As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 3, 2021.
Registration No. 333-             
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM S-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
ThredUp Inc.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
Delaware 5961 26-4009181
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
969 Broadway
Suite 200
Oakland, California 94607
(415) 402-5202
(Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including
Area Code, of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)
James G. Reinhart
Chief Executive Officer
ThredUp Inc.
969 Broadway, Suite 200
Oakland, California 94607
(415) 402-5202
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including
area code, of agent for service)
Copies to:
Caine Moss
Bradley C. Weber
Erica D. Kassman
Goodwin Procter LLP
601 Marshall Street
Redwood City, California 94063
(650) 752-3100
Alon Rotem
Brianna Humphreville
Alex Tinucci
ThredUp Inc.
969 Broadway, Suite 200
Oakland, California 94607
(415) 402-5202
Rezwan D. Pavri
Andrew T. Hill
Catherine D. Doxsee
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.
650 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, California 94304
(650) 493-9300
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:
As soon as practicable after this registration statement becomes effective.
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act, check the following box:  ☐
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.   ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer ☐
Accelerated filer ☐
Non-Accelerated filer ☒
Smaller reporting company ☐
Emerging growth company ☒
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
Title of Each Class of Securities
to be Registered
Proposed Maximum
Aggregate
Offering Price(1)(2)
Amount of
Registration Fee
Class A Common Stock, $0.0001 par value per share $100,000,000 $10,910
(1)Estimated solely for the purpose of computing the amount of the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(o) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
(2)Includes the aggregate offering price of additional shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase, if any.
The registrant hereby amends this registration statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this registration statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until the registration statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.


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The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. These securities may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell nor does it seek an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
Subject To Completion. Dated          .
              Shares
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Class A Common Stock
This is an initial public offering of shares of Class A common stock of ThredUp Inc.
Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our Class A common stock. It is currently estimated that the initial public offering price will be between $     and $     per share. We have applied to list our Class A common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “TDUP.”
Following this offering, we will have two classes of common stock: Class A common stock and Class B common stock. The rights of the holders of Class A common stock and Class B common stock are identical, except with respect to voting, conversion and transfer rights. Each share of Class A common stock is entitled to one vote. Each share of Class B common stock is entitled to ten votes and is convertible at any time into one share of Class A common stock. All shares of our capital stock outstanding immediately prior to this offering, including all shares held by our executive officers, employees and directors, and their respective affiliates, will be reclassified into shares of our Class B common stock immediately prior to the consummation of this offering. The holders of our outstanding Class B common stock will hold approximately     % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock following this offering.
We are an “emerging growth company” as defined under the federal securities laws and, as such, we have elected to comply with certain reduced reporting requirements for this prospectus and may elect to do so in future filings.
See the section titled “Risk Factors” beginning on page 20 to read about factors you should consider before buying our Class A common stock.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
Per Share
Total
Initial public offering price $ $
Underwriting discount(1)
$ $
Proceeds, before expenses, to us $ $
________________
(1)See the section titled “Underwriting” for additional information regarding compensation payable to the underwriters.
At our request, the underwriters have reserved up to          shares of Class A common stock, or up to 7.0% of the shares offered by us in this offering, for sale at the initial public offering price through a directed share program to certain individuals identified by our officers and directors. See the section titled “Underwriting—Directed Share Program” for additional information.
The underwriters have the option to purchase up to an additional               shares of Class A common stock from us at the initial public offering price less the underwriting discount.
The underwriters expect to deliver the shares against payment in New York, New York on                     , 2021.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC Morgan Stanley
Barclays William Blair
Wells Fargo Securities
KeyBanc Capital Markets Needham & Company Piper Sandler Telsey Advisory Group
Prospectus dated                     , 2021



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F-1
Through and including               , 2021 (the 25th day after the date of this prospectus), all dealers effecting transactions in these securities, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This is in addition to a dealer’s obligation to deliver a prospectus when acting as an underwriter and with respect to an unsold allotment or subscription.
You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus or contained in any free writing prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. Neither we nor any of the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide any information or make any representations other than those contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus we have prepared. We and the underwriters take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. We are offering to sell, and seeking offers to buy, shares of our Class A common stock only in jurisdictions where offers and sales are permitted. The information contained in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or of any sale of our Class A common stock. Our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects may have changed since such date.
For investors outside of the United States: Neither we nor any of the underwriters have done anything that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons outside of the United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the shares of our Class A common stock and the distribution of this prospectus outside of the United States.
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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
This summary highlights selected information that is presented in greater detail elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information you should consider before investing in our Class A common stock and is qualified in its entirety by, and should be read in conjunction with, the more detailed information appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. You should read this entire prospectus carefully, including the sections titled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus, before making an investment decision. Unless the context otherwise requires, the terms “thredUP,” “the company,” “we,” “us” and “our” in this prospectus refer to ThredUp Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
THREDUP INC.
Our Mission
Our mission is to inspire a new generation of consumers to think secondhand first.
That means…
Enabling a generation of new buyers to effortlessly find high-quality secondhand items from brands they love at incredible prices, while delivering the joy, selection and engagement of online shopping;
Enabling a generation of new sellers to participate in the resale economy by helping sellers conveniently clean out their closets and earn a payout or a charitable donation receipt for the items they no longer wear; and
Enabling brands and retailers to deliver modern resale experiences that help their consumers shop in more environmentally sustainable ways.
We are a mission-driven company. Our core business creates a positive impact to the benefit of our buyers, sellers, partners, employees, investors and the environment. Our management team – with an average tenure of nearly seven years – lives our mission every day while maintaining a focus on our long-term vision. This commitment and the transformation of resale are central to our continuing success.
Overview
thredUP is one of the world’s largest online resale platforms for women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories.1 Our custom-built operating platform is powering the rapidly emerging resale economy, the fastest growing sector in retail, according to the GlobalData Market Survey. As of December 31, 2020, we had 1.24 million Active Buyers and 428,000 Active Sellers. thredUP’s platform consists of distributed processing infrastructure, proprietary software and systems and data science expertise. Since our founding in 2009, we have processed over 100 million unique secondhand items from 35,000 brands across 100 categories, saving our buyers an estimated $3.3 billion off estimated retail price.2 We estimate that we have positively impacted the environment by saving 1.0 billion pounds of CO2 emissions, 2.0 billion kWh of energy and 4.4 billion gallons of water simply by empowering consumers to buy and sell secondhand. The traditional fashion industry is one of the most environmentally damaging sectors in the global economy and we believe our scalable resale business model is a powerful solution to the fashion industry’s wastefulness.
1     Based primarily on items processed, items sold and the capacity of our distribution centers.
2   The estimated retail price of an item is based on the estimated original retail price of a comparable item of the same quality, construction and material offered elsewhere in new condition. Our estimated original retail prices are set by our team of merchants who periodically monitor market prices for the brands and styles that we offer on our marketplace.
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thredUP’s proprietary operating platform is the foundation for our managed marketplace, where we have bridged online and offline technology to make the buying and selling of tens of millions of unique items easy and fun. The marketplace we have built enables buyers to browse and purchase resale items for women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories across a wide range of price points. Buyers love shopping value, premium and luxury brands all in one place, at up to 90% off estimated retail price. Sellers love thredUP because we make it easy to clean out their closets and unlock value for themselves or for the charity of their choice while doing good for the planet. Sellers order a Clean Out Kit, fill it and return it to us using our prepaid label. We take it from there and do the work to make those items available for resale. In 2018, based on our success with consumers directly, we extended our platform to enable brands and retailers to participate in the resale economy. A number of the world’s leading brands and retailers are already taking advantage of our Resale-as-a-Service, or RaaS, offering. We believe RaaS will accelerate the growth of this emerging category and form the backbone of the modern resale experience.
We have built a differentiated and defensible operating platform to enable resale at scale, combining:
Distributed Processing Infrastructure.  Our infrastructure is purpose-built for “single SKU” logistics, meaning that every item processed is unique, came from or belongs to an individual seller and is individually tracked using its own stock keeping unit, or SKU. We believe our logistics and infrastructure have never been executed at our scale in the online resale market. We operate distribution centers that can collectively hold 5.5 million items in three strategic locations across the country. Our operations are highly scalable, and we have the ability to process more than 100,000 unique SKUs per day across our existing distribution footprint. We drive continuous operational efficiency through proprietary technology and ongoing automation of our infrastructure.
Proprietary Software and Systems.  Our facilities run on a suite of our custom-built applications designed for “single SKU” operations. Our engineering team has implemented large-scale, innovative and patented automation for put-away, storage, picking and packing at scale. This automation results in reduced labor and fixed costs while increasing storage density and throughput capacity. Our proprietary software, systems and processes enable efficient quality assurance, item-attribution, sizing and photography.
Data Science Expertise.  There are no barcodes on clothing, so we invented a real-time database to identify, categorize and value each secondhand clothing item that we receive. We continue to expand our proprietary data set that spans over 100 million unique secondhand items processed across 35,000 brands and 100 categories. We harness this robust, structured data set across our business to optimize economic decisions, such as pricing, seller payouts, item acceptance, merchandising and sell-through. We also leverage data to power efficient customer acquisition and lifetime engagement, and to provide a personalized shopping experience.
We generate revenue from items that are sold to buyers on our website and mobile app and through our RaaS partners. We operate with consignment sales and direct product sales. In 2019, we shifted to primarily consignment sales. With consignment sales, we recognize revenue net of seller payouts, and cost of revenue includes outbound shipping, outbound labor and packaging costs. With direct product sales, we recognize revenue on a gross basis, and cost of revenue includes inventory cost, inbound shipping and inventory write-downs, as well as outbound shipping, outbound labor and packaging costs. With both consignment sales and direct product sales, we optimize for gross profit dollar growth, which was 43% in 2018, 44% in 2019 and 14% in 2020. 2020 gross profit dollar growth slowed primarily due to the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including lower demand for apparel in general, higher discounts and incentives plus fewer secondhand items being listed for sale on our marketplace.
Our buyers pay us upfront when they purchase an item. For items held on consignment, after the end of the 14-day return window for buyers, we credit our sellers’ accounts with their seller payout. Our sellers then take an average of more than 60 days to use their funds, which results in a working capital dynamic
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that is favorable for our business given that the buyers pay us upon purchase. We have methodically scaled operating capacity and revenue, while increasing gross profit and improving our operating performance.
As of December 31, 2020, we had 1.24 million Active Buyers, up 24% over December 31, 2019, and 428,000 Active Sellers, down 4% from December 31, 2019.
As of December 31, 2020, our distribution centers could hold 5.5 million items.
Our revenue was $186.0 million in 2020, up 14% over 2019. Our consignment revenue was $138.1 million in 2020, up 41% over 2019.
Our gross profit was $128.1 million in 2020, up 14% over 2019. Our overall gross margin was 69% in 2020 and 2019. Our consignment gross margin was 75% in 2020, as compared to 77% in 2019.
Our net loss was $47.9 million in 2020 and $38.2 million in 2019. Our net loss margin was 26% in 2020 and 23% in 2019.
In 2020, our Adjusted EBITDA was $(33.4) million with an Adjusted EBITDA margin of (18)%. In 2019, our Adjusted EBITDA was $(24.3) million with an Adjusted EBITDA margin of (15)%.
Our Market Opportunity
We believe that we are in the early stages of capitalizing on a large and growing market opportunity in secondhand clothing. Our market benefits from, and we are helping to drive, powerful consumer trends in our favor. Our addressable opportunity is represented by the following demand and supply-side market sizing:
U.S. Demand-Side Secondhand Total Addressable Market.  According to the GlobalData Market Survey, the demand-side market for all U.S. secondhand clothing, footwear and accessories was estimated to be $28 billion in 2019. The secondhand market consists of resale and thrift apparel, footwear and accessories. The primary difference between resale and thrift is that resale items are selectively sorted, processed and curated for sale by sellers. Resale represents the fastest growing segment in the total retail clothing market and is our core addressable market today. According to the GlobalData Market Survey, the resale market is expected to grow from $7 billion in 2019 to $36 billion by 2024, representing a compound annual growth rate of 39%. We believe resale is driving a significant expansion of the secondhand market because it unlocks dormant, high-quality supply by taking the friction out of selling, and provides a buying experience for consumers that is similar to shopping new.
U.S. Supply-Side Secondhand Total Addressable Market.  We believe there is a massive opportunity to unlock secondhand supply and increase the lifecycle of existing apparel that sits unworn in closets. We estimate that 16.9 billion pounds of the apparel thrown away in the United States could be recycled and reused, which we estimate is enough supply to fill approximately one billion thredUP Clean Out bags every year. In 2020, we processed just over one million bags through our platform, which represents less than 0.1% of this potential supply we could unlock from closets in the United States.
Consumer Trends
This secondhand market opportunity is underpinned by the convergence of the following consumer trends:
Generational Shift.  More Millennial and Generation Z consumers are driving the shift to secondhand each year. As these consumers mature, generate more disposable income and become a larger portion of consumer wallet share, we expect that secondhand will benefit.
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According to the GlobalData January 2020 Consumer Survey, Millennial and Generation Z consumers are adopting secondhand faster than any other age group. 40% of Generation Z and 30% of Millennials purchased secondhand in 2019, which is 14 percentage points and 9 percentage points more, respectively, than in 2016.
Sustainability Matters.  Conscious consumerism is on the rise. We believe that thredUP will help drive a habit shift among consumers to think secondhand first. According to the GlobalData April 2020 and January 2019 Consumer Surveys, 43% of consumers in 2020 said they plan to spend more with sustainable brands within the next five years, a 2.4 times increase from 2019.
Secondhand Becomes Mainstream.  Secondhand is gaining share of wallet at the expense of fast fashion brands, department stores and luxury brands. According to the GlobalData January 2020 Consumer Survey, 62 million women bought secondhand products in 2019, up from 56 million in 2018. In addition, 70% of those surveyed said that they have or are open to shopping secondhand.
Our Buyers, Sellers and Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) Partners
As of December 31, 2020, we had 1.24 million Active Buyers and 428,000 Active Sellers on our platform. In the year ended December 31, 2020, our buyers placed 3.96 million Orders. Additionally, as of December 31, 2020, we worked with 21 RaaS partners, including GAP, Madewell, Reformation and Walmart.
Benefits for thredUP Buyers.  When our 1.24 million Active Buyers shop on thredUP they are making a stylish choice for themselves and a smart choice for their wallets and for the environment.
Value.  Buyers love shopping value, premium and luxury brands all in one place, at up to 90% off estimated retail price. Since our founding, we estimate that we have saved our buyers $3.3 billion off retail price.
Selection.  Our assortment is unique and ever-changing, with an average of over 280,000 new secondhand items listed each week in the year ended December 31, 2020. We have an incredible breadth of assortment with over 35,000 brands across 100 categories and across price points.
Engagement.  We have created an online resale shopping experience that is fun and convenient. In the past, shopping secondhand often meant sifting through piles of random clothing at thrift stores. In the year ended December 31, 2020, on average, our Active Buyers visited our website six times per month.
Personalization.  We use our data science capabilities to enable our buyers to navigate the breadth of items available, providing a more personalized shopping experience. We also are able to customize our assortment based on the time of year and the location of our buyers, including allowing buyers to shop only from their closest distribution center for faster delivery, lower prices and decreased environmental impact.
Quality.  Each item in our marketplace has undergone a rigorous twelve-point quality inspection. In the year ended December 31, 2020, we listed only 59% of the items that we received from sellers on our marketplace after curation and processing. As evidence of the high quality of items on our marketplace, in the year ended December 31, 2020, we had a return rate of 12% of items sold and returns due to quality accounted for less than 2% of items sold.
Sustainable.  Buyers feel good about buying secondhand because they are reducing waste. Since our founding, based in part on information provided by Green Story, we estimate our buyers have positively impacted the environment by saving 1.0 billion pounds of CO2 emissions, 2.0 billion kWh of energy and 4.4 billion gallons of water by shopping secondhand.
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Benefits for thredUP Sellers.  We enable our 428,000 Active Sellers to conveniently clean out their closets and unlock value for themselves or for the charity of their choice while doing good for the environment at the same time.
Convenient Clean Out.  We make it easy for sellers to clean out their closets using our prepaid bag, prepaid label and pick-up service. Sellers fill the bag and leave it on their doorsteps for mail carrier pick up. Sellers can also drop bags off at a retail location of one of our RaaS partners, at the post office or at a location of one of our logistics partners.
No Active Management.  We provide end-to-end resale services for sellers using our platform, including managing item selection and pricing, merchandising, fulfillment, payments and customer service.
Unlocking Value.  There are multiple ways to unlock value on thredUP. We offer sellers cash, thredUP online credits, select RaaS partner credits or charitable donation receipts for items that sell on our marketplace. Sellers select their payout method with a simple click on our site.
Magic of Cleaning Out.  Like a sparkling clean house or a sparkling clean car, an organized closet full of clothes you love just feels good.
Sustainability.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 8.9 million tons of clothing and footwear went to landfill in 2017. Sellers feel good when they choose to be sustainable with thredUP. Not only do sellers find the process convenient, but they like knowing that their clothing is being reused or recycled.
Benefits for Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) Partners. According to the GlobalData Fashion Retailer Survey, 72% of retail executives surveyed said they are interested in testing resale within the next 10 years as they look to increase foot traffic to their stores, drive sustainability for the apparel ecosystem, reach a younger consumer and build brand loyalty with their consumers.
By partnering with us, RaaS partners are able to:
Leverage our Resale Operating Platform.  We enable brands and retailers to plug into our operating platform and unlock the resale value in the closets of their customers. Traditional retail and e-commerce models are not set up to intake, process, price and sell millions of unique resale items at scale in a predominantly online marketplace.
Drive Incremental Revenue.  We have developed multiple initiatives to drive incremental revenue for our partners. For some RaaS partners, we power clean out services that enable them to sell worn, returned inventory through our marketplace.
Access New Consumers.  We enable brands and retailers that partner with us to build brand awareness with an important consumer demographic and increase wallet share by expanding their retail proposition into the high growth resale segment. This access is increasingly important as resale becomes mainstream for shoppers of all price points.
The thredUP Operating Platform
To address the complexities of resale, we have built a platform consisting of distributed processing infrastructure, proprietary software and systems and data science expertise.
Distributed Processing Infrastructure
Differentiating features of our processing infrastructure include:
Proven Scalability.  Our infrastructure is highly scalable. Our distribution centers can currently hold 5.5 million items and we expect this to increase to 6.5 million items by the end of 2021. We currently have the ability to process more than 100,000 unique SKUs per day, and we expect our
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daily processing capacity to increase over time. Since our founding, we have processed over 100 million unique secondhand items, and we are rapidly expanding our capacity to serve our buyers, sellers and RaaS partners.
Technology-Driven Processing, Storage and Fulfillment.  We drive operational efficiency through proprietary technology and automation of our infrastructure. Key processes that involve technology and automation include visual recognition of items, supply acceptance and itemization, pricing and merchandising, photography, and storage and fulfillment.
Strategic Distribution.  Our distribution centers are located in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. By locating our facilities in strategic locations across the country we can be closer to our buyers and sellers, which allows us to reduce shipping times in transit, and lower our inbound and outbound shipping costs. We rank Clean Out Kits that we receive from repeat sellers using a supplier score matrix, which enables us to strategically direct Clean Out Kits to optimize for a facility’s assortment, based on localized supply and demand. We also do the same for buyers’ returns.
Proprietary Software and Systems
Key automated processes in all of our distribution centers include:
Intelligent Item Acceptance and Listing.  We use multi-layered algorithms to predict demand and pricing for an item, along with the optimal payout rate to the seller. As such, after our quality review, we make our decision of accepting or rejecting an item based on a framework that balances sell-through, unit economics and the seller’s payout rate.
Visual Recognition.  We utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence to power visual recognition of items we receive from sellers to automate inspection and item attribution.
Photo Selection.  We have developed software that automatically selects the optimum photo to drive buyer engagement, balanced against the cost of photography, which is one of the largest expenses when prepping an item for sale online. This specialized photo selection capability enables us to produce hundreds of thousands of high-quality photos a day without a professional photographer. We can automatically sharpen, color correct and enhance photos as needed, before uploading to our marketplace in a continuous flow, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Location-Based Assortment.  We match buyers to the closest distribution center and personalize the assortment that they see on our marketplace to items that are physically closest to them. Our geographical personalization enables buyers to find items that are lower priced (the closer the item, the lower the price) and more likely to arrive quickly.
Data Science Expertise
Key ways in which we utilize data include:
Supply Quality Management.  We aim to increase the yield from items processed to items listed from each Clean Out Kit by encouraging repeat sellers that have high-quality secondhand items to continue consigning and engaging with thredUP. Given that the majority of our supply comes from repeat sellers, we track transactional and behavioral data that enables us to prioritize sellers with high-quality secondhand items and de-prioritize items that are not as suitable for our marketplace, based on their historical track record.
Item Pricing.  Our software algorithms ingest millions of data points each day to determine how we price items. We set pricing at the item level because each item is unique. Our approach is layered, leveraging machine vision as well as dozens of attributes such as brand, category, style, color and materials. We combine these data points with information about similar items, aggregate marketplace supply and demand data and human-driven pricing research. Based on
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each item, these layers of algorithms are combined in different ways to set our reference prices and listing price and to accelerate sell-through with intelligent, targeted discounting.
Seller Payouts.  Once we have identified the target selling price for an item to maximize its sell-through and contribution margin, we then set the payout rate for sellers. Similar to our pricing algorithms, we refine our seller payouts on a regular basis to be competitive relative to the market for resale. For example, if we know that an item has strong potential demand with buyers, we are able to calibrate our payout to incentivize sellers to choose thredUP over other managed platforms.
Personalization.  We use data to help buyers better navigate millions of unique items and tens of thousands of new items posted daily so that they are able to have a more personalized shopping experience. We help buyers save items, sign-up for alerts on new items and hear about price drops on products they are in the market to buy. These inputs are then cycled back into our data-driven consumer models to personalize the shopping experience for buyers.
Marketing Automation.  We have built proprietary in-house software, managed by our marketing automation team, to deliver compelling, scalable buyer acquisition results. In practice, that means our data pipelines have been built to help our teams identify which advertising activities are performing, and to calibrate our marketing spend across channels and campaigns to drive return on investment. We also use browsing and engagement data in our models that help us estimate (i) the future value of a potential buyer in terms of potential contribution profit for their first order and (ii) the future value of an existing buyer in terms of potential contribution profit for the next twelve months. We ingest and calibrate multiple data points including the advertising unit viewed by the potential buyer, sign-on method, search or filter keywords and add-to-cart behavior, amongst others, to predict the quality of this potential buyer and the expected lifetime value and payback on marketing over time. We calculate marketing payback as the time it takes for the cumulative contribution profit of a buyer to equal the marketing dollars spent to acquire such buyer.
Our Strengths
We believe the following strengths contribute to our success:
Powerful, Extensible Operating Platform.  We designed our platform with the goal of making buying and selling secondhand convenient for consumers, and we extended it to support brand and retail experiences via our RaaS offering. As a result of our investments in our platform, we expect that buyers, sellers, brands, retailers and other partners will continue to seek out thredUP as their resale partner, providing us with the opportunity to extend our platform further.
Data Driven Model.  Our business model allows us to capture and utilize large volumes of data from touch points throughout the resale process, including transactional and pricing data across more than 35,000 brands and 100 categories, along with behavioral data from our buyers and sellers. We believe that our data gives us unparalleled insight into the entire resale economy and allows us to enhance our operating platform.
Managed Marketplace.  We provide end-to-end resale services for sellers using our platform, including managing item selection and pricing, merchandising, fulfillment, payments and customer service. As a result, we can offer a broad selection of secondhand items across more than 35,000 brands and 100 categories. Our buyers and sellers trust thredUP to deliver value, selection and quality. We believe that operating primarily on consignment also gives us the ability to drive stronger future margins than traditional inventory-taking business models because we incur minimal inventory risk and benefit from favorable working capital dynamics. Our buyers pay us upfront when they purchase an item. For items held on consignment, after the end of the 14-day return window for buyers, we credit our sellers’ accounts with their seller payout. Our sellers then take an average of more than 60 days to use their funds.
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Strong Network Effects.  The growth of buyers and sellers on our marketplace generates strong network effects. More assortment on our marketplace increases the choices available to buyers, and more buyers on our marketplace increases potential sales for our sellers through a self-reinforcing, mutually beneficial network effect. Our network effects grow as we scale due to our ability to harness a larger trove of proprietary pricing, transactional and behavioral data to optimize our marketplace. In addition, converting buyers into sellers and vice versa amplifies the flywheel that drives user acquisition, engagement and retention in our marketplace.
Founder-Led Management Team.  We are led by our co-founders James Reinhart and Chris Homer. Our management team’s clear sense of mission, commitment to our values and long-term focus on transforming resale through technology are central to our success. Members of our team have created and grown leading technology, retail and consumer businesses, and they retain a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
Our Growth Strategy
The key elements of our growth strategy include:
Expand Our Operating Platform.  We will continue to invest in our operating platform by expanding and optimizing our distributed processing infrastructure and automation capabilities, including increasing automated distribution centers, and improving our proprietary software and systems and data science capabilities. We expect to drive operating leverage and higher margins as we grow and scale our business.
Increase Selection of High-Quality Items.  Having a vast selection of high-quality secondhand items is core to the growth of our business, and we plan to continue to attract additional sellers and engage with our RaaS partners to bring an ongoing, high-quality assortment to our marketplace. To expand our base of secondhand items for resale, as well as our base of sellers, we must appeal to and engage individuals new to selling secondhand items or who have sold secondhand items through traditional brick-and-mortar shops but are unfamiliar with our business. We find new sellers by converting buyers using our marketplace, retail locations, our RaaS partnership programs, referral programs, organic word-of-mouth and other methods of discovery, such as mentions in the press.
Increase Lifetime Value of Existing Buyers and Attract New Buyers.
Increasing the lifetime value of existing buyers. For buyers, we intend to drive repeat purchases by enhancing our assortment and leveraging our data insights to improve personalization and increase conversion. In addition, converting buyers into sellers and vice versa accelerates the powerful flywheel that drives our marketplace and leads to greater value per customer.
Attracting new buyers. We are focused on growing our buyer base, and we believe we are in the early stages of our market opportunity. As of December 31, 2020, we had 1.24 million Active Buyers, which represents less than 1% penetration of the U.S. total population. Through our targeted, data-driven marketing efforts we aim to generate meaningful returns on our buyer acquisition investments.
Expand our Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) Offering.  We plan to invest in and extend our RaaS offering to power resale for more brands and retailers. More brand and retail partners on our platform drives more supply for our marketplace and creates brand awareness with buyers for thredUP and our partners.
Increase Brand Awareness.  We have an opportunity to increase our brand awareness, as our unaided brand awareness was 13.8% as of January 2021, based on a first quarter 2021 survey of over 2,000 women in the United States of ages 18 - 65. In the survey, 13.8% of participants said
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they think of thredUP when they think of online clothing resale (buying or selling secondhand clothes online) websites. We believe that with continued investment in brand marketing, data-led insights and effective consumer targeting, we can expand and strengthen our reach.
Expand into New Categories and Offerings.  We aim to enhance our product offering for buyers and unlock more supply from sellers by expanding into new categories and offerings that can leverage our conveyor and item on-hanger systems.
Expand Internationally.  Our operating platform and data science expertise have enabled us to expand our offering into RaaS and new apparel categories successfully. We may choose to expand into new geographies and invest strategically in international operations and marketing in the future.
Risk Factors Summary
Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those highlighted in the section titled “Risk Factors” and summarized below. We have various categories of risks, including risks relating to our business and industry; risks relating to information technology, intellectual property and data security and privacy; risks relating to legal, regulatory, accounting and tax matters; risks relating to our indebtedness and liquidity; and risks relating to our initial public offering and ownership of our common stock, which are discussed more fully in the section titled “Risk Factors.” As a result, this risk factor summary does not contain all of the information that may be important to you, and you should read this risk factor summary together with the more detailed discussion of risks and uncertainties set forth in the section titled “Risk Factors.” Additional risks, beyond those summarized below or discussed elsewhere in this prospectus, may apply to our business, activities or operations as currently conducted or as we may conduct them in the future or in the markets in which we operate or may in the future operate.
Our continued growth depends on attracting new, and retaining existing, buyers.
If we fail to generate a sufficient amount of new and recurring high-quality secondhand items by attracting new sellers and retaining existing sellers, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
Our business, including our costs and supply of secondhand items, is subject to risks associated with sourcing, itemizing, warehousing and shipping.
We have experienced rapid growth in many of our recent periods and those growth rates may not be indicative of our future growth. If we fail to manage our growth effectively, we may be unable to execute our business plan and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
We have a limited operating history in an evolving industry, which makes it difficult to forecast our revenue, plan our expenses and evaluate our business and future prospects.
We have a history of losses, we anticipate increasing operating expenses in the future and we may not be able to achieve and, if achieved, maintain profitability.
We may experience quarterly fluctuations in our results of operations due to a number of factors that make our future results difficult to predict and could cause our results of operations to fall below analyst or investor expectations.
We may not be able to expand our distribution center operations, attract and retain personnel to efficiently and effectively manage the operations required to process, itemize, list, sell, pack and ship secondhand items or identify and lease distribution centers in geographic regions that enable us to effectively scale our operations.
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Material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting may cause us to fail to timely and accurately report our financial results or result in a material misstatement of our consolidated financial statements.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has had and may continue to have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
There has been no prior public market for our Class A common stock, the stock price of our Class A common stock may be volatile or may decline regardless of our operating performance and you may not be able to resell your shares at or above the initial public offering price.
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 this offering, including our directors, executive officers and their respective affiliates. This ownership will limit or preclude your ability to influence corporate matters, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transactions requiring stockholder approval, and that may depress the trading price of our Class A common stock.
If we are unable to adequately address these and other risks we face, our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects may be harmed.
Channels for Disclosure of Information
Following the completion of this offering, we intend to announce material information to the public through filings with the SEC, the investor relations page on our website, blog posts on our website, press releases, public conference calls, webcasts, our twitter feed (@thredUP) and our Instagram account.
The information disclosed by the foregoing channels could be deemed to be material information. As such, we encourage investors, the media and others to follow the channels listed above and to review the information disclosed through such channels.
Any updates to the list of disclosure channels through which we will announce information will be posted on the investor relations page on our website. Information contained on or accessible through our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and inclusion of our website address in this prospectus is an inactive textual reference only. You should not consider information contained on our website to be part of this prospectus or in deciding whether to purchase shares of our Class A common stock.
Corporate Information
We were incorporated in 2009 under the name ThredUp Inc. as a Delaware corporation. Our principal executive offices are located at 969 Broadway, Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94607, and our telephone number is (415) 402-5202. Our website address is www.thredup.com. Information contained on or that can be accessed through our website does not constitute part of this prospectus and the inclusion of our website address in this prospectus is an inactive textual reference only.
“THREDUP” and “Think Secondhand First” are our registered trademarks in the United States. We have additional registered trademarks in the United States and “THREDUP” is registered in certain other non-U.S. jurisdictions. Other trademarks and trade names referred to in this prospectus are the property of their respective owners.
Emerging Growth Company
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or the JOBS Act, was enacted in April 2012 with the intention of encouraging capital formation in the United States and reducing the regulatory burden on newly public companies that qualify as “emerging growth companies.” We are an emerging growth
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company within the meaning of the JOBS Act. As an emerging growth company, we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various public reporting requirements, including not being required to have our internal control over financial reporting be audited by our independent registered public accounting firm pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, certain reduced disclosure requirements related to the disclosure of executive compensation in this prospectus and in our periodic reports and proxy statements and exemptions from the requirement that we hold a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and any golden parachute payments. We may take advantage of these exemptions until we are no longer an emerging growth company.
In addition, under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to use this extended transition period until we are no longer an emerging growth company or until we affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the extended transition period. Accordingly, our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with new or revised accounting pronouncements as of public company effective dates.
We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest to occur of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have more than $1.07 billion in annual revenue; (ii) the date we qualify as a “large accelerated filer,” with at least $700 million of equity securities held by non-affiliates; (iii) the date on which we have issued, in any three-year period, more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities and (iv) the last day of the fiscal year ending after the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering.
For certain risks related to our status as an emerging growth company, see the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Legal, Regulatory, Accounting and Tax Matters—We are an emerging growth company, and any decision on our part to comply only with certain reduced reporting and disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies could make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.”
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THE OFFERING
Class A common stock offered by us                shares
Class A common stock to be outstanding after this offering
               shares
Class B common stock to be outstanding after this offering
               shares
Option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock from us
We have granted the underwriters an option, exercisable for 30 days after the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to an additional               shares from us.
Total Class A common stock and Class B common stock to be outstanding after this offering
               shares (or               shares if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares in this offering is exercised in full).
Use of proceeds The principal purposes of this offering are to increase our capitalization, increase our financial flexibility, create a public market for our Class A common stock and enable access to the public equity markets for our stockholders and us. We estimate that the net proceeds from the sale of shares of our Class A common stock that we are selling in this offering will be approximately $     million (or approximately $     million if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares in this offering is exercised in full), based upon an assumed initial public offering price of $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
We currently intend to use the net proceeds of this offering for working capital and other general corporate purposes and to fund our growth strategies discussed in this prospectus. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds to acquire or invest in complementary businesses, products, services, technologies or other assets. We do not, however, have agreements or commitments to enter into any acquisitions or investments at this time.

Additionally, we are allocating $500,000 from the proceeds of this offering to start an environmental policy function. For additional information, see the section titled “Our ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Efforts.”

See the section titled “Use of Proceeds” for additional information.
Voting rights
We will have two classes of common stock: Class A common stock and Class B common stock.

Shares of our Class A common stock are entitled to one vote per share.

Shares of our Class B common stock are entitled to ten votes per share.
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Holders of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock will generally vote together as a single class, unless otherwise required by law or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering. The holders of our outstanding Class B common stock will hold approximately     % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock following the completion of this offering and will have the ability to control the outcome of matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, including the election of our directors and the approval of any change in control transaction. See the sections titled “Principal Stockholders” and “Description of Capital Stock” for additional information.
Concentration of ownership Upon the completion of this offering, our executive officers and directors, and their affiliates, will beneficially own, in the aggregate, approximately     % of our outstanding shares of common stock, representing approximately     % of the voting power of our outstanding shares of common stock.
Risk factors See the section titled “Risk Factors” for a discussion of factors you should carefully consider before deciding to invest in our Class A common stock.
Directed share program
At our request, the underwriters have reserved up to     shares of Class A common stock, or up to 7.0% of the shares offered by us in this offering, for sale at the initial public offering price through a directed share program to certain individuals identified by our officers and directors. If these persons purchase the reserved shares, it will reduce the number of shares available for sale to the general public. Any reserved shares that are not so purchased will be offered by the underwriters to the general public on the same terms as the other shares offered by this prospectus.
See the sections titled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions,” “Shares Eligible for Future Sale” and “Underwriting—Directed Share Program” for additional information.
Proposed Nasdaq Global Select Market trading symbol “TDUP.”
The number of shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on no shares of our Class A common stock and 78,860,698 shares of our Class B common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and excludes:
22,774,949 shares of our Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our Class B common stock that were outstanding as of December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $1.81 per share;
923,291 shares of our Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our Class B common stock granted after December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $6.54 per share;
148,994 shares of Class B common stock issuable pursuant to warrants to purchase shares of our convertible preferred stock outstanding as of December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $5.58 per share on a common equivalent basis;
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15,979 shares of Class B common stock issuable pursuant to warrants to purchase shares of our convertible preferred stock issued since December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $6.26 per share on a common equivalent basis;
201,582 shares of our Class B common stock reserved for future issuance pursuant to our Second Amended and Restated 2010 Stock Plan, or our 2010 Plan, which shares will be added to the shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Equity Incentive Plan, or our 2021 Plan; and
               shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our share-based compensation plans, to be adopted in connection with this offering, consisting of:
               shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Plan; and
               shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or our ESPP.
Each of our 2021 Plan and ESPP provides for annual automatic increases in the number of shares of our Class A common stock reserved thereunder, and our 2021 Plan also provides for increases to the number of shares of Class A common stock that may be granted thereunder based on shares underlying any awards under our 2010 Plan that expire, are forfeited or are otherwise terminated, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation—Employee Benefit and Stock Plans.”
Except as otherwise indicated, all information in this prospectus assumes:
the filing and effectiveness of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation in Delaware and the adoption of our amended and restated bylaws, each of which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering;
the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 65,970,938 shares of our Class B common stock, the conversion of which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering;
the reclassification of our outstanding existing common stock into an equivalent number of shares of our Class B common stock and the authorization of our Class A common stock, which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering;
the automatic conversion of the convertible preferred stock warrants to Class B common stock warrants and the resulting remeasurement and reclassification of the convertible preferred stock warrant liability to additional paid-in capital, which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering; and
no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to an additional                shares of Class A common stock from us in this offering.
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SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OTHER DATA
The following tables summarize our consolidated financial and other data. We derived the summary consolidated statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020 and consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2020 from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future. The following summary consolidated financial and other data should be read in conjunction with the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data: Year Ended December 31,
2018 2019 2020
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
Revenue:
Consignment $ 39,415  $ 97,763  $ 138,096 
Product 90,136  66,049  47,919 
Total revenue 129,551  163,812  186,015 
Cost of revenue:
Consignment 9,978  22,764  34,184 
Product 41,563  28,544  23,683 
Total cost of revenue 51,541  51,308  57,867 
Gross profit 78,010  112,504  128,148 
Operating expenses(1):
Operations, product and technology 67,896  82,078  101,408 
Marketing 27,235  44,980  44,765 
Sales, general and administrative 17,135  22,253  28,564 
Total operating expenses 112,266  149,311  174,737 
Operating loss (34,256) (36,807) (46,589)
Interest expense (437) (1,428) (1,305)
Other income, net 549  74  73 
Loss before provision for income taxes (34,144) (38,161) (47,821)
Provision for income taxes 37  36  56 
Net loss $ (34,181) $ (38,197) $ (47,877)
Net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted(2)
$ (3.41) $ (3.72) $ (4.14)
Weighted-average shares used in computing net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted(2)
10,027,177  10,265,004  11,565,443 
Pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted (unaudited)(2)
$ (0.62)
Weighted-average shares used in computing pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted (unaudited)(2)
77,510,100
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________________
(1)Operating expenses include stock-based compensation expense as follows:
Year Ended December 31,
2018 2019 2020
(in thousands)
Operations, product and technology $ 1,187  $ 3,877  $ 3,739 
Marketing 204  1,018  1,067 
Sales, general and administrative 928  2,783  2,530 
Total stock-based compensation expense $ 2,319  $ 7,678  $ 7,336 
Stock-based compensation expense for the year ended December 31, 2019 includes $2.1 million, $0.5 million, and $1.5 million included within operations, product and technology, marketing, and sales, general and administrative, respectively, related to the 2019 Tender Offer described in the section titled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” and in Note 10 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.
(2)See Notes 2 and 14 to our consolidated financial statements for an explanation of the calculations of our basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders and the weighted-average number of shares used in the computation of the per share amounts.
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data: As of December 31, 2020
Actual
Pro Forma(1)
Pro Forma
As Adjusted(2)(3)
(in thousands)
Cash and cash equivalents $ 64,485  $ 64,485  $
Working capital 12,595  12,595 
Total assets 142,911  142,911 
Long-term debt 34,460  34,460 
Other non-current liabilities 2,719  1,913 
Convertible preferred stock 247,041  — 
Accumulated deficit (252,167) $ (252,167)
Total stockholders’ (deficit) equity (222,177) $ 25,670 
________________
(1)The pro forma column reflects (i) the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 65,970,938 shares of our common stock, (ii) the reclassification of our outstanding common stock as Class B common stock, (iii) the conversion of our convertible preferred stock warrants to common stock warrants and the related reclassification of the preferred stock warrant liability to additional paid-in capital, which conversion and reclassification will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering, as if such conversion and reclassification had occurred on December 31, 2020 and (iv) the filing and effectiveness of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, which will be effective immediately prior to the completion of this offering, all of which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering.
(2)The pro forma as adjusted column in the balance sheet data table above gives effect to (i) the pro forma adjustments set forth above and (ii) the sale and issuance by us of               shares of our Class A common stock in this offering, based on an assumed initial public offering price of $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
(3)Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, our cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets and total stockholders’ (deficit) equity by approximately $     million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
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Key Financial and Operating Metrics
We review a number of operating and financial metrics, including the following key business and non-GAAP metrics to evaluate our business, measure our performance, identify trends affecting our business, formulate business plans and make strategic decisions. These key financial and operating metrics are set forth below for the periods presented.
Year Ended December 31,
2018 2019 2020
(in thousands, except percentages)
Active Buyers (as of period end) 676  997  1,240 
Active Buyers Growth 10  % 48  % 24  %
Orders 2,346  3,134  3,965 
Orders Growth 28  % 34  % 27  %
Revenue $ 129,551  $ 163,812  $ 186,015 
Revenue Growth 26  % 14  %
Gross Profit $ 78,010  $ 112,504  $ 128,148 
Gross Profit Growth 44  % 14  %
Net Income (Loss) $ (34,181) $ (38,197) $ (47,877)
Net Loss Margin 26  % 23  % 26  %
Adjusted EBITDA $ (27,198) $ (24,343) $ (33,398)
Adjusted EBITDA Margin (21) % (15) % (18) %
For additional information about, and the definitions of, our key financial and operating metrics, see the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Financial and Operating Metrics” and see below for additional information and a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net loss.
Non-GAAP Financial Measure – Adjusted EBITDA
In addition to our results determined in accordance with GAAP, we believe that Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, is useful in evaluating our operating performance. We use Adjusted EBITDA to evaluate and assess our operating performance and the operating leverage in our business, and for internal planning and forecasting purposes. We believe that Adjusted EBITDA, when taken collectively with our GAAP results, may be helpful to investors because it provides consistency and comparability with past financial performance and assists in comparisons with other companies, some of which use similar non-GAAP financial information to supplement their GAAP results. Adjusted EBITDA is presented for supplemental informational purposes only, should not be considered a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP and may be different from a similarly-titled non-GAAP measure used by other companies. A reconciliation is provided below for Adjusted EBITDA to net loss, the most directly comparable financial measure stated in accordance with GAAP. Investors are encouraged to review our results determined in accordance with GAAP and the reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net loss.
We calculate Adjusted EBITDA as net loss adjusted to exclude depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation expense, interest expense, change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability, loss on extinguishment of debt and provision for income taxes. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to net loss or any other measure of financial performance calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP.
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The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA from net loss for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020:
December 31,
2018
2019
2020
(in thousands)
Adjusted EBITDA reconciliation:
Net loss $ (34,181) $ (38,197) $ (47,877)
Add (deduct):
Depreciation and amortization 4,171  4,274  5,581 
Stock-based compensation 2,319  7,678  7,336 
Interest expense 437  1,428  1,305 
Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability(1)
19  201 
Loss on extinguishment of debt(2)
—  432  — 
Provision for income taxes 37  36  56 
Adjusted EBITDA $ (27,198) $ (24,343) $ (33,398)
________________
(1)Our convertible preferred stock warrants are subject to re-measurement at the end of each reporting period and the change in the fair value of the convertible preferred stock warrant liability is included in other income, net in our statement of operations and comprehensive loss. Our convertible preferred stock warrants will be converted to common stock warrants (which will not be subject to remeasurement) and the related convertible preferred stock warrant liability will be reclassified to additional paid-in capital immediately prior to the completion of this offering.
(2)We recorded a loss on the extinguishment of our loan and security agreement with Silicon Valley Bank in February 2019, which is included in other income, net in our statement of operations and comprehensive loss. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for more information.
Non-GAAP Financial Measure – Contribution Profit and Average Contribution Profit Per Order
We believe that average contribution profit per order, when taken collectively with our GAAP results, including gross profit per order, may be helpful to investors in understanding our order economics. We believe that if we are successful in scaling and automating our platform pursuant to our strategy, our results will show (i) an increasing average contribution profit per order over time and (ii) a growth rate in average contribution profit per order that exceeds the growth rate of average gross profit per order due to our ability to reduce inbound processing costs. Such results would likely mean that our average order economics are becoming increasingly attractive and that our investments in technology and automation in our distribution centers are having a positive impact on our average order economics. Contribution profit and average contribution profit per order are presented for supplemental informational purposes only, should not be considered substitutes for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP and may be different from similarly-titled non-GAAP measures used by other companies. A reconciliation is provided below for contribution profit to gross profit, the most directly comparable financial measure stated in accordance with GAAP. We have also presented gross profit per order and contribution profit per order, which represent gross profit (a GAAP measure) and contribution profit (a non-GAAP measure) divided by the total number of Orders. Investors are encouraged to review our results determined in accordance with GAAP and the reconciliation of contribution profit to gross profit.
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The following table presents a reconciliation of contribution profit to gross profit, as well as gross profit per order and contribution profit per order, for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020:
Year Ended December 31
2018 2019 2020
(in thousands, except for per order figures)
Contribution profit reconciliation:
Gross profit $ 78,010  $ 112,504  $ 128,148 
Deduct:
Distribution center operating expenses(1)
(44,659) (53,307) (71,400)
Payment processing expenses (3,300) (4,643) (6,235)
Contribution profit $ 30,051  $ 54,554  $ 50,513 
Orders 2,346  3,134  3,965 
Average gross profit per order $ 33.25  $ 35.90  $ 32.32 
Average contribution profit per order $ 12.81  $ 17.41  $ 12.74 
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(1)Includes inbound shipping, inbound labor, distribution center fixed costs and management labor, excluding stock based compensation expense, which are included within our operations, product and technology expenses.
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RISK FACTORS
Investing in our Class A common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this prospectus, before making a decision to invest in our Class A common stock. If any of the risks actually occur, our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects could be harmed. In that event, the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline, and you could lose part or all of your investment.
Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry
Our continued growth depends on attracting new, and retaining existing, buyers.
To expand our buyer base, we must appeal to and attract buyers who do not typically purchase secondhand items, who have historically purchased only new retail items or who used other means to purchase secondhand items, such as traditional brick-and-mortar thrift stores or the websites of other secondary marketplaces. We reach new buyers through paid search, social media, influencers, television and digital advertising, other paid marketing, press coverage, retail locations, our RaaS partnership programs, referral programs, organic word of mouth and other methods of discovery, such as converting sellers to buyers. We expect to continue investing heavily in these and other marketing channels in the future and cannot be certain that these efforts will enable us to attract and retain more buyers, result in increased purchase frequency or order sizes from our buyers or be cost-effective. Our ability to attract and retain buyers also depends on our ability to offer a broad selection of desirable and high-quality secondhand items on our marketplace, the reliability of our shipping and delivery estimates, our ability to consistently provide high-quality customer experiences, our ability to promote and position our brand and marketplace and the success of our marketing efforts. Our investments in marketing may not effectively reach potential buyers and existing buyers, potential buyers or existing buyers may decide not to buy through us or the spend of buyers that purchase from us may not yield the intended return on investment, any of which could negatively affect our results of operations. Moreover, consumer preferences may change, and buyers may not purchase through our marketplace as frequently or spend as much with us as historically has been the case. As a result, the revenue generated from buyer transactions in the future may not be as high as the revenue generated from transactions historically. Relatedly, an inability to attract and retain buyers could harm our ability to attract and retain sellers, who may decide to resell their items through alternative platforms or marketplaces. Consequently, failure to attract new buyers and to retain existing buyers could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we fail to generate a sufficient amount of new and recurring high-quality secondhand items by attracting new sellers and retaining existing sellers, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
Our success depends on our ability to cost-effectively attract high-quality secondhand items by attracting new sellers and retaining existing sellers, such that they choose thredUP to list their items. Numerous factors, however, may impede our ability to attract new sellers and retain existing sellers with high-quality secondhand items. To expand our base of secondhand items for resale, as well as our base of sellers, we must appeal to and engage individuals new to selling secondhand items or who have sold secondhand items through traditional brick-and-mortar shops but are unfamiliar with our business. We find new sellers by converting buyers using our marketplace, our RaaS partnership programs, referral programs, organic word-of-mouth and other methods of discovery, such as mentions in the press. We cannot be certain that these efforts will result in more supply of high-quality secondhand items or sellers or that these efforts will be cost-effective. Our ability to attract new and recurring high-quality secondhand items from new sellers and existing sellers depends on other factors, such as our ability to enhance and improve our marketplace, our ability to process the items sent to us by sellers in a timely manner, sellers’ perceptions of whether payouts they are receiving are adequate and timely compensation for their items and the perceived quality of the items sold and purchased on our marketplace. If we are unable to meet seller standards and drive repeat supply, our existing sellers may not choose to send us secondhand
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items for resale to the same extent, in terms of quality, value or volume, in the future. Further, failure to generate sufficient high-quality secondhand items and attract new sellers and retain existing sellers could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. For instance, if our sellers send lower quality secondhand items that we are unable to resell in our marketplace, then we will incur expense to sort and process such lower quality secondhand items and detract resources from processing re-sellable secondhand items. Additionally, if sellers substantially increase the initial price of their items that we list on our marketplace and subsequently reclaim these items if they do not sell within the listing window, our business could be harmed because these activities may negatively affect sell-through rates and gross margin.
Our business, including our costs and supply of secondhand items, is subject to risks associated with sourcing, itemizing, warehousing and shipping.
Nearly all of the secondhand items we offer through our marketplace are initially sourced from sellers who are individuals. As a result, we may be subject to periodic fluctuations in the number, brands and quality of secondhand items sold through our marketplace. Our results of operations could be negatively impacted by these fluctuations. In addition, as we expand into new categories of secondhand items, our payments to our sellers may rise relative to our existing categories, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
We can make no assurance that secondhand items we receive from sellers will be of sufficient quality or free from damage, or that such secondhand items will not be damaged during shipping, while in one of our distribution centers or when shipped to buyers. While we conduct inspections of secondhand items sent by sellers for resale and inspect secondhand items returned by buyers, we cannot control items while they are out of our possession or prevent all damage while in our distribution centers. For example, we have in the past and may in the future experience contamination, such as mold, bacteria, insects and other pests, in the secondhand items shipped to us by our sellers, which may cause contamination of the secondhand items in our distribution centers or while shipping to buyers. If we are unable to detect and quarantine such contaminants at the time such secondhand items are initially received in our distribution centers, some or all of the secondhand items in such facilities could be contaminated. We may incur additional expenses and our reputation could be harmed if the secondhand items we offer are damaged or contain contaminants.
We have experienced rapid growth in many of our recent periods and those growth rates may not be indicative of our future growth. If we fail to manage our growth effectively, we may be unable to execute our business plan and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
We have experienced, and may continue to experience, rapid growth in certain recent periods, which has placed, and may continue to place, significant demands on our management and our operational and financial resources. We have also experienced significant growth in the number of buyers and sellers using our platform in certain periods, despite a reduction in Active Sellers during 2020 and growth rates that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, our organizational structure is becoming more complex as we scale our operational, financial and management controls as well as our reporting systems and procedures. For example, our headcount has grown from 1,076 employees and professional contractors as of December 31, 2018 to 1,862 as of December 31, 2020, as we have scaled our business.
To manage growth in our operations and the growth in the number of buyers and sellers on our platform, we will need to continue to grow and improve our operational, financial and management controls and our reporting systems and procedures. We will need to maintain or increase the automation of our distribution centers and continue to improve how we apply data science to our operations. Our expansion has placed, and our expected future growth will continue to place, a significant strain on our management, marketing, operations, administrative, financial, customer support, engineering and other resources. If we fail to manage our anticipated growth and change in a manner that preserves the key
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aspects of our corporate culture, our employee morale, productivity and retention could suffer, which could negatively affect our brand and reputation and harm our ability to attract new buyers and sellers and to grow our business. In addition, future growth, such as the potential expansion of our operations internationally or expansion into new categories of offerings, either organically or through acquisitions, would require significant capital expenditures, which could adversely affect our results of operations, and the allocation of valuable management resources to grow and change in these areas.
Our revenue was $129.6 million, $163.8 million and $186.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively, representing annual growth of 26% and 14%, respectively. In future periods, we may not be able to sustain or increase revenue growth rates consistent with recent history, or at all. Our revenue growth has been and may continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe our success and revenue growth depends on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, our ability to:
attract and retain new and existing buyers and sellers and grow our supply of high-quality secondhand items for resale through our marketplace;
scale our revenue and achieve the operating efficiencies necessary to achieve and maintain profitability;
increase buyer and seller awareness of our brand;
anticipate and respond to changing buyer and seller preferences;
manage and improve our business processes in response to changing business needs;
process Clean Out Kits from sellers on a timely basis;
improve, expand and further automate our distribution center operations and information systems;
anticipate and respond to macroeconomic changes generally, including changes in the markets for both new and secondhand retail items;
successfully compete against established companies and new market entrants, including national retailers and brands and traditional brick-and-mortar thrift stores;
effectively scale our operations while maintaining high-quality service and buyer and seller satisfaction;
hire and retain talented employees and professional contractors at all levels of our business;
avoid or manage interruptions in our business from information technology downtime, cybersecurity breaches and other factors that could affect our physical and digital infrastructure;
fulfill and deliver Orders in a timely manner and in accordance with customer expectations, which may change over time;
maintain a high level of customer service and satisfaction;
adapt to changing conditions in our industry and related to the COVID-19 pandemic and measures implemented to contain its spread; and
comply with regulations applicable to our business.
If we are unable to accomplish any of these tasks, our revenue growth will be harmed. We also expect our operating expenses to increase in future periods, and if our revenue growth does not increase to offset these anticipated increases in our operating expenses, our business, results of operations and financial condition will be harmed, and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability.
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We have a history of losses, we anticipate increasing operating expenses in the future and we may not be able to achieve and, if achieved, maintain profitability.
We experienced net losses of $34.2 million, $38.2 million and $47.9 million in the years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively. We expect to continue to incur net losses for the foreseeable future and we may not achieve or maintain profitability in the future. We believe there is a significant market opportunity for our business, and we intend to invest aggressively to capitalize on this opportunity. Because the market for secondhand items is evolving, particularly the online resale of secondhand items, it is difficult for us to predict our future results of operations or the limits of our market opportunity. We expect our operating expenses to significantly increase as we expand our operations and infrastructure, make significant investments in our marketing initiatives, develop and introduce new technologies and automation and hire additional personnel. These efforts may be more costly than we expect and may not result in revenue growth or increased efficiency. In addition, as we grow and become a public company, we will incur additional significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. If our revenue does not increase to offset these expected increases in our operating expenses, we will not be profitable in future periods. Any failure to increase our revenue sufficiently to keep pace with our investments and other expenses could prevent us from achieving or maintaining profitability or positive cash flow on a consistent basis. If we are unable to successfully address these risks and challenges as we encounter them, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. We cannot assure you that we will ever achieve or sustain profitability and may continue to incur significant losses going forward. Any failure by us to achieve or sustain profitability on a consistent basis could cause the value of our Class A common stock to decline.
We have a limited operating history in an evolving industry, which makes it difficult to forecast our revenue, plan our expenses and evaluate our business and future prospects.
We have a limited operating history in a rapidly evolving industry that may not develop in a manner favorable to our business. Our marketplace represents a substantial departure from the traditional thrift store market for secondhand items. While our business has grown rapidly, and much of that growth has occurred in recent periods, the resale market for secondhand items may not continue to develop in a manner that we expect or that otherwise would be favorable to our business. As a result of our limited operating history, ongoing changes in our new and evolving industry, our ability to forecast our future results of operations and plan for and model future growth is limited and subject to a number of uncertainties. We have encountered and expect to continue to encounter risks and uncertainties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly evolving industries, such as the risks and uncertainties described herein. Accordingly, we may be unable to prepare accurate internal financial forecasts or replace anticipated revenue that we do not receive as a result of delays arising from these factors, and our results of operations in future reporting periods may be below the expectations of investors or analysts. If we do not address these risks successfully, our results of operations could differ materially from our estimates and forecasts or the expectations of investors or analysts, causing our business to suffer and our Class A common stock price to decline.
We may experience quarterly fluctuations in our results of operations due to a number of factors that make our future results difficult to predict and could cause our results of operations to fall below analyst or investor expectations.
Our quarterly results of operations may fluctuate from quarter to quarter as a result of a number of factors, many of which are outside of our control and may be difficult to predict, including, but not limited to:
the level of demand for secondhand items;
fluctuations in the levels or quality of secondhand items on our marketplace;
fluctuations in capacity as we expand our operations;
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our success in engaging existing buyers and sellers and attracting new buyers and sellers;
our ability to meet the expectations of sellers that we will process their Clean Out Kits in a timely manner;
the amount and timing of our operating expenses;
the timing of expenses and recognition of revenue;
the timing and success of new partnerships, retail offerings and referral programs;
the impact of competitive developments and our response to those developments;
our ability to manage our existing business and future growth;
actual or reported disruptions or defects in our online marketplace, such as actual or perceived privacy or data security breaches;
economic and market conditions, particularly those affecting our industry;
the impact of market volatility and economic downturn, including those caused by outbreaks of disease, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on our business;
adverse litigation judgments, other dispute-related settlement payments or other litigation-related costs;
regulatory fines;
changes in, and continuing uncertainty in relation to, the legislative or regulatory environment;
legal and regulatory compliance costs;
the number of new employees and professional contractors added;
the timing of the grant or vesting of equity awards to employees, directors, contractors or consultants;
pricing pressure as a result of competition, economic conditions or otherwise, including as a result of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic;
costs and timing of expenses related to the acquisition of talent, technologies, intellectual property or businesses, including potentially significant amortization costs and possible write-downs;
public health crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic; and
general economic conditions, including geopolitical uncertainty and instability.
Any one or more of the factors above may result in significant fluctuations in our quarterly results of operations. You should not rely on our past results as an indicator of our future performance.
The variability and unpredictability of our quarterly results of operations or other operating metrics could result in our failure to meet our expectations or those of analysts that cover us or investors with respect to revenue or other key metrics for a particular period. If we fail to meet or exceed such expectations for these or any other reasons, the market price of our Class A common stock could fall, and we could face costly lawsuits, including securities class action suits.
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We may not be able to expand our distribution center operations, attract and retain personnel to efficiently and effectively manage the operations required to process, itemize, list, sell, pack and ship secondhand items or identify and lease distribution centers in geographic regions that enable us to effectively scale our operations.
We lease facilities to store and accommodate the logistics infrastructure required to process, itemize, list, sell, pack and ship the secondhand items we sell through our marketplace and related channels of distribution, including our RaaS partnerships. To grow our business, we must continue to improve and expand our distribution center operations, proprietary software and systems, and personnel in the geographic regions that have the resources necessary to effectively operate our business. The operation of our business is complex and requires the coordination of multiple functions that are highly dependent on numerous employees and personnel. Each item that we offer through our marketplace is unique and requires multiple touch points, including inspection, evaluation, photography, pricing, application of a unique SKU, and fulfillment. This process is complex and, from time to time, we may have more Clean Out Kits coming in from sellers than we can timely process. For instance, due to restrictions in our distribution centers as a result of COVID-19 safety precautions, governmental requirements and other COVID-19-related impacts, we currently have an elevated number of unprocessed Clean Out Kits containing secondhand items from sellers. We have also rapidly increased our operations employee headcount in recent years to support the growth of our business. The number of employees in our distribution centers increased to 1,570 as of December 31, 2020, from 835 as of December 31, 2018. While we experienced a temporary decrease in the number of employees in our distribution centers in the second quarter of 2020 due to the effects of COVID-19, we have restored and continued to grow our distribution center headcount. We expect that the number of employees in our distribution centers will increase significantly in the near term, particularly as and when concerns and restrictions due to COVID-19 abate. The market for these employees is increasingly competitive and is highly dependent on geographic location. We could be required to raise wages or introduce other compensation incentives to remain competitive, which could increase our costs and harm our results of operations. If we fail to effectively locate, hire and retain such personnel, our operations could be negatively impacted, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Further, the success of our business depends on our ability to maintain our current distribution centers and secure additional distribution centers that meet our business needs and are also in geographic locations with access to a large, qualified talent pool. We have distribution centers across three strategic locations: Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Space in well-positioned geographic locations is becoming increasingly scarce, and where it is available, the lease terms offered by landlords are increasingly competitive, particularly in geographic locations with access to the large, qualified talent pools required for us to run our logistics infrastructure. Incentives currently offered by local, state and federal entities to offset operating expenses may be reduced or become unavailable. Companies who have more financial resources and negotiating leverage than us may be more attractive tenants and, as a result, may outbid us for the facilities we seek. Due to the competitive nature of the real estate market in the locations where we currently operate, we may be unable to renew our existing leases or renew them on satisfactory terms. Failure to identify and secure adequate new distribution centers in optimal geographic locations or maintain our current distribution centers could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we are unable to successfully leverage technology to automate and drive efficiencies in our operations, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
We are continuing to build automation, machine learning and other capabilities to drive efficiencies in our distribution center operations, including our newest distribution center in Suwanee, Georgia. As we continue to enhance automation and add capabilities, our operations may become increasingly complex. While we expect these technologies to improve productivity in many of our merchandising operations, including processing, itemizing, listing and selling, any flaws, bugs or failures of such technologies could cause interruptions in and delays to our operations, which may harm our business. We are increasing our investment in technology, software and systems to support these efforts, but such investments may not
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increase productivity, maintain or improve the experience for buyers and sellers or result in more efficient operations. While we have created our own proprietary technology to operate our business, we also rely on technology from third parties. For example, to run our inbound operations, we leverage third-party machine learning software that analyzes data that we use in our proprietary algorithms for determining the optimal list price. We have also integrated third-party software to help operate our automated carousels and conveyors in our distribution centers. If these technologies do not increase our operational efficiency in accordance with our expectations, third parties change the terms and conditions that govern their relationships with us, or if competition increases for the technology and services provided by third parties, our business may be harmed. If we are no longer able to rely on such third parties, we would be required to either seek licenses to technologies or services from other third parties and redesign aspects of business and operations to function with such technologies or services or develop such technologies ourselves, either of which would result in increased costs and could result in operational delays until equivalent technologies can be licensed or developed and integrated into our business and operations. In addition, if we are unable to enhance automation to our operations, we may be unable to reduce the costs of processing supply and fulfilling orders, which could cause delays in buyers receiving their purchases and sellers receiving their payouts. As a result, our reputation and our relationships with our buyers and sellers could be harmed, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We rely on consumer discretionary spending and have been and may continue to be adversely affected by economic downturns and other macroeconomic conditions or trends.
Our business and results of operations are subject to global economic conditions and their impact on consumer discretionary spending, particularly in the retail market. Some of the factors that may negatively influence consumer spending on retail items include high levels of unemployment, high consumer debt levels, 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. Economic conditions in particular regions may also be affected by natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires; unforeseen public health crises, such as pandemics and epidemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic; political crises, such as terrorist attacks, war and other incidents of political instability, including the recent presidential election in the United States; or other catastrophic events, whether occurring in the United States or internationally. Traditionally, consumer purchases of new retail items have declined during periods of economic uncertainty, when disposable income is reduced or when there is a reduction in consumer confidence. Such economic uncertainty and decrease in the rate of retail purchases in the primary market may slow the rate at which individuals choose to supply their secondhand items to us, which could result in a decrease of items available in our marketplace, and may also slow the rate at which individuals choose to buy secondhand items on our marketplace. For instance, from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout 2020, we experienced an increase in the supply of Clean Out Kits with secondhand items from sellers. Additionally, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced a reduction in operations productivity at our distribution centers as we were unable to process Clean Out Kits at our normal rate. In March 2020, we experienced a 10% reduction in average monthly Orders through our site, as compared to February 2020, which we attribute to the general economic uncertainty at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While average monthly Orders have generally returned to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, we have not seen sustained growth in Orders in recent periods, which we believe is primarily due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we have experienced an overall reduction in revenue growth rates during the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020, and that reduction in our revenue growth rates may continue in light of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. The presence or absence of government stimulus funding programs has had and may continue to have an impact on consumer discretionary spending and, consequently, purchases through our marketplace site. Further, we cannot guarantee that buyers will continue to buy at current rates if the economy worsens. Adverse economic changes could reduce consumer confidence, and thereby negatively affect our results of operations.
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The market in which we participate is competitive and rapidly changing, and if we do not compete effectively with established companies as well as new market entrants or maintain and develop strategic relationships with third parties, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
The markets for resale and secondhand items are highly competitive. We compete with vendors of new and secondhand items, including branded goods stores, local, national and global department stores, traditional brick-and-mortar consignment and thrift stores, specialty retailers, direct-to-consumer, or DTC, retailers, discount chains, independent retail stores, the online offerings of traditional retail competitors, resale players focused on niche or single categories, as well as technology-enabled marketplaces that may offer the same or similar goods and services that we offer. Competitors offering the same or similar goods or services include secondhand marketplaces, such as eBay Inc., Mercari, Inc., Poshmark, Inc. and The RealReal, Inc.; large online retailers, such as Amazon.com, Inc., Kohl’s Corporation and Walmart Inc.; and off-price retailers, such as Burlington Stores, Inc., Ross Stores, Inc. and The TJX Companies, Inc. We believe our ability to compete depends on many factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
attracting and retaining buyers and sellers and increasing the volume of secondhand items they buy and sell;
further developing our data science and automation capabilities;
maintaining favorable brand recognition;
effectively delivering our marketplace to buyers and sellers;
identifying and delivering authentic, high-quality secondhand items;
maintaining and increasing the amount, diversity and quality of brands and secondhand items that we offer;
our ability to expand the means through which we acquire and offer secondhand items for resale;
the price at which secondhand items accepted onto our marketplace are offered;
the speed and cost at which we can process and make available secondhand items and deliver purchased secondhand items to our buyers; and
the ease with which our buyers and sellers can supply, purchase and return secondhand items.
As our market evolves and we begin to compete with new market entrants, we expect competition to intensify in the future. Established companies may not only develop their own platforms and competing lines of business, but also acquire or establish cooperative relationships with our current competitors or provide meaningful incentives to third parties to favor their offerings over our marketplace.
Many of our existing competitors have, and some of our potential competitors or potential alliances among competitors could have, substantial competitive advantages such as greater brand name recognition and longer operating histories, larger fulfillment infrastructures, greater technical capabilities, faster shipping times, lower-cost shipping, broader supply, established relationships with a larger existing buyer and/or seller base, superior or more desirable secondhand items for sale or resale, greater customer service resources, greater financial, marketing, institutional and other resources than we do, greater resources to make acquisitions, lower labor, and development costs, larger and more mature intellectual property portfolios, and substantially greater financial, technical and other resources than we do. Such competitors with greater financial and operating resources may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards or customer requirements and derive greater revenue and profits from their existing buyer bases, adopt more
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aggressive pricing policies to build larger buyer or seller bases, or respond more quickly than we can to new or emerging technologies and changes in consumer shopping behavior.
Potential buyers may also prefer to purchase retail items from larger online or brick-and-mortar competitors that they currently shop from, rather than a newer marketplace, regardless of offerings. These larger competitors often have broader supply and market focus and will therefore not be as susceptible to downturns in a particular market.
If we are unsuccessful in establishing or maintaining our relationships with third parties, or if they partner with our competitors and devote greater resources to implement and support the platforms or retail items of our competitors, our ability to compete in the marketplace, or to grow our revenue, could be impaired, and our results of operations may suffer. Even if these partnerships and any future partnerships we undertake are successful, we cannot assure you that these relationships will result in increased buying and selling through our marketplace or increased revenue.
Conditions in our market could also change rapidly and significantly as a result of technological advancements, partnering by our competitors or continuing market consolidation or strategic changes we or our competitors make in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is uncertain how our market will evolve. These competitive pressures in our market or our failure to compete effectively may result in price reductions, fewer buyers and sellers, reduced revenue, gross profit, and gross margins, increased net losses, and loss of market share. Any failure to meet and address these factors could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
National retailers and brands set their own retail prices and promotional discounts on new items, which could adversely affect our value proposition to buyers and harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
National retailers and brands set pricing for their own new retail items, which can include promotional discounts. Promotional pricing by these parties may adversely affect the relative value of secondhand items offered for resale with us, and, in turn, our revenue, results of operations and financial condition. In order to attract buyers to our marketplace, the prices for the secondhand items sold through our marketplace may need to be lowered in order to compete with pricing strategies employed by national retailers and brands for their own new retail items, which could negatively affect revenue growth, results of operations and financial condition. We have experienced a reduction in our revenue in the past due to reductions and fluctuations in the price of new retail items sold by national retailers and brands, and we anticipate similar reductions and fluctuations could occur in the future, such as due to a decrease in the price of new retail items in light of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These pricing changes and promotional discounts could, as a result, adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has had and may continue to have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and this contagious disease outbreak has continued to spread. The related public health measures, including orders to shelter-in-place, travel restrictions and mandated business closures, have adversely affected workforces, organizations, customers, economies and financial markets globally, leading to an economic downturn and increased market volatility. The fear associated with COVID-19, or any pandemic, and the reactions of governments around the world in response to COVID-19, or any pandemic, to regulate the flow of labor and products and impede the travel of individuals, have and may continue to impact our ability to conduct normal business operations, which could adversely affect our results of operations and liquidity. For example, due to shelter-in-place orders and mandatory business closures, in Georgia in particular, we have been required to limit operations at our distribution centers, resulting in a delay in our ability to process our Clean Out Kits, and have implemented enhanced safety and cleaning measures, resulting in increased costs. In compliance with local ordinances and to protect our workforce, we have
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also temporarily closed our corporate offices, except for limited essential staff and visits by our operations teams to the distribution centers on an as-needed and limited basis.
In addition, we implemented several cost-saving measures to address the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in the first quarter of 2020, we temporarily reduced marketing spend to take time to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on consumer demand. Additionally, in April 2020, we reduced salaries by 20% for the vast majority of corporate employees and in June 2020 we laid off the staff at our three small retail stores and permanently closed our retail stores during 2020. Further, we also have implemented promotional measures. Beginning in the second quarter of 2020, we chose to strategically increase discounts and incentives to encourage our existing buyer base to shop with us, as consumers generally prioritize value in times of economic uncertainty. The presence or absence of government stimulus funding programs, however, has had and may continue to have an impact on consumer discretionary spending and, consequently, purchases through our marketplace site. Without timely and robust government stimulus funding programs, consumers would have less money to spend on apparel, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. We are also impacted by the overall decrease in spending in the apparel sector during the pandemic as many consumers have limited their social activity and are making fewer apparel purchases. In connection with this reduced social activity, the shift to wear-at-home clothing has also meant that many popular secondhand categories sold on thredUP, such as dresses and shoes, have been less in-demand than pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, which affects our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Further, disruptions to our business operations have included and could include personnel absences, temporary closures of our distribution centers, further or ongoing reduced capacity at our distribution centers, delays in processing Clean Out Kits shipped by sellers to us, delays in our shipment of items purchased by our buyers, a slow-down in our ability to hire if we are unable to interview candidates in person, decreased foot traffic at and/or closure of our and our partners’ physical retail locations, disruptions in internet connections and a decrease or volatile patterns in spending on retail in general. For instance, decreased processing capacity at our distribution centers during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in fewer items being listed as available for sale, which adversely impacted our revenue growth. Our third-party vendors and partners have also experienced and may continue to experience disruptions to their business operations, which in turn affects us.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shelter-in-place orders throughout the country have disproportionately affected women, our predominant buyer demographic. If women are not able to economically recover from the impact of COVID-19, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted.
Further, developing various responses to the challenges caused by COVID-19 and its effects has and may continue to divert the attention of our management team. In the future, we may need to temporarily close some or all of our distribution centers. If a critical number of our employees become too ill to work or are unable to work due to personal reasons related to the effects of COVID-19, our ability to process merchandise through our distribution centers could be significantly slowed or halted.
Similarly, COVID-19 has led to a broader economic slowdown that may heighten other risks presented in this prospectus. Public health concerns, such as COVID-19, could also result in social, economic and labor instability in the localities in which we or our vendors, buyers and sellers reside. Any of these uncertainties and actions we take to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and uncertainties related to COVID-19 could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. See the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Impact of COVID-19” for additional information about the impact of COVID-19 on our business.
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We may experience damage or destruction to our distribution centers in which we store all of the secondhand items we offer through our marketplace, which may harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We store the majority of the secondhand items we offer through our marketplace in our distribution centers in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Our distribution centers, as well as our headquarters, are located in areas that have a history of natural disasters, including severe weather events, rendering our distribution centers vulnerable to damage. Any large-scale damage to or catastrophic loss of secondhand items stored in one of our distribution centers, due to natural disasters or man-made disasters such as arson, theft or otherwise would result in liability to our sellers for the expected payout commission liability for the lost items, reduction in the value of our inventory and a significant disruption to our business.
Additionally, given the nature of the unique selection of secondhand items we offer on our marketplace, our ability to restore such secondhand items on our marketplace would take time and would result in a limitation and delay of available supply for buyers, which would negatively impact our revenue and results of operations. Further, natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods and other adverse weather and climate conditions; unforeseen public health crises, such as pandemics and epidemics; political crises, such as terrorist attacks, war and other political instability; or other catastrophic events, whether occurring in the United States or internationally, could disrupt our operations in any of our offices and distribution centers or the operations of one or more of our third-party providers or vendors. For example, in March 2020 due to the progression of COVID-19 in areas where we operate distribution centers and have corporate offices, we reduced operations at our distribution centers and temporarily closed our corporate offices to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our employees. Such reductions in operations and closures have slowed and may in the future slow or temporarily halt our operations and harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Further, while we carry insurance for the secondhand items in our distribution centers, the number of carriers which provide for such insurance has declined, which has resulted in increased premiums and deductibles. The insurance we do carry may not continue to be available on commercially reasonable terms and, in any event, may not be adequate to cover all possible losses that our business could suffer. In the event that we suffer a catastrophic loss of any or all of our distribution centers and the secondhand items in such facilities, our liabilities may exceed the maximum insurance coverage amount, which would harm our business and results of operations.
Shipping is a critical part of our business and any changes in our shipping arrangements or any interruptions in shipping could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We currently rely on major vendors for our shipping of purchases to buyers and the shipping of supplied secondhand items by sellers. If we are not able to negotiate acceptable pricing and other terms with these vendors or they experience performance problems or other difficulties, such as the increased volume of deliveries due to shelter-in-place orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, it could negatively impact our business and results of operations and negatively affect the experiences of our buyers and sellers, which could affect the degree to which they continue to buy and supply secondhand items on our marketplace. In addition, our ability to receive inbound secondhand items efficiently and ship secondhand items to buyers may be negatively affected by inclement weather, fire, flood, power loss, earthquakes, labor disputes, acts of war or terrorism, disruptions and/or delays due to business closures and shelter-in-place orders like those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and similar factors. Disruption to delivery services due to inclement weather could result in delays that could adversely affect our reputation, business and results of operations. If our secondhand items are not delivered in a timely fashion or are damaged or lost during the supply or the delivery process, our buyers or sellers could become dissatisfied and cease using our marketplace, which could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
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Our advertising activity and strategic RaaS partnerships may fail to efficiently drive growth in buyers and sellers, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our future growth and potential profitability will depend in large part upon the effectiveness and efficiency of our advertising, promotion, public relations and marketing programs as well as our strategic RaaS partnerships, and we are investing heavily in these activities. Our advertising activities may not yield increased revenue and the efficacy of these activities will depend on a number of factors, including our ability to:
determine the effective creative message and media mix for advertising, marketing and promotional expenditures;
select the right markets, media and specific media vehicles in which to advertise;
identify the most effective and efficient level of spending in each market, media and specific media vehicle; and
effectively manage marketing costs, including creative and media expenses, to maintain acceptable buyer and seller acquisition costs.
We closely monitor the effectiveness of our advertising campaigns and changes in the advertising market, and adjust or re-allocate our advertising spend across channels, customer segments and geographic markets in real-time to optimize the effectiveness of these activities. We expect to increase advertising spend in future periods to continue driving our growth. Increases in the pricing of one or more of our marketing and advertising channels could increase our marketing and advertising expenses or cause us to choose less expensive but possibly less effective marketing and advertising channels. If we implement new marketing and advertising strategies, we may incur significantly higher costs than our current channels, which, in turn, could adversely affect our results of operations.
Implementing new marketing and advertising strategies also could increase the risk of devoting significant capital and other resources to endeavors that do not prove to be cost effective. We also may incur marketing and advertising expenses significantly in advance of the time we anticipate recognizing revenue associated with such expenses and our marketing and advertising expenditures may not generate sufficient levels of brand awareness or result in increased revenue. Even if our marketing and advertising expenses result in increased sales, the increase might not offset our related expenditures. If we are unable to maintain our marketing and advertising channels on cost-effective terms or replace or supplement existing marketing and advertising channels with similarly or more effective channels, our marketing and advertising expenses could increase substantially, our buyer and seller base could be adversely affected, our brand could suffer and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
We have invested and expect to continue to invest significant time and resources into our RaaS partnerships with national retail stores, premium women’s fashion brands, fashion-focused e-commerce sites and marketplaces for the buying and selling of secondhand items. We maintain a robust and varied set of RaaS partnership programs, including our RaaS offering, in-store pop-up shops and provision of our Clean Out Kits at our partners’ retail stores, our cash out marketplace partnerships, the resale of worn retail items provided to us by our RaaS partners and cross-listing our products on our RaaS partners’ websites. See the section titled “Business—The thredUP Product Experience—For RaaS Partners” for additional information about our RaaS partnerships. To grow our business and build out our marketplace, we anticipate that we will continue to depend on relationships with third parties. Identifying RaaS partners, and negotiating, documenting and maintaining relationships with them, requires significant time and resources. Further, our competitors may be effective in providing incentives to third parties to favor their offerings over our marketplace, mobile application or in-store offerings.
There is significant uncertainty around the future profitability of our RaaS partnerships and whether they will result in an increased number of new and repeat buyers, an increased number of new and
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repeat sellers selling high-quality secondhand items and increased awareness of our brand. The effectiveness of some of these RaaS partnerships has also been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated shelter-in-place orders. Further, if the retail industry suffers in general, there may be fewer customers visiting our partners’ retail stores and buying secondhand items in our pop-up shops, our RaaS partners may discontinue our pop-ups in an effort to cut back newer partnerships and our kit distribution partnership for gift cards to our partners’ store could be less desirable. Additionally, our RaaS partners could go out of business or declare bankruptcy. If our RaaS partnerships are not profitable and do not result in us acquiring a high-quality supply of secondhand items from our partners and/or their customers, who become our sellers, and reaching additional buyers, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
We rely on third parties to drive traffic to our website and mobile application, and these providers may change their algorithms or pricing in ways that could negatively impact our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
We rely in part on digital advertising, including search engine marketing and social media advertising, to promote awareness of our marketplace, grow our business, attract new buyers and sellers and retain existing buyers and sellers. In particular, we rely on search engines, such as Google, the major mobile application stores and social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram as important marketing channels. In addition to purchasing traditional advertising space on search engines and social media platforms, we also partner with influencers on Instagram who promote their buying and selling of secondhand items through our marketplace to their followers. Search engine companies, social media platforms or mobile application stores that we advertise our marketplace through may determine that we are not in compliance with their guidelines and penalize us as a result. If search engines or social media platforms change their algorithms, terms of service, display or the featuring of search results, determine we are out of compliance with their terms of service or if competition increases for advertisements, we may be unable to cost-effectively add buyers and sellers to our website and mobile application. Further, changes to third-party policies that limit our ability to deliver, target or measure the effectiveness of advertising, including changes by mobile operating system and browser providers such as Apple and Google, could reduce the effectiveness of our marketing. We also cannot accurately predict if the followers of our Instagram influencer partners will be interested in buying and selling through our marketplace, or if our influencer partners will maintain their follower numbers throughout the time our partnerships. Our relationships with our marketing vendors are not long term in nature and do not require any specific performance commitments. In addition, many of our online advertising vendors provide advertising services to other companies, including companies with whom we may compete. As competition for online advertising has increased, the cost for some of these services has also increased. Our marketing initiatives may become increasingly expensive and generating a return on those initiatives may be difficult. Even if we successfully increase revenue as a result of our paid marketing efforts, such increase may not offset the additional marketing expenses we incur.
We may not succeed in promoting and maintaining our brand and reputation, which could harm our business and future growth.
We believe that maintaining our brand and reputation is critical to driving buyer and seller engagement. An important goal of our brand promotion strategy is establishing trust with our buyers and sellers.
For buyers, maintaining our brand and reputation requires that we foster trust through timely and reliable fulfillment of orders, responsive and effective customer service, a broad supply of desirable brands and secondhand items and an exciting and user-friendly interface on our marketplace, in our stores and through our partnerships. For sellers, maintaining our brand and reputation requires that we foster convenience with service that is convenient, consistent and timely. It also requires that we foster trust through consistent and transparent acceptance, payout and return processes and policies for secondhand items supplied to us, payouts that our sellers perceive to be adequate compensation for their items and responsive and effective customer service. If we fail to provide buyers or sellers with the
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service and experience they expect, or we experience buyer or seller complaints or negative publicity about our marketplace services, merchandise, delivery times or customer support, whether justified or not, the value of our brand could be harmed, which could harm our business and future growth. For example, disruption to processing of Clean Out Kits and distribution caused by COVID-19 has led and could potentially lead to additional delays in our ability to process secondhand items sellers send in for resale, resulting in delays in sellers receiving payouts and less refreshing of our supply on our marketplace, and could harm our brand and reputation.
Additionally, in October 2020, we launched our new brand campaign. Such rebranding may not be as successful as our current brand and may not achieve its intended results. Furthermore, in connection with the development and implementation of our rebranding campaign, we have spent additional time and costs, including those associated with advertising and marketing efforts. If we are unable to effectively implement our rebranding campaign, our business, results of operations and financial condition could suffer.
We use data science to predict buyer and seller preferences, and if we do not accurately predict evolving preferences of our buyers and sellers it could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our success is in large part dependent upon our ability to anticipate and identify trends in the market for secondhand items in a timely manner and to obtain a supply of secondhand items that addresses those trends by attracting and retaining sellers who send in high-quality secondhand items. We use data science to predict buyer and seller preferences, which we in turn use to ensure our buyers are looking at secondhand items that they are interested in purchasing on our marketplace. There can be no assurance that our data science will accurately anticipate buyer or seller preferences and, if our predictions are inaccurate, we will not be able to optimize our buyers’ and sellers’ experience on our marketplace. Lead times relating to these changing preferences may make it difficult for us to respond rapidly to new or changing trends. We have begun to expand our offerings beyond our core marketplace and to expand our RaaS partnership programs and the impact on our business from these new offerings and RaaS partnership programs is not clear as it is difficult to accurately predict buyer and seller preferences. To the extent we do not accurately predict the evolving preferences of our buyers and sellers, it could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Certain estimates of market opportunity and our buyer and seller metrics included in this prospectus may prove to be inaccurate, and any real or perceived inaccuracies may harm our reputation and negatively affect our business.
This prospectus includes our internal estimates of the addressable market for thredUP and metrics related to our buyers and sellers. Market opportunity estimates, whether obtained from third-party sources or developed internally, are subject to significant uncertainty and are based on assumptions and estimates that may not prove to be accurate. The estimates and forecasts in this prospectus relating to the size of our target market, market demand, capacity to address this demand, and pricing may prove to be inaccurate. The addressable market we estimate may not materialize for many years, if ever, and even if the markets in which we compete meet the size estimates in this prospectus, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, if at all.
Certain metrics presented in this prospectus, including the numbers of Active Buyers and Active Sellers, are based on internal company data, assumptions and estimates and we use these numbers in managing our business. We believe that these figures are reasonable estimates, and we take measures to improve their accuracy, such as eliminating known fictitious or duplicate accounts. There are, however, inherent challenges in gathering accurate data across large online and mobile populations. For example, there may be individuals who have multiple email accounts in violation of our terms of service, despite our efforts to detect and enforce our terms of service. If individuals have multiple unique email addresses that are undetected, then we could be overestimating the number of Active Buyers or Active Sellers. We regularly review and may adjust our processes for calculating these metrics to improve their accuracy. If
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investors or analysts do not perceive our metrics to be accurate representations of our business, or if we discover material inaccuracies in our metrics, our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition would be harmed.
Greater than expected returns could have a negative impact on our revenue.
We allow buyers to return certain purchases from our website and mobile application under our return policy. We record a reserve for returns against proceeds to us from the resale of secondhand items on our marketplace in calculating revenue. We estimate this reserve based on historical return trends. The introduction of new products in the retail market, changes in consumer confidence or other competitive and general economic conditions may cause actual returns to exceed our reserve for returns. From time to time, the secondhand items sold through our marketplace are damaged in transit which can increase return rates, increase our costs and harm our brand. Returned items may also be damaged in transit as part of the return process, which can significantly impact the price we are able to charge for such items on our marketplace. Any significant increase in returns that exceeds our reserves could adversely affect our revenue and results of operations.
As an online secondhand marketplace, our success depends on the accuracy of our item acceptance process. Failure by us to identify counterfeit or stolen retail items could adversely affect our reputation and expose us to liability for the resale of counterfeit or stolen items.
Our success depends on our ability to accurately and cost-effectively determine whether a secondhand item offered for resale is an authentic product. From time to time we receive counterfeit secondhand items through our sellers. While we have invested in our authentication processes and we reject any retail items we believe to be counterfeit, we cannot be certain that we will identify every counterfeit item that is supplied to us. As the sophistication of counterfeiters increases, it may be increasingly difficult to identify counterfeit products. We refund the cost of an item to a buyer if the buyer questions its authenticity and returns the item. The resale of any counterfeit items may damage our reputation as a trusted marketplace for secondhand items, which may impact our ability to attract and maintain repeat buyers and sellers. We may also be subject to allegations that an item we sold is not authentic despite our efforts to inspect such item. Such controversy could negatively impact our reputation and brand and harm our business and results of operations.
Additionally, we may fail to prevent sellers from supplying stolen items. Government regulators and law enforcement officials may allege that our services violate, or aid and abet violations of certain laws, including laws restricting or prohibiting the transferability and, by extension, the resale, of stolen items. Our form of seller terms includes a representation that the seller has the necessary right and title to the secondhand items they may resell. Our terms of use prohibit the listing of stolen or otherwise illegal products. If these terms prove inadequate, we may be required to spend substantial resources to take additional protective measures which could negatively impact our operations. Any costs incurred as a result of potential liability relating to the alleged or actual resale of stolen items could harm our business. In addition, negative publicity relating to the actual or perceived listing or resale of stolen items using our services could damage our reputation and make our buyers and sellers reluctant to use our services. To the extent any of this occurs, it could harm our business or damage our reputation and we could face liability for such unlawful activities. Despite measures taken by us to detect stolen items, to cooperate fully with law enforcement, and to respond to inquiries regarding potentially stolen items, any resulting claims or liabilities could harm our business.
Risks Relating to Information Technology, Intellectual Property, Data Security and Privacy
Compromises of our data security could cause us to incur unexpected expenses and may materially harm our reputation and results of operations.
In the ordinary course of our business, we collect, process and store certain personal information and other data relating to individuals, such as our buyers, sellers and employees. We also maintain other information, such as our trade secrets and confidential business information and certain confidential
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information of third parties, that is sensitive and that we seek to protect. We rely substantially on commercially available systems, software, tools and monitoring to provide security for our processing, transmission and storage of personal information and other confidential information. We or our vendors could be the subject of hacking, social engineering, phishing attacks or other attacks. Due to these or other causes, we or our vendors may suffer a data breach or other security incident, which may allow hackers or other unauthorized parties to gain access to personal information or other data, including payment card data or confidential business information, and we might not discover such issues for an extended period. The techniques used to obtain unauthorized access or to sabotage systems change frequently and generally are not identified until they are launched against a target. As a result, we and our vendors may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. In addition, our employees, contractors, vendors or other third parties with whom we do business may attempt to circumvent security measures in order to misappropriate such personal information, confidential information or other data, or may inadvertently release or compromise such data. We expect to incur ongoing costs associated with the detection and prevention of security breaches and other security-related incidents. We may incur additional costs in the event of a security breach or other security-related incident. Any actual or perceived compromise of our systems or data security measures or those of third parties with whom we do business, or any failure to prevent or mitigate the loss of personal or other confidential information and delays in detecting or providing notice of any such compromise or loss could disrupt our operations, harm the perception of our security measures, damage our reputation, cause some participants to decrease or stop their use of our marketplace and subject us to litigation, government action, increased transaction fees, regulatory fines or penalties or other additional costs and liabilities that could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We cannot be certain that our insurance coverage will be adequate for data handling or data security liabilities, that insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all, or that any insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. The successful assertion of one or more large claims against us that exceed available insurance coverage or the occurrence of changes in our insurance policies, including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co-insurance requirements, could harm our business, results of operations, financial condition and reputation.
In addition, the changes in our work environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could impact the security of our systems, as well as our ability to protect against attacks and detect and respond to them quickly. Any rapid adoption by us of third-party services designed to enable the transition to a remote workforce also may introduce security risk that is not fully mitigated prior to the use of these services. We may also be subject to increased cyber-attacks, such as phishing attacks by threat actors using the attention placed on the COVID-19 pandemic as a method for targeting our personnel.
Our use and other processing of personal information and other data is subject to laws and regulations relating to privacy and data protection. Changes in such laws or regulations, or any actual or perceived failure by us to comply with such laws and regulations, our privacy policies and/or contractual obligations, could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We collect, maintain and otherwise process significant amounts of personal information and other data relating to our buyers, sellers and employees. Numerous state, federal and international laws, rules and regulations govern the collection, use and protection of personal information and other types of data we collect, use, disclose and otherwise process. Such privacy requirements are constantly evolving, and we expect that there will continue to be new proposed privacy requirements in the United States and other jurisdictions, or changes in the interpretation of existing privacy requirements. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, took effect on January 1, 2020 and broadly defines personal information, imposes stringent consumer data protection requirements, gives California residents expanded privacy rights, provides for civil penalties for violations and introduces a private right of action for data breaches. Additionally, on November 3, 2020, Proposition 24 was approved in California which creates a new privacy law, the California Privacy Rights Act, or CPRA. The CPRA creates additional
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obligations relating to personal information that will take effect on January 1, 2023 (with certain provisions having retroactive effect to January 1, 2022). The CPRA’s implementing regulations are expected on or before July 1, 2022, and enforcement is scheduled to begin July 1, 2023. We will continue to monitor developments related to the CPRA and anticipate additional costs and expenses associated with CPRA compliance.
Future privacy requirements, or changes in the interpretation of existing privacy requirements, may require companies to implement privacy and security policies, provide certain types of notices, grant certain rights to individuals, inform individuals of security breaches, and, in some cases, obtain individuals’ consent to use personal data for certain purposes. These privacy requirements may be inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another, subject to differing interpretations and may be interpreted to conflict with our practices. We cannot yet fully determine the impact that such future privacy requirements may have on our business or operations. Additionally, we are subject to the terms of our privacy policies and notices and may be bound by contractual requirements applicable to our collection, use, processing and disclosure of personal information, and may be bound by or alleged to be subject to, or voluntarily comply with, self-regulatory or other industry standards relating to these matters.
Any failure or perceived failure by us or any third parties with which we do business to comply with these privacy requirements, with our posted privacy policies or with other privacy-related obligations to which we or such third parties are or may become subject, may result in investigations or enforcement actions against us by governmental entities, private claims, public statements against us by consumer advocacy groups or others, and fines, penalties or other liabilities. For example, California consumers whose information has been subject to a security incident may bring civil suits under the CCPA, for statutory damages between $100 and $750 per consumer. Any such action would be expensive to defend, likely would damage our reputation and market position, could result in substantial liability and could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Further, in view of new or modified privacy requirements, contractual obligations and other legal obligations, or any changes in their interpretation, we may find it necessary or desirable to fundamentally change our business activities and practices, and to expend significant resources to adapt to these changes. We may be unable to make such changes and modifications in a commercially reasonable manner or at all, and our ability to develop new features could be limited. Privacy, data protection and information security concerns, whether valid or not valid, may inhibit the use and growth of our marketplace, particularly in certain foreign countries. Additionally, public scrutiny of or complaints about technology companies or their data practices, even if unrelated to our business, industry, or operations, may lead to increased scrutiny of technology companies, including us, and may cause government agencies to enact additional regulatory requirements, or to modify their enforcement or investigation activities, which may increase our costs and risks.
Interruptions or delays in the services provided by third-party data centers, Internet service providers or our payment processors could prevent existing and potential buyers and sellers from accessing our marketplace, and our business could suffer.
Our reputation and ability to attract and retain buyers and sellers depends in part on the reliable performance of our network infrastructure and content delivery process. We have experienced, and expect that in the future we may experience, interruptions, delays and outages in service and availability from time to time due to a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, human or software errors, website hosting disruptions and capacity constraints which could affect the availability of services on our marketplace and prevent or inhibit the ability of buyers to access our marketplace or complete purchases on our marketplace through our website or mobile application.
We currently host our marketplace and support our operations using Amazon Web Services, or AWS, data centers, a provider of cloud infrastructure services. Our operations depend on protecting the virtual cloud infrastructure hosted in AWS by maintaining its configuration, architecture and interconnection specifications, as well as the information stored in these virtual data centers and which third-party Internet
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service providers transmit. Furthermore, we have no physical access or control over the services provided by AWS. Although we have disaster recovery plans that utilize multiple AWS locations, the data centers that we use are vulnerable to damage or interruption from human error, intentional bad acts, earthquakes, floods, fires, severe storms, war, terrorist attacks, power losses, hardware failures, systems failures, telecommunications failures, and similar events, many of which are beyond our control, any of which could disrupt our service, destroy user content, or prevent us from being able to continuously back up or record changes in our users’ content. In the event of significant physical damage to one of these data centers, it may take a significant period of time to achieve full resumption of our marketplace, and our disaster recovery planning may not account for all eventualities. Further, a prolonged AWS service disruption affecting our marketplace could damage our reputation with current buyers and sellers, expose us to liability, make it difficult to attract and retain new and existing buyers and sellers, or otherwise harm our business. In particular, volume of traffic and activity on our marketplace spikes on certain days and during certain periods of the year, such as during a holiday promotion. Any interruption to the availability of our marketplace would be particularly problematic if it were to occur at such a high-volume time. In addition, we use multiple third-party payment processors to process payments made by buyers or to sellers on our marketplace. Any disruption or failure in the services we receive from our third-party payment processors could prevent us from being able to effectively operate our marketplace and likewise could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If AWS or our third-party payment processors terminate their relationships with us or refuse to renew their agreements with us on commercially reasonable terms, we would need to find alternative data centers, Internet service providers and third-party payment processors and may not be able to secure similar terms or replace such payment processors in an acceptable timeframe. Further, the services provided by such alternate providers may not meet our expectations, contain errors or vulnerabilities, be compromised or experience outages. In particular, should we or AWS decide to terminate our contract for cloud infrastructure services for any reason, transitioning our cloud infrastructure to an alternative provider could potentially be disruptive, and we may incur significant costs for a short period of time. Any of these risks could cause us to lose our ability to accept online payments, make payments to sellers or conduct other payment transactions, any of which could make our marketplace less convenient and attractive and adversely affect our ability to attract and retain buyers and sellers, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Activity on mobile devices by buyers and sellers depends upon effective use of mobile operating systems, networks and standards that we do not control.
Purchases using mobile devices by buyers and sellers generally, and by our buyers and sellers specifically, have increased significantly, and we expect this trend to continue. To optimize the mobile shopping experience, we are dependent on our buyers and sellers downloading our specific mobile applications for their particular device or accessing our sites from an Internet browser on their mobile device. As new mobile devices and platforms are released, it is difficult to predict the problems we may encounter in developing applications for these alternative devices and platforms, and we may need to devote significant resources to the creation, support and maintenance of such applications. In addition, our future growth and our results of operations could suffer if we experience difficulties in the future in integrating our mobile applications into mobile devices, if problems arise with our relationships with providers of mobile operating systems or mobile application download stores, such as those of Apple or Google, if our applications receive unfavorable treatment compared to competing applications, such as the order of our mobile application in the Apple App Store or Google Play, if we face increased costs to distribute or have buyers and sellers use our mobile applications or if our mobile application is no longer available with certain providers of mobile operating systems or mobile application download stores. We are further dependent on the interoperability of our sites with popular mobile operating systems that we do not control, such as iOS and Android, and any changes in such systems that degrade the functionality of our sites or give preferential treatment to competitors could adversely affect the usage of our sites on mobile devices. In the event that it is more difficult for our buyers and sellers to access and use our sites on mobile devices, or if our buyers and sellers choose not to access or to use our sites on their mobile
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devices or to use mobile products that do not offer access to our sites, this could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may be accused of infringing intellectual property or other proprietary rights of third parties.
We have been in the past and may be accused in the future of infringing intellectual property or other proprietary rights of third parties. We are also at risk of claims by others that we have infringed their copyrights, trademarks or patents, or improperly used or disclosed their trade secrets, or otherwise infringed or violated their proprietary rights, such as the right of publicity. For example, although we require our employees to not use the proprietary information or know-how of others in their work for us, we may become subject to claims that these employees have divulged, or we have used, proprietary information of these employees’ former employers. The costs of supporting any litigation or disputes related to these claims can be considerable, and we cannot assure you that we will achieve a favorable outcome of any such claim. If any such claim is valid, we may be compelled to cease our use of such intellectual property or other proprietary rights and pay damages, which could adversely affect our business. In addition, if such claims are valid, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel, which could harm our business. Even if such claims were not valid, defending them could be expensive and distracting, adversely affecting our results of operations.
If we cannot successfully protect our intellectual property, our business could suffer.
We rely on a combination of intellectual property rights, contractual protections and other practices to protect our brand, proprietary information, technologies and processes. We primarily rely on patent, copyright and trade secret laws to protect our proprietary technologies and processes, including the automated operations systems and machine learning technology we use throughout our business. Others may independently develop the same or similar technologies and processes or may improperly acquire and use information about our technologies and processes, which may allow them to provide a service similar to ours, which could harm our competitive position. Our principal trademark assets include the registered trademarks “THREDUP” and “Think Secondhand First” and our logos and taglines. Our trademarks are valuable assets that support our brand and buyers’ perception of our services and merchandise. We have registered trademarks in Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. We also hold the rights to the “thredup.com” Internet domain name and various related domain names, which are subject to Internet regulatory bodies and trademark and other related laws of each applicable jurisdiction. If we are unable to protect our trademarks or domain names, our brand recognition and reputation would suffer, we would incur significant expense establishing new brands and our results of operations would be adversely impacted. Further, to the extent we pursue additional patent protection for our innovations, patents we may apply for may not issue, and patents that do issue or that we acquire may not provide us with any competitive advantages or may be challenged by third parties. There can be no assurance that any patents we obtain will adequately protect our inventions or survive a legal challenge, as the legal standards relating to the validity, enforceability and scope of protection of patent and other intellectual property rights are uncertain. We may be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights, and the efforts we take to protect our proprietary rights may not be sufficient.
We rely in part on trade secrets, proprietary know-how and other confidential information to maintain our competitive position. Although we enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and consultants and enter into confidentiality agreements with the parties with whom we have strategic relationships, partnerships and business alliances, no assurance can be given that these agreements will be effective in controlling access to and distribution of our proprietary information. Further, these agreements do not prevent our competitors from independently developing technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to our automation technologies or technologies related to our marketplace.
To protect our intellectual property rights, we may be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect these rights, and we may or may not be able to detect infringement by third parties.
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Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights and to protect our trade secrets. Such litigation could be costly, time consuming and distracting to management and could result in the impairment or loss of portions of our intellectual property. Furthermore, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property rights. Our inability to protect our proprietary technology against unauthorized copying or use, as well as any costly litigation or diversion of our management’s attention and resources, could delay further sales or the implementation of our platform, impair the functionality of our platform, delay introductions of new capabilities, result in our substituting inferior or more costly technologies into our business, or injure our reputation. In addition, we may be required to license additional technology from third parties to develop and market new capabilities, and we cannot assure you that we could license that technology on commercially reasonable terms or at all, and our inability to license this technology could harm our ability to compete.
We use open source software in our marketplace, which could negatively affect our ability to operate our business and subject us to litigation or other actions.
We use open source software to facilitate the development and operation of our marketplace, including our website and mobile application, and may use more open source software in the future. From time to time, there have been claims challenging both the ownership of open source software against companies that incorporate open source software into their products and whether such incorporation is permissible under various open source licenses. The terms of many open source licenses have not been interpreted by U.S. courts, and there is a risk that these licenses could be construed in a way that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to operate our marketplace. As a result, we could be subject to lawsuits by parties claiming ownership of what we believe to be open source software, or breach of open source licenses. Litigation could be costly for us to defend, have a negative effect on our results of operations and financial condition, or require us to devote additional research and development resources to change our marketplace. In addition, if we were to combine our proprietary source code or software with open source software in a certain manner, we could, under certain of the open source licenses, be required to release the source code of our proprietary software to the public. This would allow our competitors to create similar offerings with less development effort and time. If we inappropriately use open source software, or if the license terms for open source software that we use change, we may be required to re-engineer our marketplace, or certain aspects of our marketplace, incur additional costs, or take other remedial actions.
In addition to risks related to license requirements, usage of open source software can lead to greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or assurance of title or controls on origin of the software. In addition, many of the risks associated with usage of open source software, such as the lack of warranties or assurances of title, cannot be eliminated, and could, if not properly addressed, negatively affect our business. We have established processes to help alleviate these risks, but we cannot be sure that all of our use of open source software is in a manner that is consistent with our current policies and procedures or will not subject us to liability.
We rely on software and services from other parties. Defects in or the loss of access to software or services from third parties could increase our costs and adversely affect the quality of our products.
We rely on technologies from third parties to operate critical functions of our business, including cloud infrastructure services, payment processing services, certain aspects of distribution center automation and customer relationship management services. We also use Google services for our business emails, file storage and communications. Our business would be disrupted if any of the third-party software or services we utilize, or functional equivalents thereof, were unavailable due to extended outages or interruptions or because they are no longer available on commercially reasonable terms or prices. In each case, we would be required to either seek licenses to software or services from other parties and redesign our business and marketplace to function with such software or services or develop these components
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ourselves, which would result in increased costs and could result in delays in the launch of new offerings on our marketplace until equivalent technology can be identified, licensed or developed, and integrated into our business and marketplace. Furthermore, we might be forced to limit the features available in our current or future products. These delays and feature limitations, if they occur, could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our success depends, in part, on the integrity and scalability of our systems and infrastructures as well as our ability to integrate with our partners. System interruption and the lack of integration, redundancy and scalability in these systems and infrastructures may harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to maintain the integrity of our systems and infrastructure, including our website and mobile app, information and related systems. Further, to maintain our strategic relationships with our partners, our systems and infrastructure must be seamlessly integrated and interoperable with our partners’ systems, including those of our RaaS partners, which may cause us to incur significant upfront and maintenance costs as some of our RaaS partnerships may involve development of a variety of technologies, data formats, applications, systems and infrastructure. System interruption and a lack of integration and redundancy in our information systems and infrastructure may adversely affect our ability to operate our website or mobile app, process and fulfill transactions, maintain coordination between our website and those of certain of our RaaS partners, respond to customer inquiries and generally maintain cost-efficient operations. As our business has grown in size and complexity, the growth has placed, and will continue to place, significant demands on our information systems and infrastructure. To effectively manage this growth, we expect to commit significant financial resources and personnel to maintain and enhance existing systems and develop or acquire new systems to keep pace with continuing changes in our business and information processing technology as well as evolving industry, regulatory and accounting standards. If the information we rely upon to run our businesses is determined to be inaccurate or unreliable, or if we fail to properly maintain or enhance our internal information systems and infrastructure, we could experience operational disruptions, customer disputes, significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in our internal controls, incur increased operating and administrative expenses, lose our ability to produce timely and accurate financial reports or suffer other adverse consequences which could harm our results of operations. We also rely on third-party computer systems, broadband and other communications systems and service providers in connection with providing access to our marketplace generally. Any interruptions, outages or delays in our systems and infrastructure, our business and/or third parties or deterioration in the performance of these systems and infrastructure, could impair our ability to provide access to our marketplace. Fire, flood, power loss, telecommunications failure, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, other natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism and similar events or disruptions may damage or interrupt computer, broadband or other communications systems and infrastructure at any time. Any of these events could cause system interruption, delays and loss of critical data, and could prevent us from providing access to our marketplace. While we have backup systems for certain aspects of our operations, disaster recovery planning by its nature cannot be sufficient for all eventualities. In addition, we may not have adequate insurance coverage to compensate for losses from a major interruption. If any of these events were to occur, it could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Risks Relating to Legal, Regulatory, Accounting and Tax Matters
Material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting may cause us to fail to timely and accurately report our financial results or result in a material misstatement of our consolidated financial statements.
In connection with the audits of our 2018, 2019 and 2020 consolidated financial statements, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified control deficiencies in the design and operation of our internal control over financial reporting that constituted a material weakness. 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 consolidated financial statements
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will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. Our material weakness related to the following control deficiencies:
We did not design and maintain effective control over our accounting and proprietary data systems used in our financial reporting process. These systems lacked controls over user access, program change management, computer operation and data validation to ensure that IT program and data changes affecting financial accounting applications and underlying accounting records are identified, tested, authorized and implemented appropriately.
We did not design and maintain adequate controls over the preparation and review of certain account reconciliations and journal entries. Specifically, we did not design and maintain controls and we did not maintain a sufficient complement of accounting personnel to ensure (i) the appropriate segregation of duties in the preparation and review of account reconciliations and journal entries and (ii) account reconciliations were prepared and reviewed at the appropriate level of precision on a consistent and timely basis.
The deficiencies described above, if not remediated, could result in a misstatement of one or more account balances or disclosures in our annual or interim consolidated financial statements that would not be prevented or detected, and, accordingly, we determined that these control deficiencies constitute a material weakness.
To address our material weakness, we have added accounting, finance and information technology personnel and implemented new financial accounting processes. We intend to continue to take steps to remediate the material weakness described above through implementing enhancements and controls within our accounting and proprietary systems, hiring additional qualified accounting, finance and information technology resources and further evolving our accounting and quarterly close processes. We will not be able to fully remediate these control deficiencies until these steps have been completed and have been operating effectively for a sufficient period of time. The redesign and implementation of improvements to our accounting and proprietary systems and controls may be costly and time consuming and the cost to remediate may impair our results of operations in the future.
If we fail to remediate our material weakness, identify future material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting or fail to meet the demands that will be placed upon us as a public company, including the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we may be unable to accurately report our financial results or report them within the timeframes required by law or stock exchange regulations. Failure to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act could also potentially subject us to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities. 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.
Failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations, including those relating to the resale of secondhand items, or changes to such laws, rules or regulations may subject us to fines, penalties, registration and approval or other governmental enforcement action.
Our business and financial condition could be adversely affected by unfavorable changes in or interpretations of existing laws, rules and regulations or the promulgation of new laws, rules and regulations applicable to us and our business, including those relating to the internet and e-commerce, such as geo-blocking and other geographically based restrictions, internet advertising and price display, consumer protection, anti-corruption, antitrust and competition, economic and trade sanctions, tax, banking, data security, network and information systems security, data protection, privacy and escheatment. As a result, regulatory authorities could prevent or temporarily suspend us from conducting some or all of our activities or otherwise penalize us if our practices were found not to comply with applicable regulatory or licensing requirements or any binding interpretation of such requirements. Unfavorable changes or interpretations could decrease demand for our marketplace, limit marketing
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methods and capabilities, affect our growth, increase costs or subject us to additional liabilities. In addition, if we were to expand internationally, we would be subject to additional regulation.
For example, there are, and will likely continue to be, an increasing number of laws and regulations pertaining to the internet and e-commerce. Regulations and laws specifically governing the internet and e-commerce may involve taxes, privacy, data protection and data security, consumer protection, the ability to collect and/or share necessary information that allows us to conduct business on the internet, marketing communications and advertising, content protection, electronic contracts or gift cards. Such regulations and laws may relate to liability for information retrieved from or transmitted over the internet, display of certain taxes and fees, online editorial and consumer-generated content, user privacy, data security, network and information systems security, behavioral targeting and online advertising, taxation, liability for third-party activities and the quality of services. California’s Automatic Renewal Law, for example, requires companies to adhere to enhanced disclosure requirements when entering into automatically renewing contracts with buyers and sellers. As a result, a wave of consumer class action lawsuits was brought against companies that offer online products and services on a subscription or recurring basis. Furthermore, the growth and development of e-commerce may prompt calls for more stringent consumer protection laws and more aggressive enforcement efforts, which may impose additional burdens on online businesses generally.
The resale of secondhand items through our marketplace is subject to regulation, including by regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other international, federal, state and local governments and regulatory authorities. These laws and regulations are complex, vary from state to state and change often. We monitor these laws and regulations and adjust our business practices as warranted to comply. We receive our supply of secondhand items from numerous sellers located in all 50 U.S. states, and the items we receive from our sellers may contain materials such as fur, snakeskin and other exotic animal product components, that are subject to regulation. Our standard seller terms and conditions require sellers to comply with applicable laws when sending us their secondhand items. Failure of our sellers to comply with applicable laws, regulations and contractual requirements could lead to litigation or other claims against us, resulting in increased legal expenses and costs. In addition, while all of our vendor agreements contain a standard indemnification provision, certain vendors may not have sufficient resources or insurance to satisfy their indemnity and defense obligations which may harm our business. Moreover, failure by us to effectively monitor the application of these laws and regulations to our business, and to comply with such laws and regulations, may negatively affect our brand and subject us to penalties and fines.
Numerous U.S. states and municipalities, including the States of California and New York, have regulations regarding the handling of secondhand items and licensing requirements of secondhand dealers. Such government regulations could require us to change the way we conduct business, such as prohibiting or otherwise restricting the sale or shipment of certain items in some locations. These regulations could result in increased costs or reduced revenue. We could also be subject to fines or other penalties that could harm our business.
Additionally, supplied secondhand items could be subject to recalls and other remedial actions and product safety, labeling and licensing concerns may require us to voluntarily remove selected secondhand items from our marketplace. Such recalls or voluntary removal of items can result in, among other things, lost sales, diverted resources, potential harm to our reputation and increased customer service costs and legal expenses, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Some of the secondhand items sold through our marketplace may expose us to product liability claims and litigation or regulatory action relating to personal injury, environmental or property damage. We cannot be certain that our insurance 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.
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Our failure to address risks associated with payment methods, credit card fraud and other consumer fraud, or our failure to control any such fraud, could damage our reputation and brand and could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We have in the past incurred and may in the future incur losses from various types of fraudulent transactions, including the use of stolen credit card numbers, and claims that a buyer did not authorize a purchase. In addition, as part of the payment processing process, our buyers’ and sellers’ credit and debit card information is transmitted to our third-party payment processors, and we may in the future become subject to lawsuits or other proceedings for purportedly fraudulent transactions arising out of the actual or alleged theft of our buyers’ and sellers’ credit or debit card information if the security of our third-party credit card payment processors are breached.
Under current credit card practices, we are liable for fraudulent credit card transactions because we do not obtain a cardholder’s signature. We do not currently carry insurance against this risk. To date, we have experienced minimal losses from credit card fraud, but we face the risk of significant losses from this type of fraud as our net sales increase.
We and our third-party credit card payment processors are also subject to payment card association operating rules, certification requirements and rules governing electronic funds transfers, which could change or be reinterpreted to make it difficult or impossible for us to comply. If we or our third-party credit card payment processors fail to comply with these rules or requirements, we may be subject to fines and higher transaction fees and lose our ability to accept credit and debit card payments from our buyers and sellers in addition to the consequences that could arise from such action or inaction violating or being alleged to violate applicable laws, regulations, contractual obligations or other obligations, including those regulating to privacy, data protection and data security as outlined above, including harm to our reputation and market position. Any of these could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. Our failure to adequately prevent fraudulent transactions could damage our reputation and market position, result in claims, litigation or regulatory investigations and proceedings or lead to expenses that could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We and our directors and executive officers may be subject to litigation for a variety of claims, which could harm our reputation and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In the ordinary course of business, we have in the past and may in the future be involved in and subject to litigation for a variety of claims or disputes and receive regulatory inquiries. These claims, lawsuits and proceedings could include labor and employment, wage and hour, commercial, antitrust, alleged securities law violations or other investor claims, claims that our employees have wrongfully disclosed or we have wrongfully used proprietary information of our employees’ former employers and other matters. The number and significance of these potential claims and disputes may increase as our business expands. Further, our general liability insurance may not cover all potential claims made against us or be sufficient to indemnify us for all liability that may be imposed. Any claim against us, regardless of its merit, could be costly, divert management’s attention and operational resources, and harm our reputation.
Our directors and executive officers may also be subject to litigation. The limitation of liability and indemnification provisions that are expected to be included in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our amended and restated bylaws and indemnification agreements that we enter into with our directors and executive officers will provide that we will indemnify our directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law and may discourage stockholders from bringing a lawsuit against our directors and executive officers for breach of their fiduciary duties. Such provisions may also reduce the likelihood of derivative litigation against our directors and executive officers, even though an action, if successful, might benefit us and other stockholders. Further, a stockholder’s investment may be harmed to the extent that we pay the costs of settlement and damage awards against our directors and executive officers as required by these indemnification provisions. Prior to the completion of this offering, we expect
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to obtain insurance policies under which, subject to the limitations of the policies, coverage is provided to our directors and executive officers against loss arising from claims made by reason of breach of fiduciary duty or other wrongful acts as a director or executive officer, including claims relating to public securities matters, and to us with respect to payments that may be made by us to these directors and executive officers pursuant to our indemnification obligations or otherwise as a matter of law. These insurance policies may not cover all potential claims made against our directors and executive officers, may not be available to us in the future at a reasonable rate and may not be adequate to indemnify us for all liability that may be imposed. See the section titled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Limitation of Liability and Indemnification of Officers and Directors.”
As litigation is inherently unpredictable, we cannot assure you that any potential claims or disputes will not harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We are subject to anti-corruption, anti-bribery and similar laws, and non-compliance with such laws can subject us to criminal penalties or significant fines and harm our business and reputation.
We are subject to anti-corruption and anti-bribery and similar laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, or the FCPA, the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, and will become subject to similar anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws to the extent we expand our operations internationally. Anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws have been enforced aggressively in recent years and are interpreted broadly and prohibit companies, their employees and third-party business partners, representatives and agents from promising, authorizing, making or offering improper payments or other benefits, directly or indirectly, to government officials and others in the private sector in order to influence official action, direct business to any person, gain any improper advantage, or obtain or retain business. If we further expand our business internationally beyond our minimal sales into Canada, our risks under these laws would increase.
In addition, in the future we may use third parties to operate our marketplace or otherwise conduct business on our behalf, abroad. We or such future third parties may have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies or state-owned or affiliated entities, and we can be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of such future third parties, and our employees, business partners, representatives, and agents, even if we do not explicitly authorize such activities. We cannot assure you that all our employees, business partners, representatives, and agents, as well as those companies to which we outsource certain of our business operations, will not take actions in violation of our policies and applicable law, for which we may be ultimately held responsible.
Any violation of the FCPA or other applicable anti-corruption laws and anti-bribery laws could result in whistleblower complaints, adverse media coverage, investigations, loss of export privileges, severe criminal or civil sanctions, suspension or disbarment from U.S. government contracts, substantial diversion of management’s attention, significant legal fees and fines, severe criminal or civil sanctions against us, our officers or our employees, disgorgement of profits, and other sanctions and remedial measures, and prohibitions on the conduct of our business, any of which could harm our reputation, business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects and the price of our Class A common stock.
Labor-related matters, including labor disputes, may adversely affect our operations.
None of our employees are currently represented by a union. If our employees decide to form or affiliate with a union, we cannot predict the negative effects such future organizational activities will have on our business and operations. If we were to become subject to work stoppages, we could experience disruption in our operations, including delays in merchandising operations and shipping, and increases in our labor costs, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, we have in the past and could face in the future a variety of employee claims against us, including but not limited to general discrimination, privacy, wage and hour, labor and employment, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, and disability claims. Any claims could also result
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in litigation against us or regulatory proceedings being brought against us by various federal and state agencies that regulate our business, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Often these cases raise complex factual and legal issues and create risks and uncertainties.
In January 2021, we filed an Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice related to our plan to close our Illinois distribution center (DC03) and reduce our workforce. This plan to close DC03 could give rise to additional employment law-related claims and litigation, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate consolidated financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. We are continuing to develop and refine our disclosure controls and other procedures that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we will file with the SEC, is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in SEC rules and forms and that information required to be disclosed in reports under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, is accumulated and communicated to our principal executive and financial officers. We are also continuing to improve our internal control over financial reporting and remediate a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting. For example, as we have prepared to become a public company, we have worked to improve the controls around our key accounting processes and our quarterly close process and we have hired additional accounting and finance personnel to help us implement these processes and controls. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and remediate a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, we have expended, and anticipate that we will continue to expend, significant resources, including accounting-related costs and significant management oversight. If any of these new or improved controls and systems do not perform as expected, we may experience material weaknesses in our controls or we may be unable to remediate the existing material weakness in our controls as discussed in “—Material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting may cause us to fail to timely and accurately report our financial results or result in a material misstatement of our consolidated financial statements.”
Our current controls and any new controls that we develop may become inadequate because of changes in conditions in our business. Further, additional weaknesses in our disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting may be discovered in the future. Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement could harm our results of operations or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and may result in a restatement of our consolidated financial statements for prior periods. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting also could adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual independent registered public accounting firm attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting that we will eventually be required to include in our periodic reports that will be filed with the SEC. Ineffective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial and other information, which would likely have a negative effect on the trading price of our common stock. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, or Nasdaq. We are not currently required to comply with the SEC rules that implement Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and are therefore not required to make a formal assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for that purpose. As a public company, we will be required to provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting commencing with our second annual report on Form 10-K.
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Changes in existing financial accounting standards or practices may harm our results of operations.
GAAP is subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the SEC and various bodies formed to promulgate and interpret appropriate accounting principles. A change in these principles or interpretations could have a significant effect on our reported financial results and could affect the reporting of transactions completed before the announcement of a change. Adoption of such new standards and any difficulties in implementation of changes in accounting principles, including the ability to modify our accounting systems, could cause us to fail to meet our financial reporting obligations, which could result in regulatory discipline and harm investors’ confidence in us.
We could be required to pay or collect sales taxes in jurisdictions in which we do not currently do so, with respect to past or future sales. This could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
In 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. et al, or Wayfair, that online sellers can be required to collect sales tax despite not having a physical presence in the state of the customer. In response to Wayfair, many state and local government taxing authorities have adopted, or begun to enforce, laws requiring us to calculate, collect and remit taxes on sales in their jurisdictions. While we collect and remit sales taxes in every state that requires sales taxes to be collected, including states where we do not have a physical presence, the adoption of new laws by, or a successful assertion by the taxing authorities of, one or more state or local governments requiring us to collect taxes where we presently do not do so, or to collect more taxes in a jurisdiction in which we currently do collect some taxes, could result in substantial tax liabilities, including taxes on past sales, as well as penalties and interest. The imposition by state and local taxing authorities of sales tax collection obligations on out-of-state e-commerce businesses could also create additional administrative burdens for us, put us at a competitive disadvantage if they do not impose similar obligations on our competitors and decrease our future sales, which could have an adverse impact on our business and results of operations.
Changes in tax laws or regulations in the various tax jurisdictions we are subject to or adverse application of existing tax laws could increase our costs and harm our business.
New income, sales, use or other tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be enacted at any time. Those enactments could harm our business operations, and our business, results of operations and financial condition. Further, application of income and tax laws is subject to interpretation and existing tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be interpreted, changed, modified or applied adversely to us. Although we believe our tax methodologies are compliant, a taxing authority’s final determination in the event of a tax audit could materially differ from our past or current methods for determining and complying with our tax obligations, including the calculation of our tax provisions and accruals. These events could require us to pay additional tax amounts on a prospective or retroactive basis, as well as require us to pay fines and/or penalties and interest for past amounts deemed to be due. If we raise our prices to offset the costs of these changes, existing and potential buyers and sellers may elect not to use our marketplace in the future. Additionally, new, changed, modified or newly interpreted or applied tax laws could increase our compliance, operating and other costs. Further, these events could decrease the capital we have available to operate our business. Any or all of these events could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The amount of taxes we pay could increase substantially as a result of changes in the applicable tax principles, including increased tax rates, new tax laws or revised interpretations of existing tax laws and precedents, which could harm our liquidity and results of operations. In addition, tax authorities could review our tax returns and impose additional tax, interest and penalties and could claim that various withholding requirements apply to us or our subsidiaries or assert that benefits of tax treaties are not available to us or our subsidiaries. Taxing authorities have become more aggressive in their interpretation and enforcement of such laws, rules and regulations over time, as governments are increasingly focused
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on ways to increase revenue, which has contributed to an increase in audit activity and stricter enforcement by taxing authorities. As such, additional taxes or other assessments may be in excess of our current tax reserves or may require us to modify our business practices to reduce our exposure to additional taxes going forward, any of which may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be limited.
We have incurred substantial net operating losses, or NOLs, during our history. Subject to the limitations described below, unused NOLs generally may carry forward to offset future taxable income if we achieve profitability in the future, unless such NOLs expire under applicable tax laws. However, under the rules of Sections 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change,” generally defined as a greater than 50% change (by value) in its equity ownership over a three-year period, the corporation’s ability to use its NOLs to offset its post-change taxable income or taxes may be limited. The applicable rules generally operate by focusing on changes in ownership among stockholders considered by the rules as owning, directly or indirectly, 5% or more of the stock of a company, as well as changes in ownership arising from new issuances of stock by the company. To date, we have not undertaken an analysis of whether we have experienced a change of control that would limit our ability to use our NOLs. As a result of these rules, in the event that it is determined that we have experienced an ownership change in the past, or if we experience one or more ownership changes as a result of this offering or future transactions in our stock, then we may be limited in our ability to use our NOL carryforwards to offset our future taxable income, if any. In addition, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or the Tax Act, as modified by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the amount of post 2017 net operating losses that we are permitted to deduct in any taxable year is limited to 80% of our taxable income in such year for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2020, where taxable income is determined without regard to the net operating loss deduction itself, and such NOLs may be carried forward indefinitely. Further, NOLs arising in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2020 cannot be carried back. Our NOLs may also be subject to limitations under state law. For example, California recently enacted legislation suspending the use of NOLs for taxable years 2020, 2021 and 2022 for many taxpayers. For these reasons, we may not be able to realize a tax benefit from the use of our net operating losses, whether or not we attain profitability.
We are an emerging growth company, and any decision on our part to comply only with certain reduced reporting and disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies could make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.
We are an emerging growth company, and, for as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may choose to take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements applicable to other public companies but not to “emerging growth companies,” including:
not being required to have our independent registered public accounting firm audit our internal control over financial reporting under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act;
reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and annual report on Form 10-K; and
exemptions from the requirements of holding a non-binding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved.
We could be an emerging growth company for up to five years following the completion of this offering. Our status as an emerging growth company will end as soon as any of the following takes place:
the last day of the fiscal year in which we have more than $1.07 billion in annual revenue;
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the date we qualify as a “large accelerated filer,” with at least $700 million of equity securities held by non-affiliates;
the date on which we have issued, in any three-year period, more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities; or
the last day of the fiscal year ending after the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering.
We cannot predict if investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive if we choose to rely on the exemptions afforded emerging growth companies. If some investors find our Class A common stock less attractive because we rely on any of these exemptions, there may be a less active trading market for our Class A common stock and the market price of our Class A common stock may be more volatile.
Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can also delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to use this extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards that have different effective dates for public and private companies until the earlier of the date we (i) are no longer an emerging growth company or (ii) affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the extended transition period provided in the JOBS Act. As a result, our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with new or revised accounting pronouncements as of public company effective dates.
Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness and Liquidity
We may require additional capital to support business growth, and this capital might not be available or may be available only by diluting existing stockholders.
Historically, we have funded our operations and capital expenditures primarily through equity issuances, debt and cash generated from our operations. Although we currently anticipate that our existing cash and cash equivalents, cash flow from operations, and amounts available under our loan and security agreement with Western Alliance Bank will be sufficient to meet our cash needs for the foreseeable future, we may require additional financing, and we may not be able to obtain debt or equity financing on favorable terms, if at all. If we raise equity financing to fund operations or on an opportunistic basis, our stockholders may experience significant dilution of their ownership interests. Our loan and security agreement restricts our ability to incur additional indebtedness, requires us to maintain certain financial covenants and restricts our ability to pay dividends. If we conduct additional debt financing, the terms of such debt financing may be similar or more restrictive. If we need additional capital and cannot raise it on acceptable terms, or at all, we may not be able to, among other things:
develop our marketplace services;
expand our categories of secondhand items;
enhance our operating infrastructure; and
expand the markets in which we operate and potentially acquire complementary businesses and technologies.
Our loan and security agreement provides our lender with a first-priority lien against substantially all of our assets and contains financial covenants and other restrictions on our actions that may limit our operational flexibility or otherwise adversely affect our results of operations.
We are party to an amended and restated loan and security agreement with Western Alliance Bank, which contains a number of covenants that restrict our and our subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things, incur additional indebtedness, materially change our business, convey, sell, lease, transfer or dispose of the business or our property, except under certain circumstances, merge or consolidate with other
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companies or acquire other companies, create or incur liens, pay any dividends on our Class A common stock, make certain investments and engage in certain other activities. We are also required to maintain financial covenants, including minimum cash and liquidity requirements, a debt service requirement and quarterly minimum net revenue and revenue growth thresholds. The terms of our loan and security agreement may restrict our current and future operations and could adversely affect our ability to finance our future operations or capital needs or to execute business strategies in the means or manner desired. In addition, complying with these covenants may make it more difficult for us to successfully execute our business strategy, invest in our growth strategy and compete against companies who are not subject to such restrictions.
As of December 31, 2019, we were not in compliance with our debt covenants regarding (i) limitations on capital expenditures, (ii) limitations on the maximum principal amount in our existing depository accounts without a control agreement, (iii) the requirement to transfer certain accounts to Western Alliance Bank and (iv) the delivery of financial information in a timely manner. As part of an amendment to the loan and security agreement in May 2020, the existing covenant defaults were waived and the covenants were revised to increase minimum cash and liquidity requirements, extend the timing of debt service requirements and add specific net revenue targets and revenue growth requirements. As part of a further amendment to the loan and security agreement in December 2020, the covenants were revised to amend the minimum cash and liquidity requirements, further extend the timing of debt service requirements, amend the specific net revenue targets and revenue growth requirements, and add a capital raising milestone requiring us to raise at least $50.0 million in equity or convertible debt by March 31, 2022, which could be satisfied by this offering. While we were in compliance with the revised covenants as of December 31, 2020, we may not be able to maintain compliance with the covenants in the future. A failure by us to comply with the covenants or payment requirements specified in the loan and security agreement could result in an event of default under the agreement, which would give the lender the right to terminate its commitments to provide loans under our loan and security agreement and to declare any and all borrowings outstanding, together with accrued and unpaid interest and fees, to be immediately due and payable. In addition, the lender would have the right to proceed against the collateral in which we granted a security interest to them, which consists of substantially all our assets. If the debt under our loan and security 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 cash flows, business, results of operations and financial condition. Further, the terms of any new or additional financing may be on terms that are more restrictive or on terms that are less desirable to us.
Risks Relating to Our Initial Public Offering and Ownership of Our Common Stock
There has been no prior public market for our Class A common stock, the stock price of our Class A common stock may be volatile or may decline regardless of our operating performance and you may not be able to resell your shares at or above the initial public offering price.
Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for shares of our Class A common stock. The initial public offering price of our Class A common stock will be determined through negotiation among the underwriters and us and may vary from the market price of our Class A common stock following this offering. If you purchase shares of our Class A common stock in this offering, you may not be able to resell those shares at or above the initial public offering price. We cannot assure you that the market price following this offering will equal or exceed prices in privately negotiated transactions of our shares that have occurred from time to time before this offering. The market prices of the securities of other newly public companies have historically been highly volatile and markets in general have been highly volatile in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market price of our Class A common stock may fluctuate significantly in response to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
overall performance of the equity markets and/or publicly-listed technology and retail companies;
actual or anticipated fluctuations in our revenue or other operating metrics;
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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 those projections;
failure of securities analysts to initiate or maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by any securities analysts who follow our company or our failure to meet the estimates or the expectations of investors;
the economy as a whole and market conditions in our industry;
rumors and market speculation involving us or other companies in our industry;
announcements by us or our competitors of significant innovations, new services, features or capabilities, acquisitions, strategic partnerships or investments, joint ventures or capital commitments;
new laws or regulations or new interpretations of existing laws or regulations applicable to our business, including those related to data privacy and cyber security;
actual or perceived data privacy and cybersecurity incidents impacting us or others in our industry;
lawsuits threatened or filed against us;
any major change in our board of directors, management or key personnel;
other events or factors, including those resulting from war, incidents of terrorism, pandemics (including the COVID-19 pandemic), elections or responses to these events;
whether investors or securities analysts view our stock structure unfavorably, particularly our dual-class structure and the significant voting control of our executive officers, directors and their affiliates;
the expiration of contractual lock-up or market standoff agreements; and
sales of additional shares of our Class A common stock by us or our stockholders.
In addition, stock markets have experienced price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many companies. Often, stock prices of many companies have fluctuated in ways unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. In the past, stockholders have filed securities class action litigation following periods of market volatility. If we were to become involved in securities litigation, it could subject us to substantial costs, divert resources and the attention of management from our business and harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Moreover, because of these fluctuations, comparing our results of operations on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful. You should not rely on our past results as an indication of our future performance. This variability and unpredictability could also result in our failing to meet the expectations of industry or financial analysts or investors for any period. If our revenue or results of operations fall below the expectations of analysts or investors or below any forecasts we may provide to the market, or if the forecasts we provide to the market are below the expectations of analysts or investors, the price of our Class A common stock could decline substantially. Such a stock price decline could occur even when we have met any previously publicly stated revenue or earnings forecasts that we may provide.
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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 this offering, including our directors, executive officers and their respective affiliates. This ownership will limit or preclude your ability to influence corporate matters, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transactions requiring stockholder approval, and that may depress the trading price of our Class A common stock.
Our Class B common stock has ten votes per share, and our Class A common stock, which is the stock we are offering in this offering, has one vote per share. Following this offering, our existing stockholders, all of which hold shares of Class B common stock, will collectively own shares representing approximately     % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock as of December 31, 2020, and our directors, executive officers and their affiliates, will beneficially own in the aggregate     % of the voting power of our capital stock as of December 31, 2020 (in each case, without giving effect to any purchases that certain of these holders may make through our directed share program). Because of the ten-to-one voting ratio between our Class B and Class A common stock, the holders of our Class B common stock collectively could continue to control a majority 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 seventh anniversary of the date of this prospectus, when all outstanding shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock will convert automatically into shares of a single class of common stock. This concentrated control may limit or preclude your ability to influence corporate matters for the foreseeable future, including the election of directors, amendments of our organizational documents and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets or other major corporate transactions requiring stockholder approval. In addition, this concentrated control may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our capital stock that you may feel are in your best interest as one of our stockholders.
Future transfers by holders of Class B common stock will generally result in those shares converting to Class A common stock, subject to limited exceptions, such as certain transfers effected for estate planning purposes. In addition, if our co-founder and chief executive officer James Reinhart is terminated or resigns from his position as our Chief Executive Officer, then his shares of Class B common stock will automatically convert into shares of Class A common stock. The conversion of Class B common stock to Class A common stock will have the effect, over time, of increasing the relative voting power of those holders of Class B common stock who retain their shares in the long term. As a result, it is possible that one or more of the persons or entities holding our Class B common stock could gain significant voting control as other holders of Class B common stock sell or otherwise convert their shares into Class A common stock.
We cannot predict the effect our dual-class structure may have on the market price of our Class A common stock.
We cannot predict whether our dual-class structure will result in a lower or more volatile market price of our Class A common stock, adverse publicity or other adverse consequences. For example, certain index providers have announced and implemented restrictions on including companies with multiple-class share structures in certain of their indices. In July 2017, FTSE Russell announced that it would require new constituents of its indices to have greater than 5% of the company’s voting rights in the hands of public stockholders, and S&P Dow Jones announced that it would no longer admit companies with multiple-class share structures to certain of its indices. Affected indices include the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600, which together make up the S&P Composite 1500. 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 and implemented 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
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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. Due to the dual-class structure of our common stock, we will likely be excluded from certain indices and we cannot assure you that other stock indices will not take similar actions. Given the sustained flow of investment funds into passive strategies that seek to track certain indices, exclusion from certain stock indices would likely preclude investment by many of these funds and could make our Class A common stock less attractive to other investors. As a result, the market price of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.
An active trading market for our Class A common stock may never develop or be sustained.
We have applied to list our Class A common stock on Nasdaq, under the symbol “TDUP.” However, there has been no prior public trading market for our Class A common stock. We cannot assure you that an active trading market for our Class A common stock will develop on that exchange or elsewhere or, if developed, that any market will be sustained. Accordingly, we cannot assure you of the likelihood that an active trading market for our Class A common stock will develop or be maintained, the liquidity of any trading market, your ability to sell your shares of our Class A common stock when desired or the prices that you may obtain for your shares.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research, or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research, about our business, the price of our Class A common stock and trading volume could be adversely affected.
The trading market for our Class A common stock will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. Securities and industry analysts do not currently, and may never, publish research on our company. If few securities analysts commence coverage of us, or if industry analysts cease coverage of us, the trading price for our Class A common stock would be negatively affected. If one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrade our Class A common stock or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business or our market, our Class A common stock price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports on us on a regular basis, demand for our Class A common stock could decrease, which might cause our Class A common stock price and trading volume to decline.
Sales of substantial amounts of our Class A common stock in the public markets, such as when our lock-up restrictions are released, or the perception that sales might occur, could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our Class A common stock into the public market, particularly sales by our directors, executive officers and principal stockholders, or the perception that these sales might occur, could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline. Based on the total number of outstanding shares of our common stock as of December 31, 2020, upon completion of this offering, we will have outstanding a total of               shares of Class A common stock and 78,860,698 shares of Class B common stock. This figure assumes no exercise of outstanding options, no exercise of outstanding warrants and gives effect to the conversion of all of our outstanding shares of preferred stock into shares of Class B common stock and the issuance of               shares of Class A common stock on the completion of this offering.
Substantially all of our securities outstanding prior to the completion of this offering are currently restricted from resale as a result of lock-up and market standoff agreements. These securities will generally become available to be sold 180 days after the date of the final prospectus relating to the offering, such 180-day period is referred to as the restricted period. However, as further described in the section titled “Shares Eligible for Future Sale,” up to approximately          shares of Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of our Class B common stock and securities directly or indirectly convertible into or exchangeable or exercisable for our Class B common stock, held by Employee Stockholders (as
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defined in the section titled “Shares Eligible for Future Sale”) may be sold beginning at the opening of trading on the first trading day immediately following our public release of earnings for the first quarter following the most recent period for which financial statements are included in this prospectus. Further, at least two of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co, LLC and Barclays Capital Inc. may, in their discretion, permit our security holders to sell shares prior to the expiration of the restrictive provisions contained in the lock-up agreements. In addition, if (i) we have publicly released our earnings results for the quarterly period during which this offering occurred, (ii) at least 120 days have elapsed since the date of the final prospectus relating to the offering and (iii) the restricted period is scheduled to end during a broadly applicable period during which trading in the Company’s securities would not be permitted under the Company’s insider trading policy, or a blackout period, or within five trading days prior to a blackout period, then the restricted period shall end ten trading days prior to the commencement of the blackout period, provided that in the event that ten trading days prior to the commencement of the blackout period is earlier than 120 days after the date of the final prospectus relating to the offering, the restricted period shall end on the 120th day after the date of the final prospectus relating to the offering, but only if such 120th day is at least five trading days prior to the commencement of the blackout period. We will announce the date of the any blackout-related early release at least two trading days in advance of any such early release. Sales of a substantial number of such shares upon expiration of the lock-up and market standoff agreements, the perception that such sales may occur or early release of these agreements could cause our market price to fall or make it more difficult for you to sell your Class A common stock at a time and price that you deem appropriate. Shares held by directors, executive officers and other affiliates will also be subject to volume limitations under Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, or the Securities Act, and various vesting agreements. See the section titled “Shares Eligible for Future Sale” for additional information.
In addition, as of December 31, 2020, we had 22,774,949 options outstanding that, if fully exercised, would result in the issuance of shares of Class B common stock. All of the shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of stock options and the shares reserved for future issuance under our equity incentive plans will be registered for public resale under the Securities Act. Accordingly, these shares will be able to be freely sold in the public market upon issuance, subject to existing lock-up or market standoff agreements, volume limitations under Rule 144 for our executive officers and directors and applicable vesting requirements.
Following this offering, the holders of up to 74,619,565 shares of our Class B common stock will have rights, subject to some conditions, to require us to file registration statements for the public resale of the Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of such shares or to include such shares in registration statements that we may file for us or other stockholders. Any registration statement we file to register additional shares, whether as a result of registration rights or otherwise, could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline or be volatile.
Because the initial public offering price of our Class A common stock is substantially higher than the pro forma net tangible book value per share of our outstanding common stock following this offering, new investors will experience immediate and substantial dilution.
The initial public offering price of our Class A common stock is substantially higher than the pro forma net tangible book value per share of our common stock immediately following this offering based on the total value of our tangible assets less our total liabilities. Therefore, if you purchase shares of our Class A common stock in this offering, you will experience immediate dilution of $     per share, representing the difference between the price per share you pay for our Class A common stock and the pro forma net tangible book value per share as of December 31, 2020, after giving effect to the issuance of shares of our Class A common stock in this offering. See the section titled “Dilution” below.
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Our management will have broad discretion in the use of proceeds from this offering and may not use them effectively.
Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds to us from this offering, including for any of the purposes described in the section titled “Use of Proceeds,” and you will not have the opportunity as part of your investment decision to assess whether the net proceeds are being used appropriately. Due to the number and variability of factors that will determine our use of the net proceeds from this offering, their ultimate use may vary substantially from their currently intended use. The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could harm our business. Pending their use, we may invest the net proceeds from this offering in short-term and intermediate-term interest-bearing obligations, investment-grade investments, certificates of deposit or direct or guaranteed obligations of the U.S. government. These investments may not yield a favorable return to our investors. If we do not use the net proceeds that we receive in this offering effectively, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
Our issuance of additional capital stock in connection with financings, acquisitions, investments, our stock incentive plans or otherwise will dilute all other stockholders.
We expect to issue additional capital stock in the future that will result in dilution to all other stockholders. We expect to grant equity awards to employees, directors, contractors and consultants under our stock incentive plans. We may also raise capital through equity financings in the future. As part of our business strategy, we may acquire or make investments in complementary companies, products or technologies and issue equity securities to pay for any such acquisition or investment. Any such issuances of additional capital stock may cause stockholders to experience significant dilution of their ownership interests and the per share value of our Class A common stock to decline.
We do not intend to pay dividends on our Class A common stock in the foreseeable future and, consequently, the ability of Class A common stockholders to achieve a return on investment will depend on appreciation in the price of our Class A common stock.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock. We intend to retain any earnings to finance the operation and expansion of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Further, our ability to pay dividends on our capital stock is subject to restrictions under the terms of our loan and security agreement with Western Alliance Bank. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors. Accordingly, investors must rely on sales of their Class A common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any future gains on their investments.
Provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of our company more difficult, limit attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current board of directors and limit the market price of our Class A common stock.
Provisions that will be in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws could depress the trading price of our Class A common stock by acting to discourage, delay or prevent a change of control or changes in our management that the stockholders of our company may deem advantageous. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, which will become effective upon the completion of this offering, will include provisions that:
provide that our board of directors will be classified into three classes of directors with staggered three-year terms;
permit our board of directors to establish the number of directors and fill any vacancies and newly-created directorships;
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require super-majority voting to amend some provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws;
authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that our board of directors could use to implement a stockholder rights plan;
provide that only the Chairperson of our board of directors, our Chief Executive Officer, President or a majority of our board of directors will be authorized to call a special meeting of stockholders;
provide for a dual-class common stock structure in which holders of our Class B common stock 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 A and Class B common stock, including the election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or its assets;
prohibit stockholder action by written consent, which requires all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;
provide that the board of directors is expressly authorized to approve, alter or repeal our bylaws; and
advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at annual stockholder meetings.
Moreover, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company. Section 203 imposes certain restrictions on mergers, business combinations and other transactions between us and holders of 15% or more of our common stock. See the section titled “Description of Capital Stock” for additional information.
Our amended and restated bylaws will designate specific state or federal courts located as the exclusive forum for certain litigation that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us.
Our amended and restated bylaws will provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for any state law claims for:
any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf;
any action asserting a claim of breach of fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees to us or our stockholders;
any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws; or
any action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, or the Delaware Forum Provision.
The Delaware Forum Provision will not apply to any causes of action arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act. Further, our amended and restated bylaws will provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the federal district courts of the United States will be the sole and exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act, or the Federal Forum Provision. In addition, our amended and restated bylaws provide that any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock is deemed to have notice of and consented to the Delaware Forum Provision and the Federal Forum Provision; provided, however, that stockholders cannot and will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.
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The Delaware Forum Provision and the Federal Forum Provision in our amended and restated bylaws may impose additional litigation costs on stockholders in pursuing any such claims. Additionally, these forum selection clauses may limit our stockholders’ ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that they find favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees, which may discourage the filing of lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and employees, even though an action, if successful, might benefit our stockholders. In addition, while the Delaware Supreme Court ruled in March 2020 that federal forum selection provisions purporting to require claims under the Securities Act be brought in federal court are “facially valid” under Delaware law, there is uncertainty as to whether other courts will enforce our Federal Forum Provision. If the Federal Forum Provision is found to be unenforceable, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters. The Federal Forum Provision may also impose additional litigation costs on stockholders who assert that the provision is not enforceable or invalid. The Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and the federal district courts of the United States may also reach different judgments or results than would other courts, including courts where a stockholder considering an action may be located or would otherwise choose to bring the action, and such judgments may be more or less favorable to us than our stockholders.
General Risks
We depend on our executive officers and other key technical, operational and sales employees and contractors, and the loss of one or more of these employees or contractors or an inability to attract and retain other highly skilled employees or contractors could harm our business.
Our success depends largely upon the continued services of our executive officers and other key technical, operational and sales employees and contractors. From time to time, there may be changes in our executive management team resulting from the hiring or departure of executives, which could disrupt our business. We do not have employment agreements with our executive officers or other key personnel that require them to continue to work for us for any specified period and, therefore, they could terminate their employment with us at any time. The loss of one or more of our executive officers, especially our founder and Chief Executive Officer, or other executive officers or key technical, operational and sales employees and contractors could harm our business.
Volatility or lack of appreciation in the stock price of our Class A common stock may also affect our ability to attract and retain our executive officers and key technical, operational and sales employees and contractors. Many of our senior personnel and other key technical, operational and sales employees and contractors have become, or will soon become, vested in a substantial amount of stock or stock options. Employees and contractors may be more likely to leave us if the shares they own or the shares underlying their vested options have significantly appreciated in value relative to the original purchase price of the shares or the exercise price of the options, or conversely, if the exercise price of the options that they hold are significantly above the market price of our Class A common stock. If we do not maintain and continue to develop our corporate culture as we grow and evolve, it could harm our ability to foster the innovation, craftsmanship, teamwork, curiosity and diversity that we believe we need to support our continued growth.
In addition, due to the financial risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented a variety of cost cutting initiatives and may need to implement additional cost cutting initiatives that may adversely affect our executive team, employees, contractors and business. For example, in April 2020, we reduced salaries by 20% for the vast majority of corporate employees and in June 2020, we laid off the staff at our three retail stores and permanently closed our retail stores during 2020. These measures may cause or result in disruption of our business, challenges in hiring critical employees and contractors and retaining key technical, operational and sales employees and contractors. Further, as some of our contractors are information technology, or IT, specialists in Ukraine, political turmoil, warfare, or terrorist attacks in Ukraine could negatively affect our contractors and our business.
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Use of social media, emails and text messages may adversely impact our reputation or subject us to fines or other penalties.
We use social media, emails, push notifications and, in the future, will use text messages as part of our omni-channel approach to marketing. As laws and regulations evolve to govern the use of these channels, the failure by us, our employees or third parties acting at our direction to comply with applicable laws and regulations in the use of these channels could adversely affect our reputation or subject us to fines or other penalties. In addition, our employees or third parties acting at our direction may knowingly or inadvertently make use of social media in ways that could lead to the loss or infringement of intellectual property, as well as the public disclosure of proprietary, confidential or sensitive personal information of our business, employees, buyers or others. Information concerning us, our buyers, our sellers and the brands available on our marketplace, whether accurate or not, may be posted on social media platforms at any time and may have an adverse impact on our brand, reputation or business. Any such harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction and could have an adverse effect on our reputation, business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Our management team has limited experience managing a public company.
Most members of our management team have limited experience managing a publicly-traded company, interacting with public company investors and complying with the increasingly complex laws pertaining to public companies. Our management team may not successfully or efficiently manage our transition to being a public company that is subject to significant regulatory oversight and reporting obligations under the federal securities laws and the continuous scrutiny of securities analysts and investors. These new obligations and constituents will require significant attention from our senior management and could divert their attention away from the day-to-day management of our business, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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 will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the listing standards of Nasdaq and other applicable securities rules and regulations. We expect that the requirements of these rules and regulations will continue to increase our legal, accounting and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming and costly, and place significant strain on our personnel, systems and resources. For example, the Exchange Act requires, among other things, that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and results of operations. As a result of the complexity involved in complying with the rules and regulations applicable to public companies, our management’s attention may be diverted from other business concerns, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. Although we have already hired additional employees to assist us in complying with these requirements, we may need to hire more employees in the future or engage outside consultants, which will increase our operating expenses.
In addition, changing laws, regulations and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure are creating uncertainty for public companies, increasing legal and financial compliance costs and making some activities more time-consuming. These laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies, which could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. We intend to invest substantial resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards, and this investment may result in increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management’s time and attention from business operations to compliance activities. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to their
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application and practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us and our business may be harmed.
We also expect that being a public company and being subject to these new rules and regulations will make it more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors, particularly to serve on our audit committee and compensation committee, and qualified executive officers.
As a result of disclosure of information in this prospectus and in filings required of 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, results of operations and financial condition could 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, could divert the resources of our management and harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, which are statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or our future financial or operating performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “may,” “will,” “shall,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations, strategy, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus include, but are not limited to, statements about:
our future financial performance, including our revenue, cost of revenue and operating expenses and our ability to achieve and maintain future profitability;
the sufficiency of our cash, cash equivalents and capital resources to meet our liquidity needs;
our ability to effectively manage or sustain our growth and to effectively expand our operations;
our strategies, plans, objectives and goals, including our expectations regarding future infrastructure investments;
the market demand for secondhand items in general and the online secondhand market in particular;
our ability to predict the quality of the secondhand items that our sellers provide and the demand for individual secondhand items we may decide to make available;
our ability to compete with existing and new competitors in existing and new markets and offerings;
our ability to attract and retain buyers and sellers and the continued impact of network effects as we scale our platform;
our ability to increase the supply of secondhand items offered through our marketplace;
our ability to optimize, operate and manage our distribution centers, including our ability to increase the number of items our distribution centers can hold and process over time;
our estimated market opportunity;
economic and industry trends, projected growth or trend analysis;
the future benefits to be derived from partnerships, particularly our RaaS partnerships;
our ability to develop and protect our brand;
our ability to impact the public perception of secondhand items;
our ability to comply with laws and regulations;
our ability to successfully defend litigation brought against us;
the attraction and retention of qualified employees, contractors and key personnel;
the effect of uncertainties related to the global COVID-19 pandemic and recovery therefrom on U.S. and global economies, our business, results of operations, financial condition, demand for secondhand items, sales cycles and buyer and seller retention;
our anticipated investments in marketing;
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our ability to remediate our material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting;
the increased expenses associated with being a public company; and
our anticipated uses of net proceeds from this offering.
We caution you that the foregoing list may not contain all of the forward-looking statements made in this prospectus.
You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors described in the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus. The results, events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur, and actual results, events or circumstances could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.
The forward-looking statements made in this prospectus relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this prospectus to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this prospectus or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures or investments we may make.
In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this prospectus, 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 you are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.
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MARKET AND INDUSTRY DATA
This prospectus contains statistical data, estimates and forecasts that are based on various sources, including independent industry publications or other publicly available information, as well as other information based on our internal sources. This information involves a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to these estimates. We have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the data contained in these industry publications and other publicly available information. The industry in which we operate is subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in the section titled “Risk Factors,” that could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in these publications and reports. The content of the below sources, except to the extent specifically set forth in this prospectus, does not constitute a portion of this prospectus and is not incorporated herein.
Certain information in the text of this prospectus is contained in independent industry publications and publicly-available reports. The source of these independent industry publications is provided below:
Ellen MacArthur Foundation, A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future, (2017. http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications).
GlobalData plc consumer survey of women ages 18 and over in the United States, January 2019, or the GlobalData January 2019 Consumer Survey, which was commissioned by us.
GlobalData plc consumer survey of women ages 18 and over in the United States, January 2020, or the GlobalData January 2020 Consumer Survey, which was commissioned by us.
GlobalData plc consumer survey of women ages 18 and over in the United States, April 2020, or the GlobalData April 2020 Consumer Survey, which was commissioned by us.
GlobalData plc fashion retailer survey of 50 U.S. fashion (apparel, accessories, footwear) retailers about their circular fashion goals, January 2020, or the GlobalData Fashion Retailer Survey, which was commissioned by us.
GlobalData plc, market sizing survey, April 2020, or the GlobalData Market Survey, which was commissioned by us.
Green Story Inc., “Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of second-hand vs new clothing,” May 2019, which was commissioned by us to quantify the potential positive environmental impact of buying secondhand items instead of new items.
“Media Kit.” Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles. Smartasn.org. Accessed on September 25, 2020.
“Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling—Textiles: Material-Specific Data.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. epa.gov. Accessed on September 25, 2020.
Quantis, “Measuring Fashion: Environmental Impact of the Global Apparel and Footwear Industries Study,” 2018.
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USE OF PROCEEDS
We estimate that the net proceeds from the sale of shares of our Class A common stock that we are selling in this offering will be approximately $      million, based upon an assumed initial public offering price of $      per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. If the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from us is exercised in full, we estimate that our net proceeds would be approximately $      million, after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $      per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, the net proceeds that we receive from this offering by approximately $       million, assuming that the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us. Similarly, each increase or decrease of 1.0 million in the number of shares of our Class A common stock offered by us would increase or decrease the net proceeds that we receive from this offering by approximately $      million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us.
The principal purposes of this offering are to increase our financial flexibility, create a public market for our Class A common stock and facilitate our future access to the public equity markets. We currently intend to use the net proceeds that we will receive from this offering for working capital, other general corporate purposes and to fund our growth strategies, including continued investments in our business. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds that we receive to acquire or invest in complementary businesses, products, services, technologies or other assets. We have not entered into any agreements or commitments with respect to any acquisitions or investments at this time.
Additionally, we are allocating $500,000 from the proceeds of this offering to start an environmental policy function. For additional information, see the section titled “Our ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Efforts.”
We cannot specify with certainty the particular uses of the net proceeds that we will receive from this offering or the amounts we actually spend on the uses set forth above. Pending the use of proceeds from this offering as described above, we plan to invest the net proceeds that we receive in this offering in short-term and intermediate-term interest-bearing obligations, investment-grade investments, certificates of deposit or direct or guaranteed obligations of the U.S. government. Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from this offering and investors will be relying on the judgment of our management regarding the application of the proceeds.
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DIVIDEND POLICY
We have never declared or paid any cash dividend on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain any future earnings and do not expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future. In addition, our ability to pay dividends on our capital stock is subject to restrictions under the terms of our loan and security agreement with Western Alliance Bank, as amended. Any future determination to declare cash dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors, subject to applicable laws, and will depend on a number of factors, including our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, contractual restrictions, general business conditions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant.
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CAPITALIZATION
The following table sets forth cash, cash equivalents and our capitalization, as of December 31, 2020 as follows:
on an actual basis;
on a pro forma basis, giving effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 65,970,938 shares of our common stock, (ii) the reclassification of our outstanding common stock as Class B common stock, (iii) the reclassification of the convertible preferred stock warrant liability to additional paid-in capital, which conversion and reclassification will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering, as if such conversion and reclassification had occurred on December 31, 2020 and (iv) the filing and effectiveness of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation which will be effective immediately prior to the completion of this offering; and
on a pro forma as adjusted basis, giving effect to (i) the pro forma adjustments set forth above and (ii) the sale and issuance by us of                shares of our Class A common stock in this offering, based on an assumed initial public offering price of $      per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
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The pro forma as adjusted information set forth in the table below is illustrative only and will be adjusted based on the actual initial public offering price and other final terms of this offering. You should read this table together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes and the sections titled “Summary Consolidated Financial and Other Data” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” that are included elsewhere in this prospectus.
As of December 31, 2020
Actual Pro Forma Pro Forma
As Adjusted
(in thousands, except for share and per share data)
Cash and cash equivalents $ 64,485  $ 64,485  $
Long-term debt 34,460  34,460 
Convertible preferred stock: $0.0001 par value; 68,139,958 shares authorized, 65,970,938 shares issued and outstanding, actual; no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted
247,041  — 
Stockholders’ (deficit) equity:
Preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share: no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;          shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted —  — 
Common stock, $0.0001 par value; 110,000,000 shares authorized, 12,889,760 shares issued and outstanding, actual; no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted
— 
Class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share: no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;          shares authorized,          shares issued and outstanding, pro forma; and          shares authorized,          shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted —  — 
Class B common stock, par value $0.0001 per share: no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;          authorized,          shares issued and outstanding, pro forma; and          shares authorized,          shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted — 
Additional paid-in capital 29,989  277,829 
Accumulated other comprehensive income —  — 
Accumulated deficit (252,167) (252,167)
Total stockholders’ (deficit) equity (222,177) 25,670 
Total capitalization $ 59,324  $ 60,130  $
If the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from us were exercised in full, pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ (deficit) equity, total capitalization and shares of Class A common stock issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2020 would be $     million, $     million, $     million, $     million and            shares, respectively.
Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $      per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, our cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital and total stockholders’ (deficit) equity by approximately $     million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us. Similarly, each increase or decrease of 1.0
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million shares in the number of shares of our Class A common stock offered by us would increase or decrease, as applicable, our cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital and total stockholders’ (deficit) equity by approximately $     million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us.
The pro forma column in the table above is based on no shares of Class A and 78,860,698 shares of Class B common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and excludes:
22,774,949 shares of our Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our Class B common stock that were outstanding as of December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $1.81 per share;
923,291 shares of our Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our Class B common stock granted after December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $6.54 per share;
148,994 shares of Class B common stock issuable pursuant to warrants to purchase shares of our convertible preferred stock outstanding as of December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $5.58 per share on a common equivalent basis;
15,979 shares of Class B common stock issuable pursuant to warrants to purchase shares of our convertible preferred stock issued since December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $6.26 per share on a common equivalent basis;
201,582 shares of our Class B common stock reserved for future issuance pursuant to our 2010 Plan, which shares will be added to the shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Plan; and
               shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our share-based compensation plans, to be adopted in connection with this offering, consisting of:
               shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Plan; and
               shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our ESPP.
Each of our 2021 Plan and ESPP provides for annual automatic increases in the number of shares of our Class A common stock reserved thereunder, and our 2021 Plan also provides for increases to the number of shares of Class A common stock that may be granted thereunder based on shares underlying any awards under our 2010 Plan that expire, are forfeited or are otherwise terminated, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation—Employee Benefit and Stock Plans.”
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DILUTION
If you invest in our Class A common stock in this offering, your ownership interest will be diluted to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per share of our Class A common stock and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our Class A common stock immediately after this offering. Net tangible book value dilution per share to new investors represents the difference between the amount per share paid by purchasers of shares of Class A common stock in this offering and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of Class A common stock immediately after completion of this offering.
Net tangible book value per share is determined by dividing our total tangible assets less our total liabilities by the number of shares of common stock outstanding. Our historical net tangible book value deficit as of December 31, 2020 was $224.8 million, or $(17.44) per share. Our pro forma net tangible book value deficit as of December 31, 2020 was $23.1 million, or $0.29 per share, based on the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2020, after giving effect to the automatic conversion and reclassification of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock as of December 31, 2020 into an aggregate of 65,970,938 shares of our Class B common stock and the reclassification of the convertible preferred stock warrant liability to additional paid-in capital, which conversion and reclassification will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering.
After giving effect to the sale by us of                 shares of our Class A common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $      per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of December 31, 2020 would have been $      million, or $     per share. This represents an immediate increase in pro forma net tangible book value of $     per share to our existing stockholders and immediate dilution of $    per share to investors purchasing shares of our Class A common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price. The following table illustrates this dilution:
Assumed initial public offering price per share   $
Pro forma net tangible book value (deficit) per share as of December 31, 2020 $  
Increase in pro forma net tangible book value (deficit) per share attributable to new investors in this offering  
Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share immediately after this offering  
Dilution per share to new investors in this offering   $
Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share to new investors by $     , and would increase or decrease, as applicable, dilution per share to new investors in this offering by $     , assuming that the number of shares of our Class A common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us.
In addition, to the extent any outstanding options to purchase Class B common stock are exercised, new investors would experience further dilution. If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase               additional shares of our Class A common stock from us in full, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our common stock immediately after this offering would be $     per share, and the dilution in pro forma net tangible book value per share to new investors in this offering would be $     per share.
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The following table presents, on a pro forma as adjusted basis as of December 31, 2020, after giving effect to the conversion and reclassification of all outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into Class B common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering, the differences between the existing stockholders and the new investors purchasing shares of our Class A common stock in this offering with respect to the number of shares purchased from us, the total consideration paid or to be paid to us, which includes net proceeds received from the issuance of common stock and convertible preferred stock, cash received from the exercise of stock options to purchase Class B common stock, and the average price per share paid or to be paid to us at an assumed initial public offering price of $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, before deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us (amounts in thousands, except of share and per share data and percentages):
Shares Purchased
Total Consideration
Average Price per Share
Number
Percent
Amount
Percent
Existing stockholders % $ % $
New investors
Totals 100  % $ 100  %
Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $     per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, the total consideration paid by new investors and total consideration paid by all stockholders by approximately $     million, assuming that the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us. In addition, to the extent any outstanding options to purchase Class B common stock are exercised, new investors will experience further dilution.
Except as otherwise indicated, the above discussion and tables assume no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock. If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock in full from us, our existing stockholders would own     % and our new investors would own     % of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding upon the completion of this offering.
The number of shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on no shares of our Class A common stock and 78,860,698 shares of our Class B common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and excludes:
22,774,949 shares of our Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our Class B common stock that were outstanding as of December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $1.81 per share;
923,291 shares of our Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our Class B common stock granted after December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $6.54 per share;
148,994 shares of Class B common stock issuable pursuant to warrants to purchase shares of our convertible preferred stock outstanding as of December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $5.58 per share on a common equivalent basis;
15,979 shares of Class B common stock issuable pursuant to warrants to purchase shares of our convertible preferred stock issued since December 31, 2020, with a weighted-average exercise price of $6.26 per share on a common equivalent basis;
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201,582 shares of our Class B common stock reserved for future issuance pursuant to our 2010 Plan, which shares will be added to the shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Plan; and
               shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our share-based compensation plans, to be adopted in connection with this offering, consisting of:
               shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Plan; and
               shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our ESPP.
Each of our 2021 Plan and ESPP provides for annual automatic increases in the number of shares of our Class A common stock reserved thereunder, and our 2021 Plan also provides for increases to the number of shares of Class A common stock that may be granted thereunder based on shares underlying any awards under our 2010 Plan that expire, are forfeited or are otherwise terminated, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation—Employee Benefit and Stock Plans.”
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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with the section titled “Summary Consolidated Financial and Other Data” and the consolidated financial statements and related notes that are included elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion contains forward-looking statements based upon current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under the section titled “Risk Factors” or in other parts of this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for any period in the future.
Overview
thredUP is one of the world’s largest online resale platforms for women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories. Our custom-built operating platform is powering the rapidly emerging resale economy, the fastest growing sector in retail, according to the GlobalData Market Survey. As of December 31, 2020, we had 1.24 million Active Buyers and 428,000 Active Sellers. thredUP’s platform consists of distributed processing infrastructure, proprietary software and systems and data science expertise. Since our founding in 2009, we have processed over 100 million unique secondhand items from 35,000 brands across 100 categories, saving our buyers an estimated $3.3 billion off estimated retail price. We estimate that we have positively impacted the environment by saving 1.0 billion pounds of CO2 emissions, 2.0 billion kWh of energy and 4.4 billion gallons of water simply by empowering consumers to buy and sell secondhand. The traditional fashion industry is one of the most environmentally damaging sectors in the global economy and we believe our scalable resale business model is a powerful solution to the fashion industry’s wastefulness.
thredUP’s proprietary operating platform is the foundation for our managed marketplace, where we have bridged online and offline technology to make the buying and selling of tens of millions of unique items easy and fun. The marketplace we have built enables buyers to browse and purchase resale items for women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories across a wide range of price points. Buyers love shopping value, premium and luxury brands all in one place, at up to 90% off estimated retail price. Sellers love thredUP because we make it easy to clean out their closets and unlock value for themselves or for the charity of their choice while doing good for the planet. Sellers order a Clean Out Kit, fill it and return it to us using our prepaid label. We take it from there and do the work to make those items available for resale. In 2018, based on our success with consumers directly, we extended our platform to enable brands and retailers to participate in the resale economy. A number of the world’s leading brands and retailers are already taking advantage of our RaaS offering. We believe RaaS will accelerate the growth of this emerging category and form the backbone of the modern resale experience.
We have built a differentiated and defensible operating platform to enable resale at scale, combining:
Distributed Processing Infrastructure.  Our infrastructure is purpose-built for “single SKU” logistics, meaning that every item processed is unique, came from or belongs to an individual seller and is individually tracked using its own SKU. We believe our logistics and infrastructure have never been executed at our scale in the online resale market. We operate distribution centers that can collectively hold 5.5 million items in three strategic locations across the country. Our operations are highly scalable, and we have the ability to process more than 100,000 unique SKUs per day across our existing distribution footprint. We drive continuous operational efficiency through proprietary technology and ongoing automation of our infrastructure.
Proprietary Software and Systems.  Our facilities run on a suite of our custom-built applications designed for “single SKU” operations. Our engineering team has implemented large-scale, innovative and patented automation for put-away, storage, picking and packing at scale. This automation results in reduced labor and fixed costs while increasing storage density and
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throughput capacity. Our proprietary software, systems and processes enable efficient quality assurance, item-attribution, sizing and photography. As we continue to scale this modern resale experience, our continuous improvement cycle drives increased throughput and we expect average order contribution margins to improve over time.
Data Science Expertise.  There are no barcodes on clothing, so we invented a real-time database to identify, categorize and value each secondhand clothing item that we receive. We continue to expand our proprietary data set that spans over 100 million unique secondhand items processed across 35,000 brands and 100 categories. We harness this robust, structured data set across our business to optimize economic decisions, such as pricing, seller payouts, item acceptance, merchandising and sell-through. We also leverage data to power efficient customer acquisition and lifetime engagement, and to provide a personalized shopping experience.
Our managed marketplace unlocks valuable clothing supply from sellers and increases demand for high-quality online resale items. We take items that previously had minimal value and were sitting idle in closets, and we create value for sellers in an environmentally-friendly manner by enabling longer useful lives for their secondhand items. Because of the value and convenience sellers get with thredUP, we attract high-quality supply without directly spending money to acquire sellers. Sellers choose our managed marketplace to conveniently clean out their closets and earn a payout that can be received in the form of cash, thredUP online credits, select RaaS partner credits or a charitable donation receipt. Sellers send their secondhand items to our distribution centers, and we then process items using our proprietary operating platform. We provide end-to-end resale services for sellers using our platform, including managing item selection and pricing, merchandising, fulfillment, payments and customer service. We offer great brands at great prices in an ever-changing assortment, creating a fun shopping experience for our buyers. Since our items are secondhand and more affordably priced, our buyers can feel good when they shop.
In 2018, we expanded our platform to drive sustainability for the broader apparel ecosystem. Our partners look to our RaaS offering to meet a variety of objectives that require specific resale expertise and infrastructure, most of which they cannot do themselves. Utilizing our operations, software and data, we have tailored our offerings for RaaS partners to provide a real-time feed of items on our marketplace to their websites, power their closet clean out services, add our assortment to their physical stores or promote customer loyalty through partner credits from Clean Out Kits. We have also helped our partners sell their worn, returned inventory through our marketplace. As of December 31, 2020, we worked with 21 RaaS partners, and we are rapidly growing our RaaS offering as more brands and retailers recognize the importance of resale in the minds of their current and future customers.
We generate revenue from items that are sold to buyers on our website and mobile app and through our RaaS partners. We operate with consignment sales and direct product sales. In 2019, we shifted to primarily consignment sales. With consignment sales, we recognize revenue net of seller payouts, and cost of revenue includes outbound shipping, outbound labor and packaging costs. With direct product sales, we recognize revenue on a gross basis, and cost of revenue includes inventory cost, inbound shipping and inventory write-downs, as well as outbound shipping, outbound labor and packaging costs. With both consignment sales and direct product sales, we optimize for gross profit dollar growth, which was 43% in 2018, 44% in 2019 and 14% in 2020. 2020 gross profit dollar growth slowed primarily due to the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including lower demand for apparel in general, higher discounts and incentives plus fewer secondhand items being listed for sale on our marketplace.
Our buyers pay us upfront when they purchase an item. For items held on consignment, after the end of the 14-day return window for buyers, we credit our sellers’ accounts with their seller payout. Our sellers then take an average of more than 60 days to use their funds, which results in a working capital dynamic that is favorable for our business given that the buyers pay us upon purchase. We have methodically scaled operating capacity and revenue, while increasing gross profit and improving our operating performance.
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As of December 31, 2020, we had 1.24 million Active Buyers, up 24% over December 31, 2019, and 428,000 Active Sellers, down 4% from December 31, 2019.
As of December 31, 2020, our distribution centers could hold 5.5 million items.
Our revenue was $186.0 million in 2020, up 14% over 2019. Our consignment revenue was $138.1 million in 2020, up 41% over 2019.
Our gross profit was $128.1 million in 2020, up 14% over 2019. Our overall gross margin was 69% in 2020 and 2019. Our consignment gross margin was 75% in 2020, as compared to 77% in 2019.
Our net loss was $47.9 million in 2020 and $38.2 million in 2019. Our net loss margin was 26% in 2020 and 23% in 2019.
In 2020, our Adjusted EBITDA was $(33.4) million with an Adjusted EBITDA margin of (18)%. In 2019, our Adjusted EBITDA was $(24.3) million with an Adjusted EBITDA margin of (15)%.
Our History
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Our Business Model
Our business model balances the interests of each of our stakeholders – our buyers, sellers, employees and investors, as well as the environment. This balancing principle guides our day-to-day operations and enables us to build a more sustainable and successful business. As we grow our managed marketplace, we aim to provide value to both our buyers and our sellers, support the career advancement of our employees, invest in growth and improve our results of operations and reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry by inspiring a new consumer habit of buying and selling secondhand.
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We generate the majority of our revenue from selling secondhand women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories on our marketplace, at up to 90% discount to estimated retail price. We also sell items through our RaaS partners. We obtain our supply of items from individual sellers and RaaS partnerships through the Clean Out Kit process, capturing items that often would have been discarded before thredUP. Because of the value and convenience sellers get with thredUP, we attract high-quality supply without directly spending money to acquire sellers.
We provide end-to-end resale services for sellers using our platform, including managing item selection and pricing, merchandising, fulfillment, payments and customer service. Our algorithms predict the demand for an item and determine a listing price for it, along with setting the seller payout ratio, with the aim of optimizing sell-through, gross profit dollars and our unit economics. Our seller payout ranges from 3% to 15% for items listed at $5.00 to $19.99, and up to 80% for items listed at $200 and above. In the year ended December 31, 2020, the average seller payout was 19% of the item sale price and the average seller payout per bag was $51.70. In 2020, 77% of the Clean Out Kits we processed were from repeat sellers, which demonstrates the consistent and compelling value proposition that we provide.
We operate with consignment sales and direct product sales. In mid-2019, we shifted to primarily consignment sales. With consignment sales, we recognize revenue net of discounts, incentives, seller payouts and returns. With direct product sales, we recognize revenue net of discounts, incentives and returns. In both cases, we optimize item pricing for gross profit dollar growth, which was 44% in 2019 and 14% in 2020. We have also expanded our gross profit as we have scaled our marketplace and reduced our outbound shipping, outbound labor and packaging costs. Our gross profit per order in 2018, 2019 and 2020 was $33.25, $35.90 and $32.32, respectively, reflecting year-over-year expansion of 8% and decline of 10%. The decline in average gross profit per order in 2020 was driven by lower average revenue per order as a result of our COVID-19 response, which included higher levels of discounts and incentives, as well as a higher percentage of our sales being consignment sales.
As we scale and automate our platform, we expect to generate even more attractive order economics, which we track using average contribution profit per order. We use average contribution profit per order primarily to assess our order economics. Average contribution profit per order captures the costs incurred within our distribution centers, and we define it as average gross profit per order less distribution center operating expenses associated with inbound item processing and less payment processing. These distribution center operating expenses include inbound shipping, inbound labor, distribution center fixed costs and management labor, excluding stock based compensation expense, which are included within our operations, product and technology expenses. See the section titled “Prospectus Summary—Summary Consolidated Financial and Other Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measure—Contribution Profit and Average Contribution Profit Per Order” for additional information and a reconciliation of contribution profit to gross profit.
In 2020, operations, product and technology expenses accounted for 55% of revenue. Of that, distribution center operating expenses accounted for 38% of revenue. Payment processing expenses are included within selling, general and administrative expenses, and accounted for 3% of revenue in 2020. Our average contribution profit per order in 2018, 2019 and 2020 was $12.81, $17.41 and $12.74, respectively, reflecting growth of 36% and a decline of 27%. The growth in average contribution profit per order in 2019, which was greater than our average gross profit per order expansion, was driven by increased scale and improvements in our inbound processing capabilities. The decline in average contribution profit per order in 2020 was driven by lower average revenue per order as a result of our COVID-19 response, which included higher levels of discounts and incentives and higher fixed costs per order. We will continue to invest in technology and increase the level of automation in our distribution centers to support our growth, enhance order economics and improve our average contribution profit per order.
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The graphic below demonstrates our order economics:
Average Order Economics for the Year Ended December 31, 2020
MDA2N1A.JPG
See the section titled “Prospectus Summary—Summary Consolidated Financial and Other Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measure—Contribution Profit and Average Contribution Profit Per Order” for additional information and a reconciliation of contribution profit to gross profit.
Managed Marketplace Advantages
Our managed marketplace allows us to unlock value by providing end-to-end resale services for sellers. In mid-2019, we shifted to primarily consignment sales. Our consignment revenue as a percentage of total revenue increased from 30% in 2018 to 74% in 2020. As a result, we can offer a broad selection of resale items across over 35,000 brands and 100 categories, while incurring minimal inventory or fashion risk. We believe our model also gives us the ability to achieve a higher margin profile than traditional inventory-taking business models and frees up working capital to reinvest into the business. By investing in building a managed marketplace, we are also growing the apparel resale market by offering a more trusted and higher-quality marketplace for buyers relative to peer-to-peer marketplaces.
Our buyers pay us upfront when they purchase an item and we collect payment within a few days of the sale. For items held on consignment, after the end of the 14-day return window for buyers, we credit our sellers’ accounts with their seller payout. Our sellers take an average of more than 60 days to use their payout, which results in a working capital dynamic that is favorable for our business given that the buyers pay us upon purchase. Our sellers elect to receive their payouts as cash, thredUP online credits, select RaaS partner credits or a charitable donation receipt with a simple click on our site. For those who elect cash, their cash payouts are transferred without undue delay after they complete the election. In
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some cases, sellers may be waiting to decide how they want to use their payout or waiting for payouts to accumulate before selecting their payout method on our site.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, 55.9% of our Active Sellers chose to receive cash, 17.6% chose to receive thredUP online credit, 21.0% have not yet chosen how to allocate their proceeds, 3.5% chose thredUP credits that can be applied to offset fees, such as return fees, and 2.0% chose to receive credit from one of our select RaaS partners. The seamless experience of converting seller payout to thredUP credit enables us to convert sellers into buyers without incremental marketing costs as we do not otherwise directly spend to acquire sellers on our platform. As of December 31, 2020, 47% of our sellers were also buyers.
Flow of Funds from Buyer to Seller
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Factors Affecting Our Performance
Our business performance and results of operations have been, and will continue to be, affected by the factors described below. While each of these key factors presents significant opportunities for our business, they also pose challenges that we must successfully address in order to sustain our growth, improve our results of operations and achieve and maintain profitability.
Buyer Growth, Order Growth and Repeat Buyer Behavior
We attract visitors to our marketplace, convert them into Active Buyers and encourage repeat purchases. Historically, the primary driver of buyer growth and order growth trends has been the increase
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in new buyers relative to repeat buyers. See the section titled “—Key Financial and Operating Metrics” for a discussion of these trends.
As of December 31, 2020, we had 1.24 million Active Buyers, up 24% from December 31, 2019. As of December 31, 2019, we had 997,000 Active Buyers, up 48% from December 31, 2018.
The number of Orders for the year ended December 31, 2020 was 3.96 million, up 27% from the year ended December 31, 2019. The number of Orders for the year ended December 31, 2019 was 3.13 million up 34% from the year ended December 31, 2018.
Repeat buyers, whom we define as buyers who are making a second or more purchase on our marketplace, accounted for 80% of our Orders for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to 79% in the year ended December 31, 2019 and 82% in the year ended December 31 2018. These repeat buyer metrics demonstrate the stability of repeat purchases on our marketplace. In the year ended December 31, 2020, Orders from new buyers grew 18%, and Orders from repeat buyers grew 29%. In the year ended December 31, 2019, Orders from new buyers grew 54%, and Orders from repeat buyers grew 29%.
In the year ended December 31, 2020, average order value was $68.95 with approximately four items in an Order.
Our Active Buyers as of December 31, 2020 made an average of 3.2 Orders in the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to 3.1 Orders in the year ended December 31, 2019. This increase is primarily driven by the slightly higher proportion of repeat buyers, who on average place more Orders in a given year.
Active Buyers
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Total Orders (in the year ended)
and % Orders from Repeat Buyers
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Compelling Cohort Behavior and Expansion
Our buyer cohorts demonstrate the continued spend and expansion of our Active Buyers. While we are continuously focused on adding new Active Buyers to our marketplace, we are also focused on increasing their Order frequency after their initial purchase and improving our order economics through scale and operational efficiencies.
We have been able to steadily increase the cumulative gross profit of each of our buyer cohorts over time, indicating our ability to drive repeat orders from buyers. We track gross profit by cohort, which measures the growth and efficiency of our business and normalizes for the shift to primarily consignment sales in mid-2019. The chart below illustrates the gross profit attributable to our buyer cohorts acquired in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Our buyer cohorts are defined as follows:
The 2013 cohort includes, in 2013, buyers who made their first purchase during 2013 and, in subsequent years, all buyers who purchased from us in that year and made their first purchase during 2013.
The 2014 cohort includes, in 2014, buyers who made their first purchase during 2014 and, in subsequent years, all buyers who purchased from us in that year and made their first purchase during 2014.
The 2015 cohort includes, in 2015, buyers who made their first purchase during 2015 and, in subsequent years, all buyers who purchased from us in that year and made their first purchase during 2015.
The 2016 cohort includes, in 2016, all buyers who made their first purchase during 2016 and, in subsequent years, all buyers who purchased from us in that year and made their first purchase during 2016.
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The 2017 cohort includes, in 2017, all buyers who made their first purchase during 2017 and, in subsequent years, all buyers who purchased from us in that year and made their first purchase during 2017.
The 2018 cohort includes, in 2018, all buyers who made their first purchase during 2018 and, in subsequent years, all buyers who purchased from us in that year and made their first purchase during 2018.
The 2019 cohort includes, in 2019, all buyers who made their first purchase during 2019 and, in subsequent years, all buyers who purchased from us in that year and made their first purchase during 2019.
The 2020 cohort includes buyers who made their first purchase during 2020.
Existing buyers, whom we define as buyers in a year who have purchased from us in any prior year, and that represent buyer cohorts acquired in prior years, contributed 58%, 58% and 59% of gross profit in the year ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Gross Profit by Cohort (2013 - 2020)
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________________
(1)Does not include 2012 and prior and does not equal total gross profit for the period.
(2)We have calculated gross profit in such 2016 and 2017 periods (unaudited) in the chart above in a manner comparable to our 2018, 2019 and 2020 audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.
We have a significant opportunity to efficiently grow our business by continuing to have existing sellers become buyers and vice versa. As of December 31, 2020, 47% of our sellers were also buyers and 20% of our buyers were also sellers.
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Scaling and Automating Our Platform
Our highly scalable distribution centers and the increasing automation of distribution centers are critical to our success. Today, we operate distribution centers across three strategic locations in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. We are currently in the process of closing our Illinois distribution center (DC03), which is one of our least automated locations and expect to complete the closure by mid-March 2021. While we are closing DC03, we are concurrently expanding our storage and processing capacities in DC06 in Georgia. We aim to increase our dynamic storage capacity from 5.5 million items to 6.5 million items by the end of 2021, as we increase the product density in our existing distribution centers, particularly in DC06 in Georgia. Once our newest distribution center, DC06 in Georgia, is fully operational at scale, it will be our largest and most productive facility to date. Consistent with our growth strategies, we will continue to invest in our operating platform by expanding and optimizing our distributed processing infrastructure and automation capabilities, including increasing automated distribution centers, and improving our proprietary software and systems and data science capabilities.
We have invested and will continue to invest in technology and automation in order to drive operating leverage and higher margins as we grow and scale our business. In 2020, consignment gross margin was 75%, compared to 77% in 2019 and 75% in 2018. Efficiencies in labor costs related to inbound processing as well as leverage in fixed costs like distribution center rent, management labor and utilities, drive contribution margin expansion. In 2019, operations, product and technology expense grew 21%, compared to 44% gross profit growth, in part due to increased automation. In 2020, operations, product and technology expense grew 24%, compared to 14% gross profit growth. Gross profit growth decelerated in 2020 primarily due to the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including lower demand for apparel in general, higher levels of discounts and incentives, and fewer secondhand items being listed for sale on our marketplace.
Our DC02 and DC05 distribution centers in Pennsylvania and Arizona are currently our most automated facilities, whereas DC03 in Illinois (which we expect to close by mid-March 2021) and DC04 in Georgia (which we expect to close by June 2021) are our least automated facilities and, therefore, responsible for less fulfillment. DC02 and DC05 use our patented conveyor and item on-hanger systems that are built three stories high to optimize for space efficiency and enable put away, storage, picking and routing to pack stations across three levels, increasing our pick rate of items during processing. With this highly automated and denser infrastructure, we are able to process more secondhand items faster with the same or fewer people. We believe that the order economics that we currently observe in our DC02 and DC05 facilities illustrate what our full platform could achieve over time, as we complete ongoing technology and engineering improvements and replace our legacy non-automated and lesser-automated facilities with new automated facilities.
The graphic below compares our consolidated order economics for the year ended December 31, 2020 to what we believe we would hypothetically observe based on applying efficiencies from our DC02 and DC05 distribution centers, which have a higher level of automation and scale as they use our patented conveyor and item on-hanger systems that are built three stories high to optimize for space efficiency enabling us to process more secondhand items faster:
We believe average gross profit per order would improve from $32.32 to $33.35, due to better automation of outbound labor and processing of items.
We believe average contribution profit per order would improve from $12.74 to $16.98, due to improvements in automation of inbound labor and processing costs, along with scaling of fixed distribution center expenses.
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Average Order Economics for the Year Ended December 31, 2020
MDA8N1A.JPG
See the section titled “Prospectus Summary—Summary Consolidated Financial and Other Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measure—Contribution Profit and Average Contribution Profit Per Order” for additional information and a reconciliation of contribution profit to gross profit.
Our newest distribution center, DC06, is located in Georgia and launched in June 2020. DC06 is our largest facility to date and has the highest automation potential once it is fully operational at scale. We believe we can continue to increase average contribution profit per order as we scale fixed costs, close our least automated facilities (including the planned closings of DC03 in Illinois and DC04 in Georgia) and expand our automation capabilities in our other existing facilities.
As of December 31, 2020, engineers and data scientists represented 32% of our non-distribution center employee and professional contractor headcount. We intend to continue to add talent and invest in our operations, product and technology teams to support platform innovation, as well as growth in our business and improvements in our results of operations. While we expect our operating expenses to increase as we continue to grow and improve our operating platform, we expect such expenses to decrease as a percentage of total revenue over the longer term.
Supply Breadth, Quality and Processing Growth
Our operating platform enables a supply chain that unlocks clothing supply for high-quality online resale. We take items that previously had minimal value and were sitting idle in closets, and we create value for sellers of those items on our marketplace. The vast majority of our supply of secondhand items today is from individual sellers who send us their items directly. As we scale our RaaS offering, we expect to expand our sources of supply through our RaaS partners.
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The breadth of our assortment is reflected in the over 35,000 brands that are represented across 100 categories, which reflects a diverse range of price points across women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories, from value to premium to luxury brands. We have included a chart below, as of December 31, 2020, that shows that approximately 71% of the items listed are at price points below $19.99. This selection of items enables buyers to purchase high-quality secondhand items at great value compared to what it costs to shop new for the same item. We believe the breadth of our assortment at these price points is important to continue to attract buyers to our marketplace.
Mix of Items Listed on Site by Price Point
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In 2020, we processed 1.0 million Clean Out Kits from sellers, processed 24.7 million items through our operating platform and listed 14.6 million items for sale on our marketplace, representing a year-over-year decline of 5% and 6% and growth of 13%, respectively. While our processing capacity was limited by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and related shelter-in-place orders, our item acceptance rate increased from 49% in 2019 to 59% in 2020 due to available capacity and changes to our acceptance criteria, which had the aforementioned effect of increasing the number of listings in 2020. In 2019, we processed 1.1 million Clean Out Kits from sellers, processed 26.2 million items through our operating platform and listed 12.9 million items for sale on our marketplace, representing year-over-year growth of 44%, 28% and 44%, respectively. The number of items that we processed from each Clean Out Kit decreased from 28 items per kit in 2018 to 25 items per kit in 2019 and remained flat at 25 items per kit in 2020, as we enabled sellers to print their own shipping labels and send their items to thredUP without using our bags starting in 2019, which typically results in fewer items received. In addition, the yield of items listed from items processed increased from 44% in 2018 to 49% in 2019 to 59% in 2020, as improving order economics from automation and processing efficiencies has enabled us to increase our item acceptance levels because we can sell lower-priced items. We also attribute a quantitative supplier score to each Clean Out Kit that we receive. By encouraging repeat sellers that have high-quality items to keep consigning and engaging with thredUP, we also increase our item acceptance levels. Given that the majority of our secondhand items come from repeat sellers, we track transactional and behavioral data that enables us to prioritize sellers with high-quality items and de-prioritize items that are not as suitable for our marketplace.
When ordering a Clean Out Kit, a seller may opt-in to our Return Assurance service in order to have any unaccepted items returned to them for a flat fee, $10.99 as of December 31, 2020, which is deducted from that seller's payout for their listed Clean Out Kit items. Otherwise, we sell the remainder of all
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unaccepted items to select aftermarket partners, such as thrift stores and textile recyclers, for reuse and recycling.
Clean Out Kits Processed Items Processed
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Items Listed on Site
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Once an item is listed on our marketplace, we use our proprietary pricing algorithms to set pricing, with a view of managing sell-through, seller payouts and our contribution margin. For items listed in the year ended December 31, 2020, 43% of the items listed on our marketplace sold within 30 days and 69% sold within 90 days. These sell-through rates enable us to continue to drive freshness and assortment for our buyers.
We have continued to attract and acquire new sellers to our marketplace cost effectively. We allocate no sales or marketing expense to seller acquisition today as we do not directly target sellers with our sales and marketing efforts. Our growth has been driven in significant part by supply from repeat sellers,
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which accounts for 77% of the Clean Out Kits we processed in 2020, and we consider repeat sellers to be critical to high-quality supply growth. We measure and track Active Sellers and repeat activity by sellers:
As of December 31, 2019, we had 445,000 Active Sellers, up 34% from December 31, 2018.
As of December 31, 2020, we had 428,000 Active Sellers, down 4% from December 31, 2019.
An Active Seller is a thredUP seller who has sold at least one item on our marketplace in the last 12 months. A thredUP seller is a customer who has created an account and has listed an item in our marketplace. A thredUP seller is identified by a unique email address and a single person could have multiple thredUP seller accounts and count as multiple Active Sellers.
Repeat sellers supply a substantial majority of Clean Out Kits, as shown by the chart below. The percentage of Clean Out Kits processed from repeat sellers is calculated by dividing the number of Clean Out Kits from sellers who have previously sent a Clean Out Kit by all Clean Out Kits received in a given period.
Active Sellers and % of Clean Out Kits Processed
from Repeat Sellers
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We continued to extend our sources of secondhand items when we launched our RaaS offering in 2018 to brand and retailer partners. We plan to continue to partner with leading brands and retailers who leverage our platform to offer our clean out service to their customers. We believe that our RaaS offering will enable us to unlock high-quality supply of secondhand items at significant scale in a cost-effective manner. In 2020, we processed 56,000 Clean Out Kits sourced from RaaS partners, which represents 5.6% of the total number of Clean Out Kits processed in the year, up from 21,000 Clean Out Kits and 2.0% in 2019.
COVID-19 Impact on Processing
Our ability to grow our revenue is also dependent on our processing capacity. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant reduction in our ability to process Clean Out Kits. As a result of the pandemic, we took actions to protect our business and our employees, which impacted our
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distribution center productivity, staffing and processing capacity. In addition, macro-developments such as shelter-in-place orders and the federal unemployment stimulus have negatively affected the rate of hiring and retention for our distribution center workforce.
As a consequence of these constraints, the number of unprocessed Clean Out Kits in our distribution centers has been elevated since March 2020. In order to reduce the increase of received and unprocessed Clean Out Kits, beginning in July 2020, we temporarily limited the number of Clean Out Kits available for sellers while we continue to process Clean Out Kits that have been received. As a result of the processing delay, our growth rates have been negatively affected by the reduction in new listings on our marketplace. The number of our Clean Out Kits processed in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020 decreased 33%, 22% and 13%, respectively, as compared to the first quarter of 2020 due to productivity, staffing and processing declines as a result of COVID-19 safety measures and other widespread effects.
Average Unprocessed Clean Out Kits
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The number of new listings on our marketplace declined in the second quarter of 2020 by 24% as compared to the first quarter of 2020 due to these unprocessed Clean Out Kits. New listings then grew in the third quarter of 2020 by 40% as compared to the second quarter of 2020 and grew in the fourth quarter of 2020 by 6% as compared to the third quarter of 2020 as we processed more Clean Out Kits and accepted items for listing at a higher rate. Our buyers are drawn to our marketplace, in part, because of the constant incoming supply of unique items. As we offered a relatively smaller selection of recently listed items, revenue was negatively affected. In addition to the impact on our revenue, the delay in timely processing of Clean Out Kits could also negatively affect buyer sentiment because we are processing items at a slower rate and have a more limited selection of recently listed items available for purchase on our marketplace and seller sentiment because sellers are waiting longer to receive their seller payouts. We have seen our distribution center productivity, staffing and processing gradually return to pre-pandemic capacity. The existing configuration of our distribution centers pre-pandemic enabled us to implement social distancing protocols, including the reconfiguring of workstations for the safety of our employees, without reducing the total steady-state throughput capacity of our facilities. For instance, the
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number of items processed in September 2020 was over 1.5 times the number of items processed in May 2020 and our fourth quarter 2020 monthly average remained relatively steady at over 1.6 times the number of items processed in May 2020, even though we had reduced processing during December. In December, the number of items processed was only 1.3 times the number of items processed in May 2020, as employees took time off during the holiday season. Excluding December, our combined October and November monthly average processing was over 1.8 times the number of items processed in May 2020. Throughput continues to improve, and our combined January and February 2021 monthly average processing was over 1.6 times the number of items processed in May 2020.
See the section titled “—Impact of COVID-19” for additional information about the impact of COVID-19 on our business.
Acquisition Marketing Payback
Our financial performance also depends in part on our management of the expenses we incur to attract and engage buyers, which we manage in balance with our overall contribution profit. To grow orders and scale our business, we invest strategically to attract and engage buyers on our marketplace. We use discounts and incentives to encourage new and existing buyers to shop with us, which reduces revenue, average gross profit per order and average contribution profit per order. We also invest in acquisition marketing to attract new buyers and we track and manage new customer acquisition costs. We define acquisition marketing as performance marketing expense attributable to buyer acquisition and re-targeting.
We manage acquisition marketing to target contribution profit payback within twelve months. Our ability to achieve this payback depends on our pricing, discounts, gross profit, order frequency and distribution center costs per order. At times, we choose to expand our payback target to drive orders to better utilize our platform capacity, as scale drives contribution profit improvement. For instance, we chose to strategically prioritize and invest in growth in the past as we were in the early days of scaling our marketplace and platform. As a result, acquisition marketing payback and marketing expense may fluctuate from period to period as we continue to scale.
Consignment Revenue Mix
In 2019, we shifted to primarily consignment sales. In consignment, we recognize revenue net of seller payouts. In direct product sales, we recognize revenue based on the net sales price to the buyer. To measure our growth and operating leverage trends, we use gross profit to normalize for this mix shift.
Consignment gross profit as a percentage of total gross profit was 81%, 67% and 38% in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Consignment revenue as a percentage of total revenue was 74%, 60% and 30% in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. In the near term, we expect this mix to continue to trend towards consignment.
Seasonality
Seasonality in our business does not follow that of traditional retailers, such as typical concentration of revenue in the holiday quarter, and we see relatively stable demand from our buyers throughout the year. We observe increased supply of secondhand items during the first and second quarters of the year when sellers are more prone to clean out their closets.
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Key Financial and Operating Metrics
We review a number of operating and financial metrics, including the following key business and non-GAAP metrics to evaluate our business, measure our performance, identify trends affecting our business, formulate business plans and make strategic decisions. These key financial and operating metrics are set forth below for the periods presented.
Year Ended December 31,
2018 2019 2020
(in thousands, except percentages)
Active Buyers (as of period end) 676  997  1,240 
Active Buyers Growth 10  % 48  % 24  %
Orders 2,346  3,134  3,965 
Orders Growth 28  % 34  % 27  %
Revenue $ 129,551  $ 163,812  $ 186,015 
Revenue Growth 26  % 14  %
Gross Profit $ 78,010  $ 112,504  $ 128,148 
Gross Profit Growth 44  % 14  %
Net Income (Loss) $ (34,181) $ (38,197) $ (47,877)
Net Loss Margin 26  % 23  % 26  %
Adjusted EBITDA(1)
$ (27,198) $ (24,343) $ (33,398)
Adjusted EBITDA Margin (21) % (15) % (18) %
________________
(1)See below for a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net loss.
Active Buyers and Active Buyer Growth
An Active Buyer is a thredUP buyer who has made at least one purchase in the last twelve months. A thredUP buyer is a customer who has created an account in our marketplace. A thredUP buyer is identified by a unique email address and a single person could have multiple thredUP accounts and count as multiple Active Buyers. The number of Active Buyers is a key driver of revenue for our marketplace and we expect the number of Active Buyers to increase over time.
We view the number of Active Buyers as a key indicator of our growth and the value proposition we provide to our buyers. The number of Active Buyers has grown over time as we acquired new buyers and continued to engage previously acquired buyers. We expect to continue to drive growth in Active Buyers with marketing and engagement efforts.
We had 1.24 million Active Buyers as of December 31, 2020, up 24% from December 31, 2019. We had 997,000 Active Buyers as of December 31, 2019, up 48% from December 31, 2018. Active Buyers grew in the years ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 as we invested to acquire more new buyers in connection with bringing additional distribution centers online.
Orders and Order Growth
Orders means the total number of orders placed by buyers across our marketplace, including through our RaaS partners, in a given period, net of cancellations. We expect Orders to increase over time.
We view Orders placed as a key indicator of the velocity of our marketplace and an indication of the desirability of our evergreen assortment to our buyers. Orders, together with Active Buyers, is an indicator of our ability to attract new and repeat purchases by buyers.
We had 3.96 million Orders in the year ended December 31, 2020, up 27% from the year ended December 31, 2019. We had 3.13 million Orders in the year ended December 31, 2019, up 34% from the
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year ended December 31, 2018. Order growth decelerated in the year ended December 31, 2020 primarily due to the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including lower demand for apparel in general and fewer secondhand items being listed for sale on our marketplace. Order growth accelerated in the year ended December 31, 2019 along with Active Buyer growth, offset by lower Orders per Active Buyer. Active Buyers had 3.2 Orders in the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to 3.1 Orders in 2019 and 3.5 Orders in 2018. This decrease in Orders per Active Buyers was driven by growth in new buyers who place fewer orders in their first year.
Revenue and Revenue Growth
Revenue consists of consignment revenue and product revenue, and we generate revenue when secondhand items are sold on our marketplace. Consignment revenue is recognized based on the proceeds received by us for the sale of consigned goods, net of seller payout. Product revenue is recognized on a gross basis when we generate sales from our purchased inventory.
In 2020, revenue was $186.0 million, representing growth of 14%, compared to 27% growth in Orders. Revenue per Order declined 10% due to increased discounts and incentives beginning in the second quarter of 2020 as well as a higher percentage of our sales being consignment sales. In 2019, revenue was $163.8 million, representing growth of 26%, compared to 34% growth in Orders. Revenue per Order declined 5% primarily due the shift to consignment sales.
Over the long term, we expect revenue and revenue growth to be a key indicator of the scale and growth of our marketplace as our revenue mix shift stabilizes towards primarily consignment sales.
Gross Profit and Gross Profit Growth
Gross profit means our revenue less the cost of revenue. We operate with consignment sales and direct product sales. Due to the shift to primarily consignment sales in mid-2019, we use gross profit to normalize for this mix shift and we track gross profit growth as a key indicator of the health and growth of our marketplace.
In 2020, gross profit was $128.1 million, representing year-over-year growth of 14%, compared to 27% growth in Orders. Gross profit per Order declined 10% year-over-year primarily due to lower average revenue per order as a result of our COVID-19 response, which included higher levels of discounts and incentives beginning in the second quarter of 2020, as well as a higher percentage of our sales being consignment sales. In 2019, gross profit was $112.5 million, representing year-over-year growth of 44%, compared to 34% growth in Orders. Gross profit per Order grew 8% year-over-year due to increased outbound labor efficiency and improvements in our pricing and seller payout ratio algorithms.
Over the long term, we expect gross profit to increase as a result of the continued growth in Orders, the continued trend towards primarily consignment sales, and operational efficiency gains in outbound processing and fulfillment.
Net Loss, Net Loss Margin, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin
Adjusted EBITDA means net loss adjusted to exclude depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation expense, interest expense, change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability, loss on extinguishment of debt and provision for income taxes. We use Adjusted EBITDA to evaluate and assess our operating performance and the operating leverage in our business, and for internal planning and forecasting purposes. We believe that Adjusted EBITDA, when taken collectively with our GAAP results, may be helpful to investors because it provides consistency and comparability with past financial performance and assists in comparisons with other companies, some of which use similar non-GAAP financial information to supplement their GAAP results.
Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to net loss or any other measure of financial performance calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP.
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The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA from net loss for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020:
December 31,
2018
2019
2020
Adjusted EBITDA reconciliation:
(in thousands)
Net loss $ (34,181) $ (38,197) $ (47,877)
Add (deduct):
Depreciation and amortization 4,171  4,274  5,581 
Stock-based compensation 2,319  7,678  7,336 
Interest expense 437  1,428  1,305 
Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability (1)
19  201 
Loss on extinguishment of debt (2)
—  432  — 
Provision for income taxes 37  36  56 
Adjusted EBITDA $ (27,198) $ (24,343) $ (33,398)
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(1)Our convertible preferred stock warrants are subject to re-measurement at the end of each reporting period and the change in the fair value of the convertible preferred stock warrant liability is included in other income, net in our statement of operations and comprehensive loss. Our convertible preferred stock warrants will be converted to common stock warrants (which will not be subject to remeasurement) and the related convertible preferred stock warrant liability will be reclassified to additional paid-in capital immediately prior to the completion of this offering.
(2)We recorded a loss on the extinguishment of our loan and security agreement with Silicon Valley Bank in February 2019, which is included in other income, net in our statement of operations and comprehensive loss. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for more information.
In 2020, net loss was $47.9 million, 25% more than net loss of $38.2 million in 2019. In 2020, Adjusted EBITDA was $(33.4) million compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $(24.3) million in 2019. The expansion of the Adjusted EBITDA loss by 37% compared to 14% growth in gross profit in 2020 was a result of increased operating expenses primarily related to operations, product and technology expenses and sales, general and administrative expenses. In 2019, net loss was $38.2 million, 12% more than net loss of $34.2 million in 2018. In 2019, Adjusted EBITDA was $(24.3) million, a 10% improvement as compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $(27.2) million in 2018, compared to 44% growth in gross profit over the same period. The relatively flat net loss and Adjusted EBITDA dollar loss compared to 44% growth in gross profit was a result of increased operating leverage. This operating leverage was primarily driven by efficiencies in operations, product and technology expenses, offset by increased investment in marketing expense.
Over the long term, we expect net loss to decrease and Adjusted EBITDA to increase as a result of the continued growth in Orders, the continued trend towards a consignment revenue mix, operational efficiency gains in processing and fulfillment and a reduction in marketing as a percentage of revenue. We define Net Loss Margin as net loss divided by revenue. Adjusted EBITDA Margin as Adjusted EBITDA divided by revenue. Over the long term, we expect Net Loss Margin and Adjusted EBITDA Margin to improve.
Impact of COVID-19
In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus was first identified, and in March 2020, the World Health Organization categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted businesses worldwide and has impacted aspects of our business and operations.
To help control the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of our employees, we modified certain operational protocols in our distribution centers. We enabled social distancing in our
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distribution centers by reconfiguring workstations and break rooms, staggered shifts and, from late March to late May 2020, we offered a 60-day voluntary furlough to onsite staff. We implemented numerous health and safety measures in our distribution centers, including mandatory temperature checks, increased paid time off for illness, distribution of personal protective equipment to employees, increased facility cleanings and additional paid time for sanitizing workstations between shifts. We also shifted nearly all of our corporate employees and contract engineers to a remote work model and implemented additional measures to better enable them to work remotely. As of February 28, 2021, these health and safety measures and the remote model work remain in place.
Revenue Impact
In the first quarter of 2020, we temporarily reduced marketing spend to take time to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on consumer demand. Later, as advertising auctions stabilized, we gradually scaled up acquisition marketing spend towards normal levels. Also, beginning in the second quarter of 2020, we chose to strategically increase discounts and incentives to encourage our existing buyer base to shop with us, as consumers generally prioritize value in times of economic uncertainty. This increase negatively impacted our year-over-year revenue growth in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020, as discounts and incentives remained at elevated levels relative to pre-pandemic levels. As a result, we believe that gross merchandise value, which is recognized prior to discounts and incentives, is more reflective of underlying consumer demand on thredUP during this period. Our year-over-year gross merchandise value grew 26% in 2020, compared to revenue growth of 14% as consumers prioritized value. Exiting the year, the fourth quarter of 2020 was the most impacted quarter for gross merchandise value and revenue, which we believe is due primarily to the impact of increased cases of COVID-19, increased concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty around the U.S. presidential election. We are, however, experiencing strong momentum in 2021 and accelerated growth year-to-date compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. Gross merchandise value grew approximately 16% year-over-year in the year-to-date period ended February 28, 2021, compared to 11% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2020. Revenue grew approximately 4% year-over-year in the year-to-date period ended February 28, 2021, compared to a decrease of 3% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Our financial results and operating metric results for the year-to-date period ended February 28, 2021 presented above are preliminary, do not represent a full fiscal quarter, are based upon our estimates and subject to completion of our quarter-end closing procedures and financial review. The results for the year-to-date period ended February 28, 2021 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the first quarter of 2021 or any other period. These revenue results are not a comprehensive statement of our financial results for these periods and should not be viewed as a substitute for full interim financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Our actual first quarter 2021 results may be affected by review adjustments and other developments that may arise between now and the time our financial results for the first quarter of 2021 are finalized, and such changes could be material. The year-to-date period ended February 29, 2020 and year-to-date period ended February 28, 2021 financial data has been prepared by and is the responsibility of our management and has not been audited or reviewed by our independent registered public accounting firm.
Cost Savings Actions
Further, we also implemented several cost saving measures to address challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in April 2020, we reduced salaries by 20% for the vast majority of corporate employees and, in June 2020, we laid off staff at our three small retail stores and permanently closed our retail stores during 2020. We have since granted stock options to the corporate employees affected by the salary reductions in an amount proportional to the respective employee’s salary reduction.
Processing Delays
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant reduction in our ability to process Clean Out Kits. As a result of the pandemic, we took actions to protect our business and our employees, which
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impacted our distribution center productivity, staffing and processing capacity. In addition, macro-developments such as shelter-in-place orders and the federal unemployment stimulus have negatively affected the rate of hiring and retention for our distribution center workforce.
As a consequence of these constraints, the number of unprocessed Clean Out Kits in our distribution centers has been elevated since March 2020. In order to reduce the increase of received and unprocessed Clean Out Kits, beginning in July 2020, we temporarily limited the number of Clean Out Kits available for sellers while we continue to process Clean Out Kits that have been received. As a result of the processing delay, our growth rates have been negatively affected by the reduction in new listings on our marketplace. The number of our Clean Out Kits processed in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020 decreased 33%, 22% and 13%, respectively, as compared to the first quarter of 2020 due to productivity, staffing and processing declines as a result of COVID-19 safety measures and other widespread effects. Our average number of unprocessed Clean Out Kits grew 849% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2020, we began to observe a reduction in our average number of unprocessed Clean Out Kits, which declined 17% quarter-over-quarter, and we have continued to observe the number of unprocessed Clean Out Kits declining, with such number down 26% on February 28, 2021 as compared to December 31, 2020.
The number of new listings on our marketplace declined in the second quarter of 2020 by 24% as compared to the first quarter of 2020 due to these unprocessed Clean Out Kits. New listings then grew in the third quarter of 2020 by 40% as compared to the second quarter of 2020 and grew in the fourth quarter of 2020 by 6% as compared to the third quarter of 2020 as we processed more Clean Out Kits and accepted items for listing at a higher rate. Our buyers are drawn to our marketplace, in part, because of the constant incoming supply of unique items. As we offered a relatively smaller selection of recently listed items, revenue was negatively affected. In addition to the impact on our revenue, the delay in timely processing of Clean Out Kits could also negatively affect buyer sentiment because we are processing items at a slower rate and have a more limited selection of recently listed items available for purchase on our marketplace and seller sentiment because sellers are waiting longer to receive their seller payouts. We have seen our distribution center productivity, staffing and processing gradually return to pre-pandemic capacity. The existing configuration of our distribution centers pre-pandemic enabled us to implement social distancing protocols, including the reconfiguring of workstations for the safety of our employees, without reducing the total steady-state throughput capacity of our facilities. For instance, the number of items processed in September 2020 was over 1.5 times the number of items processed in May 2020 and our fourth quarter 2020 monthly average remained relatively steady at over 1.6 times the number of items processed in May 2020, even though we had reduced processing during December. In December, the number of items processed was only 1.3 times the number of items processed in May 2020, as employees took time off during the holiday season. Excluding December, our combined October and November monthly average processing was over 1.8 times the number of items processed in May 2020. Throughput continues to improve, and our combined January and February 2021 monthly average processing was over 1.6 times the number of items processed in May 2020.
Further, as a result of restrictions in international travel and border crossing due to COVID-19, we experienced a delay in the build out of our new highly-automated distribution center in Georgia. Between mid-March 2020 and the end of June 2020, non-U.S. contractors that we engaged pre-pandemic were unable to travel to our distribution center to perform services. These restrictions resulted in a delay in construction of specialized systems for our distribution center and pushed back the opening of the new distribution center by approximately 40 days. In addition to the construction delays, we also incurred additional shipping costs and other fees.
Travel and border closures have not otherwise significantly affected our business as we operate a U.S.-focused marketplace.
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Ongoing Impact
We have taken actions to help ensure that our business will continue to operate through the COVID-19 pandemic, including those discussed above. The impact of these actions on our business, workforce and culture are difficult to assess. Against this backdrop, our business has continued to grow, and the key drivers of our business, including the market demand for secondhand items in general and the online secondhand market more specifically, as well as our ability to source high-quality secondhand items, have continued their positive progress, despite the pandemic.
We expect the evolving COVID-19 pandemic to continue to have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition, including our revenue and cash flows, for at least the remainder of 2021. For instance, a slowdown or further uncertainty in the U.S. economy, as well as a decrease in government stimulus packages, may result in additional changes in buyer and seller behavior, which could cause either a potential reduction in discretionary spending on our marketplace or increased activity on our marketplace as customers look for high-value, lower-priced alternatives. In particular, following the U.S. government stimulus package, we experienced an increase in Orders in May 2020, followed by a decrease when those funds were exhausted. Without timely and robust government stimulus funding programs, consumers would have less money to spend on apparel, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Due to the unknown duration and unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the range of national, state and local responses thereto, the related financial impact on our business could change and cannot be accurately predicted at this time. See the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to our Business and Industry—The global COVID-19 pandemic has had and may continue to have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.”
Components of our Results of Operations
Revenue
Our revenue is comprised of consignment revenue and product revenue.
Consignment revenue
We generate consignment revenue from the sale of secondhand women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories on behalf of sellers. We recognize consignment revenue, net of seller payouts, discounts, incentives and returns. We expect consignment revenue to continue to increase as we increase our Active Buyers and Orders and grow our business. We also expect consignment revenue to continue to increase as a percentage of total revenue due to our mix shift to primarily consignment.
Product revenue
We also generate product revenue from the sale of items that we own, which we refer to as our inventory. While we shifted our business to primarily consignment sales in mid-2019, historically, we purchased most of our inventory from our sellers prior to inclusion on our online marketplace. We recognize product revenue, net of discounts, incentives and returns. We expect product revenue to continue to decrease as a percentage of total revenue due to our mix shift to primarily consignment.
Cost of Revenue
Cost of consignment revenue
Cost of consignment revenue consists of outbound shipping, outbound labor and packaging costs. We expect cost of consignment revenue to decrease and gross margin to increase as a percentage of total revenue as we continue to scale our business due to our ability to drive leverage in shipping, labor and packaging.
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Cost of product revenue
Cost of product revenue consists of inventory cost, inbound shipping related to the sold merchandise, outbound shipping, outbound labor, packaging costs and inventory write-downs. We expect cost of product revenue to decrease and gross margin to increase as a percentage of total revenue as we continue to scale our business due to our ability to drive leverage in shipping, labor and packaging.
Operating Expenses
Operations, Product and Technology
Operations, product and technology expenses consist primarily of distribution center operating costs and product and technology expenses. Distribution center operating costs include inbound shipping costs, other than those capitalized in inventory, as well as personnel costs, distribution center rent, maintenance and equipment depreciation. Product and technology costs include personnel costs for the design and development of product and the related technology that is used to operate our distribution centers, merchandise science, website development and related expenses for these departments. Operations, product and technology expenses also include an allocation of corporate facilities and information technology costs such as equipment, depreciation and rent. We expect operations, product and technology expenses to increase in absolute dollars in future periods to support our growth, especially as costs to increase our supply (inbound costs) are generally incurred prior to the expected revenue growth. Additionally, we expect to bring on additional distribution centers and continue investing in automation and other technology improvements to support and drive efficiency in our operations. These expenses may vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue, depending primarily upon when we choose to make more significant investments. We expect these expenses to decrease as a percentage of revenue over the longer term due to better leverage in our operations.
Marketing
Marketing costs consist primarily of advertising, public relations expenditures and personnel costs for employees engaged in marketing. Marketing costs also include an allocation of corporate facilities and information technology costs such as equipment, depreciation and rent. We expect our marketing expenses to fluctuate as a percentage of revenue as we intend to increase marketing spend to drive the growth of our business.
Sales, General and Administrative
Sales, general and administrative expenses consist of personnel costs for employees involved in general corporate functions, including accounting, finance, tax, legal and people services; customer service; and retail stores. Sales, general and administrative also includes payment processing fees, professional fees and allocation of corporate facilities and information technology costs such as equipment, depreciation and rent. We expect to increase sales, general and administrative expense as we grow our infrastructure to support operating as a public company and the overall growth in our business. While these expenses may vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue, we expect them to decrease as a percentage of revenue over the longer term.
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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 prospectus. The following tables set forth our results of operations and such data as a percentage of revenue for the periods presented:
Year Ended December 31,
2018 2019 2020