Element AI Does It Better

Element AI, which helps companies improve their operations using AI, raises $151.4M Series B, reportedly at a $625M valuation (@seansilcoff / Globe …

Yesterday, I published an article about a company called Healthy.io. I praised the company for incorporating its .IO domain name within its branding, making it less likely that people will make a mistake when navigating to the startup’s website or sending email to employees. I found an even better example of a company’s wise usage of its ccTLD domain name.

This morning, several tech publications covered the news of a major funding round for a company called Element AI:

Element AI, which helps companies improve their operations using AI, raises $151.4M Series B, reportedly at a $625M valuation (@seansilcoff / Globe and Mail)https://t.co/yYOsqndKy2https://t.co/WS90O3c3Qs

— Techmeme (@Techmeme) September 13, 2019

Like Healthy.io, Element AI also uses a ccTLD domain name: Element.ai. The difference is that Healthy.io incorporates its domain name within the branding but Element AI does not include the dot within its branding.

Because the dot and specifically the .AI aren’t totally clear with Element AI, there could still be some confusion regarding its domain name. Smartly, Element AI also owns its brand match .com domain name as well: ElementAI.com. Whether someone visits Element.ai or ElementAI.com, they will end up on the same, correct website.

Element AI uses its .com domain name for its website, but I think having both of these domain names makes choosing the domain name to use a bit less important. I think they could have stuck with the .AI and forwarded the .com if they wanted to do that. The only risk is that the company doesn’t own the high value Element.com domain name so there would be a possibility for confusion if they uses the .AI as the primary domain name.

The other thing I noticed is the positioning of the “AI” within the logo. I am not sure if it was intentional or not, but by having it in the position they have it, viewers will not accidentally mistake it for the name Elemental.

I think it is wise for non.com users to incorporate their extension or at least the word that makes up the extension within the branding to avoid confusion. Element AI takes it a step further to prevent traffic and email leakage by owning both domain names.

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While CrowdStrike shares are trading 93% above their IPO price, the ETFMG Prime Cyber Security HACK, +0.05% is up 14% for the year while the …

Cloudflare Inc. shares burst out of the gate for their first day of trading Friday as the latest cybersecurity company to go public in a space that’s seeing rapid consolidation.

On Friday, the price of the stock shot to a high of $19.53, and closed up 19% at $17.90, for a market cap of about $5.25 billion, with 35.9 million shares exchanging hands during the session. Up to 40.3 million shares are being offered including those optioned to underwriters to cover overallotments. Late Thursday, Cloudflare NET, +20.00% had priced its shares at $15, above its $12 to $14 range, which had been raised from an origin range of $10 to $12.

Shares of the company, which specializes in a cloud-based network platform that promises security, enhanced performance of business-critical applications, and “eliminating the cost and complexity of managing individual network hardware,” traded publicly for their first day Friday under the ticker symbol “NET” on the New York Stock Exchange.

Read:Cloudflare IPO: 5 things to know about the cloud-network platform

The IPO received a warm reception even as the company appeared to have a bumpy ride leading up to it.

In August, Cloudflare dropped 8chan as a customer, condemning the unmoderated message board as “a receptive audience for domestic terrorists” following recent mass shootings, and this appears in the company’s “risk factors” section. Cloudflare noted that it was not the first time a customer elicited scrutiny after a violent attack.

The company also disclosed that it may have done business with individuals and entities tied with narcotics and terrorism according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control blacklists, and that it was introducing additional controls and screening to prevent similar activity occurring in the future.

“The challenge that we had is that we were getting mixed signals from the U.S. government for the last nine years,” Matthew Prince, Cloudflare co-founder & CEO, told MarketWatch in an interview.

“Some parts of the U.S. government were like ‘we’d really like it if these bad guys were on your network because you guys respond to valid court orders, and we’d rather them be on your network than on your Iranian competitor,’” he said. “Others are like, ‘the law is the law.’”

At the end of 2018 as the company started getting ready for the IPO, Cloudflare decided to err on the side of the letter of the law.

“We said ‘enough is enough, you guys haven’t been able to give us one clear message,’ because different parts of the U.S. government had different opinions,” Prince told MarketWatch.

Cloudflare’s IPO comes just a few months after cybersecurity company CrowdStrike Holdings Inc.CRWD, -6.89% went public in June. While CrowdStrike shares are trading 91% above their IPO price, the ETFMG Prime Cyber Security HACK, +0.16% is up 14% for the year and the Renaissance IPO ETF IPO, -0.69% is up 31%. The First Trust Cloud Computing ETF SKYY, -1.24% is up 19% for the year, compared with a 23% gain in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.22%.

Cybersecurity has become a hot space recently as a buy or be bought mentality has crept into the year as VMware Inc. VMW, -1.90%announced an acquisition of cybersecurity company Carbon Black Inc.CBLK, +0.04% Broadcom Inc. AVGO, -3.41% made a bid for Symantec Corp.’sSYMC, -0.33% enterprise business, and BlackBerry Ltd.’s BB, +0.81% acquisition of Cylance in February.

Prince said an IPO has always been an implicit assumption at the company. As soon as you start taking venture capital money or start issuing options to employees, there’s an implicit signal that you’re going to have to turn that into something you can buy a house with or send a kid to college with, and that there was no pressure from early investors or employees, he said.

“When you get to the point where you’re generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and you’ve got over a thousand employees, the rules of being a public company, whether you’re public or not, you should be living by,” Prince told MarketWatch. “You should do audits and you should have an internal control system and you should make sure you’re doing GAAP financials , and all of those things and you can’t be Peter Pan forever.”

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