(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) -- Item 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of
We provide precision-policing and security solutions for law enforcement and security personnel to help prevent and reduce gun violence and make cities, campuses and facilities safer. Our flagship public safety solution, ShotSpotter Respond (formerly ShotSpotter Flex), is the leading outdoor gunshot detection, location and alerting system. Our gunshot detection solutions are trusted by law enforcement agencies in over 110 cities as of December 31, 2020. Our patrol management software, ShotSpotter Connect (formerly ShotSpotter Missions), uses artificial intelligence-driven analysis to help strategically plan directed patrols and have consistent use of tactics to deter a broad set of crime types. Our security solutions, ShotSpotter SecureCampus and ShotSpotter SiteSecure, are designed to help law enforcement and security personnel serving universities, corporate campuses, big box retail, malls and key infrastructure or transportation centers mitigate risk and enhance security by notifying authorities of a potential outdoor gunfire incident, saving critical minutes for first responders to arrive. ShotSpotter Investigate(TM), adds case management to our expanding suite of precision policing technology solutions and provides agencies with a cloud-based investigative digital case folder and analytical and collaboration tools to improve case closure rates. In 2019, we created a new technology innovation unit, ShotSpotter Labs, to expand our efforts supporting innovative uses of our technology to help protect wildlife and the environment
Our gunshot detection solutions consist of highly-specialized, cloud-based software integrated with proprietary, internet-enabled sensors designed to detect outdoor gunfire. The speed and accuracy of our gunfire alerts enable law enforcement and security personnel to consistently and quickly respond to shooting events including those unreported through 911, which can increase the chances of apprehending the shooter, providing timely aid to victims, and identifying witnesses before they scatter, as well as aid in evidentiary collection and serve as an overall deterrent. When a potential gunfire incident is detected by our sensors, our system precisely locates where the incident occurred and applies machine classification combined with human review to analyze and validate the incident. An alert containing a location on a map and critical information about the incident is sent directly to subscribing law enforcement or security personnel through any internet-connected computer and to iPhone or Android mobile devices.
Our software sends validated gunfire data along with the audio of the triggering sound to our Incident Review Center ("IRC"), where our trained incident review specialists are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to screen and confirm actual gunfire incidents. Our trained incident review specialists can supplement alerts with additional tactical information, such as the potential presence of multiple shooters or the use of high-capacity weapons. Gunshot incidents reviewed by our IRC result in alerts typically sent within approximately 45 seconds of the receipt of the gunfire incident.
We generate annual subscription revenues from the deployment of ShotSpotter Respond on a per-square-mile basis. Our security solutions, ShotSpotter SecureCampus and ShotSpotter SiteSecure, are typically sold on a subscription basis, each with a customized deployment plan. Our ShotSpotter Connect solution is also sold on a subscription basis. As of December 31, 2020, we had ShotSpotter Respond, ShotSpotter SecureCampus and ShotSpotter SiteSecure coverage areas under contract for 813 square miles, of which 779 square miles had gone live. Coverage areas under contract included over 100 cities and 12 campuses/sites across the United States, South Africa and the Bahamas, including three of the ten largest cities in the United States. Most of our revenues are attributable to customers based in the United States.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, work-from-home and travel ban policies designed to protect the health of employees, and related government-mandated restrictions, our ability to deploy customer solutions since mid-March 2020 has been adversely impacted. While this disruption is currently expected to be temporary, there is considerable uncertainty around the magnitude or duration.
While we intend to continue to devote resources to increase sales of our ShotSpotter SecureCampus, ShotSpotter SiteSecure, ShotSpotter Labs and ShotSpotter Connect solutions, we expect that revenues from our ShotSpotter Respond solution will continue to comprise a substantial majority of our revenues for the foreseeable future. ShotSpotter Labs projects are generally conducted in coordination with a sponsoring charitable organization. These projects may or may not be revenue-producing. When they are revenue-producing, they will generally be sold on a cost-plus basis. As such, ShotSpotter Labs projects will normally produce gross margins significantly lower than our ShotSpotter Respond solutions. Additionally, in early 2020, we added new pricing programs for Tier 4 and 5 law enforcement agencies (those with fewer than 100 sworn officers) that allow them to contract for our gunshot detection solutions to cover a footprint of less than three square miles, using standardized coverage parameters, at a discounted annual subscription rate.
Since our founding, 25 years ago, ShotSpotter has been and continues to be a purpose-led company. We are a mission-driven organization that is focused on improving public safety outcomes. We accomplish this by earning the trust of law enforcement and providing them solutions to help them better engage and strengthen the police-community relationships in fulfilling their sworn obligation equally to serve and protect all. Our inspiration comes from our principal founder, Dr. Bob Showen, who believes that the highest and best use of technology is to promote social good. We are committed to developing comprehensive, respectful, and engaged partnerships with law enforcement agencies, elected officials and communities focused on making a positive difference in the world.
We enter into subscription agreements on a term basis that typically range from one to five years in duration, with the majority having a contract term of one year. Substantially all of our sales are to governmental agencies and universities, which often undertake a prolonged contract evaluation process that affects the size or the timing of our sales contracts and may likewise increase our customer acquisition costs. For a discussion of the risks associated with our sales cycle, see risks entitled "Our sales cycle can be unpredictable, time-consuming and costly, and our inability to successfully complete sales could harm our business" and "Because we generally recognize our subscription revenues ratably over the term of our contract with a customer, fluctuations in sales will not be fully reflected in our operating results until future periods" in Item 1A, Risk Factors, included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We rely on a limited number of suppliers and contract manufacturers to produce components of our solutions. We have no long-term contracts with these manufacturers and purchase from them on a purchase-order basis. Our outsourced manufacturers generally procure the components directly from third-party suppliers. Although we use a limited number of suppliers and contract manufacturers, we believe that we could find alternate suppliers or manufacturers if circumstances required us to do so, in part because a significant portion of the components required by our solutions is available off the shelf. For a discussion of the risks associated with our limited number of suppliers, see risk entitled "We rely on a limited number of suppliers and contract manufacturers, and our proprietary ShotSpotter sensors are manufactured by a single contract manufacturer" in Item 1A, Risk Factors, included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We generated revenues of $45.7 million, $40.8 million and $34.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively, representing a year-over-year increases of 12% and 17%. For 2020, 2019, and 2018, revenues from ShotSpotter Respond represented approximately 94%, 96% and 97% of total revenues, respectively. Our two current largest customers, The City of Chicago and City of New York each accounted for 18%
and 15%, respectively, of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020. The City of Chicago and the City of New York, each accounted for 20% and 14%, respectively, of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2019. The City of Chicago and the City of New York, each accounted for 22% and 15%, respectively, of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2018. Substantially all of our revenues for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 were derived from customers within the United States (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
We had net income of $1.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 and had net income of $1.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 and a net loss of $2.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. Our accumulated deficit was $94.4 million and $95.6 million as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
During the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, we went "live" on 49, 82 and 168 net new square miles of coverage, respectively. In each case, the increase in coverage was achieved through a combination of new customers and expansions with existing customers. During the year ended December 31, 2018, 71 miles out of 168 miles were due to expansion from a single customer.
In 2017, in connection with the cessation of our service to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as a result of hurricane damage, we classified our contracts with them as expired, stopped recognizing revenues and accelerated the deferred revenues related to setup fees under these contracts. Puerto Rico returned as a customer in 2019 and added five new live miles in 2020, for a total of 21 miles live as of December 31, 2020. U.S. Virgin Islands also returned as a customer in 2020 with four live miles as of December 31, 2020.
We have focused on rapidly growing our business and believe that its future growth is dependent on many factors, including our ability to increase our customer base, expand the coverage of our solutions among our existing customers, expand our international presence and increase sales of our security solutions. Our future growth will primarily depend on the market acceptance for outdoor gunshot detection solutions. Challenges we face in achieving this market acceptance and growing our business include our target customers having limited access to adequate funding sources, the fact that contracting with government entities can be complex, expensive and time-consuming, and the fact that our typical sales cycle is often very long, difficult to estimate accurately and can be costly. The extent to which certain of these challenges have increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are summarized in the section below entitled "Impact of COVID-19 and Social Unrest on our Business." We expect international sales cycles to be even longer than our domestic sales cycles. To combat these challenges, we invest in research and development, increase awareness of our solutions, invest in new sales and marketing campaigns, often in different languages for international sales, and hire additional sales representatives to drive sales in order to continue to maintain our position as a market leader. In addition, we believe that entering into strategic partnerships with other service providers to cities and municipalities may offer an another potential avenue for expansion.
We will also focus on expanding our business by introducing new products and services, such as ShotSpotter Connect, to existing customers and expanding coverage for our existing customers for ShotSpotter Labs. We believe that developing and acquiring products for law enforcement in adjacent categories is a path for additional growth given our large and growing installed base of police departments who trust ShotSpotter's products, support and way of doing business. The ability to cross-sell new products provides an opportunity to grow revenues per customer and lifetime value. Challenges we face in this area include ensuring our new products are reliable, integrated well with other ShotSpotter solutions and priced and serviced appropriately. In some cases, we will need to bring in new skill sets to properly develop, market, sell or service these new products depending on the categories they represent.
Consistent with this strategy, we acquired LEEDS, LLC in November 2020 to expand our ShotSpotter Investigate solution. With the addition of LEEDS, ShotSpotter will offer a more complete precision policing platform to enable intelligence-driven prevention, response to, and investigation of crime for local, state and federal agencies. ShotSpotter Investigate is expected to be our case management solution that helps automate investigative work and improve case clearance rates - addressing an inefficiency problem for many agencies that have had to rely on multiple disparate systems to work cases. ShotSpotter Investigate will be based on software currently developed and in use by LEEDS. Using the software, investigators benefit from a single digital case folder that includes all elements related to a case. Analytical and collaboration tools help investigators connect the dots and share information faster while reporting helps package cases for command staff and prosecutors.
In October 2018, we acquired the HunchLab technology and related assets that underline our ShotSpotter Connect solution. ShotSpotter Connect applies risk modeling and artificial intelligence to help forecast when and where crimes are likely to emerge and recommends specific patrols and tactics that can deter these events. The ShotSpotter Connect technology provides a proven, high-value, and complementary solution we can offer to our existing law enforcement customers. We believe this product helps to democratize the sharing of important intelligence with patrol officers who currently have limited direct access to crime analysts.
With respect to international sales, we believe that we have the potential to expand our coverage within existing areas, and to pursue opportunities in Latin America and other regions of the world. By adding additional sales resources in strategic locations, we believe we will be better positioned to reach these markets. However, we recognize that we have limited international operational experience and currently operate in a limited number of regions outside of the United States. Operating successfully in international markets will require significant resources and management attention and will subject us to additional regulatory, economic and political risks. We may face additional challenges that may delay contract execution related to negotiating with governments in transition, the use of third-party integrations and consultants. Moreover, we anticipate that different political and regulatory considerations that vary across different jurisdictions could extend or make more difficult to predict the length of what is already a lengthy sales cycle.
Key Business Metrics
We focus on four key business metrics, primarily driven by ShotSpotter Respond, in order to measure our operational performance and inform strategic decisions. Revenue retention rate, sales and marketing spend per $1.00 of new annualized contract value and net new "go-live" square miles are each calculated annually. Net new "go-live" cities is calculated on a quarterly basis. All of these metrics are delivered using internal data and may be calculated in a manner different than similar metrics used by other companies.
Year Ended December 31, 2020 2019 2018 (in thousands) Revenue retention rate 107 % 111 % 139 % Sales and marketing spend per $1.00 of new annualized contract value $ 0.51 $ 0.43 $ 0.30 Net new "go-live" square miles 49 82 168 Net new "go-live" cities 10 6 10
Revenue Retention Rate
We calculate our revenue retention rate annually by dividing the (a) total revenues for such year from those customers who were customers during the corresponding prior year by (b) the total revenues from all customers in the corresponding prior year. For the purposes of calculating our revenue retention rate, we count as customers all entities with which we had contracts in the applicable year. Revenue retention rate for any given period does not include revenues attributable to customers first acquired during such period. We focus on our revenue retention rate because we believe that this metric provides insight into revenues related to and retention of existing customers. If our revenue retention rate for a year exceeds 100%, as it did in the years presented above, this indicates a low churn and means that the revenues retained during the year, including from customer expansions, more than offset the revenues that we lost from customers that did not renew their contracts during the year. As further evidence of our low churn, since transitioning our public safety business to the ShotSpotter Respond model in 2011, we have added over 80 new ShotSpotter Respond customers, but only 13 customers have terminated service, two of which were terminated due to hurricane damage. One of the two customers who terminated due to hurricane damage subsequently returned as a customer. Our revenue retention rate in 2018 reflects a large expansion deployment by our largest customer, Chicago, without which the revenue retention rate for that year would have been 118%.
Sales and Marketing Spend per $1.00 of New Annualized Contract Value
We calculate sales and marketing spend annually as the total sales and marketing expense during a year divided by the first 12 months of contract value for contracts entered into during the same year. We use this metric to measure the efficiency of our sales and marketing efforts in acquiring customers, renewing customer contracts and expanding their coverage areas.
Net New "Go-Live" Miles
Net new "go-live" square miles represent the square miles covered by deployments of our gunshot detection solutions that were formally approved by customers during the year, both from initial and expanded customer deployments, net of square miles that ceased to be "live" during the year due to customer cancellations. New square miles include deployed square miles that may have been sold, or booked, in prior years. We focus on net new "go-live" square miles as a key business metric to measure our operational performance and inform strategic decisions.
Net New "Go-Live" Cities
Net new "go-live" cities represent the number of cities covered by deployments of our gunshot detection solutions that were formally approved by customers during the year, both from initial and expanded customer deployments, net of cities that ceased to be "live" during the year due to customer cancellations. New cities include deployed coverage areas that may have been sold, or booked, in a prior period. We focus on net new "go-live" cities as a key business metric to measure our operational performance and market penetration
Impact of COVID-19 and Social Unrest on our Business
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a substantial curtailment of business activities worldwide and caused ongoing economic uncertainty, both in the United States and many countries abroad. In connection with efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, many companies and state, local and foreign governments imposed restrictions, including shelter-in-place orders and travel bans that were in effect for most or all of 2020. These factors have negatively impacted our operations and results of operations for 2020. While some of these companies and jurisdictions have relaxed or ended such restrictions, some restrictions remain and others may be put back in place after having been lifted. We expect that the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, associated travel restrictions and social distancing requirements will continue to have an adverse impact on our results of operations. While the ultimate economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is highly uncertain, we expect that our business and results of operations, including our revenues, earnings and cash flows from operations, may continue to be adversely impacted in 2021, potentially as a result of:
Delays in our ability to deploy new "go-live" miles attributable to company policies or customer policies designed to protect employee health and comply with government restrictions;
Greater funding challenges for our customer base, which may adversely affect customer contract renewals, expansion of existing customer deployments or new customer sales;
Possible disruption to our supply chain caused by distribution and other logistical issues, which may further delay our ability to deploy new go-live miles; and
Potential decrease in productivity of our employees or these of our customers or suppliers due to travel bans or restrictions, work-from-home or shelter-in-place policies and orders.
We may be adversely affected by social unrest, protests against racial inequality, protests against police brutality and movements such as "Defund the Police". These events may directly or indirectly affect police agency budgets and funding available to current and potential customers. Participants in these events may also attempt to create the perception that our solutions are contributing to the perceived problems, which may adversely affect us, our business and results of operations, including our revenues, earnings and cash flows from operations.
It is currently not possible to predict the magnitude or duration of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on our business or the future impact of the recent, ongoing and possible future unrest. The extent to which these events impact our business will depend on numerous evolving factors that we may not be able to control or accurately predict, including without limitation:
the duration and scope of the challenges created by pandemic or by ongoing social unrest;
governmental, business and individuals' actions that have been and continue to be taken in response to these events;
the impact of the pandemic and social unrest on economic activity and actions taken in response;
the effect on our customers and demand for our products and services;
our ability to continue to sell our products and services, including as a result of travel restrictions and people working from home, or restrictions on access to our potential customers;
the ability of our customers to pay for our products and services;
any closures of our facilities and the facilities of our customers and suppliers; and
the degree to which our employees or those of our customers or suppliers become ill with COVID-19.
Components of Results of Operations
Presentation of Financial Statements
Our consolidated financial statements include the accounts of our wholly-owned subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.
Through 2020, we derived substantially all of our revenues from subscription services. We recognize subscription fees ratably, on a straight-line basis, over the term of the subscription, which for new customers is typically initially one to three years. Customer contracts include one-time set-up fees for the set-up of our sensors in the customer's coverage areas, training and third-party integration licenses. If the set-up fees are deemed to be a material right, they are recognized ratably over three to five years. Training and third-party integration license fees are recognized upon delivery.
For ShotSpotter Respond, we generally invoice customers for 50% of the total contract value when the contract is fully executed and for the remaining 50% when the subscription service is operational and ready to go live - that is, when the customer has acknowledged the completion of all the deliverables in the signed customer acceptance form. All fees billed in advance of services being delivered are recorded as deferred revenue. The timing of when new miles go live can be uncertain and, as a result, can have a significant impact on the levels of revenues and deferred revenue from quarter to quarter. For our ShotSpotter Respond solution, our pricing model is based on a per-square-mile basis. For ShotSpotter SecureCampus and ShotSpotter SiteSecure, our pricing model is on a customized-site basis. For our ShotSpotter Connect solution, pricing is currently customized, generally tied to the number of sworn police officers in a particular city. We may also offer discounts or other incentives in conjunction with sales of ShotSpotter Connect in an effort to introduce the product to new or existing customers and accelerate sales. As a result of our process for invoicing contracts and renewals upon execution, our cash flow from operations and accounts receivable can fluctuate due to timing of contract execution and timing of deployment.
We generally invoice subscription service renewals for 100% of the total contract value when the renewal contract is executed. Renewal fees are recognized ratably over the term of the renewal, which is typically one year. While most of our customers elect to renew their agreements, in some cases, they may not be able to obtain the
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Mar 29, 2021
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