SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|x||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(ad) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
|o||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For The Transition Period From To
Commission File Number 001-38953
The RealReal, Inc.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction of|
incorporation or organization)
55 Francisco Street Suite 600
San Francisco, CA
|(Address of principal executive offices)||(Zip Code)|
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (855) 435-5893
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading|
|Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common stock, $0.00001 par value||REAL||The Nasdaq Global Select Market|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, 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||x||Accelerated filer||o|
|Non-accelerated filer||o||Smaller reporting company||o|
|Emerging growth company||o|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. x
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No x
The aggregate market value of the common equity held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was approximately $1,524,824,900 as of June 30, 2021, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, based on the closing price of the shares of common stock on The NASDAQ Stock Market reported for June 30, 2021. Excludes an aggregate of 14,292,254 shares of the registrant’s common stock held by officers, directors, affiliated stockholders as of June 30, 2021.
The number of shares of Registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of February 18, 2022 was 93,055,388.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
List Part III incorporates information by reference from the definitive proxy statement for the registrant’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
Table of Contents
Unless the context suggests otherwise, references in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (the “Annual Report”) to “The RealReal,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to The RealReal, Inc.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, business strategy and plans, objectives of management for future operations, long term operating expenses, the opening of additional retail stores in the future, the development of our automation technology, expectations for capital requirements and the use of proceeds from our initial public offering, are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are only predictions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions described in the section titled “Risk Factors” included under Part I, Item 1A below and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Because forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The events and circumstances reflected in our forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Some of the key factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations include:
• our future financial performance, including our expectations regarding our revenue, cost of revenue, operating expenses, and our ability to achieve and maintain future profitability, in particular with respect to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic;
• our ability to effectively manage or sustain our growth and to effectively expand our operations;
• our strategies, plans, objectives and goals;
• the market demand for authenticated, pre-owned luxury goods and new and pre-owned luxury goods in general and the online market for luxury goods;
• our ability to compete with existing and new competitors in existing and new markets and offerings;
• our ability to attract and retain consignors and buyers;
• our ability to increase the supply of luxury goods offered through our online marketplace;
• our ability to timely and effectively scale our operations;
• our ability to enter international markets;
• our ability to optimize, operate and manage our authentication centers;
• our ability to develop and protect our brand;
• our ability to comply with laws and regulations;
• our expectations regarding outstanding litigation;
• our expectations and management of future growth;
• our expectations concerning relationships with third parties;
• economic and industry trends, projected growth or trend analysis;
• seasonal sales fluctuations;
• our ability to add capacity, capabilities and automation to our operations; and
• our ability to attract and retain key personnel.
In addition, statements such as “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 Annual Report on Form 10-K
and, although 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 a thorough inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements. Furthermore, if our forward-looking statements prove to be inaccurate, the inaccuracy may be material. In light of the significant uncertainties in these forward-looking statements, you should not regard these statements as a representation or warranty by us or any other person that we will achieve our objectives and plans in any specified time frame, or at all. Except as required by applicable law, we do not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, whether as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise.
Item 1. Business.
The RealReal is the world’s largest online marketplace for authenticated, consigned luxury goods. We are revolutionizing luxury resale by providing an end-to-end service that unlocks supply and creates a trusted, curated online marketplace for buyers globally. Since inception, we have cultivated a loyal and engaged consignor and buyer base through continuous investment in our technology platform, logistics infrastructure and people.
We offer a wide selection of authenticated, primarily pre-owned luxury goods on our online marketplace bearing the brands of thousands of luxury and premium designers. The top-selling luxury designers on our online marketplace include Cartier, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Rolex, Tiffany & Co. and Valentino. We offer products across multiple categories including women’s, men’s, kids’, jewelry and watches, and home and art.
A strong network effect drives the growth of our online marketplace. As we bring more consignors onto our platform, we unlock more high-quality, luxury supply, which increases our merchandise assortment and attracts more buyers. This, in turn, increases sales velocity and commissions for our consignors. In addition, a meaningful share of our consignors become buyers and vice versa, which creates a differentiated flywheel that enhances the network effect of our online marketplace.
We also operate our larger footprint flagship retail stores, or Flagship Stores, in West Hollywood in Los Angeles, California, Union Square in San Francisco, California, SoHo and Upper East Side in New York, New York and in Chicago, Illinois. Our Flagship Stores are typically 8,000 to 12,000 square feet with thousands of unique items for sale and are located in highly desirable, densely populated locations with strong foot traffic. In addition, we operate smaller footprint neighborhood retail stores, or Neighborhood Stores, in twelve locations in New York, California, Texas, Georgia, Connecticut and Florida. Our Neighborhood Stores are typically 1,800 to 3,500 square feet with items for sale reflecting a selection of the Company's online assortment and are located in an area with a large number of potential customers.
The existing luxury resale market is outdated, fragmented, difficult to access and laden with counterfeit goods. Primarily due to these challenges, a vast quantity of consignable luxury goods languishes in homes, and buyers can be hesitant to purchase pre-owned luxury goods. We are transforming the luxury resale experience by addressing these challenges.
• We provide a seamless consignment experience enabled by our proprietary technology platform and data. We leverage our proprietary technology and data analytics to provide world-class service, making consignment easy, convenient, reliable and fast. As a result, we unlock luxury supply from first-time consignors, convert consignors who typically consign at local brick-and-mortar shops to our online marketplace and drive high repeat consignment rates. We leverage data from millions of previous transactions and current market data to optimize pricing and sales velocity for our consignors.
• We offer buyers a vast, yet curated supply of primarily pre-owned luxury goods and instill trust in the buying process. We build trust in our buyer base by thoroughly inspecting the quality and condition of every item and putting every item through our authentication process. This trust drives repeat purchases from our buyer base and instills confidence in first-time buyers to purchase pre-owned luxury goods.
• We also operate Flagship and Neighborhood Stores. Our stores are valuable to us in multiple ways as they help us acquire higher value buyers and consignors, increase lifetime value, increase average order value, and lower return rates. We also benefit from increased brand awareness that accelerates overall market growth.
By making consignment easy, convenient, reliable and fast for our consignors, we aim to unlock a vast quantity of desirable, high-quality, primarily pre-owned luxury goods. Our sales professionals remove friction from the consignment process and build lasting relationships with our consignors. In 2021, approximately 84% of our gross merchandise value ("GMV") came from repeat consignors. Our unique service model incentivizes consumers to consign by making the process easy.
Our sales and service organization is responsible for obtaining exclusive supply for our online marketplace. Our sales professionals generate a robust pipeline of new consignors and build lasting relationships, which cannot be easily replicated. They consult on the consignment process and leverage data to advise consignors on pricing, expected selling time and market trends.
• We deliver an end-to-end service experience. We remove friction from the consignment process by providing multiple consignment methods. We offer concierge at-home consultation and pickup, subject to safety requirements related to the COVID pandemic, and meetings with consignors via online face-to-face platforms, or Virtual Consultations. Consignors may also drop off items at our luxury consignment offices. Our Flagship and Neighborhood Stores provide an alternative location to drop off consigned items and an opportunity to interact with our experts. Consignors may also utilize our complimentary shipping directly to our authentication centers.
• We do the work on behalf of consignors. Once consigned items reach one of our four authentication centers, we authenticate, write the associated copy, photograph, price, sell and handle all fulfillment and returns logistics, making the consignment process seamless. Improvements in our automation of pricing, copywriting and photo retouching have improved the efficiency of our operations.
• We generate high commissions for consignors. Our scale and global reach combined with our technology-driven online marketplace and proprietary data enable consignors to realize optimal value for their pre-owned luxury goods. Our consignors earn up to 85% in commissions and achieved an average commission rate of approximately 65% in 2021.
• We offer a range of payment options for consignors and businesses. Consignors are generally paid after an item has sold, however, we also offer trade-in terms and “Get Paid Now” options to both businesses and individuals. “Get Paid Now” is a program whereby a consignor’s items are evaluated, authenticated and priced and the consignor receives payment based on this process in advance of the sale of the item.
• We drive rapid monetization. Our online marketplace efficiently matches supply with demand resulting in exceptional sales velocity. In 2021 and 2020, approximately 59% and 60% of the products on our online marketplace sold within 30 days, respectively. In addition to sales velocity, we measure the ratio
of demand versus supply in a given period, which we refer to as our online marketplace sell-through ratio. Sell-through ratio is defined as GMV in the period divided by the aggregate initial value of items added to our online marketplace in that period. In 2021 and 2020, our online marketplace sell-through ratios were 94% and 99%, respectively.
In addition to consignments from individuals, we also make direct purchases from business sellers such as resellers, wholesalers, brands, retailers, or Vendors, which helps to drive supply and expand our product offerings.
We make it easy for buyers to shop our vast, yet curated selection of authenticated, primarily pre-owned luxury goods. In 2021, we had approximately 797,000 active buyers and approximately 84% of our GMV came from repeat buyers. As we continue to unlock exclusive luxury supply, we aim to attract new buyers and drive repeat purchases from our existing buyers.
•We offer a seamless buying experience. Buyers access our omni-channel online marketplace through our website, mobile app and retail stores, enabling them to purchase anytime, anywhere. Our Flagship and Neighborhood Stores also offer our buyers sophisticated service, surrounded by a beautifully designed space, where they can shop our dynamic curation of authenticated pre-owned luxury goods across all of our categories.
•We build trust by putting every item through our authentication process. We continue to invest and innovate in authentication. We believe we have the most rigorous authentication process in the marketplace. We have highly trained gemologists, horologists, brand experts and art curators who collectively inspect thousands of items each day. All items pass through a rigorous brand-specific authentication process before they are accepted for consignment. This process includes inspecting the item for attributes such as appropriate brand markings, date codes, serial tags and hologram stickers. Our gemologists and horologists authenticate and inspect our fine jewelry and watches, and each piece comes with an authentication certificate. We utilize sophisticated gemological devices to assist our experts and continue to innovate in this area. In 2021, we developed a proprietary technology with the University of Arizona to inspect gemstones faster and more accurately, without unmounting the stone. In addition, our team of fine art curators and specialists research and validate art pieces for authenticity. In 2021, we augmented our authentication process with proprietary item and consignor risk scoring algorithms. We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to counterfeit goods. Items that are deemed to be counterfeit are removed from our authentication centers.
•We provide access to unique, highly coveted and exclusive products. We provide buyers with access to a vast, yet curated selection of unique, authenticated, pre-owned luxury goods. In 2021, we sold goods bearing the brands of thousands of luxury and premium designers, including highly coveted items such as rare watches and handbags.
•We provide a gateway to luxury brands. We believe we are expanding the overall market for both new and pre-owned luxury goods, as the ability to experience and engage with luxury brands through our online marketplace results in an earlier appreciation for high-quality, well-crafted items, and inspires consumers to purchase new luxury items. As of December 31, 2021, we had partnerships with Stella McCartney, Burberry, Nanushka, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Mytheresa, and we believe our online marketplace cultivates customer relationships for luxury brands.
Technology powers all aspects of our business, including our complex, single-SKU inventory management system. Our supply comes from thousands of individual consignors and businesses across the United States. Each item we sell is a truly unique, individual stock keeping unit (“single-SKU”) and is exclusively available on our online marketplace. Given the complexity of our inventory model, we developed and continuously innovate specialized, proprietary applications to optimize inbound processes, such as authentication, copywriting, photography and photo-editing. We increasingly use our technology platform to automate pricing, copywriting and photo retouching for goods sold through our online marketplace.
Our powerful data analytics capabilities enable us to improve both consignor and buyer experiences. Our online marketplace generates and aggregates hundreds of millions of unique data points, including data from approximately 865 million views of items on our online marketplace in 2021 by potential buyers, which we refer to as item views, and
approximately 23.0 million item sales since inception. Each consigned item also has up to 50 unique attributes. Informed by this data, we have developed proprietary algorithms and business processes to optimize our operations, including supply sourcing, merchandising, authentication, pricing and marketing.
Environmental, Social and Governance
Our stakeholders are essential to our business—shareholders, consignors, buyers, employees, and the communities in which we do business. We aspire to operate our business with positive social and environmental impact. We have taken steps in human capital initiatives that drive equality through equal pay and equal opportunity.
Our board of directors and its committees provide oversight on certain human capital matters, including our Diversity and Inclusion programs and initiatives. As noted in its charter, our Compensation, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is responsible for reviewing and recommending to our board of directors compensation plans, policies and programs intended to attract, retain and appropriately reward employees, as well as provide oversight of the Company’s policies, programs, and initiatives focusing on leadership and workforce diversity and inclusion. Our Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee provides oversight of the Company’s policies, programs and initiatives focusing on social responsibility, including environmental and sustainability and social and human rights matters. Our Audit Committee works closely with our management to discuss current and emerging risks related to our workforce and what steps management is taking to manage and reduce the Company’s exposure to risk. The actions of these committees and the work of our board of directors and management seek to attract, retain and develop a diverse and inclusive workforce that is motivated to achieving the Company’s business objectives.
Our Sustainability Program
Sustainability is woven into the fabric of our business. We believe a growing awareness of the environmental impact of recirculating luxury goods significantly contributes to the appeal of consigning and purchasing on our online marketplace.
We are committed to extending the lifecycle of luxury goods by promoting their recirculation, rather than creating waste. Our sustainability efforts include:
• Carbon Neutral Pledge. In November 2019, we were the first company to take the pledge in the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge issued by Gucci CEO, Marco Bizzarri. We pledged to be carbon neutral in 2021, and we reached that goal in 2020 (Scope 1, Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions (downstream transportation and distribution, employee travel, purchased goods and services (corrugate), and capital goods (paper))). The RealReal engaged an independent third-party to measure The RealReal’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our path to carbon neutrality included implementing reductions and annually offsetting emissions that cannot be eliminated.
• Sustainability Calculator. In 2018, we launched our Sustainability Calculator on National Consignment Day as a tool to quantify the positive impact consignment has on the planet.
• Circular Resource Lab and ReCollection 02. In 2021, we launched our 64-piece apparel collection, which reimagined the unwearable or damaged into unique and premium luxury items. ReCollection 02, the first project from our new Circular ReSource Lab that works to create impactful solutions to the fashion waste crisis, gives new life to clothing that would otherwise likely end up in a landfill. Circular ReSource Lab is a hub for us to test, learn and share to create impactful solutions to the fashion waste crisis.
• National Consignment Date. We founded National Consignment Day as a national recognition day that occurs on the first Monday of October. National Consignment Day celebrates the positive impact consigning has on the environment. We expect to create a National Consignment Day campaign as an opportunity to encourage people to consign.
• Environmental Management System. In 2020, we formed a cross-functional Environmental Management System (also known as our Sustainability Taskforce) to identify projects throughout the organization that have the potential to reduce our environmental impact. The Sustainability Taskforce prioritizes high impact projects, meets bi-weekly and aims to embed a focus on sustainability across the organization. Throughout 2021, we provided regular updates to our executive steering committee on progress toward achieving our goals and initiatives.
• United Nations Climate Change’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. In April 2019, we became the first company in the resale industry to join the United Nations Climate Change’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, which aims to limit global warming within the fashion industry and inspire climate action. The charter endeavors to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions in the fashion industry by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. We are currently developing a detailed plan to meet our target of reducing our total GHG emissions (Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3) 50% by 2030, from our 2019 emissions baseline.
• Repair Program. We have several repair and alteration programs that put our brand’s mission into practice, further extending the life cycle of luxury goods. The repair services help reduce the number of condition-based rejections and create a streamlined process to help keep items in circulation.
Human Capital Resources
Our employees are guided by our mission to empower consignors and buyers to extend the life cycle of luxury goods. We are part of a diverse global community, and we aim to reflect that diversity within our team. We believe diversity and inclusion foster a collaborative culture, which fuels our ability to innovate as we work to create a more sustainable future. We proactively seek feedback and guidance from our employees, whom we see as our partners in building a strong organizational culture.
As of December 31, 2021, we had 3,355 full-time equivalent employees. Additionally, we rely on independent contractors and temporary personnel to supplement our workforce, primarily in our authentication centers. None of our employees is represented by a labor union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement. We consider our relations with our employees to be positive.
Diversity and Inclusion
We work to inspire and empower our employees to think creatively and authentically, share their ideas, bring their whole selves to work, and strive for greatness every day. We are proud to have a diverse team, and we recognize there is opportunity for us to continue improving representation, particularly among our senior leadership. We support and celebrate diversity, and are committed to providing an equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity or expression, or Veteran status. Below is a breakdown of how our team self-identifies as of December 31, 2021 (table does not reflect, of the total individuals surveyed, approximately 3% who chose not to self-identify, approximately 4% who self-identified as two or more races, and approximately 1% who self-identified as Native American):
|Black||18 ||%||15 ||%||8 ||%||0 ||%||22 ||%|
|Hispanic/Latinx||29 ||%||12 ||%||17 ||%||0 ||%||0 ||%|
|Asian||8 ||%||19 ||%||13 ||%||14 ||%||0 ||%|
|White||36 ||%||45 ||%||55 ||%||79 ||%||78 ||%|
|Female||66 ||%||65 ||%||63 ||%||53 ||%||67 ||%|
In 2021, we developed and launched our current DEI vision and strategy. We aspire to be designers of an equitable future. Creating a more sustainable future by growing the circular economy requires us to bring different perspectives together to solve problems in new, meaningful ways. We believe that a culture of trust, safety and belonging is key to unlocking the power of differences, leading to creative problem solving and high performing teams in order to fuel our purpose and impact. In order to deepen visibility into our workforce data, in 2021 we expanded employee self-reporting options to include gender identity, LGBTQ, veteran, and disability status.
In 2021, we continued to develop and grow our six Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) by developing clear missions, introducing a new leadership structure, and amplifying diverse voices across our company. ERG membership grew to over 1,000 employees, or 20% of our workforce, since launching one year ago. In partnership with the DEI team, ERGs led initiatives and programs focused on education, awareness, career development, and social connection. We also enabled pronoun features across our technologies to enhance inclusion of trans and non-binary employees and normalize pronoun sharing.
We provide training on managing bias to managers of people and have invested in a DEI learning curriculum to empower employees at all levels with the knowledge and resources to practice inclusion. We implemented a tool that encourages employees to report bias, discrimination and harassment, or behavior that does not reflect our values and policies, and provide feedback on culture.
In 2021, we formed several new recruiting partnerships to strengthen access to diverse talent communities, including the Black in Jewelry Coalition, Jopwell and the National Sales Network. We participated in both the Black in Fashion Council and Racial Equality Project benchmarking surveys to uncover opportunities to advance equity. We implemented a diverse slate requirement for all roles Director and above requiring at least one underrepresented candidate to be interviewed before filling a role, which has been 100% met to date. This summer, we hosted our first internship class as part of our work to build a diverse talent pipeline, 67% of whom identified as women, and 67% as Black, Indigenous, and people of color ("BIPOC"). We are also investing in the growth and retention of our diverse talent through differentiated leadership development, including by launching a six month coaching and development pilot for 100 BIPOC women.
In addition, when searching for new directors, the Board actively seeks out women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which Board nominees are chosen.
Talent Development and Training
We believe that the training and development of our employees is critical to our long-term success. We offer a variety of employee training programs in addition to the DEI programs discussed above, including onboarding, technical skills training, product and services training, and managerial soft skills training. These programs include training specific to each of our business functions, enabling us to provide our consignors and buyers with a consistent luxury experience. For example, we support our sales professionals by providing a 10-day virtual onboarding sequence conducted through peer-to-peer, facilitated and self-learning sessions, followed by continuous professional development programs. Our authentication team receives training depending on one of five levels. Entry level authenticators receive approximately 40 hours of training, and our expert authenticators receive additional and ongoing trainings to stay informed on the latest developments in brand authenticity. In 2021, we also delivered a Manager Development Series that was open to all people managers across the organization, and we offered a Leadership Development Program for selected people managers at the director and above levels.
Each employee receives training appropriate to the scope and nature of their role. Our FLSA exempt employees receive an annual performance review and our people managers have quarterly meetings with their employees to address performance and development, as appropriate. As a part of our onboarding program, we have developed an engagement monitoring plan for our employees in the form of personal check-ins and questionnaires.
Health, Safety and Wellness
We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all employees and require compliance with all applicable local laws and regulations governing working conditions, working hours, fair wages, and compensation.
We recognize that in addition to minimizing work-related injuries and illness, a safe and healthy work environment supports employee retention and morale and enhances the quality of products and services. We treat all applicable health and safety regulations as a minimum standard as we are committed to high standards for our working environments that protect the well-being of all employees. We encourage consultation and cooperation between management and employees in developing occupational health and safety mechanisms through ongoing dialogue. We expect senior management to integrate health and safety mechanisms in all business activities and monitor the program’s effectiveness.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented changes that we consider to be in the best interest of our employees, as well as the communities in which we operate, and which comply with government regulations. We have implemented additional safety measures for employees continuing critical on-site work. We believe we have been able to preserve our business continuity without sacrificing our commitment to keeping our employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Importantly, we recognize the importance of supporting our employee’s overall well-being and invested in programs that support mental and emotional health.
Historically, we have observed trends in seasonality of supply and demand in our business. Specifically, our supply increases in the third and fourth quarters, and our demand increases in the fourth quarter. As a result of this seasonality, we typically see stronger average order value (“AOV”), and more rapid sell-through in the fourth quarter. We also incur higher operating expenses in the last four months of the year as we increase advertising spend to attract consignors and buyers and increase headcount in sales and operations to handle the higher volumes. Additionally, we expect higher advertising spend and demand increases in the fourth quarter.
Our intellectual property, including copyrights and trademarks, is an important component of our business. We rely on trademark, copyright, trade secrets, patents, patent applications, confidentiality agreements and other practices to protect our brands, proprietary information, technologies and processes. We primarily rely on copyright and trade secret laws to protect our proprietary technologies and processes, including the algorithms we use throughout our business. Our principal trademark assets include the registered trademark “The RealReal” and our logos and taglines. Our trademarks are valuable assets that support our brand and consumers’ perception of our services and merchandise. We also hold the rights to the “therealreal.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. We continually review our development efforts to assess the existence and patentability of new intellectual property and intend to pursue patent protection to the extent we believe it would be beneficial and cost-effective.
We control access to and use of our intellectual property through confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements with third parties and our employment and contractor agreements. We rely on contractual provisions to protect our proprietary technology, brands and creative assets with consignors and buyers.
We were incorporated in the state of Delaware in March 2011. Our principal executive offices are located at 55 Francisco Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, California 94133, and our telephone number is (855) 435-5893. You may access our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and other reports (and amendments thereto) filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), as well as proxy statements filed by us, free of charge on our website at www.therealreal.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into this or any other report we file with, or furnish to, the SEC, and you should not consider information on our website to be part of this or any other report we file with, or furnish to, the SEC. Such periodic reports, proxy statements and other information are also available at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.
The RealReal, Obsessions and other trademarks or service marks of The RealReal, Inc. appearing in this Annual Report are the property of The RealReal, Inc. This Annual Report contains additional trade names, trademarks and service marks of others, which are the property of their respective owners. Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks, logos and trade names referred to in this Annual Report are without the ® and ™ symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate that we will not assert our rights in these trademarks, service marks and trade names.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should consider and read carefully all of the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The risks described below are not the only ones we face. The occurrence of any of the following risks or additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Risks Relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Our operations have been, and may continue to be, adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We currently have four authentication centers, one in Arizona and three in New Jersey. In addition, we operate a number of retail stores in select locations in the United States. For consignors, we also provide drop off of consigned goods at any one of our numerous luxury consignment offices (“LCOs”). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local governments initially imposed significant limitations on business operations. As of the date of this filing, our authentication centers, retail stores and LCOs are all operating subject to certain restrictions, such as modified operating models and hours and enhanced safety and cleaning protocols. We have also taken actions to facilitate the continued operation of our business, including implementing social distancing measures, offering virtual consignment appointments to augment our concierge service, providing curbside pick-up for both our consignors and buyers, and enabling employees to work remotely to the extent possible. In addition to these operational challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic also threatens the health of our employees, consignors and buyers. Our business is critically dependent on our employees who staff our facilities and stores. It is unclear whether further or new limitations will be imposed in the near future due to the current resurgence of the COVID-19 virus and any new variants. The nature, scope and duration of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations is highly uncertain and could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted, and may continue to impact, our business.
The COVID-19 pandemic and related government-mandated measures, such as business closures and vaccine mandates, have created significant market volatility, uncertainty and economic disruption. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity will depend on numerous evolving factors, known and unknown, that we cannot predict, including the duration and scope of the pandemic; government, business and individual actions that have been and continue to be taken in response to the pandemic; the impact of the pandemic on national and global economic activity; disruption of the financial and labor markets, including the possibility of a national or global economic recession or depression; the limitations on operations requiring employees to perform their duties in-person, such as our warehouse operations; the potential for shipping difficulties, including delayed deliveries to our buyers; and weakened consumer demand. Additionally, the increased number of employees who work remotely could introduce additional operational risk, such as an increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks, and harm productivity and collaboration. Our ability to return to normalized operations and the timing of such a return cannot be predicted at this time. In addition, the risks and uncertainties described elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section may be heightened as a result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, we cannot reasonably estimate the full extent of impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, operations and financial results.
Risks Relating to Our Revenue and Operating Results
We have a history of losses and we may not achieve or maintain profitability in the future.
We experienced net losses of $98.4 million, $175.8 million, and $236.1 million in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively, and as of December 31, 2021 we had an accumulated deficit of $768.1 million. Despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations, we continue to align our strategy to capitalize on growth opportunities. If our investments do not prove successful or our market does not develop as we expect, we may continue to experience losses over the long term. 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, financial condition and operating results 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.
We may not be able to sustain our revenue growth rate or effectively manage growth or new opportunities.
While we experienced negative revenue growth in 2020, our revenue grew in 2018, 2019 and 2021. Such recent revenue growth should not be considered indicative of our future performance. Our online marketplace represents a
substantial departure from the traditional resale market for luxury goods. While our business grew rapidly prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the resale market for luxury goods may not continue to develop in a manner that we expect or that otherwise would be favorable to our business. Our relatively short operating history and the changes in our market make it difficult to assess our future performance. You should consider our business and prospects in light of the risks and difficulties we may encounter. Aside from the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had and may continue to have on our revenues, as we grow our business, our future revenue growth rates may slow due to a number of factors, including the maturation of our business, increased market adoption against which future growth will be measured, increasing competition or our failure to capitalize on growth opportunities. Our rapid growth has placed significant demands on our management and our operational and financial infrastructure. Continued growth could also strain our ability to maintain reliable service levels for our consignors and buyers, develop and improve our operational, financial and management controls, enhance our reporting systems and procedures and recruit, train and retain highly skilled personnel. Failure to effectively manage the growth of our business and operations would negatively affect our reputation and brand, business, financial condition and operating results.
We may not accurately forecast revenue and appropriately plan our expenses.
We make certain assumptions when planning our expenses based on our expected revenue. These assumptions are partly based on historical results. We rely on a constant supply of consigned goods to sustain and grow our revenue, making our revenue in any given period difficult to predict. Because our operating expenses are relatively fixed in the short term, any failure to achieve our revenue expectations would have a direct adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results and the price of our stock.
We have experienced seasonal and quarterly variations in our revenue and operating results.
Our business is seasonal and historically we have realized a disproportionate amount of our revenue and earnings for the year in the fourth quarter due to the holiday season and seasonal promotions. We expect this to continue in the future. If we experience lower than expected revenue during any fourth quarter, it may have a disproportionately large impact on our operating results and financial condition for that year. In any given year, our seasonal sales patterns may become more pronounced, may strain our personnel and may cause a shortfall in revenue related to expenses in a given period, which could substantially harm our business, operating results and financial condition. In anticipation of increased activity during the fourth quarter, we also incur significant additional expenses, including additional marketing and staffing in our sales and customer support operations. In addition, we may experience an increase in our shipping costs due to complimentary upgrades, split-shipments and additional long-zone shipments necessary to ensure timely delivery for the holiday season. Such increased costs may harm our profitability, especially if we are experiencing lower than expected revenue during the holidays.
Greater than expected product returns may exceed our reserve for returns.
We generally allow buyers to return certain purchases from our website and retail stores under our return policy. We record a reserve for returns against proceeds we receive from the sale of goods on our online marketplace when we calculate revenue. We estimate this reserve based on historical return trends and our current expectations. The introduction of new products in the retail market, changes in consumer confidence or other competitive and general economic conditions, and higher than expected returns in connection with fourth quarter holiday buying may cause actual returns to exceed our reserve for returns. Any significant increase in returns that exceeds our reserves could adversely affect our revenue and operating results.
We may require additional capital to support business growth.
We may require additional funds to support our growth and respond to business challenges, including the difficulties we have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To support our future growth, we may need to further develop our online marketplace services, grow our retail presence, expand our categories of pre-owned luxury goods, enhance our operating infrastructure, expand the markets in which we operate and potentially acquire complementary businesses and technologies. Accordingly, we may need to engage in equity or debt financings to secure additional funds, which may result in significant dilution to existing stockholders or the granting of new equity securities which have rights, preferences and privileges superior to those of holders of our common stock. Any debt financing secured by us could involve restrictive covenants relating to our capital-raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities in the future. In addition, we may not be able to obtain additional financing on terms favorable to us, if at all. If we are unable to obtain financing on terms satisfactory to us when we require it, our ability to continue to support our business growth and to respond to business challenges could be significantly limited, and our business and prospects could fail or be adversely affected.
Risks Relating to Our Strategy
We may be unable to execute on our retail growth strategy.
We currently operate a limited number of retail stores, including a number of “neighborhood stores” with smaller square footage. We believe that retail stores are critical for our growth expansion of our business, raising brand awareness with consignors and buyers and generating new supply. We also believe that an expansion of our brick-and-mortar presence complements our online marketplace and strengthens the omni-channel consigning and buying experience. We may, however, have to enter into long-term leases before we know whether our retail strategy or a particular geography will be successful. We also face a number of challenges in opening new stores, including locating retail space having a cost and geographic profile that will allow us to operate in highly desirable shopping locations, hire in-store talent and expand our retail operations in a cost-effective manner. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, competition for retail locations had been increasing, making it more difficult to locate and secure retail space on acceptable pricing and other terms. Even if we are able to secure attractive retail locations, the opening of new stores brings operational challenges. In expanding our locations, we must provide our consignors and buyers with a consistent luxury experience. In the past, our stores have been the target of theft and have also experienced property damage. Any such future incidents may result in a disruption to our retail operations and significant costs if not covered by our insurance policies. In addition, the offering of unique, single-SKU products creates supply chain, merchandising and pricing challenges, as we must select the right product mix for each individual store while continuing to manage inventory at our authentication centers. If we are not able to manage or execute on our retail growth strategy, our business, operating results, prospects and reputation may be harmed.
Expansion of our operations internationally will require significant management attention and resources.
While we have buyers from outside the United States who purchase items from our online marketplace, we have not expanded our physical operations internationally. If we choose to do so, we would need to adapt to various local cultures, languages, standards, laws and regulations and policies. Our business model we employ may not appeal to consignors and buyers outside of the United States. Furthermore, to succeed with clients in international locations, it will be necessary to locate authentication centers in foreign markets and hire local employees in those markets, and we may have to invest in such facilities before demonstrating that we can successfully run operations outside of the United States. If we invest substantial time and resources to establish and expand our operations internationally and are unable to do so successfully and in a timely manner, our operating results would suffer.
Risks Relating to Supply
We may not be able to obtain sufficient new and recurring supply of pre-owned luxury goods.
Our success depends on our ability to generate a consistent supply of luxury goods to sell through our stores and online marketplace. To do this we must cost-effectively attract, retain and grow relationships with consignors. To expand our consignor base, we must appeal to and engage individuals new to consignment, or who have consigned through traditional brick-and-mortar shops but are unfamiliar with our business. We find new consignors by converting buyers utilizing our online marketplace, shopping in our retail stores, or utilizing our LCOs. We also reach new consignors through paid advertising, referral programs, organic word-of-mouth and other methods, such as mentions in the press, Internet search engine results and through our brand partnerships. We recently increased our paid marketing expenses by investing more in television advertising and digital marketing and we expect to increase our spending on these and other paid marketing channels in the future. We cannot be certain that these efforts will yield more consignors or be cost-effective. Moreover, new consignors may not choose to consign with us a second time or as frequently, or consign as many items or the same value of items, as has historically been the case with existing consignors. Therefore, the revenue generated from new consignors may not be as high as the revenue generated historically from our existing consignors or as high as we expect. Most of the luxury goods we offer through our online marketplace are initially sourced from consignors who are individuals. As a result, we may be subject to periodic fluctuations in the number, brands and quality of goods sold through our online marketplace on behalf of our consignors. In addition, a significant number of our new and existing consignors greatly prefer our concierge consultation method for consigning luxury goods, which involves our sales professionals meeting with our consignors in their homes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have modified our concierge consultation method for consigning luxury goods to operate on a “no contact” basis. It is unclear what impact this modified “no contact” concierge consultation method will have on our operations and these new and existing consignors may not be as willing, or willing at all, to utilize our other methods for consignment. We have also added a buy upfront program in an effort to generate additional supply. The effectiveness of this program, including its commission structure, is still uncertain. If we fail to attract new consignors or drive repeat consignments in a cost-effective manner, or fail to convert buyers to consignors, our ability to grow our business and our operating results would be adversely affected.
We may be unable to attract and retain talented sales professionals.
We rely on our sales professionals to drive our supply of luxury goods by identifying, developing and maintaining relationships with our consignors. The process of identifying and hiring sales professionals with the combination of skills and attributes required in these roles can be difficult and can require significant time. In addition, competition for qualified employees and personnel in the retail industry is intense and turnover amongst our sales professionals within a few years is not uncommon. If we are not successful in attracting and retaining effective sales professionals, the quantity and quality of the luxury goods sold through our online marketplace may be negatively impacted, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.
Our growth and supply of product offerings depend on our ability to maintain our brand partnerships.
We have established brand partnerships with brands such as, Gucci, Stella McCartney and Burberry, and seek to add additional partnerships in the future. We believe that these partnerships are important to increasing our supply and growing our business. We make direct purchases of products from our brand partners, which helps us to drive supply and expand our product offerings. To establish and maintain these partnerships, brands must trust, among other things, our authentication process and that we provide a level of customer service that matches those generally provided by luxury brands, for both consignors and buyers, online and in-store. If we are unable to provide value to our existing partners or to add new partners, the growth of our business may be harmed.
Risks Relating to Demand
Our continued growth depends on attracting new and retaining repeat buyers.
To expand our buyer base, we must appeal to and attract buyers who do not typically purchase luxury goods, who have historically purchased only new luxury goods or who used other means to purchase pre-owned luxury goods, such as traditional brick-and-mortar consignment shops, auction houses and the websites of other secondary marketplaces. We reach new buyers in part through television and digital advertising, other paid marketing, press coverage, referral programs, organic word of mouth, our brand partnerships and other methods of discovery, such as converting consignors 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 yield more buyers or be cost-effective. Moreover, new buyers may not purchase through our online marketplace as frequently or spend as much with us as historically has been the case with existing buyers. As a result, the revenue generated from new buyer transactions may not be as high as the revenue generated from transactions with our existing buyers. Failure to attract new buyers and to maintain relationships with existing buyers would adversely affect our operating results and our ability to attract and retain consignors.
National retailers and brands set their own retail prices and promotional discounts on new luxury goods, which could adversely affect our value proposition to consignors and buyers.
National retailers and brands set pricing for new luxury goods that they sell and from time to time offer sales and promotional pricing, particularly during the holiday season, when we have historically made a substantial portion of our annual sales. Promotional pricing by these parties may lower the value of products consigned with us and our inventory and, in turn, reduce the value proposition for both our consignors and buyers. We have in the past experienced a reduction in our GMV and AOV due to fluctuations in the price of new luxury goods sold by retailers and brands, and we could experience similar reductions and fluctuations in the future. However, the timing and magnitude of such discounting can be difficult to predict and can be brought on by unique factors such as a retailer or brand going out of business and liquidating its inventory, which may happen to a greater extent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and weakened consumer demand. Any of the foregoing risks could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.
We must successfully gauge and respond to changing preferences among our consignors and buyers.
Our success is in large part dependent upon our ability to anticipate and identify trends in the market for pre-owned luxury goods in a timely manner and to obtain consignments of luxury goods that address those trends. We use data science to predict consignor and buyer preferences, and there can be no assurance that our data science will accurately anticipate consignor or buyer needs. Our business model limits our responsiveness to changing preferences, as the majority of our inventory consists of unique, single-SKU items. We are also sourcing an increasing amount of goods directly from brands. While we attempt to source goods that complement our existing inventory, we cannot ensure we will do so successfully. To the extent we do not accurately predict and successfully respond to the evolving preferences of our consignors and buyers, our ability to grow our business and our operating results would be adversely affected.
We may be unable to replicate our business model for newer categories of consigned luxury goods.
Our women’s category contributes a significant amount to our GMV. We intend to deepen our penetration in other high-value categories such as men’s, jewelry and watches, and home and art and continue to explore additional categories
of luxury goods. If these additional categories of pre-owned luxury goods are not accepted by our existing consignors or buyers, or if such categories do not attract new consignors or buyers, our revenues may fall short of expectations, our brand and reputation could be adversely affected and we may incur expenses that are not offset by revenues. In addition, our business may be adversely affected if we are unable to attract new and repeat consignors that supply the necessary high-quality, appropriately priced and in-demand luxury merchandise in these additional categories, and these categories of goods may also have a different range of margin profiles than the goods currently sold through our online marketplace. Additionally, as we enter into new categories, potential consignors may demand higher commissions than our current categories, which would adversely affect our take rate and operating results. Expansion of our offerings may also strain our management and operational resources, specifically the need to hire and manage additional authentication and market experts. We may also face novel challenges in authenticating goods as we expand our product offerings. In addition, we may experience greater competition in specific categories from companies that are more experienced in these categories. If any of these were to occur, it could damage our reputation, limit our growth and have an adverse effect on our operating results.
We rely on consumer discretionary spending, which is adversely affected by economic downturns, including economic recession or depression, and other macroeconomic conditions or trends.
Our business and operating results are subject to global economic conditions and their impact on consumer discretionary spending, particularly in the luxury goods market. Some of the factors that may reduce luxury spending include economic downturns, including economic recession or depression, high levels of unemployment, higher consumer debt levels, reductions in net worth, declines in asset values, including home values, and related market and economic uncertainty. Many of these factors have occurred, and may occur in the future, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such economic uncertainty and the resulting decrease in the rate of new luxury goods purchases in the primary market may have a corresponding impact on luxury resale, which could manifest in a number of ways, including fewer individuals choosing to consign their goods with us, resulting in a decrease of items available in our online marketplace, fewer individuals choosing to buy pre-owned luxury goods, resulting in lower active buyer growth and order volume, and lower Average Order Volume (“AOV”) due to a combination of lower average selling price per item and/or fewer items per average order, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business and operating results.
Our industry is highly competitive and we may not be able to compete effectively.
We compete with vendors of new and pre-owned luxury goods, including branded luxury goods stores, department stores, traditional brick-and-mortar consignment stores, pawn shops, auction houses, specialty 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 luxury goods and services that we offer. Many of our competitors have longer operating histories, larger fulfillment infrastructures, greater brand recognition and technical capabilities, faster or lower-cost shipping, larger selections of goods for sale, greater financial, marketing, institutional and other resources and larger buyer bases than we do. As the market evolves, new competitors may emerge, including traditional retail competitors who expand their offerings to include resale. Some of our competitors may have greater resources than we do, which may allow them to derive greater revenue and profits from their existing buyer bases, acquire consignors at lower costs or respond more quickly than we can to new or emerging technologies and changes in consumer shopping behavior. These competitors may also adopt more aggressive pricing policies, which may allow them to build larger consignor or buyer bases or generate revenue from their existing buyer bases more effectively than we do. New competitors may force us to decrease our take rates to remain competitive and negatively impact on our financial performance. If we fail to respond to competition effectively, our business and operating results may be adversely affected.
Risks Relating to Marketing and Brand Management
Our success depends on the accuracy and reliability of our authentication process.
Our success depends on our ability to accurately and cost-effectively determine whether an item offered for consignment is an authentic product or genuine gemstone, piece of jewelry or work of art. From time to time, we receive counterfeit goods for consignment. While we continue to invest and innovate heavily in our authentication processes, and we reject any goods we believe to be counterfeit, we cannot be certain that we will identify every counterfeit item that is consigned to us. As the sophistication of counterfeiters increases, it may be increasingly difficult to identify counterfeit products. We refund the cost of a product to a buyer if the buyer questions its authenticity and returns the item. The sale of any counterfeit goods may damage our reputation as a trusted online marketplace for authenticated, pre-owned luxury goods which may impact our ability to attract and maintain consignors, buyers and brand partners. Additionally, we have been and may in the future be subject to negative press or public allegations, including on social media, that our
authentication processes are inadequate. Any material failure or perceived failure in our authentication operations could cause buyers and consignors to lose confidence in our platform and adversely affect our revenue.
We may not succeed in promoting and sustaining our brand.
We believe that growing The RealReal brand is critical to driving consignor and buyer engagement as well as attracting brand partners. An important goal of our brand promotion strategy is establishing and maintaining trust with our consignors, buyers and brand partners. Growing our brand will depend largely on our ability to continue providing our consignors with service that is consistent with the level of luxury associated with the goods they are consigning and delivering value for the goods they consign, all in a timely and consistent manner. For buyers, growing our brand requires that we foster trust through authentication, timely and reliable fulfillment of orders, and responsive and effective customer service. To establish and maintain relationships with existing and future brand partners, brands must trust our authentication process and that we provide a level of customer service that matches those generally provided by luxury brands, for both consignors and buyers, online and in-store. If we fail to provide consignors or buyers with the service and experience they expect, or experience consignor or buyer complaints or negative publicity about our products, services, delivery times or customer support, whether justified or not, the value of our brand would be harmed and our business may suffer.
Our advertising activity may fail to efficiently drive growth in consignors and buyers.
Our future growth and profitability depend in large part upon the effectiveness and efficiency of our advertising, promotion, public relations and marketing programs and we are investing heavily in these activities. 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 in an effort to optimize the effectiveness of these activities. We expect to increase advertising spend in future periods to continue driving our growth. Even if our marketing and advertising expenses result in increased sales, the increase might not offset our related expenditures. We also face the unique challenge of attracting consignors and buyers to our online marketplace who may be unfamiliar with both our brand and our consignment business model. If we struggle to attract new consignors and buyers to our luxury resale model, or 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 consignor and buyer base could be adversely affected, and our business, operating results, financial condition and brand could suffer.
We rely on third parties to drive traffic to our website.
We rely in part on digital advertising, including search engine marketing, to promote awareness of our online marketplace, grow our business, attract new consignors and buyers and increase engagement with existing consignors and buyers. In particular, we rely on search engines and major mobile app stores as important marketing channels. If search engines 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 consignors and buyers to our website and apps, which would harm our business, operating results and prospects.
Use of social media, emails and text messages may adversely impact our reputation or subject us to fines.
We use social media, emails, push notifications and 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, consignors, buyers or others. Information concerning us or our consignors and brands, whether accurate or not, may be posted on social media platforms at any time. The harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction and could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, operating results, financial condition and prospects.
The public disclosure of our Environmental, Social and Governance ("ESG") metrics may subject us to risks.
We voluntarily report certain metrics and goals for ESG. This transparency is consistent with our commitment to operate our business with positive economic, social, and environmental impact. The perception held by our consignors or buyers, other key stakeholders, or the communities in which we do business may depend, in part, on the metrics and goals we have chosen to aspire to and whether or not we meet our goals on a timely basis, if at all. Also, by electing to set goals and publicly disclose our ESG metrics, we may face increased scrutiny related to environmental, social, and governance activities. Any failure to meet our goals or to act responsibly in the areas in which we report, may negatively affect our
reputation and the value of our brand, including impacting employee engagement and retention, the willingness of our consignors and buyers and our partners and vendors to do business with us, or investors’ willingness to purchase or hold shares of our common stock, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial performance, and growth.
Risks Related to Our Merchandising and Fulfillment
We may not be able to attract, train and retain specialized personnel and skilled employees.
To grow our business, we must continue to improve and expand our merchandising and fulfillment operations, information systems and skilled personnel in the jurisdictions in which we operate so that we have the skilled talent 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 luxury item that we offer through our online marketplace is unique and requires multiple touch points, including inspection, evaluation, authentication, photography, pricing, copywriting, application of a unique single-SKU and fulfillment. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had rapidly increased our operations employee headcount to support the growth of our business. The market for employees is increasingly competitive and highly dependent on geographic location. Some of our employees have specific knowledge and skills that would make it more difficult to hire replacement personnel capable of effectively performing the same tasks without substantial training. We also provide specific training to our employees in each of our business functions in order to provide our consignors and buyers with a consistent luxury experience. We have recently faced labor shortages exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19, and we may continue to experience such shortages in the future. Our hiring challenges negatively impacted the time for processing and launching products on our website, and negatively impacted our GMV results, and similar challenges could negatively impact our business in the future. If we fail to successfully locate, hire, train and retain personnel in the future, our operations would be negatively impacted, which would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.
We may not be able to identify and lease authentication centers in suitable geographic regions.
We lease facilities to store and accommodate the logistics infrastructure required to merchandise and ship the pre-owned luxury goods we sell through our online marketplace. Our ability to successfully grow our business depends on the availability and cost of leasing additional authentication centers that meet our criteria for a geographic location with access to a large, qualified talent pool as well as square footage, cost and other factors. We currently have four authentication centers - one in Arizona and three in New Jersey. Optimal space is becoming increasingly scarce, and where it is available, the lease terms offered by landlords are increasingly competitive. 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. We also may be unable to renew our existing leases or renew them on satisfactory terms. Failure to secure adequate authentication centers could have an adverse effect on our business and operating results.
We may experience damage or destruction to our authentication centers or retail stores in which we store all of the consigned luxury goods we offer through our online marketplace.
We store the majority of the luxury goods we offer through our online marketplace in our authentication centers in Arizona and New Jersey, with a smaller portion of luxury goods offered for sale in our retail stores. Any large scale damage to or catastrophic loss of goods stored in such authentication centers or retail stores, due to natural disasters, especially as catastrophic weather events become more frequent due to climate change, or man-made causes such as arson or theft would result in liability to our consignors for the expected commission liability for the lost items, reduction in the value of our inventory and a significant disruption to our business. In addition, while we take measures to avoid damage, conduct inspections of consigned goods and inspect returned products, we cannot control items while they are out of our possession or prevent all damage while in our authentication centers. For example, we have in the past and may in the future experience contamination, such as mold, bacteria, viruses, insects and other pests, in the goods shipped to us by our consignors, which may cause contamination of the goods stored in our authentication centers or while shipping to buyers. We may incur additional expenses and our reputation could be harmed if buyers and potential buyers believe that the luxury goods we offer on behalf of our consignors is not of high-quality or may be damaged or contain contaminants. Additionally, given the nature of the unique consigned luxury goods we offer on our online marketplace, our ability to restore the supply of consigned luxury goods on our online marketplace would take time and would result in a limitation and delay of available supply for buyers which would negatively impact our revenue and operating results. While we carry insurance for the consigned luxury goods stored in these authentication centers, our liabilities exceed the maximum insurance coverage amount which would materially adversely impact our business and operating results.
Shipping is a critical part of our business and any changes in our shipping arrangements, interruptions in shipping or damage to products in transit could adversely affect our operating results.
Our business depends on shipping vendors to meet our shipping needs. If we are not able to maintain acceptable pricing and other terms or if our vendors experience performance problems or other difficulties, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it could negatively impact our operating results and our consignors’ and buyers’ experience. If we
partner with additional vendors or switch vendors in response, we may experience a disruption in shipping, which may negatively impact our reputation with consignors and buyers. We face particular challenges in shipping internationally, including delays in shipments and customer service issues relating to the imposition of duties, which can be substantial for luxury items. Because of the seasonality of our business, any disruption to delivery services due to adverse weather, especially as climate change increases the frequency of such adverse weather, could result in delays that could adversely affect our reputation or operational results. In addition, most of the items we sell are valuable and require special handling and delivery. From time to time, such goods are damaged in transit which can increase return rates, increase our costs and harm our brand. Returned goods 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 goods on our online marketplace. If our goods are not delivered in a timely fashion or are damaged or lost during the consignment or the delivery process, our consignors or buyers could become dissatisfied and cease using our services, which would adversely affect our business and operating results.
We may be unable to successfully leverage technology to automate and drive efficiencies in our operations.
We are building automation, machine learning and other capabilities to drive efficiencies in our merchandising and fulfillment operations. As we continue to add capacity, capabilities and automation, our operations will become increasingly complex and challenging. While we expect these technologies to improve productivity in many of our merchandising operations, including pricing, copywriting, authentication, photography and photo retouching, any flaws or failures of such technologies could cause interruptions in and delays to our operations which may harm our business. We have created our own purpose-built technology to operate our business, which may lack efficiency or become obsolete as we grow and we also rely on technology from third parties. If these technologies do not perform 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.
Risks Related to Data Security, Privacy and Fraud
We rely on third parties to host our website and mobile app and to process payments.
Our brand and ability to attract and retain consignors and buyers depends in part on the reliable performance of our network infrastructure and content delivery process. The continuing and uninterrupted performance of our online marketplace is critical to our success. We have experienced, and expect that in the future we will 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 platform and prevent or inhibit the ability of buyers to access our online marketplace or complete purchases on our website and app. Volume of traffic and activity on our online marketplace spikes on certain days and during certain periods of the year, such as during a Black Friday promotion and generally during the fourth quarter due to the seasonality of our business, and any interruption would be particularly problematic if it were to occur at such a high volume time.
We rely on third-party payment processors to process payments made by buyers or to consignors on our online marketplace. The software and services provided by our third-party payment processors may not meet our expectations, contain errors or vulnerabilities, be compromised or experience outages. Any of these risks could cause us to lose our ability to accept online payments, make payments to consignors or conduct other payment transactions, any of which could make our platform less convenient and attractive and adversely affect our ability to attract and retain buyers and consignors.
Failure of our data security could cause us to incur unexpected expenses or compromise our data assets.
In the ordinary course of our business, we collect, process and store certain personal information (including credit card information) and other data relating to individuals, such as our consignors, buyers and employees. We also maintain other information, such as our trade secrets and confidential business information, 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, which may allow hackers or other unauthorized parties, including our employees, to gain access to personal information or other data, including payment card data or confidential business information. We and our vendors have faced these attacks previously and regularly must defend against or respond to such incidents. We expect to incur ongoing costs associated with the detection and prevention of security breaches and other security-related incidents. 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, and we and our vendors may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. 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, damage our reputation, cause some participants to decrease or stop
their use of our online marketplace and subject us to litigation, government action, increased transaction fees, remediation costs, regulatory fines or penalties or other additional costs and liabilities that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results. While we carry insurance related to potential data breaches, the insurance we do carry may not be adequate to cover all possible losses that our business could suffer.
We may incur significant losses from fraud.
We may fail to prevent consignors from consigning stolen goods. 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 goods. Our form of consignor agreement includes a representation that the consignor has the necessary right and title to the goods they may consign, and we include such a rule and requirement in our terms of service prohibiting the listing of stolen or otherwise illegal products. In addition, we have implemented protective measures to detect such products. If these measures prove inadequate, we may be required to spend substantial resources to take additional protective measures which could negatively impact our operations. In addition, negative publicity relating to the actual or perceived listing or sale of stolen goods could damage our reputation and make our consignors and buyers reluctant to use our services.
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, claims that a consignment of a good was not authorized and that a buyer did not authorize a purchase. Under current credit card practices, we are liable for fraudulent credit card transactions because we do not obtain a cardholder’s signature. Our failure to adequately prevent fraudulent transactions could damage our reputation, result in litigation or regulatory action or lead to expenses that could substantially impact our operating results.
Risks Relating to Our Employees
We may be unable to attract and retain key personnel or to effectively manage leadership succession.
Our success depends in part on our ability to attract and retain key personnel on our executive team. Senior employees have left our company in the past and others may leave in the future. We often cannot anticipate such departures and may not be able to promptly replace key leadership personnel. The loss of one or more of our key personnel or the inability to promptly identify a suitable successor to a key role could have an adverse effect on our business. In particular, our Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Julie Wainwright, has unique and valuable experience from creating and leading our company from its inception through today. If she were to depart or otherwise reduce her focus on The RealReal, our business may be disrupted.
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 materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Risks Relating to Our Intellectual Property
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 copyright and trade secret laws to protect our proprietary technologies and processes, including the algorithms 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 trademark “The RealReal” and our logos and taglines. We also hold the rights to the “therealreal.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. Our trademarks are valuable assets that support our brand and consumers’ perception of our services and merchandise. If we are unable to protect our trademarks or domain names, our brand recognition and reputation would suffer, we would incur significant expense reestablishing brand equity and our operating results would be adversely impacted.
Risks Relating to Litigation and Regulatory Uncertainty
We are currently, and may be in the future, party to lawsuits and other claims.
We rely on the fair use doctrine when we routinely refer to third-party intellectual property, such as trademarks, on our platform. Third parties may dispute the scope of that doctrine and challenge our ability to reference their intellectual property in the course of our business. For instance, from time to time, we are contacted by companies controlling brands of goods consignors sell, demanding that we cease referencing those brands in connection with such sales, whether in advertising or on our website. We have consistently responded by reference to the holding in Tiffany (NY), Inc. v. eBay that factual use of a brand to describe and sell a used good is not false advertising. These matters have generally been resolved with no further communications, but some have resulted in litigation against us. For example, in November 2018, Chanel filed a lawsuit against us in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York bringing various trademark and advertising-related claims under the Lanham Act and New York state law analogues. See “Part II, Item 1 – Legal Proceedings” for a description of the Chanel litigation.
In addition, the Company, its officers and directors and the underwriters of the Company’s initial public offering (“IPO”) have been named as defendants in numerous purported securities class actions in connection with the Company’s IPO (the “Securities Litigation”). See “Part II, Item 1 – Legal Proceedings” for a description of the Securities Litigation.
In addition, we have in the past and could face in the future a variety of employee claims against us, including general discrimination, privacy, wage and hour, labor and employment, disability claims and claims related to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Further, the comprehensive safety measures and protocols that we have implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may not be successful in preventing the spread of the virus among our employees and we could face litigation or other claims related to unsafe working conditions, inadequate protection of our employees, or other similar or related claims. Any claims could also result 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 addition, stockholders have filed securities class action litigation against us following periods of market volatility. We have been the target of litigation associated with these fluctuations and market volatility and may be the target of this type of litigation in the future.
Defending litigation is costly and can impose a significant burden on management and employees, and there can be no assurances that favorable final outcomes will be obtained. The results of any such litigation, investigations and other legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable and expensive. Although we have insurance, it provides for a substantial retention of liability and is subject to limitations and may not cover a significant portion, or any, of the expenses we may incur or be subject to in connection with shareholder class action or other litigation to which we are party. In addition, plaintiffs may seek, and we may become subject to, preliminary or provisional rulings in the course of any such litigation, including potential preliminary injunctions requiring us to cease some or all of our operations or discontinue selling consigned goods from certain brands. We may decide to settle such lawsuits and disputes on terms that are unfavorable to us. Similarly, if any litigation to which we are a party is resolved adversely, we may be subject to an unfavorable judgment that may not be reversed upon appeal. The terms of such a settlement or judgment may require us to cease some or all of our operations, discontinue selling consigned goods from certain brands or pay substantial amounts to the other party. In addition, we may have to seek a license to continue practices found to be in violation of a third-party’s rights, which may not be available on reasonable terms or at all and may significantly increase our operating costs and expenses. As a result, we may also be required to develop alternative practices or discontinue existing practices. The development of alternative practices could require significant effort and expense or may not be feasible. Our business, financial condition or operating results could be adversely affected as a result of an unfavorable resolution of the disputes and litigation referred to above.
Our use and other processing of personal information and other data is subject to laws and obligations relating to privacy and data protection.
Numerous state, federal and international laws, rules and regulations govern privacy, data protection and the collection, use and protection of personal information and other types of data we collect, use, disclose and otherwise process. These laws, rules and regulations are constantly evolving, and we expect that there will continue to be new proposed laws, regulations and industry standards concerning privacy, data protection and information security in the United States, the EU and other jurisdictions. For example, California enacted legislation that came into effect January 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”), that requires covered companies to provide new disclosures to California consumers and afford such consumers qualified new privacy rights, such as rights of access, deletion and to opt-out of the sales of their personal information. The CCPA includes provisions that sunset at the end of 2020, may be amended or replaced, and Attorney General regulations have not yet been finalized. It remains unclear what, if any, modifications will be made to the CCPA or how it will be interpreted. The CCPA may require us to modify our data processing practices and policies and to incur substantial costs and expenses in an effort to comply. Similarly, the European
Commission adopted a General Data Protection Regulation that became fully effective on May 25, 2018, imposing stringent EU data protection requirements. We cannot yet fully determine the impact these or future laws, rules and regulations may have on our business or operations. These laws, rules and regulations may be inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another, subject to differing interpretations and may be interpreted to conflict with our practices. Any failure or perceived failure by us or any third parties with which we do business to comply with these laws, rules and regulations, or with other obligations to which we or such third parties are or may become subject, may result in actions against us by governmental entities, or litigation, and the expenditure of legal and other costs and of substantial time and resources, and fines, penalties or other liabilities.
Further, in view of new or modified federal, state or foreign laws and regulations, industry standards, contractual obligations and other legal obligations, or any changes in their interpretation, we may find it necessary or desirable to change our business activities and practices or to expend significant resources to modify our product or services and otherwise 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 products and features could be limited.
We pay or collect sales taxes in all jurisdictions which require such taxes.
An increasing number of states have considered or adopted laws that impose tax collection obligations on out-of-state sellers of goods. Additionally, the Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. et al (“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, or otherwise, states or local governments and taxing authorities may adopt, or begin to enforce, laws requiring us to calculate, collect and remit taxes on sales in their jurisdictions. While we currently 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 more taxes could result in substantial additional tax liabilities, including taxes on past sales, as well as penalties and interest, which could have a materially adverse impact on our business and operating results.
Failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations may subject us to fines, penalties, loss of licensure, registration, facility closures or other governmental enforcement action.
The sale of consigned goods through our online 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 receive luxury goods on consignment from numerous consignors located in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, and the goods we receive from our consignors may contain materials such as fur, skin, ivory and other exotic animal product components, that are subject to regulation. Our standard consignor terms and conditions require consignors to comply with applicable laws when consigning their goods. Failure of our consignors 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. 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, New York and Florida, have regulations regarding the handling and sale of secondhand goods, and licensing requirements for secondhand dealers. Such government regulations could require us to change the way we conduct business, or our buyers to conduct their purchases in ways that increase costs, such as prohibiting or otherwise restricting the sale or shipment of certain items in some locations. To the extent we fail to comply with requirements for secondhand dealers, we may experience unanticipated permanent or temporary shutdowns of our facilities which may negatively affect our ability to increase the supply of our goods, result in negative publicity and subject us to penalties and fines.
Additionally, the luxury goods our consignors sell could be subject to recalls and other remedial actions and product safety, labeling and licensing concerns may require us to voluntarily remove selected goods from our online marketplace. Such recalls or voluntary removal of goods 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 a material adverse effect on our operating results.
Application of existing tax laws, rules or regulations are subject to interpretation by taxing authorities.
The application of the income and tax laws is subject to interpretation. 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, in which case we may be subject to additional tax liabilities, possibly including interest and penalties. Furthermore, taxing authorities have become more aggressive in their interpretation and enforcement of such laws, rules and regulations over time, as governments are increasingly focused on ways to increase revenues, which may be intensified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic strain. This 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.
In addition, many of the underlying laws, rules and regulations imposing taxes and other obligations were established before the growth of the Internet and e-commerce. U.S. federal, state and local taxing authorities are currently reviewing the appropriate treatment of companies engaged in Internet commerce and considering changes to existing tax or other laws that could levy sales, income, consumption, use or other taxes relating to our activities, and/or impose obligations on us to collect such taxes. If such tax or other laws, rules or regulations are amended, or if new unfavorable laws, rules or regulations are enacted, the results could increase our tax payments or other obligations, prospectively or retrospectively, subject us to interest and penalties, decrease the demand for our services if we pass on such costs to our buyers or consignors, result in increased costs to update or expand our technical or administrative infrastructure or effectively limit the scope of our business activities if we decided not to conduct business in particular jurisdictions. As a result, these changes 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 (“NOLs”) during our history. Unused NOLs may carry forward to offset future taxable income if we achieve profitability in the future, unless they expire under applicable tax laws. However, under the rules of Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (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 and other pre-change tax attributes 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. In addition, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act imposes certain limitations on the deduction of NOLs generated in tax years that began on or after January 1, 2018, including a limitation on use of NOLs to offset 80% of taxable income and the disallowance of NOL carryback. Although NOLs generated in tax years before 2018 may still be used to offset future income without limitation, the recent legislation may limit our ability to use our NOLs to offset any future taxable income.
Our results of operations may be adversely affected by changes in generally accepted accounting principles.
Generally accepted accounting principles are subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”), the SEC and various bodies formed to promulgate and interpret appropriate accounting principles. A change in these principles or interpretations could have a significant effect on our reported results of operations and could affect the reporting of transactions completed before the announcement of a change. It is difficult to predict the impact of future changes to accounting principles or our accounting policies, any of which could negatively affect our reported results of operations.
If our internal control over financial reporting or our disclosure controls and procedures are not effective, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results, prevent fraud or file our periodic reports in a timely manner, which may cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information.
We recently became a “large accelerated filer” under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), which requires us to comply with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”). Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that we maintain effective internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures. In particular, we must perform system and process evaluations, document our controls and perform testing of our key controls over financial reporting to allow management and our independent public accounting firm to report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. If we are not able to comply with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or if we encounter difficulties in the timely and accurate reporting of our financial results, or if we or our registered public accounting firm identify deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses, our investors could lose confidence in our reported financial information, the market price of our stock may decline and we could be subject to lawsuits, sanctions or investigations by regulatory authorities, which would require additional financial and management resources.
Risks Relating to Ownership of Our Common Stock
The market price of our common stock may be volatile or may decline steeply or suddenly regardless of our operating performance and we may not be able to meet investor or analyst expectations.
If you purchase shares of our common stock, you may not be able to resell those shares at or above the price you paid. The market price of our common stock may fluctuate or decline significantly in response to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
•actual or anticipated fluctuations in our consignor or buyer base, the level of consignor and buyer engagement, revenue or other operating results;
•the research and reports that securities or industry analysts may publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors;
•variations between our actual operating results and the expectations of securities analysts, investors and the financial community;
•any forward-looking financial or operating information we may provide to the public or securities analysts, any changes in this information or our failure to meet expectations based on this information;
•additional shares of our common stock being sold into the market by us or our existing stockholders, or the anticipation of such sales;
•hedging activities by market participants;
•sudden increased or decreased interest in our stock from retail investors;
•substantial fluctuations in the daily trading volume of our common stock;
•announcements by us or our competitors of significant products or features, technical innovations, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments;
•changes in operating performance and stock market valuations of companies in our industry, including our competitors;
•price and volume fluctuations in the stock market, including as a result of trends in the economy;
•lawsuits threatened or filed against us;
•developments in new legislation and pending lawsuits or regulatory actions, including interim or final rulings by judicial or regulatory bodies; and
•other events or factors, including those resulting from war or incidents of terrorism, or responses to these events or threats to public health, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, price and volume fluctuations in the stock markets have affected and may continue to affect many online marketplace and other technology companies’ stock prices. Stock prices often fluctuate in ways unrelated or disproportionate to the companies’ operating performance. Moreover, because of these fluctuations, comparing our operating results 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 operating results 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 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.
Short sellers of our stock may be manipulative and may drive down the market price of our common stock.
Short selling is the practice of selling securities that the seller does not own but rather has borrowed or intends to borrow from a third party. A short seller hopes to profit from a decline in the value of the securities they are shorting. As it is in the short seller’s interest for the price of the stock to decline, some short sellers publish opinions or characterizations regarding the relevant issuer intended to create negative market momentum. Issuers, like us, with securities that have historically had limited trading volumes and/or have been susceptible to relatively high volatility levels can be particularly vulnerable to such short seller attacks. Short selling may also lead to fluctuations of our stock price, particularly if retail investors or others holding “long” positions in our common stock seek to counter short selling activity by purchasing additional shares, thus making it more difficult and more expensive for short sellers to profit. No assurances can be made that declines in the market price of our common stock will not occur in the future in connection with such activity.
Delaware law and provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could make a merger, tender offer or proxy contest difficult, thereby depressing the trading price of our common stock.
Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that could depress the trading price of our common stock by acting to discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of our company or changes in our management that the stockholders of our company may deem advantageous. These provisions include the following:
•establish a classified board of directors so that not all directors are elected at one time;
•permit the board of directors to establish the number of directors and fill any vacancies and newly-created directorships;
•provide that directors may only be removed for cause;
•require super-majority voting to amend some provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws;
•authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that our board of directors could use to implement a stockholder rights plan;
•prohibit stockholders from calling special meetings of stockholders;
•prohibit stockholder action by written consent;
•provide that the board of directors is expressly authorized to make, alter or repeal our bylaws;
•restrict the forum for certain litigation against us to Delaware; and
•establish 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.
Any provision of our certificate of incorporation or bylaws or Delaware law that has the effect of delaying or deterring a change in control could limit the opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their shares of our common stock, and could also affect the price that some investors are willing to pay for our common stock.
Our certificate of incorporation designates the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware located within the State of Delaware as the exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders.
Our certificate of incorporation provides that, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the sole and exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding, any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty, any action arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), our certificate of incorporation or our bylaws, any other action that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine or any other action asserting an “internal corporate claim,” as defined in the DGCL. These exclusive-forum provisions do not apply to claims under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in any of our securities shall be deemed to have notice of and consented to this provision. This exclusive-forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum of its choosing for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees. If a court were to find the exclusive-forum provision to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving the dispute in other jurisdictions, which could harm our results of operations.
Risks Related to our Outstanding Notes
We have incurred a significant amount of debt and may incur additional indebtedness in the future.
In June 2020, we issued $172.5 million in aggregate principal amount of 3.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2025 (the "2025 Notes"), and in March 2021, we issued $287.5 million in aggregate principal amount of 1.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2028 (the "2028 Notes" and, together with the 2025 Notes, the "Notes"), each issuance in an offering exempt from registration. We may be required to use a substantial portion of our cash flows from operations to pay interest and principal on our indebtedness. Such payments will reduce the funds available to use for working capital, capital expenditures and other corporate purposes and limit our ability to obtain additional financing, which may in turn limit our ability to implement our business strategy, heighten our vulnerability to downturns in our business, the industry, or in the general economy, limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry and prevent us from taking advantages of business opportunities as they arise. If we are unable to generate such cash flow to service our debt, we may be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as selling assets, incurring additional debt, restructuring debt or issuing additional equity on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive. We may not be able to engage in any of these activities or engage in these activities on desirable terms, which could result in a default on our debt obligations.
Transactions relating to our Notes may dilute the ownership interest of our stockholders.
The conversion of some or all of our outstanding Notes would dilute the ownership interests of existing stockholders to the extent we deliver shares upon conversion of any such Notes. If the Notes become convertible under the
terms of the indenture, and if holders subsequently elect to convert the Notes, we could be required to deliver to them a significant number of shares of our common stock. Any sales or anticipated sales in the public market of the common stock issuable upon conversion could adversely affect prevailing market prices for our common stock. In addition, the existence of the Notes may encourage short selling by market participants because the conversion of the Notes could be used to satisfy short positions.
The conversion of the Notes, if triggered, may adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.
In the event the conditional conversion feature of the Notes is triggered, holders of the Notes will be entitled to convert their Notes at any time during specified periods at their option. If one or more holders elect to convert their Notes, unless we elect to satisfy our conversion obligation by delivering shares of our common stock (other than paying cash in lieu of delivering any fractional share), we would be required to settle a portion or all of our conversion obligation in cash, which could adversely affect our liquidity. In addition, even if holders of the Notes do not elect to convert their Notes, we could be required under applicable accounting rules to reclassify all or a portion of the outstanding principal of the Notes as a current rather than long-term liability, which could result in a material reduction in our net working capital.
The accounting method for the Notes materially affects our reported financial results.
Under Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 470-20, Debt with Conversion and Other Options, we have historically accounted for the liability and equity components of the Notes separately because the Notes may be settled entirely or partially in cash upon conversion in a manner that reflects our economic interest cost. This bifurcation resulted in a debt discount for Notes. See "Note 2—Summary of Significant Accounting Policies— Convertible Senior Notes." We used the effective interest method to amortize the debt discount to interest expense over the amortization period, which is the expected life of the Notes. However, ASC 470-20 has been amended for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021, such that we will account for the Notes as a single liability measured at their amortized cost beginning January 1, 2022, unless we determine that the conversion feature is a derivative that must be bifurcated from the host contract or that the substantial premium model in ASC 470-20 applies. As a result of this amendment, we expect a decrease to our accumulated deficit as of January 1, 2022 related to the interest expense from the amortization of the debt discount. In addition, we calculate diluted earnings per share using the "if converted" method, which assumes that all of the Notes were converted solely into shares of common stock at the beginning of the reporting period, unless the result would be anti-dilutive, which adversely affects our diluted earnings per share. Future amendments to the accounting treatment for the Notes, could adversely affect our financial results, the trading price of our common stock and the trading price of the Notes.
The capped call transactions may affect the value of the Notes and our common stock.
In connection with the pricing of the Notes, we entered into privately negotiated capped call transactions with certain counterparties. The capped call transactions cover the number of shares of our common stock initially underlying the Notes. The capped call transactions are expected to offset the potential dilution to our common stock upon any conversion of the Notes. In connection with establishing their initial hedges of the capped call transactions, the counterparties or their respective affiliates entered into various derivative transactions with respect to our common stock. The counterparties or their respective affiliates may modify their hedge positions by entering into or unwinding various derivatives with respect to our common stock and/or purchasing or selling our common stock or other securities of ours in secondary market transactions prior to the maturity of the Notes (and are likely to do so on each exercise date of the capped call transactions), or following any termination of any portion of the capped call transactions in connection with any repurchase, redemption or early conversions of the Notes or otherwise. This activity could also cause or avoid an increase or a decrease in the market price of our common stock.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Item 2. Properties.
Our corporate headquarters are located in San Francisco, California and are leased for a term that expires in 2027 with a right of renewal. We lease an aggregate of approximately 1.4 million square feet of space for storage, merchandising operations and fulfillment located in Arizona and New Jersey. The lease to our Arizona facility expires in 2031, and leases to our New Jersey facilities each expire in 2029, all with a right of renewal. We lease additional offices located in Los Angeles and New York City and LCOs located in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Washington D.C. We also have retail stores located in San Francisco, Brentwood, Palo Alto, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Chicago, Greenwich, Dallas, Austin, Atlanta, Marin County, Manhasset, Palm Beach and New York City. We believe that our
properties are suitable to meet our needs for the foreseeable future. In addition, to the extent we require additional space in the future, we believe that it would be available on commercially reasonable terms.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
We are from time to time subject to, and are presently involved in, litigation and other legal proceedings and from time to time, we receive inquiries from government agencies. See “Note 11—Commitments and Contingencies” in the notes to the audited financial statements.
On November 14, 2018, Chanel, Inc. sued the Company in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Complaint alleged federal and state law claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false advertising. On February 1, 2019, Chanel, Inc. filed its First Amended Complaint that included substantially similar claims against the Company. On March 4, 2019, the Company filed a Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint, which was granted in part and dismissed in part on March 30, 2020. The surviving claims against the Company include trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114, false advertising under 15 U.S.C. § 1125, and unfair competition under New York common law. On May 29, 2020, the Company filed its Answer to the Amended Complaint. On October 30, 2020, the Company sought leave to amend its Answer to assert counterclaims against Chanel, Inc. for violations of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1 & 2, the Donnelly Act, N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law. § 340, and New York common law. The motion for leave to amend was granted on February 24, 2021. Chanel, Inc. moved to dismiss the Company’s counterclaims; the motion to dismiss remains pending. The parties agreed to a stay in April 2021 to engage in settlement discussions. After several mediation sessions, the parties were unable to reach a resolution, and the stay was lifted in November 2021. The Court entered an Amended Scheduling Order on December 20, 2021. Under the Amended Scheduling Order, all fact discovery is to be completed by August 1, 2022 and all discovery is to be completed by November 14, 2022. Fact discovery is underway, and the parties are actively working to resolve several ongoing discovery disputes. This litigation is in its early stages and the final outcome, including our liability, if any, with respect to Chanel’s claims, is uncertain. Chanel could in the future assert additional trademark and advertising or other claims against us in this or other proceedings. An unfavorable outcome in this or similar litigation could adversely affect our business and could lead to other similar lawsuits.
On September 10, 2019, a purported shareholder class action complaint was filed against us, our officers and directors and the underwriters of our IPO in the Superior Court of the State of California in the County of San Mateo. Three additional purported class actions, also alleging claims arising from the IPO were subsequently filed in Marin County and San Francisco County Superior Courts. The San Mateo case was voluntarily dismissed, refiled in Marin County Superior Court and consolidated with the cases there. On January 10, 2020, the Marin County plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended complaint. The plaintiffs in the San Francisco Superior Court case have filed a request for dismissal. Separately an additional purported class action was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on November 25, 2019. On February 12, 2020, a lead plaintiff was appointed in the federal action and an Amended Consolidated Complaint was filed on March 31, 2020. Defendants filed a demurrer and motion to strike in the state court action on March 13, 2020 and filed a motion to stay the proceedings in favor of the federal action on May 1, 2020. On August 4, 2020, the court granted defendants’ motion to stay the state court action and deferred ruling on the demurrer and motion to strike pending the outcome of the federal court action. A motion to dismiss the federal court action was filed on May 15, 2020. On March 31, 2021, the court entered an order on the motion to dismiss, dismissing the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) claims and some of the claims alleged under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”). The court provided plaintiffs with an opportunity to amend the complaint and, on April 30, 2021, plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint in federal court. The state court complaint, and the Second Amended Complaint in federal court each allege claims under the Securities Act of 1933 on behalf of a purported class of shareholders who acquired the Company’s stock pursuant to or traceable to the registration statement for the Company’s IPO. The federal complaint also alleges claims under the Exchange Act on behalf of a purported class of shareholders who purchased the Company’s stock from June 27, 2019 through November 20, 2019. The complaints seek, among other things, damages and interest, rescission, and attorneys’ fees and costs. On July 27, 2021, the Company reached an agreement in principle to settle this shareholder class action. On November 5, 2021, plaintiff filed the executed stipulation of settlement and motion for preliminary approval of the settlement with the federal court. The stipulation of settlement is subject to preliminary and final approval by the court. The financial terms of the stipulation of settlement provide that the Company will pay $11.0 million within thirty (30) days of the later of preliminary approval of the settlement or plaintiff’s counsel providing payment instructions. In connection with the settlement, the Company recorded approximately $11.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 under our Operating expenses as a Legal settlement. The Company intends to pay for the settlement with available resources.
On September 10, 2020 and December 7, 2020, purported shareholders filed putative derivative actions in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. The derivative complaints allege factual allegations largely tracking the above referenced purported shareholder class actions. The two derivative cases have been consolidated. On September 13, 2021, the parties reached a settlement in principle of the derivative case. The settlement in principle provides for certain corporate governance reforms in exchange for a release and dismissal of the lawsuit. On October 21, 2021, the parties reached agreement to pay up to $0.5 million in attorneys’ fees and costs to plaintiffs’ counsel in the derivative case. On November 5, 2021, the parties entered into a stipulation of settlement, and, on February 11, 2022, the court entered an order and final judgment approving the settlement. In connection with the derivative settlement, the Company recorded approximately $0.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 under our Operating expenses as a Legal settlement. The stipulation of settlement was preliminarily approved on December 8, 2021, and the $0.5 million was paid within thirty (30) days of the preliminary approval, or on January 7, 2022, with available resources.
We are currently involved in, and may in the future be involved in, legal proceedings in the ordinary course of business. While it is not possible to determine the outcome of any legal proceedings brought against us, we believe that, except for the matters described above, the resolution of all such matters will not have a material adverse effect on our financial position or liquidity, but could be material to our results of operations in any one accounting period. Regardless of final outcomes, however, any such legal proceedings may nonetheless impose a significant burden on management and employees and may come with costly defense costs or unfavorable preliminary and interim rulings. There are inherent uncertainties in these legal matters, some of which are beyond management’s control, making the ultimate outcomes difficult to predict. Moreover, management’s views and estimates related to these matters may change in the future, as new events and circumstances arise and as the matters continue to develop.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Our common stock, par value $0.00001 per share, is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, under the symbol “REAL” and began trading on June 28, 2019. Prior to that date, there was no public trading market for our common stock.
As of the close of business on February 18, 2022, there were 155 stockholders of record of our common stock. The actual number of holders of our common stock is greater than this number of record holders, and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners, but whose shares are held in street name by brokers or other nominees. This number of holders of record also does not include stockholders whose shares may be held in trust by other entities.
We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain all available funds and future earnings, if any, to fund the development and expansion of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination regarding the declaration and payment of dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on then-existing conditions, including our financial condition, operating results, contractual restrictions, capital requirements, business prospects and other factors our board of directors may deem relevant. Our ability to pay cash dividends on our capital stock is limited by the terms of our existing term loans and may be limited by any future debt instruments or preferred securities.
Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans
The information required by this item with respect to our equity compensation plans is incorporated by reference to our 2022 proxy statement set forth in the section titled “Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans” to be filed with the SEC within 120 days of the year ended December 31, 2021 (the “Proxy Statement”).
Stock Performance Graph
We have presented below the cumulative total return to our stockholders in comparison to the Nasdaq Composite Index (Nasdaq Composite) and Russell 2000. All values assume a $100 initial investment on June 28, 2019, the date our common stock began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, through December 31, 2021 and data for the Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 assume reinvestment of dividends. The comparisons are based on historical data and are not indicative of, nor intended to forecast, the future performance of our common stock.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
Use of Proceeds from our IPO
The offer and sale of the shares in the IPO was registered under the Securities Act pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-1 (File No.333-231891), which was declared effective by the SEC on June 27, 2019. The remainder of the information required by this item regarding the use of our initial public offering proceeds has been omitted pursuant to SEC rules because such information has not changed since our last periodic report was filed.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Reserved
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read together with our financial statements and related notes and other financial information included in this Annual Report. The following discussion contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates and beliefs. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include those discussed below and elsewhere in this Annual Report, particularly in the section titled “Risk Factors.” Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for any period in the future.
We are the world’s largest online marketplace for the resale of authenticated luxury goods. We are revolutionizing luxury resale by providing an end-to-end service that unlocks supply from consignors and creates a trusted, curated online marketplace for buyers globally. Since our inception in 2011, we have cultivated a loyal and engaged consignor and buyer base through our investments in our technology platform, logistics infrastructure and people. We offer a wide selection of authenticated, primarily pre-owned luxury goods on our online marketplace bearing the brands of thousands of luxury and premium designers. We offer products across multiple categories including women’s and men’s fashion, fine jewelry and watches, and home and art. We have built a vibrant online marketplace that we believe expands the overall luxury market, promotes the recirculation of luxury goods and contributes to a more sustainable world.
We have transformed the luxury consignment experience by removing the friction and pain points inherent in the traditional consignment model. For consignors, we offer concierge at-home consultation and pickup, subject to safety requirements related to the COVID pandemic, and meetings with consignors via online face-to-face platforms, or Virtual Consultations. Consignors may also drop off items at our luxury consignment offices. Our Flagship and Neighborhood Stores provide an alternative location to drop off consigned items and an opportunity to interact with our experts. Consignors may also utilize our complimentary shipping directly to our authentication centers. We leverage our proprietary transactional database and market insights from approximately 23.0 million item sales since inception to deliver optimal pricing and rapid sell-through. For buyers, we offer highly coveted and exclusive authenticated pre-owned luxury goods at attractive values, as well as a high-quality experience befitting the products we offer. Our online marketplace is powered by our proprietary technology platform, including consumer facing applications and purpose-built software that supports our complex, single-SKU inventory management system.
The substantial majority of our revenue is generated by consignment sales. We also generate revenue from other services and direct sales.
•Consignment and service revenue. When we sell goods through our online marketplace or retail stores on behalf of our consignors, we retain a percentage of the proceeds, which we refer to as our take rate. Take rates vary depending on the total value of goods sold through our online marketplace on behalf of a particular consignor as well as the category and price point of the items. In 2021 and 2020, our take rate on consigned goods was 34.7% and 35.7% respectively. The decrease in our take rate was due to the higher sales mix of lower take rate categories such as handbags and jewelry. Additionally, we earn revenue from shipping fees and from our subscription program, First Look, in which we offer buyers early access to the items we sell in exchange for a monthly fee.
•Direct revenue. In certain cases, such as when we accept out of policy returns from buyers, or when we make direct purchases from businesses and consignors, we take ownership of goods and retain 100% of the proceeds when the goods subsequently sell through our online marketplace or retail stores.
We generate revenue from orders processed through our website, mobile app and 19 retail locations. Our omni-channel experience enables buyers to purchase anytime and anywhere. We have a global base of more than 25
million members as of December 31, 2021. We count as a member any user who has registered an email address on our website or downloaded our mobile app, thereby agreeing to our terms of service.
Through December 31, 2021, we have cumulatively paid approximately $2.5 billion in commissions to our consignors. Our GMV increased to $1.5 billion in 2021 from $987.0 million in 2020. Our AOV increased to $497 in 2021 from $442 in 2020. In 2021 and 2020, our total revenue was $467.7 million and $299.9 million, respectively, representing an increase of 56% in 2021. In 2021 and 2020, our gross profit was $273.5 million and $187.6 million, respectively, representing an increase of 46% in 2021.
Impact of COVID-19 on Our Business
In the year ended December 31, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted our business and results of operations. During the year ended December 31, 2021, we experienced a return to our previous high growth.
Early in 2020, operations in our authentication centers were limited, in-person concierge consignment appointments were temporarily suspended and our retail stores and luxury consignment offices were temporarily closed due to restrictions related to COVID-19. As these restrictions began to ease in the second half of 2020, our operations capacity was no longer limited and all of our luxury consignment offices and retail stores re-opened. GMV decreased in 2020 from 2019 as supply and demand were negatively impacted by COVID-19 related disruptions.
In 2021, many COVID-19 related restrictions continued to ease, allowing the Company to resume in-person concierge consignment appointments. GMV and net revenues have fully recovered, yielding year over year increases. During 2021, we faced staffing challenges exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19 and we may continue to experience such challenges in 2022. While supply has continued to come into our authentication centers, hiring challenges in late December 2021 and into early January 2022 negatively impacted the time for processing and launching products on our website. Additionally, the effects of any new variants of COVID-19 that may arise make it difficult to predict the impact of COVID-19 on our business going forward, including any impacts on our vendors.
Throughout the pandemic, our top priority has been to protect the health and safety of our employees and our customers. We have enforced social distancing in our authentication centers, enabled virtual consignment appointments, implemented curbside pick-up of products from our consignors, and enabled our corporate employees to work remotely. We have followed internally derived specific health-related criteria with an emphasis on comprehensive safety precautions, including frequent cleaning in our stores and social distancing.
Other Factors Affecting Our Performance
Other key business and marketplace factors, independent of the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, impact our business. To analyze our business performance, determine financial forecasts and help develop long-term strategic plans, we focus on the factors described below. While each of these factors presents significant opportunity for our business, collectively, they also pose important challenges that we must successfully address in order to sustain our growth, improve our operating results and achieve and maintain our profitability.
Consignors and Buyers
Consignor growth and retention. We grow our sales by increasing the supply of luxury goods offered through our consignment online marketplace. We measure the ratio of demand versus supply in a given period, which we refer to as our online marketplace sell-through ratio. Sell-through ratio is defined as GMV in the period divided by the aggregate initial value of items added to our online marketplace in the period. In 2021 and 2020, our marketplace sell-through ratios were 94% and 99%, respectively. Our 2021 sell-through ratio normalized as demand remained strong but we were able to bring in more supply, compared to prior year. The 2020 sell-through ratio was driven by continued high demand but reflected challenges in securing supply due to the adverse impacts of COVID-19.
Our GMV growth has been driven in significant part by repeat sales by existing consignors concurrent with growth of our consignor base. In 2021 and 2020, repeat consignors accounted for approximately 84% and 83% of GMV, respectively.
Buyer growth and retention. We grow our business by attracting and retaining buyers. We attract and retain buyers by offering highly coveted, authenticated, pre-owned luxury goods at attractive values and delivering a high-quality, luxury experience. We measure our success in attracting and retaining buyers by tracking buyer satisfaction and purchasing activity over time. We have experienced high buyer satisfaction, as evidenced by our buyer net promoter score of 62 in 2021, and compared to our online shopping industry average of 40 according to NICE Satmetrix U.S. Consumer 2021 data. If we fail to continue to attract and retain our buyer base to our online marketplace, our operating results would be adversely affected.
The first graph below shows trends in purchasing activity for buyer cohorts for each year beginning in 2015. Each cohort represents all buyers that first purchased across our online marketplace in the designated year and the aggregate GMV purchased by such cohort for the initial year and each year thereafter. As illustrated in the first graph below, we have seen consistent retention of buyer activity across cohorts through 2021. In 2020, buyer retention was impacted by the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on supply, and as a result, GMV. The second graph below shows the percentage of GMV in each year from our repeat buyers. GMV from repeat buyers reflects purchases made after their initial purchase month.
We believe there is substantial opportunity to grow our business by having buyers also become consignors and vice versa. As of December 31, 2021, 14% of our buyers had become consignors and 57% of our consignors had become buyers. The graph below shows the percentage of GMV in each year from buyers who have participated as both buyers and consignors on our online marketplace. GMV attributable to consigning activity of such buyers is not included.
Buyer acquisition cost. Our financial performance depends on effectively managing the expenses we incur to attract and retain buyers. We closely monitor our efficiency in acquiring new buyers. Our buyer acquisition cost (“BAC”) for a given period is comprised of our total advertising spend for acquiring both buyers and consignors, which is principally the cost of television, digital and direct mail advertising, divided by the number of buyers acquired in that period. We adjust or re-allocate our advertising in real-time to optimize our spend across channels, buyer demographics and geographies to improve our return on advertising spend. With the exception of 2020 due to
the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on our business, our BAC has declined over time driven by improving acquisition efficiencies.
Scaling operations and technology. To support the future growth of our business, we are expanding our capacity through investments in physical infrastructure, talent and technology. We principally conduct our intake, authentication, merchandising and fulfillment operations in our four leased authentication centers located in Arizona and New Jersey comprising an aggregate of approximately 1.4 million square feet of space. In October 2020, we secured a lease in Arizona for an additional authentication center and moved operations from our former Brisbane authentication center in June 2021. We operate flagship retail stores in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. In addition to our neighborhood stores in New York, Palo Alto, and Newport Beach, we opened seven new neighborhood stores in Greenwich, Dallas, Austin, Atlanta, Marin County, Manhasset, and Palm Beach during the year ended December 31, 2021. In February 2022, we opened a neighborhood store in Brentwood, CA. In addition to scaling our physical infrastructure, growing our single-SKU business operations require that we attract, train and retain highly-skilled personnel for purposes of authentication, copywriting, merchandising, pricing and fulfilling orders. We have invested substantially in technology to automate our operations and support growth, including proprietary machine learning technology to support efficiency and quality. We continue to strategically invest in technology, as innovation positions us to scale and support growth into the future.
Seasonality. Historically, we have observed trends in seasonality of supply and demand in our business. Specifically, our supply increases in the third and fourth quarters, and our demand increases in the fourth quarter. As a result of this seasonality, we typically see stronger AOV and more rapid sell-through in the fourth quarter. We also incur higher operating expenses in the last four months of the year as we increase advertising spend to attract consignors and buyers and increase headcount in sales and operations to handle the higher volumes.
Key Financial and Operating Metrics
The key operating and financial metrics that we use to assess the performance of our business are set forth below for 2021, 2020, and 2019.
|Year Ended December 31,|
|(In thousands, except AOV and percentages)|
|GMV||$||1,482,432 ||$||986,951 ||$||1,008,344 |
|NMV||$||1,092,353 ||$||736,872 ||$||731,445 |
Consignment and service revenue
|$||346,848 ||$||247,326 ||$||265,729 |
|$||120,844 ||$||52,623 ||$||50,625 |
|Number of orders||2,981||2,233||2,217|
|Take rate||34.7 ||%||35.7 ||%||36.3 ||%|
|Active buyers||797 ||649 ||582 |
|AOV||$||497 ||$||442 ||$||455 |
|% of GMV from repeat buyers||83.9 ||%||83.0 ||%||82.6 ||%|
GMV represents the total amount paid for goods across our online marketplace in a given period. We do not reduce GMV to reflect product returns or order cancellations, which totaled 26.3%, 25.3%, and 27.5% of GMV in 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively. GMV includes amounts paid for both consigned goods and our inventory net of platform-wide discounts and excludes the effect of buyer incentives, shipping fees and sales tax. Platform-wide discounts are made available to all buyers on the online marketplace, and impact commissions paid to consignors. Buyer incentives apply to specific buyers and consist of coupons or promotions that offer credits in connection with purchases on our platform. In addition to revenue, we believe this is an important measure of the scale and growth of our online marketplace and a key indicator of the health of our consignor ecosystem. We monitor trends in GMV to inform budgeting and operational decisions to support and promote growth in our business and to monitor our success in adapting our business to meet the needs of our consignors and buyers. While GMV is the primary driver of our revenue, it is not a proxy for revenue or revenue growth. See Note 2—Summary of Significant Accounting Policies—Revenue Recognition—Consignment and Service Revenue.
Net merchandise value ("NMV") represents the value of sales from both consigned goods and our inventory net of platform-wide discounts less product returns and order cancellations and excludes the effect of buyer incentives, shipping fees and sales tax. We believe NMV is a supplemental measure of the scale and growth of our online marketplace. Like GMV, NMV is not a proxy for revenue or revenue growth.
Consignment and Service Revenue
Consignment and service revenue is generated from the sale of pre-owned luxury goods through our online marketplace and retail stores on behalf of consignors. We retain a portion of the proceeds received, which we refer to as our take rate. We recognize consignment revenue, net of allowances for product returns, order cancellations, buyer incentives and adjustments. Additionally, we generate revenue from shipping fees we charge to buyers. We also generate service revenue from subscription fees paid by buyers for early access to products.
Direct revenue is generated from the sales of company-owned inventory. We recognize direct revenue upon shipment of the goods sold, based on the gross purchase price net of allowances for product returns, buyer incentives and adjustments.
Number of Orders
Number of orders means the total number of orders placed across our online marketplace and retail stores in a given period. We do not reduce number of orders to reflect product returns or order cancellations.
Take rate is a key driver of our revenue and provides comparability to other marketplaces. The numerator used to calculate our take rate is equal to net consignment sales and the denominator is equal to the numerator plus consignor commissions. Net consignment sales represents the value of sales from consigned goods net of platform-wide discounts less consignor commission, product returns and order cancellations. We exclude direct revenue from our calculation of take rate because direct revenue represents the sale of inventory owned by us, which costs are included in cost of direct revenue. Our take rate reflects the high level of service that we provide to our consignors across multiple touch points and the consistently high velocity of sales for their goods. Our take rate structure is a tiered commission structure for consignors, where the more they sell the higher percent commission they earn. Consignors start at a 55% commission (which equals a 45% take rate for us) and can earn up to a 70% commission. This tiered structure applies unless it is overridden by a commission exception.
Commission exceptions from the tiered commission structure optimize supply and drive take rate changes. Examples of current commission exceptions include a flat 30% commission on all items under $96, and an 85% commission on watches over $2,495. Management assesses changes in take rates by monitoring the volume of GMV and take rate across each discrete commission grouping, encompassing commission tiers and exceptions.
Active buyers include buyers who purchased goods through our online marketplace during the 12 months ended on the last day of the period presented, irrespective of returns or cancellations. We believe this metric reflects scale, brand awareness, buyer acquisition and engagement.
Average Order Value (“AOV”)
Average order value (“AOV”) means the average value of all orders placed across our online marketplace and retail stores, excluding shipping fees and sales taxes. Our focus on luxury goods across multiple categories drives a consistently strong AOV. Our AOV reflects both the average price of items sold as well as the number of items per order. Our AOV is a key driver of our operating leverage.
Percent of GMV from Repeat Buyers
Repeat buyers represents buyers who made a purchase in the months subsequent to the month they made their initial purchase across our online marketplace and retail stores. GMV from repeat buyers reflects purchases made after their initial purchase month.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Adjusted EBITDA is a key performance measure that our management uses to assess our operating performance. Because Adjusted EBITDA facilitates internal comparisons of our historical operating performance on a more consistent basis, we use this measure as an overall assessment of our performance, to evaluate the effectiveness of our business strategies and for business planning purposes. Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled metrics of other companies.
Adjusted EBITDA means net loss before interest income, interest expense, other (income) expense net, provision for income taxes, and depreciation and amortization, further adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation, payroll taxes on employee stock transactions, and certain one-time expenses. Adjusted EBITDA provides a basis for comparison of our business operations between current, past and future periods by excluding items that we believe are not indicative of our core operating performance. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure. Adjusted EBITDA has certain limitations as the measure excludes the impact of certain expenses that are included in our statements of operations that are necessary to run our business and should not be considered as an alternative to net loss or any other measure of financial performance calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP.
The following table presents a reconciliation of net loss to Adjusted EBITDA for 2021, 2020, and 2019:
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Adjusted EBITDA Reconciliation:|
Depreciation and amortization
|23,531 ||18,845 ||13,408 |
|48,802 ||24,322 ||7,711 |
Payroll taxes on employee stock transactions (1)
|1,168 ||— ||— |
Legal fees reimbursement benefit (2)
|(1,204)||— ||— |
Compensation expense related to stock sales by current and former employees
|— ||— ||819 |
Legal settlements (3)
|13,389 ||1,110 ||— |
Restructuring charges (4)
|2,314 ||514 ||— |
Abandoned offering costs
|— ||— ||293 |
Donation to TRR Foundation
|— ||— ||3,155 |
|21,531 ||5,264 ||616 |
Other (income) expense, net
|(23)||169 ||2,102 |
Provision for income taxes
|56 ||101 ||199 |
(1) We exclude employer payroll tax expense related to employee stock-based transactions because we believe that excluding this item provides meaningful supplemental information regarding our operating results. In particular, this expense is dependent on the price of our common stock at the time of vesting or exercise, which may vary from period to period, and other factors that are beyond our control and do not correlate to the operation of the business. When evaluating the performance of our business and making operating plans, we do not consider these items. Similar charges were not adjusted in prior periods as they were not material.
(2) During the year ended December 31, 2021, we received insurance reimbursement of $4.3 million related to legal fees for a certain matter, of which $3.1 million have been applied to the current year's legal expenses.
(3) Includes the financial terms of the stipulation of settlement of the putative shareholder class action and the final settlement of the derivative case. On November 5, 2021, a stipulation of settlement was filed with the federal court to settle the putative shareholder class action filed against us, our officers and directors, and the underwriters for the Company’s initial public offering. The stipulation of settlement is subject to preliminary and final approval by the court. The financial terms of the settlement stipulation provide that the Company will pay $11.0 million within thirty (30) days of the later of preliminary approval of the settlement or plaintiff’s counsel providing payment instructions. Also on November 5, 2021, a stipulation of settlement was filed in the derivative case filed against us as a nominal defendant and our officers and directors as defendants. The stipulation of settlement for the derivative case was finally approved by the court on February 11, 2022. The stipulation of settlement for the derivative case was preliminarily approved on December 8, 2021, and the $0.5 million was paid within 30 days of preliminary approval, or on January 7, 2022.
(4) The restructuring charges for the year ended December 31, 2021 comprise of the costs to transition operations from the Brisbane warehouse to our new Phoenix warehouse. The restructuring charges for the year ended December 31, 2020 consist of COVID-19 related costs including employee severance.
Components of our Operating Results
Our revenue is comprised of consignment and service revenue and direct revenue.
•Consignment and service revenue. We generate the substantial majority of our revenue from the sale of pre-owned luxury goods through our online marketplace and retail stores on behalf of consignors. For consignment sales, we retain a percentage of the proceeds received, which we refer to as our take rate. We recognize consignment revenue, net of allowances for product returns, order cancellations, buyer incentives and adjustments. Additionally, we generate revenue from shipping fees we charge to buyers. We also generate service revenue from subscription fees paid by buyers for early access to products, but to date our subscription revenue has not been material.
•Direct revenue. We generate direct revenue from the sale of items that we own, which we refer to as our inventory. We generally acquire inventory when we accept out of policy returns from buyers, and when we make direct purchases from businesses and consignors. We recognize direct revenue upon shipment based on the gross purchase price paid by buyers for goods, net of allowances for product returns, buyer incentives and adjustments.
Cost of Revenue
Cost of consignment and services revenue consists of shipping costs, credit card fees, packaging, customer service personnel-related costs, website hosting services, and consignor inventory adjustments related to lost or damaged products. Cost of direct revenue consists of the cost of goods sold, credit card fees, packaging, customer service personnel-related costs, website hosting services, and inventory adjustments.
Marketing expense comprises the cost of acquiring and retaining consignors and buyers, including the cost of television, digital and direct mail advertising. Marketing expense also includes personnel-related costs for employees engaged in these activities. We expect these expenses to continue to decrease as a percentage of revenue.
Operations and Technology
Operations and technology expense principally includes personnel-related costs for employees involved with the authentication, merchandising and fulfillment of goods sold through our online marketplace and retail stores, as well as our general information technology expense. Operations and technology expense also includes allocated facility and overhead costs, costs related to our retail stores, facility supplies and depreciation of hardware and equipment, as well as research and development expense for technology associated with managing and improving our operations. We capitalize a portion of our proprietary software and technology development costs. As such, operations and technology expense also includes amortization of capitalized technology development costs. We expect operations and technology expense to increase in future periods to support our growth, including continuing to invest in automation and other technology improvements to support and drive efficiency in our operations. These expenses may vary from year to year as a percentage of revenue, depending primarily upon when we choose to make more significant investments. We expect these expenses to continue to decrease as a percentage of revenue.
Selling, General and Administrative
Selling, general and administrative expense is principally comprised of personnel-related costs for our sales professionals and employees involved in finance and administration. Selling, general and administrative expense also includes allocated facilities and overhead costs and professional services, including accounting and legal advisors. We expect these expenses to continue to decrease as a percentage of revenue.
Legal settlement expense primarily includes actual or estimated losses related to legal settlements when they become probable and estimable.
Provision for Income Taxes
Our provision for income taxes consists primarily of state minimum taxes in the United States. We have a full valuation allowance for our net deferred tax assets primarily consisting of net operating loss carryforwards, accruals and reserves. We expect to maintain this full valuation allowance for the foreseeable future.
Results of Operations
The results of operations presented below should be reviewed in conjunction with the financial statements and notes included elsewhere in the Annual Report. Prior year comparisons are included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. 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,|
|Consignment and service revenue||$||346,848 ||$||247,326 ||$||265,729 |
|120,844 ||52,623 ||50,625 |
|467,692 ||299,949 ||316,354 |
|Cost of revenue:|
Cost of consignment and service revenue
|92,788 ||66,976 ||73,579 |
Cost of direct revenue
|101,427 ||45,406 ||41,252 |
Total cost of revenue
|194,215 ||112,382 ||114,831 |
|Gross profit||273,477 ||187,567 ||201,523 |
|62,749 ||54,813 ||47,734 |
Operations and technology
|235,829 ||163,808 ||143,231 |
Selling, general and administrative
|176,418 ||140,652 ||110,663 |
|Legal settlement||13,389 ||1,110 ||— |
Total operating expenses
|488,385 ||360,383 ||301,628 |
|Loss from operations||(214,908)||(172,816)||(100,105)|
|Interest income||365 ||2,518 ||4,593 |
|Other income (expense), net||23 ||(169)||(2,102)|
|Loss before provision for income taxes||(236,051)||(175,731)||(98,230)|
|Provision for income taxes||56 ||101 ||199 |
|Year Ended December 31,|
Consignment and service revenue
|74 ||%||82 ||%||84 ||%|
|26 ||18 ||16 |
|100 ||100 ||100 |
|Cost of Revenue:|
Cost of consignment and service revenue
|20 ||22 ||23 |
Cost of direct revenue
|22 ||15 ||13 |
Total cost of revenue
|42 ||37 ||36 |
|Gross profit||58 ||63 ||64 |
|13 ||18 ||15 |
Operations and technology
|50 ||55 ||45 |
Selling, general and administrative
|38 ||47 ||35 |
|Legal and administrative||3 ||— ||— |
Total operating expenses
|104 ||120 ||95 |
|Loss from operations||(46)||(57)||(31)|
|Interest income||— ||1 ||1 |
|Interest expense||(5)||(2)||— |
|Other income (expense), net||— ||— ||(1)|
|Loss before provision for income taxes||(51)||(58)||(31)|
|Provision for income taxes||— ||— ||— |
Comparison of 2021 and 2020
Consignment and Service Revenue
|Year Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands, except percentage)|
|Consignment and service revenue, net||$||346,848 ||$||247,326 ||$||99,522 ||40 ||%|
Consignment and service revenue increased by $99.5 million, or 40%, in 2021 compared to 2020. The increase in revenue was driven primarily by a 50% increase in GMV, partially offset by an increase in returns and cancellations year over year. GMV growth during the year ended December 31, 2021 was driven by a 33% increase in orders and a 12% increase in AOV, due to an increased market demand for online luxury goods. We believe this growth is driven by heightened interest in luxury resale due to increasing consumer desire for more affordable, accessible luxury goods in a sustainable circular economy.
Returns and cancellations as a percentage of GMV for the year ended December 31, 2021 was 26.3%, compared to 25.3% for the year ended December 31, 2020. This increase was primarily due to a normalization of customer return patterns during the year ended December 31, 2021. Our take rate decreased to 34.7% from 35.7% during the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to last year due to the higher sales mix of high-value items which typically have a lower take rate, such as watches and fine jewelry.
|Year Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands, except percentage)|
|Direct revenue||$||120,844 ||$||52,623 ||$||68,221 ||130 ||%|
Direct revenue increased by $68.2 million, or 130%, in 2021 compared to 2020. The increase was primarily driven by the higher sales mix of company-owned inventory due to direct purchases from businesses and consignors, along with higher sales of aged inventory primarily resulting from out of policy returns. We recognize direct revenue on a gross basis upon shipment of the purchased good to the buyer. Direct revenue has been increasing as a percentage of total revenue in recent quarters as a result of a higher sales mix of company-owned inventory due to direct purchases from businesses and consignors. Direct revenue as a percentage of total revenue may vary from period to period primarily based on the growth of consignment and service revenue, as well as the amount of company-owned inventory we purchase. We anticipate direct revenue to decrease as a percentage of total revenue over the longer term.
Cost of Consignment and Service Revenue
|Year Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands, except percentage)|
|Cost of consignment and service revenue||$||92,788 ||$||66,976 ||$||25,812 ||39 ||%|
|As a percent of consignment and service revenue||27 ||%||27 ||%|
Cost of consignment and service revenue increased by $25.8 million, or 39%, in 2021 compared to 2020. The increase was primarily attributable to increases in shipping costs driven by fulfillment of a larger number of orders and credit card fees driven by growth in our business. Consignment and service revenue gross margin remained flat in the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020.
Cost of Direct Revenue
|Year Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands, except percentage)|
|Cost of direct revenue||$||101,427 ||$||45,406 ||$||56,021 ||123 ||%|
|As a percent of direct revenue||84 ||%||86 ||%|
Cost of direct revenue increased by $56.0 million, or 123%, in 2021 compared to 2020. Direct revenue gross margin increased by 2 percentage points in 2021 compared to 2020, primarily driven by favorable product margins.
The margin profile of our direct revenue is lower than consignment and service revenue. Our total gross margin decreased by 5% in 2021 compared to 2020 due to the increase in direct revenue as a percentage of total revenue. As we continue to make direct purchases from vendors, gross margin may vary from period to period.
|Year Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands, except percentage)|
|Marketing||$||62,749 ||$||54,813 ||$||7,936 ||14 ||%|
Marketing expense increased by $7.9 million, or 14%, in 2021 compared to 2020. The increase was primarily due to increases in advertising costs and marketing program expenses as we seek to optimize the digital experience on our online marketplace and grow the number of buyers and consignors.
As a percentage of revenue, marketing expense decreased to 13% in 2021 from 18% in 2020. These expenses may vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue, depending primarily upon our marketing investments. We expect these expenses to decrease as a percentage of revenue over the longer term.
Operations and Technology
|Year Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands, except percentage)|
|Operations and technology||$||235,829 ||$||163,808 ||$||72,021 ||44 ||%|
Operations and technology expense increased by $72.0 million, or 44%, in 2021 compared to 2020. The increase was primarily due to higher employee compensation related expenses, including stock-based compensation expense, due to increased headcount to support our growth, and higher occupancy costs due to our additional retail stores and the transition of operations to our authentication center in Arizona. The increase was also driven by an increase in travel expense, software fees, as well as restructuring costs associated with the transition of operations from our Brisbane authentication center to our Arizona authentication center during the year ended December 31, 2021. Stock-based compensation increased due to increased headcount, as well as an increase in long-term equity incentive awards.
As a percentage of revenue, operations and technology expense decreased to 50% in 2021 from 55% in 2020. These expenses may vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue, depending primarily upon when we choose to make more significant investments. We expect these expenses to continue to decrease as a percentage of revenue over the longer term.
Selling, General and Administrative
|Year Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands, except percentage)|
|Selling, general and administrative||$||176,418 ||$||140,652 ||$||35,766 ||25 ||%|
Selling, general and administrative expense increased by $35.8 million, or 25%, in 2021 compared to 2020. The increase was due to higher employee compensation expenses, including stock-based compensation expense, an increase in software fees, partially offset by an insurance reimbursement for legal expenses. Stock-based compensation increased due to increased headcount, as well as an increase in long-term equity incentive awards.
As a percentage of revenue, selling, general and administrative expense decreased to 38% in 2021 from 47% in 2020. We expect these expenses to decrease as a percentage of revenue over the long term.
|Year Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands, except percentage)|
|Legal settlement||$||13,389 ||$||1,110 ||$||12,279 ||1,106 ||%|
Legal settlement expense increased by $12.3 million, or over 100%, in 2021 compared to 2020. This increase was primarily due to the $11.0 million legal settlement for the shareholder class action filed against us and $0.5 million of attorney's fees to be paid as part of the settlement for the related derivative case filed against us.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
As of December 31, 2021, we had cash and cash equivalents of $418.2 million and an accumulated deficit of $768.1 million. Since inception, we have generated negative cash flows from operations and have primarily financed our operations through equity and convertible debt financings. In July 2019, we received net proceeds of $315.5 million upon completion of our IPO on July 2, 2019. In June 2020, we received net proceeds of $143.3 million from the issuance of the 2025 Notes and the related capped call transactions. In March 2021, we received net proceeds of $244.5 million from the 2028 Notes and the related capped call transactions.
We expect that operating losses and negative cash flows from operations could continue in the foreseeable future. We believe our existing cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2021 will be sufficient to meet our requirements and plans for cash for at least the next 12 months.
Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including, but not limited to, our ability to grow our revenues and the timing of investments to support growth in our business, such as the build-out of our authentication centers and, to a lesser extent, the opening of new retail stores. We may seek additional equity or debt financing. In the event that additional financing is required from outside sources, we may not be able to raise it on terms acceptable to us or at all. If we are unable to raise additional capital when desired, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
The following table summarizes our cash flows for the periods indicated. Prior year comparisons are included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Net cash (used in) provided by:|
|252,913 ||152,815 ||378,665 |
Net increase in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash
|$||67,325 ||$||196,400 ||$||108,819 |
Net Cash Used in Operating Activities
During 2021, net cash used in operating activities was $142.2 million, which consisted of a net loss of $236.1 million, adjusted by non-cash charges of $108.3 million and cash outflows due to a net change of $14.3 million in our operating assets and liabilities. The net change in our operating assets and liabilities was primarily the result of cash outflows due to increases of $28.7 million in inventory driven by an increase in direct purchases of inventory from vendors, a decrease of $15.3 million in operating lease liability, and a decrease of $10.0 million in accounts payable, partially offset by cash inflows due to increases of $30.9 million in other accrued and current liabilities and $14.0 million in accrued consignor payable.
Net Cash Used in Investing Activities
During 2021, net cash used in investing activities was $43.4 million, which consisted of $37.5 million for purchases of property and equipment, net, including leasehold improvements, and $10.0 million for capitalized proprietary software costs, partially offset by $4.0 million of proceeds from maturities on short-term investments.
Net Cash Provided by Financing Activities
During 2021, net cash provided by financing activities was $252.9 million, which primarily consisted of proceeds of $278.2 million from the issuance of the 2028 Notes, net of issuance costs, $6.0 million from the exercise of stock options, and $2.3 million from the issuance of common stock related to the Company's employee stock purchase plan (the "ESPP"), partially offset by $33.7 million for the purchase of capped calls related to the 2028 Notes issuance.
Contractual Obligations and Commitments
The following table summarizes our material cash requirements from our known contractual obligations and other commitments as of December 31, 2021:
|Payment Due by Period|
1 to 3
3 to 5
|Operating leases||$||199,357 ||$||27,436 ||$||56,266 ||$||56,849 ||$||58,806 |
|Convertible Senior Notes, including interest||496,800 ||8,050 ||16,100 ||180,838 ||291,812 |
Other commitments (1)
|13,008 ||7,446 ||5,562 ||— ||— |
|Total||$||709,165 ||$||42,932 ||$||77,928 ||$||237,687 ||$||350,618 |
(1) Consists of non-cancelable purchase commitments to third-party vendors with terms of greater than one year and purchase commitments on inventory, as well as a non-cancelable purchase obligation for marketing activities.
Critical Accounting Estimates
Our management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based on our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles. The preparation of these financial statements requires our management to make judgments and estimates that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, as well as the reported revenue generated, and expenses incurred during the reporting periods. Our estimates are based on our historical experience and on various other factors that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these judgments and estimates under different assumptions or conditions and any such differences may be material.
While our significant accounting policies are more fully described in Note 2—Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, we believe that the accounting estimates discussed below relate to the more significant areas involving management’s judgments and estimates.
For our operating leases, we record a lease liability based on the present value of the lease payments at lease inception, using the applicable incremental borrowing rate. We estimate the incremental borrowing rate based on our own estimated synthetic credit rating, corresponding yield curve, and the terms of each lease at the lease commencement date. Given the lack of a directly observable Company specific credit rating, there is significant judgment in the methodology used to develop the incremental borrowing rates, including the development of the synthetic credit rating. Management also typically utilizes third party valuation specialists to provide market yield curves associated with our estimated synthetic credit rating. The incremental borrowing rates we used ranged from
2.3% to 9.3% depending on the lease terms. The sensitivity of the estimate is mainly due to the judgement used in the development of the synthetic credit rating and yield curves at lease inception.
Convertible Senior Notes
In recording our convertible debt instruments, we separately account for the liability and equity components by allocating proceeds between the liability component and the embedded conversion options, or equity components. We allocate the debt components of the instruments on the basis of the estimated fair value of a similar liability that does not have an associated convertible feature and the remaining proceeds are allocated to the equity component. The allocation was performed in a manner that reflects our non-convertible debt borrowing rate for similar debt. The fair value borrowing rate is considered a critical estimate because the judgment in assessing an interest rate that would be available to the company of a similar debt instrument that does not have a conversion feature. For the 2025 Notes with a principal amount of $172.5 million, an interest rate of 5.67% was used to compute the initial fair value of the liability component of $152.7 million. For the 2028 Notes with a principal amount of $287.5 million, an interest rate of 7.18% was used to compute the initial fair value of the liability component of $191.3 million.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
See Note 2, “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to our financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for recently issued accounting pronouncements not yet adopted as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.
We are exposed to market risks in the ordinary course of our business, including fluctuations in interest rates. Such fluctuations to date have not been significant.
As of December 31, 2021, we had unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of approximately $418.2 million, which carry a degree of interest rate risk. A hypothetical 10% change in interest rates would not have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations due to the short-term nature of our cash equivalents holdings.
We do not believe that inflation has had a material effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition. Nonetheless, if our costs were to become subject to significant inflationary pressures, we may not be able to fully offset such higher costs. Our inability or failure to do so could harm our business, results of operations or financial condition.
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
Please refer to the Financial Statements and Notes to Financial Statements in this Form 10-K which is incorporated herein by reference.
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures.
Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
Our management, with the participation of our Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act) as of December 31, 2021. Based on this evaluation, our Chief
Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer concluded that, as of December 31, 2021, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective at the reasonable assurance level in ensuring that (a) the information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we file or submit under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC's rules and forms, and (b) such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.
Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
Management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act. Our internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of our financial reporting and the preparation of our financial statements for external purposes in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, we have conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). Based on evaluation under these criteria, management determined that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2021.
KPMG, LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm, has audited the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2021, as stated in their report which is included in Part IV —Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
There was no change in our internal control over financial reporting identified in connection with the evaluation required by Rule 13a-15(d) and 15d-15(d) of the Exchange Act that occurred during the year ended December 31, 2021 that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.
Inherent Limitations on Effectiveness of Controls
Our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer, believes that our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting are designed to provide reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives and are effective at the reasonable assurance level. However, our management does not expect that our disclosure controls and procedures or our internal control over financial reporting will prevent all errors and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. Further, the design of a control system must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints, and the benefits of controls must be considered relative to their costs. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, have been detected. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision making can be faulty, and that breakdowns can occur because of a simple error or mistake. Additionally, controls can be circumvented by the individual acts of some persons, by the collusion of two or more people or by management override of controls. The design of any system of controls is also based in part upon certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events, and there can be no assurance that any design will succeed in achieving its stated goals under all potential future conditions; over time, controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or the degree of compliance with policies or procedures may deteriorate. Because of the inherent limitations in a cost-effective control system, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected.
Item 9B. Other Information.
Item 9C. Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections.
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance.
Information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the information set forth under the captions “Directors,” “Corporate Governance,” “Executive Officers” and “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” in our 2021 proxy statement to be filed with the SEC within 120 days of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 (the “Proxy Statement”).
Item 11. Executive Compensation.
The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the information set forth under the caption “Executive Compensation,” in our Proxy Statement.
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.
The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the information set forth under the captions “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” and “Equity Compensation Plan Information” in our Proxy Statement.
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.
The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the information set forth under the captions “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” and “Corporate Governance” in our Proxy Statement.
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services.
Our independent registered public accounting firm is KPMG LLP, San Francisco, CA, Auditor ID: 185.
The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the information set forth under the caption “Proposal No. 2—Ratification of Selection of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” in our Proxy Statement.
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules.
(a)Please refer to the Financial Statements, Notes to Financial Statements and the Exhibit Index in this Form 10-K which is incorporated herein by reference.
(b)Please refer to the Exhibit Index in this Form 10-K which is incorporated herein by reference.
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary
|Incorporated by Reference|
|Description||Form||File No.||Exhibit||Filing Date||Filed|
|3.1||S-1||333-231891||3.2||June 17, 2019|
|3.2||S-1||333-231891||3.4||June 6, 2019|
|4.1||S-1||333-231891||4.1||June 17, 2019|
|4.2||S-1||333-231891||4.7||May 31, 2019|
|4.3||8-K||001-38953||4.1||June 16, 2020|
|4.4||10-Q||001-38953||4.2||August 7, 2020|
|4.5||8-K||001-38953||4.1||March 8, 2021|
|4.6||8-K||001-38953||4.2||March 8, 2021|
|10.1+||S-1||333-231891||10.1||May 31, 2019|
|10.2+||S-1||333-231891||10.2||June 17, 2019|
|10.3#||S-1||333-231891||10.3||May 31, 2019|
|10.4#||S-1||333-231891||10.4||May 31, 2019|
|10.5#||S-1||333-231891||10.5||May 31, 2019|
|10.6#||S-1||333-231891||10.6||May 31, 2019|
|Incorporated by Reference|
|Description||Form||File No.||Exhibit||Filing Date||Filed|
|10.7#||S-1||333-231891||10.7||May 31, 2019|
|10.8#||S-1||333-231891||10.8||May 31, 2019|
|10.9#||S-1||333-231891||10.9||May 31, 2019|
| 10.10#||S-1||333-231891||10.1||May 31, 2019|
| 10.11#||S-1||333-231891||10.1||May 31, 2019|
| 10.12#||S-1||333-231891||10.1||May 31, 2019|
| 10.13#||S-1||333-231891||10.1||May 31, 2019|
| 10.14#||S-1||333-231891||10.1||May 31, 2019|
| 10.15#||S-1||333-231891||10.2||May 31, 2019|
| 10.16#||S-1||333-231891||10.2||May 31, 2019|
| 10.17#||S-1||333-231891||10.2||May 31, 2019|
| 10.18#||S-1||333-231891||10.2||May 31, 2019|
| 10.19#||S-1||333-231891||10.2||May 31, 2019|
|Incorporated by Reference|
|Description||Form||File No.||Exhibit||Filing Date||Filed|
| 10.20#||S-1||333-231891||10.2||May 31, 2019|
| 10.21+||S-1||333-231891||10.2||June 17, 2019|
| 10.22+||S-1||333-231891||10.2||June 17, 2019|
| 10.23+||10-Q||001-38953||10.1||August 14, 2019|
| 10.24+||10-Q||001-38953||10.2||August 14, 2019|
| 10.25+||10-K||001-38953||10.2||March 11, 2020|
|10.26||8-K||001-38953||10.1||June 16, 2020|
|10.27||8-K||001-38953||10.1||June 23, 2020|
| 10.28#||10-Q||001-38953||10.1||November 10, 2020|
|10.29||8-K||001-38953||10.1||March 8, 2021|
|10.30||8-K||001-38953||10.1||March 16, 2021|
|10.31+||10-Q||001-38953||10.1||May 10, 2021|
|10.32+||10-Q||001-38953||10.1||August 9, 2021|
|10.33+||10-Q||001-38953||10.1||November 8, 2021|
|Incorporated by Reference|
|Description||Form||File No.||Exhibit||Filing Date||Filed|
|101.INS||XBRL Instance Document||X|
|101.SCH||XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema Document||X|
|101.CAL||XBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation Linkbase Document||X|
|101.DEF||XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Linkbase Document||X|
|101.LAB||XBRL Taxonomy Extension Label Linkbase Document||X|
|101.PRE||XBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation Linkbase Document||X|
|104||Cover Page Interactive Data File (formatted as inline XBRL with applicable taxonomy extension information contained in Exhibits 101.INS, 101.SCH, 101.CAL, 101.DEF, 101.LAB, and 101.PRE).|
+ Indicates management contract or compensatory plan.
# Certain information contained in this agreement has been omitted because it both (i) is not material and (ii) would be competitively harmful if publicly disclosed.
Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, the Registrant has duly caused this Report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.
|The RealReal, Inc.|
|Date: February 28, 2022||By:||/s/ Robert Julian|
|Chief Financial Officer|
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, this Report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the Registrant in the capacities and on the dates indicated.
/s/ Julie Wainwright
|Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer||February 28, 2022|
|Julie Wainwright||(Principal Executive Officer)|
/s/ Robert Julian
|Chief Financial Officer||February 28, 2022|
|Robert Julian||(Principal Financial Officer)|
/s/ Steve Lo
|Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer||February 28, 2022|
|Steve Lo||(Principal Accounting Officer)|
/s/ Chip Baird
|Director||February 28, 2022|
|/s/ Caretha Coleman||Director||February 28, 2022|
|/s/ Karen Katz||Director||February 28, 2022|
|/s/ Rob Krolik||Director||February 28, 2022|
|/s/ Niki Leondakis||Director||February 28, 2022|
/s/ Carol Melton
|Director||February 28, 2022|
|/s/ James Miller||Director||February 28, 2022|
INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
To the Stockholders and Board of Directors
The RealReal, Inc.:
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of The RealReal, Inc. (the Company) as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, the related statements of operations, comprehensive loss, redeemable convertible preferred stock, convertible preferred stock and stockholders’ equity (deficit), and cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2021, and the related notes (collectively, the financial statements). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2021, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2021, based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, and our report dated February 28, 2022 expressed an unqualified opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting.
Change in Accounting Principle
As discussed in Note 2 to the financial statements, the Company has changed its method of accounting for leases as of January 1, 2020 due to the adoption of Accounting Standards Update 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842).
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Critical Audit Matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of a critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.
Evaluation of the initial value of the liability component of the 2028 convertible senior notes
As discussed in Note 7 of the financial statements, in March 2021, the Company issued 1.00% convertible senior notes due in 2028 (the 2028 Notes) for an aggregate principal amount of $287.5 million. The Company separately accounted for the liability and equity components by allocating the proceeds between the liability component and the embedded conversion options, or equity components. The initial value of the liability component was calculated by measuring the fair value of a similar liability that does not have an associated
conversion feature. As a result, the Company recorded the initial fair value of the liability component of $191.3 million.
We identified the evaluation of the initial value of the liability component of the 2028 Notes as a critical audit matter. A high degree of auditor judgment was required in assessing the interest rate that would be available to the Company for a similar debt instrument that does not have a conversion feature. The audit effort associated with the evaluation of the interest rate estimate required valuation professionals with specialized skills and knowledge.
The following are the primary procedures we performed to address this critical audit matter. We evaluated the design and tested the operating effectiveness of an internal control over the Company's process to determine the interest rate that would be available to the Company for a similar debt instrument that does not have a conversion feature. We involved our valuation professionals with specialized skills and knowledge, who assisted in:
•evaluating the reasonableness of the valuation model used by the Company in estimating an interest rate available to the Company for a similar debt instrument that does not have a conversion feature
•evaluating the relevance of a historical debt transaction entered into by the Company for a lending arrangement that did not have a conversion feature.
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2013.
San Francisco, California
February 28, 2022
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
To the Stockholders and Board of Directors
The RealReal, Inc.:
Opinion on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
We have audited The RealReal, Inc.'s (the Company) internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2021, based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. In our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2021, based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the balance sheets of the Company as of December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, the related statements of operations, comprehensive loss, redeemable convertible preferred stock, convertible preferred stock and stockholders’ equity (deficit), and cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2021, and the related notes (collectively, the financial statements), and our report dated February 28, 2022 expressed an unqualified opinion on those financial statements.
Basis for Opinion
The Company's management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying Management's Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audit also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
San Francisco, California
February 28, 2022
THE REALREAL, INC.
(In thousands, except share and per share data)
|December 31, 2021||December 31, 2020|
Cash and cash equivalents
|$||418,171 ||$||350,846 |
|— ||4,017 |
|7,767 ||7,213 |
|71,015 ||42,321 |
Prepaid expenses and other current assets
|20,859 ||17,072 |
Total current assets
|517,812 ||421,469 |
|Property and equipment, net||89,286 ||63,454 |
|Operating lease right-of-use assets||145,311 ||118,136 |
|Other assets||2,535 ||2,050 |
|$||754,944 ||$||605,109 |
|Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity|
|$||4,503 ||$||14,346 |
Accrued consignor payable
|71,042 ||57,053 |
Operating lease liabilities, current portion
|18,253 ||14,999 |
Other accrued and current liabilities
|94,188 ||61,862 |
Total current liabilities
|187,986 ||148,260 |
|Operating lease liabilities, net of current portion||143,159 ||115,084 |
|Convertible senior notes, net||348,380 ||149,188 |
|Other noncurrent liabilities||2,291 ||1,284 |
|681,816 ||413,816 |
|Commitments and contingencies (Note 11)||— ||— |
Common stock, $0.00001 par value; 500,000,000 shares authorized as of December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020; 92,960,066 and 89,301,664 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively
|1 ||1 |
Additional paid-in capital
|841,255 ||723,302 |
Accumulated other comprehensive income
|0 ||11 |
Total stockholders’ equity
|73,128 ||191,293 |
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity
|$||754,944 ||$||605,109 |
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
THE REALREAL, INC.
Statements of Operations
(In thousands, except share and per share data)
|Years Ended December 31,|
|Consignment and service revenue||$||346,848 ||$||247,326 ||$||265,729 |
|Direct revenue||120,844 ||52,623 ||50,625 |
|Total revenue||467,692 ||299,949 ||316,354 |
|Cost of revenue:|
|Cost of consignment and service revenue||92,788 ||66,976 |