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Competing with Box and Dropbox: Soonr Co-Founder and CTO Steven Boye (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Apr 21st 2015

Sramana Mitra: I remember NetObjects.

Steven Boye: I moved back to Silicon Valley and lived there for a few years. NetObjects went public. My wife is a professor at a university in Denmark. She wanted to continue her career in Denmark, so we moved the family back to Denmark again.

Sramana Mitra: What year was that?

Steven Boye: This was in 1998. Since 1998, I’ve been living in Denmark.

Sramana Mitra: What did you decide to do when you moved back to Denmark?

Steven Boye: Actually, I was still working with NetObjects. NetObjects was one of these modern companies. It was pretty flexible about where you could work. I continued working for NetObjects for several years.

Sramana Mitra: What year does that bring us up to?

Steven Boye: NetObjects went bankrupt in 2004. Six months before it went under, it had its IPO just before the dot-com bubble burst. Going public was exciting. Things were going well. We started a new product. It was a client server with content management in 2001. I worked on that with some people I’d known. In 2002, we got our client server web content manager system called Collage. It was spun off from NetObjects and sold to a company called Merant up in Portland. Merant then completed Collage. The whole company was sold to another company called Serena, which then shut down the Danish operations.

Since I had been in Denmark, I had actually started a development organization for NetObjects and Merant. I built it up with about five engineers. This engineering group has stayed with me since then. Even though we were sold to Serena and they shut us down, we started a new company after that in early 2004 called Soonr, which was incorporated in May 2005. Our tenth anniversary is coming up soon.

Sramana Mitra: So you founded Soonr in 2005 in Denmark?

Steven Boye: Soonr was founded in May 2005 in Delaware. Soonr is a US-registered company, which has a Danish subsidiary called Soonr Denmark.

Sramana Mitra: You are not the founder of Soonr?

Steven Boye: I’m a founder of Soonr. There are three co-founders. There’s Lars Gunnersern. He was also in Merant. The other guy is Martin Frid-Nielsen, whom I had mentioned earlier. Martin, Lars, and I founded Soonr. We started working on Soonr out of our garage in 2004. We all worked at home. Eventually, we got the first funding in early 2005 and we incorporated the company in May 2005.

Sramana Mitra: Martin and Lars were also based in Denmark?

Steven Boye: Martin is based in California. Martin is a developer who I had known since I started working at Borland in 1986. We’ve been working together all these years. Lars was someone I got my Master’s degree together with but I haven’t actually worked with him until 2001. Lars has always been in Denmark.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Competing with Box and Dropbox: Soonr Co-Founder and CTO Steven Boye
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