|Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers|
|Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable|
|Item 3. Key Information|
|Item 4. Information on The Company|
|Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments|
|Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects|
|Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees|
|Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions|
|Item 8. Financial Information|
|Item 9. The Offer and Listing|
|Item 10. Additional Information.|
|Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.|
|Item 12. Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities.|
|Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies.|
|Item 14. Material Modifications To The Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds.|
|Item 15. Controls and Procedures.|
|Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert.|
|Item 16B. Code of Ethics.|
|Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fees and Services.|
|Item 16D. Exemptions From The Listing Standards for Audit Committees.|
|Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities By The Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers.|
|Item 16F. Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountant.|
|Item 16G. Corporate Governance.|
|Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosure.|
|Item 17. Financial Statements.|
|Item 18. Financial Statements.|
|Item 19. Exhibits.|
|Note 1 - Company Overview and Basis of Presentation|
|Note 2 - Basis of Preparation of These Consolidated Financial Statements|
|Note 3 - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies|
|Note 4 - Critical Accounting Judgements and Key Sources of Estimation Uncertainty|
|Note 5 - Revenue|
|Note 6 - Cost of Revenues and Selling, General and Administrative Expenses|
|Note 7 - Finance Income / Expense|
|Note 8 - Income Taxes|
|Note 9 - Earnings per Share|
|Note 10 - Cash and Cash Equivalents|
|Note 11 - Investments|
|Note 12 - Trade Receivables|
|Note 13 - Other Receivables|
|Note 14 - Property and Equipment|
|Note 15 - Intangible Assets|
|Note 16 - Other Assets|
|Note 17 - Trade Payables|
|Note 18 - Payroll and Social Security Taxes Payable|
|Note 19 - Borrowings|
|Note 20 - Tax Liabilities|
|Note 21 - Provisions for Contingencies|
|Note 22 - Advances To Acquire Buildings|
|Note 23 - Related Parties Balances and Transactions|
|Note 24 - Employee Benefits|
|Note 25 - Business Combinations|
|Note 26 - Segment Information|
|Note 27 - Leases|
|Note 28 - Financial Instruments|
|Note 29 &Mdash; Capital and Reserves|
|Note 30 &Mdash; Appropriation of Retained Earnings Under Subsidiaries&Acute; Local Laws and Restrictions on Distribution of Dividends|
|Note 31 - Subsequent Events|
|Note 32 - Approval of Consolidated Financial Statements|
|Balance Sheet||Income Statement||Cash Flow|
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|¨||REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|x||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
|¨||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|¨||SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|Date of event requiring this shell company report|
|For the transition period from to .|
Commission file number: 001-36535
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
(Translation of Registrant's name into English)
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
37A Avenue J.F. Kennedy
Tel: + 352 20 30 15 96
(Address of principal executive offices)
Sol Mariel Noello
37A Avenue J.F. Kennedy
Tel: + 352 20 30 15 96
(Name, Telephone, E-Mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common shares value $ 1.20 per share||GLOB||NYSE|
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act.
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer's classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report: 37,101,771 common shares of which 138,152 are treasury shares held by us.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. x Yes ¨ No
If this report is an annual or transaction report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. ¨ Yes x 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. x 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). x Yes ¨ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer x||Accelerated filer ¨||Non-accelerated filer ¨||Emerging growth company ¨|
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, 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. ¨
† The term "new or revised financial accounting standard" refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP ¨ International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board x
If "Other" has been checked in response to the previous question indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. ¨ Item 17 ¨ Item 18
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). ¨ Yes x No
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS||1|
|CURRENCY PRESENTATION AND DEFINITIONS||2|
|PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION||2|
|PRESENTATION OF INDUSTRY AND MARKET DATA||2|
|ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS||3|
|ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE||3|
|ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION||3|
|A. Selected Financial Data||3|
|B. Capitalization and Indebtedness||8|
|C. Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds||8|
|D. Risk Factors||9|
|ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY||43|
|A. History and Development of the Company||43|
|B. Business overview||43|
|C. Organizational Structure||46|
|D. Property, Plant and Equipment||90|
|ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS||90|
|ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS||90|
|A. Operating Results||90|
|B. Liquidity and Capital Resources||105|
|C. Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, etc.||120|
|D. Trend Information||120|
|E. Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements||121|
|F. Tabular Disclosure of Contractual Obligations||121|
|G. Safe harbor||121|
|ITEM 6. DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES||121|
|A. Directors and Senior Management||121|
|C. Board Practices||129|
|E. Share Ownership||135|
|ITEM 7. MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS||136|
|A. Major Shareholders||136|
|B. Related Party Transactions||139|
|C. Interests of Experts and Counsel||141|
|ITEM 8. FINANCIAL INFORMATION||141|
|A. Consolidated statements and other financial information||141|
|B. Significant Changes||142|
|ITEM 9. THE OFFER AND LISTING||142|
|A. Offering and listing details||142|
|B. Plan of Distribution||142|
|D. Selling Shareholders||143|
|F. Expenses of the Issue||143|
|ITEM 10. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION||143|
|A. Share capital||143|
|B. Memorandum and Articles of Association||143|
|C. Material Contracts||151|
|D. Exchange Controls||151|
|F. Dividends and Paying Agents||159|
|G. Statement by Experts||159|
|H. Documents on Display||159|
|I. Subsidiaries Information||160|
|ITEM 11. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK||160|
|ITEM 12. DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES||162|
|A. Debt Securities||162|
|B. Warrants and Rights||162|
|C. Other Securities||162|
|D. American Depositary Shares||162|
|ITEM 13. DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES||163|
|ITEM 14. MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS||163|
|ITEM 15. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES||163|
|ITEM 16A. AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT||165|
|ITEM 16B. CODE OF ETHICS||166|
|ITEM 16C. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES||166|
|ITEM 16D. EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES||166|
|ITEM 16E. PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS||166|
|ITEM 16F. CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT||167|
|ITEM 16G. CORPORATE GOVERNANCE||167|
|ITEM 16H. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE||169|
|ITEM 17. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS||170|
|ITEM 18. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS||170|
|ITEM 19. EXHIBITS||170|
This annual report includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, all statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this annual report, including, without limitation, those regarding our future financial position and results of operations, strategy, plans, objectives, goals and targets, future developments in the markets in which we operate or are seeking to operate or anticipated regulatory changes in the markets in which we operate or intend to operate. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "aim", "anticipate", "believe", "continue", "could", "estimate", "expect", "forecast", "guidance", "intend", "may", "plan", "potential", "predict", "projected", "should" or "will" or the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology.
You should carefully consider all the information in this annual report, including the information set forth under "Risk Factors." We believe our primary challenges are:
|·||If we are unable to maintain current resource utilization rates and productivity levels, our revenues, profit margins and results of operations may be adversely affected;|
|·||If we are unable to manage attrition and attract and retain highly-skilled IT professionals, our operating efficiency and productivity may decrease, and we may not have the necessary resources to maintain client relationships and expand our business;|
|·||If the pricing structures we use for our client contracts are based on inaccurate expectations and assumptions regarding the cost and complexity of performing our work, our contracts could be unprofitable, which could adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows from operation;|
|·||If we are unable to achieve anticipated growth, our revenues, results of operations, business and prospects may be adversely affected;|
|·||If we are unable to effectively manage the rapid growth of our business, our management personnel, systems and resources could face significant strains, which could adversely affect our results of operations;|
|·||If we were to lose the services of our senior management team or other key employees, our business operations, competitive position, client relationships, revenues and results of operation may be adversely affected;|
|·||If we do not continue to innovate and remain at the forefront of emerging technologies and related market trends, we may lose clients and not remain competitive, which could cause our results of operations to suffer;|
|·||If any of our largest clients terminates, decreases the scope of, or fails to renew its business relationship or short-term contract with us, our revenues, business and results of operations may be adversely affected;|
|·||Global economic and political conditions could have a material adverse effect on our revenues, margins, results of operations and financial condition; and|
|·||Uncertainty concerning the current economic, political and social environment in Latin America may have an adverse impact on capital flows or other relevant variables and could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.|
By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are based on numerous assumptions. Our actual results of operations, financial condition and the development of events may differ materially from (and be more negative than) those made in, or suggested by, the forward-looking statements. Readers should read "Risk Factors" in this annual report and the description of our business under "Business Overview" in this annual report for a more complete discussion of the factors that could affect us.
Unless required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or developments or otherwise.
In this annual report, all references to "U.S. dollars" and "$" are to the lawful currency of the United States, all references to "Argentine pesos" are to the lawful currency of the Republic of Argentina, all references to "Colombian pesos" are to the lawful currency of the Republic of Colombia, all references to "Uruguayan pesos" are to the lawful currency of the Republic of Uruguay, all references to "Mexican pesos" are to the lawful currency of Mexico, all references to "Chilean pesos" are to the lawful currency of Chile, all references to "Rupees" or "Indian rupees" are to the lawful currency of the Republic of India, all references to "Reais" or "Brazilian Real" are to the lawful currency of Brazil, all references to "Peruvian Sol" are to the lawful currency of Peru, all references to "Romanian Leu" are to the lawful currency of Romania, all references to "Belarusian ruble" are to the lawful currency of Belarus and all references to "euro" or "€" are to the single currency of the participating member states of the European and Monetary Union of the Treaty Establishing the European Community, as amended from time to time. All references to the "pound," "British Sterling pound" or "£" are to the lawful currency of the United Kingdom. All references to "Canadian dollars" are to the lawful currency of Canada.
Unless otherwise specified or the context requires otherwise in this annual report:
|•||"IT" refers to information technology;|
|•||"ISO" means the International Organization for Standardization, which develops and publishes international standards in a variety of technologies and in the IT services sector;|
|•||"Agile development methodologies" means a group of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams;|
|•||"Attrition rate," during a specific period, refers to the ratio of IT professionals that left our company during the period to the number of IT professionals that were on our payroll on the last day of the period; and|
|•||"Globers" refers to the employees that work for our company.|
"GLOBANT" and its logo are our trademarks. Solely for convenience, we refer to our trademarks in this annual report without the TM and ® symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights to our trademarks. Other service marks, trademarks and trade names referred to in this annual report are the property of their respective owners.
Our consolidated financial statements are prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ("IASB") and presented in U.S. dollars because the U.S. dollar is our functional currency. Our fiscal year ends on December 31 of each year. Accordingly, unless otherwise indicated, all references to a particular year are to the year ended December 31 of that year. Some percentages and amounts included in this annual report have been rounded for ease of presentation. Accordingly, figures shown as totals in certain tables may not be an exact arithmetic aggregation of the figures that precede them.
In this annual report, we rely on, and refer to, information regarding our business and the markets in which we operate and compete. The market data and certain economic and industry data and forecasts used in this annual report were obtained from International Data Corporation (“IDC”), Gartner, Inc. (“Gartner”), internal surveys, market research, governmental and other publicly available information, independent industry publications and reports prepared by industry consultants. Industry publications, surveys and forecasts generally state that the information contained therein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but that the accuracy and completeness of such information is not guaranteed. We believe that these industry publications, surveys and forecasts are reliable, but we have not independently verified them and cannot guarantee their accuracy or completeness.
Certain market share information and other statements presented herein regarding our position relative to our competitors are not based on published statistical data or information obtained from independent third parties, but reflect our best estimates. We have based these estimates upon information obtained from our clients, trade and business organizations and associations and other contacts in the industries in which we operate.
The following selected consolidated financial and other data of Globant S.A. should be read in conjunction with, and are qualified by reference to, "Operating and Financial Review and Prospects" and our audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this annual report. The selected consolidated financial data as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 and for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 have been derived from the audited consolidated financial statements of Globant S.A. included elsewhere in this annual report and should be read in conjunction with those audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto. The selected consolidated financial data as of December 31, 2017 set forth below have been derived from our consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2018 and 2017 and for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 filed with the SEC on March 29, 2019 in our annual report for the year ended December 31, 2018 and which are not included in this annual report. The selected consolidated financial data as of and for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 set forth below have been derived from our consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 and for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 filed with the SEC on April 7, 2017 in our annual report for the year ended December 31, 2016 and which are not included in this annual report.
|Year ended December 31,|
|(in thousands, except for percentages and per share data)|
|Consolidated Statements of profit or loss and other comprehensive income:|
|Cost of revenues (2)||(405,164||)||(318,554||)||(263,171||)||(191,395||)||(160,292||)|
|Selling, general and administrative expenses (3)||(172,478||)||(133,187||)||(110,813||)||(80,961||)||(71,389||)|
|Net impairment losses on financial assets (4)||(228||)||(3,469||)||(1,581||)||(928||)||1,615|
|Other operating expense, net (5)||(720||)||(306||)||(4,708||)||—||—|
|Profit from operations||80,735||66,794||33,166||49,572||23,730|
|Gain on transactions with bonds (6)||1,569||—||—||—||19,102|
|Finance (expense) income, net (7)||(13,158||)||(5,550||)||(3,080||)||(3,012||)||6,603|
|Share of results of investments in associates (8)||(224||)||—||—||—||—|
|Other income and expenses, net (9)||110||6,220||8,458||3,629||605|
|Profit before income tax||69,032||67,464||38,544||50,189||50,040|
|Income tax (10)||(15,017||)||(15,868||)||(8,081||)||(14,327||)||(18,420||)|
|Net income for the year||54,015||51,596||30,463||35,862||31,620|
|Earnings per share|
|Weighted average number of outstanding shares (in thousands)|
|(1)||Includes transactions with related parties of $1,419, $5,937, $5,590, $6,462 and $6,655 for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.|
|(2)||Includes depreciation and amortization expense of $7,350, $4,022, $4,339, $4,281 and $4,441 for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Also includes share based compensation for $4,976, $4,248, $5,666, $917 and $735 for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.|
|(3)||Includes depreciation and amortization expense of $16,905, $16,521, $11,789, $6,637 and $4,860 for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Also includes share based compensation of $14,912, $8,665, $8,798, $2,703 and $1,647 for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.|
|(4)||Includes impairments of tax credits of $48 and $1,586 for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively, and recoveries related to reversals of allowances for impairments of tax credits of $47 and $1,820 for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2015, respectively. Also includes a loss of $275, $3,421, $928 and $205 on impairment of trade receivables for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2015, respectively, and a gain related to the reversal of an allowance for impairment of trade receivables of $5 for the year ended December 31, 2017.|
|(5)||Includes an impairment of intangibles assets of $720, $306 and $4,708 for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.|
|(6)||Includes a gain of $1,569 and $19,102 from transactions with Argentine sovereign bonds denominated in U.S. dollars acquired in the U.S. market with cash received from repayments of intercompany loans and capitalizations received by our Argentine subsidiaries for the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2015, respectively.|
|(7)||Includes foreign exchange losses, net, of $8,841, $7,437, $2,729, $8,620 and $10,136 for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.|
|(8)||Includes a loss of $224 related to our share of the loss from our investment in Acamica, described in note 11.2 to our audited consolidated financial statements.|
|(9)||Includes a loss of $85 for the year ended December 31, 2019 and gains of $6,700, $6,735 and $418, for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively, on the remeasurement of the contingent consideration of Avanxo, Clarice Technologies Private Ltd. (now called Globant India Private Ltd. or "Clarice"), We Are London Limited ("WAE UK"), We Are Experience, Inc. ("WAE U.S." and together with WAE UK, "WAE"), L4 Mobile, LLC ("L4"), Ratio Cypress, LLC ("Ratio) and PointSource, LLC ("PointSource"), explained in note 28.9.1 to our audited consolidated financial statements, and gains of $1,611, $1,726 and $2,981, for the years ended December 31,2018, 2017 and 2016, related to the remeasurement at fair value of the call and put option over our non-controlling interest in Dynaflows S.A. ("Dynaflows") explained in note 28.9.2 to our audited consolidated financial statements, and the derecognition of the call option over non-controlling interest of, $455, for the year ended December 31, 2018, explained in note 25.2 to our audited consolidated financial statements. Includes a loss of $1,038 for the year ended December 31, 2018 related to the settlement agreed with WAE former owners (note 28.9.1 to our audited consolidated financial statements). Includes the impairment of the investment in Collokia of $800 explained in note 11.2 to our audited consolidated financial statements, for the year ended December 31, 2018. Includes a gain of $225 related to the bargain business combination of Difier S.A., for the year ended December 31, 2016. Includes a gain related to the valuation at fair value of our 22.7% share interest held in Dynaflows of $625 for the year ended December 31, 2015.|
|(10)||Includes deferred tax gains of $4,310, $7,456, $5,972, $730 and $1,102 for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.|
Reconciliation of Non-IFRS Financial Data
To supplement our financial measures prepared in accordance with IFRS, we use certain non-IFRS financial measures including (i) adjusted diluted earnings per share ("EPS"), (ii) adjusted net income, (iii) adjusted gross profit, (iv) adjusted selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses, and (v) adjusted profit from operations. These measures do not have any standardized meaning under IFRS, and other companies may use similarly titled non-IFRS financial measures that are calculated differently from the way we calculate such measures. Accordingly, our non-IFRS financial measures may not be comparable to similar non-IFRS measures presented by other companies. We caution investors not to place undue reliance on such non-IFRS measures, but instead to consider them with the most directly comparable IFRS measures. Non-IFRS financial measures have limitations as analytical tools and should not be considered in isolation. They should be considered as a supplement to, not a substitute for, or superior to, the corresponding measures calculated in accordance with IFRS.
The reconciliations of these non-IFRS measures to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with IFRS are shown in the tables below. We use these non-IFRS measures as key measures in the evaluation of our performance and our consolidated financial results. We believe these non-IFRS measures may be useful to investors in their assessment of our operating performance and the valuation of our company. In addition, these non-IFRS measures address questions we routinely receive from analysts and investors and, in order to assure that all investors have access to similar data, we have determined that it is appropriate to make this data available to all investors.
Adjusted Gross Profit and Adjusted SG&A Expenses
We utilize non-IFRS measures of adjusted gross profit and adjusted SG&A expenses as supplemental measures for period-to-period comparisons. Adjusted gross profit and adjusted SG&A expenses are most directly comparable to the IFRS measures of gross profit and selling, general and administrative expenses, respectively. Our non-IFRS measures of adjusted gross profit and adjusted SG&A expenses exclude the impact of certain items, such as depreciation and amortization expense, share-based compensation expense and, only with respect to adjusted SG&A expenses, acquisition-related charges.
Adjusted Profit from Operations
We utilize the non-IFRS measure of adjusted profit from operations as a supplemental measure for period-to-period comparisons. Adjusted profit from operations is most directly comparable to the IFRS measure of profit from operations. Adjusted profit from operations excludes the impact of certain items, such as share-based compensation expense, impairment of assets, net of recoveries, and acquisition-related charges.
Adjusted Diluted EPS and Adjusted Net Income
We utilize non-IFRS measures of adjusted diluted EPS and adjusted net income for strategic decision making, forecasting future results and evaluating current performance. Adjusted diluted EPS and adjusted net income are most directly comparable to the IFRS measures of EPS and net income, respectively. Our non-IFRS measures of adjusted diluted EPS and adjusted net income exclude the impact of certain items, such as acquisition-related charges, impairment of assets, net of recoveries, share-based compensation expense, expenses related to the secondary share offering in the United States of our common shares held by WPP Luxembourg Gamma Three S.àr.l. ("WPP") (see note 23 to our consolidated financial statements) and expense related to the U.S. settlement agreement.
|Year ended December 31,|
|Reconciliation of adjusted gross profit|
|Depreciation and amortization expense||7,350||4,022||4,339||4,281||4,441|
|Share-based compensation expense||4,976||4,248||5,666||917||735|
|Adjusted gross profit||$||266,487||$||212,026||$||160,273||$||136,659||$||98,680|
|Reconciliation of adjusted selling, general and|
|Selling, general and administrative expenses||$||(172,478||)||$||(133,187||)||$||(110,813||)||$||(80,961||)||$||(71,389||)|
|Acquisition-related charges, net (1)||9,571||3,516||1,131||556||337|
|Depreciation and amortization expense||16,905||16,521||11,789||6,637||4,860|
|Share-based compensation expense||14,912||8,665||8,798||2,703||1,647|
|Adjusted selling, general and administrative expenses||$||(131,090||)||$||(104,485||)||$||(89,095||)||$||(71,065||)||$||(64,545||)|
|Reconciliation of adjusted profit from operations|
|Profit from operations||$||80,735||$||66,794||$||33,166||$||49,572||$||23,730|
|Acquisition-related charges, net (1)||10,695||4,273||7,523||1,478||337|
|Impairment of assets, net of recoveries (2)||673||354||1,586||—||(1,820||)|
|Share-based compensation expense||19,888||12,913||14,464||3,620||2,382|
|Adjusted profit from operations||$||111,991||$||84,334||$||56,739||$||54,670||$||24,629|
|Reconciliation of adjusted net income for the year|
|Net income for the year||$||54,015||$||51,596||$||30,463||$||35,862||$||31,620|
|Acquisition-related charges, net (1)||11,518||(2,177||)||(447||)||(1,556||)||337|
|Share-based compensation expense||19,888||12,913||14,464||3,620||2,382|
|Impairment of assets, net of recoveries (2)||673||1,154||1,586||—||(1,820||)|
|Expenses related to secondary share offering (3)||—||251||—||—||—|
|US settlement agreement, net||—||—||—||845||—|
|Adjusted net income for the year||$||86,094||$||63,737||$||46,066||$||38,771||$||32,519|
|Calculation of adjusted diluted EPS|
|Adjusted net income||86,094||63,737||46,066||38,771||32,519|
|Adjusted diluted EPS||2.29||1.74||1.28||1.09||0.93|
|Adjusted gross profit||266,487||212,026||160,273||136,659||98,680|
|Adjusted gross profit margin percentage||40.4||%||40.6||%||38.8||%||42.3||%||38.9||%|
|Adjusted selling, general and administrative expenses||(131,090||)||(104,485||)||(89,095||)||(71,065||)||(64,545||)|
|Adjusted selling, general and administrative expenses margin percentage||19.9||%||20.0||%||21.5||%||22.0||%||25.4||%|
|Adjusted profit from operations||111,991||84,334||56,739||54,670||24,629|
|Adjusted profit from operations margin percentage||17.0||%||16.1||%||13.7||%||16.9||%||9.7||%|
|Adjusted net income for the year||86,094||63,737||46,066||38,771||32,519|
|Adjusted net income margin percentage for the year||13.1||%||12.2||%||11.1||%||12.0||%||12.8||%|
(1) Acquisition-related charges, net, include, when applicable, amortization of acquired intangible assets included in the depreciation and amortization expense line on our consolidated statements of operations, external deal costs, acquisition-related retention bonuses, integration costs, changes in the fair value of contingent consideration liabilities, charges for impairment of acquired intangible assets and other acquisition-related costs.
(2) Impairment of assets, net of recoveries includes, when applicable, charges for impairment of intangible assets, charges for impairment of investments in associates and charges for impairment of tax credits, net of recoveries.
(3) Expenses related to secondary share offering include expenses related to the secondary offering in the United States of our common shares held by WPP Luxembourg Gamma Three S.àr.l.
Consolidated Statements of Financial Position Data
|As of December 31,|
|Consolidated statements of financial position data:|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||62,721||$||77,606||$||52,525||$||50,532||$||36,720|
|Investments (current and non-current)||20,198||9,162||8,147||9,355||25,660|
|Other assets (current and non-current)||21,235||—||—||—||—|
|Other receivables (current and non-current)||28,118||49,538||46,093||46,334||38,692|
|Deferred tax assets||26,868||16,916||13,186||7,691||7,983|
|Investment in associates||3,776||4,000||1,550||800||300|
|Other financial assets (current and non-current)||6,210||895||1,428||1,219||2,121|
|Property and equipment||87,533||51,460||43,879||35,676||25,720|
|Trade payables (current and non-current)||36,987||17,578||11,640||5,603||4,436|
|Payroll and social security taxes payable||72,252||58,535||40,472||30,328||25,551|
|Borrowings (current and non-current)||51,386||—||6,011||217||548|
|Other financial liabilities (current and non-current)||10,554||12,765||29,238||31,826||21,285|
|Lease liabilities (current and non-current)||61,363||—||—||—||—|
|Deferred tax liabilities||1,028||—||—||—||—|
|Other liabilities and provisions||2,970||2,906||1,199||1,965||659|
|Total equity and non-controlling interest||438,714||337,916||263,364||208,560||160,185|
|Total equity, non-controlling interest and liabilities||687,764||437,099||357,177||284,748||222,889|
You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with the other information contained in this annual report, before making any investment decision. Any of the following risks and uncertainties could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition. The market price of our common shares could decline due to any of these risks and uncertainties, and you could lose all or part of your investment. The risks described below are those that we currently believe may materially affect us.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
If we are unable to maintain current resource utilization rates and productivity levels, our revenues, profit margins and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Our profitability and the cost of providing our services are affected by our utilization rate of the Globers in our Studios. If we are not able to maintain appropriate utilization rates for our professionals, our profit margin and our profitability may suffer. Our utilization rates are affected by a number of factors, including:
|•||our ability to transition Globers from completed projects to new assignments and to hire and integrate new employees;|
|•||our ability to forecast demand for our services and thereby maintain an appropriate headcount in each of our talent delivery centers;|
|•||our ability to manage the attrition of our IT professionals; and|
|•||our need to devote time and resources to training, professional development and other activities that cannot be billed to our clients.|
Our revenue could also suffer if we misjudge demand patterns and do not recruit sufficient employees to satisfy demand. Employee shortages could prevent us from completing our contractual commitments in a timely manner and cause us to pay penalties or lose contracts or clients. In addition, we could incur increased payroll costs, which would negatively affect our utilization rates and our business.
If we are unable to manage attrition and attract and retain highly-skilled IT professionals, our operating efficiency and productivity may decrease, and we may not have the necessary resources to maintain client relationships and expand our business.
Our business is labor intensive and, accordingly, our success depends upon our ability to attract, develop, motivate, retain and effectively utilize highly-skilled IT professionals. We believe that there is significant competition for technology professionals in Latin America, the United States, Europe, Asia and elsewhere who possess the technical skills and experience necessary to deliver our services, and that such competition is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. As a result, the technology industry generally experiences a significant rate of turnover of its workforce. Our business plan is based on hiring and training a significant number of additional technology professionals each year in order to meet anticipated turnover and increased staffing needs. Our ability to properly staff projects, to maintain and renew existing engagements and to win new business depends, in large part, on our ability to hire and retain qualified IT professionals.
The total attrition rate among our Globers was 14.6%, 18.2% and 18.0% for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. If our attrition rate were to increase, our operating efficiency and productivity may decrease. We compete for talented individuals not only with other companies in our industry but also with companies in other industries, such as software services, engineering services and financial services companies, among others, and there is a limited pool of individuals who have the skills and training needed to help us grow our company. High attrition rates of qualified personnel could have an adverse effect on our ability to expand our business, as well as cause us to incur greater personnel expenses and training costs.
We may not be able to recruit and train a sufficient number of qualified professionals or be successful in retaining current or future employees. Increased hiring by technology companies, particularly in Latin America, the United States, Asia and Europe, and increasing worldwide competition for skilled technology professionals may lead to a shortage in the availability of qualified personnel in the locations where we operate and hire. Failure to hire and train or retain qualified technology professionals in sufficient numbers could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If the pricing structures we use for our client contracts are based on inaccurate expectations and assumptions regarding the cost and complexity of performing our work, our contracts could be unprofitable, which could adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows from operation.
We perform our services primarily under time-and-materials contracts. We charge out the services performed by our Globers under these contracts at hourly rates that are agreed to at the time the contract is entered into. The hourly rates and other pricing terms negotiated with our clients are highly dependent on the complexity of the project, the mix of staffing we anticipate using on it, internal forecasts of our operating costs and predictions of increases in those costs influenced by wage inflation and other marketplace factors. Our predictions are based on limited data and could turn out to be inaccurate. Typically, we do not have the ability to increase the hourly rates established at the outset of a client project in order to pass through to our client increases in salary costs driven by wage inflation and other marketplace factors.
Because we conduct a substantial part of our operations through our operating subsidiaries located in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and India, we are subject to the effects of wage inflation and other marketplace factors in these countries, which have increased significantly in recent years. If increases in salary and other operating costs at those subsidiaries exceed our internal forecasts, the hourly rates established under our time-and-materials contracts might not be sufficient to recover those increased operating costs, which would make those contracts unprofitable for us, thereby adversely affecting our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows from operations.
In addition to our time-and-materials contracts, we undertake engagements on a fixed-price basis. Revenues from our fixed-price contracts represented approximately 16.1%, 17.4% and 8.9% of total revenues for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Our pricing in a fixed-price contract depends on our assumptions and forecasts about the costs we will incur to complete the related project, which are based on limited data and could turn out to be inaccurate. Any failure by us to accurately estimate the resources and time required to complete a fixed-price contract on time and on budget or any unexpected increase in the cost of our Globers assigned to the related project, office space or materials could expose us to risks associated with cost overruns and could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, any unexpected changes in economic conditions that affect any of the foregoing assumptions and predictions could render contracts that would have been favorable to us when signed unfavorable.
If we are unable to achieve anticipated growth, our revenues, results of operations, business and prospects may be adversely affected.
We intend to continue our expansion in the foreseeable future and to pursue existing and potential market opportunities. As we add new Studios, introduce new services or enter into new markets, we may face new market, technological and operational risks and challenges with which we are unfamiliar, and we may not be able to mitigate these risks and challenges to successfully grow those services or markets. We may not be able to achieve our anticipated growth, which could materially adversely affect our revenues, results of operations, business and prospects.
If we are unable to effectively manage the rapid growth of our business, our management personnel, systems and resources could face significant strains, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
We have experienced, and continue to experience, rapid growth in our headcount, operations and revenues, which has placed, and will continue to place, significant demands on our management and operational and financial infrastructure. Additionally, the transition in our delivery mix from the initial Argentina-based staffing to the current decentralized staffing, including by increasing the number of employees that are deployed onsite at our clients or near client locations, in Latin America, the United States, Europe and India has placed additional operational and structural demands on our resources.
Our future growth depends on recruiting, hiring and training technology professionals, growing our international operations, expanding our delivery capabilities, adding effective sales staff and management personnel, adding service offerings, maintaining existing clients and winning new business. Client demands, the availability of high-quality technical and operational personnel at attractive compensation rates, regulatory environments and other pertinent factors may vary significantly by region and our experience in the markets in which we currently operate may not be applicable to other regions. As a result, we may not be able to leverage our experience to expand our delivery footprint effectively into other target markets.
Effective management of these and other growth initiatives will require us to continue to improve our infrastructure, execution standards and ability to expand services. Failure to manage growth effectively could have a material adverse effect on the quality of the execution of our engagements, our ability to attract and retain professionals and our business, results of operations, prospects and financial condition.
If we were to lose the services of our senior management team or other key employees, our business operations, competitive position, client relationships, revenues and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Our future success heavily depends upon the continued services of our senior management team and other key employees. We currently do not maintain key man life insurance for any of our founders, members of our senior management team or other key employees. If one or more of our senior executives or key employees are unable or unwilling to continue in their present positions, it could disrupt our business operations, and we may not be able to replace them easily, on a timely basis or at all. In addition, competition for senior executives and key employees in our industry is intense, and we may be unable to retain our senior executives and key employees or attract and retain new senior executives and key employees in the future, in which case our business may be severely disrupted.
If any of our senior management team or key employees joins a competitor or forms a competing company, we may lose clients, suppliers, know-how and key IT professionals and staff members to them. Also, if any of our sales executives or other sales personnel, who generally maintain a close relationship with our clients, joins a competitor or forms a competing company, we may lose clients to that company, and our revenues may be materially adversely affected. Additionally, there could be unauthorized disclosure or use of our technical knowledge, practices or procedures by such personnel. If any dispute arises between any members of our senior management team or key employees and us, any noncompetition, non-solicitation and nondisclosure agreements we have with our founders, senior executives or key employees might not provide effective protection to us in light of legal uncertainties associated with the enforceability of such agreements.
If we do not continue to innovate and remain at the forefront of emerging technologies and related market trends, we may lose clients and not remain competitive, which could cause our revenues and results of operations to suffer.
Our success depends on creating software products that emotionally connect our customers with consumers and employees, leveraging the latest technologies and methodologies in the digital and cognitive space to drive increased revenues and effective communication with customers. Technological advances and innovation are constant in the technology services industry. As a result, we must continue to invest significant resources in research and development to stay abreast of technology developments so that we may continue to deliver software products that our clients will wish to purchase. If we are unable to anticipate technology developments, enhance our existing services or develop and introduce new services to keep pace with such changes and meet changing client needs, we may lose clients and our revenues and results of operations could suffer. Our results of operations would also suffer if our innovations are not responsive to the needs of our clients, are not appropriately timed with market opportunities or are not effectively brought to market. Our competitors may be able to offer engineering, design and innovation services that are, or that are perceived to be, substantially similar or better than those we offer. This may force us to compete on other fronts in addition to the quality of our services and to expend significant resources in order to remain competitive, which we may be unable to do.
If any of our largest clients terminates, decreases the scope of, or fails to renew its business relationship or short-term contract with us, our revenues, business and results of operations may be adversely affected.
We generate a significant portion of our revenues from our ten largest clients. During the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, our largest customer based on revenues, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online , accounted for 11.2%, 11.3% and 10.2% of our revenues, respectively. During the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, our ten largest clients accounted for 39.5%, 44.0% and 41.9% of our revenues, respectively.
Our ability to maintain close relationships with these and other major clients is essential to the growth and profitability of our business. However, most of our client contracts are limited to short-term, discrete projects without any commitment to a specific volume of business or future work, and the volume of work performed for a specific client is likely to vary from year to year, especially since we are generally not our clients' exclusive technology services provider. A major client in one year may not provide the same level of revenues for us in any subsequent year. The technology services we provide to our clients, and the revenues and income from those services, may decline or vary as the type and quantity of technology services we provide changes over time. In addition, our reliance on any individual client for a significant portion of our revenues may give that client a certain degree of pricing leverage against us when negotiating contracts and terms of service.
In addition, a number of factors, including the following, other than our performance could cause the loss of or reduction in business or revenues from a client and these factors are not predictable:
|•||our need to devote time and resources to training, professional development and other activities that cannot be billed to our clients.|
|•||the business or financial condition of that client or the economy generally;|
|•||a change in strategic priorities by that client, resulting in a reduced level of spending on technology services;|
|•||a demand for price reductions by that client; and|
|•||a decision by that client to move work in-house or to one or several of our competitors.|
The loss or diminution in business from any of our major clients could have a material adverse effect on our revenues and results of operations.
Global economic and political conditions could have a material adverse effect on our revenues, margins, results of operations and financial condition.
We derive a significant portion of our revenues from clients located in the United States, Latin America and Europe. The technology services industry is particularly sensitive to the economic environment, and tends to decline during general economic downturns. If the U.S., Latin American, or European economies weaken or slow, or a negative or uncertain political climate develops or persists, pricing for our services may be depressed and our clients may reduce or postpone their technology spending significantly, which may, in turn, lower the demand for our services and negatively affect our revenues and profitability.
The United Kingdom formally left the European Union on January 31, 2020, with a transitional period set to end on December 31, 2020 (“Brexit”). There is continued uncertainty surrounding the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, including trade agreements between the United Kingdom and European Union. Additionally, long-term risks of Brexit include economic recessions in the United Kingdom or other European markets and currency instability for both the British Pound Sterling and the Euro. Given the number of different outcomes still possible, the impact of Brexit is difficult to determine.
If we are unable to successfully anticipate changing economic and political conditions affecting the markets in which we operate, we may be unable to effectively plan for or respond to those changes, and our revenues, margins, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We are subject to global pandemic risks, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Global pandemics or other disasters or public health concerns in regions of the world where we have operations could result in social, economic or labor instability and disrupt our business. For example, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak emanating from China at the beginning of 2020 has resulted in increased travel restrictions and extended shutdowns of certain businesses in certain regions. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.” These events could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We face intense competition from technology and IT services providers, and an increase in competition, our inability to compete successfully, pricing pressures or loss of market share could materially adversely affect our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.
The market for technology and IT services is intensely competitive, highly fragmented and subject to rapid change and evolving industry standards and we expect competition to intensify. We believe that the principal competitive factors that we face are the ability to innovate; technical expertise and industry knowledge; end-to-end solution offerings; reputation and track record for high-quality and on-time delivery of work; effective employee recruiting; training and retention; responsiveness to clients' business needs; scale; financial stability; and price.
We face competition primarily from large global consulting and outsourcing firms, digital agencies and design firms, traditional technology outsourcing providers, and the in-house product development departments of our clients and potential clients. Many of our competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and marketing resources and greater name recognition than we do. As a result, they may be able to compete more aggressively on pricing or devote greater resources to the development and promotion of technology and IT services. Companies based in some emerging markets also present significant price competition due to their competitive cost structures and tax advantages.
In addition, there are relatively few barriers to entry into our markets and we have faced, and expect to continue to face, competition from new technology services providers. Further, there is a risk that our clients may elect to increase their internal resources to satisfy their services needs as opposed to relying on a third-party vendor, such as our company. The technology services industry is also undergoing consolidation, which may result in increased competition in our target markets in the United States and Europe from larger firms that may have substantially greater financial, marketing or technical resources, may be able to respond more quickly to new technologies or processes and changes in client demands, and may be able to devote greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of their services than we can. Increased competition could also result in price reductions, reduced operating margins and loss of our market share. We cannot assure you that we will be able to compete successfully with existing or new competitors or that competitive pressures will not materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our business depends on a strong brand and corporate reputation, and if we are not able to maintain and enhance our brand, our ability to expand our client base will be impaired and our business and operating results will be adversely affected.
Since many of our specific client engagements involve highly tailored solutions, our corporate reputation is a significant factor in our clients' and prospective clients' determination of whether to engage us. We believe the Globant brand name and our reputation are important corporate assets that help distinguish our services from those of our competitors and also contribute to our efforts to recruit and retain talented IT professionals. However, our corporate reputation is susceptible to damage by actions or statements made by current or former employees or clients, competitors, vendors, adversaries in legal proceedings and government regulators, as well as members of the investment community and the media. There is a risk that negative information about our company, even if based on false rumor or misunderstanding, could adversely affect our business. In particular, damage to our reputation could be difficult and time-consuming to repair, could make potential or existing clients reluctant to select us for new engagements, resulting in a loss of business, and could adversely affect our recruitment and retention efforts. Damage to our reputation could also reduce the value and effectiveness of our Globant brand name and could reduce investor confidence in us and result in a decline in the price of our common shares.
Our labor costs and the operating restrictions that apply to us could increase as a result of collective bargaining negotiations and changes in labor laws and regulations, and disputes resulting in work stoppages, strikes, or disruptions could adversely affect our business.
As of December 31, 2019, 4.38% of our Globers are covered by collective bargaining agreements, including all Globers from our Brazilian, French and Spanish subsidiaries, as well as some Globers from our Argentinean subsidiaries. For complete details of the covered employees see "Directors, Senior Management and Employees — Employees". There can be no assurance that our non-unionized employees will not become members of a union or become covered by a collective bargaining agreement, including through an acquisition of a business whose employees are subject to such an agreement.
We cannot assure you that we or our operating subsidiaries will not experience work disruptions or stoppages in the future, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and revenues. In addition, we cannot assure you that we will be able to negotiate new collective bargaining agreements on the same terms as those currently in effect, or that we will not be subject to strikes or work stoppages before or during the negotiation process. If we are unable to negotiate salary agreements or if we are subject to strikes or work stoppages, our results of operations, financial condition and the market value of our shares could be materially adversely affected.
Our revenues are dependent on a limited number of industries, and any decrease in demand for technology services in these industries could reduce our revenues and adversely affect our results of operations.
A substantial portion of our clients are concentrated in the following industries: media and entertainment; banks, financial services and insurance; travel and hospitality; and, technology and telecommunications, consumer retail and manufacturing, and professional services which industries, in the aggregate, constituted 97.1%, 97.8% and 96.8% of our total revenues for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Our business growth largely depends on continued demand for our services from clients in these industries and other industries that we may target in the future, as well as on trends in these industries to purchase technology services or to move such services in-house.
A downturn in any of these or our targeted industries, a slowdown or reversal of the trend to spend on technology services in any of these industries could result in a decrease in the demand for our services and materially adversely affect our revenues, financial condition and results of operations. For example, a worsening of economic conditions in the media and entertainment industry and significant consolidation in that industry may reduce the demand for our services and negatively affect our revenues and profitability.
Other developments in the industries in which we operate may also lead to a decline in the demand for our services in these industries, and we may not be able to successfully anticipate and prepare for any such changes. For example, consolidation in any of these industries or acquisitions, particularly involving our clients, may adversely affect our business. Our clients may experience rapid changes in their prospects, substantial price competition and pressure on their profitability. This, in turn, may result in increasing pressure on us from clients in these key industries to lower our prices, which could adversely affect our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.
We have a relatively short operating history and operate in a rapidly evolving industry, which makes it difficult to evaluate our future prospects, may increase the risk that we will not continue to be successful and, accordingly, increases the risk of your investment.
Our company was founded in 2003 and, therefore, has a relatively short operating history. In addition, the technology services industry itself is continuously evolving. Competition, fueled by rapidly changing consumer demands and constant technological developments, renders the technology services industry one in which success and performance metrics are difficult to predict and measure. Because services and technologies are rapidly evolving and each company within the industry can vary greatly in terms of the services it provides, its business model, and its results of operations, it can be difficult to predict how any company's services, including ours, will be received in the market. While enterprises have been willing to devote significant resources to incorporate emerging technologies and related market trends into their business models, enterprises may not continue to spend any significant portion of their budgets on our services in the future. Neither our past financial performance nor the past financial performance of any other company in the technology services industry is indicative of how our company will fare financially in the future. Our future profits may vary substantially from those of other companies, and those we have achieved in the past, making investment in our company risky and speculative. If our clients' demand for our services declines, as a result of economic conditions, market factors or shifts in the technology industry, our business would suffer and our results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.
We are investing substantial cash in new facilities and physical infrastructure, and our profitability and cash flows could be reduced if our business does not grow proportionately.
We have made and continue to make significant contractual commitments related to capital expenditures on construction or expansion of our delivery centers. We may encounter cost overruns or project delays in connection with opening new, or expanding existing, facilities. These expansions will likely increase our fixed costs and if we are unable to grow our business and revenues proportionately, our profitability and cash flows may be negatively affected.
If we cause disruptions in our clients' businesses or provide inadequate service, our clients may have claims for substantial damages against us, which could cause us to lose clients, have a negative effect on our corporate reputation and adversely affect our results of operations.
If our Globers make errors in the course of delivering services to our clients or fail to consistently meet service requirements of a client, these errors or failures could disrupt the client's business, which could result in a reduction in our revenues or a claim for substantial damages against us. In addition, a failure or inability to meet a contractual requirement could seriously damage our corporate reputation and limit our ability to attract new business.
The services we provide are often critical to our clients' businesses. Certain of our client contracts require us to comply with security obligations including maintaining network security and backup data, ensuring our network is virus-free, maintaining business continuity planning procedures, and verifying the integrity of employees that work with our clients by conducting background checks. Any failure in a client's system or breach of security relating to the services we provide to the client could damage our reputation or result in a claim for substantial damages against us. Any significant failure of our equipment or systems, or any major disruption to basic infrastructure like power and telecommunications in the locations in which we operate, could impede our ability to provide services to our clients, have a negative impact on our reputation, cause us to lose clients, and adversely affect our results of operations.
Under our client contracts, our liability for breach of our obligations is in some cases limited pursuant to the terms of the contract. Such limitations may be unenforceable or otherwise may not protect us from liability for damages. In addition, certain liabilities, such as claims of third parties for which we may be required to indemnify our clients, are generally not limited under our contracts. The successful assertion of one or more large claims against us in amounts greater than those covered by our current insurance policies could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Even if such assertions against us are unsuccessful, we may incur reputational harm and substantial legal fees.
We may face losses or reputational damage if our software solutions turn out to contain undetected software defects.
A significant amount of our business involves developing software solutions for our clients as part of our provision of technology services. We are required to make certain representations and warranties to our clients regarding the quality and functionality of our software. Any undetected software defects could result in liability to our clients under certain contracts as well as losses resulting from any litigation initiated by clients due to any losses sustained as a result of the defects. Any such liability or losses could have an adverse effect on our financial condition as well as on our reputation with our clients and in the technology services market in general.
Our client relationships, revenues, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected if we experience disruptions in our Internet infrastructure, telecommunications or IT systems.
Disruptions in telecommunications, system failures, Internet infrastructure or computer virus attacks could damage our reputation and harm our ability to deliver services to our clients, which could result in client dissatisfaction and a loss of business and related reduction of our revenues. We may not be able to consistently maintain active voice and data communications between our various global operations and with our clients due to disruptions in telecommunication networks and power supply, system failures or computer virus attacks. Any significant failure in our ability to communicate could result in a disruption in business, which could hinder our performance and our ability to complete projects on time. Such failure to perform on client contracts could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If our computer system is or becomes vulnerable to security breaches, or if any of our employees misappropriates data, we may face reputational damage, lose clients and revenues, or incur losses.
Our business is heavily dependent on the security of our IT networks and those of our clients. We often have access to or are required to collect and store confidential client and customer data, including personal data. Despite our efforts, threats to network and data security are increasingly diverse and sophisticated. Internal or external attacks on our IT servers and networks or those of our vendors or clients are vulnerable to cybersecurity risks, including viruses and worms, phishing attacks, denial-of-service attaches, physical or electronic break-ins, third party or employee theft or misuse, and similar disruptions, which could disrupt the normal operations of our engagements and impede our ability to provide critical services to our clients, thereby subjecting us to liability under our contracts and applicable data protection laws. Our business involves the use, storage and transmission of confidential information and personal data about our employees, our vendors and our clients. While we take measures designed to protect the security of, and unauthorized access to, our systems, as well as the privacy of confidential information and personal data, our security controls over our systems, or the security controls over the systems of our vendors and clients with which we operate and rely upon, as well as any other security practices we follow, may not prevent the improper access to or the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, including any personal data or proprietary information. Many of our client contracts do not limit our potential liability for breaches of confidentiality. If any person, including any of our Globers or former Globers, penetrates our network security or misappropriates data or code that belongs to us, our clients, or our clients' customers, we could be subject to significant liability from our clients or from our clients' customers for breaching contractual confidentiality provisions or violating privacy and/or data protection laws.
Unauthorized disclosure of confidential client and customer data, including personal data, whether through breach of our or others' computer systems, systems failure, loss or theft of confidential information or intellectual property belonging to our clients or our clients' customers, or otherwise, could damage our reputation, cause us to lose clients and revenues, and result in financial and other potential losses by us, as well as require us to expend significant resources to protect against further incidents and to rectify any problems caused by these events. Any such access, unauthorized disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability and damages under applicable laws, regulatory penalties, breach notification, credit monitoring services, significant fines, administrative sanctions and could adversely affect our business, revenues, reputation, brand and competitive position.
Our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected by the various conflicting and/or onerous legal and regulatory obligations required in the countries where we operate.
We have a presence in many countries and plan to continue expanding our international operations, which may subject us to increased business and economic risks that could affect our financial results.
Since we provide services to clients throughout the world, and we collect, store, process and use personal data, we are subject to laws and regulations related to security and privacy in addition to other numerous, and sometimes conflicting, legal requirements. Compliance with complex international and U.S. laws and regulations that apply to our international operations increases our cost of doing business. These numerous, and sometimes conflicting laws, and regulations include, among others, import/export controls, content requirements, trade restrictions, tariffs, taxation, anti-corruption laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, whistle blowing, internal control and disclosure rules, data protection and privacy requirements. Our real or perceived failure to comply with these regulations in the conduct of our business could result in fines, penalties, criminal sanctions against us or our officers, disgorgement of profits, prohibitions on doing business and adverse impact on our brand and reputation. In addition, our failure to comply with these regulations in the context of our obligations to our clients could also result in liability for monetary damages, unfavorable publicity and allegations by our clients that we have not performed our contractual obligations. Due to the varying degree of development of the legal systems of the countries in which we operate, local laws might be insufficient to defend us and preserve our rights.
In addition, because we operate from a number of cities in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia, we are also subject to risks relating to compliance with a variety of national and local labor laws including, employee health safety and wages and benefits laws. We may, from time to time, be subject to litigation or administrative actions resulting from claims against us by current or former Globers individually or as part of class actions, including claims of wrongful terminations, discrimination, misclassification or other violations of labor law or other alleged conduct. We may also, from time to time, be subject to litigation resulting from claims against us by third parties, including claims of breach of non-compete and confidentiality provisions of our employees' former employment agreements with such third parties. Our failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may not be able to prevent unauthorized use of our intellectual property and our intellectual property rights may not be adequate to protect our business, competitive position, results of operations and financial condition.
Our success depends in part on certain methodologies, practices, tools and technical expertise our company utilizes in designing, developing, implementing and maintaining applications and other proprietary intellectual capital. In order to protect our rights in this intellectual capital, we rely upon a combination of nondisclosure and other contractual arrangements as well as trade secret, patent, copyright and trademark laws. We also generally enter into confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants, clients and potential clients and limit access to and distribution of our proprietary information.
We hold several trademarks and intend to submit additional U.S. federal and foreign trademark applications for developments relating to additional service offerings in the future. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in maintaining existing or obtaining future intellectual property rights or registrations. There can be no assurance that the laws, rules, regulations and treaties in the countries in which we operate in effect now or in the future or the contractual and other protective measures we take are adequate to protect us from misappropriation or unauthorized use of our intellectual capital or that such laws, rules, regulations and treaties will not change.
We cannot assure you that we will be able to detect unauthorized use of our intellectual property and take appropriate steps to enforce our rights or that any such steps will be successful. We cannot assure you that we have taken all necessary steps to enforce our intellectual property rights in every jurisdiction in which we operate and we cannot assure you that the intellectual property laws of any jurisdiction in which we operate are adequate to protect our interest or that any favorable judgment obtained by us with respect thereto will be enforced in the courts. Misappropriation by third parties of, or other failure to protect, our intellectual property, including the costs of enforcing our intellectual property rights, could have a material adverse effect on our business, competitive position, results of operations and financial condition.
If we incur any liability for a violation of the intellectual property rights of others, our reputation, business, financial condition and prospects may be adversely affected.
Our success largely depends on our ability to use and develop our technology, tools, code, methodologies and services without infringing the intellectual property rights of third parties, including patents, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks. We may be subject to litigation involving claims of patent infringement or violation of other intellectual property rights of third parties. In such cases, litigation may be necessary to determine the scope, enforceability and validity of third-party proprietary rights or to establish our proprietary rights. However, given that litigation could be costly and time consuming and could divert the attention of management and key personnel from our business operations, we may elect to settle these claims from time to time.
We typically indemnify clients who purchase our services and solutions against potential infringement of intellectual property rights, which subjects us to the risk of indemnification claims. These claims may require us to initiate or defend protracted and costly litigation on behalf of our clients, regardless of the merits of these claims and are often not subject to liability limits or exclusion of consequential, indirect or punitive damages. If any of these claims succeed, we may be forced to pay damages on behalf of our clients, redesign or cease offering our allegedly infringing services or solutions, or obtain licenses for the intellectual property such services or solutions allegedly infringe. If we cannot obtain all necessary licenses on commercially reasonable terms, our clients may stop using our services or solutions.
Further, our current and former Globers could challenge our exclusive rights to the software they have developed in the course of their employment. In certain countries in which we operate, an employer is deemed to own the copyright work created by its employees during the course, and within the scope, of their employment, but the employer may be required to satisfy additional legal requirements in order to make further use and dispose of such works. While we believe that we have complied with all such requirements, and have fulfilled all requirements necessary to acquire all rights in software developed by our independent contractors, these requirements are often ambiguously defined and enforced. As a result, we cannot assure you that we would be successful in defending against any claim by our current or former Globers or independent contractors challenging our exclusive rights over the use and transfer of works those Globers or independent contractors created or requesting additional compensation for such works.
We are subject to additional risks as a result of our recent and possible future acquisitions and the hiring of new employees who may misappropriate intellectual property from their former employers. The developers of the technology that we have acquired or may acquire may not have appropriately created, maintained or enforced intellectual property rights in such technology. Indemnification and other rights under acquisition documents may be limited in term and scope and may therefore provide little or no protection from these risks. Parties making infringement claims may be able to obtain an injunction to prevent us from delivering our services or using technology involving the allegedly infringing intellectual property. Intellectual property litigation is expensive and time-consuming and could divert management's attention from our business. A successful infringement claim against us, whether with or without merit, could, among other things, require us to pay substantial damages, develop substitute non-infringing technology, or rebrand our name or enter into royalty or license agreements that may not be available on acceptable terms, if at all, and would require us to cease making, licensing or using products that have infringed a third party's intellectual property rights. Protracted litigation could also result in existing or potential clients deferring or limiting their purchase or use of our software product development services or solutions until resolution of such litigation, or could require us to indemnify our clients against infringement claims in certain instances. Any intellectual property claim or litigation, whether we ultimately win or lose, could damage our reputation and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may not be able to recognize revenues in the period in which our services are performed and the costs of those services are incurred, which may cause our margins to fluctuate.
We perform our services primarily under time-and-materials contracts and, to a lesser extent, fixed-price contracts. All revenues are recognized pursuant to applicable accounting standards.
Unlike our time-and-materials contracts, for which revenue is recognized as services are provided, our fixed-priced contracts require the use of certain accounting estimates. We utilize the input and output methods, depending on the nature of the project and the agreement with the customer, to account for these contracts. Under the input method, as labor costs represent the primary cost component under such contracts, we estimate each of our fixed-price contract's total labor cost to date as a proportion of its total expected labor cost. Under the output method, we recognize revenue on the basis of direct measurements of the value of the services transferred to date relative to the remaining services promised under the contract. We monitor these factors and continuously revise and refine our estimates during the term of our fixed-price contracts.
Uncertainty about the project completion or receipt of payment for our services or our failure to meet all the acceptance criteria, or otherwise meet a client's expectations, may result in us having to record the cost related to the performance of services in the period that services were rendered, but delay the timing of revenue recognition to a future period in which all acceptance criteria have been met, which may cause our margins to fluctuate.
Our cash flows and results of operations may be adversely affected if we are unable to collect on billed and unbilled receivables from clients.
Our business depends on our ability to successfully obtain payment from our clients of the amounts they owe us for work performed. We evaluate the financial condition of our clients and usually bill and collect on relatively short cycles. We maintain provisions against receivables. Actual losses on client balances could differ from those that we currently anticipate and, as a result, we may need to adjust our provisions. We cannot assure you that we will accurately assess the creditworthiness of our clients. Macroeconomic conditions, such as a potential credit crisis in the global financial system, could also result in financial difficulties for our clients, including limited access to the credit markets, insolvency or bankruptcy. Such conditions could cause clients to delay payment, request modifications of their payment terms, or default on their payment obligations to us, all of which could increase our receivables balance. Timely collection of fees for client services also depends on our ability to complete our contractual commitments and subsequently bill for and collect our contractual service fees. If we are unable to meet our contractual obligations, we might experience delays in the collection of or be unable to collect our client balances, which could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows. In addition, if we experience an increase in the time required to bill and collect for our services, our cash flows could be adversely affected, which could affect our ability to make necessary investments and, therefore, our results of operations.
If the current effective income tax rate payable by us in any country in which we operate is increased or if we lose any country-specific tax benefits, then our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.
We conduct business globally and file income tax returns in multiple jurisdictions. Our consolidated effective income tax rate could be materially adversely affected by several factors, including changes in the amount of income taxed by or allocated to the various jurisdictions in which we operate that have differing statutory tax rates; changing tax laws, regulations and interpretations of such tax laws in multiple jurisdictions; and the resolution of issues arising from tax audits or examinations and any related interest or penalties.
We report our results of operations based on our determination of the amount of taxes owed in the various jurisdictions in which we operate. We have transfer pricing arrangements among our subsidiaries in relation to various aspects of our business, including operations, marketing, sales and delivery functions. Transfer pricing regulations require that any international transaction involving associated enterprises be on arm's-length terms. We consider the transactions among our subsidiaries to be on arm's-length terms. The determination of our consolidated provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities requires estimation, judgment and calculations where the ultimate tax determination may not be certain. Our determination of tax liability is always subject to review or examination by authorities in various jurisdictions.
Currently, we benefit from promotion regimes and tax benefits in Uruguay, India, Belarus and Argentina, although, in the case of Argentina, the effectiveness of the promotion regime is subject to additional regulation by the Argentine Executive Power. For detailed explanations and further discussion, see "Business Overview — Our Delivery Model — Government Support and Incentives". If these tax incentives in Argentina, Uruguay, India and Belarus are changed, terminated, not extended or made unavailable, or comparable new tax incentives are not introduced, we expect that our effective income tax rate and/or our operating expenses would increase significantly, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. See "Operating and Financial Review and Prospects — Operating Results — Certain Income Statement Line Items — Income Tax Expense".
On December 22, 2017, the United States enacted legislation referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("2017 Tax Act"), which instituted fundamental changes to the taxation of multinational corporations. As of the date of this annual report, certain provisions of the 2017 Tax Act may not apply to us, including those designed to (i) tax global intangible low-tax income ("GILTI"); (ii) establish a deduction for foreign derived intangible income ("FDII"); (iii) eliminate the intercompany payment deduction under Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax provision ("BEAT"); and (iv) establish new limitations on certain executive compensation. One or more of these provisions may apply to us in the future and any additional taxation may have an adverse impact on our results of operations and cash flows. Unless otherwise discussed, potential investors in our common shares should consult their own tax advisors regarding the effect of the 2017 Tax Act on the ownership of our common shares.
If we are faced with immigration or work permit restrictions in any country where we currently have personnel onsite at a client location or would like to expand our delivery footprint, then our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
A key part of our strategy is to expand our delivery footprint, including by increasing the number of employees that are deployed onsite at our clients or near client locations. Therefore, we must comply with the immigration, work permit and visa laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate or plan to operate. Our future inability to obtain or renew sufficient work permits and/or visas due to the impact of these regulations, including any changes to immigration, work permit and visa regulations in jurisdictions such as the United States and Europe, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we are unable to maintain favorable pricing terms with current or new suppliers, our results of operations would be adversely affected.
We rely to a limited extent on suppliers of goods and services. In some cases, we have contracts with such parties guaranteeing us favorable pricing terms. We cannot guarantee our ability to maintain such pricing terms beyond the date that pricing terms are fixed pursuant to a written agreement. Furthermore, should economic circumstances change, such that suppliers find it beneficial to change or attempt to renegotiate such pricing terms in their favor, we cannot assure you that we would be able to withstand an increase or achieve a favorable outcome in any such negotiation. Any change in our pricing terms would increase our costs and expenses, which would have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
If our current insurance coverage is or becomes insufficient to protect against losses incurred, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We provide technology services that are integral to our clients' businesses. If we were to default in the provision of any contractually agreed-upon services, our clients could suffer significant damages and make claims upon us for those damages. Although we believe that we have adequate processes in place to protect against defaults in the provisions of services, errors and omissions may occur. We currently carry errors and omissions liability coverage for all of the services we provide. To the extent client damages are deemed recoverable against us in amounts substantially in excess of our insurance coverage, or if our claims for insurance coverage are denied by our insurance carriers for any reason including, but not limited to our failure to provide insurance carrier-required documentation or our failure to follow insurance carrier-required claim settlement procedures, there could be a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Strategic acquisitions to complement and expand our business have been and will likely remain an important part of our competitive strategy. If we fail to acquire companies whose prospects, when combined with our company, would increase our value, or if we acquire and fail to efficiently integrate such other companies, then our business, results of operations, and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We have expanded, and may continue to expand, our operations through strategically targeted acquisitions focused on deepening our relationships with key clients, extending our technological capacities including services over platforms, broadening our service offering and expanding the geographic footprint of our delivery centers, including beyond Latin America. We completed two acquisitions in 2008, one in 2011, two in 2012, one in 2013, one in 2014, two in 2015, three in 2016, two in 2017, one in 2018 and three in 2019. Financing of any future acquisition could require the incurrence of indebtedness, the issuance of equity or a combination of both. There can be no assurance that we will be able to identify, acquire or profitably manage additional businesses or successfully integrate any acquired businesses without substantial expense, delays or other operational or financial risks and problems. Furthermore, acquisitions may involve a number of special risks, including diversion of management's attention, failure to retain key acquired personnel, unanticipated events or legal liabilities and amortization of acquired intangible assets. In addition, any client satisfaction or performance problems within an acquired business could have a material adverse impact on our company's corporate reputation and brand. We cannot assure you that any acquired businesses would achieve anticipated revenues and earnings. Any failure to manage our acquisition strategy successfully could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We have incurred significant share-based compensation expense in the past, and may in the future continue to incur share-based compensation expense, which could adversely impact our profits or the trading price of our common shares.
On July 3, 2014, our board of directors and shareholders approved and adopted the 2014 Equity Incentive Plan, which was amended by our board of directors to increase the number of common shares that may be issued as stock awards from 1,666,667 to up to 3,666,667 on May 9, 2016, and from 3,666,667 to up to 5,666,667 on February 13, 2019.
From the adoption of the plan until the date of this annual report we have granted to members of our senior management and certain other employees 30,000 stock awards, options to purchase 2,270,059 common shares and 1,073,645 restricted stock units, net of any cancelled and/or forfeited awards. Most of the options and restricted stock units were granted with a vesting period of four years, 25% of each grant becoming exercisable on each anniversary of the grant date. The remaining options and restricted stock units were granted with a vesting period agreed with those employees. Share-based compensation expense for awards of equity instruments is determined based on the fair value of the awards at the grant date. Each of our employee share options is exercisable for one of our common shares, and each of our restricted stock units is settled, automatically upon its vesting, with one of our common shares. No amounts are paid or payable by the recipient on receipt of an option or restricted stock unit. Neither the options nor the restricted stock units carry rights to dividends or voting rights. Options may be exercised at any time from the date of vesting to the date of their expiration (ten years after the grant date).
For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, we recorded $19.9, $12.9 and $14.5 million, respectively, of share-based compensation expense related to the grant of options and restricted stock units.
The expenses associated with share-based compensation may reduce the attractiveness of issuing equity awards under our equity incentive plan. However, if we do not grant equity awards, or if we reduce the number of equity awards we grant, we may not be able to attract and retain key personnel. If we grant more equity awards to attract and retain key personnel, the expenses associated with such additional equity awards could materially adversely affect our results of operations and the trading price of our common shares.
Our ability to expand our business and procure new contracts or enter into beneficial business arrangements could be affected to the extent we enter into agreements with clients containing noncompetition clauses.
Some of our services agreements restrict our ability to perform similar services for certain of our clients' competitors under specific circumstances. We may in the future enter into additional agreements with clients that restrict our ability to accept assignments from, or render similar services to, those clients' customers, require us to obtain our clients' prior written consent to provide services to their customers or restrict our ability to compete with our clients, or bid for or accept any assignment for which those clients are bidding or negotiating. These restrictions may hamper our ability to compete for and provide services to other clients in a specific industry in which we have expertise and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The terms of our credit facility place restrictions on our operating and financial flexibility.
In November 2018, Globant LLC, our U.S. subsidiary (the “Borrower”) entered into an Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (the “A&R Credit Agreement”) with the financial institutions listed therein, as lenders, and HSBC Bank USA, N.A., as administrative agent, issuing bank and swingline lender. As of December 31, 2019, $50.4 million was outstanding under the A&R Credit Agreement.
On February 6, 2020, the Borrower, entered into a Second Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (the “Second A&R Credit Agreement”), by and among certain financial institutions listed therein, as lenders, and HSBC Bank USA, National Association, as administrative agent, issuing bank and swingline lender. Under the Second A&R Credit Agreement, which amends and restates the existing A&R Credit Agreement, dated as of November 1, 2018, the Borrower may borrow (i) up to $100 million in up to four borrowings on or prior to August 6, 2021 under a delayed-draw term loan facility and (ii) up to $250 million under a revolving credit facility. In addition, the Borrower may request increases of the maximum amount available under the revolving facility in an aggregate amount not to exceed $100 million. The maturity date of each of the facilities is February 5, 2025. Pursuant to the terms of the Second A&R Credit Agreement, interest on the loans extended thereunder shall accrue at a rate per annum equal to either (i) LIBOR plus 1.50%, or (ii) LIBOR plus 1.75%, determined based on the Borrower’s Maximum Total Leverage Ratio (as defined in the Second A&R Credit Agreement). The Borrower’s obligations under the Second A&R Credit Agreement are guaranteed by the Company and its subsidiary Globant España S.A., and are secured by substantially all of the Borrower’s now owned and after-acquired assets. The Second A&R Credit Agreement also contains certain customary negative and affirmative covenants, which compliance may limit our flexibility in operating our business and our ability to take actions that might be advantageous to us and our shareholders.
Indebtedness under our credit facility bears interest based on LIBOR, which may be subject to regulatory guidance and/or reform that could cause interest rates under our current or future debt agreements to perform differently than in the past or cause other unanticipated consequences.
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, has announced in 2017 that it intends to stop encouraging or requiring banks to submit LIBOR rates after 2021, and as a result, methods of calculating LIBOR are evolving. If LIBOR ceases to exist or if the methods of calculating LIBOR change from their current form, interest rates on our current or future indebtedness may be adversely affected or we may need to renegotiate the terms of our credit agreement to replace LIBOR with the new standard that is established, if any, or to otherwise agree with the trustees or agents under such facilities or instruments on a new means of calculating interest. As of the date of this annual report we cannot reasonably estimate the expected impact on our business of the discontinuation of LIBOR.
Risks Related to Operating in Latin America.
Our two largest operations are based in Colombia and Argentina, and we have subsidiaries in other countries of Latin America, such as Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Brazil. There are significant risks to operating in those countries that should be carefully considered before making an investment decision.
Latin America has experienced adverse economic conditions that may impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our business is dependent to a certain extent upon the economic conditions prevalent in Argentina and Colombia as well as the other Latin American countries in which we operate. Latin American countries have historically experienced uneven periods of economic growth, as well as recession, periods of high inflation and economic instability. As a consequence of adverse economic conditions in global markets and diminishing commodity prices, the economic growth rates of the economies of many Latin American countries have slowed and some have entered mild recessions. Adverse economic conditions in any of these countries could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Latin American governments have exercised and continue to exercise significant influence over the economies of the countries where we operate, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Historically, governments in Latin America have frequently intervened in the economies of their respective countries and have occasionally made significant changes in policy and regulations. Governmental actions to control inflation and other policies and regulations have often involved, among others, price controls, currency devaluations, capital controls and tariffs. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be adversely affected by:
|•||changes in government policies or regulations, including such factors as exchange rates and exchange control policies;|
|•||tariff and inflation control policies;|
|•||price control policies;|
|•||liquidity of domestic capital and lending markets;|
|•||tax policies, royalty and tax increases and retroactive tax claims; and|
|•||other political, diplomatic, social and economic developments in or affecting the countries where we operate.|
Inflation, and government measures to curb inflation in Latin America, may adversely affect the economies in the countries where we operate in Latin America, our business and results of operations.
Some of the countries in which we operate in Latin America have experienced, or are currently experiencing, high rates of inflation. Although inflation rates in some of these countries (other than Argentina, as further explained in "Our results of operations may be adversely affected by high and possibly increasing inflation in Argentina") have been relatively low in the recent past, we cannot assure you that this trend will continue. The measures taken by the governments of these countries to control inflation have often included maintaining a tight monetary policy with high interest rates, thereby restricting the availability of credit and retarding economic growth. Measures to combat inflation and public speculation about possible additional actions have also contributed significantly to economic uncertainty in many of these countries and to heightened volatility in their securities markets. Periods of higher inflation may also slow the growth rate of local economies. Inflation is also likely to increase some of our costs and expenses, which we may not be able to fully pass on to our clients, which could adversely affect our operating margins and operating income.
Our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected by fluctuations in currency exchange rates (most notably between the U.S. dollar and the Argentine peso).
We conduct a substantial portion of our operations outside the United States, and our businesses may be impacted by significant fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. Our consolidated financial statements and those of most of our subsidiaries are prepared in U.S. dollars as their functional currency, whereas some of our subsidiaries' operations are performed in local currencies. Therefore, the resulting exchange differences arising from the translation to our presentation currency are recognized in the finance gain or expense item or as a separate component of equity depending on the functional currency for each subsidiary. Fluctuations in exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar could impair the comparability of our results from period to period and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, our results of operations and financial condition are particularly sensitive to changes in the Argentine peso, Uruguayan peso, Mexican peso and Colombian peso/U.S. dollar exchange rates because a significant part of our operations are conducted in these countries where our costs are incurred, for the most-part, in Argentine pesos, Uruguayan pesos, Mexican pesos and Colombian pesos, while the substantial portion of our revenues generated outside of these countries are in U.S. dollars. Consequently, appreciation of the U.S. dollar relative to the Argentine peso, Mexican peso and Colombian peso, to the extent not offset by inflation in these countries, could result in favorable variations in our operating margins and, conversely, depreciation of the U.S. dollar relative to the Argentine peso, Mexican peso and Colombian peso could impact our operating margins negatively.
In recent years, the Argentine peso has suffered significant devaluations against the U.S. dollar and has continued to devaluate against the U.S. dollar. As a result of this economic instability, Argentina's foreign debt rating has been downgraded on multiple occasions based upon concerns regarding economic conditions and rising fears of increased inflationary pressures. This uncertainty may also adversely impact Argentina's ability to attract capital.
The increasing level of inflation in Argentina has generated pressure for further depreciation of the Argentine peso. The Argentine peso depreciated against the U.S. dollar by 31.2% in 2014, 52.1% in 2015, 21.9% in 2016, 18.4% in 2017, 102.2% in 2018, and 59.02% in 2019 based on the official exchange rates published by the Argentine Central Bank. The sharp depreciation in recent years has fostered inflation and created strong volatility in the U.S. dollar exchange rate.
Since the reinstatement of rigid restrictions and foreign exchange controls in September 1, 2019 through February 27, 2020, which, among other things, significantly curtailed access to the official foreign exchange market (the "FX market") by individuals and entities (see "— Item 4.B Business Overview — Regulatory Overview — Foreign Exchange Controls — Argentina."), through February 27, 2020, the Argentine peso depreciated against the U.S. dollar by 8.31% in the FX Market. During that time, an unofficial U.S. dollar trading market developed in which the Argentine peso/U.S. dollar exchange rate is significantly higher than the rate in the FX Market. We cannot predict future fluctuations in the Argentine peso/U.S. dollar exchange rate or further foreign exchange restrictions.
Our business is dependent to a certain extent on maintaining our labor and other costs competitive with those of companies located in other regions around the world from which technology and IT services may be purchased by clients in the United States and Europe. We periodically evaluate the need for hedging strategies with our board of directors, including the use of such instruments to mitigate the effect of foreign exchange rate fluctuations. During the year ended December 31, 2019, our Argentine, Uruguayan and Colombian operating subsidiaries entered into foreign exchange contracts for the purpose of hedging the risk of exposure to fluctuations in the Argentine peso, Uruguayan peso and Colombian peso against the U.S. dollar. During the years ended 2018 and 2017, our Argentine operating subsidiaries entered into foreign exchange contracts for the purpose of hedging the risk of exposure to fluctuations in the Argentine peso against the U.S. dollar. If we do not hedge such exposure or we do not do so effectively, appreciation of the Argentine peso, the Uruguayan peso or the Colombian peso against the U.S. dollar may raise our costs, which would increase the prices of our services to our customers, which, in turn, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We face the risk of political and economic crises, instability, terrorism, civil strife, expropriation and other risks of doing business in Latin America, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We conduct our operations primarily in Latin America. Economic and political developments in Latin America, including future economic changes or crises (such as inflation, currency devaluation or recession), government deadlock, political instability, terrorism, civil strife, changes in laws and regulations, restrictions on the repatriation of dividends or profits, expropriation or nationalization of property, restrictions on currency convertibility, volatility of the foreign exchange market and exchange controls could impact our operations or the market value of our common shares and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Government intervention in the Argentine economy could adversely affect the economy and our results of operations or financial condition.
During recent years, the Argentine government has frequently intervened in the Argentine economy, including through the implementation of expropriation policies or nationalizations.
For example, in April 2012, the Argentine government provided for the nationalization of YPF S.A., the main Argentine oil company. In February 2014, the Argentine government and Repsol, from whom YPF was expropriated, announced that they had reached an agreement on the terms of the compensation payable to Repsol for the expropriation of the YPF shares, which settled the claim filed by Repsol with International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the "ICSID"). Such compensation amounted to US$5 billion, payable in the form of Argentine sovereign bonds with various maturities.
There are other examples of government intervention. In December 2012 and August 2013, the Argentine Congress established new regulations relating to domestic capital markets. Such regulations generally provided for increased intervention in the capital markets by the government, authorizing, for example, the Argentine Securities Commission (Comisión Nacional de Valores or "CNV") to appoint observers with the ability to veto the decisions of the board of directors of companies admitted to the public offering regime in Argentina under certain circumstances and suspend the board of directors for a period of up to 180 days. On May 9, 2018, however, the Argentine Congress passed the Productive Financing Law No. 27,440, which reformed, among others, the Capital Markets Law No. 26,831 abrogating this power granted to the CNV and generally modernizing the entire regulatory framework applicable to the Argentine capital market, by incorporating current international practices to contribute to its development.
Since December 2019, Frente de Todos (a new coalition formed to participate in the general elections) returned to power with Mr. Alberto Fernández, as president and former president Cristina Kirchner, as vice-president. The new administration has recently adopted, and may continue to adopt, several measures that could imply further government intervention. For example, Decree No. 34/2019, issued on December 13, 2019, duplicated the amount of the statutory severance payments payable to employees hired before December 13, 2019 and fired between December 13, 2019 and June 13, 2020. Moreover, by Decree No. 14/2020 issued on January 3, 2020, the Argentine Executive Power approved a mandatory salary increase for the private sector employees of Argentine pesos 3,000 in January 2020 and additional Argentine pesos 1,000 in February 2020, and during February is intending to obtain the enactment of a draft bill regulating the offer and display of products in supermarkets, that has already been approved by the House of Representatives and, as of the date of this annual report, is pending of approval by the Senate.
Expropriations and other interventions by the Argentine government similar to those described above can have an adverse impact on the level of foreign investment in Argentina, the access of Argentine companies to the international capital markets and Argentina's commercial and diplomatic relations with other countries and, consequently, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our results of operations may be adversely affected by high and possibly increasing inflation in Argentina.
Inflation has materially undermined the Argentine economy and the government's ability to create conditions that would permit stable growth. High inflation may also undermine Argentina's foreign competitiveness in international markets and adversely affect economic activity and employment, as well as our business and results of operation. In particular, the margin on our services is impacted by the increase in our costs in providing those services, which is influenced by wage inflation in Argentina, as well as other factors.
The Argentine National Institute of Statistics and Census (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos) (“INDEC”) implemented certain methodological reforms and adjusted certain indexes based on these reforms. The lack of accuracy in the INDEC's indexes could result in a further decrease in confidence in Argentina's economy, which could, in turn, have an adverse effect on our ability to access the international credit markets at market rates to finance our operations and growth. See "In the past, the credibility of several Argentine economic indexes has been called into question."
According to data published by the INDEC, the Customer Price Index ("CPI") increased 11.9% as of October 2015 (for the first nine months of year 2015). In November 2015, the INDEC suspended the publication of the CPI. According to the publicly available information based on data from the Province of San Luis, the CPI grew by 31.6% in 2015 and 31.4% in 2016. According to the publicly available information based on data from the City of Buenos Aires, the CPI grew by 29.6% in 2015 and 41.0% in 2016. After implementing certain methodological reforms and adjusting certain macroeconomic statistics based on these reforms, in June 2016 the INDEC resumed its publication of the CPI. According to the INDEC, the CPI between May and December 2016 was 16.9% and in the year 2017 was 24.8%.
Several factors, including but not limited to the raising of the interest rate by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the inability of the Argentine government to perform structural changes and reduce the fiscal deficit, provoked a sharp depreciation of 59.02% of the Argentine Peso during 2019 that fostered inflation. According to the INDEC, the CPI was 47.6% in 2018 and 59.8% in 2019.
Uncertainty surrounding future inflation rates may have an adverse impact for Argentina in the long-term credit market. The Macri administration (2015-2019) adopted a series of measures to try to control the foreign exchange rate and inflation, including the execution of a financing agreement with the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) for US$57.1 billion, and the Argentine Central Bank defined foreign exchange intervention and non-intervention zones for the U.S. dollar exchange rate and increased the Argentine pesos interest rates. In addition, the Macri administration adopted an inflation targeting regime in parallel with the floating exchange rate regime and set inflation targets. The Central Bank increased stabilization efforts to reduce excess monetary imbalances, raised Argentine pesos interest rates to offset inflationary pressure and adopted a policy of zero currency issuance. Also, on April 17, 2019, the Macri administration announced a series of additional economic measures to control inflation, including the freezing of prices of 60 basic products for at least six months and the commitment to avoid new tariff increases above those already announced. However, those and other measures adopted by the Macri Administration and the Argentine Central Bank caused a deepening recession (the Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) decreased 6.2% in 2018 and 1.7% in 2019), increasing unemployment and medium and small companies failures, while high inflation and foreign exchange instability continued. Since September 2019 with the re-enactment of the foreign exchange controls, the official foreign exchange rate remained relatively stable. Since the presidential election in October 2019, the new administration has not yet adopted additional measures to control inflation other than the adoption of an agreement with the United Association of Supermarkets to the control of the price of 336 basic products in January 2020 and the draft bill regulating the offer and display of products in supermarkets, that has already been approved by the House of Representatives and as of the date of this annual report is pending of approval by the Senate.
Inflation rates could continue escalating, and there is uncertainty regarding the effects that the measures taken, or that may be taken, by the Argentine government to control inflation could have in the medium term. If inflation remains high or continues to increase, Argentina's economy may be negatively impacted and our results of operations could be materially affected.
In the past, the credibility of several Argentine economic indexes has been called into question.
The intervention of the Argentine government in the INDEC in 2007, the change in the way the inflation index was measured and the imposition of fines by the Fernández de Kirchner administration on private consultants reporting inflation rates higher than the INDEC’s resulted in a decrease in the confidence in Argentina's economic statistics.
In February 2014, the INDEC released a new inflation index, known as National Urban Consumer Price Index (Índice de Precios al Consumidor Nacional Urbano) that measured the prices of goods across the country and replaces the previous index that only measured inflation in the urban sprawl of the City of Buenos Aires. Even though the new methodology brought inflation statistics closer to those estimated by private sources, material differences between official inflation data and private estimates remained during 2015.
However, during December 2015 and January 2016, the Macri administration declared the national statistical system and the INDEC to be in a state of administrative emergency through December 31, 2016. Accordingly, the new head of the INDEC announced the temporary suspension of the publication of official data of prices, poverty, unemployment and gross domestic product ("GDP") until the completion of a full review of INDEC's policies. Shortly thereafter, the INDEC released an alternative CPI index based on data from the City of Buenos Aires and the Province of San Luis. The INDEC resumed its publication of the CPI in June 2016, after implementing certain methodological reforms and adjusting certain macroeconomic statistics on the basis of those reforms. As a consequence of these reforms, on November 9, 2016, the IMF lifted its censure on Argentina, noting that Argentina had resumed the publication of data in a manner consistent with its obligations under the Articles of Agreement with the IMF. Still, uncertainty remains as to whether official data and measurement procedures sufficiently reflect inflation in the country, and what effect these reforms will have on the Argentine economy. In March 2018, the Argentine government announced a draft bill to provide INDEC with total autonomy and to transform it into an entity that will facilitate greater statistical independence of the main macroeconomic indicators, which as of the date of this annual report has not yet been enacted.
As of the date of this annual report, the impact that these measures and any future measures taken by the Argentine government with respect to the INDEC will have on the Argentine economy and investors' perception of the country cannot be predicted.
The results of the negotiations on the restructuring of the International Monetary Fund’s three-year Stand-By Arrangement for Argentina could have an adverse effect on the Argentine economy in general and our business in particular.
In late May 2018, the Macri administration requested the IMF financial support to help strengthen the Argentine economy in light of the financial market turbulence suffered in early 2018. In June 2018, Argentina and the IMF reached an agreement on an economic plan that could be supported by IMF financing in the form of a Stand-By Arrangement for $50 billion, and on June 20, 2018, the IMF’s Executive Board approved such plan and the consequent three-year Stand-By Arrangement. On September 2018 the Argentine government negotiated an extension to the Stand-By Arrangement from $50 billion to $57.1 billion. As of December 2019, the IMF disbursed an aggregate of US$44.70 billion and as of the date of this annual report there were additional disbursements pending for a total of US$12.40 billion.
The purpose of the Stand-By Arrangement was to support the Argentine government’s economic priorities, which include strengthening the Argentine economy and protecting the living standards of the Argentine citizens. The Fernández administration announced that would not request the disbursements of the pending amounts under the Stand-By arrangement and is negotiating the extension of the repayment terms that mature in 2021 and 2022.
As of the date of this annual report, we cannot guarantee that the Argentine government and the IMF will reach an agreement on the restructuring of the Stand-By Arrangement, nor are we able to predict the future consequences for the Argentine economy in general or our business in particular if such agreement fails.
Argentina's ability to obtain financing from international markets may be limited, which may in turn impair its ability to implement reforms and public policies and foster economic growth and could impact the ability of Argentine companies to obtain financing outside of Argentina.
Argentina's 2001 sovereign default and its failure to fully restructure its sovereign debt and negotiate with the holdout creditors has limited Argentina's ability to access international financing. In 2005, Argentina completed the restructuring of a substantial portion of its indebtedness and settled all of its debt with the IMF. Additionally, in June 2010, Argentina completed the restructuring of a significant portion of the defaulted bonds that were not exchanged in the 2005 restructuring, amounting to approximately 93% of the defaulted debt eligible for restructuring. However, holdout bondholders that declined to participate in the restructuring, filed lawsuits against Argentina in several countries, including the United States. Since late 2012, rulings from courts in the United States favored holdout bondholders.
In February 2016, the Macri´s administration entered into settlement agreements with holdout bondholders holding a significant portion of the defaulted bonds unchanged and has repaid the majority of the holdout creditors with the proceeds of a US$16.5 billion international offering of 3-year, 5-year, 10-year and 30-year bonds in April 2016. Although the size of the claims involved has decreased significantly, litigation initiated by bondholders that have not accepted Argentina's settlement offer continues in several jurisdictions.
Additionally, foreign shareholders of several Argentine companies have filed claims with the ICSID alleging that the emergency measures adopted by the Argentine government since the crisis in 2001 and 2002 differ from the just and equal treatment standards set forth in several bilateral investment treaties to which Argentina is a party. ICSID has ruled against Argentina with respect to many of these claims.
In January 2018, a new claim against the Argentine government was submitted by the fund “Draw Capital Partners” in New York in relation to certain interests due between 2014 and 2016. This claim has reopened discussions around Argentina’s foreign debt, despite the agreement reached by Macri’s administration to overcome the default.
Pursuant to a report issued by the Secretary of Finance of the Argentine government, as of December 2019, Argentina’s foreign debt amounted to US$311.25 billion, which represented 91.6% of Argentina’s GDP. In 2020, the Argentine government must make payments of about US$52 billion on sovereign debt in U.S. dollar and Argentine pesos, including about US$37 billion in foreign sovereign; and in 2021 the Argentine government must make payments of about US$37.1 billion on sovereign debt in U.S. dollars and Argentine pesos.
In addition, in January 26, 2020 the Province of Buenos Aires, the largest estate in Argentina, also had a maturity of provincial sovereign debt for US$277 million in principal amount and interests that, after the failure of the negotiations for an extension, canceled within the curing period in February 5, 2020. The Province of Buenos Aires has additional payments under its sovereign debt for US$110 million maturing in May 2020 and US$750 million maturing in June 2020. The Province will seek to restructure its sovereign debt in U.S. dollars simultaneously with the restructuring of the Argentine sovereign debt.
Because the Argentine government is facing maturities of sovereign debt in U.S. dollars and Argentine pesos for about US$11 billion during the first quarter of 2020 and US$26 billion during the second quarter of 2020, the Argentine Executive Power proposed a restructuring deadline of March 31, 2020. The sovereign debt maturing has collective action clauses pursuant to which the restructuring of their maturities requires the consent of holders holding at least 75% of the aggregate principal amount of each of the bonds. It has been reported the existence of holders’ committees holding blocking positions in some or all of the bonds to be restructured.
On February 13, 2020, US$1.6 billion of dual currency bonds issued by Argentina’s government matured. During February 2020, the Argentine government launched an offer to exchange the dual currency bonds with new peso-denominated bonds due in 2021, but only about 10% of the aggregate principal amount of the dual currency bonds was tendered. Following the failure of the exchange offer, the Argentine government sought to sell another peso-denominated bond, but ultimately terminated that plan. The Argentine government then issued Decree No. 141/2020, pursuant to which it postponed the payment of principal and suspended the accrual of interest under the dual currency bonds until September 30, 2020.
Due to these payment obligations and the lack of the Argentine government´s access to additional international or multilateral private financing, as of the date of this report, the country risk index published by JP Morgan amounted to 2094 basic points, which represents a high uncertainty on the ability of the Argentine government to make the payments due under its sovereign debt in the short and medium term.
On February 12, 2020, the Argentine Congress enacted the Law No. 27,544 for the Restoration of the Sustainability of the Public Debt issued under Foreign Law, which granted the Ministry of Economy the power to restructure the Argentine government external public debt.
If the Argentine government does not restructure the sovereign bonds with the required majority of holders (at least 75% in principal amount) Argentina may default on the sovereign debt again. In such event, Argentina's ability to obtain international or multilateral private financing or direct foreign investment may be limited, which may in turn impair its ability to implement reforms and public policies to foster economic growth, impair the ability of private sector entities to access the international capital markets or make the terms of such financing much less favorable that those accessible by companies in other countries in the region and may accelerate the depreciation of the Argentine peso, foster inflation and deepen the economic crisis and recession. In addition, Argentina may face again litigation from sovereign debt holdout holders.
Lack of access to international or domestic financial markets could affect the projected capital expenditures for our operations in Argentina, which, in turn, may have an adverse effect on our financial condition or the results of our operations.
A continued decline in the global prices of Argentina's main commodity exports could have an adverse effect on Argentina's economic growth.
High commodity prices have contributed significantly to the increase in Argentine exports since 2002 as well as in governmental revenues from export taxes. However, relying on the export of certain commodities, such as soy, has made the Argentine economy more vulnerable to fluctuations in the prices of commodities. Since the beginning of 2015, international commodity prices of Argentina's primary commodity exports have declined, which has had an adverse effect on Argentina's economic growth. If international commodity prices continue to decline, the Argentine economy could be adversely affected. In addition, adverse weather conditions can affect the production of commodities by the agricultural sector, which account for a significant portion of Argentina's export revenues.
These circumstances would have a negative impact on the levels of government revenues, available foreign exchange and the government's ability to service its sovereign debt, and could either generate recessionary or inflationary pressures, depending on the government's reaction. Either of these results would adversely impact Argentina's economic growth and, therefore, our financial condition and results of operations.
Argentina continues to face considerable economic uncertainty.
Due to the foreign exchange crisis in the second half of 2018, the Argentine government implemented a series of measures aiming to reduce the fiscal deficit drastically, including the suspension of public infrastructure works, the depreciation of the Argentine peso, the re-imposition of export duties, the request of a stand-by loan agreement with the IMF and the elimination of the Supportive Federal Fund (by which the Federal Government distributed 30% of the proceeds of the export duties on soybean and soybean products to the provinces and municipalities), among other things.
As a consequence of inflation since 2018, in August 2019, the Argentine government issued a decree eliminating the VAT on certain basic food products until December 31, 2019. However, the Argentine Supreme Court issued an injunction stating that the fiscal costs of the VAT reduction must be borne only by the federal government, and could not affect the co-share of the Provincial Estates. Elimination of the VAT on those products, however, was not extended beyond December 31, 2019. The Macri administration favored the financing of the fiscal deficit through the issuance of new debt in the international debt markets. The fiscal, monetary and currency adjustments undertaken by the Macri administration subdued growth in the short-term. Immediately after most of the foreign exchange controls were lifted on December 10, 2015, the dismantling of the multiple exchange regime resulted in the official Argentine peso exchange rate (available only for certain types of transactions) falling in value by 40.1%, as the Argentine peso-U.S. dollar exchange rate reached Argentine pesos 13.76 to US$1.00 on December 17, 2015. As of December 2016, the Argentine peso depreciated 22.15% and as of December 2017, the Argentine peso depreciated 18.45%. During 2018, the Argentine peso has depreciated 103.83% accumulating a total depreciation of 284.84% since December 16, 2015 (immediately after most of the foreign exchange controls were lifted and dismantling of the multiple exchange regimes). Between December 31, 2018 and April 30, 2019, the Argentine peso depreciated 16.4% against the U.S. dollar. For containing the escalade of the Argentine peso-U.S. dollar exchange rate, during 2018 the Central Bank sold more than US$14 billion, reducing the Central Bank reserves; and increased the Argentine peso interest rates to more than 70%, affecting the access to domestic financing. All the foregoing caused a deepening recession (the GDP decreased 6.2% in 2018 and 1.7% in 2019), increasing unemployment and medium and small companies failures, while high inflation and foreign exchange instability continued.
In addition, during 2018 the Argentine government used the issuance of local short term Treasury Bills to finance fiscal deficit and control the foreign exchange rate through the absorption of Argentine pesos, such as Letras del Tesoro (LETES), Letras del Tesoro Capitalizables (LECAP), Letras del Tesoro en Pesos Argentinos Ajustadas por el CER (LECER) y Letras del Tesoro Atadas al Tipo de Cambio (LELINK), raising the Argentine peso interest rates. In August 2019, by Decree No. 596/2019 the Argentine government restructured the maturity of the LETES, LECAP, LECER and LELINK without haircuts, pursuant to which the principal amount under such Treasury Bills held by institutional holders will be paid in installments pursuant to the following schedule: (i) 15% on the maturity date; (ii) 25% 90 calendar days from the maturity date; and (iii) 60% 180 calendar days from the maturity date. In December 2019, pursuant to Decree No. 49/2019, the Fernández administration extended the LETES´ maturity until August 2020.
After assuming office in December 2019, President Alberto Fernández announced that his administration would continue with the Central Bank’s zero currency issuance policy and increased taxes to finance the fiscal deficit. However, it is yet uncertain the effects that these measures will have in the fiscal deficit and on the economy in general.
In addition, the Argentine government faces maturities of sovereign debt for about US$90 billion in 2020 and 2021 in U.S. dollar and Argentine pesos, which must restructure. See “Argentina's ability to obtain financing from international markets may be limited, which may in turn impair its ability to implement reforms and public policies and foster economic growth and could impact the ability of Argentine companies to obtain financing outside of Argentina.”.
If the Argentine government does not restructure the sovereign bonds Argentina may default on the soverign debt again, what may worsen the current economic conditions and provoke a general economic crisis, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
The Argentine government may order salary increases to be paid to employees in the private sector, which could increase our operating costs and adversely affect our results of operations.
In the past, the Argentine government has passed laws, regulations and decrees requiring companies in the private sector to increase wages and provide specified benefits to employees, and may do so again in the future. Argentine employers, both in the public and private sectors, have experienced significant pressure from their employees and labor organizations to increase wages and to provide additional employee benefits. Due to the high levels of inflation, employees and labor organizations are demanding significant wage increases. The Argentine government increased the minimum salary multiple times from 3,600 Argentine pesos in January 2014 to 16,875 Argentine pesos in October 2019. The INDEC published data regarding the evolution of salaries in the private and public sectors, reflects salary increases of approximately 26.7% and 25.26% in the private and public sectors, respectively, between January 2017 and December 2017; approximately 28.7% salary increases in both private and public sectors between January 2018 and November 2018; and 37.6% in both private and public sectors between January 2019 and October 2019.
Due to high levels of inflation and full employment in the high tech industry, we expect to raise salaries in line with the market. During the year ended December 31, 2018, labor unions agreed with employers´ associations on annual salary increases between 30% and 40%. In addition, on November 12, 2018, the Argentine government issued a decree imposing the payment of an extraordinary non-remuneratory bonus of Argentine pesos 5,000 to all workers in the private sector, payable in two installments in December 2018 and February 2019. On September 25, 2019, the Argentine government issued a decree imposing another payment of an extraordinary non-remuneratory bonus of 5,000 Argentine pesos to all workers in the private sector. Pursuant to Law No. 27,541, the Argentine government may apply mandatory salary increases to private entities. Through Decree No. 14/2020 issued on January 3, 2020, the Argentine Executive Power approved a mandatory salary increase for the private sector employees of 3,000 Argentine pesos in January 2020 and additional 1,000 Argentine pesos in February 2020.
In addition, on December 28, 2017, the Argentine Congress passed Argentine Law No. 27,426 granting employees the option to maintain their employment status until the age of 70, though employees may choose to retire earlier at the age of 65 for male employees or 60 for female employees.
If future salary increases in the Argentine peso exceed the pace of the devaluation of the Argentine peso, such salary increases could have a material and adverse effect on our expenses and business, results of operations and financial condition and, thus, on the trading prices for our common shares.
Argentine exchange controls and restrictions have been reinstated in Argentina limiting the access to the FX Market and impairing the availability of foreign investments and international credit and access to capital markets, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and business.
Due to the foreign exchange crisis generated in August 2019 and the continued reduction of the Argentine Central Bank’s foreign currency reserves, since September 1, 2019 the Argentine government reimposed rigid exchange controls and transfer restrictions, substantially limiting the ability of legal entities to obtain foreign currency or make certain payments or distributions out of Argentina. See "Information on the Company - Business Overview - Foreign Exchange Controls".
In response to the re-imposition of the foreign exchange restrictions, an unofficial U.S. dollar trading market developed in which the Argentine peso-U.S. dollar exchange rate differed substantially from the official Argentine peso-U.S. dollar exchange rate. In addition, access to foreign currency and its transfer out of Argentina can also be obtained through capital markets transactions called Blue-Chip Swaps, subject to certain restrictions, which also is significantly more expensive than acquiring foreign exchange through the FX Market.
In the past, the Argentine government also imposed informal restrictions, such as limitations on the ability of certain local companies and individuals to purchase foreign currency. Informal restrictions may consist in de facto measures restricting local residents and companies from purchasing foreign currency through the FX Market to make payments out of Argentina, such as prepayments under foreign debt, dividend distributions, capital reductions, and payment for importation of goods and services.
These measures could lead to political and social tensions and undermine the Argentine government’s public finances, as has occurred in the past, which could adversely affect Argentina’s economy and prospects for economic growth, which, in turn, could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Blue-chip swap transactions increase our exposure to fluctuations in the value of the Argentine peso, which, in turn, could have an adverse effect on our operations and the market price of our common shares.
During the years ended December 31, 2019, 2015 and 2014, our Argentine subsidiaries, used cash received from repayments of intercompany loans and capital contributions to acquire Argentine sovereign bonds, including Bonos del Gobierno Nacional en Dólares Estadounidenses ("BODEN") and Bonos Argentinos ("BONAR"), in the U.S. market denominated in U.S. dollars.
After acquiring these bonds and after holding them for a certain period of time, our Argentine subsidiaries sold those bonds in the Argentine market. The fair values of the bonds in the Argentine market (in Argentine pesos) during the years ended December 31, 2019, 2015 and 2014 were higher than their quoted prices in the U.S. market (in U.S dollars) converted at the official exchange rate prevailing in Argentina (which is the rate used to convert these transactions in foreign currency into our Argentine subsidiaries' functional currency), we recognized a gain when remeasuring the fair value of the bonds in Argentine pesos into U.S. dollars at the official exchange rate prevailing in Argentina.
If we decide to engage in blue-chip swap transactions in the future, we cannot assure you that the quoted price of BODEN and/or BONAR in Argentine pesos in the Argentine markets will be higher than the quoted price in the U.S. debt markets in U.S. dollars converted at the official exchange rate prevailing in Argentina or that the Argentine government will not make any legislative, judicial, or administrative changes or interpretations, any of which could impair our Argentine subsidiaries to pursue such transactions, and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Foreign exchange restrictions have impaired our ability to receive dividends and distributions from our Argentine subsidiaries, receive the proceeds of any sale of our assets in Argentina and receive certain payments to us or other of our subsidiaries out of Argentina through the FX market.
Since September 1, 2019 the Argentine government reimposed rigid exchange controls and transfer restrictions, substantially limiting the ability of legal entities to obtain foreign currency or make certain payments or distributions abroad. Among others, the foreign exchange restrictions require the prior authorization of the Argentine Central Bank for the access to the FX Market for purposes of acquiring foreign currency for portfolio purposes by legal entities and making dividend distributions (except in certain limited circumstances and amounts). See "Information on the Company - Business Overview - Foreign Exchange Controls".
Pursuant to the new foreign exchange regulations, our Argentine subsidiaries have access to the FX Market to make payments of dividends or other distributions of earnings out of Argentina from January 17, 2020 without the prior authorization of the Argentine Central Bank up to an amount equal to 30% of the value of all new capital contributions of foreign direct investments made to our Argentine subsidiaries since such date to the extent that the proceeds of those capital contributions have been repatriated into Argentina and converted into Argentine pesos through the FX Market and they have been capitalized and the registration of such capitalization has been requested before the Public Registry of Commerce. The access to the FX Market for the payment of dividends in excess of the amounts described above or not complying with those requirements are subject to the prior authorization of the Argentine Central Bank.
The new foreign exchange regulations have also restricted the ability of our Argentine subsidiaries to access the FX Market to acquire foreign currency without the prior authorization of the Argentine Central Bank for portfolio purposes and the ability of foreign residents to access the FX Market to acquire foreign currency for any purpose, including for example for the conversion and transfer out of Argentina of the proceeds of the sale of assets received by the foreign resident in Argentina.
In addition, the new foreign exchange regulations require the prior authorization of the Argentine Central Bank for making any payments of services to foreign related entities except for expenses payable for their normal operation.
Additionally, the access to foreign currency and its transfer abroad can also be obtained through capital markets transactions called Blue-Chip Swaps subject to certain restrictions, which, however are significantly more expensive than acquiring foreign exchange through the FX Market.
The domestic revenues of our Argentine subsidiaries (excluding intercompany revenues to other Globant subsidiaries, which are eliminated in consolidation) were $30.9 in 2019, $23.8 million in 2018 and $13.3 million in 2017, representing 4.7%, 4.6%, and 3.2% of our annual consolidated revenues, respectively.
Our Argentine subsidiaries are impaired in their ability to make dividends distributions and payments of services to the Company or other Globant foreign subsidiaries through the FX Market and we and other Globant foreign subsidiaries are also impaired from accessing the FX Market to transfer out of Argentina any monies collected in such jurisdiction; or the making of such payments and transfers would be subject to substantial additional costs which, in either case, could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Foreign exchange restrictions have reimposed the mandatory repatriation of export services receivables.
Since September 1, 2019 the Argentine government reimposed the mandatory repatriation into Argentina and the conversion into Argentine pesos through the FX Market of the receivables for export services within 5 consecutive days computed from the date they are received. See "Information on the Company - Business Overview - Foreign Exchange Controls".
The re-imposition of the repatriation of export services receivables and the additional restrictions imposed on the access to the FX Market (See “Foreign exchange restrictions have impaired our ability to receive dividends and distributions from our Argentine subsidiaries, receive the proceeds of any sale of our assets in Argentina and receive certain payments to us or other of our subsidiaries out of Argentina through the FX market.”), could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our operating cash flows may be adversely affected if there is a delay in obtaining reimbursement of value-added tax credits from AFIP.
During the years ended December 31, 2019, our Argentine operating subsidiary IAFH Global S.A. recognized an aggregate of $0.6 million in value-added tax credits. These tax credits may be monetized by way of cash reimbursement from AFIP. Obtaining this cash reimbursement requires submission of a written request to AFIP, which is subject to its approval. In the event that AFIP delays its approval of the request for reimbursement of these value-added tax credits, our ability to monetize the value of those credits would be delayed, which could adversely affect our cash flows.
The imposition of duties on export services could adversely affect our results of operations.
On December 4, 2018, Argentina approved the budget bill for year 2019 through Law 27,467, which amended the Customs Code to allow for duties to be applied to the exportation of services (and not only goods). In addition, the Argentine Executive Power was allowed to impose export duties of up to 30% until December 31, 2020. However, in case of services and goods that were not subject to export duties before September 2, 2018, the maximum rate is 12%. On January 2, 2019, the Argentine Executive Power issued Decree No. 1201/2018, which established an export duty on export of services at a rate of 12% with a maximum limit of Argentine pesos (ARS) 4 per each U.S. dollar of the amount arising from the invoice or equivalent document.
On December 28, 2019, Decree 99/2019 was published in the Official Gazette to extend the application of duties on export of services until December 31, 2021 with a rate of 5% without limit. The new rate is in force from January 1, 2020.
A service is deemed “exported” when it is rendered in Argentina but it is effectively used or exploited off shore. Such utilization or exploitation is effective upon the first utilization or act of disposal of the service by the recipient even when, if appropriate, the latter intends such service for consumption.
If additional increases of the current rates for export duties were imposed on the export of services, the results of our operations could be adversely affected.
Changes in Argentine tax laws may adversely affect the results of our operations, financial condition and cash flows.
In 2012, the Argentine government terminated its treaties with Spain for the avoidance of double taxation. As a result, the exemption from personal assets tax that was available pursuant to such treaty for equity interests in local companies owned by Spanish residents no longer applies. The new double taxation treaty with Spain, which was adopted on December 23, 2013 and applied retroactively from January 1, 2013, does not include a similar exemption. Under the new treaty, and subject to the conditions set forth therein, the tax applicable on dividends distributed by our Argentine subsidiaries to our Spanish subsidiaries is limited to 10% of the gross amount of dividends distributed, and income tax withholding on financial interest is limited to 12%.
On December 29, 2017, the Argentine government enacted Law No. 27,430, which reduced the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 30% for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2018 and 25% for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2020. Additionally, the distribution of dividends is subject to a 7% tax rate related to financial results from fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2018 and 13% tax rate for the distribution of dividends related to financial results from fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2020.
On December 23, 2019, the Argentine Government enacted the Ley de Solidaridad Social y Reactivación Productiva No. 27,541 (the "Law on Social Solidarity and Productive Reactivation " or the "Social Solidarity Law") which declared a public emergency in economic, financial, fiscal, administrative, social security, tariff, energy, health and social matters, and also delegated legislative powers to the National Executive Power, until December 31, 2020. According to the Social Solidarity Law, the corporate income and dividend tax rates for tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 are 30% and 7%, respectively. Consequently, the effectiveness of the 25% and 13% tax rates have been delayed until tax years commencing after December 31, 2020.
The Social Solidarity Law also introduced amendments to the income tax, personal assets tax, excise tax on certain goods, tax on debits and credits in local bank accounts and social security rules. It also established a new tax on certain purchases of foreign currency, a new tax debt settlement plan for certain taxpayers, and established new rates on exports of goods and services.
Argentine companies are required to pay the personal assets tax corresponding to Argentine resident individuals, foreign individuals and foreign entities for holding equity interests in such companies as of December 31 of each year. The applicable tax rate until 2018 was 0.25% and the tax is levied on the equity stated in the latest financial statements.
Under the Social Solidarity Law, the tax rate applicable to shares or participations in the capital of companies governed by the Argentine General Companies Law was increased from 0.25% to 0.50% of the pro-rata equity value.
We cannot assure that the Argentine government or any of its political divisions will not adopt additional changes and reforms in tax matters, nor that these reforms and those that may be adopted in the future will not adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition.
Exposure to multiple provincial and municipal legislation and regulations could adversely affect our business or results of operations.
Argentina is a federal country with 23 provinces and one autonomous city (City of Buenos Aires), each of which, under the Argentine national constitution, has full power to enact legislation concerning taxes and other matters. Likewise, within each province, municipal governments have broad powers to regulate such matters. Due to the fact that our delivery centers are located in multiple provinces, we are also subject to multiple provincial and municipal legislation and regulations. Although we have not experienced any material adverse effects from this, future developments in provincial and municipal legislation concerning taxes, provincial regulations or other matters may adversely affect our business or results of operations.
Colombia has experienced several periods of internal security issues that could affect the economy and impact our business, and our results from operations.
Colombia has suffered from periods of criminal violence over the past four decades, primarily due to the activities of guerrilla groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) (“FARC”), paramilitary groups and drug cartels and criminal bands known as Bacrim. In regions of the country with limited governmental presence, these groups have exerted influence over the local population and funded their activities by protecting and rendering services to drug traffickers. In response, the Colombian government has implemented various security measures and has strengthened its military and police forces by creating specialized units. The Colombian government and the FARC signed a peace agreement on September 26, 2016, which was amended by the Colombian Congress on November 30, 2016 and is currently being implemented after four years of negotiation. As a result, during the transition process, Colombia may experience internal security issues, and drug-related crime and guerilla, and paramilitary activities, which may have a negative impact on the Colombian economy. In addition, the peace agreement reached with the FARC may be modified by current or future governments, including President Duque’s administration. Although the Colombian Congress has approved certain regulations implementing the final peace agreement, including laws governing the Special Peace Justice System (Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz), laws enacted by the Colombia Congress in this regard may differ from the provisions of the peace agreement. If there are deviations from the peace agreement, there can be no assurance that criminal actions will not escalate in Colombia.
Pursuant to the peace agreements negotiated between FARC and the Colombian government, FARC occupies five seats in the Colombian Senate and five seats in the Colombian House of Representatives. We cannot predict which policies will be adopted by the Colombian government and whether the policies would have a negative impact on the Colombian economy or our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Despite efforts by the Colombian government, drug-related crime, guerrilla paramilitary activity and criminal bands continue to exist in Colombia, and allegations have surfaced regarding members of the Colombian congress and other government officials having ties to guerilla and paramilitary groups. Although the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (“ELN”) have been in talks since February 2017 to end a five-decade war, the Colombian government has suspended the negotiations after a series of rebel attacks and, in 2019, a minority group of dissidents of the peace process with FARC announced their return to illegal activities. Any possible escalation in the violence associated with this terrorist attack and/or these activities may have a negative impact on the Colombian economy. Our business or financial condition could be adversely effected by the rapidly changing economic or social conditions related to such circumstances, including the Colombian government's ability to implement the peace agreement with the FARC. Such changes could include the passing of legislation that could increase our tax burden and impact the overall Colombian economy.
Any further downgrade in the credit rating of Colombia could adversely affect the Colombian economy.
The outlook of Colombia’s credit rating was changed to negative by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”) and Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”) in 2016 and by Moody’s Corporation (“Moody’s”) in February 2018. In December 2017, S&P downgraded the rating of Colombia’s long-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on Colombia from “BBB” to “BBB-.” Additionally, on February 22, 2018 Moody’s changed Colombia’s rating outlook from stable to negative. Currently, Colombia’s long-term debt denominated in foreign currency is rated “Baa2” by Moody’s, “BBB-” by S&P and “BBB” by Fitch. Any further downgrade of Colombia’s credit rating could adversely affect the Colombian economy and our results of operations. We cannot assure as to whether there will be further deterioration of the Colombian economy particularly due to the fiscal deficit and Colombia’s public debt. If the condition of the Colombian economy were to deteriorate, we would likely be adversely affected.
Any additional taxes resulting from changes to tax regulations or the interpretation thereof could adversely affect our consolidated results.
Colombia underwent tax reforms in 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2014.In October 2019, the Colombian Constitutional Cort held that the 2018 tax reform enacted by the Colombian Congress was unconstitutional because of procedural flaws in Congress’s approval process. The 2018 tax reform governed the 2019 taxable year but ceased as of January 1, 2020. Nonetheless, the tax rules introduced by the 2018 tax reform (and repealed by the Constitutional Court) were reinstated by Congress in a new 2019 tax reform.
The 2019 tax reform was published and approved on December 27, 2019 and is intended to replicate the provisions that were introduced by the 2018 tax reform, with some minor modifications. As a result, income tax withholding rates resulting from payments made to foreign entities remains at a general rate of 20%, except for foreign indebtedness exceeding one year, where the applicable income tax withholding remains at 15%. Dividends paid to foreign shareholders (individuals or corporations) paid out of profits that were subject to corporate income tax became subject to a withholding tax of 10% (resulting in an increase of 2.5% from 7.5% introduced by the 2018 tax reform) and dividends paid out of profits that were not subject to corporate income tax became subject to a withholding tax of 32% for 2020, with a progressive reduction of the tax rate by 1% for each upcoming year, until 2020 (in which year the tax rate is stabilized in 30%) plus the foregoing 10%, which applies to the balance after the withholding is applied.
The 2019 tax reform introduced a new equity tax applicable to: (i) Colombian resident individuals (ii) non-resident individuals on their Colombian assets, (iii) non-distributed inheritance of non-residents and (iv) foreign non-resident entities owning assets in Colombia different from shares, account receivables and portfolio investments; whose net equity in Colombia as of January 1, 2020 is COP $5,000 million or higher. The equity tax would be triggered in January 1, 2020, and 2021 at rate of 1%.
We cannot assure you that Colombian tax laws will not change or may be interpreted differently by authorities, and any change could result in the imposition of additional taxes. Additional tax regulations could negatively affect our results of operations and cash flow. In addition, national or local taxing authorities may not interpret tax regulations in the same way that we do. Differing interpretations could result in future tax litigation and associated costs.
The Colombian government and the Colombian central bank exercise significant influence on the Colombian economy, which could have an impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The Colombian government and the Colombian central bank could intervene in Colombia’s economy and make changes in monetary, fiscal and regulatory policy, which could result in currency devaluation and the changes in international reserves.
Although the Colombian government has not imposed foreign exchange restrictions since 1990, Colombia’s foreign currency markets have historically been extremely regulated. Colombian law permits the Colombian central bank to impose foreign exchange controls to regulate the remittance of dividends and/or foreign investments in the event that the foreign currency reserves of the Colombian central bank fall below a level equal to the value of three months of imports of goods and services into Colombia. An intervention that precludes us from possessing, utilizing or remitting dollars would impair our financial condition and results of operations.
The Colombian government has considerable power to shape the Colombian economy and, consequently, affect the operations and financial performance of businesses. The Colombian government may seek to implement new policies aimed at controlling further fluctuation of the Colombian peso against the U.S. dollar and fostering domestic price stability. The president of Colombia has considerable power to determine governmental policies and actions relating to the economy and may adopt policies that are inconsistent with those of the prior government or that negatively affect us.
If the United States imposes sanctions on Colombia in the future, our business may be adversely affected.
Colombia is among several nations whose eligibility to receive foreign aid from the United States is dependent on its progress in stemming the production and transit of illegal drugs, which is subject to an annual review. Although Colombia is currently eligible for such aid, Colombia may not remain eligible in the future. A finding by the United States that Colombia has failed demonstrably to meet its obligations under international counter-narcotic agreements may result in the imposition of economic and trade sanctions on Colombia which could result in adverse economic consequences in Colombia and could further heighten the political and economic risks associated with our operations there.
Risks Related to the Company and the Ownership of Our Common Shares
The price of our common shares may be highly volatile.
The market price of our common shares may be volatile and may be influenced by many factors, some of which are beyond our control, including:
|•||the failure of financial analysts to cover our common shares or changes in financial estimates by analysts;|
|•||actual or anticipated variations in our operating results;|
|•||changes in financial estimates by financial analysts, or any failure by us to meet or exceed any of these estimates, or changes in the recommendations of any financial analysts that elect to follow our common shares or the shares of our competitors;|
|•||announcements by us or our competitors of significant contracts or acquisitions;|
|•||future sales of our common shares; and|
|•||investor perceptions of us and the industries in which we operate.|
In addition, the equity markets in general have experienced substantial price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of particular companies affected. These broad market and industry factors may materially harm the market price of our common shares, regardless of our operating performance. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of certain companies' securities, securities class action litigation has been instituted against these companies. This litigation, if instituted against us, could adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations.
Holders of our common shares may experience losses due to increased volatility in the U.S. capital markets.
The U.S. capital markets have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many companies. These fluctuations often have been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance or results of operations of those companies. These broad market fluctuations, as well as general economic, political and market conditions such as recessions, interest rate changes or international currency fluctuations, as well as volatility in international capital markets, may cause the market price of our common shares to decline.
In addition, downgrades to the U.S. government's sovereign credit rating by any rating agency, as well as negative changes to the perceived creditworthiness of U.S. government-related obligations, could have a material adverse impact on financial markets and economic conditions in the United States and worldwide. Any volatility in the capital markets in the United States or in other developed countries, whether resulting from a downgrade of the sovereign credit rating of U.S. debt obligations or otherwise, may have an adverse effect on the price of our common shares.
We may be classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a "passive foreign investment company" (a "PFIC"), which may result in adverse tax consequences for U.S. investors.
We believe that we will not be a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes for our current taxable year and do not expect to become one in the foreseeable future. However, because PFIC status depends upon the composition of our income and assets and the market value of our assets (including, among others, less than 25% owned equity investments) from time to time, there can be no assurance that we will not be considered a PFIC for any taxable year. Because we have valued goodwill based on the market value of our equity for purposes of taxation, a decrease in the price of our common shares may also result in us becoming a PFIC. The composition of our income and our assets will also be affected by how, and how quickly, we spend the cash. Under circumstances where the cash is not deployed for active purposes, our risk of becoming a PFIC may increase. If we were treated as a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. investor held common shares, certain adverse tax consequences could apply to such U.S. investor. See "Additional Information — Taxation — U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations — Passive foreign investment company rules."
We may need additional capital and we may not be able to obtain it.
We believe that our existing cash and cash equivalents and cash flows from operations, including the cash available under our revolving line of credit, will be sufficient to meet our anticipated cash needs for at least the next 12 months. We may, however, require additional cash resources due to changed business conditions or other future developments, including any investments or acquisitions we may decide to pursue. If these resources are insufficient to satisfy our cash requirements, we may seek to sell additional equity or debt securities or obtain another credit facility or expand the existing one. The sale of additional equity securities could result in dilution to our shareholders. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased debt service obligations and could require us to agree to additional operating and financing covenants that would restrict our operations.
Our ability to obtain additional capital on acceptable terms is subject to a variety of uncertainties, including:
|•||investors' perception of, and demand for, securities of technology services companies;|
|•||conditions of the U.S. capital markets and other capital markets in which we may seek to raise funds;|
|•||our future results of operations and financial condition;|
|•||government regulation of foreign investment in the United States, Europe, and Latin America; and|
|•||global economic, political and other conditions in jurisdictions in which we do business.|
Concentration of ownership among our existing executive officers, directors and principal shareholders may prevent new investors from influencing significant corporate decisions or adversely affect the trading price of our common shares.
As of February 13, 2020, our directors and executive officers, entities affiliated with them and greater than 5% shareholders, beneficially own an aggregate of approximately 25.22% of our outstanding common shares, of which 0.76% represents common shares subject to options that currently are exercisable or will be exercisable within 60 days of February 13, 2020 as well as common shares issuable upon settlement of restricted stock units that have vested or will vest within 60 days of February 13, 2020 . As a result, these shareholders may exercise significant influence over matters requiring shareholder approval, including the election of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions, and may have significant influence over our management and policies. This concentration of influence could be disadvantageous to other shareholders with interests different from those of our officers, directors and principal shareholders. For example, our officers, directors and principal shareholders could delay or prevent an acquisition or merger even if the transaction would benefit other shareholders. In addition, this concentration of share ownership may adversely affect the trading price of our common shares because investors often perceive disadvantages in owning shares in companies with principal shareholders.
Our business and results of operations may be adversely affected by the increased strain on our resources from complying with the reporting, disclosure, and other requirements applicable to public companies in the United States.
Compliance with existing, new and changing corporate governance and public disclosure requirements adds uncertainty to our compliance policies and increases our costs of compliance. Changing laws, regulations and standards include those relating to accounting, corporate governance and public disclosure; these include but are not limited to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, new SEC regulations and NYSE listing guidelines that result out of the NYSE listing. These laws, regulations and guidelines may lack specificity and are subject to varying interpretations. Their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. In particular, our efforts to comply with certain sections of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ("Section 404") and the related regulations regarding required assessment of internal controls over financial reporting and our external auditor's audit of that assessment requires the commitment of significant financial and managerial resources. Testing and maintaining internal controls can divert our management's attention from other matters that are important to the operation of our business. We also expect the regulations to increase our legal and financial compliance costs, make it more difficult to attract and retain qualified officers and members of our board of directors, particularly to serve on our audit committee, and make some activities more difficult, time consuming and costly.
Existing, new and changing corporate governance and public disclosure requirements could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs of compliance as a result of ongoing revisions to such governance standards. Our efforts to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards have resulted in, and are likely to continue to result in, increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities. In addition, new laws, regulations and standards regarding corporate governance may make it more difficult for our company to obtain director and officer liability insurance. Further, our board members and senior management could face an increased risk of personal liability in connection with their performance of duties. As a result, we may face difficulties attracting and retaining qualified board members and senior management, which could harm our business. If we fail to comply with new or changed laws or regulations and standards differ, our business and reputation may be harmed.
Failure to establish and maintain effective internal controls in accordance with Section 404 could have a material adverse effect on our business and common share price.
As a public company, we are required to document and test our internal control procedures in order to satisfy the requirements of Section 404, which will require management assessments and certifications of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. During the course of our testing, we may identify deficiencies that we may not be able to remedy in time to meet our deadline for compliance with Section 404. We may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404. In addition, our independent registered public accounting firm is required to report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting but may not be able or willing to issue an unqualified report. If we conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective, we cannot be certain as to the timing of remediation actions and testing or their effect on our operations because there is presently no precedent available by which to measure compliance adequacy.
If we are unable to conclude that we have effective internal control over financial reporting, our independent auditors are unable to provide us with an unqualified report as required by Section 404, or we are required to restate our financial statements, we may fail to meet our public reporting obligations and investors could lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could have a negative effect on the trading price of our common shares.
Our exemption as a "foreign private issuer" from certain rules under the U.S. securities laws may result in less information about us being available to investors than for U.S. companies, which may result in our common shares being less attractive to investors.
As a "foreign private issuer" in the United States, we are exempt from certain rules under the U.S. securities laws and are permitted to file less information with the SEC than U.S. companies. As a "foreign private issuer," we are exempt from certain rules under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), that impose certain disclosure obligations and procedural requirements for proxy solicitations under Section 14 of the Exchange Act. In addition, our officers, directors and principal shareholders are exempt from the reporting and "short-swing" profit recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act and the rules under the Exchange Act with respect to their purchases and sales of our common shares. Moreover, we are not required to file periodic reports and financial statements with the SEC as frequently or as promptly as companies that are not foreign private issuers whose securities are registered under the Exchange Act. In addition, we are not required to comply with Regulation FD, which restricts the selective disclosure of material information. As a result, our shareholders may not have access to information they may deem important, which may result in our common shares being less attractive to investors.
We do not plan to declare dividends, and our ability to do so will be affected by restrictions under Luxembourg law.
We have not declared dividends in the past and do not anticipate paying any dividends on our common shares in the foreseeable future. In addition, both our articles of association and the Luxembourg law of August 10, 1915 on commercial companies as amended (loi du 10 août 1915 sur les sociétés commerciales telle que modifiée) (the "Luxembourg Companies Law") require a general meeting of shareholders to approve any dividend distribution except as set forth below.
Our ability to declare dividends under Luxembourg law is subject to the availability of distributable earnings or available reserves, including share premium. Moreover, if we declare dividends in the future, we may not be able to pay them more frequently than annually. As permitted by Luxembourg Companies Law and subject to the provisions thereof, our articles of association authorize the declaration of dividends more frequently than annually by our board of directors in the form of interim dividends so long as the amount of such interim dividends does not exceed total net income made since the end of the last financial year for which the standalone annual accounts have been approved, plus any net income carried forward and sums drawn from reserves available for this purpose, less the aggregate of the prior year's accumulated losses, the amounts to be set aside for the reserves required by law or by our articles of association for the prior year, and the estimated tax due on such earnings.
We depend on the ability of our subsidiaries to distribute funds to us in order to satisfy our financial obligations and to make dividend payments, which they may not be able to do.
Our subsidiaries conduct all of our operations. We have no relevant assets other than the equity interests in our subsidiaries. As a result, our ability to make dividend payments depends on our subsidiaries and their ability to distribute funds to us. The ability of a subsidiary to make these distributions could be affected by covenants in our or their financing agreements or by the law of their respective jurisdictions of incorporation. If we are unable to obtain funds from our subsidiaries, we will be unable to distribute dividends. We do not intend to seek to obtain funds from other sources to pay dividends. See "— Risks Related to Operating in Latin America — Argentina — The imposition in the future of restrictions on transfers of foreign currency and the repatriation of capital from Argentina may impair our ability to receive dividends and distributions from, and the proceeds of any sale of, our assets in Argentina."
Our shareholders may have more difficulty protecting their interests than they would as shareholders of a U.S. corporation, which could adversely impact trading in our common shares and our ability to conduct equity financings.
Our corporate affairs are governed by our articles of association and the laws of Luxembourg, including the laws governing joint stock companies. The rights of our shareholders and the responsibilities of our directors and officers under Luxembourg law are different from those applicable to a corporation incorporated in the United States. There may be less publicly available information about us than is regularly published by or about U.S. issuers. In addition, Luxembourg law governing the securities of Luxembourg companies may not be as extensive as those in effect in the United States, and Luxembourg law and regulations in respect of corporate governance matters might not be as protective of minority shareholders as state corporation laws in the United States. Therefore, our shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in connection with actions taken by our directors and officers or our principal shareholders than they would as shareholders of a corporation incorporated in the United States.
Neither our articles of association nor Luxembourg law provides for appraisal rights for dissenting shareholders in certain extraordinary corporate transactions that may otherwise be available to shareholders under certain U.S. state laws. As a result of these differences, our shareholders may have more difficulty protecting their interests than they would as shareholders of a U.S. issuer.
Holders of our common shares may not be able to exercise their pre-emptive subscription rights and may suffer dilution of their shareholding in the event of future common share issuances.
Under Luxembourg Companies Law, our shareholders benefit from a pre-emptive subscription right on the issuance of common shares for cash consideration. However, in accordance with Luxembourg law, our articles of association authorize our board of directors to suppress, waive or limit any pre-emptive subscription rights of shareholders provided by Luxembourg law to the extent our board deems such suppression, waiver or limitation advisable for any issuance or issuances of common shares within the scope of our authorized share capital. Such common shares may be issued above, at or below market value as well as by way of incorporation of available reserves (including a premium). This authorization is valid from the date of the publication in the Luxembourg's official gazette (Recueil Electronique des Sociétés et Associations) of the decision of the extraordinary general meeting of shareholders held on May 8, 2017, which publication occurred on May 19, 2017, and ends on May 19, 2022. In addition, a shareholder may not be able to exercise the shareholder's pre-emptive right on a timely basis or at all, unless the shareholder complies with Luxembourg Companies Law and applicable laws in the jurisdiction in which the shareholder is resident, particularly in the United States. As a result, the shareholding of such shareholders may be materially diluted in the event common shares are issued in the future. Moreover, in the case of an increase in capital by a contribution in kind, no pre-emptive rights of the existing shareholders exist.
We are organized under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and it may be difficult for you to obtain or enforce judgments or bring original actions against us or our executive officers and directors in the United States.
We are organized under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The majority of our assets are located outside the United States. Furthermore, the majority of our directors and officers and some experts named in this annual report reside outside the United States and a substantial portion of their assets are located outside the United States. Investors may not be able to effect service of process within the United States upon us or these persons or to enforce judgments obtained against us or these persons in U.S. courts, including judgments in actions predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws. Likewise, it may also be difficult for an investor to enforce in U.S. courts judgments obtained against us or these persons in courts located in jurisdictions outside the United States, including judgments predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws. It may also be difficult for an investor to bring an original action in a Luxembourg court predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws against us or these persons. Furthermore, Luxembourg law does not recognize a shareholder's right to bring a derivative action on behalf of the company except in limited cases.
As there is no treaty in force on the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters between the United States and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, courts in Luxembourg will not automatically recognize and enforce a final judgment rendered by a U.S. court. A valid judgment in civil or commercial matters obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States may be entered and enforced through a court of competent jurisdiction in Luxembourg, subject to compliance with the enforcement procedures (exequatur). The enforceability in Luxembourg courts of judgments rendered by U.S. courts will be subject prior any enforcement in Luxembourg to the procedure and the conditions set forth in the Luxembourg procedural code, which conditions may include the following as of the date of this annual report (which may change):
|•||the judgment of the U.S. court is final and enforceable (exécutoire) in the United States;|
|•||the U.S. court had jurisdiction over the subject matter leading to the judgment (that is, its jurisdiction was in compliance both with Luxembourg private international law rules and with the applicable domestic U.S. federal or state jurisdictional rules);|
|•||the U.S. court has applied to the dispute the substantive law that would have been applied by Luxembourg courts;|
|•||the judgment was granted following proceedings where the counterparty had the opportunity to appear and, if it appeared, to present a defense, and the decision of the foreign court must not have been obtained by fraud, but in compliance with the rights of the defendant;|
|•||the U.S. court has acted in accordance with its own procedural laws;|
|•||the judgment of the U.S. court does not contravene Luxembourg international public policy; and|
|•||the U.S. court proceedings were not of a criminal or tax nature.|
Under our articles of association and also pursuant to separate indemnification agreements, we indemnify our directors for and hold them harmless against all claims, actions, suits or proceedings brought against them, subject to limited exceptions. The rights and obligations among or between us and any of our current or former directors and officers are generally governed by the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and subject to the jurisdiction of the Luxembourg courts, unless such rights or obligations do not relate to or arise out of their capacities listed above. Although there is doubt as to whether U.S. courts would enforce such provision in an action brought in the United States under U.S. federal or state securities laws, such provision could make enforcing judgments obtained outside Luxembourg more difficult to enforce against our assets in Luxembourg or jurisdictions that would apply Luxembourg law.
Luxembourg insolvency laws may offer our shareholders less protection than they would have under U.S. insolvency laws.
As a company organized under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and with its registered office in Luxembourg, we are subject to Luxembourg insolvency laws in the event any insolvency proceedings are initiated against us including, among other things, Regulation (EU) No. 2015/848 of the European Parliament and the Council of May 20, 2015 on insolvency proceedings (recast). Should courts in another European country determine that the insolvency laws of that country apply to us in accordance with and subject to such EU regulations, the courts in that country could have jurisdiction over the insolvency proceedings initiated against us. Insolvency laws in Luxembourg or the relevant other European country, if any, may offer our shareholders less protection than they would have under U.S. insolvency laws and make it more difficult for them to recover the amount they could expect to recover in a liquidation under U.S. insolvency laws.
Globant is a Luxembourg société anonyme (a joint stock company). The company's legal name is "Globant S.A." We were founded in 2003 by Martín Migoya, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Guibert Englebienne, our Chief Technology Officer, Martín Umaran, our Chief of Staff, and Nestor Nocetti, our Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs. Our founders' vision was to create a company, starting in Latin America that would dream and build digital journeys that matter to millions of users, while also generating world-class career opportunities for IT professionals, not just in metropolitan areas but also in outlying cities and countries.
Since our inception, we have benefited from strong organic growth and have built a blue chip client base comprised of leading global companies. Over that same period, we have expanded our network of locations from one to 56. In addition, we have garnered several awards and recognition from organizations such as Endeavor, the IDC MarketScape, Global Services, the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, and Fast Company, and we have been the subject of business-school case studies on entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Stanford University in conjunction with the World Economic Forum.
In 2006, we started working with Google. We were chosen due to our cultural affinity and innovation. While our growth has primarily been organic, since 2008 we have made eighteen complementary acquisitions. Our acquisition strategy is focused on deepening our relationship with key clients, extending our technology capabilities, broadening our service offering and expanding the geographic footprint of our delivery centers, including beyond Latin America.
In 2008, we acquired Accendra, a Buenos Aires-based provider of software development services, in order to deepen our relationship with Microsoft and broaden our technology expertise to include Sharepoint and other Microsoft technologies. That same year we also acquired Openware, a company specializing in security management based in Rosario, Argentina.
In 2011, we acquired Nextive. The Nextive acquisition expanded our geographic presence in the United States and enhanced our U.S. engagement and delivery management team as well as our ability to provide comprehensive solutions in mobile technologies.
In 2012, we acquired TerraForum, an innovation consulting and software development firm in Brazil. The acquisition of TerraForum allowed us to expand into Brazil, one of the largest economies in the world.
In August 2013, we acquired 22.75% of Dynaflows S.A. In October 2015, we obtained the control over Dynaflows through acquiring an additional number of shares, and in October 2018, we completed the acquisition of the company by acquiring the remaining minority stake. This acquisition allowed us to broaden our Services over Platforms strategy.
In October 2013, we acquired a majority stake in the Huddle Group, a company specializing in the media and entertainment industries, with operations in Argentina, Chile and the United States. We acquired the remaining 13.75% minority stake in Huddle Investment in October 2014.
In July 2014, we closed the initial public offering of our common shares in the United States.
In October 2014, we acquired BlueStar Holdings. Through this acquisition, we commenced our operations in Perú.
In April 2015, we closed a follow-on secondary offering of our common shares in the United States through which certain selling shareholders sold 3,994,390 common shares previously held by them. In July 2015, we closed another follow-on secondary offering in the United States through which certain selling shareholders sold 4,025,000 common shares previously held by them.
In May 2015, we acquired Clarice which allowed us to establish our presence in India.
Also, in 2015, we launched new Studios to complement our offerings, including one focused on Cognitive Computing, and we incorporated a complementary approach to build digital journeys fast and in an innovative manner though: our service-over-platform offering.
During 2016, we introduced a new model that intends to reshape our go-to-market strategy to scale our company in the coming years, called 50 Squared. The main goal of this new approach is to focus our team in the top 50 high potential accounts that have the capacity to grow exponentially over time. To do so, we appointed our most senior people from Sales, Technology and Operations to lead these teams and take our company to the next level. This account focus has become the most important pillar of our go-to-market strategy and every account within Globant now has the goal to become part of this program.
In May 2016, we acquired We Are London Limited ("WAE UK") and We Are Experience, Inc. ("WAE US") (jointly, WAE UK and WAE US are "WAE"). The purpose of these acquisitions was related to the benefit of expected synergies, revenue growth, future market development and the assembled workforce of WAE.
In November 2016, we entered into a stock purchase agreement with 3Cinteractive corp. ("3C") to purchase the 100% of the capital stock of its wholly owned subsidiary, Difier, an Uruguayan company. At the same time, we signed a consulting services agreement to provide software development services to 3C for a term of four years.
During the same month, we acquired L4 Mobile, LLC. The purpose of this acquisition was related to strengthening our leading position in the digital services space and expanding our capabilities in the United States.
In February 2017, we acquired Ratio Cypress, LLC, a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of Washington in the United States. Ratio offers design, development and quality assurance services necessary to build and manage robust digital products and video streaming solutions for major media companies.
In June 2017, we acquired PointSource, a design and development technology agency, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Chicago. The purpose of this acquisition was related to the benefit of expected synergies, revenue growth and expanding our capabilities in the United States. As part of this transaction, we acquired an option to purchase PointSource LLC, a company incorporated in Belarus. In February 2018, after exercising our option, we commenced operations in Belarus.
In June 2018, we closed a secondary offering in the United States of 6,687,548 of our common shares held by WPP Luxembourg Gamma Three S.àr.l. ("WPP").
In October, 2018, we signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire, the business of Small Footprint Inc., a corporation organized and existing under the laws of North Carolina, United States, including the acquisition of its wholly owned subsidiary in Romania, Small Footprint, LLC. The purpose of this acquisition was to deepen our expansion into Eastern Europe while also improving our onsite capacity in the United States.
During 2018 we launched new Studios to complement our offerings, including one focused on Cybersecurity and another on Over-the-Top, and we also launched StarMeUp OS as a part of our Services-Over-Platform strategy. StarMeUp OS is an operating system made up of smart applications built to help organizations with digital transformation from the inside out.
In February 2019, we closed the acquisition of Avanxo (Bermuda) Limited ("Avanxo"), a cloud consulting and implementation company headquartered in Bermuda, with operations in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and the United States. The purpose of this acquisition was to expand our cloud implementation solutions and bring Globant's native digital culture to corporate process optimization.
In August 2019, we acquired Belatrix Global Corporation S.A., a leading agile product development company with presence in Peru, Colombia, Spain, the United States and Argentina. Their customer portfolio reinforces our 50-squared approach, delivering strategic digital transformation to some of the largest organizations worldwide and it also strengthens our broad expertise in industries like finance, payment, insurance, health care and retail.
In September 2019, the Business Hacking Studio was launched. This Studio seeks non-traditional ways to optimize business value based on metrics of success, improving cost efficiency and uncovering new revenue streams. Business Hacking brings a new approach to Globant and is expected to represent a fundamental part of our service offering.
In November 2019, we signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire the business of BI Live, a company focused on implementing Business Intelligence solutions using SAP technologies, accelerating innovation through three main areas: Making SAP ease to consume, unleashing the value of SAP data and enabling Cloud ready SAP systems.
Our principal executive office is located at 37A Avenue J.F. Kennedy L-1855, Luxembourg and our telephone number is + 352 20 30 15 96. We maintain a website at http://www.globant.com. Our website and the information accessible through it are not incorporated into this annual report.
We are a disruptor in the professional services arena. We leverage the latest technologies and methodologies in the digital and cognitive space to help organizations transform in every aspect. We create software products that emotionally connect our customers with millions of consumers and employees, and we work with them to improve their efficiency. Our principal operating subsidiaries are located in Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and India. For the year ended December 31, 2019, 75.3% of our revenues were generated by clients in North America, 16.9% in Latin America, 0.7% in Asia and 7.1% in Europe, including many leading global companies.
Digital and cognitive transformations require completely different approaches than traditional IT projects. These transformations represent the reinvention and evolution of professional services organizations. Through Artificial Intelligence, we are refining the digital transformation process by focusing on a new approach to generating real business impact. We base our growth and differentiation around a podular and autonomous company structure that supports innovation. Moreover, technology savvy teams, entrepreneurship and agility drive efficiency to our customers throughout digital and cognitive evolution. We differentiate ourselves from our competitors as follows:
|•||We are a pure play in the digital and cognitive fields|
|•||We have global presence with delivery centers in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.|
|•||We offer deep knowledge of the latest trends and technologies.|
Our Globers are our most valuable asset. As of December 31, 2019, we had 11,855 Globers and 56 locations across 37 cities in Latin America, Asia, Europe and North America, throughout 16 countries, supported by six client management locations in the United States, and one client management location in each of United Kingdom, France, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Our reputation for cutting-edge work for global blue chip clients and our footprint across the world provide us with the ability to attract and retain well-educated and talented professionals. We are culturally similar to our clients and we function in multiple time zones. We believe that these characteristics have helped us build solid relationships with our clients in the United States, Latin America and Europe and facilitate a high degree of client collaboration.
Our clients include companies such as Google, Electronic Arts, Southwest Airlines Co. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online, each of which was among our top ten clients in the year ended December 31, 2019. 85.9% of our revenues for the year ending December 31, 2019 came from existing clients who used our services in the prior year. We believe our success in building our attractive client base in the most sophisticated and competitive markets for IT services demonstrates the superior value proposition of our offering and the quality of our execution as well as our culture of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
Our revenues increased from $413.4 million for 2017 to $659.3 million for 2019, representing a Compound Annual Growth Rate ("CAGR") of 26.3% over the two-year period. Our revenues for 2019 increased by 26.2% to $659.3 million, from $522.3 million for 2018. Our net income for 2019 was $54.0 million, compared to a net income of $51.6 million for 2018. The $2.4 million increase in net income from 2018 to 2019 was primarily driven by strong revenue growth. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, we made several acquisitions to enhance our strategic capabilities, none of which contributed a material amount to our revenues in the year the acquisition was made. See "Information on the Company — History and Development of the Company."
We are experiencing an amazing moment for technology. In which we have two massive and disruptive technological revolutions occurring simultaneously. The digital and the cognitive revolutions are affecting how companies connect with consumers and employees as well as providing opportunities to make huge gains in efficiency.
Today's users move fast and are keen to interact with their digital ecosystem anywhere and anytime, in a painless, fast, relevant, smart and restriction-free way. They demand personalized, seamless and frictionless experiences that will simplify their lives. We are also facing an abundance of demand for more intelligent and human-like behavior and technology on the market. These revolutions are leveraging new technologies that did not exist or were not mature enough until a few years ago, such as AI, UX, Internet of Things, Mobile, Cloud Computing and virtual reality "VR".
According to IDC, it is expected that by 2022, more than 60% of global GDP may be digitized, with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships and, from 2019 through 2022, almost $7 trillion will be spent on information technology. We are a pure play in the digital space.
Technologies that support this new digital and cognitive era are also experiencing increased demand:
|•||According to Tractica, artificial intelligence revenue is expected to grow at a 60% CAGR by 2025.|
|•||According to Mordor Intelligence, the virtual reality market is expected to reach $80 billion to $90 billion by 2023.|
|•||According to Digi-Capital, mobile augmented reality is expected to drive a $108 billion VR/AR market by 2021.|
|•||Immersive Reality - Interactive simulation dimension is well-advanced in gaming, media & entertainment, retail, therapies, and training, and companies are experimenting with creating engaging experiences with intuitive interactions. They are using laser-based volumetric displays of holographic images, along with sensors and cameras. It is expected that immersive reality will eventually give way to screenless interactions. TechCrunch estimates that the immersive technology sector will represent $108 billion in 2021.|
|•||Smarter Assistance - Technologies like natural language programming, natural language generation, computer vision, and invisible computing are individually enabling businesses and their customers to complete tasks by voice interactions and movement recognition. With speech and image recognition, chatbots, and invisible machine learning operate in unison, as part of a smart assistance ecosystem designed to seamlessly assist users in their daily lives. The market size of voice assistant applications is expected to grow from $1.3 billion in 2019 to $5.2 billion by 2024, at a 31.9% CAGR during that period, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets.|
|•||Context-Aware Computing - Context-aware computing is the use of artificial intelligence to create systems that work in customized ways based on the context of user activities. With volumes of diverse and low-level data available through device interactions, context-aware computing considers communications and situations in order to respond accordingly. The context-aware computing market is expected to reach a value of $158 billion by 2024, at a30.0% CAGR over 2019-2024, according to a report by MarketWatch.|
|•||Self-Adaptive Security - Self-adaptive security is a dynamic system that is intelligent and intuitive in its approach to combat cyber attacks. The platform works on machine learning powered security information and event management technologies, backed by prescriptive analytics. The adaptive security market was valued at $4.78 billion and anticipates to grow at a 15% CAGR between 2019 and 2024, according to a report by Research and Markets.|
|•||Blockchain - Blockchain solutions have been embraced across various industries over the past few years. Blockchain’s sophistication is expected to dramatically improve how organizations operate digitally, and major players are building their future web services with blockchain. In 2019, we expect that, companies will focus on pushing forward blockchain investments and driving returns on such investments. The global blockchain market size was valued at $1.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 69.4% from 2019 to 2025, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets.|
|•||Quantum Computing - Quantum computing is the use of computing of quantum-mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computation. A quantum computer is used to perform such computation, which can be implemented theoretically or physically. By the end of 2025, more than $23 billion in revenue is anticipated to be realized through the adoption of quantum computing across the globe. During this decade forecasted period, the global market for quantum computing is expected to expand exponentially at a stellar CAGR of 30.9%, according to Persistence Market Research.|
|•||5G - It is critical that data transfer capabilities keep pace with computing capabilities. 5G is the latest generation of cellular mobile communications. We expect that 5G will ensure the connectivity and transfer of data seamlessly and speedily for machine-to-machine communication (IoT grid and analytical/AI platform) and provide scaling possibilities in the mobile network. According to a report from MarketsandMarkets, the 5G infrastructure market is expected to be worth $2.86 billion by 2020 and $33.72 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 50.9%.|
|•||Cloud Technologies - With a surge in collected data and the need to power AI and machine learning ("ML") processes, cloud computing is the preferred method for organizations to digitize their business completely. Companies are leveraging cloud technologies to transform their internal IT departments and build a business-ready IT that is able to streamline development lifecycle and reduce time to market, as well as transform organizational culture by disbanding silos. In the future, we expect cloud computing to serve as a software building platform rather than only server provisioning. Enterprises seeking to bring digital transformation into their internal applications without replacing them will refactor their core applications using cloud native technologies like containers. Others will be bolder and seek core SaaS based multi-cloud technologies with new developing tools, integration and deployment options. According to Forrester, nearly 60% of North American enterprises today rely on public cloud platforms.|
Across all industries, we have observed a trend to smarter digital systems that embrace the latest technology and optimize customer experiences as well as their internal processes. Companies are seeking to transform their business as new users and requirements arise. At the same time, we see that many organizations try to transform themselves internally, cemented through effective change management.
For many companies, however, it becomes difficult to build a digitally-native culture from scratch or change the status quo of existing IT departments. It is hard to be successful using old practices to create innovative technology products. As Forrester points out, "Transformation starts with developing the right set of strategy choices and the ability to help shape digital thinking and a digital culture that supports continuous innovation. It is cemented through effective change management." Many of these companies are relying on partners to spearhead their transformation efforts.
We dream of making the world a better place, one step at a time. We thrive by transforming organizations to be ready for a digital and cognitive future, providing world-class opportunities for talent around the globe. We are contributing to the advancement of our industry as we build a sustainable company, committed to diversity and non-environmental impact. These are our three key differentiators:
1. We are one of the first players to deliver engineering, innovation and design, at scale
We create software products that emotionally connect our customers with millions of consumers and employees, and we work with our customers to improve their efficiency. This requires the right blend of engineering, design and innovation, and we are one of the first players to deliver that at scale.
We accomplish this through our Studios, deep pockets of expertise on the latest technologies and trends. Our Studio model fosters creativity and innovation while allowing us to build, enhance and consolidate expertise around a variety of emerging technologies. This approach focuses first on technology and second on Industry depth. Studios deliver insights from different industries to create disruptive solutions.
2. We are built around a podular structure
We have organized our teams through an Agile Pod model. Driven by a culture of self-regulated teamwork, each team—or Pod—works directly with our customers with a full maturity path that evolves as they increase speed, quality and autonomy.
As opposed to the traditional IT services structures, Globant’s podular model eliminates the need for command and control methods and provides teams with full independence in customer interaction.
3. We use artificial intelligence ("AI") for everything
As the digital and cognitive revolutions change the landscape of our industry, it is crucial to rethink how organizations must adapt and evolve. We have launched the “Augmented Globant” initiative to embrace the power of artificial intelligence to augment Globant's capabilities and contribute to the advancement of the technology industry.
Our Augmented Globant initiative is designed to augment talent and capacity, in order to build an AI-driven industry-leading company.
Technology is not enough to create solutions for a true digital and cognitive transformation. At Globant, we are committed to helping our customers throughout their Organizational Fitness Lifecycle.
In order to be sustainable and successful, transformations need to impact every single dimension of the organization. With consumers and employees at the center of every strategy, our services address every stage of the transformational process.
We start with clients by providing the necessary tools and support that allow companies to jumpstart their cultural and methodology transformations. We then accompany our clients as they define and test their new digital strategies to engage consumers and employees. We continue scaling on the construction and evolution of these and other digital and cognitive initiatives, followed by the two final stages in the cycle: pushing a secure product to the cloud, and making it famous so that it reaches the proper audience. At this time the fitness cycle remains in an endless and progressive loop to ensure organizations stay relevant.
We deliver these services through our unique set of Studios, our Service over Platforms strategy, our own methodology called Agile Pods, and our Stay Relevant approach.
We believe that our Studio model is an effective way of organizing our company into smaller operating units, fostering creativity and innovation while allowing us to build, enhance and consolidate expertise around a variety of emerging technologies. Each of our Studios has specific domain knowledge and delivers tailored solutions focused on specific technology challenges. This method of delivery is the core of our services offering and our success. We group them in three different categories: Strategic (these studios are key to shaping our clients' business strategy; they help ensure that organizations are relevant and sustainable); Specialty (studios that power digital transformations and create quality digital products with innovative technologies and emerging trends); Foundation (the engine that allows us to meet scale and provides efficiency and quality to our clients' digital transformations).
Service Over Platforms:
At Globant, we are changing the way services are provided with our Services over Platforms strategy. This set of platforms is designed to help deliver digital and cognitive transformations in an agile and innovative manner. These products have the flexibility to adapt to our clients' needs as we provide microservices to complement them.
In this way, many of our Studios create platforms to accelerate the path to our solutions. We price this service in the same way SaaS companies do: cost per transaction, cost per user or cost per month according to each platform.
Agile Pods Methodology:
We have developed a software product design and development model, known as Agile Pods. It is designed to better align business and technology teams. Driven by a culture of self-regulated teamwork and collaboration across skills, partners and country borders.
Leveraged across divisions, Agile Pods are dedicated to mature emerging technologies and market trends, and provide a constant influx of mature talent and solutions that create intellectual property for our clients. They are self-organized teams that work to meet creative and production goals, make technology decisions and reduce risk. These teams are fully responsible for creating solutions, building and sustaining features, products or platforms.
In addition, savings are delivered to clients due to sustained productivity boosts as the Agile Pods begin to operate at a higher maturity level. We ensure consistency, accountability and replicability by having Agile Pods follow a well-defined set of maturity criteria. Maturity models describe levels of growth and development as follows: Maturity, Quality, Velocity, and Autonomy. Each level acts as a foundation for the next and lays out a path for learning and growth. As Agile Pods evolve from one level to the next, they are equipped with the understanding and tools to accomplish goals more effectively.
Associated metrics guide improvement efforts and generate quantitative and qualitative insights to inform iterative design and planning decisions.
To fully implement a digital and cognitive transformation, we also help our customers stay relevant within their industries and audiences by providing helpful information and initiatives to understand the users’ environment, competitors and behavior. With research, Subject Matter Experts gatherings, webinars, workshops and conferences, our thought leaders offer valuable insights to help organizations create valuable and emotional experiences for the audience.
We launched Augmented Globant to embrace the power of artificial intelligence, augment our capabilities and improve the software development industry.
Our vision is to transform the industry by augmenting talent and capacity, building an AI-driven industry-leading company.
Our current initiatives include:
• Augmented Coding – We are enhancing the coding experience to augment engineers’ capacity. With Augmented Coding, our collaborators can find code within a project repository. It accelerates ramp-up times and improves quality on delivery.
• Augmented Culture – The StarMeUp Operating System ("StarMeUp OS" or "SMU OS") is a system that helps us understand the human element within an organization. We can discover cultural leaders, influencers, trend generators and even disengaged teams. It helps us detect and retain talent, promote integration and foster the company’s growth. We are using AI to uncover cultural insights.
Our culture is the foundation that supports and facilitates our distinctive approach. It can be best described as entrepreneurial, flexible, sustainable and team-oriented, and is built on three main motivational pillars and six core values.
Our motivational pillars are: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Through Autonomy, we empower Globers to take ownership of their client projects, professional development and careers. Mastery is about constant improvement, aiming for excellence and exceeding expectations. Finally, we believe that only by sharing a common Purpose we will build a company for the long-term that breaks from the status quo, is recognized as a leader in the delivery of innovative software solutions and creates value for our stakeholders.
Our core values are:
|·||Act Ethically – In our view, the achievement of professional excellence requires high ethical standards. We believe in doing business in an ethical manner and know our achievements go hand-in-hand with the responsibility to improve our society.|
|·||Think Big – We believe that we can build a world-class company that provides Globers with a global career path. Our work is based on constant challenges and growth.|
|·||Constantly Innovate – We seek to innovate in order to break paradigms.|
|·||Aim for Excellence in Your Work – We know that problems we face now will reappear in future projects so we try to solve the obstacles that affect us today.|
|·||Be a Team Player – We encourage Globers to get to know their colleagues and to support one another. Together, we are going to improve our profession, company and countries. We operate as one team whether it's solving a problem or celebrating excellent results. We also all have the right to be heard and respected.|
|·||Have Fun – As Globers, we believe in finding pleasure in our daily tasks, creating a pleasant work atmosphere and building friendships among colleagues.|
Consistent with our motivational pillars and core values, we have designed our workspaces to be enjoyable and stimulating spaces that are conducive to social and professional interaction. Our delivery centers include, among others, brainstorming rooms, music rooms and ''chill-out'' rooms. We also organize activities throughout the year, such as sports tournaments, outings, celebrations, and other events that help foster our culture. We believe that our work environment fosters creativity, innovation and collaborative thinking, as well as enables Globers to tap into their intrinsic motivation for the benefit of our company and our clients.
As fundamental values of our day-to-day, innovation and creativity are not managed from a specific area. Instead, these values are emphasized throughout our company.
In our view, it is critical that each and every one of our Globers be an innovator. In addition to offering a flexible and collaborative work environment, we also actively seek to build the capabilities required to sustain innovation through several ongoing processes and initiatives including: design thinking workshops (internally and with customers), Think Big Sessions (open technology talks) and Globant Labs (a space where Globers can ideate and develop their own projects).
Our Sustainability Plan has evolved to our Be Kind initiative. We strive to make the world a better place by transforming organizations and people’s lives. Be Kind is a call to action to transform ourselves through kindness. We want to put our mark on the world, so we need to continue making every effort to make this come true.We believe that our innovative approach to transform organizations, our healthy performance, our global talent, and our unique culture are the main pillars which allow us to dream bigger and to believe that this purpose is feasible.
We seek to sustainably develop our company in the long term, integrating it with the community and the planet. To do so, we focus on approaching the community providing them world-class opportunities for talent around the globe, with a diverse and inclusive perspective, and taking into consideration the future generations, reducing any environmental impact we may have.
Our Be Kind initiative focus on three main pillars:
|1.||Be kind to peers: by promoting diversity, gender equality and connecting IT opportunities with underprivileged people around the globe. We are convinced that there is no innovation without diversity, and there is no improvement without plurality. Some of the plans we have:|
|·||Equal-employment opportunities - We strongly support equal employment opportunities for all applicants regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other characteristic.|
|·||Women That Build - We always look for opportunities to empower women in the IT industry and in leadership positions, as part of our culture. We support these efforts with our Women That Build campaign. This includes a series of internal and external initiatives that promote the inclusion and professional growth of women in our industry.|
|·||Code your Future - Today the technology industry generates millions of job opportunities, even faster than the education system provides trained personnel. This generates not only an unprecedented opportunity but also a big training gap worldwide. We aim to reduce this training gap through education opportunities for our region’s young talent. We invest in several initiatives today that can reach many more people, with the potential to transform their future in the very short term.|
|·||B.I.G. (Back in the Game) - BIG is an initiative that aims to empower experienced technologists who are currently on a career break and looking to relaunch their technological expedition.|
|·||Inclusion programs - We support inclusion programs to help people in a vulnerable situation providing them new opportunities. We combine several programs which include skill-training scholarships and other activities to promote IT related studies. In doing so, we are facilitating the expansion of knowledge and the access to employment in a vibrant market of job opportunities.|
|2.||Be kind to humanity: by working with our customers to create accessible software for everyone.|
|3.||Be kind to the planet: by reducing and compensating the impact of our actions in the environment.|
We want to promote a culture of environmental care. In our view, the best way to do this is leading by example. We have a plan to progressively adopt renewable energy for our company. We are also working to reduce our scope 3 emissions through several initiatives. Our goal is to achieve sustainable growth, and we encourage our ecosystem to join us in this mission.
Globant was created as a start up. It was built by entrepreneurs and, over the years, many Globers have made a difference by creating and dreaming big with us. Entrepreneurship is the inner force that moves us, and we encourage Globers to dream and create meaningful and rewarding experiences for our customers.
During 2018, we created Globant Ventures, which is our own accelerator for tech startups in Argentina. The objective of Globant Ventures is to promote the emergence of new entrepreneurs involved cutting-edge areas of technology, such as Artificial Intelligence among other emerging trends.
Globers who are eager to grow, learn something new, and discover other possibilities have a vast number of opportunities available to explore at Globant. We want to empower them to take ownership over their career, and make the most out of these five professional development dimensions:
|·||Technology - Our more than 20 Studios consolidate experience in more than 100 emerging technologies and practices where Globers can learn, develop, specialize and stay relevant. We have numerous trainings and development opportunities that allow them to grow professionally.|
|·||Clients - We have a portfolio of leading global brands to work with and for Globers to specialize in their career.|
|·||Industries - We work with leading companies from different industries, such as media, health care, finance, travel, gaming and e-learning. This enables Globers to benefit from an in-depth look into many industries and gives them the opportunity to specialize in one.|
|·||Specialty - Globers can reinvent their career, their role or position. They can develop their career growing within their current path by gaining seniority or moving internally into other roles in different areas of expertise.|
|·||Geocultural diversity - We encourage Globers to work wherever they want and embrace cultural exchanges. Our Globers can work on projects with people from diverse cultures and have the possibility to live an international experience. We have open positions and relocation opportunities in all of our offices.|
We believe the following strengths differentiate Globant and create the foundation for continued rapid growth in revenues and profitability:
Deep domain expertise in emerging technologies and related market trends
We have developed strong core competencies in emerging technologies and practices such as the ones mentioned above, and we have a deep understanding of market trends. Our areas of expertise are organized in Studios, which we believe provide us with a strong competitive advantage and allow us to leverage prior experiences to deliver superior software solutions to clients.
Long-term relationships with blue chip clients
We have built a roster of blue chip clients such as Google, Electronic Arts, Southwest Airlines Co. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online, many of which themselves are at the forefront of emerging technologies. In particular, we have been working with Disney and Electronic Arts for more than ten and twelve years, respectively. We believe that our success in developing these client relationships reflects the innovative and high value-added services that we provide along with our ability to positively impact our clients' business. Our relationships with these enterprises provides us with an opportunity to access large IT, research and development and marketing budgets. These relationships have driven our growth and have enabled us to engage with new clients.
Global delivery with access to deep talent pool
Latin America has an abundant talent pool of individuals skilled in IT. Over 345,000 engineering and technology students have graduated annually from 2012 – 2016 from universities in Latin America and the Caribbean region according to The Science and Technology Indicator Network (Red de Indicadores de Ciencia y Tecnología), a research organization that tracks science and technology indicators in the region. Latin America's talent pool (including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay) is composed of more than 1,000,000 professionals according to Stackoverflow, SmartPlanet and NearshoreAmericas. Our highly skilled Globers come from leading universities in the regions where our delivery centers are located. Among our surveyed Globers, approximately 95.0% have obtained a university degree or are enrolled in a university while they are employed by our company, and many have specialized industry credentials or licensing, including in Systems Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, Information Systems Administration, Business Administration and Graphic and Web Design. Our time zone and cultural similarity have helped us build solid relationships with our clients in the United States and Europe and differentiate us on projects that require a high degree of client collaboration.
A key element of our strategy is to expand our delivery footprint, including increasing the number of employees that are deployed onsite at our clients or near client locations. In particular, we intend to focus our recruitment efforts on the United States. We will continue to focus on expanding our global delivery footprint to gain access to additional pools of talent to effectively meet the demands of our clients and to increase the number of Globers that are deployed onsite at our clients or near client locations.
Highly experienced management team
Our management team is comprised of seasoned industry professionals with global experience. Our management sets the vision and strategic direction for Globant and drives our growth and entrepreneurial culture. On average, the members of our senior management team have 20 years of experience in the technology industry giving them a comprehensive understanding of the industry as well as insight into emerging technologies and practices and opportunities for strategic expansion.
We seek to be a leading provider that leverages the latest technologies and methodologies in the digital and cognitive space to help organizations transform in every aspect. The key elements of our strategy for achieving this objective are as follows:
Grow revenue with existing and new clients
We will continue to focus on delivering innovative and high value-added solutions that drive revenues for our clients, thereby deepening our relationships and leading to additional revenue opportunities with them. We will continue to target new clients by leveraging our engineering, design and innovation capabilities and our deep understanding of emerging technologies. We will focus on building our brand in order to further penetrate our existing and target markets where there is a strong demand for our knowledge and services.
Remain at the forefront of innovation and emerging technologies
We believe our Studios have been highly effective in enabling us to deliver innovative software solutions that leverage our deep domain expertise in emerging technologies and related market trends. As new technologies emerge and as market trends change, we will continue to add Studios to remain at the forefront of innovation, to address new competencies that help us stay at the leading-edge of emerging technologies, and to enable us to enter new markets and capture additional business opportunities.
Attract, train and retain top quality talent
We place a high priority on recruiting, training, and retaining employees, which we believe is integral to our continued ability to meet the challenges of the most complex software development assignments. In doing so, we seek to decentralize our delivery centers by opening centers in locations that may not have developed IT services markets but can provide professionals with the caliber of technical training and experience that we seek. Globant offers highly attractive career opportunities to individuals who might otherwise have had to relocate to larger IT markets. We will continue to develop our scalable human capital platform by implementing resource planning and staffing systems and by attracting, training and developing high-quality professionals, strengthen our relationships with leading universities in different countries, and help universities better prepare graduates for work in our industry. We have agreements to teach, provide internships, and interact on various initiatives with the several universities in Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil and India.
Selectively pursue strategic acquisitions
Building on our track record of successfully acquiring and integrating complementary companies, we will continue to selectively pursue strategic acquisition opportunities that deepen our relationship with key clients, extend our technology capabilities, broaden our service offerings and expand the geographic footprint of our delivery centers, including beyond Latin America, in order to enhance our ability to serve our clients.
We leverage the latest technologies and methodologies in the digital and cognitive space to help organizations transform in every aspect. We create software products that emotionally connect our customers with millions of consumers and employees, and we work with them to improve their efficiency.
We deliver these services through our unique set of Studios, our Service over Platforms strategy, our own methodology called Agile Pods, and our Stay Relevant approach.
Studios: Our Studios are deep pockets of expertise designed to foster creativity and innovation by focusing on a specific domain of knowledge.
Services Over Platforms: Our experience building software products allows to develop a set of platforms designed to help create Digital Journeys in an agile and innovative manner. These products have the flexibility to adapt to our clients' needs as we provide microservices to compliment them.
Agile Pods: Agile Pods are cross-functional and multidisciplinary teams that bring together design and engineering in order to deliver the right products. Agile Pods are measured according to four variables: innovation, velocity, quality, and autonomy. We encourage pods to mature over time to become more aligned with our customers' needs.
Our Studio model is an effective way of organizing our company into smaller operating units, fostering creativity and innovation while allowing us to build, enhance and consolidate expertise around a variety of emerging technologies. Each of our Studios has specific domain knowledge and delivers tailored solutions focused on specific technology challenges.
Our Studios deliver solutions for the different kinds of projects, cross-pollinating insights from different industries to create disruptive ideas. Our expertise can connect with consumers and employees, even when redefining an internal process. This approach is essential to help our customers challenge the status quo and transform their organizations.
Business Hacking: Non-traditional ways to create new business value
Digitalization and high consumer expectations are radically changing the way we interact with each other, and organizations who know how to manage these trends will be successful. Our business hacking framework is designed to make transformations tangible, measurable and in order to find new ways to optimize culture and business impact.
The portfolio of services we provide through the Studio includes:
|·||Transformational programs - We strive to create sustainable transformations by focusing on those from behavior to technology, while positively impacting business metrics. Transformations needs to be tangible, measurable and sustainable in order to find new ways to optimize culture and business impact.|
|·||ROI and Cost Efficiency - Visible impact metrics help to make a transformation tangible and sustainable. Organizations make decisions about how to invest efforts and energy to transform key aspects of their business impact based on these metrics.|
|·||New Revenue Streams - We seek to identify new revenue streams for our clients by analyzing data and consumer behavior within the context of a sustainable transformational program. Creating business impact through collaboration, experimentation, knowledge sharing and human centricity enhaces our solution.|
Future of Organizations: Making organizations come alive
The Future of Organizations Studio focuses on helping companies with their internal digital transformation and digital corporate culture. The goal of this Studio is to ensure our customers' success by engaging employees and considering them to be one of the most important stakeholders of the organization.
Platforms and apps that integrate and act as the operating system for the organization of the future. We help organizations with their digital transformation, enabling them to manage their culture effectively, engaging their employees from day one to ensure success.
Stay Relevant: Bringing insights to create the right strategy.
The Stay Relevant Studio's mission is to provide valuable information to help organizations remain at the forefront of users' expectations, delivering insights to enable them to build exceptional journeys and experiences, and to foster emotional connections with audiences (See "Item 4.B - Business Overview - Stay Relevant" for more information about this studio).
Agile Delivery: Aligning stakeholders and methodologies to meet business goals.
Digital Transformation programs require alignment from the strategic, tactic and support levels as a crucial factor to their success. As a backbone to these programs, leaders are expected to steer engagement, innovation, effectiveness and commitment from the teams while achieving predictability in terms of timeframe, budget and quality. We create sustainable operations designed to scale and guarantee the lowest cost of ownership.
The portfolio of services we provide through our Agile Delivery Studio includes:
|·||Delivery Management - We deliver high value solutions by steering teams into a continuous improvement approach to product development. We set clear and common goals to achieve outstanding results within budgets, with scalable and sustainable operations.|
|·||Agile Consultancy - We educate, mentor and enable organizations to capitalize on the principles and competencies found in paradigms such as Agile, Systems Thinking, Lean and others. We support the transition and journey until it reaches a point of self-sustainability.|
|·||Management Consulting - We provide consulting services related to processes, quality and performance indicators. We provide visibility for effective decision making process and PMO Development service for our clients. Our design process is intended to contribute to operational goals.|
Product Acceleration: Delivering best-in-class digital products
Our Product Acceleration Studio utilizes modern product management techniques to ensure products solve the right problems, meet user expectations, and achieve business value.
The portfolio of services we provide through our Product Acceleration Studio includes:
|·||Product Strategy - We focus on market research, business model definition to help companies identify customer acquisition strategies and products in order to close the gap between corporate strategy and identified problems. Product Managers help companies discover core user problems, define effective solutions, implement product development practices, establish product organizations, evolve product governance, and define go-to-market strategies.|
|·||Product Delivery - Fully engaged product owners who are able to collaborate with stakeholders, customers, and development team to set vision, experience, and outcome objectives. Through iterative wins, we develop continuously focused product solutions that are driven by priority value.|
|·||Product Coaching - Product management coaches help companies establish people-centric product development practices, including skills training, organizational consulting and team definition.|
Design: Designing relevant experiences
Our UX Design Studio focuses on delivering quality, design, strategy, and production to address worldwide digital challenges. Our designs are based on observations of consumer behavior and market trends. Our goal is to create concrete and relevant solutions that appeal to both users and businesses.
The portfolio of services we provide through our UX Design Studio includes:
|·||User Experience - By identifying verbal and non-verbal stumbling blocks, we refine and iterate to create an exceptional user experience. From user research and usability analysis to interactive design, we enhance interactions, information architecture, usability and persuasion. We help our clients inspire their communities, foster adoption and drive conversion results.|
|·||Visual Design - We utilize an insightful and conceptual approach to create and execute designs. We develop visual elements of an interphase and implement a brand personality into the interaction design. We establish relationships with the users by creating emotional interfaces and brands based on deep analyses of end-users and market trends. In much the same way that a piece of art appeals to the human eye, we strive to visually and emotionally engage users.|
|·||Service Design - Service design involves the activity of mapping, prototyping and planning cutting-edge product-service systems and how the actors should interact to bring those omni-relevant experiences to market. From strategic and operations management to business design, we apply a holistic approach to understand, create and orchestrate strategic scenarios, working in collaboration with multidisciplinary teams. Our service designers co-design with clients and customers translating research insights into actionable plans and viable opportunities for growth.|
|·||Industrial Design - Modern style and design must go hand in hand with technology, particularly at a time when consumers have high standards in terms of the quality of functional and non-functional features. Our practice is focused on creating beautiful and natural designs that feed all the senses. For many years screens have had all the design focus, but with the introduction of haptics and other feedback mechanisms, it's key to consider the rest of the senses in the product or experience design.|
Scalable Platforms: Supporting reliable products
Scalable Platforms have become extremely important in today's digitally connected environment. We provide the architectural base to accelerate omni-channel strategies, improve internal processes and build consistent cross-channel customer experiences to support reliable products.
To enable digital products through a robust architecture, we apply our best practices and patterns on the design of a back-end ecosystem, which allows our clients to accelerate their businesses in an agile way. We have broad experience providing back-end solutions that support scalability, security, availability, performance, quality and high adaptability to internal and external integrations. We focus on complex architecture modeling, microservices and API management strategies to accelerate the digital transformation by providing capabilities that businesses need in order to bring systems together, secure integrations, deliver improved customer experiences and capitalize on new opportunities.
The portfolio of services we provide through the Studio is focused on the integrated delivery of:
|·||API Management - In a world where multiple channels are facing different solutions in terms of communications, APIs are powering digital transformations and orchestrating across these channels in terms of technologies and industries. We help enterprises embrace an API-centric approach to grow their digital businesses and seamless experiences.|
|·||Microservices - We evolve monolithic architectures to a new architectural style that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled services, organized around business capabilities. The microservices architecture enables the continuous delivery/deployment of large, complex applications. It also empowers organizations to evolve its technology stack fostering an evolutionary model to be ready for new innovative challenges in the future.|
|·||Complex Architecture Modeling - To manage these complex product intricacies in an agile manner, we apply our extensive experience working with best practices, methodologies and techniques, such as domain driven design, hexagonal, onion, reactive architectures and continuous delivery to handle business complexity.|
|·||Future Commerce - Nowadays, the customer journey has several new engagement touch points across marketing, sales, and services. Traditional retailers struggle to keep up with them, as times move fast, and there is also a strong need to keep processes efficient and coordinated. This can be achieved with the correct understanding of the business and the implementation of the right technology.|
Continuous Evolution: Making evolution happen
The Continuous Evolution Studio focuses on evolving existing applications and helping our clients to improve the value of their software over time by aligning business needs with a mix of traditional techniques and new market trends.
Every piece of software built meets a business need for which it was intended, but those needs are not static. Software evolution is a key to improving value over time, and having the right partner will pave the way to achieving success. As new trends and technologies arise, customer behavior changes and market needs must quickly adapt. We retrofit innovation into existing products in order to create continuous engagement among users. We provide a new experience with multidisciplinary teams specialized in software evolution and world-class operations designed to support any kind of application after implementation is complete. Our teams ensure quality and efficiency while bringing innovation, optimization, performance improvement, and constant evolution to their products.
The portfolio of services we provide through the Studio includes:
|·||Software Archeology - Taking over of a product that has had a long life cycle can be challenging without access to the appropriate documentation or team members. Software Archeology is our way to take control of any software solution, in any condition, at any moment, without a long, hard or expensive process. By completing a systematic study of remaining material evidence, such as code, tests and documentation recovered, we can gain a clear understanding of the software, as well as the context with which it operates. This enables us to outline a proper plan and roadmap for the team that will work on it.|
|·||IT Service Management - Our experience with Information Technology Infrastructure Library ("ITIL") helps us cover a full cycle of continuous improvement by carrying out an assessment of the organization, and subsequently delivering recommendations for implementation, as well as solutions that enable supporting areas to satisfy the company's demand. Managing an internal service desk might not be optimal for most companies, we provide a single point of contact service composed by multidisciplinary teams with specialized processes based on ITIL best practices and focused on ensuring the continuity of the ongoing operation.|
|·||Software Evolution - Our takeover framework provides a robust set of tools and processes that our teams use in order to gain ownership of the product they will be working on. Through a detailed assessment, we are able to understand the current situation and define a roadmap to achieve a controlled execution phase. Then, we introduce new market trends, technologies and innovative solutions to existing products.|
Gaming: Engaging through play
Our Gaming Studio specializes in the design and development of world-class games and digital platforms, which work across console, PC, web, social and mobile channels.
We enable our clients to leverage game mechanics by helping them develop a vision and execute an idea through production, launch and operation. We believe that our expertise and experience with some of the most recognized companies in the gaming industry enables us to add value to our customers' businesses. We utilize our experience, creative talent, well-established technology frameworks and processes to scale and foster innovation.
The portfolio of services we provide through our Gaming Studio includes:
|·||Game Engineering - We streamline the development process creating feature-rich products around the core intellectual property of our clients. We co-develop AAA games working directly for world-class video game developers.|
|·||Game Experience - Our Gaming Studio is capable of creating all components of a gamified experience. For example, we can create a complete video-game or apply gamification techniques to a current product, combining game design with user experience to provide experiences across multiple platforms. We seek to engage users and achieve business goals through fun and play.|
|·||Digital Platform Services - We create and expand centralized platforms for cross-platform development. A digital platform consists of a coherent technical offer to access a universe of distant, interactive or non-interactive services which can be broadcasted or supplied on-line.|
|·||Virtual & Augmented Reality - Virtual reality extends beyond gaming and entertainment. In the near future, we expect it to become omnipresent and a critical component of IT. Augmented reality allows a user to expand his or her mind beyond reality, displaying information in the user's field of view where the real and virtual worlds are tightly coupled. Our Gaming Studio provides ideation sessions, customer engagements, market reach and content creation to bring the next generation of technology to our clients' businesses.|
|·||Graphics Engineering - We provide services to develop products and tools to bring artists' designs to life. This includes animation, lighting, shading, visualization tools and rendering.|
|·||3D & 2D Art - We focus on creating high-end game art for AAA productions. We monitor the latest technical and artistic pipelines as well as the latest art techniques in order to stay relevant to current industry standards. We provide character and environment art, from the conception stage to the final game ready asset.|
|·||e-Sports - We provide an interactive and engaging experience for target audiences. Whether it's virtual reality, second screen or main screen, we combine our engineering, product design and community management solutions to help our clients increase spectators and connect observers and players.|
Internet of Things: Connecting the physical world
Our Internet of Things Studio offers technology solutions for the current device ecosystem and additional applications for the Internet of things.
We help our customers develop their new product ideas and gather information about behavior, activities and sensor-collected data, and then process all the information to develop new services.
The portfolio of services we provide through the Studio includes:
|·||IOT Experiences - Our experience in development and open source tools position us with the experience needed to handle new digital connected journeys based on current technology. Our engineers are ready to integrate the next generation of devices.|
|·||Platforms - Our platforms provide interaction and feedback to and from devices and highly scalable platforms and real time analysis to respond to different scenarios. All of the data produced by wearables and IoT enabled devices can be collected, stored and processed on the appropriate data platform. This enables our customers to extract valuable knowledge and insights by applying the right Big Data strategy and enabling intelligent interactions.|
|·||Hardware integration - We assist customers with the connection between sensors and backend services through devices or hardware. Our team can handle different approaches ranging from custom made hardware to integration with third party providers.|
|·||IoT Consultancy - We help our clients by researching, consulting and advising based in our core expertise in product engineering and digital transformation.|
Data & Analytics: Turning data into insights
In our Data & Analytics Studio, our mission is to empower our clients with a competitive advantage by unlocking the true value of data to create meaningful, actionable and timely business insights.
We break down internal data silos that have different data structures, velocities and volumes, and enrich that data with external sources, creating a scalable Enterprise Data Platform, democratizing the data and fostering organizational changes towards a data-driven culture. Our Data Engineers combine data, business processes, and state-of-the-art IT tools and algorithms that enable businesses to engage in a deeper, interactive and more meaningful conversation with their data, using visual discovery techniques to reveal hidden patterns and trends and obtain relevant and useful business insights for decision-making purposes.
The portfolio of services we provide through this Studio includes:
|·||Data Architecture - With the widespread usage of devices and the viralization of social networks, massive volumes of digital data have become available. Companies are trying to take an advantage and extract valuable conclusions around their businesses by cross referencing data with traditional and innovative unstructured sources. We offer business-aware real-time analytics and enterprise information management services, which include traditional data warehousing using relational database management systems and next-generation non-relational and distributed database management technology.|
|·||Data Science - We utilize mathematical and statistical tools of data science to "fill the gap" between what our clients know from their data, and what they would like to know if all data was available. This includes predictions, optimizations and classifications.|
|·||Mission Critical - We partner with our clients in successfully executing highly complex strategic software projects, optimizing their architecture design and identifying potential bottlenecks early in the process. We give special attention to factors such as adaptability when user base increases or information volume grows, maintainability along time, providing dynamically scalable software architectures, enforcing data security from the ground up, and ensuring transactions are processed within required timeframes to avoid revenue loss.|
|·||Data Integration - Creating a scalable Enterprise Data Refinery that can pull and consolidate massive amounts of data from heterogeneous systems is not an easy task. We provide development services over multiple tools, languages and platforms in order to create data pipelines and workflows with high standards of availability, performance and security that will pull, cleanse, enrich and consolidate your company's data.|
Data Visualization - Well-designed data visualization and dashboards extend beyond current status and indicators, and synthesize complex sets of data into key views, charts and graphs, revealing results in ways that common tools and spreadsheets cannot. The functionality to drill data down and to integrate the view with statistics and business intelligence tools, further the end users' ability to glean insights from masses of numbers. We enable users to engage in an interactive and more relevant conversation with their data, allowing users to explore the unknown, navigate the data and discover hidden patterns and trends on their own.
UI Engineering: Building Digital products
We specialize in building the next generation of User Interface ("UI") digital products leveraging the latest technologies and architectures, multi-device techniques, big-scale applications, component based systems, intelligent user interfaces and the latest trends in user experience.
By providing a set of UI practices and technologies, we create engaging products through interactive interfaces across multiple channels and devices, independent of platforms and delivering the same experience in a frictionless way. Those interfaces are aware of users, from context to context, device to device and act proactively to make the experience simpler, leaner, faster and suggesting new behaviors based on interactions. We deliver leading digital products for users, makings use of tools, frameworks and components, providing a single architecture and codebase with the right functionality in any platform.
The portfolio of services we provide through the Studio is focused on the integrated delivery of:
|·||Large Scale Web Applications - Omni-channel solutions are needed to power digital transformations. This is done by building responsive and scalable web applications following different approaches, from single page applications to server side rendered applications with a loosely coupled, modular, component based architecture, mobile-first and SEO friendly techniques among other best practices.|
|·||Accessibility - Accessibility considerations need to be built into the everyday practices across the full web product life-cycle from conception and specification through development and delivery. We have the required expertise to develop an accessibility compliant application according to applicable regulations.|
Mobile: Enabling mobility everywhere
Whether our clients need to build a new product, mobilize an existing product or maintain an existing solution, which can be native, hybrid or built through cross-compilers, our Mobile Studio is experienced on the latest tools and frameworks to help you reach your business goals. Leveraging on our experience from our Agile Pods Methodology, cross-industries knowledge, and a combination of state-of-the-art and traditional user interface tactics, we add value when creating or improving our clients' mobile strategy.
The portfolio of services we provide through our Mobile Studio includes:
|·||Consultancy - We help organizations move towards the next maturity stage regarding mobility. Based on our experience working with over 100 organizations, from startups to fortune-500 companies, we built our consultancy framework to assess organization’s maturity and provide solutions to deliver high quality mobile products.|
|·||Fast Prototyping - Our Fast Prototyping Framework can build a working prototype to validate our clients' business ideas or jumpstart their projects to a scalable solution. We utilize proven base tech stalk and platforms to minimizing coding.|
|·||App Evolution - We help clients to take control of their legacy projects by incorporating the latest trends and technologies, whether they need to switch vendors, update their codebase, migrate between hybrid and native, or rebuild from scratch their existing product. Our sustain framework will detect potential issues on their apps regarding new OS versions or required updates on frameworks they might be using.|
|·||Platform Integration - Most mobile apps require a connection to a backend. While most boutiques fail at integrations, our Studios Model and extensive experience implementing most API Management Systems, Custom or Out-Of-The-Box Microservices Solutions.|
|·||Enhanced Experiences - We take the best of the available technical features to deliver rich and emotional moments using Augmented Reality, Biometric sign-in, Force Touch, Apple/Google Pay, Animations, Coregraphics, Geofencing Services, Rich Notifications or any specific technology which is only achievable by building a native custom experience.|
|·||Hardware Integration - Helping extend client product’s reach outside the main mobile device, we develop integrations with Chromecast, beacons, POS, Printers, Custom Hardware and create standalone experiences for Smart Watches, Apple TV and Android TV/Chromecast.|
|·||Complex Engineering - Our team of performance experts develop low level integration with frameworks like NDK or by using C++ to improve performance on critical transactional applications and develop scalable architectures that will help our clients build the core of your suit of mobile products.|
Artificial Intelligence: Enabling the future today
We strive to enable the future today with state-of-the-art techniques, including deep learning, other neural networks and traditional ML approaches, coupled with the increased capacity of machines to understand complex patterns out of data.
The portfolio of services we provide through the Studio includes:
|·||Machine Learning: We build solutions powered by ML using traditional approaches (regressions, decision trees, HMM, SVM) and new deep learning methods. Our focus still relies on a human centric design and, therefore, we apply ML to adapt the Journey to create a seamless and emotionally-engaged experience. We utilize ML to provide an as-good-as-a-human decision process (contextual, adaptive) to delegate low-value-added decisions or alert when a critical decision is needed.|
|·||Pattern Recognition: We leverage the power of signal processing (video, images, audio, text or any other type of data), to recognize and understand patterns. New opportunities are flourishing from the availability of volumes of new data in different forms; together with computer power and new algorithms.|
|·||Natural Language Understanding: Natural Language Understanding ("NLU") enables a computer to understand and generate natural language (either typed or spoken). We develop software with NLU capabilities to explore new ways of emotional engagement. We enable users to address software, through different devices, as though the user was addressing another person. Our software applies computational techniques in order to understand the syntax and semantics of language.|
Process Automation: Efficiency driven by technology
Our Process Automation Studio delivers solutions that enable our clients to be more efficient, innovative and agile.
Companies strive to enhance their efficiency as they grow and competition increases. Our goal is to provide solutions that improve productivity, create competitive advantages, foster innovation and provide agility. We work to establish quick wins that are refined using an iterative approach to deliver more value on each cycle while optimizing throughput.
The portfolio of services we provide through our Process Automation Studio includes:
|·||Process Appraisal - An in-depth analysis of the processes is done so that they can be valued and prioritized to outline the best automation strategy. In order to have quick wins that deliver actual value to the business we do a joint work with our clients to define measurable criteria that support the decision on where to start and the set of technologies to use and be successful.|
|·||Automated Solutions - Process automation is not just selecting a single tool in the market and automate a flow but rather a conscious analysis of the set of technologies to be used understanding the context on which they will run. Our extensive knowledge of technologies allows us to define the appropriate architecture considering infrastructure and automation needs while leveraging AI and data scraping techniques among more traditional solutions.|
|·||Process Evolution - Monitoring and governance of automated process is key to improving efficiency. Through the definition of the appropriate set of metrics and tools we control the operation identifying bottleneck areas and optimize performance, as well as including new processes to automation strategy.|
Blockchain: Building Trust
Our Blockchain studio is focused on helping our customers to resolve trust-related problems and inefficiencies. We provide research and development services over multiple blockchain implementations as well as over several decentralized storage systems. We are focused on understanding the business and finding how a blockchain can be leveraged to solve a problem.
The portfolio of services we provide through the Studio includes:
|·||Training - We work with our specialists on distributed ledger technologies to understand how they work and get a deep understanding on the different implementations available.|
|·||Advisory - We conduct a deep dive into businesses alongside our specialists as our clients discover how blockchain technologies can be applied to improve some of their processes.|
|·||Fast Prototyping - Our Fast Prototyping Framework can help build a working prototype to validate our clients' business idea or jumpstart their projects to a scalable solution in record time. We achieve this by using an already tested base tech stack.|
|·||Solutions - We build end-to-end solutions that harness the benefits of blockchains to create trustworthy and efficient systems tailored to specific business needs.|
Cloud Ops: Delivering products faster
Our Cloud Ops Studio combines some of the leading cloud technologies, continuous integration and continuous delivery practices with our capabilities to facilitate new and more efficient ways of doing business.
Cloud and Dev Ops are independent but mutually reinforcing strategies for delivering business value. Cloud and Dev Ops evolved in response to three fundamental transformations. First, we are transitioning from a product economy to a service economy. Second, the business environment demands that companies shift their focus from stability and efficiency to agility and innovation. They need to increase delivery frequency and continue their service evolution. Third, the digital dimension is filling the physical dimension.
The portfolio of services we provide through our Cloud Ops Studio includes:
|·||Cloud - From roadmap definition to managed services, we can support our clients' cloud journey. Working with cloud platforms since 2009, we developed the expertise and framework to deliver consultancy services for cloud adoption strategy, application transformation, disaster recovery definition and ongoing support. Our main goal is enabling IT agility with pragmatism that is fully aligned with each client's core business leveraging Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Platform and OpenStack (including, IaaS, Containers, Serverless technologies among others).|
|·||Devops - We utilize Dev Ops in our clients' development cycles to enable continuous integration and continuous deployment of their products, allowing production updates several times a day rather than once every few months. This practice also allows improvements in the overall product cycle as it accelerates acceptance testing, and enables business owners to see what the teams are producing in real time, delivering new products and features with a faster time to market.|
|·||Cloud Native Patrol - Our Cloud Native Patrol assists our clients to accelerate and support complex cloud native projects. The cloud ecosystem is becoming very complex, and cloud providers continue to innovate by adding new tools while enriching existing ones. The same is happening with the whole cloud native landscape (orchestration, service discovery, containers, automation, configuration management, observability, PaaS). Cloud Native Patrol addresses the challenges of supporting the complete ecosystem.|
Quality Engineering: Enabling quality everywhere
The success of our clients' businesses is directly tied to the quality of complex and highly integrated software. Our clients' software drives opportunities, but it also exposes them to new risks. We believe that only a high quality product has a chance of succeeding in today's market.
Our Quality Engineering Studio focuses on reducing our clients' business risks. We provide a comprehensive suite of innovative and robust testing services that ensure high-quality products to meet the needs of demanding, technology-avid users. Cutting edge quality strategies increase test efficiency, decrease time to market and reduce the risks inherent in producing challenging digital journeys.
Our "round the clock" approach leverages the close-knit nature of quality assurance across geographies and time-zones to achieve continuous testing. This approach aligns with build schedules to utilize the onshore, nearshore and offshore teams to their maximum potential.
The portfolio of services we provide through our Quality Engineering Studio includes:
|·||Functional Testing - We offer comprehensive quality assurance services to ensure that the final system/service delivered to our clients meets and exceeds their business requirements. Our quality control analysts are involved in the software development process from the start of each project, helping clients identify the needs of their audience and prepare for accurate targeting suitability of the products we will be creating together.|
|·||Load & Performance Testing - Measuring and assessing the performance of widely used global sites and applications is a technically challenging and multidisciplinary effort. A comprehensive test strategy needs to consider a broad, real life scenario and needs to analyze each product as it will ultimately run. Validations include responsiveness, throughput, scalability, reliability and resource usage. Our practice includes stress testing, load testing and performance testing.|
|·||Mobile Testing - Supporting multiple devices and platforms, and planning for production monitoring approaches, is necessary to achieve end-to-end quality. We utilize compatibility testing, responsive design testing, test automation and acceptance testing among other practices.|
|·||Test Automation - We have deep expertise in providing test automation services and developing test automation solutions and frameworks. We believe test automation is a key testing practice to increase test efficiency, reduce time to market and limit human error inherent with manual testing. Test automation is preparing to efficiently handle future requests through smoke testing, regression testing, integration testing, services testing and other automated processes.|
|·||Accessibility - Todays digital solutions need to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities though compliance with accessibility standards. We help our customers to improve the quality of their digital products (web and mobile solutions) removing barriers that prevent interactions, ensuring accessibility WCAG 2.0 AA Compliance, Section 508 and ADA.|
Cybersecurity: Making customer platforms safe and secure
Our Cybersecurity Studio supports the entire range of services from product conceptualization through execution to ensure that all customer platforms are safe and secure.
As data privacy and security become increasingly top of mind, cyber attacks can increase risk in business for today’s organizations if they don’t have strategies for staying ahead.
The portfolio of services we provide through the Studio includes:
|·||Secure Digital Journey - With this service, a security expert assesses customers security needs. This expert collaborates with our digital solutions teams to ensure needs are met right from the functional and design phase of project development without compromising user experience. Ultimately, this service is designed to ensure that digital experiences will be secure.|
|·||Security Advisor - We have deep expertise in performing manual and automated penetration tests. This technique allows us to assess customers’ security environments to identify risks that could affect digital platforms, and analyze the likelihood and impact for the business. To be a security advisor is more than executing a penetration test, it is understanding business risk with real impact to the business, identifying alternatives to mitigate, and providing guidelines to completely fix.|
|·||Security Patrol - We monitor traffic on users’ digital platforms, and measure specific security indicators that allow us to rapidly respond against cyber threats. The team handles events with strict predefined protocols to contain and mitigate potential incidents.|
Digital Content: Managing scalable content
Our Digital Content Studio focuses on developing digital online strategies through the creation of original and customized products and solutions.
We want to empower our clients' businesses by taking care of the complete life-cycle of a digital strategy, from development of user-friendly and appealing content management systems, to the complete go-to-market digital promotion. We also want to work with our clients to develop digital marketing campaigns, learning solutions, content strategies and engaging audiovisual content that supports their goals.
The portfolio of services we provide through the Studio includes:
|·||Content Management Systems - We help our clients deliver an excellent digital experience through the use of platforms. We understand that our clients' content must reach to the right people on the right devices at the right times.|
|·||Digital Marketing - We provide services to develop digital online strategies focusing on empowering our clients' businesses by creating and implementing original and customized online marketing solutions.|
|·||Content Hub - We develop digital strategies through the creation of original and customized content.|
Media OTT: Every pixel, every screen
Our Media OTT Studio design, build and launch premium video experiences across every mobile device, OTT box, Smart TV, and Game Console for our media clients.
We understand and provide services that support the entire streaming supply chain; from ingest and transcode through to user experience and playout. We do it across all consumer devices and we help drive user engagement and monetization on each.
The portfolio of services we provide through the Studio includes:
|·||Bespoke Development - Our professional services team creates streaming experiences that showcase client’s content and drive business value across any screen.|
|·||Streaming Strategy - Winning in digital media begins with a deep understanding of industry dynamics, identifying how trends disrupt the competitive landscape, and establishing methods to enable and encourage ongoing innovation. Our team of strategists, engineers, delivery managers and designers help media companies turn their content offerings into successful digital businesses.|
|·||Multi-Screen Design - We closely watch every trend and track the evolving capabilities across all platforms. This ensures we can apply our design philosophies to create compelling experiences that showcase the content and drive the business value for our clients.|
|·||Signal (Platform) - Signal enables media companies to reach and engage customers across every screen. It allows them to manage and monetize Live and VOD content. Publishers can quickly launch these best-in-class experiences and dynamically update content and styles through the Signal Portal. Signal simplifies the OTT workflow and allows companies to focus on their content and business vision. Our cutting edge modularized technology allows our clients to choose between a full service or select items to fit the right need.|
Our Studio model allows us to optimize our expertise in emerging technologies and related market trends for our clients across a variety of industries.
Services over Platforms
At Globant, we are evolving at the way services are provided with our Services over Platforms strategy. This set of platforms is designed to help deliver digital and cognitive transformations in an agile and innovative manner. These products have the flexibility to adapt to our clients’ needs as we provide microservices to complement them.
In this way, many of our Studios create platforms to accelerate the path to our solutions. Among these platforms we can mention, StarMeUp OS from our FOO Studio. Signal, our platform to accelerate the distribution of content from our OTT Studio. Globant Minds, our AI platform from the AI Studio, and Acamica our online education platform to accelerate the cultural transformation.
StarMeUp OS is an operating system made up of smart applications that assist organizations with their digital transformations. The goal of this operating system is to help employees overcome inherently human limitations and create a space where they can have more meaningful interactions, generating a richer experience and empowering employees to make even more significant contributions. StarMeUp OS is comprised of five solutions:
StarMeUp: A peer-to-peer recognition platform that strengthens the corporate culture and reinforces organizational values, while providing valuable insights in real time, such as identifying positive influencers and a better view into organizational network dynamics.
BetterMe: Employees can share real-time feedback with anyone else in the organization. It provides an ongoing view of performance and continual opportunities for improvement.
BeThere: By sharing photos of significant moments and events, employees can stay connected and informed in an engaging way, no matter where they are in the world.
TakePart: More actively include employees in the organizational transformation by creating a space for them to suggest, and vote, on new ideas, that lead to more dynamic organizational changes.
BriefMe: A platform ideal for communications teams to get the most critical information to employees at the right time through strategically located screens.
It enables media companies to reach and engage customers across every screen. It allows them to manage and monetize Live and VOD content.
In 2016, we invested in ACAMICA, an e-learning platform for global companies to run online and personalized academies and private training modules, with an emphasis on user experience and social interactions.
Agile Pods Methodology
We have developed a software product design and development model, known as Agile Pods. It is designed to better align business and technology teams. Driven by a culture of self-regulated teamwork and collaboration across skills, partners and country borders.
Leveraged across divisions, Agile Pods are dedicated to mature emerging technologies and market trends, and provide a constant influx of mature talent and solutions that create intellectual property for our clients. They are self-organized teams that work to meet creative and production goals, make technology decisions and reduce risk. These teams are fully responsible for creating solutions, building and sustaining features, products or platforms.
In addition, savings are delivered to clients due to sustained productivity boosts as the Agile Pods begin to operate at a higher maturity level. We ensure consistency, accountability and replicability by having Agile Pods follow a well-defined set of maturity criteria. Maturity models describe levels of growth and development as follows: Maturity, Quality, Velocity, and Autonomy. Each level acts as a foundation for the next and lays out a path for learning and growth. As Agile Pods evolve from one level to the next, they are equipped with the understanding and tools to accomplish goals more effectively.
Associated metrics guide improvement efforts and generate quantitative and qualitative insights to inform iterative design and planning decisions.
Our Delivery Model
Our cultural affinity with our clients enables increased interaction that creates close client relationships, increased responsiveness and more efficient delivery of our solutions. As we grow and expand our organization, we will continue diversifying our footprint by expanding into additional locations globally.
We believe our presence in many countries creates a key competitive advantage by allowing us to benefit from the abundance of high-quality talent in the region, cultural similarities and geographic proximity to our clients.
Availability of High-Quality Talent
We believe that Latin America has emerged as an attractive geographic region from which to deliver a combination of engineering, design, and innovation capabilities for enterprises seeking to leverage emerging technologies. Latin America has an abundant skilled IT talent pool. According to the Science and Technology Indicator Network (Red de Indicadores de Ciencia y Tecnologia), over 345,000 engineering and technology students have graduated annually from 2012 – 2016 from universities in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Latin America's talent pool (including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay) is composed of approximately 1,000,000 professionals according to different sources, such as Stackoverflow, SmartPlanet and Nearshore Americas. This labor pool remains relatively untapped compared to other regions such as the United States, Central and Eastern Europe and China. The region's professionals possess a breadth of skills that is optimally suited for providing technology services at competitive rates. Moreover, Argentina and Brazil have been in the top ten of the Gunn Report's Global Index of Creative Excellence in Advertising for the last 17 years. In addition, institutions of higher education in the region offer rigorous academic programs to develop professionals with technical expertise who are competitive on a global scale. Furthermore, Latin America has a significant number of individuals who speak multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German and French, providing a distinct advantage in delivering engineering, design and innovation services to key markets in the United States and Europe.
India offers significant graduate talent. According to the Strategic Review of The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the Indian IT-BPM Industry currently employs around 4 million people. In terms of students, more than 5 million students graduate every year, and almost 15% of these graduates are considered employable by Tier 1/Tier 2 companies.
Government Support and Incentives
Software companies with operations in Argentina whose activities are the creation, design, development, production, implementation or adjustment (upgrade) of developed software systems and their associated documents (in accordance with Section 4 of the Software Promotion Law No. 25,922) may participate in the benefits contemplated by this regime provided they meet at least two of the following requirements: (i) proves expenses in software research and development activities; (ii) prove existence of a known quality standard applicable to the products or software processes, or the performance of activities in order to obtain such known standard recognition; or (iii) export of software (as defined in Section 5 of the Software Promotion Law). The Law was originally enacted in 2004 and extended in 2011 for another five years until December 31, 2019, and established a number of incentives to promote Argentine enterprises engaged in the design, development and production of software. These incentives include:
|·||Fiscal stability throughout the period that the promotion regime is in force. In accordance with Section 7 of the Software Promotion Law, fiscal stability means the right to maintain the aggregate federal tax rate in effect at the time of the beneficiary's registration in the National Registry of Software Producers through December 31, 2019. Such stability does not comprise import or export duties nor export refunds (Section 7 of Regulatory Decree No. 1315/2013). The aggregate federal tax burden included under the fiscal stability benefit is that burden existing on the date of the beneficiary's registration before the applicable registry, in accordance with laws and regulations in force by that time;|
|·||a 60% reduction in the total amount of corporate income tax as applied to income from the promoted activities This benefit will be applicable both to Argentine-source and non-Argentine-source income, in the terms set forth by the application authority, but it would not be applicable to foreign source income obtained by permanent establishments held abroad by Argentine residents (Section 13 of Regulatory Decree No. 1315/2013);|
|·||conversion of up to 70% of certain monthly social security tax (contribution) payments into a tax credit (Section 8 of the Software Promotion Law) during the first year following the beneficiary's registration in the National Registry of Software Producers. After the first year, such percentage will be determined annually by the competent authorities for each beneficiary, depending on the beneficiary's degree of compliance with the regime's requirements (Section 9 of Regulatory Decree No. 1315/2013). This tax credit may not be transferred to third parties. The tax credit can be used to offset the beneficiary's income tax liability only up to certain percentage, determined by the ratio of annual software and computer services exports and the aggregate annual sales resulting from promoted activities declared by the beneficiary (Section 9 of Regulatory Decree No. 1315/2013);|
|·||an exclusion from any restriction on import payments related to hardware and IT components and non-applicability of any value-added tax withholding or collection regimes (Section 8 of the Software Promotion Law).|
Argentine Ministry of Economy approved our subsidiaries as beneficiaries of the Software Promotion Law as following: (i) on October 10, 2006: IAFH Global S.A. (ii) on April 13, 2007: Sistemas Globales S.A. and (iii) on April 29, 2008: BSF SA. As a result, these subsidiaries have enjoyed fiscal stability in their federal tax burden as in effect at the time they were notified of their inclusion in the promotion regime.
The Software Promotion Law was modified during 2011 through Law No. 26,692. Even though all benefits awarded under the Software Promotion Law as originally enacted in 2004 remained in effect, pursuant to Section 10 of the Software Promotion Law (as amended by Law No. 26,692), IAFH Global S.A., Sistemas Globales S.A. and BSF S.A. were obliged to reapply for registration in the National Registry of Software Producers by July 8, 2014 in order to obtain the benefits established in the Software Promotion Law as described above.
On September 9, 2013, Decree No. 1315/2013 introduced additional implementing rules, including, among other matters, further clarifications to qualify for the promotion regime and specific requirements to be met in order to remain registered in the National Registry of Software Producers during the years after such registration has taken place. These requirements include, among others, minimum annual revenue, minimum percentage of employees involved in the promoted activities, minimum aggregate amount spent in salaries paid to employees involved in the promoted activities, minimum research and development expenses and the filing of evidence of software-related services exports. In addition, Regulatory Decree No. 1315/2013 states that the 60% reduction in corporate income tax provided under the Software Promotion Law shall only become effective as of the beginning of the fiscal year after the date on which the applicant is accepted for registration in the National Registry of Software Producers. The implementing regulation also provides that upon the formal approval of an applicant's registration in the National Registry of Software Producers, any promotional benefits previously granted to such person under the Software Promotion Law as originally enacted in 2004 shall be extinguished. Finally, Regulatory Decree No. 1315/2013 delegates authority to the Secretary of Industry and AFIP to adopt "complementary and clarifying" regulations in furtherance of the implementation of the Software Promotion Law.
On March 11, 2014, AFIP issued General Resolution No. 3,597, which provides that, as a further prerequisite to participation in the Software Promotion Law, exporters of software and related services must register in a newly established Special Registry of Exporters of Services (Registro Especial de Exportadores de Servicios).
According to the abovementioned regulations, on March 14, May 28, 2014 and June 23, 2014, our Argentine subsidiaries IAFH Global S.A., Sistemas Globales S.A. and BSF S.A., respectively, were accepted for registration in the Special Registry of Exporters of Services.
On June 25, 2014, our Argentine subsidiaries IAFH Global S.A. and Sistemas Globales S.A. applied for registration in the National Registry of Software Producers. The Secretary and Subsecretary of Industry issued rulings approving registration in the National Registry of Software Producers of certain of our subsidiaries as follows: (i) Sistemas Globales S.A. on March 18, 2016, (ii) IAFH Global S.A. on April 13, 2015 and (iii) BSF S.A. on November 23, 2015. In each case, the ruling made the effective date of registration retroactive to September 18, 2014 and provided that the benefits enjoyed under the Software Promotion Law as originally enacted were not extinguished until the ruling goes into effect (which have occurred upon its date of publication in the Argentine government's official gazette on before mentioned dates).
On May 22, 2019, the Argentine Congress enacted Law No. 27,506 ("Ley de Economía del Conocimiento"), which provides a promotional regime for the Knowledge Economy ("Knowledge based Economy Law"). The Knowledge based Economy Law will be valid from January 1, 2020 until December 31, 2029 and aims to promote economic activities that apply knowledge and digitization of information, supported by advances in science and technology, to obtain goods and services and improve processes.
The Knowledge based Economy Law promotes many activities, among others: software, computer and digital services; audiovisual production and post-production; biotechnology, neurotechnology and genetic engineering; geological and prospecting services and others related with electronic and communications; professional services as long as they are exported; nanotechnology and nanoscience; aerospace and satellite industry; nuclear industrial engineering; artificial intelligence, robotic and industrial internet, the internet of things, augmented and virtual reality.
The Knowledge based Economy Law creates the "National Registry of Beneficiaries" for the registration of the potential beneficiaries. According to the Knowledge based Economy Law, the eligible beneficiaries are those who perform as a main activity any of the promoted activities and meet at least two of the following requirements: (i) performance of continuous improvements in the quality of the services, products and/or processes, or through a quality norm suitable to their services, products and/or processes; and/or (ii) expenditures in research and development activities for at least 3 % of the total revenue and/or training of employees assigned to the performance of the promoted activities for at least 8 % of the total payroll; and/or (iii) exports of goods and/or services derived from the performance of any of the promoted activities for at least a certain percentage, which varies depending on the kind of activity and the beneficiary.
The main activity is satisfied when it represents at least 70% of the total turnover.
Pursuant to the Knowledge based Economy Law, since registration, the beneficiaries will enjoy the following benefits:
|·||Enhanced fiscal stability as from registration and for the term of validity of the regime. This bene|