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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Transition Period from _____ to _____
Commission File Number 000-30141
LIVEPERSON, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware13-3861628
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation)(IRS Employer Identification No.)
475 Tenth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, New York
10018
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)(Zip Code)
(212) 609-4200
(Registrant’s telephone Number, including area Code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.001 per shareLPSNThe Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated FilerAccelerated Filer
Non-accelerated FilerSmaller Reporting Company
Emerging Growth Company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes No




The aggregate market value of the voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2020 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was approximately $2,500,040,734 (computed by reference to the last reported sale price on The Nasdaq Global Select Market on that date). The registrant does not have any non-voting common stock outstanding.
On February 26, 2021, 67,784,058 shares of the registrant’s common stock were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which we plan to file subsequent to the date hereof, are incorporated by reference into Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part III of this Form 10-K.




LIVEPERSON, INC.
2020 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
PART I
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
PART II
 
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Consolidated Financial Data
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
PART III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services
PART IV
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary

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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

    STATEMENTS IN THIS REPORT ABOUT LIVEPERSON, INC. THAT ARE NOT HISTORICAL FACTS ARE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS BASED ON OUR CURRENT EXPECTATIONS, ASSUMPTIONS, ESTIMATES AND PROJECTIONS ABOUT LIVEPERSON AND OUR INDUSTRY. THESE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES THAT COULD CAUSE ACTUAL FUTURE EVENTS OR RESULTS TO DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM SUCH STATEMENTS. THESE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS ARE BASED ON OUR CURRENT EXPECTATIONS, WHICH MAY NOT PROVE TO BE ACCURATE. MANY OF THESE STATEMENTS ARE FOUND IN THE “BUSINESS” AND “MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS” SECTIONS OF THIS FORM 10-K. WHEN USED IN THIS FORM 10-K, THE WORDS “ESTIMATES,” “EXPECTS,” “ANTICIPATES,” “PROJECTS,” “PLANS,” “INTENDS,” “BELIEVES” AND VARIATIONS OF SUCH WORDS OR SIMILAR EXPRESSIONS ARE INTENDED TO IDENTIFY FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS. ALL FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, OUR EXAMINATION OF HISTORICAL OPERATING TRENDS, ARE BASED UPON OUR CURRENT EXPECTATIONS AND VARIOUS ASSUMPTIONS. OUR EXPECTATIONS, BELIEFS AND PROJECTIONS ARE EXPRESSED IN GOOD FAITH, AND WE BELIEVE THERE IS A REASONABLE BASIS FOR THEM, BUT WE CANNOT ASSURE YOU THAT OUR EXPECTATIONS, BELIEFS AND PROJECTIONS WILL BE REALIZED. ANY SUCH FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS ARE MADE PURSUANT TO THE SAFE HARBOR PROVISIONS OF THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995. IT IS ROUTINE FOR OUR INTERNAL PROJECTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS TO CHANGE AS THE YEAR OR EACH QUARTER IN THE YEAR PROGRESS, AND THEREFORE IT SHOULD BE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD THAT THE INTERNAL PROJECTIONS AND BELIEFS UPON WHICH WE BASE OUR EXPECTATIONS MAY CHANGE PRIOR TO THE END OF EACH QUARTER OR THE YEAR. ALTHOUGH THESE EXPECTATIONS MAY CHANGE, WE ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO INFORM YOU IF THEY DO. ACTUAL EVENTS OR RESULTS MAY DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM THOSE CONTAINED IN THE PROJECTIONS OR FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS. IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT COULD CAUSE OUR ACTUAL RESULTS TO DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM THE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS WE MAKE IN THIS FORM 10-K ARE SET FORTH IN THIS FORM 10-K, INCLUDING THE FACTORS DESCRIBED IN THE SECTION ENTITLED “ITEM 1A — RISK FACTORS.” IF ANY OF THESE RISKS OR UNCERTAINTIES MATERIALIZE, OR IF ANY OF OUR UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS ARE INCORRECT, OUR ACTUAL RESULTS MAY DIFFER SIGNIFICANTLY FROM THE RESULTS THAT WE EXPRESS IN OR IMPLY BY ANY OF OUR FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS. WE DO NOT UNDERTAKE ANY OBLIGATION TO REVISE THESE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS TO REFLECT FUTURE EVENTS OR CIRCUMSTANCES.
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PART I
Item 1. Business
Overview
LivePerson, Inc. (“LivePerson”, the “Company”, “we” or “our”) makes life easier for people and brands everywhere through trusted Conversational AI. Conversational AI allows humans and machines to interact using natural language, including speech or text. During the past decade, consumers have made mobile devices the center of their digital lives, and they have made mobile messaging the center of communication with friends, family and peers. This trend has been significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and can now be viewed as a permanent, structural shift in consumer behavior. Our technology enables consumers to connect with businesses through these same preferred conversational interfaces, including Facebook Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messenger and Alexa. These messaging conversations harness human agents, bots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to power convenient, personalized and content-rich journeys across the entire consumer lifecycle, from discovery and research, to sales, service and support, and increasingly marketing, social, and brick and mortar engagements. For example, consumers can look up product info like ratings, images and pricing, search for stores, see product inventory, schedule appointments, apply for credit, approve repairs, and make purchases or payments - all without ever leaving the messaging channel. These AI and human-assisted conversational experiences constitute the Conversational Space, within which LivePerson has strategically developed one of the industry's largest ecosystems of messaging endpoints and use cases.
    The Conversational Cloud, our enterprise-class cloud-based platform, enables businesses to become conversational by securely deploying AI-powered messaging at scale for brands with tens of millions of customers and many thousands of agents. The Conversational Cloud powers conversations across each of a brand’s primary digital channels, including mobile apps, mobile and desktop web browsers, short message service (SMS), social media and third-party consumer messaging platforms. Brands can also use the Conversational Cloud to message consumers when they dial a 1-800 number instead of forcing them to navigate interactive voice response systems (IVRs) and wait on hold. Similarly, the Conversational Cloud can ingest traditional emails and convert them into messaging conversations, or embed messaging conversations directly into web advertisements, rather than redirect consumers to static website landing pages. Agents can manage all conversations with consumers through a single console interface, regardless of where the conversations originated.
    LivePerson's robust, cloud-based suite of rich messaging, real-time chat, AI and automation offerings features consumer and agent facing bots, intelligent routing and capacity mapping, real-time intent detection and analysis, queue prioritization, customer sentiment, analytics and reporting, content delivery, Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, cobrowsing and a sophisticated proactive targeting engine. An extensible application programming interface (API) stack facilitates a lower cost of ownership by facilitating robust integration into back-end systems, as well as enabling developers to build their own programs and services on top of the platform. More than 40 APIs and software development kits are available on the Conversational Cloud.
For your reference:
Conversational AI: Conversational AI allows humans and machines to interact using natural language, including speech or text.
Conversational Space: In the Conversational Space, consumers message with brands on their own schedule, using natural language, to resolve their intents - all on their preferred messaging service. The core capabilities of the Conversational Space are voice and text-based interfaces, powered by AI and humans working together. Conversational Space is the simplest, most intuitive interface of all.
Conversational Cloud: LivePerson's enterprise-class, AI-powered Conversational Cloud platform empowers consumers to message their favorite brands, just as they do with friends and family.
    LivePerson’s Conversational AI offerings put the power of bot development, training, management and analysis into the hands of the contact center and its agents, the teams most familiar with how to structure sales and service conversations to drive successful outcomes. The platform enables what we call “the tango” of humans, AI and bots, whereby human agents act as bot managers, overseeing AI-powered conversations and seamlessly stepping into the flow when a personal touch is needed. Agents become ultra-efficient, leveraging the AI engine to serve up relevant content, define next-best actions and take over repetitive transactional work, so that the agent can focus on relationship building. By seamlessly integrating messaging with our proprietary Conversational AI, as well as third-party bots, the Conversational Cloud offers brands a comprehensive approach to scaling automations across their millions of customer conversations.
    Complementing our proprietary messaging and Conversational AI offerings are teams of technical, solutions and consulting professionals that have developed deep domain expertise in the implementation and optimization of conversational services across industries and messaging endpoints. We are a leading authority in the Conversational Space. LivePerson’s
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products, coupled with our domain knowledge, industry expertise and professional services, have been proven to maximize the effectiveness of the Conversational Space and deliver measurable return on investment. Certain of our customers have achieved the following advantages from our offerings:

the ability for each agent to manage as many as 40 messaging conversations at a time, as compared to one at a time for a voice agent and two to four at a time for a good chat agent. Adding AI and bots provides even greater scale to the number of conversations managed;
labor efficiency gains of at least two times that of voice agents, effectively cutting labor costs by at least 50%;
improving the overall customer experience, thereby fueling customer satisfaction increases of up to 20 percentage points, and enhancing retention and loyalty;
more convenient, personalized and content-rich conversations that increase sales conversion by up to 20%, increase average order value and reduce abandonment;
more satisfied contact center agents, thereby reducing agent churn by up to 50%;
maintain a valued connection with consumers via mobile devices, either through native applications, websites, text messages, or third-party messaging platforms;
leverage spending that drives visitor traffic by increasing visitor conversions;
refine and improve performance by understanding which initiatives deliver the highest rate of return; and
increase lead generation by providing a single platform that engages consumers through advertisements and listings on branded and third-party websites.
        
As a “cloud computing” or software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, LivePerson provides solutions on a hosted basis. This model offers significant benefits over premise-based software, including lower up-front costs, faster implementation, lower total cost of ownership, scalability, cost predictability, and simplified upgrades. Organizations that adopt a fully-hosted, multi-tenant architecture that is maintained by LivePerson eliminate the majority of the time, server infrastructure costs, and IT resources required to implement, maintain, and support traditional on-premise software.
To further enhance our platform, in September 2020 we signed a partnership with Infosys, a leader in next-generation digital services and consulting. We will work with Infosys to transform our technology infrastructure on the public cloud, to build integrated solutions and a global practice around our Conversational Cloud to sell into their channels and global enterprise
customer base, and to redefine how the world’s top brands communicate.

More than 18,000 businesses, including HSBC, Orange, The Home Depot, and GM Financial use our conversational solutions to orchestrate humans and AI, at scale, and create a convenient, deeply personal relationship with their customers.
LivePerson's consumer services offering is an online marketplace that connects independent service providers (Experts) who provide information and knowledge for a fee via mobile and online messaging with individual consumers (Users). Users seek assistance and advice in various categories including personal counseling and coaching, computers and programming, education and tutoring, spirituality and religion, and other topics.
    LivePerson was incorporated in the State of Delaware in November 1995 and the LivePerson service was introduced in November 1998. In April 2000, the company completed an initial public offering and is currently traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. LivePerson is headquartered in New York City. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the company’s strong performance working remotely, LivePerson has adopted an “employee-centric” workforce model that does not rely on traditional offices.

Market Opportunity
LivePerson's proprietary messaging and Conversational AI enable consumers and businesses to use natural language over conversational interfaces such as SMS, Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Google’s Rich Business Messenger, and in-home personal assistants like Alexa, in order to get answers to questions, make purchases and resolve customer care inquiries. These conversational messaging capabilities target lower costs and increased customer satisfaction, retention and revenue by utilizing human agents, AI and bots to provide convenient, personalized and content-rich communication as alternatives to calling a 1-800 number, navigating a website or downloading an app.
Our view is that once a consumer has established their favorite brands as contacts in their preferred messaging app, they will no longer see a need to call that brand’s 1-800 number, visit their website or download their app. Instead, they will simply select the contact, open up the thread with their entire history with the brand, and then renew the conversation. As a result, the billions of dollars previously invested by brands across these legacy channels will be increasingly allocated to experiences powered by our platform.
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Historically, brands have predominantly promoted calling the 1-800 number or using email as the primary means of contact with consumers. According to a 2018 IBM report, approximately 270 billion customer service calls are made to contact centers each year. With a median cost per call of approximately $5.60, according to US Contact Center Decision-Makers' Guide, we estimate that businesses spend approximately $1.5 trillion annually to support their 1-800 number call centers. We believe that moving these calls to messaging represents the largest portion of what we estimate is a $60 billion go-to-market opportunity. We estimate that nearly half of this market opportunity is tied to service, and the other half tied to sales, marketing, social and brick and mortar use cases.
LivePerson is already capitalizing on this Conversational Space transformation. We cite the following considerations:
Consumer preference has already shifted away from calling to messaging in our personal lives. Gartner, a technology research firm, estimates that the proportion of voice-based communication will drop from 41% in 2017 to 12% in 2022. In contrast, WhatsApp and Facebook users combined send more than 65 billion messages a day, and, according to Portio Research, people worldwide were estimated to send an estimated 23 billion text messages a day in 2015. According to Gartner, by the end of 2020, more than 500 million consumers have used voice-enabled conversational AI to purchase on digital commerce platforms, growing from 160 million in 2017. The International Smartphone Mobility Report by mobile data tracking firm Infomate found that Americans spend about 26 minutes a day texting, as compared to six minutes a day on voice calls. A survey by transportation booking app, Hailo, found that making phone calls has dropped to the sixth most popular use of a mobile device, behind sending messages, receiving messages, checking email, surfing the Web, and using the alarm clock. The adoption of messaging has not been constrained to younger generations. According to Experian Marketing Services, adults 55 and older send and receive an average of nearly 500 text messages a month.
Calling a 1-800 number typically leads to a poor customer experience. Roughly 50% of calls to 1-800 numbers go unresolved, according to IBM, and a 2014 Harris Interactive survey found that “81% of all consumers agree that it is frustrating to be tied to a phone or computer to wait for customer service help.” Research by enterprise analytics firm Mattersight, reinforces this view, with 74% of consumers feeling that call centers are getting worse or at best staying the same. The risk of poor customer service is material, according to Harris Interactive, which found that 89% of consumers will leave and go to a competitor due to bad customer experiences.
Conversational experiences, which harness the power of human agents, bots and AI over messaging have been demonstrated to provide a superior alternative to voice calls. LivePerson customers typically see contact center agent efficiency increase by at least two times for messaging on our platform versus voice, while fueling higher customer satisfaction and increased sales conversions. According to a RingCentral survey, “at least 78% of consumers who text wish they could have a text conversation with a business.” An Amdocs global consumer survey had a similar finding, with 76% of consumers stating they would rather use a mobile app than call the contact center. According to Forrester Research's Customer Experience Survey, 73% of US online adults say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.
We believe the combination of strong alignment to consumer communication preferences, high returns on investment and a growing list of proven referenceable customers have positioned the Conversational Space at an inflection point. Approximately 66% of our enterprise customers have adopted messaging by the end of 2020, up from nearly 55% at the end of 2019 and approximately 40% at the end of 2018. In addition, nearly 70% of messaging conversations had automation attached at the end of 2020, up from nearly 60% at the end of 2019 and up from approximately 25% at the end of 2017. In the first year of its launch, our Conversation Bot Builder was deployed by nearly 300 brands. The Conversational Space is growing very rapidly; according to Gartner, by 2022, 70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies such as machine learning applications, chatbots and mobile messaging, up from 15% in 2018.

    In addition to market share opportunities in the legacy 1-800 number call center, we believe that consumer traffic and digital spending will increasingly shift away from websites and mobile apps to conversational engagements. We think that websites and e-commerce have not lived up to the expectations of businesses and that consumers are likewise frustrated with the navigational experience and the challenges of getting questions answered on websites. In fact, after more than 20 years and a global pandemic, e-commerce still only accounts for approximately 18% of total retail sales and, in the United States, Amazon.com accounts for approximately 40% of this share.
The low penetration rates of online and mobile e-commerce reflect disappointing website conversion rates, which average less than 5%. Low conversion rates are likely a factor of the trend for websites to be designed for content, as opposed to commerce, so that they can be indexed to show up in web searches. According to Forrester Research, 53% of customers are likely to abandon their online purchases if they can't find quick answers to their questions. This conflict between content and
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commerce not only impacts revenue, but also drives higher costs, as we estimate that 60%-80% of all calls to 1-800 numbers originate from consumers first visiting a website and then getting confused or not obtaining the answers they seek.
We believe that LivePerson's proprietary messaging and Conversational AI offerings provide a superior alternative. Certain LivePerson customers have demonstrated increases in website sales of up to 20%, while lowering the cost of engagement relative to voice or email. No longer are consumers navigating through clicks and searches to find answers across multiple static web pages. Instead they use natural language to engage conversationally with a brand. These conversations can be personalized to each brand’s unique identity and to each consumer’s unique history and preferences. The engagements are content rich, featuring images, reviews, ratings, and videos, and they are convenient, letting the consumer drive the conversation when it meets their needs, and offering the ability to integrate to credit cards, pay wallets and calendars.

We also believe that the Conversational Space will steadily eliminate the need for investment in branded apps. We conclude that consumers will increasingly opt to connect with brands through their preferred messaging channels, such as Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp, SMS, Messenger, or Twitter, rather than clutter their mobile devices, waste storage, and potentially impact performance by downloading a multitude of individual apps.

Another emerging market opportunity for LivePerson is the leveraging of brick and mortar operations as an extension of the contact center. Retailers, telecommunications companies, and financial services companies, among others, all operate brick and mortar storefronts, where thousands of employees often sit idle during off peak hours. The Conversational Cloud enables our customers to set up campaigns where these employees can connect through messaging to customers in their community, with check-ins, follow ups, and special offers, reinforcing relationships at the local level. For example, a telecommunications company targeted consumers that were local to its storefronts with a trade-in offer. Additionally, our platform can arm employees in the field with the ability to rapidly obtain answers to questions as they engage with customers in the stores. For example, a consumer may have a specific question about a new appliance in a home improvement store, and the employee can engage through our platform with a specialist bot or human agent to obtain detailed information on that appliance. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated adoption of these experiences. While in-store traffic on Black Friday fell by 52% in 2020 compared with 2019, according to Sensormatic Solutions, peak conversation volume on the Conversational Cloud during the 2020 Black Friday to Cyber Monday period grew 200% year over year.


Strategy
The key elements of LivePerson’s business solutions strategy include:
Build awareness and drive adoption of the Conversational Space. LivePerson brought our first customer live on messaging in June 2016. Since that time, we have been focused on building awareness for conversational experiences and driving adoption. We have educated businesses on the financial and operational transformation that occurs when a contact center shifts to an asynchronous messaging environment, where the consumer controls the pace of the conversation, which can last minutes, hours or days, from a synchronous call or chat center, where conversations occur in real-time and have a distinct start and end.
A key component of our industry awareness marketing strategy has been to hold multiple global customer summits each year (events in 2020 were held virtually in light of the COVID-19 pandemic) that target executives from enterprise customers and prospects, and feature a key theme within the Conversational Space, such as Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messenger, IVR deflection or AI. LivePerson customers are the center point of these summits, presenting why they chose LivePerson for conversational experiences, how they achieved success, and what type of ROI they have realized. Each attendee then receives a blueprint for how they can achieve similar outcomes. We have found this strategy to drive strong results for LivePerson, as we have seen a greater than 40% conversion rate on opportunities that were created or advanced as part of the customer summits. By year-end 2020, we had brought approximately 400 customers live on messaging and increased adoption within our enterprise customers to 66%. In addition, nearly 70% of messaging conversations had automation attached. We will continue to focus on building awareness for the Conversational Space and driving adoption of messaging and AI across
our customer base.

Increase messaging volumes by developing a broad ecosystem, expanding customer use cases, and focusing on AI and automation. Our strategy is to drive higher messaging volumes by going both wide across messaging endpoints, deep across consumer use cases, and focusing on AI and automation as the means to deliver powerful scale. LivePerson offers a platform usage pricing model, where customers are offered access to our entire suite of messaging technologies across their entire agent pool for a pre-negotiated cost per interaction. We believe that over time this model will drive higher revenue for LivePerson by reducing barriers to adoption of new messaging endpoints and use cases.
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In order to drive broad messaging adoption, it is imperative that the Conversational Cloud integrates to all of the messaging apps that consumers prefer to use for communication and addresses all key use cases. For example, if a consumer is an avid WhatsApp user, and a brand only offers SMS as a messaging option, that consumer may be reluctant to try messaging the brand. Therefore, a key strategy of ours has been to build one of the industry’s broadest ecosystems of messaging endpoints and use cases. In June 2016, we launched with In-App messaging. In 2017, we introduced Facebook Messenger, SMS, Web messaging and IVR deflection integrations. In 2018, we added Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messenger, Line, WhatsApp, Alexa, Google Home, Google Ad Lingo and Twitter. In 2019, we added email, allowing brands to manage emails through the same console they use for messaging, and to convert legacy emails into messaging conversations. We also added social monitoring and conversational tools for Twitter and Facebook, and introduced proactive messaging, allowing brands to transform traditional one-way notifications such as flight cancellations or phone plan overage alerts into two-way conversations. Finally, we connected to Facebook and WhatsApp digital advertisements, enabling consumers to initiate messaging conversations for marketing and customer care directly within the advertisement. In 2020, we added Instagram and Google’s Business Messages, allowing brands to bring customer-initiated conversations into the Conversational Cloud directly from Instagram, Google Search, and Google Maps.
Each channel and use case added opens the door to hundreds of millions of new consumers, providing brands a greater opportunity to shift share away from their legacy contact center channels into messaging. For example, in 2019, leading airlines launched on WhatsApp and Apple Business Chat with the ability to make secure payments; a baseball stadium launched an automated conversational concierge providing answers to a wide range of questions from restroom locations to player stats; and a multinational telecommunications company used proactive two-way messaging for outbound campaigns. In 2020, one of the largest telcos in Australia fully virtualized their contact centers, a leading U.S. quick-serve restaurant launched on Facebook Messenger to help customers order meals, one of the biggest banks in the world launched an Apple Business Chat channel to provide a secure way to perform day-to-day banking, and one of the world’s largest jewelry retailers used the Conversational Cloud and QR codes to sell millions of dollars of product.
LivePerson makes the management of all these disparate channels seamless to the brand. AI-based intelligent routing, queuing and prioritization software orchestrates these conversations at scale, regardless of which messaging endpoint they originated from, so that human and bot agents can engage with all customers through just one console.
We believe LivePerson is leading the structural shift to Conversational AI. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading brands are turning to LivePerson's AI-powered messaging to overcome a capacity gap created by voice call agent work-from-home measures and increased demand for digital engagement as consumers practice social distancing. LivePerson is powering Conversational AI, automation and messaging strategies across a growing number of use cases from care and sales, to marketing, social, conversational advertising and brick and mortar. Our Conversational AI leadership and the increase in adoption have influenced LivePerson’s enterprise and mid-market revenue retention rate, (the trailing-twelve-month change in total revenue from existing customers after upsells, downsells and attrition) which exceeded the high end of our target range of 105% to 115% for 2020. The benefit can also be seen in LivePerson’s average revenue per user (ARPU) for our enterprise and mid-market customers, which increased approximately 35% in 2020 to $465,000 from approximately $345,000 in 2019.
Attract the industry’s best AI, machine learning and conversational talent. We believe that AI and machine learning are critical to successfully scaling in the Conversational Space, and that in order to develop the industry’s leading technology, we need to attract the industry's best talent. In 2018, LivePerson recruited Alex Spinelli, key architect of the Alexa Operating System at Amazon.com, as our Global CTO. Under Mr. Spinelli’s leadership, LivePerson hired more than 280 of the industry’s brightest data scientists, machine learning engineers and automation engineers, many from firms such as Nike, Amazon.com, Microsoft and Target, who are working exclusively on applying AI to the Conversational Space. LivePerson also expanded its development talent base in Germany, and added key development talent through the acquisitions of BotCentral in Mountain View, California and Conversable in Austin, Texas.
Bring to market best-in-class AI and machine learning technologies designed for the Conversational Space. We believe that in the last decade many vendors introduced AI and bot offerings that created frustrating experiences for consumers and businesses alike, which in turn has eroded trust in automation. Many of these solutions have proven difficult to build and scale, and have been limited by stand-alone implementations that lacked the measurement, reporting and human oversight of conversational platforms such as the Conversational Cloud. In December 2018, LivePerson announced its patent pending AI engine that is designed to overcome these shortcomings and help brands rapidly bring to market conversational AI that can scale to millions of interactions, while increasing customer satisfaction and conversion rates.
Unlike alternative solutions designed solely for IT departments, LivePerson’s Conversational AI was built to be used by developers and contact center agents. By putting the power of conversational design and bot management in the hands of contact center agents, LivePerson’s Conversational AI gives brands the ability to leverage the employees closest to the customer, those who are most versed in the voice of the brand, and with the most expertise in how to craft successful outcomes for customer service and sales journeys.
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Some of the key innovations behind LivePerson’s Conversational AI include:
a holistic approach to scaling AI by combining consumer facing bots, agent facing bots, intelligent routing and real-time intent understanding, with an analytics dashboard that helps users focus on the intents that are impacting their business and prioritize which intents to automate next;
bot building software that is based on dialogue instead of workflow or code, so non-technical employees like contact center agents can design automations;
leveraging data moat from hundreds of millions of conversations to feed the machine learning that rapidly and accurately detects consumer sentiment and intents in real-time. Customers of LivePerson can use intent understanding for advanced routing, next-best actions, and to fully contain conversations with automation;
the establishing of contact center agents as bot managers, ensuring that every conversation is safeguarded by a human and that agents are continuously training the AI to be smarter and drive more successful outcomes;
powerful Assist technology that multiplies the efficiency of agents by analyzing intents in real time and then suggesting next best actions, predefined content, and bots that can take over transactional work;
pre-built templates for target verticals that provide out of the box support for the top intents and back-end integrations;
the ability to bootstrap conversations with existing transcripts, reducing design effort and speeding time to market;
third-party AI natural language understanding (NLU) integration, so customers aren't boxed into one vendor; and
AI analytics and reporting tailored to the Conversational Space, providing brands with immediate, actionable insights about their businesses and contact center operations.

Our strategy is to continue to enhance the Conversational AI engine and related products, by leveraging our global R&D footprint and substantial library of mobile and online conversational data, with the aim of increasing agent efficiency, decreasing customer care costs, improving the customer experience and increasing customer lifetime value.
Sustain our leadership position by aligning brands to a vision that transforms how they communicate with consumers and delivers a superior return on investment. We believe that most contact center technology vendors incorrectly view messaging as a feature. They are content with building integrations to a messaging endpoint and offering messaging as just another product in their suite. LivePerson holds the perspective that messaging and AI are the foundation for transforming conversational experiences, disrupting how agents operate and how brands engage with consumers. Brands must adapt their contact centers to an asynchronous messaging environment and leverage a combination of human agents, bots and AI to achieve scale and efficiencies. When done correctly, the entire consumer lifecycle with a brand will be maintained within the Conversational Space, and traffic will steadily shift away from lower returning voice calls, websites, emails and apps to higher returning messaging endpoints.
We believe that LivePerson is uniquely positioned to deliver this transformation due to our technology and expertise:
The Conversational Cloud, LivePerson's enterprise-class, automation-first, cloud-based platform, was designed for AI-assisted and human-powered messaging in mobile and online channels. The platform offers best-in-class security and scalability, offers the broadest ecosystem of messaging endpoints, is designed for ease of use, and features an AI engine custom built for the Conversational Space, intent recognition, robust real-time reporting, role-based real-time analytics, predictive intelligence, and innovations in customer satisfaction and connection measurement. Additionally, the Conversational Cloud is an open platform with pre-built, enterprise-grade integrations into back-end systems as well as the ability to work across NLU providers.
The Company has a data moat built on hundreds of millions of conversations across industries, geographies and use cases that is feeding the machine learning engines that power intent understanding.
The platform has expanded to power conversations across a broad spectrum of channels and use cases, from traditional sales and customer service, to marketing, social, email, advertising, and brick and mortar.
LivePerson has deep domain expertise across verticals and messaging endpoints, a global footprint, referenceable enterprise brands and a team of technical, solutions and consulting professionals to assist customers along their transformational journeys. We are positioned as an authority in the Conversational Space. We have developed a Transformation Model that is introduced to existing and prospective customers to help guide them on their journeys from legacy and often times inefficient legacy voice, email and chat solutions to modern conversational ones powered by messaging and AI.

We believe that LivePerson’s differentiated approach to the Conversational Space, combined with our unique technology and expertise has established us as a market leader, with an ability to deliver superior returns on investment. LivePerson customers manage as many as 40 messaging conversations at a time, as compared to one at a time for a voice agent and two to four at a time for a good chat agent. Adding AI and bots provides even greater scale to the number of conversations managed.
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    Strengthen our position in both existing and new industries. We plan to continue to develop our market position by increasing our customer base, and expanding within our installed base. We will continue to focus primarily on key target markets: consumer/retail, telecommunications, financial services, travel/hospitality, technology and automotive within both our enterprise and mid-market sectors, as well as the small business (SMB) sector. In 2019, we made strong inroads into new verticals with key wins in the airline, food service and healthcare industries. In 2020, we strengthened our presence in key markets including travel/hospitality and retail, and opened new verticals like healthcare and government. We are experimenting with new conversational businesses, including some that are in regulated industries, like online banking. We are increasingly structuring our field organization to emphasize our domain expertise and strengthen customer relationships across target industries.
Continue to build our international presence. We are focused on building our international presence and expanding our international revenue contribution, which accounted for 38% and 41% of total revenue in 2020 and 2019, respectively. We are generating positive results from our recent investments in the Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America regions.
     Leverage our open architecture to support partners and developers. In addition to developing our own applications, we continue to cultivate a partner eco-system capable of offering additional applications and services to our customers. We integrate into third-party messaging endpoints including SMS, Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messenger, Line, WhatsApp, Alexa, Google Home, WeChat, Google Ad Lingo, Google Search, Google Maps, Instagram and Twitter, multiple IVR vendors and dozens of branded apps. The Conversational Cloud integrates our proprietary messaging and Conversational AI with third-party bot offerings, empowering our customers to manage a mix of different bots, human agents and technologies from one control panel, thereby optimizing contact center efficiency. LivePerson’s proprietary and third-party AI/bots enable brands to partially or fully automate communications with their customers.
In addition, we have opened up access to our platform and our products with more than 40 APIs and software development kits that allow customers and third parties to develop on top of our platform. Customers and partners can utilize these APIs to build our capabilities into their own applications and to enhance our applications with their services. In 2019, we launched LivePerson Functions, a serverless Function as a Service (FaaS) integration which enables brands to develop custom behaviors within LivePerson's conversational platform to easily and rapidly tailor conversation flows to their specific needs.
Expand sales partnerships to broaden our presence and accelerate sales cycles. We are focused on broadening our market reach and accelerating sales cycles by partnering with systems integrators, technology providers, business process outsourcers, value added resellers and other sales partners. We formalized a relationship with IBM Global Business Services in 2017 and Accenture in 2018. In 2019, we announced strategic partnerships with TTEC, a leading BPO focused on customer experience, and DMI, a digital transformation company, to redefine the customer experience with digital engagement, messaging, and AI-driven automation. In 2020, Infosys joined LivePerson's network with a first-of-its-kind 360 degree partnership focusing not only on capturing the global rising demand for conversational commerce and building a personalized experience for customers, but also driving the transformation for internal corporate messaging and the employee experience through Conversational AI. LivePerson increased the number of partners focused on SMBs to more than 300 at year-end 2020 and 2019, from over 150 at year-end 2018, and approximately 40 at the end of 2017. Approximately one quarter of all opportunities were influenced by partners in 2020 and we are focused on driving that contribution toward 50% longer term.
Maintain market leadership in technology and security expertise. As described above, we are devoting significant resources to creating new products and enabling technologies designed to accelerate innovation. We evaluate emerging technologies and industry standards and continually update our technology in order to retain our leadership position in each market we serve. We monitor legal and technological developments in the area of information security and confidentiality to ensure our policies and procedures meet or exceed the demands of the world’s largest and most demanding corporations. We believe that these efforts will allow us to effectively anticipate changing customer and consumer requirements in our rapidly evolving industry.
Evaluate strategic alliances and acquisitions when appropriate. We have successfully integrated several acquisitions over the past decade. While we have in the past, and may from time to time in the future, engage in discussions regarding acquisitions or strategic transactions or to acquire other companies that can accelerate our growth or broaden our product offerings, we currently have no binding commitments with respect to any future acquisitions or strategic transactions.
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Products and Services
Business solutions offerings
LivePerson’s hosted platforms harness human, AI and bot-powered messaging on mobile apps, mobile and desktop web browsers, SMS, social media and third-party consumer messaging platforms. Our business-to-business services are all managed from a single user interface. By supplying a complete, unified consumer view, our solutions enable businesses to deliver a relevant, timely, personalized, and seamless consumer experience for heads of digital and customer care, as well as e-commerce, marketing, and contact center executives. In addition to product offerings, LivePerson provides professional services and value-added business consulting to support complete deployment and optimization of our enterprise solutions. Revenue attributable to our monthly hosted Business services accounted for 79% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2020, 77% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2019 and 79% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018. Our strategy is to increase the percentage of our total revenue attributable to Business services by leveraging the partner network for a portion of professional services work and the adoption of our self-service tools.
The Conversational Cloud. The Conversational Cloud, LivePerson’s enterprise-class, cloud-based platform, enables businesses and consumers to connect through conversational interfaces, such as in-app and mobile messaging, while leveraging bots and AI to increase efficiency. The platform, which is targeted at heads of digital and customer care, as well as e-commerce, marketing, and contact center executives, combines sophisticated mobile and online engagement technology with robust business intelligence and big data to produce compelling, measurable results by intelligently engaging consumers based on a real-time understanding of consumer needs. Rich, contextually aware targeting, actionable insights and personalized experiences, empower businesses to get the most out of their existing online, mobile and social platforms. Potential benefits of the Conversational Cloud include increased agent efficiency, decreased customer care costs, improved customer experiences, higher conversion rates and increased customer lifetime value.
    The Conversational Cloud was designed for conversational experiences, enabling businesses to securely deploy messaging, coupled with bots and AI, at scale for brands with tens of millions of customers and many thousands of customer care agents. The platform powers conversations across each of a brand’s primary digital channels, including mobile apps, mobile and desktop web browsers, SMS, social media and third-party consumer messaging platforms. Brands can also use the Conversational Cloud to message consumers when they dial a 1-800 number instead of forcing them to navigate interactive voice response systems (IVRs) and wait on hold. Similarly, the Conversational Cloud can ingest traditional emails and convert them into messaging conversations, or embed messaging conversations directly into web advertisements, rather than redirect consumers to static website landing pages. The platform seamlessly integrates LivePerson’s Conversational AI engine as well as third-party bots, enabling brands to manage both AI-based agents and human agents from a single console.
Our robust, cloud-based suite of rich messaging, real-time chat, AI and automation offerings features consumer and agent facing bots, intelligent routing and capacity mapping, real-time intent detection and analysis, queue prioritization, customer sentiment, analytics and reporting, content delivery, Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, cobrowsing and a sophisticated proactive targeting engine. With the Conversational Cloud, agents can manage all conversations with consumers through a single console interface, regardless of which disparate messaging endpoints the consumers originate from; i.e., WhatsApp, Line, Apple Business Chat, IVR, social, email, Amazon Alexa, or WeChat. An extensible application programming interface (API) stack facilitates a lower cost of ownership by facilitating robust integration into back-end systems, as well as enabling developers to build their own programs and services on top of the platform. More than 40 APIs and software development kits are available on the Conversational Cloud.
The Conversational Cloud enables the combination of real time on-site data and off-site behavioral data, with a broad set of historical and operational data. Proprietary analytics utilize this data to target end users with compelling engagement options at any step in the conversion funnel and throughout the customer lifecycle. The platform enables customers to maximize online revenue opportunities, improve conversion rates and reduce shopping cart abandonment by proactively engaging the right visitor, using the right channel, at the right time. Our solution identifies segments of website visitors who demonstrate the highest propensity to convert, and engages them in real-time with relevant content and offers, helping to generate incremental sales. The platform also reduces costs in the contact center relative to voice, by identifying consumers who may be struggling with their self-serve experience, and proactively connecting them to a live consumer care specialist via messaging, who can manage several conversations at once. This comprehensive solution blends a proven value-based methodology with an active rules-based engagement engine and deep domain expertise to increase first contact resolution, improve consumer satisfaction, and reduce attrition rates.
    LivePerson’s Conversational AI. LivePerson’s Conversational AI, announced in December 2018, operates as the brains behind new LivePerson AI-based products, and was developed using our conversational data set of millions of brand-to-consumer interactions. LivePerson’s Conversational AI was custom designed for the Conversational Space, putting the power of bot development, training and management into the hands of the contact center and its agents, the teams most familiar with how to structure sales and service conversations to drive successful outcomes. The platform enables what we call “the tango” of
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humans, AI and bots, whereby human agents act as bot managers, overseeing AI-powered conversations and seamlessly stepping into the flow when a personal touch is needed. Through the Conversational Cloud, agents become ultra-efficient, leveraging the AI engine to serve up relevant content, define next-best actions and take over repetitive transactional work, so that the agent can focus on relationship building. By seamlessly integrating the Conversational Cloud with our proprietary AI, as well as third-party bots, the platform provides businesses with a comprehensive view of all AI-based and human-based conversations from a single console. Some of the first products developed on LivePerson’s Conversational AI engine include:
Conversation Builder, which non-technical staff such as contact center agents use to design high-quality automated conversations. The conversations are not built from scratch. Conversation Builder creates the initial versions by mining a brand's existing conversation transcripts. Prebuilt industry templates are also available, providing the dialogue and integrations necessary for common use cases such as billing.
Conversation Manager, a console that suggests automated responses and next best actions to contact center agents, who edit and select from them. Edits and selections dynamically improve the responses and next best actions. When the content reaches a brand-set accuracy threshold, it can be offered to consumers without human intervention. Conversation Manager also includes sentiment monitoring to alert contact center agents to conversations that require their attention. Designed for use in large contact centers, Conversation Manager sends these requests to agents who have the capacity and appropriate skills to respond. A major retail brand that adopted this approach in its sales operation increased agent productivity up to 220% within 12 weeks of launch.
Conversation Analytics, dashboards and reporting which take the true voice of the customer - their direct discussions with a brand, spoken in their natural language - and turn it into actionable sales and service intelligence. A major wireless provider using early versions of Conversation Analytics reported the product identifies the root cause of service issues faster than monitoring software, enabling the provider to accelerate the fix and reduce inbound customer inquiries. A leading hospitality firm used Conversation Analytics to identify and add new, top-selling items to its menu selection.
Intent Manager, a real-time intent recognition and classification engine that analyzes consumer intentions at every turn of the conversation. Intent Manager is powered by LivePerson’s proprietary natural language understanding capabilities and machine learning algorithms, which are grounded in 20+ years of conversational data and more than one billion messaging transcripts across a variety of industries. Intent Manager is currently being used by top brands to gain real-time insights and take action to improve customer service, marketing, and sales automation
Performance Optimizer, a measurement tool to help brands to measure and manage the health of their conversational operations in a single self-service dashboard. Performance Optimizer measures critical metrics for conversational experiences and uses AI to automatically assess performance, provide actionable insights, and deliver executive reporting.

Professional Services

The mission of our Professional Services team is to help customers optimize the performance of our products in order to drive incremental value through their mobile and online sales and/or service channel(s). This talented group utilizes their deep domain expertise and years of hands-on experience to provide customers with detailed analyses and measurements of their LivePerson deployment that drive strategies and decisions on how to optimize mobile and online messaging, real-time chat, and bot and AI integration. Deliverables of the team include scorecards that measure and chart performance trends, analyses and recommendations for conversational design, web design and process improvement, transcript reviews to discover both voice of the consumer insight and agent improvement opportunities, custom training of call center agents and management, and ongoing management of messaging programs to ensure alignment with current business practices and objectives. The team’s value-added methodology and approach to guiding customers towards messaging channels and human/bot agent optimization is an important component of the LivePerson offering, and gives our customers a competitive advantage in the digital world. Revenue attributable to professional services accounted for 13%, 14% and 13% of total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Consumer offering
Our consumer services offering is an online marketplace that connects independent service providers (Experts) who provide information and knowledge for a fee via mobile and online messaging with individual consumers (Users). Users seek assistance and advice in various categories including personal counseling and coaching, computers and programming, education and tutoring, spirituality and religion, and other topics. Revenue from our Consumer segment accounted for approximately 8% of total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
 

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Customers
More than 18,000 customers have deployed our business solutions, including Fortune 500 companies, dedicated Internet businesses, a broad range of online merchants, as well as numerous SMBs, automotive dealers, universities, libraries, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. Our solutions benefit organizations of all sizes conducting business or communicating with consumers through mobile and online messaging and chat. We plan to continue to focus on key target markets: consumer/retail, telecommunications, financial services, travel/hospitality, technology, healthcare and automotive, within the United States and Canada, Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
    No single customer accounted for or exceeded 10% of our total revenue in 2020, 2019 or 2018.

 Sales and Marketing
 Sales. We sell our business products and services by leveraging a common methodology through both direct and indirect sales channels.
Our sales process focuses on the perspective that the Conversational Space requires an operational transformation that changes how brands engage with consumers across service, sales, marketing, social and brick and mortar. Brands must adapt their contact centers to an asynchronous messaging environment and leverage a combination of human agents, bots and AI to achieve scale and efficiencies. When done right, the entire consumer lifecycle with a brand will be maintained within the Conversational Space, and traffic will steadily shift away from lower returning voice calls, websites, emails and apps to higher returning messaging endpoints.
Our mobile and online messaging solutions are targeted at business executives whose primary responsibility is optimization of customer care, sales and marketing, or optimizing a consumer’s journey across the brand’s digital properties. Our solutions enable organizations to provide effective customer service, sales and marketing by deflecting costly phone calls and emails to the more cost efficient mobile and online messaging channel. We focus on the value that our solutions deliver in the form of increased agent efficiency, reduced contact center costs, increased customer satisfaction, improved customer lifetime value, maximized digital consumer acquisition, and optimized website and mobile business outcomes. LivePerson supports any organization with a company-wide strategic initiative to improve the overall mobile and online consumer experience.

    Within the business solutions segment we have aligned our field organization to address the different sales strategies of our target markets:

    Enterprise and large mid-market. We target large mid-market and enterprise businesses with a combination of direct sales and customer success teams, and partners. Across the globe, we are targeting a select group of brands, many of them already customers, that hold the power to transform customer care. These enterprises have thousands of agents in their contact centers and collectively connect with billions of consumers each year. We leverage thought leadership and related events to showcase our strength in messaging and AI, and highlight existing reference customers who share their successes on our platform and how they achieved positive ROIs. Increasingly, we are working with large third-party system integrators, technology providers and business process outsourcers to supplement our direct sales effort.
For our large and more complex customers, our sales methodology often begins with research and discovery meetings that enable us to develop a deep understanding of the value drivers and key performance metrics of a prospective customer. We then present an analytical review detailing how our solutions and industry expertise can affect these value drivers and metrics. Once we validate solution capabilities and prove financial return on investment, we transition to a program management model wherein we work hand-in-hand with the customer, providing detailed analysis, measurements and recommendations that help optimize their performance and ensure ongoing program success.

In 2018, we introduced a pilot accelerator program, where we offer customers the option to test our entire platform, across all messaging endpoints and customer use cases, at an entry level price point for a period of three to nine months. This pilot program is intended to accelerate sales cycles and enable customers to rapidly assess the potential ROI and differentiation of our solutions before committing to a more substantial and extended deployment.
Small business and small mid-market. We target small business and small mid-market customers with a mix of direct, online self-service and third-party partner channels. Our customer acquisition strategy centers on leveraging customer word-of-mouth, our leading brand name, online marketing and partnerships. We also leverage marketing programs and partner resources to promote increased usage and product adoption within these customers.
Indirect Sales. Resources within our organization are focused on developing partnerships to generate revenues via referral partnerships and indirect sales through channel partners. By maximizing market coverage via partners who provide lead
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referrals and complementary products and services, we believe this channel supports revenue opportunities without incurring the costs associated with traditional direct sales.
     Customer Support. Our Professional Services group provides deployment support and ongoing business consulting to enterprise and mid-market customers and maintains involvement throughout the engagement lifecycle. All LivePerson customers have access to 24/7 help desk services through messaging, chat, and technical support ticketing.
 Marketing. Our marketing efforts in support of our business operations are organized around the needs, trends and characteristics of our existing and prospective customer base. Our deep relationship with existing customers fosters continuous feedback and critical data analysis, thereby allowing us to develop and refine marketing programs that drive adoption across multiple customer segments. We have a global team, spread across key geographies that is focused on marketing our brand, products and services to executives responsible for the digital channel, the consumer experience, marketing, sales, IT, and consumer service operations of their organization.
Our main focus is on the consumer/retail, telecommunications, financial services, travel/hospitality, technology, healthcare and automotive industries. Our integrated marketing strategy is focused on driving demand, building customer and consumer advocacy, driving adoption of our platform, and supporting key areas of business, especially large enterprise, but also including mid-sized and small business, partners and international entities. We aim to achieve this by delivering high-touch, small group events for senior executives, to educate them on messaging and the transformational ways that digital communication can help their business. We also market our software via high-level thought leadership campaigns, industry event participation, personalized lead generation campaigns to reach potential and existing customers using mediums such as paid and organic search, direct email and mail, industry- and category-specific trade shows and events, and telemarketing.
Our marketing strategy also encompasses a strategic communications approach that integrates public relations, social media, and analyst/influencer relations. We are focused on using those channels to communicate our brand value, to those key stakeholders, to increase overall brand and technology awareness. Communications seek to highlight key customer success stories, and promote executive thought leadership via contributed content, speaking opportunities and press interviews, to raise LivePerson’s profile and reinforce our position as an industry leader.
Competition    
The markets for mobile and online business messaging, and digital engagement technology are intensely competitive, rapidly changing and characterized by aggressive marketing, pricing pressure, evolving industry standards, rapid technology developments and frequent new product introductions. We believe that competition will continue to increase as our current competitors increase the sophistication of their offerings and as new participants enter the market, which may cause additional pricing pressure. If we are unable to accurately anticipate technology developments and continue to innovate in the markets in which we compete, or our competitors are more successful than us at developing compelling new products and services or at attracting and retaining customers, we may lose revenue and market share and our operating results could be adversely affected.
We believe that most contact center technology vendors incorrectly view messaging as a feature. They are content with building integrations to a messaging endpoint and offering messaging as just another product in their suite. LivePerson holds the perspective that messaging and AI are the foundation for conversational experiences, which transform how agents operate and how brands engage with consumers across service, sales, marketing, and brick and mortar. Brands must adapt their contact centers to an asynchronous messaging environment and leverage a combination of human agents, bots and AI to achieve scale and efficiencies. When done correctly, the entire consumer lifecycle with a brand will be maintained within the Conversational Space, and traffic will steadily shift away from lower returning voice calls, websites, email and apps to higher returning messaging endpoints.
We believe that our differentiated approach to the Conversational Space, combined with our unique technology and expertise, has established the Company as a market leader, with an ability to deliver superior returns on investment:
The Conversational Cloud, LivePerson's enterprise-class, automation-first, cloud-based platform, was designed for AI-assisted and human-powered messaging in mobile and online channels. The platform offers best-in-class security and scalability, offers the broadest ecosystem of messaging endpoints, is designed for ease of use, and features an AI engine custom built for the Conversational Space, intent recognition, robust real-time reporting, role-based real-time analytics, predictive intelligence, and innovations in customer satisfaction and connection measurement. Additionally, the Conversational Cloud is an open platform with pre-built, enterprise-grade integrations into back-end systems as well as the ability to work across NLU providers.
The platform has expanded to power conversations across a broad spectrum of channels and use cases, from traditional sales and customer service, to marketing, social, email, advertising and brick and mortar.
The Company has a data moat built on hundreds of millions of conversations across industries, geographies and use cases that is feeding the machine learning engines that power intent understanding.
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LivePerson has deep domain expertise across verticals and messaging endpoints, a global footprint, referenceable enterprise brands and a team of technical, solutions and consulting professionals to assist customers along their transformational journeys. We are positioned as an authority in the Conversational Space,. We have developed a Transformation Model that is introduced to existing and prospective customers to help guide them on their journeys from legacy and often times inefficient legacy voice, email and chat solutions to modern conversational ones powered by messaging and AI.

    We believe this focus on technological innovation, expertise and enterprise-class capabilities is positioning LivePerson as a leader in the Conversational Space. For example, we estimate that LivePerson held an approximate 33% share of Apple Business Chat deployments in 2018, and that the Company at least maintained that position in 2019 and 2020.
We have current and potential competition from providers of messaging and digital engagement solutions that enable companies to engage and connect with their consumer customers, as well as technology providers that offer customer relationship management and contact center solutions. We have current and potential competitors in many different industries, including:
technology or service providers offering or powering competing digital engagement, contact center, communications or customer relationship management solutions such as, eGain, Genesys, Nuance, Oracle, Salesforce.com and Twilio;
service providers that offer basic messaging products or services with limited functionality free of charge or at significantly reduced entry level prices;
social media, social listening, messaging, artificial intelligence, bots, e-commerce, and/or data and data analytics companies, such as Facebook, Google, and WeChat, which may leverage their existing or future capabilities and consumer relationships to offer competing business-to-business solutions; and
customers that develop and manage their messaging solutions in-house.
    
    In addition, many of our current and potential competitors have substantial competitive advantages, such as greater brand recognition, significantly larger financial, marketing, and resource and development budgets, access to larger customer and/or consumer bases, larger and more established marketing and distribution relationships, and/or more diverse product and service offerings. As a result, these competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to any change in the general market acceptance of messaging services or any new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards, pricing strategies or customer requirements. Also, because of these advantages, potential customers may select a competitor’s products and services, even if our services are more effective. For all of these reasons, we may not be able to compete successfully against our current and future competitors.
Technology
Four key technological features distinguish the LivePerson services:
We support our customers through a secure, scalable server infrastructure. In North America, our primary servers are hosted in a fully-secured, top-tier, third-party server center located in the Mid-Atlantic United States, and are supported by a top-tier backup server facility located in the Western United States. In Europe, our primary servers are hosted in a fully-secured, top-tier, third-party server center located in the United Kingdom and are supported by a top-tier backup server facility located in The Netherlands. In the Asia Pacific region, our primary and backup servers are hosted in fully-secured, top-tier, third-party server centers located in Australia. Nearly all of our larger customers outside of the United States are hosted within our UK- and Australia-based facilities. By managing our servers directly, we maintain greater flexibility and control over the production environment allowing us to be responsive to customer needs and to continue to provide a superior level of service. Utilizing advanced network infrastructure and protocols, our network, hardware and software are designed to accommodate our customers’ demand for secure, high-quality 24/7 service, including during peak times such as the holiday shopping season.
As a hosted service, we are able to add additional capacity and new features quickly and efficiently. This has enabled us to provide these benefits simultaneously to our entire customer base. In addition, it allows us to maintain a relatively short development and implementation cycle.
 As a SaaS provider, we focus on the development of tightly integrated software design and network architecture. We dedicate significant resources to designing our software and network architecture based on the fundamental principles of security, reliability and scalability.
LivePerson’s powerful Conversational AI is powered by over 20 years of proprietary, verbatim conversation data that the company has accumulated helping thousands of clients, including the world’s largest brands, message with consumers at scale. The strength of the company’s Conversational AI can also be attributed to the company’s laser focus on brand-consumer conversations. Unlike other AIs, which are applied to wide-
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ranging and unrelated use cases, LivePerson’s AI has been built specifically to power conversations between brands and consumers, giving it the edge in understanding consumer intents and the resolutions that best satisfy them.
    
    Software Design. Our software design is based on client-server architecture. Since we are a SaaS provider, Conversational Cloud customers and visitors to our customers’ websites require only a standard Web browser and do not need to download software from LivePerson in order to interact with our customers’ operators or to use the LivePerson services. We also provide APIs that enable our customers and third-parties to integrate the Conversational Cloud with custom designed applications.
     Network Architecture. The software underlying our services is integrated with scalable and reliable network architecture. Our network is scalable; we do not need to add new hardware or network capacity for each new LivePerson customer. This network architecture is hosted in co-location facilities with redundant network connections, servers and other infrastructure, enabling superior availability. Our backup server infrastructure housed at separate locations provides our primary hosting facilities with effective disaster recovery capability. We comply with security standards such as SOC2 and PCI. For increased security, through a multi-layered approach, we use advanced firewall architecture and industry-leading encryption standards and employ third-party experts to further validate our systems’ security. We also enable our customers to further encrypt their sensitive data using more advanced encryption algorithms.
Government Regulation
We and our customers are subject to a number of laws and regulations in the United States and abroad, including laws related to conducting business on the Internet and on mobile devices, such as laws regarding data privacy, data protection, information security, cybersecurity, restrictions or technological requirements regarding the collection, use, storage, protection, disposal transfer or other processing of consumer data, content, consumer protection, internet (or net) neutrality, advertising, electronic contracts, taxation, provision of online payment services (including credit card processing), and intellectual property rights, which are continuously evolving and developing.
U.S. and international privacy laws and regulations are evolving and changing, are subject to differing interpretations, may be costly to comply with, and may be inconsistent among countries and jurisdictions or conflict with other rules. As we expand our operations in these countries, our liability exposure and the complexity and cost of compliance with data and privacy requirements will likely increase. Any failure by us to comply with our posted privacy policies, applicable federal, state or international laws and regulations relating to data privacy and data protection, or the privacy commitments contained in our contracts, could result in proceedings against us by governmental entities, customers, consumers, watchdog groups or others, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the increased attention focused upon liability as a result of lawsuits, investigations, and legislative proposals and enactments could harm our reputation or otherwise impact the growth of our business.
Intellectual Property and Proprietary Rights
We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trade secret, trademark and other common law protections in the United States and other jurisdictions, as well as confidentiality requirements and contractual provisions, to protect our proprietary technology, processes and other intellectual property. We own a portfolio of patents and patent applications in the United States and internationally and regularly file patent applications to protect intellectual property that we believe is important to our business, including intellectual property related to digital engagement technology and web and mobile based consumer-facing services. We believe the duration of our patents is adequate relative to the expected lives of our products and services. We pursue the registration of our domain names, trademarks and trade names in the United States and in certain locations outside the United States. We also own copyrights, including in our software, publications and other documents authored by us. These intellectual property rights are important to our business and marketing efforts. We seek to protect our intellectual property rights by relying on federal, state, and common law rights, including registration, or otherwise in the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions, as well as contractual restrictions. However, we believe that factors such as the technological and creative skills of our personnel, new service developments, frequent enhancements and reliable maintenance are more essential to establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage. Others may develop technologies that are similar or superior to our technology. We enter into confidentiality and other written agreements (including invention assignment agreements) with our employees, consultants, customers, potential customers, strategic partners, and other third parties, and through these and other written agreements, we attempt to control access to and distribution of our software, documentation and other proprietary information. Despite our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, third parties may, in an unauthorized manner, attempt to use, copy or otherwise obtain and market or distribute our intellectual property rights or technology or otherwise develop a service with the same functionality as our services. Policing unauthorized use of our services and intellectual property rights is difficult, and we cannot be certain that the steps we have taken will prevent misappropriation of our technology or intellectual property rights, particularly in foreign countries where we do business, where our services are sold or used, where the laws may not
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protect proprietary rights as fully as do the laws of the United States or where enforcement of laws protecting proprietary rights is not common or effective.
Substantial litigation regarding intellectual property rights exists in the software industry. In the ordinary course of our business, our services and/or our customers' use of our services have been and may be increasingly subject to third-party infringement claims as claims by non-practicing entities become more prevalent and as the number of competitors in our industry segment grows and the functionality of services in different industry segments overlaps. Some of our competitors in the market for digital engagement technology and/or web and mobile based consumer-facing services or other third parties may have filed or may intend to file patent applications covering aspects of their technology and have asserted or may assert claims against us. Any claims alleging infringement of third-party intellectual property rights could require us to spend significant amounts in litigation (even if the claim is invalid), distract management from other tasks of operating our business, pay substantial damage awards, prevent us from selling our products, delay delivery of our services, develop non-infringing software, technology, business processes, systems or other intellectual property (none of which might be successful), or limit our ability to use the intellectual property that is the subject of any of these claims, unless we enter into license agreements with the third parties (which may be costly, unavailable on commercially reasonable terms, or not available at all). Therefore, any such claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
The duration of the protection afforded to our intellectual property depends on the type of property in question, the laws and regulations of the relevant jurisdiction and the terms of its license agreements with others. With respect to our trademarks and trade names, trademark laws and rights are generally territorial in scope and limited to those countries where a mark has been registered or protected. While trademark registrations may generally be maintained in effect for as long as the mark is in use in the respective jurisdictions, there may be occasions where a mark or title is not registrable or protectable or cannot be used in a particular country. In addition, a trademark registration may be cancelled or invalidated if challenged by others based on certain use requirements or other limited grounds. The duration of property rights in trademarks, service marks and tradenames in the United States, whether registered or not, is predicated on our continued use.

Human Capital Management
As a leading provider of conversational solutions, we are at the forefront of a consumer-led shift to Conversational AI, and our Conversational Cloud is setting the industry standard for this future. As a result of these efforts, LivePerson was named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Ten Most Innovative Artificial Intelligence Companies of 2020. Our employees understand that they are critical to our mission of making life easier for people and brands everywhere through trusted Conversational AI. We will continue to invest in the diversity, inclusiveness, health and happiness of our employees in order to foster creativity, productivity and growth.

As of December 31, 2020, we had 1,201 full-time employees worldwide, located in more than 12 countries. Of these, 603 were located in the Americas, 502 in Europe, Middle East and Africa and 96 in Asia-Pacific. Although we have statutory employee representation obligations in certain countries, our U.S. employees are not covered by collective bargaining arrangements. We believe we have good relations with our employees. For 2020, our key human capital management efforts focused on the following:

Talent Acquisition and Development

We place a high priority on attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining diverse global talent. As a company, we are focused on benefits and programs that support our employees across the entire employee lifecycle, from recruitment and onboarding, to well-being, learning and development. Our recruiting processes are designed to ensure that we bring on employees who are aligned to our values and culture, and we follow a comprehensive process in order to solicit multiple perspectives and eliminate bias. In 2020, we scaled and expanded an internal program to train employees to become objective “hiring experts” and to reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process. We also launched a new virtual onboarding and orientation program for new hires globally, which includes a multi-day immersion into our principles and team building exercises.

In 2020, we also launched a “LivePerson AI Native” program, a four week seminar style cohort program to ensure LivePerson employees understand the foundation of AI and how AI is transforming industries and society. The program also features monthly external AI speakers and a monthly podcast series showcasing internal product leaders and AI specialists. Approximately 25% of employees earned LivePerson AI Native certificates during 2020, and we plan to expand the program during 2021 due to continuing employee demand.



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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”) is core to our global strategy. We believe that diverse and inclusive teams foster innovation, creativity and productivity. We have invested resources in this area for some time, and will continue to enhance and improve our efforts. For example, we required all employees hired for recruiting roles in 2020 to have demonstrated previous DEI recruiting experience. We also began working with two diversity recruiting platforms, intentionally diversified our interview panels, and recalibrated our job description templates to focus more heavily on inclusivity.

We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace that celebrates different perspectives, cultures and experiences. We regularly measure the representation of women and minority groups in the company, including in leadership and technical positions, and will continue our ongoing efforts to increase hiring of employees from these groups. We are committed to equal pay for equal work. As part of that commitment, we run a pay equity analysis when we conduct our annual compensation assessments and when we grant equity.

During 2020, we launched an employee-led diversity council empowered to drive global programs focused on DEI as well as to support independent employee resource groups and help ensure the diversity of teams and projects within our company. We have launched several employee-led DEI programs under this umbrella in 2020, including a Women in Technology (WiT) program, a peer mentoring program that we plan to scale in 2021, and multiple thought leadership programs and seminars devoted to DEI topics.

Employee Wellness and COVID-19 Response

We remain focused on programs that promote the total wellness of our employees, including resources and services to support physical, mental and financial wellness. We offer industry-leading benefits packages based on the diverse needs of our employees and their families, including comprehensive healthcare, accident insurance, a 401(k) plan, an employee stock purchase program, and time off programs. We work hard to ensure that our employees are aware of and take advantage of these opportunities, and we review our programs annually to ensure they remain competitive.

This was particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, where we proactively prioritized the safety and health of our employees. Before local health experts suggested shelter in place initiatives, we began to limit business travel and encourage all employees to work remotely. We went on to adopt a company policy for all employees to work from home and closed virtually all of our offices (including our corporate headquarters). Since transitioning to a remote work environment, we established multiple employee-led committees to design future of work programs and launched two surveys to gather employee feedback. Based on survey results from over 75% of our global workforce, we identified key themes and opportunities for enhancement, and we have already implemented several employee recommendations.

We also provided opportunities for virtual peer connection, virtual learning, and enhanced emotional well being benefits and programs, along with flexible work arrangements to ensure our employees have the resources they need to care for themselves and their families. We will continue to offer time away, wellness and caregiving leave and financial support and reimbursement for work from home equipment to foster a healthy and happy workforce and community with support for productive remote workspaces.


Website Access to Reports
We make available, free of charge, on our website ( www.liveperson.com ), our annual reports on Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and our current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as soon as reasonably practicable after we have electronically filed such material with, or furnished it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company’s web site address provided above is not intended to function as a hyperlink, and the information on the Company’s web site is not and should not be considered part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and is not incorporated by reference herein. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.

 
Item 1A. Risk Factors
The following are certain of the important risk factors that could cause, or contribute to causing, our actual operating results to differ materially from those indicated, expected or suggested by forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or presented elsewhere by management from time to time. The risks described below are not the only
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ones we face. Additional risks not presently known to us, or that we currently deem to be immaterial, could also materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition, cash flows, prospects and/or the price of our outstanding securities.

Summary of Risk Factors

The following is a summary of the principal risks and uncertainties that could materially adversely affect our business, results
of operations, financial condition, cash flows, prospects and/or the price of our outstanding securities, and make an investment
in our securities speculative or risky. You should read this summary together with the more detailed description of each risk
factor contained below.

Risks Related to Operating our Business
Our business depends significantly on our ability to retain our key personnel, attract new personnel, and manage attrition.
Supporting our existing and growing customer base could strain our personnel resources and infrastructure, and if we are unable to scale our operations and increase productivity, we may not be able to successfully implement our business plan.
The success of our business depends on retention of existing customers and their purchase of additional services, and attracting new customers and new consumer users of our consumer services.
Our expansion into new products, services and technologies could subject us to additional risks.
Major public health issues, and specifically the pandemic caused by the spread of COVID-19, could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial condition, cash flows, prospects and/or the price of our outstanding securities.
If we do not successfully integrate past or potential future acquisitions, we may not realize the expected business or financial benefits and our business could be adversely impacted.
Capital needs necessary to execute our business strategy could increase substantially and we may not be able to secure additional financing to execute this strategy.
Our sales cycles can be lengthy, and the timing of sales can be difficult to predict, which may cause our operating results to vary significantly.
Delays in our implementation cycles could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

Risks Related to our Financial Condition and Operating Results
Our quarterly revenue and operating results may fluctuate significantly, which may cause a substantial decline in the trading price of our securities.
In the past we have experienced losses, we had an accumulated deficit of $391.9 million as of December 31, 2020 and we may incur losses in the future.
The non-payment or late payment of amounts due to us from a significant number of customers may negatively impact our financial condition or make it difficult to forecast our revenues accurately.
Because we recognize revenue from subscriptions for our service over the term of the subscription, declines in business may not be immediately reflected in our operating results.

Risks Related to Industry Dynamics and Competition
If we are unable to develop and maintain successful relationships with social media and other third-party consumer messaging platforms and endpoints, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
If we are unable to effectively operate on mobile devices, our business could be adversely affected.
The markets in which we participate are highly competitive, and we may lose customers and revenue if we are not able to innovate or effectively compete.
Downturns in the global economic environment or in particular industries in which our sales are concentrated may adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Risks Related to Security Vulnerabilities and Service Reliability
Failures or security breaches in our services or systems, those of our third party service providers, or in the websites of our customers, including those resulting from cyber-attacks, security vulnerabilities, defects or errors, could harm our business.
We may be liable if third parties access or misappropriate confidential or personal data from our systems or services.
We provide service level commitments to certain customers. If we do not meet these contractual commitments, we could be obligated to provide credits or refunds or face contract terminations, which could adversely affect our revenue and harm our reputation.
We are dependent on technology systems and third-party content that are beyond our control.
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Failure to license necessary third party software for use in our products and services, or failure to successfully integrate third party software, could cause delays or reductions in our sales, or errors or failures of our service.

Risks Related to Regulatory and Data Privacy Issues
Our business is subject to a variety of U.S. and international laws and regulations regarding privacy and data protection, and increased public scrutiny of privacy and security issues could result in increased government regulation, industry standards and other legal obligations that could adversely affect our business.
We may be subject to governmental export controls and economic sanctions regulations that could impair our ability to compete in international markets due to licensing requirements and could subject us to liability if we are not in compliance with applicable laws.
Industry-specific regulation is evolving and unfavorable industry-specific laws, regulations or interpretive positions could harm our business.
Future regulation of the Internet or mobile devices may slow our growth, resulting in decreased demand for our services and increased costs of doing business.

Risks Related to our Intellectual Property
Our products and services may infringe upon intellectual property rights of third parties and any infringement could require us to incur substantial costs and may distract our management.
Our business and prospects would suffer if we are unable to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights.
Issues in the use of AI in our product offerings may result in reputational harm or liability.

Risks Related to our International Operations and Tax Issues
Our results of operations may be adversely impacted due to our exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.
We may be unsuccessful in expanding our operations internationally and/or into direct-to-consumer services due to additional regulatory requirements, tax liabilities, currency exchange rate fluctuations and other risks, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
Our operations may expose us to greater than anticipated income, non-income and transactional tax liabilities, which could harm our financial condition and results of operations.
Our ability to use our net operating losses to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations.
Political, economic and military conditions in Israel could negatively impact our Israeli operations.

Risks Related to our Outstanding Convertible Notes
Servicing our debt may require a significant amount of cash, and we may not have sufficient cash flow from our business to pay our indebtedness.
We may not have the ability to raise the funds necessary to settle conversions of the Notes in cash or to repurchase the Notes upon a fundamental change, and any future debt may contain limitations on our ability to pay cash upon conversion or repurchase of the Notes.
Provisions in the indentures for the Notes may deter or prevent a business combination that may be favorable to you.
The conditional conversion feature of the Notes, if triggered, may adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.
The accounting method for convertible debt securities that may be settled in cash, such as the Notes, could have a material effect on our reported financial results.
The capped call transactions may affect the value of the Notes and our common stock.

Risks Related to our Common Stock
Our stock price has been, and may continue to be, highly volatile, which could reduce the value of your investment and subject us to litigation.
Our common stock is traded on more than one market and this may result in price variations.
If our officers, directors and largest stockholders choose to act together, they may be able to significantly influence our management and operations, acting in their own best interest and not necessarily those of our other stockholders.
Future sales of substantial amounts of our common stock may negatively affect our stock price.
Provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law could discourage, delay or prevent a takeover that stockholders may consider favorable.







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Risks Related to Operating our Business

Our business depends significantly on our ability to retain our key personnel, attract new personnel, and manage attrition.

Our success depends largely on the continued services of our senior management team. The loss of one or more members of senior management could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. We are also substantially dependent on the continued service of other key personnel, including key sales executives responsible for revenue generation and key development personnel accountable for product and service innovation and timely development and delivery of upgrades and enhancements to our existing products and services. Changes to senior management and key employees could also lead to additional unplanned losses of key employees. The loss of key employees could seriously harm our ability to release new products and services and upgrade existing products and services on a timely basis, and put us at a competitive disadvantage.

In the technology industry, there is substantial competition for key personnel, including skilled engineers, sales executives and operations personnel. We may not be able to successfully recruit, integrate and retain qualified personnel in the future, which could impact our ability to innovate and deliver new or updated products to our customers, which could harm our business. Among other things, our decision to close virtually all of our offices following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic may make it harder for us to recruit and retain our personnel. If our retention and recruitment efforts are ineffective, employee turnover could increase and our ability to provide services to our customers would be materially and adversely affected. Furthermore, the requirement to expense stock options may discourage us from granting the size or type of stock option awards that job candidates may require in order to join our company.

In addition, we may not be able to outsource certain functions. We expect to evaluate our needs and the performance of our staff on a periodic basis, and may choose to make adjustments in the future. If the size of our staff is significantly reduced, either by our choice or otherwise, it may become more difficult for us to manage existing, or establish new, relationships with customers and other counter-parties, or to expand and improve our service offerings. It may also become more difficult for us to implement changes to our business plan or to respond promptly to opportunities in the marketplace. Further, it may become more difficult for us to devote personnel resources necessary to maintain or improve existing systems, including our financial and managerial controls, billing systems, reporting systems and procedures. Thus, any significant amount of staff attrition could cause our business and financial results to suffer.

Supporting our existing and growing customer base could strain our personnel resources and infrastructure, and if we are unable to scale our operations and increase productivity, we may not be able to successfully implement our business plan.

We continue to experience significant growth in our customer base and personnel, which has placed a strain on our management, administrative, operational and financial infrastructure. We anticipate that additional investments in our internal infrastructure, data center capacity, research, customer support and development, and real estate spending will be required to scale our operations and increase productivity, to address the needs of our customers, to further develop and enhance our services, to expand into new geographic areas, and to scale with our overall growth. We may also need to make additional investments with third party outsourcing providers, such our announced plans to work with Infosys to move our technology infrastructure to the public cloud. The additional investments we are making will increase our cost base, which will make it more difficult for us to offset any future revenue shortfalls by reducing expenses in the short term, and there is no guarantee that they will be successful or meet our customers’ needs.

We regularly upgrade or replace our various software systems. If the implementations of these new applications are delayed, or if we encounter unforeseen problems with our new systems or in migrating away from our existing applications and systems, our operations and our ability to manage our business could be negatively impacted.

Our success will depend in part upon the ability of our senior management to manage our projected growth effectively. To do so, we must continue to increase the productivity of our existing employees and to hire, train and manage new employees as needed. To manage the expected domestic and international growth of our operations and personnel, we will need to continue to improve our operational, financial and management controls, our reporting systems and procedures, and our utilization of real estate. If we fail to successfully scale our operations and increase productivity, we may be unable to execute our business plan and the market price of our securities could decline.

The success of our business depends on retention of existing customers and their purchase of additional services, and attracting new customers and new consumer users of our consumer services.

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Our customers typically subscribe for our services for a twelve month term and may have no obligation to renew their subscription after expiration of the twelve month term. In some cases, our agreements are terminable or may terminate upon 30 to 90 days’ notice without penalty. If a significant number of our customers, or any one customer to whom we provide a significant amount of services, were to terminate services, reduce the amount of services purchased, or fail to purchase additional services, our results of operations may be negatively and materially affected. Dissatisfaction with the nature or quality of our services could also lead customers to terminate our service.

We depend on monthly fees and interaction-based fees from our services for substantially all of our revenue. As part of our strategy, we are increasingly offering customers subscriptions with interaction-based fees. While this interaction-based fee model has demonstrated success in our business to date, it could potentially produce greater variability in our revenue as revenue in this model is impacted by the number of interactions that our customers generate through use of our products. Because of the historically small amount of services sold in initial orders, we depend significantly on the growth of our customer base and sales to new customers and sales of additional services to our existing customers. The success of our consumer offerings similarly depends on our ability to attract and retain new customers. Our revenue could decline unless we are able to obtain additional customers or alternate revenue sources.

Our expansion into new products, services and technologies could subject us to additional risks.

We may have limited or no experience in new market segments that we enter or new services that we decide to offer, and customers may not choose to buy or use our service offerings. These offerings, which can present new and difficult technology challenges, may subject us to claims if customers of these offerings experience service disruptions or failures or other quality issues. In addition, profitability, if any, in our newer activities may not meet our expectations, and we may not be successful enough in these newer activities to recoup our investments in them. Failure to realize the benefits of amounts we invest in new technologies, products, or services could result in the value of those investments being written down or written off.

Major public health issues, and specifically the pandemic caused by the spread of COVID-19, could have a material adverse
impact on our business, results of operations, financial condition, cash flows, prospects and/or the price of our outstanding
securities.

Our results of operations could in the future be materially adversely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We closely monitor developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic to assess its impact on our business. While still evolving, the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant economic disruption, and financial volatility and uncertainty both in the U.S. and around the world. Though vaccines believed to be highly effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 have been produced and are currently in the process of being distributed, it is not possible to estimate how long it will take to halt the spread of the virus or the longer term-effects that the COVID-19 pandemic could have on our business. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business, results of operations, financial condition, cash flows or prospects will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and that we may not be able to accurately predict, including the duration and severity of the pandemic; governmental, business and individuals’ actions that have been and continue to be taken in response to the pandemic; the rate of vaccine adoption, the efficacy of vaccines in the broader population, and how widespread such vaccine adoption is; the impact of the pandemic on economic activity and actions taken in response; the effect on our clients and client demand for our services and solutions, including the potential lengthening of the sales cycle; our ability to sell and provide our services and solutions, including through in-person global customer summits, which have proven successful for us in the past, travel restrictions and people working from home; the ability of our clients to pay for our services and solutions; and any closures of our and our clients’ offices and facilities. Clients may also slow down decision making, delay planned work, seek to terminate existing agreements and/or delay payment terms.

While we have implemented risk management and contingency plans and taken preventive measures and other precautions, the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business is uncertain. In 2020, due to health concerns related to the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we vacated our physical offices around the world, and began transitioning to a work-from-anywhere model. While we have been able to operate effectively from remote locations, the long-term impact of such work arrangements remains unknown. For example, such remote work arrangements may increase the risk of cyber incidents or data breaches. Furthermore, we have incurred, and will in the future incur, expenses associated with the early termination of various leases at our office locations around the world.

We also outsource certain critical business activities to third parties and plan to continue to increase these activities, such as through our announced outsourcing partnership with Infosys. As a result, we rely upon the successful implementation and execution of the business continuity and repopulation planning of such entities in the current environment. While we
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closely monitor the business continuity activities of these third parties, successful implementation and execution of their business continuity and repopulation strategies are largely outside our control. If one or more of the third parties to whom we outsource certain critical business activities experience operational failures as a result of the impacts from the spread of COVID-19, or claim that they cannot perform due to a force majeure, it may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, liquidity and cash flows.

While governmental and non-governmental organizations are engaging in efforts to combat the spread and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health issues, these measures may not be effective. We also cannot predict how legal and regulatory responses to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health issues will impact our business. Such events or conditions could result in additional regulation or restrictions affecting the conduct of our business in the future.

Any of these events or other currently unforeseen consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, or of other pandemics, epidemics or similar widespread public health concerns, could cause or contribute to the risks and uncertainties enumerated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition, cash flows, prospects and/or the price of our outstanding securities.

If we do not successfully integrate past or potential future acquisitions, we may not realize the expected business or financial benefits and our business could be adversely impacted.

As part of our business strategy, we have made and will continue to make acquisitions to add complementary businesses, products, technologies, revenue and intellectual property rights. We have made a number of acquisitions in the past, including three in 2018. In October 2018, we acquired AdvantageTec, Inc., a leading provider of texting solutions for service departments of automotive dealerships that helps enable the conversational experience across the entire dealership, including variable and fixed operations. In September 2018, we acquired the employees and technology assets of Conversable, Inc. a SaaS based Artificial Intelligence powered conversational platform. In January 2018, we acquired the employees and technology assets of BotCentral, Inc., a Silicon Valley based startup which has created a number of bot solutions for major brands in banking, insurance, and travel, running on LivePerson’s conversational platform.

Acquisitions and investments involve numerous risks to us, including:
• potential failure to achieve the expected benefits of the combination or acquisition;
• inability to generate sufficient revenue to offset acquisition or investment cost;
• difficulties in integrating operations, technologies, products and personnel;
• diversion of financial and management resources from efforts related to existing operations;
• risks of entering new markets in which we have little or no experience or where competitors may have stronger
market positions;
• potential loss of our existing key employees or key employees of the company we acquire;
• inability to maintain relationships with customers and partners of the acquired business
• potential unknown liabilities associated with the acquired businesses; and
• the tax effects of any such acquisitions.

These difficulties could disrupt our ongoing business, expose us to unexpected costs, distract our management and employees, increase our expenses and adversely affect our results of operations. Furthermore, we may incur debt or issue equity securities to pay for any future acquisitions. The issuance of equity securities could be dilutive to our existing stockholders.

Capital needs necessary to execute our business strategy could increase substantially and we may not be able to secure additional financing to execute this strategy.

To the extent that we require additional funds to support our operations or the expansion of our business, or to pay for acquisitions, we may need to sell additional equity, issue debt or convertible securities or obtain credit facilities through financial institutions. In the past, we have obtained financing principally through the sale of preferred stock, common stock, warrants and convertible notes. If additional funds are raised through the issuance of debt or preferred equity securities, these securities could have rights, preferences and privileges senior to holders of common stock, and could have terms that impose restrictions on our operations. If additional funds are raised through the issuance of additional equity or convertible securities, our stockholders could suffer dilution. We cannot assure you that additional funding, if required, will be available to us in amounts or on terms acceptable to us. If sufficient funds are not available or are not available on acceptable terms, our ability to fund any potential expansion, take advantage of acquisition opportunities, develop or enhance our services or products, or otherwise respond to competitive pressures would be significantly limited. Those limitations would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
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Our sales cycles can be lengthy, and the timing of sales can be difficult to predict, which may cause our operating results to
vary significantly.

The sales cycle for our products can be several months or more and varies substantially from customer to customer, particularly for sales to enterprise customers. Because we sell complex, integrated solutions, it can take many months to close sales as customers evaluate our product offering against available alternatives and define their requirements. We are often required to expend substantial time, effort, and money educating potential customers them about the value of our offerings. The increasingly complex needs of our customers can contribute to a longer sales cycle.

Additionally, our quarterly sales have historically reflected an uneven pattern in which a disproportionate percentage of a quarter’s total sales occur in the last month, weeks and days of each quarter. These patterns make prediction of revenue especially difficult and uncertain and increase the risk of unanticipated variations in our results of operations. As a result, we are not always able to precisely predict the quarter in which expected sales will occur. In addition, historically a large portion of our revenue has derived from large orders from large clients. Consequently, delays in the closing of sales, especially from large clients, could have a material impact on the timing of revenue and results of operations.

Delays in our implementation cycles could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

Certain of our products require some implementation services, including but not limited to, training our customers. As an open platform, we also work with other third parties on implementing a variety of integrations into our platform. We have historically experienced a lag between signing a customer contract and recognizing revenue from that customer. Although this lag has typically ranged from 30 to 90 days, it may take more time between contract signing and recognizing revenue in certain situations. If we experience delays in implementation or do not meet project milestones in a timely manner, we could be obligated to devote more customer support, engineering and other resources to a particular project. If new or existing customers cancel or have difficulty deploying our products or require significant amounts of our professional services, support, or customized features, revenue recognition could be canceled or delayed and our costs could increase, which could negatively impact our operating results.

Our services are subject to payment-related risks.

For certain payment methods, including credit and debit cards, we pay interchange and other fees, which may increase over time and raise our operating costs and lower our profit margins. We rely on third parties to provide payment processing services, including the processing of credit cards and debit cards and it could disrupt our business if these companies become unwilling or unable to provide these services to us. We are also subject to payment card association operating rules, certification requirements and rules governing electronic funds transfers, which could change or be reinterpreted in such a way as to make compliance infeasible. If we fail to comply with these rules or requirements, we may be subject to fines and higher transaction fees and lose our ability to accept credit and debit card payments from our customers or facilitate other types of online payments, and our business and operating results could be adversely affected.

Through our consumer-facing platform, we facilitate online transactions between individual service providers who provide online advice and information to consumers. In connection with these services, we accept payments using a variety of methods, such as credit card, debit card and PayPal. These payments are subject to “chargebacks” when consumers dispute payments they have made to us. Chargebacks can occur whether or not services were properly provided. Susceptibility to chargebacks puts a portion of our revenue at risk. We take measures to manage our risk relative to chargebacks and to recoup properly charged fees, however, if we are unable to successfully manage this risk our business and operating results could be adversely affected. As we offer new payment options to our users, we may be subject to additional regulations, compliance requirements, and fraud.

We are also subject to a number of other laws and regulations relating to money laundering, international money transfers, privacy and information security and electronic fund transfers. If we were found to be in violation of applicable laws or regulations, we could be subject to civil and criminal penalties or forced to cease our payments services business.

Our reputation depends, in part, on factors which are partially or entirely outside of our control.

Our services typically appear under the LivePerson brand or as a LivePerson-branded icon on our customers’ websites. The customer service operators and Experts who respond to the inquiries of our customers’ users are employees or agents of our customers or independent consultants rather than employees of LivePerson. As a result, we are not able to control the actions of these operators or Experts and the impression that such operator or Expert leaves the user with whom they interact. A user may
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not know that the operator or Expert is not a LivePerson employee. If a user were to have a negative experience in a LivePerson-powered real-time dialogue, it is possible that this experience could be attributed to us, which could diminish our brand and harm our business. Additionally, we believe the success of our business services is aided by the prominent placement of the chat icon on a customer’s website, over which we also have no control.

We are subject to risks related to corporate and social responsibility and reputation.

Many factors influence our reputation including the perception held by our customers, business partners and other key stakeholders. Businesses face increasing scrutiny related to environmental, social and governance activities. We risk damage to our reputation if we fail to act responsibly in a number of areas, such as diversity and inclusion, sustainability and social responsibility. Any harm to our reputation could impact employee engagement and retention, our corporate culture and the willingness of customers and our partners to do business with us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.

Risks Related to our Financial Condition and Operating Results

Our quarterly revenue and operating results may fluctuate significantly, which may cause a substantial decline in the trading price of our securities.

We have in the past incurred, and may in the future incur, losses and experience negative cash flows, either or both of which may be significant and may cause our quarterly revenue and operating results to fluctuate significantly. These fluctuations may result from a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control. Some of the important factors that may cause our revenue and operating results to fluctuate include:
• our ability to attract and retain new customers;
• our ability to retain and increase sales to existing customers;
• demand from customers and consumers for our services;
• our ability to innovate and provide new services to current and future customers;
• our ability to continue to add artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation into our services;
• the introduction of new services by us or our competitors;
• our ability to avoid and/or manage service interruptions, disruptions, or security incidents;
• changes in our pricing models or policies or in those of our competitors;
• our ability to maintain and add integrations with third-party consumer messaging platforms and endpoints;
• continued adoption by companies of mobile and cloud-based messaging solutions;
• investments in growing our sales and marketing programs;
• continued adoption by Experts and Users of web-based advice services;
• exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; and
• the amount and timing of capital expenditures and other costs related to operation and expansion of our business, including those related to acquisitions.

Our revenue and operating results may also fluctuate significantly in the future due to the following factors that are entirely outside of our control:
• new laws, regulations or regulatory or law enforcement initiatives;
• economic conditions specific to the web, mobile technology, electronic commerce and cloud computing;
• consequences of unexpected geopolitical events, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, outbreaks of contagious disease (e.g., coronavirus) or climate change; and
• general, regional and/or global economic and political conditions.

As a result, comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful. You should not rely upon these comparisons or our past results as indicators of our future performance. Due to the foregoing factors, it is possible that our operating results in one or more future quarters may fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors or below any guidance we may provide to the market. If this occurs, the trading price of our securities could decline significantly.

In the past we have experienced losses, we had an accumulated deficit of $391.9 million as of December 31, 2020 and we
may incur losses in the future.

We have in the past incurred, and we may in the future incur, losses and experience negative cash flow, either or both of which may be significant. We recorded net losses from inception through the year ended December 31, 2003. We recorded net income for the years ended December 31, 2004 through 2007 and 2009 through 2012, while we recorded net losses for the years ended December 31, 2008, and 2013 through 2020. We recorded a net loss of $107.6 million for the year ended
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December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2020, our accumulated deficit was approximately $391.9 million. We cannot assure you that we can sustain or increase profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future. Failure to maintain profitability may materially and adversely affect the market price of our securities.

The non-payment or late payment of amounts due to us from a significant number of customers may negatively impact our financial condition or make it difficult to forecast our revenues accurately.

During 2020, we increased our allowance for doubtful accounts from $3.1 million to approximately $5.3 million. During 2019, we increased our allowance for doubtful accounts from $2.3 million to approximately $3.1 million. We base our allowance for doubtful accounts on specifically identified credit risks of customers, historical trends and other information that we believe to be reasonable. A large proportion of receivables are due from larger corporate customers that typically have longer payment cycles. We adjust our allowance for doubtful accounts when accounts previously reserved have been collected. As a result of increasingly long payment cycles, we have faced increased difficulty in predicting our operating results for any given period, and have experienced significant unanticipated fluctuations in our revenues from period to period. Any failure to achieve anticipated revenues in a period could cause the market price of our securities to decline.

There are inherent limitations on the effectiveness of our controls.

We do not expect that our disclosure controls or our internal control over financial reporting will prevent or detect all errors and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well-designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the control system’s objectives will be met. The design of a control system must reflect the fact that resource constraints exist, and the benefits of controls must be considered relative to their costs. Further, because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that misstatements due to error or fraud will not occur or that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, have been detected. The design of any system of controls is based in part on 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. Projections of any evaluation of the effectiveness of controls to future periods are subject to risks. Over time, controls may become inadequate due to changes in conditions or deterioration in the degree of compliance with policies or procedures. If our controls become inadequate, we could fail to meet our financial reporting obligations, our reputation may be adversely affected, our business and operating results could be harmed, and the market price of our securities could decline.

With the recent volatility in the capital markets, there is a risk that we could suffer a loss of principal in our cash and cash equivalents and short term investments and suffer a reduction in our interest income or in our return on investments.

As of December 31, 2020, we had $654.2 million in cash and cash equivalents. We regularly invest excess funds from our cash and cash equivalents in short-term money market funds. We currently hold no mortgaged-backed or auction rate securities. However, some of our investments are subject to general credit, liquidity, market and interest rate risks, which may be exacerbated by any ongoing uncertainty in the United States and global credit markets. In the future, these market risks associated with our investment portfolio may harm the results of our operations, liquidity and financial condition. Although we believe we have chosen a more cautious portfolio designed to preserve our existing cash position, it may not adequately protect the value of our investments. Furthermore, this more cautious portfolio is unlikely to provide us with any significant interest income in the near term.

Because we recognize revenue from subscriptions for our service over the term of the subscription, declines in business may not be immediately reflected in our operating results.

We generally recognize revenue from customers ratably over the terms of their subscription agreements, which are typically 12 or more months. As a result, much of the revenue we report in each quarter is the result of subscription agreements entered into during previous quarters. Consequently, a decline in new or renewed subscriptions or cancellations of existing subscriptions in any one quarter may not be reflected in our revenue results for that quarter. Any such decline, however, could negatively affect our revenue in future quarters. Our subscription model also makes it difficult for us to rapidly increase our revenue through additional sales in any period, because revenue from new customers and additional revenue from existing customers is generally recognized over the applicable subscription term, rather than immediately.

Our reported financial results may be adversely affected by changes in accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.

Accounting principles generally accepted in the United States are subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “FASB”), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the SEC, and various bodies formed to
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promulgate and interpret appropriate accounting principles. A change in these principles or interpretations could have a significant effect on our reported financial results, and could affect the reporting of transactions completed before the announcement of a change.

If our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to
earnings.

Under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, we review our amortizable intangible assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicated that the carrying value may not be recoverable. We review our goodwill for impairment at least annually and when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not
be recoverable. Factors that may be considered a change in circumstances indicating that the carrying value of our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets may not be recoverable include a decline in stock price and market capitalization, reduced future cash flow estimates, and slower growth rates in our industry. Based on our annual review for 2020, we determined that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of the reporting units is less than their carrying amount. However, future assessments may yield a different result, and from time to time, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings in our consolidated financial statements during the period in which any impairment of our goodwill is determined, resulting in a negative impact on our results of operations.

Risks Related to Industry Dynamics and Competition

If we are unable to develop and maintain successful relationships with social media and other third-party consumer messaging platforms and endpoints, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

We believe that continued growth for companies in our industry depends, in part, on enabling brands to connect with consumers across consumers’ preferred conversational interfaces and messaging endpoints, such as SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messenger, Line and Alexa. In order to grow our business, we have identified and developed, and maintain, strategic relationships with many key technology partners. As part of our growth strategy, we plan to further develop partnerships and specific solution areas with additional technology partners. If we fail to establish these relationships in a timely and cost-effective manner, or at all, or if we lose any or all of our current relationships, then our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. Additionally, even if we are successful at developing these relationships, but there are problems or issues with the integrations, or our ability to scale and onboard our customers onto new endpoints, our reputation and ability to grow our business may be adversely affected.

If we are unable to effectively operate on mobile devices, our business could be adversely affected.

The number of people who access the Internet and complete transactions over the Internet through devices other than desktop computers, including smartphones, handheld tablets and mobile phones, has increased dramatically in the past few years and is projected to continue to increase. To address these developments, we continue to extend our products and services to support messaging on mobile phone and tablet applications belonging to our company and our customers. If the mobile solutions we have developed do not meet our customers’ needs or the needs of their website visitors, or are not widely adopted by our customers and consumers, we may fail to retain existing customers and we may have difficulty attracting new customers. Such solutions may also create new risks related to privacy and security, which could subject us to investigations, litigation or reputational harm. If we are unable to rapidly innovate and grow mobile revenue, or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our financial performance and ability to continue to grow overall revenue may be negatively affected.

Additionally, our mobile phone and tablet applications and those of our customers depend on their interoperability with popular mobile operating systems, networks and standards that we and they do not control, such as Android and iOS operating systems, and any changes in such systems and terms of service that degrade the functionality of our solutions or give preferential treatment to competitive products could adversely affect our revenue. We may not be successful in developing products that operate effectively with these technologies, systems, networks or standards. As new devices and platforms are continually being released, it is difficult to predict the challenges we may encounter in developing versions of our solutions for use on these alternative devices.

The markets in which we participate are highly competitive, and we may lose customers and revenue if we are not able to innovate or effectively compete.

The markets for mobile and online business messaging and digital engagement and AI technology are intensely competitive, rapidly changing and characterized by aggressive marketing, pricing pressure, evolving industry standards, rapid technology developments and frequent new product introductions. We believe that competition will continue to increase as our
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current competitors increase the sophistication of their offerings and as new participants enter the market, which may cause additional pressure. If we are unable to accurately anticipate technology developments and continue to innovate in the markets in which we compete and develop successful integrations with third-party consumer messaging platforms, AI providers and endpoints, or our competitors are more successful than us at developing compelling new products, services and integrations, or at attracting and retaining customers, we may lose revenue and market share and our operating results could be adversely affected.

We have current and potential competition from providers of messaging and digital engagement solutions that enable companies to engage and connect with their consumer customers, as well as technology providers that offer customer relationship management and contact center solutions. We have current and potential competitors in many different industries, including:
• technology or service providers offering or powering competing digital engagement, contact center, communications or customer relationship management solutions, such as eGain, Genesys, Nuance, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and Twilio;
• service providers that offer basic messaging products or services with limited functionality free of charge or at significantly reduced entry level prices;
• social media, social listening, messaging, artificial intelligence, bots, e-commerce, and/or data and data analytics companies, such as Facebook, Google and WeChat, which may leverage their existing or future capabilities and consumer relationships to offer competing B2B solutions; and
• customers that develop and manage their messaging solutions in-house.

In addition, many of our current and potential competitors have substantial competitive advantages, such as greater brand recognition, significantly larger financial, marketing, and resource and development budgets, access to larger customer and/or consumer bases, larger and more established marketing and distribution relationships, and/or more diverse product and service offerings. As a result, these competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to any change in the general market acceptance of messaging services or any new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards, pricing strategies or customer requirements. Also, because of these advantages, potential customers may select a competitor’s products and services, even if our services are more effective. For all of these reasons, we may not be able to compete successfully against our current and future competitors.

We may be unable to respond to the rapid technological change and changing customer preferences in the online sales, marketing, customer service, and/or online consumer services industries and this may harm our business.
If we are unable, for technological, legal, financial or other reasons, to adapt in a timely manner to changing market conditions in the online sales, marketing, customer service and/or e-commerce industry or our customers’ or consumers’ requirements or preferences, our business, results of operations and financial condition would be materially and adversely affected. Online business is characterized by rapid technological change. In addition, the market for online sales, marketing, customer service and expert advice solutions is relatively new. Sudden changes in customer and consumer requirements and preferences, frequent new product and service introductions embodying new technologies, and the emergence of new industry and regulatory standards and practices such as but not limited to data privacy and security standards, could render the LivePerson services and our proprietary technology and systems obsolete. The rapid evolution of these products and services will require that we continually improve the performance, features and reliability of our services. Our success will depend, in part, on our ability to:
• enhance the features and performance of our services;
• develop and offer new services that are valuable to companies doing business online as well as consumers; and
• respond to technological advances and emerging industry and regulatory standards and practices in a cost-effective and timely manner.

If any of our new services, including upgrades to our current services, do not meet our customers’ or consumers’ expectations, we could lose customers and our business may be harmed. Updating our technology may require significant additional capital expenditures and could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

If new services require us to grow rapidly, this could place a significant strain on our managerial, operational, technical and financial resources. In order to manage our growth, we could be required to implement new or upgraded operating and financial systems, procedures and controls. Our failure to expand our operations in an efficient manner could cause our expenses to grow, our revenue to decline or grow more slowly than expected and could otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

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Downturns in the global economic environment or in particular industries in which our sales are concentrated may adversely affect our business and results of operations.

The United States and other global economies have experienced in the past and could in the future experience economic downturn that affects all sectors of the economy, particularly in the financial services and retail industries, resulting in declines in economic growth and consumer confidence, increases in unemployment rates and uncertainty about economic stability. Further, there is increased uncertainty regarding social, political, immigration and trade policies in the United States, which could impact our global operations and our business. Global credit and financial markets have in the past experienced extreme disruptions, including diminished liquidity and credit availability and rapid fluctuations in market valuations. Our business has been affected by these conditions in the past and could be similarly impacted in the future by any downturn in global economic conditions.

Our business is, and will continue to be, dependent on sales to customers in the telecommunications, financial services, retail, automotive, real estate and technology industries. A downturn in one or more of these industries could have a material adverse effect on our business, liquidity, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. In the event that industry conditions deteriorate in one or more of these industries, we could experience, among other things, cancellation or non-renewal of existing contracts, reduced demand for our products and reduced sales. It could be difficult to predict the timing, strength or duration of any economic slowdown or subsequent economic recovery, either relating to the global economic environment or to the particular industries in which our sales are concentrated, which, in turn, could make it more challenging for us to forecast our operating results, make business decisions and identify risks that may adversely affect our business, sources and uses of cash, financial condition and results of operations.
Weak economic conditions may also cause our customers to experience difficulty in supporting their current operations and implementing their business plans. Our customers may reduce their spending on our services, may not be able to discharge their payment and other obligations to us, may experience difficulty raising capital, or may elect to scale back the resources they devote to customer service and/or sales and marketing technology, including services such as ours. Economic conditions may also lead consumers and businesses to postpone spending, which may cause our customers to decrease or delay their purchases of our products and services. If economic conditions deteriorate for us or our customers, we could be required to record charges relating to restructuring costs or the impairment of assets, may not be able to collect receivables on a timely basis, and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.


Risks Related to Security Vulnerabilities and Service Reliability

Failures or security breaches in our services or systems, those of our third party service providers, or in the websites of our customers, including those resulting from cyber-attacks, security vulnerabilities, defects or errors, could harm our business.

Our products and services involve the storage and transmission of proprietary information and personal data related to our customers and their users, as well as experts and consumers, and theft and security breaches expose us to a risk of loss of such information and data, improper use and disclosure thereof, litigation, regulatory investigation, and potential liability. We experience cyber-attacks of varying degrees on a regular basis. Our security measures may also be breached due to employee or other error, intentional malfeasance and other third party acts, and system errors or vulnerabilities, including vulnerabilities of our third party service providers, or customers, or otherwise. Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of our office employees are working remotely. We currently expect this to continue for the foreseeable future, which may potentially further increase the risk of cyber incidents or data breaches. Any such breach or unauthorized access, or attempts by outside parties to fraudulently induce employees, users, vendors or customers to disclose sensitive information in order to gain access to our data or data of our customers, users, experts or consumers, including, but not limited to, individual personal information and financial credit or debit card data that is protected by law or contract, could result in significant legal and financial exposure, damage to our reputation, and a loss of confidence in the security of our products and services that could potentially have an adverse effect on our business.

While we continue to expand our focus on this issue and are taking measures to safeguard our products and services from cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities in desktop computers, mobile phones, smartphones and handheld devices, cyber-attacks and other security incidents continue to evolve in sophistication and frequency. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems, are constantly evolving in sophisticated ways to avoid detection and often are not recognized until launched against a target, it may be difficult or impossible for us to anticipate or identify these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. And while technological advancements enable more data and processes, such as mobile computing and mobile payments, they also increase the risk that cyber-attacks and other security incidents will occur. We engage third parties to review and assist in safeguarding our products and services from such
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threats. Those parties may identify vulnerabilities, some of which may not be immediately remedied. A significant cyber-attack, or a security incident of any magnitude that is profiled in the media, involving our, our third party service providers’ or our customers’ systems, could result in material harm to our brand and reputation, our ability to deliver our services or retain customers, and expose us to lawsuits, regulatory investigations, and significant damages, fines or penalties.

In addition, our customers may authorize third party access to their customer data located in our cloud environment. Because we do not control the transmissions to customer-authorized third parties, or the processing of such data by customer authorized third parties, we cannot ensure the integrity or security of such transmissions or processing. Because our services are responsible for critical communication between our customers and consumers, any security failures, defects or errors in our components, materials or software or those used by our customers could have an adverse impact on us, on our customers and on the end users of their websites. Such adverse impact could include a decrease in demand for our services, damage to our reputation and to our customer relationships, legal exposure, and other financial liability or harm to our business.

We may be liable if third parties access or misappropriate confidential or personal data from our systems or services.

The dialogue transcripts of the text-based chats, email interactions and other interactions between our customers and their users may include information, such as personal contact and demographic information. Although we employ and continually test and update our security measures to protect this information from unauthorized access, it is still possible that our security measures could be breached and such a breach could result in unauthorized access to our customers’ data or our data, including our intellectual property and other confidential business information. Because the techniques employed by hackers to obtain unauthorized access or to sabotage systems change frequently and are becoming more sophisticated in circumventing security measures and avoiding detection, we may be unable to anticipate all techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. Any security breach could result in disclosure of our trade secrets or disclosure of confidential customer, supplier or employee data. If third parties were able to penetrate our network security or otherwise misappropriate personal data relating to our customers’ users or the text of customer service inquiries, our competitive position may be harmed and we could be subject to liability. In the event of a security incident, we could be required to comply with a myriad of breach notification laws at the state, federal and international level, which may cause business disruption and extensive notification costs, and could lead to penalties, government investigations and lawsuits for compliance failures. We may as a result of a security incident be deemed out of compliance with United States federal and state laws, international laws, or contractual commitments, and we may be subject to government investigations, lawsuits, fines, criminal penalties, statutory damages, and other costs to respond to breach or security incidents, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. We may incur significant costs to protect against the threat of security breaches or to mitigate the harm and alleviate problems caused by such breaches. While we currently maintain insurance coverage that may cover certain cyber security risks, such insurance coverage is subject to certain exclusions and exceptions and may be insufficient to cover all losses.

Furthermore, certain software and services that we use to operate our business are hosted and/or operated by third parties or integrated with our systems. If these services were to be interrupted or their security breached, our business operations could be similarly disrupted and we could be exposed to liability and costly investigations or litigation. The need to properly secure, and securely transmit and store, confidential information online has historically been a significant barrier to e-commerce and online communications, and will become increasingly highlighted as a consumer and regulatory focus and concern. Any publicized compromise of security could deter people from using online services such as the ones we offer or from using them to conduct transactions, which involve transmitting confidential information. Because our success depends on the general acceptance and reputation of our services and electronic commerce, we may incur significant costs to protect against the threat of security breaches or to alleviate problems caused by these breaches.

We provide service level commitments to certain customers. If we do not meet these contractual commitments, we could be obligated to provide credits or refunds or face contract terminations, which could adversely affect our revenue and harm our reputation.

As is common for many cloud service providers, we offer service level commitments in certain of our customer contracts, primarily related to uptime of our service. If we are unable to meet the stated service level commitments or suffer periods of downtime that exceed the periods allowed under our customer contracts, whether due to downtime caused by us or our third-party service providers, which has occurred on several occasions in the past and could occur in the future, we may be contractually obligated to provide these customers with service credits and/or pay financial penalties, which could significantly impact our revenue. In addition, even if our contracts provide otherwise, these customers may attempt to terminate or reduce their contracts, which has occurred from time to time, and/or pursue other legal remedies. Recurring or extended service outages could also cause damage to our reputation and result in substantial customer dissatisfaction or loss, which could adversely affect our current and future revenue and operating results.
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We are dependent on technology systems and third-party content that are beyond our control.

The success of our services depends in part on our customers’ online services as well as the Internet and mobile connectivity of consumers, both of which are outside of our control. As a result, it may be difficult to identify the source of problems if they occur. In the past, we have experienced problems related to connectivity, which has resulted in slower than normal response times to user messaging requests and interruptions in service. Our services rely both on the Internet and on our connectivity vendors for data transmission. Therefore, even when connectivity problems are not caused by our services, our customers or their consumers may attribute the problem to us. This could diminish our brand and harm our business, divert the attention of our technical personnel from our product development efforts or cause significant customer relations problems.

In addition, we rely in part on third party service providers and other third parties for various services, including, but not limited to, Internet connectivity, network infrastructure hosting, security and maintenance, and software and hardware from a variety of vendors. These providers may experience problems that result in slower than normal response times and/or interruptions in service. If we are unable to continue utilizing the third party services that support our web hosting and infrastructure or if our services experience interruptions or delays due to existing third party service providers or transition to new third party service providers, our reputation and business could be harmed, and we may be exposed to legal and reputational risk, and significant remediation costs.

We also rely on the security of our third party service providers to protect our proprietary information and information of our customers. Information technology system failures, including a breach of our or our third party service providers’ data security, could disrupt our ability to function in the normal course of business by potentially causing, among other things, an unintentional disclosure of customer information or loss of information. Additionally, despite our security procedures or those of our third party service providers, information systems may be vulnerable to threats such as computer hacking, cyber-terrorism or other unauthorized attempts by third parties to access, obtain, modify or delete our or our customers’ data. Any such breach could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and our reputation as a provider of business collaboration and communications solutions and could subject us to significant penalties and negative publicity, as well as government investigations and claims for damages or injunctive relief under state, federal and foreign laws or contractual agreements.

We also depend on third parties for hardware and software, and our consumer services depend on third parties for content. Such products and content could contain defects or inaccurate information. Problems arising from our use of such hardware or software or third party content could require us to incur significant costs or divert the attention of our technical or other personnel from our product development efforts or to manage issues related to content. To the extent any such problems require us to replace such hardware or software we may not be able to do so on acceptable terms, if at all.

We depend on the continued viability of the infrastructure of the Internet.

To the extent that the Internet continues to experience growth in the number of users and frequency of use by consumers resulting in increased bandwidth demands, we cannot assure you that the infrastructure for the Internet will be able to support the demands placed upon it. The Internet has experienced outages and delays as a result of damage to portions of its infrastructure. Outages or delays could adversely affect online sites, email and the level of traffic on the Internet. The Internet is also subject to continued and ongoing cyber-attacks and related conduct, which affect all online businesses. We also depend on Internet service providers that provide our customers and Internet users with access to the LivePerson services. In the past, users have experienced difficulties due to system failures unrelated to our service. In addition, the Internet could lose its viability due to delays in the adoption of new standards and protocols required to handle increased levels of Internet activity. Insufficient availability of telecommunications services to support the Internet also could result in slower response times and negatively impact use of the Internet generally, and our customers’ sites (including their use of the Conversational Cloud) in particular. If the infrastructure of the Internet does not effectively support the growth of the Internet, we may not maintain profitability and our business, results of operations and financial condition will suffer.

Technological or other defects could disrupt or negatively impact our services, which could harm our business and reputation.

We face risks related to the technological capabilities of our services. We expect the number of interactions between our customers’ operators and consumers over our system to increase significantly as we expand our customer base. Our network hardware and software may not be able to accommodate this additional volume. Additionally, we must continually upgrade our software to improve the features and functionality of our services in order to be competitive in our markets. If future versions of
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our software contain undetected errors, our business could be harmed. If third-party content is flawed, our business could be harmed. As a result of software upgrades at LivePerson, our customer sites have, from time to time, experienced slower than normal response times and interruptions in service. If we experience system failures or degraded response times, our reputation and brand could be harmed. We may also experience technical problems in the process of installing and initiating the LivePerson services on new web hosting services. These problems, if not remedied, could harm our business.

Our services also depend on complex software which may contain defects, particularly when we introduce new versions onto our servers. We may not discover software defects that affect our new or current services or enhancements until after they are deployed. It is possible that, despite testing by us, defects may occur in the software. These defects could result in:
damage to our reputation;
lost sales;
contract terminations;
loss of market share;
delays in or loss of market acceptance of our products; and
unexpected expenses and diversion of resources to remedy errors.

Our products are complex, and errors, failures or “bugs” may be difficult to correct.

Our products are complex, integrating hardware, software and elements of a customers’ existing infrastructure. Despite quality assurance testing conducted prior to the release of our products our software may contain “bugs” that are difficult to detect and fix. Any such issues could interfere with the expected operation of a solution, which might negatively impact customer satisfaction, reduce sales opportunities or affect gross margins. Depending upon the size and scope of any such issue, remediation may have a negative impact on our business. Our inability to cure an application or product defect, should one occur, could result in the failure of an application or product line, damage to our reputation, litigation and/or product reengineering expenses. Our insurance may not cover or may be insufficient to cover expenses associated with such events.

Failure to license necessary third party software for use in our products and services, or failure to successfully integrate third party software, could cause delays or reductions in our sales, or errors or failures of our service.

We license third party software that we plan to incorporate into our products and services. In the future, we might need to license other software to enhance our products and meet evolving customer requirements. These licenses may not continue to be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Some of this technology could be difficult to replace once integrated. The loss of, or inability to obtain, these licenses could result in delays or reductions of our products and services until we identify, license and integrate or develop equivalent software, and new licenses could require us to pay higher royalties. If we are unable to successfully license and integrate third party technology, we could experience a reduction in functionality and/or errors or failures of our products, which may reduce demand for our products and services.

Third-party licenses may expose us to increased risks, including risks associated with the integration of new technology, the impact of new technology integration on our existing technology, open source software disclosure requirements, the diversion of resources from the development of our own proprietary technology, and our inability to generate revenue from new technology sufficient to offset associated acquisition and maintenance costs.

Our business is subject to the risks of earthquakes, fires, floods and other natural catastrophic events and to interruption by man-made problems such as terrorism or computer viruses.

Our systems and operations are vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, other acts of nature, power losses, telecommunications failures, terrorist attacks, acts of war, human errors, break-ins, cyber-attacks or failures, pandemics or other public health crises, or similar events. For example, a significant natural disaster, such as an earthquake, fire or flood, could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition, and our insurance coverage may be insufficient to compensate us for losses that may occur. In addition, acts of terrorism could cause disruptions in our business or the economy as a whole. Our headquarters are located in New York City and we have a significant employee presence located in Israel, each of which regions has experienced acts of terrorism in the past. Our servers may also be vulnerable to computer viruses, break-ins, cyber-attacks, such as coordinated denial-of-service attacks or ransomware, or other failures, and similar disruptions from unauthorized tampering with our computer systems, which could lead to interruptions, delays, loss of critical data or the unauthorized disclosure of confidential customer data. Although we have implemented security measures and disaster recovery capabilities, there can be no assurance that we will not suffer from business interruption, or unavailability or loss of data, as a result of any such events. As we rely heavily on our servers, computer and communications systems and the internet to conduct our business and provide high quality service to our
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customers, such disruptions could negatively impact our ability to run our business, result in loss of existing or potential customers and increased expenses, and/or have an adverse effect on our reputation and the reputation of our products and services, any of which would adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.

Risks Related to Regulatory and Data Privacy Issues

Our business is subject to a variety of U.S. and international laws and regulations regarding privacy and data protection, and increased public scrutiny of privacy and security issues could result in increased government regulation, industry standards and other legal obligations that could adversely affect our business.

We collect, process, store and use personal data and other information generated during mobile and online messaging between brands and consumers and between experts and consumers. We post our privacy policies and practices on our websites and we also often include privacy commitments in our contracts. Our business is subject to numerous federal, state and international laws and regulations regarding privacy, data protection, personal information, security, data collection, storage, use and transfer, and the use of cookies and similar tracking technologies. To the extent that additional legislation regarding user privacy is enacted, such as legislation governing the collection and use of information regarding Internet or mobile users through the use of cookies or similar technologies, the effectiveness of our services could be impaired by restricting us from collecting or using information that may be valuable to our customers and/or exposing us to lawsuits or regulatory investigations. The foregoing could have a material adverse effect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The scope of U.S. and international privacy laws and regulations is evolving and changing, subject to differing interpretations, may be costly to comply with, and may be inconsistent among countries and jurisdictions or conflict with other rules. As we expand our operations in these countries, our liability exposure and the complexity and cost of compliance with data and privacy requirements will likely increase. Any failure by us to comply with our posted privacy policies, applicable federal, state or international laws and regulations relating to data privacy and data protection, or the privacy commitments contained in our contracts, could result in proceedings against us by governmental entities, customers, consumers, watchdog groups or others, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the increased attention focused upon liability as a result of lawsuits and legislative proposals and enactments could harm our reputation or otherwise impact the growth of our business.

Laws and practices regarding handling and use of personal and other information by companies have come under increased public scrutiny, and governmental entities, consumer agencies and consumer advocacy groups have called for, and in many instances, enacted increased regulation and changes in industry practices. For example, the European Union (“E.U.”) General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which became effective in May 2018, replacing the E.U. Data Protection Directive, imposes significantly greater compliance burdens on companies that control or process personal data of users primarily located in the E.U. and, for noncompliance, provides for considerable fines up to the higher of 20 million Euros or 4% of global annual revenue. European regulators have issued numerous fines pursuant to the GDPR. One material change is that data processors (as that term is defined by applicable E.U. data protection law) have direct obligations, including implementing technical and organizational measures, and are subject to enhanced notification rules. The GDPR also imposes certain technological requirements that may, from time to time, require us to make changes to our services to enable LivePerson and/or our customers to meet legal requirements and may impact how data protection is addressed in our customer and vendor agreements. Ensuring compliance with the GDPR is an ongoing commitment that involves substantial costs, and it is possible that despite our efforts, governmental authorities or third parties will assert that our services or business practices fail to comply. We also must require vendors that process personal data to take on additional privacy and security obligations, and some may refuse, causing us to incur potential disruption and expense related to our business processes. If our policies and practices, or those of our vendors, are, or are perceived to be, insufficient, we could be subject to enforcement actions or investigations by Data Protection Authorities (including in the EU) or lawsuits by private parties, and our business could be negatively impacted.

The E.U. has also released a proposed Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications (e-Privacy Regulation) to replace the E.U.’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive (e-Privacy Directive) to, among other things, better align with the GDPR, to amend the current e-Privacy Directive’s rules on the use of cookies and other tracking technologies, and to harmonize across current E.U. member state e-privacy data protection laws. Compliance with changes in laws and regulations related to privacy may require significant cost, limit the use and adoption of our services, and require material changes in our business practices that result in reduced revenue. Noncompliance could result in material fines and penalties, litigation, regulatory investigation and/or governmental orders requiring us to change our data practices, which could damage our reputation and harm our business.

Additionally, as web and mobile commerce continues to evolve, regulation by federal, state and foreign governments or agencies in the areas of data privacy and data security is likely to increase. For instance, recent legal developments in Europe have created complexity and regulatory compliance uncertainty regarding certain transfers of personal information from the
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European Economic Area (the “EEA”) to the United States and certain other third countries. For example, on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) invalidated the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework (the “E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield”) under which personal information could be transferred from the EEA to U.S. entities who had self-certified under the Privacy Shield program. While the CJEU upheld the adequacy of E.U.-specified standard contractual clauses as an adequate personal information transfer mechanism, it made clear that reliance on them alone may not necessarily be sufficient in all circumstances and that their use must be assessed on a case-by-case basis taking into account the surveillance laws in and the right of individuals afforded by, the destination country. The CJEU went on to state that, if the competent supervisory authority believes that the standard contractual clauses cannot be complied with in the destination country and the required level of protection cannot be secured by other means, such supervisory authority is under an obligation to suspend or prohibit that transfer unless the data exporter has already done so itself. Similarly, on September 8, 2020, the Swiss Data Protection Authority announced in a position statement that it no longer considers the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield adequate for the purpose of transferring personal data from Switzerland to the United States.

We rely on a mixture of mechanisms to govern the transfer of personal data from our E.U. business to the U.S. and are continuing to evaluate what additional mechanisms may be required to establish adequate safeguards for the cross-border transfer of personal data. In November 2020, the European Commission released a draft set of new standard contractual clauses. It is unclear when the new contractual standards may be approved and what additional changes will be made, however we will ultimately need to be prepared to adopt and comply with them in order to legitimize data transfers between E.U. and the U.S. As supervisory authorities issue further guidance on personal data export mechanisms, including circumstances where the standard contractual clauses cannot be used and/or start taking enforcement action, we could incur increased costs, lower revenue, reduced efficiency, and greater difficulty in competing with foreign-based firms. Failure to comply with existing or new rules may result in significant penalties or orders to stop the alleged noncompliant activity.

Moreover, if we are otherwise unable to transfer personal data or information between and among countries and regions in which we operate, it could affect how we provide our services and could adversely impact our financial results.

On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) withdrew its membership from the European Union (“E.U.”), which is commonly referred to as “Brexit.” In the U.K., Brexit has created uncertainty with regard to the regulation of data protection. In particular, while the Data Protection Act of 2018, which implements and complements the GDPR achieved Royal Assent on May 23, 2018 and is now effective in the United Kingdom, it is still unclear whether transfer of personal data from the EEA to the United Kingdom will remain lawful under the GDPR after Brexit. In December 2020, the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”) established a four- to six-month grace period during which transfers of personal data from the E.U. to the U.K. can continue without additional safeguards, provided that the U.K. maintains its pre-TCA data protection laws. On February 19, 2021, the European Commission released a draft adequacy decision for review by the European Data Protection Board. If adopted, that decision would permit the continued flow of personal data between the U.K. and the E.U. However, it is unclear how data transfers to and from the U.K. will be regulated after the grace period expires and whether or not the U.K. will receive a final adequacy decision from the European Commission permitting cross-border data transfer from the E.U. to the U.K. In addition, we cannot fully predict how the Data Protection Act and other U.K. data protection laws or regulations may develop in the medium to longer term.

In addition to the changing regulatory landscape in the E.U. and the U.K., in June 2018, the State of California legislature passed the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”), which came into effect in January of 2020. The CCPA gives California residents new data privacy rights, allows consumers to opt out of certain data sharing with third parties, and provides a new private cause of action for data breaches. Moreover, a new privacy law, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), was approved by voters in California in a ballot proposition in the November 3, 2020 election. The CPRA will significantly modify the CCPA, and will impose additional data protection obligations on companies doing business in California, potentially resulting in further complexity and requiring us to incur additional costs and expenses in an effort to comply. We also may be subject to additional compliance obligations as other states consider and adopt similar legislation.

In addition to government activity, privacy advocacy and other industry groups have established and may continue to establish new self-regulatory standards that may place additional burdens on us. If our privacy practices are deemed unacceptable by watchdog groups or privacy advocates, such groups may take measures that harm our business by, for example, disparaging our reputation and our business, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, privacy concerns may cause consumers to avoid online sites that collect various forms of data or to resist providing the data necessary to allow our customers to use our services effectively. Even the perception of data security and data privacy concerns, whether or not valid, could inhibit sales and market acceptance of our products and services.




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Our business is subject to a variety of U.S. and foreign laws, and existing, new and developing regulatory or other legal requirements could subject us to claims or materially impact our business.

We and our customers are subject to a number of laws and regulations in the United States and abroad, including laws related to conducting business on the Internet or mobile devices, such as laws regarding data privacy, data protection, information security, cybersecurity, restrictions or technological requirements regarding the collection, use, storage, protection, transfer or other processing of consumer data, content, consumer protection, internet (or net) neutrality, advertising, electronic contracts, taxation, provision of online payment services (including credit card processing), and intellectual property rights, which are continuously evolving and developing. Because our services are accessible worldwide, certain foreign jurisdictions may claim that we are required to comply with their laws, even if we do not have a local entity, employees or infrastructure. Foreign data protection, privacy, and other laws and regulations may often be more restrictive than those in the United States. The scope and interpretation of the laws and other obligations that apply to us, including those related to user privacy and data security, are often uncertain and may be conflicting, particularly laws and obligations outside the United States. There is a risk that these laws may be interpreted and applied differently in any given jurisdiction in a manner that is not consistent with our current practices, which could cause us to incur substantial cost and could negatively impact our brand, reputation and business.

Businesses using our products and services may collect data from their users. Various federal, state and foreign government bodies and agencies impose laws regarding collection, use, storage, retention, disposal, transfer or other processing of data from website visitors. We offer our customers a variety of data security procedures and practices, such as encryption for data at rest and masking algorithms for sensitive data prior to transfer to our database, in an effort to protect information. Changes to applicable laws and how they are interpreted relating to privacy and data security could significantly increase the cost to us and our customers of regulatory compliance and could negatively impact our business.

For instance, some states in the United States have enacted legislation designed to protect consumer privacy by prohibiting the distribution of “spyware” over the Internet. Such legislation typically focuses on restricting the proliferation of software that, when installed on an end user’s computer, is used to intentionally and deceptively take control of the end user’s machine. We do not believe that the data monitoring methods that we employ constitute “spyware” or are prohibited by applicable laws. However, federal, state and foreign laws and regulations, many of which can be enforced by government entities or private parties, are constantly evolving and can be subject to significant changes in application and interpretation. If, for example, the scope of the previously mentioned “spyware” legislation were changed to include web analytics, such legislation could apply to the technology we use and potentially restrict our ability to conduct our business.

Further, various federal, state and foreign government bodies and agencies are highly focused on consumer protection initiatives, particularly in light of the increase in new technologies and services that incorporate or use bots, artificial intelligence and/or machine learning. For example, the California B.O.T. Act came into effect in July 2019 and requires that companies using bots on platforms with more than 10 million unique monthly visitors from the U.S. use clear and conspicuous disclosure to inform consumers that they are not speaking to a human. Similar bills entitled the “Bot Disclosure and Accountability Act of 2019” were introduced to the U.S. House and Senate in July 2019. Regulation in this area could impact how businesses use our products and services to interact with consumers and how we provide our services to our customers. AI tools can also present unique technological and legal challenges, such as the possibility of insufficient data sets, or data sets that contain biased information, which can negatively impact the decisions, predictions or analyses that AI applications produce. Deficiencies such as these could cause us reputational harm and subject us to legal liability, including claims of product liability, breach of warranty or negligence.

In addition, regulatory authorities and governments around the world are considering a number of legislative and regulatory proposals concerning privacy, collection and use of website visitor data, data storage, data protection, the “right to be forgotten,” content regulation, cybersecurity, government access to personal information, online advertising, email and other categories of electronic spam, and other matters that may be applicable to our business. Compliance with these laws may require substantial investment or may be technologically challenging for us. For example, some jurisdictions, including in the United States, are considering whether the collection of anonymous data may invade the privacy of website visitors. If laws or regulations are enacted that limit data collection or use practices related to anonymous data, we and/or our customers may be required to obtain the express consent of web visitors in order for our technology to perform certain basic functions that are based on the collection and use of technical data. Requirements that a website must first obtain consent from its web visitors before using our technology could reduce the amount and value of the services we provide to customers, which might impede sales and/or cause some existing customers to discontinue using our services.

It is also likely that, as our business grows and evolves, an increasing portion of our business shifts to mobile, and our solutions are offered and used in a greater number of countries, we will become subject to laws and regulations in additional jurisdictions. We may need to expend considerable effort and resources to develop new product features and/or procedures to comply with any such legal requirements. It is difficult to predict how existing laws will apply to our business and what new laws and legal obligations we may become subject to. If we are not able to comply with these laws or other legal obligations, or
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if we become liable under them, we may be forced to implement material changes to our business practices, delay release of new and enhanced services and expend substantial resources, which would negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, any increased attention focused on liability issues, or as a result of regulatory fines or lawsuits, could harm our reputation or otherwise impact the growth of our business. Any costs incurred as a result of this potential liability could harm our business and operating results.

We monitor pending legislation and regulatory initiatives to ascertain relevance, analyze impact and develop strategic direction surrounding regulatory trends and developments. Due to shifting economic and political conditions, tax policies or rates in various jurisdictions may be subject to significant change. A range of other proposed or existing laws and new interpretations of existing laws could have an impact on our business. For example:

Government agencies and regulators have reviewed, are reviewing and will continue to review, the personal data handling practices of companies doing business online, including privacy and security policies and practices. This review may result in new laws or the promulgation of new regulations or guidelines that may apply to our products and services. For example, the State of California and other states have passed laws relating to disclosure of companies’ practices with regard to Do-Not-Track signals from Internet browsers, the ability to delete information of minors, and new data breach notification requirements. The CCPA, California’s new consumer privacy legislation, came into effect in January 2020. Outside the E.U. and the United States, a number of countries have adopted or are considering privacy laws and regulations that may result in significant greater compliance burdens. Existing and proposed laws and regulations regarding cybersecurity and monitoring of online behavioral data, such as proposed “Do Not Track” regulations, regulations aimed at restricting certain targeted advertising practices and collection and use of data from mobile devices, new and existing tools that allow consumers to block online advertising and other content, and other proposed online privacy legislation could potentially apply to some of our current or planned products and services. Existing and proposed laws and regulations related to email and other categories of electronic spam could impact the delivery of commercial email and other electronic communications by us or on behalf of customers using our services.

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) in particular has aggressively investigated and brought enforcement actions against companies that fail to comply with their privacy or data security commitments to consumers, or fail to comply with regulations or statutes such as the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Any investigation or review of our practices may require us to make changes to our products and policies, which could harm our business. Currently there are many proposals by lawmakers and industry groups in this area, both in the United States and overseas, which address the collection, maintenance and use of personal information, web browsing and geolocation data, and establish data security and breach notification requirements. Further, regulators and industry groups have also released self-regulatory principles and guidelines for various data privacy and security practices. Given that this is an evolving and unsettled area of regulation, the imposition of any new significant restrictions or technological requirements could have a negative impact on our business.

Various governmental bodies and many customers and businesses are increasingly focused on environmental, social and governance issues, which has in the past resulted, and may in the future continue to result, in the adoption of new laws and regulations and changing buying practices. If we fail to keep pace with these developments, our reputation and results of operations could be adversely impacted.

We might unintentionally violate such laws now or in the future; such laws or their interpretation or application may be modified; and new laws may be enacted in the future. Any such developments could subject us to legal liability exposure, and harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

We may be subject to governmental export controls and economic sanctions regulations that could impair our ability to compete in international markets due to licensing requirements and could subject us to liability if we are not in compliance with applicable laws.

Certain of our products and services may be subject to export control and economic sanctions regulations, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, U.S. Customs regulations and various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. Exports of our products and the provision of our services must be made in compliance with these laws and regulations. If we fail to comply with these laws and regulations, we and certain of our employees could be subject to substantial civil or criminal penalties, including: the possible loss of export privileges; fines, which may be imposed on us and responsible employees or managers; and, in extreme cases, the incarceration of responsible employees or managers. Obtaining the necessary authorizations, including any required license, for a particular deployment may be time-consuming, is not guaranteed and may result in the delay or loss of sales opportunities. In addition, changes in our products or services, or changes in applicable export or economic sanctions regulations may create delays in the introduction and deployment of our products and services in international markets, or, in some cases, prevent the export of our products or provision of our services to certain countries or end users. Any change in export or economic sanctions regulations, shift in the enforcement or scope of existing regulations, or change in the countries, governments, persons or technologies
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targeted by such regulations, could also result in decreased use of our products and services, or in our decreased ability to export our products or provide our services to existing or prospective customers with international operations. Any decreased use of our products and services or limitation on our ability to export our products and provide our services could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Further, we incorporate encryption technology into certain of our products. Various countries regulate the import of certain encryption technology, including through import permitting and licensing requirements, and have enacted laws that could limit our customers’ ability to import our products into those countries. Encryption products and the underlying technology may also be subject to export control restrictions. Governmental regulation of encryption technology and regulation of exports of encryption products, or our failure to obtain required approval for our products, when applicable, could harm our international sales and adversely affect our revenue. Compliance with applicable regulatory requirements regarding the export of our products and provision of our services, including with respect to new releases of our products and services, may create delays in the introduction of our products and services in international markets, prevent our customers with international operations from deploying our products and using our services throughout their globally-distributed systems or, in some cases, prevent the export of our products or provision of our services to some countries altogether.

Industry-specific regulation is evolving and unfavorable industry-specific laws, regulations or interpretive positions could harm our business.

Our customers and potential customers do business in a variety of industries, including financial services, the public sector, healthcare and telecommunications. Regulators of various industries have adopted and may in the future adopt regulations or interpretive positions regarding the use of cloud computing and other outsourced services. The costs of compliance with, and other burdens imposed by, industry-specific laws, regulations and interpretive positions may limit our customers’ use and adoption of our services and reduce overall demand. For example, some financial services regulators have imposed guidelines for use of cloud computing services that mandate specific controls or that require financial services providers to obtain regulatory approval prior to outsourcing certain functions. If we are unable to comply with these guidelines or controls, or if our customers are unable to obtain regulatory approval to use our service where required, our business may be harmed and we may be unable to conduct business with customers in such industries. In addition, an inability to satisfy the standards of certain third-party certification bodies that our customers may expect, such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards, may have an adverse impact on our business. If we are unable in the future to achieve or maintain these industry-specific certifications or comply with other similar requirements or standards that are relevant to our customers, our business and our revenue may be adversely impacted.

In some cases, industry-specific laws, regulations or interpretive positions may also apply directly to us as a service provider. Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with such requirements could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

In addition, we may become subject to additional regulatory and compliance burdens as we expand our product offerings into new conversational businesses. For example, we recently launched a new conversational banking initiative. While we are relying on the banking license of a third party and certain of their compliance programs for this initiative, if we or our partner fail to comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations, fail to successfully manage our regulatory or compliance obligations, or fail to obtain and maintain required licenses, we could be subject to fines and/or proceedings by governmental agencies, regulatory bodies, and/or private litigation, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Future regulation of the Internet or mobile devices may slow our growth, resulting in decreased demand for our services and increased costs of doing business.

State, federal and foreign regulators could adopt laws and regulations that impose additional burdens on companies that conduct business online or that adversely affect the growth or use of the Internet or mobile commerce. For example, these laws and regulations could discourage communication by e-mail or other web-based communications, particularly targeted e-mail of the type facilitated by our services, which could reduce demand for our services. Laws or regulations that affect the use of the Internet or mobile devices, including but not limited to laws affecting net neutrality could also decrease demand for our services and increase our costs. Some jurisdictions have adopted regulations prohibiting certain forms of discrimination by Internet access providers; however, substantial uncertainty exists in the United States and elsewhere. For example, in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality rules effective June 11, 2018, which could lead internet access providers to restrict, block, degrade or charge for access to our products and services. Further, regulatory focus on data privacy, data security and consumer protection continues to expand on a worldwide basis and is becoming more complex, which will increase the risks to our business on reputational, operational, and compliance bases.

The continued growth and development of the market for online services may prompt calls for more stringent consumer protection laws or laws that will inhibit the use of Internet-based or mobile-based communications or the information contained
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in these communications or the ways in which information may be collected, stored, used and transferred in the course of providing services. For example, in the United States, the CAN-SPAM Act regulates the transmission and content of commercial emails, and, among other things, obligates the sending of such emails to provide recipients with the ability to opt-out or unsubscribe and other requirements; and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act regulates the ability of certain online services to collect or use certain categories of information from children under age 13 absent parental consent. The adoption of any additional laws or regulations, or changes to existing laws or regulations, may decrease the expansion of the Internet or smartphone usage. A decline in the growth of the Internet or smartphone usage, particularly as it relates to online communication, could decrease demand for our services and increase our costs of doing business, or otherwise harm our business. Any new legislation or regulations, application of laws and regulations from jurisdictions whose laws do not currently apply to our business, or application of existing laws and regulations to the Internet, mobile and other online services could increase our costs and harm our growth.

Risks Related to our Intellectual Property

Our products and services may infringe upon intellectual property rights of third parties and any infringement could require us to incur substantial costs and may distract our management.

We have had patent and other infringement lawsuits filed against us claiming that certain of our products and services infringe third party intellectual property rights, and we are subject to the future risk of additional third party claims alleging infringement against us or against our customers for use of our products and services. Many of our customer and partner contracts, including certain suppliers, contain indemnification obligations requiring us to indemnify our customers from certain claims against them or arising from the use of our services. Substantial litigation regarding intellectual property rights exists in the software industry. In the ordinary course of our business, our services and/or our customers’ use of our services may be increasingly subject to third-party infringement claims as claims by non-practicing entities become more prevalent and the number of competitors in our industry segment grows and the functionality of services in different industry segments overlaps. Some of our competitors in the market for digital engagement technology, and/or web and mobile based consumer-facing services or other third parties may have filed or may intend to file patent applications covering aspects of their technology and have asserted and may in the future assert claims against us. Any claims alleging infringement of third-party intellectual property rights could require us to spend significant amounts in litigation (even if the claim is invalid), distract management from other tasks of operating our business, pay substantial damage awards, prevent us from selling our products, delay delivery of our services, require the development of non-infringing software, technology, business processes, systems or other intellectual property (none of which might be successful), or limit our ability to use the intellectual property that is the subject of any of these claims, unless we enter into license agreements with the third parties (which may be costly, unavailable on commercially reasonable terms, or not available at all). Therefore, any such claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

Our business and prospects would suffer if we are unable to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights.

Our success and ability to compete depend, in part, upon the protection of our intellectual property rights relating to the technology underlying our services. We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trade secret, trademark and other common law protections in the United States and other jurisdictions, as well as confidentiality requirements and contractual provisions, to protect our proprietary technology, processes and other intellectual property. We own a portfolio of patents and patent applications in the United States and internationally and regularly file patent applications to protect intellectual property that we believe is important to our business, including intellectual property related to digital engagement technology, and/or web and mobile based consumer-facing services. We believe the duration of our patents is adequate relative to the expected lives of our products and services. We pursue the registration of our domain names, trademarks and trade names in the United States and in certain locations outside the United States. We also own copyrights, including in our software, publications and other documents authored by us. These intellectual property rights are important to our business and marketing efforts. We seek to protect our intellectual property rights by relying on federal, state, and common law rights, including registration, or otherwise in the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions, as well as contractual restrictions. However, we believe that factors such as the technological and creative skills of our personnel, new service developments, frequent enhancements and reliable maintenance are more essential to establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage. Others may develop technologies that are similar or superior to our technology. We enter into confidentiality and other written agreements (including invention assignment agreements) with our employees, consultants, customers, potential customers, strategic partners, and other third parties, and through these and other written agreements, we attempt to control access to and distribution of our software, documentation and other proprietary information. Despite our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, third parties may, in an unauthorized manner, attempt to use, copy or otherwise obtain and market or distribute our intellectual property rights or technology or otherwise develop a service with the same functionality as our services. Policing unauthorized use of our services and intellectual property rights is difficult, and we cannot be certain that the steps we have taken will prevent misappropriation of our technology or intellectual property rights, particularly in foreign countries where we do business, where our services are
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sold or used, where the laws may not protect proprietary rights as fully as do the laws of the United States or where enforcement of laws protecting proprietary rights is not common or effective.

The duration of the protection afforded to our intellectual property depends on the type of property in question, the laws and regulations of the relevant jurisdiction and the terms of its license agreements with others. With respect to our trademarks and trade names, trademark laws and rights are generally territorial in scope and limited to those countries where a mark has been registered or protected. While trademark registrations may generally be maintained in effect for as long as the mark is in use in the respective jurisdictions, there may be occasions where a mark or title is not registrable or protectable or cannot be used in a particular country. In addition, a trademark registration may be cancelled or invalidated if challenged by others based on certain use requirements or other limited grounds. The duration of property rights in trademarks, service marks and tradenames in the United States, whether registered or not, is predicated on our continued use.

It is possible that:
• any issued patent or patents issued in the future may not be broad enough to protect our intellectual property rights;
• any issued patent or any patents issued in the future could be successfully challenged by one or more third parties, which could result in our loss of the right to prevent others from exploiting the inventions claimed in the patents;
• current and future competitors may independently develop similar technologies, duplicate our services or design around any patents we may have; and
• effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every country in which we do business, where our services are sold or used, where the laws may not protect proprietary rights as fully as do the laws of the United States or where enforcement of laws protecting proprietary rights is not common or effective.

Further, to the extent that the invention described in any United States patent was made public prior to the filing of the patent application, we may not be able to obtain patent protection in certain countries. We also rely upon copyright, trade secret, trademark and other common law in the United States and other jurisdictions, as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions, to protect our proprietary technology, processes and other intellectual property. Any steps we might take may not be adequate to protect against infringement and misappropriation of our intellectual property by third parties. Similarly, third parties may be able to independently develop similar or superior technology, processes or other intellectual property. Third parties may register marks that are confusingly similar to the trademarks or services marks that we have used in the United States and our failure to monitor foreign registrations or mark usage may impact out rights in certain trademarks or services marks. Policing unauthorized use of our services and intellectual property rights is difficult, and we cannot be certain that the steps we have taken will prevent misappropriation of our technology or intellectual property rights, particularly in foreign countries where we do business, where our services are sold or used, where the laws may not protect proprietary rights as fully as do the laws of the United States or where enforcement of laws protecting proprietary rights is not common or effective. The unauthorized reproduction or other misappropriation of our intellectual property rights could enable third parties to benefit from our technology without paying us for it. If this occurs, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. In addition, disputes concerning the ownership or rights to use intellectual property could be costly and time-consuming to litigate, may distract management from operating our business and may result in our loss of significant rights.

Issues in the use of AI in our product offerings may result in reputational harm or liability.

We have built, and will continue to build, AI into many of our product offerings and we expect this element of our business to grow. We envision a future in which AI operating in our devices, applications and the cloud helps our customers be more productive in their business activities and interactions with consumers. As with many disruptive innovations, AI presents risks and challenges that could affect its adoption, and therefore our business. AI algorithms may be flawed. Datasets may be insufficient or contain biased information. Inappropriate or controversial data practices by us or others could impair the acceptance of AI solutions. These deficiencies could undermine the decisions, predictions, or analysis AI applications produce, subjecting us to competitive harm, legal liability, and brand or reputational harm. Some AI scenarios present ethical issues. If we enable or offer AI solutions that are controversial because of their impact on human rights, privacy, employment, or other social issues, we may experience a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.

We may be subject to legal liability and/or negative publicity for the services provided to consumers via our technology platforms.

Our technology platforms enable representatives of our customers as well as individual service providers to communicate with consumers and other persons seeking information or advice on the web or via mobile devices. The law relating to the liability of online platform providers such as us for the activities of users of their online platforms is often challenged in the United States and internationally. We may be unable to prevent users of our technology platforms from providing negligent, unlawful or inappropriate advice, information or content via our technology platforms, or from behaving in
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an unlawful manner, and we may be subject to allegations of civil or criminal liability for negligent, fraudulent, unlawful or inappropriate activities carried out by users of our technology platforms.

Claims could be made against online services companies under both United States and foreign law, such as fraud, defamation, libel, invasion of privacy, negligence, data breach, copyright or trademark infringement, or other theories based on the nature and content of the materials disseminated by users of our technology platforms. In addition, domestic and foreign legislation has been proposed that could prohibit or impose liability for the transmission over the Internet of certain types of information. Our defense of any of these actions could be costly and involve significant time and attention of our management and other resources.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, is intended, among other things, to reduce the liability of online service providers for transmitting or storing materials that infringe copyrights of others or referring, listing or linking to third party web properties that include materials that infringe copyrights of others. Additionally, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, or CDA, is intended to provide statutory protections to online service providers who host or distribute third party content. A safe harbor for copyright infringement is also available under the DMCA to certain online service providers that provide specific services, if the providers take certain affirmative steps as set forth in the DMCA. There are various Congressional efforts to restrict the scope of the protections from liability for service providers in certain circumstances. Important questions regarding the safe harbor under the DMCA and the CDA have yet to be litigated, and we cannot guarantee that we will meet the safe harbor requirements of the DMCA or of the CDA. If we are not covered by a safe harbor, for any reason, we could be exposed to claims, which could be costly and time-consuming to defend.

Our consumer service allows consumers to provide feedback regarding service providers. Although all such feedback is generated by users and not by us, claims of defamation or other injury could be made against us for content posted on our websites. Our liability for such claims may be higher in jurisdictions outside the United States where laws governing Internet or mobile transactions are unsettled.

If we become liable for information provided by our users and carried via our service in any jurisdiction in which we operate, we could be directly harmed and we may be forced to implement new measures to reduce our exposure to this liability. In addition, the increased attention focused upon liability issues as a result of these lawsuits and legislative proposals could harm our reputation or otherwise impact the growth of our business. Any costs incurred as a result of this potential liability could harm our business.

In addition, negative publicity and user sentiment generated as a result of fraudulent or deceptive conduct by users of our technology platforms could damage our reputation, reduce our ability to attract new users or retain our current users, and diminish the value of our brand.

In the future, we may be required to spend substantial resources to take additional protective measures or discontinue certain service offerings, either of which could harm our business. Any costs incurred as a result of potential liability relating to the sale of unlawful services or the unlawful sale of services could harm our business. In addition to legislation and regulations relating to privacy and data security and collection, we may be subject to consumer protection laws that are enforced by regulators such as the FTC and private parties, and include statutes that regulate the collection and use of information for marketing purposes. Any new legislation or regulations regarding the Internet, mobile devices, software sales or export and/or the cloud or Software-as-a-Service industry, and/or the application of existing laws and regulations to the Internet, mobile devices, software sales or export and/or the cloud or Software-as-a-Service industry, could create new legal or regulatory burdens on our business that could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, as we operate outside the United States, the international regulatory environment relating to the Internet, mobile devices, software sales or export, and/or the Software-as-a-Service industry could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.


Risks Related to our International Operations and Tax Issues

Our results of operations may be adversely impacted due to our exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.

We conduct business in currencies other than the U.S. dollar in Europe, Australia, Japan and Israel. As we continue to expand our international operations we become more exposed to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates. As a result of the expanding size and scope of our international operations, our currency rate fluctuation risk associated with the exchange rate movement of the U.S. dollar has increased.

Since we conduct business in currencies other than the U.S. dollar but report our financial results in U.S. dollars, fluctuations in currency exchange rates could adversely affect our results of operations. For example, during the year ended
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December 31, 2020, we experienced a foreign currency exchange impact of approximately 0.6% percent, or approximately $2.2 million if held in constant currency, to our revenue. Fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to other foreign currencies could materially affect our revenue, cost of revenue and operating expenses, and result in foreign currency transaction gains and losses. In January 2015, we began hedging a portion of our foreign currency exchange rate exposure; however, significant fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies may nonetheless adversely affect our net income (loss). As of December 31, 2019, we are no longer party to any foreign currency hedging transactions. We may seek to enter into additional hedging transactions in the future or to use financial instruments, such as derivative financial instruments, to mitigate risk, but we may be unable to enter into them successfully, on acceptable terms or at all. Additionally, these programs rely on our ability to forecast accurately and could expose us to additional risks that could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. We cannot predict whether or not we will incur foreign exchange losses in the future. To the extent the international component of our revenues grows, our results of operations will become more sensitive to foreign exchange rate fluctuations.

Economic conditions and regulatory changes caused by the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union could negatively impact our business.

On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) withdrew its membership from the European Union (“E.U.”), which is commonly referred to as “Brexit.” Pursuant to the withdrawal arrangements entered into between the U.K. and the E.U. in connection with Brexit, the U.K. was no longer a part of the E.U. at the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020. While the U.K. has for the most part chosen to retain existing E.U. law and on December 24, 2020 the U.K. and E.U. agreed to a trade and cooperation agreement which took provisional effect from January 1, 2020, the longer term economic, legal, political and social implications for the U.K. and the E.U. remain unclear and may lead to ongoing political, regulatory and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the U.K. and in wider European markets for some time. Such uncertainty may have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate in the U.K. and the E.U.

Brexit has resulted in significant volatility in global stock market and currency exchange rate fluctuations that resulted in strengthening of the U.S. dollar relative to other foreign currencies in which we conduct business and global economic uncertainty. The continuing uncertainty may cause our customers to closely monitor their costs and reduce their spending budgets. This could negatively impact our business, including affecting our relationships with our existing and future customers, suppliers and employees.

Further volatility in exchange rates resulting from Brexit is expected to continue in the short term as a result of Brexit. We translate sales and other results denominated in foreign currency into U.S. dollars for our financial statements. During periods of a strengthening dollar, our reported international sales and earnings could be reduced because foreign currencies may translate into fewer U.S. dollars.

The longer term economic, legal, political and social implications of Brexit could potentially disrupt the markets we serve and the tax jurisdictions in which we operate and adversely change tax benefits or liabilities in these or other jurisdictions. They may also impact how we deliver our products and services to customers in the U.K. and in the E.U., which may cause us to lose customers, suppliers and/or employees and could result in increased operating expenses. In addition, Brexit could lead to further legal uncertainty and potentially divergent laws and regulations, as well as other adverse effects that we are unable to anticipate. Any of these effects of Brexit, among others, could negatively impact our business, results of operations, financial condition, cash flows and prospects.

We may be unsuccessful in expanding our operations internationally and/or into direct-to-consumer services due to additional regulatory requirements, tax liabilities, currency exchange rate fluctuations and other risks, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

In addition to our operations in the United States, we have operations in Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latin America, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom. We have also continued to invest in global messaging initiatives and in acquisitions. Our ability to continue to expand into international markets and in the online consumer market involves various risks, including the possibility that returns on such investments will not be achieved in the near future, or ever, and the difficulty of competing in markets with which we are unfamiliar.

Our international operations and direct-to-consumer services may also fail due to other risks inherent in foreign and/or online consumer operations, including:
• varied, unfamiliar, unclear and changing legal and regulatory restrictions, including different legal and regulatory standards applicable to Internet or mobile services, communications, privacy, and data protection;
• difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;
• differing intellectual property laws that may not provide sufficient protection for our intellectual property;
• adverse tax consequences or additional tax liabilities;
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• difficulty in addressing country-specific business requirements and regulations, for instance, data privacy laws;
• fluctuations in currency exchange rates;
• strains on financial and other systems to properly administer VAT and other taxes;
• different consumer preferences and requirements in specific international markets; and
• international legal, compliance, political, regulatory or systemic restrictions, or other international governmental scrutiny, applicable to United States companies with sales and operations in foreign countries, including, but not limited to, possible compliance issues involving the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act, and similar laws in other jurisdictions.

Our current and any future international expansion plans will require management attention and resources and may be unsuccessful. We may find it impossible or prohibitively expensive to continue expand internationally or we may be unsuccessful in our attempt to do so, and our results of operations could be adversely impacted. In addition, violations of any foreign laws or regulations could result in fines, criminal sanctions against us, our officers or our employees, prohibitions on the conduct of our business and damage to our reputation.

Our operations may expose us to greater than anticipated income, non-income and transactional tax liabilities, which could harm our financial condition and results of operations.

There is heightened scrutiny by fiscal authorities in many jurisdictions on the potential taxation of e-commerce businesses. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has issued guidelines, referred to as the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project (BEPS), to its member-nations aimed at encouraging broad-based legislative initiatives intended to prevent perceived base erosion transactions and income shifting in a tax-advantaged manner. Further, for the past several years, the OECD has had a specific focus on the taxation implications of e-commerce business, generally referred by the OECD as the “digital economy.” In the fourth quarter of 2019, the OECD released details on its proposed approach which would, among other changes, create a new right to tax certain “digital economy” income not necessarily based on traditional nexus concepts nor on the “arm’s length principle.” At this point, there is a lack of consensus among the key members, particularly the United States, with the latest OECD proposal. The United States has expressed that it would generally support a solution along the lines proposed by the OECD only if the solution was in the form of a “safe-harbor” rather than a mandatory requirement. A failure to reach full consensus on an executable plan within the tight timeframe under which the OECD is operating could result in individual jurisdictions legislating digital tax provisions in an uncoordinated and unilateral manner, and further result in greater or even double taxation that companies may not have sufficient means to remedy. For example, a number of jurisdictions, including the U.K., France and Italy, have already adopted or have formally proposed legislation to effect the taxation of certain e-commerce business based on differing criteria and metrics. Efforts to alleviate this increased tax burden will increase the cost of structuring and compliance as well as the cost of doing business internationally. Any changes to the taxation of our international activities may increase our worldwide effective tax rate and adversely impact our financial position and results of operations.

Further, the prospective taxation by multiple jurisdictions of e-commerce businesses could subject us to exposure to withholding, sales, VAT and/or other transaction taxes on our past and future transactions in such jurisdictions where we currently or in the future may be required to report taxable transactions. A successful assertion by any jurisdiction that we failed to pay such withholding, sales, VAT or other transaction taxes, or the imposition of new laws requiring the registration for, collection of, and payment of such taxes, could result in substantial tax liabilities related to past, current and future sales, create increased administrative burdens and costs, discourage customers from purchasing content from us, or otherwise substantially harm our business and results of operations. We are currently subject to and in the future may become subject to additional compliance requirements for certain of these taxes. Changes in our exposure to withholding, sales, VAT and/or other transaction taxes could have an adverse impact on our financial condition in the future.

In addition, an increasing number of states have considered or adopted laws that attempt to impose tax collection obligations on out-of-state companies. In June 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in the matter of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. This decision effectively reversed the 25-year-old “physical presence doctrine” previously established by the Supreme Court in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, which required a minimum level of physical presence within a state before the state could impose an obligation to register and remit sales tax on revenue derived within that state. This decision may significantly increase the effort, resources and costs associated with the sales tax collection and compliance burden. Since the decision, a number of states have enacted sales tax enabling legislation which has had the effect of significantly expanding the liability of e-commerce companies to register, collect and remit state sales taxes from customers. A successful assertion by one or more states requiring us to collect taxes where we presently do not do so, or to collect more taxes in a jurisdiction in which we currently do collect some taxes, could result in substantial tax liabilities, including taxes on past sales, as well as penalties and interest. The imposition by state governments or local governments of sales tax collection obligations on out-of-state sellers could also create additional administrative burdens for us, put us at a competitive disadvantage if they do not impose similar obligations on our competitors, and decrease our future sales, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
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Our ability to use our net operating losses to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations.

As of December 31, 2020, we had federal net operating loss carryforwards (“NOLs”) of approximately $310.7 million which are available to offset future federal taxable income. In general, under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change” (generally defined as a greater than 50-percentage-point cumulative change (by value) in the equity ownership of certain stockholders over a rolling three-year period) is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its pre-change NOLs to offset post-change taxable income. Under Section 382 of the Code, our existing NOLs may be subject to limitations arising from previous ownership changes, and if we undergo an ownership change in the future, our ability to utilize NOLs could be further limited by Section 382 of the Code, or as a result of a corresponding provision of state law. Future changes in our stock ownership, some of which may be outside of our control, could result in an ownership change under Section 382 of the Code. Federal NOLs generated in taxable years ending on or before December 31, 2017, are eligible to be carried forward for up to 20 tax years (and carried back up to two tax years) following their incurrence. Federal NOLs generated in taxable years ending after December 31, 2017, are eligible to be carried forward indefinitely, but generally may only offset up to 80% of federal taxable income earned in a taxable year. As of December 31, 2020, approximately $41.2 million of our approximately $310.7 million of federal NOLs were generated in taxable years ending on or before December 31, 2017. If our ability to utilize federal NOLs were limited by Section 382 of the Code, it could result in NOLs generated on or before December 31, 2017, expiring unused. Our ability to utilize our NOLs is conditioned upon our maintaining profitability in the future and generating U.S. federal taxable income. Since we do not know whether or when we will generate the U.S. federal taxable income necessary to utilize our remaining NOLs, our NOLs generated on or prior to December 31, 2017 could expire unused.

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law making several changes to the Code including, but not limited to, allowing companies to carryback certain NOLs and increasing the amount of NOL carryforwards that corporations can use to offset taxable income in the 2018 through 2020 taxable years. As a result of the CARES Act, we amended returns for net operating loss carrybacks available from 2013 to 2018 and for foreign tax, and research and development credit carrybacks from 2012 to 2013, resulting in refund claims of approximately $580,000.

Political, economic and military conditions in Israel could negatively impact our Israeli operations.

A substantial portion of our product development staff, help desk and online sales support operations are located in Israel. As of December 31, 2020, we had 325 full-time employees in Israel. Although substantially all of our sales to date have been made to customers outside Israel, we are directly influenced by the political, economic and military conditions affecting Israel. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, a number of armed conflicts have taken place between Israel and its neighboring countries, Hamas (an Islamist militia and political group that controls the Gaza Strip), Hezbollah (an Islamist militia and political group based in Lebanon) and other armed groups. Furthermore, Iran has threatened to attack Israel and may be developing nuclear weapons.

In addition, the State of Israel and Israeli companies have been subject to economic boycotts. Several countries still restrict business with the State of Israel and with Israeli companies. These restrictive laws and policies may have an adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition or the expansion of our business. A campaign of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions has been undertaken against Israel, which could also adversely affect our business. Actual or perceived political instability in Israel or any negative changes in the political environment, may individually or in the aggregate adversely affect the Israeli economy and, in turn, our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Parties with whom we do business may sometimes decline to travel to Israel during periods of heightened unrest or tension, forcing us to make alternative arrangements when necessary in order to meet our business partners face to face. In addition, the political and security situation in Israel may result in parties with whom we have agreements involving performance in Israel claiming that they are not obligated to perform their commitments under those agreements pursuant to force majeure provisions in such agreements.

Further, shifting economic and political conditions in the United States and in other countries may result in changes in how the United States and other countries conduct business and other relations with Israel, which may have an adverse impact on our Israeli operations and a material adverse impact on our business.

Our commercial insurance may not cover losses that could occur as a result of events associated with the security situation in the Middle East. Any losses or damages incurred by us could have a material adverse effect on our business. Armed conflicts or political instability in the region could negatively affect our business and could harm our results of operations.

Continued hostilities between Israel and its neighbors and any future armed conflict, terrorist activity or political instability in the region could adversely affect our operations in Israel and adversely affect the market price of our securities. In
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addition, escalation of tensions or violence might require more widespread military reserve service by some of our Israeli employees and might result in a significant downturn in the economic or financial condition of Israel, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our operations in Israel and our business.


Risks Related to our Outstanding Convertible Notes

Servicing our debt may require a significant amount of cash, and we may not have sufficient cash flow from our business to pay our indebtedness.

In March 2019, we issued $230.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 0.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2024 in a private placement (the “2024 Notes”). The interest rate on the 2024 Notes is fixed at 0.75% per annum and is payable semi-annually in arrears on March 1 and September 1 of each year. In December 2020, we issued $517.5 million in aggregate principal amount of 0% Convertible Senior Notes due 2026 in a private placement (the “2026 Notes,” and together with the 2024 Notes, the “Notes”). The 2026 Notes do not bear any regular interest payments.

Our ability to make scheduled payments of the principal of, to pay interest on or to refinance our Notes or any additional future indebtedness depends on our future performance, which is subject to economic, financial, competitive and other factors beyond our control. Our business may not generate cash flow from operations in the future sufficient to service our debt and make necessary capital expenditures. If we are unable to generate such cash flow, we may be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as selling assets, restructuring debt or obtaining additional debt financing or equity capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive. Our ability to refinance our current or any future indebtedness will depend on the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. 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. In addition, any of our future debt agreements may contain restrictive covenants that may prohibit us from adopting any of these alternatives. Our failure to comply with these covenants could result in an event of default which, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of our debt.

We may not have the ability to raise the funds necessary to settle conversions of the Notes in cash or to repurchase the Notes upon a fundamental change, and any future debt may contain limitations on our ability to pay cash upon conversion or repurchase of the Notes.

Holders of the Notes have the right to require us to repurchase all or a portion of their Notes upon the occurrence of a fundamental change before the maturity date at a fundamental change repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the Notes to be repurchased, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any. In addition, upon conversion of the Notes, unless we elect to deliver solely shares of our common stock to settle such conversion (other than paying cash in lieu of delivering any fractional share), we are required to make cash payments in respect of the Notes being converted. However, we may not have enough available cash or be able to obtain financing at the time we are required to make repurchases of Notes surrendered therefor or pay cash with respect to Notes being converted. In addition, our ability to repurchase Notes or to pay cash upon conversions of Notes may be limited by law, regulatory authority, or any agreements governing our future indebtedness. Our failure to repurchase Notes at a time when the repurchase is required by the indenture or to pay any cash upon conversions of Notes as required by the indenture would constitute a default under the indenture. A default under the indenture or the fundamental change itself could also lead to a default under agreements governing any future indebtedness. If the payment of the related indebtedness were to be accelerated after any applicable notice or grace periods, we may not have sufficient funds to repay the indebtedness and repurchase the Notes or to pay cash upon conversions of Notes.

Provisions in the indentures for the Notes may deter or prevent a business combination that may be favorable to you.

If a fundamental change occurs prior to the maturity date of the Notes, the holders of the Notes will have the right, at their option, to require us to repurchase all or a portion of their Notes. In addition, if a make-whole fundamental change occurs prior the maturity date of the Notes, we will in some cases be required to increase the conversion rate for a holder that elects to convert its Notes in connection with such make-whole fundamental change. Furthermore, the indentures for the Notes prohibit us from engaging in certain mergers or acquisitions unless, among other things, the surviving entity assumes our obligations under the Notes. These and other provisions in the indentures governing the Notes could deter or prevent a third party from acquiring us even when the acquisition may be favorable to you.

The conditional conversion feature 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 solely shares of our common stock (other than paying cash in lieu of
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delivering any fractional share), we would be required to settle a portion or all of our conversion obligation through the payment of cash, which could adversely affect our liquidity. In addition, even if holders of 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 would result in a material reduction of our net working capital.

The accounting method for convertible debt securities that may be settled in cash, such as the Notes, could have a material effect on our reported financial results.

Under Accounting Standards Codification 470-20, Debt with Conversion and Other Options, or ASC 470-20, an entity must separately account for the liability and equity components of the convertible debt instruments (such as the Notes) that may be settled entirely or partially in cash upon conversion in a manner that reflects the issuer’s economic interest cost. The effect of ASC 470-20 on the accounting for the Notes is that the equity component, net of issuance costs, is required to be included in the additional paid-in capital section of stockholders’ equity on our condensed consolidated balance sheet at the issuance date and the value of the equity component is treated as original issue discount for purposes of accounting for the liability component of the Notes. As a result, we are required to record a greater amount of non-cash interest expense in current periods presented as a result of the amortization of the discounted carrying value of the Notes to their face amount over the term of the Notes. We will report larger net losses (or lower net income) in our financial results because ASC 470-20 requires interest to include both the current period’s amortization of the debt discount and the instrument’s non-convertible coupon interest rate, which could adversely affect our reported or future financial results, the trading price of our common stock and the trading price of the Notes.

In addition, under certain circumstances, convertible debt instruments (such as the Notes) that may be settled entirely or partly in cash may be accounted for utilizing the treasury stock method, the effect of which is that the shares issuable upon conversion of such Notes are not included in the calculation of diluted earnings per share except to the extent that the conversion value of such Notes exceeds their principal amount. Under the treasury stock method, for diluted earnings per share purposes, the transaction is accounted for as if the number of shares of common stock that would be necessary to settle such excess, if we elected to settle such excess in shares, are issued. We cannot be sure that the accounting standards in the future will continue to permit the use of the treasury stock method. If we are unable to use the treasury stock method in accounting for the shares issuable upon conversion of the Notes, then our diluted earnings per share would be adversely affected.

The capped call transactions may affect the value of the Notes and our common stock.

In connection with the transaction in which we issued the Notes, we entered into capped call transactions with certain option counterparties. The capped call transactions are expected generally to reduce the potential dilution to our common stock upon any conversion of Notes and/or offset any cash payments we are required to make in excess of the principal amount of the converted Notes, as the case may be, upon any conversion of Notes, with such reduction and/or offset subject to a cap.

The option counterparties or their respective affiliates are expected to 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, the Notes or other of our securities or instruments (if any), in secondary market transactions prior to the maturity of the Notes (and are likely to do so during any observation period related to a conversion of Notes or following any earlier conversion or any repurchase of Notes by us on any fundamental change repurchase date or otherwise). This activity could also cause or avoid an increase or a decrease in the market price of our common stock or the Notes, which could affect a holder’s ability to convert the Notes and, to the extent the activity occurs during any observation period related to a conversion of Notes, it could affect the amount and value of the consideration that a holder will receive upon conversion of such Notes.

The potential effect, if any, of these transactions and activities on the market price of our common stock or the Notes will depend in part on market conditions and cannot be ascertained at this time. Any of these activities could adversely affect the value of our common stock and the value of the Notes (and as a result, the amount and value of the consideration that a holder would receive upon the conversion of any Notes) and, under certain circumstances, a holder’s ability to convert his or her Notes.

We do not make any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any potential effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of our common stock or the Notes. In addition, we do not make any representation that the option counterparties or their respective affiliates will engage in these transactions or that these transactions, once commenced, will not be discontinued without notice.

We are subject to counterparty risk with respect to the capped call transactions.

The option counterparties to the capped call transactions are financial institutions, and we are subject to the risk that any or all of them may default under the capped calls. Our exposure to the credit risk of the option counterparties is not secured by
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any collateral. Global economic conditions have in the recent past resulted in, and may again result in, the actual or perceived failure or financial difficulties of many financial institutions. If an option counterparty becomes subject to insolvency proceedings, we will become an unsecured creditor in those proceedings, with a claim equal to our exposure at that time under our transactions with that option counterparty. Our exposure depends on many factors but, generally, an increase in our exposure will be correlated to an increase in the market price and in the volatility of our common stock. In addition, upon a default by an option counterparty, we may suffer more dilution than we currently anticipate with respect to our common stock. We can provide no assurances as to the financial stability or viability of the option counterparties.

Risks Related to our Common Stock

Our stock price has been, and may continue to be, highly volatile, which could reduce the value of your investment and subject us to litigation.

The price of our common stock has fluctuated significantly in the past and may continue to be highly volatile, with extreme price and volume fluctuations. Our trading price could fluctuate substantially in the future, including in response to the following factors, some of which are beyond our control:
• quarterly variations in our operating results or those of our competitors;
• earnings announcements that are not in line with analyst expectations;
• changes in recommendations or financial estimates by securities analysts;
• announcements or rumors about mergers or strategic acquisitions by us or by our competitors;
• announcements about customer additions and cancellations or failure to complete significant sales;
• changes in market valuations of companies that investors believe are comparable to us;
• additions or departures of key personnel;
• consequences of unexpected geopolitical events, natural disasters, acts of war or climate change;
• pandemics, epidemics or similar widespread public health concerns; and
• general economic, political and market conditions, such as recessions, political unrest or terrorist attacks, or in the specific locations where we operate, such as the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom.

In addition, extreme price and volume fluctuations in the stock markets generally, and in the markets for technology companies in particular, could cause the market price for our common stock to decline. In the past, companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their stock have been the subject of securities class action litigation. We may in the future be the target of similar litigation, which could result in substantial costs and distract management’s attention and resources.

Our common stock is traded on more than one market and this may result in price variations.

Our common stock is currently traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (“TASE”). Trading in our common stock on these markets takes place in different currencies (U.S. dollars on the Nasdaq and New Israeli Shekels on the TASE) and at different times (due to different time zones, trading days and public holidays in the United States and Israel). The trading prices of our common stock on these two markets may differ due to these and other factors. Any decrease in the trading price of our common stock on one of these markets could cause a decrease in the trading price of our common stock on the other market. Differences in trading prices on the two markets could negatively impact our trading price.

If our officers, directors and largest stockholders choose to act together, they may be able to significantly influence our management and operations, acting in their own best interest and not necessarily those of our other stockholders.

As of December 31, 2020, our executive officers, directors and holders of 5% or more of our outstanding common stock and their affiliates in the aggregate beneficially owned approximately 44.2% of our outstanding common stock. As a result, these stockholders, acting together, have the ability to significantly influence all matters requiring approval by our stockholders, including the election of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions. Our executive officers, directors and principal stockholders could also delay or prevent a change in control. The interests of this group of stockholders may not always coincide with LivePerson’s interests or the interests of other stockholders, and they may act in a manner that advances their best interests and not necessarily those of our other stockholders.

Future sales of substantial amounts of our common stock may negatively affect our stock price.

If we or our stockholders sell substantial amounts of our common stock, including shares issuable upon the exercise of outstanding options and warrants, or upon the conversion of the Notes, in the public market, or if the market perceives that these sales might occur, the market price of our common stock could fall. These sales also might make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and price that we deem appropriate. No prediction can be made as to the effect, if any, that market sales of our common stock will have on the market price of our common stock.
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Provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law could discourage, delay or prevent a takeover that stockholders may consider favorable.

Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws may have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing a change in control or changes in our management that stockholders may deem advantageous. These provisions include the following:

• Our board of directors is divided into three classes, with each class serving three-year staggered terms, which prevents stockholders from electing an entirely new board of directors at any annual meeting.
• Vacancies on our board of directors may only be filled by a vote of a majority of directors then in office, even if less than a quorum.
• Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation prohibits cumulative voting in the election of directors or any other matters. This limits the ability of minority stockholders to elect director candidates.
• Our stockholders may only act at a duly called annual or special meeting and may not act by written consent.
• Stockholders must provide advance notice to nominate individuals for election to our board of directors or to propose other matters that can be acted upon at a stockholders’ meeting.
• We require super-majority voting by stockholders to amend certain provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and to amend our amended and restated bylaws.
• Our amended and restated bylaws expressly authorize a super-majority of the board of directors to amend our amended and restated bylaws.

As a Delaware corporation, we are also subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which generally prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any of a broad range of business combinations with an interested stockholder for a period of three years following the date on which the stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless certain conditions are met. This anti-takeover provision defenses could discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company, whether or not it is desired by or beneficial to our stockholders, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on the market price of our common stock.

We cannot assure our stockholders that any stock repurchase programs will be fully consummated or will enhance long-term stockholder value, and stock repurchases could increase the volatility of the price of our common stock and will diminish our cash reserves.

From 2012 through 2018, we had a stock repurchase program in place, pursuant to which we were authorized to repurchase shares of our common stock, in the open market or privately negotiated transactions, at times and prices considered appropriate by the Board of Directors depending upon prevailing market conditions and other corporate considerations. The timing and actual number of shares repurchased depended on a variety of factors including the timing of open trading windows, price, corporate and regulatory requirements, and other market conditions. The program was discontinued at the end of 2018. We may or may not enter into a new stock repurchase program in the future.

Repurchases pursuant to our stock repurchase program could affect our stock price and increase its volatility. The existence of a stock repurchase program could also cause our stock price to be higher than it would be in the absence of such a program and could potentially reduce the market liquidity for our stock. Additionally, repurchases under a stock repurchase program would diminish our cash reserves, which could impact our ability to pursue possible future strategic opportunities and acquisitions and could result in lower overall returns on our cash balances. There can be no assurance that any stock repurchases will enhance stockholder value because the market price of our common stock may decline below the levels at which we repurchased shares of stock.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
    None.
Item 2. Properties
LivePerson is headquartered in New York City, and we maintain a globally distributed, remote workforce. In 2020, due to health concerns related to the global novel coronavirus disease ("COVID-19") pandemic, the Company vacated its physical offices around the world, and began transitioning to an "employee-centric" workforce model, leveraging its expertise in AI and asynchronous communication to support operations, culture and productivity in this new environment.
As of December 31, 2020, we have data centers in the United States, Europe and Australia pursuant to various lease agreements. We believe that our current facilities properties are in good condition and are adequate to meet our current needs. If required, we believe that we will be able to obtain suitable additional space on commercially reasonable terms.
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Item 3. Legal Proceedings
    We previously filed an intellectual property suit against [24]7 Customer, Inc. ("[24]/7") in the Southern District of New York on March 6, 2014 seeking damages on the grounds that [24]7 reverse engineered and misappropriated our technology to develop competing products and misused our business information. On June 22, 2015, [24]7 Customer, Inc. filed suit against us in the Northern District of California alleging patent infringement. On December 7, 2015, [24]7 Customer Inc. filed a second patent infringement suit against us, also in the Northern District of California. On March 16, 2017, the New York case was voluntarily transferred and consolidated with the two California cases in the Northern District of California for all pre-trial purposes. Rulings by both the Court and the United States Patent Office in our favor have invalidated the majority of [24]7 patents that were asserted in the patent cases. Trial for our intellectual property and other claims asserted against [24]7 is set for May 24, 2021. Trial for [24]7's patent infringement claims has been vacated, to be reset after the trial on our claims. We believe the claims filed by [24]7 are entirely without merit and intend to defend them vigorously.
We routinely assess all of our litigation and threatened litigation as to the probability of ultimately incurring a liability, and record our best estimate of the ultimate loss in situations where we assess the likelihood of loss as probable.
    From time to time, we are involved in or subject to legal, administrative and regulatory proceedings, claims, demands and investigations arising in the ordinary course of business, including direct claims brought by or against us with respect to intellectual property, contracts, employment and other matters, as well as claims brought against our customers for whom we have a contractual indemnification obligation. We accrue for a liability when it is both probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. Significant judgment is required in both the determination of probability and the determination as to whether a loss is reasonably estimable. In addition, in the event we determine that a loss is not probable, but is reasonably possible, and it becomes possible to develop what we believe to be a reasonable range of possible loss, then we will include disclosure related to such matter as appropriate and in compliance with ASC 450. The accruals or estimates, if any, resulting from the foregoing analysis, are reviewed at least quarterly and adjusted to reflect the impact of negotiations, settlements, rulings, advice of legal counsel and other information and events pertaining to a particular matter. To the extent there is a reasonable possibility that the losses could exceed the amounts already accrued, we will, as applicable, adjust the accrual in the period the determination is made, disclose an estimate of the additional loss or range of loss, indicate that the estimate is immaterial with respect to our financial statements as a whole or, if the amount of such adjustment cannot be reasonably estimated, disclose that an estimate cannot be made.
    From time to time, third parties assert claims against us regarding intellectual property rights, privacy issues and other matters arising in the ordinary course of business. Although we cannot be certain of the outcome of any litigation or the disposition of any claims, nor the amount of damages and exposure, if any, that we could incur, we currently believe that the final disposition of all existing matters will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. In addition, in the ordinary course of our business, we are also subject to periodic threats of lawsuits, investigations and claims. Regardless of the outcome, litigation can have an adverse impact on us because of defense and settlement costs, diversion of management resources and other factors.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not Applicable.
PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Price Range of Common Stock
The principal United States market on which our common stock is traded is The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol LPSN. Our shares of common stock are also traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the symbol LPSN TA.
Holders
As of February 26, 2021, there were approximately 120 holders of record of our common stock.
Dividends
We have not declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock since our inception. We intend to retain earnings, if any, to finance the operation and expansion of our business and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.
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Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
There were no repurchases of the Company's equity securities during the year ended December 31, 2020.    


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Stock Performance Graph
The graph depicted below compares the annual percentage changes in LivePerson’s cumulative total stockholder return with the cumulative total return of the Standard & Poor’s SmallCap 600 Index and the Standard & Poor’s Information Technology Index.
https://cdn.kscope.io/d764cd1979a4a1ad43a4f5fcaeeebd87-lpsn-20201231_g1.jpg
(1)The graph covers the period from December 31, 2015 to December 31, 2020.
(2)The graph assumes that $100 was invested at the market close on December 31, 2015 in LivePerson’s Common Stock, in the Standard & Poor’s SmallCap 600 Index and in the Standard & Poor’s Information Technology Index, and that all dividends were reinvested. No cash dividends have been declared on LivePerson’s Common Stock.
(3)Stockholder returns over the indicated period should not be considered indicative of future stockholder returns.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in any of our previous or future filings under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that might incorporate by reference this Annual Report on Form 10-K or future filings made by the Company under those statutes, the Stock Performance Graph above is not deemed filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is not deemed soliciting material and shall not be deemed incorporated by reference into any of those prior filings or into any future filings made by us under those statutes, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate such information by reference into a previous or future filing, or specifically request that such information be treated as soliciting material, in each case under those statutes.
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Item 6. Selected Consolidated Financial Data
The selected consolidated financial data with respect to our consolidated balance sheets as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 and the related consolidated statements of operations for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements which are included herein. The selected financial data with respect to our balance sheets as of December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 and the related statements of operations for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 have been derived from our audited financial statements which are not included herein. Due to our acquisitions of AdvantageTec, Conversable, and Bot Central in 2018, we believe that comparisons of our operating results with each other, or with those of prior periods, may not be meaningful. The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto and the information contained in Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
Year Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
(In Thousands, Except Share and per Share Data)
Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:
Revenue$366,620 $291,609 $249,838 $218,876 $222,779 
Costs and expenses:
Cost of revenue 106,268 78,878 62,479 58,205 63,161 
Sales and marketing
149,773 156,814 103,344 90,905 89,529 
General and administrative
60,557 56,967 45,873 43,124 43,046 
Product development
108,414 82,145 55,707 40,034 40,198 
Restructuring costs
29,420 2,043 4,468 2,594 2,369 
Amortization of purchased intangibles
1,639 1,794 1,670 1,840 3,885 
Total costs and expenses
456,071 378,641 273,541 236,702 242,188 
Loss from operations(89,451)(87,032)(23,703)(17,826)(19,409)
Other (expense) income, net
Interest (expense) income
(14,334)(7,407)22 26 
Other (expense) income, net(1,343)1,213 (493)110 (535)
Other (expense) income (15,677)(6,194)(471)136 (530)
Loss before provision for income taxes(105,128)(93,226)(24,174)(17,690)(19,939)
Provision for income taxes2,466 2,845 858 501 5,934 
Net loss$(107,594)$(96,071)$(25,032)$(18,191)$(25,873)
Net loss per share of common stock:
Basic$(1.63)$(1.53)$(0.42)$(0.32)$(0.46)
Diluted$(1.63)$(1.53)$(0.42)$(0.32)$(0.46)
Weighted-average shares used to compute net loss per share:
Basic65,888,450 62,593,026 59,203,400 56,358,017 56,063,777 
Diluted65,888,450 62,593,026 59,203,400 56,358,017 56,063,777 
Other Financial and Operational Data:
Adjusted EBITDA (1)
$37,931 $(13,612)$19,090 $18,400 $19,198 
Adjusted operating income (loss) (2)
$15,105 $(29,978)$4,902 $6,042 $7,503 
(1) We define adjusted EBITDA as net loss before provision for (benefit from) income taxes, other (expense) income, net, depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation, restructuring costs, acquisition costs and other charges. Please see “Adjusted EBITDA” below for more information and for a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to net (loss) income, the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or (“GAAP”).
(2) We define adjusted operating income as income (loss) before provision for income taxes excluding amortization, stock-based compensation, restructuring costs, acquisition costs, contingent earn-out adjustments, other charges and other (expense) income. Please see “Adjusted Operating Income” below for more information and for a reconciliation of adjusted operating income to income (loss) before provision for income taxes, the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles or GAAP.
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Stock-based compensation included in the statements of operations above was as follows (amounts in thousands):
Year Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
Cost of revenue$6,511 $4,218 $996 $448 $429 
Sales and marketing16,106 10,010 5,374 2,500 2,515 
General and administrative 15,772 12,216 4,921 3,691 3,304 
Product development 27,557 17,661 3,550 2,305 3,488 
Total stock-based compensation $65,946 $44,105 $14,841 $8,944 $9,736 
As of December 31,
20202019201820172016
(In Thousands)
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
Cash and cash equivalents$654,152 $176,523 $66,449 $56,115 $50,889 
Working capital540,260 107,674 7,873 13,789 17,548 
Total assets1,006,432 512,710 290,103 232,799 219,638 
Total stockholders’ equity243,934 148,535 170,729 140,063 138,476 
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Operating Income
    To provide investors with additional information regarding our financial results, we have disclosed adjusted EBITDA and adjusted operating income which are non-GAAP financial measures. The tables below present a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA and adjusted operating income to net (loss) income, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.
    We have included adjusted EBITDA and adjusted operating income in this Annual Report on Form 10-K because these are key measures used by our management and board of directors to understand and evaluate our core operating performance and trends, to prepare and approve our annual budget and to develop short and long-term operational plans. In particular, the exclusion of certain expenses in calculating adjusted EBITDA and adjusted operating income can provide a useful measure for period-to-period comparisons of our core business. Additionally, adjusted EBITDA is a key financial measure used by the compensation committee of our board of directors in connection with the payment of bonuses to our executive officers. Accordingly, we believe that adjusted EBITDA and adjusted operating income provide useful information to investors and others in understanding and evaluating our operating results in the same manner as our management and board of directors.
    Our use of adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:
although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized may have to be replaced in the future, and adjusted EBITDA does not reflect cash capital expenditure requirements for such replacements or for new capital expenditure requirements;
adjusted EBITDA does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs;
adjusted EBITDA does not consider the impact of acquisition costs;
adjusted EBITDA does not consider the impact of restructuring costs;
adjusted EBITDA does not consider the impact of other costs;
adjusted EBITDA does not reflect tax payments that may represent a reduction in cash available to us; and
other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate adjusted EBITDA differently, which reduces its usefulness as a comparative measure.
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    Because of these limitations, you should consider adjusted EBITDA alongside other financial performance measures, including various pre-tax GAAP loss and our other GAAP results. The following table presents a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA for each of the periods indicated (amounts in thousands):
Year Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
Reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA:
GAAP Net loss$(107,594)$(96,071)$(25,032)$(18,191)$(25,873)
Amortization of purchased intangibles and finance leases3,552 2,932 2,813 4,682 6,673 
Stock-based compensation65,946 44,105 14,841 8,944 9,736 
Contingent earn-out adjustments263 — — — — 
Restructuring costs29,420 
(1)
2,043 
(2)
4,468 
(3)
2,594 
(4)
2,369 
(9)
Depreciation and amortization22,826 16,366 14,188 12,358 12,011 
Other litigation and consulting costs5,375 
(5)
7,974 
(6)
5,928 
(7)
7,648 
(8)
7,818 
(10)
Provision for income taxes2,466 2,845 858 501 5,934 
Acquisition costs— — 555 — — 
Interest expense (income)14,334 7,407 (22)(26)(5)
Other expense (income)1,343 (1,213)493 (110)535 
Adjusted EBITDA (loss)$37,931 $(13,612)$19,090 $18,400 $19,198 
    Our use of adjusted operating income has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:
although amortization is a non-cash charge, the assets being amortized may have to be replaced in the future, and adjusted operating income does not reflect cash capital expenditure requirements for such replacements or for new capital expenditure requirements;
adjusted operating income does not consider the impact of acquisition costs;
adjusted operating income does not consider the impact of restructuring costs;
adjusted operating income does not consider the impact of other non-recurring costs; and
other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate adjusted operating income differently, which reduces its usefulness as a comparative measure.
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    Because of these limitations, you should consider adjusted operating income (loss) alongside other financial performance measures, including various pre-tax GAAP loss and our other GAAP results. The following table presents a reconciliation of adjusted operating income (loss) for each of the periods indicated (amounts in thousands):
Year Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
Reconciliation of Adjusted Operating Income (Loss)
Loss before provision for income taxes$(105,128)$(93,226)$(24,174)$(17,690)$(19,939)
Amortization of purchased intangibles and finance leases3,552 2,932 2,813 4,682 6,673 
Stock-based compensation65,946 44,105 14,841 8,944 9,736 
Restructuring costs 29,420 
(1)
2,043 
(2)
4,468 
(3)
2,594 
(4)
2,369 
(9)
Other litigation and consulting costs5,375 
(5)
7,974 
(6)
5,928 
(7)
7,648 
(8)
8,134 
(10)
Contingent earn-out adjustments263 — — — — 
Acquisition costs— — 555 — — 
Interest expense (income)14,334 7,407 (22)(26)(5)
Other expense (income)1,343 (1,213)493 (110)535 
Adjusted operating income (loss)$15,105 $(29,978)$4,902 $6,042 $7,503 

(1) Includes lease restructuring costs of $24.3 million and severance and other compensation related costs of $5.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. As detailed in Note 14 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, the Company’s lease restructuring costs relate to a transition to an employee-centric workforce model that does not rely on traditional offices, while the severance and other compensation costs relate to the Company re-prioritizing and reallocating resources to focus on areas showing high growth potential.     
(2) These costs include severance and associated costs of $2.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The restructuring costs relate to resource reallocation for the Company’s platform transformation.
(3) Consists of severance costs of $4.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. Please refer to footnote (2) above for additional information related to the nature of these restructuring and severance costs.
(4) Includes wind down costs of legacy platform of $1.9 million and severance costs of $0.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. Please refer to footnote (2) above for additional information related to the nature of these restructuring and severance costs.
(5) Includes other litigation costs of $5.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. Other litigation costs relate to lease restructuring costs, along with other general legal matters.
6) Includes other litigation costs of $4.4 million, consulting costs of $3.2 million, and fair value earn-out adjustment of $0.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The Company's other litigation costs relate to the Company’s intellectual property lawsuit against [24]7 Customer, Inc.
(7) Includes litigation costs of $4.1 million, consulting costs of $1.3 million, executive recruitment costs of $0.3 million, and executive relocation costs of $0.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. Please refer to footnote (6) above for additional information related to the nature of these other litigation costs.
(8) Includes litigation costs of $6.2 million, executive one-time compensation payment of $1.0 million, and executive separation cost of $0.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. Please refer to footnote (6) above for additional information related to the nature of these other litigation costs.
(9) Includes severance costs of $1.6 million, wind down costs of legacy platform of $1.2 million and a benefit of $0.4 million of cash collected on previously written off bad debt for the year ended December 31, 2016. Please refer to footnote (2) above for additional information related to the nature of these restructuring and severance costs.
(10) Includes litigation costs of $4.7 million, write off of technology licenses of $2.6 million, severance costs of $0.5 million, and write off of office facility depreciation of $0.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Please refer to footnote (6) above for additional information related to the nature of these other litigation costs.






Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
General
    You should read the following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with the financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this 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 report, particularly in “Risk Factors.”

Overview
LivePerson, Inc. (“LivePerson”, the “Company”, “we” or “our”) makes life easier for people and brands everywhere through trusted Conversational AI. Conversational AI allows humans and machines to interact using natural language, including speech or text. During the past decade, consumers have made mobile devices the center of their digital lives, and they have made mobile messaging the center of communication with friends, family and peers. This trend has been significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and can now be viewed as a permanent, structural shift in consumer behavior. Our
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technology enables consumers to connect with businesses through these same preferred conversational interfaces, including Facebook Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messenger and Alexa. These messaging conversations harness human agents, bots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to power convenient, personalized and content-rich journeys across the entire consumer lifecycle, from discovery and research, to sales, service and support, and increasingly marketing, social, and brick and mortar engagements. For example, consumers can look up product info like ratings, images and pricing, search for stores, see product inventory, schedule appointments, apply for credit, approve repairs, and make purchases or payments - all without ever leaving the messaging channel. These AI and human-assisted conversational experiences constitute the Conversational Space, within which LivePerson has strategically developed one of the industry's largest ecosystems of messaging endpoints and use cases.

    The Conversational Cloud, our enterprise-class cloud-based platform, enables businesses to become conversational by securely deploying AI-powered messaging at scale for brands with tens of millions of customers and many thousands of agents. The Conversational Cloud powers conversations across each of a brand’s primary digital channels, including mobile apps, mobile and desktop web browsers, short message service (SMS), social media and third-party consumer messaging platforms. Brands can also use the Conversational Cloud to message consumers when they dial a 1-800 number instead of forcing them to navigate interactive voice response systems (IVRs) and wait on hold. Similarly, the Conversational Cloud can ingest traditional emails and convert them into messaging conversations, or embed messaging conversations directly into web advertisements, rather than redirect consumers to static website landing pages. Agents can manage all conversations with consumers through a single console interface, regardless of where the conversations originated.
    LivePerson's robust, cloud-based suite of rich messaging, real-time chat, AI and automation offerings features consumer and agent facing bots, intelligent routing and capacity mapping, real-time intent detection and analysis, queue prioritization, customer sentiment, analytics and reporting, content delivery, Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, cobrowsing and a sophisticated proactive targeting engine. An extensible application programming interface (API) stack facilitates a lower cost of ownership by facilitating robust integration into back-end systems, as well as enabling developers to build their own programs and services on top of the platform. More than 40 APIs and software development kits are available on the Conversational Cloud.
For your reference:
• Conversational AI: Conversational AI allows humans and machines to interact using natural language, including speech or text.

• Conversational Space: In the Conversational Space, consumers message with brands on their own schedule, using natural language, to resolve their intents - all on their preferred messaging service. The core capabilities
of the Conversational Space are voice and text-based interfaces, powered by AI and humans working together. Conversational Space is the simplest, most intuitive interface of all.

• Conversational Cloud: LivePerson's enterprise-class, AI-powered Conversational Cloud platform empowers consumers to message their favorite brands, just as they do with friends and family.

LivePerson’s Conversational AI offerings put the power of bot development, training, management and analysis into the hands of the contact center and its agents, the teams most familiar with how to structure sales and service conversations to drive successful outcomes. The platform enables what we call “the tango” of humans, AI and bots, whereby human agents act as bot managers, overseeing AI-powered conversations and seamlessly stepping into the flow when a personal touch is needed. Agents become ultra-efficient, leveraging the AI engine to serve up relevant content, define next-best actions and take over repetitive transactional work, so that the agent can focus on relationship building. By seamlessly integrating messaging with our proprietary Conversational AI, as well as third-party bots, the Conversational Cloud offers brands a comprehensive approach to scaling automations across their millions of customer conversations.
Complementing our proprietary messaging and Conversational AI offerings are teams of technical, solutions and consulting professionals that have developed deep domain expertise in the implementation and optimization of conversational services across industries and messaging endpoints. We are a leading authority in the Conversational Space. LivePerson’s products, coupled with our domain knowledge, industry expertise and professional services, have been proven to maximize the effectiveness of the Conversational Space and deliver measurable return on investment. Certain of our customers have achieved the following advantages from our offerings:
the ability for each agent to manage as many as 40 messaging conversations at a time, as compared to one at a time for a voice agent and two to four at a time for a good chat agent. Adding AI and bots provides even greater scale to the number of conversations managed;
labor efficiency gains of at least two times that of voice agents, effectively cutting labor costs by at least 50%;
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improving the overall customer experience, thereby fueling customer satisfaction increases of up to 20 percentage points, and enhancing retention and loyalty;
more convenient, personalized and content-rich conversations that increase sales conversion by up to 20%, increase average order value and reduce abandonment;
more satisfied contact center agents, thereby reducing agent churn by up to 50%;
maintain a valued connection with consumers via mobile devices, either through native applications, websites, text messages, or third-party messaging platforms;
leverage spending that drives visitor traffic by increasing visitor conversions;
refine and improve performance by understanding which initiatives deliver the highest rate of return; and
increase lead generation by providing a single platform that engages consumers through advertisements and listings on branded and third-party websites.
        
     As a “cloud computing” or software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, LivePerson provides solutions on a hosted basis. This model offers significant benefits over premise-based software, including lower up-front costs, faster implementation, lower total cost of ownership, scalability, cost predictability, and simplified upgrades. Organizations that adopt a fully-hosted, multi-tenant architecture that is maintained by LivePerson eliminate the majority of the time, server infrastructure costs, and IT resources required to implement, maintain, and support traditional on-premise software.
To further enhance our platform, in September 2020 we signed a partnership with Infosys, a leader in next-generation
digital services and consulting. We will work with Infosys to transform our technology infrastructure on the public cloud, to
build integrated solutions and a global practice around our Conversational Cloud to sell into their channels and global enterprise
customer base, and to redefine how the world’s top brands communicate.

More than 18,000 businesses, including HSBC, Orange, The Home Depot, and GM Financial use our conversational solutions to orchestrate humans and AI, at scale, and create a convenient, deeply personal relationship with their customers.
LivePerson's consumer services offering is an online marketplace that connects independent service providers
(Experts) who provide information and knowledge for a fee via mobile and online messaging with individual consumers (Users). Users seek assistance and advice in various categories including personal counseling and coaching, computers and
programming, education and tutoring, spirituality and religion, and other topics.

The key elements of LivePerson’s business solutions strategy include:

Build awareness and drive adoption of the Conversational Space. LivePerson brought our first customer live on messaging in June 2016. Since that time, we have been focused on building awareness for conversational experiences and driving adoption. We have educated businesses on the financial and operational transformation that occurs when a contact center shifts to an asynchronous messaging environment, where the consumer controls the pace of the conversation, which can last minutes, hours or days, from a synchronous call or chat center, where conversations occur in real-time and have a distinct start and end.
A key component of our industry awareness marketing strategy has been to hold multiple global customer summits each year (events in 2020 were held virtually in light of the COVID-19 pandemic) that target executives from enterprise customers and prospects, and feature a key theme within the Conversational Space, such as Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messenger, IVR deflection or AI. LivePerson customers are the centerpoint of these summits, presenting why they chose LivePerson for conversational experiences, how they achieved success, and what type of ROI they have realized. Each attendee then receives a blueprint for how they can achieve similar outcomes. We have found this strategy to drive strong results for LivePerson, as we have seen a greater than 40% conversion rate on opportunities that were created or advanced as part of the customer summits. By year-end 2020, we had brought approximately 400 customers live on messaging and increased adoption within our enterprise customers to 66%. In addition, nearly 70% of messaging conversations had automation attached. We will continue to focus on building awareness for the Conversational Space and driving adoption of messaging and AI across our customer base.
Increase messaging volumes by developing a broad ecosystem, expanding customer use cases, and focusing on AI and automation. Our strategy is to drive higher messaging volumes by going both wide across messaging endpoints, deep across consumer use cases, and focusing on AI and automation as the means to deliver powerful scale. LivePerson offers a platform usage pricing model, where customers are offered access to our entire suite of messaging technologies across their entire agent pool for a pre-negotiated cost per interaction. We believe that over time this model will drive higher revenue for LivePerson by reducing barriers to adoption of new messaging endpoints and use cases.
In order to drive broad messaging adoption, it is imperative that the Conversational Cloud integrates to all of the messaging apps that consumers prefer to use for communication and addresses all key use cases. For example, if a consumer is
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an avid WhatsApp user, and a brand only offers SMS as a messaging option, that consumer may be reluctant to try messaging the brand. Therefore, a key strategy of ours has been to build one of the industry’s broadest ecosystems of messaging endpoints and use cases. In June 2016, we launched with In-App messaging. In 2017, we introduced Facebook Messenger, SMS, Web messaging and IVR deflection integrations. In 2018, we added Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messenger, Line, WhatsApp, Alexa, Google Home, Google Ad Lingo and Twitter. In 2019, we added email, allowing brands to manage emails through the same console they use for messaging, and to convert legacy emails into messaging conversations. We also added social monitoring and conversational tools for Twitter and Facebook, and introduced proactive messaging, allowing brands to transform traditional one-way notifications such as flight cancellations or phone plan overage alerts into two-way conversations. Finally, we connected to Facebook and WhatsApp digital advertisements, enabling consumers to initiate messaging conversations for marketing and customer care directly within the advertisement. In 2020, we added Instagram and Google’s Business Messages, allowing brands to bring customer-initiated conversations into the Conversational Cloud directly from Instagram, Google Search, and Google Maps.
Each channel and use case added opens the door to hundreds of millions of new consumers, providing brands a greater opportunity to shift share away from their legacy contact center channels into messaging. For example, in 2019, leading airlines launched on WhatsApp and Apple Business Chat with the ability to make secure payments; a baseball stadium launched an automated conversational concierge providing answers to a wide range of questions from restroom locations to player stats; and a multinational telecommunications company used proactive two-way messaging for outbound campaigns. In 2020, one of the largest telcos in Australia fully virtualized their contact centers, a leading U.S. quick-serve restaurant launched on Facebook Messenger to help customers order meals, one of the biggest banks in the world launched an Apple Business Chat channel to provide a secure way to perform day-to-day banking, and one of the world’s largest jewelry retailers used the Conversational Cloud and QR codes to sell millions of dollars of product.
LivePerson makes the management of all these disparate channels seamless to the brand. AI-based intelligent routing, queuing and prioritization software orchestrates these conversations at scale, regardless of which messaging endpoint they originated from, so that human and bot agents can engage with all customers through just one console.
We believe LivePerson is leading the structural shift to Conversational AI. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading brands are turning to LivePerson's AI-powered messaging to overcome a capacity gap created by voice call agent work-from-home measures and increased demand for digital engagement as consumers practice social distancing. LivePerson is powering Conversational AI, automation and messaging strategies across a growing number of use cases from care and sales, to marketing, social, conversational advertising and brick and mortar. Our Conversational AI leadership and the increase in adoption have influenced LivePerson’s enterprise and mid-market revenue retention rate, (the trailing-twelve-month change in total revenue from existing customers after upsells, downsells and attrition) which exceeded the high end of our target range of 105% to 115% for 2020. The benefit can also be seen in LivePerson’s average revenue per user (ARPU) for our enterprise and mid-market customers, which increased approximately 35% in 2020 to $465,000 from approximately $345,000 in 2019.
Attract the industry’s best AI, machine learning and conversational talent. We believe that AI and machine learning are critical to successfully scaling in the Conversational Space, and that in order to develop the industry’s leading technology, we need to attract the industry's best talent. In 2018, LivePerson recruited Alex Spinelli, key architect of the Alexa Operating System at Amazon.com, as our Global CTO. Under Mr. Spinelli’s leadership, LivePerson hired more than 280 of the industry’s brightest data scientists, machine learning engineers and automation engineers, many from firms such as Nike, Amazon.com, Microsoft and Target, who are working exclusively on applying AI to the Conversational Space. LivePerson also expanded its development talent base in Germany, and added key development talent through the acquisitions of BotCentral in Mountain View, California and Conversable in Austin, Texas.
Bring to market best-in-class AI and machine learning technologies designed for the conversational space. We believe that in the last decade many vendors introduced AI and bot offerings that created frustrating experiences for consumers and businesses alike, which in turn has eroded trust in automation. Many of these solutions have proven difficult to build and scale, and have been limited by stand-alone implementations that lacked the measurement, reporting and human oversight of conversational platforms such as the Conversational Cloud. In December 2018, LivePerson announced its patent pending AI engine that is designed to overcome these shortcomings and help brands rapidly bring to market conversational AI that can scale to millions of interactions, while increasing customer satisfaction and conversion rates.
Unlike alternative solutions designed solely for IT departments, LivePerson’s Conversational AI was built to be used by developers and contact center agents. By putting the power of conversational design and bot management in the hands of contact center agents, LivePerson’s Conversational AI gives brands the ability to leverage the employees closest to the customer, those who are most versed in the voice of the brand, and with the most expertise in how to craft successful outcomes for customer service and sales journeys.
    Some of the key innovations behind LivePerson’s Conversational AI include:
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a holistic approach to scaling AI by combining consumer facing bots, agent facing bots, intelligent routing and real-time intent understanding, with an analytics dashboard that helps users focus on the intents that are impacting their business and prioritize which intents to automate next;
bot building software that is based on dialogue instead of workflow or code, so non-technical employees like contact center agents can design automations;
leveraging data moat from hundreds of millions of conversations to feed the machine learning that rapidly and accurately detects consumer sentiment and intents in real-time. Customers of LivePerson can use intent understanding for advanced routing, next-best actions, and to fully contain conversations with automation;
the establishing of contact center agents as bot managers, ensuring that every conversation is safeguarded by a human and that agents are continuously training the AI to be smarter and drive more successful outcomes;
powerful Assist technology that multiplies the efficiency of agents by analyzing intents in real time and then suggesting next best actions, predefined content, and bots that can take over transactional work;
pre-built templates for target verticals that provide out of the box support for the top intents and back-end integrations;
the ability to bootstrap conversations with existing transcripts, reducing design effort and speeding time to market;
third-party AI natural language understanding (NLU) integration, so customers aren’t boxed into one vendor;
AI analytics and reporting tailored to the Conversational Space, providing brands with immediate, actionable insights about their businesses and contact center operations.

Our strategy is to continue to enhance the Conversational AI engine and related products, by leveraging our global R&D footprint and substantial library of mobile and online conversational data, with the aim of increasing agent efficiency, decreasing customer care costs, improving the customer experience and increasing customer lifetime value.
Sustain our leadership position by aligning brands to a vision that transforms how they communicate with consumers and delivers a superior return on investment. We believe that most contact center technology vendors incorrectly view messaging as a feature. They are content with building integrations to a messaging endpoint and offering messaging as just another product in their suite. LivePerson holds the perspective that messaging and AI are the foundation for transforming conversational experiences, disrupting how agents operate and how brands engage with consumers. Brands must adapt their contact centers to an asynchronous messaging environment and leverage a combination of human agents, bots and AI to achieve scale and efficiencies. When done correctly, the entire consumer lifecycle with a brand will be maintained within the Conversational Space, and traffic will steadily shift away from lower returning voice calls, websites, emails and apps to higher returning messaging endpoints.
We believe that LivePerson is uniquely positioned to deliver this transformation due to our technology and expertise:
The Conversational Cloud, LivePerson's enterprise-class, automation-first, cloud-based platform, was designed for AI-assisted and human-powered messaging in mobile and online channels. The platform offers best-in-class security and scalability, offers the broadest ecosystem of messaging endpoints, is designed for ease of use, and features an AI engine custom built for the Conversational Space, intent recognition, robust real-time reporting, role-based real-time analytics, predictive intelligence, and innovations in customer satisfaction and connection measurement. Additionally, the Conversational Cloud is an open platform with pre-built, enterprise-grade integrations into back-end systems as well as the ability to work across NLU providers.
The Company has a data moat built on hundreds of millions of conversations across industries, geographies and use cases that is feeding the machine learning engines that power intent understanding.
The platform has expanded to power conversations across a broad spectrum of channels and use cases, from traditional sales and customer service, to marketing, social, email, advertising and brick and mortar.
LivePerson has deep domain expertise across verticals and messaging endpoints, a global footprint, referenceable enterprise brands and a team of technical, solutions and consulting professionals to assist customers along their transformational journeys. We are positioned as an authority in the Conversational Space. We have developed a Transformation Model that is introduced to existing and prospective customers to help guide them on their journeys from legacy and often times inefficient legacy voice, email and chat solutions to modern conversational ones powered by messaging and AI.

We believe that LivePerson’s differentiated approach to the Conversational Space, combined with our unique technology and expertise has established us as a market leader, with an ability to deliver superior returns on investment. LivePerson customers manage as many as 40 messaging conversations at a time, as compared to one at a time for a voice agent and two to four at a time for a good chat agent. Adding AI and bots provides even greater scale to the number of conversations managed. Our customers often see labor efficiency gains of at least two times that of voice agents, effectively cutting labor
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costs by at least 50%. Furthermore, our ability to deliver more convenient, personalized and content-rich conversations often drives increases in customer satisfaction of up to 20 percentage points and increases in sales conversions of up to 20%, while
enhancing average order value, customer retention and loyalty.

    Strengthen our position in both existing and new industries. We plan to continue to develop our market position by increasing our customer base, and expanding within our installed base. We will continue to focus primarily on key target markets: consumer/retail, telecommunications, financial services, travel/hospitality, technology and automotive within both our enterprise and mid-market sectors, as well as the small business (SMB) sector. In 2019, we made strong inroads into new verticals with key wins in the airline, food service and healthcare industries. In 2020, we strengthened our presence in key markets including travel/hospitality and retail, and opened new verticals like healthcare and government. We are experimenting
with new conversational businesses, including some that are in regulated industries, like online banking. We are increasingly structuring our field organization to emphasize our domain expertise and strengthen customer relationships across target industries.

Continue to build our international presence. We are focused on building our international presence and expanding our international revenue contribution, which accounted for 38% and 41% of total revenue in 2020 and 2019, respectively. We are generating positive results from our recent investments in the Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America regions.
     Leverage our open architecture to support partners and developers. In addition to developing our own applications, we continue to cultivate a partner eco-system capable of offering additional applications and services to our customers. We integrate into third-party messaging endpoints including SMS, Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messenger, Line, WhatsApp, Alexa, Google Home, WeChat, Google Ad Lingo, Google Search, Google Maps, Instagram and Twitter, multiple IVR vendors and dozens of branded apps. The Conversational Cloud integrates our proprietary messaging and Conversational AI with third-party bot offerings, empowering our customers to manage a mix of different bots, human agents and technologies from one control panel, thereby optimizing contact center efficiency. LivePerson’s proprietary and third-party AI/bots enable brands to partially or fully automate communications with their customers.
In addition, we have opened up access to our platform and our products with more than 40 APIs and software development kits that allow customers and third parties to develop on top of our platform. Customers and partners can utilize these APIs to build our capabilities into their own applications and to enhance our applications with their services. In 2019, we launched LivePerson Functions, a serverless Function as a Service (FaaS) integration which enables brands to develop custom behaviors within LivePerson's conversational platform to easily and rapidly tailor conversation flows to their specific needs.
Expand sales partnerships to broaden our presence and accelerate sales cycles. We are focused on broadening our market reach and accelerating sales cycles by partnering with systems integrators, technology providers, business process outsourcers, value added resellers and other sales partners. We formalized a relationship with IBM Global Business Services in 2017 and Accenture in 2018. In 2019, we announced strategic partnerships with TTEC, a leading BPO focused on customer experience, and DMI, a digital transformation company, to redefine the customer experience with digital engagement, messaging, and AI-driven automation. In 2020, Infosys joined LivePerson’s network with a first-of-its-kind 360-degree partnership focusing not only on capturing the global rising demand for conversational commerce and building a personalized experience for customers, but also driving the transformation for internal corporate messaging and the employee experience through Conversational AI. LivePerson increased the number of partners focused on SMBs to more than 300 at year-end 2020 and 2019, from over 150 at year-end 2018, and approximately 40 at the end of 2017. Approximately one quarter of all opportunities were influenced by partners in 2020, and we are focused on driving that contribution toward 50% longer term.
Maintain market leadership in technology and security expertise. As described above, we are devoting significant resources to creating new products and enabling technologies designed to accelerate innovation. We evaluate emerging technologies and industry standards and continually update our technology in order to retain our leadership position in each market we serve. We monitor legal and technological developments in the area of information security and confidentiality to ensure our policies and procedures meet or exceed the demands of the world’s largest and most demanding corporations. We believe that these efforts will allow us to effectively anticipate changing customer and consumer requirements in our rapidly evolving industry.
Evaluate strategic alliances and acquisitions when appropriate. We have successfully integrated several acquisitions over the past decade. While we have in the past, and may from time to time in the future, engage in discussions regarding acquisitions or strategic transactions or to acquire other companies that can accelerate our growth or broaden our product offerings, we currently have no binding commitments with respect to any future acquisitions or strategic transactions.

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Key Metrics
Financial overview of the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020 compared to the comparable periods in 2019 is as follows:
Revenue increased 29% and 26% to $102.1 million and $366.6 million in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020, respectively, from $79.1 million and $291.6 million in the comparable periods in 2019.
Revenue from our Business segment increased 29% and 26% to $94.1 million and $336.9 million in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020, respectively, from $72.8 million and $267.1 million in the comparable periods in 2019.
Gross profit margin increased to 73% in the three months ended December 31, 2020 from 72% in the comparable period in 2019. Gross profit margin decreased to 71% in the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 from 73% in the comparable period in 2019.
Cost and expenses increased 5% and 20% to $108.8 million and $456.1 million in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020, respectively, from $103.6 million and $378.6 million in the comparable periods in 2019.
Net loss increased to $13.3 million and to $107.6 million in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020, respectively, from net loss of $27.3 million and $96.1 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2019, respectively.
Trailing-twelve-month average revenue per enterprise and mid-market customer was approximately $465,000 in 2020, as compared to approximately $345,000 in 2019.
Revenue retention rate for enterprise and mid-market customers on Conversational Cloud exceeded the high end of our target range of 105% to 115% in 2020, and was within our target range of 105% to 115% for 2019.
Revenue
The majority of our revenue is generated from monthly service revenues and related professional services from the sale of the LivePerson services. We charge a monthly fee, which varies by service and customer usage. The majority of our larger customers also pay a professional services fee related to implementation and ongoing optimization services. A large proportion of our revenue from new customers comes from large corporations. These companies typically have more significant implementation requirements and more stringent data security standards. Such customers also have more sophisticated data analysis and performance reporting requirements, and are likely to engage our professional services organization to provide such analysis and reporting on a recurring basis.

We determine revenue recognition through the following steps:
identification of the contract, or contracts, with a customer;
identification of the performance obligations in the contract;
determination of the transaction price;
allocation of the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and
recognition of revenue when, or as, the Company satisfies a performance obligation.

For more information about our revenue recognition policies, please see “-- Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
-- Revenue Recognition.”

Hosted Services- Business Revenue

Revenue attributable to our monthly hosted Business services accounted for 78% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2020, 77% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2019 and 79% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018.

Professional Services Revenue

Revenue attributable to professional services accounted for 14% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2020, 14% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2019 and 13% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018.

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Contracts with Multiple Performance Obligations

Some of our contracts with customers contain multiple performance obligations. For these contracts, we account for individual performance obligations separately if they are distinct. The transaction price is allocated to the separate performance obligations on a relative standalone selling price basis. We determine the standalone selling prices based on our overall pricing objectives, taking into consideration market conditions and other factors, including the value of our contracts, the cloud applications sold, and the number and types of users within our contracts.

Hosted Services- Consumer Revenue

Revenue from our Consumer segment accounted for approximately 8% of total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Deferred Revenues

    We record deferred revenues when cash payments are received or due in advance of our performance. The decrease of $0.1 million in the deferred revenue balance for the year ended December 31, 2020 is primarily driven by satisfying our performance obligations and the revenue recognized of approximately $103.2 million that were included in the deferred revenue balance as of December 31, 2019.

Costs and Expenses
Our cost of revenue consists of:
compensation costs relating to employees who provide customer support and implementation services to our customers;
outside labor provider costs;
compensation costs relating to our network support staff;
depreciation of certain hardware and software;
allocated occupancy costs and related overhead;
the cost of supporting our infrastructure, including expenses related to server leases, infrastructure support costs and Internet connectivity;
the credit card fees and related payment processing costs associated with the consumer and SMB services; and
amortization of certain intangibles.

Our sales and marketing expenses consist of compensation and related expenses for sales personnel and marketing personnel, online marketing, allocated occupancy costs and related overhead, advertising, sales commissions, public relations, promotional materials, travel expenses, global customer summits and trade show exhibit expenses.
Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of compensation and related expenses for executive, accounting, legal, information technology and human resources personnel, allocated occupancy costs and related overhead, litigation, professional fees, provision for doubtful accounts and other general corporate expenses.
Our product development expenses consist primarily of compensation and related expenses for product development personnel, allocated occupancy costs and related overhead, outsourced labor and expenses for testing new versions of our software. Product development expenses are charged to operations as incurred.
During 2020, we increased our allowance for doubtful accounts from approximately $3.1 million to approximately $5.3 million. During 2019, we increased our allowance for doubtful accounts from approximately $2.3 million to approximately $3.1 million. We perform a detailed assessment of the collectability of our accounts receivable. In estimating the allowance for doubtful accounts, management considers, among other factors, the aging of the accounts receivable, historical write-offs and the creditworthiness of each customer. A large proportion of receivables are due from larger corporate customers that typically have longer payment cycles.

Non-Cash Compensation Expense
The net non-cash compensation amounts for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 consist of (amounts in thousands):
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 202020192018
Stock-based compensation expense$65,946 $44,105 $14,841 

Results of Operations
We are organized into two operating segments for purposes of making operating decisions and assessing performance. The Business segment enables brands to leverage the Conversational Cloud sophisticated intelligence engine to connect with consumers through an integrated suite of mobile and online business messaging technologies. The Consumer segment facilitates online transactions between Experts and Users seeking information and knowledge for a fee via mobile and online messaging.
The following tables set forth our results of operations for the periods presented and as a percentage of our revenues for those periods. The period-to-period comparison of financial results is not necessarily indicative of future results.    
Year Ended December 31,
202020192018
(as a percentage of revenue)
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data: (1)
Revenue100 %100 %100 %
Costs and expenses:
Cost of revenue (3)
29 %27 %25 %
Sales and marketing
41 %54 %41 %
General and administrative
17 %20 %18 %
Product development
30 %28 %22 %
Restructuring costs
%%%
Amortization of purchased intangibles
— %%%
Total costs and expenses
124 %130 %109 %
Loss from operations
(24)%(30)%(9)%
Total Other (expense) income, net(4)%(2)%— %
Loss before provision for income taxes(29)%(32)%(10)%
Provision for income taxes%%— %
Net loss(29)%(33)%(10)%
(1) Certain items may not total due to rounding.

Revenue 
Year Ended December 31,Year Ended December 31,
20202019% Change20192018% Change
(in thousands)(in thousands)
Revenue by Segment:
Business$336,856 $267,129 26 %$267,129 $230,285 16 %
Consumer29,764 24,480 22 %24,480 19,553 25 %
Total$366,620 $291,609 26 %$291,609 $249,838 17 %
    
Business Revenue increased by 26% to $336.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, from $267.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. This increase in Business revenue is driven mainly by increases in hosted services of approximately $60.9 million and an increase in professional services of approximately $8.8 million. Included in hosted services, is an increase in revenue that is variable based on interactions and usage of approximately $30.1 million.
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     Business revenue increased by 16% to $267.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, from $230.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This increase in Business revenue is primarily attributable to an increase in hosted services of approximately $28.2 million and an increase in professional services of approximately $8.6 million.
The increase in Business revenue was driven in nearly equal parts by existing and new customers as LivePerson generated greater demand for its Conversational Commerce software and Gainshare (formerly Pay for Performance) solutions. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading brands are turning to LivePerson's AI-powered messaging to overcome a capacity gap created by voice call agent work-from-home measures and increased demand for digital engagement as consumers practice social distancing. LivePerson is powering Conversational AI, automation and messaging strategies across a growing number of use cases from care and sales, to marketing, social, conversational advertising, and brick and mortar. As adoption increases, we are seeing higher revenue per customer. Our average annual revenue per enterprise and midmarket customer was approximately $465,000 in 2020, as compared to approximately $345,000 in 2019. Similarly, we are seeing strong revenue retention rates. Revenue retention rate for enterprise and mid-market customers on Conversational Cloud exceeded the high end of our target range of 105% to 115% in 2020, and was within our target range of 105% to 115% for 2019.
Consumer revenue increased by 22% to $29.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, from $24.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. This increase is primarily attributable to an increase in chat minutes and price per minute. Consumer revenue increased by 25% to $24.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, from $19.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This increase is primarily attributable to an increase in chat minutes and price per minute.
Cost of Revenue - Business
Cost of revenue consists of compensation costs relating to employees who provide customer service to our customers, compensation costs relating to our network support staff, the cost of supporting our server and network infrastructure, and allocated occupancy costs and related overhead.
Year Ended December 31,Year Ended December 31,
20202019% Change20192018% Change
($ in thousands)($ in thousands)
Cost of revenue - Business$99,394 $74,460 33 %$74,460 $58,420 27 %
Percentage of total revenue27 %26 %26 %23 %
Headcount (at period end)245 257 (5)%257 228 13 %
    Cost of revenue increased by 33% to $99.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, from $74.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. This increase in expense is primarily attributable to an increase in business services and outsourced subcontracted labor of approximately $17.0 million as the Company saw a significant increase in demand for its Gainshare (formerly “Pay for Performance”) services, which power Conversational Commerce programs on behalf of customers. The Company also recognized an increase in salary and employee related expenses of approximately $5.0 million, in expenses for backup server facilities of approximately $1.6 million, in depreciation expense of approximately $1.2 million and in amortization expense of approximately $0.8 million.
    Cost of revenue increased by 27% to $74.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, from $58.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This increase in expense is primarily attributable to an increase in business services and outsourced subcontracted labor of approximately $7.2 million, in salary and related employee expenses of approximately $4.4 million, in expenses for backup server facilities of approximately $4.0 million and in depreciation expense of approximately $0.5 million.
Cost of Revenue - Consumer  
Cost of revenue consists of compensation costs relating to employees who provide customer service to Experts and Users, compensation costs relating to our network support staff, the cost of supporting our server and network infrastructure, credit card and transaction processing fees and related costs, and allocated occupancy costs and related overhead.
Year Ended December 31,Year Ended December 31,
20202019% Change20192018% Change
($ in thousands)($ in thousands)
Cost of revenue - Consumer$6,874 $4,418 56 %$4,418 $4,059 %
Percentage of total revenue%%%%
Headcount (at period end)21 17 24 %17 16 %
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    Cost of revenue increased by 56% to $6.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, from $4.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. This increase in expense is primarily related to an increase in outsourcing subcontracted labor of approximately $1.3 million is due to the investment in technology infrastructure. We increased outside labor to accelerate a technology change which assisted us in the rollout of HeyExpert, a leading platform for online expert guidance. In addition, there was an increase in salary and employee related expenses of approximately $0.4 million, in credit card processing fees of approximately $0.3 million, in depreciation expense of approximately $0.3 million and backup server facilities of approximately $0.1 million.
    Cost of revenue increased by 9% to $4.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, from $4.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This increase in expense is primarily related to an increase in credit card processing fees of approximately $0.3 million.
Sales and Marketing - Business  
Our sales and marketing expenses consist of compensation and related expenses for sales and marketing personnel, as well as advertising, public relations, trade show exhibit expenses and allocated occupancy costs and related overhead.
Year Ended December 31,Year Ended December 31,
20202019% Change20192018% Change
($ in thousands)($ in thousands)
Sales and Marketing - Business$128,752 $140,880 (9)%$140,880 $94,339 49 %
Percentage of total revenue35 %