Startups: Box just gave you 40 million reasons to use its platform.
The newly public company is partnering with two venture capital firms, which will provide up to $40 million in funding to startups that build their services using Box’s platform, CEO and cofounder Aaron Levie announced at the company’s developer conference Wednesday.
At the event — the company’s first since going public — Levie also revealed a slew of new developer tools, including Box Developer Edition, which will make it easier and faster for businesses to build apps on its platform.
Box Developer Edition is different from the company’s previous developer programs in that it gives them more control over their content, according to Levie.
“This a fundamentally different way to build on the Box platform,” he said during a press conference after Wednesday’s announcement, “It’s a developer-owned instance of Box, so they can store and manage all of the content on behalf of their application.”
It will also help streamline the development process by providing Box’s search, encryption and collaboration capabilities to developers, so they won’t have to build out those features themselves, according to the company. Box Developer Edition is currently available as a limited beta, but it’s currently unclear when it will be more widely available.
In addition, Box unveiled new ways for developers to manage their content within its platform. The company plans to introduce a new watermarking tool, which will help companies create custom watermarks for their content, and provide support for new types of medical images.
On the mobile side, Box announced that it was breaking up the functionality of its app into four separate components with four new software development kits (SDKs): preview, browse, share and content. The SDKs allow developers to choose which aspects of Box’s service they want to take advantage of. The preview SDK, for example, provides developers with built-in support for more than 100 different file types with a single line of code.
Box, which went public earlier this year after a long-delayed IPO, likely hopes that the new tools will help accelerate growth and boost revenues, areas that have come under increasing scrutiny as the company has missed investor expectations since going public.
Startups stand to play an important role in this strategy, as Box looks to get more businesses using its platform; this is evident from its partnerships with Bessemer Venture Partners and Emergence Capital Partners, which have each committed $20 million to fund enterprise startups that use the company’s tools.
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