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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from________to________
Commission File Number: 001-39310
ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware87-3037521
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
805 Broadway Street, Suite 900
Vancouver, Washington 98660
Telephone: (800) 914-1220
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per shareZIThe Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by a check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, 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 filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined by Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes No ☒
As of June 30, 2021, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates was approximately $6.3 billion.



As of February 11, 2022, the number of outstanding shares of the registrant's common stock was:
403,301,898 shares of Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders of ZoomInfo Technologies Inc., which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of December 31, 2021, are incorporated by reference in Item 10, Item 11, Item 12, Item 13 and Item 14 of Part III of this report.



Table of Contents
Page
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
Item 9C.
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
Item 15.
Item 16.
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GLOSSARY
As used in this annual report on Form 10-K (this “Form 10-K”), the terms identified below have the meanings specified below unless otherwise noted or the context indicates otherwise. References in this Form 10-K to “ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.” refer to ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo NewCo Inc.) and not to any of its subsidiaries unless the context indicates otherwise. References in this Form 10-K to “ZoomInfo,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer (1) prior to the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions, to ZoomInfo OpCo and its consolidated subsidiaries, (2) after the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions and prior to the consummation of the Holding Company Reorganization, to ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.) and its consolidated subsidiaries and (3) after the consummation of the Holding Company Reorganization, to ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo NewCo Inc.) and its consolidated subsidiaries unless the context indicates otherwise
ACV” refers to annual contract value, or the total annualized value that a customer has agreed to pay for subscription services at any particular point in time under contract(s) that are or were enforceable at that point in time.
Blocker Companies” refers to certain of our Pre-IPO OpCo Unitholders that are taxable as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Blocker Mergers” refers to the mergers described under “Reorganization Transactions” in Note 1 - Organization and Background to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
Carlyle” refers to investment funds associated with The Carlyle Group.
Class P Units” refers to Class P Units (including, without limitation, any indirectly held Class P Units) of ZoomInfo OpCo.
Continuing Class P Unitholders” refers to certain Pre-IPO Owners who continued to hold Class P Units following the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions and the IPO.
Continuing Members” refers to Pre-IPO Owners who continue to hold HoldCo Units or OpCo Units following the Reorganization Transactions and the IPO.
Customers” refers to companies that have contracted with us to use our services and, at the time of measurement, maintain one or more active paid subscriptions to our platform. Paid subscriptions will generally include access for a number of employees or other affiliated persons of the customer.
Exchange Tax Receivable Agreement” refers to the tax receivable agreement entered into with certain Pre-IPO OpCo Unitholders.
Founders” refers to Henry Schuck, our Chief Executive Officer, and Kirk Brown.
HoldCo Units” refers to the class of units of ZoomInfo HoldCo.
Holding Company Reorganization” refers to the transactions described under “UP-C Corporate Structure and Multi-Class Voting Structure Elimination” in Note 1 - Organization and Background to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
HSKB” and “HSKB I” refers to HSKB Funds, LLC, a privately held limited liability company formed on February 9, 2016 for the purpose of issuing equity to certain persons who had performed and would continue to perform services for ZoomInfo OpCo.
HSKB II” refer to HSKB Funds II, LLC, a privately held limited liability company formed on May 28, 2020 for the purpose of effecting a reorganization of HSKB I at the time of the IPO and to issue equity to certain persons who had performed and would continue to perform services for ZoomInfo OpCo.
IPO” refers to the initial public offering of Class A common stock of ZoomInfo Intermediate.
LTIP Units” refers to a class of partnership units that are intended to qualify as “profit interests” in ZoomInfo OpCo for federal income tax purposes that, subject to certain conditions, including vesting, are convertible by the holder into OpCo Units.
NeverBounce” refers to Metrics Delivered LLC.
OpCo Units” refers to the class of units of ZoomInfo OpCo and does not include Class P Units.
PCAOB” refers to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
Pre-Acquisition ZI” refers to Zoom Information Inc.
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Pre-IPO Blocker Holders” refers to the Pre-IPO Owners that held their interests in us through the Blocker Companies immediately prior to the IPO.
Pre-IPO HoldCo Unitholders” refers to the Pre-IPO Owners that held HoldCo Units immediately prior to the IPO.
Pre-IPO OpCo Unitholders” refers to the Pre-IPO Owners that held OpCo Units immediately prior to the IPO.
Pre-IPO Owners” refers collectively to the Sponsors, the Founders, and the management and other equity holders who were the owners of ZoomInfo OpCo immediately prior to the Reorganization Transactions.
RainKing” refers to Rain King Software, Inc.
Reorganization Tax Receivable Agreement” refers to the tax receivable agreement entered into with the Pre-IPO Blocker Holders.
Reorganization Transactions” refers to the transactions described under “Reorganization Transactions” in Note 1 - Organization and Background to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
SEC” refers to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Securities Act” refers to the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
Series A Preferred Units” refers to the Series A preferred units of ZoomInfo OpCo outstanding immediately prior to the IPO.
Sponsors” refers collectively to TA Associates, Carlyle, and investment funds associated with 22C Capital LLC and its predecessor.
TA Associates” refers to investment funds associated with TA Associates.
Tax Receivable Agreements” or “TRA” refers collectively to the Exchange Tax Receivable Agreement and the Reorganization Tax Receivable Agreement.
ZoomInfo HoldCo” refers to ZoomInfo Intermediate Holdings LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, and a direct subsidiary of ZoomInfo Intermediate.
ZoomInfo Intermediate” refers to ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.), a Delaware corporation, and a direct subsidiary of ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo NewCo Inc.).
ZoomInfo OpCo” refers to ZoomInfo Holdings LLC (formerly known as DiscoverOrg Holdings, LLC), a Delaware limited liability company, and a direct subsidiary of ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo NewCo Inc.) and ZoomInfo Intermediate.
ZoomInfo Tax Group" refers to, collectively, ZoomInfo Intermediate or any member of its affiliated, consolidated, combined, or unitary tax group.
Until the end of 2021, we were an “emerging growth company” as defined in Section 2(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, as modified by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012. Based on the aggregate market value of our Class A common stock held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2021, we no longer qualify as an “emerging growth company” and are no longer exempt from various reporting requirements applicable to other public companies.
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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
From time to time we make statements concerning our expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance and underlying assumptions and other statements that are not historical facts. These statements are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, our operations and financial performance. These forward-looking statements are included throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including in the sections entitled “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business,” and relate to matters such as our industry, business strategy, goals and expectations concerning our market position, future operations, margins, profitability, capital expenditures, liquidity and capital resources and other financial and operating information. In some cases, you can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “objective,” “outlook,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “projection,” “seek,” “should,” “target,” “trend,” “will,” “would,” or the negative version of these words or other comparable words.
We have based our forward-looking statements on our management’s beliefs and assumptions based on information available to our management at the time the statements are made. We caution you that assumptions, beliefs, expectations, intentions and projections about future events may and often do vary materially from actual results. Therefore, we cannot assure you that actual results will not differ materially from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements. A summary of some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements, including forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, is provided below under “Risk Factor Summary.” These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and our other filings with the SEC. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of our assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in these forward-looking statements. Factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures, investments, or other strategic transactions we may make. You should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements.
Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of the particular statement, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.
Risk Factor Summary
We are subject to various risks that could have a material adverse impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows. The following is a summary of the principal factors that make investing in our securities risky and may cause our actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The following is only a summary of the principal risks that may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and should be read in conjunction with the more complete discussion of the risk factors we face, which are set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A. in this report:
the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the global economic uncertainty and measures taken in response, could materially impact our business and future results of operations;
larger well-funded companies may shift their existing business models to become more competitive with us;
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we may be unable to provide or adapt our platform for changes in laws and regulations or public perception, or changes in the enforcement of such laws, relating to data privacy, which could impact our ability to efficiently gather, process, update and/or provide some or all of the information we currently provide or the ability of our customers and users to use some or all of our products and services;
we may experience competition from companies that more effectively cater to our customers by offering more tailored products or platforms at lower costs;
adverse general economic and market conditions may reduce spending on sales and marketing, which could harm our revenue, results of operations and cash flows;
a decline in demand for sales and marketing subscription platforms could negatively impact our business;
if we are unable to improve our technology and keep up with new processes for data collection, organization, and cleansing, competing products and services could surpass ours;
we may be unable to provide a highly accurate, reliable, and comprehensive platform moving forward, which could cause a reduction in demand for our products and services;
we rely on third-party systems that we do not control to integrate with our system and we may be unable to continue to support integration;
we may be unable to attract new customers and expand existing subscriptions, which could harm our revenue growth and profitability;
a decrease in participation in our contributory network or increased opt-out rates could lead to a deterioration in the depth, breadth, and accuracy of our platform;
changes in search engine algorithms and dynamics could negatively affect traffic to our website;
we may fail to protect and maintain our intellectual property;
third-parties could use our products and services in a manner that is unlawful or contrary to our values;
we may be unable to successfully integrate acquired businesses, services, databases, and technologies into our operations, which could have an adverse effect on our business;
we may be unsuccessful in selling our products or retaining our customers if the quality of our customer service falters;
our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition, our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations, our ability to operate our business, our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry, and our ability to meet our obligations under our outstanding indebtedness, and could divert our cash flow from operations for debt payments; and
the parties to our stockholders agreement have special rights and interests that may conflict with ours or yours in the future.

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Website Disclosure
The Company intends to use its website as a distribution channel of material company information. Financial and other important information regarding the Company is routinely posted on and accessible through the Company’s website at https://ir.zoominfo.com. Accordingly, you should monitor the investor relations portion of our website at https://ir.zoominfo.com/ in addition to following our press releases, SEC filings, and public conference calls and webcasts (which are not incorporated herein or otherwise a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K). In addition, you may automatically receive email alerts and other information about the Company when you enroll your email address by visiting the “Email Alerts” section of our investor relations page at https://ir.zoominfo.com. The information on our website is not incorporated herein or otherwise a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Industry and Market Data
References herein to the Company being a leader in a market or product category refer to our belief that we have a leading market share position in each specified market, unless the context otherwise requires.
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PART I
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Overview
ZoomInfo is a global leader in modern go-to-market software, data, and intelligence for sales, marketing, operations, and recruiting teams. RevOS – our modern, cloud-based operating system for revenue professionals – delivers comprehensive and high-quality intelligence and analytics to provide sales, marketing, operations, and recruiting professionals accurate information and insights on the organizations and professionals they target. This enables our customers to shorten sales cycles and increase win rates by empowering sellers, marketers, and recruiters to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.
We are able to deliver high-quality intelligence at scale by leveraging an artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning (“ML”) powered engine that gathers data from millions of sources in real time and standardizes, matches to entities, verifies, cleans, and applies the processed data to companies and people at scale. This data engine along with our team of research analysts and data scientists enrich our platform by providing deep insights, such as personnel moves, pain points, or planned investments, technologies used by companies, intent signals, decision-maker contact information, advanced attributes (such as time series growth, granular department and location information, and employee trends), organizational charts, news and events, hierarchy information, locations, and funding details. Our customers access insights directly in our platform and can also integrate our data and insights directly into their customer relationship management system (“CRM”) or sales and marketing automation systems, to improve their existing go-to-market processes.
ZoomInfo, formerly known as DiscoverOrg, was co-founded in 2007 by our CEO, Henry Schuck. DiscoverOrg achieved significant organic growth since its founding and acquired Zoom Information, Inc. (“Pre-Acquisition ZI”) in February 2019 to further expand the breadth of our go-to-market intelligence, industry coverage, and addressable market opportunity. The combined business was incorporated as the former ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (now ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc.) on November 14, 2019 for the purposes of facilitating the IPO. On June 8, 2020, ZoomInfo completed the IPO.
On October 29, 2021, ZoomInfo implemented a holding company reorganization in which ZoomInfo NewCo Inc., which subsequently was renamed “ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.,” became the successor registrant to its subsidiary, ZoomInfo Technologies Inc., which subsequently changed its name to “ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc.”
Our corporate headquarters are located in Vancouver, Washington. The company has additional offices across the United States, including in Waltham, Massachusetts; Bellevue, Washington; Bethesda, Maryland; Conshohocken, Pennsylvania; Grand Rapids, Michigan; San Mateo and San Francisco, California; Melville, New York; and Roswell, Georgia, as well as an international presence in Tel Aviv and Ra’anana, Israel, and London, England. Our primary website address is www.zoominfo.com. The information on our website is not incorporated herein or otherwise a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Our Platform
Our modern, cloud-based operating system for revenue professionals delivers comprehensive and high-quality intelligence and analytics to provide sales, marketing, operations, and recruiting professionals accurate information and insights on the organizations and professionals they target.
We enhance the breadth of this intelligence with deep insights, such as personnel moves, pain points, or planned investments, technologies used by companies, intent signals, decision-maker contact information, advanced attributes (such as time series growth, granular department and location information, and employee trends), organizational charts, news and events, hierarchy information, locations, and funding details. All of this can be integrated directly into our customers’ CRM and sales and marketing automation systems.
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This 360-degree view provides detailed understanding, and coupled with our analytics, shortens sales cycles and increases win rates by enabling sellers, marketers, and recruiters to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Our intelligence is kept up to date in real time. This is accomplished through a combination of robust systems and processes leveraging AI, ML, and our proprietary human-in-the-loop approach.
Our Data Engine
We deliver high-quality intelligence at scale by leveraging an AI and ML-powered engine that gathers data from millions of sources and standardizes, matches to entities, verifies, cleans, and applies the processed data to companies and people at scale. We aggregate and extract distinct types of data, such as revenue, locations, technologies, keywords, contact information, including email addresses, titles, and phone numbers, and many others, from millions of public and proprietary sources. Our evidence-based ML algorithm scores, ranks, and makes determinations about these billions of data points each week. To help train our AI and ML technologies and augment our contributory network, we have a team of research analysts and data scientists with deep expertise in cleaning business-to-business data. This human-in-the-loop team plays a strategic role, focusing on quality assurance and addressing data and intelligence gaps that technology alone cannot solve. We have processes in place to use our research team to tag anomalies in data, review data pieces that require another manual verification, identify patterns to transform this understanding into algorithms, and identify methods to automate data gathering. We are able to provide a guarantee of at least 95% accuracy as a result of our focus on quality.
Our Competition
We believe there are currently no competitors who offer a sales, marketing, operations, and recruiting intelligence platform as comprehensive as ours. We are able to provide measurable revenue improvement; accuracy, depth and coverage of data; unique data points to leverage insights; and a platform that can be integrated and automated with a variety of CRM, marketing, operations, or recruiting platforms. In limited circumstances, we will see other vendors that focus on specific use-cases, niche end-markets, or leveraging legacy and/or inaccurate data sets try to compete in potential deals. These potential competitors include LinkedIn Sales Navigator, D&B Hoovers, and TechTarget.
We believe the principal factors that drive competition between vendors in the market include:
comprehensive platform offering;
quality and accuracy of data;
breadth and depth of data;
ease of use and deployment;
tangible benefits and ROI for customers;
data privacy and security;
ability to integrate with customers’ CRM and sales and marketing automation systems; and
sophistication of solutions used to manage, maintain, and combine intelligence.
We believe we compete favorably across these factors. We have achieved a median sales cycle of less than 30 days from opportunity creation to close. For additional information, see “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
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Our Customers
Our large and diversified customer base spans a wide variety of industry verticals, including software, business services, manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services, media and internet, transportation, education, hospitality, and real estate. Our customers range from the largest global enterprises, to mid-market companies, down to small businesses. No single customer contributed more than 1% of revenue for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Intellectual Property
Protecting our intellectual property and proprietary technology is an important aspect of our business. We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws in the United States and other jurisdictions, as well as written agreements and other contractual provisions, to protect our proprietary technology, processes, and other intellectual property.
We own a number of patents, registered trademarks (including ZOOMINFO and DISCOVERORG, among others), and copyrights in the United States. We also have a portfolio of registered domain names (including zoominfo.com) for websites that we use in our business.
In addition, we generally enter into confidentiality agreements and invention or work product assignment agreements with employees and contractors involved in the development of our proprietary intellectual property.
We intend to pursue additional intellectual property protection to the extent we believe it would be beneficial and cost-effective.
Data Privacy and Protection
The business contact information and other data we collect and process are an integral part of our products and services. Regulators around the world have adopted or proposed requirements regarding the collection, use, transfer, security, storage, destruction, and other processing of personal data. In recent years, there has been an increase in attention to and regulation of data protection and data privacy across the globe, including the FTC’s increasingly active approach to enforcing data privacy in the United States, as well as the enactment of European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which took effect in May 2018, the United Kingdom’s transposition of GDPR into its domestic laws following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (“Brexit”) in January 2021, China’s enactment of the Data Security Law (“DSL”) and the Personal Information Protection Law (“PIPL”), which took effect September 2021 and November 2021, respectively, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), which took effect in January 2020. Additionally, new state privacy laws will become effective in 2023, including the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”), effective January 1, 2023, which will expand the CCPA, Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act, and the Colorado Privacy Act. Furthermore, other data privacy or data protection laws or regulations are under consideration in other jurisdictions, both in the form of entirely new laws such as in India, and in the form of updates to existing privacy laws, such as in Canada and Australia. Laws such as these give rise to an increasingly complex set of compliance obligations on us, as well as on many of our customers. These laws are not uniform in the way they define and treat certain data types, including business-to-business data, biometric data or so called “sensitive” data and we must often tailor our consumer notices, compliance programs and responses to data subject access requests to account for the differences between applicable laws. These laws impose restrictions on our ability to gather personal data and provide such personal data to our customers, provide individuals with the ability to opt out of such personal data collection, and place downstream obligations on our customers relating to their use of the information we provide.
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These complex laws may be implemented, interpreted, or enforced in a non-uniform or inconsistent way across jurisdictions and we may not be aware of every development that impacts our business. These laws may also require us to make additional changes to our services in order for us or our customers to comply with such legal requirements. It may also increase our potential liability as a result of higher potential penalties for noncompliance. These and other legal requirements could reduce our ability to gather personal data used in our products and services. They could reduce demand for our services, require us to take on more onerous obligations in our contracts, restrict our ability to store, transfer and process personal data. In some cases, it may impact our ability or our customers’ ability to offer our services in certain locations, to deploy our solutions, to reach current and prospective customers, or to derive insights from data globally. For example, in 2020 the European Union Court of Justice struck down a permitted personal data transfer mechanism between the European Union and the United States and introduced requirements to carry out transfer impact assessments in relation to the use of Standard Contractual Clauses, the most commonly used data transfer mechanism. This has led to increased regulatory and compliance burdens and uncertainty about or interruptions of personal data transfers from Europe to the United States (and beyond), as most recently evidenced by the Austrian Data Protection Authority’s decision that the use of Google Analytics violates the GDPR’s personal data transfer provisions. Use of other data transfer mechanisms now involves additional compliance steps and in the event any court blocks personal data transfers to or from a particular jurisdiction on the basis that certain or all such transfer mechanisms are not legally adequate, this could give rise to operational interruption in the performance of services for customers and internal processing of employee information, greater costs to implement alternative data transfer mechanisms that are still permitted, regulatory liabilities, or reputational harm.
The cost of complying with existing or new data privacy or data protection laws and regulations may limit our ability to gather the personal data needed to provide our products and services. It could negatively impact the use or adoption of our products and services or products and services similar to ours, reduce overall demand for our products and services, or products and services similar to ours, make it more difficult for us or competitive solutions to meet expectations from or commitments to customers and users, lead to significant fines, penalties, or liabilities for noncompliance, impact our reputation, or slow the pace at which we close sales transactions, any of which could harm our business.
Furthermore, the uncertain and shifting regulatory environment and trust climate may cause concerns regarding data privacy and may cause our vendors, customers, users, or our customers’ customers to resist providing the data necessary to allow us to offer our services to our customers and users effectively, or could prompt individuals to opt out of our collection of their personal data. Even the perception that the privacy of personal data is not satisfactorily protected or does not meet regulatory requirements could discourage prospective customers from subscribing to our products or services or discourage current customers from renewing their subscriptions.
Compliance with any of the foregoing laws and regulations can be costly and can delay or impede the development of new products or services. We may incur substantial fines if we violate any laws or regulations relating to the collection or use of personal data. For example, GDPR imposes sanctions for violations up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of worldwide gross annual revenue, PIPL violations may incur fines up to RMB 50 million or 5% of gross annual revenue, and the CCPA or its successor, the CPRA, allow for fines of up to $7,500 per violation (affected individual). Our actual or alleged failure to comply with applicable privacy or data security laws, regulations, and policies, or to protect personal data, could result in enforcement actions and significant penalties against us, which could result in negative publicity or costs, subject us to claims or other remedies, and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our respect for laws and regulations regarding the collection and processing of personal data underlies our strategy to improve our customer experience and build trust. Our privacy team is devoted to processing and fulfilling any requests regarding access to and deletion of their contact information in our platform. In particular, we have developed a “Privacy Center” on our website as a one-stop-shop for any person to submit access requests, request opt-out, or delete his or her information from our database. We have implemented a program for providing direct notifications to individuals. In addition, we endeavor to honor opt-out requests across our entire database.
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Our privacy and legal teams are focused on any applicable privacy laws and regulations and monitor changes to such laws and regulations with a view to implementing what we believe are best practices in the industry. Our sales, privacy, and data practices teams are well versed in helping customers and prospective customers navigate relevant privacy concerns and requirements with respect to our platform.
For more information, please read “Risk Factors – Risks Related to Our Business and Industry - Changes in laws, regulations, and public perception concerning data privacy, or changes in the patterns of enforcement of existing laws and regulations, could impact our ability to efficiently gather, process, update, and/or provide some or all of the information we currently provide or the ability of our customers and users to use some or all of our products or services” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Human Capital
As of December 31, 2021, we had 2,742 employees, consisting of 561 in cost of service, 1,238 in sales and marketing, 672 in research and development, and 271 in general and administrative. Of these, 84% of our employees were located in North America, while 14%, 2%, and less than 1% were located in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, respectively.
Diversity and Inclusion
We place a high value on diversity and inclusion and are committed to ensuring that our organization creates a sense of belonging for all employees. Understanding that representation matters, as part of our Global Inclusion and Diversity Initiative (GIDI), we take an active role in focusing on the equity, advancement, and empowerment of all communities, and strategize ways to increase diversity through recruitment, retention, professional development, diversity education, and community outreach. As ZoomInfo continues to grow, we want to empower all employees to excel in their professional objectives and feel proud to work for a company that celebrates their individuality while recognizing their differences.
We believe in the power of the team. Winning teams look for the best talent, regardless of background. We know that employees are our greatest asset, and we are proud of the diversity that we foster in our workplaces.
As of December 31, 2021, our U.S. workforce was approximately 27% ethnically diverse. Ethnically diverse is defined as individuals who self-identify in one or more of the following groups: Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander or Two or More Races or Ethnicities. In addition, 33% of the Company’s U.S. workforce identified as female and 1% identified as non-binary gender.
Benefits, Safety, and Wellness
We aim to offer fair compensation and benefits that encourage employee well-being, as well as attract and retain top talent. Our compensation packages provide a competitive salary and bonus, medical, dental, vision, retirement benefits, and generous paid time off.
To address the safety and health of our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the first quarter of 2020, we temporarily closed all of our offices and enabled our entire workforce to work remotely. We are proud of the great flexibility and engagement demonstrated by our employees during this time, allowing us to preserve business continuity without sacrificing our commitment to keeping our team and our communities safe.
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Training and Development
Ensuring our employees have access to development opportunities and understand how to grow their career at ZoomInfo is a key tenet of our talent and engagement practices. As part of our efforts, we invest in a robust learning management system for employees, complete with online courses and live training on a variety of topics. To recognize and promote outstanding employees, we perform a comprehensive annual talent review process, through which we empower employees to drive their professional development in a way that also aligns with company objectives and values. The Compensation Committee of our board of directors reviews and oversees our incentive compensation plans, while the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of our board of directors oversees and approves the management continuity planning process.
Available Information
Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and other filings with the SEC, and all amendments to these filings, can be obtained free of charge from our website at http://ir.zoominfo.com/financial-information/sec-filings or by contacting our Investor Relations department at our office address listed above following our filing of any of these reports with the SEC. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov. The contents of these websites are not incorporated into this filing. Further, the Company’s references to the URLs for these websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.
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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
We are subject to various risks that could have a material adverse impact on our financial position, results of operations, or cash flows. Although it is not possible to predict or identify all such risks and uncertainties, they may include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed below. The risks described herein are not the only risks we may face. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial may also materially adversely affect our financial position, results of operations or cash flows. You should carefully review the information provided in this section before making an investment in our Company.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the resulting global economic uncertainty and measures taken in response to the pandemic, could materially impact our business and future results of operations and financial condition.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the global economy and put unprecedented strains on governments, health care systems, educational institutions, businesses, and individuals around the world. The impact and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic and financial disruptions are difficult to assess or predict. The ongoing impact on the global economic market is rapidly evolving and will depend upon the actions taken by governments, businesses, and other enterprises in response to COVID-19 and its related variants as well as to the economic and financial impacts related to the pandemic more broadly. The pandemic has already caused, and is likely to result in further, significant disruption of global financial markets and economic uncertainty. Adverse market conditions resulting from the spread of COVID-19 could materially adversely affect our business and the value of our Class A common stock.
Our customers or potential customers, particularly in industries most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the retail, restaurant, hotel, hospitality, consumer discretionary, airline, and oil and gas industries and companies whose customers operate in impacted industries, may reduce their technology or sales and marketing spending or delay their sales transformation initiatives as a result of the pandemic, which could materially and adversely impact our business. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced headwinds in some sales cycles as business leaders adapted to the impacts of the pandemic and we saw heightened cancellations and reductions in spend from customers in heavily impacted industries relative to pre-COVID time frames. We also experienced longer sales cycles and more intense scrutiny, particularly for larger purchases and upgrades as customers and prospects re-assessed their growth trajectory in light of the changing economic environment. Although these headwinds dissipated by 2021, and demand for our platform normalized and returned to levels materially consistent with historical trends, we could experience similar or other headwinds as a result of the pandemic in future periods. Any such factors could result in our experiencing slowed growth or a decline in new customer demand for our platform and lower demand from our existing customers for upgrades within our platform, as well as existing and potential customers reducing or delaying purchasing decisions. We could also experience an increase in prospective customers seeking lower prices or other more favorable contract terms and current customers attempting to obtain concessions on the terms of existing contracts, including requests for early termination or waiver or delay of payment obligations, all of which has adversely affected and could materially adversely impact our business, results of operations, and overall financial condition in future periods. Further, we may face increased competition due to changes to our competitors’ products and services, including modifications to their terms, conditions, and pricing that could materially adversely impact our business, results of operations, and overall financial condition in future periods.
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Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all of our offices remain temporarily closed (including our headquarters and other significant locations), and most of our employees continue to work remotely. We have significantly limited business travel, in accordance with public health guidance and have held many company events as virtual-only experiences, as circumstances require. We may deem it advisable to similarly alter, postpone, or cancel entirely additional events in the future. If the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, especially in regions where we have offices, our business activities originating from affected areas could be adversely affected. Disruptive activities could include business closures in impacted areas, further restrictions on our employees’ and service providers’ ability to travel, impacts to productivity if our employees or their family members experience health issues, and potential delays in hiring and onboarding of new employees. We may take further actions that alter our business operations as may be required by local, state, or federal authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees. Such measures could negatively affect our sales and marketing efforts, sales cycles, employee productivity, or customer retention, any of which could harm our financial condition and business operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic could cause our third-party data center hosting facilities and cloud computing platform providers, which are critical to our infrastructure, to experience security incidents that impact our business, delay or disrupt performance or delivery of services, or experience interference with the supply chain of hardware required by their systems and services, any of which could materially adversely affect our business. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in our employees and those of many of our customers and vendors working from home and conducting work via the internet, and if the network and infrastructure of internet providers becomes overburdened by increased usage or is otherwise unreliable or unavailable, our employees’, and our customers’ and vendors’ employees’, access to the internet to conduct business could be negatively impacted. Limitations on access or disruptions to services or goods provided by or to some of our suppliers and vendors upon which our platform and business operations relies, could interrupt our ability to provide our platform, decrease the productivity of our workforce, and significantly harm our business operations, financial condition, and results of operations.
Further, there has been a surge in widespread cyber-attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our platform and the other systems or networks used in our business may experience an increase in attempted cyber-attacks, targeted intrusion, ransomware, and phishing campaigns seeking to take advantage of shifts to employees working remotely using their household or personal internet networks. The success of any of these unauthorized attempts could substantially impact our platform, the proprietary and other confidential data contained therein or otherwise stored or processed in our operations, and ultimately our business. Any actual or perceived security incident also may cause us to incur increased expenses to improve our security controls and to remediate security vulnerabilities.
The extent and continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business will depend on certain developments, including: the duration and spread of the outbreak, including the impact of new variants of the COVID-19 virus; global government responses to the pandemic including continued vaccine availability, deployment, and efficacy; the impact on the health and welfare of our employees and their families; the impact on our customers and our sales cycles; the impact on customer, industry, or employee events; delays in hiring and onboarding new employees; and the effect on our partners, vendors, and supply chains, all of which are uncertain and cannot be predicted. Because of our largely subscription-based business model, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic may not be fully reflected in our results of operations and overall financial condition until future periods, if at all.
Larger and more well-funded companies with access to significant resources, large amounts of data or data collection methods, and sophisticated technologies may shift their business model to become competitive with us.
Companies in related industries, such as CRM, business software, or advertising, including Salesforce.com, Oracle, Google, or Microsoft/LinkedIn, may choose to compete with us in the B2B sales and marketing intelligence space and would immediately have access to greater resources and brand recognition. We cannot anticipate how rapidly such a potential competitor could create products or services that would take significant market share from us or even surpass our products or services in quality, in at least some respect. If a large, well-funded competitor entered our space, it could reduce the demand for our products and services and reduce the amount we could demand for subscription renewals or upgrades from existing customers, and the amount we could demand from new subscribers to our products and services, reducing our revenue and profitability.
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In addition, many of our potential competitors could have competitive advantages, such as greater name recognition, longer operating histories, significant install bases, broader geographic scope, the ability to respond more quickly and effectively to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards or customer requirements, and larger sales and marketing budgets and resources. Many of our potential competitors may have established relationships with independent software vendors, partners, and customers, greater customer experience resources, greater resources to make acquisitions, lower labor and development costs, larger and more mature intellectual property portfolios, and substantially greater financial, technical, and other resources. New competitors, mergers and acquisitions in the technology industry, or alliances among competitors may emerge and rapidly acquire significant market share due to these or other factors. Companies resulting from these possible consolidations may create more compelling product offerings and be able to offer more attractive pricing options, making it more difficult for us to compete effectively. As a result, even if our products and services are more effective than the products and services that our competitors offer, potential customers might select competitive products and services in lieu of our services.
Changes in laws, regulations, and public perception concerning data privacy, or changes in the patterns of enforcement of existing laws and regulations, could impact our ability to efficiently gather, process, update, and/or provide some or all of the information we currently provide or the ability of our customers and users to use some or all of our products or services.
Our products and services rely heavily on the collection and use of information to provide effective insights to our customers and users. In recent years, there has been an increase in attention to and regulation of data protection and data privacy across the globe, including the FTC’s increasingly active approach to enforcing data privacy in the United States, as well as the enactment of GDPR, which took effect in May 2018, the United Kingdom’s transposition of GDPR into its domestic laws following Brexit in January 2021, China’s enactment of the DSL and the PIPL, which took effect September 2021 and November 2021, respectively, and the CCPA, which took effect in January 2020. Additionally, new state privacy laws will become effective in 2023, including the CPRA and California’s Proposition 24 (Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative), each effective January 1, 2023, which will expand the CCPA, Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act, and the Colorado Privacy Act. Furthermore at the federal level, two bills were introduced (or reintroduced) in the U.S. Senate in 2021: the 2021 Data Privacy Act, which would create an agency to enforce data protection rules, ensure that data practices are fair and transparent, and promote data protection and privacy innovation, and the Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency, and Accountability Act, which seeks to establish a comprehensive privacy regime including many of the concepts found in other state and federal privacy bills and laws, such as consent requirements for entities providing services to the public that collect, store, process, use, or otherwise control sensitive personal information. Other data privacy or data protection laws or regulations are under consideration in other jurisdictions, both in the form of entirely new laws such as in India, and in the form of updates to existing, less onerous privacy laws, such as in Canada and Australia. We anticipate that federal, state and international regulators will continue to enact legislation related to privacy and cybersecurity. Laws such as these give rise to an increasingly complex set of compliance obligations on us, as well as on many of our customers. These laws impose restrictions on our ability to gather personal data and provide such personal data to our customers, provide individuals with the ability to opt out of such personal data collection, and place downstream obligations on our customers relating to their use of the information we provide.
Certain of our activities could be found by a government or regulatory authority to be noncompliant in the future with one or more data protection or data privacy laws, even if we have implemented and maintained a strategy that we believe to be compliant. New interpretations of existing laws or regulations could be inconsistent with our interpretations, increase our compliance burden, make it more difficult to comply, and/or increase our risk of regulatory investigations and fines. For example, we are subject to complex and evolving regulatory requirements regarding the collection and use of personal data, including changes under CCPA and CPRA (and other recently enacted and upcoming state laws) related to the sale of personal data, and, among other changes, the introduction of opt-out rights and data broker registration obligations.
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These complex laws may be implemented, interpreted, or enforced in a non-uniform or inconsistent way across jurisdictions and we may not be aware of every development that impacts our business. These laws may also require us to make additional changes to our services in order for us or our customers to comply with such legal requirements and may also increase our potential liability as a result of higher potential penalties for noncompliance. These and other legal requirements could reduce our ability to gather personal data used in our products and services. They could reduce demand for our services, require us to take on more onerous obligations in our contracts, restrict our ability to store, transfer and process personal data or, in some cases, impact our ability or our customers’ ability to offer our services in certain locations, to deploy our solutions, to reach current and prospective customers, or to derive insights from data globally. For example, in 2020 the European Union Court of Justice struck down the Privacy Shield, a formerly permitted personal data transfer mechanism between the European Union and the United States and introduced requirements to carry out transfer impact assessments in relation to the use of Standard Contractual Clauses, the most commonly used data transfer mechanism for international data transfers. This has led to increased regulatory and compliance burdens and uncertainty about or interruptions of personal data transfers from Europe to the United States (and beyond), as evidenced by the Austrian Data Protection Authority’s January 2022 decision that the use of Google Analytics violates the GDPR’s personal data transfer provisions. Use of other data transfer mechanisms now involves additional compliance steps and in the event any court blocks personal data transfers to or from a particular jurisdiction on the basis that certain or all such transfer mechanisms are not legally adequate, this could give rise to operational interruption in the performance of services for customers and internal processing of employee information, greater costs to implement alternative data transfer mechanisms that are still permitted, regulatory liabilities, or reputational harm.
The costs of complying with existing or new data privacy or data protection laws and regulations may limit our ability to gather personal data needed to provide our products and services, negatively impact the use or adoption of our products and services, reduce overall demand for our products and services, make it more difficult for us to meet expectations from or commitments to customers and users, lead to significant fines, penalties, or liabilities for noncompliance, impact our reputation, or slow the pace at which we close sales transactions, any of which could harm our business.
Furthermore, the uncertain and shifting regulatory environment and trust climate may cause concerns regarding data privacy and may cause our vendors, customers, users, or our customers’ customers to resist providing the data necessary to allow us to offer our services to our customers and users effectively, or could prompt individuals to opt out of our collection of their personal data. Further, our customers may view alternative data transfer mechanisms as being too costly, too burdensome, too legally uncertain or otherwise objectionable and therefore decide not to do business with us. For example, some of our customers or potential customers in the European Union may require their vendors to host all personal data within the European Union and may decide to do business with one of our competitors who hosts personal data within the European Union instead of doing business with us. Any inability to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States in compliance with data protection laws may impede our ability to attract and retain customers and adversely affect our business. Even the perception that the privacy of personal data is not satisfactorily protected or does not meet regulatory requirements could discourage prospective customers from subscribing to our products or services or discourage current customers from renewing their subscriptions.
Compliance with any of the foregoing laws and regulations can be costly and can delay or impede the development of new products or services. We may incur substantial fines if we violate any laws or regulations relating to the collection or use of personal data. For example, GDPR imposes sanctions for violations up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of worldwide gross annual revenue, PIPL violations may incur fines up to RMB 50 million or 5% of gross annual revenue, and the CCPA or its successor, the CPRA, allow for fines of up to $7,500 per violation (affected individual). Our actual or alleged failure to comply with applicable privacy or data security laws, regulations, and policies, or to protect personal data, could result in enforcement actions and significant penalties against us, which could result in negative publicity or costs, subject us to claims or other remedies, and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
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Because the interpretation and application of many privacy and data protection laws are uncertain, it is possible that these laws may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent with our existing data management practices or the features of our products and services. Further, we may be subject to additional risks associated with data security breaches or other incidents, in particular because certain data privacy laws, including the CCPA and CPRA, grant individuals a private right of action arising from certain data security incidents. If so, in addition to the possibility of fines, lawsuits, and other claims and penalties, we could be required to fundamentally change our business activities and practices or modify our products and services, which could harm our business.
Concern regarding our use of the personal data collected on our websites or collected when performing our services could keep prospective customers from subscribing to our services. Industry-wide incidents or incidents with respect to our websites, including misappropriation of third-party information, security breaches, or changes in industry standards, regulations, or laws, could deter people from using the internet or our websites to conduct transactions that involve the transmission of confidential information, which could harm our business.
We also receive data from third-party vendors (e.g., other data brokers). While we have implemented certain contractual measures with such vendors to protect our interests, we are ultimately unable to verify with complete certainty the source of such data, how it was received, and that such information was collected and is being shared with us in compliance with all applicable data privacy laws.
We experience competition from companies that offer technologies designed to allow companies to better use and extract insights from existing, internal databases, or free information resources and from technologies that are designed to allow companies to gather and aggregate data from online sources.
The market for sales, marketing, and recruiting technology and data requires continuous innovation. It is highly competitive, rapidly evolving, and fragmented. There are low barriers to entry, shifting customer needs and strategies, and frequent introductions of new technologies and of new products and services. Many prospective customers have invested substantial resources to implement, and gained substantial familiarity with, competing solutions and therefore may be reluctant or unwilling to migrate from their current solution to ours. Many prospective customers may not appreciate differences in quality between our products and services and those of lower-priced competitors, and many prospects and current customers may not learn the best ways to use our products and services, making them less likely to obtain them or renew their subscriptions. New technologies and products may be or become better or more attractive to current or prospective customers than our products and services in one or more ways. Many current or prospective customers may find competing products or services more attractive if we do not keep pace with market innovation or changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many may choose or switch to competing products even if we do our best to innovate and provide superior products and services.
Our current competitors include:
free online and offline sources of information on companies and business professionals, including government records, telephone books, company websites, and open online databases of business professionals, such as LinkedIn;
our current and potential customers’ internal and homegrown business contact databases;
when used in conjunction with the foregoing or when additionally providing third-party sales and marketing data, (i) predictive analytics and customer data platform technologies or (ii) sales and marketing vendors, which may specialize in appointment setting, online ad targeting, email marketing, or other outsource go-to-market functions;
other vendors of sales automation, conversation intelligence, and chat software;
other providers of third-party company attributes, technology attributes, and business contact information;
other providers of online content consumption data for predictive sales and marketing analytics; and
user-based networks of companies and/or business professionals.
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Providers of direct “web-scraping” technology or databases built on web-scraping can provide low-cost alternatives to our products and services, and many of our current and prospective customers may choose a lower-cost alternative even if our products and services are superior, either despite the difference in quality or because the customer cannot readily determine that there is a difference in quality, especially if we fail to adequately demonstrate the value of our products and services to existing customers.
Companies with large databases that are currently not commercially available could enter the market and rapidly become new competitors. The existence of such potential competitors may not be readily apparent today, and such companies may become significant low-cost or no-cost competitors and adversely impact the demand for our solutions and services or limit our growth potential.
These risks could be exacerbated by weak economic conditions (including those related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) and lower customer spending on sales and marketing. Weakened economic conditions could also disproportionately increase the likelihood that any given current or prospective customer would choose a lower-price alternative even if our products or services were superior. Some current and potential customers, particularly large organizations, have elected in the past, and may in the future, elect to rely on internal and homegrown databases, develop, or acquire their own software, programs, tools, and internal data quality teams that would reduce or eliminate the demand for our products and services. If demand for our platform declines for any of these or other reasons, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Adverse or weakened general economic and market conditions may cause a reduction in spending on sales and marketing technology and information, which could harm our revenue, results of operations, and cash flows.
Our revenue, results of operations, and cash flows depend on the overall demand for and use of technology and information for sales, marketing, and recruiting, which depends in part on the amount of spending allocated by our customers or potential customers on sales and marketing technology and information. This spending depends on worldwide economic and geopolitical conditions. The U.S. and other key international economies have experienced cyclical downturns from time to time in which economic activity was impacted by falling demand for a variety of goods and services, inflation (including wage inflation), labor market constraints, restricted credit, poor liquidity, reduced corporate profitability, volatility in credit, equity, and foreign exchange markets, bankruptcies, pandemics such as COVID-19, and overall economic uncertainty. These economic conditions can arise suddenly, and the full impact of such conditions often remains uncertain. In addition, geopolitical developments, such as potential trade wars, and actions or inactions of the U.S. or other major national governments, can increase levels of political and economic unpredictability globally and increase the volatility of global financial markets.
Market volatility, decreased consumer confidence, and diminished growth expectations in the U.S. economy and abroad as a result of the foregoing events could affect the rate of information technology (“IT”) spending and could adversely affect our customers’ ability or willingness to purchase our services, delay prospective customers’ purchasing decisions, reduce the value or duration of their subscription contracts, or affect attrition rates, all of which could adversely affect our future sales and operating results. Some of our users may view a subscription to our platform as a discretionary purchase, and our paying users may reduce their discretionary spending on our platform during an economic downturn. In particular, spending patterns of small businesses are difficult to predict and are sensitive to various factors. In addition, weak economic conditions can result in customers seeking to utilize free or lower-cost information that is available from alternative sources. Prolonged economic slowdowns may result in requests to renegotiate existing contracts on less advantageous terms to us than those currently in place, payment defaults on existing contracts, or non-renewal at the end of a contract term.
During weak economic times, there is an increased risk that one or more of our paying customers will file for bankruptcy protection, which may harm our revenue, profitability, and results of operations, a risk that could be exacerbated for an international customer where applicable bankruptcy laws may be unpredictable. In addition, we may determine that the cost of pursuing any creditor claim outweighs the recovery potential of such claim.
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We generate revenue from sales of subscriptions to our platform and data, and any decline in demand for the types of technologies and information we offer would negatively impact our business.
For the year ended December 31, 2020, we derived approximately 99% of our revenue from subscription services and expect to continue to generate revenue from the sale of subscriptions to our platform and data. As a result, the continued use of telephones and email as a primary means of B2B sales, marketing, and recruiting, and the continued use of internet cloud-based platforms to access telephone, email, and related information for such purposes, is critical to our future growth and success. If the sales and marketing information market fails to grow, or grows more slowly than we currently anticipate, or if there is a decrease in the use of telephones and email as primary means of B2B communication, demand for our platform and data would be negatively affected.
Changes in user preferences for sales and marketing platforms may have a disproportionately greater impact on us than if we offered disparate products and services. Demand for sales and marketing platforms in general, and our platform and data in particular, is affected by a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Some of these potential factors include:
awareness and acceptance of the sales and marketing platform category generally, and the growth, contraction and evolution of the category;
availability of products and services that compete with ours;
brand recognition;
pricing;
ease of adoption and use;
performance, features, and user experience, and the development and acceptance of new features, integrations, and capabilities;
customer support;
accessibility across several devices, operating system, and applications;
integration with CRM and other related technologies; and
the potential for the development of new systems and protocols for B2B communication.
The market is subject to rapidly changing user demand and preference trends. If we fail to successfully predict and address these changes and trends, meet user demands or achieve more widespread market acceptance of our platform and data, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be harmed.
If we fail to maintain and improve our methods and technologies, or anticipate new methods or technologies, for data collection, organization, and cleansing, competing products and services could surpass ours in depth, breadth, or accuracy of our data or in other respects.
Current or future competitors may seek to develop new methods and technologies for more efficiently gathering, cataloging, or updating business information, which could allow a competitor to create a product comparable or superior to ours, or that takes substantial market share from us, or that creates or maintains databases at a lower cost that we experience. We can expect continuous improvements in computer hardware, network operating systems, programming tools, programming languages, operating systems, data matching, data filtering, data predicting, and other database technologies and the use of the internet. These improvements, as well as changes in customer preferences or regulatory requirements, may require changes in the technology used to gather and process our data. Our future success will depend, in part, upon our ability to internally develop and implement new and competitive technologies, use leading third-party technologies effectively, and respond to advances in data collection, cataloging and updating.
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If we fail to respond to changes in data technology competitors may be able to develop products and services that will take market share from us, and the demand for our products and services, the delivery of our products and services, or our market reputation could be adversely affected.
If we are not able to obtain and maintain accurate, comprehensive, or reliable data, we could experience reduced demand for our products and services.
Our success depends on our clients’ confidence in the depth, breadth, and accuracy of our data. The task of establishing and maintaining accurate data is challenging and expensive. The depth, breadth, and accuracy of our data differentiates us from our competitors. Our standard contract with customers includes a quality guarantee pursuant to which a customer would have the right to terminate its subscription and we could be obligated to reimburse certain payments if the accuracy of our data were to fall below a certain threshold. If our data, including the data we obtain from third parties and our data extraction, cleaning, and insights, are not current, accurate, comprehensive, or reliable, it would increase the likelihood of negative customer experiences, which in turn would reduce the likelihood of customers renewing or upgrading their subscriptions and harm our reputation, making it more difficult to obtain new customers. In addition, if we are no longer able to maintain our high level of accuracy, we may face legal claims by our customers which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our business depends upon the interoperability of our platform with third-party systems that we do not control.
Our technologies that allow our platform to interoperate with various third-party applications (which we call “integrations”) are critically important to our business. Many of our customers use our integrations to access our data from within, or send data to, CRM, marketing automation, applicant tracking, sales enablement, and other systems, including Salesforce.com, Marketo, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle Sales Cloud, and a variety of other commonly used tools. The functionality of these integrations depends upon access to these systems, which is not within our control. Some of our competitors own, develop, operate, or distribute CRM and similar systems or have material business relationships with companies that own, develop, operate, or distribute CRM and similar systems that our platform integrates into. Moreover, some of these competitors have inherent advantages developing products and services that more tightly integrate with their CRM and similar systems or those of their business partners.
Third-party systems are constantly evolving, it is difficult to predict the challenges that we may encounter in developing our platform for use in conjunction with such third-party systems, and we may not be able to modify our integrations to assure its compatibility with the systems of other third parties following any of their changes to their systems. Some operators of CRM and similar systems may cease to permit our access or the integration of our platform to their systems. If Salesforce.com were to refuse to permit our integration to access its APIs, this integration would not function, and our customers’ experience would be hampered. Without a convenient way for our customers to integrate our products and services with products and services such as Salesforce.com, current customers may be less likely to renew or upgrade their subscriptions, prospective customers may be less likely to acquire subscriptions, or our products and services may not command the prices that we anticipate.
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If we are unable to attract new customers and expand subscriptions of current customers, our revenue growth and profitability will be harmed.
To increase our revenue and achieve and maintain profitability, we must attract new customers and grow the subscriptions of existing customers. Our go-to-market efforts are intended to identify and attract prospective customers and convert them into paying customers, including the conversion of users of our Community Edition product to paying customers. In addition, we seek to expand existing customer subscriptions by adding new users, additional data entitlements, or additional products or services, including through expanding the adoption of our platform into other departments within customers. We do not know whether we will continue to achieve similar client acquisition and customer subscription growth rates in the future as we have in the past. Numerous factors may impede our ability to add new customers and grow existing customer subscriptions, including our failure to attract and effectively train new sales and marketing personnel despite increasing our sales efforts, to retain and motivate our current sales and marketing personnel, to develop or expand relationships with partners, to successfully deploy new features, integrations and capabilities of our products and services, to provide quality customer experience, or to ensure the effectiveness of our go-to-market programs. Additionally, increasing our sales to large organizations (both existing and prospective customers) requires increasingly sophisticated and costly sales and account management efforts targeted at senior management and other personnel. If our efforts to sell to organizations are not successful or do not generate additional revenue, our business will suffer. See also “—Failure to effectively expand our sales capabilities could harm our ability to increase the number of organizations on our platform and achieve broader market acceptance of our platform.”
Our ability to attract new customers and increase revenue from existing customers depends in large part on our ability to continually enhance and improve our platform and the features, integrations, and capabilities we offer, and to introduce compelling new features, integrations, and capabilities that reflect the changing nature of our market to maintain and improve the quality and value of our products and services, which depends on our ability to continue investing in research and development and our successful execution and our efforts to improve and enhance our platform. The success of any enhancement to our platform depends on several factors, including timely completion and delivery, competitive pricing, adequate quality testing, integration with existing technologies, and overall market acceptance. Any new features, integrations, or capabilities that we develop may not be introduced in a timely or cost-effective manner, may contain errors, failures, vulnerabilities, or bugs or may not achieve the market acceptance necessary to generate significant revenue. If we are unable to successfully develop new features, integrations, and capabilities to enhance our platform to meet the requirements of current and prospective customers or otherwise gain widespread market acceptance, our business, results of operations, and financial condition would be harmed.
Moreover, our business is subscription-based, and therefore our customers are not obligated to, and may not, renew their subscriptions after their existing subscriptions expire or may renew at a lower price, including if such customers choose to reduce their data access rights under their subscription, reduce the products or services to which they have access, or reduce their number of users. Most of our subscriptions are sold for a one-year term, though some organizations purchase a multi-year subscription plan. While many of our subscriptions provide for automatic renewal, our customers may opt-out of automatic renewal and customers have no obligation to renew a subscription after the expiration of the term. Our customers may or may not renew their subscriptions as a result of a number of factors (including as a result of general economic downturns as a result of COVID-19), including their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with our products and services, decreases in the number of users at the organization, our pricing or pricing structure, the pricing or capabilities of the products and services offered by our competitors, the effects of economic conditions, or reductions in our paying customers’ spending levels. In addition, our customers may renew for fewer subscriptions, renew for shorter contract lengths if they were previously on multi-year contracts, or switch to lower cost offerings of our products and services. It is difficult to predict attrition rates given our varied customer base of enterprise, mid-market, and small business customers. Our attrition rates may increase or fluctuate as a result of a number of factors. If customers do not renew their subscriptions or renew on less favorable terms or fail to add more users, or if we fail to expand subscriptions of existing customers, our revenue may decline or grow less quickly than anticipated, which would harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
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Additionally, some of our customers may have multiple subscription plans simultaneously. Companies who are our existing customers may also acquire another organization that is already on our subscription plan or complete a reorganization or spin-off transaction that results in an organization subscribing to multiple subscription plans. If organizations that subscribe to multiple subscription plans decide not to consolidate all of their subscription plans or decide to downgrade to lower priced or free subscription plans, our revenue may decline or grow less quickly than anticipated, which would harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
A slowdown or decline in participation in our contributory network and/or increase in the volume of opt-out requests from individuals with respect to our collection of their data could lead to a deterioration in the depth, breadth, or accuracy of our data and have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We have a number of sources contributing to the depth, breadth, and accuracy of the data on our platform including our contributory network. All of our free Community Edition users must participate in our contributory network to get access to data. Similarly, many of our paying customers participate in our contributory network to improve the quality of the data within their CRM and similar systems. Community Edition users may cease to participate in our contributory network after deciding not to renew our Community Edition version. Our paying customers, including those who have migrated from the Community Edition, may elect not to participate for various reasons, including their sensitivity to sharing information within our contributory network or their determination that the benefits from sharing do not outweigh the potential harm from sharing. If we are not able to attract new participants or maintain existing participants in our contributory network, our ability to effectively gather new data and update and maintain the accuracy of our database could be adversely affected. Additionally, the CCPA, CPRA, and other legal and regulatory changes are making, or will make, it easier for individuals to opt-out of having their personal data collected through an opt-out button available on our website, which could result in higher rates of opting out. We expect that third-party intermediaries will emerge that offer services involving opting individuals out of their personal data being collected at scale (i.e., from all platforms, including ours). Consequently, our ability to grow our business may be harmed and our results of operations and financial condition could suffer.
In addition, independent industry analysts often provide reviews of ZoomInfo, as well as the products offered by our competitors, and perception of the relative value of our brand in the marketplace may be significantly influenced by these reviews. If these reviews are negative, or less positive as compared to those of our competitors’ products, our brand may be harmed.
Our business could be negatively affected by changes in search engine algorithms and dynamics or other traffic-generating arrangements.
We rely heavily on internet search engines, such as Google, including through the purchase of sales and marketing-related keywords and the indexing of our public-facing directory pages and other web pages, to generate a significant portion of the traffic to our website. Search engines frequently update and change the logic that determines the placement and display of results of a user’s search, such that the purchased or algorithmic placement of links to our website can be negatively affected. In addition, a significant amount of traffic is directed to our website through participation in pay-per-click and display advertising campaigns on search engines, including Google. Pricing and operating dynamics for these traffic sources can change rapidly, both technically and competitively. Moreover, a search engine could, for competitive or other purposes, alter its search algorithms or results, which could cause a website to place lower in search query results or inhibit participation in the search query results. If a major search engine changes its algorithms or results in a manner that negatively affects the search engine ranking, paid or unpaid, of our website, or if competitive dynamics impact the costs or effectiveness of search engine optimization, search engine marketing or other traffic-generating arrangements in a negative manner, our business and financial performance would be adversely affected.
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We may not be able to adequately protect or enforce our proprietary and intellectual property rights in our data or technology.
Our success is dependent, in part, upon our ability to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights, including in our proprietary information and technology. No assurance can be given that our confidentiality, non-disclosure, or invention assignment agreements with employees, consultants, or other parties will not be breached and will otherwise be effective in controlling access to and distribution of our platform, or certain aspects of our platform, and proprietary information. Further, these agreements may not prevent our competitors from independently developing technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to our platform. Additionally, certain unauthorized use of our intellectual property may go undetected, or we may face legal or practical barriers to enforcing our legal rights even where unauthorized use is detected.
Current law may not provide for adequate protection of our platform or data. In addition, legal standards relating to the validity, enforceability, and scope of protection of proprietary rights in internet-related businesses are uncertain and evolving, and changes in these standards may adversely impact the viability or value of our proprietary rights. 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. 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 expand our international activities, our exposure to unauthorized copying and use of our data or certain aspects of our platform, or our data 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.
To monitor and protect our intellectual property rights, we may be required to spend significant resources, and we may or may not be able to detect infringement by our customers or third parties. Litigation has been and 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 features, integrations, and 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 features, integrations, and capabilities, if available on commercially reasonable terms or at all; our inability to license this technology could harm our ability to compete.
Our customers or unauthorized parties could use our products and services in a manner that is contrary to our values or applicable law, which could harm our relationships with consumers, customers, or employees or expose us to litigation or harm our reputation.
Because our data includes the direct contact information for millions of individuals and businesses, our platform and data could be misused by customers, or by parties who have obtained access to our data without authorization, to contact individuals for purposes that we would not permit, including uses unrelated to B2B communication or recruiting, such as to harass or annoy individuals or to perpetrate scams. Our customers could use our products or services for purposes beyond the scope of their contractual terms or applicable laws or regulations. Our customers’ or third parties’ misuse of our data, inconsistent with its permitted use, could result in reputational damage, adversely affect our ability to attract new customers and cause existing customers to reduce or discontinue the use of our platform, any of which could harm our business and operating results.
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Our brand may be negatively affected by the actions of persons using our platform that are hostile or inappropriate, by the actions of individuals acting under false or inauthentic identities, by the use of our products or services to disseminate information that is misleading (or intended to manipulate opinions), by perceived or actual efforts by governments to obtain access to user information for security-related purposes or to censor certain content on our platform or by the use of our products or services for illicit, objectionable, or illegal ends. Further, we may fail to respond expeditiously or appropriately to any of the foregoing misuses, or to otherwise address customer and individual concerns, which could erode confidence in our business.
As we acquire and invest in companies or technologies, we may not realize expected business or financial benefits and the acquisitions or investments could prove difficult to integrate, disrupt our business, dilute stockholder value and adversely affect our business, results of operation, and financial condition.
As part of our business strategy, from time to time we make investments in, or acquisitions of, complementary businesses, services, databases, and technologies, and we expect that we will continue to make such investments and acquisitions in the future to further grow our business and our product and service offerings. Our strategy to make selective acquisitions to complement our platform depends on our ability to identify, and the availability of, suitable acquisition candidates. We may not be able to find suitable acquisition candidates and we may not be able to complete acquisitions on favorable terms, if at all. Additionally, in recent years, the number of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) that have been formed has increased substantially. Many potential targets for SPACs have already entered into an initial business combination, and there are still SPACs seeking targets for their initial business combination, as well as many SPACs currently in registration with the SEC. As a result, at times, fewer attractive acquisition targets may be available, and it may require more time, more effort and more resources for us to identify a suitable target and to consummate an acquisition. Acquired assets, data, or businesses may not be successfully integrated into our operations, costs in connection with acquisitions and integrations may be higher than expected and we may also incur unanticipated acquisition-related costs. These costs could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, or prospects. Any acquisition we complete could be viewed negatively by customers, users, developers, partners, or investors, and could have adverse effects on our existing business relationships.
Acquisitions and other transactions, arrangements, and investments involve numerous risks and could create unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures, including:
potential failure to achieve the expected benefits on a timely basis or at all;
difficulties in, and the cost of, integrating operations, technologies, services, and platforms;
diversion of financial and managerial resources from existing operations;
the potential entry into new markets in which we have little or no experience or where competitors may have stronger market positions;
potential write-offs of acquired assets or investments and potential financial and credit risks associated with acquired customers;
differences between our values and those of our acquired companies;
difficulties in re-training key employees of acquired companies and integrating them into our organizational structure and corporate culture;
difficulties in, and financial costs of, addressing acquired compensation structures inconsistent with our compensation structure;
inability to generate sufficient revenue to offset acquisition or investment costs;
inability to maintain, or changes in, relationships with customers and partners of the acquired business;
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challenges converting and forecasting the acquired company’s revenue recognition policies including subscription-based revenue and revenue based on the transfer of control as well as appropriate allocation of the customer consideration to the individual deliverables;
difficulty with, and costs related to, transitioning the acquired technology onto our existing platforms, or transitioning from our existing platforms to the acquired technology, and customer acceptance of new or multiple platforms on a temporary or permanent basis;
augmenting the acquired technologies and platforms to the levels that are consistent with our brand and reputation;
potential for acquired products to impact the profitability of existing products;
increasing or maintaining the security standards for acquired technology consistent with our other services;
potential unknown liabilities associated with the acquired businesses, including risks associated with acquired intellectual property and/or technologies;
challenges relating to the structure of an investment, such as governance, accountability, and decision-making conflicts that may arise in the context of a joint venture or other majority ownership investments;
negative impact to our results of operations because of the depreciation and amortization of amounts related to acquired intangible assets, fixed assets, and deferred compensation;
the loss of acquired unearned revenue and unbilled unearned revenue;
delays in customer purchases due to uncertainty related to any acquisition;
ineffective or inadequate controls, procedures, and policies at the acquired company;
in the case of foreign acquisitions, challenges caused by integrating operations over distance, and across different languages, cultures, and political environments;
currency and regulatory risks associated with foreign countries and potential additional cybersecurity and compliance risks resulting from entry into new markets;
tax effects and costs of any such acquisitions, including the related integration into our tax structure and assessment of the impact on the realizability of our future tax assets or liabilities; and
potential challenges by governmental authorities, including the Department of Justice, for anti-competitive or other reasons.
Any of these risks could harm our business. In addition, to facilitate these acquisitions or investments, we may seek additional equity or debt financing, which may not be available on terms favorable to us or at all, may affect our ability to complete subsequent acquisitions or investments and may affect the risks of owning our Class A common stock. For example, if we finance acquisitions by issuing equity or convertible debt securities or loans, our existing stockholders may be diluted, or we could face constraints related to the terms of, and repayment obligation related to, the incurrence of indebtedness that could affect the market price of our Class A common stock.
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If we fail to maintain adequate operational and financial resources, particularly if we continue to grow rapidly, we may be unable to execute our business plan or maintain high levels of service and customer satisfaction.
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. One area of significant growth has been in the number of customers using our products and services and in the amount of data in our databases. In addition, our organizational structure has become more complex as we have scaled our operational, financial, and management controls, as well as our reporting systems and procedures, and expanded internationally. As we continue to grow, we face challenges of integrating, developing, training, and motivating a rapidly growing employee base in our various offices around the world and maintaining our company culture across multiple offices. If we fail to manage our anticipated growth and change in a manner that preserves the key aspects of our corporate culture, the quality of our products and services may suffer, which could negatively affect our brand and reputation and harm our ability to attract users, employees, and organizations.
To manage growth in our operations and personnel, we will need to continue to grow and improve our operational, financial, and management controls and our reporting systems and procedures. We will continue to require significant capital expenditures and the allocation of valuable management resources to grow and change in these areas. Our expansion has placed, and our expected future growth will continue to place, a significant strain on our management, customer experience, research and development, sales and marketing, administrative, financial, and other resources.
We anticipate that significant additional investments will be required to scale our operations and increase productivity, to address the needs of our customers, to further develop and enhance our products and services, to expand into new geographic areas and to scale with our overall growth. If additional investments are required due to significant growth, this will increase our cost base, which will make it more difficult for us to offset any future revenue shortfalls by reducing expenses in the short term.
Failure to effectively expand our sales capabilities could harm our ability to bring on new customers at the rate we anticipate.
The rate at which we can acquire new customers will depend to a significant extent on our ability to expand our sales operations. We plan to continue expanding our sales force, and that will require us to invest significant financial and other resources to train and grow our sales force, in order to complement our go-to-market approach. Our business will be harmed if our efforts do not generate a corresponding increase in revenue. We may not achieve anticipated revenue growth from expanding our sales force if we are unable to hire and develop talented sales personnel, if our new sales personnel are unable to achieve desired productivity levels in a reasonable period of time, or if we are unable to retain our existing sales personnel. We believe that there is significant competition for sales personnel with the skills and technical knowledge that we require. Our ability to achieve revenue growth will depend, in large part, on our success in recruiting, training, and retaining sufficient numbers of sales personnel to support our growth.
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If we fail to offer high-quality customer experience, our business and reputation will suffer.
Numerous factors may impact a customer’s experience which may in turn impact the likelihood of such customer renewing or upgrading its subscription. Those factors include the usability of the platform, the depth, breadth, and accuracy of the data, the adequacy of our product documentation, and the quality of our onboarding, training, account management, and customer technical and research support functions. The number of customers has grown rapidly, and the continued growth that we anticipate will put additional pressure on our customer experience programs. It may be difficult for us to identify, recruit, train, and manage enough people with enough skill and talent in each area of the customer experience to adequately scale those functions to match the growth of our customer base. In addition, larger enterprise customers and customers with larger subscriptions are more demanding of our customer experience programs. If and as we add more large enterprise customers and increase the ACV of existing subscriptions, we may need to devote even more resources to such programs, and we may find it difficult to effectively scale those programs. If we do not adequately scale our customer experience operations to meet the demands of our growing customer base, an increase in large enterprise customers and large customer subscriptions or otherwise fail to provide an overall high-quality customer experience, fewer customers could renew or upgrade their subscriptions, and our reputation could suffer, negatively impacting our ability to acquire new customers, which would harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
In addition, customers from time to time rely upon our customer technical and research support teams to resolve technical and data accuracy issues relating to our products and services. We may be unable to respond quickly enough to accommodate short-term increases in customer demand for support services. Increased customer demand for these services, without corresponding revenue, could increase costs and adversely affect our reputation and operating results.
We may fail to offer the optimal pricing and packaging of our products and services.
While we have some experience in determining the optimal pricing and packaging of our products and services, we may need to change our pricing model from time to time. Demand for our products and services is sensitive to price, and current or prospective customers may choose not to subscribe or renew or upgrade their subscriptions due to costs. Further, certain of our competitors offer, or may in the future offer, lower-priced or free products or services that compete with our products and services or may bundle functionality compatible with our products and services and offer a broader range of products and services. Similarly, certain competitors may use marketing strategies that enable them to acquire users more rapidly or at a lower cost than us, or both. As we continue to expand internationally, we may find that pricing and packaging appropriate in our current market is not acceptable to prospective customers in certain new markets. In addition, if our mix of features, integrations, and capabilities on our products and services changes or we develop additional versions for specific use cases or additional premium versions, then we may need or choose to revise our pricing.
We have experienced rapid growth in recent periods, and our recent growth rates will not be indicative of our future growth.
We have experienced rapid organic and acquisition-driven growth in recent periods. We do not expect revenue growth in future periods to be consistent with recent history. Further, as we operate in a new and rapidly changing market, widespread acceptance and use of our platform is critical to our future growth and success. We may not be able to successfully implement our strategic initiatives in accordance with our expectations, or in the timeframe we desire, which may result in an adverse impact on our business and financial results. We also expect our operating expenses to increase in future periods, and if our revenue growth does not increase to offset these anticipated increases in our operating expenses, our business, results of operations, and financial condition will be harmed and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability.
Further, our rapid growth may make it difficult to evaluate our future prospects. Our ability to forecast our future results of operations is subject to a number of uncertainties, including our ability to effectively plan for and model future growth. If we fail to achieve the necessary level of efficiency in our organization as it grows, or if we are not able to accurately forecast future growth, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be harmed.
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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 harm our business.
Our success depends largely upon the continued services of our executive officers and other key employees. We rely on our leadership team in the areas of research and development, operations, security, analytics, marketing, sales, customer experience, and general and administrative functions and on individual contributors in our research and development and operations. From time to time, there may be changes in our executive management team resulting from the hiring or departure of executives, which could disrupt our business. The loss of one or more of our executive officers or key employees could harm our business. Changes in our executive management team may also cause disruptions in, and harm to, our business.
The company continues to be led by our CEO and co-founder, Henry Schuck, who plays an important role in driving the company’s culture, determining the strategy, and executing against that strategy across the company. If Mr. Schuck’s services became unavailable to the company for any reason, it may be difficult or impossible for the company to find an adequate replacement, which could cause us to be less successful in maintaining our culture and developing and effectively executing on our company strategies.
In addition, to execute our growth plan, we must attract and retain highly qualified personnel. Competition for these personnel in locations where we maintain offices is intense, especially for engineers experienced in designing and developing software and software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) applications and experienced sales professionals. We have from time to time experienced, and we expect to continue to experience, difficulty in hiring and retaining employees with appropriate qualifications. In addition, certain domestic immigration laws restrict or limit our ability to recruit internationally. Further, the typical immigration and visa procedures of the United States have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and our current or future employees may be negatively affected by delays, disruptions or changes in U.S. immigration policies. 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. Many of the companies with which we compete for experienced personnel have greater resources than we have and may be able to offer more attractive terms of employment. In addition, we invest significant time and expense in training our employees, which increases their value to competitors who may seek to recruit them.
If we hire employees from competitors or other companies, their former employers may attempt to assert that these employees have breached their legal obligations, resulting in a diversion of our time and resources. In addition, job candidates and existing employees often consider the value of the equity awards they receive in connection with their employment. If the perceived value of our equity awards declines, it may harm our ability to recruit and retain highly skilled employees. If we fail to attract new personnel or fail to retain and motivate our current personnel, our business and future growth prospects could be harmed. Meanwhile, additions of executive-level management and large numbers of employees could significantly and adversely impact our culture. If we do not maintain and continue to develop our corporate culture as we grow and evolve, it could harm our ability to foster the innovation, creativity and teamwork we believe that we need to support our growth.
In addition, many of our key technologies and systems are custom-made for our business by our key personnel. The loss of key personnel, including key members of our management team, as well as certain of our key marketing, sales, product development, or technology personnel, could disrupt our operations and have an adverse effect on our ability to grow our business.
If we have overestimated the size of our total addressable market, our future growth rate may be limited.
We have estimated the size of our total addressable market based on internally generated data and assumptions, and such information is inherently imprecise. In addition, our projections, assumptions, and estimates of opportunities within our market are subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, those described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. If these internally generated data prove to be inaccurate or we make errors in our assumptions based on that data, our actual market may be more limited than our estimates. In addition, these inaccuracies or errors may cause us to misallocate capital and other critical business resources, which could harm our business.
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Even if our total addressable market meets our size estimates and experiences growth, we may not continue to grow our share of the market. Our growth is subject to many factors, including our success in implementing our business strategy, which is subject to many risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, our estimates of our total addressable market should not be taken as indicative of our ability to grow our business.
We may experience quarterly fluctuations in our operating results due to a number of factors which makes our future results difficult to predict and could cause our operating results to fall below expectations or our guidance.
Our quarterly operating results have fluctuated in the past and are expected to fluctuate in the future due to a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control. As a result, our past results may not be indicative of our future performance, and comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful.
We may not be able to accurately forecast the amount and mix of future subscriptions, revenue, and expenses and, as a result, our operating results may fall below our estimates or the expectations of public market analysts and investors. If our revenue or operating results fall below the expectations of investors or securities analysts, or below any guidance we may provide, the price of our Class A common stock could decline.
Our failure to raise additional capital or generate cash flows necessary to expand our operations and invest in new technologies in the future could reduce our ability to compete successfully and harm our results of operations.
We may require additional financing, and we may not be able to obtain debt or equity financing on favorable terms, if at all. If we raise equity financing to fund operations or on an opportunistic basis, our stockholders may experience significant dilution of their ownership interests. Our secured credit facilities restrict our ability to incur additional indebtedness, require us to maintain specified minimum liquidity and restrict our ability to pay dividends. The terms of any additional debt financing may be similar or more restrictive. For more information, see “—Risks Related to Our Indebtedness.”
Operations and sales to customers outside the United States expose us to risks inherent in international operations.
Our success depends in part on our ability to expand sales to customers located outside of the United States. Any new markets or countries into which we attempt to sell subscriptions to our platform may not be as receptive to our products and services as we anticipate. Expansion of sales to international customers may also create challenges for our U.S.-based sales and customer experience functions and may require us to consider expanding operations internationally. A significant increase in international customers or an expansion of our operations into other countries could create additional risks and challenges, including:
a need to localize our products and services, including translation into foreign languages and associated expenses;
competition from local incumbents that better understand the local market, customs, and culture, may market and operate more effectively, and may enjoy greater local affinity or awareness;
a need to comply with foreign regulatory frameworks or business practices (including with respect to data privacy and security), which among other things may favor local competitors;
evolving domestic and international tax environments;
liquidity issues or political actions by sovereign nations, including nations with a controlled currency environment, which could result in decreased values of balances or potential difficulties protecting our foreign assets or satisfying local obligations;
foreign currency fluctuations and controls, which may make our products and services more expensive for international customers and could add volatility to our operating results;
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compliance with multiple, conflicting, ambiguous, or evolving governmental laws and regulations, including employment, tax, privacy, anti-corruption, import/export, economic sanctions, trade controls, antitrust, and data transfer, storage and protection, and our ability to identify and respond timely to compliance issues when they occur;
vetting and monitoring internal or external sales or customer experience resources in new and evolving markets to confirm they maintain standards consistent with our brand and reputation;
uncertainty regarding regulation, currency, tax, and operations resulting from the post-Brexit regulatory environment that could disrupt trade, the sale of our services and commerce and movement of our people between the United Kingdom, the European Union, and other locations;
changes in the public perception of governments in the regions where we operate or plan to operate;
treatment of revenue from international sources, intellectual property considerations, and changes to tax codes, including being subject to foreign tax laws and being liable for paying withholding income or other taxes in foreign jurisdictions;
different pricing environments;
different or lesser protection of our intellectual property;
longer accounts receivable payment cycles and other collection difficulties;
changes in diplomatic and trade relationships, including the imposition of new trade restrictions, trade protection measures, import or export requirements, trade embargoes, and other trade barriers;
natural disasters (including those as a result of climate change), pandemics (such as COVID-19), acts of war, terrorism, pandemics, or security breaches;
regional economic and political conditions; and
higher costs of doing business internationally, including increased accounting, travel, infrastructure, and legal compliance costs.
Any of these factors could negatively impact our business and results of operations.
Cyber-attacks and security vulnerabilities could result in serious harm to our reputation, business, and financial condition.
Threats to network and data security are constantly evolving and becoming increasingly diverse and sophisticated and have increased in scope and frequency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our products and services, as well as our servers and computer systems and those of third parties that we rely on in our operations could be vulnerable to cybersecurity risks and threats or other events that could disrupt our information technology systems and/or subject us to liability such as manmade or natural disasters (including those as a result of climate change) or software vulnerabilities like Apache “Log4j,” which was identified in December 2021 and has affected thousands of businesses worldwide. An increasing number of organizations have disclosed breaches of their information security systems, some of which have involved sophisticated and highly targeted attacks.
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We have in the past been the target of attempts to identify and exploit system vulnerabilities and/or penetrate or bypass our security measures in order to gain unauthorized access to our systems, including to use our platform and data for purposes other than its intended purpose or to create products that compete with our platform. We employ multiple methods at different layers of our systems designed to defend against intrusion and attack, to protect our systems and to resolve and mitigate the impact of any incidents. Despite our efforts to keep our systems secure and to remedy identified vulnerabilities, future attacks could be successful and could result in substantial liability or business risk. We expect that third parties will continue to attempt to gain unauthorized access to our systems or facilities through various means, including hacking into our systems or facilities, or those of our customers or vendors, or attempting to fraudulently induce our employees, customers, vendors or other users of our systems into disclosing sensitive information, which may in turn be used to access our IT systems. Our cybersecurity programs and efforts to protect our systems and data, and to prevent, detect and respond to data security incidents, may not prevent these threats or provide adequate security. Further, we may be subject to additional liability risks associated with data security breaches or other incidents by virtue of the private right of action granted to individuals under certain data privacy laws for actions arising from certain data security incidents.
We may experience breaches of our security measures due to human error, malfeasance, system errors or vulnerabilities, or other irregularities including attempts by former, current or future employees to misuse their authorized access and/or gain unauthorized access to our systems. Actual or perceived breaches of our security could subject us to regulatory investigations and orders, litigation, indemnity obligations, damages, penalties, fines and other costs in connection with actual and alleged contractual breaches, violations of applicable laws and regulations and other liabilities. Any such incident could also materially damage our reputation and harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. We maintain errors, omissions, and cyber liability insurance policies covering certain security and privacy damages. However, we cannot be certain that our coverage will be adequate for liabilities actually incurred or that insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all.
Technical problems or disruptions that affect either our customers’ ability to access our services, or the software, internal applications, database, and network systems underlying our services, could damage our reputation and brands and lead to reduced demand for our products and services, lower revenues, and increased costs.
Our business, brand, reputation, and ability to attract and retain users and customers depend upon the satisfactory performance, reliability, and availability of our websites, which in turn depend upon the availability of the internet and our service providers. Interruptions in these systems, whether due to system failures, computer viruses, software errors, physical or electronic break-ins, or malicious hacks or attacks on our systems (such as denial of service attacks), could affect the security and availability of our services on our mobile applications and our websites and prevent or inhibit the ability of users to access our products or services. In addition, the software, internal applications, and systems underlying our products and services are complex and may not be error-free. We may encounter technical problems when we attempt to enhance our software, internal applications, and systems. Any inefficiencies, errors, or technical problems with our software, internal applications, and systems could reduce the quality of our products and services or interfere with our customers’ use of our products and services, which could reduce demand, lower our revenues, and increase our costs.
Our systems and operations are vulnerable to damage or interruption from fire, flood, power loss, security breaches, computer viruses, telecommunications failures, terrorist attacks, acts of war, electronic and physical break-ins, earthquakes, and similar events. The occurrence of any of the foregoing events could result in damage to or failure of our systems and hardware. These risks may be increased with respect to operations housed at facilities outside of our direct control, and the majority of the communications, network, and computer hardware used to operate the cloud for our platforms are located at facilities maintained by Google or Amazon, which we do not own or control.
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Problems faced or caused by our IT service providers, including content distribution service providers, private network providers, internet providers, and third-party web-hosting providers, or with the systems by which they allocate capacity among their customers (as applicable), could adversely affect the experience of our users. If our third-party service providers are unable to keep up with our growing needs for capacity, our business could be harmed. Additionally, if these third-party cloud services stop providing services to us or increase rates, we may be unable to find sufficient other third-party providers, which could harm our business. In addition, if distribution channels for our mobile applications experience disruptions, such disruptions could adversely affect the ability of users and potential users to access or update our mobile applications. If our platform is unavailable to users or fails to function as quickly as users expect, it could result in reduced customer satisfaction and reduced attractiveness of our platform to customers. This in turn could lead to decreased sales to new customers, harm our ability to renew or grow the subscriptions of existing customers, and/or the issuance of service credits or refunds, any of which could harm our reputation, business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Any errors, defects, disruptions, or other performance problems with our services could harm our reputation, business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Interruptions or delays in services from third parties, including data center hosting facilities, internet infrastructure, cloud computing platform providers, and other hardware and software vendors, or our inability to adequately plan for and manage service interruptions or infrastructure capacity requirements, could impair the delivery of our services and harm our business.
We currently serve our customers through the use of third-party data center hosting facilities and cloud computing platform providers. Damage to, or failure of, these systems, or systems upon which they depend such as internet infrastructure, could result in interruptions in our services. We have from time to time experienced interruptions in our services and such interruptions may occur in the future. Interruptions in our services may cause us to issue credits to customers, cause customers to make warranty or other claims against us or to terminate their subscriptions, and adversely affect our customer renewal and upgrade performance and our ability to attract new customers, all of which would reduce our revenue. Our business would also be harmed if our customers and potential customers believe our services are unreliable.
We do not control the operation of third-party facilities, and they may be vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, floods, fires, power loss, telecommunications failures, and similar events. They may also be subject to break-ins, sabotage, intentional acts of vandalism, and similar misconduct, as well as local administrative actions, changes to legal or permitting requirements, and litigation to stop, limit, or delay operation. The occurrence of a natural disaster, pandemics (such as COVID-19) or an act of terrorism, a decision to close the facilities without adequate notice, or other unanticipated problems at these facilities could result in lengthy interruptions in our services.
These hardware, software, data, and cloud computing systems may not continue to be available at reasonable prices, on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Further, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could potentially disrupt the supply chain of such hardware needed to maintain these third-party systems and services or to run our business. Any loss of the right to use any of these hardware, software, or cloud computing systems could significantly increase our expenses and otherwise result in delays in the provisioning of our services until equivalent technology is either developed by us, or, if available, is identified, obtained through purchase or license, and integrated into our services.
Our management team has limited experience managing a public company.
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 that is 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 will require significant attention from our senior management and could divert their attention away from the day-to-day management of our business, which could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
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The variation in the sales cycle of our products may make it difficult to forecast our revenue and evaluate our business and future prospects.
The sales cycle for the evaluation and implementation of our paid versions, which can range from a single day to many months, may cause us to experience a delay between increasing operating expenses and the generation of corresponding revenue, if any. Accordingly, we may be unable to prepare accurate internal financial forecasts or replace anticipated revenue that we do not receive as a result of delays arising from these factors, and our results of operations in future reporting periods may be below the expectations of investors. If we do not address these risks successfully, our results of operations could differ materially from our estimates and forecasts or the expectations of investors, causing our business to suffer and our Class A common stock price to decline.
We may in the future be sued by third parties for various claims including alleged infringement of proprietary intellectual property rights.
There is considerable patent and other intellectual property development activity in our market, and litigation, based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property, is frequent in software and internet-based industries. We may receive communications from third parties, including practicing entities and non-practicing entities, claiming that we have infringed their intellectual property rights.
In addition, we may be sued by third parties for breach of contract, defamation, negligence, unfair competition, or copyright or trademark infringement or claims based on other theories. We could also be subject to claims based upon the content that is accessible from our website through links to other websites or information on our website supplied by third parties or claims that our collection of information from third-party sites without a license violates certain federal or state laws or website terms of use. We could also be subject to claims that the collection or provision of certain information, including personal information by us or by third-parties with whom we interact breached laws or regulations relating to privacy or data protection. As a result of claims against us regarding suspected infringement, our technologies may be subject to injunction, we may be required to pay damages, or we may have to seek a license to continue certain practices (which may not be available on reasonable terms, if at all), all of which may significantly increase our operating expenses or may require us to restrict our business activities and limit our ability to deliver our products and services and/or certain features, integrations, and capabilities of our platform. As a result, we may also be required to develop alternative non-infringing technology, which could require significant effort and expense and/or cause us to alter our products or services, which could negatively affect our business. Further, many of our subscription agreements require us to indemnify our customers for third-party intellectual property infringement claims, so any alleged infringement by us resulting in claims against such customers would increase our liability.
Our exposure to risks associated with various claims, including the use of intellectual property, may be if we acquire other companies or technologies. For example, we may have a lower level of visibility into the development process with respect to intellectual property or the care taken to safeguard against infringement risks with respect to the acquired company or technology. In addition, third parties may make infringement and similar or related claims after we have acquired a company or technology that had not been asserted prior to our acquisition.
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New or changing laws and regulations related to the internet or changes in the internet infrastructure itself may diminish the demand for our platform and could harm our business.
The future success of our business depends upon the continued use of the internet as a primary medium for commerce, communication, and business applications. Federal, state, or foreign governmental bodies or agencies have in the past adopted, and may in the future adopt, laws or regulations affecting the use of the internet as a commercial medium. The adoption of any laws or regulations that could reduce the growth, popularity, or use of the internet, including laws or practices limiting internet neutrality, could decrease the demand for, or the usage of, our products and services, increase our cost of doing business, and harm our results of operations. Changes in these laws or regulations could require us to modify our platform, or certain aspects of our platform, in order to comply with these changes. In addition, government agencies or private organizations have imposed and may impose additional taxes, fees, or other charges for accessing the internet or commerce conducted via the internet. These laws or charges could limit the growth of internet-related commerce or communications generally or result in reductions in the demand for internet-based products such as ours. In addition, the use of the internet as a business tool could be harmed due to delays in the development or adoption of new standards and protocols to handle increased demands of internet activity, security, reliability, cost, ease-of-use, accessibility, and quality of service. Further, our platform depends on the quality of our users’ access to the internet.
On June 11, 2018, the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s (the “FCC”), “net neutrality” rules took effect and returned to a “light-touch” regulatory framework. The prior rules were designed to ensure that all online content is treated the same by internet service providers and other companies that provide broadband services. Additionally, on September 30, 2018, California enacted the California internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018, making California one of several states to enact a state-level net neutrality law since the FCC repealed its nationwide regulations, mandating that all broadband services in California must be provided in accordance with state net neutrality requirements. The U.S. Department of Justice has sued to block the law going into effect, and California has agreed to delay enforcement until the resolution of the FCC’s repeal of the federal rules. A number of other states are considering legislation or executive actions that would regulate the conduct of broadband providers. We cannot predict whether the FCC order or state initiatives will be modified, overturned, or vacated by legal action of the court, federal legislation or the FCC. With the repeal of net neutrality rules in effect, we could incur greater operating expenses, which could harm our results of operations. As the internet continues to experience growth in the number of users, frequency of use, and amount of data transmitted, the internet infrastructure that we and our users rely on may be unable to support the demands placed upon it. The failure of the internet infrastructure that we or our users rely on, even for a short period of time, could undermine our operations and harm our results of operations.
Internet access is frequently provided by companies that have significant market power that could take actions that degrade, disrupt, or increase the cost of user access to our platform, which would negatively impact our business. The performance of the internet and its acceptance as a business tool has been harmed by “viruses,” “worms” and similar malicious programs and the internet has experienced a variety of outages and other delays as a result of damage to portions of its infrastructure. If the use of the internet is adversely affected by these issues, demand for our platform could decline.
We could incur greater operating expenses and our user acquisition and retention could be negatively impacted if network operators:
implement usage-based pricing;
discount pricing for competitive products;
otherwise materially change their pricing rates or schemes;
charge us to deliver our traffic at certain levels or at all;
throttle traffic based on its source or type;
implement bandwidth caps or other usage restrictions; or
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otherwise try to monetize or control access to their networks.
Action by governments to restrict access to our platforms in their countries or to require us to disclose or provide access to information in our possession could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our platforms depend on the ability of our users to access the internet and our platforms could be blocked or restricted in some countries for various reasons. Further, it is possible that governments of one or more foreign countries may seek to limit access to or certain features of our platforms in their countries, or impose other restrictions that may affect the availability of our platforms, or certain features of our platforms, in their countries for an extended period of time or indefinitely. For example, Russia and China are among a number of countries that have recently blocked certain online services, including Amazon Web Services (which is one of our cloud hosting providers), making it very difficult for such services to access those markets. Additionally, in August 2021, China adopted the PIPL, which took effect on November 1, 2021. The PIPL introduces a legal framework similar to the GDPR and is viewed as the beginning of a comprehensive system for the protection of personal information in China, although numerous aspects of the law remain uncertain and developing and the impact that PIPL will have on businesses remains uncertain. In addition, governments in certain countries may seek to restrict or prohibit access to our platforms if they consider us to be in violation of their laws (including privacy laws) and may require us to disclose or provide access to information in our possession. If we fail to anticipate developments in the law or fail for any reason to comply with relevant law, our platforms could be further blocked or restricted and we could be exposed to significant liability that could harm our business. In the event that access to our platforms is restricted, in whole or in part, in one or more countries or our competitors are able to successfully penetrate geographic markets that we cannot access, our ability to add new customers or renew or grow the subscriptions of existing customers may be adversely affected, we may not be able to maintain or grow our revenue as anticipated and our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Risks Related to Certain Accounting and Financial Reporting Matters
Changes in existing financial accounting standards or practices may harm our results of operations.
Changes in existing accounting rules or practices, new accounting pronouncements, or varying interpretations of current accounting pronouncements could negatively impact our results of operations. Further, such changes could potentially affect our reporting of transactions completed before such changes are effective. GAAP is subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “FASB”), the SEC and various bodies formed to promulgate and interpret appropriate accounting principles. A change in these principles or interpretations could have a significant effect on our reported financial results and could affect the reporting of transactions completed before the announcement of a change.
Any difficulties in implementing these pronouncements could cause us to fail to meet our financial reporting obligations, which could result in regulatory discipline and harm investors’ confidence in us.
Failure to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404 of SOX could impair our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations and have a material adverse effect on our business.
As a public company, we have significant requirements for enhanced financial reporting and internal controls. The process of designing and implementing effective internal controls is a continuous effort that requires us to anticipate and react to changes in our business and the economic and regulatory environments and to expend significant resources to maintain a system of internal controls that is adequate to satisfy our reporting obligations as a public company. Our failure to establish or maintain appropriate internal financial reporting controls and procedures, could cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations on a timely basis, has resulted in and could in the future result in material misstatements in our consolidated financial statements, and could harm our operating results. The rules governing the standards that must be met for our management to assess our internal control over financial reporting are complex and require significant documentation, testing, and possible remediation.
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We previously identified and disclosed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting due to limited accounting department personnel capable of appropriately accounting for complex transactions undertaken by the company. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim consolidated financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. Based on the remediation steps implemented, management concluded that we have remediated the previously disclosed material weakness during the quarter ended March 31, 2021. We can give no assurance that the measures we have taken and plan to take in the future will remediate the material weakness identified or that any additional material weaknesses or restatements of financial results will not arise in the future due to a failure to implement and maintain adequate internal control over financial reporting or circumvention of these controls. In addition, even if we are successful in strengthening our controls and procedures, in the future those controls and procedures may not be adequate to prevent or identify irregularities or errors or to facilitate the fair presentation of our financial statements. Please refer to “Controls and Procedures—Remediation Efforts to Address the Previously Disclosed Material Weakness” in Part II, Item 9A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further information.
Matters impacting our internal controls may cause us to be unable to report our financial information on a timely basis and thereby subject us to adverse regulatory consequences, including sanctions by the SEC or violations of applicable stock exchange listing rules, which may result in a breach of the covenants under existing or future financing arrangements. There also could be a negative reaction in the financial markets due to a loss of investor confidence in us and the reliability of our financial statements. Confidence in the reliability of our financial statements also could suffer if we or our independent registered public accounting firm report a material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting. This could materially adversely affect us and lead to a decline in the market price of our Class A common stock.
In addition to our results determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, we believe certain non-GAAP measures may be useful in evaluating our operating performance. We present certain non-GAAP financial measures in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and intend to continue to present certain non-GAAP financial measures in future filings with the SEC and other public statements. Any failure to accurately report and present our non-GAAP financial measures could 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.
Because we recognize subscription revenue over the subscription term, downturns or upturns in new sales and renewals are not immediately reflected in full in our results of operations.
We recognize revenue from subscriptions to our platform on a straight-line basis over the term of the contract subscription period beginning on the date access to our platform is granted, provided all other revenue recognition criteria have been met. Our subscription arrangements generally have contractual terms requiring advance payment for annual or quarterly periods. As a result, much of the revenue we report each quarter is the recognition of deferred revenue from recurring subscriptions entered into during previous quarters. Consequently, a decline in new or renewed recurring subscription contracts in any one quarter will not be fully reflected in revenue in that quarter but will negatively affect our revenue in future quarters. Accordingly, the effect of significant downturns in new or renewed sales of our recurring subscriptions are not reflected in full in our results of operations until future periods. Our subscription model also makes it difficult for us to rapidly increase our revenue through additional sales in any period, as revenue from new customers is typically recognized over the applicable subscription term. By contrast, a majority of our costs are expensed as incurred, which could result in our recognition of more costs than revenue in the earlier portion of the subscription term, and we may not attain profitability in any given period.
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We have a history of net losses, we anticipate increasing operating expenses in the future, and we may not be able to achieve and, if achieved, maintain profitability.
Prior to 2021, we incurred net losses in each year since our inception, including net losses of $36.4 million in 2020 and $78.0 million in 2019. We may not continue to achieve or maintain profitability in the future. Because the market for our platform is rapidly evolving and has not yet reached widespread adoption, it is difficult for us to predict our future results of operations or the limits of our market opportunity. We expect our operating expenses to significantly increase over the next several years as we continue to hire additional personnel, particularly in sales and marketing and research and development, expand our partnerships, operations and infrastructure, both domestically and internationally, continue to enhance our platform and develop and expand its features, integrations, and capabilities, and expand and improve our platform. We also intend to continue to build and enhance our platform through both internal research and development and selectively pursuing acquisitions that can contribute to the capabilities of our platform. In addition, as we grow, we will incur additional significant legal, accounting, and other expenses. If our revenue does not increase to offset the expected increases in our operating expenses, we may not be profitable in future periods. In future periods, our revenue growth could slow or our revenue could decline for a number of reasons, including any failure to increase the number of organizations on our platform, any failure to increase our number of paying customers, a decrease in the growth of our overall market, our failure, for any reason, to continue to capitalize on growth opportunities, slowing demand for our platform, additional regulatory burdens, or increasing competition. As a result, our past financial performance may not be indicative of our future performance. Any failure by us to sustain profitability on a consistent basis could cause the value of our Class A common stock to decline.
We have a significant amount of goodwill and intangible assets on our balance sheet, and our results of operations may be adversely affected if we fail to realize the full value of our goodwill and intangible assets.
Our Consolidated Balance Sheets reflects goodwill of $1,575.1 million and $1,000.1 million as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, and intangible assets, net of $431.0 million and $365.7 million as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. In accordance with U.S. GAAP, goodwill and intangible assets with an indefinite life are not amortized but are subject to a periodic impairment evaluation. Goodwill and acquired intangible assets with an indefinite life are tested for impairment at least annually or when events and circumstances indicate that fair value of a reporting unit may be below their carrying value. Acquired intangible assets with definite lives are amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated period over which we expect to realize economic value related to the intangible asset. In addition, we review long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset might not be recoverable. If indicators of impairment are present, we evaluate the carrying value in relation to estimates of future undiscounted cash flows. Our ability to realize the value of the goodwill and intangible assets will depend on the future cash flows of the businesses we have acquired, which in turn depend in part on how well we have integrated these businesses into our own business. Judgments made by management relate to the expected useful lives of long-lived assets and our ability to realize undiscounted cash flows of the carrying amounts of such assets. The accuracy of these judgments may be adversely affected by several factors, including significant:
underperformance relative to historical or projected future operating results;
changes in the manner of our use of acquired assets or the strategy for our overall business;
negative industry or economic trends; or
decline in our market capitalization relative to net book value for a sustained period.
These types of events or indicators and the resulting impairment analysis could result in impairment charges in the future. If we are not able to realize the value of the goodwill and intangible assets, we may be required to incur material charges relating to the impairment of those assets. Such impairment charges could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
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Risks Related to Certain Tax Matters
Unanticipated changes in our effective tax rate and additional tax liabilities may impact our financial results.
We are subject to income taxes in the United States and various jurisdictions outside of the United States. Our income tax obligations are generally determined based on our business operations in these jurisdictions. Significant judgment is often required in the determination of our worldwide provision for income taxes. Our effective tax rate could be impacted by changes in the earnings and losses in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in non-deductible expenses, changes in excess tax benefits of stock-based compensation, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities and our ability to utilize them, the applicability of withholding taxes, effects from acquisitions, changes in accounting principles and tax laws in jurisdictions where we operate. Any changes, ambiguity, or uncertainty in taxing jurisdictions' administrative interpretations, decisions, policies, and positions could also materially impact our income tax liabilities.
As our business continues to grow and if we become more profitable, we anticipate that our income tax obligations could significantly increase. If our existing tax credits and net operating loss carry-forwards become fully utilized, we may be unable to offset or otherwise mitigate our tax obligations to the same extent as in prior years. This could have a material impact to our future cash flows or operating results.
In addition, recent global tax developments applicable to multinational businesses, including certain approaches of addressing taxation of digital economy recently proposed or enacted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the European Commission or certain major jurisdictions where we operate or might in the future operate, might have a material impact to our business and future cash flow from operating activities, or future financial results. We are also subject to tax examinations in multiple jurisdictions. While we regularly evaluate new information that may change our judgment resulting in recognition, derecognition, or changes in measurement of a tax position taken, there can be no assurance that the final determination of any examinations will not have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial position. In addition, our operations may change, which may impact our tax liabilities. As our brand becomes increasingly recognizable both domestically and internationally, our tax planning structure and corresponding profile may be subject to increased scrutiny and if we are perceived negatively, we may experience brand or reputational harm.
We may also be subject to additional tax liabilities and penalties due to changes in non-income based taxes resulting from changes in federal, state, or international tax laws, changes in taxing jurisdictions’ administrative interpretations, decisions, policies and positions, results of tax examinations, settlements or judicial decisions, changes in accounting principles, changes to the business operations, including acquisitions, as well as the evaluation of new information that results in a change to a tax position taken in a prior period. Any resulting increase in our tax obligation or cash taxes paid could adversely affect our cash flows and financial results.
Changes in tax laws or regulations in the various tax jurisdictions we are subject to that are applied adversely to us or our paying customers could increase the costs of our products and services and harm our business.
New income, sales, use, or other tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances could be enacted at any time. Those enactments could harm our domestic and international business operations and our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Further, existing tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances could be interpreted, changed, modified, or applied adversely to us. These events could require us or our paying customers to pay additional tax amounts on a prospective or retroactive basis, as well as require us or our paying customers to pay fines and/or penalties and interest for past amounts deemed to be due. If we raise our prices to offset the costs of these changes, existing and potential future paying customers may elect not to purchase our products and services in the future. Additionally, new, changed, modified, or newly interpreted or applied tax laws could increase our paying customers’ and our compliance, operating, and other costs, as well as the costs of our products and services. Further, these events could decrease the capital we have available to operate our business. Any or all of these events could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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Additionally, the application of U.S. federal, state, local, and international tax laws to services provided electronically is unclear and continually evolving. Existing tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances could be interpreted or applied adversely to us, possibly with retroactive effect, which could require us or our paying customers to pay additional tax amounts, as well as require us or our paying customers to pay fines or penalties, as well as interest for past amounts. If we are unsuccessful in collecting such taxes due from our paying customers, we could be held liable for such costs, thereby adversely affecting our results of operations and harming our business.
As a multinational organization, we may 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 principles, including increased tax rates, new tax laws or revised interpretations of existing tax laws and precedents, which could harm 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 assert that benefits of tax treaties are not available to us, any of which could harm us and our results of operations.
Our results of operations may be harmed if we are required to collect sales or other related taxes for subscriptions to our products and services in jurisdictions where we have not historically done so.
States and some local taxing jurisdictions have differing rules and regulations governing sales and use taxes, and these rules and regulations are subject to varying interpretations that may change over time. The application of federal, state, local, and international tax laws to services provided electronically is evolving. In particular, the applicability of sales taxes to our products and services in various jurisdictions is unclear. We collect and remit U.S. sales and value-added tax (“VAT”), in a number of jurisdictions. It is possible, however, that we could face sales tax or VAT audits and that our liability for these taxes could exceed our estimates as state tax authorities could still assert that we are obligated to collect additional tax amounts from our paying customers and remit those taxes to those authorities. We could also be subject to audits in states and international jurisdictions for which we have not accrued tax liabilities. A successful assertion that we should be collecting additional sales or other taxes on our services in jurisdictions where we have not historically done so and do not accrue for sales taxes could result in substantial tax liabilities for past sales, discourage organizations from subscribing to our products and services, or otherwise harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Further, one or more state or foreign authorities could seek to impose additional sales, use, or other tax collection and record-keeping obligations on us or may determine that such taxes should have, but have not been, paid by us. Liability for past taxes may also include substantial interest and penalty charges. Any successful action by state, foreign, or other authorities to compel us to collect and remit sales tax, use tax, or other taxes, either retroactively, prospectively, or both, could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Risks Related to Our Indebtedness
We have a substantial amount of debt, which could adversely affect our financial position and our ability to raise additional capital and prevent us from fulfilling our obligations under our obligations.
As of December 31, 2021, we had total outstanding indebtedness of approximately $1,250.0 million consisting of outstanding borrowings under our first lien credit facilities. Additionally, we had $250.0 million of availability under our first lien revolving credit facility as of December 31, 2021. Our substantial indebtedness may:
make it difficult for us to satisfy our financial obligations, including with respect to our indebtedness;
limit our ability to borrow additional funds for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, or other general business purposes;
require us to use a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to make debt service payments instead of other purposes, thereby reducing the amount of cash flow available for future working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, or other general business purposes;
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expose us to the risk of increased interest rates as certain of our borrowings, including under our secured credit facilities, are at variable rates of interest;
limit our ability to pay dividends;
limit our flexibility to plan for, or react to, changes in our business and industry;
place us at a competitive disadvantage compared with our less-leveraged competitors;
increase our vulnerability to the impact of adverse economic, competitive, and industry conditions; and
increase our cost of borrowing.
In addition, the credit agreement governing our secured credit facilities contains, and the agreements governing our future indebtedness may contain, restrictive covenants that may limit our ability to engage in activities that may be in our long-term best interest. These restrictive covenants include, among others, limitations on our ability to pay dividends or make other distributions in respect of, or repurchase or redeem, capital stock, prepay, redeem, or repurchase certain debt, make acquisitions, investments, loans, and advances, or sell or otherwise dispose of assets. Our failure to comply with those covenants could result in an event of default which, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of substantially all of our debt.
Furthermore, we may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future. The terms of the credit agreements governing our indebtedness limit, but do not prohibit, us from incurring additional indebtedness, and the additional indebtedness incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. These restrictions will also not prevent us from incurring obligations that do not constitute “Indebtedness” as defined in the agreements governing our indebtedness. If new indebtedness is added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we now face could intensify.
We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness, and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness, which may not be successful.
Our ability to make scheduled payments due on our debt obligations or to refinance our debt obligations depends on our financial condition and operating performance, which are subject to prevailing economic, industry, and competitive conditions and to certain financial, business, legislative, regulatory, and other factors beyond our control, including those discussed elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section. Our total principal repayments of debt made in 2021, 2020, and 2019 were $581.4 million, $510.9 million, and $649.8 million, respectively. Our total interest expense, net for 2021, 2020, and 2019 was $43.9 million, $69.3 million, and $102.4 million, respectively. We may be unable to maintain a level of cash flow sufficient to permit us to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness.
If our cash flow and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we could face substantial liquidity problems and could be forced to reduce or delay investments and capital expenditures or to dispose of material assets or operations, seek additional debt or equity capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness. We may not be able to implement any such alternative measures on commercially reasonable terms or at all and, even if successful, those alternative actions may not allow us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations. The credit agreement governing our secured credit facilities restricts, and the agreements governing our future indebtedness may restrict, our ability to dispose of assets and use the proceeds from those dispositions and may also restrict our ability to raise debt or equity capital to be used to repay other indebtedness when it becomes due. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions or to obtain proceeds in an amount sufficient to meet any debt service obligations then due. In addition, under the covenants of the credit agreement governing our secured credit facilities, ZoomInfo OpCo is restricted from making certain payments, including dividend payments to ZoomInfo Technologies Inc., subject to certain exceptions.
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If we cannot make payments on our debt obligations, we will be in default and all outstanding principal and interest on our debt may be declared due and payable, the lenders under our secured credit facilities could terminate their commitments to loan money, our secured lenders (including the lenders under our secured credit facilities) could foreclose against the assets securing their borrowings, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. In addition, any event of default or declaration of acceleration under one debt instrument could result in an event of default under one or more of our other debt instruments.
Interest rate fluctuations may affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Because a substantial portion of our debt is variable-rate debt, fluctuations in interest rates could have a material effect on our business. We currently utilize, and may in the future utilize, derivative financial instruments such as interest rate swaps to hedge some of our exposure to interest rate fluctuations, but such instruments may not be effective in reducing our exposure to interest fluctuations, and we may discontinue utilizing them at any time. As a result, we may incur higher interest costs if interest rates increase. Interest rates have been at historic lows for the last several years. During 2020 and 2021, the United States Federal Reserve took several steps to protect the economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including reducing interest rates to new historic lows. There can be no assurance, however, that the United States Federal Reserve will not raise rates in 2022, and any such increase in interest costs could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and the levels of cash we maintain for working capital.
In addition, our variable rate indebtedness uses the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) as a benchmark for establishing the rate of interest and may be hedged with LIBOR-based interest rate derivatives. LIBOR is the subject of recent national, international, and other regulatory guidance and proposals for reform. For example, the United States Federal Reserve has advised banks to cease entering into new contracts that use USD LIBOR as a reference rate. The Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rate Committee, a committee convened by the Federal Reserve that includes major market participants, has identified the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, or SOFR, a new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities, as its preferred alternative rate for LIBOR. There are significant differences between LIBOR and SOFR, such as LIBOR being an unsecured lending rate while SOFR is a secured lending rate, and SOFR is an overnight rate while LIBOR reflects term rates at different maturities These reforms and other pressures may cause LIBOR to be replaced with a new benchmark or to perform differently than in the past. While we are taking steps to assess our LIBOR exposure and mitigate potential impacts of such a transition, the consequences of these developments cannot be entirely predicted but could include an increase in the cost of our variable rate indebtedness.
Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure
ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. is a holding company, its only material asset is its interest in ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. and ZoomInfo OpCo, and ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. is accordingly dependent upon distributions from ZoomInfo OpCo and its subsidiaries to pay taxes, make payments under the tax receivable agreements, and pay dividends.
ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. is a holding company, and has no material assets other than its ownership of common stock of ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. and of OpCo Units. ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. has no independent means of generating revenue. In the event ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. declares any cash dividend, we expect that the manager of ZoomInfo MidCo LLC would cause ZoomInfo MidCo LLC to make distributions to ZoomInfo Technologies Inc., in part through distributions to ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. and ZoomInfo OpCo, in an amount sufficient to cover such cash dividends declared by us. Deterioration in the financial condition, earnings or cash flow of ZoomInfo OpCo and its subsidiaries for any reason could limit or impair their ability to pay such distributions. Additionally, to the extent that ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. needs funds, and ZoomInfo OpCo is restricted from making such distributions under applicable law or regulation or under the terms of our financing arrangements, or is otherwise unable to provide such funds, it could materially adversely affect our liquidity and financial condition.
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We have no current plans to pay cash dividends on our Class A common stock. Payments of dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors after taking into account various factors, including our business, operating results, and financial condition, current and anticipated cash needs, plans for expansion, and any legal or contractual limitations on our ability to pay dividends. Our existing secured credit facilities include and any financing arrangement that we enter into in the future may include restrictive covenants that limit our ability to pay dividends. In addition, ZoomInfo MidCo LLC is generally prohibited under Delaware law from making a distribution to a member to the extent that, at the time of the distribution, after giving effect to the distribution, liabilities of ZoomInfo MidCo LLC (with certain exceptions) exceed the fair value of its assets. Subsidiaries of ZoomInfo MidCo LLC are generally subject to similar legal limitations on their ability to make distributions to ZoomInfo MidCo LLC.
ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. is required to pay our Pre-IPO Owners for most of the benefits relating to any additional tax depreciation or amortization deductions that we may claim as a result of the ZoomInfo Tax Group’s allocable share of existing tax basis acquired in the IPO, the ZoomInfo Tax Group’s increase in its allocable share of existing tax basis, and anticipated tax basis adjustments the ZoomInfo Tax Group receives in connection with sales or exchanges of OpCo Units after the IPO, and certain other tax attributes.
In connection with the IPO, we entered into two tax receivable agreements. We entered into (i) the Exchange Tax Receivable Agreement with certain of our Pre-IPO OpCo Unitholders and (ii) the Reorganization Tax Receivable Agreement with the Pre-IPO Blocker Holders. These tax receivable agreements provide for the payment by members of the ZoomInfo Tax Group to certain Pre-IPO Owners and certain Pre-IPO HoldCo Unitholders of 85% of the benefits, if any, that the ZoomInfo Tax Group is deemed to realize (calculated using certain assumptions) as a result of certain tax attributes and benefits covered by the tax receivable agreements. The Exchange Tax Receivable Agreement provides for the payment by members of the ZoomInfo Tax Group to certain Pre-IPO OpCo Unitholders and certain Pre-IPO HoldCo Unitholders of 85% of the benefits, if any, that the ZoomInfo Tax Group is deemed to realize (calculated using certain assumptions) as a result of (i) the ZoomInfo Tax Group’s allocable share of existing tax basis acquired in the IPO and (ii) increases in the ZoomInfo Tax Group’s allocable share of existing tax basis and tax basis adjustments that will increase the tax basis of the tangible and intangible assets of the ZoomInfo Tax Group as a result of sales or exchanges of OpCo Units for shares of Class A common stock after the IPO, and certain other tax benefits, including tax benefits attributable to payments under the Exchange Tax Receivable Agreement. The Reorganization Tax Receivable Agreement provides for the payment by ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. to Pre-IPO Blocker Holders and certain Pre-IPO HoldCo Unitholders of 85% of the benefits, if any, that the ZoomInfo Tax Group is deemed to realize (calculated using certain assumptions) as a result of the ZoomInfo Tax Group’s utilization of certain tax attributes of the Blocker Companies (including the ZoomInfo Tax Group’s allocable share of existing tax basis acquired in the Reorganization Transactions), and certain other tax benefits, including tax benefits attributable to payments under the Reorganization Tax Receivable Agreement.
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In each case, these increases in existing tax basis and tax basis adjustments generated over time may increase (for tax purposes) depreciation and amortization deductions and, therefore, may reduce the amount of tax that the ZoomInfo Tax Group would otherwise be required to pay in the future, although the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) may challenge all or part of the validity of that tax basis, and a court could sustain such a challenge. Actual tax benefits realized by the ZoomInfo Tax Group may differ from tax benefits calculated under the tax receivable agreements as a result of the use of certain assumptions in the tax receivable agreements, including the use of an assumed weighted-average state and local income tax rate to calculate tax benefits. The payment obligations under the tax receivable agreements are an obligation of members of the ZoomInfo Tax Group, but not of ZoomInfo OpCo. While the amount of existing tax basis, the anticipated tax basis adjustments, and the actual amount and utilization of tax attributes, as well as the amount and timing of any payments under the tax receivable agreements, will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the timing of exchanges, the price of shares of our Class A common stock at the time of exchanges, the extent to which such exchanges are taxable, and the amount and timing of our income, we expect that as a result of the size of the transfers and increases in the tax basis of the tangible and intangible assets of ZoomInfo OpCo and our possible utilization of tax attributes, including existing tax basis acquired at the time of the IPO, the payments that the members of the ZoomInfo Tax Group may make under the tax receivable agreements will be substantial. The payments under the tax receivable agreements are not conditioned upon continued ownership of us by the exchanging holders of OpCo Units or the prior owners of the Blocker Companies.
In certain cases, payments under the tax receivable agreements may be accelerated and/or significantly exceed the actual benefits the ZoomInfo Tax Group realizes in respect of the tax attributes subject to the tax receivable agreements.
Members of the ZoomInfo Tax Group’s payment obligations under the tax receivable agreements may be accelerated in the event of certain changes of control and will be accelerated in the event it elects to terminate the tax receivable agreements early. The accelerated payments will relate to all relevant tax attributes that would subsequently be available to the ZoomInfo Tax Group. The accelerated payments required in such circumstances will be calculated by reference to the present value (at a discount rate equal to a per annum rate of the lesser of (i) 6.5% and (ii) LIBOR, or its successor rate, plus 100 basis points) of all future payments that holders of OpCo Units or other recipients would have been entitled to receive under the tax receivable agreements, and such accelerated payments and any other future payments under the tax receivable agreements will utilize certain valuation assumptions, including that the ZoomInfo Tax Group will have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize the deductions arising from the increased tax deductions and tax basis and other benefits related to entering into the tax receivable agreements and sufficient taxable income to fully utilize any remaining net operating losses subject to the tax receivable agreements on a straight line basis over the shorter of the statutory expiration period for such net operating losses and the five-year period after the early termination or change of control. In addition, recipients of payments under the tax receivable agreements will not reimburse us for any payments previously made under the tax receivable agreements if such tax basis and the ZoomInfo Tax Group’s utilization of certain tax attributes is successfully challenged by the IRS (although any such detriment would be taken into account in future payments under the tax receivable agreements). The ZoomInfo Tax Group’s ability to achieve benefits from any existing tax basis, tax basis adjustments or other tax attributes, and the payments to be made under the tax receivable agreements, will depend upon a number of factors, including the timing and amount of our future income. As a result, even in the absence of a change of control or an election to terminate the tax receivable agreements, payments under the tax receivable agreements could be in excess of 85% of the ZoomInfo Tax Group’s actual cash tax benefits.
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Accordingly, it is possible that the actual cash tax benefits realized by the ZoomInfo Tax Group may be significantly less than the corresponding tax receivable agreement payments or that payments under the tax receivable agreements may be made years in advance of the actual realization, if any, of the anticipated future tax benefits. There may be a material negative effect on our liquidity if the payments under the tax receivable agreements exceed the actual cash tax benefits that the ZoomInfo Tax Group realizes in respect of the tax attributes subject to the tax receivable agreements and/or payments to ZoomInfo Intermediate by ZoomInfo MidCo LLC are not sufficient to permit ZoomInfo Intermediate to make payments under the tax receivable agreements after it has paid taxes and other expenses. We may need to incur additional indebtedness to finance payments under the tax receivable agreements to the extent our cash resources are insufficient to meet our obligations under the tax receivable agreements as a result of timing discrepancies or otherwise, and these obligations could have the effect of delaying, deferring, or preventing certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations, or other changes of control.
The acceleration of payments under the tax receivable agreements in the case of certain changes of control may impair our ability to consummate change of control transactions or negatively impact the value received by owners of our Class A common stock.
In the case of certain changes of control, payments under the tax receivable agreements may be accelerated and may significantly exceed the actual benefits the ZoomInfo Tax Group realizes in respect of the tax attributes subject to the tax receivable agreements. We expect that the payments that we may make under the tax receivable agreements in the event of a change of control will be substantial. As a result, our accelerated payment obligations and/or the assumptions adopted under the tax receivable agreements in the case of a change of control may impair our ability to consummate change of control transactions or negatively impact the value received by owners of our Class A common stock in a change of control transaction.
If we were deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Under Sections 3(a)(1)(A) and (C) of the 1940 Act, a company generally will be deemed to be an “investment company” for purposes of the 1940 Act if (i) it is, or holds itself out as being, engaged primarily, or proposes to engage primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting, or trading in securities or (ii) it engages, or proposes to engage, in the business of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding, or trading in securities and it owns or proposes to acquire investment securities having a value exceeding 40% of the value of its total assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis. We are, and hold ourselves out as being, engaged primarily in the business of providing a go-to-market intelligence and engagement platform for sales and marketing teams through our majority- and wholly-owned operating subsidiaries. As a result, we do not believe that we are an “investment company,” as such term is defined in either of those sections of the 1940 Act.
We intend to conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed an investment company. If it were established that we were an unregistered investment company, there would be a risk that we would be subject to monetary penalties and injunctive relief in an action brought by the SEC, that we would be unable to enforce contracts with third parties, and that third parties could seek to obtain rescission of transactions undertaken during the period it was established that we were an unregistered investment company. If we were required to register as an investment company, restrictions imposed by the 1940 Act, including limitations on our capital structure and our ability to transact with affiliates, could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business.
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Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock
The parties to our stockholders agreement continue to have influence over us, and their interests may conflict with ours or yours in the future.
Pursuant to the terms of our stockholders agreement, we agreed to nominate to our board of directors individuals designated by TA Associates, Carlyle, and our Founders. Our Founders retained the right to designate at least one director for so long as they beneficially own at least 5% of the voting power of all shares of our outstanding capital stock entitled to vote generally in the election of our directors. Therefore, for so long as a party to our stockholders agreement beneficially owns at least 5% of the voting power of all shares of our outstanding capital stock entitled to vote generally in the election of our directors, or has a designee continuing to serve on our board of directors, they will still be able to significantly influence our management, business plans, and policies, including the appointment and removal of our officers, the composition of our board of directors, and decisions about whether to enter or not enter into significant transactions. The concentration of ownership or the rights provided under the terms of the stockholders agreement could deprive you of an opportunity to receive a premium for your shares of Class A common stock as part of a sale of our Company and ultimately might affect the market price of our Class A common stock.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation does not limit the ability of our Sponsors to compete with us, and they and certain of our executive officers may have investments in businesses whose interests conflict with ours.
Our Sponsors and their respective affiliates engage in a broad spectrum of activities, including investments in businesses that may compete with us. In the ordinary course of their business activities, our Sponsors and their respective affiliates may engage in activities where their interests conflict with our interests or those of our stockholders. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that none of our Sponsors or any of their respective affiliates or any of our directors who are not employed by us (including any non-employee director who serves as one of our officers in both his or her director and officer capacities) or his or her affiliates will have any duty to refrain from engaging, directly or indirectly, in the same business activities or similar business activities or lines of business in which we operate. Our Sponsors and their respective affiliates also may pursue acquisition opportunities that may be complementary to our business, and, as a result, those acquisition opportunities may not be available to us. In addition, our Sponsors may have an interest in our pursuing acquisitions, divestitures, and other transactions that, in their judgment, could enhance their investment, even though such transactions might involve risks to us and our stockholders.
You may be diluted by the future issuance of additional Class A common stock in connection with our incentive plans, acquisitions, or otherwise.
Your percentage ownership in our Class A common stock potentially could be diluted in the future because of additional equity awards that we expect will be granted to our directors, officers and employees. Our 2020 Omnibus Incentive Plan provides for the grant of common stock-based equity awards to our directors, officers and other employees. In addition, we may issue equity in order to raise capital or in connection with future acquisitions and strategic investments, which could dilute your percentage ownership. Any Class A common stock that we issue, including under our 2020 Omnibus Incentive Plan or other equity incentive plans that we may adopt in the future, would dilute the percentage ownership held by our Class A common stockholders.
In the future, we may also issue our securities in connection with investments or acquisitions. The number of shares of our Class A common stock (or securities convertible into or exchangeable for our Class A common stock) issued in connection with an investment or acquisition could constitute a material portion of our then-outstanding shares of Class A common stock. As restrictions on resale end, the market price of our shares of Class A common stock could drop significantly if the holders of these restricted shares sell them or are perceived by the market as intending to sell them. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to raise additional funds through future offerings of our Class A common stock or other securities or to use our Class A common stock as consideration for acquisitions of other businesses, investments, or other corporate purposes.
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We may issue preferred stock whose terms could adversely affect the voting power or value of our Class A common stock.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes us to issue, without the approval of our stockholders, one or more classes or series of preferred stock having such designations, preferences, limitations, and relative rights, including preferences over our Class A common stock respecting dividends and distributions, as our board of directors may determine. The terms of one or more classes or series of preferred stock could adversely impact the voting power or value of our Class A common stock. For example, we might grant holders of preferred stock the right to elect some number of our directors in all events or on the happening of specified events or the right to veto specified transactions. Similarly, the repurchase or redemption rights or liquidation preferences we might assign to holders of preferred stock could affect the residual value of the Class A common stock.
If we or our Pre-IPO Owners sell additional shares of our Class A common stock or are perceived by the public markets as intending to sell them, the market price of our Class A common stock could decline.
The sale of substantial amounts of shares of our Class A common stock in the public market, or the perception that such sales could occur, could harm the prevailing market price of shares of our Class A common stock. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, also might make it more difficult for us to sell shares of our Class A common stock in the future at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate. We have filed a registration statement on Form S-8 under the Securities Act to register shares of our Class A common stock or securities convertible into or exchangeable for shares of our Class A common stock issued pursuant to the 2020 Omnibus Incentive Plan. Such Form S-8 registration statement automatically became effective upon filing. Accordingly, shares registered under such registration statement will be available for sale in the open market. Our registration statement on Form S-8 covers 18,650,000 shares of our Class A common stock. In addition, we have an effective registration statement on Form S-3 under the Securities Act on file that registered 10,287,643 shares of our Class A common stock that may be sold from time to time by certain of our officers and employees prior to the IPO.
In the future, we may also issue our securities in connection with investments or acquisitions. The number of shares of our Class A common stock (or securities convertible into or exchangeable for our Class A common stock) issued in connection with an investment or acquisition could constitute a material portion of our then-outstanding shares of Class A common stock. As restrictions on resale end, the market price of our shares of Class A common stock could drop significantly if the holders of these restricted shares sell them or are perceived by the market as intending to sell them. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to raise additional funds through future offerings of our Class A common stock or other securities or to use our Class A common stock as consideration for acquisitions of other businesses, investments, or other corporate purposes.
Anti-takeover provisions in our organizational documents and Delaware law might discourage or delay acquisition attempts for us that you might consider favorable.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that may make a merger with or acquisition of our Company more difficult without the approval of our board of directors. Among other things, these provisions:
provide that our board of directors is divided into three classes, as nearly equal in size as possible, with directors in each class serving three-year terms and with terms of the directors of only one class expiring in any given year;
provide for the removal of directors only for cause and only upon the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66⅔% in voting power of the outstanding shares of our capital stock entitled to vote if the parties to our stockholders agreement beneficially own less than 50% of the total voting power of all then-outstanding shares of our capital stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors;
allow us to authorize the issuance of shares of one or more series of preferred stock, including in connection with a stockholder rights plan, financing transactions, or otherwise, the terms of which series may be established and the shares of which may be issued without stockholder approval, and which may
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include super voting, special approval, dividend, or other rights or preferences superior to the rights of the holders of common stock;
prohibit stockholder action by written consent by holders of Class A common stock from and after the date on which the parties to our stockholders agreement cease to beneficially own at least 50% of the total voting power of all then-outstanding shares of our capital stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors unless such action is recommended by all directors then in office;
provide for certain limitations on convening special stockholder meetings;
provide (i) that the board of directors is expressly authorized to make, alter, or repeal our bylaws and (ii) that our stockholders may only amend our bylaws with the approval of 66⅔% or more of all of then-outstanding shares of our capital stock entitled to vote if the parties to our stockholders agreement beneficially own less than 50% of the total voting power of all then-outstanding shares of our capital stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors;
provide that certain provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation may be amended only by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66⅔% in voting power of then-outstanding shares of our capital stock entitled to vote if the parties to our stockholders agreement beneficially own less than 50% of the total voting power of all then-outstanding shares of our capital stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors; and
establish advance notice requirements for nominations for elections to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at stockholder meetings.
Further, as a Delaware corporation, we are subject to provisions of Delaware law, which may impede or discourage a takeover attempt that our stockholders may find beneficial. These anti-takeover provisions and other provisions under Delaware law could discourage, delay, or prevent a transaction involving a change in control of our Company, including actions that our stockholders may deem advantageous, or negatively affect the trading price of our Class A common stock. These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for you and other stockholders to elect directors of your choosing and to cause us to take other corporate actions you desire. For further discussion of these and other such anti-takeover provisions, see “Description of Capital Stock—Anti-Takeover Effects of Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws and Certain Provisions of Delaware Law” in Exhibit 4.1 to this Form 10-K.
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Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation designates the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees, or other stockholders.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be the sole and exclusive forum for any (i) derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any current or former director, officer, stockholder or employee of ours to us or our stockholders, (iii) action asserting a claim arising under any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”), our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, or our amended and restated bylaws or as to which the DGCL confers jurisdiction on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, or (iv) action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine of the law of the State of Delaware. Unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the federal district courts of the United States of America shall be the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Exchange Act or the Securities Act. To the fullest extent permitted by law, any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in any shares of our capital stock shall be deemed to have notice of and to have consented to the forum provision in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. This choice-of-forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a different judicial forum, including one that it may find favorable or convenient for a specified class of disputes with us or our directors, officers, other stockholders, or employees, which may discourage such lawsuits. Alternatively, if a court were to find this provision of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation inapplicable or unenforceable with respect to one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations and result in a diversion of the time and resources of our management and board of directors.
General Risk Factors
If we fail to protect and maintain our brand, our ability to attract and retain customers will be impaired, our reputation may be harmed, and our business, results of operations, and financial condition may suffer.
We believe that developing, protecting, and maintaining awareness of our brand is critical to achieving widespread acceptance of our platform and is an important element in attracting new organizations to our platform. Furthermore, we believe that the importance of brand recognition will increase as competition in our market increases. Successful promotion of our brand will depend largely on the effectiveness of our marketing efforts and on our ability to ensure that our products and services remains high-quality, reliable, and useful at competitive prices.
Brand promotion activities may not yield increased revenue, and, even if they do, any increased revenue may not offset the expenses we incur in building our brand. If we fail to successfully promote and maintain our brand, or incur substantial expenses in an unsuccessful attempt to promote and maintain our brand, we may fail to attract new customers to the extent necessary to realize a sufficient return on our brand-building efforts, and our business, results of operations, and financial condition could suffer.
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We may be subject to litigation for any of 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, data privacy, intellectual property, 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. 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. Any claims or litigation, even if fully indemnified or insured, could make it more difficult to compete effectively or to obtain adequate insurance in the future.
In addition, we may be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our contractual, property, and other rights, including collection of payments and fees. Litigation has been and may be necessary in the future to enforce such rights. Such litigation could be costly, time consuming, and distracting to management and could result in the impairment or loss of our rights. Furthermore, our efforts to enforce our rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims, and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of such rights. Our inability to protect our rights as well as any costly litigation or diversion of our management’s attention and resources, could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition or injure our reputation.
We may be subject to liability if we breach our contracts, and our insurance may be inadequate to cover our losses.
We are subject to numerous obligations in our contracts with organizations using our products and services, as well as vendors and other companies with which we do business. We may breach these commitments, whether through a weakness in our procedures, systems, and internal controls, negligence, or through the willful act of an employee or contractor. Our insurance policies, including our errors and omissions insurance, may be inadequate to compensate us for the potentially significant losses that may result from claims arising from breaches of our contracts, as well as disruptions in our services, failures or disruptions to our infrastructure, catastrophic events and disasters, or otherwise.
In addition, our insurance may not cover all claims made against us, and defending a suit, regardless of its merit, could be costly and divert management’s attention. Further, such insurance may not be available to us in the future on economically reasonable terms, or at all.
Change in our credit and other ratings could adversely impact our operations and lower our profitability.
Credit rating and other rating agencies continually revise their ratings and ratings methodologies for the companies that they follow, including us. These rating agencies also evaluate our industry as a whole and may change their credit and other ratings for us based on their overall view of our industry. Failure to maintain our credit ratings on long-term and short-term indebtedness could increase our cost of borrowing, reduce our ability to obtain intra-day borrowing, which we may need to operate our business, and adversely impact our results of operations.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or if they downgrade their recommendations regarding our Class A common stock, our stock price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our Class A common stock is influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts publish about us or our business. We do not control these analysts. If any of the analysts who cover us downgrade our Class A common stock or our industry, or the stock of any of our competitors, or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the price of our Class A common stock may decline. If analysts cease coverage of us or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause the price or trading volume of our Class A common stock to decline and our Class A common stock to be less liquid.
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The market price of shares of our Class A common stock may be volatile or may decline regardless of our operating performance, which could cause the value of your investment to decline.
The market price of our Class A common stock may be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations. Securities markets worldwide experience significant price and volume fluctuations. This market volatility, as well as general economic, market, or political conditions, could reduce the market price of shares of our Class A common stock regardless of our operating performance. You may not be able to resell your shares of our Class A common stock at or above the public offering price due to a number of factors, such as those listed elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section and the following:
we, our competitors, or other comparable companies report operating results below the expectations of public market analysts and investors;
variations in our, our competitors’, or other comparable companies’ quarterly operating results or dividends, if any, to stockholders;
guidance, if any, that we, our competitors, or other comparable companies provide to the public, any changes in this guidance, or failure to meet this guidance;
failure by us or others in our industry to meet analysts’ earnings estimates;
publication of research reports about our industry;
adverse market reaction to any indebtedness we may incur or securities we may issue in the future;
changes in market valuations of similar companies or speculation in the press or investment community;
declines in the market prices of stocks generally, particularly those of similar companies;
announcements by us or our competitors of significant contracts, acquisitions, dispositions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, or capital commitments;
investor perceptions of, or the investment opportunity associated with, our Class A common stock relative to other investment alternatives;
announcements relating to litigation, government investigations, changes in laws, or changes in business or regulatory conditions, or differing interpretations or enforcement thereof;
changes in accounting principles;
adverse publicity about the industries we participate in; or
individual scandals.
Furthermore, the stock market may experience extreme volatility that, in some cases, may be unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of particular companies. These broad market and industry fluctuations may adversely affect the market price of our Class A common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance. In addition, price volatility may be greater if the public float and trading volume of our Class A common stock is low.
In the past, following periods of volatility in the overall market and the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against these companies. This litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources, regardless of the outcome of such litigation.
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We are subject to sanctions, anti-corruption, anti-bribery, and similar laws, and non-compliance with such laws can subject us to criminal penalties or significant fines and harm our business and reputation.
We are subject to requirements under the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, anti-corruption, anti-bribery, and similar laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended (the “FCPA”), the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, and other anti-corruption, anti-bribery, and anti-money laundering laws in countries in which we conduct activities. Anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws have been enforced aggressively in recent years and are interpreted broadly and prohibit companies and their employees and agents from promising, authorizing, making, offering, or providing anything of value to a “foreign official” for the purposes of influencing official decisions or obtaining or retaining business, or otherwise obtaining favorable treatment. As we increase our international sales and business, our risks under these laws may increase. Noncompliance with these laws could subject us to investigations, sanctions, settlements, prosecution, other enforcement actions, disgorgement of profits, significant fines, damages, other civil and criminal penalties or injunctions, adverse media coverage, and other consequences. Any investigations, actions or sanctions could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
In addition, in the future we may use third parties to sell access to our platform and 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 cannot provide assurance that our internal controls and compliance systems will always protect us from liability for acts committed by employees, agents, or business partners of ours (or of businesses we acquire or partner with) that would violate U.S. and/or non-U.S. laws, including the laws governing payments to government officials, bribery, fraud, kickbacks, false claims, pricing, sales and marketing practices, conflicts of interest, competition, employment practices and workplace behavior, export and import compliance, economic and trade sanctions, money laundering, data privacy, and other related laws. Any such improper actions or allegations of such acts could subject us to significant sanctions, including civil or criminal fines and penalties, disgorgement of profits, injunctions, and debarment from government contracts, as well as related stockholder lawsuits and other remedial measures, all of which could adversely affect our reputation, business, financial condition, and results of operations. Software intended to prevent access to our products and service from certain geographies may not be effective in all cases.
Any violation of economic and trade sanction laws, export and import laws, the FCPA, or other applicable anti-corruption laws or anti-money laundering laws could also result in whistleblower complaints, adverse media coverage, investigations, loss of export privileges, severe criminal or civil sanctions, and, in the case of the FCPA, suspension or debarment from U.S. government contracts, any of which could have a materially adverse effect on our reputation, business, results of operations, and prospects.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
Our corporate headquarters is located in Vancouver, Washington and consists of 57,576 square feet under a lease agreement that expires on August 31, 2025. In the third quarter of 2021, we executed a lease to occupy a new corporate headquarters in Vancouver, Washington that will consist of 366,253 square feet upon completion of construction. We plan to take possession of various spaces within our new headquarters in phases as sections of the property are ready for occupancy, with the first phase expected to commence at the earliest in January 2025.
We maintain additional offices in the United States, including in Waltham, Massachusetts; Bellevue, Washington; Bethesda, Maryland; Conshohocken, Pennsylvania; Grand Rapids, Michigan; San Mateo and San Francisco, California; Melville, New York; and Roswell, Georgia; as well as an international presence in Tel Aviv and Ra’anana, Israel, and London, England.
We lease all of our facilities and do not own any real property. Our infrastructure operates out of third-party data centers hosted by Google and Amazon Web Services.
We believe our facilities are adequate and suitable for our current needs. We intend to add new facilities or expand existing facilities as we continue to add employees and expand geographically, and we believe that suitable additional or substitute space will be available as needed to accommodate any such expansion of our operations.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
We are subject to various legal proceedings, claims, and governmental inspections, audits, or investigations that arise in the ordinary course of our business. There are inherent uncertainties in these matters, some of which are beyond management’s control, making the ultimate outcomes difficult to predict. Moreover, management’s views and estimates related to these matters may change in the future, as new events and circumstances arise and the matters continue to develop. Although the outcomes of these claims cannot be predicted with certainty, in the opinion of management, the ultimate resolution of these matters would not be expected to have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations, or cash flows.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.
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PART II
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market Information for Common Stock
Our Class A common stock is listed and traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the trading symbol “ZI.”
Stockholders
As of February 1, 2022, there were 27 holders of record of our Class A common stock. The actual number of stockholders of Class A common stock is greater than this number of record holders, and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners, but whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees. This number of holders of record also does not include stockholders whose shares may be held in trust by other entities.
Dividend Policy
We have no current plans to pay dividends on our Class A common stock. The declaration, amount, and payment of any future dividends on shares of Class A common stock is at the sole discretion of our board of directors, and we may reduce or discontinue entirely the payment of such dividends at any time. Our board of directors may take into account general and economic conditions, our financial condition and operating results, our available cash and current and anticipated cash needs, capital requirements, contractual, legal, tax, and regulatory restrictions and implications on the payment of dividends by us to our stockholders or by our subsidiaries to us, and such other factors as our board of directors may deem relevant.
Stock Performance Graph
The following shall not be deemed “filed” with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any of our other filings under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.
The graph below compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock with the cumulative total return on the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) and the Nasdaq Computer Index (^IXCO), assuming an initial investment of $100 at the market close on June 4, 2020, the date our stock commenced trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Data for the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Computer Index assume reinvestment of dividends.
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The comparisons in the graph below are based upon historical data and are not indicative of, nor intended to forecast, future performance of our common stock.
https://cdn.kscope.io/3174ca474d7564a5e61092dd2d141704-zi-20211231_g1.jpg
Recent Sales of Unregistered Equity Securities
In connection with the OpCo Merger (as defined below), on October 29, 2021, the Company issued 27,824,157 shares of New Class A Common Stock to holders of Class A Common Units, Class P Units, and LTIP Units (in each case, as defined in the limited liability company agreement of ZoomInfo OpCo) immediately prior to the effective time of the OpCo Merger as described under “Recent Developments—UP-C Corporate Structure and Multi-Class Voting Structure Elimination” in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. No underwriters were involved in such issuance of shares of New Class A Common Stock.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table sets forth information with respect to shares of our Class A common stock purchased by the Company during the periods indicated:
Period
Total Number of Shares Purchased (1)
Weighted Average Price Paid Per ShareTotal Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or ProgramsMaximum Number (or Approximate Dollar Value) of Shares that May Yet be Purchased Under the Plan or Programs
October 1 through October 31, 2021— $— — — 
November 1 through November 30, 20216,023 $69.71 — — 
December 1 through December 31, 20217,522 $61.70 — — 
Total13,545 — — 
________________
(1) All of these shares were acquired through the withholding of shares to satisfy tax withholding obligations incurred upon the vesting of HSKB Phantom Units awarded under the HSKB Funds, LLC 2019 Phantom Unit Plan. These shares were not acquired pursuant to any repurchase plan or program.
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ITEM 6. [RESERVED]

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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed below. Factors that could cause or contribute to such difference include, but are not limited to, those identified below and those discussed in the sections titled “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to “ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.” refer to ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. and not to any of its subsidiaries unless the context indicates otherwise. References in this Form 10-K to “ZoomInfo,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer (1) prior to the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions, to ZoomInfo OpCo and its consolidated subsidiaries, (2) after the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions and prior to the consummation of the Holding Company Reorganization,, to ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.) and its consolidated subsidiaries and (3) after the consummation of the Holding Company Reorganization, to ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo NewCo Inc.) and its consolidated subsidiaries unless the context indicates otherwise. Numerical figures included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K have been subject to rounding adjustments. Accordingly, numerical figures shown as totals in various tables may not be arithmetic aggregations of the figures that precede them.
Overview
ZoomInfo is a global leader in modern go-to-market software, data, and intelligence for sales, marketing, operations, and recruiting teams.
RevOS – our modern, cloud-based operating system for revenue professionals allows sales, marketing, operations, and recruiting teams to shorten sales cycles and increase win rates by delivering the right message to the right person at the right time in the right way. We do this by delivering timely competitive intelligence and offering services that make reaching prospects fast and easy.
ZoomInfo, formerly known as DiscoverOrg, was co-founded in 2007 by our CEO, Henry Schuck. We have grown our company by developing innovative ways of gathering and improving our data and insights, and using intelligent automation to put those insights into action.
Today, our company defines the modern go-to-market technology stack across three distinct layers that build upon each other:
Our Intelligence Layer is the foundation of our data-driven strategies. Our best-in-class data, curated through first- and third-party sources, includes billions of data points about companies and contacts, such as intent, hierarchy, location, and financial information.
Our Orchestration Layer stitches together and enriches our data sources. At this stage, our products assign and route data, leads, and insights to the appropriate people. This creates a “living” dataset that is continuously updated and can be used to power automated business workflows. Our services connect with major CRM providers.
Our Engagement Layer, which includes category-competing solutions such as Engage, Chat, and Chorus, allows sales, marketing, operations, and recruiting professionals to put our data-driven insights into action by using multiple channels to reach and communicate with prospects and customers.
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We generate substantially all of our revenue from sales of subscriptions to our platform. Our subscription fees include the use of our platform and access to customer support. Subscriptions generally range from one to three years in length with over 35% of our contracts (based on annualized value) under multi-year agreements. We typically bill our customers at the beginning of each annual, semi-annual, or quarterly period and recognize revenue ratably over the term of the subscription period.
We sell our software to both new and existing customers. Some existing customers continue to renew their subscriptions to pre-acquisition versions of the Pre-Acquisition ZI and DiscoverOrg solutions. We price our subscriptions based on the functionality, users, and records under management that are included in each product edition. Our paid product platforms are SalesOS, MarketingOS, OperationsOS, and RecruitingOS (with add-on options for some platforms), and we have a free Community Edition.
Our software, insights, and data enable over 25,000 companies to sell and market more effectively and efficiently. Our customers operate in almost every industry vertical, including software, business services, manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services, retail, media and internet, transportation, education, hospitality, and real estate. They range from the largest global enterprises, to mid-market companies, down to small businesses. Many of our customers are software and business services companies. In 2021, approximately 44% and 22% of our customers, as measured by ACV, operated in the software and business services industries, respectively. In 2021, less than 4% of our customers, as measured by ACV, operated in the retail, travel, hospitality, consumer goods and services, or oil and gas industries. Our net annual retention rate was 116%, 108%, and 109% in 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively.
For the year ended December 31, 2021, no single customer contributed more than 1% of revenue. Revenues derived from customers and partners located outside the United States, as determined based on the address provided by our customers and partners, accounted for approximately 11%, 9%, and 9% of total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively. As of December 31, 2021, 1,452 customers contracted for more than $100,000 in ACV for ZoomInfo services.
To address our market opportunity, we have built and continue to tune our efficient and comprehensive go-to-market engine. We have integrated our insights and data into an automated engine with defined processes and specialized roles in order to market and sell our services. We are constantly improving the effectiveness of our engine in order to identify and close more business.
We have experienced rapid organic growth, supplemented by additional growth from acquisitions. We generated revenue of $747.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, as compared to revenue for the year ended December 31, 2020 of $476.2 million, and income from operations of $113.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, as compared to income from operations of $37.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. Operating income margin was 15% for the year ended December 31, 2021, as compared to 8% in 2020. In addition to our consolidated U.S GAAP financial measures, we review various non-GAAP financial measures, including Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted Operating Income Margin, and Adjusted Net Income. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below. Our Adjusted Operating Income was $306.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, as compared to $226.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. Our Adjusted Operating Income Margin was 41% for the year ended December 31, 2021, as compared to 47% in 2020. Adjusted Operating Income and Adjusted Operating Margin do not include results of operations from acquired entities before their acquisitions.
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Recent Developments
COVID-19
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to have unpredictable and rapidly shifting impacts on global financial markets, economies, and business practices. The extent and continued impact of the pandemic on our operational and financial condition will depend on certain developments, including: the duration and spread of the outbreak, including the impact of new variants of the COVID-19 virus; global government responses to the pandemic, including continued vaccine availability, deployment, and efficacy; the impact on the health and welfare of our employees and their families; the impact on our customers and our sales cycles; the impact on customer, industry, or employee events; delays in hiring and onboarding new employees; and the effects on our partners, vendors, and supply chains, all of which are uncertain and cannot be predicted. Furthermore, because of our largely subscription-based business model, the effect of the pandemic may not be fully reflected in our results of operations and overall financial condition until future periods, if at all.
To address the safety and health of our employees during the pandemic, in the first quarter of 2020 we temporarily closed all of our offices and enabled our entire workforce to work remotely. Throughout 2021, most of our workforce continued to work remotely. The impact, if any, of these and any additional operational changes we may implement is uncertain, but changes we have implemented to date have not affected, and are not expected to materially affect, our ability to maintain operations, including financial reporting systems, internal control over financial reporting, and disclosure controls and procedures. See “Human Capital” in Part I, Item 1 and “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Acquisitions
In June 2021, the Company acquired all the outstanding equity interests of Insent, a conversational marketing platform, for a total purchase consideration of $34.0 million, consisting of $32.9 million in cash consideration and $1.1 million in estimated deferred consideration. The purchase price was primarily comprised of acquired technology and goodwill. In July 2021, the Company acquired substantially all of the net assets of AffectLayer, Inc. (d/b/a Chorus.ai), a leader in conversation intelligence, for a total purchase consideration of $547.4 million (the “Chorus.ai Acquisition”). The purchase price was primarily comprised of acquired technology and goodwill. The Company funded cash payments made at closing with $225.0 million of revolving credit borrowings under the agreement (the “First Lien Credit Agreement”) governing our existing First Lien Credit Facilities, and the remainder with cash on hand.
In September 2021, the Company acquired substantially all of the net assets of RingLead, an leader in data orchestration and revenue operations automation, for a total purchase consideration of $118.0 million, consisting of $116.9 million in cash consideration and $1.1 million in estimated deferred consideration. The purchase price was primarily comprised of acquired technology and goodwill. The Company has included the financial results of each of these businesses in the consolidated financial statements from their respective dates of acquisition. The purchase accounting for the Insent and Chorus transactions is finalized, but is not yet finalized for the RingLead transaction. Refer to Note 4 - Business Combinations to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K for additional information.
Senior Unsecured Notes Offering
In February 2021, ZoomInfo Technologies LLC and ZoomInfo Finance Corp. (collectively, the “Issuers”), indirect subsidiaries of ZoomInfo Technologies Inc., completed an offering of $350.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 3.875% senior notes due 2029 (the “Existing Notes”). We used all the net proceeds, along with cash on hand, to prepay $356.4 million aggregate principal amount of our first lien term loans outstanding under the first lien credit agreement (the “Debt Prepayment”). Following the Debt Prepayment, as of February 2, 2021, $400.0 million aggregate principal amount of first lien term loans were outstanding under our first lien credit agreement.
In July 2021, the Issuers issued and sold $300.0 million in aggregate principal amount of additional 3.875% senior notes due 2029 (the “Additional Notes”). The notes were issued under the same indenture as the Existing Notes, which were issued in February 2021, and constitute part of the same series as the Existing Notes.
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First Lien Credit Agreement Amendment
In February 2021, ZoomInfo LLC entered into an amendment to our First Lien Credit Agreement, pursuant to which, among other things, the agreement was amended to (i) increase the aggregate commitments to $250.0 million under our first lien revolving credit facility, (ii) add ZoomInfo Technologies LLC as a co-borrower, (iii) reprice of our first lien term loan facility maturing in February 2026 and first lien revolving credit facility and (iv) extend the maturity date of our first lien revolving credit facility to November 2025.
In July 2021, the Company entered into an amendment (the “Credit Agreement Amendment”) to the First Lien Credit Agreement that provided for, among other things, the incurrence of an additional $200.0 million aggregate principal amount of additional term loans under the First Lien Credit Agreement.
The net proceeds from the Credit Agreement Amendment were used, together with the net proceeds from the offering (the “Offering”) by the Issuers the Additional Notes, to (i) repay $225.0 million of outstanding borrowings under the revolving credit facility which were used to pay a portion of the consideration for the Chorus.ai Acquisition, and (ii) pay fees and expenses related to the Credit Agreement Amendment, the Offering and the Chorus.ai Acquisition, and the remainder for general corporate purposes. Refer to Note 8 - Financing Arrangements to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K for additional information.
Corporate Structure Simplification Transactions
In August 2021, the Company completed a series of reorganization transactions to simplify its corporate structure, including the distribution of shares of common stock of RKSI Acquisition Corp (“RKSI”) from ZoomInfo Holdings LLC to ZoomInfo HoldCo, the merger of RKSI with and into ZoomInfo HoldCo with ZoomInfo HoldCo surviving, and the merger of ZoomInfo HoldCo with and into the Company with the Company surviving. Prior to the consummation of the HoldCo Merger, all holders of HoldCo Units (other than the Company) exchanged their HoldCo Units and paired shares of Class B common stock of the Company for shares of Class A common stock of the Company pursuant to the terms of the limited liability company agreement of ZoomInfo HoldCo.
UP-C Corporate Structure and Multi-Class Voting Structure Elimination
In September 2021, the Board of Directors unanimously approved streamlining the Company’s corporate structure and governance by eliminating the Company’s umbrella partnership-C-corporation (“UP-C”) and multi-class voting structure. In October 2021, the Company implemented this reorganization, pursuant to which (i) a subsidiary of ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo NewCo Inc.) (“New ZoomInfo”) merged (the “PubCo Merger”) with and into ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.) (“Old ZoomInfo”), which resulted in New ZoomInfo becoming the direct parent company of Old ZoomInfo, and (ii) immediately thereafter, another subsidiary of New ZoomInfo merged (the “OpCo Merger”) with and into ZoomInfo Holdings LLC (“ZoomInfo OpCo”), which resulted in ZoomInfo OpCo becoming a subsidiary of New ZoomInfo (the “Holding Company Reorganization”). As a result of the Holding Company Reorganization, New ZoomInfo became the successor issuer and reporting company to Old ZoomInfo pursuant to Rule 12g-3(a) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and replaced the Predecessor Registrant as the public company trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (the “Nasdaq”) under the ticker symbol “ZI.”
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In connection with the PubCo Merger, (i) each outstanding share of Old ZoomInfo’s Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share (“Old Class A Common Stock”), was automatically converted into one share of New ZoomInfo’s Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share (“New Class A Common Stock”), having the same designation, rights, powers, and preferences, and qualifications, limitations, and restrictions as a share of Old Class A Common Stock immediately prior to the PubCo Merger, and (ii) each outstanding share of Old ZoomInfo’s Class B common stock, par value $0.01 per share (“Old Class B Common Stock”), was automatically converted into one share of New ZoomInfo’s Class B common stock, par value $0.01 per share (“New Class B Common Stock”), having the same designation, rights, powers, and preferences, and qualifications, limitations, and restrictions as a share of Old Class B Common Stock immediately prior to the PubCo Merger. Accordingly, upon consummation of the PubCo Merger, stockholders of Old ZoomInfo automatically became stockholders of New ZoomInfo, on a one-for-one basis, with the same number and ownership percentage of shares of the same class as they held in Old ZoomInfo immediately prior to the effective time of the PubCo Merger.
In connection with the OpCo Merger, (i) each outstanding Class A Common Unit, Class P Unit and LTIP Unit was automatically converted into the number of shares of New Class A Common Stock equal to the number of shares of Old Class A Common Stock such unit was exchangeable for under the limited liability company agreement of ZoomInfo OpCo and (ii) all outstanding shares of New Class B Common Stock were surrendered to New ZoomInfo and cancelled.
After the consummation of the Holding Company Reorganization, the only class of common stock of the New ZoomInfo remaining issued and outstanding is the New Class A Common Stock. We do not intend to issue any shares of Class B common stock or Class C common stock of New ZoomInfo.
Factors Affecting the Comparability of Our Results of Operations
As a result of a number of factors, our historical results of operations are not comparable from period to period and may not be comparable to our financial results of operations in future periods. Set forth below is a brief discussion of the key factors impacting the comparability of our results of operations.
Impact of the Reorganization Transactions
ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. is a corporation for U.S. federal and state income tax purposes. Our accounting predecessor, ZoomInfo OpCo, was and is treated as a flow-through entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and as such, only certain subsidiaries that were organized as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes have been subject to U.S. federal income tax at the entity level historically. Accordingly, unless otherwise specified, the historical results of operations and other financial information set forth in this Annual Report on Form 10-K only include a provision for U.S. federal income tax for income allocated to those subsidiaries that were organized as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Following the completion of the Reorganization Transactions, ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. pays U.S. federal and state income taxes as a corporation on its share of our taxable income.
ZoomInfo OpCo is the predecessor of ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. for financial reporting purposes. As a result, the consolidated financial statements of ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. recognize the assets and liabilities received in the reorganization at their historical carrying amounts, as reflected in the historical consolidated financial statements of ZoomInfo OpCo, the accounting predecessor.
In addition, in connection with the Reorganization Transactions and the IPO, we entered into the tax receivable agreements described in Note 18 - Tax Receivable Agreements to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
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Initial Public Offering
In June 2020, the company completed its IPO which significantly impacted our cash, first and second lien indebtedness, and temporary and permanent equity balances. See “—Recent Developments.” The IPO, driven by the associated first and second lien term loan repayments, significantly reduced our interest expense relative to historical results.
Impact of Acquisitions
We seek to grow through both internal development and the acquisition of businesses that broaden and strengthen our platform. Our recent acquisitions include Pre-Acquisition ZI in February 2019, Komiko in October 2019, Clickagy in October 2020, EverString in November 2020, Insent in June 2021, Chorus.ai in July 2021, and RingLead in September 2021. As discussed below under “—Results of Operations,” these acquisitions have been a significant driver of our revenue, cost of service, operating expense, and interest expense growth. Purchase accounting requires that all assets acquired and liabilities assumed be recorded at fair value on the acquisition date, including unearned revenue. Revenue from contracts that are impacted by the estimate of fair value of the unearned revenue upon acquisition will be recorded based on the fair value until such contract is terminated or renewed, which will differ from the receipts received by the acquired company allocated over the service period for the same reporting periods.
Impact of the Zoom Information Acquisition
On February 1, 2019, we acquired, through a newly formed wholly owned subsidiary, Zebra Acquisition Corporation, 100% of the stock of Pre-Acquisition ZI for $748.0 million, net of cash acquired (the “Zoom Information Acquisition”). Pre-Acquisition ZI was a provider of company and contact information to sales and marketing professionals.
The Zoom Information Acquisition qualifies as a business combination and was accounted for as such. We included the financial results of Pre-Acquisition ZI in the consolidated financial statements of ZoomInfo OpCo from the date of the Zoom Information Acquisition. Accordingly, the financial statements for the period prior to the Zoom Information Acquisition may not be comparable to those from the periods after the Zoom Information Acquisition.
In connection with the Zoom Information Acquisition, ZoomInfo OpCo entered into an $865.0 million first lien term loan facility, a $100.0 million first lien revolving credit facility, which was undrawn at the time of the acquisition, and a $370.0 million second lien term loan facility, and issued $207.0 million of Series A Preferred Units. In addition to funding the Zoom Information Acquisition, the additional proceeds from such facilities and Series A Preferred Units were used to repay existing debt. These debt facilities drove a significant impact to our interest expense from the date of the acquisition. We would have expected interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2020 to be greater than that of the year ended December 31, 2019 due to the debt being outstanding for the entire period in 2020. However, this increase was mitigated and offset by (a) a reduction in interest rates period over period, and (b) the debt repayments and prepayments referenced above and in Note 8 - Financing Arrangements to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
We recognized approximately $85.3 million of revenue from legacy Pre-Acquisition ZI platform contracts with acquired customers, including the renewals and upsells thereof, during the year ended December 31, 2019, of which $32.3 million was included in the unearned revenue balance recorded at the acquisition date. The fair value of acquired unearned revenue was $34.5 million, which differs from the unearned revenue recorded by Pre-Acquisition ZI immediately prior to the acquisition of $68.3 million. For the year ended December 31, 2019, the amounts received or billed by Pre-Acquisition ZI in advance of revenue recognition as of the acquisition date allocated over the service period post-acquisition was $63.9 million, which was $31.6 million greater than the amount recognized into revenue for those receipts and billings based on their fair value.
We incurred approximately $2.7 million of transaction costs related to the Zoom Information Acquisition. We paid $29.7 million related to the secured credit facilities, which was accounted for as a debt discount. We also incurred $0.6 million in transaction costs associated with issuing the new Series A Preferred Units, which were issued at a 3% discount, which transaction costs were deducted from the proceeds received from the units.
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During 2019, we completed the integration of Pre-Acquisition ZI, including aligning reporting structures for all employees along functional lines, migrating all front-office sales and marketing activities onto a single technology stack with a single instance for key technology components, migrating back-office activities onto a single technology stack, integrating accounting, legal, and human resources activities, including financial reporting processes and benefits for employees, and developing a single platform that is being used for all sales to new customers.
Additionally, as part of the integration of Pre-Acquisition ZI, we identified that certain roles and responsibilities were redundant between the two companies and terminated the employment of certain executives immediately upon the closing of the transaction. We subsequently eliminated additional positions that were no longer needed as a result of the functionally aligned reporting structure, including the Russia operations of Pre-Acquisition ZI, certain development positions in Vancouver, Washington, and certain executives from DiscoverOrg and Pre-Acquisition ZI. Expenses relating to severance paid were recorded as Restructuring and transaction related expenses on our Consolidated Statements of Operations with the majority of those expenses being recognized in the three months ended March, 31, 2019, and not recurring in 2020. Expenses relating to any accelerated payments under the Cash Vesting Payment Program (refer to Note 4 - Business Combinations to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K) were recorded as operating expense according to the functional area aligning to the employee’s salary and is included in integration and transaction-related compensation expenses when calculating non-GAAP metrics.
All new customers are sold the ZoomInfo platform that we released in September 2019. We continue to support pre-existing customers on the legacy DiscoverOrg and Pre-Acquisition ZI platforms, although many pre-existing customers have agreed to upgrade to the ZoomInfo platform. The pricing constructs for subscriptions on the platforms are similar among the platforms and based on a combination of the number of seats to which the customer commits and the level of functionality and data access that the customer requires. Based on the increased level of functionality and data access, upgrading to the ZoomInfo platform will often require an increase in subscription pricing for an equivalent number of users.
We incurred expenses related to the integration of Pre-Acquisition ZI during 2019. Additionally, as part of the purchase of Pre-Acquisition ZI, we agreed with the former owners of Pre-Acquisition ZI to implement a Cash Vesting Payment Program to make payments to employees with respect to unvested options that were canceled at the time of the Zoom Information Acquisition. We agreed to make the payments to employees according to the remaining vesting schedule as of the acquisition date in amounts that would have been paid had the options been vested at the time of the acquisition. We reduced the originally agreed purchase price to the former owners of Pre-Acquisition ZI as a result of agreeing to make such payments. These payments are recorded as expense over the period of service on our Consolidated Statements of Operations in the same expense line item as the salary of recipients, and we will continue to record expense for the majority of employees until 2021, and for some employees into 2022. Additionally, we engaged consulting firms and other professional services firms to help integrate our companies, including developing branding and pricing strategies for the combined platform. These expenses were recorded as Sales and marketing and General and administrative expenses on our Consolidated Statements of Operations. For analyses and non-GAAP metrics that include adjustments to operating expenses, the expenses are deemed to be integration expenses and acquisition-related compensation.
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Equity-Based Compensation
In December 2019, HSKB modified all outstanding awards to add an alternative performance and time vesting condition and to also permit settlement through exchange into the Company’s public shares in addition to the existing cash-settlement option. This modification resulted in the revaluation of the awards in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Through the date of modification, no equity-based compensation had been recognized for these awards as the qualifying event (i.e., the IPO) was not probable. Upon completion of the IPO, the Company recognized $57.6 million of additional compensation expense attributable to service periods already elapsed on HSKB awards and the acceleration of vesting select Class P Units. The remaining unamortized fair value as of the modification date will be recognized as equity-based compensation over the remaining service period of the awards. In addition to the impact of the modified HSKB awards, new awards and modifications that took place as part of the Reorganization Transactions and the IPO has contributed to higher equity-based compensation expense in 2020 and 2021. Refer to Note 16 - Equity-based Compensation to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K for unamortized equity-based compensation costs related to each type of equity-based incentive award.
Impact of the Holding Company Reorganization
In September 2021, the Board of Directors unanimously approved streamlining the Company’s corporate structure and governance by eliminating the Company’s UP-C and multi-class voting structure. In October 2021, the Company implemented the Holding Company Reorganization. As a result of the Holding Company Reorganization, New ZoomInfo became the successor issuer and reporting company to Old ZoomInfo pursuant to Rule 12g-3(a) under the Exchange Act, and replaced Old ZoomInfo as the public company trading on the Nasdaq under Old ZoomInfo’s ticker symbol “ZI.” In addition, New ZoomInfo changed its name to “ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.” and Old ZoomInfo changed its name to “ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc.”
Accordingly, upon consummation of the Holding Company Reorganization, Old ZoomInfo stockholders automatically became stockholders of New ZoomInfo, on a one-for-one basis, with the same number and ownership percentage of shares they held in Old ZoomInfo immediately prior to the effective time of the Holding Company Reorganization.
Old ZoomInfo is the predecessor of New ZoomInfo for financial reporting purposes. As a result, the consolidated financial statements of New ZoomInfo recognize the assets and liabilities received in the reorganization at their historical carrying amounts, as reflected in the historical consolidated financial statements of Old ZoomInfo, the accounting predecessor.
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Key Factors Affecting Our Performance
We believe that the growth and future success of our business depends on many factors, including the following:
Continuing to Acquire New Customers
We are focused on continuing to grow the number of customers that use our platform. The majority of revenue growth when comparing the year ended December 31, 2021 to the year ended December 31, 2020 was the result of new customers added over the last 24 months. Our operating results and growth prospects will depend, in part, on our ability to continue to attract new customers. Additionally, acquiring new customers strengthens the power of our contributory network. We will need to continue to invest in our efficient go-to-market effort to acquire new customers. As of December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, we had over 25,000, 20,000, and 14,000 customers, respectively. We define a customer as a company that maintains one or more active paid subscriptions to our platform.
Delivering Additional High-Value Solutions to Our Existing Customers
Many of our customers purchase additional high-value solutions as they expand their use of our platform. Customers add additional services and/or upgrade their platform. We believe there is a significant opportunity for expansion with our existing customers through additional solutions.
Expanding Relationships with Existing Customers
Many of our customers increase spending with us by adding users or integrating incremental data as they increase their use of our platform. Several of our largest customers have expanded the deployment of our platform across their organizations following their initial deployment. We believe there is a significant opportunity to add additional users and data integration within our existing customers.
We believe that expanding the value that we provide to our customers and the corresponding revenue generated as a result is an important measure of the health of our business. We monitor net revenue retention to measure that growth. Net revenue retention is an annual metric that we calculate based on customers that were contracted for services at the beginning of the year, or, for those that became customers through an acquisition, at the time of the acquisition. Net revenue retention is calculated as: (a) the ACV for those customers at the end of the year divided by (b) ZoomInfo ACV at the beginning of the year plus the ACV of acquired companies at the time of acquisition. Our net annual retention rate was 116%, 108%, and 109% for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively. We also measure our success in expanding relationships with existing customers by the number of customers that contract for more than $100,000 in ACV. As of December 31, 2021, we had 1,452 customers with over $100,000 in ACV.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In addition to our results determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, we believe certain non-GAAP measures are useful in evaluating our operating performance. These measures include, but are not limited to, Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted Operating Income Margin, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Net Income, and Adjusted Net Income per diluted share which are used by management in making operating decisions, allocating financial resources, internal planning and forecasting, and for business strategy purposes. We believe that non-GAAP financial information is useful to investors because it eliminates certain items that affect period-over-period comparability, and it provides consistency with past financial performance and additional information about our underlying results and trends by excluding certain items that may not be indicative of our business, results of operations, or outlook.
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We view Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted Operating Income Margin, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted Net Income per diluted share as operating performance measures. We believe that the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measure to Adjusted Operating Income is U.S. GAAP operating income. We believe that the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measure to Adjusted Operating Income Margin is U.S. GAAP operating income divided by U.S. GAAP revenue. We believe that the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measure to Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income is U.S. GAAP Net Income, and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measure to Adjusted Net Income per diluted share is U.S. GAAP net earnings per diluted share.
Non-GAAP financial measures are not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the comparable GAAP measures, but rather as supplemental information to our business results. This information should be read only in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP. There are limitations to these non-GAAP financial measures because they are not prepared in accordance with GAAP and may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies due to potential differences in methods of calculation and items or events being adjusted. In addition, other companies may use different measures to evaluate their performance, all of which could reduce the usefulness of our non-GAAP financial measures as tools for comparison. A reconciliation is provided below for each non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable financial measure stated in accordance with GAAP.
Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted Operating Income Margin, and Adjusted Net Income
We define Adjusted Operating Income as income from operations plus (i) impact of fair value adjustments to acquired unearned revenue, (ii) amortization of acquired technology and other acquired intangibles, (iii) equity-based compensation expense, (iv) restructuring and transaction-related expenses, and (v) integration costs and acquisition-related compensation. We exclude the impact of fair value adjustments to acquired unearned revenue and amortization of acquired technology and other acquired intangibles, as well as equity-based compensation, because these are non-cash expenses or non-cash fair value adjustments and we believe that excluding these items provides meaningful supplemental information regarding performance and ongoing cash-generation potential. We exclude restructuring and transaction-related expenses, as well as integration costs and acquisition-related compensation, because such expenses are episodic in nature and have no direct correlation to the cost of operating our business on an ongoing basis. Adjusted Operating Income is presented because it is used by management to evaluate our financial performance and for planning and forecasting purposes. Additionally, we believe that it and similar measures are widely used by securities analysts and investors as a means of evaluating a company’s operating performance. Adjusted Operating Income should not be considered as an alternative to operating income as an indicator of operating performance.
We define Adjusted Net Income as Adjusted Operating Income less (i) interest expense, net (ii) other (income) expense, net, excluding TRA liability remeasurement expense (benefit) and (iii) income tax expense (benefit) including incremental tax effects of adjustments to arrive at Adjusted Operating Income and current tax benefits related to the TRA. Adjusted Net Income is presented because it is used by management to evaluate our financial performance and for planning and forecasting purposes. Additionally, we believe that it and similar measures are widely used by securities analysts and investors as a means of evaluating a company’s operating performance. Adjusted Net Income should not be considered as an alternative to cash flows from operating activities as a measure of liquidity or as an alternative to operating income or net income as indicators of operating performance.
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The following table presents a reconciliation of Net income (loss) to Adjusted Net Income and Income (loss) from operations to Adjusted Operating Income for the periods presented:
Year Ended December 31,
($ in millions)202120202019
Net income (loss)$94.9 $(36.4)$(78.0)
Add (less): Expense (benefit) from income taxes6.1 4.7 (6.5)
Add: Interest expense, net43.9 69.3 102.4 
Add: Loss on debt modification and extinguishment7.7 14.9 18.2 
Add (less): Other expense (income), net (a)
(39.3)(15.4)— 
Income (loss) from operations$113.3 $37.1 $36.1 
Add: Impact of fair value adjustments to acquired unearned revenue (b)
4.6 2.6 32.2
Add: Amortization of acquired technology35.3 23.3 25.0
Add: Amortization of other acquired intangibles20.3 18.7 17.6
Add: Equity-based compensation93.0 121.6 25.1
Add: Restructuring and transaction-related expenses (c)
23.7 13.8 15.6
Add: Integration costs and acquisition-related expenses (d)
16.4 9.0 15.5
Adjusted Operating Income$306.6 $226.0 $167.1 
Less: Interest expense, net(43.9)(69.3)(102.4)
Less (add): Other expense (income), net, excluding TRA liability remeasurement (benefit) expense(0.3)(0.3)— 
Add (less): Benefit (expense) from income taxes(6.1)(4.7)6.5 
Less: Tax impacts of adjustments to net income (loss)(25.3)(13.5)(9.3)
Adjusted Net Income$231.1 $138.2 $62.0 
__________________
(a)Primarily represents revaluations on tax receivable agreement liability and foreign exchange remeasurement gains and losses.
(b)Represents the impact of fair value adjustments to acquired unearned revenue relating to services billed by an acquired company prior to our acquisition of that company. These adjustments represent the difference between the revenue recognized based on management’s estimate of fair value of acquired unearned revenue and the receipts billed prior to the acquisition less revenue recognized prior to the acquisition.
(c)Represents costs directly associated with acquisition or disposal activities, including employee severance and termination benefits, contract termination fees and penalties, and other exit or disposal costs. For the year ended December 31, 2021, this expense related primarily to costs incurred related to 2021 acquisitions and impairment charges related to the Company’s Waltham office relocation. For the year ended December 31, 2020, this expense related primarily to professional fees for the preparation for an initial public offering and deferred acquisition cost revaluations. For the year ended December 31, 2019, this expense related primarily to the acquisition of Pre-Acquisition ZI, including professional fees, severance, and acceleration of payments for terminated employees.
(d)Represents costs directly associated with integration activities for acquisitions and acquisition-related compensation, which includes transaction bonuses and retention awards. For the year ended December 31, 2021, this expense related primarily to retention awards from the acquisitions of Clickagy and Everstring, cash vesting payments from the acquisition of Pre-Acquisition ZI, and professional fees incurred to integrate acquired businesses. For the year ended December 31, 2020, this expense related primarily to cash vesting payments from the acquisition of Pre-Acquisition ZI. For the year ended December 31, 2019, this expense related primarily to activities resulting from the acquisition of Pre-Acquisition ZI, including cash vesting payments and transaction bonuses, as well as expense incurred for retention awards granted upon the Company’s acquisitions of RainKing, NeverBounce, and Komiko. Refer to Note 4 - Business Combinations to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K for additional information. This expense is included in cost of service, sales and marketing expense, research and development expense, and general and administrative expense as follows:
Year Ended December 31,
($ in millions)202120202019
Cost of service$2.1 $0.4 $0.4 
Sales and marketing6.1 3.5 5.8 
Research and development5.8 4.1 3.9 
General and administrative2.4 1.1 5.4 
Total integration costs and acquisition-related compensation
$16.4 $9.0 $15.5 
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We define Adjusted Operating Income Margin as Adjusted Operating Income divided by the sum of revenue and the impact of fair value adjustments to acquired unearned revenue.
Year Ended December 31,
($ in millions)202120202019
Adjusted Operating Income$306.6 $226.0 $167.1 
Revenue747.2 476.2 293.3 
Impact of fair value adjustments to acquired unearned revenue4.6 2.6 32.2 
Revenue for adjusted operating margin calculation$751.8 $478.8 $325.6 
Adjusted Operating Income Margin41 %47 %51 %
Adjusted Operating Income for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $306.6 million and represented an Adjusted Operating Income Margin of 41%. Adjusted Operating Income for the year ended December 31, 2020 was $226.0 million and represented an Adjusted Operating Income Margin of 47%. Growth in Adjusted Operating Income in the year ended December 31, 2021 relative to the year ended December 31, 2020 was an increase of $80.6 million, or 36%, and was driven primarily from the growth in customers and increasing revenue from existing customers. Adjusted Operating Income Margin decreased to 41% in the year ended December 31, 2021 from 47% in the year ended December 31, 2020 due to increased investment in research and development and sales and marketing capacity that has helped accelerate revenue growth, as well as general and administrative costs to support incremental public company related requirements.
Adjusted Operating Income for the year ended December 31, 2019 was $167.1 million and represented an Adjusted Operating Income Margin of 51%. Growth in Adjusted Operating Income in the year ended December 31, 2020 relative to the year ended December 31, 2019 was an increase of $58.8 million, or 35%, and was driven primarily from the growth in customers and increasing revenue from existing customers. Adjusted Operating Income Margin decreased to 47% in the year ended December 31, 2020 from 51% in the year ended December 31, 2019 due to incremental sales and marketing expenses related to signing new customers and retaining and upselling existing customers, and general and administrative costs to support incremental public company related requirements.
Adjusted EBITDA
EBITDA is defined as earnings before debt-related costs, including interest and loss on debt modification and extinguishment, provision for taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Management further adjusts EBITDA to exclude certain items of a significant or unusual nature, including other (income) expense, net, impact of certain non-cash items, such as fair value adjustments to acquired unearned revenue and equity-based compensation, restructuring and transaction-related expenses, and integration costs and acquisition-related compensation. We exclude these items because these are non-cash expenses or non-cash fair value adjustments, which we do not consider indicative of performance and ongoing cash-generation potential or are episodic in nature and have no direct correlation to the cost of operating our business on an ongoing basis. Adjusted EBITDA is presented because it is used by management to evaluate our financial performance and for planning and forecasting purposes. Additionally, we believe that it and similar measures are widely used by securities analysts and investors as a means of evaluating a company’s operating performance. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to cash flows from operating activities as a measure of liquidity or as an alternative to operating income or net income as indicators of operating performance.
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The following table presents a reconciliation of net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA for the periods presented:
Year Ended December 31,
($ in millions)202120202019
Net income (loss)$94.9 $(36.4)$(78.0)
Add (less): Expense (benefit) from income taxes6.1 4.7 (6.5)
Add: Interest expense, net43.9 69.3 102.4 
Add: Loss on debt modification and extinguishment7.7 14.9 18.2 
Add: Depreciation13.7 8.9 6.1 
Add: Amortization of acquired technology35.3 23.3 25.0 
Add: Amortization of other acquired intangibles20.3 18.7 17.6 
EBITDA$222.0 $103.4 $84.8 
Add (less): Other expense (income), net (a)
(39.3)(15.4)— 
Add: Impact of fair value adjustments to acquired unearned revenue (b)
4.6 2.6 32.2 
Add: Equity-based compensation expense93.0 121.6 25.1 
Add: Restructuring and transaction related expenses (excluding depreciation) (c)
21.6 13.8 15.6 
Add: Integration costs and acquisition-related expenses (d)
16.4 9.0 15.5 
Adjusted EBITDA$318.2 $234.8 $173.2 
__________________
(a)Primarily represents revaluations on tax receivable agreement liability and foreign exchange remeasurement gains and losses.
(b)Represents the impact of fair value adjustments to acquired unearned revenue relating to services billed by an acquired company prior to our acquisition of that company. These adjustments represent the difference between the revenue recognized based on management’s estimate of fair value of acquired unearned revenue and the receipts billed prior to the acquisition less revenue recognized prior to the acquisition.
(c)Represents costs directly associated with acquisition or disposal activities, including employee severance and termination benefits, contract termination fees and penalties, and other exit or disposal costs. For the year ended December 31, 2021, this expense related primarily to costs incurred related to 2021 acquisitions and impairment charges related to the Company’s Waltham office relocation. For the year ended December 31, 2020, this expense related primarily to professional fees for the preparation for an initial public offering and deferred acquisition cost revaluations. For the year ended December 31, 2019, this expense related primarily to the acquisition of Pre-Acquisition ZI, including professional fees, severance and acceleration of payments for terminated employees.
(d)Represents costs directly associated with integration activities for acquisitions and acquisition-related compensation, which includes transaction bonuses and retention awards. For the year ended December 31, 2021, this expense related primarily to retention awards from the acquisitions of Clickagy and Everstring, cash vesting payments from the acquisition of Pre-Acquisition ZI, and professional fees incurred to integrate acquired businesses. For the year ended December 31, 2020, this expense related primarily to cash vesting payments from the acquisition of Pre-Acquisition ZI. For the year ended December 31, 2019, this expense related primarily to activities resulting from the acquisition of Pre-Acquisition ZI, including cash vesting payments and transaction bonuses, as well as expense incurred for retention awards granted upon the Company’s acquisitions of RainKing, NeverBounce, and Komiko. Refer to Note 4 - Business Combinations to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K for additional information. This expense is included in cost of service, sales and marketing expense, research and development expense, and general and administrative expense as follows:
Year Ended December 31,
($ in millions)202120202019
Cost of service$2.1 $0.4 $0.4 
Sales and marketing6.1 3.55.8
Research and development5.8 4.13.9
General and administrative2.4 1.15.4
Total integration costs and acquisition-related expenses$16.4 $9.0 $15.5 
Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $318.2 million, an increase of $83.4 million, or 36%, relative to the year ended December 31, 2020. This growth was driven primarily from the growth in revenue that resulted from additional customers in 2021 and 2020.
Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2020 was $234.8 million, an increase of $61.6 million, or 36%, relative to the year ended December 31, 2019. This growth was driven primarily from the growth in revenue that resulted from additional customers in 2020 and 2019.
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Components of Our Results of Operations
Revenue
We derive 99% of our revenue from subscription services and the remainder from recurring usage-based services. Our subscription services consist of our SaaS applications. Pricing of our subscription contracts are generally based on the functionality provided, the number of users that access our applications, the amount of data that the customer integrates into their systems. Our subscription contracts typically have a term ranging from one to three years and are non-cancelable. We typically bill for services in advance either annually, semi-annually or quarterly, and we typically require payment at the beginning of each annual, semi-annual or quarterly period.
Subscription revenue is generally recognized ratably over the contract term starting with when our service is made available to the customer. Recurring usage-based revenue is recognized in the period services are utilized by our customers. The amount of revenue recognized reflects the consideration we expect to be entitled to receive in exchange for these services. We record a contract asset when revenue recognized on a contract exceeds the billings to date for that contract.
Unearned revenue results from cash received or amounts billed to customers in advance of revenue recognized upon the satisfaction of performance obligations. The unearned revenue balance is influenced by several factors, including purchase accounting adjustments, seasonality, the compounding effects of renewals, invoice duration, invoice timing, dollar size, and new business timing within the period. The unearned revenue balance does not represent the total contract value of annual or multi-year, non-cancelable subscription agreements.
Cost of Service
Cost of service, excluding amortization of acquired technology. Cost of service, excluding amortization of acquired technology includes direct expenses related to the support and operations of our SaaS services and related to our research teams, including salaries, benefits, equity-based compensation, and related expenses, such as employer taxes, allocated overhead for facilities, IT, third-party hosting fees, third-party data costs, and amortization of internally developed capitalized software.
We anticipate that we will continue to invest in costs of service and that costs of service as a percentage of revenue will stay consistent or modestly decrease as we realize operating leverage in the business.
Amortization of acquired technology. Amortization of acquired technology includes amortization expense for technology acquired in business combinations.
We anticipate that amortization of acquired technology will increase if we make additional acquisitions in the future.
Gross Profit and Gross Margin
Gross profit is revenue less cost of service, and gross margin is gross profit as a percentage of revenue. Gross profit has been and will continue to be affected by various factors, including leveraging economies of scale, the costs associated with third-party hosting services and third-party data, the level of amortization of acquired technology, and the extent to which we expand our customer support and research organizations. We expect that our gross margin will fluctuate from period to period depending on the interplay of these various factors.
Operating Expenses
Our operating expenses consist of sales and marketing, research and development, general and administrative, restructuring and transaction expenses, and amortization of acquired intangibles (other than acquired technology). The most significant component of our operating expenses is personnel costs, which consists of salaries, bonuses, sales commissions, stock-based compensation, and other employee-related benefits. Operating expenses also include overhead costs for facilities, technology, professional fees, depreciation and amortization expense, and marketing.
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Sales and marketing. Sales and marketing expenses primarily consist of employee compensation such as salaries, bonuses, sales commissions, equity-based compensation, and other employee-related benefits for our sales and marketing teams, as well as overhead costs, technology, and marketing programs. Sales commissions and related payroll taxes directly related to contract acquisition are capitalized and recognized as expenses over the estimated period of benefit.
We anticipate that we will continue to invest in sales and marketing capacity to enable future growth, but that sales and marketing expense as a percentage of revenue will decrease as equity-based compensation expense related to the modification of HSKB awards and triggered by the IPO become a less significant component of overall sales and marketing expense. We anticipate that sales and marketing expense excluding equity-based compensation will fluctuate from period to period depending on the interplay of our growing investments in sales and marketing capacity excluding equity-based compensation, the recognition of revenue, and the amortization of contract acquisition costs.
Research and development. Research and development expenses support our efforts to enhance our existing platform and develop new software products. Research and development expenses primarily consist of employee compensation such as salaries, bonuses, equity-based compensation, and other employee-related benefits for our engineering and product management teams, as well as overhead costs. Research and development expenses do not reflect amortization of internally developed capitalized software. We believe that our core technologies and ongoing innovation represent a significant competitive advantage for us, and we expect our research and development expenses to continue to increase as we invest in research and development resources to further strengthen and enhance our solutions.
We anticipate that we will continue to invest in research and development in order to develop new features and functionality to drive incremental customer value in the future and that research and development expense as a percentage of revenue will modestly increase in the long term.
General and administrative. General and administrative expenses primarily consist of employee-related costs such as salaries, bonuses, equity-based compensation, and other employee related benefits for our executive, finance, legal, human resources, IT, and business operations and administrative teams, as well as overhead costs. Additionally, we incur expenses for professional fees including legal services, accounting, and other consulting services, including those associated with operating as a public company.
We expect general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue to stay consistent or modestly decrease from 2021 as we realize operating leverage in the business.
Amortization of other acquired intangibles. Amortization of acquired intangibles primarily consists of amortization of customer relationships, trade names, and brand portfolios.
We anticipate that amortization of other acquired intangibles will increase if we make additional acquisitions in the future.
Restructuring and transaction related expenses. Restructuring and transaction expenses primarily consist of various restructuring and acquisition activities we have undertaken to achieve strategic or financial objectives. Restructuring and acquisition activities include, but are not limited to, consolidation of offices and responsibilities, office relocation, administrative cost structure realignment, and acquisition-related professional services fees.
We anticipate that restructuring and transaction expenses will be correlated with future acquisition activity or strategic restructuring activities, which could be greater than or less than our historic levels.
Interest Expense, Net
Interest expense represents the interest payable on our debt obligations and the amortization of debt discounts and debt issuance costs, less interest income.
We anticipate that interest expense could be impacted by changes in variable interest rates or the issuance of additional debt.
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Loss on Debt Modification and Extinguishment
Loss on debt modification and extinguishment consists of prepayment penalties and impairment of deferred financing costs associated with the modification or extinguishment of debt, as well as new fees incurred with third parties in connection with debt modifications.
We anticipate that losses related to debt extinguishment will only occur if we extinguish indebtedness before the contractual repayment dates.
Other (Income) Expense, Net
Other (income) expense, net consists primarily of the revaluation of tax receivable agreement liabilities and foreign currency realized and unrealized gains and losses related to the impact of transactions denominated in a foreign currency.
Changes to existing tax law including changes to the corporate income tax rates and the Company’s state tax footprint could lead to substantial revaluations of the tax receivable agreement liability recorded through other income and expense, net.
The magnitude of other income and expenses, net may increase as we expand operations internationally and add complexity to our operations.
Income Tax Expense (Benefit)
ZoomInfo OpCo is currently treated as a pass-through entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes and most applicable state and local income tax purposes. Income tax expense (benefit), Deferred tax assets, Deferred tax liabilities, and liabilities for unrecognized tax benefits reflect management’s best assessment of estimated current and future taxes to be paid by our corporate subsidiaries and, to the extent paid directly by our limited liability companies and partnerships that are treated as partnerships for tax purposes, our partnerships. Our corporate subsidiary, RKSI Acquisition Corporation was subject to income taxes in the United States and held noncontrolling interests in our subsidiary, ZoomInfo Technologies LLC. ZoomInfo Technologies LLC was treated as a partnership for U.S. federal and most applicable state and local income tax purposes. Any taxable income or loss generated by ZoomInfo Technologies LLC during the period it was treated as a partnership for income tax purposes was passed through to and included in the taxable income or loss of its partners, including ZoomInfo LLC, and RKSI Acquisition Corporation. However, because RKSI Acquisition Corporation is subject to income taxes in the United States, income allocated to such corporate subsidiary for tax purposes reduced the taxable income allocated to and distributions made to ZoomInfo OpCo. During the three months ended September 30, 2021, RKSI Acquisition Corporation was distributed up to ZoomInfo HoldCo followed by the merger of RKSI Acquisition Corporation with and into ZoomInfo HoldCo and the merger of ZoomInfo HoldCo with and into ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. Significant judgments and estimates are required in determining our consolidated income tax expense. Refer to Note 2 - Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K for additional information. During the three months ended December 31, 2021, ZoomInfo Technologies LLC made an election to be taxed as a corporation. Therefore, taxable income from the operations will no longer flow up to ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc.
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After consummation of the Reorganization Transactions, ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. became subject to U.S. federal income taxes with respect to our allocable share of any U.S. taxable income of ZoomInfo OpCo, and is taxed at the prevailing corporate tax rates. ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. is treated as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal, state, and local income tax purposes. Accordingly, a provision for income taxes will be recorded for the anticipated tax consequences of our reported results of operations for federal income taxes. In addition to tax expenses, we also will incur expenses related to our operations, as well as payments under the tax receivable agreements, which we expect to be significant. In addition, because RKSI Acquisition Corporation (prior to its merger with and into ZoomInfo HoldCo) and Zebra Acquisition Corporation (prior to its merger with RKSI Acquisition Corporation) will continue to be subject to income taxes in the United States, income allocated to such corporate subsidiaries for tax purposes will reduce the distributions made to ZoomInfo OpCo, thereby reducing our allocable share of U.S. taxable income of ZoomInfo OpCo. See “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure” in Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K.
Results of Operations
The following table presents our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020, and 2019:
Year Ended December 31,
($ in millions)202120202019
Revenue$747.2 $476.2 $293.3 
Cost of service:
Cost of service(1)
101.4 84.2 43.6 
Amortization of acquired technology35.3 23.3 25.0 
Gross profit610.5 368.7 224.7 
Operating expenses:
Sales and marketing(1)
241.1 184.9 90.2 
Research and development(1)
119.7 51.4 30.1 
General and administrative(1)
92.4 62.8 35.1 
Amortization of other acquired intangibles20.3 18.7 17.6 
Restructuring and transaction related expenses23.7 13.8 15.6 
Total operating expenses497.2 331.6 188.6 
Income (loss) from operations113.3 37.1 36.1 
Interest expense, net43.9 69.3 102.4
Loss on debt modification and extinguishment7.7 14.9 18.20 
Other (income) expense, net(39.3)(15.4)— 
Income (loss) before income taxes101.0 (31.7)(84.5)
Income tax expense (benefit)6.1 4.7 (6.5)
Net income (loss)94.9 (36.4)(78.0)
Less: Net income (loss) attributable to ZoomInfo OpCo prior to the Reorganization Transactions— (5.1)(78.0)
Less: Net income (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests(21.9)(27.3)— 
Net income (loss) attributable to ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.$116.8 $(4.0)$— 
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__________________
(1)Includes equity-based compensation expense as follows:
Year Ended December 31,
($ in millions)202120202019
Cost of service$13.2 $27.4 $4.0 
Sales and marketing38.2 62.6 11.2 
Research and development24.3 13.6 4.7 
General and administrative17.3 18.0 5.2 
Total equity-based compensation expense$93.0 $121.6 $25.1 

Year Ended December 31, 2021 and Year Ended December 31, 2020
Revenue. Revenue was $747.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, an increase of $271.0 million, or 57%, as compared to $476.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. This increase was primarily due to the addition of new customers over the past 12 months and net expansion with existing customers. Products acquired within the last 12 months contributed $13.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Cost of service. Cost of service was $136.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, an increase of $29.2 million, or 27%, as compared to $107.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The increase was primarily due to additional headcount and related salaries and benefits, hosting expense to support new and growing customers, and increased amortization of acquired technology related to acquisitions, partially offset by reduced equity-based compensation expense.
Operating Expenses. Operating expenses were $497.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, an increase of $165.6 million, or 50%, as compared to $331.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. Excluding equity-based compensation expenses, operating expenses were $417.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, an increase of $180.0 million, or 76%, as compared to $237.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The increase excluding equity-based compensation was primarily due to:
an increase in sales and marketing expense (excluding a decrease in equity-based compensation of $24.4 million) of $80.5 million, or 66%, to $202.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, due primarily to additional headcount and related salaries and benefits expenses added to drive continued incremental sales, additional commission expense and amortization of deferred commissions related to obtaining contracts with customers and additional marketing expense;
an increase in research and development expense (excluding an increase in equity-based compensation of $10.7 million) of $57.6 million, or 152%, to $95.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, due primarily to additional headcount and related salaries and benefits expenses to support continued innovation of our services;
an increase in general and administrative expense (excluding a decrease in equity-based compensation of $0.7 million) of $30.4 million, or 68%, to $75.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, due primarily to additional headcount and related salaries and benefits expenses, and corporate expenses to support the larger organization;
an increase in amortization of acquired intangibles expense of $1.6 million, or 9%, to $20.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, due to amortization expense related to intangible assets acquired from 2021 acquisitions during the full period for the current year; and
an increase in restructuring and transaction-related expense of $9.9 million, or 72%, to $23.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, due to costs incurred in completing 2021 acquisitions and Reorganization Transactions, and impairment and accelerated depreciation related to the Company’s Waltham office relocation offset by a decrease in IPO costs incurred in the year ended December 31, 2020 that did not reoccur.
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Interest expense, net. Interest expense, net was $43.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, a decrease of $25.4 million, or 37%, as compared to $69.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The decrease was primarily due to lower average cost of debt due to the net impact of the repayment of the second lien debt and $100.0 million first lien debt principal repayment in June 2020, the first lien debt repricing and debt prepayment in February 2021, and increases in the amount of debt resulting from the February and July 2021 issuances of Senior Notes.
Loss on debt modification and extinguishment. Loss on debt modification and extinguishment was $7.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, primarily related to the write-off of unamortized debt issuance costs resulting from the February 2021 Debt Prepayment. This represented a decrease of $7.2 million, or 48%, as compared to expense of $14.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, related to penalties and derecognition of deferred and unamortized debt issuance costs resulting from the repayment of the second lien term loans and $100.0 million first lien term loan principal repayment after the IPO that did not reoccur.
Other (income) expense, net. Other income was $39.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, an increase of $23.8 million, as compared to Other income of $15.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to the recognition of a TRA remeasurement gain of $39.5 million.
Income tax expense (benefit). Expense from income taxes for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $6.1 million, representing an effective tax rate of 6.1%, as compared to expense from income taxes of $4.7 million, representing an effective tax rate of (14.8)% for the year ended December 31, 2020. The 2021 effective tax rate is lower than the statutory rate primarily due to a benefit from the election to tax ZoomInfo Technologies LLC as a corporation partially offset by non-cash tax expense due to shifts in GAAP basis. The 2020 effective tax rate was lower than the statutory rate primarily due to the impact of nondeductible stock compensation applied to a net loss.
Year Ended December 31, 2020 and Year Ended December 31, 2019
Revenue. Revenue was $476.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, an increase of $182.9 million, or 62%, as compared to $293.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. This increase was primarily due to the addition of new customers over the 18 months ended December 31, 2020 and net expansion with existing customers, and, to a lesser extent, due to the recognition of revenue for renewed contracted value, as opposed to the fair value ascribed to acquired contracts under purchase accounting during the prior year period or recognized by Pre-Acquisition ZI before the acquisition on February 1, 2019. Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020 include $2.0 million from products acquired during the period.
Cost of service. Cost of service was $107.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, an increase of $38.8 million, or 57%, as compared to $68.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The increase was primarily due to additional equity-based compensation expense related to grants previously made by HSKB, modified in December 2019, and triggered by the IPO. Additional expenses related to additional headcount and hosting expense to support new and growing customers also contributed to the increase.
Operating Expenses. Operating expenses were $331.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, an increase of $143.0 million, or 76%, as compared to $188.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The increase was primarily due to additional equity-based compensation expense related to grants previously made by HSKB, modified in December 2019, and triggered by the IPO. Excluding equity-based compensation expenses, operating expenses were $237.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, an increase of $70.0 million, or 42%, as compared to $167.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The increase was primarily due to:
an increase in sales and marketing expense (excluding an increase in equity-based compensation of $51.3 million) of $43.4 million, or 55%, to $122.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, due primarily to additional headcount and related salaries and benefits expenses added to drive continued incremental sales, as well as additional commission expense and amortization of deferred commissions related to obtaining contracts with customers;
an increase in research and development expense (excluding an increase in equity-based compensation of $8.9 million) of $12.5 million, or 49%, to $37.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, due
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primarily to additional engineering and product management resources added to support continued innovation of our services;
an increase in general and administrative expense (excluding an increase in equity-based compensation of $12.8 million) of $14.8 million, or 49%, to $44.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, due primarily to additional headcount and related salaries and benefits expenses to support the larger organization and additional corporate expenses related to operating as a public company, which were partially offset by a decrease in integration-related expenses in the year ended December 31, 2019, which did not recur in the year ended December 31, 2020;
an increase in amortization of acquired intangibles expense of $1.1 million, or 6%, to $18.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, due to amortization expense related to intangible assets acquired in the Zoom Information Acquisition during the full period for the current year; and
a decrease in restructuring and transaction-related expense of $1.8 million, or 12%, to $13.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, due to expenses incurred in completing the Zoom Information Acquisition.
Interest expense, net. Interest expense, net was $69.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, a decrease of $33.2 million, or 32%, as compared to $102.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The decrease was primarily due to interest savings resulting from the repayment of our second lien term loans in full and $100.0 million of first lien term loans, offset by nonrecurring interest expense recognized upon partial dedesignation of cash flow hedges resulting from reclassification from accumulated other comprehensive income (loss).
Loss on debt modification and extinguishment. Loss on debt modification and extinguishment was $14.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, related to penalties and derecognition of deferred and unamortized debt issuance costs resulting from the repayment of the second lien term loans and $100.0 million first lien term loan principal repayment after the IPO. This represented a decrease of $3.2 million, or 18%, as compared to expense of $18.2 million the year ended December 31, 2019, related to cost incurred with respect to prior debt instruments that were repaid in conjunction with the Zoom Information Acquisition in February 2019.
Other (income) expense, net. Other (income) expense, net was $(15.4) million for the year ended December 31, 2020, a decrease of $15.4 million, as compared to $0.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily due to the recognition of a TRA remeasurement gain of $15.7 million.
Income tax expense (benefit). Expense from income taxes for the year ended December 31, 2020 was $4.7 million, representing an effective tax rate of (14.8)%, as compared to benefit from income taxes of $(6.5) million, representing an effective tax rate of 7.7% for the year ended December 31, 2019. The decrease in the effective tax rate was primarily due to a GAAP loss driven by non-deductible stock-based compensation expense resulting in positive tax expense despite the GAAP loss. Furthermore, the Reorganization Transactions resulted in a higher proportion of GAAP earnings being allocated to tax paying entities.
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Liquidity and Capital Resources
As of December 31, 2021, we had $308.3 million of cash and cash equivalents, $18.4 million of short-term investments, and $250.0 million available under our first lien revolving credit facility. We have financed our operations primarily through cash generated from operations and financed various acquisitions through cash generated from operations supplemented with debt offerings.
We believe that our cash flows from operations and existing available cash and cash equivalents, together with our other available external financing sources, will be adequate to fund our operating and capital needs for at least the next 12 months. We are currently in compliance with the covenants under the credit agreements governing our secured credit facilities, and we expect to remain in compliance with our covenants.
We generally invoice our subscription customers annually, semi-annually, or quarterly in advance of our subscription services. Therefore, a substantial source of our cash is from such prepayments, which are included on our Consolidated Balance Sheets as unearned revenue. Unearned revenue consists of billed fees for our subscriptions, prior to satisfying the criteria for revenue recognition, which are subsequently recognized as revenue in accordance with our revenue recognition policy. As of December 31, 2021, we had unearned revenue of $364.2 million, of which $361.5 million was recorded as a current liability and is expected to be recorded as revenue in the next 12 months, provided all other revenue recognition criteria have been met.
After the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions, ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. (formerly known as ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.) became a holding company with no material assets other than its ownership of HoldCo Units, and ZoomInfo HoldCo became a holding company with no material assets other than its ownership of ZoomInfo OpCo Units. During the quarter ended September 30, 2021, ZoomInfo HoldCo was merged with and into ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. During the quarter ended December 31, 2021, ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. and ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. have no independent means of generating revenue. In the event ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. declares any cash dividend, we expect that ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. to cause ZoomInfo MidCo LLC to make distributions to ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. in part through distributions to ZoomInfo Intermediate Inc. and ZoomInfo OpCo, in an amount sufficient to cover such cash dividends declared by us. Deterioration in the financial condition, earnings, or cash flow of ZoomInfo MidCo LLC and its subsidiaries for any reason could limit or impair their ability to pay such distributions. In addition, the terms of our financing arrangements contain covenants that may restrict ZoomInfo MidCo LLC and its subsidiaries from paying such distributions, subject to certain exceptions. Further, ZoomInfo MidCo LLC is generally prohibited under Delaware law from making a distribution to a member to the extent that, at the time of the distribution, after giving effect to the distribution, liabilities of ZoomInfo MidCo LLC (with certain exceptions), as applicable, exceed the fair value of its assets. Subsidiaries of ZoomInfo MidCo LLC are generally subject to similar legal limitations on their ability to make distributions to ZoomInfo MidCo LLC. See “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Our cash flows from operations, borrowing availability, and overall liquidity are subject to risks and uncertainties. We may not be able to obtain additional liquidity on reasonable terms, or at all. In addition, our liquidity and our ability to meet our obligations and to fund our capital requirements are dependent on our future financial performance, which is subject to general economic, financial, and other factors that are beyond our control. Accordingly, our business may not generate sufficient cash flow from operations and future borrowings may not be available from additional indebtedness or otherwise to meet our liquidity needs. If we decide to pursue one or more significant acquisitions, we may incur additional debt or sell additional equity to finance such acquisitions, which would result in additional expenses or dilution. See “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
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Historical Cash Flows
The following table summarizes our cash flows for the periods presented:
Year Ended December 31,
($ in millions)202120202019
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities$299.4 $169.6 $44.4 
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities(695.8)(113.3)(736.7)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities439.5 172.2 725.8 
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents$43.1 $228.5 $33.5 
Cash Flows from (used in) Operating Activities
Net cash provided by operations was $299.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 as a result of net income of $94.9 million, adjusted by non-cash charges of $167.6 million and the change in our operating assets net of operating liabilities of $36.9 million. The non-cash charges are primarily comprised of equity-based compensation of $93.0 million, depreciation and amortization of $69.3 million, amortization of deferred commission costs of $41.7 million, partially offset by tax receivable agreement remeasurement of $39.5 million and deferred income taxes of $14.5 million. The change in operating assets net of operating liabilities was primarily the result of an increase in unearned revenue of $131.4 million and an increase in accrued expenses and other liabilities of $32.5 million, largely offset by an increase in accounts receivable of $66.1 million, and an increase in deferred costs and other assets of $53.4 million.
Net cash provided by operations was $169.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as a result of a net loss of $36.4 million, adjusted by non-cash charges of $201.5 million and a change in our operating assets net of operating liabilities of $4.5 million. The non-cash charges are primarily comprised of depreciation and amortization of $50.8 million, equity-based compensation of $121.6 million, loss on early extinguishment of debt of $14.9 million, and amortization of deferred commissions cost of $25.1 million, partially offset by tax receivable agreement measurement of $15.7 million. The change in operating assets net of operating liabilities was primarily the result of an increase in unearned revenue of $60.1 million, and an increase in accrued expenses and other liabilities of $21.9 million, largely offset by an increase in deferred costs and other assets of $40.0 million and an increase in accounts receivable of $32.9 million.
Net cash provided by operations was $44.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 as a result of a net loss of $78.0 million, adjusted by non-cash charges of $93.8 million and a change in our operating assets net of operating liabilities of $28.6 million. The non-cash charges are primarily comprised of depreciation and amortization of $48.7 million, equity-based compensation of $25.1 million, and loss of early extinguishment of $9.4 million. The change in operating assets net of operating liabilities was primarily the result of an increase in unearned revenue of $71.9 million and an increase in accrued expenses and other liabilities of $18.2 million, partially offset by an increase in accounts receivable of $34.5 million and in deferred costs and other assets of $27.8 million.