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Box Launches Program To Share The Wealth With Enterprise App Developers
Box, which has 150,000 businesses and 15 million users on its content storage and and sharing platform, is launching a new program for app developers to generate revenue.
Called Box $rev, the program is Box CEO Aaron Levie’s ambitious attempt to develop an “enterprise app economy.” In other words, he wants to build a platform where a broad range of enterprise app developers can generate revenue and build a business.
Box, which has raised more than $300 million in venture capital, will give mobile developers revenue based on the usage of their respective apps on its platform. Box will track and report usage and pay developers up to 15% of a Box seat price, payable every quarter. Box plans to expand into other ways for developers to monetize in the future.
“It’s the easiest way for developers to make money,” Levie said.
Ten developers have signed on for the pilot, including CloudOn, Notability, Documents by Readdle, PDFExpert, iAnnotate, Genius Scan, CamScanner, Outline+, GoodNotes and SmartOffice.
It’s no coincidence that the apps in the launch are focused on business applications like word processing. Customers want secure data on Box but they also want powerful apps on the platform. Those are the types of programs that businesses users expect since they typically have Microsoft MSFT +2.06%Office on Windows.”We’re seeing much better applications,” Levie says. “It happens to be that the best most used applications among our customer base are horizontal productivity apps filling gaps Microsoft hasn’t yet solved.”
Box’s mobile developer platform OneCloud now has 500 apps integrated, which is still small compared to its 25,000 developers that have been on its web platform, but mobile is increasingly critical for enterprises.
Levie knows he needs the mobile apps on the Box platform because his customers get value from them. But app developers typically have a hard time monetizing. For example, Enterprise apps generally do not monetize on iOS, where games use in app purchases or other consumer apps use advertising as business models.
That’s why Box is offering revenue to developers. App developers are already using Box’s API for free but they haven’t been making significant revenue. ”This is a chance to reinvent the monetization model for the enterprise,” Levie says.
Box is also adding new enterprise-quality SDKs for iOS and Android that will make it much faster for developers to integrate.