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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
_______________
FORM 10-Q
________________
(Mark One)
QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2022
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from __________ to __________
Commission File Number: 001-39671
____________________
MediaAlpha, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
____________________
Delaware85-1854133
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)
700 South Flower Street, Suite 640
Los Angeles, California 90017
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)
(213) 316-6256
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
_______________
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading
Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A Common Stock, $0.01 par value per shareMAXNYSE
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.     Yes  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).     Yes No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).     Yes     No
As of April 29, 2022, there were 41,584,400 shares of MediaAlpha, Inc.'s Class A common stock, $0.01 par value per share, and 19,537,469 shares of MediaAlpha, Inc.’s Class B common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding.


MediaAlpha, Inc. and Subsidiaries
TABLE OF CONTENTS

2

Certain Definitions
As used in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q:
“Class A-1 units” refers to the Class A-1 units of QL Holdings LLC (“QLH”).
“Class B-1 units” refers to the Class B-1 units of QLH.
“Company,” “we,” or “us” refers to MediaAlpha, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, unless the context requires otherwise.
“Consumer Referral” means any consumer click, call or lead purchased by a buyer on our platform.
“Consumers” and “customers” refer interchangeably to end consumers. Examples include individuals shopping for insurance policies.
“Digital consumer traffic” refers to visitors to the mobile, tablet, desktop and other digital platforms of our supply partners, as well as to our proprietary websites.
“Direct-to-consumer” or “DTC” means the sale of insurance products or services directly to end consumers, without the use of retailers, brokers, agents or other intermediaries.
“Distributor” means any company or individual that is involved in the distribution of insurance, such as an insurance agent or broker.
“Exchange agreement” means the exchange agreement, dated as of October 27, 2020 by and among MediaAlpha, Inc., QLH, Intermediate Holdco, Inc. and certain Class B-1 unitholders party thereto.
“Founders” means, collectively, Steven Yi, Eugene Nonko, and Ambrose Wang.
“High-intent” consumer or customer means an in-market consumer that is actively browsing, researching or comparing the types of products or services that our partners sell.
“Insignia” means Insignia Capital Group, L.P. and its affiliates.
“Intermediate Holdco” means Guilford Holdings, Inc., our wholly owned subsidiary and the owner of all Class A-1 units.
“Inventory,” when referring to our supply partners, means the volume of Consumer Referral opportunities.
“IPO” means our initial public offering of our Class A common stock, which closed on October 30, 2020.
“Legacy Profits Interest Holders” means certain current or former employees of QLH or its subsidiaries (other than the Senior Executives), who indirectly held Class B units in QLH prior to our IPO and includes any estate planning vehicles or other holding companies through which such persons hold their units in QLH (which holding companies may or may not include QL Management Holdings LLC).
“Lifetime value” or “LTV” is a type of metric that many of our business partners use to measure the estimated total worth to a business of a customer over the expected period of their relationship.
“NAIC” means the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
“Open Marketplace” refers to one of our two business models. In Open Marketplace transactions, we have separate agreements with demand partners and suppliers. We earn fees from our demand partners and separately pay a revenue share to suppliers and a fee to Internet search companies to drive consumers to our proprietary websites.
“Partner” refers to a buyer or seller on our platform, also referred to as “demand partners” and “supply partners,” respectively.
“Demand partner” refers to a buyer on our platform. As discussed under Item 2. Management’s Discussion & Analysis – Management Overview, our demand partners are generally insurance carriers and distributors looking to target high-intent consumers deep in their purchase journey.
“Supply partner” or “supplier” refers to a seller to our platform. As discussed under Item 2. Management’s Discussion & Analysis – Management Overview, our supply partners are primarily insurance carriers looking to maximize the value of non-converting or low LTV consumers, and insurance-focused research destinations or other financial websites looking to monetize high-intent consumers.
3

“Private Marketplace” refers to one of our two business models. In Private Marketplace transactions, demand partners and suppliers contract with one another directly and leverage our platform to facilitate transparent, real-time transactions utilizing the reporting and analytical tools available to them from use of our platform. We charge a fee based on the Transaction Value of the Consumer Referrals sold through Private Marketplace transactions.
“Proprietary” means, when used in reference to our properties, the websites and other digital properties that we own and operate. Our proprietary properties are a source of Consumer Referrals on our platform.
“Reorganization Transactions” means the series of reorganization transactions completed on October 27, 2020 in connection with our IPO.
“Secondary Offering” means the means the sale of 8,050,000 shares of Class A common stock pursuant to the registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-254338), which was declared effective by the Securities Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 18, 2021.
“Senior Executives” means the Founders and the other current and former officers of the Company listed in Exhibit A to the exchange agreement. This term also includes any estate planning vehicles or other holding companies through which such persons hold their units in QLH.
“Selling Class B-1 Unit Holders” means Insignia, the Senior Executives, and the Legacy Profits Interests Holders who sold a portion of their Class B-1 units to Intermediate Holdco in connection with the IPO.
“Transaction Value” means the total gross dollars transacted by our partners on our platform.
“Vertical” means a market dedicated to a specific set of products or services sold to end consumers. Examples include property & casualty insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and travel.
“White Mountains” means White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. and its affiliates.
“Yield” means the return to our sellers on their inventory of Consumer Referrals sold on our platform.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
We are including this Cautionary Statement to caution investors and qualify for the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”) for forward-looking statements. This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, future events and our financial performance. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “may,” “should,” “could,” “predict,” “potential,” “believe,” “will likely result,” “expect,” “continue,” “will,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “projection,” “would,” and “outlook,” or the negative version of those words or other comparable words or phrases of a future or forward-looking nature. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry, management’s beliefs and certain assumptions made by management, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond our control. Accordingly, we caution you that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the date made, actual results may prove to be materially different from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
There are or will be important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following:
Our ability to attract and retain supply partners and demand partners to our platform and to make available quality Consumer Referrals at attractive volumes and prices to drive transactions on our platform;
Our reliance on a limited number of supply partners and demand partners, many of which have no long-term contractual commitments with us, and any potential termination of those relationships;
Fluctuations in customer acquisition spending by property and casualty insurance carriers due to unexpected changes in underwriting profitability as the carriers go through cycles in their business;
Existing and future laws and regulations affecting the property & casualty insurance, health insurance and life insurance verticals;
Changes and developments in the regulation of the underlying industries in which our partners operate;
Competition with other technology companies engaged in digital customer acquisition, as well as buyers that attract consumers through their own customer acquisition strategies, third-party online platforms or other traditional methods of distribution;
4

Our ability to attract, integrate and retain qualified employees;
Reductions in DTC digital spend by our buyers;
Mergers and acquisitions could result in additional dilution and otherwise disrupt our operations and harm our operating results and financial condition;
Our dependence on internet search companies to direct a significant portion of visitors to our suppliers’ websites and our proprietary websites;
The novel strain of the coronavirus and the disease it causes (COVID-19);
The terms and restrictions of our existing and future indebtedness;
Disruption to operations as a result of future acquisitions;
Our failure to obtain, maintain, protect and enforce our intellectual property rights, proprietary systems, technology and brand;
Our ability to develop new offerings and penetrate new vertical markets;
Our ability to manage future growth effectively;
Our reliance on data provided to us by our demand and supply partners and consumers;
Natural disasters, public health crises, political crises, economic downturns, or other unexpected events;
Significant estimates and assumptions in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements;
Potential litigation and claims, including claims by regulatory agencies and intellectual property disputes;
Our ability to collect our receivables from our partners;
Developments with respect to LIBOR;
Fluctuations in our financial results caused by seasonality;
The development of the DTC insurance distribution sector and evolving nature of our relatively new business model;
Disruptions to or failures of our technological infrastructure and platform;
Failure to manage and maintain relationships with third-party service providers;
Cybersecurity breaches or other attacks involving our systems or those of our partners or third-party service providers;
Our ability to protect consumer information and other data and risks of reputational harm due to an actual or perceived failure by us to protect such information and other data;
Risks related to being a public company;
Risks related to internal control on financial reporting;
Risks related to shares of our Class A common stock;
Risks related to our intention to take advantage of certain exemptions as a “controlled company” under the rules of the NYSE, and the fact that the interests of our controlling stockholders (White Mountains, Insignia, and the Founders) may conflict with those of other investors;
Risks related to our corporate structure; and
The other risk factors described under Part I, Item 1A "Risk Factors" in the 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The foregoing factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read together with the other cautionary statements included in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. If one or more events related to these or other risks or uncertainties materialize, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may differ materially from what we anticipate. Many of the important factors that will determine these results are beyond our ability to control or predict. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and, except as otherwise required by law, we do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict which will arise. In addition, we cannot assess the impact of each factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.

5

Part I. Financial Information
Item 1. Financial Statements.
MediaAlpha, Inc. and subsidiaries
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Unaudited; in thousands, except share data and per share amounts)
March 31,
2022
December 31,
2021
Assets
Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents$55,288 $50,564 
Accounts receivable, net of allowance for credit losses of $464 and $609, respectively
61,163 76,094 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets7,820 10,448 
Total current assets124,271 137,106 
Intangible assets, net11,884 12,567 
Goodwill18,402 18,402 
Deferred tax asset101,859 102,656 
Other assets18,805 19,073 
Total assets$275,221 $289,804 
Liabilities and stockholders' equity (deficit)
Current liabilities
Accounts payable$51,509 $61,770 
Accrued expenses10,012 13,716 
Current portion of long-term debt8,740 8,730 
Total current liabilities70,261 84,216 
Long-term debt, net of current portion175,878 178,069 
Liabilities under tax receivables agreement, net of current portion81,850 85,027 
Other long-term liabilities4,881 4,058 
Total liabilities$332,870 $351,370 
Commitments and contingencies (Note 6)
Stockholders' equity (deficit):
Class A common stock, $0.01 par value - 1.0 billion shares authorized; 41.6 million and 41.0 million shares issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, respectively
416 410 
Class B common stock, $0.01 par value - 100 million shares authorized; 19.6 million and  19.6 million shares issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, respectively
196 196 
Preferred stock, $0.01 par value - 50 million shares authorized; 0 shares issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021
  
Additional paid-in capital433,157 419,533 
Accumulated deficit(431,552)(424,476)
Total stockholders' equity (deficit) attributable to MediaAlpha, Inc.$2,217 $(4,337)
Non-controlling interests(59,866)(57,229)
Total stockholders' (deficit)$(57,649)$(61,566)
Total liabilities and stockholders' deficit$275,221 $289,804 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.
6

MediaAlpha, Inc. and subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(Unaudited; in thousands, except share data and per share amounts)
Three months ended
March 31,
20222021
Revenue$142,599 $173,588 
Costs and operating expenses
Cost of revenue120,881 147,180 
Sales and marketing7,223 5,391 
Product development5,216 3,320 
General and administrative17,148 15,749 
Total costs and operating expenses150,468 171,640 
(Loss) income from operations(7,869)1,948 
Other (income), net(523)(150)
Interest expense1,359 2,301 
Total other expense, net836 2,151 
(Loss) before income taxes(8,705)(203)
Income tax expense (benefit)1,143 (364)
Net (loss) income$(9,848)$161 
Net (loss) attributable to non-controlling interest(2,772)(124)
Net (loss) income attributable to MediaAlpha, Inc.$(7,076)$285 
Net (loss) income per share of Class A common stock
-Basic$(0.17)$0.01 
-Diluted$(0.17)$0.00 
Weighted average shares of Class A common stock outstanding
-Basic40,847,941 33,136,632 
-Diluted40,847,941 62,163,390 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.
7

MediaAlpha, Inc. and subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity (Deficit)
(Unaudited; in thousands, except share data)
Class A
common stock
Class B
common stock
Additional
Paid-In-
Capital
Accumulated
deficit
Non-
Controlling
Interest
Total
Stockholders’
(Deficit)
UnitsAmountUnitsAmountAmountAmountAmountAmount
Balance at December 31, 202140,969,952 $410 19,621,915 $196 $419,533 $(424,476)$(57,229)$(61,566)
Establishment of liabilities under tax receivables agreement and related changes to deferred tax assets associated with increases in tax basis— — — — 19 — — 19 
Exchange of non-controlling interest for Class A common stock60,197 — (60,197)— (180)— 180  
Vesting of restricted stock units593,810 6 — — (6)— —  
Equity-based compensation— — — — 13,688 — 85 13,773 
Forfeiture of equity awards(23,294)— — — — — — — 
Shares withheld on tax withholding on vesting of restricted stock units— — — — (820)— — (820)
Distributions to non-controlling interests— — — — — — (130)(130)
Settlement of 2021 annual bonus as restricted stock units— — — — 880 — — 880 
Tax impact of changes in investment in partnership— — — — 43 — — 43 
Net (loss)— — — — — (7,076)(2,772)(9,848)
Balance at March 31, 202241,600,665 $416 19,561,718 $196 $433,157 $(431,552)$(59,866)$(57,649)


8

Class A
common stock
Class B
common stock
Additional
Paid-In-
Capital
Accumulated deficitNon- Controlling InterestTotal Stockholders’ (Deficit)
UnitsAmountUnitsAmountAmountAmountAmountAmount
Balance at December 31, 202033,371,056 $334 25,536,043 $255 $384,611 $(418,973)$(71,345)$(105,118)
Establishment of liabilities under tax receivables agreement and related changes to deferred tax assets associated with increases in tax basis— — — — 6,190 — — 6,190 
Exchange of non-controlling interest for Class A common stock4,457,796 45 (4,457,796)(45)(12,716)— 12,716  
Vesting of restricted stock units444,030 4 — — (4)— —  
Equity-based compensation— — — — 10,479 — 124 10,603 
Forfeiture of equity awards(58,608)(1)— — — — — (1)
Shares withheld on tax withholding on vesting of restricted stock units— — — — (1,276)— — (1,276)
Net income (loss)— — — — — 285 (124)161 
Balance at March 31, 202138,214,274 $382 21,078,247 $210 $387,284 $(418,688)$(58,629)$(89,441)
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.
9

MediaAlpha, Inc. and subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(Unaudited; in thousands)
Three Months Ended
March 31,
20222021
Cash flows from operating activities
Net (loss) income$(9,848)$161 
Adjustments to reconcile net (loss) income to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities:
Non-cash equity-based compensation expense13,773 10,602 
Non-cash lease expense177 116 
Depreciation expense on property and equipment98 82 
Amortization of intangible assets683 746 
Amortization of deferred debt issuance costs209 345 
Credit losses(88)157 
Deferred taxes1,110 (358)
Tax receivable agreement liability adjustments(630)(156)
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
Accounts receivable15,019 15,870 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets2,613 690 
Other assets47 125 
Accounts payable(10,261)(33,675)
Accrued expenses(4,813)(4,061)
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities$8,089 $(9,356)
Cash flows from investing activities
Purchases of property and equipment(40)(69)
Net cash (used in) investing activities$(40)$(69)
Cash flows from financing activities
Payments made for:
Repayments on long-term debt(2,375) 
Distributions(130) 
Shares withheld for taxes on vesting of restricted stock units(820)(1,276)
Net cash (used in) financing activities$(3,325)$(1,276)
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents4,724 (10,701)
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period50,564 23,554 
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period$55,288 $12,853 
Supplemental disclosures of cash flow information
Cash paid during the period for:
Interest$2,834 $754 
Income taxes paid, net of refunds$(1,365)$51 
Non-cash Investing and Financing Activities:
Adjustments to liabilities under the tax receivable agreement$(251)$(53,117)
Establishment of deferred tax assets in connection with the Reorganization Transactions$(270)$(59,307)
Right-of-use assets obtained in exchange of lease obligations$ $2,712 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.
10

MediaAlpha, Inc. and subsidiaries
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
(Unaudited)
1. Summary of significant accounting policies
The Company's significant accounting policies are included in the 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K and did not materially change during the three months ended March 31, 2022.
Basis of presentation
The accompanying unaudited consolidated financial statements and related disclosures have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP") applicable to interim financial information and with the instructions to Form 10-Q and Rule 10-01 of Regulation S-X. In the opinion of management, all adjustments, consisting of only those of a normal recurring nature, considered necessary for a fair statement of the financial position and interim results of the Company as of and for the periods presented have been included.
The December 31, 2021 balance sheet data was derived from audited consolidated financial statements; however, the accompanying interim notes to the consolidated financial statements do not include all of the annual disclosures required by GAAP. Results for interim periods are not necessarily indicative of those that may be expected for a full year. The financial information included herein should be read in conjunction with the Company's consolidated financial statements and related notes in its 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Revisions to previously issued consolidated financial statements
On December 31, 2021 the Company adopted ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) effective from January 1, 2021 using the optional transition approach by applying the new standard to all leases existing at the date of initial application and prior periods were not restated. In connection with the adoption, quarterly amounts presented in our prior Form 10-Q were revised. The impact of the adjustments was immaterial to the Company's consolidated financial statements.
Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the United States and many countries around the world as new strains of the virus are found. To date, the Company has not experienced material business disruptions or incurred impairment losses in the carrying values of its assets as result of the pandemic, and management is not aware of any specific related event or circumstance that would require the Company to revise the estimates reflected in these consolidated financial statements. The Company continues to monitor the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business, results of operations and financial condition. The Company's Travel vertical has experienced a decline in revenue compared with pre-COVID-19 levels, and although management does not believe the situation will materially impact the Company's liquidity or capital position, management does not expect revenue from the travel vertical to recover fully in the foreseeable future. In addition, during the second half of 2021, supply chain disruptions and cost increases caused by the pandemic contributed to higher-than-expected property and casualty insurance claims costs, which has led many carriers to reduce their customer acquisition spending to preserve their profitability. These reductions continue to impact revenue from the Company’s P&C vertical.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will further impact the Company's business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments that is uncertain, including as a result of new information that may emerge concerning COVID-19, the actions taken to contain or treat it, and the duration and intensity of the related effects.
Accounts receivable
The Company estimates expected credit losses based on collection history and management’s assessment of the current economic trends, business environment, customers’ financial condition, accounts receivable aging and any customer disputes that may impact the level of future credit losses. Accounts receivable are net of allowances for credit losses of $0.5 million and $0.6 million as of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, respectively.
11

Concentrations of credit risk and of significant customers and suppliers
Financial instruments that potentially expose the Company to concentrations of credit risk consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents and accounts receivable. The Company maintains cash balances that can, at times, exceed amounts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The Company has not experienced any losses in these accounts, and believes it is not exposed to unusual credit risk beyond the normal credit risk in this area based on the financial strength of the institutions with which the Company maintains its deposits.
The Company's accounts receivable, which are unsecured, may expose it to credit risk based on their collectability. The Company controls credit risk by investigating the creditworthiness of all customers prior to establishing relationships with them, performing periodic reviews of the credit activities of those customers during the course of the business relationship, regularly analyzing the collectability of accounts receivable, and recording allowances for credit losses.
Customer concentrations consisted of one customer that accounted for approximately $19 million, or 13%, of revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with three customers that collectively accounted for approximately $68 million, or 39%, of revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2021. There were no customers that accounted for more than 10% of the Company's accounts receivable as of March 31, 2022, compared with the Company's largest customer that accounted for approximately $7 million, or 10%, as of December 31, 2021.
The Company’s supplier concentration can expose the Company to business risks. For the three months ended March 31, 2022, the Company had one supplier that accounted for approximately $14 million, or 11%, of total purchases, compared with two suppliers that collectively accounted for approximately $32 million, or 21%, of total purchases for the three months ended March 31, 2021. The Company's largest supplier accounted for approximately $8 million, or 15%, of total accounts payable as of March 31, 2022, compared with the Company's two largest suppliers that collectively accounted for approximately $21 million, or 34%, as of December 31, 2021.
Related Party Transactions
The Company is party to the tax receivables agreement ("TRA") under which it has contractually committed to pay the holders of Class B-1 units 85% of the amount of any tax benefits that the Company actually realizes, or in some cases is deemed to realize, as a result of certain transactions. During the three months ended March 31, 2022, payments of $0.2 million were made pursuant to the TRA.
The Company paid $0.9 million during the three months ended March 31, 2022 to White Mountains related to settlement of state income tax refunds for periods prior to the Reorganization Transactions. The total amount reimbursable to White Mountains was $1.5 million as of March 31, 2022 and $2.3 million as of December 31, 2021.
New Accounting Pronouncements
Recently issued not yet adopted accounting pronouncements
In March 2020 and January 2021, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2020-4, Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848): Facilitation of the Effects of Reference Rate Reform on Financial Reporting and ASU 2021-1, Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848): Scope, respectively. ASU 2020-4 and ASU 2021-1 provide optional expedients and exceptions for applying U.S. GAAP, to contracts, and other transactions that reference the London Interbank Offered Rate or another reference rate expected to be discontinued because of reference rate reform, if certain criteria are met. The guidance in ASU 2020-4 and ASU 2021-1 was effective upon issuance and, once adopted, may be applied prospectively to contract modifications and hedging relationships through December 31, 2022. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of the adoption of ASU 2020-4 and ASU 2021-1 on its consolidated financial statements.
In October 2021, the FASB issued ASU No. 2021-08, Business Combinations (Topic 805): Accounting for Contract Assets and Contract Liabilities from contracts with customers, The ASU requires contract assets and contract liabilities acquired in a business combination to be recognized and measured by the acquirer on the acquisition date in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, as if it had originated the contracts. Under the current business combinations guidance, such assets and liabilities were recognized by the acquirer at fair value on the acquisition date. The guidance in ASU is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2022, with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of this ASU, but does not expect the adoption of this standard to have a significant impact on its consolidated financial statements.
12

2. Disaggregation of revenue
The following table shows the Company’s revenue disaggregated by transaction model:
Three months ended
March 31,
(in thousands)20222021
Revenue
Open marketplace transactions$138,096 $169,348 
Private marketplace transactions4,503 4,240 
Total$142,599 $173,588 
The following table shows the Company’s revenue disaggregated by product vertical:
Three months ended
March 31,
(in thousands)20222021
Revenue
Property & casualty insurance$87,454 $125,541 
Health insurance42,109 35,896 
Life insurance7,067 7,953 
Other (1)
5,969 4,198 
Total$142,599 $173,588 
(1)Other verticals include Travel, Education, and Consumer Finance.
3. Goodwill and intangible assets
Goodwill and intangible assets consisted of:
As of
March 31, 2022December 31, 2021
(in thousands)Useful
life
(months)
Gross carrying amountAccumulated amortizationNet carrying amountGross carrying amountAccumulated amortizationNet carrying amount
Customer relationships120$25,040 $(13,362)$11,678 $25,040 $(12,730)$12,310 
Non-compete agreements60303 (277)26 303 (268)35 
Domain names601,224 (1,044)180 1,224 (1,002)222 
Intangible assets$26,567 $(14,683)$11,884 $26,567 $(14,000)$12,567 
GoodwillIndefinite$18,402 $— $18,402 $18,402 $— $18,402 
Amortization expense related to intangible assets amounted to $0.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021. The Company has no accumulated impairment of goodwill.
The following table presents the changes in goodwill and intangible assets:
As of
March 31, 2022December 31, 2021
(in thousands)GoodwillIntangible
assets
GoodwillIntangible
assets
Beginning balance$18,402 $12,567 $18,402 $15,551 
Amortization— (683)(2,984)
Ending balance$18,402 $11,884 $18,402 $12,567 
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As of March 31, 2022, future amortization expense relating to identifiable intangible assets with estimable useful lives over the next five years was as follows:
(in thousands)Amortization expense
2022–Remaining Period$2,048 
20232,388 
20242,211 
20252,028 
20261,880 
Thereafter1,329 
$11,884 
4. Accrued expenses
Accrued expenses consisted of:
As of
(in thousands)March 31,
2022
December 31,
2021
Accrued payroll and related expenses$1,727 $5,030 
Accrued operating expenses1,634 1,103 
Other accrued expenses6,651 7,583 
Total accrued expenses$10,012 $13,716 
5. Long-term debt
On July 29, 2021, the Company entered into an amendment (the "First Amendment") to the 2020 Credit Agreement dated as of September 23, 2020, with the lenders from time-to-time party thereto and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as administrative agent (as amended by the First Amendment, the “Amended Credit Agreement”). The Amended Credit Agreement provides for a new senior secured term loan facility in an aggregate principal amount of $190.0 million (the "2021 Term Loan Facility"), the proceeds of which were used to refinance all $186.4 million of the existing term loans outstanding and the unpaid interest thereof as of the date of the First Amendment, fees related to these transactions, and to provide cash for general corporate purposes, and a new senior secured revolving credit facility with commitments in an aggregate amount of $50.0 million (the "2021 Revolving Credit Facility" and, together with the 2021 Term Loan Facility, the "2021 Credit Facilities"), which replaced the existing revolving credit facility under the 2020 Credit Agreement.
Long-term debt consisted of the following:
As of
(in thousands)March 31,
2022
December 31,
2021
2021 Term Loan$187,625 $190,000 
Debt issuance costs(3,007)(3,201)
Total debt$184,618 $186,799 
Less: current portion, net of debt issuance costs of $760 and $770, respectively
(8,740)(8,730)
Total long-term debt$175,878 $178,069 
As of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, the Company had no outstanding amounts drawn on the 2021 Revolving Credit Facility.
14

The expected future principal payments for all borrowings as of March 31, 2022 was as follows:
(in thousands)Contractual maturity
2022–Remaining Period$7,125 
20239,500 
20249,500 
20259,500 
2026152,000 
Debt and issuance costs187,625 
Unamortized debt issuance costs(3,007)
Total debt$184,618 
The Company incurred interest expense of $1.4 million and $2.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. Interest expense included $0.2 million and $0.3 million of amortization of debt issuance costs for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. Accrued interest was immaterial as of March 31, 2022 and $1.7 million as of December 31, 2021, and is included within accrued expenses on the consolidated balance sheets.
The carrying amount of the current and long-term debt under the 2021 Term Loan Facilities approximates the fair values thereof as the borrowings have a variable interest rate structure with no prepayment penalties and are classified within the Level 2 hierarchy.
6. Commitments and contingencies
Litigation
The Company is subject to certain legal proceedings and claims that arise in the normal course of business. In the opinion of management, the Company does not believe that the amount of liability, if any, as a result of these proceedings and claims will have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.
As of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, the Company did not have any contingency reserves established for any litigation liabilities.
7. Equity-based compensation
The Company’s equity-based compensation plans are fully described in Part II, Item 8 "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Equity-based compensation plans" in the 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Equity-based compensation cost recognized for equity based awards outstanding during the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021 was as follows:
Three months ended
March 31,
(in thousands)20222021
QLH Class B units $ 
QLH restricted Class B-1 units85 124 
Restricted Class A shares348 267 
Restricted stock units13,340 10,211 
Total equity-based compensation$13,773 $10,602 
15

Equity-based compensation cost was allocated to the following expense categories in the consolidated statements of operations during the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021:
Three months ended
March 31,
(in thousands)20222021
Cost of revenue$398 $400 
Sales and marketing2,705 1,702 
Product development2,249 1,332 
General and administrative8,421 7,168 
Total equity-based compensation$13,773 $10,602 
As of March 31, 2022, total unrecognized compensation cost related to unvested QLH restricted Class B-1 units, restricted Class A shares, and restricted stock units was $0.5 million, $1.6 million, and $117.5 million, respectively, which are expected to be recognized over weighted-average periods of 1.65 years, 1.62 years, and 2.56 years, respectively.
8. Stockholders' Equity (Deficit)
Share Repurchase Program
On March 14, 2022, the Board of Directors approved a Share Repurchase Program ("Repurchase Program") that authorized the Company to repurchase up to $5.0 million of the Company’s Class A common stock from time to time in open market transactions at prevailing market prices or by other means in accordance with federal securities laws. The Company expects the repurchases to be made over the second and third quarters of 2022. The timing and amount of any share repurchases will be determined by the Company’s management based on their ongoing evaluation of market conditions, the Company’s capital needs, debt covenants and other factors. The share repurchases are considered spot repurchases with no obligation of the Company to repurchase a fixed number of shares and each will be accounted for as of the trade date with a corresponding liability. Any excess amount of the repurchase price over the par value of the shares of Class A common stock repurchased will be recorded as an adjustment to additional-paid-in capital. No shares of Class A common stock were repurchased during the three months ended March 31, 2022.
9. Income taxes
MediaAlpha, Inc. is taxed as a corporation and pays corporate federal, state and local taxes on income allocated to it from QLH based upon MediaAlpha, Inc.’s economic interest held in QLH. QLH is treated as a pass-through partnership for income tax reporting purposes and is not subject to federal income tax. Instead, QLH’s taxable income or loss is passed through to its members, including MediaAlpha, Inc. Accordingly, the Company is not liable for income taxes on the portion of QLH’s earnings not allocated to it. MediaAlpha, Inc. files and pays corporate income taxes for U.S. federal and state income tax purposes and its corporate subsidiary, Skytiger Studio, Ltd., is subject to taxation in Taiwan. The Company expects this structure to remain in existence for the foreseeable future.
The Company estimates the annual effective tax rate for the full year to be applied to actual year-to-date income (loss) and adds the tax effects of any discrete items in the reporting period in which they occur. The Company’s effective income tax rate was (13.1)% and 179.3% for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
The following table summarizes the Company's income tax expense (benefit):
Three months ended
March 31,
(in thousands, except percentages)20222021
(Loss) before income taxes$(8,705)$(203)
Income tax expense (benefit)$1,143 $(364)
Effective Tax Rate(13.1)%179.3 %
The Company's effective tax rate of (13.1)% for the three months ended March 31, 2022 differed from the U.S. federal statutory rate of 21%, due primarily to nondeductible equity-based compensation, losses associated with non-controlling interests not taxable to the Company, state taxes, and other nondeductible permanent items.
16

There were no material changes to the Company’s unrecognized tax benefits during the three months ended March 31, 2022, and the Company does not expect to have any significant changes to unrecognized tax benefits through the end of the fiscal year.
During the three months ended March 31, 2022, holders of Class B-1 units exchanged a total of 60,197 Class B-1 units, together with an equal number of shares of Class B common stock, for shares of Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis (the “Exchanges”). In connection with the Exchanges, the Company recognized an additional deferred tax asset of $0.2 million during the three months ended March 31, 2022 associated with the basis difference in its investment in QLH. As of March 31, 2022, the total deferred tax asset related to the basis difference in the Company's investment in QLH was $80.1 million. The Company also recognized $0.1 million of deferred tax assets for the three months ended March 31, 2022 related to additional tax basis increases generated from expected future payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement (“TRA”) and expected future deductions for imputed interest on such payments.
The Company evaluates the realizability of its deferred tax assets on a quarterly basis and establishes valuation allowances when it is more likely than not that all or a portion of a deferred tax asset may not be realized. As of March 31, 2022, there were no material changes to the Company's valuation allowance and the Company's assessment of the realizability of its deferred tax assets.
Tax Receivable Agreement
In connection with the Reorganization Transactions and the IPO, the Company entered into the TRA, with Insignia, Senior Executives, and White Mountains. The Company expects to obtain an increase in its share of the tax basis in the net assets of QLH as Class B-1 units are exchanged for shares of Class A common stock (or, at the Company's election, redeemed for cash of an equivalent value). The Company intends to treat any redemptions and exchanges of Class B-1 units as direct purchases for U.S. federal income tax purposes. These increases in tax basis may reduce the amounts that it would otherwise pay in the future to various tax authorities.
The Exchanges resulted in an increase in the tax basis of the Company's investment in QLH subject to the provisions of the TRA. The Company recognized an additional liability in the amount of $0.3 million for the TRA-related payments, representing 85% of the aggregate tax benefits it expects to realize from the increases in tax basis related to the redemption of Class B-1 units, after concluding it was probable that such TRA payments would be paid based on management's estimates of future taxable income.
During the three months ended March 31, 2022, the Company paid $0.2 million pursuant to the TRA. As of March 31, 2022, the total amount of payments expected to be paid under the TRA was $84.6 million, of which $2.8 million was included in accrued expenses on the Company's consolidated balance sheets.
10. Earnings (Loss) Per Share
Three months ended
March 31,
(in thousands except share data and per share amount)20222021
Basic
Net (loss) income$(9,848)$161 
Less: net (loss) attributable to non-controlling interest(2,772)(124)
Net (loss) income available for basic common shares$(7,076)$285 
Weighted-average shares of Class A common stock outstanding - basic and diluted40,847,941 33,136,632 
(Loss) earnings per share of Class A common stock - basic$(0.17)$0.01 
17

(in thousands except share data and per share amount)Three Months Ended March 31, 2021
Diluted
Net income$161 
Add: incremental tax benefits related to exchange of Class B-units115 
Net income available for diluted common shares$276 
Weighted-average shares outstanding:
Class A common stock33,136,632 
Class B-1 units25,048,775 
Restricted Class A shares3,028,209 
Restricted stock units949,774 
Weighted-average shares of Class A common stock and potential Class A common stock62,163,390 
Earnings per share of Class A common stock - diluted$0.00 
The Company’s potentially dilutive securities were not included in the calculation of diluted loss per share for the three months ended March 31, 2022 as the effect would be anti-dilutive. The following table summarizes the shares and units with a potentially dilutive impact:
As of
March 31, 2022
QLH Class B-1 Units19,597,671 
Restricted Class A Shares416,725 
Restricted stock units6,659,182 
Potential dilutive shares26,673,578 
11.Non-Controlling Interest
In accordance with QLH’s limited liability company agreement, the Company allocates the share of net income (loss) to the holders of non-controlling interests pro-rata to their holdings at a point in time. The non-controlling interests balance represents the Class B-1 units, substantially all of which are held by Insignia and the Senior Executives. During the three months ended March 31, 2022, holders of Class B-1 units exchanged 60,197 Class B-1 units, together with an equal number of shares of Class B common stock, for shares of Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis.  
As of March 31, 2022, the holders of the non-controlling interests owned 31.8%, with the remaining 68.2% owned by MediaAlpha, Inc. As of December 31, 2021, the holders of the non-controlling interests owned 32.1%, with the remaining 67.9% owned by MediaAlpha, Inc.
12. Subsequent events
On February 24, 2022, the Company entered into the Asset Purchase Agreement (as amended, the “Agreement”) to acquire substantially all of the assets of Customer Helper Team, LLC ("CHT"), a provider of customer generation and acquisition services for Medicare insurance, automobile insurance, health insurance, life insurance, debt settlement, and credit repair companies. The Company closed the transaction on April 1, 2022. The purchase price for the acquisition was $50 million in cash at closing, adjusted for any working capital adjustments as set forth in the Agreement, plus up to an additional $20 million of contingent cash consideration based on CHT’s achievement of revenue and profitability targets over the next two years. The Company funded the transaction in part by drawing $25 million under the 2021 Revolving Credit Facility and the balance from cash on hand as of the closing. The transaction will be accounted for using the acquisition method of accounting in accordance with ASC Topic 805, Business Combinations. Given the close proximity between the transaction closing date and the filing of these consolidated financial statements, the preliminary purchase price allocation is not yet complete. Management expects to complete the initial accounting, including the purchase price allocation, during the second quarter of 2022.
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Item 2. Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read together with our unaudited consolidated financial statements and related notes included in Part I, Item 1 of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.
This discussion, particularly information with respect to our future results of operations or financial condition, business strategy and plans, and objectives of management for future operations, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties as described under the heading "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. You should review the disclosure under the heading "Risk Factors" in Part II, Item 1A of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for a discussion of important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements.
Management overview
Our mission is to help insurance carriers and distributors target and acquire customers more efficiently and at greater scale through technology and data science. Our technology platform brings together leading insurance carriers and high-intent consumers through a real-time, transparent, and results-driven ecosystem. We believe we are the largest online customer acquisition channel in our core verticals of property & casualty ("P&C") insurance, health insurance, and life insurance, supporting $926 million in Transaction Value across our platform over the the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2022.
We have multi-faceted relationships with top-tier insurance carriers and distributors. A buyer or a demand partner within our ecosystem is generally an insurance carrier or distributor seeking to reach high-intent insurance consumers. A seller or a supply partner is typically an insurance carrier looking to maximize the value of non-converting or low LTV consumers, or an insurance-focused research destination or other financial website looking to monetize high-intent users on their websites. For the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2022, the websites of our diversified group of supply partners and our proprietary websites drove an average of 8.2 million Consumer Referrals on our platform each month.
We generate revenue by earning a fee for each Consumer Referral sold on our platform. A transaction becomes payable upon a qualifying consumer action, such as a click, call or lead, and is not contingent on the sale of a product to the consumer.
We believe in the disruptive power of transparency. Traditionally, insurance customer acquisition platforms operated in a black box. We recognized that a consumer may be valued differently by one insurer versus another; therefore, insurers should be able to determine pricing granularly based on the value that a particular customer segment is expected to bring to their business. As a result, we developed a technology platform that powers an ecosystem where buyers and sellers can transact with full transparency, control, and confidence, aligning the interests of the parties participating on our platform.
We believe our technology is a key differentiator and a powerful driver of our performance. We maintain deep, custom integrations with partners representing the majority of our Transaction Value, which enable automated, data-driven processes that optimize our partners’ customer acquisition spend and revenue. Through our platform, our insurance carrier partners can target and price across over 35 separate consumer attributes to manage customized acquisition strategies.
Key factors affecting our business
Revenue
We believe that our future performance will depend on many factors, including those described below and in Part I, Item 1A "Risk Factors" in the 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Secular trends in the insurance industry
Our technology platform was created to serve and grow with our core insurance end markets. We believe secular trends in the insurance industry are critical drivers of our revenue and will continue to provide strong tailwinds for our business. More insurance consumers are shopping online and direct-to-consumer marketing, which fuels our revenue, is the fastest growing insurance distribution channel. In addition, insurance customer acquisition spending is growing over time. As mass-market customer acquisition spend is becoming more costly, insurance carriers and distributors are increasingly focusing on optimizing customer acquisition spend, which is at the core of the service we deliver on our platform. As long as these secular trends persist, we expect digital insurance customer acquisition spending to continue to grow over time, and we believe we are well-positioned to benefit from this growth.
19

Transaction Value
Transaction Value from Open Marketplace transactions is a direct driver of our revenue, while Transaction Value from Private Marketplace transactions is an indirect driver of our revenue (see “Key business and operating metrics” below). Transaction Value on our platform declined to $239.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022, from $262.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021 due primarily to a decrease in customer acquisition spending by P&C insurance carriers in response to reductions in underwriting profitability. We have developed multi-faceted, deeply integrated partnerships with insurance carriers and distributors, who are often both buyers and sellers on our platform. We believe the versatility and breadth of our offerings, coupled with our focus on high-quality products, provide significant value to insurance carriers and distributors, resulting in strong retention rates. As a result, many insurance carriers and distributors use our platform as their central hub for broadly managing digital customer acquisition and monetization. For the three months ended March 31, 2022, 99.0% of total insurance Transaction Value executed on our platform came from demand partner relationships from 2021.
Our demand and supply partners
We retain and attract demand partners by finding high-quality sources of Consumer Referrals to make available to our demand partners. We seek to develop, acquire and retain relationships with high-quality supply partners by developing flexible platforms to enable our supply partners to maximize their revenue, manage their demand side relationships in scalable and flexible ways and focus on long-term sustainable economics with respect to revenue share. Our relationships with our partners are deep and longstanding and involve most of the top-tier insurance carriers in the industry. In terms of buyers, during the three months ended March 31, 2022, 15 of the top 20 largest auto insurance carriers by customer acquisition spend were on our platform.
Consumer Referrals
Our results depend in large part on the number of Consumer Referrals purchased on our platform. The aggregate number of consumer clicks, calls and leads purchased by insurance buyers on our platform grew to 24.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022, from 24.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021. We seek to increase the number and scale of our supply relationships and drive consumers to our proprietary properties through a variety of paid traffic acquisition sources. We are investing in diversifying our paid media sources to extend beyond search engine marketing, which historically represented the bulk of our paid media spend, into other online media sources, including native, social, and display advertising.
Seasonality
Our results are subject to fluctuations as a result of seasonality. In particular, our property & casualty insurance vertical is typically characterized by seasonal strength in our quarters ending March 31 due to a greater supply of Consumer Referrals and higher customer acquisition budgets typically during the start of the year, and to seasonal weakness in our quarters ending December 31 due to a lower supply of Consumer Referrals available on a cost-effective basis and lower customer acquisition budgets from some buyers during those quarters. Our health insurance vertical is typically characterized by seasonal strength in our quarters ending December 31 due to open enrollment periods for health insurance and annual enrollment for Medicare during those quarters, with a material increase in consumer search volume for health products and a related increase in buyer customer acquisition budgets.
Other factors affecting our partners’ businesses include macro factors such as credit availability in the market, the strength of the economy and employment levels.
Cyclicality
Our results are also subject to fluctuations as a result of business cycles experienced by companies in the insurance industry. These cycles in the auto insurance industry are characterized by periods of “soft” market conditions, when carriers are profitable and are focused on increasing capacity and building market share, and “hard” market conditions, when carriers tend to raise prices and prioritize profitability over growth. As our demand partners in these industries go through these market cycles, they often increase their customer acquisition spending during soft markets and reduce it during hard markets, causing their relative demand for Consumer Referrals from our platform to increase and decrease accordingly. We believe that the auto insurance industry is currently in a "hard” market due to higher than expected underwriting losses, and that many P&C insurance carriers are reducing their customer acquisition spending until they can increase their premium rates, the timing of which is difficult to predict.
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Regulations
Our revenue and earnings may fluctuate from time to time as a result of federal, state, international and industry-based laws, directives and regulations and developing standards with respect to the enforcement of those regulations. Our business is affected directly because we operate websites, conduct telemarketing and email marketing and collect, process, store, share, disclose, transfer and use consumer information and other data. Our business is affected indirectly as our clients adjust their operations as a result of regulatory changes and enforcement activity within their industries. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act ("CCPA"), became effective on January 1, 2020, and number of other states, including Colorado and Virginia, have enacted or are considering similar laws, all of which may affect our business. While it is unclear how this new legislation may be modified or how certain provisions will be interpreted, the effects of this legislation are potentially significant, and may require us to modify our data processing practices and policies and incur substantial compliance-related costs and expenses. For a description of laws and regulations to which we are generally subject, see Item 1 “Business” and Item 1A “Risk Factors.” in our 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
In addition, we are impacted by the regulation of the insurance carriers with whom we do business. In most/all states, insurance carriers are required to obtain approval of their premium rates from the regulatory authority in such state. The timing of such approval process, as well as the willingness of insurance regulators to approve rate increases, can impact the profitability of new policies and the level of customer acquisition spending by carriers in a given period, which in turn can cause fluctuations in our revenue and earnings.
COVID-19
While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the physical working environment of the substantial majority of our workforce to working from home, it has otherwise caused only minor disruptions to our business operations with a limited impact on our operating results thus far. Our Travel vertical is largely driven by consumer spending on airfare, hotels, rentals and other travel products. As a result of COVID-19, we have experienced a dramatic decline in revenue from the Travel vertical and expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. For the three months ended March 31, 2022, 2021, and 2020, revenue from the Travel vertical comprised approximately 2.7%, 1.3%, and 7.5%, respectively, of our total revenue. While we have sought to maintain our commercial relationships in the Travel vertical and remain positioned to capitalize on transactions in the Travel vertical when travel activity resumes, we do not expect that revenue from the Travel vertical will match our historical results or have any material impact on our overall revenue or profitability for the foreseeable future. In addition, during the second half of 2021, supply chain disruptions and cost increases caused by the pandemic contributed to higher-than-expected property and casualty insurance claims costs, which has led many carriers to reduce their customer acquisition spending to preserve their profitability. These reductions continue to impact revenue from our P&C vertical, and the duration and extent of this impact are difficult to estimate beyond the second quarter of 2022.
Recent developments
On February 24, 2022, we agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Customer Helper Team, LLC ("CHT"), a provider of customer generation and acquisition services for Medicare insurance, automobile insurance, health insurance, life insurance, debt settlement, and credit repair companies on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Asset Purchase Agreement (as amended, the “Agreement”). We closed the transaction on April 1, 2022. We believe the acquisition is a good strategic fit with our long-term objectives and will increase our ability to generate Consumer Referrals on various social media and short form video platforms. The purchase price for the acquisition was $50 million in cash at closing, adjusted for any working capital adjustments as set forth in the Agreement, plus up to an additional $20 million of contingent cash consideration based on CHT’s achievement of revenue and profitability targets over the next two years. We funded the transaction in part by drawing $25 million under the 2021 Revolving Credit Facility and the balance from cash on hand as of the closing.
Key components of our results of operations
Revenue
We operate primarily in the P&C insurance, health insurance and life insurance verticals and generate revenue through the purchase and sale of Consumer Referrals.
The price and amount of Consumer Referrals purchased and sold on our platform vary based on a number of market conditions and consumer attributes, including (i) geographic location of consumers, (ii) demographic attributes of consumers, (iii) the source of Consumer Referrals and quality of conversion by source, (iv) buyer bids and (v) buyer demand and budget.
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In our Open Marketplace transactions, we have control over the Consumer Referrals that are sold to our demand partners. In these arrangements, we have separate agreements with demand partners and suppliers. Suppliers are not a party to the contractual arrangements with our demand partners, nor are the suppliers the beneficiaries of our demand partner agreements. We earn fees from our demand partners and separately pay (i) a revenue share to suppliers and (ii) a fee to internet search companies to drive consumers to our proprietary websites. We are the principal in the Open Marketplace transactions. As a result, the fees paid by demand partners are recognized as revenue and the fees paid to suppliers are included in cost of revenue.
With respect to our Private Marketplace transactions, buyers and suppliers contract with one another directly and leverage our platform to facilitate transparent, real-time transactions utilizing the reporting and analytical tools available to them from use of our platform. We charge a platform fee on the Consumer Referrals transacted. We act as an agent in the Private Marketplace transactions and recognize revenue for the platform fee received. There are no separate payments made by us to suppliers in our Private Marketplace.
Costs and operating expenses
Costs and operating expenses consist primarily of cost of revenue, sales and marketing expenses, product expenses and general and administrative expenses.
Cost of revenue
Our cost of revenue is comprised primarily of revenue share payments to suppliers and traffic acquisition costs paid to top tier search engines, as well as telephony infrastructure costs, internet and hosting costs, and merchant fees, and include salaries, wages and benefits, including non-cash equity-based compensation, and other expenses.
Sales and marketing
Sales and marketing expenses consist primarily of an allocation of personnel expenses for employees engaged in demand side and supply side business development, marketing and media acquisition activities, and include salaries, wages and benefits, including non-cash equity-based compensation. Sales and marketing expenses also include costs related to attracting partners to our platform, including marketing and promotions, tradeshows and related travel and entertainment expenses. Sales and marketing expenses also include an allocated portion of rent and facilities expenses and depreciation and amortization expense.
Product development
Product development expenses consist primarily of an allocation of personnel expenses for employees engaged in technology, engineering and product development and include salaries, wages and benefits, including non-cash equity-based compensation. Product development expenses also include an allocated portion of rent and facilities expenses and depreciation and amortization expense.
General and administrative
General and administrative expenses consist primarily of an allocation of personnel expenses for executive, finance, legal, human resources, and business analytics employees, and include salaries, wages and benefits, including non-cash equity-based compensation. General and administrative expenses also include professional services and an allocated portion of rent and facilities expenses and depreciation expense.
Interest expense
Interest expense consists primarily of interest expense associated with outstanding borrowings under our loan and security agreements and the amortization of deferred financing costs associated with these arrangements.
Provision for income taxes
MediaAlpha, Inc. is taxed as a corporation and pays corporate federal, state and local taxes on income allocated to it from QLH based upon MediaAlpha, Inc.’s economic interest held in QLH. QLH is treated as a pass-through partnership for income tax reporting purposes and is not subject to federal income tax. Instead, QLH’s taxable income or loss is passed through
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to its members, including MediaAlpha, Inc. As our ownership interest in QLH increases, our share of the taxable income (loss) of QLH also increases. As of March 31, 2022, our ownership interest in QLH was 68.2%.
Net income (loss) attributable to Non-controlling interest
Net income (loss) is attributed to non-controlling interests in accordance with QLH’s limited liability company agreement. We allocate the share of net income (loss) incurred subsequent to the Reorganization Transactions to the non-controlling interest holders pro-rata to their holdings. The non-controlling interests balance represents the Class B-1 units, substantially all of which are held by Insignia and the Senior Executives.
Operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021
The following table sets forth our operating results in absolute dollars and as a percentage of revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021:
Three months ended
March 31,
(in thousands)20222021
Revenue$142,599 100.0 %$173,588 100.0 %
Costs and operating expenses
Cost of revenue120,881 84.8 %147,180 84.8 %
Sales and marketing7,223 5.1 %5,391 3.1 %
Product development5,216 3.7 %3,320 1.9 %
General and administrative17,148 12.0 %15,749 9.1 %
Total costs and operating expenses150,468 105.5 %171,640 98.9 %
(Loss) income from operations(7,869)(5.5)%1,948 1.1 %
Other (income), net(523)(0.4)%(150)(0.1)%
Interest expense1,359 1.0 %2,301 1.3 %
Total other expense, net836 0.6 %2,151 1.2 %
(Loss) before income taxes(8,705)(6.1)%(203)(0.1)%
Income tax expense (benefit)1,143 0.8 %(364)(0.2)%
Net (loss) income$(9,848)(6.9)%$161 0.1 %
Net (loss) attributable to non-controlling interest(2,772)(1.9)%(124)(0.1)%
Net (loss) income attributable to MediaAlpha, Inc.$(7,076)(5.0)%$285 0.2 %
Net (loss) income per share of Class A common stock
-Basic$(0.17)$0.01 
-Diluted$(0.17)$0.00 
Weighted average shares of Class A common stock outstanding
-Basic40,847,941 33,136,632 
-Diluted40,847,941 62,163,390 
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Revenue
The following table presents our revenue, disaggregated by vertical, for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the dollar and percentage changes between the two periods:
(dollars in thousands)Three Months Ended
March 31, 2022
$%Three Months Ended
March 31, 2021
Property & Casualty insurance$87,454 $(38,087)(30.3)%$125,541 
Percentage of total revenue61.3 %72.3 %
Health insurance42,109 6,213 17.3 %$35,896 
Percentage of total revenue29.5 %20.7 %
Life insurance7,067 (886)(11.1)%$7,953 
Percentage of total revenue5.0 %4.6 %
Other5,969 1,771 42.2 %$4,198 
Percentage of total revenue4.2 %2.4 %
Revenue$142,599 (30,989)(17.9)%$173,588 
The decrease in P&C insurance revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was due to a decrease in customer acquisition spending by certain insurance carriers to address profitability concerns caused by higher-than-expected automobile repair and replacement costs and overall inflationary pressures and certain carriers and supply partners shifting their transactions with each other from our Open Marketplace to our Private Marketplace due to lower platform fees for our Private Marketplace, which transact on a net revenue basis . The auto insurance industry began to experience a cyclical downturn in the second half of 2021, with many P&C carriers experiencing lower than expected underwriting profitability, leading them to reduce marketing budget allocations to our channel. We are currently unable to predict the duration of this cyclical downturn or its impact on our revenue from the P&C insurance vertical, or our profitability, beyond the second quarter of 2022.
The increase in health insurance revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was driven by increased customer acquisition spending in our marketplaces by health insurance carriers and brokers, as well as by an increased supply of customer referrals to our marketplaces by our supply partners and our proprietary websites due to the increased demand. Additionally, the Open and Annual Enrollment periods for fiscal 2021, which typically end by December 15th, were extended until January 15, 2022, resulting in increased revenue from our health insurance vertical during the current quarter.
The decrease in life insurance revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was driven by a decrease in customer shopping for life insurance as concerns related to COVID-19 eased.
The increase in other revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was driven primarily by an increase in travel comparison shopping, due to the easing of concerns related to COVID-19, as well as higher activity levels from our consumer finance supply and demand partners due to the continued strength in the mortgage and refinance market.
Cost of revenue
The following table presents our cost of revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the dollar and percentage changes between the two periods:
(dollars in thousands)Three Months Ended
March 31, 2022
$%Three Months Ended
March 31, 2021
Cost of revenue$120,881 $(26,299)(17.9)%$147,180 
Percentage of revenue84.8 %84.8 %
The decrease in cost of revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was driven by the overall decrease in revenue.
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Sales and marketing
The following table presents our sales and marketing expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the dollar and percentage changes between the two periods:
(dollars in thousands)Three Months Ended
March 31, 2022
$%Three Months Ended
March 31, 2021
Sales and marketing$7,223 $1,832 34.0 %$5,391 
Percentage of revenue5.1 %3.1 %
The increase in sales and marketing expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was due primarily to higher equity-based compensation expense of $1.0 million and an increase in personnel-related costs of $0.8 million resulting from planned headcount additions.
Product development
The following table presents our product development expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the dollar and percentage changes between the two periods:
(dollars in thousands)Three Months Ended
March 31, 2022
$%Three Months Ended
March 31, 2021
Product development$5,216 $1,896 57.1 %$3,320 
Percentage of revenue3.7 %1.9 %
The increase in product development expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was due primarily to higher equity-based compensation expense of $0.9 million and an increase in personnel-related costs of $0.8 million resulting from planned headcount additions to continue to enhance our technology.
General and administrative
The following table presents our general and administrative expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the dollar and percentage changes between the two periods:
(dollars in thousands)Three Months Ended
March 31, 2022
$%Three Months Ended
March 31, 2021
General and administrative$17,148 $1,399 8.9 %$15,749 
Percentage of revenue12.0 %9.1 %
The increase in general and administrative expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was due primarily to higher equity-based compensation expense of $1.3 million and an increase in personnel-related costs of $0.7 million resulting from planned headcount additions, offset in part by lower legal and professional fees.
Equity-based compensation
The following table presents our equity-based compensation expense that was included in costs and operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the dollar and percentage changes between the two periods:
(dollars in thousands)Three Months Ended
March 31, 2022
$%Three Months Ended
March 31, 2021
Cost of revenue$398 $(2)(0.5)%$400 
Sales and marketing2,705 1,003 58.9 %1,702 
Product development2,249 917 68.8 %1,332 
General and administrative8,421 1,253 17.5 %7,168 
Total$13,773 $3,171 29.9 %$10,602 
The increase in equity-based compensation expense for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was driven primarily by expenses related to additional restricted stock units granted during 2021.
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Amortization
The following table presents our amortization of intangible asset expense that was included in costs and operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the dollar and percentage changes between the two periods:
(dollars in thousands)Three Months Ended
March 31, 2022
$%Three Months Ended
March 31, 2021
Sales and Marketing$683 $(63)(8.4)%$746 
The decrease in amortization expense for the three months ended March 31, 2022 compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021 was not material.
Other (income), net
The following table presents our other income for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the dollar and percentage changes between the two periods:
(dollars in thousands)Three Months Ended
March 31, 2022
$%Three Months Ended
March 31, 2021
Other (income), net$(523)$(373)248.7 %$(150)
Percentage of revenue(0.4)%(0.1)%
The increase in other income for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was driven primarily by estimated future state tax benefits adjustments related to the tax receivables agreement ("TRA").
Interest expense
The following table presents our interest expense for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the dollar and percentage changes between the two periods:
(dollars in thousands)Three Months Ended
March 31, 2022
$%Three Months Ended
March 31, 2021
Interest expense$1,359 $(942)(40.9)%$2,301 
Percentage of revenue1.0 %1.3 %
The decrease in interest expense for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared with the three months ended March 31, 2021, was driven by a lower interest rate on the 2021 Credit Facility resulting from the refinancing of our 2020 Credit Facilities on July 29, 2021.
Income tax expense (benefit)
The following table presents our income tax expense for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the dollar and percentage changes between the two periods:
(dollars in thousands)Three Months Ended
March 31, 2022
$%Three Months Ended
March 31, 2021
Income tax expense (benefit)$1,143 $1,507 (414.0)%$(364)
Percentage of revenue0.8 %(0.2)%
For the three months ended March 31, 2022, we recorded an income tax expense of $1.1 million resulting from our effective tax rate of (13.1)%, which differed from the U.S. federal statutory rate of 21%, due primarily to nondeductible equity-based compensation, losses associated with non-controlling interests not taxable to us, state taxes, and other nondeductible permanent items. For the three months ended March 31, 2021, we recorded an income tax benefit of $0.4 million resulting from our effective tax rate of 179.3% which differed from the U.S. federal statutory rate of 21%, primarily due to nondeductible equity-based compensation, state taxes, income not taxable to us associated with the non-controlling interest, nondeductible transaction costs associated with the secondary offering and the impact of tax benefits associated with equity-based awards.
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Key business and operating metrics
In addition to traditional financial metrics, we rely upon certain business and operating metrics that are not presented in accordance with GAAP to estimate the volume of spending on our platform, estimate and recognize revenue, evaluate our business performance and facilitate our operations. Such business and operating metrics should not be considered in isolation from, or as an alternative to, measures presented in accordance with GAAP and should be considered together with other operating and financial performance measures presented in accordance with GAAP. Also, such business and operating metrics may not necessarily be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies.
Adjusted EBITDA
We define “Adjusted EBITDA” as net income excluding interest expense, income tax benefit (expense), depreciation expense on property and equipment, amortization of intangible assets, as well as equity-based compensation expense and certain other adjustments as listed in the table below. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure that we present to supplement the financial information we present on a GAAP basis. We monitor and present Adjusted EBITDA because it is a key measure used by our management to understand and evaluate our operating performance, to establish budgets and to develop operational goals for managing our business. We believe that Adjusted EBITDA helps identify underlying trends in our business that could otherwise be masked by the effect of the expenses that we exclude in the calculations of Adjusted EBITDA. Accordingly, we believe that Adjusted EBITDA provides useful information to investors and others in understanding and evaluating our operating results, enhancing the overall understanding of our past performance and future prospects. In addition, presenting Adjusted EBITDA provides investors with a metric to evaluate the capital efficiency of our business.
Adjusted EBITDA is not presented in accordance with GAAP and should not be considered in isolation of, or as an alternative to, measures presented in accordance with GAAP. There are a number of limitations related to the use of Adjusted EBITDA rather than net income, which is the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. These limitations include the fact that Adjusted EBITDA excludes interest expense on debt, income tax benefit (expense), equity-based compensation expense, depreciation and amortization, and certain other adjustments that we consider useful information to investors and others in understanding and evaluating our operating results. In addition, other companies may use other measures to evaluate their performance, including different definitions of “Adjusted EBITDA,” which could reduce the usefulness of our Adjusted EBITDA as a tool for comparison.
The following table reconciles Adjusted EBITDA with net income (loss), the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021.
Three months ended
March 31,
(in thousands)20222021
Net (loss) income$(9,848)$161 
Equity-based compensation expense13,773 10,602 
Interest expense1,359 2,301 
Income tax expense (benefit)1,143 (364)
Depreciation expense on property and equipment98 82 
Amortization of intangible assets683 746 
Transaction expenses(1)
380 2,665 
Employee-related costs(2)
— 250 
SOX implementation costs(3)
110