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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                      TO                     

Commission File Number 001-39423

 

BigCommerce Holdings, Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

46-2707656

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

11305 Four Points Drive

Building II, 3rd Floor

Austin, Texas

78726

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (512865-4500

 

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

 

Title of each class

 

Trading

Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Series 1 common stock, $0.0001 par value per share

 

 

BIGC

 

The Nasdaq Global Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  NO 

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

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

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

  

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.   

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes  NO 

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, based on the closing price of the shares of common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market on June 30, 2021, was approximately $3.72 billion.

The number of shares of Registrant’s common stock outstanding as of February 25, 2022, was 72,470,039.

Auditor Firm ID:42Auditor Name: Ernst and Young LLPAuditor Location: Austin, TX

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K incorporates certain information by reference from the definitive proxy statement for the Registrant's 2022 annual meeting of stockholders to be filed within 120 days of the registrant's fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, or the Proxy Statement. Except with respect to information specifically incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the Proxy Statement is not deemed to be filed as part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


Table of Contents

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

Item 1.

Business

2

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

6

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

31

Item 2.

Properties

31

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

31

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

31

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

Item 5.

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

32

Item 6.

Reserved

33

Item 7.

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

34

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

46

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

47

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

47

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

47

Item 9B.

Other Information

48

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

49

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

49

Item 12.

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

49

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

49

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

49

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

50

Item 16

Form 10-K Summary

50

 

 

ii


Table of Contents

 

PART I

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”). Any statements about our expectations, beliefs, plans, predictions, forecasts, objectives, assumptions, or future events or performance are not historical facts and may be forward-looking. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “ongoing,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” and similar words or phrases. These forward-looking statements include statements concerning the following:

 

our expectations regarding our revenue, expenses, sales, and operations;

 

anticipated trends and challenges in our business and the markets in which we operate;

 

our expectations regarding the prevalence of ecommerce and consumer behavior for periods following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic;

 

our anticipated areas of investments and expectations relating to such investments;

 

our ability to compete in our industry and innovation by our competitors;

 

our ability to anticipate market needs or develop new or enhanced services to meet those needs;

 

our ability to manage growth and to expand our infrastructure;

 

our ability to establish and maintain intellectual property rights;

 

our ability to manage expansion into international markets and new industries;

 

our ability to hire and retain key personnel;

 

our ability to successfully identify, manage, and integrate any existing and potential acquisitions;

 

our ability to adapt to emerging regulatory developments, technological changes, and cybersecurity needs;

 

the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic uncertainty on us, our customers, and our partners;

 

our anticipated cash needs and our estimates regarding our capital requirements and our need for additional financing;

 

the anticipated effect on our business of litigation to which we are or may become a party; and

 

other statements described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K under “Risk Factors,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”.

Although we believe the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties which are subject to change based on various important factors, some of which are beyond our control. For more information regarding these risks and uncertainties as well as certain additional risks that we face, refer to “Risk Factors,” as well as factors more fully described in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

If one or more of the factors affecting the expectations reflected in our forward-looking information and statements proves incorrect, our actual results, performance, or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, forward-looking information and statements. Therefore, we caution the reader not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information or statements. The effect of these factors is difficult to predict. Factors other than these also could adversely affect our results, and the reader should not consider these factors to be a complete set of all potential risks or uncertainties. New factors emerge from time to time, and management cannot assess the impact of any such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Any forward-looking statements only speak as of the date of this document, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking information or statements, whether written or oral, to reflect any change, except as required by law. All forward-looking statements attributable to us are expressly qualified by these cautionary statements.

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Item 1. Business.

Overview

BigCommerce is leading a new era of ecommerce. Our software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) platform simplifies the creation of beautiful, engaging online stores by delivering a unique combination of ease-of-use, enterprise functionality, and flexibility. We power both our customers’ branded ecommerce stores and their cross-channel connections to popular online marketplaces, social networks, and offline point-of-sale (“POS”) systems.

BigCommerce empowers businesses to turn digital transformation into a competitive advantage. We allow merchants to build their ecommerce solution their way with the flexibility to fit their unique business and product offerings.  We provide a comprehensive platform for launching and scaling an ecommerce operation, including store design, catalog management, hosting, checkout, order management, reporting, and pre-integrations into best of breed third-party services like payments, shipping and fulfillment, point of sale, marketing, accounting and omnichannel.

We offer access to our platform on a subscription basis. We serve customers with subscription plans tailored to their size and feature needs. For our larger customers, our Enterprise plan offers our full feature set at a monthly subscription price tailored to each business. For SMBs, BigCommerce Essentials offers three retail plans: Standard, Plus, and Pro, priced at $29.95, $79.95, and $299.95 per month, respectively. Our Essentials plans include GMV thresholds with programmatic upgrades built in as merchants exceed each plan’s threshold.

 

We target the following business segments:

 

small businesses (“SMBs”), which we define as sites with annual online sales less than $1 million,

 

the mid-market, which we define as sites with annual online sales between $1 million and $50 million, and

 

large enterprises, which we define as sites with annual online sales from $50 million to billions of dollars.

 

We serve these segments with a platform offering enterprise-grade functionality, openness and performance capabilities with SMB friendly simplicity and ease-of-use. Our platform is the result of a multi-year investment in platform transformation. In nearly every component of our platform, we have added advanced functionality and openness using application programming interface (“API”) endpoints.

We strive to provide the world’s best SaaS ecommerce platform for all types of customers at all stages of ecommerce growth. Our platform serves customers across a wide variety of sizes, product categories, and purchase types, including business-to-consumer (“B2C”) and business-to-business (“B2B”). For the mid-market and large enterprise segments, we believe our platform combines three elements not typically offered together:

 

Multi-tenant SaaS. The speed, ease-of-use, high-performance, and continuously-updated benefits associated with multi-tenant SaaS.

 

 

Enterprise functionality. Enterprise-grade functionality capable of supporting sophisticated use cases and significant sales volumes.

 

Open SaaS. Platform-wide APIs that enable businesses to customize their sites and integrate with external applications and services.

We believe this powerful combination makes ecommerce success at scale more economically and operationally achievable than ever before.

We have become a leader in both branded-site and omnichannel commerce. Cross-channel commerce involves the integration of a customer’s commerce capabilities with other sites—online and offline—where consumers and businesses make their purchases. We offer free, direct integrations with leading social networks such as Facebook and Instagram, search engines such as Google, online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, and POS platforms such as Square, and Clover (a Fiserv company). A dynamic and growing cross-channel category is “headless commerce,” which refers to the integration of a back-end commerce platform like ours with a front-end user experience separately created in a content management system (“CMS”) or design framework. The most dynamic and interactive online user experiences are often created using these tools. We integrate seamlessly with the leading CMSs, digital experience platforms, design frameworks and custom front ends.

Partners are essential to our open strategy. We believe we possess one of the deepest and broadest ecosystems of integrated technology solutions in the ecommerce industry. We strategically partner with, rather than compete against, the leading providers in adjacent categories, including payments, shipping, POS, CMS, customer relationship management (“CRM”), enterprise resource planning (“ERP”), and omnichannel. Our partner-centric strategy stands in contrast to our largest competitors, which operate complex software stacks that compete across categories. We focus our research and development investments in our core product to create a best-of-breed ecommerce platform. We believe this strategy has four advantages:

 

Core product focus. We can create the industry’s best ecommerce platform and innovate faster than our competition by focusing development on a single core product.

 

 

Best-of-breed choice. We offer our customers the choice of best-of-breed, tightly integrated solutions across verticals.

 

Cooperative marketing and sales. We co-market and co-sell with our strategic technology partners in each category.

 

High gross margins. We earn high-margin revenue share from a subset of our strategic technology partners, and this complements the high gross margin of our core ecommerce platform.

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Our business has achieved significant growth in recent years. We had total revenues of $219.9 million, $152.4 million and $112.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. We plan to continue to invest in our “Open SaaS” strategy, building new partnerships and continuing to develop a platform that offers best-of-breed functionality with the cost-effectiveness of multi-tenant SaaS. As we work to develop and deliver this platform for our customers, we will also invest and grow our business by acquiring additional customers to our platform, growing our revenue with existing customers, and expanding our presence in new segments and geographies.

We have invested, and intend to continue our disciplined investment strategy to grow our business by expanding our sales and marketing activities, including increasing the breadth and depth of our agency and technology partner ecosystem, enhancing our platform developments, and scaling our operations to support our existing and growing customer base.  

Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption to the economies and communities of the United States and our target international markets. In the interest of public health, many governments closed physical stores and places of business deemed non-essential. This precipitated a significant shift in shopping behavior from offline to online. Our business benefited from this shift, both in accelerated sales growth for our existing customers’ stores, and in our sales of new store subscriptions to customers. Nevertheless, we do not have certainty that those trends will continue. The COVID-19 pandemic, including the recent acceleration of the spread of Omicron variant and the Delta variant before that, and the uncertainty the pandemic has created in the global economy could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.  Furthermore, the impact of COVID-19 on our business, including with respect to customer demand, is becoming more difficult to isolate or quantify.  It is not possible to determine the duration and scope of the pandemic, the scale and rate of economic recovery from the pandemic, any ongoing effects on consumer demand and spending patterns, supply chain disruptions, and labor availability and costs, or the impact of other indirect factors that may be attributable to the pandemic. These or other currently unanticipated consequences of the pandemic could materially affect our results of operations. In addition, these direct and indirect factors make it difficult to isolate and quantify the portion of our costs that are a direct result of the pandemic and costs arising from factors that may have been influenced by the pandemic, including increased wage rates and incentives and global supply chain constraints. For more information regarding the potential impact of the COVID-19 on our business, refer to “Risk Factors,” as well as our commentary in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Impact on operations

Since March of 2020, we have been responsive to the input of our people and to evolving guidance of local authorities, including flexible work arrangements where certain employees work from the office and others work remotely. We believe that we are well equipped to continue to support full or partial remote work without major service disruption.

Impact on ecommerce sector and our sales efforts

Beginning in March of 2020, ecommerce sales in the United States and our target international markets increased significantly due to pandemic-related changes in consumer and customer behavior. In turn, the macroeconomic trend towards ecommerce accelerated.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have generally experienced a shortening of sales cycles and an improvement in lead conversion and competitive win rates. Sales of Essentials plans increased, particularly early in the pandemic, as we supported merchants’ efforts to get online through our 90-day free site wide promotion on Essentials plans. We have also seen strengthening in Enterprise plan sales during the pandemic, with Enterprise ARR growing 71.5% year-over-year for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to 51% growth year-over-year for the year ended December 31, 2020.

Impact on revenue

We believe the shift to ecommerce following the COVID-19 pandemic has increased our subscription solutions revenue and our partner and services revenue.

The pandemic-related increase in subscription solutions revenue is reflected in the growth in new customer bookings, continued strength in retention of existing customers, and increased subscription fees. Subscription solutions revenue grew year-over-year by 35.9%, 41.8%, 58.7%, and 57.9% in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, and fourth quarter of 2021, respectively.

We believe the pandemic has also contributed to higher partner and services revenue through increased platform transaction volume with our technology partners. Partner and services revenue grew year-over-year by 52.3%, 21.7%, 30.1%, and 33.9% in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, and fourth quarter of 2021, respectively.

While we expect the macroeconomic shift towards ecommerce to continue after the COVID-19 pandemic abates, elevated levels of new customer bookings and platform transaction volume may recede as pandemic-related restrictions ease. We believe it will be increasingly difficult to isolate and identify the impact of the pandemic on our operations going forward.

Industry trends

Online shopping behaviors are evolving as ecommerce adoption is accelerating around the world. This puts tremendous pressure on businesses to pursue digital transformation with technology that innovates as fast as the market. Consumers are rapidly changing how they shop across online and offline channels. Businesses must address the breadth of touch points influencing what and where shoppers buy, including content sites

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(information and influencers), social networks, search engines, marketplaces, and of course, their own branded sites. While consumer brands historically relied on retail distribution for their products, ecommerce enables a new model of direct-to-consumer, vertically-integrated digitally native brands. Historically, B2B ecommerce adoption has lagged that of B2C, but that is changing. B2B sellers are embracing digital transformation in pursuit of both efficiency and sales effectiveness, in response to business buyers whose user experience expectations have been reshaped by B2C shopping.

Technology, infrastructure and operations

We have designed our platform with enterprise-grade security, reliability, and scalability as top priorities. Our platform is built using best-of-breed open source technologies, deployed across geographically-distributed data centers, primarily on Google Cloud Platform. Our platform is subject to a rigorous set of security standards designed to ensure the security of customer data. Our server response time and page-load speeds are faster than other leading ecommerce platforms.  

Our customers

We serve a range of customer sizes, geographies, and customer segments including B2C, B2B, and DNBs. We distinguish market segments based on annual gross merchandise volume (“GMV”) per site, specifically: SMB ($0 to $1 million), mid-market ($1 million to $50 million), and large enterprise (greater than $50 million). No individual customer represented more than 5% of our total revenue in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.  

International presence

We serve customers in numerous countries. Our platform enables businesses to create stores in the consumer-facing language and currency of their choice. For the administrative control panel used by our customers to create and manage their stores, we currently allow our customers to select among a range of languages, including English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Ukrainian. We plan to add additional languages throughout 2022.

We maintain our headquarters in Austin, Texas, and approximately 79% of our employees are located in the United States, as of December 31, 2021. We were originally founded in Sydney, Australia. Since 2019, we have expanded our APAC presence, driving a 52% and 38% APAC revenue growth for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The establishment of our London office in 2018 has contributed to accelerating EMEA revenue growth of 68% and 68% for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Our platform continues to enable customers to self-serve globally, including in regions in which we may lack a local business presence, such as parts of Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. We have recently expanded our local presence in a number of key markets, including the Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Mexico. We plan to expand further into the Nordic region, South America, and additional DACH countries later in 2022.

Competition

Our industry is highly competitive. We believe we can compete on the principal competitive factors in our market.

In the mid-market and large enterprise segments, our primary competitors are Magento (an Adobe company), Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly known as Demandware), and Shopify Plus. In the SMB segment, our primary competitors are Shopify and WooCommerce. BuiltWith has identified more than 500 platforms of various sizes around the world.

Intellectual property

We rely on a combination of trade secret, trademark, copyright, patent, and other intellectual property laws to protect our intellectual property. We also rely on contractual arrangements, such as license, assignment, and confidentiality agreements, and technical measures.

We have two issued patents in the United States, which expire February 10, 2035 and March 20, 2036, respectively. We have been issued federal registrations for trademarks, including “BigCommerce,” related stylized marks, and “Make It Big,” and have multiple pending trademark applications. We hold domestic and international domain names that include “BigCommerce” and similar variations.

 

Employees and Human Capital Resources

As of December 31, 2021, we had 1,337 full-time employees, including 364 in research and development, 360 in sales and marketing, and 613 in general and administrative, professional services, and customer support. Of these employees, 1,056 are in the United States and 281 are in our international locations. We consider our culture and employees to be vital to our success. We have invested substantial time and resources in building our team and culture across all our offices. We are highly dependent on our management, highly-skilled software engineers, and sales personnel, and it is crucial that we continue to attract and retain valuable employees. To facilitate attraction and retention, we strive to make BigCommerce a diverse, inclusive, and safe workplace, with opportunities for our employees to grow and develop in their careers, supported by strong compensation and benefits programs. None of our employees are represented by a labor union or covered by collective bargaining agreements, and we have not experienced any work stoppages.

Culture and values

Our culture is built on our corporate values: Customers First, Team on a Mission, Think Big, Act with Integrity, and Make a Difference Every Day. Together our values and caring culture create an atmosphere that enables us to successfully recruit and retain talented and passionate team members. Our team members are our “secret sauce.” Their dedication, talent, and spirit create a virtuous cycle of service, product excellence, and customer satisfaction.

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We have frequently won “best places to work” public recognition across our largest work centers of Austin, Texas; San Francisco, California; Sydney, Australia; and London, United Kingdom.

Our mission is to power global ecommerce success by delivering the industry’s best and most versatile multi-tenant SaaS platform. This mission inspires our employees, who join BigCommerce to accomplish great things for our customers, partners and each other. We, in turn, commit to helping our employees thrive in an environment that is fun, fast-paced, and challenging.

Facilities

Our worldwide corporate headquarters is located in Austin, Texas. It covers 70,682 square feet pursuant to an operating lease that expires in 2028. We also have office locations in London, San Francisco, Kyiv, Ukraine and Sydney, Australia. We believe our current facilities are suitable and adequate to meet our current needs. We may add new facilities or expand existing facilities as we add employees. We believe suitable additional or substitute space will be available as needed to accommodate any such expansion of our operations.

Seasonality

We have historically experienced higher revenue in our fourth quarter compared to other quarters in our fiscal year due in part to seasonal holiday demand. Additionally, new product introductions can significantly impact revenue figures, product costs and operating expenses. However, neither historical seasonal patterns nor historical patterns of product introductions should be considered reliable indicators of our future pattern of product introductions, future revenue or financial performance.

Regulatory considerations

The legal environment of internet-based businesses, both in the United States and internationally, is evolving rapidly and is often unclear. For example, we occasionally cannot be certain which laws will be deemed applicable to us given the global nature of our business. This ambiguity includes topics such as data privacy and security, pricing, advertising, taxation, content regulation, and intellectual property ownership and infringement. See the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks related to our business and industry—Evolving global internet laws, regulations and standards, privacy and security regulations, cross-border data transfer restrictions, and data localization requirements, may limit the use and adoption of our services, expose us to liability, or otherwise adversely affect our business.”

Legal proceedings

From time to time, we may be subject to legal proceedings and claims in the ordinary course of business. We are not presently a party to any legal proceedings that, if determined adversely to us, would individually or taken together have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. 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.

Other Information

Our internet website is www.bigcommerce.com. We make available, free of charge through our website, our Form 10-Ks, 10-Qs and 8-Ks, and any amendments to these forms, as soon as reasonably practicable after filing with, or furnishing to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  Information contained in our website does not constitute a part of this report or our other filings with the SEC.  In addition, the SEC maintains an Internet site (http://www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Risk Factor Summary

We are providing the following summary of the risk factors contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to enhance the readability and accessibility of our risk factor disclosures. We encourage you to carefully review the full risk factors contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K in their entirety for additional information regarding the material factors that make an investment in our securities speculative or risky. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

We have a history of operating losses, and we may not be able to generate sufficient revenue to achieve and sustain profitability;

 

We have experienced significant growth in recent periods, and our recent growth rates may not be indicative of our future growth;

 

We face intense competition and may lack sufficient financial or other resources to maintain or improve our competitive position, which may harm our ability to add new customers, retain existing customers, and grow our business;

 

Our future revenue and operating results will be harmed if we are unable to acquire new customers or the growth in ecommerce during the COVID-19 pandemic fails to continue after the pandemic ends;

 

Our success depends in part on our partner-centric strategy;

 

We have a limited operating history, which makes it difficult to forecast our future results of operations;

 

The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic uncertainty and our response may continue to impact us, our customers, and our partners;

 

Failure to effectively develop and expand our marketing and sales capabilities could harm our ability to increase our customer base and achieve broader market acceptance of our platform;

 

To the extent our security measures are actually or believed to have been compromised, our platform may be perceived as not being secure. This may result in customers curtailing or ceasing their use of our platform, our reputation being harmed, our incurring significant liabilities, and adverse effects on our results of operations and growth prospects;

 

Increases in cost, interruptions in service, latency, or poor service from our third-party data center providers could impair the delivery of our platform;

 

If the security of information we possess is compromised or is otherwise accessed without authorization, our reputation may be harmed and we may be exposed to liability and loss of business;

 

If there are interruptions or performance problems associated with our technology or infrastructure, our customers, partners and prospects may experience service outages, and delays in using our platform;

 

If we fail to maintain or grow our brand recognition, our ability to expand our customer base will be impaired and our financial condition may suffer;

 

If we fail to offer high quality support, our business and reputation could suffer;

 

Evolving global laws, regulations and standards on privacy and data security, restrictions on cross-border data transfers, and data localization requirements may limit the use and adoption of our services, expose us to liability, or otherwise adversely affect our business;

 

Activities of customers, their shoppers, and our partners could damage our brand, subject us to liability and harm our business and financial results;

 

We could incur substantial costs in protecting or defending our proprietary rights. Failure to adequately protect our rights could impair our competitive position. We could lose valuable assets, experience reduced revenue, and incur costly litigation;

 

We have been, and may in the future be, subject to legal proceedings and litigation, including intellectual property disputes. Such disputes are costly and may subject us to significant liability and increased costs of doing business. Our business may suffer if it is alleged or determined that our technology infringes the intellectual property rights of others;

 

We may acquire or invest in companies, which may divert our management’s attention and result in additional dilution to our stockholders. We may be unable to integrate acquired businesses and technologies successfully or achieve the expected benefits of such acquisitions;

 

Our use of open source software could subject us to possible litigation or cause us to subject our platform to unwanted open source license conditions that could negatively impact our sales;

 

If our platform fails to perform properly, and if we fail to develop enhancements to resolve performance issues, we could lose customers, become subject to performance or warranty claims, or incur significant costs;

 

Payment transactions on our ecommerce platform subject us to regulatory requirements, additional fees, and other risks that could be costly and difficult to comply with or that could harm our business;

 

We provide our ecommerce platform to businesses in highly-regulated industries, which subjects us to a number of challenges and risks;

 

Our ability to use our net operating losses to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations;

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Mobile devices are increasingly being used to conduct commerce. If our platform does not operate as effectively when accessed through these devices, our customers and their shoppers may not be satisfied with our services, which could harm our business;

 

Changes in tax laws or regulations that are applied adversely to us or our customers could increase the cost of our ecommerce platform and adversely impact our business;

 

The market price of shares of our common stock has been volatile, which could cause the value of your investment to decline;

 

Our failure to raise capital when needed could harm our business, operating results and financial condition. Debt or equity issued to raise additional capital may reduce the value of our common stock;

 

Insiders have substantial control over us, which may limit our stockholders’ ability to influence corporate matters and delay or prevent a third party from acquiring control over us;

 

If our operating and financial performance in any given period does not meet the guidance that we provide to the public or the expectations of investment analysts, the market price of our common stock may decline;

 

The requirements of being a public company, including compliance with the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the requirements of Nasdaq, may strain our resources, increase our costs and distract management, and we may be unable to comply with these requirements in a timely or cost-effective manner;

 

We have identified a material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting related to information technology general controls (“ITGCs”). If our remedial measures are insufficient to address the material weakness or one or more additional material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting are discovered or occur in the future, our ability to report financial information timely and accurately could be adversely affected. Any such occurrence could harm our business and cause investors to lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, and the market price of our common stock may decline;

 

Increases in interest rates may cause the market price of our common stock to decline;

 

Provisions in our organizational documents and certain rules imposed by regulatory authorities may delay or prevent our acquisition by a third party;

 

The provision of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation requiring exclusive venue in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware and the federal district courts of the United States for certain types of lawsuits may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers;

 

Our estimates of market opportunity and forecasts of market growth may prove to be inaccurate. Even if the market in which we compete achieves the forecasted growth, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, if at all;

 

We anticipate that our operations will continue to increase in complexity as we grow, which will create management challenges;

 

We depend on our senior management team and the loss of one or more key employees or an inability to attract and retain highly skilled employees could adversely affect our business;

 

If we are unable to maintain our corporate culture as we grow, we could lose the innovation, teamwork, passion and focus on execution that we believe contribute to our success, and our business may be harmed;

 

Unfavorable conditions in our industry or the global economy, or reductions in IT spending, could limit our ability to grow our business and negatively affect our results of operations;

 

Operations at our strategic development center in Kyiv, Ukraine may be materially impacted as a result of ongoing military action by Russia in Ukraine and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected by any negative impact on the global economy resulting from the conflict in Ukraine;

 

Natural catastrophic events and man-made problems such as power disruptions, computer viruses, global pandemics, data security breaches and terrorism may disrupt our business;

 

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

 

Our current operations are international in scope, and we plan further geographic expansion. This will create a variety of operational challenges. We are subject to risks from geopolitical crises, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine;

 

Our international operations may subject us to potential adverse tax consequences;

 

We are subject to governmental export and import controls that could impair our ability to compete in international markets and subject us to liability if we violate the controls;

 

We are exposed to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could negatively affect our operating results;

 

We are subject to anti-corruption, anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, and similar laws. Non-compliance with such laws can subject us to criminal and/or civil liability and harm our business;

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Changes in subjective assumptions, estimates and judgments by management related to complex accounting matters or changes in accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, could significantly affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Risk Factors

The following section discusses material risks and uncertainties that could adversely affect our business and financial condition. Investing in our Series 1 common stock involves substantial risks. You should carefully consider the following risk factors, as well as all of the other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of the Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, before deciding to invest in our Series 1 common stock. Additional risks and uncertainties that we are unaware of may also become important factors that adversely affect our business. The occurrence of any of the following risks, or additional risks that we are unaware of, could materially and adversely affect our business, strategies, prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In such a case, the market price of our Series 1 common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Risks related to the growth and profitability of our business.

We have a history of operating losses, and we may not be able to generate sufficient revenue to achieve and sustain profitability.

We have not yet achieved profitability. We incurred net losses of $76.7 million, $37.6 million and $42.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively. As of December 31, 2021, we had an accumulated deficit of $390.1 million. While we have experienced significant revenue growth over recent periods, we may not be able to sustain or increase our growth or achieve profitability in the future. We intend to continue to invest in sales and marketing efforts, research and development, and expansion into new geographies. In addition, we are incurring additional legal, accounting, and other expenses related to our being a public company as compared to when we were a private company. While our revenue has grown in recent years, if our revenue declines or fails to grow at a rate faster than these increases in our operating expenses, we will not be able to achieve and maintain profitability in future periods. As a result, we may continue to generate losses. We cannot assure you that we will achieve profitability in the future or that, if we do become profitable, we will be able to sustain profitability. Additionally, we may encounter unforeseen operating expenses, difficulties, complications, delays, and other unknown factors that may result in losses in future periods. If these losses exceed our expectations or our revenue growth expectations are not met in future periods, our financial performance will be harmed.

We have experienced significant growth in recent periods, and our recent growth rates may not be indicative of our future growth.

We have experienced significant growth in recent years. In future periods, we may not be able to sustain revenue growth consistent with recent history, or at all. We believe our revenue growth depends on a number of factors, including:

 

our ability to attract new customers and retain and increase sales to existing customers;

 

our ability to maintain and expand our relationships with our partners;

 

our ability to, and the ability of our partners to, successfully implement our platform, increase our existing customers’ use of our platform, and provide our customers with excellent customer support;

 

our ability to increase the number of our partners;

 

our ability to develop our existing platform and introduce new functionality to our platform;

 

our ability to expand into new market segments and internationally; and

 

our ability to earn revenue share and customer referrals from our partner ecosystem.

We may not accomplish any of these objectives and, as a result, it is difficult for us to forecast our future revenue or revenue growth. If our assumptions are incorrect or change in reaction to changes in our market, or if we are unable to maintain consistent revenue or revenue growth, our stock price could be volatile, and it may be difficult to achieve and maintain profitability. You should not rely on our revenue for any prior periods as any indication of our future revenue or revenue growth.

Our future revenue and operating results will be harmed if we are unable to acquire new customers, retain existing customers, expand sales to our existing customers, develop new functionality for our platform that achieves market acceptance, or the increase in ecommerce during the COVID-19 pandemic fails to continue after the pandemic ends.

To continue to grow our business, it is important that we continue to acquire new customers to purchase and use our platform. Our success in adding new customers depends on numerous factors, including our ability to:

 

offer a compelling ecommerce platform,

 

execute our sales and marketing strategy,  

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attract, effectively train and retain new sales, marketing, professional services, and support personnel in the markets we pursue,

 

develop or expand relationships with partners, payment providers, systems integrators, and resellers, 

 

expand into new geographies and market segments, 

 

efficiently onboard new customers on to our platform, and 

 

provide additional paid services that complement the capabilities of our customers and their partners.

Our ability to increase revenue also depends in part on our ability to retain existing customers and to sell more functionality and adjacent services to our existing and new customers. Our customers have no obligation to renew their subscriptions for our solutions after the expiration of their initial subscription period. In order for us to maintain or improve our results of operations, it is important that our customers renew their subscriptions with us on the same terms or terms more favorable to us. Our ability to increase sales to existing customers depends on several factors, including their experience with implementing and using our platform, their ability to integrate our platform with other technologies, and our pricing model.

Our ability to generate revenue may be inconsistent across SMB, mid-market, and large enterprise customers. If we experience limited or inconsistent growth in any of these customer sets, particularly our mid-market and large enterprise customers, our business, financial condition, and operating results could be adversely affected.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven an increase in ecommerce penetration. It is uncertain whether or the extent to which this trend will continue after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.  To the extent that conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic improve or restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted, and such improvements or changes limit or reverse recent trends towards increased ecommerce penetration, our business and results of operations may be negatively impacted.

If we are unable to provide enhancements, new features, or keep pace with current technological developments, our business could be adversely affected. If our new functionality and services initiatives do not continue to achieve acceptance in the market, our competitive position may be impaired, and our potential to generate new revenue or to retain existing revenue could be diminished. The adverse effect on our financial results may be particularly acute because of the significant research, development, marketing, sales, and other expenses we will have incurred in connection with the new functionality and services.

Our success depends in part on our partner-centric strategy. Our business would be harmed if we fail to maintain or expand partner relationships.

Strategic technology partners are essential to our open strategy. A significant percentage of our customers choose to integrate our ecommerce platform with third-party application providers using our open APIs and software development kits. The functionality and popularity of our platform depends, in part, on our ability to integrate our platform with third-party applications and platforms, including marketplaces and social media sites. We are dependent on strategic technology partner solutions for major ecommerce categories, including payments, shipping, tax, accounting, ERP, marketing, fulfillment, cross-channel commerce, and POS. We will continue to depend on various third-party relationships to sustain and grow our business. Third-party application providers’ sites may change the features of their applications and platforms or alter their governing terms. They may restrict our ability to add, customize or integrate systems, functionality and shopper experiences. Such changes could limit or terminate our ability to use these third-party applications and platforms and provide our customers a highly extensible and customizable experience. This could negatively impact our offerings and harm our business. Marketplaces or social networks that have allowed limited integration into their platforms, such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Instagram, may discontinue our access or allow other platforms to integrate or integrate more easily. This would increase competition for ecommerce platforms across their solutions. Our business will be negatively impacted if we fail to retain these relationships for any reason, including due to third parties’ failure to support or secure their technology or our integrations; errors, bugs, or defects in their technology; or changes in our platform. Any such failure could harm our relationship with our customers, our reputation and brand, our revenue, our business, and our results of operations.

Strategic technology partners and third parties may not be successful in building integrations, co-marketing our platform to provide a significant volume and quality of lead referrals, or continuing to work with us as their products evolve. Identifying, negotiating and documenting relationships with additional strategic technology partners requires significant resources. Integrating third-party technology can be complex, costly and time-consuming. Third parties may be unwilling to build integrations. We may be required to devote additional resources to develop integrations for business applications on our own. Providers of business applications with which we have integrations may decide to compete with us or enter into arrangements with our competitors, resulting in such providers withdrawing support for our integrations. Any failure of our platform to operate effectively with business applications could reduce the demand for our platform, resulting in customer dissatisfaction and harm to our business. If we are unable to respond to these changes or failures in a cost-effective manner, our platform may become less marketable, less competitive, or obsolete, and our results of operations may be negatively impacted.

We have strategic technology partnerships with third parties that pay us a revenue share on their gross sales to our joint customers and/or collaborate to co-sell and co-market BigCommerce to new customers. Certain of those strategic technology partners generate significant revenue for us, including PayPal, Google, and Stripe. While our contracts with strategic technology partners generally limit the ability of such partners to terminate the contract for convenience on short notice, certain of our strategic technology partners have termination for convenience clauses in their contracts with us. Any companies we may acquire, may have strategic technology partners which may be different or competitive with the

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relationships we have. If our relationships with our strategic technology partners or the partners of companies we acquire are disrupted, we may receive less revenue and incur costs to form other revenue-generating strategic technology partnerships. If our strategic technology partners or the partners of companies we acquire were to be acquired by a competitor or were to acquire a competitor, it could compromise these relationships. This could harm our relationship with our customers, our reputation and brand, and our business and results of operations.

We are unable to track revenue-sharing on a real-time basis for some strategic technology partners, which can lead to delays and inaccuracies in reporting in accounting and revenue. In the past we have had, we currently have, and in the future we could have, disagreements with certain of our strategic technology partners on the amount of revenue share we are owed. Our forecasts for revenue-sharing arrangements and collaborations may be inaccurate. If we fail to accurately forecast the amount of revenue generated from our strategic technology partner relationships, our business and results of operations may be negatively impacted.

We leverage the sales and referral resources of agency and referral partners through a variety of programs. If we are unable to effectively utilize, maintain and expand these relationships, our revenue growth would slow, we would need to devote additional resources to the development, sales, and marketing of our platform, and our financial results and future growth prospects would be harmed. Our referral partners may demand greater referral fees or commissions.

We have a limited operating history, which makes it difficult to forecast our future results of operations.

We launched in 2009 and in 2015 expanded our strategic focus to include mid-market and large enterprise customers. We have a limited operating history and limited time implementing our strategic focus on the mid-market and large enterprise segments. As a result, our ability to accurately forecast our future results of operations is limited and subject to a number of uncertainties, including our ability to plan for and model future growth. The market for our ecommerce platform is relatively new and evolving, which makes our business and future prospects difficult to evaluate. It is difficult to predict customer demand for our platform, customer retention and expansion rates, the size and growth rate of the market, the entry of competitive products, or the success of existing competitive products. Our historical revenue growth should not be considered indicative of our future performance. In future periods, our revenue growth could slow or our revenue could decline for a number of reasons, including slowing demand for our services, increasing competition, changing technology, decreasing growth of our market, or our failure, for any reason, to take advantage of growth opportunities. We will continue to encounter risks and uncertainties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly changing industries. If our assumptions regarding these risks, uncertainties, or future revenue growth are incorrect, or if we do not address these risks successfully, our operating and financial results could differ materially from our expectations, and our business could suffer.

Failure to effectively develop and expand our marketing and sales capabilities could harm our ability to increase our customer base and achieve broader market acceptance of our platform. If we are not able to generate traffic to our website through digital marketing our ability to attract new customers may be impaired.

Our ability to increase our customer base and achieve broader market acceptance of our ecommerce platform will depend on our ability to expand our marketing and sales operations. We plan to continue expanding our sales force and strategic partners, both domestically and internationally. We also plan to continue dedicating significant resources to sales and marketing programs, including search engines and other online advertising. The effectiveness of our online advertising may continue to vary due to competition for key search terms, changes in search engine use, and changes in search algorithms used by major search engines and other digital marketing platforms. Our business and operating results will be harmed if our sales and marketing efforts do not generate a corresponding increase in revenue. We may not achieve anticipated revenue growth from expanding our sales force if we are unable to hire, develop, and retain talented sales personnel, if our new sales personnel are unable to achieve desired productivity levels in a reasonable period of time, or if our sales and marketing programs are not effective.

If the cost of marketing our platform over search engines or other digital marketing platforms increases, our business and operating results could be adversely affected. Competitors also may bid on the search terms that we use to drive traffic to our website. Such actions could increase our marketing costs and result in decreased traffic to our website.

Furthermore, search engines and digital marketing platforms may change their advertising policies from time to time. If these policies delay or prevent us from advertising through these channels, it could result in reduced traffic to our website and subscriptions to our platform. New search engines and other digital marketing platforms may develop, particularly in specific jurisdictions, that reduce traffic on existing search engines and digital marketing platforms. If we are not able to achieve prominence through advertising or otherwise, we may not achieve significant traffic to our website through these new platforms and our business and operating results could be adversely affected.

To the extent our security measures are actually or believed to have been compromised, our platform may be perceived as not being secure. This may result in customers curtailing or ceasing their use of our platform, our reputation being harmed, our incurring significant liabilities, and adverse effects on our results of operations and growth prospects.

Our operations involve the storage and transmission of customer and shopper data or information. Cyberattacks and other malicious internet-based activity continue to increase, and cloud-based platform providers of services are expected to continue to be targeted. Threats include traditional computer “hackers,” malicious code (such as viruses, worms, and ransomware), employee theft or misuse, action or inaction by our employees or contractors, and denial-of-service attacks. Sophisticated nation-states and nation-state supported actors now engage in such attacks, including advanced persistent threat intrusions. Despite significant efforts to create security barriers to such threats, it is virtually impossible for us to entirely mitigate these risks. We have been subject to cyber-attacks and attempts in the past and may continue to be subject to such attacks in the future. Though no such incident to date has had a material impact on our business, we cannot guarantee that we will not experience material or adverse

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effects from any future incident. Further, when we acquire companies that do not have security measures that are as robust as the measures we have in place, the foregoing risks may increase. If our security measures are actually or perceived to be compromised as a result of third-party action, employee or customer error, malfeasance, stolen or fraudulently obtained log-in credentials, or otherwise, our reputation could be damaged, our business may be harmed, and we could incur significant liability. We may be unable to anticipate or prevent techniques used to obtain unauthorized access or to compromise our systems because they change frequently and are generally not detected until after an incident has occurred. As we rely on third-party and public-cloud infrastructure, we will depend in part on third-party security measures to protect against unauthorized access, cyberattacks, and the mishandling of customer data. A cybersecurity event could have significant costs, including regulatory enforcement actions, litigation, litigation indemnity obligations, remediation costs, network downtime, increases in insurance premiums, and reputational damage. Our cyber insurance may not protect against all of the costs, liabilities, and other adverse effects arising from a security breach or system failure.  Many companies that provide cloud-based services have reported a significant increase in cyberattack activity since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We depend on third-party data hosting and transmission services. Increases in cost, interruptions in service, latency, or poor service from our third-party data center providers could impair the delivery of our platform. This could result in customer or shopper dissatisfaction, damage to our reputation, loss of customers, limited growth, and reduction in revenue.

We currently serve the majority of our platform functions from third-party data center hosting facilities operated by Google Cloud Platform in the U.S. We are in the process of expanding our infrastructure capabilities into overseas data centers of Google Cloud Platform. We serve ancillary functions for our customers from third-party data center hosting facilities operated by Amazon Web Services, located in Virginia. Our platform is deployed to multiple data centers within these geographies, with additional geographies available for disaster recovery. Our operations depend, in part, on our third-party providers’ protection of these facilities from natural disasters, power or telecommunications failures, criminal acts, or similar events (such as the COVID-19 pandemic). If any third-party facility’s arrangement is terminated, or its service lapses, we could experience interruptions in our platform, latency, as well as delays and additional expenses in arranging new facilities and services.

A significant portion of our operating cost is from our third-party data hosting and transmission services. If the costs for such services increase due to vendor consolidation, regulation, contract renegotiation or otherwise, we may not be able to increase the fees for our ecommerce platform or professional services to cover the changes. As a result, our operating results may be significantly worse than forecasted. Our servers may be unable to achieve or maintain data transmission capacity sufficient for timely service of increased traffic or order processing. Our failure to achieve or maintain sufficient and performant data transmission capacity could significantly reduce demand for our platform.

Our customers often draw many shoppers over short periods of time, including from new product releases, holiday shopping seasons and flash sales. These events significantly increase the traffic on our servers and the volume of transactions processed on our platform. Despite precautions taken at our data centers, spikes in usage volume, or a natural disaster, an act of terrorism, vandalism or sabotage, closure of a facility without adequate notice, or other unanticipated problems (such as the COVID-19 pandemic) could result in lengthy interruptions or performance degradation of our platform. Any damage to, or failure of, the systems of our third-party providers could result in interruptions to our platform. Even with current and planned disaster recovery arrangements, our business could be harmed. If we experience damage or interruption, our insurance policies may not adequately compensate us for or protect us against any losses, liabilities and costs that we may incur. These factors in turn could further reduce our revenue, subject us to liability, cause us to issue credits, or cause customers to terminate their subscriptions, any of which could materially adversely affect our business.

If there are interruptions or performance problems associated with our technology or infrastructure, our existing customers may experience service outages, and our new customers may experience delays in using our platform.

Our continued growth depends, in part, on the ability of our existing and potential customers to access our platform 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without interruption or performance degradation. We have experienced and may, in the future, experience disruptions, data loss, outages, and other performance problems with our infrastructure. These can be due to a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, introductions of new functionality, human or software errors, capacity constraints, denial-of-service attacks, or other security-related incidents, any of which may be recurring. As we continue to add customers, expand geographically, and enhance our platform’s functionality, the additional scale may increase complexity and our average uptime for future periods may decrease. We may not be able to identify the cause or causes of these performance problems promptly. If our platform is unavailable or if our customers are unable to access our platform within a reasonable amount of time, our business would be harmed. Any outage on our platform would impair the ability of our customers to engage in ecommerce, which would negatively impact our brand, reputation and customer satisfaction. We provide service credits to our customers for downtime they experience using our platform. Any downtime or malfunction could require us to issue a significant amount of service credits to customers. At times, we issue service credits to customers that we are not able to identify as having been affected by an incident. Issuing a significant amount of service credits would negatively impact our financial position. We depend on services from various third parties to maintain our infrastructure and any disruptions to these services, including from causes outside our control, would significantly impact our platform. In the future, these services may not be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Loss of any of these services could decrease our platform’s functionality until we develop equivalent technology or, if equivalent technology is available from another party, we identify, obtain, and integrate it into our infrastructure. If we do not accurately predict our infrastructure capacity requirements, our customers could experience service shortfalls. We may also be unable to address capacity constraints, upgrade our systems, and develop our technology and network architecture to accommodate actual and anticipated technology changes.

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Any of the above circumstances or events may harm our reputation, cause customers to terminate their agreements with us, impair our ability to grow our customer base, subject us to financial liabilities under our service level agreements (“SLAs”), and otherwise harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our sales cycle with mid-market and large enterprise customers can be long and unpredictable, and our sales efforts require considerable time and expense.

The timing of our sales with our mid-market and large enterprise customers and related revenue recognition is difficult to predict because of the length and unpredictability of the sales cycle for these customers. Mid-market and large enterprise customers, particularly those in highly regulated industries and those requiring customized applications, may have a lengthy sales cycle for the evaluation and implementation of our platform. This may cause a delay between increasing operating expenses for such sales efforts and, upon successful sales, the generation of corresponding revenue. We are often required to spend significant time and resources to better educate our potential mid-market and large enterprise customers and familiarize them with the platform. The length of our sales cycle for these customers, from initial evaluation to contract execution, is generally three to six months but can vary substantially. On occasion, some customers will negotiate their contracts to include a trial period, delayed payment or a number of months on a promotional basis.

As the purchase and launch of our platform can be dependent upon customer initiatives, infrequently, our sales cycle can extend to up to twelve months. As a result, much of our revenue is generated from the recognition of contract liabilities from contracts entered into during previous periods. Customers often view a subscription to our ecommerce platform and services as a strategic decision with significant investment. As a result, customers frequently require considerable time to evaluate, test, and qualify our platform prior to entering into or expanding a subscription. During the sales cycle, we expend significant time and money on sales and marketing and contract negotiation activities, which may not result in a sale. Additional factors that may influence the length and variability of our sales cycle include:

 

the effectiveness of our sales force as we hire and train our new salespeople to sell to mid-market and large enterprise customers;

 

the discretionary nature of purchasing and budget cycles and decisions;

 

the obstacles placed by customers’ procurement process;

 

economic conditions and other factors impacting customer budgets;

 

customers’ integration complexity;

 

customers’ familiarity with SaaS ecommerce solutions;

 

customers’ evaluation of competing products during the purchasing process; and

 

evolving customer demands.

Given these factors, it is difficult to predict whether and when a sale will be completed, and when revenue from a sale will be recognized. Consequently, a shortfall in demand for our solutions and services or a decline in new or renewed contracts in a given period may not significantly reduce our revenue for that period but could negatively affect our revenue in future periods.

If we fail to maintain or grow our brand recognition, our ability to expand our customer base will be impaired and our financial condition may suffer.

We believe maintaining and growing the BigCommerce brand is important to supporting continued acceptance of our existing and future solutions, attracting new customers to our platform, and retaining existing customers. We also believe that the importance of brand recognition will increase as competition in our market increases. Successfully maintaining our brand will depend largely on the effectiveness of our marketing efforts, our ability to provide a reliable and useful platform to meet the needs of our customers at competitive prices, our ability to maintain our customers’ trust, our ability to continue to develop new functionality and solutions, and our ability to successfully differentiate our platform. Additionally, our partners’ performance may affect our brand and reputation if customers do not have a positive experience. Brand promotion activities may not generate customer awareness or yield increased revenue. Even if they do, any increased revenue may not offset the expenses we incurred in building our brand. If we fail to successfully promote and maintain our brand, we may fail to attract enough new customers or retain our existing customers to realize a sufficient return on our brand-building efforts, and our business could suffer.

If we fail to offer high quality support, our business and reputation could suffer.

Our customers rely on our personnel for support related to our subscription and customer solutions. High-quality support is important for the renewal and expansion of our agreements with existing customers. The importance of high-quality support will increase as we expand our business and pursue new customers, particularly mid-market and large enterprise customers. If we do not help our customers quickly resolve issues and provide effective ongoing support, our ability to sell new software to existing and new customers could suffer and our reputation with existing or potential customers could be harmed.

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We store personal information of our customers and their shoppers. If the security of this information is compromised or is otherwise accessed without authorization, our reputation may be harmed and we may be exposed to liability and loss of business.

We transmit or store personal information, credit card information and other confidential information of our partners, our customers, and their shoppers. Third-party applications available on our platform and mobile applications may also store personal information, credit card information, and other confidential information. We generally cannot and do not proactively monitor the content that our customers upload or the information provided to us through the applications integrated with our ecommerce platform; therefore, we do not control the substance of the content on our servers, which may include personal information.

We use third-party service providers and subprocessors to help us deliver services to customers and their shoppers. These service providers and subprocessors may store personal information, credit card information and/or other confidential information. Such information may be the target of unauthorized access or subject to security breaches as a result of third-party action, employee error, malfeasance or otherwise. Many companies that provide these services have reported a significant increase in cyberattack activity since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any of these could (a) result in the loss of information, litigation, indemnity obligations, damage to our reputation and other liability, or (b) have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access or sabotage systems change frequently and generally are not identified until they are launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. Even if such a data breach did not arise out of our action or inaction, or if it were to affect one or more of our competitors or our customers’ competitors, rather than us, the resulting concern could negatively affect our customers and our business. Concerns regarding data privacy and security may cause some of our customers to stop using our platform and fail to renew their subscriptions. In addition, failures to meet our customers’ or shoppers’ expectations with respect to security and confidentiality of their data and information could damage our reputation and affect our ability to retain customers, attract new customers, and grow our business.

Our failure to comply with legal, contractual, or standards-based requirements around the security of personal information could lead to significant fines and penalties, as well as claims by our customers, their shoppers, or other stakeholders. When we acquire companies that do not have security measures that are as robust as the measures we have in place such as Feedonomics or B2B Ninja, the risk of fines and penalties may increase. Any such proceedings or violations could force us to spend money in defense or settlement of these proceedings, result in the imposition of monetary liability or injunctive relief, divert management’s time and attention, increase our costs of doing business, and materially adversely affect our reputation and the demand for our platform.

If our security measures fail to protect credit card information adequately, we could be liable to our partners, the payment card associations, our customers, their shoppers and consumers with whom we have a direct relationship. We could be subject to fines and higher transaction fees, we could face regulatory or other legal action, and our customers could end their relationships with us. The limitations of liability in our contracts may not be enforceable or adequate or would otherwise protect us from any such liabilities or damages with respect to any particular claim.

Our insurance coverage, including coverage for errors and omissions and cyber liability, may not continue to be available on acceptable terms or may not be available in sufficient amounts to cover one or more large claims. Our insurers could deny coverage as to any future claim and our cyber liability coverage may not adequately protect us against any losses, liabilities and costs that we may incur. The successful assertion of one or more large claims against us, or changes in our insurance policies, including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or coinsurance requirements, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

We are also subject to federal, state, and foreign laws regarding cybersecurity and the protection of data. Many jurisdictions have enacted laws requiring companies to notify individuals of security breaches involving certain types of personal information. Our agreements with certain customers and partners require us to notify them of certain security incidents. Some jurisdictions and customers require us to safeguard personal information or confidential information using specific measures. If we fail to observe these requirements, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

We could incur substantial costs in protecting or defending our proprietary rights. Failure to adequately protect our rights could impair our competitive position. We could lose valuable assets, experience reduced revenue, and incur costly litigation.

Our success is dependent, in part, upon protecting our proprietary technology. We rely on a combination of trade secret laws, contractual provisions, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, and patents in an effort to establish and protect our proprietary rights. However, the steps we take to protect our intellectual property may be inadequate. We make business decisions about when to seek patent protection for a particular technology and when to rely upon trade secret protection. The approach we select may ultimately prove to be inadequate.

Our patents or patents issued in the future may not provide us with competitive advantages, or may be successfully challenged by third parties. Any of our patents, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights may be challenged or circumvented by others or invalidated through administrative process or litigation. Others may independently develop similar products, duplicate any of our solutions or design around our patents, or adopt similar or identical brands for competing platforms. Legal standards relating to the validity, enforceability, and scope of protection of intellectual property rights are uncertain. Despite our precautions, it may be possible for unauthorized third parties to copy our platform and use information that we regard as proprietary to create products and services that compete with ours. Some license provisions restricting unauthorized use, copying, transfer, and disclosure of our intellectual property may be unenforceable under the laws of jurisdictions outside the United States.

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To the extent we expand our international activities, our exposure to unauthorized copying and use of our platform and proprietary information may increase. Moreover, effective trademark, copyright, patent, and trade secret protection may not be available or commercially feasible in every country in which we conduct business. Further, intellectual property law, including statutory and case law, particularly in the United States, is constantly developing. Changes in the law could make it harder for us to enforce our rights.

We enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and consultants. We enter into confidentiality agreements with strategic and business partners. These agreements may not be effective in controlling access to and distribution of our proprietary information. These agreements do not prevent our competitors or partners from independently developing technologies that are equivalent or superior to our platform.

We may be required to spend significant resources to monitor, protect, and enforce our intellectual property rights. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights and protect our trade secrets. Litigation brought to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights could be costly, time-consuming, and distracting to management. Such litigation could result in the impairment or loss of portions of our intellectual property. Enforcement of our intellectual property rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims, and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property. An adverse determination of any litigation proceedings could put our intellectual property at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly. An adverse determination could risk the issuance or cancellation of pending patent and trademark filings. Because of the substantial discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, our confidential or sensitive information could be compromised by disclosure in litigation. Litigation could result in public disclosure of results of hearings, motions, or other interim developments. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock.

Our inability to protect our proprietary technology against unauthorized copying or use, as well as any costly litigation or diversion of our management’s attention and resources, could delay further sales or the implementation of our platform, impair the functionality of our platform, delay introductions of new functionality to our platform, result in the substitution of inferior or more costly technologies into our platform, or injure our reputation. We will not be able to protect our intellectual property if we are unable to enforce our rights or if we do not detect unauthorized use of our intellectual property. Policing unauthorized use of our technologies, trade secrets, and intellectual property may be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, particularly in foreign countries where the laws may not be as protective of intellectual property rights as those in the United States and where mechanisms for enforcement of intellectual property rights may be weak. If we fail to meaningfully protect our intellectual property and proprietary rights, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

We have been, and may in the future be, subject to legal proceedings and litigation, including intellectual property disputes, which are costly and may subject us to significant liability and increased costs of doing business. Our business may suffer if it is alleged or determined that our technology infringes the intellectual property rights of others.

The software industry is characterized by the existence of a large number of patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and other intellectual and proprietary rights. Companies in the software industry are often required to defend against litigation claims based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. Our technologies may not be able to withstand any third-party claims or rights against their use. These lawsuits are time-consuming and expensive to resolve and they divert management’s time and attention. Our future success depends in part on not infringing the intellectual property rights of others.

Many software companies have the capability to dedicate substantially greater resources to enforce their intellectual property rights and to defend claims that may be brought against them. Any litigation may also involve patent holding companies or other adverse patent owners that have no relevant product revenue and against which our patents may therefore provide little or no deterrence. We have and may in the future need to enter into settlement agreements that require us to pay settlement fees and that encumber a portion of our intellectual property. Any claims or litigation could cause us to incur significant expenses and, whether or not successfully asserted against us, could require that we pay substantial damages, ongoing royalty or license payments, require us to re-engineer all or a portion of our platform, or require that we comply with other unfavorable terms. If a third party is able to obtain an injunction preventing us from accessing third-party intellectual property rights, or if we cannot license or develop technology for any infringing aspect of our business, we would be forced to limit or stop sales of our software or cease business activities covered by such intellectual property. It could prevent us from competing effectively.

We are contractually obligated to indemnify certain of our customers for infringement of a third party’s intellectual property rights. From time to time, we have received indemnification requests with respect to alleged infringement of third party intellectual property rights. Responding to such claims regardless of their merit, can be time-consuming, costly to defend in litigation, and damage our reputation and brand. We also may be required to redesign our platform, delay releases, enter into costly settlement or license agreements, pay costly damage awards, or face a temporary or permanent injunction prohibiting us from marketing or selling our platform. Requiring us to change one or more aspects of the way we deliver our platform may harm our business.

Although we carry general liability insurance and other insurance, our insurance may not cover potential claims of this type. Our insurance may not be adequate to cover us for all liability that may be imposed. We may not be able to maintain our insurance coverage. We cannot predict the outcome of lawsuits, and cannot assure you that the results of any of these actions will not have an adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition.

We may acquire or invest in companies, which may divert our management’s attention and result in additional dilution to our stockholders. We may be unable to integrate acquired businesses and technologies successfully or achieve the expected benefits of such acquisitions.

We may 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 July 2021, we acquired Feedonomics for total purchase consideration of approximately

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$146.1 million, with approximately $81.1 million in cash paid at closing and up to $65.0 million in two annual installments of up to $32.5 million each, to be paid at each of the first and second anniversaries of closing or upon the earlier achievement of certain milestones. We may elect to make the anniversary payments partially or entirely in shares of our Series 1 common stock in lieu of cash. Accordingly, our stockholders may incur dilution resulting from the payment of the anniversary payments in shares of Series 1 common stock, the resale of which we would be obligated to register on Form S-3.

An acquisition, investment or business relationship may result in unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures. In particular, we may encounter difficulties assimilating or integrating the businesses, technologies, products, personnel, or operations of the acquired companies. Key personnel of the acquired companies may choose not to work for us, their software may not be easily adapted to work with ours, or we may have difficulty retaining the customers of any acquired business due to changes in ownership, management, or otherwise. We may also experience difficulties integrating personnel of the acquired company into our business and culture. Acquisitions may also disrupt our business, divert our resources and require significant management attention that would otherwise be available for development of our existing business. 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 close these transactions may often be subject to approvals that are beyond our control. Consequently, these transactions, even if undertaken and announced, may not close. For one or more of those transactions, we may:

 

issue additional equity securities that would dilute our stockholders;

 

use cash that we may need in the future to operate our business;

 

incur debt on terms unfavorable to us or that we are unable to repay;

 

incur large charges or substantial liabilities;

 

encounter difficulties retaining key employees of the acquired company or integrating diverse software codes or business cultures; and

 

become subject to adverse tax consequences, substantial depreciation, or deferred compensation charges.

We rely on third-party proprietary and open source software for our platform. Our inability to obtain third-party licenses for such software, or obtain them on favorable terms, or any errors or failures caused by such software could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Some of our offerings include software or other intellectual property licensed from third parties. It may be necessary in the future to renew licenses relating to various aspects of these applications or to seek new licenses for existing or new applications. Necessary licenses may not be available on acceptable terms or under open source licenses permitting redistribution in commercial offerings, if at all. Our inability to obtain certain licenses or other rights or to obtain such licenses or rights on favorable terms could result in delays in product releases until equivalent technology can be identified, licensed or developed, if at all, and integrated into our platform. It may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Third parties may allege that additional licenses are required for our use of their software or intellectual property. We may be unable to obtain such licenses on commercially reasonable terms or at all. The inclusion in our offerings of software or other intellectual property licensed from third parties on a non-exclusive basis could limit our ability to differentiate our offerings from those of our competitors. To the extent that our platform depends upon the successful operation of third-party software, any undetected errors or defects in such third-party software could impair the functionality of our platform, delay new feature introductions, result in a failure of our platform, and injure our reputation.

Our use of open source software could subject us to possible litigation or cause us to subject our platform to unwanted open source license conditions that could negatively impact our sales.

A significant portion of our platform incorporates open source software, and we expect to incorporate open source software into other offerings or solutions in the future. Such open source software is generally licensed by its authors or other third parties under open source licenses. Little legal precedent governs the interpretation of these licenses; therefore, the potential impact of these terms on our business is unknown and may result in unanticipated obligations regarding our technologies. If a distributor of open source software were to allege that we had not complied with its license, we could be required to incur significant legal expenses. If we combine our proprietary software with open source software or utilize open source software in a certain manner, under some open source licenses, we could be in breach of the license if we did not release the source code of our proprietary software. Releasing our source code could substantially help our competitors develop products that are similar to or better than ours.

If our platform fails to perform properly, and if we fail to develop enhancements to resolve performance issues, we could lose customers, become subject to performance or warranty claims, or incur significant costs.

Our operations are dependent upon our ability to prevent system interruption. The applications underlying our platform are inherently complex and may contain material defects or errors, which may cause disruptions in availability or other performance problems. Defects, errors, disruptions in service, cyber-attacks, or other performance problems with our software, whether in connection with the day-to-day operation, upgrades or otherwise, could result in: loss of customers; lost or delayed market acceptance and sales of our platform; delays in payment to us by customers; injury to our reputation and brand; legal claims, including warranty and service claims, against us; diversion of our resources, including through increased service and warranty expenses or financial concessions; and increased insurance costs.

We have found defects in our platform and may discover additional defects in the future that could result in data unavailability, unauthorized access to, loss, corruption, or other harm to our customers’ data. We may not be able to detect and correct defects or errors before release. Consequently, we or our customers may discover defects or errors after our platform has been employed. We implement bug fixes and upgrades as

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part of our regularly scheduled system maintenance. If we do not complete this maintenance according to schedule or if customers are otherwise dissatisfied with the frequency and/or duration of our maintenance services and related system outages, customers could terminate their contracts, or delay or withhold payment to us, or cause us to issue credits, make refunds, or pay penalties. The costs incurred or delays resulting from the correction of defects or errors in our software or other performance problems may be substantial and could adversely affect our operating results.

Payment transactions on our ecommerce platform subject us to regulatory requirements, additional fees, and other risks that could be costly and difficult to comply with or that could harm our business.

We are required by our payment processors to comply with payment card network operating rules and we have agreed to reimburse our payment processors for any fees or fines they are assessed by payment card networks as a result of any rule violations by us or our customers. The payment card networks set and interpret the card rules. We face the risk that one or more payment card networks or other processors may, at any time, assess penalties against us, against our customers, or terminate our ability to accept credit card payments or other forms of online payments from shoppers. This would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and operating results.

If we fail to comply with the payment card network rules, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (“PCI-DSS”) and those of each of the credit card brands, we would breach our contractual obligations to our payment processors, financial institutions, partners, and customers. Such a failure may subject us to fines, penalties, damages, higher transaction fees, and civil liability. It could prevent us from processing or accepting payment cards or lead to a loss of payment processor partners, even if customer or shopper information has not been compromised.

Our ability to use our net operating losses to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations.

As of December 31, 2021, we had net operating loss (“NOL”) carryforwards of approximately $243.8 million and $113.8 million for federal and state tax purposes, respectively, that are available to reduce future taxable income. If not utilized, the federal and state NOL carryforwards will begin to expire in 2036. As of December 31, 2021, approximately $195.4 million of the federal NOL carryforwards do not expire and will carry forward indefinitely until utilized. As of December 31, 2021, we also had total foreign NOL carryforwards of $26.0 million, which do not expire under local law. As of December 31, 2021, we had research and development tax credit carryforwards of approximately $6.8 million and $3.6 million for federal and state tax purposes, respectively. The federal and state tax credits will begin to expire in 2024.

In general, under Section 382 and 383 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the “Code”, a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change” is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its pre-change NOLs and other tax attributes such as research tax credits to offset future taxable income or income tax. If it is determined that we have in the past experienced an ownership change, or if we undergo one or more ownership changes as a result of future transactions in our stock, then our ability to utilize NOLs and other pre-change tax attributes could be limited by Sections 382 and 383 of the Code.

Future changes in our stock ownership, many of which are outside of our control, could result in an ownership change under Sections 382 or 383 of the Code. Our ability to utilize NOLs of companies that we may acquire in the future may be subject to limitations. Our losses in Australia are subject to the change of ownership test rules in that jurisdiction that when applied may limit our ability to fully utilize our Australian NOLs. For these reasons, we may not be able to utilize a material portion of the NOLs, even if we were to achieve profitability. The NOLs that do not expire and carryforward indefinitely are limited to 80% of taxable income in the year utilized.

Risks related to our industry and the economy

We face intense competition, especially from well-established companies offering solutions and related applications. We may lack sufficient financial or other resources to maintain or improve our competitive position, which may harm our ability to add new customers, retain existing customers, and grow our business.

The market for ecommerce solutions is evolving and highly competitive. We expect competition to increase in the future from established competitors and new market entrants. With the introduction of new technologies and the entry of new companies into the market, we expect competition to persist and intensify in the future. This could harm our ability to increase sales, maintain or increase renewals, and maintain our prices. We face intense competition from other software companies that may offer related ecommerce platform software solutions and services. Our competitors include larger companies that have acquired ecommerce platform solution providers in recent years. We also compete with custom software internally developed within ecommerce businesses. In addition, we face competition from niche companies that offer point products that attempt to address certain of the problems that our platform solves.

Merger and acquisition activity in the technology industry could increase the likelihood that we compete with other large technology companies. Many of our existing competitors have, and our potential competitors could have, substantial competitive advantages such as greater name recognition, longer operating histories, larger sales and marketing budgets and resources, greater customer support resources, lower labor and development costs, larger and more mature intellectual property portfolios, and substantially greater financial, technical and other resources.

Some of our larger competitors also have substantially broader product lines and market focus and will therefore not be as susceptible to downturns in a particular market. Conditions in our market could change rapidly and significantly as a result of technological advancements, partnering by our competitors, or continuing market consolidation. New start-up companies that innovate, and large companies that are making significant investments in research and development, may invent similar or superior products and technologies that compete with our platform. In

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addition, some of our competitors may enter into new alliances with each other or may establish or strengthen cooperative relationships with agency partners, technology and application providers in complementary categories, or other parties. Furthermore, ecommerce on large marketplaces, such as Amazon, could increase as a percentage of all ecommerce activity, thereby reducing customer traffic to individual customer websites. Any such consolidation, acquisition, alliance or cooperative relationship could lead to pricing pressure, a loss of market share, or a smaller addressable share of the market. It could also result in a competitor with greater financial, technical, marketing, service, and other resources, any of which could harm our ability to compete.

Some of our larger competitors use broader product offerings to compete, including by selling at zero or negative margins, by bundling their product, or by closing access to their technology platforms. Potential customers may prefer to purchase from their existing suppliers rather than a new supplier regardless of product performance or features. Furthermore, potential customers may be more willing to incrementally add solutions to their existing infrastructure from competitors than to replace their existing infrastructure with our platform. These competitive pressures in our market, or our failure to compete effectively, may result in price reductions, fewer orders, reduced revenue and gross margins, increased net losses, and loss of market share. Any failure to meet and address these factors could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

The COVID-19 pandemic may continue to materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic, the measures attempting to contain and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including stay-at-home, business closure, and other restrictive orders, and the resulting changes in consumer behaviors, have disrupted our normal operations and impacted our employees, suppliers, partners, and customers. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to global supply chain challenges, reduced availability of goods and inflation, each of which may impact our customers and could ultimately impact demand for our services. We expect these disruptions and impacts to continue. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken a number of actions that have impacted and continue to impact our business, including transitioning employees across all our offices to remote work-from-home arrangements and then hybrid in office and remote work, and imposing travel and related restrictions. While we believe these actions were reasonable and necessary as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were and continue to be disruptive to our business and could adversely impact our results of operations. Given the continued pandemic environment and the resultant personal, economic, and governmental reactions, we may have to take additional actions in the future that could harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations. While we have a distributed workforce and our employees are accustomed to working remotely or working with other remote employees, our workforce has not historically been fully remote.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain of our employees traveled frequently to establish and maintain relationships with one another and with our customers, partners, and investors. We continue to monitor the situation and may adjust our current policies as more information and guidance become available. Suspending travel and doing business in-person on a long-term basis could negatively impact our marketing efforts, our ability to enter into customer contracts in a timely manner, our international expansion efforts, and our ability to recruit employees across the organization. These changes could negatively impact our sales and marketing in particular, which could have longer-term effects on our sales pipeline, or create operational or other challenges as our workforce remains predominantly remote. Any of these impacts could harm our business. In addition, our management team has spent, and will likely continue to spend, significant time, attention, and resources monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and associated global economic uncertainty and seeking to manage its effects on our business and workforce. As our offices reopen, planning and risk management for these reopenings will require further additional time from management and other employees, which may further reduce the amount of time available for other initiatives.  

In the first half of 2021, a new Delta variant of COVID-19 began to spread globally and caused an increase in COVID-19 cases in many places in the United States, and in November 2021, a new Omicron variant, which appears to be the most transmissible variant to date, was detected, which Omicron variant has since caused in increase in COVID-19 cases in multiple countries, including the United States.  Public health officials and medical professionals have warned that COVID-19 cases may continue to spike, particularly if vaccination rates do not quickly increase or if additional, potent disease variants emerge. The ultimate impact of the Omicron variant is unknown, including with respect to the continued imposition of mask mandates, social distancing, travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders. Even before the increases in cases due to the Delta variant and the Omicron variant, many individuals remained cautious about resuming activities. Given the ongoing and dynamic nature of the circumstances, it is difficult to predict the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business.

The degree to which COVID-19 and related vaccines will affect our business and results of operations will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot currently be predicted. These developments include, but are not limited to, the duration, extent, and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, actions taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on economic activity and domestic and international trade, the timing and deployment of any vaccine, and the extent of the impact of these and other factors on our employees, suppliers, partners, and customers. While COVID-19 vaccines are widely available in the United States and increasingly available globally, the continued efficacy of such vaccines in relation to new strains of the virus (including the Delta variant and the Omicron variant) as well as their continued adoption remains difficult to predict. The COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions could limit our customers’ ability to continue to operate, to obtain inventory, generate sales, or make timely payments to us. It could disrupt or delay the ability of employees to work because they become sick or are required to care for those who become sick, or for dependents for whom external care is not available. It could cause delays or disruptions in services provided by key suppliers and vendors including supply chain delays, make us, our partners, and our service providers more vulnerable to security breaches, denial of service attacks or other hacking or phishing attacks, or cause other unpredictable effects.

The COVID-19 pandemic also has caused heightened uncertainty in the global economy. If economic conditions further deteriorate, consumers may not have the financial means to make purchases from our customers and may delay or reduce discretionary purchases, negatively impacting our customers and our results of operations. Uncertainty from the pandemic may cause prospective or existing customers to defer investment in ecommerce. Our SMB customers may be more susceptible to general economic conditions than larger businesses, which may have greater liquidity and access to capital. Uncertain and adverse economic conditions also may lead to increased refunds and chargebacks. Since the impact of COVID-19 is ongoing, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related impact on the global economy may not be fully reflected in

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our results of operations until future periods. Volatility in the capital markets has been heightened during recent months and such volatility may continue, which may cause declines in the price of our common stock.

To the extent there is a sustained general economic downturn and our software is perceived by customers and potential customers as costly, or too difficult to deploy or migrate to, our revenue may be disproportionately affected. Our revenue may also be disproportionately affected by delays or reductions in general information technology spending. Competitors, many of whom are larger and more established than we are, may respond to market conditions by lowering prices and attempting to lure away our customers. In addition, the increased pace of consolidation in certain industries may result in reduced overall spending on our subscription offerings and related services. We cannot predict the timing, strength, or duration of any economic slowdown, instability, or recovery, generally or within any particular industry. In addition, the direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic can make it difficult to isolate and quantify the portion of our costs that are a direct result of the pandemic and costs arising from factors that may have been influenced by the pandemic, including increased wage rates and incentives and global supply chain constraints.  If the economic conditions of the general economy or markets in which we operate worsen from present levels, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected.

Our current operations are international in scope, and we plan further geographic expansion. This will create a variety of operational challenges. We are subject to risks from geopolitical crises, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A component of our growth strategy involves the further expansion of our operations and customer base internationally. In the case of the two most recent fiscal years, approximately 20 percent of our revenue has been generated from customers outside the United States. We currently have locations in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom (“UK”), Singapore, and Ukraine. We are continuing to adapt and develop strategies to address international markets, but such efforts may not be successful. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic and related stay-at-home, business closure, and other restrictive orders and travel restrictions in the US, EMEA, Australia and Asia, may pose additional challenges for international expansion and may impact our ability to launch new locations and further expand geographically.

We have a significant number of employees outside of the United States. We expect that our international activities will continue to grow over the foreseeable future as we continue to pursue opportunities in existing and new international markets. This will require significant management attention and financial resources. We may face difficulties, including: geopolitical crises, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, costs associated with developing software and providing support in many languages, varying seasonality patterns, potential adverse movement of currency exchange rates, longer payment cycles and difficulties in collecting accounts receivable, tariffs and trade barriers, a variety of regulatory or contractual limitations on our ability to operate, adverse tax events, reduced protection of intellectual property rights, a geographically and culturally diverse workforce and customer base, and travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Failure to overcome any of these difficulties could negatively affect our results of operations.

Our current international operations and future initiatives involve a variety of risks, including:

 

geopolitical crises, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine;

 

changes in a country’s or region’s political or economic conditions;

 

the need to adapt and localize our platform for specific countries;

 

greater difficulty collecting accounts receivable and longer payment cycles;

 

potential changes in trade relations arising from policy initiatives critical of existing and proposed trade agreements;

 

unexpected changes in laws, regulatory requirements, taxes, or trade laws;

 

more stringent regulations relating to privacy and data security and the unauthorized use of, or access to, commercial and personal information, increasingly common around the globe;

 

differing labor regulations, especially in Europe, where labor laws are generally more advantageous to employees as compared to the United States, including deemed hourly wage and overtime regulations in these locations;

 

challenges inherent in efficiently managing an increased number of employees over large geographic distances (including in a work-from-home environment), including the need to implement appropriate systems, policies, benefits, and compliance programs;

 

difficulties in managing a business in new markets with diverse cultures, languages, customs, legal systems, alternative dispute systems, and regulatory systems;

 

increased travel, real estate, infrastructure, and legal compliance costs associated with international operations;

 

currency exchange rate fluctuations and the resulting effect on our revenue and expenses, and the cost and risk of entering into hedging transactions if we chose to do so in the future;

 

limitations on our ability to reinvest earnings from operations in one country to fund the capital needs of our operations in other countries;

 

laws and business practices favoring local competitors or general preferences for local vendors;

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limited or insufficient intellectual property protection or difficulties enforcing our intellectual property;

 

political instability or terrorist activities;

 

risks related to global health epidemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, including restrictions on our ability and our customers’ ability to travel, disruptions in our customers’ ability to distribute products, and temporary closures of our customers’ facilities;

 

exposure to liabilities under anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended (the “FCPA”), the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the UK Bribery Act of 2010, the UK Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and similar laws and regulations in other jurisdictions; and

 

adverse tax burdens and foreign exchange controls that could make it difficult to repatriate earnings and cash.

 

Our limited experience in operating our business internationally increases the risk that future expansion efforts that we may undertake will not be successful. If we invest substantial time and resources to expand our international operations and are unable to do so successfully, our business and operating results will suffer.

We may need to reduce or change our pricing model to remain competitive.

We price our subscriptions based on a combination of transaction and order volume, and feature functionality. We expect that we may need to change our pricing from time to time. As new or existing competitors introduce products that compete with ours or reduce their prices, we may be unable to attract new customers or retain existing customers. We also must determine the appropriate price to enable us to compete effectively internationally. Mid-market and large enterprise customers may demand substantial price discounts as part of the negotiation of sales contracts. As a result, we may be required or choose to reduce our prices or otherwise change our pricing model, which could adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.

Evolving global laws, regulations and standards on privacy and data security, restrictions on cross-border data transfers, and data localization requirements may limit the use and adoption of our services, expose us to liability, or otherwise adversely affect our business.

Federal, state, or foreign governmental bodies or agencies have in the past adopted, and may in the future adopt, laws and regulations affecting the use of the internet as a commercial medium. These laws and regulations could impact taxation, internet neutrality, tariffs, content, copyrights, liability for content, distribution, electronic contracts and other communications, consumer protection, online advertising, and the characteristics and quality of services. Legislators and regulators may make legal and regulatory changes, or apply existing laws, in ways that require us to incur substantial costs, expose us to unanticipated civil or criminal liability, or cause us to change our business practices. These laws and regulations and resulting increased costs could materially harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Laws and regulations governing data privacy are constantly evolving. Many of these laws and regulations, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the UK General Data Protection Regulation (“UK GDPR”) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”), contain detailed requirements regarding collecting and processing personal information, restrict the use and storage of such information, and govern the need for consumer consent. The California Privacy Rights Act (the “CPRA”) amended the CCPA and created additional obligations relating to consumer data beginning on January 1, 2022 with enforcement expected to begin in 2023.  Like California, Virginia and Colorado have also enacted new privacy regulations set to come into effect in 2023. Similar laws have been proposed in other states, at the federal level, and in other countries, reflecting a global trend toward more stringent privacy. These laws and regulations could restrict our ability to store and process personal data (in particular, our ability to use certain data for purposes such as risk or fraud avoidance, marketing or advertising), to control our costs by using certain vendors or service providers, and to offer certain services in certain jurisdictions.  Such laws and regulations could also restrict our customers’ ability to run their businesses; for example, by limiting their ability to effectively market to interested shoppers. This could reduce our revenue and the general demand for our services.

Such laws and regulations may be subject to amendment or re-interpretation, which may cause us to incur significant costs and expend significant effort to ensure compliance. For example, in 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidated the U.S.-EU Privacy Shield as a basis for transfers of personal data from the EU to the U.S. and introduced requirements to carry out risk assessments in relation to use of other, alternative data transfer mechanisms such as the standard contractual clauses for personal data transfers. The European Commission has published revised standard contractual clauses for data transfers from the European Economic Area (“EEA”): the revised clauses must be used for relevant new data transfers from September 27, 2021. Existing standard contractual clauses must be migrated to the revised clauses by December 27, 2022. Similarly, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office launched a public consultation on its draft revised data transfers mechanisms in August 2021. Implementing updated data transfer documentation, whether in the EEA or UK, adds complexity that may hinder or delay the contracting process with our customers and vendors.

This may increase regulatory and compliance burdens and lead to uncertainty about or interruptions of personal data transfers from Europe to the United States (and beyond). Use of common data transfer mechanisms now involves additional compliance steps and in the event any court blocks personal data transfers to or from a particular jurisdiction on the basis that certain or all such transfer mechanisms are not legally adequate. This could give rise to operational interruption in the performance of services for customers and internal processing of employee information, greater costs to implement alternative data transfer mechanisms that are still permitted, regulatory liabilities, or reputational harm. In 2022, Austrian and the French data protection supervisory authorities ruled that, under certain circumstances, use of Google Analytics by European website operators unlawfully transferred personal data to the United States; other EU supervisory authorities may reach similar conclusions. This may impact business tools we use and adversely impact us to the extent such decisions are perceived as more broadly applicable to transfers of personal data from Europe

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to the United States. Our response to these requirements globally may not meet the expectations of individual customers, their shoppers, or other stakeholders, which could reduce the demand for our services. Some customers or other service providers may respond to these evolving laws and regulations by asking us to make certain privacy or data-related contractual commitments that we are unable or unwilling to make. This could lead to the loss of current or prospective customers or other business relationships.

Certain laws and regulations, like the GDPR and UK GDPR, have extraterritorial effect and also include restrictions on the transfer of personal information across national borders. Because our services are accessible worldwide, foreign jurisdictions may claim that we are required to comply with such laws even in jurisdictions where we have no local entity, employees or infrastructure. Some of these laws include strict localization provisions that require certain data to be stored within a particular region or jurisdiction. We rely on a globally distributed infrastructure in order to be able to provide our services efficiently, and consequently may not be able to meet the expectations of customers who are located in or otherwise subject to such localization requirements, which may reduce the demand for our services.

The UK enacted legislation in May 2018 that substantially implements the GDPR and has been effectively retained in UK national law following the UK’s exit from the EU (which formally occurred on January 31, 2020), commonly referred to as “Brexit” (i.e., the UK GDPR). While the UK’s data protection regime is currently substantially similar to the European Union regime under the GDPR, the relationship between the regulation of data protection in the UK and the European Union is uncertain. It is difficult to anticipate how UK data protection laws and regulations will develop in the medium to longer term. When we acquire companies, such as Feedonomics or B2B Ninja, we must evaluate how such laws and regulations apply to the acquired business, which further increases the complexity of our compliance analysis and efforts.

We are also subject to evolving state and national rules on cookies and e-marketing. In the European Union and the UK, regulators are increasingly focusing on compliance with requirements in the online behavioral advertising ecosystem. Current national laws that implement the European Union ePrivacy Directive may be replaced by an EU regulation known as the ePrivacy Regulation, which would significantly increase fines for non-compliance. CPRA and other newly adopted US privacy laws also increase regulatory scrutiny on cookies and e-marketing.

In the European Union and the United Kingdom, informed consent is required for the placement of a cookie or similar technologies on a user’s device and for direct electronic marketing. Regulation of cookies and similar technologies, and any decline of cookies or similar online tracking technologies as a means to identify and potentially target users, may lead to broader restrictions and impairments on our marketing and personalization activities and may negatively impact our and our customers’ efforts to understand users.

The GDPR also imposes conditions on obtaining valid consent, such as a prohibition on pre-checked consents and a requirement to ensure separate consents are sought for each type of cookie or similar technology. While the text of the ePrivacy Regulation is still under development, European court decisions, regulators’ recent guidance and recent campaigns by a not-for-profit organization are driving increased attention to cookies and tracking technologies. If regulators start to enforce the strict approach in recent guidance, this could lead to substantial costs, require significant systems changes, limit the effectiveness of our and our customers’ marketing activities, divert the attention of our technology personnel, adversely affect our margins, increase costs and subject us to additional liabilities.  Our failure to comply with these and additional laws or regulations could expose us to significant fines and penalties imposed by regulators, as well as legal claims by our customers, or their shoppers, or other relevant stakeholders.

In addition, other parties such as Apple and Google that provide mobile operating systems, such as iOS and Android and web-browsers, such as Safari, Chrome and Microsoft Edge are implementing and exploring future product changes or plans that may limit our and our customers’ ability to collect and use cookies or similar technologies to measure advertising and provide other products and services. Some of these changes are driven by privacy laws while some are also driven by product positioning decisions made by these parties.

Many of these laws require us to maintain an online privacy policy and terms of service that disclose our practices regarding the collection, processing, and disclosure of personal information. If these disclosures contain any information that a court or regulator finds to be inaccurate or inadequate, we could also be exposed to legal or regulatory liability. Any such proceedings or violations could force us to spend money in defense or settlement, result in the imposition of monetary liability or demanding injunctive relief, divert management’s time and attention, increase our costs of doing business, and materially adversely affect our reputation.

Mobile devices are increasingly being used to conduct commerce, and if our platform does not operate as effectively when accessed through these devices, our customers and their shoppers may not be satisfied with our services, which could harm our business.

We are dependent on the interoperability of our platform with third-party mobile devices and mobile operating systems as well as web browsers that are out of our control. Changes in such devices, systems, or web browsers that degrade the functionality of our platform or give preferential treatment to competitive services could adversely affect usage of our platform. Mobile ecommerce is a key element in our strategy and effective mobile functionality is integral to our long-term development and growth strategy. If our customers and their shoppers have difficulty accessing and using our platform on mobile devices, our business and operating results could be adversely affected.

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Activities of customers, their shoppers, and our partners could damage our brand, subject us to liability and harm our business and financial results.

Our terms of service prohibit our customers from using our platform to engage in illegal activities and our terms of service permit us to take down a customer’s shop if we become aware of illegal use. Customers may nonetheless engage in prohibited or illegal activities or upload store content in violation of applicable laws, which could subject us to liability. Our partners may engage in prohibited or illegal activities, which could subject us to liability. Furthermore, our brand may be negatively impacted by the actions of customers or partners that are deemed to be hostile, offensive, inappropriate, or illegal. In general, we do not proactively monitor or review the appropriateness of the content of our customers’ stores or our partners’ activities. Our safeguards may not be sufficient for us to avoid liability or avoid harm to our brand. Hostile, offensive, inappropriate, or illegal use could adversely affect our business and financial results.

In many jurisdictions, laws relating to the liability of providers of online services for activities of their shoppers and other third parties are being tested by actions based on defamation, invasion of privacy, unfair competition, copyright and trademark infringement, and other theories. Any court ruling or other governmental regulation or action that imposes liability on customers of online services in connection with the activities of their shoppers could harm our business. We could also be subject to liability under applicable law, which may not be fully mitigated by our terms of service. Any liability attributed to us could adversely affect our brand, reputation, ability to expand our subscriber base, and financial results.

We provide our ecommerce platform to businesses in highly-regulated industries, which subjects us to a number of challenges and risks.

We provide our ecommerce platform to customers in highly regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, insurance, healthcare and life sciences. We may have customers in other highly-regulated industries in the future. Providing our ecommerce platform to such entities subjects us to a number of challenges and risks. Selling to such entities can be highly competitive, expensive, and time-consuming, often requiring significant upfront time and expense without any assurance that these efforts will generate a sale. Customers in highly-regulated industries may demand shorter subscription periods or other contract terms that differ from our standard arrangements, including terms that can lead those customers to obtain broader rights in our offerings than would be standard. Such entities may have statutory, contractual, or other legal rights to terminate contracts with us or our partners due to a default or for other reasons. Any such termination may adversely affect our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, due to the heightened regulatory environment in which they operate, potential customers in these industries may encounter additional difficulties when trying to move away from legacy ecommerce platforms to an open SaaS platform like the one we provide.

We may be subject to additional obligations to collect and remit sales tax and other taxes. We may be subject to tax liability for past sales, which could harm our business.

State, local and foreign jurisdictions have differing rules and regulations governing sales, use, value added, and other taxes, and these rules and regulations are subject to varying interpretations that may change over time. In particular, the applicability of such taxes to our ecommerce platform in various jurisdictions is unclear. These jurisdictions’ rules regarding tax nexus are complex and vary significantly. As a result, we could face tax assessments and audits. Our liability for these taxes and associated penalties could exceed our original estimates. Jurisdictions in which we have not historically collected or accrued sales, use, value added, or other taxes could assert our liability for such taxes. This could result in substantial tax liabilities and related penalties for past sales. It could also discourage customers from using our platform or otherwise harm our business and operating results.

Changes in tax laws or regulations that are applied adversely to us or our customers could increase the cost of our ecommerce platform and adversely impact our business.

New income, sales, use, or other tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances could be enacted at any time. Any new taxes could adversely affect our domestic and international business operations and our business and financial performance. Existing tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances could be interpreted, changed, modified or applied adversely to us. These events could require us or customers using our ecommerce platform to pay additional tax amounts on a prospective or retroactive basis. They could require us or our customers to pay fines and/or penalties and interest for past amounts deemed to be due. If we raise our prices to offset the costs of these changes, existing and potential future customers may elect not to continue to subscribe or elect to subscribe to our ecommerce platform in the future. Additionally, new, changed, modified, or newly interpreted or applied tax laws could increase our customers’ and our compliance, operating and other costs, as well as the costs of our platform. Any or all of these events could adversely impact our business and financial performance.

Risks related to owning our Series 1 common stock

The market price of shares of our Series 1 common stock has been and may continue to be volatile, which could cause the value of your investment to decline.

The market price of our Series 1 common stock has been highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations. Securities markets worldwide experience significant price and volume fluctuations. Market volatility, as well as general economic, market, political, or pandemic conditions, could reduce the market price of shares of our Series 1 common stock regardless of our operating performance.

Our operating results could be below the expectations of public market analysts and investors due to a number of potential factors, including: variations in our quarterly operating results or dividends, if any, to stockholders, additions or departures of key management personnel, publication of research reports about our industry, litigation and government investigations, changes or proposed changes in laws or regulations or differing interpretations or enforcement of laws or regulations affecting our business, adverse market reaction to any indebtedness we may incur or securities we may issue in the future, changes in market valuations of similar companies, speculation in the press or investment community, announcements by

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our competitors of significant contracts, acquisitions, dispositions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, or capital commitments, the announcement of any acquisitions we make and our ability to realize the expected benefits of any such acquisition, including our acquisitions of Feedonomics and B2B Ninja, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our employees, partners, customers, and operating results, and adverse publicity about the industries we participate in or individual scandals. In response, the market price of shares of our Series 1 common stock could decrease significantly.

Following periods of volatility in the overall market and the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against these companies. Such litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources.

Our ability to timely raise capital in the future may be limited, or may be unavailable on acceptable terms, if at all. Our failure to raise capital when needed could harm our business, operating results and financial condition. Debt or equity issued to raise additional capital may reduce the value of our Series 1 common stock.

We have funded our operations since inception primarily through equity financings, debt (including convertible debt instruments), and payments by our customers for use of our platform and related services. We cannot be certain when or if our operations will generate sufficient cash to fund our ongoing operations or the growth of our business.

On September 14, 2021, we issued $345.0 million in aggregate principal amount of our 0.25% Convertible Notes (the “Convertible Notes”). Our ability to service our obligations under the Convertible Notes, depends on our future performance, which is subject to economic, financial, competitive and other factors beyond our control. If we are unable to generate the necessary cash flow, we may be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as selling assets or obtaining debt financing or equity capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive.  Furthermore, our existing indebtedness may limit our ability to incur additional indebtedness on favorable terms or at all.

We intend to continue to make investments to support our business and may require additional funds. Additional financing may not be available on favorable terms, if at all. If adequate funds are not available on acceptable terms, we may be unable to invest in future growth opportunities, which could harm our business, operating results and financial condition. If we incur additional debt, the debt holders could have rights senior to holders of Series 1 common stock to make claims on our assets. The terms of any debt could restrict our operations, including our ability to pay dividends on our Series 1 common stock. If we issue additional equity securities, stockholders will experience dilution, and the new equity securities could have rights senior to those of our Series 1 common stock. Because our decision to issue securities in the future offering will depend on numerous considerations, including factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of any future issuances of debt or equity securities. As a result, our stockholders bear the risk of future issuances of debt or equity securities reducing the value of our Series 1 common stock and diluting their interest.

Insiders have substantial control over us, which may limit our stockholders’ ability to influence corporate matters and delay or prevent a third party from acquiring control over us.

As of December 31, 2021, our directors, executive officers, and current beneficial owners of 5% or more of our voting securities and their respective affiliates beneficially own, in the aggregate, approximately 29.7% of our outstanding Series 1 common stock. This significant concentration of ownership may adversely affect the trading price for our Series 1 common stock because investors often perceive disadvantages in owning stock in companies with controlling stockholders. In addition, this stockholder will be able to exercise influence over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and approval of corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or its assets. This concentration of ownership could limit your ability to influence corporate matters and may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control, including a merger, consolidation or other business combination involving us, or discouraging a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control, even if that change in control would benefit our other stockholders.

We have no current plans to pay cash dividends on our Series 1 common stock; as a result, you may not receive any return on investment unless you sell your Series 1 common stock for a price greater than that which you paid for it.

We have no current plans to pay dividends on our Series 1 common stock. Any future determination to pay dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors, subject to applicable laws. It will depend on a number of factors, including our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, contractual, legal, tax and regulatory restrictions, general business conditions, and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, our ability to pay cash dividends is restricted by the terms of our debt financing arrangements, and any future debt financing arrangement likely will contain terms restricting or limiting the amount of dividends that may be declared or paid on our common stock. As a result, you may not receive any return on an investment in our Series 1 common stock unless you sell your Series 1 common stock for a price greater than that which you paid for it.

If our operating and financial performance in any given period does not meet the guidance that we provide to the public or the expectations of investment analysts, the market price of our Series 1 common stock may decline.

We may, but are not obligated to, provide public guidance on our expected operating and financial results for future periods. Any such guidance will comprise forward-looking statements, subject to the risks and uncertainties described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our other public filings and public statements. Our ability to provide this public guidance, and our ability to accurately forecast our results of operations, may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our actual results may not always be in line with or exceed any guidance we have provided, especially in times of economic uncertainty, such as the current global economic uncertainty being experienced as a result of the COVID-19

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pandemic. If, in the future, our operating or financial results for a particular period do not meet any guidance we provide or the expectations of investment analysts, or if we reduce our guidance for future periods, the market price of our Series 1 common stock may decline as well. Even if we do issue public guidance, there can be no assurance that we will continue to do so in the future.

The requirements of being a public company, including compliance with the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the requirements of Nasdaq, may strain our resources, increase our costs and distract management, and we may be unable to comply with these requirements in a timely or cost-effective manner.

As a public company, we are subject to laws, regulations and requirements, certain corporate governance provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, related regulations of the SEC and the requirements of Nasdaq, which we were not required to comply as a private company. Complying with these statutes, regulations and requirements occupies a significant amount of time of our board of directors and management and significantly increases our costs and expenses. For example, we have had to institute a more comprehensive compliance function, comply with rules promulgated by Nasdaq, prepare and distribute periodic public reports in compliance with our obligations under the federal securities laws, establish new internal policies, such as those relating to insider trading. We have also had to retain and rely on outside counsel and accountants to a greater degree in these activities. In addition, being subject to these rules and regulations has made it more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. As a result, it may be more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified individuals to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers.

We are no longer an “emerging growth company” and are therefore subject to the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment of our internal controls over financial reporting and certain other increased disclosure and governance requirements.

As of December 31, 2021, we lost our status as an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012. As a result, we are no longer able to take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements. Therefore, we are now subject to certain requirements that apply to other public companies that did not previously apply to us, due to our previous status as an emerging growth company. These requirements include:

 

compliance with the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment of our internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act;

 

compliance with any new rules that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board;

 

full disclosure regarding executive compensation required of larger public companies; and

 

compliance with the requirement of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and obtaining shareholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved.

Failure to comply with these requirements could subject us to enforcement actions by the SEC, divert management’s attention, damage our reputation, and adversely affect our business, results of operations, or financial condition. In particular, if our independent registered public accounting firm is not able to render the required attestation, it could result in a loss of investor confidence in the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of our financial reports. We expect that the loss of “emerging growth company” status and compliance with these additional requirements will require management to expend additional time while also condensing the time frame available to comply with certain requirements, which may further increase our legal and financial compliance costs.

We have identified a material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting related to information technology general controls (“ITGCs”). If our remedial measures are insufficient to address the material weakness or one or more additional material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting are discovered or occur in the future, our ability to report financial information timely and accurately could be adversely affected. Any such occurrence could harm our business and cause investors to lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, and the market price of our common stock may decline

Internal controls related to our information technology systems are critical to maintaining adequate internal controls over financial reporting that provide reasonable assurance with respect to our financial reports. As disclosed in Part II, Item 9A, Controls and Procedures, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, in the process of assessing our internal controls over financial reporting, management identified deficiencies in internal controls related to ITGCs in the area of IT program change management that resulted in a material weakness.  A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. As a result of this material weakness, management concluded that our internal control over ITGCs was not effective as of December 31, 2021. As described in Part II, Item 9A, Controls and Procedures, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we are implementing additional controls intended to remediate the material weakness.

There can be no assurance that our remediation efforts will be successful. If we are unable to remediate the material weakness timely and sufficiently or are otherwise unable to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting, our ability to report financial information timely and accurately could be adversely affected we may fail to meet our reporting requirements and, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports. As a result, our business may be harmed, and the market price of our common stock could decline. In addition, we could become subject to investigations by the stock exchange on which our securities are listed, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources. In addition, even if we are successful in strengthening our controls and procedures, those controls and procedures may not be adequate to prevent or identify irregularities or ensure the fair and accurate presentation of our financial statements included in our periodic reports filed with the SEC.

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Increases in interest rates may cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

Interest rates are at or near record lows. Increases in interest rates may cause a corresponding decline in demand for equity investments. Any such increase in interest rates or reduction in demand for our common stock resulting from other relatively more attractive investment opportunities may cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business or publish negative reports, the market price of our common stock could decline.

The trading market for our common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts publish about us or our business. If regular publication of research reports ceases, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause the market price or trading volume of our common stock to decline. Moreover, if one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrades our common stock or if our reporting results do not meet their expectations, the market price of our common stock could decline.

You will be diluted by the future issuance of common stock, preferred stock or securities convertible into common or preferred stock, in connection with our incentive plans, acquisitions, capital raises or otherwise. Additionally, we currently have significant numbers of securities outstanding that may be exercisable for our common stock, which may result in significant dilution and downward pressure on our stock price.

As of December 31, 2021, we had 72,311,329 shares of Series 1 common stock and no shares of Series 2 common stock outstanding. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes us to issue these shares of common stock and options, rights, warrants, and appreciation rights relating to common stock for the consideration and on the terms and conditions established by our board of directors in its sole discretion, whether in connection with acquisitions or otherwise.

Holders of our Series 1 common stock may be subject to further dilution upon issuance of the shares reserved under our 2020 Plan and Employee Stock Purchase Plan.

In addition, the Convertible Notes we issued on September 14, 2021 may be converted into shares of our Series 1 common stock at certain times and in certain circumstances. The potential future issuances of such shares could result in significant dilution to our current stockholders and could adversely affect the price of our common stock and the terms on which we could raise additional capital. In addition, the issuance and subsequent trading of shares could cause the supply of our Series 1 common stock available for purchase in the market to exceed the purchase demand for our Series 1 common stock. Such supply in excess of demand could cause the market price of our Series 1 common stock to decline.

In the future, we expect to obtain financing or to further increase our capital resources by issuing additional shares of our capital stock or offering debt or other equity securities, including senior or subordinated notes, or debt securities convertible into equity or shares of preferred stock. Issuing additional shares of our capital stock or other equity securities or securities convertible into equity may dilute the economic and voting rights of our existing stockholders or reduce the market price of our Series 1 common stock or both. Debt securities convertible into equity could be subject to adjustments in the conversion ratio pursuant to which certain events may increase the number of equity securities issuable upon conversion. Shares of preferred stock, if issued, could have a preference with respect to liquidating distributions or a preference with respect to dividend payments that could limit our ability to pay dividends to the holders of our Series 1 common stock. Additional shares of Series 2 common stock, if issued, may further dilute the economic rights of our Series 1 common stock. Holders of our Series 1 common stock are not entitled to receive economic consideration per share for their shares in excess of that payable to the holders of the then outstanding shares of Series 2 common stock in the event of a merger, consolidation or tender or exchange offer. Our decision to issue securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, which may adversely affect the amount, timing, or nature of our future offerings. As a result, holders of our Series 1 common stock bear the risk that our future offerings may reduce the market price of our Series 1 common stock and dilute their stockholdings in us.

If we, our officers, directors, or the investors prior to our initial public offering (“IPO”), or pre-IPO investors, sell additional shares of our common stock, the market price of our common stock could decline.

The sale of substantial amounts of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that such sales could occur, could harm the prevailing market price of shares of our common stock. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, might make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate. All of the outstanding shares of our common stock, are freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act, except that any shares held by our affiliates, as that term is defined under Rule 144 of the Securities Act, may be sold only in compliance with volume, manner of sale, and other limitations under Rule 144. In addition, we have outstanding stock options and restricted stock units that could result in the issuance of additional shares of common stock under our 2020 Plan and we expect to grant future equity awards to employees, directors and consultants under our 2020 Plan and Employee Stock Purchase Plan.  Subject to the satisfaction of applicable vesting requirements and the limitations under Rule 144 that are applicable to shares held by our affiliates, the shares issued upon exercise of outstanding stock options or settlement of outstanding RSUs will be available for immediate resale in the open market.

Certain pre-IPO investors have the right, subject to certain exceptions and conditions, to require us to register their shares of common stock under the Securities Act, and they have the right to participate in future registrations of securities by us. Registration of any of these outstanding shares of common stock would result in such shares becoming freely tradable without compliance with Rule 144 upon effectiveness of the registration statement.

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Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, could cause the market price of our common stock to decline. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to raise additional funds through future offerings of our shares of common stock or other securities.

General risk factors

If we fail to adapt and respond effectively to rapidly changing technology, evolving industry standards, and changing customer needs or preferences, our platform may become less competitive.

The software industry is subject to rapid technological change, evolving industry standards and practices, and changing customer needs 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 and sell new technology, features, and functionality for our platform that satisfy our customers and that keep pace with rapid technological and industry change, our revenue and operating results could be adversely affected. If new technologies emerge that deliver competitive solutions at lower prices, more efficiently, more conveniently, or more securely, it could adversely impact our ability to compete.

Our platform must also integrate with a variety of network, hardware, mobile, and software platforms and technologies. We need to continuously modify and enhance our platform to adapt to changes and innovation in these technologies. If businesses widely adopt new ecommerce technologies, we would have to develop new functionality for our platform to work with those new technologies. This development effort may require significant engineering, marketing and sales resources, all of which would affect our business and operating results. Any failure of our platform to operate effectively with future technologies could reduce the demand for our platform. If we are unable to respond to these changes in a cost-effective manner, our platform may become less marketable and less competitive or obsolete, and our operating results may be negatively affected.

The estimates of market opportunity and forecasts of market growth included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may prove to be inaccurate. Even if the market in which we compete achieves the forecasted growth, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, if at all.

The market for ecommerce solutions is relatively new and will experience changes over time. Ecommerce market estimates and growth forecasts are uncertain and based on assumptions and estimates that may be inaccurate. Our addressable market depends on a number of factors, including businesses’ desire to differentiate themselves through ecommerce, partnership opportunities, changes in the competitive landscape, technological changes, data security or privacy concerns, customer budgetary constraints, changes in business practices, changes in the regulatory environment, and changes in economic conditions. Our estimates and forecasts relating to the size and expected growth of our market may prove to be inaccurate and our ability to produce accurate estimates and forecasts may be impacted by the economic uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if the market in which we compete meets the size estimates and growth rates we forecast, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, if at all.

If we fail to manage our growth effectively, we may be unable to execute our business plan, maintain high levels of service and customer satisfaction or adequately address competitive challenges.

We may continue to experience rapid growth and organizational change, which may continue to place significant demands on our management and our operational and financial resources. We have also experienced growth in the number of customers, the amount of transactions we process, and the amount of data that our hosting infrastructure supports. Our success will depend in part on our ability to manage this growth effectively. We will require significant capital expenditures and valuable management resources to grow without undermining our culture of innovation, teamwork, and attention to customer success, which has been central to our growth so far. If we fail to manage our anticipated growth and change in a manner that preserves our corporate culture, it could negatively affect our reputation and ability to retain and attract customers and employees.

We intend to continue to expand our international operations. Our expansion will continue to place a significant strain on our managerial, administrative, financial, and other resources. If we are unable to manage our growth successfully, our business and results of operations could suffer.

It is important that we maintain a high level of customer service and satisfaction as we expand our business. As our customer base continues to grow, we will need to expand our account management, customer service, and other personnel. Failure to manage growth could result in difficulty or delays in launching our platform, declines in quality or customer satisfaction, increases in costs, difficulties in introducing new features, or other operational difficulties. Any of these could adversely impact our business performance and results of operations.

We anticipate that our operations will continue to increase in complexity as we grow, which will create management challenges.

Our business has experienced significant growth and is complex. We expect this growth to continue and for our operations to become increasingly complex. To manage this growth, we continue to make substantial investments to improve our operational, financial, and management controls as well as our reporting systems and procedures. We may not be able to implement and scale improvements to our systems and processes in a timely or efficient manner or in a manner that does not negatively affect our operating results. For example, we may not be able to effectively monitor certain extraordinary contract requirements or individually negotiated provisions as the number of transactions continues to grow. Our systems and processes may not prevent or detect all errors, omissions, or fraud. We may have difficulty managing improvements to our systems, processes and controls or in connection with third-party software. This could impair our ability to provide our platform to our customers, causing us to lose customers, limiting our platform to less significant updates, or increasing our technical support costs. If we are unable to manage this complexity, our business, operations, operating results and financial condition may suffer.

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As our customer base continues to grow, we will need to expand our services and other personnel, and maintain and enhance our partnerships, to provide a high level of customer service. Extended stay-at-home, business closure, and other restrictive orders may impact our ability to identify, hire, and train new personnel. We also will need to manage our sales processes as our sales personnel and partner network continue to grow and become more complex, and as we continue to expand into new geographies and market segments. If we do not effectively manage this increasing complexity, the quality of our platform and customer service could suffer, and we may not be able to adequately address competitive challenges. These factors could impair our ability to attract and retain customers and expand our customers’ use of our platform.

We depend on our senior management team and the loss of one or more key employees or an inability to attract and retain highly skilled employees could adversely affect our business.

Our success depends largely upon the continued services of our executive officers. We rely on our leadership team for research and development, marketing, sales, services, and general and administrative functions, and on mission-critical individual contributors. From time to time, our executive management team may change from the hiring or departure of executives, which could disrupt our business. We do not have employment agreements with our executive officers or other key personnel that require them to continue to work for us for any specified period; therefore, they could terminate their employment with us at any time. The loss of one or more of our executive officers or key employees (including any limitation on the performance of their duties or short term or long-term absences as a result of COVID-19, or otherwise) could have a serious adverse effect on our business.

To execute our growth plan, we must attract and retain highly qualified personnel. Competition for these personnel is intense, especially for experienced software engineers and senior sales executives. If we are unable to attract such personnel in cities where we are located, we may need to hire in other locations, which may add to the complexity and costs of our business operations. We expect to continue to experience difficulty in hiring and retaining employees with appropriate qualifications. Extended stay-at-home, business closure, and other restrictive orders may impact our ability to identify, hire, and train new personnel. Many of the companies with which we compete for experienced personnel have greater resources than we have. If we hire employees from competitors or other companies, their former employers may attempt to assert that these employees or BigCommerce have breached legal obligations, resulting in a diversion of our time and resources. In addition, job candidates and existing employees often consider the value of the stock awards they receive in connection with their employment. If the perceived value of our stock awards declines, it may adversely affect our ability to recruit and retain highly skilled employees. If we fail to attract new personnel or fail to retain and motivate our current personnel, it could adversely affect our business and future growth prospects.

If we are unable to maintain our corporate culture as we grow, we could lose the innovation, teamwork, passion and focus on execution that we believe contribute to our success, and our business may be harmed.

We believe a critical component to our success has been our corporate culture. We have invested substantial time and resources in building our team. As we grow and develop our infrastructure as a public company, our operations may become increasingly complex. We may find it difficult to maintain these important aspects of our corporate culture. Perpetuation of hybrid-in office and remote work may impact our ability to preserve our corporate culture. Any failure to preserve our culture could negatively affect our future success, including our ability to retain and recruit personnel, and to effectively focus on and pursue our corporate objectives.

Unfavorable conditions in our industry or the global economy, or reductions in IT spending, could limit our ability to grow our business and negatively affect our results of operations.

Our results of operations may vary based on the impact of changes in our industry or the global economy on us or our customers. The revenue growth and potential profitability of our business depend on demand for our platform. Current or future economic uncertainties or downturns could adversely affect our business and results of operations. Negative conditions in the global economy or individual markets, including changes in gross domestic product growth, financial and credit market fluctuations, political turmoil, natural catastrophes, warfare and terrorist attacks on the United States, Europe, Australia, the Asia Pacific region or elsewhere, could cause a decrease in business investments, including spending on IT and negatively affect our business. In particular, given our investment in our development capabilities in Ukraine, political turmoil, warfare, or terrorist attacks in Ukraine could negatively affect our business. Political and military events in Ukraine, including the ongoing tensions and intermittent warfare between Ukraine and Russia, poor relations between the U.S. and Russia, and sanctions by the international community against Russia or separatist areas of Ukraine may also have an adverse impact on our employees, customers, partners, and vendors. In turn, any of these may adversely impact our ability to grow our business and negatively affect our results of operations.

To the extent our platform is perceived by customers and potential customers as costly, or too difficult to launch or migrate to, it would negatively affect our growth. Our revenue may be disproportionately affected by delays or reductions in general IT spending. Competitors, many of whom are larger and more established than we are, may respond to market conditions by lowering prices and attempting to lure away our customers. In addition, consolidation in certain industries may result in reduced overall spending on our platform. We cannot predict the timing, strength, or duration of any economic slowdown, instability or recovery, generally or within any particular industry. If the economic conditions of the general economy or markets in which we operate worsen from present levels, including as a result of recent political and military events in Ukraine, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

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Operations at our strategic development center in Kyiv, Ukraine may be materially impacted as a result of the ongoing military action by Russia in Ukraine and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected by any negative impact on the global economy resulting from the conflict in Ukraine.

We operate a strategic development center in Ukraine where we currently employ 106 individuals. We have also invested significant resources in Ukraine over the last several years.  As a result, warfare, political turmoil or terrorist attacks in Ukraine could negatively affect our Ukrainian operations and our business.  In early 2022, in excess of 190,000 Russian military troops were reportedly massed on the Ukraine border and prepared to conduct a military operation in Ukraine.  On February 24, 2022, Russian troops invaded Ukraine.  Although the severity and duration of the ongoing military action are highly unpredictable, the conflict in Ukraine could materially disrupt our Ukrainian operations, increase our costs and may disrupt future planned development of capabilities in Ukraine. 

In addition, Russia's prior annexation of Crimea, recent recognition of two separatist republics in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and subsequent military interventions in Ukraine have led to sanctions being levied by the United States, European Union and other countries against Russia, with additional potential sanctions threatened and/or proposed. Russia's military incursion and the resulting sanctions could adversely affect the global economy and financial markets and thus could affect our business, operations, operating results and financial condition as well as the price of our common stock. The extent and duration of the military action, sanctions and resulting market disruptions are impossible to predict, but could be substantial. Any such disruptions caused by Russian military action or resulting sanctions may magnify the impact of other risks described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K

Natural catastrophic events and man-made problems such as power disruptions, computer viruses, global pandemics, data security breaches and terrorism may disrupt our business.

We rely heavily on our network infrastructure and IT systems for our business operations. An online attack, damage as a result of civil unrest, earthquake, fire, terrorist attack, power loss, global pandemics (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), telecommunications failure, or other similar catastrophic event could cause system interruptions, delays in accessing our service, reputational harm, and loss of critical data. Such events could prevent us from providing our platform to our customers. A catastrophic event that results in the destruction or disruption of our data centers, or our network infrastructure or IT systems, including any errors, defects, or failures in third-party hardware, could affect our ability to conduct normal business operations, and adversely affect our operating results.

In addition, as computer malware, viruses, computer hacking, fraudulent use attempts, and phishing attacks have become more prevalent, we face increased risk from these activities. These activities threaten the performance, reliability, security, and availability of our platform. Any computer malware, viruses, computer hacking, fraudulent use attempts, phishing attacks, or other data security breaches to our systems could, among other things, harm our reputation and our ability to retain existing customers and attract new customers. Many companies that provide cloud-based services have reported a significant increase in cyberattack activity since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, cybersecurity researchers anticipate an increase in cyberattack activity in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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

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

Our international operations may subject us to potential adverse tax consequences.

We continue to expand our international operations and staff to better support our growth into international markets. Our corporate structure and associated transfer pricing policies contemplate future growth into the international markets, and consider the functions, risks, and assets of the various entities involved in the intercompany transactions. The amount of taxes we pay in different jurisdictions may depend on the application of the tax laws of the various jurisdictions, including the United States, to our international business activities, changes in tax rates, new or revised tax laws or interpretations of existing tax laws and policies, and our ability to operate our business in a manner consistent with our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements. Taxing authorities may challenge the pricing methodologies of our intercompany arrangements or disagree with our determinations as to the income and expenses attributable to specific jurisdictions. If such a challenge or disagreement were to occur, and our position was not sustained, we could be required to pay additional taxes, interest, and penalties. This could result in one-time tax charges, higher effective tax rates, reduced cash flows, and lower overall profitability of our operations. Our financial statements could fail to reflect adequate reserves to cover such a contingency.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) was enacted on December 22, 2017 and significantly reformed the Code. The TCJA, among other things: includes changes to U.S. federal tax rates, imposes additional limitations on the deductibility of interest, has both positive and negative changes to the utilization of future NOL carryforwards as described above, allows for the expensing of certain capital expenditures, and puts into

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effect the migration from a “worldwide” system of taxation to a partially territorial system. Future guidance from the tax authorities may be published at any time and could result in significant one-time charges in the current or future taxable years and could increase our future U.S. tax expense. The impact of this tax reform on holders of our Series 1 common stock is uncertain and could be adverse. Furthermore, the U.S. government may enact significant changes to the taxation of business entities including, among others, the imposition of minimum taxes or surtaxes on certain types of income.  

We are subject to governmental export and import controls that could impair our ability to compete in international markets and subject us to liability if we violate the controls.

Our platform is subject to U.S. export controls, including the Export Administration Regulations and economic sanctions administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. We incorporate encryption technology into our platform. These encryption products and the underlying technology may be exported outside of the United States only with the required export authorizations, including by license, a license exception or other appropriate government authorizations.

Furthermore, our activities are subject to U.S. economic sanctions laws and regulations that prohibit the shipment of certain products and services to countries, governments, and persons targeted by U.S. embargoes or sanctions. The U.S government has been critical of existing trade agreements and may impose more stringent export and import controls. Obtaining the necessary export license or other authorization for a particular sale may be time-consuming and may result in the delay or loss of sales opportunities even if the export license ultimately may be granted. While we take precautions to prevent our platform from being exported in violation of these laws, including obtaining authorizations for our platform, performing geolocation IP blocking and screenings against U.S. and other lists of restricted and prohibited persons, we cannot guarantee that the precautions we take will prevent violations of export control and sanctions laws. Violations of U.S. sanctions or export control laws can result in significant fines or penalties and possible incarceration for responsible employees and managers could be imposed for criminal violations of these laws.

If our partners fail to obtain appropriate import, export or re-export licenses or permits, we may also be adversely affected, through reputational harm as well as other negative consequences, including government investigations and penalties. We presently incorporate export control compliance requirements into our strategic partner agreements; however, no assurance can be given that our partners will comply with such requirements.

Various countries regulate the import and export of certain encryption and other technology, including import and export licensing requirements. Some countries have enacted laws that could limit our ability to distribute our platform or could limit our customers’ ability to implement our platform in those countries. Changes in our platform or future changes in export and import regulations may create delays in the introduction of our platform in international markets, prevent our customers with international operations from launching our platform globally or, in some cases, prevent the export or import of our platform to certain countries, governments, or persons altogether. Various governmental agencies have proposed additional regulation of encryption technology, including the escrow and government recovery of private encryption keys. Any change in export or import regulations, economic sanctions, or related legislation, or change in the countries, governments, persons, or technologies targeted by such regulations, could limit our ability to export or sell our platform to existing or potential customers with international operations. Any decreased use of our platform or limitation on our ability to export or sell our platform would adversely affect our business, operating results, and prospects.

We are exposed to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could negatively affect our operating results.

Our customer subscription and partner and services contracts are primarily denominated in U.S. dollars, and therefore substantially all of our revenue is not subject to foreign currency risk. However, a strengthening of the U.S. dollar could increase the real cost of our platform to our customers outside of the United States, which could adversely affect our operating results. In addition, an increasing portion of our operating expenses is incurred and an increasing portion of our assets is held outside the United States. These operating expenses and assets are denominated in foreign currencies and are subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates. If we are not able to successfully hedge against the risks associated with currency fluctuations, our operating results could be adversely affected.

We are subject to anti-corruption, anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, and similar laws. Non-compliance with such laws can subject us to criminal and/or civil liability and harm our business.

We are subject to the FCPA, the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the UK Bribery Act of 2010, the UK Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and other anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws in the countries in which we conduct activities. Anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws have been enforced aggressively in recent years. These laws are interpreted broadly to prohibit companies and their employees and third-party intermediaries from authorizing, promising, offering, or providing, directly or indirectly, improper payments or anything else of value to recipients in the public or private sector. As we increase our international sales and business and sales to the public sector, we may engage with partners and third-party intermediaries to market our services and to obtain necessary permits, licenses, and other regulatory approvals. In addition, we or our third-party intermediaries may have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies or state-owned or affiliated entities. We can be held liable for corrupt or other illegal activities of these third-party intermediaries, our employees, representatives, contractors, partners, and agents, even if we do not explicitly authorize such activities.

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While we have policies and procedures to address compliance with such laws, our employees and agents could violate our policies and applicable law, for which we may be ultimately held responsible. As we increase our international sales and business or acquire other companies, our risks under these laws may increase.

Noncompliance with anti-corruption, anti-bribery, or anti-money laundering laws could subject us to whistleblower complaints, investigations, sanctions, settlements, prosecution, other enforcement actions, disgorgement of profits, significant fines, damages, other civil and criminal penalties or injunctions, suspension and/or debarment from contracting with certain persons, the loss of export privileges, reputational harm, adverse media coverage, and other collateral consequences. If any subpoenas or investigations are launched, or governmental or other sanctions are imposed, or if we do not prevail in any possible civil or criminal litigation, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be materially harmed. Responding to any action will likely result in a materially significant diversion of management’s attention and resources and significant defense costs and other professional fees. Enforcement actions and sanctions could further harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Changes in subjective assumptions, estimates and judgments by management related to complex accounting matters or changes in accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, could significantly affect our financial condition and results of operations.

GAAP and related pronouncements, implementation guidelines, and interpretations apply to a wide range of matters that are relevant to our business, including revenue recognition, stock-based compensation, and deferred commissions. These matters are complex and involve subjective assumptions, estimates, and judgments by our management. Changes in GAAP, these accounting pronouncements or their interpretation or changes in underlying assumptions, estimates, or judgments by our management, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”), the SEC, and others could significantly change our reported or expected financial performance, which could impact the market price for our common stock.

We may be unable to raise the funds necessary to repurchase the Convertible Notes for cash following a fundamental change, or to pay any cash amounts due upon conversion, and our future indebtedness may limit our ability to repurchase the Convertible Notes or pay cash upon their conversion.

Holders of the Convertible Notes may, subject to a limited exception, require us to repurchase their Convertible Notes following a fundamental change at a cash repurchase price generally equal to the principal amount of the Convertible Notes to be repurchased, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any. In addition, upon conversion, we will satisfy part or all our conversion obligation in cash unless we elect to settle conversions solely in shares of our common stock. We may not have enough available cash or be able to obtain financing at the time we are required to repurchase the Convertible Notes or pay the cash amounts due upon conversion. In addition, applicable law, regulatory authorities and the agreements governing our future indebtedness may restrict our ability to repurchase the Convertible Notes or pay the cash amounts due upon conversion. Our failure to repurchase Convertible Notes or to pay the cash amounts due upon conversion when required will constitute a default under the indenture governing the Convertible Notes. A default under the indenture or the fundamental change itself could also lead to a default under agreements governing our other indebtedness, if any, which may result in that other indebtedness becoming immediately payable in full. If the repayment of such other indebtedness were to be accelerated after any applicable notice or grace periods, then we may not have sufficient funds to repay that indebtedness and repurchase the Convertible Notes or make cash payments upon their conversion.

Provisions in the indenture governing the Convertible Notes could delay or prevent an otherwise beneficial takeover of us.

Certain provisions in the Convertible Notes and the indenture governing the Convertible Notes could make a third-party attempt to acquire us more difficult or expensive. For example, if a takeover constitutes a fundamental change (as defined in the indenture governing the Convertible Notes), then noteholders will have the right to require us to repurchase their Convertible Notes for cash. In addition, if a takeover constitutes a make-whole fundamental change (as defined in the indenture governing the Convertible Notes), then we may be required to temporarily increase the conversion rate. In either case, and in other cases, our obligations under the Convertible Notes and the indenture governing the Convertible Notes could increase the cost of acquiring us or otherwise discourage a third party from acquiring us or removing incumbent management, including in a transaction that noteholders or holders of our common stock may view as favorable.

The accounting method for the Convertible Notes could adversely affect our reported financial condition and results.

The accounting method for reflecting the Convertible Notes on our balance sheet, accruing interest expense for the notes and reflecting the underlying shares of our common stock in our reported diluted earnings per share may adversely affect our reported earnings and financial condition.

In August 2020, the Financial Accounting Standards Board published an Accounting Standards Update, which we refer to as ASU 2020-06, which simplifies certain of the accounting standards that apply to convertible notes. ASU 2020-06 will be effective for SEC-reporting entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021 (or, in the case of smaller reporting companies, December 15, 2023), including interim periods within those fiscal years. However, early adoption is permitted in certain circumstances for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020, including interim periods within those fiscal years. We have elected to early adopt ASU 2020-06, which became effective for us beginning with the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021, including interim periods within that fiscal year.

In accordance with ASU 2020-06, the Convertible Notes we issued are reflected as a liability on our balance sheets, with the initial carrying amount equal to the principal amount of the notes, net of issuance costs. The issuance costs will be treated as a debt discount for accounting purposes, which will be amortized into interest expense over the term of the Convertible Notes. As a result of this amortization, the interest expense that we recognize for the Convertible Notes for accounting purposes will be greater than the cash interest payments we will pay on the Convertible Notes, which will result in lower reported income.

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In addition, the shares underlying the Convertible Notes will be reflected in our diluted earnings per share using the “if converted” method, in accordance with ASU 2020-06. Under that method, diluted earnings per share would generally be calculated assuming that all the Convertible Notes were converted solely into shares of common stock at the beginning of the reporting period, unless the result would be anti-dilutive. The application of the if-converted method may reduce our reported diluted earnings per share, and accounting standards may change in the future in a manner that may adversely affect our diluted earnings per share.

Furthermore, if any of the conditions to the convertibility of the Convertible Notes is satisfied, then we may be required under applicable accounting standards to reclassify the liability carrying value of the Convertible Notes as a current, rather than a long-term, liability. This reclassification could be required even if no noteholders convert their Convertible Notes and could materially reduce our reported working capital.

Provisions in our organizational documents and certain rules imposed by regulatory authorities may delay or prevent our acquisition by a third party.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain several provisions that may make it more difficult or expensive for a third party to acquire control of us without the approval of our board of directors. These provisions, which may delay, prevent or deter a merger, acquisition, tender offer, proxy contest, or other transaction that stockholders may consider favorable, include the following:

 

the division of our board of directors into three classes and the election of each class for three-year terms;

 

advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and director nominations;

 

provisions limiting stockholders’ ability to call special meetings of stockholders, to require special meetings of stockholders to be called, and to take action by written consent;

 

restrictions on business combinations with interested stockholders;

 

in certain cases, the approval of holders representing at least 662⁄3% of the total voting power of the shares entitled to vote generally in the election of directors will be required for stockholders to adopt, amend or repeal our bylaws, or amend or repeal certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation;

 

no cumulative voting;

 

the required approval of holders representing at least 662⁄3% of the total voting power of the shares entitled to vote at an election of the directors to remove directors; and

 

the ability of our board of directors to designate the terms of and issue new series of preferred stock without stockholder approval, which could be used, among other things, to institute a rights plan that would have the effect of significantly diluting the stock ownership of a potential hostile acquirer, likely preventing acquisitions that have not been approved by our governing body.

These provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws could discourage potential takeover attempts and reduce the price that investors might be willing to pay for shares of our common stock in the future, which could reduce the market price of our common stock.

The provision of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation requiring exclusive venue in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware and the federal district courts of the United States for certain types of lawsuits may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware be the sole and exclusive forum for: any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of our company, any action asserting a claim of breach of fiduciary duty owed by any director (including any director serving as a member of the Executive Committee), officer, agent or other employee or stockholder of our company to us or our stockholders, any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), the amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our bylaws or as to which the DGCL confers jurisdiction on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, or any action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in each case subject to such Court of Chancery having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants therein. It further provides that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the federal district courts of the United States of America shall, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be the sole and exclusive forum for the resolutions of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act. The exclusive forum clauses described above shall not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Exchange Act, or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction.

Although we believe these provisions benefit us by providing increased consistency in the application of applicable law in the types of lawsuits to which they apply, the provisions may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation has been challenged in legal proceedings and there is uncertainty as to whether a court would enforce such provisions. In addition, investors cannot waive compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. It is possible that, in connection with any applicable action brought against us, a court could find the choice of forum provisions contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in such action. If so, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

Item 2. Properties.

Our principal executive offices are located in Austin, Texas in two buildings located in the Four Points and Downtown regions under separate lease agreements. Pursuant to the Four Points lease, we lease approximately 70,682 square feet of office space under a lease agreement with an initial term that expires on April 30, 2028, with the option to extend the lease for an additional two, five-year terms. Pursuant to the Downtown lease, we lease approximately 10,750 square feet of office space with an initial term that expires on March 31, 2023, with the option to extend the lease for an additional three-year term. We also lease office space in San Francisco, California; Sydney, Australia; and London, United Kingdom. We believe our current facilities will be adequate for our needs for the current term.

From time to time, we may become involved in litigation related to claims arising from the ordinary course of our business. We believe that there are no claims or actions pending or threatened against us, the ultimate disposition of which would have a material adverse effect on us.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable.

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PART II

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

Market Information and Holders

Our Series 1 common stock has been listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “BIGC” since August 5, 2020. Prior to that date, there was no public trading market for our Series 1 common stock. As of December 31, 2021, we had 196 holders of record of our Series 1 common stock. The actual number of shareholders is greater than this number of record holders, and includes shareholders who are beneficial owners, but whose shares are held in street names by brokers and other nominees. This number of holders of record also does not include shareholders whose shares may be held in trust by other entities.

Dividend Policy

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our Series 1 common stock. Any future determination to declare cash dividends on our Series 1 common stock will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, general business conditions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. We do not anticipate paying cash dividends on our Series 1 common stock for the foreseeable future.

Sales of Unregistered Securities

Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities

On November 12, 2021, we issued 34,816 shares of our Series 1 common stock in connection with the acquisition of Quote Ninja, Inc. and registered those shares on February 10, 2022.

Equity Compensation Plan Information

Information regarding the securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plans will be included in our Proxy Statement relating to our 2022 annual meeting of stockholders to be filed with the SEC within 120 days after the end of our fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 and is incorporated herein by reference.

Performance Graph

The graph set forth below compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock between August 5, 2020 (our first day of trading) and December 31, 2021, with the cumulative total return of (i) the S&P 500 Index and (ii) the NASDAQ Computer Index. This graph assumes the investment of $100 on August 5, 2020, our first day of trading, in our common stock at the closing price of $72.27 per share, the S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ Computer Index, and assumes the reinvestment of dividends, if any. Note that historic stock price performance is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

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The information contained in the Stock Performance Graph shall not be deemed to be soliciting material or to be filed with the SEC nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Exchange Act, except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

 

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

(in thousands)

 

Total number of shares purchased

 

 

Average price paid per share

 

 

Total number of shares purchased as part of publicly announced plans or programs

 

 

Approximate dollar value of shares that may be purchased under the plans or program

 

January 1-31, 2021

 

 

 

 

$

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 1-28, 2021

 

 

2

 

 

$

3.61

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 1-31, 2021

 

 

 

 

$

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 1-30, 2021

 

 

1

 

 

$

3.18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 1-31, 2021

 

 

9

 

 

$

5.52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 1-30, 2021

 

 

 

 

$

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 1-31, 2021

 

 

1

 

 

$

5.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 1-31, 2021

 

 

 

 

$

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 1-30, 2021

 

 

 

 

$

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 1-31, 2021

 

 

 

 

$

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 1-30, 2021

 

 

 

 

$

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 1-31, 2021

 

 

 

 

$

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

13

 

 

$

4.98

 

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

Item 6. Reserved

 

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

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition to historical consolidated financial information, the following discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include those discussed below and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, particularly in “Risk Factors.” See “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

Overview

BigCommerce is leading a new era of ecommerce. Our SaaS platform simplifies the creation of beautiful, engaging online stores by delivering a unique combination of ease-of-use, enterprise functionality, and flexibility. We allow merchants to build their ecommerce solution their way with the flexibility to fit their unique business and product offerings.  We power both our customers’ branded ecommerce stores and their cross-channel connections to popular online marketplaces, social networks, and offline POS systems. Our strategy is to provide the world’s best combination of freedom of choice and flexibility in a multi-tenant SaaS platform. We describe this strategy as “Open SaaS.” As of December 31, 2021, we served approximately 60,000 online stores and 12,754 accounts with greater than $2,000 in annual contract value.

We provide a comprehensive platform for launching and scaling an ecommerce operation, including store design, catalog management, hosting, checkout, order management, reporting, and pre-integration into third-party services like payments, shipping, and accounting. All our stores run on a single code base and share a global, multi-tenant architecture purpose built for security, high performance, and innovation. Our platform serves stores in a wide variety of sizes, product categories, and purchase types, including B2C and B2B. Our customers include Avery Dennison, Ben & Jerry’s, Molton Brown, Burrow, SC Johnson, SkullCandy, SoloStove and Vodafone.

We offer access to our platform on a subscription basis. We serve customers with subscription plans tailored to their size and feature needs. For our larger customers, our Enterprise plan offers our full feature set at a monthly subscription price tailored to each business. For SMBs, BigCommerce Essentials offers three retail plans: Standard, Plus, and Pro, priced at $29.95, $79.95, and $299.95 per month, respectively. Our Essentials plans include GMV thresholds with programmatic upgrades built in as merchants exceed each plan’s threshold.

Our differentiated Open SaaS technology approach combines the flexibility and customization potential of open source software with the performance, security, usability, and value benefits of multi-tenant SaaS. This combination helps businesses turn digital transformation into competitive advantage. While some software conglomerate providers attempt to lock customers into their proprietary suites, we focus on the configurability and flexibility of our open platform, enabling each business to optimize their ecommerce approach based on their specific needs.

Partners are essential to our open strategy. We believe we possess one of the deepest and broadest ecosystems of integrated technology solutions in the ecommerce industry. We strategically partner with, rather than compete against, the leading providers in adjacent categories, including payments, shipping, POS, CMS, CRM, and ERP. We focus our research and development investments in our core product to create a best-of-breed ecommerce platform and co-market and co-sell with our strategic technology partners to our mutual prospects and customers. As a result, we earn high-margin revenue share from a subset of our strategic technology partners, which complements the high gross margin of our core ecommerce platform.

Our business has achieved significant growth since our inception. We had total revenues of $219.9 million, $152.4 million and $112.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. We plan to continue to invest in our “Open SaaS” strategy, building new partnerships and continuing to develop a platform that offers best-of-breed functionality with the cost-effectiveness of multi-tenant SaaS. As we work to develop and deliver this platform for our customers, we will also invest and grow our business by acquiring additional customers to our platform, growing our revenue with existing customers, cross-selling owned and partner solutions to existing customers, expanding our presence in new segments and geographies, and considering targeted acquisitions that can enhance our service to customers.

On July 23, 2021, we entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire substantially all the assets and liabilities of Feedonomics LLC. Purchase consideration consisted of approximately $146.1 million with $81.1 million paid upon closing and up to $65.0 million in two annual installments of up to $32.5 million each to be paid upon each of the first and second anniversaries of closing or upon the earlier achievement of certain milestones. The anniversary payments may be paid in shares of our Series 1 common stock or cash based on our discretion.

On September 14, 2021, we issued the Convertible Notes in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act. The initial conversion price of the Convertible Notes represented a premium of approximately 37.5% over the closing price of our common stock on September 9, 2021, the date the Convertible Notes offering was priced. The net proceeds from the sale of the Convertible Notes were $335.0 million after deducting the offering expenses. The Convertible Notes will mature on October 1, 2026, unless earlier converted, redeemed or repurchased.

We used $35.6 million of net proceeds from the Convertible Notes offering to enter into separate capped call instruments (“2021 Capped Call Transactions”) with certain financial institutions. The 2021 Capped Call Transactions effectively limit the premium for conversion of the 2021 Notes to 100% and are generally expected to reduce potential dilution to our stockholders upon any conversion of the Convertible Notes and/or offset any payments we make upon conversion.

 

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Key factors affecting our performance

We believe our future performance will depend on many factors, including the following:

Continued growth of ecommerce domestically and globally

Ecommerce is rapidly transforming global B2C and B2B commerce. B2C ecommerce was nonexistent in the early-1990s and grew from approximately 10% of all global retail spending in 2017 to 18% in 2020, according to eMarketer. eMarketer estimates that by 2025, retail ecommerce sales will comprise 24% of worldwide total retail sales. The rapid growth in ecommerce is prompting companies to adopt ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce to create compelling branded ecommerce stores and power cross-channel connections to online marketplaces, social networks, and offline POS systems.

We believe we have a substantial opportunity to serve a larger number of customers as ecommerce continues to grow around the world by extending into new and emerging segments within ecommerce. The following segments are significant areas of potential growth and strategic focus for us:

 

Headless commerce. This refers to businesses whose technology strategy is to decouple their front-end customer experience technology from their back-end commerce platform. In terms of online strategy, these companies are typically brand-, marketing-, or experience-led. We serve headless use cases better than most of our competitors due to years of investment in our platform APIs and integration capabilities. Pre-built integrations connect our platform with leading CMSs such as Acquia, Adobe, Bloomreach, Drupal, Sitecore, and WordPress.

 

B2B. As of December 31, 2021, approximately 19% of our customers use BigCommerce primarily for B2B sales. In many cases, these customers’ needs are met using our native functionality, including B2B features like customer groups and price lists. In other cases, these customers complement BigCommerce with purpose-built B2B extensions and applications in the BigCommerce Apps Marketplace. Over time, we intend to add more B2B functionality to both the BigCommerce Apps Marketplace and our native feature set.

 

Large enterprise. Increasingly, we are successfully competing for large enterprise sites selling more than $50 million annually online, with our Enterprise plan product feature set, along with our sales, marketing, solutioning, and service capabilities.

 

Omnichannel. This is the ability for merchants to conduct commerce anywhere shoppers are - online and offline. This includes shopping through a merchant’s branded ecommerce store or through online marketplaces and social commerce channels such as Google, Meta (Facebook and Instagram), TikTok, Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Wish and Mercado Libre. Merchants’ product data is made available and may be optimized for these commerce and related advertising channels through BigCommerce and Feedonomics’ product and service offerings. According to eMarketer, US ecommerce and ad channel spending was approximately $19 billion in 2020, representing 12% of digital ad spending. This is expected to grow to more than $41 billion and 15% of digital ad spending by 2024. US retail marketplace ecommerce sales topped $270 billion in 2020, representing 34% of total ecommerce sales. This is expected to grow to more than $420 billion by 2023. BigCommerce and Feedonomics enable merchants to improve and optimize omnichannel shopping and advertising, helping bolster their sales growth.

Efficient acquisition of new customers

The growth of our customer base is important to our continued revenue growth. We believe we are positioned to grow significantly through a combination of our own marketing and sales initiatives, customer referrals from our agency and technology partners, and word-of-mouth referrals from existing customers.

We measure the efficiency of new customer acquisition by comparing the lifetime value (“LTV”) of newly-acquired customers to the customer acquisition costs (“CAC”) of the associated time period to get an “LTV:CAC ratio.” We calculate LTV as gross profit from new sales during the four quarters of any given year divided by the estimated future subscription churn rate. We calculate CAC as total sales and marketing expense incurred during the associated preceding four quarters. New SMB, Mid-Market and Enterprise customers were added at an estimated LTV to CAC ratio of 4.9:1 for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020.

Retention and growth of our existing customers

We believe our long-term revenue growth is correlated with the growth of our existing customers’ ecommerce businesses. We strive to maintain industry-leading service levels and platform capabilities to maximize customer success and retention. Our revenue grows with that of our customers. As they generate more online sales, we generate more subscription revenue through automated sales-based upgrades on our Essentials plans and order adjustments on our Enterprise plans. Typical enterprise contracts have terms ranging from 12 to 36 months and do not include the ability to terminate for convenience.

As our customers’ online sales increase, our partner and services revenue generated by revenue-sharing agreements with our strategic technology partners increases as well. Our ability to retain and grow our customers’ ecommerce businesses often depends on the continued expansion of our platform and the capabilities of our strategic technology partners to provide revenue generating services to our customers. We continually evaluate prospective and existing partners’ abilities to enhance the capabilities of our customers’ ecommerce businesses. We add new partners and expand existing partner relationships to enhance the utility of our platform, while creating new opportunities to expand our revenue share in partner and services revenue. As we continue to grow as a platform, we believe our ability to realize more favorable and expansive revenue share agreements will grow as well.

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We also grow by selling additional stores to existing customers. Our larger customers will often first use our platform to build a single online store that serves a single brand within their portfolio. These customers can then expand their usage of our platform by launching additional stores to serve additional brands, geographies, or use cases (e.g., B2B in addition to B2C).

Successful rollout of new geographies

We believe our platform can compete successfully around the world. We enhance usability in new geographies by translating our control panel into local languages and enabling the integration of local payment processors. We support the growth of mid-market and large enterprise customers around the world by expanding our regional sales and marketing capabilities.

We opened our first European office in London, UK in 2018 and expanded it throughout 2021 and 2020, resulting in a 68% revenue growth rate in EMEA for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020. We expanded our existing sales and marketing team in Sydney, Australia, resulting in a 52% and 38% revenue growth rate in APAC for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. We advanced our international expansion strategy in 2021 through the launch of new country-specific websites in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and more recently in Mexico, Germany and Spain. We plan to formally launch in the Nordic countries and South America and expand further in the DACH region in late 2022 as well. We continue to invest in our global presence and in offering native language web experiences that further strengthen our ability to connect more directly with prospects and customers in each region.

Evolution of our technology partner ecosystem

A key part of our strategy is to build a thriving technology partner ecosystem. We focus on collaborating with, not competing against, partners in our ecosystems. This strategy contrasts with our largest competitors, who operate software stacks with multiple vertically integrated adjacent services that potentially compete with offerings from technology partners in their ecosystems. Our customers benefit from the expertise and best-of-breed offerings of our partners, the flexibility to choose without penalty the best offerings for their needs, and the tailored programs developed with our strategic partners. Through significant investment, we have developed a marketplace of integrated application and technology solutions that is one of the largest of any ecommerce platform. Our partners currently offer more than 1100 pre-built applications and integrations spanning major categories relevant to ecommerce, including shipping, tax, accounting and ERP, marketing, fulfillment, cross-channel commerce, and POS systems, with additional applications and integrations for merchandising, locations, and payments. We intend to grow partner-sourced revenue by expanding the value and scope of existing partnerships, selling and marketing partner solutions to our customer base, and acquiring and cultivating new, high-value relationships. Partner referrals of customers are increasingly becoming an efficient customer acquisition strategy for us as we expand our programs for cross-marketing and cross-selling with our partners.

Realizing operating leverage from our investments

We have made significant investments in our SaaS platform and our global infrastructure, which we believe will yield future operating leverage and profit margin expansion. Research and development has historically been one of our largest operating expense categories. By expanding our lower-cost engineering center in Kyiv, Ukraine, we are increasing development capacity while also driving leverage in engineering cost as a percentage of total revenue. In addition, we believe we will achieve operating leverage in marketing by continuing to emphasize lower-cost inbound techniques and growth in customer referrals from our technology and agency partners, especially as our revenue mix continues to shift to our enterprise plans. While we may see changes in margins from one period to another based on our relative pace of expansion and the associated level of investments required, we believe we will be able to run our business more efficiently as we continue to grow our revenue and gain further operating leverage as we scale.

Duration and durability of COVID-19’s impact on partner and services revenue

Ecommerce sales in our major markets have increased significantly due to the impact on physical stores and behavioral changes associated with social distancing. This increase in sales has bolstered our partner and services revenue, driven predominantly by increases in our partner revenue share streams. We anticipate that our performance will be affected by the duration of COVID-19’s impact on physical stores and consumer preferences and the resulting increase in ecommerce sales. Additionally, we expect the widespread availability of treatment options to impact the trend toward ecommerce, which, in turn, may have a significant impact on our performance. While we believe we are well-positioned to continue to benefit from the macro-economic shift to ecommerce that COVID-19 has accelerated, the impact of COVID-19 on our business, including with respect to customer demand, is becoming more difficult to isolate or quantify.  It is not possible to determine the duration and scope of the pandemic, the scale and rate of economic recovery from the pandemic, any ongoing effects on consumer demand and spending patterns, supply chain disruptions, and labor availability and costs, or the impact of other indirect factors that may be attributable to the pandemic, and the extent to which these or other currently unanticipated consequences of the pandemic are reasonably likely to materially affect our results of operations.

Key business metrics

We review the following key business metrics to measure our performance, identify trends affecting our business, formulate business plans, and make strategic decisions. Increases or decreases in our key business metrics may not correspond with increases or decreases in our revenue. We have included the activity of Feedonomics in our key business metrics from the acquisition date of July 23, 2021 through December 31, 2021.  Our key business metrics, such as annual revenue run-rate, average revenue per account and others are calculated as of the end of the last month of the reporting period. We have excluded any activity pertaining to Feedonomics from our key business metrics for all periods presented that precede its acquisition. As a result, year over year or quarter over quarter metrics will not include Feedonomics’ impact in the base period. Period over period results will be fully comparable after the one-year anniversary of the acquisition.   

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Annual revenue run-rate

We calculate annual revenue run-rate (“ARR”) at the end of each month as the sum of: (1) contractual monthly recurring revenue at the end of the period, which includes platform subscription fees, invoiced growth adjustments, product feed management subscription fees, recurring professional services revenue, and other recurring revenue, multiplied by twelve to prospectively annualize recurring revenue, and (2) the sum of the trailing twelve-month non-recurring and variable revenue, which includes one-time partner integrations, one-time fees, payments revenue share, and any other revenue that is non-recurring and variable.

Accounts with greater than $2,000 ACV

We track the total number of accounts with annual contract value (“ACV”) greater than $2,000 (the “ACV threshold”) as of the end of a monthly billing period. To define this $2,000 ACV cohort, we include only subscription plan revenue and exclude partner and services revenue and recurring services revenue. We consider all stores and brands added and subtracted as of the end of the monthly billing period. This metric includes accounts that may have either one single store or brand above the ACV threshold or multiple stores or brands that together exceed the ACV threshold.

Average revenue per account

We calculate average revenue per account (“ARPA”) at the end of a period by including customer-billed revenue and an allocation of partner and services revenue, where applicable. We bill customers for subscription solutions and professional services, and we include both in ARPA for the reported period. For example, ARPA as of March 31, 2021 includes all subscription solutions and professional services billed between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021. We allocate partner revenue, where applicable, primarily based on each customer’s share of GMV processed through that partner’s solution. Partner revenue that is not directly linked to customer usage of a partner’s solution is allocated based on each customer’s share of total platform GMV. Each account’s partner revenue allocation is calculated by taking the account’s trailing twelve-month partner revenue, then dividing by twelve to create a monthly average to apply to the applicable period in order to normalize ARPA for seasonality.

 

Enterprise Account metrics

To measure the effectiveness of our ability to execute against our growth strategy, particularly within the mid-market and enterprise business segments, we calculate ARR attributable to Enterprise Accounts. We define Enterprise Accounts as accounts with at least one unique Enterprise plan subscription or an enterprise level feed management subscription (collectively “Enterprise Accounts”). These accounts may have more than one Enterprise plan or a combination of Enterprise plans and Essentials plans.

The chart below illustrates certain of our key business metrics as of the period ended.

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

Total ARR (in thousands)

 

$

268,665

 

 

$

181,166

 

 

$

128,522

 

Accounts with ACV greater than $2,000

 

 

12,754

 

 

 

10,184

 

 

 

9,090

 

% of Total ARR attributable to accounts with ACV greater

   than $2,000

 

 

88

%

 

 

82

%

 

 

78

%

ARPA attributable to accounts with ACV greater

   than $2,000

 

$

18,598

 

 

$

14,615

 

 

$

11,098

 

ARR attributable to Enterprise Accounts (in thousands)

 

$

172,858

 

 

$

100,771

 

 

$

66,734

 

% of Total ARR attributable to Enterprise Accounts

 

 

64

%

 

 

56

%

 

 

52

%

Net revenue retention

We use net revenue retention (“NRR”) to evaluate our ability to maintain and expand our revenue with our account base of customers exceeding the ACV threshold over time. The total billings and allocated partner revenue, where applicable, for the measured period are divided by the total billings and allocated partner revenue for such accounts, corresponding to the period one year prior. An NRR greater than 100% implies positive net revenue retention. This methodology includes stores added to or subtracted from an account’s subscription during the previous twelve months. It also includes changes to subscription and partner and services revenue billings, and revenue reductions from stores or accounts that leave the platform during the previous one-year period. Net new accounts added after the previous one-year period are excluded from our NRR calculations. NRR for accounts with ACV greater than $2,000 was 116% and 113% for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. We update our reported NRR at the end of each fiscal year and do not report quarterly changes in NRR.

Components of results of operations

Revenue

We generate revenue from two sources: (1) subscription solutions revenue and (2) partner and services revenue.

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Subscription solutions revenue consists primarily of platform subscription fees from all plans. It also includes recurring professional services and sales of SSL certificates. Subscription solutions are charged monthly, quarterly, or annually for our customers to sell their products and process transactions on our platform. Subscription solutions are generally charged per online store and are based on the store’s subscription plan. Our Enterprise plan contracts are generally for a fixed term of one to three years and are non-cancelable. Our retail plans are generally month-to-month contracts. Monthly subscription fees for Pro and Enterprise plans are adjusted if a customer’s GMV or orders processed are outside of specified plan thresholds on a trailing twelve-month basis. Fixed monthly fees and any transaction charges related to subscription solutions are recognized as revenue in the month they are earned.

Subsequent to our acquisition of Feedonomics on July 23, 2021, subscription revenue also includes revenue from Feedonomics. Through Feedonomics, BigCommerce provides feed management solutions under service contracts which are generally one year or less and, in many cases, month-to-month. These service types may be sold stand-alone or as part of a multi-service bundle (e.g. both marketplaces and advertising) and are billed monthly in arrears.

We generate partner revenue from our technology application ecosystem. Customers tailor their stores to meet their feature needs by integrating applications developed by our strategic technology partners. We enter into contracts with our strategic technology partners that are generally for one year or longer. We generate revenue from these contracts in three ways: (1) revenue-sharing arrangements, (2) technology integrations, and (3) partner marketing and promotion. We recognize revenue on a net basis from revenue-sharing arrangements when the underlying transaction occurs.

We also generate revenue from non-recurring professional services that we provide to complement the capabilities of our customers and their agency partners. Our services help improve customers’ time-to-market and the success of their businesses using BigCommerce. Our non-recurring services include education packages, launch services, solutions architecting, implementation consulting, and catalog transfer services.

Cost of revenue

Cost of revenue consists primarily of: (1) personnel-related costs (including stock-based compensation expense) for our customer success teams, (2) costs that are directly related to hosting and maintaining our platform, (3) fees for processing customer payments, and (4) the allocation of overhead costs. We expect that cost of revenue will increase in absolute dollars, but may fluctuate as a percentage of total revenue from period to period as our mix between business lines change and we build out additional localized support as we expand internationally. With our acquisition of Feedonomics on July 23, 2021, cost of revenue also includes personnel and other costs related to feed management along with other customer support personnel.

Sales and marketing

Sales and marketing expenses consist primarily of: (1) personnel-related expenses (including stock-based compensation expense), (2) sales commissions, (3) marketing programs, (4) travel-related expenses, and (5) allocated overhead costs. We focus our sales and marketing efforts on creating sales leads and establishing and promoting our brand. We plan to increase our investment in sales and marketing by hiring additional sales and marketing personnel, executing our go-to-market strategy globally, and building our brand awareness. Incremental sales commissions for new customer contracts are deferred and amortized ratably over the estimated period of our relationship with such customers. No incremental sales commissions are incurred on renewals of customer contracts. We expect our sales and marketing expenses will increase in absolute dollars, but will decrease as a percentage of total revenue over time.

Research and development

Research and development expenses consist primarily of personnel-related expenses (including stock-based compensation expense) incurred in maintaining and developing enhancements to our ecommerce platform and allocated overhead costs. To date, software development costs eligible for capitalization have not been significant.

We believe delivering new functionality is critical to attracting new customers and enhancing the success of existing customers. We expect to continue to make substantial investments in research and development. We expect our research and development expenses to increase in absolute dollars, but decrease as a percentage of total revenue over time, as we continue to leverage and expand our engineering center in Kyiv, Ukraine and other lower-cost international locations. We expense research and development expenses as incurred.

General and administrative

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of: (1) personnel-related expenses (including stock-based compensation expense) for finance, legal and compliance, human resources, and IT, (2) external professional services, and (3) allocated overhead costs. We incur additional general and administrative expenses as a result of operating as a public company and have increased the size of our general and administrative functions to support the growth of our business. As a result, we expect that general and administrative expenses will increase in absolute dollars but may fluctuate as a percentage of total revenue from period to period.

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Acquisition related expenses

Acquisition related expenses consists primarily of cash payments for third-party acquisition costs and other acquisition related expenses, including contingent compensation arrangements entered into in connection with acquisitions.

Amortization of intangible assets

Amortization of intangible assets consist of non-cash amortization of acquired intangible assets which were recognized as a result of business combinations and are being amortized over their expected useful life.

Other expenses, net

Other expenses, net consists primarily of interest expense on our bank borrowings partially offset by interest income on corporate funds invested in money market instruments and highly liquid short-term investments.

Provision for income taxes

Provision for income taxes consists primarily of deferred income taxes associated with amortization of tax deductible goodwill and current income taxes related to certain foreign and state jurisdictions in which we conduct business. For U.S. federal income tax purposes and in certain foreign and state jurisdictions, we have NOL carryforwards. The foreign jurisdictions in which we operate have different statutory tax rates than those of the United States. Additionally, certain of our foreign earnings may also be currently taxable in the United States. Accordingly, our effective tax rate will vary depending on the relative proportion of foreign to domestic income, use of foreign tax credits, changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, applicability of any valuation allowances, and changes in tax laws in jurisdictions in which we operate.

Results of operations

The following table summarizes our historical consolidated statement of operations data. The period-to-period comparison of operating results is not necessarily indicative of results for future periods.

 

 

 

Year ended December 31,

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Revenue

 

$

219,855

 

 

$

152,368

 

 

$

112,103

 

Cost of revenue(1)

 

 

48,479

 

 

 

34,126

 

 

 

27,023

 

Gross profit

 

 

171,376

 

 

 

118,242

 

 

 

85,080

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales and marketing(1)

 

 

99,350

 

 

 

72,470

 

 

 

60,740

 

Research and development(1)

 

 

64,547

 

 

 

48,332

 

 

 

43,123

 

General and administrative(1)

 

 

56,839

 

 

 

36,137

 

 

 

22,204

 

Acquisition related expenses

 

 

23,299

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

Amortization of intangible assets

 

 

3,284

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

247,319

 

 

 

156,939

 

 

 

126,067

 

Loss from operations

 

 

(75,943

)

 

 

(38,697

)

 

 

(40,987

)

Interest income

 

 

130

 

 

 

31

 

 

 

245

 

Interest expense

 

 

(828

)

 

 

(3,103

)

 

 

(1,612

)

Change in fair value of financial instrument

 

 

-

 

 

 

4,413

 

 

 

-

 

Other expense

 

 

(70

)

 

 

(179

)

 

 

(208

)

Loss before provision for income taxes

 

 

(76,711

)

 

 

(37,535

)

 

 

(42,562

)

Provision for income taxes

 

 

(34

)

 

 

25

 

 

 

28

 

Net loss

 

$

(76,677

)

 

$

(37,560

)

 

$

(42,590

)

 

(1)

Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows:

 

 

Year ended December 31,

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Cost of revenue

 

 

2,055

 

 

 

769

 

 

 

191

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

7,761

 

 

 

3,310

 

 

 

838

 

Research and development

 

 

5,901

 

 

 

2,500

 

 

 

666

 

General and administrative

 

 

9,707

 

 

 

4,479

 

 

 

1,461

 

Total stock-based compensation expense

 

$

25,424

 

 

$

11,058

 

 

$

3,156

 

 

(1)

Includes depreciation and amortization as follows:

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Year ended December 31,

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Cost of revenue

 

$

847

 

 

$

958

 

 

$

716

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

876

 

 

 

902

 

 

 

730

 

Research and development

 

 

506

 

 

 

609

 

 

 

614

 

General and administrative

 

 

638

 

 

 

615

 

 

 

509

 

Total depreciation and amortization expense

 

$

2,867

 

 

$

3,084

 

 

$

2,569

 

 

Revenue by geographic region

The composition of our revenue by geographic region during the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, and years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 were as follows:

 

 

 

Year ended

December 31,

 

 

Change

 

 

Year ended

December 31,

 

 

Change

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

Amount

 

 

%

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

Amount

 

 

%

 

 

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

Revenue