svmk-10k_20181231.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018

or

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: 001-38664

 

SVMK Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

80-0765058

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

One Curiosity Way

San Mateo, California, 94403

(650) 543-8400

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of Registrant’s principal executive offices)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $0.00001 per share

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

(The 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     NO

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    YES     NO

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes     No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).  Yes    No  

Indicate by check mark 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 this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.

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 voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the closing price of a share of the registrant’s common stock on December 31, 2018 as reported by the Nasdaq Global Select Market on such date, was approximately $803,964,000. The registrant has elected to use December 31, 2018, which was the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed fiscal year, as the calculation date because on June 29, 2018 (the last business day of the registrant’s mostly recently completed second fiscal quarter), the registrant was a privately-held company. Shares of the registrant’s common stock held by each executive officer, director and holder of 5% or more of the outstanding common stock have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This calculation does not reflect a determination that certain persons are affiliates of the registrant for any other purpose.

As of February 15, 2019, there were 126,644,497 shares of the Company’s common stock outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the registrant’s annual meeting of stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10K to the extent stated herein. Such proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2018.

 

 

 

 


SVMK Inc.

Annual Report on Form 10-K

For the year ended December 31, 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

Page

 

PART I

 

 

Item 1.

Business

 

4

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

 

10

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

39

Item 2.

Properties

 

39

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

 

39

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

39

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

40

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

 

42

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

44

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

67

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

69

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

105

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

 

105

Item 9B.

Other Information

 

105

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

106

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

 

106

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

106

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

106

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

106

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

107

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

 

107

 

 

 

 

 

Signatures

 

 

 

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, which statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or our future financial or operating performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “may,” “will,” “would,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” 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 new users or convert registered users to paying users;

 

our ability to retain paying users;

 

our ability to convert organizations to SurveyMonkey Enterprise customers;

 

our ability to maintain and improve our products;

 

our ability to upsell and cross-sell within our existing customer and user base;

 

our future financial performance, including trends in revenue, costs of revenue, gross profit or gross margin, operating expenses, capital expenditures and paying users;

 

possible harm caused by significant disruption of service or loss or unauthorized access to users’ data;

 

our ability to prevent serious errors or defects in our products;

 

our ability to respond to rapid technological changes;

 

our ability to compete successfully;

 

our ability to protect our brand;

 

the demand for our survey platform or for survey software solutions in general;

 

our expectations and management of future growth;

 

our ability to accelerate growth with the introduction of a significant outbound salesforce;

 

our ability to attract large organizations as users;

 

our ability to attract and retain key personnel and highly qualified personnel;

 

our ability to manage our international expansion;

 

our ability to maintain, protect and enhance our intellectual property;

 

our ability to effectively integrate our products and solutions with others;

 

our ability to achieve or maintain profitability;

 

our ability to manage our outstanding indebtedness;

 

our ability to successfully identify, acquire and integrate companies and assets;

 

our ability to offer high-quality customer support;

 

the increased expenses associated with being a public company; and

 

our anticipated uses of net proceeds from our recent public offering and the concurrent private placement.

We caution you that the foregoing list may not contain all of the forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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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.

In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and while we believe such information forms a reasonable basis for such statements, such information may be limited or incomplete, and our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.

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PART I

Item 1. Business

Overview

SurveyMonkey is a leading global provider of survey software products and purpose-built solutions that enable organizations to engage with their key constituents, including their customers, employees and the markets they serve. Our mission is to power curious individuals and organizations to measure, benchmark and act on the opinions that drive success. Our People Powered Data platform has changed the way individuals and organizations of all sizes collect and analyze feedback by making it easy for anyone to create their own online surveys.

Powering the Curious

Measure

We empower survey creators to measure constituent feedback and have designed our products to optimize the quality of constituent feedback and maximize response rates. Our library of customizable survey templates and certified questions, designed by a team of survey scientists and further enhanced by our machine learning and AI-based analysis of the millions of surveys on our survey platform, facilitates an easy-to-use and methodologically-sound survey creation process.

Benchmark

We enable survey creators to analyze and benchmark the data they have collected. Our benchmarking capabilities allow our customers to assess constituent feedback accurately and compare themselves to industry, geographic and functional baselines as well as their own past performance and internal trends. For example, we have an extensive database of Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, data that covers everything from small organizations to large corporations across a broad range of industries. This database allows our customers to put their NPS results in context relative to the NPS range for organizations in their industry.

Act

We turn the voices of people into actionable data. Our products enable the filtering and comparing of data by cohort, geography, gender, time period, collection method and more. We help customers weave together data to form a narrative that answers the “why,” which enables them to better understand customer and employee attitudes, predict market appetite and identify meaningful opportunities more quickly. Our products integrate with a customer’s existing system of record, allowing them to implement the insights collected into new and existing workflows. This allows our customers to improve retention and satisfaction of their customers, maximize employee engagement and retention and tailor new products to the demands of prospective customers.

People Powered Data

Our People Powered Data platform enables conversations at scale to deliver impactful customer, employee and market insights. Our survey platform is used to collect and analyze feedback and drive actionable insight for a broad range of use cases, such as collecting NPS data from customers, measuring employee engagement or conducting market research regarding the attributes of a future product offering.

We believe the success of organizations large and small, for profit and non-profit, depends substantially on their ability to understand the expectations of, and respond effectively to, the feedback of their key constituents. Businesses that rely solely on intuition and anecdotal experience or traditional market research frequently struggle to anticipate and respond effectively to the evolving needs of their key constituents. As technology has enabled the collection of data at much greater scale and speed, massive amounts of information have been injected into the decision-making process. Organizations have invested heavily in “Big Data” solutions, which are designed to collect and extract information that provides visibility into the observed behavior of key constituents. However, information from Big Data alone is often insufficient to inform decision making as it fails to capture the human voice. The human voice, captured at scale in real-time and in a structured manner is what we refer to as People Powered Data. Big Data captures the “what.” People Powered Data captures the “why.” Understanding the “why” enables organizations to make better decisions that can drive optimal outcomes.

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Our products are flexible and easy to use, which enables individuals and organizations of all sizes to collect and analyze People Powered Data. Our survey platform leverages SurveyMonkey Genius, our proprietary, AI-based survey creation assistant, which uses insights extracted from our massive data set to guide and optimize survey creation. For organizations, we offer SurveyMonkey Enterprise, which extends our survey platform with enhanced capabilities including managed user accounts, enterprise-grade security, customized company branding, collaboration capabilities and deep integrations with a broad set of leading software applications that enables users to customize and distribute more tailored questions for their target audience. To serve the needs of more advanced users in organizations of all sizes and across all industries, we offer purpose-built solutions to provide enhanced value across three key areas: customers, employees and the markets that these organization serve. These purpose-built solutions incorporate specific workflows, benchmarking data and preconfigured analyses.

Our Customers

Our global customer base is diversified across multiple industries, including financial services, internet, technology, healthcare, media and entertainment, consumer goods and retail, transportation and logistics, government agencies, manufacturing, energy, education, professional services and non-profit organizations. We have over 17.5 million active users, of which 646,727 are paying users in more than 345,000 organizational domains, including paying users in 98% of the Fortune 500. No customer represented more than 1% of our revenue in any of the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016.

We define an active user as someone who has registered an account with us or logged in to their account on our survey platform in the last year. Some of our active users may use our products less frequently than others, which may reduce the opportunities to convert such active users to paying users.

We define an organizational domain as a registered internet domain name held by an organization. As a result, the actual number of unique organizations in which we have paying users may be lower than the number of organizational domains in which we have paying users, because one organization may utilize multiple organizational domains.

Customer 360

Customer 360 is our proprietary, signal-based system fueled by our data science models that analyzes usage patterns and signals across our entire user base to identify opportunities to convert active users to paying users, upsell organizations to enterprise accounts, expand existing enterprise relationships and cross-sell purpose-built solutions. Specifically, Customer 360 monitors signals within an organization, such as total active users, number of surveys deployed, total new accounts in the last six months, total paid subscriptions, type of questions asked and user profiles and surfaces prioritized opportunities for our Sales and Success team.

Our Growth Strategy

The virality of our survey platform is driven by our existing users who introduce SurveyMonkey to new potential users when they send surveys and collaborate with others to share survey results. We continue to focus on retaining our existing paid users, attracting new users, and improving conversion of free users to paid users. We also continue to build new products and enhance the features and functionality of our existing products and solutions. We intend to capitalize on a number of growth opportunities that we believe will accelerate our business, all powered by our massive user base and virality within organizations. Our principal growth strategies include the following:

 

Selling SurveyMonkey products directly to enterprise customers: For the year ended December 31, 2018, we generated approximately 12% of our revenue from customers that had an organizational level agreement with us, and as of December 31, 2018, we had over 3,566 customers with organizational level agreements. Our enterprise sales strategy starts with our brand recognition, our existing user base within organizations, and use of our Customer 360 technology to identify opportunities to convert active users to paying users, upsell organizations to enterprise accounts and cross-sell purpose-built solutions. Through this strategy, we expect to accelerate paying user growth and increase both monetization and retention within organizations.

5


 

 

Accelerating growth in self-serve through our SurveyMonkey Teams offerings: In the third quarter of 2018, we introduced SurveyMonkey Teams, which is designed to enable small groups of individuals within an organization to securely and efficiently collaborate in survey creation and analysis.  These small groups typically do not require the more advanced features and functionality of our SurveyMonkey Enterprise offering. We also introduced new account verification procedures to enhance account security and ensure one user per account. Through this strategy, we expect to accelerate paying user growth, increase both monetization and retention, and create future upsell opportunities for our SurveyMonkey Enterprise offering.

 

Expanding our business in key international markets: For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively, we generated 36%, 35% and 36% of our revenue from customers outside of the United States, and we see significant opportunity for growth internationally. We are investing in marketing our self-serve products and increasing awareness of our brand, developing a more localized product experience and expanding our international data center presence to improve user experience and website speed, and to provide locally hosted data. We are expanding our international workforce in Dublin, Ireland and Ottawa, Canada, across all of our business functions.

 

Selectively pursuing acquisitions: We believe our large user base, extensive data set, integration capabilities and products provide opportunities for us to drive value-added growth through acquisitions in key areas such as product, market and geographic expansion.

Our Products

We offer individuals our basic survey plan at no charge. We also offer multiple tiers of subscriptions to individual paying users and teams which provide basic integrations with third-party applications and other additional features and functionality. For organizations we offer an enterprise-grade version of our survey platform and purpose-built solutions with enhanced collaboration, integration, administration and customization tools.

SurveyMonkey Self-Serve

We offer multiple tiers of subscriptions to individual paying customers—Standard, Advantage and Premier—that provide a range of survey solutions. For the Standard plan, individual users can choose between monthly or annual subscriptions, which they pay for in advance at the beginning of the term. The Standard plan offers access to an unlimited number of questions, up to 1,000 responses, and branding and more complex design capabilities. Advantage and Premier plans are only available on an annual basis and offer unlimited usage, more advanced survey design and distribution capabilities, advanced analytics and team collaboration. Our individual paid plans provide access to a limited set of partner integrations, targeted at individual use cases, as well as 24/7 support. Proprietary survey templates, SurveyMonkey Genius and analytical tools allow for our customers to collect response and analyze them quickly.

We also offer SurveyMonkey Teams versions of our Advantage and Premier subscription plans. SurveyMonkey Teams’ plans are oriented for smaller groups of users who want to collaborate with others. In addition to the features available in individual Advantage and Premier plans, the SurveyMonkey Teams’ versions provide collaboration capabilities around sharing, commenting and analyzing surveys and a shared asset library for team users.

For organizations, we offer SurveyMonkey Enterprise and a suite of purpose-built solutions for customers, employees, the markets they serve and applicants:

SurveyMonkey Enterprise

We have built additional enterprise-grade capabilities into our survey platform to support organizations of all sizes and with varying requirements. Pricing for SurveyMonkey Enterprise deployments are negotiated with organizations based on functionality and number of users. Our enterprise-grade capabilities include:

 

Enterprise-Grade Security: We provide centralized data ownership and access management across accounts with encryption and compliance with key standards. Our security protocols have passed the requirements of large, global customers across industries, including the defense, financial services and healthcare sectors.

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Integration and Compatibility: We also offer prebuilt integrations, data portability and single sign-on identity with applications such as those offered by Salesforce, Marketo, Tableau, Microsoft, and Oracle.

 

Managed Accounts and Users: Our survey platform enables organizations to centrally manage users and teams. Within an organization, all survey accounts can be consolidated under a single corporate identity to centralize billing, administration and access management.

 

Collaboration: Users can create and share surveys between and within departments allowing others to review, add comments and make edits. Teams gain access to a shared library that ensures consistent organizational branding and survey methodology across all team member accounts, utilizing the images, themes, style preferences and templates that fit an organization’s preferences.

Purpose-Built Solutions

We have developed purpose-built feedback solutions on top of SurveyMonkey Enterprise across the following key areas: customers, employees, markets that our customers serve and application management. Revenue from these purpose-built solutions is generated by subscription or on a transactional basis, depending on the product.

 

SurveyMonkey CX: SurveyMonkey CX is our customer experience NPS solution that transforms customer feedback into actionable insights using built-in benchmarking, data analytics, key driver analysis and follow-up action items.

 

TechValidate: TechValidate is our marketing content automation solution. TechValidate collects customer feedback at scale, automatically converting it into validated marketing content, including statistics, charts, testimonials and case studies.

 

SurveyMonkey Engage: SurveyMonkey Engage is our employee engagement offering, which measures employee experiences within an organization to provide managers and human resources teams with actionable data across core engagement factors such as personal engagement, job satisfaction, team dynamics and purpose alignment.

 

SurveyMonkey Audience: SurveyMonkey Audience is our market research solution for organizations interested in market research from constituents with whom they do not have a direct relationship. SurveyMonkey Audience enables organizations to quickly gain real-time actionable data from targeted panelists.

 

SurveyMonkey Apply: SurveyMonkey Apply is our application management solution that is primarily used by educational institutions and non-profits seeking to allocate scholarships and grants.

 

Wufoo: Wufoo is our easy-to-use form builder that helps users create web and mobile forms, collect file uploads and receive online payments.

Our Technology Infrastructure and Operations

Our products are centered on innovation in the following areas:

Scalable Data Collection: Data can be collected via iOS and Android mobile apps, web browsers, personalized emails and social media or collaboration platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Slack. In addition, data collection can be programmatically embedded and customized to sit within a customer’s web site or mobile app and popup invitations. Additionally, we offer access via SurveyMonkey Anywhere, our offline data collection mode and via QR codes.

Data Storage and Analysis: Our architecture allows us to collect data in multiple geographic locales. Our primary data center is a Tier-5 platinum rated facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. We operate a secondary data center in San Jose, California. In addition, we enable certain accounts to store their SurveyMonkey data in other geographic regions via Amazon Web Services.

Reliability: We have designed our products to be highly available under peak global load conditions. We replicate customer data across our two data centers to enable redundancy and backup.

Security: Our survey platform can be connected to enterprise identity management systems such as Microsoft Active Directory and OKTA and can be configured to enable administrators to automate the management of licenses and system access.

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Integration into Customer Systems and Processes: Companies can integrate SurveyMonkey into their systems and processes by using our prebuilt connectors, using one of many third-party applications built on our survey platform, or via a custom integration using our open APIs.

We are focused on research and development to enhance our survey platform, develop new products and features, and improve our infrastructure.

Sales, Marketing and Customer Success

We believe the SurveyMonkey brand is globally synonymous with collecting feedback. We benefit from the virality of our platform, where survey creators increase our exposure organically among the respondents to their surveys, and every person who takes a survey is a potential future customer. In addition, our marketing function supports our sales effort targeted at organizations with an existing organic adoption of our survey platform.

We also conduct direct response marketing and engage and reactivate users through communication channels such as in-product notifications, demand generation campaigns, mobile notifications and lifecycle email marketing. We also create brand awareness through search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, public relations and earned media with partners.

We augment our self-serve offering with a direct sales team focused on leveraging our existing base of active users. We use Customer 360 to gather insights into our user base to upsell organizations to SurveyMonkey Enterprise and cross-sell purpose-built solutions within organizations.

Our survey platform is designed to be easy to adopt and use without the need for support. For those who want support, we have a robust knowledge base and online help center, localized in 16 languages. We also have a dedicated team of experienced and highly-trained survey scientists whose mission is to provide our customers with the methodology they need to collect high quality, unbiased information and to increase survey response rates.

Customer 360 also assists our customer success team by estimating the likelihood of churn as well as potential customer adoption challenges.

Employees

As of December 31, 2018, we had a total of 857 employees. None of our U.S. employees are represented by a labor union or are the subject of a collective bargaining agreement. We have not experienced any work stoppages and we believe that our relationship with our employees is good.

Competition

Competitors to our People Powered Data platform include the enterprise feedback offerings of SAP/Qualtrics, form tools such as Google Forms, Microsoft Forms and Typeform, solutions for specific use cases such as Medallia for customer experience, and full-service market research firms such as Nielsen. We also compete with offline methods of feedback collection, such as pen-and-paper surveys and telephone surveys. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our markets include the following:

 

ease of use and deployment of applications;

 

quality and timeliness of data and insight generation;

 

product features, quality and functionality;

 

volume of data for benchmarking, data science models and AI and machine learning applications;

 

pricing, total cost of ownership and visibility into cost over time;

 

brand awareness and reputation;

 

breadth of customer base and level of user adoption;

 

ability to integrate with other applications and systems;

 

security, reliability and scalability across organizations;

 

flexibility to cover a wide breadth of use cases globally;

 

ability to enable collaboration within teams and across different business lines;

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effectiveness of sales and marketing;

 

customer experience; and

 

vision for the market and product innovation.

Some of our competitors may have significantly greater financial, marketing and product development resources than we have, larger sales and marketing budgets and resources, broader distribution or established relationships, or lower labor and research and development costs. Our competitors may devote greater resources and time on developing and testing products and solutions, undertake more extensive marketing campaigns, adopt more aggressive pricing policies or otherwise develop more commercially successful products and solutions than we do.

Regulatory Matters

We are subject to a variety of laws in the United States and abroad, including laws regarding privacy, data protection, data security, data retention, consumer protection, accessibility, sending and storing of electronic messages, human resource services, employment and labor laws, workplace safety, intellectual property and the provision of online payment services, including credit card processing, consumer protection laws, anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, import and export controls, federal securities laws and tax regulations, which are continuously evolving and developing. We also have privacy-related terms and guidelines for third-party developers to create applications that connect to our products. We participate in and have certified our compliance with the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks and Principles with respect to personal data that we collect.

Intellectual Property

We rely on trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, license agreements, intellectual property assignment agreements, confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements and employee non-disclosure and invention assignment agreements to establish and protect our proprietary rights. Though we rely in part upon these legal and contractual protections, we believe that factors such as the skills and ingenuity of our employees and the functionality and frequent enhancements to our solutions are larger contributors to our success in the marketplace.

As of December 31, 2018, we had five issued patents and five pending patent applications in the United States. These patents and patent applications seek to protect our proprietary inventions relevant to our business.

Corporate Information

SVMK Inc. was incorporated in October 2011 as a Delaware corporation and is the successor to operations originally begun in 1999. Our principal executive offices are located at One Curiosity Way, San Mateo, California 94403, and our telephone number is (650) 543-8400. Our website address is www.surveymonkey.com.

SurveyMonkey, the SurveyMonkey logo, the Goldie logo, People Powered Data, SVMK and our other registered or common law trademarks, service marks or trade names appearing in this prospectus are the property of SurveyMonkey Inc., our wholly-owned subsidiary. NPS is a registered trademark of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and other trademarks and trade names referred to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are the property of their respective owners.

Available Information

Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to reports filed pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the “Exchange Act”, are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the “SEC”. We are subject to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act and files or furnishes reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Such reports and other information filed by us with the SEC are available free of charge at investor.surveymonkey.com/financial-information/sec-filings when such reports are available on the SEC’s website. The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.

 

 

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We periodically provide other material information for investors on our corporate website, www.surveymonkey.com, the investor relations page on our corporate website, investor.surveymonkey.com, press releases, public conference calls and public webcasts. We use these channels, as well as social media, to communicate with investors and the public about us, our offerings and other issues. It is possible that the information we post on social media could be deemed to be material information. Therefore, we encourage investors, the media and others interested in us to review the information we post on the U.S. social media channels listed on the investor relations page on our website. Any updates to the list of disclosure channels through which we will announce information will be posted on the investor relations page on our website. The information contained on the websites referenced in this Annual Report on Form 10-K is not incorporated by reference into this filing. Further, our references to website URLs in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are intended to be inactive textual references only.

We are an emerging growth company within the meaning of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act, and, as such, we have elected to comply with certain reduced public company reporting requirements. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest to occur of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have more than $1.07 billion in annual revenue; (ii) the date we qualify as a “large accelerated filer,” with at least $700 million of equity securities held by non-affiliates; (iii) the date on which we have issued, in any three-year period, more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities; and (iv) the last day of the fiscal year ending after the fifth anniversary of the completion of our initial public offering, or IPO.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. 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, before making a decision to invest in our common stock. Our business, results of operations, financial condition or prospects could also be harmed by risks and uncertainties that are not presently known to us or that we currently believe are not material. If any of the risks actually occur, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. In that event, the market price of our common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to Our Business

Our business depends on our ability to retain and upgrade customers, and any decline in renewals or upgrades could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our business depends upon our ability to maintain and expand our relationships with our users. Customers can choose between monthly or annual subscriptions, and customers are not obligated to and may not renew their paid subscriptions after their existing plans expire. As a result, we cannot assure that customers will renew their paid plans utilizing the same tier of our products and solutions or upgrade to our premium products or solutions. Renewals of paid plans may decline or fluctuate because of several factors, such as dissatisfaction with our products, solutions or support, a user no longer having a need for our products or the perception that competitive products are better or less expensive options. As our customer base continues to grow, even if our customer retention rates remain the same on a percentage basis, the absolute number of customers we lose each month will increase. We must continually add new customers to replace customers whose accounts are cancelled or terminated and to grow our business beyond our current user base, which may involve significantly higher marketing expenses than we currently anticipate.

We invest in new features and improvements to our product functionality as well as targeted marketing campaigns to drive conversion of unpaid users to paying users. Individual users often bring us into their organization for business purposes, and from there we seek to establish an organizational relationship through the deployment of SurveyMonkey Enterprise. As we scale within organizations, we seek to further grow the business relationship by cross-selling purpose-built solutions. If our customers fail to renew or cancel their subscriptions, or if we fail to upgrade our customers to higher tier individual subscriptions or to SurveyMonkey Enterprise, our business, results of operation and financial condition may be harmed. Although it is important to our business that our customers renew their subscriptions after their existing plans expire and that we expand our commercial relationships with our customers, given the volume of our customers, we do not track the retention rates of our individual active users. However, we do track dollar-based net retention rate information on an aggregate basis.

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Additionally, many of our users initially register to use our free basic survey product. We strive to demonstrate the value of our products to our registered users, thereby encouraging them to convert to paying users through end-of-survey marketing. We have over 17.5 million active users, of which 646,727 are currently paying users. The actual number of unique users may be lower than we report as one person could count as multiple active users or paying users. For example, if an individual paying user also had a designated seat in a SurveyMonkey Enterprise deployment, we would count that person as two paying users. As a result, we may have fewer unique users that we may be able to convert, upsell or cross-sell. Our inability to determine the number of our unique users is a limitation in the data that we measure and may adversely affect our understanding of certain aspects of our business and make it more challenging to manage our business. A majority of our active users may never convert to a paying user, and if we are unable to convert free users to paying users, our business, results of operations and financial condition could suffer.

In the event that we are unable to attract and retain customers, convert unpaid users to customers, and develop and expand relationships with organizational customers, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.

Our revenue growth rate has fluctuated in recent periods and may slow in the future.

We have a history of delivering revenue growth and positive cash flow from operations. However, our rates of revenue growth have slowed and fluctuated, and may continue to slow in the future. Many factors may contribute to declines in our growth rates, including higher market penetration, increased competition, slowing demand for our survey platform, a failure by us to continue capitalizing on growth opportunities and the maturation of our business, among others. You should not rely on the revenue growth of any prior quarterly or annual period as an indication of our future performance. If our growth rates decline, investors’ perceptions of our business and the trading price of our common stock could be adversely affected.

Our business depends on a strong and trusted brand, and any failure to maintain, protect and enhance our brand would hurt our ability to retain or expand our customer and user base, our market share and our ability to attract and retain employees.

We have developed a strong and trusted brand that we believe has contributed significantly to the success of our business. We believe that enhancing and maintaining awareness of the SurveyMonkey brand in a cost-effective manner is critical to our goal of achieving widespread acceptance of our existing and future products, attracting new customers and attracting and retaining top talent. Furthermore, we receive a high degree of media coverage around the world and we believe that the importance of brand recognition will increase as competition in our industry increases. Successful promotion of our brand will depend largely on the effectiveness of our marketing and media partnership efforts and the effectiveness and affordability of our products for our target customer demographic. Such brand promotion activities may not yield increased revenue and, even if they do, any revenue increases may not offset the expenses we incur to promote our brand. Unfavorable publicity regarding, for example, our privacy practices, terms of service, service quality, litigation, regulatory activity or the perception of inaccurate poll data from properly or improperly drafted surveys by third parties using our survey platform, the actions of our partners and customers or the actions of other companies that provide similar products and solutions to us, could adversely affect our reputation, brand, the size and engagement of our user base and our ability to attract and retain users. If we fail to promote and maintain our brand successfully, or if we incur substantial expenses in an unsuccessful attempt to promote and maintain our brand, we may lose our existing customers to our competitors or be unable to attract new customers or employees, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

One of our marketing strategies is to offer a limited free version of our product on a self-serve basis, and we may not be able to realize the benefits of this strategy.

We offer a free basic survey product in order to promote our brand, build awareness and fuel the virality of our survey platform. Most users never convert from our free basic version to a paid version of our product. Our marketing strategy also depends in part on persuading users who use the free version of our product to become a paying user, either as an individual or to convince organizational decision makers to purchase and deploy SurveyMonkey Enterprise. To the extent that these users do not become, or lead others to become, paying users, we will not realize the intended benefits of this marketing strategy, and our business, results of operations and financial condition may be harmed.

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If we are unable to continue to increase adoption of our products through our self-serve model, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.

Historically, our business model has been driven by organic adoption and viral growth, particularly from conversion of our free users to paid, with many of our new individual paying users coming to us directly through our website or organic online search. We are currently expanding our salesforce, which has historically been limited. Although we believe our business model can continue to scale without a significantly larger salesforce, our self-serve model may not continue to be as effective as we anticipate, which may impede our future growth. 

As a substantial portion of our sales efforts are increasingly targeted at winning SurveyMonkey Enterprise customers, our sales cycle may become lengthier and more expensive, we may encounter greater pricing pressure and our customers may be displeased with our customer support, all of which could harm our business and results of operations.

As a substantial portion of our sales efforts are increasingly targeted at prospective customers for SurveyMonkey Enterprise, we face greater costs, longer sales cycles and less predictability in the completion of some of our sales. In this market, the customer’s decision to use our products may be an enterprise-wide decision, in which case these types of sales require us to provide greater levels of customer education to familiarize these customers regarding the uses, features and benefits of our products and purpose-built solutions, as well as education regarding security and governance, privacy and data protection laws and regulations, especially for those customers in more heavily-regulated industries. In addition, larger enterprises may demand more support services and features, which puts additional pressure on our support and success organizations to satisfy the increased support required for our customers. Further, as we continue to grow our operations and support our global user base, we need to be able to continue to provide efficient customer support that meets our customers’ needs globally at scale. As a result of these factors, these sales opportunities may require us to devote greater sales support and professional survey platform resources to paying users in order to familiarize these new customers with our value proposition, or require us to hire additional support personnel, which could increase our costs and sales cycle and divert our own sales and professional services resources to a smaller number of larger customers. We rely on Customer 360, our proprietary, signal-based system fueled by our data science models, to identify and target prospective customers, but there is no guarantee that this system will correctly identify the correct opportunities. These significant expenditures in time and money may not result in a sale. Our strategy is to work with third parties to increase the breadth of capability and depth of capacity for delivery of our products and solutions to our customers. If a customer is not satisfied with the quality or interoperability of our products and solutions with their own IT environment, we could incur additional costs to address the situation, which could adversely affect our margins. Moreover, any customer dissatisfaction with our products and solutions, or a failure to maintain high-quality customer support, or a market perception that we do not maintain high-quality customer support, could damage our ability to encourage broader adoption of our products by that customer and positive recommendations to other potential users. In addition, any negative publicity resulting from such situations, regardless of its accuracy, may further damage our business by affecting our ability to compete for new business with current and prospective customers.

We may not succeed in building a significant and effective salesforce, and we may fail to manage our sales channels effectively.

While a growing portion of our revenue in recent periods has been derived from our sales efforts, we are investing in building and developing a larger and more robust salesforce, particularly internationally, where our brand is less well known, but we may not be as successful as we anticipate. Our limited experience selling directly to small, medium and large organizations through our salesforce may impede our future growth. Further, our ability to manage a larger direct salesforce is uncertain. Identifying and recruiting additional qualified sales personnel and training them requires significant time, expense and attention. In addition, many organizations undertake a significant evaluation and negotiation process, which can lengthen our sales cycle, and some organizations demand more specialized features on our survey platform. We may spend substantial time, effort and money on sales efforts without any assurance that our efforts will produce any sales. As a result, our sales efforts may lead to greater unpredictability in our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

 

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Additionally, we have global partners who broaden the scope of our self-serve SurveyMonkey Audience solution by providing access to additional panelists around the world. Our partners are generally in nonexclusive agreements with us, are not subject to minimum obligations and may be terminated at any time without cause. If we fail to manage our sales efforts successfully or they otherwise fail to perform as we anticipate, it could reduce our sales and increase our expenses, as well as weaken our competitive position. 

Any significant disruption in service or security on our websites or in our systems could result in a loss of users, damage to our reputation and harm to our business.

Our brand, reputation and ability to attract and retain users and customers depend in part upon the reliable performance of our network infrastructure, websites, other systems and those of third-party service providers. We have experienced, and may in the future experience, interruptions in these systems, including server failures that temporarily impair or disable the performance of our websites due to a variety of factors, such as infrastructure changes, human or software errors, capacity constraints and denial of service or fraud or security attacks. In some instances, we may not be able to rectify or even identify the cause or causes of these site performance problems within an acceptable period of time. As our solutions become more complex and our user traffic increases, we expect that it will become increasingly challenging to maintain and improve the performance of our products and solutions, especially during peak usage times. If our products are unavailable to users or fail to function as quickly as users expect, it could result in reduced customer satisfaction and reduced attractiveness of our survey platform to customers. This in turn could lead to decreased sales to new customers, harm our ability to retain existing customers and the issuance of service credits or refunds, any of which could hurt our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We expect to continue to make significant investments to build new products and enhance the features and functionality of our existing products and solutions. To the extent that we do not effectively address capacity constraints, upgrade our systems and data centers as needed and continually develop our technology and network architecture to accommodate actual and anticipated changes in technology, our business and operating results may be harmed. Further, even if we are able to upgrade our systems, any such expansion will be expensive and complex, requiring management time and attention. Additionally, problems with the reliability or security of our systems, including unauthorized access to or improper use of the information of our users, could harm our reputation and negatively affect our business. Affected users could also initiate legal or regulatory action against us in connection with such incidents, which could cause us to incur significant expense and liability or result in orders or consent decrees forcing us to modify our business practices.

We may not timely and effectively scale and adapt our existing technology and network infrastructure to rapid technological changes, enhance our existing products and solutions or develop new products.

The industry in which we compete is characterized by rapid technological change and frequent introductions of new products and solutions, as well as changing customer needs, requirements and preferences. Our ability to grow our user base and increase revenue from existing customers will depend heavily on our ability to enhance the features and functionality of our products and solutions, introduce new products and solutions, anticipate and respond effectively to these changes on a timely basis and interoperate across an increasing range of devices, operating systems and third-party applications. The success of our products depends on our continued investment in our research and development organization to increase the accessibility, ease-of-use and interoperability of our existing solutions and the development of features and functionality that users may require.

The introduction of new products and solutions by competitors or the development of entirely new technologies to replace existing offerings could make our survey platform and other solutions obsolete or adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. We may experience difficulties with software development, design or marketing that could delay or prevent our development, introduction or implementation of our product experiences, features or capabilities. We have in the past experienced delays in our internally planned release dates of new features and capabilities, and we cannot assure you that new product experiences, features or capabilities will be released according to schedule. If users do not widely adopt our survey platform or purchase our products and services, we may not be able to realize a return on our investment. If we do not accurately anticipate user demand or we are unable to develop, license or acquire new features and capabilities on a timely and cost-effective basis, or if such enhancements do not achieve market acceptance, it could result in adverse publicity, loss of revenue or market acceptance or claims by users brought against us, each of which could have a material and adverse effect on our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition.

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If our security measures are compromised, or if our websites are subject to attacks that degrade or deny the ability of users and respondents to access our products, or if our customer or respondent data are compromised, users may curtail or stop use of our survey platform.

Our products collect, process, store, share, disclose and use customers’ and respondents’ information and communications, some of which may be private. We also work with third-party vendors to process credit card payments by our customers and are thus subject to payment card association operating rules, and rely on the availability of our third-party payment processors. We are vulnerable to software bugs, computer viruses, break-ins, phishing attacks, employee errors or malfeasance, attempts to overload our servers with denial-of-service or other attacks and similar disruptions from unauthorized use of our computer systems, any of which could lead to interruptions, delays or website shutdowns, causing loss of critical data or the unauthorized disclosure or use of personally identifiable or confidential information. It is virtually impossible for us to entirely mitigate the risk of breaches of our survey platform or other security incidents affecting our products, internal systems, networks or data. In addition, the functionality of our products may be disrupted by third parties, including disgruntled employees, former employees or contractors. The security measures we use internally, and have integrated into our products, which are designed to detect unauthorized activity and prevent or minimize security breaches, may not function as expected or may not be sufficient to protect against certain attacks. If we experience compromises to our security that result in site performance or availability problems, the complete shutdown of our websites or the actual or perceived loss or unauthorized disclosure or use of confidential information, such as credit card information, personal health information, trade secrets or other proprietary information, our users may be harmed or lose trust and confidence in us and choose to decrease the use of our products, which would cause us to suffer reputational and financial harm.

In addition, we may be subject to regulatory investigations or litigation in connection with a security breach or related issues, and we could also be liable to third parties for these types of breaches. Such litigation, regulatory investigations and our technical activities intended to prevent future security breaches are likely to require additional management resources and expenditures. If our security measures fail to protect this information adequately or we fail to comply with other rules and regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and Principles or applicable credit card association operating rules, we could be liable to both our users for their losses, as well as the vendors under our agreements with them, we could be subject to fines and higher transaction fees, we could face regulatory action, and our users and vendors could end their relationships with us, any of which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our internal systems are exposed to the same cybersecurity risks and consequences of a breach as our customers and other enterprises. However, since our business is focused on providing reliably secure products to our customers, we believe that an actual or perceived breach of, or security incident affecting, our internal networks, systems or data could be especially detrimental to our reputation, customer confidence in our products and solutions and our business.

Our industry is intensely competitive, and competitors may succeed in reducing our sales.

Our products face intense competition from many different companies, including but not limited to:

 

form providers, such as Google Forms, Microsoft Forms and Typeform;

 

licensed enterprise feedback software, such as SAP/Qualtrics;

 

software for specific use cases, such as Medallia for customer experience; and

 

full service market research firms, such as Nielsen.

These competitors vary in size, and many have significantly greater financial, marketing and product development resources than we have, larger sales and marketing budgets and resources, broader distribution or established relationships or lower labor and research and development costs. We also compete with offline methods of information collection, such as pen-and-paper surveys, telephone surveys, forms and applications, and less-automated methods such as email. Our competitors may devote greater resources and time on developing and testing products and solutions, undertake more extensive marketing campaigns and partnerships, adopt more aggressive pricing policies or otherwise develop more commercially successful products and solutions than we do. Our competitors may have preexisting relationships which required significant upfront investment by the

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customer, and these customers may prefer to continue existing and established relationships rather than adopt our survey platform. We cannot assure that we will be able to increase or maintain the large user base that we currently enjoy.

There are relatively low barriers to entry into our business. As a result, we are likely to face additional and intense competition from new entrants into the market in the future. There can be no assurance that existing or future competitors will not develop or offer products that provide significant performance, price, speed, creative or other advantages over those offered by us, and this could have an adverse effect on our business. We also operate in a highly fragmented market, and consolidation of our competitors or customers may also adversely affect our business. In addition, historically, our business has enjoyed relatively high margins and growth, which may attract new competition into our markets, including competition from companies employing alternate business models. Loss of existing or future market share to new competitors and increased price competition could substantially harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our business, results of operations and financial condition may fluctuate on a quarterly and annual basis, which may result in a decline in our stock price if such fluctuations result in a failure to meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors.

Our operating results have in the past and could in the future vary significantly from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year and may fail to match our past performance, our projections or the expectations of securities analysts because of a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control. Any of these events could cause the market price of our common stock to fluctuate. Factors that may contribute to the variability of our operating results include:

 

our ability to attract new users to our survey platform;

 

our ability to convert users of our free basic survey product to paying users;

 

our ability to retain paying users;

 

our ability to prevent account sharing and software piracy;

 

our ability to maintain and improve our products;

 

shifts in the way customers, respondents and users access our websites and products from personal computers to mobile devices;

 

the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns, including old strategies that may cease to be effective and the failure of new efforts;

 

disruptions or outages in the availability of our websites or products, actual or perceived breaches of privacy and compromises of our customer or respondent data;

 

changes in our pricing policies or those of our competitors;

 

our ability to increase sales of our products and solutions to new customers and expand sales of additional products and solutions to our existing customers;

 

the size and seasonal variability of our customers’ research and marketing and budgets;

 

the extent to which existing customers renew their agreements with us and the timing and terms of those renewals;

 

general industry, market and macroeconomic conditions;

 

the timing and cost of investing in our technology infrastructure, product initiatives, facilities and international expansion may be greater than we anticipate;

 

our needs related to facilities and data centers may change over time and vary from our original forecasts, and the value of the property that we lease or own may fluctuate;

 

expenses related to hiring, incentivizing and retaining employees;

 

the timing and costs of expanding our sales organization and delays or inability in achieving expected productivity;

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the timing of certain expenditures, including capital expenditures;

 

the entrance of new competitors in our market whether by established companies or the entrance of new companies;

 

currency exchange rate fluctuations;

 

our ability to integrate acquisitions and realize the expected benefit of such acquisitions in a timely manner or at all;

 

changes in the price of our subscription plans; and

 

changing tax laws and regulations.

Our historical operating results may not be indicative of our future operating results. As our revenue growth rate has slowed, the cyclicality and seasonality in our business have become more pronounced, and we expect that to continue. This has, and will, cause our operating results to fluctuate. Further, our customers were required to renew their subscriptions at a higher price point in 2017 in connection with our changes to our individual user plans. If we do not continue to increase the price of our subscription plans in the future, or if we lose customers as a result of price increases, our revenue could be adversely affected. In addition, global economic concerns continue to create uncertainty and unpredictability and add risk to our future outlook. An economic downturn in any particular region in which we do business or globally could result in reductions in sales of our products, decreased renewals of existing arrangements and other adverse effects that could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We have substantial indebtedness and lease obligations, which reduce our capability to withstand adverse developments or business conditions.

We have incurred substantial indebtedness, and as of December 31, 2018, our total aggregate indebtedness was approximately $219.5 million of principal outstanding. We also have, and will continue to have, significant lease obligations. As of December 31, 2018, our total aggregate obligations under our long-term operating and financing leases was $133.2 million. Our payments on our outstanding indebtedness and lease obligations are significant in relation to our revenue and cash flow, which exposes us to significant risk in the event of downturns in our businesses (whether through competitive pressures or otherwise), our industry or the economy generally, since our cash flows would decrease but our required payments under our indebtedness and lease obligations would not. Economic downturns may impact our ability to comply with the covenants and restrictions in our credit facilities and agreements governing our other indebtedness and lease obligations and may impact our ability to pay or refinance our indebtedness or lease obligations as they come due, which would adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our overall leverage and the terms of our financing arrangements could also:

 

make it more difficult for us to satisfy obligations under our outstanding indebtedness;

 

limit our ability to obtain additional financing in the future for working capital, capital expenditures or acquisitions;

 

limit our ability to refinance our indebtedness on terms acceptable to us or at all;

 

limit our ability to adapt to changing market conditions;

 

restrict us from making strategic acquisitions or cause us to make non-strategic divestitures;

 

require us to dedicate a significant portion of our cash flow from operations to paying the principal and interest on our indebtedness, thereby limiting the availability of our cash flow to fund future capital expenditures, working capital and other corporate purposes;

 

limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and in our industry generally; and

 

place us at a competitive disadvantage compared with competitors that have a less significant debt burden.

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We may be required to delay recognition of some of our revenue, which may harm our financial results in any given period.

We may be required to delay recognition of revenue for a significant period of time after entering into an agreement due to a variety of factors, including, among other things, whether:

 

the transaction involves both current products and products that are under development;

 

the customer requires significant modifications, configurations or complex interfaces that could delay delivery or acceptance of our products;

 

the transaction involves acceptance criteria or other terms that may delay revenue recognition; or

 

the transaction involves performance milestones or payment terms that depend upon contingencies.

Because of these factors and other specific revenue recognition requirements under GAAP, we must have very precise terms in our contracts to recognize revenue when we initially provide access to our survey platform or other products. Although we strive to enter into agreements that meet the criteria under GAAP for current revenue recognition on delivered performance obligations, our agreements are often subject to negotiation and revision based on the demands of our customers. The final terms of our agreements sometimes result in deferred revenue recognition, which may adversely affect our financial results in any given period. In addition, more customers may require extended payment terms, shorter term contracts or alternative licensing arrangements that could reduce the amount of revenue we recognize upon delivery of our other products and could adversely affect our short-term financial results.

Furthermore, the presentation of our financial results requires us to make estimates and assumptions that may affect revenue recognition. In some instances, we could reasonably use different estimates and assumptions, and changes in estimates are likely to occur from period to period. Accordingly, actual results could differ significantly from our estimates.

Our results of operations may not immediately reflect downturns or upturns in sales because we recognize revenue from our users over the term of their paid subscriptions with us.

We recognize revenue from paid subscriptions to our products and solutions over the terms of the subscription period. Paying users can choose between monthly or annual subscriptions, and customers of SurveyMonkey Enterprise make a minimum one-year subscription commitment and are increasingly purchasing multi-year subscriptions. Amounts that have been billed are initially recorded as deferred revenue until the revenue is recognized. As a result, a large portion of our revenue for each quarter reflects deferred revenue from paid subscriptions entered into during previous quarters, and downturns or upturns in subscription sales, or renewals and potential changes in our pricing policies may not be reflected in our results of operations until later periods. Our paid subscription model also makes it difficult for us to rapidly increase our revenue through additional sales in any period, as paid subscription revenue from new users is recognized over the applicable subscription term.

If we fail to effectively manage our growth, our business and results of operations could be harmed.

The scope and complexity of our business have also increased significantly. The growth and expansion of our business creates significant challenges for our management, operational and financial resources. In the event of continued growth of our operations or in the number of our third-party relationships, our information technology systems and our internal controls and procedures may not be adequate to support our operations. To effectively manage our growth, we must continue to improve our operational, financial and management processes and systems and to effectively expand, train and manage our employee base. As our organization continues to grow and we are required to implement more complex organizational management structures, we may find it increasingly difficult to maintain the benefits of our corporate culture, including our ability to quickly develop and launch new and innovative products and solutions. This could negatively affect our business performance.

We continue to experience growth in our headcount and operations, which will continue to place significant demands on our management and our operational and financial infrastructure. As of December 31, 2018, approximately 35% of our employees had been with us for less than one year and approximately 20% for more than one year but less than two years. As we continue to grow, we must effectively integrate, develop and motivate a large number of new employees, and we must maintain the beneficial aspects of our corporate culture. To attract top talent, we have had to offer, and believe we will need to continue to offer, highly competitive

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compensation packages before we can validate the productivity of those employees. In addition, fluctuations in the price of our common stock may make it more difficult or costly to use equity compensation to motivate, incentivize and retain our employees. We face significant competition for talent from other internet, software and high-growth companies, which include both publicly traded and privately-held companies. The risks of over-hiring, especially given overall macroeconomic risks, or over-compensating employees and the challenges of integrating a growing employee base into our corporate culture are exacerbated by our international expansion. Additionally, because of our growth, we have expanded our operating and financing lease obligations and purchase commitments, which have increased our expenses. We may not be able to hire new employees quickly enough to meet our needs. If we fail to effectively manage our hiring needs and successfully integrate our new hires, our efficiency and ability to meet our forecasts and our employee morale, productivity and retention could suffer, and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Additionally, if we do not effectively manage the growth of our business and operations, the quality of our products and solutions could suffer, which could negatively affect our brand, results of operations and overall business. Further, we have made changes in the past, and will likely make changes in the future, to our products that our customers may not like, find useful or agree with. We may also decide to discontinue certain features, products or solutions or charge for certain features, products or solutions that are currently free or increase fees for any of our features, products or solutions. If users are unhappy with these changes, they may decrease their usage of our products or stop using them generally, and in the past we have experienced a decrease in our number of paying users as a result of pricing changes. In addition, they may choose to take other types of action against us, such as organizing petitions or boycotts focused on our company, our website or our products and services, filing claims with the government or other regulatory bodies or filing lawsuits against us. Any of these actions could negatively impact our growth and brand, which would harm our business.

Our corporate culture has contributed to our success, and if we cannot maintain this culture as we grow, we could lose the innovation, creativity and teamwork fostered by our culture and our business may be harmed.

We have worked to develop a strong culture around our team, which we refer to as the troop, and which is built on four key pillars of celebrating curiosity, maintaining a collaborative and inclusive work environment, focusing on individual well-being and seeking to positively influence our industry and community. We believe that our culture has been and will continue to be a critical contributor to our success. We expect to continue to hire aggressively as we expand, and we believe our corporate culture has been crucial in our success and our ability to attract highly skilled personnel. If we do not continue to develop our corporate culture or maintain and preserve our core values as we grow and evolve both in the United States and internationally, we may be unable to foster the innovation, curiosity, creativity, focus on execution, teamwork and the facilitation of critical knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing we believe we need to support our growth. Our anticipated headcount growth and our transition from a private company to a public company may result in a change to our corporate culture, which could harm our business.

We depend on our talent to grow and operate our business, and if we are unable to hire, integrate, develop, motivate and retain our personnel, we may not be able to grow effectively.

Our future success depends, in part, on our ability to continue to identify, hire, integrate, develop, motivate and retain top talent, including senior management, engineers, designers, product managers, sales representatives and customer support representatives. Our ability to execute efficiently is dependent upon contributions from all of our employees, in particular our senior management team. As we continue to grow, we cannot guarantee we will continue to attract or retain the personnel we need to maintain our competitive position. In addition to hiring new employees, we must continue to focus on retaining our best talent. Competition for these resources, particularly for engineers, is intense, and competition for the facilities to house our employees is also intense, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area where our headquarters is located. We may need to invest significant amounts of cash and equity for new and existing employees and we may never realize returns on these investments, and we also are investing heavily in our facilities. If we are not able to effectively increase and retain our talent, our ability to achieve our strategic objectives will be adversely impacted, and our business will be harmed. The loss of one or more of our key employees, and any failure to have in place and execute an effective succession plan for key executives, could seriously harm our business. Employees may be more likely to leave us if the shares they own or the shares underlying their equity incentive awards have significantly appreciated or significantly reduced in value. Additionally, if our senior management team, including any new hires that we may make, fails to work together effectively and to execute on our plans and strategies on a timely basis, our business could be harmed.

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In addition, our future also depends on the continued contributions of our senior management team and other key personnel, each of whom would be difficult to replace. Although we have entered into employment agreements or offer letters with our key employees, these agreements have no specific duration and constitute at-will employment, and we do not maintain key person life insurance for any employee. In addition, from time to time, there may be changes in our senior management team that may be disruptive to our business. If our senior management team, including any new hires that we may make, fails to work together effectively and to execute our plans and strategies on a timely basis, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.

Our products and solutions and internal systems rely on software that is highly technical, and if it contains undetected errors, our business could be adversely affected.

Our products and solutions and internal systems rely on software that is highly technical and complex. In addition, our products and solutions and internal systems depend on the ability of our software to store, retrieve, process and manage immense amounts of data. Our software has contained, and may now or in the future contain, undetected errors, bugs or vulnerabilities. Some errors in our software may only be discovered after the code has been released for external or internal use. Errors or other design defects within our software may result in a negative experience for our users, delay product introductions or enhancements or result in measurement or other errors. We also rely on third-party software that may contain errors or bugs. Any actual or perceived errors, failures, vulnerabilities, bugs or defects discovered in our software or third-party software we use could result in damage to our reputation, cause a reduction in revenue or delay in market acceptance of our products, require us to issue refunds to our customers or expose us to claims for damages, cause us to lose existing users or make it more difficult to attract new users, divert our development resources or require us to make extensive changes to our survey platform, any of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. The costs incurred in correcting such defects or errors may be substantial and could harm our results of operations and financial condition. Moreover, the harm to our reputation and legal liability related to such errors or defects may be substantial and could harm our business.

We depend on our infrastructure and third-party data centers, and any disruption in the operation of these facilities or failure to renew the services could impair the delivery of our products and solutions and adversely affect our business.

We currently deploy our products and solutions and serve all of our users using a combination of our own custom-built infrastructure that we lease and operate in co-location facilities and third-party data center services such as Amazon Web Services. While we typically control and have access to the servers we operate in co-location facilities and the components of our custom-built infrastructure that are located in those co-location facilities, we control neither the operation of these facilities nor our third-party service providers. Furthermore, we have no physical access or control over the services provided by Amazon Web Services. Consequently, we may be subject to service disruptions as well as failures to provide adequate services for reasons that are outside our direct control.

Data center leases and agreements with the providers of data center services expire at various times. The owners of these data centers and providers of these data center services may have no obligation to renew their agreements with us on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Problems faced by data centers, with our third-party data center service providers, with the telecommunications network providers with whom we or they contract, or with the systems by which our telecommunications providers allocate capacity among their users, including us, could adversely affect the experience of our users. Our third-party data center operators could decide to close their facilities or cease providing services without adequate notice. In addition, any financial difficulties, such as bankruptcy, faced by our third-party data centers operators or any of the service providers with whom we or they contract may have negative effects on our business, the nature and extent of which are difficult to predict. In addition, these facilities may be located in areas prone to natural disasters and may experience events such as earthquakes, floods, fires, power loss, telecommunication failures and similar events. They may also be subject to break-ins, sabotage, intentional acts of vandalism and similar misconduct. Any damage to, or failure of, our systems generally, or those of the third-party providers, could result in interruptions in use of our products that may reduce our revenue, cause us to issue credits or pay penalties, cause customers to terminate their services with us and adversely affect our ability to attract new customers and retain existing customers.

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If the data centers and service providers that we use are unable to keep up with our growing needs for capacity, or if we are unable to renew our agreements with data centers and service providers on commercially reasonable terms, we may be required to transfer servers or content to new data centers or engage new service providers, and we may incur significant costs and possible service interruption in connection with doing so. In addition, if we do not accurately plan for our data center capacity requirements and we experience significant strains on our data center capacity, we may experience delays and additional expenses in arranging new data centers, and our users could experience service outages that may subject us to financial liabilities, result in customer losses and harm our business. Any changes in third-party service levels at data centers or any real or perceived errors, defects, disruptions or other performance problems with our products and solutions could harm our reputation and may result in damage to, or loss or compromise of, our users’ content. Interruptions in our products and solutions might, among other things, reduce our revenue, cause us to issue refunds to users, subject us to potential liability, harm our reputation or our ability to retain customers.

We collect, process, store, share, disclose and use personal information and other data, which subjects us to governmental regulations and other legal obligations related to privacy and security, and our actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could harm our business.

We collect, process, store, share, disclose and use information from and about our customers, respondents and users, including personal information and other data. There are numerous laws around the world regarding privacy and security, including laws regarding the collection, processing, storage, sharing, disclosure, use and security of personal information and other data from and about our customers, respondents and users. The scope of these laws is changing, subject to differing interpretations, may be costly to comply with, and may be inconsistent among countries and jurisdictions or conflict with other rules.

We strive to comply with applicable laws, policies and legal obligations relating to privacy and data protection and are subject to the terms of our privacy policies and privacy-related obligations to third parties. However, these obligations may be interpreted and applied in new ways and/or in a manner that is inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another and may conflict with other rules or our practices. Data privacy and security are active areas, and new laws and regulations are likely to be enacted.

Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with our privacy policies, our privacy-related obligations to customers, respondents, users or other third parties, our data disclosure and consent obligations or our privacy or security-related legal obligations, or any compromise of security that results in the unauthorized disclosure, transfer or use of personal or other information, which may include personally identifiable information or other data, may result in governmental enforcement actions, litigation or public statements critical of us by consumer advocacy groups, competitors, the media or others and could cause our users to lose trust in us, which could have an adverse effect on our business. Additionally, if third parties we work with, such as customers, partners, vendors or developers, violate applicable laws, our policies or other privacy or security-related obligations, such violations may also put our users’ information at risk and could in turn have an adverse effect on our business. Governmental agencies may also request or take member or customer data for national security or informational purposes, and also can make data requests in connection with criminal or civil investigations or other matters, which could harm our reputation and our business. Additionally, our compliance with the laws of one jurisdiction may be in contravention to laws or regulations that we are subject to in other jurisdictions

In addition, there has been increased uncertainty around the legality of various mechanisms for personal data transfers from the European Union to the United States, which may have a significant impact on the transfer of data from the European Union to U.S. companies, including us. For example, we may have to require some of our vendors who process personal data to take on additional privacy and security obligations, and some may refuse, causing us to incur potential disruption and expense related to our business processes. If our policies and practices, or those of our vendors, are, or are perceived to be, insufficient or if our users and customers have concerns regarding the transfer of data from the European Union to the United States, we could be subject to enforcement actions or investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, individual EU Data Protection Authorities or lawsuits by private parties, use of our products could decline and our business could be negatively impacted. There is also uncertainty as to whether the certain legal mechanisms for the lawful transfer of data from the European Union to the United States will withstand legal challenges. If the mechanisms on which we rely for the transfer of data are found to be invalid, our business would be substantially impacted, as key agreements may need to be renegotiated, customers may lose confidence in our ability to transfer data legally from the European

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Union to the United States and we may be subject to enforcement actions or investigations by the Federal Trade Commission or EU Data Protection Authorities.

Public scrutiny of internet privacy and security issues may result in increased regulation and different industry standards, which could deter or prevent us from providing our products to our customers, thereby harming our business.

The regulatory framework for privacy and security issues worldwide is evolving and is likely to remain in flux for the foreseeable future. Various government and consumer agencies have also called for new regulation and changes in industry practices. Practices regarding the registration, collection, processing, storage, sharing, disclosure, use and security of personal and other information by companies offering an online service like our survey platform and other solutions have recently come under increased public scrutiny.

For example, the European Union has enacted GDPR, which became effective in May 2018. GDPR requires greater compliance efforts for companies with users and operations in the European Union and provides for fines of up to the greater of €20,000,000 or 4% of global annual revenue for noncompliance.

In the United States, the federal government and many state governments have reviewed and are reviewing the need for greater regulation of the collection, processing, storage, sharing, disclosure, use and security of information concerning consumer behavior with respect to online services, including regulations aimed at restricting certain targeted advertising practices and collection and use of data from mobile devices. This review may result in new laws or the promulgation of new regulations or guidelines. For example, the State of California and other states have passed laws relating to disclosure of companies’ practices with regard to Do-Not-Track signals from internet browsers, the ability to delete information of minors and new data breach notification requirements. California has also adopted privacy guidelines with respect to mobile applications and recently enacted legislation, the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, that will, among other things, require covered companies to provide new disclosures to California consumers, and afford such consumers new abilities to opt-out of certain sales of personal information, when it goes into effect on January 1, 2020. The CCPA was amended on September 23, 2018, but without substantial modification of its fundamental obligations. Legislators have stated that they intend to propose further amendments to the CCPA before it goes into effect, and it remains unclear what, if any, modifications will be made to this legislation or how it will be interpreted. We cannot yet predict the impact of the CCPA on our business or operations, but it may require us to modify our data processing practices and policies and to incur substantial costs and expenses in an effort to comply.

In June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, commonly referred to as “Brexit,” which could also lead to further legislative and regulatory changes. In March 2017, the United Kingdom began the process to leave the European Union by April 2019. A Data Protection Bill that substantially implements GDPR has been enacted, effective in May 2018. It remains unclear, however, how United Kingdom data protection laws or regulations will develop in the medium to longer term and how data transfers to and from the United Kingdom will be regulated.

Outside the European Union and the United States, a number of countries have adopted or are considering privacy laws and regulations that may result in greater compliance efforts. In addition, government agencies and regulators have reviewed, are reviewing and will continue to review the personal data practices of certain online companies. If we are unable to comply with any such reviews or decrees that result in recommendations or binding changes, or if the recommended changes result in degradation of our products, our business could be harmed.

Our business, including our ability to operate and expand internationally, could be adversely affected if legislation or regulations are adopted, interpreted or implemented in a manner that is inconsistent with our current business practices and that require changes to these practices, the design of our websites, mobile applications, survey platform, solutions, features or our privacy policies. In particular, the success of our business has been, and we expect will continue to be, driven by our ability to responsibly gather and use data from data subjects and help our customers collect and analyze data from survey respondents. Therefore, our business could be harmed by any significant change to applicable laws, regulations or industry standards or practices regarding the storage, use or disclosure of data our customers or respondents share with us, or regarding the manner in which the express or implied consent of consumers for such collection, analysis and disclosure is obtained. Such changes may require us to modify our survey platform, features and other products, possibly in a material manner, and may limit our ability to develop new products, solutions and features that make use of the data that we collect.

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Our business is subject to a variety of U.S. and foreign laws, many of which are unsettled and still developing and which could subject us to claims or otherwise harm our business.

We are subject to a variety of laws in the United States and abroad, including laws regarding privacy, data protection, data security, data retention and consumer protection, accessibility, sending and storing of electronic messages (and related traffic data where applicable), human resource services, employment and labor laws, workplace safety, intellectual property and the provision of online payment services, including credit card processing, consumer protection laws, anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, import and export controls, federal securities laws and tax regulations, which are continuously evolving and developing. The scope and interpretation of the laws and other obligations that are or may be applicable to us, our vendors or partners or certain groups of our users are often uncertain and may be conflicting, particularly laws and other obligations outside of the United States. For example, laws relating to the liability of providers of online services for activities of their users and other third parties are currently being tested by a number of claims, including actions based on invasion of privacy and other torts, unfair competition, copyright and trademark infringement and other theories based on the nature and content of the materials searched, the advertisements posted or the content provided by users.

In addition, regulatory authorities around the world are considering a number of legislative and regulatory proposals concerning privacy, spam, data storage, data protection, content regulation, cybersecurity, government access to personal information and other matters that may be applicable to our business. Compliance with these laws may require substantial investment or may provide technical challenges for our business. More countries are enacting and enforcing laws related to the appropriateness of content and enforcing those and other laws by blocking access to services that are found to be out of compliance. It is also likely that as our business grows, evolves and an increasing portion of our business shifts to mobile and our solutions are used in a greater number of countries and additional groups, we will become subject to laws and regulations in additional jurisdictions. Users of our site and our solutions could also abuse or misuse our survey platform and other products in ways that violate laws or cause damage to our business. It is difficult to predict how existing laws will be applied to our business and whether we will become subject to new laws or legal obligations that will impact our business.

If we are not able to comply with these laws or other legal obligations, or if we or our vendors or users become liable under these laws or legal obligations, or if our products or services are suspended or blocked, we could be directly harmed, and we may be forced to implement new measures to reduce exposure to this liability. This may require us to expend substantial resources or to discontinue certain solutions, which would negatively affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. We could also be subject to investigations, enforcement actions and sanctions, mandatory changes to our products and solutions, disgorgement of profits, fines and damages, civil and criminal penalties or injunctions, claims for damages, termination of contracts and loss of intellectual property rights. In addition, the increased attention focused upon liability issues as a result of lawsuits and legislative proposals could harm our reputation or otherwise impact the growth of our business. Any costs incurred as a result of this potential liability could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to export and import control laws and regulations that could impair our ability to compete in international markets or subject us to liability if we violate such laws and regulations.

We are subject to U.S. export controls and sanctions regulations that prohibit the shipment or provision of certain products and solutions to certain countries, governments and persons targeted by U.S. sanctions. While we take precautions to prevent our products and services from being exported or used in violation of these laws, including implementing IP address blocking, we cannot guarantee that the precautions we take will prevent violations of export control and sanctions regulations. In March 2018, we discovered that three of our paying users were located in Crimea and had avoided our screening measures by incorrectly identifying their location. Although these accounts have been cancelled, this use of platform was likely in violation of U.S. sanctions regulations. In June 2018, we filed a Voluntary Self-Disclosure with the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, concerning these potential violations. In July 2018, we received a cautionary letter from OFAC stating that it would not pursue any penalties at this time. If in the future we are found to be in violation of U.S. sanctions or export control laws, it could result in substantial fines and penalties for us and for the individuals working for us.

 

 

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In addition, various countries regulate the import and export of certain encryption and other technology, including import and export permitting and licensing requirements, and have enacted laws that could limit our ability to distribute our products or could limit our users’ ability to access our survey platform in those countries. Changes in our products, or future changes in export and import regulations, may prevent our users with international operations from deploying our products globally or, in some cases, prevent the export or import of our products to certain countries, governments or persons altogether. Any change in export or import regulations, economic sanctions or related legislation or change in the countries, governments, persons or technologies targeted by such regulations, could result in decreased use of our products by, or in our decreased ability to export or sell subscriptions to our products to, existing or potential users with international operations. Any decreased use of our survey platform or limitation on our ability to export or sell our products would likely adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Failure to comply with anti-bribery, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws could subject us to penalties and other adverse consequences.

We are subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, or the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act and other anti-corruption, anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws in various jurisdictions both domestic and abroad. These laws generally prohibit us and our employees from improperly influencing government officials or commercial parties in order to obtain or retain business, direct business to any person or gain any advantage. The FCPA, U.K. Bribery Act and similar applicable anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws also prohibit our third-party business partners, representatives and agents from engaging in corruption and bribery. We may be held liable for the acts of our third-party business partners, representatives and agents. To that end, in addition to our own salesforce, we leverage third parties to sell our products and conduct our business abroad. We and our third-party business partners, representatives and agents may have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies or state-owned or affiliated entities and may be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of these third-party business partners and intermediaries, our employees, representatives, contractors, channel partners and agents, even if we do not explicitly authorize such activities. While we have policies and procedure to address compliance with such laws, we cannot assure you that our employees and agents will not take actions in violation of our policies or applicable law, for which we may be ultimately held responsible. Any violation of the FCPA or other applicable anti-bribery, anti-corruption laws and anti-money laundering laws could result in whistleblower complaints, adverse media coverage, investigations, imposition of significant legal fees, loss of export privileges, severe criminal or civil sanctions or suspension or debarment from U.S. government contracts, substantial diversion of management’s attention, drop in stock price or overall adverse consequences to our business, all of which may have an adverse effect on our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our international operations involve risks that could increase our expenses, adversely affect our operating results and require increased time and attention of our management.

We derive a portion of our revenue from customers located outside of the United States and we have significant operations outside of the United States, including engineering, sales and customer support. We plan to expand our international operations, but such expansion is contingent upon the financial performance of our existing international operations as well as our identification of growth opportunities.

Our international operations are subject to risks in addition to those our domestic operations face, including:

 

potential loss of proprietary information due to misappropriation or laws that may be less protective of our intellectual property rights than U.S. laws or that may not be adequately enforced;

 

requirements of foreign laws and other governmental controls, including privacy, data protection and transfer, trade and labor restrictions and related laws that reduce the flexibility of our business operations;

 

local business and cultural factors that differ from our normal standards and practices, including business practices that we are prohibited from engaging in by the FCPA, U.K. Bribery Act and other anti-corruption laws and regulations;

 

restrictions on our ability to repatriate cash from our international subsidiaries or to exchange cash in international subsidiaries into cash available for use in the United States;

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fluctuations in currency exchange rates, economic instability and inflationary conditions could reduce our customers’ ability to obtain financing for software products and solutions or that could make our survey platform and solutions more expensive or could increase our costs of doing business in certain countries;

 

limitations on future growth or inability to maintain current levels of revenue from international sales if we do not invest sufficiently in our international operations, or execute properly on such investments;

 

longer payment cycles for sales in foreign countries and difficulties in collecting accounts receivable;

 

difficulties in staffing, managing and operating our international operations, including difficulties related to administering our equity incentive plan in some foreign countries;

 

difficulties in coordinating the activities of our geographically dispersed and culturally diverse operations;

 

seasonal reductions in business activity in the summer months in Europe and in other periods in other countries;

 

costs and delays associated with developing software and providing support in multiple languages; and

 

political unrest, war or terrorism, or regional natural disasters, particularly in areas in which we have facilities.

The level of corporate tax from sales to our non-U.S. customers is generally less than the level of tax from sales to our U.S. customers. This benefit is contingent upon existing tax regulations in the U.S and in the countries in which our international operations are located. Future changes in domestic or international tax regulations could adversely affect our ability to continue to realize these tax benefits.

If currency exchange rates fluctuate substantially in the future, the results of our operations, which are reported in U.S. dollars, could be adversely affected.

We conduct our business in over 190 countries and territories around the world and a significant portion of our transactions outside of the United States are denominated in foreign currencies. As we continue to expand our international operations, we become more exposed to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates. We incur expenses for employee compensation and other operating expenses at our non-U.S. locations in the local currency, and accept payment from customers in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. Since we conduct business in currencies other than U.S. dollars but report our financial results in U.S. dollars, we face exposure to fluctuations in currency exchange rates and any increase in the value of the U.S. dollar against these foreign currencies could cause our revenue to decline relative to our costs, thereby decreasing our operating margins. Exchange rate fluctuations between the U.S. dollar and other currencies could have a material impact on our profitability and hinder our ability to predict our future results and earnings. For example, because we recognize revenue over time, exchange rate fluctuations at one point in time may have a negative impact in future quarters. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in managing our exposure to currency exchange rate risks, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, because we conduct business in currencies other than U.S. dollars, but report our results of operations in U.S. dollars, we also face remeasurement exposure to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could hinder our ability to predict our future results and earnings and could materially impact our results of operations. From time to time, we may enter into foreign currency derivative contracts to reduce the risk that our cash flows and earnings will be adversely affected by foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. During the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, we did not have any material amount of derivative financial instruments.

Expansion into international markets is important for our growth, and as we expand internationally, we will face additional business, political, regulatory, operational, financial and economic risks, any of which could increase our costs and hinder such growth.

Continuing to expand our business to attract users in countries other than the United States is a critical element of our business strategy. An important part of targeting international markets is increasing our brand awareness and developing offerings that are localized and customized for the users in those markets. We have a limited operating history as a company outside of the United States. We expect to continue to devote significant resources to international expansion through acquisitions and partnerships, the establishment of additional offices and increasing our foreign language offerings. Our ability to expand our business and to attract talented employees and users in an increasing number of international markets will require considerable management attention and

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resources and is subject to the particular challenges of supporting a rapidly growing business in an environment of multiple languages, cultures, customs, legal systems, alternative dispute resolution systems, regulatory systems and commercial infrastructures. Expanding our international focus may subject us to risks that we have not faced before or increase risks that we currently face, including but not limited to risks associated with recruiting and retaining talented and capable management and employees in foreign countries; challenges caused by distance, time zone, language and cultural differences; developing and customizing products and solutions that appeal to the tastes and preferences of users in international markets; competition from local survey providers with significant market share in those markets and with a better understanding of user preferences; reliance on third parties and partnerships to provide product support and services that we do not resource directly outside of the United States, such as panelists for SurveyMonkey Audience; protecting and enforcing our intellectual property rights; the inability to extend proprietary rights in our brand, content or technology into new jurisdictions; compliance with applicable foreign laws and regulations, including privacy laws and laws relating to content; credit risk and higher levels of payment fraud; currency exchange rate fluctuations; protectionist laws and business practices that favor local businesses in some countries; foreign tax consequences; foreign exchange controls or U.S. tax restrictions that might restrict or prevent us from repatriating income earned in countries outside of the United States; political, economic and social instability; higher costs associated with doing business internationally; export or import regulations; and trade and tariff restrictions.

Entering new international markets will be expensive, our ability to successfully gain market acceptance in any particular market is uncertain and the distraction of our senior management team could harm our business, results of operation and financial condition.

We derive, and expect to continue to derive, a substantial majority of our revenue from a limited number of software products.

We derive, and expect to continue to derive, a substantial majority of our revenue from our paid individual and enterprise subscription offerings to our survey platform. As such, the market acceptance of our survey platform is critical to our success. Demand for subscription access to our survey platform and for our other products and solutions is affected by a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control, such as continued market acceptance of our survey platform by customers for existing and new use cases, the timing of development and release of new products, solutions, features and functionality that are lower cost alternatives introduced by us or our competitors, technological changes and developments within the markets we serve and growth or contraction in our addressable markets. If we are unable to continue to meet customer demands or to achieve more widespread market acceptance of our survey platform, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.

If internet search engines’ methodologies are modified or our search result page rankings decline for other reasons, use and engagement by users could decline.

We depend in part on various internet search engines to direct a significant portion of our traffic to our website. Similarly, we depend on providers of mobile application “store fronts” to allow users to locate and download our mobile applications that enable our product. Our ability to maintain the number of visitors directed to our website and users of our survey platform is not entirely within our control. Our competitors’ search engine optimization, or SEO, efforts may result in their websites receiving a higher search engine results page ranking than ours, or internet search engines could revise their methodologies in an attempt to improve their search results, which could adversely affect the placement of our search result page ranking. If search engine companies modify their search algorithms in ways that are detrimental to our new user growth or in ways that make it harder for our users to use our website, if we fail to successfully manage changes in SEO and social media traffic or if our competitors’ SEO efforts are more successful than ours, overall growth in our user base could slow, user engagement could decrease and we could lose existing users. These modifications may be prompted by search engine companies entering the online survey market or aligning with competitors. Additionally, our competitors may adopt search engine marketing tactics such as bidding on our terms in order to drive up our costs. This could make it more expensive to acquire new customers using our current marketing methods. Our website has experienced fluctuations in search engine results page rankings in the past, and we anticipate similar fluctuations in the future. Any reduction in the number of users directed to our websites would harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

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Our business depends on continued and unimpeded access to the internet and mobile networks by us and our users on personal computers and mobile devices.

Our survey platform and solutions depend on the ability of our customers, respondents and users to access our products through their personal computers and mobile devices. Currently, this access is provided by companies that have significant market power in the broadband and internet access marketplace, including incumbent telephone companies, cable companies, mobile communications companies and government-owned service providers, any of whom could take actions that degrade, disrupt or increase the cost of user access to our products, which would, in turn, negatively impact our business. In addition, internet or network access could be disrupted by other third parties. Further, the adoption of any laws or regulations that adversely affect the growth, popularity or use of the internet and mobile networks, including laws limiting internet neutrality, could decrease the demand for our paid subscription offerings or the usage of our survey platform and increase our cost of doing business.

If we are unable to effectively operate on mobile devices, our business could be adversely affected.

Our customers and respondents are increasingly accessing our products on mobile devices. We are devoting valuable resources to solutions related to monetization of mobile usage, and cannot assure you that these solutions will be successful. If the mobile solutions we have developed do not meet the needs of current prospective customers or respondents, or if our solutions are difficult to access, they may reduce their usage of our products or cease using our products altogether and our business could suffer. Additionally, we are dependent on the interoperability of our products with popular mobile operating systems, networks and standards that we do not control, such as Android and iOS operating systems, and any changes in such systems and terms of service that degrade our solutions’ functionality or give preferential treatment to competitive products could adversely affect traffic and monetization on mobile devices. We may not be successful in maintaining and developing relationships with key participants in the mobile industry or in developing products that operate effectively with these technologies, systems, networks or standards. Each manufacturer or distributor may establish unique technical standards for its devices, and our products may not work or be easily accessible or viewable on these devices as a result. Some manufacturers may also elect not to include our products on their devices, or we may have difficulty preparing or loading our applications in app stores. As new devices and products are continually being released, it is difficult to predict the challenges we may encounter in developing versions of our solutions for use on these alternative devices. If we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for our solutions on mobile devices, or if these strategies are not as successful as our offerings for personal computers or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our business, results of operations and financial condition would be negatively affected.

If we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for our solutions on mobile devices, or these strategies are not as successful as our offerings for personal computers, or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our financial performance and ability to grow revenue would be negatively affected.

Failure to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights could harm our business and results of operations.

We regard the protection of our trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, trade dress, databases, domain names and patents as critical to our success. We strive to protect our intellectual property rights by relying on federal, state and common law rights and other rights provided under foreign laws. These laws are subject to change at any time and could further restrict our ability to protect our intellectual property rights. In addition, the existing laws of certain foreign countries in which we operate may not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as do the laws of the United States. We also have a practice of entering into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and contractors, and often enter into confidentiality agreements with parties with whom we conduct business in order to limit access to, and disclosure and use of, our proprietary information. In addition, from time to time we make our technology available to others under license agreements, including open source license agreements. However, these contractual arrangements and the other steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property rights may not prevent the misappropriation of our proprietary information, infringement of our intellectual property rights or deter independent development of similar or competing technologies by others and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of such misappropriation or infringement.

 

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Obtaining and maintaining effective intellectual property rights is expensive, including the costs of defending our rights. We are seeking to protect certain of our intellectual property rights through filing applications for copyrights, trademarks, patents and domain names in a number of jurisdictions, a process that is expensive and may not be successful in all jurisdictions. Even where we have such rights, they may later be found to be unenforceable or have a limited scope of enforceability. In addition, we may not seek to pursue such protection in every location. In particular, we believe it is important to maintain, protect and enhance our brands. Accordingly, we pursue the registration of domain names and our trademarks and service marks in the United States and in many locations outside of the United States. We have already and may, over time, increase our investment in protecting innovations through investments in patents and similar rights, and this process is expensive and time-consuming.

Litigation may be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights, protect our proprietary rights or determine the validity and scope of proprietary rights claimed by others. Any litigation of this nature, regardless of outcome or merit, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management and technical resources, any of which could adversely affect our business and results of operations. We may also incur significant costs in enforcing our trademarks against those who attempt to imitate our “SurveyMonkey” brand and other valuable trademarks and service marks.

In addition, we have chosen to make certain of our technology available under open source licenses that allow others to use the technology without payment to us. While we hope to benefit from these activities by having access to others’ useful technology under open source licenses, there is no assurance that we will receive the business benefits we expect.

If we fail to maintain, protect and enhance our intellectual property rights, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be harmed and the market price of our common stock could decline.

We have relationships with third parties to provide, develop and create applications that integrate with our products, and our business could be harmed if we are not able to continue these relationships.

We use software and services licensed and procured from third parties to develop and offer our survey platform and other products. We may need to obtain future licenses and services from third parties to use intellectual property and technology associated with the development of our products, which might not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. Any loss of the right to use any software or services required for the development and maintenance of our products could result in delays in the provision of our products until equivalent technology is either developed by us or, if available from others, is identified, obtained and integrated, which could harm our business. Any errors or defects in third-party software or services could result in errors or a failure of our products, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We also depend on our ecosystem of developers to create applications that will integrate with our survey platform. We offer prebuilt integrations, data portability and single sign-on identity with applications, such as those offered by Salesforce, Marketo, Tableau, Microsoft, and Oracle, as well as open APIs and configurable integrations. Our competitors may be effective in providing incentives to third parties to favor their survey platform, or to prevent or reduce subscriptions to our survey platform. Our reliance on this ecosystem of developers creates certain business risks relating to the quality of the applications built using our application programming interface, including product interruptions of our survey platform from these applications, lack of product support for these applications, our reputation being harmed if the applications do not function as intended and possession of intellectual property rights associated with these applications. We may not have the ability to control or prevent these risks. As a result, issues relating to these applications could adversely affect our brand, reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition.

If we are unsuccessful in establishing or maintaining our relationships with third parties, our ability to compete in the marketplace or to grow our revenue could be impaired and our results of operations may suffer. Even if we are successful, we cannot assure you that these relationships will result in increased customer usage of our products or increased revenue.

 

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Our use of open source software could negatively affect our ability to offer and sell subscriptions to our products and subject us to possible litigation.

A portion of the technologies we use incorporates open source software, and we may incorporate open source software in the future. Open source software is generally licensed by its authors or other third parties under open source licenses. The terms of many open source licenses have not been interpreted by United States or other courts, and these licenses could be construed in a manner that imposes unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our products. These licenses may require us to offer our products that incorporate such open source software for no cost, that we make publicly available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon, incorporating or using the open source software, and/or that we license such modifications or derivative works under the terms of the particular open source license. We may face claims from others claiming ownership of open source software or patents related to that software, rights to our intellectual property or breach of open source license terms, including a demand for release of material portions of our source code or otherwise seeking to enforce the terms of the applicable open source license. These claims could result in litigation, which could be costly to defend, require us to purchase a costly license, require us to establish additional specific open source compliance procedures, or require us to devote additional research and development resources to remove open source elements from or otherwise change our solutions, any of which would have a negative effect on our business and results of operations. In addition, if we were to combine our own software with open source software in a certain manner, we could, under certain open source licenses, be required to release the source code of some software that would be valuable to keep as a trade secret and/or not make available for use by others. Any of the foregoing could disrupt and harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We may be subject to legal proceedings and litigation, including intellectual property and privacy disputes, which are costly to defend and could materially harm our business and results of operations.

We may be party to lawsuits and legal proceedings in the normal course of business. These matters are often expensive and disruptive to normal business operations. We may face allegations, lawsuits and regulatory inquiries, audits and investigations regarding data privacy, security, labor and employment, consumer protection and intellectual property infringement, including claims related to privacy, patents, publicity, trademarks, copyrights and other rights. We may also face allegations or litigation related to our acquisitions, securities issuances or our business practices, including public disclosures about our business. Litigation and regulatory proceedings, and particularly the patent infringement and class action matters we could face, may be protracted and expensive, and the results are difficult to predict. Certain of these matters include speculative claims for substantial or indeterminate amounts of damages and include claims for injunctive relief. Additionally, our litigation costs could be significant. Adverse outcomes with respect to litigation or any of these legal proceedings may result in significant settlement costs or judgments, penalties and fines, or require us to modify our products or require us to stop offering certain features, all of which could negatively impact our user and revenue growth. We may also become subject to periodic audits, which would likely increase our regulatory compliance costs and may require us to change our business practices, which could negatively impact our revenue growth. Managing legal proceedings, litigation and audits, even if we achieve favorable outcomes, is time-consuming and diverts management’s attention from our business.

The results of regulatory proceedings, litigation, claims and audits cannot be predicted with certainty, and determining reserves for pending litigation and other legal, regulatory and audit matters requires significant judgment. There can be no assurance that our expectations will prove correct, and even if these matters are resolved in our favor or without significant cash settlements, these matters, and the time and resources necessary to litigate or resolve them, could harm our reputation, business, results of operations, financial condition and the market price of our common stock.

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The intended tax efficiency of our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements depend on the interpretation and application of the tax laws of various jurisdictions and on how we operate our business, and changes to our effective tax rate could adversely impact our results.

Our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements, including the manner in which we develop and use our intellectual property and the transfer pricing of our intercompany transactions, are intended to optimize business efficiency as well as reduce our worldwide effective tax rate. The tax laws of various jurisdictions, including the United States and the other jurisdictions in which we operate, are subject to change, and their application to our international business activities is subject to interpretation and depends on our ability to operate our business in a manner consistent with our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements. The taxing authorities of the jurisdictions in which we operate may challenge our methodologies for valuing developed technology or for transfer pricing on intercompany arrangements, or they may make a determination that the manner in which we operate results in our business not achieving the intended tax consequences. This could increase our worldwide effective tax rate and harm our results of operations and financial condition. Our effective tax rate could be adversely affected by several other factors, many of which are outside of our control, such as: increases in expenses that are not deductible for tax purposes, the tax effects of restructuring charges or purchase accounting for acquisitions, increases in withholding taxes, changes related to our ability to ultimately realize future benefits attributed to our deferred tax assets, including those related to other-than-temporary impairment, and a change in our decision to indefinitely reinvest foreign earnings. Further, we periodically undergo review and audit by both domestic and foreign tax authorities and expect such actions to continue in the future. Any adverse outcome of such a review or audit could have a negative effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

The enactment of legislation implementing changes in the U.S. taxation of international business activities, the adoption of other tax reform policies or changes in tax legislation or policies in jurisdictions outside of the United States could materially impact our results of operations and financial condition.

Changes to U.S. tax laws, including limitations on the ability of taxpayers to claim and utilize foreign tax credits and the deferral of certain tax deductions until earnings outside of the United States are repatriated to the United States, as well as changes to U.S. tax laws that may be enacted in the future, could impact the tax treatment of our foreign earnings and adversely impact our effective tax rate. On December 22, 2017, the legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, or the Tax Act, became law, and significantly reformed the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code. The Tax Act, among other things, includes changes to U.S. federal tax rates and the taxation of foreign earnings, imposes significant additional limitations on the deductibility of interest and the use of net operating losses generated in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, allows for the immediate expensing of certain capital expenditures and puts into effect the migration from a “worldwide” system of taxation to a territorial system. We continue to examine the impact the Tax Act may have on our business. The Tax Act could have adverse impacts on our business, cash flows, results of operations or financial condition. Due to the expanding scale of our international business activities, any changes in the U.S. or international taxation of such activities may increase our worldwide effective tax rate and harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our operating results may be harmed if we are required to collect sales or other related taxes on subscriptions to our products in jurisdictions where we have not historically done so.

We collect sales, use, value-added and other transaction taxes as part of our subscription agreements in a number of jurisdictions. One or more states or countries may seek to impose incremental or new sales, use, value added or other tax collection obligations on us, including for past sales by us or our resellers and other partners. A successful assertion by a state, country or other jurisdiction that we should have been or should be collecting additional sales, use, value added or other taxes on our products could, among other things, result in substantial tax liabilities, discourage users from utilizing our products or otherwise harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

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We have a history of net losses, we anticipate increasing expenses in the future and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability.

We have incurred net losses on an annual basis since our reincorporation. We incurred net losses of approximately $154.7 million, $24.0 and $76.4 million during the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively and we had an accumulated deficit of approximately $332.3 million as of December 31, 2018. As we strive to grow our business, we expect expenses to increase in the near term, particularly as we continue to make investments to scale our business. For example, we are actively investing in our sales team, and we will need an increasing amount of technical infrastructure to continue to satisfy the needs of our user base. We also expect our research and development expenses to increase as we plan to continue to hire employees for our engineering, product and design teams to support these efforts. In addition, we will incur additional general and administrative expenses to support both our growth as well as our transition to being a publicly traded company. These investments may not result in increased revenue or growth in our business. We may encounter unforeseen or unpredictable factors, including unforeseen operating expenses, complications or delays, which may result in increased costs. Furthermore, it is difficult to predict the size and growth rate of our market, user demand for our survey platform, the entry of competitive survey platforms or other products or the success of existing competitive products and solutions. As a result, we may not achieve or maintain profitability in future periods. If we fail to grow our revenue sufficiently to keep pace with our investments and other expenses, our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.

Our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be limited.

As of December 31, 2018, we had $162.2 million of federal and $63.8 million of state net operating loss carryforwards available to reduce future taxable income, which will begin to expire in 2019. As of December 31, 2018, we had federal research and development credits of $14.7 million which will begin to expire in 2032; state research and development credits of $10.8 million which will carryforward indefinitely; and foreign research and development credits of $1.1 million which will begin to expire in 2037. Under Sections 382 and 383 of the Code, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change,” the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards and other pre-change attributes, such as research tax credits, to offset its post-change income may be limited. In general, an “ownership change” will occur if there is a cumulative change in our ownership by “5-percent shareholders” that exceeds 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. Similar rules may apply under state tax laws. Based on analysis performed, we have concluded that approximately $37.1 million of net operating loss carryforwards from companies we have previously acquired are subject to limitation under Section 382 of the Code. At this time, for our non-acquired net operating losses, we have not completed a study to assess whether an ownership change under Section 382 of the Code has occurred, or whether there have been multiple ownership changes since our formation. We may have experienced various ownership changes, as defined by the Code, as a result of past financing transactions (or other activities), and we may experience ownership changes in the future as a result of subsequent changes in our stock ownership, some of which may be outside of our control. Accordingly, our ability to utilize the aforementioned carryforwards may be limited.

Our business could be disrupted by catastrophic events and man-made problems, such as power disruptions, data security breaches and terrorism.

Our systems are vulnerable to damage or interruption from the occurrence of any catastrophic event, including earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami or other weather event, power loss, telecommunications failure, software or hardware malfunction, cyber-attack, war, terrorist attack or incident of mass violence, which could result in lengthy interruptions in the use of our products. In particular, our U.S. headquarters, certain of the facilities we lease to house our computer and telecommunications equipment and some of the data centers we utilize are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for seismic activity, and our insurance coverage may not compensate us for losses that may occur in the event of an earthquake or other significant natural disaster. In addition, acts of terrorism, including malicious internet-based activity, could cause disruptions to the Internet or the economy as a whole. Even with our disaster recovery arrangements, use of our products could be interrupted. If our systems were to fail or be negatively impacted as a result of a natural disaster or other event, our ability to deliver products and solutions to our users would be impaired or we could lose critical data. If we are unable to develop adequate plans to ensure that our business functions continue to operate during and after a disaster, and successfully execute on those plans in the event of a disaster or emergency, our business, results of operations, financial condition and reputation would be harmed.

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We have implemented a disaster recovery program that allows us to move website traffic to a backup data center in the event of a catastrophe. This allows us the ability to move traffic in the event of a problem, and the ability to recover in a short period of time. However, to the extent our disaster recovery program does not effectively support the movement of traffic in a timely or complete manner in the event of a catastrophe, our business and results of operations may be harmed.

We do not carry business interruption insurance sufficient to compensate us for the potentially significant losses, including the potential harm to our business, results of operations and financial condition that may result from interruptions in our product use as a result of system failures.

We may require additional capital to support business growth, and this capital might not be available on acceptable terms, if at all.

We intend to continue to make investments to support our business growth and may require additional funds to respond to business challenges, including the need to develop new features, products and solutions, or enhance our existing survey platform, improve our operating infrastructure or acquire complementary businesses and technologies. Accordingly, we have engaged and may continue to engage in equity or debt financings to secure additional funds. If we raise additional funds through future issuances of equity or convertible debt securities, our existing stockholders could suffer significant dilution, and any new equity securities we issue could have rights, preferences and privileges superior to those of holders of our common stock. Any debt financing we secure in the future could involve restrictive covenants relating to our capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities, including potential acquisitions. We may not be able to obtain additional financing on terms favorable to us, if at all. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us when we require it, our ability to continue to support our business growth and to respond to business challenges could be significantly impaired, and our business may be harmed.

Acquisitions and investments could result in operating difficulties, dilution and other harmful consequences that may adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

In the past, we have acquired a number of companies including MarketTools (Zoomerang), Fluidware and TechValidate, and we may in the future make acquisitions to add employees, complementary companies, products, solutions, technologies or revenue. These transactions could be material to our results of operations and financial condition. We also expect to continue to evaluate and enter into discussions regarding a wide array of potential strategic transactions. The identification of suitable acquisition candidates can be difficult, time-consuming and costly, and we may not be able to complete acquisitions on favorable terms, if at all. The process of integrating an acquired company, business or technology has created, and will continue to create, unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures. The areas where we face risks include:

 

loss of key employees of the acquired company and other challenges associated with integrating new employees into our culture, as well as reputational harm if integration is not successful;

 

diversion of management time and focus from operating our business to addressing acquisition integration challenges;

 

implementation or remediation of controls, procedures and policies at the acquired company;

 

integration of the acquired company’s accounting, human resource and other administrative systems, and coordination of product, engineering and sales and marketing function;

 

assumption of contractual obligations that contain terms that are not beneficial to us, require us to license or waive intellectual property rights or increase our risk for liability;

 

failure to successfully further develop the acquired technology or realize our intended business strategy;

 

failure to find commercial success with the products or services of the acquired company;

 

difficulty of transitioning the acquired technology onto our existing survey platforms and maintaining the security standards for such technology consistent with our other products and solutions;

 

failure to successfully onboard customers or maintain brand quality of acquired companies;

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liability for activities of the acquired company before the acquisition, including patent and trademark infringement claims, violations of laws, commercial disputes, tax liabilities and other known and unknown liabilities;

 

failure to generate the expected financial results related to an acquisition on a timely manner or at all; and

 

failure to accurately forecast the impact of an acquisition transaction.

These risks or other problems encountered in connection with our acquisitions and investments could cause us to fail to realize the anticipated benefits of such acquisitions or investments, incur unanticipated liabilities and adversely affect our business generally. For example, following our acquisition of Renzu in May 2015, we subsequently determined that its mobile measurement and analytics product line was not a strategic fit and we implemented a plan to wind down the operations.

Future acquisitions could also result in dilutive issuances of our equity securities, the incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities, amortization expenses or write-offs of goodwill, any of which could harm our financial condition. In addition, any acquisitions we announce could be viewed negatively by users, marketers, developers, partners or investors.

We are an “emerging growth company,” and our election to comply with the reduced disclosure requirements as a public company may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

For so long as we remain an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act, we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various requirements that are applicable to public companies that are not “emerging growth companies,” including not being required to comply with the independent auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, being required to provide fewer years of audited financial statements and exemptions from the requirements of holding a non-binding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. We would cease to be an “emerging growth company” upon the earliest to occur of: (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have more than $1.07 billion in annual revenue; (ii) the date we qualify as a large accelerated filer, with at least $700 million of equity securities held by non-affiliates; (iii) the date on which we have, in any three-year period, issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities; and (iv) the last day of the fiscal year ending after the fifth year anniversary of our IPO. We may choose to take advantage of some but not all of these reduced reporting burdens. We have taken advantage of certain reduced reporting burdens in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Accordingly, the information contained herein may be different than the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold stock. In addition, the JOBS Act also provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. We have not chosen to take advantage of such extended transition period, and as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non-emerging growth companies.

We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock, and our stock price may be more volatile and may decline.

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 the section titled “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 deferred commissions, stock-based compensation and business combination and valuation of goodwill and acquired intangible assets. Our results of operations may be adversely

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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 common stock.

The tracking of certain of our user metrics is done with internal tools and is not independently verified. Certain of our user metrics are subject to inherent challenges in measurement, and real or perceived inaccuracies in such metrics may harm our reputation and negatively affect our business.

We track certain user metrics with internal tools, which are not independently verified by any third party. Our internal tools have a number of limitations and our methodologies for tracking these metrics may change over time, which could result in unexpected changes to our user metrics, including the metrics we report. If the internal tools we use to track these metrics undercount or overcount performance or contain algorithm or other technical errors, the data we report may not be accurate. For example, we track the number of individual users and organizational domains but cannot determine the number of unique users or unique organizations in which we have paying customers with certainty, and our inability to determine the number of our unique users and unique organizations in which we have paying customers may adversely affect our understanding of certain aspects of our business and make it more challenging to manage our business. In addition, limitations or errors with respect to how we measure data (or the data that we measure) may affect our understanding of certain details of our business, which could affect our longer-term strategies. Additionally, regulatory changes could affect requirements related to data we track related to our metrics, and those changes could impact how we continue to measure and compare data over time. If our performance metrics are not accurate representations of our business, if we discover material inaccuracies in our metrics or if the metrics we rely on to track our performance do not provide an accurate measurement of our business, our reputation may be harmed and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected, causing our stock price to decline.

Certain of our market opportunity estimates, growth forecasts and key business metrics included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K could prove to be inaccurate, and any real or perceived inaccuracies may harm our reputation and negatively affect our business.

Market opportunity estimates and growth forecasts are subject to significant uncertainty and are based on assumptions and estimates that may not prove to be accurate. The estimates and forecasts in this Annual Report on Form 10-K relating to the size and expected growth of our target market may prove to be inaccurate. Even if the markets in which we compete meet the size estimates and growth forecasted in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, if at all. We also rely on assumptions and estimates to calculate certain of our key business metrics, such as paying users. We regularly review and may adjust our processes for calculating our key business metrics to improve their accuracy. Our key business metrics may differ from estimates published by third parties or from similarly titled metrics of our competitors due to differences in methodology. If investors or analysts do not perceive our metrics to be accurate representations of our business, or if we discover material inaccuracies in our metrics, our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition would be harmed.

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 will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the rules and regulations of the applicable listing standards of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC. 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. We are continuing to develop and refine our disclosure controls and other procedures that 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. We are also continuing to improve our internal control over financial reporting, which includes hiring additional accounting and financial personnel to implement such processes and controls. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our

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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. If any of these new or improved controls and systems do not perform as expected, we may experience material weaknesses in our controls.

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 financial statements for prior periods. For example, in connection with the audits of our consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting pertaining to our accounting for build-to-suit lease arrangements for our current corporate headquarters, we incurred tenant improvement costs which were reimbursed by the landlord. We have addressed this material weakness by enhancing the expertise of our finance and accounting staff and updating our accounting policy and believe that the material weakness has been remediated. However, if we identify future material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting or fail to meet the demands that will be placed upon us as a public company, including the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we may be unable to accurately report our financial results or report them within the timeframes required by law or stock exchange regulations. Failure to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act could also potentially subject us to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities. If additional material weaknesses exist or are discovered in the future, and we are unable to remediate any such material weakness, our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting also could 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 that we will eventually be required to include in our periodic reports that will be filed with the SEC. 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 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. We are not currently required to comply with the SEC rules that implement Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and are therefore not required to make a formal assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for that purpose. As a public company, we will be required to provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting commencing with our second annual report on Form 10-K.

Our independent registered public accounting firm is not required to formally attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until after we are no longer an “emerging growth company” as defined in the JOBS Act. At such time, 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 an adverse effect on our business and results of operations and could cause a decline in the price of our common stock.

Our reported results of operations may be adversely affected by changes in accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.

Generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or GAAP, are subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or the FASB, the SEC and various bodies formed to promulgate and interpret appropriate accounting principles. A change in these principles or interpretations could have a significant effect on our reported results of operations and may even affect the reporting of transactions completed before the announcement or effectiveness of a change. For example, in May 2014, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update, or ASU, 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, or ASC 606, which superseded nearly all existing revenue recognition guidance. We adopted the requirements of ASC 606 as of January 1, 2018, utilizing the full retrospective method of transition. As such, ASC 606 is reflected in our financial results for all periods presented in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The adoption of ASC 606 primarily resulted in changes to our accounting policies for revenue recognition and deferred commissions, which we believe to be critical accounting

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policies. We previously expensed commissions that are now deferred, but overall the impact of adopting ASC 606 was not material to revenue. We are currently evaluating the impact of adoption of Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC, 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). It is difficult to predict the impact of future changes to accounting principles or our accounting policies, any of which could negatively affect our results of operations.

Indemnity provisions in various agreements potentially expose us to liability for intellectual property infringement, data protection and other losses.

Our agreements with customers and other third parties may include indemnification provisions under which we agree to indemnify them for losses suffered or incurred as a result of claims of intellectual property infringement, data protection, damages caused by us to property or persons or other liabilities relating to or arising from our products or other contractual obligations. Some of these indemnity agreements provide for uncapped liability for which we would be responsible, and some indemnity provisions survive termination or expiration of the applicable agreement. Large indemnity payments 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 and we may be required to cease use of certain functions of our products as a result of any such claims. Any dispute with a customer with respect to such obligations could have adverse effects on our relationship with that customer and other existing customers and new customers and harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

The trading price of our common stock could be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Technology stocks have historically experienced high levels of volatility. The trading price of our common stock may fluctuate substantially depending on a number of factors, including those described in this “Risk Factors” section, many of which are beyond our control and may not be related to our operating performance. These fluctuations could cause you to lose all or part of your investment in our common stock. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the trading price of our common stock include the following:

 

price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;

 

announcements of new products, solutions or technologies, commercial relationships, acquisitions or other events by us or our competitors;

 

changes in how customers perceive the benefits of our products and future offerings;

 

departures of key personnel;

 

reaction to our press releases, other public announcements and filings with the SEC, as well as reaction to third party reports regarding our business, markets and the industry in which we operate;

 

fluctuations in the trading volume of our shares or the size of our public float;

 

sales of large blocks of our common stock;

 

actual or anticipated changes or fluctuations in our results of operations;

 

whether our results of operations meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors;

 

changes in actual or future expectations of investors or securities analysts;

 

actual or perceived significant data breach involving our products or website;

 

litigation involving us, our industry or both;

 

governmental or regulatory actions or audits;

 

regulatory developments in the United States, foreign countries or both;

 

general economic conditions and trends;

 

major catastrophic events in our domestic and foreign markets; and

 

“flash crashes,” “freeze flashes” or other glitches that disrupt trading on the securities exchange on which we are listed.

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In addition, if the market for technology stocks or the stock market in general experiences a loss of investor confidence, the trading price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, results of operations or financial condition. The trading price of our common stock might also decline in reaction to events that affect other companies in our industry even if these events do not directly affect us. In the past, following periods of volatility in the trading price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been brought against that company. If our stock price is volatile, we may become the target of securities litigation. Securities litigation could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources from our business. This could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Shares of our common stock are subordinate in right of payment to our debts and other liabilities, resulting in a greater risk of loss for stockholders.

Shares of our common stock are subordinate in right of payment to all of our current and future debt. We cannot assure that there would be any remaining funds after the payment of all of our debts for any distribution to holders of the common stock.

Our debt service requirements and restrictive covenants limit our ability to borrow more money, to make distributions to our stockholders and to engage in other activities.

Our existing credit agreement, as amended, contains a number of covenants that limit our ability and our subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things, transfer or dispose of assets, pay dividends or make distributions, incur additional indebtedness, create liens, make investments, loans and acquisitions, engage in transactions with affiliates, merge or consolidate with other companies or sell substantially all of our assets. Our credit agreement is guaranteed by us and certain of our subsidiaries and secured by substantially all of the assets of the borrower subsidiary, us and the guarantor subsidiaries. The terms of our credit agreement may restrict our current and future operations and could adversely affect our ability to finance our future operations or capital needs or to execute preferred business strategies. In addition, complying with these covenants may make it more difficult for us to successfully execute our business strategy and compete against companies who are not subject to such restrictions. Additionally, our obligations to repay principal and interest on our indebtedness make us vulnerable to economic or market downturns.

If we are unable to comply with our payment requirements, our lenders may accelerate our obligations under our credit agreement and foreclose upon the collateral, or we may be forced to sell assets, restructure our indebtedness or seek additional equity capital, which would dilute our stockholders’ interests. If we fail to comply with any covenant it could result in an event of default under the agreement and the lenders (or any subsequent lender) could make the entire debt immediately due and payable. If this occurs, we might not be able to repay our debt or borrow sufficient funds to refinance it. Even if new financing is available, it may not be on terms that are acceptable to us. These events could cause us to cease operations.

Our failure to comply with our credit agreement and other indebtedness could require us to abandon our business.

Our indebtedness increases the risk that we will not be able to operate profitably because we will need to make principal and interest payments on our debt. Debt financing also exposes our stockholders to the risk that their holdings could be lost in the event of a default on the indebtedness and a foreclosure and sale of our assets for an amount that is less than the outstanding debt. Our ability to obtain additional debt financing, if required, will be subject to approval of our lenders, which may not be granted, or the interest rates and the credit environment as well as general economic factors and other factors over which we have no control may not be favorable. This may hinder our ability to service our existing debt or obtain additional debt financing.

If securities or industry analysts publish reports that are interpreted negatively by the investment community or publish negative research reports about our business, our share price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common stock depends, to some extent, on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. We do not have any control over these analysts or the information contained in their reports. If one or more analysts publish research reports that are interpreted negatively by the investment community, or have a negative tone regarding our business, financial or operating performance, industry or end-markets, our share price could decline. In addition, if a majority of these analysts cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which could cause our share price or trading volume to decline.

36


 

Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public markets, or the perception that such sales could occur, could reduce the price that our common stock might otherwise attain.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that such sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and may make it more difficult for you to sell your common stock at a time and price that you deem appropriate. We had 125,817,894 shares of capital stock outstanding as of December 31, 2018 that are generally freely tradable without restrictions or further registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the “Securities Act”, except for any shares held by our insiders and subject to periodic “blackout” periods, or held by our “affiliates” as defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act.

We will incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management will be required to devote substantial time to compliance with our public company responsibilities and corporate governance practices.

As a public company, and particularly after we are no longer an “emerging growth company,” we will incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC and other applicable securities rules and regulations impose various requirements on public companies. Our management and other personnel will need to devote a substantial amount of time to compliance with these requirements. Moreover, these rules and regulations will increase our legal and financial compliance costs and will make some activities more time-consuming and costly. For example, we expect that these rules and regulations may make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, which could make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors. We cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we will incur as a public company or the timing of such costs.

Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of us more difficult, limit attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management and limit the market price of our common stock.

Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws may have the effect of rendering more difficult, delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. Among other things, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws include provisions that:

 

authorize our board of directors to issue, without further action by the stockholders, up to 100,000,000 shares of undesignated preferred stock;

 

require that any action to be taken by our stockholders be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting and not by written consent;

 

specify that special meetings of our stockholders can be called only by our board of directors, the Chair of our board of directors or our Chief Executive Officer;

 

establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our board of directors;

 

establish that our board of directors is divided into three classes, Class I, Class II and Class III, with each class serving three-year staggered terms;

 

prohibit cumulative voting in the election of directors;

 

provide that our directors may be removed only for cause;

 

provide that vacancies on our board of directors may be filled only by a majority of directors then in office, even though less than a quorum; and

 

require the approval of our board of directors or the holders of at least 66 23 of our outstanding shares of capital stock to amend our amended and restated bylaws and certain provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation.

37


 

These provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our board of directors, which is responsible for appointing the members of our management. Provisions in our credit facilities also deter or prevent a business combination. In addition, institutional shareholder representative groups, shareholder activists and others may disagree with our corporate governance provisions or other practices, including anti-takeover provisions, such as those listed above. We generally will consider recommendations of institutional shareholder representative groups, but we will make decisions based on what our board and management believe to be in the best long-term interests of our company and stockholders; however, these groups could make recommendations to our stockholders against our practices or our board members if they disagree with our positions. Finally, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which generally prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any of a broad range of business combinations with any “interested” stockholder for a period of three years following the date on which the stockholder became an “interested” stockholder.

Our amended and restated bylaws provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and the federal district courts of the United States of America will be the exclusive forums for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.

Our amended and restated bylaws provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for:

 

any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf;

 

any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty;

 

any action asserting a claim against us arising under the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws; and

 

any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal-affairs doctrine.

If a court were to find the Delaware exclusive-forum provision in our amended and restated bylaws to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving the dispute in other jurisdictions, which could seriously harm our business.

Our amended and restated bylaws further provides that the federal district courts of the United States of America will be the exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act.

Both of these exclusive-forum provisions may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees, which may discourage lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and other employees.

On December 19, 2018, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision in Matthew Sciabacucchi v. Matthew B. Salzberg et al., C.A. No. 2017-0931-JTL (Del. Ch.), finding that provisions such as selecting the federal district courts of the United States of America as the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act are not valid under Delaware law. In light of this decision of the Delaware Court of Chancery, we do not intend to enforce this provision in our amended and restated bylaws unless and until such time there is a final determination by the Delaware Supreme Court regarding the validity of such provisions. To the extent the Delaware Supreme Court makes a final determination that such provisions are not valid as a matter of Delaware law, our Board of Directors intends to amend its Bylaws to remove this provision.

We do not expect to declare any dividends in the foreseeable future.

We have never declared nor paid any cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain any future earnings to finance the operation and expansion of our business, and we do not expect to declare or pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors. As a result, stockholders must rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation as the only way to realize any future gains on their investment, if any. Our ability to pay dividends is also subject to restrictions in our credit facilities as well as the restrictions on the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends or make distributions to us.

38


 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2. Properties

Our corporate headquarters occupies approximately 199,000 square feet in San Mateo, California under our master lease agreement and multiple sublease agreements that expire at various times through December 2028. We also lease offices in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Ottawa, Canada; Dublin, Ireland; and Sydney, Australia.

We believe that our existing facilities are sufficient for our current needs. In the future, we may need to add new facilities and expand our existing facilities as we add employees, grow our infrastructure and evolve our business, and we believe that suitable additional or substitute space will be available on commercially reasonable terms to meet our future needs.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

From time to time, we may be party to legal proceedings and litigation arising in the ordinary course of business, including, but not limited to, patent and privacy matters, labor and employment claims, class action lawsuits, as well as inquiries, investigations, audits and other regulatory proceedings. Periodically, we evaluate developments in our legal matters and record a liability when we believe that it is both probable that a loss has been incurred and the amount can be reasonably estimated. Significant judgment is required to determine both likelihood of there being, and the estimated amount of, a loss related to such matters, and our judgment may be incorrect.

There are currently no legal matters or claims that have arisen from the normal course of business that we believe would have a material impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

Future litigation may be necessary, among other things, to defend ourselves or our users by determining the scope, enforceability and validity of third-party proprietary rights or to establish our proprietary rights. The results of any 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

Not applicable.

39


 

PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our common stock is traded on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “SVMK”.

Stockholders of Record

As of February 15, 2019, there were 381 stockholders of record of our common stock. However, because many of our shares of common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to accurately estimate the total number of stockholders represented by these record holders.

Dividend Policy

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain any future earnings and do not expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future. Additionally, our ability to pay dividends on our common stock is limited by restrictions on our ability to pay dividends or make distributions under the terms of our credit facilities. Any future determination to declare cash dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors, subject to applicable laws, and will depend on a number of factors, including our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, contractual restrictions, general business conditions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant.

Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities

Option and RSU Issuances

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, prior to filing our Registration Statement on Form S-8 on October 1, 2018:

 

We granted to certain of our directors, officers, employees and consultants an aggregate of 3,483,580 restricted stock units to be settled into shares of our common stock under our 2011 Equity Incentive Plan.

 

We issued and sold to our employees an aggregate of 66,265 shares of our common stock upon the exercise of options issued under our 2011 Equity Incentive Plan at exercise prices ranging from $0.79 per share to $16.03 per share, for a weighted-average exercise price of $6.62 per share.

Common Stock Issuances

On September 28, 2018, we sold 3,333,333 shares of our common stock to Salesforce Ventures LLC in a concurrent private placement with our IPO at a price of $12.00 per share.

None of the foregoing transactions involved any underwriters, underwriting discounts or commissions, or any public offering. We believe the offers, sales, and issuances of the above securities were exempt from registration under the Securities Act by virtue of (i) Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act (or Regulation D promulgated thereunder) because the issuance of securities to the recipients did not involve a public offering, (ii) in reliance on Rule 701 promulgated thereunder because the transactions were pursuant to compensatory benefit plans or contracts relating to compensation as provided under such rule, or (iii) Regulation S promulgated under the Securities Act as transactions made outside of the United States. The recipients of the securities in each of these transactions represented their intentions to acquire the securities for investment only and not with a view to or for sale in connection with any distribution thereof, and appropriate legends were placed upon the stock certificates issued in these transactions. All recipients had adequate access, through their relationships with us, to information about us. The sales of these securities were made without any general solicitation or advertising.

40


 

Use of Proceeds from Public Offering of Common Stock and Concurrent Private Placement

On September 28, 2018, we closed our IPO, in which we sold 17,250,000 shares of our common stock (including the additional 2,250,000 shares that were sold pursuant to the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of common stock) at a price to the public of $12.00 per share. Immediately subsequent to the closing of our IPO, Salesforce Ventures LLC purchased 3,333,333 shares of our common stock from us at $12.00 per share. The offer and sale of the shares in our IPO were registered under the Securities Act pursuant to a Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-227099), which was declared effective by the SEC on September 25, 2018. In the aggregate, we raised $225.3 million in net proceeds after deducting underwriters’ discounts and commissions of $14.5 million and after deducting offering expenses of approximately $7.2 million, net of reimbursements. The managing underwriters of our IPO were J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Allen & Company LLC and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated. No payments were made by us to directors, officers or persons owning ten percent or more of our common stock or to their associates, or to our affiliates, other than payments in the ordinary course of business to officers for salaries and to non-employee directors pursuant to our director compensation policy.

There has been no material change in the planned use of proceeds from our initial public offering as described in our final prospectus filed with the SEC on September 26, 2018 pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4).

Stock Performance Graph

The following stock performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act, or Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

The following stock performance graph compares total stockholder returns for SVMK Inc. relative to the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Information Technology Index, assuming a $100 investment at market close on September 26, 2018, which was the initial trading day of our common stock. The stock performance shown in the graph below is not necessarily indicative of future price performance.

 

 

Company / Index

 

Base

period

9/26/18

 

 

9/30/2018

 

 

10/31/2018

 

 

11/30/2018

 

 

12/31/2018

 

SVMK Inc.

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

92.98

 

 

$

62.12

 

 

$

82.83

 

 

$

71.17

 

S&P 500 Index

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

100.28

 

 

 

93.32

 

 

 

94.98

 

 

 

86.27

 

S&P 500 Information Technology Index

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

100.97

 

 

 

92.84

 

 

 

90.87

 

 

 

83.12

 

 

41


 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The following selected consolidated financial data are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements and should be read in conjunction with Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing in Item 8 “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in any future period.

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Revenue

 

$

254,324

 

 

$

218,773

 

 

$

207,295

 

Cost of revenue(1)(2)

 

 

77,982

 

 

 

62,679

 

 

 

67,755

 

Gross profit

 

 

176,342

 

 

 

156,094

 

 

 

139,540

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development(1)

 

 

106,188

 

 

 

53,660

 

 

 

37,985

 

Sales and marketing (1)(2)

 

 

95,783

 

 

 

73,511

 

 

 

73,970

 

General and administrative(1)

 

 

97,339

 

 

 

47,940

 

 

 

36,832

 

Restructuring(1)

 

 

3,525

 

 

 

1,785

 

 

 

25,256

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

302,835

 

 

 

176,896

 

 

 

174,043

 

Loss from operations

 

 

(126,493

)

 

 

(20,802

)

 

 

(34,503

)

Interest expense

 

 

27,801

 

 

 

26,865

 

 

 

32,893

 

Other non-operating income (expense), net

 

 

(298

)

 

 

7,610

 

 

 

(4,250

)

Loss before income taxes

 

 

(154,592

)

 

 

(40,057

)

 

 

(71,646

)

Provision for (benefit from) income taxes

 

 

148

 

 

 

(16,047

)

 

 

4,704

 

Net loss

 

$

(154,740

)

 

$

(24,010

)

 

$

(76,350

)

Net loss per share, basic and diluted

 

$

(1.43

)

 

$

(0.24

)

 

$

(0.77

)

Weighted-average shares used in computing basic and diluted net loss per share

 

 

107,900

 

 

 

100,244

 

 

 

98,539

 

 

(1)

Includes stock-based compensation, net of amounts capitalized as follows:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Cost of revenue

 

$

8,931

 

 

$

2,503

 

 

$

4,114

 

Research and development

 

 

48,739

 

 

 

9,918

 

 

 

5,756

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

19,046

 

 

 

8,069

 

 

 

8,712

 

General and administrative

 

 

55,054

 

 

 

14,496

 

 

 

12,301

 

Restructuring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,074

 

Stock-based compensation, net of amounts capitalized

 

$

131,770

 

 

$

34,986

 

 

$

32,957

 

 

(2)

Includes amortization of acquisition intangible assets as follows:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Cost of revenue

 

$

1,952

 

 

$

2,040

 

 

$

4,505

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

2,318

 

 

 

2,421

 

 

 

4,267

 

Amortization of acquisition intangible assets

 

$

4,270

 

 

$

4,461

 

 

$

8,772

 

 

42


 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data

 

 

 

As of December 31,

 

(in thousands)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

153,807

 

 

$

35,345

 

 

$

23,287

 

Working capital(1)

 

 

135,739

 

 

 

16,560

 

 

 

566

 

Total deferred revenue(2)

 

 

101,472

 

 

 

85,048

 

 

 

76,420

 

Financing obligation on leased facility

 

 

92,009

 

 

 

93,385

 

 

 

81,939

 

Total debt, net(3)

 

 

217,415

 

 

 

318,321

 

 

 

319,300

 

Total stockholders' equity

 

 

219,383

 

 

 

40,043

 

 

 

33,021

 

 

(1)

Working capital is calculated as current assets less current liabilities, excluding deferred revenue.

(2)

Includes short term deferred revenue of $101.2 million, $84.8 million and $76.4 million as of December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively, and long-term deferred revenue of $0.2 million and $0.2 million as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

(3)

Excludes unamortized issuance costs of $0.4 million that were included in prepaid expenses and other current assets and $1.4 million that were in other assets as of December 31, 2018.

43


 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. As discussed in the section titled “Forward-Looking Statements,”, the following discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed below. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified below and those discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” under Part II, Item 1A in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Overview

We were founded in 1999 and are a leading global provider of survey software products that enable organizations to engage with their key constituents, including their customers, employees and the markets they serve. Our mission is to power curious individuals and organizations to measure, benchmark and act on the opinions that drive success. Our People Powered Data platform enables conversations at scale to deliver impactful customer, employee and market insights to our over 17.5 million active users globally.

Our widely adopted cloud-based SaaS platform helps individuals and organizations design and distribute surveys that generate an average of more than 20 million answered questions daily across more than 190 countries and territories. Our products drive actionable insights that allow organizations to solve mission-critical business problems, including enhancing customer experience and loyalty, increasing employee productivity and retention and optimizing product and marketing investments.

Our products

We generate substantially all of our revenue from the sale of subscriptions to our products. In addition to our free basic survey product, we offer multiple tiers of subscriptions to individual users—Standard, Advantage and Premier—that provide a compelling range of functionality and features to power the collection and analysis of feedback.

We also offer team versions of our individual Advantage and Premier subscription plans. Our SurveyMonkey Teams’ versions of such subscription plans are oriented for smaller groups of users who want to collaborate with others. In addition to the features available in individual Advantage and Premier subscription plans, the SurveyMonkey Teams’ versions provide collaboration capabilities around sharing, commenting and analyzing surveys and a shared asset library for team users.

In addition, we offer an enterprise-grade version of our survey platform, SurveyMonkey Enterprise, which provides managed user accounts, customized company branding, enterprise-grade security, sophisticated collaboration capabilities and deep integrations with a broad set of leading software applications. We also generate revenue from a wide range of purpose-built solutions, including SurveyMonkey CX for customer experience and feedback, TechValidate for content marketing, SurveyMonkey Engage for employee engagement and SurveyMonkey Audience for market research and analysis. We generate revenue from these purpose-built solutions by subscription or on a transactional basis, depending on the product.

Our business model

Our self-serve offering underpins a powerful, capital efficient business model that is fueled by the virality of our products. We believe our brand is synonymous with high-quality, easy to use products. The strength of our brand enables us to rapidly and cost-effectively acquire new users through free organic searches, paid online marketing and word of mouth referrals. Our survey platform and purpose-built solutions can be used without costly implementation, professional services or training, and anyone can create a survey in minutes. Our free basic survey product allows users to design and send simple surveys to collect and analyze feedback. Users and respondents can access our survey platform on a broad range of desktop and mobile devices, and surveys can be distributed through multiple channels, such as email, web, mobile, messaging apps and social media. Users often share results

44


 

and collaborate with others, who are then attracted to our survey platform and frequently sign up as new users. Every person who takes a survey is a potential future customer, and we seek to capitalize on that opportunity through end of survey marketing designed to engage further with respondents and encourage them to create accounts and become new users. We invest in new features and improvements to our product functionality as well as targeted marketing campaigns to drive conversion of unpaid users to paid users. As a result, we have a predictable, high-visibility revenue model where we generate more than 90% our revenue from sales of subscriptions to our products. We have a broad and diverse customer base and no customer represented more than 1% of our revenue in any of the periods presented.

We supplement our self-serve channel with a targeted sales effort to upsell organizations to SurveyMonkey Enterprise, to expand deployments of SurveyMonkey Enterprise within organizations and to cross-sell purpose-built solutions within organizations. We believe our existing user base represents a significant opportunity to expand our business and increase our revenue. We have 646,727 paying users in more than 345,000 organizational domains and believe the individual paying users within organizational domains represent an opportunity to significantly increase conversion from individual subscriptions to our enterprise offerings.

Key Business Metric

We review a number of operating and financial metrics, including the following key metric to evaluate our business, measure our performance, identify trends affecting our business, formulate our business plan and make strategic decisions.

 

 

 

As of December 31,

 

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Paying users

 

 

646,727

 

 

 

606,077

 

 

 

574,872

 

 

Paying users

We define a paying user as an individual customer of our survey platform or form-based application, a seat within a SurveyMonkey Enterprise deployment or a subscription to one of our purpose-built solutions, in each case as of the end of a period. One person would count as multiple paying users if the person had more than one paid license at the end of the period. For example, if an individual paying user also had a designated seat in a SurveyMonkey Enterprise deployment, we would count that person as two paying users. Paying users is an indicator of the scale of our business and an important factor in our ability to increase our revenue.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

We believe that, in addition to our results determined in accordance with GAAP, core revenue, average revenue per paying user, free cash flow and adjusted EBITDA, all of which are non-GAAP financial measures, are useful in evaluating our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands, except ARPU)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Core revenue

 

$

254,324

 

 

$

213,984

 

 

$

192,056

 

Average revenue per paying user (ARPU)

 

 

406

 

 

 

362

 

 

 

349

 

Free cash flow

 

 

23,339

 

 

 

5,579

 

 

 

(4,895

)

Adjusted EBITDA

 

 

58,030

 

 

 

61,882

 

 

 

64,721

 

 

Core revenue

We define core revenue as revenue from our survey platform, form-based application and purpose-built solutions, excluding the non-self-serve portion of SurveyMonkey Audience, which we generally ceased offering at the end of the second quarter of 2017. We consider core revenue to be an important measure because it excludes revenue from an offering that we generally no longer provide, and so provides a better understanding of our current

45


 

business and provides comparability of our results of operations over time. Core revenue has limitations as an analytical tool, and it should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of other GAAP financial measures, such as revenue. Some of the limitations of core revenue are that it does not reflect all of our revenue in the periods presented and that our results of operations for the periods presented reflect expenses that we incurred to generate revenue that is excluded from core revenue.

The following is a reconciliation of core revenue to the most comparable GAAP measure, revenue:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Revenue

 

$

254,324

 

 

$

218,773

 

 

$

207,295

 

Non-self-serve SurveyMonkey Audience revenue

 

 

 

 

 

(4,789

)

 

 

(15,239

)

Core revenue

 

$

254,324

 

 

$

213,984

 

 

$

192,056

 

 

Average revenue per paying user

We define average revenue per paying user, or ARPU, as core revenue divided by the average number of paying users during the period. For interim periods, we use annualized core revenue which is calculated by dividing the core revenue for the period by the number of days in that period and multiplying this value by 365 days. We calculate the average number of paying users by adding the number of paying users as of the end of the prior period to the number of paying users as of the end of the current period, and then dividing by two. We consider ARPU to be an important measure because it helps illustrate underlying trends in our business by showing investors the changes in per-user revenue, which is a reflection of our ability to successfully upsell or cross-sell our products and purpose-built solutions. ARPU has limitations as an analytic tool, and it should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of other GAAP financial measures. Some of the limitations of ARPU are that it is a calculation that does not reflect revenue from the non-self-serve portion of our SurveyMonkey Audience solution in any of the periods presented, and also does not reflect expenses that we incurred to generate revenue that is excluded from core revenue.

Free cash flow

We define free cash flow as GAAP net cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property and equipment, net of tenant improvement reimbursements, and capitalized internal-use software. We consider free cash flow to be an important measure because it measures our liquidity after deducting capital expenditures for purchases of property and equipment and capitalized software development costs, which we believe provides a more accurate view of our cash generation and cash available to grow our business. For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, our free cash flow included cash payments for interest on our long-term debt of $20.5 million, $19.9 million and $19.8 million, respectively. For the year ended December 31, 2018, our free cash flow also included a one-time payment for employer payroll taxes on performance-based restricted stock units, or Performance RSUs, that vested upon the satisfaction of both a performance vesting condition (the effectiveness of the registration statement for our IPO) and a service condition, of $1.2 million and $0.9 million in third-party fees related to the refinancing of our credit facilities. For the year ended December 31, 2017, free cash flow also included a one-time deferred payment of $7.7 million related to our acquisition of TechValidate and $4.3 million in third-party fees related to the refinancing of our credit facilities. We expect our free cash flow to increase as we reduce cash paid for interest on our long-term debt following the partial repayment of the outstanding indebtedness under our credit facilities of $101.3 million. We expect to generate positive free cash flow over the long term. Free cash flow has limitations as an analytical tool, and it should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of other GAAP financial measures, such as net cash provided by operating activities. Some of the limitations of free cash flow are that free cash flow does not reflect our future contractual commitments and may be calculated differently by other companies in our industry, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure.

46


 

The following is a reconciliation of free cash flow to the most comparable GAAP measure, net cash provided by operating activities:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

 

$

45,372

 

 

$

45,026

 

 

$

35,842

 

Purchases of property and equipment, net(1)

 

 

(9,981

)

 

 

(24,128

)

 

 

(24,903

)

Capitalized internal-use software

 

 

(12,052

)

 

 

(15,319

)

 

 

(15,834

)

Free cash flow

 

$

23,339

 

 

$

5,579

 

 

$

(4,895

)

 

(1)

Includes reimbursement of tenant improvement allowances under our lease financing obligation of $8.4 million and $5.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

Adjusted EBITDA

We define adjusted EBITDA as net loss excluding interest expense, provision for (benefit from) income taxes, depreciation and amortization, other non-operating expenses (income), net, stock-based compensation and restructuring costs, acquisition-related costs, financing costs and employer payroll taxes on Performance RSUs. We consider adjusted EBITDA to be an important measure because it helps illustrate underlying trends in our business that could otherwise be masked by the effect of the income or expenses that are not indicative of the core operating performance of our business that are excluded from adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and it should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of other GAAP financial measures. Some of the limitations of adjusted EBITDA are that it excludes recurring expenses for interest payments, does not reflect the dilution that results from stock-based compensation, and does not reflect the cost to replace depreciated property and equipment. It may be calculated differently by other companies in our industry, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure.

The following is a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to the most comparable GAAP measure, net loss:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Net loss

 

$

(154,740

)

 

$

(24,010

)

 

$

(76,350

)

Provision for (benefit from) income taxes

 

 

148

 

 

 

(16,047

)

 

 

4,704

 

Other non-operating (expenses) income, net

 

 

298

 

 

 

(7,610

)

 

 

4,250

 

Interest expense(1)

 

 

27,801

 

 

 

26,865

 

 

 

32,893

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

47,166

 

 

 

42,391

 

 

 

36,698

 

Stock-based compensation

 

 

131,770

 

 

 

34,986

 

 

 

32,957

 

Restructuring costs

 

 

3,525

 

 

 

1,785

 

 

 

23,182

 

Acquisition-related costs

 

 

 

 

 

347

 

 

 

6,387

 

Financing costs

 

 

879

 

 

 

3,175

 

 

 

 

Employer payroll taxes on Performance RSUs

 

 

1,183

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

 

$

58,030

 

 

$

61,882

 

 

$

64,721

 

 

(1)

Includes interest expense on our credit facilities and financing lease obligations related to our corporate headquarters.

Core revenue, ARPU, free cash flow and adjusted EBITDA are presented for supplemental informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP.

 

47


 

2017 and 2016 Restructurings

During the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, we restructured our business to focus on our core products, increase operating efficiency and reduce costs over the long-term. In November 2017, in conjunction with the hiring of our new Chief Sales Officer, we implemented a plan to centralize our U.S. salesforce in our San Mateo, California headquarters. In November 2016, we implemented a plan to wind down the operations of a previously acquired business. In March 2016, we implemented a plan to reduce our sales and marketing headcount and to close several international offices, which was primarily related to our decision to generally cease offering the non-self-serve portion of our SurveyMonkey Audience solution. We recognized aggregate restructuring costs of $3.5 million in 2018, $1.8 million in 2017 and $25.3 million in 2016. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, $0.9 million and $1.4 million, respectively, has been accrued primarily related to the restructurings and non-cancellable lease costs, which amounts will be paid through 2021. Restructuring costs incurred during 2018 are related to our November 2017 restructuring plan and are primarily due to changes in estimated lease termination costs and related leasehold impairment costs.

Components of Results of Operations

Revenue

We derive revenue primarily from sales of subscriptions to our products.

We recognize revenue ratably over the subscription term, generally ranging from one month to one year, as long as all other revenue recognition criteria have been met. We have an increasing proportion of multi-year contracts with organizations. Our contracts are generally non-cancellable and do not contain refund provisions. Subscription fees are collected primarily from credit cards through our website at the beginning of the subscription period.

We also generate a small portion of revenue from one of our purpose-built solutions that we sell on a transactional basis.

No customer represented more than 1% of our revenue in any of the periods presented.

Cost of Revenue and Operating Expenses

We allocate shared costs, such as depreciation on equipment shared by all departments, facilities (including rent and utilities), employee benefit costs and information technology costs to all departments based on headcount. As such, allocated shared costs are reflected in each cost of revenue and operating expense category, other than restructuring.

Cost of Revenue. Our cost of revenue consists primarily of expenses associated with the delivery and distribution of our products to our users. These expenses generally consist of infrastructure costs, personnel costs and other related costs. Infrastructure costs generally include expenses related to the operation of our data centers, such as data center equipment depreciation, facility costs (such as co-location rentals), amortization of capitalized software, payment processing fees, website hosting costs, external sample costs and charitable donations associated with our SurveyMonkey Audience solution. Personnel costs include salaries, bonuses, stock-based compensation, other employee benefits and travel-related expenses for employees whose primary responsibilities relate to supporting our infrastructure and delivering user support. Other related costs include amortization of acquired developed technology intangible assets and allocated overhead. We plan to continue investing in additional resources to enhance the capability and reliability of our infrastructure to support user growth and increased use of our products. We expect that cost of revenue, excluding the impact from certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation”, will increase in absolute dollars in future periods and vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue in the near term. We expect that cost of revenue will decrease as a percentage of revenue in the long term. In addition, as a result of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation,” our cost of revenue increased significantly in absolute dollars during the year ended December 31, 2018 due to the completion of our IPO.

48


 

Research and Development. Research and development expenses primarily include personnel costs, costs for third-party consultants, depreciation of equipment used in research and development activities and allocated overhead. Personnel costs for our research and development organization include salaries, bonuses, stock-based compensation, other employee benefits and travel-related expenses. Our research and development efforts focus on maintaining and enhancing existing products and adding new products. Except for costs associated with the development of internal-use software, research and development costs are expensed as incurred. We expect that research and development expenses, excluding the impact from certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation”, will increase in absolute dollars in future periods and vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue in the near term. We expect that research and development expenses will remain relatively constant as a percentage of revenue in the long term. In addition, as a result of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation,” our research and development expenses increased significantly in absolute dollars during the year ended December 31, 2018 due to the completion of our IPO.

Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing expenses primarily include personnel costs, costs related to brand campaigns, paid marketing, amortization of acquired trade name and customer relationship intangible assets and allocated overhead. Personnel costs for our sales and marketing organization include salaries, bonuses, sales commissions, stock-based compensation, other employee benefits and travel-related expenses. Sales commissions earned by our sales personnel, including any related payroll taxes, that are considered to be incremental and recoverable costs of obtaining a customer contract are deferred and amortized over an estimated period of benefit of generally four years. We expect that sales and marketing expenses, excluding the impact from certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation”, will increase in absolute dollars in future periods and increase as a percentage of revenue in the near term. We expect that sales and marketing expenses will vary from period to period in the long term. In addition, as a result of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation,” our sales and marketing expenses increased significantly in absolute dollars during the year ended December 31, 2018 due to the completion of our IPO.

General and Administrative. General and administrative expenses primarily include personnel costs for legal, finance, human resources and other administrative functions, as well as certain executives. Personnel costs for our general and administrative staff include salaries, bonuses, stock-based compensation, other employee benefits and travel-related expenses. In addition, general and administrative expenses include outside legal, accounting and other professional fees, non-income-based taxes and allocated overhead. We expect that general and administrative expenses, excluding the impact from certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation”, will increase in absolute dollars in future periods and vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue in the near term. We expect that general and administrative expenses will decrease as a percentage of revenue in the long term. In addition, as a result of certain stock-based compensation charges described in “—Significant Impacts of Stock-Based Compensation,” our general and administrative expenses increased significantly in absolute dollars during the year ended December 31, 2018 due to the completion of our IPO.

Restructuring. Restructuring expenses primarily include personnel costs, lease termination expenses and other related costs. Personnel costs related to the restructurings include severance payments, stock-based compensation and other benefits. Lease termination expenses related to the restructurings include non-cancellable lease costs from vacated facilities. See “—2017 and 2016 Restructurings” above for additional information.

Interest Expense

Interest expense consists of interest on credit facilities and financing obligations related to our corporate headquarters. We expect future interest expense to decrease resulting from the repayment of a portion of our outstanding indebtedness under our credit facilities and our adoption of ASC 842. For additional information regarding our credit facilities and financing obligations, see Notes 8 and 9, respectively, and for additional information regarding our adoption of ASC 842, see Notes 2 and 8 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

49


 

Other Non-Operating Income (Expense), Net

Other non-operating income (expense), net consists primarily of interest income, net foreign currency exchange gains (losses), gain on sale of private company investments and net realized gains and losses related to investments.

Provision for (Benefit from) Income Taxes

Provision for (benefit from) income taxes consists of U.S. federal and state income taxes and income taxes in certain foreign jurisdictions in which we conduct business. We maintain a full valuation allowance on our federal and state deferred tax assets that we have determined are not realizable on a more likely than not basis. For additional information regarding our income taxes, see Note 10 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Results of Operations

The following tables set forth our results of operations for the periods presented and as a percentage of our revenue for those periods. Percentages presented in the following tables may not sum due to rounding.

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Revenue

 

$

254,324

 

 

$

218,773

 

 

$

207,295

 

Cost of revenue(1)(2)

 

 

77,982

 

 

 

62,679

 

 

 

67,755

 

Gross profit

 

 

176,342

 

 

 

156,094

 

 

 

139,540

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development(1)

 

 

106,188

 

 

 

53,660

 

 

 

37,985

 

Sales and marketing (1)(2)

 

 

95,783

 

 

 

73,511

 

 

 

73,970

 

General and administrative(1)

 

 

97,339

 

 

 

47,940

 

 

 

36,832

 

Restructuring(1)

 

 

3,525

 

 

 

1,785

 

 

 

25,256

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

302,835

 

 

 

176,896

 

 

 

174,043

 

Loss from operations

 

 

(126,493

)

 

 

(20,802

)

 

 

(34,503

)

Interest expense

 

 

27,801

 

 

 

26,865

 

 

 

32,893

 

Other non-operating income (expense), net

 

 

(298

)

 

 

7,610

 

 

 

(4,250

)

Loss before income taxes

 

 

(154,592

)

 

 

(40,057

)

 

 

(71,646

)

Provision for (benefit from) income taxes

 

 

148

 

 

 

(16,047

)

 

 

4,704

 

Net loss

 

$

(154,740

)

 

$

(24,010

)

 

$

(76,350

)

 

(1)

Includes stock-based compensation, net of amounts capitalized as follows:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

Cost of revenue

 

$

8,931

 

 

$

2,503

 

 

$

4,114

 

Research and development

 

 

48,739

 

 

 

9,918

 

 

 

5,756

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

19,046

 

 

 

8,069

 

 

 

8,712

 

General and administrative

 

 

55,054

 

 

 

14,496

 

 

 

12,301

 

Restructuring