just get cash — prizes also include credits to advertise on InMobi, the mobile ad network; pitch meetings with Draper Fisher Jurvetson; and TouchPads from Hewlett-Packard.

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— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo