New Products to Help Drive Strong Second Half for Box, CFO Says

Box’s new products should help deliver a strong second half of the current … 28, company CEO Aaron Levie said that when customers use Box’s “full …

Box’s new products should help deliver a strong second half of the current fiscal year for the company, according to Dylan Smith, its CFO and co-founder.

Between the company’s recent release of a new version of the Box Relay workflow engine, Box Enterprise Suites overall and the general availability of Box Shield, its set of new security controls and intelligent threat detection capabilities, late in the current quarter, we can expect it to be a “backend-loaded year” for the company, he said Sept. 10 at the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference in Las Vegas.

“Obviously, it’s going to be an absolutely critical … back half to deliver on a lot of these opportunities and… the promise that we’ve been talking about” for so long, he told attendees.

After all, Box executives have been talking about its new products for quite a while. Shield has been in development for nearly two years and the company introduced that at its annual BoxWorks customer conference last year. Box, meanwhile, had released the original version of Relay with IBM in 2016, but Box has gone on its own with the new version of that workflow engine that automates critical business processes across an organization’s extended enterprise, it pointed out early this year.

In announcing Box Enterprise Suites in May, the company said the bundled offerings “bring together Box’s most valued products and services to enable organizations accelerate digital transformation.” The Suites include: Digital Business with Box Relay; Digital Workplace allowing users to “transform your workplace with seamless, secure collaboration, and lifecycle governance”; and Digital Workplace Global, offering “all the benefits of Digital Workplace plus the ability to address data residency concerns globally,” Box said at the time.

The company has been “very excited by the … initial reaction” to its latest products, “particularly to the impact that Suites is already starting to have in some of our customer conversations, and some of the early excitement around Box Shield, coming at the end of this quarter,” Smith said Sept. 10.

The company will discuss more about Box Relay, Suites and its overall “product roadmap broadly” at BoxWorks, Oct. 3-4 in San Francisco, he said.

Box, meanwhile, is “pretty pleased with the trajectory and where we’re at overall in terms of [the] percentage of our larger deals that have had at least one of our add-on products attached of late, so that’s up quite a bit” year-over-year, he said.

In discussing Box’s results for the second quarter (ended July 31) Aug. 28, company CEO Aaron Levie said that when customers use Box’s “full suite of cloud content management solutions, we see dramatically higher average contract value and better retention leading to greater lifetime value,” adding that a “key indicator of our success in driving this transition is both the repeatability of our $100,000 plus deals and the adoption of our add-on products.” During Q2, more than 80% of its $100,000-plus deals included at least one add-on product, up from only two-thirds a year ago, Levie said, noting the company was “seeing strong adoption of these products across sales segments as demonstrated by our add-on product revenue growing at roughly 50% year-over-year.”

What’s going to be another “big lever” for Box will also be its “ability to deliver more consistent execution in some of our underperforming regions,” Smith told the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference. While Japan has been a pocket of strength, Box has not been as consistent globally as it would like to be, he conceded. “So, that’s a big focus area of ours” now and Box is “laser-focused on driving much more consistency,” he told attendees.

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Comparison of Box Inc. (BOX) and 2U Inc. (NASDAQ:TWOU)

We will be contrasting the differences between Box Inc. (NYSE:BOX) and 2U Inc. (NASDAQ:TWOU) as far as dividends, analyst recommendations, …

We will be contrasting the differences between Box Inc. (NYSE:BOX) and 2U Inc. (NASDAQ:TWOU) as far as dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, risk, earnings and valuation are concerned. The two businesses are rivals in the Application Software industry.

Valuation & Earnings

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Box Inc. 18 3.35 N/A -0.95 0.00
2U Inc. 45 2.43 N/A -0.79 0.00

Table 1 shows top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation of the two companies.

Profitability

Table 2 represents Box Inc. (NYSE:BOX) and 2U Inc. (NASDAQ:TWOU)’s return on equity, return on assets and net margins.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Box Inc. 0.00% -439.4% -21%
2U Inc. 0.00% -6.5% -5.4%

Risk and Volatility

A 1.35 beta indicates that Box Inc. is 35.00% more volatile compared to S&P 500. 2U Inc.’s 15.00% less volatile than S&P 500 volatility due to the company’s 0.85 beta.

Liquidity

The Current Ratio and Quick Ratio of Box Inc. are 0.8 and 0.8 respectively. Its competitor 2U Inc.’s Current Ratio is 5.1 and its Quick Ratio is 5.1. 2U Inc. can pay off short and long-term obligations better than Box Inc.

Analyst Ratings

The next table highlights the shown recommendations and ratings for Box Inc. and 2U Inc.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Rating Score
Box Inc. 0 2 4 2.67
2U Inc. 0 2 1 2.33

Box Inc.’s consensus price target is $18, while its potential upside is 1.75%. Meanwhile, 2U Inc.’s consensus price target is $37.75, while its potential upside is 102.41%. The data provided earlier shows that 2U Inc. appears more favorable than Box Inc., based on analyst opinion.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

Box Inc. and 2U Inc. has shares owned by institutional investors as follows: 67.6% and 0%. Box Inc.’s share owned by insiders are 1.1%. Comparatively, 2% are 2U Inc.’s share owned by insiders.

Performance

Here are the Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Half Yearly, Yearly and YTD Performance of both pretenders.

Performance (W) Performance (M) Performance (Q) Performance (HY) Performance (Y) Performance (YTD)
Box Inc. -1.49% -5.54% -18.2% -18.8% -30.45% -2.01%
2U Inc. -65.72% -66.87% -78.48% -77.37% -83.03% -74.26%

For the past year Box Inc. has stronger performance than 2U Inc.

Summary

On 6 of the 9 factors 2U Inc. beats Box Inc.

Box, Inc. provides cloud content management platform that enables organizations of various sizes to manage their enterprise content from anywhere. The companyÂ’s platform enables users to collaborate on content internally and with external parties, automate content-driven business processes, develop custom applications, and implement data protection, security, and compliance features. Box, Inc. offers its solution in 22 languages. It serves healthcare and life sciences, financial services, legal services, media and entertainment, retail, education, energy, and government industries primarily in the United States. The company was formerly known as Box.net, Inc. and changed its name to Box, Inc. in November 2011. Box, Inc. was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Redwood City, California.

2U, Inc. provides cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for nonprofit colleges and universities to deliver education to students. Its cloud-based SaaS platform solutions include online campus, an online learning platform that enables its clients to offer educational content together with instructor-led classes in a live, intimate, and engaging setting through proprietary Web-based and mobile applications. The companyÂ’s integrated back-end applications launch, operate, and support clients’ programs, as well as provide clients with real-time data and analytical insight related to student performance and engagement, student satisfaction, and enrollment. It also offers a suite of technology-enabled services, including content development and student acquisition, admissions application advisory, student and faculty support, student field placement, accessibility, immersion support, faculty recruitment, and state authorization services. The company was formerly known as 2Tor Inc. and changed its name to 2U, Inc. in October 2012. 2U, Inc. was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Lanham, Maryland.

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Altcoin Explorer: BitTorrent Token (BTT)

BitTorrent is a brand that was well known before Satoshi Nakamoto even released his whitepaper for Bitcoin. It served as the most used P2P software …
Reading Time: 3minutesbyAshwath BalakrishnanonAugust 29, 2019&nbspAltcoin Explorer, Altcoins

BitTorrent, the first Binance Launchpad IEO, was issued to power the BitTorrent Speed network with a variety of use cases for the token listed in the whitepaper and subsequent analyses. But as pointed out by eminent crypto VC, Barry Dilbert, most utility tokens act as friction tokens that slow down efficiency and offer no real utility. In this run down, BTCManager covers the merits and demerits of the BitTorrent project.

First Major P2P File Sharing Client

BitTorrent is a brand that was well known before Satoshi Nakamoto even released his whitepaper for Bitcoin. It served as the most used P2P software and thrived due to its economic model of ‘give and receive’.

In 2018, TRON bought BitTorrent and announced their plan to integrate it into their network. This was met by criticism from the ex-CSO of BitTorrent who claimed that the TRON blockchain cannot handle the volume of transfers from BitTorrent.

As destiny would have it, the whitepaper outlined that they will deploy an on-chain token exchange with a private ledger to process BTT transactions, as TRON cannot achieve the necessary throughput to handle it.

TRON bought a company that owned the world’s largest P2P data transfer client, one that was thriving as it was, and deployed it on a blockchain with a token to create friction that never existed.

The team argues that the point of the token is to incentivize seeders and enable users to purchase network bandwidth. What they failed to understand is that the existing game theory of BitTorrent was perfect as it was – seeders keep seeding to keep the network strong, and in return when they need to leech there are adequate seeders.

With that said, another use-case of the token comes with the unveiling of BLive, BitTorrents mobile streaming service that is akin to that of the Brave browser, wherein users can tip their favorite streamers and content creators in BTT amongst other features. Whilst this does broaden the use-case for BTT, what can be said of the performance of the token on the market?

Tokenomics of BitTorrent

TRON’s plan of integrating a new incentive layer on BitTorrent can be seen as ambitious, and their intent is definitely positive. But the economics of BTT issuance renders it an asset nobody would want to hold – so what’s the point of even having the token?

BitTorrent is best compared to ERC20 tokens as they are both meant to be utility tokens built on top of a base blockchain.

Most ERC-20s like Golem (GNT), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and OmiseGo (OMG) have issued the entirety of their supply and have nil inflation. Others like ChainLink (LINK) and 0x have not and have issued 93 percent and 65 percent of their supply respectively.

BTT has issued 40 percent of its supply, with a reported supply of 212 billion tokens and a hard cap at 990 billion. The inflation rate on BTT is a mind-numbing 70.98 percent as per Messari data.

Essentially, investing in BitTorrent now means that by the time total supply has been issued, your position has been diluted to more than half of what it is today. Of the 588 cryptocurrencies and tokens for which Messari has data, BTT is at number 7 in terms of highest inflation rate.

The team and TRON Foundation will hold nearly 40 percent of supply. The public sale accounts for just 15 percent of total supply. If the Foundation and investors dump their tokens in the market to realize their returns, the minority are doomed.

Nobody in their right senses would invest with such high inflation; add the token dilution and low market float to the mix and you have an economic disaster on your hands.

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Centralized web browsing is a threat to your privacy and security

As internet security company Kaspersky inadvertently provided online marketers with a means through which they could track the web browsing habits …

Centralized web browsing is a threat to your privacy and online security as it makes it more likely that secondary and third parties can track your browsing habits.

As internet security company Kaspersky inadvertently provided online marketers with a means through which they could track the web browsing habits of users, the incident underscores a need to move to decentralized web browsing.

It may be time that we started looking towards peer to peer and decentralized systems in order to counteract this vulnerability.

Decentralized Web Browsers

Paul Frazee, co-founder of the Beaker browser, suggests that our online world has developed purely into a client-server model. Whilst this works quite well, you don’t own your data.

Read More: Decentralizing the Web Amidst Debate on Censorship, 8chan ban

Our information is going into the cloud and is then sitting in a server in plain text. However, Frazee believes that software engineers have an obligation to protect users’ data — something that is not happening with the current model.

It’s still very much early days, but a number of nascent projects are beginning to emerge in this space. Beaker is an experimental peer to peer browser. Whilst you can browse ‘http://’ and ‘https://’ websites like traditional browsers, Beaker also supports ‘dat://’, a peer to peer protocol called Dat.

How Peer to Peer Browsing Works

Through the Beaker project, the software engineer has tried to implement peer to peer networking using Node.js and Chromium technologies. The mention of decentralization in these times usually goes hand in hand with blockchain, yet Beaker doesn’t use blockchain technology to achieve a peer to peer network. Instead, Dat as a variation of BitTorrent is being used.

With a peer to peer system, one user can publish a website. Another user may download that website in accessing it. Subsequently, a third user can download the relevant files from either of the first two network participants.

As new people join that network, they provide more resources to access data. The system can then scale up on this basis, so there is access for all. For a short period after visiting a website, the user will in turn host that content to contribute to the community and make the system scalable.

One other side benefit is that it becomes really cheap to allocate new websites. Rather than being addressed by an ip address, these websites are cryptographically addressed through public keys.

A new website is allocated simply by generating a new key and there’s no limitation on how many are created.

Kaspersky AntiVirus Security Flaw

It emerged last week that leading antivirus software provider, Kaspersky Labs, had unintentionally exposed service users to having their web browsing habits spied on over a number of years.

Ronald Elkenberg, a journalist with German technology publication, c’t, discovered the javascript code, which was being injected whilst containing a unique identifier for each site the user visited. This enabled cross site tracking.

Whilst the flaw was Kaspersky’s, it couldn’t have happened with a decentralized web browsing model.

Privacy Worth the Effort

The online public has made a trade off in recent years between convenience and privacy. It takes a lot more effort to use online services whilst following a strong privacy regimen. By the same token, the solutions that enable stronger security and privacy oftentimes, are in and of themselves, less convenient to use.

Read More: Tech giants seek to exorcise privacy woes to win back trust

Decentralization is key in this regard. We recently considered the decentralization of the domain name system (DNS) and other projects that are looking to decentralize the internet itself.

There are other projects still, which are looking to provide decentralized versions of a range of online services from social media platforms to ride sharing.

It’s early days for these projects. They will need to find a way of becoming more user friendly. Probably more significantly still, they will need to find a way of achieving critical mass such that there are sufficient users to make their offerings useful.

To this end, we as consumers need to wake up and smell the coffee also. The current scenario with regard to online personal data is scary in terms of what that data can reveal about an individual.

That situation is rapidly becoming worse. As technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) show signs of major utility and application, it’s likely that the amount of data collected will explode within a few short years. If we allow that data to be used against us, we are going to be in a dystopian 1984 scenario.

I understand why people have opted for convenience over privacy up until now (and count myself as guilty of the very same charge). However, I’m optimistic that the reality with regard to how data can be used against us from here on in will start to have a sobering effect on us as a society, resulting in a willingness to go the extra mile and reclaim our online privacy.

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Networking software startup Arrcus raises $30M in Series B round

The oversubscribed Series B round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors General Catalyst and Clear …

Software-defined networking startup Arrcus Inc. said today that it has raised $30 million in a new funding round that brings its total capital to raised to $49 million.

The oversubscribed Series B round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors General Catalyst and Clear Ventures.

Arrcus emerged from stealth mode last year touting a network operating system called ArcOS that runs on white-box switches and routers in physical, virtual and cloud environments. ArcOS is designed for data center operators, content delivery networks and telecommunications carriers. It enables open networking that addresses data center workloads, internet peering (the interconnection of separate networks), resilient routing to the host and massively scalable clusters in physical or software container form.

ArcOS is comprised of a set of software modules that provide various management capabilities for coordinating network operations. These include a “hyper-performance resilient control plane” and application programming interfaces that enable companies to create automation workflows. ArcOS also features a telemetry tool that can collect detailed information about network activity for monitoring purposes.

The modules that make up ArcOS are based on a microservices architecture similar to that of modern, container-based cloud applications. The main advantage is that users can restart a component for maintenance purposes without having to take the entire deployment offline, which reduces downtime.

Arrcus founder and Chief Executive Officer Devesh Garg (pictured, right, with General Catalyst Managing Director Steve Herrod) last year appeared on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, arguing that ArcOS was more flexible and scalable than traditional networking setups:

Arrcus said the new funds will be used to expand its operations to support its growing customer base and scale up its strategic partnerships and production. Garg said in a statement that Lightspeed and Guru will help strengthen the company’s infrastructure expertise and operational scale. “Business providers and enterprises alike want to move away from closed, proprietary, vertically integrated systems and prefer the freedom of choice,” he said.

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