Yowza: Box touts $100M investment to fund global land grab

Box said Thursday that its massive new round of funding — $100 million from an international cast of “strategic” investors including Itochu Technology Ventures, Macnica,  Mitsui USA, Telefónica Digital, and Telstra — will speed up its already-planned global expansion.

The company has now raised about $250 million, and is clearly in a hurry to grab market share as rival Dropbox is attacking the same file-sync-store-and share market, although starting from its consumer base whereas Box started out and remained focused on business users. The new funding values Box, based in Los Gatos, Calif., at about $2 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Box snagged $125 million in a Series E round  in July 2012.

We’re now safely in the stratosphere for valuations on such companies. In November Bloomberg Business news had Dropbox going for an eye-popping $8 billion valuation.

Pretty heady stuff. But this is also a hyper-competitive market. Dropbox claims more than 175 million users, while Box claims more than 20 million users at more than 180,000 businesses. Neither company will break out how many millions of those users actually pay for their services as opposed to using the free versions.

While Box has been a leading contender among many companies wanting to become “the Dropbox of the enterprise,” Dropbox itself complicated matters by ramping up its own Dropbox for Business product, which claims more than 4 million users.