SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
|☐||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: 001-40465
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)||(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)|
180 Grand Avenue, 6th Floor, Oakland, California
|(Address of principal executive offices)||(Zip Code)|
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Class A common stock, $0.0001 par value per share||MQ|
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
|(Nasdaq Global Select Market)|
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”). Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”). Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer||☐||Accelerated filer||☐|
|Non-accelerated filer||☒||Smaller reporting company||☐|
|Emerging growth company||☒|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its report. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s Class A common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on June 30, 2021, the last business day of its most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $1.9 billion based on the closing sales price of the registrant’s Class A common stock on that date. Solely for purposes of this disclosure, shares of Class A common stock held by executive officers and directors of the registrant as of such date have been excluded because such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of executive officers and directors as affiliates is not necessarily a conclusive determination for any other purposes.
As of March 4, 2022, there were 425,786,396 shares of the registrant's Class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, outstanding and 117,017,563 shares of the registrant's Class B common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated herein by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent stated herein. Such proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Note About Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, which are statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or our future financial or operating performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “may,” “will,” “shall,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” or “continue” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations, strategy, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include, but are not limited to, statements about:
•the effect of uncertainties related to the global COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. and global economies, our business, results of operations, financial condition, demand for our Platform, sales cycles and Customer retention;
•our future financial performance, including our net revenue, costs of revenue and operating expenses and our ability to achieve future profitability;
•our ability to effectively manage or sustain our growth and to effectively expand our operations;
•our ability to enhance our Platform and develop and expand its capabilities;
•our ability to further attract, retain, diversify, and expand our Customer base;
•our expectations as to live events in 2022;
•our ability to maintain our relationships with our Issuing Banks and Card Networks;
•our strategies, plans, objectives, and goals;
•our plans to expand internationally;
•our ability to compete with existing and new competitors in existing and new markets and offerings;
•our estimated market opportunity;
•economic and industry trends, projected growth, or trend analysis;
•our ability to develop and protect our brand;
•our ability to comply with laws and regulations;
•our ability to successfully defend litigation brought against us;
•our ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel;
•our ability to maintain effective disclosure controls and internal controls over financial reporting; and
•the increased expenses associated with being a public company.
We caution you that the foregoing list may not contain all of the forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors described in the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The results, events, and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur, and actual results, events, or circumstances could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. Unless otherwise indicated or unless the context requires otherwise, all references in this document to “Marqeta”, the “Company”, the “Registrant,” “we”, “us”, “our”, or similar references are to Marqeta, Inc. Capitalized terms used and not defined above are defined elsewhere within this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including in “Select Defined Terms.”
Select Defined Terms
Acquirer Processor. An Acquirer Processor provides the technology that facilitates the flow of card payment information through Card Networks to the Issuing Bank.
Acquiring Bank. An Acquiring Bank is the financial institution that merchants use to hold funds and manage their business. The Acquiring Bank may work with an Acquirer Processor to provide access to the Card Networks.
API. Refers to application programming interface.
Card issuer. A card issuer is a business that issues customized card products to its end users.
Card Network. A Card Network provides the infrastructure for settlement and card payment information that flows between the Issuer Processor and the Acquirer Processor.
Customer. A Customer is a current contracted customer of Marqeta.
Dollar-based net revenue retention. Dollar-based net revenue retention measures our ability to increase net revenue across our existing Customer base through expansion of processing volume offset by any reduced net revenue and loss of Customers in a given period. Dollar-based net revenue retention is calculated as net revenue derived during a given period from Customers existing at the beginning of the period, divided by net revenue from these same Customers in the prior period. This metric reflects any attrition of net revenue and loss of Customers during the current period.
Interchange Fees. Interchange Fees are transaction-based and volume-based fees set by a Card Network and paid by an Acquiring Bank to the Issuing Bank that issued the payment card used to purchase goods or services from a merchant. Our agreements with Issuing Banks provide that we receive 100% of the Interchange Fees for processing our Customer’s card transactions.
Issuer Processor. An Issuer Processor provides a technology platform, ledger, and infrastructure to support a card issuer and connects with a Card Network to facilitate payment transactions.
Issuing Bank. An Issuing Bank is the financial institution that issues a payment card (credit, debit, or prepaid) either on its own behalf or on behalf of a card issuer.
Just-In-Time Funding or JIT Funding. A feature of the Marqeta Platform that allows Customers to programmatically authorize and fund individual transactions while participating in the approval decision in real time.
Marqeta Platform or Platform. Refers to our modern card issuing platform.
Modern card issuing. Modern card issuing is secure card issuing and processing delivered via an open API platform that enables card issuers to create customized payment card products that leverage a just-in-time funding feature, authorizing their end users’ transactions in real-time.
Processing volume. Processing volume refers to the dollar amount of payments processed through the Marqeta Platform, net of returns and chargebacks, that contribute to our TPV.
Revenue Share. Revenue Share refers to provisions in our Customer contracts under which we share a portion of Interchange Fees with our Customers.
Tokenization as a Service or TaaS. A Marqeta product that allows a card issuer to provision a token to a digital wallet (e.g., Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay), allowing an end user to securely store card information in the digital wallet. Customers that use our Tokenization as a Service benefit from our Platform, tokenization expertise, and built-in certifications with digital wallets and the Card Networks.
Total processing volume or TPV. TPV is the total dollar amount of payments processed through the Marqeta Platform, net of returns and chargebacks.
Transactions on our Platform. Refers to the number of transactions we process on our Platform.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Marqeta created modern card issuing, and we believe modern card issuing is at the heart of today’s digital economy.
When you order food using DoorDash or groceries using Instacart, modern card issuing works in the background as money moves from the app to the delivery driver or shopper’s payment card, allowing the driver or shopper to pay for exactly what you ordered, and nothing else.
When you buy a big screen TV and pay for it in installments using Affirm or Klarna, modern card issuing helps move money to the payment card that Affirm or Klarna uses to seamlessly pay the merchant.
When you receive money from your friend through Block’s Cash App, modern card issuing helps move the funds to your debit card, making it instantly available to you to make purchases.
Marqeta’s modern card issuing platform empowers our Customers - which include businesses like Affirm, Block (formerly known as Square), DoorDash, Instacart, and Klarna - to create customized payment cards that provide innovative payment experiences for their customers, shoppers, and end users. Before the rise of modern card issuing, creating cards was slow, complex, and subject to mistakes. Marqeta helps solve these problems. Our Platform, powered by open APIs, enables businesses to develop modern, frictionless payment card experiences for consumer and commercial use cases that are either the core of, or in support of, their core business.
Our modern architecture allows for flexibility, a high degree of configurability, and accelerated product development, democratizing access to card issuing technology. Marqeta’s open APIs provide instant access to our highly scalable, cloud-based, and configurable payment infrastructure that enables our Customers to launch and manage their own card programs, issue cards to their customers or end users, and authorize and settle payments transactions.
Marqeta is the first company to offer a Platform for modern card issuing and transaction processing and we believe also the first to market with multiple issuing and processing innovations, including the first open APIs, JIT Funding, and Tokenization as a Service. Marqeta’s modern card issuing Platform supports prepaid, debit, and credit products. Modern card issuing is secure card issuing and processing delivered via an open API platform that enables card issuers to create customized payment card products that leverage a just-in-time funding feature, authorizing their end users’ transactions in real-time. Integrated with major global and local Card Networks, modern card issuing enables card issuers to build payment solutions to their specifications and launch them globally.
We believe we are deeply integrated with our Customers in three ways: our technology underpins their core business or supports a core business process, our solutions drive their key processes, and our people become their trusted partner. In addition, our usage-based business model provides a win/win for both our Customers and us: as their businesses thrive, our net revenue grows.
The strength and durability of our Customer relationships are evidenced by our year-over-year net revenue growth of 78% and our dollar-based net revenue retention of 175% for the year ended December 31, 2021. Our dollar-based net revenue retention was over 200% for each of the years ended December 31, 2020, and 2019. In the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, the Marqeta Platform processed TPV of $111.1 billion, $60.1 billion and $21.7 billion, respectively, which reflected year-over-year growth of 85% and 177%, respectively.
Our products meet the card issuing and transaction processing needs of commerce disruptors, digital banks, tech giants, and large financial institutions alike. Marqeta has already emerged as a card issuing platform category leader in many disruptive verticals, including on-demand services, lending (including buy-now-pay-later, or BNPL, financing), expense management, disbursements, online marketplaces, and digital banking (including cryptocurrency), and our Platform is sought out by tech giants and large financial institutions to improve their existing offerings and stay competitive with technology-focused new market entrants.
As we expand our use cases, product offerings, and global footprint, we attract new industry innovators and help existing Customers expand into new verticals, programs, markets, and geographies. Our Customers consistently tell us that our ability to work at speed, simplify the complex, and envision their end users’ experience helps them focus on what they do best—building innovative products and serving their customers. We believe our culture of customer-centricity, innovation, teamwork, and clarity of mission is why Customers trust us with their mission critical payments needs and continue to grow and expand with us.
We have grown and scaled rapidly in recent periods. Our total net revenue was $517.2 million, $290.3 million and $143.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively, an increase of 78% and 103% from the prior years, respectively. We incurred net losses of $163.9 million, $47.7 million, and $58.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
The Payments Ecosystem
A complex ecosystem of Issuing Banks and Acquiring Banks, Acquirer Processors, Issuer Processors, and the Card Networks that facilitate the exchange of information and funds underpins global payment card purchase transactions.
Legacy Payments Ecosystem
•Issuing Bank: The financial institution that issues the payment card (credit, debit, or prepaid) either on its own behalf or on behalf of a card issuer.
•Issuer Processor: Provides the technology platform, ledger, and infrastructure to support a card issuer and connects with a Card Network to facilitate payment transactions.
•Card issuer: A business that issues customized card products to its end users.
•Card Networks: Provides the infrastructure for settlement and card payment information that flows between the Issuer Processor and the Acquirer Processor.
•Acquirer Processor: Provides the technology that facilitates the flow of card payment information through Card Networks to the Issuing Bank.
•Acquiring Bank: The financial institution that merchants use to hold funds and manage their business. The Acquiring Bank may work with an Acquirer Processor to provide access to the Card Networks. The Acquiring Bank is also referred to sometimes as the merchant bank.
Modern Payments Ecosystem
Modern card issuing is secure card issuing and processing delivered via an open API platform that enables card issuers to create customized payment card products that leverage a just-in-time funding feature, authorizing their end users’ transactions in real-time. Integrated with major global and local Card Networks, modern card issuing enables card issuers to build payment solutions to their specifications and launch them globally. This modern infrastructure allows for significant innovation in the payments ecosystem. It enables a new class of card issuers to emerge by simplifying and democratizing the issuing process. It expands the issuing medium beyond physical cards to keep pace with the demands of digital commerce and mobile wallets, increasing regulatory and security requirements, and cross-border capabilities. It gives developers highly configurable controls that enable them to provide a customized solution to their business and customer needs. It operates on an extensible cloud infrastructure that works globally and enables scale and simplicity even as card issuer, merchant, and consumer demands become increasingly complex.
In other words, a modern payments ecosystem puts innovation, accessibility, flexibility, control, and scale into the hands of card issuers by delivering all of these benefits in one easy-to-use platform. This type of platform solution powers the growth of new verticals and new card issuers and enables innovation for large financial institutions who are looking to expand their products and use cases to remain competitive in an increasingly digitized world. We believe Marqeta has built such a platform.
Our Platform and Products
Marqeta provides a single, global, cloud-based, open API Platform for modern card issuing and transaction processing. The Marqeta Platform provides next generation payment experiences for tech-driven, developer-led companies and is well positioned to address the payment needs of commerce disruptors, digital banks, tech giants, and large financial institutions.
Marqeta’s modern card issuing Platform was built by developers for developers. Our Customers are able to use our simple, data-rich, and accessible Platform to build and rapidly scale their card programs, with extensive control and configurability, and with the highest standards of reliability and security. Our Platform is designed to reduce complexity for card issuers, enabling a full spectrum of card issuing and transaction processing services in a single solution.
Our Platform has a number of key attributes, including:
Accessible: We democratize key payment capabilities to enable any business to start issuing physical, virtual, or tokenized payment cards (e.g., Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay) that are configured to its individual business needs. New Customers do not need to have deep payment expertise to issue cards and process transactions.
Simple: Our Platform makes payment transactions simple by working behind the scenes to translate the complex into intuitive and developer-friendly user experiences. We provide direct integrations with the Card Networks, including Visa, Mastercard, and PULSE, which is part of the Discover Global Network, enabling developers to use Marqeta’s single unified platform for all of their payments integrations.
Scalable: The Marqeta Platform is highly agile and scalable, allowing our Customers to launch and grow card programs with speed and confidence. As a global platform built on a single codebase to support our Customers worldwide, we have a build-once, deploy-anywhere model, offering seamless integration with global and local Card Networks.
Configurable: The Marqeta Platform is highly configurable and is able to serve use cases previously unaddressed by legacy systems, such as BNPL financing at the point-of-sale in the lending industry. Our Platform’s configurability significantly expands the categories of businesses that can begin issuing their own cards to solve complex payment needs.
Innovative: Marqeta is a hub for innovation. Instant card issuance, provisioning to digital wallets, JIT Funding, and dynamic spend controls enable our Customers to operate with unmatched speed and control.
Trusted: Our Platform is trusted by some of the world’s largest financial institutions, tech giants, digital banks, and commerce disruptors to perform at scale. We meet the highest standards of Payment Card Industry, or PCI, compliance and provide a trusted environment for card issuing and payment processing with security, transparency, and real-time information.
Marqeta’s innovative products are developed with deep domain expertise and a customer-first mindset. At its core, our Platform offers three primary capabilities: Marqeta Issuing, Marqeta Processing, and Marqeta Applications to launch, scale, and manage card programs.
We enable our Customers to issue physical, virtual, and tokenized cards. With approximately 493 million cards issued through the Marqeta Platform as of December 31, 2021, across a deep and varied Customer base, we have significant industry experience supporting card programs of multiple types and sizes. We offer fulfillment services, enabling our Customers to optimize their card programs by managing users, fulfillment, and card transactions through the Marqeta Platform. We are also at the forefront of payments innovation, with features such as the provision of a tokenized card into digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
We offer a number of core card issuing services and functionalities:
Custom card functionality: Our Issuing Bank relationships and direct integrations with the Card Networks enable our Customers to efficiently launch, manage, and grow card programs that are customized to their specific business needs without needing to build those complex relationships or integrations themselves. We provide industry-leading user experience while minimizing fraud.
Configure cards with open APIs: Customers can easily define card attributes for where and how a card is used. These use cases and restrictions include, among others, ATM, online, or point-of-sale use; ability to restrict or accept use in certain countries or currencies; and address or postal code acceptance.
Build, test, and launch cards: Developers can simultaneously create card products and set up funding sources, cardholders, and cards through simulations available in their own private and secure Marqeta sandbox, enabling them to test and validate their programs easily and quickly before launch.
Customize cards: Marqeta’s Customers control the design and feel of their physical and virtual cards, which helps our Customers establish strong brand identity for their business. Customers choosing physical cards can also customize security features, including magnetic stripe, near field communication, and EMV-chip enabled.
Manage card programs: The Marqeta Platform allows Customers to manage card issuance over the entire card lifecycle. Through our dashboard, Customers can order, activate, set expiration, suspend, and terminate cards. They can also manage lost, stolen, and damaged cards via our APIs. Customers can also integrate Interactive Voice Response for card activation, personal identification number, or PIN, setting, balance inquiry, and lost or stolen card reporting into their own card programs.
We also partner with some of the world’s largest card issuers. For example, our card-issuing technology will enable J.P. Morgan to instantly provision commercial cards into digital wallets for commercial card customers, accelerating the issuance process and reducing the probability of fraud in each transaction.
Our Platform can process transactions with control and speed for our Customers, leveraging certain of our core competencies:
Secure authentication: Marqeta’s modern Platform provides robust, secure authentication tools. A variety of authentication methods are available to authenticate the card user, including PIN, address verification, card verification value, 3D Secure and EMV chip.
Configurable spend controls: Customers can reduce fraud by limiting where and how their end users can transact. Through the Marqeta Platform, our Customers can deploy fully tailored spending limits by merchant, merchant category, merchant group, amount, user, user group, frequency of use, time of use, and start/end times, among many other inputs.
Just-in-Time Funding: Using Marqeta’s industry-first JIT Funding functionality, Customers can programmatically authorize and fund each transaction in real time. Utilizing this feature, each card maintains a zero-amount balance until the card is used and approved. Upon approval, Marqeta automatically moves funds from an identified funding source into the appropriate account.The following illustration reflects the workflow once a cardholder attempts to make a payment at a merchant using an account configured to use JIT Funding:
Real-time notifications: Through our Platform, Customers can implement our unique webhooks or push notification capabilities to receive real-time updates as transactions are processed on the Marqeta Platform. Turning on these notifications empowers our Customers to provide real-time, meaningful messages to their end users. Our Platform also supports card events, dispute events, and transaction events. For example, cardholders will receive notifications on returns and refunds as they occur to help our Customers apply the right amount of credit to accounts in a timely manner.
Accelerates reconciliations: Our Platform saves our Customers both time and money. By injecting custom data fields into each transaction, Customers can optimize and accelerate reconciliations by matching the order and ledger system records automatically.
Using the Marqeta Platform, Customers can leverage applications that cover the entire payments lifecycle, including the developer sandbox, card management, transaction monitoring, and case management. These applications help ensure their programs are as successful as possible.
Marqeta applications allow Customers to:
Utilize developer tools: Developers have access to Marqeta’s wealth of tools, including a private sandbox, APIs, software development kits, or SDKs, widgets, and documentation to customize, test, and issue their cards and programs. With multiple API endpoints, developers can configure spend controls, simulate transaction processing, and quickly roll out new features with confidence.
Streamline program administration: Our Platform is transforming how our Customers can approach program administration. We offer tools to manage program funds, monitor cardholder balances, report lost or stolen cards, and view a multitude of white-labeled reports, all through a single application.
Reduce and mitigate fraud: We offer unique functionality to help card issuers combat fraud. Using Marqeta’s powerful authorization and decisioning engine, Customers can configure rules using a variety of inputs that approve or decline transactions based on real-time and dynamic parameters. This along with our know-your-customer, 3D Secure, and dispute management services provide a multi-layer security framework, helping our Customers detect and prevent unauthorized, fraudulent activities, while empowering them to create frictionless experiences for their customers.
Manage cases and resolve disputes: Marqeta’s case management API endpoints help our Customers to optimize the entire dispute process. This includes submitting disputes, receiving statements, participating in arbitration, all while receiving live status updates via push notifications. Our holistic solution helps to simplify case management while enabling an optimized experience for the end user.
Simplify compliance and reporting: With our Platform, Customers can monitor and review reports for potential violations and leverage data and insights for compliance reporting such as anti-money-laundering and Bank Secrecy Act, or BSA, monitoring, as well as know-your-customer requirements. Our solutions are certified as compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS, and 3DS, among others. Our bank-grade encryption safeguards payment card data, including personally identifiable information.
Analyze data intelligence: We dissect and analyze transaction data. Customers can monitor balances, authorizations, and settlements over time to track every aspect of their card program. Customers can see chargebacks, declined transactions, and card activities on a regular basis, while data can be reported on a daily, weekly, or monthly cadence.
Our Business Model
Our modern, cloud-based, open API Platform delivers card issuing and transaction processing services for global money movement, tailored to the needs of developers, technical product managers, and visionary entrepreneurs at innovative companies. As of December 31, 2021, there were approximately 122 million active cards on our Platform, up 115% from 57 million active cards on our Platform as of December 31, 2020, and during the year ended December 31, 2021, we processed approximately 2.7 billion transactions on our Platform across the globe, up 70% from the 1.6 billion transactions processed on our Platform during the year ended December 31, 2020. Active cards are defined as the number of transacting cards with one or more successful clearing events during the preceding twelve months.
We employ a usage-based model, based on processing volume, that aligns our interests with those of our Customers. We derive the majority of our revenue from Interchange Fees generated by card transactions through our Platform. Additionally, we generate revenue from other processing services, including monthly platform access, ATM fees, fraud monitoring, and tokenization services.
Interchange Fees are transaction- and volume-based fees paid by the Acquiring Bank to the Issuing Bank that issued the payment card used to purchase goods or services from the merchant. In accordance with our agreements with Issuing Banks, we receive 100% of the Interchange Fees for processing our Customers’ card transactions. Under our Customer contracts, we typically share a portion of Interchange Fees with our Customers, referred to as “Revenue Share.” As Customers increase processing volumes on our Platform, they may earn an increased percentage of Revenue Share. Sharing an increased percentage of Interchange Fees with our Customers aligns our interests with our Customers’ growth and builds deeper customer relationships.
As we strive to democratize payments and simplify card issuing and transaction processing, our strategic partnerships and direct integrations with Issuing Banks and Card Networks are important to our customer value proposition. Greater processing volume also allows us to achieve better volume pricing with our Issuing Banks and Card Networks, which we can pass along to our Customers. This, in turn, can make our product offerings more competitive.
Our Platform enables new and existing Customers to create innovative and configurable card programs and to increase their processing volumes. Additionally, as we expand our use cases, product offerings, and global footprint, we help our Customers expand into new verticals, programs, markets, and geographies. We have experienced significant success with this strategy to date. We achieved year-over-year net revenue growth of 78% and a dollar-based net revenue retention of 175% for the year ended December 31, 2021.
The following strengths and advantages power our business model:
Modern Card Issuing Trailblazer: Marqeta created modern card issuing. Our modern Platform offers multiple issuing and processing innovations, including open APIs, JIT Funding, and Tokenization as a Service, and supports prepaid, debit, and credit products. We continue to innovate on our Platform, and we believe that this innovation, coupled with our deep expertise, keeps us in a market-leading position.
Continuous Innovation: As we partner with our existing Customers to support their ambitious global projects and develop cutting-edge use cases for each vertical, we also attract new Customers seeking best-in-class solutions. The highly configurable Marqeta Platform is agile out of the box and at scale. We help our customers go to market with our developer-centric APIs, sandboxes, and SDKs, written in modern programming languages.
Enduring Customer Relationships: Our dollar-based net revenue retention was over 175% for the year ended December 31, 2021 and over 200% for each of the years ended December 31, 2020, and 2019, illustrating the strength and durability of our Customer relationships. Our Platform powers mission-critical experiences for our Customers, leading to strong relationships over time as we extend their reach both from a product and geographic perspective. We become technically integrated within their products and solutions, operationally integrated as Customers develop core processes around our tools and platform, and culturally integrated as our partnerships deepen over time. Indeed, our mutually beneficial contractual terms are designed to provide a win/win for both our Customers and us; as their businesses thrive, our net revenue grows.
People-centric Culture and Values: We believe our culture of customer centricity, innovation, teamwork, and clarity of mission is why Customers trust us with their mission critical payments needs. Our Customers consistently tell us that our ability to work at speed, simplify the complex, and envision their end users’ experience helps them focus on what they do best—building innovative products and serving their customers. We also believe our culture helps us hire and retain best-in-class talent, as we empower employees to do the best work of their lives.
The aggregate effect of these strengths and advantages is a strong competitive moat, predicated on our scale, Customer relationships, and the technological complexities that we have managed to simplify over time, while remaining agile, extensible, and innovative. We believe it would require a significant commitment of time and resources for a potential competitor to imitate our Platform.
We also believe that we have and continue to build significant technical know-how and card issuing and transaction processing expertise so that potential competitors cannot easily replicate our business. We believe these structural advantages, and our culture and values driven business, should enable us to extend our lead over time.
Our Growth Strategy
Our market opportunity is tremendous, and we intend to expand our addressable market and increase our revenue by pursuing the following strategies:
Adding New Customers. We intend to solidify our reach in existing categories and expand to new use cases and industry verticals. Our sales teams focus on attracting an even greater number of commerce disruptors, digital banks, and tech giants. We also intend to expand our relationships with new large financial institutions to help them compete in the new digitized world through our industry-leading solutions. We intend to attract and engage new Customers through customer referrals from existing Customers, marketing campaigns, outbound sales calls, and key industry conferences and tradeshows. We will also look for opportunities to grow through strategic partnerships and acquisitions.
Expanding and Growing Our Relationships With Our Existing Customers. Our current Customers include some of today’s leading commerce disruptors, digital banks, tech giants, and large financial institutions. We participate in our Customers’ growth alongside them because as our Customers’ businesses scale and their processing volumes increase, so does our revenue.
Broadening Our Global Reach. As of December 31, 2021, we were certified by one or more of the global Card Networks to process transactions in 39 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific and intend to accelerate our international expansion in the future. Because our Customers employ digital models that transcend borders, we are constantly extending our Platform’s reach. This allows us to offer a single global Platform to all Customers, no matter where they originate or how they expand. With Marqeta, developers only have to integrate once to gain access to a global market and to take advantage of all of the tools our Platform offers for a global reach.
Expanding Our Ecosystem, Product Offering and Partnership Network. Our closely integrated relationships with our Customers and deep insight into our Customers’ transaction data allows us to anticipate our Customers’ product needs and emerging market opportunities. Our modern card issuing Platform and best-in-class APIs allow us to rapidly develop new products, features, and use cases to serve our current and future Customers. We will continue to invest in our Platform to create increased stability, greater flexibility, and data-driven decision-making, all within increasingly shorter timeframes. We plan to build new APIs to deliver for our Customers and expand our migration to the cloud to provide enhanced scalability, paving the way for data localization options and reducing our maintenance burden. We initially targeted card issuing through a modern and disruptive lens, and we believe we can leverage our Platform to replicate our success in other areas of the payments ecosystem. A robust ecosystem of partners is also crucial to our ability to embed our technology into a greater range of use cases. We intend to continue identifying and nurturing our relationships with Issuing Banks, Card Networks, and other vendors to continue building on our existing use cases.
Culture & Values
Our mission is to be the global standard for modern card issuing, empowering builders to bring the most innovative products to the world. Great missions are achieved by great teams, and at Marqeta, everything starts with our culture. A great culture attracts and retains great people who find their purpose in serving our Customers.
Our culture is built on the foundation of seven core values:
We realized some time ago that words like “company” and “customer” are just another way to say “people.” Companies are collections of people who unite behind a common mission and then align behind values that bind them together. Each person on our team is called a Marqetan. On their first day, we share with each Marqetan our values. Key among these is “Everyone Belongs.” We respect, value, and include each other, demonstrating empathy and celebrating diversity.
As part of our onboarding process, we also ask each new employee an empowering question: “What is your superpower?” We believe everyone has a superpower. Whatever it is, we want that person to embrace it, share it, and celebrate all of our unique abilities, viewpoints, and personalities together as Marqetans. United, these superpowers allow us to be more than just the sum of the people who work at Marqeta. With 789 Marqetans as of December 31, 2021, we believe that each Marqetan brings their own unique superpower to the company. We strive to empower every Marqetan to do the best work of their lives.
Nothing is more powerful than a unified team of people focused on the results of the team over their individual success. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
We do what’s right for all of us, not one of us. We succeed together.
Customers are the people we seek to delight every day. Our Customers tell us that our ability to work at speed, cut through complexity, and always have their end users’ experience at heart helps them focus on what they do best – building innovative products and serving their customers.
Because of our value of Lead Innovation, we believe we are the first modern Platform to market with multiple issuing and processing innovations, including the first open APIs, JIT Funding, and Tokenization as a Service. Our modern card issuing Platform supports prepaid, debit, and credit products. We love to lean into the unknown and find the path forward.
Success is measured in results. At our heart, we are developers who build for developers, and we have not forgotten our entrepreneurial roots. Customers have chosen to build and scale their businesses on our Platform because we understand that our Customers need to deliver for their customers.
We keep it simple and find a solution. We act like owners and deliver the best outcome for our Customers.
Quality is at the heart of everything we build. We are proud of the work we do and strive to improve it every day. When you provide high-quality products and do great work, people remember it and trust you.
Our purpose has never been more clear: pay it forward. We aspire to have a positive global impact by making complex payment infrastructure accessible and leveling the playing field for innovation and financial access across communities. Our celebration of diversity and community is critically important to our culture and why we are proud to be headquartered in Oakland. Our commitment to the people in the communities we serve is embodied in our value of Marqeta Cares:
We invest in corporate social responsibility. Our people, technology, and resources make a positive impact in our community, and we are responsible stewards of our environment.
We created Marqeta Cares, our social impact initiative, as our corporate giving program and to help select the charities we support. Marqeta Cares seeks to create inclusive communities and build pathways to economic prosperity. We do this by leveraging our financial and human capital to support nonprofit organizations that advance economic opportunity for under-resourced and under-served communities. We approved up to 400,000 shares of our common stock to be contributed to the Marqeta Cares program over ten years, beginning in 2020. Marqeta Cares will leverage these resources to make targeted and thoughtful donations where our equity and dollars can make a meaningful difference.
To help implement our Marqeta Cares goals, Marqeta has partnered with an experienced donor-advised fund, operated as a 501(c)(3) public charity, that will serve as the legal vehicle for implementing Marqeta Cares’ corporate philanthropic vision. In 2020 and 2021, that donor-advised fund made a number of financial grants to charities in the United States and the United Kingdom to advance economic opportunity for marginalized and underserved populations and generate positive impact for our communities, our environment, our Customers and our Company. In addition, we are partnering with Pledge 1%, an advisory non-profit organization that assists companies in donating to charitable causes. Marqeta is also proud of its emerging green initiatives, which include offering Customers the innovative choice to use recycled plastic cards and partnering with a plastic offset platform to remove ocean-bound plastic waste.
Our modern card issuing Platform powers mission-critical experiences for our Customers, leading to strong relationships over time as we extend their reach both from a product and geographic perspective. We had over 200 Customers and over 160 Customers as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Currently, we provide solutions in the following verticals:
◦Lending (e.g., BNPL financing)
◦Disbursements (e.g., insurance, incentives and rewards)
◦Online Marketplaces (e.g., travel, eCommerce)
•Digital Banks (e.g., digital banking; cryptocurrency)
•Large Financial Institutions
Agreements with Large Customers
On April 19, 2016, we entered into a master services agreement with Block, Inc., formerly known as Square, Inc., subsequently amended, which includes agreements that provide for the commercial terms of our relationship with Block. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, we have agreed to manage Block’s Cash App, Square Card, and Square Card Canada card issuing programs for Block. Under the agreement to manage these card programs, we agree to share with Block a portion of the net interchange revenue that we earn from processing the volume of these programs. The Revenue Share provisions include increased rates of Revenue Share when processing volumes reach specified volume tiers. Additionally, we generate revenue from other processing services under the agreement. In addition, on March 13, 2021, and as specified in our agreement with Block, we granted Block a warrant to purchase up to 1,100,000 shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $0.01 per share, which is exercisable upon attaining certain milestones relating to Block’s creation of a specified percentage of new cardholders on our Platform each year over a three-year period. The current term of our agreement with Block for Cash App expires in March 2024, the current term of our agreements with Block for Square Card and Square Card Canada, respectively, expire in December 2024, and each agreement automatically renews thereafter for successive one-year periods, unless terminated earlier by either party. Either we or Block may terminate the master services agreement under certain specified circumstances, including upon a material breach. The agreement also provides for certain other terms, including representations and warranties of the parties, intellectual property rights, data ownership and security, limitations on liability, confidentiality and indemnification rights, and other covenants.
Our Relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks
Our contractual relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks contribute to Marqeta’s ability to create and manage customized card programs for our Customers.
We partner with Issuing Banks to provide services to Marqeta that include card issuance, Card Network sponsorship, and creating deposit accounts used to settle our Customers’ transactions. Our contracts with Issuing Banks entitle Marqeta to all of the Interchange Fees generated from our Customers’ card programs and obligate us to pay all Card Network fees associated with our Customers’ card transactions. Issuing Banks require Marqeta to comply with their requirements and those of the Card Networks necessary to sponsor the Customer’s card programs.
We provide all of our Customers issuer processor services, and, for most of our Customers, we also act as the program manager. As a program manager, we are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Issuing Bank’s requirements and Card Network rules and help create regulatory compliant card programs for our Customers.
When our Customers engage us solely as an Issuer Processor, we process the authorization, settlement and reporting of transactions for these Customers but in such engagements we do not manage the relationships with the Issuing Banks and Card Networks.
We intend to expand and deepen our relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks and expect to see an increased demand for both our program manager and issuer processor services.
Agreements with Issuing Banks
While an Issuing Bank ultimately approves each card program, Marqeta is able to configure the program design, negotiate key program terms, and select the Issuing Bank. Marqeta actively “shops” the potential card program to various Issuing Banks to identify the most appropriate bank based on the Customer’s needs. Marqeta pays the Issuing Banks a fixed fee (either a fixed percentage of the transaction volume or a fixed fee per transaction) as compensation for the services they provide to Marqeta.
On April 1, 2016, we entered into a prepaid card program manager agreement with Sutton Bank. Under the terms of the agreement, as amended, Sutton Bank settles payment transactions for us and provides prepaid card and other related services to us, including the issuance of cards for approved card programs. The agreement provides that we pay Sutton Bank a fee based on a percentage of the value of transactions processed. Under this agreement we are entitled to receive 100% of the Interchange Fees for processing our Customers’ card transactions. Under certain circumstances, the agreement also requires us to pay termination fees, including fees and costs to Sutton Bank, if we terminate the agreement before the end of its term or any automatic renewal term. The current term of the agreement expires in 2028, after which it automatically renews on the same terms and conditions for a two-year renewal term, unless either party provides written notice of its intent not to renew at least 180 days prior to the expiration of the then-current term. Either we or Sutton Bank may terminate the agreement under certain specified circumstances, including if the other party commits a material breach that is not cured within 30 days.
Agreements with Card Networks
The Card Networks oversee their worldwide payment networks, through which debit, credit, and prepaid card payments are authorized, processed, and settled between an Issuing Bank and an Acquiring Bank. Card Networks also set the Interchange Fee rates that the Acquiring Bank routes through the Card Network to the Issuing Bank. We currently partner with a number of Card Networks, including Visa, Mastercard, and PULSE, which is part of the Discover Global Network, and a number of PIN networks, to process our Customers’ transactions on our Platform. Marqeta arranges for our Customers to use one or more of the available Card Networks, and we pay standard fees to Card Networks directly, or indirectly through reimbursement of these fees upon the settlement of card transactions by the Issuing Banks. Our contracts with the Card Networks also provide us with certain monetary incentives based on the volume of our Customers’ transactions processed through the respective Card Network. Additionally, we partner with Card Networks to develop our processing capabilities in international locations as we expand globally.
Our relationships with the Card Networks allow us to connect our Platform directly to the Card Networks, which allows for transaction authorization (or decline) messages to be sent electronically to and from our Platform. This connection provides for virtually instant notification of our Customers’ card transactions and allows for quick response to the authorization request. Once an authorization approval response has been sent by Marqeta to the Card Network (based on parameters established by the applicable Customer), the transaction is able to occur on the Card Network’s secure network.
In 2020, we entered into a strategic relationship agreement with Mastercard. We have also entered into a number of subsequent arrangements with Mastercard, including certain brand agreements. Under these agreements, as amended, we have agreed to cooperate with Mastercard on a number of initiatives, including international expansion, product, marketing and business development collaboration. The contracts provide Marqeta with tiered incentives based on the processing volume of our Customers’ transactions routed through Mastercard and its affiliated networks. The current term of the strategic relationship agreement expires in 2028 or at an earlier date if Marqeta achieves a certain processing volume milestone through the Mastercard network. Either party may terminate the agreements under specified circumstances, including upon a material breach that remains uncured for a specified period of time.
In 2017, we entered into a strategic alliance framework agreement with Visa, subsequently amended. We have also entered into a number of subsequent arrangements with Visa, as governed by the strategic alliance framework agreement, including a service evaluation agreement and certain brand agreements. Under these agreements, we have agreed to cooperate with Visa on a number of initiatives, including international expansion, product, marketing and business development collaboration. The contracts provide Marqeta with tiered incentives based on the processing volume of our Customers’ transactions routed through Visa and its affiliated networks. The current term of the strategic alliance framework agreement expires in 2022 and automatically renews annually thereafter. Either party may terminate the agreements under specified circumstances, including upon a material breach that remains uncured for a specified period of time. Visa may also elect to terminate the agreements prior to the natural expiration of the then-current term due to our failure to meet certain performance requirements.
In 2013, we entered into a direct processor agreement with Pulse Network LLC, or Pulse, subsequently amended. The contract provides Marqeta with tiered incentives based on the processing volume of our Customers’ transactions routed through Pulse and its affiliated networks. The contract is currently under a renewal term, which automatically renews annually, unless either party provides written notice of its intent not to renew. Either party may terminate the agreement under specified circumstances, including upon a material breach that remains uncured for a specified period of time.
We compete in a large and evolving market. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our market include:
•platform and product features and functionality;
•ability to build new technology and keep pace with innovation;
•security and reliability;
•brand recognition and reputation;
•speed to market.
Our competitors fall into three primary categories:
•Providers with legacy technology platforms, including Global Payments (TSYS), Fiserv, and FIS:
We believe we offer a more agile and configurable solution that is faster to market than the traditional providers. We believe that, in general, legacy solutions are more rigid and are slower to both implement and innovate. Legacy platforms are often oriented to serve large financial institutions with standard product offerings. In contrast, the Marqeta Platform supports a range of digitally enabled use cases to serve the evolving card issuing marketplace.
•Vertical-focused providers, including Wex and Comdata:
While we also compete with providers focused on a certain vertical, we believe that our modern card issuing Platform’s depth and breadth offer a better and more complete solution for innovators. From its initial inception, our Platform was built to be horizontal, making it more configurable and extensible for a variety of emerging use cases and verticals. Furthermore, our experience in one vertical often informs similar use cases in other verticals, helping us bring new features to market faster.
•Emerging providers, including Adyen and Stripe:
Our Customers tell us that industry expertise is the number one reason for selecting an Issuer Processor. Marqeta has a track record of successful innovation. Emerging providers generally do not have the same demonstrated track record in card issuing. In addition, emerging providers that are also Acquirer Processors as their core business, are required to dedicate both time and capital to non-core parts of their business to serve the card issuing market. Overall, emerging providers generally have different go-to-market strategies and less expansive technological capabilities.
We have a deep history of card issuing expertise, enabling us to achieve technical and operating leverage that we believe potential competitors are unable to replicate. However, some of our competitors have greater financial and operating resources. Moreover, as we expand the scope of our Platform, we may face additional competition. See the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry—We participate in markets that are competitive and continuously evolving, and if we do not compete effectively with established companies and new market entrants, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.”
We believe that our intellectual property rights are valuable and important to our business. We rely on a combination of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, license agreements, confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements, employee disclosure and invention assignment agreements, as well as other legal and contractual rights, to establish and protect our proprietary rights. Though we rely in part upon these legal and contractual protections, we believe that factors such as the skills and ingenuity of our employees, the functionality and infrastructure of our Platform and our business, and frequent enhancements to and expansions of our Platform are more important contributors to our success.
We have a patent program designed to cover various aspects of our business in the United States and abroad. These patents and patent applications are intended to protect our proprietary inventions relevant to our business. We continually review our development efforts to assess the existence and patentability of new intellectual property.
We have an ongoing trademark and service mark registration program pursuant to which we register our brand names and product names, taglines, and logos in the United States and internationally to the extent we determine appropriate and cost-effective. We also have registered domain names for websites that we use in our business, such as www.marqeta.com and other similar variations.
In addition, we seek to protect our intellectual property rights by requiring our employees and independent contractors involved in development of intellectual property on our behalf to enter into agreements acknowledging that all works or other intellectual property generated or conceived by them on our behalf are our property, and assigning to us any rights, including intellectual property rights, that they may claim or otherwise have in those works or property, to the extent allowable under applicable law.
We intend to pursue additional intellectual property protection to the extent we believe it would be beneficial and cost effective. Despite our efforts to protect our intellectual property rights, they may not be respected in the future or may be invalidated, circumvented, or challenged. In addition, the laws of various foreign countries where we operate may not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as laws in the United States. We expect that infringement claims may increase as the number of products and competitors in our market increase. In addition, to the extent that we gain greater visibility and market exposure as a public company, we face a higher risk of being the subject of intellectual property infringement claims from third parties. Any third-party intellectual property claims against us could significantly increase our expenses and could have a significant and negative impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
From time to time, we also incorporate certain intellectual property licensed from third parties, including under certain open source licenses. Even if any such third-party technology did not continue to be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, we believe that alternative technologies would be available as needed in every case.
Sales and Marketing
Our marketing and business development teams operate under one, closely aligned go-to-market umbrella at Marqeta. Our go-to-market function is responsible for how we position ourselves within the industry, growing awareness and adoption of our Platform, accelerating Customer acquisition, onboarding Customers, and setting them up for success. We deploy a range of marketing strategies to drive brand awareness and adoption, including public relations, advertising campaigns, and generating leads and opportunities through direct marketing (online and offline). Our sales development representatives are part of our marketing team and make sure we create, influence and mature the right opportunities from our marketing activity, ranging from tailored content to high touch activities such as leading industry trade shows and events.
Our business development teams, incorporating both strategic, enterprise, and emerging sales units as well as our partnerships team, employ strategies specific to the industry, vertical, use-case and Customer, to convert interest into Customers, capture market share and drive revenue. Our thoughtful, multi-stage engagement process sets the stage for enduring enterprise partnerships with our Customers. We complement these marketing, business development, and sales activities with a focus on Customer onboarding, experience, and success.
We believe that highly responsive and effective support and education are an extension of our brand and are core to ensuring we’re reducing time to revenue when signing a new customer and building and maintaining trust. We firmly believe in the importance of partnering with our Customers, and this is made possible by close cooperation between Customers and our Customer success and delivery operations and bank partnership team. This enables us to launch new card programs as quickly as possible, reacting quickly to Customer needs and fostering collaboration on future product innovation.
Research and Development
Our research and development efforts focus on building enterprise-grade product and service capabilities for our Customers. Technical direction is derived from our understanding of the payments ecosystem and our partners, the evolving opportunity and needs of our Customer base, and the developer community. This focus enables the development of a robust, global platform to support a wide array of products, services, and use cases. Our design, product, engineering, and Customer success teams collaborate to connect our Customers to our Issuing Banks and Card Networks. Our technical operations team also works to ensure the successful deployment and monitoring of our Platform. Software development is primarily executed by our team of professionals across design, product management, and engineering disciplines. We intend to continue to invest in our research and development capabilities to extend our Platform.
We are subject, directly, or indirectly through our relationships with our Issuing Banks, Customers, or Card Networks, to a number of U.S. federal and state and foreign laws and regulations that involve matters central to our business. These laws and regulations involve privacy, data protection, information security, intellectual property, competition, and other subjects.
Many of the laws and regulations that we are subject to are still evolving and being tested in courts and could be interpreted in ways that could harm our business. In addition, the application and interpretation of these laws and regulations often are uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly evolving industry that we operate in. Further, these laws and regulations are sometimes ambiguous or inconsistent, and the extent they apply to us is at times unclear. As global laws and regulations have continued to develop and evolve rapidly, it is possible that we may not be, or may not have been, compliant with each such applicable law or regulation or that we may in the future be required to obtain licenses and registrations. Any actual or alleged failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations may result in, among other things, private litigation, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, sanctions, civil and criminal liability and constraints on our ability to continue to operate.
As we expand our geographical reach and our offerings, we may become subject to additional regulations, in the United States and internationally.
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, or the Dodd-Frank Act, effected comprehensive revisions to a wide array of federal laws governing financial institutions, financial services and financial markets. Among its most notable provisions is the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, which is charged with regulating consumer financial products or services and which assumes much of the rulemaking authority under federal laws affecting the extension of credit. In addition to rulemaking authority over several enumerated federal consumer financial protection laws, the CFPB is authorized to issue rules prohibiting unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices by persons offering consumer financial products or services and their service providers and has authority to enforce these consumer financial protection laws and CFPB rules. The CFPB has not defined what is a consumer financial product or service but has indicated informally that, in some instances, small businesses may be covered under consumer protection.
Due to our relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks, we may be subject to indirect supervision and examination by the CFPB in connection with our Platform and certain of our products and services. CFPB rules, examinations, and enforcement actions may require us to adjust our activities and may increase our compliance costs.
In addition, the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act provides that Interchange Fees that an Issuing Bank or Card Network receives or charges for debit transactions are regulated by the Federal Reserve and must be “reasonable and proportional” to the cost incurred by the card issuer in authorizing, clearing, and settling the transaction. Card Network fees may not be used directly or indirectly to compensate Issuing Banks in circumvention of the interchange transaction fee restrictions. While we only contract with Issuing Banks who are exempt from the Durbin Amendment, we remain sensitive to changes in the regulation of Interchange Fees. The implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act is ongoing, and as a result, its overall impact remains unclear. Its provisions, however, are sufficiently far reaching that it is possible that we could be further directly or indirectly impacted.
Privacy, Data Protection and Information Security Regulations
We provide services that are subject to various state, federal and foreign laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection, and information security, including, among others, the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, the General Data Protection Regulation, and the California Consumer Protection Act. Accordingly, we publish our privacy policies and terms of service, which describe our practices concerning the use, transmission, and disclosure of certain information. For additional information about laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection, and information security, see the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Regulation—Regulations and industry standards related to privacy and data protection could adversely affect our ability to effectively provide our services.”
Additionally, our Platform hosts, transmits, processes, and stores payment card data and is therefore required to comply with PCI DSS. As a result, we are subject to PCI audits and must comply with related security requirements. See the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry—Our business relies on our relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks, and if we are unable to maintain these relationships, our business may be adversely affected. Further, any changes to the rules or practices set by Card Networks, including changes in Interchange Fees, could adversely affect our business.”
Association and Card Network Rules
Our Issuing Banks must comply with the bylaws, regulations, and requirements that are set forth by the Card Networks, including PCI DSS and other applicable data-security program requirements. In providing services through our Platform, we are also subject to such requirements. To provide payment processing services, we are certified and registered with certain Card Networks as a processor for member institutions. As such, we are subject to applicable card association, Card Network and national scheme rules that could subject us to fines or penalties for certain acts or omissions. The Card Networks routinely update and modify their requirements and we, in turn, must work to comply with such updates to continue processing transactions on their networks.
Further, we are subject to network operating rules promulgated by the National Automated Clearing House Association relating to payment transactions processed on our Platform using the Automated Clearing House Network and to various federal and state laws regarding such operations.
Prepaid Card Regulations
The prepaid card programs that we manage for our Customers are subject to various federal and state laws and regulations, including the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 and the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation E, which impose requirements on general-use prepaid cards, store gift cards and electronic gift certificates. The CFPB also regulates prepaid accounts, including certain accounts that are capable of being loaded with funds and whose primary function is to conduct transactions with multiple, unaffiliated merchants, at ATMs, or for person-to-person transfers. These regulations include, among other things, disclosure of fees to the consumer prior to the creation of a prepaid account; liability limits and error-resolution requirements; regulation of prepaid accounts with overdraft and credit features; and the submission of prepaid account agreements to the CFPB and the publication of such agreements to the general public.
These laws and regulations are evolving, unclear, and sometimes inconsistent and subject to judicial and regulatory challenge and interpretation, and therefore the extent these laws and rules apply to, and impact, us is in flux. The extensive nature of these regulations may result in additional compliance obligations and expense for our business.
Although we are not a “money services business” or otherwise subject to anti-money laundering registration requirements under U.S. federal or state law, we are subject to certain anti-money laundering laws and regulations in the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and other jurisdictions. In the United States, the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, which is also known as the BSA, and which was amended by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, contains a variety of provisions aimed at fighting terrorism and money laundering. Among other things, the BSA and implementing regulations issued by the U.S. Treasury Department require certain financial institutions to establish anti-money laundering programs, to not engage in terrorist financing, to report suspicious activity and to maintain a number of related records.
Due to our relationships with Issuing Banks that are directly regulated for anti-money laundering purposes, we have implemented an anti-money laundering program designed to prevent our Platform from being used to facilitate money laundering, terrorist financing and other illicit activity. When providing program management services, we ensure that our anti-money laundering program complies with the requirements of our Issuing Banks. Our programs are also designed to prevent our Platform from being used to facilitate activity in violation of applicable sanctions laws and regulations, including conducting business in specified countries or with designated persons or entities, including those on lists promulgated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls and equivalent foreign authorities. Our anti-money laundering compliance program includes policies, procedures, reporting protocols and internal controls, including the designation of a bank secrecy act officer in the U.S. and the equivalent in other jurisdictions, and it is designed to assist in managing risk associated with money laundering and terrorist financing.
We are subject to anti-corruption and anti-bribery and similar laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, or the FCPA, the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, and other anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws in countries where we conduct activities. The FCPA and other applicable anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws prohibit companies and their employees and agents from promising, authorizing, making, or offering improper payments or other benefits to government officials and others in the private sector to influence official action, direct business to any person, gain any improper advantage, or obtain or retain business.
The FCPA includes anti-bribery and accounting provisions enforced by the Department of Justice and SEC. The statute has a broad reach, covering all U.S. companies and citizens doing business abroad, among others, and defining a foreign official to include not only those holding public office but also local citizens affiliated with foreign government-run or -owned organizations. The statute also requires maintenance of appropriate books and records and maintenance of adequate internal controls.
We are subject to examination by our Issuing Banks’ regulators and must comply with certain regulations to which our sponsor banks are subject, as applicable. For instance, due to our relationships with certain Issuing Banks and certain Customers, we may be subject to indirect supervision and examination by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, state banking regulators (such as the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in connection with our Platform and certain of our products and services. We are also subject to audit by certain Issuing Banks. Further, certain of our Customers are financial institutions or non-bank regulated entities and, as a result, we may be indirectly subject to examination and obligated to assist those Customers in complying with certain regulations to which they are subject or with responses to audits of such Customers.
The conduct of our business and the use of our products and services outside the United States are subject to various foreign laws and regulations administered by government entities and agencies in the countries and territories where we operate and where our Customers and their cardholders use our products and services. For instance, we are subject to processing fee and transaction fee regulation where our cards are used and may in the future be subject to Interchange Fee regulations in other countries where our cards are used.
Security, Privacy, and Data Protection
Trust is important for our relationship with our Customers, and we take significant measures to protect the privacy and security of their data and the data of their cardholders.
We devote considerable resources to our information security program, which is dedicated to ensuring the highest confidence in our custodianship of the data of our Customers. Our security program is aligned to the ISO 27000 standards and is regularly audited and assessed by third parties. In addition, our security program has achieved several internationally-recognized certifications and industry standard audited attestations.
Our security program focuses on preserving the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the personal data and other confidential information of our Customers and our Customers’ cardholders. To this end, our team of security professionals, working in partnership with peers across our company, work to identify and mitigate risks, implement best practices, and continue to evaluate ways to improve our information security. These steps include data encryption in transit and at rest, network security, classifying and inventorying data, limiting and authorizing access controls, and multi-factor authentication for access to systems with data. We also employ regular system monitoring, logging, and alerting to retain and analyze the security state of our corporate and production infrastructure. In addition, we take steps to help ensure that appropriate security measures are maintained by the third-party vendors we use, including by conducting security reviews and audits.
Privacy and Data Protection
The privacy of our Customers’ data and our Customers’ cardholders’ data is important to our continued growth and success. Privacy is a shared responsibility among all our employees. We also have a privacy team that builds and executes on our privacy program, including support for data protection and privacy-related requests.
We are committed to complying with applicable privacy and data protection laws. We monitor guidance from industry and regulatory bodies and update our Platform and contractual commitments accordingly.
Our Employees and Human Capital Resources
As of December 31, 2021, we had a total of 789 employees, and 193 contractors. We supplement our workforce with contractors and consultants. To our knowledge, none of our employees is represented by a labor union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement. We have not experienced any work stoppages, and we consider our relations with our employees to be good.
Our human capital resources objectives include, as applicable, identifying, recruiting, retaining, incentivizing and integrating our existing and new employees. We believe our culture helps us hire and retain best-in-class talent, as we empower employees to do the best work of their lives. Marqeta was named one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in 2022. This list celebrates the employees’ choice for the top companies to work for and is determined solely based on employee feedback provided on Glassdoor. We were ranked highest for our culture and values, career opportunities available, and diversity and inclusion.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Marqeta is proud of its Oakland roots and strives to build a global team as diverse as the markets it serves. A key focus of our human capital management approach is our commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. At Marqeta, we believe that creating a truly inclusive workplace means investing in company-wide programs, policies, and practices centered on equity. We strive to build a culture where everyone belongs and is empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, background or any other human qualifier. Of our new hires in 2021 who voluntarily disclosed their gender and race/ethnicity information, 44% identified as female and 11% identified as Black or Latinx. It is our diverse perspectives that help us collaborate, innovate, and drive success within our teams and for the customers and communities we serve.
Marqeta's Employee Resource Groups, or ERGs, along with our Diversity Council and other culture coalitions form a network of internal groups focused on elevating underrepresented voices in tech and celebrating the wide range of communities and cultures that span our employee base. We currently have twelve ERGs, with over half of our employees participating in at least one. Marqeta’s core company value that “Everyone Belongs” serves as a constant reminder of how critical this work is to our identity as a company.
Compensation, Benefits, and Wellness
We believe we offer a robust, competitive compensation and benefits package that supports our employees’ overall health and financial wellness. To ensure alignment with our short- and long-term objectives, our compensation programs include base pay, and cash and equity incentives. The principal purposes of our equity incentive plans are to attract, retain and reward personnel through the granting of share-based compensation awards which allows us to align employees’ interests with our shareholders and to allow our employees to share in increases in the value of our equity. We also offer a wide array of in-demand benefits and perks to our global workforce, including comprehensive health and welfare benefits, flexible time-off, and various family and medical leave benefits.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented significant changes that we determined were in the best interest of our employees and the communities in which we operate. These include having the vast majority of our employees continue to work from home, and implementing additional safety measures for employees conducting critical on-site work. The future of work at Marqeta is flexible, with in-office, hybrid, and remote working options. We have also added additional company-wide paid days off to help employees balance their work and life responsibilities. We believe these flexible policies will help us source, connect, and hire talent in more locations, as well as retain talent that may want or need to relocate.
We were incorporated in 2010 under the name Marqeta, Inc. as a Delaware corporation. We completed our initial public offering in June 2021 and our Class A common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “MQ.” Our principal executive offices are located at 180 Grand Avenue, 6th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612, and our telephone number is (888) 462-7738.
Our website is located at www.marqeta.com, and our investor relations website is located at www.investors.marqeta.com. Copies of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to these reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available, free of charge, on our investor relations website as soon as reasonably practicable after we file such material electronically with or furnish it to the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. The SEC also maintains a website that contains our SEC filings. The address of the site is www.sec.gov. We use our www.investors.marqeta.com and www.marqeta.com websites, as well as our blog posts, press releases, public conference calls, webcasts, our twitter feed (@Marqeta), our Instagram page (@lifeatmarqeta), our Facebook page, and our LinkedIn page, as a means of disclosing material nonpublic information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. The contents of our websites are not intended to be incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC, and any references to our websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Investing in our Class A common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” before making a decision to invest in our Class A common stock. Our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects could also be harmed by risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we do not currently believe to be material. If any of the risks actually occur, our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects could be adversely affected. In that event, the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline, and you could lose part or all of your investment.
Risk Factors Summary
Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that you should consider before investing in our company. The following is a summary of some of these risks and uncertainties. This summary should be read together with the more detailed description of each risk factor below.
•We have experienced rapid net revenue growth in recent periods and our recent net revenue growth rates may not be indicative of our future net revenue growth.
•If we fail to manage our growth effectively, we may be unable to execute our business plan or maintain high levels of customer service and satisfaction, and our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
•Future net revenue growth depends on our ability to retain existing Customers, drive increased TPV on our Platform, and attract new Customers in a cost-effective manner.
•We participate in markets that are competitive and continuously evolving, and if we do not compete effectively with established companies and new market entrants, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
•We currently generate significant net revenue from our largest Customer, Block, Inc., or Block, and the loss or decline in net revenue from Block could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
•Our recent growth, ongoing changes in our industry, and our transaction mix make it difficult to forecast our net revenue and evaluate our business and future prospects.
•We have a history of net losses, we anticipate increasing operating expenses in the future, and we may not be able to achieve profitability.
•We may experience annual or quarterly fluctuations in our results of operations due to a number of factors that make our future results difficult to predict and could cause our results of operations to fall below analyst or investor expectations.
•The global COVID-19 pandemic could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
•Our business relies on our relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks, and if we are unable to maintain these relationships, our business may be adversely affected. Further, any changes to the rules or practices set by Card Networks, including changes in Interchange Fees, could adversely affect our business.
•There has been a limited public market for our Class A common stock, the trading price of our Class A common stock has been and is likely to continue to be volatile or may decline regardless of our operating performance, and you may not be able to resell your shares at or above the price at which you purchased such shares.
•The dual class structure of our common stock has the effect of concentrating voting control with those stockholders who hold shares of our Class B common stock, including our directors, executive officers, and their respective affiliates. This ownership limits or precludes your ability to influence corporate matters, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transaction requiring stockholder approval, and that may depress the trading price of our Class A common stock.
Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry
We have experienced rapid net revenue growth in recent periods and our recent net revenue growth rates may not be indicative of our future net revenue growth.
We have experienced rapid growth in recent periods. Our total net revenue was $517.2 million, $290.3 million and $143.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively, an increase of 78% and 103% from the prior years, respectively. In future periods, we may not be able to sustain net revenue growth consistent with recent history, or at all. Further, because we operate in an evolving payments industry, our ability to grow and innovate is important to our success. We believe our net revenue growth depends on several factors, including, but not limited to, our ability to:
•acquire new Customers and retain existing Customers;
•achieve widespread acceptance and use of our Platform and the services we offer;
•increase the use of our Platform and our offerings, TPV, and the number of transactions on our Platform;
•effectively scale our operations while maintaining high levels of service and Customer satisfaction;
•maintain and increase our net revenue and gross profit by continuing to innovate and expanding our product and service offerings;
•diversify our Customer base;
•maintain and grow our network of vendors and partners, including Issuing Banks, Card Networks, and other vendors and partners;
•hire and retain talented employees at all levels of our business;
•maintain the security and reliability of our Platform;
•adapt to changes in laws and regulations applicable to our business;
•adapt to changing macroeconomic conditions and evolving conditions in the payments industry;
•introduce and grow widespread adoption of our Platform in new markets outside of the United States; and
•successfully compete against established companies and new market entrants, including legacy issuing platforms and modern payments technology companies.
If we are unable to accomplish these objectives, our net revenue growth may be adversely affected.
We also expect our operating expenses to increase in future periods, and if our net revenue growth does not increase to offset these anticipated increases in our operating expenses, our business, results of operations, and financial condition will be adversely affected, and we may not be able to achieve profitability. We have also encountered in the past, and expect to encounter in the future, risks and uncertainties frequently experienced by growing companies in evolving industries as further detailed in these “Risk Factors.” If our assumptions regarding these risks and uncertainties, which we use to plan and operate our business, are incorrect or change, or if we do not address these risks successfully, our growth rates may slow and our business would suffer. In the near term, we expect our TPV and net revenue growth rates to be variable as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the continued spread and evolution of COVID-19, and we are unable to predict the duration, degree, or volatility of future growth with any certainty.
If we fail to manage our growth effectively, we may be unable to execute our business plan or maintain high levels of Customer service and satisfaction, and our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, rapid growth, which has placed, and may continue to place, significant demands on our management and our operational and financial resources. For example, our workforce has grown to 789 employees as of December 31, 2021 from 509 employees as of December 31, 2020. We have offices in the United Kingdom, or U.K., and Australia, and a presence in Singapore, and we plan to continue to expand our international presence and operations into other countries in the future. We have also historically experienced significant growth in the number of Customers using our Platform, the number of card programs and solutions we manage for our Customers, and TPV on our Platform.
To manage operations and personnel growth, we will need to continue to grow and improve our operational, financial, and management controls, and our reporting systems and procedures. We will require significant capital expenditures and the allocation of valuable management resources to expand our systems and infrastructure before our net revenue increases without any assurances that our net revenue will increase. We also believe that our corporate culture has been and will continue to be a valuable component of our success. As we expand our business and mature as a public company, we may find it difficult to maintain our corporate culture while managing this growth as our employees and other service providers increasingly work from geographic areas across the globe. Failure to manage our anticipated growth and organizational changes in a manner that preserves the key aspects of our culture could reduce our ability to recruit and retain personnel, innovate, operate effectively, and execute on our business strategy, potentially adversely affecting our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Additionally, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our global workforce has been working remotely or in hybrid settings, with expected future phased office re-openings potentially limiting our employees’ ability to perform certain job functions and, over time, negatively impacting corporate culture.
Further, as more of our employees are located in new jurisdictions, we will be required to invest resources and to monitor continually changing local regulations and requirements, and we may experience a resulting increase in our expenses, decrease in employee productivity, and changes in our corporate culture.
In addition, as we expand our business, it is important that we continue to maintain a high level of Customer service and satisfaction. As our Customer base continues to grow, we will need to expand our account management and Customer service teams and continue to scale our Platform. If we are not able to continue to provide high levels of Customer service, our reputation, as well as our business, results of operations, and financial condition, could be adversely affected.
Future net revenue growth depends on our ability to retain existing Customers, drive increased TPV on our Platform, and attract new Customers in a cost-effective manner.
Our net revenue growth substantially depends on our ability to maintain and grow our relationships with existing Customers and increase the volume of transactions processed on our Platform. If our prospective Customers do not recognize, or our existing Customers do not continue to recognize, the need for and benefits of our Platform and our products, they may decide to adopt alternative products and services to satisfy their business needs. To grow our business and extend our market position, we intend to focus on educating potential Customers about the benefits of our Platform, expanding the capabilities of our Platform and our product offerings, and bringing new products and services to market to increase market acceptance and use of our Platform.
Some of our Customer contracts provide for a termination clause that allows our Customers to terminate their contract at any time following a limited notice period. In addition, our Customers generally are not subject to any minimum volume commitments under their contracts and have no obligation to continue using our Platform, products, or services. We cannot assure you that Customers will continue to use our Platform or that we will be able to continue processing transactions on our Platform at the same rate as we have in the past. Customers may terminate or reduce their use of our Platform for any number of reasons, including their level of satisfaction with our products and services, the effectiveness of our support services, our pricing and the pricing and quality of competing products or services, or the effects of global economic conditions.
The loss of Customers or reductions in their processing volumes, particularly any loss of or reductions by Block, may adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Our growth may decline in the future if Customers are not satisfied with our Platform or our ability to meet our Customers’ needs and expectations. Further, the complexity and costs associated with switching processing volume to our competitors may not ultimately prevent a Customer from switching to another provider. To achieve continued growth, we must not only maintain our relationships with our existing Customers, but also encourage them to increase adoption and usage of our products. For example, Customers can have multiple card programs on our Platform across different use cases and geographies. If Customers do not renew their contracts or broaden their use of our services, our growth may slow or stop and our business, results of operations, and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.
In addition to capitalizing on the potential net revenue embedded within our existing Customer base, we must continue to attract new Customers to promote growth. Our growth depends on developing new use cases and industry verticals across new geographies. We may face additional challenges that are unique to the markets we target and we may not be able to acquire new Customers in a cost-effective manner. To reach new Customers, we may need to spend significantly more on sales and marketing to generate awareness of our Platform and educate potential Customers on the value of our Platform. We may also need to adapt our existing technology and offerings or develop new or innovative capabilities to meet the particular needs of Customers in these new use cases or new markets, and there can be no assurance that we will be successful in these efforts. We may not have adequate financial or technological resources to develop effective and secure products and services that will satisfy the demands of Customers in these new markets. When a new Customer launches with us, if we are slow to onboard them onto our Platform or are slow to expand their use cases, our net revenue from the Customer may be limited. If we fail to attract new Customers, including Customers in new use cases, industry verticals, and geographies, and to expand our Platform in a way that serves the needs of these new Customers, and to onboard them quickly, then we may not be able to continue to grow our net revenue.
We participate in markets that are competitive and continuously evolving, and if we do not compete effectively with established companies and new market entrants, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We were founded in 2010, and we provide a single, global, cloud-based, open-API Platform for modern card issuing and payment processing. We provide card issuing, payment processing, risk management, data insights, and a variety of controls, customizations, and features through our Platform. Our modern card issuing Platform is situated in the evolving financial technology and payments industries that are intensely competitive and subject to rapidly evolving technology, shifting customer needs, new market entrants, and introductions of new products and services. We face competition along several dimensions, including providers with legacy technology platforms, such as Global Payments (TSYS), Fiserv, and Fidelity National Information Services; vertical-focused providers, such as Wex and Comdata; and emerging providers, such as Adyen and Stripe. We believe the principal competitive factors in our market include industry expertise, platform and product features and functionality, ability to build new technology and keep pace with innovation, scalability, extensibility, product pricing, security and reliability, brand recognition and reputation, agility, and speed to market. We expect competition to increase in the future as established and emerging companies continue to enter the markets we serve or attempt to address the problems that our Platform addresses. Moreover, as we expand the scope of our Platform, we may face additional competition.
Many of our existing competitors have, and some of our potential competitors could have, substantial competitive advantages such as greater brand name recognition, longer operating histories, larger sales and marketing budgets and resources, more established relationships with vendors or customers, greater customer support resources, greater resources to make acquisitions and investments, lower labor and development costs, larger and more mature intellectual property portfolios, and substantially greater financial, technical, and other resources. Such competitors with greater financial and operating resources may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards, customer requirements, or regulatory developments. In addition, there has been a recent increase in large merger and acquisition transactions in the payments industry, and future mergers and acquisitions by these companies may lead to even larger competitors with more resources.
Conditions in our markets could also change rapidly and significantly as a result of technological advancements, partnering by our competitors, or continuing market consolidation, and it is uncertain how our markets will evolve. New commerce disruptors or large financial institutions that are making significant investments in research and development may develop similar or superior products and technologies that compete with our Platform. Our existing and potential Customers also may choose to build some of the functionality our Platform provides, potentially limiting or eliminating their demand for our Platform. These competitive pressures in our markets or our failure to compete effectively may result in price reductions, fewer Customers, reduced net revenue, gross profit, and gross margins, increased net losses, loss of processing volume, and loss of market share. Any failure to meet and address these factors could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We currently generate significant net revenue from a small group of Customers, including our largest Customer, Block, and the loss or decline in net revenue from these customers, particularly Block, could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
A small number of Customers account for a large percentage of our net revenue. For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, Block accounted for 69%, 70% and 60% of our net revenue, respectively.
Although we expect the net revenue from our largest Customer will decrease over time as a percentage of our total net revenue as we generate more net revenue from other Customers, we expect that net revenue from a relatively small group of Customers will continue to account for a significant portion of our net revenue in the near term. Additionally, consolidation within our Customers’ industries has accelerated in recent years, which has in turn increased the concentration of our Customers, and these trends may continue. For example, Block, our largest Customer, announced in February 2022 that it had completed its acquisition of Afterpay Limited, which is also our Customer, and may increase the percentage of our net revenue represented by our largest Customer. Furthermore, in the event that any of our largest Customers stop using our Platform or use our Platform in a reduced capacity, our business, results of operations, and financial condition would be adversely affected. In addition, any publicity associated with the loss of any of these Customers may adversely affect our reputation and could make it more difficult to attract and retain other Customers.
Our Customer contracts generally do not contain long-term commitments from our Customers, and our Customers may be able to terminate their agreements with us prior to expiration of the contract’s term. The current term of our agreement with Block for Cash App expires in March 2024 and the current term of our agreement with Block for Square Card expires in December 2024, and each agreement automatically renews thereafter for successive one-year periods. Furthermore, while certain of our Customer contracts have minimum volume commitments, others do not. There can be no assurance that we will be able to continue our relationships with our Customers on the same or more favorable terms in future periods or that our relationships will continue beyond the terms of our existing contracts with them. In addition, the processing volume from Block has in the past fluctuated from period to period and may fluctuate or decline in future periods. Our net revenue and results of operations could suffer if, among other things, Block does not continue to use our products, uses fewer of our products, reduces its processing volume, or renegotiates, terminates or fails to renew, or to renew on similar or favorable terms, its agreement with us.
Our recent growth, ongoing changes in our industry, and our transaction mix make it difficult to forecast our net revenue and evaluate our business and future prospects.
We launched our Platform publicly in 2014, and much of our growth has occurred in recent periods. This recent growth makes it difficult to effectively assess or forecast our future prospects, particularly in an evolving industry. Our modern card issuing Platform represents a substantial departure from the traditional card issuing methods and the payment processing solutions offered by traditional providers. While our business has grown rapidly, the market for our Platform, products, and services may not develop as we expect or in a manner that is favorable to our business. As a result of ongoing changes in our evolving industry, our ability to forecast our future results of operations and plan for and model future growth is limited and subject to a number of uncertainties.
In particular, forecasting our future results of operations can be challenging because our net revenue depends in part on our Customers’ end users, and our transaction mix adds further complexity. Our transaction mix refers to the proportion of signature debit versus PIN debit transactions and consumer versus commercial transactions that make up our TPV. In general, transactions that require a signature of the cardholder generate higher percentage-based Interchange Fees, while transactions that require a PIN generate lower percentage-based Interchange Fees. Accordingly, we may be unable to prepare accurate internal financial forecasts, and our results of operations in future reporting periods may differ materially from our estimates and forecasts or the expectations of investors or analysts, causing our business to suffer and our Class A common stock trading price to decline.
We have a history of net losses, we anticipate increasing operating expenses in the future, and we may not be able to achieve profitability.
We have incurred significant net losses since our inception, including net losses of $163.9 million, $47.7 million and $122.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. We expect to continue to incur net losses for the foreseeable future and we may not achieve profitability in the future. Because the market for our Platform, products, and services is evolving, it is difficult for us to predict our results of operations or our market opportunity. We expect our operating expenses to significantly increase over the next several years as we hire additional personnel, adjust compensation packages to hire new or retain employees in an increasingly competitive job market, expand our operations and infrastructure, both domestically and internationally, continue to enhance our Platform and develop and expand its capabilities, expand our products and services, and expand and improve our APIs. These initiatives may be more costly than we expect and may not result in increased net revenue. In addition, as a public company, we have incurred, and we will continue to incur, additional significant legal, insurance, accounting, and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. Any failure to increase our net revenue sufficiently to keep pace with the increases in expenses resulting from these initiatives, investments, and other activities could prevent us from achieving or maintaining profitability or positive cash flow on a consistent basis in future periods. If we fail to achieve profitability, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected. We cannot assure you that we will ever achieve or sustain profitability and may continue to incur significant losses going forward. Any failure by us to achieve or sustain profitability on a consistent basis could cause the value of our Class A common stock to decline.
From time to time, we may make decisions that may reduce our short-term operating results if we believe those decisions will improve the experiences of our Customers, end users, and other users of our products and services, which we believe will improve our operating results over the long term. These decisions may not be consistent with investors’ expectations and may not produce the long-term benefits that we expect, and this may materially and adversely affect our business.
We may experience annual or quarterly fluctuations in our results of operations due to a number of factors that make our future results difficult to predict and could cause our results of operations to fall below analyst or investor expectations.
Our annual or quarterly results of operations may fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, many of which are outside of our control and may be difficult to predict, including, but not limited to:
•demand for our Platform, products, and services by our Customers;
•our success in engaging and retaining existing Customers and attracting new Customers;
•changes in transaction mix or volume processed on the different Card Networks used and the resultant mix of interchange and transaction fees earned;
•our success in increasing our Customers’ processing volumes;
•demand for our Customers’ products by their customers;
•the timing and success of new capabilities by us or by our competitors or any other change in the competitive landscape of our market;
•changes to the terms of and performance under our Customer contracts, including concessions, or payments to Customers resulting from our failure to meet certain service level commitments, which are generally based on our Platform uptime, API response time, and/or transaction success rate;
•reductions in pricing as a result of renegotiations with our larger Customers;
•the amount and timing of operating expenses and capital expenditures, as well as entry into operating leases, that we may incur to maintain and expand our business and operations and remain competitive;
•the timing and extent of amendments or new contracts related to our volume incentive arrangements with Card Networks, which could result in incentive payments that are recorded in a current period and based on volume processed in a prior period;
•the timing of expenses and recognition of net revenue;
•changes in Customers’ processing volumes resulting from seasonal fluctuations;
•security breaches, and technical difficulties involving our Platform or interruptions or disruptions of our Platform;
•adverse litigation judgments, other dispute-related settlement payments, or other litigation-related costs;
•changes in, and continuing uncertainty in relation to, the legislative or regulatory environment;
•the timing and extent of changes in interchange rates set by Card Networks;
•legal and regulatory compliance costs in new and existing markets;
•the amount of compensation and timing of hiring new employees;
•the rate of expansion and productivity of our sales force;
•the timing and extent of increases of grants or vesting of equity awards to employees, directors, or consultants and the recognition of associated share-based compensation expenses and related payroll tax;
•fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;
•fluctuations in interest rates;
•costs and timing of expenses related to the acquisition of businesses, talent, technologies, or intellectual property, including potentially significant amortization costs and possible write-downs;
•the impact of tax charges as a result of non-compliance with, or changes to, federal, state, local, or other tax regulations;
•changes to generally accepted accounting standards in the United States;
•health pandemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza, and other highly communicable diseases or viruses;
•the impact of market and economic volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and the businesses of our Customers;
•the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer demand and spending patterns; and
•general economic conditions in either domestic or international markets, including conditions resulting from geopolitical uncertainty and instability or war, including the significant military action against Ukraine launched by Russia.
Any one or more of the factors above may result in significant fluctuations in our results of operations. You should not rely on our past results as an indicator of our future performance.
The variability and unpredictability of our results of operations or other operating metrics could result in our failure to meet our or investors’ expectations, or those of analysts that cover us, with respect to net revenue or other key metrics for a particular period. If we fail to meet or exceed such expectations for these or any other reasons, the trading price of our Class A common stock could fall, and we could face costly lawsuits, including securities class action suits.
Systems failures and interruptions in the availability of our Platform may adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our continued growth depends on the efficient operation of our Platform without interruption or degradation of performance. Our business involves processing large numbers of transactions, enabling the movement of large sums of money on an aggregate basis, and the management of large amounts of data, and a system outage or data loss could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. We may experience service interruptions, data loss, outages, and other performance problems due to a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes or failures, introductions of new functionality, human or software errors, capacity constraints, denial-of-service attacks, ransomware attacks, or other security-related incidents, including as retaliation against financial institutions for sanctions imposed against Russia as a result of the significant military action against Ukraine launched by Russia. In some instances, we may not be able to identify the cause or causes of these performance problems immediately or in short order, and we may face difficulties remediating and otherwise responding to any such issues. We may not be able to maintain the level of service uptime and performance needed by our Customers, especially as TPV increases. We have experienced high growth in TPV over the past several years and expect such growth may continue for the coming years; however, if we are unable to maintain sufficient processing capacity, Customers could face longer processing times or even downtime. Furthermore, any efforts to further scale our Platform or increase its complexity to handle a larger number or more complicated transactions could result in performance issues, including downtime. If our Platform is unavailable or if Customers are unable to access our Platform within a reasonable amount of time, or at all, our business would be adversely affected. Our Customers rely on the full-time availability of our Platform to process payment transactions, and an outage on our Platform could impair the ability of our Customers to operate their business and generate revenue. Therefore, any system failure, outage, performance problem, or interruption in the availability of our Platform would negatively impact our brand, reputation, and Customer satisfaction, and could subject us to financial penalties and liabilities.
Moreover, we depend on services from various third-party vendors to maintain our infrastructure, including data center facilities and cloud storage platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Inc., or AWS. We conduct vendor due diligence; however, if a service provider fails to develop and maintain sufficient internal control processes or fails to provide sufficient capacity to support our Platform or otherwise experiences service outages, such failure could interrupt the operation of our Platform, potentially adversely affecting our Customers or their perception of our Platform’s reliability and adversely affecting the business of Customers using our Platform. Any disruptions in these services, including as a result of actions outside of our control, would significantly impact the continued performance of our Platform. In the future, these services may not be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Any loss of the right to use any of these services could result in decreased functionality of our Platform until equivalent technology is either developed by us or, if available from another provider, is identified, obtained, and integrated into our infrastructure. If we do not accurately predict our infrastructure capacity requirements, our Customers could experience service shortfalls. We may also be unable to effectively address capacity constraints, upgrade our systems as needed, and continually develop our technology and network architecture to accommodate actual and anticipated changes in technology, as well as to increase efficiency.
Further, our Customer contracts typically provide for service level commitments. If we suffer extended periods of downtime of our Platform or are otherwise unable to meet these commitments, we are contractually obligated to provide service credits, which may be based on a percentage of the processing volume on the day of an incident or the revenue we earned from our Customer on the day of an incident, or based on our overall monthly transaction success rate and the incentive payments or fees from that month. We have experienced incidents requiring us to pay service level credits and other customer service concessions in the past. In addition, the performance and availability of the cloud-based solutions that provide cloud infrastructures for our Platform is outside of our control and, therefore, we are not in full control of whether we meet our service level commitments. As a result, we have experienced, and expect to continue to periodically experience, unpredictable outages of the services provided by these cloud infrastructure providers. Our business, results of operations, and financial condition has in the past been affected and could in the future be adversely affected if we suffer unscheduled downtime that exceeds the service level commitments we have made to our Customers. Any extended service outages could adversely affect our business and reputation and erode Customer trust.
Any of the above circumstances or events may harm our reputation, cause Customers to terminate their agreements with us, impair our ability to renew contracts with Customers and grow our Customer base, subject us to financial penalties and liabilities, and otherwise adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
The global COVID-19 pandemic could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, a global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to spread and evolve. The related public health measures, including orders to shelter in place, travel restrictions, and mandated business closures, have adversely affected workforces, organizations, Customers, economies, and financial markets globally, leading to an economic downturn and increased market volatility. The extent to which such measures are removed or new measures are put in place will depend upon how the pandemic and the global response evolves, including the distribution of available vaccines, the rates at which they are administered, and the emergence of new variants of the virus.
The pandemic, as well as intensified measures undertaken to contain the spread of COVID-19, has impacted our day-to-day operations. Like many other companies, the majority of our workforce is working remotely and engaging with prospects and Customers who are also generally working remotely. As public health measures in the United States continue to shift, many Customer, employee, and industry events continue to be virtual-only experiences due to the pandemic. Live event attendance and sponsorship is one of the ways we have historically connected with prospective Customers. We rely on events, such as Money20/20, for a portion of our lead generation. A contingent of our employees attended Money20/20 in person in 2021, but the possibility of future variants of COVID-19 creates continuing uncertainty around live industry events in 2022. Because our solution is technical and requires in-depth discussions around Customer use cases, it can be challenging to acquire new Customers through predominantly online outreach, such as virtual events, email, and targeted ads. We have also observed fatigue from prospective Customers around attending virtual events, making it more difficult to acquire Customers through such events. Any cancellation or postponement of live events may impair our ability to acquire new Customers and prospects and may also result in the loss of financial commitments made to such events. In addition, we may incur increased workforce costs, including costs associated with implementing additional personnel and workplace safety protocols when the majority of our employees return to an office, and workplace or labor claims and disputes related to COVID-19.
The continued spread and evolution of COVID-19 could also have an adverse impact on our vendors, partners, and Customers, therefore materially and adversely impacting our business, results of operations, and overall financial performance in future periods. For example, we have experienced, and may continue to experience, a decrease in processing volumes from certain Customers, particularly those in industries that are heavily impacted by various public health measures, such as travel; delayed sales cycles, including Customers and prospective Customers delaying contract signing or contract renewals; and delays in launching strategic partnerships and opportunities. These disruptions could continue to adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition, and could have other currently unforeseen negative impacts on us.
While we have developed and continue to develop plans to help mitigate the potential negative impact of the pandemic on our business, it is possible the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in light of new variant strains of the virus, could further impact our operations and the operations of our Customers, partners, and vendors as a result of quarantines, illnesses, and travel and logistics restrictions. Supply chain disruption and resulting inflationary pressures, a global labor shortage, and the ebb and flow of COVID-19, including in specific geographies, are currently impacting the pace of our and our Customers’, partners’, and vendors’ recovery and our business outlook. Our efforts to mitigate the potential negative impact of the pandemic on our business may not be effective and a protracted economic downturn will likely limit the effectiveness of our mitigation efforts. It is not possible for us to predict the duration or magnitude of the adverse results of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our business, results of operations, or financial condition at this time. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic may impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including, but not limited to, increases in infection rates and hospitalizations, the resulting impact on the businesses of our Customers, partners, and vendors, the remedial actions and stimulus measures adopted by federal, state, and local governments, and the extent that normal economic and operating conditions are impacted. To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business, results of operations, and financial condition, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section. For more information on the effect of COVID-19 and potential risks to us, please see Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Impact of COVID-19.”
Our business relies on our relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks, and if we are unable to maintain these relationships, our business may be adversely affected. Further, any changes to the rules or practices set by Card Networks, including changes in Interchange Fees, could adversely affect our business.
We rely on our relationships with financial institutions, including Issuing Banks and Card Networks, that provide certain services that are an important part of our product offering. We have in the past and may in the future have disagreements with these financial institutions. If we are unable to maintain the quality of these relationships or fail to comply with our contractual requirements with these financial institutions, our business would be adversely affected. We partner with Issuing Banks, who issue payment cards to our Customers and settle payment transactions on such cards. A significant portion of our payment transactions are settled through one Issuing Bank, Sutton Bank. For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, 90%, 96% and 97%, respectively, of TPV was settled through Sutton Bank. If Sutton Bank terminates our agreement with them or is unable or unwilling to settle our transactions for any reason, we may be required to switch some or all of our processing volume to one or more other Issuing Banks, including to any of the three other U.S. Issuing Banks that we currently contract with. Switching a significant portion or all of our processing volume to another Issuing Bank, including contracting with additional Issuing Banks, would take time and could result in additional costs, including increased operating expenses, and termination fees under our agreement with Sutton Bank if unilaterally terminated by us without Sutton Bank's consent. We could also lose Customers if we do not have another Issuing Bank who is willing to support such Customers. Diversifying our contractual relationships and operations with Issuing Banks may increase the complexity of our operations and may also lead to increased costs.
We also have agreements directly with Card Networks, such as Visa, Mastercard, and PULSE, which is part of the Discover Global Network, that, among other things, provide us certain monetary incentives based on the processing volume of our Customers’ transactions routed through the respective Card Network. For certain incentive arrangements with an annual measurement period, the one-year period may not align with our fiscal year. Unusual fluctuations in network fees can occur in the quarter in which volume thresholds are achieved as higher incentive rates are applied to volumes over the entire measurement periods, which can span 6 or 12 months, which can affect our financial results for a given quarter or fiscal year. If we were to lose our certification with a Card Network, we could lose Customers if they needed to switch to a different Card Network, for which we did not have a certification. The Issuing Banks and Card Networks we work with may fail to process transactions, breach their agreements with us, or refuse to renew or renegotiate our agreements with them on terms that are favorable, commercially reasonable, or at all. They might also take actions that could degrade the functionality of our services, impose additional costs or requirements on us, or give preferential treatment to competitive services, including their own services. If we are unsuccessful in establishing, renegotiating, or maintaining relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks, our business may be adversely affected.
Our agreements with Issuing Banks and Card Networks require us to comply with Card Network operating rules. The Card Networks set these network rules and have discretion to interpret the rules and change them at any time. For additional information about regulations relating to network rules, see the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Regulation—Our business is subject to extensive regulation and oversight in a variety of areas, directly and indirectly through our relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks, which regulations are subject to change and to uncertain interpretation.” While changes in the network rules usually relate to pricing, other types of changes could require us to take certain steps to comply or adapt. For example, we began to issue cards with chips built in when a network rule changed to enable chip and PIN transactions. The termination of the card association registrations held by us or any of the Issuing Banks or any changes to these network rules or how they are interpreted could have a significant impact on our business and financial condition. Any changes to or interpretations of the network rules that are inconsistent with the way we or our Issuing Banks currently operate may require us to make changes to our business that could be costly or difficult to implement. If we fail to make such changes or otherwise resolve the issue with the Card Networks, the Card Networks could fine us or prohibit us from processing payment cards. In addition, violations of the network rules or any failure to maintain good relationships with the Card Networks could impact our ability to receive incentives from them, increase our costs, or otherwise adversely affect our business.
Unfavorable conditions in our industry or the global economy could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our performance is subject to economic conditions and their impact on levels of spending by businesses and their customers. Our net revenue is dependent on the usage of our Platform, which in turn is influenced by the volume of business our Customers conduct. To the extent that weak economic conditions result in a reduced volume of business for our Customers and prospective Customers, demand for, and use of, our Platform, products, and services may decline. If spending by their customers declines, our Customers could process fewer payments with us or, if our Customers cease to operate, they could stop using our Platform and our products and services altogether. Furthermore, weak economic conditions may make it more difficult to collect on outstanding accounts receivable. If, as a result of a weak economy, our Customers reduce their use of our Platform, or prospective Customers delay adoption or elect not to adopt our Platform, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Performance issues in our Platform or our Platform’s transaction processing could diminish demand for our Platform or products, adversely affect our business and results of operations, and subject us to liabilities.
Our Platform is designed to process a high number of transactions and deliver reports and other information related to those transactions at high processing speeds. Our Customers use our Platform for important aspects of their businesses. Our Issuing Banks use reports and information from our Platform in part to settle card transactions with the Card Networks. Any performance issues, including errors, defects, or disruptions in our Platform or our Platform’s transaction processing, could damage our Customers’ businesses and, in turn, hurt our brand and reputation and erode Customer trust. The risk of performance issues has increased in recent periods due to the significant increase in our TPV. This risk of performance issues further increases with new product launches and geographical expansion. We release regular updates to our Platform, which have in the past contained, and may in the future contain, undetected errors, failures, vulnerabilities, and bugs. Additionally, we may experience errors, inaccuracies, or omissions in our processing, reconciling or reporting of transactions. Further, we may be unable to replenish the supply of payment cards issued to our Customers before it is depleted, such that our Customers could run out of cards for a short period of time. Real or perceived errors, failures, or bugs in our Platform or our Platform’s transaction processing could result in negative publicity, loss of or delay in market acceptance of our Platform or our products, loss of competitive position, lower Customer retention, claims by Customers, Card Networks, Issuing Banks, or other partners or vendors for losses sustained by them, or other claims, regulatory fines, or proceedings. In such an event, we may be required, or may choose, for Customer relations or other reasons, to expend additional resources to help correct the problem. In addition, we may not carry insurance sufficient to compensate us for any losses that may result from claims arising from defects or disruptions in our Platform or operations. As a result, our reputation and our brand could be harmed, and our business, results of operations, and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We, our Customers, our vendors, and others who use or interact with our Platform obtain and process a large amount of sensitive data. Any real or perceived improper or unauthorized use of, disclosure of, or access to such data could expose us to liability and damage our reputation.
Our operations depend on receiving, storing, processing, and transmitting sensitive information pertaining to our business, employees, Customers, and end users. The confidentiality, security, and integrity of such sensitive business information residing on our systems is important to our business. Any unauthorized access, intrusion, infiltration, network disruption, denial of service, or similar incident could disrupt the integrity, continuity, security, and trust of our systems or data, or the systems or data of our Customers or vendors. These incidents are often difficult to detect and are constantly evolving, and we or our Customers or vendors may face difficulties or delays in identifying or otherwise responding to any incident.
Unauthorized parties have attempted and may continue to attempt to gain access to our Platform, systems, or facilities, and those of our Customers, partners, and vendors, through various means and with increasing sophistication. Currently, there is a threat of attacks against U.S. financial institutions as retaliation against financial institutions for sanctions imposed against Russia as a result of the significant military action against Ukraine launched by Russia. These events could create costly claims and litigation, significant financial liability, regulatory investigations or proceedings, increased regulatory scrutiny, financial sanctions, a loss of confidence in our ability to serve Customers and cause current or potential Customers to choose another service provider, all of which could have a material adverse impact on our business. In addition, we expect to continue to invest significant resources to maintain and enhance our information security and controls and to investigate and remediate any security vulnerabilities.
Although we believe that we maintain a robust data security program, including a responsible disclosure program, and that none of the incidents that we have encountered to date have materially impacted us, we cannot be certain that the security measures and procedures we have in place to detect security incidents and protect sensitive data, including protection against unauthorized access and use by our employees, will be successful or sufficient to counter all current and emerging technological risks and threats. The impact of a material event involving our systems and data, or those of our Customers or vendors, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Under Card Network rules and our contracts with our Issuing Banks, if there is a breach of payment card information that we store, process, or transmit or that is stored, processed, or transmitted by our Customers or other third parties that we do business with, we could be liable to the Issuing Banks for certain of their costs and expenses. Additionally, if our own confidential business information were improperly disclosed, our business could be materially and adversely affected. The reliability and security of our Platform is a core component of our business. Any perceived or actual breach of security, regardless of how it occurs or the extent of the breach, could have a significant impact on our reputation as a trusted brand, cause us to lose existing Customers, prevent us from obtaining new Customers, require us to expend significant funds to remedy problems caused by breaches and to implement measures to prevent further breaches, and expose us to legal risk and potential liability, including those resulting from governmental or regulatory investigations, class action litigation, and costs associated with remediation, such as fraud monitoring, card reissuance, and forensics. Any actual or perceived security breach at a vendor providing services to us or our Customers could have similar effects.
While we maintain cybersecurity insurance, subject to applicable deductibles and policy limitations, our insurance may be insufficient to cover all liabilities incurred by such attacks. We cannot be certain that our insurance coverage will be adequate for privacy, data security, and data protection liabilities actually incurred, that insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all, or that an insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. The successful assertion of one or more large claims against us that exceed available insurance coverage, or the occurrence of changes in our insurance policies, premiums, or deductibles could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our business depends on a strong and trusted brand, and any failure to maintain, protect, enhance, and market our brand would hurt our business.
We have developed a strong and trusted brand that has contributed significantly to the success of our business. We believe that maintaining and promoting our brand in a cost-effective manner is important to achieving widespread acceptance of our Platform and the products and services we offer, expanding our base of Customers and end users, and increasing our TPV. Our brand is predicated on the idea that we offer modern payment solutions to our Customers and our Platform helps enable them to successfully operate their businesses. We are dedicated to building and maintaining a Platform our Customers can trust and creating solutions for our Customers who choose to build and grow their businesses with our card programs and other services. Maintaining and promoting our brand will depend largely on our ability to continue to provide a useful, reliable, secure, and innovative Platform, as well as our ability to maintain trust and be a payments processing innovator and leader. We may, from time to time, introduce, or make changes to, our Platform, products, services, privacy practices, or other practices or terms of service that Customers do not like, which may materially and adversely affect our brand. Brand promotion activities may not generate Customer awareness or increase net revenue, and even if they do, any increase in net revenue may not offset the expenses we incur in building our brand. In addition, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on travel, we have not been able to organize certain marketing and promotional events and in-person meetings to facilitate Customer adoption and generate leads with potential Customers. If we fail to successfully promote and maintain our brand or if we incur excessive expense in this effort, our business could be materially and adversely affected.
Harm to our brand can arise from many sources, including failure by us or our partners and vendors to satisfy expectations of service and quality, inadequate protection or misuse of sensitive information, compliance failures and claims, litigation and other claims, and misconduct by our vendors or other counterparties. We may also be the target of incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading or false statements about our company and our business that could damage our brand and deter Customers from adopting our services.
Any negative publicity about our company, our industry, the quality and reliability of our Platform, our risk management processes, changes to our products and services, our ability to effectively manage and resolve Customer complaints, our privacy, data protection, and information security practices, litigation, regulatory activity, policy positions, or the experience of our Customers with our Platform, products, and services could adversely affect our reputation and the confidence in and use of our Platform, products, and services. If we do not successfully maintain a strong and trusted brand, our business could be materially and adversely affected.
If we fail to offer high-quality Customer support, our business and reputation will suffer.
Many of our Customers depend on our Customer support team to assist them in launching and deploying our card programs effectively, help them resolve issues quickly, and provide ongoing support. Our direct, ongoing interactions with our Customers help us tailor offerings to them at scale and in the context of their usage. Our Customer support team also helps increase awareness and usage of our Platform while helping Customers address inquiries and issues. If we do not devote sufficient resources or are otherwise unsuccessful in assisting our Customers effectively, it could adversely affect our ability to retain existing Customers and could prevent prospective Customers from adopting our Platform. We may be unable to respond quickly enough to accommodate short-term increases in demand for Customer support. Increased demand for Customer support, without corresponding net revenue, could increase costs and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Our sales are highly dependent on our business reputation and on positive recommendations from Customers. Any failure to maintain high quality Customer support, or a market perception that we do not maintain high quality Customer support, could erode Customer trust and adversely affect our reputation, business, results of operations, and financial condition.
In addition, as we continue to grow our operations and reach a larger and increasingly global Customer base, we need to be able to provide efficient Customer support that meets the needs of Customers on our Platform globally and at scale. The number of Customers and end users using our Platform, TPV, the products and services we offer, and usage of our Platform by Customers have all grown significantly and this has put additional pressure on our support organization. If we are unable to provide efficient Customer support globally and at scale, our ability to grow our operations may be adversely affected and we may need to hire additional support personnel, potentially adversely affecting our results of operations.
If we fail to adapt to rapid technological changes and develop enhancements and new capabilities for our Platform, our ability to remain competitive could be impaired.
We compete in an industry that is characterized by rapid technological changes, frequent introductions of new products and services, and evolving industry standards and regulatory requirements. Our ability to attract new Customers and increase net revenue from Customers will depend in significant part on our ability to adapt to industry standards, anticipate trends, and continue to enhance our Platform and introduce new products and capabilities on a timely and secure basis to keep pace with technological developments and Customer expectations. For example, it is important for us to implement tools to support the operational efficiency of our Platform. If we are unable to provide enhancements and new products on our Platform, develop new capabilities that achieve market acceptance, innovate quickly enough to keep pace with rapid technological developments, or experience unintended consequences with enhancements we provide, our business could be adversely affected. For example, our Customers may not adopt enhancements and new products or may not use them as intended. We must also keep pace with changing legal and regulatory regimes that affect our Platform, products, services, and business practices. We may not be successful in developing modifications, enhancements, and improvements, in bringing them to market quickly or cost-effectively in response to market demands, or at modifying our Platform to remain compliant with applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
In addition, because our Platform is designed to operate directly with the Card Networks, Issuing Banks, and general payments ecosystem, we need to continuously modify and enhance our Platform to keep pace with changes in technologies, while maintaining compatibility and legal and regulatory compliance. Any failure of our Platform to continue to operate effectively with third-party infrastructures and technologies could reduce the demand for our Platform, products, or services, result in the dissatisfaction of our Customers, and materially and adversely affect our business.
Our future success depends in part on our ability to expand internationally and drive the adoption of our Platform and products by international Customers. Expanding our business internationally, however, could subject us to new challenges and risks.
During the year ended December 31, 2021, we derived 2% of our net revenue from Customers located outside the United States. The future success of our business will depend, in part, on our ability to offer our Platform and services internationally and expand our international Customer base. While we have been expanding our Platform, products, services and sales efforts internationally, our experience in selling our Platform, products, and services outside of the United States is early. Our process for identifying countries to expand into may not be successful and may take a considerable amount of time, effort, and expense, and we may not realize benefits from expansion into a particular market. Additionally, the spread of COVID-19 may complicate efforts to expand our business internationally by restricting our ability to travel and engage in certain market diligence, sales and marketing activities abroad. Furthermore, our business model may not be successful or have the same traction outside the United States and we may face additional regulatory hurdles. As a result, our investment in marketing our Platform to these potential Customers may not be successful. If we are unable to increase the net revenue that we derive from international Customers, then our business, results of operations, and financial condition may be adversely affected.
In addition, expansion, whether in our existing or new international markets, will require additional resources and controls, and offering our Platform in new geographic regions often requires substantial expenditures and takes considerable time. We may not be successful enough in these new geographies to recoup our investments in a timely manner or at all. Such expansion could also subject our business to substantial risks, including:
•difficulty in attracting a sufficient number of Customers in a given international market;
•failure to anticipate competitive conditions and competition with market-players that have greater experience and brand recognition in the local markets than we do;
•conformity with applicable business customs, including translation into foreign languages and associated expenses;
•increased costs and difficulty in protecting intellectual property and sensitive data;
•Increased costs from local Card Networks, Bank Identification Number, or BIN, sponsors, and other local providers locally;
•changes to the way we do business or price our products and services as compared with our current operations or a lack of acceptance of our Platform or certain products and services;
•the ability to support and integrate with local BIN sponsors and third-party vendors;
•difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations in an environment of diverse culture, laws, and customs, and other challenges caused by distance;
•language and cultural differences, and the increased travel, infrastructure, and legal and compliance costs associated with global operations;
•difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified employees and maintaining our company culture;
•difficulty in gaining acceptance from industry self-regulatory bodies;
•compliance with multiple, potentially conflicting and changing governmental laws and regulations, including with respect to payment processing, data privacy, data protection, and information security;
•compliance with U.S. and foreign anti-corruption, anti-bribery, and anti-money laundering laws;
•potential tariffs, sanctions, fines, or other trade restrictions, including any political or economic responses and counter-responses or otherwise by various global actors to the significant military action against Ukraine launched by Russia;
•exchange rate risk and Interchange Fee regulation in foreign countries;
•compliance with complex and potentially conflicting and changing laws of taxing jurisdictions where we conduct business and applicable U.S. tax laws; and
•regional economic and political instability or war, including the significant military action against Ukraine launched by Russia.
As a result of these risks, our efforts to expand our global operations may not be successful, potentially limiting our ability to grow our business.
In addition, we do not currently have operations in Russia or plans to expand there, and, based on the actions taken by certain Card Networks, to our knowledge no Marqeta-powered card could currently operate in Russia. It is unclear, however, whether the significant military action against Ukraine launched by Russia will have any broader implications that may impact our business and results of operations.
We may incur losses relating to the settlement of payment transactions and the fraudulent use of payment cards issued through our Platform.
We are and will continue to be subject to the risk of losses relating to the day-to-day settlement of payment transactions that is inherent in our business model, including with respect to pre-funding and chargeback requests. Customers deposit a certain amount of pre-funding into their Customer account at our Issuing Banks. However, depending on the model of the card program and the timing of funding and transactions, some transactions that exceed the amount of pre-funding in the Customer’s account are still authorized. Customers are ultimately responsible for fulfilling their obligations to fund transactions. However, when a Customer does not have sufficient funds to settle a transaction, we are liable to the Issuing Bank to settle the transaction and may incur losses as a result of claims from the Issuing Bank. We would seek to recover such losses from the Customer, but we may not fully recover them if the Customer is unwilling or unable to pay due to their financial condition. Because we are liable to the Issuing Banks, we may also bear the risk of losses if a Customer does not provide payment due to fraudulent or disputed transactions. Additionally, when a chargeback request is approved, the purchase price of the transaction is refunded to the Customer’s end user’s account through our Platform. If we do not properly process the chargeback, the Customer may request that we fund the refunded amount to their end user. We have in the past, and may in the future, incur costs relating to the improper processing of chargeback requests.
Additionally, criminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to engage in illegal activities which they may use to target us, including “skimming,” counterfeit payment cards, and identity theft. A single, significant incident or a series of incidents of fraud or theft involving cards issued through our Platform could result in reputational damage to us, potentially reducing the use and acceptance of our Platform or lead to greater regulation that would increase our compliance costs. Fraudulent activity could also result in the imposition of regulatory sanctions, including significant monetary fines. The foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. We are also subject to risk from fraudulent acts of employees or contractors.
We depend on our executive officers and other key employees, and the loss of one or more of these employees or an inability to attract and retain other highly skilled employees could adversely affect our business.
Our success depends largely upon the continued services of our executive officers and other key employees. There have been changes in the past, recent changes, and there may be changes in the future, to our executive management team resulting from the hiring or departure of executives, which could disrupt our business. For example, we recently appointed a new Chief Financial Officer effective February 22, 2022. Additionally, from time to time we may reorganize the Company’s departments in an effort to increase efficiencies or better serve our Customers, including consolidating groups under existing or new executives. For example, we recently consolidated the marketing team, including our sales development representatives, and business development team, including strategic, enterprise, and emerging sales units as well as our partnerships teams, into one go-to-market function under our Chief Operating Officer, Vidya Peters. Any employment agreements we have with our executive officers or other key personnel do not require them to continue to work for us for any specified period and, therefore, they could terminate their employment with us at any time. Additionally, we do not maintain any key person insurance policies. The loss of one or more of our executive officers, especially our Chief Executive Officer, or other key employees could adversely affect our business. Changes in our executive management team may also cause disruptions in, and adverse impacts to, our business.
In addition, to maintain and grow our business, we must attract and retain highly qualified personnel. Competition for highly qualified personnel is intense across the markets we target, especially for highly skilled employees and experienced sales professionals. We have from time to time experienced, are currently experiencing, and we expect to continue to experience, difficulty in hiring and retaining employees with appropriate qualifications, at a speed that is consistent with our business needs, and at an appropriate cost, which may be compounded as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any changes to U.S. immigration policies that restrain the flow of technical and professional talent may inhibit our ability to recruit and retain highly qualified employees. We must also effectively manage employee skills, competency requirements, and development plans to retain qualified employees once hired. Many of the companies we compete with for experienced personnel have greater resources than we have. If we hire employees from competitors or other companies, their former employers may attempt to assert that these employees or we have breached certain legal obligations, resulting in a diversion of time and resources, and potential liability for us or our employees.
In addition, job candidates and existing employees often consider the value of the equity awards they receive in connection with their employment. If the value of our equity awards declines, it may impair our ability to recruit and retain highly skilled employees. If we are not able to add and retain employees effectively, our ability to achieve our strategic objectives will be adversely affected, and our business and growth prospects will be adversely affected. Further, additions of executive-level management and large numbers of employees could significantly and adversely impact our culture.
The volatility in or lack of appreciation of the trading price of our Class A common stock may also affect our ability to attract and retain our key employees. Many of our senior personnel and other key employees have become, or will become, vested in a substantial amount of restricted stock units, or RSUs, or stock options. Employees may be more likely to leave us if the shares they own or the shares underlying their vested options or RSUs have significantly appreciated in value relative to the original purchase price of the shares or the exercise price of the options, or conversely, if the exercise prices of the options that they hold are significantly above the market price of our Class A common stock. If we do not maintain and continue to develop our corporate culture as we grow and evolve, including our diversity and inclusion efforts, it could impair our ability to foster the innovation, teamwork, curiosity, and diversity that we believe is necessary to support our growth.
Exposure to political developments in the United Kingdom, including the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, could adversely affect us.
On June 23, 2016, a referendum was held on the U.K.’s membership in the European Union, or the EU, resulting in a vote in favor of leaving the European Union. Effective as of January 31, 2020, the U.K. formally withdrew its membership from the European Union. The U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union has created an uncertain political and economic environment in the U.K. and across other European Union member states. The political and economic instability created by the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union has caused and may continue to cause volatility in global financial markets and the value of the British Pound or other currencies, including the Euro. In addition, this uncertainty may cause some of our Customers or potential Customers to curtail or delay spending or adoption of our Platform. Depending on the market and regulatory effects of the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, it is possible that there may be adverse practical or operational implications on our business. For example, the U.K. Data Protection Act, which implemented the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or the GDPR, was amended January 1, 2021 to reflect the U.K.’s status outside the European Union. It remains unclear, however, how U.K. data protection laws or regulations will develop and be interpreted in the medium to longer term, how data transfers to and from the U.K. will be regulated, and how those regulations may differ from those in the European Union. While we have taken measures to preemptively address the impact of the U.K.’s departure from the European Union by including contingency clauses in our European Union master service agreements, for example, these may not adequately protect us from adverse implications on our business. Further, the U.K.’s exit from the European Union may create increased compliance costs and an uncertain regulatory landscape for offering equity-based incentives to our employees in the U.K. If we are unable to maintain equity-based incentive programs for our employees in the U.K. due to the departure of the U.K. from the European Union, our business in the U.K. may suffer and we may face legal claims from employees in the U.K. to whom we previously offered equity-based incentive programs.
These and other factors related to the departure of the U.K. from the European Union may adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We may face exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, and such fluctuations could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
As we continue to expand our global operations, we become more exposed to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Our Customer contracts are denominated primarily in U.S. dollars, and therefore the majority of our net revenue is not subject to foreign currency risk. We expect, however, to significantly expand the number of transactions with Customers that are denominated in foreign currencies in the future as we continue to expand our business internationally. We also incur expenses for employee compensation and other operating expenses at our non-U.S. locations in the local currency for such locations. Fluctuations in the exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and other currencies could result in an increase to the U.S. dollar equivalent of such expenses and, as a result, adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We do not currently maintain a program to hedge exposures in foreign currencies. In the future, however, we may use derivative instruments, such as foreign currency forward and option contracts, to hedge certain exposures to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. The use of such hedging activities may not offset any or more than a portion of the adverse financial effects of unfavorable movements in foreign exchange rates over the limited time the hedges are in place. Moreover, the use of hedging instruments may introduce additional risks if we are unable to structure effective hedges with such instruments.
If our estimates or judgments relating to our accounting policies prove to be incorrect, our results of operations could be adversely affected.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. We base our estimates in part on historical experience, market observable inputs, if available, and various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. The results of these estimates form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets, liabilities and equity, and the amount of net revenue and expenses that are not readily apparent from other sources. Assumptions and estimates used in preparing our consolidated financial statements include those related to revenue recognition and accounting for share-based compensation. Our results of operations may be adversely affected if our assumptions change or if actual circumstances differ from those in our assumptions, which could cause our results of operations to fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors, resulting in a decline in the trading price of our Class A common stock.
We may require additional capital to support our business, and this capital might not be available on acceptable terms, if at all.
We intend to continue to make investments to support our business and may require additional funds. In particular, we may seek additional funds to develop new products and enhance our Platform and existing products, expand our operations, including our sales and marketing organizations and our presence outside of the United States, improve our infrastructure or acquire complementary businesses, technologies, services, products, and other assets. In addition, we are using a portion of our cash to satisfy tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the vesting of RSUs. Accordingly, we may need to engage in equity or debt financings to secure additional funds. If we raise additional funds through future issuances of equity or convertible debt securities, our stockholders could suffer significant dilution, and any new equity securities we issue could have rights, preferences, and privileges superior to those of holders of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock. Any debt financing that we may secure in the future could involve restrictive covenants relating to our capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, potentially making it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities. We may not be able to obtain additional financing on terms favorable to us, if at all. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us when we require it, our ability to continue to support our business growth, scale our infrastructure, develop product enhancements, and respond to business challenges could be significantly impaired, and our business, results of operations, and financial condition may be adversely affected.
Acquisitions, strategic investments, partnerships, or alliances could be difficult to identify, divert the attention of key management personnel, disrupt our business, dilute stockholder value, and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. We may be unable to integrate acquired businesses and technologies successfully or achieve the expected benefits of such acquisitions.
We may seek to acquire or invest in businesses, products, or technologies that we believe could complement our Platform, products, and services or expand the breadth of our Platform, enhance our products and capabilities, expand our geographic reach or Customer base, or otherwise offer growth opportunities. The pursuit of potential investments or acquisitions may divert the attention of management and cause us to incur various expenses in identifying, investigating, and pursuing suitable opportunities, whether or not they are consummated. Any acquisition, investment, or business relationship may result in unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures. In addition, we have limited experience in investing in and acquiring other businesses. If we acquire additional businesses, we may not be able to successfully integrate the acquired personnel, operations, and technologies, or effectively manage the combined business following the acquisition.
Specifically, we may not successfully evaluate or utilize the acquired technology or personnel or accurately forecast the financial impact of an acquisition transaction, including accounting charges. Moreover, the anticipated benefits of any acquisition, investment, or business relationship may not be realized or we may be exposed to unknown risks or liabilities.
We may not be able to find and identify desirable acquisition targets or we may not be successful in entering into an agreement with any one target. We may be required to issue equity or debt securities to acquire businesses which could dilute our shareholders or adversely affect our results of operations. In addition, if an acquired business fails to meet our expectations, our business, results of operations, and financial condition may suffer.
We have made, and may in the future seek to make, strategic investments in early stage companies developing products or technologies that we believe could complement our Platform or expand its breadth, enhance our technical capabilities, or otherwise offer growth opportunities. These investments may be in early stage private companies for restricted stock. Such investments are generally illiquid and may never generate value. Further, we may invest in companies that do not succeed, and our investments may lose all or some of their value, which result in us recording impairment charges reflected in of results of operations.
We may be subject to litigation for a variety of claims, which could harm our reputation and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
In the ordinary course of business, we may be involved in and subject to litigation for a variety of claims or disputes and receive regulatory inquiries. These claims, lawsuits, and proceedings could include labor and employment, wage and hour, commercial, antitrust, alleged securities law violations or other investor claims, and other matters. The number and significance of these potential claims and disputes may increase as our business expands. Further, our general liability insurance may not cover all potential claims made against us or be sufficient to indemnify us for all liability that may be imposed. Any claim against us, regardless of its merit, could be costly, divert management’s attention and operational resources, and harm our reputation. As litigation is inherently unpredictable, we cannot assure you that any potential claims or disputes will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Risks Relating to Regulation
Our business is subject to extensive regulation and oversight in a variety of areas, directly and indirectly through our relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks, which regulations are subject to change and to uncertain interpretation.
We, our vendors, our partners, and our Customers are subject to a wide variety of state, federal, and international laws, regulations, and industry standards in the United States and in other countries where we operate both directly and indirectly through our relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks. These laws, regulations, industry standards, and rules govern numerous areas important to our business. While we currently operate our business in an effort to ensure our business itself is not subject to extensive regulation, the Issuing Banks and Card Networks that we partner with operate in a highly regulated landscape, and there is a risk that those regulations could become applicable to us. We are directly subject to regulation in areas including privacy, data security, data protection, and anti-bribery, and our contractual relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks subject us to additional regulations including those relating to payments services (such as payment processing and settlement services), consumer protection, anti-money laundering, anti-bribery, escheatment, international sanctions regimes, data privacy and security, intellectual property, and compliance with the PCI DSS, a data security standard obligating companies that process, store, or transmit payment card information to maintain security measures designed to protect cardholder data.
The laws, rules, regulations, and standards applicable to our business are enforced by multiple authorities and governing bodies in the United States, including federal agencies, self-regulatory organizations, and numerous state agencies. Outside of the United States, we may be subject to additional regulators. As we expand into new jurisdictions, or expand our Platform and product offerings in existing jurisdictions, the number of foreign regulations and regulators governing our business will expand as well.
In addition, as our business and Platform continue to develop and expand, we may become subject to additional rules, regulations, and industry standards. We may not always accurately predict the scope or applicability of certain regulations to our business, particularly as we expand into new areas of operations, which could have a significant negative effect on our existing business and our ability to pursue future plans.
In addition to laws and regulations that apply directly to us, we are contractually subject to certain laws and regulations through our relationships with Issuing Banks and Card Networks, which operate in a highly regulated industry. Additionally, as a program manager, we are responsible for ensuring compliance with Issuing Banks’ requirements and Card Network rules, and we help create regulatory compliant card programs for our Customers. In some cases, our inability to ensure such compliance could expose us to liability or indemnification claims from our Customers or partners. Furthermore, legislative and regulatory changes could prompt our Issuing Banks to alter the extent or the terms of their dealings with us in ways that may have adverse consequences for our business. For example, due to our relationships with certain Issuing Banks and Card Networks, we may be subject to indirect supervision and examination by the CFPB, which is engaged in rulemaking and regulation of the payments industry, including, among other things, the regulation of prepaid cards, buy now, pay later financing programs, and the enforcement of certain protections under applicable regulations. While reform in the payment industry, such as the formation of the CFPB, has focused on individual consumer protection, legislatures continue to consider whether to include business customers, especially smaller business customers, within the scope of these regulations. As a result, new or expanded regulation focusing on business customers or changes in interpretation or enforcement of regulations may have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition due to increased compliance costs and new restrictions affecting the terms we offer our Platform or our products and services under.
A majority of our net revenue is derived from Interchange Fees and we expect Interchange Fees to continue to represent a significant percentage of our net revenue in the near term. The amount of Interchange Fees we earn is highly dependent on the interchange rates that the Card Networks set and adjust. From time to time, Card Networks change the Interchange Fees and assessments they charge for transactions processed using their networks. Interchange Fees or assessments are also subject to change from time to time due to government regulation. Interchange Fees are the subject of intense legal and regulatory scrutiny and competitive pressures in the electronic payments industry. For example, the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which limits Interchange Fees, may restrict or otherwise impact the way we do business or limit our ability to charge certain fees to Customers. Issuing Banks that are exempt from the Durbin Amendment are able to access higher interchange rates. As a result, to maximize our Interchange Fees, we currently only contract with Issuing Banks that are exempt from the Durbin Amendment when we provide program management services. Changes in regulation or additional rulemaking may adversely affect the way we conduct our business or result in additional compliance obligations and expense for our business and limitations on net revenue. For example, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System recently proposed a change to the regulations implemented pursuant to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to clarify that e-commerce transactions can be routed over secondary, unaffiliated debit card networks that generally set lower Interchange Fees. If implemented, we may experience a reduction in net revenue derived from Interchange Fees. Interchange Fee regulation also exists in other countries where our Customers use payment cards and such regulation could adversely affect our business in other foreign regions. Any changes in the Interchange Fees associated with our Customers’ card transactions could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Many of these laws and regulations are evolving, unclear, and inconsistent across jurisdictions, and ensuring compliance with them is difficult and costly. With increasing frequency, federal and state regulators are holding businesses in the payments industry to higher standards of training, monitoring, and compliance, including monitoring for possible violations of laws by our Customers and people who do business with our Customers while using our Platform or products. If we fail to comply with laws and regulations applicable to our business in a timely and appropriate manner, we may be subject to litigation or regulatory proceedings, we may have to pay fines and penalties, and our client relationships and reputation may be adversely affected, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Further, while we do not handle or interact with cryptocurrency and we only process transactions on our Platform in fiat currencies, certain cryptocurrency businesses use our Platform to provide card products to their customers and end users. The regulation of cryptocurrency is rapidly evolving and varies significantly among international, federal, state, and local jurisdictions and is subject to substantial uncertainty. Various legislative and executive bodies in the U.S. and other countries may adopt laws, regulations, or guidance, or take other actions, which may impact our Issuing Banks and restrain the growth of cryptocurrency businesses and in turn impact the net revenue associated with our cryptocurrency business Customers.
Regulations and industry standards related to privacy and data protection could adversely affect our ability to effectively provide our services.
Governmental bodies and industry organizations in the United States and abroad have adopted, or are considering adopting, laws and regulations restricting the use of, and requiring safeguarding of, personal information. For example, in the United States, all financial institutions must undertake certain steps to ensure the privacy and security of consumer financial information. Further, the California Consumer Privacy Act became effective on January 1, 2020 and imposes additional restrictions on the collection, processing, and disclosure of personal information, including imposing increased penalties on data privacy incidents. Additionally, a new privacy law, the California Privacy Rights Act, or the CPRA, creates additional obligations relating to personal information that take effect on January 1, 2023 (with certain provisions having retroactive effect to January 1, 2022). The CPRA’s implementing regulations are expected on or before July 1, 2022, and enforcement is scheduled to begin July 1, 2023. We will continue to monitor developments related to the CPRA and anticipate additional costs and expenses associated with CPRA compliance. Other U.S. states also are considering omnibus privacy legislation and industry organizations regularly adopt and advocate for new standards in these areas. Many obligations under these other laws and legislative proposals remain uncertain, and we cannot fully predict their impact on our business. If we fail to comply with any of these laws or standards, we may be subject to investigations, enforcement actions, civil litigation, fines and other penalties, all of which may generate negative publicity and have a negative impact on our business.
In the European Economic Area, the GDPR, which became effective in 2018, extends the scope of European Union data protection law to all companies processing personal data of European Union residents, regardless of the company’s location, and requires companies to meet stringent requirements regarding the handling of personal data. The GDPR also imposes some limitations on international transfers of personal data. The GDPR imposes substantial obligations and risk upon our business and provides for significant penalties in the event of any non-compliance. Administrative fines under the GDPR can amount up to 20 million Euros or four percent of a company group’s annual global turnover, whichever is higher. Further, following the exit of the U.K. from the European Union, it remains unclear how the U.K. Data Protection Act, which implemented the GDPR in the U.K., and other U.K. data protection laws or regulations will develop in the medium to longer term and how data transfers to and from the U.K. will be regulated. We have incurred substantial expense in complying with new data protection legal frameworks and we may be required to make additional, significant changes in our business operations, all of which may adversely affect our net revenue and our business overall. Additionally, because these new regimes lack a substantial enforcement history, we are unable to predict how emerging standards may be applied to us.
Among other requirements, the GDPR regulates transfers of personal data subject to the GDPR to third countries that have not been found to provide adequate protection to such personal data, including the United States. On July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, eliminating one of the mechanisms we had relied on to legitimize EU-U.S. data transfers. The court, however, approved an alternative transfer mechanism that we rely on known as the standard contractual clauses provided additional safeguards are in place. We are in the process of assessing this decision and its impact on our data transfer mechanisms. It is possible that the decision will restrict the ability to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States. We (and many other companies) may need to implement different or additional measures to establish or maintain legitimate means for the transfer and receipt of personal data from the European Union to the United States, and we may, in addition to other impacts, experience additional costs associated with increased compliance burdens, and we and our Customers face the potential for regulators to apply different standards to the transfer of personal data from the European Union and Switzerland to the United States, and to block, or require ad hoc verification of measures taken with respect to, certain personal data transfers from the European Union and Switzerland to the United States. Any inability to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States in compliance with data protection laws or otherwise comply with requirements in this rapidly changing environment may impede our ability to attract and retain Customers unless and until we build out an EU-compliant data processing center. These restrictions may adversely affect our business and financial position.
Some countries are also considering or have passed legislation requiring local storage and processing of data, or similar requirements, potentially increasing the cost and complexity of our operations.
In connection with providing services to our Customers, we are required by certain self-regulatory frameworks and contractual arrangements with Card Networks and Issuing Banks to provide assurances regarding the confidentiality and security of non-public consumer information, including the PCI DSS. Further, certain Customers increasingly expect us to comply with more stringent privacy, data protection and information security requirements than those imposed by laws, regulations or self-regulatory requirements, and we may be obligated contractually to comply with additional or different standards relating to our handling or protection of data on or by our offerings. The compliance standards relate to our infrastructure, components, and operational procedures designed to safeguard the confidentiality and security of non-public consumer personal information received from our Customers in the course of providing services. Our ability to maintain compliance with these standards and meet our Customers’ requirements may affect our ability to attract and maintain business in the future.
If we fail to comply with these standards or Customer requirements, or are alleged to have done so, we could be exposed to suits for breach of contract, potentially in addition to governmental proceedings. In addition, our Customer relationships and reputation could be adversely affected, and we could be inhibited in our ability to obtain new Customers. If more restrictive or burdensome laws, rules, or regulations related to privacy, data protection, or information security are adopted by authorities in the future on the federal or state level or internationally, or if existing laws, rules, or regulations become subject to new or differing interpretations or enforcement, or if we become bound by additional obligations to our Customers relating to privacy, data protection, or information security, including any additional compliance standards relating to non-public consumer personal information, our compliance and operational costs may increase, our opportunities for growth may be curtailed by our compliance capabilities or reputational harm, we may find it necessary or appropriate to modify our data processing practices or policies or otherwise restrict our operations, and our potential liability in connection with breaches or incidents relating to privacy, data protection, and information security may increase, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
There may continue to be changes in interpretations of existing laws and regulations, or new proposed laws, regulations, industry standards, and other obligations concerning privacy, data protection and information security, which could impair our or our Customers’ ability to collect, use or disclose information relating to consumers, which could decrease demand for our offerings, increase our costs and impair our ability to maintain and grow our Customer base and increase our net revenue. Because the interpretation and application of many existing and emerging laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection and information security, along with industry standards, are uncertain, it is possible that these laws and regulations may be interpreted and applied in new ways that are, or are alleged to be, inconsistent with our data management practices or the features of our products, and we could face fines, lawsuits, regulatory investigations and other claims and penalties, and we could be required to fundamentally change our products or our business practices, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business. Any inability to adequately address privacy, data protection and information security concerns, even if unfounded, or any actual or perceived failure to comply with applicable privacy, data protection or information security laws, regulations, standards and other obligations, could result in additional cost and liability to us, damage our reputation, inhibit sales and adversely affect our business. Furthermore, the costs of compliance with, and other burdens imposed by, the laws, regulations, standards and policies that are applicable to the businesses of our Customers may limit the use and adoption of, and reduce the overall demand for, our Platform and our products and services.
Additionally, if third parties we work with, such as our partners or vendors, violate applicable laws or our policies, such violations may also put information we process at risk and could in turn adversely affect our business, reputation, financial condition, or results of operations.
We are subject to anti-corruption, anti-bribery, and similar laws, and non-compliance with such laws can subject us to criminal penalties or significant fines and adversely affect our business and reputation.
We are subject to anti-corruption and anti-bribery and similar laws, such as the FCPA, the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, and other anti-corruption, anti-bribery, and anti-money laundering laws in countries where we conduct activities. Anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws have been interpreted broadly and enforced aggressively in recent years, and prohibit companies and their employees and agents from promising, authorizing, making, or offering improper payments or other benefits to government officials and others in the private sector to influence official action, direct business to any person, gain any improper advantage, or obtain or retain business. As we increase our international sales and business, our risks under these laws may increase.
In addition, in the future we may use third parties to conduct business on our behalf abroad. We or such future third-party intermediaries may have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies or state-owned or affiliated entities, and we can be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of such future third-party intermediaries and our employees, representatives, contractors, partners, and agents, even if we do not explicitly authorize such activities. We have implemented an anti-corruption compliance program but cannot assure you that all our employees and agents, as well as those companies we outsource certain of our business operations to, will not take actions in violation of our policies and applicable law, for which we may be ultimately held responsible.
Any violation of the FCPA, other applicable anti-corruption laws, or anti-money laundering laws could result in whistleblower complaints, adverse media coverage, investigations, prosecutions, loss of export privileges, suspension or debarment from U.S. government contracts, substantial diversion of management’s attention, significant legal fees and fines, settlements, damages, severe criminal or civil sanctions, penalties or injunctions against us, our officers or our employees, disgorgement of profits, and other sanctions, enforcement actions and remedial measures, and prohibitions on the conduct of our business, any of which could have a materially adverse effect on our reputation, business, trading price, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
We may be subject to governmental export controls and economic sanctions regulations that could impair our ability to compete in international markets and could subject us to liability if we are not in compliance with applicable laws.
Certain of our products and services may be subject to export control and economic sanctions regulations, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, and various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. Exports of our products and the provision of our services must be made in compliance with these laws and regulations. If we fail to comply with these laws and regulations, we and certain of our employees could be subject to substantial civil or criminal penalties, including: the possible loss of export privileges; fines imposed on us and responsible employees or managers; and, in extreme cases, the incarceration of responsible employees or managers.
In addition, changes in applicable export or economic sanctions regulations may create delays in the introduction and deployment of our Platform, products, and services in international markets, or, in some cases, prevent the use of our Platform and products or provision of our services in certain countries or with certain end users. Any change in export or economic sanctions regulations, shift in the enforcement or scope of existing regulations, or change in the countries, governments, persons, or technologies targeted by such regulations, could also result in decreased use of our Platform, products, and services or in our decreased ability to provide our products and services to existing or prospective Customers with international operations. Any decreased use of our Platform, products, or services or limitation on our ability to provide our Platform, products, or services could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Further, we incorporate encryption technology into certain of our products. Various countries regulate the import of certain encryption technology, including through import permitting and licensing requirements, and have enacted laws that could limit our Customers’ ability to use our products in those countries if our products are subject to such laws and regulations. While we believe our encryption products meet certain exceptions that reduce the scope of export control restrictions applicable to such products, these exceptions may be determined not to apply to our encryption products and our products and underlying technology may become subject to export control restrictions.
Governmental regulation of encryption technology and regulation of exports of encryption products, or our failure to obtain required approval for our products, when applicable, could adversely affect our international sales and net revenue. If we were required to comply with regulatory requirements regarding the export of our Platform and products and provision of our services, including with respect to new releases of our products and services, we may experience delays introducing our Platform in international markets, our Customers with international operations may experience difficulty deploying our Platform and products and using our services, or, in some cases, we may be prevented from exporting our Platform or products or providing our services to some countries altogether.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.
As a public company, we are required to maintain internal control over financial reporting and to report any material weaknesses in such internal control. 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 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 Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or 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. For example, we have worked to improve the controls around our key accounting processes and our quarterly close process, we have implemented a number of new systems to supplement our core enterprise resource planning system as part of our control environment, and we have hired additional accounting and finance personnel to help us implement these processes and controls.
Furthermore, in 2019, we identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting relating to the reconciliation of certain customer-related settlement bank accounts. While management deems this material weakness remediated as of the date of the filing of this Form 10-K, and no further material weaknesses in our disclosure controls or controls over financial reporting were identified in 2021, we could identify additional material weaknesses in the future.
To maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and our 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. If any of these new or improved controls and systems do not perform as expected, we may experience material weaknesses in our controls.
Our current controls and any new controls that we develop may become inadequate because of changes in conditions in our business. Further, additional deficiencies in our disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting may be discovered in the future. Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement could adversely affect our results of operations or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and may result in a restatement of our financial statements for prior periods.
We are in the early stages of the costly and challenging process of compiling the system and documentation necessary to perform the evaluation needed to comply with Section 404. We may not be able to complete our evaluation, testing, and any required remediation in a timely fashion. During the evaluation and testing process, if we identify material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, we will be unable to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective.
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 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 Class A common stock. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, or Nasdaq. We are not currently required to comply with the SEC rules that implement Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and are therefore not required to make a formal assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for that purpose. In addition, as an emerging growth company, our independent registered public accounting firm will not be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 until the later of the year following the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or the date we are no longer an emerging growth company. If our internal control over financial reporting is not effective, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue an adverse report. As a public company, we are required to provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting commencing with our second Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Changes in financial accounting standards or practices may cause adverse, unexpected financial reporting fluctuations and affect our results of operations.
A change in accounting standards or practices may have a significant effect on our results of operations or financial condition and may even affect our reporting of transactions completed before the change is effective. New accounting pronouncements and varying interpretations of accounting pronouncements have occurred and may occur in the future. Changes to existing rules or practices may adversely affect our reported results of operations or the way we conduct our business.
Adoption of these types of accounting standards and any difficulties in implementation of changes in accounting principles, including the ability to modify our accounting systems, could cause us to fail to meet our financial reporting obligations, potentially resulting in regulatory discipline and weakening investors’ confidence in us.
We could be required to collect additional sales, value added or similar taxes or be subject to other tax liabilities that may increase the costs our Customers would have to pay for our solutions and adversely affect our results of operations.
We have not collected sales, value added or similar indirect taxes in most jurisdictions in which we have sales. One or more jurisdictions may seek to impose incremental or new sales, value added or other indirect tax collection obligations on us. Additionally, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. et al, or Wayfair, that online sellers can be required to collect sales and use tax despite not having a physical presence in the buyer’s state.
In response to Wayfair, or otherwise, states or local governments may adopt, or begin to enforce, laws requiring us to calculate, collect and remit taxes on sales in their jurisdictions. A successful assertion by one or more states, or foreign jurisdictions, requiring us to collect taxes where we presently do not do so, or to collect more taxes in a jurisdiction in which we currently do collect some taxes, could result in substantial tax liabilities, including taxes on past sales, as well as penalties and interest. The requirement to collect sales, value added or similar indirect taxes by foreign, state or local governments for sellers that do not have a physical presence in the jurisdiction could also create additional administrative burdens for us, put us at a competitive disadvantage if they do not impose similar obligations on our competitors, and decrease our future sales, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Changes in tax laws or regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial conditions.
The rules dealing with taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and state, local and non-U.S. tax authorities. For example, the current administration has proposed numerous modifications to key provisions of the existing U.S. corporate income tax regime, including increased corporate tax rates (which may have retroactive application), promotion of a global minimum tax, and other changes that address taxes on profits from intangible assets and activities of foreign subsidiaries. Further, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has proposed, and over 130 countries have agreed to back, a new global minimum tax rate that would apply regardless of the location of a company’s headquarters. Although it is uncertain if some or all of these proposals will be enacted and applicable to us, they could materially increase the amount of taxes we owe, thereby negatively impacting our results of operations as well as our cash flows from operations. Furthermore, our implementation of new practices and processes designed to comply with changing tax laws and regulations could require us to make substantial changes to our business practices, allocate additional resources, and increase our costs, potentially negatively affecting our business, results of operations, and financial condition. As we grow internationally, we may also be subject to taxation in several jurisdictions around the world with increasingly complex tax laws, the application of which can be uncertain. The amount of taxes we pay in these jurisdictions could increase substantially as a result of changes in the applicable tax rules, including increased tax rates, new tax laws, or revised interpretations of existing tax laws and precedents, potentially adversely affecting our liquidity and results of operations. In addition, the authorities in these jurisdictions could review our tax returns and impose additional tax, interest, and penalties, and the authorities could claim that various withholding requirements apply to us or our subsidiaries or assert that benefits of tax treaties are not available to us or our subsidiaries, any of which could adversely affect us and our results of operations.
We may have exposure to greater-than-anticipated tax liabilities, which may materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
The determination of our worldwide provision for income taxes, value-added taxes, and other tax liabilities requires estimation and significant judgment, and there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Like many other multinational corporations, we are subject to tax in multiple U.S. and foreign tax jurisdictions. Our determination of our tax liabilities is always subject to audit and review by applicable domestic and foreign tax authorities. Any adverse outcome of any such audit or review could have a negative effect on our business and the ultimate tax outcome may differ from the amounts recorded in our financial statements and may materially affect our results of operations and financial condition in the periods for which such determination is made. While we have established reserves based on assumptions and estimates that we believe are reasonable to cover such eventualities, these reserves may prove to be insufficient.
In addition, our future income taxes could be adversely affected by earnings being lower than anticipated, or by the incurrence of losses, in jurisdictions that have lower statutory tax rates and higher than anticipated in jurisdictions that have higher statutory tax rates; by changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, as a result of gains on our foreign exchange risk management program; or changes in tax laws, regulations, or accounting principles, as well as certain discrete items.
Various levels of government, such as U.S. federal and state legislatures, and international organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, are increasingly focused on tax reform and other legislative or regulatory action to increase tax revenue. Any such tax reform or other legislative or regulatory actions could increase our effective tax rate, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our ability to use our net operating losses to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations.
We have incurred substantial net operating losses, or NOLs, during our history. In general, under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change” (generally defined as a greater than 50-percentage-point cumulative change (by value) in the equity ownership of certain stockholders over a rolling three-year period) is subject to limitations on a company’s ability to utilize its NOLs to offset taxable income. We do not believe our existing NOLs are subject to limitation; however, if we have undergone previous ownership changes, or if we undergo an ownership change in the future, our ability to utilize NOLs could be limited by Section 382 of the Code and/or analogous provisions of applicable state tax law in states where we have incurred NOLs for state income tax purposes. Future changes in our stock ownership, some of which may be outside of our control, could result in an ownership change under these rules.
In addition, the amount of NOLs arising in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 that we are permitted to deduct in a taxable year beginning after December 31, 2020 is limited to 80% of our taxable income in each such year to which the NOLs are applied, where taxable income for such year is determined without regard to the NOL deduction itself, and such NOLs may be carried forward indefinitely. NOLs generated in taxable years beginning on or prior to December 31, 2017, however, may be carried forward for only 20 years, but are not subject to the 80% limitation. Our NOLs may also be subject to limitations under state law. For example, California recently enacted legislation suspending the use of NOLs for taxable years 2020, 2021 and 2022 for many taxpayers. There is a risk that due to legislative or regulatory changes, or other unforeseen reasons, our existing NOLs could expire or otherwise be unavailable to offset future income tax liabilities. For these reasons, we may not be able to realize a tax benefit from the use of our NOLs, whether or not we attain profitability.
Furthermore, our ability to utilize our NOLs is conditioned upon our becoming profitable in the future and generating U.S. federal taxable income. Since we do not know whether or when we will generate the U.S. federal taxable income necessary to utilize our remaining NOLs, the portion of our NOLs that was generated in taxable years beginning on or prior to December 31, 2017 could expire unused.
Risks Relating to Intellectual Property
If we fail to adequately protect our proprietary rights, our competitive position could be impaired and we may lose valuable assets, generate reduced net revenue, and incur costly litigation to protect our rights.
Our success depends, in part, upon protecting our proprietary information and technology. We rely on a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade secret laws, and contractual restrictions to establish and protect our proprietary rights. The steps we take to protect our intellectual property, however, may be inadequate. We cannot assure you that any patents or trademarks will be issued with respect to our currently pending patent and trademark applications in a manner that gives us adequate defensive protection or competitive advantages, if at all, or that any patents or trademarks issued to us will not be challenged, invalidated, or circumvented. Our currently issued patents and trademarks and any patents or trademarks that may be issued in the future with respect to pending or future applications may not provide sufficiently broad protection, or they may not prove to be enforceable in actions against alleged infringers. We will not be able to protect our intellectual property if we are unable to enforce our rights or if we do not detect unauthorized use of our intellectual property.
Despite our precautions, it may be possible for unauthorized third parties to copy our Platform, or certain aspects of our Platform, and use information that we regard as proprietary to create products that compete with our Platform. Some license provisions protecting against unauthorized use, copying, transfer, and disclosure of our Platform, or certain aspects of our Platform, may be unenforceable under the laws of certain jurisdictions and foreign countries.
Further, the laws of some countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States, and mechanisms for enforcement of intellectual property rights in some foreign countries may be inadequate. To the extent we continue to expand our international activities, our exposure to unauthorized copying and use of our Platform, or certain aspects of our Platform, and proprietary information may increase. Further, competitors, foreign governments, foreign government-backed actors, criminals, or other third parties may gain unauthorized access to our proprietary information and technology. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may be unable to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our technology and intellectual property.
We also rely in part on trade secrets, proprietary know-how, and other confidential information to maintain our competitive position. Although we enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees, consultants, and contractors and enter into confidentiality agreements with the parties with whom we have strategic relationships and business alliances, no assurance can be given that these agreements will be effective in controlling access to and distribution of our Platform, or certain aspects of our Platform, and proprietary information. Further, these agreements do not prevent our competitors from independently developing technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to our Platform.
To protect our intellectual property rights, we may be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect these rights, and we may not be able to detect infringement by third parties. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights and to protect our trade secrets. Such litigation could be costly, time consuming, and distracting to management and could result in the impairment or loss of portions of our intellectual property. Furthermore, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims, and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property rights. Our inability to protect our proprietary technology against unauthorized copying or use, as well as any costly litigation or diversion of our management’s attention and resources, could delay further sales or the implementation of our Platform, impair the functionality of our Platform, delay introductions of new capabilities, result in our substituting inferior or more costly technologies into our Platform, or injure our reputation. In addition, we may be required to license additional technology from third parties to develop and market new capabilities, and we cannot assure you that we could license that technology on commercially reasonable terms or at all, and our inability to license such technology could impair our ability to compete.
Our use of open source software could negatively affect our ability to sell our products and subject us to possible litigation.
Our Platform incorporates open source software, and we expect to continue to incorporate open source software in our products and Platform in the future. Few of the licenses applicable to open source software have been interpreted by courts, and there is a risk that these licenses could be construed in a manner that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our products and Platform. If we fail to comply with open source licenses, we may be subject to certain requirements, including requirements that we offer our products that incorporate the open source software for no cost, that we make available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon, incorporating, or using the open source software and that we license such modifications or derivative works under the terms of applicable open source licenses. If an author or other third party that distributes such open source software were to allege that we had not complied with the conditions of one or more of these licenses, we could be required to incur significant legal expenses defending against such allegations and could be subject to significant damages, enjoined from generating net revenue from Customers using products that contained the open source software, and required to comply with onerous conditions or restrictions on these products. In any of these events, we and our Customers could be required to seek licenses from third parties to continue offering our products and operating our Platform and to re-engineer our products or Platform or discontinue offering our products to Customers in the event re-engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely basis. Any of the foregoing could require us to devote additional research and development resources to re-engineer our products or Platform, could result in Customer dissatisfaction, and may adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We may be accused of infringing the intellectual property rights of third parties.
We may be accused of infringing intellectual property or other proprietary rights of third parties, including their copyrights, trademarks, or patents, or improperly using or disclosing their trade secrets, or otherwise infringing or violating their proprietary rights. The costs of supporting any litigation or disputes related to such claims can be considerable, and we cannot assure you that we will achieve a favorable outcome of any such claim. If any such claim is valid, we may be compelled to cease our use of such intellectual property or other proprietary rights and pay damages, potentially adversely affecting our business. Even if such claims were not valid, defending them could be expensive and distract our management team, adversely affecting our results of operations.
Although we require our employees to not use the proprietary information or know-how of others in their work for us and we are not currently subject to any claims that they have done so, we may in the future become subject to claims that these employees have divulged, or we have used, proprietary information of these employees’ former employers. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. If we are unable to successfully defend any such claims, we may be required to pay monetary damages and to discontinue our commercialization of certain solutions. In addition, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. A loss of key research personnel or their work product could hamper our ability to develop new solutions and features for our existing solutions, which could severely weaken our business. Even if we are successful in defending against these claims, litigation efforts are costly, time-consuming and a significant distraction to management.
We currently have a number of agreements in effect pursuant to which we have agreed to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless our Customers and other partners from damages and costs arising from the infringement or claimed infringement by our solutions of third-party patents or other intellectual property rights, which may include patents, copyrights, trademarks, or trade secrets. The scope of these indemnity obligations varies, but may, in some instances, include indemnification for damages and expenses, including attorneys’ fees. Our insurance may not cover all intellectual property infringement claims. A claim that one of our solutions infringes a third party’s intellectual property rights, even if untrue, could damage our relationships with our Customers, may deter future Customers from purchasing our solutions, and could expose us to costly litigation and settlement expenses. Even if we are not a party to any litigation between a Customer and a third party relating to infringement by our solutions, an adverse outcome in any such litigation could make it more difficult for us to defend our solutions against intellectual property infringement claims in any subsequent litigation where we are a named party. Any of these results could harm our brand and adversely affect our results of operations.
Risks Relating to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock
The trading price of our Class A common stock has been and is likely to continue to be volatile or may decline regardless of our operating performance, and you may not be able to resell your shares at or above the price at which you purchased such shares.
The market prices of the securities of other newly public companies have historically been highly volatile and markets in general have been highly volatile in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The trading price of our Class A common stock may continue to fluctuate significantly in response to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
•overall performance of the equity markets and/or publicly-listed technology and fintech companies;
•actual or anticipated fluctuations in our net revenue or other operating metrics;
•our actual or anticipated operating performance and the operating performance of our competitors;
•the financial projections we may provide to the public, any changes in those projections or our failure to meet those projections;
•failure of securities analysts to initiate or maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by any securities analysts who follow our company, or our failure to meet the estimates or the expectations of investors;
•the economy as a whole and market conditions in our industry;
•changes to monetary policy, including the federal funds rate, set by the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee;
•rumors and market speculation involving us or other companies in our industry;
•announcements by us or our competitors of significant innovations, new products, services, or capabilities, acquisitions, strategic partnerships or investments, joint ventures, or capital commitments;
•new laws or regulations or new interpretations of existing laws or regulations applicable to our business, including those related to data privacy and cybersecurity in the United States or globally;
•lawsuits threatened or filed against us;
•actual or perceived privacy or data security incidents;
•developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property or other proprietary rights;
•announced or completed acquisitions of businesses, products, services, or technologies by us or our competitors;
•changes in accounting standards, policies, guidelines, interpretations, or principles;
•changes in our board of directors, management, or key personnel;
•other events or factors, including those resulting from war (including the significant military action against Ukraine launched by Russia and any related political or economic responses and counter-responses or otherwise by various global actors or general effect on the global economy), incidents of terrorism, pandemics (including the COVID-19 pandemic), or elections, or responses to these events; and
•sales of additional shares of our Class A common stock by us or our stockholders.
In addition, stock markets, and the market for technology and fintech companies in particular, have experienced price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many companies. Often, trading prices of many companies have fluctuated in ways unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. In the past, stockholders have filed securities class action litigation following periods of market volatility. If we were to become involved in securities litigation, it could subject us to substantial costs, divert resources and the attention of management from our business, and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Moreover, because of these fluctuations, comparing our results of operations 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 industry or financial analysts or investors for any period. If our net revenue or results of operations fall below the expectations of analysts or investors or below any forecasts we may provide to the market, or if the forecasts we provide to the market are below the expectations of analysts or investors, the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline substantially. Such a trading price decline could occur even when we have met any previously publicly stated net revenue or earnings forecasts that we may provide.
The dual class structure of our common stock has the effect of concentrating voting control with those stockholders who hold shares of our Class B common stock, including our directors, executive officers, and their respective affiliates. This ownership limits or precludes your ability to influence corporate matters, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transaction requiring stockholder approval, and that may depress the trading price of our Class A common stock.
Our Class B common stock has 10 votes per share, and our Class A common stock has one vote per share. Our directors, executive officers, and their affiliates, beneficially own in the aggregate 68.0% of the voting power of our capital stock as of December 31, 2021. Because of the ten-to-one voting ratio between our Class B and Class A common stock, the holders of our Class B common stock collectively continue to control a majority of the combined voting power of our common stock and therefore control all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval and may continue to control such matters until the tenth anniversary of our initial public offering, when all outstanding shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock will convert automatically into shares of a single class of common stock.
This concentrated control limits or precludes your ability to influence corporate matters for the foreseeable future, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transaction requiring stockholder approval. In addition, this concentrated control may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our capital stock that you may believe are in your best interest as one of our stockholders.
Future transfers by holders of Class B common stock will generally result in those shares converting to Class A common stock, subject to limited exceptions, such as certain transfers effected for estate planning purposes. The conversion of Class B common stock to Class A common stock will have the effect, over time, of increasing the relative voting power of those holders of Class B common stock who retain their shares in the long term. As a result, it is possible that one or more of the persons or entities holding our Class B common stock could gain significant voting control as other holders of Class B common stock sell or otherwise convert their shares into Class A common stock.
We cannot predict the effect our dual class structure may have on the trading price of our Class A common stock.
We cannot predict whether our dual class structure will result in a lower or more volatile trading price of our Class A common stock, adverse publicity, or other adverse consequences. For example, certain index providers have announced restrictions on including companies with multiple-class share structures in certain of their indices. In July 2017, FTSE Russell announced that it would require new constituents of its indices to have greater than 5% of the company’s voting rights in the hands of public stockholders, and S&P Dow Jones announced that it would no longer admit companies with multiple-class share structures to certain of its indices. Affected indices include the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400, and S&P SmallCap 600, which together make up the S&P Composite 1500. Under such announced policies, the dual class structure of our common stock would make us ineligible for inclusion in certain indices and, as a result, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and other investment vehicles that attempt to passively track those indices may not invest in our Class A common stock. These policies are relatively new and it is unclear what effect, if any, they will have or continue to have on the valuations of publicly traded companies excluded from such indices, but it is possible that they may depress valuations, as compared to similar companies that are included. Because of the dual class structure of our common stock, we will likely be excluded from certain indices and we cannot assure you that other stock indices will not take similar actions. Given the sustained flow of investment funds into passive strategies that seek to track certain indices, exclusion from certain stock indices would likely preclude investment by many of these funds and could make our Class A common stock less attractive to other investors. As a result, the trading price of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.
We are an emerging growth company, and any decision on our part to comply only with certain reduced reporting and disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies could make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.
We are an emerging growth company, and, for as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may choose to take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements applicable to other public companies but not to “emerging growth companies,” including:
•not being required to have our independent registered public accounting firm audit our internal control over financial reporting under Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act;
•reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and Annual Report on Form 10-K; and
•exemptions from the requirements of holding a non-binding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved.
We could be an emerging growth company for up to five years following the completion of our IPO. Our status as an emerging growth company will end as soon as any of the following takes place:
•the last day of the fiscal year in which we have more than $1.07 billion in annual revenue;
•the date we qualify as a “large accelerated filer,” with at least $700 million of equity securities held by non-affiliates;
•the date on which we have issued, in any three-year period, more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities; or
•the last day of the fiscal year ending after the fifth anniversary of the completion of our IPO.
We cannot predict if investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive if we choose to rely on the exemptions afforded emerging growth companies. If some investors find our Class A common stock less attractive because we rely on any of these exemptions, there may be a less active trading market for our Class A common stock and the trading price of our Class A common stock may be more volatile.
Under the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can also delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to use this extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards that have different effective dates for public and private companies until the earlier of the date we (i) are no longer an emerging growth company or (ii) affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the extended transition period provided in the JOBS Act. As a result, our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with new or revised accounting pronouncements as of public company effective dates.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research, or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research, about our business, the trading price of our Class A common stock and trading volume could be adversely affected.
The trading market for our Class A common stock will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. If few securities analysts cover us, or if industry analysts cease coverage of us, the trading price for our Class A common stock would be negatively affected. If one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrade our Class A common stock or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our Class A common stock trading price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports on us on a regular basis, demand for our Class A common stock could decrease, potentially causing our Class A common stock trading price and trading volume to decline.
Sales of substantial amounts of our Class A common stock in the public markets, or the perception that sales might occur, could cause the trading price of our Class A common stock to decline.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our Class A common stock into the public market, particularly sales by our directors, executive officers, and principal stockholders, or the perception that these sales might occur, could cause the trading price of our Class A common stock to decline. While shares held by directors, executive officers, and other affiliates are subject to volume limitations under Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and various vesting agreements, we are unable to predict the timing of or the effect that such sales may have on the prevailing market price of our common stock.
In addition, as of December 31, 2021, we had 44,185,488 option shares outstanding that, if fully vested and exercised, would result in the issuance of an equal number of shares of Class B common stock or Class A common stock, as well as 9,001,949 total shares of Class B or Class A common stock subject to RSU awards. All of the shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of stock options, and the shares reserved for future issuance under our equity incentive plans are registered for public resale under the Securities Act following conversion to shares of Class A common stock. Accordingly, these shares will be able to be freely sold in the public market upon issuance, subject to volume limitations under Rule 144 for our executive officers and directors and applicable vesting requirements.
Certain holders of our Class B common stock have rights, subject to some conditions, to require us to file registration statements for the public resale of the Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of such shares or to include such shares in registration statements that we may file for us or other stockholders. Any registration statement we file to register additional shares, whether as a result of registration rights or otherwise, could cause the trading price of our Class A common stock to decline or be volatile.
Our issuance of additional capital stock in connection with financings, acquisitions, investments, our stock incentive plans or otherwise will dilute all other stockholders and could negatively affect our results of operations.
We expect to issue additional capital stock in the future that will result in dilution to all other stockholders. We expect to grant equity awards to employees, directors, and consultants under our stock incentive plan. We may also raise capital through equity financings in the future. As part of our business strategy, we may acquire or make investments in complementary companies, products, or technologies and issue equity securities to pay for any such acquisition or investment. Any such issuances of additional capital stock may cause stockholders to experience significant dilution of their ownership interests and the per share value of our Class A common stock to decline. Any additional grants of equity awards under our stock incentive plans will also increase share-based compensation expense and negatively affect our results of operations.
As of December 31, 2021, unrecognized compensation costs related to unvested RSUs and unvested outstanding stock options, excluding the CEO Long-Term Performance Award, were $136.1 million and $90.4 million, respectively. These costs are expected to be recognized over a weighted-average period of 3.0 years and 2.5 years, respectively.
In April and May 2021, our board of directors granted our Chief Executive Officer equity incentive awards in the form of performance-based stock options covering 19,740,923 and 47,267 shares of our Class B common stock with an exercise price of $21.49 and $23.40 per share, respectively, or, collectively, the CEO Long-Term Performance Award. The CEO Long-Term Performance Award vests upon the satisfaction of a service condition and the achievement of certain stock price goals.
As of December 31, 2021, the aggregate unrecognized compensation cost related to the CEO Long-Term Performance Award was $170.2 million, which is expected to be recognized over the remaining derived service period of 4.1 years.
We do not intend to pay dividends on our Class A common stock in the foreseeable future and, consequently, the ability of Class A common stockholders to achieve a return on investment will depend on appreciation in the trading price of our Class A common stock.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock. We intend to retain any earnings to finance the operation and expansion of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. We anticipate that we will retain all of our future earnings for use in the operation of our business and for general corporate purposes. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors. Accordingly, investors must rely on sales of their Class A common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any future gains on their investments.
Provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of our company more difficult, limit attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current board of directors, and limit the trading price of our Class A common stock.
Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws include provisions that:
•provide that our board of directors will be classified into three classes of directors with staggered three-year terms;
•permit our board of directors to establish the number of directors and fill any vacancies and newly-created directorships;
•require super-majority voting to amend some provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws;
•authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that our board of directors could use to implement a stockholder rights plan;
•provide that only the Chairperson of our board of directors, our Chief Executive Officer, or a majority of our board of directors will be authorized to call a special meeting of stockholders;
•provide for a dual class common stock structure where holders of our Class B common stock are able to control the outcome of matters requiring stockholder approval, even if they own significantly less than a majority of the outstanding shares of our Class A and Class B common stock, including the election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or its assets;
•prohibit stockholder action by written consent, thereby requiring all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;
•provide that the board of directors is expressly authorized to make, alter, or repeal our amended and restated bylaws; and
•contain advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at annual stockholder meetings.
Moreover, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law may discourage, delay, or prevent a change in control of our company. Section 203 imposes certain restrictions on mergers, business combinations, and other transactions between us and holders of 15% or more of our common stock.
Our amended and restated bylaws designate state or federal courts located within the State of Delaware as the exclusive forum for certain litigation that may be initiated by our stockholders, potentially limiting stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us.
Our amended and restated bylaws provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the sole and exclusive forum for any state law claims for:
•any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf;
•any action asserting a claim of breach of fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees to us or our stockholders;
•any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, or our amended and restated bylaws; or
•any action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, or the Delaware Forum Provision.
The Delaware Forum Provision does not apply to any causes of action arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act. Section 22 of the Securities Act creates concurrent jurisdiction for federal and state courts over all suits brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Securities Act or the rules and regulations thereunder. Accordingly, both state and federal courts have jurisdiction to entertain such claims. To prevent having to litigate claims in multiple jurisdictions and the threat of inconsistent or contrary rulings by different courts, among other considerations, our amended and restated bylaws provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware shall be the sole and exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act, or the Federal Forum Provision, as we are incorporated in the State of Delaware.
In addition, our amended and restated bylaws provide that any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock is deemed to have notice of and consented to the Delaware Forum Provision and the Federal Forum Provision; provided, however, that stockholders cannot and will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.
The Delaware Forum Provision and the Federal Forum Provision in our amended and restated bylaws may impose additional litigation costs on stockholders in pursuing any such claims. Additionally, these forum selection clauses may limit our stockholders’ ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that they find favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or employees, potentially discouraging the filing of lawsuits against us and our directors, officers, and employees, even though an action, if successful, might benefit our stockholders. In addition, while the Delaware Supreme Court ruled in March 2020 that federal forum selection provisions purporting to require claims under the Securities Act be brought in federal court are “facially valid” under Delaware law, there is uncertainty as to whether other courts will enforce our Federal Forum Provision. If the Federal Forum Provision is found to be unenforceable, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters. The Federal Forum Provision may also impose additional litigation costs on stockholders who assert that the provision is not enforceable or invalid. The Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware may also reach different judgments or results than would other courts, including courts where a stockholder considering an action may be located or would otherwise choose to bring the action, and such judgments may be more or less favorable to us than our stockholders.
General Risk Factors
Our business is subject to the risks of earthquakes, fire, floods, and other natural catastrophic events, and to interruption by man-made problems such as power disruptions, computer viruses, data security breaches, or terrorism.
Our corporate headquarters are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for seismic activity and wildfires. A significant natural disaster, such as an earthquake, fire, or flood, occurring at our headquarters, at one of our other facilities, or where a vendor is located, could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Further, if a natural disaster or man-made problem were to affect our vendors, this could adversely affect the ability of our Customers to use our Platform. In addition, natural disasters and acts of terrorism or war (including the significant military action against Ukraine launched by Russia and any related political or economic responses and counter-responses or otherwise by various global actors or general effect on the global economy) could cause disruptions in our or our Customers’ businesses, national economies, or the world economy as a whole. Health concerns or political or governmental developments in countries where we or our Customers and vendors operate could result in economic, social, or labor instability and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We also rely on our network and third-party infrastructure and enterprise applications and internal technology systems for our engineering, sales and marketing, and operations activities. Although we maintain incident management and disaster response plans, in the event of a major disruption caused by a natural disaster or man-made problem, we may be unable to continue our operations in part or in full and may endure system interruptions, reputational harm, delays in our development activities, lengthy interruptions in service, breaches of data security and loss of critical data, any of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
In addition, computer malware, viruses, computer hacking, fraudulent use attempts, and phishing attacks have become more prevalent generally and in our industry, have occurred on our Platform in the past, and may occur on our Platform in the future, including as retaliation against financial institutions for sanctions imposed against Russia as a result of the significant military action against Ukraine launched by Russia. Though it is difficult to determine fully what, if any, harm may directly result from any specific interruption or attack, any failure to maintain performance, reliability, security, integrity, and availability of our products and technical infrastructure to the satisfaction of our Customers may harm our reputation and our ability to retain existing Customers and attract new Customers.
The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources, divert management’s attention and affect our ability to attract and retain executive management and qualified board members.
As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the listing standards of Nasdaq and other applicable securities rules and regulations. 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. For example, the Exchange Act requires, among other things, that we file annual, quarterly, and current reports with respect to our business and results of operations.
As a result of the complexity involved in complying with the rules and regulations applicable to public companies, our management’s attention may be diverted from other business concerns, potentially adversely affecting our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Although we have already hired additional employees to assist us in complying with these requirements, we may need to hire more employees in the future or engage outside consultants or contractors, which will increase our operating expenses.
In addition, changing laws, regulations, and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure are creating uncertainty for public companies, increasing legal and financial compliance costs and making some activities more time-consuming. These laws, regulations, and standards are subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies, potentially resulting in continued uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. We intend to invest substantial resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations, and standards, and this investment may result in increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management’s time and attention from business operations to compliance activities. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations, and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to their application and practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us and our business may be adversely affected.
Being a public company and being subject to these new rules and regulations makes it more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors, particularly to serve on our audit committee and compensation committee, and qualified executive officers.
Most members of our management team have limited experience managing a publicly traded company, interacting with public company investors and 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 subject to significant regulatory oversight and reporting obligations under the federal securities laws and the continuous scrutiny of securities analysts and investors. These new obligations and constituents require significant attention from our management and could divert their attention away from the day-to-day management of our business, potentially adversely affecting our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Our corporate headquarters is located in Oakland, California, where we currently lease approximately 63,284 square feet pursuant to a lease agreement that expires in 2026. We also lease and purchase service memberships to additional facilities in London and Manchester, United Kingdom as well as Melbourne, Australia.
We believe that our facilities are suitable to meet our current needs. We intend to expand our facilities or add new facilities as we grow, and we believe that suitable additional or alternative space will be available as needed to accommodate any such growth.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
We are not currently a party to any legal proceedings that we believe to be material to our business or financial condition. From time to time, we may be subject to legal proceedings and claims arising in the ordinary course of business.
Item 4. Mine Safety
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information for Common Stock
Our Class A common stock has traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “MQ” since our initial public offering on June 9, 2021. Prior to that date, there was no public market for our common stock. There is no public trading market for our Class B common stock.
As of March 4, 2022, we had 63 holders of record of our Class A common stock and 93 holders of record of our Class B common stock. Because many of the shares of our Class A common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of beneficial owners of our Class A common stock represented by the record holders.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividend on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain any future earnings and do not expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to declare cash dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors, subject to applicable laws, and will depend on a number of factors, including our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, any contractual restrictions, general business conditions, and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant.
Stock Performance Graph
The following performance graph shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or otherwise subject to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any of our filings under the Exchange Act or the Securities Act.
The following stock performance graph compares the cumulative total return on our Class A common stock to the cumulative total returns of the Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P Information Technology Index during each monthly period from June 9, 2021 (the date our Class A common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market) through December 31, 2021. All values assume a $100 initial investment and reinvestment of dividends. The returns shown are based on historical results and are not intended to suggest future performance.
|Marqeta, Inc.||$||100.00 ||$||91.97 ||$||87.91 ||$||95.15 ||$||72.48 ||$||100.26 ||$||64.42 ||$||56.26 |
|Nasdaq Composite Index||$||100.00 ||$||104.29 ||$||105.53 ||$||109.84 ||$||104.05 ||$||111.64 ||$||112.01 ||$||112.84 |
|S&P Information Technology Index||$||100.00 ||$||105.62 ||$||109.70 ||$||113.61 ||$||107.03 ||$||115.78 ||$||120.81 ||$||124.90 |
(1) Prepared by Zacks Investment Research, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
| Index Data: Copyright NASDAQ OMX, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.|
| Copyright Standard and Poor’s, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.|
Issuer Purchase of Equity Securities
The following table contains information relating to the repurchases of our common stock made by us in the three months ended December 31, 2021:
Total Number of Shares Purchased(1)
|Average Price Paid per Share||Total number of shares purchased as part of publicly announced plans or programs||Maximum number (or approximate dollar value) of shares that may yet be purchased under the plans or programs|
|October 1 - October 31, 2021||3,500 ||$||0.94 ||— ||— |
|November 1 - November 30, 2021||15,376 ||$||1.73 ||— ||— |
|December 1 - December 31, 2021||909 ||$||1.21 ||— ||— |
|Total||19,785 ||$||1.18 ||— ||— |
(1) Represents shares of unvested common stock previously issued upon early exercise of unvested stock options that were repurchased by us from former employees upon their termination in accordance with the terms of their stock option agreements. We purchased the shares from the former employees at the respective original exercise prices.
Use of Proceeds
On June 11, 2021, we closed our initial public offering, or the IPO, of 52,272,727 shares of our Class A common stock at an offering price of $27.00 per share, including 6,818,181 shares pursuant to the exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock, resulting in aggregate net proceeds to us of $1.3 billion after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions of $91.6 million, and offering costs of $7.5 million. All of the shares issued and sold in our IPO were registered under the Securities Act pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-256154), which was declared effective by the SEC on June 8, 2021. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as representatives of the underwriters for the offering.
We also used $10.9 million of the net proceeds from our IPO to satisfy the tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the settlement of our outstanding restricted stock units in connection with the offering.
No payments were made to our directors or officers or their associates, holders of 10% or more of any class of our equity securities, or to our affiliates in connection with the issuance and sale of the securities registered.
There has been no material change in the planned use of the IPO proceeds as discussed in our final prospectus filed with the SEC on June 10, 2021, pursuant to Rule 424(b) of the Securities Act.
Item 6. Reserved
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 together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements based upon current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. As discussed in the section titled “Note About Forward Looking Statements,” our actual results may differ materially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under the section titled “Risk Factors” under Part I, Item 1A.
A discussion regarding our liquidity, financial condition and results of operations for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 is presented below. A discussion regarding our liquidity, financial condition and results of operations for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 can be found in “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Prospectus dated June 8, 2021 and filed with the SEC pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4) on June 10, 2021, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
Marqeta’s modern card issuing platform, or our Platform, empowers our customers, or our Customers - which include businesses like Affirm, Block, DoorDash, Instacart, and Klarna - to create customized payment cards that provide innovative payment experiences for their customers, shoppers, and end users. Before the rise of modern card issuing, creating cards was slow, complex, and subject to mistakes. Marqeta helps solve these problems. Our Platform, powered by open APIs, enables businesses to develop modern, frictionless payment card experiences for consumer and commercial use cases that are either the core of, or in support of, their core business.
Our modern architecture allows for flexibility, a high degree of configurability, and accelerated product development, democratizing access to card issuing technology. Marqeta’s open APIs provide instant access to our highly scalable, cloud-based, and configurable payment infrastructure that enables our Customers to launch and manage their own card programs, issue cards, and authorize and settle payments transactions.
Initial Public Offering
In June 2021, we completed our initial public offering, or the IPO, in which we issued and sold an aggregate of 52,272,727 shares of newly authorized Class A common stock, which included 6,818,181 shares that were offered and sold pursuant to the full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, at a public offering price of $27.00 per share. Our shares of Class A common stock began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, or Nasdaq, on June 9, 2021. We received aggregate net proceeds of $1.3 billion from the IPO less underwriting discounts and commissions of $91.6 million, and offering costs of $7.5 million. Immediately prior to the completion of the IPO, we filed our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation which authorized a total of 1,500,000,000 shares of Class A common stock, 600,000,000 shares of Class B common stock, and 100,000,000 shares of undesignated preferred stock. All shares of common stock then outstanding were reclassified as Class B common stock and all shares of redeemable convertible preferred stock then outstanding were converted into 351,844,340 shares of common stock on a one-for-one basis and then reclassified into Class B common stock. Warrants exercisable for 2,569,528 shares of common stock were converted to an equivalent number of shares of warrants exercisable for Class B common stock and 203,610 shares of warrants exercisable for convertible preferred stock were converted to an equivalent number of warrants exercisable for shares of Class B common stock.
Key Factors Affecting Our Performance
We believe Marqeta’s growth, future success, and performance are dependent upon a number of factors, including those listed below. While these factors present significant opportunities for us, they also represent challenges we must successfully address to grow the adoption and use of the Marqeta Platform and improve our results of operations.
Our growth is aligned with our Customers’ growth. We believe our growth, future success, and performance is closely aligned with that of our Customers. We employ a usage-based model, based on processing volume, and derive the majority of our revenue from Interchange Fees generated by card transactions through our Platform. As our Customers’ processing volumes grow, they may earn an increased percentage of Revenue Share. Sharing an increased percentage of Interchange Fees with our Customers aligns our interests with our Customers’ growth and builds deeper Customer relationships.
Revenue model. We derive the majority of our revenue from Interchange Fees generated by processing payment transactions through our Platform. Interchange Fees are established by the Card Networks and the total Interchange Fees we collect are dependent on various factors including processing volume, merchant category code, transaction size, and other transaction attributes. For Customers under certain contracts, their percentage of Revenue Share increases as their respective processing volumes increase. Our gross margin percentage may decrease as a result of this dynamic. However, we remain strategically focused on growing incremental gross profit dollars and have the ability to partially offset margin declines with better pricing that we achieve with Issuing Banks and Card Networks. Changes in transaction mix, such as the proportion of signature debit versus PIN debit transactions and consumer versus commercial debit cards that make up our TPV, and changes in TPV as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, could result in fluctuations to our net revenue. Further, certain Customers’ processing volumes are subject to seasonal fluctuations that could cause varied net revenue results across the quarters.
Ecosystem of key vendor partners. We partner with Card Networks who oversee their global payment networks, through which debit, credit, and prepaid card payments are authorized, processed, and settled. We incur fees charged by the Card Networks to route our Customers’ transactions within the payments ecosystem. These fees are reflected in our costs of revenue. Given our ability to direct processing volume to specific Card Networks, we are able to negotiate certain incentive rebates that effectively reduce the overall network fees. With the scale of the transactions we process on behalf of our Customers, we believe we can continue to negotiate favorable incentive rebates. However, if these fees increase, our gross margins will decrease.
We partner with Issuing Banks to facilitate the issuance of payment cards to our Customers and to sponsor our Customers’ card programs on Card Networks because we do not have regulatory authority to perform these activities ourselves. We pay volume-based and transaction-based fees to the Issuing Banks. The fees are typically structured based on volume tiers; as our processing volumes grow, these fees as a percentage of processing volume decline. These fees are reflected in our costs of revenue.
Continued investment in our Platform. We make significant investments in both new product development and platform enhancements. Further, we will continue to invest in operational support to maintain service levels expected by our Customers. We believe these investments in product development and operational efficiency will lead to long-term growth and profitability.
Impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, a significant impact on the U.S. economy and the markets in which we operate. While the rate of vaccinations continues to improve, the emergence of, and response to new variants has shown that the COVID-19 virus continues to be a public health concern worldwide.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented measures to focus on employee safety and Customer support, while at the same time seeking to mitigate any negative impact on our financial position and operations. We implemented remote working capabilities for our entire company and, to date, there has been minimal disruption to our operations.
We believe the COVID-19 pandemic intensified the consumer need for virtual and contactless forms of payments, the need for greater flexibility with purchases, and for easy online financing options. Many of the providers of these services are our Customers and they are experiencing accelerated adoption of technologies that enable such payment experiences. However, we experienced a slowdown of on-demand delivery processing volume in the second half of 2021, likely due to the reopening that occurred in the United States.
Further, in March 2021, the American Rescue Plan, among other things, provided individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with cash stimulus payments. While we cannot reasonably estimate the actual effect on our TPV, and net revenue, we believe these stimulus payments contributed to the increase in our TPV and net revenue for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020.
The Card Networks publish changes to interchange rates in April and October of each year. Visa and Mastercard postponed nearly all of their interchange rate updates for April and October 2020, and in March 2021 again announced further postponements in interchange rate changes through April 2022 as a result of COVID-19’s impact on the U.S. economy. The Interchange Fees we earn are affected by multiple factors including changes to the published interchange rates, the size of the individual transaction, and the mix of transactions between signature-based and PIN-based consumer card and commercial card product types, and merchant categories, and Card Network-negotiated merchant rates. Although the Card Networks have announced some expected interchange rate changes for April 2022, it is uncertain if more changes will be implemented after lifting the current postponements. Additionally, in the normal course of updating interchange rates, the Card Networks continually assess the influence of improved payments technology, industry trends, and the ongoing need to maintain balance of the payments ecosystem. All these factors combined can affect how future changes in interchange rates will impact our net revenue.
There remains uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery, including uncertainty related to the labor market, inflation and fiscal and monetary policy responses from the federal government. Businesses continue to face difficulty in hiring and meeting consumer demand, and certain portions of the global supply chain remain challenged by shortages and delays that first occurred due to the initial COVID-19 outbreak.
It is uncertain how the COVID-19 pandemic will evolve and what effect the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions, and the levels of infection, will have on our processing volumes, and on our future results of operations. While our business has not been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to date, we continue to monitor the situation and may take actions that alter our operations and business practices as may be required by federal, state, or local authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our Customers, vendors, and employees.
Key Operating Metric and Financial Measures
We review a number of operating and financial metrics, including the key operating metric set forth below, to help us evaluate our business and growth trends, establish budgets, evaluate the effectiveness of our investments, and assess operational efficiencies. In addition to the results determined in accordance with GAAP, the following table sets forth a key operating metric and non-GAAP financial measures that we consider useful in evaluating our operating performance.
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Total Processing Volume (TPV) (in millions)||$||111,133 ||$||60,075 ||$||21,674 |
|Net revenue (in thousands)||$||517,175 ||$||290,292 ||$||143,267 |
|Gross profit (in thousands)||$||231,705 ||$||117,907 ||$||60,453 |
|Gross margin||45 ||%||41 ||%||42 ||%|
|Net loss (in thousands)||$||(163,929)||$||(47,695)||$||(58,200)|
|Net loss margin||(32)||%||(16)||%||(41)||%|
|Adjusted EBITDA (in thousands)||$||(12,767)||$||(15,378)||$||(34,026)|
|Adjusted EBITDA margin||(2)||%||(5)||%||(24)||%|
Total Processing Volume (TPV) - TPV represents the total dollar amount of payments processed through our Platform, net of returns and chargebacks. We believe that TPV is a key indicator of the market adoption of our Platform, growth of our brand, growth of our Customers' businesses and scale of our business.
Adjusted EBITDA - Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure that is calculated as net income (loss) adjusted to exclude depreciation and amortization; share-based compensation expense; payroll tax related to share-based compensation; legal, financial, and tax due diligence costs related to potential acquisitions; income tax expense (benefit); and other expense (income) net, which consists of changes in the fair value of redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liabilities (for periods prior to the IPO), realized foreign currency gains and losses, interest income from our marketable securities, impairment of equity method investments or other financial instruments, and interest expense from a bank loan. We believe that adjusted EBITDA is an important measure of operating performance because it allows management and our board of directors to evaluate and compare our core operating results, including our operating efficiencies, from period to period. Additionally, we utilize adjusted EBITDA as a performance measure used to calculate payments under our annual employee bonus plans. See the section below titled “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a discussion of the use of non-GAAP measures and a reconciliation of net loss to Adjusted EBITDA.
Adjusted EBITDA Margin - Adjusted EBITDA Margin is a non-GAAP financial measure that is calculated as Adjusted EBITDA divided by net revenue. This measure is used by management and our board of directors to evaluate our operating efficiency. See the section below titled “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a discussion of the use of non-GAAP measures and a reconciliation of net loss to Adjusted EBITDA Margin.
Components of Results of Operations
We have two components of net revenue: platform services revenue, net and other services revenue.
Platform services revenue, net. Platform services revenue includes Interchange Fees, net of Revenue Share, and other service-level payments to Customers. Platform services revenue also includes processing and other fees. Interchange Fees are earned on card transactions we process for our Customers and are based on a percentage of the transaction amount plus a fixed amount per transaction. Interchange Fees are recognized when the associated transactions are settled.
Revenue Share payments are incentives to Customers to increase processing volumes on our Platform. Revenue Share is generally computed as a percentage of the Interchange Fees earned or processing volume and is paid to Customers monthly. Revenue Share payments are recorded as a reduction to revenue. As Customers' processing volumes increase, they may earn an increased percentage of Revenue Share.
Processing and other fees include fees earned when end users use payment cards at automated teller machines and minimum processing fees if Customers' processing volumes fall below certain thresholds.
Other services revenue. Other services revenue primarily consists of revenue earned for card fulfillment services. Card fulfillment fees are generally billed to Customers upon ordering card inventory and recognized as revenue when the cards are shipped to the Customers.
Costs of Revenue
Costs of revenue consist of Card Network costs, Issuing Bank costs, and card fulfillment costs. Card Network costs are equal to a specified percentage of processing volume or a fixed amount per transaction routed through the respective Card Network. Issuing Bank costs compensate our Issuing Banks for issuing cards to our Customers and sponsoring our card programs with the Card Networks and are equal to a specified percentage of processing volume or a fixed amount per transaction. Card fulfillment costs include physical cards, packaging, and other fulfillment costs.
We have separate marketing and incentive arrangements with Card Networks that provide us with monetary incentives for establishing Customer card programs with, and routing volume through, the respective Card Network. The amount of the incentives is determined based on a percentage of the processing volume or the number of transaction routed over the Card Network. We record these incentives as a reduction of Card Network fees included in costs of revenue. Generally, as processing volumes increase we earn a higher rate of monetary incentives from these arrangements, subject to attaining certain volume thresholds during a six-month or annual measurement period. For certain incentive arrangements with an annual measurement period, the one-year period may not align with our fiscal year. Additionally, unusual fluctuations in Card Network fees can occur in the quarter in which volume thresholds are attained as higher incentive rates are applied to volumes over the entire measurement periods, which can span six or twelve months.
Compensation and Benefits. Compensation and benefits consist primarily of salaries, employee benefits, incentive compensation, contractors’ cost and share-based compensation.
Professional Services. Professional services consist primarily of consulting, legal, and recruiting fees.
Technology. Technology consists primarily of third-party hosting fees, software licenses, and hardware purchases below our capitalization threshold, and support and maintenance costs.
Occupancy. Occupancy consists primarily of rent expense, repairs, maintenance, and other building related costs.
Depreciation and Amortization. Depreciation and amortization consist primarily of depreciation of our fixed assets.
Marketing and Advertising. Marketing and advertising consist primarily of costs of general marketing activities and promotional activities.
Other Operating Expenses. Other operating expenses consist primarily of indirect state and local taxes, insurance costs, employee travel-related expenses, employee training, charitable donations, and other general office expenses.
We expect our operating expenses to increase in absolute dollars as our business grows. We also expect to continue to incur increased expenses to operate as a public company including costs to comply with the rules and regulations applicable to companies listed on a national securities exchange, and costs related to compliance and reporting obligations pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC, including regarding internal control over financial reporting under Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act.
Other Income (Expense), net
Other income (expense), net consists primarily of changes in the fair value of the redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liabilities (for periods prior to the IPO), realized foreign currency gains and losses, equity method investment share of loss, and interest income from our marketable securities.
Income Tax Expense
Income tax expense consists of U.S. federal and state income taxes and U.K. income taxes. We maintain a full valuation allowance against our U.S. federal and state net deferred tax assets as we have concluded that it is not more likely than not that we will realize our net deferred tax assets.
Results of Operations
The following table sets forth our results of operations for the periods presented:
|Year Ended December 31,|
|(dollars in thousands)||2021||2020||2019|
|Net revenue||$||517,175 ||$||290,292 ||$||143,267 |
|Costs of revenue||285,470 ||172,385 ||82,814 |
|Gross profit||231,705 ||117,907 ||60,453 |
|Compensation and benefits||318,116 ||129,802 ||88,309 |
|Professional services||18,443 ||7,188 ||7,157 |
|Technology||33,637 ||13,239 ||7,796 |
|Occupancy||4,181 ||4,337 ||3,777 |
|Depreciation and amortization||3,534 ||3,498 ||3,080 |
|Marketing and advertising||2,284 ||1,670 ||2,080 |
|Other operating expenses||13,516 ||5,260 ||7,117 |
|Total operating expenses||393,711 ||164,994 ||119,316 |
|Loss from operations||(162,006)||(47,087)||(58,863)|
|Other income (expense), net||(2,563)||(521)||698 |
|Loss before income tax expense||(164,569)||(47,608)||(58,165)|
|Income tax expense (benefit)||(640)||87 ||35 |
Comparison of the Fiscal Years Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020
|Year Ended December 31,|
|(dollars in thousands)||2021||2020||$ Change||% Change|
|Total platform services, net||$||502,296||$||283,305||$||218,991 ||77 ||%|
|Other services||14,879||6,987||7,892 ||113 ||%|
|Total net revenue||$||517,175||$||290,292||$||226,883 ||78 ||%|
|Total Processing Volume (TPV) (in millions)||$||111,133||$||60,075||$||51,058 ||85 ||%|
Total net revenue increased by $226.9 million, or 78%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, of which increase $152.6 million was attributable to Block. The increase in net revenue was primarily driven by an 85% increase in TPV, partially offset by a decreased average interchange rate earned on transactions processed and by a 2% increase in Revenue Share payments attributable to increased average Revenue Share rates, compared to the same period in 2020. Interchange rates may vary due to changes in rates published by the Card Networks as well as the mix of transaction types, average transaction size, merchant classifications, and consumer versus commercial card classifications. Revenue Share rates may vary due to customers’ earning an increased percentage of Revenue Share as they increase processing volumes on our Platform. Sharing an increased percentage of Interchange Fees with our Customers aligns our interests with our Customers’ growth and builds deeper customer relationships.
The increase in TPV was mainly driven by increases in processing volume from our digital banking and BNPL Customers. TPV for our top five Customers, measured by TPV in each respective period, grew by 70% for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, while TPV from all other Customers, as a group, grew 230% for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020.
Costs of Revenue and Gross Margin
|Year Ended December 31,|
|(dollars in thousands)||2021||2020||$ Change||% Change|
|Costs of revenue:|
|Card Network fees, net||$||244,387||$||145,617||$||98,770 ||68 ||%|
|Issuing Bank fees||27,282||19,785||7,497 ||38 ||%|
|Other||13,801||6,983||6,818 ||98 ||%|
|Total costs of revenue||$||285,470||$||172,385||$||113,085 ||66 ||%|
|Gross profit||$||231,705||$||117,907||$||113,798 ||97 ||%|
|Gross margin||45 ||%||41 ||%|
Costs of revenue increased by $113.1 million, or 66%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020. The increase was primarily due to increased Card Network fees as the result of the 85% increase in TPV and 70% increase in the number of corresponding transactions.
Network fees increased $98.8 million, or 68% in the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020. This increase was due to a 85% increase in TPV, partially offset by the effect of $14.8 million of additional Card Network incentives resulting from reaching specified volume tiers and other discounts during the year ended December 31, 2021. The higher volume tiers were not reached in the year ended December 31, 2020. Certain of our network incentive arrangements have 6-month or annual measurement periods that do not correspond to our fiscal year and we can earn additional rates of incentives when specified volume tiers are met. As such, additional incentives can be earned on volume processed in a prior fiscal year and multiple incentive tiers can be met in the same fiscal year.
Issuing Bank fees increased $7.5 million, or 38%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, which was lower than the percentage of increase in TPV as a result of volume tiers being met at Sutton Bank, and reduced Issuing Bank fees for certain of our processing volume, as a result of amending our contract with Sutton Bank. Issuing Bank fees are typically determined based on volume tiers; as our processing volumes grow, these fees as a percentage of processing volume decline.
As a result of the increases in net revenue and costs of revenue discussed above, our gross profit increased by $113.8 million, or 97%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020. Our gross margin increased to 45% during the year ended December 31, 2021 - including the benefit of the monetary incentives mentioned above - from 41% during the year ended December 31, 2020.
|Year Ended December 31,|
|(dollars in thousands)||2021||2020||$ Change||% Change|
|Salaries, bonus, benefits and payroll taxes||$||175,456||$||101,591||$||73,865 ||73 ||%|
|Share-based compensation||142,660||28,211||114,449 ||406 ||%|
|Total compensation and benefits||318,116||129,802||188,314 ||145 ||%|
|Percentage of net revenue||62 ||%||45 ||%|
|Professional services||18,443||7,188||11,255 ||157 ||%|
|Percentage of net revenue||4 ||%||2 ||%|
|Technology||33,637||13,239||20,398 ||154 ||%|
|Percentage of net revenue||7 ||%||5 ||%|
|Percentage of net revenue||1 ||%||1 ||%|
|Depreciation and amortization||3,534||3,498||36 ||1 ||%|
|Percentage of net revenue||1 ||%||1 ||%|
|Marketing and advertising||2,284||1,670||$||614 ||37 ||%|
|Percentage of net revenue||— ||%||1 ||%|
|Other operating expenses||13,516||5,260||8,256 ||157 ||%|
|Percentage of net revenue||3 ||%||2 ||%|
|Total operating expenses||$||393,711||$||164,994||$||228,717|
Compensation and benefits expenses increased by $188.3 million, or 145%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020. Salaries, bonus, benefits, and payroll taxes increased by $73.9 million predominately due to a $46.2 million increase in salaries due to the 47% increase in the average full time employees from 427 in the year ended December 31, 2020 to 629 in the year ended December 31, 2021, a $18.7 million increase in bonus expense, and a $8.9 million increase in contractors’ costs, due to the 162% increase in the average number of contractors from 27 in the year ended December 31, 2020 to 70 in the year ended December 31, 2021. Additionally, bonus expense increased $18.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020 due to the increase in full time employees, the broadening of our corporate bonus plan to cover more employees, and higher bonus payout for the year ended December 31, 2021. We expect rates of compensation to increase in the future in part due the labor market shortage that is currently prevalent in the U.S. economy and increases in rates of inflation observed in 2021.
Compensation and benefits expenses also increased in the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020 due to a $114.4 million increase in share-based compensation expense, mainly because of the increase in our employees base and the CEO Long-Term Performance Award as detailed in the table below:
|Year Ended December 31,|
|(dollars in thousands)||2021||2020||$ Change||% Change|
Restricted stock units (1)
|Stock options||31,231||10,895||20,336 ||187 ||%|
|CEO Long-Term Performance Award||38,189||—||38,189 ||n/m|
|Employee Stock Purchase Plan||1,946||—||1,946 ||n/m|
|Secondary sales of common stock||11,642||17,316||(5,674)||(33)||%|
|Total share-based compensation||$||142,660||$||28,211||$||114,449 ||406 ||%|
|n/m = not meaningful|
(1) Includes $23.1 million of expense recognized for cumulative prior service as of the IPO completion date for RSUs with both a service and liquidity vesting condition.
Professional services expenses increased by $11.3 million, or 157%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020. The increase was due to a $9.5 million increase in accounting, consulting, and legal fees, and a $1.8 million increase in recruiting fees.
Technology expenses increased by $20.4 million, or 154%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020. The increase was due to a $12.7 million increase in third-party hosting costs to support our continued growth and increase in TPV, increasing the resiliency of our Platform and continued migration to the cloud from third-party data centers, and a $7.6 million increase in software licensing costs as we continue implementing new systems and tools and increasing the number of licenses for existing systems.
Occupancy expense decreased by $0.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020 as a result of a lease cost credit received due to the reduced use of our office space during shelter-in-place orders. As most of our employees and service providers continue to work remotely, we will continue to evaluate the need for additional office space.
Depreciation and amortization remained consistent for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020.
Marketing and advertising expenses increased by $0.6 million, or 37%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020. The increase was primarily related to conferences, trade shows, and brand awareness investments to further grow our Customer base.
Other operating expenses increased by $8.3 million, or 157%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020 as a result of an increase in insurance costs of $4.9 million, an increase in various state and local non-income taxes of $1.3 million, and an increase in general office operating expenses of $2.1 million.
Other Income (Expense), Net
|Year Ended December 31,|
|(dollars in thousands)||2021||2020||$ Change||% Change|
|Other income (expense), net||$||(2,563)||$||(521)||$||(2,042)||392 ||%|
|Percentage of net revenue||— ||%||— ||%|
Other income (expense), net decreased by $2.0 million, or 392%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020 primarily due to a $1.0 million increase in the expense related to the change in the fair value of the redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liabilities, a $0.7 million decrease in interest income from our marketable securities portfolio, and $0.3 million increase in realized foreign currency exchange loss. The redeemable convertible preferred stock warrants were exercised during 2021 and therefore we do not expect to record additional changes in the fair value of these warrants.
We generated 69% and 70% of our net revenue from our largest Customer, Block, during the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Quarterly Results of Operations
The following tables set forth selected unaudited consolidated quarterly statements of operations data for each of the eight fiscal quarters ended December 31, 2021. The information for each of these quarters has been prepared on the same basis as the audited annual consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and, in the opinion of management, includes all adjustments, which consist only of normal recurring adjustments, necessary for the fair presentation of the results of operations for these periods. In the fourth quarter of 2021, we reclassified contractor costs from professional services to compensation and benefits and all statements of operations below have been adjusted to conform to this new presentation. This data should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. These quarterly results are not necessarily indicative of our results of operations to be expected for any future period.
|Three Months Ended|
|Net revenue||$||155,414 ||$||131,512 ||$||122,266 ||$||107,983 ||$||88,196 ||$||84,307 ||$||69,402 ||$||48,389 |
|Costs of revenue||79,615 ||72,438 ||75,291 ||58,126 ||51,750 ||49,024 ||41,785 ||29,826 |
|Gross profit||75,799 ||59,074 ||46,975 ||49,857 ||36,446 ||35,283 ||27,617 ||18,563 |
|Compensation and benefits||88,995 ||84,462 ||97,755 ||46,904 ||38,964 ||38,816 ||26,449 ||25,574 |
|Professional services||5,712 ||4,704 ||3,831 ||4,196 ||1,955 ||1,547 ||1,931 ||1,753 |
|Technology||11,143 ||9,299 ||7,569 ||5,626 ||4,708 ||3,432 ||2,660 ||2,439 |
|Occupancy||1,097 ||1,091 ||907 ||1,086 ||1,070 ||1,100 ||1,080 ||1,087 |
|Depreciation and amortization||967 ||786 ||874 ||907 ||890 ||901 ||850 ||857 |
|Marketing and advertising||804 ||490 ||495 ||495 ||618 ||371 ||343 ||338 |
|Other operating expenses||4,811 ||3,880 ||3,530 ||1,295 ||1,346 ||1,287 ||1,101 ||1,526 |
|Total operating expenses||113,529 ||104,712 ||114,961 ||60,509 ||49,551 ||47,454 ||34,414 ||33,574 |
|Loss from operations||(37,730)||(45,638)||(67,986)||(10,652)||(13,105)||(12,171)||(6,797)||(15,011)|
|Other income (expense), net||142 ||(57)||(481)||(2,167)||(638)||(83)||(295)||495 |
|Loss before income tax expense||(37,588)||(45,695)||(68,467)||(12,819)||(13,743)||(12,254)||(7,092)||(14,516)|
|Income tax expense (benefit)||(781)||35 ||87 ||19 ||17 ||43 ||15 ||12 |
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Our non-GAAP measures have limitations as analytical tools and you should not consider them in isolation. These non-GAAP measures should not be viewed as a substitute for, or superior to, measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. In evaluating these non-GAAP measures, you should be aware that in the future we will incur expenses similar to the adjustments in the presentation of our non-GAAP measures set forth under “Key Operating Metric and Non-GAAP Financial Measures”. There are a number of limitations related to the use of these non-GAAP measures versus their most directly comparable GAAP measures, including the following:
•other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate adjusted EBITDA differently than how we calculate this measure or not at all; this reduces its usefulness as a comparative measure;
•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 expenditures; and
•adjusted EBITDA does not reflect the effect of income taxes that may represent a reduction in cash available to us.
We encourage investors to review the related GAAP financial measures and the reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.
A reconciliation of net loss to adjusted EBITDA for the periods presented is as follows:
|Year Ended December 31,|
|(dollars in thousands)|
|Net revenue||$||517,175 ||$||290,292 ||$||143,267 |
|Net loss margin||(32)||%||(16)||%||(41)||%|
|Depreciation and amortization expense||3,534 ||3,498 ||3,080 |
|Share-based compensation expense||142,660 ||28,211 ||21,757 |
|Payroll tax expense related to share-based compensation||1,956 ||— ||— |
|Due diligence costs related to potential acquisitions||1,089 ||— ||— |
|Other expense (income), net||2,563 ||521 ||(698)|
|Income tax expense (benefit)||(640)||87 ||35 |
|Adjusted EBITDA Margin||(2)||%||(5)||%||(24)||%|
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Since our inception through June 30, 2021, we financed our operations primarily through sales of equity securities and payments received from our Customers. In June 2021, we completed our IPO and we received aggregate net proceeds of $1.3 billion after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions of $91.6 million, and offering costs of $7.5 million.
At December 31, 2021, our principal sources of liquidity included cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities totaling $1.7 billion, with such amounts held for working capital purposes. At December 31, 2021, our cash equivalents and marketable securities were comprised primarily of money market funds, U.S. government securities, commercial paper, asset-backed securities, and corporate debt securities. We have generated significant operating losses as reflected in our accumulated deficit. We expect to continue to incur operating losses for the foreseeable future.
We believe our existing cash and cash equivalents, and our marketable securities will be sufficient to meet our working capital and capital expenditure needs for more than the next 12 months. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including our planned continuing investment in product development, platform infrastructure, and global expansion. We will use our cash for a variety of needs, including for ongoing investments in our business, potential strategic acquisitions, capital expenditures and investment in our infrastructure, including our non-cancellable purchase commitments with cloud-computing service providers and certain Issuing Banks.
At December 31, 2021, we had $7.8 million in restricted cash which included a deposit held at an Issuing Bank to provide the Issuing Bank collateral in the event that our Customers' funds are not deposited at the Issuing Bank in time to settle our Customers' transactions with the Card Networks. Restricted cash also includes cash held at a bank to secure our payments under a lease agreement for our office space.
The following table summarizes our cash flows for the periods indicated:
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities||$||56,972 ||$||50,273 ||$||(15,428)|
|Net cash used in investing activities||(329,121)||(57,562)||(100,318)|
|Net cash provided by financing activities||1,299,297 ||167,378 ||139,049 |
|Net increase in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash||$||1,027,148 ||$||160,089 ||$||23,303 |
Our largest source of cash provided by our operating activities is our net revenue. Our primary uses of cash in our operating activities are for Card Network and Issuing Bank fees, and employee-related compensation. The timing of settlement of certain operating liabilities, including Revenue Share payments and bonus payments, can affect the amounts reported as net cash provided by operating activities on the consolidated statement of cash flows.
Net cash provided by operating activities increased for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020 primarily due to the net impact of increases in net revenue and related cash collections and cash paid for costs of revenues and operating expenses, the majority of it related to employees compensation.
Net cash provided by investing activities consists primarily of maturities of our investments in marketable securities. Net cash used in investing activities consists primarily of purchases of marketable securities, purchases of property and equipment, and equity method investments.
Net cash used in investing activities increased for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the same period in December 31, 2020 primarily due to the increase in purchases of marketable securities, an equity method investment, and a purchase call option to acquire the remaining interest in the equity method investee, partially offset by the increase in maturities of marketable securities.
Net cash provided by financing activities consists primarily of proceeds from the sale of our equity securities. Net cash used in financing activities consists primarily of net payments related to tax withholdings for RSU settlements and payments of offering costs related to the IPO.
Net cash provided by financing activities increased for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020 primarily due to the proceeds received from our IPO, net of underwriters’ commission and discounts, partially offset by the decrease in proceeds from the issuance of redeemable convertible preferred stock, and the payments made to satisfy the tax withholding and remittance obligations related to the settlement of our outstanding RSUs.
Obligations and Other Commitments
Our principal commitments consist of obligations under our operating leases for office space and other non-cancellable purchase commitments. For additional information about our operating leases, see Note 7 to our Consolidated Financial Statements “Commitments and Contingencies — Operating Leases.”
In connection with our corporate headquarters lease, we are required to provide the landlord a letter of credit in the amount of $1.5 million. We have secured this letter of credit by depositing $1.5 million with the issuing financial institution. This deposit is classified as restricted cash in the consolidated balance sheets.
As of December 31, 2021, we had non-cancellable purchase commitments with certain service providers and Issuing Banks of $263.8 million, payable over the next 5 years. These purchase obligations include $255.0 million related to minimum commitments as part of a cloud-computing service agreement. The remaining obligations are related to various service providers and Issuing Banks processing fees over the fixed, non-cancellable respective contract terms.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. The preparation of these consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, costs, and expenses, and related disclosures. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates and assumptions. Our actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.
We believe that of our significant accounting policies, discussed in Note 2 to our Consolidated Financial Statements “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies,” the following accounting policies involve a greater degree of judgment and complexity. Accordingly, these are the policies we believe are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating our consolidated financial condition and results of operations.
Under the JOBS Act, “an emerging growth company” can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. This provision allows an “emerging growth company” to delay the adoption of new or revised accounting standards that have different transition dates for public and private companies until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We meet the definition of an “emerging growth company” and have elected to use this extended transition period. As a result of this election, our timeline to comply with these standards will in many cases be delayed as compared to other public companies that are not eligible to take advantage of this election or have not made this election. Therefore, our financial statements may not be comparable to those of companies that comply with the public company effective dates for these standards.
We adopted Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, or ASC 606, effective as of January 1, 2019. We recognize revenue from contracts with Customers using the five-step method described in Note 2 to our Consolidated Financial Statements “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies.” We generate revenue from providing Platform services, which includes Interchange Fees and processing fees, and other services, which includes card fulfillment revenue, to our Customers.
Our contracts with Customers typically include two performance obligations: (i) providing access to our payment processing Platform and (ii) providing card fulfillment services. Certain Customer contracts require us to allocate the transaction price of the contract based on the relative stand-alone selling price of the performance obligations which are estimated using an analysis of our historical contract pricing and costs incurred to fulfill services.
We satisfy our performance obligation to provide platform services over time as Customers have continuous access to our Platform, and we stand ready to process Customer transactions throughout their term of access. We allocate variable consideration to the distinct month in which our Platform services are delivered. When pricing terms are not consistent throughout the entire term of the contract, we estimate variable consideration in Customers' contracts primarily using the expected value method. We develop estimates of variable consideration on the basis of both historical information and current trends and do not expect or anticipate significant reversal of revenue in the future periods.
As the Issuer Processor for our Customers, we are the principal in providing services under our contracts with Customers. To deliver the services required by our Customers, we contract with Card Networks for transaction routing, reporting, and settlement services and with Issuing Banks for card issuing, Card Network sponsorship, and regulatory compliance approval services. We control these integrated services before delivery to our Customers, we are primarily responsible for the delivery of the services to Customers, and we have discretion in vendor selection. As such, we record fees paid to the Issuing Banks and Card Networks as costs of revenue.
For certain revenue contracts, we estimate variable consideration and material rights to record each period. This requires that we estimate the expected processing volume over the term of the contract, including any additional extension of the term associated with a material right. These estimates are predominantly derived by analysis of historical trends and are updated on a quarterly basis. Changes made to these assumptions during the year ended December 31, 2021 did not have a material impact to the net revenue recorded during the year ended December 31, 2021.
We measure compensation expense for all share-based payment awards, including stock options and RSUs, granted to employees, directors, and other service providers, based on the estimated fair value of the awards on the date of grant. Prior to our IPO, the most significant input in determining the fair value of a stock option and RSUs was the estimated fair value of our common stock. Additionally, prior to our IPO, the determination of whether to recognize share-based compensation expense related to secondary sales of common stock by employees or former employees required a significant judgment.
Our methods to estimate the fair value of our common stock and to determine share-based compensation expense related to secondary sales of common stock prior to the completion of the IPO are discussed below.
Fair Value of Common Stock: Prior to our IPO, our board of directors considered numerous objective and subjective factors to determine the fair value of our common stock at each meeting in which awards were approved. The factors considered included, but were not limited to: (i) contemporaneous independent third-party valuations of our common stock; (ii) observed secondary sales of our common stock; (iii) rights, preferences, and privileges of our redeemable convertible preferred stock relative to those of our common stock; (iv) our actual operating and financial performance; (v) current business conditions and projections; (vi) the likelihood of achieving a liquidity event, such as an initial public offering or sale of the company, given prevailing market conditions; and (vii) precedent transactions involving our capital stock.
Subsequent to our IPO, we use the closing share price of our Class A common stock, which is traded on Nasdaq, on the grant date to measure share-based compensation.