Rocket Fuel Inc.
Rocket Fuel Inc. (Form: 10-K, Received: 03/16/2015 16:16:35)





UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
__________________________

FORM 10-K
__________________________
(Mark One)
x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014
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: 001-36071
__________________________

ROCKET FUEL INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware  
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
30-0472319  
(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)

1900 Seaport Boulevard, Pacific Shores Center, Redwood City, CA 94063
(Address of principal executive offices and Zip Code)
(650) 595-1300
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
__________________________

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Common Stock, $0.001 par value (Title of each class)
The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (Name of each exchange in which registered)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
(Title of each class)

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933.    Yes   ¨     No   x

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").    Yes   ¨     No   x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes   x     No   ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes   x     No   ¨

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Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.     ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definition of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer" and "smaller reporting company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer
¨
Accelerated filer
  x  
Non-accelerated filer
¨  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company
¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes   ¨     No   x

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2014, the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $599,788,529 based upon the closing price reported for such date on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Shares of common stock held by each executive officer, director and by each person who owns 5% or more of the registrant's outstanding common stock have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

On February 28, 2015, there were 42,098,774 shares of the registrant's common stock, par value $0.001 , outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant's Proxy Statement for the registrant's 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on From 10-K. Such Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of December 31, 2014 , the last day of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

EMERGING GROWTH COMPANY
We are an ‘‘emerging growth company’’ as that term is defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 and, as such, we have elected to comply with certain reduced public company reporting requirements.


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ROCKET FUEL INC.
FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TRADEMARKS
 
“Rocket Fuel,” the Rocket Fuel logo, “Advertising that Learns,” “Marketing that Learns,” and other trademarks or service marks of Rocket Fuel appearing in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are the property of Rocket Fuel Inc. Trade names, trademarks and service marks of other companies appearing in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are the property of their respective holders and should be treated as such.


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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “potentially,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan,” “expect” and similar expressions that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the following:
expectations for financial performance in 2015, including revenue and changes in the level of operating expenses in the areas of research and development, sales and marketing and general and administrative;
the expected impact of seasonality on our operating results;
our expectations regarding our headcount levels in 2015
our ability to improve the productivity and efficiency of our resources and infrastructure;
our ability to improve sales productivity;
our ability to reduce certain operating expenses as a percentage of revenue;
our expectation that capital expenditures will decline in 2015 from 2014 levels;
the usefulness of non-GAAP financial measures for understanding and evaluating our operating results;
our plans to finance data center hardware requirements through capital leasing facilities;
the adequacy of our office facilities to meet or exceed our needs for the immediate future and our ability to sublease unused facilities;
our expectation that existing cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to meet our business requirements for at least the next 12 months;
anticipated growth of the digital advertising market;
the ability of our solutions to deliver intended results to customers;
the impact of our September 2014 acquisition of [x+1] on our financial condition and results of operations, including but not limited to the impact of assumptions underlying the accounting treatment of the transaction;
our ability to effectively integrate the operations of [x+1] and realize anticipated synergies and new market opportunities from this combination;
our ability to fully integrate our DSP platform with our new DMP platform to create a self-service platform and experience that is both engaging and effective for the advertiser;
our ability to adapt our relationships with agencies and agency holding companies in light of the evolving competitive environment;
our expectations regarding an increase in the number of active customers;
our ability to avoid serving ads on unsafe or inappropriate websites or to non-human targets;our ability to continue to expand internationally; and
our intention to vigorously defend against a pending securities class action lawsuit.
These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment, and new risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for us to predict all risks, nor can we

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assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may not occur and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in our forward-looking statements.
You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee that the future results and circumstances described in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur. Moreover, neither we nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as required by law.
You should read this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents that we reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as exhibits thereto with the understanding that our actual future results and circumstances may be materially different from what we expect.

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PART I
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Overview
Rocket Fuel is a technology company, incorporated in Delaware in 2008, that has developed an Artificial Intelligence and Big Data-driven predictive modeling and automated decision-making platform. Our technology is designed to address the needs of markets in which the volume and speed of information render real-time human analysis infeasible. We are focused on the large and growing digital advertising market that faces these challenges. Specifically, we have developed a media buying technology platform that uses Artificial Intelligence, or AI, to solve marketing’s age-old challenge: how to deliver better return on investment, or ROI, to marketers on their marketing initiatives by providing the right message to the right person at the right time, on addressable devices across the globe.
There are tens of billions of daily ad purchases across all digital advertising exchanges and other sources of advertising inventory. Each ad purchasing decision must be made in a fraction of a second. Our AI system autonomously purchases ad spots, or impressions, one at a time, on these exchanges to create portfolios of impressions designed to optimize the goals of our advertisers, such as increased sales, heightened brand awareness and decreased cost per customer acquisition. Likewise, a large company may have tens of millions of interactions daily with its customers and prospects through its "owned media" or customer relationship management, or CRM, channels such as its website, mobile apps, call centers, email and point-of-sale terminals, and a smart company can optimize its customers' experiences and its own marketing and financial metrics by making the best use of each of these opportunities.
Our AI and Big Data-driven platform is able to “learn” from each message it delivers and apply that learning to future decisions -- what we refer to as “Marketing that Learns.” This enables us to deliver solutions designed to optimize direct-response campaigns focused on generating specific consumer actions, brand campaigns geared towards lifting brand metrics, or other marketing programs designed to acquire, retain, and grow customers. The benefit of a platform that autonomously adapts and learns while solving multiple problems simultaneously instead of solving one specific problem at a time is that, with very little manual configuration, our platform is capable of simultaneously running thousands of marketing programs with highly diverse goals. We have successfully run advertising campaigns for products and brands in industries ranging from luxury automobiles to financial services to retail, for a diversified customer base that, during 2014, included 93 of the Advertising Age 100 Leading National Advertisers and 62 of the Fortune 100 companies, while simultaneously powering personalized marketing for 7 major financial services companies in the US.
Our media-buying platform, which we refer to as our Demand-Side Platform, or DSP, is available to advertising agencies and advertisers as a managed service offering, whereby we manage advertising campaigns on behalf of an advertiser, and also as a self-service offering, whereby an agency or advertiser licenses our technology to manage its own advertising campaigns. We announced the availability of our software-as-a-service, or SaaS, self-service DSP offering, in North America and Europe, in July 2014. Prior to that time, we had provided a self-service DSP offering to a single advertising agency in Japan.
In September 2014, we acquired X Plus Two Solutions, Inc., the parent company of [x+1], a privately held programmatic marketing technology company. Our acquisition of [x+1] added important assets to our technology solutions, principally a Data Management Platform, or DMP, and Site Optimization technology, which are enterprise solutions that enable customers to use their own customer relationship data and third party data to deliver timely and relevant advertising messages across paid, earned, and owned media channels, including an advertiser's own website.
These additions have enabled us to introduce our Digital Marketing Hub to help marketers optimize the consumer journey, and to extend our core AI technology beyond paid advertising to more broadly address advertisers' marketing challenges across paid, earned and owned media.
We have experienced rapid growth in sales of our offerings over the past three years. For the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013, and 2012, our revenue was $408.6 million , $240.6 million , and $106.6 million, respectively, representing a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 109% since 2011. This growth in sales has required us to make significant investments in many aspects of our business, particularly in sales, marketing, operations, customer service and general and administrative functions. As a result of these investments, for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 , our net loss was $(64.3) million , $(20.9) million and $(10.3) million, respectively.

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Our Offerings
Demand Side Platform (DSP)
Our proprietary AI-driven technology platform is built on our real-time optimization engine, which leverages Big Data and our vast computational infrastructure to purchase and deliver highly-automated digital advertising campaigns that are measurable against direct response and brand objectives. We make our media buying offerings available to advertisers or their agencies as a fully managed service, through a self-service interface, or a combination of managed and self-service options.
Through our DSP offerings, we enable direct-response and brand advertisers to optimize toward virtually any measurable advertising goal. Given the extensibility and flexibility of our media buying platform, our offerings are able to address the needs of advertisers across geographies, industry verticals, advertiser goals and through display, mobile, social and video digital channels.
Direct Response Objectives
Our Direct Response solution is focused on the following direct-response objectives:
Prospecting. Advertisers have various prospecting objectives, such as number of leads, sign-ups, registrations or sales. As with all of our offerings, our prospecting offering tracks every impression and continuously learns from campaign results to refine our delivery of impressions to the appropriate consumers and achieve each advertiser’s direct-response objectives. As our DSP optimizes over the course of campaigns, we believe that advertisers experience steady improvement against the prospecting goals they have defined.
Retargeting. As advertisers succeed in bringing consumers to their websites, our retargeting offering uses our real-time optimization engine to help return those same or similar consumers to the advertisers’ websites, focusing specifically on the consumers most likely to perform a desired action. Unlike other retargeting solutions that merely display advertisements to every consumer that has visited an advertiser’s website regardless of the value of such placements, our offering focuses on consumers who represent high-value opportunities for re-engagement, aiming to reach them at the best time and in the best context to achieve the advertiser’s goals.
Sales Uplift. Increasingly we find sophisticated Direct Response advertisers and their agencies wanting to optimize not only for a specified digital outcome (such as completion of a form, or establishment of a digital shopping cart) but also to maximize truly incremental sales. This is measured as the increase in revenue compared to a hold-out group of customers who were not exposed to similar advertising. Through the same kinds of techniques as used for offline sales or brand equity lift we can develop digital maps that can be calibrated against sales uplift.
Brand Objectives
Brand objectives are commonly measured as an increase in some brand metric on a target audience. Brand digital campaigns most commonly focus on any of the following, often with a specific, third party validated audience as the target being measured against:
Reach, frequency and engagement. Traditionally, brand advertisers have focused on reach, frequency and engagement goals to assess the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. Our platform can track, measure and optimize these goals through specific consumer actions, such as clicks, advertisement interactions and video completions. Our real-time optimization engine values and bids on billions of individual advertising impressions per day to maximize campaign performance measured against the goals defined by the advertiser.
Brand equity lift. One of the more novel capabilities of our platform is its ability to track, measure and optimize brand equity lift objectives. We use online surveys to measure these objectives, such as consumer awareness, recall, message association, purchase consideration, favorability and recommendation intent. Our technology automatically incorporates survey responses to enable optimization and calibration against online and offline brand equity lift as measured by third parties such as Nielsen, Comscore and others.
Offline sales. In general, the majority of interactions consumers have with a brand occur offline. We are able to connect online activity to offline sales or responses by integrating a variety of industry-specific offline data sources, such as retail purchase activity, coupon usage and grocery store purchase activity. Our technology can measure and optimize campaigns, while they run, to maximize offline impact.

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Digital Marketing Hub
As a result of our acquisition of [x+1], we now offer an enterprise technology platform in addition to the capabilities of our media buying platform, or DSP. This allows our advertisers to combine their paid and owned media channels to develop a better understanding of their consumers. Our Digital Marketing Hub includes all of the direct response and brand capabilities of our DSP and adds:
Data Management : Our Data Management Platform, or DMP, allows marketers to ingest, analyze, segment, and export their own and third-party audience data for advertising, CRM, email marketing, call-center routing, or other opportunities to touch consumers with a message or call-to-action. Our DMP and DSP integration allows marketers to leverage their own data within our AI and Big Data-driven predictive modeling and automated decision-making platform.
Multi-modal Advertising Optimization : Marketers can seamlessly execute programmatic advertising campaigns globally through our managed or self-service DMP, and apply learning and insights from the DMP to augment campaign performance. Moreover, they can do so cross-channel (e.g. display, video, mobile, and social) and cross-device (e.g. smartphone and desktop), thereby reducing friction and eliminating the need to work with multiple companies that offer point solutions.
Other Features
Brand Assurance. Advertiser brand protection is a high priority for us. We have adopted a proactive approach designed to prevent us from serving advertisements on unsafe or inappropriate websites, and to protect advertisers from forms of fraud in the modern digital ecosystem. We have a brand-assurance team that monitors our brand safety efforts, makes policy decisions, offers guidance to advertisers and continuously analyzes and improves our Brand Assurance offering. We have proprietary technology designed to identify and block fraudulent activity and work with independent third parties to validate our approach and further our efforts against fraud.
Insights. We identify the key drivers of an advertising campaign's success and help advertisers improve and optimize future marketing strategies and creative development. Our Insights feature helps advertisers understand what strategies are effective and why, and allows them to better understand the quality, composition and characteristics of the consumers their campaigns reach, including which consumers are most responsive to their messages.
Our Technology
We believe our technology is disrupting traditional approaches to digital advertising. The digital advertising campaigns we run are designed to be effective and efficient, are easy for us to set up and manage and do not require advertisers to know or guess who their target audiences are, nor the best digital channels through which to reach them. Instead, our AI-driven technology reaches desired consumers globally by programmatically buying advertising inventory. We primarily access inventory through real-time bidding, or RTB, which is the real-time purchase and sale of advertising inventory on an impression-by-impression basis on real-time advertising exchanges. For each impression that we purchase on behalf of an advertiser, our technology determines precisely the amount that we will bid for each single opportunity based on our technology’s valuation of that opportunity in real time.
Our technology considers millions of attributes to determine how to respond to the billions of bid requests for advertising impressions that we receive each day. We bid on billions of these impressions per day in approximately 100 milliseconds per bid request. As our engine learns which attributes best contribute to meeting campaign goals, it adapts as campaigns run to improve performance measured against these goals. This enables us to deliver more rapid optimization and better campaign results than the periodic manual adjustments of traditional solutions. Leveraging the massive amounts of inventory available through real-time advertising exchanges, our solution enables advertisers to efficiently connect with large audiences while it maintains a focus on results-driven optimization.
We simplify digital advertising campaign management by requiring only a limited number of initial inputs from our advertisers. Our solution then automates advertising campaigns by analyzing petabytes of data to optimize performance in real time, and generates insights, analysis and, in many cases, superior results for advertisers.
We have and will continue to invest in developing our differentiated and proprietary technology, aimed at solving the problems of marketers in ways that traditional, and point solutions, cannot. We have assembled a team of highly skilled engineers and computer scientists with deep expertise across a broad range of relevant disciplines. Key focus areas of our engineering team include:

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Artificial Intelligence. We employ AI technology, including predictive modeling and automated decision-making. Our platform has analyzed millions of attributes from our data warehouse, as evidenced by the billions of impressions and bid requests processed daily, to determine the most effective attributes, monitored in real time, to predict expected consumer response and precise impression value.
Computational infrastructure. We use a combination of proprietary and open source software to achieve a horizontally scalable, global, distributed and fault-tolerant architecture, with the goal of enabling us to ensure the continuity of our business, regardless of local disruptions. Our computational infrastructure currently processes tens of billions of events per day and is designed in a way that enables us to add significant capacity to our platform as we scale our business without requiring any material design or architecture modifications. Our technology infrastructure is hosted across 12 data centers in co-location facilities in California, Germany, New Jersey, Nevada, Virginia, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. Our servers are custom designed by our engineering team.
Big Data. We have built a multi-tier Big Data management system based on proprietary and open source software to help us maintain a variety of data in many different formats. Our data includes anonymized Internet user profile data that is accessible at very low latencies and used to execute our campaigns. In addition, we maintain a large data warehouse with multi-petabytes of data that we use for algorithm training and reporting.
Bidding adapters. Bidding adapters enable us to receive bid requests from real-time advertising exchanges, evaluate each request and respond with a bid. The adapters then present our proposed bid and advertisement to the advertising exchange in the format required by the exchange. Bidding adapters allow us to easily expand and adapt our platform across multiple inventory sources, including across different channels, such as display, mobile, social and video.
User Interface and Reporting Tools. Based on the latest HTML5 technologies, our user interface provides flexible reporting and interactive visualization of the key drivers of success for each advertising campaign. We use these reporting and visualization products internally to manage campaigns and provide advertisers with campaign insights.
Platform Convergence. To enhance our Digital Marketing Hub, we continue to converge the best attributes from our Mission Control DSP platform offering and our DMP for a unified user experience across our DSP, DMP and Site Optimization interfaces.
Our research and development expenses were $39.8 million , $17.7 million and $4.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 , respectively. Our capitalized internal-use software development costs were $9.4 million , $6.3 million and $4.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 , respectively.
Our Customers
As of December 31, 2014, we had 1,636 active customers, including many of the world’s leading advertisers. We interact with customers primarily through advertising agencies acting on their behalf. We also work with some customers directly.
We define an active customer as a customer from whom we recognized revenue in the last three months. A customer can be either an advertiser who purchases our solution from us directly or an advertiser who purchases our solution through an advertising agency or other third party. We count all advertisers within a single corporate structure as one customer even in cases where multiple brands, branches or divisions of an organization enter into separate contracts with us. We believe that our ability to increase the number of active customers using our solution is an important indicator of our ability to grow our business, although we expect this number to fluctuate based on the seasonality in our business.
During 2014, our customers included 93 of the Advertising Age 100 Leading National Advertisers and 62 Fortune 100 companies. We benefit from a diverse advertiser base across industry verticals, such as automotive, cable, computer manufacturing, education, finance and insurance, health care, hospitality and food services, retail and telecommunications.
For the year ended December 31, 2014, no single customer represented more than 10% of our revenue.
Sales and Marketing
In North America, Europe, South America, and Australia we sell our solutions through our global direct sales team, which focuses on advertising agencies and marketers, as well as on other third parties. Our direct sales team is organized by geography,

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with regional offices in the United States and offices in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and Brazil. Our direct sales teams work with agencies, advertisers and other third parties.
We are focused on managing our brand, increasing market awareness and generating new advertiser leads. To do so, we often present at industry conferences, create custom events and invest in public relations. In addition, our marketing team advertises online, in print and in other forms of media, creates case studies, sponsors research, composes whitepapers, publishes marketing collateral, generates blog posts and undertakes customer research studies.
Employees and Culture
We are proud of our “nerdy, but lovable” company culture, and believe it is one of our fundamental strengths as well as a strategic priority. We are focused on constant technological innovation to improve our solution for advertisers and marketers. We encourage creativity and open dialogue to improve on ideas through iteration.
As of December 31, 2014, we had 1,123 full-time employees, consisting of 977 employees in the United States and 146 employees internationally. This represents an 81% increase from December 31, 2013. We expect a significantly slower rate of headcount growth in 2015.
Our Competition
Our industry is highly competitive and fragmented. We compete with large, well-established companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and digital advertising networks. In addition, we compete against other companies that offer digital marketing hubs and demand side and data management technology platforms that allow advertisers to purchase inventory directly and manage and analyze their own customer data. We also compete with divisions of certain advertising agencies, including agency trading desks, that place digital advertising on behalf of the agencies’ clients, and other companies, many of which claim to use advanced technologies to optimize advertising campaigns. As we introduce new offerings, as our existing offerings evolve, or as other companies introduce new products and services, we may become subject to additional competition.
We compete for advertising revenue based on our ability to meet advertiser goals, the effectiveness and relevance of our offerings, pricing structure, ease-of-use, scalability, cross-channel and cross-device capabilities, customer service, breadth and depth of customer relationships and awareness of our brand. In addition, as we move forward with our Digital Marketing Hub solution, we will also compete based on (i) our ability to offer a comprehensive technology solution that meets the needs of our customers and (ii) the ease of integration with customers' other systems and databases.
The industry research firms, Forrester and Gartner, have ranked us as a leader or visionary in the DMP category, the media buying or DSP category, and the digital marketing hub.
Intellectual Property
The protection of our technology and intellectual property is an important component of our success. We rely on intellectual property laws, including trade secret, copyright, trademark and patent laws in the United States and abroad, and use contracts, confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements, employee disclosure and invention assignment agreements and other contractual rights to protect our intellectual property.
In September 2014, we acquired two issued patents and one pending non-provisional patent application in the United States as a result of our acquisition of [x+1]. As of December 31, 2014, we had filed twelve non-provisional patent applications in the United States and one application in Great Britain. In addition, we maintain a trademark portfolio in the United States and abroad, including trademarks or trademark applications in Australia, Brazil, China, European Union, Hong Kong Japan and Singapore.
Circumstances outside of our control could pose a threat to our intellectual property rights. Effective intellectual property protection may not be available in the United States or other countries in which we provide our solution. In addition, the efforts we have taken to protect our intellectual property rights may not be sufficient or effective. Any impairment of our intellectual property rights could harm our business, our ability to compete and our results of operations.
Privacy and Interest-based Advertising
Much of the acceptance and widespread use of digital media across the globe is attributable to the ability of Internet users to access valuable content quickly, without friction, and free of charge. The digital media content providers, or publishers, who

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support the creation and distribution of this content do so largely by selling advertisements on their properties, similar to the business model of television and radio broadcasters. Online it is possible to serve advertisements to potential consumers based upon interests that are inferred in part from a consumer’s online actions and web-browsing history. The use of web browsing history to inform advertising purchase decisions is commonly referred to as “interest-based” or “online behavioral” advertising. Advertisers are willing to make a greater investment in, and pay a higher rate for, digital advertising when this interest-based data can be used to inform decisions about purchasing advertising impressions to reach desired consumers.
The use of interest-based advertising has come under scrutiny by consumer advocacy organizations and regulatory agencies in the U.S. and abroad that focus on online privacy. Because we rely upon access to large volumes of data, including web browsing history, primarily through cookies, it is essential that we monitor developments in this area in the U.S. and globally, and that we engage in responsible privacy practices. Our privacy practices are described in our privacy policy, which explains the type of data we collect and use to provide services to advertisers. Our privacy policy can be found on our website at http://rocketfuel.com/privacy-policy. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We are also active members of industry self-regulatory organizations, including the Network Advertising Initiative, or NAI, and the Digital Advertising Alliance, or DAA, and participate in the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising coordinated by the DAA and enforced by both the Direct Marketing Association and the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Similarly, in Europe we are signatories to the IAB Europe EU Framework for Online Behavioural Advertising and are members of the European Digital Advertising Alliance, or EDAA.
For further information about privacy and related regulation impacting our industry, please see our Risk Factors in Item 1A "Risk Factors" of this annual report on Form 10-K.
Seasonality
In the advertising industry, companies commonly experience significant seasonal fluctuations in revenue. Many advertisers allocate the largest portion of their budgets to the fourth quarter of the calendar year to coincide with increased holiday purchasing. Historically, the fourth quarter of the year reflects our highest level of advertising activity and associated revenue, and the first quarter reflects the lowest level of such activity. For more information regarding the impact of seasonality on our business, please refer to Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations -- Factors Affecting Our Performance."
Financial Information about Segments and Geographic Areas
We manage our operations as a single reportable segment. For information regarding our reporting segment, and revenue and long-lived assets by geographic location please refer to Note 13 to our consolidated financial statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. For information regarding risks associated with our international operations, please refer to the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of Part I in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Available Information
You can obtain copies of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed with, or furnished to, the Securities Exchange Commission, or SEC, free of charge from our website at www.rocketfuel.com as soon as reasonably practicable after we have electronically filed such material with, or furnished it to, the SEC. The contents of our website are not incorporated into this filing. Further, our references to the URL for our website are intended to be inactive textual references only.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
The following risk factors and other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K should be carefully considered. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we presently deem less significant may also impair our business operations. Please see page 4 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of the forward-looking statements that are qualified by these risk factors. If any of the events or circumstances described in the following risk factors actually occurs, our business, operating results and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

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Risks Related to Our Business and Our Industry
Our limited operating history makes it difficult to evaluate our business and prospects.
We were incorporated in 2008 and, as a result, have only a limited operating history upon which our business and future prospects may be evaluated. Although we have experienced substantial revenue growth in our limited history, our rate of growth has declined since the third quarter of 2013 and we expect it to decline further in 2015. We may not be able to slow or reverse this decline in revenue growth rate, and we may not be able to maintain our current revenue levels. We have encountered and will continue to encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly developing and changing industries, including challenges related to recruiting, integrating and retaining qualified employees; making effective use of our limited resources; achieving market acceptance of our existing and future offerings; competing against companies with greater financial and technical resources; acquiring and retaining customers and maintaining relationships with advertising agencies; and developing new offerings, either internally or through acquisitions.
As a growing company in a rapidly evolving industry, our business prospects depend in large part on our ability to:
develop, offer and provide effective service and support for competitive technology platforms and offerings that meet our advertisers’ and their agencies' needs as they change;
build a reputation for superior solutions and create trust and long-term relationships with advertisers and advertising agencies;
partner with advertising agencies to offer solutions to their customers;
attract, hire, integrate and retain qualified and motivated employees, including but not limited to exceptional executive talent with public company experience;
successfully complete the integration of [x+1], a provider of programmatic marketing and data management solutions that we acquired in September 2014, including but not limited to integration of the [x+1] technology platform with ours;
expand our expertise in technologies required for our offerings, such as our self-service DSP and DMP enterprise solutions, that involve developing solutions for use directly by others, including user interface development, user documentation and ongoing customer support and maintenance;
distinguish ourselves from competitors in our industry while at the same time working with those competitors that also offer advertising inventory for our acquisition and placement;
maintain and expand our relationships with the sources of quality inventory through which we execute our customers’ advertising campaigns, including but not limited to Facebook inventory;
respond to evolving industry standards, government regulations and customer requirements that impact our business, particularly in the areas of data collection and consumer privacy;
prevent or otherwise mitigate failures or breaches of security or privacy; and
expand our business internationally
If we are unable to meet one or more of these objectives or otherwise adequately address the risks and difficulties that we face, our business may suffer, our revenue may decline and we may not be able to achieve further growth or long-term positive profitability or cash flow.
We may experience fluctuations in our operating results, which make our future results difficult to predict and could cause our operating results or future guidance that we issue to fall below our expectations or those of investors or analysts.
Our quarterly and annual operating results have fluctuated in the past. Similarly, we expect our future operating results to fluctuate for the foreseeable future due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Our fluctuating results could cause our performance to fall below the expectations of investors and securities analysts, and adversely affect the price of

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our common stock. Because our business is changing and evolving rapidly, our historical operating results may not be useful in predicting our future operating results. Factors that may increase the volatility of our operating results include the following:
the addition or loss of advertisers, advertising agencies or enterprise customers;
changes in demand and pricing for our solutions;
the seasonal nature of our customers’ spending on digital advertising campaigns;
changes in our pricing policies or the pricing policies of our competitors;
the pricing of advertising inventory or of other third-party services;
the introduction of new technologies, product or service offerings by our competitors;
changes in our customers’ advertising budget allocations, agency affiliations, or marketing strategies, which could affect their interest in our solutions;
changes and uncertainty in the regulatory environment for us or our advertisers;
changes in the economic prospects of our advertisers or the economy generally, which could alter current or prospective advertisers’ spending priorities, or could increase the time or costs required to complete sales to advertisers;
changes in the availability of advertising inventory through real-time advertising exchanges, or in the cost to reach end consumers through digital advertising;
fluctuations in our non-GAAP net revenue, which varies based on our pricing and on our costs for the purchase of advertising (non-GAAP net revenue is a non-GAAP measure; please see Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, “Non-GAAP Measures," for an explanation of this measure and a reconciliation to the most comparable GAAP measure);
the rate of our investment in people and related infrastructure as we build and create leverage in our organization to handle increased sales and the associated volume of transactions, and as we expand operations outside of North America;
changes in our capital expenditures and/or lease obligations as we acquire the computer hardware, equipment and other assets required to support our business;
costs related to acquisitions of people, businesses or technologies, such as our recent acquisition of [x+1]; and
the cost and potential outcomes of existing and future litigation, including, without limitation, the purported stockholder class action lawsuits described below under “Risks Related to the Securities Markets and Ownership of our Common Stock—The price of our common stock has been volatile and the value of our common stock could decline.”
Based upon all of the factors described above and others that we may not anticipate, including those beyond our control, we have a limited ability to forecast our future revenue, costs and expenses and the resulting profit or loss and cash flows. As a result, our actual operating results may from time to time fall below our estimates or the expectations of investors and analysts. Furthermore, our projected results may from to time fall below our initial estimates or the expectations of investors and analysts. This has occurred several times since our initial public offering and resulted in substantial declines in our stock price. See “Risks Related to the Securities Markets and Ownership of our Common Stock— We may fail to meet our publicly announced guidance or other expectations about our business and future operating results, which could cause our stock price to decline, ” below.
We have a history of losses and may not achieve or sustain profitability in the future.
We incurred net losses of $64.3 million , $20.9 million and $10.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 , respectively. As of December 31, 2014 , we had an accumulated deficit of $108.8 million . We may not achieve profitability in the foreseeable future, if at all. Although our revenue has increased significantly in recent periods, we may not be able to sustain

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this revenue growth. For example, our operating expenses increased more rapidly than our revenue in 2014, primarily due to substantial investments in our business, including an 81% increase in our headcount during 2014, and due to leases and tenant improvements at our growing number of office locations. We expect our costs and expenses to continue to increase in absolute dollars in the foreseeable future as we continue to expand our business by adding sales and related support employees, particularly in support of increased sales efforts for our Digital Marketing Hub and related technology solutions, and the continued expansion of international sales efforts. We are also adding engineering employees to support continued investments in our technology platforms, including efforts to complete integration of the offerings we acquired with [x+1].
In order to achieve sustained profitability and positive cash flow, we must change our current operational infrastructure and practices. For example, we must manage our expenses to create operating leverage and manage our financial and capital resources more effectively. If we fail to implement the necessary changes to our operations on a timely basis, or if we are unable to implement them effectively or at all, our business may suffer. We cannot provide assurance that we will be successful in addressing these and other challenges we may face in the future.
Our recent acquisition of [x+1] has required, and will continue to require, significant management attention and resources to integrate [x+1]'s operations, workforce and technology offerings into our existing operations, workforce and offerings. If the integration is not successfully completed, we may not realize the anticipated benefits of the transaction. The acquisition resulted in dilution to our stockholders.
In September 2014, we acquired [x+1], a provider of programmatic marketing and data management solutions. This acquisition involves significant risks to our business. It may not ultimately strengthen our competitive position. It could be viewed negatively by our advertisers, advertising agencies and investors, which could have an adverse impact on our business and the value of our common stock. In addition, completion of the integration will require significant management attention and resources. Our executive vice president of enterprise solutions (the former chief executive officer of [x+1]) recently announced that he was leaving the company. His direct reports have been re-organized, but as with any re-organization this may pose unexpected challenges. If we are unsuccessful at completing the integration of [x+1]'s employees or technologies, our financial condition and results of operations, including revenue growth and net income, as well as our corporate culture, could be adversely affected.
The acquisition has required, and will continue to require significant time and resources. In connection with our acquisition of [x+1], we paid approximately $98.0 million in cash and 5.3 million shares of our common stock, subject to adjustment pursuant to the merger agreement. In addition, we have incurred $11.5 million in acquisition and integration costs, principally consulting fees and retention bonuses. The use of cash to pay for this acquisition has limited our ability to use our cash for other potential uses, including investments in our sales and marketing and product development organizations, and in infrastructure to expand our operations to support growth in revenue and volume of transactions. The issuance of equity in the transaction resulted in dilution to our stockholders.
Any expense reduction initiatives that we undertake may not deliver the expected results and these actions may adversely affect our business.
In early 2015, we announced that we intended to take measures to move toward profitability and improve our operating leverage, including slowing our headcount growth considerably, managing our expenses more effectively, and minimizing our capital spending requirements. As we take these or other actions to better align our operating expenses with our revenue, manage our costs better, and more efficiently manage our business, such actions could result in disruptions to our operations and adversely affect our business. To effectively manage our business growth and operations with fewer than anticipated employees, we will need to spend significant resources to further automate our business processes, improve our technology infrastructure, our operational, financial and management controls, and our reporting systems and procedures by, among other things:
monitoring and updating our technology infrastructure to maintain high performance and the security of our data centers and network;
enhancing and automating work processes of our customer service and operations teams to ensure that our service professionals can efficiently support our customers; and
enhancing our internal controls to ensure timely and accurate billing processes, and reporting of our operations.
These enhancements and improvements will require capital expenditures and allocation of valuable management and employee resources. We expect to continue to actively monitor our operating expenses; however, if we do not fully realize the anticipated benefits of any expense reduction initiatives, including reductions in headcount growth, our business could be adversely affected. In addition, we cannot be sure that our efforts to manage expenses and improve our operating leverage  will be successful

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in reducing our overall expenses as expected or that additional expenses will not offset any such reductions. If our operating expenses are higher than we expect or if we do not maintain adequate control of our costs and expenses, our operating results will suffer.
If we do not manage our growth effectively, (i) the quality of our solutions and services and our relationships with our customers may suffer, and/or (ii) our ability to perform essential administrative functions may be impaired. Either or both of these results could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our business has grown rapidly. We rely heavily on information technology ("IT") systems to manage critical customer-related functions such as advertising campaign management and operations, data center operations and data management platform hosting. We must expand and improve these systems to maintain the quality of our solutions as we grow and, in particular, to avoid service interruptions, security breaches and slower system performance for our enterprise solutions, including our self-service DSP and our data management platform ("DMP"). We also depend on IT systems to manage essential functions such as revenue recognition, budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting and other administrative functions, and we must continue to expand and improve these IT systems as well. Despite the use of IT systems, many of our processes remain manual in nature, and thus we must also continue to manage our employees, operations, finances, research and development and capital investments efficiently. Our productivity and the quality of our solutions may be adversely affected if we do not quickly and effectively integrate and train our new employees, including employees acquired as part of our recent acquisition of [x+1], and if we fail to appropriately coordinate across our executive, engineering, finance, human resources, legal, marketing, sales, operations and customer support teams. Our growth may continue to place a strain on our resources, infrastructure and ability to maintain the quality of our solutions. Our rapid growth has resulted in challenges, and if we do not adapt to meet these evolving challenges, and if the current and future members of our management team do not effectively scale with our growth, the quality of our solutions may suffer, our relationships with our customers may be harmed and our corporate culture may be adversely impacted. Failure to manage our future growth effectively could cause our business to suffer, which, in turn, could have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
If we fail to make the right investment decisions in our offerings and technology platforms, we may not attract and retain advertisers and advertising agencies and our revenue and results of operations may decline.
We compete for advertisers, which are often represented by advertising agencies, who want to purchase digital media for advertising campaigns and/or invest in enterprise solutions for the purchase of digital media, data management and/or personalization of web properties. Our industry is subject to rapid changes in standards, technologies, products and service offerings, as well as in advertiser demands and expectations. We continuously need to make decisions regarding which offerings and technology to invest in to meet advertiser demand and evolving industry standards and regulatory requirements. We may make wrong or untimely decisions regarding these investments. If new or existing competitors offer more attractive offerings, we may lose advertisers, or advertisers and their agencies may decrease their spending on our solutions. New advertiser demands, superior competitive offerings or new industry standards could render our existing solutions unattractive, unmarketable or obsolete and require us to make substantial unanticipated changes to our technology platforms or business models. Our failure to adapt to a rapidly changing market or to anticipate advertiser demand could harm our business and our financial performance.
Our entry into the enterprise software-as-a-service ("SaaS") market is relatively new, and if we are not recognized as a technology company that can deliver effective SaaS solutions to enterprise clients and agencies, then our prospects and clients may be unwilling to use our solutions and our business will suffer.
 
As we expand our offerings to include SaaS solutions for enterprise clients and agencies, we must develop new skills that are critical to delivering a SaaS offerings, and invest significantly in training employees to support a SaaS business and the long term client relationships that we want to maintain and further develop. Although we acquired an experienced team and a well-known products with [x+1], we must expand our expertise in technologies required for those offerings, and develop a reputation for regularly developing and delivering software updates and new features to long term clients. We must continue to develop and provide an easy to use, intuitive user interface for our solutions and provide robust client training programs and professional services to support our clients’ use of our software. We must also provide a secure infrastructure that clients trust to house their customer data, devote significant resources to cyber and physical security, and regularly test, audit, and augment our security protocols and practices. In addition, we must have skilled sales and customer service employees that are capable of working with clients to assess their use of our software. We must be able to develop and execute product roadmaps for clients to facilitate ongoing software feature development and ensure continued client use of our SaaS offerings, including the use of our technology for purchasing digital media for advertising and implementing marketing campaigns.
Because the sales cycle for SaaS solutions can be long and unpredictable and requires considerable time and expense, and client relationships may take a long time to grow and mature, it may be many quarters or years  before we know whether our

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investments in SaaS solutions is a profitable business for us.  If we do not develop and maintain a good reputation a SaaS provider, and we are not successful in generating revenue from our SaaS solutions and the resulting client relationships, then we may not recoup our investments in the SaaS business, and our results of operations will be harmed. 
If we are unable to attract and retain new advertising customers and sell additional and new offerings to our longer-term customers, our revenue growth will be adversely affected.
To sustain or increase our revenue, we must add and retain new advertisers and encourage longer-term advertisers (both of which are often represented by advertising agencies) to purchase additional offerings from us, including our new enterprise solutions. As the digital advertising industry matures and as competitors introduce lower cost or differentiated products or services that compete with or are perceived to compete with ours, our ability to sell our solutions to new and existing advertisers based on our offerings, pricing, technology platform and functionality could be impaired. Some advertisers that are repeat users of our DSP managed service solution have increased their spend over time. Conversely, some advertisers that are newer to our solution tend to spend less than, and may not return at all, or as frequently as, advertisers that have used our solution for longer periods of time. With long-time advertisers, we may reach a point of saturation at which it is challenging to continue to grow our revenue from those advertisers because of their unfamiliarity with the breadth of our product suite, as well as factors beyond our control such as internal limits that advertisers or their agencies may place on the allocation of their advertising budgets to digital media, to particular campaigns, to a particular provider, or for other reasons not known to us. In 2014, we experienced a decline in average customer spend compared to 2013, as well as a decline in spend by some of our larger customers and the loss of some of our larger customers. If we are unable to continue to attract new advertisers or obtain additional business from existing advertisers, our revenue growth and our business will be adversely affected. We have experienced a slowing rate of revenue growth since the third quarter of 2013, and we expect that will continue in 2015. Our ability to slow or reverse this declining rate of growth will depend in part upon the successful introduction of new offerings (including our ability to cross-sell our full suite of offerings). We operate in a highly competitive market, and there can be no assurance that these new offerings will gain significant levels of market acceptance.
In particular, the market for our enterprise solutions is relatively new. Advertisers may be reluctant to make significant investments in these solutions. The sales cycle for enterprise solutions can be long and unpredictable and require considerable time and expense. Even if we generate a sale, we incur upfront costs associated with onboarding advertisers to our enterprise platforms, which can be a complex process as we must support a wide range of customer data formats and capabilities, and integrate with a wide range of applications and technology and process infrastructures. We may not recoup our investment if we do not maintain the advertiser relationship over time.
We compete for allocation of advertising budgets with agencies that may prefer to allocate their clients' advertising spend to their own internal agency trading desks or other solutions, reducing our ability to grow or retain revenue from customers represented by agencies even if our solutions are more effective.
Among our principal competitors for our solutions are advertising agencies that operate agency trading desks, either directly or through affiliates. Customers often rely on agencies to direct and allocate their advertising spend for advertising in digital media among various providers. We rely predominately on advertising agencies to purchase our solution on behalf of advertisers, and certain of those agencies or agency holding companies have, or are creating competitive solutions, referred to as agency trading desks. If these agency trading desks are successful in leveraging their relationships with the advertisers, we may be unable to compete for advertisers’ budgets even if our solution is more effective. Many agencies that we work with are also owned by large agency holding companies. For various reasons related to the agencies’ own priorities or those of their holding companies, they may not recommend our solution, even though it may be more effective, and we may not have the opportunity to demonstrate our value to advertisers. Furthermore, agencies are increasingly involved in helping to select self-service platform providers for the advertisers they represent. This trend has impacted, and may continue to impact, our ability to grow revenue from those advertisers. During 2014, we experienced a decline in revenue from some customers that directed more spend through agency trading desks. Our ability to continue competing successfully, grow and retain revenue will depend in part on our ability to identify opportunities to work collaboratively with agencies and agency trading desks.
We may not be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors because competition in our industry is intense, and our competitors may offer solutions that are perceived by our customers to be more attractive than ours or leverage inventory or data to their advantage. These factors could result in declining revenue, or inability to grow our business.
Competition for our advertisers’ advertising budgets is intense, as is competition for broader advertising solutions such as data management platforms. We operate in a market that is subject to rapid development and introduction of product and service offerings, changing branding objectives and evolving customer demands, all of which affect our ability to remain competitive. For example, during 2014, we experienced a decline in revenue from some customers that adopted competitors' DSP and/or DMP

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solutions rather than our own similar solutions. We expect competition to increase as the barriers to enter our market are low and consolidation is increasing. Increased competition may force us to charge less for our solutions, or offer pricing models that are less attractive to us and decrease our margins. Our principal competitors for our media buying solutions include traditional advertising networks, and advertising agencies that operate an agency trading desk, either directly or through an affiliate. Competitors for our self-service solutions include other companies that offer self-service DSP and/or DMP platforms that allow advertisers to purchase inventory directly from advertising exchanges or other third parties and manage and analyze their own consumer data and third party data. Other competitors for our solutions include in-house tools and custom solutions currently used by brand advertisers to manage their customer data and advertising and marketing activities. As our platforms evolve and we introduce new technologies, features and functionality, we may face competition from new sources.
We also compete with services offered through large online portals that have significant brand recognition, such as Yahoo!, Google, AOL and MSN. These large portals have substantial proprietary digital advertising inventory that may provide them with competitive advantages, including far greater access to Internet user data, and the ability to significantly influence pricing for digital advertising inventory. We also compete for a share of advertisers’ total advertising budgets with online search advertising, for which we do not offer a solution, and with traditional advertising media, such as direct mail, television, radio, cable and print. Some of our competitors have also established reputations for specific services, such as retargeting with dynamic creative, for which we do not have an established market presence. Many current and potential competitors have competitive advantages relative to us, such as longer operating histories, greater name recognition, larger client bases, greater access to advertising inventory on premium websites and significantly greater financial, technical, sales and marketing resources. Increased competition may result in reduced pricing for our solutions, longer sales cycles or a decrease of our market share, any of which could negatively affect our revenue and future operating results and our ability to grow our business.
Our ability to continue competing successfully and growing revenue will depend in part on our ability to retain business from our larger and longer tenured customers; win business from new customers through the successful introduction of new offerings for mobile, video and brand advertising campaigns that continue to differentiate us from our competitors, including agency trading desks; attract customers to our self-service platform offering and new enterprise solutions, including the DMP acquired through [x+1]. If a significant portion of our larger and longer tenured customers spend less with us, or stop spending altogether, and we fail to attract sufficient offsetting new business from new customers, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be harmed.
Our loan agreement contains operating and financial covenants that restrict our business and financing activities and, in some cases, could result in an immediate requirement to repay our outstanding loans.
Borrowings under our loan agreement with certain lenders and Comerica Bank, or Comerica, as agent for the lenders, are secured by substantially all of our assets, including our intellectual property. Our loan agreement also restricts our ability to, among other things:
dispose of or sell our assets;
make material changes in our business or management;
consolidate or merge with other entities;
incur additional indebtedness;
create liens on our assets;
pay dividends;
make investments, including capital expenditures;
enter into transactions with affiliates; and
pay off or redeem subordinated indebtedness.
These restrictions are subject to certain exceptions. In addition, our loan agreement requires us to comply with minimum EBITDA covenants, maintain minimum cash balances with the lenders and maintain minimum liquidity ratios, among other requirements, and gives the lenders the right to use future cash collections from accounts receivable directly to reduce the outstanding

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balance of the revolving credit facility, if the aggregated cash balances on deposit with the lenders and certain other domestic financial institutions fall below $40.0 million.
The operating and financial restrictions and covenants in the loan agreement, as well as any future financing agreements that we may enter into, could restrict our ability to finance our operations and to engage in, expand or otherwise pursue business activities and strategies that we or our stockholders may consider beneficial. We have failed to comply with similar covenants in the past. For example, as of December 31, 2012, September 30, 2013, and September 30, 2014, we were not in compliance with certain financial and non-financial covenants in applicable secured loan and security agreements, including covenants related to permitted indebtedness for a corporate credit card account balance and limitations on our capital expenditures. Although we have been able to obtain a waiver for each such covenant violation in the past, there is no guarantee that our lender will waive such violations in the future. Our ability to comply with these covenants may be affected by events beyond our control, and future breaches of any of these covenants could result in a default under the loan agreement. Future defaults, if not waived, could cause all of the outstanding indebtedness under our loan agreement to become immediately due and payable and would permit the lenders to terminate all commitments to extend further credit and permit Comerica, on behalf of the lenders, to proceed against the collateral in which we granted Comerica a security interest.
If we do not have or are unable to generate sufficient cash available to repay our debt obligations when they become due and payable, either upon maturity or in the event of a default, we may not be able to obtain additional debt or equity financing on favorable terms, if at all. This could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and financial condition and our ability to operate and continue our business as a going concern. Under the credit facility agreement, the lenders have the right to use future cash collections from accounts receivable directly to reduce the outstanding balance of the revolving credit facility, if the aggregated cash balances on deposit with the lenders and certain other domestic financial institutions fall below $40.0 million. If the lenders were to exercise this right, our ability to pay the costs of our operations, including payroll and vendor costs, would be adversely impacted, and could lead to insolvency or bankruptcy.
We may require additional capital to support growth, and such capital might not be available on terms acceptable to us, if at all. This could hamper our growth and adversely affect our business.
We intend to continue to make investments to support our business growth and may require additional funds to respond to business challenges, including the need to develop new features or enhance our platform, improve our operating infrastructure or acquire complementary businesses and technologies. Accordingly, we may need to engage in public or private equity, equity-linked or debt financings to secure additional funds. If we raise additional funds through future issuances of equity or convertible debt securities, our existing stockholders could suffer significant dilution, and any new equity securities we issue could have rights, preferences and privileges superior to those of holders of our common stock. Any debt financing that we secure in the future could involve restrictive covenants relating to our capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, including the ability to pay dividends. This may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities, including potential acquisitions. We may not be able to obtain additional financing on terms favorable to us, if at all. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing on terms satisfactory to us when we require it, our ability to continue to support our business growth and respond to business challenges could be significantly impaired, and our business could be adversely affected.
Our liquidity could be adversely impacted by adverse conditions in the financial markets.
As of December 31, 2014 , we had $107.1 million in cash and cash equivalents. Of this balance, $30.0 million is required to be on deposit with our loan facility lenders as of the 15th and the last days of each month. At any point in time, we have funds in our operating accounts that are with third party financial institutions that exceed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, insurance limits. These cash balances could be impacted if the underlying financial institutions fail or become subject to other adverse conditions in the financial markets.
If we do not effectively train and provide tools and technology to support our sales and customer service and operations teams, we may be unable to maintain or increase sales to our existing customers or maintain customer satisfaction, and our business would be adversely affected.
We are substantially dependent on our sales and customer service and operations teams team to maintain and increase sales from our existing customers and on our customer service and operations teams to maintain customer satisfaction. Our ability to achieve significant revenue growth will depend, in part, on our success in recruiting, training, integrating and retaining sufficient numbers of sales and customer service and operations personnel to support our growth and maintain customer satisfaction, and providing them the tools and technology that they need to efficiently do their jobs and satisfy customer demands. As we expand our offerings within mobile, social and video channels, and with our self-service platforms, our sales teams are also required to spend time learning new offerings and become more effective at cross-selling. Our customer service and operations teams are

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required to spend time learning to support the new offerings and troubleshooting customer issues. If we cannot provide the tools and training to our teams to support new and repeat customer growth, we will continue to see declines in our revenue retention rate that we experienced throughout 2014, and fail to maintain satisfactory customer relationships. With the introduction of our enterprise self-service solution and our acquisition of [x+1] and its enterprise offerings, we now require sales and customer service and operations teams to meet the demands of two distinctly different types of customers with different types of offerings; those that purchase managed services from us, and those that invest in our technology as an enterprise solution. Our sales and customer service and operations teams have been primarily trained and experienced in selling and supporting our managed service solutions to and servicing advertising agencies, which often control advertisers' budgets. Our enterprise solutions are marketed and sold to agencies, enterprise customers and other channel partners directly. We are expanding our capabilities by hiring additional enterprise sales and customer service and operations personnel, and we have invested in existing personnel to sell solutions to advertising agencies, large brand advertisers and channel partners and provide customer support.
In recent quarters, we have experienced sales productivity declines. If we are unable to train sufficient numbers of sales personnel, or the sales personnel are not effective in obtaining new customers or increasing sales to our existing customer base, our business would be adversely affected.
We expect the investment of time on sales hiring, training and education efforts to continue to negatively impact sales productivity in the short term. Our recent hires and planned hires may not become productive as quickly as we expect, and we may be unable to hire or retain sufficient numbers of qualified individuals in the markets where we do business or plan to do business. The rate of growth in sales productivity for current sales personnel may not improve in the near term. In addition, new hires typically require significant training, and it may take significant time before they achieve full productivity. During 2015, our ability to slow or reverse the declines in the quarterly revenue growth rate we have experienced since the third quarter of 2013 will depend, in part, on the pace at which sales personnel hired and trained during 2014 become productive during 2015. In 2014, we experienced a decline in sales productivity compared to 2013. As a result of the growth in our sales organization, a large portion of our sales team is still new to the company and our solutions. If we are unable to train sufficient numbers of sales personnel (including enterprise sales personnel), and/or the sales personnel are not effective in obtaining new customers or increasing sales to our existing customer base through cross-selling, our business would be adversely affected.
Our future success depends on the continuing efforts of our key employees, including our founders, and on our ability to hire, train, motivate and retain additional employees, including executives with public company experience.
Our future success depends heavily upon the continuing services of our key employees, including our founders, George John, our Chief Executive Officer; Richard Frankel, our President; and Abhinav Gupta, our Vice President, Optimization, and on our ability to attract and retain members of our management team and other highly skilled employees, including software engineers, analytics and operations employees and sales professionals.
Over the past six months we have experienced significant turnover within the executive team. Since November 2014 we have hired four senior executives, including a Chief Financial Officer; a Chief Revenue Officer for North America, a Senior Vice President of Research and Development and a Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Our future success depends on their swift and effective integration into our business operations and company culture. Mr. Gupta recently transitioned his management of engineering to the new senior vice president of research and development, and took on a new role in the company as our Vice President of Optimization, responsible for process improvements. None of our founders or other key employees has an employment agreement for a specific term, and any of our employees may terminate their employment with us at any time.
The market for talent in our key areas of operations, including California, New York, Chicago and London, is intensely competitive. Our engineering group is primarily based in Redwood City, California, and we face significant competition for talent from large technology companies such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Yahoo!. These companies may provide more generous compensation and benefits, more diverse opportunities and better chances for career advancement, than we do. Some of these advantages may be more appealing to high-quality candidates than those we have to offer. In addition, the decline in our stock price has created additional challenges around our ability to compete effectively with respect to equity compensation.
New employees often require significant training and, in many cases, take significant time before they achieve full productivity. As a result, we may incur significant costs to attract and retain employees, including significant expenditures related to salaries and benefits and compensation expenses related to equity awards, and we may lose new employees to our competitors or other companies before we realize the benefit of our investment in recruiting and training them. Moreover, new employees may not be or become as productive as we expect, as we may face challenges in adequately or appropriately integrating them into our workforce and culture. In addition, as we move into new geographies, we will need to attract and recruit skilled employees in those areas. We have little experience with recruiting in geographies outside of the United States, and may face additional challenges in attracting, integrating and retaining international employees.

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Even if we are successful in hiring qualified new employees, we may be subject to allegations that we have improperly solicited such employees while they remained employed by our competitors, that such employees have improperly solicited other colleagues of theirs employed by the same competitors or that such employees have divulged proprietary or other confidential information to us in violation of their agreements with such competitors. If we are unable to attract, integrate and retain suitably qualified individuals, our business, financial position and results of operations would be harmed.
Our sales and marketing efforts have required significant investments, which may not yield returns in the foreseeable future, if at all.
We have invested significant resources in our sales and marketing teams to educate the marketplace and sell to prospective advertisers and advertising agencies the value of our solutions. We often spend substantial time and resources explaining how our solutions can optimize advertising campaigns, and responding to requests for proposals from potential advertisers and their advertising agencies, including developing material specific to the needs of such potential advertisers. Our business depends in part upon advertisers’ confidence, and the confidence of the advertising agencies that represent those advertisers, that our solutions are superior to other methods of purchasing digital advertising. Our business also depends in part on our ability to effectively market our expanded offerings in the video, mobile and social channels, brand solutions and our self-service platform. In order to support our sales teams more effectively in an extremely competitive environment, our marketing efforts must continually keep pace with the evolution of our business and educate the market about our technology advantages and capabilities. We may not be successful in attracting new advertisers despite our investment in our sales and marketing organizations.
Through 2013, our historical revenue growth partially masked seasonal fluctuations in advertising activity. However, as our revenue growth rate has declined since the third quarter of 2013 and/or to the extent seasonal advertising patterns become more pronounced, seasonality could cause material fluctuations on our quarterly operating results and cash flows.
Our revenue, operating results, and other key operating and performance metrics may vary from quarter to quarter due to the seasonal nature of our advertisers’ spending on digital advertising campaigns. For example, advertisers tend to devote more of their advertising budgets to the fourth calendar quarter to coincide with consumer holiday spending. Moreover, advertising inventory in the fourth quarter may be more expensive due to increased demand for advertising inventory. Our historical high revenue growth through the first half of 2013 partially masked the impact of seasonality, but as our growth rate has declined since the third quarter of 2013, and to the extent seasonal spending becomes more pronounced, seasonality could cause material fluctuations on our revenue, cash flow, operating results and other key operating and performance metrics from period to period.
If the use of “third party cookies” is rejected by Internet users, restricted or otherwise subject to unfavorable regulation, our performance could decline and we could lose advertisers and revenue.
We use “cookies” (small text files) to gather important data to help deliver our solution. These cookies are placed through an Internet browser on an Internet user’s computer and correspond to a data set that we keep on our servers. Our cookies are known as “third party” cookies because we do not have a direct relationship with the Internet user. Our cookies collect anonymous information, such as when an Internet user views an ad, clicks on an ad, or visits one of our advertisers’ websites. On mobile devices, we may also obtain location-based information about the user’s device. We use these cookies to help us achieve our advertisers’ campaign goals, to help us ensure that the same Internet user does not unintentionally see the same advertisement too frequently, to report aggregate information to our advertisers regarding the performance of their advertising campaigns and to detect and prevent fraudulent activity throughout our network of inventory. We also use data from cookies to help us decide whether to bid on, and how much to bid on, an opportunity to place an advertisement in a certain location, at a given time, in front of a particular Internet user. A lack of data associated with cookies may detract from our ability to make decisions about which inventory to purchase for an advertiser’s campaign, and undermine the effectiveness of our solution.
Cookies may easily be deleted or blocked by Internet users. All of the most commonly used Internet browsers (including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari) allow Internet users to prevent cookies from being accepted by their browsers. Internet users can also delete cookies from their computers at any time. Some Internet users also download “ad blocking” software that prevents cookies from being stored on a user’s computer. If more Internet users adopt these settings or delete their cookies more frequently than they currently do, our business could be harmed. In addition, the Safari browser blocks cookies by default, and other browsers may do so in the future. Unless such default settings in browsers are altered by Internet users, we will be able to set fewer of our cookies in browsers, which could adversely affect our business. In addition, companies such as Google have publicly disclosed their intention to move away from cookies to another form of persistent unique identifier, or ID, to indicate Internet users in the bidding process on advertising exchanges. If companies do not use shared IDs across the entire ecosystem, this could have a negative impact on our ability to find the same anonymous user across different web properties, and reduce the effectiveness of our solution.

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In addition, in the European Union, or EU, Directive 2009/136/EC, commonly referred to as the “Cookie Directive,” directs EU member states to ensure that accessing information on an Internet user’s computer, such as through a cookie, is allowed only if the Internet user has given his or her consent. We may not be able to develop or implement additional tools that compensate for the lack of data associated with cookies. Moreover, even if we are able to do so, such additional tools may be subject to further regulation, time consuming to develop or costly to obtain, and less effective than our current use of cookies. The Data Protection Regulation, which was endorsed by the European Union Parliament in March 2014, will next be reviewed by the European Union Council of Ministers and the European Union Commission. If enacted into law, possible new rules regarding data collection could limit or change the way we collect information, and could have a negative impact on our ability to optimize our clients' advertising campaigns.
Potential “Do Not Track” standards or government regulation could negatively impact our business by limiting our access to the anonymous user data that informs the advertising campaigns we run, and as a result could degrade our performance for our customers.
As the use of cookies has received ongoing media attention over the past several years, some government regulators and privacy advocates have suggested creating a “Do Not Track” standard that would allow Internet users to express a preference, independent of cookie settings in their web browser, not to have their website browsing recorded. All the major Internet browsers have implemented some version of a “Do Not Track” setting. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 includes a “Do Not Track” setting that is selected “on” by default. However, there is no definition of “tracking,” no consensus regarding what message is conveyed by a “Do Not Track” setting and no industry standards regarding how to respond to a “Do Not Track” preference. It is possible that we could face competing policy standards, or standards that put our business model at a competitive disadvantage to other companies that collect data from Internet users, standards that reduce the effectiveness of our solution, or standards that require us to make costly changes to our solution. The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, has stated that it will pursue a legislative solution if the industry cannot agree upon a standard. The “Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2013” was introduced in the United States Senate in February 2013. If a “Do Not Track” web browser setting is adopted by many Internet users, and the standard either imposed by state or federal legislation, or agreed upon by standard setting groups, requires us to recognize a “Do Not Track” signal and prohibits us from using non-personal data as we currently do, then that could hinder growth of advertising and content production on the web generally, and limit the quality and amount of data we are able to store and use, which would cause us to change our business practices and adversely affect our business.
Our international expansion subjects us to additional costs and risks and may not yield returns, including anticipated revenue growth, in the foreseeable future, and our continued expansion internationally may not be successful.
Our significant investment in international expansion subjects us to many challenges associated with supporting a rapidly growing business across a multitude of cultures, customs, monetary, legal and regulatory systems and commercial infrastructures. We have a limited operating history outside of the United States, and our ability to manage our business and conduct our operations internationally requires considerable attention and resources. We began operations in the United Kingdom in 2011. Our UK subsidiary has employees in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Australia. We established subsidiaries in Germany and Canada in 2013 and in Brazil in 2014. In addition, in 2012, we licensed a third party to make our solution available in Japan. We expect to significantly expand our international operations in the future.
Our international expansion and the integration of international operations present challenges and risks to our business and require significant attention from our management, finance, analytics, operations, sales and engineering teams to support advertising campaigns abroad. For example, as a direct result of our relationship with our Japan licensee, we have undertaken engineering and other work to support campaigns for Japanese advertisers and localize our technology platform for language, currency and time zone, and have made substantial investments to train our Japan licensee’s sales team to sell our solution in Japan. Moreover, our Japan licensee is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a large advertising agency holding company, which has other subsidiaries that may offer services that compete with us. As a result, there is a risk that conflicts of interest may arise that could reduce our ability to gain market share in the Japanese market. Compliance with complex foreign and U.S. laws and regulations that apply to our international operations increases our cost of doing business abroad, could interfere with our ability to offer our solutions competitively to advertisers and advertising agencies in one or more countries and expose us or our employees to fines and penalties. In some cases, our advertisers might impose additional requirements on our business in efforts to comply with their interpretation of their own or our legal obligations. These requirements might differ significantly from the requirements applicable to our business in the United States and could require engineering and other costly resources to accommodate. Laws and regulations that could impact us include but are not limited to tax laws, employment laws, data privacy regulations, U.S. laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and local laws prohibiting corrupt payments to governmental officials and private entities, such as the U.K. Bribery Act. Violations of these laws and regulations could result in monetary damages, criminal sanctions against us, our officers, or our employees, and prohibitions on the conduct of our business. We will likely incur significant operating expenses as a result of our international expansion, and it may not be as successful as we anticipate. Our international business also subjects

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us to the impact of global and regional recessions and economic and political instability, differing regulatory requirements, costs and difficulties in managing a distributed workforce, potentially adverse tax consequences in the United States and abroad, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and restrictions on the repatriation of funds to the United States. Our failure to manage these risks and challenges successfully could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our solutions are primarily dependent on advertisers purchasing display advertising. A decrease in the use of display advertising, or our inability to further penetrate display, mobile, social and video advertising channels would harm our business, growth prospects, operating results and financial condition.
Historically, our customers have predominantly purchased our solution for display advertising. The demand-side platform that we acquired with [x+1] is also predominantly used for display advertising. We expect that display advertising will continue to be a significant channel used by our customers. Recently, the market for display advertising, excluding mobile, social and video, has been declining as overall digital advertising growth has been driven by mobile, social and video advertising. Should our customers lose confidence in the value or effectiveness of display advertising, the demand for our display solution could decline. In addition, many of our customers may think of us as only providing display advertising solutions, and we must develop marketing strategies that help our sales representatives cross-sell non-display products to our existing customer base. Our failure to achieve market acceptance of our solutions for mobile, social and video advertising, as well as our enterprise solutions, including our DMP and web optimization solutions, would harm our growth prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
If we fail to maintain adequate security and supporting infrastructure as we scale our systems, we may experience outages and disruptions of our services, and we may be in breach of our security obligations to our enterprise customers. Either of these occurrences could harm our brand and reputation; result in loss of customer information and related indemnity obligations and other liabilities; and negatively impact our revenue and results of operations.
As we grow our business, we expect to continue to invest in technology services, hardware and software, including data centers, network services, storage and database technologies. Creating the appropriate support for our technology platforms, including Big Data and our computational infrastructure, is expensive and complex, and our execution could result in inefficiencies or operational failures and increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks. We make representations to our customers regarding our security policies and practices. If we do not adequately implement and enforce these security policies to the satisfaction of our customers, this could result in a loss of customer confidence, damage to our reputation and a loss of business. Further, security breaches could not only diminish the quality of our services and our performance for advertisers; they could also be a violation of security obligations to our enterprise customers that are designed to protect the data that we collect, store and transmit for them. Cyber-attacks could include denial-of-service attacks impacting service availability (including the ability to deliver ads) and reliability; the exploitation of software vulnerabilities in Internet facing applications; social engineering of system administrators (tricking company employees into releasing control of their systems to a hacker); or the introduction of computer viruses or malware into our systems with a view to steal confidential or proprietary data. Cyber-attacks of increasing sophistication may be difficult to detect and could result in the theft of our intellectual property, our data and/or our customers’ data. In addition, we are vulnerable to unintentional errors as well as malicious actions by persons with authorized access to our systems that exceed the scope of their access rights, or unintentionally or intentionally alter parameters or otherwise interfere with the intended operations of our platforms. The steps we take to increase the reliability, integrity and security of our systems may be expensive and may not prevent system failures or unintended vulnerabilities resulting from the increasing number of persons with access to our systems, complex interactions within our technology platforms and the increasing number of connections with the technology of customers, third party partners and vendors. Operational errors or failures or successful cyber-attacks could result in damage to our reputation and loss of current and new advertisers and other business partners, as well as exposure to indemnity claims and other liability to our enterprise solution customers, which could harm our business. In addition, we could be adversely impacted by outages and disruptions in the online platforms of our key business partners, such as the real-time advertising exchanges, who we rely upon for access to inventory.
We typically do not have long-term commitments from our advertisers, and we may not be able to retain advertisers or attract new advertisers that provide us with revenue that is comparable to the revenue generated by any advertisers we may lose.
Most of the advertisers that use our solution do business with us by placing insertion orders for particular advertising campaigns. If we perform well on a particular campaign, then the advertiser, or most often, the advertising agency representing the advertiser, may place new insertion orders with us for additional advertising campaigns. We rarely have any commitment from an advertiser beyond the campaign governed by a particular insertion order. We use the Interactive Advertising Bureau, or IAB, standard terms and conditions, pursuant to which our insertion orders may also be canceled by advertisers or their advertising agencies prior to the completion of the campaign without penalty. As a result, our success is dependent upon our ability to outperform our competitors and win repeat business from existing advertisers, while continually expanding the number of advertisers for

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whom we provide services. In addition, it is relatively easy for advertisers and the advertising agencies that represent them to seek an alternative provider for their advertising campaigns because there are no significant switching costs. Agencies, with which we do the majority of our business, often have relationships with many different providers, each of which may be running portions of the same advertising campaign. Because we generally do not have long-term contracts, it is difficult for us to accurately predict future revenue streams. We cannot provide assurance that our current advertisers will continue to use our solution, or that we will be able to replace departing advertisers with new advertisers that provide us with comparable revenue.
The sales cycle for our enterprise solutions can be long and unpredictable and requires considerable time and expense before winning a sale or not; this can make it difficult to predict when, if at all, we will obtain new enterprise customers and when we will generate revenue from those customers.
The sales cycle for our enterprise business from initial contact with a sales prospect to contract execution and technology implementation, typically takes a significant amount of time and is difficult to predict. The sales cycle in some cases can take up to twelve months or more. Our sales efforts involve educating our customers about the use, technical capabilities and benefits of our platform. Some of our customers undertake a significant evaluation process that frequently involves not only our platform but also the offerings of our competitors. This process is costly and time-consuming. As a result, it is difficult to predict if and when we will obtain new customers and begin generating revenue from these new customers. Because of the long sales cycle, we may incur significant expenses before we have an opportunity to win the sale and execute a definitive agreement with a prospective customer and even more time before we are able to generate any revenue from such agreement. We have no assurance that the substantial time and money spent on our sales efforts will generate significant revenue, or that the customer engagement will ultimately be profitable. If conditions in the marketplace generally or with a specific prospective customer change negatively, it is possible that no definitive agreement will be executed, and we will be unable to recover any of these expenses.
If we serve our advertisers’ advertisements on undesirable websites or fail to detect fraud (including bot traffic), our reputation will suffer, which would harm our brand and reputation and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our business depends in part on providing our advertisers with a service that they trust. We have contractual commitments to take reasonable measures to prevent advertisers’ advertisements from appearing on undesirable websites or on certain websites that they identify, and we use third-party services to help us meet those commitments. We use third party technology, and our own proprietary technology, to detect click fraud and bot traffic, which is an automated computer-generated click on an advertisement rather than a click by a human. There has recently been a significant amount of negative publicity about bot traffic within our industry, including negative publicity directed at us. Under the circumstances, our abilities to both combat bot traffic and to communicate proactively about our capabilities in this area have become increasingly important. In addition, we use proprietary technology to block inventory that we know or suspect to be fraudulent, including “tool bar” inventory, which is inventory that appears within an application, often called a “tool bar,” and that overlays a website and displaces any advertising that would otherwise be displayed on such website. Preventing and combating fraud, which is an industry-wide issue, requires constant vigilance, and we may not always be successful in our efforts to do so or in our efforts to address negative press on the topic.
If we serve advertising on inventory that is objectionable to our advertisers or fraudulent, we may lose the trust of our advertisers, which would harm our brand and reputation and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. We may also purchase inventory inadvertently that proves to be unacceptable for advertising campaigns, in which case we are responsible for the cost and cannot bill that cost to any campaign. If we buy substantial volumes of unusable inventory, this could negatively impact our results of operations.
If our access to quality advertising inventory is diminished or if we fail to acquire new advertising inventory, our revenue could decline and our growth could be impeded.
We must maintain a consistent supply of attractive advertising inventory, meaning the digital space on which we place advertising impressions, including websites, proprietary social networks, such as Facebook, and mobile applications. Our success depends on our ability to secure quality inventory on reasonable terms across a broad range of advertising networks and exchanges and premium publishers, including real time advertising exchanges, such as Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange or AppNexus; suppliers of video and mobile inventory, including premium publishers with which we may seek direct relationships; and inventory available on social media platforms through application program interfaces, or APIs, including Facebook.
The amount, quality and cost of inventory available to us can change at any time. Our suppliers are not bound by long-term contracts. As a result, we cannot provide any assurance that we will have access to a consistent supply of quality inventory. Moreover, the number of competing intermediaries that purchase advertising inventory from real-time advertising exchanges continues to increase, while the number of suppliers may decline due to consolidation trends in the industry; both of these factors

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could put upward pressure on inventory costs. If we are unable to compete favorably for advertising inventory available on real-time advertising exchanges, or if real-time advertising exchanges decide not to make their advertising inventory available to us, we may not be able to place advertisements at competitive rates or find alternative sources of inventory with comparable traffic patterns and consumer demographics in a timely manner. Furthermore, the inventory that we access through real-time advertising exchanges may be of low quality or misrepresented to us, despite attempts by us and our suppliers to prevent fraud and conduct quality assurance checks. We may also seek to acquire access to premium inventory directly from publishers for both display and video impressions. Other companies, including ad networks, may compete with us and restrict our access to media inventory from publishers.
Suppliers control the bidding process for the inventory they supply, and their processes may not always work in our favor. For example, suppliers may place restrictions on our use of their inventory, including restrictions that prohibit the placement of advertisements on behalf of certain advertisers. We may not win the right to deliver advertising to the inventory that we select and may not be able to replace inventory that is no longer made available to us.
If we are unable to maintain a consistent supply of quality inventory for any reason, our business, advertiser retention and loyalty, financial condition and results of operations would be harmed.
Currently, our social media offering is almost entirely dependent on access to Facebook’s inventory through FBX, and we will not have access to FBX inventory after April 1, 2015, for most of our campaigns. If our access to quality inventory in social media (including through Facebook) is diminished or if we fail to acquire new advertising inventory in social media, our growth could be impeded and our revenue could decline.
Currently, our social media offering is almost entirely limited to Facebook’s FBX platform, which was launched in the second half of 2012. As a result, our ability to grow revenue in the social channel has been closely tied to the availability of inventory on FBX. As of April 1, 2015, we will no longer have access to Facebook's FBX platform for the majority of our campaigns. We will instead access Facebook inventory (including Facebook mobile and video inventory) through an application program interface, or API. If we are unable to compete favorably for advertising inventory on Facebook through the API, our social media offering may not be successful. Also, we cannot provide assurance that Facebook will continue to make its advertising inventory available to us upon reasonable terms or at all, and we may not be able to replace the FBX advertising inventory with inventory that meets our advertisers’ specific goals with respect to social media. In addition, advertisers may prefer to work with companies that have access to FBX inventory in addition to the Facebook APIs, have access to advertising opportunities on social media platforms other than Facebook or that have a longer history of integration with social media platforms. If we are unable to run advertising campaigns on Facebook, integrate with social media platforms that may become more available and/or more popular in the future or otherwise find alternative sources of quality social media inventory, our business could be harmed.
If mobile connected devices, their operating systems or content distribution channels, including those controlled by our competitors, develop in ways that prevent our advertising campaigns from being delivered to their users, our ability to grow our business will be impaired.
Our success in the mobile channel depends upon the ability of our technology platform to integrate with mobile inventory suppliers and provide advertising for most mobile connected devices, as well as the major operating systems that run on them and the thousands of applications that are downloaded onto them. The design of mobile devices and operating systems is controlled by third parties with whom we do not have any formal relationships. These parties frequently introduce new devices, and from time to time they may introduce new operating systems or modify existing ones. Network carriers may also impact the ability to access specified content on mobile devices. If our solution was unable to work on these devices or operating systems, either because of technological constraints or because an operating system or application developer, device maker or carrier wished to impair, or inadvertently impaired, our ability to purchase inventory and provide advertisements, our ability to generate revenue could be significantly harmed.
Certain self-regulatory organizations of which we are a part (but over which we have limited influence) released mobile-specific privacy principles toward the end of 2014, with enforcement beginning in 2015. If we fail to comply with these principles, or if we must modify our business practices in a way that reduces our ability to provide quality service to clients, it could affect our ability to generate new mobile channel business.
Errors or failures in our software and systems could adversely affect our operating results and growth prospects.
We depend upon the sustained and uninterrupted performance of our technology platforms to operate and execute over 2,100 campaigns at any given time; manage our inventory supply (including inventory quality controls); bid on inventory for each campaign; serve or direct a third party to serve advertising; collect, process and interpret data to optimize campaign

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performance in real time; and provide billing information to our financial systems. If our technology platform cannot scale to meet demand, or if there are errors in our execution of any of these functions on our platform, then our business could be harmed. Because our software is complex, undetected errors and failures may occur, especially when new versions or updates are made. We do not have the capability to test new releases or updates to our code on a small subset of campaigns, which means that bugs or errors in code could impact all campaigns on our platform. Despite testing by us, errors or bugs in our software have in the past, and may in the future, not be found until the software is in our live operating environment. For example, we have experienced failures in our bidding system to recognize or respond to budget restrictions for campaigns, resulting in overspending on media, and we may in the future have failures in our systems that cause us to buy more media than our advertisers are contractually obligated to pay for, which could be costly and harm our operating results. Errors or failures in our software could also result in negative publicity, damage to our brand and reputation, loss of or delay in market acceptance of our solution, increased costs or loss of revenue, loss of competitive position or claims by advertisers for losses sustained by them. In such an event, we may be required or choose to expend additional resources to help mitigate any problems resulting from errors in our software. We may make errors in the measurement of our campaigns causing discrepancies with our advertisers’ measurements leading to a lack of confidence in us or, on occasion, the need for advertiser “make-goods,” the standard credits given to advertisers for campaigns that have not been delivered properly. Material defects or errors in our enterprise platform, including our DMP solution, could also result in unanticipated costs and harm to our reputation. The software systems underlying the enterprise solutions, including the DMP, are inherently complex and may contain errors that could cause disruption in availability and other performance issues. Such performance issues could result in customers making warranty or other claims against us. Alleviating problems resulting from errors in our software could require significant expenditures of capital and other resources and could cause interruptions, delays or the cessation of our business, any of which would adversely impact our reputation as well as our financial position, results of operations and growth prospects.
As customers increase usage of our enterprise solutions, including our data management platform and site optimization services, we will need to continually improve our hosting infrastructure.
We expect our enterprise solutions to continue to add customers, transactions and data that our hosting infrastructure will be required to support. We seek to maintain sufficient excess capacity in the hosting infrastructure to meet the needs of all of our enterprise customers. We also seek to maintain excess capacity to facilitate the increase in new customers and transactions. For example, if we secure a large customer or a group of enterprise customers that require significant amounts of bandwidth or storage, we may need to increase bandwidth, storage, power or other elements of our application architecture and our infrastructure, and our existing systems may not be able to scale in a manner satisfactory to our existing or prospective customers. As use of the platforms grows, we will need to devote additional resources to improving our application architecture and our infrastructure in order to maintain the performance of our enterprise solutions. We may need to incur additional costs to upgrade or expand our computer systems and architecture in order to accommodate increased or expected increases in demand. These costs could impact our results of operations.
Our growth depends, in part, on the success of our strategic relationships with third parties, including ready access to hardware in key locations to facilitate the delivery of our solution and reliable management of Internet traffic.
We anticipate that we will continue to depend on various third-party relationships in order to grow our business. We continue to pursue additional relationships with third parties, such as technology and content providers, real-time advertising exchanges, social media companies, data and market research companies, publishers, co-location facilities and other strategic partners. Identifying, negotiating and documenting relationships with third parties requires significant time and resources as does integrating third-party data and services. Our agreements with channel partners and providers of technology, computer hardware, co-location facilities, content and consulting services and real-time advertising exchanges are typically non-exclusive, do not prohibit them from working with our competitors or from offering competing services and do not typically have minimum purchase commitments. Our competitors may be effective in providing incentives to third parties to favor their products or services over ours or to otherwise prevent or reduce purchases of our solutions. In addition, these third parties may not perform as expected under our agreements with them, and we may have disagreements or disputes with such third parties, which could negatively affect our brand and reputation.
In particular, our continued growth depends on our ability to source computer hardware, including servers built to our specifications, and the ability to locate those servers and related hardware in co-location facilities in the most desirable locations to facilitate the timely delivery of our services. Disruptions in the services provided at co-location facilities that we rely upon can degrade the level of services that we can provide, which could harm our business. We also rely on our integration with many third-party technology providers to execute our business on a daily basis. We must efficiently direct a large amount of network traffic to and from our servers to consider tens of billions of bid requests per day, and each bid typically must take place in approximately 100 milliseconds. We rely on a third-party domain name service, or DNS, to direct traffic to our closest data center for efficient

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processing. If our DNS provider experiences disruptions or performance problems, this could result in inefficient balancing of traffic across our servers as well as impairing or preventing web browser connectivity to our site, which could harm our business.
Our solutions rely on third-party open source software components, and failure to comply with the terms of the underlying open source software licenses could restrict our ability to sell our solutions.
Our technology platforms, including our computational infrastructure, rely on software licensed to us by third-party authors under “open source” licenses. The use of open source software may entail greater risks than the use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or other contractual protections regarding infringement claims or the quality of the code. Some open source licenses contain requirements that we make available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon the type of open source software we use. If we combine our proprietary software with open source software in a certain manner, we could, under certain open source licenses, be required to release the source code of our proprietary software to the public. This would allow our competitors to create similar solutions with less development effort and time and ultimately put us at a competitive disadvantage.
Although we monitor our use of open source software to avoid subjecting our products to conditions we do not intend, the terms of many open source licenses have not been interpreted by United States courts, and there is a risk that these licenses could be construed in a way that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our services. Moreover, we cannot guarantee that our processes for controlling our use of open source software will be effective. If we are held to have breached the terms of an open source software license, we could be required to seek licenses from third parties to continue operating our platforms on terms that are not economically feasible, to re-engineer our platforms or the supporting computational infrastructure to discontinue use of certain code, or to make generally available, in source code form, portions of our proprietary code, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to comply with industry self-regulation could harm our brand, reputation and business.
We have committed to complying with the Network Advertising Initiative’s Code of Conduct and the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising in the United States, as well as similar self-regulatory principles in Europe adopted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau—Europe and the European Digital Advertising Alliance. Our efforts to comply with these principles include offering Internet users notice and transparency when advertising is served to them based, in part, on web browsing data recorded by cookies. We also offer Internet users the ability to opt out of receiving interest-based advertisements based on a cookie we place. However, we have made mistakes in our implementation of these guidelines in the past, and if we make mistakes in the future, or our opt out mechanisms fail to work as designed, or if Internet users misunderstand our technology or our commitments with respect to these principles, we could be subject to negative publicity, government investigation, government or private litigation, or investigation by self-regulatory bodies or other accountability groups. Any such action against us could be costly and time consuming, require us to change our business practices, cause us to divert management’s attention and our resources and be damaging to our reputation and our business.
Our corporate culture has contributed to our success. If we cannot maintain it as we grow, we could lose the innovation, creativity and teamwork fostered by our culture, and our business could be harmed.
We have undergone rapid growth in our employee base. We had 1,123 employees ( 977 in the United States and 146 employees overseas) as of December 31, 2014 , compared with 619 employees ( 532 and 87 employees in the United States and overseas, respectively), as of December 31, 2013 . We cannot provide assurance that we will be able to continue expanding our workforce while effectively maintaining our corporate culture. We believe our corporate culture has been a critical component of our success as we believe it fosters innovation, teamwork, and focus on customers and execution, while facilitating knowledge sharing across our organization. As we grow and change, we may find it difficult to preserve our corporate culture, which could reduce our ability to innovate and operate effectively. In turn, the failure to preserve our culture could negatively affect our ability to attract, recruit, integrate and retain employees, continue to perform at current levels and effectively execute our business strategy.
We rely predominately on advertising agencies to purchase our solution on behalf of advertisers, and we incur the cost of an advertising campaign before we bill for services. Such agencies may have or develop high-risk credit profiles, which may result in credit risk to us.
We must consider the effect of credit risk in transactions with agencies or other third parties and advertisers. A substantial portion of our business is sourced through advertising agencies, and we contract with these agencies as an agent for a disclosed principal, which is the advertiser. Typically, the advertising agency pays for our services once it has received payment from the advertiser for our services. Our contracts typically provide that if the advertiser does not pay the agency, the agency is not liable to us, and we must seek payment solely from the advertiser. Contracting with these agencies, which in certain cases have or may

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develop high-risk credit profiles, subjects us to greater credit risk than where we contract with advertisers directly. This credit risk may vary depending on the nature of an advertising agency’s aggregated advertiser base. In the quarter ended September 30, 2013, one of the agencies with which we conducted business filed for bankruptcy, which resulted in bad debt expense in the period. As of December 31, 2014 , two agency holding companies, and no single advertiser, accounted for 10% of more of accounts receivable. There can be no assurances that we will not experience additional bad debt expense in the future. Any such write-offs for bad debt could have a materially negative effect on our results of operations for the periods in which the write-offs occur. Even if we are not paid, we are still obligated to pay for the media we have purchased for the advertising campaign, and as a consequence, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted.
Fluctuations in the exchange rates of foreign currencies could result in currency transaction losses that negatively impact our financial results.
We currently have foreign sales primarily denominated in British pounds, euros, Japanese yen and Canadian dollars and may, in the future, have sales denominated in the currencies of additional countries in which we establish or have established sales offices. In addition, we incur a portion of our operating expenses in British pounds, euros, Canadian dollars and Hong Kong dollars. We expect international sales to become an increasingly important part of our business. Any fluctuation in the exchange rates of these foreign currencies could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. We have not previously engaged in foreign currency hedging. If we decide to attempt to hedge our foreign currency exposure, we may not be able to hedge effectively due to lack of experience, unreasonable costs or illiquid markets. In addition, those activities may be limited in the protection they provide us from foreign currency fluctuations and can themselves result in losses. The recent appreciation of the U.S. dollar has caused a decline in the U.S. dollar value of revenue billed in foreign currencies, and we expect this negative impact on revenue and net loss to continue into 2015.
Legislation and regulation of online businesses, including privacy and data protection regimes, could create unexpected costs, subject us to enforcement actions for compliance failures, or cause us to change our technology platform or business model, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Government regulation could increase the costs of doing business online. U.S. and foreign governments have enacted or are considering legislation related to online advertising and we expect to see an increase in legislation and regulation related to advertising online, the use of geo-location data to inform advertising, the collection and use of anonymous Internet user data and unique device identifiers, such as IP address or unique mobile device identifiers, and other data protection and privacy regulation. Recent revelations about bulk online data collection by the National Security Agency, and news articles suggesting that the National Security Agency may gather data from cookies placed by Internet advertisers to deliver interest-based advertising, may further interest governments in legislation regulating data collection by commercial entities, such as advertisers and publishers and technology companies that serve the advertising industry. Such legislation could affect the costs of doing business online, and could reduce the demand for our solution or otherwise harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, a wide variety of provincial, state, national and international laws and regulations apply to the collection, use, retention, protection, disclosure, transfer and other processing of personal data. While we have not collected data that is traditionally considered personal data, such as name, email address, address, phone numbers, social security numbers, credit card numbers, financial or health data, we typically do collect and store IP addresses and other device identifiers, that are or may be considered personal data in some jurisdictions or otherwise may be the subject of legislation or regulation. Evolving and changing definitions of personal data, within the EU, the United States and elsewhere, especially relating to classification of IP addresses, machine or device identifiers, location data and other information, have in the past and could cause us in the future, to change our business practices, or limit or inhibit our ability to operate or expand our business. Data protection and privacy-related laws and regulations are evolving and could result in ever-increasing regulatory and public scrutiny and escalating levels of enforcement and sanctions. While we take measures to protect the security of information that we collect, use and disclose in the operation of our business, and to offer certain privacy protections with respect to such information, such measures may not always be effective. In addition, while we take steps to avoid collecting personally identifiable information about consumers, we may inadvertently receive this information from advertisers or advertising agencies or through the process of delivering advertising. Our failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations, or to protect personal data, could result in enforcement action against us, including fines, imprisonment of our officers and public censure, claims for damages by consumers and other affected individuals, damage to our reputation and loss of goodwill, any of which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Even the perception of privacy concerns, whether or not valid, could harm our reputation and inhibit adoption of our solution by current and future advertisers and advertising agencies.

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Our proprietary rights may be difficult to enforce. This could enable others to copy or use aspects of our solution without compensating us, which could erode our competitive advantages and harm our business.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to protect proprietary methods and technologies that we develop under the intellectual property laws of the United States, so that we can prevent others from using our inventions and proprietary information. If we fail to protect our intellectual property rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology, and our business could be adversely affected. We rely on trademark, copyright, trade secret and patent laws, confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect our proprietary methods and technologies. Our patent strategy is still in its early stages and while we have a small number of pending patent applications, valid patents may not be issued from our pending applications, and the claims eventually allowed on any patents may not be sufficiently broad to protect our technology or offerings and services. Any issued patents may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented, and any rights granted under these patents may not actually provide adequate defensive protection or competitive advantages to us. Additionally, the process of obtaining patent protection is expensive and time-consuming, and we may not be able to prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. Additional uncertainty may result from changes to intellectual property legislation enacted in the United States, including the recent America Invents Act, and other national governments and from interpretations of the intellectual property laws of the United States and other countries by applicable courts and agencies. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may be unable to obtain adequate patent protection, or to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our intellectual property.
Unauthorized parties may attempt to copy aspects of our technology or obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. We generally enter into confidentiality and/or license agreements with our employees, consultants, vendors and advertisers, and generally limit access to and distribution of our proprietary information. However, we cannot provide assurance that any steps taken by us will prevent misappropriation of our technology and proprietary information. Policing unauthorized use of our technology is difficult. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries may not be as protective of intellectual property rights as those of the United States, and mechanisms for enforcement of our proprietary rights in such countries may be inadequate. From time to time, legal action by us may be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets, to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others, or to defend against claims of infringement. Such litigation could result in substantial costs and the diversion of limited resources and could negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. If we are unable to protect our proprietary rights (including aspects of our technology platform), we may find ourselves at a competitive disadvantage to others who have not incurred the same level of expense, time and effort to create and protect their intellectual property.
We may be subject to intellectual property rights claims by third parties, which are extremely costly to defend, could require us to pay significant damages and could limit our ability to use certain technologies.
Third parties may assert claims of infringement of intellectual property rights in proprietary technology against us or against our advertisers for which we may be liable or have an indemnification obligation. We may be more at risk of infringement claims when we offer enterprise solutions used directly by our clients because our technology is more accessible to potential claimants, and also because through the [x+1] acquisition we acquired a substantial amount of additional technology and intellectual property. Any claim of infringement by a third party, even those without merit, could cause us to incur substantial costs defending against the claim and could distract our management from operating our business.
Although third parties may offer a license to their technology, the terms of any offered license may not be acceptable and the failure to obtain a license or the costs associated with any license could cause our business, financial condition and results of operations to be materially and adversely affected. In addition, some licenses may be non-exclusive, and therefore our competitors may have access to the same technology licensed to us. Alternatively, we may be required to develop non-infringing technology, which could require significant effort and expense and ultimately may not be successful. Furthermore, a successful claimant could secure a judgment or we may agree to a settlement that prevents us from distributing certain products or performing certain services or that requires us to pay substantial damages, including treble damages if we are found to have willfully infringed such claimant’s patents or copyrights, royalties or other fees. Any of these events could seriously harm our business financial condition and results of operations.
Legal claims against us resulting from the actions of our advertisers could damage our reputation and be costly to defend.
We receive representations from advertisers that the content of the advertising that we place on their behalf is lawful. We also rely on representations from our advertisers that they maintain adequate privacy policies that allow us to place pixels on their websites and collect data from users that visit those websites to aid in delivering our solution. However, we do not independently verify whether we are permitted to deliver advertising to our advertisers’ Internet users or that the content of the advertisements we deliver is legally permitted. If any of our advertisers’ representations are untrue and our advertisers do not abide by foreign,

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federal, state or local laws or regulations governing their content or privacy practices, we could become subject to legal claims against us, we could be exposed to potential liability (for which we may or may not be indemnified by our customers), and our reputation could be damaged.
Indemnity provisions in various agreements potentially expose us to substantial liability for intellectual property infringement and other losses.
Our agreements with advertisers, advertising agencies, and other third parties may include indemnification provisions under which we agree to indemnify them for losses suffered or incurred as a result of claims of intellectual property infringement, damages caused by us to property or persons, or other liabilities relating to or arising from our products, services or other contractual obligations. The term of these indemnity provisions generally survives termination or expiration of the applicable agreement. Large indemnity payments would harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have identified material weaknesses in our internal controls in the past, and if we do not continue to develop effective internal controls, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud, and our business could suffer as a result.
When we are no longer an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, we will be required, pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, to furnish a report by management on, among other things, the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting. We will need to disclose any material weaknesses (as defined by SEC rules) in our internal controls over financial reporting that are identified by our management, as well as provide a statement that our independent registered public accounting firm has issued an opinion on our internal controls over financial reporting. Our independent registered public accounting firm will not be required to formally attest to the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting until our first annual report filed with the SEC following the later of (i) the date we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer,” as defined in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, or (ii) the date we are no longer an emerging growth company.
In connection with the audit of our financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2010, we identified certain material weaknesses in our internal controls resulting from a lack of qualified personnel within our accounting function that possessed an appropriate level of expertise to perform certain functions. We have since remediated these material weaknesses. We are continuing to develop our internal controls, processes and reporting systems to comply with these requirements, by, among other things, hiring qualified personnel with expertise to perform specific functions, implementing software systems to manage our revenue and expenses and to allow us to budget and undertake multi-year financial planning and analyses. This process has been and will be time-consuming, costly and complicated. We may not be successful in implementing these systems or in developing other internal controls, which could undermine our ability to provide accurate, timely and reliable reports on our financial and operating results. For example, in connection with filing a registration statement for our initial public offering, errors were identified in the unaudited consolidated statement of cash flows for the six months ended June 30, 2012. We have since corrected these errors and concluded that such corrections were immaterial. However, if we identify additional errors that result in material weaknesses in our internal controls over financial reporting and we do not detect errors on a timely basis, and our financial statements could be materially misstated. If we identify new material weaknesses in our internal controls over financial reporting, if we are unable to comply with the requirements of Section 404 in a timely manner, if we are unable to assert that our internal controls over financial reporting are effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an opinion as to the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting, investors could lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports and the market price of our common stock could be negatively affected. As a result of any such failures, we could also become subject to investigations by the NASDAQ Global Select Market, the SEC, or other regulatory authorities, and become subject to lawsuits by stockholders, which could harm our reputation and financial condition or divert financial and management resources from our core business.
Economic downturns and political and market conditions beyond our control could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our business depends on the overall demand for advertising and on the economic health of our current and prospective advertisers. Economic downturns or instability in political or market conditions may cause current or new advertisers to reduce their advertising budgets. Adverse economic conditions and general uncertainty about economic recovery in the U.S. or abroad are likely to affect our business prospects. In addition, concerns over the sovereign debt situation in certain countries in the EU as well as continued geopolitical turmoil in many parts of the world have, and may continue to, put pressure on global economic conditions, which could lead to reduced spending on advertising.

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If our estimates or judgments relating to our critical accounting policies are based on assumptions that change or prove to be incorrect, our operating results could fall below the expectations of investors and securities analysts, which could result in a decline in our stock price.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances (as described in the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and Note 1 to Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II), the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses that are not readily apparent from other sources. Our operating results could be adversely affected if our assumptions change or if actual circumstances differ from those in our assumptions. If, as a result, our operating results fall below the expectations of investors and securities analysts, our stock price could decline. Significant assumptions and estimates used in preparing our consolidated financial statements include those related to revenue recognition, stock-based compensation, allowance for doubtful accounts, accounting for internal use software and income taxes.
Our ability to use our net operating losses to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations, which could subject our business to higher tax liability.
We may be limited in the portion of net operating loss carry-forwards that we can use in the future to offset taxable income for U.S. federal and state income tax purposes. At December 31, 2014 , we had U.S. federal net operating loss carry-forwards, or NOLs, of $55.3 million and state NOLs of $5.2 million . A lack of future taxable income would adversely affect our ability to utilize these NOLs. In addition, under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change” is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its NOLs to offset future taxable income. We believe that we experienced an ownership change under Section 382 of the Code in prior years that may limit our ability to utilize a portion of the NOLs and future changes in our stock ownership could result in additional ownership changes under Section 382 of the Code. Our NOLs may also be impaired under similar provisions of state law. We have recorded a full valuation allowance related to our NOLs and other net deferred tax assets due to the uncertainty of the ultimate realization of the future benefits of those assets. Our NOLs may expire unutilized or underutilized, which would prevent us from offsetting future taxable income.
Forecasts of market growth may prove to be inaccurate, and even if the market in which we compete achieves the forecasted growth, we cannot provide assurance that our business will grow at similar rates, if at all.
Growth forecasts are subject to significant uncertainty and are based on assumptions and estimates that may not prove to be accurate. Forecasts relating to the expected growth in the digital advertising and real-time buying markets may prove to be inaccurate. Even if these markets experience the forecasted growth, we may not grow our business at similar rates, or at all. Our growth is subject to many factors, including our success in implementing our business strategy, which is subject to many risks and uncertainties.
We may invest in or acquire other businesses in the future. These activities require significant management attention and resources to integrate new businesses into our existing operations. These activities could disrupt our business, dilute stockholder value and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
As part of our business strategy, we may make investments in or acquisitions of complementary companies, products or technologies. These activities involve significant risks to our business. We may not be able to find suitable acquisition candidates, and we may not be able to complete such acquisitions on favorable terms, if at all. The acquisitions we do complete may not ultimately strengthen our competitive position. Any acquisitions we complete could be viewed negatively by our advertisers, advertising agencies and investors, which could have an adverse impact on our business and the value of our common stock. In addition, if we are unsuccessful at integrating acquired employees or technologies, our financial condition and results of operations, including revenue growth, could be adversely affected. Any acquisition and subsequent integration will require significant time and resources. We have only completed one acquisition to date and have not yet completed our integration of the acquired business. As a result, our ability as an organization to acquire and integrate other companies, products or technologies in a successful manner is unproven. We may not be able to successfully evaluate and use the acquired technology or employees, or otherwise manage the acquisition and integration processes successfully. We will be required to pay cash, incur debt and/or issue equity securities to pay for any such acquisition, each of which could adversely affect our financial condition and the value of our common stock. The use of cash to pay for acquisitions, will limit other potential uses of our cash, including investments in our sales and marketing and product development organizations, and in infrastructure to support scalability. The issuance or sale of equity or convertible debt securities to finance any such acquisitions will result in dilution to our stockholders and could negatively impact earnings

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per share. If we incur debt in connection with any future acquisition, it would result in increased fixed obligations and could also impose covenants or other restrictions that could impede our ability to manage our operations.
Anticipated and unanticipated charges to earnings resulting from acquisitions may adversely affect our results of operations. Under business combination accounting standards, we recognize the identifiable assets acquired and the liabilities assumed, generally at their acquisition date fair values and separately from goodwill. Our estimates of fair value are based upon assumptions we believe to be reasonable but which are inherently uncertain. After we complete an acquisition, a number of factors could result in material charges, which could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, including but not limited to costs incurred to integrate employees such as employee retention, redeployment or relocation expenses; amortization, impairment or reduction in the useful lives of intangible assets; amortization or impairment of goodwill; costs to maintain certain duplicative pre-merger activities for an extended period of time or to maintain these activities for a period of time that is longer than we had anticipated; and charges to our operating results due to the expensing of certain stock awards assumed in an acquisition. Substantially all of these costs will be accounted for as expenses that will decrease our net income and earnings per share for the periods in which those costs are incurred.
Additional risks related to investments and acquisitions include but are not limited to the following:
The need to integrate the technology underlying an acquired company's products and services with our technology;
The need to integrate an acquired company's sales organization with ours in a manner that will optimize sales of the combined company's offerings;
The need to integrate an acquired company’s accounting, management information, human resource and other administrative systems to permit effective management and timely reporting and to reduce administrative costs;
The possibility that the combined company will not achieve the expected benefits, including any anticipated operating and product synergies, of the acquisition as quickly as anticipated, if at all;
The need to implement or remediate controls, procedures and policies appropriate for a public company in an acquired company that, prior to the acquisition, lacked these controls, procedures and policies;
Unfavorable revenue recognition or other accounting or tax treatment as a result of an acquired company’s practices;
The possibility of higher than anticipated costs in continuing support and development of acquired products; in general and administrative functions that support new or multiple business models; or in compliance with associated regulations that are more complicated than we had anticipated;
Cultural challenges associated with integrating employees from an acquired company or business into our organization, and the risk of attrition if integration is not successful;
The possibility that we will be unable to retain key employees and maintain the key business and customer relationships of the businesses we acquire;
The possibility that we will not discover important facts during due diligence for an acquisition that could have a material adverse impact on the value of the businesses we acquire and subject us to unexpected claims and liabilities, regulatory exposure and/or other expenses;
Litigation or other claims in connection with, or inheritance of claims or litigation risks as a result of, an acquisition, including claims from terminated employees, customers or other third parties;
Significant accounting charges resulting from the completion and integration of a sizable acquisition and related capital expenditures;
Significant acquisition-related accounting adjustments that may cause reported revenue and profits of the combined company to be lower than the sum of their stand-alone revenue and profits;
The possibility that the costs of, or operational difficulties arising from, an acquisition would be greater than anticipated;

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Additional country-specific risks, to the extent that we engage in strategic transactions outside of the United States, including risks related to integration of operations across different cultures and languages; currency risks; the particular economic, political and regulatory risks associated with specific countries; and the possibility that data privacy regulations in new markets may be applied differently to the acquired company's technology and practices than they are to our technology and practices; and
The possibility that a change of control of a company we acquire triggers a termination of contractual or intellectual property rights important to the operation of its business.
Any of the foregoing factors, among others, could harm our financial condition or prevent us from achieving improvements in our financial condition and operating performance that could have otherwise been achieved by us on a stand-alone basis. Our stockholders may not have the opportunity to review, vote on or evaluate future acquisitions or investments.
Our business is subject to the risk of earthquakes, fire, power outages, floods and other catastrophic events, and to other interruptions due to natural or human causes.
We maintain servers at co-location facilities in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada, Virginia, Germany, the Netherlands and Hong Kong that we use to deliver advertising campaigns for our advertisers, and expect to add other data centers at co-location facilities in the future. Any of our facilities may be harmed or rendered inoperable by natural or man-made disasters, including earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, floods, nuclear disasters, war, acts of terrorism, vandalism or other criminal activities, infectious disease outbreaks and power outages, any of which could render it difficult or impossible for us to operate our business for some period of time. For example, in October 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused our former data center in New York to cease operations because of storm damage, which caused us to divert online traffic to other facilities. Our corporate headquarters and the co-location facility where we maintain data used in our business operations are both located in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for seismic activity. If we were to lose the data stored in our California co-location facility, it could take at least a full day to recreate this data in our Nevada co-location facility, which could result in a material negative impact on our business operations, and potential damage to our advertiser and advertising agency relationships. If one of our facilities were to suffer damage, it would likely be costly to repair or replace, and any such efforts would likely require substantial time. Any disruptions in our operations could negatively impact our business and results of operations, and harm our reputation. In addition, we may not carry sufficient business interruption insurance to compensate for the losses that may occur. Any such losses or damages could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to the Securities Markets and Ownership of Our Common Stock
The price of our common stock has been volatile and the value of our common stock could decline.
Technology stocks have historically experienced high levels of volatility. The trading price of our common stock has, and is likely going to continue to fluctuate substantially. Since our initial public offering in September 2013 through December 31, 2014, our common stock has ranged in price from a low of $13.75 to a high of $71.89 . The price has declined significantly since the end of fiscal year 2014. These fluctuations could cause stockholders to lose all or part of their investment in our common stock. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the trading price of our common stock include the following:
announcements of financial results, new offerings, products, services or technologies, initiatives, commercial relationships, acquisitions or other events by us, our competitors or others in our industry sector;
price and volume fluctuations in the overall U.S. and foreign stock markets from time to time;
significant volatility in the market price and trading volume of technology companies in general and of companies in the digital advertising industry in particular;
fluctuations in the trading volume of our shares or the size of our public float;
actual or anticipated changes or fluctuations in our results of operations;
whether our results of operations meet the expectations of investors or securities analysts;
actual or anticipated changes in the expectations of investors or securities analysts, whether due to our issuance of new guidance or otherwise;

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litigation involving us, our industry, or both;
regulatory developments in the United States, foreign countries, or both;
general economic conditions and trends;
major catastrophic events;
sales of large blocks of our common stock;
departures of key employees; or
an adverse impact on us from any of the other risks cited herein.
In addition, if the market for technology stocks or the stock market, in general, experience a loss of investor confidence, the trading price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, results of operations or financial condition. The trading price of our common stock might also decline in reaction to events that affect other companies in our industry whether or not these events directly affect us.
Our stock price has been volatile and has declined since our initial public offering in September 2013. On September 3, 2014, a stockholder class action lawsuit was filed against us, certain of our officers and certain underwriters of our initial public offering in September 2013 and our follow-on offering in January 2014. On September 10, 2014, a substantively similar lawsuit was filed, adding our board of directors and additional underwriters as defendants. The complaints allege violations of the federal securities laws on behalf of a purported class consisting of purchasers of our common stock pursuant or traceable to the registration statements and prospectuses for our initial and follow-on public offerings, and seek unspecified compensatory damages and other relief. A consolidated complaint was filed on February 27, 2015.  For more information, see Item 3, "Legal Proceedings." Securities litigation, regardless of the outcome, can ultimately result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources from our business. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may fail to meet our publicly announced guidance or other expectations about our business and future operating results, which would cause our stock price to decline.
We have provided and may continue to provide guidance about our business and future operating results. In developing this guidance, our management must make certain assumptions and judgments about our future performance. We use a variety of models to forecast revenue in our business, including but not limited to models based on our bookings, estimates from our sales personnel, and projected productivity of our sales representatives. Each of our models has limitations. For example, revenue anticipated by a sales representative for a particular quarter might be delayed, reduced in amount or not materialize at all for a variety of reasons, including many that are out of our control. As another example, sales personnel productivity may change significantly from historical patterns when we hire new, less experienced sales personnel, when we introduce new products and services and if we are required to integrate sales personnel and new products as part of an acquired business, such as in connection with our recent acquisition of [x+1]. In addition, expanding competitive alternatives available to our customers in the market, an unexpected slowdown in general economic conditions, unexpected customer turnover and a variety of other factors could lead to unanticipated reductions in spending by our customers. Our industry is rapidly changing, and as we adopt new business models to address customer requirements, our historical methods of forecasting may prove inadequate. Our recent acquisition of [x+1] exacerbates our difficulty in developing accurate forecasts. It may take a number of quarters following the acquisition for us to understand enough about the dynamics impacting our revenue mix to be able to accurately forecast revenue for our business.
Our business results may vary significantly from our guidance due to a number of factors and many of which could adversely affect our operations and operating results. Furthermore, if our publicly announced guidance of future operating results fails to meet expectations of securities analysts, investors or other interested parties, the price of our common stock would likely decline, as it did following our announcement of guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 on May 8, 2014, and our announcement of third quarter and full year guidance on August 5, 2014.
The concentration of our capital stock ownership with insiders could limit your ability to influence the outcome of key transactions, including a change of control.
Our directors, executive officers and all of our stockholders who own greater than 5% of our outstanding common stock, in the aggregate, owned approximately 33% of the outstanding shares of our common stock based on the number of shares outstanding as of December 31, 2014. As a result, these stockholders will be able to influence or control matters requiring approval

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by our stockholders, including the election of directors and the approval of mergers, acquisitions or other extraordinary transactions. They may also have interests that differ from yours and may vote in a manner that is adverse to your interests. This concentration of ownership may have the effect of deterring, delaying or preventing a change of control of our company, could deprive our stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common stock as part of a sale of our company and might ultimately affect the market price of our common stock.
The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources, divert our management’s attention and affect our ability to attract and retain qualified board members.
As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, and are required to comply with the applicable requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of the NASDAQ Stock Market and other applicable securities rules and regulations. Compliance with these rules and regulations and the attendant responsibilities of management and the board, may make it more difficult to attract and retain board members and senior executives, and have increased our legal and financial compliance costs, made some activities more difficult, time-consuming or costly and increased demand on our systems and resources. Among other things, the Exchange Act requires that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and results of operations and maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting. In order to maintain and, if required, improve our disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting to meet this standard, significant resources and management oversight may be required. As a result, management’s attention may be diverted from other business concerns, which could harm our business and results of operations. Although we have already hired additional employees to comply with these requirements, we may need to hire even more employees in the future, which will increase our costs and expenses.
We are an emerging growth company, and we cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our common stock less attractive to investors.
For so long as we remain an emerging growth company as defined in the JOBS Act, we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various requirements that are applicable to public companies that are not emerging growth companies, including not being required to comply with the independent auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. We may take advantage of these exemptions for so long as we are an emerging growth company, which could be as long as five years following the completion of our IPO in September 2013. Investors may find our common stock less attractive because we rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock, and our stock price may be more volatile and may decline.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research reports about our business, our share price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our common stock will, to some extent, depend on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. We do not have any control over these analysts. If one or more of the analysts who cover us should downgrade our shares or change their opinion of our business prospects, our share price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of our company or fails to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which could cause our share price or trading volume to decline.
We do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future and, consequently, your ability to achieve a return on your investment will depend on appreciation in the price of our common stock.
We have never declared or paid any dividends on our common stock. We have an accumulated deficit in our stockholders’ equity and have not generated income through December 31, 2014 . In addition, our credit facility contains restrictions on our ability to pay dividends. We intend to retain any earnings to finance the operation and expansion of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the future. As a result, you may only receive a return on your investment in our common stock if the market price of our common stock increases.
Our charter documents and Delaware law could discourage takeover attempts and lead to management entrenchment.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change in control of our company. These provisions could also make it difficult for stockholders to elect directors

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that are not nominated by the current members of our board of directors or take other corporate actions, including effecting changes in our management. These provisions include:
a classified board of directors with three-year staggered terms, which could delay the ability of stockholders to change the membership of a majority of our board of directors;
the ability of our board of directors to issue shares of preferred stock and to determine the price and other terms of those shares, including preferences and voting rights, without stockholder approval, which could be used to significantly dilute the ownership of a hostile acquiror;
the exclusive right of our board of directors to elect a director to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of our board of directors or the resignation, death or removal of a director, which prevents stockholders from being able to fill vacancies on our board of directors;
a prohibition on stockholder action by written consent, which forces stockholder action to be taken at an annual or special meeting of our stockholders;
the requirement that a special meeting of stockholders may be called only by the chairman of our board of directors, our president, our secretary, or a majority vote of our board of directors, which could delay the ability of our stockholders to force consideration of a proposal or to take action, including the removal of directors;
the requirement for the affirmative vote of holders of at least 662/3% of the voting power of all of the then-outstanding shares of the voting stock, voting together as a single class, to amend the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation relating to the management of our business or our amended and restated bylaws, which may inhibit the ability of an acquiror to effect such amendments to facilitate an unsolicited takeover attempt;
the ability of our board of directors, by majority vote, to amend our amended and restated bylaws, which may allow our board of directors to take additional actions to prevent an unsolicited takeover and inhibit the ability of an acquiror to amend our amended and restated bylaws to facilitate an unsolicited takeover attempt; and
advance notice procedures with which stockholders must comply to nominate candidates to our board of directors or to propose matters to be acted upon at a stockholders’ meeting, which may discourage or deter a potential acquiror from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquiror’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.
In addition, as a Delaware corporation, we are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. These provisions may prohibit large stockholders, in particular those owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock, from merging or combining with us for a certain period of time.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
We maintain our principal office, totaling approximately 140,000 square feet, in Redwood City, California, under a lease that expires in 2019. We maintain additional leased spaces, totaling approximately 356,000 square feet, in several locations, including New York, Chicago, El Segundo (Los Angeles), South Norwalk (Connecticut) and San Francisco, domestically, as well as London, Hamburg and Paris, in Europe. We maintain sales offices in other locations globally. We believe that our current facilities capacity exceeds our needs for the immediate future, and as a result, we are actively seeking to sublease portions of our unused facilities to better align our facility needs with our anticipated headcount levels.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
We are involved from time to time in claims, proceedings, and litigation, including the following:
On September 3, 2014 and September 10, 2014, respectively, two purported class actions were filed in the Northern District of California against us and certain of our officers and directors. The actions are Shah v. Rocket Fuel Inc., et al. , Case No. 4:14-cv-03998, and Mehrotra v. Rocket Fuel Inc., et al. , Case No. 4:14-cv-04114. The underwriters in our initial public offering

35



on September 19, 2013 (the “IPO”) and our secondary offering on February 5, 2013 (the “Secondary Offering”) are also named as defendants. The complaints allege that the defendants made false and misleading statements about the ability of our technology to detect and eliminate fraudulent web traffic, and about Rocket Fuel’s future prospects. The complaints also allege that our registration statements and prospectuses for the IPO and the Secondary Offering contained false and misleading statements on these topics. The complaints purport to assert claims for violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5, and for violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, on behalf of those who purchased our common stock between September 20, 2013 and August 5, 2014, inclusive, as well as those who purchased stock in our initial public offering on September 19, 2013. The Mehrotra complaint also purports to assert a claim for violation of Section 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933. The complaints seek monetary damages in an unspecified amount. The above actions were consolidated and a lead plaintiff was selected on December 15, 2014. A consolidated complaint was filed on February 27, 2015. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against the purported class action.
The outcomes of our legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable, subject to significant uncertainties, and could be material to our operating results and cash flows for a particular period. 
We expense legal fees in the period in which they are incurred.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.

36



PART II
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market Information for Common Stock
Our common stock has been listed on the NASDAQ Global Select market under the symbol "FUEL" since September 20, 2013. Prior to that date, there was no public trading market for our common stock. The following table sets forth for the periods indicated the high and low sale prices per share of our common stock as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market:
 
High
 
Low
Fiscal 2013
 
 
 
Third Quarter (from September 20, 2013)
$
64.23

 
$
50.90

Fourth Quarter
$
68.56

 
$
37.81

 
 
 
 
Fiscal 2014
 
 
 
First Quarter
$
71.89

 
$
42.75

Second Quarter
$
43.84

 
$
19.31

Third Quarter
$
31.27

 
$
14.29

Fourth Quarter
$
21.10

 
$
13.75

Holders of Record
As of February 28, 2015, we had 152 holders of record of our common stock. The actual number of stockholders is greater than this number of record holders because it includes stockholders who are beneficial owners but whose shares are held of record in street name by brokers or other nominees.
Dividends
We did not declare or pay any cash dividends on our common stock during 2013 or 2014 and we have no intention of doing so in the future. Our credit facility contains restrictions on our ability to pay dividends. See "Liquidity and Capital Resources" in "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in Part II, Item 7 and Note 8 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8.
Recent Sale of Unregistered Securities
Not applicable.
Use of Proceeds
Not applicable.
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchaser
The table below provides information with respect to repurchases of unvested shares of our common stock made pursuant to our 2008 Equity Incentive Plan, or 2008 Plan.

37



Period
Total
Number of
Shares
Purchased  (1)
 
Weighted
Average
Price Paid
per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
 
Maximum Number of Shares that May Yet Be
Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
October 1 - October 31, 2014

 
$

 

 

November 1 - November 30, 2014
3,437

 
13.96

 

 

December 1 - December 31, 2014
333

 
2.97

 

 

Total
3,770

 
$
12.99

 

 
 
 ______________________
(1)
Under the 2008 Plan, participants may exercise options prior to vesting, subject to a right of repurchase by the Company if the participant leaves the Company prior to the date on which all shares issued upon exercise of the options have vested. All shares in the above table were shares repurchased as a result of the Company exercising this right and not pursuant to a publicly announced plan or program.
Performance Graph
This stock performance graph shall not be deemed ‘‘soliciting material’’ or to be ‘‘filed’’ with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of ours under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
The following graph shows a comparison from September 20, 2013 (the date our common stock commenced trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market) through December 31, 2014 of the cumulative total return for our common stock, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S&P 500 Index) and the Nasdaq Composite Index (NASDAQ Composite). The graph assumes that $100 was invested at the market close on September 20, 2013 in our common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ Composite, and the data for the S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ Composite assumes reinvestments of dividends. As discussed above, we have never declared or paid a cash dividend on our common stock and do not anticipate declaring or paying a cash dividend in the future. The stock price performance of the following graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.
COMPARISON OF CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

38



You should read the following selected consolidated financial data in conjunction with Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation," and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included in Part II, Item 8, "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The consolidated statements of operations data for each of the three years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2014 and 2013 are derived from and qualified by reference to our audited consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8, "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The consolidated statements of operations data for the two years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010 are derived from our audited financial statements not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of our results in any future period.
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
(in thousands, except per share data)
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
$
408,641

 
$
240,605

 
$
106,589

 
$
44,652

 
$
16,527

Costs and expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Media cost
173,477

 
103,637

 
50,669

 
22,649

 
9,318

Other cost of revenue  (1)    
48,586

 
21,883

 
9,342

 
4,651

 
1,557

Research and development (1)
39,794

 
17,714

 
4,876

 
1,545

 
1,039

Sales and marketing (1)   
146,430

 
83,345

 
41,069

 
17,256

 
6,071

General and administrative (1)
60,545

 
28,708

 
8,403

 
2,336

 
1,521

Total costs and expenses
468,832

 
255,287

 
114,359

 
48,437

 
19,506

Operating loss
(60,191
)
 
(14,682
)
 
(7,770
)
 
(3,785
)
 
(2,979
)
Other expense, net:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense
(3,092
)
 
(917
)
 
(316
)
 
(250
)
 
(166
)
Other income (expense)—net
(5,267
)
 
(308
)
 
135

 
33

 
9

Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability

 
(4,740
)
 
(2,308
)
 
(295
)
 
(106
)
Other expense, net
(8,359
)
 
(5,965
)
 
(2,489
)
 
(512
)
 
(263
)
Loss before income taxes
(68,550
)
 
(20,647
)
 
(10,259
)
 
(4,297
)
 
(3,242
)
Income tax (benefit) provision
(4,239
)
 
285

 
84

 
28

 

Net loss
$
(64,311
)
 
$
(20,932
)
 
$
(10,343
)
 
$
(4,325
)
 
$
(3,242
)
Basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders (2)
$
(1.74
)
 
$
(1.38
)
 
$
(1.29
)
 
$
(0.57
)
 
$
(0.48
)
Basic and diluted weighted-average shares used to compute net loss per share attributable to common stockholders
37,001

 
15,177

 
8,024

 
7,600

 
6,794


39



(1)
Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows:
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
(in thousands)
Other cost of revenue
$
1,758

 
$
471

 
$
37

 
$
7

 
$

Research and development
5,039

 
2,308

 
734

 
8

 
13

Sales and marketing
10,372

 
4,482

 
1,100

 
66

 
20

General and administrative
6,361

 
3,581

 
1,450

 
83

 
8

 
$
23,530

 
$
10,842

 
$
3,321

 
$
164

 
$
41

(2)
See Note 10 to our consolidated financial statements for a description of the method used to compute basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders.
 
As of December 31,
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
(in thousands)
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
107,056

 
$
113,873

 
$
14,896

 
$
5,071

 
$
8,523

Property, equipment and software, net
89,441

 
25,794

 
10,939

 
4,941

 
2,212

Working capital
99,278

 
140,850

 
37,935

 
12,962

 
11,192

Total assets
539,265

 
237,508

 
75,189

 
27,158

 
17,839

Debt obligations, current and non-current (3)
69,040

 
26,811

 
6,966

 
4,379

 
2,736

Capital lease obligations, current and non-current
17,823

 
615

 

 

 

Total stockholders’ equity
312,766

 
143,167

 
40,863

 
13,388

 
10,982

(3)
The debt obligations as of December 31, 2014 and 2013 on the consolidated balance sheet are net of $1.0 million and $0.6 million in debt issuance costs, respectively.

40



ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and the related notes to the consolidated financial statements included later in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition to historical financial information, the following discussion contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates, beliefs and expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include those discussed below and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, particularly in ‘‘Risk Factors’’ and ‘‘Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.’’
Overview
We are a technology company that has developed an Artificial Intelligence and Big Data-driven predictive modeling and automated decision-making platform. Our technology is designed to address the needs of markets in which the volume and speed of information render real-time human analysis infeasible. We are focused on the large and growing digital advertising market that faces these challenges. Specifically, we have developed a media buying technology platform that uses Artificial Intelligence, or "AI," to solve marketing’s age-old challenge: how to deliver better return-on-investment, or "ROI," on their digital marketing initiatives by providing the right message to the right person at the right time, on addressable devices across the globe. Our media-buying platform, which we refer to as our Demand-Side Platform, or “DSP” is available to advertising agencies and advertisers as a managed service offering, whereby Rocket Fuel manages advertising campaigns on behalf of an advertiser, and through a self-service offering, whereby an agency or advertiser licenses our technology to manage its own advertising campaigns.
Our DSP solutions are designed to optimize both direct-response campaigns focused on generating specific consumer purchases or responses, generally defined as cost per action goals, as well as brand campaigns geared towards lifting brand metrics, generally defined as cost-per-click and brand survey goals. During the year ended December 31, 2014, direct response campaigns contributed approximately two-thirds of our revenue, with the remaining one-third of our revenue generated through brand campaigns. Historically, our digital ads were delivered primarily through a computer display medium. More recently, the digital advertising industry is rapidly adopting programmatic buying for mobile, social and video advertising. Our technology works for advertisers across all of these channels, allowing us to compete for a larger share of advertisers’ digital advertising budgets. We have successfully run advertising campaigns for products and brands ranging from consumer products to luxury automobiles to travel and as of December 31, 2014 , had served well over 394 billion impressions in our history. Our computational infrastructure included over 53,000 CPU cores in 12 data centers and housed 64 petabytes of uncompressed data as of December 31, 2014 .
In September 2014, we acquired X Plus Two Solutions, Inc., the parent company of [x+1], a privately held programmatic marketing technology company. Our acquisition of [x+1] added important assets to our offerings, principally a data management platform, or “DMP," and site optimization technology, which are software-as-a-service, or "SaaS" solutions that enable customers to use their own customer relationship data, or "first party data," and third party data to deliver timely and relevant advertising messages across paid, earned, and owned media channels, including an advertiser's own website.
The addition of these offerings gives us the opportunity to offer a Digital Marketing Hub to help marketers optimize the complete consumer journey, and to extend our core AI technology beyond paid advertising to more broadly address the advertisers' marketing challenges across a brand’s paid, earned and owned media.
During 2014, we served advertising impressions for 93 of the Advertising Age 100 Leading National Advertisers and 62 of the Fortune 100 companies. Additionally, as of December 31, 2014 , we had 143 customers with more than $1 million in lifetime spend with us, including 74 with over $2 million in lifetime spend and 22 with over $5 million in lifetime spend. For the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 , our revenue was $408.6 million , $240.6 million and $106.6 million , respectively. Our net loss for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 , was $(64.3) million , $(20.9) million and $(10.3) million, respectively.
Although we have experienced substantial revenue growth in our limited history, our rate of growth has declined since the third quarter of 2013 and we expect it to decline further in 2015. One among many factors that could negatively impact revenue is the recent appreciation of the U.S. dollar, which has caused a decline in the U.S. dollar value of revenue billed in foreign currencies. We expect this negative impact on revenue to continue into 2015. We expect our costs and expenses to continue to increase in absolute dollars in the foreseeable future as we continue to expand our business, although we expect that certain expenses will decline as a percentage of revenue during 2015. In early 2015, we announced that we intended to take measures to move toward profitability and improve our operating leverage, including slowing our headcount growth considerably, managing our expenses more effectively, and minimizing our capital spending requirements. 

41




Non-GAAP Measures     
To supplement our consolidated financial statements, which are prepared and presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, we also monitor the non-GAAP metrics set forth below to help us evaluate growth and profitability, establish budgets, and assess our operational efficiencies (in thousands, except per share amounts):
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Non-GAAP net revenue
$
235,164

 
$
136,968

 
$
55,920

Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA
$
(966
)
 
$
4,178

 
$
(835
)
Non-GAAP adjusted net income (loss)
$
(24,101
)
 
$
(5,350
)
 
$
(4,714
)
Non-GAAP adjusted net income (loss) per share
$
(0.65
)
 
$
(0.35
)
 
$
(0.59
)
Non-GAAP net revenue
Non-GAAP net revenue (previously referred to as "revenue less media costs" or "revenue ex-TAC," but with no changes to the definition) is a non-GAAP financial measure defined by us as GAAP revenue less media costs. Media costs consist of costs for advertising impressions we purchase from third parties. We believe that non-GAAP net revenue is a meaningful measure of operating performance because it is frequently used for internal management purposes, indicates the performance of our solutions in balancing the goals of delivering exceptional results to advertisers while meeting our margin objectives and facilitates a more complete period-to-period understanding of factors and trends affecting our underlying revenue performance.
A limitation of non-GAAP net revenue is that it is a measure that we have defined for internal purposes that may be unique to us, and therefore it may not enhance the comparability of our results to other companies in our industry that have similar business arrangements but present the impact of media costs differently. Management compensates for these limitations by also considering the comparable GAAP financial measures of revenue, media costs and other cost of revenue. The following table presents a reconciliation of GAAP revenue to non-GAAP net revenue for each of the periods indicated (in thousands):
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Revenue
$
408,641

 
$
240,605

 
$
106,589

   Media costs
(173,477
)
 
(103,637
)
 
(50,669
)
Non-GAAP net revenue
$
235,164

 
$
136,968

 
$
55,920

Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA
Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure defined by us as GAAP net loss before interest expense, other income (expense), net, income tax provision (benefit), depreciation and amortization expense, stock-based compensation expense and related payroll taxes, changes in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability, and acquisition related and other expenses.
We have presented non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA because it is a key measure 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 operating plans. In particular, we believe that the exclusion of the expenses eliminated in calculating non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA can provide a useful measure for period-to-period comparisons of our core business. Accordingly, we believe that non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA provides useful information in understanding and evaluating our operating results.
However, our use of non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA has limitations and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute to our financial results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are as follows: although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized may have to be replaced in the future and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA does not reflect cash capital expenditure requirements for such replacements or for new capital expenditure requirements; non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs; non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA does not consider the potentially dilutive impact of equity-based compensation; non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA does not

42



reflect acquisition related and other expenses, tax and interest expenses that may represent payments reducing the cash available to us; and other companies, including those in our industry, may calculate non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA differently, which reduces its usefulness as a comparative measure. Because of these limitations, our management considers non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA alongside other financial performance measures, including cash flow metrics, GAAP net income (loss) and our other GAAP results.
The following table presents a reconciliation of GAAP net loss to non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA for each of the periods indicated (in thousands):
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Net loss
$
(64,311
)
 
$
(20,932
)
 
$
(10,343
)
Adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense, net
3,092

 
917

 
316

Income tax (benefit) provision
(4,239
)
 
285

 
84

Depreciation and amortization expense
23,670

 
7,855

 
3,598

Stock-based compensation expense
23,530

 
10,842

 
3,321

Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability

 
4,740

 
2,308

Other income (expense) - net
5,267

 
308

 
(135
)
Acquisition related and other expenses
11,476

 

 

Payroll tax expense related to stock-based compensation
549

 
163

 
16

Total adjustments
63,345

 
25,110

 
9,508

Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA
$
(966
)
 
$
4,178

 
$
(835
)
The definition of Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA has been changed from the definition we used prior to the third quarter of fiscal year 2014. In the third quarter of fiscal year 2014, we revised the definition to exclude acquisition-related and other expenses; payroll taxes related to stock-based compensation; and other income (expense). In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014, we further revised the definition to exclude amortization of internal-use software.
Non-GAAP Adjusted Net Income (Loss)
Non-GAAP adjusted net income (loss) and non-GAAP adjusted diluted net income (loss) per share are non-GAAP financial measures that are useful to us and investors because they present an additional measurement of our financial performance, taking into account depreciation, which we believe is an ongoing cost of doing business, but excluding the impact of certain non-cash expenses such as amortization of intangible assets and stock-based compensation, and expenses such as acquisition related and other expenses. We believe that analysts and investors use non-GAAP adjusted net income and non-GAAP adjusted diluted net income per share as supplemental measures to evaluate the overall operating performance of companies in our industry.
A limitation of non-GAAP adjusted net income (loss) is that it is a measure that may be unique to us and may not enhance the comparability of our results to other companies in the same industry that define adjusted net loss differently. This measure may also exclude expenses that may have a material impact on our reported financial results. Our management compensates for these limitations by also considering the comparable GAAP financial measure of net loss.

43



The following table presents a reconciliation of GAAP net loss to non-GAAP adjusted loss for each of the periods indicated (in thousands):
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Net loss
$
(64,311
)
 
$
(20,932
)
 
$
(10,343
)
Adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
Stock-based compensation expense
23,530

 
10,842

 
3,321

Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability

 
4,740

 
2,308

Amortization of intangible assets
5,402

 

 

Acquisition related and other expenses
11,476

 

 

Tax impact of the above items
(198
)
 

 

Non-GAAP adjusted net income (loss)
$
(24,101
)
 
$
(5,350
)
 
$
(4,714
)
Non-GAAP adjusted diluted net income (loss) per share
$
(0.65
)
 
$
(0.35
)
 
$
(0.59
)
Weighted average shares used in computing non-GAAP adjusted diluted net income (loss) per share
37,001

 
15,177

 
8,024

Prior to the third quarter of 2014, we defined non-GAAP adjusted net income (loss) as GAAP net loss before stock-based compensation expense and the change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability. This definition was revised, beginning in the third quarter of 2014, as GAAP net loss excluding stock-based compensation expense, changes in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability, amortization of intangible assets, acquisition related and other expenses and the estimated tax impact of the foregoing items.
Factors Affecting Our Performance
We believe that the growth and any future profitability of our business and our future success depend on various opportunities, challenges and other factors, including the following:
Growth of the Real-time Advertising Exchange Market and Digital Advertising
Our performance is significantly affected by growth rates in both real-time advertising exchanges and the digital advertising channels that we address. These markets have grown rapidly in the past several years, and any acceleration, or slowing, of this growth would affect our overall performance. In 2014 we noted an expanding trend of customer concerns about inventory quality on real-time advertising exchanges that impacts the entire industry. In addition, a significant shift in the channel mix of digital advertising could also impact our performance as we must optimize our solutions for, and face a different competitive landscape in, the mobile, social and video channels. For example, Facebook recently announced restrictions in our access to the Facebook exchange platform, or FBX, requiring us to adapt our offering in order to continue to access advertising inventory from Facebook and expand into mobile advertising with Facebook, and we are presently adapting our technology and offerings to address this challenge.
Ability to Market and Sell our Solutions to Advertisers and their Agencies and Agency Holding Companies
Our DSP offering competes for digital advertising budgets with a variety of companies, including, other companies with DSP offerings, agency trading desks and companies that offer self-service platforms that allow advertisers to purchase inventory directly from advertising exchanges or other third parties, and to manage and analyze their own and third-party data. In our experience, it is our larger and longer tenured customers who are more likely to reduce spend with us in favor of self-service platforms, agency trading desks, or other media strategies. In 2014, we experienced a decline in revenue from some customers when they utilized agency trading desks to a greater extent or adopted self-serve platforms. Furthermore, agencies have been effective at promoting the use of agency trading desks and are increasingly involved in helping to select self-service platform providers for the advertisers they represent. This trend has impacted, and may continue to impact, our ability to grow and/or retain revenue. In July 2014, we announced an expansion of our self-service platform to the United States and Europe, which we believe will allow us to compete more directly with companies that offer self-service platform solutions to agencies (as their trading desk solution) and to advertisers. In addition, a key part of our strategy was to invest in a strategic agency selling team to reshape our relationships with agency holding companies beginning in September 2014.

44



Ability to Market and Sell Our Digital Market Hub and SaaS Technology Platform to Direct Advertisers
In September 2014, we acquired X Plus Two Solutions, Inc., the parent company of [x+1], a privately held programmatic marketing technology company. Our acquisition of [x+1] added important assets to our technology solutions, principally a Data Management Platform, or “DMP,” and Site Optimization technology, which are enterprise solutions that enable customers to use their own customer relationship data and third party data to deliver timely and relevant advertising messages across paid, earned, and owned media channels, including an advertiser's own website. These additions have enabled us to introduce our Digital Marketing Hub to help marketers optimize the consumer journey, and to extend our core AI technology beyond paid advertising to more broadly address advertisers' marketing challenges across paid, earned and owned media. As part of this strategy, we have increased, and expect to continue to increase, the number of sales representatives we have calling on direct advertisers.
These SaaS and self-service offerings have different margins and operating costs than our DSP offerings. Our strategy to sell to direct advertisers and to offer DMP as well as DSP platforms had, and will continue to have, an impact on our revenue mix and non-GAAP net revenue margins. To illustrate, during the fourth quarter of 2014, non-GAAP net revenue from direct advertisers increased to $14.3 million, or 19% of non-GAAP net revenue, compared to $3.3 million, or 7% of non-GAAP net revenue, for the fourth quarter of 2013. Our total non-GAAP net revenue, as a percentage of GAAP revenue, declined to 55% for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to 58% for the fourth quarter of 2013.
Customer Growth and Retention
In order to continue our growth, we must attract new customers, and gain a larger amount of our current customers’ advertising budgets. Over the long term we aim to do both, but the relative focus on onboarding new customers or developing existing customers will vary over time with our product offerings and sales and service capabilities and efficiencies.
Our number of active customers increased from 1,224 as of December 31, 2013 to 1,636 as of December 31, 2014 . Our revenue retention rate was 130% for the twelve months ended December 31, 2014 and 135%, 149%, 161% and 168% for each of the twelve months ended September 30, 2014 , June 30, 2014 , March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013 , respectively.
New customers generally spend less than customers that have used our solution for longer periods of time. We also experienced decreased spending in 2014 by larger customers (measured by the amount of spend) who also spent with us in the same period in 2013. Adding new customers that tend to spend less and declining spend from larger and longer tenured customers contributed to the slowing rate of year-over-year revenue growth on a percentage basis since the third quarter of 2013, which we expect will continue in 2015.
Ability to Market and Sell to Multiple Digital Advertising Products via Multiple Channels
Our DSP solutions are designed to optimize both direct-response campaigns focused on generating specific consumer purchases or responses, generally defined as cost per action goals, as well as brand campaigns geared towards lifting brand metrics, generally defined as cost-per-click and brand survey goals. During the year ended December 31, 2014, direct response campaigns contributed approximately two-thirds of our revenue, with the remaining one-third of our revenue generated through brand campaigns. The digital advertising industry is rapidly adopting programmatic buying for mobile, social and video advertising. Historically, our revenue has predominantly come from managed service display advertising, and we have grown revenue from delivery to other channels, which include mobile, video and social channels, to 44% of our revenue in 2014. As display advertising is now growing more slowly than other channels, our future performance is dependent in part on our ability to grow our share of these other channels.
Ability to Improve the Productivity and Efficiency of our Resources and Infrastructure
We have invested for long-term growth through the expansion of our offerings to address additional needs of marketers, including offering our DMP and DSP as self-service SaaS solutions in addition to our managed service offerings. As part of this growth strategy, we have added sales, marketing, operations and customer support personnel in all of our geographies. Our growth strategy also includes continuing to invest in research and development to enhance our solutions, integrate our technology platforms and create additional offerings. As a result of these investments in resources and growth, w e saw operating expenses increase significantly in absolute dollars and increase as a percent of revenue during 2014. Looking ahead, w e will focus on automating and streamlining our customer service, operations, account management, IT, financial and administrative systems and controls with a goal of reducing the cost of those functions as a percentage of revenue in future periods.
We experienced a decline in sales productivity in North America from the second quarter of 2014 through the end of the year. In the short term, we expect sales productivity to continue to be impacted as certain sales personnel transition from supporting

45



our traditional business to supporting our enterprise solutions. Looking ahead, we will focus on achieving improved sales productivity by better tailoring our sales model to differing sizes of customers and prospects, and by improving the focus of our sales representatives on our core offerings.
Our capital expenditures for property and equipment were approximately $48 million in 2014, a significant increase over 2013 as we opened and expanded many of our office facilities. For 2015, we expect these capital expenditures to decline significantly from 2014 levels as we completed the majority of our facility expansion during 2014 and early 2015. In addition, in order to minimize the upfront cash investment required to scale our data centers, we have entered into capital leasing facilities to finance our data center hardware needs and plan to continue this practice in 2015.
Seasonality
In the advertising industry, companies commonly experience seasonal fluctuations in revenue. For example, many advertisers allocate the largest portion of their budgets to the fourth quarter of the calendar year to coincide with increased holiday purchasing. Historically, the fourth quarter of the year reflects our highest level of advertising activity, and the first quarter reflects the lowest level of such activity. We expect our revenue to continue to fluctuate based on seasonal factors that affect the advertising industry as a whole. For example, the number of active customers, excluding active customers originating through our licensing agreement with a Japanese advertising agency, was flat from December 31, 2013, to March 31, 2014, increased by 18% from March 31, 2014 to June 30, 2014, was flat again from June 30, 2014 to September 30, 2014 and increased by 14% from September 30, 2014 to December 31, 2014. Despite the seasonal nature of our revenue, many of our costs, such as headcount related expenses, depreciation and amortization, and facilities costs, do not follow these same seasonal trends, resulting in significant fluctuations in net loss from quarter to quarter, with the first quarter typically a period of higher losses.
Components of Our Results of Operations
Revenue
We generate revenue primarily by delivering digital advertisements to consumers through the display channel and other channels such as mobile devices and through social and video channels. We predominantly contract with advertising agencies who purchase our solution on behalf of advertisers. When we contract with an agency, it acts as an agent for a disclosed principal, which is the advertiser. Our contracts typically provide that if the advertiser does not pay the agency, the agency is not liable to us, and we must seek payment solely from the advertiser. Our contracts with advertisers, including advertising agencies representing advertisers, are generally in the form of an insertion order that outlines the terms and conditions of an advertising campaign and its objectives. Our contracts typically have a term of less than a year, and we recognize revenue as we deliver advertising impressions, subject to satisfying all other revenue recognition criteria. To a lesser extent we generate revenue from license fees to access our SaaS DMP and DSP offerings and related professional services, which are generally recognized over the term of the performance period. Our revenue recognition policies are discussed in more detail under “—Nature of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8.
Costs and Expenses
We classify our expenses into these categories: media costs, other cost of revenue, research and development, sales and marketing and general and administrative. Personnel costs for each category of expense generally include salaries, bonuses and sales commissions, stock-based compensation expense and employee benefit costs. Allocated costs include charges for facilities, office expenses, utilities, telephones and other miscellaneous expenses.
Media costs consist primarily of costs for advertising impressions we purchase from advertising exchanges and other third parties, which are expensed when incurred. We typically pay these advertising exchanges on a per impression basis. We anticipate that our media costs will increase in absolute dollars as our revenue increases.
Other cost of revenue. These costs include personnel costs, depreciation and amortization expense, amortization of internal-use software development costs, third-party inventory validation and data vendor costs, data center hosting costs and allocated costs. The personnel costs are primarily attributable to individuals maintaining our servers and members of our operations group, which initiates, sets up, launches and monitors our advertising campaigns or implements and supports our platform. We capitalize costs associated with software that is developed or obtained for internal-use and amortize these costs in other cost of revenue over the internal-use software’s useful life. Third-party inventory validation and data vendor costs consist primarily of costs to augment campaign performance and monitor our brand safety efforts. Other cost of revenue also includes third-party data center costs and depreciation of data

46



center equipment. We anticipate that our other cost of revenue will increase in absolute dollars in future periods as we scale the capabilities of our operations to meet the demands of higher volumes.
Research and development. Our research and development expenses consist primarily of personnel costs and professional services associated with the ongoing development and maintenance of our technology. We believe that continued investment in technology is critical to pursuing our strategic objectives, and as a result, we expect research and development expenses to increase in absolute dollars in future periods.
Sales and marketing. Our sales and marketing expenses consist primarily of personnel costs (including sales commissions) and allocated costs, professional services, brand marketing, travel, trade shows and marketing materials. Our sales and marketing organization focuses on (i) marketing our solution to generate awareness; (ii) increasing the adoption of our solution by existing and new advertisers and agencies; and (iii) expanding our business geographically, primarily by growing our sales team in certain countries in which we currently operate and establishing a presence in additional countries. We expect sales and marketing expenses to increase in absolute dollars in future periods related to our investment opportunities, such as the enterprise business and inter national markets .
General and administrative. Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of personnel costs associated with our executive, IT, finance, legal, human resources, compliance and other administrative functions, as well as accounting, audit and legal professional services fees, allocated costs and other corporate expenses. Other miscellaneous expenses primarily include local taxes, fees and charitable contributions. We expect to continue to invest in corporate infrastructure, such as automation projects, and incur additional expenses associated with legal and accounting costs and compliance costs associated with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. As a result, we expect general and administrative expenses to increase in absolute dollars in future periods.
Other Expense, Net
Interest expense. Interest expense is related to our credit facilities and term debt.
Other income (expense)—net. Other income (expense)—net consists primarily of gains and losses on foreign currency transactions. We have foreign currency exposure related to our cash and accounts receivable that are denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, primarily the Canadian dollar, British pound and the Euro. As our foreign sales and expenses increase, our operating results may be more affected by fluctuations in the exchange rates of the currencies in which we do business.
Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability.   During 2013 and 2012, we had two outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our capital stock. The convertible preferred stock warrants were subject to re-measurement at each balance sheet date, and any change in fair value was recognized as a component of other expense, net. In connection with the closing of our initial public offering, or IPO, in September 2013, the warrants converted into shares of common stock.
Income Tax (Benefit) Provision
Income tax (benefit) provision consists primarily of federal and state income taxes in the United States and income taxes in foreign jurisdictions in which we conduct business. Due to uncertainty as to the realization of benefits from our deferred tax assets, including net operating loss carry-forwards, research and development and other tax credits, we maintain a valuation allowance against most of our deferred tax assets. We expect to maintain this valuation allowance at least in the near term.

47



Results of Operations
The following tables set forth our consolidated results of operations and our consolidated results of operations as a percentage of revenue for the periods presented (in thousands):
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
$
408,641

 
$
240,605

 
$
106,589

Costs and expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
Media cost
173,477

 
103,637

 
50,669

Other cost of revenue (1)
48,586

 
21,883

 
9,342

Research and development (1)
39,794

 
17,714

 
4,876

Sales and marketing (1)
146,430

 
83,345

 
41,069

General and administrative (1)
60,545

 
28,708

 
8,403

Total costs and expenses
468,832

 
255,287

 
114,359

Operating loss
(60,191
)
 
(14,682
)
 
(7,770
)
Other expense, net:
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense
(3,092
)
 
(917
)
 
(316
)
Other income (expense)—net
(5,267
)
 
(308
)
 
135

Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability

 
(4,740
)
 
(2,308
)
Other expense, net
(8,359
)
 
(5,965
)
 
(2,489
)
Loss before income taxes
(68,550
)
 
(20,647
)
 
(10,259
)
Income tax (benefit) provision
(4,239
)
 
285

 
84

Net loss
$
(64,311
)
 
$
(20,932
)
 
$
(10,343
)
Loss per share:
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss per share, basic and diluted
$
(1.74
)
 
$
(1.38
)
 
$
(1.29
)
(1)
Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows (in thousands):
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Other cost of revenue
$
1,758

 
$
471

 
$
37

Research and development
5,039

 
2,308

 
734

Sales and marketing
10,372

 
4,482

 
1,100

General and administrative
6,361

 
3,581

 
1,450

Total
$
23,530

 
$
10,842

 
$
3,321


48



 
Years ended December 31,
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data: *
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
100
 %
 
100
 %
 
100
 %
Costs and expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
Media cost
42

 
43

 
48

Other cost of revenue
12

 
9

 
9

Research and development
10

 
7

 
5

Sales and marketing
36

 
35

 
39

General and administrative
15

 
12

 
8

Total costs and expenses
115

 
106

 
107

Operating loss
(15
)
 
(6
)
 
(7
)
Other expense, net:
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense
(1
)
 

 

Other expense—net
(1
)
 

 

Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability

 
(2
)
 
(2
)
Other expense, net
(2
)
 
(2
)
 
(2
)
Loss before income taxes
(17
)
 
(9
)
 
(10
)
Income tax (benefit) provision
(1
)
 

 

Net loss
(16
)%
 
(9
)%
 
(10
)%
*
Certain figures may not sum due to rounding.
Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012
Revenue
 
Years ended December 31,
 
% Change
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2014 vs 2013
 
2013 vs 2012
 
(in thousands, except percentages)

Revenue
$
408,641

 
$
240,605

 
$
106,589

 
70
%
 
126
%
Revenue increased $168.0 million , or 70% , during the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 . Revenue from the display channel was 56% and 76% of revenue for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 , respectively. Revenue from other channels was 44% and 24% of revenue for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 , respectively, which was primarily due to the mobile channel, which was 29% of revenue for the year ended December 31, 2014 , followed by the social channel and then the video channel.
The increase in revenue was attributable to increased spending by certain existing customers and an increase in the number of active customers adopting our solution. This increase was partially offset by, among other factors, a decline in revenue from some customers when they adopted third-party self-service platforms. Growth in our number of active customers was driven primarily by growth in new customers, which generally spend less than customers that have used our solution for longer periods of time. This growth in active customers and new customers also resulted in an 83% increase in the number of campaigns that ran across our platforms during the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 . Due to the higher number of campaigns, the volume of impressions delivered increased by 63% during the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 . The average cost per mille (or cost per thousand impressions) or "CPM", increased by 3% , and non-GAAP net revenue as a percentage of revenue increased to 58% from 57% during the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 . Revenue from outside of North America increased by 120% for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 . Revenue from outside of North America, as a percentage of revenue, increased to 15% from 11% during the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 , respectively.
Revenue increased $134.0 million, or 126%, during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. Revenue from the display channel was 76% and 92% of revenue for the years ended December 31, 2013 and

49



2012, respectively. Revenue from other channels was 24% and 8% of revenue for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively, which was primarily due to the mobile channel, which was 14% of revenue for the year ended December 31, 2013, followed by the social channel and then the video channel.
The increase in revenue was attributable to both increased spending by existing customers and an increase in the number of active customers adopting our solution. The number of active customers increased from 536 as of December 31, 2012 to 1,224 as of December 31, 2013. Within the 1,224 active customers, 117 active customers originated through our licensing agreement with a Japanese advertising agency. Growth in our number of active customers was driven primarily by growth in new customers, which generally spend less than customers that have used our solution for longer periods of time. This growth in active customers and new customers also resulted in a 122% increase in the number of campaigns during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. Due to the higher number of campaigns, the volume of impressions delivered increased by 165% during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. The average CPM decreased by 15%, and non-GAAP net revenue as a percentage of revenue increased to 57% from 52% during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. Revenue from outside of North America increased by 162% for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. Revenue from outside of North America, as a percentage of revenue, increased to 11% from 10% during the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively.
Media Cost and Other Cost of Revenue
 
Years ended December 31,
 
% Change
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2014 vs 2013
 
2013 vs 2012
 
(in thousands, except percentages)
Media Cost
$
173,477

 
$
103,637

 
$
50,669

 
67
%
 
105
%
Other cost of revenue
$
48,586

 
$
21,883

 
$
9,342

 
122
%
 
134
%
Headcount (at period end)
161

 
61

 
21

 
164
%
 
190
%
Media costs increased by $69.8 million , or 67% , during the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 due to our increased sales volume. Media costs represented approximately 42% and 43% of revenue in the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 , respectively.
Other cost of revenue increased by $26.7 million or 122% , during the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 . This increase was primarily due to increase in depreciation and amortization of $8.4 million , which includes capitalized internal-use software, other fixed assets and amortization of acquired technology intangible assets, an increase in personnel costs of $6.4 million , an increase in data and inventory validation costs of $5.7 million and an increase in hosting costs of $1.6 million . Amortization of capitalized internal-use software was $5.2 million and $3.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 , respectively. Amortization of acquired technology intangible assets was $3.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 . The increase in personnel costs was primarily driven by increased headcount from hiring and the acquisition of [x+1]. The increase in data and hosting costs represents increases in costs to support our rapid growth.
Media costs increased by $53.0 million , or 105% , during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012 due to our increased sales volume. Media costs represented approximately 43% and 48% of revenue in the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The decrease in media costs as a percentage of revenue was due to improvements in our AI‑driven platform, which allowed us to more efficiently deliver our solutions.
Other cost of revenue increased by $12.5 million or 134% during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. This increase was primarily due to an increase in personnel costs of $3.7 million, an increase in data and inventory validation costs of $3.3 million, an increase in depreciation and amortization of capitalized internal‑use software and other fixed assets of $3.0 million, and an increase in hosting costs of $1.7 million. The increase in personnel costs was primarily driven by increased headcount. The increase in data and hosting costs represents increases in costs to support our rapid growth. The amortization of capitalized internal‑use software was $3.4 million and $2.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively.

50



Research and Development
 
Years ended December 31,
 
% Change
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2014 vs 2013
 
2013 vs 2012
 
(in thousands, except percentages)
Research and development
$
39,794

 
$
17,714

 
$
4,876

 
125
%
 
263
%
Percent of revenue
10
%
 
7
%
 
5
%
 
 
 
 
Headcount (at period end)
196

 
115

 
52

 
70
%
 
121
%
Research and development expense increased by $22.1 million , or 125% , during the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 . This increase was primarily due to an increase in personnel expense of $13.3 million and, to a lesser extent, to an increase in depreciation and amortization expense of $3.2 million , an increase in allocated costs of $2.7 million and an increase in professional services costs of $1.1 million . The increase in personnel expense and allocated costs was primarily due to an increase in headcount from the acquisition of [x+1] and hiring, which reflects our continued hiring of engineers to maintain our technologies and support our research and development efforts.
Research and development expense increased by $12.8 million, or 263%, during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. This increase was primarily due to an increase in personnel expense of $10.1 million and, to a lesser extent, to an increase in allocated costs of $1.8 million. The increase in personnel expense and allocated costs was primarily due to an increase in headcount, which reflects our continued hiring of engineers to maintain our technologies and support our research and development efforts.
 We capitalized internal-use software development costs of $9.4 million , $6.3 million and $4.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 , respectively. The increase was due to additional headcount devoted to internal-use software development.
Sales and Marketing
 
Years ended December 31,
 
% Change
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2014 vs 2013
 
2013 vs 2012
 
(in thousands, except percentages)
Sales and marketing
$
146,430

 
$
83,345

 
$
41,069

 
76
%
 
103
%
Percent of revenue
36
%
 
35
%
 
39
%
 
 
 
 
Headcount (at period end)
594

 
351

 
180

 
69
%
 
95
%
Sales and marketing expense increased by $63.1 million , or 76% , during the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 . This increase was primarily due to an increase in personnel expense of $39.1 million and, to a lesser extent, an increase in allocated costs, mostly facility costs, of $12.0 million , an increase in travel and related expenses of $6.5 million and an increase in depreciation and amortization expense of $3.4 million . The increase in personnel expense was primarily due to significant expansion of our sales force through normal hiring and the acquisition of [x+1].
Sales and marketing expense increased by $42.3 million, or 103%, during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. This increase was primarily due to an increase in personnel expense of $31.1 million and, to a lesser extent, to an increase in travel and related expenses of $3.3 million, an increase in allocated costs of $3.3 million, an increase in marketing expenses of $1.6 million, an increase in marketing events of $1.4 million and an increase in professional services costs of $1.0 million. The increase in personnel expense was primarily due to an increase in headcount and, to a lesser extent, to an increase in commission expense related to the increase in revenue.

51



General and Administrative
 
Years ended December 31,
 
% Change
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2014 vs 2013
 
2013 vs 2012
 
(in thousands, except percentages)
General and administrative
$
60,545

 
$
28,708

 
$
8,403

 
111
%
 
242
%
Percent of revenue
15
%
 
12
%
 
8
%
 
 
 
 
Headcount (at period end)
172

 
92

 
36

 
87
%
 
156
%
General and administrative expense increased by $31.8 million , or 111% , during the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 . This increase was primarily due to an increase in personnel expense of $13.5 million and, to a lesser extent, to an increase in professional services of $10.5 million and an increase in allocated costs of $4.2 million . The increase in personnel costs was driven primarily by increased headcount. The increase in professional services was primarily due to acquisition and integration related costs associated with the acquisition of [x+1] of $7.8 million during the year ended December 31, 2014 .
General and administrative expense increased by $20.3 million, or 242%, during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. This increase was primarily due to an increase in personnel expense of $10.8 million and, to a lesser extent, to an increase in professional services of $4.6 million, an increase in allocated costs of $2.3 million and an increase in other miscellaneous expenses of $1.1 million. The increase in personnel costs was driven primarily by increased stock‑based compensation expense and increased headcount. The increase in third‑party professional services was primarily due to increased accounting and legal services.
Other Expense, Net
 
Years ended December 31,
 
% Change
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2014 vs 2013
 
2013 vs 2012
 
(in thousands, except percentages)
Interest expense
$
(3,092
)
 
$
(917
)
 
$
(316
)
 
237
 %
 
190
 %
Gain (loss) on foreign currency transactions
(5,259
)
 
(205
)
 
43

 
2,465
 %
 
(577
)%
Other income (expense)—net
(8
)
 
(103
)
 
92

 
(92
)%
 
(212
)%
Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability

 
(4,740
)
 
(2,308
)
 
(100
)%
 
105
 %
Total other expense, net
$
(8,359
)
 
$
(5,965
)
 
$
(2,489
)
 
40
 %
 
140
 %
The increase in other expense, net, during the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 was due to higher foreign currency transaction losses following the declines in the Canadian dollar, British pound and the Euro against the U.S. dollar during 2014, as well as interest expense related to additional borrowings under our revolving credit facility and term debt and higher capital leases. These increases were partially offset by no expense related to revaluations of convertible preferred stock warrants during 2014, as the warrants were converted to equity in September 2013.
The increase in other expense, net, in 2013 compared to 2012 primarily relates to revaluations of convertible preferred stock warrants and, to a lesser extent, interest expense related to our additional borrowings under our revolving line of credit and term debt. The increase in the value of our convertible preferred stock warrant liability was due to the significant increase in the value of our common stock.
Income Tax (Benefit) Provision
We recorded an income tax benefit of $4.2 million and an income tax provision $0.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 , respectively. The tax benefit for the year ended December 31, 2014 is primarily due to a partial release of valuation allowance against our US deferred tax assets, offset by foreign and state income taxes. The release of the valuation allowance was due to the acquisition of net deferred tax liabilities for temporary differences related to intangible assets as part of

52



the [x+1] acquisition. The tax expense for the year ended December 31, 2013 is primarily due to foreign and state income tax expense.
Quarterly Results of Operations
Quarterly Results of Operations Data
The following tables set forth our quarterly consolidated statements of operations in dollars and as a percentage of total revenue for each of the eight quarters in the period ended December 31, 2014 and include the revenue and expenses related to [x+1] since the acquisition in September 2014. We have prepared the quarterly consolidated statements of operations data on a basis consistent with the audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K. In the opinion of management, the financial information in these tables reflects all adjustments, consisting only of normal recurring adjustments that management considers necessary for a fair presentation of this data. This information should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K. The results of historical periods are not necessarily indicative of the results for any future period.
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
 
Dec 31, 2014
 
Sep 30, 2014
 
Jun 30, 2014
 
Mar 31, 2014
 
Dec 31, 2013
 
Sep 30, 2013
 
Jun 30, 2013
 
Mar 31, 2013
 
 
(in thousands)
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
 
$
139,504

 
$
102,098

 
$
92,642

 
$
74,397

 
$
85,566

 
$
62,458

 
$
54,369

 
$
38,212

Costs and expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Media costs
 
62,834

 
43,006

 
37,930

 
29,707

 
35,925

 
26,423

 
24,643

 
16,646

Other cost of revenue (1)
 
19,819

 
11,946

 
8,993

 
7,828

 
8,066

 
5,454

 
4,338

 
4,025

Research and development (1)
 
12,919

 
11,200

 
8,434

 
7,241

 
7,127

 
4,464

 
3,711

 
2,412

Sales and marketing (1)
 
42,461

 
40,421

 
33,789

 
29,759

 
27,052

 
21,644

 
18,419

 
16,230

General and administrative (1)
 
18,750

 
19,320

 
12,135

 
10,340

 
9,037

 
8,719

 
5,775

 
5,177

Total costs and expenses
 
156,783

 
125,893

 
101,281

 
84,875

 
87,207

 
66,704

 
56,886

 
44,490

Operating loss
 
(17,279
)
 
(23,795
)
 
(8,639
)
 
(10,478
)
 
(1,641
)
 
(4,246
)
 
(2,517
)
 
(6,278
)
Other expense, net
 
(3,831
)
 
(3,156
)
 
(939
)
 
(433
)
 
(408
)
 
(2,481
)
 
(1,336
)
 
(1,740
)
Loss before income taxes
 
(21,110
)
 
(26,951
)
 
(9,578
)
 
(10,911
)
 
(2,049
)
 
(6,727
)
 
(3,853
)
 
(8,018
)
Income tax (benefit) provision
 
(614
)
 
(4,120
)
 
181

 
314

 
112

 
133

 
(14
)
 
54

Net loss
 
$
(20,496
)
 
$
(22,831
)
 
$
(9,759
)
 
$
(11,225
)
 
$
(2,161
)
 
$
(6,860
)
 
$
(3,839
)
 
$
(8,072
)
Loss per share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss per share, basic
 
$
(0.49
)
 
$
(0.61
)
 
$
(0.28
)
 
$
(0.33
)
 
$
(0.07
)
 
$
(0.61
)
 
$
(0.46
)
 
$
(0.97
)
Net loss per share, diluted
 
$
(0.49
)
 
$
(0.61
)
 
$
(0.28
)
 
$
(0.33
)