C3.ai, Inc. (Form: 10-K, Received: 06/25/2021 17:34:06)
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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 April 30, 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: 001-39744
C3.ai, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware 26-3999357
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1300 Seaport Blvd, Suite 500
Redwood City, CA 94063
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip code)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (650) 503-2200
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class Trading Symbol(s) Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share AI New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  
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 filer Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. 
Indicate by check whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).     Yes        No  

The aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on April 30, 2021, based on the closing price of $66.26 for shares of the registrant’s Class A common stock as reported by the New York Stock Exchange, was approximately $4.3 billion. The registrant has elected to use April 30, 2021 as the calculation date because on October 31, 2020 (the last business day of the registrant’s second fiscal quarter), the registrant was a privately held company.
As of June 18, 2021, the registrant had outstanding 99,920,942 shares of Class A common stock and 3,499,992 shares of Class B common stock.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to its 2021 annual meeting of shareholders (the “2021 Proxy Statement”) are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K where indicated. The 2021 Proxy Statement will be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the registrant’s fiscal year ended April 30, 2021.
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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements about us and our industry that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including statements regarding our future results of operations or financial condition, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations, and the benefits and timing of the rollout of new technology, are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will” or “would” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the following:
our expectations regarding our revenue, expenses, and other operating results;
our ability to acquire new customers and successfully retain existing customers;
our ability to increase usage of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications;
our ability to achieve or sustain profitability;
future investments in our business, our anticipated capital expenditures, and our estimates regarding our capital requirements;
the costs and success of our sales and marketing efforts, and our ability to promote our brand;
our growth strategies for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications;
our expectations regarding our C3 AI CRM solutions;
the estimated addressable market opportunity for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications;
our reliance on key personnel and our ability to identify, recruit, and retain skilled personnel;
our ability to effectively manage our growth, including any international expansion;
our ability to protect our intellectual property rights and any costs associated therewith;
the effects of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic or other public health crises;
our ability to compete effectively with existing competitors and new market entrants; and
the growth rates of the markets in which we compete.
You should not rely on forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition and operating results. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors described in the section titled “Risk Factors” contained in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and those elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The results, events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur, and actual results, events or circumstances could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.
In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. While we believe that such information provides a reasonable basis for these statements, that information may be limited or incomplete. Our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain, and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely on these statements.
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The forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures or investments.

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SELECTED RISKS AFFECTING OUR BUSINESS
Investing in our Class A common stock involves numerous risks, including the risks described under “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Below is a summary of some of the risks and uncertainties as of the date of the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, any one of which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, operating results, and prospects. You should read this summary together with the more detailed description of each risk factor contained below.
Risks Related to Our Business and Our Industry
We have a limited operating history, which makes it difficult to evaluate our prospects and future results of operations.
Historically, a limited number of customers have accounted for a substantial portion of our revenue. If existing customers do not renew their contracts with us, or if our relationships with our largest customers are impaired or terminated, our revenue could decline, and our results of operations would be adversely impacted.
Our business depends on our ability to attract new customers and on our existing customers purchasing additional subscriptions from us and renewing their subscriptions.
We have a history of operating losses and may not achieve or sustain profitability in the future.
We face intense competition and could lose market share to our competitors, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our sales cycles can be long and unpredictable, particularly with respect to large subscriptions, and our sales efforts require considerable time and expense.
If the market for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications fails to grow as we expect, or if businesses fail to adopt our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
If we fail to respond to rapid technological changes, extend our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or develop new features and functionality, our ability to remain competitive could be impaired.
If we were to lose the services of our Chief Executive Officer (our “CEO”) or other members of our senior management team, we may not be able to execute our business strategy.
The COVID-19 pandemic had and could continue to have an adverse impact on our business, our operations, and the markets and communities in which we, our partners, and our customers operate.
Our actual or perceived failure to comply with privacy, data protection laws, regulations, and obligations could harm our business.
If we or our third-party service providers experience a security breach or unauthorized parties otherwise obtain access to our customers’ data, our data, or our C3 AI Suite, our C3 AI Suite may be perceived as not being secure, our reputation may be harmed, demand for our platform may be reduced, and we may incur significant liabilities.
Risks Related to Our International Operations
We are continuing to expand our operations outside the United States, where we may be subject to increased business and economic risks that could harm our business.
We are subject to governmental export and import controls that could impair our ability to compete in international markets or subject us to liability if we are not in compliance with applicable laws.
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Risks Related to Taxes
Our results of operations may be harmed if we are required to collect sales or other related taxes for our subscriptions in jurisdictions where we have not historically done so.
Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property
We are currently, and may be in the future, party to intellectual property rights claims and other litigation matters, which, if resolved adversely, could harm our business.
Indemnity provisions in various agreements potentially expose us to substantial liability for intellectual property infringement and other losses.
Our failure to protect our intellectual property rights and proprietary information could diminish our brand and other intangible assets.
Our use of third-party open source software could negatively affect our ability to offer and sell subscriptions to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and subject us to possible litigation.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock
The trading price of our Class A common stock may be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
The dual class structure of our common stock has the effect of concentrating voting control to our Chairman and CEO, Thomas M. Siebel.
Provisions in our corporate charter documents and under Delaware law may prevent or frustrate attempts by our stockholders to change our management or hinder efforts to acquire a controlling interest in us, and the market price of our Class A common stock may be lower as a result.
General Risks
If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.
Our business could be disrupted by catastrophic events.

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PART I
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Overview
C3 AI is the Enterprise AI application software company.
We provide software-as-a-service, or SaaS, applications that enable the rapid deployment of enterprise-scale AI applications of extraordinary breadth and complexity that offer significant social and economic benefit.
The C3 AI Suite, C3 AI Applications, and our patented model-driven architecture enable organizations to simplify and accelerate Enterprise AI application development, deployment, and administration. Our software platform enables developers to rapidly build applications by using conceptual models of all the elements required by an Enterprise AI application instead of having to write complex, lengthy, structured programming code to define, control, and integrate the many requisite data and microservices components to work together. We significantly reduce the effort and complexity of the Enterprise AI software engineering problem.
Enterprise AI Software Solutions
We have built a single, integrated solution that enables our customers to rapidly develop, deploy, and operate large-scale Enterprise AI applications across any infrastructure. Customers can deploy C3 AI products on all major public cloud infrastructures, private cloud or hybrid environments, or directly on their servers and processors. We provide four primary families of software solutions:
The C3 AI Suite, our core technology, is a comprehensive application development and runtime environment that is designed to allow our customers to rapidly design, develop, and deploy Enterprise AI applications of any type.
C3 AI Applications, built using the C3 AI Suite, include a large and growing family of industry-specific and application-specific turnkey AI solutions that can be immediately installed and deployed.
C3 AI Ex Machina, our no-code solution that provides secure, easy access to analysis-ready data, and enables business analysts without data science training to rapidly perform data science tasks such as building, configuring, and training AI models.
C3 AI CRM is the first enterprise-class, AI-first customer relationship management solution purpose-built for industries to drive customer-facing operations with predictive business insights.
In addition, we offer the C3 AI Virtual Data Lake, a capability of the C3 AI Suite that can also be licensed as a standalone product. It enables organizations to utilize existing enterprise systems, data stores, and data lake investments by unifying all enterprise and extraprise data into a secure, virtual, federated data image without the need to duplicate data. This dramatically reduces the time and cost of deploying and maintaining an enterprise data lake.
C3 AI Suite
We believe the C3 AI Suite is the only end-to-end Platform-as-a-Service allowing customers to design, develop, provision, and operate Enterprise AI applications at scale. Our customers can utilize the C3 AI Suite to build and operate their own custom Enterprise AI applications and to customize, operate, and manage C3 AI Applications. Customers can deploy C3 AI products on major public cloud infrastructures, the private cloud, hybrid environments, or directly on their on-premise servers and processors.
Designed with our model-driven architecture, the C3 AI Suite enables us and our customers to develop Enterprise AI applications by using conceptual models of all the elements required by the application—e.g., data objects (customer, order, contract, etc.), computing resources (database, storage, messaging), data processing services (stream processing, batch processing, etc.), AI and machine learning services (model training, model pipeline management, etc.)—instead of having to write complex, lengthy code. This approach vastly reduces technical complexity for developers and the amount of code they
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need to write. The C3 AI Suite provides comprehensive capabilities to rapidly develop, deploy, and operate Enterprise AI applications at scale, including:
Data Integration and Management Services. Services to easily and automatically ingest and aggregate massive volumes of diverse data from numerous internal and external sources and unify the data in a common and extensible data image.
AI Application Development and Operationalization Services. Automated services to explore data, build and train AI models, and operationalize AI models and applications at enterprise scale.
Operational and Security Services. Cohesive core platform services (e.g., access control, data encryption, cybersecurity, time-series services, normalization, data privacy, etc.).
C3 AI Integrated Development Studio (C3 AI IDS). A low-code/no-code visual toolkit for developing, deploying, and operating Enterprise AI applications.
C3 AI Applications
C3 AI Applications is an expanding portfolio of turnkey cross-industry and industry-specific Enterprise AI applications that address a range of mission-critical use cases. With C3 AI Applications, organizations can typically deploy production AI applications in one to six months. Each of these applications is extensible and customizable to meet customer requirements.
Cross-Industry Applications
Prebuilt cross-industry C3 AI Applications include:
C3 AI Inventory Optimization. Applies advanced AI/machine learning and stochastic optimization techniques to help optimize raw material, in-process, and finished goods inventory levels, while ensuring stock availability when and where needed.
C3 AI Supply Network Risk. Provides enterprise supply chain managers with visibility into risks of disruption throughout their supply chain operations.
C3 AI Customer Churn Management. Enables account executives and relationship managers to monitor customer satisfaction using all available transactional, behavioral, and contextual information, and take proactive, early action to prevent customer churn with AI-based and human-interpretable predictions and advance warning.
C3 AI Production Schedule Optimization. Dynamically optimizes production schedules to maximize throughput of high-profit-margin products while addressing customer demand and respecting production constraints.
C3 AI Predictive Maintenance. Provides maintenance planners and equipment operators with insight into asset risk so they can maintain higher levels of asset availability across their entire operations.
C3 AI Fraud Detection. Pinpoints patterns in event data streams that identify revenue leakage or maintenance and safety issues so investigation teams can act upon a single, continuously updated, and prioritized queue of leads.
C3 AI Energy Management. Uses machine learning to help enterprises gain visibility into their energy expenditure and prioritize actions to reduce their operational costs while lowering their carbon footprint.
Industry-Specific Applications
We also offer integrated families of turnkey Enterprise AI applications to serve the needs of a growing list of vertical market segments including oil and gas, chemicals, utilities, manufacturing, financial services, defense, intelligence, aerospace, healthcare, and telecommunications. For each of these vertical markets we have deployed or are planning to deploy a complete family of integrated AI applications to address the entire value chain of each industry, including the following:
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Financial Services
C3 AI Smart Lending. Drives productivity and customer satisfaction within the credit application and approval process, providing credit officers with contextualized insights, enabling them to reduce time on easy approval or easy rejection decisions and focus on more nuanced credit applications.
C3 AI Cash Management. Leverages advanced AI algorithms to quantify client treasury activity and predict the clients most likely to reduce or end their cash management and treasury services relationship with the bank.
C3 AI Securities Lending Optimization. Helps banks automate and optimize securities lending operations by using machine learning to quantify client and lender uncertainties and subsequently automatically approve all executable client inquiries.
C3 AI Anti-Money Laundering. Is an AI-enabled, workflow-centric application that uses comprehensive machine learning techniques to increase true Suspicious Activity Report identification while reducing false positive alerts.
Manufacturing
C3 AI Inventory Optimization. Applies advanced AI/machine learning and stochastic optimization techniques to analyze variability in demand, supplier delivery times, quality issues, and product-line disruptions to build real-time recommendations and monitoring.
C3 AI Predictive Maintenance. Provides manufacturing maintenance planners and equipment operators with comprehensive insight into asset risk, enabling them to maintain higher levels of asset availability, deliver services-based differentiation, and reduce maintenance costs.
C3 AI Energy Management. Uses machine learning to enable accurate forecasting, benchmarking, building optimization, demand response, and anomaly detection, helping manufacturers to lower costs, improve operations, and meet energy-efficiency goals.
C3 AI Sensor Health. Ensures the operational health and optimal deployment of IoT sensor devices, using AI/machine learning to predict sensor failures and identify sensor and network health issues with a high degree of precision.
Utilities
C3 AI Revenue Protection. Identifies instances of energy theft to protect core revenue at higher accuracy and lower cost than conventional rules-based approaches.
C3 AI AMI Operations. Integrates and analyzes near real-time advanced metering infrastructure data and utilizes supervised and unsupervised machine learning techniques to assess meter deployment and asset health.
C3 AI Customer Engagement Portals. Combine data across multiple disparate customer systems, including billing, CRM, demographics, and AMI to provide a 360-degree customer profile to enable both utility customers and customer service representatives to understand and manage their energy usage and costs.
Oil and Gas
C3 AI Production Optimization. Optimizes upstream production at-scale with detailed injection well influence, AI-based production forecasts, and artificial lift optimization.
C3 AI Reliability. Integrates sensor networks, enterprise systems, and data historians to arm reliability engineers, process engineers, and maintenance managers with AI-enabled insights to address process and equipment performance risks in production facilities and refineries.
C3 AI Yield Optimization. Integrates enterprise resource planning data, lab test data, asset data, and manufacturing systems data and deploys machine learning models to identify problems or opportunities for improvement at key points in process manufacturing.
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Aerospace and Defense
C3 AI Readiness. Integrates and unifies data from aircraft telemetry, mission file, maintenance, and operational systems and leverages advanced AI models to monitor subsystem health and predict component failures.
C3 AI Workforce Analytics. Helps risk and compliance officers to efficiently parse financial, commercial, public, and law enforcement records to determine if individuals pose a security risk.
C3 AI Intelligence Analysis. Generates knowledge graphs of entities extracted from both structured (e.g., existing curated databases) and unstructured (e.g., news sources, social media sources, academic reports, and patent databases) data sets.
C3 AI Intelligence Data Fusion. Ingests intelligence data from disparate sources into a unified, federated data image to enable analysts to conduct their work faster.
C3 AI Ex Machina
C3 AI Ex Machina is a no-code solution that provides secure, easy access to analysis-ready data, and enables business analysts without data science training to rapidly perform data science tasks such as building, configuring, and training AI models. C3 AI Ex Machina can be used as a standalone application—providing a modern, cloud-native, highly scalable replacement for last-generation tools—and with the C3 AI Suite, typically as the primary tool used by non-developer business analysts to build, train, and tune models on the C3 AI Suite. C3 AI Ex Machina is targeted at the ‘citizen’ data scientist—a broad range of users, including business analysts and data analysts, who want to leverage AI capabilities, but lack advanced coding skills—and allows customers to sign up online and immediately begin using the product, including paid subscriptions and an initial no cost offering.
C3 AI CRM
C3 AI CRM is a new family of fully AI-enabled, industry-specific CRM solutions that combine the CRM technology leadership and market reach of our partner ecosystem. The C3 AI CRM product family will include sales, marketing, and customer service functionality. The products will be available in vertical market-specific offerings specifically designed to meet the needs of industries such as financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, oil and gas, manufacturing, utilities, aerospace, automotive, public sector, defense, and intelligence.
Lighthouse Customers
Our market-entry strategy has been to establish high-value customer engagements with large global early adopters, or lighthouse customers, in Europe, Asia, and the United States across a range of industries. These lighthouse customers serve as proof points for other potential customers in their particular industries. We have established intimate strategic relationships with our customers, including a number of large multinational corporations and government entities. We commonly enter into enterprise-wide agreements with entities that include multiple operating units or divisions.
The core of this strategy is to rapidly deliver high-value outcomes at large scale, that are broadly deployed into many industry leaders, including those in banking, oil and gas, utilities, defense, and manufacturing. We then use these cases and outcomes to initiate discussions at numerous other leading companies in each sector.
High-Value Outcomes
We are enabling the digital transformation of many of the world’s leading organizations and, in the process, helping them to attain short time-to-value and exceptionally high economic returns. At some companies, based on feedback and other information provided from our customers, we estimate our solutions have returned hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefit. We estimate, based on our C3 AI production roadmaps, that we may enable billions of dollars in annual economic benefit for many customers.
Rapid Time to Value
The key to our market success to date and our primary competitive differentiator is our ability to leverage the C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to bring high-value Enterprise AI applications into production use rapidly. We have deployed
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Enterprise AI applications into production use in as little as four weeks. Most C3 AI customers enjoy a rapid time to value from their investments in our offerings.
Average Total Subscription Contract Value
As a result of the high-value outcomes that we enable for our customers, we enjoy uncommonly high total subscription contract values for software subscriptions. Our average total contract value for contracts entered into in fiscal years 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 was $11.7 million, $10.8 million, $16.2 million, $12.1 million, and $7.2 million respectively.
The average total subscription contract value is decreasing and we expect it to continue to decrease as we have restructured our sales organization and expanded our market-partner ecosystem to effectively address small, medium, and large enterprise sales opportunities. We have seen significant progress to date in this regard, which is reflected in the decrease in the average total contract value over the last three years.
C3 AI Sales Cycle
Our typical sales cycle begins with one or more product and technical presentations about C3 AI, leading to a mapping of our capabilities to customer use cases. This frequently leads to a paid trial that lasts from eight to 16 weeks. During that period, we deploy a production-level application that is representative of our customer’s Enterprise AI and digital transformation requirements. After completing a successful trial, our customers will frequently license one or more C3 AI Applications. Either concurrent with or subsequent to licensing C3 AI Applications, some of our customers will license additional C3 AI Applications or the C3 AI Suite. Over time, our customers tend to purchase additional C3 AI Applications and/ or additional C3 AI Suite developer seats and incur ongoing and increasing runtime fees as their usage scales.
Extensive Partner Ecosystem
We have established strategic relationships with technology leaders including Amazon Web Services, or AWS, Baker Hughes, Fidelity National Information Services, or FIS, Google, Microsoft, Raytheon, and Infor. These world-leading technology companies can marshal tens of thousands of talented resources to establish and serve small, medium, and large C3 AI customer relationships at global scale.
We form go-to-market and product co-development alliances with our partners that combine our Enterprise AI expertise and technology with our partners’ deep domain expertise to bring next-generation C3 AI solutions to joint customers. Our partnerships include strategic alliances across four categories:
Industry Partners. Each industry partnership focuses on a key vertical. We have formed global strategic alliances in the energy industry with France-based global energy leader ENGIE; in oil and gas with Baker Hughes, a global leader in oilfield services; in financial services with FIS, a leading technology provider to the global financial services industry; in the U.S. Federal and aerospace sectors with Raytheon, one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense manufacturers; and in manufacturing with Infor, an ERP technology cloud leader.
Hyperscale Cloud and Infrastructure Partners. We have formed global strategic go-to-market alliances with hyperscale cloud providers including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. In addition, we have strategic alliances with leading hardware infrastructure providers to deliver our software optimized for their technology such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel.
Consulting and Services. We have established partnerships with select specialized systems integrators that provide application design and development, data engineering, data science, and systems integration services, including: Aubay, BGP, Grupo CMC, Data Reply, Infoedge Technology, Informatica El Corte Ingles, Intelia, Neal Analytics, Ortec, Pariveda, SCAP, and Synechron. These alliances are focused on helping organizations accelerate their Enterprise AI and digital transformation programs.
Independent Software Vendors. Our Independent Software Vendors, or ISV, partners develop, market, and sell application solutions that are natively built on or tightly integrated with the C3 AI Suite. The C3 AI Suite enables ISVs to deliver Enterprise AI capabilities to their installed user base that enhance or complement existing ISV application functionality. As of April 2021, ISV partners include ENGIE, FIS, Baker Hughes, Microsoft, Infor, and Ortec.
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Sales Model
Our sales organization is organized both geographically and into vertical market segments that cooperate to sell to and service customers. We have a highly leveraged go-to-market model comprised of a global field sales force combined with significant alliance partnerships, that we believe will accelerate our entry into diverse global market segments. Each of our strategic partners—including AWS, Baker Hughes, FIS, Google, Microsoft, Infor, and Raytheon—has a large installed customer base with strong, established relationships, and a large global sales force that vastly extends our market coverage. We form specific sales targets and goals with each partner, enabling us to quickly and efficiently engage in customer accounts.
Historically, our strategy has been to achieve early leadership with a focus on large enterprise sales to establish successful lighthouse customers across a range of industries and geographies. We initially focused on the oil and gas, aerospace, defense, utilities, manufacturing, and financial services sectors, as those industries were early adopters in Enterprise AI. We intend to expand into additional industries such as high technology, telecommunications, retail, and precision medicine and expect to continue our market entry strategy of initially focusing on lighthouse customers in these industries. Our goal is to rapidly move down-market in the next few years to capture the small and medium business segments of each industry. We intend to leverage our partner ecosystem and establish telesales and direct marketing organizations to address the middle market.
Our average sales cycles have been decreasing over time. We believe this is due to increased acceptance of cloud adoption, increased prioritization of Enterprise AI, increasing corporate mandates for digital transformation, increased brand recognition of C3 AI, and increasing numbers of live, production C3 AI customers.
Revenue Model
Our revenue consists of subscription and professional services revenue. The bulk of our revenue is generated from subscriptions to our software. Our subscriptions include our software and our maintenance and support services. Our subscription contracts are generally non-cancelable and non-refundable, and typically three years in duration. We also generate additional runtime subscription fees, a type of consumption or usage-based revenue based on compute and storage resources required to run the C3 AI Suite. Our professional services primarily includes implementation services, training and prioritized engineering services.
Marketing
Our multichannel marketing function is focused on market education, brand awareness, thought leadership, and demand creation. We engage the market through digital, radio, television, outdoor, airport, and print advertising; virtual and physical events, including our C3 AI Transform annual customer conference; and C3 AI Live, a bi-weekly series of livestreamed events featuring C3 AI customers, C3 AI partners, and C3 AI experts in AI, machine learning, and data science. Our Chief Executive Officer, Tom Siebel—a recognized technology thought leader and author of the 2019 Wall Street Journal and Amazon best seller, Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction—is a frequent industry keynote speaker and is often interviewed by leading media, including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Economist, Fortune, Forbes, BloombergTV, Yahoo! Finance, and others.
Professional Services
We maintain a professional services organization that offers resources, methodologies, and experience to help customers develop and deploy enterprise-scale AI applications. Our services are complemented by those of our partners.
C3 AI Implementation Services help ensure successful customer outcomes throughout the application development and deployment phases, including setup and configuration, machine learning model development and tuning, and integration of multiple complex source systems.
C3 AI Academy provides a role-based, in-person, and online curriculum to help developers, data scientists, administrators, and project personnel take advantage of C3 AI Suite capabilities quickly and robustly.
Our professional services strategy is to quickly train our customers to develop, customize, and deploy applications independently of us, making them rapidly self-sufficient. In those instances where a large or continuing professional services presence may be desired or necessary, we rely upon our partner ecosystem to provide those services. We believe this will
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enable us to maintain high gross margins and allow us to rapidly deploy trained professional services personnel at large scale any place on the planet.
Rich Human Capital
Our strongest asset is unquestionably the human capital that we have been able to attract, retain, and motivate. We have won the Glassdoor Best Place to Work award, were named a WayUp Top 100 Internship Program, and are consistently ranked among the best places to work. As a result, we attract exceptionally talented, highly educated, experienced, motivated employees. We received approximately 59,000 applications for those positions and conducted 13,559 interviews and skill assessments during the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021. Fifty-seven percent of our employees have advanced degrees, many from the world’s most prestigious institutions.
We have built a culture of high performance based on four core values:
Drive and Innovation Propelling Growth. We self-select for people who love to work hard, think with rigor, speak with purpose, and act to achieve great things.
Natural Curiosity to Solve the Impossible. We are self-learners, always seeking knowledge to accelerate innovation.
Professional Integrity Governing All Endeavors. We comport ourselves with unwavering ethical integrity, respect, and courtesy.
Collective Intelligence. We believe the unity of our team is substantially greater than the sum of its parts.
Through our C3 AI Management Development Series, we train our managers to motivate and lead their teams by setting clear objectives with an outcomes-based approach. Our C3 AI Leadership Development Program equips aspiring managers with skills for future leadership roles. We offer cash incentives to employees who complete professional training and will even pay for employees to earn a master’s degree in computer science.
Our talent acquisition team engages various constituency groups to recruit qualified under-represented minorities, women, and military veterans to job opportunities. We host tech talks and workshops at top universities across the nation with the Women in Computer Science Associations, the Society of Women in Engineering, the Society of Latinx Engineers, and the Society of Black Engineers. We joined with BreakLine to help support hiring military veterans. Our goal is to find and recruit the best talent in the world.
As of April 30, 2021, we had 574 full-time employees, with 482 based in the United States and 92 in our international locations.
Our Culture of High Performance
We are dedicated to achieving our mission to accelerate digital transformation of organizations globally by enabling the deployment of Enterprise AI at scale. Our people are domain experts in their respective fields. We are individuals with exceptional education and professional backgrounds. We are uncompromising in the quality of our work product. We build relationships with our customers grounded upon the highest levels of business ethics and professionalism, with a laser focus on customer success. We execute with precision.
Recognized Enterprise AI Industry Leadership
We are broadly recognized as a leader in Enterprise AI with many other industry recognitions, including CNBC Disruptor 50 (2020, 2019, 2018), BloombergNEF Pioneer (2020), Forbes Cloud 100 (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017), Deloitte Technology Fast 500 (2019), and EY Entrepreneur of the Year (2018, 2017) and have been named a leader by Forrester Wave: Industrial IoT Software Platforms (2019, 2018).
Sustainable Competitive Advantage: C3 AI Model-Driven Architecture
Our core technology, the C3 AI Suite, is a cohesive family of integrated software services developed over a decade, engineered with a proprietary model-driven architecture, that provides all the software services and microservices necessary and sufficient to rapidly develop and deploy Enterprise AI applications.
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AI applications developed with the C3 AI Suite can leverage any open source software solutions and all of the cloud services of AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and can operate on any of these cloud platforms, on-premises, or in a hybrid cloud.
Compared to the structured programming approach that most organizations typically attempt, our model-driven architecture with declarative programming speeds development by a factor of 26, while reducing the amount of code that must be written by up to 99%.
The big data and application demands of enterprise-scale AI applications require numerous underlying interdependent elements. These include enterprise data, extraprise data, sensor data, data persistence services, data streaming services, messaging services, analytics services, machine-learning services, security services, data visualization, application development services, application monitoring services, and scores to hundreds more. With a traditional structured programming approach, developers spend significant time and effort to write extensive code to define, manage, connect, and control each element. This often results in overwhelming complexity and highly brittle applications that can break any time an underlying element is changed or updated— we believe this is a primary reason why the vast majority of AI efforts have not been deployed into production at enterprise scale.
By contrast, our model-driven architecture provides an “abstraction layer,” that allows our partners and our customers, as well as our internal C3 AI developers, to build or customize Enterprise AI applications by using conceptual models of all the elements an application requires, instead of writing lengthy code. C3 AI provides a library of tens of thousands of prebuilt conceptual models, growing by more than 4,000 per year, that can be easily modified and extended, and developers can efficiently create their own models as well. These prebuilt, extensible models encompass a vast range of business objects (customer, order, contract, etc.), physical systems and subsystems (engine, boiler, chiller, compressor, etc.), computing resources and services (database, stream processing, etc.)—virtually anything an application requires can be represented as a model in our model-driven architecture. To ensure ongoing operability of our thousands of prebuilt and extensible models on different underlying infrastructure (e.g., AWS, Azure, etc.), our automated testing continuously executes approximately 60,000 tests and security scans with each change or update we make to our software or infrastructure.
Leveraging this model-driven architecture, application developers and data scientists can focus on delivering immediate value, without the need to manage the complex interdependencies of the underlying elements. These conceptual models can be reused by many applications, thereby accelerating development of new applications.
Compared to traditional structured programming, our model-driven architecture and declarative programming shorten time to value and reduce total cost of ownership by:
Enabling developers to build Enterprise AI applications 26 times faster and with up to 99% less code than with other technologies, by using conceptual models (including tens of thousands of C3 AI’s prebuilt models).
Reducing the resources required to build Enterprise AI applications.
Making developers more productive by allowing them to ramp quickly on new application projects, through reuse of models across applications and reduced coding requirements.
Decreasing application operating and maintenance requirements.
Accelerating the ability to enhance applications with new features.
We believe our model-driven architecture and declarative programming approach provides significant competitive advantage both by enabling our customers and partners to successfully develop and deploy Enterprise AI applications faster, and by providing the foundation for C3 AI to rapidly extend our portfolio of cross-industry and industry-specific applications.
Strategic Competitive IP Advantage
We enjoy a rich patent portfolio that is a substantial competitive advantage, both offensive and defensive, in the Enterprise AI market—most notably, our most recently issued U.S. patents (No. 10,817,530 and No. 10,824,634) which were granted for systems, methods, and devices for an enterprise AI and internet-of-things platform.
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Our patent portfolio covers the key capabilities of our model-driven architecture that are the foundation of our highly differentiated technology. This includes methods, systems, and devices for data aggregation and unification, times-series data processing, data abstraction, machine learning implementation, and much more.
As of April 30, 2021, our technology is protected by a broad patent portfolio, with eight issued patents in the United States, five issued patents in a number of international jurisdictions, 14 patent applications in the United States (including 1 allowed application and 3 provisional applications), and 32 patent applications pending internationally (including 2 allowed applications). Our issued patents expire between February 23, 2033 and July 30, 2039. We continually review our development efforts to assess the existence and patentability of new intellectual property.
Intellectual property is important to the success 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 license agreements, confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements with third parties, and other contractual protections, to protect our intellectual property rights, including our proprietary technology, software, know-how, and brand. Although we rely on intellectual property rights, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets, as well as contractual protections to establish and protect our proprietary rights, we believe that factors such as the technological and creative skills of our personnel, creation of new services, features and functionality, and frequent enhancements to our platform are more essential to establishing and maintaining our technology leadership position. See the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property” in Part I, Item 1A in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of the risks associated with our intellectual property.
Our Secret Sauce: The C3 AI Model-Driven Architecture
Over the last four decades, the information technology industry has grown from about $120 billion globally in 1980 to more than $2 trillion today. During this time, the IT industry has experienced the transition from mainframe computing to minicomputers, to personal computing, to internet computing, and to handheld computing. The software industry has transitioned from custom applications based on mainframe standards such as MVS, VSAM, and ISAM, to applications developed on a relational database foundation, to enterprise application software, to SaaS and mobile apps, and now to the AI-enabled enterprise. The internet and the iPhone changed everything.
Each of these transitions represented a replacement market for its predecessor. Each delivered dramatic benefits in productivity. Each offered organizations the opportunity to gain competitive advantage. Companies that failed to take advantage of each new generation of technology ceased to be competitive. Today it is unimaginable that a major global corporation would try to close its books without an enterprise resource planning system or run its business solely on mainframe computers.
The IT industry is now undergoing another major transition. A new generation of 21st century technologies—including elastic cloud computing, the IoT, and AI—is driving digital transformation across industry, commerce, and government globally. Digital transformation presents a number of unique requirements that create the need for an entirely new software technology stack. The requirements are daunting.
Enterprise AI applications require a new digital transformation software stack. The traditional approach to developing AI and IoT enterprise software—i.e., using structured programming to build applications by assembling and integrating various open source components and cloud services—can be slow, costly, and ineffective. Based on experience and expertise, we believe that Enterprise-scale AI and IoT applications generally share a set of demanding requirements as described in greater detail below.
Requirements of the Model-Driven Architecture
To develop an effective Enterprise AI application, it is necessary to aggregate data from a variety of enterprise information systems, suppliers, distributors, markets, products in customer use, and sensor networks, in order to provide a view of the extended enterprise.
Today’s data velocities are dramatic, requiring the ability to ingest and aggregate data from hundreds of millions of endpoints at very high frequency, sometimes exceeding 1,000 Hz cycles. The data need to be processed at the rate they arrive, in a highly secure and resilient system that addresses persistence, event processing, machine learning, and visualization. This requires massively horizontally scalable elastic distributed processing capability offered only by modern cloud platforms and supercomputer systems.
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The resultant data persistence requirements are staggering. These data sets rapidly aggregate into hundreds of petabytes, even exabytes. Each data type needs to be stored in an appropriate database capable of handling these volumes at high frequency. Relational databases, key-value stores, graph databases, distributed file systems, and blobs are all important to organizing and linking data across these divergent technologies.
Reference Enterprise AI Software Platform
The problems that have to be addressed to enable today’s Enterprise AI and IoT applications are nontrivial. Massively parallel elastic computing and storage capacity are prerequisite. These services are provided today at increasingly low cost by AWS, Azure, and others. The elastic cloud is a major breakthrough that has dramatically transformed modern computing. In addition to the cloud, multiple data services are necessary to develop, provision, and operate Enterprise AI and IoT applications.
The array of capabilities and services necessary for building and operating Enterprise AI and IoT applications at scale represents a development problem on the order of magnitude of a relatively simple enterprise software application such as CRM. This is not a trivial problem. Consider just a few of these requirements.
Data Integration. This problem has haunted the computing industry for decades. Prerequisite to machine learning and AI at industrial scale is the availability of a unified, federated image of all the data contained in the multitude of (1) enterprise information systems—ERP, CRM, SCADA, HR, MRP—typically thousands of systems in each large enterprise; (2) sensor IoT networks—SIM chips, smart meters, programmable logic arrays, machine telemetry, bioinformatics; and (3) relevant extraprise data—weather, terrain, satellite imagery, social media, biometrics, trade data, pricing, market data, etc.
Data Persistence. The data aggregated and processed includes every type of structured and unstructured data imaginable. Personally identifiable information, census data, images, text, video, telemetry, voice, network topologies. There is no “one size fits all” database that is optimized for all of these data types. This results in the need for a multiplicity of database technologies including but not limited to relational, NoSQL, key-value stores, distributed file systems, graph databases, and blobs.
Platform Services. A myriad of sophisticated platform services are necessary for any Enterprise AI or IoT application. Examples include access control, data encryption in motion, encryption at rest, ETL, queuing, pipeline management, autoscaling, multitenancy, authentication, authorization, cybersecurity, time-series services, normalization, data privacy, GDPR privacy compliance, NERC-CIP compliance, and SOC2 compliance.
Analytics Processing. The volumes and velocity of data acquisition in such systems are blinding and the types of data and analytics requirements are highly divergent, requiring a range of analytics processing services. These include continuous analytics processing, MapReduce, batch processing, stream processing, and recursive processing.
Machine Learning Services. The whole point of these systems is to enable data scientists to develop and deploy machine learning models. There is a range of tools necessary to enable that, including Jupyter Notebooks, Python, DIGITS, R, and Scala. Increasingly important is an extensible curation of machine learning libraries such as TensorFlow, Caffe, Torch, Amazon Machine Learning, and AzureML. An effective AI and IoT platform needs to support them all.
Data Visualization Tools. Any viable AI architecture needs to enable a rich and varied set of data visualization tools including Excel, Tableau, Qlik, Spotfire, Oracle BI, Business Objects, Domo, Alteryx, and others.
Developer Tools and UI Frameworks. An organization’s IT development and data science teams each have adopted and become comfortable with a set of application development frameworks and user interface development tools. An AI and IoT platform must support all of these tools—including, for example, the Eclipse IDE, VI, Visual Studio, React, Angular, R Studio, and Jupyter—or it will be rejected as unusable by the IT development teams.
Open, Extensible, Future-Proof. The current pace of software and algorithm innovation is accelerating. The techniques used today will likely be obsolete in five to 10 years. An AI and IoT platform architecture must therefore provide the capability to replace any components with their next-generation improvements. Moreover, the platform must enable the incorporation of any new open source or proprietary software innovations without adversely affecting the functionality or performance of an organization’s existing applications. This is a level-zero requirement.
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To meet this extensive set of requirements, C3 AI has spent the last decade and invested nearly $800 million researching and refining these requirements, and in developing and enhancing the C3 AI Suite to address these requirements. The C3 AI Suite has been refined, tested, and proven in some of the most demanding industries and production environments—electric utilities, manufacturing, oil and gas, and defense—comprising petabyte-scale datasets from thousands of vastly disparate source systems, massive volumes of high-frequency time series data from millions of devices, and hundreds of thousands of machine learning models.
Awash in “AI Platforms”
Industry analysts estimate that organizations will invest $170 billion annually in digital transformation software by 2024. According to a leading consulting firm, companies will generate $13 trillion annually in added value from the use of these new technologies. This is the fastest-growing enterprise software market in history and represents an entire replacement market for enterprise application software.
Today the market is awash in “AI Platforms” that purport to be solutions sufficient to design, develop, provision, and operate Enterprise AI applications, including Cassandra, Cloudera, DataStax, AWS IoT, and Hadoop. AWS, Azure, and Google, each of which offer an elastic cloud computing platform. In addition, each offers an increasingly innovative library of microservices that can be used for data aggregation, ETL, queuing, data streaming, MapReduce, continuous analytics processing, machine learning services, data visualization, etc. They all appear to do the same thing and they all appear to provide a complete Enterprise AI platform. While these products are useful, we believe that none offers the scope of utility necessary and sufficient to develop and operate an Enterprise AI or IoT application.
Consider Cassandra, for example. It is a key-value data store, a special-purpose database that is particularly useful for storing and retrieving longitudinal data, like telemetry. For that purpose, it is an effective product. But that functionality represents only a small fraction of the required solution. Likewise, HDFS is a distributed file system, useful for storing unstructured data. TensorFlow, a set of math libraries published by Google, is useful in enabling certain types of machine learning models. AWS IoT is a utility for gathering data from machine-readable IoT sensors. The point is: these utilities are all useful, but we believe none is sufficient by itself. Each addresses only a part of the problem required to develop and deploy an Enterprise AI or IoT application.
Moreover, our experience is that these utilities are written in different languages, with different computational models and potentially incompatible data structures, developed by programmers of varying levels of experience and training from a variety of sources, rather than being designed from the start to work together. In our experience, few, if any, were written to commercial programming standards necessary to meet the requirements of an enterprise-scale deployment. Many of these efforts have ultimately been contributed to the open source community, which includes a growing collection of hundreds of computer source code programs available for anyone to download, modify at will, and use at no cost, rather than being deployed as enterprise-scale commercial solutions.
“Do It Yourself” Enterprise AI?
Software innovation cycles follow a typical pattern. Early in the cycle, companies often take a “do it yourself” approach and try building the new technology themselves. In the 1980s, for example, when Oracle first introduced relational database management system, or RDBMS, software to the market, interest was high. RDBMS technology offered dramatic cost economies and productivity gains in application development and maintenance. We believe it proved an enabling technology for the next generation of enterprise applications that followed, including material requirements planning, or MRP, enterprise resource planning, or ERP, customer relationship management, or CRM, manufacturing automation, and others.
The early competitors in the RDBMS market included Oracle, IBM (DB2), Relational Technology (Ingres), and Sperry (Mapper). But the primary competitor to Oracle was not any of these companies. It was in many cases the CIO, who attempted to build the organization’s own RDBMS with IT personnel, offshore personnel, or the help of a systems integrator. When those efforts failed, the CIO was replaced and the organization installed a commercial RDBMS.
When enterprise applications including ERP and CRM were introduced to the market in the 1990s, the primary competitors included Oracle, SAP, and Siebel Systems. But in the early years of that innovation cycle, many CIOs attempted to develop these complex enterprise applications internally. Hundreds of person-years and hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on those projects. A few years later, a new CIO would install a working commercial system.
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Some of the most technologically astute companies—including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Compaq—repeatedly failed at internally developed CRM projects. All ultimately became successful Siebel Systems CRM customers.
Just as happened with the introduction of RDBMS, ERP, and CRM software in prior innovation cycles, the initial reaction of many IT organizations is to try to internally develop a general-purpose Enterprise AI and IoT platform, using open source software with a combination of microservices from cloud providers like AWS and Google. The process starts by taking some subset of myriad proprietary and open source solutions and organizing them into a platform architecture.
The next step is to assemble hundreds to thousands of programmers, frequently distributed around the world, using structured programming and application programming interfaces, or APIs, to attempt to stitch these various programs, data sources, sensors, machine learning models, development tools, and user interface paradigms together into a unified, functional, seamless whole that will enable the organization to excel at designing, developing, provisioning, and deploying numerous enterprise scale AI and IoT applications.
The complexity of such a system is much greater than developing a CRM or ERP system. There are a number of problems with this approach:
Complexity. Using structured programming, the number of software API connections that one needs to establish, harden, test, and verify for a complex system can, in our estimation, approach the order of 1013. The developers of the system need to individually and collectively grasp that level of complexity to get it to work. We believe the number of programmers capable of dealing with that level of complexity is quite small.
Aside from the platform developers, the application developers and data scientists also need to understand the complexity of the architecture and all the underlying data and process dependencies in order to develop any application.
Brittleness. Spaghetti-code applications of this nature are highly dependent upon each and every component working properly. If one developer introduces a bug into any one of the open source components, all applications developed with that platform may cease to function.
Future Proof. As new libraries, faster databases, and new machine learning techniques become available, those new utilities need to be available within the platform. Consequently, every application that was built on the platform will likely need to be reprogrammed in order to function correctly. This may take months to years.
Data Integration. An integrated, federated common object data model is absolutely necessary for this application domain. Using this type of structured programming, API-driven architecture may require hundreds of person-years to develop an integrated data model for any large corporation. This is the primary reason why tens to hundreds of millions of dollars are spent, and several years later, no applications are deployed. The Fortune 500 is littered with such disaster stories.
The Gordian Knot of Structured Programming
Structured programming is a technique introduced in the mid-1960s to simplify code development, testing, and maintenance. Prior to structured programming, software was written in large monolithic tomes replete with APIs and “go-to” statements. The resultant product might consist of millions of lines of code with thousands of such APIs and go-to statements that were difficult to develop, understand, debug, and maintain.
The essential idea of structured programming was to break the code into a relatively simple “main routine” and then use something called an application programming interface to call subroutines that were designed to be modular and reusable. Example subroutines might provide services like complete a ballistics calculation, or a fast Fourier transform, a linear regression, an average, a sum, or a mean. Structured programming remains the state of the art for many applications today, and has dramatically simplified the process of developing and maintaining computer code.
While this technique is appropriate for many classes of applications, it breaks down with the complexity and scale of the requirements for a modern Enterprise AI or IoT application, resulting in a Gordian knot.
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Cloud Vendor Tools
An alternative to the open source cluster is to attempt to assemble the various services and microservices offered by the cloud providers into a working seamless and cohesive Enterprise AI and IoT platform. Leading vendors like AWS are developing increasingly useful services and microservices that in many cases replicate the functionality of the open source providers and in many cases provide new and unique functionality. The advantage of this approach over open source is that these products are developed, tested, and quality assured by highly professional enterprise engineering organizations. In addition, these services were generally designed and developed with the specific purpose that they would work together and interact in a common system. The same points hold true for Azure, Google, and IBM.
The problem with this approach is that because these systems lack a model-driven architecture like that of the C3 AI Suite, described in the following section, programmers still need to employ structured programming to stitch together the various services. This results in the same type of complexity previously described—many lines of spaghetti code and numerous interdependencies that create brittle applications that are difficult and costly to maintain.
The difference between using structured programming with cloud vendor services and using the model-driven architecture of the C3 AI Suite is dramatic. To demonstrate this stark difference, C3 AI commissioned a third-party consultancy to develop an AI predictive maintenance application designed to run on the AWS cloud platform. The consultancy—a Premier AWS Consulting Partner, with significant experience developing enterprise applications on AWS for Fortune 2000 customers—was asked to develop the application using two different approaches: the C3 AI Suite and structured programming.
The time to develop and deploy this application was approximately 120 person-days at a cost in 2019 dollars of approximately $458,000. The effort required writing 16,000 lines of custom code that must be maintained over the life of the application. The resulting application runs only on AWS. To run this application on Google, it may have to be completely rebuilt for each of those platforms at a similar cost, time, and coding effort.
By contrast, using the C3 AI Suite with its modern model-driven architecture, the same application, employing the same AWS services, was developed and tested in five person-days at a cost of approximately $19,000. Only 14 lines of code were generated, dramatically decreasing the lifetime cost of maintenance. Moreover, the application will run on any cloud platform without modification, eliminating any additional effort and cost of refactoring the application if moving it to a different cloud vendor.
C3 AI Suite: Model-Driven Architecture
The notion of a model-driven architecture was developed at the beginning of the 21st century in response to the growing complexity of enterprise application development requirements. Model-driven architecture provides the knife to cut the Gordian knot of structured programming for highly complex problems. The C3 AI Suite is designed and built with a model-driven architecture.
Central to a model-driven architecture is the concept of a “model” that serves as an abstraction layer to simplify the programming problem. Using models, the programmer or application developer does not have to be concerned with all the data types, data interconnections, and processes that act on the data associated with any given entity, e.g., customer, tractor, doctor, or fuel type. He or she simply needs to address the model for any given entity—e.g., customer—and all the underlying data, data interrelationships, pointers, APIs, associations, connections, and processes associated with or used to manipulate those data are abstracted in the model itself.
Using the C3 AI Suite and its model-driven architecture, virtually anything can be represented as a model—even, for example, applications, including databases, natural language processing engines, and image recognition systems. Models also support a concept called inheritance. An AI application built with the C3 AI Suite might include a model called relational database, that in turn serves as a placeholder that might incorporate any relational database system like Oracle, Postgres, Aurora, Spanner, or SQL Server. A key-value store model might contain Cassandra, HBase, Cosmos DB, or DynamoDB.
C3 AI Reduces Complexity, Simplifies Development
With its model-driven architecture, the C3 AI Suite provides an abstraction layer and semantics to represent the application. This frees the programmer from having to worry about data mapping, API syntax, and the mechanics of myriad computational processes such as ETL, queuing, pipeline management, encryption, etc.
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The optimal design for an object model to address Enterprise AI and IoT applications uses abstract models as placeholders to which a programmer can link an appropriate application. The relational database model might link to Postgres. A report writer model might link to MicroStrategy. A data visualization model might link to Tableau. And so on. A powerful feature of a model-driven architecture is that as new open source or proprietary solutions become available, the object model library can simply be extended to incorporate that new feature.
Another important capability of the C3 AI Suite enabled by its model-driven architecture is that the applications developed on the platform are future-proofed: due to the modular nature of the model-driven architecture, new, upgraded, or enhanced services can be easily integrated with the C3 AI Suite. Suppose, for example, that an organization developed all its applications initially using Oracle as the relational database and then later decided to switch to an alternate RDBMS. The only modification required is to change the link in the RDBMS meta-model to point to the new RDBMS. All the applications deployed previously using Oracle as the RDBMS will continue to run without modification after that replacement. This enables organizations to immediately and easily take advantage of new and improved product offerings as they become available.
Platform Independence: Multi-Cloud and Polyglot Cloud Deployment
The rate of cloud computing adoption in recent years has been dramatic and continues to accelerate. As recently as 2011, the message delivered by chief executive officers and corporate leadership worldwide was clear: “Our data will never reside in the public cloud.” The message today is equally clear: “We have a cloud-first strategy. All new applications are being deployed in the cloud. Existing applications will be migrating to the cloud. But understand, we have a multi-cloud strategy.”
This 180-degree turn at global scale in the span of a few years is remarkable. But while corporate leaders are eagerly embracing the cloud, they are also very concerned about cloud vendor lock-in. They want to be able to continually negotiate. They want to deploy different applications in clouds from different vendors, and they want to be free to move applications from one cloud vendor to another.
Multi-cloud deployment is therefore an additional requirement of a modern model-driven software platform that is fully supported by the C3 AI Suite. Applications developed with the C3 AI Suite can run without modification on any cloud and on bare metal behind the firewall in a hybrid cloud environment.
A final requirement for the new AI technology stack—that the C3 AI Suite delivers—is polyglot cloud deployment capability: the ability to mix various services from multiple cloud providers and to easily swap and replace those services. The cloud vendors provide the market a great service by enabling instant access to virtually unlimited horizontally scalable computing capacity and effectively infinite storage capacity at exceptionally low cost. As the cloud vendors aggressively compete with one another on price, the cost of cloud computing and storage is consistently decreasing.
A second important service cloud vendors provide is rapid innovation of microservices. Microservices like TensorFlow from Google accelerate machine learning. Amazon Forecast facilitates deep learning for time-series data. Azure Stream Analytics integrates with Azure IoT Hub and Azure IoT Suite to enable powerful real-time analytics of IoT sensor data. It seems not a week goes by without another announcement of yet another useful microservice from AWS, Azure, and Google.
C3 AI Suite: A Tested, Proven, and Patented AI Suite
The model-driven approach to developing Enterprise AI and IoT applications using the C3 AI Suite has been tested and proven in dozens of large-scale, real-world deployments at some of the world’s largest organizations.
The C3 AI Suite provides a powerful platform enabling these and other leading organizations to develop and operate Enterprise AI and IoT applications at scale, with a fraction of the effort and resources required by other approaches. Applications built with the C3 AI Suite are flexible, easily upgraded, and can be ported across different cloud platforms with little or no modification, providing a solution that future-proofs customers’ investment in Enterprise AI and IoT application development.
Competition
Our main sources of current and potential competition fall into several categories:
internal IT organizations that develop internal solutions and provide self‑support for their enterprises;
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commercial enterprise and point solution software providers;
open source software providers with data management, machine learning, and analytics offerings;
public cloud providers offering discrete tools and micro-services with data management, machine learning, and analytics functionality;
system integrators that develop and provide custom software solutions;
legacy data management product providers; and
strategic and technology partners who may also offer our competitors’ technology or otherwise partner with them, including our strategic partners who may offer a substantially similar solution based on a competitor’s technology or internally developed technology that is competitive with ours.
Our primary competition is largely do-it-yourself, custom-developed, company-specific AI platforms and applications developed by internal IT organizations. Such efforts usually involve the integration of internally developed tools, open source solutions, and point solutions offered by independent software vendors, and/or components offered in the AWS, Azure, or Google cloud platforms. Frequently these efforts will be managed as professional service projects by organizations like Accenture or Lockheed Martin. These tend to be very costly and time-consuming software engineering projects, often fail, and, if at all successful, usually require many years to realize economic return. Most of our customers have tried and failed at one or more such bespoke development efforts, sometimes at great expense, before turning to C3 AI for their AI solution.
We are unaware of any end-to-end Enterprise AI development platforms that are directly competitive with the C3 AI Suite. The commercial product offerings that were formerly positioned as functionally equivalent to C3 AI were GE Predix and IBM Watson, both multi-billion dollar software engineering efforts backed by massive promotional campaigns; however, we do not encounter them in competitive situations.
Sales Alliances
Strategic partnerships are core to our growth strategy with market-leading companies offering highly leveraged distribution channels to various markets. Examples of these partnerships are listed below:
Baker Hughes: Oil, Gas, and Chemicals. In 2019, we a formed a strategic alliance with Baker Hughes, a $24 billion oil and gas services company. Under the terms of this alliance, Baker Hughes has standardized on C3 AI for all internal use AI applications. In addition, we are jointly marketing and selling a range of Enterprise AI solutions to address the entire value of upstream, mid-stream, and downstream activity under the BHC3.ai brand to oil and gas companies globally with the active engagement of Baker Hughes, which has a 12,000-person sales organization.
FIS: Financial Services. In September 2020, we entered into a strategic alliance with FIS, a $10.3 billion technology provider to the global financial services industry whose systems process 75 billion transactions per year worth $9 trillion. This alliance brings together the extensive financial services domain expertise of FIS with C3 AI’s Enterprise AI expertise to market and deploy the C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, including C3 AI Anti-Money Laundering and C3 AI Securities Lending Optimization, into financial services businesses. FIS will also utilize the C3 AI Suite to develop AI applications.
Infor: Manufacturing. In March 2021, we announced a wide-ranging strategic alliance with Infor, an ERP technology cloud leader. Infor plans to market, license, and deploy C3 AI prebuilt solutions to Infor customers under the Infor brand and to explore new solutions using the C3 AI Suite. Infor and C3 AI expect to leverage both companies’ existing digital portfolios to collaborate on new integrated enterprise AI applications that can support specific industry needs. The initial focus will be on predictive maintenance surrounding Internet of Things (IoT) systems with the goal of providing a more proactive and accurate maintenance strategy within Infor’s EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) solution.
AWS, Intel, and Microsoft. In addition, we have announced global alliances with AWS, Intel, and Microsoft to jointly market, sell, and service our combined offerings across industry verticals.
In the majority of our sales opportunities we are aligned with one or more of our partners.
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Thought Leadership
Our CEO, Tom Siebel, and our Chief Technology Officer, Ed Abbo, are recognized leaders in information technology, facilitating broad market validation by media, analysts, and industry groups. Their decades of technology leadership in enterprise software position them well to engage strategically with the executive leadership of leading corporations and government entities.
We have launched a communications strategy with the objective of establishing thought leadership in Enterprise AI and Digital Transformation. We believe our CEO’s bestselling book, Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction, has contributed to this effort. Digital Transformation is soon to be released for publication in French, Chinese, Russian, and Korean.
We will continue to expand our thought leadership in Enterprise AI through ongoing publications, industry conferences, advertising, keynote speeches, media interviews, television appearances, blog posts, and contributed articles.
Growth Strategy
We are substantially investing in the expansion of our direct enterprise sales and service organization both geographically and across vertical markets to expand the use of C3 AI solutions within existing customers and establish new customer relationships.
We are growing a middle market sales organization to address the needs of divisions of large organizations in addition to small and medium businesses.
We will expand our leveraged distribution channel with additional distribution partners.
We will continue to develop high volume distribution channels including digital marketing, telesales, and strategic distributors, particularly to address the needs of small and medium businesses.
We are bringing new product families to market, such as C3 AI CRM powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Adobe Experience Cloud, that we believe will develop into substantial recurring revenue streams for C3 AI.
We expect to form additional strategic development and distribution agreements, like those we have in place with Microsoft and Baker Hughes, that we expect will provide us highly leveraged access to other vertical and horizontal markets.
We continue to invest heavily in research and development to maintain technology leadership. Our product roadmap includes a wide range of new functions and products to be released in the coming years that we expect to contribute to revenue growth with both new and existing customers.
University Relations: C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute
Established in February 2020, the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute, or C3.ai DTI, is a research consortium dedicated to accelerating the benefits of artificial intelligence for business, government, and society. C3.ai DTI engages the world’s leading scientists to conduct research and train practitioners in the new Science of Digital Transformation, which operates at the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, internet of things, big data analytics, organizational behavior, public policy, and ethics.
The nine C3.ai DTI consortium member universities and laboratories are: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or UIUC, University of California, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, or NCSA, at UIUC, Princeton University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago. Industry partners include C3 AI and Microsoft. To support C3.ai DTI, C3 AI is providing C3.ai DTI $57,250,000 in cash contributions over the first five years of operation. C3 AI and Microsoft will contribute an additional in-kind support, including use of the C3 AI Suite and Azure computing, storage, and technical resources to support C3.ai DTI research.
The goal of C3.ai DTI is to develop the field of Digital Transformation Science by leveraging laboratory and research facilities at UC Berkeley, UIUC, and consortium institutions. C3.ai DTI forms dynamic teams of the world's best researchers to interact with faculty and students to advance AI techniques for industrial, commercial, and public sector applications. At the
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heart of C3.ai DTI is a constant flow of new ideas and expertise provided by ongoing research, visiting scholars and research scientists, and educational programs. This rich ecosystem focuses on addressing some of the complex issues inherent in the digital transformation of society and developing the new Science of Digital Transformation. C3.ai DTI focuses research on the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, cloud computing, big data analytics, organizational behavior, public policy, and ethics.
Specifically, C3.ai DTI supports the development of machine learning algorithms, data security, and cybersecurity techniques to address and advance solutions related to predictive analytics, resilient operation under faults and cyberattack, and assured system security. C3.ai DTI research is engaged in analyzing new business operation models, developing methods for organizational change management, developing advanced methods of protecting privacy, and advancing dialog related to the ethical implications of AI. Central to C3.ai DTI’s research is the development and validation of algorithms and designs that can dramatically affect societal systems.
In addition to contributing to the public good, C3.ai DTI exposes the capabilities of our AI Suite and AI Applications to potentially thousands of researchers, undergraduates, and graduate students at these world-renowned institutions. This helps to further build the community of C3 AI users and to establish C3 AI as the standard for developing and deploying large-scale Enterprise AI applications to solve the world’s hardest problems.
C3.ai DTI Research Award Program
Through a Call for Research Proposals managed by UC Berkeley and UIUC, C3.ai DTI annually awards up to 26 grants, ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 and for 12 months in duration. In addition to the grants, C3.ai DTI provides recipients with significant cloud computing, supercomputing, data, and software resources. This includes unlimited use of the C3 AI Suite, free access to Azure, and access to the NCSA Blue Waters supercomputer at UIUC and the NERSC Perlmutter supercomputer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Multidisciplinary and multi-institution projects are favored. Recipients are encouraged to conduct breakthrough research and to pursue and establish larger research projects with federal and other funding sources. Award recipients disseminate the results of their research during the award period, and all research results, methods, and algorithms, including algorithms and software from their research, are made available in the public domain (non-exclusive, royalty-free).
C3.ai DTI has initially funded 26 research projects to develop new AI techniques to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
C3.ai DTI Visiting Scholars Program
C3.ai DTI Visiting Scholars participate in scholarly activities to promote the Science of Digital Transformation, including conducting research, organizing workshops, and developing curricula. All research results and curriculum development, including methods, algorithms, and software resulting from the collaborative research conducted by C3.ai DTI Visiting Scholars are made freely available in the public domain.
C3.ai DTI Data Analytics Platform
C3.ai DTI hosts an elastic cloud, big data, development, and operating platform, including the C3 AI Suite hosted in an Azure instance, for the purpose of supporting C3.ai DTI research, curriculum development, and classwork. In addition, UC Berkeley and UIUC provide additional cloud computing and storage resources as well as use of the National Energy Research Supercomputer NERSC-9 Perlmutter at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the NCSA Blue Waters at UIUC. These resources are available to award recipients to conduct research on the development of machine learning algorithms, data security techniques, and cybersecurity methodologies related specifically to AI and IoT. The AI/ML and data analytics platform will also serve as an instructional and research platform for Digital Transformation Science courses.
Government Regulation
Our business activities are subject to various federal, state, local, and foreign laws, rules, and regulations. Compliance with these laws, rules, and regulations has not had, and is not expected to have, a material effect on our capital expenditures, results of operations and competitive position as compared to prior periods. Nevertheless, compliance with existing or future governmental regulations, including, but not limited to, those pertaining to global trade, consumer and data protection, and taxes, could have a material impact on our business in subsequent periods. For more information on the potential impacts of
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government regulations affecting our business, see the section titled “Risk Factors” contained in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Available Information
Our website address is located at www.c3.ai, and our investor relations website is located at ir.c3.ai. We file electronically with the SEC our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act. We make available on our investor relations website, free of charge, copies of these reports and other information as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. These filings with the SEC are also available on the SEC’s website located at www.sec.gov.
We announce material information to the public through a variety of means, including filings with the SEC, press releases, public conference calls, our website (c3.ai) and the investor relations section of our website (ir.c3.ai). We use these channels to communicate with investors and the public about our company, our products and services and other matters. Therefore, we encourage investors, the media and others interested in our company to review the information we make public in these locations, as such information could be deemed to be material information. Further, corporate governance information, including our corporate governance guidelines, code of business conduct and ethics, and committee charters, is also available on our investor relations website.
The content of or accessible through our websites are not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC, and any references to our websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
You should consider carefully the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the section titled “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes. Our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects could also be harmed by risks and uncertainties that are not presently known to us or that we currently believe are not material. If any of the risks actually occur, our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. Unless otherwise indicated, references to our business being harmed in these risk factors will include harm to our business, C3 AI Suite, C3 AI Applications, reputation, brand, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects. In such event, the market price of our Class A common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
Risks Related to Our Business and Our Industry
We have a limited operating history, which makes it difficult to evaluate our prospects and future results of operations.
We were founded in 2009. As a result of our limited operating history, our ability to forecast our future results of operations is limited and subject to a number of uncertainties, including our ability to plan for and model future growth. Our historical revenue growth should not be considered indicative of our future performance. Further, in future periods, we expect our revenue growth to slow. A number of factors could cause our growth rate to be adversely impacted, including any reduction in demand for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, increased competition, contraction of our overall market, our inability to accurately forecast demand for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, or our failure, for any reason, to capitalize on growth opportunities. We have encountered and will encounter risks and uncertainties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly changing industries, such as the risks and uncertainties described herein. If our assumptions regarding these risks and uncertainties, which we use to plan our business, are incorrect or change, or if we do not address these risks successfully, our business would be harmed.
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Historically, a limited number of customers have accounted for a substantial portion of our revenue. If existing customers do not renew their contracts with us, or if our relationships with our largest customers are impaired or terminated, our revenue could decline, and our results of operations would be adversely impacted.
We derive a significant portion of our revenue from a limited number of existing customers. Our top two market partners, each of which has an enterprise agreement with us that may encompass multiple customers, together accounted for 31% and 36% of our revenue for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Further, these partners have been with us for an average of 3.9 years. Each of Baker Hughes Company, or Baker Hughes, and Engie accounted for greater than 10% of our revenue for fiscal years ended April 30, 2021 and 2020. In June 2016, we entered into a master license and services agreement with Engie whereby Engie partners with us to support their digital transformation with a non-exclusive, worldwide license to our C3 AI Suite and certain C3 AI Applications. This arrangement was revised in June 2019 to extend the term by an additional three years for a total of six years. Our master license and services agreement with Engie is terminable by either party upon 30 days’ written notice if the other party materially breaches the agreement or applicable order form and does not cure such breach prior to the end of that 30 day period, and under certain circumstances in connection with a change of control of either party. In April 2019, we entered into a professional services agreement with Engie pursuant to which we develop a customized application for Engie on our C3 AI Suite. This arrangement has a three year term and permits Engie to terminate the contract at the start of the third year subject to a wind down fee of approximately €2.5 million payable by Engie. In October 2020, we entered into a professional services agreement with Engie pursuant to which we develop another customized application for Engie on our C3 AI Suite. This arrangement has a five year term and permits Engie to terminate the contract after the 20th month. Certain of our customers, including customers that, at the time, represented a significant portion of our business, have in the past reduced their spend with us or decided to not renew their subscriptions with us, which has reduced our anticipated future payments or revenue from these customers. It is not possible for us to predict the future level of demand from our larger customers for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. In addition, our average total subscription contract value is decreasing, and we expect it to continue to decrease as we expand our customer base beyond a small number of large customers to a larger number of smaller customers.
Our commercial customers typically purchase three-year subscriptions which generally do not provide for a right to terminate the subscription for convenience. Our customers generally have no obligation to renew, upgrade, or expand their subscriptions with us after the terms of their existing subscriptions expire. In addition, our customers may opt to decrease their usage of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. As a result, we cannot provide assurance that our customers will renew, upgrade, or expand their subscriptions with us, if they renew at all. If one or more of our customers elect not to renew their subscriptions with us, or if our customers renew their subscriptions with us for shorter time periods, or if our customers decrease their usage of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, or if our customers otherwise seek to renegotiate terms of their existing agreements on terms less favorable to us, our business and results of operations would be adversely affected. This adverse impact would be even more pronounced for customers that represent a material portion of our revenue or business operations.
Our business depends on our ability to attract new customers and on our existing customers purchasing additional subscriptions from us and renewing their subscriptions.
To increase our revenue, we must continue to attract new customers. Our success will depend to a substantial extent on the widespread adoption of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Although demand for data management, machine learning, analytics, and artificial intelligence platforms and applications has grown in recent years, the market for these platforms and applications continues to evolve. Numerous factors may impede our ability to add new customers, including but not limited to, our failure to compete effectively against alternative products or services, failure to attract and effectively train new sales and marketing personnel, failure to develop or expand relationships with partners and resellers, failure to successfully innovate and deploy new applications and other solutions, failure to provide a quality customer experience and customer support, or failure to ensure the effectiveness of our marketing programs. If we are not able to attract new customers, it will have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, our future success depends on our ability to sell additional subscriptions for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to our existing customers, and our customers renewing their subscriptions when the contract term expires. Our commercial customers typically purchase three-year subscriptions which generally do not provide for a right to terminate the subscription for convenience. Our customers generally have no contractual obligation to renew, upgrade, or expand their subscriptions after the terms of their existing subscriptions expire. In addition, our customers may opt to decrease their usage of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Given our limited operating history, we may not be able to accurately predict
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customer renewal rates. Our customers’ renewal and expansion commitments may decline or fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, including, but not limited to, their satisfaction with our C3 AI Suite, applications and our customer support, the frequency and severity of software and implementation errors or other reliability issues, the pricing of our subscriptions or competing solutions, changes in their IT budget, the effects of global economic conditions, and our customers’ financial circumstances, including their ability to maintain or expand their spending levels or continue their operations. In order for us to maintain or improve our results of operations, it is important that our customers renew or expand their subscriptions with us. If our customers do not purchase additional subscriptions or seats or increase their usage or our customers do not renew their subscriptions, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be harmed.
We have limited historical experience with supporting or selling to smaller, non-enterprise customers. We intend to grow our customer base and further contribute to our overall growth by introducing product offerings with a lower entry price point, such as our no-code offering C3 AI Ex Machina. However, by broadening our customer base to include smaller or mid-size customers pursuant to C3 AI Ex Machina or similar offerings, we will be faced with risks that may not be present or that are present to a lesser extent with respect to sales to large organizations. For example, purchases of our C3 AI Ex Machina offering do not typically require the customer to sign a three-year subscription. Because of our limited experience in supporting or selling to smaller, non-enterprise customers, we may be unsuccessful in our efforts to get future smaller customers to renew or expand their subscriptions to our offerings. If such customers do not renew their agreements or renew on less favorable terms or for less usage, our revenue may grow more slowly than expected or decline, and our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be harmed.
Achieving renewal or expansion of usage and subscriptions may require us to engage increasingly in sophisticated and costly sales and support efforts that may not result in additional sales. In addition, the rate at which our customers expand the deployment of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications depends on a number of factors. If our efforts to expand our relationships with our customers are not successful, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be harmed.
Because we derive substantially all of our revenue from our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, failure of Enterprise AI solutions in general and our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in particular to satisfy customer demands or to achieve increased market acceptance would adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition, and growth prospects.
We derive and expect to continue for the foreseeable future to derive substantially all of our revenue from our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. As such, the market acceptance of Enterprise AI solutions in general, and our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in particular, are critical to our continued success. Market acceptance of an Enterprise AI solution depends in part on market awareness of the benefits that Enterprise AI can provide over legacy products, emerging point products, and manual processes. In addition, in order for cloud-based Enterprise AI solutions to be widely accepted, organizations must overcome any concerns with placing sensitive information on a cloud-based platform. In addition, demand for our platform in particular is affected by a number of other factors, some of which are beyond our control. These factors include continued market acceptance of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, the pace at which existing customers realize benefits from the use of our platform and decide to expand deployment of our platform across their business, the timing of development and release of new products by our competitors, technological change, reliability and security, the pace at which enterprises undergo digital transformation, and developments in data privacy regulations. In addition, we expect that the needs of our customers will continue to rapidly change and increase in complexity. We will need to improve the functionality and performance of our platform continually to meet those rapidly changing, complex demands. If we are unable to continue to meet customer demands or to achieve more widespread market acceptance of Enterprise AI solutions in general or our platform in particular, our business operations, financial results, and growth prospects will be materially and adversely affected.
Our current C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, as well as applications, features, and functionality that we may introduce in the future, may not be widely accepted by our customers or may receive negative attention or may require us to compensate or reimburse third parties, any of which may lower our margins and harm our business.
Our ability to engage, retain, and increase our base of customers and to increase our revenue will depend on our ability to successfully create new applications, features, and functionality, both independently and together with third parties. We may introduce significant changes to our existing C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or develop and introduce new and unproven applications, including technologies with which we have little or no prior development or operating experience. These new applications and updates may fail to engage, retain, and increase our base of customers or may create lag in adoption of such new applications. New applications may initially suffer from performance and quality issues that may negatively impact our
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ability to market and sell such applications to new and existing customers. The short- and long-term impact of any major change to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, or the introduction of new applications, is particularly difficult to predict. If new or enhanced applications fail to engage, retain, and increase our base of customers, we may fail to generate sufficient revenue, operating margin, or other value to justify our investments in such applications, any of which may harm our business in the short term, long term, or both.
In addition, our current C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, as well as applications, features, and functionality that we may introduce in the future, may require us to compensate or reimburse third parties. In addition, new applications that we introduce in the future may similarly require us to compensate or reimburse third parties, all of which would lower our profit margins for any such new applications. If this trend continues with our new and existing C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, it could harm our business.
We have a history of operating losses and may not achieve or sustain profitability in the future.
We incurred net losses in each period since our founding in 2009. We generated net losses of approximately $55.7 million and $69.4 million for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively, and expect to continue to incur net losses for the foreseeable future. As a result, we had an accumulated deficit of $349.3 million as of April 30, 2021. These losses and accumulated deficit reflect the substantial investments we made to acquire new customers, commercialize our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, and continue to develop our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. While we have experienced revenue growth in recent periods, we do not know whether or when we will generate sufficient revenue to sustain or increase our growth or achieve or maintain profitability in the future. We also expect our costs and expenses to increase in future periods, which could negatively affect our future results of operations if our revenue does not increase. In particular, we intend to continue to expend significant funds to further develop our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and business, including:
investments in our research and development team and in the development of new features and enhancements of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, including the hiring of additional development staff, and fees paid to third parties for related enhancements;
investments in sales, marketing, and services, including expanding our sales force and our customer service team, increasing our customer base, increasing market awareness of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, and development of new technologies;
expanding our operations and infrastructure; and
hiring additional employees.
We will also face increased compliance costs associated with growth, the expansion of our customer base, and being a public company. Our efforts to grow our business may be costlier than we expect, our revenue growth may be slower than we expect, and we may not be able to increase our revenue enough to offset our increased operating expenses. We may incur significant losses in the future for a number of reasons, including the other risks described herein, and unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications or delays, and other unknown events. If we are unable to achieve and sustain profitability, the value of our business and Class A common stock may significantly decrease.
We face intense competition and could lose market share to our competitors, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The market for our products is intensely competitive and characterized by rapid changes in technology, customer requirements, industry standards, and frequent new platform and application introductions and improvements. We anticipate continued competitive challenges from current competitors who address different aspects of our offerings, and in many cases, these competitors are more established and enjoy greater resources than we do. We also expect competitive challenges from new entrants into the industry. If we are unable to anticipate or effectively react to these competitive challenges, our competitive position could weaken, and we could experience a decline in our growth rate and revenue that could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Our main sources of current and potential competition fall into several categories:
internal IT organizations that develop internal solutions and provide self‑support for their enterprises;
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commercial enterprise and point solution software providers;
open source software providers with data management, machine learning, and analytics offerings;
public cloud providers offering discrete tools and micro-services with data management, machine learning, and analytics functionality;
system integrators that develop and provide custom software solutions;
legacy data management product providers; and
strategic and technology partners who may also offer our competitors’ technology or otherwise partner with them, including our strategic partners who may offer a substantially similar solution based on a competitor’s technology or internally developed technology that is competitive with ours.
Many of our existing competitors have, and some of our potential competitors could have, substantial competitive advantages such as:
greater name recognition, longer operating histories, and larger customer bases;
larger sales and marketing budgets and resources and the capacity to leverage their sales efforts and marketing expenditures across a broader portfolio of products;
broader, deeper, or otherwise more established relationships with technology, channel, and distribution partners and customers;
wider geographic presence or greater access to larger customer bases;
greater focus in specific geographies or industries;
lower labor and research and development costs;
larger and more mature intellectual property portfolios; and
substantially greater financial, technical, and other resources to provide support, to make acquisitions, hire talent, and to develop and introduce new products.
In addition, some of our larger competitors have substantially broader and more diverse platform and application offerings and may be able to leverage their relationships with distribution partners and customers based on other products or incorporate functionality into existing products to gain business in a manner that discourages potential customers from subscribing to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, including by selling at zero or negative margins, bundling with other offerings, or offering closed technology platforms. Potential customers may also prefer to purchase from their existing suppliers rather than a new supplier regardless of platform or application performance or features. As a result, even if the features of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications are superior, potential customers may not purchase our offerings. These larger competitors often have broader product lines and market focus or greater resources and may therefore not be as susceptible to economic downturns or other significant reductions in capital spending by customers. If we are unable to sufficiently differentiate our solutions from the integrated or bundled products of our competitors, such as by offering enhanced functionality, performance or value, we may see a decrease in demand for our offerings, which could adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.
Moreover, new innovative start‑up companies, and larger companies that are making significant investments in research and development, may introduce products that have greater performance or functionality, are easier to implement or use, or incorporate technological advances that we have not yet developed or implemented, or may invent similar or superior technologies that compete with ours. Our current and potential competitors may also establish cooperative relationships among themselves or with third parties that may further enhance their resources.
Some of our competitors have made or could make acquisitions of businesses that allow them to offer more competitive and comprehensive solutions. As a result of such acquisitions, our current or potential competitors may be able to accelerate the adoption of new technologies that better address customer needs, devote greater resources to bring these platforms and
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applications to market, initiate or withstand substantial price competition, or develop and expand their product and service offerings more quickly than we can. These competitive pressures in our market or our failure to compete effectively may result in fewer orders, reduced revenue and gross margins, and loss of market share. In addition, it is possible that industry consolidation may impact customers’ perceptions of the viability of smaller or even mid‑size software firms and consequently customers’ willingness to purchase from such firms.
We may not compete successfully against our current or potential competitors. If we are unable to compete successfully, or if competing successfully requires us to take costly actions in response to the actions of our competitors, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely affected. In addition, companies competing with us may have an entirely different pricing or distribution model. Increased competition could result in fewer customer orders, price reductions, reduced operating margins, and loss of market share. Further, we may be required to make substantial additional investments in research, development, marketing, and sales in order to respond to such competitive threats, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to compete successfully in the future.
Our sales cycles can be long and unpredictable, particularly with respect to large subscriptions, and our sales efforts require considerable time and expense.
Our results of operations may fluctuate, in part, because of the complexity of customer problems that our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications address, the resource‑intensive nature of our sales efforts, the length and variability of the sales cycle for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, and the difficulty in making short‑term adjustments to our operating expenses. The timing of our sales is difficult to predict. The length of our sales cycle, from initial evaluation to payment for our subscriptions is generally six to nine months but can vary substantially from customer to customer and can extend over a number of years for some customers. Our sales efforts involve educating our customers about the use, technical capabilities, and benefits of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Customers often undertake a prolonged evaluation process, which frequently involves not only our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications but also those of other companies. In addition, the size of potential customers may lead to longer sales cycles. For instance, we invest resources into sales to large organizations and large organizations typically undertake a significant evaluation and negotiation process due to their leverage, size, organizational structure and approval requirements, all of which can lengthen our sales cycle. We may also face unexpected deployment challenges with large organizations or more complicated deployment of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Large organizations may demand additional features, support services, and pricing concessions or require additional security management or control features. Some organizations may also require an on-premise solution rather than a cloud solution, which potentially requires additional implementation time and potentially a longer sales cycle. We may spend substantial time, effort and money on sales efforts to large organizations without any assurance that our efforts will produce any sales or that these customers will deploy our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications widely enough across their organization to justify our substantial upfront investment. As a result, it is difficult to predict exactly when, or even if, we will make a sale to a potential customer or if we can increase sales to our existing customers.
Individual sales tend to be large as a proportion of our overall sales, which impacts our ability to plan and manage cash flows and margins. These large individual sales have, in some cases, occurred in quarters or years subsequent to those we anticipated, or have not occurred at all. If our sales cycle lengthens or our substantial upfront investments do not result in sufficient revenue to justify our investments, our operating results could be adversely affected. In addition, within each quarter or year, it is difficult to project which month a deal will close. Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether we are achieving our quarterly or annual expectations until near the end of the applicable quarter or year. Most of our expenses are relatively fixed or require time to adjust. Therefore, if expectations for our business are not accurate, we may not be able to adjust our cost structure on a timely basis, and our margins and cash flows may differ from expectations.
Certain revenue metrics such as net dollar-based retention rate or annual recurring revenue may not be accurate indicators of our future financial results.
Other subscription-based software companies often report on metrics such as net dollar-based revenue retention rate, annual recurring revenue or other revenue metrics, and investors and analysts sometimes look to these metrics as indicators of business activity in a period for businesses such as ours. However, given our large average subscription contract value and our dependence on a small number of high-value customer contracts, these metrics are not accurate indicators of future revenue for any given period of time because the gain or loss of even a single high-value customer contract could cause significant volatility in these metrics. If investors and analysts view our business through these metrics, the trading price of our Class A common stock may be adversely affected.
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Changes in our subscription or pricing models could adversely affect our operating results.
As the markets for our subscriptions grow, as new competitors introduce new products or services that compete with ours, or as we enter into new international markets, we may be unable to attract new customers at the same price or based on the same pricing model as we have historically used. Regardless of pricing model used, large customers may demand higher price discounts than in the past. As a result, we may be required to reduce our prices, offer shorter contract durations or offer alternative pricing models, which could adversely affect our revenue, gross margin, profitability, financial position, and cash flow.
We have limited experience with respect to determining the optimal prices for subscriptions for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. In the past, we have been able to increase our prices for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications but we may choose not to introduce or be unsuccessful in implementing future price increases. Our competitors may introduce new products that compete with ours or reduce their prices, or we may be unable to attract new customers or retain existing customers based on our historical subscription and pricing models. Given our limited operating history and limited experience with our historical subscription and pricing models, we may not be able to accurately predict customer renewal or retention rates. As a result, we may be required or choose to reduce our prices or change our pricing model, which could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our revenue growth depends in part on the success of our strategic relationships with third parties, including channel partners, and if we are unable to establish and maintain successful relationships with them, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We seek to grow our partner ecosystem as a way to grow our business. We anticipate that we will continue to establish and maintain relationships with third parties, such as channel partners, resellers, OEMs, system integrators, independent software and hardware vendors, and platform and cloud service providers. For example, in June 2019, we entered into a strategic collaboration with Baker Hughes whereby Baker Hughes operates as the exclusive channel partner and reseller of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in the oil and gas industry and a non-exclusive reseller in other industries. This arrangement was revised in June 2020 to extend the term by an additional two years for a total of five years, with an expiration date in the fiscal year ending April 30, 2024. We also have strategic relationships with AWS, FIS, Google, Microsoft, Raytheon and Infor.
We plan to continue to establish and maintain similar strategic relationships in certain industry verticals and otherwise, and we expect our channel partners to become an increasingly important aspect of our business. However, these strategic relationships could limit our ability in the future to compete in certain industry verticals and, depending on the success of our third-party partners and the industries that those partners operate in generally, may negatively impact our business because of the nature of strategic alliances, exclusivity provisions, or otherwise. We work closely with select vendors to design solutions to specifically address the needs of certain industry verticals or use cases within those verticals. As our agreements with strategic partners terminate or expire, we may be unable to renew or replace these agreements on comparable terms, or at all. For instance, our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications are marketed in the oil and gas industry on a co-branded basis with Baker Hughes. In the event of any termination, expiration, or renegotiation of the arrangement with Baker Hughes, we may lose the right to continue to co-brand our products in this industry, and it may be difficult for us to arrange for another channel partner to sell our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in the oil and gas industry in a timely manner, and we could lose brand awareness and sales opportunities during the transition.
Our future growth in revenue and ability to achieve and sustain profitability depends in part on our ability to identify, establish, and retain successful strategic partner relationships in the United States and internationally, which will take significant time and resources and involve significant risk. To the extent we do identify such partners, we will need to negotiate the terms of a commercial agreement with them under which the partner would distribute our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. We cannot be certain that we will be able to negotiate commercially attractive terms with any strategic partner, if at all. In addition, all channel partners must be trained to distribute our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. In order to develop and expand our distribution channel, we must develop and improve our processes for channel partner introduction and training. If we do not succeed in identifying suitable strategic partners or maintain our relationships with such partners, our business, operating results, and financial condition may be adversely affected.
Moreover, we cannot guarantee that the partners with whom we have strategic relationships will continue to devote the resources necessary to expand our reach and increase our distribution. In addition, customer satisfaction with services and other support from our strategic partners may be less than anticipated, negatively impacting anticipated revenue growth and results of
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operations. We cannot be certain that these partners will prioritize or provide adequate resources to selling our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Further, some of our strategic partners offer competing platforms and applications or also work with our competitors. As a result of these factors, many of the companies with whom we have strategic alliances may choose to pursue alternative technologies and develop alternative platforms and applications in addition to or in lieu of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, either on their own or in collaboration with others, including our competitors. We cannot assure you that our strategic partners will continue to cooperate with us. In addition, actions taken or omitted to be taken by such parties may adversely affect us. Moreover, we rely on our channel partners to operate in accordance with the terms of their contractual agreements with us. For example, our agreements with our channel partners limit the terms and conditions pursuant to which they are authorized to resell or distribute our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and offer technical support and related services. If we are unsuccessful in establishing or maintaining our relationships with third parties, or if our strategic partners do not comply with their contractual obligations to us, our business, operating results, and financial condition may be adversely affected. Even if we are successful in establishing and maintaining these relationships with third parties, we cannot assure you that these relationships will result in increased customer usage of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or increased revenue to us.
In addition, some of our sales to government entities have been made, and in the future may be made, indirectly through our channel partners. Government entities may have statutory, contractual, or other legal rights to terminate contracts with our channel partners for convenience or due to a default, and, in the future, if the portion of government contracts that are subject to renegotiation or termination at the election of the government entity are material, any such termination or renegotiation may adversely impact our future operating results. In the event of such termination, it may be difficult for us to arrange for another channel partner to sell our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to these government entities in a timely manner, and we could lose sales opportunities during the transition. Government entities routinely investigate and audit government contractors’ administrative processes, and any unfavorable audit could result in the government entity refusing to renew its subscription to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, a reduction of revenue, or fines or civil or criminal liability if the audit uncovers improper or illegal activities.
If the market for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications fails to grow as we expect, or if businesses fail to adopt our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
It is difficult to predict customer adoption rates and demand for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, the entry of competitive platforms, or the future growth rate and size of the cloud-based software and software-as-a-service, or SaaS, business software markets. A substantial majority of our revenue has come from sales of our subscription-based software products, which we expect to continue for the foreseeable future. Although demand for data management, machine learning, and analytics platforms and applications has grown in recent years, the market for these platforms and applications continues to evolve. We cannot be sure that this market will continue to grow or, even if it does grow, that businesses will adopt our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Our future success will depend in large part on our ability to further penetrate the existing market for Enterprise AI software, as well as the continued growth and expansion of what we believe to be an emerging market for Enterprise AI platforms and applications that are faster, easier to adopt, and easier to use. Our ability to further penetrate the Enterprise AI market depends on a number of factors, including the cost, performance, and perceived value associated with our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, as well as customers’ willingness to adopt a different approach to data analysis. We have spent, and intend to keep spending, considerable resources to educate potential customers about digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in general and our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in particular. However, we cannot be sure that these expenditures will help our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications achieve any additional market acceptance. Furthermore, potential customers may have made significant investments in legacy analytics software systems and may be unwilling to invest in new platforms and applications. If the market fails to grow or grows more slowly than we currently expect or businesses fail to adopt our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
If we fail to respond to rapid technological changes, extend our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or develop new features and functionality, our ability to remain competitive could be impaired.
The market for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications is characterized by rapid technological change and frequent new platform and application introductions and enhancements, changing customer demands, and evolving industry standards. The introduction of platforms and applications embodying new technologies can quickly make existing platforms and applications obsolete and unmarketable. Data management, machine learning, and analytics platforms and applications are inherently complex, and it can take a long time and require significant research and development expenditures to develop and test new or
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enhanced platforms and applications. The success of any enhancements or improvements to our existing C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or any new applications depends on several factors, including timely completion, competitive pricing, adequate quality testing, integration with existing technologies, and overall market acceptance.
Our ability to grow our customer base and generate revenue from customers will depend heavily on our ability to enhance and improve our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, to develop additional functionality and use cases, introduce new features and applications and interoperate across an increasing range of devices, operating systems, and third-party applications. Our customers may require features and capabilities that our current C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications do not have or may face use cases that our current C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications do not address. We invest significantly in research and development, and our goal is to focus our spending on measures that improve quality and ease of adoption and create organic customer demand for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. When we develop a new enhancement or improvement to our C3 AI Suite or applications, we typically incur expenses and expend resources upfront to develop, market and promote the new enhancement and improvement. Therefore, when we develop and introduce new enhancements and improvements to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, they must achieve high levels of market acceptance in order to justify the amount of our investment in developing and bringing them to market. There is no assurance that our enhancements to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or our new application experiences, functionality, use cases, features, or capabilities will be compelling to our customers or gain market acceptance. If our research and development investments do not accurately anticipate customer demand, or if we fail to develop our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in a manner that satisfies customer preferences in a secure, timely and cost-effective manner, we may fail to retain our existing customers or increase demand for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications.
Moreover, even if we introduce new C3 AI Suite capabilities and C3 AI Applications, we may experience a decline in revenue from sales of our existing C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications that is not offset by revenue from the new C3 AI Suite capabilities or applications. For example, customers may delay ordering subscriptions of new C3 AI Suite capabilities or applications to permit them to make a more thorough evaluation of the C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or until industry and marketplace reviews become widely available. Some customers may hesitate to migrate to new C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications due to concerns regarding the complexity of migration and suite or application infancy issues on performance. In addition, we may lose existing customers who choose a competitor’s AI platforms and applications rather than migrate to our new C3 AI Suite capabilities and applications. This could result in a temporary or permanent revenue shortfall and adversely affect our business.
Any failure of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to operate effectively with future infrastructure platforms and technologies could reduce the demand for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. If we are unable to respond to these changes in a timely and cost-effective manner, our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications may become less marketable, less competitive, or obsolete, and our operating results may be adversely affected.
The introduction of new AI platforms and applications by competitors or the development of entirely new technologies to replace existing offerings could make our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications obsolete or adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. We may experience difficulties with software development, design, or marketing that could delay or prevent our development, introduction, or implementation of new C3 AI Suite or application experiences, features, or capabilities. We have in the past experienced delays in our internally planned release dates of new features and capabilities, and there can be no assurance that new C3 AI Suite or C3 AI Application features or capabilities will be released according to schedule. Any delays could result in adverse publicity, loss of revenue or market acceptance, or claims by customers brought against us, all of which could harm our business. Moreover, new productivity features for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications may require substantial investment, and we have no assurance that such investments will be successful. If customers do not widely adopt our new C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Application features and capabilities, we may not be able to realize a return on our investment. If we are unable to develop, license, or acquire new features and capabilities to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications on a timely and cost-effective basis, or if such enhancements do not achieve market acceptance, our business could be harmed.
If we were to lose the services of our CEO or other members of our senior management team, we may not be able to execute our business strategy.
Our success depends in a large part upon the continued service of key members of our senior management team. In particular, our founder and CEO, Thomas M. Siebel, is critical to our overall management, sales strategy, culture, strategic direction, engineering, and operations. In addition, Mr. Siebel is a recognized leader in information technology and is critical to
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the continued development of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. All of our executive officers are at-will employees, and we do not maintain any key person life insurance policies. The loss of any member of our senior management team could make it more difficult to execute our business strategy and, therefore, harm our business.
The failure to effectively develop and expand our marketing and sales capabilities could harm our ability to increase our customer base and achieve broader market acceptance of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications.
Our ability to expand our customer base and achieve broader market acceptance of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications depends to a significant extent on our ability to continue to expand our marketing and sales operations and the ultimate effectiveness of those operations. We plan to continue expanding our sales force and strategic partners, both domestically and internationally.
Identifying and recruiting qualified sales representatives and training them is time consuming and resource intensive, and they may not be fully trained and productive for a significant amount of time. Our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications are complicated and, as such, our sales force and operations require significant time and investment for proper recruitment, onboarding, and training in order for our sales operations to be productive. In addition, as we enter into new markets, expand the capabilities of our C3 AI Suite and offer new C3 AI Applications, we may need to identify and recruit additional sales and marketing efforts specific to such strategic expansion. Our efforts to do so may be increasingly resource intensive, time consuming, and ultimately unsuccessful. We also dedicate significant resources to sales and marketing programs, including internet and other online advertising. All of these efforts require us to invest significant financial and other resources. In addition, the cost to acquire customers is high due to these marketing and sales efforts. Our business will be harmed if our efforts do not generate a correspondingly significant increase in revenue. We will not achieve anticipated revenue growth from expanding our sales force if we are unable to hire, develop, and retain talented sales personnel, if our new sales personnel are unable to achieve desired productivity levels in a reasonable period of time, or if our sales and marketing programs are not effective.
In addition, our business would be adversely affected if our marketing and sales efforts are not successful and generate increases in revenue that are smaller than anticipated. If our marketing and sales efforts are not effective, our sales and revenue may grow more slowly than expected or materially decline, and our business may be significantly harmed.
If we fail to develop, maintain, and enhance our brand and reputation cost-effectively, our business and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We believe that developing, maintaining, and enhancing awareness and integrity of our brand and reputation in a cost-effective manner are important to achieving widespread acceptance of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and are important elements in attracting new customers and maintaining existing customers. We believe that the importance of our brand and reputation will increase as competition in our market further intensifies. Successful promotion of our brand depends on the effectiveness of our marketing efforts, our ability to provide a reliable and useful C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications at competitive prices, the perceived value of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, our ability to maintain our customers’ trust, our ability to continue to develop additional functionality and use cases and our ability to differentiate our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and capabilities from competitive offerings. Brand promotion activities may not yield increased revenue, and even if they do, the increased revenue may not offset the expenses we incur in building and maintaining our brand and reputation. We also rely on our customer base in a variety of ways, including to give us feedback on our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. If we fail to promote and maintain our brand successfully or to maintain loyalty among our customers, or if we incur substantial expenses in an unsuccessful attempt to promote and maintain our brand, we may fail to attract new customers and partners or retain our existing customers and partners and our business and financial condition may be adversely affected. Any negative publicity relating to our employees, partners, or others associated with these parties, may also tarnish our own reputation simply by association and may reduce the value of our brand. Damage to our brand and reputation may result in reduced demand for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and increased risk of losing market share to our competitors. Any efforts to restore the value of our brand and rebuild our reputation may be costly and may not be successful.
We also enter into strategic relationships in which we co-brand our products. If these relationships terminate, it may have an adverse effect on our brand. For example, our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications are marketed in the oil and gas industry on a co-branded basis with Baker Hughes. In the event of any termination or expiration of the arrangement with Baker Hughes, we may lose the right to continue using the co-brand to market and sell our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in the oil and gas industry, and it may be difficult for us to arrange for another channel partner to sell our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications
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in the oil and gas industry in a timely manner, and we could lose brand awareness and sales opportunities during the transition, which could potentially harm our business.
We may not successfully manage our growth or plan for future growth.
Since our founding in 2009, we have experienced rapid growth. For example, our headcount has grown to 574 full-time employees as of April 30, 2021, with employees located both in the United States and internationally. The growth and expansion of our business places a continuous and significant strain on our management, operational, and financial resources. Further growth of our operations to support our customer base, our expanding third-party relationships, our information technology systems, and our internal controls and procedures may not be adequate to support our operations. Managing our growth will also require significant expenditures and allocation of valuable management resource, including the challenges of integrating, developing, and motivating a rapidly growing employee base in various countries around the world. Certain members of our management have not previously worked together for an extended period of time, and some do not have experience managing a public company, which may affect how they manage our growth.
In addition, 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. We have encountered in the past, and may encounter in the future, risks and uncertainties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly changing industries. 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 would be harmed.
If we are unable to ensure that our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications interoperate with a variety of software applications that are developed by others, including our partners, we may become less competitive and our results of operations may be harmed.
Our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications must integrate with a variety of hardware and software platforms, and we need to continuously modify and enhance our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to adapt to changes in hardware and software technologies. In particular, we have developed our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to be able to easily integrate with key third-party applications, including the applications of software providers that compete with us as well as our partners. We are typically subject to standard terms and conditions of such providers, which govern the distribution, operation, and fees of such software systems, and which are subject to change by such providers from time to time. Our business will be harmed if any provider of such software systems:
discontinues or limits our access to its software;
modifies its terms of service or other policies, including fees charged to, or other restrictions on us, or other platform and application developers;
changes how information is accessed by us or our customers;
establishes more favorable relationships with one or more of our competitors; or
develops or otherwise favors its own competitive offerings over our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications.
Third-party services and products are constantly evolving, and we may not be able to modify our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to assure their compatibility with that of other third parties as they continue to develop or emerge in the future or we may not be able to make such modifications in a timely and cost-effective manner. In addition, some of our competitors may be able to disrupt the operations or compatibility of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications with their products or services, or exert strong business influence on our ability to, and terms on which we, operate our C3 AI Suite. Should any of our competitors modify their products or standards in a manner that degrades the functionality of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or gives preferential treatment to our competitors or competitive products, whether to enhance their competitive position or for any other reason, the interoperability of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications with these products could decrease and our business, results of operations, and financial condition would be harmed. If we are not permitted or able to integrate with these and other third-party applications in the future, our business, results of operations, and financial condition would be harmed.
Our ability to sell subscriptions to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications could be harmed by real or perceived material defects or errors in our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications.
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The software technology underlying our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications is inherently complex and may contain material defects or errors, particularly when new applications are first introduced, when new features or capabilities are released, or when integrated with new or updated third-party hardware or software. There can be no assurance that our existing C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and new applications will not contain defects or errors. Any real or perceived errors, failures, vulnerabilities, or bugs in our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications could result in negative publicity or lead to data security, access, retention, or other performance issues, all of which could harm our business. Correcting such defects or errors may be costly and time-consuming and could harm our business. Moreover, the harm to our reputation and legal liability related to such defects or errors may be substantial and would harm our business.
The failure to attract and retain additional qualified personnel or to maintain our company culture could harm our business and culture and prevent us from executing our business strategy.
To execute our business strategy, we must attract and retain highly qualified personnel. Competition for executives, data scientists, engineers, software developers, sales personnel, and other key employees in our industry is intense. In particular, we compete with many other companies for employees with high levels of expertise in designing, developing and managing platforms and applications for data management, machine learning, and analytics technologies, as well as for skilled data scientists, sales, and operations professionals. In addition, we are extremely selective in our hiring process which requires significant investment of time and resources from internal stakeholders and management. At times, we have experienced, and we may continue to experience, difficulty in hiring personnel who meet the demands of our selection process and with appropriate qualifications, experience, or expertise, and we may not be able to fill positions as quickly as desired. We recently completed our initial public offering and potential candidates may not perceive our compensation package, including our equity awards, as favorably as employees hired prior to our initial public offering. In addition, our recruiting personnel, methodology, and approach may need to be altered to address a changing candidate pool and profile. We may not be able to identify or implement such changes in a timely manner.
Many of the companies with which we compete for experienced personnel have greater resources than we have, and some of these companies may offer more attractive compensation packages. If the perceived value of our equity awards declines, or if the mix of equity and cash compensation that we offer is unattractive, it may adversely affect our ability to recruit and retain highly skilled employees. Job candidates may also be threatened with legal action under agreements with their existing employers if we attempt to hire them, which could impact hiring and result in a diversion of our time and resources. Additionally, laws and regulations, such as restrictive immigration laws, or export control laws, may limit our ability to recruit internationally. We must also continue to retain and motivate existing employees through our compensation practices, company culture, and career development opportunities.
We believe that a critical component to our success and our ability to retain our best people is our culture. As we continue to grow and develop a public company infrastructure, we may find it difficult to maintain our company culture.
In addition, many of our employees may be able to receive significant proceeds from sales of our equity in the public markets after our recent initial public offering, which may reduce their motivation to continue to work for us. Moreover, the proceeds from our recent initial public offering could create disparities in wealth among our employees, which may harm our culture and relations among employees and our business.
If we fail to attract new personnel or to retain our current personnel, our business would be harmed.
Our annual and quarterly results and key metrics are likely to fluctuate significantly and may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business.
Our annual and quarterly results of operations and key metrics may vary significantly in the future as they have in the past, particularly in light of our dependence on a limited number of high-value customer contracts, and period-to-period comparisons of our results of operations and key metrics may not be meaningful. Accordingly, the results of any one year or quarter should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. Our results of operations and key metrics may fluctuate as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control, and as a result, may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business. Fluctuation in our annual or quarterly results may negatively impact the value of our securities. Factors that may cause fluctuations in our annual or quarterly results of operations and key metrics include, without limitation, the risk factors listed elsewhere in this section and the factors listed below:
our ability to generate significant revenue from new offerings;
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our ability to expand our number of partners and distribution of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications;
our ability to hire and retain employees, in particular those responsible for the selling or marketing of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications;
our ability to develop and retain talented sales personnel who are able to achieve desired productivity levels in a reasonable period of time and provide sales leadership in areas in which we are expanding our sales and marketing efforts;
changes in the way we organize and compensate our sales teams;
the timing of expenses and recognition of revenue;
our ability to increase sales to large organizations as well as increase sales to a larger number of smaller customers;
the length of sales cycles and seasonal purchasing patterns of our customers;
the amount and timing of operating expenses related to the maintenance and expansion of our business, operations, and infrastructure, as well as international expansion and entry into operating leases;
timing and effectiveness of new sales and marketing initiatives;
changes in our pricing policies or those of our competitors;
the timing and success of new platforms, applications, features, and functionality by us or our competitors;
failures or breaches of security or privacy by us or our suppliers and business partners, and the costs associated with remediating any such failures or breaches;
changes in the competitive dynamics of our industry, including consolidation among competitors;
changes in laws and regulations that impact our business;
any large indemnification payments to our users or other third parties;
the timing of expenses related to any future acquisitions;
health epidemics or pandemics, such as the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic;
civil unrest and geopolitical instability; and
general political, economic, and market conditions.
We recognize revenue from subscriptions to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications over the terms of these subscriptions. Consequently, increases or decreases in new sales may not be immediately reflected in our results of operations and may be difficult to discern.
We recognize revenue from subscriptions to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications over the terms of these subscriptions, which is typically three years. As a result, a portion of the revenue we report in each year and each quarter is derived from the recognition of deferred revenue relating to subscriptions entered into during prior periods. Consequently, a decline in new or renewed subscriptions in any single year or quarter may only have a small impact on the revenue that we recognize for that period. However, such a decline will negatively affect our revenue in future periods. Accordingly, the effect of significant downturns in sales and potential changes in our pricing policies or rate of customer expansion or retention may not be fully reflected in our results of operations until future periods. In addition, a significant portion of our costs are expensed as incurred. As a result, growth in the number of new customers could continue to result in our recognition of higher costs and lower revenue in the earlier periods of our subscriptions. Finally, our subscription-based revenue model also makes it difficult for us to rapidly increase our revenue through additional sales in any period, as revenue from new customers or from existing customers that increase their use of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications must be recognized over the applicable subscription term. These risks are further exacerbated by our dependence on high-value customer contracts.
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Any failure to offer high-quality maintenance and support services for our customers may harm our relationships with our customers and, consequently, our business.
Once our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications are deployed, our customers depend on our maintenance and support teams to resolve technical and operational issues relating to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Our ability to provide effective customer maintenance and support is largely dependent on our ability to attract, train, and retain qualified personnel with experience in supporting customers with our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications such as ours and maintaining the same. The number of our customers has grown significantly and that has and will continue to put additional pressure on our customer maintenance and support teams. We may be unable to respond quickly enough to accommodate short-term increases in customer demand for technical support or maintenance assistance. We also may be unable to modify the future, scope, and delivery of our maintenance services and technical support to compete with changes in the technical services provided by our competitors. Increased customer demand for maintenance and support services, without corresponding revenue, could increase costs and negatively affect our operating results. In addition, if we experience increased customer demand for support and maintenance, we may face increased costs that may harm our results of operations. Further, as we continue to grow our operations and support our global customer base, we need to be able to continue to provide efficient support and effective maintenance that meets our customers’ needs globally at scale. Customers receive additional maintenance and support features, and the number of our customers has grown significantly, which will put additional pressure on our organization. If we are unable to provide efficient customer maintenance and support globally at scale or if we need to hire additional maintenance and support personnel, our business may be harmed. Our ability to attract new customers is highly dependent on our business reputation and on positive recommendations from our existing customers. Any failure to maintain high-quality maintenance and support services, a failure of channel parties to maintain high-quality maintenance and support services or a market perception that we do not maintain high-quality maintenance and support services for our customers, would harm our business.
The COVID-19 pandemic had and could continue to have an adverse impact on our business, our operations, and the markets and communities in which we, our partners, and our customers operate.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused general business disruption worldwide beginning in January 2020. The ultimate impact and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and our business are difficult to assess or predict. Actual and potential impacts include:
our customer prospects and our existing customers may experience slowdowns in their businesses, which in turn may result in reduced demand for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, lengthening of sales cycles, loss of customers, and difficulties in collections;
our employees are working from home significantly more frequently than they have historically, which may result in decreased employee productivity and morale, with increased unwanted employee attrition in addition to the increased risk of a cyberattack;
we continue to incur fixed costs, particularly for real estate, and are deriving reduced or no benefit from those costs;
we may continue to experience disruptions to our growth planning, such as for facilities and international expansion;
we anticipate incurring costs in returning to work from our facilities around the world, including changes to the workplace, such as space planning, food service, and amenities;
we may be subject to legal liability for safe workplace claims;
our critical vendors or third-party partners could go out of business;
in-person marketing events, including industry conferences, have been canceled, and we may continue to experience prolonged delays in our ability to reschedule or conduct in-person marketing events and other sales and marketing activities; and
our marketing, sales, professional services, and support organizations are accustomed to extensive face-to-face customer and partner interactions, and conducting business virtually is unproven.
The impact of any of the foregoing, individually or collectively, could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily closed our headquarters and other offices, required our employees and contractors to work remotely, and implemented travel restrictions, all of which represented a significant change in how we operate our business. The operations of our partners and customers have likewise been altered. As a result of global business disruption, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant adverse impact on our conclusion of new and additional business agreements in 2020 and to date in 2021. While several nations and states have begun to relax restrictions imposed to control the spread of the virus, the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to pose challenges until the effects of the pandemic abate. The duration and extent of the COVID-19 pandemic will depend on future developments that cannot be accurately predicted at this time, such as the extent and effectiveness of containment actions, the emergence and spread of variants of the COVID-19 virus, and the effectiveness, acceptance, and availability of vaccines against the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The COVID-19 pandemic has already had an adverse effect on the global economy, and the ultimate societal and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic remains unknown. In particular, the conditions caused by this pandemic are likely to affect the rate of global IT spending and, despite the measures we have taken to limit or mitigate the impact, have had and could continue to have an adverse effect on the demand for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, lengthen our sales cycles, reduce the value or duration of subscriptions, reduce the level of subscription renewals, negatively impact collections of accounts receivable, reduce expected spending from new customers, cause some of our paying customers to go out of business, limit the ability of our direct sales force to travel to customers and potential customers, and affect contraction or attrition rates of our paying customers, all of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition during fiscal 2022 and future periods.
Moreover, to the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business, financial condition, and results of operations, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section, including but not limited to, those related to our ability to increase sales to existing and new customers, develop and deploy new offerings and applications and maintain effective marketing and sales capabilities.
Our actual or perceived failure to comply with privacy, data protection laws, regulations, and obligations could harm our business.
We collect, receive, store, process, generate, use, transfer, disclose, make accessible, protect, secure, dispose of and share, which we collectively refer to as Process or Processing, customers’ proprietary and sensitive data potentially including personal information, confidential information, protected health information, and financial data necessary to operate our business, for legal and marketing purposes, and for other business-related purposes.
Data privacy and regulation of privacy, information security and Processing have become significant issues in the United States, countries in Europe, and in other countries in which we operate. The legal and regulatory framework for privacy and security issues is rapidly evolving, and is expected to increase our compliance costs and exposure to liability. There are numerous federal, state, local, and international laws and regulations regarding privacy, data protection, information security and Processing, and protection of personal information and other content, or Data Protection Laws, the scope of which are changing, subject to differing interpretations and may be inconsistent among countries, or conflict with other rules. We are or may also be subject to the terms of our external and internal privacy and security policies, codes, representations, certifications, industry standards, publications and frameworks, or Privacy Policies, and contractual obligations to third parties related to privacy, data protection, and information security and Processing, including contractual obligations to indemnify and hold harmless third parties from the costs or consequences of non-compliance with Data Protection Laws or other obligations, or collectively, including Privacy Policies, Data Protection Obligations. We expect that there will continue to be new Data Protection Obligations, and we cannot yet determine the impact such future Data Protection Obligations may have on our business. Any significant change to Data Protection Laws and Data Protection Obligations, including without limitation, regarding the manner in which the express or implied consent of customers for Processing is obtained, could increase our costs and require us to modify our operations, possibly in a material manner, which we may be unable to complete and may limit our ability to store and Process data and operate our business.
Data Protection Laws and data protection worldwide are, and are likely to remain, uncertain for the foreseeable future, and our actual or perceived failure to address or comply with these laws could: increase our compliance and operational costs; limit our ability to market our products or services and attract new and retain current customers; limit or eliminate our ability to Process data; expose us to regulatory scrutiny, actions, investigations, fines and penalties; result in reputational harm; lead to a loss of business result in litigation and liability, including class action litigation; cause to incur significant costs, expenses and fees (including attorney fees); cause a material adverse impact to business operations or financial results, and; otherwise result in other material harm to our business, or Adverse Data Protection Impact.
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We strive to comply with applicable Data Protection Laws, and Data Protection Obligations to the extent possible, but we may at times fail to do so, or may be perceived to have failed to do so. Moreover, despite our efforts, we may not be successful in achieving compliance and may otherwise face Adverse Data Protection Impacts if our employees, partners or vendors do not, or are perceived not to, comply with applicable Data Protection Laws and Data Protection Obligations. We may be subject to, and suffer a an Adverse Data Protection Impact if we fail (or are perceived to have failed) to comply with applicable Data Protection Laws or Data Protection Obligations, or if our Privacy Policies are, in whole or part, found to be inaccurate, incomplete, deceptive, unfair, or misrepresentative of our actual practices. In addition, any such failure or perceived failure could result in public statements against us by consumer advocacy groups, the media or others, which may cause us material reputational harm. Our actual or perceived failure to comply with Data Protection Laws or and Data Protection Obligations could also subject us to litigation, claims, proceedings, actions or investigations by governmental entities, authorities or regulators, which could result in an Adverse Data Protection Impact, including required changes to our business practices, the diversion of resources and the attention of management from our business, regulatory oversights and audits, discontinuance of necessary Processing, or other remedies that adversely affect our business.
We also expect that there will continue to be new laws, regulations, and industry standards concerning privacy, data protection, information security and other aspects of data Processing proposed and enacted in various jurisdictions. In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679), or GDPR, went into effect in May 2018 and introduced strict requirements for Processing the personal data of European Union data subjects. The GDPR may apply to us to the extent we Process the personal data of European Union data subjects. Companies that must comply with the GDPR face increased compliance obligations and risk, including more robust regulatory enforcement of data protection requirements, an order prohibiting Processing of European data subject personal data and potential fines for noncompliance of up to €20 million or 4% of the annual global revenues of the noncompliant company, whichever is greater. European data protection laws including the GDPR also generally prohibit the transfer of personal data from the European Economic Area, or EEA, to the United States and most other countries unless the parties to the transfer have established a legal basis for the transfer and implemented specific safeguards to protect the transferred personal data. One of the primary mechanisms allowing U.S. companies to import personal information from Europe in compliance with the GDPR has been certification to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, the Court of Justice of the European Union, in the “Schrems II” ruling, invalidated framework in July 2020. The Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner also has opined that the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield is inadequate for transfers of data from Switzerland to the U.S. Authorities in the United Kingdom, whose data protection laws are similar to those of the European Union, may similarly invalidate use of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield as mechanisms for lawful personal information transfers from those countries to the United States.
The Schrems II decision also raised questions about whether one of the primary alternatives to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, namely, the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses, can lawfully be used for personal information transfers from Europe to the United States or most other countries. At present, there are few, if any, viable alternatives to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Standard Contractual, or SCCs. The European Commission recently proposed updates to the SCCs, and additional regulatory guidance has been released that seeks to imposes additional obligations on companies seeking to rely on the SCCs. As such, any transfers by us or our vendors of personal data from Europe may not comply with European data protection law,; may increase our exposure to the GDPR’s heightened sanctions for violations of its cross-border data transfer restrictions and may reduce demand from companies subject to European data protection laws
Further, the United Kingdom has exited the EU, with such exit referred to as “Brexit,” effective December 31, 2020. The GDPR’s data protection obligations continue to form part of the laws in the United Kingdom by virtue of section 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, as amended (including by the various Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (EU Exit) Regulations), which potentially exposes us to two parallel data protection regimes, each of which authorizes fines and the potential for divergent enforcement actions. It remains unclear the extent to which the transfer of personal data from the EU to the United Kingdom will in the future continue to remain lawful under the GDPR. Pursuant to a post-Brexit agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU, the European Commission will continue to treat the United Kingdom as if it remained a member state of the EU in relation to transfers of personal data from the EEA to the United Kingdom, meaning such transfers may be made without a need for additional safeguards, for a transition period ending no later than June 30, 2021. This transition period will end earlier if the European Commission adopts an adequacy decision in respect of the United Kingdom or the United Kingdom amends certain UK data protection laws, or relevant aspects thereof, without the EU’s consent (unless those amendments are made simply to align those UK data protection laws with the EU’s data protection regime). To date, the European Commission has published draft decisions finding the United Kingdom to be adequate under the
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GDPR, and the European Data Protection Board has published non-binding opinions on these drafts. The drafts must still be voted on by the governments of the EU member states and formally adopted by the European Commission. There is no set timeline for these actions, although the European Commission has said that it could make a formal adequacy determination in June 2021. If the European Commission does not adopt an adequacy decision with regard to personal data transfers to the United Kingdom before the expiration of the transition period for any reason, from that point onwards, the United Kingdom will be a “third country” under the GDPR and such transfers will need to be made subject to GDPR-compliant safeguards (for example, the Standard Contractual Clauses). With substantial uncertainty over the interpretation and application of how United Kingdom will approach and address GDPR following the transition period, we may face challenges in addressing their requirements and making necessary changes to our policies and practices, and may incur significant costs and expenses in an effort to do so. Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with applicable Data Protection Laws or Data Protection Obligations may result in governmental investigations or enforcement actions, litigation, claims, or public statements against us, as well as other Adverse Data Protection Impacts. Furthermore, the costs of compliance with, and other burdens imposed by, laws, regulations, and policies that are applicable to the businesses of our customers relating to privacy, data protection, data security, and other aspects of data Processing may limit the adoption and use of, and reduce the overall demand for, our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications.
In the United States, Data Protection Laws include rules and regulations promulgated under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, and other state and federal laws relating to privacy and data security. For example, the CCPA requires companies that process information on California residents to make new disclosures to consumers about their data collection, use and sharing practices, and allows consumers to opt out of the sale of personal information with third parties and provides a private right of action and statutory damages for data breaches. The CCPA may increase our compliance costs and potential liability. In addition, California voters recently approved the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020, or CPRA that goes into effect on January 1, 2023. The CPRA would, among other things, give California residents the ability to limit the use of their sensitive information, provide for penalties for CPRA violations concerning California residents under the age of 16, and establish a new California Privacy Protection Agency to implement and enforce the law. The enactment of the CCPA is prompting a wave of similar legislative developments in other states in the United States, which could create the potential for a patchwork of overlapping but different state laws. Some observers have noted that the CCPA could mark the beginning of a trend toward more stringent privacy legislation in the United States, which could increase our potential liability and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Some countries also are considering or have passed legislation requiring local storage and Processing of data, or similar requirements, which could increase the cost and complexity of operating our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and other aspects of our business.
With laws and regulations, the United States, and globally imposing new and relatively burdensome obligations, and with substantial uncertainty over the interpretation and application of these and other laws and regulations, there is a risk that the requirements of these laws and regulations, or of contractual or other obligations relating to privacy, data protection, or information security, are interpreted or applied in a manner that is, or is alleged to be, inconsistent with our management and Processing practices, our policies or procedures, or the features of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. We may face challenges in addressing their requirements and making necessary changes to our policies and practices, and may incur significant costs and expenses in an effort to do so. Although we endeavor to comply with our Privacy Policies and other privacy-, data protection-, or information security-related obligations, we may at times fail to do so or may be perceived to have failed to do so. Moreover, despite our efforts, we may not be successful in achieving compliance if our employees or vendors to comply with our Privacy Policies and other privacy-, data protection-, or information security-related obligations. Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with our Privacy Policies and our privacy-, data protection-, or information security-related obligations to customers or other third parties or any of our other legal obligations relating to privacy, data protection, or information security may result in governmental investigations or enforcement actions, litigation, claims, or public statements against us by consumer advocacy groups or others, and could result in significant liability or cause our customers to lose trust in us, which could have an adverse effect on our reputation and business. Furthermore, the costs of compliance with, and other burdens imposed by, the laws, regulations, and policies that are applicable to the businesses of our customers may limit the adoption and use of, and reduce the overall demand for, our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications.
Additionally, if third parties we work with, such as vendors or developers, violate Data Protection Laws or Data Protection Obligations, such violations may also put our customers’ content at risk and could in turn have an adverse effect on our business. Further, any significant change to Data Protection Laws, Data Protection Obligations, or industry practices regarding the collection, use, retention, security, or disclosure of our customers’ content, or regarding the manner in which express or
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implied consent for the collection, use, retention, or disclosure of such content is obtained, could increase our costs and require us to modify our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, possibly in a material manner, which we may be unable to complete and may limit our ability to store and Process customer data or develop new applications and features.
If we or our third-party service providers experience a security breach or unauthorized parties otherwise obtain access to our customers’ data, our data, or our C3 AI Suite, our C3 AI Suite may be perceived as not being secure, our reputation may be harmed, demand for our platform may be reduced, and we may incur significant liabilities.
Our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications process, store, and transmit our customers’ proprietary and sensitive data, potentially including personal information, protected health information, and financial data. Our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications are built to be available on the infrastructure of third-party public cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. We also use third-party service providers to help us deliver services to our customers. These vendors may store or Process personal information, protected health information, or other confidential information of our employees, our partners or our customers. We collect such information from individuals located both in the United States and abroad and may store or Process such information outside the country in which it was collected. While we and our third-party service providers have implemented a number of security measures designed to protect against security breaches, these measures could fail or may be insufficient, resulting in the unauthorized disclosure, modification, misuse, unavailability, destruction, or loss of our or our customers’ data or other sensitive information. Any security breach of our C3 AI Suite, our applications, our operational systems, physical facilities, or the systems of our third-party partners, or the perception that one has occurred, could result in litigation, indemnity obligations, regulatory enforcement actions, investigations, fines, penalties, mitigation and remediation costs, disputes, reputational harm, diversion of management’s attention, and other liabilities and damage to our business. Even though we do not control the security measures of third parties, we may be perceived or asserted to be responsible for any breach of such measures or suffer reputational harm even where we do not have recourse to the third party that caused the breach. In addition, any failure by our partners to comply with applicable law or regulations could result in proceedings against us by governmental entities or others, with further financial, operational, and reputational damage.
Cyberattacks, denial-of-service attacks, ransomware attacks, business email compromises, computer malware, viruses, social engineering (including phishing) and other malicious internet-based activity are prevalent in our industry and our customers’ industries and such attacks continue to increase. We also utilize third-party providers to host, transmit, or otherwise process electronic data in connection with our business activities. We or our vendors and business partners may experience attacks, unavailable systems, unauthorized access or disclosure due to employee or other theft or misuse, denial-of-service attacks, sophisticated attacks by nation-state and nation-state supported actors, and advanced persistent threat intrusions. Despite our efforts to ensure the security, privacy, integrity, confidentiality, availability, and authenticity information technology networks and systems, Processing and information, we may not be able to anticipate or to implement effective preventive and remedial measures against all data security and privacy threats. We cannot guarantee that the recovery systems, security protocols, network protection mechanisms and other security measures that we have integrated into our systems, networks and physical facilities, which are designed to protect against, detect and minimize security breaches, or those of our vendors and business partners, will be adequate to prevent or detect service interruption, system failure data loss or theft, or other material adverse consequences. No security solution, strategy, or measures can address all possible security threats or block all methods of penetrating a network or otherwise perpetrating a security incident. The risk of unauthorized circumvention of our security measures or those of our third-party providers, clients and partners has been heightened by advances in computer and software capabilities and the increasing sophistication of hackers who employ complex techniques, including without limitation, the theft or misuse of personal and financial information, counterfeiting, “phishing” or social engineering incidents, ransomware, extortion, publicly announcing security breaches, account takeover attacks, denial or degradation of service attacks, malware, fraudulent payment and identity theft. The techniques used to sabotage, disrupt or to obtain unauthorized access to our C3 AI Suite, applications, systems, networks, or physical facilities in which data is stored or through which data is transmitted change frequently, and we may be unable to implement adequate preventative measures or stop security breaches while they are occurring. In addition, laws, regulations, government guidance, and industry standards and practices in the United States and elsewhere are rapidly evolving to combat these threats. We may face increased compliance burdens regarding such requirements from regulators and customers regarding our products and services and also incur additional costs for oversight and monitoring of security risks relating to our own supply chain.
The recovery systems, security protocols, network protection mechanisms and other security measures that we have integrated into our C3 AI Suite, applications, systems, networks and physical facilities, which are designed to protect against, detect and minimize security breaches, may not be adequate to prevent or detect service interruption, system failure or data loss.
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Our C3 AI Suite, applications, systems, networks, and physical facilities could be breached or personal information could be otherwise compromised due to employee error or malfeasance, if, for example, third parties attempt to fraudulently induce our employees, those of our vendors and business partners, or our customers to disclose information or user names and/or passwords, or otherwise compromise the security of our C3 AI Suite, networks, systems and/or physical facilities. Third parties may also exploit vulnerabilities in, or obtain unauthorized access to, platforms, applications, systems, networks and/or physical facilities utilized by our vendors. We and a number of our vendors and business partners have previously been, and may in the future become, the target of cyber-attacks by third parties seeking unauthorized access to our or our customers’ data or to disrupt our operations or ability to provide our services. While we have been successful in preventing such unauthorized access and disruption in the past, we may not continue to be successful against these or other attacks in the future.
The costs to respond to a security breach and/or to mitigate any security vulnerabilities that may be identified could be significant, our efforts to address these problems may not be successful, and these problems could result in unexpected interruptions, delays, cessation of service, negative publicity, and other harm to our business and our competitive position. We could be required to fundamentally change our business activities and practices in response to a security breach or related regulatory actions or litigation, which could have an adverse effect on our business.
We have contractual and legal obligations to notify relevant stakeholders of security breaches. Most jurisdictions have enacted laws requiring companies to notify individuals, regulatory authorities, and others of security breaches involving certain types of data. In addition, our agreements with certain customers and partners may require us to notify them in the event of a security breach involving customer or partner data on our systems or those of subcontractors Processing customer or partner data on our behalf. Such mandatory disclosures are costly, could lead to negative publicity, may cause our customers to lose confidence in the effectiveness of our security measures, and require us to expend significant capital and other resources to respond to or alleviate problems caused by the actual or perceived security breach may cause us to breach customer contracts. Depending on the facts and circumstances of such an incident, these damages, penalties and costs could be significant and may not be covered by insurance or could exceed our applicable insurance coverage limits. Such an event also could harm our reputation and result in litigation against us. Any of these results could materially adversely affect our financial performance. Our agreements with certain customers may require us to use industry-standard, reasonable, or other specified measures to safeguard sensitive personal information or confidential information, and any actual or perceived breach of such measures may increase the likelihood and frequency of customer audits under our agreements, which is likely to increase the costs of doing business. An actual or perceived security breach could lead to claims by our customers, or other relevant stakeholders that we have failed to comply with such legal or contractual obligations. As a result, we could be subject to legal action or our customers could end their relationships with us. There can be no assurance that any limitations of liability in our contracts, which we have in certain agreements, would be enforceable or adequate or would otherwise protect us from liabilities or damages.
Litigation resulting from security breaches may adversely affect our business. Unauthorized access to our C3 AI Suite, applications, systems, networks, or physical facilities could result in litigation with our customers or other relevant stakeholders. These proceedings could force us to spend money in defense or settlement, divert management’s time and attention, increase our costs of doing business, or adversely affect our reputation. We could be required to fundamentally change our business activities and practices or modify our C3 AI Suite, or C3 AI Applications capabilities in response to such litigation, which could have an adverse effect on our business. If a security breach were to occur, and the confidentiality, integrity or availability of our data or the data of our partners or our customers was disrupted, we could incur significant liability, or our C3 AI Suite, applications, systems, or networks may be perceived as less desirable, which could negatively affect our business and damage our reputation.
If we fail to detect or remediate a security breach in a timely manner, or a breach otherwise affects a large amount of data of one or more customers, or if we suffer a cyberattack that impacts our ability to operate our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, we may suffer material damage to our reputation, business, financial condition, and results of operations. Further, we may not have adequate insurance coverage for security incidents or breaches, including fines, judgments, settlements, penalties, costs, attorney fees and other impacts that arise out of incidents or breaches. Depending on the facts and circumstances of such an incident, the damages, penalties and costs could be significant and may not be covered by insurance or could exceed our applicable insurance coverage limits. If the impacts of a security incident or breach, or the successful assertion of one or more large claims against us that exceeds our available insurance coverage, or results in changes to our insurance policies (including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co-insurance requirements), it could have an adverse effect on our business. In addition, we cannot be sure that our existing insurance coverage and coverage for errors and
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omissions will continue to be available on acceptable terms or that our insurers will not deny coverage as to all or part of any future claim or loss. Our risks are likely to increase as we continue to expand our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, grow our customer base, and store, transmit, and otherwise Process increasingly large amounts of proprietary and sensitive data.
We could suffer disruptions, outages, defects, and other performance and quality problems with our C3 AI Suite or C3 AI Applications or with the public cloud and internet infrastructure on which it relies.
Our business depends on our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to be available without disruption. We have experienced, and may in the future experience, disruptions, outages, defects, and other performance and quality problems with our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. We have also experienced, and may in the future experience, disruptions, outages, defects, and other performance and quality problems with the public cloud and internet infrastructure on which our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications rely. These problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including introductions of new functionality, vulnerabilities and defects in proprietary and open source software, human error or misconduct, capacity constraints, design limitations, as well as from internal and external security breaches, malware and viruses, ransomware, cyber events, denial or degradation of service attacks or other security-related incidents.
Further, if our contractual and other business relationships with our public cloud providers are terminated, suspended, or suffer a material change to which we are unable to adapt, such as the elimination of services or features on which we depend, we could be unable to provide our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and could experience significant delays and incur additional expense in transitioning customers to a different public cloud provider.
Any disruptions, outages, defects, and other security performance and quality problems with our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or with the public cloud and internet infrastructure on which it relies, or any material change in our contractual and other business relationships with our public cloud providers, could result in reduced use of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, increased expenses, including significant, unplanned capital investments and/or service credit obligations, and harm to our brand and reputation, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, reputation and results of operations.
Our application for a PPP Loan could in the future be determined to have been impermissible which could result in damage to our reputation or adversely impact our business.
In May 2020, given the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and related events we applied for and received proceeds of approximately $6.3 million from a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, or the PPP Loan, of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act. The PPP Loan had a term of two years, was unsecured, and was guaranteed by the U. S. Small Business Administration, or the SBA. The PPP Loan carried a fixed interest rate of 1.00% per annum, with the first six months of interest deferred. Under the CARES Act, we may have been eligible to apply for forgiveness of all loan proceeds used to pay payroll costs, rent, utilities, and other qualifying expenses, provided that we retained a certain number of employees and maintain compensation within certain regulatory parameters of the Paycheck Protection Program. However, we repaid the entire balance of the PPP Loan, including accrued interest in August 2020.
In applying for the PPP Loan, we were required to certify, among other things, that the then-current economic uncertainty made the PPP Loan necessary to support our ongoing operations and that we did not, together with our affiliates, then employ more than 500 employees. We made these certifications in good faith after analyzing, among other things, economic uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, including its impact on our customers and prospects and the global economic at large, and the potential impact on our business activity.
We believe that we satisfied all eligibility criteria for the PPP Loan, and that our receipt of the PPP Loan was consistent with the objectives of the PPP of the CARES Act. The certification regarding necessity described above did not at the time contain any objective criteria and continues to be subject to interpretation. If, despite our good-faith belief that we satisfied all eligibility requirements for the PPP Loan, we are later determined to have violated any of the laws or governmental regulations that apply to us in connection with the PPP Loan, such as the False Claims Act, or it is otherwise determined that we were ineligible to receive the PPP Loan, we may be subject to civil, criminal, and administrative penalties, despite the fact that we elected not to use any of the PPP Loan proceeds and repaid the entire balance of the PPP Loan, including accrued interest. Any violations or alleged violations may result in adverse publicity and damage to our reputation, a review or audit by the SBA or other government entity, or claims under the False Claims Act. These events could consume significant financial and management resources and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
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We rely on third-party service providers to host and deliver our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, and any interruptions or delays in these services could impair our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and harm our business.
We currently serve our customers from third-party data center hosting facilities located in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Our operations depend, in part, on our third-party facility providers’ ability to protect these facilities against damage or interruption from natural disasters, power or telecommunications failures, criminal acts, and similar events. In the event that our data center arrangements are terminated, or if there are any lapses of service or damage to a center, we could experience lengthy interruptions in our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications as well as delays and additional expenses in making new arrangements.
We designed our system infrastructure and procure and own or lease the computer hardware used for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Design and mechanical errors, spikes in usage volume, and failure to follow system protocols and procedures could cause our systems to fail, resulting in interruptions in our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Any interruptions or delays in our service, whether as a result of third-party error, our own error, natural disasters, or security breaches, whether accidental or willful, could harm our relationships with our customers and cause our revenue to decrease and/or our expenses to increase. Also, in the event of damage or interruption, our insurance policies may not adequately compensate us for any losses that we may incur. These factors in turn could further reduce our revenue, subject us to liability and cause us to issue credits or cause customers to fail to renew their subscriptions, any of which could materially adversely affect our business.
We may face exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.
We sell to customers globally and have international operations primarily in Europe. As we continue to expand our international operations, we will become more exposed to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Although the majority of our cash generated from revenue is denominated in U.S. dollars, a small amount is denominated in foreign currencies, and our expenses are generally denominated in the currencies of the jurisdictions in which we conduct our operations. For the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021 and 2020, 25% and 20% of our revenue, respectively, and 9% and 9% of our expenses, respectively, were denominated in currencies other than U.S. dollars. Because we conduct business in currencies other than U.S. dollars but report our results of operations in U.S. dollars, we also face remeasurement exposure to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could hinder our ability to predict our future results and earnings and could materially impact our results of operations. Therefore, increases in the value of the U.S. dollar and decreases in the value of foreign currencies could result in the dollar equivalent of our revenue being lower. We do not currently maintain a program to hedge exposures to non-U.S. dollar currencies.
Sales to government entities and highly regulated organizations are subject to a number of challenges and risks.
We have sold and may sell to U.S. federal, state, and local, as well as foreign, governmental agency customers, as well as to customers in highly regulated industries such as financial services, telecommunications, and healthcare. Sales to such entities are subject to a number of challenges and risks. Selling to such entities can be highly competitive, expensive, and time consuming, often requiring significant upfront time and expense without any assurance that these efforts will generate a sale. Government contracting requirements may change and in doing so restrict our ability to sell into the government sector. Government demand and payment for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications are affected by public sector budgetary cycles and funding authorizations, with funding reductions or delays adversely affecting public sector demand for our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications.
Further, governmental and highly regulated entities may demand contract terms that differ from our standard arrangements and may be less favorable than terms agreed with private sector customers. In our experience, government entities often require shorter term subscriptions than our private sector customers due to budget cycles, making one-year subscriptions not uncommon. Government entities and highly regulated organizations typically have longer implementation cycles, sometimes require acceptance provisions that can lead to a delay in revenue recognition, can have more complex IT and data environments, and may expect greater payment flexibility from vendors.
Contracts with governmental entities may also include preferential pricing terms, including, but not limited to, “most favored customer” pricing. In the event that we are successful in being awarded a government contract, such award may be subject to appeals, disputes, or litigation, including but not limited to bid protests by unsuccessful bidders.
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As a government contractor or subcontractor, we must comply with laws, regulations, and contractual provisions relating to the formation, administration, and performance of government contracts and inclusion on government contract vehicles, which affect how we and our partners do business with government agencies. As a result of actual or perceived noncompliance with government contracting laws, regulations, or contractual provisions, we may be subject to non-ordinary course audits and internal investigations which may prove costly to our business financially, divert management time, or limit our ability to continue selling our products and services to our government customers. These laws and regulations may impose other added costs on our business, and failure to comply with these or other applicable regulations and requirements, including non-compliance in the past, could lead to claims for damages from our channel partners, downward contract price adjustments or refund obligations, civil or criminal penalties, and termination of contracts and suspension or debarment from government contracting for a period of time with government agencies. Any such damages, penalties, disruption, or limitation in our ability to do business with a government would adversely impact, and could have a material adverse effect on, our business, results of operations, financial condition, public perception and growth prospects.
Governmental and highly regulated entities may have statutory, contractual, or other legal rights to terminate contracts with us or our partners for convenience or for other reasons. Any such termination may adversely affect our ability to contract with other government customers as well as our reputation, business, financial condition, and results of operations. All these factors can add further risk to business conducted with these customers. If sales expected from a government entity or highly regulated organization for a particular period are not realized in that period or at all, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and growth prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
Our business could be adversely affected if our employees cannot obtain and maintain required security clearances, we cannot obtain and maintain a required facility security clearance, or we do not comply with legal and regulatory obligations regarding the safeguarding of classified information.
One of our U.S. government contracts requires our employees to maintain security clearances, and also requires us to comply with U.S. Department of Defense, or DoD, security rules and regulations. The DoD has strict security clearance requirements for personnel who perform work in support of classified programs. In general, access to classified information, technology, facilities, or programs are subject to additional contract oversight and potential liability. In the event of a security incident involving classified information, technology, facilities, or programs, or personnel holding clearances, we may be subject to legal, financial, operational and reputational harm. Obtaining and maintaining security clearances for employees involves a lengthy process, and it is difficult to identify, recruit, and retain employees who already hold security clearances. If our employees are unable to obtain security clearances in a timely manner, or at all, or if our employees who hold security clearances are unable to maintain their clearances or terminate employment with us, then a customer requiring classified work could terminate an existing contract or decide not to renew the contract upon its expiration. To the extent we are not able to obtain or maintain a facility security clearance, we may not be able to bid on or win new classified contracts, and our existing contract (and any future contracts we may subsequently obtain) requiring a facility security clearance could be terminated.
If we are unable to achieve and sustain a level of liquidity sufficient to support our operations and fulfill our obligations, our business, operating results and financial position could be adversely affected.
We actively monitor and manage our cash and cash equivalents so that sufficient liquidity is available to fund our operations and other corporate purposes. In the future, increased levels of liquidity may be required to adequately support our operations and initiatives and to mitigate the effects of business challenges or unforeseen circumstances. If we are unable to achieve and sustain such increased levels of liquidity, we may suffer adverse consequences including reduced investment in our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, difficulties in executing our business plan and fulfilling our obligations, and other operational challenges. Any of these developments could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial position.
We may need additional capital, and we cannot be certain that additional financing will be available on favorable terms, or at all.
Historically, we have funded our operations and capital expenditures primarily through equity issuances and cash generated from our operations. Although we currently anticipate that our existing cash and cash equivalents and cash flow from operations will be sufficient to meet our cash needs for the foreseeable future, we may require additional financing. We evaluate financing opportunities from time to time, and our ability to obtain financing will depend, among other things, on our development efforts, business plans, operating performance, and condition of the capital markets at the time we seek financing. Future sales and issuances of our capital stock or rights to purchase our capital stock could result in substantial dilution to our
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existing stockholders. We may sell Class A common stock, convertible securities, and other equity securities in one or more transactions at prices and in a manner as we may determine from time to time. If we sell any such securities in subsequent transactions, investors may be materially diluted. New investors in such subsequent transactions could gain rights, preferences, and privileges senior to those of holders of our Class A common stock. Any debt financing that we may secure in the future could involve restrictive covenants relating to our capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities. We cannot assure you that additional financing will be available to us on favorable terms when required, or at all. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us when we require it, our ability to continue to support our business growth, development efforts and to respond to business challenges could be significantly impaired, and our business, operating results and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We may acquire other businesses or receive offers to be acquired, which could require significant management attention, disrupt our business or dilute stockholder value.
We have in the past made, and may in the future make, acquisitions of other companies, products, and technologies. We have limited experience in acquisitions. 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. If we do complete acquisitions, we may not ultimately strengthen our competitive position or achieve our goals, and any acquisitions we complete could be viewed negatively by customers, developers, or investors. In addition, we may not be able to integrate acquired businesses successfully or effectively manage the combined company following an acquisition. If we fail to successfully integrate our acquisitions, or the people or technologies associated with those acquisitions, into our company, the results of operations of the combined company could be adversely affected. Any integration process will require significant time and resources, require significant attention from management and disrupt the ordinary functioning of our business, and we may not be able to manage the process successfully, which could harm our business. In addition, we may not successfully evaluate or utilize the acquired technology and accurately forecast the financial impact of an acquisition transaction, including accounting charges.
We may have to pay cash, incur debt, or issue equity securities to pay for any such acquisition, each of which could affect our financial condition or the value of our capital stock. The sale of equity to finance any such acquisitions could result in dilution to our stockholders. If we incur more debt, it would result in increased fixed obligations and could also subject us to covenants or other restrictions that would impede our ability to flexibly operate our business.
We have business and customer relationships with certain entities who are stockholders or are affiliated with our directors, or both, and conflicts of interest may arise because of such relationships.
Some of our customers and other business partners are affiliated with certain of our directors or hold shares of our capital stock, or both. For example, in June 2019, we entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Baker Hughes whereby Baker Hughes had a right to appoint a director. Our director, Lorenzo Simonelli, is an employee of Baker Hughes, and Baker Hughes is a stockholder. We believe that the transactions and agreements that we have entered into with related parties are on terms that are at least as favorable as could reasonably have been obtained at such time from third parties. However, these relationships could create, or appear to create, potential conflicts of interest when our board of directors is faced with decisions that could have different implications for us and these other parties or their affiliates. In addition, conflicts of interest may arise between us and these other parties and their affiliates. The appearance of conflicts, even if such conflicts do not materialize, might adversely affect the public’s perception of us, as well as our relationship with other companies and our ability to enter into new relationships in the future, including with competitors of such related parties, which could harm our business and results of operations.
Risks Related to Our International Operations
We are continuing to expand our operations outside the United States, where we may be subject to increased business and economic risks that could harm our business.
We have customers in more than 10 countries, and 35% of our revenue for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 was generated from customers outside of North America. As of April 30, 2021, we had nine international sales locations, and we plan to add local sales support in further select international markets over time. We expect to continue to expand our international operations, which may include opening offices in new jurisdictions and providing our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in additional languages. Any new markets or countries into which we attempt to sell subscriptions to our C3 AI
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Suite and C3 AI Applications may not be receptive. For example, we may not be able to expand further in some markets if we are not able to satisfy certain government- and industry-specific requirements. In addition, our ability to manage our business and conduct our operations internationally in the future may require considerable management attention and resources and is subject to the particular challenges of supporting a rapidly growing business in an environment of multiple languages, cultures, customs, legal and regulatory systems, alternative dispute systems, and commercial markets. Future international expansion will require investment of significant funds and other resources. Operating internationally subjects us to new risks and may increase risks that we currently face, including risks associated with:
recruiting and retaining talented and capable employees outside the United States and maintaining our company culture across all of our offices;
potentially different pricing environments, longer sales cycles, and longer accounts receivable payment cycles and collections issues;
compliance with applicable international laws and regulations, including laws and regulations with respect to privacy, data protection, and consumer protection, and the risk of penalties to us and individual members of management or employees if our practices are deemed to be out of compliance;
management of an employee base in jurisdictions that may not give us the same employment and retention flexibility as does the United States;
operating in jurisdictions that do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as does the United States and the practical enforcement of such intellectual property rights outside of the United States;
foreign government interference with our intellectual property that resides outside of the United States, such as the risk of changes in foreign laws that could restrict our ability to use our intellectual property;
integration with partners outside of the United States;
securing our locally operated systems and our data and the data of our customers and partners accessible from such jurisdictions;
compliance by us and our business partners with anti-corruption laws, import and export control laws, tariffs, trade barriers, economic sanctions, anti-money laundering laws and other regulatory limitations on our ability to provide our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in certain international markets;
foreign exchange controls that might require significant lead time in setting up operations in certain geographic territories and might prevent us from repatriating cash earned outside the United States;
political and economic instability;
COVID-19 or any other pandemics or epidemics that could result in decreased economic activity in certain markets, decreased use of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, or in our decreased ability to import, export, or sell our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to existing or new customers in international markets;
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;
generally longer payment cycles and greater difficulty in collecting accounts receivable;
double taxation of our international earnings and potentially adverse tax consequences due to changes in the income and other tax laws of the United States or the international jurisdictions in which we operate; and
higher costs of doing business internationally, including increased accounting, travel, infrastructure, and legal compliance costs.
Some of our business partners also have international operations and are subject to the risks described above. Even if we are able to successfully manage the risks of international operations, our business may be adversely affected if our business partners are not able to successfully manage these risks.
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Compliance with laws and regulations applicable to our global operations substantially increases our cost of doing business in international jurisdictions. We may be unable to keep current with changes in laws and regulations as they occur. Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to support compliance with these laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that we will always maintain compliance or that all of our employees, contractors, partners, and agents will comply. Any violations could result in enforcement actions, fines, civil and criminal penalties, damages, injunctions, or reputational harm. If we are unable to comply with these laws and regulations or manage the complexity of our global operations successfully, we may need to relocate or cease operations in certain foreign jurisdictions.
We are subject to governmental export and import controls that could impair our ability to compete in international markets or subject us to liability if we are not in compliance with applicable laws.
Our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications are subject to various restrictions under U.S. export control and trade and economic sanctions laws and regulations, including the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations, or EAR, and various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC. U.S. export control and economic sanctions laws and regulations include restrictions or prohibitions on the sale or supply of certain AI platform and applications, services and technologies to U.S. embargoed or sanctioned countries, governments, persons, and entities. Further, U.S. export laws and regulations include broad licensing requirements, including requiring authorization for the export of certain items. In addition, various countries regulate the import of certain items, including through import permitting and licensing requirements and have enacted or could enact laws that could limit our ability to distribute our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or could limit our customers’ ability to implement our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in those countries.
Changes in our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and, if required, obtaining the necessary export license or other authorization for a particular sale, or changes in export, sanctions, and import laws, may result in the delay or loss of sales opportunities, delay the introduction and sale of subscriptions to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in international markets, prevent our customers with international operations from using our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or, in some cases, prevent the access or use of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to and from certain countries, governments, persons, or entities altogether. Further, any change in export or import regulations, economic sanctions or related laws, shift in the enforcement or scope of existing regulations or change in the countries, governments, persons, or technologies targeted by such regulations could result in decreased use of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or in our decreased ability to export or sell our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to existing or potential customers with international operations. Any decreased use of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications or limitation on our ability to export or sell our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications would likely harm our business.
In addition, if our channel partners fail to obtain appropriate import, export, or re-export licenses or permits, we may also be adversely affected through reputational harm, as well as other negative consequences, including government investigations and penalties.
Even though we take precautions to ensure that we and our channel partners comply with all relevant regulations, any failure by us or our channel partners to comply with U.S. export control and economic sanctions laws and regulations or other laws could have negative consequences, including reputational harm, government investigations and substantial civil and criminal penalties (e.g., fines, incarceration for responsible employees and managers, and the possible loss of export or import privileges).
We are subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, and similar anti-corruption, anti-bribery, and similar laws, and non-compliance with such laws can subject us to criminal or civil liability and harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to the FCPA, U.S. domestic bribery laws, the UK Bribery Act, and other anti-corruption and similar laws in the countries in which we conduct activities. Anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws have been enforced aggressively in recent years and are interpreted broadly to generally prohibit companies, their employees, and their third-party business partners or intermediaries, representatives, and agents from authorizing, offering, or providing, directly or indirectly, improper payments or other benefits, directly or indirectly, to government officials or others in the private sector in order to influence official action, direct business to any person, gain any improper advantage, or obtain or retain business. As we increase our international sales and business, our risks under these laws may increase.
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As we increase our international sales and business and sales to the public sector, we may engage with third-party business partners and intermediaries to market our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and to obtain necessary permits, licenses, and other regulatory approvals. In addition, we or our third-party business partners or intermediaries may have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies or state-owned or affiliated entities. We can be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of our third-party business partners or intermediaries, our employees, representatives, contractors, and agents, even if we do not explicitly authorize such activities.
These laws also require that we keep accurate books and records and maintain internal controls and compliance procedures designed to prevent any such actions. While we have policies and procedures to address compliance with such laws, our third-party business partners or intermediaries, employees, representatives, contractors, and agents may take actions in violation of our policies and applicable law, for which we may be ultimately held responsible.
Detecting, investigating, and resolving actual or alleged violations of anti-corruption laws can require a significant diversion of time, resources, and attention from senior management, as well as significant defense costs and other professional fees. In addition, noncompliance with anti-corruption, or anti-bribery laws could subject us to whistleblower complaints, investigations, sanctions, settlements, prosecution, enforcement actions, fines, damages, other civil or criminal penalties or injunctions against us, our officers, or our employees, disgorgement of profits, suspension or debarment from contracting with the U.S. government or other persons, reputational harm, adverse media coverage, and other collateral consequences. If any subpoenas or investigations are launched, or governmental or other sanctions are imposed, or if we do not prevail in any possible civil or criminal proceeding, our reputation, business, stock price, financial condition, prospects and results of operations could be harmed.
Risks Related to Taxes
Our results of operations may be harmed if we are required to collect sales or other related taxes for our subscriptions in jurisdictions where we have not historically done so.
We collect sales tax in a number of jurisdictions. One or more states or countries may seek to impose incremental or new sales, use, or other tax collection obligations on us. A successful assertion by a state, country, or other jurisdiction that we should have been or should be collecting additional sales, use, or other taxes could, among other things, result in substantial tax payments, create significant administrative burdens for us, discourage potential customers from subscribing to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications due to the incremental cost of any such sales or other related taxes, or otherwise harm our business.
We may be subject to liabilities on past sales for taxes, surcharges, and fees.
We currently collect and remit applicable sales tax in jurisdictions where we, through our employees, have a presence and where we have determined, based on legal precedents in the jurisdiction, that sales of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications are classified as taxable. We do not currently collect and remit other state and local excise, utility, user, and ad valorem taxes, fees or surcharges that may apply to our customers. We believe that we are not otherwise subject to, or required to collect, any additional taxes, fees or surcharges imposed by state and local jurisdictions because we do not have a sufficient physical presence or “nexus” in the relevant taxing jurisdiction or such taxes, fees, or surcharges do not apply to sales of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications in the relevant taxing jurisdiction. However, there is uncertainty as to what constitutes sufficient physical presence or nexus for a state or local jurisdiction to levy taxes, fees, and surcharges for sales made over the internet, and there is also uncertainty as to whether our characterization of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications as not taxable in certain jurisdictions will be accepted by state and local taxing authorities. Additionally, we have not historically collected value-added tax, or VAT, or goods and services tax, or GST, on sales of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, generally, because we make almost all of our sales through our office in the United States, and we believe, based on information provided to us by our customers, that most of our sales are made to business customers.
Taxing authorities may challenge our position that we do not have sufficient nexus in a taxing jurisdiction or that our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications use, telecommunications, VAT, GST, and other taxes, which could result in increased tax liabilities for us or our customers, which could harm our business.
The application of indirect taxes (such as sales and use tax, VAT, GST, business tax, and gross receipt tax) to businesses that transact online, such as ours, is a complex and evolving area. Following the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., states are now free to levy taxes on sales of goods and services based on an “economic nexus,” regardless of whether the seller has a physical presence in the state. As a result, it may be necessary to reevaluate whether our
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activities give rise to sales, use, and other indirect taxes as a result of any nexus in those states in which we are not currently registered to collect and remit taxes. Additionally, we may need to assess our potential tax collection and remittance liabilities based on existing economic nexus laws’ dollar and transaction thresholds. We continue to analyze our exposure for such taxes and liabilities. The application of existing, new, or future laws, whether in the United States or internationally, could harm our business. There have been, and will continue to be, substantial ongoing costs associated with complying with the various indirect tax requirements in the numerous markets in which we conduct or will conduct business.
We may have exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities, which could harm our business.
While to date we have not incurred significant income taxes in operating our business, we are subject to income taxes in the United States and various jurisdictions outside of the United States. Our effective tax rate could fluctuate due to changes in the proportion of our earnings and losses in countries with differing statutory tax rates. Our tax expense could also be impacted by changes in non-deductible expenses, changes in excess tax benefits of stock-based or other compensation, changes in the valuation of, or our ability to use, deferred tax assets and liabilities, the applicability of withholding taxes, and effects from acquisitions.
The provision for taxes on our financial statements could also be impacted by changes in accounting principles, changes in U.S. federal, state, or international tax laws applicable to corporate multinationals such as the recent legislation enacted in the United States, other fundamental changes in law currently being considered by many countries and changes in taxing jurisdictions’ administrative interpretations, decisions, policies and positions.
We are subject to review and audit by U.S. federal, state, local, and foreign tax authorities. Such tax authorities may disagree with tax positions we take, and if any such tax authority were to successfully challenge any such position, our business could be harmed. We may also be subject to additional tax liabilities 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 our 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.
Our ability to use our net operating losses and certain other tax attributes to offset future taxable income or taxes may be subject to certain limitations.
As of April 30, 2021, we had net operating loss carryforwards, or NOLs, for U.S. federal and state purposes of $308.3 million and $168.6 million, respectively, which may be available to offset taxable income in the future, and portions of which expire in various years beginning in 2029. A lack of future taxable income would adversely affect our ability to utilize these NOLs before they expire. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, or the Tax Act, as modified by the CARES Act, federal NOLs incurred in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 may be carried forward indefinitely, but the deductibility of such federal NOLs in tax years beginning after December 31, 2020 is limited to 80% of taxable income. It is uncertain if and to what extent various states will conform to the Tax Act or the CARES Act. In addition, under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change” (as defined under Sections 382 and 383 of the Code and applicable Treasury Regulations) is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its pre-change NOLs and certain other tax attributes to offset post-change taxable income or taxes. We may experience a future ownership change under Section 382 of the Code that could affect our ability to utilize our NOLs to offset our income. Furthermore, our ability to utilize NOLs of companies that we have acquired or may acquire in the future may be subject to limitations. In addition, at the state level, there may be periods during which the use of NOLs is suspended or otherwise limited, which could accelerate or permanently increase state taxes owed. For example, on June 29, 2020, the Governor of California signed into law the 2020 Budget Act which temporarily suspends the utilization of NOLs and limits the utilization of research credits to $5.0 million annually for 2020, 2021, and 2022. For these reasons, we may not be able to utilize a material portion of the NOLs reflected on our balance sheet, even if we attain profitability, which could potentially result in increased future tax liability to us and could adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.
Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property
We are currently, and may be in the future, party to intellectual property rights claims and other litigation matters, which, if resolved adversely, could harm our business.
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We primarily rely and expect to continue to rely on a combination of patent, patent licenses, trade secret, domain name protection, trademark, and copyright laws, as well as confidentiality and license agreements with our employees, consultants, and third parties, to protect our intellectual property and proprietary rights. From time to time, are subject to litigation based on allegations of infringement, misappropriation, or other violations of intellectual property or other rights. As we face increasing competition and gain an increasingly high profile, the possibility of intellectual property rights claims, commercial claims, and other assertions against us grows. We have in the past been, and may from time to time in the future become, a party to litigation and disputes related to our intellectual property, our business practices, and our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. While we intend to defend any lawsuit vigorously, litigation can be costly and time consuming, divert the attention of our management and key personnel from our business operations, and dissuade potential customers from subscribing to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, which would harm our business. Furthermore, with respect to lawsuits, there can be no assurances that favorable outcomes will be obtained. We may need to settle litigation and disputes on terms that are unfavorable to us, or we may be subject to an unfavorable judgment that may not be reversible upon appeal. The terms of any settlement or judgment may require us to cease some or all of our operations or pay substantial amounts to the other party. In addition, our agreements with customers or partners typically include certain provisions for indemnifying them against liabilities if our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications infringe a third party’s intellectual property rights, including in the third-party open source software components included in our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, which indemnification obligations could require us to make payments to our customers. During the course of any litigation or dispute, we may make announcements regarding the results of hearings and motions and other interim developments. If securities analysts and investors regard these announcements as negative, the market price of our Class A common stock may decline. With respect to any intellectual property rights claim, we may have to seek a license to continue practices found to be in violation of third-party rights, which may not be available on reasonable terms and may significantly increase our operating expenses. A license to continue such practices may not be available to us at all, and we may be required to develop alternative non-infringing technology or practices or discontinue the practices. The development of alternative, non-infringing technology or practices could require significant effort and expense. Our business could be harmed as a result.
Indemnity provisions in various agreements potentially expose us to substantial liability for intellectual property infringement and other losses.
Our agreements with customers and other third parties generally include indemnification provisions under which we agree to indemnify them for losses suffered or incurred as a result of claims of intellectual property infringement, or other liabilities relating to or arising from our software, services, or other contractual obligations. Large indemnity payments could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Although we normally contractually limit our liability with respect to such indemnity obligations, generally, those limitations may not be fully enforceable in all situations, and we may still incur substantial liability under those agreements. Any dispute with a customer with respect to such obligations could have adverse effects on our relationship with that customer and other existing customers and new customers and harm our business and results of operations.
Our failure to protect our intellectual property rights and proprietary information could diminish our brand and other intangible assets.
As of April 30, 2021, we had eight issued patents in the United States, five issued patents in a number of international jurisdictions, 14 patent applications in the United States (including one allowed application and three provisional applications), and 32 patent applications pending internationally (including two allowed applications). Our issued patents expire between February 23, 2033 and July 30, 2039. The pending patent applications are presently undergoing examination or expected to undergo examination in the near future. These patents and patent applications seek to protect our proprietary inventions relevant to our business, in addition to other proprietary technologies which are maintained as trade secrets. We intend to pursue additional intellectual property protection to the extent we believe it would be beneficial and cost-effective. We make business decisions about when to seek patent protection for a particular technology and when to rely upon copyright or trade secret protection, and the approach we select may ultimately prove to be inadequate. Even in cases where we seek patent protection, there is no assurance that the resulting patents will effectively protect every significant feature of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. In addition, we believe that the protection of our trademark rights is an important factor in AI platform and application recognition, protecting our brand and maintaining goodwill. If we do not adequately protect our rights in our trademarks from infringement and unauthorized use, any goodwill that we have developed in those trademarks could be lost or impaired, which could harm our brand and our business. Third parties may knowingly or unknowingly infringe our proprietary rights, third parties may challenge our proprietary rights, pending and future patent, trademark and copyright applications may
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not be approved, and we may not be able to prevent infringement without incurring substantial expense. We have also devoted substantial resources to the development of our proprietary technologies and related processes. In order to protect our proprietary technologies and processes, we rely in part on trade secret laws and confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants, and third parties. These agreements may not effectively prevent unauthorized disclosure of confidential information and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of unauthorized disclosure of confidential information. In addition, others may independently discover our trade secrets, in which case we would not be able to assert trade secret rights or develop similar technologies and processes. Further, laws in certain jurisdictions may afford little or no trade secret protection, and any changes in, or unexpected interpretations of, the intellectual property laws in any country in which we operate may compromise our ability to enforce our intellectual property rights. Costly and time-consuming litigation could be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our proprietary rights. If the protection of our proprietary rights is inadequate to prevent use or appropriation by third parties, the value of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, brand, and other intangible assets may be diminished, and competitors may be able to more effectively replicate our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Any of these events would harm our business.
Our use of third-party open source software could negatively affect our ability to offer and sell subscriptions to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and subject us to possible litigation.
A portion of the technologies we use incorporates third-party open source software, and we may incorporate third-party open source software in our solutions in the future. Open source software is generally licensed by its authors or other third parties under open source licenses. From time to time, companies that use third-party open source software have faced claims challenging the use of such open source software and requesting compliance with the open source software license terms. Accordingly, we may be subject to suits by parties claiming ownership of what we believe to be open source software or claiming non-compliance with the applicable open source licensing terms. Some open source software licenses require end users who use, distribute or make available across a network software and services that include open source software to offer aspects of the technology that incorporates the open source software for no cost. We may also be required to make publicly available source code (which in some circumstances could include valuable proprietary code) for modifications or derivative works we create based upon, incorporating or using the open source software and/or to license such modifications or derivative works under the terms of the particular open source license. Additionally, if a third-party software provider has incorporated open source software into software that we license from such provider, we could be required to disclose any of our source code that incorporates or is a modification of our licensed software. While we employ practices designed to monitor our compliance with the licenses of third-party open source software and protect our valuable proprietary source code, we may inadvertently use third-party open source software in a manner that exposes us to claims of non-compliance with the terms of their licenses, including claims of intellectual property rights infringement or for breach of contract. Furthermore, there exists today an increasing number of types of open source software licenses, almost none of which have been tested in courts of law to provide guidance of their proper legal interpretations. If we were to receive a claim of non-compliance with the terms of any of these open source licenses, we could be required to incur significant legal expenses defending against those allegations and could be subject to significant damages, enjoined from offering or selling our solutions that contained the open source software, and required to comply with the foregoing conditions, and we may be required to publicly release certain portions of our proprietary source code. We could also be required to expend substantial time and resources to re-engineer some of our software. Any of the foregoing could disrupt and harm our business.
In addition, the use of third-party open source software typically exposes us to greater risks than the use of third-party commercial software because open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or controls on the functionality or origin of the software. Use of open source software may also present additional security risks because the public availability of such software may make it easier for hackers and other third parties to determine how to compromise our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Any of the foregoing could harm our business and could help our competitors develop platforms and applications that are similar to or better than ours.
Because of the characteristics of open source software, there may be fewer technology barriers to entry by new competitors and it may be relatively easy for new and existing competitors with greater resources than we have to compete with us.
One of the characteristics of open source software is that the governing license terms generally allow liberal modifications of the code and distribution thereof to a wide group of companies and/or individuals. As a result, others could easily develop new platforms and applications based upon those open source programs that compete with existing open source software that we support and incorporate into our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Such competition with use of the open source projects
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that we utilize can materialize without the same degree of overhead and lead time required by us, particularly if the customers do not value the differentiation of our proprietary components. It is possible for new and existing competitors with greater resources than ours to develop their own open source software or hybrid proprietary and open source software offerings, potentially reducing the demand for, and putting price pressure on, our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. In addition, some competitors make open source software available for free download and use or may position competing open source software as a loss leader. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors or that competitive pressure and/or the availability of open source software will not result in price reductions, reduced operating margins and loss of market share, any one of which could seriously harm our business.
If open source software programmers, many of whom we do not employ, or our own internal programmers do not continue to develop and enhance open source technologies, we may be unable to develop new technologies, adequately enhance our existing technologies or meet customer requirements for innovation, quality and price.
We rely to a significant degree on a number of open source software programmers, or committers and contributors, to develop and enhance components of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Additionally, members of the corresponding Apache Software Foundation Project Management Committees, or PMCs, many of whom are not employed by us, are primarily responsible for the oversight and evolution of the codebases of important components of the open source data management ecosystem. If the open source data management committees and contributors fail to adequately further develop and enhance open source technologies, or if the PMCs fail to oversee and guide the evolution of open source data management technologies in the manner that we believe is appropriate to maximize the market potential of our solutions, then we would have to rely on other parties, or we would need to expend additional resources, to develop and enhance our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. We also must devote adequate resources to our own internal programmers to support their continued development and enhancement of open source technologies, and if we do not do so, we may have to turn to third parties or experience delays in developing or enhancing open source technologies. We cannot predict whether further developments and enhancements to these technologies would be available from reliable alternative sources. In either event, we may incur additional development expenses and experience delays in technology release and upgrade. Delays in developing, completing, or delivering new or enhanced components to our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications could cause our offerings to be less competitive, impair customer acceptance of our solutions, and result in delayed or reduced revenue for our solutions.
Our software development and licensing model could be negatively impacted if the Apache License, Version 2.0 is not enforceable or is modified so as to become incompatible with other open source licenses.
Components of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications have been provided under the Apache License 2.0. This license states that any work of authorship licensed under it, and any derivative work thereof, may be reproduced and distributed provided that certain conditions are met. It is possible that a court would hold this license to be unenforceable or that someone could assert a claim for proprietary rights in a program developed and distributed under it. Any ruling by a court that this license is not enforceable, or that we may not reproduce or distribute those open source software components as part of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, may negatively impact our distribution or development of all or a portion of our solutions. In addition, at some time in the future it is possible that the license terms under which important components of the open source projects in our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications are distributed may be modified, which could, among other consequences, negatively impact our continuing development or distribution of the software code subject to the new or modified license.
Further, full utilization of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications may depend on software, applications, hardware and services from various third parties, and these items may not be compatible with our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications and their development or available to us or our customers on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, which could harm our business.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock
The trading price of our Class A common stock may be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
The trading price of our Class A common stock has been and will likely continue to be volatile and could be subject to fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control. These fluctuations could cause you to lose all or part of your investment in our Class A common. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the trading price of our Class A common stock include the risk factors set forth in this section as well as the following:
price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;
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high volume retail trading by participants connected in a social network;
volatility in the trading prices and trading volumes of technology stocks;
changes in operating performance and stock market valuations of other technology companies generally, or those in our industry in particular;
sales of shares of our Class A common stock by us or our stockholders;
failure of securities analysts to maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by securities analysts who follow our company, or our failure to meet these estimates or the expectations of investors, particularly in light of the significant portion of our revenue derived from a limited number of customers;
changes in our financial, operating or other metrics, regardless of whether we consider those metrics as reflective of the current state or long-term prospects of our business, and how those results compare to securities analyst expectations, including whether those results fail to meet, exceed, or significantly exceed securities analyst expectations, particularly in light of the significant portion of our revenue derived from a limited number of customers;
announcements by us or our competitors of new products, applications, features, or services;
the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements, and filings with the SEC;
rumors and market speculation involving us or other companies in our industry;
actual or anticipated changes in our results of operations or fluctuations in our results of operations;
actual or anticipated developments in our business, our competitors’ businesses or the competitive landscape generally;
litigation involving us, our industry, or both, or investigations by regulators into our operations or those of our competitors;
actual or perceived privacy or data security incidents;
developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property or other proprietary rights;
announced or completed acquisitions of businesses, applications, products, services, or technologies by us or our competitors;
new laws or regulations or new interpretations of existing laws or regulations applicable to our business;
changes in accounting standards, policies, guidelines, interpretations, or principles;
any significant change in our management;
general political and economic conditions and slow or negative growth of our markets; and
technical factors in the public trading market for our stock that may produce price movements that may or may not comport with macro, industry or company-specific fundamentals, including, without limitation, the sentiment of retail investors (including as may be expressed on financial trading and other social media sites), the amount and status of short interest in our securities, access to margin debt, trading in options and other derivatives on our common stock and other technical trading factors.
Accordingly, we cannot assure you of the liquidity of an active trading market, your ability to sell your shares of our Class A common stock when desired, or the prices that you may obtain for your shares of our Class A common stock. An inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital to continue to fund operations by selling shares of our Class A common stock and may impair our ability to acquire or make investments in complementary companies, products, or technologies by using shares of our common stock as consideration.
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In addition, in the past, following periods of volatility in the overall market and in the market price of a particular company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against these companies. This litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources.
The dual class structure of our common stock has the effect of concentrating voting control with the holders of our Class B common stock, limiting your ability to influence corporate matters.
Our Class B common stock has 50 votes per share, and our Class A common stock has one vote per share. As of April 30, 2021, Mr. Siebel and related entities control the voting power of substantially all of the outstanding Class B common stock and will beneficially hold approximately 16.0% of our outstanding capital stock but control approximately 65.8% of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock. Therefore, Mr. Siebel has control over our management and affairs and over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of us or our assets, for the foreseeable future. We believe we are eligible for, but do not intend to take advantage of, the “controlled company” exemption to the corporate governance rules for New York Stock Exchange-listed companies.
In addition, the holders of Class B common stock collectively will continue to be able to control all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval even if their stock holdings represent less than a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock. This concentrated control will limit your ability to influence corporate matters for the foreseeable future, and, as a result, the market price of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.
Each share of Class B common stock will be automatically converted into one share of Class A common stock upon the earliest of (1) the date that is six months following the death or incapacity of Mr. Siebel, (2) the date that is six months following the date that Mr. Siebel is no longer providing services to us as an officer, employee, director, or consultant, (3) December 11, 2040, and (4) the date specified by the holders of a majority of the then outstanding shares of Class B common stock, voting as a separate class. Future transfers by holders of Class B common stock will generally result in those shares converting to Class A common stock, which will have the effect, over time, of increasing the relative voting power of those holders of Class B common stock who retain their shares in the long term. If, for example, Mr. Siebel retains a significant portion of his holdings of Class B common stock for an extended period of time, he could, in the future, control a majority of the combined voting power of our Class A and Class B common stock. As a board member, Mr. Siebel owes a fiduciary duty to our stockholders and must act in good faith in a manner he reasonably believes to be in the best interests of our stockholders. As a stockholder, even a controlling stockholder, Mr. Siebel is entitled to vote his shares in his own interests, which may not always be in the interests of our stockholders generally.
FTSE Russell and Standard & Poor’s do not allow most newly public companies utilizing dual or multi-class capital structures to be included in their indices. Affected indices include the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600, which together make up the S&P Composite 1500. Also in 2017, MSCI, a leading stock index provider, opened public consultations on their treatment of no-vote and multi-class structures and temporarily barred new multi-class listings from certain of its indices; however, in October 2018, MSCI announced its decision to include equity securities “with unequal voting structures” in its indices and to launch a new index that specifically includes voting rights in its eligibility criteria. Under the announced policies, our dual class capital structure would make us ineligible for inclusion in certain indices, and as a result, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and other investment vehicles that attempt to passively track these indices will not be investing in our stock. In addition, other stock indices may take similar actions. Given the sustained flow of investment funds into passive strategies that seek to track certain indices, exclusion from certain stock indices would likely preclude investment by many of these funds and would make our Class A common stock less attractive to other investors. As a result, the trading price and volume of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.
We cannot predict the impact our dual class structure may have on the market price of our Class A common stock.
We cannot predict whether our dual class structure, combined with the concentrated control of our stockholders who held our capital stock prior to the completion of our initial public offering, including our executive officers, employees, and directors and their affiliates, will result in a lower or more volatile market price of our Class A common stock or in adverse publicity or other adverse consequences. For example, as mentioned above certain index providers have announced restrictions on including companies with multiple class share structures in certain of their indices. Under the announced policies, our dual class capital structure would make us ineligible for inclusion in many indices. Given the sustained flow of investment funds into passive strategies that seek to track certain indexes, exclusion from stock indexes would likely preclude investment by many of these
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funds and could make our Class A common stock less attractive to other investors. As a result, the trading price and volume of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.
Substantial future sales of shares of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock by existing holders in the public market could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock (after automatically converting to Class A common stock) in the public market, particularly sales by our directors, executive officers, and principal stockholders, or the perception that these sales might occur, could depress the market price of our Class A common stock.
In addition, as of April 30, 2021, there were 38,486,503 shares of Class A common stock subject to outstanding options under our Amended and Restated 2012 Equity Incentive Plan and 447,095 shares of Class A common stock subject to equity awards under our 2020 Equity Incentive Plan. We have registered all of the shares of Class A common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding options and upon exercise or settlement of any options or other equity incentives we may grant in the future for public resale under the Securities Act. Accordingly, these shares will become eligible for sale in the public market to the extent such options are exercised, subject to compliance with applicable securities laws.
In addition, certain of our stockholders have registration rights that would require us to register shares owned by them for public sale in the United States. We have also filed a registration statement to register shares reserved for future issuance under our equity compensation plans. As a result, subject to the satisfaction of applicable exercise periods and applicable volume and restrictions that apply to affiliates, the shares issued upon exercise of outstanding stock options or upon settlement of outstanding RSU awards are available for immediate resale in the United States in the open market.
Sales of our shares could also impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities in the future and at a price we deem appropriate. These sales could also cause the trading price of our Class A common stock to fall and make it more difficult for you to sell shares of our Class A common stock.
Provisions in our corporate charter documents and under Delaware law may prevent or frustrate attempts by our stockholders to change our management or hinder efforts to acquire a controlling interest in us, and the market price of our Class A common stock may be lower as a result.
There are provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws that may make it difficult for a third party to acquire, or attempt to acquire, control of our company, even if a change in control was considered favorable by our stockholders.
Our charter documents also contain other provisions that could have an anti-takeover effect, such as:
establishing a classified board of directors so that not all members of our board of directors are elected at one time;
permitting the board of directors to establish the number of directors and fill any vacancies and newly created directorships;
providing that directors may only be removed for cause;
prohibiting cumulative voting for directors;
requiring super-majority voting to amend some provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws;
authorizing the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that our board of directors could use to implement a stockholder rights plan;
eliminating the ability of stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders;
prohibiting stockholder action by written consent, which requires all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders; and
our dual class common stock structure as described above.
Moreover, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which prohibit a person who owns 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock from merging or
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combining with us for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person acquired in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock, unless the merger or combination is approved in a prescribed manner. Any provision in our certificate of incorporation or our bylaws or Delaware law that has the effect of delaying or deterring a change in control could limit the opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their shares of our Class A common stock and could also affect the price that some investors are willing to pay for our Class A common stock.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation designates the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and, to the extent enforceable, the federal district courts of the United States of America as the exclusive forums for certain disputes between us and our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to choose the judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the sole and exclusive forum for the following types of actions or proceedings under Delaware statutory or common law: (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, or other employees to us or our stockholders, (3) any action arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or the certificate of incorporation or the amended and restated bylaws or (4) any other action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine shall be the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware (or, if the Court of Chancery does not have jurisdiction, the federal district court for the District of Delaware), in all cases subject to the court having jurisdiction over indispensable parties named as defendants. This provision would not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Exchange Act. In addition, to prevent having to litigate claims in multiple jurisdictions and the threat of inconsistent or contrary rulings by different courts, among other considerations, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will further provide that the U.S. federal district courts will be the exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act. However, as Section 22 of the Securities Act creates concurrent jurisdiction for federal and state courts over all suits brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Securities Act, and an investor cannot waive compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder, there is uncertainty as to whether a court would enforce such a provision. While the Delaware courts have determined that such choice of forum provisions are facially valid, a stockholder may nevertheless seek to bring a claim in a venue other than those designated in the exclusive forum provisions. In such instance, we would expect to vigorously assert the validity and enforceability of the exclusive forum provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. This may require significant additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions and there can be no assurance that the provisions will be enforced by a court in those other jurisdictions.
These exclusive forum provisions may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or other employees, which may discourage lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and other employees. If a court were to find either exclusive-forum provision in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur further significant additional costs associated with resolving the dispute in other jurisdictions, all of which could seriously harm our business.
Our Class A common stock market price and trading volume could decline if securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business.
The trading market for our Class A common stock depends in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. The analysts’ estimates are based upon their own opinions and are often different from our estimates or expectations. If one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrade our Class A common stock or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the price of our securities would likely decline. If few securities analysts commence coverage of us, or if one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our securities could decrease, which might cause the price and trading volume of our Class A common stock to decline.
We will incur costs and demands upon management as a result of complying with the laws and regulations affecting public companies in the United States, which may harm our business.
As a public company listed in the United States, we have incurred and expect to continue to incur significant additional legal, accounting, and other expenses. In addition, changing laws, regulations, and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure, including regulations implemented by the SEC and the New York Stock Exchange, may increase legal and financial compliance costs and make some activities more time consuming. These laws, regulations and standards are
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subject to varying interpretations, and as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. We intend to invest resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations, and standards, and this investment may result in increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management’s time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities. If, notwithstanding our efforts, we fail to comply with new laws, regulations, and standards, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us and our business may be harmed.
Failure to comply with these rules might also make it more difficult for us to obtain certain types of insurance, including director and officer liability insurance, and we might be forced to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. The impact of these events would also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors, on committees of our board of directors, or as members of senior management.
We are an “emerging growth company,” and we intend to comply only with reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies. As a result, our Class A common stock could be less attractive to investors.
We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, and for as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may choose to take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements applicable to other public companies but not to emerging growth companies, including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier of (1) the last day of the fiscal year (a) following the fifth anniversary of the completion of our initial public offering, (b) in which we have total annual gross revenue of more than $1.07 billion or (c) in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer, which means the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the prior October 31, or (2) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt during the prior three-year period. If some investors find our Class A common stock less attractive as a result of any choices to reduce future disclosure, there may be a less active trading market for our Class A common stock, and our stock price may be more volatile. We currently expect that we will cease to qualify as an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, effective as of April 30, 2022. As such, we have commenced planning for related additional reporting and financial requirements.
General Risks
If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.
We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the rules and regulations of the applicable listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange. We expect that the requirements of these rules and regulations will continue to increase our legal, accounting, and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time consuming, and costly, and place significant strain on our personnel, systems, and resources.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. We are continuing to develop and refine our disclosure controls and other procedures that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we will file with the SEC is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in SEC rules and forms and that information required to be disclosed in reports under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to our principal executive and financial officers. We are also continuing to improve our internal control over financial reporting. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, we have expended, and anticipate that we will continue to expend, significant resources, including accounting-related costs and significant management oversight.
Our current controls and any new controls that we develop may become inadequate because of changes in conditions in our business. In addition, changes in accounting principles or interpretations could also challenge our internal controls and require that we establish new business processes, systems, and controls to accommodate such changes. We have limited experience
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with implementing the systems and controls that necessary to operate as a public company, as well as adopting changes in accounting principles or interpretations mandated by the relevant regulatory bodies. Additionally, if these new systems, controls, or standards and the associated process changes do not give rise to the benefits that we expect or do not operate as intended, it could adversely affect our financial reporting systems and processes, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial reports or the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting. Moreover, our business may be harmed if we experience problems with any new systems and controls that result in delays in their implementation or increased costs to correct any post-implementation issues that may arise.
Further, weaknesses in our disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting may be discovered in the future. Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement could harm our business or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and may result in a restatement of our financial statements for prior periods. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting also could adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual independent registered public accounting firm attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting that we will eventually be required to include in our periodic reports that will be filed with the SEC. Ineffective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial and other information, which would likely have a negative effect on the trading price of our Class A common stock. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on the New York Stock Exchange. We are not required to make a formal assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. We are required to provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting commencing with our second Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Our independent registered public accounting firm is not required to formally attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until our first Annual Report filed with the SEC where we are an accelerated filer or a large accelerated filer. At such time, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue a report that is adverse in the event it is not satisfied with the level at which our internal control over financial reporting is documented, designed or operating. Any failure to maintain effective disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting could harm our business and could cause a decline in the trading price of our Class A common stock.
Any future litigation against us could be costly and time-consuming to defend.
We have in the past and may in the future become subject to legal proceedings and claims that arise in the ordinary course of business, such as claims brought by our customers in connection with commercial or intellectual property disputes or employment claims made by our current or former employees. Litigation might result in substantial costs and may divert management’s attention and resources, which might seriously harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Insurance might not cover such claims, might not provide sufficient payments to cover all the costs to resolve one or more such claims, and might not continue to be available on terms acceptable to us (including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co-insurance requirements). A claim brought against us that is uninsured or underinsured could result in unanticipated costs, potentially harming our business, financial position, and results of operations. In addition, we cannot be sure that our existing insurance coverage and coverage for errors and omissions will continue to be available on acceptable terms or that our insurers will not deny coverage as to any future claim.
Our business could be disrupted by catastrophic events.
Occurrence of any catastrophic event, including earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, or other weather event, power loss, telecommunications failure, software or hardware malfunctions, pandemics (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), political unrest, geopolitical instability, cyberattack, war, or terrorist attack, could result in lengthy interruptions in our service. In particular, our U.S. headquarters are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for seismic activity and wild fires, and our insurance coverage may not compensate us for losses that may occur in the event of an earthquake or other significant natural disaster. In addition, acts of terrorism could cause disruptions to the internet or the economy as a whole. Even with our disaster recovery arrangements, our service could be interrupted. If our systems were to fail or be negatively impacted as a result of a natural disaster or other event, our ability to deliver our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to our customers would be impaired, or we could lose critical data. If we are unable to develop adequate plans to ensure that our business functions continue to operate during and after a disaster and to execute successfully on those plans in the event of a disaster or emergency, our business would be harmed.
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ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
Our current principal executive office is located in Redwood City, California and, as of April 30, 2021, consists of approximately 84,377 square feet of space under a lease that expires in September 2022.
We lease 13 other offices around the world for our employees, including in Tysons, Virginia; New York City, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Brisbane, Australia; Sydney, Australia; Brussels, Belgium; Paris, France; Munich, Germany; Rome, Italy; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Singapore; and London, UK.
We lease all of our facilities and do not own any real property. We intend to procure additional space in the future as we continue to add employees and expand geographically. We believe our facilities are adequate and suitable for our current needs and that, should it be needed, suitable additional or alternative space will be available to accommodate our operations.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
From time to time, we may become involved in legal proceedings relating to claims arising from the ordinary course of business. Our management believes that there are currently no claims or actions pending against us, the ultimate disposition of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
For additional information on legal proceedings, refer to Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies—Legal Proceedings in our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
None.

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PART II
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUERS PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market Information for Common Stock
Our Class A common stock is traded on The New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “AI.” The shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock are identical, except with respect to voting, conversion, and transfer rights. Each share of Class A common stock is entitled to one vote. Each share of Class B common stock is entitled to 50 votes. Class A and Class B common stock have a par value of $0.001 per share and are referred to as common stock throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K, unless otherwise noted. Holders of common stock are entitled to receive any dividends as may be declared from time to time by the board of directors.
Shares of Class B common stock may be converted to Class A common stock at any time at the option of the stockholder. Each share of Class B common stock will be automatically converted into one share of Class A common stock upon the earliest of the following: (i) the date that is six months following the death or incapacity of Mr. Siebel; (ii) the date that is six months following the date that Mr. Siebel is no longer providing services to the Company as an officer, employee, director, or consultant; (iii) December 11, 2040, which is the twentieth anniversary of the completion of the IPO; or (iv) the date specified by the holders of a majority of the then outstanding shares of Class B common stock, voting as a separate class. Future transfers by holders of Class B common stock will generally result in those shares converting to Class A common stock. Refer to Note 9. Stockholders’ Equity, in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements, of this Form 10-K for a discussion of our conversion of Class B common stock.
Holders of Record
As of May 28, 2021, there were 472 stockholders of record of our Class A common stock. Because many of our shares of Class A common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of stockholders represented by these record holders.
Dividend Policy
We have never declared or paid any dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for the operation and expansion of our business. Accordingly, we do not anticipate declaring or paying dividends in the foreseeable future. The payment of any future dividends will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our results of operations, capital requirements, financial condition, prospects, contractual arrangements, any limitations on payment of dividends present in any debt agreements and other factors that our Board of Directors may deem relevant.
Performance Graph
This performance graph shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“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 filings under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.
The following graph compares the cumulative total return to stockholders on our Class A common stock since December 9, 2020 (the date our Class A common stock commenced trading on the NYSE) relative to the cumulative total returns of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Information Technology Index over the same period. An investment of $100 (with reinvestment of all dividends) is assumed to have been made in our Class A common stock and in each index at the market close on December 9, 2020, and its relative performance is tracked through April 30, 2021. The initial public offering price of our Class A common stock, which had a closing stock price of $92.49 on December 9, 2020, was $42.00 per share.
The returns shown are based on historical results and are not intended to suggest future performance.
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AI-20210430_G1.JPG
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities
During the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021, we issued to certain directors, officers, employees and consultants an aggregate of 14,414,563 shares of our common stock upon the exercise of options under our 2012 Incentive Plan at exercise prices ranging from $4.56 to $42.00 per share.
None of the foregoing transactions involved any underwriters, underwriting discounts or commissions, or any public offering. Unless otherwise stated, the sales of the above securities were deemed to be exempt from registration under the Securities Act in reliance on Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act (and Regulation D or Regulation S promulgated thereunder) or Rule 701 promulgated under Section 39(b) of the Securities Act as transactions by an issuer not involving any public offering or pursuant to benefit plans and contracts relating to compensation as provided under Rule 701. The recipients of the securities in each of these transactions represented their intentions to acquire the securities for investment only and not with a view to or for sale in connection with any distribution thereof, and appropriate legends were placed on the share certificates issued in these transactions. All recipients had adequate access, through their relationships with us, to information about us. The sales of these securities were made without any general solicitation or advertising.
On December 11, 2020, we completed our initial public offering, or IPO, in which we issued and sold 17,825,000 shares of our Class A common stock at $42.00 per share, which included 2,325,000 shares issued upon the exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option to purchase additional shares. We received net proceeds of $694.6 million after deducting underwriting discounts and other offering expenses. Immediately following completion of our IPO, we also completed a concurrent private placement immediately subsequent to the closing of the IPO, in which we issued and sold 2,380,952 and 1,190,476 shares of the Company’s Class A common stock at $42.00 per share to Spring Creek Capital LLC, an affiliate of Koch Industries, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation, respectively. We received aggregate proceeds of $150.0 million and did not pay underwriting discounts with respect to the shares of Class A common stock that were sold in these private placements. The sale of securities in these private placements were deemed to be exempt from registration under the Securities Act in reliance on Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act.
Issuer Purchase of Equity Securities
During the three months ended April 30, 2021, there were no repurchases of our common stock made by us.
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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
Part II, Item 6 is no longer required as the Company has elected to early adopt the changes to Item 301 of Regulation S-K contained in SEC Release No. 33-10890.
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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 appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion, particularly information with respect to our future results of operations or financial condition, business strategy and plans, and objectives of management for future operations, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties as described under the heading "Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. You should review the disclosure under the heading "Risk Factors" under Part I, Item 1A in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Unless the context otherwise requires, all references in this report to "C3.ai," “C3 AI,” the “Company”, "we," "our," "us," or similar terms refer to C3.ai, Inc. and its subsidiaries.
Unless otherwise stated, references to particular years, quarters, months or periods refer to our fiscal years ended April 30 and the associated quarters, months and periods of those fiscal years.
A discussion regarding our financial condition and results of operations for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 compared to the fiscal year ended April 30, 2020 is presented below. A discussion regarding our financial condition and results of operations for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2020 compared to the fiscal year ended April 30, 2019 can be found in "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Final Prospectus dated December 8, 2020 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4) on December 9, 2020.
Overview
C3 AI is an Enterprise AI software company.
We provide software-as-a-service, or SaaS, applications that enable the rapid deployment of enterprise-scale AI applications of extraordinary scale and complexity that offer significant social and economic benefit.
The C3 AI Suite, C3 AI Applications, and our patented model-driven architecture enable organizations to simplify and accelerate Enterprise AI application development, deployment, and administration. Our software C3 AI Suite enables developers to rapidly build applications by using conceptual models of all the elements required by an Enterprise AI application instead of having to write complex, lengthy, structured programming code to define, control, and integrate the many requisite data and microservices components to work together. We significantly reduce the effort and complexity of the AI software engineering problem.
We have built an integrated family of software applications that enables our customers to rapidly develop, deploy, and operate large-scale Enterprise AI applications across any infrastructure. Customers can deploy C3 AI solutions on all major public cloud infrastructures, private cloud or hybrid environments, or directly on their servers and processors. We provide four primary families of software solutions:
The C3 AI Suite, our core technology, is a comprehensive application development and runtime environment that is designed to allow our customers to rapidly design, develop, and deploy Enterprise AI applications of any type.
C3 AI Applications, built using the C3 AI Suite, include a large and growing family of industry-specific and application-specific turnkey AI solutions, ready for installation and deployment.
C3 AI Ex Machina, our no-code solution that provides secure, easy access to analysis-ready data, and enables business analysts without data science training to rapidly perform data science tasks such as building, configuring, and training AI models.
C3 AI CRM is a new family of fully AI-enabled, industry-specific CRM solutions that combine the CRM technology leadership and market reach of our partner ecosystem. The C3 AI CRM product family will include sales, marketing, and customer service functionality. The products will be available in vertical market-specific offerings specifically designed to meet the needs of industries such as financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, oil and gas, manufacturing, utilities, aerospace, automotive, public sector, defense, and intelligence.
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Initial Public Offering and Concurrent Private Placements
In December 2020, we completed our initial public offering, or IPO, in which we issued and sold 17,825,000 shares of our Class A common stock at $42.00 per share, which included 2,325,000 shares issued upon the exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option to purchase additional shares. We received net proceeds of $694.6 million after deducting underwriting discounts and other offering expenses.
We also completed a concurrent private placement immediately subsequent to the closing of the IPO, in which we issued and sold 2,380,952 and 1,190,476 shares of our Class A common stock at $42.00 per share to Spring Creek Capital LLC, an affiliate of Koch Industries, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation, respectively. We refer to these sales as the Concurrent Private Placement. We received aggregate proceeds of $150.0 million and did not pay underwriting discounts with respect to the shares of Class A common stock that were sold in the Concurrent Private Placement.
How We Generate Revenue
We generate revenue primarily from the sale of subscriptions, which accounted for 86%, 86% and 85% of our total revenue in the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Our cloud-native software offerings allow us to manage, update, and monitor the software regardless of whether the software is deployed in our public cloud environment, in our customers’ self-managed private or public cloud environments, or in a hybrid environment. Our subscription contracts are generally non-cancelable and non-refundable.
We commonly enter into enterprise-wide agreements with entities that include multiple operating units or divisions. For the purpose of this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, we use the term customer to mean each distinct division, department, business unit, or group within an entity. As of April 30, 2021, we had 89 customers.
We generally invoice our customers annually in advance and primarily recognize revenue over the contract term on a ratable basis. In addition, customers typically pay a usage-based runtime fees for production use of the C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, which is either paid in advance for specified levels of capacity or paid in arrears based on actual usage. Customers who choose to run the software in our cloud environment pay the hosting costs charged by our cloud providers. Our subscriptions also include our maintenance and support services. Additionally, we offer premium stand-ready support services through our C3 Center of Excellence, or COE, which are included as part of the subscription when purchased.
We also generate revenue from professional services, which consist primarily of fees associated with our implementation services for new customer deployments of C3 AI Applications. Professional services revenue represented 14%, 14% and 15% for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Our professional services are provided both onsite and remotely, and can include training, application design, project management, system design, data modeling, data integration, application design, development support, data science, and application and C3 AI Suite administration support. Professional services fees are based on the level of effort required to perform the specified tasks and the services are typically provided under a fixed-fee engagement with defined deliverables and a duration of less than 12 months. We recognize revenue for our professional services over the period of delivery as services are performed.
We are growing rapidly, with total revenue of $183.2 million for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021, representing a 17% increase compared to the prior fiscal year. Our subscription revenue grew to $157.4 million for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021, representing a 16% increase compared to the prior fiscal year.
Go-to-Market Strategy
Our go-to-market strategy is focused on large organizations recognized as leaders in their respective industries or public sectors, and who are attempting to solve complicated business problems by digitally transforming their operations. These large organizations, or lighthouse customers, include companies and public agencies within the oil and gas, power and utilities, aerospace and defense, industrial products, life sciences, and financial services industries, among others. This has resulted in C3 AI powering some of the largest and most complex Enterprise AI applications worldwide. These lighthouse customers serve as proof points for other potential customers in their particular industries. Today, we have a customer base of a relatively small number of large organizations that generate high average total subscription contract value, but we expect that, over time, as more customers adopt our technology based on the proof points provided by these lighthouse customers, the revenue
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represented by these customers will decrease as a percentage of total revenue. As our C3 AI Suite is industry agnostic, we also expect to expand into other industries as we grow.
Acquiring new customers and expanding our business with our existing customers is the intent of our go-to-market effort and drivers of our growth. Making new and existing customers successful is critical to our long-term success. After we help our customers solve their initial use cases, they typically identify incremental opportunities within their operations and expand their use of our products by either purchasing additional C3 AI Applications or by subscribing to the C3 AI Suite to develop their own AI applications.
The size and sophistication of our customers’ businesses demonstrate the flexibility, speed, and scale of our products, and maximize the potential value to our customers. To be a credible partner to our customers, who often are industry leaders, we deploy a motivated and highly educated team of C3 AI personnel and partners. We go-to-market primarily leveraging our direct sales force. We also complement and supplement our sales force with a number of go-to-market partners.
Industry Partners. We have developed an alliance program to partner with recognized leaders in their respective industries, such as Baker Hughes, Fidelity National Information Services, or FIS, and Raytheon, to develop, market, and sell solutions that are natively built on or tightly integrated with the C3 AI Suite.
Consulting and Services Partners. We partner with a number of systems integrators specializing in Enterprise AI implementations.
Hyperscale Cloud and Infrastructure. We have formed global strategic go-to-market alliances with hyperscale cloud providers including Amazon, FIS, Google, and Microsoft. In addition, we have strategic alliances with leading hardware infrastructure providers to deliver our software optimized for their technology. These partners include Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel. These partners supply infrastructure solutions, data management and processing services, or hardware and networking devices (e.g., IoT gateways) to support C3.ai product implementations and complement C3 AI’s products.
Independent Software Vendors. We partner with Independent Software Vendors, or ISV, who develop, market, and sell application solutions that are natively built on or tightly integrated with the C3 AI Suite.
Key Business Metric
We monitor remaining performance obligations, or RPO, as a key metric to help us evaluate the health of our business, identify trends affecting our growth, formulate goals and objectives, and make strategic decisions. RPO is not necessarily indicative of future revenue growth because it does not account for the timing of customers’ consumption or their consumption of more than their contracted capacity. Moreover, RPO is influenced by several factors, including the timing of renewals, the timing of purchases of additional capacity, average contract terms, and seasonality. Due to these factors, it is important to review RPO in conjunction with revenue and other financial metrics disclosed elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. RPO was $293.8 million and $239.7 million as of April 30, 2021 and April 30, 2020, respectively. We may experience variations in our RPO from period to period, but RPO has generally increased over the long term as a result of contracts with new customers and increasing the value of contracts with existing customers. These increases are partially offset by revenue recognized on existing contracts during the period.
RPO represents the amount of our contracted future revenue that has not yet been recognized, including both deferred revenue and non-cancelable contracted amounts that will be invoiced and recognized as revenue in future periods. Our RPO as of April 30, 2021 is comprised of $75.2 million related to deferred revenue and $218.6 million of commitments from non-cancellable contracts. Our RPO as of April 30, 2020 is comprised of $60.3 million related to deferred revenue and $179.4 million of commitments from non-cancellable contracts.
RPO excludes amounts related to performance obligations and usage-based royalties that are billed and recognized as they are delivered. This primarily consists of monthly usage-based runtime and hosting charges in the duration of some revenue contracts. RPO also excludes any future resale commitments by our strategic partners until those end customer contracts are signed. Cancellable backlog, not included in RPO, was $51.3 million and $7.2 million as of April 30, 2021 and April 30, 2020, respectively.
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Our total RPO as of April 30, 2021 and April 30, 2020 was comprised of approximately 94% and 96% non-federal contracts and 6% and 4% federal contracts, respectively.
Factors Affecting Our Performance
We believe that our future success and financial performance depend on a number of factors that present significant opportunities for our business but also pose risks and challenges, including those discussed below and in the section of this Annual Report on Form 10-K titled “Risk Factors” Part I, Item 1A, that we must successfully address to sustain our growth, improve our results of operations, and establish and maintain profitability.
Customer Acquisition, Retention, and Expansion
We are focused on continuing to grow our customer base, retaining existing customers and expanding customers’ usage of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications by addressing new use cases across multiple departments and divisions, adding users, and developing and deploying additional applications. All of these factors increase the adoption and relevance of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications to our customers’ business and, as an outcome, increases their runtime usage.
We have built a customer-focused culture and have implemented proactive programs and processes designed to drive customer success. These include a robust customer support and success function. For example, as part of our subscription offerings, we provide our customers with the ability to establish a COE, accessing our experienced and specialized resources in key technical areas like application development, data integration, and data science to accelerate and ensure our customers’ success developing applications on our C3 AI Suite. We closely monitor the health and status of every customer account through multiple activities, including real-time monitoring, daily and weekly reports to management, as well as quarterly reviews with our customers.
We also intend to attract new customers across multiple industries where we have limited meaningful presence today, yet represent very large market opportunities such as telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, smart cities, transportation, and healthcare, among others.
Historically, we have had a relatively small number of customers with large total subscription contract values. As a result, revenue growth can vary significantly based on the timing of customer acquisition, changes in product mix, and contract durations, renewals, or terminations. We expect the number of customers to increase compared to prior fiscal years as organizations address the importance of digital transformation. The average total subscription contract value as well as the revenue represented by our lighthouse customers as a percentage of total revenue is decreasing and we expect them to continue to decrease as we have restructured our sales organization and expanded our market-partner ecosystem to effectively address small, medium, and large enterprise sales opportunities.
Technology Innovation
We intend to continue to invest in our research and development capabilities to extend our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, to expand within existing accounts, and to gain new customers. Our investments in research and development drive core technology innovation and bring new products to market. Our model-driven architecture enables us and our customers to rapidly address new use cases by building new applications and extending and enhancing the features and functionality of current C3 AI Applications. By investing to make it easier to develop applications on our C3 AI Suite, our customers have become active developers. With our support, they have developed and deployed almost two-thirds of the applications currently in production and running on the C3 AI Suite. Research and development spending has fueled enhancements to our existing C3 AI Suite.
We expect to maintain high levels of investment in product innovation over the coming years as we continue to introduce new applications which address new industry use cases, and new features and functionality for the C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. As our business scales over a longer-term horizon, we anticipate research and development spend as a percent of total revenue to decline.
Brand Awareness
We believe we are in the early stages of a large and expanding new market for AI enabled digital transformation. As a result, we intend to continue to invest in brand awareness, market education, and thought leadership. We engage the market
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through digital, radio, outdoor, airport, and print advertising; virtual and physical events, including our C3 AI Transform annual customer conference; and C3 AI Live, a bi-weekly series of livestreamed events featuring C3 AI customers, C3 AI partners, and C3 AI experts in AI, machine learning, and data science.
We anticipate continuing to make significant investments in marketing over the next several years. Over the long term we expect marketing spend to decline as a percent of total revenue as we make ongoing progress establishing C3 AI’s brand and reputation and as our business scales. Any investments we make in our marketing program will occur in advance of experiencing benefits from such investments.
Grow Our Go-to-Market and Partnership Ecosystem
In addition to the activities of our field sales organization, our success in attracting new customers will depend on our ability to expand our ecosystem of strategic partners and the number of industry verticals that they serve. Our strategic go-to-market alliances vastly extend our reach globally. Some of our most notable partners include Baker Hughes, FIS, Infor, and Microsoft. Each strategic partner is a leader in its industry, with a substantial installed customer base and extensive marketing, sales, and services resources that we can leverage to engage and serve customers anywhere in the world. Using our C3 AI Suite as the development suite, we leverage our model-driven architecture to efficiently build new cross-industry and industry-specific applications based on identifying requirements across our customer base of industry leaders and through our industry partners. Our strategy with strategic partners is to establish a significant use case and prove the value of our C3 AI Suite with a flagship customer in each industry in which we participate. We have done this with our strategic vertical industry partner in oil and gas, Baker Hughes, as well as with our iconic global customers, some of whom are deploying C3 AI technology to optimize thousands of critical assets globally across their upstream, midstream, and downstream operations. We establish formal sales and marketing plans with each partner, including specific sales goals and dedicated budgets, and we work closely with these partners to identify specific target accounts. We intend to grow the business we do with each partner and to add more partners as we expand the vertical markets we serve. We also offer revenue generating trials of our applications as part of our customer acquisition strategy.
In June 2019, we entered into a three-year arrangement with Baker Hughes as both a leading customer and as a partner in the oil and gas industry. This arrangement included a subscription to our C3 AI Suite for their own operations (which we refer to below as direct subscription fees), the exclusive right for Baker Hughes to resell our offerings worldwide in the oil and gas industry, and the non-exclusive right to resell our offerings in other industries. Under the arrangement, Baker Hughes made minimum, non-cancelable, total revenue commitments to us of $50.0 million, $100.0 million, and $170.0 million, for each of the fiscal years ending April 30, 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively. Baker Hughes revenue commitments were inclusive of their direct subscription fees of $39.5 million per year with the remainder to be generated from the resale of our solutions by the Baker Hughes sales organization. During the fiscal year ended April 30, 2020, we recognized as revenue the full value of the first year of the direct subscription agreement and the value of deals brought in by Baker Hughes through the reseller arrangement. This arrangement was revised in June 2020 to extend the term by an additional two years, for a total of five years, with an expiration date in the fiscal year ending April 30, 2024 and to modify the annual amount of Baker Hughes’ commitments to $53.3 million, $75.0 million, $125.0 million, and $150.0 million, over the fiscal years ending April 30, 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024, respectively. Any shortfalls against the total annual revenue commitment made to us by Baker Hughes will be assessed and recorded by us at the end of the fourth quarter of each fiscal year. We are obligated to pay Baker Hughes a sales commission on subscriptions to our products and services offerings it resells in excess of these minimum revenue commitments.
Our RPO related to Baker Hughes, which includes both direct subscriptions and reseller arrangements, is comprised of $8.5 million related to deferred revenue and $95.5 million of commitments from non-cancellable contracts as of April 30, 2021 and $2.4 million related to deferred revenue and $84.8 million from non-cancellable contracts as of April 30, 2020.
As of April 30, 2021 and April 30, 2020 the total remaining amount of Baker Hughes’ minimum revenue commitments not yet contracted under the direct subscription fee or reseller arrangement, and thus subject to the shortfall annual provisions, under the entire arrangement was $219.3 million and $183.8 million, respectively.
International Expansion
The international market opportunity for Enterprise AI software is large and growing, and we believe there is a significant opportunity to continue to grow our international customer base. We believe that the demand for our C3 AI Suite will continue
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growing as international awareness of the benefits of digital transformation and Enterprise AI software grows. We plan to continue to make investments to expand geographically by increasing our direct sales team in international markets and supplementing the direct sales effort with strategic partners to significantly expand our reach and market coverage. We derived approximately 35%, 22% and 34% of our total revenue for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021. 2020 and 2019, respectively, from international customers.
Impact of Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused general business disruption worldwide beginning in January 2020. The full extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will directly or indirectly impact our business, results of operations, cash flows, and financial condition will depend on future developments that are uncertain. As a result of global business disruption, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant adverse impact on our conclusion of new and additional business agreements in 2021 and 2020 and may continue to pose challenges until the effects of the pandemic abate.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily closed our headquarters and other offices, required our employees and contractors to work remotely, and implemented travel restrictions, all of which represented a significant change in how we operate our business. The operations of our partners and customers have likewise been altered. While the duration and extent of the COVID-19 pandemic depends on future developments that cannot be accurately predicted at this time, such as the extent and effectiveness of containment actions, the emergence and spread of variants of the COVID-19 virus, and the effectiveness, acceptance, and availability of vaccines against the COVID-19 virus and its variants, the COVID-19 pandemic has already had an adverse effect on the global economy and the ultimate societal and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic remains unknown. In particular, the conditions caused by this pandemic are likely to affect the rate of global IT spending and could adversely affect demand for our C3 AI Suite, lengthen our sales cycles, reduce the value or duration of subscriptions, reduce the level of subscription renewals, negatively impact collections of accounts receivable, reduce expected spending from new customers, cause some of our paying customers to go out of business, limit the ability of our direct sales force to travel to customers and potential customers, and affect contraction or attrition rates of our paying customers, all of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition during fiscal 2021 and potentially future periods.
We will continue to evaluate the nature and extent of the impact of COVID-19 on our business. For further discussion of the potential impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business, operating results, and financial condition, see the section titled “Risk Factors” included in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Other factors affecting our performance are discussed below, although we caution you that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may also further impact these factors.
Components of Results of Operations
Revenue
Subscription Revenue. Our subscription revenue is primarily comprised of term licenses, stand-ready COE support services, trials of our applications, and software-as-a-service offerings. Sales of our term licenses grant our customers the right to use our software, either on their own cloud instance or their internal hardware infrastructure, over the contractual term. We also offer a premium stand-ready service through our COE. Sales of our software-as-a-service offerings include a right to use our software over the contractual term. Our subscription contracts are generally non-cancelable and non-refundable, with the majority of contracts with customers averaging approximately three years in duration. We generally invoice annually in advance and recognize revenue over the contract term on a ratable basis. In addition, customers pay a usage-based runtime fee for the C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, which is either paid in advance for specified levels of capacity and/or paid in arrears based on actual usage. Our subscriptions also include our maintenance and support services. Our maintenance and support services include critical and continuous updates to the software that are integral to maintaining the intended utility of the software over the contractual term. Our software subscriptions and maintenance and support services are highly interdependent and interrelated and represent a single distinct performance obligation within the context of the contract. We currently have a small number of public utility customers that license our offerings under a perpetual license model, and we expect that may continue for the foreseeable future for certain customers due to their specific contracting requirements.
Professional Services Revenue. Our professional services revenue primarily includes implementation services, training and prioritized engineering services. We offer a complete range of professional service support both onsite and remotely, including training, application design, project management, system design, data modeling, data integration, application design,
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development support, data science, and application and C3 AI Suite administration support. Professional services fees are based on the level of effort required to perform the specified tasks and are typically a fixed-fee engagement with defined deliverables and a duration of less than 12 months. We recognize revenue for our professional services over the period of delivery as services are performed.
Cost of Revenue
Cost of Subscription Revenue. Cost of subscription revenue consists primarily of costs related to compensation, including salaries, bonuses, benefits, stock-based compensation and other related expenses for the production environment, support and COE staff, hosting of our C3 AI Suite, including payments to outside cloud service providers, and allocated overhead and depreciation for facilities.
Cost of Professional Services Revenue. Cost of professional services revenue consists primarily of compensation, including salaries, bonuses, benefits, stock-based compensation and other related costs associated with our professional service personnel, third-party system integration partners, and allocated overhead and depreciation for facilities.
Gross Profit and Gross Margin
Gross profit is total revenue less total cost of revenue. Gross margin is gross profit expressed as a percentage of total revenue. Our gross margin has fluctuated historically and may continue to fluctuate from period to period based on a number of factors, including the timing and mix of the product offerings we sell as well as the geographies into which we sell, in any given period. Our gross margins are lower when we provide hosting services to our customers as compared to when a customer hosts our software in their self-managed private or public cloud environments. Our subscription gross margin may experience variability over time as we continue to invest and continue to scale our business. Our professional services gross margin may also experience variability from period to period due to the use of our own resources and third-party system integration partners in connection with the performance of our fixed price agreements.
Operating Expenses
Our operating expenses consist of sales and marketing, research and development, and general and administrative expenses. We expect our operating expenses as a percentage of total revenue to increase as we continue to invest to grow our business. Over the long-term, we expect those percentages to stabilize and then move lower as our business matures.
Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing expenses consist of expenditures related to advertising, media, marketing, promotional events, brand awareness activities, business development, customer success and corporate partnerships. Sales and marketing expenses also include employee-related costs, including salaries, bonuses, benefits, stock-based compensation, and commissions for our employees engaged in sales and marketing activities, and allocated overhead and depreciation for facilities.
We expect our sales and marketing expenses will increase in absolute dollar amounts as we continue to invest in brand awareness and programmatic spend to generate demand. We also expect to hire additional sales personnel to increase sales coverage of target industry vertical and geographic markets. Consequently, sales and marketing expense as a percent of total revenue will remain high in the near-term. As our business scales through customer expansion and market awareness, we anticipate that sales and marketing expense as a percent of total revenue to decline over time.
Research and Development. Our research and development efforts are aimed at continuing to develop and refine our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications, including adding new features and modules, increasing functionality and speed, and enhancing the usability of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. Research and development expenses consist primarily of employee-related costs, including salaries, bonuses, benefits, and stock-based compensation for our employees associated with research and development related activities. Research and development expenses also include cloud infrastructure costs related to our research and development efforts, and allocated overhead and depreciation for facilities. Research and development costs are expensed as incurred.
We expect research and development expense to increase in absolute dollars as we continue to invest in our existing and future product offerings. We may experience variations from period to period with our total research and development expense as a percentage of revenue as we develop and deploy new applications targeting new use cases and new industries. Over a longer horizon, we anticipate that research and development expense as a percent of total revenue to decline.
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General and Administrative. General and administrative expense consists primarily of employee-related costs, including salaries, bonuses, benefits, stock-based compensation and other related costs associated with administrative services such as executive management and administration, legal, human resources, accounting, and finance. General and administrative expense also includes facilities costs, such as depreciation and rent expense, professional fees, and other general corporate costs, including allocated overhead and depreciation for facilities.
We expect our general and administrative expense to increase in absolute dollars as we continue to grow our business. As a result of the closing of our IPO, we have incurred and expect to continue to incur additional expenses as a result of operating as a public company, including expenses necessary to comply with the rules and regulations applicable to companies listed on a national securities exchange and related to compliance and reporting obligations pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC, as well as higher expenses for general and director and officer insurance, investor relations, and professional services. We expect that general and administrative expense as a percent of total revenue will decline over the long-term as we benefit from the scale of our business infrastructure.
Interest Income
Interest income consists primarily of interest income earned on our cash, cash equivalents, and available-for-sale marketable securities. It also includes amortization of premiums and accretion of discount related to our available-for-sale marketable securities. Interest income varies each reporting period based on our average balance of cash, cash equivalents, and available-for-sale marketable securities during the period and market interest rates.
Other Income (Expense), Net
Other income (expense), net consists primarily of foreign currency exchange gains and losses, losses from impairment of investments, and realized gains and losses on sales of available-for-sale marketable securities. Our foreign currency exchange gains and losses relate to transactions and asset and liability balances denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. We expect our foreign currency gains and losses to continue to fluctuate in the future due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates.
Provision for Income Taxes
Our income tax provision consists of an estimate of federal, state, and foreign income taxes based on enacted federal, state, and foreign tax rates, as adjusted for allowable credits, deductions, uncertain tax positions, changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, and changes in tax laws. We maintain a full valuation allowance on our federal and state deferred tax assets as we have concluded that it is not more likely than not that the deferred tax assets will be realized.
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Results of Operations
The following tables set forth our consolidated statements of operations for the periods presented:
Fiscal Year Ended April 30,
2021 2020 2019
(in thousands)
Revenue
Subscription $ 157,366  $ 135,394  $ 77,472 
Professional services 25,851  21,272  14,133 
Total revenue
183,217  156,666  91,605 
Cost of revenue
Subscription(1)
31,315  31,479  24,560 
Professional services(1)
13,204  7,308  5,826 
Total cost of revenue
44,519  38,787  30,386 
Gross profit 138,698  117,879  61,219 
Operating expenses
Sales and marketing(1)
96,991  94,974  37,882 
Research and development(1)
68,856  64,548  37,318 
General and administrative(1)
33,109  29,854  22,061 
Total operating expenses 198,956  189,376  97,261 
Loss from operations
(60,258) (71,497) (36,042)
Interest income 1,255  4,251  3,508 
Other income (expense), net 4,011  (1,752) (546)
Net loss before provision for income taxes
(54,992) (68,998) (33,080)
Provision for income taxes 704  380  266 
Net loss
$ (55,696) $ (69,378) $ (33,346)
__________________
(1)Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows:
Fiscal Year Ended April 30,
2021 2020 2019
(in thousands)
Cost of subscription $ 828  $ 370  $ 149 
Cost of professional services 376  122  69 
Sales and marketing 9,080  3,074  1,739 
Research and development 2,950  1,223  781 
General and administrative 8,506  3,521  1,529 
Total stock-based compensation expense $ 21,740  $ 8,310  $ 4,267 
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The following table sets forth our consolidated statements of operations data expressed as a percentage of revenue for the periods presented:
Fiscal Year Ended April 30,
2021 2020 2019
Revenue
Subscription 86  % 86  % 85  %
Professional services 14  14  15 
Total revenue
100  100  100 
Cost of revenue
Subscription 17  20  27 
Professional services
Total cost of revenue
24  25  33 
Gross profit 76  75  67 
Operating expenses
Sales and marketing 53  61  41 
Research and development 38  41  41 
General and administrative
18  19  24 
Total operating expenses 109  121  106 
Loss from operations
(33) (46) (39)
Interest income
Other income (expense), net
(1) (1)
Net loss before provision for income taxes
(30) (44) (36)
Provision for income taxes —  —  — 
Net loss
(30) % (44) % (36) %

Comparison of the Fiscal Years Ended April 30, 2021 and 2020
Revenue
Fiscal Year Ended April 30, $ Change % Change
2021 2020
(in thousands)
Revenue
Subscription $ 157,366  $ 135,394  $ 21,972  16  %
Professional services 25,851  21,272  4,579  22  %
Total revenue
$ 183,217  $ 156,666  $ 26,551 
Subscription revenue as a percentage of total revenue remained 86% for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Subscription revenue increased by $22.0 million, or 16%, for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021, compared to the prior fiscal year, predominantly driven by revenue growth of $22.0 million from new customers or expanding relationships with existing C3 AI customers.
Professional services revenue increased by $4.6 million, or 22%, for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021, compared to the prior fiscal year, predominantly due to the timing and mix of implementation services projects for new C3 AI Application customers.
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Cost of Revenue
Fiscal Year Ended April 30, $ Change % Change
2021 2020
(in thousands)
Cost of revenue
Subscription $ 31,315  $ 31,479  $ (164) (1) %
Professional services 13,204  7,308  5,896  81  %
Total cost of revenue
$ 44,519  $ 38,787  $ 5,732 
The decrease in cost of subscription revenue for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 compared to the prior fiscal year was primarily due to a decrease in cloud service providers costs of $1.1 million and a decrease in facilities and overhead costs of $0.6 million, partially offset by an increase in personnel-related costs of $1.6 million.
The increase in cost of professional services revenue for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 compared to the prior fiscal year was primarily due to higher personnel-related costs of $3.0 million and higher third-party outsourcing costs of $1.9 million.
Gross Profit and Gross Margin
Fiscal Year Ended April 30, $ Change % Change
2021 2020
(in thousands)
Gross profit $ 138,698  $ 117,879  $ 20,819  18  %
Gross margin
Subscription 80  % 77  %
Professional services 49  % 66  %
Total gross margin 76  % 75  %
The increase in gross profit in the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 was primarily driven by subscription margin improvements, partially offset by declines in professional services margin due to investments in personnel to support current and future revenue growth. Overall, total gross margins increased for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 compared to the prior fiscal year.
Operating Expenses
Fiscal Year Ended April 30, $ Change % Change
2021 2020
(in thousands)
Operating expenses
Sales and marketing $ 96,991  $ 94,974  $ 2,017  %
Research and development 68,856  64,548  4,308  %
General and administrative 33,109  29,854  3,255  11  %
Total operating expenses $ 198,956  $ 189,376  $ 9,580 
Sales and Marketing. The increase in sales and marketing expense for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 compared to the prior fiscal year was primarily due to higher advertising spend of $4.7 million, higher personnel-related costs as a result of headcount growth of $1.7 million and higher facilities and related depreciation costs of $1.0 million, partially offset by a $5.7 million decrease in contributions to C3.ai DTI.
Research and Development. The increase in research and development expense for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 compared to the prior fiscal year was primarily due higher cloud computing costs of $3.7 million, an increase in professional
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services costs of $1.6 million, higher personnel-related costs as a result of headcount growth of $1.4 million and higher facilities costs of $1.0 million partially offset by a $2.9 million decrease in contributions to C3.ai DTI and a $0.9 million decrease in travel expenses.
General and Administrative. The increase in general and administrative expense for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 compared to the prior fiscal year was primarily due to an increase in corporate insurance costs of $3.2 million, and higher professional services costs of $1.8 million partially offset by a $1.6 million net decrease in personnel-related costs.
Interest Income
Fiscal Year Ended April 30, $ Change % Change
2021 2020
(in thousands)
Interest income $ 1,255  $ 4,251  $ (2,996) (70) %
The decrease in interest income for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 compared to the prior fiscal year was primarily due to investments that yielded lower returns such as money market funds and government securities.
Other Income (Expense), Net
Fiscal Year Ended April 30, $ Change % Change
2021 2020
(in thousands)
Other income (expense), net $ 4,011  $ (1,752) $ 5,763  329  %
The increase in other income (expense), net for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 compared to the prior fiscal year was due to foreign currency gains on the remeasurement of Euro-denominated cash and accounts receivable balances.
Provision for Income Taxes
Fiscal Year Ended April 30, $ Change % Change
2021 2020
(in thousands)
Provision for income taxes $ 704  $ 380  $ 324  85  %
The increase in provision for income taxes was primarily related to foreign and state tax expense.
Non-GAAP Financial Measure
In addition to our financial results determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or GAAP, we believe free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, is useful in evaluating liquidity and provides information to management and investors about our ability to fund future operating needs and strategic initiatives. We calculate free cash flow as net cash used in operating activities less purchases of property and equipment and capitalized software development costs. Free cash flow has limitations as an analytical tool, and it should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of other GAAP financial measures, such as net cash used in operating activities. This non-GAAP financial measure may be different than similarly titled measures used by other companies. Additionally, the utility of free cash flow is further limited as it does not represent the total increase or decrease in our cash balances for a given period. The following table below provides a reconciliation of free cash flow to the GAAP measure of net cash used in operating activities for the periods presented:

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Fiscal Year Ended April 30,
2021 2020
(in thousands)
Net cash used in operating activities $ (37,553) $ (61,281)
Less:
Purchases of property and equipment (1,628) (2,298)
Capitalized software development costs —  (581)
Free cash flow $ (39,181) $ (64,160)
Net cash used in investing activities $ (767,152) $ (124,073)
Net cash provided by financing activities $ 887,356  $ 119,851 
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Since inception, we have financed operations primarily through sales generated from our customers and sales of equity securities. As of April 30, 2021 and 2020, we had $115.4 million and $33.1 million of cash and cash equivalents and $978.0 million and $211.9 million of short-term investments, respectively, which were held for working capital purposes. In December 2020, we completed our IPO, which resulted in aggregate net proceeds of $694.6 million, after underwriting discounts and other offering expenses. We also received aggregate proceeds of $150.0 million related to our Concurrent Private Placement and did not pay any underwriting discounts or commissions with respect to the shares that were sold in these private placements. Our short-term investments generally consist of high-grade U.S. treasury securities, certificates of deposit, U.S. government agency securities, commercial paper and corporate debt securities. We have generated operating losses from our operations as reflected in our accumulated deficit of $349.3 million as of April 30, 2021 and negative cash flows from operations. We expect to continue to incur operating losses and generate negative cash flows from operations for the foreseeable future due to the investments we intend to make in our business, and as a result we may require additional capital to execute on our strategic initiatives to grow the business.
We believe that existing cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments will be sufficient to support working capital and capital expenditure requirements for at least the next 12 months. Our principal uses of cash in recent periods have been funding our operations and investing in capital expenditures. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including our revenue growth rate, the timing and the amount of cash received from customers, the expansion of sales and marketing activities, the timing and extent of spending to support development efforts, expenses associated with our international expansion, the introduction of C3 AI Suite enhancements, and the continuing market adoption of our C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications. In the future, we may enter into arrangements to acquire or invest in complementary businesses, products, and technologies. We may be required to seek additional equity or debt financing. If we require additional financing, we may not be able to raise such financing on terms acceptable to us or at all. If we are unable to raise additional capital or generate cash flows necessary to expand our operations and invest in continued innovation, we may not be able to compete successfully, which would harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
The following table summarizes our cash flows for the periods presented:
Fiscal Year Ended April 30,
 
2021
2020
(in thousands)
Cash used in operating activities $ (37,553) $ (61,281)
Cash used in investing activities $ (767,152) $ (124,073)
Cash provided by financing activities $ 887,356  $ 119,851 
Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash
$ 82,651  $ (65,503)
Operating Activities. Net cash used in operating activities of $37.6 million for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 was due to our net loss of $55.7 million in addition to non-cash charges for stock-based compensation of $21.7 million, depreciation and amortization of $4.3 million, and non-cash operating lease cost of $3.3 million. The $11.0 million cash outflow related to changes in operating assets and liabilities was primarily attributable to an increase in accounts receivable of $34.7 million inclusive of an increase in related party balances of $15.2 million, an increase in prepaid expenses, other current assets and
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other assets of $14.9 million inclusive of an increase in related party balances of $8.3 million and a decrease in lease liabilities of $3.6 million. This was partially offset by cash inflows related to an increase to deferred revenue of $14.9 million inclusive of an increase in related party balances of $6.2 million, an increase in other liabilities of $11.5 million inclusive of an increase in related party balances of $8.3 million, increase to accrued compensation and employee benefits of $8.1 million and an increase in accounts payable of $7.5 million inclusive of an increase in related party balances of $0.1 million.
Net cash used in operating activities of $61.3 million for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2020 was primarily due to our net loss of $69.4 million in addition to non-cash charges for stock-based compensation of $8.3 million, non-cash operating lease cost of $3.1 million, depreciation and amortization of $1.3 million, impairment of investments of $1.0 million, and other non-cash income of $0.7 million. The $4.9 million cash outflow related to changes in operating assets and liabilities was primarily attributable to a decrease in deferred revenue of $30.9 million inclusive of a decrease in related party balances of $18.4 million, an increase in prepaid expenses, other current assets and other assets of $4.3 million, a decrease in lease liabilities of $3.2 million, and a decrease in accounts payable of $1.2 million. This was partially offset by a decrease in accounts receivable of $32.7 million inclusive of a decrease in related party balances of $19.8 million, an increase in other liabilities of $1.3 million, and an increase in accrued compensation and employee benefits of $0.7 million.
Investing Activities. Net cash used in investing activities of $767.2 million for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 was primarily attributable to purchases of investments of $1,152.1 million and capital expenditures of $1.6 million, partially offset by maturities and sales of short-term investments of $385.9 million.
Net cash used in investing activities of $124.1 million for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2020 was primarily attributable to purchases of investments of $219.9 million and capital expenditures of $2.3 million, partially offset by the maturities and sales of short-term investments of $98.7 million.
Financing Activities. Net cash provided by financing activities of $887.4 million for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 was primarily due to $844.7 million of net proceeds from the initial public offering and private placements, $26.0 million of proceeds from the repayment of the full recourse promissory note due from our CEO in connection with the Series F preferred stock financing and $16.7 million of proceeds from the exercise of stock options for Class A common stock.
Net cash provided by financing activities of $119.9 million for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2020 was primarily due to $49.8 million of proceeds from the issuance of Series H redeemable convertible preferred stock, $44.0 million of proceeds from the issuance of common stock, $25.3 million of proceeds from the additional issuance of Series G redeemable convertible preferred stock and $4.2 million of proceeds from the exercise of stock options for Class A common stock, partially offset by $3.5 million repurchase of common stock and stock options in the tender offer.
Contractual Obligations and Commitments
Our contractual obligations and commitments primarily consist of operating lease commitments for our facilities and noncancelable purchase commitments related to third-party cloud hosting services.
For additional information, refer to Note 6. Leases and Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, costs and expenses, and related disclosures. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results could differ significantly from our estimates. To the extent that there are differences between our estimates and actual results, our future financial statement presentation, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows will be affected.
We believe that the following accounting policies involve a high degree of judgment and complexity. Accordingly, these are the policies we believe are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating our consolidated financial condition and results of our operations. See Note 1. Summary of Business and Significant Accounting Policies to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a description of our other significant
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accounting policies. The preparation of our consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the amounts reported in those financial statements and accompanying notes. Although we believe that the estimates we use are reasonable, due to the inherent uncertainty involved in making those estimates, actual results reported in future periods could differ from those estimates. The critical accounting estimates, assumptions and judgments that we believe have the most significant impact on our consolidated financial statements are described below.
Revenue Recognition
Revenue is recognized when promised goods or services are transferred to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which we expect to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services.
We determine revenue recognition through the following steps:
identification of the contract, or contracts, with a customer;
identification of the performance obligations in the contract;
determination of the transaction price;
allocation of the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and
recognition of revenue when, or as, we satisfy a performance obligation.
Subscription Revenue. Our subscription revenue is primarily comprised of term licenses, stand-ready COE support services, trials of our applications, and software-as-a-service offerings. Sales of our term licenses grant customers the right to use our functional intellectual property, either on their own cloud instance or internal hardware infrastructure, over the contractual term. We also sell premium stand-ready COE support services, hosting services, and trials of our applications as part of our customer acquisition strategy. Sales of our software-as-a-service offerings include the right to use our software in a hosted environment over the contractual term. Our subscriptions include our software and our maintenance and support services. Our maintenance and support services include critical and continuous updates to the software that are integral to maintaining the intended utility of the software over the contractual term. Our software subscriptions and maintenance and support services are highly interdependent and interrelated and represent a single distinct performance obligation within the context of the contract. We have a small number of customers who have perpetual licenses, which we recognize ratably given the critical nature of the required continuous maintenance and support provided.
Our subscription contracts are generally non-cancelable and non-refundable, and typically three years in duration. We generally invoice annually in advance, and recognize revenue over the contract term on a ratable basis. We also generate additional runtime subscription fees for the use of our C3 AI Suite, a type of consumption billing based on computing and storage resources required to run our software. We typically recognize the consumption or usage-based revenue upon occurrence and invoice in arrears, although customers may purchase blocks of runtime in advance.
Professional Services Revenue. Professional services revenue primarily consists of implementation services and training. These services are distinct from our subscription revenue.
Professional services fees are based on the level of effort required to perform such tasks and are typically a fixed-fee engagement with a duration of less than 12 months. We recognize revenue for our professional services over time on an input basis as the performance obligations are satisfied.
Contracts with Multiple Performance Obligations. Most of our contracts with customers contain multiple performance obligations. Our subscriptions are sold for a broad range of amounts and a representative standalone selling price, or SSP, is not always discernible from past transactions or other observable evidence. When appropriate, we determine SSP based on the price at which the performance obligation has previously been sold through past transactions, taking into account internally approved pricing guidelines related to the performance obligations. When the SSP of a license or subscription and bundled maintenance and support services is highly variable and the contract also includes additional performance obligations with observable SSP, we first allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations with established SSPs and then apply the residual approach to allocate the remaining transaction price to the license or subscription and bundled maintenance and support services. If applying the residual approach results in zero or very little consideration being allocated to the combined performance obligation, or to a bundle of goods or services, we will consider all reasonably available data to determine an appropriate
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allocation of the transaction price. If the contract contains a single performance obligation, the entire transaction price is allocated to the single performance obligation.
Areas of Judgment and Estimates. Determining whether the software subscriptions and the related support are considered distinct performance obligations that should be accounted for separately or as a single performance obligation requires significant judgment. In reaching our conclusion, we considered the nature of our promise to provide the customer real time analytics and machine learning algorithms that require regular re-training to maintain and improve prediction accuracy. As these updates to the software subscription are integral to maintaining the utility that is derived from the software subscription by customers, we determined that the software subscription and related updates fulfill a single promise to the customer under the contract.
Determining the relative SSP for contracts that contain multiple performance obligations requires significant judgement. We determine SSP using observable pricing when available, which takes into consideration market conditions and customer specific factors. When observable pricing is not available, we first allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations with established SSPs and then apply the residual approach to allocate the remaining transaction price to the subscription and bundled maintenance and support services.
Stock-Based Compensation
Stock-based compensation expense related to stock awards and restricted stock units, or RSUs, is recognized based on the fair value of the awards granted. The fair value of each option award is estimated on the grant date using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. The Black-Scholes option pricing model requires the input of highly subjective assumptions, including the fair value of the underlying common stock, the expected term of the option, the expected volatility of the price of our common stock, risk-free interest rates and the expected dividend yield of our common stock. The assumptions used to determine the fair value of the option awards represent management’s best estimates. These estimates involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management’s judgment. The fair value of each RSU is based on the fair value of the Company’s common stock on the date of grant. The related stock-based compensation expense is recognized on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period of the awards, which is generally five years. We account for forfeitures as they occur instead of estimating the number of awards expected to be forfeited.
Our use of the Black-Scholes option-pricing model requires the input of highly subjective assumptions. If factors change and different assumptions are used, our stock-based compensation expense could be materially different in the future.
These assumptions and estimates are as follows:
Fair Value of Common Stock. Prior to our IPO, the fair value was determined by our board of directors, with input from management and valuation reports prepared by third-party valuation specialists. After our IPO, the fair value of our common stock is determined by the closing price, on the date of grant, of our common stock, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Stock-based compensation for financial reporting purposes is measured based on updated estimates of fair value when appropriate, such as when additional relevant information related to the estimate becomes available in a valuation report issued as of a subsequent date.
Expected Dividend Yield. We have never declared or paid any cash dividends and do not presently plan to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future. As a result, an expected dividend yield of zero percent was used.
Expected Volatility. The expected volatility was estimated by taking the average historical price volatility for industry peers, consisting of several public companies in our industry which are either similar in size, stage of life cycle, or financial leverage, over a period equivalent to the expected term of the awards.
Expected Term. The expected term of options represents the period of time that options are expected to be outstanding. Our historical stock option exercise experience does not provide a reasonable basis upon which to estimate an expected term due to a lack of sufficient data. For stock options granted to employees, we estimate the expected term by using the simplified method. The simplified method calculates the expected term as the average of the time-to-vesting and the contractual life of the options. For stock options granted to non-employees, the expected term equals the contractual term of the option.
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Risk-Free Interest Rate. The risk-free interest rate for the expected term of the options was based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of the grant.
The weighted average Black-Scholes assumptions used in evaluating our awards are as follows:
Fiscal Year Ended April 30,
2021
2020
Valuation assumptions
Expected dividend yield
—  % —  %
Expected volatility
43.8  % 38.6  %
Expected term (years)
6.30 6.30
Risk-free interest rate
0.43  % 1.70  %
We will continue to use judgment in evaluating the assumptions related to our stock-based compensation on a prospective basis. As we continue to accumulate additional data related to our common stock, we may refine our estimation process, which could materially impact our future stock-based compensation expense.
Income Taxes
We use the asset-and-liability method for income taxes. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on differences between the consolidated financial statement carrying amounts and tax bases of assets and liabilities and operating loss and tax credit carryforwards and are measured using the enacted tax rates that are expected to be in effect when the differences reverse. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. Valuation allowances are established when necessary, to reduce deferred tax assets to an amount that, in the opinion of management, is more likely than not to be realized.
Our policy for accounting for uncertainty in income taxes requires the evaluation of tax positions taken or expected to be taken in the course of the preparation of tax returns to determine whether the tax positions are “more-likely-than-not” of being sustained by the applicable tax authority. Tax positions not deemed to meet the more-likely-than-not threshold would be recorded as a tax expense in the current year. Re-evaluation of tax positions considers factors such as changes in facts or circumstances, changes in or interpretations of tax law, effectively settled issues under audit or expiration of statute of limitation and new audit activity.
We recognized interest accrued and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits in our income tax expense.
Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements
See Note 1. Summary of Business and Significant Accounting Policies to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information regarding recently adopted accounting pronouncements.
Emerging Growth Company Status
In April 2012, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or the JOBS Act, was enacted. Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an “emerging growth company” may take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. Therefore, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected to use the extended transition period under the JOBS Act until the earlier of the date we (1) are no longer an emerging growth company or (2) affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the extended transition period provided in the JOBS Act. As a result, our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with new or revised accounting pronouncements as of public company effective dates.
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ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
We are exposed to market risks in the ordinary course of our business. Market risk represents the risk of loss that may impact our financial position due to adverse changes in financial market prices and rates. Our market risk exposure is primarily the result of fluctuations in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates. We do not hold or issue financial instruments for trading purposes.
Interest Rate Risk
As of April 30, 2021, we had cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $1,093.4 million. As of April 30, 2020, we had cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $245.0 million. Interest-earning instruments carry a degree of interest rate risk. We do not enter into investments for trading or speculative purposes and have not used any derivative financial instruments to manage our interest rate risk exposure. As of April 30, 2021, a hypothetical 10% relative change in interest rates would not have had a material impact on the value of our cash equivalents or investment portfolio. Any realized gains or losses resulting from such interest rate changes would only occur if we sold the investments prior to maturity.
Foreign Currency Risk
Our functional currency is the U.S. dollar. For the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019, approximately 25%, 20%, and 27% of our sales were denominated in euros, respectively, and therefore our revenue, accounts receivable, and cash deposits are subject to foreign currency risk. Our foreign operating expenses are denominated in the local currencies of the countries in which we operate. Our consolidated results of operations and cash flows are, therefore, subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates. A hypothetical 10% change in foreign currency exchange rates may not result in a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. To date, we have not had a formal hedging program with respect to foreign currencies, but we may do so in the future if our exposure to foreign currencies should become more significant. As our international operations grow, we will continue to reassess our approach to manage our risk relating to fluctuations in currency rates.
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ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
Index to Consolidated Financial Statements









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REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the Stockholders and the Board of Directors of C3.ai, Inc.
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of C3.ai, Inc. and subsidiaries (the "Company") as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive loss, redeemable convertible preferred stock, redeemable convertible Class A-1 common stock and stockholders’ equity (deficit), and cash flows, for each of the three years in the period ended April 30, 2021, and the related notes collectively referred to as the "financial statements". In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended April 30, 2021, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company's financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits, we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.
Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

/s/ DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP
San Jose, California
June 25, 2021

We have served as the Company's auditor since 2018.
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C3.AI, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except for share and per share data)

As of April 30,
2021 2020
Assets
Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents $ 115,355  $ 33,104 
Short-term investments 978,020  211,874 
Accounts receivable, net of allowance of $812 and $755 as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively(1)
65,460  30,827 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets(2)
14,302  5,400 
Total current assets 1,173,137  281,205 
Property and equipment, net 6,133  8,723 
Goodwill 625  625 
Long-term investments —  725 
Other assets, non-current(3)
16,582  13,830 
Total assets $ 1,196,477  $ 305,108 
Liabilities, redeemable convertible preferred stock, redeemable convertible Class A-1 common stock and stockholders’ equity (deficit)
Current liabilities
Accounts payable(4)
$ 12,075  $ 4,726 
Accrued compensation and employee benefits 21,829  13,693 
Deferred revenue, current(5)
72,263  53,537 
Accrued and other current liabilities(6)
18,318  9,083 
Total current liabilities 124,485  81,039 
Deferred revenue, non-current 2,964  6,758 
Other long-term liabilities(7)
7,853  6,001 
Total liabilities $ 135,302  $ 93,798 
Commitments and contingencies (note 7)
Redeemable convertible preferred stock, $0.001 par value. No shares and 233,107,379 shares authorized as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively; no shares and 37,128,768 shares issued and outstanding as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively; Liquidation preference of $376,178 as of April 30, 2020
—  375,207 
Redeemable convertible class A-1 common stock, $0.001 par value. No shares and 6,666,667 shares authorized as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively; no shares and 6,666,665 shares issued and outstanding as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively; Liquidation preference of $18,800 as of April 30, 2020
—  18,800 
Stockholders’ equity (deficit)
Class A common stock, $0.001 par value. 1,000,000,000 and 390,000,000 shares authorized as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively; 98,667,121 and 31,210,159 shares issued and outstanding as of April 30, 2021 and 2020 respectively
99  31 
Class B common stock, $0.001 par value; 3,500,000 and 21,000,000 shares authorized as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively; 3,499,992 and no shares issued and outstanding as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively
— 
Additional paid-in capital 1,410,325  110,485 
Accumulated other comprehensive income 81  424 
Accumulated deficit (349,333) (293,637)
Total stockholders’ equity (deficit) 1,061,175  (182,697)
Total liabilities, redeemable convertible preferred stock, redeemable convertible Class A-1 common stock and stockholders’ equity (deficit) $ 1,196,477  $ 305,108 
(1) Including amounts from a related party of $15,180 and $250 as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
(2) Including amounts from a related party of $1,662 and nil as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
(3) Including amounts from a related party of $6,602 and nil as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
(4) Including amounts from a related party of $56 and nil as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
(5) Including amounts from a related party of $7,697 and $1,499 as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
(6) Including amounts from a related party of $3,413 and nil as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
(7) Including amounts from a related party of $4,895 and nil as of April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
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C3.AI, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except for share and per share data)

Fiscal Year Ended April 30,
2021 2020 2019
Revenue
Subscription(1)
$ 157,366  $ 135,394  $ 77,472 
Professional services(2)
25,851  21,272  14,133 
Total revenue 183,217  156,666  91,605 
Cost of revenue
Subscription(3)
31,315  31,479  24,560 
Professional services 13,204  7,308  5,826 
Total cost of revenue 44,519  38,787  30,386 
Gross profit 138,698  117,879  61,219 
Operating expenses
Sales and marketing(4)
96,991  94,974  37,882 
Research and development 68,856  64,548  37,318 
General and administrative 33,109  29,854  22,061 
Total operating expenses 198,956  189,376  97,261 
Loss from operations (60,258) (71,497) (36,042)
Interest income 1,255  4,251  3,508 
Other income (expense), net 4,011  (1,752) (546)
Net loss before provision for income taxes (54,992) (68,998) (33,080)
Provision for income taxes 704  380  266 
Net loss $ (55,696) $ (69,378) $ (33,346)
Net loss attributable to Class A common stockholders, basic and diluted $ (0.90) $ (1.94) $ (1.32)
Net loss attributable to Class A-1 common stockholders, basic and diluted $ (0.55) $ (1.94) $ (1.32)
Net loss attributable to Class B common stockholders, basic and diluted $ (0.35) $ —  $ — 
Weighted-average shares used in computing net loss per share attributable to Class A common stockholders, basic and diluted 56,677,947  29,133,157  18,662,237 
Weighted-average shares used in computing net loss per share attributable to Class A-1 common stockholders, basic and diluted 6,666,665  6,666,665  6,666,665 
Weighted-average shares used in computing net loss per share attributable to Class B common stockholders, basic and diluted 3,499,992  —  — 
(1)Including related party revenue of $30,557, $40,425, and $56 for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively.
(2)Including related party revenue of $4,825, $292, and nil for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively.
(3)Including related party cost of revenue of $56, nil and nil for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
(4)Including related party sales and marketing expense of $44, nil and nil for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
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C3.AI, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE LOSS
(In thousands)

Fiscal Year Ended April 30,
2021 2020 2019
Net loss $ (55,696) $ (69,378) $ (33,346)
Other comprehensive (loss) income
Unrealized (loss) gain on investment securities, net of tax (343) 350  75 
Total comprehensive loss $ (56,039) $ (69,028) $ (33,271)
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
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C3.AI, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF REDEEMABLE CONVERTIBLE PREFERRED STOCK,
REDEEMABLE CONVERTIBLE CLASS A-1 COMMON STOCK AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY (DEFICIT)
(In thousands)
Redeemable Convertible Preferred Stock Redeemable Convertible A-1 Common Stock Common Stock Additional Paid-In Capital Accumulated Other Comprehensive (Loss) Income Accumulated Deficit Total Stockholders’
Deficit
Shares Amount Shares Amount Shares Amount
Balance as of April 30, 2018 31,582  $