File-sharing goliath Box today announced that it has opened its international headquarters in London, hailing the capital as the ideal place to set up an international base outside the US.
The new office, in London’s Mayfair area and officially opened today by Prince Andrew, currently supports 80 Box employees working across sales and technical support but the company expects to have 100 staff in the building by the end of the year.
The cloud-storage firm, which is valued at $1.2 billion (£750 million) opened its first office in London last June and claims to have doubled the number of users it has outside the US since then, partly as a result of strong demand from the Nordics, Benelux, Spain and Italy.
Box SVP and general manager for EMEA, David Quantrell, said London is the perfect place to open an international headquarters.
“As we expanded in Europe and witnessed growing demand for Box, we decided that London was not just an ideal location for an office, but also a great place to establish an official headquarters for our international operations," he said. “London is a central hub in the world economy and home to a fantastic pool of talent. Just as importantly, the UK government’s Patent Box regime and other recent economic initiatives provide us with a supportive environment for continuing to grow and expand aggressively around the world.”
The international headquarters is one of several Box offices in Europe, with others in Paris and Munich.
Box said it worked closely with the Mayor’s Office and London & Partners when setting up the international headquarters.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “It is fantastic news that one of Silicon Valley's finest, Box, has opted to locate their non-US headquarters in London. This arrival is further welcome evidence of London's status as a leading tech capital helped by the availability of a talented workforce, the work space and world beating universities.”
The heart of London’s technology scene has sprung up around Old Street Roundabout in Shoreditch, East London. However, Quantrell told Techworld that Box opted to set up in West London as many of the people the company wants to employ are currently based in the more traditional IT companies “out west”. Indeed, Oracle, Intel, HTC, Microsoft and Adobe all have bases along the M4 motorway, which runs from the west of England, through Swindon and Reading, and into London.
But Quantrell also revealed that Box has poached several employees from leading technology companies in London itself. “We’ve recruited people out of Google, Yammer, all the places you would expect us to draw talent from,” he said.
London & Partners director of international business development, David Slater, told Techworld that he believes Box shunned Dublin, where corporation tax is significantly lower, because the availability of talent is better in London. He also said that London has good access to markets and is a hub for the type of technology analysts that Box needs to be engaged with.
Box — founded by 28-year-old Aaron Levie in 2005 — increased revenues 150 percent last year, with turnover now approaching $100 million (£62 million).