10-K 1 estc-20220430.htm 10-K estc-20220430
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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 April 30, 2022
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 001-38675
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Elastic N.V.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its Charter)
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Netherlands
Not Applicable
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
800 West El Camino Real, Suite 350
Mountain View, California 94040
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (650) 458-2620
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
(Title of each class)Trading Symbol(s)(Name of each exchange on which registered)
Ordinary shares, Par Value €0.01 Per ShareESTCNew York Stock Exchange
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 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, 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 has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes  No ☒
The aggregate market value of the ordinary shares held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the closing price of the shares of ordinary shares on the New York Stock Exchange on October 31, 2021 (the last business day of the registrant’s second fiscal quarter), was approximately $16.1 billion.
The number of registrant’s ordinary shares outstanding as of June 16, 2022 was 94,857,635.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to the registrant’s 2022 annual general meeting of shareholders (the “2022 Proxy Statement”) are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K where indicated. The 2022 Proxy Statement will be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the registrant’s fiscal year ended April 30, 2022.



Table of Contents
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General
Unless the context otherwise indicates, references in this report to the terms “Elastic”, “the Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Elastic N.V. and its subsidiaries. All information presented herein is based on our fiscal calendar. Unless otherwise stated, references to particular years, quarters, months or periods refer to the Company’s fiscal years ended April 30 and the associated quarters, months and periods of those fiscal years.
Trademarks
The Elastic design logo, “Elastic” and our other registered or common law trademarks, service marks or trade names appearing in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are the property of Elastic N.V. and its subsidiaries. Other trademarks and trade names referred to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are the property of their respective owners. Solely for convenience, trademarks and trade names referred to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may appear without the ® or ™ symbols.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), which statements involve substantial risk 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,”, “might,” “will,” “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 future financial performance, including our expectations regarding our revenue, cost of revenue, gross profit or gross margin, operating expenses (which include changes in sales and marketing, research and development and general and administrative expenses), and our ability to achieve and maintain future profitability;
our ability to continue to deliver and improve our offerings and successfully develop new offerings;
customer acceptance and purchase of our existing offerings and new offerings, including the expansion and adoption of our cloud-based offerings;
the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on our business and on the businesses of our customers and partners, including their spending priorities;
the impact of the 2019 coronavirus disease, including any current and future variants thereof (“COVID-19”), on our business, operations, hiring and financial results, and on the businesses of our customers and partners, including their spending priorities, the effect of governmental lockdowns, restrictions, new regulations and vaccine distribution and efficacy;
the impact that increased adoption of consumption-based arrangements could have on our revenue or operating results;
the impact of changes to our licensing of our products, specifically Elasticsearch and Kibana;
our assessments of the strength of our solutions and products;
our service performance and security, including the resources and costs required to prevent, detect and remediate potential security breaches or incidents, including by bad actors;
our ability to maintain and expand our user and customer base;
the market for our products continuing to develop;
competition from other products and companies with more resources, recognition and presence in our industry;
the impact of foreign currency exchange rate and interest rate fluctuations on our results;
the pace of change and innovation in the markets in which we participate and the competitive nature of those markets;
our business strategy and our plan to build our business;
our ability to effectively manage our growth, including any changes to our pace of hiring;
our international expansion strategy;
our operating results and cash flows;
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our strategy of acquiring complementary businesses and our ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses and technologies;
the impact of acquisitions on our future product offerings;
our beliefs and objectives for future operations;
our relationships with and reliance on third parties, including partners;
our ability to protect our intellectual property rights;
our ability to develop our brands;
the impact of expensing stock options and other equity awards;
the sufficiency of our capital resources;
our ability to successfully defend litigation brought against us;
our ability to successfully execute our go-to-market strategy, including the positioning of our solutions and products, and expand in our existing markets and into new markets;
sufficiency of cash to meet cash needs for at least the next 12 months;
our ability to comply with laws and regulations that currently apply or become applicable to our business both in the United States and internationally;
our ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel;
our ability to onboard, provide training to and integrate new employees;
the effect of the loss of key personnel;
our expectations about the impact of natural disasters and public health epidemics and pandemics, on our business, results of operations and financial condition;
expectations about seasonality;
the future trading prices of our ordinary shares;
inflation;
our ability to service our debt obligations; and
general market, political, geopolitical, economic and business conditions (including developments and volatility arising from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine).
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.
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” in Part I, Item 1A 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. Any additional or unforeseen effect from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate these risks. 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 such statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or to conform such statements to actual results or revised expectations, except as required by law. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should
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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.
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PART I
ITEM 1. BUSINESS.
Elastic is a data analytics company built on the power of search. Our platform, which is available as both a hosted, managed service across public clouds as well as self-managed software, allows our customers to almost instantly find insights from large amounts of data and take action. We offer three search-powered solutions – Enterprise Search, Observability, and Security – that are built into the platform. We help organizations, their employees, and their customers find what they need faster, while keeping mission-critical applications running smoothly, and protecting against cyber threats.
As digital transformation and cloud adoption drive mission critical business functions online and to the cloud, we believe that every company will need to build around a search-based data analytics platform, one which brings speed, scale, and relevance to the vast volumes of data being generated.
Our platform is built on the Elastic Stack, a powerful set of software products that ingest data from any source, in any format, and perform search, analysis, and visualization of that data. At the core of the Elastic Stack is Elasticsearch - a highly scalable document store and search engine, and the only data store for all of our solutions and use cases. Another key component of the Elastic Stack is Kibana, which delivers a single user interface across all of our solutions, with powerful drag-and-drop visual analytics, and centralized management of the platform. Our out-of-the-box solutions for fast time to value, paired with our developer-centric platform that is extensible and customizable, all built around a core data store and single user experience that we control, allow us to innovate fast and differentiate our offerings at every level.
We make our platform available as a hosted, managed service across major cloud providers (Amazon Web Services (“AWS”), Google Cloud Platform (“GCP”), and Microsoft Azure) in more than 50 public cloud regions globally. Customers can also deploy our platform across hybrid clouds, public or private clouds, and multi-cloud environments.
Our business model is based primarily on a combination of a paid Elastic-managed hosted service offering and paid and free proprietary self-managed software. Our paid offerings for our platform are sold via subscription through resource-based pricing, and all customers and users have access to all solutions. In Elastic Cloud, our family of cloud-based offerings under which we offer our software as a hosted, managed service, we offer various subscription tiers tied to different features. For users who download our software, we make some of the features of our software available for free, allowing us to engage with a broad community of developers and practitioners and introduce them to the value of the Elastic Stack. We believe in the importance of an open software development model, and we develop the majority of our software in public repositories as open code under a proprietary license. Unlike some companies, we do not build an enterprise version that is separate from our free distribution. We offer a single code base across both our self-managed software and Elastic-hosted services. All of these actions help us build a powerful commercial business model that we believe is optimized for product-led growth.
Our customers often significantly expand their usage of our products and services over time. Expansion includes increasing the number of developers and practitioners using our products, increasing the utilization of our products for a particular use case, and applying our products to new use cases. We focus some of our direct sales efforts on encouraging this type of expansion within our customer base, both within as well as across solutions. Because our business model provides access to all solutions with resource-based pricing, we make it easy for customers to expand across use cases.
Our business has experienced rapid growth around the world. As of April 30, 2022, we had over 18,600 customers compared to over 15,000 customers and over 11,300 customers as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Our revenue was $862.4 million, $608.5 million, and $427.6 million for the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020, respectively, representing year-over-year growth of 42% for each of the years ended April 30, 2022 and 2021. Subscriptions accounted for 93%, 93% and 92% of our total revenue for the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Revenue from outside the United States accounted for 44%, 45% and 43% of our total revenue for the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
For the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020, we incurred net losses of $203.8 million, $129.4 million and $167.2 million, respectively. We expect we will continue to incur net losses for the foreseeable future. Our net cash provided by operating activities was $5.7 million and $22.5 million for the years ended April 30, 2022 and 2021, respectively, and cash used in operating activities for the year ended April 30, 2020 was $30.6 million.
Our Products
Our products enable our customers and users to instantly find relevant information and insights in large amounts of data across a broad range of business and consumer use cases.
We offer the Elastic Stack, a powerful set of software products that ingest and store data from any source, in any format, and perform search, analysis, and visualization, usually in milliseconds. The Elastic Stack can be used by developers to
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power a variety of use cases. We also offer software solutions built in the Elastic Stack that address a wide variety of use cases. The Elastic Stack and our solutions are designed to run in public or private clouds, in hybrid environments, or in multi-cloud environments.
The Elastic Stack
The Elastic Stack is primarily composed of the following products:
Elasticsearch. Elasticsearch is the heart of the Elastic Stack. It is a distributed, real-time search and analytics engine and data store for all types of data including textual, numerical, geospatial, structured, and unstructured.
Kibana. Kibana is the user interface for the Elastic Stack. It is the visualization layer for data stored in Elasticsearch. It is also the management and configuration interface for all parts of the Elastic Stack.
The Elastic Stack also supports data ingest with a number of supporting products:
Elastic Agent. Elastic Agent is a single, unified way to add monitoring for logs, metrics, and other types of data to each host. Elastic Agent includes integrated host protection and central management.
Beats. Beats is the family of lightweight, single-purpose data shippers for sending data from edge machines to Elasticsearch or Logstash.
Logstash. Logstash is the dynamic data processing pipeline for ingesting data into Elasticsearch or other storage systems from a multitude of sources simultaneously.
Paid proprietary features in the Elastic Stack enable capabilities such as automating anomaly detection on time series data at scale through machine learning, facilitating compliance with data security and privacy regulations, supporting search across low cost cold and frozen data tiers, and allowing real-time notifications and alerts. The source code of features in the Elastic Stack is generally visible to the public in the form of “open code.”
Our Solutions
We have built a number of solutions into the Elastic Stack to make it easier for organizations to use our software for common use cases. Our solutions include:
Enterprise Search. Our Enterprise Search solution provides powerful search for documents and results living in applications, websites, and workplaces. Key use cases for Enterprise Search include: search applications, a foundation for building search experiences to support websites and portals, e-commerce, mobile app search, and customer support; and workplace search, an out-of-the-box search solution for the workplace that seamlessly connects to the most widely used enterprise systems and tools.
Observability. Our Observability solution enables unified analysis across the IT ecosystem of applications, networks, and infrastructure. Observability includes: Logs, to search and analyze petabytes of structured and unstructured logs; Metrics, to search and analyze numeric and time series data; application performance monitoring (“APM”), to deliver insight into application performance and health metrics and provide developers with confidence in their code; and Synthetic Monitoring, to proactively monitor the availability and functionality of user journeys.
Security. Our Security solution provides unified protection to prevent, detect, and respond to threats. Security includes: SIEM, with integrations to network, host, user, and cloud data sources, as well as workflow and operations, shareable analytics, incident management, and investigations; Endpoint Security, for prevention, detection and response with a single, stack-integrated agent; Extended Detection and Response (“XDR”), providing protection across infrastructure from SIEM to Endpoint; and Cloud Security, providing cloud posture assessment and protecting cloud workloads with one integrated solution
Our Deployment Options
The Elastic Stack and our solutions can be deployed in public or private clouds, in hybrid environments, or in multi-cloud environments, to satisfy various user and customer needs. Elastic Cloud, our family of cloud-based offerings, is hosted on major public cloud providers. We also partner with other cloud providers who offer our software to users on their cloud platform as a hosted offering.
Users can also download and manage their own deployments of the Elastic Stack and our solutions. To help with more complex deployment scenarios, we offer paid proprietary products to deliver centralized provisioning, management, and monitoring across multiple deployments.
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Strengths of Our Products
The strengths of our products include the following:
Speed. The Elastic Stack can find matches for search criteria in milliseconds within even the largest structured and unstructured datasets. Its schema-less structure and inverted indices enable real-time search of high volumes of structured, unstructured, and time series data.
Scale. The Elastic Stack is a distributed system and can scale massively. It has the ability to subdivide search indices into multiple pieces called shards, which enables data volume to be scaled horizontally and operations to be distributed across hundreds of systems or more. A developer running hundreds of nodes has the same user experience as a developer running a single node on a laptop.
Relevance. Elasticsearch uses multiple analytical techniques to determine the similarity between stored data and queries, generating highly relevant results reflecting a deep understanding of text and context. Its sophisticated yet developer-friendly query language permits advanced search and analytics. Additionally, the speed of the Elastic Stack permits query iteration, further enhancing the relevance of search results.
Ease of Use. The Elastic Stack is engineered to take a user from data to dashboard or inquiry to insight in minutes. It offers an easy getting started experience, featuring streamlined download and deployment, sensible defaults, a simple and intuitive query language that just works, and no need to define a schema up front. Administrative tasks such as securing the Elastic Stack are intuitive and integrated into the user experience, as are investigative tasks such as data visualization.
Flexibility. The Elastic Stack is able to ingest, filter, store, search, and analyze data in any form, whether structured or unstructured. These capabilities enable the Elastic Stack to generate insights from a wide variety of data sources for a broad range of use cases. The flexibility of the Elastic Stack also enables users to begin using our products along with their existing systems, which lowers barriers to adoption.
Extensibility. Developers can use the Elastic Stack as a foundation for addressing a wide variety of use cases. Our open approach to building the Elastic Stack empowers developers to innovate and utilize it to fit their specific needs. Additionally, our developer community actively engages with us to improve and expand the Elastic Stack.
Our Growth Strategies
We intend to pursue the following growth strategies:
Increase usage of Elastic Cloud. We believe that Elastic Cloud represents a significant growth opportunity. We plan to expand Elastic Cloud geographically. We plan to continue to invest resources in increasing the adoption of Elastic Cloud.
Increase product adoption by improving ease of use and growing our user community. With our engineering efforts focused on the user experience, we will continue to develop software that makes our products easier to use and adopt for both developers and non-developers. We will continue to engage with developers globally through a wide range of touch points such as community meetups, global community groups, hackathons, our global events, our user conferences, which we call ElasticON, and engagement on our website, user forums, and code repositories, to grow our user community.
Expand our customer base by acquiring new customers. Through Elastic Cloud, we provide the fastest and easiest way to get started with a free trial. However, there is no free subscription tier in Elastic Cloud. Self-managed users can easily download our software directly from our website and access many features free of charge, which also facilitates adoption. Our sales and marketing team conducts campaigns to drive further awareness and adoption within the user community. As a result, many of our sales prospects are already familiar with our technology prior to entering into a commercial relationship with us. Additionally, we leverage our network of partners to drive awareness and expand our sales and marketing reach to target new customers. We will continue to engage our community and our partners to drive awareness and to invest in our sales and marketing team to grow our customer base.
Expand within our existing customer base through new use cases and larger deployments. We often enter an organization through a single developer or a small team for an initial project or use case with an objective to quickly solve a technical challenge or business problem. Because of the rapid success with our products, knowledge of Elastic often spreads within an organization to new teams of developers, architects, IT operations personnel, security personnel, and senior executives. We will continue to invest in helping users and customers be
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successful with our products, and we view initial success with our products as a path to drive expansion to new use cases and projects and larger deployments within organizations.
Extend our product leadership through continued investment in our technology. We will continue to invest in our products and services to extend into new use cases, industries, geographies, and customers.
Expand our strategic and regional partnerships. Our partners assist us in driving awareness of Elastic and our products, using the Elastic Stack to solve customer pain points, and extending our reach in geographic areas and verticals where we do not have a formal sales presence. We have a diverse range of partners and we will continue to pursue partnerships to further the development of the Elastic Stack and our customer reach.
Selectively pursue strategic acquisitions. Since inception, we have selectively pursued strategic acquisitions to drive product and market expansion. The focus of our most recent acquisitions has been to enhance the technology underlying our Security and Observability offerings. We intend to continue to pursue acquisitions selectively.
Customers
Organizations of all sizes, across many industries, both private and public, purchase our products for a variety of use cases. As of April 30, 2022, we had over 18,600 customers compared to over 15,000 customers and over 11,300 customers as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. No customer represented more than 10% of our total revenue for the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021, and 2020.
Engineering
Our engineering organization focuses on enhancing existing products and developing new features that are easy to use and can be run in any environment including in public or private clouds, in hybrid environments, or in multi-cloud environments. With a distributed engineering team spanning over 30 countries, we are able to recruit, hire, and retain high-quality, experienced developers, tech leads, and product managers, and operate at a rapid pace to drive product releases, fix bugs, and create new product offerings.
Our software development process is based on iterative releases of the Elastic Stack. We are organized in small functional teams with a high degree of autonomy and accountability. Our distributed and highly modular team structure and well-defined software development processes also allow us to successfully incorporate technologies that we have acquired.
We intend to continue to invest in our research and development capabilities to extend our products. Research and development expense totaled $273.8 million and $199.2 million for the years ended April 30, 2022 and 2021, respectively. We plan to continue to devote significant resources to research and development.
Sales and Marketing
We make it easy for users to begin using our products in order to drive rapid adoption. Users can either sign up for a free trial on Elastic Cloud or download our software directly from our website without any sales interaction, and immediately begin using the full set of features. Users can also sign up for Elastic Cloud through public cloud marketplaces.
With our business model, where users can download and use many of our features for free, our sales prospects are often already familiar with or using our platform. We conduct low-touch campaigns to keep users and customers engaged once they have begun using Elastic Cloud or downloaded our software. This includes providing high-quality content, documentation, webinars, videos, and blogs through our website. We also drive high-touch engagement with qualified prospects and customers to drive further awareness, adoption, and expansion of our products with paid subscriptions. The majority of our new customers use Elastic Cloud. Many of these customers start with limited initial spending, but can significantly grow their spending.
Our sales teams are organized primarily by geography and secondarily by customer segments. We rely on inside sales development representatives to qualify leads based on their likelihood to make a purchase. We pursue sales opportunities both through a direct sales motion and assisted by partners, including through cloud marketplaces. Our relationships within customer organizations often extend beyond the initial users of the technology and include technology and business decision-makers at various levels. We also engage with our customers on an ongoing basis through a customer success team, to ensure customer satisfaction and expand their usage of our technology.
Partners
We maintain partner relationships that help us market and deliver our products to our customers and complement our community. Our partner relationships include the following:
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Cloud providers. We work with many of the major cloud providers to increase awareness of our products and make it easy to access our software. We partner with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to offer Elastic Cloud on AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure, through direct purchase from us or their respective marketplaces. We also partner with other cloud providers to offer our free and paid proprietary features to users on their cloud platforms.
Systems integrators, channel partners, and referral partners. We have a global network of systems integrators, channel partners, and referral partner relationships that help deliver our products to various business and government customers around the world.
OEM and MSP partners. Our original equipment manufacturing (“OEM”) and managed service provider (“MSP”) partners embed an Elastic subscription into the products or services they offer to their customers. OEM or MSP partners are able to include Elastic’s proprietary features in their product, receive ongoing support from Elastic for product development, and receive support for end customer issues related to Elastic.
Technology partners. Our technology partners collaborate with Elastic to create a standardized solution for end users that includes technology from both Elastic and the partner. Technology partners represent a deeper collaboration than community contributions and are distinct from distribution-oriented relationships like OEMs and MSP partners.
Professional Services
We offer consulting and training as part of our offerings. To assist customers in accelerating their success with our software, our consulting team consists of engineers and architects who bring hands-on experience and deep technical knowledge to a project. Our training offerings enable our users to gain the necessary skills to develop, deploy, and manage our software.
Customer Support
We endeavor to make it easy for users to download, install, deploy and use the Elastic Stack and our solutions. To this end, our user community functions as a source of support and enables users to engage in self-help and collaboration.
However, in many situations, such as those involving complex enterprise IT environments, large deployments and novel use cases, our users require our support. Accordingly, we include support as part of the subscriptions we sell for our products. Our global support organization consists of highly technical support engineers who provide support experiences including troubleshooting, technical audits, cluster tuning, and upgrade assistance. Our support team is distributed across over 25 countries and provides coverage 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, across multiple languages.
We believe that software companies should not have incentives to build low quality software. In that connection, we do not sell support separately from our software subscriptions.
Our Technology
Our platform consists of the Elastic Stack, our solutions, and software that supports our various deployment alternatives. Because our solutions are built into the Elastic Stack, innovations and new capabilities in the Elastic Stack may benefit many of our solutions. Our customers can customize and extend our solutions to fit their needs by leveraging the power of the Elastic Stack and our developer capabilities.
Technology Features of the Elastic Stack
Elasticsearch is the heart of the Elastic Stack, where users store, search, and analyze data. Key features of Elasticsearch include the following:
Store any type of data. Elasticsearch combines powerful parts of traditional search engines, such as an inverted index to power fast full text search and a column store for analytics, with native support for a wide range of data types, including text, dates, numbers, geospatial data, date/numeric ranges, and IP addresses. With sensible defaults, and no upfront schema definition necessary, Elasticsearch makes it easy to start simple and fine-tune as datasets grow.
Powerful query languages. The Elasticsearch query domain specific language is a flexible, expressive search language that exposes a rich set of query capabilities across any kind of data. From simple Boolean operators to custom relevance functions, users can articulate exactly what they are looking for and bring their own definition of relevance. The query language also includes a composable aggregation framework that enables users to summarize, slice, and analyze structured or semi-structured datasets across multiple dimensions. Examples of
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these capabilities include tracking the top ten users by spend, looking at data week over week, analyzing data across geographies, and drilling down into details with specific filters all with a single search.
Vector search. Elastic natively supports vector search, which enables a wide range of advanced search use cases that improve relevance, including sophisticated search ranking, image search, question answering, and more. Vector search relies on a next generation of machine learning models that can represent many types of content as vectors, including text, images, events, and more. As data volumes and formats explode, this sophisticated approach to search and relevance is becoming important for use cases where delivering maximum relevance is critical.
Developer friendliness. Elasticsearch has consistent, well-documented APIs that work the same way on one node during initial development as on a hundred nodes in production. Elasticsearch also ships with a number of language clients that provide a natural way to integrate with a variety of popular programming frameworks, reducing the learning curve, and leading to a shorter time to realizing value.
High speed. Everything stored in Elasticsearch is indexed by default, such that users do not need to decide in advance what queries they will want to run. Our architecture optimizes throughput, time-to-data availability and query latency. Elasticsearch can easily index millions of events per second, and newly added data can be available for search nearly instantly.
High scale and availability. Elasticsearch is designed to scale horizontally and be resilient to node or hardware failures. As nodes join a cluster, data is automatically re-balanced and queries and indexing are spread across the new nodes seamlessly. This makes it easy to add hardware to increase indexing throughput or improve query throughput. Elasticsearch also detects node failures and hardware or network issues and automatically protects user data by ejecting the failing or inaccessible nodes and creating new replicas of the data.
Machine learning and alerting. Machine learning capabilities such as anomaly detection, forecasting, and categorization are tightly integrated with the Elastic Stack to automatically model the behavior of data, such as trends and periodicity, in real time in order to identify issues faster, streamline root cause analysis, and reduce false positives. Without these capabilities, it can be very difficult to identify issues such as infrastructure problems or intruders in real time across complex, high-volume, fast-moving datasets.
Security. Security features give administrators the rights to grant specific levels of access to their various types of users, such as IT, operations, and application teams. Elasticsearch serves as the central authentication hub for the entire Elastic Stack. Security features include encrypted communications and encryption-at-rest; role-based access control; single sign-on and authentication; field-level, attribute-level, and document-level security; and audit logging.
Kibana is the user interface for the Elastic Stack. It allows users to manage the Elastic Stack and visualize data. Additionally, the interfaces for many of our solutions are built into Kibana. Key features of Kibana include the following:
Explore and visualize data stored in Elasticsearch. Kibana provides interactive data views, visualizations, and dashboards powered by structured filtering and unstructured search to enable users to get to answers more quickly. A variety of data visualization types, such as simple line and bar charts, purpose-built geospatial and time series visualizations, tree diagrams, network diagrams, heatmaps, scatter plots, and histograms, support diverse user needs.
Incorporate advanced analytics and machine learning from Elasticsearch. Kibana’s query, filtering, and data summarization capabilities reflect Elasticsearch’s powerful query domain specific language and aggregation framework while making it interactive.
Manage the Elastic Stack. Kibana presents a broad user interface showing the health of Elastic Stack components and provides cluster alerts to notify administrators of problems. Its central management user interfaces (UIs) make it easier to operate the Elastic Stack at scale.
Home for Solutions. Kibana is where our users and customers access the user interfaces for our Enterprise Search, Observability, and Security solutions. Kibana provides core services, like security, alerting, and data visualization components. This makes it easy for users to discover all of the capabilities our solutions provide, and enables solution users to benefit from the core capabilities of Kibana.
Application framework. Kibana is designed to be extensible. Users interested in a highly specialized visualization type not distributed with Kibana by default can customize experiences through a Kibana plugin and make the plugin available to the community. Dozens of Kibana plugins have been shared by the community via Elastic documentation and code sharing platforms such as GitHub.
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Elastic Agent, Beats, and Logstash are data ingestion tools that enable users to collect and enrich any kind of data from any source for storage in Elasticsearch. Beats and Logstash have an extensible modular architecture. Elastic Agent is a single, unified way to add monitoring for logs, metrics, and other types of data to each host, and also includes integrated host protection and central management. Beats are lightweight agents purpose-built for collecting data on devices, servers, and inside containers. Key features include the following:
Data shippers. Elastic Agent introduces a new single agent architecture across hosts that simplifies management and deployment. Elastic Agent is based on the architecture of Beats, lightweight agents built for the purposes of efficient data collection at the edge for specific types of data, such as Filebeat for the collection of logging data, Metricbeat for the collection of system or service metric data, Auditbeat for the collection of security data, Packetbeat for the collection of network data, and Heartbeat for the collection of availability data. Dozens of community Beats enable the collection of data from specialized sources.
Extensibility and community Beats. The Beats platform enables rapid creation of custom Beats that can be run on a variety of edge technologies for data collection. Over 90 Beats have been shared by the community via Elastic documentation and many more are available through code sharing platforms such as GitHub.
Host protection. Specifically with Elastic Agent, we extend protection to hosts in addition to data transfer. Elastic Agent stops malware and ransomware and enables environment-wide visibility and advanced threat detection.
Logstash enables centralized collection and extract, transformation, and load capabilities. Key features of Logstash include the following:
Data transformation engine. Logstash is a centralized data transformation engine that can receive and pull data from multiple sources, transform and filter that data, and send it to multiple outputs. Logstash has a powerful and flexible configuration language that allows users to create data stream acquisition and transformation logic without having to write code. This greatly extends and accelerates the ability to create data management pipelines to a wide variety of organizations and individuals.
Plugins. Logstash collects data from a variety of sources, such as network devices, queues, endpoints, and public cloud services. Logstash enriches the data via lookups against local data sources, such as a geolocation database, and remote data sources, such as relational databases. Logstash can output events to Elasticsearch or downstream queues and other data stores. We develop and support more than 80 plugins for many common integrations.
Logstash extensibility and community plugins. A vibrant community of users extends our reach through hundreds of community Logstash plugins that enable integration with a wide variety of data sources across many use cases.
Technology Features of Our Solutions
Our solutions are designed to minimize time-to-value and deployment costs of using the Elastic Stack for common use cases. The functionality of our solutions often includes specialized data collection, through standardized APIs or custom agents, and custom user interfaces for specific data analytics, visualizations, workflows, and actions.
Enterprise Search gives users the tools to bring search experiences to customers, partners and teams quickly and scale them seamlessly.
Search applications. Customers can bring the focused power of Elasticsearch to their company website, ecommerce site, or applications with a refined set of APIs and intuitive dashboards. Elastic delivers seamless scalability, tunable relevance controls, thorough documentation, well-maintained clients, and robust analytics to build a leading search experience. Customers can build rich applications directly on top of Elasticsearch, or they can use our Application Search framework to rapidly build and customize search applications.
Workplace search. Customers can deploy internal workplace search to bring modern search to collaborative decisions and experiences. Elastic seamlessly connects to some of the world’s most widely adopted productivity tools, customer relationship management platforms, cloud storage platforms, collaboration tools, operation management platforms, and content management systems. Custom sources provide an elegant set of APIs that lets customers and users ingest any type of content from even more sources while preserving access control information.
Observability combines analysis across the IT ecosystem of IT applications, networks, and infrastructure to deliver actionable insights into performance, availability, usability, adoption, and anomalous behavior.
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Logs. Logs indexes, searches, and analyzes structured and unstructured logs at large scale to monitor the health and performance of an organization’s services, infrastructure, and applications. Users can analyze and visualize information extracted from logs to understand system behavior and trends to optimize performance and preemptively address potential issues. By querying logs in ad hoc ways, users can triage, troubleshoot, and resolve performance issues.
Metrics. Metrics ingests, searches, visualizes, and analyzes numeric and time series data from IT systems, including applications, data stores, hosts, containers, cloud infrastructure, and more. Users can review performance and utilization trends to optimize and plan for future needs. Metrics helps users deliver on infrastructure service level objectives (“SLOs”), and resolve downtime or performance issues by understanding how the state of individual components fits into the bigger picture.
APM. APM delivers insight into application performance at the code level. Developers can instrument apps and see the lifecycle of a transaction across services from front end to back end. This can give developers confidence in the code they ship, and can give operational teams visibility into code-level errors and performance bottlenecks to accelerate root cause analysis and resolution during an investigation.
Synthetic Monitoring. Customers and users leverage Synthetic Monitoring to track and monitor the availability of the hosts, websites, services, and application endpoints that support business operations. Through proactive monitoring, customers can detect troublesome components before they are reported by end users.

Security delivers unified protection to prevent, detect, and respond to a variety of threats across the IT ecosystem.
SIEM. Elastic SIEM automates threat detection and remediation, reducing mean time to detect (“MTTD”) and mean time to respond (“MTTR”). With prebuilt Elastic Agent and Beats integrations, SIEM can ingest data from cloud, network, endpoints, applications, and other systems. With Elastic Common Schema (“ECS”), users can centrally analyze information like logs, flows, and contextual data from disparate data sources. SIEM provides an interactive workspace for security teams to detect and respond to threats. Teams can triage events and perform investigations, gathering evidence on an interactive timeline. SIEM also streamlines opening and updating cases, forwarding potential incidents to security operations workflows and IT ticketing systems.
Endpoint Security. Endpoint Security combines prevention, detection, and response into a single, autonomous agent that can even run in isolated environments. It is designed for ease of use and for speed, and can help stop threats in early stages of an attack. Endpoint Security includes protection against ransomware, malware, phishing, exploits, fileless attacks, and more.
XDR. XDR extends detection and response across the entire attack surface. When deployed together, SIEM and Endpoint Security provide a strong security posture with broad visibility on potential threats. XDR delivers a unified security stack, protecting across endpoints, cloud, and the broader environment, letting customers minimize vendor sprawl, harness actionable data, and provide defense in depth to minimize time to resolution.
Cloud Security. Cloud Security protects cloud deployments with rich visibility into cloud posture paired with runtime protection for cloud workloads with prevention, detection, and response capabilities, all in one integrated solution.
Community
Our team extends beyond our employee base. It includes all the users who download our software. Our users interact with us on our website forums and on Twitter, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Quora, Facebook, Weibo, WeChat, and more.
In order to build products that best meet our users’ needs, we focus on, and invest in, building a strong community. Each download of the Elastic Stack is a new opportunity to educate our next contributor, hear about a new use case, explore the need for a new feature, or meet a future member of the team. Community is core to our identity, binding our products closely together with our users. Community gives us an ability to get their candid feedback, creating a direct line of communication between our users and the builders of our products across all of our features—including both free and paid capabilities —enabling us to make our products simpler and better.
The Elastic community has a Code of Conduct. It covers the behaviors of the Elastic community in any forum, mailing list, wiki, website, code repository, IRC channel, private correspondence, or public meeting. It is designed to ensure that the Elastic community is a space where members and users can freely and openly communicate, collaborate, and contribute both ideas and code. It also covers our community ground rules: be considerate, be patient, be respectful, be nice, communicate effectively, and ask for help when unsure.
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Competition
Our market is highly competitive, quickly evolving, fragmented, and subject to rapid changes in technology, shifting customer needs, and frequent introductions of new offerings. Our principal competitors include:
For Enterprise Search: offerings such as Solr (open source offering) and Lucidworks Fusion, search tools including Google Programmable Search Engine, and workplace search tools including Coveo, and Endeca (owned by Oracle).
For Observability: software vendors with specific observability solutions to analyze logging data, metrics, APM data, or infrastructure uptime, such as Splunk, New Relic, Dynatrace, AppDynamics (owned by Cisco Systems) and Datadog.
For Security: security vendors such as Splunk, Azure Sentinel (by Microsoft), CrowdStrike, Carbon Black (owned by VMware), McAfee and Symantec (owned by Broadcom).
Certain cloud hosting providers and managed service providers, including Amazon Web Services, that offer products based on a forked version of the Elastic Stack. These offerings are not supported by Elastic and come without any of Elastic’s proprietary features, whether free or paid.
The principal competitive factors for companies in our industry are:
product capabilities, including speed, scale, and relevance, with which to power search experiences;
an extensible product “stack” that enables developers to build a wide variety of solutions;
powerful and flexible technology that can manage a broad variety and large volume of data;
ease of deployment and ease of use;
ability to address a variety of evolving customer needs and use cases;
strength and execution of sales and marketing strategies;
flexible deployment model across public or private clouds, hybrid environments, or multi-cloud environments;
productized solutions engineered to be rapidly adopted to address specific applications;
mindshare with developers and IT and security executives;
adoption of products by many types of users and decision makers (developers, architects, DevOps personnel, IT professionals, security analysts, and departmental and organizational leaders);
enterprise-grade technology that is secure and reliable;
size of customer base and level of user adoption;
quality of training, consulting, and customer support;
brand awareness and reputation; and
low total cost of ownership.
We believe that we compare favorably on the basis of the factors listed above. However, many of our competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and other resources, greater brand recognition, larger sales forces and marketing budgets, broader distribution networks and presence, more established relationships with current or potential customers and partners, more diverse product and services offerings and larger and more mature intellectual property portfolios. They may be able to leverage these resources to gain business in a manner that discourages customers from purchasing our offerings. Furthermore, we expect that our industry will continue to attract new companies, including smaller emerging companies, which could introduce new offerings. We may also expand into new markets and encounter additional competitors in such markets. While our products and solutions have various competitors across different use cases, such as search applications and workplace search, logging, metrics, APM, business analytics and security analytics, we believe that few competitors currently have the capabilities to address our entire range of use cases. We believe our industry requires constant change and innovation, and we plan to continue to evolve search as a foundational technology to solve the problems of today and new emerging problems in the future.
Intellectual Property
We rely on a combination of patents, patent applications, registered and unregistered trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, license agreements, confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements with third parties, and other contractual
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measures to safeguard our core technology and other intellectual property assets. In addition, we maintain a policy requiring our employees, contractors, and consultants to enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements. As of April 30, 2022, we had a number of active patents, issued in both the United States and outside of the United States, with expirations ranging from 2031 to 2039. In addition, as of April 30, 2022, we had numerous U.S. and international trademark registrations.
The laws, procedures and restrictions on which we rely may provide only limited protection, and any of our intellectual property rights may be challenged, invalidated, circumvented, infringed or misappropriated. In addition, the laws of certain countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States or other jurisdictions, and we therefore may be unable to protect our proprietary technology in certain jurisdictions. For additional information, see the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Business.”
In addition, our technology incorporates software components licensed to the general public under open source software licenses such as the Apache Software License Version 2.0 (“Apache 2.0”). We obtain many components from software developed and released by contributors to independent open source components of our technology. Open source licenses grant licensees broad permissions to use, copy, modify and redistribute our platform. As a result, open source development and licensing practices can limit the value of our software copyright assets.
Human Capital Management
Our employees (whom we call “Elasticians”) and our culture are vital to Elastic’s long-term success. Our human capital management efforts are focused on:
Attracting, engaging and retaining talent
Maintaining our strong company culture
Enhancing our diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”)
Continuing strong employee engagement
Facilitating continuous employee learning and development
Offering effective total rewards, including employee well-being
Our management regularly updates our board of directors and its committees on human capital trends and employee-focused activities and initiatives.
As of April 30, 2022, we had a total of 2,978 employees in over 40 countries globally. In addition, over 30% of our workforce encompasses women and non-binary employees. None of our employees are represented by a labor union. In certain countries in which we operate, such as France and Spain, we are subject to, and comply with, local labor law requirements which may automatically make our employees subject to industry-wide collective bargaining agreements. We have not experienced any work stoppages.
Our Culture
We describe our culture by the Elastic “source code,” the things that make Elastic, Elastic. Our source code guides our culture, business, product development, people practices and brand. The guiding ideas are:
Home, Dinner. There is no such thing as work-life balance. We are successful if we find balance in life. Elastic empowers its employees with the flexibility to do so. Be home for dinner, go for a run midday, care for a sick child, or visit a parent. Finding balance means being more innovative and efficient at work. Which makes for a better Elastic.
Space, Time. It’s easy to get stuck in a day-to-day work pattern. Allowing for the space and time to dream requires conscious effort. Embracing a high failure rate does, too. Fulfillment comes from doing the obvious and dreaming up the un-obvious. Both are foundations of Elastic.
IT, Depends. It’s pretty complicated to make some things simple, and even more complicated to make other things possible. We embrace and value the knowledge required to do both. When a question is asked, buckle up. Sh*t is about to get real. Your journey will likely start with “it depends.”
Progress, SIMPLE Perfection. Perfection is not a destination. Color inside the lines or color outside the lines. Just pick a color. It’s as simple as 2048. An Elastic that moves is an Elastic that survives, thrives, and stands the test of time.
01.02, /FORMAT. Our products are distributed by design, our company is distributed by intention. With many languages, perspectives, and cultures, it’s easy to lose something in translation. Over email and chat, doubly so. Until
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we get a perpetual empathy machine, don’t assume malice. A distributed Elastic makes for a diverse Elastic, which makes for a better Elastic.
As YOU, Are. We all come in different shapes with different interests and skills. We all have an accent. Celebrate it. Just come as you are. No need to invest neurons trying to fit an arbitrary mold. We’d rather you put them to work shaping Elastic.
HUMBLE, Ambitious. Ambition drives us to challenge ourselves and the people around us to do better. It is not an excuse to be an *sshole. Be humble. Be ambitious. At Elastic, we are both.
Speed, SCALE, Relevance. Elastic is a search company. We focus on value to users by producing fast results that operate at scale and are relevant. This is our DNA. We believe search is an experience. It is what defines us, binds us, and makes us unique.
Elastic was born a distributed company and continues to be distributed by design. We have designed our processes, systems, and teams so that employees can generally perform their jobs without needing to be physically present in the same room or even in the same time zone. Just as distributed systems are more resilient, we believe that being distributed helps build a strong company that can scale and adapt as new challenges arise. Having a distributed workforce gives us a global candidate pool, which gives us the opportunity to cast a wider recruiting net, a critical aspect of helping open our pipelines to a broader set of diverse talent.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Our focus on DEI is critical to how we develop, strengthen and sustain a sense of belonging and inclusion among all Elasticians.
Balanced Teams. We strive to be an employer of choice for a diverse and inclusive workforce through our talent brand, talent attraction, development, and retention efforts. Our recruiting approach is underpinned by the desire to create balanced teams at Elastic, which includes considering broad aspects of diversity from race and gender mix as well as diversity of thought, experience and tenure when recruiting new team members. In fiscal year 2022, the created-by-women-for-women workplace review site, Fairygodboss, once again recognized Elastic as number one in the Best Technology Company for Women category, and as one of the best workplaces for women in two additional categories: Best Company for Women, and Best Company Where CEOs Support Gender Diversity.
Elastician Resource Groups. We strive to embed DEI deep within our culture through various initiatives, projects and programs, the centerpiece of which is the Elastician Resource Groups (“ERGs”), which are organizationally sponsored, self-organized, Elastician-run groups. Aligned to specific shared identities, interests, affinity or allyship, such as Latinx, parent(s), disability or accessibility, Black, LGBTQ+ and others; each group identifies goals and objectives with executive sponsorship to ensure that they provide tangible benefits and result in all Elasticians feeling a sense of belonging.
Fair Pay. We have fair and consistent compensation practices through our use of local third-party market data specific to each country, where available, so that we understand local compensation and cost of labor levels. We retain external experts to review our compensation outcomes on an ongoing basis to ensure they are bias-free and fairly reward employee performance and contributions. We take great pride in our focus on fair pay and the positive results we’ve established. Our external review continues to validate that we have gender-based pay parity between male and female Elasticians globally.
Code of Conduct. All of our employees must adhere to a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (the “Code of Conduct”) that sets standards for appropriate behavior and are required to complete annual training on the Code of Conduct and training to help prevent, identify and report any type of discrimination and harassment.
Employee Engagement
We are committed to ensuring that Elasticians have a voice in how we can collectively make Elastic a better place to work.
New Employee Onboarding. Our new employee onboarding experience is centered around attending “X-School”, our extensive new-hire orientation program, which enables new Elasticians to meet and collaborate with other new Elasticians from around the globe and to learn about our products and solutions.
Engagement Surveys. We maintain a regular pulse on how our employees are feeling through two primary feedback mechanisms – an annual employee engagement survey and a mid-year pulse survey check-in. The results of these surveys are reviewed at the company, functional, team and manager level, with action plans put in place annually. Elasticians were highly engaged in providing feedback in fiscal years 2022 and 2021, with very high participation rates for the mid-year and annual surveys as well as high engagement scores across a spectrum of questions.
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Learning and Development
Our Learning & Organizational Development team’s mission to enable Elasticians to pursue their purpose, in work and life, makes for a better Elastic. To that end, we have a variety of ways in which we support the continuous learning and development of all Elasticians, including access to on-demand video based learning.
We also conduct specific programs to develop managers and leaders at Elastic, including our flagship leadership development program - Leading Strategically, an externally-led program focused on high-performing leaders who have the potential to have a significant strategic impact on the achievement of our long-term objectives.
Total Rewards
Compensation, Benefits and Well-being. We provide market competitive compensation which typically includes cash compensation as well as equity awards. Reflecting our interest in the whole person, we provide programs designed to enable Elasticians to meet their well-being goals, from starting a family to being at their physical and emotional best. These programs include market competitive medical and dental programs, in addition to focus on mental health and holistic well-being. We provide market competitive paid time off (“PTO”) programs, including offering 16 weeks of paid leave to all new parents, life-planning benefits and other travel reimbursements for certain healthcare services. In addition, we also provide retirement and income protection plans, which include a 401k plan with a dollar-for-dollar match by Elastic up to 6% of eligible earnings up to a plan-limit maximum for U.S.-based Elasticians as well as similar competitive plans outside of the United States.
Flexible Work Environment. Since inception, we have provided most Elasticians with the ability to work from anywhere, as often as they would like. We also know that being face-to-face is important too, and we have physical offices around the world to provide a space for employees to work from if they wish.
Community Involvement. Through Elastic Cares, employees can support the charitable organizations that matter the most to them on a local and global level. Elastic Cares is a program consisting of donation matching, our nonprofit organization program which provides our technology for free to certain nonprofit organizations, and our volunteer time off (“VTO”) initiative. Employees are encouraged to volunteer for these organizations throughout the year using our VTO program which provides our employees with 40 hours of volunteer time each year.
COVID-19 Response
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our primary focus was and continues to be on the safety and well-being of our employees and their families while also providing them with the flexibility and support needed for the frequently-changing COVID-19 landscape. Given the significant personal and professional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we provided reimbursements for home office equipment, pandemic-specific learning opportunities for our employees, and fun activities to help teams bond. To allow employees to deal with and alleviate the physical, mental, and emotional effects of the pandemic on themselves and loved ones, we continued offering digital mental health services, COVID leave and company-wide days off called “Shut It Down Days” twice per month. During fiscal 2022, we gradually reopened offices and invited our employees to return to work on a voluntary basis if they wished to do so, reduced travel restrictions, and opened up small in-person events, determined on a regional basis.
Government Regulations
Our worldwide business activities are subject to various laws, rules, and regulations of the United States as well as of foreign governments. Compliance with these laws, rules, and regulations has not had, and is not expected to have, a material effect upon our capital expenditures, results of operations, or competitive position. Nevertheless, compliance with existing or future governmental regulations, including, but not limited to, those pertaining to global trade, business acquisitions, consumer and data protection, and taxes, could have a material impact on our business. Refer to Item 1A, “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of these potential impacts.
Corporate Information
We were incorporated in the Netherlands as a private company with limited liability (besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid) on February 9, 2012 as SearchWorkings Global B.V. On June 19, 2012, we changed our name to elasticsearch global B.V., on December 11, 2013, we changed our name to Elasticsearch Global B.V., and on May 29, 2018, we changed our name to Elastic B.V. Immediately prior to the completion of our initial public offering (“IPO”) on October 10, 2018, we converted into a public company with limited liability (naamloze vennootschap) under Dutch law and changed our name to Elastic N.V. Our principal executive offices are located at 800 West El Camino Real, Suite 350, Mountain View, California 94040, and our telephone number is (650) 458-2620. We are registered with the trade register of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce under number 54655870. Our registered office is at Keizersgracht 281, 1016 ED Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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Our ordinary shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “ESTC”.
Our website address is www.elastic.co. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website does not constitute part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and inclusions of our website address in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are inactive textual references only.
We announce material information to the public about us, our products and services and other matters through a variety of means, including filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), press releases, public conference calls, our website (www.elastic.co), the investor relations section of our website (https://ir.elastic.co), our blog (www.elastic.co/blog), and/or social media, including our Twitter account (https://twitter.com/elastic), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/elastic.co), and/or LinkedIn account (www.linkedin.com/company/elastic-co), in order to achieve broad, non-exclusionary distribution of information to the public. We encourage investors and others to review the information it makes public in these locations, as such information could be deemed to be material information. Please note that this list may be updated from time to time.

Available Information
Our Annual Report 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 Exchange Act are filed with the SEC. We are subject to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act and file or furnish 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 on our website at www.elastic.co/ir 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.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
A description of the risks and uncertainties associated with our business, industry and ownership of our ordinary shares is set forth below. You should carefully consider the following risks, together with all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto, before making a decision to invest in our ordinary shares. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties that we are unaware of, or that we currently believe are not material, may also become important factors that affect us. If any of the following risks occur, our business, financial condition, operating results and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In that event, the price of our ordinary shares could decline, and you could lose part or all of your investment. In addition, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and any worsening of the economic environment may exacerbate the risks described below, any of which could have a material impact on us and additional impacts that are currently not known to us may arise.
The following is a summary of the key risks and uncertainties associated with our business, industry, and ownership of our ordinary shares. The below summary does not contain all of the information that may be important to you, and you should read this summary together with the more detailed description of each risk factor contained in the subheadings below.
If we do not appropriately manage future growth or are unable to improve our systems and processes, our business and results of operations will be adversely affected.
We have a history of losses and may not be able to achieve profitability on a consistent basis or at all or positive cash flows on a consistent basis.
Our ability to grow our business will significantly depend on the expansion and adoption of our Elastic Cloud offerings.
Our future growth, business and results of operations will be harmed if we are not able to keep pace with technological and competitive developments, increase sales of our subscriptions to new and existing customers, renew existing customers’ subscriptions, increase adoption of our cloud-based offerings, respond effectively to evolving markets or offer high quality support services.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting international political crisis could have significant negative economic consequences on the businesses of our customers and partners and negatively impact their spending on our offerings.
Any actual or perceived failure by us to comply with regulations or any other obligations relating to privacy, data protection or information security could adversely affect our business.
Due to political uncertainty and military actions associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we and our third-party vendors and service providers are vulnerable to a heightened risk of cybersecurity attacks, phishing attacks, viruses, malware, ransomware, hacking or similar breaches from nation-state and affiliated actors.
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could harm our business and results of operations.
Our operating results may fluctuate from quarter to quarter.
Our decision to no longer offer Elasticsearch and Kibana under an open source license may harm the adoption of Elasticsearch and Kibana.
We could be negatively impacted if the Elastic License or the Server Side Public License under which some of our software is licensed is not enforceable.
Because of the permissive rights accorded to third parties under our open source and source available licenses, there are limited technological barriers to entry into the markets in which we compete.
We may not be able to effectively develop and expand our sales and marketing capabilities.
Because we recognize the vast majority of the revenue from subscriptions, either based on actual consumption or monthly, over the term of the relevant subscription period, downturns or upturns in sales are not immediately reflected in full in our results of operations.
We do not have an adequate history with a consumption-based arrangements for our Elastic Cloud offerings to accurately predict the long-term rate of customer adoption or renewal, or the impact it will have on our near-term or long-term revenue or operating results.
A real or perceived defect, security vulnerability, error, or performance failure in our software could cause us to lose revenue, damage our reputation, and expose us to liability.
Incorrect implementation or use of our software could negatively affect our business, operations, financial results, and growth prospects.
Third parties may offer inadequate or defective implementations of software that we have previously made available under an open source license and our reputation could be harmed.
Breaches of security measures or unauthorized access to, or other processing of, confidential information, including personal data, may result in our software being perceived as not secure, customers reducing or stopping usage of our products, and we may incur significant liabilities.
Interruptions or performance problems, and our reliance on technologies from third parties may adversely affect our business operations and financial results.
If our partners, including cloud providers, systems integrators, channel partners, referral partners, OEM and MSP partners, and technology partners, fail to perform or we are unable to maintain successful relationships with them, our ability to market, sell and distribute our solution will be more limited, and our results of operations could be harmed.
Failure to protect our proprietary technology and intellectual property rights could substantially harm our business and results of operations.
We could incur substantial costs as a result of any claim of infringement, misappropriation or violation of another party’s intellectual property rights, including as a result of the indemnity provisions in various agreements.
Our use of third-party open source software within our products could negatively affect our ability to sell our products and subject us to possible litigation.
One of our marketing strategies is to offer some of our product features for free and to provide free trials to some of our paid features, and we may not be able to realize the benefits of this strategy.
Our international business exposes us to several risks, and if we are not successful in sustaining and expanding our international business, we may incur additional losses and our revenue growth could be harmed.
A portion of our revenue is generated by sales to government entities, and this creates a number of challenges and risks.
Our business is subject to a variety of government and industry regulations, as well as other obligations, including compliance with export control, trade sanctions, anti-bribery, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering laws.
The market price for our ordinary shares has been and is likely to continue to be volatile.
The concentration of our share ownership with insiders will likely limit your ability to influence corporate matters.
Dutch law and our articles of association include certain anti-takeover provisions, which may impact the value of our ordinary shares.
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Claims of U.S. civil liabilities may not be enforceable against us.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness and may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness.
If industry or financial analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or if they issue inaccurate or unfavorable research regarding our ordinary shares, our share price and trading volume could decline.
We may fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting.
Risks Related to our Business and Industry
Our business and operations have experienced rapid growth, and if we do not appropriately manage future growth, if any, or are unable to improve our systems and processes, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects will be adversely affected.
We have experienced rapid growth and increased demand for our offerings. Our employee headcount and number of customers have increased significantly. For example, our total number of customers has grown from over 2,800 as of April 30, 2017 to over 18,600 as of April 30, 2022. Further, while our employee headcount has grown as we have been implementing our growth plans, we may modify our pace of hiring to align with our growth plans. The growth and expansion of our business and offerings places a continuous and significant strain on our management, operational, and financial resources. In addition, as customers adopt our technology for an increasing number of use cases, we have had to support more complex commercial relationships. We may not be able to hire, train and retain enough qualified employees, and we may not be able to hire, train and onboard new employees fast or effectively enough, to maintain our growth plans. We must continue to improve and expand our information technology and financial infrastructure, our operating and administrative systems, our relationships with various partners and other third parties, and our ability to manage headcount and processes in an efficient manner to manage our growth to date and any future growth effectively.
We may not be able to sustain the diversity and pace of improvements to our offerings successfully or implement systems, processes, and controls in an efficient or timely manner or in a manner that does not negatively affect our results of operations. Our failure to improve our systems, processes, and controls, or their failure to operate in the intended manner, may result in our inability to manage the growth of our business and to forecast our revenue, expenses, and earnings accurately, or to prevent losses.
As we expand our business, we may find it difficult to maintain our corporate culture while managing our employee growth. Any failure to manage our anticipated growth and related organizational changes in a manner that preserves our culture could negatively impact future growth and achievement of our business objectives. Additionally, our productivity and the quality of our offerings may be adversely affected if we do not integrate and train our new employees quickly and effectively. Failure to manage any future growth effectively could result in increased costs, negatively affect our customers’ satisfaction with our offerings, and harm our results of operations.
We have a history of losses and may not be able to achieve profitability on a consistent basis or at all, and may not be able to achieve positive cash flows on a consistent basis. As a result, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may suffer.
We have incurred losses in all years since our incorporation. We incurred a net loss of $203.8 million, $129.4 million, and $167.2 million for the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively. As a result, we had an accumulated deficit of $817.2 million as of April 30, 2022. We anticipate that our operating expenses will increase substantially in the foreseeable future as we continue to enhance our offerings, broaden our customer base and pursue larger transactions, expand our sales and marketing activities, expand our operations, hire additional employees, and continue to develop our technology. These efforts may prove more expensive than we currently anticipate, and we may not succeed in increasing our revenue sufficiently, or at all, to offset these higher expenses. Revenue growth may slow or revenue may decline for a number of possible reasons, including slowing demand for our offerings, increasing competition, or economic downturns, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You should not consider our revenue growth in recent periods as indicative of our future performance. Any failure to increase our revenue or grow our business could prevent us from achieving profitability at all or on a consistent basis, which would cause our business, financial condition, and results of operations to suffer. Additionally, although we generated positive operating cash flow in fiscal 2022, any failure to grow our business could prevent us from achieving positive operating cash flow on a consistent basis, which would cause our business, financial condition, and results of operations to suffer.
Our ability to grow our business will significantly depend on the expansion and adoption of our Elastic Cloud offerings.
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We believe our future success will significantly depend on the growth in the adoption of Elastic Cloud, our family of cloud-based offerings. We have and will continue to incur substantial costs to develop, sell and support our Elastic Cloud offerings. We have also entered into non-cancelable multi-year cloud hosting capacity commitments with certain third-party cloud providers, which require us to pay for such capacity irrespective of actual usage. We believe that we must offer a family of cloud-based products to address the market segment that prefers a cloud-based solution to a self-managed solution and that there will be increasing demand for cloud-based offerings of our products. For the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020, Elastic Cloud contributed 35%, 27% and 22% of our total revenue, respectively. However, as the use of cloud-based computing solutions is rapidly evolving, it is difficult to predict the potential growth, if any, of general market adoption, customer adoption and retention rates of our cloud-based offerings. There could be decreased demand for our cloud-based offerings due to reasons within or outside of our control, including, among other things, lack of customer acceptance, technological challenges with bringing cloud offerings to market and maintaining those offerings, information security, data protection, or privacy concerns, our inability to properly manage and support our cloud-based offerings, competing technologies and products, weakening economic conditions, and decreases in corporate spending. If we are not able to develop, market or deliver cloud-based offerings that satisfy customer requirements technically or commercially, or if our investments in cloud-based offerings do not yield the expected return, or if we are unable to decrease the cost of providing our cloud-based offerings, our business, competitive position, financial condition and results of operations may be harmed.
We may not be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors.
The market for our products is highly competitive, quickly evolving, fragmented, and subject to rapid changes in technology, shifting customer needs, and frequent introductions of new offerings. We believe that our ability to compete depends upon many factors both within and beyond our control, including the following:
product capabilities, including speed, scale, and relevance, with which to power search experiences;
an extensible product “stack” that enables developers to build a wide variety of solutions;
powerful and flexible technology that can manage a broad variety and large volume of data;
ease of deployment and ease of use;
ability to address a variety of evolving customer needs and use cases;
strength and execution of sales and marketing strategies;
flexible deployment model across public or private clouds, hybrid environments, or multi-cloud environments;
productized solutions engineered to be rapidly adopted to address specific applications;
mindshare with developers and IT and security executives;
adoption of products by many types of users and decision makers (developers, architects, DevOps personnel, IT professionals, security analysts, and departmental and organizational leaders);
enterprise-grade technology that is secure and reliable;
size of customer base and level of user adoption;
quality of training, consulting, and customer support;
brand awareness and reputation; and
low total cost of ownership.
We face competition from both established and emerging competitors. Our current primary competitors generally fall into the following categories:
For Enterprise Search: offerings such as Solr (open source offering) and Lucidworks Fusion, search tools including Google Programmable Search Engine, and workplace search tools including Coveo, and Endeca (owned by Oracle).
For Observability: software vendors with specific observability solutions to analyze logging data, metrics, APM data, or infrastructure uptime, such as Splunk, New Relic, Dynatrace, AppDynamics (owned by Cisco Systems) and Datadog.
For Security: security vendors such as Splunk, Azure Sentinel (by Microsoft), CrowdStrike, Carbon Black (owned by VMware), McAfee and Symantec (owned by Broadcom).
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Certain cloud hosting providers and managed service providers, including Amazon Web Services, that offer products based on a forked version of the Elastic Stack. These offerings are not supported by Elastic and come without any of Elastic’s proprietary features, whether free or paid.
Some of our current and potential competitors have longer operating histories, significantly greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources, stronger brand recognition, broader global distribution and presence, more established relationships with current or potential customers and partners, and larger customer bases than we do. These factors may allow our competitors to respond more quickly than we can to new or emerging technologies and changes in customer preferences. These competitors may engage in more extensive research and development efforts, undertake more far-reaching and successful sales and marketing campaigns, have more experienced sales professionals, execute more successfully on their go-to-market strategy and have greater access to more markets and decision makers, and adopt more aggressive pricing policies which may allow them to build larger customer bases than we have. New start-up companies that innovate and large competitors that are making significant investments in research and development may develop similar offerings that compete with our offerings or that achieve greater market acceptance than our offerings. This could attract customers away from our offerings and reduce our market share. If we are unable to anticipate or react to these competitive challenges, our competitive position would weaken, which would adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Our limited operating history makes it difficult to evaluate our current business and prospects and may increase the risks associated with your investment.
We were founded in 2012. Our limited operating history with the current scale of our business makes it difficult to evaluate our current business and our future prospects, including our ability to plan for and model future growth. We have encountered and will continue to encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by rapidly growing companies in constantly evolving industries, including the risks described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. If we do not address these risks successfully, our business and results of operations will be adversely affected, and the market price of our ordinary shares could decline.
Further, we have limited historical financial data at the current scale of our business, and we operate in a rapidly evolving market. As such, any predictions about our future revenue and expenses may not be as accurate as they would be if we had a longer operating history or operated in a more predictable market.
If we are not able to keep pace with technological and competitive developments, our business will be harmed.
The market for search technologies, including enterprise search, observability and security, is subject to rapid technological change, evolving industry standards, and changing regulations, as well as changing customer needs, requirements and preferences. Our success depends upon our ability to enhance existing products, expand the use cases of our products, anticipate and respond to changing customer needs, requirements and preferences, and develop and introduce in a timely manner new offerings that keep pace with technological and competitive developments. We have in the past experienced delays in releasing new products, deployment options and product enhancements and may experience similar delays in the future. As a result, in the past, some of our customers deferred purchasing our products until the next upgrade was released. Future delays or problems in the installation or implementation of our new releases may cause customers to forgo purchases of our products and purchase those of our competitors instead.
Additionally, the success of new product introductions depends on a number of factors including, but not limited to, timely and successful product development, market acceptance, our ability to manage the risks associated with new product releases, the availability of software components for new products, the effective management of development and other spending in connection with anticipated demand for new products, the availability of newly developed products, and the risk that new products may have bugs, errors, or other defects or deficiencies in the early stages of introduction. We have in the past experienced bugs, errors, or other defects or deficiencies in new products and product updates and may have similar experiences in the future. Furthermore, our ability to increase the usage of our products depends, in part, on the development of new use cases for our products, which is typically driven by our developer community and may be outside of our control. We also have invested, and may continue to invest, in the acquisition of complementary businesses, technologies, services, products and other assets that expand the products that we can offer our customers. We may make these investments without being certain that they will result in products or enhancements that will be accepted by existing or prospective customers. Additionally, even if we are able to develop new products and product enhancements, we cannot ensure that they will achieve market acceptance. If we are unable to successfully enhance our existing products to meet evolving customer requirements, increase adoption and usage of our products, develop new products, or if our efforts to increase the usage of our products are more expensive than we expect, then our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.
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The markets for some of our products are evolving, and our future success depends on the growth and expansion of these markets and our ability to adapt and respond effectively to evolving markets.
The markets for certain of our products, such as our Enterprise Search, Observability and Security solutions, are evolving and our products are relatively new in these markets. Accordingly, it is difficult to predict continued customer adoption and renewals for these products, customers’ demand for these products, the size, growth rate, expansion, and longevity of these markets, the entry of competitive products, or the success of existing competitive products. Our ability to penetrate these evolving markets depends on a number of factors, including the cost, performance, and perceived value associated with our products. If these markets do not continue to grow as expected, or if we are unable to anticipate or react to changes in these markets, our competitive position would weaken, which would adversely affect our business and results of operations.
In connection with the operation of our business, we collect, store, transfer and otherwise process certain personal data. As a result, our business is subject to a variety of government and industry regulations, as well as other obligations, related to privacy, data protection and information security. Any actual or perceived failure by us to comply with such regulations or any other obligations relating to privacy, data protection or information security could adversely affect our business.
In the operation of our business, we collect, store, transfer and otherwise process personal data. As a result, we are subject to a variety of federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations governing privacy, data protection, information security and the collection, storage, transfer, use, retention, sharing, disclosure, protection and processing of personal data. Privacy, data protection and information security are significant issues in various jurisdictions where we offer our products. The regulatory frameworks for these issues worldwide are rapidly evolving and are likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. Federal, state, or non-U.S. government bodies or agencies have in the past adopted, and may in the future adopt, new laws and regulations or may make amendments to existing laws and regulations affecting data protection, data privacy and/or information security and/or regulating the use of the Internet as a commercial medium. For example, California (California Consumer Privacy Act and the California Privacy Rights Act), Colorado (Colorado Privacy Act), Connecticut (An Act Concerning Personal Data Privacy and Online Monitoring), Utah (Utah Consumer Privacy Act) and Virginia (Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act) have enacted such legislation. Certain such legislation may include a private right of action for certain data breaches, may provide for penalties and other remedies, and may require us to incur substantial costs and expenses and liabilities in connection with our compliance. Other U.S. states and the U.S. federal government are considering or have enacted privacy legislation. Some of these laws and legislative proposals provide for penalties, private rights of action and other remedies, which may increase our costs of compliance and potential liability. Many obligations under these laws and legislative proposals remain uncertain, and we cannot fully predict their impact on our business. Further, industry organizations regularly adopt and advocate for new standards in these areas. If we fail to comply with any of these laws or standards, we may be subject to investigations, enforcement actions, civil litigation, fines and other penalties, all of which may generate negative publicity and have a negative impact on our business.
Additionally, in the United States, we may be subject to investigation and/or enforcement actions brought by federal agencies and state attorneys general and consumer protection agencies. We publicly post privacy statements and other documentation regarding our practices concerning the processing, use and disclosure of personal data, however, we may fail, or be alleged to have failed, to comply with such statements, and we could be subject to potential state and federal action if they are found to be unfair or misrepresentative of our actual practices.
Internationally, most jurisdictions in which we operate have established their own privacy, data protection and information security legal frameworks with which we or our customers must comply. Within the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) became fully effective on May 25, 2018, and applies to the processing (which includes the collection and use) of personal data. The GDPR imposes significant obligations and risk upon our business, including imposing limitations on our marketing efforts, and provides for substantial penalties to which we could be subject in the event of any non-compliance. Administrative fines under the GDPR can amount up to 20 million Euros or four percent of the group’s annual global turnover, whichever is higher. Further, the United Kingdom has implemented legislation that substantially implements the GDPR in the United Kingdom, which legislation provides for penalties for violations of up to the greater of 17.5 million British pounds or four percent of the group’s annual global turnover. Following the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, however, aspects of United Kingdom data protection law and the relationship of the United Kingdom and the European Union in the medium to longer term remain unclear, including with respect to how data transfers to and from the United Kingdom will be regulated. On June 28, 2021, the European Commission announced a decision of “adequacy” concluding that the United Kingdom ensures an equivalent level of data protection to the GDPR, which permits continued personal data flows from the European Economic Area (“EEA”) to the United Kingdom. Some uncertainty remains, however, as this adequacy determination must be renewed after four years and may be modified or revoked in the interim.
Among other requirements, the GDPR regulates transfers of personal data to third countries that have not received “adequacy” status, including the United States. Some countries also are considering or have passed legislation requiring local
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storage and processing of data, or similar requirements, which could increase the cost and complexity of delivering our services.
The regulatory environment applicable to handling of EEA residents' personal data, and our actions taken in response, may cause us to assume additional liabilities or incur additional costs. We have undertaken certain efforts to conform transfers of personal data from the EEA, to the United States and other jurisdictions based on our understanding of current regulatory obligations and the guidance of data protection authorities, including using standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission (the “SCCs”) and performing certain international transfer impact assessments, however, international data transfers may still be challenged in countries that have not received “adequacy” status from the European Commission. In the Schrems II decision issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) on July 16, 2020, the CJEU, among other things, imposed additional obligations on companies when relying on the SCCs. EEA regulators since have provided guidance regarding use of the SCCs, and on June 4, 2021, the European Commission issued new SCCs. On February 2, 2022, the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office issued new standard contractual clauses to support personal data transfers out of the United Kingdom (“UK SCCs”), which went into effect on March 21, 2022. In light of these and other developments relating to cross-border data transfer, we may, in addition to other impacts, experience additional costs associated with increased compliance burdens and be required to engage in new contract negotiations with third parties that aid in processing personal data on our behalf or localize certain personal data. As a result of these developments, we and our customers may face regulators in the EEA, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom applying different standards to certain data transfers or requiring additional steps in connection with data transfers, and may be required to engage in new contract negotiations with third parties that aid in processing data on our behalf, and we may be required to implement additional contractual and technical safeguards for the lawful transfer of personal data. We may be unsuccessful in maintaining legitimate means for our transfer and receipt of personal data from the EEA, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and may experience hesitancy, reluctance, or refusal by customers to continue to use our products due to the potential risk exposure to such customers as a result of sentiment in the EEA, Switzerland and the United Kingdom regarding international data transfers and data protection obligations imposed on them. We may be unsuccessful in maintaining conforming means for transferring personal data from the EEA, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, and our customers may face a risk of enforcement actions by European data protection authorities relating to such transfers. These and the other risks described above could result in harm to our business, operating results and financial condition.
In addition to government regulation, industry groups have established or may establish new and different self-regulatory standards that may legally or contractually apply to us or our customers. One example of such a self-regulatory standard is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (“PCI DSS”), which relates to the processing of payment card information. Further, our customers increasingly expect us to comply with more stringent privacy, data protection and information security requirements than those imposed by laws, regulations or self-regulatory requirements, and we may be obligated contractually to comply with additional or different standards relating to our handling or protection of data on or by our offerings. Any failure to meet our customers’ requirements may adversely affect our revenues and prospects for growth.
We also expect that there will continue to be changes in interpretations of existing or new laws and regulations, proposed laws, and other obligations, which could impair our or our customers’ ability to process personal data, which could decrease demand for our offerings, impact our marketing efforts, increase our costs and impair our ability to maintain and grow our customer base and increase our revenue. Because the interpretation and application of many laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection and information security, along with industry standards, are uncertain, it is possible that these laws and regulations may be interpreted and applied in manners that are, or are alleged to be, inconsistent with our data management practices or the features of our products, and we could face fines, lawsuits, regulatory investigations and other claims and penalties, and we could be required to fundamentally change our products or our business practices, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business. Data protection authorities in the European Union increasingly are focused on the use of online tracking tools and have issued or indicated that they plan to issue rulings which may impact our marketing practices. Any restrictions on using online analytics and tracking tools could lead to substantial costs, require significant changes to our policies and practices, limit the effectiveness of our marketing activities, divert the attention of our technology personnel, adversely affect our margins, and subject us to additional liabilities.
We have incurred substantial expense in complying with data protection legal frameworks and we may be required to make significant changes in our business operations, which may adversely affect our business. Because these new regimes lack a substantial enforcement history, we are unable to predict how emerging standards may be applied to us, and thus, a regulator may subject us to certain actions, fines or public censure. Any actual or perceived inability to adequately address or failure to comply with data protection requirements, even if unfounded, could result in additional cost and liability to us, damage our reputation, inhibit sales, and adversely affect our business.
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could harm our business and results of operations.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to control its spread have significantly curtailed the movement of people, goods and services worldwide, including in many of the regions in which we sell our products and services and conduct our business operations, negatively impacting worldwide economic activity. We have taken precautionary measures intended to help minimize the risk of the virus to our employees, our customers, and the communities in which we operate. The continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resurgence of infection rates in certain regions has caused us to continue to modify our business practices (including imposing restrictions on employee travel, adapting employee work locations, and holding events and trainings virtually), and we may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, and business partners. There is no certainty that such measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks posed by the virus or otherwise be satisfactory to government authorities. The full extent to which COVID-19 and our precautionary measures may continue to impact our business will depend on future developments, which continue to be uncertain and cannot be predicted at this time, including but not limited to, the duration and geographic spread of the pandemic, its severity, the actions to contain the virus or treat its impact, future spikes of COVID-19 infections resulting in additional preventative measures to contain or mitigate the spread of the virus, the effectiveness, distribution and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines, including the vaccines’ efficacy against emerging and more transmissible COVID-19 variants or mutant strains, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume. It has been and, until the COVID-19 pandemic is contained and global economic activity stabilizes, will continue to be more difficult for us to forecast our operating results. The magnitude and duration of the disruption and resulting decline in business activity remains uncertain and could negatively impact our sales and marketing efforts, our ability to enter into customer contracts in a timely manner, our international expansion efforts, our ability to deliver professional services, our ability to recruit employees across the organization which, in turn, could have longer term effects on our sales pipeline, or create operational or other challenges, any of which could harm our business.
We are moving toward normal operations on a market-by-market basis in accordance with local guidelines. Our approach may vary among geographies depending on local guidelines, and may change at any time, including in response to new or reimposed precautionary measures as the pandemic evolves. We may incorporate into our ongoing business operations certain business practice modifications implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These business modifications have and may continue to result in inefficiencies, delays and additional costs, including increased tax compliance obligations, that may adversely affect our business. In regions where we permit our employees to return to our offices and we resume in-person meetings and events, we may face additional challenges and incur additional costs, including those associated with workplace safety protocols, disparate regional safety guidelines and workplace or labor disputes or claims related to COVID-19, which could also negatively impact our business.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted, and may continue to disrupt, the operations of our customers, vendors, channel partners and government entities for an indefinite period of time, including in specific regions of the world or sectors of the economy and as a result of travel restrictions and/or business shutdowns, all of which could negatively impact our business and results of operations, including cash flows. Further, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has varied significantly across different industries with certain industries experiencing increased demand for their products and services as the needs of the economy shift, while others have struggled to maintain demand for their products and services consistent with historical levels. Because we have a limited history in understanding these impacts, our ability to adapt our sales and marketing initiatives to such changes may be uncertain and our ability to forecast rates of customer retention and expansion may be negatively impacted. Meanwhile, a shift towards more consumption-based arrangements for our Elastic Cloud offerings, where the timing of revenue recognition is tied to our customers’ actual usage of our products, may further exacerbate such uncertainty as well as the difficulty to forecast customer retention and expansion rates.
Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, we may continue to experience materially adverse impacts to our business as a result of its global economic impact, including any recession, economic downturn, or increased unemployment that has occurred or may occur in the future. There has been increased scrutiny of business (including technology) spending by our customers and prospective customers, particularly in industries most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, longer sales cycles, as well as reduced demand for our solutions, customers failing to pay us under the terms of our agreements, increased cyber threats, lower renewal rates by our customers and increased competition, all of which could result in a material adverse impact on our business operations and financial condition.
While we have developed and continue to develop plans intended to help mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic on our business, these efforts may not be effective and a protracted economic downturn may limit the effectiveness of our mitigation efforts.
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Our operating results are likely to fluctuate from quarter to quarter, and our financial results in any one quarter should not be relied upon as indicative of future performance.
Our results of operations, including our revenue, cost of revenue, gross margin, operating expenses, cash flow and deferred revenue, have fluctuated from quarter-to-quarter in the past and may continue to vary significantly in the future so that period-to-period comparisons of our results of operations may not be meaningful. These variations may be further impacted as more of our Elastic Cloud customers adopt consumption-based arrangements. Accordingly, our financial results in any one quarter should not be relied upon as indicative of future performance. Our quarterly financial results may fluctuate as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control, may be difficult to predict, and may or may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business. Factors that may cause fluctuations in our quarterly financial results include:
our ability to attract new customers and retain existing customers;
the loss of existing customers;
customer renewal rates;
our ability to successfully expand our business in the U.S. and internationally;
our ability to foster an ecosystem of developers and users to expand the use cases of our products;
our ability to gain new partners and retain existing partners;
fluctuations in the growth rate of the overall market that our products address;
fluctuations in the mix of our revenue, which may impact our gross margins and operating income;
the amount and timing of operating expenses related to the maintenance and expansion of our business and operations, including investments in sales and marketing, research and development and general and administrative resources;
network outages or performance degradation of Elastic Cloud;
actual or perceived breaches of, or failures or incidents relating to, privacy, data protection or information security;
additions or departures of key personnel;
the impact of catastrophic events, man-made problems such as terrorism, natural disasters and public health epidemics and pandemics;
general political, geopolitical, economic, industry and market conditions;
the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the related impact on macroeconomic conditions;
increases or decreases in the number of elements of our subscriptions or pricing changes upon any renewals of customer agreements;
changes in our pricing policies or those of our competitors;
the budgeting cycles and purchasing practices of customers;
decisions by potential customers to purchase alternative solutions;
decisions by potential customers to develop in-house solutions as alternatives to our products;
insolvency or credit difficulties confronting our customers, which could adversely affect their ability to purchase or pay for our offerings;
our ability to collect timely on invoices or receivables;
delays in our ability to fulfill our customers’ orders;
the cost and potential outcomes of future litigation or other disputes;
future accounting pronouncements or changes in our accounting policies;
our overall effective tax rate, including impacts caused by any reorganization in our corporate tax structure and any new legislation or regulatory developments;
fluctuations in stock-based compensation expense;
fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;
the impact of changing inflation and interest rates;
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the timing and success of new offerings introduced by us or our competitors or any other change in the competitive dynamics of our industry, including consolidation among competitors, customers or partners;
the timing of expenses related to the development or acquisition of technologies or businesses and potential future charges for impairment of goodwill from acquired companies; and
other risk factors described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The impact of one or more of the foregoing or other factors may cause our operating results to vary significantly. For example, the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown, and could result in material adverse changes in our results of operations for an unknown period of time as the virus and its related political, social and economic impacts spread. Such fluctuations could cause us to fail to meet the expectations of investors or securities analysts, which could cause the trading price of our ordinary shares to fall substantially, and we could face costly lawsuits, including securities class action suits, which could have an adverse effect on our business.
If we are unable to increase sales of our subscriptions to new customers, sell additional subscriptions to our existing customers, or expand the value of our existing customers’ subscriptions, our future revenue and results of operations will be harmed.
We offer certain features of our products with no payment required. Customers purchase subscriptions in order to gain access to additional functionality and support. Our future success depends on our ability to sell our subscriptions to new customers, including to large enterprises, and to expand the deployment of our offerings with existing customers by selling paid subscriptions to our existing users and expanding the value and number of existing customers’ subscriptions. Our ability to sell new subscriptions depends on a number of factors, including the prices of our offerings, the prices of products offered by our competitors, and the budgets of our customers. We also face difficulty in displacing the products of incumbent competitors. In addition, a significant aspect of our sales and marketing focus is to expand deployments within existing customers. The rate at which our existing customers purchase additional subscriptions and expand the value of existing subscriptions depends on a number of factors, including customers’ level of satisfaction with our offerings, the nature and size of the deployments, the desire to address additional use cases, and the perceived need for additional features, as well as general economic conditions. If our existing customers do not purchase additional subscriptions or expand the value of their subscriptions, our Net Expansion Rate may decline. We rely in large part on our customers to identify new use cases for our products in order to expand such deployments and grow our business. If our customers do not recognize the potential of our offerings, our business would be materially and adversely affected. If our efforts to sell subscriptions to new customers and to expand deployments at existing customers are not successful, our total revenue and revenue growth rate may decline and our business will suffer.
If our existing customers do not renew their subscriptions, it could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
We expect to derive a significant portion of our revenue from renewals of existing subscriptions. Our customers have no contractual obligation to renew their subscriptions after the completion of their subscription term. Our subscriptions for self-managed deployments typically range from one to three years, while many of our Elastic Cloud customers purchase subscriptions either on a month-to-month basis or on a committed contract of at least one year in duration.
Our customers’ renewal rates may decline or fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, including their satisfaction with our products and our customer support, our products’ ability to integrate with new and changing technologies, the frequency and severity of product outages, our product uptime or latency, and the pricing of our, or competing, products. If our customers renew their subscriptions, they may renew for shorter subscription terms or on other terms that are less economically beneficial to us. We may not accurately predict future renewal trends. If our existing customers do not renew their subscriptions, or renew on less favorable terms, our revenue may grow more slowly than expected or decline.
Our decision to no longer offer Elasticsearch and Kibana under an open source license may harm the adoption of Elasticsearch and Kibana.
In February 2021, with the release of version 7.11 of the Elastic Stack, we changed the source code of Elasticsearch and Kibana that had historically been licensed under Apache 2.0, to be dual licensed under Elastic License 2.0 and the Server Side Public License Version 1.0 (“SSPL”), at the user’s election. Neither the Elastic License nor the SSPL has been approved by the Open Source Initiative or is included in the Free Software Foundation’s list of free software licenses. Further, neither has been interpreted by any court. While the vast majority of downloads of Elasticsearch and Kibana from mid-2018 through early 2021 were licensed under the Elastic License, the removal of the Apache 2.0 alternative could negatively impact certain developers for whom the availability of an open source license was important. In addition, some developers and the companies for whom they work may be hesitant to download or upgrade to new versions of Elasticsearch or Kibana under the Elastic License or SSPL because of uncertainty around how these licenses may be interpreted and enforced. Other developers,
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including competitors of Elastic such as Amazon, have announced that they have “forked” Elasticsearch and Kibana. For example, Amazon has launched an open source project called OpenSearch based on a forked version of the Elastic Stack, which is licensed under Apache 2.0, and rebranded their existing Elasticsearch Service to OpenSearch Service. The combination of uncertainty around our dual license model and the potential competition from the forked versions of our software may negatively impact adoption of Elasticsearch and Kibana, which in turn could lead to reduced brand and product awareness, ultimately leading to a decline in paying customers, which could harm our ability to grow our business or achieve profitability.
We could be negatively impacted if the Elastic License or SSPL under which some of our software is licensed is not enforceable.
We make the source code of our products available under Apache 2.0, the Elastic License, or dual licensed under the Elastic License and SSPL, depending on the product and version. Apache 2.0 is a permissive open source license that allows licensees to freely copy, modify and distribute Apache 2.0-licensed software provided that they meet certain conditions. The Elastic License is our proprietary source available license. The Elastic License permits licensees to use, copy, modify and distribute the licensed software provided that they do not offer access to the software as a cloud service, interfere with the license key or remove proprietary notices. SSPL is a source available license that is based on the GNU Affero General Public License (“AGPL”) open source license and permits licensees to copy, modify and distribute SSPL-licensed software, but expressly requires licensees that offer the SSPL-licensed software as a third-party service to open source all of the software that they use to offer such service. We rely upon the enforceability of the restrictions set forth in the Elastic License and SSPL to protect our proprietary interests. It is possible that a court could hold that the Elastic License or SSPL are unenforceable. If a court held that the Elastic License or SSPL or certain aspects of these licenses are unenforceable, others may be able to use our software to compete with us in the marketplace in a manner not subject to the restrictions set forth in the Elastic License or SSPL.
Because of the permissive rights accorded to third parties under our open source and source available licenses, there are limited technological barriers to entry into the markets in which we compete and it may be relatively easy for competitors, some of whom may have greater resources than we have, to enter our markets and compete with us.
Anyone may obtain access to source code for the features of our software that we have licensed under open source or source available licenses. Depending on the product and version of the Elastic software, this source code is either available under Apache 2.0, SSPL, or the Elastic License. Each of these licenses allow anyone, subject to compliance with the conditions of the applicable license, to redistribute our software in modified or unmodified form and use it to compete in our markets. Such competition can develop without the degree of overhead and lead time required by traditional proprietary software companies, due to the rights granted to licensees of open source and source available software. It is possible for competitors to develop their own software, including software based on our products, potentially reducing the demand for our products and putting pricing pressure on our subscriptions. For example, Amazon offers some of the features that we had previously made available under an open source license as part of its Amazon Web Services offering. As such, Amazon competes with us for potential customers, and while Amazon cannot provide our proprietary software, Amazon’s offerings may reduce the demand for our offerings and the pricing of Amazon’s offerings may limit our ability to adjust the price of our products. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors or that competitive pressure or the availability of new software will not result in price reductions, reduced operating margins and loss of market share, any one of which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
If we do not effectively develop and expand our sales and marketing capabilities, including expanding and training and compensating our sales force, we may be unable to add new customers, increase sales to existing customers or expand the value of our existing customers’ subscriptions and our business will be adversely affected.
We dedicate significant resources to sales and marketing initiatives, which require us to invest significant financial and other resources, including in markets in which we have limited or no experience. Our business and results of operations will be harmed if our sales and marketing efforts do not generate significant revenue increases or increases that are smaller than anticipated.
We may not achieve revenue growth from expanding our sales force if we are unable to hire, train, and retain talented and effective sales personnel. We depend on our sales force to obtain new customers and to drive additional sales to existing customers. We believe that there is significant competition for sales personnel, including sales representatives, sales managers, and sales engineers, with the requisite skills and technical knowledge. Our ability to achieve significant revenue growth will depend, in large part, on our success in recruiting, training and retaining sufficient sales personnel to support our growth, and as we introduce new products, solutions and marketing strategies, we may need to re-train existing sales personnel. For example, we may need to provide additional training and development to our sales personnel in relation to selling consumption-based arrangements and expanding customer usage of our offerings over time. New hires also require significant training and may take significant time before they achieve full productivity. Our recent hires and planned hires may not become productive as
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quickly as we expect, and we may be unable to hire or retain sufficient numbers of qualified individuals in the markets where we do business or plan to do business. As we continue to grow rapidly, a large percentage of our sales force will have relatively little experience working with us, our subscriptions and our business model. Additionally, we may need to evolve our sales compensation plans to drive the growth of our Elastic Cloud offerings with consumption-based arrangements. Such changes might have adverse consequences if not designed effectively. If we are unable to hire and train sufficient numbers of effective sales personnel, our new and existing sales personnel are unable to achieve desired productivity levels in a reasonable period of time, our sales personnel are not successful in obtaining new customers or increasing sales to our existing customer base, or our sales and marketing programs, including our sales compensation plans, are not effective, our growth and results of operations could be negatively impacted and our business will be harmed.
Our ability to increase sales of our offerings is highly dependent on the quality of our customer support, and our failure to offer high quality support would have an adverse effect on our business, reputation and results of operations.
After our products are deployed within our customers’ IT environments, our customers depend on our technical support services to resolve issues relating to our products. If we do not succeed in helping our customers quickly resolve post-deployment issues or provide effective ongoing support and education on our products, our ability to renew or sell additional subscriptions to existing customers or expand the value of existing customers’ subscriptions would be adversely affected and our reputation with potential customers could be damaged. Many larger enterprise and government entity customers have more complex IT environments and require higher levels of support than smaller customers. If we fail to meet the requirements of these enterprise customers, it may be more difficult to grow sales with them.
Additionally, it can take several months to recruit, hire, and train qualified technical support employees. We may not be able to hire such resources fast enough to keep up with demand, particularly if the sales of our offerings exceed our internal forecasts. Due to the ongoing uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may also be more competition for qualified employees and delays in hiring, onboarding and training new employees. To the extent that we are unsuccessful in hiring, training, and retaining adequate support resources, our ability to provide adequate and timely support to our customers, and our customers’ satisfaction with our offerings, will be adversely affected. Our failure to provide and maintain, or a market perception that we do not provide or maintain, high-quality support services would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We rely significantly on revenue from subscriptions and, because we recognize the vast majority of the revenue from subscriptions, either based on actual consumption or monthly, over the term of the relevant subscription period, downturns or upturns in sales are not immediately reflected in full in our results of operations.
Subscription revenue accounts for the substantial majority of our revenue, comprising 93%, 93% and 92% of total revenue for the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020, respectively. We recognize the vast majority of our subscription revenue, either based on actual consumption or monthly, over the term of the relevant time period. As a result, much of the subscription revenue we report each fiscal quarter is the recognition of deferred revenue from subscription contracts entered into during previous fiscal quarters. Consequently, a decline in new or renewed subscriptions in any one fiscal quarter will not be fully or immediately reflected in revenue in that fiscal quarter and will negatively affect our revenue in future fiscal quarters. Accordingly, the effect of significant downturns in new or renewed sales of our subscriptions is not reflected in full in our results of operations until future periods.
We do not have an adequate history with our consumption-based arrangements for our Elastic Cloud offerings to accurately predict the long-term rate of customer adoption or renewal, or the impact it will have on our near-term or long-term revenue or operating results.
We expect that our consumption-based arrangements for our Elastic Cloud offerings will continue to increase, both in amount and as a percentage of our total revenue. Because we recognize revenue under a consumption-based arrangement based on actual customer consumption, we do not have the same visibility into the timing of revenue recognition as we do under subscription arrangements where revenue is recognized on a predetermined schedule over the subscription term. Additionally, customers may consume our products at a different pace than we expect. For these reasons, our revenue may be less predictable or more variable than our historical revenue, and our actual results may differ materially from our forecasts.
A real or perceived defect, security vulnerability, error, or performance failure in our software could cause us to lose revenue, damage our reputation, and expose us to liability.
Our products are inherently complex and, despite extensive testing and quality control, have in the past and may in the future contain defects or errors, especially when first introduced, or otherwise not perform as contemplated. These defects, security vulnerabilities, errors or performance failures could cause damage to our reputation, loss of customers or revenue, product returns, order cancellations, service terminations, or lack of market acceptance of our software. As the use of our
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products, including products that were recently acquired or developed, expands to more sensitive, secure, or mission critical uses by our customers, we may be subject to increased scrutiny, potential reputational risk, or potential liability should our software fail to perform as contemplated in such deployments. We have in the past and may in the future need to issue corrective releases of our software to fix these defects, errors or performance failures, which could require us to allocate significant research and development and customer support resources to address these problems.
Any limitation of liability provisions that may be contained in our customer and partner agreements may not be effective as a result of existing or future applicable law or unfavorable judicial decisions. The sale and support of our products entail the risk of liability claims, which could be substantial in light of the use of our products in enterprise-wide environments. In addition, our insurance against this liability may not be adequate to cover a potential claim.
Incorrect implementation or use of our software, or our customers’ failure to update our software, could result in customer dissatisfaction and negatively affect our business, operations, financial results, and growth prospects.
Our products are often operated in large scale, complex IT environments. Our customers and some partners require training and experience in the proper use of and the benefits that can be derived from our products to maximize their potential. If our products are not implemented, configured, updated or used correctly or as intended, or in a timely manner, inadequate performance, errors, loss of data, corruptions and/or security vulnerabilities may result. For example, there have been and may in the future continue to be, reports of our customers not properly securing implementations of our products, which can result in unprotected data. Because our customers rely on our software to manage a wide range of operations, the incorrect implementation or use of our software, or our customers’ failure to update our software or our failure to train customers on how to use our software productively, may result in customer dissatisfaction, negative publicity and may adversely affect our reputation and brand. Failure by us to effectively provide training and implementation services to our customers could result in lost opportunities for follow-on sales to these customers and decrease subscriptions by new customers, and adversely affect our business and growth prospects.
If third parties offer inadequate or defective implementations of software that we have previously made available under an open source license, our reputation could be harmed.
Certain cloud hosting providers and managed service providers, including Amazon Web Services, offer hosted products based on a forked version of the Elastic Stack. These offerings are not supported by us and come without any of our proprietary features. We do not control how these third parties may use or offer our open source technology. These third parties could inadequately or incorrectly implement our open source technology, or fail to update such technology in light of changing technological or security requirements, which could result in real or perceived defects, security vulnerabilities, errors, or performance failures with respect to their offerings. Users, customers, and potential customers could confuse these third-party products with our products, and attribute such defects, security vulnerabilities, errors, or performance failures to our products. Any damage to our reputation and brand from defective implementations of our open source software could result in lost sales and lack of market acceptance of our products and could adversely affect our business and growth prospects.
We rely on traditional web search engines to direct traffic to our website. If our website fails to rank prominently in unpaid search results, traffic to our website could decline and our business would be adversely affected.
Our success depends in part on our ability to attract users through unpaid Internet search results on traditional web search engines, such as Google. The number of users we attract to our website from search engines is due in large part to how and where our website ranks in unpaid search results. These rankings can be affected by a number of factors, many of which are not in our direct control, and they may change frequently. For example, a search engine may change its ranking algorithms, methodologies or design layouts. As a result, links to our website may not be prominent enough to drive traffic to our website, and we may not know how or otherwise be in a position to influence the results. Any reduction in the number of users directed to our website could reduce our revenue or require us to increase our customer acquisition expenditures.
If our security measures are breached, a security incident occurs, or unauthorized access to or other processing of confidential information, including personal data, otherwise occurs, our software may be perceived as not being secure, customers may reduce the use of or stop using our products, and we may incur significant liabilities.
Any security breach or incident, including those resulting from a cybersecurity attack, phishing attack, unauthorized access, unauthorized usage, virus, malware, ransomware, denial of service, credential stuffing attack, supply chain attack, hacking or similar breach involving our networks and systems, or those of third parties upon which we rely, could result in the loss of confidential information, including personal data, disruption to our operations, significant remediation costs, lost revenue, increased insurance premiums, damage to our reputation, litigation, regulatory investigations or other liabilities. These attacks may come from individual hackers, criminal groups, and state-sponsored organizations, and security breaches and incidents may arise from other sources, such as employee or contractor error or malfeasance. Cyber threats are constantly
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evolving and becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex, increasing the difficulty of detecting and successfully defending against them. As a provider of security solutions, we have been and may continue to be specifically targeted by bad actors for attacks intended to circumvent our security capabilities as an entry point into customers’ endpoints, networks, or systems. Our industry is experiencing an increase in phishing attacks and unauthorized scans of systems searching for vulnerabilities or misconfigurations to exploit. If our security measures are breached or otherwise compromised as a result of third-party action, employee or contractor error, defect, vulnerability or bug in our products or products of third parties upon which we rely, malfeasance or otherwise, including any such breach or compromise resulting in someone obtaining unauthorized access to our confidential information, including personal data or the confidential information or personal data of our customers or others, or if any of these are perceived or reported to occur, we may suffer the loss, compromise, corruption, unavailability, or destruction of our or others’ confidential information and personal data, we may face a loss in intellectual property protection, our reputation may be damaged, our business may suffer and we could be subject to claims, demands, regulatory investigations and other proceedings, indemnity obligations, and otherwise incur significant liability. Even the perception of inadequate security may damage our reputation and negatively impact our ability to win new customers and retain existing customers. Further, we could be required to expend significant capital and other resources to address any security incident or breach, and we may face difficulties or delays in identifying and responding to any security breach or incident.
In addition, many of our customers may use our software for processing their confidential information, including business strategies, financial and operational data, personal data and other related data. As a result, unauthorized access to or use of our software or this data could result in the loss, compromise, corruption or destruction of our customers’ confidential information and lead to claims, demands, litigation, regulatory investigations, indemnity obligations, and other liabilities. It could also hinder our ability to obtain and maintain information security certifications that support customers’ adoption of our products and our retention of those customers. We have implemented administrative, technical and physical measures designed to protect the integrity of our customers’ data and prevent data loss, misappropriation and other security breaches and incidents and may incur significant costs in connection with the implementation of additional preventative measures in the future.
We engage third-party vendors and service providers to store and otherwise process some of our and our customers’ data, including sensitive and personal data. There have been and may continue to be significant supply chain attacks generally, and our third-party vendors and service providers may be targeted or impacted by such attacks, and they face other risks of security breaches and incidents. Our third-party vendors and service providers have been subject to phishing attacks and other security incidents, and we cannot guarantee that our or our third-party vendors and service providers’ systems and networks have not been breached or otherwise compromised or that they do not contain exploitable vulnerabilities, defects or bugs that could result in a breach of or disruption to our systems and networks or the systems and networks of third parties that support us and our services. For example, in December 2021, a vulnerability in a popular logging software, Log4j, was publicly announced. If left unpatched, the Log4j vulnerability could be exploited to allow unauthorized actors to execute code remotely on a system using Log4j. We have taken steps to ensure these vulnerabilities have been patched in our systems, but we cannot guarantee that all vulnerabilities have been patched in every system upon which we are dependent or that additional critical vulnerabilities of Log4j or other open-source software upon which we rely will not be discovered. Our ability to monitor our third-party vendors and service providers’ data security is limited, and, in any event, third parties may be able to circumvent those security measures, resulting in the unauthorized access to, or misuse, disclosure, loss, destruction, or other unauthorized processing of our and our customers’ data, including sensitive and personal data.
Techniques used to sabotage or obtain unauthorized access to systems or networks are constantly evolving and, in some instances, are not identified until launched against a target. We and our third-party vendors and service providers may be unable to anticipate these techniques, react in a timely manner, or implement adequate preventative measures. Security risks are also heightened during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as more individuals are working remotely and utilizing home networks for transmitting information, and reported ransomware incidents with significant operational impacts also appear to be escalating in frequency and degree. Also, due to political uncertainty and military actions associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we and our third-party vendors and service providers are vulnerable to a heightened risk of cybersecurity attacks, phishing attacks, viruses, malware, ransomware, hacking or similar breaches from nation-state and affiliated actors, including attacks that could materially disrupt our systems and operations, supply chain, and ability to produce, sell and distribute our products and services as well as retaliatory cybersecurity attacks from Russian and Russian-affiliated actors against companies with a U.S. presence. We may be at heightened risk of such retaliatory attacks due to our decision to no longer sell our products to companies in Russia or Belarus until further notice and to support Ukraine by, among other things, providing free access to Elastic Cloud solutions, including our platinum security capabilities, for organizations in Ukraine. In addition, laws, regulations, government guidance, and industry standards and practices in the United States and elsewhere are rapidly evolving to combat these threats. We may face increased compliance burdens regarding such requirements with regulators and customers regarding our products and services and also incur additional costs for oversight and monitoring of our own supply chain. We and our customers may also experience increased costs associated with security measures and increased risk of suffering cyberattacks, including ransomware attacks. Should we or the third-party vendors and service providers upon which we rely experience such attacks, including from ransomware or other security breaches or incidents, our operations may also be
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hindered or interrupted due to system disruptions or otherwise, with foreseeable secondary contractual, regulatory, financial, and reputational harms that may arise from such an incident.
Further, we cannot assure that any limitations of liability provisions in our customer and user agreements, contracts with third-party vendors and service providers or other contracts would be enforceable or adequate or would otherwise protect us from any liabilities or damages with respect to any particular claim relating to a security breach or other security incident. We also cannot be sure that our existing insurance coverage will continue to be available on acceptable terms or will be available in sufficient amounts to cover claims related to a security incident or breach, or that the insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. The successful assertion of claims against us that exceed available insurance coverage, or the occurrence of changes in our insurance policies, including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co-insurance requirements, could have a material adverse effect on our business, including our financial condition, operating results, and reputation.
Interruptions or performance problems associated with our technology and infrastructure, and our reliance on technologies from third parties, may adversely affect our business operations and financial results.
We rely on third-party cloud platforms to host our cloud offerings. If we experience an interruption in service for any reason, our cloud offerings would similarly be interrupted. The COVID-19 pandemic could also disrupt the supply chain of hardware needed to maintain our third-party data center operations. An interruption in our services to our customers could cause our customers’ internal and consumer-facing applications to not function properly, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, customer relationships and reputation.
In addition, our website and internal technology infrastructure may experience performance issues due to a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, human or software errors, website or third-party hosting disruptions, capacity constraints, technical failures, natural disasters or fraud or security attacks. Our use of third-party open source software may increase this risk. If our website is unavailable or our users are unable to download our products or order subscriptions or services within a reasonable amount of time or at all, our business could be harmed. We expect to continue to make significant investments to maintain and improve website performance and to enable rapid releases of new features and applications for our products. To the extent that we do not effectively upgrade our systems as needed and continually develop our technology to accommodate actual and anticipated changes in technology, our business and results of operations may be harmed.
We rely on third-party service providers for many aspects of our business, and any failure to maintain these relationships could harm our business.
Our success depends upon our relationships with third-party service providers, including providers of cloud hosting infrastructure, customer relationship management systems, financial reporting systems, human resource management systems, credit card processing platforms, marketing automation systems, and payroll processing systems, among others. If any of these third parties experience difficulty meeting our requirements or standards, become unavailable due to extended outages or interruptions, temporarily or permanently cease operations, face financial distress or other business disruptions such as a security incident, increase their fees, if our relationships with any of these providers deteriorate, or if any of the agreements we have entered into with such third parties are terminated or not renewed without adequate transition arrangements, we could suffer liabilities, penalties, fines, increased costs and delays in our ability to provide customers with our products and services, our ability to manage our finances could be interrupted, receipt of payments from customers may be delayed, our processes for managing sales of our offerings could be impaired, our ability to generate and manage sales leads could be weakened, or our business operations could be disrupted. Further, supply chain disruptions due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and any impacts that may have on our third-party service providers may disrupt our business operations. Any of such disruptions may adversely impact our business and our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows could be adversely affected until we replace such providers or develop replacement technology or operations. In addition, if we are unsuccessful in identifying high-quality service providers, negotiating cost-effective relationships with them or effectively managing these relationships, it could adversely affect our business and financial results.
The length of our sales cycle can be unpredictable, particularly with respect to sales through our channel partners or sales to large customers, and our sales efforts may require considerable time and expense.
Our results of operations may fluctuate, in part, because of the length and variability of the sales cycle of our subscriptions and the difficulty in making short-term adjustments to our operating expenses. Our results of operations depend in part on sales to new customers, including large customers, and increasing sales to existing customers. The length of our sales cycle, from initial contact with our sales team to contractually committing to our subscriptions can vary substantially from customer to customer based on deal complexity as well as whether a sale is made directly by us or through a channel partner. Our sales cycle can extend to more than a year for some customers, and the length of sales cycles may be further impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some customers have been scrutinizing their spending more carefully given a challenging
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economic environment associated with the pandemic, and we generally expect this to continue. This might cause sales cycles to become longer or become more unpredictable. As we target more of our sales efforts at larger enterprise customers, we may face greater costs, longer sales cycles, greater competition and less predictability in completing some of our sales. A customer’s decision to use our solutions may be an enterprise-wide decision, which may require greater levels of education regarding the use cases of our products or prolonged negotiations. In addition, larger customers may demand more configuration, integration services and features. It is difficult to predict exactly when, or even if, we will make a sale to a potential customer or if we can increase sales to our existing customers. As a result, large individual sales have, in some cases, occurred in quarters subsequent to those we anticipated, or have not occurred at all. The loss or delay of one or more large transactions in a quarter could affect our cash flows and results of operations for that quarter and for future quarters. Because a substantial proportion of our expenses are relatively fixed in the short term, our cash flows and results of operations will suffer if revenue falls below our expectations in a particular quarter, which could cause the price of our ordinary shares to decline.
We depend on our senior management and other key employees, and the loss of one or more of these employees or an inability to attract and retain highly skilled employees could harm our business.
Our future success depends, in part, on our ability to continue to attract and retain highly skilled personnel. The loss of the services of any of our key personnel, the inability to attract or retain qualified personnel, or delays in hiring required personnel, particularly in engineering and sales, may seriously harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Further, our ability to attract additional qualified personnel may be impacted by the economic uncertainty and insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The loss of services of any of our key personnel also increases our dependency on other key personnel who remain with us. Although we have entered into employment offer letters with our key personnel, their employment is for no specific duration and constitutes at-will employment. We are also substantially dependent on the continued service of our existing engineering personnel because of the complexity of our products.
Our future performance also depends on the continued services and continuing contributions of our senior management, particularly our Chief Executive Officer, Ashutosh Kulkarni, and Chief Technology Officer, Shay Banon, to execute on our business plan and to identify and pursue new opportunities and product innovations. We do not maintain key person life insurance policies on any of our employees. The loss of services of senior management could significantly delay or prevent the achievement of our development and strategic objectives, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Any search for senior management in the future or any search to replace the loss of any senior management may be prolonged, and we may not be able to attract a qualified candidate or replacement, as applicable, in a timely manner or at all, particularly as potential candidates may be wary to transition during the unstable economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical events. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic could make it more difficult to onboard, provide training to and integrate any senior management or key employees, which could adversely affect their productivity and our business. If we are unable to mitigate these or other similar risks as we experience management turnover, our business, results of operation and financial condition may be adversely affected.
In January 2022, Shay Banon transitioned from the role of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board to the role of Chief Technology Officer, Chetan Puttagunta, Lead Independent Director, was appointed Chairman of the Board, and Ashutosh Kulkarni transitioned from the role of Chief Product Officer to acting Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Kulkarni was also appointed to the Board by shareholders at an extraordinary general shareholder meeting on March 9, 2022, and this appointment confirmed his position as Chief Executive Officer. If we are not successful in managing the transition of our Chief Executive Officer, it could be viewed negatively by our customers, employees or investors and could have an adverse impact on our business.
Additionally, the industry in which we operate is generally characterized by significant competition for skilled personnel as well as high employee attrition. We may not be successful in attracting, integrating, or retaining qualified personnel to fulfill our current or future needs. We may need to invest significant amounts of cash and equity to attract and retain new employees, and we may never realize returns on these investments. Also, to the extent we hire personnel from competitors, we may be subject to allegations that they have been improperly solicited, that they have divulged proprietary or other confidential information, or that their former employers own their inventions or other work product.
If we are not able to maintain and enhance our brand, especially among developers, our ability to expand our customer base will be impaired and our business and operating results may be adversely affected.
We believe that developing and maintaining widespread awareness of our brand, especially with developers, is critical to achieving widespread acceptance of our software and attracting new users and customers. We also believe that the importance of brand recognition will increase as competition in our market increases. Successfully maintaining and enhancing our brand will depend largely on the effectiveness of our marketing efforts, our ability to maintain our customers’ trust, our ability to continue to develop new functionality and use cases, and our ability to successfully differentiate our products and platform capability from competitive products. Brand promotion activities may not generate user or customer awareness or
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increase revenue, and even if they do, any increase in revenue may not offset the expenses we incur in building our brand. For instance, our continued focus and investment in ElasticON and similar investments in our brand, user engagement, and customer engagement may not generate the desired customer awareness or a sufficient financial return. If we fail to successfully promote and maintain our brand, we may fail to attract or retain users and customers necessary to realize a sufficient return on our brand-building efforts, or to achieve the widespread brand awareness that is critical for broad customer adoption of our products, which would adversely affect our business and results of operations.
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 entrepreneurial spirit we have worked to foster, which could harm our business.
We believe that our culture has been and will continue to be a key contributor to our success. We expect to continue to hire as we expand. If we do not continue to maintain our corporate culture as we grow, we may be unable to foster the innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit we believe we need to support our growth. Moreover, many of our existing employees may be able to receive significant proceeds from sales of our ordinary shares in the public markets, which could lead to employee attrition and disparities of wealth among our employees that adversely affects relations among employees and our culture in general. Additional headcount growth may result in a change to our corporate culture, which could harm our business.
We rely on channel partners to execute a portion of our sales; if our channel partners fail to perform or we are unable to maintain successful relationships with our channel partners, our ability to market, sell and distribute our solution will be more limited, and our results of operations and reputation could be harmed.
A portion of our revenue is generated by sales through our channel partners, especially to U.S. federal government customers and in certain international markets, and these sales may grow and represent a larger portion of our revenues in the future. We provide certain of our channel partners with specific training and programs to assist them in selling our offerings, but there can be no assurance that these steps will be effective. In addition, our channel partners may be unsuccessful in marketing and selling our offerings, particularly in light of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. If we are unable to develop and maintain effective sales incentive programs for our channel partners, we may not be able to incentivize these partners to sell our offerings to customers.
Some of these partners may also market, sell, and support offerings that compete with ours, may devote more resources to the marketing, sales, and support of such competitive offerings, may have incentives to promote our competitors’ offerings to the detriment of our own or may cease selling our offerings altogether. Our agreements with our channel partners typically have a duration of one to three years, and generally may be terminated for any reason by either party with advance notice prior to each renewal date. We may not be able to retain these channel partners or secure additional or replacement channel partners. The loss of one or more of our significant channel partners or a decline in the number or size of orders from any of them could harm our results of operations. In addition, many of our new channel partners require extensive training and may take several months or more to achieve productivity. Our channel partner sales structure could subject us to lawsuits, potential liability, misstatement of revenue, and reputational harm if, for example, any of our channel partners misrepresents the functionality of our offerings to customers or violates laws or our or their corporate policies, including our terms of business, which in turn could impact reported revenue, deferred revenue and remaining performance obligations. If our channel partners are unsuccessful in fulfilling the orders for our offerings, or if we are unable to enter into arrangements with and retain high quality channel partners, our ability to sell our offerings and results of operations could be harmed.
If we are unable to maintain successful relationships with our partners, our business operations, financial results and growth prospects could be adversely affected.
We maintain partnership relationships with a variety of partners, including cloud providers, systems integrators, channel partners, referral partners, OEM and MSP partners, and technology partners, to deliver offerings to our end customers and complement our broad community of users. In particular, we partner with various cloud providers to jointly market, sell and deliver our Elastic Cloud offerings, and in some instances this also involves technical integration with such cloud providers.
Our agreements with our partners are generally non-exclusive, meaning our partners may offer customers the offerings of several different companies, including offerings that compete with ours, or may themselves be or become competitors. If our partners do not effectively market and sell our offerings, choose to use greater efforts to market and sell their own offerings or those of our competitors, fail to provide adequate technical integration with their own offerings, fail to meet the needs of our customers, or fail to deliver professional services to our customers, our ability to grow our business and sell our offerings may be harmed. Our partners may cease marketing our offerings with limited or no notice and with little or no penalty. The loss of a substantial number of our partners, our possible inability to replace them, or the failure to recruit additional partners could harm our results of operations.
Our ability to achieve revenue growth in the future will depend in part on our success in maintaining successful relationships with our partners and in helping our partners enhance their ability to market and sell our subscriptions. If we are
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unable to maintain our relationships with these partners, our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows could be harmed.
The sales prices of our offerings may decrease, which may reduce our gross profits and adversely affect our financial results.
The sales prices for our offerings may decline or we may introduce new pricing models for a variety of reasons, including competitive pricing pressures, discounts, in anticipation of or in conjunction with the introduction of new offerings, or promotional programs.
Competition continues to increase in the market segments in which we operate, and we expect competition to further increase in the future, thereby leading to increased pricing pressures. Larger competitors with more diverse offerings may reduce the price of offerings that compete with ours or may bundle them with other offerings. Additionally, currency fluctuations in certain countries and regions, as well as the inflation and interest environment, may negatively impact actual prices that customers and channel partners are willing to pay in those countries and regions. Any decrease in the sales prices for our offerings, without a corresponding decrease in costs or increase in volume, would adversely impact our gross profit. Gross profit could also be adversely impacted by a shift in the mix of our subscriptions from self-managed to our cloud offering, for which we incur hosting costs, as well as any increase in our mix of professional services relative to subscriptions. We may not be able to maintain our prices and gross profits at levels that will allow us to achieve and maintain profitability.
We expect our revenue mix to vary over time, which could harm our gross margin and operating results.
We expect our revenue mix to vary over time due to a number of factors, and we expect that revenue from Elastic Cloud will continue to become a larger part of our revenue mix. Due to the differing revenue recognition policies applicable to our subscriptions and professional services, shifts in our business mix from quarter to quarter could produce substantial variation in revenue recognized. Our introduction of consumption-based arrangements for our Elastic Cloud offerings, where the revenue we recognize is tied to our customers’ actual usage of our products, may further exacerbate the variation in our revenue. Further, our gross margins and operating results could be harmed by changes in revenue mix and costs, together with numerous other factors, including entry into new markets or growth in lower margin markets; entry into markets with different pricing and cost structures; pricing discounts; and increased price competition. Any one of these factors or the cumulative effects of certain of these factors may result in significant fluctuations in our gross margin and operating results. This variability and unpredictability could result in our failure to meet internal expectations or those of securities analysts or investors for a particular period. If we fail to meet or exceed such expectations for these or any other reasons, the market price of our ordinary shares could decline.
Failure to protect our proprietary technology and intellectual property rights could substantially harm our business and results of operations.
Our success depends to a significant degree on our ability to protect our proprietary technology, methodologies, know-how and brand. We rely on a combination of trademarks, copyrights, patents, contractual restrictions, and other intellectual property laws and confidentiality procedures to establish and protect our proprietary rights. However, the steps we take to protect our intellectual property rights may be inadequate. We will not be able to protect our intellectual property rights if we are unable to enforce our rights or if we do not detect unauthorized use of our intellectual property rights. The source code of the proprietary features for the Elastic Stack is publicly available, which may enable others to replicate our proprietary technology and compete more effectively. If we fail to protect our intellectual property rights adequately, our competitors may gain access to our proprietary technology and our business may be harmed. In addition, defending our intellectual property rights might entail significant expense. Any patents, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights that we have or may obtain may be challenged by others or invalidated through administrative process or litigation. There can be no assurance that any ongoing patent applications we may have will result in issued patents. Even if we continue to seek patent protection in the future, we may be unable to obtain further patent protection for our technology. In addition, any patents issued in the future may not provide us with competitive advantages, or may be successfully challenged by third parties. Furthermore, legal standards relating to the validity, enforceability, and scope of protection of intellectual property rights are uncertain. Despite our precautions, it may be possible for unauthorized third parties to copy our products and use information that we regard as proprietary to create offerings that compete with ours. Effective patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret protection may not be available to us in every country in which our products are available. We may be unable to prevent third parties from acquiring domain names or trademarks that are similar to, infringe upon, or diminish the value of our trademarks and other proprietary rights. The laws of some countries may not be as protective of intellectual property rights as those in the United States, and mechanisms for enforcement of intellectual property rights may be inadequate. As we expand our international activities, our exposure to unauthorized copying and use of our products and proprietary information will likely increase. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may be unable to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our intellectual property.
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We enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and consultants and enter into confidentiality agreements with other parties. No assurance can be given that these agreements will be effective in controlling access to and distribution of our proprietary information. Further, these agreements may not prevent our competitors from independently developing technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to our products.
In order to protect our intellectual property rights, we may be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. Litigation has in the past and may in the future be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights and to protect our trade secrets. Litigation brought to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights could be costly, time-consuming, and distracting to management, and could result in the impairment or loss of portions of our intellectual property. Further, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims, and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property rights. Our inability to protect our proprietary technology against unauthorized copying or use, as well as any costly litigation or diversion of our management’s attention and resources, could delay further sales or the implementation of our products, impair the functionality of our products, delay introductions of new products, result in our substituting inferior or more costly technologies into our products, or injure our reputation.
We could incur substantial costs as a result of any claim of infringement, misappropriation or violation of another party’s intellectual property rights.
In recent years, there has been significant litigation involving patents and other intellectual property rights in the software industry. Companies providing software are increasingly bringing and becoming subject to suits alleging infringement, misappropriation or violation of proprietary rights, particularly patent rights, and to the extent we gain greater market visibility, we face a higher risk of being the subject of intellectual property infringement, misappropriation or violation claims. We do not currently have a large patent portfolio, which could prevent us from deterring patent infringement claims through our own patent portfolio, and our competitors and others may now and in the future have significantly larger and more mature patent portfolios than we have. The risk of patent litigation has been amplified by the increase in the number of a type of patent holder, which we refer to as a non-practicing entity, whose sole or principal business is to assert such claims and against whom our own intellectual property portfolio may provide little deterrent value. We could incur substantial costs in prosecuting or defending any intellectual property litigation. If we sue to enforce our rights or are sued by a third party that claims that our products infringe, misappropriate or violate their rights, the litigation could be expensive and could divert our management resources.
Any intellectual property litigation to which we might become a party, or for which we are required to provide indemnification, may require us to do one or more of the following:
cease selling or using products that incorporate the intellectual property rights that we allegedly infringe, misappropriate or violate;
make substantial payments for legal fees, settlement payments or other costs or damages;
obtain a license, which may not be available on reasonable terms or at all, to sell or use the relevant technology; or
redesign the allegedly infringing products to avoid infringement, misappropriation or violation, which could be costly, time-consuming or impossible.
If we are required to make substantial payments or undertake any of the other actions noted above as a result of any intellectual property infringement, misappropriation or violation claims against us or any obligation to indemnify our customers for such claims, such payments or actions could harm our business.
Indemnity provisions in various agreements potentially expose us to substantial liability for intellectual property infringement, misappropriation, violation 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, misappropriation or violation, damages caused by us to property or persons, or other liabilities relating to or arising from our software, services or other contractual obligations. Large indemnity payments could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. Although we normally contractually limit our liability with respect to such indemnity obligations, we may still incur substantial liability related to them. Any dispute with a customer with respect to such obligations could have adverse effects on our relationship with that customer and other existing customers and new customers and harm our business and results of operations.
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Our use of third-party open source software within our products could negatively affect our ability to sell our products and subject us to possible litigation.
Our technologies incorporate open source software from other developers, and we expect to continue to incorporate such open source software in our products in the future. Few of the licenses applicable to open source software have been interpreted by courts, and there is a risk that these licenses could be construed in a manner that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our products. Moreover, we cannot assure that we have not incorporated third-party open source software in our software in a manner that is inconsistent with the terms of the applicable license or our current policies and procedures. If we fail to comply with these licenses, we may be subject to certain requirements, including requirements that we offer our solutions that incorporate the open source software for no cost, that we make available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon, incorporating or using the open source software and that we license such modifications or derivative works under the terms of applicable open source licenses. If an author or other third party that distributes such open source software were to allege that we had not complied with the conditions of one or more of these licenses, we could be required to incur significant legal expenses defending against such allegations and could be subject to significant damages, enjoined from the sale of our products that contained the open source software and required to comply with onerous conditions or restrictions on these products, which could disrupt the distribution and sale of these products. In addition, there have been claims challenging the ownership rights in open source software against companies that incorporate open source software into their products, and the licensors of such open source software provide no warranties or indemnities with respect to such claims. In any of these events, we and our customers could be required to seek licenses from third parties in order to continue offering our products, and to re-engineer our products or discontinue the sale of our products in the event re-engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely basis. We and our customers may also be subject to suits by parties claiming infringement, misappropriation or violation due to the reliance by our solutions on certain open source software, and such litigation could be costly for us to defend or subject us to an injunction. Some open source projects have known vulnerabilities and architectural instabilities and as provided on an “as-is” basis which, if not properly addressed, could negatively affect the performance of our product. Any of the foregoing could require us to devote additional research and development resources to re-engineer our solutions, could result in customer dissatisfaction, and may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
One of our marketing strategies is to offer some of our product features for free and to provide free trials of some of our paid features, and we may not be able to realize the benefits of this strategy.
We are dependent upon lead generation strategies, including offering free use of some of our product features and free trials of some of our paid features. These strategies may not be successful in continuing to generate sufficient sales opportunities necessary to increase our revenue. Many users never convert from the free use model or from free trials to the paid versions of our products. To the extent that users do not become, or we are unable to successfully attract, paying customers, we will not realize the intended benefits of these marketing strategies and our ability to grow our revenue will be adversely affected.
Our international operations and expansion expose us to several risks.
As of April 30, 2022, we had customers located in over 125 countries, and our strategy is to continue to expand internationally. In addition, as a result of our strategy of leveraging a distributed workforce, as of April 30, 2022, we had employees located in over 40 countries. Our current international operations involve and future initiatives may involve a variety of risks, including:
political and economic instability related to international disputes, such as the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the related impact on macroeconomic conditions as a result of such conflict, which may negatively impact our customers, partners, and vendors;
unexpected changes in regulatory requirements, taxes, trade laws, tariffs, export quotas, custom duties or other trade restrictions;
different labor regulations, especially in the European Union, where labor laws are generally more advantageous to employees as compared to the United States, including deemed hourly wage and overtime regulations in these locations;
exposure to many stringent, particularly in the European Union, and potentially inconsistent laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection and information security;
changes in a specific country’s or region’s political or economic conditions;
political, economic and trade uncertainties or instability related to the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit), including the effects of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union,
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the European Atomic Energy Community and the United Kingdom signed in December 2020, on the economies of, and the relationships between, the United Kingdom, European Union, United States and other countries;
the evolving relations between the United States and China;
changes in relations between the Netherlands and the United States;
risks resulting from changes in currency exchange rates and rising inflation;
risks resulting from the migration of invoicing from local billing entities to centralized regional billing entities;
the impact of public health epidemics or pandemics on our employees, partners and customers;
challenges inherent to efficiently managing an increased number of employees over large geographic distances, including the need to implement appropriate systems, policies, benefits and compliance programs;
risks relating to enforcement of U.S. export control laws and regulations including the Export Administration Regulations, and trade and economic sanctions, including restrictions promulgated by OFAC, and other similar trade protection regulations and measures in the United States or in other jurisdictions;
risks relating to our third-party vendors and service providers’ storage and processing of some of our and our customers’ data, including any supply chain cyber attacks;
reduced ability to timely collect amounts owed to us by our customers in countries where our recourse may be more limited;
limitations on our ability to reinvest earnings from operations derived from one country to fund the capital needs of our operations in other countries;
limited or unfavorable intellectual property protection; and
exposure to liabilities under anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended (“FCPA”), and similar applicable laws and regulations in other jurisdictions.
If we are unable to address these difficulties and challenges or other problems encountered in connection with our international operations and expansion, we might incur unanticipated liabilities or we might otherwise suffer harm to our business generally.
If we are not successful in sustaining and expanding our international business, we may incur additional losses and our revenue growth could be harmed.
Our future results depend, in part, on our ability to sustain and expand our penetration of the international markets in which we currently operate and to expand into additional international markets. We depend on direct sales and our channel partner relationships to sell our offerings in international markets. Our ability to expand internationally will depend upon our ability to deliver functionality and foreign language translations that reflect the needs of the international clients that we target. Our ability to expand internationally involves various risks, including the need to invest significant resources in such expansion, and the possibility that returns on such investments will not be achieved in the near future or at all in these less familiar competitive environments. We may also choose to conduct our international business through other partnerships. If we are unable to identify partners or negotiate favorable terms, our international growth may be limited. In addition, we have incurred and may continue to incur significant expenses in advance of generating material revenue as we attempt to establish our presence in particular international markets.
If we need to raise additional capital or generate the significant capital necessary to expand our operations and invest in new offerings, it could reduce our ability to compete and could harm our business.
We may need to raise additional funds in the future, and we may not be able to obtain additional debt or equity financing on favorable terms, if at all. If we raise additional equity financing, our shareholders may experience significant dilution of their ownership interests and the per share value of our ordinary shares could decline. Furthermore, if we engage in debt financing, the holders of debt would have priority over the holders of our ordinary shares, and we may be required to accept terms that restrict our ability to incur additional indebtedness. We may also be required to take other actions that would otherwise be in the interests of the debt holders and force us to maintain specified liquidity or other ratios, any of which could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition. If we need additional capital and cannot raise it on acceptable terms, we may not be able to, among other things:
develop or enhance our products;
continue to expand our sales and marketing and research and development organizations;
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acquire complementary technologies, products or businesses;
expand operations in the United States or internationally;
hire, train, and retain employees; or
respond to competitive pressures or unanticipated working capital requirements.
Our failure to have sufficient capital to do any of these things could harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
A portion of our revenue is generated by sales to government entities, and this creates a number of challenges and risks.
Sales to government entities are subject to a number of risks. Selling to government entities can be highly competitive, expensive, and time-consuming, often requiring significant upfront time and expense without any assurance that these efforts will generate a sale. Government certification and security requirements for products like ours may change, thereby restricting our ability to sell into the U.S. federal government sector, U.S. state government sector, or government sectors of countries other than the United States until we have obtained the revised certification or met the changed security requirements. If we are unable to timely meet such requirements, our ability to compete for and retain federal government contracts may be diminished, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Government entities may have statutory, contractual, or other legal rights to terminate contracts with us or our channel partners for convenience or due to a default, and any such termination may adversely affect our future results of operations. Government demand and payment for our offerings may be affected by public sector budgetary cycles and funding authorizations, with funding reductions or delays adversely affecting public sector demand for our offerings or exercise of options under multi-year contracts. Contracts with government agencies, including classified contracts, are subject to extensive, evolving and sometimes complex regulations, as well as audits and reviews of contractors’ administrative processes and other contract related compliance obligations. Breaches of government contracts, failure to comply with applicable regulations or unfavorable findings from government audits or reviews could result in contract terminations, reputational harm or other adverse consequences, including but not limited to ineligibility to sell to government agencies in the future, the government refusing to continue buying our subscriptions, a reduction of revenue, or fines or civil or criminal liability, which could adversely affect our results of operations in a material way.
Unanticipated changes in effective tax rates or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our income or other tax returns could expose us to greater than anticipated tax liabilities.
Our income tax obligations are based in part on our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements, including the manner in which we develop, value, and use our intellectual property and the valuations of our intercompany transactions. The tax laws applicable to our business, including the laws of the Netherlands, the United States and other jurisdictions, are subject to change and interpretation. These changes include the introduction of a global minimum tax at a rate of 15% under the Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges of the Digitalisation of the Economy, agreed upon by 137 jurisdictions under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which is expected to enter into force in 2023. In addition, on January 1, 2022, a provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 went into effect that eliminates the option to deduct domestic research and development costs in the year incurred and instead requires taxpayers to amortize such costs over five years. The provision is expected to decrease cash flows from operations and increase net deferred tax assets by a similar amount for our U.S. operations. Any new legislation or interpretations of existing legislation could impact our tax obligations in countries where we do business or cause us to change the way we operate our business and result in increased taxation of our international earnings.
The taxing authorities of the jurisdictions in which we operate may challenge our methodologies for valuing developed technology or intercompany arrangements, which could increase our worldwide effective tax rate and harm our financial position and results of operations. Tax authorities examine and may audit our income tax returns and other non-income tax returns, such as payroll, sales, value-added, net worth or franchise, property, goods and services, and excise taxes, in both the United States and foreign jurisdictions. It is possible that tax authorities may disagree with certain positions we have taken, and any adverse outcome of such a review or audit could have a negative effect on our financial position and results of operations. Further, the determination of our worldwide provision for or benefit from, as applicable, income taxes and other tax liabilities requires significant judgment by management, and there are transactions where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Although we believe that our estimates are reasonable, the ultimate tax outcome may differ from the amounts recorded in our consolidated financial statements and may materially affect our financial results in the period or periods for which such determination is made.
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Our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements are subject to the tax laws of various jurisdictions, and we could be obligated to pay additional taxes, which would harm our results of operations.
Based on our current corporate structure, we may be subject to taxation in several jurisdictions around the world with increasingly complex tax laws, the application of which can be uncertain. The amount of taxes we pay in these jurisdictions could increase substantially as a result of changes in the applicable tax principles, including increased tax rates, new tax laws or revised interpretations of existing tax laws and precedents. In addition, the authorities in the jurisdictions in which we operate could review our tax returns or require us to file tax returns in jurisdictions in which we are not currently filing, and could impose additional tax, interest and penalties. These authorities could also claim that various withholding requirements apply to us or our subsidiaries, assert that benefits of tax treaties are not available to us or our subsidiaries, or challenge our methodologies for valuing developed technology or intercompany arrangements, including our transfer pricing. The relevant taxing authorities may determine that the manner in which we operate our business does not achieve the intended tax consequences. If such a disagreement was to occur, and our position was not sustained, we could be required to pay additional taxes, and interest and penalties. Additionally, both the COVID-19 pandemic and increased use of flexible work policies may increase the probability of payroll tax audits. Any increase in the amount of taxes we pay or that are imposed on us could increase our worldwide effective tax rate and harm our business and results of operations.
Our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations.
As of April 30, 2022, we had net operating loss carryforwards (“NOLs”) for Dutch, United States (Federal and State, respectively) and United Kingdom income tax purposes of $758.4 million, $1,002.5 million, $651.8 million and $67.5 million, respectively, which may be utilized against future income taxes. Limitations imposed by the applicable jurisdictions on our ability to utilize NOLs could cause income taxes to be paid earlier than would be paid if such limitations were not in effect and could cause such NOLs to expire unused, in each case reducing or eliminating the benefit of such NOLs. Furthermore, we may not be able to generate sufficient taxable income to utilize our net operating loss carryforwards before they expire. If any of these events occur, we may not derive some or all of the expected benefits from our net operating loss carryforwards.
We are exposed to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
A portion of our subscriptions are generated and operating expenses are incurred outside the United States and denominated in foreign currencies and are subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates, particularly against the Euro. In part as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, foreign currency exchange rates have been and could continue to be subject to increased volatility. The strengthening of the U.S. dollar increases the real cost of our offerings to our non-U.S. dollar customers, leading to delays in the purchase of our offerings and the lengthening of our sales cycle. If the strength of the U.S. dollar increases, this could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, increased international sales in the future, including through our channel partners, may result in greater foreign currency denominated sales, increasing our foreign currency risk. Moreover, operating expenses incurred outside the United States and denominated in foreign currencies are increasing and are subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates. If we are not able to successfully hedge against the risks associated with currency fluctuations, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected. To date, we have not entered into any hedging transactions in an effort to reduce our exposure to foreign currency exchange risk. While we may decide to enter into hedging transactions in the future, the availability and effectiveness of these hedging transactions may be limited and we may not be able to successfully hedge our exposure, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Seasonality may cause fluctuations in our sales and results of operations.
Historically, we have experienced quarterly fluctuations and seasonality based on the timing of entering into agreements with new and existing customers and the mix between annual and monthly contracts entered in each reporting period. Trends in our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows are impacted by seasonality in our sales cycle which generally reflects a trend to greater sales in our second and fourth quarters and lower sales in our first and third quarters, though we believe this trend has been somewhat masked by our overall growth. We expect that this seasonality will continue to affect our results of operations in the future, and might become more pronounced as we continue to target larger enterprise customers.
Risks Related to Regulatory Matters
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We are subject to governmental export and import controls and economic sanctions programs that could impair our ability to compete in international markets or subject us to liability if we violate these controls.
Our software and services, in some cases, are subject to U.S. export control laws and regulations including the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), and trade and economic sanctions maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). As such, an export license may be required to export or reexport our software and services to certain countries and end-users for certain end-uses. If we were to fail to comply with such U.S. export controls laws and regulations, U.S. economic sanctions, or other similar laws, we could be subject to both civil and criminal penalties, including substantial fines, possible incarceration for employees and managers for willful violations, and the possible loss of our export or import privileges. Obtaining the necessary export license for a particular sale or offering may not be possible and may be time-consuming and may result in the delay or loss of sales opportunities. Furthermore, U.S. export control laws and economic sanctions in many cases prohibit the export of software and services to certain U.S. embargoed or sanctioned countries, governments and persons, as well as for prohibited end-uses. For example, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and other countries imposed economic sanctions and severe export control restrictions against Russia and Belarus, and the United States and other countries could impose wider sanctions and export restrictions and take other actions should the conflict continue or further escalate. Monitoring and ensuring compliance with these complex U.S. export control laws is particularly challenging because our offerings are widely distributed throughout the world, and information available on the users of these offerings is, in some cases, limited. In addition, because we incorporate encryption functionality into our products, we are also subject to certain provisions of these laws that apply to encryption items. Even though we take precautions to ensure that we and our partners comply with all relevant export control laws and regulations, any failure by us or our partners to comply with such laws and regulations could have negative consequences for us, including reputational harm, government investigations and penalties.
In addition, various countries regulate the export and import of certain encryption software and technology, including through import permit and license requirements, and have enacted laws that could limit our ability to distribute our products and services or could limit our end-customers’ ability to implement our products in those countries. Specifically, export restrictions recently imposed on Russia and Belarus limit the export of encryption software and related source code and technology to these locations, which severely limited and could continue to limit our ability to provide our software and services to these countries. Changes in our products or changes in export and import regulations in such countries may create delays in the introduction of our products and services into international markets, prevent our end-customers with international operations from deploying our products globally or, in some cases, prevent or delay the export or import of our products and services to certain countries, governments or persons altogether. The following developments could result in decreased use of our products and services by, or in our decreased ability to export or sell our products to, existing or potential end-customers with international operations: any change in export or import laws or regulations, economic sanctions or related legislation; shift in the enforcement or scope of existing export, import or sanctions laws or regulations; or change in the countries, governments, persons, or technologies targeted by such export, import or sanctions laws or regulations. Any decreased use of our products or services or limitation on our ability to export to or sell our products or services in international markets could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.
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 FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act and other anti-corruption, anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws in various jurisdictions both domestic and abroad. We leverage channel partners to sell our offerings abroad and use other third parties, including recruiting firms, professional employer organizations, legal, accounting and other professional advisors, and local vendors to meet our needs associated with doing business abroad. We and these third parties may have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies, or state-owned or affiliated entities, and we may be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of our channel partners and third-party representatives, as well as our employees, representatives, contractors, partners, and agents, even if we do not explicitly authorize such activities. While we have policies and procedures to address compliance with such laws, we cannot assure that the channel partners, third-party representatives, our employees, contractors or agents will not take actions in violation of our policies and applicable law, for which we may be ultimately held responsible. Any violation of the FCPA, U.K. Bribery Act or other applicable anti-bribery, anti-corruption laws, and anti-money laundering laws could result in whistleblower complaints, adverse media coverage, investigations, loss of export privileges, severe criminal or civil sanctions, or suspension or debarment from U.S. government contracts, all of which may have an adverse effect on our reputation, business, operating results and prospects.
Risks Related to Ownership of our Ordinary Shares
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The market price for our ordinary shares has been and is likely to continue to be volatile or may decline regardless of our operating performance.
The stock markets, and securities of technology companies in particular, have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many technology companies. Stock prices of many technology companies have fluctuated in a manner unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. In particular, stock prices of companies with significant operating losses have recently declined significantly, and in many instances more significantly than companies with operating profits. The economic impact and uncertainty of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, have exacerbated this volatility in both the overall stock markets and the market price of our ordinary shares. A significant decline in the price of our shares could have an adverse impact on investor confidence and employee retention. In the past, shareholders have instituted securities class action litigation following periods of market volatility. If we were to become involved in securities litigation, it could subject us to substantial costs, divert resources and the attention of management from our business and adversely affect our business. The market price of our ordinary shares may fluctuate significantly in response to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
actual or anticipated changes or fluctuations in our operating results;
the financial projections we may provide to the public, any changes in these projections or our failure to meet these projections;
announcements by us or our competitors of new offerings or new or terminated significant contracts, commercial relationships or capital commitments;
industry or financial analyst or investor reaction to our press releases, other public announcements, and filings with the SEC;
rumors and market speculation involving us or other companies in our industry;
a gain or loss of investor confidence in the market for technology stocks or the stock market in general;
future sales or expected future sales of our ordinary shares;
investor perceptions of us, the benefits of our offerings and the industries in which we operate;
price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;
changes in operating performance and/or stock market valuations of other technology companies generally, or those in our industry in particular;
failure of industry or financial analysts to maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by any analysts who follow our company, or our failure to meet these estimates or the expectations of investors;
actual or anticipated developments in our business or our competitors’ businesses or the competitive landscape generally;
litigation involving us, our industry or both, or investigations by regulators into our operations or those of our competitors;
developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property rights or our solutions, or third-party proprietary rights;
announced or completed acquisitions of businesses or technologies by us or our competitors;
breaches of, or failures relating to, privacy, data protection or information security;
new laws or regulations or new interpretations of existing laws or regulations applicable to our business;
any major changes in our management or our board of directors, such as the transition of our former Chief Executive Officer, Shay Banon, to the role of Chief Technology Officer and the transition of our former Chief Product Officer, Ash Kulkarni, to the role of Chief Executive Officer;
general economic conditions and slow or negative growth of our markets, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the general inflation and interest rate environment; and
other events or factors, including those resulting from war, incidents of terrorism or responses to these events.
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We may fail to meet our publicly announced guidance or other expectations about our business and future operating results, which would cause our stock price to decline.
We have provided and may continue to provide guidance and other expectations in our quarterly and annual earnings conference calls, quarterly and annual earnings releases, or otherwise, regarding our future performance. Guidance, as well as other expectations, are forward-looking and represent our management’s estimates as of the date of release and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while presented with numerical specificity, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies on our business, many of which are beyond our control and are based upon specific assumptions with respect to future business decisions, some of which will change. One of those key assumptions relates to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic uncertainty on our business, which is inherently difficult to predict. Furthermore, analysts and investors may develop and publish their own projections of our business, which may form a consensus about our future performance. Our actual business results may vary significantly from such guidance or other expectations or that consensus due to a number of factors, many of which are outside of our control, including due to the global economic uncertainty and financial market conditions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and which could adversely affect our business and future operating results. There are no comparable recent events that provide insights as to the probable effect of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and, as a result, the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is highly uncertain and subject to change. Furthermore, if we make downward revisions of our previously announced guidance or other expectations, if we withdraw our previously announced guidance or other expectations, or if our publicly announced guidance or other expectations of future operating results fail to meet expectations of securities analysts, investors or other interested parties, the price of our ordinary shares would decline. In light of the foregoing, investors are urged not to rely upon our guidance or other expectations in making an investment decision regarding our ordinary shares.
Any failure to successfully implement our operating strategy or the occurrence of any of the events or circumstances set forth in this “Risk Factors” section in this report could result in the actual operating results being different from our guidance or other expectations, and the differences may be adverse and material.
The concentration of our share ownership with insiders will likely limit your ability to influence corporate matters, including the ability to influence the outcome of director elections and other matters requiring shareholder approval.
Our executive officers and directors together beneficially own a significant amount of our outstanding ordinary shares. As a result, these shareholders, acting together, will have significant influence over matters that require approval by our shareholders, including matters such as adoption of the financial statements, declarations of dividends, the appointment and dismissal of directors, capital increases, amendment to our articles of association and approval of significant corporate transactions. Corporate action might be taken even if other shareholders oppose them. This concentration of ownership might also have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control of us that other shareholders may view as beneficial.
The issuance of additional shares in connection with financings, acquisitions, investments, our share incentive plans or otherwise will dilute all other shareholders.
Our articles of association authorize us to issue up to 165 million ordinary shares and up to 165 million preference shares with such rights and preferences as included in our articles of association. On September 28, 2018, our extraordinary general meeting of shareholders (the “2018 Extraordinary Meeting”) empowered our board of directors to issue ordinary shares and preference shares up to our authorized share capital for a period of five years from October 10, 2018. Subject to compliance with applicable rules and regulations, we may issue ordinary shares or securities convertible into ordinary shares from time to time in connection with a financing, acquisition, investment, our share incentive plans or otherwise. Any such issuance could result in substantial dilution to our existing shareholders unless pre-emptive rights exist and cause the market price of our ordinary shares to decline.
Certain holders of our ordinary shares may not be able to exercise pre-emptive rights and as a result may experience substantial dilution upon future issuances of ordinary shares.
Holders of our ordinary shares in principle have a pro rata pre-emptive right with respect to any issue of ordinary shares or the granting of rights to subscribe for ordinary shares, unless Dutch law or our articles of association state otherwise or unless explicitly provided otherwise in a resolution by our general meeting of shareholders (the “General Meeting”), or—if authorized by the annual General Meeting or an extraordinary General Meeting—by a resolution of our board of directors. Our 2018 Extraordinary Meeting has empowered our board of directors to limit or exclude pre-emptive rights on ordinary shares for a period of five years from October 10, 2018, which could cause existing shareholders to experience substantial dilution of their interest in us.
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Pre-emptive rights do not exist with respect to the issue of preference shares and holders of preference shares, if any, have no pre-emptive right to acquire newly issued ordinary shares. Also, pre-emptive rights do not exist with respect to the issue of shares or grant of rights to subscribe for shares to employees of the Company or contributions in kind.
Sales of substantial amounts of our ordinary shares in the public markets, or the perception that they might occur, could reduce the price that our ordinary shares might otherwise attain.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our ordinary shares in the public market, particularly sales by our directors, executive officers and significant shareholders, or the perception that these sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares and may make it more difficult for you to sell your ordinary shares at a time and price that you deem appropriate.
In addition, holders of an aggregate of 17,343,020 ordinary shares, based on shares outstanding as of April 30, 2022, are entitled to rights with respect to registration of these shares under the Securities Act pursuant to our amended and restated investors’ rights agreement, dated July 19, 2016. If these holders of our ordinary shares, by exercising their registration rights, sell a large number of shares, they could adversely affect the market price for our ordinary shares. We have also filed registration statements on Form S-8 under the Securities Act registering all ordinary shares that we may issue under our equity compensation plans, which may in turn be sold and may adversely affect the market price for our ordinary shares.
Certain anti-takeover provisions in our articles of association and under Dutch law may prevent or could make an acquisition of our company more difficult, limit attempts by our shareholders to replace or remove members of our board of directors and may adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares.
Our articles of association contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change in control of our company. These provisions could also make it difficult for shareholders to appoint directors that are not nominated by the current members of our board of directors or take other corporate actions, including effecting changes in our management. These provisions include:
the staggered three-year terms of the members of our board of directors, as a result of which only approximately one-third of the members of our board of directors may be subject to election in any one year;
a provision that the members of our board of directors may only be removed by a General Meeting by a two-thirds majority of votes cast representing at least 50% of our issued share capital if such removal is not proposed by our board of directors;
a provision that the members of our board of directors may only be appointed upon binding nomination of the board of directors, which can only be overruled with a two-thirds majority of votes cast representing at least 50% of our issued share capital;
the inclusion of a class of preference shares in our authorized share capital that may be issued by our board of directors, in such a manner as to dilute the interest of shareholders, including any potential acquirer or activist shareholder, in order to delay or discourage any potential unsolicited offer or shareholder activism;
requirements that certain matters, including an amendment of our articles of association, may only be brought to our shareholders for a vote upon a proposal by our board of directors; and
minimum shareholding thresholds, based on nominal value, for shareholders to call General Meetings of our shareholders or to add items to the agenda for those meetings.
We are subject to the Dutch Corporate Governance Code but do not comply with all the suggested governance provisions of the Dutch Corporate Governance Code. This may affect your rights as a shareholder.
As a Dutch company, we are subject to the Dutch Corporate Governance Code (“DCGC”). The DCGC contains both principles and suggested governance provisions for management boards, supervisory boards, shareholders and general meetings, financial reporting, auditors, disclosure, compliance and enforcement standards. The DCGC is based on a “comply or explain” principle. Accordingly, public companies are required to disclose in their annual reports, filed in the Netherlands, whether they comply with the suggested governance provisions of the DCGC. If they do not comply with those provisions (e.g., because of a conflicting requirement), the company is required to give the reasons for such noncompliance. The DCGC applies to all Dutch companies listed on a government-recognized stock exchange, whether in the Netherlands or elsewhere, including the NYSE. The principles and suggested governance provisions apply to our board of directors (in relation to role and composition, conflicts of interest and independency requirements, board committees and remuneration), shareholders and the General Meeting (for example, regarding anti-takeover protection and our obligations to provide information to our shareholders) and financial reporting (such as external auditor and internal audit requirements). We comply with all applicable provisions of the DCGC except where such provisions conflict with U.S. exchange listing requirements or with market
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practices in the United States or the Netherlands. This may affect your rights as a shareholder, and you may not have the same level of protection as a shareholder in a Dutch company that fully complies with the suggested governance provisions of the DCGC.
We do not intend to pay dividends in the foreseeable future. As a result, your ability to achieve a return on your investment will depend on appreciation in the price of our ordinary shares.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our shares. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation of our business and do not anticipate paying any dividends on our ordinary shares in the foreseeable future. Were this position to change, payment of future dividends may be made only if our equity exceeds the amount of the paid-in and called-up part of the issued share capital, increased by the reserves required to be maintained by Dutch law or by our articles of association. Accordingly, investors must rely on sales of their ordinary shares after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any future gains on their investments.
Claims of U.S. civil liabilities may not be enforceable against us.
We are incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands and substantial portions of our assets are located outside of the United States. In addition, two members of our board of directors and certain experts named herein reside outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for investors to effect service of process within the United States upon us or such other persons residing outside the United States, or to enforce outside the United States judgments obtained against such persons in U.S. courts in any action, including actions predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws. In addition, it may be difficult for investors to enforce, in original actions brought in courts in jurisdictions located outside the United States, rights predicated upon the U.S. federal securities laws.
There is no treaty between the United States and the Netherlands for the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments (other than arbitration awards) in civil and commercial matters. Therefore, a final judgment rendered by any federal or state court in the United States based on civil liability, whether or not predicated solely upon the U.S. federal securities laws, would not be enforceable in the Netherlands unless the underlying claim is re-litigated before a Dutch court of competent jurisdiction. In such proceedings, however, a Dutch court may be expected to recognize the binding effect of a judgment of a federal or state court in the United States without re-examination of the substantive matters adjudicated thereby, if (i) the jurisdiction of the U.S. federal or state court has been based on internationally accepted principles of private international law, (ii) that judgment resulted from legal proceedings compatible with Dutch notions of due process, (iii) that judgment does not contravene public policy of the Netherlands and (iv) that judgment is not incompatible with (x) an earlier judgment of a Dutch court between the same parties, or (y) an earlier judgment of a foreign court between the same parties in a dispute regarding the same subject and based on the same cause, if that earlier foreign judgment is recognizable in the Netherlands.
Based on the foregoing, there can be no assurance that U.S. investors will be able to enforce against us or members of our board of directors, officers or certain experts named herein, who are residents of the Netherlands or countries other than the United States, any judgments obtained in U.S. courts in civil and commercial matters, including judgments under the U.S. federal securities laws.
In addition, there can be no assurance that a Dutch court would impose civil liability on us, the members of our board of directors, our officers or certain experts named herein in an original action predicated solely upon the U.S. federal securities laws brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in the Netherlands against us or such members, officers or experts, respectively.
U.S. persons who hold our ordinary shares may suffer adverse tax consequences if we are characterized as a passive foreign investment company.
A non-U.S. corporation will generally be considered a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”), for U.S. federal income tax purposes, in any taxable year if either (1) at least 75% of its gross income for such year is passive income or (2) at least 50% of the value of its assets (based on an average of the quarterly values of the assets during such year) is attributable to assets that produce or are held for the production of passive income (“the PFIC asset test”). For purposes of the PFIC asset test, the value of our assets will generally be determined by reference to our market capitalization. Based on our past and current projections of our income and assets, we do not expect to be a PFIC for the current taxable year or for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, a separate factual determination as to whether we are or have become a PFIC must be made each year (after the close of such year). Since our projections may differ from our actual business results and our market capitalization and value of our assets may fluctuate, we cannot assure you that we will not be or become a PFIC in the current taxable year or any future taxable year. If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. person (as defined in Section 7701(a)(30) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) holds our ordinary shares, such U.S. person may be subject to adverse tax consequences. Each U.S. person who holds our ordinary shares is strongly urged to consult his, her or its tax advisor regarding the application of these rules and the availability of any potential elections.
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If a U.S. person is treated as owning at least 10% of our ordinary shares, such U.S. person may be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences.
If a U.S. person is treated as owning (directly, indirectly, or constructively) at least 10% of the total combined voting power of our shares, or of the total value of our shares, such shareholder may be treated as a “United States shareholder” with respect to each “controlled foreign corporation” in our group (if any). Because our group includes one or more U.S. subsidiaries, certain of our non-U.S. subsidiaries could be treated as controlled foreign corporations (regardless of whether we are treated as a controlled foreign corporation). A United States shareholder of a controlled foreign corporation may be required to report annually and include in its U.S. taxable income its pro rata share of “Subpart F income,” “global intangible low-taxed income,” and investments in U.S. property by controlled foreign corporations, regardless of whether we make any distributions. An individual that is a United States shareholder with respect to a controlled foreign corporation generally would not be allowed certain tax deductions or foreign tax credits that would be allowed to a United States shareholder that is a U.S. corporation. We cannot provide any assurances that we will assist investors in determining whether we or any of our non-U.S. subsidiaries is treated as a controlled foreign corporation or whether any investor is treated as a United States shareholder with respect to any such controlled foreign corporation or furnish to any investor who may be a United States shareholder information that may be necessary to comply with the aforementioned reporting and tax paying obligations. Failure to comply with these reporting obligations may subject a shareholder who is a United States shareholder to significant monetary penalties and may prevent from starting the statute of limitations with respect to such shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax return for the year for which reporting was due. A U.S. person should consult its advisors regarding the potential application of these rules to an investment in our ordinary shares.
We may not be able to make distributions or repurchase shares without subjecting our shareholders to Dutch withholding tax, and dividends distributed on our ordinary shares to certain related parties in low-tax jurisdictions might in the future become subject to an additional Dutch withholding tax.
We have not paid a dividend on our ordinary shares in the past and we do not intend to pay any dividends to holders of our ordinary shares in the foreseeable future. See “We do not intend to pay dividends in the foreseeable future. As a result, your ability to achieve a return on your investment will depend on appreciation in the price of our ordinary shares.” However, if we ever do pay dividends or repurchase shares, then under current Dutch tax law, the dividend paid or repurchase price paid may be subject to Dutch dividend withholding tax at a rate of 15% under the Dutch Dividend Withholding Tax Act (Wet op de dividendbelasting 1965, “Regular Dividend Withholding Tax”), unless a domestic or treaty exemption applies.
The Dutch parliament has adopted a proposal of law pursuant to which an alternative withholding tax (“Alternative Withholding Tax”) will be imposed on dividends paid to related entities in designated low-tax jurisdictions, effective January 1, 2024. An entity is considered related if (i) it has a “Qualifying Interest” in our company, (ii) our company has a “Qualifying Interest” in the entity holding the ordinary shares, or (iii) a third party has a "Qualifying Interest" in both our company and the entity holding the ordinary shares. The term “Qualifying Interest” means a direct or indirectly held interest either by an entity individually or jointly if an entity is part of a collaborating group (samenwerkende groep) that enables such entity or such collaborating group to exercise a definite influence over another entities' decisions, such as our company or an entity holding ordinary shares as the case may be, and allows it to determine the other entities' activities. The Alternative Withholding Tax will be imposed at the highest Dutch corporate income tax rate in effect at the time of the distribution (currently 25.8%). The Alternative Withholding Tax will be reduced, but not below zero, with any Regular Dividend Withholding Tax imposed on distributions. As such, based on currently applicable rates, the overall effective rate of withholding of Regular Dividend Withholding Tax and Alternative Withholding Tax will not exceed the highest corporate income tax rate in effect at the time of the distribution (currently 25.8%).
If we cease to be a Dutch tax resident for the purposes of a tax treaty concluded by the Netherlands and in certain other events, we could potentially be subject to a proposed Dutch dividend withholding tax in respect of a deemed distribution of our entire market value less paid-up capital.
Under a proposal of law currently pending before the Dutch parliament, the Emergency act conditional exit dividend withholding tax (Spoedwet conditionele eindafrekening dividendbelasting “DWT Exit Tax”), we will be deemed to have distributed an amount equal to our entire market capitalization less recognized paid-up capital immediately before the occurrence of certain events, including if we cease to be a Dutch tax resident for purposes of a tax treaty concluded by the Netherlands with another jurisdiction and become, for purposes of such tax treaty, exclusively a tax resident of that other jurisdiction which is a qualifying jurisdiction. A qualifying jurisdiction is a jurisdiction other than a member state of the EU/EEA which does not impose a withholding tax on distributions, or that does impose such tax but that grants a step-up for earnings attributable to the period prior to us becoming exclusively a resident in such jurisdiction. This deemed distribution will be subject to a 15% tax insofar it exceeds a franchise of EUR 50 million. The tax is payable by us as a withholding agent. A full exemption applies to entities and individuals who are resident in an EU/EEA member state or a state that has concluded a tax treaty with the Netherlands that contains a dividend article, provided we submit a declaration confirming the satisfaction of
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applicable conditions by qualifying shareholders within one month following the taxable event. We will be deemed to have withheld the tax on the deemed distribution and have a statutory right to recover this from our shareholders. Dutch resident shareholders qualifying for the exemption are entitled to a credit or refund, and non-Dutch resident shareholders qualifying for the exemption are entitled to a refund, subject to applicable statutory limitations, provided the tax has been actually recovered from them.
The DWT Exit Tax has been amended several times since the initial proposal of law and is under ongoing discussion. It is therefore not certain whether the DWT Exit Tax will be enacted and if so, in what form. If enacted in its present form, the DWT Exit Tax will have retroactive effect as from December 8, 2021.
Risks Related to our Outstanding Senior Notes
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness, which could adversely affect our financial condition.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness and we may incur additional indebtedness in the future. As of April 30, 2022, we had $575.0 million aggregate principal amount of Senior Notes outstanding. Our indebtedness could have important consequences, including:
limiting our ability to obtain additional financing to fund future working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other general corporate requirements;
requiring a portion of our cash flows to be dedicated to debt service payments instead of other purposes, thereby reducing the amount of cash flows available for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes;
increasing our vulnerability to adverse changes in general economic, industry and competitive conditions; and
increasing our cost of borrowing.
In addition, the indenture that governs the Senior Notes contains restrictive covenants that limit our ability to engage in activities that may be in our long-term best interest. Our failure to comply with those covenants could result in an event of default which, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of substantially all of our indebtedness.
We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness, which may not be successful.
Our ability to make scheduled payments on or to refinance our debt obligations depends on our financial condition and results of operations, which in turn are subject to prevailing economic and competitive conditions and to certain financial, business and other factors beyond our control. We may not be able to maintain a level of cash flows from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we could face substantial liquidity problems and may be forced to reduce or delay investments and capital expenditures, or to sell assets, seek additional capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness. Our ability to restructure or refinance our debt will depend on, among other things, the condition of the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. Any refinancing of our debt could be at higher interest rates and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict our business operations. The terms of existing or future debt instruments and the indenture that governs the Senior Notes may restrict us from adopting some of these alternatives. In addition, any failure to make payments of interest and principal on our outstanding indebtedness on a timely basis would likely result in a reduction of our credit rating, which could harm our ability to incur additional indebtedness. In the absence of such cash flows and resources, we could face substantial liquidity problems and might be required to dispose of material assets or operations to meet our debt service and other obligations. Any of these circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Further, any future credit facility or other debt instrument may contain provisions that will restrict our ability to dispose of assets and use the proceeds from any such disposition. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions or to obtain the proceeds that we could realize from them and these proceeds may not be adequate to meet any debt service obligations then due. These alternative measures may not be successful and may not permit us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations and any such failure to meet our scheduled debt service obligations could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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The indenture that governs the Senior Notes contains, and any of our future debt instruments may contain, terms which restrict our current and future operations, particularly our ability to respond to changes or to take certain actions.
The indenture that governs the Senior Notes contains a number of restrictive covenants that impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us and may limit our ability to engage in acts that may be in our long-term best interest, including, among other things, restrictions on our ability to:
create liens on certain assets to secure debt;
grant a subsidiary guarantee of certain debt without also providing a guarantee of the Senior Notes; and
consolidate or merge with or into, or sell or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets to, another person.
The covenants in the indenture that governs the Senior Notes are subject to important exceptions and qualifications described in such indenture.
As a result of these restrictions, we are limited as to how we conduct our business and we may be unable to raise additional debt or equity financing to compete effectively or to take advantage of new business opportunities. The terms of any future indebtedness we may incur could include more restrictive covenants and may require us to maintain specified financial ratios and satisfy other financial condition tests. We cannot assure that we will be able to maintain compliance with these covenants in the future and, if we fail to do so, that we will be able to obtain waivers from the relevant lenders and/or amend the covenants.
Our failure to comply with the restrictive covenants described above and/or the terms of any future indebtedness from time to time could result in an event of default, which, if not cured or waived, could result in our being required to repay these borrowings before their due date. If we are forced to refinance these borrowings on less favorable terms or cannot refinance these borrowings, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. As a result, our failure to comply with such restrictive covenants could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may be required to repurchase some of the Senior Notes upon a change of control triggering event.
Holders of the Senior Notes can require us to repurchase the Senior Notes upon a change of control (as defined in the indenture governing the Senior Notes) at a repurchase price equal to 101% of the principal amount of the Senior Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the applicable repurchase date. Our ability to repurchase the Senior Notes may be limited by law or the terms of other agreements relating to our indebtedness. In addition, we may not have sufficient funds to repurchase the Senior Notes or have the ability to arrange necessary financing on acceptable terms, if at all. A change of control may also constitute a default under, or result in the acceleration of the maturity of, our other then-existing indebtedness. Our failure to repurchase the Senior Notes would result in a default under the Senior Notes, which may result in the acceleration of the Senior Notes and other then-existing indebtedness. We may not have sufficient funds to make any payments triggered by such acceleration, which could result in foreclosure proceedings and our seeking protection under the U.S. bankruptcy code.
General Risk Factors
Unfavorable or uncertain conditions in our industry or the global economy or reductions in information technology spending, including as a result of inflation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine or COVID-19 pandemic, could limit our ability to grow our business and negatively affect our results of operations.
Our results of operations may vary based on the impact of changes in our industry or the global economy on us or our customers. Current or future economic uncertainties or downturns could adversely affect our business and results of operations. Negative conditions in the general economy both in the United States and abroad, including conditions resulting from changes in gross domestic product growth, financial and credit market fluctuations, international trade relations, changes in inflation and interest rates, energy costs, political instability or unrest and new developments resulting from recent elections and changes of administration, natural catastrophes, warfare, infectious diseases and terrorist attacks on the United States, Europe, the Asia Pacific region or elsewhere, could cause a decrease in business investments by our customers and potential customers, including spending on information technology, and negatively affect the growth of our business. For example, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting international political crisis could have significant negative macroeconomic consequences, including on the businesses of our customers and partners and negatively impact their spending on our offerings.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed business spending by our customers, resulted in business disruptions for us and/or our customers, restricted travel to customer sites and resulted in a quarantine of affected populations impacting our employees, partners and customers. Additionally, mitigation and containment measures adopted or reinstated by government authorities to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and abroad may significantly impact business continuity
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for our partners and our customers, reduce our customers’ business operations, delay their engagement with us (including due to travel restrictions and restrictions on in-person meetings) and could thereby adversely affect our business and financial results. Further, these measures by government authorities may continue to remain in place for a significant period of time or, even if lifted, could be reinstated at any time, and additional and/or extended measures could significantly impact the ability of our employees and customers and vendors to work productively.
To the extent our offerings are perceived by customers and potential customers as discretionary, our revenue may be disproportionately affected by delays or reductions in general information technology spending. Also, customers may choose to develop in-house software as an alternative to using our products. Moreover, competitors may respond to market conditions by lowering prices. We cannot predict the timing, strength or duration of any economic slowdown, instability or recovery, generally or within any particular industry. If the economic conditions of the general economy or markets in which we operate do not improve, or worsen from present levels, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We may acquire other businesses which could require significant management attention, disrupt our business, or dilute shareholder value. We may be unable to integrate acquired businesses and technologies, and acquisitions could adversely affect our results of operations.
As part of our business strategy, we may acquire or make investments in complementary companies, products, or technologies. We have in the past acquired, and expect in the future to acquire, businesses that we believe will complement or augment our existing business. The identification of suitable acquisition candidates is difficult, and we may not be able to complete such acquisitions on favorable terms, if at all. If we do complete future acquisitions, we may not ultimately strengthen our competitive position or achieve our goals and business strategy, we may be subject to claims or liabilities assumed from an acquired company, product, or technology, and any acquisitions we complete could be viewed negatively by our customers, investors, and securities analysts. In addition, if we are unsuccessful at integrating future acquisitions, or the technologies associated with such acquisitions, into our company, the revenue and results of operations of the combined company could be adversely affected. Any integration process may require significant time and resources, which may disrupt our ongoing business and divert management’s attention, and we may not be able to manage the integration process successfully. We may not successfully evaluate or utilize acquired technology or personnel, realize anticipated synergies from acquisitions, or accurately forecast the financial impact of an acquisition transaction and integration of such acquisition, including accounting charges. We may have to pay cash, incur debt, or issue equity or equity-linked securities to pay for any future acquisitions, each of which could adversely affect our financial condition or the market price of our ordinary shares. The sale of equity or issuance of equity-linked debt to finance any future acquisitions could result in dilution to our shareholders. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased fixed obligations and could also include covenants or other restrictions that would impede our ability to manage our operations. Additionally, we may acquire development stage companies that are not yet profitable, and that require continued investment, which could adversely affect our results of operations and liquidity. The occurrence of any of these risks could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Catastrophic events, or man-made problems such as terrorism, may disrupt our business.
A significant natural disaster, such as an earthquake, fire, flood, or significant power outage could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. The impact of climate change may increase these risks due to changes in weather patterns, such as increases in storm intensity, sea-level rise, melting of permafrost and temperature extremes in areas where we or our suppliers and customers conduct business. We have a number of our employees and executive officers located in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for seismic activity and wildfires. In the event our or our partners’ abilities are hindered by any of the events discussed above, sales could be delayed, resulting in missed financial targets for a particular quarter. In addition, acts of terrorism, acts of war, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, other geo-political unrest or health issues, such as an outbreak of pandemic or epidemic diseases, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, or fear of such events, could cause disruptions in our business or the business of our partners, customers or the economy as a whole. Any disruption in the business of our partners or customers that affects sales in a given fiscal quarter could have a significant adverse impact on our quarterly results for that and future quarters. For example, the full extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the economies of many countries, resulting in economic downturns that could affect demand for our products and likely impact our operating results. All of the aforementioned risks may be further increased if our disaster recovery plans prove to be inadequate. See the risk factor entitled “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could harm our business and results of operations.”
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If our estimates or judgments relating to our critical accounting policies are based on assumptions that change or prove to be incorrect, our results of operations could fall below expectations of securities analysts and investors, resulting in a decline in the trading price of our ordinary shares.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, as provided in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets, liabilities, equity, revenue, and expenses that are not readily apparent from other sources. Our results of operations may be adversely affected if our assumptions change or if actual circumstances differ from those in our assumptions, which could cause our results of operations to fall below our publicly announced guidance or the expectations of securities analysts and investors, resulting in a decline in the market price of our ordinary shares. Significant assumptions and estimates used in preparing our consolidated financial statements include those related to revenue recognition and accounting of intangible assets.
If industry or financial analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or if they issue inaccurate or unfavorable research regarding our ordinary shares, our share price and trading volume could decline, which could adversely affect our business.
The trading market for our ordinary shares is influenced by the research and reports that industry or financial analysts publish about us or our business. We do not control these analysts, or the content and opinions included in their reports. If any of the analysts who cover us issues an inaccurate or unfavorable opinion regarding our company, our stock price would likely decline. In addition, the stock prices of many companies in the technology industry have declined significantly after those companies have failed to meet, or significantly exceed, the financial guidance publicly announced by the companies or the expectations of analysts or public investors. If our financial results fail to meet, or significantly exceed, our announced guidance or the expectations of analysts or public investors, our stock price may decline. Further, analysts could downgrade our ordinary shares or publish unfavorable research about us. If one or more of the analysts who cover our company ceases to cover us, or fails to publish reports on us regularly, our visibility in the financial markets could decrease, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline and could adversely affect our business.
The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources, divert management’s attention and affect our ability to attract and retain senior management and qualified board members.
As a public company, we are subject to the reporting and corporate governance requirements of the Exchange Act, the listing requirements of the NYSE and other applicable securities rules and regulations, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Compliance with these rules and regulations has increased, and we expect will continue increasing our legal and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming or costly and increase demand on our systems and resources.
Among other things, the Exchange Act requires that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and results of operations, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. In order to improve our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting to meet this standard, significant resources and management oversight is required. As a result, management’s attention may be diverted from other business concerns, which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Although we have already hired additional personnel to help comply with these requirements, we may need to further expand our legal and finance departments in the future or hire outside consultants, which will increase our costs and expenses.
In addition, changing laws, regulations and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure, including those related to climate change and other environmental, social and governance related matters, are creating uncertainty for public companies, increasing legal and financial compliance costs and making some activities more time-consuming. These laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. We intend to invest resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards, and this investment may result in increased general and administrative expense and a diversion of management’s time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to their application and practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us and our business and prospects may be harmed. As a result of disclosure of information in the filings required of a public company and in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, our business and financial condition will become more visible, which may result in threatened or actual litigation, including by
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competitors and other third parties. If such claims are successful, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially harmed, and even if the claims do not result in litigation or are resolved in our favor, these claims, and the time and resources necessary to resolve them, could divert the resources of our management and materially harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified senior management or members of our board of directors, particularly to serve on our audit and compensation committees.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, we may be unable to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud, and investor confidence and the market price of our ordinary shares may decline, which could adversely affect our business.
As a public company in the United States, we are subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, we have expended and anticipate that we will continue to expend significant resources, including accounting-related costs and significant management oversight. For example, since our IPO, we have hired additional accounting and financial staff with appropriate public company experience and technical accounting knowledge to assist in our compliance efforts. We have incurred and expect to continue to incur significant expenses and devote substantial management effort toward compliance with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. To assist us in complying with these requirements we may need to hire more employees in the future, or engage outside consultants, which will increase our operating expenses.
Despite significant investment, 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 implement 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. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could also adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual independent registered public accounting firm attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting that are required to be included in our periodic reports that we file 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, subject us to sanctions or investigations by the NYSE, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, and would likely cause the trading price of our ordinary shares to decline, which could adversely affect our business.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.
Item 2. Properties.
As a distributed company, we employ a distributed workforce with offices and employee hubs around the world. The largest of these hubs is located in Mountain View, California, where we lease approximately 40,000 square feet.
All offices are leased and we do not own any real property. We intend to procure additional space in the future as we continue to add employees and expand geographically. We believe that our current facilities are adequate to meet our current needs and that, as we grow, suitable additional space will be available to either expand existing hubs or open new hubs in new locations.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
The information called for by this Item is incorporated herein by reference to Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” Note 8, “Commitments and Contingencies” included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
From time to time, we may be subject to legal proceedings and claims that arise in the ordinary course of business, including patent, commercial, product liability, employment, class action, whistleblower and other litigation and claims, as well as governmental and other regulatory investigations and proceedings. In addition, third parties may from time to time assert claims against us in the form of letters and other communications. We are not currently a party to any legal proceedings that, if determined adversely to us, would, in our opinion, have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. Future litigation may be necessary to defend ourselves, our partners and our customers by determining the scope, enforceability and validity of third-party proprietary rights, or to establish our proprietary rights. The
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results of any current or future litigation cannot be predicted with certainty, and regardless of the outcome, litigation can have an adverse impact on us because of defense and settlement costs, diversion of management resources and other factors.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.
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PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Market Information for Ordinary Shares
Our ordinary shares began trading on the NYSE under the symbol “ESTC” on October 5, 2018. Prior to that date, there was no public trading market for our ordinary shares.
Holders of Record
As of June 16, 2022 there were 75 shareholders of record of our ordinary shares. Because many of our ordinary shares are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of shareholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of shareholders represented by these record holders.
Dividend Policy
We have never declared or paid any dividends on our ordinary shares, and we do not anticipate declaring or paying dividends in the foreseeable future.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
None.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
None.
Stock Performance Graph
This performance graph shall not be deemed “filed” with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or incorporated by reference into any of our filings under the Securities Act.
The graph below compares the cumulative total shareholder return on our ordinary shares with the cumulative total return on the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Information Technology Index. The graph assumes $100 was invested at the market close on October 5, 2018, which was our initial trading day, in our ordinary shares. Data for the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Information Technology Index assume reinvestment of dividends. Our offering price of our ordinary shares in our IPO, which had a closing stock price of $70.00 on October 5, 2018, was $36.00 per share.
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The comparisons in the graph below are based upon historical data and are not indicative of, nor intended to forecast, future performance of our ordinary shares.
estc-20220430_g1.jpg
This performance graph shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of Elastic N.V. under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
None.
Item 6. [Reserved]
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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 in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. As discussed in the section titled “Note Regarding 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 difference include, but are not limited to, those identified below and those discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” included in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our fiscal year end is April 30.
This section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K discusses our financial condition and results of operations for the years ended April 30, 2022 and 2021 and year-to-year comparisons between the years ended April 30, 2022 and 2021. A discussion of our financial condition and results of operations for the year ended April 30, 2020 and year-to-year comparisons between years ended April 30, 2021 and 2020 that is not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K can be found in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2021, filed with the SEC on June 25, 2021, and is incorporated by reference herein.
Overview
Elastic is a data analytics company built on the power of search. Our platform, which is available as both a hosted, managed service across public clouds as well as self-managed software, allows our customers to almost instantly find insights from large amounts of data and take action. We offer three search-powered solutions – Enterprise Search, Observability, and Security – that are built into the platform. We help organizations, their employees, and their customers find what they need faster, while keeping mission-critical applications running smoothly, and protecting against cyber threats.
Our platform is built on the Elastic Stack, a powerful set of software products that ingest data from any source, in any format, and perform search, analysis, and visualization of that data. At the core of the Elastic Stack is Elasticsearch - a highly scalable document store and search engine, and the only data store for all of our solutions and use cases. The Elastic Stack can be used by developers to power a variety of use cases. It is a distributed, real-time search and analytics engine and data store for all types of data including textual, numerical, geospatial, structured, and unstructured.
We make our platform available as a hosted, managed service. Customers can also deploy our platform across hybrid clouds, public or private clouds, and multi-cloud environments. As digital transformation and cloud adoption drive mission critical business functions online and to the cloud, we believe that every company will need to build around a search-based data analytics platform, one which brings speed, scale, and relevance to the vast volumes of data being generated. During the year ended April 30, 2022, we acquired 100% of the share capital of cmdWatch Security Inc. (“Cmd”), Build Security Ltd. (“build.security”) and Optimyze.cloud Inc. (“Optimyze”) for a combined total consideration of $135.0 million. With these acquisitions, we will be able to extend cloud security protections for our customers from endpoint to cloud workload and provide our customers with cloud security protections from build-time, to deployment-time, to runtime, and extend our Observability solution to enable “always on” continuous profiling for infrastructure, applications, and services.
Our business model is based primarily on a combination of a paid Elastic-managed hosted service offering and paid and free proprietary self-managed software. Our paid offerings for our platform are sold via subscription through resource-based pricing, and all customers and users have access to all solutions. In Elastic Cloud, our family of cloud-based offerings under which we offer our software as a hosted, managed service, we offer various subscription tiers tied to different features. For users who download our software, we make some of the features of our software available for free, allowing us to engage with a broad community of developers and practitioners and introduce them to the value of the Elastic Stack. We believe in the importance of an open software development model, and we develop the majority of our software in public repositories as open code under a proprietary license. Unlike some companies, we do not build an enterprise version that is separate from our free distribution. We offer a single code base across both our self-managed software and Elastic-hosted services. All of these actions help us build a powerful commercial business model that we believe is optimized for product-led growth.
We generate revenue primarily from sales of subscriptions to our platform. We offer various paid subscription tiers that provide different levels of rights to use proprietary features and access to support. We do not sell support separately. Our subscription agreements typically have terms of one to three years and we usually bill for them annually in advance. Elastic Cloud customers may also purchase subscriptions on a month-to-month basis without a commitment, with usage billed at the end of each month. Subscriptions accounted for 93%, 93% and 92% of total revenue for the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively. We also generate revenue from consulting and training services.
We make it easy for users to begin using our products in order to drive rapid adoption. Users can either sign up for a free trial on Elastic Cloud or download our software directly from our website without any sales interaction, and immediately begin using the full set of features. Users can also sign up for Elastic Cloud through public cloud marketplaces. We conduct
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low-touch campaigns to keep users and customers engaged once they have begun using Elastic Cloud or downloaded our software. As of April 30, 2022, we had over 18,600 customers compared to over 15,000 customers and over 11,300 customers as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The majority of our new customers use Elastic Cloud. We define a customer as an entity that generated revenue in the quarter ending on the measurement date from an annual or month-to-month subscription. Affiliated entities are typically counted as a single customer.
Many of these customers start with limited initial spending, but can significantly grow their spending. We drive high-touch engagement with qualified prospects and customers to drive further awareness, adoption, and expansion of our products with paid subscriptions. Expansion includes increasing the number of developers and practitioners using our products, increasing the utilization of our products for a particular use case, and applying our products to new use cases. The number of customers who represented greater than $100,000 in annual contract value (“ACV”) was over 960, over 730, and over 610 as of April 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The ACV of a customer’s commitments is calculated based on the terms of that customer’s subscriptions, and represents the total committed annual subscription amount as of the measurement date. Month-to-month subscriptions are not included in the calculation of ACV.
Our sales teams are organized primarily by geography and secondarily by customer segments. They focus on both initial conversion of users into customers and additional sales to existing customers. In addition to our direct sales efforts, we also maintain partnerships to further extend our reach and awareness of our products around the world.
We have experienced significant growth, with revenue increasing to $862.4 million for the year ended April 30, 2022 from $608.5 million for the year ended April 30, 2021 and $427.6 million for the year ended April 30, 2020, representing year-over-year growth of 42% for each of the years ended April 30, 2022 and 2021. For the year ended April 30, 2022, revenue from outside the United States accounted for 44% of our total revenue. For our non-U.S. operations, the majority of our revenue and expenses are denominated in currencies such as the Euro and British pound. No customer represented more than 10% of our total revenue for the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021, and 2020. We have not been profitable to date. For the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020, we incurred net losses of $203.8 million, $129.4 million and $167.2 million, respectively. Our net cash provided by operating activities was $5.7 million and $22.5 million for the years ended April 30, 2022 and 2021, respectively and cash used in operating activities for the year ended April 30, 2020 was $30.6 million. We have experienced losses in each year since our incorporation and as of April 30, 2022, had an accumulated deficit of $817.2 million. We expect we will continue to incur net losses for the foreseeable future. There can be no assurance as to when we may become profitable.
We continue to make substantial investments in developing the Elastic Stack and our solutions and expanding our global sales and marketing footprint. With a distributed team spanning over 40 countries, we are able to recruit, hire, and retain high-quality, experienced technical and sales personnel and operate at a rapid pace to drive product releases, fix bugs, and create and market new products. We had 2,978 employees as of April 30, 2022.
In July 2021, we issued $575.0 million aggregate principal amount of 4.125% Senior Notes due July 15, 2029 (the “Senior Notes”) in a private placement. We intend to continue to use the net proceeds from the offering of the Senior Notes for general corporate purposes, which may include capital expenditures, investments and working capital. In addition, in the past we have considered, and may continue to consider, acquisitions and strategic transactions, and we may use the net proceeds of this offering for such purposes.
COVID-19
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and negatively impact worldwide economic activity. Efforts to control its spread have significantly curtailed the movement of people, goods and services worldwide, including in many of the regions in which we sell our products and services and conduct our business operations, negatively impacting worldwide economic activity. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has varied significantly across different industries with certain industries experiencing increased demand for their products and services, while others have struggled to maintain demand for their products and services consistent with historical levels. The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operational and financial performance will depend on certain developments, including the duration and spread of the virus, success of preventative measures to contain or mitigate the spread of the virus and emerging variants, effectiveness, distribution and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines, impact on our customers and our sales cycles, impact on our customer, employee or industry events, effect on our vendors, and the uneven impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain industries, all of which continue to remain uncertain and cannot be predicted.
Notwithstanding the potential and actual adverse impacts described above, as the pandemic has caused more of our customers to shift to a virtual workforce or accelerate their digital transformation efforts, we believe the value of our solutions has become even more evident. In addition, we have benefited from lower spending on travel by our employees due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and from holding events virtually, however we expect live events and travel costs to trend back higher in the near-term.
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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to focus on maintaining business continuity and preparing for the future and long-term success of our business, we have taken precautionary measures intended to help minimize the risk of the virus to our employees, customers, and the communities in which we operate, including modifying our business practices, such as suspending employee travel, adapting employee work locations, and holding events and trainings virtually. Further, we also temporarily reduced the pace of investments in our business in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, but began to gradually increase our investments in our business in subsequent quarters. We intend to continue to make additional investments in the business in fiscal 2023. We continue to monitor the major impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and make changes in our business as appropriate, in response to such impacts. See “Risk Factors” included in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of additional risks.
Key Factors Affecting Our Performance
We believe that the growth and future success of our business depends on many factors, including those described below. While each of these factors presents significant opportunities for our business, they also pose important challenges that we must successfully address in order to sustain our growth and improve our results of operations.
Increasing adoption of Elastic Cloud. Elastic Cloud, our family of cloud-based offerings is an important growth opportunity for our business. Organizations are increasingly looking for hosted deployment alternatives with reduced administrative burdens. In some cases, users of our source available software that have been self-managing deployments of the Elastic Stack subsequently become paying subscribers of Elastic Cloud. For the years ended April 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020, Elastic Cloud contributed 35%, 27% and 22% of our total revenue, respectively. We believe that offering Elastic Cloud is important for achieving our long-term growth potential, and we expect Elastic Cloud’s contribution to our subscription revenue to increase over time. However, we expect that an increase in the relative contribution of Elastic Cloud to our business will have a modest adverse impact on our gross margin as a result of the associated third-party hosting costs.
Growing the Elastic community. Our strategy consists of providing access to source available software, on both a paid and free basis, and fostering a community of users and developers. Our strategy is designed to pursue what we believe to be significant untapped potential for the use of our technology. After developers begin to use our software and start to participate in our developer community, they become more likely to apply our technology to additional use cases and evangelize our technology within their organizations. This reduces the time required for our sales force to educate potential leads on our solutions. In order to capitalize on our opportunity, we intend to make further investments to keep the Elastic Stack accessible and well known to software developers around the world. We intend to continue to invest in our products and support and engage our user base and developer community through content, events, and conferences in the U.S. and internationally. Our results of operations may fluctuate as we make these investments.
Developing new features for the Elastic Stack. The Elastic Stack is applied to various use cases by customers, including through the solutions we offer. Our revenue is derived primarily from subscriptions of Enterprise Search, Observability and Security built into the Elastic Stack. We believe that releasing additional features of the Elastic Stack, including our solutions, drives usage of our products and ultimately drives our growth. To that end, we plan to continue to invest in building new features and solutions that expand the capabilities of the Elastic Stack. These investments may adversely affect our operating results prior to generating benefits, to the extent that they ultimately generate benefits at all.
Growing our customer base by converting users of our software to paid subscribers. Our financial performance depends on growing our paid customer base by converting free users of our software into paid subscribers. Our distribution model has resulted in rapid adoption by developers around the world. We have invested, and expect to continue to invest, heavily in sales and marketing efforts to convert additional free users to paid subscribers. Our investment in sales and marketing is significant given our large and diverse user base. The investments are likely to occur in advance of the anticipated benefits resulting from such investments, such that they may adversely affect our operating results in the near term.
Expanding within our current customer base. Our future growth and profitability depend on our ability to drive additional sales to existing customers. Customers often expand the use of our software within their organizations by increasing the number of developers using our products, increasing the utilization of our products for a particular use case, and expanding use of our products to additional use cases. We focus some of our direct sales efforts on encouraging these types of expansion within our customer base.
We believe that a useful indication of how our customer relationships have expanded over time is through our Net Expansion Rate, which is based upon trends in the rate at which customers increase their spend with us. To calculate an expansion rate as of the end of a given month, we start with the annualized spend from all such customers as of twelve months prior to that month end, or Prior Period Value. A customer’s annualized spend is measured as their ACV, or in the case of customers charged on usage-based arrangements, by annualizing the usage for that month. We then calculate the annualized spend from these same customers as of the given month end, or Current Period Value, which includes any growth in the value of their subscriptions or usage and is net of contraction or attrition over the prior twelve months. We then divide the Current
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Period Value by the Prior Period Value to arrive at an expansion rate. The Net Expansion Rate at the end of any period is the weighted average of the expansion rates as of the end of each of the trailing twelve months. The Net Expansion Rate includes the dollar-weighted value of our subscriptions or usage that expand, renew, contract, or attrit. For instance, if each customer had a one-year subscription and renewed its subscription for the exact same amount, then the Net Expansion Rate would be 100%. Customers who reduced their annual subscription dollar value (contraction) or did not renew their annual subscription (attrition) would adversely affect the Net Expansion Rate. Our Net Expansion Rate was slightly below 130% for the year ended April 30, 2022.
As large organizations expand their use of the Elastic Stack across multiple use cases, projects, divisions and users, they often begin to require centralized provisioning, management and monitoring across multiple deployments. To satisfy these requirements, our Enterprise subscription tier provides access to key orchestration and deployment management capabilities. We will continue to focus some of our direct sales efforts on driving adoption of our paid offerings.
Components of Results of Operations
Revenue
Subscription.  Our revenue is primarily generated through the sale of subscriptions to software, which is either self-managed by the user or hosted and managed by us in the cloud. Subscriptions provide the right to use paid proprietary software features and access to support for our paid and unpaid software.
A portion of the revenue from self-managed subscriptions is generally recognized up front at the point in time when the license is delivered. This revenue is presented as License – self-managed in our consolidated statements of operations. The remainder of revenue from self-managed subscriptions is recognized ratably over the subscription term. Revenue from subscriptions that require access to the cloud or that are hosted and managed by us is recognized ratably over the subscription term or on a usage basis for consumption-based arrangements; both are presented within Subscription – self-managed and SaaS in our consolidated statements of operations.
Professional services.  Professional services is composed of consulting services as well as public and private training. Revenue for professional services is recognized as these services are delivered.
Cost of Revenue
Subscription. Cost of license – self-managed consists of amortization of certain intangible assets. Cost of subscription – self-managed and SaaS consists primarily of personnel and related costs for employees associated with supporting our subscription arrangements, certain third-party expenses, and amortization of certain intangible and other assets. Personnel and related costs, or personnel costs, comprise cash compensation, benefits and stock-based compensation to employees, costs of third-party contractors, and allocated overhead costs. Third-party expenses consist of cloud hosting costs and other expenses directly associated with our customer support. We expect our cost of subscription – self-managed and SaaS to increase in absolute dollars as our subscription revenue increases.
Professional services. Cost of professional services revenue consists primarily of personnel costs directly associated with delivery of training, implementation and other professional services, costs of third-party contractors, facility rental charges and allocated overhead costs. We expect our cost of professional services revenue to increase in absolute dollars as we invest in our business and as professional services revenue increases.
Gross profit and gross margin. Gross profit represents revenue less cost of revenue. Gross margin, or gross profit as a percentage of revenue, has been and will continue to be affected by a variety of factors, including the timing of our acquisition of new customers and our renewals with existing customers, the average sales price of our subscriptions and professional services, the amount of our revenue represented by hosted services, the mix of subscriptions sold, the mix of revenue between subscriptions and professional services, the mix of professional services between consulting and training, transaction volume growth and support case volume growth. We expect our gross margin to fluctuate over time depending on the factors described above. We expect our revenue from Elastic Cloud to continue to increase as a percentage of total revenue, which we expect will adversely impact our gross margin as a result of the associated hosting costs.
Operating Expenses
Research and development. Research and development expense mainly consists of personnel costs and allocated overhead costs for employees and contractors. We expect our research and development expense to increase in absolute dollars for the foreseeable future as we continue to develop new technology and invest further in our existing products.
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Sales and marketing. Sales and marketing expense mainly consists of personnel costs, commissions, allocated overhead costs and costs related to marketing programs and user events. Marketing programs consist of advertising, events, brand-building and customer acquisition and retention activities. We expect our sales and marketing expense to increase in absolute dollars as we expand our salesforce and increase our investments in marketing resources. We capitalize sales commissions and associated payroll taxes paid to internal sales personnel that are related to the acquisition of customer contracts. Sales commissions costs are amortized over the expected benefit period.
General and administrative. General and administrative expense mainly consists of personnel costs for our management, finance, legal, human resources, and other administrative employees. Our general and administrative expense also includes professional fees, accounting fees, audit fees, tax services and legal fees, as well as insurance, allocated overhead costs, and other corporate expenses. We expect our general and administrative expense to increase in absolute dollars as we increase the size of our general and administrative functions to support the growth of our business.
Other Income (Expense), Net
Other income (expense), net primarily consists of interest expense, gains and losses from transactions denominated in a currency other than the functional currency, and interest income.
Provision for (Benefit from) Income Taxes
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes consists primarily of income taxes related to the Netherlands, U.S. federal, state and foreign jurisdictions in which we conduct business. Our effective tax rate is affected by recurring items, such as tax rates in jurisdictions outside the Netherlands and the relative amounts of income we earn in those jurisdictions, and non-deductible stock-based compensation.
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Results of Operations
The following tables set forth our results of operations for the periods presented in dollars and as a percentage of our total revenue. The period to period comparison of results is not necessarily indicative of results for future periods.
Year Ended April 30,
202220212020
(in thousands)
Revenue
License - self-managed$76,964 $67,994 $53,536 
Subscription - self-managed and SaaS721,806 499,345 338,634 
Total subscription revenue798,770 567,339 392,170 
Professional services63,604 41,150 35,450 
Total revenue862,374 608,489 427,620 
Cost of revenue (1)(2)(3)
Cost of license - self-managed1,548 1,386 948 
Cost of subscription - self-managed and SaaS176,656 121,127 84,819 
Total cost of revenue - subscription178,204 122,513 85,767 
Cost of professional services53,990 38,541 36,923 
Total cost of revenue232,194 161,054 122,690 
Gross profit630,180 447,435 304,930 
Operating expenses (1)(2)(3)(4)
Research and development273,761 199,203 165,370 
Sales and marketing406,658 273,877 219,040 
General and administrative123,441 103,833 91,625 
Total operating expenses803,860 576,913 476,035 
Operating loss (1)(2)(3)(4)
(173,680)(129,478)(171,105)
Other income (expense), net
Interest expense(20,716)(185)— 
Other income (expense), net(3,393)7,949 1,963 
Loss before income taxes(197,789)(121,714)(169,142)
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes6,059 7,720 (1,968)
Net loss$(203,848)$(129,434)$(167,174)
(1) Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows:
Year Ended April 30,
202220212020
(in thousands)
Cost of revenue
Cost of subscription - self managed and SaaS$8,368 $7,105 $4,147 
Cost of professional services6,463 4,824 2,980 
Research and development59,911 35,267 23,621 
Sales and marketing45,798 31,581 19,334 
General and administrative20,654 14,903 9,925 
Total stock-based compensation expense$141,194 $93,680 $60,007 
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(2) Includes employer payroll taxes on employee stock transactions as follows:
Year Ended April 30,
202220212020
(in thousands)
Cost of Revenue
Cost of subscription - self managed and SaaS$681 $674 $349 
Cost of professional services712 661 178 
Research and development3,316 3,670 2,179 
Sales and marketing4,287 5,399 3,237 
General and administrative965 3,972 1,550 
Total employer payroll tax on stock transactions$9,961 $14,376 $7,493 
(3) Includes amortization of acquired intangible assets as follows:
Year Ended April 30,
202220212020
(in thousands)
Cost of Revenue
Cost of license - self-managed$1,548 $1,386 $948 
Cost of subscription - self-managed and SaaS8,955 7,051 5,820 
Sales and marketing5,280 5,730 3,300 
Total amortization of acquired intangibles$15,783 $14,167 $10,068 
(4) Includes acquisition-related expenses as follows:
Year Ended April 30,
202220212020
(in thousands)
Research and development$6,104 $— $34 
Sales and marketing— — 522 
General and administrative1,528 — 17,418 
Total acquisition-related expenses$7,632 $— $17,974 

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The following table sets forth selected consolidated statements of operations data for each of the periods indicated as a percentage of total revenue:    
Year Ended April 30,
202220212020
Revenue
License - self-managed%11 %13 %
Subscription - self-managed and SaaS84 %82 %79 %
Total subscription revenue93 %93 %92 %
Professional services%%%
Total revenue100 %100 %100 %
Cost of revenue (1)(2)(3)
Cost of license - self-managed%%%
Cost of subscription - self-managed and SaaS21 %20 %20 %
Total cost of revenue - subscription21 %20 %20 %
Cost of professional services%%%
Total cost of revenue27 %26 %29 %
Gross profit73 %74 %71 %
Operating expenses (1)(2)(3)(4)
Research and development32 %33 %39 %
Sales and marketing47 %45 %51 %
General and administrative14 %17 %21 %
Total operating expenses93 %95 %111 %
Operating loss (1)(2)(3)(4)
(20)%(21)%(40)%
Other income (expense), net
Interest expense(3)%%%
Other income (expense), net%%%
Loss before income taxes(23)%(20)%(40)%
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes%%(1)%
Net loss(24)%(21)%(39)%
(1) Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows:
Year Ended April 30,
202220212020
(in thousands)
Cost of revenue
Cost of subscription - self managed and SaaS%%%
Cost of professional services%%— %
Research and development%%%
Sales and marketing%%%
General and administrative%%%
Total stock-based compensation expense16 %15 %14 %
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(2) Includes employer payroll taxes on employee stock transactions as follows:
Year Ended April 30,
202220212020
(in thousands)
Cost of Revenue
Cost of subscription - self managed and SaaS— %— %— %
Cost of professional services— %— %— %
Research and development— %— %%
Sales and marketing%%%
General and administrative— %%— %
Total employer payroll tax on stock transactions%%%
(3) Includes amortization of acquired intangible assets as follows:
Year Ended April 30,
202220212020
(in thousands)
Cost of Revenue
Cost of license - self-managed— %— %— %
Cost of subscription - self-managed and SaaS%%%
Sales and marketing%%%
Total amortization of acquired intangibles%%%
(4) Includes acquisition-related expenses as follows:
Year Ended April 30,
202220212020
(in thousands)
Research and development%— %— %
Sales and marketing— %— %— %
General and administrative— %— %%
Total acquisition-related expenses%— %%
Comparison of Fiscal Years Ended April 30, 2022 and 2021
Revenue
Year Ended April 30,Change