Box beats expectations, raises guidance as it looks for a comeback









Box beats expectations, raises guidance as it looks for a comeback – TechCrunch










































Box beats expectations, raises guidance as it looks for a comeback

Box executives have been dealing with activist investor Starboard Value over the last year, along with fighting through the pandemic like the rest of us. Today the company reported earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal 2022. Overall, it was a good quarter for the cloud content management company.

The firm reported revenue of $202.4 million, up 10% compared to its year-ago result, numbers that beat Box projections of between $200 million to $201 million. Yahoo Finance reports the analyst consensus was $200.5 million, so the company also bested street expectations.

The company has faced strong headwinds the past year, in spite of a climate that has been generally favorable to cloud companies like Box. A report like this was badly needed by the company as it faces a board fight with Starboard over its direction and leadership.

Company co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie is hoping this report will mark the beginning of a positive trend. “I think you’ve got a better economic climate right now for IT investment. And then secondarily, I think the trends of hybrid work, and the sort of long-term trends of digital transformation are very much supportive of our strategy,” he told TechCrunch in a post-earnings interview.

While Box acquired e-signature startup SignRequest in February, it won’t actually be incorporating that functionality into the platform until this summer. Levie said that what’s been driving the modest revenue growth is Box Shield, the company’s content security product and the platform tools, which enable customers to customize workflows and build applications on top of Box.

The company is also seeing success with large accounts. Levie says that he saw the number of customers spending more than $100,000 with it grow by nearly 50% compared to the year-ago quarter. One of Box’s growth strategies has been to expand the platform and then upsell additional platform services over time, and those numbers suggest that the effort is working.

While Levie was keeping his M&A cards close to the vest, he did say if the right opportunity came along to fuel additional growth through acquisition, he would definitely give strong consideration to further inorganic growth. “We’re going to continue to be very thoughtful on M&A. So we will only do M&A that we think is attractive in terms of price and the ability to accelerate our roadmap, or the ability to get into a part of a market that we’re not currently in,” Levie said.

A closer look at the financials

Box managed modest growth acceleration for the quarter, existing only if we consider the company’s results on a sequential basis. In simpler terms, Box’s newly reported 10% growth in the first quarter of its fiscal 2022 was better than the 8% growth it earned during the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2021, but worse than the 13% growth it managed in its year-ago Q1.

With Box, however, instead of judging it by normal rules, we’re hunting in its numbers each quarter for signs of promised acceleration. By that standard, Box met its own goals.

How did investors react? Shares of the company were mixed after-hours, including a sharp dip and recovery in the value of its equity. The street appears to be confused by the results, weighing the report and working out whether its moderately accelerating growth is sufficiently enticing to warrant holding onto its equity, or more perversely if its growth is not expansive enough to fend off external parties hunting for more dramatic changes at the firm.

Sticking to a high-level view of Box’s results, apart from its growth numbers Box has done a good job shaking fluff out of its operations. The company’s operating margins (GAAP and not) improved, and cash generation also picked up.

Perhaps most importantly, Box raised its guidance from “the range of $840 million to $848 million” to “$845 to $853 million.” Is that a lot? No. It’s +$5 million to both the lower and upper-bounds of its targets. But if you squint, the company’s Q4 to Q1 revenue acceleration, and upgraded guidance, could be an early indicator of a return to form.

Levie admitted that 2020 was a tough year for Box. “Obviously, last year was a complicated year in terms of the macro environment, the pandemic, just lots of different variables to deal with…” he said. But the CEO continues to think that his organization is set up for future growth.

Will Box manage to perform well enough to keep activist shareholders content? Levie thinks if he can string together more quarters like this one, he can keep Starboard at bay. “I think when you look at the next three quarters, the ability to guide up on revenue, the ability to guide up on profitability. We think it’s a very very strong earnings report and we think it shows a lot of the momentum in the business that we have right now.”












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The goal seems to be to integrate safety principles into the existing priority system of AI development that generally favors efficiency and power. Like any other industry, it’s easier and more effective to incorporate something from the beginning than to bolt it on at the end. Attempting to make some of the biggest models out there able to be picked apart and understood may be more work than building them in the first place. Anthropic seems to be starting fresh.

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“Anthropicu2019s goal is to make the fundamental research advances that will let us build more capable, general, and reliable AI systems, then deploy these systems in a way that benefits people,” said Dario Amodei, CEO of the new venture, in a short post announcing the company and its $124 million in funding.

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That funding, by the way, is as star-studded as you might expect. It was led by Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and included James McClave, Dustin Moskovitz, Eric Schmidt and the Center for Emerging Risk Research, among others.

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The company is a public benefit corporation, and the plan for now, as the limited information on the site suggests, is to remain heads-down on researching these fundamental questions of how to make large models more tractable and interpretable. We can expect more information later this year, perhaps, as the mission and team coalesces and initial results pan out.

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The name, incidentally, is adjacent to anthropocentric, and concerns relevancy to human experience or existence. Perhaps it derives from the “Anthropic principle,” the notion that intelligent life is possible in the universe because… well, we’re here. If intelligence is inevitable under the right conditions, the company just has to create those conditions.

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WhatsApp, Google and other internet giants comply with India’s IT rules"},"content":{"rendered":"

Google, Facebook, Telegram, LinkedIn and Tiger Global-backed Indian startups ShareChat and Koo have either fully or partially complied with the South Asian nationu2019s new IT rules, according to two people familiar with the matter and a government note obtained by TechCrunch.

n

Indiau2019s new IT rules, unveiled in February this year, require firms to appoint and share contact details of representatives tasked withu00a0compliance, nodal point of reference and grievance redressals to address on-ground concerns.u00a0

n

The aforementioned firms have complied with this requirement, the government note and a person familiar with the matter said. The firms were required to comply with the new IT rules by this week.

n

Twitter has yet to comply with the rules. u201cTwitter sent a communication late last night, sharing details of a lawyer working in a law firm in India as their Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer,u201d a note prepared by New Delhi said, adding that the rules require the aforementioned officials to be direct employees.

n

Tension has been brewing between Twitter and the government of India of late. This week, police in Delhi visited Twitter offices to u201cserve a noticeu201d about an investigation into its intel on classifying Indian politiciansu2019 tweets as misleading. Twitter called the move a form of intimidation, cited concerns about its employees and requested the government to respect citizens’ rights to free speech.

n

n

WhatsApp has complied with the aforementioned rules, but not with the requirement about traceability, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. WhatsApp sued the Indian government earlier this week over the requirement about bringing a way to trace the originator of messages. WhatsApp said it would have to compromise every users’ privacy to be able to comply with this rule.

n

It is unclear at this point whether Apple, which operates iMessage, and Signal have complied with the rules.

n

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Wednesday had asked the social media firms for an update on their compliant status, TechCrunch first reported.

n

India is a key overseas market for several technology giants, including Facebook and Google, both of which identify the nation as its biggest market by users. Neighboring nation Pakistan, which had proposed similar rules as India last year, had to withdraw them after tech giants united and threatened to leave the nation.

n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Google, Facebook, Telegram, LinkedIn and Tiger Global-backed Indian startups ShareChat and Koo have either fully or partially complied with the South Asian nationu2019s new IT rules, according to two people familiar with the matter and a government note obtained by TechCrunch. Indiau2019s new IT rules, unveiled in February this year, require firms to appoint and […]

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Blue, a $3 monthly subscription service, could be coming soon"},"content":{"rendered":"

Great news for typo-prone tweeters: Twitter Blue, a $2.99 monthly subscription, appears to be coming soon to a Timeline near you.
n

n

Two weeks ago, researcher Jane Manchun Wong first reported that Twitteru2019s new subscription service is in the works. But yesterday, Twitteru2019s iOS App Store listing updated to list Twitter Blue as an in-app purchase, confirming earlier findings from this unofficial source. Though users canu2019t yet subscribe to Twitter Blue u2013 even after downloading the app update u2013 Wong dug up details about the service, signaling that its launch could be imminent.u00a0u00a0

n

n

In addition to the undo button, which Wong uncovered as early as March, this service will include a reader mode, which turns tweet threads into u201ceasy-to-read text.u201d Twitter acquired Scroll and Revue this year in an effort to improve usersu2019 reading experience on the app, so this addition makes sense. Plus, users will be able to change the color of the Twitter app icon, as well as the color theme of their Timeline, a feature thatu2019s already available on the web. Twitter Blue subscribers can also organize tweets into Collections u2013 this feature looks like an updated version of Bookmarks, but with the added ability to organize tweets into folders.u00a0

n

Currently, Twitter ads make up 85% of the companyu2019s revenue. Twitter told Bloomberg in February that it plans to u201cresearch and experimentu201d with new ways to monetize the platform, especially as its user growth has slowed. But overu00a0the last several months, Twitter has teased some of the platformu2019s biggest changes since doubling the 140-character tweet limit in 2018. These features include Super Follows, Tip Jar, Twitter Spaces, and more.

n

n

This week at J.P. Morganu2019s Global Technology, Media, and Communications conference, Twitter CFO Ned Segal indicated that the company views Twitter Blue and Super Follows as two separate types of subscriptions. On Google Play, the Twitter app page lists an in-app product priced at $4.99 per item, which might indicate the upcoming launch of Super Follows, too. Segal also said that Twitter would offer more information about the service in the coming months, then u201cultimately roll it out to people around the world.u201d

n

Finally, for those of us wondering u2013u00a0no, thereu2019s no indication of plans for an u201cedit tweetu201d button at this time.

n

 

n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Great news for typo-prone tweeters: Twitter Blue, a $2.99 monthly subscription, appears to be coming soon to a Timeline near you. Two weeks ago, researcher Jane Manchun Wong first reported that Twitteru2019s new subscription service is in the works. But yesterday, Twitteru2019s iOS App Store listing updated to list Twitter Blue as an in-app purchase, […]

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Box executives have been dealing with activist investor Starboard Value over the last year, along with fighting through the pandemic like the rest of us. Today the company reported earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal 2022. Overall, it was a good quarter for the cloud content management company.

n

The firm reported revenue of $202.4 million, up 10% compared to its year-ago result, numbers that beat Box projections of between $200 million to $201 million. Yahoo Finance reports the analyst consensus was $200.5 million, so the company also bested street expectations.

n

The company has faced strong headwinds the past year, in spite of a climate that has been generally favorable to cloud companies like Box. A report like this was badly needed by the company as it faces a board fight with Starboard over its direction and leadership.

n

Company co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie is hoping this report will mark the beginning of a positive trend. u201cI think you’ve got a better economic climate right now for IT investment. And then secondarily, I think the trends of hybrid work, and the sort of long-term trends of digital transformation are very much supportive of our strategy,u201d he told TechCrunch in a post-earnings interview.

n

While Box acquired e-signature startup SignRequest in February, it wonu2019t actually be incorporating that functionality into the platform until this summer. Levie said that whatu2019s been driving the modest revenue growth is Box Shield, the companyu2019s content security product and the platform tools, which enable customers to customize workflows and build applications on top of Box.

n

n

The company is also seeing success with large accounts. Levie says that he saw the number of customers spending more than $100,000 with it grow by nearly 50% compared to the year-ago quarter. One of Box’s growth strategies has been to expand the platform and then upsell additional platform services over time, and those numbers suggest that the effort is working.

n

While Levie was keeping his M&A cards close to the vest, he did say if the right opportunity came along to fuel additional growth through acquisition, he would definitely give strong consideration to further inorganic growth. u201cWe’re going to continue to be very thoughtful on M&A. So we will only do M&A that we think is attractive in terms of price and the ability to accelerate our roadmap, or the ability to get into a part of a market that we’re not currently in,u201d Levie said.

n

A closer look at the financials

n

Box managed modest growth acceleration for the quarter, existing only if we consider the companyu2019s results on a sequential basis. In simpler terms, Boxu2019s newly reported 10% growth in the first quarter of its fiscal 2022 was better than the 8% growth it earned during the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2021, but worse than the 13% growth it managed in its year-ago Q1.

n

With Box, however, instead of judging it by normal rules, weu2019re hunting in its numbers each quarter for signs of promised acceleration. By that standard, Box met its own goals.

n

How did investors react? Shares of the company were mixed after-hours, including a sharp dip and recovery in the value of its equity. The street appears to be confused by the results, weighing the report and working out whether its moderately accelerating growth is sufficiently enticing to warrant holding onto its equity, or more perversely if its growth is not expansive enough to fend off external parties hunting for more dramatic changes at the firm.

n

n

Sticking to a high-level view of Boxu2019s results, apart from its growth numbers Box has done a good job shaking fluff out of its operations. The companyu2019s operating margins (GAAP and not) improved, and cash generation also picked up.

n

Perhaps most importantly, Box raised its guidance from u201cthe range of $840 million to $848 millionu201d to u201c$845 to $853 million.u201d Is that a lot? No. Itu2019s +$5 million to both the lower and upper-bounds of its targets. But if you squint, the companyu2019s Q4 to Q1 revenue acceleration, and upgraded guidance, could be an early indicator of a return to form.

n

Levie admitted that 2020 was a tough year for Box. u201cObviously, last year was a complicated year in terms of the macro environment, the pandemic, just lots of different variables to deal withu2026u201d he said. But the CEO continues to think that his organization is set up for future growth.

n

Will Box manage to perform well enough to keep activist shareholders content? Levie thinks if he can string together more quarters like this one, he can keep Starboard at bay. u201cI think when you look at the next three quarters, the ability to guide up on revenue, the ability to guide up on profitability. We think it’s a very very strong earnings report and we think it shows a lot of the momentum in the business that we have right now.u201d

n

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Box executives have been dealing with activist investor Starboard Value over the last year, along with fighting through the pandemic like the rest of us. Today the company reported earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal 2022. Overall, it was a good quarter for the cloud content management company. The firm reported revenue of […]

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