Congratulations to Boxed!
We’re excited to share that our portfolio company Boxed has just gone public via a merger with Seven Oaks Acquisition Corp and is now trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BOXD.”
Boxed is the second Eniac investment (after Owlet) to go public this year through a SPAC merger.
We became the startup’s first institutional investors in 2013, back when CEO Chieh Huang and his co-founders were raising a $1.1 million seed round (we were the largest check in the round). Chieh had previously sold his gaming startup Astro Ape to Zynga, and we were impressed by his vision of bringing a data-driven, game mechanic approach to bulk e-commerce. We were also won over by his conviction that the mobile experience would eventually become central to e-commerce. (Self-evident in 2021, but a contrarian take in 2013.)
In some ways, the Boxed of today isn’t that different from the one that Chieh outlined for us eight years ago — even if the company’s sophisticated warehouse operation has evolved dramatically from the days when the team was shipping goods out of Chieh’s two-car garage in New Jersey.
Of course, a few other things have changed, too. For one, Boxed is going public after the pandemic transformed consumer behavior. As Chieh recently told The Wall Street Journal, the past year and a half have “given everyone a taste of an easier and a more efficient way to shop,” and those shifts will only continue. And alongside its consumer business, Boxed is pursuing big opportunities in enterprise sales and software licensing.
As we reflect on our long journey together, it’s worth remembering that when we wrote that first check, Eniac was pretty new itself — we’d just raised a second fund totaling a whopping $12.9 million! When we got the first pitch, it wasn’t at a fancy office, but over beers at Casa Nonna. (Follow-up meeting location: Le Pain Quotidien.)
So we’re proud of our decision to bet on Boxed, but we’re also grateful that the team was willing to work with a group of fledgling VCs. And while it’s been been a pleasure to watch the company grow and mature over the past eight years, we have no doubt that the journey is only beginning.