Arik Hesseldahl

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Box to Acquire Web Document Company Crocodoc

Aaron Levie Box OneCloudBox, the fast-growing IPO-bound enterprise cloud file-sharing and collaboration service has agreed to acquire Crocodoc, a Web-based document sharing and embedding service.

CEO Aaron Levie just announced the deal in a corporate blog post. Crocodoc is a seven-person team hailing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Its technology has powered the document sharing and embedding capabilities of Yammer, LinkedIn and SAP.

The company had raised a small amount of capital from Y Combinator and Dave McClure, among others. Box isn’t disclosing the financial terms of the deal, though Levie just told me in a phone conversation that “everyone concerned is happy with the deal.”

Crocodoc, Levie said, has gone deeper into the experience of rendering documents on the Web and on mobile devices using HTML5 than other companies that are involved in presenting and sharing documents, like, say, Scribd and DocStoc.

If you think of Scribd as sort of a YouTube for documents, then Crocodoc, Levie says, is comparable to Brightcove. Where YouTube presents video in a consumer friendly way, Brightcove powers video experiences for other companies. “They’re going out and powering the experience of presenting documents. We do this now when it comes to collaboration and content, but we don’t do it yet for documents.”

Crocodoc CEO Ryan Damico will become Box’s director of platform, and the rest of the Crocodoc team will be joining Box. Eventually the Crocodoc brand will fade away inside Box, Levie said.

The deal is Box’s second acquisition. In 2009 it acquired Incredo, a company focused on document and media viewing. Levie said that as Box continues to expand, it will occasionally make opportunistic acquisitions of small companies.

It can probably afford to do more deals. Box has raised a combined total of $312 million. Its most recent round was $150 million, led by private equity firm General Atlantic. It also has strategic investments from Salesforce.com and SAP. Levie has said publicly that Box is eyeing an IPO sometime in 2014.


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