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Box acquires file search tool Butter.ai

Box CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie. Photo: Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images

File-storage company Box has acquired Butter.ai, a startup whose software lets users search within files across multiple work applications. Butter.ai will be shutting down its application as part of the deal.

Bottom line: Box's customers—other businesses—have to contend with an ever-growing amount of data and files, making it critical for workplace tool providers like Box to help them sift through and filter all that information.

  • One way Box is working to do this is through features like Box Feed, which gives a company's employees a personalized stream of updates about files relevant to them—similar to Facebook's News Feed. This includes files they worked on that may have been updated by a colleague, files from teammates that could be useful to their work, or files that are popular within the company such as benefits updates from the HR department.
  • The other way Box wants to help its customers is by improving its search tools, Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie told Axios.

Files only: For now, Box's integration of Butter.ai's tech will be focused on searching through files, says Levie. But he adds that the company eventually wants to help users find things in other work tools, like chat.

Backers: Butter.ai raised funding from General Catalyst, Slack's fund, and was part of All Turtles, former Evernote CEO Phil Libin's startup studio, which provided resources and help but no financial investment.

The story has been updated to clarify that All Turtles did not invest in Butter.ai.

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