Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Box is Acquiring Crocodoc to Reimagine Documents in the Cloud

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I’m incredibly excited to share that we’re acquiring Crocodoc, bringing its amazing team and technology to Box.

Whether or not you’re familiar with Crocodoc, it has undoubtedly powered many of your online interactions with documents. I first met the company’s founder, Ryan Damico, a few years ago as Crocodoc was emerging as an unstoppable service with a truly audacious goal: to reimagine documents in the cloud. Today, Crocodoc provides the absolute best way to render and view documents on the web. Its leading HTML5 technology powers online content experiences for more than 100 services and has made hundreds of millions of document previews seamless and beautiful for users.

Viewing a document on Yammer? That’s Crocodoc. Looking at a resume in Linkedin Recruiter? Crocodoc again. Reviewing an assignment on Edmodo? Crocodoc. Getting directions from Siri? Not Crocodoc. But you get the point.

It’s rare that two companies have such remarkably similar visions, philosophies and cultures. From the beginning, Box’s mission has been to make it incredibly easy to share, access and collaborate on content from any device. Crocodoc’s magic makes that content beautiful and accessible, freeing users from their desktops. We knew we had to work with them. After about a dozen meetings, a McDonald’s lunch and a Pho dinner, we finally struck a deal to join forces and bring the best document experiences to the world.

Together, we’re setting out to improve every experience you have with documents on the internet. Remember how horrible watching videos with RealPlayer used to be? YouTube came along and fundamentally remade the online video experience. Similarly, Flickr, Facebook and others have made photos beautiful on any device. But documents have yet to tip for the web. They’re still clunky and awkward, often forcing users out of their browser and into a desktop application.

But content sits at the center of every business and nearly every business transaction. When you’re working on Box, you should have a remarkably beautiful, fast and seamless experience for viewing your documents. We’re going to deeply integrate Crocodoc’s HTML5 viewing technology into our core product, creating an all-new experience for the 15 million individuals and 150,000 businesses on Box.

And perhaps even more importantly, we’re going to extend that experience to all the other applications businesses use. Crocodoc’s technology will become a core part of our platform, powering content experiences for every application that touches content, including HR software, e-learning tools, document signing solutions and healthcare applications.

We’re building the enterprise platform that will power every content interaction for hundreds of thousands of businesses and developers. Storing files is only the beginning: creating amazing experiences around those files is where the magic is. All seven Crocodocers will be joining us to make this a reality across multiple areas of our business, with Ryan serving as Director of Platform.

Stay tuned as we reimagine documents on Box and applications everywhere.