Company Quick10K Filing
Twilio
Price99.93 EPS-2
Shares140 P/E-45
MCap13,962 P/FCF994
Net Debt-1,395 EBIT-362
TEV12,567 TEV/EBIT-35
TTM 2019-12-31, in MM, except price, ratios
10-K 2020-12-31 Filed 2021-02-26
10-Q 2020-09-30 Filed 2020-10-29
10-Q 2020-06-30 Filed 2020-08-04
10-Q 2020-03-31 Filed 2020-05-07
10-K 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-03-02
10-Q 2019-09-30 Filed 2019-10-31
10-Q 2019-06-30 Filed 2019-08-02
10-Q 2019-03-31 Filed 2019-05-09
10-K 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-03-01
10-Q 2018-09-30 Filed 2018-11-08
10-Q 2018-06-30 Filed 2018-08-08
10-Q 2018-03-31 Filed 2018-05-10
10-K 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-03-01
10-Q 2017-09-30 Filed 2017-11-14
10-Q 2017-06-30 Filed 2017-08-11
10-Q 2017-03-31 Filed 2017-05-10
10-K 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-02-22
10-Q 2016-09-30 Filed 2016-11-07
10-Q 2016-06-30 Filed 2016-08-09
8-K 2020-11-02
8-K 2020-10-26
8-K 2020-10-12
8-K 2020-10-01
8-K 2020-08-06
8-K 2020-08-05
8-K 2020-08-04
8-K 2020-06-03
8-K 2020-05-06
8-K 2020-02-05
8-K 2019-10-30
8-K 2019-07-31
8-K 2019-06-19
8-K 2019-06-18
8-K 2019-05-30
8-K 2019-05-29
8-K 2019-04-30
8-K 2019-02-12
8-K 2019-02-01
8-K 2019-01-30
8-K 2018-11-20
8-K 2018-11-09
8-K 2018-11-06
8-K 2018-10-24
8-K 2018-10-15
8-K 2018-08-06
8-K 2018-06-14
8-K 2018-05-30
8-K 2018-05-14
8-K 2018-05-14
8-K 2018-05-08
8-K 2018-02-13

TWLO 10K Annual Report

Part I
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial and Other Data
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary
EX-4.5 twlo-2020x1231ex45descript.htm
EX-10.1 twlo-20201231ex101formofin.htm
EX-10.2 twlo-20201231ex102twilio20.htm
EX-10.3 twlo-2020x1231ex1032016sto.htm
EX-10.5 twlo-2020x1231ex105segment.htm
EX-10.6 twlo20201231ex106-sendgrid.htm
EX-10.7 twlo20201231ex107-twilioxs.htm
EX-21.1 twlo-20201231ex211subidiar.htm
EX-23.1 twlo-2020x1231ex231kpmgcon.htm
EX-31.1 twlo-20201231xex311.htm
EX-31.2 twlo-20201231ex312.htm
EX-32.1 twlo-20201231xex321.htm

Twilio Earnings 2020-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow
10.08.06.04.02.00.02014201620182021
Assets, Equity
0.40.30.20.10.0-0.12014201620182021
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
1.00.60.2-0.1-0.5-0.92014201620182021
Ops, Inv, Fin

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
_____________________________________________
FORM 10-K
_____________________________________________
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
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: 001-37806
_____________________________________________
twlo-20201231_g1.jpg
TWILIO INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
_____________________________________________
Delaware26-2574840
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)
101 Spear Street, First Floor
San Francisco, California 94105
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(415) 390-2337
(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, par value $0.001 per shareTWLOThe New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
____________________________________________

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act: Yes    No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act: Yes ☐  No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes x  No o
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 x  No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company
  Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.    o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes   No x
The aggregate market value of stock held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2020 (the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second quarter) was $20.8 billion based upon $219.4 per share, the closing price on June 30, 2020 on the New York Stock Exchange. Determination of stock ownership by non-affiliates was made solely for the purpose of responding to this requirement and the registrant is not bound by this determination for any other purpose.
On February 23, 2021, 160,030,533 shares of the registrant’s Class A common stock and 10,447,302 shares of registrant’s Class B common stock were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant's definitive Proxy Statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated herein by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent stated herein. Such Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant's fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.




TWILIO INC.
Annual Report on Form 10-K
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
PART I
PART II
PART III
PART IV

1



Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), which statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or our future financial or operating performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “may,” “can,” “will,” “would,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “forecasts,” “potential,” or “continue” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations, strategy, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include, but are not limited to, statements about:
the impact of the coronavirus disease of 2019 ("COVID-19") pandemic on the global economy, our customers, employees and business;
our future financial performance, including our revenue, cost of revenue, gross margin and operating expenses, ability to generate positive cash flow and ability to achieve and sustain profitability;
anticipated technology trends, such as the use of and demand for cloud communications;
our ability to continue to build and maintain credibility with the global software developer community;
our ability to attract and retain customers to use our products;
the evolution of technology affecting our products and markets;
our ability to introduce new products and enhance existing products;
our ability to comply with modified or new industry standards, laws and regulations applying to our business, including the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the Schrems II decision invalidating the EU-US Privacy Shield, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 ("CCPA") and other privacy regulations that may be implemented in the future, and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs ("SHAKEN") and Secure Telephone Identity Revisited ("STIR") standards (together, "SHAKEN/STIR") and other robocalling prevention and anti-spam standards and increased costs associated with such compliance;
our ability to optimize our network service provider coverage and connectivity;
our ability to manage changes in network service provider fees that we pay in connection with the delivery of communications on our platform;
our ability to work closely with email inbox service providers to maintain deliverability rates;
our ability to pass on our savings associated with our platform optimization efforts to our customers;
the impact and expected results from changes in our relationship with our larger customers;
our ability to attract and retain enterprises and international organizations as customers for our products;
our ability to form and expand partnerships with technology partners and consulting partners;
our ability to successfully enter into new markets and manage our international expansion;
the attraction and retention of qualified employees and key personnel;
our ability to effectively manage our growth and future expenses and maintain our corporate culture;
our ability to compete effectively in an intensely competitive market;
the sufficiency of our cash and cash equivalents to meet our liquidity needs;
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our anticipated investments in sales and marketing, research and development and additional systems and processes to support our growth;
our ability to maintain, protect and enhance our intellectual property;
our ability to successfully defend litigation brought against us;
our ability to service the interest on our convertible notes and repay such notes, to the extent required;
our customers' and other platform users' violation of our policies or other misuse of our platform;
our expectations about the impact of natural disasters and public health epidemics, such as COVID-19 on our business, results of operations and financial condition and on our customers, employees, vendors and partners; and
our ability to successfully integrate and realize the benefits of our past or future strategic acquisitions or investments, including our acquisitions of Segment.io, Inc. (“Segment”) and SendGrid, Inc. ("SendGrid").
We caution you that the foregoing list may not contain all of the forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors described in “Summary of Risk Factors and Uncertainties Associated with Our Business” below, in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors”, and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We cannot assure you that the results, events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur, and actual results, events or circumstances could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.
The forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures or investments we may make.
Summary of Risk Factors and Uncertainties Associated with Our Business
Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties outside of our control. One, or a combination, of these risks and uncertainties could materially affect any of those matters as to which we have made forward-looking statements and cause our actual results or an actual event or occurrence to differ materially from those results or an event or occurrence described in a forward-looking statement. Some of the principal risks associated with our business include the following:
impact of global COVID-19 pandemic;
new and unproven market for our products and platform;
our rapid growth and ability to effectively manage our growth;
fluctuations in our quarterly results and our ability to meet securities analysts’ and investors’ expectations;
our ability to maintain and enhance our brand and increase market awareness of our company and products;
limitations on the use and adoption of our solutions due to privacy laws, data collection and transfer restrictions and related domestic or foreign regulations;
any loss of customers or decline in their use of our products;
our ability to attract new customers in a cost-effective manner;
our ability to develop enhancements to our products and introduce new products that achieve market acceptance;
our ability to compete effectively in the market in which we participate;
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our history of losses and uncertainty about our future profitability;
our ability to increase adoption of our products by enterprises;
our ability to expand our relationships with existing technology partner customers and add new technology partner customers;
significant risks associated with expansion of our international operations;
compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
telecommunications-related regulations and future legislative or regulatory actions;
our ability to obtain or retain geographical, mobile, regional, local or toll-free numbers and to effectively process requests to port such numbers in a timely manner due to industry regulations;
our ability to adapt and respond effectively to rapidly changing technology, evolving industry standards, changing regulations, and changing customer needs, requirements or preferences;
our ability to provide monthly uptime service level commitments of up to 99.95% under our agreements with customers;
any breaches of our networks or systems, or those of AWS or our service providers;
defects or errors in our products;
any loss or decline in revenue from our largest customers;
litigation by third parties for alleged infringement of their proprietary rights;
exposure to substantial liability for intellectual property infringement and other losses from indemnity provisions in various agreements;
our ability to integrate acquired businesses and technologies successfully or achieve the expected benefits of such acquisitions;
the loss of our senior management and other key employees;
our use of open source software;
our reliance on SaaS technologies from third parties;
potentially adverse tax consequences on our global operations and structure
excessive credit card or fraudulent activity;
unfavorable conditions in our industry or the global economy;
requirement of additional capital to support our business and its availability on acceptable terms, if at all;
exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations;
our ability to use our net operating losses to offset future taxable income;
our failure to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting;
the risks of pandemics, earthquakes, fire, floods and other natural catastrophic events and to interruption by man-made problems such as power disruptions, computer viruses, data security breaches or terrorism;
volatility of the trading price of our Class A common stock;
potential decline in the market price of our Class A common stock due to substantial future sales of shares;
requirement of a significant amount of cash to service our future debt; and,
our ability to raise the funds necessary for cash settlement upon conversion of the Notes or to repurchase the Notes for cash.
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PART I
Item 1. Business
Overview
Software developers are reinventing nearly every aspect of business today. Yet as developers, we repeatedly encountered an area where we could not innovate—communications. Because communication is a fundamental human activity and vital to building great businesses, we wanted to incorporate communications into our software applications, but the barriers to innovation were too high. Twilio was started to solve this problem in 2008.
Twilio spent the last 12 years building the leading cloud communication platform, but communications is just the beginning. Twilio's vision is to be the leading customer engagement platform, ultimately providing businesses with the holy grail—a single view of the customer journey. We believe the future of customer engagement will be written in software, by the developers of the world—our customers.
Cloud platforms are a category of software that enable developers to build and manage applications without the complexity of creating and maintaining the underlying infrastructure. These platforms have arisen to enable a fast pace of innovation across a range of categories, such as computing and storage. We are the leader in the cloud communications platform category. We enable developers to build, scale and operate real-time customer engagement within software applications.
We offer a customer engagement platform with software designed to address specific use cases, like account security and contact centers, and a set of Application Programming Interfaces ("APIs") that handles the higher-level communication logic needed for nearly every type of customer engagement. These APIs are focused on the business challenges that a developer is looking to address, allowing our customers to more quickly and easily build better ways to engage with their customers throughout their journey. We also offer a set of APIs that enable developers to embed voice, messaging, video and email capabilities into their applications, and are designed to support almost all the fundamental ways humans communicate, unlocking innovators to address just about any communication market. The Super Network is our software layer that allows our customers' software to communicate with connected devices globally. It interconnects with communications networks and inbox service providers around the world and continually analyzes data to optimize the quality and cost of communications that flow through our platform. The Super Network also contains a set of APIs giving our customers access to more foundational components of our platform, like phone numbers.
In February 2019 we acquired SendGrid, Inc. ("SendGrid"), the leading email API platform. Email is an important channel for businesses to communicate with their customers. Incorporating SendGrid's products into our platform allows us to enable businesses to engage with their customers via email effectively and at scale.
In November 2020 we acquired Segment io, Inc. ("Segment"), the market-leading customer data platform. Segment provides businesses a unified customer view to better understand their customers and engage more effectively. The acquisition expands and strengthens use cases across customer service, marketing, sales, product and analytics and accelerates Twilio’s journey to build the world’s leading customer engagement platform.
We had over 221,000 Active Customer Accounts as of December 31, 2020, representing organizations big and small, old and young, across nearly every industry, with one thing in common: they are competing by using the power of software to build differentiated customer engagement experiences. With our customer engagement platform, our customers are disrupting existing industries and creating new ones. For example, our customers' software applications use our platform to notify a diner when a table is ready, provide enhanced application security through two-factor authentication, connect potential buyers to real estate agents, and power large, omni-channel contact centers. The range of applications that developers build with the Twilio platform has proven to be nearly limitless.
Our goal is for Twilio to be in the toolkit of every software developer in the world. Because big ideas often start small, we encourage developers to experiment and iterate on our platform. We love when developers explore what they can do with Twilio, because one day they may have a business problem that they will use our products to solve.
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As our customers succeed, we share in their success primarily through our usage-based revenue model. Our revenue grows as customers increase their usage of a product, extend their usage of a product to new applications or adopt a new product. We believe the most useful indicator of this increased activity from our existing customer accounts is our Dollar-Based Net Expansion Rate, which for historical periods through December 31, 2019, compares the revenue from a cohort of Active Customer Accounts, other than Variable Customer Accounts, in a period to the same period in the prior year. As previously announced in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 2, 2020, commencing with the three-month period ended March 31, 2020, we calculate our Dollar-Based Net Expansion Rate by comparing total revenue from a cohort of Active Customer Accounts in a period to the same period in the prior year (the "New DBNE Definition"). Under the new DBNE Definition, our Dollar-Based Net Expansion Rate was 137% and 135% for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. See Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Business Metrics—Dollar-Based Net Expansion Rate."
Our Platform Approach
Twilio's mission is to be the leading customer engagement platform. We enable developers to build, scale and operate real-time communications within software applications, ultimately empowering every developer and company to improve their interactions with their customers through software. We believe that by giving developers the power to build with software at every level of their business we enable businesses to create novel and creative new consumer experiences that delight their customers and enable them to differentiate from their competitors.
Our platform approach enables developers to build this future. Using our software, developers are able to incorporate communications into applications that span a range of industries and functionalities. Our technology partner customers also embed our products in solutions they sell to other businesses.
Part of our core strategy is to provide a broad set of lower-level building blocks that can be used to build practically any digital experience. By doing this, we allow developers' creativity to flourish across the widest set of use cases—some of which have not even been invented yet.
What are some of the common customer problems we are solving?
Contact Center. Twilio gives companies complete control and flexibility to rapidly deploy remote agents, digital channels, self-service and integrations for lower costs and higher productivity.
Alerts & Notifications. From delivery notifications to critical emergency alerts, Twilio provides the building blocks to develop critical communications across short message service ("SMS"), voice and email channels.
User Verification. Customers can use a globally optimized multi-channel user verification solution to combat fraud, reduce fake user sign-ups and authorize sensitive account actions.
Field services & contactless delivery. Our customers can use Twilio Conversations to ensure privacy with masked communications, provide granular session control over user permissions, session duration and roles and keep private information private.
Customer Loyalty. Customers can send reminders about reward programs through email or SMS to drive repeat purchases through loyalty incentives.
Twilio For Good. Twilio partners with nonprofit organizations through Twilio.org, our social impact division, to use the power of communications to help solve social challenges, such as an SMS hotline to fight human trafficking, an emergency volunteer dispatch system, appointment reminders for medical visits in developing nations and more.
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Our Platform
Segment Customer Data Platform
Our acquisition of Segment added the leading customer data platform to Twilio's platform. While every business needs a complete view of their customers, data is typically siloed across many disparate systems. Segment's platform and APIs allow companies to collect, clean and control their customer data, providing a single view of customers across channels for more effective engagement. This insight enables businesses to delight their customers with personalized, timely and impactful communications on the right channel at the right time. The Segment platform includes:
Connections. Collect event data from mobile apps, websites and servers with one API, then pull in contextual data from cloud-based apps like customer relationship management (“CRM”), payment systems and internal databases to build a unified picture of the customer.

Personas. Use identity resolutions to take event data from across devices and channels, merge the data together, and create unified customer profiles to build and enrich audiences, and activate audiences across marketing tools with a single view of the customer.

Privacy. Comply with laws and regulations, such as General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 ("CCPA"), using Segment’s privacy tools.

Protocols. Standardize data collection to create a single source of truth for customer data that is clean, consistent, and compliant, and adheres to a well thought out tracking plan.
Channel APIs
Our Channel APIs consist of software products that can be used individually or in combination to build rich contextual communications within applications. We do not aim to provide complete business solutions, rather to offer flexible building blocks that enable our customers to build what they need. Our easy-to-use developer APIs provide a programmatic channel to access our software. Developers can utilize our intuitive programming language, TwiML, to specify application functions, such as <Dial>, <Record> and <Play>, leveraging our software to manage the complexity of executing the specified functions. Our Channel APIs include:
Messaging
Twilio Programmable Messaging is an API to send and receive SMS, multimedia message service ("MMS") and over-the-top ("OTT") (WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) messages globally. It uses intelligent sending features to ensure messages reliably reach end users wherever they are. Our customers build use cases, such as appointment reminders, delivery notifications, order confirmations and customer care. Programmable Messaging includes:
SMS. Programmatically send and receive SMS messages around the world, supporting localized languages in nearly every market. This includes support for the new 10-digit long code routes in the United States ("U.S.").
MMS. Exchange picture messages and more over U.S. and Canadian phone numbers from customer applications with built-in image transcoding and media storage.
Toll-Free SMS. Send and receive text messages with the same toll-free number used for voice calls in the U.S. and Canada.
High-Throughput Toll-Free SMS. Starting at 25 messages per second, High-Throughput Toll Free SMS lets you send and receive a higher volume of messages with the same toll-free number used for voice calls in the U.S. and Canada.
OTT channels. Programmatically send, receive and track messages to messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger globally.
We charge on a per-message basis for most of our Programmable Messaging products.

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Voice
Twilio Programmable Voice allows developers to build solutions to make and receive phone calls globally. They can make, manage and route calls to a browser, an app, a phone or anywhere else one can take a call. Developers can also incorporate advanced voice functionality such as text-to-speech, conferencing, recording and transcription. Through advanced call control software, developers can build customized applications that address use cases such as contact centers, call tracking and analytics solutions and anonymized communications. Our voice software works over both the traditional public switched telephone network ("PSTN") and over Internet Protocol ("VoIP"). Programmable Voice includes:
Twilio Voice. Initiate, receive and manage phone calls globally, end to end through traditional voice technology or between web browsers and landlines or mobile phones.
Call Recording. Securely record, store, transcribe and retrieve voice calls in the cloud.
Global Conference. Integrate audio conferencing that intelligently routes calls through cloud data centers in the closest geographic region to reduce latency.
Voice Insights. Call quality and performance data at your fingertips. Beyond details of a single call, every account on Twilio has access to the Voice Insights Dashboard, a powerful tool in Twilio Console that provides out-of-the-box visibility to key performance indicators and data to understand changes in call behavior.
Media Streams. Allows for real-time access to the raw audio stream of your phone calls. Through Media Streams you can fork the media of a phone call in real-time, effectively creating a copy of the initial audio stream that can be routed to your own application or to a third party to power advanced capabilities of your choosing.
SHAKEN/STIR. Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs ("SHAKEN") and Secure Telephone Identity Revisited ("STIR") standards (together, "SHAKEN/STIR") is a protocol mandated by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") to combat the rise in unwanted robocalls and unlawful caller ID spoofing. When adopted, carriers can present a trust indicator, like “Caller Verified”, to recipients’ phones. SHAKEN/STIR is free to all Twilio customers and allows them to increase answer rates for their calls by giving their calls the highest attestation under the SHAKEN and STIR caller authentication framework.
Programmable Voice Session Initiation Protocol ("SIP") Interfaces. Enables voice infrastructure to be augmented with cloud capabilities.
Emergency Calling. Twilio’s Emergency Calling for SIP API enables emergency call routing to Public Safety Answering Points ("PSAPs") in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom ("UK").
Bring Your Own Carrier Trunking ("BYOC"). Enables connection of customer’s PSTN carrier to Twilio’s programmable platform.
Email
The Twilio SendGrid Email API solves email delivery challenges at scale and ensures our customers’ email program lives up to their product experience. Our Email API provides the flexibility for our customers to build customized solutions, as well as helpful shortcuts to streamline integration and optimize their inbox placement. Businesses use our email products for both marketing messages as well as transactional emails, including shipping notifications, friend requests, password resets and sign-up confirmations. Twilio SendGrid Email API includes:
Integrations. Businesses can integrate our email API with multiple leading development frameworks and client libraries, including Node.js, Ruby, Python, Go, Hypertext Preprocessor, Java and C#.
Internet Protocol (“IP”) Management. Domains and links can be customized, whether sending from shared IP address pools or from a dedicated IP address, to improve reputation management and delivery.
Deliverability. Our real-time email address validation API checks email address legitimacy before sending to improve deliverability.
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Sender Authentication. Our custom Sender Policy Framework and DomainKeys Identified Mail record creation is designed to eliminate domain spoofing and phishing.
Mobile support. Our deep linking functionality enables email engagement for mobile apps.
Security. Our two-factor authentication, API key permissions and Event Webhook Security helps enable secure management of our Email API by our customers.
Conversations
Twilio Conversations is a unified conversational API that is pre-integrated with SMS, MMS, WhatsApp and Chat and supports cross-channel, multiparty conversations. It includes software that support groups, cross-channel orchestration and conversation durations. This extends the functionality of our Messaging channels and enables developers to use one API regardless of the channel their end-users support.
Video
Programmable Video provides developers with the building blocks to add voice and video to web and mobile applications. Developers can address multiple use cases such as video consultations, telemedicine, distance learning, recruiting, social networking and more by using Programmable Video’s global cloud infrastructure to build on WebRTC. They can use our JavaScript, iOS or Android SDKs, quickstarts and open source sample code to launch applications in minutes, then customize them to meet the unique needs of their use case.
Solutions
As we observe the customer use cases that are most common and the workflows our customers find most challenging, we create Solutions. We bring these Solutions to a broader audience, including non-technical customers, in the form of higher level APIs. These solutions are built on top of our Channel APIs to offer more fully implemented functionality for a specific purpose, such as contact center or two-factor authentication. This saves developers significant time in building their applications. The higher level APIs in this layer of our platform are focused on addressing a massive opportunity to recreate and modernize the field of customer engagement. We charge on a per-seat or per-use basis for our Solutions, which include:
Contact Center
Businesses must continually adapt to stay ahead of customers’ changing expectations. Twilio Flex is the industry’s only fully programmable contact center platform that allows companies to deploy a broad array of customer engagement channels while providing the tools to easily create, change or extend any part of their custom solution. Twilio Flex enables businesses to rapidly deploy tailored cloud contact centers free from the limitations of software-as-a-service ("SaaS") applications.
User Verification
Online fraud has exploded from a minor nuisance to a major factor in how businesses operate today. Twilio Verify is a managed solution that takes care of channel orchestration and management as well as security and business logic. Using our two-factor authentication APIs ("Twilio Authy"), developers can add an extra layer of security to their applications with second-factor passwords sent to a user via SMS, voice, email or push notifications. Twilio Authy provides user authentication codes through a variety of formats based on the developer’s needs. Codes can be delivered through the Authy app on registered mobile phones, desktop or smart devices or via SMS and voice automated phone calls. In addition, authentication can be determined through a push notification on registered smartphones. To allow developers to know exactly who they are sending messages to, Twilio Lookup allows developers to validate number format, device type and provider prior to sending messages or initiating calls.
Marketing Campaigns
Marketing Campaigns help digital marketers build and send email campaigns at scale and faster than ever. With drag and drop editing, approachable automation and powerful contacts management, Marketing Campaigns help marketers attract and retain customers more efficiently. Marketing Campaigns include email design and templates, list management, dynamic content and email testing.
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Super Network
While developers build applications with our software, Twilio manages the connections between the internet and the global telecommunications network. We call this the Twilio Super Network and it is a global network of connections with numerous carriers globally to provide connectivity in approximately 80 countries.
We do not own any physical network infrastructure. We use software to build a high performance network that optimizes performance for our customers, provides resiliency and redundancy to our platform and helps to minimize disruption from carrier delays or outages. Through handling massive volumes of traffic, we are able to detect issues often before our customers or carrier partners do. We receive real-time feedback on handset deliverability through a number of carriers and destinations and we use this data for our own routing decisions.
The Twilio Super Network operates a 24/7 global operations center that constantly monitors the carrier networks, alongside Twilio’s dedicated communications engineers who optimize for changing traffic patterns. The Super Network also contains a set of APIs giving our customers access to more foundational components of our platform, like phone numbers, and SIP Trunking. The Super Network features include:
Phone Number Provisioning. Acquire local, national, mobile and/or toll-free phone numbers on demand in approximately 80 countries and connect them into the customers’ applications.
Short Codes. Typically five to six digit phone number used to send and receive a high-volume of messages per second.
Elastic SIP Trunking. Connect legacy voice applications to our Super Network over IP infrastructure with globally available phone numbers and pay-as-you-go pricing. Twilio’s Emergency Calling for SIP Trunking feature enables emergency call routing to PSAPs in the US, Canada and the UK.
Interconnect. Connect privately to Twilio to enable enterprise grade security and quality of service for Twilio Voice and Elastic SIP Trunking. We charge on a per-minute or per-phone number basis for most of our Super Network products.
IoT
The most challenging aspect of connecting previously unconnected devices lies in making the connection reliable and secure enough to perform and add value for years on end. Twilio’s IoT offerings therefore make connectivity simpler and coding of connected devices more reliable so that our customers can focus on building differentiated IoT experiences versus building and maintaining the required infrastructure underneath. Our customers use Twilio IoT for use cases, such as asset or fleet tracking, smart building management, consumer wearables (often pulling in other Twilio products such as Voice, Video, and Flex), predictive maintenance and inventory management.
Our Business Model for Innovators
Our goal is to include Twilio in the toolkit of every developer in the world. Because big ideas often start small, developers need the freedom and tools to experiment and iterate on their ideas.
In order to empower developers to experiment, our developer-first business model is low friction, eliminating the upfront costs, time and complexity that typically hinder innovation. Additionally, our model encourages experimentation and enables developers to grow as customers as their ideas succeed. Developers can begin building with a free trial. They have access to self-service documentation and free customer support to guide them through the process. Once developers determine that our software meets their needs, they can flexibly increase consumption and pay based on usage. In short, we acquire developers like consumers and enable them to spend like enterprises.
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Our Growth Strategy
We are the leader in the cloud communications platform category based on revenue, market share and reputation and intend to continue to set the pace for innovation. We will continue to invest aggressively in our platform approach, which prioritizes increasing our reach and scale. We intend to pursue the following growth strategies:
Continue Significant Investment in our Technology Platform.  We will continue to invest in building new software capabilities and extending our platform to bring the power of contextual customer engagement to a broader range of applications, geographies and customers. We have a substantial research and development team, comprising approximately 42% of our headcount as of December 31, 2020.
Grow Our Developer Community and Accelerate Adoption.  We will continue to enhance our relationships with developers globally and seek to increase the number of developers on our platform. In addition to adding new developers, we believe there is significant opportunity for revenue growth from developers who already have registered accounts with us but have not yet built their software applications with us, or whose applications are in their infancy and will grow with Twilio into an Active Customer Account. As of December 31, 2020, we had more than 221,000 Active Customer Accounts on our platform.
Increase Our International Presence.  Our platform serves over 180 countries today, making it as simple to communicate from São Paulo as it is from San Francisco. Customers outside the U.S. are increasingly adopting our platform, and for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, revenue from international customer accounts accounted for 27% and 29% of our total revenue, respectively. We are investing to meet the requirements of a broader range of global developers and enterprises. We plan to grow internationally by continuing to expand our operations outside of the U.S. and collaborating with international strategic partners.
Further Penetrate the Enterprises.  We plan to drive greater awareness and adoption of Twilio from enterprises across industries. We intend to further increase our investment in sales and marketing to meet evolving enterprise needs globally, in addition to extending our enterprise-focused use cases and platform capabilities, like our Twilio Enterprise Plan. Additionally, we believe there is significant opportunity to expand our relationships with existing enterprise customers.
Expand Our Partner Channel.  Our Twilio Build partner program is focused on growing our community of technology and consulting partners. Twilio Build's ecosystem of partners offers customers both packaged applications and consulting expertise that make it possible for any customer to innovate with Twilio regardless of region, industry, business model or development resources. To help our partners grow their businesses and innovate for their customers, this program provides go-to-market support, certification and training programs and a partner success team. We have relationships with a number of technology partner customers that embed our products in the solutions that they sell to other businesses. We intend to expand our relationships with existing technology partner customers and to add new technology partner customers. We plan to invest in a range of initiatives to encourage increased collaboration with, and generation of revenue from, technology partner customers. We have started developing relationships with consulting partners who provide consulting and development services for organizations that have limited software development expertise to build our platform into their software applications. We intend to continue to invest in and develop the ecosystem for our solutions in partnership with consulting partners to accelerate awareness and adoption of our platform.
Selectively Pursue Acquisitions and Strategic Investments.  We may selectively pursue acquisitions and strategic investments in businesses and technologies that strengthen our platform. From 2015 through 2020, we made several acquisitions which have allowed us to expand our platform and service offerings to include features such as a cloud-based API to seamlessly embed two-factor authentication and phone verification into any application, Web Real-Time-Communication ("Web RTC") media processing technologies, contact center analytics, software mobile network infrastructure and language recognition capabilities. In addition, our acquisition of SendGrid in February 2019 allowed us to add a leading e-mail API platform to our product offerings and our acquisition of Segment in November 2020 allowed us to add the market-leading customer data platform to our product offerings.
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The Twilio Magic
We believe there's a unique spirit to Twilio, manifested in who we are and how we work together. These are the principles we use to build an impactful, high growth business while staying true to ourselves. Collectively, these principles guide how we act, how we make decisions and how we win.
How We Act
Be an Owner. Owners know their business, embracing the good news and the bad. Owners sweat the details and "pick up the trash." Owners think long term and spend money wisely.
Empower Others. We believe that unleashing human potential—both inside and outside our company—is the key to our success. Be humble and realize it's not just about us. Invest in each other.
No Shenanigans. Always act in an honest, direct and transparent way.
How We Make Decisions
Wear the Customer's Shoes. Spend the time to deeply understand customers and solve problems from their perspective. Earn trust through every interaction.
Write It Down. Our business is complex, so take the time to express yourself in prose—for your sake and for the folks with whom you're collaborating.
Ruthlessly Prioritize. Prioritization helps break down complex problems and provides clarity in the face of uncertainty. Decisions are progress, so make decisions with available information and keep learning.
How We Win
Be Bold. We're driven by a hunger to build a meaningful and impactful company. Embrace crazy ideas and remember, every big idea starts small.
Be Inclusive. To achieve our goals, we need a diverse set of voices in the room. Build diverse teams and seek out unique points of view.
Draw the Owl. There's no instruction book, it's ours to write. Figure it out, ship it and iterate. Invent the future, but don't wing it.
Don't Settle. Expect the best from yourself and others, because there's no feeling greater than being proud of our work. Hire the best people for every role.
Twilio.org
We believe we can create greater social good through better communications. Through Twilio.org, which is a part of our company and not a separate legal entity, we donate and discount our products to nonprofits who use our products to engage their audience, expand their reach and focus on making a meaningful change in the world. Twilio.org's mission is to fuel communications that give hope, power, and freedom with a 10-year goal to help one billion people every year. In 2015, we reserved 1% of our common stock to fund our social impact at Twilio.org. In March 2019, we increased the Twilio.org share reserve by 203,658 shares of Class A common stock to account for a similar program previously operated by SendGrid, Inc., one of our wholly owned subsidiaries, which we acquired in February 2019. Since 2015, Twilio.org has made several donations consistent with its philanthropic goals, which were treated as charitable contributions and recorded in general and administrative expenses in our consolidated statements of operations included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. As of December 31, 2020, the total remaining shares of Class A common stock reserved for Twilio.org was 707,265.
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Our Employees and Human Capital Resources
As of December 31, 2020, we had a total of 4,629 employees, including 1,369 employees located outside of the U.S. None of our U.S. employees are represented by a labor union with respect to their employment. Employees in certain of our non-U.S. subsidiaries have the benefits of collective bargaining arrangements at the national level. We consider our relations with our employees to be good and have not experienced interruptions of operations or work stoppages due to labor disagreements.
Diversity and Inclusion
At Twilio, we strive to build a diverse workforce, promote equity in our practices, and create inclusive communities for all Twilions to thrive. Our mission is to foster an equitable approach to hiring, delivering on a promise of equality for all in career development, compensation and growth, and to continuously improve a sense of inclusion for everyone at Twilio. In the wake of this summer's racial injustices, which continue to plague the country, we created a Racial Justice and Equity accountability priority that included a commitment to becoming an anti-racist company. We believe that a company culture focused on equity and driving toward being anti-racist is a key driver in being better corporate citizens, creating a more inclusive workplace, attracting the best talent, and ultimately delivering better business performance. Some of the programs that came out of this accountability priority included “Be Inclusive” diversity and inclusion training for People Managers. We also developed a “RiseUp” professional development program for our top Black and Latinx managers. Our Black and Latinx managers also received an opportunity for professional coaching through the “Better Up Coaching” platform as a way to continue career development. This platform provided access to coaches of color and various backgrounds to offer support and development. We were also able to hire our first Chief Diversity Officer who sits on the executive team, with a reporting line to our CEO.
In addition, we work hard to maintain and enhance our diverse and inclusive environment, creating a workplace where people are highly valued and are empowered to do their best work. Our employee resource groups, such as Black Twilions, Latinx @ Twilio, Remoties, Asians @ Twilio, Spectrum, the Family Nest, Warriors, Twilipinos, Women @ Twilio, and Wonder offer our employees support, mentoring and networking opportunities and help to foster a friendly and diverse workplace.
Compensation and Benefits
Twilio is committed to delivering a comprehensive compensation and benefits program that provides support for all of our employees’ well-being. We provide competitive compensation and benefits to attract and retain talented employees, including offering market-competitive salary, bonuses or sales commissions, and equity. We generally offer full-time employees equity at the time of hire and through annual equity grants, as well as provide an employee stock purchase plan, to foster a strong sense of ownership and engage our employees in being committed to our long-term success.
We ensure that our compensation is fair for all employees, regardless of classifications, such as race and gender. We routinely run a rigorous statistical analysis to ensure compensation is fair, taking into account factors that should impact pay, like role, level, location and performance.
Our full-time employees are eligible to receive, subject to the satisfaction of certain eligibility requirements, our comprehensive benefits package including our medical, dental and vision insurance and life and disability insurance plans. In addition, we provide time off, as well as maintain a tax-qualified 401(k) retirement plan that provides eligible U.S employees with an opportunity to save for retirement on a tax-advantaged basis. In 2020, we matched 50% of the first 6% of contributions by plan participants, subject to annual contribution limits set forth in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
In structuring these benefit plans, we seek to provide an aggregate level of benefits that are comparable to those provided by similar companies.
COVID-19 Response
To support employee well-being, Twilio established a number of new programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to full-time work from home. We established No Meeting Fridays, created flexible work schedule options, gave employees a home office stipend, a caregiver stipend, free Care.com membership and paid time off through our COVID-19 Support Leave to care for themselves or family members impacted by COVID-19.
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Research and Development
Our research and development efforts are focused on building a trusted communications platform and enhancing our existing products and developing new products.
Our research and development organization is built around small development teams. Our small development teams foster greater agility, which enables us to develop new, innovative products and make rapid changes to our infrastructure that increase resiliency and operational efficiency. Our development teams designed, built and continue to expand our customer engagement platform and Super Network.
As of December 31, 2020, we had 1,931 employees in our research and development organization. We intend to continue to invest in our research and development capabilities to extend our platform and bring the power of contextual communications to a broader range of applications, geographies and customers.
Sales and Marketing
Our sales and marketing teams work together closely to drive awareness and adoption of our platform, accelerate customer acquisition and generate revenue from customers.
Our go-to-market model is primarily focused on reaching and serving the needs of developers. We are a pioneer of developer evangelism and education and have cultivated a large global developer community. We reach developers through community events and conferences, including our annual SIGNAL customer and developer conference, to demonstrate how every developer can create differentiated applications incorporating communications using our products.
Once developers are introduced to our platform, we provide them with a low-friction trial experience. By accessing our easy-to-configure APIs, extensive self-service documentation and customer support team, developers can build our products into their applications and then test such applications during an initial free trial period that we provide. Once they have decided to use our products beyond the initial free trial period, customers provide their credit card information and only pay for the actual usage of our products, for a majority of our products. Our Flex contact center platform is generally offered on a per user, per month basis or on a usage basis per agent hour. Our email API is offered on a monthly subscription basis, while our Marketing Campaigns product is priced based on the number of email contacts stored on our platform and the number of monthly emails sent to those contacts through our email API. Our self-serve pricing matrix is publicly available and it allows for customers to receive tiered discounts as their usage of our products increases. As customers' use of our products grows larger, some enter into negotiated contracts with terms that dictate pricing, and typically include some level of minimum revenue commitments. Historically, we have acquired the substantial majority of our customers through this self-service model. As customers expand their usage of our platform, our relationships with them often evolve to include business leaders within their organizations. Once our customers reach a certain spending level with us, we support them with account managers or customer success advocates to ensure their satisfaction and expand their usage of our products.
We also supplement our self-service model with a sales effort aimed at engaging larger potential customers and existing customers through a direct sales approach. To help increase our awareness in the enterprise, we have expanded our marketing efforts through programs like our Twilio Engage roadshow, where we seek to bring business leaders and developers together to discuss the future of customer engagement. We have developed products to support this effort as well, like the Twilio Enterprise Plan, which provides capabilities for advanced security, access management and granular administration. Our sales organization targets technical leaders and business leaders who are seeking to leverage software to drive competitive differentiation. As we educate these leaders on the benefits of developing applications incorporating our products to differentiate their business, they often consult with their developers regarding implementation. We believe that developers are often advocates for our products as a result of our developer-focused approach. Our sales organization includes sales development, inside sales, field sales and sales engineering personnel.
When potential customers do not have the available developer resources to build their own applications, we refer them to either our technology partners who embed our products in the solutions that they sell to other businesses (such as contact centers and sales force and marketing automation), or our consulting partners who provide consulting and development services for organizations that have limited software development expertise to build our platform into their software applications.
As of December 31, 2020, we had 2,093 employees in our sales and marketing organization.
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Customer Support
We have designed our products and platform to be self-service and to require minimal customer support. To enable this, we provide all of our users with helper libraries, comprehensive documentation, how-tos and tutorials. We supplement and enhance these tools with the participation of our engaged developer community. In addition, we provide support options to address the individualized needs of our customers. All developers get free support and system status notifications. Our developers can also engage with the broader Twilio community to resolve issues.
We also offer three paid tiers of support with increasing levels of availability and guaranteed response times. Our highest tier plan, intended for our largest customers, includes a dedicated support engineer, duty manager coverage and quarterly status reviews. Our support model is global, with 24x7 coverage and support offices located in the U.S., Ireland, Colombia, India, and Singapore. We currently derive an insignificant amount of revenue from fees for customer support.
We also offer professional services which provide in-depth, hands-on, fee-based packages of advisory, software architecture, integration and coding services to existing and prospective customers and partners to optimize their use of the Twilio platform. Our goal is to help our customers achieve business results faster. Offerings include services for implementing contact center solutions, email implementation and deliverability, and configuration and integration of communications capabilities.
Competition
The market for cloud communication platforms is rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our market are:
completeness of offering;
credibility with developers;
global reach;
ease of integration and programmability;
product features;
platform scalability, reliability, security and performance;
brand awareness and reputation;
the strength of sales and marketing efforts;
customer support; and,
the cost of deploying and using our products.
We believe that we compete favorably on the basis of the factors listed above. We believe that none of our competitors currently competes directly with us across all of our product offerings.
Our competitors fall into four primary categories:
legacy on-premises vendors;
regional network service providers that offer limited developer functionality on top of their own physical infrastructure;
smaller software companies that compete with portions of our product line; and,
SaaS companies and cloud platform vendors that offer prepackaged applications and platforms.
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Some of our competitors have greater financial, technical and other resources, greater name recognition, larger sales and marketing budgets and larger intellectual property portfolios. As a result, certain of our competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards or customer requirements. In addition, some competitors may offer products or services that address one or a limited number of functions at lower prices, with greater depth than our products or in geographies where we do not operate. With the introduction of new products and services and new market entrants, we expect competition to intensify in the future. Moreover, as we expand the scope of our platform, we may face additional competition.
Intellectual Property
We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws in the U.S. and other jurisdictions, as well as license agreements and other contractual protections, to protect our proprietary technology. We also rely on a number of registered and unregistered trademarks to protect our brand.
As of December 31, 2020, in the U.S., we had been issued 157 patents, which expire between 2029 and 2039. As of such date, we also had 33 issued patents in foreign jurisdictions, all of which are related to U.S. patents and patent applications. We have also filed various applications for protection of certain aspects of our intellectual property in the U.S. and internationally. In addition, as of December 31, 2020, we had 41 trademarks registered in the U.S. and 257 trademarks registered in foreign jurisdictions.
We further seek to protect our intellectual property rights by implementing a policy that requires our employees and independent contractors involved in development of intellectual property on our behalf to enter into agreements acknowledging that all works or other intellectual property generated or conceived by them on our behalf are our property, and assigning to us any rights, including intellectual property rights, that they may claim or otherwise have in those works or property, to the extent allowable under applicable law.
Despite our efforts to protect our technology and proprietary rights through intellectual property rights, licenses and other contractual protections, unauthorized parties may still copy or otherwise obtain and use our software and other technology. In addition, we intend to continue to expand our international operations, and effective intellectual property, copyright, trademark and trade secret protection may not be available or may be limited in foreign countries. Any significant impairment of our intellectual property rights could harm our business or our ability to compete. Further, companies in the communications and technology industries may own large numbers of patents, copyrights and trademarks and may frequently threaten litigation, or file suit against us based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. We currently are subject to, and expect to face in the future, allegations that we have infringed the intellectual property rights of third parties, including our competitors and non-practicing entities.
Regulatory
We are subject to a number of U.S. federal and state and foreign laws and regulations that involve matters central to our business. These laws and regulations may involve privacy, data protection, intellectual property, competition, telecommunications, broadband, Voice over Internet Protocol ("VoIP"), consumer protection, export taxation or other subjects. Many of the laws and regulations to which we are subject are still evolving and being tested in courts and by regulatory authorities and could be interpreted in ways that could harm our business. In addition, the application and interpretation of these laws and regulations often are uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly evolving industry in which we operate. Because U.S., federal, state and foreign laws and regulations have continued to develop and evolve rapidly, it is possible that we or our products or our platform may not be, or may not have been, compliant with each such applicable law or regulation.
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For example, the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), which took full effect on May 25, 2018, enhanced data protection obligations for businesses and requires service providers (data processors) processing personal data on behalf of customers to cooperate with European data protection authorities, implement security measures and keep records of personal data processing activities. Noncompliance with the GDPR can trigger fines equal to the greater of €20 million or 4% of global annual revenue. Given the breadth and depth of changes in data protection obligations, meeting the requirements of GDPR has required significant time and resources, including a review of our technology and systems currently in use against the requirements of GDPR. We have taken steps to comply with GDPR, including integrating GDPR-compliant privacy protections into our products and platform, commercial agreements and record-keeping practices to help us and our customers meet the compliance obligations of GDPR. However, additional EU laws and regulations (and member states' implementations thereof) further govern the protection of consumers and of electronic communications. If our efforts to comply with GDPR or other applicable U.S., federal, state or foreign laws and regulations are not successful, we may be subject to penalties and fines that would adversely impact our business and results of operations, and our ability to conduct business in the EU or other regions could be significantly impaired.
In addition, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 ("TCPA"), restricts telemarketing and the use of automatic text messages without proper consent. The scope and interpretation of the laws that are or may be applicable to the delivery of text messages are continuously evolving and developing. If we do not comply with these laws, or regulations or if we become liable under these laws or regulations due to the failure of our customers to comply with these laws by obtaining proper consent, we could face direct liability.
Compliance with these laws and regulations has not had, and is not expected to have, a material effect on our capital expenditures, results of operations and competitive position as compared to prior periods, and we do not currently anticipate material capital expenditures for environmental control facilities, of which we currently have none. For additional information about government regulation applicable to our business, see Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Corporate Information
Twilio Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in March 2008. Our principal executive offices are located at 101 Spear Street, First Floor, San Francisco, California 94105, and our telephone number is (415) 390-2337. Our website address is www.twilio.com. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website does not constitute part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Twilio, the Twilio logo and other trademarks or service marks of Twilio appearing in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are the intellectual property of Twilio. Trade names, trademarks and service marks of other companies appearing in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are the intellectual property of their respective holders.
Information about Geographic Revenue
Information about geographic revenue is set forth in Note 11 of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Available Information
Our filings are available to be viewed and downloaded free of charge through our investor relations website after we file them with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Our filings include our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our Proxy Statement for our annual meeting of stockholders, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the SEC. Our investor relations website is located at http://investors.twilio.com. The SEC also maintains an Internet website that contains periodic and current reports, proxy statements and other information about issuers, like us, that file electronically with the SEC. The address of that website is www.sec.gov.
We webcast our earnings calls and certain events we participate in or host with members of the investment community on our investor relations website. Additionally, we provide notifications of news or announcements regarding our financial performance, including SEC filings, investor events, press and earnings releases, and blogs as part of our investor relations website. Further corporate governance information, including our corporate governance guidelines and code of business conduct and ethics, is also available on our investor relations website under the heading "Governance." The contents of our websites are not intended to be incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC, and any references to our websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.
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Item 1A. Risk Factors
A description of the risks and uncertainties associated with our business is set forth below. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The risks and uncertainties described below may not be the only ones we face. If any of the risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In that event, the market price of our Class A common stock could decline.
Risks Related to Our Business and Our Industry
The global COVID-19 pandemic may adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial performance.
The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to control its spread have significantly curtailed the movement of people, goods and services worldwide, including in most or all of the regions in which we sell our products and services and conduct our business operations. While the duration and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak and the degree and duration of its impact on our business continues to be uncertain and difficult to predict, compliance with social distancing and shelter-in-place measures have impacted our day-to-day operations. Like many other companies, including our customers and prospective customers, our employees continue to work from home and we have restricted business travel for the time being. Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we held SIGNAL, our annual developer and customer conference, on September 30, 2020 and October 1, 2020, as a virtual event. We have also cancelled, postponed, or shifted other planned events to virtual-only experiences and we may deem it advisable to similarly alter, postpone or cancel entirely additional customer, employee or industry events in the future.
The continued spread of COVID-19 has had an adverse impact on the business of some of our customers while other customers in certain industries have seen an increase in customer demand. COVID-19 could still have an adverse impact on our business partners and third-party business partners. The continuing crisis could also potentially lead to an ongoing global economic downturn, which could result in constrained supply or reduced customer demand and willingness to enter into or renew contracts with us, any of which could adversely impact our business, results of operations and overall financial performance in future periods. Specifically, we often enter into annual or multi-year, minimum commitment arrangements with our customers. If customers fail to pay us or reduce their spending with us, we may be adversely affected by an inability to collect amounts due, the cost of enforcing the terms of our contracts, including litigation, or a reduction in revenue. We may also experience impact from delayed sales cycles, including customers and prospective customers delaying contract signing or contract renewals, or reducing budgets or minimum commitments related to the product and services that we offer. In addition, as companies transition to supporting a fully remote workforce and as individuals increasingly utilize voice, video and messaging for their communication needs, there will be increased strain and demand for telecommunications infrastructure, including our voice, video and messaging products. Supporting increased demand will require us to make additional investments to increase network capacity, the availability of which may be limited. For example, if the data centers that we rely on for our cloud infrastructure and the network service providers that we interconnect with are unable to keep up with capacity needs or if governmental or regulatory authorities determine to limit our bandwidth, customers may experience delays, interruptions or outages in service. From time to time, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, our data center suppliers and our network service providers have had some outages which resulted in disruptions to service for some of our customers. In certain jurisdictions, governmental and regulatory authorities had announced that during the COVID-19 pandemic, telecommunications operators' implementation of traffic management measures may be justified to avoid network congestion. Such traffic management measures could result in customers experiencing delays, interruptions or outages in services. Any of these events could harm our reputation, erode customer trust, cause customers to stop using our products, impair our ability to increase revenue from existing customers, impair our ability to grow our customer base, subject us to financial penalties and liabilities under our service level agreements and otherwise harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Changes to consumer behavior may also affect customers who use our products and services for confirmations, notifications, and related use cases. For example, in the three months ended December 31, 2020, we continued to experience increased usage of our platform in industries such as healthcare, education, consumer on-demand and retail. In addition, in the three months ended December 31, 2020, we experienced a modest rebound in usage levels from customers in the travel and hospitality industry, while the ridesharing industry remained below pre-COVID-19 levels. It has been and, until the COVID-19 pandemic is contained, will continue to be more difficult for us to forecast usage levels and predict revenue trends.
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Additionally the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected global economic and market conditions, which are likely to continue for an extended period, and which could result in decreased business spending by our customers and prospective customers, reduced demand for our solutions, longer sales cycles and lower renewal rates by our customers, all of which could have an adverse impact on our business operations and financial condition. While we have developed and continue to develop plans to help mitigate the potential negative impact of the outbreak on our business, these efforts may not be effective and a protracted economic downturn may limit the effectiveness of our mitigation efforts.
We have experienced rapid growth and expect our growth to continue, and if we fail to effectively manage our growth, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We have experienced substantial growth in our business since inception. For example, our headcount has grown from 2,905 employees on December 31, 2019 to 4,629 employees on December 31, 2020. We have moved to a virtual on-boarding process since the imposition of COVID-19 restrictions on certain business activities. In addition, we are rapidly expanding our international operations. Our international headcount grew from 720 employees as of December 31, 2019 to 1,369 employees as of December 31, 2020. We expect to continue to expand our international operations in the future. We have also experienced significant growth in the number of customers, usage and amount of data that our platform and associated infrastructure support. This growth has placed and may continue to place significant demands on our corporate culture, operational infrastructure and management, particularly in light of virtual on-boarding and limited connectivity.
We believe that our corporate culture has been a critical component of our success. We have invested substantial time and resources in building our team and nurturing our culture. As we expand our business in the U.S. and non-U.S. regions and mature as a public company, we may find it difficult to maintain our corporate culture while managing this growth. Any failure to manage our anticipated growth and organizational changes in a manner that preserves the key aspects of our culture could hurt our chance for future success, including our ability to recruit and retain employees, and effectively focus on and pursue our corporate objectives. This, in turn, could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, as we have rapidly grown, our organizational structure has become more complex. In order to manage these increasing complexities, we will need to continue to scale and adapt our operational, financial and management controls, as well as our reporting systems and procedures. The expansion of our systems and infrastructure will require us to commit substantial financial, operational and management resources before our revenue increases and without any assurances that our revenue will increase.
Finally, if this growth continues, it could strain our ability to maintain reliable service levels for our customers. If we fail to achieve the necessary level of efficiency in our organization as we grow, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Our quarterly results may fluctuate, and if we fail to meet securities analysts’ and investors’ expectations, then the trading price of our Class A common stock and the value of your investment could decline substantially.
Our results of operations, including the levels of our revenue, cost of revenue, gross margin and operating expenses, have fluctuated from quarter to quarter in the past and may continue to vary significantly in the future. These fluctuations are a result of a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control, and may be difficult to predict and may or may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business. If our quarterly results of operations or forward-looking quarterly and annual financial guidance fall below the expectations of investors or securities analysts, then the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline substantially. Some of the important factors that may cause our results of operations to fluctuate from quarter to quarter include:
the impact of COVID-19 on our customers, our pace of hiring and the global economy in general;
our ability to retain and increase revenue from existing customers and attract new customers;
fluctuations in the amount of revenue from our Active Customer Accounts;
our ability to attract and retain enterprises and international organizations as customers;
our ability to introduce new products and enhance existing products;
competition and the actions of our competitors, including pricing changes and the introduction of new products, services and geographies;
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changes in laws, industry standards, regulations or regulatory enforcement in the United States or internationally, such as the invalidation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the implementation and enforcement of new global privacy laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 ("CCPA") and Brazil's General Data Protection Law (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais) (Law No. 13,709/2018), and the adoption of SHAKEN/STIR and other robocalling prevention and anti-spam standards, all of which increase compliance costs;
the number of new employee hires during a particular period;
changes in network service provider fees that we pay in connection with the delivery of communications on our platform;
changes in cloud infrastructure fees that we pay in connection with the operation of our platform;
changes in our pricing as a result of our optimization efforts or otherwise;
reductions in pricing as a result of negotiations with our larger customers;
the rate of expansion and productivity of our sales force, including our enterprise sales force, which has been a focus of our recent expansion efforts;
changes in the size and complexity of our customer relationships;
the length and complexity of the sales cycle for our services, especially for sales to larger enterprises, government and regulated organizations;
change in the mix of products that our customers use;
change in the revenue mix of U.S. and international products;
the amount and timing of operating costs and capital expenditures related to the operations and expansion of our business, including investments in our international expansion, additional systems and processes and research and development of new products and services;
significant security breaches of, technical difficulties with, or interruptions to, the delivery and use of our products on our platform;
expenses in connection with mergers, acquisitions or other strategic transactions and the follow-on costs of integration;
the timing of customer payments and any difficulty in collecting accounts receivable from customers;
general economic conditions that may adversely affect a prospective customer’s ability or willingness to adopt our products, delay a prospective customer’s adoption decision, reduce the revenue that we generate from the use of our products or affect customer retention;
changes in foreign currency exchange rates and our ability to effectively hedge our foreign currency exposure;
extraordinary expenses such as litigation or other dispute-related settlement payments;
sales tax and other tax determinations by authorities in the jurisdictions in which we conduct business;
the impact of new accounting pronouncements; and,
fluctuations in stock-based compensation expense.
The occurrence of one or more of the foregoing and other factors may cause our results of operations to vary significantly. As such, we believe that quarter-to-quarter comparisons of our results of operations may not be meaningful and should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. In addition, a significant percentage of our operating expenses is fixed in nature and is based on forecasted revenue trends. Accordingly, in the event of a revenue shortfall, we may not be able
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to mitigate the negative impact on our income (loss) and margins in the short term. If we fail to meet or exceed the expectations of investors or securities analysts, then the trading price of our Class A common stock could fall substantially, and we could face costly lawsuits, including securities class action suits.
Additionally, global pandemics such as COVID-19 as well as certain large scale events, such as major elections and sporting events, can significantly impact usage levels on our platform, which could cause fluctuations in our results of operations. We expect that significantly increased usage of all communications platforms, including ours, during certain seasonal and one-time events could impact delivery and quality of our products during those events. We also tend to experience increased expenses in connection with the hosting of SIGNAL, which we plan to continue to host annually. Such annual and one-time events may cause fluctuations in our results of operations and may impact both our revenue and operating expenses.
If we are not able to maintain and enhance our brand and increase market awareness of our company and products, then our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We believe that maintaining and enhancing the “Twilio” brand identity and increasing market awareness of our company and products, particularly among developers, is critical to achieving widespread acceptance of our platform, to strengthen our relationships with our existing customers and to our ability to attract new customers. The successful promotion of our brand will depend largely on our continued marketing efforts, our ability to continue to offer high quality products, our ability to be thought leaders in the cloud communications market and our ability to successfully differentiate our products and platform from competing products and services. Our brand promotion and thought leadership activities may not be successful or yield increased revenue. In addition, independent industry analysts often provide reviews of our products and competing products and services, which may significantly influence the perception of our products in the marketplace. If these reviews are negative or not as strong as reviews of our competitors’ products and services, then our brand may be harmed.
From time to time, our customers have complained about our products, such as complaints about our pricing and customer support. If we do not handle customer complaints effectively, then our brand and reputation may suffer, our customers may lose confidence in us and they may reduce or cease their use of our products. In addition, many of our customers post and discuss on social media about Internet-based products and services, including our products and platform. Our success depends, in part, on our ability to generate positive customer feedback and minimize negative feedback on social media channels where existing and potential customers seek and share information. If actions we take or changes we make to our products or platform upset these customers, then their online commentary could negatively affect our brand, reputation and customer trust. Complaints or negative publicity about us, our products or our platform could adversely impact our ability to attract and retain customers, our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The promotion of our brand also requires us to make substantial expenditures, and we anticipate that these expenditures will increase as our market becomes more competitive and as we expand into new markets. To the extent that these activities increase revenue, this revenue still may not be enough to offset the increased expenses we incur. In addition, due to restrictions on travel and in-person meetings as a result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, we postponed SIGNAL to September 30, 2020 and converted it to a virtual event. We have also cancelled or shifted other planned events to virtual-only experiences and may determine to alter, postpone or cancel additional customer, employee or industry events in the future. We have typically relied on marketing and promotional events such as SIGNAL and in-person meetings to facilitate customer sign-ups and generate leads for potential customers and we cannot predict whether virtual marketing events and phone or virtual sales interactions will be as successful as in-person events and meetings or, for how long, or the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to constrain our marketing, promotional and sales activities. If we do not successfully maintain and enhance our brand, then our business may not grow, we may see our pricing power reduced relative to competitors and we may lose customers, all of which would adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The market for our products and platform is still relatively new and evolving, may decline or experience limited growth and is dependent in part on developers continuing to adopt our platform and use our products.
We were founded in 2008, and we have been developing and providing a cloud‑based platform that enables developers and organizations to integrate voice, messaging, video and email communications capabilities into their software applications. This market is relatively new and evolving and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. We believe that our revenue currently constitutes a significant portion of the total revenue in this market, and therefore, we believe that our future success will depend in large part on the growth, if any, and evolution of this market. The utilization of APIs by developers and organizations to build communications functionality into their applications is still relatively new, and developers and organizations may not recognize the need for, or benefits of, our products and platform. Moreover, if they do not recognize the need for and benefits of our products and platform, they may decide to adopt alternative products and services to satisfy some portion of their business needs. In order to grow our business and extend our market position, we intend to focus on educating
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developers and other potential customers about the benefits of our products and platform, expanding the functionality of our products and bringing new technologies to market to increase market acceptance and use of our platform. Our ability to expand the market that our products and platform address depends upon a number of factors, including the cost, performance and perceived value associated with such products and platform. The market for our products and platform could fail to grow significantly or there could be a reduction in demand for our products as a result of a lack of developer acceptance, technological challenges, competing products and services, decreases in spending by current and prospective customers, weakening economic conditions and other causes. If our market does not experience significant growth or demand for our products decreases, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Our actual or perceived failure to comply with increasingly stringent laws, regulations, and contractual obligations relating to privacy, data protection, and data security could harm our reputation and subject us to significant fines and liability.
We and our customers are subject to numerous domestic and foreign privacy, data protection, and data security laws and regulations that restrict the collection, use, disclosure and processing of personal information, including financial and health data. These laws and regulations are evolving, are being tested in courts, may result in increasing regulatory and public scrutiny of our practices relating to personal information and may increase our exposure to regulatory enforcement action, sanctions, and litigation.
Further, the interpretation and application of new domestic and foreign laws and regulations in many cases is uncertain, and our legal and regulatory obligations in such jurisdictions are subject to frequent and unexpected changes, including the potential for various regulatory or other governmental bodies to enact new or additional laws or regulations, to issue rulings that invalidate prior laws or regulations, or to increase penalties significantly.
For example, the EU adopted the GDPR, which took effect on May 25, 2018, and imposes stringent penalties for noncompliance. Companies that violate the GDPR can face private litigation, restrictions or prohibitions on data processing, and fines of up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of global annual revenues. The GDPR imposes comprehensive privacy, data protection, and data security obligations on businesses and requires service providers (data processors) processing personal information on behalf of customers to, among other things, make contractual privacy, data protection, and data security commitments, cooperate with European data protection authorities, implement security measures, give data breach notifications, and keep records of personal information processing activities. EU member states also have national laws restricting direct marketing communications and the use of cookies and similar technologies. If our efforts to comply with GDPR or other applicable EU laws and regulations are not successful, we may be subject to significant fines and restrictions on our ability to process personal information as needed to provide our product and services, which could impede our ability to conduct business in the EU, reduce demand for our services and adversely impact our business and results of operations.
We have in the past relied on various transfer safeguards, including the EU-U.S. and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks, to legitimize data transfers from the European Economic Area (“EEA”). However, on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and raised questions about whether one of the primary alternatives to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, the European Commission's Standard Contractual Clauses, can lawfully be used for personal information transfers from Europe to the United States or most other countries. At present, there are few viable alternatives to the Standard Contractual Clauses and there is uncertainty as to how personal information can be transferred from the EEA to the U.S. in compliance with the GDPR.
Subsequent interpretive guidance from the European Data Protection Board on July 24, 2020 extended the Court of Justice's guidance regarding the use of Standard Contractual Clauses as a transfer safeguard to the use of Binding Corporate Rules, which serve as Twilio's primary mechanism to legitimize data transfers from the EEA to other jurisdictions, including the U.S. Because our primary data processing facilities are in the U.S., we may experience hesitancy, reluctance, or refusal by European or multinational customers to continue to use our services due to the potential risk posed to such customers as a result of the Court of Justice ruling and subsequent interpretive guidance from the European Data Protection Board. We and our customers are at risk of enforcement actions taken by an EU data protection authority until such point in time that we are able to ensure that all data transfers to us from the EEA are legitimized. Similarly, the Swiss data protection authority determined the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield was no longer sufficient for the U.S. to be deemed adequate as a data transfer party and also raised questions about the viability of the Standard Contractual Clauses as a mechanism for transferring personal information out of Switzerland. Israel, which had allowed transfers of Israeli personal information to the U.S. based on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, has also declared that it is no longer a valid basis for transfer of personal information from Israel to the U.S. If we are unable to implement a valid solution for personal information transfers to the United States or other countries, we will face increased exposure to regulatory actions, substantial fines, and injunctions against processing or transferring personal information from Europe, and we may be required to increase our data processing capabilities in Europe and other countries at
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significant expense. Inability to transfer personal information from Europe or other countries may decrease demand for our products and services if affected customers seek alternatives that do not involve such transfers.
In addition, it is unclear whether the transfer of personal information from the EU to the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) will continue to remain lawful under the GDPR in light of Brexit. Pursuant to a post-Brexit trade deal between the U.K. and the EU, transfers of personal information from the EEA to the U.K. are not considered restricted transfers under the GDPR for a period of up to six months from January 1, 2021. However, unless the E.U. Commission makes an adequacy finding with respect to the U.K. before the end of that period, the U.K. will be considered a “third country” under the GDPR and transfers of European personal information to the U.K. will require an adequacy mechanism to render such transfers lawful under the GDPR. Additionally, although U.K. privacy, data protection and data security law is designed to be consistent with the GDPR, uncertainty remains regarding how data transfers to and from the U.K. will be regulated notwithstanding Brexit.
Regulation of privacy, data protection and data security has also become more stringent in the United States. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act ("CCPA"), which took effect on January 1, 2020, gives California residents expanded rights to access and delete their personal information, opt out of certain personal information sharing, and receive detailed information about how their personal information is used. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for data breaches that is expected to increase data breach litigation. The CCPA may increase our compliance costs and potential liability. Some observers have noted that the CCPA could mark the beginning of a trend toward more stringent state privacy, data protection, and data security legislation in the U.S., which could increase our potential liability and adversely affect our business. The CCPA will be expanded substantially on January 1, 2023, when the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”) becomes fully operative. The CPRA will, among other things, give California residents the ability to limit use of certain sensitive personal information, further restrict the use of cross-contextual advertising, establish restrictions on the retention of personal information, expand the types of data breaches subject to the CCPA’s private right of action, provide for increased penalties for CPRA violations concerning California residents under the age of 16, and establish a new California Privacy Protection Agency to implement and enforce the new law.
Further, if individual U.S. states pass privacy, data protection, and data security laws that place different obligations or limitations on the processing of personal information of individuals in those states, it will become more complex to comply with these laws and our compliance costs and potential liability may increase.
In addition, with our registration as an interconnected VoIP provider with the FCC, we also must comply with privacy laws associated with customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) rules in the U.S. If we fail to maintain compliance with these requirements, we could be subject to regulatory audits, civil and criminal penalties, fines and breach of contract claims, as well as reputational damage, which could impact the willingness of customers to do business with us.
Jurisdictions outside of the United States and the EU are also passing more stringent privacy, data protection, and data security laws. For example, on July 8, 2019, Brazil enacted the General Data Protection Law (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais) (Law No. 13,709/2018) ("LGPD"), and on June 5, 2020, Japan passed amendments to its Act on the Protection of Personal Information ("APPI"). Both laws broadly regulate the processing of personal information in a manner comparable to the GDPR, and violators of the LGPD and APPI face substantial penalties.
We continue to see jurisdictions imposing data localization laws, which require personal information, or certain subcategories of personal information, to be stored in the jurisdiction of origin. These regulations may inhibit our ability to expand into those markets or prohibit us from continuing to offer services in those markets without significant additional costs.
In addition to our legal obligations, our contractual obligations relating to privacy, data protection and data security have become increasingly stringent due to changes in privacy, data protection and data security and the expansion of our service offerings. Certain privacy, data protection and data security laws, such as the GDPR and the CCPA, require our customers to impose specific contractual restrictions on their service providers. In addition, we have begun to support customer workloads that involve the processing of protected health information and are therefore required to sign business associate agreements ("BAAs") with customers that subject us to the privacy and security requirements under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the U.S. Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act as well as state laws that govern the privacy and security of health information.
Our actual or perceived failure to comply with laws, regulations or contractual commitments regarding privacy, data protection and data security could lead to costly legal action, adverse publicity, significant liability, and decreased demand for our services, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. For example, in February 2016, a putative class action complaint was filed in the Alameda County Superior Court in California and alleged that our products permitted the interception, recording and disclosure of communications at certain of our customers' request in a
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manner that violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act. This litigation has now settled, but actions in the future could lead to similar claims and include damages and related penalties that could divert management’s attention and resources, and harm our business.
Our business depends on customers increasing their use of our products, and any loss of customers or decline in their use of our products could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our ability to grow and generate incremental revenue depends, in part, on our ability to maintain and grow our relationships with existing customers (including any customers acquired in connection with our acquisitions) and to have them increase their usage of our platform. If our customers do not increase their use of our products, then our revenue may decline, and our results of operations may be harmed. Customers are charged based on the usage of our products. Most of our customers do not have long-term contractual financial commitments to us and, therefore, most of our customers may reduce or cease their use of our products at any time without penalty or termination charges. Customers may terminate or reduce their use of our products for any number of reasons, including if they are not satisfied with our products, introduction of new competing products by competitors, the value proposition of our products or our ability to meet their needs and expectations. We cannot accurately predict customers’ usage levels and the loss of customers or reductions in their usage levels of our products may each have a negative impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition and may cause our Dollar-Based Net Expansion Rate to decline in the future if customers are not satisfied with our products, the value proposition of our products or our ability to meet their needs and expectations. If a significant number of customers cease using, or reduce their usage of our products, then we may be required to spend significantly more on sales and marketing than we currently plan to spend in order to maintain or increase revenue from customers. Such additional sales and marketing expenditures could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we are unable to attract new customers in a cost‑effective manner, then our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.
In order to grow our business, we must continue to attract new customers in a cost-effective manner. We use a variety of marketing channels to promote our products and platform, such as developer events and developer evangelism, as well as search engine marketing and optimization. We periodically adjust the mix of our other marketing programs such as regional customer events, email campaigns, billboard advertising and public relations initiatives. If the costs of the marketing channels we use increase dramatically, then we may choose to use alternative and less expensive channels, which may not be as effective as the channels we currently use. As we add to or change the mix of our marketing strategies, we may need to expand into more expensive channels than those we are currently in, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. We will incur marketing expenses before we are able to recognize any revenue that the marketing initiatives may generate, and these expenses may not result in increased revenue or brand awareness. We have made in the past, and may make in the future, significant expenditures and investments in new marketing campaigns, and we cannot guarantee that any such investments will lead to the cost-effective acquisition of additional customers. If we are unable to maintain effective marketing programs, then our ability to attract new customers could be adversely affected, our advertising and marketing expenses could increase substantially, and our results of operations may suffer.
If we do not develop enhancements to our products and introduce new products that achieve market acceptance, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Our ability to attract new customers and increase revenue from existing customers depends in part on our ability to enhance and improve our existing products, increase adoption and usage of our products and introduce new products. The success of any enhancements or new products depends on several factors, including timely completion, adequate quality testing, actual performance quality, market-accepted pricing levels and overall market acceptance. Enhancements and new products that we develop may not be introduced in a timely or cost-effective manner, may contain errors or defects, may have interoperability difficulties with our platform or other products or may not achieve the broad market acceptance necessary to generate significant revenue. Furthermore, our ability to increase the usage of our products depends, in part, on the development of new use cases for our products, which is typically driven by our developer community and may be outside of our control. We also have invested, and may continue to invest, in the acquisition of complementary businesses, technologies, services, products and other assets that expand the products that we can offer our customers. We may make these investments without being certain that they will result in products or enhancements that will be accepted by existing or prospective customers. Our ability to generate usage of additional products by our customers may also require increasingly sophisticated and more costly sales efforts and result in a longer sales cycle. In addition, adoption of new products or enhancements may put additional strain on our customer support team, which could require us to make additional expenditures related to further hiring and training. If we are unable to successfully enhance our existing products to meet evolving customer requirements, increase adoption and usage of
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our products, develop new products, or if our efforts to increase the usage of our products are more expensive than we expect, then our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.
The market in which we participate is intensely competitive, and if we do not compete effectively, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
The market for cloud communications is rapidly evolving, significantly fragmented and highly competitive, with relatively low barriers to entry in some segments. The principal competitive factors in our market include completeness of offering, credibility with developers, global reach, ease of integration and programmability, product features, platform scalability, reliability, deliverability, security and performance, brand awareness and reputation, the strength of sales and marketing efforts, customer support, as well as the cost of deploying and using our products. Our competitors fall into four primary categories:
legacy on-premises vendors;
regional network service providers that offer limited developer functionality on top of their own physical infrastructure;
smaller software companies that compete with portions of our product line; and,
software-as a-service (“SaaS”) companies and cloud platform vendors that offer prepackaged applications and platforms.
Some of our competitors and potential competitors are larger and have greater name recognition, longer operating histories, more established customer relationships, larger budgets and significantly greater resources than we do. In addition, they have the operating flexibility to bundle competing products and services at little or no perceived incremental cost, including offering them at a lower price as part of a larger sales transaction. As a result, our competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards or customer requirements. In addition, some competitors may offer products or services that address one or a limited number of functions at lower prices, with greater depth than our products or in different geographies. Our current and potential competitors may develop and market new products and services with comparable functionality to our products, and this could lead to us having to decrease prices in order to remain competitive. Customers utilize our products in many ways and use varying levels of functionality that our products offer or are capable of supporting or enabling within their applications. Customers that use many of the features of our products or use our products to support or enable core functionality for their applications may have difficulty or find it impractical to replace our products with a competitor’s products or services, while customers that use only limited functionality may be able to more easily replace our products with competitive offerings. Our customers also may choose to build some of the functionality our products provide, which may limit or eliminate their demand for our products.
With the introduction of new products and services and new market entrants, we expect competition to intensify in the future. In addition, some of our customers may choose to use our products and our competitors’ products at the same time. Further, customers and consumers may choose to adopt other forms of electronic communications or alternative communication platforms.
Moreover, as we expand the scope of our products, we may face additional competition. If one or more of our competitors were to merge or partner with another of our competitors, the change in the competitive landscape could also adversely affect our ability to compete effectively. In addition, some of our competitors have lower list prices than us, which may be attractive to certain customers even if those products have different or lesser functionality. If we are unable to maintain our current pricing due to competitive pressures, our margins will be reduced and our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected. In addition, pricing pressures and increased competition generally could result in reduced revenue, reduced margins, increased losses or the failure of our products to achieve or maintain widespread market acceptance, any of which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We have a history of losses and we are uncertain about our future profitability.
We have incurred net losses in each year since our inception, including net losses of $491.0 million, $307.1 million and $121.9 million in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. We had an accumulated deficit of $1.2 billion as of December 31, 2020. We expect to continue to expend substantial financial and other resources on, among other things:
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investments in our engineering team, improvements in security and data protection, the development of new products, features and functionality and enhancements to our platform;
sales and marketing, including the continued expansion of our direct sales organization and marketing programs, especially for enterprises and for organizations outside of the United States, and expanding our programs directed at increasing our brand awareness among current and new developers;
expansion of our operations and infrastructure, both domestically and internationally; and,
general administration, including legal, accounting and other expenses related to being a public company.
These investments may not result in increased revenue or growth of our business. We also expect that our revenue growth rate will decline over time. Accordingly, we may not be able to generate sufficient revenue to offset our expected cost increases and achieve and sustain profitability. If we fail to achieve and sustain profitability, then our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.
If we are unable to increase adoption of our products by enterprises, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
Historically, we have relied on the adoption of our products by software developers through our self-service model for a significant majority of our revenue, and we currently generate only a small portion of our revenue from enterprise customers. Our ability to increase our customer base, especially among enterprises, and achieve broader market acceptance of our products will depend, in part, on our ability to effectively organize, focus and train our sales and marketing employees. We have limited experience selling to enterprises and only recently established an enterprise-focused sales force.
Our ability to convince enterprises to adopt our products will depend, in part, on our ability to attract and retain sales employees with experience selling to enterprises. We believe that there is significant competition for experienced sales professionals with the skills and technical knowledge that we require. Our ability to achieve significant revenue growth in the future will depend, in part, on our ability to recruit, train and retain a sufficient number of experienced sales professionals, particularly those with experience selling to enterprises. In addition, even if we are successful in hiring qualified sales employees, new hires require significant training and experience before they achieve full productivity, particularly for sales efforts targeted at enterprises and new territories. Our recent hires and planned hires may not become as productive as quickly as we expect, and we may be unable to hire or retain sufficient numbers of qualified individuals in the future in the markets where we do business. Because we do not have a long history of targeting our sales efforts at enterprises, we cannot predict whether, or to what extent, our sales will increase as we organize and train our sales force or how long it will take for sales employees to become productive.
As we seek to increase the adoption of our products by enterprises, including products like Flex, which is primarily aimed at complex contact center implementations at larger companies, we expect to incur higher costs and longer sales cycles. In the enterprise market segment, the decision to adopt our products may require the approval of multiple technical and business decision makers, including legal, security, compliance, procurement, operations and IT. In addition, while enterprise customers may quickly deploy our products on a limited basis, before they will commit to deploying our products at scale, they often require extensive education about our products and significant customer support time, engage in protracted pricing negotiations and seek to secure readily available development resources. In addition, sales cycles for enterprises are inherently more complex and less predictable than the sales through our self-service model, and some enterprise customers may not use our products enough to generate revenue that justifies the cost to obtain such customers. In addition, these complex and resource intensive sales efforts could place additional strain on our product and engineering resources. Further, enterprises, including some of our customers, may choose to develop their own solutions that do not include our products. They also may demand reductions in pricing as their usage of our products increases, which could have an adverse impact on our gross margin. As a result of our limited experience selling and marketing to enterprises, our efforts to sell to these potential customers may not be successful. If we are unable to increase the revenue that we derive from enterprises, then our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
If we are unable to expand our relationships with existing technology partner customers and add new technology partner customers, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We believe that the continued growth of our business depends in part upon developing and expanding strategic relationships with technology partner customers. Technology partner customers embed our software products in their solutions, such as software applications for contact centers and sales force and marketing automation, and then sell such solutions to other
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businesses. When potential customers do not have the available developer resources to build their own applications, we refer them to either our technology partners who embed our products in the solutions that they sell to other businesses or our consulting partners who provide consulting and development services for organizations that have limited software development expertise to build our platform into their software applications.
As part of our growth strategy, we intend to expand our relationships with existing technology partner customers and add new technology partner customers. If we fail to expand our relationships with existing technology partner customers or establish relationships with new technology partner customers in a timely and cost-effective manner, or at all, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. Additionally, even if we are successful at building these relationships but there are problems or issues with integrating our products into the solutions of these customers, our reputation and ability to grow our business may be harmed.
To deliver our products, we rely on network service providers and internet service providers for our network service and connectivity and disruption or deterioration in the quality of these services could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We currently interconnect with network service providers around the world to enable the use by our customers of our products over their networks. Although we are in the process of acquiring authorization in many countries for direct access to phone numbers and for the provision of voice services on the networks of network service providers, we expect that we will continue to rely on network service providers for these services. Where we don't have direct access to phone numbers, our reliance on network service providers has reduced our operating flexibility, ability to make timely service changes and control quality of service. In addition, the fees that we are charged by network service providers may change daily or weekly, while we do not typically change our customers’ pricing as rapidly.
At times, network service providers have instituted additional fees due to regulatory, competitive or other industry related changes that increase our network costs. For example, in early 2020, a major U.S. mobile carrier introduced a new Application to Person (A2P) SMS service offering that adds a new fee for A2P SMS messages delivered to its subscribers, and other U.S. mobile carriers are in the process of adding similar fees. While we have historically responded to these types of fee increases through a combination of further negotiating efforts with our network service providers, absorbing the increased costs or changing our prices to customers, there is no guarantee that we will continue to be able to do so in the future without a material negative impact to our business. In the case of this new A2P SMS fee, we are passing these fees on to our customers who are sending SMS messages to this carrier’s subscribers. This is expected to increase our revenue and cost of revenue, but it is not expected to impact the gross profit dollars received for sending these messages. However, mathematically this would still have a negative impact on our gross margins. Additionally, our ability to respond to any new fees may be constrained if all network service providers in a particular market impose equivalent fee structures, if the magnitude of the fees is disproportionately large when compared to the underlying prices paid by our customers, or if the market conditions limit our ability to increase the price we charge our customers.
Furthermore, many of these network service providers do not have long-term committed contracts with us and may interrupt services or terminate their agreements with us without notice. If a significant portion of our network service providers stop providing us with access to their infrastructure, fail to provide these services to us on a cost-effective basis, cease operations, or otherwise terminate these services, the delay caused by qualifying and switching to other network service providers could be time consuming and costly and could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Further, if problems occur with our network service providers, it may cause errors or poor quality communications with our products, and we could encounter difficulty identifying the source of the problem. The occurrence of errors or poor quality communications on our products, whether caused by our platform or a network service provider, may result in the loss of our existing customers or the delay of adoption of our products by potential customers and may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Further, we sometimes access network services through intermediaries who have direct access to network service providers. Although we are in the process of acquiring direct connectivity with network service providers in many areas, we expect that we will continue to rely on intermediaries for these services. These intermediaries sometimes have products that directly compete with our products and may stop providing services to us on a cost-effective basis. If a significant portion of these intermediaries stop providing services or stop providing services on a cost-effective basis, our business could be adversely affected.
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We also interconnect with internet service providers around the world to enable the use of our email products by our customers, and we expect that we will continue to rely on internet service providers for network connectivity going forward. Our reliance on internet service providers reduces our control over quality of service and exposes us to potential service outages and rate fluctuations. If a significant portion of our internet service providers stop providing us with access to their network infrastructure, fail to provide access on a cost-effective basis, cease operations, or otherwise terminate access, the delay caused by qualifying and switching to other internet service providers could be time consuming and costly and could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our future success depends in part on our ability to drive the adoption of our products by international customers.
In the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, we derived 27%, 29% and 25% of our revenue, respectively, from customer accounts located outside the United States. The future success of our business will depend, in part, on our ability to expand our customer base worldwide. While we have been rapidly expanding our sales efforts internationally, our experience in selling our products outside of the United States is limited. Furthermore, our developer-first business model may not be successful or have the same traction outside the United States. As a result, our investment in marketing our products to these potential customers may not be successful. If we are unable to increase the revenue that we derive from international customers, then our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We are continuing to expand our international operations, which exposes us to significant risks.
We are continuing to expand our international operations to increase our revenue from customers outside of the United States as part of our growth strategy. Between December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020, our international headcount grew from 720 employees to 1,369 employees. We expect to open additional international offices and hire employees to work at these offices in order to reach new customers and gain access to additional technical talent. Operating in international markets requires significant resources and management attention and will subject us to regulatory, economic and political risks in addition to those we already face in the United States. Because of our limited experience with international operations or with developing and managing sales in international markets, our international expansion efforts may not be successful.
In addition, we will face risks in doing business internationally that could adversely affect our business, including:
exposure to political developments in the U.K., including the departure of the U.K. from the European Union ("EU") ("Brexit"), which has created an uncertain political and economic environment, instability for businesses, volatility in global financial markets and the value of foreign currencies, all of which could disrupt trade, the sale of our services and the mobility of our employees and contractors between the U.K., EU and other jurisdictions. Any long–term impact from Brexit on our business and operations will depend, in part, on the outcome of the U.K.'s negotiations on tariffs, tax treaties, trade, regulatory, and other matters and may require us to expend significant time and expense to make adjustments to our business and operations;
the difficulty of managing and staffing international operations and the increased operations, travel, infrastructure and legal compliance costs associated with servicing international customers and operating numerous international locations;
our ability to effectively price our products in competitive international markets;
new and different sources of competition or other changes to our current competitive landscape;
understanding and reconciling different technical standards, data privacy and telecommunications regulations, registration and certification requirements outside the United States, which could prevent customers from deploying our products or limit their usage;
our ability to comply with the GDPR and Brazil's General Data Protection Law (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais) (Law No. 13,709/2018), which went into effect September 18, 2020, and laws, regulations and industry standards relating to data privacy, data protection, data localization and data security enacted in countries and other regions in which we operate or do business;
potentially greater difficulty collecting accounts receivable and longer payment cycles;
higher or more variable network service provider fees outside of the United States;
the need to adapt and localize our products for specific countries;
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the need to offer customer support in various languages;
difficulties in understanding and complying with local laws, regulations and customs in non-U.S. jurisdictions;
export controls and economic sanctions administered by the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security and the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control;
compliance with various anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and United Kingdom Bribery Act of 2010;
changes in international trade policies, tariffs and other non-tariff barriers, such as quotas and local content rules;
more limited protection for intellectual property rights in some countries;
adverse tax consequences;
fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could increase the price of our products outside of the United States, increase the expenses of our international operations and expose us to foreign currency exchange rate risk;
currency control regulations, which might restrict or prohibit our conversion of other currencies into U.S. dollars;
restrictions on the transfer of funds;
deterioration of political relations between the United States and other countries;
the impact of natural disasters and public health epidemics or pandemics such as COVID-19 on employees, contingent workers, partners, travel and the global economy and the ability to operate freely and effectively in a region that may be fully or partially on lockdown; and,
political or social unrest or economic instability in a specific country or region in which we operate, which could have an adverse impact on our operations in that location.
Also, due to costs from our international expansion efforts and network service provider fees outside of the United States, which generally are higher than domestic rates, our gross margin for international customers is typically lower than our gross margin for domestic customers. As a result, our gross margin may be impacted and fluctuate as we expand our operations and customer base worldwide.
Our failure to manage any of these risks successfully could harm our international operations, and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Certain of our products are subject to telecommunications‑related regulations, and future legislative or regulatory actions could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
As a provider of communications products, we are subject to existing or potential Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) regulations relating to privacy, telecommunications, consumer protection and other requirements. In addition, the extension of telecommunications regulations to our non-interconnected VoIP services could result in additional federal and state regulatory obligations and taxes. We are also in discussions with certain jurisdictions regarding potential sales and other taxes for prior periods that we may owe. In the event any of these jurisdictions disagree with management’s assumptions and analysis, the assessment of our tax exposure could differ materially from management's current estimates, which may increase our costs of doing business and negatively affect the prices our customers pay for our services. If we do not comply with FCC rules and regulations, we could be subject to FCC enforcement actions, fines, loss of licenses and possibly restrictions on our ability to operate or offer certain of our products. Any enforcement action by the FCC, which may be a public process, would hurt our reputation in the industry, could erode customer trust, possibly impair our ability to sell our VoIP products to customers and could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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Certain of our products are subject to a number of FCC regulations and laws that are administered by the FCC. Among others, we must comply (in whole or in part) with:
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, which regulates communications services and the provision of such services;
the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which limits the use of automatic dialing systems for calls and texts, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, and fax machines;
the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which requires covered entities to assist law enforcement in undertaking electronic surveillance;
requirements to safeguard the privacy of certain customer information;
payment of annual FCC regulatory fees and taxes based on our interstate and international revenues;
rules pertaining to access to our services by people with disabilities and contributions to the Telecommunications Relay Services fund; and,
FCC rules regarding the use of customer proprietary network information.
In addition, Congress and the FCC are attempting to mitigate the scourge of robocalls by requiring participation in a technical standard called SHAKEN/STIR, which allows voice carriers to authenticate caller ID, prohibiting malicious spoofing.
If we do not comply with any current or future rules or regulations that apply to our business, we could be subject to substantial fines and penalties, and we may have to restructure our offerings, exit certain markets or raise the price of our products. In addition, any uncertainty regarding whether particular regulations apply to our business, and how they apply, could increase our costs or limit our ability to grow.
As we continue to expand internationally, we have become subject to telecommunications laws and regulations in the foreign countries where we offer our products. Internationally, we currently offer our products in over 180 countries.
Our international operations are subject to country-specific governmental regulation and related actions that have increased and will continue to increase our costs or impact our products and platform or prevent us from offering or providing our products in certain countries. Moreover, the regulation of communications platform-as-a-service ("CPaaS") companies like us is continuing to evolve internationally and many existing regulations may not fully contemplate the CPaaS business model or how they fit into the communications regulatory framework. As a result, interpretation and enforcement of regulations often involve significant uncertainties. In many countries, including those in the European Union, a number of our products or services are subject to licensing and communications regulatory requirements which increases the level of scrutiny and enforcement by regulators. Future legislative, regulatory or judicial actions impacting CPaaS services could also increase the cost and complexity of compliance and expose us to liability. For example, in some countries, some or all of the services we offer are not considered regulated telecommunications services, while in other countries they are subject to telecommunications regulations, including but not limited to payment into universal service funds, licensing fees, provision of emergency services, provision of information to support emergency services and number portability. Specifically, the Australian Communications and Media Authority recently issued a formal finding against several companies, including our Company, for failure to upload data into a centralized database for emergency services and, in the future, regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions in which we operate may also determine that we are a telecommunications company subject to similar regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in our Company being issued remedial directions to undertake independent audits and implement effective systems, processes and practices to ensure compliance, significant fines or being prohibited from providing telecommunications services in a jurisdiction.
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Moreover, certain of our products may be used by customers located in countries where voice and other forms of IP communications may be illegal or require special licensing or in countries on a U.S. embargo list. Even where our products are reportedly illegal or become illegal or where users are located in an embargoed country, users in those countries may be able to continue to use our products in those countries notwithstanding the illegality or embargo. We may be subject to penalties or governmental action if consumers continue to use our products in countries where it is illegal to do so or if we use a local partner to provide services in a country and the local partner does not comply with applicable governmental regulations. Any such penalties or governmental action may be costly and may harm our business and damage our brand and reputation. We may be required to incur additional expenses to meet applicable international regulatory requirements or be required to raise the prices of services, or restructure or discontinue those services if required by law or if we cannot or will not meet those requirements. Any of the foregoing could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we are unable to obtain or retain geographical, mobile, regional, local or tollfree numbers, or to effectively process requests to port such numbers in a timely manner due to industry regulations, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Our future success depends in part on our ability to obtain allocations of geographical, mobile, regional, local and toll-free direct inward dialing numbers or phone numbers as well as short codes and alphanumeric sender IDs (collectively “Numbering Resources”) in the United States and foreign countries at a reasonable cost and without overly burdensome restrictions. Our ability to obtain allocations of, assign and retain Numbering Resources depends on factors outside of our control, such as applicable regulations, the practices of authorities that administer national numbering plans or of network service providers from whom we can provision Numbering Resources, such as offering these Numbering Resources with conditional minimum volume call level requirements, the cost of these Numbering Resources and the level of overall competitive demand for new Numbering Resources.
In addition, in order to obtain allocations of, assign and retain Numbering Resources in the EU or certain other regions, we are often required to be licensed by local telecommunications regulatory authorities, some of which have been increasingly monitoring and regulating the categories of Numbering Resources that are eligible for provisioning to our customers. We have obtained licenses, and are in the process of obtaining licenses in various countries in which we do business, but in some countries, the regulatory regime around provisioning of Numbering Resources is unclear, subject to change over time, and sometimes may conflict from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Furthermore, these regulations and governments’ approach to their enforcement, as well as our products and services, are still evolving and we may be unable to maintain compliance with applicable regulations, or enforce compliance by our customers, on a timely basis or without significant cost. Also, compliance with these types of regulation may require changes in products or business practices that result in reduced revenue. Due to our or our customers' assignment and/or use of Numbering Resources in certain countries in a manner that violates applicable rules and regulations, we have been subjected to government inquiries and audits, and may in the future be subject to significant penalties or further governmental action, and in extreme cases, may be precluded from doing business in that particular country. We have also been forced to reclaim Numbering Resources from our customers as a result of certain events of non-compliance. These reclamations result in loss of customers, loss of revenue, reputational harm, erosion of customer trust, and may also result in breach of contract claims, all of which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Due to their limited availability, there are certain popular area code prefixes that we generally cannot obtain. Our inability to acquire or retain Numbering Resources for our operations may make our voice and messaging products less attractive to potential customers in the affected local geographic areas. In addition, future growth in our customer base, together with growth in the customer bases of other providers of cloud communications, has increased, which increases our dependence on needing sufficiently large quantities of Numbering Resources. It may become increasingly difficult to source larger quantities of Numbering Resources as we scale and we may need to pay higher costs for Numbering Resources, and Numbering Resources may become subject to more stringent regulation or conditions of usage such as the registration and on-going compliance requirements discussed above.
Additionally, in some geographies, we support number portability, which allows our customers to transfer their existing phone numbers to us and thereby retain their existing phone numbers when subscribing to our voice and messaging products. Transferring existing numbers is a manual process that can take up to 15 business days or longer to complete. Any delay that we experience in transferring these numbers typically results from the fact that we depend on network service providers to transfer these numbers, a process that we do not control, and these network service providers may refuse or substantially delay the transfer of these numbers to us. Number portability is considered an important feature by many potential customers, and if we fail to reduce any related delays, then we may experience increased difficulty in acquiring new customers.
Any of the foregoing factors could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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If we fail to adapt and respond effectively to rapidly changing technology, evolving industry standards, changing regulations, and changing customer needs, requirements or preferences, our products may become less competitive.
The market for communications in general, and cloud communications in particular, is subject to rapid technological change, evolving industry standards, changing regulations, as well as changing customer needs, requirements and preferences. The success of our business will depend, in part, on our ability to adapt and respond effectively to these changes on a timely basis. If we are unable to develop new products that satisfy our customers and provide enhancements and new features for our existing products that keep pace with rapid technological and industry change, including but not limited to SHAKEN/STIR and applicable industry standards, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. If new technologies emerge that are able to deliver competitive products and services at lower prices, more efficiently, more conveniently or more securely, such technologies could adversely impact our ability to compete effectively.
Our platform must integrate with a variety of network, hardware, mobile and software platforms and technologies, and we need to continuously modify and enhance our products and platform to adapt to changes and innovation in these technologies. For example, Apple, Google and other cell-phone operating system providers or inbox service providers have developed and, may in the future develop, new applications or functions intended to filter spam and unwanted phone calls, messages or emails. Similarly, our network service providers may adopt new filtering technologies in an effort to combat spam or robocalling. Such technologies may inadvertently filter desired messages or calls to or from our customers. If cell-phone operating system providers, network service providers, our customers or their end users adopt new software platforms or infrastructure, we may be required to develop new versions of our products to work with those new platforms or infrastructure. This development effort may require significant resources, which would adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Any failure of our products and platform to operate effectively with evolving or new platforms and technologies could reduce the demand for our products. If we are unable to respond to these changes in a cost-effective manner, our products may become less marketable and less competitive or obsolete, and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We substantially rely upon Amazon Web Services to operate our platform, and any disruption of or interference with our use of Amazon Web Services would adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We outsource a substantial majority of our cloud infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (“AWS”), which hosts our products and platform. Our customers need to be able to access our platform at any time, without interruption or degradation of performance. AWS runs its own platform that we access, and we are, therefore, vulnerable to service interruptions at AWS. We have experienced, and expect that in the future we may experience interruptions, delays and outages in service and availability due to a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, human or software errors, website hosting disruptions and capacity constraints. Capacity constraints could be due to a number of potential causes, including technical failures, natural disasters, pandemics such as COVID-19, fraud or security attacks. For instance, in September 2015, AWS suffered a significant outage that had a widespread impact on the ability of our customers to use several of our products and from time to time since then, we have experienced some outages which resulted in disruptions to service for some of our customers. In addition, if our security, or that of AWS, is compromised, or our products or platform are unavailable or our users are unable to use our products within a reasonable amount of time or at all, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. In some instances, we may not be able to identify the cause or causes of these performance problems within a period of time acceptable to our customers. It may become increasingly difficult to maintain and improve our platform performance, especially during peak usage times, as our products become more complex and the usage of our products increases. To the extent that we do not effectively address capacity constraints, either through AWS or alternative providers of cloud infrastructure, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected. In addition, any changes in service levels from AWS may adversely affect our ability to meet our customers’ requirements, result in negative publicity which could harm our reputation and brand and may adversely affect the usage of our platform.
The substantial majority of the services we use from AWS are for cloud-based server capacity and, to a lesser extent, storage and other optimization offerings. AWS enables us to order and reserve server capacity in varying amounts and sizes distributed across multiple regions. We access AWS infrastructure through standard IP connectivity. AWS provides us with computing and storage capacity pursuant to an agreement that continues until terminated by either party. AWS may terminate the agreement for cause upon notice and upon our failure to cure a breach within 30 days from the date of such notification and may, in some cases, suspend the agreement immediately for cause upon notice. Although we expect that we could receive similar services from other third parties, if any of our arrangements with AWS are terminated, we could experience interruptions on our platform and in our ability to make our products available to customers, as well as delays and additional expenses in arranging alternative cloud infrastructure services.
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Any of the above circumstances or events may harm our reputation, erode customer trust, cause customers to stop using our products, impair our ability to increase revenue from existing customers, impair our ability to grow our customer base, subject us to financial penalties and liabilities under our service level agreements and otherwise harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We typically provide monthly uptime service level commitments of up to 99.95% under our agreements with customers. If we fail to meet these contractual commitments, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Our agreements with customers typically provide for service level commitments. If we suffer extended periods of downtime for our products or platform and we are unable to meet these commitments, then we are contractually obligated to provide a service credit, which is typically 10% of the customer’s amounts due for the month in question. In addition, the performance and availability of AWS or other service providers, which provides our cloud infrastructures is outside of our control and, therefore, we are not in full control of whether we meet our service level commitments. As a result, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected if we suffer unscheduled downtime that exceeds the service level commitments we have made to our customers. Any extended service outages could adversely affect our business and reputation and erode customer trust.
Breaches of our networks or systems, or those of AWS or our service providers, could degrade our ability to conduct our business, compromise the integrity of our products, platform and data, result in significant data losses and the theft of our intellectual property, damage our reputation, expose us to liability to third parties and require us to incur significant additional costs to maintain the security of our networks and data.
We depend upon our IT systems to conduct virtually all of our business operations, ranging from our internal operations and research and development activities to our marketing and sales efforts and communications with our customers and business partners. Individuals or entities may attempt to penetrate our network security, or that of our platform, and to cause harm to our business operations, including by misappropriating our proprietary information or that of our customers, employees and business partners or to cause interruptions of our products and platform. In particular, cyberattacks and other malicious internet-based activity continue to increase in frequency and in magnitude generally, and cloud-based companies have been targeted in the past. In addition to threats from traditional computer hackers, malicious code (such as malware, viruses, worms, and ransomware), employees theft or misuse, password spraying, phishing, credential stuffing, and denial-of-service attacks, we also face threats from sophisticated organized crime, nation-state, and nation-state supported actors who engage in attacks (including advanced persistent threat intrusions) that add to the risk to our systems (including those hosted on AWS or other cloud services), internal networks, our customers’ systems and the information that they store and process. While we devote significant financial and employees resources to implement and maintain security measures, because the techniques used by such individuals or entities to access, disrupt or sabotage devices, systems and networks change frequently and may not be recognized until launched against a target, we may be required to make further investments over time to protect data and infrastructure as cybersecurity threats develop, evolve and grow more complex over time. We may also be unable to anticipate these techniques, and we may not become aware in a timely manner of such a security breach, which could exacerbate any damage we experience. Additionally, we depend upon our employees and contractors to appropriately handle confidential and sensitive data, including customer data, and to deploy our IT resources in a safe and secure manner that does not expose our network systems to security breaches or the loss of data. We have been and expect to be subject to cybersecurity threats and incidents, including denial-of-service attacks, employee errors or individual attempts to gain unauthorized access to information systems. Any data security incidents, including internal malfeasance or inadvertent disclosures by our employees or a third party's fraudulent inducement of our employees to disclose information, unauthorized access or usage, virus or similar breach or disruption of us or our service providers, such as AWS, could result in loss of confidential information, damage to our reputation, erosion of customer trust, loss of customers, litigation, regulatory investigations, fines, penalties and other liabilities. Furthermore, we are required to comply with laws and regulations that require us to maintain the security of personal information and we may have contractual and other legal obligations to notify customers or other relevant stakeholders of security breaches. Such disclosures could lead to negative publicity, may cause our customers to lose confidence in the effectiveness of our security measures and require us to expend significant capital and other resources to respond to and/or mitigate the security breach. Accordingly, if our cybersecurity measures or those of AWS or our service providers, fail to protect against unauthorized access, attacks (which may include sophisticated cyberattacks), compromise or the mishandling of data by our employees and contractors, then our reputation, customer trust, business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
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While we maintain errors, omissions, and cyber liability insurance policies covering certain security and privacy damages, we cannot be certain that our existing insurance coverage will continue to be available on acceptable terms or will be available, and in sufficient amounts, to cover the potentially significant losses that may result from a security incident or breach or that the insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim.
Defects or errors in our products could diminish demand for our products, harm our business and results of operations and subject us to liability.
Our customers use our products for important aspects of their businesses, and any errors, defects or disruptions to our products and any other performance problems with our products could damage our customers’ businesses and, in turn, hurt our brand and reputation and erode customer trust. We provide regular updates to our products, which have in the past contained, and may in the future contain, undetected errors, failures, vulnerabilities and bugs when first introduced or released. Real or perceived errors, failures or bugs in our products could result in negative publicity, loss of or delay in market acceptance of our platform, loss of competitive position, lower customer retention or claims by customers for losses sustained by them. In such an event, we may be required, or may choose, for customer relations or other reasons, to expend additional resources in order to help correct the problem. In addition, we may not carry insurance sufficient to compensate us for any losses that may result from claims arising from defects or disruptions in our products. As a result, our reputation and our brand could be harmed, and our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We currently generate significant revenue from our largest customers, and the loss or decline in revenue from any of these customers could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, our 10 largest Active Customer Accounts generated an aggregate of 14%, 13% and 18% of our revenue, respectively. In the event that any of our large customers do not continue to use our products, use fewer of our products, or use our products in a more limited capacity, or not at all, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. Additionally, the usage of our products by customers that do not have long-term contracts with us may change between periods. For example, in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, WhatsApp accounted for 6%, 5% and 7% of our revenue, respectively. WhatsApp does not have a long‑term contract with us and may reduce or fully terminate their usage of our products at any time without notice, penalty or termination charges, which may adversely impact our results of operations.
If we are unable to develop and maintain successful relationships with consulting partners, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We believe that continued growth of our business depends in part upon identifying, developing and maintaining strategic relationships with consulting partners. As part of our growth strategy, we intend to further develop partnerships and specific solution areas with consulting partners. If we fail to establish these relationships in a timely and cost‑effective manner, or at all, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. Additionally, even if we are successful at developing these relationships but there are problems or issues with the integrations or enterprises are not willing to purchase through consulting partners, our reputation and ability to grow our business may be adversely affected.
Any failure to offer high quality customer support may adversely affect our relationships with our customers and prospective customers, and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Many of our customers depend on our customer support team to assist them in deploying our products effectively to help them to resolve post‑deployment issues quickly and to provide ongoing support. If we do not devote sufficient resources or are otherwise unsuccessful in assisting our customers effectively, it could adversely affect our ability to retain existing customers and could prevent prospective customers from adopting our products. We may be unable to respond quickly enough to accommodate short‑term increases in demand for customer support. We also may be unable to modify the nature, scope and delivery of our customer support to compete with changes in the support services provided by our competitors. Increased demand for customer support, without corresponding revenue, could increase costs and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Our sales are highly dependent on our business reputation and on positive recommendations from developers. Any failure to maintain high quality customer support, or a market perception that we do not maintain high quality customer support, could erode customer trust and adversely affect our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition.
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Failure to set optimal prices for our products could adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We charge our customers based on their use of our products. We expect that we may need to change our pricing from time to time. In the past, we have sometimes reduced our prices either for individual customers in connection with long‑term agreements or for a particular product. One of the challenges to our pricing is that the fees that we pay to network service providers over whose networks we transmit communications can vary daily or weekly and are affected by volume and other factors that may be outside of our control and difficult to predict. This can result in us incurring increased costs that we may be unable or unwilling to pass through to our customers, which could adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Further, as competitors introduce new products or services that compete with ours or reduce their prices, we may be unable to attract new customers or retain existing customers based on our historical pricing. As we expand internationally, we also must determine the appropriate price to enable us to compete effectively internationally. Moreover, enterprises, which are a primary focus for our direct sales efforts, may demand substantial price concessions. In addition, if the mix of products sold changes, including for a shift to IP‑based products, then we may need to, or choose to, revise our pricing. As a result, in the future we may be required or choose to reduce our prices or change our pricing model, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We have been sued, and may, in the future, be sued by third parties for alleged infringement of their proprietary rights, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

There is considerable patent and other intellectual property development activity in our industry. Our future success depends, in part, on not infringing the intellectual property rights of others and we may be unaware of the intellectual property rights of others that may cover some or all of our technology. Our competitors or other third parties have claimed and may, in the future, claim that our products or platform and underlying technology are infringing upon their intellectual property rights, and we may be found to be infringing upon such rights. For example, Telesign Corporation (“Telesign”) sued us in 2015 and 2016 alleging that we infringed four U.S. patents. The patent infringement allegations in the lawsuits related to our two‑factor authentication use case, Authy, and an API tool to find information about a phone number. On October 19, 2018, a United States District Court in the Northern District of California entered judgment in our favor on all asserted claims, which was affirmed on appeal. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against such lawsuits. During the course of these lawsuits, there may be announcements of the results of hearings and motions and other interim developments related to the litigation. If securities analysts or investors regard these announcements as negative, the trading price of our Class A common stock may decline.
In the future, we may also introduce or acquire new products or technologies, including in areas where we historically have not participated in, which could increase our exposure to intellectual property claims. Any claims or litigation could cause us to incur significant expenses and, if successfully asserted against us, could require that we pay substantial damages or ongoing royalty payments, prevent us from offering our products, or require that we comply with other unfavorable terms. We may also be obligated to indemnify our customers or business partners in connection with any such litigation and to obtain licenses or modify our products or platform, which could further exhaust our resources. Litigation is inherently uncertain and even if we were to prevail in the event of claims or litigation against us, any claim or litigation regarding intellectual property could be costly and time‑consuming and divert the attention of our management and other employees from our business. Patent infringement, trademark infringement, trade secret misappropriation and other intellectual property claims and proceedings brought against us, whether successful or not, could harm our brand, business, results of operations and financial condition.
Indemnity provisions in various agreements potentially expose us to substantial liability for intellectual property infringement and other losses.
Our agreements with customers and other third parties typically include indemnification or other provisions under which we agree to indemnify or otherwise be liable to them for losses suffered or incurred as a result of claims of intellectual property infringement, loss or exposure of confidential or sensitive data, damages caused by us to property or persons or other liabilities relating to or arising from our products or platform or other acts or omissions. The term of these contractual provisions often survives termination or expiration of the applicable agreement. Large indemnity payments or damage claims from contractual breach could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. Although typically we contractually limit our liability with respect to such obligations, we may still incur substantial liability related to them. Any dispute with a customer with respect to such obligations could have adverse effects on our relationship with that customer and other current and prospective customers, demand for our products and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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We could incur substantial costs in protecting or defending our intellectual property rights, and any failure to protect our intellectual property could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to protect our brand and the proprietary methods and technologies that we develop under patent and other intellectual property laws in the U.S. and in non-U.S. jurisdictions so that we can prevent others from using our inventions and proprietary information. As of December 31, 2020, in the United States, we had been issued 157 patents, which expire between 2029 and 2039. As of such date, we also had 33 issued patents in non-U.S. jurisdictions, all of which are related to U.S. patents and patent applications. We have also filed various applications for protection of certain aspects of our intellectual property in the United States and internationally. There can be no assurance that additional patents will be issued or that any patents that have been issued or that may be issued in the future will provide significant protection for our intellectual property. As of December 31, 2020, we had 41 registered trademarks in the United States and 257 registered trademarks in non-U.S. jurisdictions. If we fail to protect our intellectual property rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology and our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
There can be no assurance that the particular forms of intellectual property protection that we seek, including business decisions about when to file patent applications and trademark applications, will be adequate to protect our business. We could be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights, determine the validity and scope of our proprietary rights or those of others, or defend against claims of infringement or invalidity. Such litigation could be costly, time‑consuming and distracting to management, result in a diversion of significant resources, the narrowing or invalidation of portions of our intellectual property and have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property rights or alleging that we infringe the counterclaimant’s own intellectual property. Any of our patents, copyrights, trademarks or other intellectual property rights could be challenged by others or invalidated through administrative process or litigation.
We also rely, in part, on confidentiality agreements with our business partners, employees, consultants, advisors, customers and others in our efforts to protect our proprietary technology, processes and methods. These agreements may not effectively prevent disclosure of our confidential information, and it may be possible for unauthorized parties to copy our software or other proprietary technology or information, or to develop similar software independently without our having an adequate remedy for unauthorized use or disclosure of our confidential information. In addition, others may independently discover our trade secrets and proprietary information, and in these cases, we would not be able to assert any trade secret rights against those parties. Costly and time‑consuming litigation could be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our proprietary rights, and failure to obtain or maintain trade secret protection could adversely affect our competitive business position.
In addition, the laws of some countries do not protect intellectual property and other proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. To the extent we expand our international activities, our exposure to unauthorized copying, transfer and use of our proprietary technology or information may increase.
We cannot be certain that our means of protecting our intellectual property and proprietary rights will be adequate or that our competitors will not independently develop similar technology. If we fail to meaningfully protect our intellectual property and proprietary rights, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We may acquire or invest in companies, which may divert our management’s attention and result in debt or dilution to our stockholders. We may be unable to integrate acquired businesses and technologies successfully or achieve the expected benefits of such acquisitions.
We actively evaluate and consider potential strategic transactions, including acquisitions of, or investments in, businesses, technologies, services, products and other assets in the future. For example, in November 2020, we acquired Segment for a total purchase price of $3.0 billion, of which $2.5 billion represented the value of our Class A common stock issued at closing. The estimated transaction value of $3.2 billion, as previously announced, includes certain shares of Class A common stock and assumed equity awards that are subject to future vesting. Accordingly, at closing, our stockholders incurred substantial dilution. Any future acquisitions or strategic transactions may result in additional dilution or require us to take on debt in order to finance any such transactions. For further risks related to the acquisition of Segment, please see below under “Risks Related to the Acquisition of Segment". We also may enter into relationships with other businesses to expand our products and platform, which could involve preferred or exclusive licenses, additional channels of distribution, discount pricing or investments in other companies.
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Any acquisition, investment or business relationship may result in unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures. In particular, we may encounter difficulties or delays in assimilating or integrating the businesses, technologies, products, employees or operations of the acquired companies, particularly if the key employees of the acquired company choose not to work for us, their products or services are not easily adapted to work with our platform, or we have difficulty retaining the customers of any acquired business due to changes in ownership, management or otherwise. In addition, we may discover liabilities or deficiencies associated with the assets or companies we acquire or ineffective or inadequate controls, procedures or policies at an acquired business that were not identified in advance, any of which could result in significant unanticipated costs. Acquisitions also may disrupt our business, divert our resources or require significant management attention that would otherwise be available for development of our existing business. Moreover, the anticipated benefits of any acquisition, investment or business relationship may not be realized or we may be exposed to unknown risks or liabilities.
Negotiating these transactions can be time consuming, difficult and expensive, and our ability to complete these transactions may often be subject to approvals that are beyond our control. Consequently, these transactions, even if announced, may not be completed. For one or more of those transactions, we may:
issue additional equity securities that would dilute our existing stockholders;
use cash that we may need in the future to operate our business;
incur large charges or substantial liabilities;
incur debt on terms unfavorable to us or that we are unable to repay;
encounter difficulties retaining key employees of the acquired company or integrating diverse software codes or business cultures;
encounter difficulties retaining the acquired company's customers; or
become subject to adverse tax consequences, substantial depreciation, or deferred compensation charges.
The occurrence of any of these foregoing could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We depend largely on the continued services of our senior management and other key employees, the loss of any of whom could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our future performance depends on the continued services and contributions of our senior management and other key employees to execute on our business plan, to develop our products and platform, to deliver our products to customers, to attract and retain customers and to identify and pursue opportunities. The loss of services of senior management or other key employees could significantly delay or prevent the achievement of our development and strategic objectives. In particular, we depend to a considerable degree on the vision, skills, experience and effort of our co‑founder and Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Lawson. None of our executive officers or other senior management are bound by a written employment agreement and any of them may terminate employment with us at any time with no advance notice. The replacement of any of our senior management would likely involve significant time and costs, and such loss could significantly delay or prevent the achievement of our business objectives. The loss of the services of any of our senior management or other key employees for any reason could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we are unable to hire, retain and motivate qualified employees, our business will suffer.
Our future success depends, in part, on our ability to continue to attract and retain highly skilled employees. We believe that there is, and will continue to be, intense competition for highly skilled management, technical, sales and other employees with experience in our industry in the San Francisco Bay Area, where our headquarters are located, and in other locations where we maintain offices. We must provide competitive compensation packages and a high quality work environment to hire, retain and motivate employees. If we are unable to retain and motivate our existing employees and attract qualified employees to fill key positions, we may be unable to manage our business effectively, including the development, marketing and sale of our products, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. To the extent we hire employees from competitors, we also may be subject to allegations that they have been improperly solicited or divulged proprietary or other confidential information.
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Volatility in, or lack of performance of, our stock price may also affect our ability to attract and retain key employees. Many of our key employees are, or will soon be, vested in a substantial number of shares of Class A common stock or stock options. Employees may be more likely to terminate their employment with us if the shares they own or the shares underlying their vested options have significantly appreciated in value relative to the original purchase prices of the shares or the exercise prices of the options, or, conversely, if the exercise prices of the options that they hold are significantly above the trading price of our Class A common stock. If we are unable to retain our employees, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
United States federal legislation and international laws impose certain obligations on the senders of commercial emails, which could minimize the effectiveness of our platform, and establish financial penalties for non-compliance, which could increase the costs of our business.
    The Federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, or the CAN-SPAM Act, establishes certain requirements for commercial email messages and transactional email messages and specifies penalties for the transmission of email messages that are intended to deceive the recipient as to source or content. Among other things, the CAN-SPAM Act, obligates the sender of commercial emails to provide recipients with the ability to "opt-out" of receiving future commercial emails from the sender. In addition, some states have passed laws regulating commercial email practices that are significantly more restrictive and difficult to comply with than the CAN-SPAM Act. For example, Utah and Michigan prohibit the sending of email messages that advertise products or services that minors are prohibited by law from purchasing (e.g., alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illegal drugs) or that contain content harmful to minors (e.g., pornography) to email addresses listed on specified child protection registries. Some portions of these state laws may not be preempted by the CAN-SPAM Act. In addition, certain non-U.S. jurisdictions in which we operate have enacted laws regulating the sending of email that are more restrictive than U.S. laws. For example, some foreign laws prohibit sending broad categories of email unless the recipient has provided the sender advance consent to receipt of such email, or in other words has “opted-in” to receiving such email. If we were found to be in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act, applicable state laws governing email not preempted by the CAN-SPAM Act or foreign laws regulating the distribution of email, whether as a result of violations by our customers or our own acts or omissions, we could be required to pay large penalties, which would adversely affect our financial condition, significantly harm our business, injure our reputation and erode customer trust. The terms of any injunctions, judgments, consent decrees or settlement agreements entered into in connection with enforcement actions or investigations against our company in connection with any of the foregoing laws may also require us to change one or more aspects of the way we operate our business, which could impair our ability to attract and retain customers or could increase our operating costs.
Our customers’ and other users’ violation of our policies or other misuse of our platform to transmit unauthorized, offensive or illegal messages, spam, phishing scams, and website links to harmful applications or for other fraudulent or illegal activity could damage our reputation, and we may face a risk of litigation and liability for illegal activities on our platform and unauthorized, inaccurate, or fraudulent information distributed via our platform.
The actual or perceived improper sending of text messages or voice calls may subject us to potential risks, including liabilities or claims relating to consumer protection laws and regulatory enforcement, including fines. For example, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 restricts telemarketing and the use of automatic SMS text messages without explicit customer consent. This has resulted in civil claims against our company and requests for information through third‑party subpoenas. The scope and interpretation of the laws that are or may be applicable to the delivery of text messages or voice calls are continuously evolving and developing. If we do not comply with these laws or regulations or if we become liable under these laws or regulations due to the failure of our customers to comply with these laws by obtaining proper consent, we could face direct liability.
    Moreover, despite our ongoing and substantial efforts to limit such use, certain customers may use our platform to transmit unauthorized, offensive or illegal messages, calls, spam, phishing scams, and website links to harmful applications, reproduce and distribute copyrighted material or the trademarks of others without permission, and report inaccurate or fraudulent data or information. These issues also arise with respect to a portion of those users who use our platform on a free trial basis or upon initial use. These actions are in violation of our policies, in particular, our Acceptable Use Policy. However, our efforts to defeat spamming attacks, illegal robocalls and other fraudulent activity will not prevent all such attacks and activity. Such use of our platform could damage our reputation and we could face claims for damages, regulatory enforcement, copyright or trademark infringement, defamation, negligence, or fraud. Moreover, our customers’ and other users’ promotion of their products and services through our platform might not comply with federal, state, and foreign laws. We rely on contractual representations made to us by our customers that their use of our platform will comply with our policies and applicable law, including, without limitation, our email and messaging policies. Although we retain the right to verify that customers and other users are abiding by certain contractual terms, our Acceptable Use Policy and our email and messaging policies and, in certain
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circumstances, to review their email and distribution lists, our customers and other users are ultimately responsible for compliance with our policies, and we do not systematically audit our customers or other users to confirm compliance with our policies. We cannot predict whether our role in facilitating our customers’ or other users’ activities would expose us to liability under applicable law, or whether that possibility could become more likely if changes to current laws regulating content moderation, such as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act are enacted. There have been various Congressional and executive efforts to eliminate or modify Section 230, which limits the liability of internet platforms for third-party content that is transmitted via those platforms and for good-faith moderation of offensive content. President Biden and many Members of Congress from both parties support reform or repeal of Section 230, so the possibility of Congressional action remains. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission is considering a petition, filed by the Trump administration, to adopt rules interpreting Section 230. If the FCC adopts rules, the scope of the protection offered by Section 230 could be narrowed considerably. The FCC has not released any document describing the rules that would be proposed and no date has been set for a vote on any such proposal. The Democratic Commissioners of the FCC have indicated that they are opposed to the petition and now control the agenda of the FCC. Even if claims asserted against us do not result in liability, we may incur substantial costs in investigating and defending such claims. If we are found liable for our customers’ or other users’ activities, we could be required to pay fines or penalties, redesign business methods or otherwise expend resources to remedy any damages caused by such actions and to avoid future liability.
Our use of open source software could negatively affect our ability to sell our products and subject us to possible litigation.
Our products and platform incorporate open source software, and we expect to continue to incorporate open source software in our products and platform in the future. Few of the licenses applicable to open source software have been interpreted by courts, and there is a risk that these licenses could be construed in a manner that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our products and platform. Moreover, although we have implemented policies to regulate the use and incorporation of open source software into our products and platform, we cannot be certain that we have not incorporated open source software in our products or platform in a manner that is inconsistent with such policies. If we fail to comply with open source licenses, we may be subject to certain requirements, including requirements that we offer our products that incorporate the open source software for no cost, that we make available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon, incorporating or using the open source software and that we license such modifications or derivative works under the terms of applicable open source licenses. If an author or other third party that distributes such open source software were to allege that we had not complied with the conditions of one or more of these licenses, we could be required to incur significant legal expenses defending against such allegations and could be subject to significant damages, enjoined from generating revenue from customers using products that contained the open source software and required to comply with onerous conditions or restrictions on these products. In any of these events, we and our customers could be required to seek licenses from third parties in order to continue offering our products and platform and to re‑engineer our products or platform or discontinue offering our products to customers in the event re‑engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely basis. Any of the foregoing could require us to devote additional research and development resources to re‑engineer our products or platform, could result in customer dissatisfaction and may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Changes in laws and regulations related to the Internet or changes in the Internet infrastructure itself may diminish the demand for our products, and could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The future success of our business depends upon the continued use of the Internet as a primary medium for commerce, communications and business applications. Federal, state or foreign government bodies or agencies have in the past adopted, and may in the future adopt, laws or regulations affecting the use of the Internet as a commercial medium. Changes in these laws or regulations could require us to modify our products and platform in order to comply with these changes. In addition, government agencies or private organizations have imposed and may impose additional taxes, fees or other charges for accessing the Internet or commerce conducted via the Internet. These laws or charges could limit the growth of Internet‑related commerce or communications generally or result in reductions in the demand for Internet‑based products and services such as our products and platform. In particular, the re-adoption of "network neutrality" rules in the United States, which President Biden supported during his campaign, could affect the services used by us and our customers. In addition, the use of the Internet as a business tool could be adversely affected due to delays in the development or adoption of new standards and protocols to handle increased demands of Internet activity, security, reliability, cost, ease‑of‑use, accessibility and quality of service. The performance of the Internet and its acceptance as a business tool has been adversely affected by “viruses,” “worms,” and similar malicious programs. If the use of the Internet is reduced as a result of these or other issues, then demand for our products could decline, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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The technology industry is subject to increasing scrutiny that could result in government actions that would negatively affect our business.
The technology industry is subject to intense media, political and regulatory scrutiny, including on issues related to antitrust, privacy, and artificial intelligence, which exposes us to government investigations, legal actions and penalties. For instance, various regulatory agencies, including competition and consumer protection authorities, have active proceedings and investigations concerning multiple technology companies on antitrust and other issues. If we become subject to such investigations, we could be liable for substantial fines and penalties, be required to change our products and services or alter our business operations, receive negative publicity, or be subject to civil litigation, all of which could harm our business. Lawmakers also have proposed new laws and regulations, and modifications to existing laws and regulations, that affect the activities of technology companies such as the recent efforts to eliminate or modify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. If such laws and regulations are enacted or modified, they could impact us, even if they are not intended to affect our company. In addition, the introduction of new products and services, expansion of our activities in certain jurisdictions, or other actions that we may take may subject us to additional laws, regulations, and other scrutiny. The increased scrutiny of certain acquisitions in the technology industry also could affect our ability to enter into strategic transactions or to acquire other businesses.
Compliance with new or modified laws and regulations could increase the cost of conducting our business, limit the opportunities to increase our revenues, or prevent us from offering products or services. While we have adopted policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that our employees, contractors or agents will not violate such laws and regulations. If we are found to have violated laws and regulations, it could materially adversely affect our reputation, financial condition and operating results.
We also could be harmed by government investigations, litigation, or changes in laws and regulations directed at our customers, business partners, or suppliers in the technology industry that have the effect of limiting our ability to do business with those entities. For example, the U.S. government recently has taken action against companies operating in China intended to limit their ability to do business in the U.S. or with U.S. companies. There can be no assurance that our business will not be materially adversely affected, individually or in the aggregate, by the outcomes of such investigations, litigation or changes to laws and regulations in the future.

The standards that private entities and inbox service providers use to regulate the use and delivery of email have in the past interfered with, and may in the future interfere with, the effectiveness of our platform and our ability to conduct business.

Some of our customers rely on email for commercial solicitation. Other private entities often advocate standards of conduct or practice that significantly exceed current legal requirements and classify certain solicitations that comply with current legal requirements as spam. Some of these entities maintain “blacklists” of companies and individuals, and the websites, inbox service providers and IP addresses associated with those entities or individuals that do not adhere to those standards of conduct or practices for commercial solicitations that the blacklisting entity believes are appropriate. If a company’s IP addresses are listed by a blacklisting entity, emails sent from those addresses may be blocked if they are sent to any internet domain or internet address that subscribes to the blacklisting entity’s service or uses its blacklist.
From time to time, some of our IP addresses have become, and we expect will continue to be, listed with one or more blacklisting entities due to the messaging practices of our customers and other users. We may be at an increased risk of having our IP addresses blacklisted due to our scale and volume of email processed, compared to our smaller competitors. While the overall percentage of such email solicitations that our individual customers send may be at or below reasonable standards, the total aggregate number of all emails that we process on behalf of our customers may trigger increased scrutiny from these blacklisting entities. There can be no guarantee that we will be able to successfully remove ourselves from those lists. Because we fulfill email delivery on behalf of our customers, blacklisting of this type could undermine the effectiveness of our customers’ transactional email, email marketing programs and other email communications, all of which could have a material negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Additionally, inbox service providers can block emails from reaching their users. While we continually improve our own technology and work closely with inbox service providers to maintain our deliverability rates, the implementation of new or more restrictive policies by inbox service providers may make it more difficult to deliver our customers’ emails, particularly if we are not given adequate notice of a change in policy or struggle to update our platform or services to comply with the changed policy in a reasonable amount of time. In addition, some inbox service providers categorize as “promotional” emails that originate from email service providers and, as a result, direct them to an alternate or “tabbed” section of the recipient’s inbox. If inbox service providers materially limit or halt the delivery of our customers’ emails, or if we fail to deliver our
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customers’ emails in a manner compatible with inbox service providers’ email handling or authentication technologies or other policies, or if the open rates of our customers’ emails are negatively impacted by the actions of inbox service providers to categorize emails, then customers may question the effectiveness of our platform and cancel their accounts. This, in turn, could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may be subject to governmental export controls and economic sanctions regulations that could impair our ability to compete in international markets due to licensing requirements and could subject us to liability if we are not in compliance with applicable laws.
Certain of our products and services may be subject to export control and economic sanctions regulations, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, U.S. Customs regulations and various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls. Exports of our products and the provision of our services must be made in compliance with these laws and regulations. Although we take precautions to prevent our products from being provided in violation of such laws, we are aware of previous exports of certain of our products to a small number of persons and organizations that are the subject of U.S. sanctions or located in countries or regions subject to U.S. sanctions. If we fail to comply with these laws and regulations, we and certain of our employees could be subject to substantial civil or criminal penalties, including: the possible loss of export privileges; fines, which may be imposed on us and responsible employees or managers; and, in extreme cases, the incarceration of responsible employees or managers. Obtaining the necessary authorizations, including any required license, for a particular deployment may be time‑consuming, is not guaranteed and may result in the delay or loss of sales opportunities. In addition, changes in our products or services, or changes in applicable export or economic sanctions regulations may create delays in the introduction and deployment of our products and services in international markets, or, in some cases, prevent the export of our products or provision of our services to certain countries or end users. Any change in export or economic sanctions regulations, shift in the enforcement or scope of existing regulations, or change in the countries, governments, persons or technologies targeted by such regulations, could also result in decreased use of our products and services, or in our decreased ability to export our products or provide our services to existing or prospective customers with international operations. Any decreased use of our products and services or limitation on our ability to export our products and provide our services could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Further, we incorporate encryption technology into certain of our products. Various countries regulate the import of certain encryption technology, including through import permitting and licensing requirements, and have enacted laws that could limit our customers’ ability to import our products into those countries. Encryption products and the underlying technology may also be subject to export control restrictions. Governmental regulation of encryption technology and regulation of exports of encryption products, or our failure to obtain required approval for our products, when applicable, could harm our international sales and adversely affect our revenue. Compliance with applicable regulatory requirements regarding the export of our products and provision of our services, including with respect to new releases of our products and services, may create delays in the introduction of our products and services in international markets, prevent our customers with international operations from deploying our products and using our services throughout their globally‑distributed systems or, in some cases, prevent the export of our products or provision of our services to some countries altogether.
Our reliance on SaaS technologies from third parties may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We rely on hosted SaaS technologies from third parties in order to operate critical internal functions of our business, including enterprise resource planning, customer support and customer relations management services. If these services become unavailable due to extended outages or interruptions, or because they are no longer available on commercially reasonable terms or prices, our expenses could increase. As a result, our ability to manage our operations could be interrupted and our processes for managing our sales process and supporting our customers could be impaired until equivalent services, if available, are identified, obtained and implemented, all of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may have additional tax liabilities, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Significant judgments and estimates are required in determining our provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities. Our tax expense may be impacted, for example, if tax laws change or are clarified to our detriment or if tax authorities successfully challenge the tax positions that we take, such as, for example, positions relating to the arms‑length pricing standards for our intercompany transactions and our indirect tax positions. In determining the adequacy of income taxes, we assess the likelihood of adverse outcomes that could result if our tax positions were challenged by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), and other tax authorities. Should the IRS or other tax authorities assess additional taxes as a result of examinations, we
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may be required to record charges to operations that could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. We are currently in discussions with certain jurisdictions regarding potential sales taxes for prior periods that we may owe. We reserved $25.6 million on our December 31, 2020 balance sheet for these tax payments. The actual exposure could differ materially from our current estimates, and if the actual payments we make to any jurisdiction exceed the accrual in our balance sheet, our results of operations would be harmed. For example, one jurisdiction has assessed us for $38.8 million in taxes, including interest and penalties, which exceeded the $11.5 million we had accrued for that assessment. We believe this assessment is incorrect and have disputed it, paid the full amount as required by law, and are seeking a refund or settlement. The payment made in excess of the accrued amount will be reflected as a deposit on our balance sheet in future periods. If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached in the near future, we will challenge the jurisdiction’s assessment in court. However, litigation is uncertain and a ruling against us may adversely affect our financial position and results of operation. Many states are also pursuing legislative expansion of the scope of goods and services that are subject to sales and similar taxes as well as the circumstances in which a vendor of goods and services must collect such taxes. Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., states are now free to levy taxes on sales of goods and services based on an “economic nexus,” regardless of whether the seller has a physical presence in the state. Any additional fees and taxes levied on our services by any state may adversely impact our results of operations.
We could be subject to liability for historical and future indirect and similar taxes, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
We conduct operations in many tax jurisdictions throughout the United States and internationally. In many of these jurisdictions, non‑income‑based taxes, such as sales, VAT, GST, and telecommunications taxes, are assessed on our operations or our sales to customers. We are subject to indirect taxes, and may be subject to certain other taxes, in some of these jurisdictions. Historically, we have not billed or collected taxes in certain jurisdictions and, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“U.S. GAAP”), we have recorded a provision for our tax exposure in these jurisdictions when it is both probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the exposure can be reasonably estimated. These estimates include several key assumptions, including, but not limited to, the taxability of our products, the jurisdictions in which we believe we have nexus or a permanent establishment, and the sourcing of revenues to those jurisdictions. In the event these jurisdictions challenge our assumptions and analysis, our actual exposure could differ materially from our current estimates.
We have been and may continue to be subject to scrutiny from tax authorities in various jurisdictions and may have additional exposure related to our historical operations. Furthermore, certain jurisdictions in which we do not collect such taxes have in the past and may in the future assert that such taxes are applicable, which could result in tax assessments, penalties and interest, and we may be required to collect such taxes in the future. Such tax assessments, penalties and interest or future requirements may adversely affect our business, the prices at which we are able to offer our services, our results of operations and financial condition.
Effective March 2017, we began collecting certain telecommunications‑based taxes from our customers in certain jurisdictions. Since then, we have added more jurisdictions where we collect these taxes and we expect to continue expanding the number of jurisdictions in which we will collect these taxes in the future. We are also in discussions with certain jurisdictions regarding our potential sales and other taxes for prior periods that we may owe.
In the event any of these jurisdictions disagree with management's assumptions and analysis, the assessment of our tax exposure could differ materially from management's current estimates. Some customers may question the incremental tax charges and some may seek to negotiate lower pricing from us, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our global operations and structure subject us to potentially adverse tax consequences.
We generally conduct our global operations through subsidiaries and report our taxable income in various jurisdictions worldwide based upon our business operations in those jurisdictions. In particular, our intercompany relationships are subject to complex transfer pricing regulations administered by taxing authorities in various jurisdictions. Also, our tax expense could be affected depending on the applicability of withholding and other taxes (including withholding and indirect taxes on software licenses and related intercompany transactions) under the tax laws of certain jurisdictions in which we have business operations. The relevant revenue and taxing authorities may disagree with positions we have taken generally, or our determinations as to the value of assets sold or acquired or income and expenses attributable to specific jurisdictions. If such a disagreement were to occur, and our position were not sustained, we could be required to pay additional taxes, interest and penalties, which could result in one‑time tax charges, higher effective tax rates, reduced cash flows and lower overall profitability of our operations.
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Certain government agencies in jurisdictions where we and our affiliates do business have had an extended focus on issues related to the taxation of multinational companies. In addition, the Organization for Economic Co‑operation and Development is conducting a project focused on base erosion and profit shifting in international structures, which seeks to establish certain international standards for taxing the worldwide income of multinational companies. Further, several countries have proposed or enacted taxes applicable to digital services, which could apply to our business. As a result of these developments, the tax laws of certain countries in which we and our affiliates do business could change on a prospective or retroactive basis, and any such changes could increase our liabilities for taxes, interest and penalties, and therefore could harm our business, cash flows, results of operations and financial position.
Changes in the U.S. taxation of international business activities or the adoption of other tax reform policies could materially impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Changes to U.S. tax laws that may be enacted in the future could impact the tax treatment of our foreign earnings. Due to the expansion of our international business activities, any changes in the U.S. taxation of such activities may increase our worldwide effective tax rate and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we experience excessive credit card or fraudulent activity, we could incur substantial costs.
Most of our customers authorize us to bill their credit card accounts directly for service fees that we charge. If people pay for our services with stolen credit cards, we could incur substantial third‑party vendor costs for which we may not be reimbursed. Further, our customers provide us with credit card billing information online, and we do not review the physical credit cards used in these transactions, which increases our risk of exposure to fraudulent activity. We also incur charges, which we refer to as chargebacks, from the credit card companies from claims that the customer did not authorize the credit card transaction to purchase our services. If the number of unauthorized credit card transactions becomes excessive, we could be assessed substantial fines for excess chargebacks, and we could lose the right to accept credit cards for payment.
Our products may also be subject to fraudulent usage, including but not limited to revenue share fraud, domestic traffic pumping, subscription fraud, premium text message scams and other fraudulent schemes. Although our customers are required to set passwords or personal identification numbers to protect their accounts, third parties have in the past been, and may in the future be, able to access and use their accounts through fraudulent means. Furthermore, spammers attempt to use our products to send targeted and untargeted spam messages. We cannot be certain that our efforts to defeat spamming attacks will be successful in eliminating all spam messages from being sent using our platform. In addition, a cybersecurity breach of our customers’ systems could result in exposure of their authentication credentials, unauthorized access to their accounts or fraudulent calls on their accounts, any of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may require additional capital to support our business, and this capital might not be available on acceptable terms, if at all.
We intend to continue to make investments to support our business and may require additional funds. In particular, we may seek additional funds to develop new products and enhance our platform and existing products, expand our operations, including our sales and marketing organizations and our presence outside of the United States, improve our infrastructure or acquire complementary businesses, technologies, services, products and other assets. In addition, we may use a portion of our cash to satisfy tax withholding and remittance obligations related to outstanding restricted stock units. Accordingly, we may need to engage in equity or debt financings to secure additional funds. If we raise additional funds through future issuances of equity or convertible debt securities, our stockholders could suffer significant dilution, and any new equity securities we issue could have rights, preferences and privileges superior to those of holders of our Class A and Class B common stock. Subject to obtaining an acceptable credit rating, and other conditions, we may opportunistically pursue debt financing in the first half of 2021. Any debt financing that we may secure in the future could involve restrictive covenants relating to our capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities. We may not be able to obtain additional financing on terms favorable to us, if at all. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us when we require it, our ability to continue to support our business growth, scale our infrastructure, develop product enhancements and to respond to business challenges could be significantly impaired, and our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
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We face exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, and such fluctuations could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
As our international operations expand, our exposure to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates grows. For example, global political events, including Brexit, trade tariff developments and other geopolitical events have caused global economic uncertainty and variability in foreign currency exchange rates. While we have primarily transacted with customers and business partners in U.S. dollars, we have transacted with customers in Australian dollar, Brazilian real, British pounds, euro, Japanese yen, and Swedish krona. We expect to significantly expand the number of transactions with customers that are denominated in foreign currencies in the future as we continue to expand our business internationally. We also incur expenses for some of our network service provider costs outside of the United States in local currencies and for employee compensation and other operating expenses at our non‑U.S. locations in the local currency for such locations. Fluctuations in the exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and other currencies could result in an increase to the U.S. dollar equivalent of such expenses.
In addition, our international subsidiaries maintain net assets that are denominated in currencies other than the functional operating currencies of these entities. As we continue to expand our international operations, we become more exposed to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Accordingly, changes in the value of foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar can affect our results of operations due to transactional and translational remeasurements. As a result of such foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, it could be more difficult to detect underlying trends in our business and results of operations. In addition, to the extent that fluctuations in currency exchange rates cause our results of operations to differ from our expectations or the expectations of our investors and securities analysts who follow our stock, the trading price of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.
We do not currently maintain a program to hedge transactional exposures in foreign currencies. However, in the future, we may use derivative instruments, such as foreign currency forward and option contracts, to hedge certain exposures to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. The use of such hedging activities may not offset any or more than a portion of the adverse financial effects of unfavorable movements in foreign exchange rates over the limited time the hedges are in place. Moreover, the use of hedging instruments may introduce additional risks if we are unable to structure effective hedges with such instruments.
Our ability to use our net operating losses to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations.
As of December 31, 2020, we had federal, state and foreign net operating loss carryforwards (“NOLs”), of $2.7 billion, $1.8 billion and $27.9 million, respectively. In the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, as a result of our Segment and SendGrid acquisitions, respectively, we assumed a $22.3 million and $56.2 million, respectively, deferred tax liability, as described in Note 6 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In general, under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change” (generally defined as a greater than 50‑percentage‑point cumulative change (by value) in the equity ownership of certain stockholders over a rolling three‑year period) is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its pre‑change NOLs to offset post‑change taxable income. Our existing NOLs may be subject to limitations arising from previous ownership changes, and if we undergo an ownership change in the future, our ability to utilize NOLs could be further limited by Section 382 of the Code. Future changes in our stock ownership, some of which may be outside of our control, could result in an ownership change under Section 382 of the Code.
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. government enacted tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”). The Tax Act makes broad and complex changes to the U.S. tax code including changes to the uses and limitations of net operating losses. For example, while the Tax Act allows for U.S. federal net operating losses incurred in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 to be carried forward indefinitely, the Tax Act also imposes an 80% limitation on the use of net operating losses that are generated in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Net operating losses generated in tax years beginning prior to December 31, 2017 still have a 20‑year carryforward period and are not subject to 80% limitation. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") enacted on March 27, 2020 permits a full five-year carryback of net operating losses arising in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2021. In addition, at the state level, there may be periods during which the use of net operating loss carryforwards is suspended or otherwise limited, which could accelerate or permanently increase state taxes owed. For example, California imposed limits on the usability of California state net operating losses to offset taxable income in tax years beginning after 2019 and before 2023. These provisions do not impact us since we have net operating losses in the applicable tax years. Our ability to utilize net operating loss carryforwards depends on existence of sufficient taxable income of the appropriate character within the carryforward period. Based on all available evidence, other than future taxable income from reversing taxable temporary differences, we have no other sources of taxable income that are objectively verifiable. As such, net operating loss carryforwards generated in tax years beginning before December 31, 2017, could expire unused and net operating losses arising
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in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, while able to be carried forward indefinitely, are also not more likely than not to be realized due to lack of taxable income.
If our estimates or judgments relating to our critical accounting policies prove to be incorrect, our results of operations could be adversely affected.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, as provided in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” The results of these estimates form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets, liabilities and equity, and the amount of revenue and expenses that are not readily apparent from other sources. Assumptions and estimates used in preparing our consolidated financial statements include those related to revenue recognition and business combinations. Our results of operations may be adversely affected if our assumptions change or if actual circumstances differ from those in our assumptions, which could cause our results of operations to fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors, resulting in a decline in the trading price of our Class A common stock.
Changes in financial accounting standards or practices may cause adverse, unexpected financial reporting fluctuations and affect our results of operations.
A change in accounting standards or practices may have a significant effect on our results of operations and may even affect our reporting of transactions completed before the change is effective. New accounting pronouncements and varying interpretations of accounting pronouncements have occurred and may occur in the future. Changes to existing rules or the questioning of current practices may adversely affect our reported financial results or the way we conduct our business.
For example, a new accounting guidance, Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 842, “Leases”, became effective January 1, 2019. The adoption of this new guidance had a significant impact on our balance sheet as described in detail in Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Adoption of these types of accounting standards and any difficulties in implementation of changes in accounting principles, including the ability to modify our accounting systems, could cause us to fail to meet our financial reporting obligations, which result in regulatory discipline and harm investors' confidence in us.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.
As a public company, we are required to maintain internal control over financial reporting and to report any material weaknesses in such internal control. Section 404 of the Sarbanes‑Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes‑Oxley Act, requires that we evaluate and determine the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and provide a management report on internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.
Our current controls and any new controls that we develop may become inadequate because of changes in conditions in our business. Further, weaknesses in our disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting may be discovered in the future. Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement could harm our results of operations or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and may result in a restatement of our financial statements for prior periods. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting also could adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual independent registered public accounting firm attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting that we are required to include in our periodic reports that will be filed with the SEC. Ineffective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial and other information, and could have a material and adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and could cause a decline in the trading price of our Class A common stock. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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If our goodwill or intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings.
We review our intangible assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Goodwill is required to be tested for impairment at least annually. As of December 31, 2020, we carried a net $5.6 billion of goodwill and intangible assets. An adverse change in market conditions, particularly if such change has the effect of changing one of our critical assumptions or estimates, could result in a change to the estimation of fair value that could result in an impairment charge to our goodwill or intangible assets. Any such charges may adversely affect our results of operations.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock
The trading price of our Class A common stock has been volatile and may continue to be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
Prior to our initial public offering in June 2016, there was no public market for shares of our Class A common stock. On June 23, 2016, we sold shares of our Class A common stock to the public at $15.00 per share. From June 23, 2016, the date that our Class A common stock started trading on the New York Stock Exchange, through December 31, 2020, the trading price of our Class A common stock has ranged from $22.80 per share to $374.49 per share. The trading price of our Class A common stock may continue to fluctuate significantly in response to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;
volatility in the trading prices and trading volumes of technology stocks;
changes in operating performance and stock market valuations of other technology companies generally, or those in our industry in particular;
sales of shares of our Class A common stock by us or our stockholders;
failure of securities analysts to maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by securities analysts who follow our company, or our failure to meet these estimates or the expectations of investors;
the financial projections we may provide to the public, any changes in those projections or our failure to meet those projections;
announcements by us or our competitors of new products or services;
the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements and filings with the SEC;
rumors and market speculation involving us or other companies in our industry;
changes in laws, industry standards, regulations or regulatory enforcement in the United States or internationally, GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 and other privacy regulations that may be implemented in the future, including the Schrems II decision invalidating the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, SHAKEN/STIR and other robocalling prevention and anti-spam standards and increased costs associated with such compliance, as well as enhanced Know-Your-Client processes that impact our ability to market, sell or deliver our products;
actual or anticipated changes in our results of operations or fluctuations in our results of operations;
actual or anticipated developments in our business, our competitors’ businesses or the competitive landscape generally;
litigation involving us, our industry or both, or investigations by regulators into our operations or those of our competitors;
developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property or other proprietary rights;
announced or completed acquisitions of businesses, products, services or technologies by us or our competitors;
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changes in accounting standards, policies, guidelines, interpretations or principles;
any significant change in our management; and
general economic conditions and slow or negative growth of our markets.
In addition, in the past, following periods of volatility in the overall market and the market price of a particular company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against these companies. This litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources.
Substantial future sales of shares of our Class A common stock could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline.
The market price of our Class A common stock could decline as a result of substantial sales of our Class A common stock, particularly sales by our directors, executive officers and significant stockholders, or the perception in the market that holders of a large number of shares intend to sell their shares.
Additionally, the shares of Class A common stock subject to outstanding options and restricted stock unit awards under our equity incentive plans and the shares reserved for future issuance under our equity incentive plans will become eligible for sale in the public market upon issuance, subject to applicable insider trading policies. Certain holders of our Class A common stock have rights, subject to some conditions, to require us to file registration statements covering their shares or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for our stockholders or ourselves.
The dual class structure of our common stock has the effect of concentrating voting control with those stockholders who held our capital stock prior to the completion of our initial public offering, including our directors, executive officers and their respective affiliates. This limits or precludes your ability to influence corporate matters, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transaction requiring stockholder approval.
Our Class B common stock has 10 votes per share, and our Class A common stock has one vote per share. As of December 31, 2020, our directors, executive officers and their respective affiliates, held in the aggregate 24.4% of the voting power of our capital stock. Because of the 10‑to‑one voting ratio between our Class B common stock and Class A common stock, the holders of our Class B common stock collectively will continue to control a majority of the combined voting power of our common stock and therefore be able to control all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval until the earlier of (i) June 28, 2023, or (ii) the date the holders of two‑thirds of our Class B common stock elect to convert the Class B common stock to Class A common stock. This concentrated control limits or precludes your ability to influence corporate matters for the foreseeable future, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transaction requiring stockholder approval. In addition, this may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our capital stock that you may feel are in your best interest as one of our stockholders.
Future transfers by holders of Class B common stock will generally result in those shares converting to Class A common stock, subject to limited exceptions, such as certain transfers effected for estate planning purposes. The conversion of Class B common stock to Class A common stock will have the effect, over time, of increasing the relative voting power of those holders of Class B common stock who retain their shares in the long term.
If securities or industry analysts cease publishing research or reports about us, our business or our market, or if they change their recommendations regarding our Class A common stock adversely, the trading price of our Class A common stock and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our Class A common stock is influenced by the research and reports that securities or industry analysts may publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors. If any of the analysts who cover us change their recommendation regarding our Class A common stock adversely, or provide more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors, the trading price of our Class A common stock would likely decline. If any analyst who covers us were to cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause the trading price of our Class A common stock or trading volume to decline.
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Anti‑takeover provisions contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, as well as provisions of Delaware law, could impair a takeover attempt.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, amended and restated bylaws and Delaware law contain provisions which could have the effect of rendering more difficult, delaying, or preventing an acquisition deemed undesirable by our board of directors. Among other things, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws include provisions:
authorizing “blank check” preferred stock, which could be issued by our board of directors without stockholder approval and may contain voting, liquidation, dividend and other rights superior to our Class A and Class B common stock;
limiting the liability of, and providing indemnification to, our directors and officers;
limiting the ability of our stockholders to call and bring business before special meetings;
providing for a dual class common stock structure in which holders of our Class B common stock have the ability to control the outcome of matters requiring stockholder approval, even if they own significantly less than a majority of the outstanding shares of our Class A and Class B common stock, including the election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or its assets;
providing that our board of directors is classified into three classes of directors with staggered three‑year terms;
prohibit stockholder action by written consent, which requires all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;
requiring advance notice of stockholder proposals for business to be conducted at meetings of our stockholders and for nominations of candidates for election to our board of directors;
controlling the procedures for the conduct and scheduling of board of directors and stockholder meetings; and
providing for advance notice procedures that stockholders must comply with in order to nominate candidates to our board of directors or to propose matters to be acted upon at a meeting of stockholders, which may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.
These provisions, alone or together, could delay or prevent hostile takeovers and changes in control or changes in our management.
As a Delaware corporation, we are also subject to provisions of Delaware law, including Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation law, which prevents certain stockholders holding more than 15% of our outstanding common stock from engaging in certain business combinations without approval of the holders of at least two‑thirds of our outstanding common stock not held by such 15% or greater stockholder.
Any provision of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, amended and restated bylaws or Delaware law that has the effect of delaying, preventing or deterring a change in control could limit the opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their shares of our common stock and could also affect the price that some investors are willing to pay for our Class A common stock.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for the following types of actions or proceedings under Delaware statutory or common law:
• any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf;
• any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty owed by our directors, officers, employees or our stockholders;
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• any action asserting a claim against us arising under the Delaware General Corporation Law; and
• any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal-affairs doctrine.
This provision would not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Exchange Act or any other claim for which the U.S. federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction.
This exclusive-forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees, which may discourage lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and employees. If a court were to find this exclusive forum provision in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving the dispute in other jurisdictions, which could seriously harm our business.
We do not expect to declare any dividends in the foreseeable future.
We have never paid dividends and we do not anticipate declaring any cash dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future. Consequently, investors may need to rely on sales of their Class A common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any future gains on their investment. Investors seeking cash dividends should not purchase our Class A common stock.
Risks Related to the Outstanding Notes
Servicing our future debt may require a significant amount of cash, and we may not have sufficient cash flow from our business to pay our indebtedness.
Our ability to make scheduled payments of the principal of, to pay interest on or to refinance our indebtedness, including our 0.25% convertible senior notes due 2023 (the “Notes”), depends on our future performance, which is subject to economic, financial, competitive and other factors beyond our control. Our business may not generate cash flow from operations in the future sufficient to service our debt and make necessary capital expenditures. If we are unable to generate such cash flow, we may be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as selling assets, restructuring debt or obtaining additional debt financing or equity capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive. Our ability to refinance any future indebtedness will depend on the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. We may not be able to engage in any of these activities or engage in these activities on desirable terms, which could result in a default on our debt obligations. In addition, any of our future debt agreements may contain restrictive covenants that may prohibit us from adopting any of these alternatives. Our failure to comply with these covenants could result in an event of default which, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of our debt.
We may not have the ability to raise the funds necessary for cash settlement upon conversion of the Notes or to repurchase the Notes for cash upon a fundamental change, and our future debt may contain limitations on our ability to pay cash upon conversion of the Notes or to repurchase the Notes.
Subject to limited exceptions, holders of the Notes have the right to require us to repurchase their Notes upon the occurrence of a fundamental change at a fundamental change repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the Notes to be repurchased, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but excluding, the fundamental change repurchase date. In addition, upon conversion of the Notes, unless we elect to deliver solely shares of our Class A common stock to settle such conversion (other than paying cash in lieu of delivering any fractional share), we will be required to make cash payments in respect of the Notes being converted. However, we may not have enough available cash or be able to obtain financing at the time we are required to make repurchases of Notes surrendered therefor or pay any cash amounts due upon conversion. In addition, our ability to repurchase the Notes or to pay cash upon conversions of the Notes may be limited by law, by regulatory authority or by agreements governing our future indebtedness. Our failure to repurchase Notes at a time when the repurchase is required by the indenture governing the Notes (the "indenture") or to pay any cash payable on future conversions of the Notes as required by the indenture would constitute a default under the indenture. A default under the indenture or the fundamental change itself could also lead to a default under agreements governing our future indebtedness. If the repayment of the related indebtedness were to be accelerated after any applicable notice or grace periods, we may not have sufficient funds to repay the indebtedness and repurchase the Notes or make cash payments upon conversions thereof.
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The triggering of the conditional conversion feature of the Notes could adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.
In the event the conditional conversion feature of the Notes is triggered, holders of the Notes will be entitled to convert the Notes at any time during specified periods at their option. This conditional conversion feature was triggered during the three months ended December 31, 2020, as the last reported sale price of our Class A common stock was more than or equal to 130% of the conversion price for at least 20 trading days (whether or not consecutive) in the period of 30 consecutive trading days ending on December 31, 2020 (the last trading day of the calendar quarter), and therefore the Notes are currently convertible, in whole or in part, at the option of the holders between January 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021. Whether the Notes will be convertible following such period will depend on the continued satisfaction of this condition or another conversion condition in the future. If one or more holders elect to convert their Notes during a period in which the Notes are convertible, unless we elect to satisfy our conversion obligation by delivering solely shares of our Class A common stock (other than paying cash in lieu of delivering any fractional share), we would be required to settle a portion or all of our conversion obligation through the payment of cash, which could adversely affect our liquidity. In addition, even if holders do not elect to convert their Notes, under certain circumstances, such as a fundamental change or default, as described in the indenture, we could be required under applicable accounting rules to reclassify all or a portion of the outstanding principal of the Notes as a current rather than long‑term liability, which would result in a material reduction of our net working capital.
The accounting method for convertible debt securities that may be settled in cash, such as the Notes, could have a material effect on our reported financial results.
Under Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification 470‑20, Debt with Conversion and Other Options, which we refer to as ASC 470‑20, an entity must separately account for the liability and equity components of convertible debt instruments (such as the Notes) that may be settled entirely or partially in cash upon conversion in a manner that reflects the issuer’s economic interest cost. ASC 470‑20 requires the value of the conversion option of the Notes, representing the equity component, to be recorded as additional paid‑in capital within stockholders’ equity in our consolidated balance sheet and as a discount to the debt component of the Notes, which reduces their initial debt carrying value reflected as a liability on our balance sheets. The carrying value of the debt component of the Notes, net of the discount recorded, will be accreted up to the principal amount of the Notes from the issuance date until maturity, which will result in non‑cash charges to interest expense in our consolidated statement of operations. Accordingly, we will report lower net income or higher net loss in our financial results because ASC 470‑20 requires interest to include both the current period’s accretion of the debt discount and the instrument’s coupon interest, which could adversely affect our reported or future financial results, the trading price of our Class A common stock and the trading price of the Notes.
In addition, under certain circumstances, convertible debt instruments (such as the Notes) that may be settled entirely or partly in cash are currently accounted for utilizing the treasury stock method, the effect of which is that the shares issuable upon conversion of the Notes are not included in the calculation of diluted earnings per share except to the extent that the conversion value of the Notes exceeds their principal amount. Under the treasury stock method, for diluted earnings per share purposes, the transaction is accounted for as if the number of shares of Class A common stock that would be necessary to settle such excess, if we elected to settle such excess in shares, are issued.
However, in August 2020, the Financial Accounting Standards Board published accounting standards update ("ASU") 2020-06, "Debt—Debt with Conversion and Other Options (Subtopic 470-20) and Derivatives and Hedging—Contracts in Entity’s Own Equity (Subtopic 815-40): Accounting for Convertible Instruments and Contracts in an Entity’s Own Equity", which we refer to as ASU 2020-06, which amends these accounting standards by reducing the number of accounting models for convertible instruments and limiting instances of separate accounting for the debt and equity or a derivative component of the convertible debt instruments. ASU 2020-06 will no longer allow the use of the treasury stock method for convertible instruments for purposes of calculating diluted earnings per share and instead require application of the “if-converted” method. Under that method, diluted earnings per share will generally be calculated assuming that all the Notes were converted solely into shares of Class A common stock at the beginning of the reporting period, unless the result would be anti-dilutive, which could adversely affect our diluted earnings per share. However, if the principal amount of the convertible debt instrument being converted is required to be paid in cash and only the excess is permitted to be settled in shares, the if-converted method will produce a similar result as the treasury stock method prior to the adoption of ASU 2020-06 for such convertible debt instrument. These amendments will be effective for public companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021, with early adoption permitted, but no earlier than fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020.
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The capped call transactions may affect the value of the Notes and our Class A common stock.
In connection with the pricing of the Notes, we entered into privately negotiated capped call transactions with the option counterparties. The capped call transactions are expected generally to reduce the potential dilution to our Class A common stock upon any conversion of the Notes and/or offset any potential cash payments we are required to make in excess of the principal amount of converted Notes, as the case may be, with such reduction and/or offset subject to a cap.
In connection with establishing their initial hedges of the capped call transactions, the option counterparties or their respective affiliates entered into various derivative transactions with respect to our Class A common stock and/or purchased shares of our Class A common stock concurrently with or shortly after the pricing of the Notes.
In addition, the option counterparties and/or their respective affiliates may modify their hedge positions by entering into or unwinding various derivatives with respect to our Class A common stock and/or purchasing or selling our Class A common stock or other securities of ours in secondary market transactions at any time prior to the maturity of the Notes (and are likely to do so during any observation period related to a conversion of Notes). This activity could cause or avoid an increase or a decrease in the market price of our Class A common stock.
We do not make any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any potential effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of the Notes or our Class A common stock. In addition, we do not make any representation that the option counterparties will engage in these transactions or that these transactions, once commenced, will not be discontinued without notice.
We are subject to counterparty risk with respect to the capped call transactions.
The option counterparties are financial institutions, and we will be subject to the risk that any or all of them might default under the capped call transactions. Our exposure to the credit risk of the option counterparties will not be secured by any collateral. Past global economic conditions have resulted in the actual or perceived failure or financial difficulties of many financial institutions. If an option counterparty becomes subject to insolvency proceedings, we will become an unsecured creditor in those proceedings with a claim equal to our exposure at that time under the capped call transactions with such option counterparty. Our exposure will depend on many factors but, generally, an increase in our exposure will be correlated to an increase in the market price and in the volatility of our Class A common stock. In addition, upon a default by an option counterparty, we may suffer adverse tax consequences and more dilution than we currently anticipate with respect to our Class A common stock. We can provide no assurances as to the financial stability or viability of the option counterparties.
Risks Related to the Acquisition of Segment
We may not realize potential benefits from the acquisition of Segment (the "Acquisition") because of difficulties related to integration, the achievement of synergies, and other challenges.
We acquired Segment on November 2, 2020. Prior to the completion of the Acquisition, we and Segment operated independently, and there can be no assurances that our businesses can be combined in a manner that allows for the achievement of substantial benefits. Any integration process may require significant time and resources, and we may not be able to manage the process successfully as our ability to acquire and integrate larger or more complex companies, products, or technology in a successful manner is unproven. If we are not able to successfully integrate Segment’s business with ours or pursue our customer and product strategy successfully, the anticipated benefits of the Acquisition may not be realized fully or may take longer than expected to be realized. Further, it is possible that there could be a loss of our and/or Segment’s key employees and customers, disruption of either company’s or both companies’ ongoing businesses or unexpected issues, higher than expected costs and an overall post‑completion process that takes longer than originally anticipated. Specifically, the following issues, among others, must be addressed in combining Segment’s operations with ours in order to realize the anticipated benefits of the Acquisition so the combined company performs as the parties anticipate:
combining the companies’ corporate functions;
combining Segment’s business with our business in a manner that permits us to achieve the synergies anticipated to result from the Acquisition, the failure of which would result in the anticipated benefits of the Acquisition not being realized in the time frame currently anticipated or at all;
maintaining existing agreements with customers, distributors, providers, talent and vendors and avoiding delays in entering into new agreements with prospective customers, distributors, providers, talent and vendors;
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determining whether and how to address possible differences in corporate cultures and management philosophies;
integrating the companies’ administrative and information technology infrastructure;
developing products and technology that allow value to be unlocked in the future;
evaluating and forecasting the financial impact of the Acquisition transaction, including accounting charges; and
effecting potential actions that may be required in connection with obtaining regulatory approvals.
In addition, at times the attention of certain members of our management and resources may be focused on integration of the businesses of the two companies and diverted from day‑to‑day business operations, which may disrupt our ongoing business and the business of the combined company.
We have incurred, and may continue to incur, significant, non‑recurring costs in connection with the Acquisition and integrating the operations of Twilio and Segment, including costs to maintain employee morale and to retain key employees. Management cannot ensure that the elimination of duplicative costs or the realization of other efficiencies will offset the transaction and integration costs in the near term or at all.
Purchase price accounting in connection with our Acquisition requires estimates that may be subject to change and could impact our consolidated financial statements and future results of operations and financial position.
Pursuant to the acquisition method of accounting, the purchase price we paid for Segment will be allocated to the underlying Segment tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on their respective fair market values with any excess purchase price allocated to goodwill. The acquisition method of accounting is dependent upon certain valuations and other studies that are preliminary. As of December 31, 2020, the areas of purchase price allocation that are not yet finalized due to information that may become available subsequently to the year end relate to any and all contingencies, including income and other taxes. We currently anticipate that all the information needed to identify and measure these contingencies will be obtained and finalized during the one year measurement period following the date of completion of the Acquisition. Differences between these preliminary estimates and the final acquisition accounting may occur, and these differences could have a material impact on the consolidated financial statements and the combined company’s future results of operations and financial position.
General Risks
Any legal proceedings or claims against us could be costly and time-consuming to defend and could harm our reputation regardless of the outcome.
We are and may in the future become subject to legal proceedings and claims that arise in the ordinary course of business, such as disputes or employment claims made by our current or former employees. Any litigation, whether meritorious or not, could harm our reputation, will increase our costs and may divert management’s attention, time and resources, which may in turn seriously harm our business. Insurance might not cover such claims, might not provide sufficient payments to cover all the costs to resolve one or more such claims, and might not continue to be available on terms acceptable to us. A claim brought against us that is uninsured or underinsured could result in unanticipated costs and could seriously harm our business.
Unfavorable conditions in our industry or the global economy or reductions in spending on information technology and communications could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our results of operations may vary based on the impact of changes in our industry or the global economy on our customers. Our results of operations depend in part on demand for information technology and cloud communications. In addition, our revenue is dependent on the usage of our products, which in turn is influenced by the scale of business that our customers are conducting. To the extent that weak economic conditions, geopolitical developments, such as existing and potential trade wars, and other events outside of our control such as the COVID-19 pandemic, result in a reduced volume of business for, and communications by, our customers and prospective customers, demand for, and use of, our products may decline. Furthermore, weak economic conditions may make it more difficult to collect on outstanding accounts receivable. Additionally, historically, we have generated the substantial majority of our revenue from small and medium-sized businesses, and we expect this to continue for the foreseeable future. Small and medium-sized business may be affected by economic downturns to a greater extent than enterprises, and typically have more limited financial resources, including capital borrowing capacity, than enterprises. If our customers reduce their use of our products, or prospective customers delay adoption or elect
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not to adopt our products, as a result of a weak economy, this could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our business is subject to the risks of pandemics, earthquakes, fire, floods and other natural catastrophic events, and to interruption by man-made problems such as power disruptions, computer viruses, data security breaches or terrorism.
Our corporate headquarters are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for seismic activity. A significant natural disaster, such as an earthquake, fire or flood, occurring at our headquarters, at one of our other facilities or where a business partner is located could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Further, if a natural disaster or man-made problem were to affect our service providers, this could adversely affect the ability of our customers to use our products and platform. In addition, natural disasters, pandemics and acts of terrorism could cause disruptions in our or our customers’ businesses, national economies or the world economy as a whole. For example, the rapid spread of COVID-19 globally has resulted in increased travel restrictions and disruption and shutdown of businesses. Health concerns or political or governmental developments in countries in which we or our customers, partners and service providers operate could result in economic, social or labor instability and could have an adverse effect on our business and our results of operations and financial condition. The extent to which COVID-19 impacts our results will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and will include emerging information concerning the severity of COVID-19 and the actions taken by governments and private businesses to attempt to contain COVID-19. Any prolonged contractions in the travel and hospitality industries, along with any effects on supply chain or on other industries in which our customers operate, could adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We also rely on our network and third-party infrastructure and enterprise applications and internal technology systems for our engineering, sales and marketing, and operations activities. Although we maintain incident management and disaster response plans, in the event of a major disruption caused by a natural disaster or man-made problem, we may be unable to continue our operations and may endure system interruptions, reputational harm, delays in our development activities, lengthy interruptions in service, breaches of data security and loss of critical data, any of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, computer malware, viruses and computer hacking, fraudulent use attempts and phishing attacks have become more prevalent in our industry, have occurred on our platform in the past and may occur on our platform in the future. Though it is difficult to determine what, if any, harm may directly result from any specific interruption or attack, any failure to maintain performance, reliability, security, integrity and availability of our products and technical infrastructure to the satisfaction of our users may harm our reputation and our ability to retain existing users and attract new users.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 2. Properties
We lease all of our facilities and do not own any real property. Our headquarters is located in San Francisco, California, where we have sub-leased several floors, consisting of 259,416 square feet of office space at 101 Spear Street. The sub-lease covers several floors for which the terms commenced on December 1, 2018 and April 1, 2020 and will be expiring at various dates between March 2025 and June 2028. Our existing lease obligations are secured by letters of credit with a cumulative value of $24.3 million as of December 31, 2020.
We also lease approximately 600,000 square feet in various locations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. This includes our international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and regional offices used for business operations, sales, support, and product development.
Additional information regarding our lease commitments is available in Note 5 of our consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8, "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We intend to procure additional space in the future as we continue to add employees and expand geographically. We believe our facilities are adequate and suitable for our current needs and that, should it be needed, suitable additional or alternative space will be available to accommodate our operations.
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Item 3. Legal Proceedings
On April 30, 2015 and March 28, 2016, Telesign Corporation (“Telesign”) filed lawsuits (which were subsequently consolidated) against us alleging that certain of our products infringed four patents owned by Telesign. We challenged the validity of one of the patents at issue in an inter partes review at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO"), and the PTO found all claims challenged by us in the inter partes review unpatentable. Telesign did not appeal the PTO's decision and it is final. On October 19, 2018, the district court granted our motion that all remaining asserted claims of the asserted patents are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and entered judgment in our favor. On November 8, 2018, Telesign appealed the judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. On January 9, 2020, the Federal Circuit Court affirmed the district court’s judgment, and the matter is now concluded.
On December 1, 2016, we filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Telesign in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, alleging infringement of United States Patent No. 8,306,021 (“021”), United States Patent No. 8,837,465 (“465”), United States Patent No. 8,755,376 (“376”), United States Patent No. 8,736,051 (“051”), United States Patent No. 8,737,962 (“962”), United States Patent No. 9,270,833 (“833”), and United States Patent No. 9,226,217 (“217”). Telesign filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on January 25, 2017. In two orders, issued on March 31, 2017 and April 17, 2017, the court granted Telesign’s motion to dismiss with respect to the ‘962, ‘833, ‘051 and ‘217 patents, but denied Telesign’s motion to dismiss as to the ‘021, ‘465 and ‘376 patents. On August 23, 2017, Telesign petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“U.S. PTO”) for inter partes review of the ‘021, ‘465, and ‘376 patents. On March 9, 2018, the U.S PTO denied Telesign’s petition for inter partes review of the ‘021 patent and granted Telesign’s petitions for inter partes review of the ‘465 and ‘376 patents. On March 6, 2019, the U.S. PTO found all challenged claims of the '465 and '376 patents unpatentable. We appealed the decisions to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit who, on June 10, 2020, affirmed the U.S. PTO's rulings. The district court litigation had been stayed pending resolution of the inter partes reviews (and appeals from them). After the appeals were concluded, the district court reopened the case and set trial on the ’021 Patent for July 2021. We sought a judgment of infringement, a judgment of willful infringement, monetary and injunctive relief, enhanced damages, and an award of costs and expenses against Telesign. A settlement agreement was executed on November 25, 2020, settling all claims. On December 2, 2020, a joint stipulation of dismissal was filed and the Court entered an order dismissing the case with prejudice. This matter is now concluded.
In addition to the litigation discussed above, from time to time, we may be subject to legal actions and claims in the ordinary course of business. We have received, and may in the future continue to receive, claims from third parties asserting, among other things, infringement of their intellectual property rights. Future litigation may be necessary to defend ourselves, our partners and our customers by determining the scope, enforceability and validity of third‑party proprietary rights, or to establish our proprietary rights. The results of any current or future litigation cannot be predicted with certainty, and regardless of the outcome, litigation can have an adverse impact on us because of defense and settlement costs, diversion of management resources, and other factors.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
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PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Price of Our Class A Common Stock
Our Class A common stock is traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "TWLO." As of January 31, 2021, we had 269 holders of record of our Class A and Class B common stock. The actual number of stockholders is greater than this number of record holders and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners but whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees.
Dividend Policy
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock. We intend to retain any future earnings and do not expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future.
Stock Performance Graph
This performance graph shall not be deemed "soliciting material" or to be "filed" with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of Twilio Inc. under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act
We have presented below the cumulative total return to our stockholders between June 23, 2016 (the date our Class A common stock commenced trading on the NYSE) through December 31, 2020, in comparison to the S&P 500 Index and S&P 500 Information Technology Index. All values assume a $100 initial investment and data for the S&P 500 Index and S&P 500 Information Technology Index assume reinvestment of dividends. The comparisons are based on historical data and are not indicative of, nor intended to forecast, the future performance of our Class A common stock.
twlo-20201231_g2.jpg
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Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities and Use of Proceeds from Registered Securities
(a) Sales of Unregistered Securities
In February 2021, and in years ended December 31, 2020 and 2018, Twilio.org donated 22,102 shares, 88,408 shares and 62,338 shares of our unregistered Class A common stock, respectively, to an independent donor advised fund to further our philanthropic goals. The shares are "restricted securities" for purposes of Rule 144 under the Securities Act and the fair market value of these shares on the date of donation was $9.4 million, $19.0 million and $6.0 million, respectively. These amount were recorded as general and administrative expense in our consolidated statements of operations for February 2021 and the fiscal years 2020 and 2018, respectively.
In May 2018, we issued $550 million in aggregate principal amount of 0.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2023 (the "Notes"). In connection with the offering of the Notes, we entered into privately-negotiated capped call transactions with certain counterparties (the "capped calls"). The capped calls each have an initial strike price of approximately $70.90 per share, subject to certain adjustments, which corresponds to the initial conversion price of the Notes. The capped calls have initial cap prices of $105.04 per share, subject to certain adjustments. The capped calls cover, subject to anti-dilution adjustments, approximately 7,757,200 shares of Class A Common Stock. See Note 9 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information about the Notes and capped calls.
We offered and sold the Notes to the initial purchasers in reliance on the exemption from registration provided by Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act, and for resale by the initial purchasers to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to the exemption from registration provided by Rule 144A under the Securities Act. We relied on these exemptions from registration based in part on representations made by the initial purchasers in the purchase agreement dated May 14, 2018. The shares of the Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of the Notes have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.
In the year ended December 31, 2020, we converted $206.3 million aggregate principal of the Notes by issuing 2,902,434 shares of the Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of the Notes and the aggregate fair market value of these shares on the dates of conversion was $892.6 million. To the extent that any further shares of the Class A common stock are issued upon conversion of the Notes, they will be issued in transactions anticipated to be exempt from registration under the Securities Act by virtue of Section 3(a)(9) thereof, because no commission or other remuneration is expected to be paid in connection with conversion of the Notes, and any resulting issuance of shares of the Class A common stock.
(b) Use of Proceeds
In February 2021, we closed a follow-on public offering, in which we sold 4,312,500 shares of Class A common stock at a price to the public of $409.60 per share, including shares sold in connection with the exercise of the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares. The offer and sale of all of the shares in the follow-on offering were registered under the Securities Act pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-231794), which was declared effective by the SEC on May 29, 2019. We raised $1.8 billion in net proceeds after deducting offering expenses paid and payable by us. No payments were made by us to directors, officers or persons owning 10 percent or more of our capital stock or to their associates, or to our affiliates, other than payments in the ordinary course of business to officers for salaries. There has been no material change in the planned use of proceeds from our follow-on offering as described in our final prospectus filed with the SEC on February 22, 2021 pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5). The managing underwriters of our follow-on offering were Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Academy Securities, Inc., Cabrera Capital Markets LLC, and Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC.
In August 2020, we closed a follow-on public offering, in which we sold 5,819,838 shares of Class A common stock at a price to the public of $247.00 per share, including shares sold in connection with the exercise of the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares. The offer and sale of all of the shares in the follow-on offering were registered under the Securities Act pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-231794), which was declared effective by the SEC on May 29, 2019. We raised $1.4 billion in net proceeds after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses paid by us. No payments were made by us to directors, officers or persons owning 10 percent or more of our capital stock or to their associates, or to our affiliates, other than payments in the ordinary course of business to officers for salaries. There has been no material change in the planned use of proceeds from our follow-on offering as described in our final prospectus filed with the SEC on August 7, 2020 pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5). We invested the funds received in accordance with our board-approved investment policy, which provides for investments in obligations of the U.S. government, money market instruments, registered money market funds and corporate bonds. The managing underwriters of our follow-on offering were J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and BofA Securities, Inc.
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In June 2019, we closed a follow-on public offering, in which we sold 8,064,515 shares of Class A common stock at a price to the public of $124.00 per share, including shares sold in connection with the exercise of the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares. The offer and sale of all of the shares in the follow-on offering were registered under the Securities Act pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-231794), which was declared effective by the SEC on May 29, 2019. We raised $979.0 million in net proceeds after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses paid and payable by us. No payments were made by us to directors, officers or persons owning 10 percent or more of our capital stock or to their associates, or to our affiliates, other than payments in the ordinary course of business to officers for salaries. There has been no material change in the planned use of proceeds from our follow-on offering as described in our final prospectus filed with the SEC on May 31, 2019 pursuant to Rule 424(b). We invested the funds received in accordance with our board-approved investment policy, which provides for investments in obligations of the U.S. government, money market instruments, registered money market funds and corporate bonds. The managing underwriters of our follow-on offering were Goldman, Sachs & Co. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.
(c) Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
None.
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Item 6. Selected Financial and Other Data
We have derived the selected consolidated statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected consolidated statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 are derived from audited consolidated financial statements not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We have included Twilio Segment in our consolidated results of operations prospectively from November 2, 2020, and Twilio SendGrid in our consolidated results of operations prospectively from February 1, 2019, the closing dates of each acquisitions, respectively. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future. The following selected consolidated financial and other data should be read in conjunction with Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations", and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing in Part II, Item 8, "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data", of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to fully understand factors that may affect the comparability of the information presented below.
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
Year Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
(In thousands, except share and per share amounts)
Revenue$1,761,776 $1,134,468 $650,067 $399,020 $277,335 
Cost of revenue (1) (2)
846,115 525,551 300,841 182,895 120,520 
Gross profit915,661 608,917 349,226 216,125 156,815 
Operating expenses:
Research and development (1) (2)
530,548 391,355 171,358 120,739 77,926 
Sales and marketing (1) (2)
567,407 369,079 175,555 100,669 65,267 
General and administrative (1) (2)
310,607 218,268 117,548 60,791 54,937 
Total operating expenses1,408,562 978,702 464,461 282,199 198,130 
Loss from operations(492,901)(369,785)(115,235)(66,074)(41,315)
Other (expenses) income, net(11,525)7,569 (5,923)3,071 317 
Loss before (provision) benefit for income taxes(504,426)(362,216)(121,158)(63,003)(40,998)
Benefit (provision) for income taxes13,447 55,153 (791)(705)(326)
Net loss attributable to common
stockholders
$(490,979)$(307,063)$(121,949)$(63,708)$(41,324)
Net loss per share attributed to common
stockholders, basic and diluted
$(3.35)$(2.36)$(1.26)$(0.70)$(0.78)
Weighted-average shares used in
computing net loss per share
attributable to common stockholders,
basic and diluted
146,708,663 130,083,046 97,130,339 91,224,607 53,116,675 

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Key Business Metrics:
Year Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
Number of Active Customer Accounts
(as of end date of period) (3) (4)
221,000 179,000 64,286 48,979 36,606 
Total Revenue (in thousands) (3)
$1,761,776 $1,134,468 $650,067 $399,020 $277,335 
Total Revenue Growth Rate (3)
55 %75 %63 %44 %66 %
Dollar-Based Net Expansion Rate (5)
137 %135 %143 %127 %147 %
_________________________
(1) Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows:
Year Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
(In thousands)
Cost of revenue$8,857 $7,123 $1,126 $650 $291 
Research and development173,303 126,012 42,277 22,808 12,946 
Sales and marketing103,450 60,886 23,616 9,822 4,972 
General and administrative76,301 70,297 26,254 16,339 6,016 
Total$361,911 $264,318 $93,273 $49,619 $24,225 
_________________________
(2) Includes amortization of acquired intangibles as follows:
Year Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
(In thousands)
Cost of revenue$59,501 $45,267 $5,656 $4,644 $619 
Research and development— — 22 139 151 
Sales and marketing38,915 27,540 1,117 753 — 
General and administrative78 — 375 84 110 
Total$98,494 $72,807 $7,170 $5,620 $880 
_________________________
(3) For the year ended December 31, 2020, Active Customer Accounts, Total Revenue, and Total Revenue Growth Rate include the partial year contribution from Twilio Segment, from the date of acquisition on November 2, 2020. For the year ended December 31, 2019, Active Customer Accounts, Total Revenue and Total Revenue Growth Rate include the partial year contribution from Twilio SendGrid, from the date of acquisition on February 1, 2019. Effective December 31, 2019, we round down the number of Active Customer Accounts to the nearest thousand.

(4) See Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Business Metrics—Number of Active Customer Accounts."

(5) See Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Business Metrics—Dollar- Based Net Expansion Rate."

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
As of December 31,
20202019201820172016
(In thousands)
Cash and cash equivalents$933,885 $253,660 $487,215 $115,286 $305,665 
Marketable securities$2,105,906 $1,599,033 $261,128 $175,587 $— 
Working capital$2,924,029 $1,814,109 $735,138 $274,738 $279,676 
Property and equipment, net$183,239 $141,256 $63,534 $50,541 $37,552 
Total assets$9,487,433 $5,150,516 $1,028,710 $449,782 $412,694 
Total stockholders’ equity$8,452,665 $4,279,411 $438,235 $359,846 $329,447 


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Non-GAAP Financial Measures:
We use the following non‑GAAP financial information, collectively, to evaluate our ongoing operations and for internal planning and forecasting purposes. We believe that non‑GAAP financial information, when taken collectively, may be helpful to investors because it provides consistency and comparability with past financial performance, facilitates period‑to‑period comparisons of results of operations, and assists in comparisons with other companies, many of which use similar non‑GAAP financial information to supplement their GAAP results. Non‑GAAP financial information is presented for supplemental informational purposes only, should not be considered a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and may be different from similarly‑titled non‑GAAP measures used by other companies. Whenever we use a non‑GAAP financial measure, a reconciliation is provided to the most closely applicable financial measure stated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Investors are encouraged to review the related GAAP financial measures and the reconciliation of these non‑GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.
Non‑GAAP Gross Profit and Non‑GAAP Gross Margin. For the periods presented, we define non‑GAAP gross profit and non‑GAAP gross margin as GAAP gross profit and GAAP gross margin, respectively, adjusted to exclude, as applicable, certain expenses as presented in the table below:
Year Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
Reconciliation:(In thousands)
Gross profit$915,661 $608,917 $349,226 $216,125 $156,815 
Non-GAAP adjustments:
Stock-based compensation8,857 7,123 1,126 650 291 
Amortization of acquired intangibles59,501 45,267 5,656 4,644 619 
Payroll taxes related to stock-based compensation— 104 — — — 
    Non-GAAP gross profit$984,019 $661,411 $356,008 $221,419 $157,725 
    Non-GAAP gross margin56 %58 %55 %55 %57 %
Non‑GAAP Operating Expenses. For the periods presented, we define non‑GAAP operating expenses (including categories of operating expenses) as GAAP operating expenses (and categories of operating expenses) adjusted to exclude, as applicable, certain expenses as presented in the table below:
Year Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
Reconciliation:(In thousands)
Operating expenses$1,408,562 $978,702 $464,461 $282,199 $198,130 
Non-GAAP adjustments:
Stock-based compensation(353,054)(257,195)(92,147)(48,969)(23,934)
Amortization of acquired intangibles(38,993)(27,540)(1,514)(976)(261)
Acquisition-related expenses(21,765)(15,713)(4,481)(310)(499)
Release of tax liability upon obligation settlement— — — 13,365 805 
Charitable contributions(18,993)— (7,121)(1,172)(3,860)
Legal settlements/accruals— — (1,710)— — 
Gain on lease termination— — — 295 — 
Payroll taxes related to stock-based compensation