SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended January 31, 2022
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 001-40958
RENT THE RUNWAY, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
10 Jay Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (212) 524-6860
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||RENT||The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC|
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|
|Non-accelerated filer |
|Smaller reporting company|
|Emerging growth company|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its 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 registrant was not a public company as of the last business day of its most recently completed second fiscal quarter and, therefore, cannot calculate the aggregate market value of its voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates as of such date.
The registrant had outstanding 60,893,680 shares of Class A common stock and 3,035,822 shares of Class B common stock as of April 11, 2022.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission no later than 120 days after the end of the registrant’s fiscal year ended January 31, 2022, are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Table of Contents
Unless the context otherwise requires, we use the terms the “Company,” “RTR,” “Rent the Runway,” “we,” “us” and “our” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, or Annual Report, to refer to Rent the Runway, Inc. and, where appropriate, our consolidated subsidiaries.
Risk Factor Summary
Investing in our Class A common stock involves numerous risks, including the risks described in Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. You should carefully consider these risks before making an investment. Below are some of these risks, any one of which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.
•We have grown rapidly in recent years and have limited experience at our current scale of operations. If we are unable to manage our growth effectively, our brand, company culture, and financial performance may suffer.
•The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and may in the future continue to have, a material adverse impact on our business.
•The global fashion industry is highly competitive and rapidly changing, and we may not be able to compete effectively.
•Our continued growth depends on our ability to attract new, and retain existing, customers, which may require significant investment in paid marketing channels. If we are unable to cost-effectively grow our customer base, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be harmed.
•If we fail to retain customers, our business, financial condition, and results of operations would be harmed.
•If we are unable to accurately forecast customer demand, manage our products effectively and plan for future expenses, our operating results could be adversely affected.
•We rely heavily on the effective operation of our proprietary technology systems and software, as well as those of our third-party vendors and service providers, for our business to effectively operate and to safeguard confidential information.
•Shipping and logistics are a critical part of our business and our supply chain and any changes or interruptions in shipping or logistics operations could adversely affect our operating results.
•We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. If we are unable to remediate the material weaknesses in a timely manner, identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, which may result in material misstatements of our consolidated financial statements or cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations, our ability to comply with applicable laws and regulations and our access to the capital markets to be impaired.
•Our business is subject to a large number of U.S. and non-U.S. laws and regulations, many of which are evolving.
•We are subject to U.S. and certain foreign export and import controls, sanctions, embargoes, anti-corruption laws, and anti-money laundering laws and regulations. Compliance with these legal standards could impair our ability to compete in domestic and international markets, and we could face criminal liability and other serious consequences for violations, which could harm our business.
•Failure to adequately maintain and protect our intellectual property and proprietary rights could harm our brand, devalue our proprietary content, and adversely affect our ability to compete effectively.
•We are subject to rapidly changing and increasingly stringent laws and industry standards relating to data privacy, data security, data protection, and consumer protection. The restrictions and costs imposed by these laws, or our actual or perceived failure to comply with them, could subject us to liabilities that adversely affect our business, operations, and financial performance.
•We face risks associated with brand partners from whom our products are sourced or co-manufactured.
•We rely on third parties for elements of the payment processing infrastructure underlying our business. If these third-party elements become unavailable or unavailable on favorable terms, our business could be adversely affected.
•We depend on search engines, social media platforms, mobile application stores, content-based online advertising and other online sources to attract consumers to and promote our website and our mobile application, which may be affected by third-party interference beyond our control and as we grow our customer acquisition costs will continue to rise.
•Any failure by us, our brand partners, or our third-party manufacturers to comply with our vendor code of conduct, product safety, labor, or other laws, or to provide safe factory conditions for their workers, may damage our reputation and brand, and harm our business.
•The dual class structure of our common stock has the effect of concentrating voting control with those stockholders who held our capital stock prior to the listing of our Class A common stock on Nasdaq, including our Co-Founders, and their affiliates, which will limit the ability to influence the outcome of important transactions, including a change of control.
•Our share price may be volatile, and investors may be unable to sell their shares at or above the price they purchased them.
If we are unable to adequately address these and other risks we face, our business may be harmed.
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this Annual Report may be forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “targets,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “forecasts,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report include, but are not limited to statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, industry and business trends, share-based compensation, business strategy and initiatives, plans, our Impact Strategy and related goals, market growth and our objectives for future operations.
The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are only predictions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the important factors discussed in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report for the year ended January 31, 2022. The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report are based upon information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report, and while we believe such information forms a reasonable basis for such statements, such information may be limited or incomplete, and our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.
You should read this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents that we reference in this Annual Report and have filed as exhibits to this Annual Report with the understanding that our actual future results, levels of activity, performance and achievements may be materially different from what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report. Except as required by applicable law, we do not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report, whether as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise.
In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, references to “fiscal year 2022” refer to the fiscal year ending January 31, 2023, references to “fiscal year 2021” refer to the fiscal year ended January 31, 2022, references to “fiscal year 2020” refer to the fiscal year ended January 31, 2021 and references to “fiscal year 2019” refer to the fiscal year ended January 31, 2020.
Item 1. Business
Our mission is to power women to feel their best every day.
Since our founding in November 2009, we have built the world’s first and largest shared designer closet with over 19,000 styles by over 780 brand partners. We give customers access to our “unlimited closet” through our Subscription offering or the ability to rent a-la-carte through our reserve offering (“Reserve”). We also give our subscribers and customers the ability to buy our products through our Resale offering. Our Closet in the Cloud offers a wide assortment of items for every occasion, from evening wear and accessories to ready-to-wear, workwear, denim, casual, maternity, outerwear, blouses, knitwear, loungewear, jewelry, handbags, activewear, ski wear, home goods and kidswear. We have served over 2.5 million lifetime customers across all of our offerings and we had 159,544 total subscribers (active and paused) as of January 31, 2022. In fiscal year 2021, 84% of our total revenue was generated by subscribers, compared to 89% in fiscal year 2020.
We have created a two-sided discovery engine: customers are finding new brands they love and brand partners are finding new customers they need. For customers, we unlock freedom of self-expression through access to our “Unlimited Closet” that has a constantly rotating supply of styles for all occasions, seasons, moods and price points. This leads to deep engagement with our platform as customers discover new brands they love. Brand partners are able to tap into our large, engaged community to discover new customers and get unparalleled data insights. All of this helps them grow their businesses and encourages them to partner more closely with us over time.
When our customers use Rent the Runway, they experience the magic of accessing an “Unlimited Closet” while saving money and time and reducing clothing waste. We deliver significant financial value to customers, with our average subscriber wearing clothes worth more than 20 times what she pays for a monthly RTR subscription on an annualized basis (more than $40,000 in designer retail value in fiscal year 20211). We have become an everyday utility; our average subscriber wears Rent the Runway around 80 days per year.
Our tremendous selection is enabled by our designer brand partnerships. We source our products directly from our brand partners that include many of the most renowned and relevant names in the fashion industry. The transformative nature of our customer value proposition means our customers are typically younger and different from other audiences our brands are exposed to. According to our June 2021 Rent the Runway Brand Survey, approximately 91% of our brand partners work with us because we introduce them to new, desirable customers and deepen awareness of their brands. Over the last 12 years, we have fostered strong relationships with and have retained nearly 100% of our brand partners. Our Closet in the Cloud connects our deeply engaged customers and our differentiated brand partners on a powerful platform built around our brand, data, logistics and technology advantages.
•Brand Partner Advantage. Our assortment contains thousands of new, current season styles that luxury competitors simultaneously carry - all available for subscription, Reserve, and Resale at much lower prices. We believe our engaged and loyal customer base paired with the data that we provide to our brand partners makes us an essential destination for many of the world’s most important brands. In addition, as of June 2021, 67% of our brand partners believe that RTR is an important part of their business’s sustainability strategy. As we have grown, our commercial relationships with our brand partners have evolved towards more capital efficient forms of rental product acquisition.
•Data Advantage. We capture a vast amount of unique, actionable data on our customers and products. We leverage this data to create benefits for our customers (deep personalization of styles and fit), brand partners (understanding of customer demand patterns and garment lifecycle) and our business (higher subscriber lifetime value and better product return on investment).
1 We calculate designer retail values using original retail and/or comparable value prices. An original retail price is the price at which the manufacturer suggested that retailers in the marketplace, including department stores and specialty retailers, sell the item in new condition. A comparable value price is used for our Exclusive Designs and is based on an evaluation of prices for new comparable merchandise sold elsewhere in the marketplace.
•Technology and Logistics Advantage. We have developed a proprietary operating system for the sharing economy of physical goods that pairs proprietary intelligent software with differentiated infrastructure and hardware. Our expertise in vertically integrated just-in-time reverse logistics and garment science allows us to achieve multi-year monetization on our garments. We have also built a custom front-end platform that supports all of our offerings in one easy experience for the customer.
How It Works
We offer customers three ways to access our closet: monthly subscription, a-la-carte rentals or “Reserve” and purchasing through our Resale offering.
Pick a Plan. When customers subscribe, they select from a menu of entry plans. Each plan starts with four items, or “spots,” per shipment, and varies based on how often the subscriber wishes to receive new shipments, each a “swap.” Today, the majority of our subscribers onboard into plans that offer one, two or four shipments per month for $94, $144 or $235 per month, respectively.
Customize. Subscribers can customize their plans to adapt to their changing lifestyles, needs and budgets by adding or removing spots for $27 or $31 per item per month and shipments for $39 - $50 per shipment per month, as they see fit.
Choose Items. After picking a plan, subscribers browse our broad assortment of items to build their first shipment.
Wear, Repeat. When subscribers place an order, we aim to deliver their order within two days of shipping from our fulfillment centers in our patented, reusable garment bags, cleaned and ready to wear.
Subscribers wear items for as long as they would like and choose to return some or all of their items with each new shipment. When subscribers select the items they want to return on our app, we allow them to immediately start building their next shipment, maximizing their time with items at home. Our subscribers typically visit our app five times per week.
Subscribers are asked to give us real-time feedback on the size, fit and quality of the items they rent. The structured data we collect through our “happiness survey” allows us to both improve her experience as well as optimize our care and therefore return on investment of the items returned. Once subscribers confirm their new shipment, they return their items to the nearest preferred shipping partner location or any Rent the Runway drop-off point in RTR’s reusable garment bag. In select markets, subscribers also have the option to schedule an at-home pick-up. To maximize convenience, all shipments arrive with a prepaid return label, allowing subscribers to easily send their rentals back.
When customers want to rent items a-la-carte for an upcoming event, they book styles for four or eight days through our Reserve offering. After selecting pieces, they typically select a delivery date one to two days before their event. We provide a free backup size of the customer’s choosing and the option to rent a backup style at a discount. At the end of the four- or eight-day rental period, customers simply return their items in the reusable garment bag using the prepaid shipping label included with their rental. Just like our Subscription offering, we clean and care for items on behalf of our customers when they are returned.
In addition to renting, customers also shop pre-loved styles from our closet at a discount to retail price, ranging from 10-85% off of designer retail value (which we calculate using original retail and/or comparable value prices). Customers can purchase any styles they love; no subscription is required. Our subscribers have the option to purchase items they already have at home, opening a spot in their next shipment. Prices for our resale items are dynamically calculated by our pricing algorithm which takes in data on rental history, customer trends and the impact of removing an item from rental circulation to optimize for lifetime return on investment on each product.
Our Customer Value Proposition
Through our platform, we have helped over 2.5 million lifetime customers discover the transformative power of utilizing our Closet in the Cloud across all of our offerings. Our customer base is diverse and spans age, household income distribution and U.S. geography.
Subscribers are customers who have ongoing access to our Closet in the Cloud via our monthly Subscription offering. The portion of our customers who are subscribers accounted for 84% of our revenue in fiscal year 2021. As of January 31, 2022, we had 115,240 Active Subscribers on Rent the Runway and 159,544 total subscribers including paused subscribers. Many of our subscribers started as customers in Reserve and Resale and we continue to see activation from Reserve and Resale customers into subscribers for many years.
•Variety and Discovery. With over 19,000 styles across over 780 brands in our Closet in the Cloud, Rent the Runway gives customers the ability to always wear something new to them and inspires customers to expand their fashion tastes without risk of buyer’s remorse.
•Value. Rent the Runway makes thousands of designer styles accessible through our Subscription offering for a flat monthly price or through our Reserve offering on a per item basis. We deliver significant financial value to customers, with our average subscriber wearing clothes worth more than 20 times what she pays for a monthly RTR subscription on an annualized basis.
•Self-Confidence. According to our April 2021 Subscriber Survey, 83% of our subscribers say RTR makes them the most confident version of themselves at work or in social settings. Because there is no commitment to keep an item rented from RTR, we fuel greater self-expression for our customers.
•Personalization and Convenience. We use our rich customer data to create a personalized storefront for customers based on their style preferences, browsing history and past rentals. Our understanding of our customer improves with each interaction, and we use our personalization algorithm to provide personalized size recommendations to each customer at the item level. By showing customers designs they will love and items that are likely to fit, we continue to drive strong loyalty and monetization.
•Customer Experience and Community. Our customers are deeply engaged, as evidenced by the 24.5 million customer reviews submitted through January 2022. Our customers use the millions of reviews posted by our community to make smarter choices and feel good about their selections. As our community has grown, Rent the Runway has also benefited from powerful virality and word-of-mouth marketing. 81% of subscribers have shared RTR with at least five people; 32% have shared with over 20 people and 78% of our customers posted themselves wearing Rent the Runway on social media, as indicated by our April 2021 Subscriber Survey.
•Sustainability. Renting on the RTR platform results in net environmental savings across water, energy and carbon emissions when compared to purchasing new garments even when accounting for two-way shipping, cleaning and other operations.2 See “Our ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Impact Strategy” below for additional detail. Our business model aims for customers to substitute purchases with rentals and we have been successful in doing so, as 83% of our subscribers have bought less fast fashion since using RTR and 89% buy fewer clothes than they used to prior to joining RTR, as indicated by our April 2021 Subscriber Survey.
2 According to the Life Cycle Assessment Study (the “LCA Study”) we commissioned in 2021 with Green Story and SgT, third-party consultants specializing in apparel life cycle assessments.
Our Unique Brand Partner Approach
We acquire our products through three channels: Wholesale, Share by RTR and Exclusive Designs. The portion of our products sourced through Share by RTR and Exclusive Designs - our more capital-efficient sources - has grown from approximately 26% in fiscal year 2019 to approximately 55% in fiscal year 2021. We procure virtually 100% of our products directly from or in collaboration with brand partners and our business model has been built on shared success with brands. As they deepen their relationship with us, they get access to more data and more customers. Our partnerships with brands have created a significant product and cost advantage. Because we source directly from brands, we can control our assortment and acquire styles in the volumes and sizes we want, we have access to current season items and all of our items are guaranteed authentic without the cost or infrastructure of traditional authentication platforms.
Wholesale includes products we acquire directly from our brand partners, typically at a discount to wholesale price based on our scale. We have observed that the original retail prices set by the brands are often at a 2.5x mark-up to the wholesale price. As we continue to expand our selection and grow the share of our assortment acquired from a designer, we benefit from greater discounts on product acquisition. Wholesale represented 45% of our product acquisition in fiscal year 2021.
Share by RTR
Through Share by RTR, we acquire items directly from brand partners on consignment, at zero to low upfront cost and revenue share with our brands each time an item is rented. Brands also pay us a logistics expense for each rental. If a piece is in greater demand, it will drive higher revenue, which could result in brands earning more on the item than if it had been sold through Wholesale. Share by RTR aligns incentives between brands and RTR and alleviates product risk as it is largely a pay-for-performance model. Share by RTR represented 33% of our product acquisition in fiscal year 2021. Increases (or decreases) in the proportion of total items acquired via Share by RTR as well as the usage of Share by RTR items will increase (or decrease) variable expenses recorded in the rental product depreciation and revenue share line item on our consolidated statement of operations. See Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Our Product Acquisition Strategy.”
We leverage our data to create highly desirable Exclusive Designs in collaboration with select brand partners that we manufacture through third-party partners to be more durable and at approximately 50% lower cost than wholesale. We provide a data blueprint to brands and, based on this data, they design new collections for us that carry their brand name.
Our Exclusive Designs collections enable our brand partners to innovate their businesses and enter into new product lines at reduced cost to them. All of the styles are exclusive to RTR for a period of time, after which brands may monetize these exclusive designs through other channels, typically subject to a royalty fee payment to Rent the Runway, which we have not begun to earn to date. Increases (or decreases) in the proportion of total items acquired via Exclusive Designs as well as the usage of Exclusive Designs items may increase (or decrease) variable expenses recorded in the rental product depreciation and revenue share line item on our consolidated statement of operations. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Our Business Model—Our Product Acquisition Strategy.” We also have a small number of products bearing our trademarks, which are non-exclusive designs produced by third party partners at a significantly lower average cost than Wholesale to strategically fill assortment gaps, or our owned brands. Exclusive Designs accounted for 22% of our product acquisition in fiscal year 2021.
Rent the Runway Virality and Marketing Strategy
Our brand and deeply engaged consumer base have allowed us to acquire customers efficiently. Since our founding, we have spent less than 10% of total revenue on marketing, and our growth has been mostly organic. Over 80% of our customers over the last 12 years have been acquired organically. As of January 2022, we have had over three trillion earned media impressions since 2018. As we have scaled, we have seen the value of the Rent the Runway brand grow and increasingly become a significant point of differentiation with consumers and brand partners. We have an opportunity to continue to increase brand awareness and as of June 2021, our unaided brand awareness was 20% among U.S. women ages 18 - 45 with a household income of $50,000 or more.
Many of our customers share a love of the Rent the Runway experience and value proposition, which starts conversations both online and offline and leads to word of mouth adoption. Because of how customers use Rent the Runway, renting bold dynamic pieces, our clothing becomes a visual billboard and advertisement for our platform. When women wear Rent the Runway, they feel confident and often want to share their experience on social media and in their personal lives, which drives brand awareness. This means that when our customers are wearing RTR and someone compliments them or asks about what they are wearing, 96% of our customers share that it’s Rent the Runway as opposed to the designer brand name. The majority of our subscribers have posted themselves wearing RTR on their social media over five times. Renting from us is an inherently social behavior: 86% of our subscribers rent along with a friend or colleague. Our high level of continued organic growth has also been driven by the strong press coverage that we have generated.
While a majority of our new customers have historically come to Rent the Runway organically, we view paid marketing as a way to supplement our organic growth. Our paid efforts have included both middle-of-the-funnel prospecting and bottom-of-the-funnel direct response campaigns which also benefit from our top-of-the-funnel brand marketing efforts that drive awareness. To date, our primary channels for paid marketing have been focused on social media marketing, influencers and our brand ambassadors, programmatic directed spend and affiliate marketing.
Our Data Advantage
One of our significant differentiators is the vast amount of quality, actionable data that we are able to collect on our customers and our products. We leverage this data to create benefits for our customers, our brand partners and our business.
We capture more than 5,200 unique data points per subscriber per year and up to 27 unique data points per item each time it is rented across four channels including website data, post-wear data, operations data and customer data. We also identify and tag over 70 detailed attributes per style. By mapping our interactions with our products’ inherent attributes, we create a strong feedback loop which allows us to optimize the supply of products in ways we believe that would be difficult for traditional retailers to achieve or replicate. This is one of our biggest competitive advantages.
Our differentiated business model enables us to collect substantially more data than others in our space and we use this data to continuously improve the customer experience. Customers learn that providing data enhances their experience on the platform over time, which enables us to collect even more data from them. This flywheel helps propel the exponential growth of our post-wear, customer and operations data. We use our data to create what we believe are the most relevant assortments and personalized experiences for our customers, which in turn drives loyalty. As we learn more about a customer, our personalized features give us greater ability to direct her towards the items that optimize both customer lifetime value and rental product return on investment for us.
Our data advantage benefits brand partners in numerous ways:
•Understanding the Garment Life Cycle: We help partners grow their business through the data we provide. Product longevity data often help our brands increase the life of their garments, which can support their sustainability goals.
•Understanding Customer Demand: As our customers wear (or don’t wear) and review items, we can assess demand due to our robust attribution of products (over 70 attributes) paired with customer interaction data. This data highlights growth opportunities for brands as well as areas for improvement.
Our data also allows us to continually optimize the return on investment on products and customer lifetime value, which are dependent on the following inputs, all of which continuously improve as our business scales.
•Scientific Product Acquisition: Our data provides a comprehensive picture of our products by bringing together customer feedback, operations data and inherent product attributes. Our analytics teams utilize this data to optimize the styles we need and the quantity per style.
•Price Optimization: Our dynamic pricing algorithm optimizes how our products are consumed across Subscription, Reserve rentals and Resale by taking into account demand signals and the expected useful life and turns of each item. We have the flexibility to optimize prices for revenue, gross margin and product return on investment based on the business needs.
•Lower Cost Product: We leverage our data to create highly desirable Exclusive Designs in collaboration with our brand partners that we manufacture to be more durable at significantly lower cost.
•Longer Product Life: Our feedback to brands helps us customize for higher longevity of our products - we understand how to clean and care for garments to maximize multi-year monetization and incremental turns per unit.
Data Science Capabilities and Algorithms
Data is the fabric of Rent the Runway and powers our technology, logistics and data science efforts across all parts of our business, from recommender systems to pricing algorithms and forecasting. Experimentation and algorithm development are deeply embedded in all parts of our business. We have created 40+ data science algorithms that help us continuously achieve better outcomes for the business including in two of our biggest levers: customer lifetime value and product monetization. As our data sets grow, our algorithms become more powerful and gain leverage.
Some of our most impactful proprietary algorithms include:
•Deep 1:1 Personalization: For each customer and item, we compute several scores that measure the affinity of item and customer through factorization machines and deep learning. We leverage these personalization scores across the business to: rank products on our subscriber personalized storefront and in search results, recommend a specific size within a style on product pages, compute general product relevance at the subscriber level and inform product acquisition, inform sizing of new apparel designs with our brand partners and more.
•Retention Predictive Model: We leverage a retention predictive model to understand the relative importance of more than 200 drivers of loyalty and long-term value, at the single customer level to understand which interventions have the highest probability of improving customer retention. We regularly leverage this data to experiment with different approaches to retain customers based on this model in a targeted and personalized way.
•Computer Vision for Products: For each style in our assortment, we generate over 2,000 visual style embeddings using deep learning that capture color, pattern shape, sleeve length, etc. We leverage this data as a feature in our recommender systems, to cluster styles to inform product acquisition and provide product attributes in our product catalog amongst other uses.
Our Technology and Logistics Advantage
We have built a cohesive platform that pairs proprietary and third-party intelligent software with differentiated infrastructure and hardware all tailored to the sharing economy of physical goods. Our proprietary software leverages our vast and unique dataset to optimize key outcomes for RTR.
Proprietary Software and Systems
Because our product offering is highly innovative, we have purpose-built a technology stack to support three key areas of our business:
•Rental Reverse Logistics
•Merchandising & Products Control
We have a 2-way relationship with our customers — in that nearly every item is returned and the customer provides feedback. We have built a custom frontend platform that supports Subscription, Reserve and Resale in one easy experience for the customer. This allows us to optimize the product offering for the customer based on her needs.
Rental Reverse Logistics
We designed our patented technology to support the processes in our fulfillment centers and ensure that we can process orders efficiently and extend the useful life of our products.
◦Cleaning Intelligence: We have over a decade of data and expertise in optimizing the life of a garment by leveraging different cleaning and care methods.
◦Cleaning Automation: Automation supports dynamic sorting of items into as many as 26 different cleaning programs.
◦Garment Care and Restoration: All units undergo one or more quality audits before being available to rent for the next customer.
•Intelligent Fulfillment Network: Our unified booking engine, the “brain” of our distribution capabilities, dynamically manages decisions such as which fulfillment center to ship a unit from or which transportation type to select to reduce cost. We are therefore able to maintain uptime throughout the year, such as during snowstorms or power outages by moving demand to another facility.
•Optimized Storage: Garments and accessories are stored in multi-story pick modules that utilize both on-hanger and flat pack storage solutions. All items are stored randomly, maximizing the utilization of cubic storage space. Random storage allows for efficient putaway of garments and dynamically created pick paths that save labor cost.
•RFID: We tag each unit and all reusable garment bags with RFID tags, which increases throughput, reduces cost, improves inventory control and enables new forms of automation.
•Fulfillment Efficiency: We have automated various parts of the fulfillment process including picking, order consolidation and packing. Our fulfillment engine dynamically prioritizes customer orders based on promised delivery date, transportation departure schedules and available capacity.
•Transportation Innovation: Convenient places to return rentals are an important part of our customer experience. We have invested in an inbound network that allows our customers to return their items via national returns logistics providers and Rent the Runway-specific return methods, such as physical drop-off points, at-home pickup, and RTR drop-off boxes in retail stores or corporate offices.
Merchandising and Product Control
Our proprietary product catalog system is the backbone of our inventory management. A flexible taxonomy supports myriad types of products which goes well beyond women’s fashion, and allows us to ingest and manage items at the SKU level, functionality that does not typically exist in off-the-shelf inventory management systems. This system uses a combination of manual and dynamic image algorithm driven attribution to assign product attributes per style, making the ingestion of new styles into the Rent the Runway catalog fast and easy without sacrificing valuable data collection. The catalog serves as the starting point for products at RTR, and drives many areas of the Rent the Runway website and operation including quality control, search, navigation, and filtering.
While we have built the majority of our circular platform, we strategically leverage third-party software for commodity functionality where our problems are not unique. These include pieces of the customer experience, customer service tools and enterprise resource planning capabilities.
Within our warehouses, we have integrated best-in-class garment care equipment, internally and externally developed software and proprietary cleaning programs to deliver high-end garment processing at massive scale. We have also built large-scale, innovative automation and other processes for garment storage, picking, shipping, receiving and restoration of garments to excellent condition. These processes result in labor and other cost savings, while increasing our total shipment capacity and increasing the total lifetime of products, our biggest asset.
•Strategic Distribution: We have two fulfillment centers, in Arlington, Texas and Secaucus, New Jersey totaling 540,000 square feet. We have the capacity to store more than two million garments and accessories on multiple floors across our fulfillment centers. We aim to deliver industry leading fulfillment promises with a goal of delivering orders within two business days in most markets.
•Garment Care Hardware: Our facilities are equipped with a curated set of over 430 pieces of digitally integrated garment care hardware including wet cleaning, dry cleaning and spray cleaning machines; dryers, steam tunnels, pressers, spotting boards, auto-baggers and commercial sewing machines.
•Processing: Garments flow through the facility on both rail and belt-driven conveyance guided by RFID tags linked to a massive array of cleaning instructions set by our proprietary operating system. A variety of item types are sorted based on cleaning, storage and repair methods. After discrete processing, they fall back into continuous flow and random storage, which drives labor efficiency and maximizes use of physical space.
•Proven Scalability: Our infrastructure is highly scalable and we expect our weekly processing capacity to increase over time. We believe that the process improvements we have made enable us to expand our capacity to handle over 4x our active subscriber count at the end of fiscal year 2021 in our two current facilities with minimal investment.
•Transportation Management: We partner with a wide variety of national, regional and local last mile service providers in order to close the loop between our fulfillment centers and our customers. Our transportation management system allows us to rate shop across these providers and opt into the best shipping method based upon cost and capacity.
Our ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Impact Strategy
Our mission has remained the same since our founding: powering women to feel their best every day. We believe our platform is powering a new frontier for fashion, one in which women buy less and wear more, disrupting a centuries old industry and contributing to a more sustainable future.
We believe that shared access to fashion has the power to curb the negative environmental and social impacts that stem from excess related to the fashion industry. Driving positive impact is core to our business model: buying less and wearing more. As such, we are focused on expanding and deepening our positive impact, both from within our business as well as through engagement with a wider ecosystem of partners who play critical roles in driving change.
We believe our Impact Strategy is a holistic approach to tackling pressing environmental and social issues, while advancing and complementing our business strategy. We have specific and measurable short-term goals to tackle pressing environmental and social issues that we believe we – as a rental subscription model – are uniquely equipped to address.
We plan to report against the following goals annually, starting with our Form 10-K for fiscal year 2022.
Ambition 1: Harness the power of our business model to set the standard for sustainable fashion.
Priority 1: Reduce carbon emissions from our business so that we operate with net zero emissions by 2040
•Displace the need for new production of 500,000 garments by fiscal year end 2026.
•Power our owned and operated facilities (stores, offices, and warehouses) with 100% renewable electricity by fiscal year end 2026.
•Quantify our supply chain emissions (i.e. Scope 3 baseline) by fiscal year end 2024.
•Sustainably source 50% of key materials - cotton and polyester - we use for Exclusive Designs by fiscal year end 2026.
Priority 2: Minimize waste from our business
•Divert 90% of waste from our warehouse operations from landfill by fiscal year end 2026.
•Eliminate unnecessary single use plastic packaging to customers and only utilize reusable, compostable or 100% recycled content for necessary plastic packaging to customers by fiscal year end 2023.
Ambition 2: Create a culture and cultivate a community where all people are inspired, empowered and thrive.
Priority 1: Ensure our workforce remains diverse and for leadership to reflect the population of individual contributors
•Maintain on average 40% representation of racial and ethnic minorities3 for the US corporate workforce through fiscal year end 2026.
•Maintain on average 50% representation of individuals identifying as women and non-binary in the US workforce through fiscal year end 2026.
•Double representation of LatinX leadership in the new hire classes at our Secaucus warehouse by fiscal year end 2026.
•Double representation of Black and LatinX leadership in new hire classes at our Dallas warehouse by fiscal year end 2026.
Priority 2: Use our platform to support and amplify diversity in fashion
•$10 million cumulative spend with Black designers between fiscal year 2022 and fiscal year end 2026.
•Ensure at least 40% representation of racial and ethnic minorities in our marketing materials and imagery by fiscal year end 2026.
Our Impact Strategy is not the start of our ESG efforts; we believe that we have a strong track record of programs and initiatives that have yielded notable accomplishments, including:
•In 2021, we commissioned a Life Cycle Assessment to understand the environmental impact of our platform, which confirmed that renting from RTR results in net environmental savings compared to purchasing new clothing. We estimate, on a weighted average basis per rental garment, a net:
◦24% reduction in water usage,
◦6% reduction in kWh of energy usage, and
◦3% reduction in pounds of CO2 emissions.4
3 American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern or North African, or two or more races. While we recognize that these racial and ethnic categories do not reflect the complexities of an individual's identity nor do they acknowledge the systemic and historical exclusion of these communities, we use these categories for reporting as required by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission.
4 Percentage of savings are based on (a) the calculation of individual environmental impact of each category as presented in the LCA Study, weighted by (b) the percentage of estimated total wears for each of the 12 categories, as measured from 2010 through 2021.
•Our rental model displaced the need for production of 1.3 million estimated new garments over the past decade.5
•As of June 2021, RTR performed 4.1 million garment repairs to extend the useful life of our rental garments, and diverted 1.1 million decommissioned rental items from going into a landfill via resale, donation or recycling.
•RTR launched our patented garment bag in 2014, setting a new standard for reusable packaging.
•RTR equalized leave benefits across all hourly and salaried U.S. employees on our corporate, customer experience and warehouse teams in 2018.
•RTR has invested more than $1 million to support Black-owned businesses since June 2020.
•RTR increased the penetration of racial and ethnic minority designers featured on our platform from 4% of brands in the fall of 2020 to 10% in spring 2021. Furthermore, we increased the representation of racial and ethnic minority models featured on our platform from 40% in fiscal year 2019 to 54% in fiscal year 2020.
•RTR has prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion in our U.S. employee population, and as of June 2021:
◦70% of employees identify as women and 57% of our employees identify as a racial and ethnic minority;
◦75% of the members of our executive team identify as women and 50% identify as a racial and ethnic minority; and
◦55% of our senior leadership identify as women and 45% identify as a racial and ethnic minority.
•55% of RTR’s Board of Directors identify as women.
The Nominating and ESG Committee of the Board of Directors oversees our ESG strategy and progress and receives regular updates from management. Our President and Chief Operating Officer directs the development and implementation of our sustainability strategy and initiatives and is supported by our Senior Director of Sustainability, who manages the program.
Historically, our business has been subject to seasonal fluctuation. We typically realize a higher portion of revenue from our Reserve rentals during our third and fourth fiscal quarter as a result of increased wedding and holiday events. However, in 2020 and 2021 we saw fewer large-scale holiday and special events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Subscription, we typically acquire the highest number of subscribers in March through May and September through November, as these are the times customers naturally think about changing over their wardrobes. We generally see a higher rate of subscribers pause in the summer, and in mid-December through the end of January.
We also experience seasonality in the timing of expenses and capital outlays. Transportation expense, and therefore fulfillment cost, is typically highest in the fiscal fourth quarter, given higher service levels and competition during holidays. Our most significant product capital expenditures typically occur in the first fiscal quarter and the third fiscal quarter, when we acquire product for the upcoming fall and spring seasons, though impact on cash is dependent on timing of receipt of product.
5 Displacement by category was calculated by the total amount of wears of RTR products (or “Rental Wears”), then estimating how many garments otherwise would have been bought and worn in the traditional manner (which is not a rental model, known here as “Linear Wears”) had the RTR Rental Wears not taken place. Specifically, this displacement is calculated by (Rental Wears - Linear Wears) / Linear Wears. The displacement per category was then multiplied by the estimated number of units across all product categories from 2010 to 2021. Environmental savings are based on results of the LCA Study and specifically the net upstream production impact across 12 product categories assessed in the LCA Study: blouses, sweaters, skirts, jeans, pants, jumpsuits, daytime dresses, maxi dresses, gowns, cocktail dresses, jackets and coats. These categories represented approximately 85% of our 2019 product assortment. Examples of categories not included in our calculations include accessories and home goods. These savings calculations reflect the difference between the rental model and the full environmental cost of purchasing under the linear model, while the savings referenced below under “Environmental Savings”, reflect the difference in environmental savings between purchasing under a rental model as opposed to a linear model.
The fashion industry is highly fragmented and competitive. Our competitors include other fashion rental companies and also a range of traditional and online retail and resale fashion companies. Our ability to remain competitive depends on the continued shift from an ownership to an access model. While other competitors may change their business models and endeavor to expand into the rental and resale space, online fashion rental and resale presents unique operational and technical challenges.
We compete primarily on the basis of brand recognition, customer and brand partner experience, product mix and quality, quality of our e-commerce experiences and services and price. Additionally, we experience competition for consumer discretionary spending from other product and experiential categories. We believe we are able to compete effectively because there are numerous trends in our favor that support the continued growth and success of online fashion rental. For example, key trends include consumers prioritizing access over ownership, consumers increasingly seeking variety and newness, growth in online shopping, an increasingly female workforce, and consumers valuing sustainability as it relates to fashion choices. See the section of Part I, Item 1A titled “Risk Factors — Risks Relating To Our Business and Industry — The global fashion industry is highly competitive and rapidly changing, and we may not be able to compete effectively.”
We are subject to a wide variety of complex laws and regulations in the United States and other jurisdictions in which we operate. The laws and regulations govern many issues related to our business practices, including those regarding consumer protection, worker classification, wage and hour, sick pay and leaves of absence, anti-discrimination and harassment, whistleblower protections, background checks, privacy, data security, intellectual property, health and safety, environmental, competition, fees and payments, pricing, product liability and disclosures, property damage, communications, employee benefits, taxation, unionization and collective bargaining, contracts, arbitration agreements, class action waivers, terms of service, and accessibility of our mobile app or website.
These laws and regulations are constantly evolving and may be interpreted, applied, created, superseded, or amended in a manner that could harm our business. These changes may occur immediately or develop over time through judicial decisions or as new guidance or interpretations are provided by regulatory and governing bodies, such as federal, state and local administrative agencies. As we expand our business into new markets or introduce new features or offerings into existing markets, regulatory bodies or courts may claim that we are subject to additional requirements, or that we are prohibited from conducting business in certain jurisdictions.
Additionally, because we receive, use, store, transmit, and disclose personal data relating to customers on our platform, we are subject to numerous laws and regulations in the United States and other countries where we do business, as well as industry standards, relating to privacy, data security and data protection, direct marketing, and online advertising. Such laws, regulations, and industry standards include, but are not limited to, Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and all regulations promulgated thereunder, the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020, the California Online Privacy Protection Act, and the Payment Card Industry (“PCI”) Data Security Standard.
See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Legal and Regulatory Environment” for additional information about the laws and regulations we are subject to and the risks to our business associated with such laws and regulations.
Our intellectual property is an important component of our business. We rely on a combination of trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, license agreements, confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements, employee non-disclosure and invention assignment agreements, and other legal and contractual rights, and policies and procedures, to establish and protect our proprietary rights.
As of January 31, 2022, we had five issued patents in the United States that expire between 2031 and 2038, no allowed patent applications in the United States, and one patent application (including active PCT applications) pending in the United States and globally. While we believe our patents and patent applications in the aggregate enhance our competitive position, no single patent or patent application is material to us as a whole.
We register our brand names and product names, taglines and logos in the United States to the extent we determine appropriate and cost-effective. As of January 31, 2022, we had a total of 26 registered trademarks in the United States and 49 registered trademarks in non-U.S. jurisdictions. As of January 31, 2022, we had also registered a total of 11 copyrights. We also register domain names for certain websites that we use in our business, such as www.renttherunway.com, as well as similar variations to protect our brands and marks from cybersquatters.
We control access to and use of our proprietary technology and other confidential information through the use of internal and external controls, including contractual protections with employees, contractors, customers, and partners. It is our practice to enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements (or similar agreements) with our employees, consultants, and contractors involved in the development of intellectual property on our behalf. We also enter into confidentiality agreements with other third parties in order to limit access to, and disclosure and use of, our confidential information and proprietary information. We further control the use of our proprietary technology and intellectual property through provisions in our terms of service. We intend to pursue additional actions to establish and protect our intellectual property rights to the extent we believe it would be beneficial and cost effective.
Employees and Human Capital Resources
As of January 31, 2022, we had a total of 958 full-time employees and 138 part-time employees in the United States and Ireland. As of January 31, 2022, our technology team consisted of 206 employees, across engineering, data analytics, IT, product, software quality assurance, user experience and design, including a team of 55 in Galway, Ireland, primarily in engineering and data analytics. None of our employees are represented by a labor union or covered by collective bargaining agreements and we have not experienced any work stoppages.
We strive to make Rent the Runway a diverse, inclusive, and safe workplace, with opportunities for our employees to grow and develop in their careers, supported by competitive compensation and benefits programs. Our culture is underpinned by our Core Values, including that we are all Founders of Rent the Runway, and we all Dream BIG and go after it, adapt and learn from everything we do and debating, honest conversations and collaborating make the company stronger.
See “Our ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Impact Strategy” for more information about our values, goals and human capital measures and objectives.
We were incorporated as Rent the Runway, Inc. in Delaware on March 3, 2009. We completed our initial public offering (“IPO”) in October 2021. For additional information regarding reclassification of our stockholder equity in connection with our IPO, see Note 2 - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8. Our Class A common stock trades on The Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the symbol RENT. Our principal executive offices are located at 10 Jay Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201 and our website address is www.renttherunway.com.
We provide free access to various reports that we file with, or furnish to, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) through our website, as soon as reasonably practicable after they have been filed or furnished. These reports include, but are not limited to, our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports. Our SEC reports can also be accessed through the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Also available on our website are printable versions of our Code of Conduct, Corporate Governance Guidelines and charters of the standing committees of our board of directors.
Our Code of Conduct applies to all of our directors, officers and employees, including our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer and controller, or persons performing similar functions. A copy of the code is available on our Investor Relations website at investors.renttherunway.com in the “Governance” section. In addition, we intend to post on our website all disclosures that are required by law or by Nasdaq rules concerning any amendments to, or waivers from, any provision of our Code of Conduct.
Information on our website does not constitute part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or any other report we file or furnish with the SEC.
Item 1A. RISK FACTORS
Investing in our Class A common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should consider and read carefully all of the risks and uncertainties described below, as well as other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this filing, before making an investment decision. The risks described below are not the only ones we face. The occurrence of any of the following risks or additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, or results of operations. In addition, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate the risks described below as well as risks and uncertainties not presently known to us.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
We have grown rapidly in recent years and have limited experience at our current scale of operations. If we are unable to manage our growth effectively, our brand, company culture, and financial performance may suffer.
We have grown rapidly over the last several years, due in large part to the growth in demand for our Subscription offerings, and therefore, our recent growth rates and financial performance should not necessarily be considered indicative of our future performance. The COVID-19 pandemic materially adversely affected our fiscal year 2020 operating and financial results, resulting in our total revenue decreasing 38.7% from $256.9 million in fiscal year 2019 to $157.5 million. During fiscal year 2021, revenue has sequentially increased each quarter. Revenue for fiscal year 2021 increased 29.1% to $203.3 million from $157.5 million in fiscal year 2020. To effectively manage and capitalize on our growth, we must continue to expand our brand awareness and marketing, enhance customer experience, iterate our subscription products, invest in digital consumer innovation, and upgrade our management information and reverse logistics systems and other processes. Our continued growth has in the past, and could in the future, strain our existing resources, and we could experience ongoing operating difficulties in managing our business across numerous jurisdictions, including difficulties in hiring, training, and managing a diverse and growing employee base. Failure to scale and preserve our company culture as we grow could also harm our future success, including our ability to retain and recruit personnel and to effectively focus on and pursue our corporate objectives.
Our growth strategy is focused on continuing to grow, engage, and retain our subscriber and customer base, expanding our brand partner relationships and product assortment, increasing our brand awareness, advertising and other marketing spending, and continuing to invest in our offerings and technology. The majority of our revenue is generated by our subscribers. Our base subscription plans range in price and customers can customize their subscription monthly by purchasing additional slots and shipments. Our subscriptions renew automatically on a monthly basis and subscribers may disable automatic renewal by canceling or pausing their subscription prior to the next month’s bill date. As a result, even though a significant number of subscribers have historically renewed their monthly subscription, there can be no assurance that we will be able to retain a significant portion of subscribers beyond the existing monthly subscription periods. In addition, any limitation or restriction imposed on our ability to bill our subscribers on a recurring basis, whether due to new regulations or otherwise, may significantly lower our subscription retention rate. We also offer our customers the option to rent or buy items via our Reserve offering and Resale offering, respectively. Our subscription plans and offerings do not have demonstrably long track records of success and may not grow as much or as fast as we expect. If our growth rate declines, investors’ perception of our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. To the extent our growth rate slows, our business performance will become increasingly dependent on our ability to retain revenue from existing subscribers and increase sales to existing customers.
The fashion industry is rapidly evolving and our business may not develop as we expect. Overall growth of our revenue will depend on a number of factors, including our ability to:
•change traditional consumer buying habits and normalize clothing rental and resale;
•price our subscription, Reserve and Resale offerings so that we are able to attract new customers, and retain and expand our relationships with existing customers;
•accurately forecast our revenue and plan our fulfillment, operating expenses and capital expenditures;
•ensure that we maintain an adequate depth and breadth of available products to meet evolving customer demands and respond swiftly and appropriately to new and changing styles, trends or desired consumer preferences;
•successfully maintain and grow our relationships with existing and new brand partners, including continuing to grow our Share by RTR and Exclusive Design offerings;
•avoid disruptions in acquiring and distributing our products and offerings, including maintaining sufficient rental product levels to support demand;
•provide customers with a high-quality experience, including customer service and support that meets their needs;
•maintain and enhance our reputation and the value of our brand;
•hire, integrate and retain talented personnel across all levels of our organization;
•successfully compete with other companies that are currently in, or may in the future enter, the industry or the markets in which we operate, and respond to developments from these competitors such as pricing changes and the introduction of new offerings;
•comply with existing and new laws and regulations applicable to our business;
•successfully expand into new and penetrate existing geographic markets in the United States;
•successfully develop new offerings and innovate and enhance our existing offerings and their features, including in response to new trends, competitive dynamics or the needs of customers and subscribers;
•effectively manage growth of our business, personnel, and operations, including expanding our shipping and distribution network and fulfillment center operations, as well as our logistics footprint and the number of facilities we operate in the future;
•effectively manage our costs related to our business and operations;
•avoid or manage interruptions in our business from information technology downtime, cybersecurity incidents and other factors that could affect our physical and digital infrastructure; and
•successfully identify and acquire, partner or invest in products, technologies, or businesses that we believe could complement or expand our business.
Because we have a limited history operating our business at its current scale, it is difficult to evaluate our current business and future prospects, including our ability to plan for and model future growth. Our limited operating experience at this scale, combined with the rapidly evolving nature of the market in which we sell our offerings, substantial uncertainty concerning how these markets may develop, and other economic factors beyond our control, reduces our ability to accurately forecast quarterly or annual revenue. Failure to manage our future growth effectively could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We also expect to continue to expend substantial financial and other resources to grow our business, and we may fail to allocate our resources in a manner that results in increased revenue growth in our business. Additionally, we may encounter unforeseen operating expenses, difficulties, complications, delays, and other unknown factors that may result in losses in future periods. If our revenue growth does not meet our expectations in future periods, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be harmed, and we may not achieve or sustain profitability in the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and may in the future continue to have, a material adverse impact on our business.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions, quarantines, and related public health measures and actions taken by governments and the private sector have adversely affected global economies, financial markets and the overall environment for our business, and the extent to which it may continue to impact our future results of operations and overall financial performance remains uncertain. New variants of COVID-19, such as Delta and Omicron, continue to be identified and lead to evolving recommendations and restrictions by workforces and federal, state and local government officials. The global macroeconomic effects of the pandemic may persist for an indefinite period of time, even after the pandemic has subsided. In addition, we cannot predict the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had and will have on our brand partners, manufacturers, vendors and other third-party service providers, and we may continue to be materially adversely impacted as a result of the negative past, present and future impact upon these parties.
The COVID-19 pandemic materially adversely affected our operating and financial results during fiscal year 2020 due to the occurrence of the following events or circumstances, among others:
•the global shelter-in-place restrictions significantly reduced our number of Active Subscribers and engagement with all of our offerings because of the decrease in special events, social gatherings and interactions outside the home;
•a significant number of subscribers paused or canceled their subscriptions or downgraded to lower-priced plans, and we experienced significant decreased demand for our Reserve offering and customers canceled their existing orders for special events;
•subscribers engaged less, which impacted the success of our organic marketing and reduced the volume of our data and business insights;
•disruptions of the operations of our brand partners and delays in shipment and delivery of our products;
•pausing all of our paid marketing spend and eliminating or significantly reducing investments in growth initiatives;
•carrying more products relative to customer demand, negatively impacting gross margins;
•performance-based revenue share payments to brands were decreased due to lower total revenue, impacting our brand partner relationships and value proposition;
•implementing temporary salary cuts, employee layoffs and furloughs, and pausing recruiting efforts, which negatively impacted employee morale and resulted in an increase in regrettable employee attrition; and
•the closure of our brick-and-mortar retail stores, which was perceived negatively by some customers.
In fiscal year 2021, our operating and financial results continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021, the Omicron variant negatively impacted us in three key ways by:
•significantly decreasing revenue from our Reserve business as most holiday events were canceled;
•reducing subscriber acquisition in the second half of the quarter; and
•driving a higher rate of subscriber pause.
In fiscal year 2021, results also continued to be impacted by consumers working primarily from home and by special events and occasions not yet being back to pre-pandemic levels.
As the recovery period continues, particularly in the United States, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the identification and spread of new variants of the virus, may continue to have a negative impact on our business operations and long-term financial results of operations due to the occurrence of the following events or circumstances, among others:
•the difficulty in accurately predicting the timing of potential new variants and/or the pace of our business recovery, particularly changes in demand, subscriber levels and pause activity, and Reserve and Resale orders, leading to potentially over-spending and lower profitability if demand and engagement are not as expected;
•our inability to meet increased demand and provide an optimal customer experience as a result of difficulty in hiring additional employees, particularly in our fulfillment, operations and customer experience functions;
•continuing supply chain disruptions and/or disruptions in the operations of our brand partners, which could impact our ability to acquire an adequate depth and breadth of products at favorable prices in a timely manner to match demand; and
•possible resurgences of the COVID-19 pandemic that lead to new or additional shelter-in-place orders, travel advisories, and/or reduced social activities and events, which may dampen future demand for our products and offering.
The continued scope and duration of the pandemic, whether additional actions may be taken to contain the virus, the impact on our customers and partners, the speed and extent to which markets fully recover from the disruptions caused by the pandemic, and the impact of these factors on our business, will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence. In addition, to the extent COVID-19 adversely affects our operations and global economic conditions more generally, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in these Risk Factors.
Although we anticipate that our operating results in future fiscal years will begin to reflect a more normal operating environment, the current economic and public health climate has created a high degree of uncertainty and there is no assurance that our scale, number of customers and revenue will return to or surpass pre-pandemic levels for a sustained period of time. As such, we continue to closely monitor this global health crisis and will continue to reassess our strategy and operational structure on a regular, ongoing basis as the situation evolves. See Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Position and Results of Operations” for more details on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The global fashion industry is highly competitive and rapidly changing, and we may not be able to compete effectively.
We compete with other fashion rental companies and also with a range of traditional and online retail and resale fashion companies and we expect competition to continue to increase in the future. To be successful, we need to continue to attract and retain customers and brand partners.
We believe our ability to compete effectively depends on many factors within and beyond our control, including:
•our ability to normalize fashion rental and change traditional retail shopping habits and norms;
•how effectively differentiated our offerings and value proposition are from those of our competitors;
•how effectively we market and communicate how to use our Subscription and Reserve offerings;
•our ability to expand and maintain an appealing depth and breadth of our products to meet customer demand;
•our ability to attract new brand partners and retain existing brand partners in our Share by RTR and Exclusive Design programs and acquire products on favorable and efficient terms;
•the speed and cost at which we can deliver products to our customers and the ease with which they can return our products;
•the effectiveness of our customer service;
•further developing our data science capabilities for brand partners;
•maintaining favorable brand recognition and effectively marketing our services to customers;
•the amount, diversity, and quality of brands that we or our competitors offer;
•the price at which we are able to offer our Subscription, Reserve and Resale offerings;
•the success of our reverse-logistics processes in delivering products in good condition to customers; and
•anticipating and successfully responding to changing apparel trends and consumer shopping preferences.
Many competitors or potential competitors may have longer operating histories, greater brand recognition, existing consumer and supplier relationships and significantly greater financial, marketing and other resources. In addition, they may be able to innovate and provide products and services faster and with more selection than we can, including as a result of their vertical integrations that better enables them to acquire market share. They may be willing to price their products and services more aggressively in order to gain market share or generally employ a low-cost pricing model and be able to manufacture goods on a more cost-effective basis because they are producing higher volumes and have stronger relationships with manufacturing partners. In addition, brands set pricing for their own new retail items, which can include promotional discounts that may adversely affect the relative value of rental and/or resale items offered by us, and, in turn, our revenue, results of operations and financial condition. Additional competitors are expanding and may continue to expand into the rental and resale space in which we operate and we remain vulnerable to the marketing power and high level of customer recognition of these larger competitors and to the risk that these competitors or other smaller entrants could attract our customer base.
Furthermore, we are revolutionizing the fashion industry by changing the way women get dressed. Although we believe that there are numerous trends in our favor that support the continued growth and success of online fashion rental, changing traditional retail and e-commerce shopping habits is difficult, particularly the shift from an ownership to an access model. Our business model may not achieve acceptance as broadly and within the time frame that we expect by customers and brand partners. In addition, the trends in our favor may evolve and no longer provide compelling support for our business model. If online fashion rental does not achieve broad acceptance by consumers and our brand partners, our growth could be limited and our competitiveness hampered.
Our inability to respond effectively to competitive pressures, improved performance by our competitors, failure to achieve broad acceptance and changes in the fashion retail markets could result in lost market share and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our continued growth depends on our ability to attract new, and retain existing, customers, which may require significant investment in paid marketing channels. If we are unable to cost-effectively grow our customer base, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be harmed.
The growth of our business is dependent upon our ability to continue to grow by cost-effectively adding new customers. Historically, a substantial portion of new customer acquisition has originated from organic word-of-mouth and other non-paid referrals. Although we will continue to encourage customer engagement, loyalty, and word-of-mouth referrals, there is no guarantee that we will be successful and our organic growth may decline. Paid marketing is also a key part of our growth strategy and while we previously paused paid marketing during portions of the pandemic as a result of COVID-19, we have increased our spending and plan to significantly increase spending and run marketing campaigns to acquire additional subscribers and customers, all of which could impact our overall profitability. We may incur marketing expenses significantly in advance of the time we anticipate recognized revenue associated with such expenses, our paid marketing may not effectively reach potential customers, changes in regulations or third-party interference could limit the ability of search engines and social media platforms for marketing, potential customers may decide not to rent through our platform or the spend of new customers may not yield the intended return on investment, any of which could negatively affect our results of operations. Moreover customer preferences may change and customers may not rent through our platform as frequently or spend as much with us. If we are not able to continue to expand our customer base through cost-effective methods, our revenue may grow slower than expected or decline. Relatedly, an inability to attract and retain customers could harm our ability to attract and retain brand partners, who may decide to partner with alternative platforms.
If we fail to retain customers, our business, financial condition, and results of operations would be harmed.
A high proportion of our revenue comes from highly engaged subscribers. A decrease in the number of existing customers or a reduction in the amount existing customers spend on our offerings could negatively affect our operating results.
Our number of customers and the amounts they spend on our offerings may decline materially or fluctuate as a result of many factors, including, among other things:
•the quality, consumer appeal, price, and reliability of our offerings;
•dissatisfaction with changes we make to our offerings and products;
•the perceived value of our offerings, especially in response to price increases;
•our ability to quality control the products delivered to our customers and their fit;
•ensuring on-time delivery of orders;
•the ease with which customers can find items they are looking for;
•a negative customer service experience;
•intense competition in the fashion industry;
•negative publicity that impacts our brand and reputation;
•changes in consumer preferences regarding the use of pre-loved apparel;
•lack of market acceptance of our business model;
•the unpredictable nature of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or a future outbreak of disease or similar public health concern;
•the failure (or perceived failure) to meet customer expectations regarding our environmental, social and governance (“ESG”), initiatives; and
•changes in efficiency of our historic or current customer acquisition methods.
If existing customers no longer find our offerings and products appealing or appropriately priced or if we are unable to provide high-quality support to customers to help them resolve issues in a timely and acceptable manner, they may stop using our offerings, negative publicity may be generated and word-of-mouth and other referrals may be hampered. For example, we recently announced a price increase for our subscription plans. If our customers no longer perceive our subscription plans as appropriately priced and cancel or pause their subscriptions, our business and financial results could be harmed. Even if our existing customers continue to find our offerings and products appealing and our customer service satisfactory, they may decide to downgrade to a less frequent, lower cost subscription and rent fewer items over time as their demand for apparel and accessories declines. For example, as a result of changes to daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased rates of working remotely from home, many customers’ demands for a variety of apparel was, and in the future may be, reduced or eliminated. If customers who rent most frequently and rent a significant amount of items from us were to make fewer or lower priced rentals or stop using our offerings, our financial results could be negatively affected.
We have a history of losses, and we may be unable to achieve or sustain profitability.
We had a net loss of $(171.1) million and $(211.8) million for the years ended January 31, 2021 and January 31, 2022, respectively, and have in the past had net losses. As of January 31, 2022, we had an accumulated deficit of $(801.2) million. Because we have a short operating history at scale, it is difficult for us to predict our future operating results. We will need to generate and sustain increased revenue and manage our costs to achieve profitability. Even if we do, we may not be able to sustain or increase our profitability.
Our ability to generate profit depends on our ability to grow revenues and drive operational efficiencies in our business to generate better margins. We expect to incur increased operating costs and may continue to generate net losses in the near term in order to:
•increase the engagement, and improve the experience, of customers;
•drive customer acquisition and brand awareness through marketing and promotional initiatives;
•enhance our website and mobile offerings and functionality; and
•invest in our operations, including our logistics fulfillment and capacity, to support the growth in our business.
We may discover that these initiatives are more expensive than we currently anticipate, and we may not succeed in increasing our revenue sufficiently to offset these expenses or realize the benefits we anticipate. We will also face greater compliance costs associated with the increased scope of our business and being a public company. Any failure to adequately increase revenue or manage operating costs could prevent us from achieving or sustaining profitability. We may not realize the operating efficiencies we expect to achieve through our efforts to scale the business, reduce friction in the rental experience, and optimize costs. As such, due to these factors and others, we may not be able to achieve or sustain profitability in the near term or at all. If we are unable to achieve or sustain profitability, the value of our business and the trading price of our Class A common stock may be negatively impacted.
If we fail to anticipate and respond successfully to new and changing fashion trends and consumer preferences, our business could be harmed.
Our success is, in large part, dependent upon our ability to identify fashion trends, predict and gauge the tastes of our customers, and provide availability of items and a service that satisfies customer demand in a timely manner. However, lead times for many of our purchasing decisions may make it difficult for us to respond rapidly to new or changing apparel trends or customer acceptance of products chosen by us. In addition, external events may disrupt or change customer preferences and behaviors in ways we are not able to anticipate. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant changes to daily life, working arrangements, and social events, which has impacted the type of apparel our customers seek to rent. We generally enter into purchase contracts in advance of anticipated rentals and typically before apparel trends are confirmed by customer rentals. We have not always predicted our customers’ preferences and acceptance levels of our products with accuracy.
Additionally, our success is dependent on the ability of our brand partners to anticipate, identify and respond to the latest fashion trends and consumer demands and to translate such trends and demands into product options in a timely manner. The failure of our brand partners to anticipate, identify or respond swiftly and appropriately to new and changing styles, trends or desired consumer preferences, to accurately anticipate and forecast demand for certain product offerings or to provide relevant and timely product offerings to rent on our platform may lead to lower demand for our offerings, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.
Further, although we use our data and business insights to predict our customers’ preferences and gauge demand for our products, there is no guarantee that our data and business insights will accurately anticipate demand. To the extent we misjudge the market for the service we offer or fail to execute on trends and deliver attractive products to customers, we may not attract and retain customers effectively and our operating results will be adversely affected.
Shipping and logistics are a critical part of our business and our supply chain and any changes or interruptions in shipping or logistics operations could adversely affect our operating results.
We currently rely on several third-party national and regional shipping vendors for our outbound and inbound logistics. A substantial portion of our shipments to and from customers are currently conducted through a single vendor—we have from time to time transitioned, and are currently in the process of transitioning, shipments from this vendor to multiple other vendors, and we cannot predict how this transition may impact our costs and our customer sentiment and satisfaction.
Additionally, our business relies on the successful management of reverse logistics needed to ingest, clean, and restock returned items quickly and efficiently in order to offer them for rental or resale to other customers. If we are not able to negotiate acceptable pricing and other terms with these vendors or they experience performance problems or other difficulties, our operating results and customers’ experience could be negatively impacted.
Our ability to receive inbound products efficiently and ship products to and from customers may be negatively affected by many events outside of our control including, inclement weather, public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, governmental regulations, labor disputes and other factors. We are also subject to risks of damage or loss during delivery by our shipping vendors. If our customers do not receive their orders in good condition on time, they could become dissatisfied and cease using our services, which would adversely affect our business and operating results. Our shipping vendors have faced and may continue to face increased volumes which, in turn, has caused and could in the future cause a decrease in their service levels, including shipping delays, or result in an increase of their prices. We have recently experienced increased shipping costs, and these costs may continue to increase in the future. Increases in shipping costs or other significant shipping difficulties or disruptions or any failure by our brand partners or third-party carriers to deliver high-quality products to us or to our customers, as applicable, in a timely manner or to otherwise adequately serve our customers could damage our reputation and brand and may substantially harm our business.
In addition to offering the ability to return products through our third-party shipping vendors, we offer multiple physical drop-off points for customers located in certain cities, including, for example, New York City, Boston, Nashville, Houston, and San Francisco to return their orders. In the event that we do not successfully manage these logistics, it will make it more difficult for us to maintain our products, and satisfy our customers which will negatively affect our brand, financial condition and results of operations.
If we are unable to accurately forecast customer demand, acquire and manage our products effectively and plan for future expenses, our operating results could be adversely affected.
We are vulnerable to demand and pricing shifts and to suboptimal selection and timing of product purchases. We obtain substantially all of our products directly from over 780 brand partners through three key ways: 1) Wholesale, 2) Share by RTR, and 3) Exclusive Designs. For our business to be successful and have sufficient product to meet consumer demand, our brand and manufacturing partners must be willing and able to provide us with products in specific quantities and styles of sufficient quality, in compliance with regulatory requirements, at acceptable costs and on a timely basis. We typically do not enter into long-term contracts with our brand and manufacturing partners and, as such, we operate without significant contractual assurances of continued supply, pricing or access to products. Although we believe we have had limited attrition of brand partners to date, a brand partner could choose to no longer work with us or provide less favorable terms for a variety of reasons, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting impacts. In addition, some of our brand partners may not have the capacity to supply us with sufficient products to keep pace with our growth plans, especially if we plan to demand significantly greater amounts of products. In such cases, our ability to pursue our growth strategy will depend in part upon our ability to expand capacity with existing brand partners or develop new brand partners relationships.
During fiscal year 2021, we expanded our relationships with brand partners and we are continuing to work to increase the proportion of our products procured under Exclusive Designs arrangements, which reduces our upfront cost of products. For our Exclusive Designs, RTR generally sources the materials and relies upon third-party manufacturing partners to produce products. For Wholesale and Share by RTR items, entering into contracts in advance of a particular season requires brand partners to agree to incur costs related to sourcing and manufacturing products before we have paid for them, which requires the brand partners to continue to trust us. If we were viewed as less financially viable, we may receive less favorable terms and conditions from our brand partners, including requiring upfront payments or other demonstrations of credit. The cash flow benefits we currently experience from our brand partners’ willingness to revenue share could be adversely affected if revenue share terms change or if brand partners no longer wish to revenue share due to (1) lack of trust in us, (2) lack of revenue earned in comparison to the projections we provided, (3) their inability to continue to spread their earnings out over the time period that the products are earning revenue on our website, among other reasons. For our Exclusive Design arrangements, we must continue to increase the number of brand partners with whom we work, design an assortment of styles that meet customer demand, maintain and enhance our third-party manufacturing capabilities and partners and ensure the products manufactured meets brand partners’, customers’ and our quality standards. Our ability to obtain a sufficient selection or volume of products on a timely basis at competitive prices could suffer as a result of any deterioration or change in our partner relationships or events that adversely affect them and, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We also procure and manufacture products outside of the United States. Global sourcing and foreign trade involve numerous factors and uncertainties beyond our control including increased shipping costs, limitations in factory capacity, the imposition of additional import or trade restrictions, including legal or economic restrictions on overseas brand partners’ or manufacturers’ ability to produce and deliver products, increased custom duties and tariffs, unforeseen delays in customs, more restrictive quotas, loss of a most favored nation trading status, currency exchange rates, transportation delays, foreign government regulations, political instability and economic uncertainties in the countries from which we or our brand partners source our products. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of our product sourcing in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 was handled remotely via video and teleconference instead of in-person. Future extended disruptions in travel may limit our ability to source products in-person, which may lead to suboptimal products and harm our business. For the next several quarters, we anticipate facing, and having to address challenges relating to, inefficiencies in the global transportation network as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that may also impact our business operations. Additionally, oil supply disruptions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have led and could continue to lead to increased fuel and shipping prices. Further, certain trade restrictions related to the Xinjiang region of China that impose a ban on virtually all imports from that region could affect the sourcing and availability of raw materials, such as cotton, used in the manufacturing of certain products. In addition, negative press or consumer sentiment about internationally sourced products may lead to reduced demand for our products. These and other issues affecting our international brand partners, manufacturers or internationally sourced products could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We also rely on our merchandising team to order styles that our customers will rent and we rely on our data science to inform the levels of and which products we purchase, including when to reorder items that are renting well and when to sell or write-off items that are not renting well. If our teams do not predict customer demand and tastes well or if our algorithms do not help us reorder the right products or write off the right products timely, we may not effectively manage our products and our operating results could be adversely affected.
Furthermore, we must execute our cleaning and repair protocols and reverse logistics operations efficiently and at a significant scale to maximize the utilization of units and reduce the number of units purchased, the failure of which may adversely affect our operating results. We cannot control products while they are out of our possession or prevent all damage while in our fulfillment centers, during shipping, or while with customers, third-party suppliers or partners. We may incur additional expenses and our reputation could be harmed if customers and potential customers believe that our products are not of high quality or may be damaged.
If we fail to maintain and enhance our brand, our ability to attract and retain customers will be impaired and our business, financial condition, and results of operations may suffer.
Maintaining and enhancing our appeal and reputation as a stylish, revolutionary and trusted brand is critical to attracting and retaining customers and brand partners. The successful promotion of our brand and awareness of our offerings and products will depend on a number of factors, including our marketing efforts, ability to continue to develop our offerings and products, the quality and appeal of our products, and ability to successfully differentiate our offerings from competitive offerings. We expect to invest substantial resources to promote and maintain our brand, but there is no guarantee that our brand development strategies will enhance the recognition of our brand or lead to increased customer acquisition and sales. The strength of our brand will depend largely on our ability to provide a compelling customer value proposition for our rental and resale offerings and continued customer engagement and word of mouth organic marketing. Brand promotion activities may not yield increased revenue, and even if they do, the increased revenue may not offset the expenses we incur in promoting and maintaining our brand and reputation.
Furthermore, whether accurate or not, negative publicity about our business, operations, or employees, and customer complaints could harm our reputation, customer trust and referrals of our services, brand partner confidence, employee morale and culture, and our ability to recruit new employees effectively. In addition, negative publicity related to our brand partners, influencers and other vendors that we have partnered with may damage our reputation, even if the publicity is not directly related to us. Negative commentary concerning us or our brand partners may also be posted on social media platforms at any time and may have an adverse impact on our brand, reputation and business. The harm of negative publicity, particularly on social media platforms, may be immediate, without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction.
If we fail to maintain, protect, and enhance our brand successfully or to maintain loyalty among customers, or if we incur substantial expenses in unsuccessful attempts to maintain, protect, and enhance our brand, we may fail to attract or increase the engagement of customers, and our business, financial condition, and operating results may suffer.
If we are not able to keep pace with technological changes and enhance our current offerings and develop new offerings to respond to the changing needs of partners and customers, our business, financial performance, and growth may be harmed.
Our industry is characterized by rapidly changing technology, new service and product introductions, and changing customer demands and preferences, and we are not able to predict the effect of these changes on our business. The technologies that we currently use to support our business platform may become inadequate or obsolete, and the cost of incorporating new technologies into our offerings and services may be substantial. Any failure by us to adequately integrate technological developments in our approach to data management could harm our ability to leverage data, including customer data, collected through our technology and our systems, which could have a negative effect on our business. If we are unable to adequately utilize our data in support of our operations due technical or other limitations, our ability to drive leverage in operational efficiencies and to attract new customers and retain existing customers could be impaired. In addition, if we are unable to successfully leverage new technology to automate and otherwise drive efficiencies in our operations, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
Our partners and customers may not be satisfied with our technological or other platform enhancements or new offerings or may perceive that these offerings do not respond to their needs or create value for them. Our customers may also be dissatisfied with the product mix we currently offer or will offer in the future.
Additionally, as we invest in and experiment with new offerings or changes to our platform, our partners and customers may find these changes to be disruptive and may perceive them negatively. For example, in 2021, we phased out our “unlimited swaps” subscription plan and shifted to our current subscription plans with different price points based on usage. We have increased our Resale offering, which could introduce the uncertainty of merchandise returns and negatively impact our business. We also have expanded the categories of products we offer, such as kidswear and home accessories, and may further expand our categories in the future. These new plans and offerings do not have demonstrably long track records of success for us. In addition, developing new offerings and services is complex, and the timetable for their public launch is difficult to predict and may vary from our historical experience. As a result, the introduction of new offerings may occur after anticipated release dates, or they may be introduced as pilot programs, which may not be continued for various reasons. In addition, new offerings may not be successful due to defects or errors, negative publicity, or our failure to market them effectively. New offerings may not drive revenue growth, customer acquisition or retention, may require substantial investment and planning, and may bring us more directly into competition with companies that are better established or have greater resources than we do. If we do not continue to cost-effectively develop new offerings that satisfy our brand partners and customers, then our competitive position and growth prospects may be harmed. In addition, new offerings may have lower margins than we anticipate or than existing offerings, and our revenue from the new offerings may not be enough to offset the cost of developing and maintaining them, which could adversely affect our business, financial performance, and growth.
We rely heavily on the effective operation of our proprietary technology systems and software, as well as those of our third-party vendors and service providers, for our business to effectively operate and to safeguard confidential information.
We rely heavily on in-house proprietary technology, third-party software, and customized off-the-shelf technology solutions across our business. Our ability to effectively manage all areas of our business, particularly our product management and fulfillment operations, depends significantly on the reliability and capacity of these systems. We are critically dependent on the integrity, connectivity, security and consistent operations of these systems, which are highly dependent on coordination of our internal business, operations, product and engineering teams. For example, in September 2019, we experienced a software outage at our Secaucus, New Jersey facility, during which we were unable to fulfill thousands of Reserve and Subscription orders on a timely basis and made the decision to stop taking new orders until the issue was adequately resolved. We also experienced significant negative customer reviews and negative press as a result of the outage, which we believe damaged our customer relationships, reputation and brand. The outage also resulted in substantial financial losses and increased costs largely due to: lost revenues, customer refunds, credits, promotions and/or related payments, and incremental labor and shipping costs. Our insurance policy covered a substantial portion of these losses but not all of them. While we have taken remediation measures in response to the outage, similar outages or other disruptions may occur in the future, which could harm our ability to meet customer expectations, fulfill orders, manage our products, and achieve our objectives for operating efficiencies and profitability.
The technology underlying our platform is highly interconnected and complex and may contain undetected errors or vulnerabilities. Due to the interconnected nature of the software underlying our platform, updates to parts of our code, third-party code, and application programming interfaces, on which we rely and that maintain the functionality of our systems, could have an unintended impact on other sections of our code, which may result in errors or vulnerabilities to our platform that negatively impact the customer experience and functionality of our offerings. In some cases, such as our mobile application, errors may only be correctable through updates distributed through slower, third-party mechanisms, such as app stores, and may need to comply with third-party policies and procedures to be made available, which may add additional delays due to app review and customer delay in updating their mobile apps. In addition, our systems are increasingly reliant on machine learning systems, which are complex and may have errors or inadequacies that are not easily detectable. These systems may inadvertently reduce the efficiency of our systems, or may cause unintentional or unexpected outputs that are incorrect, do not match our business goals, do not comply with our policies, or otherwise are inconsistent with our brand, guiding principles and mission. Any errors or vulnerabilities discovered in our code could also result in damage to our reputation, loss of our customers, unauthorized disclosure of personal and confidential information, loss of revenue or liability for damages, any of which could adversely affect our growth prospects and our business.
Any significant technology disruption or failure, cyberattack or data security incident could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operations.
Our ability to effectively manage our business, particularly our product management, order and fulfillment operations, depends significantly on the reliability and capacity of the Internet and our in-house proprietary technology, third-party software and infrastructure, and customized off-the-shelf solutions (collectively, “IT Systems”). We also collect, process and store sensitive and confidential information, including our proprietary business information and information regarding our customers, employees, suppliers and business partners, including personally identifiable information. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations. Our IT Systems or those of our service providers and business partners may be subject to damage or interruption from power outages or damages, telecommunications problems, data corruption, software errors, network failures, acts of war or terrorist attacks, fire, flood and natural disasters. Our existing safety systems, data backup, access protection, user management and information technology emergency planning may not be sufficient to identify, detect, prevent, or recover from data loss or long-term network or operational outages. In addition, we may have to upgrade our existing IT Systems or choose to incorporate new technology systems from time to time in order for such systems to support the increasing needs of our expanding business. Costs and potential problems and interruptions associated with the implementation of new or upgraded systems and technology or with maintenance or adequate support of existing systems could disrupt or reduce the efficiency of our operations.
Our IT Systems and those of our third-party service providers and business partners may be vulnerable to security incidents, attacks by hackers, acts of vandalism, malware, social engineering, denial or degradation of service attacks, computer viruses, software bugs or vulnerabilities, supply chain attacks, phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, misplaced or lost data, human errors, malicious insiders or other similar events. If unauthorized parties gain access to our IT Systems or information, or those of our third-party service providers or business partners, they may be able to steal, publish, sell, delete, use inappropriately or modify private and sensitive information including credit card information and personally identifiable information or proprietary business information, any or all of which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Ransomware attacks, including those from organized criminal threat actors, nation-states and nation-state supported actors, are becoming increasingly prevalent and can lead to significant interruptions, delays, or outages in our operations, loss of data, loss of income, significant extra expenses to restore data or systems, reputational loss and the diversion of funds. To alleviate the financial, operational and reputational impact of a ransomware attack it may be necessary to make extortion payments, but we may be unable to do so if applicable laws or governmental pressure prohibit or prevents such payments. In addition, employees may intentionally or inadvertently cause data or security incidents that result in unauthorized release of personal or confidential information. Because the techniques used to circumvent security systems change frequently, are becoming increasingly sophisticated, are designed to evade detection and remove forensic evidence, are often not recognized until launched against a target and may originate from less regulated and remote areas around the world, we may be unable to timely or effectively anticipate, detect or recover from cyberattacks or security incidents in the future.
Certain of the aforementioned types of cyberattacks and security incidents have occurred in the past, and may occur in the future, resulting in unauthorized, unlawful, or inappropriate access to, inability to access, disclosure of, or loss of sensitive, proprietary and confidential information. For example, although no sensitive information was affected, our platform has been the subject of credential stuffing attacks (i.e., email addresses and passwords involved in security incidents reported by other companies have been used to attempt to gain unauthorized access to our platform) and brute force attacks (i.e., attempts to try different username and password credentials to gain access to our platform). The security measures we employ to prevent, detect, and mitigate potential harm to our users from the theft of or misuse of user credentials on our network may not be effective in every instance.
We rely on a number of third-party providers of products and services to operate our critical internal and external operations, such as the processing of confidential and personally identifiable information. Examples of third parties include, but are not limited to, our shipping partners, human resources information system, payment processor, and various IT Systems providers. These service providers may not have adequate security measures and could experience a security incident that compromises the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the IT Systems they operate for us or the information they process on our behalf and may not be able to contain or recover from such incidents or to notify us in a timely manner. Moreover, we or our third-party service providers may be more vulnerable to such attacks in remote work environments, which have increased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any cyberattack, security incident, or material disruption or slowdown affecting our IT Systems or those of our third-party service providers or business partners, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
While we maintain cyber insurance that may help provide coverage for these types of events, we cannot provide assurances that our insurance will be adequate to cover costs and liabilities related to these incidents. Any such incident, attack, virus or other event could result in costly investigations and litigation exceeding applicable insurance coverage or contractual rights available to us, in particular because certain data privacy laws, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”), grant individuals a private right of action arising from certain data security incidents, civil or criminal penalties, operational changes or other response measures, loss of consumer confidence in our security measures, and negative publicity that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our e-commerce business faces distinct risks, such as fulfillment of orders, and our failure to successfully manage these risks could have a negative impact on our profitability.
As an e-commerce business, we encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by businesses with significant internet operations. The successful operation of our business as well as our ability to provide a positive customer experience that will generate subscription, Reserve rental and Resale orders depend on efficient and uninterrupted e-commerce order-taking and fulfillment operations. If we are unable to allow real-time and accurate visibility to product availability when customers are ready to order, quickly and efficiently fulfill our customers’ orders using the fulfillment and payment methods they demand, provide a convenient and consistent experience for our customers regardless of the ultimate channel or effectively manage our online sales, our ability to compete and our results of operations could be adversely affected.
Risks associated with our e-commerce business include:
•uncertainties associated with our website and mobile application including changes in required technology interfaces, website downtime and other technical failures, costs and technical issues as we upgrade our systems software, inadequate system capacity, computer viruses, human error, security incidents, legal claims related to our systems operations and fulfillment;
•disruptions in internet service or power outages;
•reliance on third parties for computer hardware and software, as well as delivery of products to our customers;
•rapid technology changes;
•credit or debit card fraud and other payment processing related issues;
•changes in applicable federal, state and international regulations;
•liability for online content;
•cybersecurity, consumer privacy and consumer protection concerns and regulation; and
•natural disasters or adverse weather conditions.
Our online offerings also expose us to broader applicability of regulations, as well as additional regulations, such as the rules relating to registration of internet sellers, certain anti-money laundering, trade sanction, anti-corruption, anti-bribery and international trade laws. Problems in any of these areas could result in a reduction in sales, increased costs, sanctions or penalties and damage to our reputation and brands.
In addition, we must keep up to date with competitive technology trends, including the use of new or improved technology, creative user interfaces, virtual and augmented reality and other e-commerce marketing tools such as paid search and mobile applications, among others, which may increase our costs and which may not increase sales or attract customers. Our competitors, some of whom have greater resources than we do, may also be able to benefit from changes in e-commerce technologies or adapt better than us, which could harm our competitive position.
Our quarterly and annual results of operations may fluctuate, which may make it difficult to predict our future performance.
Our results of operations could vary significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year because of a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control. Even if our revenue increases, our revenue growth rates may decline in the future as a result of a variety of factors, including macroeconomic factors, increased competition, and the maturation of our business. As a result, comparing our results of operations on a period-to-period basis or our revenue growth rate for any prior period may not be meaningful. In addition to other risk factors discussed in this section, factors that may contribute to the variability of our quarterly and annual results include:
•our success in attracting and retaining customers and subscribers;
•maintaining successful relationships with brand partners and our ability to acquire products at acceptable prices and offer a compelling mix of products that are available for subscription, a-la-carte rental or purchase at any given time;
•the amount and timing of our fulfillment costs, operating expenses and capital expenditures;
•the timing and success of product launches, including new services and features we may introduce;
•the success of our marketing and promotional efforts;
•adverse economic and market conditions, such as those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other adverse global events that negatively impact commerce and consumer behavior and that could lead to inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions;
•disruptions or defects in our software or operations, such as privacy or data security incidents, outages, or other incidents that impact the availability, reliability, or performance of our business;
•the impact of competitive developments and our response to those developments;
•our ability to manage our business and future growth;
•our ability to recruit and retain employees including fulfillment center labor to process, itemize, list, pack and ship our products; and
•changes to financial accounting standards and the interpretation of those standards, which may affect the way we recognize and report our financial results.
The impact of one or more of the foregoing and other factors may cause our results of operations to vary significantly. As such, period-over-period comparisons of our results of operations may not be meaningful and should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance.
Fluctuations in our operating results and key metrics may be particularly pronounced in the current economic environment due to the uncertainty caused by, and the unprecedented nature of, the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer spending patterns, and the impacts and timing of the reopening of the offline economy and lessening of restrictions on movement. Fluctuations in our operating results and key metrics may cause those results to fall below our financial guidance or other projections, or the expectations of analysts or investors, which could cause the price of our Class A common stock to decline.
Fluctuations in our results could also cause a number of other problems. For example, analysts or investors might change their models for valuing our Class A common stock, we could experience liquidity issues, our ability to retain or attract key personnel may diminish, and other unanticipated issues may arise. We believe that our operating results and key metrics may vary in the future and that period-to-period comparisons of our operating results may not be meaningful. For example, our overall historical growth rate and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic may have overshadowed the effect of seasonal variations on our historical operating results. These seasonal effects may become more pronounced over time, which could also cause our operating results and key metrics to fluctuate.
Environmental, social and governance matters may impact our business and reputation.
There has been increased focus, including by consumers, investors, employees and other stakeholders, as well as by governmental and non-governmental organizations, on environmental, social and governance matters generally and with regard to the fashion industry specifically. We expect that an increased focus on ESG considerations will affect some aspects of our operations.
We have and plan to continue undertaking ESG initiatives. Any failure by us to meet our Impact Strategy goals or loss of confidence on the part of customers, investors, employees, brand partners, and other stakeholders as it relates to our ESG initiatives could negatively impact our brand, the demand for our offerings, our financial condition, results of operations and prospects. These impacts could be difficult and costly to overcome, even if such concerns were based on inaccurate or misleading information. In addition, achieving our ESG initiatives may result in increased costs in our supply chain, fulfillment, and/or corporate business operations, and could deviate from our initial estimates and have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. Furthermore, if our competitors’ corporate responsibility performance is perceived to be greater than ours, potential or current investors may elect to invest with our competitors instead.
Standards and research regarding environmental, social, and governance initiatives could change and become more onerous for both for us and our third-party suppliers and vendors to meet successfully. Evolving data and research could undermine or refute our current claims and beliefs that we have made in reliance on current research, which could also result in costs, a decrease in revenue, and negative market perception that could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. Alternatively, if we are unable to satisfy such new criteria, investors may conclude that our policies with respect to corporate responsibility are inadequate. We risk damage to our brand and reputation in the event that our corporate responsibility procedures or standards do not meet the standards set by various constituencies.
A variety of organizations measure the performance of companies on such ESG topics, and the results of these assessments are widely publicized. In addition, investment in funds that specialize in companies that perform well in such assessments are increasingly popular, and major institutional investors have publicly emphasized the importance of such ESG measures to their investment decisions. Topics taken into account in such assessments include, among others, the company’s efforts and impacts on climate change and human rights, ethics and compliance with law and the role of the Company’s board of directors in supervising various sustainability issues. In light of investors’ and other stakeholders’ increased focus on ESG matters, there can be no certainty that we will manage such issues successfully, or that we will successfully meet society’s ESG expectations or achieve our ESG goals and financial goals.
We rely on the experience and expertise of our Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, senior management team, key technical and strategic employees and hourly personnel.
Our success and future growth depend largely upon the continued services of our senior management team, including our Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chair, Jennifer Y. Hyman. From time to time, there may be changes in our executive management team resulting from the hiring or departure of these executives. Our executive officers are employed on an at-will basis, which means they may terminate their employment with us at any time. The loss of one or more of our executive officers, or the failure by our executive team to effectively work with our employees and lead our company, could harm our business. We do not maintain key man life insurance with respect to any member of management or other employee.
In addition, our future success will depend upon our ability to attract and retain employees for key roles, such as engineering, data science, analytics, buying and planning, and logistics, as well as hourly fulfillment workers and customer service agents. Such efforts will require significant time, expense, and attention as there is intense competition for such individuals, particularly in New York City, Galway, New Jersey and Texas, and new hires require significant training and time before they achieve full productivity. In addition to maintaining competitive wage and salary levels, which are likely to increase further due to inflation and the potential minimum wage increases, prospective and existing employees often consider the value of the equity awards they may receive in connection with their employment. If the perceived value of our equity awards declines or experiences significant volatility, it may adversely affect our ability to recruit and retain key employees.
Our corporate employees primarily worked remotely from March 2020 to April 2022. As COVID-19 restrictions lifted, we have recently reopened our offices and moved to a hybrid working model for New York City and Galway, in which employees will be present in the office two to three days per week. If the hybrid model is not aligned with our employees’ preferences, it may adversely affect our ability to recruit and retain employees. In addition, the hybrid model may negatively impact our company culture, collaboration and productivity.
We have recently experienced and may in the future experience voluntary attrition at significant rates for various reasons, including challenging labor market conditions such as rising wages and a decreased level of workforce participation. If we are unable to attract and retain qualified employees in a timely fashion, particularly in critical areas of operations such as engineering, data science and analytics, and our hourly fulfillment workers, our ability to achieve our strategic objectives will be adversely impacted, and our business and future growth prospects will be harmed.
We believe that our company culture has contributed to our success and if we cannot maintain this culture as we grow, our business could be harmed.
We believe that our company culture has been critical to our success. Our company culture stands for being entrepreneurial, passionate, kind and positive. Our ability to continue to cultivate and maintain this culture is essential to our growth and continued success. We face a number of challenges that may affect our ability to sustain our corporate culture, including:
•failure to identify, attract, reward, and retain people in leadership positions in our organization who share and further our culture, values, and mission;
•the increasing size, complexity and geographic diversity of our workforce, and our ability to promote a uniform and consistent culture across all our offices and employees;
•the employee and market perception of our ESG efforts, which may impact employee morale and recruiting efforts;
•competitive pressures to move in directions that may divert us from our mission, vision, and values;
•our move to a hybrid working model for corporate employees in New York City and Galway and the remote working model for customer service employees;
•the continued challenges of a rapidly-evolving industry; and
•the increasing need to develop expertise in new areas of business that affect us.
In particular, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a strategic imperative for us. We are focused on driving inclusiveness, innovation and stronger business results by attracting a diverse talent pool and continuing to foster an inclusive work environment for all our employees. Although we have adopted policies to promote compliance with laws and regulations as well as to foster a respectful workplace for all employees, our employees may fail to abide by these policies. In addition to damaging our reputation, actual or alleged misconduct could tarnish our culture, result in negative publicity, affect the confidence of our stockholders, regulators and other parties and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.
Material changes in the pricing practices of our brand and manufacturing partners and/or the costs of raw materials could negatively impact our profitability.
Our brand and manufacturing partners may increase their pricing if raw materials, labor, or other costs become more expensive or subject to other pricing pressures. The inputs used to manufacture products are subject to availability constraints and price volatility. In addition, our brand partners may pass the increase in sourcing costs to us through price increases, thereby impacting our margins. For example, if our manufacturing partners increase their costs, our Exclusive Designs may not be as cost-effective to produce, which could negatively impact our ability to meet our financial goals. The fabrics used in our products are made of raw materials including petroleum-based products and cotton. Significant price fluctuations or shortages in petroleum, cotton, or other raw materials could significantly increase our cost of revenue and the cost associated with procuring products via Exclusive Designs. Moreover, in the event of a significant disruption in the supply of the fabrics or raw materials used in the manufacture of the products we offer, we and/or our partners might not be able to locate alternative suppliers of materials of comparable quality at an acceptable price. For example, disruptions in the supply chain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related inflationary environment has increased raw material costs, impacting pricing of our products, and caused shipping delays for certain of our products.
We rely on consumer discretionary spending and have been, and may in the future be, adversely affected by economic downturns and other macroeconomic conditions or trends.
We are subject to variable industry and global economic conditions and their impact on consumer discretionary spending. Some of the factors that may negatively influence consumer spending include high levels of unemployment; higher consumer debt levels; reductions in net worth, declines in asset values, and related market uncertainty; home foreclosures and reductions in home values; fluctuating interest rates and credit availability; fluctuating fuel and other energy costs; fluctuating commodity prices; and general uncertainty regarding the overall future political and economic environment. We have experienced many of these factors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related responses and have seen negative impacts on customer demand at varying levels as a result. For example, we experienced a significant decrease in consumer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic due to shelter-at-home orders and more limited social events, increased unemployment and work-from-home trends, and general economic uncertainty.
Furthermore, any increases in consumer discretionary spending or immediately after times of crisis may be temporary, such as those related to government stimulus programs or the tail of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and consumer spending may decrease again. Economic conditions in certain regions may also be affected by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tropical storms, earthquakes, and wildfires; other public health crises; wars, terrorism and political tensions; and other major unforeseen events. Consumer purchases or rental of discretionary items, including the products that we offer, generally decline during recessionary periods or periods of economic uncertainty, when disposable income is reduced or when there is a reduction in consumer confidence.
Additionally, adverse economic changes could reduce consumer confidence, and could thereby negatively affect our operating results. In challenging and uncertain economic environments, we cannot predict when macroeconomic uncertainty may arise, whether or when such circumstances may improve or worsen or what impact such circumstances could have on our business. Any of these developments could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our business is affected by seasonality.
Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuations. We typically realize a higher portion of revenue from our Reserve rentals during our third and fourth fiscal quarter as a result of increased wedding and holiday events. However, in fiscal year 2020 and fiscal year 2021 we saw fewer large-scale holiday and special events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For our subscription rentals, we typically acquire the highest number of subscribers in March through May and September through November, as these are the times customers naturally think about changing over their wardrobes. We generally see a higher rate of subscribers pause in the summer, and in mid-December through the end of January. Adverse events, such as higher unemployment, deteriorating economic conditions, or fewer large-scale holiday and special events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, can deter consumers from shopping and renting. Any significant decrease in revenue during periods of high seasonal acquisition could have a disproportionately large impact on our operating results and financial condition for that year. Any factors that harm our operating results during these periods, including disruptions in our brand partners’ supply chains or unfavorable economic conditions, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, could have a disproportionate effect on our results of operations for our entire fiscal year.
In anticipation of increased rental activity during seasonal peaks, we may incur significant additional expenses, including additional marketing and additional staffing in our customer support operations. In addition, we may experience an increase in our net shipping costs due to ensuring timely delivery for peak seasons. In the future, our seasonal revenue patterns may become more pronounced or may change, may strain our personnel and operational activities, and may cause a shortfall in net sales as compared with expenses in a given period, which could substantially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Furthermore, our rapid growth in recent years may obscure the extent to which seasonality trends have affected our business and may continue to affect our business, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may alter our historical seasonality trends. Accordingly, yearly or quarterly comparisons of our operating results may not be useful and our results in any particular period will not necessarily be indicative of the results to be expected for any future period. Seasonality in our business can also be affected by introductions of new or enhanced products and offerings, including the costs associated with such introductions.
We may require additional capital to support the growth of our business, and this capital might not be available on acceptable terms, if at all.
We have funded our operations since inception primarily through equity and debt financings and revenue generated from our offerings. Our goal is to be a profitable company; however, we cannot be certain when or if our operations will generate sufficient cash to fully fund our ongoing operations or the growth of our business. We also intend to continue to make investments to develop and grow our business. For example, in the future, we may need additional funding to obtain rental products, for marketing, and for headcount or other operating expenses and capital expenditures, to develop new features or enhance our offerings, to improve our operating infrastructure, and/or to acquire complementary businesses and technologies. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us, our ability to support our business growth, and respond to business challenges could be significantly impaired, and our business may be adversely affected.
If we incur additional debt, the debt holders would have rights senior to holders of common stock to make claims on our assets, and the terms of any debt could restrict our operations, including our ability to pay dividends on our common stock. Furthermore, if we issue additional equity securities, stockholders will experience dilution, and the new equity securities could have rights senior to those of our common stock. Because our decision to issue securities in the future will depend on numerous considerations, including factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing, or nature of any future issuances of debt or equity securities. As a result, our stockholders bear the risk of future issuances of debt or equity securities reducing the value of our common stock and diluting their interests.
Our level of indebtedness could have a material adverse effect on our ability to generate sufficient cash to fulfill our obligations under such indebtedness, to react to changes in our business and to incur additional indebtedness to fund future needs.
As of January 31, 2022, we had $260.8 million aggregate principal amount of borrowings under a credit facility with Double Helix Pte Ltd. as administrative agent for Temasek Holdings (the “Amended Temasek Facility”). If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we may be forced to reduce or delay investments and capital expenditures or to sell assets, seek additional capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness. Our ability to restructure or refinance our current or future debt will depend on the condition of the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. Any refinancing of our debt could be at higher interest rates and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict our business operations. The terms of existing or future debt instruments may restrict us from adopting some of these alternatives. We cannot provide assurance that our business will be able to generate sufficient levels of cash or that future borrowings or other financings will be available to us in an amount sufficient to enable us to service our indebtedness and fund our other liquidity needs. These financing risks, in addition to potential rising interest rates and changes in market conditions, if realized, could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. See “Note 7 —Long-Term Debt” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for more information on our indebtedness.
Our Amended Temasek Facility contains financial covenants and other restrictions on our actions that may limit our operational flexibility or otherwise adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The terms of our Amended Temasek Facility include a number of covenants that limit our ability to (subject to negotiated exceptions), among other things, incur additional indebtedness, incur liens on assets, enter into agreements related to mergers and acquisitions, dispose of assets or pay dividends and make distributions. Additionally, the Amended Temasek Facility includes a minimum liquidity maintenance covenant of $50.0 million and amends the call protection applicable to the loans outstanding thereunder. The terms of our Amended Temasek Facility may restrict our current and future operations and could adversely affect our ability to finance our future operations or capital needs. In addition, complying with these covenants may make it more difficult for us to successfully execute our business strategy and compete against companies which are not subject to such restrictions.
A failure by us to comply with the covenants specified in the Amended Temasek Facility could result in an event of default under the agreement, which would give the lender the right to declare all borrowings outstanding, together with accrued and unpaid interest and fees, to be immediately due and payable. If the debt under the Credit Agreement were to be accelerated, we may not have sufficient cash or be able to borrow sufficient funds to refinance the debt or sell sufficient assets to repay the debt, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. If we are unable to remediate the material weaknesses in a timely manner, identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, which may result in material misstatements of our consolidated financial statements or cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations, our ability to comply with applicable laws and regulations and our access to the capital markets to be impaired.
In connection with the preparation of our consolidated financial statements, we identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting as of January 31, 2021, as described below. As of January 31, 2022, these material weaknesses were still in the process of being remediated. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.
We did not maintain sufficient evidence of the operation of controls to achieve complete, accurate and timely financial accounting, reporting and disclosures nor were monitoring controls evidenced at a sufficient level to provide the appropriate level of oversight of activities related to our internal control over financial reporting. This material weakness contributed to the following additional material weaknesses:
We did not design and maintain effective controls to ensure (i) the appropriate segregation of duties in the operation of manual controls and (ii) journal entries were reviewed at the appropriate level of precision.
We did not design and maintain effective controls over information technology (“IT”) general controls for information systems and applications that are relevant to the preparation of our financial statements. Specifically, we did not design and maintain (i) program change management controls to ensure that information technology program and data changes affecting financial IT applications and underlying accounting records are identified, tested, authorized and implemented appropriately, (ii) user access controls to ensure appropriate segregation of duties and that adequately restrict user and privileged access to our financial applications, programs and data to appropriate personnel, (iii) computer operations controls to ensure that critical batch jobs are monitored and data backups are authorized and monitored and (iv) testing and approval controls for program development to ensure that new software development is aligned with business and IT requirements.
These IT control deficiencies, when aggregated, could impact maintaining effective segregation of duties, as well as the effectiveness of IT-dependent controls (such as automated controls that address the risk of material misstatement to one or more assertions, along with the IT controls and underlying data that support the effectiveness of system-generated data and reports) that could result in misstatements potentially impacting all financial statement accounts and disclosures that would not be prevented or detected.
The material weaknesses described above did not result in a misstatement to our annual or interim consolidated financial statements. However, each of these material weaknesses could result in a misstatement of substantially all account balances or disclosures that would result in a material misstatement to the annual or interim consolidated financial statements that would not be prevented or detected.
To address these material weaknesses, we have commenced actions to formalize the company’s framework and policies with respect to maintaining evidence in the operation of control procedures and improve our IT general controls, segregation of duties controls, and journal entry controls. In particular, we are implementing comprehensive access control protocols for our enterprise resource planning environment in order to implement restrictions on user and privileged access to certain applications, establishing additional controls over the preparation and review of journal entries, implementing controls to review the activities for those users who have privileged access and program change management controls to ensure that IT program and data changes affecting financial IT applications and underlying accounting records are identified, tested, authorized and implemented appropriately. The implementation of these remediation efforts is in progress, may require additional expenditures to implement, and will require validation and testing of the design and operating effectiveness of internal controls over a sustained period of financial reporting cycles, and as a result, the timing of when we will be able to fully remediate the material weaknesses is uncertain. We can give no assurance that our efforts will remediate these material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, or that additional material weaknesses will not be identified in the future. If the steps we take do not remediate the material weaknesses in a timely manner, or if we fail to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, there could be errors in our annual or interim consolidated financial statements that could result in a restatement of our financial statements, and could cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations, any of which could diminish investor confidence in us and cause a decline in the price of our Class A common stock.
Additionally, ineffective internal control over financial reporting could expose us to an increased risk of financial reporting fraud and the misappropriation of assets and subject us to potential delisting from the stock exchange on which we list or to other regulatory investigations and civil or criminal sanctions. If we are unable to remediate the material weakness in a timely manner, or if additional material weaknesses exist or are discovered in the future, and we are unable to remediate any such material weakness, our reputation, results of operations and financial condition could suffer.
The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources, divert management’s attention, and affect our ability to attract and retain executive management and qualified board members.
As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), the listing standards of Nasdaq, and other applicable securities rules and regulations. We expect that the requirements of these rules and regulations will continue to increase our legal, accounting, and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming and costly, and place significant strain on our personnel, systems, and resources. As a result of the complexity involved in complying with the rules and regulations applicable to public companies, our management’s attention may be diverted from other business concerns, which could harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Furthermore, several members of our management team do not have prior experience in running a public company. Although we have already hired additional employees to assist us in complying with these requirements, we intend to invest substantial resources in our compliance efforts, including hiring more employees or engaging outside consultants, which will increase our operating expenses. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations, and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to their application and practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us and our business may be harmed.
In addition, being a public company that is subject to these rules and regulations has made it more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance. In the future, we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These rules and regulations may also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors, particularly members who can serve on our audit committee and compensation committee, and qualified executive officers.
As a result of being a public company, we are obligated to develop and maintain proper and effective internal control over financial reporting, and any failure to maintain the adequacy of these internal controls may adversely affect investor confidence in our company and, as a result, the value of our Class A common stock.
We are not required, pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“Section 404”), to furnish a report by management on, among other things, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until the year following our first annual report required to be filed with the SEC. This assessment will need to include disclosure of any material weaknesses identified by our management in our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, our independent registered public accounting firm will be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in our first annual report required to be filed with the SEC following the date we are no longer an “emerging growth company.” Our compliance with Section 404 will require that we incur substantial expenses and expend significant management efforts. We will need to hire additional accounting and financial staff with appropriate public company experience and technical accounting knowledge and compile the system and process documentation necessary to perform the evaluation needed to comply with Section 404.
In addition to the material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting identified in connection with the audit of our financial statements as of and for the fiscal year 2020, subsequent testing by us or our independent registered public accounting firm, may reveal additional deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses. During the evaluation and testing process of our internal controls, if we identify additional material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, we will be unable to certify that our internal control over financial reporting is effective. We cannot provide assurance that there will not be additional material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting in the future. Any failure to maintain internal control over financial reporting could severely inhibit our ability to accurately report our financial condition or results of operations. If we are unable to conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if we or our independent registered public accounting firm determines we have additional material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, the market price of our Class A common stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities. Failure to remedy any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, or to implement or maintain other effective control systems required of public companies, could also restrict our future access to the capital markets.
We are an “emerging growth company,” and we cannot be certain if the reduced reporting and disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.
We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (“JOBS Act”), and we may take advantage of certain exemptions from reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not “emerging growth companies,” including:
•the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404;
•reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements; and
•exemptions from the requirements of holding a non-binding advisory stockholder vote on executive compensation and non-binding advisory stockholder vote to approve any golden parachute payments not previously approved.
Pursuant to Section 107 of the JOBS Act, as an emerging growth company, we have elected to use the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. As a result, our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to the financial statements of issuers who are required to comply with the effective dates for new or revised accounting standards that are applicable to public companies, which may make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors. In addition, if we cease to be an emerging growth company, we will no longer be able to use the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards.
We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of:
•the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of our IPO;
•the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenue is $1.07 billion or more;
•the date on which we have, during the previous rolling three-year period, issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt securities; and
•the date we qualify as a “large accelerated filer,” with at least $700 million of equity securities held by non-affiliates.
We cannot predict if investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive if we choose to rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our Class A common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our Class A common stock, and our stock price may be more volatile.
Strategic investments, partnerships, alliances, or acquisitions could be difficult to identify, pose integration challenges, divert the attention of management, disrupt our business, dilute stockholder value, and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our success will depend, in part, on our ability to expand our services and grow our business in response to changing technologies, customer demands, and competitive pressures. We may choose to expand our services and grow our business by entering into partnerships or alliances with third parties rather than through internal development or through the acquisition of complementary businesses and technologies. The identification of suitable alliance partners or acquisition candidates can be difficult, time-consuming, and costly, and we may not be able to successfully complete identified transactions. In addition, if we pursue and complete an acquisition, we may not be able to successfully integrate the acquired business. The risks we face in connection with partnerships and acquisitions include:
•a partnership or acquisition may disrupt our ongoing business, divert resources, increase our expenses, and distract our management;
•an acquisition may negatively affect our financial results because it may require us to incur charges or assume substantial debt or other liabilities, may cause adverse tax consequences or unfavorable accounting treatment, may expose us to claims and disputes by stockholders and third parties, including intellectual property claims and disputes, or may not generate sufficient financial return to offset additional costs and expenses related to the acquisition;
•we may encounter difficulties or unforeseen expenditures in integrating the business, offerings, technologies, personnel, or operations of any company that we partner with or acquire; and
•if we incur debt or issue a significant amount of equity securities to fund such joint venture or acquisition, such debt may subject us to material restrictions on our ability to conduct our business, as well as financial maintenance covenants and such equity securities may cause dilution for our existing stockholders and earning per share may decrease.
The occurrence of any of these foregoing risks could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations and expose us to unknown risks or liabilities.
Our reported financial results may be adversely affected by changes in accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.
GAAP is subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “FASB”), the SEC, and various bodies formed to promulgate and interpret appropriate accounting principles. The accounting for our business is complicated, particularly in the area of revenue recognition, and is subject to change based on the evolution of our business model, interpretations of relevant accounting principles, enforcement of existing or new regulations, and changes in SEC or other agency policies, rules, regulations, and interpretations of accounting regulations. Changes to our business model and accounting methods, principles, or interpretations could result in changes to our financial statements, including changes in revenue and expenses in any period, or in certain categories of revenue and expenses moving to different periods, may result in materially different financial results, and may require that we change how we process, analyze, and report financial information and our financial reporting controls.
If our estimates or judgments relating to our critical accounting policies prove to be incorrect, our results of operations could be adversely affected.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, as provided in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates.” The results of these estimates form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets, liabilities, and equity, and the amount of revenue and expenses. Significant estimates and judgments include the useful life and salvage value of rental product, incremental borrowing rate to determine lease liabilities and right-of-use assets, and the valuation of share-based compensation and warrants. Our results of operations may be adversely affected if our assumptions change or if actual circumstances differ from those in our assumptions, which could cause our results of operations to fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors, resulting in a decline in the market price of our Class A common stock.
The estimates of market opportunity and forecasts of market growth included in our public disclosures may prove to be inaccurate, and even if the markets in which we compete achieve the forecasted growth, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, or at all.
The estimates of market opportunity and forecasts of market growth included in our public disclosures may prove to be inaccurate. Market opportunity estimates and growth forecasts are subject to significant uncertainty and are based on assumptions and estimates that may not prove to be accurate, including as a result of any of the risks described in this Annual Report.
The variables that go into the calculation of our market opportunity are subject to change over time, and there is no guarantee that any particular number or percentage of addressable customers and subscribers covered by our market opportunity estimates will become a customer or subscriber or generate any particular level of revenues for us. In addition, our ability to expand in any of our target markets depends on a number of factors, including the cost, performance and perceived value associated with our products and offerings. Even if the markets in which we compete meet the size estimates and growth forecasted in our public disclosures, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, or at all. Our growth is subject to many factors, including our success in implementing our business strategy, which is subject to many risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, the forecasts of market growth included in our public disclosures should not be taken as indicative of our future growth.
Expansion of our operations internationally requires management attention and resources, involves additional risks, and may be unsuccessful.
We do not currently offer our products and services internationally. In the event we decide to expand our geographic market internationally, we will need to adapt to different local cultures, standards, laws, and policies. The business model we employ may not appeal as strongly to customers in international markets. Our entry into new markets will also require us to become familiar with different trends and customer preferences in such markets. In addition, consumer shopping behavior may continue to evolve and we may need to adapt our service to such changes.
Furthermore, to succeed with customers in international locations, we will need to locate fulfillment centers in foreign markets, hire local employees and source products appealing to local preferences, and we will have to invest in these facilities, employees and products before proving we can successfully run foreign operations. We may not be successful in expanding into additional international markets or in generating revenue from foreign operations for a variety of reasons, including:
•lower acceptance of our offerings and the concept of renting apparel and accessories and the need to localize our products offerings;
•competition from local incumbents that understand the local market and may operate more effectively;
•regulatory requirements, taxes, trade laws, trade sanctions and economic embargoes, tariffs, export quotas, custom duties, or other trade restrictions, or any unexpected changes thereto; and
•risks resulting from changes in currency exchange rates.
If we invest substantial time and resources to establish and expand our operations internationally and are unable to do so successfully and in a timely manner, our operating results would suffer.
Risks Related to Our Legal and Regulatory Environment
Our business is subject to a large number of U.S. and non-U.S. laws and regulations, many of which are evolving.
We are subject to numerous evolving laws and regulations in the United States and around the world, including those relating to consumer protection, environmental protection, intellectual property, consumer product safety, privacy and information security, taxation, and immigration, labor, and other employment law matters, such as workplace safety, particularly in our fulfillment centers, and wage and hour regulations. There has been a recent focus on automatically renewing Subscription offerings. For example, California’s Automatic Renewal Law, and the federal Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (the “ROSCA”), require companies to adhere to enhanced disclosure and cancellation requirements when entering into automatically renewing contracts with subscription customers. Regulators and private plaintiffs have brought enforcement and litigation actions against companies, challenging automatic renewal and subscription programs.
We strive to comply with all applicable laws; however, despite our efforts, we may not have fully complied in the past and may not in the future. If we fail to comply with existing or future laws or regulations, or if these laws or regulations are violated by our brand partners, suppliers or vendors, we may be subject to criminal and civil liabilities, fines, or sanctions and, while incurring substantial legal fees and costs and reputational harm. In addition, compliance and remediation efforts can be costly.
We are subject to U.S. and certain foreign export and import controls, sanctions, embargoes, anti-corruption laws, and anti-money laundering laws and regulations. Compliance with these legal standards could impair our ability to compete in domestic and international markets, and we could face criminal liability and other serious consequences for violations, which could harm our business.
We are subject to export control laws and regulations (including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations), U.S. Customs and import regulations, various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (the “FCPA”), as amended, the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, and other state and national anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws in the countries in which we conduct activities. Anti-corruption laws are interpreted broadly and generally prohibit companies and their employees, agents, contractors, and other partners from authorizing, promising, offering, or providing, directly or indirectly, corrupt payments of anything of value to recipients in the public or private sector to obtain or retain business or an improper business advantage. As a public company, we also are subject to the FCPA’s accounting provisions, which require us to make and keep complete and accurate books and records, and to maintain a system of adequate internal accounting controls. We have brand partners, suppliers, and vendors operating outside the United States and may engage other third parties to sell our products and services or to obtain necessary permits, licenses, patent registrations, and other regulatory approvals outside the United States. We can be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of our employees, agents, contractors, and other partners, even if we do not explicitly authorize such activities. Although we have policies and controls in place to promote compliance with these laws and regulations, there are no assurances that these policies and controls will always prevent illegal or improper acts by employees, agents, third parties, or business partners. Violations of the laws and regulations described above may result in substantial civil and criminal fines and penalties, imprisonment, the loss of export or import privileges, debarment, tax reassessments, breach of contract and fraud litigation, reputational harm, investigation costs, and other consequences, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Failure to adequately obtain, maintain, protect and enforce our intellectual property and proprietary rights could harm our brand, devalue our proprietary content, and adversely affect our ability to compete effectively.
Our success depends in part on our ability to obtain, maintain, protect, and enforce our intellectual property rights, including those in our proprietary technologies, know-how, and brand. To protect our rights to our intellectual property, we rely on a combination of trademark, copyright patent, and trade secret laws, domain name registrations, confidentiality agreements, and other contractual arrangements with our employees, affiliates, customers, strategic partners, vendors, and others. However, the protective steps we have taken and plan to take may be inadequate to deter infringement, misappropriation or other violations of our intellectual property or proprietary rights and we may be unable to broadly enforce all of our intellectual property rights. Failure to adequately protect our intellectual property could harm our brand, devalue our proprietary technology and content, and adversely affect our ability to compete effectively.
If we fail to protect our intellectual property rights adequately, our competitors may gain access to our intellectual property and proprietary technology and develop and commercialize substantially identical offerings or technologies. We may not timely or successfully register our trademarks in all jurisdictions, which could enable third parties to use our brand name and create potential roadblocks to any expansion of the business outside of the U.S. The copyright registrations we have obtained for our website may not adequately protect all material contained on our website, and these registrations do not cover any material that is not part of our website. The patent prosecution process is expensive and time-consuming. We may not be able to prepare, file and prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a commercially reasonable cost or in a timely manner or in all jurisdictions, creating an opportunity for third parties to patent the same technology while preventing us from continuing to use it. It is also possible that we may fail to identify patentable aspects of inventions made in the course of development and commercialization activities before it is too late to obtain patent protection on them. Moreover, depending on the terms of any future in-licenses to which we may become a party, we may not have the right to control the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent applications, or to maintain the patents, covering technology in-licensed from third parties. Any patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights that we have or may obtain may be challenged or circumvented by others or invalidated or held unenforceable through administrative proceedings, or litigation. There can be no assurance that our patent applications will result in issued patents, or that any such patents will be of sufficient scope to adequately protect our proprietary technology or provide us with any meaningful competitive advantage. Moreover, failure to comply with applicable procedural, documentary, maintenance, renewal, fee payment and other similar requirements with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or other similar governmental agencies or administrative bodies could result in abandonment or lapse of the affected intellectual property rights. Further, the laws of some foreign countries may not be as protective of intellectual property rights as those in the United States, and mechanisms for enforcement of intellectual property rights in those countries may be inadequate. Accordingly, despite our efforts to obtain and protect our intellectual property, it may be possible for unauthorized third parties to copy our offerings and capabilities and use information that we regard as proprietary to create offerings that compete with ours.
We generally enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and consultants, as well as agreements with other third parties, including suppliers and other partners, that contain confidentiality obligations and assignment provisions. However, we cannot guarantee that we have entered into such agreements with each party that has developed intellectual property for us or that may have had access to our proprietary information and technology, know-how, and trade secrets. Moreover, no assurance can be given that these agreements will be effective in controlling access to our proprietary information or preventing the unauthorized distribution, use, misappropriation, reverse engineering, or disclosure of our proprietary intellectual property and other proprietary rights, information, technology, know-how, and trade secrets. These agreements may be breached, and we may not have adequate remedies for any such breach. If any of our trade secrets were to be disclosed to or independently developed by a competitor, our competitive position would be harmed, possibly leaving us without an adequate remedy to make us whole.
We may be required to spend significant financial and managerial resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights and to protect our trade secrets. Litigation brought to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights could be costly, time-consuming, and distracting to management. In the alternative, the failure to enforce our intellectual property rights could result in the impairment or loss of portions of our intellectual property rights. Further, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims, and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property rights, and if such defenses, counterclaims, or countersuits are successful, it could result in the loss, impairment or narrowing of valuable intellectual property rights. In patent litigation in the United States, counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are common, and there are numerous grounds upon which a third party can assert invalidity or unenforceability of a patent. In an infringement proceeding, a court may decide that the patent claims we are asserting are invalid and/or unenforceable, or may refuse to stop the other party from using the technology at issue on the grounds that our patent claims do not cover the technology in question. Third parties may also raise similar claims before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, even outside the context of litigation. Such mechanisms include re-examination, post grant review, inter partes review and equivalent proceedings in foreign jurisdictions (for example, opposition proceedings). Such proceedings could result in revocation of our patents, or could result in narrowing the scope of the patent claims so that they no longer cover our technology. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable. With respect to the validity question, for example, we cannot be certain that there is no invalidating prior art, of which we, our patent counsel, and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, we may lose some, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on our technology. An adverse result in any litigation or defense proceedings could put one or more of our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly, could put our patent applications at risk of not issuing, and could have a material adverse impact on our business by making the technology at issue freely available for others to use. Our inability to protect our proprietary technology against unauthorized copying or use, as well as any costly litigation or diversion of our management’s attention and resources, could delay further sales or the implementation of our offerings and capabilities, impair the functionality of our offerings and capabilities, delay or prevent introductions of new offerings, result in our substituting inferior or more costly technologies into our offerings, allow our competitors to gain momentum or overtake us, or injure our brand and reputation. Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation. There could also be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions, or other interim proceedings or developments. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a material adverse effect on the price of our Class A common stock.
We may incur costs to defend against, face liability or be vulnerable to intellectual property infringement, misappropriation, and other claims and allegations brought against us by others, which could result in substantial damages and diversion of management’s efforts and attention.
Third parties may assert claims against us alleging that we infringe upon, misappropriate, dilute or otherwise violate their intellectual property rights, particularly as we expand our business. These risks have been amplified by the increase in third parties whose sole or primary business is to assert such claims. These claims, regardless of their merit, could be expensive and time consuming to defend and could divert management resources. We cannot predict the outcome of lawsuits or administrative proceedings, and we cannot ensure that the results of any such actions will not have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. These claims are resolved against us, they could result in significant monetary liability, or prevent us from renting or selling some of our products or using some of our technology. In addition, a finding of liability or other resolution of claims may require us to change our business model, redesign or rebrand our products, replace portions of our technology platform, license rights from third parties, cease using certain brand names or other intellectual property rights altogether, or make substantial payments for royalty or license fees, legal fees, disgorgement of profits, corrective advertising, settlement payments or other costs or damages. Further, licenses may not be available to us on reasonable terms, if at all. Any of these events could harm our business and cause our results of operations, liquidity and financial condition to suffer.
Our use of third-party open-source software could adversely affect our ability to offer our products and offerings and subjects us to possible litigation.
We use third-party open-source software in connection with the development and deployment of our software applications and will likely use third-party open source software in the future. Some open-source licenses require that source code that is developed using open source software be made available to the public at no cost and that any modifications or derivative works to certain open source software continue to be licensed under open source licenses, which in some circumstances could include valuable proprietary code. In some circumstances this could require valuable proprietary code to be made available as open-source software, and may also prohibit charging fees to licensees. While we employ practices designed to monitor our compliance with the licenses of open-source software and try to ensure that we do not use any of the open-source software in a manner that would require us to disclose our proprietary source code or preclude us from charging fees, we cannot guarantee that we will be successful. We cannot guarantee that all open-source software is reviewed prior to use in our platform, or that our developers have not incorporated (and will not in the future incorporate) open-source software into our products and offerings without our knowledge. Furthermore, there are an increasing number of open-source software license types, almost none of which have been tested in a court of law, resulting in a dearth of guidance regarding the proper legal interpretation of such licenses. As a result, there is a risk that open-source software licenses could be construed in a manner that imposes unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to market or provide our products and offerings. If we were to receive a claim of non-compliance with the terms of any of our open-source licenses, we may be required purchase a costly license, to publicly release certain portions of our proprietary source code, limit or prohibit our use of some or all of our software, or expend substantial time and resources to re-engineer some or all of our software. We could also be precluded from charging fees for third-party use of our proprietary code.
In addition, the use of third-party open-source software typically carries greater technical and legal risks than the use of third-party commercial software because open-source licensors generally do not provide support, warranties or controls on the functionality or origin of the software. To the extent that our platform depends upon the successful operation of open-source software, any undetected errors or defects could prevent the deployment or impair the functionality of our systems and injure our reputation. 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 compromise our platform. Any of the foregoing could be harmful to our business, financial condition, or results of operations and could help our competitors develop offerings that are similar to or better than ours.
We are subject to rapidly changing and increasingly stringent laws and industry standards relating to data privacy, data security, data protection, and consumer protection. The restrictions and costs imposed by these laws, or our actual or perceived failure to comply with them, could subject us to liabilities that adversely affect our business, operations, and financial performance.
We collect, process, store, and use a wide variety of data from current and prospective customers, including personal information, such as home addresses, credit card numbers (through our payment processor) and geolocation. These activities are regulated by a variety of federal, state, local, and foreign data privacy, data security, data protection and consumer protection laws and regulations, as well as industry standards and guidelines, which have become increasingly stringent in recent years.
U.S. data privacy and data security laws are complex and changing rapidly, with the frequent imposition of new and changing requirements across our business. Many U.S. states have enacted laws regulating the online collection, use, and disclosure of personal information and are requiring that companies implement reasonable data security measures. Laws in all U.S. states and territories also require businesses to notify affected individuals, governmental entities, and/or credit reporting agencies of certain security incidents affecting personal information.
In addition, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”), imposes significant restrictions on the ability to make telephone calls or send text messages to mobile telephone numbers without the prior consent of the person being contacted. We use text messages frequently to communicate service-related issues to our customers. Efforts to comply with the TCPA do not prevent third-party claims that we have violated the TCPA from being brought, and such claims could be costly to litigate, and if successful, expose us to substantial statutory damages. The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (the “CAN-SPAM”), imposes specific restrictions and requirements on our efforts to send marketing materials via email, including notice obligations that must be included in our marketing emails and the ability for recipients to unsubscribe from such emails. The Federal Trade Commission enforces CAN-SPAM, and our efforts to comply with CAN-SPAM may not prevent claims that we have violated the law, which could be costly to resolve, and if successful, expose us to substantial penalties and potential injunctive relief.
We are also subject to the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), due to certain of our employees being based in Ireland. The GDPR, which is wide-ranging in scope and applies extraterritorially, imposes several requirements relating to the processing of personal data. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data out of the EU, including to the U.S. In addition, GDPR compliance requirements are constantly and rapidly evolving. For example, in July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield data transfer mechanism, and other data transfer mechanisms such as the Standard Contractual Clauses, have also faced challenged in European courts, potentially limiting how organizations can lawfully transfer personal data from EEA to the U.S. Notably, the GDPR imposes large penalties for noncompliance, including the potential for fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the annual global revenues of the noncompliant entity, whichever is greater.
In addition, privacy advocates and industry groups have regularly proposed, and may propose in the future, self-regulatory standards by which we are legally or contractually bound. If we fail to comply with these contractual obligations or standards, we may face substantial liability or fines. Consumer resistance to the collection and sharing of the data used to deliver targeted advertising, increased visibility of consent or “do not track” mechanisms as a result of industry regulatory or legal developments, the adoption by consumers of browser settings or “ad-blocking” software, and the development and deployment of new technologies could materially impact our ability to collect data or reduce our ability to deliver relevant promotions or media, which could materially impair the results of our operations. In addition, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and U.S. State Attorneys General, and international regulators, are increasingly active in investigating and bringing enforcement actions against companies on claims related to notice, transparency, choice and processing of personal information in the context of sales and marketing and advertising activities.
Further, we are subject to the PCI Data Security Standard, which is a multifaceted security standard that is designed to protect credit card account data as mandated by payment card industry entities. We rely on vendors to handle PCI matters for us and to ensure PCI compliance. Despite our compliance efforts, we may become subject to claims that we have violated the PCI Data Security Standard, based on past, present, and future business practices, which could have an adverse impact on our business and reputation, and be costly for us to defend.
We may not be successful in achieving compliance with the rapidly evolving privacy, data security, and data protection requirements discussed above, as well as other data privacy, security and consumer protection frameworks that currently, or may in the future, apply to us, despite our efforts to comply, as all of these frameworks are constantly evolving and are not always consistent with each other, leading to uncertainty in interpretation. Any actual or perceived non-compliance could result in litigation and proceedings against us by governmental entities, customers or others, fines and civil or criminal penalties, limited ability or inability to operate our business, offer services, or market our business in certain jurisdictions, negative publicity and harm to our brand and reputation, and reduced overall demand for our products and offerings. Such occurrences could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Our insurance policies may not be adequate to compensate us for the potential losses arising from any such disruptions in or failure or security intrusion of our systems or third-party systems where information important to our business operations is stored. In addition, such insurance may not be available to us in the future on economically reasonable terms, or at all. Further, our insurance policies may not cover any or all claims made against us and could have high deductibles, and defending a suit, regardless of its merit, could be costly and divert management attention.
From time to time, we may be subject to legal proceedings, regulatory disputes, and governmental inquiries that could cause us to incur significant expenses, divert our management’s attention, and materially harm our business, financial condition, and operating results.
From time to time, we may be subject to claims, lawsuits, government investigations, and other proceedings involving products liability, competition and antitrust, intellectual property, privacy, consumer protection, securities, tax, labor and employment, commercial disputes, environmental regulations, and other matters that could adversely affect our business operations and financial condition. In recent years, we have seen a rise in the number and potential significance of these disputes and inquiries and evolving areas of focus for regulators and private plaintiffs. For example, there has been an increase in consumer class action lawsuits relating to subscription products. Litigation and regulatory proceedings may be protracted and expensive, and the results are difficult to predict. Certain of these matters include speculative claims for substantial or indeterminate amounts of damages and include claims for injunctive relief. Additionally, our litigation costs could be significant. Adverse outcomes with respect to litigation or any of these legal proceedings may result in significant settlement costs or judgments, penalties and fines, or require us to modify our products and offerings, all of which could negatively affect our revenue growth. The results of litigation, investigations, claims, and regulatory proceedings cannot be predicted with certainty, and determining reserves for pending litigation and other legal and regulatory matters requires significant judgment. There can be no assurance that our expectations will prove correct, and even if these matters are resolved in our favor or without significant cash settlements, these matters, and the time and resources necessary to litigate or resolve them, could harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
In addition, as a public company, our business and financial condition will become more visible, which may result in an increased risk of threatened or actual litigation, including by competitors and other third parties. If such claims are successful, our business, financial condition, and results of operations would be harmed, and even if the claims do not result in litigation or are resolved in our favor, these claims, and the time and resources necessary to resolve them, would divert the resources of our management and harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We could incur significant liabilities related to, and significant costs in complying with, environmental, health and safety laws and regulations.
Our operations are subject to a variety of federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations relating to permitting requirements, health, safety and the protection of the environment. These environmental, health and safety laws and regulations include those relating to, among other things, the generation, storage, handling, use and transportation of hazardous and non-hazardous materials; the emission and discharge of hazardous and non-hazardous materials into the environment; and the health and safety of our employees.
Failure to comply with such laws and regulations, which tend to become more stringent over time, can result in significant fines, penalties, costs, liabilities or restrictions on operations, injunctive relief, civil or criminal sanctions, and could expose us to costs of investigation or remediation, as well as tort claims for property damage or personal injury, and could negatively affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We manage our waste materials as non-hazardous waste, but we cannot guarantee that our supply chain or the products we use will not contain hazardous materials or result in the generation of hazardous waste. Further, liability for the improper release or disposal of waste, even if non-hazardous, can be joint and several and significant and there can be no assurance that we will not have to expend material amounts to remediate the consequences of the generation or disposal of waste in the future, particularly with respect to our dry cleaning operations. Further, we may be responsible as a lessee operator for the costs of investigation, removal or remediation of hazardous or non-hazardous substances or waste located on or in or emanating from our leased properties, as well as any property damage. There can be no assurance that our future operations, properties, uses or conditions will not result in the imposition of liability upon us under environmental laws or other regulations, or expose us to third-party actions such as tort suits.
Furthermore, we rely on third-party suppliers to provide chemicals, cleaning supplies, and handling instructions that comply with applicable health, safety and environmental regulations. A failure of such suppliers to abide by applicable regulations or the terms of our contractual relationships may subject us to material liabilities.
Our ability to utilize our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes to offset taxable income or taxes may be limited.
As of January 31, 2022, we had federal net operating loss carryforwards of $560.5 million, $152.1 million of which will expire at various times through 2038. Furthermore, we had state net operating loss carryforwards of $32.0 million, which will expire at various times through 2041. Portions of these net operating loss carryforwards could expire unused and be unavailable to offset future income tax liabilities. Under the legislation enacted in 2017, commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”), as modified by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (the “CARES Act”), U.S. federal net operating losses incurred in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, may be carried forward indefinitely, but the deductibility of such federal net operating losses in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2020, is limited. It is uncertain how various states will respond to the Tax Act and the CARES Act. For state income tax purposes, there may be periods during which the use of net operating loss carryforwards is suspended or otherwise limited, which could accelerate or permanently increase state taxes owed.
In addition, under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and corresponding provisions of state law, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change,” (very generally defined as a greater than 50% change, by value, in the corporation’s equity ownership by certain shareholders or groups of shareholders over a rolling three-year period), the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards and other pre-change tax attributes to offset its post-change income or taxes may be limited. In 2021, we completed a Section 382 analysis covering the period beginning in March 2009 and ending in March 2021. From the study, we concluded we experienced an ownership change in 2010 (but not since then) and $1.3 million of net operating losses (“NOLs”) were subject to the limitation. However, all of those NOLs were available by the year ended January 31, 2017. We may experience additional ownership changes as a result of subsequent shifts in our stock ownership, some of which may be outside of our control. Any ownership change may result in the imposition of additional limitations on our ability to utilize our NOLs existing at the time of the ownership change. Future regulatory changes could also limit our ability to utilize our NOLs. To the extent we are not able to offset future taxable income with our NOLs, our cash flows may be adversely affected. We have recorded a full valuation allowance against our U.S. deferred tax assets, which includes net operating loss carryforwards.
Changes in our effective tax rate or tax liability may have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
We are subject to income and other taxes in the United States on a federal and state basis, as well as subject to taxation in Ireland. Our effective tax rate or tax liability could be adversely affected due to several factors, including:
•changes in the relative amounts of income before taxes in the various jurisdictions in which we operate that have differing statutory tax rates;
•changes in the United States or foreign tax laws, tax treaties, and regulations or the interpretation of them;
•changes to our assessment about our ability to realize our deferred tax assets that are based on estimates of our future results, the prudence and feasibility of possible tax planning strategies, and the economic and political environments in which we do business;
•the outcome of current and future tax audits, examinations, or administrative appeals; and
•limitations or adverse findings regarding our ability to do business in some jurisdictions.
In the event any tax audit or other proceeding is determined adversely to us, the resulting liabilities (including any penalties and interest) may have an adverse effect on our cash flows. If we expand the scale of our international business activities, any changes in the United States or foreign taxation of such activities may increase our worldwide effective tax rate and harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations. In particular, new income or other tax laws or regulations could be enacted at any time, which could adversely affect our business operations and financial performance. Further, existing tax laws and regulations could be interpreted, modified, or applied adversely to us. For example, the Tax Act enacted many significant changes to the U.S. tax laws. Future guidance from the IRS and other tax authorities with respect to the Tax Act may affect us, and certain aspects of the Tax Act could be repealed or modified in future legislation. In addition, proposals have been made by the current presidential administration and congress that could enact significant changes to the taxation of business entities including, among others, a permanent increase in the corporate income tax rate, an increase in the tax rate applicable to the global intangible low-taxed income and elimination of certain exemptions, and the imposition of minimum taxes or surtaxes on certain types of income. We are currently unable to predict whether such changes will occur and, if so, the ultimate impact on our business. To the extent that such changes have a negative impact on us, our suppliers or our customers, including as a result of related uncertainty, these changes may materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Dependence on Third Parties
We face risks associated with brand and manufacturing partners from whom our products are sourced or co-manufactured.
We obtain substantially all of our products directly from over 780 brand partners through Wholesale, Share by RTR, and Exclusive Designs arrangements with designer and/or manufacturing partners. The benefits we currently experience from these relationships could be adversely affected if they:
•discontinue selling products to us or manufacturing our Exclusive Designs;
•enter into arrangements with competitors that could impair our ability to source their products, including by giving our competitors exclusivity arrangements or limiting our access to certain products;
•raise the prices they charge us;
•are not satisfied with the value proposition we offer them;
•do not view our brand favorably;
•change pricing terms to require us to pay a significant portion of the cost of items on delivery or upfront;
•experience negative publicity or reputational issues;
•do not follow our vendor code of conduct and/or violate legal and regulatory requirements;
•experience supply chain disruptions that cause lead times to be lengthened; or
•fail to execute on the design we have provided for co-manufactured products.
Events that adversely impact our brand and manufacturing partners could impair our ability to obtain adequate and timely products. We also source and manufacture products outside of the United States and we and many of our brand partners use manufacturers in the same geographic region. As a result we may be subject to magnified impact from such events including, among others, difficulties or problems associated with our partners’ business, the financial instability and labor problems of partners, product quality and safety issues, natural or man-made disasters, inclement weather conditions, war, acts of terrorism and other political instability, economic conditions, imposition of additional import or trade restrictions, including legal or economic restrictions on overseas partners’ ability to produce and deliver products, increased custom duties and tariffs, unforeseen delays in customs clearance of goods, more restrictive quotas, loss of a most favored nation trading status, currency exchange rates, transportation delays, port of entry issues, the availability of their raw materials and increased production costs.
Our brand partners and manufacturers may be forced to reduce their production, shut down their operations or file for bankruptcy. Our ability to obtain products may also depend on our brand partners’ ability to obtain financing, including through factoring companies and other entities, which may also assess our creditworthiness and procurement ability. To the extent our brand partners are unable to secure sufficient credit, they may not be able to produce merchandise, which would impact our ability to purchase merchandise from them. The occurrence of one or more of these events could impact our ability to acquire products, which may result in a less appealing assortment of styles for our customers and reduced availability of the styles we are able to obtain. Similarly, the occurrence of a contagious disease or illness could cause delays or increase costs in the manufacture of certain products. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays in some shipments from our brand partners.
We rely on third parties for elements of the payment processing infrastructure underlying our business. If these third-party elements become unavailable or unavailable on favorable terms, our business could be adversely affected.
We rely on third parties, including for our payment processing infrastructure, to accept payments from customers and in connection with our banking partners, to remit payments to suppliers. These third parties may refuse to renew our agreements with them on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Furthermore, we rely on a single payment processor, which may increase our risks of being unable to process payments and deliver our products in a timely and cost-effective manner. In the event of interruption, we may not be able to develop alternate or secondary processing without incurring material additional costs and substantial delays. If these companies become unwilling or unable to provide these services to us on acceptable terms or at all, our business may be disrupted. For certain payment methods, including credit and debit cards, we generally pay interchange fees and other processing and gateway fees, and such fees result in significant costs. In addition, online payment providers are under continued pressure to pay increased fees to banks to process funds, and there is no assurance that such online payment providers will not pass any increased costs on to us. If these fees increase over time, our operating costs will increase, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Outages or other failures of the payment processing infrastructure underlying our business could harm our business and cause customers to lose trust in our payment operations and cause them to discontinue use of our products and services. If the quality or convenience of our payment processing infrastructure declines for any reason, the attractiveness of our business to customers could be adversely affected. If we are forced to migrate to other third-party payment service providers for any reason, the transition would require significant time and management resources, and may not be available on acceptable terms or as effective, efficient, or well-received by our customers.
Our business relies on third-party cloud infrastructures, and any disruption of, or interference with, our use of cloud infrastructures could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We have very recently migrated a substantial portion of our primary production environment, core architecture, and data centers to a new third-party cloud provider, which provides a distributed computing infrastructure as a service platform for business operations. We also use another third-party cloud provider for portions of our business. Our third-party cloud providers provide the cloud computing infrastructure we use to host our website and mobile application, serve our customers and support our operations and many of the internal tools we use to operate our business. Our website, mobile application and internal tools use computing, storage, data transfer and other functions and services provided by our third-party cloud providers. We do not have control over the operations of the facilities of our third-party cloud providers. In addition, our third-party cloud providers’ facilities may be vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fires, cybersecurity attacks, terrorist attacks, power losses, telecommunications failures and other events beyond our control. In the event that any third-party provider’s systems or service abilities are hindered by any of the events discussed above, particularly in a region where our website is mainly hosted, our ability to operate our business may be impaired. A decision to close their facilities without adequate notice or other unanticipated problems or disruptions could result in lengthy interruptions to our business. Further, our agreements with our third-party cloud providers do not provide us with an adequate remedy for every scenario that could negatively affect our business. All of the aforementioned risks may be exacerbated if our business continuity and disaster recovery plans prove to be inadequate.
Additionally, data stored with our third-party cloud providers may experience threats or attacks from computer malware, ransomware, viruses, social engineering (including phishing attacks), denial of service or other attacks, employee theft or misuse and general hacking. Any of these security incidents could result in unauthorized access to, damage to, disablement or encryption of, use or misuse of, disclosure of, modification of, destruction of, or loss of our data or our customers’ data or disrupt our ability to provide our products and offerings, including due to any failure by us to properly configure our cloud environment. Our business’ continuing and uninterrupted performance is critical to our success. Customers may become dissatisfied by any system failure that interrupts our ability to provide our merchandise and offerings to them. We may not be able to easily switch our third-party cloud operations to another cloud or other data center provider if there are disruptions or interference with cloud services and, even if we do switch our operations, other cloud and data center providers are subject to the same risks. Sustained or repeated system failures would reduce the attractiveness of our products and offerings, thereby reducing revenue. Moreover, negative publicity arising from these types of disruptions could damage our brand and reputation and may adversely impact our business.
Our third-party cloud providers do not have an obligation to renew their agreements with us on terms acceptable to us. Although alternative data center providers could host our business on a substantially similar basis to our current third-party cloud providers, transitioning our cloud infrastructure to alternative providers could potentially be disruptive, and we could incur significant one-time costs. If we are unable to renew our agreement for our cloud services on commercially acceptable terms, our agreements with our third-party cloud providers are prematurely terminated, or we add additional infrastructure providers, we may experience costs or downtime in connection with the transfer to, or the addition of, new data center providers. If our third-party cloud providers or other infrastructure providers increase the costs of their services, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
We depend on search engines, social media platforms, mobile application stores, content-based online advertising and other online sources to attract consumers to and promote our website and our mobile application, which may be affected by third-party interference beyond our control and as we grow our customer acquisition costs will continue to rise.
Our success depends on our ability to attract consumers to our website and mobile application and convert them into customers in a cost-effective manner. We depend, in large part, on search engines, social media platforms, mobile application stores, content-based online advertising and other online sources for traffic to our website and mobile application.
With respect to search engines, we are included in search results for both paid search listings, where we purchase specific search terms resulting in inclusion of our advertisements, and free search listings, which depend on algorithms used by search engines. For paid search listings, if one or more of the search engines or other online sources on which we rely for purchased listings modifies or terminates its relationship with us, our expenses could rise, we could lose consumers who access our advertisements and traffic to our website could decrease, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. For free search listings, if search engines on which we rely for algorithmic listings modify their algorithms, our websites may appear less prominently or not at all in search results, which could result in reduced traffic to our websites.
Our ability to maintain and increase the number of consumers directed to our products from digital platforms is not entirely within our control. Search engines, social media platforms and other online sources often revise their algorithms and introduce new advertising products. If one or more of the search engines or other online sources on which we rely for traffic to our website and our mobile application were to modify its general methodology for how it displays our advertisements or keyword search results, resulting in fewer consumers clicking through to our website and our mobile application, our business and operating results are likely to suffer. For example, Apple recently moved to “opt-in” privacy models for mobile applications using its operating system such as ours, requiring consumers to voluntarily choose to receive targeted ads, which may reduce the efficacy of our marketing tracking. In addition, if our online display advertisements are no longer effective or are not able to reach certain customers due to their use of ad-blocking software, our business and operating results could suffer. Furthermore, changes in customer acceptance or usage of our online sources for traffic could adversely impact the effectiveness of our advertising.
Additionally, changes in regulations could limit the ability of search engines and social media platforms, including, but not limited to, Google and Facebook, to collect data from users and engage in targeted advertising, making them less effective in disseminating our advertisements to our target customers. For example, the proposed Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data (DASHBOARD) Act would mandate annual disclosure to the SEC of the type and “aggregate value” of user data used by harvesting companies, such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Google and Amazon, including how revenue is generated by user data and what measures are taken to protect the data. If the costs of advertising on search engines and social media platforms increase, we may incur additional marketing expenses or be required to allocate a larger portion of our marketing spend to other channels and our business and operating results could be adversely affected.
Furthermore, because many of our customers access our products through our mobile application, we depend on the Apple App Store to distribute our mobile application. Apple has broad discretion to change its respective terms and conditions, including those relating to the amount of (and requirement to pay) certain fees associated with our use of the Apple App Store, to interpret its respective terms and conditions in ways that may limit, eliminate or otherwise interfere with our ability to distribute our mobile application through its stores, the features we provide and the manner in which we market in-application products. We cannot provide assurance that Apple will not limit, eliminate or otherwise interfere with the distribution of our mobile application, the features we provide and the manner in which we market our mobile application. To the extent it does so, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely affected.
As existing social media platforms continue to rapidly evolve and new platforms develop, we must continue to maintain a presence on these platforms and establish presences on new or emerging social media platforms. If we are unable to cost-effectively use social media platforms as marketing tools or if the social media platforms we use change their policies or algorithms, we may not be able to fully optimize such platforms, and our ability to maintain and acquire consumers and our financial condition may suffer. Furthermore, as laws and regulations and public opinion rapidly evolve to govern the use of these platforms and devices, the failure by us, our employees, our network of social media influencers, our sponsors or third parties acting at our direction to abide by applicable laws and regulations in the use of these platforms and devices or otherwise could subject us to regulatory investigations, class action lawsuits, liability, fines or other penalties and have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Any failure by us, our brand partners, or our third-party manufacturers to comply with our vendor code of conduct, product safety, labor, or other laws, or to provide safe factory conditions for their workers, may damage our reputation and brand, and harm our business.
Our standard vendor terms and conditions, vendor code of conduct, and other policies require our brand and manufacturing partners to comply with applicable laws and certain business standards, however, we often have limited visibility into their supply chains, practices, and level of compliance The failure of these partners to comply with our vendor code of conduct or applicable laws and regulations could damage our reputation, lead to negative press and/or customer sentiment, or result in costly litigation against us.
The products we rent or sell to our customers is subject to regulation by the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and similar state and international regulatory authorities. As a result, such products could in the future be subject to mandatory recalls and other remedial actions. Product safety, labeling, and licensing concerns may also result in us voluntarily removing selected products from our assortment. Such recalls or voluntary removal of products can result in, among other things, lost revenue, diverted resources, potential harm to our reputation, and increased customer service costs and legal expenses, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.
It is possible that some of the products we rent or sell may expose us to product liability claims and litigation or regulatory action relating to personal injury. Although we maintain liability insurance, we cannot be certain that our coverage will be adequate for liabilities actually incurred or that insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms or at all. In addition, our partners may not have sufficient resources or insurance to satisfy their indemnity and defense obligations to us in connection with product liability claims or regulatory actions.
We may incur significant losses from fraud.
We have in the past incurred and may in the future incur losses from various types of fraud, including claims that a customer did not authorize a purchase, customers who have closed bank accounts or have insufficient funds to satisfy payments, customers who use stolen credit cards to make purchases, customers who fraudulently rented multiple products at once and customers who have failed to return rentals. In addition to the direct costs of such losses, if the fraud is related to credit card transactions and becomes excessive, it could result in us paying higher fees or losing the right to accept credit cards for payment. In addition, under current credit card practices, we are typically liable for fraudulent credit card transactions. We have implemented fraud prevention measures, such as detection tools to identify irregular or high risk customer order patterns, to reduce the risk of fraud. However, our failure to adequately prevent fraudulent transactions could damage our reputation, result in litigation or regulatory action, and lead to expenses that could substantially impact our operating results.
If our insurance coverage is insufficient for the needs of our business or our insurance providers are unable to meet their obligations, we may not be able to mitigate the risks facing our business.
We procure third-party insurance policies to cover various operations-related risks including employment practices liability, workers’ compensation, property and business interruptions, cybersecurity and data security incidents, crime, directors’ and officers’ liability, and general business liabilities. We cannot guarantee that we will continue to receive adequate insurance coverage on favorable terms. Insurance providers may discontinue their coverage or significantly increase the cost of coverage, and we cannot guarantee that we would be able to secure replacement coverage on reasonable terms or at all. In addition, if our insurance carriers change the terms of our policies in a manner not favorable to us, our insurance costs could increase. Further, if the insurance coverage we maintain is not adequate to cover losses that occur, or if we are required to purchase additional insurance for other aspects of our business, we could be liable for significant additional costs. Additionally, if any of our insurance providers becomes insolvent, it would be unable to pay any operations-related claims that we make.
Insurance providers have also raised premiums and deductibles for many businesses, including ours, and may do so in the future. As a result, our insurance and claims expense could increase, or we may decide to raise our deductibles or self-insured retentions when our policies are renewed or replaced. Our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely affected if the cost per claim, premiums, the severity of claims, or the number of claims significantly exceeds our historical experience and coverage limits; we experience a claim in excess of our coverage limits; our insurance providers fail to pay on our insurance claims; we experience a claim for which coverage is not provided; or the number of claims under our deductibles or self-insured retentions differs from historical averages.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock
The dual class structure of our common stock and stockholders’ agreement among us and certain stockholders has the effect of concentrating voting control with those stockholders who held our capital stock prior to the listing of our Class A common stock on Nasdaq, including our Co-Founders, and their affiliates, which will limit an investor’s ability to influence the outcome of important transactions, including a change of control.
Our Class B common stock has 20 votes per share, and our Class A common stock has one vote per share. Because of the twenty-to-one voting ratio between our Class B and Class A common stock, the holders of our Class B common stock collectively could continue to control a significant percentage of the combined voting power of our common stock and therefore be able to control all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval until the date of automatic conversion described below, when all outstanding shares of Class B common stock and Class A common stock will convert automatically into shares of a single class of common stock. In addition, we and certain stockholders, including our CEO and Co-Founder Jennifer Y. Hyman, entered into a stockholders’ agreement in connection with our IPO with respect to the election of directors. This concentrated control may limit or preclude an investor’s ability to influence corporate matters for the foreseeable future, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transaction requiring stockholder approval. In addition, this may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our capital stock that investors may believe are in their best interests.
Future transfers by holders of Class B common stock will generally result in those shares converting to Class A common stock, subject to limited exceptions, such as certain transfers effected for estate planning purposes. In addition, each share of Class B common stock will convert automatically into one share of Class A common stock upon the date that is the earlier of (i) the transfer of such share to a person that is not in the same Permitted Ownership Group (as defined in the Amended Charter) as such Permitted Class B Holder (as defined in the Amended Charter), (ii) November 1, 2028, or (iii) with respect to any shares held by any person in our Co-Founder’s Permitted Ownership Group, (A) such time as a Co-Founder is removed or resigns from the Board of Directors, or otherwise ceases to serve as a director on the Board of Directors, (B) such time as a Co-Founder ceases to be either an employee, officer or consultant, or (C) the date that is 12 months after the death or disability of a Co-Founder.
Our share price may be volatile, and our investors may be unable to sell shares at or above the price they paid for them.
The market price of our Class A common stock is likely to be volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to the risk factors described in this Annual Report, and others beyond our control, including:
•actual or anticipated fluctuations in our revenue or other operating metrics;
•our actual or anticipated operating performance and the operating performance of our competitors;
•changes in the financial projections we provide to the public or our failure to meet these projections;
•the perceived adequacy of our ESG efforts;
•positive or negative publicity;
•failure of securities analysts to initiate or maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by any securities analysts who follow our company, or our failure to meet the estimates or the expectations of investors;
•any major change in our board of directors, management, or key personnel;
•the economy as a whole and market conditions in our industry;
•rumors and market speculation involving us or other companies in our industry;
•announcements by us or our competitors of significant innovations, new products, services, features, integrations, or capabilities, acquisitions, strategic investments, partnerships, joint ventures, or capital commitments;
•the legal and regulatory landscape and changes in the application of existing laws or adoption of new laws that impact our business, including changes in e-commerce and tax laws;
•legal and regulatory claims, litigation, or pre-litigation disputes and other proceedings;
•the pace of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery and its impact on our business or the fashion industry and sharing economy generally;
•sales or expected sales of our Class A common stock by us, our officers, directors, principal stockholders, and employees; and
•other events or factors, including those resulting from war, incidents of terrorism, or responses to these events.
Our investors may not realize any return on their investment in us and may lose some or all of their investment. In addition, stock markets, and the trading of e-commerce companies’ and technology companies’ stocks in particular, have experienced significant price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many companies. Stock prices of many companies have fluctuated in a manner often unrelated to the operating performance of those companies. These fluctuations may be even more pronounced in the trading market for our Class A common stock shortly following the listing of our Class A common stock on Nasdaq as a result of the supply and demand forces described above. In the past, stockholders have instituted securities class action litigation following periods of stock volatility. If we were to become involved in securities litigation, it could subject us to substantial costs, divert resources and the attention of management from our business, and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Company insiders have the ability to control or significantly influence all matters submitted to stockholders for approval.
Our executive officers, directors, and greater than 5% stockholders, in the aggregate, beneficially own over 50% of our outstanding common stock as of January 31, 2022. This concentration of ownership may have the effect of delaying, deferring, or preventing a change in control, impeding a merger, consolidation, takeover, or other business combination involving us, or discouraging a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of our business, even if such a transaction would benefit other stockholders.
Our management has broad discretion in the use of our cash resources and may not use them effectively.
Our management has broad discretion in the application of our cash resources, including the proceeds from our IPO, which may include working capital, to fund growth and for other general corporate purposes. We may also use a portion of our cash resources to acquire or make investments in businesses, products, offerings, and technologies. We may also spend or invest these proceeds in a way with which our stockholders disagree. The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could adversely affect our ability to pursue our growth strategies and expand our business. Pending their use, we may invest these funds in a way that does not produce income or that loses value.
We cannot predict the effect our dual class structure may have on the trading price of our Class A common stock.
We cannot predict whether our dual class structure will result in a lower or more volatile trading price of our Class A common stock, in adverse publicity, or other adverse consequences. For example, certain index providers have announced restrictions on including companies with multiple-class share structures in certain of their indices. In July 2017, FTSE Russell announced that it plans to require new constituents of its indices to have greater than 5% of the company’s voting rights in the hands of public stockholders, and S&P Dow Jones announced that it will no longer admit companies with multiple-class share structures to certain of its indices. Affected indices include the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400, and S&P SmallCap 600, which together make up the S&P Composite 1500. 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 such announced policies, the dual class structure of our common stock would make us ineligible for inclusion in certain indices and, as a result, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and other investment vehicles that attempt to passively track those indices would not invest in our Class A common stock. These policies are relatively new and it is unclear what effect, if any, they will have on the valuations of publicly-traded companies excluded from such indices, but it is possible that they may depress valuations, as compared to similar companies that are included. Because of the dual class structure of our common stock, we will likely be excluded from certain indices, and we cannot provide assurance that other stock indices will not take similar actions. Given the sustained flow of investment funds into passive strategies that seek to track certain indices, exclusion from certain stock indices would likely preclude investment by many of these funds and would make our Class A common stock less attractive to other investors. As a result, the trading price of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.
Our business and financial performance may differ from any projections that we disclose or any information that may be attributed to us by third parties.
From time to time, we may provide guidance regarding our projected business and/or financial performance. However, any such projections involve risks, assumptions, and uncertainties, and our actual results could differ materially from such projections. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified in these Risk Factors, some or all of which are not predictable or within our control. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could adversely impact our performance, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any projections, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. In addition, various news sources, bloggers, and other publishers often make statements regarding our historical or projected business or financial performance, and you should not rely on any such information even if it is attributed directly or indirectly to us.
Our trading price and trading volume could decline if securities or industry analysts do not publish research about our business, or if they publish unfavorable research.
The trading market for our common stock depends in part on the research and reports that analysts publish about our business. We do not have any control over the content and opinions included in their reports. The trading price of our Class A common stock could decline if one or more equity research analysts downgrade our stock or publish other unfavorable commentary or research. If one or more equity research analysts cease coverage of our company, or fail to regularly publish reports on us, the demand for our Class A common stock could decrease, which in turn could cause our trading price or trading volume to decline.
Future sales of our common stock in the public market could cause our share price to fall.
The sale of substantial amounts of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that such sales could occur, could harm the prevailing market price of shares of our Class A common stock. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, also might make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate.
In the future, we may sell additional Class A common stock, other series of common stock, convertible securities, or other equity securities, including preferred securities, in one or more transactions at prices and in a manner we determine from time to time. We also expect to issue Class A common stock to employees, consultants, and directors pursuant to our equity incentive plans. If we sell Class A common stock, other series of common stock, convertible securities, or other equity securities in subsequent transactions, or Class A common stock or Class B common stock is issued pursuant to equity incentive plans, investors may be materially diluted. New investors in subsequent transactions could gain rights, preferences, and privileges senior to those of holders of our Class A common stock.
In addition, we may issue our capital stock or securities convertible into our capital stock from time to time in connection with a financing, acquisition, investments, or otherwise. Additional issuances of our stock will result in dilution to existing holders of our stock. Also, to the extent outstanding stock options to purchase our stock are exercised or restricted stock units (“RSUs”) settle, there will be further dilution. The amount of dilution could be substantial depending upon the size of the issuance or exercise. Any such issuances could result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders and cause the trading price of our Class A common stock to decline.
Upon the expiration of our lock-up agreement and as restrictions on resale end, the market price of our shares of Class A common stock could drop significantly if the holders of these restricted shares sell them or are perceived by the market as intending to sell them. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to raise additional funds through future offerings of our shares of Class A common stock or other securities.
We, our executive officers, directors and the holders of substantially all of our outstanding stock prior to our IPO signed lock-up agreements with the underwriters that, subject to certain customary exceptions, restrict the sale of the shares of our common stock and certain other securities held by them for 180 days following the date of the final prospectus filed in connection with our initial public offering. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Barclays Capital Inc. may, in their sole discretion and at any time without notice, release all or any portion of the shares or securities subject to any such lock-up agreements.
We do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future. Consequently, any gains from an investment in our Class A common stock will likely depend on whether the price of our Class A common stock increases.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our Class A common stock, and we do not intend to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. We expect to retain future earnings, if any, to fund the development and growth of our business and for general corporate purposes. Any future determination to pay dividends on our capital stock will be at the discretion of our board of directors. Furthermore, our ability to pay dividends may also be restricted by the terms of our Amended Temasek Facility or any future debt or preferred equity securities of us or our subsidiaries. Accordingly, investors may need to sell their shares of our Class A common stock to realize a return on their investment, and investors may not be able to sell their shares at or above the price they paid for them.
Certain provisions in our corporate charter documents and under Delaware law may prevent or hinder attempts by our stockholders to change our management or to acquire a controlling interest in us, and the trading price of our Class A common stock may be lower as a result.
There are provisions in our Amended Charter and Amended 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 were considered favorable by our stockholders. These anti-takeover provisions include:
•authorization of the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that our board of directors could use to implement a stockholder rights plan;
•provide for a dual class common stock structure in which holders of our Class B common stock, which has 20 votes per share, have the ability to control the outcome of matters requiring stockholder approval, even if they own significantly less than a majority of the outstanding shares of our Class B and Class A common stock, including the election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or its assets;
•a classified board of directors so that not all members of our board of directors are elected at one time;
•a requirement that our directors may only be removed for cause;
•the ability of our directors to fill all board vacancies, subject to the rights granted pursuant to the stockholders’ agreement;
•a prohibition on stockholder actions by written consent, thereby requiring that all stockholder actions be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;
•advance notice procedures for stockholder director nominees and annual meeting matters (other than the parties to our stockholders; agreement for nominations made pursuant to the terms of the stockholders’ agreement);
•an inability of our stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders;
•the ability of our directors to amend our Amended Bylaws without stockholder consent;
•the requirement of a super-majority to amend some provisions in our Amended Charter and Amended Bylaws; and
•a prohibition on cumulative voting for directors.
Although we have opted out of Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware (the “DGCL”), our Amended Charter contains provisions that are similar to Section 203. Specifically, our Amended Charter provides that, subject to certain exceptions, we will not be able to engage in a “business combination” with any “interested stockholder” for three years following the date that the person became an interested stockholder, unless certain requirements are met. A “business combination” includes, among other things, a merger or consolidation involving us and the “interested stockholder” or the sale of more than 10% of our assets or to an interested stockholder. In general, an “interested stockholder” is any entity or person beneficially owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock and any affiliates or associates of such entity or person.
Any provision in our Amended Charter, Amended 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 Charter designates the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and the federal district courts of the United States of America as the exclusive forums for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or employees.
Our Amended Charter provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for the following types of actions or proceedings under Delaware statutory or common law: any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty, any action asserting a claim against us arising under the Delaware General Corporation Law, our Amended Charter, or our Amended Bylaws (as either may be amended or restated), and any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine or as to which the Delaware General Corporation Law confers exclusive jurisdiction on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware. This provision would not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or Exchange Act. Furthermore, Section 22 of the Securities Act creates concurrent jurisdiction for federal and state courts over all Securities Act actions. Accordingly, both state and federal courts have jurisdiction to entertain such claims. To prevent having to litigate claims in multiple jurisdictions and the threat of inconsistent or contrary rulings by different courts, among other considerations, our Amended Charter further provides that the federal district courts of the United States of America are the exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act.
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 Charter. 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 Charter 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 Amended Charter provides that the doctrine of “corporate opportunity” does not apply with respect to any directors (or their affiliates) who are not our employees.
Our Amended Charter provides that the doctrine of “corporate opportunity” does not apply with respect to any director (or their respective affiliates) who is not employed by us or our subsidiaries. The doctrine of corporate opportunity generally provides that a corporate fiduciary may not develop an opportunity using corporate resources or information obtained in their corporate capacity for their personal advantage, acquire an interest adverse to that of the corporation or acquire property that is reasonably incident to the present or prospective business of the corporation or in which the corporation has a present or expectancy interest, unless that opportunity is first presented to the corporation and the corporation chooses not to pursue that opportunity. The doctrine of corporate opportunity is intended to preclude officers, directors or other fiduciaries from personally benefiting from opportunities that belong to the corporation. Pursuant to our Amended Charter, to the extent permitted by Delaware law, we renounce any present or expectancy interest that we have in, or right to be offered an opportunity to participate in, specified business opportunities that are from time to time presented to our directors, or their respective affiliates (other than those who are employed by us or our subsidiaries). Any directors, or their respective affiliates, other than those directors, or affiliates who are employed by us or our subsidiaries, have no duty to communicate or present corporate opportunities to us, and have the right to either hold any corporate opportunity for their (and their affiliates’) own account and benefit or to recommend, assign or otherwise transfer such corporate opportunity to persons other than us, including to any directors, or their respective affiliates (other than those who are employed by us or our subsidiaries). Notwithstanding the foregoing, pursuant to our Amended Charter, we do not renounce our present or expectancy interest in any business opportunity that is expressly offered to a director, executive officer or employee of us or our subsidiaries, solely in his/her capacity as a director, executive officer or employee.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Our corporate headquarters is located in Brooklyn, New York, which consists of approximately 47,000 square feet of space under a lease that expires in November 2032. We also lease a corporate space and photo studio in New York, New York and lease and operate fulfillment centers in Secaucus, New Jersey and Arlington, Texas totaling approximately 540,000 square feet, under leases that expire in August 2024 and May 2030, respectively. We also lease a corporate space in Galway, Ireland.
We believe our facilities are suitable for our current needs. We intend to expand our facilities or add new facilities as we grow and believe that suitable additional or alternative space will be available as needed to accommodate such growth.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
The information contained in “Note 15 — Commitments and Contingencies” in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements is incorporated by reference into this Item.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our Class A common stock has been listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “RENT” and began trading on October 27, 2021. Prior to that date, there was no public trading market for our common stock.
Holders of Record
As of April 11, 2022, there were approximately 291 stockholders of record of our Class A common stock and seven stockholders of record of our Class B common stock. The number of stockholders of record is based upon the actual number of holders registered on this date and does not include holders of common stock in “street name” by brokers or other entities on behalf of stockholders.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain all future earnings and do not anticipate declaring or paying any dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to declare dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors, subject to compliance with applicable law and contractual restrictions in the agreements governing our current and future indebtedness, and will depend on a number of then-existing factors, including our business prospects, results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements and availability and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
Use of Proceeds from our IPO
The offer and sale of the shares in the IPO was registered under the Securities Act pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-260027), which was declared effective by the SEC on October 26, 2021.
There has been no material change in the expected use of the net proceeds from our IPO, as described in our final prospectus filed with the SEC on October 27, 2021 pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act of 1933.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, whether made before or after the date hereof and irrespective of any general incorporation language in any such filing, or otherwise subject to the liabilities under the Securities Act or Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.
The following graph shows a comparison from October 27, 2021 (the date our common stock commenced trading on Nasdaq), through January 31, 2022, of the cumulative total returns for our common stock, the Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P Retail Select Index. The graph assumes $100 was invested at the market close on October 27, 2021 in our Class A common stock, the Nasdaq Composite Index, and the S&P Retail Select Index, respectively. Such returns are based on historical results and are not intended to suggest future performance. The Nasdaq Composite Index and S&P Retail Select Index assume reinvestment of any dividends. The performance shown in the graph below is not intended to forecast or be indicative of future stock price performance.
Item 6. [Reserved]
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The following discussion focuses on fiscal years 2021 and 2020 financial condition and results of operations and year-to-year comparisons between fiscal years 2021 and 2020. Similar discussion of our fiscal year 2019 financial condition and results and year-to-year comparisons between fiscal years 2020 and 2019 can be found in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our final prospectus (File No. 333-260027) (the “Prospectus”) dated October 27, 2021 pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), for our initial public offering (the “IPO”).
In addition to historical financial information, the following discussion contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates and beliefs. Our actual results may differ materially from those described in or implied by any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include those discussed below and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, particularly in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors”.
We give customers ongoing access to our “unlimited closet” — with over 19,000 styles by over 780 designer brands — through our Subscription offering or the ability to rent a-la-carte through our Reserve offering. We also give our subscribers and customers the ability to buy our products through our Resale offering. These offerings allow us to engage and serve our subscribers and customers across diverse use cases from everyday life to special occasions. We have served over 2.5 million lifetime customers across all of our offerings and we had 159,544 ending total subscribers6 (active and paused) as of January 31, 2022. The majority of our revenue is highly recurring and is generated by our subscribers. For the years ended January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively, 84% and 89% of our total revenue (including Reserve and Resale revenue) was generated by subscribers while they were active or paused.
The variety, breadth and quantity of products we carry is important to our business, and we strategically manage the capital efficient acquisition of a high volume of items every year. We have successfully disproved the myth that fashion apparel items and accessories only last one season as we are able to rent or “turn” our products multiple times over many years. We price our items at a fraction of their retail or comparable value, creating an attractive price and value proposition for our subscribers and customers.
We source virtually all of our products, which includes apparel, accessories and home goods, directly from designer brands. Prior to 2018, we purchased nearly all of our products from our brand partners typically at a discount to wholesale cost, which we refer to as “Wholesale” items. In late 2018, we began to procure products through Share by RTR and Exclusive Designs. See “—Our Product Acquisition Strategy” below for a description of the three ways in which we procure products.
6 Ending total subscribers represents the number of subscribers with an active or paused membership as of the last day of the period and excludes subscribers who had an active or paused subscription during the period, but ended their subscription prior to the last day of the fiscal period.
Recent Business Developments
Initial Public Offering. On October 29, 2021, we closed our IPO, in which we issued and sold 17,000,000 shares at the public offering price of $21.00 per share. We received net proceeds of $327.3 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses.
Debt Paydown and Amendment. Concurrent with our IPO, we paid down our senior secured term loan with Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund V, L.P. (the “Ares Facility”) of $80.7 million in full and $60.0 million of our subordinated, junior lien term loan with Double Helix Pte Ltd. as administrative agent for Temasek Holdings (the “Temasek Facility”), resulting in a total debt repayment of $140.7 million. We also refinanced the remaining Temasek Facility (the “Amended Temasek Facility”).
Key Operating and Financial Results. We have achieved the following operating and financial results for the years ended January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively:
•Revenue was $203.3 million and $157.5 million, respectively, representing 29.1% growth year-over-year
•115,240 and 54,797 ending Active Subscribers7 (excluding paused subscribers), respectively, representing 110% growth year-over-year.
•159,544 and 95,245 ending Total Subscribers (including paused subscribers), respectively, representing 68% growth year-over-year
•Gross Profit was $69.7 million and $15.5 million, respectively, representing a gross margin of 34.3% and 9.8%, respectively
•Net Loss was $(211.8) million and $(171.1) million, respectively. Net Loss as a percentage of revenue was (104.2)%, as compared to (108.6)% in fiscal year 2020. Net Loss in fiscal year 2021 included $(51.5) million of non-recurring or one-time charges that were primarily non-cash, including a $(24.9) million non-recurring, non-cash loss on the revaluation of warrants that were exercised or reclassified at IPO, a $(12.2) million non-recurring, primarily non-cash loss on the extinguishment of debt paid down concurrently with the IPO, and a $(14.4) million non-cash charge associated with the one-time satisfaction of the liquidity based vesting conditions for certain RSUs upon the effectiveness of our IPO.
•Adjusted EBITDA was $(19.2) million and $(20.3) million, respectively, representing an Adjusted EBITDA margin of (9.4)% and (12.9)%, respectively
•Net cash used in operating activities plus net cash used in investing activities was $(64.8) million and $(101.2) million, respectively; and
•Net cash used in operating activities plus net cash used in investing activities as a percentage of revenue was (31.9)% and (64.3)%, respectively.
•Cash and Cash Equivalents was $247.6 million and $95.3 million, respectively, after paydown of $140.7 million of debt and accrued interest (approximately one-third of the company’s pre-IPO debt balance) with a portion of the IPO proceeds.
Our Product Acquisition Strategy
We acquire and monetize products in three ways: Wholesale, Share by RTR and Exclusive Designs. Wholesale items are acquired directly from brand partners, typically at a discount to wholesale price. Share by RTR items are acquired directly from brand partners on consignment, at zero to low upfront cost with performance-based revenue share payments to our brand partners over time. Exclusive Designs items are designed using our data in collaboration with our brand partners. These units are manufactured through third-party partners with a low upfront fee and minimal revenue share payments to our brand partners over time.
7 Active Subscribers is defined as ending total subscribers as of period end, excluding paused subscribers.
Our three product acquisition methods are strategic levers to manage our capital efficiency, profitability and product risk. Our Exclusive Designs channel uses data insights to acquire items at a lower cost, which are designed to generate higher profitability over time. Share by RTR meaningfully reduces our upfront spend and de-risks our investment since we pay brands primarily based on item performance. Our Share by RTR arrangements with brands target delivering 85% to 100% of comparable wholesale cost to the brand in the first year; however there is no minimum commitment other than the upfront payment if applicable. Nearly all Share by RTR deals consummated after September 2020 include a cap on total potential payments to the brand partner.
In fiscal year 2021, 45% of new items were acquired through Wholesale, 33% through Share by RTR and 22% through Exclusive Designs, compared to 46% Wholesale, 36% Share by RTR and 18% Exclusive Designs in fiscal year 2020. In total, approximately 55% of new items were acquired through the more capital-efficient channels in fiscal year 2021, approximately 54% in fiscal year 2020 and approximately 26% in fiscal year 2019. Both our purchasing power and the diversification into Share by RTR and Exclusive Designs have led to a decrease in average upfront cost per item over time. We expect to decrease the percentage of units acquired through Wholesale and increase the percentage of units acquired through our more capital-efficient channels, Exclusive Designs and Share by RTR, in fiscal year 2022.
|Description||Consolidated Statement of Operations||Consolidated Balance Sheets||Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows||Percent of Items Acquired in FY 2021 / 2020 / 2019|
|WHOLESALE||Items are acquired directly from brands partners, typically at a discount to wholesale price||Cost is recognized through straight-line depreciation, with a three-year useful life and 20% salvage value, in the "Rental Product Depreciation and Revenue Share" line ⁽¹⁾||Total cost is capitalized as "Rental Products" in long-term assets||Total cost is recognized as a capital expenditure ("Purchases of Rental Product") at time of acquisition||45% / 46% / 74%|
|SHARE BY RTR ⁽²⁾||Items are acquired directly from brand partners on consignment, at zero to low upfront cost, with performance-based revenue share payments to our brand partners over time||Upfront and performance-based revenue share payments are expensed as incurred in the "Rental Product Depreciation and Revenue Share" line||Items are not capitalized on the balance sheet as we do not own them||Upfront revenue share payments flow through Net Income as incurred||33% / 36% / 15% |
|EXCLUSIVE DESIGNS ⁽²⁾⁽³⁾||Items are designed using our data in collaboration with our brand partners|
We manufacture through third-party partners and pay the brand partner an upfront fee and minimal revenue share payments
|Upfront and performance-based revenue share payments are expensed as incurred in the "Rental Product Depreciation and Revenue Share" line|
Manufacturing cost is recognized through straight-line depreciation, with a three-year useful life and 20% salvage value, in the "Rental Product Depreciation and Revenue Share" line ⁽¹⁾
|Manufacturing cost is capitalized as "Rental Products" in long-term assets||Upfront and revenue share payments flow through Net Income as incurred|
Manufacturing cost is recognized as a capital expenditure ("Purchases of Rental Product") at time of acquisition
|22% / 18% / 11% |
|For additional details, refer to the section titled "Business - Our Unique Brand Partner Approach."|
|⁽¹⁾ The cost of accessory items, which made up less than 10% of the gross book value of rental product as of January 31, 2022, is recognized through straight-line depreciation with two-year useful life and 30% salvage value. |
|⁽²⁾ For both Share by RTR and Exclusive Designs, the Company shares a percentage of revenue less a logistics fee with the brand. This revenue includes (i) revenue attributable to each item in connection with one-time reserve rentals; (ii) revenue attributable to each item from Subscription (this is based on the number of days at home during a subscription period); and (iii) revenue attributable to each item in connection with Resale of such items, less any liquidation costs. Both the percentage of revenue, and the logistics fees, can vary depending on the brand partner. Most Share by RTR items earn revenue until a cap has been reached, at which point, title generally passes from the brand to the Company. |
|⁽³⁾ Includes a small number of products bearing our trademarks, which are non-Exclusive Designs produced by third-party partners, or our owned brands. These products are purchased at a significantly lower average cost than Wholesale. |
For additional details about our business model and our product acquisition strategy, see Part I, Item 1, “Business”.
Key Factors Affecting Our Performance
We believe that our performance and future success depend on a variety of factors that present significant opportunities for our business, but also present risks and challenges that could adversely impact our growth and profitability.
Subscribers and Customers
Our Attractive Cohort Trends. We believe that we have a significant market opportunity ahead of us to increase our base of subscribers and customers, and our long-term growth depends in large part on our continued ability to acquire and retain customers and subscribers.
We partly assess the health of our business by analyzing the performance of our historical customer cohorts over time. A significant portion of our total revenue in each year is generated from customers acquired in previous years. We therefore believe that the performance of our customer cohorts supports our strategies of investing in subscriber and customer acquisition and retention and enhancing the scale of our platform.
The chart below indicates cumulative revenue per customer by customer cohort, which is defined as cumulative total revenue generated by a cohort across all of our product offerings, divided by the original number of customers in the cohort. Customers are placed in cohorts based on the fiscal year in which they first transacted with RTR. Data points reflect only the monthly cohorts that have reached each respective life to date period. Our customer cohorts demonstrate the continued spend and expansion of our customers:
•Each successive customer cohort has higher spending patterns, except for the FY 2020 cohort, which was most impacted by COVID-19.
•Higher spending is driven by increased customer loyalty and customers renting for more days per year, particularly through our Subscription offering.
•Our FY 2021 cohort which is less impacted by COVID-19, exhibited better trends than the FY 2016-2020 historical cohorts.
•Over the last three years, we have increasingly directed customers to our higher revenue Subscription offerings, which has driven a year-over-year improvement in cumulative revenue per customer by cohort as a greater percentage of our customers are subscribers. After the first six months as a customer, we see an inflection in spending as our most loyal customers remain on the platform.
We define CAC as total marketing expense, other than employee expenses, divided by the number of new customers acquired in that period. We acquire customers efficiently as evidenced by over 80% of our lifetime customers having joined organically.
We also specifically assess the behavior of subscribers given they contribute to the majority of our revenue. Cumulative revenue per subscriber by cohort is defined as cumulative total revenue generated across all of our product offerings (which includes Subscription and Reserve Rental Revenue and Other Revenue) by customers who are current or previous subscribers, divided by the original number of subscribers in the cohort. Subscribers are placed in cohorts based on the fiscal year in which they first joined a subscription program. Data points reflect only the monthly cohorts that have reached each respective life to date period.
•Within 3, 6 and 12 months, subscribers from our fiscal year 2018 and 2019 cohorts generated an average of $286, $460 and $691 in cumulative revenue, respectively.
•Our FY 2020 subscriber cohort generated an average of $255, $395 and $622 in cumulative revenue within 3, 6 and 12 months, respectively.
•Our FY 2021 subscriber cohort exhibited better trends in FY 2021 compared to our FY 2018, FY2019 and FY 2020 cohorts, generating $300 in cumulative revenue in 3 months and $497 in 6 months, largely due to the changes we made in 2021 to our subscription programs which have resulted in higher gross margins and revenue per order.
We provide a flexible offering that allows our subscribers to customize their subscription as their everyday life changes, choosing to pause and reactivate their membership as needed. We have historically seen that many subscribers who cancel their subscription will often return to the platform and resubscribe when membership again makes sense for their everyday life.
Brands and Products
Ability to Acquire and Monetize Products Efficiently. Our ability to deliver an elevated experience for our subscribers and customers that keeps them loyal to RTR depends on us having the right assortment. Due to our deep partnerships with brands, we can acquire products directly from them in multiple ways, and due to our expertise in reverse logistics and garment restoration we can monetize our products effectively over their useful life. Diversifying our product acquisition away from 100% Wholesale has driven higher overall product return on investment and reduced the capital needs of the business. In fiscal year 2021, approximately 55% of new items were acquired through our more capital efficient non-Wholesale channels, compared to 54% in fiscal year 2020 and 26% in fiscal year 2019. We continuously evaluate our product acquisition mix to maximize our strategic priorities.
Upfront cost per item is defined as total upfront spend for items acquired in a period divided by the number of items acquired. We define total upfront spend as the total costs of products acquired in a period excluding performance based revenue share payments which are paid out over time. Total upfront spend includes the total acquisition cost for Wholesale items, upfront payments to brand partners for Share by RTR and Exclusive Designs items, third party manufacturing or other similar acquisition costs for Exclusive Designs items, and other ancillary upfront costs such as freight, where applicable. For fiscal year 2021 our average upfront cost per item was $95, representing a 14% decrease from an average upfront cost of $111 in fiscal year 2019. Our diversification into non-Wholesale channels has meaningfully reduced our upfront spend.
Ability to Achieve Leverage in our Cost Structure. Improving operational efficiency of our platform is imperative to maintaining or increasing profitability. We expect our operating costs to increase as we make investments to grow subscribers and revenue and to enhance the customer experience. Though we anticipate quarterly fluctuations in operating leverage, we do not expect these costs to generally grow at the same pace as our total revenue on an annual basis.
We use technology and customer data to drive efficiency across products, fulfillment expenses and operating costs. Our data has allowed us to build a differentiated and proprietary rental reverse logistics platform with a vertically integrated cleaning and restoration process. We have invested in technology and automation in order to drive operating leverage and higher margins as we grow and scale our business.
Over time, we have improved our margins, profitability and cash flow, and we believe we will continue to benefit from economies of scale and are focused on driving additional efficiencies in our operating expenses.
We use Adjusted EBITDA to assess our operating performance and the operating leverage of our business prior to capital expenditures. We also measure the cash consumption of the business including capital expenditures by assessing net cash used in operating activities and net cash used in investing activities on a combined basis.
We experience seasonality in our business, which has been impacted and may in the future change due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For our subscription rentals, we typically acquire the highest number of subscribers in March through May and September through November, as these are the times customers naturally think about changing over their wardrobes. We generally see a higher rate of subscribers pause in the summer, and in mid-December through the end of January. We historically had typically realized a higher portion of revenue from Reserve rentals during our third and fourth fiscal quarters as a result of increased wedding and holiday events.
The third and fourth fiscal quarters of 2021 demonstrated subscriber seasonality patterns that are generally consistent with our historical trends, though our fourth quarter of 2021 saw a higher rate of pause activity due to the Omicron variant impact. In addition, our seasonality trends are seeing effects from COVID-19 generally, as Reserve orders and revenue are impacted by fewer large-scale holiday and special events compared to pre-COVID-19, especially those typically occurring in the third and fourth quarters. Subscriber acquisition was also impacted by COVID-19 in the fourth quarter of 2021 due to fewer large-scale holiday and special events.
We also experience seasonality in the timing of expenses and capital outlays. Transportation expense, and therefore fulfillment cost, is typically highest in the fiscal fourth quarter, given higher service levels, such as more costly expedited shipping, and competition during holidays. Our most significant product capital expenditures typically occur in the first fiscal quarter and the third fiscal quarter, when we acquire product for the upcoming fall and spring seasons, though impact on cash is dependent on timing of receipt of product.
Impact of COVID-19 on Our Business
The COVID-19 pandemic materially adversely affected our fiscal year 2020 operating and financial results. In March 2020, we instituted numerous health and safety measures and took immediate financial actions to withstand COVID-19 including pausing of paid advertising and marketing activities and other cost-saving measures to reduce operating and capital expenditures in the short term, including salary reductions, closing of brick and mortar stores and right sizing of labor in our fulfillment centers. These actions significantly reduced these costs as a percentage of revenue throughout fiscal year 2020. Rental product depreciation and revenue share as a percentage of revenue increased throughout fiscal year 2020 due to the levels of rental product on hand relative to the reduced subscriber levels.
In fiscal year 2021, our financial results continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 subscriber acquisition and engagement increased as shelter-at-home restrictions were lifted. In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021 the Omicron variant negatively impacted us in three key ways by: 1) significantly decreased revenue from our Reserve business as most holiday events were canceled; 2) reduced subscriber acquisition in the second half of quarter; and 3) drove a higher rate of subscriber pause. In fiscal year 2021, results also continued to be impacted by consumers working primarily from home and by special events and occasions not being back to pre-pandemic levels.
We expect the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and related macro-economic trends, including the spread of potential new variants, to have a continued impact on our business, results of operations, growth rates, and financial condition into fiscal year 2022. In fiscal year 2022, we currently expect an operating environment that, while improved from fiscal year 2021, continues to be impacted by COVID-19. However, we also believe that the backlog of special events and leisure travel that have been pushed to 2022 and 2023 will contribute to additional COVID-19 recovery in those periods.
We continue to take actions to adjust to the changing COVID-19 business environment and related inflationary pressure. For example, we increased wage rates throughout fiscal year 2021 to attract and retain talent at our fulfillment centers and we expect to continue to be impacted by rising labor costs in fiscal year 2022. We also expect transportation costs to continue to increase in fiscal year 2022, and we are focused on diversifying our transportation network to mitigate these rising costs and service delays. Examples of these mitigation efforts include increasing volumes with regional and last-mile carriers and consolidating shipments, such as through the launch of an at-home pickup service in certain markets. Although we continue to face a challenging environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rising wages, a decreased level of workforce participation and nationwide shipping carrier delays, we have been able to and plan to continue hiring and are diversifying our transportation network in order to support increasing and/or fluctuating demand for our offerings.
The full extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic, including the spread of any new variants, will directly or indirectly impact our business, results of operations, growth rates, and financial condition will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be accurately predicted. Given the uncertainty, we cannot estimate the financial impact of the pandemic on our future results of operations, cash flows, or financial condition. For additional details, see Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Key Business and Financial Metrics
In addition to the measures presented in our consolidated financial statements, we use the following key business and financial metrics to help us evaluate our business, identify trends affecting our business, formulate business plans, and make strategic decisions. The calculation of the key business and financial metrics discussed below may differ from similarly titled metrics used by other companies, securities analysts or investors, limiting the usefulness of those measures for comparative purposes. These key business and financial metrics are not meant to be considered as indicators of our financial performance in isolation from or as a substitute for our financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP and should be considered in conjunction with other metrics and components of our results of operations, such as each of the other key business and financial metrics, and our revenue and net loss.
|Years Ended January 31, |
|Active Subscribers||115,240 ||54,797 ||133,572 |
|Gross Profit||$||69.7 ||$||15.5 ||$||53.6 |
|Adjusted EBITDA (1)||$||(19.2)||$||(20.3)||$||(18.0)|
(1)Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure; for a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, net loss, and why we consider Adjusted EBITDA to be a useful metric, see “—Non-GAAP Financial Metrics” below.
Active Subscribers: Active Subscribers represents the number of subscribers with an active membership as of the last day of any given period and excludes paused subscribers. In fiscal year 2020, we saw our Active Subscribers decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a significant number of our subscribers put their membership on pause rather than canceling. As of January 31, 2022, we had 115,240 Active Subscribers, up 110% year-over-year. Our Active Subscribers as of January 31, 2022, were impacted by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which reduced subscriber acquisition in the second half of the fourth quarter and drove a higher rate of subscriber pause.
Gross Profit and Gross Margin: We define Gross Profit as total revenue less fulfillment expense, rental product depreciation and revenue share. We depreciate owned apparel assets over three years and owned accessory assets over two years net of 20% and 30% salvage values, respectively, and recognize the depreciation and remaining cost of items when sold or retired on our statement of operations. Rental product depreciation expense is time-based and reflects all items we own. We use Gross Profit and Gross Profit as a percentage of revenue, or Gross Margin, to measure the continued efficiency of our business after the cost of our products and fulfillment costs are included. Gross Profit was $69.7 million for the year ended January 31, 2022 compared to $15.5 million for the year ended January 31, 2021 representing Gross Margins of 34.3% and 9.8%, respectively. The increase in Gross Profit and Gross Margin for the year ended January 31, 2022 was driven by the improvement in some areas of fulfillment costs and lower rental product depreciation and revenue share, which represented a lower percentage of total revenue than in the prior periods. The increase was partially offset by higher operations wage rates and transportation costs. We expect to have the opportunity to improve Gross Profit and Gross Margin over time by driving growth in total revenue and revenue per subscriber, fulfillment and operational efficiency gains, and strategically evolving our mix of product acquisition.
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin: We define Adjusted EBITDA as net loss, adjusted to exclude interest expense, rental product depreciation, other depreciation and amortization, share-based compensation expense, write-off of liquidated assets, certain non-recurring or one-time costs (see below footnotes to the reconciliation table), income taxes, warrant liability revaluation gains / losses, debt extinguishment gains / losses, other income and expense, and other gains / losses. We define Adjusted EBITDA Margin as Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of total revenue, net for a period. Adjusted EBITDA was $(19.2) million for the year ended January 31, 2022 compared to $(20.3) million for the year ended January 31, 2021, representing margins of (9.4)% and (12.9)%, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin have increased for the year ended January 31, 2022 due to the improvement in Gross Profit and Gross Margin, and improved operating leverage across technology and general and administrative expenses excluding one-time costs and share-based compensation. We have the opportunity to improve Adjusted EBITDA as we increase revenue and drive higher revenue per subscriber, fulfillment and operational efficiency gains, and operating expense leverage.
Components of Results of Operations
Total Revenue, Net
Our total revenue, net consists of Subscription and Reserve rental revenue and Other revenue. Total revenue is presented net of promotional discounts, credits and refunds, and taxes.
Subscription and Reserve Rental Revenue. We generate Subscription and Reserve rental revenue from subscription and Reserve rental fees. We recognize subscription fees ratably over the subscription period, commencing on the date the subscriber enrolls in a subscription program. These fees are collected upon enrollment and any revenue from an unrecognized portion of the subscription period is deferred to the following fiscal period. We recently announced a price increase for our subscription plans, which we expect will generally increase revenue per subscriber by program over time. We recognize Reserve fees over the rental period, which starts on the date of delivery of the product to the customer. Reserve orders can be placed up to four months prior to the rental start date and the customer’s payment form is charged upon order confirmation. We defer recognizing the rental fees and any related promotions for Reserve rentals until the date of delivery, and then recognize those fees evenly over the four- or eight-day rental period.
Other Revenue. We generate Other revenue primarily from the sale of products while they are in rental condition. We offer the ability for subscribers and customers to purchase products at a discount to retail price. Payment for the sale of products occurs upon order confirmation while the associated revenue is recognized either at the time the sold product is delivered to the customer or when purchased, if the item is already at home with the customer.
Costs and Expenses
Fulfillment. Fulfillment expenses consist of all costs to receive, process and fulfill customer orders. This primarily includes shipping costs to/from customers and personnel and related costs, which includes salaries and bonuses, and employee benefit costs. Personnel and related costs are related to processing inbound and outbound customer orders, cleaning, restoring and repairing items received from customers, tracking and managing items within our fulfillment center network and ingesting new items received from brands. Fulfillment expenses also include costs of packing materials, cleaning supplies, and other fulfillment-related expenses. We expect fulfillment costs to increase in the future as order volume increases and because costs to ship and process orders to/from customers are expected to increase due to increasing prices in the transportation market which we started to see in the third and fourth quarters of fiscal year 2021. We also expect fulfillment expense to increase due to competitive pressures in the labor market which could lead to continued higher wage rates. We increased warehouse wage rates during the year ended January 31, 2022 and believe we will continue to be impacted by rising wage rates. We expect to continue to invest in automation and other process improvements to support and drive efficiencies in our operations. To the extent we are successful in becoming more efficient in fulfilling orders, and at a magnitude that is able to offset increasing shipping costs, wage rates and cleaning/packing supply price increases, we would expect these expenses to decrease as a percentage of total revenue over the longer term.
Technology. Technology expenses consist of personnel and related costs for employees engaged in software development and engineering, quality assurance, product, customer experience, data science, analytics and information technology-related efforts, net of personnel costs associated with capitalized software. Technology expenses also include professional services, third-party hosting expenses, website monitoring costs, and software and license fees. We expect to increase technology expenses as we continue to improve the customer and subscriber experience and invest in our technology stack and infrastructure to support overall growth in our business and distribution network. While these expenses may vary from period to period as a percentage of total revenue, we expect them to decrease as a percentage of total revenue over the longer term.
Marketing. Marketing expenses include online and mobile marketing, search engine optimization and email costs, marketing personnel and related costs, agency fees, brand marketing, printed collateral, consumer research, and other related costs. We expect marketing expenses to increase as we intend to increase marketing spend to drive the growth of our business and increase our brand awareness. The trend and timing of our brand marketing expenses will depend in part on the timing of marketing campaigns.
General and Administrative. General and administrative expenses consist of all other personnel and related costs, including customer service, finance, tax, legal, human resources, fashion and photography and fixed operations costs. General and administrative expenses also include occupancy costs (including warehouse-related), photography costs, professional services, credit card fees, general corporate and warehouse expenses, other administrative costs, gains and losses due to foreign exchange rate fluctuations associated with consolidating our foreign subsidiary at each period end, and gains and losses associated with asset disposals and operating lease terminations. We expect to increase general and administrative expenses as we grow our infrastructure to support operating as a public company and the overall growth of the business. We also expect rent expense and other facilities-related costs to increase in the future as we expand our distribution network to support overall business growth and fulfillment cost-reduction initiatives. While these expenses may vary from period to period as a percentage of total revenue, we expect them to decrease as a percentage of total revenue over the longer term.
Rental Product Depreciation and Revenue Share. Rental product depreciation and revenue share expenses consist of depreciation and write-offs of rental products, and payments under revenue share arrangements with brand partners. We depreciate the cost, less an estimated salvage value, of our owned products (Wholesale and Exclusive Designs items), over the estimated useful lives of these items and, if applicable, accelerate depreciation of the items when they are no longer in rental condition. We recognize the cost of items acquired under Share by RTR, as incurred, through upfront payments and performance-based revenue share payments. We expect rental product depreciation and revenue share expenses to increase in absolute dollars as we continue to support subscriber and customer growth. The amount and proportion of rental product depreciation and revenue share will vary from period to period based on how we acquire items as well as the mix of our rental product base.
Other Depreciation and Amortization. Other depreciation and amortization expenses consist of depreciation and amortization amounts for fixed assets, intangible assets including capitalized software, and financing right-of-use assets.
Interest Income / (Expense). Interest income / (expense) consists primarily of accrued paid-in-kind interest, cash interest and debt issuance cost amortization associated with our Amended Temasek Facility going forward.
Gain / (Loss) on Warrant Liability Revaluation, Net. Gain / (loss) on warrant liability revaluation is associated with revaluing liability classified warrants to the respective fair value at period end or prior to conversion. As of January 31, 2022, all outstanding warrants are equity classified and therefore do not require remeasurement going forward.
Gain / (Loss) on Debt Extinguishment, Net. Gain / (loss) on debt extinguishment is associated with debt extinguishment including the write off of the unamortized debt issuance costs which most recently occurred at the time of our IPO. These are primarily non-cash and are associated with debt paydown transactions which are non-recurring.
Other Income / (Expense). Other income / (expense) consists primarily of proceeds from previous insurance claims and proceeds from monetizing tax credits associated with growth.
Income Tax Benefit / (Expense). Income taxes consist primarily of state minimum taxes and Irish refundable tax credits. We have established a valuation allowance for our U.S. federal and state deferred tax assets, including net operating losses. We expect to maintain this valuation allowance until it becomes more likely than not that the benefit of our federal and state deferred tax assets will be realized by way of expected future taxable income in the United States.
Results of Operations
The results of operations presented below should be reviewed in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The following tables set forth our results of operations for the periods presented:
Comparison of the years ended January 31, 2022 and 2021
|Years Ended January 31, |
|Subscription and Reserve rental revenue||$||185.8 ||$||135.9 ||$||235.4 |
|Other revenue||17.5 ||21.6 ||21.5 |
|Total revenue, net||203.3 ||157.5 ||256.9 |
|Costs and expenses:|
|Fulfillment||61.9 ||53.0 ||118.1 |
|Technology||45.3 ||37.7 ||40.2 |
|Marketing||26.5 ||8.1 ||22.9 |
|General and administrative||104.4 ||77.2 ||98.9 |
|Rental product depreciation and revenue share||71.7 ||89.0 ||85.2 |
|Other depreciation and amortization||19.4 ||23.0 ||21.6 |
|Total costs and expenses||329.2 ||288.0 ||386.9 |
|Interest income / (expense), net||(53.0)||(46.6)||(24.0)|
|Gain / (loss) on warrant liability revaluation, net||(24.9)||0.4 ||— |
|Gain / (loss) on debt extinguishment, net||(12.2)||(0.6)||— |
|Other income / (expense), net||3.9 ||6.2 ||(0.1)|
|Net loss before income tax benefit / (expense)||(212.1)||(171.1)||(154.1)|
|Income tax benefit / (expense)||0.3 ||— ||0.2 |
Total Revenue, Net. Total revenue, net was $203.3 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, an increase of $45.8 million, or 29.1%, compared to $157.5 million for the year ended January 31, 2021. This increase was primarily driven by the increase in overall demand, including subscriber count, directly attributable to the COVID-19 recovery compared to last year.
Subscription and Reserve Rental Revenue. Subscription and Reserve rental revenue was $185.8 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, an increase of $49.9 million, or 36.7%, compared to $135.9 million for the year ended January 31, 2021. This increase was primarily driven by the 110% year-over-year increase in active subscriber count and the increase in Reserve rental revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery as compared to last year. In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021 Omicron negatively impacted our Reserve revenue as most holiday events were canceled. In addition, our active subscriber count was impacted due to a reduction in subscriber acquisition in the second half of the fourth quarter and a higher rate of subscriber pause. We recently announced a price increase for our subscription plans, which we expect will generally increase revenue per subscriber by program over time.
Other Revenue. Other revenue was $17.5 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, a decrease of $4.1 million, or 19.0%, compared to $21.6 million for the year ended January 31, 2021. This decrease was primarily driven by an intentional mix shift of revenue during fiscal year 2020 (and especially at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic) from Subscription and Reserve rental revenue to Other revenue which was not the Company’s strategy in fiscal year 2021. In the prior period, we launched additional resale initiatives and increased promotional activities for resale items in order to increase revenue from subscribers. These promotional activities were reduced in fiscal year 2021 which resulted in Other revenue representing 8.6% of total revenue, down from 13.7% in fiscal year 2020.
Costs and Expenses. Total costs and expenses were $329.2 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, an increase of $41.2 million, or 14.3%, compared to $288.0 million for the year ended January 31, 2021. This increase was primarily driven by $26.6 million of share-based compensation, of which $14.4 million was due to the one-time satisfaction of the liquidity-based vesting conditions for certain RSUs previously outstanding and certain RSUs which were granted upon the effectiveness of our IPO in October 2021. The increase was also driven, to a lesser extent, by an increase in marketing initiatives, fulfillment expenses to support demand related growth, and hiring to support our increased growth and transition to a public company. The increase compared to the prior period was partially offset by lower rental product depreciation driven by fewer units sold and fewer units on hand requiring depreciation, as product depreciation is time based.
Fulfillment. Fulfillment expenses were $61.9 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, an increase of $8.9 million, or 16.8%, representing 30.4% of revenue, compared to $53.0 million for the year ended January 31, 2021, representing 33.7% of revenue. The increase in fulfillment dollars was primarily driven by an increase in demand-related growth and an increase in wage rates and transportation costs which are expected to continue in fiscal year 2022, partially offset by fulfillment labor process improvements. Fulfillment expenses as a percentage of revenue were 30.4% for the year ended January 31, 2022 compared with 33.7% last year.
Technology. Technology expenses were $45.3 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, an increase of $7.6 million, or 20.2%, compared to $37.7 million for the year ended January 31, 2021. This increase was primarily driven by an increase in personnel costs during fiscal year 2021 to support future growth initiatives, compared to the prior period which was impacted by COVID-19 related personnel cost reductions. This increase was also driven by $4.2 million of share-based compensation for technology personnel, of which $1.9 million is related to the one-time satisfaction of the liquidity-based vesting conditions for certain RSUs upon the effectiveness of our IPO in October 2021. Technology expenses were 22.3% of revenue for the year ended January 31, 2022 and included the one time share-based compensation charge representing 0.9% of revenue. Technology expenses as a percentage of revenue were 23.9% last year. We expect technology expenses to increase in fiscal year 2022, driven by continued strategic investments.
Marketing. Marketing expenses were $26.5 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, an increase of $18.4 million, or 227.2%, compared to $8.1 million for the year ended January 31, 2021. This increase was driven by the increased marketing initiatives as compared to the same period last year which had reduced paid and brand marketing spend during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to marketing personnel cost reductions. The current period also includes $1.0 million of share-based compensation for marketing personnel, of which $0.3 million is related to the one-time satisfaction of the liquidity-based vesting conditions for certain RSUs upon the effectiveness of our IPO in October 2021, which represented 0.1% of revenue. Marketing expenses unrelated to personnel costs were $20.6 million in the year ended January 31, 2022 and 10.1% of revenue, of which 1.2% was related to a small brand campaign. Marketing expenses unrelated to personnel costs were $4.2 million last year and 2.7% of total revenue. We expect marketing expenses to increase in absolute dollars in fiscal year 2022, in particular in the first half, in order to drive subscriber growth and higher recurring revenue earlier in the year.
General and Administrative. General and administrative (“G&A”) expenses were $104.4 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, an increase of $27.2 million, or 35.2%, compared to $77.2 million in the year ended January 31, 2021. This increase was driven by $21.4 million of share-based compensation for G&A personnel, of which $12.2 million was related to the one-time satisfaction of the liquidity-based vesting conditions for certain RSUs previously outstanding and certain RSUs which were granted upon the effectiveness of our IPO in October 2021. The increase was also driven, to a lesser extent, by the increase in personnel costs required to support our growth and transition to a public company and increased legal and consulting fees required to support our public company transition. The prior period was also more impacted by cost saving initiatives at the onset of COVID-19 including personnel cost reductions. The increase was partially offset by lower customer experience personnel costs due to fewer subscribers requiring support during the year ended January 31, 2022, compared to the support required at the onset of COVID-19 and a $1.5 million increase in the gain/loss from liquidated rental product sales. G&A expenses as a percentage of revenue were 51.4% and included $12.2 million of costs associated with the one-time share-based compensation charge representing 6.0% of revenue. G&A expenses as a percentage of revenue were 49.0% last year.
Rental Product Depreciation and Revenue Share. Rental product depreciation and revenue share was $71.7 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, a decrease of $17.3 million, or 19.4%, compared to $89.0 million in the year ended January 31, 2021. Rental product depreciation and revenue share was 35.3% of revenue in the year ended January 31, 2022, down from 56.5% in the prior period. The decrease is a result of fewer units sold and fewer units on hand requiring depreciation, as product depreciation is time based, partially offset by an increase in revenue share.
Other Depreciation and Amortization. Other depreciation and amortization was $19.4 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, a decrease of $3.6 million, or 15.7%, compared to $23.0 million in the year ended January 31, 2021. This decrease was primarily driven by the decrease in capitalized software amortization and lower depreciation associated with our reusable garment bags. Reusable bag depreciation is time based and fewer bags were purchased and depreciated, as a result of the reduction in shipment volume in fiscal year 2020 which was more heavily impacted by COVID-19.
Interest Income / (Expense), Net. Interest expense, net was $53.0 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, an increase of $6.4 million, or 13.7%, compared to $46.6 million for the year ended January 31, 2021. This increase was driven by the incremental accrued payment-in-kind interest related to the additional Ares debt incurred in October 2020 and paid down in full in October 2021. Of the $53.0 million total interest expense in the year ended January 31, 2022, $38.8 million was the accrual of paid-in kind (“PIK”) interest, $8.3 million was cash, financing lease interest and other interest and $5.9 million was debt discount amortization, compared with $36.9 million of PIK interest, $4.7 million of cash, financing lease interest and other interest and $5.0 million of debt discount amortization in the year ended January 31, 2021.
Gain / (Loss) on Warrant Liability Revaluation, Net. Gain / (loss) on warrant liability revaluation, net was $(24.9) million for the year ended January 31, 2022, a decrease of $25.3 million compared to $0.4 million for the year ended January 31, 2021. This decrease was driven by the non-recurring and non-cash revaluation of liability classified warrants associated with prior lender facilities to their fair value in the current period or prior to conversion. As of January 31, 2022, all outstanding warrants are equity classified and therefore remeasurement after the third quarter of fiscal year 2021 is not required.
Gain / (Loss) on Debt Extinguishment, Net. Gain / (loss) on debt extinguishment, net was $(12.2) million for the year ended January 31, 2022, an increase of $11.6 million, compared to $(0.6) million for the year ended January 31, 2021. The costs in the current period were associated with the fees and unamortized debt issuance costs related to the Ares debt paydown upon the IPO in October 2021, compared to the prior lender debt extinguishment in the prior period. These charges were primarily non-cash and are associated with debt paydown transactions which are non-recurring.
Other Income / (Expense), Net. Other income / (expense), net was $3.9 million for the year ended January 31, 2022, a decrease of $2.3 million, compared to $6.2 million for the year ended January 31, 2021. This decrease was primarily driven by $5.0 million of insurance claim proceeds and $1.3 million of monetized tax credits settled during fiscal year 2020 compared to $4.0 million of insurance claim proceeds, settled during fiscal year 2021.
Non-GAAP Financial Metrics
In addition to our results determined in accordance with GAAP, we believe the following non-GAAP financial metrics are useful in evaluating our performance. These non-GAAP financial metrics are not meant to be considered as indicators of our financial performance in isolation from, or as a substitute, for our financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP and should be read only in conjunction with financial information presented on a GAAP basis. There are limitations to the use of the non-GAAP financial metrics presented in this Annual Report. For example, our non-GAAP financial metrics may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate non-GAAP financial metrics differently than we do, limiting the usefulness of those measures for comparative purposes.
The reconciliation of the below non-GAAP financial metrics to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure is presented below. We encourage reviewing the reconciliation in conjunction with the presentation of the non-GAAP financial metrics for each of the periods presented. In future periods, we may exclude similar items, may incur income and expenses similar to these excluded items, and may include other expenses, costs and non-recurring items.
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin are key performance measures used by management to assess our operating performance and the operating leverage of our business prior to capital expenditures. Our Adjusted EBITDA margins have improved from (12.9)% in the year ended January 31, 2021 to (9.4)% in the year ended January 31, 2022.
The following table presents a reconciliation of net loss, the most comparable GAAP financial measure, to Adjusted EBITDA for the periods presented:
|Years Ended January 31,|
|Interest (income) / expense, net (1)||53.0 ||46.6 ||24.0 |
|Rental product depreciation||50.3 ||69.9 ||75.7 |
|Other depreciation and amortization (2)||19.4 ||23.0 ||21.6 |
|Share-based compensation (3)||26.6 ||8.2 ||6.8 |
|Write-off of liquidated assets (4)||4.8 ||3.3 ||4.1 |
|Non-recurring adjustments (5)||5.3 ||4.2 ||3.8 |
|Income tax (benefit) / expense||(0.3)||— ||(0.2)|
|(Gain) / loss on warrant liability revaluation, net (6)||24.9 ||(0.4)||— |
|(Gain) / loss on debt extinguishment, net (7)||12.2 ||0.6 ||— |
|Other (income) / expense, net (8)||(3.9)||(6.2)||0.1 |
|Other (gains) / losses (9)||0.3 ||1.6 ||— |
|Adjusted EBITDA Margin (10)||(9.4)||%||(12.9)||%||(7.0)||%|
(1)Includes debt discount amortization of $5.9 million in the year ended January 31, 2022, $5.0 million in the year ended January 31, 2021, and $4.0 in the year ended January 31, 2020.
(2)Includes non-rental product depreciation and capitalized software amortization.
(3)Reflects the non-cash expense for share-based compensation. The year ended January 31, 2022 includes $14.4 million related to the one-time satisfaction of the liquidity-based vesting conditions for certain RSUs previously outstanding and certain RSUs which were granted upon the effectiveness of our IPO in October 2021.
(4)Reflects the write-off of the remaining book value of liquidated products that had previously been held for sale.
(5)Non-recurring adjustments for the year ended January 31, 2022 includes $5.2 million of public readiness preparation costs, for the year ended January 31, 2021 includes $3.2 million of costs related to COVID-19 related matters including severance, furlough benefits, one-time bonuses, and related legal fees and $0.5 million of shipping carrier transition costs, and for the year ended January 31, 2020, $2.8 million of costs related to a September 2019 software outage and $1.0 million related to legal costs and settlements.
(6)Includes the expense associated with revaluing prior liability classified lender warrants to the respective fair value at period end, or prior to conversion. As of January 31, 2022, all outstanding warrants are equity classified and therefore do not require remeasurement going forward.
(7)Includes debt extinguishment costs related to debt paydown in the periods presented.
(8)Primarily includes $(4.0) million of insurance claim proceeds for the year ended January 31, 2022 and $(5.0) million of insurance claim proceeds and $(1.3) million of proceeds from monetizing tax credits for the year ended January 31, 2021.
(9)Includes costs associated with the write-off of asset disposals, operating lease terminations and foreign exchange.
(10)Adjusted EBITDA Margin calculated as Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Since our founding, we have financed our operations primarily from net proceeds from the sale of redeemable preferred stock, common stock and debt financings. As of January 31, 2022, we had cash and cash equivalents of $247.6 million and restricted cash of $12.0 million ($5.4 million current and $6.6 million noncurrent), and an accumulated deficit of $(801.2) million.
As disclosed above, on October 29, 2021, we closed our IPO, in which we issued and sold 17,000,000 shares at a public offering price of $21.00 per share. We received net proceeds of $327.3 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses.
Concurrent with our IPO, we paid down our senior secured term loan of $80.7 million (including accrued interest) with Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund V, L.P. (the “Ares Facility”) in full and $60.0 million of our Temasek Facility and refinanced the remaining Temasek Facility, resulting in a total debt repayment of $140.7 million. Our total indebtedness as of January 31, 2022 was $260.8 million. For a description of the terms of our current and prior credit agreements, see “Note 7 – Long-Term Debt” in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
We expect that operating losses and negative cash flows from operations could continue in the foreseeable future as we continue to acquire products and increase other investments in our business. We believe our existing cash and cash equivalents, and cash generated from our operations, will be sufficient to sustain our business operations, to satisfy our debt service obligations and to comply with our amended debt covenants for at least the next 12 months from the date of this Annual Report.
Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including, but not limited to, growth in the number of customers and Active Subscribers and the timing of investments in technology and personnel to support the overall growth of our business. To the extent that current and anticipated future sources of liquidity are insufficient to fund our future business activities and requirements, we may be required to seek additional equity or debt financing. The sale of additional equity would result in additional dilution to our stockholders. The incurrence of debt financing would result in debt service obligations and the instruments governing such debt could provide for operating and financing covenants that would restrict our operations. There can be no assurances that we will be able to raise additional capital. In the event that additional financing is required from outside sources, we may not be able to negotiate terms acceptable to us or at all. In particular, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption in the global financial markets, which could reduce our ability to access capital and negatively affect our liquidity in the future. If we are unable to raise additional capital when required, or if we cannot expand our operations or otherwise capitalize on our business opportunities because we lack sufficient capital, our business, results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows would be adversely affected.
The following table summarizes our cash flows for the periods presented:
|Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities||$||(42.3)||$||(42.8)||$||(37.6)|
|Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities||(22.5)||(58.4)||(138.6)|
|Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities||215.2 ||168.5 ||177.9 |
|Net increase in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash||150.4 ||67.3 ||1.7 |
|Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of period||109.2 ||41.9 ||40.2 |
|Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of period||$||259.6 ||$||109.2 ||$||41.9 |
We also measure the cash consumption of the business including capital expenditures, by assessing net cash used in operating activities and net cash used in investing activities on a combined basis, which improved from $(101.2) million in the year ended January 31, 2021 to $(64.8) million in the year ended January 31, 2022.
The sum of net cash used in operating activities and net cash used in investing activities, as a percentage of revenue, improved from (64.3)% in the year ended January 31, 2021 to (31.9)% in the year ended January 31, 2022.
Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities. For the year ended January 31, 2022, net cash used in operating activities was $(42.3) million, which consisted of a net loss of $(211.8) million, partially offset by non-cash charges of $171.3 million, proceeds from sale of rental product of $12.9 million and a net change of $11.1 million in our operating assets and liabilities. The non-cash charges were primarily comprised of $49.7 million of rental product depreciation and write-off expenses, $38.8 million of payment-in-kind interest, $24.9 million loss on remeasurement of warrant liability, $26.6 million of share-based compensation, $5.9 million of debt discount amortization, $12.2 million loss on debt extinguishment (primarily non-cash), $19.5 million of other fixed and intangible asset depreciation and amortization, and $(6.3) million of previously accrued PIK interest which was settled in the period in connection with the extinguishment of our Ares Facility.
For the year ended January 31, 2021, net cash used in operating activities was $(42.8) million, which consisted of a net loss of $(171.1) million, partially offset by non-cash charges of $145.2 million, proceeds of sale of rental product of $17.9 million and a net change of $1.0 million in our operating assets and liabilities. The non-cash charges were primarily comprised of $70.8 million of rental product depreciation and write-off expenses, $36.9 million of payment-in-kind interest, $8.2 million of share-based compensation, $5.0 million of debt discount amortization, $0.6 million loss on debt extinguishment and $24.1 million of other property and equipment and software depreciation and amortization.
Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities. For the year ended January 31, 2022, net cash used in investing activities was $(22.5) million, primarily consisting of $(30.8) million of purchases of rental product incurred in the period and $(10.3) million of purchases of fixed and intangible assets. The investment in rental product does not include an additional $6.5 million of cost for units received in the current period but not yet paid for, but does include $(3.6) million of cost for units paid for in the current period but received in the prior period (see the Supplemental Cash Flow Information in Part II, Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data). The investment in rental product was to support our growth in customer demand as a result of the COVID-19 recovery. The majority of the investment in fixed and intangible assets was related to investments in automation assets, additional processing machinery and equipment for our Secaucus and Arlington warehouses, reusable bags and capitalized technology labor. The cash used in investing activities was partially offset by $12.9 million of proceeds from the sale of owned rental products and $5.7 million of proceeds from sales of liquidated rental products.
For the year ended January 31, 2021, net cash used in investing activities was $(58.4) million, primarily consisting of $(54.9) million of purchases of rental product and $(23.8) million of purchases of fixed and intangible assets. The investment in rental product did not include the additional $3.6 million of cost for units received in the current period but not yet paid for, but did include $(3.7) million of cost for units paid for in the current period but received in the prior period (see Supplemental Cash Flow Information in Part II, Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data). The investment in rental product was to support growth in planned customer demand prior to the onset of COVID-19. The majority of the investment in fixed and intangible assets was related to the build-out of our new headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, the investment in automation assets and additional processing machinery and equipment for our warehouses in addition to capitalized technology labor . The cash used in investing activities was partially offset by $17.9 million of proceeds from sales of owned rental products and $2.4 million of proceeds from sales of liquidated rental products.
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities. During the year ended January 31, 2022, net cash provided by financing activities was $215.2 million, consisting primarily of $327.3 million from the sale of Class A common stock in our IPO which is net of the underwriting discounts of $(24.1) million and deferred equity issuance costs of $(5.6) million, $21.2 million from the issuance of redeemable preferred stock, $3.3 million from the exercise of options and $3.1 million of net proceeds from short term financing agreements and other financing payments. The cash from financing activities was partially offset by $(139.7) million in debt payments and extinguishment costs.
During the year ended January 31, 2021, net cash provided by financing activities was $168.5 million, consisting primarily of net proceeds from issuance of debt of $111.0 million and proceeds from the issuance of redeemable preferred stock of $60.4 million.
Contractual Obligations and Commitments
In October 2021, we paid down outstanding principal and accrued interest of our Ares Facility in full and a portion of our Temasek Facility. Additionally, we entered into the Amended Temasek Facility. As of January 31, 2022, we had approximately $260.8 million of total debt outstanding, none of which is payable within the next 12 months. See “Note 7 — Long-Term Debt” in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information.
As of January 31, 2022, we had approximately $88.9 million of long-term operating lease obligations of which $13.6 million of lease obligations are payable within the next 12 months. See also “Note 4 – Leases – Lessee Accounting” and “Note 16 - Subsequent Events” in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, which describes a reduction of $10.6 million in the Company’s minimum fixed lease obligations subsequent to the Company’s fiscal year-end.
Critical Accounting Estimates
Management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based on our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of our financial statements requires us to make estimates using assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, as well as the reported revenue generated and expenses incurred during the reporting periods, as well as related disclosures. Our estimates are based on our historical experience and on various other factors that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities and the amount of revenue and expenses that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions, and any such differences may be material. We believe that the accounting estimates discussed below are critical to understanding our historical and future performance, as these policies relate to the more significant areas involving management’s judgments and estimates.
We consider rental product to be a long-term productive asset and, as such, classify it as a noncurrent asset on the consolidated balance sheets. Rental product is stated at cost, less accumulated depreciation. We depreciate rental product, less salvage value, over the useful lives of the assets using the straight-line method. Depreciation on rental products is an estimate based on the following assumptions:
•Useful life: our projection of the period over which we can monetize our rental products through our Subscription or Reserve rental offerings
•Salvage value: our projection of the proceeds that can be expected to be generated from rental product once it is no longer considered rentable, expressed as a percentage of the acquisition cost
The useful life is determined based on historical trends and an assessment of any future changes. The salvage value considers the historical trends and projected liquidation proceeds for the assets. A change in the assumption used for useful life or salvage value would either increase or decrease accumulated depreciation and depreciation expense reflected on our consolidated balance sheets within rental product, net and on our consolidated statements of operations within rental product depreciation and revenue share, respectively. Our historical results continue to support the use of these assumptions.
Right-of-Use Assets and Lease Liabilities
Right-of-use (“ROU”) assets and lease liabilities are measured and recognized at the lease commencement date or lease modification date based on the present value of fixed lease payments over the expected lease term. Because the majority of our leases do not include an implicit discount rate, we use an estimated incremental borrowing rate (“IBR”), to determine the present value of future minimum lease payments. The sensitivity of the estimate is due to the judgement used in the determination of the synthetic credit rating and the development of the related benchmark yield curves.
We measure share-based compensation expense for all equity classified awards based on the estimated fair value of the awards on the date of grant. The fair value of stock options is recognized as compensation expense on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period of the award. We estimate grant date fair value of stock options using the Black-Scholes option pricing model, which requires the input of subjective assumptions, including the following:
•Fair value of common stock. Following the closing of our IPO, the fair market value of our common stock is based on the closing price as reported on the date of grant on the Nasdaq Stock Market, on which the Company’s stock is traded. Prior to the close of our IPO, because our common stock was not yet publicly traded, we were required to estimate the fair value of its common stock. The fair value of the shares of common stock underlying the stock options was historically determined by a third-party valuation firm and approved by our board of directors. The fair value of our common stock was determined by considering a number of objective and subjective factors, including: the valuation of comparable companies, sales of preferred stock to unrelated third parties, our operating and financial performance, the lack of liquidity of common stock and general and industry specific economic outlook, among other factors.
•Expected volatility. As a result of the lack of historical and implied volatility data of our common stock, the expected stock price volatility has been estimated based on the historical volatilities of a specified group of companies in its industry for a period equal to the expected life of the option. We selected companies with comparable characteristics, including enterprise value, risk profiles, and position within the industry, and with historical share price information sufficient to meet the expected term of the stock options. The historical volatility data has been computed using the daily closing prices for the selected companies.
•Expected term. The expected term of stock options represents the weighted-average period the stock options are expected to remain outstanding and is estimated under the simplified method using the vesting and contractual terms.
•Risk-free interest rate. The expected risk-free rate assumption is based on the U.S. Treasury instruments whose term is consistent with the expected term of the stock options.
•Expected dividend yield. The expected dividend assumption is based on our history and expectation of dividend. We have not paid dividends and do not expect to do so in the foreseeable future.
Upon grant of awards, we also estimate an amount of forfeitures that will occur prior to vesting. We estimate forfeitures based on the dynamic forfeiture model based on our historical forfeitures of stock options adjusted to reflect future changes in facts and circumstances, if any.
Warrants held prior to the IPO did not meet the criteria for equity treatment were recorded as liabilities. Accordingly, we classified the warrants as liabilities at their fair value and adjusted the warrants to fair value at each previous reporting period. This liability was subject to re-measurement at each balance sheet date until exercised, and any change in fair value was recognized in our consolidated statements of operations. The warrants were valued using a Black-Scholes option pricing model. The assumptions used in preparing the model include estimates such as fair value of the underlying shares, expected volatility, expected term, risk-free interest rate and expected dividend yield. This valuation model used unobservable market share price input on a recurring basis, and therefore the liability was classified as Level 3. As of January 31, 2022, the Company had no outstanding warrants classified as liabilities.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
See “Note 2 — Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a description of recently adopted accounting pronouncements and recently issued accounting pronouncements not yet adopted.
We currently qualify as an “emerging growth company” under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. Accordingly, we are provided the option to adopt new or revised accounting guidance either (i) within the same periods as those otherwise applicable to non-emerging growth companies or (ii) within the same time periods as private companies. We have elected to adopt new or revised accounting guidance within the same time period as private companies until the earlier of the date we (i) are no longer an emerging growth company or (ii) affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the extended transition period. Accordingly, our utilization of these transition periods may make it difficult to compare our financial statements to those of non-emerging growth companies and other emerging growth companies that have opted out of the transition periods afforded under the JOBS Act.
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Market risk represents the risk of loss that may impact our financial position because of adverse changes in financial market prices and rates. Our market risk exposure is primarily a result of exposure resulting from potential changes in inflation.
Interest Rate Risk
As of January 31, 2022, we had cash and cash equivalents of $247.6 million and $260.8 million of debt outstanding under the Temasek Facility. Cash and cash equivalents consists primarily of cash held in financial institutions within the United States and Ireland and cash in transit from third-party credit card providers. Borrowings under the Temasek Facility bear interest at fixed rates. We have minimal exposure to market risk relating to changes in interest rates as they can affect the amount of interest income we earn on our cash. 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 January 31, 2022, a hypothetical 10% change in interest rates would not have resulted in a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Foreign Currency Risk
Our net revenue is denominated in U.S. dollars and a portion of our operating expenses are incurred outside the United States, denominated in foreign currencies. Accordingly, our results of operations are subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates, particularly changes in the euro. Additionally, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates may cause us to recognize transaction gains and losses in our consolidated statements of operations. As the impact of foreign currency exchange rates has not been material to our historical results of operations, we have not entered into derivative or hedging transactions, but we may do so in the future if our exposure to foreign currency becomes more significant. As of January 31, 2022, a hypothetical 10% change in the relative value of the U.S. dollar to other currencies would not have had a material effect on our results of operations.
We do not believe that inflation has had a material effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. For a discussion of recent wage increases and transportation costs related, in part, to inflationary pressures, see “Impact of COVID-19 on Our Business” in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” If our costs become subject to significant inflationary pressures, we may not be able to fully offset such higher costs with increased revenue. Our inability or failure to do so could harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
|Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements |
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of Rent the Runway, Inc.
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Rent the Runway, Inc. and its subsidiary (the “Company”) as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, and the related consolidated statements of operations, of changes in redeemable preferred stock and stockholders’ equity (deficit) and of cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 31, 2022, including the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 31, 2022 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
Basis for Opinion
These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s consolidated 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 of these consolidated financial statements in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated 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 consolidated 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 consolidated 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 consolidated financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
/s/ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
New York, New York
April 14, 2022
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2020.
(In millions, except share and per share amounts)
RENT THE RUNWAY, INC.
Consolidated Balance Sheets
|January 31,||January 31,|
Cash and cash equivalents
|$||247.6 ||$||95.3 |
Restricted cash, current
|5.4 ||3.4 |
Prepaid expenses and other current assets
|11.7 ||4.7 |
Total current assets
|264.7 ||103.4 |
|6.6 ||10.5 |
Rental product, net
|76.3 ||97.6 |
Fixed assets, net
|57.2 ||64.7 |
Intangible assets, net
|6.4 ||7.8 |
Operating lease right-of-use assets
|31.5 ||34.9 |
|4.8 ||1.8 |
|$||447.5 ||$||320.7 |
Liabilities, Redeemable Preferred Stock and Stockholders’ Equity (Deficit)
|$||15.9 ||$||7.2 |
Accrued expenses and other current liabilities
|30.0 ||14.1 |
|10.4 ||5.6 |
Customer credit liabilities
|6.9 ||7.0 |
Operating lease liabilities
|5.6 ||6.7 |
Total current liabilities
|68.8 ||40.6 |
Long-term debt, net
|260.8 ||355.1 |
Operating lease liabilities
|46.4 ||51.5 |
|— ||11.8 |
|0.4 ||0.3 |
|376.4 ||459.3 |
Commitments and Contingencies (Note 15)
Redeemable preferred stock, $0.001 par value; 0 and 35,236,646 shares authorized as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively; 0 and 31,137,921 shares issued and outstanding as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively; liquidation preference of $0.0 million and $393.7 million as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively
|— ||388.1 |
Stockholders’ equity (deficit)
Common stock, $0.001 par value; 0 and 60,000,000 shares authorized as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively; 0 and 10,456,521 shares issued and outstanding as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively
|— ||— |
Class A common stock, $0.001 par value; 300,000,000 and 0 shares authorized as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively; 60,104,058 and 0 shares issued and outstanding as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively
|0.1 ||— |
Class B common stock, $0.001 par value; 50,000,000 and 0 shares authorized as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively; 2,932,739 and 0 shares issued and outstanding as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively
|— ||— |
Preferred stock, $0.001 par value; 10,000,000 and 0 shares authorized as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively; 0 and 0 shares issued and outstanding as of January 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively
|— ||— |
Additional paid-in capital
|872.2 ||62.7 |