Online storage startup Box Inc. has grown quickly by thinking about how people work today and designing its services accordingly.
Founded in 2005, the Los Altos-based company gives users who now number more than 14 million five gigabytes of free storage, with additional space and features available for a fee. Some 140,000 businesses pay for premium services, including more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500.
As its list of prominent clientele grows, so does chatter about whether Box will go public. Peter McGoff, who came on board as general counsel and corporate secretary in April, says he is sure the company will take that step at some point, but it is in no hurry. The company has a total of $284 million in funding, $125 million of which was raised in a round completed in July.
"One of the reasons that the company raised that recent round was to ensure that we have luxury to pick the timing" of going public, McGoff said.
Legal team and outside counsel
McGoff came to Box from Informatica Corp., where he was senior vice president and general counsel. Having joined that data integration company shortly after its IPO, McGoff said he can envision the path that Box will take to go public.
Coming on board as the company's second attorney, McGoff is building Box's legal department from the ground up a challenge he enjoys. Informatica's legal department grew from two to eight lawyers during his 12 years at the company.
"Toward the end, I missed doing the deals and getting dirty," he said. "I wanted to go to a smaller private company where I have the ability to be a bit more impactful."
McGoff has brought on two new attorneys so far, both of whom are working on agreements with customers and partners as well as licensing, and he expects to add several more with those specialties in the coming months. That side of the business has been the focus as Box relies on enterprise customers to drive its growth.
As the company matures, in-house lawyers specializing in employment and IP will likely be added, McGoff said. He also expects the company to hire a lawyer in Europe, the focus of Box's geographic expansion. All told, McGoff predicts that the legal department will double over the next year. With greater manpower, McGoff plans to bring much more of Box's legal work in house.
"We'll see some significant changes in that area, much to our outside counsel's chagrin," he said.
Box still relies heavily on outside counsel for litigation, IP and the bulk of its corporate securities work, McGoff said. The company often turns to Perkins Coie, where corporate partner Mark Albert handles much of their work. The firm is representing Box in a suit filed by Titanide Ventures, a Texas-based company which claims its cloud storage patents were violated by Box, Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. European firm Taylor Wessing has advised Box on its growth overseas.