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, 2019
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from to
Commission File Number: 001-38285
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
900 Main Campus Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(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, par value $0.001 per share||BAND||NASDAQ Global Select Market|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x 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 x
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 x No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted to its corporate web site, if any, 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 and post such files). Yes x No ☐
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of the Form 10-K or any amendment to the Form 10-K. o
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||☒||Accelerated filer||☐|
|Non-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 is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 28, 2019, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $1,415 million based upon the closing price reported for such date on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
As of January 31, 2020, 18,610,208 shares of the registrant’s Class A common stock and 4,927,401 shares of registrant’s Class B common stock were outstanding, respectively.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement for the 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated herein by reference in Part II and Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent stated herein. Such Definitive Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.
Annual Report on Form 10-K
For the Year Ended December 31, 2019
Table of Contents
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). All statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the words “may,” “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan,” “estimate,” or “continue,” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations strategy, plans or intentions. Forward looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include, but are not limited to, statements about:
•our ability to attract and retain customers, including large enterprises;
•our approach to identifying, attracting and keeping new and existing customers, as well as our expectations regarding customer turnover;
•our beliefs regarding network traffic growth and other trends related to the usage of our products and services;
•our expectations regarding revenue, costs, expenses, gross margin, dollar based net retention rate, adjusted EBITDA, non-generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”) net income and capital expenditures;
•our beliefs regarding the growth of our business and how that impacts our liquidity and capital resources requirements;
•the sufficiency of our cash and cash equivalents to meet our liquidity needs;
•our ability to attract, train, and retain qualified employees and key personnel;
•our beliefs regarding the expense and productivity of and competition for our sales force;
•our expectations regarding headcount;
•our ability to maintain and benefit from our corporate culture;
•our plans to further invest in and grow our business, including international offerings, and our ability to effectively manage our growth and associated investments;
•our ability to introduce new products and services and enhance existing products and services;
•our ability to compete successfully against current and future competitors;
•the evolution of technology affecting our products, services and markets;
•the impact of certain new accounting standards and guidance, as well as the time and cost of continued compliance with existing rules and standards;
•our beliefs regarding the use of Non-GAAP financial measures;
•our ability to maintain, protect and enhance our intellectual property;
•our expectations regarding litigation and other pending or potential disputes;
•our ability to comply with modified or new laws and regulations; and
•the increased expenses associated with being a public company.
We caution you that the foregoing list may not contain all the forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors described in the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We cannot assure you that the results, events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur, and actual results, events or circumstances could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.
The forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures or investments we may make.
PART I - FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Item 1. Business
We are a leading cloud-based communications platform for enterprises in the United States. Our solutions include a broad range of software Application Programming Interfaces (“APIs”) for voice and messaging functionality and our owned and managed, purpose-built Internet Protocol (“IP”) voice network, one of the largest in the nation. Our sophisticated and easy-to-use software APIs allow enterprises to enhance their products and services by incorporating advanced voice, messaging and 911 services capabilities. Companies use our platform to more frequently and seamlessly connect with their end users, add voice calling capabilities to applications and devices, transition from on-premise to cloud-based communication tools and applications, integrate messaging capabilities into applications or software, offer end users new mobile application experiences including emergency services and improve employee productivity, among other use cases. By owning and operating a capital-efficient, purpose-built IP voice network, we are able to offer advanced monitoring, reporting and analytics, superior customer service, dedicated operating teams, personalized support, and flexible cost structures. For more than a decade, we have pioneered the Communications Platform-as-a-Service (“CPaaS”) space through our innovation-rich culture and focus on empowering enterprises with end-to-end communications solutions.
As technologies evolve and new mobile applications and connected devices proliferate, enterprises must adapt and innovate their communications solutions to create a “connected” experience anywhere, anytime, on any device. Enterprises looking to capitalize on trends such as Application-to-Person (“A2P”) messaging, omnichannel customer service, and voice-as-an-interface need solutions that are reliable, secure, scalable and cost-efficient. Most software-powered communications providers rely heavily on leased networks and cannot provide enterprise-grade service and support. We believe traditional large-scale network providers lack the capabilities to build robust software platforms for agile development of communications solutions. Enterprises focus on their core businesses and lack the technical know-how or strategic flexibility to build the customized solutions they require in-house. As a result, enterprises need a third-party, end-to-end, cloud-based software solution that eliminates the complexity and expense of building and maintaining their own communications platform.
Our solutions address enterprises’ communications needs and we believe they are shaping the future of how enterprises connect through embedded voice and messaging for applications and devices. At the core of our solutions are our communications software APIs, which allow companies to build products and services on top of our cloud-based, out-of-the-box software. Our software APIs include pre-defined functions that are easily customizable for specific use cases without the challenge and expense of building and deploying complex code. Moreover, our platform collects and analyzes terabytes of call and messaging data records in real-time and provides a seamless integration to CRM and Business Intelligence analytics tools to provide meaningful data driven actionable insights for critical business decisions. Customers can then launch and scale applications and solutions with reliability using our own nationwide IP voice network. Our voice software APIs allow enterprises to make and receive phone calls and create advanced voice experiences. Integration with our purpose-built IP voice network ensures enterprise-grade functionality and secure, high-quality connections. Our messaging software APIs provide enterprises with advanced tools to connect with end users via messaging. Our customers also use our solutions to enable 911 response capabilities, real-time provisioning and activation of phone numbers, and toll-free number messaging.
We are the only CPaaS provider in the industry with our own nationwide IP voice network, which we have purpose-built for our platform. Our network is capital-efficient and custom-built to support the applications and experiences that make a difference in the way enterprises communicate. Since a communications platform is only as strong as the network that backs it, we believe our network provides a significant competitive advantage in the control, quality, pricing power and scalability of our offering. We are able to control the quality and provide the support our customers expect, as well as efficiently meet scalability and cost requirements.
Our customers currently include large enterprises, communications service providers, conferencing
providers, contact centers, small and medium-sized businesses, emerging technology companies and any other business. Our customers operate in a diverse set of industries, including technology, communications, hospitality and services, that need to launch and scale robust communications experiences. Our customers choose Bandwidth because we empower them to embed seamless communications within their products and services in a reliable, flexible, scalable and cost-efficient manner. Our customers include Google, Microsoft, Cisco-Webex, Dialpad, RingCentral, GoDaddy, Kipsu, Rover and ZipRecruiter, among many others. We do not currently have any consumer or residential customers, although our enterprise customers may utilize our solutions to serve their own consumer or residential customers or end users.
Our usage-based revenue model allows us to grow with our customers and increase our revenue base as our customers expand their usage of our solutions. Our dollar-based net retention rate, which measures our customers’ increased utilization of our platform, was 107%, 118% and 113% for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.
We have continued growing our business in recent periods. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018 and 2019, our revenue was $163.0 million, $204.1 million and $232.6 million, respectively, and our net income was $6.0 million, $17.9 million and $2.5 million, respectively.
We have two reportable segments, CPaaS and Other. Segments are evaluated based on revenue and gross profit. We do not allocate operating expenses, interest expense or income tax expense to our segments. Accordingly, we do not report such information. We generate a majority of our revenue from our CPaaS segment. CPaaS revenue is derived from voice usage, phone number services, 911-enabled phone number services, messaging services and other services. We generate a portion of our CPaaS revenue from usage-based fees which include voice calling and messaging services. The remainder of our revenue is generated by our Other segment. Other revenue is composed of revenue earned from our legacy services and indirect revenue. See Note 9, “Segment and Geographic Information,” in our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, for additional information about our segments.
Our Bandwidth Communications Platform empowers enterprises to create and scale voice, messaging and 911 communications services across any application and device. Our software platform and IP voice network enable our enterprise customers to rapidly develop and deploy real-time and mission-critical, software-powered communications solutions. Our sophisticated and easy-to-use software APIs allow enterprises to enhance their products and services by incorporating advanced voice and messaging capabilities. By owning and operating a capital-efficient, purpose-built IP voice network, we are able to offer advanced monitoring, reporting and analytics, superior customer service, dedicated operating teams, personalized support and flexible cost structures.
Our cloud-based platform is a proprietary CPaaS offering consisting of voice and messaging solutions:
Voice Software API. We provide flexible software APIs that are used to build voice calling within applications, innovative call flows between users or machines, call recording, text-to-speech for interactive voice response, call detail records, conference calling, bridging and more. We provide the ability to have customized high-quality call routing for business voice use cases and global reach. Our voice quality monitoring service provides tools and processes for network quality tests and proactive tuning. While we provide a wide range of functionalities, some of the common use cases are:
•Enabling local and toll-free numbers via software API: Our platform empowers enterprises with a capability to activate and manage phone numbers instantly and at scale. With our bulk porting option customers can port an unlimited amount of phone numbers at once, coordinating port dates and times from multiple carriers. Using our easy to use software APIs, our enterprise customers can easily add additional lines to their business as well as for their end users.
•Automating voice communication while preserving privacy: Our software APIs enable voice communication capabilities from a mobile application to an individual or a group with or without disclosing personal identity.
•Embedding ‘click-to-call’ communication feature: We enhance our enterprise customers’ mobile and web marketing capabilities by embedding click-to-call functionality in their customer outreach, including advertising campaigns, that enables them to connect with consumers instantly.
•Real-time call analytics: We provide our enterprise customers with real-time call analytics through our dashboard that correlates the raw data from calls with CRM records, including the call duration, customer sentiment and other attributes, in order to provide meaningful contextual sales and other business insights.
•Transitioning from traditional premise focused communications to cloud based services: We provide unified communications providers modern, scalable and cost efficient voice and messaging solutions which enable their digital transformation efforts. Our network and API solutions work in a hybrid environment as well as a full cloud deployment.
Messaging Software API. Our software APIs for messaging deliver a complete wireless experience for both P2P and A2P messaging including: delivery receipts, MMS, long text support, short code support, emoji support and bi-directional unicode (international characters) and short codes interoperability. Bandwidth’s messaging services are enabled for both local and toll-free phone numbers. While we provide a wide range of functionalities, some of the common use cases are:
•Automated real-time notification and alerts: Our software APIs empower our enterprise customers with predefined functionalities to send and receive messages to and from an application to an individual or a group. Our customers often build more customized use cases on top of our predefined use cases.
•Two-factor authentication: We enable enterprises to verify the identity and maintain security of end users through our software-based SMS verification service that sends unique codes to end users in order to log in to mobile and web applications.
•Group messaging: Enterprises utilize our platform to collaborate with their end users on a real-time basis by enabling group messaging within their user community to share messages, videos, carry out polls and surveys amongst other uses without leaving the application.
911 Software API. We are the only software platform that provides complete communications solutions with integrated 911 services. We can instantly connect numbers, devices or applications to emergency services with reliable and accurate emergency routing. Our Dynamic Geospatial Routing uses geocoding to enable real-time routing based on X,Y coordinates of the caller and defined Public Safety Access Point boundaries. Additionally, our notification API enables an email notification sent to on-site security personnel when a 911 call takes place within a large enterprise. Our Advanced “Next Generation 911” “i3”-ready NENA i2 “Enhanced” service network covers approximately 99% of the United States.
Key Benefits of Our Software Platform
Our Bandwidth Communications Platform provides the following benefits to the enterprises we serve:
•Easy to Build and Deploy. Our easy-to-use, intuitive software APIs are ready to launch and scale from day one. We enable enterprises to rapidly and easily scale communications functionalities to a vast range of applications and devices. Our technology requires minimal lines of code to build customized applications, which allows for rapid composition of customized solutions and seamless embedding within other applications.
•Easy to Scale. We enable enterprises to easily scale nationwide at launch, without sacrificing quality, while meeting the most stringent requirements. We can deliver full end-to-end automation for even the largest of
enterprises using our IP voice network, which is the largest of any CPaaS provider based on the number of rate centers, a measure for the footprint covered by our IP voice network. We are able to support high user volumes without impacting deliverability. Our software, built on our own IP voice network, removes complexity, eliminates performance degradation and increases cost efficiencies at scale.
•Flexibility. Our software APIs are easy to deploy and use and allow for the creation of solutions to address a broad array of use cases. Our software can be implemented directly into product workflow for a variety of custom solutions such as creation of virtual call centers, group messaging and dynamic call location routing. We enable developers to easily and rapidly innovate with our platform.
Key Benefits of Our Network
Our owned and managed IP voice network provides the following benefits to the enterprises we serve:
•Enhanced Quality and Reliability. We offer greater levels of quality and delivery assurance than providers offering services across the public Internet or through partnerships. As a result, the enterprises we serve have enjoyed 99.9% network uptime in 2019.
•Total Accountability. The ability to vertically integrate our software platform with our own IP voice network provides us with a differentiated ability to continuously monitor, report and resolve any software- or network-related issues on a real-time basis. For our enterprise customers, having a single platform solution for their entire communications requirements, including software and network, provides tremendous value with respect to time and financial resources. Our service-level agreements with our enterprise customers assure that we provide high quality service and give them peace of mind and confidence in our service.
•Lower Total Cost to Our Customers. The differentiated pairing of our software combined with owning the delivery capability through our IP voice network leads to significant savings for the enterprises we serve as compared to our competitors. Our IP voice network lowers total cost to our customers as compared to our competitors because of our reduced capital expenditure requirements and lower marginal costs at scale, which we are able to pass on to our customers.
Our Competitive Strengths
In our 20 years of business, we have prided ourselves on maintaining a start-up culture and our focus on continuous innovation. We have innovated on our CPaaS offerings to empower our enterprise customers with the most comprehensive software-powered communications platform that integrates seamlessly with one of the largest IP voice networks in the United States that we built and operate. Our innovation-rich culture, customer-centric solutions and track record of successful execution provide us with the following competitive strengths:
•Highly Scalable Platform Built for the Enterprise. We built our Bandwidth Communications Platform from the ground up as an enterprise-grade cloud application. As a result, our deployment is fast, our software APIs are flexible and easy-to-use, and we enable enterprises to launch and scale on day one. Our software APIs allow the enterprise customers we serve to grow with flexibility and seamlessly embed communications in their applications or devices. Our scalable platform allows us to serve large-scale Internet companies and cloud service providers.
•Broadest, Most Complete Solutions in the Industry. We provide enterprises the broadest, most complete communications services solutions in the industry through our integrated software and IP voice network. Our large library of voice and messaging APIs enables our customers to incorporate into their products and services a broad range of capabilities not otherwise attainable.
•Purpose-Built IP Voice Network. Our Bandwidth Communications Platform’s IP voice network, which we own and operate nationwide, supports our ability to scale at a reliable and consistent quality for the enterprises we serve. The control and scale we have over our own IP voice network integrated with our
Bandwidth Communications Platform provides us distinct competitive advantages that include consistent high quality, in-depth enterprise support, real-time network visibility and economies of scale.
•Deep Experience and Expertise in Voice and Messaging. The combination of our versatile software API platform and our IP voice network control allows us to offer not just best efforts, but best-in-class voice and messaging solutions for enterprises. Our senior leadership team has a combined 100+ years of industry experience and an average tenure with Bandwidth of more than a decade.
•Growing, Long-Term Relationships with Low Customer Churn. We deliver comprehensive solutions that address the unique and complex needs of the enterprises we serve. As a result, these enterprises have continued to innovate and grow with our platform over extended time frames. Our relationship with each of the enterprises we serve often expands across different product suites, divisions and use cases over time. Our customers include large enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses across various industries, and we rarely lose customers that have been on our platform for more than three months. For example, a number of our largest enterprise customers have been on our platform for more than ten years. Based on surveys conducted after customer interactions in 2019, our customers have expressed a 97% satisfaction rate.
•CPaaS-Based 911 Network Capabilities. We believe we are the only CPaaS software provider with 911 capabilities. We believe our 911 capabilities provide a significant advantage as compared to software platform providers that are enabling residential voice services through new connected device experiences. Moreover, our dynamic geospatial routing capability routes 911 calls based on a real-time location of the caller to produce industry-leading results.
Our Growth Strategy
•Expand Existing Enterprise Relationships. We will continue to expand our relationships with our existing enterprise customers. For example, enterprises often initially purchase only our voice solution and later expand to also purchase our messaging and 911 services. Additionally, we are able to help enterprises scale efficiently and offer their solutions to more of their customers as they grow.
•Grow Our Enterprise Customer Base. We believe there is a substantial opportunity to increase our enterprise customer base across a broad range of industries and companies. We plan to continue to grow and invest in our direct sales force and marketing to increase our enterprise customer base.
•Continue to Innovate Our Platform. We are committed to building on our track record of leveraging our innovative product capabilities to meet our customers’ needs, just as we have done throughout our history, through dramatic waves of change in communications technology. We were early to deploy software-based networks and to offer hosted cloud-based voice services, while building out one of the fastest growing IP voice networks over the last ten years. Our team has continued to adapt to a dynamic environment to grow our business, and we intend to invest in continued development of our platform and product features to support new use cases and help our enterprise customers succeed as communications technologies evolve.
•Continue Our Focus on Enterprise Customer Satisfaction. We intend to continue focusing on delivering world-class services and support to the enterprises we serve to ensure a high level of satisfaction. We believe that satisfied customers provide vital product feedback, purchase additional services, renew contracts at a high rate and provide broad advocacy and new customer referrals for our business.
•Develop and Grow Our International Offerings. Our international services had been limited to outbound international calling and outbound international messaging. Some of our enterprise customers operate globally or have plans to do so. Accordingly, we are pursuing international expansion opportunities, including those where we might have a cost or quality advantage in serving our customers. We completed the build out of two data centers in Frankfurt and London in 2019 and are now authorized to conduct business in 13 European countries: the United Kingdom, 11 members of the European Union and
Switzerland. We have also obtained regulatory authority to provide telecommunication services in these 13 European countries.
•Pursue Acquisitions and Strategic Investments Selectively. We may selectively pursue acquisitions and strategic investments in businesses and technologies that strengthen our platform.
We have a broad and diversified customer base. We benefit from longstanding relationships with well-recognized enterprise customers, as well as small and medium-sized businesses. Many of our customers have multi-year contracts, with no single customer representing 10% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Our management is highly focused on creating and maintaining strategic partnerships beyond standard transactional customer relationships. We empower enterprises to create, scale and operate voice or messaging communications services across any mobile application or connected device and this reinforces our customer relationships.
The majority of our customers sign master service agreements (“MSAs”) that contain standard terms and conditions, including billing and payment, default, termination, limitations of liability, confidentiality, assignment and notification, and other key terms and conditions. Customers order specific services in separate service order forms that incorporate the applicable MSA. Each service order form details the minimum contract duration, any applicable monthly recurring charge and applicable non-recurring charges. The terms and conditions for each order are also specified in the applicable service order form.
Sales and Marketing
Our sales and marketing teams work together to identify and establish relationships with prospects, acquire new enterprise customers, expand relationships with existing enterprises and integrate them with our Bandwidth Communications Platform. Our marketing staff generates leads through our website, online marketing campaigns, webinars, sponsored events, white papers, public relations and other outbound lead development efforts. Our marketing staff also targets companies with products that could use our services for the first time or to displace our competitors. Our marketing initiatives enhance awareness and adoption of our services.
We engage potential customers and existing customers through an enterprise sales approach. Our sales executives directly engage C-level executives and other senior business, product and technical decision makers responsible for the end user experience and financial results at their enterprises. Our sales executives work to educate these decision makers and their teams about the benefits of using our Bandwidth Communications Platform to launch and scale robust communications experiences. Our sales team includes sales development, inside sales, field sales and sales engineering personnel.
As of December 31, 2019, we had 212 employees in our sales and marketing organization.
Research and Development
Our ability to compete depends in large part on our continuous commitment to research and development (“R&D”). We also seek to continuously enhance our existing services and develop new products and services. Our product and network teams are responsible for the design, development, testing and release of our platform. These teams closely coordinate with our executive management, which is responsible for creating a vision for our platform, and with our sales and marketing teams, which relay enterprise demands and possible new use cases or enhancements. Our development efforts focus on the availability and resiliency of our Bandwidth Communications Platform and our IP voice network, including infrastructure, ease-of-use and flexibility, end-user experience and ability to integrate with other enterprise systems.
As of December 31, 2019, we had 206 employees in our R&D organization.
The CPaaS market is rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our market are:
•platform scalability, reliability, deliverability, security and performance;
•network control and quality;
•completeness of offering;
•ease of integration and programmability;
•ability to deliver measurable value and savings;
•the cost of deploying and using our service offerings;
•the strength of sales and marketing efforts;
•brand awareness and reputation;
•global reach; and
•credibility with product executives and developers.
We believe that we compete favorably based on the factors listed above and believe that none of our competitors currently competes directly with us across all our product offerings.
Our competitors fall into two primary categories:
•CPaaS companies that offer a narrower set of software APIs, less robust customer support and fewer other features while relying on third-party networks and physical infrastructure; and
•network service providers that offer limited developer functionality on top of their own networks and physical infrastructure, such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Verizon.
Some of our competitors have greater financial, technical and other resources, greater geographic reach, greater name recognition, larger sales and marketing budgets and larger intellectual property portfolios. As a result, certain of our competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards or enterprise requirements. In addition, some competitors may offer products or services that address one or a limited number of functions at lower prices, with greater depth than our services or geographies where we do not operate. With the introduction of new products and services and new market entrants, we expect competition to intensify in the future. Moreover, as we expand the scope of our platform, we may face additional competition.
We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws in the United States and other jurisdictions, as well as license agreements and other contractual protections, to protect our proprietary technology. We also rely on registered and unregistered trademarks to protect our brand.
As of December 31, 2019, we had ten U.S. patents and one U.S. patent application pending. In addition, as of December 31, 2019, we had twelve registered trademarks.
We seek to protect our intellectual property rights by implementing a policy that requires our employees and independent contractors involved in 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.
Despite our efforts to protect our technology and proprietary rights through intellectual property rights, licenses and other contractual protections, unauthorized parties may still copy or otherwise obtain and use our software and other technology. Any significant impairment of our intellectual property rights could harm our business or our ability to compete. Further, companies in the communications and technology industries may own large numbers of patents, copyrights and trademarks and may frequently threaten litigation, or file suit against us based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. In the future, we may face allegations that we have infringed the intellectual property rights of third parties, including our competitors and non-practicing entities.
As of December 31, 2019, we had a total of 772 employees, all of whom are located in the United States. None of our employees are represented by a labor union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement. We have not experienced any work stoppages, and we consider our relations with our employees to be good.
We and the communications services that we provide through our software APIs are subject to many U.S. federal and state and foreign laws and regulations. These laws and regulations may concern telecommunications, as well as privacy, data protection, intellectual property, competition, consumer protection, taxation or other subjects. Many of the laws and regulations to which we and the communications services that we provide through our software APIs are subject are still evolving and being tested in courts and could be interpreted in ways that could harm our business. In addition, the application and interpretation of these laws and regulations are often uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly evolving industry in which we operate. Because laws and regulations have continued to develop and evolve rapidly, it is possible that we may not be, or may not have been, compliant with each such applicable law or regulation.
Federal Telecommunications Regulation
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has jurisdiction over interstate and international telecommunications services. We have obtained FCC authorization to provide services on a facilities and resale basis, as well as via a wireless telecommunications license.
Under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the “1996 Act”), any entity, including cable television companies and electric and gas utilities, may enter any telecommunications market, subject to reasonable state regulation of safety, quality and consumer protection. The industry continues to evolve toward new services built upon IP technologies. With these technological advances, there have been challenges to the traditional regulatory structure under the 1996 Act. One of the challenges that has arisen is fraud and abuse in the form of illegal robocalling and unwanted text messaging. The FCC is conducting several proceedings to understand and address fraud and abuse in the form of illegal robocalling. Much of the FCC’s efforts to thwart illegal robocalling involve or relate to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (the “TCPA”), which restricts telemarketing calls and the use of automatic text messages without the recipient’s proper consent. More recently, Congress passed and the President signed the TRACED Act. The TRACED Act directs the FCC to conduct a number of different rulemaking proceedings and increases the FCC’s enforcement authority, among other things. The scope and interpretation of these laws and regulations continue to evolve and develop. If we do not comply with these laws or regulations or if we become liable under these laws or regulations due to the
failure of our customers to comply with these laws by obtaining the recipient’s proper consent, we could face direct liability.
VoIP Regulation. Some of our communications services provided through our software APIs may qualify as Voice-over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”). The FCC has imposed various regulatory requirements on VoIP providers that previously applied only to traditional telecommunications providers, such as obligations to provide 911 functionality, to contribute to the federal universal service fund, to comply with regulations relating to local number portability, to abide by the FCC’s service discontinuance rules, to contribute to the Telecommunications Relay Services fund and to abide by the regulations concerning Customer Proprietary Network Information, outage reporting, access for persons with disabilities and the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. In some instances, these regulations indirectly affect us because they directly apply to our customers. Several state public utility commissions are conducting regulatory proceedings that could affect our rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of our customers, with respect to IP-based voice applications. Specifically, some states have taken the position that the “local” component of VoIP service is subject to traditional regulations applicable to local telecommunications services, such as the obligation to pay intrastate universal service fees. We cannot predict whether the FCC or state public utility commissions will impose additional requirements, regulations or charges upon our provision of services related to IP communications.
Universal Service. Some of our services are subject to federal and state regulations that implement universal service support for access to communications services in rural and high-cost areas and to low-income consumers at reasonable rates; and access to advanced communications services by schools, libraries and rural health care providers. In some instances, these regulations indirectly affect us because they directly apply to our customers. The FCC assesses us a percentage of interstate and international revenue we receive from certain customers as our contribution to the Federal Universal Service Fund, which assessments we generally pass on to our customers. Additionally, the FCC has ruled that states may assess contributions to their state Universal Service Funds on VoIP providers’ intrastate revenue. Any change in the assessment methodology may affect our revenue and expenses, but at this time it is not possible to predict the extent we would be affected, if at all.
Intercarrier Compensation. Telecommunications carriers compensate one another for traffic carried on each other’s networks. Interexchange carriers pay access charges to local telephone companies for long distance calls that originate and terminate on local networks. Local telephone companies historically have charged one another for local and Internet-bound traffic terminating on each other’s networks. The methodology by which carriers have compensated one another for exchanged traffic, whether it be for local, intrastate or interstate traffic, has been under review by the FCC for over a decade and continues to be subject to on-going reform efforts.
In November 2011, the FCC released its Universal Service Fund/Intercarrier Compensation Transformation Order (the “USF/ICC Transformation Order”). Along with addressing other matters, the USF/ICC Transformation Order established a prospective intercarrier compensation framework for terminating switched access and VoIP traffic. Under the USF/ICC Transformation Order and subsequent related FCC orders, most terminating switched access charges and all reciprocal compensation charges were capped at then-current levels, and were reduced to zero over, as relevant to us, generally a six-year transition period that began July 1, 2012.
Pursuant to the USF/ICC Transformation Order, VoIP, while remaining unclassified as either an information or a telecommunications service, was prospectively categorized as either local or non-local traffic. If “local,” then VoIP traffic is subject to reciprocal compensation; if “non-local,” then it is subject to interstate rates, thus eliminating any intrastate access rate applicable to VoIP. The USF/ICC Transformation Order did not address the treatment of VoIP retroactively. During 2015, the FCC issued clarifications concerning the rating of VoIP traffic that were favorable to us. Those clarifications were appealed, and in November 2016 the appellate court vacated the FCC’s 2015 clarification and ruled that additional action by the FCC is required. On December 17, 2019, the FCC issued an order that further revised its interpretation of the VoIP symmetry rule. The FCC now concludes that local exchange carriers (“LECs”) may assess end office switched access charges only if the LEC or its VoIP partner provides a physical connection to the last-mile facilities used to serve an end user. If neither the LEC nor its VoIP partner provides such a physical connection, the LEC may not assess end office switched access charges because it
is not providing the functional equivalent of end office switched access. The FCC also decided to give its order retroactive effect. We cannot predict the impact on our business, including whether other carriers will agree with our legal interpretations and treatments, at this time.
State Telecommunications Regulation
The 1996 Act intended to increase competition in the telecommunications industry, especially in the local market. With respect to local services, incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”) such as AT&T are required to allow interconnection to their incumbent networks and to provide access to network facilities, as well as several other pro-competitive measures.
State regulatory agencies have jurisdiction when our facilities and services are used to provide intrastate telecommunications services. A portion of our traffic may be classified as intrastate telecommunications and therefore subject to state regulation. We are authorized to provide competitive local exchange telecommunications services in 49 states and the District of Columbia, and thus are subject to these additional regulatory regimes. Changes in applicable state regulations could affect our business.
In addition, we need to maintain interconnection agreements with ILECs where we wish to provide service, which are subject to approval by individual states and subject to state arbitration in the event of disputes. We expect that we should be able to negotiate or otherwise obtain renewals or successor agreements through adoption of others’ contracts or through arbitration proceedings, although the rates, terms and conditions applicable to interconnection and the exchange of traffic with certain ILECs could change significantly in certain cases.
As we expand internationally, we also become subject to telecommunications laws and regulations in the foreign countries where we offer our products. To date, we have concentrated our efforts in Europe, including the United Kingdom.
The European Regulatory Framework. In 2002, the European Council adopted a set of six directives to create the framework for telecommunication laws in Europe (the “2002 Directives”). The directives are binding upon the European Union member states, which must adopt implementing national laws consistent with the directives. The 2002 Directives included the Framework Directive, the Authorization Directive, the Access Directive, the Universal Service Directive and the E-Privacy Directive, each of which applies or will apply to us. In 2009 the European Council adopted two directives that amended the Framework Directive, the Authorization Directive, the Access Directive, the Universal Service Directive and the E-Privacy Directive (the “2009 Directives”).
The Framework Directive. The Framework Directive describes the European regulatory framework and defines terms. The Framework Directive also mandates the independence of the national regulatory authorities (the “NRAs”) to ensure the proper administration and exercise of power. The Framework Directive also establishes the principles governing the management of telephone numbers.
The Authorization Directive. The Authorization Directive creates the rules governing the provision of electronic communications networks and services. The Authorization Directive generally eliminates licensure requirements, except where necessary with respect to the allocation of spectrum and telephone numbers.
The Access Directive. The Access Directive establishes a uniform framework for the regulation of access to and the interconnection of electronic communications networks. The Access Directive also outlines the relationships among suppliers of network and services, including principles to govern contractual relationships and regulatory involvement by the NRAs as necessary. The Access Directive effectively governs the relationships among service providers at a wholesale level.
The Universal Service Directive. The Universal Service Directive governs the provision of electronic communication networks and services to end users. The Universal Service Directive seeks to ensure that end users
have access to a minimum set of services. However, the minimum set of services is not required to be provided by all providers. Instead, the applicable NRAs may designate one or more companies to achieve the universal service in each country.
The E-Privacy Directive. The E-Privacy Directive seeks to ensure privacy and confidentiality in the processing of personal data in electronic communications. The E-Privacy Directive requires providers of publicly available electronic communications services to take appropriate technical and organizational measures to safeguard the security of services. These measures must: ensure that personal data can be accessed only by authorized personnel for legally authorized purposes; protect personal data stored or transmitted against accidental or unlawful destruction, accidental loss or alteration, and unauthorized or unlawful storage, processing, access or disclosure; and ensure the implementation of a security policy with respect to the processing of personal data. The E-Privacy Directive also requires notification of any breach or loss of personal data to the applicable NRA.
Implementing National Legislation. Each of the European Union member states has adopted national legislation to implement the 2002 Directives and the 2009 Directives. The 2002 Directives and the 2009 Directives ensure substantial similarities among nations, but not absolute uniformity.
United Kingdom. The United Kingdom (“U.K.”) departed from the European Union (“EU”) in January 2020. We understand that the transition period contemplated by the withdrawal agreement governing the U.K.’s departure from the EU provides that EU law will continue to apply in and in relation to the UK only through December 2020. Thereafter, the Framework Directive and the implementing Directives will no longer directly apply in the U.K. We do not anticipate considerable changes, however, since the Framework Directive and the implementing Directives have previously been transposed into U.K. law.
Bandwidth Inc. was founded in July 2000 and incorporated in Delaware on March 29, 2001. Our principal executive offices are located at 900 Main Campus Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606, and our telephone number is (800) 808-5150. Our website address is www.bandwidth.com. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website does not constitute part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The following information can be found, free of charge, on our corporate website at https://www.bandwidth.com/:
•our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”);
•our policies related to corporate governance, including our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics applicable to our directors, officers and employees (including our principal executive officer and principal financial and accounting officer), that we have adopted to meet applicable rules and regulations; and
•the charters of the Audit and Compensation Committees of our Board of Directors.
In addition, copies of our annual report will be made available, free of charge, upon written request.
We intend to satisfy the applicable disclosure requirements regarding amendments to, or waivers from, provisions of our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics by posting such information on our website. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K and should not be considered part of this report.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
A description of the risks and uncertainties associated with our business is set forth below. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The risks and uncertainties described below may not be the only ones we face. If any of the risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In that event, the market price of our Class A common stock could decline.
Risks Related to Our Business
The success of our growth and expansion plans depends on a number of factors that are beyond our control.
We have grown our business considerably over the last several years. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to maintain our growth or that we will choose to target the same pace of growth in the future. Our success in achieving continued growth depends upon several factors including:
•the availability and retention of qualified and effective personnel with the expertise required to sell and operate effectively or successfully;
•the overall economic health of new and existing markets;
•the number and effectiveness of competitors;
•the pricing structure under which we will be able to purchase services required to serve our customers;
•the availability to us of technologies needed to remain competitive;
•federal, state and international regulatory conditions, including the maintenance of state regulation that protects us from unfair business practices by traditional network service providers or others with greater market power who have relationships with us as both competitors and suppliers; and
•changes in industry standards, laws, regulations, or regulatory enforcement in the United States and internationally.
The market in which we participate is highly competitive, and if we do not compete effectively, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
The market for cloud communications is rapidly evolving, significantly fragmented and highly competitive, with relatively low barriers to entry in some segments. The principal competitive factors in our market include completeness of offering, credibility with enterprises and developers, global reach, ease of integration and programmability, product features, platform scalability, reliability, deliverability, security and performance, brand awareness and reputation, the strength of sales and marketing efforts, customer support, as well as the cost of deploying and using our services. Our competitors fall into two primary categories:
•CPaaS companies that offer a narrower set of software APIs, less robust customer support and fewer other features while relying on third-party networks and physical infrastructure; and
•network service providers that offer limited developer functionality on top of their own networks and physical infrastructure.
Some of our competitors and potential competitors are larger and have greater name recognition, longer operating histories, more established customer relationships, a larger global reach, larger budgets and significantly greater resources than we do. In addition, they have the operating flexibility to bundle competing products and
services at little or no incremental cost, including offering them at a lower price as part of a larger sales transaction. As a result, our competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards or customer requirements. In addition, some competitors may offer services that address one or a limited number of functions at lower prices, with greater depth than our services or in different geographies. Our current and potential competitors may develop and market new services with comparable functionality to our services, and this could lead to us having to decrease prices in order to remain competitive. In addition, some of our competitors have lower list prices than us, which may be attractive to certain customers even if those services have different or lesser functionality. If we are unable to maintain our current pricing due to competitive pressures, our margins will be reduced and our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected. Customers utilize our services in many ways and use varying levels of functionality that our services offer or are capable of supporting or enabling within their applications. Customers that use many of the features of our services or use our services to support or enable core functionality for their applications may have difficulty or find it impractical to replace our services with a competitor’s services, while customers that use only limited functionality may be able to more easily replace our services with competitive offerings.
With the introduction of new services and new market entrants, we expect competition to intensify in the future. In addition, some of our customers choose to use our services and our competitors’ services at the same time. Moreover, as we expand the scope of our services, we may face additional competition. Further, customers and consumers may choose to adopt other forms of electronic communications or alternative communication platforms, including developing necessary networks and platforms in-house.
Furthermore, if our competitors were to merge such that the combined entity would be able to compete fully with our service offering, then our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely effected. If one or more of our competitors were to merge or partner with another of our competitors, the change in the competitive landscape could also adversely affect our ability to compete effectively. In addition, pricing pressures and increased competition generally could result in reduced revenue, reduced margins, increased losses or the failure of our services to achieve or maintain widespread market acceptance, any of which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We presently operate in the United States, provide certain limited services in Canada, and are expanding our operations to include international offerings. Our IP voice network, which is at the core of our product offerings, is located in the United States. Our current and potential competitors have developed and may develop in the future product solutions that are available internationally as well as domestically. To the extent that customers seek product solutions that include support and scaling internationally, they may choose to use other service providers to fill their communication service needs before we can fully develop our international offerings. Furthermore, while we believe the U.S. market is sufficiently large and expanding to allow us to continue to grow our business, we may face slower growth due to our relative lack of exposure to international markets. Each of these factors could lead to reduced revenue, slower growth and lower brand name recognition amongst our industry competitors, any or all of which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we are unable to attract new customers in a cost-effective manner, then our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.
In order to grow our business, we must continue to attract new customers in a cost-effective manner. We use a variety of marketing channels to promote our services, our Bandwidth Communications Platform, and we periodically adjust the mix of our marketing programs. If the costs of the marketing channels we use increase dramatically, then we may choose to use alternative and less expensive channels, which may not be as effective as the channels we currently use. As we add to or change the mix of our marketing strategies, we may need to expand into more expensive channels than those we are currently in, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. We will incur marketing expenses before we are able to recognize any revenue that the marketing initiatives may generate, and these expenses may not result in increased revenue or brand awareness. We have made in the past, and may make in the future, significant expenditures and investments in new marketing campaigns. We cannot assure you that any new investments in sales and marketing, including any
increased focus on enterprise sales efforts, will lead to the cost-effective acquisition of additional customers or increased sales or that our sales and marketing efficiency will be consistent with prior periods. If we are unable to maintain effective marketing programs, then 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.
The market for some of our services and platform is new and unproven, may decline or experience limited growth and is dependent in part on enterprises and developers continuing to adopt our platform and use our services.
We have been developing and providing a cloud-based platform that enables developers and organizations to integrate voice and messaging communications capabilities into their software applications. This market is relatively new and unproven and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. We believe that our future success will depend in large part on the growth, if any, of this market. For example, the utilization of software APIs by developers and organizations to build communications functionality into their applications is still relatively new, and developers and organizations may not recognize the need for, or benefits of, our services and platform. Moreover, if they do not recognize the need for and benefits of our services and platform, they may decide to adopt alternative services and/or develop the necessary services in-house to satisfy their business needs. In order to grow our business and expand our market position, we intend to focus on educating enterprise customers about the benefits of our services and platform, expanding the functionality of our services and bringing new technologies to market to increase market acceptance and use of our platform. Our ability to expand the market that our services and platform address depends upon a number of factors, including the cost, performance and perceived value associated with such services and platform. The market for our services and platform could fail to grow significantly or there could be a reduction in demand for our services and platform as a result of a lack of customer acceptance, technological changes or challenges, competing services, platforms and services, decreases in spending by current and prospective customers, weakening economic conditions and other causes. If our market does not experience significant growth or demand for our services and platform decreases, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We must increase the network traffic and resulting revenue from the services that we offer to realize our targets for anticipated revenue growth, cash flow and operating performance.
We must increase the network traffic and resulting revenue from our inbound and outbound voice calling, messaging, emergency voice functions, telephone numbers and related services at acceptable margins to realize our targets for anticipated revenue growth, cash flow and operating performance. If:
•we do not maintain or improve our current relationships with existing key customers;
•we are not able to expand the available capacity on our network to meet our customers’ demands in a timely manner;
•we do not develop new large enterprise customers; or
•our customers determine to obtain these services from either their own network or from one of our competitors,
then we may be unable to increase or maintain our revenue at acceptable margins.
Our business depends on customers increasing their use of our services and any loss of customers or decline in their use of our services could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our ability to grow and generate incremental revenue depends, in part, on our ability to maintain and grow our relationships with existing customers and to have them increase their usage of our Bandwidth Communications Platform. If our customers do not increase their use of our services, then our revenue may decline and our results of
operations may be harmed. Customers generally are charged based on the usage of our services. Most of our customers do not have long-term contractual financial commitments to us and, therefore, most of our customers may reduce or cease their use of our services at any time without penalty or termination charges. We cannot accurately predict customers’ usage levels and the loss of customers or reductions in their usage levels of our services may each have a negative impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition and may cause our dollar-based net retention rate to decline in the future if our customers are not satisfied with our services. If a significant number of customers cease using, or reduce their usage of, our services, then we may be required to spend significantly more on sales and marketing than we currently plan to spend in order to maintain or increase revenue from customers. Such additional sales and marketing expenditures could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we are unable to increase the revenue that we derive from enterprises, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We currently generate all of our revenue from enterprise customers. Our ability to expand our sales to enterprise customers will depend, in part, on our ability to effectively organize, focus and train our sales and marketing personnel and to attract and retain sales personnel with experience selling to enterprises. We believe that there is significant competition for experienced sales professionals with the skills and technical knowledge that we require. Our ability to achieve significant revenue growth in the future will depend, in part, on our ability to recruit, train and retain a sufficient number of experienced sales professionals, particularly those with experience selling to enterprises. In addition, even if we are successful in hiring qualified sales personnel, new hires require significant training and experience before they achieve full productivity, particularly for sales efforts targeted at enterprises and new territories. Our recent hires and planned hires may not become as productive as quickly as we expect and we may be unable to hire or retain sufficient numbers of qualified individuals in the future in the markets where we do business.
With respect to enterprise customers, the decision to adopt our services may require the approval of multiple technical and business decision makers, including security, compliance, procurement, operations and IT. In addition, while enterprise customers may quickly deploy our services on a limited basis, before they will commit to deploying our services at scale, they often require extensive education about our services and significant customer support time, engage in protracted pricing negotiations and seek to secure readily available development resources. In addition, sales cycles for enterprises are inherently complex, and some enterprise customers may not generate revenue that justifies the cost to obtain such customers. In addition, these complex and resource-intensive sales efforts could place additional strain on our limited product and engineering resources. Further, enterprises, including some of our customers, may choose to develop their own solutions that do not include our services. They also may demand reductions in pricing as their usage of our services increases, which could have an adverse impact on our gross margin. Our efforts to sell to these potential customers may not be successful. If we are unable to increase the revenue that we derive from enterprises, then our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
If we do not develop enhancements to our services and introduce new services that achieve market acceptance, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Our ability to attract new customers and increase revenue from existing customers depends in part on our ability to enhance and improve our existing services, increase adoption and usage of our services and introduce new services. The success of any enhancements or new services depends on several factors, including timely completion, adequate quality testing, actual performance quality, market-accepted pricing levels and overall market acceptance. Enhancements and new services that we develop may not be introduced in a timely or cost-effective manner, may contain errors or defects, may have interoperability difficulties with our Bandwidth Communications Platform or other services or may not achieve the broad market acceptance necessary to generate significant revenue. We also must integrate with a variety of network, hardware, mobile and software platforms and technologies, which requires us to enhance and modify our products and our Bandwidth Communications Platform to adapt to changes and innovation in these technologies. Wireline and wireless telephone providers or cell-phone operating system
providers such as Apple and Google have developed and may in the future develop new applications, functions or technologies intended to filter illegal robocalls or other unwanted phone calls or messages. Such applications, functions or technologies may inadvertently filter legal and desired calls or messages to or from our customers. In certain instances, we may need to update our services and technology to work with these applications, functions or technologies. Any failure to operate effectively with evolving or new technologies could reduce the demand for our services. If we cannot respond to these changes cost-effectively, our services may become less marketable and less competitive or obsolete, and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. To the extent that upgrades of existing products, services and technology are required for the introduction of new services, the success of these upgrades also may be dependent on reaching mutually acceptable terms with vendors and on vendors meeting their obligations in a timely manner.
Furthermore, our ability to increase the usage of our services depends, in part, on the development of new use cases for our services, which may be outside of our control. Our ability to generate usage of additional services by our customers may also require increasingly sophisticated and more costly sales efforts and result in a longer sales cycle. If we are unable to successfully enhance our existing services to meet evolving customer requirements, increase adoption and usage of our services or develop new services, or if our efforts to increase the usage of our services are more expensive than we expect, then our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.
We have experienced rapid growth and expect our growth to continue, and if we fail to effectively manage our growth, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We have experienced substantial growth in our business since inception, which has placed and may continue to place significant demands on our corporate culture, operational infrastructure and management. We believe that our corporate culture has been a critical component of our success. We have invested substantial time and resources in building our team and nurturing our culture. As we expand our business and mature as a public company, we may find it difficult to maintain our corporate culture while managing this growth. Any failure to manage our anticipated growth and organizational changes in a manner that preserves the key aspects of our culture could hurt our chance for future success, including our ability to recruit and retain personnel, and effectively focus on and pursue our corporate objectives. This, in turn, could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, in order to successfully manage our rapid growth, our organizational structure has become more complex. In order to manage these increasing complexities, we will need to continue to scale and adapt our operational, financial and management controls, as well as our reporting systems and procedures. The expansion of our systems and infrastructure will require us to commit substantial financial, operational and management resources before our revenue increases and without any assurances that our revenue will increase.
Finally, continued growth could strain our ability to maintain reliable service levels for our customers. If we fail to achieve the necessary level of efficiency in our organization as we grow, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Our pricing and billing systems are complex and errors could adversely affect our revenue and profits.
Our pricing and billing efforts are complex to develop and challenging to implement. To be profitable, we must have accurate and complete information about the costs associated with voice and messaging, and properly incorporate such information into our pricing model. Our pricing model must also reflect accurate and current information about the market for our services, including the pricing of competitive alternatives for our services, as well as reliable forecasts of traffic volume. We may determine pricing for our services based on data that is outdated or otherwise flawed. Even if we have complete and accurate market information, we may not set prices to optimize both revenue and profitability. If we price our services too high, the amount of traffic that our customers may route to our network may decrease and accordingly our revenue may decline. If we price our services too low, our margins may be adversely affected, which will reduce our ability to achieve and maintain profitability.
Additionally, we rely heavily on third parties to provide us with key software and services for our billing. If these third parties cease to provide those services to us for any reason, or fail to perform billing services accurately and completely, we may not be able to deliver accurate invoices promptly. Delays in invoicing can lead to delays in revenue recognition, and inaccuracies in our billing could result in lost revenue. If we fail to adapt quickly and effectively to changes affecting our costs, pricing and billing, our profitability and cash flow will be adversely affected.
We must continue to develop effective business support systems to implement customer orders and to provide and bill for services.
We depend on our ability to continue to develop effective business support systems. This complicated undertaking requires significant resources and expertise and support from third-party vendors. Following the development of the business support systems, the data migration must be completed for the full benefit of the systems to be realized. Business support systems are needed for:
•quoting, accepting and inputting customer orders for services;
•provisioning, installing and delivering services;
•providing customers with direct access to the information systems included in our Bandwidth Communications Platform so that they can manage the services they purchase from us, generally through web-based customer portals; and
•billing for services.
Because our business provides for continued rapid growth in the number of customers that we serve, the volume of services offered, as well as the integration of any acquired companies’ business support systems, if any, we must continue to develop our business support systems on a schedule sufficient to meet proposed milestone dates. If we fail to develop effective business support systems or complete the data migration into these systems, it could materially adversely affect our ability to implement our business plans, realize anticipated benefits from our acquisitions, if any, and meet our financial goals and objectives.
If we are not able to maintain and enhance our brand and increase market awareness of our company and services, then our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We believe that maintaining and enhancing our brand identity and increasing market awareness of our company and services are critical to achieving widespread acceptance of our company and our Bandwidth Communications Platform, as well as to strengthen our relationships with our existing customers and to our ability to attract new customers. The successful promotion of our brand will depend largely on our continued marketing efforts, our ability to continue to offer high quality services and our ability to successfully differentiate our services from competing products and services. Our brand promotion activities may not be successful or yield increased revenue. In addition, independent industry analysts often provide reviews of our services and competing products and services, which may significantly influence the perception of our services in the marketplace. If these reviews are negative or not as strong as reviews of our competitors’ services, then our brand may be harmed.
From time to time, our customers have complained about our services, such as complaints about our pricing and customer support. If we do not handle customer complaints effectively, then our brand and reputation may suffer, our customers may lose confidence in us and they may reduce or cease their use of our services. In addition, many of our customers post and discuss on social media about products and services, including our services and our Bandwidth Communications Platform. Our success depends, in part, on our ability to generate positive customer feedback and minimize negative feedback on social media channels where existing and potential customers seek and share information. If actions we take or changes we make to our services or our Bandwidth Communications Platform upset these customers, then their online commentary could negatively affect our brand and reputation. Complaints or negative publicity about us, our services or our Bandwidth Communications Platform could
materially and adversely affect our ability to attract and retain customers, our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The promotion of our brand also requires us to make substantial expenditures, and we anticipate that these expenditures will increase as our market becomes more competitive and as we expand into new markets. To the extent that these activities increase revenue, this revenue still may not be enough to offset the increased expenses we incur. If we do not successfully maintain and enhance our brand, then our business may not grow, we may see our pricing power reduced relative to competitors and we may lose customers, all of which would adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Any failure to deliver and maintain high-quality customer support may adversely affect our relationships with our customers and prospective customers and could adversely affect our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition.
Many of our customers depend on our customer support team to assist them in deploying or using our services effectively, to help them resolve post-deployment issues quickly and to provide ongoing support. If we do not devote sufficient resources or are otherwise unsuccessful in assisting our customers effectively, it could adversely affect our ability to retain existing customers and could prevent prospective customers from adopting our services. We may be unable to respond quickly enough to accommodate short-term increases in demand for customer support. We also may be unable to modify the nature, scope and delivery of our customer support to compete with changes in the support services provided by our competitors. Increased demand for customer support, without corresponding revenue, could increase costs and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Our sales are highly dependent on our business reputation and on positive recommendations from existing customers. Any failure to deliver and maintain high-quality customer support, or a market perception that we do not maintain high-quality customer support, could adversely affect our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition.
We are launching our operations internationally, which exposes us to significant risks.
As part of our growth strategy, we are expanding our operations to include international offerings, including the deployment of two data centers in Frankfurt and London, the establishment of a limited presence in each of Frankfurt and Madrid primarily for regulatory purposes, and the employment of our first internationally based employee. We expect, in the future, to hire additional employees to provide international support to our existing U.S.-based customers and may, in the future, open foreign offices in order to reach new customers and further support our existing U.S.-based customers. Operating in international markets requires significant resources and management attention and will subject us to regulatory, economic and political risks in addition to those we already face in the United States. We have limited experience with international operations, and our international expansion efforts may not be successful.
In addition, we will face risks in doing business internationally that could adversely affect our business, including:
•exposure to political developments in the United Kingdom (“U.K.”), including the January 2020 departure of the U.K. from the European Union (“EU”), which has created an uncertain political and economic environment, instability for businesses and volatility in global financial markets and the value of foreign currencies, all of which could disrupt trade, the sale of our services and the mobility of our employees and contractors between the U.K., EU and other jurisdictions;
•difficulties in managing and staffing international operations, including difficulties related to the increased operations, travel, infrastructure and legal compliance costs associated with numerous international locations;
•our ability to effectively price our products in competitive international markets;
•new and different sources of competition;
•costs associated with network service providers outside of the United States;
•the need to adapt and localize our products for specific countries;
•difficulties in understanding and complying with local laws, regulations and customs in foreign jurisdictions, particularly in the areas of data privacy and security;
•difficulties related to differing technical standards, data privacy and telecommunications regulations and certification requirements outside the United States, which could prevent customers from deploying our products or limit their usage;
•export controls and economic sanctions administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury;
•compliance with various anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.K. Bribery Act 2010;
•tariffs and other non-tariff barriers, such as quotas;
•more limited protection for intellectual property rights in some countries;
•adverse tax consequences;
•fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could increase the price of our products outside of the United States, increase the expenses of our international operations and expose us to foreign currency exchange rate risk;
•currency control regulations, which might restrict or prohibit our conversion of other currencies into U.S. dollars;
•restrictions on the transfer of funds;
•deterioration of political relations between the United States and other countries; and
•political or social unrest or economic instability in a specific country or region in which we operate, which could have an adverse impact on our operations in that location.
In addition, due to potential costs from our international expansion efforts and network service provider fees outside of the United States, our gross margin for international customers may be lower than our gross margin for domestic customers. As a result, our gross margin may fluctuate as we expand our operations and customer base internationally.
Our failure to manage any of these risks successfully could delay our international expansion or, once developed, harm our international operations, and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our revenue is concentrated in a limited number of enterprise customers.
A significant portion of our revenue is concentrated among a limited number of enterprise customers. If we lost one or more of our top ten customers, or, if one or more of these major customers significantly decreased orders for our services, our business would be materially and adversely affected.
Breaches of our networks or systems, or those of third parties upon which we rely, could degrade our ability to conduct our business, compromise the integrity of our services and our Bandwidth Communications Platform, result in significant data losses and the theft of our intellectual property, damage our reputation, expose us to liability to third parties and require us to incur significant additional costs to maintain the security of our networks and data.
We depend upon our IT systems to conduct virtually all of our business operations, ranging from our internal operations and R&D activities to our marketing and sales efforts and communications with our customers and business partners. Cyber attacks, including through the use of malware, computer viruses, dedicated denial of services attacks, credential harvesting and other means for obtaining unauthorized access to or disrupting the operation of our networks and systems and those of our suppliers, vendors and other service providers, could cause harm to our business, including by misappropriating our proprietary information or that of our customers, employees and business partners or to cause interruptions of our services and our Bandwidth Communications Platform. Cyber attacks may cause equipment failures, loss of information, including sensitive personal information of customers or employees or valuable technical and marketing information, as well as disruptions to our or our customers’ operations. Cyber attacks against companies have increased in frequency, scope and potential harm in recent years. Further, the perpetrators of cyber attacks are not restricted to particular groups or persons. These attacks may be committed by company employees or external actors operating in any geography, including jurisdictions where law enforcement measures to address such attacks are unavailable or ineffective, and may even be launched by or at the behest of nation states. While, to date, we have not been subject to cyber attacks which, individually or in the aggregate, have been material to our operations or financial condition, the preventive actions we take to reduce the risks associated with cyber-attacks, including protection of our systems and networks, may be insufficient to repel or mitigate the effects of a major cyber-attack in the future. Because the techniques used by such individuals or entities to access, disrupt or sabotage devices, systems and networks change frequently and may not be recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques, and we may not become aware in a timely manner of such a security breach which could exacerbate any damage we experience. Additionally, we depend upon our employees and contractors to appropriately handle confidential and sensitive data, including customer data and customer proprietary network information pursuant to applicable federal law, and to deploy our IT resources in a safe and secure manner that does not expose our network systems to security breaches or the loss of data. Any data security incidents, including internal malfeasance by our employees, unauthorized access or usage, virus or similar breach or disruption of us or our services providers, could result in a loss of confidential information, theft of our intellectual property, damage to our reputation, loss of customers, litigation, regulatory investigations, fines, penalties and other liabilities.
Our existing general liability and cyber liability insurance policies may not cover, or may cover only a portion of, any potential claims related to security breaches to which we are exposed or may not be adequate to indemnify us for all or any portion of liabilities that may be imposed. We also cannot be certain that our existing insurance coverage will continue to be available on acceptable terms or in amounts sufficient to cover the potentially significant losses that may result from a security incident or breach or that the insurer will not deny coverage of any future claim. Accordingly, if our cybersecurity measures and those of our service providers, fail to protect against unauthorized access, attacks (which may include sophisticated cyber-attacks) and the mishandling of data by our employees and contractors, then our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We are currently subject to litigation related to taxes and charges associated with our provision of 911 services, which could divert management’s attention and adversely affect our results of operations.
We, along with many other telecommunications companies and similar service providers, currently are subject to litigation and a civil investigation regarding our billing, collection and remittance of non-income-based taxes and other similar charges regarding 911 services alleged to apply in certain states, counties, and municipalities located in Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. See the section titled “Item 3. Legal Proceedings.” We may face similar litigation in other jurisdictions in the future. While we are vigorously defending these lawsuits, litigation is inherently uncertain. Tax assessments, penalties and interest or future requirements arising from these lawsuits, or any other lawsuits that may arise in other jurisdictions, may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We face a risk of litigation resulting from customer misuse of our services and software to make or send unauthorized calls and/or messages, including those in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Customer misuse of our services and software also could damage our reputation.
Calls and/or text messages originated by our customers may subject us to potential risks, including litigation, regulatory enforcement, fines, and reputational damage. For example, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (the “TCPA”) restricts telemarketing and the use of technologies that enable automatic calling and/or messaging without proper consent. This may result in civil claims against us, including those arising due to our customers’ use of our platform, and requests for information through third-party subpoenas or regulatory investigations. Internationally, we also may become subject to similar laws imposing limitations on marketing calls to wireline and wireless numbers. The scope and interpretation of the laws that are or may be applicable to the making and/or delivery of calls and/or messages are continuously evolving and developing. If we do not comply with these laws or regulations or if we become liable under these laws or regulations due to the failure of our customers to comply with these laws by obtaining proper consent, we could become subject to lawsuits, fines, civil penalties, potentially significant statutory damages, consent decrees, injunctions, adverse publicity, loss of user confidence in our services, loss of users and other adverse consequences, which could materially harm our business.
Some of our customers may use our platform to transmit illegal, offensive or unauthorized calls and messages, including spam, phishing scams, and links to harmful applications. Some of our customers also may reproduce and distribute copyrighted material or the trademarks of others without permission. These actions violate our policies, including our Acceptable Use Policy, which applies to all customers. We generally complete considerable “know-your-customer” reviews before a customer can use our platform, although we do not thereafter conduct proactive audits of our customers to confirm compliance with our policies, including our Acceptable Use Policy. We rely on our customers’ contractual representations to us that their use of our platform will comply with applicable law and our policies. We also generally evaluate complaints that we receive regarding our customers’ use of our platform. Our substantial efforts will not prevent all illegal robocalls and other fraudulent activity. The unlawful or fraudulent use of our platform could subject us to claims for damages, copyright or trademark infringement, regulatory enforcement, fraud, or negligence or damage our reputation. Even if claims asserted against us do not result in liability, we may incur substantial costs to investigate and defend such claims. If we are liable for our customers’ activities, we could be required to pay fines or penalties, redesign our business methods, or otherwise expend resources to remedy any damages caused by such actions and avoid future liability.
The communications industry faces significant regulatory uncertainties and the resolution of these uncertainties could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If current or future regulations change, the FCC, state or international regulators may not grant us any required regulatory authorization or may take action against us if we are found to have provided services without obtaining the necessary authorizations, or to have violated other requirements of their rules and orders. Delays in receiving required regulatory approvals or the enactment of new adverse regulation or regulatory requirements may slow our growth and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Proceedings before the FCC could limit our access to various network services or further increase the rates we must pay for such services. Likewise, the availability and price of special access facilities could be affected by proceedings before the FCC, changes to applicable FCC rules, and FCC forbearance from the enforcement of obligations on incumbent LECs. Other proceedings before the FCC could result in an increase in the amount we pay to other carriers or a reduction in the revenue we derive from other carriers in, or retroactive liability for, access charges and reciprocal compensation. For example, on December 17, 2019, the FCC issued an order that revised its interpretation of the VoIP symmetry rule. The FCC now concludes that LECs may assess end office switched access charges only if the LEC or its VoIP partner provides a physical connection to the last-mile facilities used to serve an end user. If neither the LEC nor its VoIP partner provides such a physical connection, the LEC may not assess end office switched access charges because it is not providing the functional equivalent of end office switched access. The FCC also decided to give its order retroactive effect. We cannot predict the impact on our business, including whether other carriers will agree with our legal interpretations and treatments, at this time. Other proceedings before the FCC could also result in increases in the cost of regulatory compliance. For example, the FCC has opened a proceeding to examine how to improve the delivery of emergency 911 services and whether to expand requirements to include communications services not currently subject to emergency calling obligations. A
number of states also have proceedings pending that could impact our access to and the rates we pay for network services. Other state proceedings could limit our pricing and billing flexibility. Our business would be substantially impaired if the FCC, the courts or state commissions eliminated our access to the facilities and services we use to serve our customers, substantially increased the rates we pay for facilities and services, increased the costs or complexity associated with providing emergency 911 services or adversely affected the revenue we receive from other carriers or our customers. In addition, congressional legislative efforts to rewrite the Telecommunications Act of 1996 or enact other telecommunications legislation, as well as various state legislative initiatives, may cause major industry and regulatory changes. We cannot predict the outcome of these proceedings or legislative initiatives or the effects, if any, that these proceedings or legislative initiatives may have on our business and operations.
While we believe we are currently in compliance with all federal, state, local and international rules and regulations, these regulations are subject to interpretation and the relevant regulators may determine that our application of these rules and regulations is not consistent with their interpretation. Additionally, in certain instances, third parties or government agencies may bring action with federal, state or local regulators if they believe a provider has breached applicable rules and regulations.
The effects of increased regulation of IP-based service providers are unknown.
While the FCC has to date generally subjected IP-based service providers to less stringent regulatory oversight than traditional common carriers, the FCC has imposed certain regulatory obligations on providers of interconnected and non-interconnected VoIP services, including the obligations to contribute to the Universal Service Fund, to provide 911 services, and to comply with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. The recently enacted TRACED Act aims to mitigate illegal robocalls by directing the FCC to conduct certain rulemaking proceedings that include adopting rules that require participation in the technical standard known as STIR/SHAKEN, among other requirements. The TRACED Act applies to both IP-based and non-IP-based service providers. Further, some states have imposed taxes, fees and/or surcharges on interconnected VoIP telephony services. The imposition of additional regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We must obtain and maintain permits and licenses to operate our network.
If we are unable, on acceptable terms and on a timely basis, to obtain and maintain the permits and licenses needed to expand and operate our network, our business could be materially adversely affected. In addition, the cancellation or non-renewal of the permits or licenses that are obtained could materially adversely affect our business. In the event we are the target of an acquisition, the regulatory agencies responsible for granting, renewing or transferring permits and licenses may delay or reject applications to transfer such permits or licenses and as a result these uncertainties, we may not be as attractive an acquisition target.
Our operations are subject to regulation and require us to obtain and maintain several governmental licenses and permits. If we violate those regulatory requirements or fail to obtain and maintain those licenses and permits, including payment of related fees, if any, we may not be able to conduct our business. Moreover, those regulatory requirements could change in a manner that significantly increases our costs or otherwise adversely affects our operations.
In the ordinary course of operating our network and providing our services, we must obtain and maintain a variety of telecommunications and other licenses and authorizations. We also must comply with a variety of regulatory obligations. There can be no assurance we can maintain our licenses or that they will be renewed upon their expiration. Our failure to obtain or maintain necessary licenses, authorizations or to comply with the obligations imposed upon license holders, including the payment of fees, may cause sanctions or additional costs, including the revocation of authority to provide services.
Our operations are subject to regulation at the national level and, often, at the state and local levels. Our operations are also subject to additional regulation by other countries in international markets. Changes to existing regulations or rules, or the failure to regulate going forward in areas historically regulated on matters such as network neutrality, licensing fees, environmental, health and safety, privacy, intercarrier compensation, emergency
services, interconnection, illegal robocalling and other areas, in general or particular to our industry, may increase costs, restrict operations or decrease revenue. For example, the recently enacted TRACED Act aims to mitigate illegal robocalls by directing the FCC develop rules requiring participation in the technical standard known as STIR/SHAKEN among other things. As we expand internationally, we are also subject to telecommunications laws and regulations in the foreign countries where we offer our products. Our international operations are subject to country-specific governmental regulation that may increase our costs or impact our products and Bandwidth Communications Platform or prevent us from offering or providing our products in certain countries. Our inability or failure to comply with telecommunications and other laws and regulations could cause the temporary or permanent suspension of our operations, and if we cannot provide emergency calling functionality through our Bandwidth Communications Platform to meet any new federal or state requirements, or any applicable requirements from other countries, the competitive advantages that we currently have may not persist, adversely affecting our ability to obtain and to retain enterprise customers which could have an adverse impact on our business.
In January 2018, the FCC repealed its Network Neutrality Rules. Our business could suffer with respect to the quality of the services we offer, our ability to maintain our internet-based services and our services offered through our Bandwidth Communications Platform, decrease our profitability or increase the price of our services making our offerings less competitive in the marketplace.
In January 2018, the FCC adopted an order largely repealing its network neutrality rules. Among other things, the pre-existing network neutrality rules prevented providers of broadband internet access services — like cable and telephone companies — from blocking, impairing and degrading service offerings from non-affiliated third parties like us. The FCC’s order repealing the pre-existing network neutrality rules was appealed by a number of parties. In October 2019, a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision that largely affirmed the FCC's order, including the reclassification of broadband Internet access as an information service. The court, however, vacated the FCC’s decision that would have prospectively barred states from imposing any rule or requirement that was inconsistent with the FCC's order. The appellate court's decision is subject to rehearing by the full court or parties may seek to appeal the decision to the United States Supreme Court. Various companies appealed the federal court of appeals decision in December 2019. We cannot predict whether the appeal will be successful or whether any states will adopt legislation that results in restoring the pre-existing network neutrality rules that prevent broadband internet access service providers from blocking, impairing and degrading offerings from third parties like us. If broadband providers were to block, impair or degrade our internet-based services or services we offer through our Bandwidth Communications Platform, or if broadband internet access providers were to charge us or our customers to access and use our internet-based services or services offered through our Bandwidth Communications Platform, we could lose customers, our profitability could decrease, or we may have to raise prices, making our service less competitive in the marketplace. Most of the major broadband internet access providers have publicly stated that they will not block, impair or degrade third party offerings. We cannot predict the potential impact of the January 2018 FCC network neutrality order on our offerings at this time.
We are subject to privacy and data security obligations in the United States. Any failure to comply with applicable laws, regulations or contractual obligations may harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. The FCC, other Federal agencies or state attorneys’ general could fine or subject us to other adverse actions that may negatively impact our business reputation. If we are subject to an investigation or suffer a breach, we may incur costs or be subject to forfeitures and penalties that could reduce our profitability.
We are subject to privacy and data security laws and regulations that impose obligations in connection with the collection, processing and use of personal data. Federal and state laws or proposed laws impose limits on, or requirements regarding, the collection, distribution, use, security and storage of personally identifiable information (“PII”) of individuals. We see increased regulation of data privacy and security, including the adoption of more stringent subject matter specific state laws in the United States. For example, in 2018, California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), which became effective on January 1, 2020. The CCPA gives California residents expanded rights to access and delete their personal information, opt out of certain personal information sharing, and receive detailed information about how their personal information is used. The CCPA
provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for data breaches that is expected to increase data breach litigation. The CCPA may increase our compliance costs and potential liability. Some observers have noted that the CCPA could mark the beginning of a trend toward more stringent state privacy legislation in the United States, which could increase our potential liability and adversely affect our business.
We also may be bound by contractual obligations relating to our collection, use and disclosure of personal data or may find it necessary or desirable to join industry or other self-regulatory bodies or other privacy or security related organizations that require compliance with their rules pertaining to privacy and data protection.
We are subject to individual or joint jurisdiction of the FCC, the Federal Trade Commission, and state attorneys’ general with respect to privacy and data security obligations. If we were to suffer or if one of our customers were to suffer a breach, we may be subject to the jurisdiction of a variety of federal agencies’ jurisdictions, as well as state attorneys’ general. We may have to comply with a variety of data breach laws at the federal and state levels, comply with any resulting investigations, as well as offer mitigation to customers and potential end users of certain customers to which we provide services. We could also be subject to fines, forfeitures and other penalties that may adversely impact our business.
Any failure or perceived failure by us, our products or the Bandwidth Communications Platform to comply with new or existing U.S. privacy or data security laws, regulations, policies, industry standards or contractual or legal obligations, or any security incident that results in the unauthorized access to, or acquisition, release or transfer of, PII or other customer data may result in governmental investigations, inquiries, enforcement actions and prosecutions, private litigation, fines and penalties, adverse publicity or potential loss of business.
Our business is subject to complex and evolving foreign laws and regulations regarding privacy, data protection and other matters relating to information collection.
There are numerous foreign laws, regulations and directives regarding privacy and the collection, storage, transmission, use, processing, disclosure and protection of PII and other personal or customer data, the scope of which is continually evolving and subject to differing interpretations. We must comply with applicable laws, regulations and directives and we may be subject to significant consequences, including penalties and fines, for our failure to comply.
Uncertainty and changes in the requirements of multiple jurisdictions may increase the cost of compliance, delay or reduce demand for our services, restrict our ability to offer services in certain locations, impact our customers’ ability to utilize our services in certain jurisdictions, or subject us to sanctions by national data protection regulators, all of which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
For example, as of May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), replaced the Data Protection Directive with respect to the processing of PII in the EU. The GDPR imposes several stringent requirements for controllers and processors of PII (including non-EU processors who process personal data on behalf of EU controllers), including, for example, more robust internal accountability controls, a strengthened individual data rights regime, shortened timelines for data breach notifications, limitations on retention and secondary use of information and additional obligations when we contract with third parties in connection with the processing of the PII. Failure to comply with the requirements of GDPR and the applicable national data protection laws of the EU member states may result in fines of up to €20 million or up to 4% of the total worldwide annual revenue for the preceding financial year, whichever is higher, and other administrative penalties. Complying with the GDPR has required us to implement additional mechanisms. As we continue to operate under the GDPR, compliance may become onerous and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
In addition, recent legal developments in Europe have created complexity and compliance uncertainty regarding certain transfers of information from the EU to the United States. For example, the Privacy Shield Framework, to the extent applicable to us, is under review and there is currently litigation challenging other EU mechanisms for adequate data transfers (i.e., the standard contractual clauses). It is uncertain whether the Privacy
Shield Framework and/or the standard contractual clauses will be invalidated or adversely affected by European courts or legislatures. We rely, or intend to rely, on a mixture of mechanisms, including the Privacy Shield Framework and standard contractual clauses, to transfer PII from the EU to the United States, and we could be impacted by changes in law as a result of a future review of these transfer mechanisms by European regulators under the GDPR, as well as current challenges to these mechanisms in European courts. We and our customers are at risk of enforcement actions taken by European regulators until such point in time that we are able to ensure that all data transfers to us from the EU are legitimized. We also may encounter additional complexity with respect to data privacy and data transfers from the U.K. following the U.K.’s transition out of the EU. If one or more of the legal bases for transferring PII from Europe to the United States is invalidated, or if we are unable to transfer PII between and among countries and regions in which we may operate in the future, it could affect the manner in which we provide our services or could adversely affect our financial results.
Furthermore, any failure, or perceived failure, by us to comply with or make effective modifications to our policies, or to comply with any federal, state or international privacy, data-retention or data-protection-related laws, regulations, orders or industry self-regulatory principles could result in proceedings or actions against us by governmental entities or others, a loss of customer confidence, damage to our brand and reputation or a loss of customers, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business. In addition, various federal, state and foreign legislative or regulatory bodies may enact new or additional laws and regulations concerning privacy, data-retention and data-protection issues, including laws or regulations mandating disclosure to domestic or international law enforcement bodies, which could adversely impact our business, our brand or our reputation with customers. For example, some countries have adopted laws mandating that PII regarding customers in their country be maintained solely in their country. Having to maintain local data centers and redesign product, service and business operations to limit PII processing to within individual countries could increase our operating costs significantly.
Our business could suffer if we cannot obtain or retain local or toll-free numbers, are prohibited from obtaining local or toll-free numbers, or 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 numbers to meet customer demands in the United States at reasonable cost and without undue restrictions. Our ability to procure and distribute numbers depends on factors outside of our control, such as applicable regulations, the practices of the communications carriers that provide numbers to us in certain jurisdictions, the cost of obtaining and managing numbers and the level of demand for new numbers. Due to their limited availability, there are certain popular area code prefixes and specialized “vanity” toll-free numbers that we may not be able to obtain in desired quantities or at all. Our inability to acquire or retain numbers for our operations would make our services, including our Bandwidth Communications Platform, less attractive to potential customers that desire assignments of particular numbering resources. In addition, future growth of our customer base, together with growth of customer bases of other providers of communications services, has increased, which increases our dependence on needing large quantities of local and toll-free numbers associated with desirable area codes or specific toll-free numbering resources at a reasonable cost and without undue restriction. If we are not able to obtain or retain adequate local and toll-free numbers, or attractive subsets of such resources, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
In addition, in order to procure, distribute and retain telephone numbers in the EU, we will be required to register with the local telecommunications regulatory authorities, some of which have been increasingly monitoring and regulating the categories of phone numbers that are eligible for provisioning to our customers. We have registered or are in the process of registering in various countries in which we do business, but in some countries, the regulatory regime around provisioning of phone numbers is unclear, subject to change over time, and sometimes may conflict from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Furthermore, these regulations and governments’ approach to their enforcement, as well as our products and services, are still evolving and we may be unable to maintain compliance with applicable regulations, or enforce compliance by our customers, on a timely basis or without significant cost. Also, compliance with these types of regulations may require changes in products or business practices that result in reduced revenue. If we or our customers use phone numbers in these countries in a manner that violates applicable
rules and regulations, we may also be subject to significant penalties or governmental action, including government-initiated audits and, in extreme cases, may be precluded from doing business in that particular country. In the event of such non-compliance, we may be forced to reclaim phone numbers from our customers, which could result in loss of customers, breach of contract claims, loss of revenue and reputational harm, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We face exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, and such fluctuations could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
As we launch and expand our international operations, we face exposure to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates. While we have primarily transacted in U.S. dollars, we have transacted with partners in Europe in British Pounds and Euros. We expect to expand the number of transactions with customers and partners that are denominated in foreign currencies in the future as we expand our business internationally. We also incur expenses for some of our network service provider costs outside of the United States in local currencies and for employee compensation and other operating expenses in local currency. Fluctuations in the exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and other currencies could result in an increase to the U.S. dollar equivalent of such expenses.
In addition, our international subsidiaries maintain net assets denominated in currencies other than the functional operating currencies of these entities. As we expand our international operations, we will become more exposed to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Accordingly, changes in the value of foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar may affect our results of operations due to transactional and translational remeasurements. Such foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations could make it more difficult to detect underlying trends in our business and results of operations. The trading price of our Class A common stock also could be adversely affected if fluctuations in currency exchange rates cause our results of operations to differ from our expectations or the expectations of our investors and securities analysts who follow our stock.
We do not currently maintain a program to hedge transactional exposures in foreign currencies. However, in the future, we may use derivative instruments, such as foreign currency forward and option contracts, to hedge certain exposures to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. The use of such hedging activities may not offset any or more than a portion of the adverse financial effects of unfavorable movements in foreign exchange rates over the limited time the hedges are in place. Moreover, the use of hedging instruments may introduce additional risks if we are unable to structure effective hedges with such instruments.
We may be exposed to liabilities under anti-corruption, export control and economic sanction regulations, and similar laws and regulations, and any determination that we violated any of these laws or regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business.
As we launch and expand our international offerings, we are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), the U.K. Bribery Act and other laws that prohibit improper payments or offers of payments to foreign governments and their officials, political parties, and/or private parties by persons and entities for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Our international activities create the risk of unauthorized payments or offers of payments by one of our employees or consultants, even though these parties are not always subject to our control. Our policies prohibit these practices by our employees and consultants, although our existing safeguards and any future improvements may prove to be less than effective, and our employees or consultants may engage in conduct for which we might be held responsible. Violations of the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act or other laws may result in severe criminal or civil sanctions, and we may be subject to other liabilities, which could negatively affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.
Our products and services may be subject to export control and economic sanctions regulations, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, U.S. Customs regulations and various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. Our products and services must be offered and sold in compliance with these laws and regulations. If we do not comply with these laws or regulations or if we become liable under these laws or regulations due to the failure of our customers to
comply with these laws by obtaining proper consent, we could face liability. In addition, changes in our products or services, changes in applicable regulations, or change in the target of such regulations, could also result in decreased use of our products and services, or in our decreased ability to sell our products or provide our services to existing or prospective customers with international operations. Any decreased use of our products and services or limitation on our ability to export our products and provide our services could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Intellectual property and proprietary rights of others could prevent us from using necessary technology to provide our services or subject us to expensive intellectual property litigation.
If technology that we require to provide our services, including our Bandwidth Communications Platform, was determined by a court to infringe a patent held by another entity that will not grant us a license on terms acceptable to us, we could be precluded by a court order from using that technology and we would likely be required to pay significant monetary damages to the patent holder. The successful enforcement of these patents, or our inability to negotiate a license for these patents on acceptable terms, could force us to cease (i) using the relevant technology and (ii) offering services incorporating the technology. If a claim of infringement was brought against us based on the use of our technology or against our customers based on their use of our services for which we are obligated to indemnify, we could be subject to litigation to determine whether such use or sale is, in fact, infringing. This litigation could be expensive and distracting, regardless of the outcome.
While our own limited patent portfolio may deter other operating companies from bringing such actions, patent infringement claims are increasingly being asserted by patent holding companies, which do not use technology and whose sole business is to enforce patents against operators, such as us, for monetary gain. Because such patent holding companies, commonly referred to as patent “trolls,” do not provide services or use technology, the assertion of our own patents by way of counter-claim would be largely ineffective.
Our use of open source software could negatively affect our ability to sell our services and subject us to possible litigation.
Our services, including our Bandwidth Communications Platform, incorporate open source software, and we expect to continue to incorporate open source software in our services in the future. Few of the licenses applicable to open source software have been interpreted by courts, and there is a risk that these licenses could be construed in a manner that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our services, including our Bandwidth Communications Platform. Moreover, although we have implemented policies to regulate the use and incorporation of open source software into our services, we cannot be certain that we have not incorporated open source software in our services in a manner that is inconsistent with such policies. If we fail to comply with open source licenses, we may be subject to certain requirements, including requirements that we offer our services that incorporate the open source software for no cost, that we make available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon, incorporating or using the open source software and that we license such modifications or derivative works under the terms of applicable open source licenses. If an author or other third-party that distributes such open source software were to allege that we had not complied with the conditions of one or more of these licenses, we could be required to incur significant legal expenses defending against such allegations and could be subject to significant damages, enjoined from generating revenue from customers using services that contained the open source software and required to comply with onerous conditions or restrictions on these services. In any of these events, we and our customers could be required to seek licenses from third parties in order to continue offering our services and to re-engineer our services or discontinue offering our services to customers in the event re-engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely basis. Any of the foregoing could require us to devote additional R&D resources to re-engineer our services, could result in customer dissatisfaction and may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Indemnity provisions in various agreements potentially expose us to substantial liability for intellectual property infringement and other losses.
Our agreements with customers and other third parties typically include indemnification or other provisions under which we agree to indemnify or otherwise be liable to them for losses suffered or incurred as a result of claims of intellectual property infringement, damages caused by us to property or persons or other liabilities relating to or arising from our services or platform or other acts or omissions. The term of these contractual provisions often survives termination or expiration of the applicable agreement. Large indemnity payments or damage claims from contractual breach could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. Although we normally contractually limit our liability with respect to such obligations, we may still incur substantial liability related to them. Any dispute with a customer with respect to such obligations could have adverse effects on our relationship with that customer and other current and prospective customers, reduce demand for our services and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The storage, processing and use of personal information and related data subjects us to evolving governmental laws and regulation, commercial standards, contractual obligations and other legal obligations related to consumer and data privacy, which may have a material impact on our costs, use of our services, or expose us to increased liability.
Federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations, commercial obligations and industry standards, each provide for obligations and restrictions with respect to data privacy and security, as well as the collection, storage, retention, protection, use, processing, transmission, sharing, disclosure and protection of personal information and other customer data, including customer proprietary network information under applicable federal law. The evolving nature of these obligations and restrictions subjects us to the risk of differing interpretations, inconsistency or conflicts among countries or rules, and creates uncertainty regarding their application to our business.
These obligations and restrictions may limit our ability to collect, store, process, use, transmit and share data with our customers, employees and third-party providers and to allow our customers to collect, store, retain, protect, use, process, transmit, share and disclose data with others through our services. Compliance with, and other burdens imposed by, such obligations and restrictions could increase the cost of our operations and impact our ability to market our services through effective segmentation.
Failure to comply with obligations and restrictions related to applicable data protection laws, regulations, standards, and codes of conduct, as well as our own posted privacy policies and contractual commitments could subject us to lawsuits, fines, criminal penalties, statutory damages, consent decrees, injunctions, adverse publicity, loss of user confidence in our services, and loss of users, which could materially harm our business. Because these obligations and restrictions have continued to develop and evolve rapidly, it is possible that we may not be, or may not have been, compliant with each such obligation and restriction. Additionally, third-party contractors may have access to customer or employee data. If these or other third-party vendors violate obligations and restrictions related to applicable data protection laws or our policies, such violations may also put our customers’ or employees’ information at risk and could in turn have a material and adverse effect on our business.
If we fail to protect our internally developed systems, technology and software and our patents and trademarks, we may become involved in costly litigation or our business or brand may be harmed.
Our ability to compete effectively is dependent in large part upon the maintenance and protection of systems and software that we have developed internally, including some systems and software based on open standards. We cannot patent much of the technology that is important to our business. In addition, any pending patent applications may not be granted, and any issued patent that we own may be challenged, narrowed, invalidated or circumvented. To date, we have relied on patent, copyright and trade secret laws, as well as confidentiality procedures and licensing arrangements, to establish and protect our rights to our technology. While we typically enter into confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants, customers, and vendors in an effort to control access to and distribution of technology, software, documentation and other information, these agreements may not effectively prevent disclosure of confidential information and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of unauthorized disclosure of confidential information. Despite these precautions, it may be possible for a third party to copy or otherwise obtain and use our technology without authorization. In addition, others may independently
discover trade secrets and proprietary information, and in such cases we could not assert any rights against such party. Policing unauthorized use of our technology is difficult. The steps we take may not prevent misappropriation of the technology we rely on. In addition, effective protection may be unavailable or limited in some jurisdictions outside the United States. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce or protect our rights or to determine the validity and scope of the rights of others. That litigation could cause us to incur substantial costs and divert resources away from our daily business, which in turn could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The unlicensed use of our brands by third parties could harm our reputation, cause confusion among our customers or impair our ability to market our services. Accordingly, we have registered numerous trademarks and service marks and have applied for registration of our trademarks and service marks in the United States to establish and protect our brand names as part of our intellectual property strategy. We do not currently have any registered trademarks in any jurisdiction outside of the United States and the laws of some countries do not protect intellectual property and other proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. To the extent we expand our international activities, our exposure to unauthorized copying, transfer and use of our proprietary technology or information may increase. We cannot assure you that our pending or future trademark applications will be approved. Although we anticipate that we would be given an opportunity to respond to any such rejections, we may be unable to overcome any such rejections. In addition, in proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office third parties are given an opportunity to oppose pending trademark applications and seek to cancel registered trademarks. Opposition or cancellation proceedings may be filed against our trademarks, and our trademarks may not survive such proceedings. In the event that our trademarks are successfully challenged, we could be forced to rebrand our services, which could result in loss of brand name recognition. 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 decide to take limited or no action to protect our trademarks, our trademark rights may be diluted and subject to challenge or invalidation, which could materially and adversely affect our brand in the marketplace. Certain of the trademarks we may use may become so well known by the public that their use becomes generic and they lose trademark protection. Over the long term, if we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademark and tradenames, then we may not be able to compete effectively and our business may be adversely affected. Further, we cannot assure you that competitors will not infringe our trademarks or that we will have adequate resources to enforce our trademarks.
We are subject to litigation in the ordinary course of business, and uninsured judgments or a rise in insurance premiums may adversely affect our results of operations.
In the ordinary course of business, we are subject to various claims and litigation. Any such claims, regardless of merit, could be time-consuming and expensive to defend and could divert management’s attention and resources. In accordance with customary practice, we maintain insurance against some, but not all, of these potential claims. We may elect not to obtain insurance if we believe that the cost of available insurance is excessive relative to the risks presented. The levels of insurance we maintain may not be adequate to fully cover any and all losses or liabilities. Further, we may not be able to maintain insurance at commercially acceptable premium levels or at all. If any significant judgment, claim (or a series of claims) or other event is not fully insured or indemnified against, it could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. There can be no assurance as to the actual amount of these liabilities or the timing thereof. We cannot be certain that the outcome of current or future litigation will not have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.
We may be liable for the information that content owners or distributors distribute over our network.
The law relating to the liability of private network operators for information carried on or disseminated through their networks remains unsettled. While we disclaim any liability for third-party content in our services agreements, we may become subject to legal claims relating to the content disseminated on our network, even though such content is owned or distributed by our customers or a customer of our customers. For example, lawsuits may be brought against us claiming that material distributed using our network was inaccurate, offensive or violated the law or the rights of others. Claims could also involve matters such as defamation, invasion of privacy and
copyright infringement. In addition, the law remains unclear over whether content may be distributed from one jurisdiction, where the content is legal, into another jurisdiction, where it is not. Companies operating private networks have been sued in the past, sometimes successfully, based on the nature of material distributed, even if the content is not owned by the network operator and the network operator has no knowledge of the content or its legality. It is not practical for us to monitor all of the content distributed using our network. We may need to take costly measures to reduce our exposure to these risks or to defend ourselves against such claims, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Third parties may fraudulently use our name to obtain access to customer accounts and other personal information, use our services to commit fraud or steal our services, which could damage our reputation, limit our growth or cause us to incur additional expenses.
Our customers may have been subject to “phishing,” which occurs when a third party calls or sends an email or pop-up message to a customer that claims to be from a business or organization that provides services to the customer. The purpose of the inquiry is typically to encourage the customer to visit a bogus website designed to look like a website operated by the legitimate business or organization or provide information to the operator. At the bogus website, the operator attempts to trick the customer into divulging customer account or other personal information such as credit card information or to introduce viruses through “Trojan horse” programs to the customers’ computers. This could result in identity theft from our customers and the unauthorized use of our services. Third parties also have used our communications services to commit fraud. If we are unable to detect and prevent “phishing” and other similar methods, use of our services for fraud and similar activities, our brand reputation and growth may suffer and we may incur additional costs, including costs to increase security, or be required to credit significant amounts to customers.
Third parties also have used our communications services without paying, including by submitting fraudulent credit information and fraudulent credit card information. This has resulted in our incurring the cost of providing the services, including incurring call termination fees, without any corresponding revenue. We have implemented anti-fraud procedures in order to limit the expenses resulting from theft of service. If our procedures are not effective, theft of service could significantly increase our expenses and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If our customers or their end users do not accept the differences between our service and traditional telephone service, they may choose to remain with their current telephone service provider or may choose to return to service provided by traditional network service providers.
Aspects of our services based on VoIP, including our Bandwidth Communications Platform, are not the same as traditional network service providers. Our continued growth is dependent on the adoption of our services by mainstream customers and their end users, so these differences are important. For example:
•Our 911 calling services are different, in significant respects, from the 911 service associated with traditional wireline and wireless telephone providers and, in certain cases, with other VoIP providers.
•In the event of a power loss or Internet access interruption experienced by a customer, our service may be interrupted.
•Our customers’ end users may experience lower call quality than they are used to from traditional wireline or wireless telephone companies, including static, echoes and delays in transmissions.
•Our customers’ end users may not be able to call premium-rate telephone numbers such as 1-900 numbers and 976 numbers.
We may lose customers if we experience failures of our system or Bandwidth Communications Platform that significantly disrupt the availability and quality of the services that we provide. Such failures may also cause interruptions to service delivery and the completion of other corporate functions.
Our operations depend on our ability to limit and mitigate interruptions or degradation in service for customers. Interruptions in service or performance problems, for whatever reason, could undermine our customers’ confidence in our services and cause us to lose customers or make it more difficult to attract new ones. Because many of our services are critical to the businesses or daily lives of many of our customers or our customers’ end users, any significant interruption or degradation in service also could result in lost profits or other losses to customers. Although our service agreements generally limit our liability for service failures and generally exclude any liability for “consequential” damages such as lost profits, a court might not enforce these limitations on liability, which could expose us to financial loss. We also sometimes provide our customers with committed service levels. If we fail to meet these committed service levels, we could be required to provide service credits or other compensation to our customers, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
The failure of any equipment or facility on our network, including our network operations control centers and network data storage locations, could interrupt customer service and other corporate functions until we complete necessary repairs or install replacement equipment. Our business continuity plans also may be inadequate to address a particular failure that we experience. Delays, errors or network equipment or facility failures could result from natural disasters, disease, accidents, terrorist acts, power losses, security breaches, vandalism or other illegal acts, computer viruses or other causes. These delays, errors or failures could significantly impair our business due to:
•malfunction of our Bandwidth Communications Platform on which our enterprise users rely for voice, messaging or 911 functionality;
•exposure to customer liability;
•the inability to install new service;
•the unavailability of employees necessary to provide services;
•the delay in the completion of other corporate functions such as issuing bills and the preparation of financial statements; or
•the need for expensive modifications to our systems and infrastructure.
Defects or errors in our services could diminish demand for our services, harm our business and results of operations and subject us to liability.
Our customers use our services for important aspects of their businesses, and any errors, defects or disruptions to our services and any other performance problems with our services could damage our customers’ businesses and, in turn, hurt our brand and reputation. We provide regular updates to our services, which have in the past contained, and may in the future contain, undetected errors, failures, vulnerabilities and bugs when first introduced or released. Real or perceived errors, failures or bugs in our services could result in negative publicity, loss of or delay in market acceptance of our platform, loss of competitive position, lower customer retention or claims by customers for losses sustained by them. In such an event, we may be required, or may choose, for customer relations or other reasons, to expend additional resources in order to help correct the problem. In addition, we may not carry insurance sufficient to compensate us for any losses that may result from claims arising from defects or disruptions in our services. As a result, our brand and reputation could be harmed, and our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
If our 911 services do not function properly, we may be exposed to significant liability from our users.
Certain of our IP telephony offerings, as well as the 911 solutions that we offer are subject to FCC rules governing the delivery of emergency calling services. Similar to other providers of IP telephony services, our 911 services are different from those associated with traditional local telecommunications services. These differences
may lead to an inability to make and complete calls that would not occur for users of traditional telephony services. For example, to provide the emergency calling services required by the FCC’s rules to our IP telephony consumers, we may use components of both the wireline and wireless infrastructure in unique ways that can result in failed connections and calls routed to incorrect emergency call centers. Routing emergency calls over the Internet may be adversely affected by power outages and network congestion that may not occur for users of traditional telephony services. Emergency call centers may not be equipped with appropriate hardware or software to accurately process and respond to emergency calls initiated by consumers of our IP telephony services, and calls routed to the incorrect emergency call center can significantly delay response times for first responders. Users of our interconnected VoIP telephony services from a fixed address are required to manually update their location information for use when calling 911, and failure to do so may result in dispatching of assistance to the wrong location. Even manual updates made appropriately require a certain amount of time before the updated address appears in the relevant databases which could result in misrouting emergency calls to the wrong emergency calling center, dispatching first responders to the wrong address, or both. Moreover, the relevant rules with respect to what address information should be provided to emergency call centers when the call originates from a mobile application are unsettled. As a result, we could be subject to enforcement action by the FCC or other entities — possibly exposing us to significant monetary penalties, cease and desist orders, civil liability, loss of user confidence in our services, loss of users, and other adverse consequences, which could materially harm our business. The FCC’s rules, and some states, also impose other obligations on us, such as properly recording our customers’ registered locations, obtaining affirmative acknowledgement from customers that they are aware of the differences between emergency calling services associated with IP telephony as compared with traditional telecommunications services, and distribution of appropriate warning labels to place on or near hardware used to place IP telephony calls. Failure to comply with these requirements, or failure of our Bandwidth Communications Platform such that 911 calls did not complete or were misrouted, may result in FCC enforcement action, state attorneys’ general investigations, potential exposure to significant monetary penalties, cease and desist orders, civil liability to our users and their customers, loss of user confidence in our services, loss of users, and other adverse consequences, which could materially harm our business.
The FCC’s rules also require that we timely report certain 911 service outages. The FCC may make inquiries regarding matters related to any reported 911 service outage. Any inquiry could result in FCC enforcement action, potential monetary penalties and other adverse consequences.
Termination of relationships with key suppliers could cause delay and additional costs.
Our business is dependent on third-party suppliers for fiber, computers, software, transmission electronics and related network components, as well as providers of network colocation facilities that are integrated into our network, some of which are critical to the operation of our business. If any of these critical relationships is terminated, a supplier either exits or curtails its business as a result of economic conditions, a supplier fails to provide critical services or equipment, or the supplier is forced to stop providing services due to legal constraints, such as patent infringement, and we are unable to reach suitable alternative arrangements quickly, we may experience significant additional costs or we may not be able to provide certain services to customers. If that happens, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
Many of our third-party suppliers do not have long-term committed contracts with us and may terminate their agreements with us without notice or by providing 30 days prior written notice. Although we expect that we could receive similar services from other third-party suppliers, if any of our arrangements with our third-party suppliers are terminated, we could experience interruptions in our ability to make our services available to customers, as well as delays and additional expenses in arranging alternative providers. If a significant portion of our third-party suppliers fail to provide these services to us on a cost-effective basis or otherwise terminate these services, the delay caused by qualifying and switching to other providers could be time consuming and costly and could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
One of our third-party suppliers, Level 3, provides us with certain 911 call routing and termination services. Pursuant to the agreement with Level 3, Level 3 is our preferred provider for these services until December 31,
2020, after which the agreement automatically renews for consecutive one-year periods, unless terminated by either Level 3 or us. After December 31, 2020, Level 3 may cancel the agreement upon two years’ notice and we may cancel the agreement upon one year’s notice. If our agreement with Level 3 terminates for any reason other than our default, Level 3 must continue to provide these services to us for at least two years to allow us to transition to another provider. We are obligated to pay Level 3 a minimum of $100,000 per month for as long as the agreement continues. Additionally, Level 3 has a right of first refusal to provide these 911 call routing and termination services to us in additional geographic areas.
Our growth and financial health are subject to a number of economic risks.
The financial markets in the United States have experienced substantial uncertainty during recent years. This uncertainty has included, among other things, extreme volatility in securities prices, drastically reduced liquidity and credit availability, rating downgrades of certain investments and declining values with respect to others. If capital and credit markets continue to experience uncertainty and available funds remain limited, we may not be able to obtain debt or equity financing or to refinance our existing indebtedness on favorable terms or at all, which could affect our strategic operations and our financial performance and force modifications to our operations. These conditions currently have not precluded us from accessing credit markets or financing our operations, but there can be no assurance that financial markets and confidence in major economies will not deteriorate. An extended period of economic deterioration could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition and exacerbate some of the other risk factors contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. For example, our customers might defer or entirely decline purchases of our services due to tighter credit or negative financial news or reduce demand for our services. Our customers also may not be able to obtain adequate credit, which could adversely affect the timeliness of their payments to us or ultimately result in a filing by the customer for protection from creditors under applicable insolvency or bankruptcy laws. If our customers cannot make timely payments to us, our accounts receivable could increase. The demand for, and the prices of, our services also may decline due to the actions of our competitors or otherwise.
Key vendors upon which we rely also could be unwilling or unable to provide us with the materials or services that we need to operate our Bandwidth Communications Platform or otherwise on a timely basis or on terms that we find acceptable. Our financial counterparties, insurance providers or others also may default on their contractual obligations to us. If any of our key vendors fail, we may not be able to replace them without disruptions to, or deterioration of, our services and we also may incur higher costs associated with new vendors. Transitioning to new vendors also may result in the loss of the value of assets associated with our integration of third-party services into our network or service offerings.
Our customer churn rate may increase.
Customer churn occurs when a customer discontinues service with us, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, such as a customer switching to a competitor or going out of business. Changes in the economy, increased competition from other providers, or issues with the quality of service we deliver can impact our customer churn rate. We cannot predict future pricing by our competitors, but we anticipate that price competition will continue. Lower prices offered by our competitors could contribute to an increase in customer churn. We cannot predict the timing, duration or magnitude of any deteriorated economic conditions or its impact on our target of customers. Higher customer churn rates could adversely affect our revenue growth. Higher customer churn rates could cause our dollar-based net retention rate to decline. A sustained and significant growth in the churn rate could have a material adverse effect on our business.
The market prices for certain of our services have decreased in the past and may decrease in the future, resulting in lower revenue than we anticipate.
Market prices for certain of our services have decreased over recent years. These decreases resulted from downward market pressure and other factors including:
•technological changes and network expansions, which have resulted in increased transmission capacity available for sale by us and by our competitors; and
•some of our competitors have been willing to accept smaller operating margins in the short term in an attempt to increase long-term revenue.
To retain customers and revenue, we must sometimes reduce prices in response to market conditions and trends. We cannot predict to what extent we may need to reduce our prices to remain competitive or whether we will be able to sustain future pricing levels as our competitors introduce competing services or similar services at lower prices. Our ability to meet price competition may depend on our ability to operate at costs equal to or lower than our competitors or potential competitors. As our prices for some of our services decrease, our operating results may suffer unless we are able to either reduce our operating expenses or increase traffic volume from which we can derive additional revenue.
The need to obtain additional IP circuits from other providers increases our costs. In addition, the need to interconnect our network to networks that are controlled by others could increase our costs.
We lease all of our IP circuits from third parties nationwide. We could incur material expenses if we were required to locate alternative IP circuits. We may not be able to obtain reasonable alternative IP circuits if needed. Failure to obtain usage of alternative IP circuits, if necessary, could have a material adverse effect on our ability to carry on business operations. In addition, some of our agreements with other providers require the payment of amounts for services whether or not those services are used. Our reliance on third-party providers may reduce our operating flexibility, ability to make timely service changes and ability to control quality of service.
In the normal course of business, we need to enter into interconnection agreements with many local telephone companies, as well as the owners of networks that our customers desire to access to deliver their services. We are not always able to secure these interconnection agreements on favorable terms. Costs of obtaining service from other communications carriers comprise a significant proportion of the operating expenses of long distance carriers. Changes in regulation, particularly the regulation of telecommunication carriers and local access network owners, could indirectly, but significantly, affect our competitive position. These changes could increase or decrease the costs of providing our services. Further, if problems occur with our third-party providers or local telephone companies, it may cause errors or poor quality communications, and we could encounter difficulties identifying the source of the problem. The occurrence of errors or poor quality communications on our services, whether caused by our platform or a third-party provider, may result in the loss of our existing customers or the delay of adoption of our services by potential customers and may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Network providers also may institute additional fees due to regulatory, competitive or other industry-related changes that increase our costs. For example, a major U.S. cellular carrier recently introduced a new service offering for Application to Person (“A2P”), messages that will add a new fee for A2P messages delivered to its subscribers. While we may be able to negotiate with network providers, absorb the increased costs, or charge these costs to our customers, we cannot assure you that we will be able to do so. In the case of new A2P fees, we expect to pass these fees on to our customers who send messages to this carrier's subscribers. This is expected to increase our revenue and cost of goods sold, but is not expected to impact the gross profit received for sending these messages. However, these changes may still have a negative impact on our gross margins mathematically. We also may not be able to effectively respond to any new fees if all network providers in a particular market impose equivalent fee structures, if the magnitude of the fees is disproportionately large when compared to the underlying prices paid by our customers, or if the market conditions limit our ability to increase the prices we charge our customers.
We depend largely on the continued services of our senior management and other key employees, the loss of any of whom could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our future performance depends on the continued services and contributions of our senior management and other key employees to execute on our business plan, to develop our platform, to deliver our services to customers, to attract and retain customers and to identify and pursue opportunities. 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, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, David A. Morken. The replacement of any of our 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, results of operations and financial condition.
If we are unable to hire, retain and motivate qualified personnel, our business will suffer.
Our future success depends, in part, 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 management, technical, sales and other personnel with experience in our industry in the Raleigh, North Carolina area, where our headquarters are located, and in other locations where we maintain offices. 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 our services, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. To the extent we hire personnel from competitors, we also may be subject to allegations that they have been improperly solicited or hired, or that they 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. Employees may be more likely to terminate their employment with us if the shares they own or the shares underlying any vested options or restricted stock units have significantly appreciated in value, or, conversely, if the exercise prices of any options that they hold are significantly above the trading price of our Class A common stock or the value of any restricted stock units they hold has depreciated significantly. If we are unable to retain our employees, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Our management team has limited experience managing a public company.
Other than experience gained at our company, most members of our management team have limited, if any, experience managing a publicly-traded company, interacting with public company investors and complying with the increasingly complex laws pertaining to public companies. Our management team may not successfully or efficiently manage us as a public company. As a result of being a public company, we are subject to significant regulatory oversight and reporting obligations under the federal securities laws and the continuous scrutiny of securities analysts and investors. These new obligations and constituents require significant attention from our senior management and could divert their attention away from the day-to-day management of our business, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We could be subject to liability for historic and future sales, use and similar taxes, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
We conduct operations in many tax jurisdictions throughout the United States. In many of these jurisdictions, non-income-based taxes such as sales, use and telecommunications taxes, including those associated with (or potentially associated with) VoIP telephony services or 911 services, are or may be assessed on our operations. As we launch and expand our international operations, we also face exposure to other non-income-based taxes such as value added taxes that are or may be assessed on our operations. The systems and procedures necessary to comply in these jurisdictions are complex to develop and challenging to implement. Additionally, we rely heavily on third parties to provide us with key software and services for compliance. If these third parties cease to provide those services to us for any reason, or fail to perform services accurately and completely, we may not be able to accurately bill, collect or remit applicable non-income-based taxes. Historically, we have not billed or
collected certain of these taxes and, in accordance with GAAP, we have recorded a provision for our tax exposure in these jurisdictions when it is both probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the exposure can be reasonably estimated. These estimates include several key assumptions including, but not limited to, the taxability of our services, the jurisdictions in which we believe we have nexus, and the sourcing of revenue to those jurisdictions. In the event these jurisdictions challenge our assumptions and analysis, our actual exposure could differ materially from our current estimates.
Taxing authorities also may periodically perform audits to verify compliance and include all periods that remain open under applicable statutes, which customarily range from three to four years. At any point in time, we may undergo audits that could result in significant assessments of past taxes, fines and interest if we were found to be non-compliant. During the course of an audit, a taxing authority may, as a matter of policy, question our interpretation and/or application of their rules in a manner that, if we were not successful in substantiating our position, could potentially result in a significant financial impact to us.
Furthermore, certain jurisdictions in which we do not collect sales, use and similar taxes may assert that such taxes are applicable, which could result in tax assessments, penalties and interest, and we may be required to collect such taxes in the future. Such tax assessments, penalties and interest or future requirements may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may be subject to significant U.S. federal income tax-related liabilities and indemnity obligations if there is a determination that the Spin-Off is taxable for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
We may be subject to significant U.S. federal income tax-related liabilities with respect to our prior distribution of all of the issued and outstanding shares of the common stock of Republic Wireless, Inc. (“Republic Wireless”), our former subsidiary, to our stockholders as of and on November 30, 2016 (the “Spin-Off”), if there is a determination that the Spin-Off is taxable for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In that regard, even if the Spin-Off otherwise qualified as a tax-free transaction to us and our stockholders under Section 355, Section 368(a)(1)(D) and related provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) at the time of the Spin-Off, we would be subject to corporate-level taxable gain under Section 355(e) of the Code (“Section 355(e)”) if there was a 50% or greater change in ownership, by vote or value, of shares of our stock or Republic Wireless’s stock that occurred after the Spin-Off as part of a plan or series of related transactions that included the Spin-Off. For purposes of Section 355(e), any acquisitions or issuances of our stock, including pursuant to our initial public offering and pursuant to the reorganizations undertaken and arrangements entered into in connection with our initial public offering, or Republic Wireless’s stock, in each case, that occurred within two years after the Spin-Off are generally presumed to be part of a plan or series of related transactions with respect to the Spin-Off.
In connection with the Spin-Off, we received an opinion from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP substantially to the effect that, among other things, the Spin-Off should qualify as a tax-free transaction for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Section 355 and Section 368(a)(1)(D) of the Code. In addition, in light of the implications that would arise for us if Section 355(e) applied to the Spin-Off, we received an opinion from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP in connection with our initial public offering substantially to the effect that (i) as of the date of the initial public offering, we would not be required to recognize gain with respect to the Spin-Off pursuant to Section 355(e), and (ii) any increases in voting power attributable to conversions of our Class B common stock to Class A common stock by those who held our Class B common stock as of the date of the initial public offering would not cause us to recognize gain with respect to the Spin-Off pursuant to Section 355(e) (together with the opinion from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP with respect to the Spin-Off, the “Tax Opinions”). Neither of the Tax Opinions is binding on the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) or the courts, however, and the IRS or the courts may not agree with the conclusions reached in the Tax Opinions. Moreover, the Tax Opinions were based upon, among other things, the laws in effect at the time of each of the Tax Opinions and certain assumptions and representations as to factual matters made by us. Any change in applicable law, which may be retroactive, or the failure of any such assumptions or representations to be true, could adversely affect the validity of the conclusions reached in the Tax Opinions.
If the conclusions of the Tax Opinions are not correct, or if the Spin-Off is otherwise ultimately determined to be a taxable transaction, we would be liable for significant U.S. federal income tax related liabilities. In addition, pursuant to the Tax Sharing Agreement, dated November 30, 2016, between us and Republic Wireless (the “Tax Sharing Agreement”), we must generally indemnify Republic Wireless for any taxes or losses incurred by it (or its respective subsidiaries) resulting from the Spin-Off failing to qualify as a tax-free transaction for U.S. federal income tax purposes (including due to the application of Section 355(e)) as a result of subsequent actions we take or fail to take. The amount of any indemnity obligations we may have under the Tax Sharing Agreement in such case may be material.
Even if Section 355(e) does not apply to the Spin-Off as of the date of our initial public offering or as a result of an increase in voting power attributable to conversions of our Class B common stock by those who held such stock as of our initial public offering, subsequent acquisitions or issuances of our stock could be treated as part of a plan or series of related transactions with respect to the Spin-Off. Accordingly, in light of the requirements of Section 355(e), we might forego share repurchases, stock issuances and other strategic transactions for some period of time following our initial public offering. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is possible that we, Republic Wireless or the holders of our respective stock might inadvertently cause, permit or otherwise not prevent a change in the ownership of our stock or Republic Wireless’s stock to occur, which would cause Section 355(e) to apply to the Spin-Off, thereby triggering significant U.S. federal income tax-related liabilities and indemnity obligations under the Tax Sharing Agreement of approximately $50 million. This approximation is based on our current expectations and the tax laws in effect as of our initial public offering. However, we cannot provide any assurance that this estimate will prove to be accurate in the event that Section 355(e) were to apply.
If our estimates or judgments relating to our critical accounting policies prove to be incorrect, our results of operations could be adversely affected.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, as provided in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” The results of these estimates form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets, liabilities and equity, and the amount of revenue and expenses that are not readily apparent from other sources. Significant assumptions and estimates used in preparing our consolidated financial statements include those related to revenue recognition, capitalized internal-use software costs, other non-income taxes, business combination and valuation of goodwill and purchased intangible assets and share-based compensation. Our results of operations may be adversely affected if our assumptions change or if actual circumstances differ from those in our assumptions, which could cause our results of operations to fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors, resulting in a decline in the trading price of our Class A common stock.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.
As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”), and the rules and regulations of the applicable listing standards of the NASDAQ Global Select Market. We expect that the requirements of these rules and regulations will continue to increase our legal, accounting and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming and costly and place significant strain on our personnel, systems and resources.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. Our disclosure controls and other procedures are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we will file with the SEC is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in SEC rules and forms and that information required to be disclosed in reports under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to our principal
executive and financial officers, and we continue to evaluate how to improve controls. We are also continuing to improve our internal control over financial reporting. In order to develop, maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, we have expended, and anticipate that we will continue to expend, significant resources, including accounting-related costs and significant management oversight.
Our current controls and any new controls that we develop may become inadequate because of changes in conditions in our business. Further, weaknesses in our disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting may be discovered in the future. Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement could harm our results of operations or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and may result in a restatement of our consolidated financial statements for prior periods. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could also adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual independent registered public accounting firm attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Ineffective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial and other information, which would likely have a negative effect on the trading price of our Class A common stock. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
Our independent registered public accounting firm is required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting because we are no longer an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”). We lost status as an “emerging growth company” as of December 31, 2019. Our independent registered public accounting firm may issue a report that is adverse in the event it is not satisfied with the level at which our internal control over financial reporting is documented, designed or operating. Any failure to maintain effective disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting could have a material and adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and could cause a decline in the trading price of our Class A common stock.
If our goodwill or intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings.
We review our intangible assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Goodwill is required to be tested for impairment at least annually. An adverse change in market conditions, particularly if such change has the effect of changing one of our critical assumptions or estimates, could result in a change to the estimation of fair value that could result in an impairment charge to our goodwill or intangible assets. Any such charges may adversely affect our results of operations.
Earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods, power outages, terrorist attacks and other significant events could disrupt our business and ability to serve our clients.
A significant event, such as an earthquake, hurricane, a fire, a flood or a power outage, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition. Our IP network is designed to be redundant and to offer seamless backup support in an emergency. While our network is designed to withstand the loss of any one data center at any point in time, the simultaneous failure of multiple data centers could disrupt our ability to serve our clients. Additionally, certain of our capabilities cannot be made redundant feasibly or cost-effectively. Acts of physical or cyber terrorism or other geopolitical unrest also could cause disruptions in our business. The adverse impacts of these risks may increase if our disaster recovery plans prove to be inadequate.
Our financial condition and growth may depend upon the successful integration of acquired businesses. We may not be able to efficiently and effectively integrate acquired operations, and thus may not fully realize the anticipated benefits from such acquisitions.
Achieving the anticipated benefits of any acquisitions depends in part upon whether we can integrate new businesses in an efficient and effective manner. The integration of any acquired businesses involves a number of risks, including, but not limited to:
•demands on management related to any significant increase in size after the acquisition;
•the disruption of ongoing business and the diversion of management’s attention from the management of daily operations to management of integration activities;
•failure to fully achieve expected synergies and costs savings;
•unanticipated impediments in the integration of departments, systems, including accounting systems, technologies, books and records and procedures, as well as in maintaining uniform standards, controls, including internal control over financial reporting required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, procedures and policies;
•difficulty establishing and maintaining appropriate governance, reporting relationships, policies, controls, and procedures for the acquired business, particularly if it is based in a country or region where we did not previously operate;
•new or more stringent regulatory compliance obligations and costs by virtue of the acquisition, including risks related to international acquisitions that may operate in new jurisdictions or geographic areas where we may have no or limited experience;
•loss of customers or the failure of customers to order incremental services that we expect them to order;
•difficulty and delays in integrating the products, technology platforms, operations, systems, and personnel of the acquired business with our own, particularly if the acquired business is outside of our core competencies and current geographic markets;
•failure to provision services that are ordered by customers during the integration period;
•higher integration costs than anticipated;
•difficulties in the assimilation and retention of highly qualified, experienced employees, many of whom may be geographically dispersed;
•litigation, investigations, proceedings, fines, or penalties arising from or relating to the transaction or the acquired business, and any resulting liabilities may exceed our forecasts;
•acquisition of businesses with different revenue models, different contractual relationships, and increased customer concentration risks;
•assumption of long-term contractual obligations, commitments, or liabilities (for example, the costs associated with leased facilities), which could adversely impact our efforts to achieve and maintain profitability and impair our cash flow;
•failure to successfully evaluate or utilize the acquired business’ technology and accurately forecast the financial impact of an acquisition, including accounting charges; and
•drag on our overall revenue growth rate or an increase of our net loss, which could cause analysts and investors to reduce their valuation of our company.
Successful integration of any acquired businesses or operations will depend on our ability to manage these operations, realize opportunities for revenue growth presented by strengthened service offerings and expanded geographic market coverage, obtain better terms from our vendors due to increased buying power, and eliminate redundant and excess costs to fully realize the expected synergies. Because of difficulties in combining
geographically distant operations and systems which may not be fully compatible, we may not be able to achieve the financial strength and growth we anticipate from the acquisitions.
We may not realize our anticipated benefits from our acquisitions, if any, or may be unable to efficiently and effectively integrate acquired operations as planned. If we fail to integrate acquired businesses and operations efficiently and effectively or fail to realize the benefits we anticipate, we would be likely to experience material adverse effects on our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.
Any acquisitions may also require us to issue debt or equity securities, use our cash resources, incur debt or contingent liabilities, amortize intangibles, or write-off acquisition-related expenses. In addition, we cannot predict market reactions to any acquisitions we may make or to any failure to announce any future acquisitions.
While we would conduct due diligence in connection with any acquisition opportunities, there may be risks or liabilities that such due diligence efforts fail to discover, that are not disclosed to us or that we inadequately assess. The failure to timely identify any material liabilities associated with any acquisitions could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our credit facility contains restrictive and financial covenants that may limit our operating flexibility.
Our credit facility contains certain restrictive covenants that either limit our ability to, or require a mandatory prepayment in the event we, among other things, incur additional indebtedness, issue guarantees, create liens on assets, make certain investments, merge with or acquire other companies, change business locations, pay dividends or make certain other restricted payments, transfer or dispose of assets, enter into transactions with affiliates and enter into various specified transactions. We, therefore, may not be able to engage in any of the foregoing transactions unless we obtain the consent of our lenders or prepay the outstanding amount under our credit facility. Our credit facility also contains certain financial covenants and financial reporting requirements. Our obligations under our credit facility are secured by all of our property, with certain exceptions. We may not be able to generate sufficient liquidity or CPaaS Revenue to meet the financial covenants or pay the principal and interest under our credit facility. Furthermore, future working capital, borrowings or equity financing could be unavailable to repay or refinance the amounts outstanding under our credit facility. In the event of a liquidation, all outstanding principal and interest would have to be repaid prior to distribution of assets to unsecured creditors, and the holders of our Class A and Class B common stock would receive a portion of any liquidation proceeds only if all of our creditors, including our lenders, were first repaid in full.
If we are unable to comply with the restrictive and financial covenants in our credit facility, there would be a default under the terms of that agreement, and this could result in an acceleration of payment of funds that have been borrowed.
If we were unable to comply with the restrictive and financial covenants in our credit facility, there would be a default under the terms of that agreement. As a result, any borrowings under other instruments that contain cross-acceleration or cross default provisions may also be accelerated and become due and payable. If any of these events occur, there can be no assurance that we would be able to make necessary payments to the lenders or that we would be able to find alternative financing. Even if we were able to obtain alternative financing, there can be no assurance that it would be on terms that are acceptable.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock
The trading price of our Class A common stock may be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
Prior to our initial public offering, there was no public market for shares of our Class A common stock. On November 10, 2017, we sold shares of our Class A common stock to the public at $20.00 per share. From November 10, 2017, the date that our Class A common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, through February 20, 2020, the trading price of our Class A common stock has ranged from $18.05 per share to
$90.63 per share. The trading price of our Class A common stock may continue to be volatile and could fluctuate significantly in response to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
•price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;
•volatility in the trading prices and trading volumes of technology stocks;
•volatility in the trading volumes of our Class A common stock;
•changes in operating performance and stock market valuations of other technology companies generally, or those in our industry in particular;
•sales of shares of our Class A common stock by us or our stockholders;
•failure of securities analysts to maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by securities analysts who follow our company, or our failure to meet these estimates or the expectations of investors;
•the financial projections we may provide to the public, any changes in those projections or our failure to meet those projections;
•announcements by us or our competitors of new products or services;
•the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements and filings with the SEC;
•rumors and market speculation involving us or other companies in our industry;
•actual or anticipated changes in our results of operations or fluctuations in our results of operations;
•actual or anticipated developments in our business, our competitors’ businesses or the competitive landscape generally;
•litigation involving us, our industry or both;
•regulatory actions or developments affecting our operations, those of our competitors or our industry more broadly;
•developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property or other proprietary rights;
•announced or completed acquisitions of businesses, products, services or technologies by us or our competitors;
•new laws or regulations or new interpretations of existing laws or regulations applicable to our business, including the impact of changes in the tax code as a result of federal tax legislation enacted at the end of 2017 and uncertainty as to how some of those changes may be applied;
•changes in accounting standards, policies, guidelines, interpretations or principles;
•new rules adopted by certain index providers, such as S&P Dow Jones, that limit or preclude inclusion of companies with multi-class capital structures in certain of their indices;
•any significant change in our management; and
•general economic conditions and slow or negative growth of our markets.
In addition, in the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted following periods of volatility in the overall market and the market price of a particular company’s securities. This litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources.
Substantial future sales of shares of our Class A common stock could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline.
The market price of our Class A common stock could decline as a result of substantial sales of our Class A common stock, particularly sales by our directors, executive officers and significant stockholders, or the perception in the market that holders of a large number of shares intend to sell their shares.
Additionally, the shares of Class A common stock subject to outstanding options and restricted stock unit awards under our equity incentive plans and the shares reserved for future issuance under our equity incentive plans will become eligible for sale in the public market upon issuance. Certain holders of our Class A common stock have rights, subject to some conditions, to require us to file registration statements covering their shares or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for our stockholders or ourselves.
The dual class structure of our common stock has the effect of concentrating voting control with those stockholders who held our capital stock prior to the completion of our initial public offering, including our directors, executive officers and significant stockholders and their respective affiliates who held in the aggregate 70.9% of the voting power of our capital as of December 31, 2019. This limits or precludes your ability to influence corporate matters, including the election of directors, amendments to our organizational documents and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transaction requiring stockholder approval.
Our Class A common stock has one vote per share, and our Class B common stock has ten votes per share. As of December 31, 2019, our directors, executive officers and holders of more than 5% of our common stock, and their respective affiliates, hold in the aggregate 70.9% of the voting power of our capital stock. Because of the ten-to-one voting ratio between our Class B and Class A common stock, the holders of our Class B common stock collectively will continue to control a majority of the combined voting power of our common stock and therefore be able to control all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval. This concentrated control limits or precludes your ability to influence corporate matters for the foreseeable future, including the election of directors, amendments to our organizational documents, and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transaction requiring stockholder approval. In addition, this may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our capital stock that you may feel are in your best interest as one of our stockholders.
Future transfers by holders of Class B common stock will generally result in those shares converting to Class A common stock, subject to limited exceptions, such as certain transfers effected for estate planning purposes. The conversion of Class B common stock to Class A common stock will 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.
We cannot predict the impact our capital structure may have on our stock price.
In July 2017, S&P Dow Jones, a provider of widely followed stock indices, announced that companies with multiple share classes, such as ours, will not be eligible for inclusion in certain of their indices. As a result, our Class A common stock will likely not be eligible for these stock indices. Additionally, FTSE Russell, another provider of widely followed stock indices, announced plans in July 2017 to require new constituents of its indices to have at least five percent of their voting rights in the hands of public stockholders. Many investment funds are precluded from investing in companies that are not included in such indices, and these funds would be unable to purchase our Class A common stock if we were not included in such indices. We cannot assure you that other stock indices will not take a similar approach to S&P Dow Jones or FTSE Russell in the future. Exclusion from indices could make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors and, as a result, the market price of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.
In addition, several shareholder advisory firms have announced their opposition to the use of multiple class structures. As a result, the dual class structure of our common stock may cause shareholder advisory firms to publish negative commentary about our corporate governance practices or otherwise seek to cause us to change our
capital structure. Any actions or publications by shareholder advisory firms critical of our corporate governance practices or capital structure could also adversely affect the value of our Class A common stock.
We may become controlled by David A. Morken, our Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, whose interests may differ from other stockholders.
If all or substantially all of the holders of our Class B common stock convert their shares into Class A common stock voluntarily or otherwise, Mr. Morken may control approximately 54.7% of the combined voting power of our outstanding capital stock. As a result, Mr. Morken may have the ability to control the appointment of our management, the entering into of mergers, sales of substantially all or all of our assets and other extraordinary transactions and influence amendments to our certificate of incorporation and bylaws. If Mr. Morken controls a majority of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock, he would have the ability to control the vote in any election of directors and would have the ability to prevent any transaction that requires shareholder approval regardless of whether other shareholders believe the transaction is in our best interests. In any of these matters, the interests of Mr. Morken may differ from or conflict with your interests. Moreover, this concentration of ownership may also adversely affect the trading price for our Class A common stock to the extent investors perceive disadvantages in owning stock of a company with a controlling shareholder.
If securities or industry analysts cease publishing research or reports about us, our business or our market, or if they change their recommendations regarding our Class A common stock adversely, the trading price of our Class A common stock and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our Class A common stock is influenced by the research and reports that securities or industry analysts may publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors. If any of the analysts who may cover us change their recommendation regarding our Class A common stock in an adverse manner, or provide more favorable recommendations about our competitors relative to us, the trading price of our Class A common stock would likely decline. If any analyst who covers us were to cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause the trading price of our Class A common stock or trading volume to decline.
Anti-takeover provisions contained in our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation and second amended and restated bylaws, as well as provisions of Delaware law, could impair a takeover attempt.
Our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation, second amended and restated bylaws and Delaware law contain provisions which could have the effect of rendering more difficult, delaying, or preventing an acquisition deemed undesirable by our board of directors. Among other things, our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation and second amended and restated bylaws include provisions:
•authorizing “blank check” preferred stock, which could be issued by our board of directors without stockholder approval and may contain voting, liquidation, dividend and other rights superior to our Class A and Class B common stock;
•limiting the liability of, and providing indemnification to, our directors and officers;
•limiting the ability of our stockholders to call and bring business before special meetings;
•providing for a dual class common stock structure in which holders of our Class B common stock have the ability to control the outcome of matters requiring stockholder approval, even if they own significantly less than a majority of the outstanding shares of our Class A and Class B common stock, including the election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or its assets;
•providing that our board of directors is classified into three classes of directors with staggered three-year terms;
•prohibiting stockholder action by written consent, which requires all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;
•requiring super-majority voting to amend some provisions in our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation and second amended and restated bylaws;
•requiring advance notice of stockholder proposals for business to be conducted at meetings of our stockholders and for nominations of candidates for election to our board of directors; and
•controlling the procedures for the conduct and scheduling of board of directors and stockholder meetings.
These provisions, alone or together, could delay or prevent hostile takeovers and changes in control or changes in our management.
As a Delaware corporation, we are also subject to provisions of Delaware law, including Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which prevents certain stockholders holding more than 15% of our outstanding common stock from engaging in certain business combinations without approval of the holders of at least two-thirds of our outstanding common stock not held by such 15% or greater stockholder.
Any provision of our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation, second amended and restated bylaws or Delaware law that has the effect of delaying, preventing or deterring a change in control could limit the opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their shares of our Class A common stock and could also affect the price that some investors are willing to pay for our Class A common stock.
Our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our second amended and restated bylaws include super-majority voting provisions that will limit your ability to influence corporate matters.
Our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our second amended and restated bylaws include provisions that require the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all of the outstanding shares of our capital stock entitled to vote to effect certain changes. These changes include amending or repealing our second amended and restated bylaws or second amended and restated certificate of incorporation or removing a director from office for cause. If all or substantially all of the holders of our Class B common stock convert their shares into Class A common stock voluntarily or otherwise, Mr. Morken may control the majority of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock, and therefore he may have the ability to prevent any such changes, which will limit your ability to influence corporate matters.
Our second amended and restated bylaws provide, subject to certain exceptions, that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for certain stockholder litigation matters, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or stockholders.
Our second amended and restated bylaws provide, subject to limited exceptions, that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or stockholder to us or our stockholders; (iii) any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine; or (iv) any action arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law, our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our second amended and restated bylaws. If a stockholder files an action within the scope of the preceding sentence in any other court than a court located in Delaware, the stockholder shall be deemed to have consented to the provisions of our second amended and restated bylaws described above. This choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or any of our directors, officers, other employees or stockholders which may discourage lawsuits with respect to such claims. Alternatively, if a court were to find the choice of forum provision contained in our second amended and restated bylaws to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in
other jurisdictions, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may need additional capital in the future and such capital may be limited or unavailable. Failure to raise capital when needed could prevent us from growing in accordance with our plans.
We may require more capital in the future from equity or debt financings to fund our operations, finance investments in equipment and infrastructure, acquire complementary businesses and technologies, and respond to competitive pressures and potential strategic opportunities. If we are required to raise additional funds through further issuances of equity or other securities convertible into equity, our existing stockholders could suffer significant dilution, and any new shares we issue could have rights, preferences or privileges senior to those of the holders of our Class A common stock. The additional capital we may seek may not be available on favorable terms or at all. In addition, our credit facility limits our ability to incur additional indebtedness under certain circumstances. If we are unable to obtain capital on favorable terms or at all, we may have to reduce our operations or forego opportunities, and this may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our Class A common stock and do not intend to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. We anticipate that we will retain all of our future earnings for use in the development of our business and for general corporate purposes. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors. In addition, the terms of our credit facility contain restrictions on our ability to declare and pay cash dividends on our capital stock. Accordingly, investors must rely on sales of their Class A common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any future gains on their investments.
If a large number of shares of our Class A common stock is sold in the public market, the sales could reduce the trading price of our Class A common stock and impede our ability to raise future capital.
We cannot predict what effect, if any, future issuances by us of our Class A common stock will have on the market price of our Class A common stock. In addition, shares of our Class A common stock that we issue in connection with an acquisition may not be subject to resale restrictions. The market price of our Class A common stock could drop significantly if certain large holders of our Class A common stock, or recipients of our Class A common stock in connection with an acquisition, sell all or a significant portion of their shares of Class A common stock or are perceived by the market as intending to sell these shares other than in an orderly manner. In addition, these sales could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional Class A common stock in the capital markets.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Our corporate headquarters is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, where we lease approximately 120,041 square feet of office space at 900 Main Campus Drive and 80,692 square feet of additional office space, of which 17,073 square feet of space is subject to a facilities sharing agreement with Republic Wireless, on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
In addition to our headquarters, we lease space in Denver, CO and Rochester, NY, each of which are used for both our CPaaS and Other segments, as well as Frankfurt and Madrid, which are primarily used for regulatory purposes for our CPaaS segment. We also maintain data centers located in Raleigh, NC (including our network
operations center); Los Angeles, CA; Dallas, TX; Atlanta, GA; New York, NY; Frankfurt, Germany; and London, United Kingdom.
We lease all our facilities and do not own any real property. We may procure additional space in the future as we continue to add employees or expand geographically. We believe our facilities are adequate and suitable for our current needs, and to the extent we require it, we believe additional or alternative space will be readily available in the future to accommodate our operations.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Phone Recovery Services, LLC (“Phone Recovery Services”) and Phone Administrative Services, Inc. (“Phone Administrative Services”) acting or purporting to act on behalf of applicable jurisdictions, or the applicable county or city itself, have filed multiple lawsuits against us and/or one of our subsidiaries alleging that we failed to bill, collect and remit certain taxes and surcharges associated with the provision of 911 services.
We face similar lawsuits brought directly by various state and local governments alleging underpayment of 911 taxes and surcharges, although we understand that Phone Recovery Services and Phone Administrative Services may be working in conjunction with each state or local government as a consultant on a contingency basis.
The following county or municipal governments have named us in lawsuits associated with the collection and remittance of 911 taxes and surcharges that remain unresolved: Cook County and Kane County Illinois; City of Chicago, Illinois; the State of Illinois (collectively, the “Illinois Case”); the State of New York (the “New York Case”); Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (the “Pennsylvania Case”); and the State of Rhode Island (the “Rhode Island Case”). The complaints allege that we failed to bill, collect and remit certain taxes and surcharges associated with 911 service pursuant to applicable laws. The Illinois Case was dismissed by the trial court in December 2016, but returned to the trial court following an appeal. The plaintiffs’ amended complaint in the Illinois Case was filed on August 12, 2019. We filed a motion to dismiss the Illinois Case on September 26, 2019. The New York Case originally was filed under seal in 2014, amended and filed under seal in 2018, and made available publicly on October 25, 2019. We filed a motion to dismiss the New York Case on February 14, 2020. The Rhode Island Case originally was filed under seal in 2014 and was made available publicly in 2015. Our response to the complaint in the Rhode Island Case has been on hold since 2015, pending the filing of an amended complaint. The Pennsylvania Case is stayed pending the outcome of a related proceeding before the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”).
We intend to vigorously defend these lawsuits and believe we have meritorious defenses to each. However, litigation is inherently uncertain, and any judgment or injunctive relief entered against us or any adverse settlement could negatively affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In August 2016, we received a Civil Investigative Demand from the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice. We have not been served with a complaint in connection with that investigation. The North Carolina Department of Justice is investigating the billing, collection and remission of certain taxes and surcharges associated with 911 service pursuant to applicable laws of the State of North Carolina.
In addition to the litigation discussed above, from time to time, we may be subject to legal actions and claims in the ordinary course of business. We have received, and may in the future continue to receive, claims from third parties relating to number management, and claims asserting, among other things, infringement of their intellectual property rights. Future litigation may be necessary to defend ourselves, our partners and our customers by determining the scope, enforceability and validity of third-party proprietary rights, or to establish our proprietary rights. The results of any current or future litigation cannot be predicted with certainty, and regardless of the outcome, litigation can have an adverse impact on us because of defense and settlement costs, diversion of management resources, and other factors.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
PART II - OTHER INFORMATION
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information for Class A Common Stock
Our Class A common stock has been listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “BAND” since November 10, 2017. Prior to that date, there was no public trading market for our Class A common stock.
As of January 31, 2020, we had 33 holders of record of our Class A and Class B common stock. The actual number of stockholders is greater than this number of record holders and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners but whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividend on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all of our future earnings, if any, generated by our operations for the development and growth of our business for the foreseeable future. The decision to pay dividends is at the discretion of our board of directors and depends upon our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, and other factors that our board of directors deems relevant.
Stock Performance Graph
This performance graph shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of Bandwidth Inc. under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.
The graph below compares the cumulative total return to our stockholders between November 10, 2017 (the date our Class A common stock commenced trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market) through December 31, 2019 in comparison to the NASDAQ Composite Index and the S&P 500 Information Technology Index. The graph assumes $100 was invested in the Class A common stock of Bandwidth Inc., the NASDAQ Composite Index and the S&P 500 Information Technology Index, and assumes reinvestment of any dividends.
The comparisons in the graph below are based on historical data and are not indicative of, nor intended to forecast, the future performance of our Class A common stock.
Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans
The information required by this item is incorporated by reference to our Proxy Statement relating to our 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The Proxy Statement will be filed with the SEC within 120 days of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
From January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, we did not sell any securities on an unregistered basis.
Use of Proceeds from Public Offering of Common Stock
In November 2017 and in connection with our initial public offering (“IPO”), we sold 4,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock at a public offering price of $20.00 per share, including shares sold in connection with the exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares. The offer and sale of all the shares in our IPO were registered under the Securities Act pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-220945), which was declared effective by the SEC on November 9, 2017. We received proceeds of $74.4 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions of $5.6 million. In addition, we incurred expenses of approximately $5.4 million; thus, the net offering proceeds, after deducting underwriting discounts and offering expenses, were approximately $69.0 million. Upon the IPO and in accordance with David Morken’s employment agreement, the Chief Executive Officer received a cash bonus of $750,000. No other payments were made to our directors or officers or their associates, holders of 10% or more of any class of our equity securities or any affiliates, other than payments in the ordinary course of business to officers for salaries. There has been no material change in the planned use of proceeds from our IPO as described in our final prospectus filed with the SEC on November 13, 2017 pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act. The underwriters of our initial public offering were Morgan Stanley, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Baird, Canaccord Genuity and JMP Securities.
In March 2019 and in connection with our follow-on public offering, we sold 2,875,000 shares of our Class A common stock, at a public offering price of $54.25 per share, including shares sold in connection with the
exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares. The offer and sale of all the shares in our follow-on public offering were registered under the Securities Act pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-228939), which was declared effective by the SEC on March 8, 2019. We received proceeds of $147.4 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions of $8.6 million. In addition, we incurred expenses of approximately $0.8 million; thus, the net offering proceeds, after deducting underwriting discounts and offering expenses, were approximately $146.6 million. There has been no material change in the planned use of proceeds from our follow-on public offering as described in our final prospectus filed with the SEC on March 8, 2019 pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act. The underwriters of our follow-on public offering were Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Baird, Canaccord Genuity and JMP Securities.
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
The consolidated statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018 and 2019 and the consolidated balance sheets as of December 31, 2018 and 2019, are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected consolidated statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2016 and the consolidated balance sheets data as of December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017 are derived from audited consolidated financial statements not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future. The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements and related notes included in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” within this Annual Report on Form 10-K to fully understand factors that may affect the comparability of the information presented below.
|Year ended December 31,|
|Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019|
|(In thousands, except share and per share amounts)|
|CPaaS revenue||$||101,502 || ||$||117,078 || ||$||131,572 || ||$||164,415 || ||$||197,944 || |
|Other revenue||36,299 || ||35,057 || ||31,383 || ||39,698 || ||34,650 || |
|Total revenue||137,801 || ||152,135 || ||162,955 || ||204,113 || ||232,594 || |
|Cost of revenue: |
|CPaaS cost of revenue||64,760 || ||71,218 || ||75,859 || ||94,296 || ||110,343 || |
|Other cost of revenue||14,482 || ||14,000 || ||13,403 || ||13,849 || ||14,616 || |
|Total cost of revenue (1)||79,242 || ||85,218 || ||89,262 || ||108,145 || ||124,959 || |
|Gross profit||58,559 || ||66,917 || ||73,693 || ||95,968 || ||107,635 || |
|Research and development (1)||7,375 || ||8,520 || ||10,789 || ||20,897 || ||31,461 || |
|Sales and marketing (1)||8,620 || ||9,294 || ||11,218 || ||20,731 || ||35,020 || |
|General and administrative (1)||34,602 || ||33,859 || ||37,069 || ||47,588 || ||58,847 || |
|Total operating expenses||50,597 || ||51,673 || ||59,076 || ||89,216 || ||125,328 || |
|Operating income (loss)||7,962 || ||15,244 || ||14,617 || ||6,752 || ||(17,693)|| |
|Other (expense) income:|
|Interest (expense) income, net||(589)|| ||(908)|| ||(1,728)|| ||301 || ||2,446 || |
|Other income, net||— || ||— || ||— || ||— || ||23 || |
|Total other (expense) income||(589)|| ||(908)|| ||(1,728)|| ||301 || ||2,469 || |
|Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes|| ||7,373 || ||14,336 || ||12,889 || ||7,053 || ||(15,224)|| |
|Income tax (provision) benefit (2) (3) (4)|| ||(408)|| ||11,094 || ||(6,918)|| ||10,870 || ||17,718 || |
|Income from continuing operations||6,965 || ||25,430 || ||5,971 || ||17,923 || ||2,494 || |
|Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes||(13,665)|| ||(3,072)|| ||— || ||— || ||— || |
|Net (loss) income|| ||$||(6,700)|| ||$||22,358 || ||$||5,971 || ||$||17,923 || ||$||2,494 || |
|Other comprehensive (loss) income|| |
|Unrealized (loss) gain on marketable securities, net of income tax benefit||— || ||— || ||— || ||(1)|| ||1 || |
|Foreign currency translation||— || ||— || ||— || ||— || ||41 || |
|Total other comprehensive (loss) income|| ||— || ||— || ||— || ||(1)|| ||42 || |
|Total comprehensive (loss) income|| ||$||(6,700)|| ||$||22,358 || ||$||5,971 || ||$||17,922 || ||$||2,536 || |
|Earnings per share:|
|Income from continuing operations||$||6,965 || ||$||25,430 || ||$||5,971 || ||$||17,923 || ||$||2,494 || |
|Less: net income allocated to participating securities||931 || ||3,355 || ||644 || ||— || ||— || |
|Income from continuing operations attributable to common stockholders || ||$||6,034 || ||$||22,075 || ||$||5,327 || ||$||17,923 || ||$||2,494 || |
|Income from continuing operations per share || |
|Basic||$||0.52 || ||$||1.89 || ||$||0.42 || ||$||0.96 || ||$||0.11 || |
|Diluted||$||0.48 || ||$||1.72 || ||$||0.37 || ||$||0.85 || ||$||0.10 || |
|Net (loss) income|| ||$||(6,700)|| ||$||22,358 || ||$||5,971 || ||$||17,923 || ||$||2,494 || |
|Less: (loss) income allocated to participating securities||(896)|| ||2,950 || ||644 || ||— || ||— || |
|Net (loss) income attributable to common stockholders||$||(5,804)|| ||$||19,408 || ||$||5,327 || ||$||17,923 || ||$||2,494 || |
|Net (loss) income per share:|
|Basic||$||(0.50)|| ||$||1.66 || ||$||0.42 || ||$||0.96 || ||$||0.11 || |
|Diluted||$||(0.47)|| ||$||1.51 || ||$||0.37 || ||$||0.85 || ||$||0.10 || |
|Weighted average number of common shares outstanding:|
|Basic||11,497,727 || ||11,678,568 || ||12,590,221 || ||18,573,067 || ||22,640,461 || |
|Diluted||12,456,540 || ||12,870,632 || ||14,543,170 || ||21,140,382 || ||23,923,777 || |
(1) Includes stock-based compensation expense as shown below.
(2) Includes $13,484 of excess tax benefits associated with the exercise of stock options and vesting of restricted stock units in the year ended December 31, 2019.
(3) The Company recognized a tax benefit of $14,138 due to the release of the deferred tax asset valuation allowance subsequent to the spin-off of Republic Wireless for the year ended December 31, 2016.
(4) On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) was enacted into law. As a result of this change in tax law, the Company recorded a remeasurement of its deferred tax assets, which resulted in additional income tax expense of $2,073.
|Year ended December 31,|
|Stock-based compensation expense:||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019|
|(In thousands)|| |
|Cost of revenue||$||45 || ||$||61 || ||$||80 || ||$||114 || ||$||211 || |
|Research and development||189 || ||138 || ||155 || ||555 || ||1,461 || |
|Sales and marketing||239 || ||182 || ||172 || ||511 || ||1,199 || |
|General and administrative||3,020 || ||989 || ||1,396 || ||2,159 || ||3,755 || |
|Total||$||3,493 || ||$||1,370 || ||$||1,803 || ||$||3,339 || ||$||6,626 || |
|As of December 31,|
|Consolidated Balance Sheets Data:||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019|
|(In thousands)|| |
|Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash||$||10,778 || ||$||7,028 || ||$||37,870 || ||$||41,501 || ||$||185,004 || |
|Working capital||(26,253)|| ||(2,187)|| ||40,977 || ||58,931 || ||181,211 || |
|Total assets||63,146 || ||69,973 || ||104,494 || ||150,420 || ||341,416 || |
|Long-term debt and capital lease obligations, net of current portion||— || ||37,738 || ||— || ||— || ||— || |
|Series A redeemable convertible preferred stock||21,818 || ||21,818 || ||— || ||— || ||— || |
|Total stockholders’ (deficit) equity||(19,074)|| ||(22,374)|| ||76,711 || ||108,770 || ||270,090 || |
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We use Non-GAAP gross profit, Non-GAAP gross margin, Adjusted EBITDA, Non-GAAP net (loss) income and free cash flow for financial and operational decision making and to evaluate period-to-period differences in our performance. Non-GAAP gross profit, Non-GAAP gross margin, Adjusted EBITDA, Non-GAAP net (loss) income and free cash flow are non-GAAP financial measures, which we believe are useful for investors in evaluating our overall financial performance. We believe these measures provide useful information about operating results, enhance the overall understanding of past financial performance and future prospects and allow for greater transparency with respect to key performance indicators used by management in its financial and operational decision making. See below for a reconciliation of each of the non-GAAP financial measures described below.
Non-GAAP Gross Profit and Non-GAAP Gross Margin
GAAP defines gross profit as revenue less cost of revenue. Cost of revenue includes all expenses associated with our various service offerings as more fully described under the caption “Key Components of Statement of Operations-Cost of Revenue and Gross Margin.” We define Non-GAAP gross profit as gross profit after adding back the following items:
•depreciation and amortization; and
We add back depreciation and amortization, and stock-based compensation, because they are non-cash items. We eliminate the impact of these non-cash items because we do not consider them indicative of our core operating performance. Their exclusion facilitates comparisons of our operating performance on a period-to-period basis. Therefore, we believe showing gross margin, as Non-GAAP to remove the impact of these non-cash expenses, such as depreciation and amortization and stock-based compensation, is helpful to investors in assessing our gross profit and gross margin performance in a way that is similar to how management assesses our performance.
We calculate Non-GAAP gross margin by dividing Non-GAAP gross profit by revenue, expressed as a percentage of revenue.
Management uses Non-GAAP gross profit and Non-GAAP gross margin to evaluate operating performance and to determine resource allocation among our various service offerings. We believe Non-GAAP gross profit and Non-GAAP gross margin provide useful information to investors and others to understand and evaluate our operating results in the same manner as our management and board of directors and allows for better comparison of financial results among our competitors. Non-GAAP gross profit and Non-GAAP gross margin may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies because other companies may not calculate Non-GAAP gross profit and Non-GAAP gross margin or similarly titled measures in the same manner as we do.
|Year ended December 31,|
|Consolidated Gross Profit||$||58,559 || ||$||66,917 || ||$||73,693 || ||$||95,968 || ||$||107,635 || |
|Depreciation||5,258 || ||4,574 || ||4,315 || ||4,490 || ||6,583 || |
|Stock-based compensation||45 || ||61 || ||80 || ||114 || ||211 || |
|Non-GAAP Gross Profit||$||63,862 || ||$||71,552 || ||$||78,088 || ||$||100,572 || ||$||114,429 || |
|Non-GAAP Gross Margin %||46 ||%||47 ||%||48 ||%||49 ||%||49 ||%|
|Year ended December 31,|
|CPaaS Gross Profit||$||36,742 || ||$||45,860 || ||$||55,713 || ||$||70,119 || ||$||87,601 || |
|Depreciation||5,258 || ||4,574 || ||4,315 || ||4,490 || ||6,583 || |
|Stock-based compensation||45 || ||61 || ||80 || ||114 || ||211 || |
|Non-GAAP CPaas Gross Profit||$||42,045 || ||$||50,495 || ||$||60,108 || ||$||74,723 || ||$||94,395 || |
|Non-GAAP CPaaS Gross Margin %||41 ||%||43 ||%||46 ||%||45 ||%||48 ||%|
There are no Non-GAAP adjustments to gross profit for the Other segment.
We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income or losses from continuing operations, adjusted to reflect the addition or elimination of certain income statement items including, but not limited to:
•income tax provision (benefit);
•interest expense (income), net;
•depreciation and amortization expense;
•stock-based compensation expense;
•impairment of intangible assets, if any; and
•loss (gain) on disposal of property and equipment, if any.
Adjusted EBITDA is a key measure used by management to understand and evaluate our core operating performance and trends, to generate future operating plans and to make strategic decisions regarding the allocation of capital. In particular, the exclusion of certain expenses in calculating Adjusted EBITDA facilitates comparisons of our operating performance on a period-to-period basis.