10-K 1 quot-10k_20171231.htm 10-K quot-10k_20171231.htm

 

 

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, 2017

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 001-36331

 

Quotient Technology Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

77-0485123

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

 

400 Logue Avenue

Mountain View, CA

 

94043

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (650) 605-4600

(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)

____________________________________________________________

 

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

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.00001 par value per share

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

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 and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted 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 and post such files).    YES      NO  

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  

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

 

Large accelerated filer 

  

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 (Do not check if a small reporting company)

  

Small reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

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

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

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant, as of June 30, 2017, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, based on the closing price of $11.50 per share of the Registrant’s common stock as reported by the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2017, was $634.7 million. Shares of common stock held by each executive officer, director, and their affiliated holders and by each entity or person that, to the Registrant’s knowledge, owned 5% or more of the Registrant’s outstanding common stock as of June 30, 2017, have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

The number of shares of registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of February 13, 2018 was 93,384,505.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement relating to the Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K where indicated.  Such definitive Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

Item 1.

 

 

Business

 

3

 

Item 1A.

 

 

Risk Factors

 

12

 

Item 1B.

 

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

38

 

Item 2.

 

 

Properties

 

38

 

Item 3.

 

 

Legal Proceedings

 

38

 

Item 4.

 

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

39

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

 

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

 

40

 

Item 6.

 

 

Selected Financial Data

 

42

 

Item 7.

 

 

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

 

43

 

Item 7A.

 

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

63

 

Item 8.

 

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

64

 

Item 9.

 

 

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

95

 

Item 9A.

 

 

Controls and Procedures

 

95

 

Item 9B.

 

 

Other Information

 

96

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

97

 

Item 11.

 

 

Executive Compensation

 

97

 

Item 12.

 

 

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

 

97

 

Item 13.

 

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

97

 

Item 14.

 

 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

97

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

 

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

98

Unless the context otherwise requires, the terms “Quotient,” “Coupons,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K refer to Quotient Technology Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.

Quotient, Quotient Retailer iQ, QMX, Crisp Media, Shopmium, Brandcaster and our other registered or common law trademarks, service marks or trade names appearing in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are the property of Quotient. Other trademarks and trade names referred to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are the property of their respective owners.

 

 

 

1


SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD‑LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “seek,” “might,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “approximately,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would” or the negative or plural of these words or similar expressions, as they relate to our company, business and management, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include, but are not limited to, statements about:

 

our financial performance, including our revenues, margins, costs, expenditures, growth rates and operating expenses, and our ability to generate positive cash flow and become profitable;

 

the amount and timing of digital promotions and media buys by CPGs, which are affected by budget cycles, economic conditions and other factors;

 

the growth of demand for digital coupons;

 

our ability to adapt to changing market conditions;

 

our ability to grow and scale Quotient Retailer iQ, Quotient Insights and Quotient Media Exchange (“QMX”);

 

our ability to retain and expand our business with existing CPGs and retailers;

 

our ability to maintain and expand the use by consumers of digital promotions on our platforms;

 

our ability to grow our media business;

 

our ability to grow our verified audience;

 

our ability to attract and retain third-party advertising agencies, performance marketing networks and other intermediaries;

 

our ability to effectively manage our growth;

 

the effects of increased competition in our markets and our ability to compete effectively;

 

our ability to grow the use by consumers of our mobile solutions;

 

our ability to effectively grow and train our sales and media teams;

 

our ability to obtain new CPGs and retailers and to do so efficiently;

 

our ability to maintain, protect and enhance our brand and intellectual property;

 

our strategies relating to the growth of our platform and our business, including pricing strategies;

 

our strategies relating to, and outcomes of, and costs associated with defending, intellectual property infringement and other claims;

 

our ability to successfully enter new markets;

 

our ability to successfully integrate our newly acquired companies into our business;

 

our expectations regarding Quotient Retailer iQ, Quotient Insights and QMX;

 

our significant operating leverage in our business;

 

our ability to develop and launch new services and features; and

 

our ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel.

2


We caution you that the foregoing list may not contain all of the forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends affecting our business. Forward-looking statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available to our management at the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and our management’s good faith belief as of such date with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. We discuss these risks in greater detail in “Item 1A: Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We caution you that the foregoing list of important factors may not contain all of the material factors that are important to you. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions based on new information, future events or otherwise. If we update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that we will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements. Given these risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

PART I

Item 1.

Business.

Overview

Quotient Technology Inc., is a provider of an industry leading digital marketing platform that drives sales by delivering personalized and targeted coupons and ads to shoppers at the right moment on their path to purchase. We’ve built a scaled network of consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) brands, retailers and shoppers, all digitally connected through our core platform, called Retailer iQ. Using proprietary and licensed data, including online behaviors, purchase intent, and retailers’ in-store point-of-sale (“POS”) shopper data, we target shoppers with the most relevant digital coupons and ads, as well as measure campaign performance, including attribution of dollars spent on digital marketing to in-store sales. Customers and partners use our digital platform as a more effective channel to influence shoppers.

We operate our platform across a broad distribution network, reaching over approximately 60 million shoppers at critical moments in their path to purchase. Our network includes the app and website of our flagship consumer brand, Coupons.com, our other owned and operated properties, and thousands of our publisher partners. In addition, we operate Retailer iQ on a co-branded or white label basis with our retail partners, providing them a digital platform to directly engage with their shoppers across their websites, mobile, ecommerce, and social channels.

Our network is made up of three constituencies:

 

Our clients consist of approximately 700 CPGs, representing approximately 2,000 brands, including many of the leading food, beverage, personal and household product manufacturers;

 

Our retail partners, representing multiple classes of trade such as leading grocery retailers; drug, dollar, club, and mass merchandise channels, where the majority of CPG products are sold; and

 

Millions of consumers visiting our web, mobile properties, and social channels, as well as those of our CPGs, retailers, and publishing partners.

Our platform, serving these three groups, has created a network effect, which we believe gives us a competitive advantage over both offline and online competitors. As our shopper audience increases, our platform becomes more valuable to CPGs and retailers, which, in turn, rely more heavily on our platform for their digital promotions and media. In addition, the breadth of coupon and advertising content offered from leading brands enables us to attract and retain more retailers and shoppers. As our network expands, we generate more shopper data and insights, which improve our ability to deliver more relevant and personalized promotions and media.

We primarily generate revenue by providing digital coupons and media solutions to our customers and partners.

3


We generate revenue from promotions, in which CPGs pay us to deliver coupons to consumers through our network of publishers and retail partners. Each time a consumer activates a digital coupon on our platform or in some cases redeems a digital coupon, we are generally paid a fee. Activation of a digital coupon can include: saving it to a retailer loyalty account or printing it for physical redemption at a retailer.

We generally pay a distribution fee to retailers or publishers when a shopper activates a digital promotion on their website or mobile app. These distribution fees are included in our cost of revenues. See Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – “Non-GAAP Financial Measure and Key Operating Metrics” for more information.

Promotion revenues also include our Specialty Retail business, in which specialty stores including clothing, electronics, home improvement and many others offer coupon codes that we distribute. Each time a consumer makes a purchase using a coupon code, a transaction occurs and a distribution fee is generally paid.

We also generate revenues from digital advertising. CPGs, advertising agencies, and retailers who use our platform to deliver digital advertising. Using data on our Quotient Media Exchange (QMX) platform, we target audiences with digital ad campaigns. These ads are delivered to shoppers through our network, including our websites and mobile apps, as well as those of our publishers, retailers and other third parties. Campaigns can then be measured based on performance, attributing digital ad campaigns to in-store purchases in near real time. In May 2017, we closed our acquisition of Crisp Mobile, which enhanced our mobile advertising and analytics capabilities, as well as accelerated our growth in media. We generally pay a distribution fee to retailers for use of data for targeting or measurement, or to publishers to deliver campaigns on certain publishing networks or sites. These distribution fees are included in our cost of revenues.

During 2017, we generated revenues of $322.1 million, representing 17% growth over 2016, and a net loss of $15.1 million as compared to $19.5 million in 2016. See our Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying notes for more information. For the year ended December 31, 2017, there was no revenue from a customer that accounted for more than 10% of our total revenues. For the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, total revenue from The Procter and Gamble Company accounted for more than 10% of our total revenues.

Our Industry

Retailers and CPGs are turning to data-driven digital marketing strategies to engage and influence shoppers to compete more effectively in today’s retail environment and drive sales. By shifting dollars from traditional offline channels to digital, brands and retailers can use shopper data and behaviors to target and deliver digital coupons and advertising with greater efficiency and return on investment.

For decades, retailers and CPGs have worked together to drive sales, which in turn benefits both parties. CPGs sell their products to retailers, and retailers are responsible for selling those products directly to shoppers. To help retailers attract shoppers and ensure sales, CPGs spend over $225 billion annually in promotions, media, shopper marketing, trade and other in-store advertising. Historically, the vast majority of these dollars have been spent in offline channels such as free-standing inserts found in Sunday newspapers, direct mail, printed circulars, in-store aisle tags, end caps and TV. These traditional offline channels are becoming less effective as consumers spend more time online, particularly on mobile, giving way to the rising importance of using data to drive personalized and targeted, content to shoppers. To reach shoppers at the right time and place, CPGs and retailers are shifting dollars historically spent in offline channels to digital.

Digital coupons, primarily funded by CPGs, have been found to be more effective and are redeemed at higher rates compared to traditional offline promotions. According to an annual industry report by NCH Marketing Services, Inc., in 2016, digital coupons (including digital print and digital paperless coupons) represented less than 1% of total U.S. CPG coupon distribution volume, but accounted for almost 12% of total U.S. CPG coupon redemptions. We believe that the ease of digital promotions, coupled with greater awareness of digital savings programs, is broadening the demographic reach and driving demand for digital promotions.

Trade promotions, defined as special promotions offered to drive additional sales directly from a particular retailer, are also funded by CPGs. Historically, trade promotions have been mass marketed through retailers in offline vehicles such as aisle tags and printed circulars. We believe CPGs will shift offline trade promotions to digital as retailers continue to increase their digital marketing activities and better use their shopper data.

4


Advertising from shopper marketing, defined as advertising funded by the CPG to gain shopper awareness and drive sales within a specific retailer, is also shifting from traditional in-store and print advertising to digital, particularly to mobile. According to the Association of National Advertisers, shopper marketing budgets are expected to grow to a nearly $19.0 billion market in the next few years as shopper marketers look to reach shoppers across the right touchpoints at the right time. Additionally, portions of CPG brand advertising, which has historically been spent in traditional offline channels such as print and TV, is also expected to shift to digital channels. eMarketer projects that by 2020, CPG and the consumer products industry digital ad spending will be approximately $9.5 billion, an increase from the approximately $6 billion spent in 2016.

As the shift to digital coupon and digital advertising continues to grow, so does the importance placed on data to target audiences and provide campaign performance measurements. Over 90% of grocery sales occur in-store with shopper data residing offline, creating a particular need to attribute dollars spent in digital coupons and advertising directly to in-store sales.

Our Solutions

We offer an industry leading digital platform that enables CPG brands and retailers to drive sales and engage shoppers through personalized and targeted promotions and media. Approximately 700 CPGs, representing approximately 2,000 brands, use our platform to manage and distribute digital coupons and advertising, target shopper audiences, and measure campaign performance.  

Through Quotient’s solutions, brands and retailers can manage their national brand promotions, trade promotions, shopper marketing, and brand media advertising together, combining shopper insights and purchase data with broad distribution capabilities across mobile, web, and social channels. We also enable brands and retailers to develop marketing and promotional programs within days, with the added flexibility of adjusting programs in real time. This differs from the long lead times typically required in traditional offline marketing vehicles. Our platform delivers value as a stand- alone promotions or media offering, but also provides additional value when used collectively.

We have a broad distribution network that includes our owned and operated web and mobile properties, such as Coupons.com, and thousands of publishing and retailer partner sites. Coupons can be saved directly to a retailer loyalty card and redeemed at checkout, redeemed for cash back through our mobile receipt scanning feature, or printed and taken directly to the store for physical redemption.

Retailer iQ is used at top retailers in the grocery, drug, dollar and mass merchandise channels and is a co-branded or white-labeled solution that powers retailer websites, ecommerce experiences, mobile websites and mobile applications. Retailer iQ integrates into retailers’ points-of-sale (POS) and serves as their digital marketing platform, creating a direct, digital relationship with millions of their consumers. Through Retailer iQ retailers and CPGs distribute personalized and targeted coupons and media to help drive shopper loyalty and increased sales. Additional Retailer iQ features include digital grocery list, digital receipt, digital circular and beacon technology.

Our solution also provides CPGs and retailers with closed-loop attribution through campaign performance measurement. With Retailer iQ, brands can tie digital coupons and advertising campaigns directly to in-store sales. Our campaign measurement tools also provide brands and retailers with flexibility to adjust their campaigns in mid-flight to drive greater efficiency with marketing dollars.

Quotient Promotions

We offer digital paperless and digital print promotions through our Quotient Promotions Network (formerly known as our Digital Free-Standing Insert Network). With digital paperless, shoppers save coupons directly to retailer loyalty accounts for automatic digital redemption, or by redeeming coupons using a mobile device for cash back after taking a picture of a retailer receipt with the appropriate purchase. With digital print, shoppers select coupons and print them from their desktop or mobile device to redeem in store.

5


Through our platform, CPGs and retailers can reach shoppers on the web and on mobile devices by offering digital coupons through our extensive network which includes:

 

the Coupons.com website and our Coupons.com and Shopmium mobile application platforms;

 

CPG and retailer websites and mobile applications, either hosted by us or hosted by them using our APIs; and

 

the websites and mobile applications of thousands of registered partner sites included in our publisher network.

We have designed and engineered our platform to support personalization, targeting and optimization in the delivery of digital coupons. We start with demographic and geography based personalization techniques to ensure that consumers see and can easily access the most relevant content. We personalize content based on offers the consumer has clicked on and searches the consumer may have conducted on our network as well as the coupons that the consumer previously activated, and redeemed. We also offer targeted promotions based on the criteria listed above, combined with data from our Retailer iQ integrations with select retailers. We offer a receipt-scanning, cash-back mobile coupon for direct cash back after taking a picture of a retailer receipt with the appropriate purchase.

Retailer iQ allows retailers to integrate our digital promotions with their loyalty programs and POS systems for digital paperless delivery. Retailer iQ provides a personalized consumer experience to help retailers and brands drive loyalty and engagement with their shoppers. By integrating with the retailer POS system, our solution leverages data available across various touchpoints including web, mobile and customer channels such as email, social and POS purchase data. Using data, the platform allows for real-time recommendations of digital coupons and products, targeted media, real-time reporting, targeting and analytics, and digital receipts, all of which help retailers and brands communicate with and influence their shoppers, primarily through their mobile phones.

Our solutions are designed for mobile channels, a key consumer touchpoint, to further drive consumer adoption and engagement across our platform. Retailer iQ, for instance, powers retailer mobile applications and websites to enable consumers to download coupons, create shopping lists, and search for offers while on the go. CPGs can target Retailer iQ shoppers to personalize brand engagement or provide brand information. Our Coupons.com mobile application allows consumers to access our digital coupons and coupon codes, and is designed to provide personalized and location-based content. Shopmium, our mobile application in France and U.K, allows consumers to use a CPG coupon by taking a picture of a receipt and uploading it to Quotient, where we validate the purchase against the coupon, and make payment to the consumer directly to a bank or PayPal account.

Quotient Media  

We offer targeted advertising solutions through Quotient Media Exchange (QMX), enabling brands and retailers to reach shoppers before, during and after their shopping cycles with digital media campaigns. Through QMX, advertisers can leverage Quotient’s audience reach and exclusive data to deliver targeted media across our network, including Retailer iQ and Coupons.com website and app, and across web, mobile and social channels outside our network. For example, we can target consumers on Facebook who have redeemed a coupon or purchased a product in a particular product category with media advertising within that product category.

In 2017, we enhanced our mobile media and campaign measurement solutions with the acquisition of Crisp Media. Crisp’s expertise around creative services, dynamic targeting, mobile delivery and performance management complemented our QMX solution.  

We also provide CPGs, retailers and other advertisers access to our Coupons.com audience, including our website and mobile properties, to highlight their brands including premier media and advertising placements on our site, promoted positions within our coupon galleries and premium placement in our marketing efforts.

The quality and real-time nature of our data network enables us to offer relevant and targeted media with campaign performance measurement. Through our Quotient Insights Platform, we combine purchase data from select retailers across the Quotient Retailer iQ network with online engagement and purchase-intent data from Quotient’s flagship brand, Coupons.com, and the Company’s thousands of publishing partners. This enables advertisers to reach a broad national audience or a single retailer’s customers using our solution. Our data processing systems also allow us to extend our reach, providing consumer intent signals to various advertising networks. Using the Insights Platform, we’re able to measure campaign performance, attributing digital media to in-store purchases and helping brands and retailers generate profitable sales. As our platform, network and audience expands, the value of our data and analytics increases.

6


Publishing Channels

Our platform includes numerous tools to enhance the effectiveness of promotions, media and analytics, and drive increased monetization through our platform. These tools are used by us, as well as our CPG, retailer and publisher partners.

Brandcaster®.  Our Brandcaster technology powers our affiliate program by enabling third-party publishers to easily display our promotions and media to visitors on their sites. Brandcaster’s easy-to-use self-service platform allows publishers to produce a look and feel customized to their brand and earn revenue for the coupons that are activated on their site and for media impressions.

Emails.    We deliver personalized emails with coupon offers and digital circular offers to shoppers based on their purchase behavior and intent, or interaction with our site. Shoppers who receive emails with personalized promotional content include registered users on our Coupons.com site and those of our Retailer iQ retailers.

Social.    We enable CPGs to distribute coupons on their Facebook pages in a seamless and fully customizable solution through an API on our platform. They then can manage the look and feel of the experience for consumers. Typically, CPGs will use coupons as an incentive for consumers to “like” their Facebook pages and brands and our application handles the process and tracking.

Bricks.    Our Bricks services include coupons and mobile cash rebate offers that operate just like the digital offers that we distribute on Coupons.com and across the Quotient Promotions Network, but the CPG is responsible for setting up and driving distribution. For example, our Bricks service may enable a CPG to make available a specific coupon on their website. CPGs can leverage our technology to facilitate the printing, digital receipt scan and rebate, and tracking of offers in a secure manner, but the CPG distributes the coupon through its own distribution process such as an email campaign or as part of a special promotion on their site.

Media Units.    We deliver personalized and targeted coupon offers and digital circular offers to shoppers, via media ad units, based on their purchase behavior and intent, or interaction with our site. Shoppers will see media ad units on the Coupons.com site as well as our retailer partner’s sites and other sites that are part of our publishing network. Shoppers who receive media ads with personalized promotional content include registered users on our Coupons.com site and those of our Retailer iQ retailers.

Growth Strategy

We intend to grow our platform and our business through the following key strategies:

Increase revenues from CPGs already on our platform.    Based on our experience to date, we believe we have opportunities to continue increasing revenues from our existing CPG customer base through:

 

increasing our share of CPG spending on overall coupons and trade promotions;

 

increasing the number of brands that are using our platform within each CPG;

 

increasing media spending on our platform and our network;

 

leveraging our data to provide more targeted promotions, media, and analytics; and

 

maximizing consumer’s experiences across all products.

Expand our network through Retailer iQ, our digital paperless platform.    By using our platform to aggregate and optimize data, CPGs and retailers are able to offer personalized and targeted consumer experiences to more effectively engage consumers and drive sales. By bringing retailers and shoppers onto Retailer iQ, we are able to grow our digital paperless offering and distribution reach, and further leverage consumer insights from the platform. We believe as we continue to expand our network through Retailer iQ and increased shopper adoption, the value we provide to CPGs and retailers increases, as well as the opportunity to increase our share of CPG spending from promotions, trade spend and media budgets. We intend to continue to invest in technologies and product offerings that further integrate digital promotions and media into the retailer channel, and specifically within our Retailer iQ platform.  

7


Grow our current customer base and add new industry segments.    We believe we have the opportunity to grow the number of brands and retailers that we serve, thereby increasing the value of our platform to all constituents. In addition, we intend to continue growing our business with other manufacturers and retailers in new industry segments such as convenience and specialty/franchise retail, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Grow shopper adoption and engagement of our digital offerings.    We plan to continue to innovate and invest across our platform, including Retailer iQ, mobile solutions, media and digital promotion offerings, Coupons.com mobile app, our publishing network, and analytics. We plan to continue helping our Retailer iQ partners launch and market the platform in order to generate and increase shopper adoption and engagement of digital paperless promotions. We believe that CPG spending on digital promotions and marketing will continue to grow as point of sale, mobile channels and social media offer new opportunities to engage consumers on their path to purchase.

Grow our media business.     We plan to grow our media business, including QMX, by continuing to invest in our media solutions, including enhancements to our targeting and reporting capabilities and expanded use of our proprietary data as well as data from select exclusive retailer partnerships. We also plan to scale our network through new publishers, expanded partnerships, new verticals, and third parties such as media agencies.

Expand and grow Quotient Insights, and our emerging products around data and analytics.   As our network, content pool and shopper audience expands, resulting in greater data and insights, we believe that our platform will become more valuable. We expect to introduce new, more robust, solutions to our customers around campaign performance, analytics and insights. Our targeted promotion offering, QMX and our campaign performance measurement products, are just three examples of how we use the platform to drive more value across the network. We also have the growing capability to directly link digital campaigns and media to in-store purchase data. We believe we are in a unique position to deliver new products around data and analytics, and the opportunity to grow Quotient Insights increases as we continue to expand.

Grow international operations.    Many CPGs and retailers on our platform have global operations and we believe that we can opportunistically grow our operations and offerings in existing international markets and partner with our existing clients to enter new geographies in which they operate. We also plan to leverage our existing presence in France through our mobile application Shopmium, a receipt-scanning, cash-back mobile application platform, to broaden our international opportunity beginning with the United Kingdom.

Selectively pursue strategic acquisitions.   We intend to continue pursuing selective acquisition and partnership opportunities that we believe can expand our business.

Security

Our platform includes a proprietary digital distribution management system to enable CPGs and retailers to securely control the number of coupons distributed by device. We have controls in place to limit the number of digital coupons that can be printed. Similar controls are in place for linking coupons to loyalty cards and other paperless solutions, which allows us to limit the number of coupons distributed and activated. In addition, each printed coupon carries a unique ID that is encrypted, enabling us to trace each coupon from print to redemption. All of our digital print coupons can be authenticated and validated using this unique code. This unique ID also can be used to detect counterfeit or altered coupons. Our platform allows us to systematically identify and respond to fraudulent and prohibited activities by restricting a device from printing coupons.

Sales and Marketing

We have a team of dedicated, skilled specialists focused on CPGs and retailers. We believe that our sales, integration, promotions and media campaign management and analytics, and customer support capabilities are difficult to replicate and a key reason for the growth of our business. Much of our sales activity is focused on expanding the number of brands within our existing CPG customers that offer digital promotions and media through our platform as well as expanding the volume of offers made by the brands currently using our platform. The team is also focused on expanding relationships within CPGs to include shopper marketing teams, where we believe there is a large opportunity for growth particularly in media. Additionally, we are focused on continuing to increase the size and breadth of our publisher network. We are also seeking to partner with CPGs and other manufacturers and retailers in new industry segments such as convenience and specialty/franchise retail, restaurants and entertainment venues.

In addition to sales support during the campaign planning process, our sales representatives provide additional support to CPGs and retailers to ensure that their campaigns are launched and delivered within specified timeframes. Representatives assigned to specific customers review performance metrics and share feedback with the advertiser.

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We are focused on managing our brand, increasing market awareness and generating new advertiser leads. In doing so, we often present at industry conferences, create custom events and invest in public relations. In addition, our marketing team advertises online, in print and in other forms of media, creates case studies, sponsors research, publishes marketing collateral and undertakes customer research studies.

Technology and Infrastructure

Since inception, we have made significant investments and will continue to invest in developing our differentiated and proprietary platforms aimed at solving the problems of CPGs and retailers in ways that traditional solutions cannot. We are focused on offering solutions that provide measurable results. We have assembled a team of highly skilled engineers and computer scientists with deep expertise across a broad range of relevant disciplines. Key focus areas of our engineering team include:

 

Scalable infrastructure.    We use a combination of proprietary and open-source software to achieve a horizontally scalable, global, distributed and fault-tolerant architecture, with the goal of enabling us to ensure the continuity of our business, regardless of local disruptions. Our computational infrastructure currently processes millions of events per day and is designed in a way that enables us to add significant capacity to our platform as we scale our business without requiring any material design or architecture modifications. Our private cloud technology infrastructure is hosted across data centers in co-location facilities in California, Nevada, and Virginia.

 

Redundancy.    Our production infrastructure utilizes a hot failover configuration which allows us to switch server loads, be it a single server or an entire data center, to the other data center within minutes. Data is continuously replicated between sites, and multiple copies at each site provide fast recovery whenever it is requested. Each data center has been designed to handle more than our entire server needs, which enables us to perform platform maintenance, business resumption and disaster recovery without any customer impact.

 

Reporting.    Our user interface provides flexible reporting and interactive visualization of the key drivers of success for each media campaign. We use these reporting and visualization products internally to manage campaigns and provide advertisers with campaign insights.

 

Security.    Our security policy adheres to established policies to ensure that all data, code, and production infrastructure are secure and protected. Our data centers are SSAE 16 Type II certified and we are PCI DSS compliant where required. We use our internal team and third parties to test, audit, and review our entire production environment to protect it.

Our research and development expenses were $50.0 million, $50.5 million and $48.4 million during 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. We capitalized internal-use software development costs of $3.8 million, $0.7 million and $1.5 million during 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Competition

We compete against a variety of different businesses with respect to different aspects of our business, including:

 

traditional offline coupon and discount services, as well as newspapers, magazines and other traditional media companies that provide coupon promotions and discounts on products and services in free standing inserts or other forms, including Valassis Communications, Inc., News America Marketing Interactive, Inc. and Catalina Marketing Corporation;

 

providers of digital coupons such as Valassis’ Redplum.com, Catalina Marketing Corporation’s Cellfire, Inmar, News America Marketing’s SmartSource, YouTech, and companies that offer coupon codes such as RetailMeNot, Inc., Groupon Inc., Exponential Interactive Inc.’s TechBargains, Savings.com, Inc. and Ebates Performance Marketing, Inc., companies that offer cash back solutions such as iBotta, Inc., News America Marketing’s Checkout 51, and companies providing other e-commerce based services that allow consumers to obtain direct or indirect discounts on purchases;

 

internet sites that are focused on specific communities or interests that offer coupons or discount arrangements related to such communities or interests;  

 

companies offering online and marketing services to retailers and CPGs, such as MyWebGrocer, Inc. and Flipp Corporation;

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companies offering media services, such as Triad Media Inc. and RichRelevance, Inc.; and

 

retailers marketing and offering their own digital coupons directly to consumers using their own websites, email newsletters and alerts, mobile applications and social media channels.

We believe the principal factors that generally determine a company’s competitive advantage in our market include the following:

 

scale and effectiveness of reach in connecting CPGs and retailers to consumers in a digital manner, through web, mobile and other online properties;

 

ability to attract consumers to use digital coupons;

 

platform security, scalability, reliability and availability;

 

our proprietary intent data and access to POS data from select retailer partners;

 

number of channels by which a company engages with consumers;

 

integration of products and solutions;

 

rapid deployment of products and services for customers;

 

breadth, quality and relevance of the Company’s digital coupons, media and measurement;

 

ability to deliver digital coupons that are widely available and easy to use in consumers’ preferred form;

 

integration with retailer applications;

 

brand recognition;

 

quality of tools, reporting and analytics for planning, development, optimization and measurement of promotions and media; and

 

breadth and expertise of the Company’s sales organization.

While we believe we compete effectively with respect to the factors identified above, we may face increasing competition from larger or more established companies that seek to enter our market or from smaller companies that launch new products, solutions and services that could gain market acceptance.

Culture and Employees

We are proud of our company culture and consider it to be one of our competitive strengths. Our culture helps drive our business and compete for talented employees in a highly competitive market. We seek to offer an environment that allows our employees to thrive and grow.

As of December 31, 2017, we had 727 full-time employees, consisting of 543 employees in the United States and 184 employees internationally.

Intellectual Property

We protect our intellectual property by relying on federal, state, and common law rights in the United States and equivalent rights in other jurisdictions, as well as contractual restrictions. We control access to our proprietary technology and algorithms by entering into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and contractors, and confidentiality agreements with third parties.

In addition to these contractual arrangements, we also rely on a combination of trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, service marks and domain names to protect our intellectual property. We pursue the registration of our copyrights, trademarks, service marks and domain names in the United States and in certain locations outside the United States. As of December 31, 2017, we hold or have exclusive rights to 27 active issued patents in the United States and 10 active patents that have been issued outside of the United States with terms expiring between 2019 and 2032.

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Circumstances outside our control could pose a threat to our intellectual property rights. For example, effective intellectual property protection may not be available in the United States or other countries in which we operate. Also, the efforts we have taken to protect our proprietary rights may not be sufficient or effective or may require significant expenditures and other resources to enforce. Any significant impairment of our intellectual property rights or unauthorized disclosure or use of our intellectual property could harm our business and our operating results, or ability to compete.

Companies in Internet-related and other industries may own large numbers of patents, copyrights and trademarks and may frequently request license agreements, threaten litigation or file suit against us based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. We currently are, have been subject to in the past, and expect to face in the future, allegations that we have infringed the trademarks, copyrights, patents and other intellectual property rights of third parties, including our competitors and non-practicing entities. As we face increasing competition and as our business grows, we will likely face more claims of infringement.

Corporate Information

We were incorporated in California in May 1998 and reincorporated in Delaware in June 2009. We changed our name to Quotient Technology Inc. on October 20, 2015. Our principal executive offices are located at 400 Logue Avenue, Mountain View, California 94043, and our telephone number is (650) 605-4600. Our corporate website address is www.quotient.com. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website does not constitute part of this report and inclusions of our website address in this report are inactive textual references only. The Quotient logo, Coupons.com logo and our other registered or common law trademarks, service marks or trade names appearing in this report are the property of Quotient or its subsidiaries. Other trademarks and trade names referred to in this report are the property of their respective owners.

Available Information

We file annual, quarterly and other reports, proxy statements and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Exchange Act. We also make available, free of charge on the investor relations portion of our website at investors.quotient.com, our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed electronically with the SEC. You can inspect and copy our reports, proxy statements and other information filed with the SEC at the offices of the SEC’s Public Reference Room located at 100 F Street, NE, Washington D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the operation of Public Reference Rooms. The SEC also maintains an Internet website at http://www.sec.gov/ where you can obtain most of our SEC filings. You can also obtain paper copies of these reports, without charge, by contacting Investor Relations at (650) 605-4600 (option 7).

Webcasts of our earnings calls and certain events we participate in or host with members of the investment community are available on our investor relations website at www.quotient.com. Additionally, we announce investor information, including news and commentary about our business and financial performance, SEC filings, notices of investor events, and our press and earnings releases, on our investor relations website, as well as through press releases, SEC filings, public conference calls, our corporate blog and social media in order to achieve broad, non-exclusionary distribution of information to the public. We encourage our investors and others to review the information we make public in these locations as such information could be deemed to be material information. Please note that this list may be updated from time to time.  Investors and others can receive notifications of new information posted on our investor relations website in real time by signing up for email alerts. Further corporate governance information, including our corporate governance guidelines, board committee charters, and code of conduct, is also available on our investor relations website under the heading “Governance.” The contents of our websites, blog, press releases, public conference calls and social media are not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC (and the contents of other SEC filings are not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or any other report or document we file with the SEC except as required by law or to the extent we expressly incorporate such SEC filing into this Annual Form 10-K or other report or document we file with the SEC), and any references to our websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.

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Item 1A.

Risk Factors.

Our operations and financial results are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including those described below, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial conditions, and the trading price of our common stock.

Risks Related to Our Business

We have incurred net losses since inception and we may not be able to generate sufficient revenues to achieve or subsequently maintain profitability.

We have incurred net losses of $15.1 million, $19.5 million and $26.7 million in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. We have an accumulated deficit of $287.3 million as of December 31, 2017. We anticipate that our costs and expenses will increase in the foreseeable future as we continue to invest in:

 

sales and marketing;

 

research and development, including new product development;

 

our technology infrastructure;

 

general administration, including legal and accounting expenses related to our growth and continued expenses with respect to being a public company;

 

efforts to expand into new markets; and

 

strategic opportunities, including commercial relationships and acquisitions.

For example, we have incurred and expect to continue to incur expenses developing, improving, integrating, investing, marketing and maintaining our retailer platform Retailer iQ, our data and analytics platform, Quotient Analytics, and our data-driven media solutions, Quotient Media Exchange or QMX, and we may not succeed in increasing our revenues sufficiently to offset these expenses. 

If we are unable to gain efficiencies in our operating costs, our business could be adversely impacted. We cannot be certain that we will be able to attain or maintain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. If we are unable to effectively manage these risks and difficulties as we encounter them, our business, financial condition and results of operations may suffer.

We may not achieve revenue growth.

We may not be able to achieve revenue growth, and we may not be able to generate sufficient revenues to achieve profitability. In addition, historically the growth rate of our business, and as a result, our revenue growth, has varied from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year, and we expect that variability to continue. For example, some of our products experience seasonal sales and buying patterns mirroring those in the CPG, retail, and e-commerce markets, including back-to-school and holiday campaigns, where demand increases during the second half of our fiscal year, and our revenues may otherwise fluctuate due to changes in promotional spending budgets (including shopper marketing budgets) of CPGs and retailers and the timing of their promotional spending. We may not always be able to anticipate such fluctuations. Decisions by major CPGs or retailers to delay or reduce their promotional spending, or divert spending away from digital promotions, or from our platform, or changes in our fee arrangements with CPGs and retailers, could also slow our revenue growth or reduce our revenues.  Additionally, as our business evolves, we will continue to experiment with different pricing models and fee arrangements with CPGs and retailers, which may impact how we monetize transactions. For example, we have recently experimented with ROI-based pricing strategies.  As we shift a greater number of our arrangements with CPGs to ROI-based pricing models, some of which require us to receive fees upon the actual redemption of digital coupons on our platform rather than activation as is generally done, our revenue growth and revenues could be harmed.

We believe that our continued revenue growth will depend on our ability to:

 

increase our share of CPG spending on overall coupon and trade promotions, increase the number of brands that are using our platform within each CPG, and increase media spend including shopper marketing on our platform;

 

adapt to changes in promotional spending budgets of CPGs and retailers and the timing of their promotional spending;

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successfully execute our digital promotions, shopper marketing and media solutions into retailers’ in-store and point of sale systems and consumer channels;

 

deploy, execute, and continue to develop our data, measurement, and analytics solutions in support of Retailer iQ and QMX;

 

grow and maintain our retailer network through direct and indirect partnerships;

 

maintain and expand our data rights with our retailer network;

 

grow the number of CPGs and retailers in our current customer base and add new industry segments such as convenience, specialty/franchise retail, restaurants and entertainment;

 

expand the use by consumers of our newest digital promotion and media offerings and broaden the selection and use of digital coupons;

 

manage the shift from desktop to mobile devices;

 

manage the transition from digital print coupons to digital paperless coupons;

 

innovate our product offerings to retain and grow our consumer base;

 

obtain and increase the number of high quality coupons;

 

grow the number of transactions across our platform;

 

expand the number, variety and relevance of digital coupons available on our web, mobile and social channels, as well as those of our CPGs, retailers and network of publishers;

 

develop and implement our media strategies including the integration and growth of Crisp Mobile;      

 

increase the awareness of our brands, and earn and build our reputation;

 

hire, integrate and retain talented personnel;

 

effectively manage scaling our operations; and

 

successfully compete with existing and new competitors.

However, we cannot assure you that we will successfully accomplish any of these actions. Failure to do so could harm our business and cause our operating results to suffer.

If we fail to attract and retain CPGs, retailers and publishers and expand our relationships with them, our revenues and business will be harmed.

The success of our business depends in part on our ability to increase our share of CPG spending on overall coupons and trade promotions, increase media spending on our platform, increase the number of brands that are using our platform within each CPG, increase adoption and scale of Retailer iQ, and deployment, execution, and continued development of Quotient Insights and QMX. It also depends on (i) our ability to obtain, maintain, and expand data rights agreements with our retailer partners, (ii) our ability to further integrate our digital promotions and media solutions into retailers’ in-store and point of sale systems and consumer channels, (iii) our ability to obtain the right to distribute Retailer iQ digital promotions more broadly through our websites and mobile apps and those of our publishers, and (iv) our retail partners’ commitment in promoting our digital solutions to their customers. In addition, we must acquire new CPGs and retailers in our current customer base and add new industry segments such as convenience, specialty/franchise retail, restaurants and entertainment venues. If CPGs and retailers do not find that offering digital promotions and media on our platform enables them to reach consumers and sufficiently increase sales with the scale and effectiveness that is compelling to them, CPGs and retailers may not increase their distribution of digital promotions and media on our platform, or they may decrease them or stop offering them altogether, and new CPGs and retailers may decide not to use our platform.

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For example, if CPGs decide that utilizing our platform is not the right solution for them to connect with consumers, we may not be able to increase our prices or CPGs may pay us less. Likewise, if retailers decide that our platform is less effective at increasing sales to and loyalty of existing and new consumers, retailers may demand a higher percentage of the total proceeds from each digital promotion that is activated or redeemed or demand minimum guaranteed payments. Furthermore, if existing and new retailers using Retailer iQ do not find that it increases consumer engagement and loyalty, our overall success may be harmed. In addition, we expect to face increased competition, and competitors may accept lower payments from CPGs to attract and acquire new CPGs, or provide retailers and publishers a higher distribution fee than we currently offer to attract and acquire new retailers and publishers. In addition, we may experience attrition in our CPGs, retailers and publishers in the ordinary course of business resulting from several factors, including losses to competitors, changes in CPG budgets, and decisions by CPGs, retailers and publishers to offer digital coupons through their own websites or other channels without using a third-party platform such as ours or through a competitive third party network or platform, and failure to maintain distribution agreements with third party digital promotions networks and platforms. If we are unable to retain and expand our relationships with existing CPGs, retailers and publishers or if we fail to attract new CPGs, retailers and publishers to the extent sufficient to grow our business, or if too many CPGs, retailers and publishers are unwilling to offer digital coupons and media with compelling terms through our platform, we may not increase the number of high quality coupons and marketing campaigns on our platform and our revenues, gross margin and operating results will be adversely affected. 

The loss of any significant customer could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Our business is exposed to risks related to customer concentration, particularly among CPGs. For the year ended December 31, 2017, there was no revenue from a customer that accounted for more than 10% of our total revenues. For the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, total revenue from The Procter and Gamble Company accounted for more than 10% of our total revenues. The loss of any of our significant customers or deterioration in our relations with any of them could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

If we are unable to grow or successfully respond to changes in the digital promotions market, our business could be harmed.

As consumer demand for digital coupons has increased, promotion spending has shifted from traditional coupons through traditional channels, such as newspapers and direct mail, to digital coupons. However, it is difficult to predict whether the pace of transition from traditional to digital coupons will continue at the same rate and whether the growth of the digital promotions market will continue. In order to expand our business, we must appeal to and attract consumers who historically have used traditional promotions to purchase goods or may prefer alternatives to our offerings, such as those of our competitors. If the demand for digital coupons does not continue to grow as we expect, or if we fail to successfully address this demand, our business will be harmed. For example, the growth of our revenues will require increasing the number of brands that are using our platform within each CPG and further integrating such digital promotions with Retailer iQ. If our projections regarding the adoption and usage of Retailer iQ by retailers, CPGs and consumers, do not occur or are slower than expected, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be harmed. A variety of factors could slow the success of Retailer iQ generally, including insufficient time, resources or funds committed by retailers to the implementation and promotion of Retailer iQ, a retailer’s decision to delay or forego launching or marketing Retailer iQ, our inability to obtain sufficient data rights to maximize the functionality of Retailer iQ, Quotient Insights, or QMX, our inability to monetize enhanced Retailer iQ functionality, and our inability to efficiently integrate Retailer iQ with a retailer’s system. Even if we are successful in driving the adoption and usage of Retailer iQ by retailers, CPGs and consumers, if Retailer iQ fee arrangements or transaction volumes, or the mix of offers, change or do not meet our projections, our revenues may be harmed. We expect that the market will evolve in ways which may be difficult to predict. It is also possible that digital coupon offerings generally could lose favor with CPGs, retailers or consumers. In the event of these or any other changes to the market, our continued success will depend on our ability to successfully adjust our strategy to meet the changing market dynamics. In addition, we will need to continue to grow demand for our digital promotions platform by CPGs, retailers and consumers, including through continued innovation and implementation of new initiatives associated with the digital coupons. For example, if consumer demand for our software-free print solution, cash-back receipt scanning solution, or our mobile application does not grow as we expect, our business may be harmed. If we are unable to grow or successfully respond to changes in the digital promotions market, our business could be harmed and our results of operations could be negatively impacted. For example, we are seeing a shift from digital paper coupons to digital paperless coupons. Our revenues may be harmed if we are unable to manage this transition and the growth of digital paperless coupons is slower than the decline in digital print coupons.

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We depend in part on data-rights agreements with our retailer partners to power a range of products and the termination of such agreements or the failure to obtain additional data rights can severely impact our revenue and growth.

Retailer iQ, Quotient Insights and QMX are powered in part by data we obtain from our retailer partners.  Our access to this data is governed by data-rights agreements with some of our retail partners.  These data-rights agreements have complex rules and are required to be renewed periodically.  If we fail to secure additional data rights, to renew expiring data-rights agreements, or if we are found to be in violation of any of our obligations under these agreements, we could lose access to retailer data.  Without retailer data, Retailer IQ, Quotient Analytics, QMX and our targeted media offerings would be less valuable to our CPG customers and retail partners.

We expect a number of factors to cause our operating results to fluctuate on a quarterly and annual basis, which may make it difficult to predict our future performance.

Historically, our revenue growth has varied from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year, and we expect that variability to continue. In addition, our operating costs and expenses have fluctuated in the past, and we anticipate that our costs and expenses will increase over time as we continue to invest in growing our business and incur additional costs of being a public company. Our operating results could vary significantly from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year as a result of these and other factors, many of which are outside of our control, and as a result we have a limited ability to forecast the amount of future revenues and expenses, which may adversely affect our ability to predict financial results accurately, and we expect our operating results to vary from quarter-to-quarter, which may cause results to fall below our estimates or the expectations of public market analysts and investors. Fluctuations in our quarterly operating results may lead analysts to change their long-term models for valuing our common stock, cause us to face short-term liquidity issues, impact our ability to retain or attract key personnel or cause other unanticipated issues, all of which could cause our stock price and the trading price of the convertible senior notes to decline. As a result of the potential variations in our quarterly revenues and operating results, we believe that quarter-to-quarter comparisons of our revenues and operating results may not be meaningful and the results of any one quarter or historical patterns should not be considered indicative of our future sales activity, expenditure levels or performance.

In addition to other factors discussed in this section, factors that may contribute to the variability of our quarterly and annual results include:

 

our ability to grow our revenues by increasing our share of CPG spending and the number of brands using our platform, including Retailer iQ, increasing media spending on our platform, further integrating with our retailers, adding new CPGs and retailers to our network and growing our current consumer base and expanding into new industry segments such as convenience, specialty/franchise retail, restaurants and entertainment;

 

our ability to successfully respond to changes in the digital promotions and media market and continue to grow the market and demand for our platform;

 

our ability to grow consumer selection and use of our digital promotion offerings and attract new consumers to our platform;

 

the amount and timing of digital promotions and marketing campaigns by CPGs, which are affected by budget cycles, economic conditions, seasonality and other factors;

 

the impact of global business or macroeconomic conditions, including the resulting effects on the level of coupon and trade promotion spending by CPGs and spending by consumers;

 

the impact of competitors or competitive products and services, and our ability to compete in the digital promotions market;

 

our ability to obtain and increase the number of high quality coupons;

 

changes in consumer behavior with respect to digital promotions and how consumers access digital coupons and our ability to develop applications that are widely accepted and generate revenues for CPGs, retailers and us;

 

the costs of investing, maintaining and enhancing our technology infrastructure;

 

the costs of developing new products and solutions and enhancements to our platform;

 

our ability to manage our growth, including scaling Retailer iQ, deploying and developing Quotient Insights, and growing QMX;

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the success of our sales and marketing efforts;

 

the costs of acquiring new companies which we anticipate will help us grow our business;

 

the costs of successfully integrating acquired companies and employees into our operations, including costs related to the integration of Crisp Mobile;

 

government regulation of e-commerce and m-commerce and requirements to comply with security and privacy laws and regulations affecting our business, and changes in government regulation affecting our business or our becoming subject to new government regulation;

 

our ability to deal effectively with fraudulent transactions or customer disputes;

 

the attraction and retention of qualified employees and key personnel, which can be affected by changes in U.S. immigration policies;

 

the effectiveness of our internal controls;

 

increased legal, accounting and compliance costs associated with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act if we do not retain our “emerging growth company” status under the Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act; and

 

changes in accounting rules, tax laws or interpretations thereof.

The effects of these factors individually or in combination could cause our quarterly and annual operating results to fluctuate, and affect our ability to forecast those results and our ability to achieve those forecasts. As a result, comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful. You should not rely on our past results as an indication of our future performance. This variability and unpredictability could also result in our failing to meet the expectations of our investors or financial analysts for any period. In addition, we may release guidance in our quarterly earnings conference calls, quarterly earnings releases, or otherwise, based on predictions of our management, which are necessarily uncertain in nature. Our guidance may vary materially from actual results. If our revenue or operating results, or the rate of growth of our revenue or operating results, fall below the expectations of our investors or financial analysts, or below any forecasts or guidance we may provide to the market, or if the forecasts we provide to the market are below the expectations of analysts or investors, the price of our common stock could decline substantially. Such a stock price decline could occur even when we have met our own or other publicly stated revenue or earnings forecasts. Our failure to meet our own or other publicly stated revenue or earnings forecasts, or even when we meet our own forecasts but fall short of analyst or investor expectations, could cause our stock price to decline and expose us to costly lawsuits, including securities class action suits. Such litigation against us could impose substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources.

Our gross margins are dependent on many factors, some of which are not directly controlled by the Company.

The factors potentially affecting our gross margins include:

 

our product mix since we have significant variations in our gross margin among products. Any substantial change in product mix could change our gross margin,

 

evolving fee arrangements, because as we continue to scale customers on Retailer IQ we will continue to experiment with various fee arrangements (including volume based fees) which might have an impact on our gross margins;

 

success of our pricing strategies, including our ROI-based pricing strategy; and

 

pricing and acceptance of higher-margin new products.

Our inability to control any one of these factors could negatively impact our gross margins and operating results.

If the distribution fees that we pay as a percentage of our revenues increase, our gross profit and business will be harmed.

When we deliver a digital coupon on a retailer’s website or mobile app or through its loyalty program, or the website or mobile app of a publisher, or through our Retailer iQ platform, and the consumer takes certain actions, we pay a distribution fee to the retailer or other publisher, which, in some cases may be prepaid prior to being incurred. Such fees have increased as a percentage of our revenues in recent periods. If such fees as a percentage of our revenues continue to increase, our cost of revenues as a percentage of revenues could increase and our operating results would be

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adversely affected. Additionally, if the adoption and usage of Retailer iQ does not meet projections, certain prepaid distribution fees with some of the retailers will not be recoverable and the distribution fee will increase as a percentage of revenue. During the third quarter of 2016, we recorded a one-time charge associated with certain distribution fees under an arrangement with a retailer partner that were deemed unrecoverable. We considered various factors in our assessment including our historical experience with the transaction volumes through the retailer and comparative retailers, ongoing communications with the retailer to increase its marketing efforts to promote the digital platform, as well as the projected revenues, and associated revenue share payments. Accordingly, during the third quarter of 2016, we recognized a loss of $7.4 million related to such distribution fee arrangement. At December 31, 2017 we had no prepaid non-refundable payments with our Retailer iQ partners.

If we fail to maintain and expand the use by consumers of digital coupons on our platform, our revenues and business will be harmed.

We must continue to maintain and expand the use by consumers of digital coupons in order to increase the attractiveness of our platform to CPGs and retailers and to increase revenues and achieve profitability. If consumers do not perceive that we offer a broad selection of relevant and high quality digital coupons, or that the usage of digital coupons is easy and convenient through our platform, we may not be able to attract or retain consumers on our platform. For instance, we are retiring our coupon printing software and if consumers who use that software do not move to our upgraded print solution or other products or their transition to our other products is slower than anticipated, our revenues could be adversely affected. Further, if there is increased competition for the trade promotions and marketing budgets of CPGs and retailers, the result could be increased pricing pressure. If we are unable to maintain and expand the use by consumers of digital coupons on our platform, including through our software-free print solution, updated Coupons.com mobile application and mobile cash back application, or if we do not do so to a greater extent than our competitors, CPGs may find that offering digital promotions on our platform does not reach consumers with the scale and effectiveness that is compelling to them. Likewise, if retailers find that using our platform, including Retailer iQ, does not increase sales of the promoted products and consumer loyalty to the retailer to the extent they expect, then the revenues we generate may not increase to the extent we expect or may decrease. Any of these would adversely affect our operating results.

If we are not successful in responding to changes in consumer behavior and do not develop products and solutions that are widely accepted and generate revenues, our results of operations and business could be adversely affected.

The methods by which consumers access digital coupons are varied and evolving. Our platform has been designed to engage consumers at the critical moments when they are choosing the products they will buy and where they will shop. Consumers can select our digital coupons both online through web and mobile and in-store. In order for us to maintain and increase our revenues, we must be a leading provider of digital coupons in each of the forms by which consumers access them. As consumer behavior in accessing digital coupons changes and new distribution channels emerge, if we do not successfully respond and do not develop products or solutions that are widely accepted and generate revenues we may be unable to retain consumers or attract new consumers and as a result, CPGs and retailers, and our business may suffer. As another example, we are seeing a transition from digital print coupons to digital paperless coupons. If we do not manage this transition and digital print transactions decline faster than digital paperless transactions increase, our revenues may be harmed.

Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to access our content, and if we are unsuccessful in expanding the capabilities of our digital coupon solutions for our mobile platforms to allow us to generate net revenues as effectively as our website platforms, our net revenues could decline.

Web usage and the consumption of digital content are increasingly shifting from desktop to mobile platforms such as smartphones. The growth of our business depends in part on our ability to drive engagement, activation and shopping behavior for our retailers and CPGs through these new mobile channels. Our success on mobile platforms will be dependent on our interoperability with popular mobile operating systems that we do not control, such as Android and iOS, and any changes in such systems that degrade our functionality, ease of convenience or that give preferential treatment to competitive services could adversely affect usage of our services through mobile devices.

Further, to deliver high quality mobile offerings, it is important that our platform integrates with a range of other mobile technologies, systems, networks and standards that we do not control. We may not be successful in developing relationships with key participants in the mobile industry or in developing products that operate effectively with these technologies, systems, networks or standards. If we fail to achieve success with our mobile applications and mobile website, or if we otherwise fail to deliver effective solutions to CPGs and retailers for mobile platforms and other emerging platforms, our ability to monetize these growth opportunities will be constrained, and our business, financial condition and operating results would be adversely affected.

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Our success on mobile platforms will also be dependent on our ability to develop features or products that will make our mobile platform attractive to, and drive engagement by, consumers. For example, we launched an updated Coupons.com mobile application in January 2017 providing enhanced functionality and features; however, there is no guarantee that consumers will adopt our mobile application or that it will result in increased engagement. If we fail to develop such features or products after investing in their development, our ability to monetize these growth opportunities will be constrained, and our business, financial condition and operating results would be adversely affected.

We depend in part on third-party advertising agencies as intermediaries, and if we fail to develop and maintain these relationships, our business may be harmed.

A growing portion of our business is conducted indirectly with third-party advertising agencies acting on behalf of CPGs and retailers. Third-party advertising agencies are instrumental in assisting CPGs and retailers to plan and purchase media and promotions, and each third-party advertising agency generally allocates media and promotion spend from CPGs and retailers across numerous channels. We are still developing relationships with, and do not have exclusive relationships with, third-party advertising agencies and we depend in part on third-party agencies to work with us as they embark on marketing campaigns for CPGs and retailers. While in most cases we have developed relationships directly with CPGs and retailers, we nevertheless depend in part on third-party advertising agencies to present to their CPG and retailer clients the merits of our platform. Inaccurate descriptions of our platform by third-party advertising agencies, over whom we have no control, negative recommendations regarding use of our service offerings or failure to mention our platform at all could hurt our business. In addition, if a third-party advertising agency is disappointed with our platform on a particular campaign or generally, we risk losing the business of the CPG or retailer for whom the campaign was run, and of other CPGs and retailers represented by that agency. Since many third-party advertising agencies are affiliated with other third-party agencies in a larger corporate structure, if we fail to develop and maintain good relations with one third-party advertising agency in such an organization, we may lose business from the affiliated third-party advertising agencies as well.

Our sales could be adversely impacted by industry changes relating to the use of third-party advertising agencies. For example, if CPGs or retailers seek to bring their campaigns in-house rather than using an agency, we would need to develop direct relationships with the CPGs or retailers, which we might not be able to do and which could increase our sales and marketing expenses. Moreover, to the extent that we do not have a direct relationship with CPGs or retailers, the value we provide to CPGs and retailers may be attributed to the third-party advertising agency rather than to us, further limiting our ability to develop long-term relationships directly with CPG and retailers. CPGs and retailers may move from one third-party advertising agency to another, and we may lose the underlying business. The presence of third-party advertising agencies as intermediaries between us and the CPGs and retailers thus creates a challenge to building our own brand awareness and affinity with the CPGs and retailers that are the ultimate source of our revenues. In addition, third-party advertising agencies conducting business with us may offer their own digital promotion solutions. As such, these third-party advertising agencies are, or may become, our competitors. If they further develop their own capabilities they may be more likely to offer their own solutions to advertisers, and our ability to compete effectively could be significantly compromised and our business, financial condition and operating results could be adversely affected.

Competition presents an ongoing threat to the success of our business.

We expect competition in digital promotions to continue to increase. The market for digital promotions is competitive, fragmented and rapidly changing. We compete against a variety of companies with respect to different aspects of our business, including:

 

traditional offline coupon and discount services, as well as newspapers, magazines and other traditional media companies that provide coupon promotions and discounts on products and services in free standing inserts or other forms, including Valassis Communications, Inc., News America Marketing Interactive, Inc. and Catalina Marketing Corporation;

 

providers of digital coupons such as Valassis’ Redplum.com, Catalina Marketing Corporation’s Cellfire, News America Marketing’s SmartSource., Inmar, You Technology, and companies that offer coupon codes such as RetailMeNot, Inc., Groupon, Inc., Exponential Interactive, Inc.’s TechBargains.com, Savings.com, Inc and Ebates Performance Marketing, Inc., companies that offer cash back solutions such as iBotta, Inc., and News America Marketing’s Checkout 51, and companies providing other e-commerce based services that allow consumers to obtain direct or indirect discounts on purchases;

 

Internet sites and blogs that are focused on specific communities or interests that offer coupons or discount arrangements related to such communities or interests;  

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companies offering online and marketing services to retailers and CPGs, such as MyWebGrocer, Inc. and Flipp Corp.; and

 

companies offering media services, such as Triad Media Inc. and Rich Relevance, Inc.  

We believe the principal factors that generally determine a company’s competitive advantage in our market include the following:

 

scale and effectiveness of reach in connecting CPGs and retailers to consumers in a digital manner, through web, mobile and other online properties;

 

ability to attract consumers to use digital coupons delivered by it;

 

platform security, scalability, reliability and availability;

 

number of channels by which a company engages with consumers;

 

integration of products and solutions;

 

rapid deployment of products and services for customers;

 

breadth, quality and relevance of the Company’s digital coupons;

 

ability to deliver high quality and increasing number of digital coupons that are widely available and easy to use in consumers’ preferred form;

 

integration with retailer applications and point of sales systems;

 

brand recognition and reputation;

 

quality of tools, reporting and analytics for planning, development and optimization of promotions; and

 

breadth and expertise of the Company’s sales organization.

We are subject to competition from large, well-established companies which have significantly greater financial, marketing and other resources than we do and have offerings that compete with our platform or may choose to offer digital promotions as an add-on to their core business on their own or in partnership with one of our competitors that would directly compete with ours. Many of our larger actual and potential competitors have the resources to significantly change the nature of the digital promotions industry to their advantage, which could materially disadvantage us. For example, Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Facebook and online retailers such as Amazon have highly trafficked industry platforms which they have leveraged, or could leverage, to distribute digital coupons or other digital promotions that could negatively affect our business. In addition, these potential competitors may be able to respond more quickly than we can to new or emerging technologies and changes in consumer habits. These competitors may engage in more extensive research and development efforts, undertake more far-reaching marketing campaigns and adopt more aggressive pricing policies, which may allow them to attract more consumers and, as a result, more CPGs and retailers, or generate revenues more effectively than we do. Our competitors may offer digital coupons that are similar to the digital coupons we offer or that achieve greater market acceptance than those we offer. We are also subject to competition from smaller companies that launch similar or new products and services that we do not offer and that could gain market acceptance.

Our success depends on the effectiveness of our platform in connecting CPGs and retailers with consumers and with attracting consumer use of the digital coupons delivered through our platform. To the extent we fail to provide digital coupons for high quality, relevant products, or otherwise fail to successfully reach consumers on their mobile device or elsewhere, consumers may become dissatisfied with our platform and decide not to use our digital coupons and elect to use the digital coupons distributed by one of our competitors. As a result of these factors, our CPGs and retailers may not receive the benefits they expect, and CPGs may use the offerings of one of our competitors, and retailers may elect to handle coupons themselves or exclude us from integrating with their in-store and point of sale systems or consumer channels, and our operating results would be adversely affected. Similarly, if retailers elect to use a competitive distribution network or platform, and we do not have, or fail to maintain, an agreement to distribute content through that network or platform, CPGs may elect to provide digital coupons directly to that network or platform, instead of through our platform. If retailers and CPGs require our platform to integrate with competitive offerings instead of using our products, we could lose some of our competitive advantage and our business could be harmed.

We also face significant competition for trade promotion and marketing spending. We compete against online and mobile businesses, including those referenced above, and traditional advertising outlets, such as television, radio and print, for trade promotion and marketing spending. In order to grow our revenues and improve our operating results, we

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must increase our share of CPG spending on digital coupons and media relative to traditional sources and relative to our competitors, many of whom are larger companies that offer more traditional and widely accepted media products.

We also directly and indirectly compete with retailers for consumer traffic. Many retailers market and offer their own digital coupons directly to consumers using their own websites, email newsletters and alerts, mobile applications and social media channels. Additionally, some retailers also market and offer their own digital coupons directly to consumers using our platform for which we earn no revenue.  Our retailers could be more successful than we are at marketing their own digital coupons and could decide to terminate their relationship with us.

We may face competition from companies we do not yet know about. If existing or new companies develop, market or offer competitive digital coupon solutions, acquire one of our existing competitors or form a strategic alliance with one of our competitors, our ability to compete effectively could be significantly compromised and our operating results could be harmed.

The success and scale of Retailer iQ depends, in part, on the level of commitment and support by retailers.  

If retailers do not commit sufficient time, resources and funds towards the marketing of their digital promotions and programs on Retailer iQ, the growth and scale of Retailer iQ and its penetration into the consumer market will be adversely affected. Further, the successful implementation of Retailer iQ requires integration with a retailer’s point of sales system, loyalty programs and consumer channels. These integration efforts require time and effort from both the retailer and ourselves, which also involves our working with third-party systems and solutions, some of whom may be our competitors. We may not be able to integrate and launch Retailer iQ with a retailer’s systems in a timely and efficient manner. If we are unable to successfully implement Retailer iQ, which includes increased consumer adoption of Retailer iQ, or it is not adopted, marketed and supported with sufficient resources by retailers, the success and scale of Retailer iQ will be adversely affected, impacting the recoverability of certain prepaid non-refundable payments with some of our retail partners and our revenues and business may suffer.

Acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic investments could result in operating difficulties, dilution and other harmful consequences.

We expect to evaluate and consider a wide array of potential strategic transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions of businesses, joint ventures, technologies, services, products and other assets and strategic investments. At any given time, we may be engaged in discussions or negotiations with respect to one or more of these types of transactions. Any of these transactions could be material to our financial condition and results of operations. We have limited experience managing acquisitions and integrating acquired businesses and our ability to successfully integrate acquisitions is unproven. The process of integrating any acquired business may create unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures and is itself risky. The areas where we may face difficulties include:

 

expected and unexpected costs incurred in identifying and pursuing strategic transactions and performing due diligence regarding potential strategic transactions that may or may not be successful;

 

failure of an acquired company to achieve anticipated revenue, earnings, cash flows or other desired technological and business goals;

 

effectiveness of our due diligence review and our ability to evaluate the results of such due diligence, which are dependent upon the accuracy and completeness of statements and disclosures made by the acquired company;

 

diversion of management time, as well as a shift of focus from operating the businesses to issues related to integration and administration;

 

the need to integrate the acquired company’s accounting, management, information, human resource and other administrative systems to permit effective management, and the lack of control if such integration is delayed or not implemented;

 

retention of key employees from the acquired company and cultural challenges associated with integrating employees from the acquired company into our organization;

 

the need to implement or improve controls, procedures and policies appropriate for a public company at companies that prior to acquisition had lacked such controls, procedures and policies;

 

in some cases, the need to transition operations and customers onto our existing platforms;

 

liability for activities of the acquired company before the acquisition, including violations of laws, rules and regulations, commercial disputes, tax liabilities and other known and unknown liabilities;

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write-offs or charges related to acquired assets or goodwill; and

 

litigation or other claims in connection with the acquired company, including claims from terminated employees, users, former stockholders or other third parties and intellectual property infringement claims.

For example, we have acquired businesses whose technologies are new to us and with which we did not have significant experience. We have made and are making investments of resources to support such acquisitions, which will result in ongoing operating expenses and may divert resources and management attention from other areas of our business. We cannot assure you that these investments and the integration of these acquisitions will be successful. If we fail to successfully integrate the companies we acquire, we may not realize the benefits expected from the transaction and our business may be harmed.

Our failure to address these risks or other problems encountered in connection with our past or future acquisitions and investments could cause us to fail to realize the anticipated benefits of any or all of our acquisitions or joint ventures, or we may not realize them in the time frame expected or cause us to incur unanticipated liabilities, and harm our business. Future acquisitions or joint ventures may require us to issue dilutive additional equity securities, spend a substantial portion of our available cash, incur debt or contingent liabilities, amortize expenses related to intangible assets or incur incremental operating expenses or write-offs of goodwill or impaired acquired intangible assets, which could adversely affect our results of operations and harm our business.

If we fail to effectively manage our growth, our business and financial performance may suffer.

We have significantly expanded our operations and anticipate expanding further to pursue our growth strategy. Such expansion increases the complexity of our business and places significant demands on our management, operations, technical performance, financial resources and internal control over financial reporting functions. Continued growth could strain our ability to deliver digital coupons and media on our platform, develop and improve our operational, financial, legal and management controls, and enhance our reporting systems and procedures. Failure to manage our expansion may limit our growth, damage our reputation and negatively affect our financial performance and harm our business.

To effectively manage this growth, we will need to continue to improve our operational, financial and management controls, and our reporting systems and procedures. If we do not effectively manage the growth of our business and operations the scalability of our business and our operating results could suffer.

Our current and planned personnel, systems, procedures and controls may not be adequate to support and effectively manage our future operations. We may not be able to hire, train, retain, motivate and manage required personnel. As we continue to grow, we must effectively integrate, develop and motivate a large number of new employees. We intend to continue to expand our research and development, sales and marketing, and general and administrative organizations, and over time, expand our international operations. To attract top talent, we have had to offer, and believe we will need to continue to offer, highly competitive compensation packages before we can validate the productivity of those employees. If we fail to effectively manage our hiring needs and successfully integrate our new hires, our efficiency and ability to meet our forecasts and our employee morale, productivity and retention could suffer, and our business and operating results could be adversely affected.

Providing our products and services to our CPGs, retailers and consumers is costly and we expect our expenses to continue to increase in the future as we grow our business with existing and new CPGs and retailers and develop new products and services that require enhancements to our technology infrastructure. In addition, our operating expenses, such as our sales, marketing and engineering expenses are expected to continue to grow to support our anticipated future growth. As a result of the requirements of being a public company we incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses. Our expenses may grow faster than our revenues, and our expenses may be greater than we anticipate. Managing our growth will require significant expenditures and allocation of valuable management resources. If we fail to achieve the necessary level of efficiency in our organization as it grows, our business, operating results and financial condition would be harmed.

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If we do not effectively grow and train our sales and media teams, we may be unable to grow our business with CPGs and retailers and our business will be adversely affected.

We continue to be dependent on our sales and media teams to obtain new CPGs and retailers and to drive sales from our existing CPGs and retailers. We believe that there is significant competition for sales and media personnel with the skills and technical knowledge that we require. Our ability to achieve significant revenue growth will depend, in large part, on our success in recruiting, training, integrating and retaining sufficient numbers of sales and media personnel to support our growth. New hires require significant training and it may take time before they achieve full productivity. Our recent hires and planned hires may not become productive as quickly as we expect, and we may be unable to hire or retain sufficient numbers of qualified individuals in the markets where we do business or plan to do business. In addition, if we continue to grow rapidly, a large percentage of our sales and media teams will be new to the Company and our solution. If we are unable to hire and train sufficient numbers of effective sales and media personnel, or the sales and media personnel are not successful in obtaining new CPGs and retailers or increasing sales to our existing CPGs and retailers, our business will be adversely affected.

Our sales cycle with new CPGs and retailers is long and unpredictable and may require us to incur expenses before executing a customer agreement, which makes it difficult to project when, if at all, we will obtain new CPGs and retailers and when we will generate additional revenues from those customers.

We market our services and products directly to CPGs and retailers. New CPG and retailer relationships typically take time to obtain and finalize. A significant time period may pass between selection of our services and products by key decision-makers and the signing of a contract. The length of time between the initial sales call and the realization of a final contract is difficult to predict. As a result, it is difficult to predict when we will obtain new CPGs and retailers and when performance and delivery of services will be initiated with these potential CPGs and retailers. As part of our sales cycle, we may incur significant expenses before executing a definitive agreement with a prospective CPG or retailer and before we are able to generate any revenues from such agreement. If conditions in the marketplace generally or with a specific prospective CPG or retailer change negatively, it is possible that no definitive agreement will be executed, and we will be unable to recover any expenses incurred before a definitive agreement is executed, which would in turn have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business depends on our ability to maintain and scale the network infrastructure necessary to operate our platform, including our websites, mobile applications and Retailer iQ platform, and any significant disruption in service could result in a loss of CPGs, retailers and consumers.

We deliver digital coupons via our platform, including over our websites and mobile applications, as well as through those of our CPGs and retailers and our publishers and other third parties. Our reputation and ability to acquire, retain and serve CPGs and retailers, as well as consumers who use digital coupons or view media on our platform are dependent upon the reliable performance of our platform. As the number of our CPG customers, retailers and consumers and the number of digital promotions and information shared through our platform continue to grow, we will need an increasing amount of network capacity and computing power. Our technology infrastructure is hosted across two data centers in co-location facilities in California and Nevada. In addition, we use two other co-location facilities in California and Virginia to host our Retailer iQ platform. We have spent and expect to continue to spend substantial amounts in our data centers and equipment and related network infrastructure to handle the traffic on our platform. The operation of these systems is expensive and complex and could result in operational failures. In the event that the number of transactions or the amount of traffic on our platform grows more quickly than anticipated, we may be required to incur significant additional costs. Interruptions in these systems or service disruptions, whether due to system failures, computer viruses, malware, ransomware, denial of service attacks, attempts to degrade or disrupt services, or physical or electronic break-ins, could affect the security or availability of our websites and platform, and prevent CPGs, retailers or consumers from accessing our platform. A substantial portion of our network infrastructure is hosted by third-party providers. Any disruption in these services or any failure of these providers to handle existing or increased traffic could significantly harm our business. Any financial or other difficulties these providers face may adversely affect our business, and we exercise little control over these providers, which increases our vulnerability to problems with the services they provide. If we do not maintain or expand our network infrastructure successfully or if we experience operational failures, we could lose current and potential CPGs and retailers and consumers, which could harm our operating results and financial condition.

If our websites or those of our publishers fail to rank prominently in unpaid search results from search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing, traffic to our websites could decline and our business would be adversely affected.

Our success depends in part on our ability to attract consumers through unpaid Internet search results on search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. The number of consumers we attract to our websites from search engines is due in

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large part to how and where our websites rank in unpaid search results. These rankings can be affected by a number of factors, many of which are not in our direct control, and they may change frequently. For example, major search engines frequently modify their ranking algorithms, methodologies or design layouts. As a result, links to our websites may not be prominent enough to drive traffic to our websites or we may receive less favorable placement which could reduce traffic to our website, and we may not know how or otherwise be in a position to influence the results. In some instances, search engine companies may change these rankings in order to promote their own competing products or services or the products or services of one or more of our competitors. Our websites have experienced fluctuations in search result rankings in the past, and we anticipate fluctuations in the future. For example, the search result rankings of our websites have fallen relative to the same time last year. In addition, websites must comply with search engine guidelines and policies. These guidelines and policies are complex and may change at any time. If we fail to follow such guidelines and policies properly, search engines may rank our content lower in search results or could remove our content altogether from their index. Moreover, the use of voice recognition technology, such as Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri, may drive traffic away from search engines, which could reduce traffic to our website. Any reduction in the number of consumers directed to our websites could reduce the effectiveness of our coupon codes for specialty retailers and digital promotions for CPGs and retailers and could adversely impact our business and results of operations. It could also reduce our ability to sell media advertising on our sites, which would negatively impact revenues and harm our business.

If we fail to continue to obtain and increase the number of high quality coupons through our platform, our revenue growth or our revenues may be harmed.

We generally generate revenues as consumers select, or activate, a digital coupon through our platform. Our business model depends upon the availability of high quality and increasing number of digital coupons. CPGs and retailers have a variety of channels through which to promote their products and services. If CPGs and retailers elect to distribute their digital coupons through other channels or not to promote digital coupons at all, or if our competitors are willing to accept lower prices than we are, our ability to obtain high quality digital coupons available on our platform may be impeded and our business, financial condition and operating results will be adversely affected. If we cannot maintain sufficient digital coupons inventory to offer through our platform, consumers may perceive our service as less relevant, consumer traffic to our websites and those of our publishers will decline and, as a result, CPGs and retailers may decrease their use of our platform to deliver digital coupons and our revenue growth or revenues may be harmed.

Our business relies in part on electronic messaging, including emails and SMS text messages, and any technical, legal or other restrictions on the sending of electronic messages or an inability to timely deliver such communications could harm our business.

Our business is in part dependent upon electronic messaging. We provide emails, mobile alerts and other messages to consumers informing them of the digital coupons on our websites, and we believe these communications help generate a significant portion of our revenues. We also use electronic messaging, in part, as part of the consumer sign-up and verification process. Because electronic messaging services are important to our business, if we are unable to successfully deliver electronic messages to consumers, if there are legal restrictions on delivering these messages to consumers, or if consumers do not or cannot open our messages, our revenues and profitability could be adversely affected. Changes in how webmail applications or other email management tools organize and prioritize email may result in our emails being delivered or routed to a less prominent location in a consumer’s inbox or viewed as “spam” by consumers and may reduce the likelihood of that consumer opening our emails. Actions taken by third parties that block, impose restrictions on or charge for the delivery of electronic messages could also harm our business. From time to time, Internet service providers or other third parties may block bulk email transmissions or otherwise experience technical difficulties that result in our inability to successfully deliver emails or other messages to consumers.

Changes in laws or regulations, or changes in interpretations of existing laws or regulations, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, “or the TCPA” in the United States and laws regarding commercial electronic messaging in other jurisdictions, that would limit our ability to send such communications or impose additional requirements upon us in connection with sending such communications could also adversely impact our business. For example, the Federal Communications Commission amended certain of its regulations under the TCPA in recent years in a manner that could increase our exposure to liability for certain types of telephonic communication with customers, including but not limited to text messages to mobile phones. Under the TCPA, plaintiffs may seek actual monetary loss or statutory damages of $500 per violation, whichever is greater, and courts may treble the damage award for willful or knowing violations. Given the enormous number of communications we send to consumers, a determination that there have been violations of the TCPA or other communications-based statutes could expose us to significant damage awards that could, individually or in the aggregate, materially harm our business. Moreover, even if we prevail, such litigation against us could impose substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources.

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We also rely on social networking messaging services to send communications. Changes to these social networking services’ terms of use or terms of service that limit promotional communications, restrictions that would limit our ability or our customers’ ability to send communications through their services, disruptions or downtime experienced by these social networking services or reductions in the use of or engagement with social networking services by customers and potential customers could also harm our business.

We rely on a third-party service for the delivery of daily emails and other forms of electronic communication, and delay or errors in the delivery of such emails or other messaging we send may occur and be beyond our control, which could damage our reputation or harm our business, financial condition and operating results. If we were unable to use our current electronic messaging services, alternate services are available; however, we believe our sales could be impacted for some period as we transition to a new provider, and the new provider may be unable to provide equivalent or satisfactory electronic messaging service. Any disruption or restriction on the distribution of our electronic messages, termination or disruption of our relationship with our messaging service providers, including our third-party service that delivers our daily emails, or any increase in our costs associated with our email and other messaging activities could harm our business.

We are dependent on technology systems and electronic communications networks that are supplied and managed by third parties, which could result in our inability to prevent or respond to disruptions in our services.

Our ability to provide services to consumers depends on our ability to communicate with CPGs, retailers and customers through the public Internet and electronic networks that are owned and operated by third parties. Our products and services also depend on the ability of our users to access the public Internet. In addition, in order to provide services promptly, our computer equipment and network servers must be functional 24 hours per day, which requires access to telecommunications facilities managed by third parties and the availability of electricity, which we do not control. A severe disruption of one or more of these networks, including as a result of utility or third-party system interruptions, could impair our ability to process information, which could impede our ability to provide digital promotions to consumers, harm our reputation, result in a loss of customers or CPGs and retailers and adversely affect our business and operating results.

If our security measures are compromised or information we collect and maintain otherwise is compromised or publicly exposed, CPGs, retailers and consumers may curtail or stop using our platform.

We collect and maintain data about consumers, including personally identifiable information, as well as other confidential or proprietary information. Like all businesses that use computer systems and the Internet, our security measures, and those of our third-party service providers, may not detect or prevent all attempts to hack our systems, denial-of-service attacks, viruses, malicious software, break-ins, phishing attacks, social engineering, security breaches or other attacks and similar disruptions that may jeopardize the security of information stored in or transmitted by our systems or solutions or that we or our third-party service providers otherwise maintain, including payment systems, any of which could lead to interruptions, delays, or website shutdowns, causing loss of critical data or the unauthorized disclosure or use of personally identifiable or other confidential information, or subject us to fines or higher transaction fees or limit or result in the termination of our access to certain payment methods. If we experience compromises to our security that result in performance or availability problems, the complete shutdown of one or more of our websites and mobile applications or the loss or unauthorized access to or disclosure of confidential information, CPGs, retailers, and consumers may lose trust and confidence in us and decrease their use of our platform or stop using our platform entirely.

Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access are often sophisticated and change frequently, neither we nor third-party service providers can guarantee that our systems will not be breached. In addition, consumer information including email addresses, phone numbers and data on consumer usage of our websites and mobile applications could be hacked, hijacked, altered or otherwise claimed or controlled by unauthorized persons. Security breaches can also occur as a result of nontechnical issues, including intentional or inadvertent breaches by our employees or by persons with whom we have commercial relationships. Any or all of these issues, or the perception that any of them has occurred, even if inaccurate, could negatively impact our reputation and our ability to attract and retain CPGs and retailers as well as consumers or could reduce the frequency with which our platform is used, cause existing or potential CPG or retailer customers to cancel their contracts or subject us to third-party lawsuits, regulatory fines or other action or liability, thereby harming our results of operations.

Remediation of any potential cyber security breach may involve significant time, resources, and expenses, which may result in potential regulatory inquiries, litigation or other investigations, and can affect our financial and operational condition.  

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Failure to deal effectively with fraudulent or other improper transactions could harm our business.

Digital coupons are issued in the form of redeemable coupons or coupon codes with unique identifiers. It is possible that third parties may create counterfeit digital coupons or coupon codes or exceed print or use limits in order to fraudulently or improperly claim discounts or credits for redemption. It is possible that individuals will circumvent our anti-fraud systems using increasingly sophisticated methods or methods that our anti-fraud systems are not able to counteract. Further, we may not detect any of these unauthorized activities in a timely manner. Third parties who succeed in circumventing our anti-fraud systems may sell the fraudulent or fraudulently obtained digital coupons on social networks, which would damage our brand and relationships with CPGs and harm our business. Legal measures we take or attempt to take against these third parties may be costly and may not be ultimately successful. In addition, our service could be subject to employee fraud or other internal security breaches, and we may be required to reimburse CPGs and retailers for any funds stolen or revenues lost as a result of such breaches. Our CPGs and retailers could also request reimbursement, or stop using digital coupons, if they are affected by buyer fraud or other types of fraud. We may incur significant losses from fraud and counterfeit digital coupons. If our anti-fraud technical and legal measures do not succeed, our business will suffer.

Factors adversely affecting performance marketing programs and our relationships with performance marketing networks and brand partners, or the termination of these relationships, may adversely affect our ability to attract and retain merchants and our coupon codes business.

A portion of our business is based upon consumers using coupon codes from specialty retailers in connection with the purchase of goods or services. The commissions we earn for coupon codes accessed through our platform are tracked by performance marketing networks. Third-party performance marketing networks provide publishers with affiliate tracking links that allow for revenues to be attributed to publishers. When a consumer executes a purchase on a publisher’s website as a result of a performance marketing program, most performance marketing conversion tracking tools credit the most recent link or ad clicked by the consumer prior to that purchase. This practice is generally known as “last-click attribution.” We generate revenues through transactions for which we receive last-click attribution. Risks that may adversely affect our performance marketing programs and our relationships with performance marketing networks include the following, some of which are outside our control:

 

we may not be able to adapt to changes in the way in which CPGs and merchants attribute credit to us in their performance marketing programs, whether it be “first-click attribution” or “multichannel attribution,” which applies weighted values to each of a retailer’s advertisements and tracks how each of those advertisements contributed to a purchase, or otherwise;

 

we may not receive revenue if consumers make purchases from their mobile devices as many retailers currently do not recognize affiliate tracking links on their mobile-optimized websites or applications, and tracking mechanisms on mobile websites or applications may not function to allow retailers to properly attribute sales to us;

 

we may not generate revenue if consumers use mobile devices for shopping research but make purchases using coupon codes found on our sites in ways where we do not get credit;

 

refund rates for products delivered on merchant sites may be greater than we estimate;

 

performance marketing networks may not provide accurate and timely reporting on which we rely, we could fail to properly recognize and report revenues and misstate financial reports, projections and budgets and misdirect our advertising, marketing and other operating efforts for a portion of our business;

 

we primarily rely on a small number of performance marketing networks in non-exclusive arrangements, the loss of which could adversely affect our coupon codes business;

 

we primarily rely, in connection with our search engine marketing business, on a small number of brand partners that work with us in non-exclusive arrangements, the loss of which could adversely affect our coupon codes business;

 

industry changes relating to the use of performance marketing networks could adversely impact our commission revenues;

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to the extent performance marketing networks serve as intermediaries between us and merchants, it may create challenges to building our own brand awareness and affinity with merchants, and the termination of our relationship with the performance marketing networks would terminate our ability to receive payments from merchants we service through that network; and

 

performance marketing networks may compete with us.

While coupon codes from specialty retailers represent a declining portion of our business, any of these risks could adversely affect our revenues in this area.

Our business is subject to complex and evolving laws, regulations and industry standards, and unfavorable interpretations of, or changes in, or failure by us to comply with these laws, regulations and industry standards could substantially harm our business and results of operations.

We are subject to a variety of federal, state, local and municipal laws, regulations and industry standards that relate to privacy, electronic communications, data protection, intellectual property, e-commerce, competition, price discrimination, consumer protection, taxation, and the use of promotions. Many of these laws, regulations, and standards are still evolving and being tested in courts and industry standards are still developing. Our business, including our ability to operate and expand, could be adversely affected if legislation, regulations or industry standards are adopted, interpreted or implemented in a manner that is inconsistent with our current business practices and that require changes to these practices or the design of our platform. Existing and future laws, regulations and industry standards could restrict our operations, and our ability to retain or increase our CPGs and retailers and consumers’ use of digital promotions delivered on our platform may be adversely affected and we may not be able to maintain or grow our revenues as anticipated.

If the use of third-party cookies is rejected by Internet users, restricted by third parties outside of our control, or otherwise subject to unfavorable regulation, our performance could decline and we could lose customers and revenue.

We use small text files (referred to as "cookies"), placed through an Internet browser on an Internet user's computer and correspond to a data set that we keep on our servers, to gather important data to help deliver our solution. Certain of our cookies, including those that we predominantly use in delivering our solution, are known as "third-party" cookies because they are delivered where we do not have a direct relationship with the Internet user. Our cookies collect anonymous information, such as when an Internet user views an advertisement, clicks on an advertisement, or visits one of our advertisers' websites. On mobile devices, we may also obtain location based information about the user's device through our cookies. We use these cookies to achieve our customers' campaign goals, to ensure that the same Internet user does not unintentionally see the same media too frequently, to report aggregate information to our customers regarding the performance of their digital promotions and marketing campaigns, and to detect and prevent fraudulent activity throughout our network. We also use data from cookies to help us decide whether and how much to bid on an opportunity to place an advertisement in a certain Internet location and at a given time in front of a particular Internet user. A lack of data associated with or obtained from cookies may significantly detract from our ability to make decisions about which inventory to purchase for an advertiser's campaign and may undermine the effectiveness of our solution and harm our business.

Cookies may easily be deleted or blocked by Internet users. All of the most commonly used Internet browsers (including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari) allow Internet users to prevent cookies from being accepted by their browsers. Internet users can also delete cookies from their computers at any time. Some Internet users also download "ad blocking" software that prevents cookies from being stored on a user's computer. If more Internet users adopt these settings or delete their cookies more frequently than they currently do, our business could be harmed. In addition, the Safari browser blocks third-party cookies by default, the developers of the Firefox browser have announced that a future version of the Firefox browser will also block third-party cookies by default, and other browsers may do so in the future. Unless such default settings in browsers were altered by Internet users to permit the placement of third-party cookies, we would be able to set fewer of our cookies in users’ browsers, which could adversely affect our business. In addition, companies such as Google have publicly disclosed their intention to move away from cookies to another form of persistent unique identifier, or ID, to identify individual Internet users or Internet-connected devices in the bidding process on advertising exchanges. If companies do not use shared IDs across the entire ecosystem, this could have a negative impact on our ability to find the same anonymous user across different web properties, and reduce the effectiveness of our solution.

In addition, in the European Union, or EU, Directive 2009/136/EC, commonly referred to as the "Cookie Directive," directs EU member states to ensure that accessing information on an Internet user's computer, such as through a cookie, is allowed only if the Internet user has appropriately given his or her consent. Additionally, an ePrivacy Regulation, which

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would replace the Cookie Directive with requirements that would be stricter in certain respects, apply directly to activities within the EU, and would impose stricter requirements and additional penalties for noncompliance, has been proposed, although at this time it is unclear whether it will be approved or when its requirements would be effective. We may experience challenges in obtaining appropriate consent to our use of cookies from consumers within the EU, which may affect our operating results and business in European markets, and we may not be able to develop or implement additional tools that compensate for the lack of data associated with cookies. Moreover, even if we are able to do so, such additional tools may be subject to further regulation, time consuming to develop or costly to obtain, and less effective than our current use of cookies.  

Failure to comply with federal, state and international privacy, data protection, marketing and consumer protection laws, regulations and industry standards, or the expansion of current or the enactment or adoption of new privacy, data protection, marketing and consumer protection laws, regulations or industry standards, could adversely affect our business.

We are subject to a variety of federal, state and international laws, regulations and industry standards regarding privacy, data protection, data security, marketing and consumer protection, which address the collection, storing, sharing, using, processing, disclosure and protection of data relating to individuals, as well as the tracking of consumer behavior and other consumer data. Many of these laws, regulations and industry standards are changing and may be subject to differing interpretations, costly to comply with or inconsistent among countries and jurisdictions. For example, the Federal Trade Commission, or the FTC, expects companies like ours to comply with guidelines issued under the Federal Trade Commission Act that govern the collection, use, disclosure, and storage of consumer information, and establish principles relating to notice, consent, access and data integrity and security. The laws and regulations in many foreign countries relating to privacy, data protection, data security, marketing and consumer protection often are more restrictive than in the United States, and may in some cases be interpreted to have a greater scope. Additionally, the laws, regulations and industry standards, both foreign and domestic, relating to privacy, data protection, data security, marketing and consumer protection are dynamic and may be expanded or replaced by new laws, regulations or industry standards. We believe our policies and practices comply in all material respects with applicable privacy, data protection, data security, marketing and consumer protection guidelines, laws and regulations. However, if our belief is incorrect, or if these guidelines, laws or regulations or their interpretation change or new legislation or regulations are enacted, we may be compelled to provide additional disclosures to our consumers, obtain additional consents from our consumers before collecting, using, or disclosing their information or implement new safeguards to help our consumers manage our use of their information, among other changes.

Various industry standards on privacy have been developed and are expected to continue to develop, which may be adopted by industry participants at any time. We are subject to the terms of our privacy policies and obligations to third parties relating to privacy, data protection and data security, including contractual obligations relating to privacy rights, data protection, data use and data security measures. Certain of our solutions, including Retailer iQ and Quotient Insights, depend in part on our ability to use data that we obtain in connection with our offerings, and our ability to use this data may be subject to restrictions in our commercial agreements and subject to the privacy policies of the entities that provide us with this data. Our failure to adhere to these third-party restrictions on data use may result in claims, proceedings or actions against us by our business counterparties or other parties, or other liabilities, including loss of business, reputational damage, and remediation costs, which could adversely affect our business.

We strive to comply with applicable laws, policies, contractual and other legal obligations and certain applicable industry standards of conduct relating to privacy, data security, data protection, marketing and consumer protection. However, these obligations and standards of conduct often are complex and difficult to comply with fully, and it is possible that these obligations and standards of conduct may be interpreted and applied in new ways and/or in a manner that is inconsistent with each other or that new laws, regulations or other obligations may be enacted. It is possible that our practices may be argued or held to conflict with applicable laws, policies, contractual or other legal obligations, or applicable industry standards of conduct relating to privacy, data security, data protection, marketing or consumer protection. Any failure, or perceived failure, by us to comply with our posted privacy policies or with any data-related consent orders, FTC, other regulatory requirements or orders or other federal, state or, as we continue to expand internationally, international privacy, data security, data protection, marketing or consumer protection-related laws, regulations, contractual obligations or self-regulatory principles or other industry standards could result in claims, proceedings or actions against us by governmental entities or others or other liabilities or could result in a loss of consumers using our digital coupons or loss of CPGs and retailers. Any of these circumstances could adversely affect our business. Further, if third parties we work with violate applicable laws, our policies or other privacy-related obligations, such violations may also put our consumers’ information at risk and could in turn have an adverse effect on our business.

With respect to personal data transfers from the European Economic Area, or EEA, we have previously relied on compliance with the U.S.-EU and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks as agreed to and set forth by the U.S. Department

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of Commerce, and the EU and Switzerland, which legitimized the transfer of personally identifiable information by U.S. companies doing business in Europe from the EEA and Switzerland to the U.S. In October 2015, a decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union, or CECJ, deemed the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework an invalid method of compliance with restrictions set forth in the Data Protection Directive (and member states’ implementations thereof) regarding the transfer of data outside of the EEA. U.S. and EU authorities reached a political agreement in February 2016 regarding a new means for legitimizing personal data transfers from the EEA to the U.S., the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. It is unclear, however whether the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield will serve as an appropriate means for us to legitimize personal data transfers from the EEA and Switzerland to the U.S. We have engaged in certain actions in an effort to legitimize our transfers of personal data from Europe to the U.S., and we anticipate engaging in additional activities in an effort to do so going forward. We may continue to be unsuccessful in establishing legitimate means of transferring all personal data from Europe to the U.S., we may experience reluctance or refusal by European consumers, retailers or CPGs to continue to use our solutions due to the potential risk exposure to such individuals and organizations as a result of the CECJ’s ruling, and we and our CPG and retailer partners are at risk of enforcement actions taken by an European data protection authority until we ensure that all applicable data transfers to us from the EEA and Switzerland are legitimized. In addition, legislators in the EU recently adopted the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, a new regulation set to become effective in May 2018 that will supersede the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, and include more stringent operational requirements for processors and controllers of personal data, including payment card information, and impose significant penalties for non-compliance of up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of global annual revenues. Additionally, in June 2016, United Kingdom voters approved an exit from the EU, commonly referred to as “Brexit,” which could also lead to further legislative and regulatory changes. In March 2017, the United Kingdom began the process to leave the EU by April 2019.  A Data Protection Bill has been introduced to the United Kingdom’s House of Lords that proposes to substantially implement the GDPR.  Nevertheless, the Data Protection Bill must complete the legislative process, so it remains unclear what modifications will be made to the final legislation. We may incur liabilities, expenses, costs, and other operational losses when the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Bill are effective and in connection with any measures we take to comply with them.

We expect that there will continue to be new proposed laws, regulations and industry standards concerning privacy, data protection and information security in the United States and other jurisdictions, and we cannot yet determine the impact such future laws, regulations and standards may have on our business. Future laws, regulations, standards and other obligations could, for example, impair our ability to collect or use information that we utilize to provide targeted digital promotions and media to consumers, CPGs and retailers, thereby impairing our ability to maintain and grow our total customers and increase revenues. Future restrictions on the collection, use, sharing or disclosure of our users’ data or additional requirements for express or implied consent of users for the use and disclosure of such information could require us to modify our solutions, possibly in a material manner, and could limit our ability to develop new solutions and features. Any such new laws, regulations, other legal obligations or industry standards, or any changed interpretation of existing laws, regulations or other standards may require us to incur additional costs and restrict our business operations.  If our measures fail to comply with current or future laws, regulations, policies, legal obligations or industry standards relating to privacy, data protection, data security, marketing or consumer protection, we may be subject to litigation, regulatory investigations, fines or other liabilities, as well as negative publicity and a potential loss of business. Moreover, if future laws, regulations, other legal obligations or industry standards, or any changed interpretations of the foregoing limit our users’ or CPGs’ or retailers’ ability to use and share personally identifiable information or our ability to store, process and share personally identifiable information or other data, demand for our solutions could decrease, our costs could increase, our revenue growth could slow, and our business, financial condition and operating results could be harmed.

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

Our agreements with CPGs, retailers and other third parties may include indemnification provisions under which we agree to indemnify them for losses suffered or incurred as a result of claims of intellectual property infringement or other liabilities relating to or arising from our products, services or other contractual obligations. The term of these indemnity provisions generally survives termination or expiration of the applicable agreement. Large indemnity payments could harm our business.

We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property rights

We regard our trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents, trade dress, trade secrets, proprietary technology, and similar intellectual property as critical to our success.

We strive to protect our intellectual property rights in a number of jurisdictions, a process that is expensive and may not be successful or which we may not pursue in every location. We strive to protect our intellectual property rights by relying

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on federal, state and common law rights, contractual restrictions as well as rights provided under foreign laws. These laws are subject to change at any time and could further restrict our ability to protect our intellectual property rights.

We also may not be able to acquire or maintain appropriate domain names in all countries in which we do business. Furthermore, regulations governing domain names may not protect our trademarks and similar proprietary rights. We may be unable to prevent third parties from acquiring domain names that are similar to, infringe upon, or diminish the value of our trademarks and other proprietary rights.

We typically enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and contractors, and confidentiality agreements with parties with whom we conduct business in order to limit access to, and disclosure and use of, our proprietary information. Also, from time to time, we make our intellectual property rights available to others under license agreements. However, these contractual arrangements and the other steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property may not prevent the misappropriation or disclosure of our proprietary information, infringement of our intellectual property rights or deter independent development of similar technologies by others and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of such misappropriation or infringement. Third parties that license our proprietary rights also may take actions that diminish the value of our proprietary rights or reputation.

Obtaining and maintaining effective intellectual property rights is expensive, including the costs of defending our rights. Even where we have such rights, they may be later found to be unenforceable or have a limited scope of enforceability. We may not be able to discover or determine the extent of any unauthorized use of our proprietary rights. Litigation may be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights, protect our respective trade secrets or determine the validity and scope of proprietary rights claimed by others. Any litigation of this nature, regardless of outcome or merit, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management and technical resources, any of which could adversely affect our business and operating results. If we fail to maintain, protect and enhance our intellectual property rights, our business and operating results may be harmed.

We may be accused of infringing intellectual property rights of third parties.

Other parties may claim that we infringe their proprietary rights. We are, have been subject to, and expect to continue to be subject to, claims and legal proceedings regarding alleged infringement by us of the intellectual property rights of third parties. Such claims, whether or not meritorious, may result in the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources, injunctions against us, or the payment of damages, including to satisfy indemnification obligations. We may need to obtain licenses from third parties who allege that we have infringed their rights, but such licenses may not be available on terms acceptable to us or at all. In addition, we may not be able to obtain or utilize on terms that are favorable to us, or at all, licenses or other rights with respect to intellectual property we do not own. These risks have been amplified by the increase in third parties whose sole or primary business is to assert such claims.

We may be unable to continue to use the domain names that we use in our business, or prevent third parties from acquiring and using domain names that infringe on, are similar to, or otherwise decrease the value of our brand or our trademarks or service marks.

We may lose significant brand equity in our “Coupons.com” domain name, our “Quotient.com” domain name, and other valuable domain names. If we lose the ability to use a domain name, whether due to trademark claims, failure to renew an applicable registration, or any other cause, we may be forced to market our products under new domain names, which could cause us substantial harm, or to incur significant expense in order to purchase rights to the domain names in question. In addition, our competitors and others could attempt to capitalize on our brand recognition by using domain names similar to ours. We also may not be able to acquire or maintain appropriate domain names or trademarks in all countries in which we do business.  Domain names similar to ours have been registered in the United States and elsewhere. We may be unable to prevent third parties from acquiring and using domain names that infringe on, are similar to, or otherwise decrease the value of our brand or our trademarks or service marks. Protecting and enforcing our rights in our domain names may require litigation, which could result in substantial costs and diversion of management’s attention and harm our business.

Our business depends on strong brands, and if we are not able to maintain and enhance our brands, or if we receive unfavorable media coverage, our ability to retain and expand our number of CPGs, retailers and consumers will be impaired and our business and operating results will be harmed.

We believe that the brand identity that we have developed has significantly contributed to the success of our business. We also believe that maintaining and enhancing our brands are critical to expanding our base of CPGs, retailers and consumers. Maintaining and enhancing our brands may require us to make substantial investments and these

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investments may not be successful. If we fail to promote and maintain our brands, or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our business would be harmed. We anticipate that, as our market becomes increasingly competitive, maintaining and enhancing our brands may become increasingly difficult and expensive. Maintaining and enhancing our brands will depend on our ability to continue to provide sufficient quantities of reliable, trustworthy and high quality digital coupons, which we may not do successfully.

Unfavorable publicity or consumer perception of our websites, platform, practices or service offerings, or the offerings of our CPGs and retailers, could adversely affect our reputation, resulting in difficulties in recruiting, decreased revenues and a negative impact on the number of CPGs and retailers we feature and our user base, the loyalty of our consumers and the number and variety of digital coupons we offer. As a result, our business could be harmed.  

Some of our solutions contain open source software, which may pose particular risks to our proprietary software and solutions.

We use open source software in our solutions and will use open source software in the future. From time to time, we may face claims from third parties claiming ownership of, or demanding release of, the open source software and/or derivative works that we developed using such software (which could include our proprietary source code), or otherwise seeking to enforce the terms of the applicable open source license. These claims could result in litigation and could require us to purchase a costly license or cease offering the implicated solutions unless and until we can re-engineer them to avoid infringement. This re-engineering process could require significant additional research and development resources. In addition to risks related to license requirements, use of certain open source software can lead to greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or controls on the origin of software. Any of these risks could be difficult to eliminate or manage, and, if not addressed, could have a negative effect on our business and operating results.

We may be required to record a significant charge to earnings if our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets become impaired.

We are required under GAAP to review our amortizable intangible assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Goodwill is required to be tested for impairment at least annually. Conditions that would necessitate an impairment assessment include a significant decline in the observable market value of an asset, a significant change in the extent or manner in which an asset is used, or any other significant adverse change that would indicate that the carrying amount of an asset or group of assets may not be recoverable. The events and circumstances we consider include the business climate, legal factors, operating performance indicators and competition. In the future we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings in our consolidated financial statements during the period in which any impairment of our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets is determined. This could adversely impact our results of operations and harm our business.

If we fail to expand effectively in international markets, our revenues and our business may be harmed.

We currently generate almost all of our revenues from the United States. We also operate to a limited extent in the United Kingdom, France and other countries in Europe. Many CPGs and retailers on our platform have global operations and we plan to grow our operations and offerings through expansion in existing international markets and by partnering with our CPGs and retailers to enter new geographies that are important to them. Further expansion into international markets will require management attention and resources and we have limited experience entering new geographic markets. Entering new foreign markets will require us to localize our services to conform to a wide variety of local cultures, business practices, laws and policies. The different commercial and Internet infrastructure in other countries may make it more difficult for us to replicate our business model. In some countries, we will compete with local companies that understand the local market better than we do, and we may not benefit from first-to-market advantages. We may not be successful in expanding into particular international markets or in generating revenues from foreign operations. As we expand internationally, we will be subject to risks of doing business internationally, including the following:

 

competition with strong local competitors and preference for local providers, or foreign companies entering the same markets;

 

the cost and resources required to localize our platform;

 

burdens of complying with a wide variety of different laws and regulations, including intellectual property laws and regulation of digital coupon terms, Internet services, privacy and data protection, marketing and consumer protection laws, anti-competition regulations and different liability standards, which may limit or prevent us from offering of our solutions in some jurisdictions or limit our ability to enforce contractual obligations;

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differences in how trade promotion spending is allocated;

 

differences in the way digital coupons and advertising are delivered and how consumers access and use digital coupons;

 

technology compatibility;

 

difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified employees and managing foreign operations;

 

different employee/employer relationships and the existence of workers’ councils and labor unions;

 

shorter payment cycles, different accounting practices and greater problems in collecting accounts receivable;

 

higher product return rates;

 

seasonal reductions in business activity;

 

adverse tax effects and foreign exchange controls making it difficult to repatriate earnings and cash; and

 

political and economic instability.

Changes in the U.S. taxation of international activities may increase our worldwide effective tax rate and harm our financial condition and results of operations. The taxing authorities of the jurisdictions in which we plan to operate may challenge our methodologies for valuing developed technology or intercompany arrangements, including our transfer pricing, or determine that the manner in which we operate our business does not achieve the intended tax consequences, which could increase our worldwide effective tax rate and harm our financial position and results of operations. Significant judgment will be required in evaluating our tax positions and determining our provision for income taxes. During the ordinary course of business, there will be many transactions and calculations for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. As we expand our business to operate in numerous taxing jurisdictions, the application of tax laws may be subject to diverging and sometimes conflicting interpretations by tax authorities of these jurisdictions. It is not uncommon for taxing authorities in different countries to have conflicting views. In addition, tax laws are dynamic and subject to change as new laws are passed and new interpretations of the law are issued or applied. In the United States, legislation commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) was enacted on December 22, 2017, which included a number of changes, such as a reduction in the corporate tax rate, a one-time transition tax on the mandatory deemed repatriation of cumulative foreign earnings as of December 31, 2017 and provided for the transition of U.S. international taxation from a worldwide tax system to a territorial system. These changes, or future changes in tax laws applicable to us, could materially increase our future income tax expense.

Our planned corporate structure and intercompany arrangements will be implemented in a manner we believe is in compliance with current prevailing tax laws. However, the tax benefits which we intend to eventually derive could be undermined if we are unable to adapt the manner in which we operate our business and due to changing tax laws.

Our failure to manage these risks and challenges successfully could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The loss of one or more key members of our management team, or our failure to attract, integrate and retain other highly qualified personnel in the future, could harm our business.

We currently depend on the continued services and performance of the key members of our management team, including Steven R. Boal, our Executive Chairman, and Mir Aamir, our President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Boal is one of our founders and his leadership has played an integral role in our growth. Mr. Aamir’s deep industry experience and long-standing relationships with both CPGs and retailers are key to our growth and developing our business strategy. Key institutional knowledge remains with a small group of long-term employees and directors whom we may not be able to retain. The loss of key personnel, including key members of management as well as our marketing, sales, product development and technology personnel, could disrupt our operations and have an adverse effect on our ability to grow our business. Moreover, some of our management are new to our team.

As we become a more mature company, we may find our recruiting and retention efforts more challenging. We are seeking to continue to hire a significant number of personnel, including certain key management personnel. We may be limited in our ability to recruit global talent by U.S. immigration laws, including those related to H1-B visas. The demand for H1-B visas to fill highly-skilled IT and computer science jobs is greater than the number of H-1B visas available each year; for the U.S. government’s 2018 fiscal year, the U.S. issued 85,000 H-1B visas out of 199,000 requests.  In addition, the regulatory environment related to immigration under the current presidential administration may increase the likelihood that immigration laws may be modified to further limit the availability of H1-B visas. If a new or revised visa program is

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implemented, it may impact our ability to recruit, hire and retain qualified skilled personnel, which could adversely impact our business, operating results and financial condition. If we do not succeed in attracting, hiring and integrating excellent personnel, or retaining and motivating existing personnel, we may be unable to grow effectively.

Changes to financial accounting standards or SEC’s rules and regulations may affect our results of operations and cause us to change our business practices.

We prepare our financial statements to conform to generally accepted accounting principles in the United States. These accounting principles are subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the SEC and various bodies formed to interpret and create appropriate accounting policies. A change in those policies can have a significant effect on our reported results and may affect our reporting of transactions completed before a change is announced. Changes to those rules or the questioning of current practices may adversely affect our reported financial results or the way we conduct our business. For example, in February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued a new standard which will require us to record most of our leases on our balance sheets. This guidance will be applicable to us at the beginning of our first quarter of fiscal year 2019.  

We are currently or could be exposed in the future to fluctuations in currency exchange rates and interest rates.

To date, we have generated almost all of our revenues from within the United States. As a result, we currently do not have significant revenues or expenses in our international operations and we do not hedge our foreign currency exchange risk. However, we plan to grow our operations and offerings through expansion in existing international markets and by partnering with our existing CPGs and retailers to enter new geographies that are important to them. For example, we opened a research and development facility in Bangalore, India and acquired Shopmium S.A., which has research and development operations in Paris, France. As we expand our business outside the United States we will face exposure to adverse movements in currency exchange rates. We will be exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations from the conversion of collections and expenses not denominated in U.S. dollars. If the U.S. dollar weakens against foreign currencies, the conversion of these foreign currency denominated transactions will result in increased revenues, operating expenses and net income. Similarly, if the U.S. dollar strengthens against foreign currencies, the conversion of these foreign currency denominated transactions will result in decreased revenues, operating expenses and net income. As exchange rates vary, sales and other operating results, when translated, may differ materially from expectations. Our risks related to currency fluctuations will increase as our international operations become an increasing portion of our business. In addition, we face exposure to fluctuations in interest rates which may impact our investment income unfavorably.

Our use of and reliance on international research and development resources and operations may expose us to unanticipated costs or events

We have research and development centers in India and France.  We expect to increase our headcount, development, and operations activity in India. There is no assurance that our reliance upon international research and development resources and operations will enable us to achieve our research and development and operational goals or greater resource efficiency. Further, our international research and development and operations efforts involve significant risks, including:

 

difficulty hiring and retaining appropriate personnel due to intense competition for such resources and resulting wage inflation in the cities where our research and development activities and operations are located;

 

the knowledge transfer related to our technology and resulting exposure to misappropriation of intellectual property or information that is proprietary to us, our customers and other third parties;

 

heightened exposure to change in the economic, security and political conditions in the countries where our research and development activities and operations are located;

 

fluctuations in currency exchange rates and regulatory compliance in the countries where our research and development activities and operations are located;

 

delays and inefficiencies caused by geographical separation of our international research and development activities and operations; and

 

interruptions to our operations in the countries where our research and development activities and operations are located as a result of floods and other natural catastrophic events as well as manmade problems such as power disruptions or terrorism.

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Difficulties resulting from the factors above could increase our research and development or operational expenses, delay the introduction of new products, or impact our product quality, the occurrence of any of which could adversely affect our business and operating results.

Our business is subject to interruptions, delays or failures resulting from earthquakes, other natural catastrophic events or terrorism.

Our headquarters is located in Mountain View, California. Our current technology infrastructure is hosted across two data centers in co-location facilities in California and Nevada. In addition, we use two other co-location facilities in California and Virginia to host our Retailer iQ platform. Our services, operations and the data centers from which we provide our services are vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, fires, floods, power losses, telecommunications failures, terrorist attacks, acts of war, human errors, break-ins and similar events. A significant natural disaster, such as an earthquake, fire or flood, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our insurance coverage may be insufficient to compensate us for losses that may occur. Acts of terrorism could cause disruptions to the Internet, our business or the economy as a whole. We may not have sufficient protection or recovery plans in certain circumstances, such as natural disasters affecting areas where data centers upon which we rely are located, and our business interruption insurance may be insufficient to compensate us for losses that may occur. Such disruptions could negatively impact our ability to run our websites, which could harm our business.

Our management team has limited experience managing a public company, and regulatory compliance may divert its attention from the day-to-day management of our business.

Our management team has limited experience managing a publicly-traded company and limited experience complying with the increasingly complex laws pertaining to public companies. Our management team may not successfully or efficiently manage our transition to being a public company that will be subject to significant regulatory oversight and reporting obligations under the federal securities laws. In particular, these new obligations will require substantial attention from our senior management and could divert their attention away from the day-to-day management of our business, which could adversely impact our business operations.

Our ability to raise capital in the future may be limited, and our failure to raise capital when needed could prevent us from growing.

We may in the future be required to raise additional capital through public or private financing or other arrangements. Such financing may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all, and our failure to raise capital when needed could harm our business. Additional equity or equity-linked financing such as the convertible senior notes may dilute the interests of our stockholders, and debt financing, if available, may involve restrictive covenants and could reduce our profitability. If we cannot raise funds on acceptable terms, we may not be able to grow our business or respond to competitive pressures.

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

In general, under Section 382 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, and similar state law provisions, a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change” is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its pre-change net operating losses, or NOLs, to offset future taxable income. If our existing NOLs are subject to limitations arising from ownership changes, our ability to utilize NOLs could be limited by Section 382 of the Code. Future changes in our stock ownership, some of which are outside of our control, also could result in an ownership change under Section 382 of the Code. There is also a risk that our NOLs could expire, or otherwise be unavailable to offset future income tax liabilities due to changes in the law, including regulatory changes, such as suspensions on the use of NOLs or other unforeseen reasons. In addition, the Tax Act includes changes to the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate, and our net operating loss carryforwards and other deferred tax assets will be revalued at the newly enacted rate. We do not expect this to have a material impact on our financials because we currently maintain a full valuation allowance on our U.S. deferred tax assets. For these reasons, we may not be able to utilize all of our NOLs, even if we attain profitability.

State and foreign laws regulating money transmission could impact our mobile shopping and receipt scanning cash-back application platform.

Many states and certain foreign jurisdictions impose license and registration obligations on those companies engaged in the business of money transmission, with varying definitions of what constitutes money transmission. If our mobile shopping and receipt scanning cash-back platform were to subject us to any applicable state or foreign laws, it could subject us to increased compliance costs and delay our ability to offer this product in certain jurisdictions pending

33


receipt of any necessary licenses or registrations. If we need to make product and operational changes in light of these laws, the growth and adoption of this product may be adversely impacted and our revenues may be harmed.

Risks Related to Our Convertible Senior Notes

We are leveraged financially, which could adversely affect our ability to adjust our business to respond to competitive pressures and to obtain sufficient funds to satisfy our future growth, business needs and development plans.

In November 2017, we issued $200 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes (the “notes”).  Our leveraged capital structure could have negative consequences, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

we may be more vulnerable to economic downturns, less able to withstand competitive pressures and less flexible in responding to changing business and economic conditions;

 

our ability to obtain additional financing in the future for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, general corporate or other purposes may be limited;

 

a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations in the future may be required for the payment of the principal amount of our existing indebtedness when it becomes due; and

 

we may elect to make cash payments upon any conversion of the convertible notes, which would reduce our cash on hand.

Our ability to meet our payment obligations under our notes depends on our ability to generate significant cash flow in the future. This, to some extent, is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative, and regulatory factors as well as other factors that are beyond our control. There can be no assurance that our business will generate cash flow from operations, or that additional capital will be available to us, in an amount sufficient to enable us to meet our debt payment obligations and to fund other liquidity needs. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow to service our debt obligations, we may need to refinance or restructure our debt, sell assets, reduce or delay capital investments, or seek to raise additional capital. If we were unable to implement one or more of these alternatives, we may be unable to meet our debt payment obligations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, or financial condition.

The conditional conversion feature of the notes, if triggered, may adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.

In the event the conditional conversion feature of the notes is triggered, holders of the notes will be entitled to convert their notes at any time during specified periods at their option. If one or more holders elect to convert their notes, unless we elect to satisfy our conversion obligation by delivering solely shares of our common stock (other than paying cash in lieu of delivering any fractional share), we would be required to settle a portion or all of our conversion obligation in cash, which could adversely affect our liquidity. In addition, even if holders of notes do not elect to convert their notes, we could be required under applicable accounting rules to reclassify all or a portion of the outstanding principal of the notes as a current rather than long-term liability, which would result in a material reduction of our net working capital.

The accounting method for convertible debt securities that may be settled in cash, such as the notes, could have a material effect on our reported financial results.

Under Accounting Standards Codification 470-20, Debt with Conversion and Other Options (“ASC 470-20”), an entity must separately account for the liability and equity components of the convertible debt instruments (such as the notes) that may be settled entirely or partially in cash upon conversion in a manner that reflects the issuer’s economic interest cost. The effect of ASC 470-20 on the accounting for the notes is that the equity component is required to be included in the additional paid-in capital section of stockholders’ equity on our consolidated balance sheet at the issuance date and the value of the equity component would be treated as debt discount for purposes of accounting for the debt component of the notes. As a result, we will be required to record a greater amount of non-cash interest expense as a result of the amortization of the discounted carrying value of the notes to their face amount over the term of the notes. We will report larger net losses (or lower net income) in our financial results because ASC 470-20 will require interest to include both the amortization of the debt discount and the instrument’s nonconvertible coupon interest rate, which could adversely affect our reported or future financial results, the trading price of our common stock and the trading price of the notes.

The Company uses the treasury stock method for calculating any potential dilutive effect of the conversion spread on diluted net income per share, if applicable. The effect of which is that the shares issuable upon conversion of such

34


notes are not included in the calculation of diluted earnings per share except to the extent that the conversion value of such notes exceeds their principal amount. Under the treasury stock method, for diluted earnings per share purposes, the transaction is accounted for as if the number of shares of common stock that would be necessary to settle such excess, if we elected to settle such excess in shares, are issued. We cannot be sure that the accounting standards in the future will continue to permit the use of the treasury stock method. If we are unable or otherwise elect not to use the treasury stock method in accounting for the shares issuable upon conversion of the notes, then our diluted earnings per share could be adversely affected.

Conversion of our notes will dilute the ownership interest of existing stockholders and may depress the price of our common stock.

The conversion of some or all of our notes, if such conversion occurs, will dilute the ownership interests of then-existing stockholders to the extent we deliver shares upon conversion of any of the notes.  Any sales in the public market of the common stock issuable upon such conversion could adversely affect prevailing market prices of our common stock.  In addition, the existence of the notes may encourage short selling by market participants because the conversion of the notes could be used to satisfy short positions, or anticipated conversion of the notes into shares of our common stock could depress the price of our common stock.

Risks Related to Ownership of our Common Stock

The trading prices of the securities of technology companies have been highly volatile. Accordingly, the market price of our common stock has been, and is likely to continue to be, subject to wide fluctuations and could subject us to litigation.

The price of our common stock may change in response to variations in our operating results and also may change in response to other factors, including factors specific to technology companies, many of which are beyond our control. As a result, our stock price may experience significant volatility. Among other factors that could affect our stock price are:

 

the financial projections that we or analysts may choose to provide to the public, any changes in these projections or our failure for any reason to meet these projections;

 

actual or anticipated changes or fluctuations in our results of operations;

 

whether our results of operations meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors;

 

the development and sustainability of an active trading market for our common stock;

 

price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;

 

fluctuations in the trading volume of our shares or the size of our public float;

 

success of competitive products or services;

 

the public’s response to press releases or other public announcements by us or others, including our filings with the SEC;

 

announcements relating to litigation;

 

speculation about our business in the press or the investment community;

 

future sales of our common stock by our significant stockholders, officers and directors;

 

changes in our capital structure, such as future issuances of debt or equity securities;

 

our entry into new markets;

 

regulatory developments in the United States or foreign countries;

 

strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions or restructurings; and

 

changes in accounting principles.

In addition, the stock market in general has experienced substantial price and volume volatility that is often seemingly unrelated to the operating results of any particular companies. Moreover, if the market for technology stocks or the stock market in general experiences uneven investor confidence, the market price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, operating results or financial condition. The market price for our stock might also decline in reaction to events that affect other companies within, or outside, our industry, even if these events do not

35


directly affect us. Some companies that have experienced volatility in the trading price of their stock have been subject of securities litigation. If we are the subject of such litigation, it could result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources.

Substantial future sales of shares by our stockholders could negatively affect our stock price.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market could depress the market price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities. We have approximately 93,199,718 shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, assuming no exercise of our outstanding options or vesting of our outstanding RSUs.

Our equity incentive plans allow us to issue, among other things, stock options, restricted stock and restricted stock units and we have filed a registration statement under the Securities Act to cover the issuance of shares upon the exercise or vesting of awards granted under those plans.

The concentration of our common stock ownership with our executive officers, directors and affiliates will limit your ability to influence corporate matters.

Our executive officers, directors and owners of 5% or more of our outstanding common stock together beneficially own approximately 52% of our outstanding common stock, based on the number of shares outstanding as of December 31, 2017. These stockholders therefore have significant influence over management and affairs and over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or its assets, for the foreseeable future. This concentrated control limits your ability to influence corporate matters and, as a result, we may take actions that our stockholders do not view as beneficial. This ownership could affect the value of your shares of common stock.

Our stock repurchase program could affect the price of our common stock and increase volatility and may be suspended or terminated at any time, which may result in a decrease in the trading price of our common stock.

Our Board of Directors has approved share repurchase programs for us to repurchase shares of our stock. In April 2017, our Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program (“2017 Program”) for us to repurchase up to $50.0 million of the Company’s common stock. The 2017 Program has a one year duration beginning on May 5, 2017. During the year ended December 31, 2017, the Company did not repurchase any shares of its common stock. As of December 31, 2017, $50.0 million remains available for future share repurchases under the 2017 Program. The timing and actual number of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors including the timing of open trading windows, price, corporate and regulatory requirements, an assessment by management and our Board of Directors of cash availability and other market conditions. The stock repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time without prior notice. Repurchases pursuant to our stock repurchase program could affect the price of our common stock and increase its volatility. The existence of our stock repurchase program could also cause the price of our common stock to be higher than it would be in the absence of such a program and could potentially reduce the market liquidity for our common stock. Additionally, repurchases under our stock repurchase program will diminish our cash reserves, which could impact our ability to further develop our technology, access and/or retrofit additional facilities and service our indebtedness. There can be no assurance that any stock repurchases will enhance stockholder value because the market price of our common stock may decline below the levels at which we repurchased such shares. Any failure to repurchase shares after we have announced our intention to do so may negatively impact our reputation and investor confidence in us and may negatively impact our stock price. Although our stock repurchase program is intended to enhance long-term stockholder value, short-term stock price fluctuations could reduce the program’s effectiveness.

If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.

As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the rules and regulations of the New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE. We expect that the requirements of these rules and regulations will continue to increase our legal, accounting and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time consuming and costly, and place significant strain on our personnel, systems and resources.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. We are continuing to develop and refine our disclosure controls and other procedures that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we will file with

36


the SEC is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in SEC rules and forms, and that information required to be disclosed in reports under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to our principal executive and financial officers. We are also continuing to improve our internal control over financial reporting. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, we have expended, and anticipate that we will continue to expend, significant resources, including accounting-related costs and significant management oversight. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting also could adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual independent registered public accounting firm attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting that we will be required to include in our periodic reports we will file with the SEC under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In the event that we are not able to demonstrate compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, that our internal control over financial reporting is perceived as inadequate or that we are unable to produce timely or accurate financial statements, investors may lose confidence in our operating results and our stock price could decline.

Our current controls and any new controls that we develop may become inadequate because of changes in conditions in our business. Further, weaknesses in our disclosure controls or our internal control over financial reporting may be discovered in the future. Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls, or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement, could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and could result in a restatement of our financial statements for prior periods. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting also could adversely affect the results of management evaluations and independent registered public accounting firm audits of our internal control over financial reporting that we will eventually be required to include in our periodic reports that will be filed with the SEC. Ineffective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial and other information, which would likely have a negative effect on the trading price of our common stock. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on the NYSE.

Our independent registered public accounting firm is not required to audit the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until after we are no longer an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. At such time, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue a report that is adverse in the event it concludes that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective.

Any failure to maintain effective disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting could have a material and adverse effect on our business and operating results, and cause a decline in the price of our common stock.

We are an “emerging growth company” and the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company”, as defined in the JOBS Act, and we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not “emerging growth companies” including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced financial disclosure obligations, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and any golden parachute payments not previously approved. We may take advantage of these provisions for up to five years or such earlier time that we are no longer an “emerging growth company.” We would cease to be an “emerging growth company” upon the earliest to occur of: the last day of the fiscal year in which we have more than $1.07 billion in annual revenues; the date we are deemed a “large accelerated filer” as defined in the Exchange Act; and the last day of the fiscal year ending after the fifth anniversary of our IPO. If we do not retain our “emerging growth company” status, we may incur increased legal, accounting and compliance costs associated with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We may choose to take advantage of some but not all of these reduced reporting burdens. If we take advantage of any of these reduced reporting burdens in future filings, the information that we provide our security holders may be different than you might get from other public companies in which you hold equity interests. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

If securities analysts do not publish research or if securities analysts or other third parties publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about us, the price of our common stock could decline.

The trading market for our common stock will rely in part on the research and reports that securities analysts and other third parties choose to publish about us. We do not control these analysts or other third parties. The price of our

37


common stock could decline if one or more securities analysts downgrade our common stock or if one or more securities analysts or other third parties publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about us or cease publishing reports about us.

We do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.

We intend to retain all of our earnings for the foreseeable future to finance the operation and expansion of our business and do not anticipate paying cash dividends on our common stock. As a result, you can expect to receive a return on your investment in our common stock only if the market price of the stock increases.

Provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law could discourage a takeover that stockholders may consider favorable.

Provisions in our certificate of incorporation and by-laws may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. Amongst other things, these provisions:

 

authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that could be issued by our Board of Directors to defend against a takeover attempt;

 

establish a classified Board of Directors, as a result of which the successors to the directors whose terms have expired will be elected to serve from the time of election and qualification until the third annual meeting following their election;

 

require that directors only be removed from office for cause and only upon a majority stockholder vote;

 

provide that vacancies on the Board of Directors, including newly created directorships, may be filled only by a majority vote of directors then in office rather than by stockholders;

 

prevent stockholders from calling special meetings; and

 

prohibit stockholder action by written consent, requiring all actions to be taken at a meeting of the stockholders.

In addition, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which generally prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in a broad range of business combinations with any “interested” stockholder for a period of three years following the date on which the stockholder becomes an “interested” stockholder.

 

 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

Item 2.

Properties.

Our principal executive offices are located in Mountain View, California, and include two buildings totaling approximately 65,000 square feet under leases expiring from December 2019 to December 2020. We maintain additional leased spaces in Marina Del Rey, California as well as Cincinnati, Ohio, New York, New York, Bangalore, India, Paris, France, and London, the United Kingdom. We believe our properties are generally suitable to meet our needs for the foreseeable future. In addition, to the extent we require additional space in the future, we believe that it would be readily available on commercially reasonable terms.

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings.

We are a party to litigation and subject to claims incident to the ordinary course of business. Although the results of litigation and claims cannot be predicted with certainty, we currently believe that the final outcome of these matters will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. Regardless of the outcome, litigation can have an adverse impact on our business because of defense and settlement costs, diversion of management resources and other factors.

38


Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures.

None.

 

 

 

39


PART II

Item 5.

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

Market Information

Our common stock, $0.00001 par value, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COUP” on March 7, 2014, the date of our IPO. We changed our name to Quotient Technology Inc. on October 20, 2015.  Our common stock began trading on the New York stock Exchange under the symbol “QUOT” on October 21, 2015.

The following table sets forth for the indicated periods from the date our common stock commenced trading in connection with our IPO, the high and low closing sales prices of our common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

Year ended December 31, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth quarter

$

17.60

 

 

$

11.30

 

Third quarter

$

16.55

 

 

$

11.20

 

Second quarter

$

11.90

 

 

$

9.20

 

First quarter

$

13.20

 

 

$

9.55

 

Year ended December 31, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth quarter

$

13.28

 

 

$

9.85

 

Third quarter

$

13.97

 

 

$

12.05

 

Second quarter

$

13.98

 

 

$

10.33

 

First quarter

$

10.60

 

 

$

5.23

 

Holders

As of February 13, 2018, there were 70 holders of record of our common stock. Because most of our shares of common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of beneficial stockholders represented by these record holders.

Dividend Policy

We have never declared or paid any dividends on our common stock and do not anticipate that we will pay any dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future. Instead, we currently plan to retain any earnings to finance the growth of our business. Any future determination relating to dividend policy will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our financial condition, results of operations and capital requirements as well as other factors deemed relevant by our Board of Directors.

 

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

The following is a summary of stock repurchases for each month during the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017.

 

Period

 

Total Number of

Shares Purchased

 

 

Average Price Paid Per Share

 

 

Total Number of

Shares Purchased Under

Publicly Announced Program (1)

 

 

Approximate Dollar Value of

Shares That May Yet Be

Purchased Under the Program (1)

 

October 1 - 31, 2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

50,000,000

 

November 1 - 30, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50,000,000

 

December 1 - 31, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50,000,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

50,000,000

 

(1)

In April 2017, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized the 2017 Program to repurchase up to $50.0 million of the Company’s common stock through April 2018. During the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017, the Company did not repurchase any shares of its common stock.

 

40


Performance Graph

The following shall not be deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or incorporated by reference into any of our other filings under the Exchange Act or the Securities Act, except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

This chart compares the cumulative total return on our common stock with that of the Russell 3000 and the S&P North American Technology Sector Index. The chart assumes $100 was invested at the close of market on March 7, 2014, in our common stock, the Russell 3000 and the S&P North American Technology Sector Index, and assumes the reinvestment of any dividends. The stock price performance on the following graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

 

 

 

Base

 

INDEXED RETURNS

 

 

 

Period

 

Quarter Ending

 

Company / Index

 

3/7/2014

 

Q1'14

 

Q2'14

 

Q3'14

 

Q4'14

 

Q1'15

 

Q2'15

 

Q3'15

 

Q4'15

 

Q1'16

 

Q2'16

 

Q3'16

 

Q4'16

 

Q1'17

 

Q2'17

 

Q3'17

 

Q4'17

 

Quotient

   Technology Inc.

 

$

100

 

$

82

 

$

88

 

$

40

 

$

59

 

$

39

 

$

36

 

$

30

 

$

23

 

$

35

 

$

45

 

$

44

 

$

36

 

$

32

 

$

38

 

$

52

 

$

39

 

Russell 3000 Index

 

$

100

 

$

99

 

$

104

 

$

103

 

$

108

 

$

110

 

$

109

 

$

101

 

$

107

 

$

107

 

$

109

 

$

113

 

$

118

 

$

124

 

$

127

 

$

132

 

$

140

 

S&P North

   American

   Technology

   Sector Index

 

$

100

 

$

98

 

$

103

 

$

106

 

$

110

 

$

111

 

$

112

 

$

108

 

$

119

 

$

120

 

$

119

 

$

134

 

$

134

 

$

150

 

$

156

 

$

168

 

$

182

 

41


Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities

Not applicable.

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

Revenues

$

322,115

 

 

$

275,190

 

 

$

237,309

 

 

$

221,761

 

 

$

167,892

 

Costs and expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of revenues (1)

 

140,752

 

 

 

114,870

 

 

 

92,203

 

 

 

86,186

 

 

 

52,080

 

Sales and marketing (1)

 

92,833

 

 

 

92,596

 

 

 

92,454

 

 

 

78,865

 

 

 

61,793

 

Research and development (1)

 

50,009

 

 

 

50,503

 

 

 

48,367

 

 

 

49,583

 

 

 

40,102

 

General and administrative (1)

 

48,124

 

 

 

43,404

 

 

 

34,833

 

 

 

33,392

 

 

 

24,232

 

Change in fair value of escrowed shares and

   contingent consideration, net

 

5,515

 

 

 

(6,450

)

 

 

1,231

 

 

 

(5,741

)

 

 

 

Total costs and expenses

 

337,233

 

 

 

294,923

 

 

 

269,088

 

 

 

242,285

 

 

 

178,207

 

Loss from operations

 

(15,118

)

 

 

(19,733

)

 

 

(31,779

)

 

 

(20,524

)

 

 

(10,315

)

Interest expense

 

(1,589

)

 

 

 

 

 

(290

)

 

 

(922

)

 

 

(953

)

Gain on sale of a right to use a web domain name

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other income (expense), net

 

928

 

 

 

495

 

 

 

(22

)

 

 

(72

)

 

 

19

 

Loss before income taxes

 

(15,779

)

 

 

(19,238

)

 

 

(27,291

)

 

 

(21,518

)

 

 

(11,249

)

Provision for (benefit from) income taxes

 

(702

)

 

 

241

 

 

 

(561

)

 

 

1,926

 

 

 

 

Net loss

$

(15,077

)

 

$

(19,479

)

 

$

(26,730

)

 

$

(23,444

)

 

$

(11,249

)

Net loss per share, basic and diluted

$

(0.17

)

 

$

(0.23

)

 

$

(0.32

)

 

$

(0.35

)

 

$

(0.57

)

Weighted-average number of common shares used in

   computing net loss per share, basic and diluted

 

89,505

 

 

 

84,157

 

 

 

82,807

 

 

 

67,828

 

 

 

19,626

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) The stock-based compensation expense included

   above was as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Cost of revenues

$

2,000

 

 

$

1,821

 

 

$

1,728

 

 

$

3,086

 

 

$

300

 

Sales and marketing

 

6,621

 

 

 

5,776

 

 

 

10,658

 

 

 

9,464

 

 

 

1,492

 

Research and development

 

7,949

 

 

 

7,286

 

 

 

9,680

 

 

 

11,536

 

 

 

1,015

 

General and administrative

 

15,682

 

 

 

13,403

 

 

 

10,280

 

 

 

11,424

 

 

 

2,374

 

Total stock-based compensation

$

32,252

 

 

$

28,286

 

 

$

32,346

 

 

$

35,510

 

 

$

5,181

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

(in thousands)

 

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments

$

394,537

 

 

$

175,346

 

 

$

159,947

 

 

$

201,075

 

 

$

38,972

 

Working capital

 

404,145

 

 

 

207,694

 

 

 

177,547

 

 

 

204,837

 

 

 

21,420

 

Property and equipment, net

 

16,610

 

 

 

16,376

 

 

 

25,128

 

 

 

25,399

 

 

 

29,942

 

Total assets

 

629,075

 

 

 

362,756

 

 

 

321,071

 

 

 

331,807

 

 

 

134,236

 

Deferred revenues

 

6,276

 

 

 

6,856

 

 

 

7,342

 

 

 

6,219

 

 

 

6,751

 

Debt obligations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7,500

 

 

 

23,077

 

Convertible senior notes, net

 

145,821

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total liabilities

 

231,034

 

 

 

51,007

 

 

 

55,581

 

 

 

54,919

 

 

 

66,220

 

Redeemable convertible preferred stock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

270,262

 

Total stockholder's equity (deficit)

$

398,041

 

 

$

311,749

 

 

$

265,490

 

 

$

276,888

 

 

$

(202,246

)

 

 

 

42


Item 7.

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

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

Overview

Quotient Technology Inc., is a provider of an industry leading digital marketing platform that drives sales by delivering personalized and targeted coupons and ads to shoppers at the right moment on their path to purchase. We’ve built a scaled network of consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) brands, retailers and shoppers, all digitally connected through our core platform, called Retailer iQ. Using proprietary and licensed data, including online behaviors, purchase intent, and retailers’ in-store point-of-sale (“POS”) shopper data, we target shoppers with the most relevant digital coupons and ads, as well as measure campaign performance, including attribution of dollars spent on digital marketing to in-store sales. Customers and partners use our digital platform as a more effective channel to influence shoppers.

We operate our platform across a broad distribution network, reaching over approximately 60 million shoppers at critical moments in their path to purchase. Our network includes the app and website of our flagship consumer brand, Coupons.com, our other owned and operated properties, and thousands of our publisher partners. In addition, we operate Retailer iQ on a co-branded or white label basis with our retail partners, providing them a digital platform to directly engage with their shoppers across their websites, mobile, ecommerce, and social channels.

Our network is made up of three constituencies: over 2,000 brands from approximately 700 CPGs; retail partners across multiple classes of trade such as grocery retailers, drug, dollar, club, and mass merchandise channels; and consumers visiting our web, mobile properties, social channels, as well as those of our CPGs, retailers, and publishing partners.

We primarily generate revenue by providing digital coupons and media solutions to our customers and partners.

We generate revenue from promotions, in which CPGs pay us to deliver coupons to consumers through our network of publishers and retail partners. Each time a consumer activates a digital coupon on our platform or in some cases redeems a digital coupon, we are generally paid a fee. Activation of a digital coupon can include: saving it to a retailer loyalty account or printing it for physical redemption at a retailer.

As our business evolves, we will continue to experiment with different pricing models and fee arrangements with CPGs and retailers which may impact how we monetize transactions. For example, we have recently experimented with pricing strategies based on return on investment, or ROI, some of which require us to receive fees upon redemption of digital coupons rather than activation, as further discussed below in “Risk Factors”. We generally pay a distribution fee to retailers or publishers when a shopper activates a digital promotion on their website or mobile app. These distribution fees are included in our cost of revenues. See Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – “Non-GAAP Financial Measure and Key Operating Metrics” for more information.

Promotion revenues also include our Specialty Retail business, in which specialty stores including clothing, electronics, home improvement and many others offer coupon codes that we distribute. Each time a consumer makes a purchase using a coupon code, a transaction occurs and a distribution fee is generally paid.

We also generate revenues from digital advertising. CPGs, advertising agencies, and retailers who use our platform to deliver digital advertising. Using data on our Quotient Media Exchange (QMX) platform, we target audiences with digital ad campaigns. These ads are delivered to shoppers through our network, including our websites and mobile apps, as well as those of our publishers, retailers and other third parties.

43


Our operating expenses may increase in the future as we continue to (1) invest in (i) research and development to enhance our platform and investments in newer product offerings including Quotient Insights; (ii) sales and marketing to acquire new CPG and retailer customers and increase revenues from our existing customers; and; (iii) corporate infrastructure; (2) incur additional general and administrative expenses associated with being a public company, including increased legal and accounting expenses, and compliance costs associated with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; (3) amortize expenses related to intangibles assets associated with a services and data agreement and other strategic acquisitions; and (4) remeasure the fair value of shares held in escrow until released and changes in fair value of contingent consideration over the earnout periods.

For 2017, 2016 and 2015, our revenues were $322.1 million, $275.2 million, and $237.3 million, respectively. Our net loss for 2017, 2016 and 2015 was $15.1 million, $19.5 million, and $26.7 million, respectively.

Seasonality

Some of our products experience seasonal sales and buying patterns mirroring those in the CPG, retail, and e-commerce markets, including back-to-school and holiday campaigns, where demand increases during the second half of the Company’s fiscal year. We believe that this seasonality pattern has affected, and will continue to affect, our business and the associated revenues during the first half and second half of our fiscal year. We recognized 54%, 52% and 53% of our annual revenue during the second half of 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Non- GAAP Financial Measure and Key Operating Metrics

Adjusted Earnings Before Income Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”), a non-GAAP financial measure, is a key metric used by our management and Board of Directors to understand and evaluate our core operating performance and trends, to prepare and approve our annual budget, to develop short and long-term operational plans, and to determine bonus payouts. In particular, we believe that the exclusion of certain income and expenses in calculating Adjusted EBITDA can provide a useful measure for period-to-period comparisons of our core business. Additionally, Adjusted EBITDA is a key financial metric used by the compensation committee of our Board of Directors in connection with the determination of compensation for our executive officers. Accordingly, we believe that Adjusted EBITDA provides useful information to investors and others in understanding and evaluating our operating results in the same manner as our management and Board of Directors.

Adjusted EBITDA excludes non-cash charges, such as depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation, because such non-cash expenses in any specific period may not directly correlate to the underlying performance of our business operations and can vary significantly between periods. Additionally, it excludes the effects of interest expense, income taxes, gain on sale of a right to use a web domain name, other (income) expense, net, one-time charge for certain distribution fees, change in fair value of escrowed shares and contingent consideration, net, charges related to Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) software implementation costs, certain acquisition related costs and restructuring charges.

We define a “transaction” as any action that generates revenue, directly or indirectly, including per item transaction fees, set up fees, volume-based fixed fees and revenue sharing. Transactions continue to exclude retailer offers that generate no direct revenueTransactions indirectly generate revenue when the action is not paid for on a per item basis, but is part of an agreement which generates revenue for offer services; for example, transactions after a fixed fee cap has been reached would be included in our definition. This definition of transaction does not impact the number of transactions reported in prior filings. While the number of transactions on our platform has been an important indicator of our ability to grow our revenues historically, as our business continues to evolve with the shift to digital paperless and we experiment with different pricing models to monetize transactions, we believe transaction volume on our platform may become a less predictive indicator of future operating performance.

Net loss, Adjusted EBITDA and number of transactions for each of the periods presented were as follows:

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Net loss

$

(15,077

)

 

$

(19,479

)

 

$

(26,730

)

Adjusted EBITDA

 

47,040

 

 

 

32,476

 

 

 

18,298

 

Transactions

 

3,546,294

 

 

 

2,445,455

 

 

 

1,657,039

 

44


Our use of Adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:

 

although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized may have to be replaced in the future, and Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect cash capital expenditure requirements for such replacements or for new capital expenditure requirements;

 

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs;

 

Adjusted EBITDA does not consider the potentially dilutive impact of stock-based compensation;

 

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect tax payments that may represent a reduction in cash available to us;

 

Adjusted EBITDA also does not include the effects of charges related to ERP software implementation costs, one-time charge for certain distribution fees, change in fair value of escrowed shares and contingent consideration, net, interest expense, other (income) expense, net, income taxes, gain on sale of a right to use a web domain name, certain acquisition related costs, and restructuring charges and;

 

other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate Adjusted EBITDA differently, which reduces its usefulness as a comparative measure.

A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net loss, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, for each of the periods presented is as follows:

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Net loss

$

(15,077

)

 

$

(19,479

)

 

$

(26,730

)

Adjustments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stock-based compensation

 

32,252