Box Acquires HTML5 Document Viewing Company Crocodoc

Posted May 9, 2013

has acquired Crocodoc, a company that has created technology for display and annotating documents.  Crocodoc can be used for converting Microsoft Office and PDF documents to HTML5 so that users can view them within a web app.  This is Box’s first acquisition since 2009.

Crocodoc is used by companies like LinkedIn, Yammer, SAP, Dropbox, and several other large companies. Crocodoc lets you zoom into a PDF file without much delay.  The company also uses HTML5, and SVG formats to render files from the cloud.


Box already allows users to view documents in a browser, but Box CEO Aaron Levie said that they are interested in Crocodoc for their speedy and high-fidelity rendering.  Crocodoc CEO Ryan Damico said that the company had been wanting to reach end-users directly.

“It’s really the back end piece where years of labor have gone into this,” said Levie in an interview with Citeworld. “There are an unbelievable amount of edge cases — getting every single format to look this good is the hard part.”

As of right now, Crocodoc’s technology does now allow users to edit a document.  It is still required for users to download and open the document in a format-compatible application to edit it.  However the company hinted that document creation is part of Box’s long-term plan with Crocodoc.