Today Box officially announced its new $81 million round of funding, taking the company’s total raised this year to $164 million. Following its BoxWorks event last month and rumors it turned down an acquisition bid over $500 million, Box is shaping up to be one of the Valley’s hottest companies. But Box has some serious competition in the form of Egnyte, a cloud syncing company that supports server syncing in addition to desktop and mobile syncing.
Egnyte has less funding than Box – “only” about $16 million, raised in two rounds since the company was founded in 2008. But that’s nothing to sneeze at. And in addition to offering server sync – a feature Box doesn’t have – Egnyte has a head start on group syncing, a feature Box only just announced at BoxWorks.
Egnyte integrates with LDAP and Active Directory for access control, uses 256-bit AES encryption over SSL and has native apps for Android, iOS and WebOS. It also has a mobile optimized website that can provide access to hosted files.
According to CEO Vineet Jain, Egynte has several thousand paying business customers already. Its website lists several household names as customers, such as Ikea, Sears and Yamaha.
Jain and the Egynte team previously founded Valdero, a successful supply chain software company that was acquired by One Network Enterprises in 2005. That gives the founding team a solid background in enterprise software.
The notion of the “hybrid cloud” is catching on, but companies are still grappling with what it means and how best to execute the concept. Box and Egnyte have a winning idea in providing cloud storage accessible from anywhere, along with offline access to files from a variety of locations and devices. The options for syncing files from servers to the cloud has been addressed by a few other companies, notably Nasuni. But Egynte is offering a bundle of both desktop, mobile and server sync.
It’s great to see competition in this space. Dropbox is focused mostly on consumers (though it does have its Dropbox for Teams option, and many productivity apps are integrating with Dropbox) and SugarSync seems to be going for individual professionals such as consultants (though it does have business and education plans). There’s definitely room for an enterprise competitor to Box, and Egnyte has legs.