SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
|TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For transition period from to
Commission File Number: 001-36089
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction|
of incorporation or organization)
20 Davis Drive
Belmont, California 94002
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Class A Common Stock||RNG||New York Stock Exchange|
|par value $0.0001|
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer|
|Smaller reporting company|
|Emerging growth company|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant on June 30, 2020, based on the closing price of $285.01 for shares of the Registrant’s common stock as reported by the New York Stock Exchange, was approximately $22.6 billion. Shares of common stock held by each executive officer, director, and their affiliated holders have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.
As of February 18, 2021, there were 80,271,589 shares of Class A common stock and 10,220,948 shares of Class B common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Information required in response to Part III of Form 10-K (Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14) is hereby incorporated by reference to portions of the Registrant’s Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held in 2021. Such Proxy Statement will be filed by the Registrant with the Securities and Exchange Commission no later than 120 days after the end of the Registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements that are based on our management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. The forward-looking statements are contained principally in, but not limited to, the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by terms such as “anticipates”, “believes”, “could”, “seeks”, “estimates”, “expects”, “intends”, “may”, “plans”, “potential”, “predicts”, “projects”, “should”, “will”, “would” or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about:
•our progress against short-term and long-term goals;
•our future financial performance;
•our anticipated growth, growth strategies and our ability to effectively manage that growth and effect these strategies;
•the impact of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, any associated economic downturn, and related actions by individuals, governments and private industry on our business, future operating and financial performance, and markets;
•our success in the enterprise market;
•anticipated trends, developments and challenges in our business and in the markets in which we operate, as well as general macroeconomic conditions;
•our ability to scale to our desired goals, particularly the implementation of new processes and systems and the addition to our workforce;
•the impact of competition in our industry and innovation by our competitors;
•our ability to anticipate and adapt to future changes in our industry;
•our ability to predict subscriptions revenues, formulate accurate financial projections, and make strategic business decisions based on our analysis of market trends;
•our ability to anticipate market needs and develop new and enhanced solutions and subscriptions to meet those needs, and our ability to successfully monetize them;
•maintaining and expanding our customer base;
•maintaining, expanding and responding to changes in our relationships with other companies;
•maintaining and expanding our distribution channels, including our network of sales agents and resellers, and our strategic partnerships;
•our success with our carrier partners;
•our ability to sell, market, and support our solutions and services;
•our ability to expand our business to larger customers as well as expanding domestically and internationally;
•our ability to realize increased purchasing leverage and economies of scale as we expand;
•the impact of seasonality on our business;
•the impact of any failure of our solutions or solution innovations;
•our reliance on our third-party product and service providers;
•the potential effect on our business of litigation to which we may become a party;
•our liquidity and working capital requirements;
•the impact of changes in the regulatory environment;
•our ability to protect our intellectual property and rely on open source licenses;
•our expectations regarding the growth and reliability of the internet infrastructure;
•the timing of acquisitions of, or making and exiting investments in, other entities, businesses or technologies;
•our ability to successfully and timely execute on, integrate, and realize the benefits of any acquisition, investment, strategic partnership, or other strategic transaction we may make or undertake;
•our capital expenditure projections;
•the estimates and estimate methodologies used in preparing our consolidated financial statements;
•the political environment and stability in the regions in which we or our subcontractors operate;
•the impact of economic downturns on us and our customers;
•our ability to defend our systems and our customer information from fraud and cyber-attack;
•our ability to prevent the use of fraudulent payment methods for our solutions;
•our ability to retain key employees and to attract qualified personnel; and
•the impact of foreign currencies on our non-U.S. business as we expand our business internationally.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be significantly different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. We discuss these risks in greater detail in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Also, forward-looking statements represent our management’s beliefs and assumptions only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. You should read this Annual Report on Form 10-K completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be significantly different from what we expect.
Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ significantly from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
We are a leading provider of global enterprise cloud communications, video meetings, collaboration, and contact center software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) solutions. We believe that our innovative, cloud-based communication and contact center solutions disrupt the large market for business communications and collaboration by providing flexible and cost-effective solutions that support mobile and distributed workforces. We enable convenient and effective communications for organizations across all their locations and employees, enabling them to be more productive and more responsive to their customers.
Our cloud-based solutions are designed to be easy to use, providing a single user identity across multiple locations and devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs and desk phones. Our solutions can be deployed rapidly and configured and managed easily. Our cloud-based solutions are location and device independent and better suited to address the needs of modern mobile and global enterprise workforces than are legacy on-premise systems. Through our platform, we enable third-party developers and customers to integrate our solution with leading business applications to customize their own business workflows.
The rapid growth of mobile communications has changed the way businesses interact. Employees connect from anywhere with any device, using multiple modes of communications including voice, video, text, messaging, and social media. These forms of flexible communications enable employees to be productive in ways that traditional on-premise systems do not support.
We believe RingCentral benefits from both the shift to mobile and distributed workforces and the migration of hardware on-premise based communication systems to cloud-based software solutions. Our cloud communications and contact center solutions are based on our Message Video Phone ("MVP") platform, which has been designed from the ground up, specifically for today’s mobile and distributed workforce. In addition, our differentiated open platform Application Programming Interfaces (“APIs”) enable seamless integration with third-party and custom software applications. These integrations improve business workflows resulting in higher employee productivity and better customer service. Our global delivery capabilities support the needs of multi-national enterprises in multiple countries.
We offer three key products in our portfolio, including:
•RingCentral Office, a Unified Communications as a Service ("UCaaS") platform, including team messaging, video meetings, and a cloud phone system;
•RingCentral cloud Contact Center as a Service ("CCaaS"); and
•RingCentral Glip ("Glip"), our new branded video meeting solution with team messaging that enables smart video meetings that was launched in 2020.
We generate revenues primarily from the sale of subscriptions for our cloud-based services. We focus on acquiring and retaining our customers, adding value to their experience, and increasing their use of our solutions. As their needs change, customers add users to services, upgrade to premium subscription editions which provide additional features and functionality and expand their use of other solutions.
We use our direct and indirect sales channels to market our brand and sell our solutions. Key developments in our go-to-market expansion:
•In October 2019, we entered into a strategic partnership with Avaya Holdings Corp. ("Avaya"), which included the introduction of a new solution, Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral ("ACO"), to be marketed and sold by Avaya and its subsidiaries. We launched the co-branded solution in March 2020.
•In December 2019, we entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Atos SE ("Atos") and its subsidiary, Unify Software and Solutions GmbH & CO. KG ("Unify"), which included the introduction of a co-branded solution, Unified Office by RingCentral ("UO"), to be marketed and sold as the UCaaS offering for the Atos Unify product family installed base. We launched the co-branded solution in September 2020.
•In July 2020, we entered into a strategic partnership with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise ("ALE"), which includes the introduction of a new co-branded solution to be marketed and sold as the UCaaS solution offering of ALE beginning in 2021.
•In November 2020, we entered into a strategic partnership with Vodafone Group Services Limited ("Vodafone"), which includes a new co-branded UCaaS and CCaaS solutions to be marketed and sold by Vodafone and its subsidiaries.
Our principal executive offices are located in Belmont, California. Our principal address is 20 Davis Drive, Belmont, California 94002, and our primary website address is www.ringcentral.com. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website, does not constitute part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and inclusion of our website address in this Annual Report on Form 10-K is an inactive textual reference only.
“RingCentral” and other of our trademarks appearing in this report are our property. This report also contains trade names and trademarks of other companies. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trade names or trademarks to imply an endorsement or sponsorship of us by such companies, or any relationship with any of these companies.
Our cloud-based business communications, collaboration, and customer engagement solutions function across multiple locations and devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs and desk phones, allow for communication across multiple modes, including high-definition (“HD”) voice, video, SMS, messaging and collaboration, conferencing, online meetings, and fax. Our proprietary solutions enable a more productive and dynamic workforce and are architected using industry standards to meet modern business communications and collaboration requirements, including workforce mobility, “bring-your-own” communications device environments and multiple communications methods.
Our solutions are delivered using a highly available, and rapidly and easily scalable infrastructure, allowing our customers to add new users regardless of where they are located. Our solutions are generally affordable, requiring little to no upfront infrastructure hardware costs or ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs commonly associated with on-premise systems and can be integrated with other existing communication systems.
We believe that our solutions go beyond the core functionality of existing on-premise communications solutions by providing additional key benefits that address the changing requirements of business to allow business communications using voice, HD video web conferencing, SMS, team messaging, collaboration, fax, and social media. The key benefits of our solutions include:
•Location Independence. Our cloud-based solutions are designed to be location independent. We seamlessly connect distributed and mobile users, enabling employees to communicate with a single identity whether working from a central location, a branch office, on the road, or at home.
•Global. Our RingCentral Global Office capabilities support multinational enterprise workforces. RingCentral Global Office connects multinational workforces globally, while reducing the complexity and high costs of maintaining multiple legacy private branch exchanges ("PBX systems") with a single global cloud solution.
•Device Independence. Our solutions are designed to work with a broad range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and desk phones, enabling businesses to successfully implement a “bring-your-own” communications device strategy.
•Instant Activation and Easy Account Management. Our solutions are designed for rapid deployment and ease of management. Our intuitive graphical user interfaces allow administrators and users to set up and manage their business communications system with little or no IT expertise, training, or dedicated staffing.
•Scalability. Our cloud-based solutions scale easily and efficiently with the growth of our customers. Customers can add users, regardless of their location, without having to purchase additional infrastructure hardware or software upgrades.
•Lower Cost of Ownership. We believe that our customers experience significantly lower cost of ownership compared to legacy on-premise systems. Using our cloud-based solutions, our customers can avoid the significant upfront costs of infrastructure hardware, software, ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs, and the need for dedicated and trained IT personnel to support these systems.
•Seamless and Intuitive Integration with Other Applications. Applications are proliferating within businesses of all sizes. Integration of these business applications with legacy on-premise systems is typically complex and expensive, which limits the ability of businesses to leverage cloud-based applications. Our platform provides seamless and intuitive integration with multiple popular cloud-based business applications such as Microsoft productivity and CRM tools, Google G-Suite, Salesforce CRM, Oracle, Okta, Zendesk, Box, and Workday, as well as customer lines-of business applications.
We have a portfolio of cloud-based offerings that are subscription-based and made available at different monthly rates, varying by the specific functionalities, services, and number of users. We primarily generate revenues from the sale of subscriptions of our offerings, which include the following:
RingCentral Office. RingCentral Office, our flagship solution, provides a unified experience for communication and collaboration across multiple modes, including HD voice, video, SMS, messaging and collaboration, conferencing, online meetings, and fax. RingCentral Office offers a unified Message, Video, and Phone (MVP) experience on our global platform. Customers can extend RingCentral Office to support their multinational workforce in many countries around the world. This subscription is designed primarily for businesses that require a communications solution, regardless of location, type of device, expertise, size, or budget. Businesses are able to seamlessly connect users working in multiple office locations on smartphones, tablets, PCs and desk phones. We sell RingCentral Office in four editions: Essentials, Standard, Premium, and Ultimate. The features, capabilities and price per user increase from Essentials to Ultimate. The solution capabilities include high definition voice, call management, mobile applications, business SMS and MMS, fax, team messaging and collaboration, audio/video/web conferencing capabilities, out-of-the-box integrations with other cloud-based business applications, and business analytics and reporting. Our platform also enables customers to create, develop, and deploy custom integrations using our APIs. RingCentral Office customers also have available to them RingCentral Global Office.
Key features of RingCentral Office include:
•Cloud-Based Business Communications Solutions. We offer multi-user, multi-extension, cloud-based business communications solutions that do not require installation, configuration, management, or maintenance of on-premise hardware and software. Our solutions are instantly activated and deliver a rich set of functionalities across multiple locations and devices.
•Collaboration. We offer team messaging and collaboration solutions which allow diverse teams to stay connected through multiple modes of communication. In addition to team messaging and communications, teams can share tasks, notes, group calendars, and files.
•RingCentral Video ("RCV") and RingCentral Rooms. RingCentral Video leverages RingCentral's open platform to address the demand in work from anywhere by leveraging technologies to enable a fast, unified, open, and trusted video meetings experience. It includes a robust analytics platform that gives IT system
administrators access to key performance indicators such as adoption, usage, and quality of service metrics. RCV is also integrated with business productivity applications such as Google G-Suite and Gmail, HubSpot, Microsoft (Teams and Office365), Slack, Theta Lake, and Zoho, among others. RingCentral Rooms and Rooms Connector bring a cloud web conferencing solution to meeting rooms and meeting spaces that have dedicated video conferencing equipment such as monitors, speakers, microphones, and cameras, and support for large meetings and Webinars for a monthly per license add-on fee.
•Mobile-Centric Approach. Our solution includes smartphone and tablet mobile applications that customers can use to set up and manage company, department, and user settings from anywhere. Our applications turn iOS and Android smartphones and tablets into business communication devices. Users can change their personal settings instantly and communicate via voice, text, team messaging and collaboration, HD video and web conferencing, and fax. Personal mobile devices are fully integrated into the customer’s cloud-based communication solution, using the company’s numbers, and displaying one of the company’s caller ID for calls made through our mobile applications.
•Easy Set-Up and Control. Our user interfaces provide a consistent user experience across smartphones, tablets, PCs, and desk phones, making it intuitive and easy for our customers to quickly discover and use our solution across devices. Among other capabilities, administrators can specify and modify company, department, user settings, auto-receptionist settings, call-handling, and routing rules, and add, change, and customize users and departments.
•Flexible Call Routing. Our solution includes an auto-attendant to easily customize call routing for the entire company, departments, groups, or individual employees. It includes a robust suite of communication management options, including time of day, caller ID, call queuing, and sophisticated routing rules for complex call handling for the company, departments, groups, and individual employees.
•Cloud-based Business Application Integrations. Our solution seamlessly integrates with other cloud-based business applications such as Salesforce CRM, Google Cloud, Box, Dropbox, Office365, Outlook, Oracle, Okta, Zendesk, Jira, Asana, and others. For example, our integration with Salesforce CRM brings up customer records immediately based on inbound caller IDs, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency. Our open platform is supported by APIs and software developers’ kits (“SDKs”) that allows developers to integrate our solution with leading business applications or with other custom applications to customize their own business workflows.
•RingCentral Global Office. Our solution includes RingCentral Global Office, a single global UCaaS solution designed for multinational enterprises that allows these companies to support distributed offices and employees globally with a single cloud solution. With RingCentral Global Office, multinational enterprises can operate in other countries while also acting as one integrated business, with capabilities including local phone numbers, local caller ID, worldwide extension-to-extension dialing, and included minute bundles for international calling.
•RingCentral CloudConnect. RingCentral CloudConnect is a service that allows enterprises to leverage their dedicated and secure connections to exchange data directly with the RingCentral cloud. Customers use their preferred network service provider to connect to the RingCentral cloud through a secure data exchange enabling lower latency, greater network reliability and availability, and added security.
•High-Volume SMS. High-Volume SMS is a service that enables businesses to send high-volume and commercial SMS messages and updates to their customers eliminating the need to purchase and program a separate number. Our service also provides access to message status, logs, store, and analytics for advanced insights and regulatory compliance.
RingCentral Contact Center. Our RingCentral Contact Center is a collaborative contact center solution that delivers omni-channel and integrates with RingCentral Office and Glip. RingCentral Contact Center enables businesses to transform the way they engage their customers across all channels while effectively maximizing agent availability. The solution leverages technology from NICE inContact, Inc., has a comprehensive feature set, and can integrate with RingCentral Office and Glip. This enables businesses to build customer loyalty and increase productivity by resolving customer issues faster and more effectively. We offer RingCentral Contact Center in three editions: Basic, Advanced, and Ultimate. The features, capabilities, and price per user increase from Basic to Ultimate.
RingCentral Engage Digital. RingCentral Engage is a digital customer engagement platform allowing enterprises to interact with their customers through a single platform across all digital channels. The platform uses AI-based smart routing
engine that enables agents to efficiently manage customer interactions across digital channels including mobile and in-app messaging, social media, live chats, and email.
RingCentral Engage Voice. Engage Voice is a cloud-based outbound/blended customer engagement platform for midsize and enterprise companies. The platform provides automated dialing capabilities to help accelerate the sales process and improve the time it takes sales teams to reach prospects.
RingCentral Glip. Glip is a smart video meeting service, which includes our RCV video and team messaging capabilities. It is an easy-to-use solution that offers high quality and high availability video and audio conferencing, seamlessly integrated with team messaging, file sharing, contact, task, and calendar management. It includes pre-meeting, in-meeting, and post-meeting capabilities, and provides a completely integrated team collaboration capability. Glip is provided in two editions: Pro, which is a free service, and a paid Pro Plus subscription service which offers a higher number of meeting participants and additional video meeting and administrative management capabilities.
RingCentral Live Reports. RingCentral Live Reports is an add-on for RingCentral Office customers to gather real-time information needed to maximize the performance with dashboards that contain information on agent utilization and overall customer experience.
RingCentral Professional. RingCentral Professional is a cloud based virtual telephone service offering designed for professionals who are on the go. It provides inbound call answering and management services, and includes inbound local, long-distance, and toll-free minutes.
RingCentral Fax. RingCentral Fax provides online fax capabilities that allow businesses to send and receive fax documents without the need for a fax machine. RingCentral Fax capability is made available to all RingCentral Office customers or as a stand-alone offering at monthly subscription rates that vary based on the desired number of pages and phone numbers allotted to the plan.
Our organizational structure is a single reportable segment. A discussion of the results of our operations is included in Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations", and in Part II, Item 8, "Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, under Consolidated Financial Statements, which are incorporated herein by reference.
We have a diverse and growing customer base across a wide range of industries, including financial services, education, healthcare, legal services, real estate, retail, technology, insurance, construction, hospitality, and state and local government, among others. We seek to establish and maintain long-term relationships with our customers. We do not have significant customer concentration and none of our customers accounted for more than 10% of total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018. We believe that we will not have significant customer concentration in the future.
We sell our solutions to enterprise customers, and small and medium-sized businesses. We define a “customer” as a party that purchases or subscribes to our products and services directly or indirectly through our channel partners. We continuously expand our solution offering globally and believe that there are additional growth opportunities in international markets.
Marketing, Sales and Support
We use a variety of marketing, sales, and support activities to generate and cultivate ongoing customer demand for our subscriptions, acquire new customers, and engage with our existing customers. We sell globally through both direct and indirect channels, which includes resellers, carriers, and strategic partners. We provide onboarding implementation services to help our customers set up and configure their newly purchased communications system, as well as ongoing self-service, phone support, online chat support, and training. We also closely track and monitor customer acquisition costs to assess how we are deploying our marketing, sales, and customer support spending.
•Marketing. Our marketing efforts include search engine marketing, search engine optimization, affiliates, list buys, shared leads, content leads, appointment setting, radio advertising, online display advertising, sports sponsorships, billboard advertising, tradeshows and events, and other forms of demand generation. We track
and measure our marketing costs closely across all channels so that we can acquire customers in a cost-efficient manner.
•Direct Sales. We primarily sell our solutions and subscriptions through direct inbound and outbound sales efforts. We have direct sales representatives located in the U.S. and internationally.
•Indirect Sales. Our indirect sales channel consists of global and regional networks of resellers and carriers including AT&T, Inc. ("AT&T"), TELUS Communications Company ("TELUS"), BT Group plc ("BT"), and Vodafone. Our indirect sales channels help broaden the adoption of our solutions without the need for a large direct sales force.
•Customer Support and Services. While our intuitive and easy-to-use user interface serves to reduce our customers’ need for support and services, we provide online chat and phone customer support, as well as post-sale implementation support, as an option to help customers configure and use our solution. We track and measure our customer satisfaction and our support costs closely across all channels to provide a high level of customer service in a cost-efficient manner.
•Strategic Partnerships. We have strategic partnerships with several third parties including Avaya, Atos, and Alcatel Lucent Enterprise. These partnerships enable us to leverage the sales force of our strategic partners to sell our services as well as access to their customer bases.
Research and Development
We believe that continued investment in research and development is critical to expanding our leadership position within the cloud-based business communications and collaboration solutions market and is a key element of our culture. We devote the majority of our research and development resources to software development. Our engineering team has significant experience in various disciplines related to our platform, such as voice, video, text, team messaging and collaboration, mobile application development, IP networking and infrastructure, contact center, digital customer engagement, user experience, security, and robust multi-tenant cloud-based system architecture.
Our development methodology, in combination with our SaaS delivery model, allows us to provide new and enhanced capabilities on a regular basis. Based on feedback from our customers and prospects and our review of the broader business communications and SaaS markets, we continuously develop new functionality while maintaining and enhancing our existing solutions. We typically have multiple releases per year, where we constantly improve our solutions and introduce new capabilities and features to make our customers’ workforce more productive and to build out the feature set required by larger and global enterprises.
As part of our strategy to expand our technological capabilities, we engage in strategic transactions from time to time. Such strategic acquisitions enable us to complement our technology and skill sets and expand our solution reach.
Technology and Operations
Our platforms are hosted both in private and public clouds. Our private clouds are built on a highly scalable and flexible infrastructure comprised of commercially available hardware and software components. We believe that both hardware and software components of our platform can be replaced, upgraded or added with minimal or no interruption in service. The system is designed to have no single point-of-failure.
Our private cloud is served from multiple data centers and third-party co-location facilities located in several cities in the United States and throughout the world. Our data centers are designed to host mission-critical computer and communications systems with redundant, fault-tolerant subsystems, and compartmentalized security zones. We maintain a security program designed to ensure the security and integrity of customer data, protect against security threats or data breaches, and prevent unauthorized access to our customers’ data. We limit access to on-demand servers and networks at our production and remote backup facilities.
We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, and trade secret laws in the U.S. and other jurisdictions, as well as license agreements and other contractual protections, to protect our proprietary technology. We also rely on a number of registered and unregistered trademarks to protect our brand. In addition, we seek to protect our intellectual property rights by implementing a policy that requires our employees and independent contractors involved in the development of intellectual property on our behalf to enter into agreements acknowledging that all works or other intellectual property generated or
conceived by them on our behalf are our property, and assigning to us any rights, including intellectual property rights, that they may claim or otherwise have in those works or property, to the extent allowable under applicable law.
Our worldwide intellectual property portfolio includes over 262 issued patents, which expire between 2022 and 2039, and over 57 patent applications pending examination in the U.S. and in foreign jurisdictions, all of which are related to U.S. applications. In general, our patents and patent applications apply to certain aspects of our SaaS and mobile applications and underlying communications infrastructure. We are also a party to various license agreements with third parties that typically grant us the right to use certain third-party technology in conjunction with our solutions and subscriptions.
The market for business communications and collaboration solutions is very large, rapidly evolving, complex, fragmented and defined by changing technology, and customer needs. We expect competition to continue to increase in the future. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our market include:
•product features and capabilities;
•system reliability, availability, and performance;
•speed and ease of activation, setup, and configuration;
•ownership and control of the underlying technology;
•integration with mobile devices;
•brand awareness and recognition;
•simplicity of the pricing model; and
•total cost of ownership.
We believe that we generally compete favorably on the basis of the factors listed above.
We face competition from a broad range of providers of business communications and collaboration solutions. Some of these competitors include:
•traditional on-premise, hardware business communications providers such as Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Avaya Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Mitel Networks Corporation, NEC Corporation, and Siemens Enterprise Networks, LLC, any of which may now or in the future also host their solutions through the cloud;
•software providers such as Microsoft Corporation and Cisco Systems, Inc. that generally license and/or host their software solutions, and their resellers including major carriers and cable companies;
•established business communications providers that resell on-premise hardware, software, and hosted solutions, such as AT&T, BT, Comcast Corporation, Sprint Corporation, TELUS, Verizon Communications Inc., Vodafone Group Plc, and others, all of whom have significantly greater resources than us and do now or may in the future also develop and/or host their own or other solutions through the cloud;
•other cloud companies such as 8x8, Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., DialPad, Inc., Fuze Inc., StarBlue, Inc., Intermedia.net, Inc., J2 Global, Inc., LogMeIn, Inc, Microsoft Corporation, Nextiva, Inc., Twilio Inc., Vonage Holdings Corp., West Corporation, and Zoom Video Communications, Inc.;
•video meeting and collaboration service providers such as Amazon.com, Inc., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. (Google G-Suite and Meet), Facebook, Inc., Microsoft Teams, Slack Technologies, Inc. (which has announced it will be acquired by saleforce.com, inc.), and Zoom Video Communications, Inc.;
•other large internet companies such as Alphabet Inc. (Google Voice), Facebook, Inc., Oracle Corporation, and salesforce.com, inc., any of which might launch its own cloud-based business communication services or acquire other cloud-based business communications companies in the future;
•providers of communications platform as a service solutions and messaging software platforms with APIs such as Twilio Inc., Vonage Holding Corp., and Slack Technologies, Inc., on which customers can build diverse solutions by integrating cloud communications into business applications;
•contact center and customer relationship management providers such as Amazon.com, Inc., Aspect Software, Inc., Avaya Inc., Five9, Inc., NICE InContact, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc., Serenova, LLC (acquired by Lifesize, Inc.), Talkdesk, Inc., Vonage Holdings Corp., salesforce.com, inc., and Twilio Inc.; and
•digital engagement vendors such as eGain Corporation, Lithium Technologies, LLC, LivePerson, Inc., SparkCentral Inc. (recently acquired by Hootsuite Inc.), among others named above that may offer similar features.
Employees and Human Capital
We believe that our culture and our workforce are critically important to our success. Our human capital resources objectives include identifying, recruiting, retaining, incentivizing and integrating our existing and new employees, advisors and consultants. We continuously invest in our global workforce by seeking to create a diverse, inclusive, and safe work environment where our employees can learn, innovate, and deliver their best. We are committed to being inclusive to enable our workforce and customers to succeed.
We invest in developing our talent and creating a superior team member experience and a highly engaged workforce to remain at the forefront of innovation and make RingCentral an employer of choice. We believe that our approach to talent development and innovation enables our team members to grow in their current positions and build new skills. We provide virtual and in-person interactive learning courses across a broad range of categories such as leadership, inclusion and diversity, technical and compliance, among others. We have regular employee surveys that allow employees to voice their perceptions of the Company and their work experience.
Our diversity and inclusion initiatives honor the unique background, identity, ethnicity, and perspectives of each individual in our organization and we are committed to the success of our workforce and customers. We continue to drive key initiatives in talent acquisition and diversity to focus on increasing the representation of women and underrepresented groups in our global workforce.We received recognition for our initiatives in the area of diversity, equity and inclusiveness, wherein our CEO was recognized as the "Best CEO for Women" and "Diversity" by Comparably. We actively encourage and support employee resource groups like our LGBTQ+ group, Black employees group and Pan-Asian group, among others. We continue to further expand our efforts in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion.
We face competition for highly skilled technical and other personnel with experience in our industry and locations where we maintain offices. We strive to provide competitive pay, benefits, and services that help meet the varying needs of our employees. The principal purposes of our equity and cash incentive plans are to attract, retain and reward personnel through the granting of stock-based and cash based compensation awards, in order to increase stockholder value and the success of our Company by motivating such individuals to perform to the best of their abilities and achieve our objectives. We also provide access to a variety of flexible health and wellness programs to our employees, which became increasingly critical in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of December 31, 2020, we had 3,140 full-time employees located in 13 countries. As of December 31, 2020, approximately 30% of our full-time employees were located outside of the United States. Our geographic diversification enhances our ability to retain and attract highly skilled talent as well as manage our headcount costs.
In certain countries in which we operate, we are subject to, and comply with, local labor law requirements, which may automatically make our employees subject to industry-wide collective bargaining agreements. For instance, our employees in France are covered by the Syntec Collective Bargaining Agreement. We are not subject to any other collective bargaining agreements. We believe that our employee relations are good, and we have never experienced any work stoppages.
As a provider of communication services over the Internet, we are subject to regulation in the U.S. by the FCC. Some of these regulatory obligations include contributing to the Federal Universal Service Fund, Telecommunications Relay Service Fund, and federal programs related to phone number administration; providing access to E-911 services; protecting customer information; and porting phone numbers upon a valid customer request. We are also required to pay state and local 911 fees and contribute to state universal service funds in those states that assess interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) services. In addition, we have certified a wholly owned subsidiary as a competitive local exchange carrier in thirty-four states. This subsidiary, RCLEC, is subject to the same FCC regulations applicable to telecommunications companies, as well as regulation by the public utility commissions in states where the subsidiary provides services. Specific regulations vary on a state-by-state basis, but generally include the requirement for our subsidiary to register or seek certification to provide its services, to file and update tariffs setting forth the terms, conditions and prices for our intrastate services and to comply with various reporting, record-keeping, surcharge collection, and consumer protection requirements.
As we expand internationally, we will be subject to laws and regulations in the countries in which we offer our subscriptions. Regulatory treatment of communications services over the Internet outside the U.S. varies from country to country, and may be more onerous than imposed on our subscriptions in the U.S. In the United Kingdom, for example, our subscriptions are regulated by Ofcom, which, among other things, requires electronic communications services providers such as our company to provide all users access to both 112 (EU-mandated) and 999 (U.K.-mandated) emergency service numbers at no charge. Similarly, in Canada, our subscriptions are regulated by the CRTC, which, among other things, imposes requirements like those in the U.S. related to the provision of E-911 services, in all areas of Canada where the wireline incumbent carrier offers such 911 services. Our regulatory obligations in foreign jurisdictions could have a material adverse effect on the use of our subscriptions in international locations.
In the course of providing our services, we collect, store, and process many types of data, including personal data. Moreover, our customers can use our subscriptions to store contact and other personal or identifying information, and to process, transmit, receive, store, and retrieve a variety of communications and messages, including information about their own customers and other contacts. Customers are able, and may be authorized under certain circumstances, to use our subscriptions to transmit, receive, and/or store personal information.
There are a number of federal, state, local, and foreign laws and regulations, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") and the recently enacted California Consumer Privacy Act, as well as contractual obligations and industry standards, that provide for certain obligations and restrictions with respect to data privacy and security, and the collection, storage, retention, protection, use, processing, transmission, sharing, disclosure, and protection of personal information and other customer data. We expect that with the expansion of our Global Office solution and sales of our services into new countries, we will become subject to additional data privacy regulations in other countries throughout the world. The scope of these obligations and restrictions is changing, subject to differing interpretations, and may be inconsistent among countries or conflict with other rules, and their status remains uncertain.
As Internet commerce and communication technologies continue to evolve, thereby increasing online service providers’ and network users’ capacity to collect, store, retain, protect, use, process, and transmit large volumes of personal information, increasingly restrictive regulation by federal, state, or foreign agencies becomes more likely.
Regulations that do not directly apply to our business, but which do apply to our customers and partners, can also impact our business. As we expand our business, addressing customer and partner requirements in new jurisdictions and new verticals often requires investment on our part to address regulations that apply to our customers. Globally, these regulations continue to be introduced and to change over time. Such regulations can impact our ability to offer services to various customer segments, and our cost to deliver our services.
See the section entitled “Risk Factors” for more information.
We make available our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, free of charge on our website, ir.ringcentral.com as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the “SEC”. In addition, the SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.
The Company announces material information to the public about the Company, its solutions and services and other matters through a variety of means, including the Company’s website (www.ringcentral.com), the investor relations section of its website (ir.ringcentral.com), press releases, filings with the SEC, and public conference calls, in order to achieve broad, non-exclusionary distribution of information to the public. The Company encourages investors and others to review the information it makes public in these locations, as such information could be deemed to be material information. Please note that this list may be updated from time to time.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
This Report contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risk factors set forth below. The risks and uncertainties described in this Report are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe are immaterial may also affect our business. If any of these known or unknown risks or uncertainties actually occurs and have a material adverse effect on us, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be seriously harmed. In addition, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and any worsening of the economic environment may exacerbate the risks described below, any of which could have a material impact on us. This situation is changing rapidly and additional impacts may arise that we are not currently aware of.
Summary Risk Factors
An investment in our Class A Common Stock involves a high degree of risk, and the following is a summary of key risk factors when considering an investment. You should read this summary together with the more detailed description of each risk factor contained in the subheadings further below.
•We have incurred significant losses and negative cash flows in the past and anticipate continuing to incur losses for at least the foreseeable future, and we may therefore not be able to achieve or sustain profitability in the future.
•Our quarterly and annual results of operations have fluctuated in the past and may continue to do so in the future. As a result, we may fail to meet or to exceed the expectations of research analysts or investors, which could cause our stock price to fluctuate.
•Our rapid growth and the quickly changing markets in which we operate make it difficult to evaluate our current business and future prospects, which may increase the risk of investing in our stock.
•Our future operating results will rely in part upon the successful execution of our strategic partnerships with Avaya, Atos/Unify, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Vodafone and others, which may not be successful.
•We face intense competition in our markets and may lack sufficient financial or other resources to compete successfully.
•We rely and may in the future rely significantly on our strategic partners, resellers, and carriers to sell our subscriptions; our failure to effectively develop, manage, and maintain our indirect sales channels could materially and adversely affect our revenues.
•To deliver our subscriptions, we rely on third parties for our network connectivity and for certain of the features in our subscriptions.
•Interruptions or delays in service from our third-party data center hosting facilities and co-location facilities could impair the delivery of our subscriptions, require us to issue credits or pay penalties and harm our business.
•Failures in Internet infrastructure or interference with broadband access could cause current or potential users to believe that our systems are unreliable, possibly leading our customers to switch to our competitors or to avoid using our subscriptions.
•A cyber-attack, information security breach or denial of service event could delay or interrupt service to our customers, harm our reputation, or subject us to significant liability.
•Increased customer turnover, or costs we incur to retain and upsell our customers, could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.
•If we are unable to attract new customers to our subscriptions or upsell to those customers on a cost-effective basis, our business will be materially and adversely affected.
•The dual class structure of our common stock as contained in our charter documents has the effect of concentrating voting control with a limited number of stockholders that held our stock prior to our initial public offering, including our founders and our executive officers, employees and directors and their affiliates, and venture capital investors, and limiting other stockholders’ ability to influence corporate matters.
Risks Related to Our Business and Our Industry
We have incurred significant losses and negative cash flows in the past and anticipate continuing to incur losses for at least the foreseeable future, and we may therefore not be able to achieve or sustain profitability in the future.
We have incurred substantial net losses since our inception. Over the past few years, we have spent considerable amounts of time and money to develop new business communications solutions and enhanced versions of our existing business communications solutions to position us for future growth. Additionally, we have incurred substantial losses and expended significant resources upfront to market, promote and sell our solutions and expect to continue to do so in the future. We also
expect to continue to invest for future growth, including for advertising, customer acquisition, technology infrastructure, storage capacity, services development and international expansion. In addition, as a public company, we incur significant accounting, legal, and other expenses.
We expect to continue to incur losses for at least the foreseeable future and will have to generate and sustain increased revenues to achieve future profitability. Achieving profitability will require us to increase revenues, manage our cost structure, and avoid significant liabilities. Revenue growth may slow, revenues may decline, or we may incur significant losses in the future for a number of possible reasons, including general macroeconomic conditions, increasing competition (including competitive pricing pressures), a decrease in the growth of the markets in which we compete, in particular the SaaS market, or if we fail for any reason to continue to capitalize on growth opportunities. Additionally, we may encounter unforeseen operating expenses, difficulties, complications, delays, service delivery, and quality problems and other unknown factors that may result in losses in future periods. If these losses exceed our expectations or our revenue growth expectations are not met in future periods, our financial performance will be harmed and our stock price could be volatile or decline.
Our quarterly and annual results of operations have fluctuated in the past and may continue to do so in the future. As a result, we may fail to meet or to exceed the expectations of research analysts or investors, which could cause our stock price to fluctuate.
Our quarterly and annual results of operations have varied historically from period to period, and we expect that they will continue to fluctuate due to a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control, including:
•our ability to retain existing customers, resellers, and carriers, and expand our existing customers’ user base, and attract new customers;
•our ability to introduce new solutions;
•the actions of our competitors, including pricing changes or the introduction of new solutions;
•our ability to effectively manage our growth;
•our ability to successfully penetrate the market for larger businesses;
•the mix of annual and multi-year subscriptions at any given time;
•the timing, cost, and effectiveness of our advertising and marketing efforts;
•the timing, operating cost, and capital expenditures related to the operation, maintenance and expansion of our business;
•our ability to successfully and timely execute on, integrate, and realize the benefits of any acquisition, investment, strategic partnership, or other strategic transaction or partnership we may make or undertake;
•service outages or actual or perceived information security breaches and any related impact on our reputation;
•our ability to accurately forecast revenues and appropriately plan our expenses;
•our ability to realize our deferred tax assets;
•costs associated with defending and resolving intellectual property infringement and other claims;
•changes in tax laws, regulations, or accounting rules;
•the timing and cost of developing or acquiring technologies, services or businesses, and our ability to successfully manage any such acquisitions;
•the impact of foreign currencies on our business as we continue to expand our business internationally; and
•the impact of worldwide economic, political, industry, and market conditions, including the continued effects of the global outbreak of COVID-19.
The extent to which the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our results will depend on future developments, which are uncertain and cannot be fully predicted, including the duration of the pandemic, travel restrictions and social distancing in the U.S. and other countries, business closures or business disruptions and the effectiveness of actions taken by governments and private businesses to attempt to contain and treat the disease. Any prolonged shutdown of a significant portion of global economic activity or downturn in the global economy, along with any adverse effects on industries in which our customers operate, could materially and adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Any one of the factors above, or the cumulative effect of some or all of the factors referred to above, may result in significant fluctuations in our quarterly and annual results of operations. This variability and unpredictability could result in our failure to meet our publicly announced guidance or the expectations of securities analysts or investors for any period, which could cause our stock price to decline. In addition, a significant percentage of our operating expenses is fixed in nature and is based on forecasted revenues trends. Accordingly, in the event of revenue shortfalls, we may not be able to mitigate the negative impact on net income (loss) and margins in the short term. If we fail to meet or exceed the expectations of research analysts or investors, the market price of our shares could fall substantially, and we could face costly lawsuits, including securities class-action suits.
The global COVID-19 pandemic could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In December 2019, a novel coronavirus, COVID-19 was reported in China and, in March 2020, the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic. This contagious disease outbreak has continued to spread across the globe and is impacting worldwide economic activity and financial markets. In light of the uncertain and rapidly evolving situation relating to the spread of COVID-19, we have taken precautionary measures intended to minimize the risk of the virus to our employees, our customers, and the communities in which we operate, which could negatively impact our business. We are, with certain exceptions, requiring all employees around the globe to work remotely and have closed all of our offices. We have also suspended all non-essential travel worldwide for our employees. While we have a distributed workforce and our employees are accustomed to working remotely or working with other remote employees, our workforce is not fully remote. Our employees travel frequently to establish and maintain relationships with one another, our customers and prospective customers, resellers and other channel partners, and investors. Although we continue to monitor the situation and may adjust our current policies as more information and public health guidance becomes available, temporarily suspending travel and restricting the ability to do business in person could negatively affect our customer success efforts, sales and marketing efforts, challenge our ability to enter into customer and other commercial contracts in a timely manner and our ability to source, assess, negotiate, and successfully implement and execute on, and realize the benefits of, acquisitions, investments, strategic partnerships and other strategic transactions, slow down our recruiting efforts, or create operational or other challenges, any of which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, if a natural disaster, power outage, connectivity issue, or other event occurred that impacted our employees’ ability to work remotely, it may be difficult or, in certain cases, impossible, for us to continue our business for a substantial period of time. The increase in remote working may also result in privacy, security and fraud concerns as well as increase our exposure to potential wage and hour issues. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to disrupt the operations of our customers, resellers and other channel partners, strategic partners, suppliers and other third-party providers for an indefinite period of time, including as a result of travel restrictions and/or business shutdowns, all of which could continue to negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, to address customer hardships, in vertical markets most impacted by COVID-19, such as retail and hospitality, we are actively working with some customers to provide greater flexibility to manage challenges they are facing, but we cannot be assured that they will not reduce their number of users or terminate their subscriptions altogether. Furthermore, some governments have enacted indefinite orders prohibiting providers of telecommunications services from discontinuing service for non-payment. This could adversely affect us by increasing the risk of non-payment by our customers. We may also incur further costs by opting not to discontinue services to non-paying customers for reasons such as maintaining goodwill. More generally, the COVID-19 pandemic could continue to adversely affect economies and financial markets globally, continuing the economic downturn, which could decrease technology spending and continue to adversely affect demand for our solutions and harm our business. The full extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic may impact our financial condition or results of operations remains uncertain.
Our rapid growth and the quickly changing markets in which we operate make it difficult to evaluate our current business and future prospects, which may increase the risk of investing in our stock.
We have grown rapidly since 2009, when we introduced RingCentral Office, our current flagship product. We have encountered and expect to continue to encounter risks and uncertainties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly changing markets. If our assumptions regarding these uncertainties are incorrect or change in reaction to changes in our markets, or if we do not manage or address these risks successfully, our results of operations could differ materially from our expectations, and our business could suffer.
Growth may place significant demands on our management and our infrastructure.
We continue to experience substantial growth in our business. This growth has placed and may continue to place significant demands on our management, organizational structure, and our operational and financial infrastructure. As our
operations grow in size, scope, and complexity, we will need to increase our sales and marketing efforts and add additional sales and marketing personnel in various regions worldwide and improve and upgrade our systems and infrastructure to attract, service, and retain an increasing number of customers. For example, we expect the volume of simultaneous calls to increase significantly as our customer base grows. Our network hardware and software may not be able to accommodate this additional simultaneous call volume. The expansion of our systems and infrastructure will require us to commit substantial financial, operational, and technical resources in advance of an increase in the volume of business, with no assurance that the volume of business will increase. Any such additional capital investments will increase our cost base.
Continued growth could also strain our ability to maintain reliable service levels for our customers, resellers, and carriers develop and improve our operational, financial and management controls, enhance our billing and reporting systems and procedures and recruit, train and retain highly skilled personnel. In addition, our existing systems, processes, and controls may not prevent or detect all errors, omissions, or fraud. We may also experience difficulties in managing improvements to our systems, processes, and controls or in connection with third-party software licensed to help us with such improvements. Any future growth, particularly as we continue to expand internationally, would add complexity to our organization and require effective communication and coordination throughout our organization. Additionally, our productivity and the quality of our solutions and services may be adversely affected if we do not integrate and train our new employees quickly and effectively, particularly doing so remotely in the short term during the COVID-19 pandemic. If we fail to achieve the necessary level of efficiency in our organization as we grow, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected.
Our future operating results will rely in part upon the successful execution of our strategic partnerships with Avaya, Atos/Unify, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Vodafone and others, which may not be successful.
A strategic partnership between two independent businesses is a complex, costly, and time-consuming process that will require significant management attention and resources. Realizing the benefits of our strategic partnerships, particularly our relationships with Avaya Holdings Corp. (“Avaya”) and its subsidiaries, Atos SE (“Atos”) and its subsidiaries, including Unify Software and Solutions GmbH & CO. KG (“Unify”), and ALE Holding (“ALE Holding”) and its subsidiaries, including ALE International (“ALE International” and together “ALE”) and Vodafone Business (“Vodafone”) and its subsidiaries, will depend in part on our ability to work with our strategic partners to develop, market and sell co-branded solutions, such as Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral (“ACO”), Unify Office by RingCentral (“UO”), and Rainbow Office powered by RingCentral (“Rainbow Office”). Setting up and maintaining the operations and processes of these strategic partnerships may cause us to incur significant costs, disrupt our business and, if implemented ineffectively, would limit the expected benefits to us. In addition, the process of bringing ACO, UO, Rainbow Office and other co-branded solutions to market may take longer than anticipated or fail to materialize, which could negate or reduce our anticipated benefits and revenue opportunities. In addition, we must be successful in marketing and selling ACO to realize the benefits of our prepayment to Avaya of $345 million in our Class A Common Stock. The failure to successfully and timely implement and operate our strategic partnerships could harm our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of these partnerships and could adversely affect our results of operations.
We face intense competition in our markets and may lack sufficient financial or other resources to compete successfully.
The cloud-based business communications and collaboration solutions industry is competitive, and we expect competition to increase in the future. We face intense competition from other providers of business communications and collaboration systems and solutions.
Our competitors include traditional on-premise, hardware business communications providers such as ALE, Avaya Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Mitel Networks Corporation, NEC Corporation, Siemens Enterprise Networks, LLC, their resellers, and others, as well as companies such as Microsoft Corporation and Cisco Systems, Inc., and their resellers that license their software. In addition, certain of our carriers and strategic partners, such as AT&T, BT, TELUS, Avaya, Vodafone, and Atos sell or are expected to sell our solutions, but they are also competitors for business communications. These companies have significantly greater resources than us and currently, or may in the future, develop and/or host their own or other solutions through the cloud. Such competitors may not be successful in or cease marketing and selling our solutions to their customers and ultimately be able to transition some or all of those customers onto their competing solutions, which could materially and adversely affect our revenues and growth. We also face competition from other cloud companies and established communications providers that resell on-premise hardware, software, and hosted solutions, such as 8x8, Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., Dialpad, Inc., Fuze, Inc., StarBlue, Inc., Intermedia.net, Inc., J2 Global, Inc., LogMeIn, Inc, Microsoft Corporation, Nextiva, Inc., Twilio Inc., Vonage Holdings Corp., West Corporation, and Zoom Video Communications, Inc., which has introduced a voice solution. Established communications providers, such as AT&T, Verizon Communications Inc., Sprint Corporation and Comcast Corporation in the U.S., TELUS and others in Canada, and BT, Vodafone Group plc, and others in
the U.K., that resell on-premise hardware, software, and hosted solutions, compete with us in business communications and currently, or may in the future, develop and/or host their own cloud solutions. We may also face competition from other large Internet companies, such as Alphabet Inc. (Google Voice), Facebook, Inc., Oracle Corporation, and salesforce.com, inc., any of which might launch its own cloud-based business communications services or acquire other cloud-based business communications companies in the future. We also compete against providers of communications platform as a service solutions and messaging software platforms with APIs such as Twilio Inc., Vonage Holdings Corp., and Slack Technologies, Inc., on which customers can build diverse solutions by integrating cloud communications into business applications. We face competition with respect to this solution from contact center and customer relationship management providers such as Amazon.com, Inc., Aspect Software, Inc., Avaya Inc., Five9, Inc., NICE InContact, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc., Serenova, LLC, Talkdesk, Inc., Vonage Holdings Corp., salesforce.com, inc., and Twilio Inc. We also face competition from digital engagement vendors such as eGain Corporation, Lithium Technologies, LLC, LivePerson, Inc., SparkCentral Inc., among others named above that may offer similar features.
Many of our current and potential competitors have longer operating histories, significantly greater resources and name recognition, more diversified offerings, and larger customer bases than we have. As a result, these competitors may have greater credibility with our existing and potential customers and may be better able to withstand an extended period of downward pricing pressure. In addition, certain of our competitors have partnered with, or been acquired by, and may in the future partner with or acquire, other competitors to offer services, leveraging their collective competitive positions, which makes it more difficult to compete with them and could significantly and adversely affect our results of operations. Demand for our platform is also sensitive to price. Many factors, including our marketing, user acquisition and technology costs, and our current and future competitors’ pricing and marketing strategies, can significantly affect our pricing strategies. Our competitors may be able to adopt more aggressive pricing policies and devote greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of their services than we can to ours. Some of these service providers have in the past and may choose in the future to sacrifice revenues in order to gain market share by offering their services at lower prices or for free, or offering alternative pricing models, such as “freemium” pricing, in which a basic offering is provided for free with advanced features provided for a fee, on the services they offer. Our competitors may also offer bundled service arrangements offering a more complete service offering, despite the technical merits or advantages of our subscriptions. In addition, some of the commercially available solutions in the markets in which we compete, such as video and web conferencing solutions of our competitors, including Zoom Video Communications and Microsoft Corporation, have seen dramatically increased adoption, usage and publicity in connection with the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Competition could result in a decrease to our prices, slow our growth, increase our customer turnover, reduce our sales, or decrease our market share.
We rely and may in the future rely significantly on our strategic partners, resellers, and carriers to sell our subscriptions; our failure to effectively develop, manage, and maintain our indirect sales channels could materially and adversely affect our revenues.
Our future success depends on our continued ability to establish and maintain a network of channel relationships, and we expect that we will need to expand our network in order to support and expand our historical base of smaller enterprises as well as attract and support larger customers and expand into international markets. An increasing portion of our revenues are derived from our network of sales agents and resellers, which we refer to collectively as resellers, many of which sell or may in the future decide to sell their own services or services from other business communications providers. We generally do not have long-term contracts with these resellers, and the loss of or reduction in sales through these third parties could materially reduce our revenues. Our competitors may in some cases be effective in causing our current or potential resellers to favor their services or prevent or reduce sales of our subscriptions. Furthermore, while AT&T, BT, TELUS, Avaya, Atos (through its subsidiary Unify), ALE, and Vodafone also sell our solutions, they are also competitors for business communications. These companies have significantly greater resources than us and currently, or may in the future, develop and/or host their own or other solutions through the cloud. Such competitors may cease marketing or selling our solutions to their customers and ultimately be able to transition some or all of those customers onto their competing solutions, which could materially and adversely affect our revenues and growth. In this regard, AT&T launched a competing hosted business communications solution in 2016, and new subscriptions for our solution sold by AT&T declined to an immaterial level in 2017 and into 2018. In August 2018, we entered into a revised agreement with AT&T, under which AT&T resumed reselling our solutions, and sales of our solutions by AT&T have increased as a result, but there can be no guarantee that AT&T will not cease reselling our solutions in the future. We also recently entered into certain agreements for strategic partnerships with Avaya, Atos, ALE, and Vodafone to sell certain of our solutions. Avaya introduced the ACO solution at the end of the first quarter of 2020, Atos and Unify introduced the UO solution during the third quarter of 2020, and ALE is expected to introduce the Rainbow Office solution during the first quarter of 2021; however, there can be no guarantee that Avaya, Atos, Unify, ALE, Vodafone and/or any of their respective channel partners will be successful in marketing or selling our solutions or that they will not cease marketing or selling our solutions in the future. If AT&T, Avaya, Atos, Unify, ALE, Vodafone and/or any of their respective channel partners are not successful in
marketing and selling our solutions or cease to market and sell our solutions, our revenues and growth could be significantly and adversely affected. If we fail to maintain relationships with our resellers and other channel partners, carriers and strategic partners or fail to develop new and expanded relationships in existing or new markets, or if our networks of indirect channel relationships are not successful in their sales efforts, sales of our subscriptions may decrease and our operating results would suffer. Further, the ability of our resellers, carriers and strategic partners to market and sell our solutions could be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we may not be successful in managing, training, and providing appropriate incentives to our existing resellers and other channel partners, carriers and strategic partners, and they may not be able to commit adequate resources in order to successfully sell our solutions.
Recruiting and retaining qualified resellers and other channel partners and carriers in our network and training them in our technology and subscription offerings requires significant time and resources. To develop and expand our indirect sales channels, we must continue to scale and improve our processes and procedures to support these channels, including investment in systems and training. Many resellers and other channel partners and carriers may not be willing to invest the time and resources required to train their staff to effectively market our subscriptions.
To deliver our subscriptions, we rely on third parties for our network connectivity and for certain of the features in our subscriptions.
We currently use the infrastructure of third-party network service providers, including CenturyLink, Inc. and Bandwidth.com, Inc. in North America and several others internationally, to deliver our subscriptions over their networks. Our third-party network service providers provide access to their Internet protocol (“IP”) networks and public switched telephone networks, and provide call termination and origination services, including 911 emergency calling in the U.S. and equivalent services internationally, and local number portability for our customers. We expect that we will continue to rely heavily on third-party network service providers to provide these subscriptions for the foreseeable future.
Through our wholly-owned local exchange carrier subsidiary, RCLEC, Inc. (“RCLEC”), we also obtain certain connectivity and network services directly from incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECS”) and from other competitive local exchange carriers (“CLECs”) in certain geographic markets at lower prices than we pay for such services through third-party network service providers. However, RCLEC also uses the infrastructure of third-party network service providers to deliver its services and the ILECs may favor themselves and their affiliates may not provide network services to us at lower prices than we could obtain through third-party CLECs, or at all. If we are unable to continue to reduce our pricing as a result of obtaining network services through our subsidiary, we may be forced to rely on other third-party network service providers and be unable to effectively lower our cost of service. Historically, our reliance on third-party networks has reduced our operating flexibility and ability to make timely service changes and control quality of service, and we expect that this will continue for the foreseeable future. If any of these network service providers stop providing us with access to their infrastructure, fail to provide these services to us on a cost-effective basis or at reasonable levels of quality and security, cease operations, or otherwise terminate these services, the delay caused by qualifying and switching to another third-party network service provider, if one is available, could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
In addition, we currently use and may in the future use third-party service providers to deliver certain features of our subscriptions. For example, although we introduced our own video and web conferencing solution in April 2020, we continue to rely in part on Zoom Video Communications for our HD video and web conferencing and screen sharing features, Bandwidth.com for our texting capabilities, and NICE inContact, Inc. for our contact center capabilities. We do not or may not in the future, have long-term contracts with certain of these third-party providers. If any of these service providers elects to stop providing us with access to their services, fails to provide these services to us on a cost-effective basis or at reasonable levels of quality and security, ceases operations, or otherwise terminates these services, the delay caused by qualifying and switching to another third-party service provider, if one is available, or building a proprietary replacement solution could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Finally, if problems occur with any of these third-party network or service providers, it may cause errors or poor call quality in our subscriptions, and we could encounter difficulty identifying the source of the problem. These third-party network or service providers have been and will continue to be adversely impacted or overloaded by the large increase in traffic caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which could increase our exposure to damage from service interruptions. The occurrence of errors or poor call quality in our subscriptions, whether caused by our systems or a third-party network or service provider, may result in the loss of our existing customers, delay or loss of market acceptance of our subscriptions, termination of our relationships and agreements with our resellers or carriers, or liability for failure to meet service level agreements, and may seriously harm our business and results of operations.
We rely on third-party software that may be difficult to replace or which could cause errors or failures of our subscriptions.
We rely on software licensed from certain third parties in order to offer our solutions. In some cases, we integrate third-party licensed software components into our platform. This software may not continue to be available at reasonable prices or on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Any loss of the right to use any of this software could significantly increase our expenses and otherwise result in delays in the provisioning of our solutions until equivalent technology is either developed by us, or, if available, is identified, obtained, and integrated. Any errors or defects in third-party software could result in errors or a failure of our solutions, which could harm our business.
Interruptions or delays in service from our third-party data center hosting facilities and co-location facilities could impair the delivery of our subscriptions, require us to issue credits or pay penalties and harm our business.
We currently serve our North American customers from geographically disparate data center hosting facilities in North America, where we lease space from Equinix, Inc., and other providers, and we serve our European customers from third-party data center hosting facilities in Europe. We also use third-party co-location facilities located in various international regions to serve our customers in these regions. Certain of our solutions are hosted by third party data center facilities including Amazon Web Services, Inc. (“AWS”), NICE inContact, Inc., and Google Cloud Platform. In addition, RCLEC uses third-party co-location facilities to provide us with network services at several locations. Damage to, or failure of, these facilities, the communications network providers with whom we or they contract, or with the systems by which our communications providers allocate capacity among their customers, including us, or software errors, have in the past and could in the future result in interruptions in our services. Additionally, in connection with the addition of new data centers or expansion or consolidation of our existing data center facilities, we may move or transfer our data and our customers’ data to other data centers. Despite precautions that we take during this process, any unsuccessful data transfers may impair or cause disruptions in the delivery of our subscriptions. Interruptions in our subscriptions may reduce our revenues, may require us to issue credits or pay penalties, subject us to claims and litigation, cause customers to terminate their subscriptions and adversely affect our renewal rates and our ability to attract new customers. Our ability to attract and retain customers depends on our ability to provide customers with a highly reliable subscription and even minor interruptions in our subscriptions could harm our brand and reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business.
As part of our current disaster recovery arrangements, our North American and European infrastructure and our North American and European customers’ data is currently replicated in near real-time at data center facilities in the U.S. and Europe, respectively. We do not control the operation of these facilities or of our other data center facilities or RCLEC’s co-location facilities, and they are vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, floods, fires, power loss, telecommunications failures, and similar events. They may also be subject to human error or to break-ins, sabotage, acts of vandalism, and similar misconduct.
Despite precautions taken at these facilities, the occurrence of a natural disaster, public health crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, human error, an act of terrorism or other unanticipated problems at these facilities could result in lengthy interruptions in our subscriptions. Even with the disaster recovery arrangements in place, our subscriptions could be interrupted.
We may also be required to transfer our servers to new data center facilities in the event that we are unable to renew our leases on acceptable terms, if at all, or the owners of the facilities decide to close their facilities, and we may incur significant costs and possible subscription interruption in connection with doing so. In addition, any financial difficulties, such as bankruptcy or foreclosure, faced by our third-party data center operators, or any of the service providers with which we or they contract may have negative effects on our business, the nature and extent of which are difficult to predict. Additionally, if our data centers are unable to keep up with our increasing needs for capacity, our ability to grow our business could be materially and adversely impacted.
Failures in Internet infrastructure or interference with broadband access could cause current or potential users to believe that our systems are unreliable, possibly leading our customers to switch to our competitors or to avoid using our subscriptions.
Unlike traditional communications services, our subscriptions depend on our customers’ high-speed broadband access to the Internet. Increasing numbers of users and increasing bandwidth requirements may degrade the performance of our services and applications due to capacity constraints and other Internet infrastructure limitations. As our customer base grows and their usage of our services increases, we will be required to make additional investments in network capacity to maintain adequate data transmission speeds, the availability of which may be limited, or the cost of which may be on terms unacceptable to us. If adequate capacity is not available to us as our customers’ usage increases, our network may be unable to achieve or
maintain sufficiently high reliability or performance. In addition, if Internet access service providers have outages or deteriorations in their quality of service, our customers will not have access to our subscriptions or may experience a decrease in the quality of our services. Frequent or persistent interruptions could cause current or potential users to believe that our systems or services are unreliable, leading them to switch to our competitors or to avoid our subscriptions, and could permanently harm our reputation and brands.
In addition, users who access our subscriptions and applications through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, must have a high-speed connection, such as Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, 5G, or LTE, to use our services and applications. Currently, this access is provided by companies that have significant and increasing market power in the broadband and Internet access marketplace, including incumbent phone companies, cable companies, and wireless companies. Some of these providers offer solutions and subscriptions that directly compete with our own offerings, which can potentially give them a competitive advantage. Also, these providers could take measures that degrade, disrupt or increase the cost of user access to third-party services, including our subscriptions, by restricting or prohibiting the use of their infrastructure to support or facilitate third-party services or by charging increased fees to third parties or the users of third-party services, any of which would make our subscriptions less attractive to users, and reduce our revenues.
Further, in January 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) released an order reclassifying broadband Internet access as an information service, subject to certain provisions of Title I of the Communications Act. Among other things, the order eliminates rules adopted in 2015 that prohibited broadband providers from blocking, impairing, or degrading access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, or engaging in the practice of paid prioritization, e.g., the favoring of some lawful Internet traffic over other traffic in exchange for higher payments. The order was contested in federal court, was largely affirmed by a three-judge panel; the request for rehearing was denied and the parties declined to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. A number of states have enacted or are considering legislation or executive actions that would regulate the conduct of broadband providers. We cannot predict whether the FCC order or state initiatives will be modified, overturned, or vacated by legal action of the court, federal or state legislation, or the FCC. Under the new FCC rules, broadband Internet access providers may be able to charge web-based services such as ours for priority access to customers, which could result in increased costs and a loss of existing users, impair our ability to attract new users, and materially and adversely affect our business and opportunities for growth.
Interruptions in our services caused by undetected errors, failures, or bugs in our subscriptions could harm our reputation, result in significant costs to us, and impair our ability to sell our subscriptions.
Our subscriptions may have errors or defects that customers identify after they begin using them that could result in unanticipated interruptions of service. Internet-based services frequently contain undetected errors and bugs when first introduced or when new versions or enhancements are released. While the substantial majority of our customers are small and medium-sized businesses, the use of our subscriptions in complicated, large-scale network environments may increase our exposure to undetected errors, failures, or bugs in our subscriptions. Although we test our subscriptions to detect and correct errors and defects before their general release, we have, from time to time, experienced significant interruptions in our subscriptions as a result of such errors or defects and may experience future interruptions of service if we fail to detect and correct these errors and defects. The costs incurred in correcting such defects or errors may be substantial and could harm our results of operations. In addition, we rely on hardware purchased or leased and software licensed from third parties to offer our subscriptions.
Any defects in, or unavailability of, our or third-party software or hardware that cause interruptions of our subscriptions could, among other things:
•cause a reduction in revenues or delay in market acceptance of our subscriptions;
•require us to pay penalties or issue credits or refunds to our customers, resellers, or carriers, or expose us to claims for damages;
•cause us to lose existing customers and make it more difficult to attract new customers;
•divert our development resources or require us to make extensive changes to our software, which would increase our expenses and slow innovation;
•increase our technical support costs; and
•harm our reputation and brand.
We rely on third parties, including third parties outside the U.S., for some of our software development, quality assurance, operations, and customer support.
We currently depend on various third parties for some of our software development efforts, quality assurance, operations, and customer support services. Specifically, we outsource some of our software development and design, quality assurance, and operations activities to third-party contractors that have employees and consultants located in St. Petersburg, Russia, Odessa, Ukraine, and Manila, the Philippines. In addition, we outsource a portion of our customer support, inside sales and network operation control functions to third-party contractors located in Manila, the Philippines. Our dependence on third-party contractors creates a number of risks, in particular, the risk that we may not maintain service quality, control, or effective management with respect to these business operations. These third parties have been and will continue to be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of widespread illness and disruptions or restrictions on employees’ ability to work, which may continue to affect their ability to perform satisfactorily or at all.
In addition, recent political and military events in Ukraine, poor relations between the U.S. and Russia, and sanctions by the U.S. and the EU against Russia could have an adverse impact on our third-party software development and quality assurance operations in Ukraine and Russia. Additionally, we rely on purchased or leased hardware and software licensed from third parties in order to offer our subscriptions, and in some cases, we integrate third-party licensed software components into our platform. Any errors or defects in third-party hardware or software could result in errors or a failure of our subscriptions which could harm our business.
We anticipate that we will continue to depend on these and other third-party relationships in order to grow our business for the foreseeable future. If we are unsuccessful in maintaining existing and, if needed, establishing new relationships with third parties, our ability to efficiently operate existing services or develop new services and provide adequate customer support could be impaired, and, as a result, our competitive position or our results of operations could suffer.
A cyber-attack, information security breach or denial of service event could delay or interrupt service to our customers, harm our reputation, or subject us to significant liability.
Our operations depend on our ability to protect our production and corporate information technology services from interruption or damage from unauthorized entry, computer malware or other events beyond our control. We have, from time to time, been subject to communications fraud and cyber-attacks by malicious actors, and denial of service events, and we may be subject to similar attacks in the future. We cannot assure you that our backup systems, regular data backups, security controls and other procedures currently in place, or that may be in place in the future, will be adequate to prevent significant damage, system failure, service outages, data breach, data loss, or increased charges from our technology vendors.
Also, our subscriptions are web-based. The amount of data we store for our users increases as our business grows. We host services, which includes hosting customer data, both in co-located data centers and in multiple public cloud services. Our solutions allow users to store files, tasks, calendar events, messages and other data indefinitely on our services or as may be directed by our customers. We also maintain sensitive data related to our technology and business, and that of our employees, strategic partners, and customers, including intellectual property, proprietary business information and personally identifiable information (also called personal data) on our own systems and in multiple vendors’ cloud services. As a result of maintaining larger volumes of data and user files and/or as a result of our continued movement up market, or movement into new customer segments and acquisition of larger and more recognized customers, we may become more of a target for hackers, nation states and other malicious actors.
In addition, we use third-party vendors which, in some cases, have access to our data and our customers’ data. We employ layered security measures and have a means of working with third parties who report vulnerabilities to us. Despite the implementation of security measures by us or our vendors, our computing devices, infrastructure, or networks, or our vendors’ computing devices, infrastructure, or networks, may be vulnerable to hackers, computer viruses, worms, other malicious software programs, or similar disruptive problems that are caused by or through a security weakness or vulnerability in our or our vendors’ infrastructure, network, or business practices or our or our vendors’ customers, employees, business partners, consultants, or other Internet users who attempt to invade our or our vendors’ corporate and personal computers, tablets, mobile devices, software, data networks, or voice networks. If there is a security weakness or vulnerability in our, our vendors’, or our customers’ infrastructure, networks, or business practices that is successfully targeted, we could face increased costs, liability claims, including contractual liability claims relating to security obligations in agreements with our partners and our customers, fines, claims, investigations and other proceedings, reduced revenue, or harm to our reputation or competitive position. In addition, even if not targeted, in strengthening our security controls or in remediating security vulnerabilities, we could incur increased costs and capital expenditures. The COVID-19 pandemic is generally increasing the attack surface available to
criminals, as more companies and individuals work online, and as such, the risk of a cybersecurity incident potentially occurring, and our investment in risk mitigations against such an incident, is increasing. Also, cyber-attacks, including on the supply chain, appear to be increasing in sophistication. For example, while we do not use SolarWinds products in our environment, we have evaluated our internal systems and networks and found no evidence of unauthorized access to customer data as a result of the issue. We continue to investigate, including reaching out to our third party supply chain partners to understand whether there have been impacts to vendors in our supply chain. We continue to monitor for insights to enhance our code review and security-by-design process to help prevent a similar incident. We cannot provide assurances that our preventative efforts will be successful.
Further, in some cases we do not have in place disaster recovery facilities for certain ancillary services, such as email delivery of messages. We rely on encryption and authentication technology to ensure secure transmission of and access to confidential information, including customer credit card numbers, debit card numbers, direct debit information, customer communications, and files uploaded by our customers. Advances in computer capabilities, new discoveries in the field of cryptography, discovery of software bugs or vulnerabilities, discovery of hardware bugs or vulnerabilities, social engineering activities, or other developments may result in a compromise or breach of the technology we use to protect our data and our customer data, or of the data itself.
Additionally, third parties have attempted in the past, and may attempt in the future, to induce domestic and international employees, consultants, or customers into disclosing sensitive information, such as user names, provisioning data, customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) or other information in order to gain access to our customers’ user accounts or data, or to our data. CPNI includes information such as the phone numbers called by a customer, the frequency, duration, and timing of such calls, and any services purchased by the consumer, such as call waiting, call forwarding, and caller ID, in addition to other information that may appear on a customer’s bill. Third parties may also attempt to induce employees, consultants, or customers into disclosing sensitive information regarding our intellectual property and other confidential business information, our customers, the customer information we hold, or our information technology systems. In addition, the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, to perform hacking, phishing and social engineering, or to sabotage systems change and evolve frequently and may not be recognized until launched against a target, may be new and previously unknown or little-known, or may not be detected or understood until well after such actions are conducted. We may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures, and any security breach or other incident may take longer than expected to remediate or otherwise address. Any system failure or security breach that causes interruptions or data loss in our operations or in the computer systems of our customers or leads to the misappropriation of our or our customers’ confidential or personal information could result in significant liability to us, loss of our intellectual property, cause our subscriptions to be perceived as not being secure, cause considerable harm to us and our reputation (including requiring notification to customers, regulators, or the media), and deter current and potential customers from using our subscriptions. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
It is critical to our business that our information and our employees’, strategic partners’, and customers’ sensitive information remains secure and that our customers perceive that this information is secure. An information security incident could result in unauthorized access to, loss of, or unauthorized disclosure of such information. A cybersecurity breach could expose us to litigation, indemnity obligations, government investigations, contractual liability, and other possible liabilities. Additionally, a cyber-attack or other information security incident, whether actual or perceived, could result in negative publicity, which could harm our reputation and reduce our customers’ confidence in the effectiveness of our solutions, which could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results. A breach of our security systems could also expose us to increased costs, including remediation costs, disruption of operations, or increased cybersecurity protection costs, that may have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, a cybersecurity breach of our customers’ systems can also result in exposure of their authentication credentials, unauthorized access to their accounts, exposure of their account information and data (including CPNI), and fraudulent calls on their accounts, which can subsequently have similar actual or perceived impacts to us as described above. A cybersecurity breach of our partners’ or vendors’ systems can result in similar actual or perceived impacts.
While we maintain cybersecurity insurance, our insurance may be insufficient to cover all liabilities incurred by privacy or security incidents. We also cannot be certain that our insurance coverage will be adequate for data handling or data security liabilities actually incurred, that insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all, or that an insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. The successful assertion of one or more large claims against us that exceed available insurance coverage, or the occurrence of changes in our insurance policies, including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co-insurance requirements, could have a material adverse effect on our business, including our financial condition, operating results, and reputation.
Laws, regulations, and enforcement actions relating to security and privacy of information continue to evolve. We have incurred and expect to continue to incur significant expenses to prevent security incidents. It is possible that, in order to support changes to applicable laws and to support our expansion of sales into new geographic areas or into new industry segments, we will need to increase or change our cybersecurity systems and expenditures. Further, it is possible that changes to laws and regulations relating to security and privacy may make it more expensive to operate in certain jurisdictions and may increase the risk of our non-compliance with such changing laws and regulations.
Potential problems with our information systems could interfere with our business and operations.
We rely on our information systems and those of third parties for processing customer orders, distribution of our subscriptions, billing our customers, processing credit card transactions, customer relationship management, supporting financial planning and analysis, accounting functions and financial statement preparation, and otherwise running our business. Information systems may experience interruptions, including interruptions of related services from third-party providers, which may be beyond our control. Such business interruptions could cause us to fail to meet customer requirements. All information systems, both internal and external, are potentially vulnerable to damage or interruption from a variety of sources, including without limitation, computer viruses, security breaches, energy blackouts, natural disasters, terrorism, war, telecommunication failures, employee or other theft, and third-party provider failures. In addition, since telecommunications billing is inherently complex and requires highly sophisticated information systems to administer, our internally developed billing system, which is currently being implemented, may experience errors or we may improperly operate the system, which could result in the system incorrectly calculating the fees owed by our customers for our subscriptions or related taxes and administrative fees. Any such errors in our customer billing could harm our reputation and cause us to violate truth in billing laws and regulations. Our current internally developed billing system requires us to process an increasing number of invoices manually, which could result in billing errors. Any errors or disruption in our information systems and those of the third parties upon which we rely could have a significant impact on our business. In addition, we may implement further and enhanced information systems in the future to meet the demands resulting from our growth and to provide additional capabilities and functionality. The implementation of new systems and enhancements is frequently disruptive to the underlying business of an enterprise, and can be time-consuming and expensive, increase management responsibilities, and divert management attention.
We depend largely on the continued services of our senior management and other highly-skilled employees, and if we are unable to hire, retain, manage and motivate our employees, we may not be able to grow effectively and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Our future performance depends on the continued services and contributions of our senior management and other key employees to execute on our business plan, and to identify and pursue opportunities and services innovations. The loss of services of senior management or other key employees could significantly delay or prevent the achievement of our development and strategic objectives. In particular, we depend to a considerable degree on the vision, skills, experience, and effort of our co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vladimir Shmunis. None of our executive officers or other senior management personnel is bound by a written employment agreement and any of them may therefore terminate employment with us at any time with no advance notice. The replacement of any of these senior management personnel would likely involve significant time and costs, and such loss could significantly delay or prevent the achievement of our business objectives. The loss of the services of our senior management or other key employees for any reason could adversely affect our business, financial condition, or results of operations.
Our future success also depends on our ability to continue to attract and retain highly skilled personnel. We believe that there is, and will continue to be, intense competition for highly skilled technical and other personnel with experience in our industry in the San Francisco Bay Area, where our headquarters is located, in Denver, Colorado, where our U.S. sales and customer support office and our network operations center is located, and in other locations where we maintain offices. In addition, changes to U.S. immigration policies, particularly to H-1B and other visa programs, and restrictions on travel (including but not limited to current travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic) could restrain the flow of technical and professional talent into the U.S. and may inhibit our ability to hire qualified personnel. We must provide competitive compensation packages and a high-quality work environment to hire, retain, and motivate employees. If we are unable to retain and motivate our existing employees and attract qualified personnel to fill key positions, we may be unable to manage our business effectively, including the development, marketing, and sale of existing and new subscriptions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. To the extent we hire personnel from competitors, we may be subject to allegations that they have been improperly solicited or divulged proprietary or other confidential information. Volatility in, or lack of performance of, our stock price may also affect our ability to attract and retain key personnel.
Increased customer turnover, or costs we incur to retain and upsell our customers, could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.
Although we have entered into long-term contracts with larger customers, those customers who do not have long-term contracts with us may terminate their subscriptions at any time without penalty or early termination charges. We cannot accurately predict the rate of customer terminations or average monthly subscription cancellations or failures to renew, which we refer to as turnover. Our customers with subscription agreements have no obligation to renew their subscriptions for our service after the expiration of their initial subscription period, which is typically between one and three years. In the event that these customers do renew their subscriptions, they may choose to renew for fewer users, shorter contract lengths, or for a less expensive subscription plan or edition. We cannot predict the renewal rates for customers that have entered into subscription contracts with us.
Customer turnover, as well as reductions in the number of users for which a customer subscribes, each could have a significant impact on our results of operations, as does the cost we incur in our efforts to retain our customers and encourage them to upgrade their subscriptions and increase their number of users. Our turnover rate could increase in the future if customers are not satisfied with our subscriptions, the value proposition of our subscriptions or our ability to otherwise meet their needs and expectations. Turnover and reductions in the number of users for whom a customer subscribes may also increase due to factors beyond our control, including the failure or unwillingness of customers to pay their monthly subscription fees due to financial constraints and the impact of a slowing economy. In addition, any economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic could cause financial hardship for our customers, decrease technology spending and materially and negatively impact our customers’ willingness to enter into or renew subscriptions with us, or cause our customers to seek a decrease in the number of users or solutions for which they subscribe. For example, to address customer hardships, in vertical markets most impacted by COVID-19, such as retail and hospitality, we are actively working with some customers to provide greater flexibility to manage challenges they are facing, but we cannot be assured that they will not reduce their number of users or terminate their subscriptions altogether. Due to turnover and reductions in the number of users for whom a customer subscribes, we must acquire new customers, or acquire new users within our existing customer base, on an ongoing basis simply to maintain our existing level of customers and revenues. If a significant number of customers terminate, reduce, or fail to renew their subscriptions, we may be required to incur significantly higher marketing expenditures than we currently anticipate in order to increase the number of new customers or to upsell existing customers, and such additional marketing expenditures could harm our business and results of operations.
Our future success also depends in part on our ability to sell additional subscriptions and additional functionalities to our current customers. This may require increasingly sophisticated and more costly sales efforts and a longer sales cycle. Any increase in the costs necessary to upgrade, expand and retain existing customers could materially and adversely affect our financial performance. If our efforts to convince customers to add users and, in the future, to purchase additional functionalities are not successful, our business may suffer. In addition, such increased costs could cause us to increase our subscription rates, which could increase our turnover rate.
If we are unable to attract new customers to our subscriptions or upsell to those customers on a cost-effective basis, our business will be materially and adversely affected.
In order to grow our business, we must continue to attract new customers and expand the number of users in, and services provided to, our existing customer base on a cost-effective basis. We use and periodically adjust the mix of advertising and marketing programs to promote our subscriptions. Significant increases in the pricing of one or more of our advertising channels would increase our advertising costs or may cause us to choose less expensive and perhaps less effective channels to promote our subscriptions. As we add to or change the mix of our advertising and marketing strategies, we may need to expand into channels with significantly higher costs than our current programs, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic and global slowdown of economic activity has and will continue to disrupt our sales channels and our ability to attract new customers, which may require us to adjust our advertising and marketing programs or make further investments in these programs. We will incur advertising and marketing expenses in advance of when we anticipate recognizing any revenues generated by such expenses, and we may fail to otherwise experience an increase in revenues or brand awareness as a result of such expenditures. We have made in the past, and may make in the future, significant expenditures and investments in new advertising campaigns, and we cannot assure you that any such investments will lead to the cost-effective acquisition of additional customers. If we are unable to maintain effective advertising programs, our ability to attract new customers could be materially and adversely affected, our advertising and marketing expenses could increase substantially, and our results of operations may suffer.
Some of our potential customers learn about us through leading search engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. While we employ search engine optimization and search engine marketing strategies, our ability to maintain and increase the number of visitors directed to our website is not entirely within our control. If search engine companies modify their search algorithms in a manner that reduces the prominence of our listing, or if our competitors’ search engine optimization efforts are more successful than ours, or if search engine companies restrict or prohibit us from using their services, fewer potential customers may click through to our website. In addition, the cost of purchased listings has increased in the past and may increase in the future. A decrease in website traffic or an increase in search costs could materially and adversely affect our customer acquisition efforts and our results of operations.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the rate of adoption of video and web conferencing solutions; however, we cannot predict whether or for how long these patterns will continue.
A significant portion of our revenues today come from small and medium-sized businesses, which may have fewer financial resources to weather an economic downturn.
A significant portion of our revenues today come from small and medium-sized businesses. These customers may be materially and adversely affected by economic downturns to a greater extent than larger, more established businesses. These businesses typically have more limited financial resources, including capital-borrowing capacity, than larger entities. The COVID-19 pandemic has had adverse effects on economies and financial markets globally, which have particularly impacted many small and medium sized businesses. Any economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and preventative measures taken by governments and private business worldwide could decrease technology spending and adversely affect demand for our offerings and harm our business and results of operations. Although the U.S. government and others throughout the world have taken steps to provide monetary and fiscal assistance to individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic, it is unclear whether government actions will successfully avert or mitigate any economic downturn. As the majority of our customers pay for our subscriptions through credit and debit cards, weakness in certain segments of the credit markets and in the U.S. and global economies has resulted in and may in the future result in increased numbers of rejected credit and debit card payments, which could materially affect our business by increasing customer cancellations and impacting our ability to engage new small and medium-sized customers. If small and medium-sized businesses experience financial hardship as a result of a weak economy, industry consolidation or for any other reason, the overall demand for our subscriptions could be materially and adversely affected.
We face significant risks in our strategy to target medium-sized and larger businesses for sales of our subscriptions and, if we do not manage these efforts effectively, our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Sales to medium-sized and larger businesses continue to grow in both absolute dollars and as a percentage of our total sales. As we continue to target more of our sales efforts to medium-sized and larger businesses, we expect to incur higher costs and longer sales cycles and we may be less effective at predicting when we will complete these sales. In these market segments, the decision to purchase our subscriptions generally requires the approval of more technical personnel and management levels within a potential customer’s organization, and therefore, these types of sales require us to invest more time educating these potential customers about the benefits of our subscriptions. In addition, larger customers may demand more features, integration services, and customization, and may require highly skilled sales and support personnel. Our investment in marketing our subscriptions to these potential customers may not be successful, which could significantly and adversely affect our results of operations and our overall ability to grow our customer base. Furthermore, many medium-sized and larger businesses that we target for sales may already purchase business communications solutions from our larger competitors. As a result of these factors, these sales opportunities may require us to devote greater research and development resources and sales support to individual customers, and invest in hiring and retaining highly skilled personnel, resulting in increased costs and could likely lengthen our typical sales cycle, which could strain our sales and support resources. Moreover, these larger transactions may require us to delay recognizing the associated revenues we derive from these customers until any technical or implementation requirements have been met.
Support for smartphones and tablets are an integral part of our solutions. If we are unable to develop robust mobile applications that operate on mobile platforms that our customers use, our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Our solutions allow our customers to use and manage our cloud-based business communications solution on smart devices. As new smart devices and operating systems are released, we may encounter difficulties supporting these devices and services, and we may need to devote significant resources to the creation, support, and maintenance of our mobile applications.
In addition, if we experience difficulties in the future integrating our mobile applications into smart devices or if problems arise with our relationships with providers of mobile operating systems, such as those of Apple Inc. or Alphabet Inc. (the parent company of Google Inc.), our future growth and our results of operations could suffer.
If we are unable to develop, license, or acquire new services or applications on a timely and cost-effective basis, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
The cloud-based business communications industry is an emerging market that is characterized by rapid development of and changes in customer requirements, frequent introductions of new and enhanced services, and continuing and rapid technological advancement. We cannot predict the effect of technological changes on our business, and the market for cloud-based business communications may develop more slowly than we anticipate, or develop in a manner different than we expect, and our solutions could fail to achieve market acceptance. Our continued growth depends on continued use of voice and video communications by businesses, as compared to email and other data-based methods, and future demand for and adoption of Internet voice and video communications systems and services. In addition, to compete successfully in this emerging market, we must anticipate and adapt to technological changes and evolving industry standards, and continue to design, develop, manufacture, and sell new and enhanced services that provide increasingly higher levels of performance and reliability at lower cost. Currently, we derive a majority of our revenues from subscriptions to RingCentral Office, and we expect this will continue for the foreseeable future. However, our future success will also depend on our ability to introduce and sell new services, features, and functionality that enhance or are beyond the subscriptions we currently offer, as well as to improve usability and support and increase customer satisfaction. Our failure to develop solutions that satisfy customer preferences in a timely and cost-effective manner may harm our ability to renew our subscriptions with existing customers and create or increase demand for our subscriptions and may materially and adversely impact our results of operations.
The introduction of new services by competitors or the development of entirely new technologies to replace existing offerings could make our solutions obsolete or adversely affect our business and results of operations. Announcements of future releases and new services and technologies by our competitors or us could cause customers to defer purchases of our existing subscriptions, which also could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. We may experience difficulties with software development, operations, design, or marketing that could delay or prevent our development, introduction, or implementation of new or enhanced services and applications. We have in the past experienced delays in the planned release dates of new features and upgrades and have discovered defects in new services and applications after their introduction. We cannot assure you that new features or upgrades will be released according to schedule, or that, when released, they will not contain defects. Either of these situations could result in adverse publicity, loss of revenues, delay in market acceptance, or claims by customers brought against us, all of which could harm our reputation, business, results of operations, and financial condition. Moreover, the development of new or enhanced services or applications may require substantial investment, and we must continue to invest a significant amount of resources in our research and development efforts to develop these services and applications to remain competitive. We do not know whether these investments will be successful. If customers do not widely adopt any new or enhanced services and applications, we may not be able to realize a return on our investment. If we are unable to develop, license, or acquire new or enhanced services and applications on a timely and cost-effective basis, or if such new or enhanced services and applications do not achieve market acceptance, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
If we fail to continue to develop our brand or our reputation is harmed, our business may suffer.
We believe that continuing to strengthen our current brand will be critical to achieving widespread acceptance of our subscriptions and will require continued focus on active marketing efforts. The demand for and cost of online and traditional advertising have been increasing and may continue to increase. Accordingly, we may need to increase our investment in, and devote greater resources to, advertising, marketing, and other efforts to create and maintain brand loyalty among users. Brand promotion activities may not yield increased revenues, and even if they do, any increased revenues may not offset the expenses incurred in building our brand. In addition, if we do not handle customer complaints effectively, our brand and reputation may suffer, we may lose our customers’ confidence, and they may choose to terminate, reduce or not to renew their subscriptions. Many of our customers also participate in social media and online blogs about Internet-based software solutions, including our subscriptions, and our success depends in part on our ability to minimize negative and generate positive customer feedback through such online channels where existing and potential customers seek and share information. If we fail to sufficiently invest in, promote and maintain our brand, our business could be materially and adversely affected.
If we experience excessive fraudulent activity or cannot meet evolving credit card association merchant standards, we could incur substantial costs and lose the right to accept credit cards for payment, which could cause our customer base to decline significantly.
Most of our customers authorize us to bill their credit card accounts directly for service fees that we charge. If customers pay for our subscriptions with stolen credit cards, we could incur substantial third-party vendor costs for which we may not be reimbursed. Further, our customers provide us with credit card billing information online or over the phone, and we do not review the physical credit cards used in these transactions, which increases our risk of exposure to fraudulent activity. We also incur charges, which are referred to in the industry as chargebacks, from the credit card companies from claims that a customer did not authorize the specific credit card transaction to purchase our subscription. If the number of chargebacks becomes excessive, we could be assessed substantial fines or be charged higher transaction fees, and we could lose the right to accept credit cards for payment. In addition, credit card issuers may change merchant and/or service provider standards, including data protection standards, required to utilize their services from time to time. We have established and implemented measures intended to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (“PCI DSS”) in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. If we fail to maintain compliance with such standards or fail to meet new standards, the credit card associations could fine us or terminate their agreements with us, and we would be unable to accept credit cards as payment for our subscriptions. If we fail to maintain compliance with current service provider standards, such as PCI DSS, or fail to meet new standards, customers may choose not to use our services for certain types of communication they have with their customers. If such a failure to comply with relevant standards occurs, we may also face legal liability if we are found to not comply with applicable laws that incorporate, by reference or by adoption of substantially similar provisions, merchant or service provider standards, including PCI DSS. Our subscriptions may also be subject to fraudulent usage, including but not limited to revenue share fraud, domestic traffic pumping, subscription fraud, premium text message scams, and other fraudulent schemes. This usage can result in, among other things, substantial bills from our vendors, for which we would be responsible, for terminating fraudulent call traffic. In addition, third parties may have attempted in the past, and may attempt in the future, to induce employees, sub-contractors, or consultants into disclosing customer credentials and other account information, which can result in unauthorized access to customer accounts and customer data, unauthorized use of customers’ services, charges to customers for fraudulent usage and costs that we must pay to carriers. Although we implement multiple fraud prevention and detection controls, we cannot assure you that these controls will be adequate to protect against fraud. Substantial losses due to fraud or our inability to accept credit card payments could cause our paid customer base to significantly decrease, which would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and ability to grow our business.
We are in the process of expanding our international operations, which exposes us to significant risks.
We have significant operations in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Russia, China, Ukraine, the Philippines and France. We also sell our solutions to customers in other countries in the EU and in Australia, and we expect to grow our international presence in the future. The future success of our business will depend, in part, on our ability to expand our operations and customer base worldwide. Operating in international markets requires significant resources and management attention and will subject us to regulatory, economic, and political risks that are different from those in the U.S. Due to our limited experience with international operations and developing and managing sales and distribution channels in international markets, our international expansion efforts may not be successful. In addition, we will face risks in doing business internationally that could materially and adversely affect our business, including:
•our ability to comply with differing and evolving technical and environmental standards, telecommunications regulations, and certification requirements outside the U.S.;
•difficulties and costs associated with staffing and managing foreign operations;
•our ability to effectively price our subscriptions in competitive international markets;
•potentially greater difficulty collecting accounts receivable and longer payment cycles;
•the need to adapt and localize our subscriptions for specific countries;
•the need to offer customer care in various native languages;
•reliance on third parties over which we have limited control, including those that market and resell our subscriptions;
•availability of reliable broadband connectivity and wide area networks in targeted areas for expansion;
•lower levels of adoption of credit or debit card usage for Internet related purchases by foreign customers and compliance with various foreign regulations related to credit or debit card processing and data protection requirements;
•difficulties in understanding and complying with local laws, regulations, and customs in foreign jurisdictions;
•restrictions on travel to or from countries in which we operate or inability to access certain areas;
•export controls and economic sanctions;
•changes in diplomatic and trade relationships, including tariffs and other non-tariff barriers, such as quotas and local content rules;
•U.S. government trade restrictions, including those which may impose restrictions, including prohibitions, on the exportation, re-exportation, sale, shipment or other transfer of programming, technology, components, and/or services to foreign persons;
•our ability to comply with different and evolving laws, rules, and regulations, including the European General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) and other data privacy and data protection laws, rules and regulations;
•compliance with various anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.K. Bribery Act of 2010;
•more limited protection for intellectual property rights in some countries;
•adverse tax consequences;
•fluctuations in currency exchange rates;
•exchange control regulations, which might restrict or prohibit our conversion of other currencies into U.S. dollars;
•restrictions on the transfer of funds;
•new and different sources of competition;
•natural disasters or global health crises, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic;
•political and economic instability created by the U.K.'s departure from the EU (“Brexit”); and
•deterioration of political relations between the U.S. and other countries in which we operate, particularly Russia, Ukraine, China, and the Philippines; or
•political or social unrest, economic instability, conflict or war in such countries, or sanctions implemented by the U.S. against these countries, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our operations.
Our failure to manage any of these risks successfully could harm our future international operations and our overall business.
We may expand through acquisitions of, investments in, or strategic partnerships or other strategic transactions with other companies, each of which may divert our management’s attention, result in additional dilution to our stockholders, increase expenses, disrupt our operations, and harm our results of operations.
Our business strategy may, from time to time, include acquiring or investing in complementary services, technologies or businesses, strategic investments and partnerships, or other strategic transactions, such as our acquisitions of Dimelo SA and Connect First, and our investment in and strategic partnerships with Avaya, Atos, ALE and Vodafone. We cannot assure you that we will successfully identify suitable acquisition candidates or transaction counterparties, securely or effectively integrate or manage disparate technologies, lines of business, personnel and corporate cultures, realize our business strategy or the expected return on our investment, or manage a geographically dispersed company. Any such acquisition, investment, strategic partnership, or other strategic transaction could materially and adversely affect our results of operations. The process of negotiating, effecting, and realizing the benefits from acquisitions, investments, strategic partnerships, and strategic transactions is complex, expensive and time-consuming, and may cause an interruption of, or loss of momentum in, development and sales activities and operations of both companies, and we may incur substantial cost and expense, as well as divert the attention of management. We may issue equity securities which could dilute current stockholders’ ownership, incur debt, assume contingent or other liabilities and expend cash in acquisitions, investments, strategic partnerships, and other strategic transactions which could negatively impact our financial position, stockholder equity, and stock price.
Acquisitions, investments, strategic partnerships, and other strategic transactions involve significant risks and uncertainties, including:
•the potential failure to achieve the expected benefits of the acquisition, investment, strategic partnership, or other strategic transaction;
•unanticipated costs and liabilities;
•difficulties in integrating new solutions and subscriptions, software, businesses, operations, and technology infrastructure in an efficient and effective manner;
•difficulties in maintaining customer relations;
•the potential loss of key employees of any acquired businesses;
•the diversion of the attention of our senior management from the operation of our daily business;
•the potential adverse effect on our cash position to the extent that we use cash for the transaction consideration;
•the potential significant increase of our interest expense, leverage, and debt service requirements if we incur additional debt to pay for an acquisition, investment, strategic partnership, or other strategic transaction;
•the potential issuance of securities that would dilute our stockholders’ percentage ownership;
•the potential to incur large and immediate write-offs and restructuring and other related expenses;
•the potential liability or expenses associated with new types of data stored, existing security obligations or liabilities, unknown weaknesses in our solutions, insufficient security measures in place, and compromise of our networks via access to our systems from assets not previously under our control; and
•the inability to maintain uniform standards, controls, policies, and procedures.
Any acquisition, investment, strategic partnership, or other strategic transaction could expose us to unknown liabilities. Moreover, we cannot assure you that we will realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisition, investment, strategic partnership, or other strategic transaction. In addition, our inability to successfully operate and integrate newly acquired businesses or newly formed strategic partnerships appropriately, effectively, and in a timely manner could impair our ability to take advantage of future growth opportunities and other advances in technology, as well as on our revenues, gross margins, and expenses.
For example, in connection with our strategic partnership with Avaya, we purchased $125.0 million of Avaya Series A Preferred Stock and made an advance of $375.0 million, predominantly for future fees, as well as for certain licensing rights (paid primarily in our Class A Common Stock). These are significant investments on which we may not realize the anticipated benefits for various reasons, including a lack of success in the marketing and sale of ACO, potential or actual financial distress, insolvency, or bankruptcy of Avaya or any of its subsidiaries, or other facts or circumstances that may limit our ability to recover, or realize benefits from, these investments.
We may be subject to liabilities on past sales for taxes, surcharges, and fees and our operating results may be harmed if we are required to collect such amounts in jurisdictions where we have not historically done so.
We believe we collect state and local sales tax and use, excise, utility user, and ad valorem taxes, fees, or surcharges in all relevant jurisdictions in which we generate sales, based on our understanding of the applicable laws in those jurisdictions. Such tax, fees and surcharge laws and rates vary greatly by jurisdiction, and the application of such taxes to e-commerce businesses, such as ours, is a complex and evolving area. There is uncertainty as to what constitutes sufficient “in state presence” for a state to levy taxes, fees, and surcharges for sales made over the Internet, and after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, U.S. states may require an online retailer with no in-state property or personnel to collect and remit sales tax on sales to the state’s residents, which may permit wider enforcement of sales tax collection requirements. Therefore, the application of existing or future laws relating to indirect taxes to our business, or the audit of our business and operations with respect to such taxes or challenges of our positions by taxing authorities, all could result in increased tax liabilities for us or our customers that could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and our relationships with our customers.
We may be unable to use some or all of our net operating loss carryforwards, which could materially and adversely affect our reported financial condition and results of operations.
As of December 31, 2020, we have federal net operating loss carryforwards (“NOLs”) of $1.4 billion, of which $272.9 million expire between 2023 and 2037 and the remainder do not expire. Additionally, we have state net operating loss carryforwards of $1.1 billion which will begin to expire in 2021. We also have federal research tax credit carryforwards that will begin to expire in 2028. Realization of these net operating loss and research tax credit carryforwards depends on future income, and there is a risk that our existing carryforwards could expire unused and be unavailable to offset future income tax liabilities, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.
In addition, under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, our ability to utilize NOLs or other tax attributes, such as research tax credits, in any taxable year may be limited if we experience an “ownership change.” An “ownership change” generally occurs if one or more stockholders or groups of stockholders, who each own at least 5% of our stock, increase their collective ownership by more than 50 percentage points over their lowest ownership percentage within a rolling three-year period. Similar rules may apply under state tax laws.
No material deferred tax assets have been recognized on our Consolidated Balance Sheets related to these NOLs, as they are fully offset by a valuation allowance. If we have previously had, or have in the future, one or more Section 382 “ownership changes,” including in connection with our initial public offering or another offering, or if we do not generate sufficient taxable income, we may not be able to utilize a material portion of our NOLs, even if we achieve profitability. If we are limited in our ability to use our NOLs in future years in which we have taxable income, we will pay more taxes than if we were able to fully utilize our NOLs. This could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.
If we are unable to effectively process local number and toll-free number portability provisioning in a timely manner, our growth may be negatively affected.
We support local number and toll-free number portability, which allows our customers to transfer to us and thereby retain their existing phone numbers when subscribing to our services. Transferring numbers is a manual process that can take up to 15 business days or longer to complete. A new customer of our subscriptions must maintain both our subscription and the customer’s existing phone service during the number transferring process. Any delay that we experience in transferring these numbers typically results from the fact that we depend on third-party carriers to transfer these numbers, a process that we do not control, and these third-party carriers may refuse or substantially delay the transfer of these numbers to us. Local number portability is considered an important feature by many potential customers, and if we fail to reduce any related delays, we may experience increased difficulty in acquiring new customers. Moreover, the FCC requires Internet voice communications providers to comply with specified number porting timeframes when customers leave our subscription for the services of another provider. Several international jurisdictions have imposed similar number portability requirements on subscription providers like us. If we or our third-party carriers are unable to process number portability requests within the requisite timeframes, we could be subject to fines and penalties. Additionally, in the U.S., both customers and carriers may seek relief from the relevant state public utility commission, the FCC, or in state or federal court for violation of local number portability requirements.
Our business could suffer if we cannot obtain or retain direct inward dialing numbers or are prohibited from obtaining local or toll-free numbers or if we are limited to distributing local or toll-free numbers to only certain customers.
Our future success depends on our ability to procure large quantities of local and toll-free direct inward dialing numbers (“DIDs”) in the U.S. and foreign countries in desirable locations at a reasonable cost and without restrictions. Our ability to procure and distribute DIDs depends on factors outside of our control, such as applicable regulations, the practices of the communications carriers that provide DIDs, the cost of these DIDs, and the level of demand for new DIDs. Due to their limited availability, there are certain popular area code prefixes that we generally cannot obtain. Our inability to acquire DIDs for our operations would make our subscriptions less attractive to potential customers in the affected local geographic areas. In addition, future growth in our customer base, together with growth in the customer bases of other providers of cloud-based business communications, has increased, which increases our dependence on needing sufficiently large quantities of DIDs.
We may not be able to manage our inventory levels effectively, which may lead to inventory obsolescence that would force us to incur inventory write-downs.
Our vendor-supplied phones have lead times of up to several months for delivery to our fulfillment agents and are built to forecasts that are necessarily imprecise. It is likely that, from time to time, we will have either excess or insufficient product inventory. In addition, because we rely on third-party vendors for the supply of our vendor-supplied phones, our inventory levels are subject to the conditions regarding the timing of purchase orders and delivery dates that are not within our control. Excess inventory levels would subject us to the risk of inventory obsolescence, while insufficient levels of inventory may negatively affect relations with customers. For instance, our customers rely upon our ability to meet committed delivery dates, and any disruption in the supply of our subscriptions could result in loss of customers or harm to our ability to attract new customers. Any reduction or interruption in the ability of our vendors to supply our customers with vendor-supplied phones, including as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, could cause us to lose revenue, damage our customer relationships and harm our reputation in the marketplace. Any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We currently depend on three phone device suppliers and two fulfillment agents to configure and deliver the phones that we sell and any delay or interruption in manufacturing, configuring and delivering by these third parties would result in delayed or reduced shipments to our customers and may harm our business.
We rely on three suppliers to provide phones that we offer for sale to our customers that use our subscriptions, and we rely on two fulfillment agents to configure and deliver the phones that we sell to our customers. Accordingly, we could be adversely affected if such third parties fail to maintain competitive phones or configuration services or fail to continue to make them available on attractive terms, or at all. These suppliers have been and will continue to be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which could affect their ability to perform satisfactorily or at all.
If our fulfillment agents are unable to deliver phones of acceptable quality, or if there is a reduction or interruption in their ability to supply the phones in a timely manner, our ability to bring services to market, the reliability of our subscriptions and our relationships with customers or our overall reputation in the marketplace could suffer, which could cause us to lose revenue. We expect that it could take several months to effectively transition to new third-party manufacturers or fulfillment agents.
If our vendor-supplied phones are not able to interoperate effectively with our own back-end servers and systems, our customers may not be able to use our subscriptions, which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Phones must interoperate with our back-end servers and systems, which contain complex specifications and utilize multiple protocol standards and software applications. Currently, the phones used by our customers are manufactured by only three third-party providers. If any of these providers changes the operation of their phones, we will be required to undertake development and testing efforts to ensure that the new phones interoperate with our system. In addition, we must be successful in integrating our solutions with strategic partners' devices in order to market and sell these solutions. These efforts may require significant capital and employee resources, and we may not accomplish these development efforts quickly or cost-effectively, if at all. If our vendor-supplied phones do not interoperate effectively with our system, our customers’ ability to use our subscriptions could be delayed or orders for our subscriptions could be canceled, which would harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We may require additional capital to pursue our business objectives and to respond to business opportunities, challenges or unforeseen circumstances. If capital is not available to us, our business, results of operations, and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We intend to continue to make expenditures and investments to support the growth of our business and may require additional capital to pursue our business objectives and respond to business opportunities, challenges, or unforeseen circumstances, including the need to develop new solutions or enhance our existing solutions, enhance our operating infrastructure, and acquire complementary businesses and technologies. Accordingly, we may need to engage in equity or debt financings to secure additional funds. However, additional funds may not be available when we need them on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. Any debt financing that we secure in the future could involve restrictive covenants, which may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities. In addition, the restrictive covenants in credit facilities we may secure in the future may restrict us from being able to conduct our operations in a manner required for our business and may restrict our growth, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.
We cannot assure you that we will be able to comply with any such restrictive covenants. In the event that we are unable to comply with these covenants in the future, we would seek an amendment or waiver of the covenants. We cannot assure you that any such waiver or amendment would be granted. In such event, we may be required to repay any or all of our existing borrowings, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to borrow under our existing credit agreements, or obtain alternative funding arrangements on commercially reasonable terms, or at all.
In addition, volatility in the credit markets, including any due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may have an adverse effect on our ability to obtain debt financing. The conversion of our 0% convertible senior notes due 2023 (the “2023 Notes”), our 0% convertible senior notes due 2025 (the “2025 Notes”) and our 0% convertible senior notes due 2026 (the “2026 Notes” and, together with the 2023 Notes and the 2025 Notes, the “Notes”) and any future issuances of other equity or any future issuances of equity or convertible debt securities could result in significant dilution to our existing stockholders, and any new equity or convertible debt securities we issue could have rights, preferences, and privileges superior to those of holders of our Class A Common Stock. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us, when we require it, our
ability to continue to pursue our business objectives and to respond to business opportunities, challenges, or unforeseen circumstances could be significantly limited, and our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
Risks Related to Regulatory Matters
Our subscriptions are subject to regulation, and future legislative or regulatory actions could adversely affect our business and expose us to liability in the U.S. and internationally.
Our business is regulated by the FCC. As a communications services provider, we are subject to existing or potential FCC regulations relating to privacy, disability access, porting of numbers, maintaining records for disconnected numbers, cooperation with law enforcement, Federal Universal Service Fund (“USF”) contributions, Enhanced 911 (“E-911”), outage reporting, call authentication, call spoofing, call blocking and other requirements and regulations. FCC classification of our Internet voice communications services as telecommunications services could result in additional federal and state regulatory obligations. If we do not comply with FCC rules and regulations, we could be subject to FCC enforcement actions, fines, loss of licenses, and possibly restrictions on our ability to operate or offer certain of our subscriptions. Any enforcement action by the FCC, which may be a public process, would hurt our reputation in the industry, possibly impair our ability to sell our subscriptions to customers and could have a materially adverse impact on our revenues.
Through RCLEC, we also provide competitive local exchange carrier (“CLEC”) services which are regulated by the FCC as traditional telecommunications services. Our CLEC services depend on certain provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that require incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”) to provide us facilities and services that are necessary to provide our services. Over the past several years, the FCC has reduced or eliminated a number of regulations governing ILECs’ wholesale offerings. If ILECs were no longer required by law to provide such services to us, or ceased to provide these services at reasonable rates, terms and conditions, our business could be adversely affected and our cost of providing CLEC services could increase. This could have a materially adverse impact on our results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and FCC rules implementing the TCPA, prohibit sending unsolicited facsimile advertisements or making illegal robocalls, subject to certain exceptions. The FCC may take enforcement action against persons or entities that send “junk faxes,” or make illegal robocalls and individuals also may have a private cause of action. Although the FCC’s rules prohibiting unsolicited fax advertisements or making illegal robocalls apply to those who “send” the advertisements or make the calls, fax transmitters or other service providers that have a high degree of involvement in, or actual notice of, unlawful sending of junk faxes or making of illegal robocalls and have failed to take steps to prevent such transmissions may also face liability under the FCC’s rules, or in the case of illegal robocalls, Federal Trade Commission rules. We take significant steps designed to prevent our systems from being used to make illegal robocalls or send unsolicited faxes on a large scale, and we do not believe that we have a high degree of involvement in, or notice of, the use of our systems to broadcast junk faxes or make illegal robocalls. However, because fax transmitters and related service providers do not enjoy an absolute exemption from liability under the TCPA and related FCC rules, we could face FCC or FTC inquiry and enforcement or civil litigation, or private causes of action, if someone uses our system for such purposes. If any of these were to occur, we could be required to incur significant costs and management’s attention could be diverted. Further, if we were to be held liable for the use of our service to send unsolicited faxes or make illegal robocalls or to settle any action or proceeding, any judgment, settlement, or penalties could cause a material adverse effect on our operations.
States currently do not regulate our Internet voice communications subscriptions, which are considered to be nomadic because they can be used from any broadband connection. However, a number of states require us to register as a Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) provider, contribute to state USF, contribute to E-911, and pay other surcharges and annual fees that fund various utility commission programs, while others are actively considering extending their public policy programs to include the subscriptions we provide. We pass USF, E-911 fees, and other surcharges through to our customers, which may result in our subscriptions becoming more expensive or require that we absorb these costs. State public utility commissions may attempt to apply state telecommunications regulations to Internet voice communications subscriptions like ours.
RCLEC services are subject to regulation by the public utility regulatory agency in those states where we provide local telecommunications services. This regulation includes the requirement to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity or other similar licenses prior to offering our CLEC services. We may also be required to file tariffs that describe our CLEC services and provide rates for those services. We are also required to comply with regulations that vary by state
concerning service quality, disconnection and billing requirements. State commissions also have authority to review and approve interconnection agreements between incumbent phone carriers and CLECs such as our subsidiary.
Both we and RCLEC are also subject to state consumer protection laws, as well as U.S. state or municipal sales, use, excise, gross receipts, utility user and ad valorem taxes, fees, or surcharges.
As we expand internationally, we may be subject to telecommunications, consumer protection, data protection, emergency call services, and other laws, regulations, taxes, and fees in the foreign countries where we offer our subscriptions. Any foreign regulations could impose substantial compliance costs on us, restrict our ability to compete, and impact our ability to expand our service offerings in certain markets. Moreover, the regulatory environment is constantly evolving and changes to the applicable regulations could impose additional compliance costs and require modifications to our technology and operations. Internationally, we currently offer our subscriptions in Canada, the U.K., Australia, and several European countries. We also offer our Global Office solution, enabling our multinational customers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and other locations where we sell our solutions, to establish local phone solutions in various countries internationally. We may be subject to telecommunications, consumer protection, data protection, emergency call services, call authentication, and other laws and regulations in additional countries as we continue to expand our Global Office solution internationally.
In addition, our international operations are potentially subject to country-specific governmental regulation and related actions that may increase our costs or impact our solution and service offerings or prevent us from offering or providing our solutions and subscriptions in certain countries. Certain of our subscriptions may be used by customers located in countries where VoIP and other forms of IP communications may be illegal or require special licensing or in countries on a U.S. embargo list. Even where our solutions are reportedly illegal or become illegal or where users are located in an embargoed country, users in those countries may be able to continue to use our solutions and subscriptions in those countries notwithstanding the illegality or embargo. We may be subject to penalties or governmental action if customers continue to use our solutions and subscriptions in countries where it is illegal to do so, and any such penalties or governmental action may be costly and may harm our business and damage our brand and reputation. We may be required to incur additional expenses to meet applicable international regulatory requirements or be required to discontinue those subscriptions if required by law or if we cannot or will not meet those requirements.
The increasing growth and popularity of Internet voice communications, video conferencing and messaging heighten the risk that governments will regulate or impose new or increased fees or taxes on these services. To the extent that the use of our subscriptions continues to grow, and our user base continues to expand, regulators may be more likely to seek to regulate or impose new or additional taxes, surcharges or fees on our subscriptions.
We process, store, and use personal information and other data, which subjects us and our customers to a variety of evolving international statutes, governmental regulation, industry standards and self-regulatory schemes, contractual obligations, and other legal obligations related to privacy and data protection, which may increase our costs, decrease adoption and use of our solutions and subscriptions, and expose us to liability.
In the course of providing our services, we collect, store, and process many types of data, including personal data. Moreover, our customers can use our subscriptions to store contact and other personal or identifying information, and to process, transmit, receive, store, and retrieve a variety of communications and messages, including information about their own customers and other contacts. Customers are able, and may be authorized under certain circumstances, to use our subscriptions to transmit, receive, and/or store personal information.
There are a number of federal, state, local, and foreign laws and regulations, as well as contractual obligations and industry standards, that provide for certain obligations and restrictions with respect to data privacy and security, and the collection, storage, retention, protection, use, processing, transmission, sharing, disclosure, and protection of personal information and other customer data. We expect that with the implementation of our Global Office solution, we may become subject to additional data privacy regulations in other countries throughout the world. The scope of these obligations and restrictions is changing, subject to differing interpretations, and may be inconsistent among countries or conflict with other rules, and their status remains uncertain. Failure to comply with obligations and restrictions related to data privacy and security in any jurisdiction in which we operate could subject us to lawsuits, fines, criminal penalties, statutory damages, consent decrees, injunctions, adverse publicity, and other losses that could harm our business.
For example, the GDPR, which came into force in May 2018, strengthened the existing data protection regulations in the EU and its provisions include increasing the maximum level of fines that EU regulators may impose for the most serious of
breaches to the greater of €20 million or 4% of worldwide annual turnover. Such fines would be in addition to (i) the rights of individuals to sue for damages in respect of any data privacy breach which causes them to suffer harm and (ii) the right of individual member states to impose additional sanctions over and above the administrative fines specified in the GDPR. Other examples include, but are not limited to, Canadian anti-spam legislation and Australia’s Spam Act 2003, as amended.
Until recently, we used the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework as well as the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield framework and EU Standard Contractual Clauses (“Model Clauses”) to protect data exports between the European Economic Area (the “EEA”) and U.S. On July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union, invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield as a mechanism to transfer EU personal data to the U.S. and imposed additional requirements for data transfers under Model Clauses. On September 8, 2020 the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner of Switzerland issued an opinion concluding that the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield did not provide an adequate level of protection for data transfers from Switzerland to the U.S. pursuant to Swiss data protection law. We are putting in place alternative data transfer mechanisms such as additional Model Clauses where we previously relied on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks. Data protection authorities may require measures be put in place in addition to Model Clauses for transfers to countries outside of the EEA and Switzerland. We may, in addition to other impacts, experience additional costs associated with increased compliance burdens following this decision, and we and our customers face the potential for regulators in the EEA or Switzerland to apply different standards to the transfer of personal data from the EEA or Switzerland to the U.S. and other non-EEA countries, and to block, or require ad hoc verification of measures taken with respect to, certain data flows from the EEA and Switzerland to the U.S and other non-EEA countries. We also may be required to engage in new contract negotiations with third parties that aid in processing data on our behalf.
The future of cross-border data flows from the EEA to the U.K. following the U.K.’s exit from the EU on January 31, 2020 is uncertain. Although the transition period ended on December 31, 2020, the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement delays any restrictions on cross-border data flows from the EEA to the UK for up to six months (the "Bridge"). If the EU does not provide the UK with an adequacy determination during the Bridge, it may become necessary for us to implement additional data export solutions like the Model Clauses to enable the continued flow of personal data to our U.K. operations from our EEA customers and affiliates. These solutions may take time and be challenging to put in place and, if not implemented promptly before or immediately following the Bridge, our business may be disrupted, and we may be exposed to potential regulatory fines and civil claims.
These developments and future regulatory guidance may result in a determination that the industry-standard measures we, and other companies, have taken are insufficient. Additionally, it is possible that the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield and/or the Model Clauses may be updated by the European Commission, the Swiss Administration, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Should any of these prove to be the case, we will need to take any necessary and additional measures to ensure compliance with EU, Swiss and U.K. law with respect to our transfers of personal data from the EEA, Switzerland and the U.K. to the U.S. and other non-EEA countries. If we are unable to take such measures, then we may be at risk of experiencing reluctance or refusal of European or multi-national customers to use our solutions and incurring regulatory penalties, which may have an adverse effect on our business.
In the U.S., there are numerous federal and state laws governing the privacy and security of personal information. In particular, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) establishes privacy and security standards that limit the use and disclosure of individually identifiable health information and requires the implementation of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to protect the privacy of protected health information and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information by certain institutions. We act as a “Business Associate” through our relationships with certain customers and are thus directly subject to certain provisions of HIPAA. In addition, if we are unable to protect the privacy and security of protected health information, we could be found to have breached our contracts with customers with whom we have a Business Associate relationship and may also face regulatory liability. Additionally, we are subject to FCC regulations imposing obligations related to our use and disclosure of certain data related our interconnected VoIP service. If we experience a data security incident, we may be required by state law or FCC or other regulations to notify our customers and/or law enforcement. We may also be subject to Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) enforcement actions if the FTC has reason to believe we have engaged in unfair or deceptive privacy or data security practices.
Noncompliance with laws and regulations relating to privacy and security of personal information, including HIPAA, or with contractual obligations under any Business Associate agreement may lead to significant fines, civil and criminal penalties, or liabilities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) audits the compliance of Business Associates and enforces HIPAA privacy and security standards. HHS enforcement activity has become more significant over the last few years and HHS has signaled its intent to continue this trend. Violation of the FCC’s privacy rules can result in large monetary forfeitures and injunctive relief. The FTC has broad authority to seek monetary redress for affected consumers and
injunctive relief. In addition to federal regulators, state attorneys general (and, in some states, individual residents) are authorized to bring civil actions seeking either injunctions or damages to the extent violations implicate the privacy of state residents. Class action lawsuits are common in the event of a data breach affecting financial or other forms of sensitive information.
Additionally, California has enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), which came into effect on January 1, 2020, with implementing regulations effective August 14, 2020. Pursuant to the CCPA, we are required, among other things, to make certain enhanced disclosures related to California residents regarding our use or disclosure of their personal information, allow California residents to opt-out of certain uses and disclosures of their personal information without penalty, provide Californians with other choices related to personal data in our possession, and obtain opt-in consent before engaging in certain uses of personal information relating to Californians under the age of 16. The California Attorney General may seek substantial monetary penalties and injunctive relief in the event of our non-compliance with the CCPA. The CCPA also allows for private lawsuits from Californians in the event of certain data breaches. Aspects of the CCPA remain uncertain, and we may be required to make modifications to our policies or practices in order to comply. Moreover, a new proposed privacy law, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) recently was approved by California voters. The CPRA significantly modifies the CCPA, potentially resulting in further uncertainty and requiring us to incur additional costs and expenses in an effort to comply. The CPRA creates obligations relating to consumer data beginning on January 1, 2022, with implementing regulations expected on or before July 1, 2022, and enforcement beginning July 1, 2023.
As Internet commerce and communication technologies continue to evolve, thereby increasing online service providers’ and network users’ capacity to collect, store, retain, protect, use, process, and transmit large volumes of personal information, increasingly restrictive regulation by federal, state, or foreign agencies becomes more likely.
While we try to comply with applicable data protection laws, regulations, standards, and codes of conduct, as well as our own posted privacy policies and contractual commitments to the extent possible, any actual or alleged failure by us to comply with any of the foregoing or to protect our users’ privacy and data, including as a result of our systems being compromised by hacking or other malicious or surreptitious activity, could result in a loss of user confidence in our subscriptions and ultimately in a loss of users, which could materially and adversely affect our business.
Regulation of personal information is evolving, and new laws, such as those in Brazil, could further impact how we handle personal information or could require us to incur additional compliance costs, either of which could have an adverse impact on our operations. Further, our actual compliance, our customers’ perception of our compliance, costs of compliance with such regulations, and obligations and customer concerns regarding their own compliance obligations (whether factual or in error) may limit the use and adoption of our subscriptions and reduce overall demand. Privacy-related concerns, including the inability or impracticality of providing advance notice to customers of privacy issues related to the use of our subscriptions, may cause our customers’ customers to resist providing the personal data necessary to allow our customers to use our subscriptions effectively. Even the perception of privacy-related concerns, whether or not valid, may inhibit market adoption of our subscriptions in certain industries.
Additionally, due to the nature of our service, we are unable to maintain complete control over data security or the implementation of measures that reduce the risk of a data security incident. For example, our customers may accidentally disclose their passwords or store them on a mobile device that is lost or stolen, creating the perception that our systems are not secure against third-party access. Additionally, our third-party contractors in the Philippines, Russia, Ukraine, India, and Poland may have access to customer data. If these or other third-party vendors violate applicable laws or our policies, such violations may also put our customers’ information at risk and could in turn have a material and adverse effect on our business.
Our emergency and E-911 calling services may expose us to significant liability.
The FCC requires Internet voice communications providers, such as our company, to provide E-911 service in all geographic areas covered by the traditional wire-line E-911 network. Under the FCC’s rules, Internet voice communications providers must transmit the caller’s phone number and registered location information to the appropriate public safety answering point (“PSAP”) for the caller’s registered location. Our CLEC services are also required by the FCC and state regulators to provide E-911 service to the extent that they provide services to end users. We are also subject to similar requirements internationally.
In connection with the regulatory requirements that we provide access to emergency services dialing to our interconnected VoIP customers, we must obtain from each customer, prior to the initiation of or changes to service, the physical locations at which the service will first be used for each VoIP line. For subscriptions that can be utilized from more than one
physical location, we must provide customers one or more methods of updating their physical location. Because we are not able to confirm that the service is used at the physical addresses provided by our customers, and because customers may provide an incorrect location or fail to provide updated location information, it is possible that emergency services calls may get routed to the wrong PSAP. If emergency services calls are not routed to the correct PSAP, and if the delay results in serious injury or death, we could be sued and the damages substantial. We are evaluating measures to attempt to verify and update the addresses for locations where our subscriptions are used.
In August 2019, the FCC adopted an order that will require providers of non-fixed interconnected VoIP service (service that is capable of being used from more than one location) to automatically provide with each 911 call, when technically feasible, specific address information that can be used to adequately identify the location of the caller. The requirement is scheduled to take effect on January 6, 2022. The implementation of this requirement may increase our costs and make our service more expensive, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
We could be subject to enforcement action by the FCC or international regulators for our customer lines that cannot provide access to emergency services in accordance with regulatory requirements. This enforcement action could result in significant monetary penalties and restrictions on our ability to offer non-compliant subscriptions.
In addition, customers may attempt to hold us responsible for any loss, damage, personal injury, or death suffered as a result of delayed, misrouted, or uncompleted emergency service calls or text messages, subject to any limitations on a provider’s liability provided by applicable laws, regulations and our customer agreements.
We rely on third parties to provide the majority of our customer service and support representatives and to fulfill various aspects of our E-911 service. If these third parties do not provide our customers with reliable, high-quality service, our reputation will be harmed, and we may lose customers.
We offer customer support through both our online account management website and our toll-free customer support number in multiple languages. Our customer support is currently provided via a third-party provider located in the Philippines, as well as our employees in the U.S. Our third-party providers generally provide customer service and support to our customers without identifying themselves as independent parties. The ability to support our customers may be disrupted by natural disasters, inclement weather conditions, civil unrest, strikes, and other adverse events in the Philippines. Furthermore, as we expand our operations internationally, we may need to make significant expenditures and investments in our customer service and support to adequately address the complex needs of international customers, such as support in additional foreign languages. We also use third parties to deliver onsite professional services to our customers in deploying our solutions. If these vendors do not deliver timely and high-quality services to our customers, our reputation could be damaged, and we could lose customers. In addition, third party professional services vendors may not be available when needed, which would adversely impact our ability to deliver on our customer commitments.
We also contract with third parties to provide emergency services calls in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and other jurisdictions in which we provide access to emergency services dialing, including assistance in routing emergency calls and terminating emergency services calls. Our domestic providers operate a national call center that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to receive certain emergency calls and maintain PSAP databases for the purpose of deploying and operating E-911 services. We rely on providers for similar functions in other jurisdictions in which we provide access to emergency services dialing. On mobile devices, we rely on the underlying cellular or wireless carrier to provide emergency services dialing. Interruptions in service from our vendors could cause failures in our customers’ access to E-911/999/112 services and expose us to liability and damage our reputation.
If any of these third parties do not provide reliable, high-quality service, our reputation and our business will be harmed. In addition, industry consolidation among providers of services to us may impact our ability to obtain these services or increase our costs for these services.
Risks Related to Intellectual Property
Accusations of infringement of third-party intellectual property rights could materially and adversely affect our business.
There has been substantial litigation in the areas in which we operate regarding intellectual property rights. For instance, we have recently and in the past been sued by third parties claiming infringement of their intellectual property rights and we may be sued for infringement from time to time in the future. Also, in some instances, we have agreed to indemnify our
customers, resellers, and carriers for expenses and liability resulting from claimed intellectual property infringement by our solutions. From time to time, we have received requests for indemnification in connection with allegations of intellectual property infringement and we may choose, or be required, to assume the defense and/or reimburse our customers and/or resellers and carriers for their expenses, settlement and/or liability. In the past, we have settled infringement litigation brought against us; however, we cannot assure you that we will be able to settle any future claims or, if we are able to settle any such claims, that the settlement will be on terms favorable to us. Our broad range of technology may increase the likelihood that third parties will claim that we, or our customers and/or resellers, and carriers, infringe their intellectual property rights.
We have in the past received, and may in the future receive, notices of claims of infringement, misappropriation or misuse of other parties’ proprietary rights. Furthermore, regardless of their merits, accusations and lawsuits like these, whether against us or our customers, resellers, and carriers, may require significant time and expense to defend, may negatively affect customer relationships, may divert management’s attention away from other aspects of our operations and, upon resolution, may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows.
Certain technology necessary for us to provide our subscriptions may, in fact, be patented by other parties either now or in the future. If such technology were validly patented by another person, we would have to negotiate a license for the use of that technology. We may not be able to negotiate such a license at a price that is acceptable to us or at all. The existence of such a patent, or our inability to negotiate a license for any such technology on acceptable terms, could force us to cease using the technology and cease offering subscriptions incorporating the technology, which could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
If we, or any of our solutions, were found to be infringing on the intellectual property rights of any third party, we could be subject to liability for such infringement, which could be material. We could also be prohibited from using or selling certain subscriptions, prohibited from using certain processes, or required to redesign certain subscriptions, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
These and other outcomes may:
•result in the loss of a substantial number of existing customers or prohibit the acquisition of new customers;
•cause us to pay license fees for intellectual property we are deemed to have infringed;
•cause us to incur costs and devote valuable technical resources to redesigning our subscriptions;
•cause our cost of revenues to increase;
•cause us to accelerate expenditures to preserve existing revenues;
•cause existing or new vendors to require pre-payments or letters of credit;
•materially and adversely affect our brand in the marketplace and cause a substantial loss of goodwill;
•cause us to change our business methods or subscriptions;
•require us to cease certain business operations or offering certain subscriptions or features; and
•lead to our bankruptcy or liquidation.
Our limited ability to protect our intellectual property rights could materially and adversely affect our business.
We rely, in part, on patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law to protect our intellectual property in the U.S. and abroad. We seek to protect our technology, software, documentation and other information under trade secret and copyright law, which afford only limited protection. For example, we typically enter into confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants, third-party contractors, customers, and vendors in an effort to control access to, use of, and distribution of our technology, software, documentation, and other information. These agreements may not effectively prevent unauthorized use or disclosure of confidential information and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of such unauthorized use or disclosure, and it may be possible for a third party to legally reverse engineer, copy, or otherwise obtain and use our technology without authorization. In addition, improper disclosure of trade secret information by our current or former employees, consultants, third-party contractors, customers, or vendors to the public or others who could make use of the trade secret information would likely preclude that information from being protected as a trade secret.
We also rely, in part, on patent law to protect our intellectual property in the U.S. and internationally. Our intellectual property portfolio includes over 262 issued patents, which expire between 2022 and 2039. We also have 50 patent applications pending examination in the U.S. and 7 patent applications pending examination in foreign jurisdictions, all of which are related to U.S. applications. We cannot predict whether such pending patent applications will result in issued patents or whether any issued patents will effectively protect our intellectual property. Even if a pending patent application results in an issued patent, the patent may be circumvented or its validity may be challenged in various proceedings in United States District Court or before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, such as Post Grant Review or Inter Partes Review, which may require legal
representation and involve substantial costs and diversion of management time and resources. We have also acquired patents in connection with a strategic partnership that are currently pending assignment in their respective patent offices. In addition, we cannot assure you that every significant feature of our solutions is protected by our patents, or that we will mark our solutions with any or all patents they embody. As a result, we may be prevented from seeking injunctive relief or damages, in whole or in part for infringement of our patents.
The unlicensed use of our brand, including domain names, by third parties could harm our reputation, cause confusion among our customers and impair our ability to market our solutions and subscriptions. To that end, we have registered numerous trademarks and service marks and have applied for registration of additional trademarks and service marks and have acquired a large number of domain names in and outside the U.S. to establish and protect our brand names as part of our intellectual property strategy. If our applications receive objections or are successfully opposed by third parties, it will be difficult for us to prevent third parties from using our brand without our permission. Moreover, successful opposition to our applications might encourage third parties to make additional oppositions or commence trademark infringement proceedings against us, which could be costly and time consuming to defend against. If we are not successful in protecting our trademarks, our trademark rights may be diluted and subject to challenge or invalidation, which could materially and adversely affect our brand.
Despite our efforts to implement our intellectual property strategy, we may not be able to protect or enforce our proprietary rights in the U.S. or internationally (where effective intellectual property protection may be unavailable or limited). For example, we have entered into agreements containing confidentiality and invention assignment provisions in connection with the outsourcing of certain software development and quality assurance activities to third-party contractors located in Russia and Ukraine. We have also entered into an agreement containing a confidentiality provision with a third-party contractor located in the Philippines, where we have outsourced a significant portion of our customer support function. We cannot assure you that agreements with these third-party contractors or their agreements with their employees and contractors will adequately protect our proprietary rights in the applicable jurisdictions and foreign countries, as their respective laws may not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the U.S. In addition, our competitors may independently develop technologies that are similar or superior to our technology, duplicate our technology in a manner that does not infringe our intellectual property rights or design around any of our patents. Furthermore, detecting and policing unauthorized use of our intellectual property is difficult and resource-intensive. Moreover, litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights, to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others, or to defend against claims of infringement or invalidity. Such litigation, whether successful or not, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management time and resources and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our use of open source technology could impose limitations on our ability to commercialize our subscriptions.
We use open source software in our platform on which our subscriptions operate. There is a risk that the owners of the copyrights in such software may claim that such licenses impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to market or provide our subscriptions. If such owners prevail in such claim, we could be required to make the source code for our proprietary software (which contains our valuable trade secrets) generally available to third parties, including competitors, at no cost, to seek licenses from third parties in order to continue offering our subscriptions, to re-engineer our technology, or to discontinue offering our subscriptions in the event re-engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely basis or at all, any of which could cause us to discontinue our subscriptions, harm our reputation, result in customer losses or claims, increase our costs or otherwise materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Class A Common Stock, Our Notes and Our Charter Provisions
The market price of our Class A Common Stock is likely to be volatile and could decline.
The stock market in general, and the market for SaaS and other technology-related stocks in particular, has been highly volatile. As a result, the market price and trading volume for our Class A Common Stock has been and may continue to be highly volatile, and investors in our Class A Common Stock may experience a decrease in the value of their shares, including decreases unrelated to our operating performance or prospects. Factors that could cause the market price of our Class A Common Stock to fluctuate significantly include:
•our operating and financial performance and prospects and the performance of other similar companies;
•our quarterly or annual earnings or those of other companies in our industry;
•conditions that impact demand for our subscriptions;
•the public’s reaction to our press releases, financial guidance, and other public announcements, and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC");
•changes in earnings estimates or recommendations by securities or research analysts who track our Class A Common Stock;
•actual or perceived security breaches, or other privacy or cybersecurity incidents;
•market and industry perception of our success, or lack thereof, in pursuing our growth strategy;
•strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions or restructurings;
•changes in government and other regulations;
•changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance, interpretations, or principles;
•arrival and departure of key personnel;
•sales of common stock by us, our investors, or members of our management team; and
•changes in general market, economic, and political conditions in the U.S. and global economies or financial markets, including those resulting from natural disasters, telecommunications failure, cyber-attack, changes in diplomatic or trade relationships, civil unrest in various parts of the world, acts of war, terrorist attacks, or other catastrophic events, such as the global outbreak of COVID-19.
Any of these factors may result in large and sudden changes in the trading volume and market price of our Class A Common Stock and may prevent investors from being able to sell their shares at or above the price they paid for their shares of our Class A Common Stock. Following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, stockholders often file securities class-action lawsuits against such company. Our involvement in a class-action lawsuit could divert our senior management’s attention and, if adversely determined, could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
The dual class structure of our common stock as contained in our charter documents has the effect of concentrating voting control with a limited number of stockholders that held our stock prior to our initial public offering, including our founders and our executive officers, employees and directors and their affiliates, and venture capital investors, and limiting other stockholders’ ability to influence corporate matters.
Our Class B common stock, par value $0.0001 per share (“Class B Common Stock” and, together with our Class A Common Stock, our "common stock"), has 10 votes per share, and our Class A Common Stock has one vote per share. Stockholders who hold shares of Class B Common Stock, including our founders, previous investors and our executive officers, employees and directors and their affiliates, together hold approximately 56% of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock, and our founders, including our CEO and Chairman, together hold a majority of such voting power. As a result, for the foreseeable future , our stockholders who acquired their shares prior to the completion of our initial public offering will continue to have significant influence over the management and affairs of our company and over the outcome of many matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, including the election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger, consolidation or sale of substantially all of our assets.
In addition, because of the ten-to-one voting ratio between our Class B and Class A Common Stock, the holders of Class B Common Stock collectively will continue to control many matters submitted to our stockholders for approval even if their stock holdings represent less than 50% of the outstanding shares of our common stock. This concentrated control will limit your ability to influence corporate matters for the foreseeable future, and, as a result, the market price of our Class A Common Stock could be adversely affected.
Future transfers by holders of Class B Common Stock will generally result in those shares converting to Class A Common Stock, which may have the effect, over time, of increasing the relative voting power of those holders of Class B Common Stock who retain their shares in the long term. If, for example, Mr. Shmunis retains a significant portion of his holdings of Class B Common Stock for an extended period of time, he could, in the future, control a majority of the combined voting power of our Class A and Class B Common Stock. As a board member, Mr. Shmunis owes fiduciary duties to our stockholders and must act in good faith in a manner he reasonably believes to be in the best interests of our stockholders. As a stockholder, even a controlling stockholder, Mr. Shmunis is generally entitled to vote his shares in his own interests, which may not always be in the interests of our stockholders generally.
We have never paid cash dividends and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock.
We currently do not plan to declare dividends on shares of our common stock in the foreseeable future and plan to, instead, retain any earnings to finance our operations and growth. Because we have never paid cash dividends and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future, the only opportunity to achieve a return on an investor’s investment in our company will be if the market price of our Class A Common Stock appreciates and the investor sells its shares at a profit. There is no guarantee that the price of our Class A Common Stock that will prevail in the market will ever exceed the price that an investor pays.
We may not have the ability to raise the funds necessary to settle conversions of the Notes in cash or to repurchase the Notes upon a fundamental change or pay the principal amount of the Notes at maturity, and our future debt may contain limitations on our ability to pay cash upon conversion or repurchase of the Notes.
Holders of the either series of Notes will have the right to require us to repurchase all or a portion of such Notes upon the occurrence of a fundamental change before the applicable maturity date at a repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount of such Notes to be repurchased, plus any accrued and unpaid special interest thereon, if any, as set forth in the applicable indenture governing the Notes. In addition, upon conversion of the Notes of the applicable series, unless we elect to deliver solely shares of our Class A Common Stock to settle such conversion (other than paying cash in lieu of delivering any fractional share), we will be required to make cash payments in respect of such Notes being converted, as set forth in the applicable indenture governing the Notes. Moreover, we will be required to repay the Notes of the applicable series in cash at their respective maturity unless earlier converted, redeemed or repurchased. However, we may not have enough available cash on hand or be able to obtain financing at the time we are required to make repurchases of such Notes surrendered therefor or pay cash with respect to such series of Notes being converted or at their respective maturity.
In addition, our ability to repurchase the Notes of the applicable series or to pay cash upon conversions of the Notes or at their respective maturity may be limited by law, regulatory authority, or agreements governing our future indebtedness. Our failure to repurchase such Notes at a time when the repurchase is required by the applicable indenture governing the Notes or to pay cash upon conversions of such Notes or at their respective maturity as required by the applicable indenture governing the Notes would constitute a default under such indenture. A default under such indenture, or the fundamental change itself, could also lead to a default under agreements governing our future indebtedness. Moreover, the occurrence of a fundamental change under the applicable indenture governing the Notes could constitute an event of default under any such agreement. If the repayment of the related indebtedness were to be accelerated after any applicable notice or grace periods, we may not have sufficient funds to repay the indebtedness and repurchase such series of Notes or make cash payments upon conversions thereof.
The conditional conversion feature of each series of Notes, if triggered, may adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.
In the event the conditional conversion feature of each series of Notes is triggered, holders of the Notes of the applicable series will be entitled under the applicable indenture governing the Notes to convert such Notes at any time during specified periods at their option. If one or more holders of a series elect to convert their Notes, unless we elect to satisfy our conversion obligation by delivering solely shares of our Class A Common Stock (other than paying cash in lieu of delivering any fractional share), we would be required to settle a portion or all of our conversion obligation in cash, which could adversely affect our liquidity. In addition, in certain circumstances, such as conversion by holders or redemption, we could be required under applicable accounting rules to reclassify all or a portion of the outstanding principal of such series of Notes as a current rather than long-term liability, which would result in a material reduction of our net working capital.
The capped call transactions may affect the value of the Notes and our Class A Common Stock and we are subject to counterparty risk.
In connection with the issuances of the Notes, we entered into capped call transactions with the counterparties with respect to each series of Notes. The capped call transactions cover, subject to customary adjustments, the number of shares of our Class A Common Stock initially underlying each series of Notes. The capped call transactions are expected to offset the potential dilution as a result of conversion of the Notes.
The counterparties or their respective affiliates may modify their hedge positions by entering into or unwinding various derivatives with respect to our Class A Common Stock and/or purchasing or selling our Class A Common Stock or
other securities of ours in secondary market transactions at any time prior to the respective maturity of the Notes (and are likely to do so on each exercise date of the capped call transactions). This activity could also cause or prevent an increase or a decrease in the market price of our Class A Common Stock.
We do not make any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any potential effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of each series of Notes or the shares of our Class A Common Stock. In addition, we do not make any representation that these transactions will not be discontinued without notice.
In addition, the counterparties to the capped call transactions are financial institutions and we will be subject to the risk that one or more of the counterparties may default or otherwise fail to perform, or may exercise certain rights to terminate, their obligations under the capped call transactions. If a counterparty to one or more capped call transaction becomes subject to insolvency proceedings, we will become an unsecured creditor in those proceedings with a claim equal to our exposure at the time under such transaction. Our exposure will depend on many factors but, generally, it will increase if the market price or the volatility of our Class A Common Stock increases. Upon a default or other failure to perform, or a termination of obligations, by a counterparty, we may suffer adverse tax consequences and more dilution than we currently anticipate with respect to our Class A Common Stock. We can provide no assurances as to the financial stability or viability of the counterparties.
Anti-takeover provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws and under Delaware corporate law could make an acquisition of us more difficult, limit attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management and limit the market price of our Class A Common Stock.
Provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws include provisions that:
•authorize our board of directors to issue, without further action by the stockholders, up to 100,000,000 shares of undesignated preferred stock;
•require that, once our outstanding shares of Class B Common Stock represent less than a majority of the combined voting power of our common stock, any action to be taken by our stockholders be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting and not by written consent; specify that special meetings of our stockholders can be called only by our board of directors, the Chairman of our board of directors, or our Chief Executive Officer;
•establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our board of directors;
•prohibit cumulative voting in the election of directors;
•provide that our directors may be removed only for cause, subject to such amendment as provided in our current proxy statement;
•provide that vacancies on our board of directors may be filled only by a majority of directors then in office, even though less than a quorum;
•require the approval of our board of directors or the holders of a supermajority of our outstanding shares of capital stock to amend our bylaws and certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation; and
•reflect two classes of common stock, as discussed above.
These provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our board of directors, which is responsible for appointing the members of our management. In addition, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which generally prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any of a broad range of business combinations with any “interested” stockholder for a period of three years following the date on which the stockholder became an “interested” stockholder.
General Risk Factors
Changes in effective tax rates, or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our income or other tax returns, could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Our future effective tax rates could be subject to volatility or adversely affected by a number of factors, including:
•changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities;
•expiration of, or lapses in, the research and development tax credit laws;
•expiration or non-utilization of net operating loss carryforwards;
•tax effects of share-based compensation;
•expansion into new jurisdictions;
•potential challenges to and costs related to implementation and ongoing operation of our intercompany arrangements;
•changes in tax laws and regulations and accounting principles, or interpretations or applications thereof; and
•certain non-deductible expenses as a result of acquisitions.
Any changes in our effective tax rate could adversely affect our results of operations.
Changes in U.S. and foreign tax laws could have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flow, results of operations or financial conditions.
We are subject to tax laws, regulations, and policies of the U.S. federal, state, and local governments and of comparable taxing authorities in foreign jurisdictions. Changes in tax laws, as well as other factors, could cause us to experience fluctuations in our tax obligations and effective tax rates in 2018 and thereafter and otherwise adversely affect our tax positions and/or our tax liabilities. For example, on July 25, 2019, France introduced a digital services tax at a rate of 3% on revenues derived from digital activities in France, and other jurisdictions are proposing or could introduce similar laws in the future. There can be no assurance that our effective tax rates, tax payments, tax credits, or incentives will not be adversely affected by these or other initiatives.
If our internal control over financial reporting is not effective, it may adversely affect investor confidence in our company.
Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, our independent registered public accounting firm, KPMG LLP, is required to and has issued an attestation report as of December 31, 2020. While management concluded internal control over financial reporting was at a reasonable assurance level as of December 31, 2020, there can be no assurance that material weaknesses will not be identified in the future. A “material weakness” is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. During the evaluation and testing process, if we identify one or more material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, we will be unable to assert that our internal controls are effective. As a result, we may need to undertake various actions, such as implementing new internal controls and procedures and hiring accounting or internal audit staff. Our remediation efforts may not enable us to avoid a material weakness in the future.
If our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an opinion on the effectiveness of our internal controls, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, which could cause the price of our Class A Common Stock to decline, and we may be subject to investigation or sanctions by the SEC.
The nature of our business requires the application of complex revenue and expense recognition rules and the current legislative and regulatory environment affecting generally accepted accounting principles is uncertain. Significant changes in current principles could affect our financial statements going forward and changes in financial accounting standards or practices may cause adverse, unexpected financial reporting fluctuations and harm our operating results.
The accounting rules and regulations that we must comply with are complex and subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “FASB”), the SEC and various bodies formed to promulgate and interpret appropriate accounting principles. Recent actions and public comments from the FASB and the SEC have focused on the integrity of financial reporting and internal controls. In addition, many companies’ accounting policies are being subject to heightened scrutiny by regulators and the public. Further, the accounting rules and regulations are continually changing in ways that could materially impact our financial statements.
We cannot predict the impact of future changes to accounting principles or our accounting policies on our financial statements going forward, which could have a significant effect on our reported financial results and could affect the reporting of transactions completed before the announcement of the change. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is ongoing uncertainty and significant disruption in the global economy and financial markets, and while we are not aware of any specific event or circumstance that would require a material update to our estimates, judgments or assumptions, this may change in the future. In addition, if we were to change our critical accounting estimates, including those related to the recognition of subscription revenue and other revenue sources, our operating results could be significantly affected.
Our corporate headquarters, one of our data centers and co-location facilities, our third-party customer service and support facilities, and a research and development facility are located near known earthquake fault zones, and the occurrence of an earthquake, tsunami, or other catastrophic disaster could damage our facilities or the facilities of our contractors, which could cause us to curtail our operations.
Our corporate headquarters and many of our data centers, co-location and research and development facilities, and third-party customer service call centers are located in California, Florida, and several countries in Asia, including the Philippines and Australia. All of these locations are near known earthquake fault zones, which are vulnerable to damage from earthquakes and tsunamis, or are in areas subject to hurricanes. We and our contractors are also vulnerable to other types of disasters, such as power loss, fire, floods, pandemics such as the global outbreak of COVID-19, cyber-attack, war, political unrest, and terrorist attacks and similar events that are beyond our control. If any disasters were to occur, our ability to operate our business could be seriously impaired, and we may endure system interruptions, reputational harm, loss of intellectual property, delays in our subscriptions development, lengthy interruptions in our services, breaches of data security, and loss of critical data, all of which could harm our future results of operations. In addition, we do not carry earthquake insurance and we may not have adequate insurance to cover our losses resulting from other disasters or other similar significant business interruptions. Any significant losses that are not recoverable under our insurance policies could seriously impair our business and financial condition.
If research analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or if they issue unfavorable commentary or downgrade our Class A Common Stock, our stock price and trading volume may decline.
The trading market for our Class A Common Stock will depend in part on the research and reports that research analysts publish about us and our business. If we do not maintain adequate research coverage or if one or more analysts who covers us downgrades our stock or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the price of our Class A Common Stock may decline. If one or more of the research analysts ceases coverage of our company or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our Class A Common Stock may decrease, which could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
Our corporate headquarters is located in Belmont, California, and consists of approximately 110,000 square feet of office space under leases that expire in July 2026.
We also lease offices in Denver, Colorado; Charlotte, North Carolina; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; London, England; Xiamen, China; Paris, France; and other small offices worldwide. In addition, we lease space from third-party datacenter hosting facilities under co-location agreements that support our cloud infrastructure, the most significant locations being Vienna and Ashburn, Virginia; San Jose and Santa Clara, California; Chicago, Illinois; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Zurich, Switzerland; Frankfurt, Germany; and other small locations worldwide. We believe that we will be able to obtain additional space at other locations at commercially reasonable terms to support our continuing expansion.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
Information with respect to this item may be found in Note 8 - Commitment and Contingencies in the accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8, “Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, under “Legal Matters” which is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market Information for Common Stock
Our Class A common stock has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “RNG” since September 27, 2013.
Our Class B common stock is not listed or traded on any stock exchange.
We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain any future earnings for use in the operation of our business and do not intend to declare or pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any further determination to pay dividends on our capital stock will be at the discretion of our board of directors, subject to applicable laws, and will depend on our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, general business conditions, and other factors that our board of directors considers relevant.
As of February 18, 2021, there were 18 stockholders of record of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock. Because most of our shares of Class A common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of beneficial stockholders represented by these record holders.
Sales of Unregistered Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds
Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans
Information regarding the securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plans can be found under Item 12 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Stock Performance Graph
The following shall not be deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or incorporated by reference into any of our other filings under the Exchange Act or the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.
The graph below matches RingCentral Inc.'s cumulative 5-year total shareholder return on common stock with the cumulative total returns of the Russell 1000 index and the NASDAQ Computer index. The graph tracks the performance of a $100 investment in our common stock and in each index (with the reinvestment of all dividends) from December 31, 2015 to December 31, 2020. The stock price performance on the following graph is not intended to forecast or be indicative of future stock price performance of our Class A common stock.
The stock price performance included in this graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.
ITEM 6. SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA
The following selected consolidated financial statements and data should be read together with the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of our results in any future period.
|Year ended December 31,|
|(in thousands, except per share amounts)|
|Consolidated Statements of Operations|
|Subscriptions||$||1,086,276 ||$||817,811 ||$||612,888 ||$||465,254 ||$||356,562 |
|Other||97,381 ||85,047 ||60,736 ||38,363 ||23,874 |
|Total revenues||1,183,657 ||902,858 ||673,624 ||503,617 ||380,436 |
|Loss from operations||(113,239)||(45,675)||(16,436)||(5,338)||(12,868)|
|Net loss per common share|
|Basic and diluted||(0.94)||(0.64)||(0.33)||(0.06)||(0.22)|
|Weighted-average number of shares used in computing net loss per share|
|Basic and diluted||88,684 ||83,130 ||79,500 ||76,281 ||72,994 |
|As of December 31,|
|Consolidated Balance Sheet Data (in thousands)|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||639,853 ||$||343,606 ||$||566,329 ||$||181,192 ||$||160,355 |
|Working capital surplus||$||488,061 ||$||254,826 ||$||508,155 ||$||139,602 ||$||100,220 |
|Total assets||$||2,184,597 ||$||1,450,747 ||$||894,326 ||$||359,814 ||$||286,296 |
|Deferred revenue||$||142,223 ||$||107,372 ||$||88,527 ||$||62,917 ||$||44,618 |
|Debt and financing obligations||$||1,412,502 ||$||389,718 ||$||370,324 ||$||— ||$||15,021 |
|Total stockholders' equity||$||308,459 ||$||745,700 ||$||317,609 ||$||228,346 ||$||164,248 |
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. As discussed in the section entitled “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” the following discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed below and elsewhere in this report, particularly in the section entitled “Risk Factors” included under Part I, Item1A.
This section of this Form 10-K generally discusses 2020 and 2019 items and year-to-year comparisons between 2020 and 2019. Discussion regarding our financial condition and results of operations for fiscal 2019 as compared to fiscal 2018 is included in Item 7 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the SEC on February 26, 2020.
We are a leading provider of cloud communications, video meetings, collaboration, and contact center software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) solutions. We believe that our innovative, cloud-based communication and contact center solutions disrupt the large market for business communications and collaboration by providing flexible and cost-effective solutions that support mobile and distributed workforces. We enable convenient and effective communications for organizations across all their locations and employees, enabling them to be more productive and more responsive to their customers.
Our cloud-based business communications and collaboration solutions are designed to be easy to use, providing a single user identity across multiple locations and devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs and desk phones. Our solutions can be deployed rapidly and configured and managed easily. Through our platform, we enable third-party developers and customers to integrate our solution with leading business applications to customize their own business workflows.
We have a portfolio of cloud-based offerings that are subscription based, made available at different rates varying by the specific functionalities, services, and number of users. We primarily generate revenues from the sale of subscriptions to our offerings. Our subscription plans have monthly, annual, or multi-year contractual terms. We believe that this flexibility in contract duration is important to meet the different needs of our customers. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, subscriptions revenues accounted for 90% or more of our total revenues. The remainder of our revenues has historically been primarily comprised of product revenues from the sale and rental of pre-configured phones and professional services. We do not develop, manufacture, or otherwise touch the delivery of physical phones and offer it as a convenience for a total solution to our customers in connection with subscriptions to our services. We rely on third-party providers to develop and manufacture these devices and fulfillment partners to successfully serve our customers.
We continue to invest in our direct inside sales force while also developing indirect sales channels to market our brand and our subscription offerings. Our indirect sales channels who sell our solutions consist of:
• a regional and global network of resellers;
•carriers including AT&T, Inc. (“AT&T”), TELUS Communications Company (“TELUS”), and BT Group plc (“BT”). Also, in November 2020 we entered into a strategic partnership with Vodafone Group Services Limited ("Vodafone") to deliver new cloud-based communications services. The parties will introduce a new co-branded cloud-based service that will be the Unified Communications as a Service ("UCaaS") solution for Vodafone and a Contact Center as a Service ("CCaaS") solution to Vodafone customers;
•strategic partners who market and sell our co-branded solutions directly and through their subsidiaries. Such partnerships include Avaya Holdings Corp. ("Avaya"), under which we introduced a new solution Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral ("ACO") in March 2020; Atos SE ("Atos") and its subsidiary, Unify Software and Solutions GmbH & CO. KG ("Unify"), under which we introduced a new Unified Communications as a Service ("UCaaS") solution called Unify Office by RingCentral ("UO") in September 2020; and in July 2020, we entered into a strategic partnership with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise ("ALE"), which includes the introduction of a new co-branded solution which will be marketed and sold as the UCaaS solution offering of ALE beginning in 2021.
Since its launch, our revenue growth has primarily been driven by our flagship RingCentral Office product offering, which has resulted in an increased number of customers, increased average subscription revenue per customer, and increased
retention of our existing customer and user base. We define a “customer” as any party that purchases or subscribes to our products and services directly or indirectly through our channel partners. As of December 31, 2020, we had customers from a range of industries, including financial services, education, healthcare, legal services, real estate, retail, technology, insurance, construction, hospitality, and state and local government, among others. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, the vast majority of our total revenues were generated in the U.S. and Canada, although we expect the percentage of our total revenues derived outside of the U.S. and Canada to grow as we continue to expand internationally.
The growth of our business and our future success depend on many factors, including our ability to expand our customer base to larger customers, expansion of our indirect sales channels including strategic partnerships, continue to innovate, grow revenues from our existing customer base, expand our distribution channels, and scale internationally.
In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) was reported and in January 2020, the World Health Organization (the "WHO") declared the outbreak a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” In February 2020, the WHO raised the COVID-19 threat level from high to very high at a global level and in March 2020, the WHO characterized the COVID-19 as a pandemic. The worldwide spread of COVID-19 has resulted in authorities implementing numerous measures to contain the virus, including travel bans and restrictions, quarantines, shelter-in-place orders, and business limitations and shutdowns.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, we noted contributions from new bookings as more businesses transition to RingCentral in the current work-from-anywhere environment. In the first and early part of the second quarter, we experienced higher churn rate mainly with small business customers in certain verticals. Since then we have seen stabilization in churn levels. Due to the shelter-in-place, we continue to see more customers opting for the RingCentral apps on laptops and mobile devices over traditional desktop phones which has impacted demand for physical phone devices. We also observed customer requests for extension in payment terms. To address customer hardships, we continue to engage with these customers providing them greater flexibility to manage challenges they are facing.
While our revenues and earnings are relatively predictable as a result of our subscription-based business model, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, may not be fully reflected in our results of operations and overall financial performance until future periods. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global slowdown of economic activity which has and will likely continue to decrease demand for a broad variety of goods and services, while also disrupting sales channels and marketing activities for an unknown period of time until the disease is contained.
We may experience curtailed customer demand due to reduced customer spend, shortened contract duration, higher churn, lengthened payment terms, credit card declines, potential delays in professional services implementations, and reduction in demand for desktop phones, which could adversely impact our business, results of operations and overall financial performance in future periods. We may in the future continue to experience elevated churn in certain customer verticals and customer requests for extension of payment terms.
The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operational and financial performance will also depend on certain developments, including the duration and spread of the outbreak, actions taken to contain the virus or its impact, impact on our partners, resellers, employees, vendors and customers, and employee or industry events, all of which are uncertain and cannot be predicted. For example, to support the health and well-being of our employees, customers, partners and communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a vast majority of our employees are working remotely and we have shifted some of our customer events to virtual-only experiences, and we may deem it advisable to similarly alter, postpone or cancel entirely additional customer, employee or industry events in the future. At this point, the full extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic may impact our financial condition or results of operations is uncertain, but changes we have implemented have not affected and are not expected to affect our ability to maintain operations, including financial reporting systems, internal control over financial reporting, and disclosure controls and procedures.
Further discussion of the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business can be found in the section titled "Risk Factors" included in Part I, Item 1A.
Key Business Metrics
In addition to United States generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”) and financial measures such as total revenues, gross margin, and cash flows from operations, we regularly review a number of key business metrics to evaluate growth trends, measure our performance, and make strategic decisions. We discuss revenues and gross margin under “Results of Operations”, and cash flow from operations and free cash flows under “Liquidity and Capital Resources.” Other key business metrics are discussed below.
Annualized Exit Monthly Recurring Subscriptions
We believe that our Annualized Exit Monthly Recurring Subscriptions (“ARR”) is a leading indicator of our anticipated subscriptions revenues. We believe that trends in revenue are important to understanding the overall health of our business, and we use these trends in order to formulate financial projections and make strategic business decisions. Our ARR equals our Monthly Recurring Subscriptions multiplied by 12. Our Monthly Recurring Subscriptions equals the monthly value of all customer recurring charges at the end of a given month. For example, our Monthly Recurring Subscriptions at December 31, 2020 was $108.3 million. As such, our ARR at December 31, 2020 was $1.3 billion compared to $960.1 million at December 31, 2019.
RingCentral Office Annualized Exit Monthly Recurring Subscriptions
We calculate our RingCentral Office Annualized Exit Monthly Recurring Subscriptions (“Office ARR”) in the same manner as we calculate our ARR, except that primarily customer subscriptions from RingCentral Office and RingCentral customer engagement solutions customers are included when determining Monthly Recurring Subscriptions for the purposes of calculating this key business metric. We believe that trends in revenue with respect to these products are important to the understanding of the overall health of our business, and we use these trends in order to formulate financial projections and make strategic business decisions. Our Office ARR at December 31, 2020 was $1.2 billion compared to $876.8 million at December 31, 2019.
Net Monthly Subscription Dollar Retention Rate
We believe that our Net Monthly Subscription Dollar Retention Rate provides insight into our ability to retain and grow subscriptions revenue, as well as our customers’ potential long-term value to us. We believe that our ability to retain our customers and expand their use of our solutions over time is a leading indicator of the stability of our revenue base and we use these trends in order to formulate financial projections and make strategic business decisions. We define our Net Monthly Subscription Dollar Retention Rate as (i) one plus (ii) the quotient of Dollar Net Change divided by Average Monthly Recurring Subscriptions.
We define Dollar Net Change as the quotient of (i) the difference of our Monthly Recurring Subscriptions at the end of a period minus our Monthly Recurring Subscriptions at the beginning of a period minus our Monthly Recurring Subscriptions at the end of the period from new customers we added during the period, all divided by (ii) the number of months in the period. We define our Average Monthly Recurring Subscriptions as the average of the Monthly Recurring Subscriptions at the beginning and end of the measurement period.
For example, if our Monthly Recurring Subscriptions were $118 at the end of a quarterly period and $100 at the beginning of the period, and $20 at the end of the period from new customers we added during the period, then the Dollar Net Change would be equal to ($0.67), or the amount equal to the difference of $118 minus $100 minus $20, all divided by three months. Our Average Monthly Recurring Subscriptions would equal $109, or the sum of $100 plus $118, divided by two. Our Net Monthly Subscription Dollar Retention Rate would then equal 99.4%, or approximately 99%, or one plus the quotient of the Dollar Net Change divided by the Average Monthly Recurring Subscriptions.
Our key business metrics for the five quarterly periods ended December 31, 2020 were as follows (dollars in millions):
|December 31, 2020||September 30, 2020||June 30, 2020||March 31, 2020||December 31, 2019|
|Net Monthly Subscription Dollar Retention Rate||>99%||>99%||>99%||>99%||>99%|
|Annualized Exit Monthly Recurring Subscriptions||$||1,299.5 ||$||1,179.0 ||$||1,106.5 ||$||1,029.7 ||$||960.1 |
|RingCentral Office Annualized Exit Monthly|
|$||1,215.2 ||$||1,091.6 ||$||1,018.3 ||$||943.3 ||$||876.8 |
Components of Results of Operations
Our revenues for the years presented consisted of subscriptions and other revenues. Our subscriptions revenue includes all fees billed in connection with subscriptions to our solution offerings. These fees include recurring fixed plan subscription fees, variable usage-based fees for usage in excess of plan limits, recurring administrative cost recovery fees, one-time fees, and other recurring fees related to our subscriptions. We provide our subscriptions to our customers pursuant to contractual arrangements that range in duration typically from one month to five years. We provide our subscriptions to our customers
pursuant to either “click through” online agreements for service terms up to one year or written agreements when the arrangement is expected to be one year or longer. We offer our subscriptions based on the functionalities and services selected by a customer, and generally our subscription arrangements automatically renew for additional periods at the end of the initial subscription term. We believe that this flexibility in contract duration is important to meet the different needs of our customers.
We generally bill our subscription fees in advance. We recognize subscription revenue over the term of the agreement. Amounts billed in excess of revenue recognized for the period are reported as deferred revenue on our Consolidated Balance Sheets.
We also generate revenues through sales of our subscriptions and products by resellers, strategic partners, and carrier partners. When we control the performance of the contractual obligations, we record the revenues on a gross basis and amounts retained by our resellers are recorded as sales and marketing expense. Our assumption of such control is evidenced when, among other things, we are primarily responsible for the delivery of the service or products, have inventory risk, and have discretion in establishing pricing of the arrangement.
“Other revenues” includes product revenues from the sale of pre-configured phones, phone rentals, and professional services. Product revenue is recognized when the product has been delivered to the customer. Professional services revenue is recognized as services are delivered.
Cost of Revenues and Gross Margin
Our cost of subscriptions revenue primarily consists of fees paid to third-party telecommunications providers, network operations, costs to build out and maintain data centers, including co-location fees for the right to place our servers in data centers owned by third parties, depreciation of servers and equipment, along with related utilities and maintenance costs, personnel costs associated with customer care and support of the functionality of our platform and data center operations, including share-based compensation expenses, and allocated costs of facilities and information technology.
We define subscriptions gross margins as subscriptions revenue minus the cost of subscriptions revenue expressed as a percentage of subscriptions revenue.
Cost of other revenue is comprised primarily of the cost associated with the purchase of phones, cost of professional services, and allocated costs of facilities and information technology.
We classify our operating expenses as research and development, sales and marketing, and general and administrative expenses.
Our research and development efforts are focused on developing new and expanded features for our solutions, integrations with distributors and other software platforms, and improvements to our backend architecture. Research and development expenses consist primarily of personnel costs for employees and contractors, including share-based compensation expenses, and allocated costs of facilities and information technology, software tools, and product certification. We expense research and development costs as incurred, except for certain internal-use software development costs that we capitalize. We believe that continued investment in our products is important for our future growth, and we expect our research and development expenses to continue to increase in absolute dollars for the foreseeable future, although these expenses may fluctuate as a percentage of our total revenues from period to period depending on the timing of these expenses.
Sales and marketing expenses are the largest component of our operating expenses and consist primarily of personnel costs for employees and contractors directly associated with our sales and marketing activities including share-based compensation expenses, internet advertising fees, radio and billboard advertising, public relations, commissions paid to employees, resellers and other third parties, amortization of capitalized sales commissions, trade shows, travel expenses, credit card fees, marketing and promotional activities, amortization of acquired customer relationship intangibles, and allocated costs of facilities and information technology. We expect our sales and marketing expenses to continue to increase in absolute dollars for the foreseeable future as we expand our sales and marketing efforts domestically and internationally and continue to build our brand, although these expenses may fluctuate as a percentage of our total revenues from period to period depending on the timing of these expenses.
General and administrative expenses consist primarily of personnel costs, including share-based compensation expenses, for employees and contractors engaged in infrastructure and administrative activities to support the day-to-day
operations of our business. Other significant components of general and administrative expenses include professional service fees, allocated costs of facilities and information technology, cost of compliance with certain government-imposed taxes, the costs of legal matters, business acquisition costs, and loss contingencies. We expect our general and administrative expenses to continue to increase in absolute dollars for the foreseeable future, although these expenses may fluctuate as a percentage of our total revenues from period to period, depending on the timing of these expenses.
Results of Operations
The following tables set forth selected consolidated statements of operations data and such data as a percentage of total revenues. The historical results presented below are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for any future period (in thousands):
|Year ended December 31,|
|Subscriptions||$||1,086,276 ||$||817,811 ||$||612,888 |
|Other||97,381 ||85,047 ||60,736 |
|Total revenues||1,183,657 ||902,858 ||673,624 |
|Cost of revenues|
|Subscriptions||236,990 ||160,320 ||109,454 |
|Other||86,617 ||70,723 ||47,675 |
|Total cost of revenues||323,607 ||231,043 ||157,129 |
|Gross profit||860,050 ||671,815 ||516,495 |
|Research and development||189,484 ||136,363 ||101,042 |
|Sales and marketing||583,773 ||439,100 ||329,116 |
|General and administrative||200,032 ||142,027 ||102,773 |
|Total operating expenses||973,289 ||717,490 ||532,931 |
|Loss from operations||(113,239)||(45,675)||(16,436)|
|Other income (expense), net|
|Other income, net||80,458 ||9,247 ||6,475 |
|Other income (expense), net||31,177 ||(11,265)||(9,627)|
|Loss before income taxes||(82,062)||(56,940)||(26,063)|
|Provision for (benefit from) income taxes||934 ||(3,333)||140 |
Percentage of Total Revenues*
|Year ended December 31,|
|Subscriptions||92 ||%||91 ||%||91 ||%|
|Other||8 ||9 ||9 |
|Total revenues||100 ||100 ||100 |
|Cost of revenues|
|Subscriptions||20 ||18 ||16 |
|Other||7 ||8 ||7 |
|Total cost of revenues||27 ||26 ||23 |
|Gross profit||73 ||74 ||77 |
|Research and development||16 ||15 ||15 |
|Sales and marketing||49 ||49 ||49 |
|General and administrative||17 ||16 ||15 |
|Total operating expenses||82 ||79 ||79 |
|Loss from operations||(10)||(5)||(2)|
|Other income (expense), net|
|Other income, net||7 ||1 ||1 |
|Other income (expense), net||3 ||(1)||(1)|
|Loss before income taxes||(7)||(6)||(4)|
|Provision for (benefit from) income taxes||— ||— ||— |
|Net loss||(7 ||%)||(6 ||%)||(4 ||%)|
* Percentages may not add up due to rounding.
Comparison of Fiscal Years Ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018:
|Year ended December 31,||Year ended December 31,|
|(in thousands, except percentages)||2020||2019||$ |
|Subscriptions||$||1,086,276 ||$||817,811 ||$||268,465 ||33 ||%||$||817,811 ||$||612,888 ||$||204,923 ||33 ||%|
|Other||97,381 ||85,047 ||12,334 ||15 ||%||85,047 ||60,736 ||24,311 ||40 ||%|
|Total revenues||$||1,183,657 ||$||902,858 ||$||280,799 ||31 ||%||$||902,858 ||$||673,624 ||$||229,234 ||34 ||%|
|Percentage of revenues|
|Subscriptions||92 ||%||91 ||%||91 ||%||91 ||%|
|Other||8 ||9 ||9 ||9 |
|Total||100 ||%||100 ||%||100 ||%||100 ||%|
Subscriptions revenue. Subscriptions revenue increased by $268.5 million, or 33%, during fiscal year 2020 as compared to fiscal year 2019. The increase was primarily a combination of the acquisition of new customers and upsells of seats and additional offerings to our existing customer base. This growth was primarily driven by an increase in sales to our mid-market and enterprise customers as we continue to move up market and increased sales through our direct and indirect sales channels. Although we expect to continue to add new customers and for existing customers to increase their usage of our product, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic carefully and its impact on customer demand, contract duration, churn, payment terms, and credit card declines. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and volatility in the market, including those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, could also cause variability in our revenue.
Other revenues. Other revenues are primarily comprised of product revenue from the sale of pre-configured phones, phone rentals, and professional services.
Other revenue increased by $12.3 million, or 15%, during fiscal year 2020 as compared to fiscal year 2019, primarily due to the increase in product sales and professional services resulting from the overall growth in our business. Due to shelter in place restrictions adopted in many jurisdictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to see a shift towards using RingCentral apps on laptops and mobile devices over traditional desktop phones and timing of professional services projects. We may see a reduction in demand for desktop phones and slower implementation services. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic carefully and its impact on phone and professional services revenue.
Cost of Revenues and Gross Margin
|Year ended December 31,||Year ended December 31,|
|(in thousands, except percentages)||2020||2019||$ |
|Cost of revenues|
|Subscriptions||$||236,990 ||$||160,320 ||$||76,670 ||48 ||%||$||160,320 ||$||109,454 ||$||50,866 ||46 ||%|
|Other||86,617 ||70,723 ||15,894 ||22 ||%||70,723 ||47,675 ||23,048 ||48 ||%|
|Total cost of revenues||$||323,607 ||$||231,043 ||$||92,564 ||40 ||%||$||231,043 ||$||157,129 ||$||73,914 ||47 ||%|
|Percentage of revenues|
|Subscriptions||20 ||%||18 ||%||18 ||%||16 ||%|
|Other||7 ||%||8 ||%||8 ||%||7 ||%|
|Subscriptions||78 ||%||80 ||%||80 ||%||82 ||%|
|Other||11 ||%||17 ||%||17 ||%||22 ||%|
|Total gross margin %||73 ||%||74 ||%||74 ||%||77 ||%|
Subscription cost of revenues and gross margin. Cost of subscriptions revenues increased by $76.7 million, or 48%, during fiscal year 2020 as compared to fiscal year 2019. The primary drivers of the increase were third-party costs to support our solution offerings of $25.9 million, amortization of acquired intangible assets of $25.1 million, infrastructure support costs of $16.7 million, and personnel and contractor-related costs including share-based compensation expenses of $11.7 million. Gross margin decreased mainly due to timing of acquisition of intangible assets which resulted in higher amortization of acquired intangible assets of $25.1 million and timing of our equity grants which resulted in higher share-based compensation expense of $3.6 million.
The increase in headcount and other expense categories described herein was driven primarily by investments in our infrastructure and capacity to improve the availability of our subscription offerings, while also supporting the growth in new customers and increased usage of our subscriptions by our existing customer base. We expect subscription gross margin to be within a relatively similar range in the future. However, we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic carefully and its impact on our customers.
Other cost of revenues and gross margin. Cost of other revenues increased by $15.9 million, or 22%, during fiscal year 2020 as compared to fiscal year 2019. This was primarily due to the increase in personnel costs including share-based compensation expense of $10.1 million and cost of product sales of $5.4 million. Other revenue gross margin fluctuated based on timing of completion of professional services projects and transaction price for product sales.
We continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on timing of professional services and transaction price of product sales.
Research and Development
|Year ended December 31,||Year ended December 31,|
|(in thousands, except percentages)||2020||2019||$ |
|Research and development||$||189,484 ||$||136,363 ||$||53,121 ||39 ||%||$||136,363 ||$||101,042 ||$||35,321 ||35 ||%|
|Percentage of total revenues||16 ||%||15 ||%||15 ||%||15 ||%|
Research and development expenses increased by $53.1 million, or 39%, during fiscal year 2020 as compared to fiscal year 2019, primarily due to $48.0 million increase in personnel and contractor costs and $4.9 million increase in overhead costs to support our research and development efforts. The increase in personnel and contractor costs was mainly driven by approximately $30.3 million relating to headcount growth and $16.2 million share-based compensation expense.
The increases in research and development headcount and other expense categories were driven by continued investment in current and future software development projects for our applications. Given the continued emphasis and focus on product innovation, we expect research and development expenses to continue to increase in absolute dollars.
Sales and Marketing
|Year ended December 31,||Year ended December 31,|
|(in thousands, except percentages)||2020||2019||$ |
|Sales and marketing||$||583,773 ||$||439,100 ||$||144,673 ||33 ||%||$||439,100 ||$||329,116 ||$||109,984 ||33 ||%|
|Percentage of total revenues||49 ||%||49 ||%||49 ||%||49 ||%|
Sales and marketing expenses increased by $144.7 million, or 33%, during fiscal year 2020 as compared to fiscal year 2019, primarily due to increases in personnel and contractor costs of $73.3 million, third-party commissions of $35.2 million, advertising and marketing costs of $35.1 million, and amortization of deferred sales commission costs of $17.1 million, partially offset by a $9.9 million decrease in travel costs resulting from the impact of COVID-19 and a $6.6 million decrease in professional fees mainly due to costs associated with strategic partnerships and acquisitions in fiscal year 2019. Of the total increase in personnel and contractor costs, $45.5 million was primarily due to headcount growth and approximately $25.9 million was due to higher share-based compensation expense.
The increases in sales and marketing headcount and other expense categories were necessary to support our growth strategy to acquire new customers with a focus on larger customers, and to establish brand recognition to achieve greater penetration into the North America and international markets. Additionally, we expect sales and marketing expenses to continue to increase in absolute dollars as we continue to expand our presence in North America and international markets.
General and Administrative
|Year ended December 31,||Year ended December 31,|
|(in thousands, except percentages)||2020||2019||$ |
|General and administrative||$||200,032 ||$||142,027 ||$||58,005 ||41 ||%||$||142,027 ||$||102,773 ||$||39,254 ||38 ||%|
|Percentage of total revenues||17 ||%||16 ||%||16 ||%||15 ||%|
General and administrative expenses increased by $58.0 million, or 41%, during fiscal year 2020 as compared to fiscal year 2019, primarily due to increases in personnel and contractor costs of $51.1 million including $40.6 million due to higher share-based compensation expense, business fees and taxes of $6.4 million, overhead costs of $3.9 million, professional fees of $3.2 million, and increased allowance for doubtful accounts of $3.0 million partly driven by customer collection related matters stemming form COVID-19, partially offset by cost savings of $10.0 million including credits and decreased travel costs.
We expect general and administrative expenses to continue to increase in absolute dollars as we continue to make additional investments in processes, systems, and personnel to support our anticipated revenue growth.
Other Income (expense), net
|Year ended December 31,||Year ended December 31,|
|(in thousands, except percentages)||2020||2019||$ |
|Other income, net||80,458 ||9,247 ||71,211 ||nm||9,247 ||6,475 ||2,772 ||nm|
|Other income (expense), net||$||31,177 ||$||(11,265)||$||42,442 ||nm||$||(11,265)||$||(9,627)||$||(1,638)||nm|
nm - not meaningful
Other income (expense), net increased by $42.4 million during fiscal year 2020 as compared to fiscal year 2019.
Other income, net was higher by $71.2 million primarily due to $81.1 million net unrealized gain recognized on our long-term investments, which depends on market fluctuations, partially offset by $13.3 million loss on partial repurchase of our convertible senior notes during fiscal 2020 and decrease in interest income on our investments of $9.1 million mainly as a result of reduction in interest rates. Fiscal 2019 expense were also higher due to costs associated with strategic partnerships and acquisitions of $10.6 million, which did not recur in fiscal 2020.
Interest expense was higher by $28.8 million due to increase in the amortization of debt discount and issuance costs from our 2025 and 2026 convertible senior notes issued in the first and third quarters of 2020, respectively.
We expect interest income to further reduce in the future due to interest rate volatility in the current macroeconomic environment.
Net loss increased by $29.4 million during fiscal year 2020, mainly due to non-cash items including $88.2 million higher share-based compensation expense primarily driven by equity awards granted to new employees and annual merit based equity awards to existing employees, $28.7 million increase in interest expense from the amortization of debt discount and issuance costs from our convertible senior notes, and $25.1 million increase in amortization of acquired intangibles, partially offset by $81.1 million net unrealized gain recognized from our long-term investments, and a decrease in acquisition-related costs of $24.0 million.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Liquidity is a measure of our ability to access sufficient cash flows to meet the short-term and long-term cash requirements of our business operations.
As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, we had cash and cash equivalents of $639.9 million and $343.6 million, respectively. We finance our operations primarily through sales to our customers, which could be billed either on a monthly or annually one year in advance. For customers with annual or multi-year contracts and those who opt for annual invoicing, we generally invoice only one annual period in advance and revenue is deferred for such advanced billings. We also finance our operations from proceeds from issuance of convertible senior notes and proceeds from issuance of stock under our stock plans.
In March 2020, we issued $1.0 billion aggregate principal of 0% convertible senior notes due 2025 (the “2025 Notes”) in a private placement. As of December 31, 2020, the carrying value of our 2025 Notes totaled $825.0 million. In September 2020, we issued $650.0 million aggregate principal of 0% convertible senior notes due 2026 (the "2026 Notes") in a private placement. As of December 31, 2020, the carrying value of our 2026 Notes totaled $510.3 million. Our 2025 Notes and 2026 Notes contain customary financial covenants. In connection with both these offering, we used approximately $1.0 billion of the total net proceeds of $1.6 billion to repurchase a portion of the 0% convertible senior notes due 2023 (the "2023 Notes").
The 2023 Notes outstanding principal balance as of December 31, 2020 was $80.2 million, out of which $34.9 million conversion requests were outstanding as of December 31, 2020, and we received additional conversion requests of $4.1 million subsequent to December 31, 2020. We expect to pay approximately $185 million in the first quarter of 2021 to settle these outstanding conversion requests. As of the filing date, the remaining outstanding principal balance of the 2023 Notes is $45.3 million. We intend to settle this outstanding principal amount out of our cash and cash equivalents outstanding balance. For additional details, refer to Note 6 – Convertible Senior Notes of the notes to the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8, “Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information. We are in compliance with all covenants under the 2026, 2025 and 2023 Notes as of December 31, 2020.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, we entered into strategic partnership agreements with ALE and Vodafone under which we paid approximately $163.7 million. We also financed approximately $4.7 million of property, equipment, and software licenses through vendor financing arrangements and paid approximately $4.5 million to purchase additional intellectual property rights.
We believe that our operations, existing liquidity sources as well as capital resources and ability to raise cash through additional financing will satisfy our future cash requirements and obligations for at least the next 12 months. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including revenue growth and costs incurred to support customer growth, acquisitions and expansions, sales and marketing, research and development, increased general and administrative expenses to support the anticipated growth in our operations, and capital equipment required to support our growing headcount and in support of our co-location data center facilities, as well as the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our business. Our capital expenditures in future periods are expected to grow in line with our business. We continually evaluate our capital needs and may decide to raise additional capital to fund the growth of our business for general corporate purposes through public or private equity offerings or through additional debt financing. We also may in the future make investments in or acquire businesses or technologies that could require us to seek additional equity or debt financing. Access to additional capital may not be available or on favorable terms. The uncertainty created by the changing markets and economic conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic may also impact our customers’ ability to pay on a timely basis, which could negatively impact our operating cash flows.
The table below provides selected cash flow information for the periods indicated (in thousands):
|Year ended December 31,|
|Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities||$||(35,191)||$||64,846 ||$||72,130 |
|Net cash used in investing activities||(107,686)||(296,780)||(83,448)|
|Net cash provided by financing activities||437,590 ||9,042 ||397,255 |
|Effect of exchange rate changes||1,534 ||169 ||(800)|
|Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents||$||296,247 ||$||(222,723)||$||385,137 |
Net Cash (Used in) Provided by Operating Activities
Cash used in or provided by operating activities is driven by our net loss, the timing of customer collections, as well as the amount and timing of disbursements to our vendors, the amount of cash we invest in personnel, marketing, and infrastructure costs to support the anticipated growth of our business, payments under strategic arrangements, and amounts attributable to repayment of convertible notes.
Net cash used in operating activities was $35.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. This was driven primarily by $141.6 million paid under strategic agreements and $35.0 million attributable to debt discount on a portion of the 2023 convertible senior notes that was repaid. These were offset by $141.4 million in cash flow from operating activities during the year ended December 31, 2020. The cash flow from operating activities was driven by timing of cash receipts and prepayments from customers and carriers and cash payments for personnel related costs and to vendors.
Net cash used in operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2020, increased by $100.0 million as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. This change was driven by payments under strategic arrangements and debt discount for a portion of the 2023 senior convertible notes that was repaid, offset with the additional cash generated from operating activities.
Net Cash Used in Investing Activities
Our primary investing activities have consisted of our long-term investments, business acquisitions and purchase of intellectual properties, and capital expenditures and internal-use software. As our business grows, we expect our capital expenditures to continue to increase.
Net cash used in investing activities was $107.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to capital expenditures including personnel-related costs associated with development of internal-use software of $81.7 million and acquisition of IP of $26.0 million to complement and support our product development and enhancement initiatives.
Net cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2020 decreased by $189.1 million as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily due to $135.6 million used in 2019 to acquire our long-term investments and lower cash used in 2020 for business combinations and asset acquisitions of $91.0 million, partially offset by higher capital expenditures and internal use software investment of $37.4 million to support the growth in our business.
Net Cash Provided by Financing Activities
Our primary financing activities have consisted of raising proceeds through the issuance of our 2025 Notes and 2026 Notes in the first and third quarters of 2020, respectively, and stock under our stock plans, offset by partial repurchase and conversion of our 2023 Notes.
Net cash provided by financing activities was approximately $437.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to $1.6 billion proceeds from the issuance of our 2025 Notes and 2026 Notes, net of issuance costs, partially offset by $1.1 billion paid for the partial repurchase and conversions of our 2023 Notes and $102.7 million payments for capped calls transactions and costs. We also had proceeds from issuance of stock in connection with our stock plans of $41.2 million, which was offset with payments for taxes paid in connection with our stock plans of $36.7 million.
Net cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2020, increased by $428.5 million as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily proceeds from the 2025 Notes and the 2026 Notes issued in 2020, partially offset by the partial repurchases and conversions of the 2023 Notes. Refer to Note 6, Convertible Senior Notes, of the notes to the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8, “Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.
Non-GAAP Free Cash Flow
To supplement our statements of cash flows presented on a GAAP basis, we use non-GAAP measures of cash flows to analyze cash flow generated from our operations. We define free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, as GAAP net cash provided by (used in) operating activities plus cash paid for strategic partnerships and repayments of convertible senior notes attributable to debt discount, reduced by purchases of property and equipment and capitalized internal-use software. We believe information regarding free cash flow provides useful information to management and investors in understanding the strength of liquidity and available cash. A limitation of the use of free cash flow is that it does not represent the total increase or decrease in our cash balance for the period. Free cash flow should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to cash flows from operations, and should be considered alongside our other GAAP-based financial liquidity performance measures, such as net cash used in operating activities and our other GAAP financial results.
The following table presents a reconciliation of free cash flow to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, for each of the periods presented (in thousands):
|Year ended December 31,|
|Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities||$||(35,191)||$||64,846 ||$||72,130 |
|Strategic partnerships||141,584 ||34,500 ||— |
|Repayment of convertible senior notes attributable to debt discount||35,020 ||— ||— |
|Non-GAAP net cash provided by operating activities||141,413 ||99,346 ||72,130 |
|Purchases of property and equipment||(43,618)||(27,767)||(27,123)|
|Capitalized internal-use software||(38,113)||(16,526)||(11,421)|
|Non-GAAP free cash flow||$||59,682 ||$||55,053 ||$||33,586 |
We have generally signed new customers contracts with varying length, from month-to-month to multi-year terms for our subscription services. At any point in the contract term, there can be amounts allocated to services that we have not yet contractually performed, which constitute a backlog. Until we meet our performance obligations, we do not recognize them as revenues in our consolidated financial statements. Given the variability in our contract length, we believe that backlog is not a reliable indicator of future revenues and we do not utilize backlog as a key management metric internally.
Deferred revenue primarily consists of the unearned portion of monthly or annual invoiced fees for our subscriptions, which we recognize as revenue in accordance with our revenue recognition policy. For customers with multi-year contracts, we generally invoice for only one monthly or annual subscription period in advance. Therefore, our deferred revenue balance does not capture the full contract value of multi-year contracts. Accordingly, we believe that deferred revenue is not a reliable indicator of future revenues and we do not utilize deferred revenue as a key management metric internally.
The following summarizes our contractual obligations as of December 31, 2020 (in thousands):
|Payments due by period|
|1 to 3 years||3 to 5 years||More than|
Operating lease obligations (1)
|$||18,965 ||$||25,398 ||$||11,754 ||$||7,414 ||$||63,531 |
|Financing obligations||5,451 ||5,515 ||— ||— ||10,966 |
|Long-term debt||— ||80,213 ||1,000,000 ||650,000 ||1,730,213 |
|Purchase obligations||53,729 ||25,526 ||18,620 ||16,426 ||114,301 |
|Total||$||78,145 ||$||136,652 ||$||1,030,374 ||$||673,840 ||$||1,919,011 |
(1)Operating lease obligations includes operating leases of $1.1 million that have not yet commenced as of December 31, 2020.
Purchase obligations represent an estimate of open purchase orders and contractual obligations in the normal course of business for which we have not received the goods or services as of December 31, 2020. Although open purchase orders are considered enforceable and legally binding, except for our purchase orders with our inventory suppliers, the terms generally allow us the option to cancel, reschedule, and adjust our requirements based on our business needs prior to the delivery of goods or performance of services. Our purchase orders with our inventory suppliers are non-cancellable. In addition, we have other obligations for goods and services that we enter into in the normal course of business. These obligations, however, are either not enforceable or legally binding, or are subject to change based on our business decisions. The aggregate of these items represents our estimate of purchase obligations.
Certain of our agreements with sales agents, resellers and customers include provisions for indemnification against liabilities if our products infringe a third-party’s intellectual property rights. To date, we have not incurred any material costs as a result of such indemnification provisions and have not accrued any liabilities related to such obligations in the consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2020.
We are and may be in the future subject to certain legal proceedings and from time to time may be involved in a variety of claims, lawsuits, investigations, and proceedings relating to contractual disputes, intellectual property rights, employment matters, regulatory compliance matters, and other matters relating to various claims that arise in the normal course of business. We record a provision for a liability when we believe that it is both probable that a liability has been incurred, and the amount can be reasonably estimated. Significant judgment is required to determine both probability and the estimated amount of loss. Such legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable and subject to significant uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control. Should any of these estimates and assumptions change or prove to be incorrect, it could have a significant impact on our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.
Refer to Note 8 – Commitment and Contingencies of the notes to the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8, “Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
Through December 31, 2020, we did not have any relationships with unconsolidated organizations or financial partnerships, such as structured finance or special purpose entities that would have been established for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements or other contractually narrow or limited purposes.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. In many cases, the accounting treatment of a particular transaction is specifically dictated by U.S. GAAP and does not require management’s judgment in its application. In other cases, management’s judgment is required in selecting among available alternative accounting standards
that provide for different accounting treatment for similar transactions. The preparation of consolidated financial statements also requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts we report as assets, liabilities, revenues, costs, and expenses, and affect the related disclosures. We base our estimates on historical experience and other assumptions that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances. In many instances, we could reasonably use different accounting estimates, and in some instances changes in the accounting estimates are reasonably likely to occur from period to period. Accordingly, our actual results could differ significantly from the estimates made by our management. To the extent that there are differences between our estimates and actual results, our future financial statement presentation, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows will be affected. A summary of our significant accounting policies is included in Note 1 of the notes to the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8, which is incorporated herein by reference. We believe that the accounting policies discussed below are critical to understanding our historical and future performance, as these policies relate to the more significant areas involving management’s judgments and estimates.
We derive our revenues from subscriptions, sale of products, and professional services. Subscriptions revenue is generally recognized over the period of the subscription contract. Subscription contracts generally allow the customers to terminate their services at any time during the first 30 days of the subscription period and are charged for the term of usage. Upon cancellation during the termination period, customers receive a pro-rata refund for any amounts paid. After the end of the termination period, the contract is non-cancellable and the customer is obligated to pay for the remaining term of the contract. For sale of products, revenue is recognized when control is transferred. For professional services, revenue is recognized as services are rendered.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
For a summary of recent accounting pronouncements and the anticipated effects on our consolidated financial statements, see Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8, “Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk
We are exposed to market risk in the ordinary course of our business. Market risk represents the risk of loss that may impact our financial position due to adverse changes in financial market prices and rates. Our market risk exposure is primarily a result of fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates. We do not hold or issue financial instruments for trading purposes.
Foreign Currency Risk
The majority of our sales and contracts are denominated in U.S. dollars, and therefore our net revenue is not currently subject to significant foreign currency risk. As part of our international operations, we charge customers in British Pounds, European Union (“EU”) Euro, Canadian Dollars and Australian Dollars, among others. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and volatility in the market, including those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, will cause variability in our revenue. However, this impact has not been significant during 2020. Our operating expenses are generally denominated in the currencies of the countries in which our operations are located, which are primarily in the U.S., and to a lesser extent in Canada, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The functional currency of our foreign subsidiaries is generally the local currency. Our consolidated results of operations and cash flows are, therefore, subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates and may be adversely affected in the future due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates. To date, we have not entered into any hedging arrangements with respect to foreign currency risk. During fiscal 2020, a hypothetical 10% change in foreign currency exchange rates applicable to our business would not have had a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. As our international operations continue to expand, risks associated with fluctuating foreign currency rates may increase. We will continue to reassess our approach to managing these risks.
Interest Rate Risk
As of December 31, 2020, we had cash and cash equivalents of $639.9 million. We invest our cash and cash equivalents in short-term money market funds. We have experienced a decline in the interest rates associated with money market funds over the last several quarters. Declines in interest rates would reduce future interest income. During fiscal year 2020, a hypothetical 10% increase or decrease in overall interest rates would not have had a material impact on our interest income. The carrying amount of our cash equivalents reasonably approximates fair values. Due to the short-term nature of our money-market funds, we believe that exposure to changes in interest rates will not have a material impact on the fair value of our cash equivalents. Interest income may further reduce in the future due to interest rate volatility in the current macroeconomic environment.
As of December 31, 2020, we had $71.2 million, $825.0 million, $510.3 million outstanding from the 2023 Notes, 2025 Notes, and 2026 Notes (collectively the "Notes"), respectively. We carry the Notes at face value less unamortized discount on our balance sheet, and we present the fair value for required disclosure purposes only. The Notes have a zero percent fixed annual interest rate and, therefore, we have no economic exposure to changes in interest rates. The fair value of the Notes is exposed to interest rate risk. Generally, the fair value of our fixed interest rate Notes will increase as interest rates decline and decrease as interest rates increase. In addition, the fair values of the Notes are affected by our stock price. The fair value of the Notes will generally increase as our common stock price increases and will generally decrease as our common stock price decrease in value.
As of December 31, 2020, we had long term investments in convertible and redeemable preferred stock of $213.2 million. These equity investments are subject to market related risks that could decrease or increase the fair value of our holdings. These equity investments are adjusted to fair value based on market inputs at the balance sheet date, which are subject to market-related risks that could decrease or increase the fair value of our holdings, including the potential impacts from COVID-19. A fluctuation in the investee's stock price, volatility or a combination of both could have an adverse impact on the fair value of our investment. A hypothetical adverse stock price or volatility change of 10% could have resulted in a potential decrease of up to $16.8 million in the fair-value of our investment as of December 31, 2020.
ITEM 8. CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the Stockholders and Board of Directors
Opinions on the Consolidated Financial Statements and Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of RingCentral, Inc. and subsidiaries (the Company) as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive loss, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2020, and the related notes (collectively, the consolidated financial statements). We also have audited the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.
In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2020, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Also in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020 based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.
Change in Accounting Principle
As discussed in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company changed its method of accounting for leases as of January 1, 2019 due to the adoption of Financial Accounting Standards Board's Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 842, Leases.
Basis for Opinions
The Company’s management is responsible for these consolidated financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying Management’s Annual Report on Internal Controls Over Financial Reporting appearing in Item 9A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud, and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.
Our audits of the consolidated financial statements included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.
Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and
expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
Critical Audit Matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the consolidated financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the consolidated financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgment. The communication of a critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.
Evaluation of the Sufficiency of Audit Evidence Over Subscriptions Revenue
As discussed in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, and disclosed in the consolidated statements of operations, the Company recorded $1,183.7 million of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020, of which $1,086.3 million related to subscriptions. There are high volumes of subscription transactions processed across multiple information technology (IT) systems.
We identified the evaluation of the sufficiency of audit evidence over subscriptions revenue as a critical audit matter. This matter required especially subjective auditor judgment because of the number of IT applications involved in the subscriptions revenue recognition process. This matter also included determining the nature and extent of audit evidence obtained over subscriptions revenue, and the need to involve IT professionals to assist with the performance of certain procedures.
The following are the primary procedures we performed to address this critical audit matter. We evaluated the design and tested the operating effectiveness of certain internal controls over the Company's subscriptions revenue process, including associated IT controls. We applied auditor judgment to determine the nature and extent of procedures to be performed over subscriptions revenue, including the determination of the IT applications subject to testing. We assessed the recorded subscriptions revenue by selecting transactions and comparing the amounts recognized for consistency with underlying documentation, including contracts with customers. We also involved IT professionals with specialized skills and knowledge, who assisted in testing certain IT applications that are used by the Company in its subscriptions revenue recognition process. We evaluated the sufficiency of audit evidence obtained by assessing the results of procedures performed, including the appropriateness of such evidence.
/s/ KPMG LLP
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2010.
San Francisco, California
February 26, 2021
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except par value per share)
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||639,853 ||$||343,606 |
|Accounts receivable, net||176,034 ||129,990 |
|Deferred and prepaid sales commission costs||63,726 ||36,589 |
|Prepaid expenses and other current assets||46,516 ||25,354 |
|Total current assets||926,129 ||535,539 |
|Property and equipment, net||142,208 ||89,230 |
|Operating lease right-of-use assets||51,115 ||39,269 |
|Long-term investments||213,176 ||132,188 |
|Deferred and prepaid sales commission costs, non-current||667,779 ||462,344 |
|Goodwill||57,313 ||55,278 |
|Acquired intangibles, net||118,313 ||127,338 |
|Other assets||8,564 |