Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3)
Registration No. 333-268905
Appreciate Holdings, INC.
37,265,500 Shares of Class A Common Stock
Up to 7,388,889 Shares of Class A Common Stock Issuable Upon Exercise of Warrants
Up to 4,833,333 Warrants
This prospectus relates to the offer and sale by us of (i) up to 2,555,556 shares of Class A Common stock, par value $0.0001 per share of Appreciate Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”) issuable upon the exercise of 7,666,667 redeemable warrants to purchase shares of Class A Common Stock, which were originally issued in the initial public offering of the Company’s predecessor PropTech Investment Corporation II (“PTIC II”) at a price of $10.00 per unit, with each unit consisting of one share of Class A Common Stock of PTIC II and one-third of one redeemable warrant with each whole warrant entitling the holder to purchase one share of Class A Common Stock for $11.50 per share (the “Public Warrants”), and (ii) up to 4,833,333 shares of Class A Common Stock issuable upon the exercise of 4,833,333 private placement warrants which are exercisable at $11.50 per share of Class A Common Stock (the “Private Warrants,” and together with the Public Warrants, the “Warrants”) held by certain affiliates of PTIC II (collectively, the “Sponsor”), which were purchased at a price of $1.50 per warrant in a private placement to certain affiliates of the Sponsor.
This prospectus also relates to the resale from time to time by the selling securityholders named in this prospectus or their permitted transferees (the “Selling Securityholders”) of (i) 5,750,000 shares of Class A Common Stock acquired by certain stockholders of the Company prior to the completion of the PTIC II/Renters Warehouse Business Combination which were either purchased by investors (the “Private Investors”) at a price of less than $0.01 per share or were granted prior to the Business Combination as director shares or were granted as incentive equity grants at $0.0001; (ii) 4,833,333 Private Warrants purchased by certain affiliates of the Sponsor at a price of $1.50 per warrant as noted above; and, (iii) 31,200,000 shares of Class A Common Stock issuable upon exchange of shares of Class B Common Stock issued to the owners of Renters Warehouse in connection with the Business Combination based on a price of $10.00 per share. The interests exchanged by the prior Renters Warehouse owners were acquired in various transactions (including compensatory grants) from September 2015 through March of 2022 at prices ranging from $0 to $1.95 per share, and (iii) and 315,500 shares of Class A Common Stock issued to a service provider for services provided. The Selling Securityholders may, or may not, elect to sell registered shares as and to the extent that they may individually determine. See the section entitled “Plan of Distribution.” Our registration of the securities covered by this prospectus does not mean that the Selling Securityholders will offer or sell any of the shares or Warrants. The Selling Securityholders may sell the shares of Class A Common Stock or Warrants covered by this prospectus in a number of different ways and at varying prices. We provide more information about how the Selling Securityholders may sell the shares or Warrants in the section entitled “Plan of Distribution.”
We will not receive any proceeds from any sale of registered shares or Warrants by Selling Securityholders under this prospectus. We will receive proceeds from the exercise of the Warrants if, and only if, the Warrants are exercised for cash. The exercise price of the Warrants is $11.50 per share and the closing price of our Class A Common Stock on the Nasdaq on February 10, 2023 was $1.62 per share. The likelihood that warrant holders will exercise the Warrants and any cash proceeds that we would receive is dependent upon the market price of our shares of Class A Common Stock. If the market price for shares of our Class A Common Stock is less than $11.50 per share, we believe warrant holders will be unlikely to exercise their Warrants. We will pay the expenses associated with registering the sales by the Selling Securityholders, as described in more detail in the section titled “Use of Proceeds” appearing elsewhere in this prospectus.
The Selling Securityholders that are not holders of Class B Common Stock can sell, under this prospectus, up to 13,454,389 shares of Class A Common Stock (assuming the exercise of all of our outstanding Warrants) which would constitute approximately 27.88% of our issued and outstanding shares of Common Stock as of January 23, 2023. As a percentage of our publicly-traded shares of Class A Common Stock, that number of the shares of Class A Common Stock would constitute approximately 44.10% of such shares if all of such shares were sold. Additionally, if all of the 31,200,000 shares of Class B Common Stock currently outstanding were to exchange for shares of Class A Common Stock and all outstanding Warrants were exercised, the Selling Securityholders would own 44,654,389 shares of Class A Common Stock, representing 72.36% of the then total outstanding shares of our Common Stock on a fully diluted basis. Sales of a substantial number of shares of Class A Common Stock in the public market by the Selling Securityholders and/or by our other existing securityholders, or the perception that those sales might occur, could result in a significant decline in the public trading price of our Class A Common Stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities. Despite such a decline in the public trading price, certain Selling Securityholders could still experience a positive rate of return on the securities they purchased or acquired due to the lower price that they purchased or acquired their shares of Class A Common Stock and could be incentivized to sell their securities when others would not be so incentivized. Based on the closing price of our Class A Common Stock on February 10, 2023, (a) the Sponsor and stockholders that acquired shares prior to the Business Combination could experience a potential profit of up to $1.526 per share; and (b) the prior owners of Renters Warehouse could experience a potential profit of up to $1.526 per share upon the sale of their shares following the exchange of their Class B Common Stock. The holders of Warrants may experience a potential profit if the price of the Company’s shares of Class A Common Stock exceeds $11.50 per share.
We are registering the securities for resale pursuant to the Selling Securityholders’ registration rights under certain agreements between us and the Selling Securityholders, other than the shares held by the service provider. Our registration of the securities covered by this prospectus does not mean that the Selling Securityholders will offer or sell any of the shares of Class A Common Stock or Warrants. The Selling Securityholders may offer, sell or distribute all or a portion of their shares of Class A Common Stock or Warrants publicly or through private transactions at prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices. We provide more information about how the Selling Securityholders may sell the shares or Warrants in the section entitled “Plan of Distribution.”
Our Class A Common Stock and our Public Warrants are listed on the NASDAQ Global Market and the NASDAQ Capital Market, respectively (collectively “NASDAQ”), under the symbols “SFR” and “SFRWW,” respectively. On February 10, 2023, the closing price of our Class A Common Stock was $1.62 and the closing price for our Public Warrants was $0.07.
We may amend or supplement this prospectus from time to time by filing amendments or supplements as required. You should read this entire prospectus and any amendments or supplements carefully before you make your investment decision.
We are an “emerging growth company” under the federal securities laws and are subject to reduced public company reporting requirements. Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should review carefully the risks and uncertainties described under the heading “Risk Factors” beginning on page 12 of this prospectus, and under similar headings in any amendment or supplements to this prospectus.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
The date of this prospectus is February 14, 2023.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS||ii|
|CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS||iii|
|USE OF PROCEEDS||55|
|DETERMINATION OF OFFERING PRICE||55|
|MARKET INFORMATION FOR CLASS A COMMON STOCK AND DIVIDEND POLICY||55|
|UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION||55|
|MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS||70|
|DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY||115|
|EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION OF RENTERS WAREHOUSE OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS||119|
|SUMMARY COMPENSATION TABLE||120|
|CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS||127|
|SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT||133|
|DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES||141|
|SECURITIES ACT RESTRICTIONS ON RESALE OF SECURITIES||151|
|CERTAIN UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS||152|
|PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION||155|
|CHANGES IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT||158|
|WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION||159|
|INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS||F-1|
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
This prospectus is part of a registration statement on Form S-1 that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) using a “shelf” registration process. Our registration of the securities covered by this prospectus does not mean that either we or the Selling Securityholders will issue, offer or sell, as applicable, any of the securities registered hereunder. Under this shelf registration process, the Selling Securityholders may, from time to time, sell the Class A Common Stock offered by it described in this prospectus. We will not receive any proceeds upon issuance of the Class A Common Stock to the Selling Securityholders or from the sale by the Selling Securityholders of the Class A Common Stock offered by them described in this prospectus.
Neither we nor the Selling Securityholders have authorized anyone to provide you with any information other than that provided in this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement. Neither we nor the Selling Securityholders can provide any assurance as to the reliability of any other information that others may give you. Neither we nor the Selling Securityholders are making an offer of these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer is not permitted. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement is accurate as of any date other than the date of the applicable document. Since the date of this prospectus our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed.
We may also provide a prospectus supplement or post-effective amendment to the registration statement to add information to, or update or change information contained in, this prospectus. You should read both this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement or post-effective amendment to the registration statement together with the additional information to which we refer you in the section of this prospectus entitled “Where You Can Find More Information.”
You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplements we may file. Neither we nor the Selling Securityholders have authorized anyone to provide you with information different from, or in addition to, that contained in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplements we may file. The information contained in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplements we may file is current only as of their respective dates or on the date or dates that are specified in those documents. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.
Unless the context indicates otherwise, references in this prospectus to the “Company,” “Appreciate,” “we,” “us,” “our” and similar terms refer to Appreciate Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its consolidated subsidiaries References to “PTIC II” refer to PropTech Investment Corporation II, Inc, a Delaware corporation. References to “Renters Warehouse” refer to “RW National Holdings, LLC,” a Delaware limited liability company and references to “NewCo LLC” refer to Appreciate Intermediate Holdings, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company.
Unless otherwise indicated, information contained in this prospectus concerning our industry and the markets in which we operate is based on information from independent industry and research organizations, other third-party sources (including industry publications, surveys and forecasts), and management estimates. Management estimates are derived from publicly available information released by independent industry analysts and third-party sources, as well as data from our internal research, and are based on assumptions made by us upon reviewing such data and our knowledge of such industry and markets, which we believe to be reasonable. Although we believe the data from these third-party sources is reliable, we have not independently verified any third-party information. In addition, assumptions and estimates of the future performance of the industry in which we operate and our future performance are necessarily subject to uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.” These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the estimates made by the independent parties and by us.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. Our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our or our management team’s expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. In addition, any statements that refer to projections, forecasts or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “become,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “would,” “opportunity,” “mission,” “goal,” “positioned” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking.
The forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus are based on our current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on us taking into account information currently available to us. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting us will be those that we have anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks include, but are not limited to:
|●||trends in the real estate industry, the real estate financing industry and Appreciate’s market size, including with respect to the potential total addressable market in the industry;|
|●||Appreciate’s growth prospects;|
|●||new product and service offerings Appreciate may introduce in the future;|
|●||the price of Appreciate’s securities, including volatility resulting from changes in the highly competitive industry in which Appreciate operates and plans to operate, variations in performance across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting Appreciate’s business and changes in the combined capital structure;|
|●||the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations as well as identify and realize additional opportunities; and|
|●||other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in filings made with the SEC.|
These risks are not exhaustive. New risk factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors, nor can we 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. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, they could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You should not take any statement regarding past trends or activities as a representation that the trends or activities will continue in the future.
The forward-looking statements made by us in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement speak only as of the date of this prospectus and the accompanying prospectus supplement. Except to the extent required under the federal securities laws and rules and regulations of the SEC, we disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. In light of these risks and uncertainties, there is no assurance that the events or results suggested by the forward-looking statements will in fact occur, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
You may only rely on the information contained in this prospectus or that we have referred you to. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with different information. This prospectus does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities other than the Class A Common Stock offered by this prospectus. This prospectus does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any common stock in any circumstances in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful. Neither the delivery of this prospectus nor any sale made in connection with this prospectus shall, under any circumstances, create any implication that there has been no change in our affairs since the date of this prospectus is correct as of any time after its date.
Our business involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below, together with the other information contained in this prospectus, including our condensed consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus, as well as the risks, uncertainties and other information set forth in the reports and other materials filed or furnished by us with the SEC. We cannot assure you that any of the events discussed in the risk factors below will not occur. These risks could have a material and adverse impact on our business, prospects, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. If any such events were to happen, the trading shares of our Class A Shares could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
Risks Related to Liquidity and Capital Resources
We must raise additional capital to fund our operations in order to continue as a going concern.
We have included disclosure in our Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations indicating that our current liquidity position raises substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. If we are unable to improve our liquidity position, we may not be able to continue as a going concern. Our ability to raise the capital needed to improve our financial condition may be hindered by the resale of a significant number of shares of our Class A Common Stock acquired pursuant to the Facility or otherwise as well as the maturity right held by parties to the Forward Purchase Agreement dated November 20, 2022 (which could require the repurchase of shares of our Class A Common Stock held by them or significant cash payments if triggered and exercised) and defaults in our indebtedness as well as the substantial amount of service provider obligations. The accompanying consolidated financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result if we are unable to continue as a going concern and, therefore, be required to realize our assets and discharge our liabilities other than in the normal course of business which could cause investors to suffer the loss of all or a substantial portion of their investment.
We anticipate that our principal sources of liquidity will only be sufficient to fund our activities and debt service needs through March 31, 2023. In order to have sufficient cash to fund our operations beyond March 31, 2023, we will need to raise additional equity or debt capital in order to continue as a going concern and we cannot provide any assurance that we will be successful in doing so.
We may not be able to refinance, extend or repay our substantial indebtedness owed to our senior secured lender or obligations owed to service providers, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and ability to continue as a going concern.
We anticipate that we will need to raise a significant amount of debt or equity capital in the near future in order to repay our outstanding debt obligations owed to our senior secured lender and to our service providers. As of December 31, 2022, we owed our senior secured lender $9.6 million. In addition, we reached agreements with certain service providers that deferred approximately $18 million in obligations. If we are unable to raise sufficient capital to repay these obligations at maturity or otherwise and we are otherwise unable to extend the maturity dates or refinance these obligations, we would be in default. We cannot provide any assurances that we will be able to raise the necessary amount of capital to repay these obligations or that we will be able to extend the maturity dates or otherwise refinance these obligations.
We may not be able to maintain compliance with the continued listing requirements of The Nasdaq Global Market.
Our Class A Common Stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Market. In order to maintain that listing, we must satisfy minimum financial and other requirements. If we fail to continue to meet all applicable continued listing requirements for The Nasdaq Global Market in the future and Nasdaq determines to delist our Class A Common Stock, the delisting could adversely affect the market liquidity of our Class A Common Stock, our ability to obtain financing to repay debt and fund our operations.
We have a history of operating losses and negative cash flow and we anticipate that we will need to raise additional funds to finance operations.
We have a history of operating losses and negative cash flow. We incurred recurring net losses, including net losses from operations before income taxes of $1.3 million and $4.9 million in the years ending December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, and $6.3 million for the first nine months of 2022. In addition, we likely will not achieve our updated projections from September 2022. To support our operations, we will need to raise additional capital to fund our future operations. Our cash needs will depend on numerous factors, including our revenues, customer and market acceptance and use of our products, advertising costs and our ability to reduce and control costs. We expect to devote substantial capital resources to, among other things, fund operations, support advertising initiatives, continue development programs and to build out and increase our marketplace and management offerings. If we are unable to secure such additional financing, it will have a material adverse effect on our business and we may have to limit operations in a manner inconsistent with our development and commercialization plans. If additional funds are raised through the issuance of equity securities or convertible debt securities, it will be dilutive to our stockholders and could result in a decrease in our stock price.
We cannot provide any assurances that we will be able to secure additional funding from public or private offerings on terms acceptable to us, if at all. If we are unable to obtain the requisite amount of financing needed to fund our planned operations, it would have a material adverse effect on our business and ability to continue as a going concern.
Our stockholders are subject to significant dilution upon the occurrence of a number of events, which if such events were to occur could also cause a decrease in our stock price.
A number of events, could result in significant dilution to our stockholders and a decrease of the stock price of the Class A Common Stock. These events include, but are not limited to:
|●||The resale upon registration and expiration of any applicable lock up period of approximately 47.7 million shares of Common Stock held or that may be acquired by existing stockholders or warrant holders;|
|●||The resale of a significant number of shares by Cantor purchased pursuant to the committed equity facility, which shares would be acquired at a 2% discount to the then existing market price of the Class A Common Stock. This facility could permit the sale of a substantial number of shares that would be issued to and be available for resale by Cantor and could cause dilution and represent a significant portion of our public float.|
|●||The FPA Parties to the Forward Purchase Agreement could elect to sell shares acquired under the forward purchase agreement if the stock price of our Class A Common Stock rises above the minimum price of $5.00. Such parties hold approximately 9.1 million shares of our Class A Common Stock as of January 23, 2023.|
|●||Further, we may from time to time make an offer to our warrant holders to exchange their outstanding warrants for shares of our Class A Common Stock into a fewer number of warrants with more favorable terms, or a combination thereof. Exercise of such warrants could increase the number of outstanding shares of Class A Common Stock and could cause additional sales of the shares which would likely decrease the stock price.|
In addition, failure by the Company to obtain effectiveness of the Form S-1 Registration Statements filed in December 2022 prior to 90, 90 and 105 days from filing or requested registration, respectively, could result in the imposition of contractual penalties for failure to register the subject shares timely. These penalties could include monetary obligations, cashless exercise of outstanding warrants, issuance of additional shares, etc. Each of these events, if they were to occur, could negatively impact the price of the Company’s Class A Common Stock or increase dilution to existing stockholders. Moreover, future sales of substantial amounts of our Class A Common Stock into the public and the issuance of the shares reserved for future issuance, in payment of our indebtedness or service provider obligations, and/or in exchange for outstanding warrants would be dilutive to our existing stockholders and would likely result in a decrease in our stock price.
The market price and trading volume of our Class A Common Stock may be volatile.
The market price and trading volume of our Class A Common Stock has been volatile. We expect that the market price of our shares of Class A Common Stock will continue to fluctuate significantly for many reasons, including in response to the risk factors described in this prospectus or for reasons unrelated to our specific performance. In recent years, the stock market has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations. This volatility has affected the market prices of securities issued by many companies for reasons unrelated to their operating performance and may adversely affect the market price and trading volume of our Class A Common Stock. Prices for our Class A Common Stock may also be influenced by the depth and liquidity of the market for our Class A Common Stock, investor perceptions about us and our business, our future financial results, the absence of cash dividends on our Class A Common Stock and general economic and market conditions. In the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in their stock price. This type of litigation could result in substantial costs and could divert our management and other resources.
We may not be able to obtain waivers of defaults from our secured lender.
We received waivers of payment and covenant defaults and forbearance assurances from our senior secured lender on May 16, 2022, June 30, 2022 and September 30, 2022 and have been operating under an agreement with our senior lender that waived defaults through June 30, 2023 or upon completion of the Business Combination transactions, December 31, 2022. Although we believe that the prior waiver of covenant defaults are still in place, we cannot provide any assurance that our lender will provide us with a waiver in the future, if necessary. A failure to maintain compliance along with our lender not agreeing to a waiver for the non-compliance would cause the outstanding borrowings to be in default and payable on demand which would have a material adverse effect on us and our ability to continue as a going concern.
Risks Related to Our Business and Operations
We have incurred and recorded net losses and negative cash flows in the past. We may experience net losses and negative cash flows in the future and may not be able to achieve or sustain profitability.
We incurred and recorded net losses of approximately $4.9 million, $1.3 million and $6.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2021 and for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, respectively. These net losses reflect significant non-cash charges, consisting primarily of approximately $3.1 million, $2.5 million and $1.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2021 and for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, respectively. We expect such non-cash charges to continue to be significant in future periods and, as a result, we may incur and record net losses in future periods. As of September 30, 2022, we had a members’ deficit of approximately $90.02 million. During the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2021, net cash used in operating activities were $3.5 million and $1.7 million, respectively, which primarily resulted from such net losses. During the nine months ended September 30, 2022, net cash provided by operating activities was $1.2 million. We also expect to continue to make future investments in developing and expanding our business, including investing in technology, recruitment and training, increasing the number of our local offices, expanding our services and pursuing strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. These investments may not result in increased revenue or growth in our business and may continue to result in net losses for our business and negative cash flows. Additionally, we may incur significant losses in the future for a number of reasons, including:
|●||declines in U.S. residential leasing real estate transaction volume in the single-family rental real estate market;|
|●||our expansion into new markets, for which we typically incur more significant losses immediately following entry;|
|●||increased competition in the U.S. single-family rental leasing real estate industry;|
|●||increased research and development costs to continue to advance the capabilities of our platform;|
|●||changes in our fee structure or rates;|
|●||our failure to realize anticipated efficiencies through our technology and business model;|
|●||failure to execute our growth strategies;|
|●||increased sales and marketing costs;|
|●||hiring additional personnel to support our overall growth; and|
|●||unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications and delays, and other unknown factors.|
Accordingly, we may not be able to achieve profitability or, if achieved, sustain profitability. Moreover, as we continue to invest in our business, we expect expenses to continue to increase in the near term. If we fail to manage our expenses or grow our revenue sufficiently to keep pace with our investments, our financial condition and results of operations may be harmed.
Because we expect to incur significant costs and expenses to grow our business, and we may incur expenses prior to generating incremental revenue with respect thereto, we may find that these efforts are more expensive than we currently anticipate or that these efforts may not result in an increase in revenue to offset these expenses, which would further increase our losses.
We are employing a business model with a limited track record, which may make our business difficult to evaluate.
Until recently, the market for leasing of single-family residences for a term longer than a vacation term was comprised primarily of private and individual investors in local markets and was managed individually or by small, non-institutional owners and property managers. Our business strategy involves contracting with large institutional owners holding portfolios of single-family rental properties and assisting them in leasing, managing and buying and selling these properties. This market is relatively new, so we believe that only one peer company exists, which has not yet established a long-term track record that might assist us in predicting whether our business model and investment strategy can be implemented and sustained over an extended period of time. It may be difficult for you to evaluate our potential future performance without the benefit of established long-term track records from companies implementing a similar business model. We may encounter unanticipated problems as we continue to refine our business model, which may adversely affect our results of operations and cause our stock price to decline significantly.
We have a limited operating history and may not be able to operate our business successfully or generate sufficient cash flows.
We have a limited operating history. As a result, an investment in our common stock may entail more risk than an investment in the common stock of a real estate technology company with a substantial operating history. If we are unable to operate our business successfully, we would not be able to generate sufficient cash flow and you could lose all or a portion of the value of your ownership in our common stock. Our ability to successfully operate our business and implement our operating policies and investment strategy depends on many factors, including:
|●||our ability to effectively manage our customers’ properties;|
|●||our ability to offer an attractive platform for the buying and selling of investment single-family residential real estate properties;|
|●||economic conditions in our markets, including changes in employment and household earnings and expenses, as well as the condition of the financial and real estate markets and the economy, in general;|
|●||our ability to maintain high occupancy rates in our customers’ properties;|
|●||the availability of, and our ability to identify, attractive customer acquisition opportunities consistent with our investment strategy;|
|●||our ability to compete with other investors in the single-family residential real estate rental industry;|
|●||judicial and regulatory developments affecting the single-family residential leasing business that may affect our business;|
|●||reversal of population, employment, or homeownership trends in our markets; and|
|●||interest rate levels and volatility, which may affect the accessibility of short-term and long-term financing on desirable terms.|
In addition, we face significant competition in acquiring customers that own portfolios of attractive properties, and the value of the properties that we manage may decline, which could negatively affect rental rates charged and certain amounts payable to us that are based on rental rates.
We may not be able to effectively manage our growth, and any failure to do so may have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.
Since commencing operations in Minnesota in 2007, we have grown rapidly, assembling a portfolio of corporate and franchise operated managed properties in 20 states and the District of Columbia as of September 30, 2022. In addition, we have created a software platform that is experiencing increased use that allows single-family rental real estate owners to buy or sell properties that often leads to use of our property management services. Our future operating results may depend on our ability to effectively manage our growth, which is dependent, in part, upon our ability to:
|●||acquire an increasing number of single-family real estate properties to manage and service across a larger geographic area while maintaining a high level of resident satisfaction and building and enhancing our brand;|
|●||increase usage of our marketplace for the sale and purchase of single-family real estate properties by investment owners;|
|●||identify and supervise a number of suitable third parties on which we rely to provide certain services outside of property management to our properties;|
|●||attract, integrate, and retain new management and operations associates; and|
|●||continue to improve our operational and financial controls and reporting procedures and systems.|
We can provide no assurance that we will be able to manage our properties or grow our business efficiently or effectively, or without incurring significant additional expenses. Any failure to do so may have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.
If we fail to continuously innovate, improve and expand our brokerage and management platform to create value for our customers, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be negatively impacted.
Our success depends on our ability to continuously innovate and improve our platform to provide value to our customers and their tenants. As a result, we have invested and plan to continue to invest significant resources in research and development to improve and maintain our platform and support our technology infrastructure. Our investments in our platform allow us to provide an expanded suite of technology offerings, which we believe separate us from our competitors. However, there can be no guarantee that in the future we can continue to launch new products and services in a timely manner, or at all. Even if we do launch new products and services, they might not be utilized by our customers and tenants at the rate we expect, or at all. While we believe these investments help our customers succeed, there can be no guarantee that we will retain our customers across the markets we serve, nor that our investments will lead to increased utilization of our platform or that increased utilization of our platform will drive increased productivity or revenues for us.
Additionally, at times, we may expand our technology offerings by acquiring accretive real estate technology companies. While we think these strategic acquisitions could expand our capabilities into critical components of the transaction, our customers may not value these additions and may not utilize them at the rate we expect, which may negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our efforts to expand our management, marketplace and adjacent services businesses and the offering of additional adjacent services may not be successful.
We have grown our management, marketplace and adjacent services business rapidly since inception. We plan to continue our expansion; however, there is no guarantee that we will be successful or will expand at the rate that we anticipate.
In addition, we recently expanded our adjacent services offerings to include maintenance and other services in certain markets. We believe that the synergies between these adjacent services and our management business increase transparency and deliver a more integrated offering to our customers and thus, provide additional value to our customers and tenants. However, currently, our adjacent services are available only in certain markets and utilization rates remain low. Further, in order for us to be successful in the adjacent services market, we will need to continue to expand these services in other markets and encourage our customers and tenants to utilize the services in the new markets. If we are not successful or if these services do not prove desirable to our customers, these services may not result in additional value to our customers and we may not realize the expected benefits (including anticipated revenue), which could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, while we plan to expand our adjacent services to other offerings, there is no guarantee that we will do so or be successful.
We may not be able to successfully develop and introduce new or upgraded information, analytics and online marketplace services that are attractive to our users and advertisers or successfully combine or shift focus from current services with less demand, which could decrease our revenues and our profitability.
Our future business and financial success will depend on our ability to continue to anticipate the needs of owners of single-family rental real estate and to successfully develop and introduce new and upgraded services, including services that make our management and marketplaces useful for users.
To be successful, we must be able to quickly adapt to changes in the single-family rental real estate industry, as well as rapid technological changes by continually enhancing our information, analytics and online management and marketplace services. As a result, we must continually invest resources in research and development to improve the appeal and comprehensiveness of our services and effectively incorporate new technologies.
Developing new services and upgrades to services, as well as integrating and coordinating current services, imposes heavy burdens on our systems department, product development team, management and researchers. The processes are costly and our efforts to develop, integrate and enhance our services may not be successful. In addition, launching and selling a new or upgraded service puts additional strain on our sales and marketing resources. If we are unsuccessful in obtaining greater market share or in obtaining widespread adoption of new or upgraded services, we may not be able to offset the expenses associated with the development, launch and marketing of the new or upgraded service, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial results. For example, to generate brand awareness and site traffic for our marketplaces, we have and will continue to invest significant resources in multi-channel marketing campaigns. If these marketing campaigns do not increase brand awareness, site traffic and/or revenues, the cost of these campaigns could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.
In addition, as we integrate acquired businesses, we continue to assess which services we believe will best meet the needs of our customers. If we eliminate or phase out a service and are not able to offer and successfully market and sell an alternative service, our revenue may decrease, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
We may be unable to increase awareness of our brands, including Renters Warehouse and Appreciate, which could adversely affect our business.
We rely heavily on our brands, which we believe are key assets of our company. Awareness and differentiation of our brands are important for attracting and expanding the number of users of, and subscribers to, our online management and marketplace products. We expect to continue to invest significantly in sales and marketing in 2023 as we seek to grow the numbers of users of, subscribers to and advertisers on, our marketplaces. Our methods of advertising may not be successful in increasing brand awareness or, ultimately, be cost effective. If we are unable to maintain or enhance user awareness of our brands, or if we are unable to recover our marketing and advertising costs through increased usage of our services, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
If internet search engines do not prominently feature our websites on the search engine results page, traffic to our websites could decrease and, if we are unable to maintain or increase traffic to our marketplaces, our business and operating results could be adversely affected.
Our ability to generate revenues from our management and marketplace businesses depends, in part, on our ability to attract users to our websites. Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and other internet search engines drive traffic to our websites. Our ability to maintain prominent search result rankings and positioning is not entirely within our control. Our competitors’ Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing efforts may result in webpages from their websites receiving higher rankings than the webpages from our websites. Internet search engines could revise their algorithms and methodologies in ways that would adversely affect our search result rankings. Internet search engine providers could form partnerships or enter into other business relationships with our competitors resulting in competitors’ sites receiving higher search result rankings. Internet search engines are increasingly placing alternative search features (such as featured snippets, local map results and other immersive experiences) on the search engine results page above or more prominently than search engine results. If our search result rankings are not prominently displayed, traffic to our websites may decline which could slow the growth of our user base. Our websites have experienced fluctuations in search result rankings in the past and we anticipate similar fluctuations will occur in the future. If we experience a material reduction in the number of users directed to our websites through internet search engines or otherwise fail to maintain or increase traffic to our marketplaces, our ability to acquire additional subscribers and deliver leads to and retain existing subscribers could be adversely affected. As a result, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. Our marketing expenses may increase in connection with our efforts to maintain or increase traffic to our websites. Increases in our operating expenses could negatively impact our operating results if we are unable to generate more revenues through increased sales of subscriptions to our marketplace products.
We operate in highly competitive markets and we may be unable to compete successfully against our existing and future competitors.
We operate in a competitive and fragmented industry, and we expect competition to continue to increase. We believe that our ability to compete depends upon many factors both within and beyond our control, including the following:
|●||the timing and market acceptance of our products and services for our customers, including new products and services offered by us or our competitors;|
|●||the attractiveness of our adjacent services for customers as well as their tenants;|
|●||our ability to attract top engineering talent to further develop and improve our technology to support our business model; and|
|●||our brand strength relative to our competitors.|
Our business model depends on our ability to continue to attract customers to our platform, and to enhance their engagement in a cost effective manner. We face competition on a national level and in each of our markets from traditional real estate management firms and traditional real estate agents, some of which operate nationally and others that are limited to a specific region or regions. We also face competition from real estate technology companies, including a growing number of internet based brokerages and others who operate with a variety of business models.
New entrants, particularly smaller companies offering point solutions, continue to join our market categories. However, our existing and potential competitors include real estate technology companies and real estate brokerage firms and management companies that operate, or could develop, national and/or local businesses offering similar services, including real estate brokerage and management services, to home buyers or sellers or institutional owners. Several of these real estate companies which may enter our market categories could have significant competitive advantages, including better name recognition, greater resources, lower cost of funds and additional access to capital, and more types of offerings than we currently do. These companies may also have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments than we do. In addition, these competitors could devote greater financial, technical and other resources than we have available to develop, grow or improve their businesses.
Because a material portion of our business is concentrated in certain geographic areas, any adverse economic, real estate or business conditions in these geographic areas could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.
A material portion of our real estate brokerage offices and agents are concentrated in certain geographic areas, such as Minnesota, Arizona, Texas and Georgia. Local and regional real estate and economic conditions could differ materially from prevailing conditions in other parts of the U.S. While overall the U.S. real estate market could be performing well, a downturn in a geographic area where we have a material presence could result in a decline in our gross income and could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.
Additionally, a material portion of our single-family rental leasing transactions take place in high end markets. Any downturn in high end markets could result in a decline in our gross income and could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.
Our quarterly results and other operating metrics may fluctuate from quarter to quarter, which makes these metrics difficult to predict.
Our results of operations have fluctuated in the past and are likely to fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year in the future for a variety of reasons, many of which are outside of our control and difficult to predict. As a result, you should not rely upon our historical results of operations as indicators of future performance. Numerous factors can influence our results of operations, including:
|●||our ability to attract and retain customers;|
|●||our ability to continuously innovate, improve and expand our platform;|
|●||changes in interest rates or mortgage underwriting standards;|
|●||the actions of our competitors;|
|●||costs and expenses related to the strategic acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures;|
|●||increases in and timing of operating expenses that we may incur to grow and expand our operations and to remain competitive;|
|●||changes in the legislative or regulatory environment, including with respect to the leasing single-family rental real estate;|
|●||system failures or outages, or actual or perceived breaches of security or privacy, and the costs associated with preventing, responding to, or remediating any such failures, outages or breaches;|
|●||adverse judgments, settlements, or other litigation related costs and the fees associated with investigating and defending claims;|
|●||the overall tax rate for our business and the impact of any changes in tax laws or judicial or regulatory interpretations of tax laws, which are recorded in the period such laws are enacted or interpretations are issued and may significantly affect the effective tax rate of that period;|
|●||the application of new or changing financial accounting standards or practices; and|
|●||changes in regional or national business or macroeconomic conditions, including as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which may impact the other factors described above.|
In addition, our results of operations are tied to certain key business metrics and non GAAP financial measures that have fluctuated in the past and are likely to fluctuate in the future. As a result of such variability, our historical performance, including from recent quarters or years, may not be a meaningful indicator of future performance and period to period comparisons also may not be meaningful. Furthermore, there is no assurance we will be able to meet our updated projections from September 2022.
If we pursue acquisitions that are not successfully completed or integrated into our existing operations, our business, financial condition or results of operations may be adversely affected.
We continue to evaluate a wide array of potential strategic opportunities, including acquisitions of businesses in new geographies and acquisitions of our franchises. We may engage in acquisitions of businesses to provide us with greater access to a given market. At times, we may also look to acquisitions to provide us with additional technology to further enhance our platform and accelerate our ability to offer new products or to expand our adjacent services offerings. These strategic acquisitions could be material to our financial condition and results of operations, but there can be no guarantee that they will result in the intended benefits to our business, and we may not successfully evaluate or utilize the acquired businesses, products, or technology, or accurately forecast the financial impact of a strategic acquisition. In addition, integrating an acquired company, business or technology is risky and may result in unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures, particularly in new markets or with respect to new adjacent services.
Our failure to address risks or other problems encountered in connection with future strategic acquisitions could cause us to fail to realize the anticipated benefits of such strategic acquisitions, incur unanticipated liabilities, and harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Strategic acquisitions may require us to issue additional equity securities, spend a substantial portion of our available cash, or incur debt or liabilities, amortize expenses related to intangible assets, or incur write offs of goodwill, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and dilute the economic and voting rights of our then current stockholders.
Our dependence upon third parties that support critical functions of our business, primarily Salesforce, and any disruption of or interference with our use of these third-party services, may have a material adverse effect on our operating results or reputation if the third parties fail to perform.
Though we are internally managed, we use local and national third-party vendors and service providers to provide certain services for our properties. For example, we typically engage third-party home improvement professionals with respect to certain maintenance and specialty services, such as HVAC, roofing, painting, and floor installations. Selecting, managing, and supervising these third-party service providers requires significant resources and expertise, and because our portfolio consists of geographically dispersed managed properties, our ability to adequately select, manage, and supervise such third parties may be more limited or subject to greater inefficiencies than if our managed properties were more geographically concentrated. An overall labor shortage experienced by our vendors, lack of skilled labor, increased turnover, or labor inflation, caused by COVID-19 or as a result of general macroeconomic factors, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, or operating results. We generally do not have exclusive or long-term contractual relationships with third-party providers and we can provide no assurance that we will have uninterrupted or unlimited access to their services. If we do not select, manage, and supervise appropriate third parties to provide these services, our reputation and financial results may suffer.
We rely on the systems of our third-party service providers, their ability to perform key operations on our behalf in a timely manner and in accordance with agreed levels of service, and their ability to attract and retain sufficient qualified associates to perform our work. A failure in the systems of one of our third-party service providers, or their inability to perform in accordance with the terms of our contracts or to retain sufficient qualified associates, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Notwithstanding our efforts to implement and enforce strong policies and practices regarding service providers, we may not successfully detect and prevent fraud, misconduct, incompetence, or theft by our third-party service providers. In addition, any removal or termination of third-party service providers would require us to seek new vendors or providers, which would create delays and adversely affect our operations. Additionally, since the products and services of some of our third-party service providers, including Salesforce, are highly configured for our needs, it may be time consuming, expensive, and difficult to replace such products and services in the event of any such removal or termination. Poor performance by such third-party service providers may reflect poorly on us and could significantly damage our reputation among desirable residents or our customers. In the event of fraud or misconduct by a third-party, we could also be exposed to material liability and be held responsible for damages, fines, or penalties and our reputation may suffer. In the event of failure by general contractors to pay their subcontractors, our customers’ properties may be subject to filings of mechanics or materialmen liens, which we may need to resolve to remain in compliance with our agreements and for which indemnification from the general contractors may not be available.
We rely on information supplied by prospective residents in managing our business.
We evaluate prospective residents for our customers in a standardized manner through the use of a third-party resident screening vendor partner. Our resident screening process includes obtaining appropriate identification, a thorough evaluation of credit history and household income, a review of the applicant’s rental history, and a background check for criminal activity. We assist our customers in making leasing decisions based on information in rental applications completed by a prospective resident and screened by our third-party partner, and we cannot be certain that this information is accurate. Additionally, these applications are submitted to us at the time of evaluation of a prospective resident, and we do not require residents to provide us with updated information during the terms of their leases, notwithstanding the fact that this information can, and frequently does, change over time. For example, increases in unemployment levels or adverse economic conditions in certain of our markets may adversely affect the creditworthiness of our residents in such markets. Even though this information is not updated, we will use it to evaluate the characteristics of our customers’ portfolio over time. If resident supplied information is inaccurate or our residents’ creditworthiness declines over time, our customers may make poor or imperfect leasing decisions and revenue generated by our customers’ portfolios may contain more risk than we believe.
We are still building our operational expertise and systems. If we are unable to complete that successfully, our ability to operate profitably could be adversely affected.
As a public company, we face increased legal, accounting, administrative and other costs and expenses that we did not incur as a private company. The Sarbanes Oxley Act, including the requirements of Section 404, as well as rules and regulations subsequently implemented by the SEC, the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and the rules and regulations promulgated and to be promulgated thereunder, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and Nasdaq, impose additional reporting and other obligations on public companies. Compliance with public company requirements will increase costs and make certain activities more time consuming. A number of those requirements require us to carry out activities we have not done previously. For example, we created new board committees and adopted new internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures. In addition, expenses associated with SEC reporting requirements will be incurred. Furthermore, if any issues in complying with those requirements are identified (for example, if we identify a material weakness or significant deficiency in the internal control over financial reporting), we could incur additional costs rectifying those issues, and the existence of those issues could harm our reputation or investor perceptions of us. It may also be more expensive to obtain director and officer liability insurance. Risks associated with our status as a public company may make it more difficult to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers. The additional reporting and other obligations imposed by these rules and regulations will increase legal and financial compliance costs and the costs of related legal, accounting and administrative activities. These increased costs will require us to divert a significant amount of money that could otherwise be used to expand the business and achieve strategic objectives. Advocacy efforts by stockholders and third parties may also prompt additional changes in governance and reporting requirements, which could further increase costs. In addition, we may be subject to stockholder activism, which can lead to additional substantial costs, distract management, and impact the manner in which we operate our business in ways that we cannot currently anticipate. As a result of disclosure of information in this prospectus and in filings required of a public company, our business and financial condition will become more visible, which may result in threatened or actual litigation, including by competitors.
Substantial portions of our anticipated revenue growth and retention relies on attracting institutional buyers of single-family rental properties. The failure to attract these buyers, or the loss of or inactivity of existing institutional clients, particularly on our Marketplace platform could significantly impact our current and anticipated revenue.
Our future revenue growth depends on attracting, retaining and stimulating the activity of institutional buyers. By their nature, institutional buyers are larger individually than retail customers, resulting in higher dependency on a typical institutional customer than any individual retail customer. Our ability to attract and retain such customers depends on the profitability of our business, which is affected by general economic and business conditions worldwide as well as global trends in the short and long-term accommodation regulatory landscape. In addition, we believe that our revenue growth depends upon a number of factors, including:
|●||the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the travel and accommodations industries;|
|●||our ability to retain and grow the number of customers, tenants and available listings on our platform, particularly institutional buyers on our Marketplace platform;|
|●||events beyond our control such as pandemics and other health concerns, trade disputes, economic downturns, severe weather and other natural disasters, and the impact of climate change on certain rental destinations;|
|●||the legal and regulatory landscape and changes in the application of existing laws and regulations or adoption of new laws and regulations that impact our business, customers, tenants, including changes in short-term and long-term occupancy, tax laws and real estate broker laws;|
|●||the attractiveness of single-family home rental;|
|●||the level of consumer awareness and perception of our brand;|
|●||our ability to build and strengthen trust and safety on our platform and among members of our community;|
|●||the level of spending on brand and performance marketing to attract customers and tenants to our platform;|
|●||our ability to grow new offerings and tiers and to deepen our presence in certain geographies;|
|●||timing, effectiveness, and costs of expansion and upgrades to our platform and infrastructure; and|
|●||other risks described elsewhere in this prospectus.|
We are dependent on a single asset class, which exposes us to downturns in the single-family rental real estate sector.
Our current strategy is to assist clients acquire interests primarily in single-family rental real estate throughout the United States. As a result, we are subject to the risks inherent in investing in a single asset class. A downturn in demand for single-family rental real estate may have a pronounced effects on our operations.
We rely heavily on the Salesforce platform to drive homeowner and tenant acquisition. Our continued ability to leverage our investments in our leasing and property management software, which are built on the Salesforce platform, requires the continued viability of, support for and improvements to that platform.
We believe that increasing awareness of our brand among potential homeowners and tenants is an important aspect of our efforts to increase traffic on our platform and grow our revenue. We rely heavily on the Salesforce platform to, among other things, drive homeowner and tenant acquisition and increase awareness regarding our brand. Salesforce Cloud is specifically used for brand recognition. Salesforce is also used extensively for other purposes, such as: customer service and case management; repair and maintenance management; property accounting, operational reporting, and more. In terms of marketing spend, our Salesforce marketing and drip campaigns are vital to our planned growth. Marketing and advertising spend is conducted outside the Salesforce platform, but leads are managed and nurtured through Salesforce. We have invested considerable resources in these efforts to date and expect to continue to invest in this platform for continued viability of, support for and improvements to that platform as a key component of our growth strategy. Our marketing efforts are expensive and may not be cost effective or successful. If our competitors spend increasingly more on marketing efforts or are more effective in such efforts, we may not be able to maintain and grow traffic to our platform. The termination of our relationship with Salesforce could significantly impair our ability to operate our business.
Our management team will be required to evaluate the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. If we are unable to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy of our financial reports.
We will be required to maintain internal control over financial reporting and to report any material weaknesses and significant deficiencies in such internal control. Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act requires that we evaluate and determine the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Our independent registered public accounting firm will not be required to deliver an attestation report on the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting.
When evaluating our internal control over financial reporting, we may identify material weaknesses or significant deficiencies that we may not be able to remediate in time to meet the applicable deadline imposed upon us for compliance with the requirements of Section 404. If we identify any material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting in the future or are unable to comply with the requirements of Section 404 in a timely manner or assert that our internal control over financial reporting is ineffective, we could fail to meet our reporting obligations or be required to restate our financial statements for prior periods.
In addition, our internal control over financial reporting will not prevent or detect all errors and fraud. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation can provide absolute assurance that misstatements due to error or fraud will not occur or that all control issues and instances of fraud will be detected.
If there are material weaknesses, significant deficiencies or failures in our ability to meet any of the requirements related to the maintenance and reporting of our internal control, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports and that could cause the price of our securities to decline. In addition, we could become subject to investigations by the applicable stock exchange, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional management attention and which could adversely affect our business.
We identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting. This material weakness could continue to adversely affect our ability to report our results of operations and financial condition accurately and in a timely manner.
Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with GAAP. Our management is likewise required, on a quarterly basis, to evaluate the effectiveness of our internal controls and to disclose any changes and material weaknesses identified through such evaluation in those internal controls. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.
As of and for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 we identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting related to limited accounting personnel and other resources with which to address our internal control over financial reporting. As a result of this material weakness, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2021 or 2020. This material weakness could have resulted in a material misstatement of our financial statements had it gone undetected.
To respond to and correct this material weakness, we devoted, and plan to continue to devote, significant effort and resources to the remediation and improvement of our internal control over financial reporting. While we have processes to identify and appropriately apply applicable accounting requirements, we plan to enhance these processes to better evaluate our research and understanding of the nuances of the complex accounting standards that apply to our financial statements. Our plans at this time include providing enhanced access to accounting literature, research materials and documents and increased communication among our personnel and third-party professionals with whom we consult regarding complex accounting applications. The elements of our remediation plan can only be accomplished over time, and we can offer no assurance that these initiatives will ultimately have the intended effects.
Any failure to maintain such internal control could adversely impact our ability to report our financial position and results from operations on a timely and accurate basis. If our financial statements are not accurate, investors may not have a complete understanding of our operations. Likewise, if our financial statements are not filed on a timely basis, we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the stock exchange on which the Appreciate’s capital stock is listed, the SEC or other regulatory authorities. In either case, there could result a material adverse effect on our business. Failure to timely file will cause us to be ineligible to utilize short form registration statements on Form S-3 or Form S-4, which may impair our ability to obtain capital in a timely fashion to execute our business strategies or issue shares to effect an acquisition. Ineffective internal controls could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could have a negative effect on the trading price of our securities.
We can give no assurance that the measures we have taken and plans to take in the future will remediate the material weaknesses identified or that any additional material weaknesses or restatements of financial results will not arise in the future due to a failure to implement and maintain adequate internal control over financial reporting or circumvention of these controls. In addition, even if we are successful in strengthening our controls and procedures, in the future those controls and procedures may not be adequate to prevent or identify irregularities or errors or to facilitate the fair presentation of our financial statements.
We rely on assumptions, estimates, and business data to calculate our key performance indicators and other business metrics, and real or perceived inaccuracies in these metrics may harm our reputation and negatively affect our business.
Certain of our performance metrics are calculated using third-party applications or internal company data that have not been independently verified. While these numbers are based on what we believe to be reasonable calculations for the applicable period of measurement, there are inherent challenges in measuring such information. In addition, our measure of certain metrics may differ from estimates published by third parties or from similarly titled metrics of our competitors due to differences in methodology and as a result our results may not be comparable to our competitors.
Our estimates of market opportunity may prove to be inaccurate.
Market opportunity estimates are subject to significant uncertainty and are based on assumptions and estimates that may not prove to be accurate. The variables that go into the calculation of our market opportunity are subject to change over time, and there is no guarantee that our market opportunity estimates will reflect actual revenue that we will generate from our platform in the future. Any expansion in our markets depends on a number of factors, including the cost, performance, and perceived value associated with our platform and the products and services of our competitors.
Changes in accounting standards, subjective assumptions and estimates used by management related to complex accounting matters could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America, or GAAP, and related accounting pronouncements, implementation guidance and interpretations with regard to a wide range of matters, such as revenue recognition, lease accounting, stock based compensation, asset impairments, valuation reserves, income taxes, debt, derivative valuation, the valuation of membership units issued to extinguish financial liabilities, and the valuation of membership units issued to employees and non-employees in connection with services rendered and the fair value and associated useful lives of acquired long lived assets, intangible assets and goodwill, are highly complex and involve many subjective assumptions, estimates and judgments made by management. Changes in these rules or their interpretations or changes in underlying assumptions, estimates or judgments made by management could significantly change our reported results and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The failure to successfully implement and maintain accounting systems could materially adversely impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
If our third-party systems do not operate as intended or do not scale with anticipated growth in our business, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting could be adversely affected. Any failure to develop, implement, or maintain effective internal controls related to our accounting or reporting systems could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. In addition, if we experience interruptions in service or operational difficulties with our third-party systems, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected.
Our platform is highly complex and our proprietary software may contain undetected errors.
Our platform is highly complex and the proprietary software and code underlying our platform is interconnected and may contain undetected errors, bugs, or vulnerabilities, some of which may only be discovered after the code or software has been released. We release or update software code regularly and this practice may result in the more frequent introduction of errors, bugs, or vulnerabilities into the proprietary software underlying our platform, which can impact the agent and their client experience on our platform. Additionally, due to the interoperative nature of the software and the systems underlying our platform, modifications to certain parts of our code, including changes to our mobile app, website, systems or third-party application programming interfaces on which our platform rely, could have an unintended impact on other sections of our software or systems, which may result in errors, bugs, or vulnerabilities to our platform. Any errors, bugs, or vulnerabilities discovered in our code after release could result in damage to our reputation, loss of our agents or their clients, loss of revenue or liability for damages, any of which could adversely affect our growth prospects and our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Furthermore, our development and testing processes may not detect inefficiencies, errors, bugs, system misconfiguration, technical problems, or vulnerabilities in our technology offerings prior to their implementation as they may not be identified or detected prior to or at the time of implementation. Any inefficiencies, errors, bugs, system misconfiguration, technical problems or vulnerabilities arising in our technology offerings after their release could reduce the quality of our products, system performance, or interfere with our agents’ access to and use of our technology and offerings.
Our management team has limited experience in operating a public company.
Our management team has limited experience managing a publicly-traded company, interacting with public company investors, and complying with the increasingly complex laws pertaining to public companies. Our management team may not successfully or efficiently manage our transition to being a public company subject to significant regulatory oversight and reporting obligations under the federal securities laws and the continuous scrutiny of securities analysts and investors. Additionally, they may not be able to implement and effect programs and policies in an effective and timely manner that adequately respond to such increased legal and regulatory compliance and reporting requirements. We may also not have adequate personnel with the appropriate level of knowledge, experience, and training in the accounting policies, practices or internal controls over financial reporting required of public companies in the U.S. The development and implementation of the standards and controls necessary for us to achieve the level of accounting standards required of a public company in the U.S. may require costs greater than expected. It is possible that we will be required to expand our employee base and hire additional employees to support our operations as a public company, which will increase our operating costs in future periods. These new obligations and constituents will require significant attention from our senior management and could divert their attention away from the day to day management of our business, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our company culture has contributed to our success, and if we cannot maintain this culture as we grow, our business could be harmed.
We believe that our company culture, which promotes innovation and entrepreneurship, has been critical to our success. We are guided by our principles including dreaming big, moving fast, learning from reality and being solutions driven. However, as we grow, we may face challenges that may affect our ability to sustain our culture, including:
|●||failure to identify, attract, reward and retain people in leadership positions in our organization who share and further our culture, values and mission;|
|●||the increasing size and geographic diversity of our workforce;|
|●||failure to manage or engage our employees working remotely;|
|●||the inability to achieve adherence to our internal policies and core values;|
|●||the continued challenges of a rapidly evolving industry;|
|●||the increasing need to develop expertise in new areas of business that affect us;|
|●||negative perception of our treatment of employees or our response to employee sentiment related to political or social causes or actions of management; and|
|●||the integration of new personnel and businesses from acquisitions.|
In addition, we have at times undertaken workforce reductions to better align our operations with our strategic priorities, to manage our cost structure or in connection with acquisitions. Although we have increased our workforce to above pre pandemic levels, there can be no assurance that these actions will not adversely affect employee morale, our culture and our ability to attract and retain employees. If we are not able to maintain our culture, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Some of our potential losses may not be covered by insurance. We may not be able to obtain or maintain adequate insurance coverage.
We maintain insurance to cover costs and losses from certain risk exposures in the ordinary course of our operations, but our insurance does not cover all of the costs and losses from all events. We are responsible for certain retentions and deductibles that vary by policy, and we may suffer losses that exceed our insurance coverage limits by a material amount. We may also incur costs or suffer losses arising from events against which we have no insurance coverage. In addition, large scale market trends or the occurrence of adverse events in our business may raise our cost of procuring insurance or limit the amount or type of insurance we are able to secure. We may not be able to maintain our current coverage, or obtain new coverage in the future, on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Incurring uninsured or underinsured costs or losses could harm our business.
Third parties with whom we do business may be unable to honor their obligations to us or their actions may put us at risk.
We rely on third parties for various aspects of our business, including technology collaborations, advertising partners and development services agreements. Although we require these parties to sign our data security addendum, their actions may put our business, reputation and brand at risk. In many cases, third parties may be given access to sensitive and proprietary information or personal data in order to provide services, and they may misappropriate and engage in unauthorized use of our information, technology or customers’ or tenants’ data. In addition, the failure of these third parties to provide adequate services and technologies, or the failure of the third parties to adequately maintain or update their services and technologies, could result in a disruption to our business operations. Further, disruptions in the mobile application industry, financial markets, economic downturns, poor business decisions, or reputational harm may adversely affect our partners and may increase their propensity to engage in fraud or otherwise illegal activity which could harm our business reputation, and they may not be able to continue honoring their obligations to us, or we may cease our arrangements with them. Alternative arrangements and services may not be available to us on commercially reasonable terms or at all and we may experience business interruptions upon a transition to an alternative partner or vendor. If we lose one or more business relationships, or experience a degradation of services, our business could be harmed and our financial results could be adversely affected.
The extent of the future impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business and financial results will depend largely on future developments, which are highly uncertain and difficult to predict.
The extent of the future impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business and financial results will depend largely on future developments, including emergence of new variants of the COVID-19 virus, the severity and transmission rates of the new variants, the duration and extent of the spread of the virus (including new variants), the timing, availability and effectiveness of vaccines (including booster shots) and vaccination rates, the prevalence of local, regional and national restrictions and regulatory orders in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the extent and effectiveness of containment actions taken, all of which are highly uncertain and difficult to predict. Additionally, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, a significant impact around the world, including the U.S., and it is difficult to assess or predict its future impact on the U.S. and global economy. As a result, a number of macroeconomic factors related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to the increase in unemployment rates and stagnant or declining wages, loss of consumer confidence in the economy and recessionary conditions, lower yields on individuals’ investment portfolios or volatility and declines in the stock market, lower rental prices in certain markets, reduced demand to purchase homes, more stringent mortgage financing conditions, including increased down payment requirements and volatility in the mortgage interest rates, inflation rate and pressures, had, and could have in the future, an adverse impact on consumer spending, including on residential real estate purchase and lease transactions, and resulted, and may in the future result, in changes to home purchasing, selling, renting and financing trends.
Our success depends on a high volume of transactions and increasing the number of single-family homes in our network throughout the markets in which we operate. This transaction volume affects all of the ways that we generate revenue. If the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has an adverse impact on the volume of single-family residential real estate lease or sale transactions, our business and financial results in future periods could be materially and adversely impacted.
In addition, many of our employees continue to work remotely, which may adversely affect our efficiency and morale. As we continue to evaluate our return to work approach, it will likely vary across geographies depending on local health rules and regulations. Any future part or full time re opening could expose our employees to health risks and could result in additional costs to us. Further, certain employees may not agree with our return to work approach and as a result may seek employment elsewhere.
Catastrophic events may disrupt our business.
Natural disasters or other catastrophic events may cause damage or disruption to our operations, real estate commerce, and the global economy, and thus could harm our business. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic and the reactions of governments, markets, and the general public to the COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in and may continue to have a number of consequences for our business and results of operations, the ultimate magnitude of which is difficult to predict. Additionally, properties located in the markets in which we operate, including New York, Northern California, Southern California and South Florida, are more susceptible to certain natural hazards (such as fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or hail) than properties in other parts of the country.
In the event of a major fire, hurricane, earthquake, windstorm, tornado, flood or catastrophic event such as pandemic, flood, power loss, telecommunications failure, cyberattack, war, or terrorist attack, we may be unable to continue our operations and may endure reputational harm, delays in developing our platform and solutions, breaches of data security and loss of critical data, all of which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. Closures of governmental offices in charge of real property records, including tax or lien related records, could adversely affect our ability to conduct operations in the affected geographies. Also, the insurance we maintain would likely not be adequate to cover our losses resulting from disasters or other business interruptions.
As we grow our business, the need for business continuity planning and disaster recovery plans will increase in significance. If we are unable to develop adequate plans to ensure that our business functions continue to operate during and after a disaster, and successfully execute on those plans in the event of a disaster or emergency, our business and reputation would be harmed.
We are subject to multiple risks related to the credit card and debit card payments we accept.
We accept payments through credit and debit card transactions. For credit and debit card payments, we pay interchange and other fees, which may increase over time. An increase in those fees may require us to increase the prices we charge and would increase our operating expenses, either of which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We depend on processing vendors to complete credit and debit card transactions, both for payments owed to Appreciate directly and for payments to other third parties, such as payments made between two third-party platform users such as renters and landlords. If we or our processing vendors fail to maintain adequate systems for the authorization and processing of credit card transactions, it could cause one or more of the major credit card companies to disallow our continued use of their payment products. If these systems fail to work properly and, as a result, we do not charge our customers’ or their tenants’ credit cards on a timely basis or at all, our business, revenue, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed. In addition, if we add, eliminate or change any of our processing vendors, we may experience processing disruptions and increased operating expenses, either of which could harm our business, financial condition, or results of operations.
The payment methods that we offer also subject us to potential fraud and theft by criminals, who are becoming increasingly sophisticated, seeking to obtain unauthorized access to or exploit weaknesses that may exist in the payment systems. If we fail to comply with applicable rules or requirements for the payment methods we accept, or if payment-related data are compromised due to a breach of data, we may be liable for significant costs incurred by payment card issuing banks and other third parties or subject to fines and higher transaction fees, or our ability to accept or facilitate certain types of payments may be impaired. In addition, our customers could lose confidence in certain payment types, which may result in a shift to other payment types or potential changes to our payment systems that may result in higher costs. If we fail to adequately control fraudulent credit card transactions, we may face civil liability, diminished public perception of our security measures, and significantly higher credit card related costs, each of which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We are also subject to payment card association operating rules, certification requirements and rules governing electronic funds transfers, which could change or be reinterpreted to make it more difficult for us to comply. We are required to comply with payment card industry security standards, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (the “PCI DSS”). Failing to comply with those standards may violate payment card association operating rules, federal and state laws and regulations, and the terms of our contracts with payment processors. Any failure to comply fully also may subject us to fines, penalties, damages and civil liability, and may result in the loss or impairment of our ability to accept credit and debit card payments. Further, there is no guarantee that such compliance will prevent illegal or improper use of our payment systems or the theft, loss, or misuse of data pertaining to credit and debit cards, card holders and transactions.
If we are unable to maintain our chargeback rate or refund rates at acceptable levels, our processing vendors may increase our transaction fees or terminate their relationships with us. Any increases in our credit and debit card fees could harm our results of operations, particularly if we elect not to raise our rates for our service to offset the increase. The termination of our ability to process payments on any major credit or debit card could significantly impair our ability to operate our business.
We are subject to payment-related fraud and an increase in or failure to deal effectively with fraud, fraudulent activities, fictitious transactions, or illegal transactions would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We process a significant volume and dollar value of transactions on a daily basis. When renters do not fulfill their obligations we have incurred and will continue to incur losses from claims by customers, and these losses may be substantial. Such instances have and can lead to the reversal of payments received by us for such bookings, referred to as a “chargeback.” Our ability to detect and combat fraudulent schemes, which have become increasingly common and sophisticated, could be adversely impacted by the adoption of new payment methods, the emergence and innovation of new technology platforms, including mobile and other devices, and our growth in certain regions, including in regions with a history of elevated fraudulent activity. We expect that technically knowledgeable criminals will continue to attempt to circumvent our anti-fraud systems. In addition, the payment card networks have rules around acceptable chargeback ratios. If we are unable to effectively combat fraud on our platform, combat the use of fraudulent or stolen credit cards, or otherwise maintain or lower our current levels of charge backs, we may be subject to fines and higher transaction fees or be unable to continue to accept card payments because payment card networks have revoked our access to their networks, any of which would materially adversely impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our payments platform is susceptible to potentially illegal or improper uses, including money laundering, transactions in violation of economic and trade sanctions, corruption and bribery, terrorist financing, fraudulent listings, customer account takeovers, or the facilitation of other illegal activity. Use of our payments platform for illegal or improper uses has subjected us, and may subject us in the future, to claims, lawsuits, and government and regulatory investigations, inquiries, or requests, which could result in liability and reputational harm for us. We have taken measures to detect and reduce fraud and illegal activities, but these measures need to be continually improved and may add friction to our booking process. These measures may also not be effective against fraud and illegal activities, particularly new and continually evolving forms of circumvention. If these measures do not succeed in reducing fraud, our business, results of operations, and financial condition would be materially and adversely affected.
We are subject to payment network rules and any material modification of our payment card acceptance privileges could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
The loss of our credit and debit card acceptance privileges or the significant modification of the terms under which we obtain card acceptance privileges would significantly limit our business model since many tenants pay using credit or debit cards. We are required by our payment processors to comply with payment card network operating rules, including the PCI DSS. Under the PCI DSS, we are required to adopt and implement internal controls over the use, storage, and transmission of card data to help prevent credit card fraud. If we fail to comply with the rules and regulations adopted by the payment card networks, including the PCI DSS, we would be in breach of our contractual obligations to payment processors and merchant banks. Such failure to comply may damage our relationship with payment card networks, subject us to restrictions, fines, penalties, damages, and civil liability, and could eventually prevent us from processing or accepting payment cards, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Moreover, the payment card networks could adopt new operating rules or interpret or reinterpret existing rules that we or our payment processors might find difficult or even impossible to comply with, or costly to implement. As a result, we could lose our ability to give consumers the option of using payment cards to make their payments or the choice of currency in which they would like their payment card to be charged. Further, there is no guarantee that, even if we comply with the rules and regulations adopted by the payment card networks, we will be able to maintain our payment card acceptance privileges. We also cannot guarantee that our compliance with network rules or the PCI DSS will prevent illegal or improper use of our payments platform or the theft, loss, or misuse of the credit or debit card data of customers or participants, or a security breach. We are also required to submit to periodic audits, self-assessments, and other assessments of our compliance with the PCI DSS. If an audit, self-assessment, or other assessment indicates that we need to take steps to remediate any deficiencies, such remediation efforts may distract our management team and require us to undertake costly and time consuming remediation efforts, and we could lose our payment card acceptance privileges.
We are also subject to network operating rules and guidelines promulgated by the National Automated Clearing House Association (“NACHA”) relating to payment transactions we process using the Automated Clearing House Network. Like the payment networks, NACHA may update its operating rules and guidelines at any time, which can require us to take more costly compliance measures or to develop more complex monitoring systems.
Risks Related to the Industry We Serve
Our success depends on general economic conditions, the health of the U.S. real estate industry generally, and risks generally incident to the ownership and leasing of single-family residential real estate, and our business may be negatively impacted by economic and industry downturns, including seasonal and cyclical trends, and volatility in the single-family residential real estate lease market.
Our success is impacted, directly and indirectly, by general economic conditions, the health of the U.S. real estate industry, and risks generally incident to the ownership and leasing of residential real estate, many of which are beyond our control. Our business could be harmed by a number of factors that could impact the conditions of the U.S. real estate industry, including:
|●||a period of slow economic growth or recessionary conditions;|
|●||volatility in the residential real estate industry;|
|●||insufficient or excessive single-family home inventory levels by market or price points;|
|●||increasing mortgage rates and down payment requirements or constraints on the availability of mortgage financing;|
|●||a low level of consumer confidence in the economy or the single-family residential real estate market due to macroeconomic events domestically or internationally;|
|●||weak credit markets;|
|●||instability of financial institutions;|
|●||legislative or regulatory changes (including changes in regulatory interpretations or regulatory practices) that would adversely impact the single-family residential real estate market as well as federal and/or state income tax changes and other tax reform affecting real estate and/or real estate transactions;|
|●||insufficient or excessive regional single-family home inventory levels;|
|●||high levels of foreclosure activity, including but not limited to the release of homes already held for sale by financial institutions;|
|●||adverse changes in local, regional, or national economic conditions;|
|●||the inability or unwillingness of consumers to enter into single-family residential lease transactions;|
|●||a decrease in the affordability of homes including the impact of rising mortgage rates, home price appreciation and wage stagnation or wage increases that do not keep pace with inflation;|
|●||increasing home ownership rates, declining demand for real estate and changing social attitudes toward home ownership; and|
|●||natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and other events (including pandemics and epidemics) that disrupt local or regional real estate markets.|
As our revenue is primarily driven by leasing and property management of single-family residential real estate and the sale of such properties, any slowdown or decrease in the total number of single-family residential real estate lease transactions for any of the above reasons could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, any of the above factors could have an adverse impact on the number of transactions our sales platform business completes would further impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, the single-family residential real estate market historically has been seasonal, with greater demand in the spring and summer, and typically weaker demand in late fall and winter, resulting in fluctuations in the quantity, speed and price of transactions on our platform and lease activity. Our financial results and working capital requirements reflect these seasonal variations.
Our investments are and will continue to be concentrated in our existing and target markets and in the single-family rental sector of the real estate industry, which exposes us to seasonal fluctuations in rental demand and downturns in our markets or in the single-family properties sector.
Our investments are and will continue to be concentrated in our existing and target markets and in the single-family residential leasing sector of the real estate industry. A downturn or slowdown in the rental demand for single-family housing caused by adverse economic, regulatory, or environmental conditions, or other events, in our markets may have a greater impact on our operating results than if we had more fully diversified portfolio of customers and properties. We believe that there are seasonal fluctuations in rental demand with demand higher in the spring and summer than in the late fall and winter. Such seasonal fluctuations may impact our operating results.
In addition to general, regional, national, and international economic conditions, our operating performance will be impacted by the economic conditions in our markets. We base a substantial part of our business plan on our belief that desirability of owning and leasing single-family properties in our markets will continue to improve over the near to intermediate term. However, certain of these markets have experienced substantial economic downturns in recent years and could experience similar or worse economic downturns in the future. We can provide no assurance as to the extent property values leasing rates and operating fundamentals in these markets will improve, if at all. If an economic downturn in these markets occurs or if we fail to accurately predict the timing of economic improvement in these markets, the value of our customers’ properties could decline and our ability to execute our business plan may be adversely affected to a greater extent than if we provided services to a different real estate portfolio, which could adversely affect our financial condition, operating results and cause the value of our common stock to decline.
Competition in identifying and acquiring customers and the right to lease single-family real estate portfolios could adversely affect our ability to implement our business and growth strategies, which could materially and adversely affect us.
In acquiring customers for which we manage the leasing and maintenance of their single-family rental real estate, we compete with a variety of institutional investors, including, specialty finance companies, public and private funds, institutional investors, investment banking firms, financial institutions, governmental bodies, and other entities. We also compete with individual private management and small scale investors.
Certain of our competitors may be larger in certain of our markets and may have greater financial or other resources than we do. Some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that may not be available to us. In addition, any potential competitor may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of investments or business offerings. Competition may result in fewer customers, higher prices, a broadly dispersed portfolio of customers that does not lend itself to efficiencies of concentration. In addition, competition for desirable investments could delay the investment of our capital, which could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows. As a result, there can be no assurance that we will be able to identify and finance operations that are consistent with our investment objectives or to achieve positive investment results, and our failure to accomplish any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on us and cause the value of our common stock to decline.
A change in mortgage underwriting standards could reduce the ability of homebuyers to access the credit markets on reasonable terms, or at all, which could reduce utilization of our brokerage platform.
During the past several years, many lenders have significantly tightened their underwriting standards and many alternative mortgage products have become less available in the marketplace. In addition, certain lenders added new criteria or approvals necessary to underwrite mortgages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Underwriting standards could be changed or tightened as a result of changes in regulations, including regulations enacted to increase guarantee fees of federally insured mortgages. More stringent mortgage underwriting standards could adversely affect the ability and willingness of prospective buyers to finance home purchases or to sell their existing homes in order to purchase new homes. This may result in the decreased number of real estate transactions that utilize our brokerage marketplace platform which would adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Leasing fraud could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Criminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to engage in illegal activities such as leasing fraud. As we make more of our services available over the internet, we subject ourselves to new types of leasing fraud risk. We use a variety of tools to protect against fraud; however, these tools may not always be successful. Allegations of fraud may result in fines, settlements, litigation expenses, and reputational damage.
Our customers depend on residents and their willingness to meet their lease obligations and renew their leases, which generates a substantial amount of our revenue. Poor tenant selection, defaults, and non-renewals by residents may adversely affect our reputation and financial performance.
Our customers depend on rental income from residents. As a result, our success depends in large part upon our ability to attract and retain qualified residents for our customers’ properties. Our reputation and financial performance would be adversely affected if a significant number of residents fail to meet their lease obligations or fail to renew their leases. For example, residents may default on rent payments, make unreasonable and repeated demands for service or improvements, make unsupported or unjustified complaints to regulatory or political authorities, use properties for illegal purposes, damage or make unauthorized structural changes to properties that are not covered by security deposits, refuse to leave the property upon termination of the lease, engage in domestic violence or similar disturbances, disturb nearby residents with noise, trash, odors, or eyesores, fail to comply with Home Owner Association (“HOA”) regulations, sublet to less desirable individuals in violation of our lease, or permit unauthorized persons to live with them. Additionally, the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as continuing measures taken by governmental authorities and private actors to limit the spread of this virus or mitigate its impact, interfere with the ability of some of residents to meet their lease obligations and make their rent payments on time or at all. Furthermore, entities directed by, or notionally affiliated with, the federal government as well as some state and local jurisdictions across the United States have from time to time imposed temporary eviction moratoriums if certain criteria are met by residents, which allows residents to defer missed rent payments without incurring late fees, and in certain cases prohibit rent increases. Jurisdictions and other local and national authorities may expand or extend measures imposing restrictions on our ability to enforce residents’ contractual rental obligations and limiting our ability to increase rents.
Damage to properties may delay re leasing after eviction, necessitate expensive repairs, or impair the rental income or value of the property resulting in a lower than expected rate of return for our services. Increases in unemployment levels and other adverse changes in economic conditions in our markets could result in substantial resident defaults. In the event of a resident default or bankruptcy, we could experience delays in receiving revenue for our services and re leasing the property.
Our ability to attract single-family residential residents requires significant marketing expense. Increased costs of online advertising or traditional broadcast avenues would significantly increase our costs of customer acquisition.
We have relationships with search engines, comparison sites, affiliate marketers, online advertising networks, and other websites to provide content, advertising banners and other links to our clients’ e commerce businesses. Our business relies on these relationships as significant sources of traffic for customer acquisition. If we are unable to maintain these relationships or enter into new relationships on acceptable terms, our ability to attract new customers could be harmed.
We use online advertising to promote our services as part of our customer acquisition. If the cost of online advertising increases, we may experience decreases in the number of new account registrations unless we increase our marketing expenditures.
However, increases in our marketing expenditures could adversely impact our profitability, and there can be no assurance that our marketing activities will be successful. If these third-party sources prove to be ineffective or become unavailable in the future, or if the cost to acquire new customers and tenants through these sources increases, our financial results could be materially and adversely impacted.
Our business may be significantly impacted by changing of interest rates and home prices. In particular, rising interest rates and falling home prices may reduce the number and size of real estate transactions (affecting our brokerage commissions) and declining interest rates and rising home prices may cause our customers to sell their properties.
The financial performance of our single-family real estate marketplace and management businesses are directly affected by changes in prevailing interest rates. The financial performance of our single-family real estate business may be adversely affected or be subject to substantial volatility because of changes in prevailing interest rates, which may be impacted by a number of factors. For example, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated government and market responses, there is an increased degree of uncertainty and unpredictability concerning current interest rates and future interest rates, which may have a material adverse effect on the results of operations for our single-family rental business.
Tenant and customer feedback in online sources (e.g., Yelp, Google, etc.) in this industry is often negative and, as we continue to grow our presence in the market, could adversely impact customer and tenant acquisition as well as our stock price.
We have been the subject of media reports, social media posts, blogs, and other forums that contain allegations about our business or activity on our platform that create negative publicity. As a result of these complaints and negative publicity, some customers have refrained from, and may in the future refrain from, engaging with our services, and some tenants have refrained from, and may in the future refrain from, using our platform, which could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
In addition, we rely on our customers and tenants to provide trustworthy reviews and ratings that our customers and tenants may rely upon to help decide whether or not to use our services. If our customers and tenants do not leave reliable reviews and ratings, other potential customers and tenants may disregard those reviews and ratings, and our systems that use reviews and ratings to enforce quality standards would be less effective, which could reduce trust within our community and damage our brand and reputation, and could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Local news reporting involving landlord/tenant issues may impact our ability to grow and maintain customers and residents in certain markets as well as generate regulatory scrutiny.
Our brand and our reputation are among our most important assets. Maintaining and enhancing our brand and reputation is critical to our ability to attract customers, tenants, and employees, to compete effectively, to preserve and deepen the engagement of our existing customers, tenants, and employees, to maintain and improve our standing in the communities where our customers and franchises operate, including our standing with community leaders and regulatory bodies, and to mitigate legislative or regulatory scrutiny, litigation, and government investigations. We are heavily dependent on the perceptions of customers and tenants who use our platform to help make word of mouth recommendations that contribute to our growth.
Any incident, whether actual or rumored to have occurred, involving the safety or security of listings, customers, tenants, or other members of the public, fraudulent transactions, or incidents that are mistakenly attributed to Appreciate, and any media coverage resulting therefrom, could create a negative public perception of our platform, which would adversely impact our ability to attract customers and tenants.
In addition, our brand and reputation could be harmed if we fail to act responsibly or are perceived as not acting responsibly, or fail to comply with regulatory requirements as interpreted by certain governments or agencies thereof, in a number of other areas, such as safety and security, data security, privacy practices, provision of information about users and activities on our platform, sustainability, human rights (including in respect of our own operations and throughout our supply chain), matters associated with our broader supply chain (including tenants and other business partners), diversity, non-discrimination, and support for employees and local communities. Media, legislative, or government scrutiny around our company, including the perceived impact on affordable housing and over tourism, neighborhood nuisance, privacy practices, provision of information as requested by certain governments or agencies thereof, content on our platform, business practices and strategic plans, impact of travel on the climate and local environment, and public health policies that may cause geopolitical backlash, our business partners, our franchisees, and our practices relating to our platform, offerings, employees, competition, litigation, and response to regulatory activity, could adversely affect our brand and our reputation with our customers, their tenants and communities. Social media compounds the potential scope of the negative publicity that could be generated and the speed with which such negative publicity may spread. Any resulting damage to our brand or reputation could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our marketplace faces significant competition with larger established players.
We may not be able to compete successfully against existing or future competitors, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. We compete to attract tenants and customers who use our platform. Our competitors may have greater brand recognition or more direct sales personnel than we have and may generate more web traffic than we do, which may provide them with competitive advantages. To compete successfully, we must continue to invest resources in developing our advertising platform and proving the effectiveness and relevance of our advertising services. Pressure from competitors seeking to acquire a greater share of our tenant and customer market share could adversely affect our pricing and margins, lower our revenue and increase our research and development and marketing expenses. If we are unable to compete successfully against our existing or future competitors, our business, results of operations or financial condition could be adversely affected.
We could incur goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges, which could harm our profitability.
We have significant amounts of goodwill and intangible assets. We periodically review the carrying values of goodwill and intangible assets to determine whether such carrying values exceed their fair market values. Declines in the profitability of individual reporting units due to economic or market conditions or otherwise, as well as adverse changes in financial, competitive and other conditions, including declines in the operating performance of our reporting units or other adverse changes in the key valuation assumptions contributing to the estimated fair value of our reporting units, could adversely affect the estimated fair values of the related reporting units, which could result in an impairment of the recorded balances of goodwill or intangible assets.
The loss of one or more of our key personnel, or our failure to attract and retain other highly qualified personnel in the future, could harm our business.
Our success depends upon the continued service of our senior management team, including, in particular, Chris Laurence, our Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Ortner, our President and Nolan Jacobson, our Chief Financial Officer. Our success also depends on our ability to manage effective transitions when management team members pursue other opportunities. In addition, our business depends on our ability to continue to attract, motivate and retain a large number of skilled employees across our company and to manage our local offices. Furthermore, much of our key technology and processes are custom made for our business by our personnel. The loss of key engineering, product development, operations, marketing, sales and support, and finance personnel could also adversely affect our ability to build on the efforts they have undertaken and to execute our business plan, and we may not be able to find adequate replacements. In addition, we currently do not have “key person” insurance on any of our employees.
We face intense competition for qualified individuals from numerous other technology companies. To attract and retain key personnel, we incur significant costs, including salaries and benefits and equity incentives. Even so, these measures may not be enough to attract and retain the personnel we require to operate our business effectively.
Risks Related to Regulatory Compliance and Legal Matters
Changes in tax laws, regulations or fiscal and tax policies or the manner of their interpretation or enforcement could adversely impact our financial performance.
The tax regimes we are subject to or operate under, including income and non-income (including indirect) taxes, are unsettled and may be subject to significant change. Changes in tax laws or tax rulings, or changes in interpretations of existing laws, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, we are subject to a variety of taxes and tax collection obligations in the United States (federal, state, and local) and foreign jurisdictions. A number of jurisdictions have proposed or implemented new tax laws or interpreted existing laws to explicitly apply various taxes to businesses like ours. Laws and regulations relating to taxes vary greatly among jurisdictions, and it is difficult or impossible to predict how such laws and regulations will be applied. The application of indirect taxes to activities such as ours is a complex and evolving issue.
We may recognize additional tax expenses and be subject to additional tax liabilities, and our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected by additional taxes of this nature or additional taxes or penalties resulting from our failure to comply with any reporting, collection, and payment obligations. We accrue a reserve for such taxes when the likelihood is probable that such taxes apply to us, and upon examination or audit, such reserves may be insufficient. New or revised taxes and, in particular, the taxes described above and similar taxes would generally increase the price paid by tenants and could discourage tenants from using our properties, and lead to a decline in revenue, and materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our legacy franchise business subjects us to additional state regulatory regimes and potential claims from our franchisees.
We are subject to certain state franchise regulation, the rules and regulations of the Federal Trade Commission and various state laws regulating the offer and sale of franchises in the United States through the provision of franchise disclosure documents containing certain mandatory disclosures, various state laws regulating the franchise relationship and certain rules and requirements relating to franchise requirements. Noncompliance with applicable laws, regulatory requirements and governmental guidelines regulating franchising could reduce anticipated royalty income, which in turn could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
The impact of current laws and regulations, the effect of future changes in laws or regulations that impose additional requirements and the consequences of litigation relating to current or future laws and regulations, or our inability to respond effectively to significant regulatory or public policy issues, could increase our compliance and other costs of doing business and therefore have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Failure to comply with the laws and regulatory requirements of federal, state, local and foreign authorities could result in, among other things, revocation of required licenses, administrative enforcement actions, fines and civil and criminal liability. Compliance with all of these laws and regulations can be costly and can crease our exposure to litigation or governmental investigations or proceedings.
Our ability to introduce new products to our customer base may be impacted by state regulation of insurance and real estate brokers.
The industry for residential real estate transaction services, technology, information marketplaces and advertising is dynamic, and the expectations and behaviors of customers and professionals shift constantly and rapidly. We continue to learn a great deal about the behaviors and objectives of residential real estate market participants as the industry evolves and are investing significant resources to develop, test and launch products and services to address the needs of the market and improve the home buying, selling, financing, building and renting experience. Changes or additions to our products and services may not attract or engage our customers, and may reduce confidence in our products and services, negatively impact the quality of our brands, upset our partners or other industry participants, expose us to increased market or legal risks, subject us to new laws and regulations or otherwise harm our business. Further, if we do not realize the benefits we expect from the strategic relationships we enter into, our business could be harmed. Customers may prefer other service providers because they offer different or superior services or those services are easier to use, faster or more cost effective than our services. We may not successfully anticipate or keep pace with industry changes, and we may invest considerable financial, personnel and other resources to pursue strategies that do not ultimately prove effective such that our results of operations and financial condition may be harmed.
We process, store and use certain personal information, which subjects us to privacy laws and standards, governmental regulation and other legal obligations related to privacy, and our actual or perceived failure to comply with these privacy laws and standards, regulations, and obligations could subject us to fines, sanctions or litigation, and could potentially damage our brand and reputation and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We depend on information technology networks and systems to process, transmit and store electronic information and to communicate among our locations around the United States and with customers. We collect, use and disclose personal information, such as names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. We collect, store and use sensitive or confidential transaction and account information of consumers. We also collect personal information from tenants and landlords, including social security numbers, birthdates and financial information, to facilitate the apartment rental application and payment process between a renter and property manager. As a result, we are or may be subject to a variety of state, national and international laws and regulations that apply to the collection, use, retention, protection, disclosure, transfer and other processing of personal data, potentially including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). These laws and regulations are evolving, with new or modified laws and regulations proposed and implemented frequently and existing laws and regulations subject to new or different interpretations. For example, the GDPR introduced new data protection requirements in the EU and imposes substantial fines for breaches of the data protection rules. Compared to the previous EU data protection laws, the GDPR notably has a greater extra territorial reach and has a significant impact on data controllers and data processors, which either have an establishment in the EU, or offer goods or services to EU data subjects or monitor EU data subjects’ behavior within the EU. The GDPR regime imposes more stringent operational requirements on both data controllers and data processors, and introduces significant penalties for non-compliance with fines of up to 4% of total annual worldwide turnover or €20.0 million (whichever is higher), depending on the type and severity of the breach.
In addition, the CCPA expands the rights of California residents to access and require deletion of their personal information, opt out of certain personal information sharing and receive detailed information about how their personal information is used. The CCPA imposes a number of privacy and security obligations on companies who collect, use, disclose, or otherwise process personal information of California residents, which may result in civil penalties for violations and private rights of action in case of data breaches. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, which could result in statutory penalties of up to $2,500 per violation, or up to $7,500 per violation if the violation is intentional. Other states have adopted, or are considering enacting, similar laws. Any failure or alleged failure to comply with privacy or data protection laws could lead to government enforcement actions and significant penalties against us, and could materially and adversely affect our reputation, business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations. Compliance with any of the foregoing laws and regulations can be costly, can delay or impede the development of new products, and may require us to change the way we operate.
Additionally, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), which became effective on January 1, 2023 and significantly expands the CCPA, imposes additional data protection obligations on companies doing business in California, including additional consumer rights processes and opt outs for certain uses of sensitive data and sharing of personal data as well as an expanded definition of “sale” to include sharing of personal information, and data minimization and data retention requirements. The CPRA also establishes a new enforcement agency, the California Privacy Protection Agency, which may take a more active role in enforcement. Other states have and are likely to continue to implement their own privacy statutes in the near term. The effects of the CCPA, CPRA and other similar state regulations are potentially significant and may require us to modify our data collection or processing practices and policies and to incur substantial costs and expenses in an effort to comply and increase our potential exposure to regulatory enforcement and/or litigation. Any of the foregoing could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The interpretation and application of many privacy and data protection laws are uncertain. Anticipated further evolution of regulations on this topic may substantially increase the penalties to which we could be subject to in the event of any non-compliance. These laws may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent with our existing data management practices or the features of our products. If so, in addition to the possibility of negative publicity, fines, lawsuits and other claims and penalties, we could be required to fundamentally change our business activities and practices or modify our products, which could harm our business.
We seek to comply with privacy related industry standards and are subject to the terms of our own privacy policies and privacy related obligations to third parties. We strive to comply with all applicable laws, policies, legal obligations and industry codes of conduct relating to privacy and data security protection to the extent possible. However, these obligations may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another and may conflict with other rules or regulations, making enforcement, and thus compliance requirements, ambiguous, uncertain, and potentially inconsistent. Additionally, laws, regulations, and standards covering marketing and advertising activities conducted by telephone, email, mobile devices, and the internet may be applicable to our business, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (as implemented by the Telemarketing Sales Rule), the CAN SPAM Act of 2003, and similar state consumer protection laws. Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with our privacy policies, privacy related obligations to agents, clients or other third parties, or our privacy related legal obligations, any marketing or advertising related laws, regulations, or standards, or any compromise of security that results in the unauthorized access to or unintended release of personal information or other agent or client data, may result in governmental enforcement actions, litigation, or public statements against us by consumer advocacy groups or others. Any of these events could cause us to incur significant costs in investigating and defending such claims and, if found liable, pay significant damages. Further, these proceedings and any subsequent adverse outcomes may cause our agents and clients to lose trust in us, which could have a material adverse effect on our reputation and business.
We are also subject to laws and regulations that involve electronic contracts and other communications; consumer protection; and online payment services. These laws and regulations are constantly evolving and can be subject to significant change. For example, many states have ordinances in place allowing individuals with certain criminal backgrounds to become tenants. State ordinances vary from state to state, and the types of criminal backgrounds that will clear a background check are not uniform on a national scale. As a result, the application, interpretation, and enforcement of these laws and regulations are often uncertain and may be interpreted and applied inconsistently. Additionally, as we depend on third parties for key services, we rely on such third-party service providers’ compliance with laws and regulations regarding privacy, data protection, consumer protection, and other matters relating to our customers.
Any significant change to applicable laws, regulations or industry practices regarding the use or disclosure of personal information, or regarding the manner in which the express or implied consent of agents and their clients for the use and disclosure of personal information is obtained, could require us to modify our platform and its features, possibly in a material manner and subject us to increased compliance costs, which may limit our ability to innovate, improve and expand our platform and its features that make use of the personal information that our agents and their clients voluntarily share. Our customers operate independent of our platform as well and are responsible for their own data privacy compliance in certain respects. Additionally, we provide training and our platform provides tools and security controls to assist our agents with their data privacy compliance to the extent they store relevant data on our platform. However, if a customer or tenant on our platform were to be subject to a claim for breach of data privacy laws, we could possibly be found liable for their claims due to our relationship, which can require us to take more costly data security and compliance measures or to develop more complex systems.
Laws, regulations, and rules that affect the short-term rental and the long-term rental business may expose us to significant penalties, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Since we began our operations in 2007, there have been and continue to be legal and regulatory developments that affect the short-term rental and long-term rental of single-family residences and buying and selling real estate. Hotels and groups affiliated with hotels have engaged and will likely continue to engage in various lobbying and political efforts for stricter regulations governing our business in both local and national jurisdictions. Other private groups, such as homeowners, landlords, and condominium and neighborhood associations, have adopted contracts or regulations that purport to ban or otherwise restrict single-family residential rentals, and third-party lease agreements between landlords and tenants, home insurance policies, and mortgages may prevent or restrict the ability of our customers to list their spaces. These groups and others cite concerns around affordable housing, among other issues, and some state and local governments have implemented or considered implementing rules, ordinances, or regulations governing the short-term or long-term rental of properties. Legislation in other regions also could have a material impact on the way short-term and long-term rentals are regulated. Such regulations include ordinances that restrict or ban our customers from short-term rentals, long-term rentals, set annual caps on the number of days customers can lease their homes, require customers to register with the municipality or city, or require customers to obtain permission before offering short-term rentals. Macroeconomic pressures and public policy concerns could also lead to new laws and regulations, or interpretations of existing laws and regulations, or widespread enforcement actions that limit the ability of our customers to lease their single-family residences. If laws, regulations, rules, or agreements significantly restrict or discourage our customers in certain jurisdictions from leasing their properties, it would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Compliance with governmental laws, regulations, and covenants that are applicable to our customers’ properties or that may be passed in the future, including affordability covenants and permit, license, and zoning requirements, may adversely affect our ability to manage customer properties and could adversely affect our growth strategy.
Rental homes are subject to various federal, state, and local laws and regulatory requirements, including permitting, licensing, and zoning requirements. Local regulations, including municipal or local ordinances, restrictions, and restrictive covenants imposed by community developers may restrict the use of our customers’ properties and may require us to obtain approval from local officials or community standards organizations at any time with respect to our properties. Among other things, these restrictions may relate to fire and safety, seismic, asbestos cleanup, or hazardous material abatement requirements. Such local regulations may cause our customers to incur additional costs to renovate or maintain our properties in accordance with the particular rules and regulations, which could affect the desirability of owning investment properties. Additionally, state and local agencies may place affordability covenants on certain properties to ensure that they are used to provide affordable housing for persons or families of lower income.
Any violation by us of the laws and regulations we are subject to could lead to significant fines or penalties and could limit our ability to conduct business. One such law is compliance with the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing. If a customer is found to not be in compliance with this Act, this could negatively affect Appreciate’s reputation and growth strategy. We cannot assure you that existing regulatory policies will not adversely affect us or that additional regulations will not be adopted that would increase such delays or result in additional costs or losses. Our business and growth strategies may be materially and adversely affected by our ability to obtain permits, licenses and approvals. Our failure to obtain such permits, licenses, and approvals could have a material adverse effect on us and cause the value of our common stock to decline.
Tenant relief laws, including laws regulating evictions, rent control laws, and other regulations that limit our customer’s ability to increase rental rates may negatively impact our property management income and profitability.
We are involved from time to time in evicting residents of our customers’ properties who are not paying their rent or who are otherwise in material violation of the terms of their lease. Eviction activities impose legal and managerial expenses that raise costs and expose us to potential negative publicity. The eviction process is typically subject to legal barriers, mandatory “cure” policies, our internal policies and procedures, and other sources of expense and delay, each of which may delay our customer’s ability to gain possession and stabilize the property. Additionally, state and local landlord tenant laws may impose legal duties to assist residents in relocating to new housing, or restrict the landlord’s ability to remove the resident on a timely basis or to recover certain costs or charge residents for damage residents cause to the landlord’s premises. Because such laws vary by state and locality, we must be familiar with and take all appropriate steps to assist our customers in complying with all applicable landlord tenant laws, and need to incur supervisory and legal expenses to assist with such compliance.
Furthermore, state and local governmental agencies may introduce rent control laws or other regulations that limit our customers’ ability to increase rental rates, which could affect our rental income. Especially in times of recession and economic slowdown, rent control initiatives can amass significant political support. If rent controls unexpectedly became applicable to certain of our properties, our revenue from and the value of such properties could be adversely affected.
Lastly, many renters have faced adverse financial positions where they have not been able to make monthly rental payments during the COVID-19 epidemic. In response, some states enacted moratoriums on residential evictions for tenants who were not able to meet their monthly rental obligations. While many of these moratoriums have expired, a resurgence of COVID-19, or any other market disruptions, could create financial conditions where tenants are once again in a position where they cannot pay monthly rent. In such cases, states may re-implement moratoriums on evictions which could adversely affect management income and profitability. Tenant relief laws have also capped the amount landlords can demand for a security deposit. These limits could result in increased costs for customers who have increased damage to their property as a result of tenant misuse. These increased costs could affect business operations and profitability.
We may become a target of legal demands, litigation (including class actions), and negative publicity by tenant and consumer rights organizations, which could directly limit and constrain our operations and may result in significant litigation expenses and reputational harm.
Numerous tenant rights and consumer rights organizations exist throughout the country and operate in our markets, and we may attract attention from some of these organizations and become a target of legal demands, litigation, and negative publicity. Many such consumer organizations have become more active and better funded in connection with mortgage foreclosure related issues; and with the increased market for homes arising from displaced homeownership, some of these organizations may shift their litigation, lobbying, fundraising, and grass roots organizing activities to focus on landlord resident issues. While we intend to conduct our business lawfully and in compliance with applicable landlord tenant and consumer laws and state real estate laws, such organizations might work in conjunction with trial and pro bono lawyers in one or multiple states to attempt to bring claims against us on a class action basis for damages or injunctive relief and to seek to publicize our activities in a negative light. We cannot anticipate what form such legal actions might take or what remedies they may seek.
Additionally, such organizations may lobby local county and municipal attorneys or state attorneys general to pursue enforcement or litigation against us, may lobby state and local legislatures to pass new laws and regulations to constrain or limit our business operations, adversely impact our business, or may generate negative publicity for our business and harm our reputation. If they are successful in any such endeavors, they could directly limit and constrain our operations and may impose on us significant litigation expenses, including settlements to avoid continued litigation or judgments for damages or injunctions.
Changes in laws affecting retention and escrow of tenant deposits may adversely affect our business and increase our expenses.
Regulation of laws affecting retention and escrow of tenant deposits may evolve and are subject to change. These changes could be material to our financial condition and results of operations. Accordingly, at any given time, we hold on behalf of our tenant a substantial amount of funds (e.g., tenant payments and tenant security deposits) in compliance with real estate broker regulations and requirements which may differ by state. In certain jurisdictions, we are required to either safeguard customer funds in bankruptcy remote bank accounts, or hold such funds in eligible liquid assets, as defined by the relevant regulators in such jurisdictions, equal to at least 100% of the aggregate amount held on behalf of customers. Any change to manage the assets underlying our customer funds accurately could lead customers to discontinue or reduce their use of our platform and services, and result in significant penalties and fines from regulators, each of which could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We are periodically subject to claims, lawsuits, government investigations and other proceedings that may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may be subject to claims, lawsuits, arbitration proceedings, government investigations and other legal and regulatory proceedings in the ordinary course of business, including those involving labor and employment, anti-discrimination, commercial disputes, competition, professional liability and consumer complaints, intellectual property disputes, compliance with regulatory requirements, antitrust and anti-competition claims (including claims related to the National Association of Realtors or Multiple Listing Service rules regarding buyer broker commissions), securities laws and other matters, and we may become subject to additional types of claims, lawsuits, government investigations and legal or regulatory proceedings as our business grows and as we deploy new offerings, including proceedings related to our acquisitions, securities issuances or business practices.
The results of any such claims, lawsuits, arbitration proceedings, government investigations or other legal or regulatory proceedings cannot be predicted with certainty. Any claims against us or investigations involving us, whether meritorious or not, could be time consuming, result in significant defense and compliance costs, be harmful to our reputation, require significant management attention and divert significant resources. Determining reserves for our pending litigation is a complex and fact intensive process that requires significant subjective judgment and speculation. It is possible that a resolution of one or more such proceedings could result in substantial damages, settlement costs, fines and penalties that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. These proceedings could also result in harm to our reputation and brand, sanctions, consent decrees, injunctions or other orders requiring a change in our business practices. Any of these consequences could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, under certain circumstances, we have contractual and other legal obligations to indemnify and to incur legal expenses on behalf of our business and commercial partners and current and former directors, officers and employees.
We are subject to a variety of federal and state laws, many of which are unsettled and still developing, and certain of our businesses are highly regulated. Any failure to comply with such regulations or any changes in such regulations could adversely affect our business.
Our real estate brokerage business must comply with Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) and a variety of similar state regulations. RESPA and comparable state statutes prohibit providing or receiving payments, or other things of value, for the referral of business to adjacent service providers in connection with the closing of certain real estate transactions such as those involving federally backed mortgages (under RESPA) or any residential sale (under certain state regulations). Such laws may to some extent impose limitations on arrangements involving our real estate brokerage, escrow services, title agency and mortgage origination services. RESPA and related regulations do, however, contain a number of provisions that allow for payments or fee splits between providers if certain requirements are met, including fee splits between title underwriters and agents, brokers and agents, and market based fees for the provision of goods or services and marketing arrangements. In addition, RESPA allows for referrals to affiliated entities, when specific requirements have been met. We rely on these provisions in conducting our business activities and believe our arrangements comply with RESPA. However, RESPA compliance may become a greater challenge under certain administrations for most industry participants offering title and escrow services and mortgage origination services, including brokerages, because of expansive interpretations of RESPA or similar state statutes by certain courts and regulators. Permissible activities under state statutes similar to RESPA may be interpreted more narrowly and enforcement proceedings of those statutes by state regulatory authorities may also be aggressively pursued.
For certain licenses, we are required to designate a broker of record as a qualified individual and/or person who controls and supervises the operations of applicable licensed entities. Certain licensed entities also are subject to routine examination and monitoring by state licensing authorities. We cannot assure you that we, or our licensed personnel, are and will remain at all times, in full compliance with state and federal real estate, title insurance and escrow, and consumer protection laws and regulations, and we may be subject to litigation, government investigations and enforcement actions, fines or other penalties in the event of any non-compliance.
As a result of findings from examinations, we also may be required to take a number of corrective actions, including modifying business practices and making refunds of fees or money earned. In addition, adverse findings in one state may be relied on by another state to conduct investigations and impose remedies. If we apply for new licenses, we will become subject to additional licensing requirements, which we may not be in compliance with at all times. If in the future a state agency were to determine that we are required to obtain additional licenses in that state in order to operate our business, or if we lose or do not renew an existing license or are otherwise found to be in violation of a law or regulation, we may be subject to fines or legal penalties, lawsuits, enforcement actions, void contracts or our business operations in that state may be suspended or prohibited. Our business reputation with consumers and third parties also could be damaged. Compliance with, and monitoring of, these laws and regulations is complicated and costly and may inhibit our ability to innovate or grow.
Our failure to comply with any of the foregoing laws and regulations may subject us to fines, penalties, injunctions and/or potential criminal violations. Any changes to these laws or regulations or any new laws or regulations may make it more difficult for us to operate our business and may have a material adverse effect on our operations.
Risks Related to Our Technology, Privacy and Intellectual Property
Technical problems or disruptions that affect either our customers’ ability to access our services, or the software, internal applications, databases, networks and systems underlying our services, could damage our reputation and lead to reduced demand for our services, information, analytics and online marketplace services, which would lower revenues and increase costs.
Our business, brands and reputation depend upon the satisfactory performance, reliability and availability of our websites, the internet and our service providers. Interruptions in these systems, whether due to system failures, computer viruses, software errors, physical or electronic break ins, or malicious hacks or attacks on our systems (such as denial of service attacks or use of malware), could affect the security and availability of our services on our mobile applications and our websites and prevent or inhibit users’ access to our services. Our operations also depend on our ability to protect our databases, computers and software, telecommunications equipment and facilities against damage from potential dangers such as fire, flood, power loss, security breaches, telecommunications failures, terrorist attacks, acts of war, electronic and physical break ins, computer viruses, earthquakes and similar events.
In addition, the software, internal applications, databases, networks and systems underlying our services are complex and may not be error free. We may encounter technical problems when we attempt to enhance our software, internal applications, databases, networks and systems. Our users rely on our services for the conduct of their own businesses. Disruptions in, technical problems with, or reductions in ability to access, our services for any reason could damage our users’ businesses, harm our reputation, result in additional costs or reduce demand for our information, analytics and online marketplace services, any of which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The majority of the communications, network and computer hardware used to operate our mobile applications and websites are located at facilities in Virginia and California. We do not own or control the operation of certain of these facilities. Our systems and operations are vulnerable to damage or interruption from fire, flood, power loss, security breaches, telecommunications failure, terrorist attacks, acts of war, electronic and physical break ins, computer viruses, earthquakes and similar events. These risks may be increased with respect to operations housed at facilities we do not own or control. The occurrence of any of the foregoing events could result in damage to our systems and hardware or could cause them to fail completely, and our insurance may not cover such events or may be insufficient to compensate us for losses that may occur.
A failure of our systems at any site could result in reduced functionality for our users, and a total failure of our systems could cause our mobile applications or websites to be inaccessible. Problems faced or caused by our information technology service providers, including content distribution service providers, private network providers, internet providers and third-party web hosting providers, or with the systems by which they allocate capacity among their customers (as applicable), could adversely affect the experience of our users. Any financial difficulties, such as bankruptcy reorganization, faced by these third-party service providers or any of the service providers with whom they contract may have negative effects on our business, the nature and extent of which are difficult to predict. If our third-party service providers are unable to keep up with our growing needs for capacity, our business could be harmed. In addition, if distribution channels for our mobile applications experience disruptions, such disruptions could adversely affect the ability of users and potential users to access or update our mobile applications, which could harm our business.
Our business interruption insurance may not cover certain events or may be insufficient to compensate us for the potentially significant losses, including the potential harm to the future growth of our business, which may result from interruptions in our service as a result of system failures or malicious attacks. Any errors, defects, disruptions or other performance problems with our services could harm our reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition.
We are highly dependent on information systems, and systems failures could significantly disrupt our business, which may, in turn, negatively affect us and the value of our common stock.
Our operations are dependent upon our information systems that support our business processes, including marketing, leasing, vendor communications, finance, intercompany communications, our resident portals, and property management service platforms, which include certain automated processes that require access to telecommunications or the internet, each of which is subject to system security risks. Certain critical components of our platform are dependent upon third-party service providers, and a significant portion of our business operations are conducted over the internet. As a result, we could be severely impacted by a catastrophic occurrence, such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, or a circumstance that disrupted access to telecommunications, the internet, or operations at our third-party service providers, including viruses that could penetrate network security defenses and cause system failures and disruptions of operations. Even though we believe we utilize appropriate duplication and back up procedures, a significant outage in telecommunications, the internet, or at any of our third-party service providers could negatively impact our operations.
Security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information systems and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer.
Information security risks have generally increased in recent years due to the rise in new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of perpetrators of cyberattacks. In the ordinary course of our business, we acquire and store sensitive data, including intellectual property, our proprietary business information, and personal information of our prospective and current residents, employees, and third-party service providers. The secure processing and maintenance of such information is critical to our operations and business strategy. Despite our security measures, our information technology and infrastructure are subject and may be vulnerable to attacks by malicious third parties or breaches due to employee error, malfeasance, or other disruptions. Due to the nature of some of the attacks, there is a risk that they may remain undetected for a period of time. While we have invested in the protection of data and information technology and implemented processes, procedures, and internal controls that are designed to minimize and mitigate cybersecurity risks and cyber intrusions, there can be no assurance that our efforts will fully prevent such attacks or other cyber incidents or security breaches. Any such attack, incident, or breach could compromise our networks and the information stored therein could be accessed, publicly disclosed, misused, lost, or stolen. Any such access, disclosure, misuse or loss or theft of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, misstated or unreliable financial data, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, regulatory penalties, disruption to our operations and the services we provide to customers, or damage to our reputation, any of which could adversely affect our results of operations, reputation, and competitive position. We maintain cyber liability insurance; however, this insurance may not be sufficient to fully cover the financial, legal, business, or reputational losses that may result from an interruption or breach of our systems. Business continuity and disaster recovery issues which may result from the COVID-19 pandemic or any future pandemic could materially interrupt our business operations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in connection with our flexible work arrangements, a significant number of our associates based at our headquarters and local offices continue working remotely. An extended period of remote work arrangements could strain our business continuity plans, introduce operational risk, including, but not limited to cybersecurity risks, and impair our ability to manage our business.
Cybersecurity incidents could disrupt business operations and result in the loss of critical and confidential information or litigation or claims arising from such incidents, any of which may adversely impact our reputation and business, financial condition and results of operations.
We face growing risks and costs related to cybersecurity threats to our operations, our data and customer/client data, including but not limited to:
|●||the failure or significant disruption of our operations from various causes, including human error, computer malware, ransomware, insecure software and systems, zero day vulnerabilities, threats to or disruption of third-party vendors who provide critical services, or other events related to our critical information technologies and systems;|
|●||the increasing level and sophistication of cybersecurity attacks, including distributed denial of service attacks, data theft, fraud or malicious acts on the part of trusted insiders, social engineering (including phishing attempts), or other unlawful tactics aimed at compromising the systems and data of our agents and their clients (including through systems not directly controlled by us, such as those maintained by our agents and third-party service providers); and|
|●||the reputational and financial risks associated with a loss of data or material data breach (including unauthorized access to our proprietary business information or personal information of our agents and their clients), the transmission of computer malware, or the diversion of sale transaction closing funds.|
Global cybersecurity threats can range from uncoordinated individual attempts to gain unauthorized access to information technology systems via viruses, ransomware and other malicious software, to phishing, or to advanced and targeted attempts to breach systems launched by individuals, organizations or sponsored nation state actors. These attacks may be directed at our business, our employees, agents, and clients and third-party service providers. An attack, threat or breach of one system can impact one or more other systems.
In the ordinary course of our business, we and our third-party service providers, our employees, agents and clients may collect, store and transmit sensitive data, including our proprietary business information, personal information, financial information and intellectual property and that of our employees and customers and their tenants. Our customers’ and their tenants’ use of our platform to access and store data presents us with uncertainties and risks, as they may accidentally or deliberately cause private information to be transmitted through unsecure channels which may lead to breaches or other leaks of such information.
Additionally, we increasingly rely on third-party data processing, storage providers, and critical infrastructure services, including cloud solution providers. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations and with respect to information collected and stored by our third-party service providers, we are reliant upon their security procedures, controls and adherence to our agreements. A breach or attack affecting one of our third-party service providers or partners could adversely impact our business even if we do not control the service that is attacked.
Moreover, the real estate industry is actively targeted by cybersecurity threat actors that attempt to conduct electronic fraudulent activity (such as business email compromise), security breaches and similar attacks directed at participants in real estate services transactions. In common with others in our industry, we manage and hold confidential personal information, including potentially sensitive personal information belonging to employees and customers and tenants or other individuals with whom such persons transact, in the operation of our platform. Accordingly, we have been and continue to be subject to a range of cyber-attacks, such as email based phishing attacks on our agents. Historically, these attacks have not been material either individually or in the aggregate. We have enhanced, and continue to invest in, our security measures in order to mitigate the risk of similar attacks in the future. However, there can be no assurance that our enhanced security measures, which are also partially dependent upon the security practices of our customers, their tenants and participants, will timely detect or prevent all cyber-attacks in the future. Cyber-attacks could give rise to the loss of significant amounts of data and other sensitive information. In addition, cyber-attacks could give rise to the disablement of our information technology systems used to service our customers and their tenants. Such threats to our business may be wholly or partially beyond our control as our employees and customers and their tenants and other third-party service providers may use e-mail, computers, smartphones and other devices and systems that are outside of our security control environment. In addition, real estate transactions involve the transmission of funds by the buyers and sellers of real estate and consumers or other service providers selected by the consumer that may be the subject of direct cyber-attacks that result in the fraudulent diversion of funds, notwithstanding efforts we have taken to educate consumers with respect to these risks.
In addition, the increasing prevalence and sophistication of cyber-attacks as well as the evolution of cyber-attacks and other efforts to breach or disrupt our systems or those of our employees, customers, tenants, or third-party service providers, has led and will likely continue to lead to increased costs to us with respect to identifying, protecting, detecting, responding, recovering, mitigating, insuring against and remediating these risks, as well as any related attempted or actual fraud.
Moreover, we are required to comply with growing regulations at the local, state and federal level in the U.S. that regulate cybersecurity, privacy and related matters, some of which impose steep fines and penalties for noncompliance. Any further expansion domestically or internationally will necessarily subject us to additional, and possibly more stringent, regulations and penalty structures.
While we, our employees, our customers and tenants have experienced and expect to continue to experience these types of threats and incidents, none of them to date has been material to our business. Although we employ measures to identify, protect, detect, respond, recover, mitigate, insure against and remediate these threats (including access controls, data encryption, penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, and maintenance of backup and protective systems), and conduct diligence on the security measures employed by key third-party service providers, we cannot fully guard against cybersecurity incidents. Depending on their nature and scope, such cybersecurity incidents could potentially result in harm to confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical systems, data and confidential or proprietary information (our own or that of third parties, including personal information and financial information) and the disruption of business operations.
The potential consequences of a material cybersecurity incident include regulatory violations of applicable U.S. and international privacy and other applicable laws, reputational damage, loss of market value, litigation with third parties (which could result in our exposure to material civil or criminal liability), diminution in the value of the products and services we provide to our customers and tenants, and increased cybersecurity protection and remediation costs (that may include liability for stolen assets or information), any of which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our competitiveness and business, financial condition and results of operations. We cannot be certain that our insurance coverage will be adequate for data security liabilities actually incurred, will cover any indemnification claims against us relating to any incident, will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all, or that any insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. The successful assertion of one or more large claims against us that exceed available insurance coverage, or the occurrence of changes in our insurance policies, including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co insurance requirements, could adversely affect our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our fraud detection processes and information security systems may not successfully detect all fraudulent activity by third parties aimed at our employees, customers or residents, which could adversely affect our reputation and business results.
Third party cybersecurity threat actors have attempted in the past, and may attempt in the future, to conduct fraudulent activity by engaging with our customers and their tenants. We are involved in a large number of wire transfers in connection with our marketplace platform and process sensitive personal data in connection with these transactions. Although we have fraud detection processes and have taken other measures to continuously improve controls to identify fraudulent activity on our mobile app, website and internal systems, we may not be able to detect and prevent all such activity. Persistent or pervasive fraudulent activity may cause our customers to lose trust in us and decrease or terminate their usage of our platform, which could materially harm our operations, business, results, and financial condition.
Any inability to protect our intellectual property rights could reduce the value of our products, services and brand.
Our trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property rights are important assets, and litigation to defend intellectual property can be expensive and lengthy. Various factors outside of our control also pose a threat to our intellectual property rights, as well as to our platform and technology offerings. For example, we may fail to obtain effective intellectual property protection, or effective intellectual property protection may not be available in all applicable jurisdictions. The efforts we have taken to protect our intellectual property rights may not be sufficient or effective, and any of our intellectual property rights may be challenged, which could result in them being narrowed in scope or declared invalid or unenforceable. Despite our efforts to protect our intellectual property rights, there can be no assurance our intellectual property rights will be sufficient to protect against others offering products or services that are substantially similar to ours and compete with our business or from unauthorized parties attempting to copy aspects of our technology and use information that we consider proprietary.
In addition to registered intellectual property rights such as trademark registrations, we rely on non-registered proprietary information and technology, such as trade secrets, confidential information, know-how and technical information. In order to protect our proprietary information and technology, we rely in part on agreements with our employees, investors, independent contractors and other third parties that place restrictions on the use and disclosure of this information and technology. These agreements may be breached, or this type of information and technology, including trade secrets, may otherwise be disclosed or become known to our competitors, which could cause us to lose any competitive advantage resulting from this information and technology. To the extent that our employees, independent contractors or other third parties with whom we do business use intellectual property owned by others in their work for us, disputes may arise as to the rights in related or resulting know how and inventions. The loss of trade secret protection could make it easier for third parties to compete with our products and services by copying our proprietary functionality. In addition, any changes in, or unexpected interpretations of, intellectual property laws may compromise our ability to enforce our intellectual property rights. Costly and time-consuming litigation could be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our proprietary rights, and failure to obtain or maintain protection of our trade secrets or other proprietary information could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and competitive position.
We may pursue registration of trademarks and domain names in the U.S. Effective protection of trademarks and domain names is expensive and difficult to maintain, both in terms of application and registration costs as well as the costs of defending and enforcing those rights. If we are unable to adequately protect our trademarks, third parties may use our brand names or trademarks similar to ours in a manner that may cause confusion to our customers and confusion in the market, which could decrease the value of our brand. Currently, Renters Warehouse does not have any trademark registrations for one of its key brands, Appreciate, so Renters Warehouse must rely on common law trademark rights to protect its rights in this brand. Common law trademark rights in the U.S. do not provide the same level of protection that is afforded by the registration of a federal trademark. In addition, common law trademark rights in the U.S. are generally limited to the geographic area in which the trademark is actually used and the field of use within such geographic area.
We may be unable to obtain intellectual property protection for our platform, technology offerings and brands, and our existing trademark registrations and applications, and any trademarks that may be used in the future, may not provide us with competitive advantages or distinguish our platform and technology offerings from those of our competitors. In addition, our trademarks may be contested, circumvented, or found to be unenforceable, weak or invalid, and we may not be able to prevent third parties from infringing or otherwise violating them. To counter infringement or unauthorized use of our trademarks, we may deem it necessary to file infringement claims, which can be expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation. An adverse outcome in such litigation or proceedings may expose us to a loss of our competitive position, expose us to significant liabilities, or require us to seek licenses that may not be available on commercially acceptable terms, if at all.
Litigation or proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or other governmental authorities and administrative bodies in the U.S. and abroad may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights and to determine the validity and scope of the intellectual property rights of others. Efforts to enforce or protect intellectual property rights may be ineffective and could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources, which could harm our business and results of operations.
Our platform, its features and technology offerings may infringe the intellectual property rights of others, which may cause us to incur unexpected costs or prevent us from providing our products and services.
We cannot guarantee that our internally developed or acquired systems, technologies and content do not and will not infringe or misappropriate the intellectual property rights of others. In addition, we use content, software and other intellectual property rights from third parties and may be subject to claims of infringement or misappropriation if we have failed to obtain appropriate intellectual property licenses from such parties, or such parties do not possess the necessary intellectual property rights to the products or services they license to our business. We may in the future be, subject to claims that we have infringed the copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights of a third-party. Any intellectual property related infringement or misappropriation claims, whether or not meritorious, could result in costly litigation and divert management resources and attention. Should we be found liable for infringement or misappropriation, we may be required to enter into licensing agreements, if available on acceptable terms or at all, pay substantial damages, limit or curtail our offerings and technologies or take other action, which could harm our business and results of operations. Moreover, we may need to redesign some of our systems and technologies to avoid future infringement liability. Any of the foregoing could prevent us from competing effectively and could expose our business to significant liabilities.
Some of our products and services contain open source software, which may pose particular risks to our proprietary software, products, and services in a manner that could have a negative effect on our business.
We use open source software in our products and services and anticipate using open source software in the future. Some open source software licenses require those who distribute open source software in certain ways as part of their own software product to publicly disclose all or part of the source code to such software product or to make available any derivative works of the open source code on unfavorable terms or at no cost, and we may be subject to such terms. The terms of certain open source licenses to which our business is subject have not been interpreted by U.S. or foreign courts, and there is a risk that open source software licenses could be construed in a manner that imposes unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to provide or distribute our products or services. Additionally, we could face claims from third parties alleging ownership of, or demanding release of, the open source software or derivative works that we developed using such software, which could include our proprietary source code, or otherwise seeking to enforce the terms of the applicable open source license. These claims could result in litigation and could require us to make our proprietary software source code freely available, purchase a costly license or cease offering the implicated products or services unless and until it can re-engineer such source code in a manner that avoids infringement. This re-engineering process could require us to expend significant additional research and development resources, and we may not be able to complete the re-engineering process successfully. In addition to risks related to license requirements, use of certain open source software can pose greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or controls on the origin of software. Any of these risks could be difficult to eliminate or manage, and, if not addressed, could have a negative effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We rely on licenses to use the intellectual property rights of third parties, which are incorporated into our platform and its features and technology offerings. Failure to renew or expand existing licenses may require us to modify, limit or discontinue certain offerings, which could materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We rely on products, technologies and intellectual property that we license from third parties for use in our platform and its features and technology offerings. We cannot assure that these third-party licenses, or support for such licensed products and technologies, will continue to be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, if at all. In the event that we cannot renew and/or expand existing licenses, we may be required to discontinue or limit our use of the products and technologies that include or incorporate the licensed intellectual property.
We cannot be certain that our licensors are not infringing the intellectual property rights of others or that our suppliers and licensors have sufficient rights to the technology they license to us in all jurisdictions in which we may operate. Some of our license agreements may be terminated by our licensors for convenience. If we are unable to obtain or maintain rights to any of this technology because of intellectual property infringement claims brought by third parties against our suppliers and licensors or against us, or if we are unable to continue to obtain the technology or enter into new agreements on commercially reasonable terms, our ability to develop our services containing that technology could be severely limited and our business could be disrupted or otherwise harmed. Additionally, if we are unable to obtain necessary technology from third parties, we may be forced to acquire or develop alternate technology, which may require significant time and effort and may be of lower quality or performance standards and/or may be prohibited by contract from developing competing products. This would limit and delay our ability to provide new or competitive offerings and increase our costs. If alternate technology cannot be obtained or developed, we may not be able to offer certain functionality as part of our offerings, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues
Climate change, related legislative and regulatory responses to climate change, and the transition to a lower carbon economy may adversely affect our business.
There is increasing concern that a gradual rise in global average temperatures due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will cause significant changes in weather patterns around the globe, an increase in the frequency, severity, and duration of extreme weather conditions and natural disasters, and water scarcity and poor water quality. These events could also compound adverse economic conditions. To the extent that significant changes in the climate occur in areas where our customers’ properties are located, we may experience extreme weather and/or changes in precipitation and temperature, all of which may result in physical damage to, or a decrease in demand for, properties located in these areas or affected by these conditions and our financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected. In addition, changes in federal, state, and local legislation and regulation based on concerns about climate change, including regulations aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions and the implementation of “green” building codes, could result in increased capital expenditures on our customers’ existing properties (for example, to improve their energy efficiency and/or resistance to inclement weather) without a corresponding increase in revenue, resulting in a decreased desirability of owning investment properties. Any assessment of the potential impact of future climate change legislation, regulations, or industry standards, as well as any international treaties and accords, is uncertain given the wide scope of potential regulatory change.
We are subject to risks from natural disasters such as earthquakes and severe weather (the frequency and severity of which may be impacted by climate change), which may include more frequent or severe storms, extreme temperatures and ambient temperature increases, hurricanes, flooding, rising sea levels, shortages of water, droughts and wildfires, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Natural disasters, severe weather such as earthquakes, tornadoes, wind, or floods, and wildfires may result in significant damage to our customers’ properties. The extent of casualty losses and loss of income in connection with such events is a function of the severity of the event and the total amount of exposure in the affected area. Additional consequences of severe weather could include increased insurance premiums and deductibles or a decrease in the availability of coverage.
Environmentally hazardous conditions could potentially adversely affect us.
Under various federal, state, and local environmental laws, a current or previous owner or operator of real property may be liable for the cost of removing or remediating hazardous or toxic substances on such property. Such laws often impose liability whether or not the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. Even if more than one person may have been responsible for the contamination, each person covered by applicable environmental laws may be held responsible for all of the clean-up costs incurred. In addition, third parties may sue the owner or operator of a site for damages based on personal injury, natural resources, or property damage or other costs, including investigation and clean-up costs, resulting from the environmental contamination. The presence of hazardous or toxic substances on one of customer’s properties, or the failure to properly remediate a contaminated property, could give rise to a lien in favor of the government for costs it may incur to address the contamination or otherwise adversely affect our ability to sell or lease the property or borrow using the property as collateral. Environmental laws also may impose restrictions on the manner in which property may be used or businesses may be operated. A property owner who violates environmental laws may be subject to sanctions which may be enforced by governmental agencies or, in certain circumstances, private parties. In connection with the management of properties, we could be exposed to such costs. The cost of defending against environmental claims, of compliance with environmental regulatory requirements, or of remediating any contaminated property could materially and adversely affect us.
We are subject to increasing scrutiny from investors and others regarding our environmental, social, governance, or sustainability, responsibilities, which could result in additional costs or risks and adversely impact our reputation, associate retention, and ability to raise capital from such investors.
Investor advocacy groups, certain institutional investors, investment funds, other market participants, and stakeholders have focused increasingly on the Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG” or “sustainability”) practices of companies, including those associated with climate change. These parties have placed increased importance on the implications of the social cost of their investments. If our ESG practices do not meet investor or other industry stakeholder expectations and standards, which continue to evolve, our reputation and associate retention may be negatively impacted based on an assessment of our ESG practices. Any sustainability disclosures we make may include our policies and practices on a variety of social and ethical matters, including corporate governance, environmental compliance, associate health and safety practices, human capital management, product quality, supply chain management, and workforce inclusion and diversity. It is possible that stakeholders may not be satisfied with our ESG practices or the speed of their adoption. We could also incur additional costs and require additional resources to monitor, report, and comply with various ESG practices. In addition, investors may decide to refrain from investing in us as a result of their assessment of our approach to and consideration of the ESG factors.
Risks Related to Our Indebtedness
Substantially all of our indebtedness is in default and our indebtedness could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition, and impair our ability to satisfy our obligations.
Our indebtedness as of September 30, 2022, December 31, 2021 and 2020 was $11.1 million, $11.0 million, and $15.8 million, respectively. Although we have obtained waivers or forbearance agreements, substantially all of our related and non-related party indebtedness is in default. In addition, we have a substantial amount due to service providers. Our inability to repay, refinance or restructure these obligations could jeopardize our ability to operate and could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. See the section entitled “Renters Warehouse’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Debt.”
We may also incur additional indebtedness to meet future financing needs. Our indebtedness could have significant negative consequences for our security holders and our business, results of operations and financial condition by, among other things:
|●||increasing our vulnerability to adverse economic and industry conditions;|
|●||limiting our ability to obtain additional financing;|
|●||requiring the dedication of a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to service our indebtedness, which will reduce the amount of cash available for other purposes;|
|●||limiting our flexibility to plan for, or react to, changes in our business; and|
|●||placing us at a possible competitive disadvantage with competitors that are less leveraged than us or have better access to capital.|
The occurrence of any one of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition, and ability to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness.
The terms of our indebtedness contain customary events of default and covenants that prohibit us from taking certain actions without satisfying certain financial tests or obtaining the consent of the lenders. Should we be unable to comply with the terms and covenants of our indebtedness we may be required to obtain consents or waivers from our lender, modify our credit facility or other debt instruments or secure another source of financing to continue to operate our business, none of which may be available to us on reasonable terms or at all. Additional defaults could also result in the acceleration of our obligations. In addition, these covenants may prevent us from engaging in transactions that benefit us, including responding to changing business and economic conditions or securing additional financing, if needed.
In the event that cash available is not sufficient to pay off all of our indebtedness or pay our service providers when amounts become due, we may not have the funds necessary to pay off approximately $11.1 million in indebtedness or the amounts due to our service providers and this may adversely affect our capital structure and our ability to raise additional capital or incur additional indebtedness.
We utilize debt to provide capital for the continued growth and operation of our business, including customer acquisition, geographic expansion, and technology development. Our ability to make payments on the principal of, to pay interest on or to refinance our indebtedness depends on our future performance and, if applicable, the value of collateral, which is subject to economic, industry, competitive and other factors beyond our control and the success of the contemplated transaction. Our business may not continue to generate cash flow from operations in the future sufficient to service our debt and make necessary capital expenditures. If we are unable to generate such cash flow, we may be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as selling assets, restructuring debt or obtaining additional equity capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive. Our ability to extend or refinance our indebtedness or raise additional capital will depend on the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. We may not be able to engage in any of these activities or engage in these activities on desirable terms, which could result in a default on our debt obligations.
In addition, Appreciate recently entered into agreements to defer amounts due to a number of service providers to PTIC II and Renters Warehouse until such time when sufficient funds become available to Appreciate to pay such deferred fees and expenses in cash. See “Background and Recent Developments – Deferred Service Provider Agreements.”
Risks Related to Ownership of Appreciate Securities
The trading price of the Class A Shares is likely to be volatile and the benefits of the Business Combination may not meet the expectations of investors, holders of Appreciate Class A Common Stock or financial analysts, which could cause holders of Appreciate Common Stock to incur substantial losses.
Technology and real estate stocks historically have experienced high levels of volatility. The trading price of Appreciate Class A Common Stock may fluctuate substantially. These fluctuations could cause you to incur substantial losses, including all of your investment in Appreciate Common Stock. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the trading price of Appreciate Common Stock include the following:
|●||the sale of significant amounts of Class A Common Stock pursuant to the committed equity facility, the forward purchase agreement and by selling securityholders;|
|●||significant volatility in the market price and trading volume of technology companies in general and of companies in the real estate technology industry in particular;|
|●||changes in mortgage interest rates;|
|●||variations in the housing market, including seasonal trends and fluctuations;|
|●||announcements of new solutions, commercial relationships, acquisitions, or other events by us or our competitors;|
|●||price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;|
|●||changes in how single-family residential owners perceive the benefits of our platform and future offerings;|
|●||the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements, and filings with the SEC;|
|●||fluctuations in the trading volume of our shares or the size of our public float;|
|●||sales of large blocks of Appreciate Class A Common Stock;|
|●||actual or anticipated changes or fluctuations in our results of operations or financial projections;|
|●||changes in actual or future expectations of investors or securities analysts;|
|●||litigation involving us, our industry, or both;|
|●||governmental or regulatory actions or audits;|
|●||regulatory developments applicable to our business, including those related to privacy in the U.S. or globally;|
|●||general economic conditions and trends;|
|●||major catastrophic events in our markets; and|
|●||departures of key employees.|
Moreover, if the benefits of the Business Combination do not meet the expectations of investors or securities analysts, the market price of the Company’s securities may decline.
In addition, if the market for technology or real estate stocks, or the stock market, in general, experiences a loss of investor confidence, the trading price of Appreciate Class A Common Stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, financial condition or results of operations. The trading price of Appreciate Class A Common Stock might also decline in reaction to events that affect other companies in the real estate or technology industries even if these events do not directly affect us. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been brought against that company.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish unfavorable research about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for Appreciate Class A 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, change their opinion of our business prospects or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the price of Appreciate Class A Common Stock may decline. If one or more of these analysts who cover us 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 likely will need to raise additional capital to continue to grow our business and we may not be able to raise additional capital on terms acceptable to us, or at all.
Growing and operating our business, including by continuously innovating, improving and expanding our platform, expanding our adjacent services and expanding into new markets, likely will require significant cash outlays, liquidity reserves and capital expenditures. If cash on hand, cash generated from operations, cash equivalents and investment balances and cash provided by the Cantor Committed Equity Facility, subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in the Cantor Purchase Agreement, are not sufficient to meet our cash and liquidity needs, we may need to seek additional capital and we may not be able to raise the necessary cash on terms acceptable to us, or at all. Financing arrangements we pursue or assume may require us to grant certain rights, take certain actions, or agree to certain restrictions that could negatively impact our business. If additional capital is not available to us on terms acceptable to us or at all, we may need to modify our business plans, which would harm our ability to grow our operations.
The Cantor Committed Equity Facility is subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in the Purchase Agreement, which may limit our ability to fund our business and satisfy our obligations.
The Cantor Committed Equity Facility financing is subject to certain conditions and limitations set forth in the Purchase Agreement. Our ability to satisfy our obligations and provide working capital for our business may be subject to access to liquidity under the Committed Equity Financing. Initial conditions to the availability of the Committed Equity Financing include eligibility for listing and no suspension of trading of the Class A Common Stock on its principal trading market, as well as the availability of an effective registration statement for the resale by Cantor of the Class A Common Stock. Cantor also has the right to terminate or suspend the Purchase Agreement. In addition, the Forward Purchase Agreement includes a covenant that the Company will not, for 60 business days (commencing on the prepayment date or if an earlier registration request is submitted on the registration statement effective date), issue, sell or offer or agree to sell any shares, including under any existing or future equity line of credit, until the shortfall sales equal the prepayment shortfall.
If such conditions are not met or Cantor exercises its right to terminate or suspend the Purchase Agreement, we may need to seek additional capital and we may not be able to raise the necessary cash on terms acceptable to us, or at all. If additional capital is not available to us on terms acceptable to us or at all, we may need to modify our business plans, which would harm our ability to operate or grow our business.
When the shares of Appreciate Class A Common Stock are issued pursuant to the Purchase Agreement and if the Appreciate Warrants are exercised for Appreciate Class A Common Stock, the number of shares eligible for future resale in the public market will increase and result in dilution to our stockholders.
The Public and Private Warrants became exercisable on December 29, 2022. The exercise price of these Public and Private Warrants is $11.50 per share. Additionally, pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, Appreciate issued the Commitment Shares to Cantor and may issue up to an additional 10,000,000 shares of Appreciate Class A Common Stock to Cantor after the Closing, assuming the Appreciate Class A Common Stock trades at $10.00 throughout the draw down period and Appreciate draws down fully the amount of shares of Appreciate Class A Common Stock available under the Purchase Agreement.
To the extent such Warrants are exercised, the shares underlying the Private Warrants are registered or shares are issued pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, additional shares of Class A Common Stock will be issued, which will result in dilution to the holders of Class A Common Stock and increase the number of shares eligible for resale in the public market. Sales of substantial numbers of such shares in the public market or the fact that such Warrants may be exercised and the shares pursuant to the Purchase Agreement may be issued could adversely affect the market price of Class A Common Stock and make it more difficult to achieve the exercise price for the Warrants. However, there is no guarantee that the Warrants will ever be in the money prior to their expiration, and as such, the Warrants may expire worthless.
The Warrants may never be in the money, and they may expire worthless and the terms of the Appreciate Warrants may be amended in a manner adverse to a holder if holders of at least a majority of the then outstanding Appreciate Warrants approve of such amendment.
The Warrants are exercisable at $11.50 per share. Given the current market price of the Class A Common Stock, it is not likely that the Warrants will be exercised until the market price of the Class A Common Stock increases substantially. Thus, the Warrants are not anticipated to provide capital to the Company at the present time.
The Appreciate Warrants were issued in registered form under a Warrant Agreement between CST, as warrant agent, and PTIC II. The Warrant Agreement provides that the terms of the Appreciate Warrants may be amended without the consent of any holder to cure any ambiguity or correct any defective provision, but requires the approval by the holders of at least a majority of the then outstanding Warrants to make any change that adversely affects the interests of the registered holders of Warrants and, solely with respect to any amendment to the terms of the Appreciate Private Placement Warrants or any provision of the Warrant Agreement with respect to the Appreciate Private Placement Warrants, a majority of the number of the then outstanding Appreciate Private Placement Warrants. Accordingly, we may amend the terms of the Appreciate Warrants in a manner adverse to a holder if holders of at least a majority of the then outstanding Warrants approve of such amendment. Although our ability to amend the terms of the Warrants with the consent of at least a majority of the then outstanding Warrants is unlimited, examples of such amendments could be amendments to, among other things, increase the exercise price of the Warrants, shorten the exercise period or term of the Warrant or decrease the number of shares of Class A Common Stock purchasable upon exercise of an Warrant. Amendment of the Warrants could be in a manner that negatively affects the price of the Class A Common Stock.
We may redeem your unexpired Appreciate Warrants prior to their exercise at a time that is disadvantageous to you, thereby making your Appreciate Warrants worthless.
We have the ability to redeem the outstanding Appreciate Warrants at any time after they become exercisable and prior to their expiration, at a price of $0.01 per warrant if, among other things, the last reported sale price of Appreciate Class A Common Stock for any twenty trading days within any thirty trading day period ending on the third trading day prior to the date on which we send the notice of redemption to the Appreciate Warrant holders equals or exceeds $18.00 per share (as adjusted for share splits, share dividends, rights issuances, subdivisions, reorganizations, recapitalizations and the like). If and when the Appreciate Warrants become redeemable by us, we may exercise our redemption right even if we are unable to register or qualify the underlying securities for sale under all applicable state securities laws. As a result, we may redeem the Appreciate Warrants as set forth above even if the holders are otherwise unable to exercise the Appreciate Warrants. Redemption of the outstanding Appreciate Warrants as described above could force holders to: (i) exercise their Appreciate Warrants and pay the exercise price therefor at a time when it may be disadvantageous to them; (ii) sell their Appreciate Warrants at the then current market price when they might otherwise wish to hold their Appreciate Warrants; or (iii) accept the nominal redemption price which, at the time the outstanding Appreciate Warrants are called for redemption, we expect would be substantially less than the market value of the Appreciate Warrants. None of the Appreciate Private Placement Warrants will be redeemable by us so long as they are held by PTIC II’s sponsor or its permitted transferees.
We cannot assure you that Appreciate will be able to comply with the continued listing standards of Nasdaq.
If Nasdaq were to delist Appreciate’s securities from trading on its exchange for failure to meet its listing standards and Appreciate is not able to list such securities on another national securities exchange, Appreciate expects such securities could be quoted on an over the counter market. If this were to occur, Appreciate and its stockholders could face significant material adverse consequences including:
|●||a limited availability of market quotations for Appreciate’s securities;|
|●||reduced liquidity for Appreciate’s securities;|
|●||a determination that Appreciate’s Class A Common Stock is a “penny stock,” which will require brokers trading the Appreciate Class A Common Stock to adhere to more stringent rules, possibly resulting in a reduced level of trading activity in the secondary trading market for shares of Appreciate Class A Common Stock;|
|●||a limited amount of news and analyst coverage;|
|●||Appreciate’s Class A Common Stock may become subject to registration or qualification requirements under state “blue sky” law; and|
|●||a decreased ability to issue additional securities or obtain additional financing in the future.|
An active trading market for Appreciate Class A Common Stock and Appreciate Warrants may not be available on a consistent basis to provide Appreciate securityholders with adequate liquidity. The stock price may be extremely volatile, and Appreciate securityholders could lose a significant part of their investment.
An active trading market for Appreciate Class A Common Stock and Appreciate Warrants may not be sustained on a consistent basis. The public trading price for Appreciate Class A Common Stock and Appreciate Public Warrants will be affected by a number of factors, including:
|●||reported progress of our business and technology development, relative to investor expectations;|
|●||changes in earnings estimates, investors’ perceptions, recommendations by securities analysts or our failure to achieve analysts’ earnings estimates;|
|●||quarterly variations in our or our competitors’ results of operations;|
|●||general market conditions and other factors unrelated to our operating performance or the operating performance of our competitors;|
|●||future issuance and/or sale of common stock or preferred stock;|
|●||announcements by us, or our competitors, of acquisitions, new products, significant contracts, commercial relationships or capital commitments;|
|●||commencement of, or involvement in, litigation;|
|●||any major change in our board of directors or management;|
|●||changes in governmental regulations or in the status of our regulatory approvals;|
|●||announcements related to patents issued to us or our competitors and to litigation involving our intellectual property;|
|●||a lack of, limited, or negative industry or security analyst coverage;|
|●||developments in our industry and general economic conditions;|
|●||short selling or similar activities by third parties; and|
|●||other factors described elsewhere in these “Risk Factors.”|
As a result of these factors, our stockholders may not be able to resell their Appreciate Class A Common Stock or Appreciate Warrants at, or above, their purchase price. In addition, the stock prices of many technology companies have experienced wide fluctuations that have often been unrelated to the operating performance of those companies. Any negative change in the public’s perception of the prospects of technology based single-family real estate service providers could depress the price of our securities regardless of our results of operations. These factors may have a material adverse effect on the market price of Appreciate Class A Common Stock and Appreciate Warrants.
Because Appreciate has no current plans to pay cash dividends for the foreseeable future, you may not receive any return on investment unless you sell your shares for a price greater than that which you paid for them.
Appreciate intends to retain future earnings, if any, for future operations, expansion and debt repayment and there are no current plans to pay any cash dividends for the foreseeable future. The declaration, amount and payment of any future dividends on shares of Class A Common Stock will be at the sole discretion of the Appreciate Board, which may take into account general and economic conditions, our financial condition and results of operations, available cash and current and anticipated cash needs, capital requirements, contractual, legal, tax, and regulatory restrictions, implications on the payment of dividends by the Company to its stockholders or by its subsidiaries to it and such other factors as the Appreciate Board may deem relevant. In addition, the Company’s ability to pay dividends will be limited by covenants of any indebtedness it incurs. As a result, investors may not receive any return on an investment in the shares of Class A Common Stock unless the shares are sold for a price greater than the purchase price.
Future sales, or the perception of future sales, of Appreciate’s common stock by Appreciate or its existing stockholders in the public market could cause the market price for Appreciate’s common stock to decline.
The sale of substantial amounts of shares of Appreciate’s common stock in the public market, or the perception that such sales could occur, could harm the prevailing market price of shares of common stock. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, also might make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate.
In connection with the Business Combination, certain of Renters’ Warehouse members agreed that, subject to certain exceptions, they will not, during the period beginning at the effective time of the Business Combination and the date that is 180 days after the date of the Business Combination (subject to early release if Appreciate consummates a liquidation, merger, share exchange or other similar transaction with an unaffiliated third party), directly or indirectly, offer, sell, contract to sell, pledge, grant any option to purchase, make any short sale, or otherwise dispose of any shares of common stock, or any options or warrants to purchase any shares of common stock, or any securities convertible into, exchangeable for, or that represent the right to receive shares of common stock, or any interest in any of the foregoing.
Upon the expiration or waiver of the lock-up described above, shares held by these stockholders will be eligible for resale, subject to, in the case of stockholders who are our affiliates, volume, manner of sale, and other limitations under Rule 144 promulgated under the Securities Act.
In addition, certain of our stockholders will have registration rights under registration rights agreements pursuant to which we are obligated to register such stockholders’ shares of common stock and other securities that such stockholders hold or may acquire. Upon the effectiveness of the applicable registration statement, these shares of common stock will be available for resale without restriction, subject to any lock-up agreement.
The Selling Securityholders named in this prospectus that are not holders of Class B Common Stock can sell, under this prospectus, up to 13,454,389 shares of Class A Common Stock (assuming the exercise of all of our outstanding Warrants) which would constitute approximately 27.88% of our issued and outstanding shares of Common Stock as of January 23, 2023. As a percentage of our publicly-traded shares of Class A Common Stock, that number of the shares of Class A Common Stock would constitute approximately 44.10% of such shares if all of such shares were sold. Additionally, if all of the 31,200,000 shares of Class B Common Stock currently outstanding were to exchange for shares of Class A Common Stock and all outstanding Warrants were exercised, the Selling Securityholders would own 44,654,389 shares of Class A Common Stock, representing 72.36% of the then total outstanding shares of our Common Stock on a fully diluted basis. Sales of a substantial number of shares of Class A Common Stock in the public market by the Selling Securityholders and/or by our other existing securityholders, or the perception that those sales might occur, could result in a significant decline in the public trading price of our Class A Common Stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities. Despite such a decline in the public trading price, certain Selling Securityholders could still experience a positive rate of return on the securities they purchased or acquired due to the lower price that they purchased or acquired their shares of Class A Common Stock and could be incentivized to sell their securities when others would not be so incentivized. Based on the closing price of our Class A Common Stock on February 10, 2023, (a) the Sponsor and stockholders that acquired shares prior to the Business Combination could experience a potential profit of up to $1.62 per share; and (b) the prior owners of Renters Warehouse could experience a potential profit of up to $1.62 per share upon the sale of their shares following the exchange of their Class B Common Stock. The holders of Warrants may experience a potential profit if the price of the Company’s shares of Class A Common Stock exceeds $11.50 per share.
In addition, shares of our common stock issuable upon exercise or vesting of incentive awards under our incentive plans are, once issued, eligible for sale in the public market, subject to any lock-up agreements and, in some cases, limitations on volume and manner of sale applicable to affiliates under Rule 144.
The market price of shares of our Class A Common Stock could drop significantly if the holders of the shares described above sell them or are perceived by the market as intending to sell them. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to raise additional funds through future offerings of shares of our common stock or other securities.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of Class A Common Stock in the public market by the Selling Securityholders will likely effect the market price of our Common Stock.
The sale of shares pursuant to this Prospectus will constitute a significant percentage of our outstanding Common Stock and a considerable percentage of our public float. The sale of such shares by the Selling Securityholders and/or by our other existing securityholders, or the perception that those sales might occur, could result in a significant decline in the public trading price of our Class A Common Stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities. The Selling Securityholders will be able to sell all of their shares for so long as the registration statement of which this Prospectus forms a part is available for use and they have may have an incentive to sell such shares given the lower price at which they acquired such shares.
Appreciate will incur significant increased expenses and administrative burdens as a public company, which could have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition and results of operations.
As a public company, Appreciate will incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that Renters Warehouse did not incur as a private company, and these expenses may increase even more if Appreciate is not deemed an emerging growth company, as defined in Section 2(a) of the Securities Act. As a public company, Appreciate will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes Oxley Act, the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as well as rules adopted, and to be adopted, by the SEC and Nasdaq. Appreciate’s management and other personnel will need to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. It is possible that Appreciate will be required to expand its employee base and hire additional employees to support its operations as a public company which will increase its operating costs in future periods. Moreover, Appreciate expects these rules and regulations to substantially increase its legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time consuming and costly. The increased costs could increase Appreciate’s net loss. For example, Appreciate expects it to become more difficult and more expensive for it to obtain director and officer liability insurance and it may be forced to incur substantially higher costs to obtain appropriate coverage. Appreciate cannot accurately predict or estimate the amount or timing of additional costs it may incur. The impact of being a public company could also make it more difficult for Appreciate to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on the Appreciate Board, its board committees or as executive officers. Such increased expenses and administrative burdens involved in operating as a public company could have a material adverse effect on Appreciate’s business, prospects, financial condition, and operating results.
USE OF PROCEEDS
All of the Class A Common Stock and Warrants offered by the Selling Securityholders pursuant to this prospectus will be sold by the Selling Securityholders for their respective accounts. The Company will not receive any of the proceeds from these sales.
The Company will receive up to an aggregate of approximately $84.97 million from the exercise of the Warrants, assuming the exercise in full of all of the Warrants for cash. The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the exercise of the Warrants for general corporate purposes, which may include temporary or permanent repayment of our outstanding indebtedness and our service provider obligations. The Company will have broad discretion over the use of proceeds from the exercise of the Warrants. There is no assurance that the holders of the Warrants will elect to exercise any or all of such Warrants.
The Selling Securityholders
will pay any underwriting fees, discounts and selling commissions incurred by such Selling Securityholders in disposing of their Class A Common Stock. Pursuant to a registration rights and investors rights agreements entered into by the Company, the Investors and certain other stockholders of the Company, the Company will bear all other costs, fees and expenses incurred in effecting the registration of the Class A Common Stock covered by this prospectus, including, without limitation, all registration and filing fees, NASDAQ listing fees and fees and expenses of counsel and independent registered public accountants.
DETERMINATION OF OFFERING PRICE
The offering price of the shares of Class A Common Stock underlying the Warrants offered hereby is determined by reference to the exercise price of the Warrants of $11.50 per share. The Warrants are listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol “SFRWW.”
We cannot currently determine the price or prices at which shares of our Class A Common Stock may be sold by the Selling Securityholders under this prospectus.
MARKET INFORMATION FOR CLASS A COMMON STOCK AND DIVIDEND POLICY
Our Class A Common Stock and Warrants are currently listed on Nasdaq under the symbols “SFR” and “SFRWW,” respectively. Prior to the consummation of the Business Combination, PTIC II’s shares, warrants and units were listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market, under the symbols “PTIC,” “PTICW,” and “PTICU,” respectively. As of December 7, 2022, upon the completion of the Business Combination, there were approximately 72 holders of record of our Class A Common Stock, 29 holders of record of our Class B Common Stock, and 66 holders of record of our Warrants. Our Class B Common Stock is not listed on any exchange and we do not intend to list the Class B Common Stock on any exchange or stock market.
We have not paid any cash dividends on our Class A Common Stock to date. The payment of cash dividends in the future will be dependent upon our revenues and earnings, if any, capital requirements and general financial condition. The payment of any cash dividends will be within the discretion of our Board at such time. We do not anticipate declaring any cash dividends to holders of our Class A Common Stock in the foreseeable future.
UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Defined terms included below have the same meaning as terms defined and included elsewhere in the Current Report on Form 8-K and Form 8-K/A (collectively the “Form 8-K”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on December 5, 2022. Unless the context otherwise requires, the “Combined Company” refers to Appreciate Holdings, Inc. (f/k/a PropTech Investment Corporation II) and its subsidiaries after the Closing, “PTIC II” refers to PropTech Investment Corporation II prior to the Closing, “Renters Warehouse” refers to RW National Holdings, LLC prior to the Closing.
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information has been prepared in accordance with Article 11 of SEC Regulation S-X as amended by the final rule, Release No. 33-10786 “Amendments to Financial Disclosures about Acquired and Disposed Businesses” to aid you in your analysis of the financial aspects of the transactions and is for informational purposes only.
On November 29, 2022, PTIC II consummated the previously announced Business Combination pursuant to the Business Combination Agreement dated May 17, 2022, by and among PTIC II, Renters Warehouse, and Sellers’ Representative of applicable Renters Warehouse unitholders. Pursuant to the Business Combination Agreement, PTIC II formed NewCo LLC for purposes of consummating the transactions contemplated by the Business Combination Agreement. Each share of PTIC II Class B Common Stock that was issued and outstanding immediately prior to the Closing was converted into one (1) share of PTIC II Class A Common Stock. The Proposed Appreciate Charter and the Proposed Appreciate Bylaws shall become the Governing Documents (as defined in the Business Combination Agreement) of PTIC II, and PTIC II changed its name to “Appreciate Holdings, Inc.” in accordance with the Business Combination Agreement. Upon the Closing Date, current Rolling Renters Warehouse Unitholders contributed all of their Existing Renters Warehouse LLC Interests to NewCo LLC in exchange for non-voting NewCo LLC Class B Units, the NewCo LLC Agreement was amended and restated in the required form, PTIC II contributed the Closing Date Contribution Amount to NewCo LLC in exchange for NewCo LLC Class A Units and the unitholders of NewCo LLC (other than PTIC II) received a number of shares of Appreciate Class B Common Stock equal to the Transaction Equity Security Amount, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Business Combination Agreement.
In connection with the Business Combination, at closing, PTIC II, NewCo LLC, Renters Warehouse, Lake Street and each of the members of NewCo LLC that are Rolling Renters Warehouse Unitholders (excluding St. Cloud) entered into the Tax Receivable Agreement.
In connection with the Business Combination, PTIC II entered into the CEF Purchase Agreement with Cantor, related to the Committed Equity Facility that was available to support Appreciate following the Closing of the Business Combination, subject to certain customary conditions and limitations set forth in the CEF Purchase Agreement.
On November 20, 2022, PTIC II and Vellar, entered into the Forward Purchase Agreement (the “Forward Purchase Transaction”). Pursuant to the terms of the Forward Purchase Agreement, Vellar intended, but was not obligated, to purchase in the open market through a broker shares of PTIC II Class A Common Stock, after the date of the Forward Purchase Agreement and after the expiration of PTIC II’s redemption deadline from holders of shares of PTIC II Class A Common Stock (other than PTIC II or affiliates of PTIC II) who had elected to redeem shares of PTIC II Class A Common Stock pursuant to the redemption rights set forth in PTIC II’s amended and restated certificate of incorporation, dated as of December 3, 2020, in connection with the Business Combination Agreement, up to a maximum of 9,000,000 shares of PTIC II Class A Common Stock at a redemption price of approximately $10.08 per Share to be paid to investors who elected to redeem their shares at PTIC II’s redemption; provided that Vellar may not beneficially own greater than 9.9% of the issued and outstanding shares of Appreciate Class A Common Stock on a post-Business Combination pro forma basis. Vellar agreed to waive any redemption rights with respect to any shares of PTIC II Class A Common Stock in connection with the Business Combination.
Subsequent to entering into the Forward Purchase Agreement with Vellar, the Company and the Target entered into separate assignment and novation agreements with Polar Multi-Strategy Master Fund (“Polar”) and Meteora Special Opportunity Fund I, LP, Meteora Select Trading Opportunities Master, LP and Meteora Capital Partners, LP (collectively “Meteora”), pursuant to which Vellar subsequently assigned its obligations as to 3,000,000 shares of the Class A Common Stock to be purchased to each of Polar and Meteora. Vellar, Polar, and Meteora are sometimes referred to herein as the “Counterparties.”
In accordance with and as contemplated by the Forward Purchase Agreement, Vellar, Polar and Meteora collectively purchased approximately 8.8 million shares of Class A Common Stock directly from stockholders prior to the closing of the Business Combination. Vellar and other counterparties waived their redemption rights with respect to the acquired shares.
One business day following the closing of the Business Combination, Appreciate paid approximately $89.14 million from the cash held in its trust account to Vellar, Polar and Meteora for the shares purchased, approximately $5.04 million for additional share consideration (i.e., the value of the 499,999 shares issued as consideration), and approximately $0.38 million in related expense amounts.
279,915 shares of Class A Common Stock have been sold by the counterparties other than Vellar and Polar prior to the date of this Prospectus and the counterparties have advanced $4,956,859 to the Company for amounts, including the Leakage Amount, due the Company under the Forward Purchase Agreement.
The following unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet of Appreciate as of September 30, 2022, and the unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations of Appreciate for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, and for the year ended December 31, 2021 present the combination of the financial information of PTIC II and Renters Warehouse after giving effect to the Business Combination and related adjustments described in the accompanying notes.
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2022 and for the year ended December 31, 2021 give pro forma effect to the Business Combination as if it had occurred on January 1, 2021. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet as of September 30, 2022 gives pro forma effect to the Business Combination as if it was completed on September 30, 2022.
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information is based on and should be read in conjunction with:
|●||the accompanying notes to the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements;|
|●||the unaudited historical financial statements of PTIC II as of September 30, 2022 and for the nine months ended September 30, 2022 and the audited historical financial statements of PTIC II as of December 31, 2021 and 2020 and for the year ended December 31, 2021 and the period from August 6, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020, included in this prospectus;|
|●||the unaudited historical financial statements of Renters Warehouse as of and for the nine months ended September 30, 2022 and 2021, and the audited historical financial statements of Renters Warehouse as of and for the year ended December 31, 2021, included in this prospectus; and|
|●||the disclosures contained in the sections titled “PTIC II’s Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Renters Warehouse’s Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”|
The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information has been presented for illustrative purposes only and does not necessarily reflect what Appreciate’s financial condition or results of operations would have been had the Business Combination occurred on the dates indicated. Further, the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information also may not be useful in predicting the future financial condition and results of operations of Appreciate. The actual financial position and results of operations may differ significantly from the pro forma amounts reflected herein due to a variety of factors. The unaudited pro forma adjustments represent management’s estimates based on information available as of the date of the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information and are subject to change as additional information becomes available and analyses are performed.
The following pro forma condensed combined financial statements presented herein reflect the actual redemption of 13,060,906 shares of Class A Common Stock by PTIC II’s shareholders in connection with the Business Combination.
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED BALANCE SHEET
SEPTEMBER 30, 2022
|PTIC II||Renters Warehouse||Transaction Accounting Adjustments||Note 3||Pro Forma|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||57||$||288||$||905||(a), (b), (c), (d), (f)||$||1,250|
|Accounts receivable, net of allowances||-||1,165||-||1,165|
|Other current assets||-||3,153||1,926||(b), (d)||5,079|
|Total current assets||165||23,369||2,831||26,365|
|Property and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation||-||153||-||153|
|Intangible assets, net||-||1,777||37,723||(e)||39,500|
|Investments held in Trust Account||231,047||-||(231,047||)||(c)||-|
|Liabilities and (deficit) equity|
|Accounts payable and accrued expenses||10,339||12,214||28,485||(b)||51,038|
|Related party promissory note||75||-||(75||)||(f)||-|
|Current portion of long-term debt||-||975||-||975|
|Current portion of long-term debt - related party||-||937||-||937|
|Current maturities of capital lease obligations||-||47||-||47|
|Rent clearing liability||-||4,260||-||4,260|
|Resident security deposits liability||-||14,101||-||14,101|
|Total current liabilities||10,414||32,534||28,410||71,358|
|Long-term debt, net of current maturities, discount, and unamortized debt issuance costs - related party||-||9,172||-||9,172|
|Capital lease obligations, net of current maturities||-||84||-||84|
|Deferred underwriting commissions||8,050||-||(4,280||)||(b)||3,770|
|Derivative warrant liabilities||2,000||-||-||2,000|
|Class A common stock subject to possible redemption||230,968||-||(230,968||)||(h)||-|
|Permanent (deficit) equity:|
|Class A common stock||-||-||2||(h)||2|
|Class B common stock||1||-||2||(h)||3|
|Additional paid-in capital||-||-||287,577||(h)||287,577|
|Noncontrolling interest||-||-||182,949||(h), (i)||182,949|
|Total liabilities, temporary equity and permanent (deficit) equity||$||231,212||$||37,321||$||105,647||$||374,180|
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS
FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2022
(In Thousands, Except Share and Per Share Amounts)
|PTIC II||Renters Warehouse||Transaction Accounting Adjustments||Note 3||Pro Forma|
|Cost of revenue||-||11,538||-||11,538|
|Selling and general||11,071||5,950||-||17,021|
|Depreciation and amortization||-||1,169||3,003||(n)||4,172|
|Administrative expenses - related party||135||-||-||135|
|Franchise tax expenses||171||-||-||171|
|Total operating expenses||11,377||15,257||3,003||29,637|
|Other income (expense), net|
|Loss from remeasurement of derivative liability||-||(165||)||-||(165||)|
|Change in fair value of derivative warrant liabilities||5,423||-||-||5,423|
|Net gain from investments held in Trust Account||1,402||-||(1,402||)||(o)||-|
|Total other income (expense), net||6,825||(1,641||)||(1,402||)||3,782|
|Provision for income taxes||65||-||-||(p)||65|
|Net income (loss)||(4,617||)||(6,303||)||(4,405||)||(15,325||)|
|Net income (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest||-||-||(10,055||)||(q)||(10,055||)|
|Net income (loss) attributable to the Company||$||(4,617||)||$||(6,303||)||$||(5,270||)||$||(16,191||)|
|Net income (loss) per share|
|Basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding, Class A Common Stock||23,000,000||n/a||(r)||16,354,594|
|Basic and diluted net income (loss) per share, Class A Common Stock (1)||$||(0.16||)||n/a||(r)||$||(0.99||)|
|Basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding, Class B Common Stock||5,750,000||n/a||n/a|
|Basic and diluted net income (loss) per share, Class B Common Stock (2)||$||(0.16||)||n/a||n/a|
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS
FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2021
(In Thousands, Except Share and Per Share Amounts)
|Note 3||Pro Forma|
|Cost of revenue||-||15,191||-||15,191|
|Selling and general||813||7,342||-||8,155|
|Administrative||-||5,629||40,785||(k), (l), (m)||46,414|
|Depreciation and amortization||-||1,783||6,920||(n)||8,703|
|Administrative expenses - related party||180||-||-||180|
|Franchise tax expenses||200||-||-||200|
|Total operating expenses||1,193||16,645||47,705||65,543|
|Other income (expense), net|
|Loss from remeasurement of derivative liability||-||34||-||34|
|Change in fair value of derivative warrant liabilities||12,193||-||-||12,193|
|Net gain from investments held in Trust Account||28||-||(28||)||(o)||-|
|Total other income (expense), net||12,221||2,635||(28||)||14,828|
|Net income (loss)||$||11,028||$||(1,299||)||$||(47,733||)||$||(38,004||)|
|Net income (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest||-||-||(24,934||)||(q)||(24,934||)|
|Net income (loss) attributable to the Company||$||-||$||-||$||(13,070||)||$||(13,070||)|
|Net income / (loss) per share|
|Basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding, Class A Common Stock||23,000,000||n/a||(r)||16,354,594|
|Basic and diluted net income / (loss) per share, Class A Common Stock (1)||$||0.38||n/a||(r)||$||(0.80||)|
|Basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding, Class B Common Stock||5,750,000||n/a||n/a|
|Basic and diluted net income per share, Class B Common Stock (2)||$||0.38||n/a||n/a|
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
TO UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
Note 1 — Description of the Business Combination
On November 29, 2022, PTIC II consummated the previously announced Business Combination, pursuant to the previously announced Merger Agreement dated May 17, by and among PTIC II, Renters Warehouse, and Sellers’ Representative of applicable Renters Warehouse unitholders. In connection with the Business Combination PTIC II changed its name to Appreciate Holdings, Inc. referred to herein as Appreciate.
At the Closing, PTIC II, NewCo LLC, Renters Warehouse, Lake Street and each of the members of NewCo LLC that were Rolling Renters Warehouse Unitholders (excluding St. Cloud) entered into the Tax Receivable Agreement.
In connection with the Business Combination, PTIC II entered into the Purchase Agreement with Cantor, related to the Committed Equity Facility that was available to support Appreciate following the Closing of the Business Combination, subject to certain customary conditions and limitations set forth in the Purchase Agreement.
At Closing of the Business Combination, Rolling Renters Warehouse’s stockholders received consideration of $312,000 in shares of Appreciate Class B Common Stock at the Closing of the Business Combination, or 31,200,000 shares based on a stock price of $10 per share.
Forward Purchase Agreement
In November 2022, PTIC II and Vellar Opportunity Fund SPV LLC – Series 9 (“Vellar”), entered into a Forward Purchase Agreement for an OTC Equity Prepaid Forward Transaction. Subsequent to entering into the Forward Purchase Agreement with Vellar, the Company and the Target entered into separate assignment and novation agreements with Polar Multi-Strategy Master Fund (“Polar”) and Meteora Special Opportunity Fund I, LP, Meteora Select Trading Opportunities Master, LP and Meteora Capital Partners, LP (collectively “Meteora”), pursuant to which Vellar subsequently assigned its obligations as to 3,000,000 shares of the Class A Common Stock to be purchased by each of Polar and Meteora. Vellar, Polar and Meteora are sometimes referred to as the “FPA Parties.”
Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the FPA Parties intended, but were not obligated, to purchase in the open market (through a broker) shares of Class A Common Stock. The purchases were to occur after the date of the agreement and after the expiration of PTIC II’s redemption deadline for holders to redeem shares in connection with the Business Combination. The maximum amount to be purchased was 9,000,000 shares of PTIC II Class A Common Stock; provided that none of the FPA Parties can beneficially own greater than 9.9% of the issued and outstanding shares of Class A Common Stock on a post-Business Combination pro forma basis. The price to be paid for the shares was the redemption price or as subsequently determined, approximately $10.08 per Share (based on an amount of $231,870,089.06 held in the Trust Account). The FPA Parties agreed to waive any redemption rights with respect to any shares of PTIC II Class A Common Stock acquired. The waiver reduced the number of shares of PTIC II Class A Common Stock redeemed in connection with the Business Combination.
In general, the Forward Purchase Agreement provides that not later than one local business day following the Closing of the Business Combination, PTIC II would pay to the FPA Parties, out of funds held in the Trust Account, a cash amount equal to (x) the product of the number of shares acquired and $10.08, less, on such date, (y) one-half of 10% of such amount (the “Leakage Amount”). The remaining one-half of the Leakage Amount is due to be paid by the FPA Parties to the Company on the earlier of (a) the date that the SEC declares a registration statement registering the resale of all shares held by the FPA Parties effective, and (b) the optional early termination date (as defined in the Forward Purchase Agreement). In addition to the initial amount, PTIC II issued the FPA Parties additional consideration of 499,999 shares of Class A Common Stock and the FPA Parties waived any redemption rights with respect to the shares acquired.
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
TO UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
All shares purchased by the FPA Counterparties that are subject to the Forward Purchase Agreement remain legally outstanding but are considered to have been redeemed for accounting purposes as the FPA Counterparties are not exposed to any downside economics in share ownership throughout the duration of the Forward Purchase Agreement. The Forward Purchase Transaction in-substance represents a written call option issued to the FPA Counterparties for a premium equal to the Initial Price less the Prepayment Amount plus the Leakage Amount. Under ASC 480, this transaction will be accounted for as a liability upon issuance, which will be initially measured at fair value with subsequent changes in fair value recognized in earnings every reporting period. The fair value at issuance is equal to the premium paid by the FPA Counterparties, as described above. The Additional Consideration amount paid to the FPA Counterparties represents a transaction cost associated solely with the Forward Purchase Transaction and is expensed as incurred immediately upon payment.
In connection with the closing of the Business Combination, up to an additional 6,000,000 earnout shares will be issued to unitholders of NewCo LLC contingent upon achieving certain market share price milestones within a period of five years post-Business Combination. The earnout shares will be immediately issued in the event of a change of control, as defined in the Business Combination Agreement. These units fall within the scope of ASC 815, according to which they are determined to be equity classified and are to be recognized upon achievement of the market price milestone. As such, no adjustment is reflected in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information.
The following table summarizes the pro forma ordinary shares of the Appreciate Holdings, Inc. Common Stock outstanding after giving effect to the Business Combination, excluding the potential dilutive effect of earnout shares and the exercise of warrants:
|Rolling Renters Warehouse Unitholders||31,200,000||65.62||%|
|PTIC II Class A Stockholders||219,698||0.46||%|
|Forward Purchase Agreement||8,794,897||18.49||%|
|Forward Purchase Agreement fee||499,999||1.05||%|
|CF Principal Investments LLC||200,000||0.42||%|
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
TO UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
Note 2 — Basis of Presentation
The historical financial information of PTIC II and Renters Warehouse has been adjusted in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information to reflect transaction accounting adjustments related to the Business Combination in accordance with GAAP.
The Business Combination has been accounted for using the acquisition method of accounting with PTIC II as the accounting acquirer. Renters Warehouse is structured as a substantive equivalent of a limited partnership under the terms of the Business Combination given that PTIC II holds 100% of the managing interest in Renters Warehouse at the transaction close, which gives PTIC II the equivalent rights that a general partner would hold in a limited partnership. As there is a lack of kick-out rights and substantive participating rights, under ASC 810-10-15-14(b)(1)(ii), Renters Warehouse qualifies as a VIE. In determining the primary beneficiary of Renters Warehouse, PTIC II holds both the power to direct the activities of the VIE that most significantly impact the VIE’s economic performance through the ownership of 100% of the managing interest in Renters Warehouse, as well as the obligation to absorb losses and the right to receive the benefits that could be potentially significant to the VIE through the ownership of 34.38% of the outstanding common company units. Therefore, as the primary beneficiary of the VIE, PTIC II is the accounting acquirer. Under this acquisition method of accounting, PTIC II’s assets and liabilities are recorded at carrying value and the assets and liabilities associated with Renters Warehouse are recorded at estimated fair value as of the acquisition date. The excess of the purchase price over the estimated fair values of the net assets acquired are recognized as goodwill.
Under such method of accounting, transaction costs related to the Business Combination are expensed as incurred in accordance with GAAP. For the pro forma purposes, such costs are recorded as a reduction in cash and cash equivalents with a corresponding increase of accumulated deficit (see Note 3(b) — Transaction costs). Additionally, nonrecurring expenses are recorded in the pro forma statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2021 (see Note 3(l) — Nonrecurring transaction costs).
The Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Statement of Operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2022 includes Renters Warehouse Business Combination expenses of $2,658, which are not expected to have a continuing impact on the results of the Combined Company beyond a year from the Closing.
Note 3 — Transaction Accounting Adjustments
The pro forma adjustments included in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet as of September 30, 2022 are as follows:
|3(a)||Cash and cash equivalents. Represents the impact of the Business Combination on the cash and cash equivalents balance of Appreciate.|
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
The table below represents the sources and uses of funds as it relates to the Business Combination:
|PTIC cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2022 - pre Business Combination||57|
|Renters Warehouse cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2022 - pre Business Combination||288|
|Total pre Business Combination||345|
|Transaction Accounting adjustments:|
|PTIC II cash held in Trust Account||(1)||231,047|
|Payment to redeeming PTIC’s public shareholders||(2)||(131,671||)|
|Payment in connection with Forward Purchase Agreement||(3)||(89,515||)|
|Payment of deferred underwriting fee||(4)||(4,280||)|
|Payment of transaction costs of PTIC II||(5)||(2,089||)|
|Payment of Renters Warehouse transaction costs||(6)||(885||)|
|Payment of transaction bonus||(7)||(1,627||)|
|Payment of Sponsor Promissory Note||(8)||(75||)|
|Total Transaction Accounting adjustments||905|
|Post-Business Combination cash and cash equivalents balance||$||1,250|
|(1)||Represents the amount of the restricted investments, and cash and cash equivalents held in the Trust Account immediately prior to the Closing of the Business Combination (see Note 3(c) — Trust Account).|
|(2)||Represents the amount paid to PTIC II Class A Stockholders who exercised redemption rights, including a pro rata portion of interest accrued on the Trust Account (see Note 3(h) — Impact on equity).|
|(3)||Represents payment in connection with the Forward Purchase Agreement at the close of the Business Combination, including payment of the costs associated with the Forward Purchase agreement in the amount of $5,041 (see note 3(d) – Forward Purchase Agreement).|
|(4)||Represents the payment of deferred underwriting fees incurred as part of PTIC II’s IPO committed to be paid upon the consummation of a Business Combination (see Note 3(b)(1) — Transaction costs).|
|(5)||Represents payment of transaction costs of PTIC II (see Note 3(b)(2) — Transaction costs).|
|(6)||Represents payment of accrued Renters Warehouse transaction costs (See Note 3(b)(3) — Transaction costs).|
|(7)||Represents payment of the transaction bonus (see Note 3(h) — Impact on equity).|
|(8)||Represents payment of the Sponsor Promissory Note at the Closing of the Business Combination (see Note 3(f) — Sponsor Promissory Note).|
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
|(1)||Payment of deferred underwriting fee payable incurred by PTIC II in the amount of $4,280 (see Note 3(a)(4) — Cash and cash equivalents). The unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet reflects payment of these costs as a reduction of cash and cash equivalents, with a corresponding decrease in deferred underwriting fee payable.|
|(2)||Payment of PTIC II’s transaction costs related to the Business Combination in the amount of $2,089. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet reflects these costs as a reduction of cash and cash equivalents, with a corresponding increase in accumulated deficit (See Note 3(a)(5) - Cash and cash equivalents).|
|(3)||Payment of Renters Warehouse’s transaction costs related to the Business Combination in the amount of $885. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet reflects these costs as a reduction of cash and cash equivalents, with a corresponding increase in accumulated deficit (See Note 3(a)(6) - Cash and cash equivalents).|
|(4)||Accrual of PTIC II’s transaction costs related to the Business Combination in the amount of $17,192. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet reflects these costs as an increase of accounts payable and accrued expenses, with a corresponding increase in accumulated deficit (See Note 3(h) — Impact on equity).|
|(5)||Accrual of Renters Warehouse’s accrued transaction costs related to the Business Combination in the amount of $11,293. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet reflects these costs as an increase of accounts payable and accrued expenses, with a corresponding increase in accumulated deficit (See Note 3(h) — Impact on equity).|
|(6)||Write-off of Renters Warehouse’s capitalized expenses related to the Business Combination in the amount of $1,982. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet reflects these costs as a decrease in other assets, with a corresponding increase in accumulated deficit (see Note 3(h) — Impact on equity).|
|3(c)||Trust Account. Represents release of PTIC II restricted investments and marketable securities held in the Trust Account upon consummation of the Business Combination to fund the Closing of the Business Combination (see Note 3(a)(1) — Cash and cash equivalents).|
|3(d)||Forward Purchase Agreement. Reflects the transaction under the Forward Purchase Agreement upon consummation of the Business Combination (see Note 1 Description of the Business Combination for further details). This adjustment also includes payment of the costs associated with the Forward Purchase Agreement in the amount of $5,041.|
|3(e)||Purchase price allocation. The following table sets forth a preliminary allocation of the estimated consideration for the Business Combination to the identifiable tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on the Renters Warehouse September 30, 2022 balance sheets, with the excess recorded as goodwill. Appreciate has not completed the detailed valuations necessary to estimate the fair value of the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed and, accordingly, the adjustments to record the assets acquired and liabilities assumed at fair value reflect the best estimates of Appreciate, based on the information currently available and are subject to change once additional analyses are completed. Furthermore, the final purchase price of the Business Combination is subject to the determination of certain items that are subject to adjustment at the Closing pursuant to the Business Combination Agreement.|
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
|Calculation of purchase consideration|
|Renters Warehouse transaction costs||885|
|Total cash consideration||$||885|
|Contingent consideration - Earnout shares||54,950|
|Rollover equity / Noncontrolling interest||334,776|
|Less: Discount for lack of marketability||(50,216||)|
|Total consideration transferred||$||340,395|
|Recognized amounts of identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed|
|Cash and cash equivalents||288|
|Accounts receivable, net of allowances||1,165|
|Other current assets||3,153|
|Property and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation||153|
|Intangible assets, net||39,500|
|Accounts payable and accrued expenses||(12,214||)|
|Capital maturities of capital lease obligations||(47||)|
|Rent clearing liability||(4,260||)|
|Resident security deposits liability||(14,101||)|
|Capital lease obligations, net of current maturities||(84||)|
|Net assets acquired||$||340,395|
|The purchase price was calculated based on the closest observable trading price of PTIC II of $10.73 as of the close of the business combination on November 29, 2022.|
|Under the acquisition method of accounting, the identifiable tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed of Renters Warehouse are recorded at the estimated acquisition date fair values. The pro forma adjustments are preliminary and based on estimates of the fair value and useful lives of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed and have been prepared to illustrate the estimated effect of the Business Combination.|
|For all assets acquired and liabilities assumed other than identified intangible assets and goodwill, unless otherwise noted, the carrying value was estimated to equal fair value. The final determination of the fair value of certain assets and liabilities will be completed within the one-year measurement period as required by Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 805, Business Combinations. Any potential adjustments made could be material in relation to the preliminary values presented.|
|The final determination of the estimated fair value of the identifiable tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed will be determined when management has completed the detailed valuations and necessary calculations. The final determination could differ materially from the preliminary amounts used in the pro forma adjustments and may include (1) changes in the fair values and useful lives of intangible assets, (2) changes in the fair value of other assets and liabilities, (3) the related tax impact of any changes made and (4) the related impact to goodwill of any change made. Any potential adjustments made could be material in relation to the preliminary values presented.|
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
|In accordance with ASC Topic 350, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets, goodwill will not be amortized but instead will be tested for impairment at least annually or more frequently if certain indicators are present. In the event management determines that the value of goodwill has become impaired, an accounting charge for the amount of impairment during the quarter in which the determination is made may be recognized. Goodwill recognized is not expected to be deductible for tax purposes.|
|The table below indicates the estimated fair value of each of the identifiable intangible assets:|
|Identifiable intangible assets||Fair value||Useful life|
The fair value of the customer relationship intangible assets was determined using an “income approach,” specifically a multi-period excess earnings approach, which is a commonly accepted valuation approach. This method utilized the estimated cash flows derived from the intangible asset over the remaining economic life and then deducts portions of the cash flow that can be attributed to supporting assets, such as the trade name, technology, and/or the fixed assets, which contributed to the generation of the cash flows. The resulting cash flow, which is attributable solely to the subject intangible asset, is then discounted at a rate of return commensurate with the risk of the asset to calculate a present value. Both the amount and the duration of the cash flows are considered from a market participant perspective. Where appropriate, the net cash flows were adjusted to reflect the potential attrition of existing customers in the future, as existing customers are a “wasting” asset and are expected to decline over time. Trade name and the developed technology fair values were determined using an income approach with an estimate developed from the relief-from- royalty method. This method considers the proportion of revenue that a market participant would be willing to pay in the form of a royalty for the trade name and technology, under a hypothetical scenario in which the trade names were not owned by the Company.
|3(f)||Sponsor Promissory Note. Represents funds from the Business Combination used to repay the historical Promissory Note agreement dated September 8, 2022, previously used to fund certain ongoing working capital expenses of PTIC II (see Note 3(a)(8) — Cash and cash equivalents).|
|3(g)||Tax receivable agreement adjustments. Upon the Closing, Appreciate Holdings, Inc. will be a party to a Tax Receivable Agreement. Under the terms of that agreement, Appreciate Holdings, Inc. generally will be required to pay to the TRA Parties 85% of the applicable cash tax savings, if any, in U.S. federal, state and local tax that PTIC II realizes or is deemed to realize in certain circumstances as a result of tax basis adjustments resulting from taxable exchanges of NewCo LLC Class B Units acquired by Appreciate Holdings, Inc. and tax deductions in respect of portions of certain payments made under the Tax Receivable Agreement, Appreciate Holdings, Inc. generally will retain the benefit of the remaining 15% of the applicable tax savings.|
|Upon the completion of the Business Combination, there were no exchanges or sales of NewCo LLC Class B Units. Consequently, no attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement are expected to be generated, and thus no obligation under the Tax Receivable Agreement.|
|The amount of expected future payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement is dependent upon a number of factors, including Appreciate Holdings Inc.’s cash tax savings, the enacted tax rate in the years in which it utilizes tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement, and current tax forecasts. These estimated rates and forecasts are subject to change based on actual results and realizations, which could have a material impact on the liability to be paid. If Appreciate Holdings, Inc. exercises its right to terminate the Tax Receivable Agreement or in the case of a material breach of Appreciate Holdings Inc.’s obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement all obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be accelerated and Appreciate Holdings, Inc. will be required to make a payment to the Tax Receivable Agreement Parties. Such payment would be in an amount equal to the present value of future payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement, as determined based on certain assumptions, including that Appreciate Holdings, Inc. would have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize the tax deductions and other tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement.|
|Future exchanges will result in incremental tax attributes and potential cash tax savings for PTIC II. Depending on PTIC II’s assessment on realizability of such tax attributes, the arising Tax Receivable Agreement liability will be recorded at the exchange date.|
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
|3(h)||Impact on equity. The following table represents the impact of the Business Combination on the number of shares of Appreciate Class A Common Stock and Appreciate Class B Common Stock and represents the total equity section after redemption by PTIC II Class A Stockholders:|
|PTIC II/ Appreciate common stock||PTIC II||Renters Warehouse|
|Class A common stock|
|Class A||Class B||Renters Warehouse Common units||Additional paid-in||Accumulated||Noncontrolling||Total (deficit)||subject to possible redemption||Redeemable units|
|PTIC equity as of September 30, 2022 – pre Business Combination||-||$||-||5,750,000||$||1||-||$||-||$||-||$||(20,221||)||$||-||$||(20,220||)||23,000,000||$||230,968||40,657,093||$||85,468|
|Renters Warehouse equity as of September 30, 2022 – pre Business Combination||-||-||-||-||43,447,075||(90,020||)||-||-||-||(90,020||)||-||-||-||-|
|Total equity as of September 30, 2022 – Pre Business Combination||-||5,750,000||1||43,447,075||(90,020||)||-||(20,221||)||-||(110,240||)||23,000,000||230,968||40,657,093||85,468|
|Transaction Accounting Adjustments:|
|Reclassification of redeemable shares to Class A common stock||23,000,000||2||-||-||-||-||230,996||-||-||230,968||(23,000,000||)||(230,968||)||-||-|
|Less: Redeemed shares||3(a)(2)||(13,060,906||)||(1||)||-||-||-||-||(131,670||)||-||-||(131,671||)||-||-||-||-|
|Payment of unpaid transaction PTIC II costs||3(a)(5),3(b)(2)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||(2,089||)||-||(2,089||)|
|Payment of Renters Warehouse unpaid transaction costs||3(a)(6),3(b)(3)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||(885||)||-||(885||)|
|Accrual of unpaid transaction costs of PTIC II||3(b)(4)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||(17,192||)||-||(17,192||)||-||-||-||-|
|Accrual of unpaid transaction costs Renters Warehouse||3(b)(5)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||(11,293||)||-||(11,293||)||-||-||-||-|
|Write-off of capitalized Renters Warehouse transaction costs||3(b)(5)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||(1,982||)||-||(1,982||)|
|Payments of transaction bonuses||3(a)(7)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||(1,627||)||-||(1,627||)|
|Forward Purchase Agreement||3(d)||-||-||-||-||-||-||(89,431||)||(5,041||)||-||(94,472||)||-||-||-||-|
|Purchase price allocation||3(e)||-||-||-||-||-||-||333,863||-||-||333,863||-||-||-||-|
|Class A shares issued for the issuance of the equity line of credit||200,000||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Class A shares issued as a payment to Northland||315,500||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Class A shares issued as a payment to Moelis||150,000||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Elimination of historical Renter Warehouse common units||-||-||-||-||(43,447,075||)||90,020||40,657||(130,677||)||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Elimination of historical Renter Warehouse preferred units||-||-||-||-||-||-||85,468||-||-||85,468||-||-||(40,657,093||)||(85,468||)|
|Reclassification of PTIC II Class B common stock to Class A common stock||5,750,000||1||(5,750,000||)||(1||)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Class B common stock issued to Renter Warehouse unitholders as consideration||-||-||31,200,000||3||-||-||(3||)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Accelerated vesting of equity-based awards||3(k)||-||-||-||-||-||-||676||(676||)||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Total Transaction Accounting Adjustments||16,354,594||2||25,450,000||2||(43,447,075||)||90,020||287,577||(171,462||)||182,949||389,088||23,000,000||(230,968||)||(40,657,093||)||(85,468||)|
|Post-Business Combination equity balance||16,354,594||$||2||31,200,000||$||3||-||$||-||$||287,577||$||(191,683||)||$||182,949||$||278,848||0||$||-||-||$||-|
APPRECIATE HOLDINGS, INC
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
|3(i)||Non-controlling interest. Represents adjustment for the non-controlling interest in the Business Combination.|
|3(j)||Tax effect of pro forma adjustments. Represents adjustments to reflect applicable deferred income taxes of $8,741 offset by a valuation allowance of $8,741. The deferred taxes are primarily related to the difference between the financial statement carrying amount and the tax basis in the NewCo LLC partnership interest. The basis difference primarily results from excess tax basis in the NewCo LLC partnership interest over book basis as a result of the Business Combination, including impacts of the Forward Purchase Agreement.|
Adjustments to the Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Statements of Operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2022 and the year ended December 31, 2021.
The transaction accounting adjustments included in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined statement of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2022 and the year ended December 31, 2021 are as follows:
|3(k)||Nonrecurring compensation expense related to the accelerated vesting of equity awards. Reflects compensation expense in the amount of $676 related to the accelerated vesting of certain equity awards concurrently with the Closing of the Business Combination. This compensation expense is not expected to have a continuing impact on the combined results (see Note 3(h) — Impact on equity).|
|3(l)||Nonrecurring transaction costs. Represents recognition of estimated transaction costs of PTIC II and Renters Warehouse in the amount of $33,441. This adjustment also includes payment of the costs associated with the Forward Purchase Agreement in the amount of $5,041. This expense is not expected to have a continuing impact on the combined results.|
|3(m)||Nonrecurring transaction bonus. Represents recognition of transaction bonus expenses in the amount of $1,627. This expense is not expected to have a continuing impact on the combined results.|
|3(n)||Intangible assets amortization expense. Represents amortization expense adjustment recorded to incorporate additional intangible assets amortization for the step-up in basis from the purchase price allocation at the Closing of the Business Combination, which was assumed to have occurred on January 1, 2021.|
|3(o)||Exclusion net gain from investments held in Trust Account. Represents elimination of net gain from investments held in Trust Account.|
|3(p)||Pro forma tax effect. Given the Companies’ history of net losses and valuation allowance, Appreciate assumed an effective tax rate of 0%. Therefore, the pro forma adjustments to the statement of operations resulted in no additional income tax adjustment to the pro forma financial information.|
|3(q)||Non-controlling interest. Non-controlling interest represents the adjustments for the Combined Company’s non-controlling interest in the Business Combination.|
|3(r)||Net income (loss) per share. Represents pro forma net loss per share based on pro forma net loss and 16,354,594 total shares of Appreciate Class A Common Stock outstanding upon consummation of the Business Combination (see Note 3(h) — Impact on equity). Shares of Appreciate Class B Common Stock do not participate in the earnings or losses of Appreciate and, therefore, are not participating securities. As such, a separate presentation of basic and diluted earnings per share of Appreciate Class B Common Stock under the two-class method has not been included. Pro forma net loss per share excludes the impact of 6,000,000 earnout shares, as the earnout contingencies have not been met. There is no difference between basic and diluted pro forma net loss per share as the inclusion of all potential shares of Appreciate Common Stock outstanding would have been anti-dilutive.|
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
RENTERS WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following management’s discussion and analysis of Renters Warehouse’s financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the audited annual and unaudited interim consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business and our expectations with respect to liquidity and capital resources, includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in “Risk Factors” in this prospectus. Actual results could differ materially from the results described in or implied by these forward-looking statements. See “Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward Looking Statements.” In this section “we,” “us,” “our” and “Renters Warehouse” refer to RW National Holdings, LLC and its consolidated subsidiaries.
Renters Warehouse is a SFR services company serving a diverse base of individual and institutional investors through an end-to-end technology platform. SFRs are single-family homes operated as rental units. With a focus on the services segment of the SFR industry, we operate an asset-light model and do not own SFR real estate. Instead, our platform provides SFR marketplace and management services to both individual and institutional investors. Our institutional clients include SFR REITs as well as other financial investors. Often, our institutional clients use our end-to-end platform to acquire, renovate, lease and then manage properties for them. We and our franchisees provide our services across 42 locations in 20 states. In all of our locations, we are licensed as a real estate broker, allowing us to participate in the Multiple Listing Service.
We are committed to democratizing SFR ownership by demystifying the end-to-end process of purchasing, owning and managing SFR real estate and bringing the experience closer to the experience of managing other types of investments. Our technology platform facilitates our end-to-end offering, which includes buying, owning, renovating, managing and selling SFR. Our end-to-end solution provides a network effect, as buyers in our Marketplace segment often become owners in our Management segment and owners are able to sell their SFR properties through the Marketplace segment.
Our services cover the entire lifecycle of an SFR investment. In our Marketplace segment, we assist investors with the purchase or sale of SFR investment properties. In our Management segment, we advise and coordinate with investors to renovate and ready their properties for rent, place qualified residents in those properties and address other day-to-day SFR management activities. We generate revenue from property management services, resident placement services, commission activities and franchise activities.
Renters Warehouse has maintained continuity in operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and related government mitigation. The overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic did not create significant disruption to our business model during the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 and the nine months ended September 30, 2022. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for our real estate property management and marketplace services slowed. As the situation continues to evolve, we are closely monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of our business. We believe there could be impacts to our financial performance in the future. These impacts could include lost productivity due to social distancing, challenges to our repair and maintenance offerings and other ancillary services as well as the health and availability of our personnel, management or repair contractors. In addition, potential delays or disruptions in all aspects of our business could be mandated or requested by governmental authorities or others or result from supply chain dysfunction, all of which could result in lower revenue or higher costs or reduced expansion of our office locations. Additionally, a slow-down in economic activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could have adverse effects across the single-family residential rental market. To the extent that future business activities are adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we intend to take appropriate actions designed to mitigate these impacts. Given the uncertainty regarding the magnitude and duration of COVID-19 pandemic’s effects, we are unable to predict with specificity or quantify any potential future impact on our business, financial condition and/or results of operations.
During 2021, Renters Warehouse recognized payroll subsidies (employee retention credits under the CARES Act) totaling $2.1 million in other income on the consolidated statement of operations. During the nine months ended September 30, 2021, Renters Warehouse recognized payroll subsidies totaling $2.1 million in other income on the unaudited condensed consolidated statement of operations.
Climate change continues to attract considerable public, political, regulatory and scientific attention. Experiencing or addressing the various physical and regulatory risks of climate change may affect our financial condition or results of operations. Government authorities and various interest groups are promoting laws and regulations relating to climate change. Environmentally hazardous conditions of properties could potentially adversely affect us. As the climate changes, and with a portfolio located in a variety of United States markets that include coastal areas, we recognize the increased potential for acute or severe weather events and other climate-related adverse impacts to our business operations. Our management and the Board of Directors are focused on managing our business risks, including climate change-related risks. The process to identify, manage, and integrate climate-change risk is part of our enterprise risk management program. For more information on risks related to climate change, see the section entitled “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues” in this prospectus.
Key Factors Affecting Our Performance
Our results of operations and financial condition are affected by numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control. See the section entitled “Risk Factors” for more information regarding factors that could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. We believe that the below factors have been important to our business and we expect them to impact our results of operations and financial condition in future periods.
|●||Increase investment in customer acquisition. Our future growth depends in part on us continuing to acquire new customers. Growth in our individual investor segment is driven by expenditures for customer acquisition. We believe that our marketing efforts will attract both existing and new SFR customers, led by digital customer acquisition but also including broadcast, print and direct mail. We intend to dedicate capital to support our customer acquisition effort. We believe that the marketing efforts will increase our selling, general and administrative expenses in the short term but we anticipate a long-term increase in both revenue and profit both for our Marketplace segment and Management segment.|
|●||Expand into new domestic markets. Geographically, we currently operate 42 company-owned or franchise locations in 20 states and the District of Columbia. A common request from our institutional clients is to support their growth by entering additional geographic markets. Coordinating with institutional clients can help provide a reliable path to profitability for new “greenfield” markets. When entering a market where an institutional client is committed to marketplace purchases and management properties, we typically can open a new market in sixty (60) days or less, and typically can project to become profitable as quickly as the first month of operation. We expect to enter additional geographic markets over the next several years, likely utilizing a combination of greenfield and acquisitions to drive this geographic expansion. We expect this expansion into new geographical markets to increase our cost of revenue as well as our selling, general and administrative expenses in both the short and long term. We also anticipate increased revenues through additional individual customer acquisition in the new markets.|
|●||Grow through acquisitions. Our growth opportunities include the acquisition of local “mom and pop” property managers, the potential acquisition of our remaining franchises, and building out our capabilities and offerings through acquisition and technology improvements to our offerings. We believe that the SFR services landscape is well-suited for a growth-through-acquisition strategy and that businesses can be acquired for what we consider reasonable valuations. Targets tend to operate exclusively in the management business, with no marketplace capability or activity. Moreover, these small local businesses also typically exclusively service individual investors and lack the capability or relationships to develop institutional business. By introducing marketplace business and institutional customers to an acquired operation, we believe we can materially grow the revenue of acquired businesses. The acquisition of our remaining franchises represents a similar opportunity. We also expect to generate organic growth from accretive expansion available in new products and services. Beyond this acquisition of property Management segment, we see additional opportunities for mergers and acquisitions, including servicing “do it yourself” landlords with a lower cost/lower service offering, building out the capabilities of our programmatic acquisitions program with additional features and data. We believe that our growth strategy will increase our revenue in the long term and increase our selling, general and administrative expenses but decrease costs as a percentage of revenue by way of maximizing efficiencies of the acquired operations.|
Key Performance Metrics
In addition to the measures presented in our consolidated financial statements, we use the following key metric to evaluate our business.
Investors in SFR almost always utilize the services of a licensed real estate broker. An agent acting on behalf of the buyer or seller in an SFR transaction is typically compensated with half of the seller-paid transaction commission, as with owner-occupied real estate. We define marketplace transactions as the number of Renters Warehouse assisted buy/sell transactions where Renters Warehouse acts as agent for the transaction during the period. We measure and track marketplace transactions for forecasting and budgeting purposes as well as to evaluate our business. This metric is useful to our investors as one indicator of our growth. Marketplace transactions are disclosed by customer type: retail and institutional. The fee structure is the same for both types.
|Nine Months Ended |
|Year Ended |
Total marketplace transactions increased by approximately 9.6% for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, as compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2021, primarily due to an increase in institutional client purchases coupled with a decrease in retail client purchases due to overall market conditions including higher interest rates impacting retail customers. Management believes that the decline in retail Marketplace transactions has resulted from some potential sellers concluding that current market conditions are not conducive to selling their SFR properties, due to factors including higher interest rates and the perception of a cooling residential real estate market. We also expect that an increase in interest rates correlates with an increase in management segment revenue due to an expected increase in retail customer retention.
Total marketplace transactions increased by approximately 49.0% for the year ended December 31, 2021, as compared to December 31, 2020, primarily due to a new client added in April 2021, which resulted in an increase in institutional client purchases.
We define property counts as the number of SFR properties that Renters Warehouse manages at corporate owned markets at the end of a period. This metric is useful to our investors as an indicator of the overall economic environment and directly impacts our revenue. Property counts are market driven and depend on the overall housing market and economic conditions. We measure and track property counts for forecasting purposes and to track trends. Property counts are disclosed by customer type: retail and institutional.
|Nine Months Ended |
|Year Ended |
|Nine Months Ended|
|Year Ended |
|Properties, beginning of period||7,151||9,196||9,196||11,166|
|Properties, end of period||7,748||8,009||7,151||9,196|
Total property counts decreased by 3.3% for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, as compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2021. Renters Warehouse saw a decrease in property counts due to the loss of an institutional client in Q4 2021.
Total property counts decreased by 22.2% for the year ended December 31, 2021 as compared to December 31, 2020. The reduction in the number of homes was principally because three larger institutional clients sold their portfolios of homes. Our institutional clients typically have larger portfolios of homes that we manage, and when they sell their portfolios, this typically has a large impact on our overall churn. On the retail portion of our business, the reduction in homes managed during the calendar years 2020 and 2021 was principally due to owners selling their rental homes. Many of these customers were “mom and pop” type investment property owners that likely took advantage of a strong real estate market and decided to realize profits earned on their investment properties.
Components of Results of Operations
We generate revenues primarily from management services, marketplace and franchise activities. We have two reportable segments that are also considered our operating segments: Management and Marketplace. The Management segment primarily generates revenue in the form of providing services related to the leasing and managing of SFR properties including the identification of potential renters, the billing and collection of rent, and the coordination of repair and maintenance activities. The Marketplace segment primarily generates commission revenue from entering into Real Estate Sourcing and Transaction Services Agreements with customers to provide real property sourcing and acquisition services and renovation revenues from providing construction management services.
|●||Management: We generate revenue from helping a property owner to find a suitable resident. The consideration under each of these contracts varies based on the length and negotiated rate of the lease secured but in all cases is known at the time the lease agreement is executed. Resident placement fees are recognized at a point in time when Renters Warehouse has provided the property owner with a suitable resident and a lease agreement has been executed. We provide property management services on a contractual basis for owners of and investors in SFR properties, townhomes and small multifamily properties. The consideration under each of these contracts include (i) a fixed price per month agreed upon by both parties at the inception of the arrangement, or (ii) a variable fee contractually defined as to the percentage of rent based on fees collected. The variability in the fee amounts which are based on a percentage of rent is resolved on a monthly basis when the rents are collected. Management fees revenue is recognized at the end of each period for the fees associated with the services performed. In connection with the property management and resident placement activities, we may provide related ancillary services. Each of these services generally represents a separate performance obligation, contains a negotiated price at contract inception, and is recognized at a point in time when the service is complete, and the customer obtains control of each service provided.|
|●||Marketplace: Renters Warehouse acquires properties for their clients. We also list investment properties for sale on Multiple Listing Service or off-market private listing to the real estate industry and related professionals. We receive compensation in the form of a commission earned based on a fixed percentage of total sales price, determined at contract inception. Commissions are recognized when the purchase or sale of the SFR property is completed.|
|●||Franchise: Renters Warehouse’s performance obligation is to provide rights of the franchise to the franchisees. Renewal and franchise transfer activities do not represent a separate performance obligation because such activities are not separable from and are highly interrelated with the franchise rights. In addition, national advertising and marketing activities do not represent a separate performance obligation because such activities are part of the overall obligation to enhance the franchise brand and are not separable from the franchise rights. Renters Warehouse may also provide advertising and technology services specific to certain franchisees, which are deemed to be separate performance obligations. Additionally, because there is one performance obligation related to providing rights to the franchise agreement and Renters Warehouse is the principal in this group of services, revenues not specific to individual franchisees are reported on a gross basis. Franchising revenues from ongoing royalty fees and national marketing/advertising fees are based on a percentage of each franchisees’ monthly revenues and are recognized at the end of each month, and a liability is simultaneously accrued for the amounts required to be spent on qualifying advertising activities.|
Cost of revenue
Cost of revenue primarily includes salaries and benefits and commission expenses. Commission expenses includes commission for resident placement, investor sales and programmatic acquisitions.
Selling and general: Selling and general expenses primarily includes software and technology related expenses, consulting fees, marketing, advertising, accounting, legal and office rent. We expect selling and general expenses to decrease as a percentage of revenue in the long term.
Administrative: Administrative expenses primarily includes salaries and benefits related to administrative functions. As a result of becoming a public company, we expect to incur additional expenses for, among other things, additional internal and external accounting, legal and administrative resources, including increased audit and legal fees.
Depreciation and amortization: Depreciation and amortization relates to depreciation expense related to property and equipment and amortization of intangible assets.
Other: Other expenses primarily includes legal settlements, relocation costs, other legal fees, board of directors fees, insurance, transaction related expenses and payment processing fees.
Other income (expense), net
Gain/(loss) from remeasurement of derivative liability: Gain/(loss) from remeasurement of derivative liability consists of changes in the fair value of the derivative instrument.
Interest expense: Interest expense consists of interest on our amortization of debt financing arrangements and debt issuance costs.
Other income: Other income primarily consists of an employee retention credit received under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), which is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes for eligible employers and debt forgiveness related to a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan.
Results of Operations
We operate as two operating segments – the Management and Marketplace, which reflect the way our chief operating decision maker reviews and assesses the performance of our business. Expenses are not reported as part of the reporting segments as reviewed by the chief operating decision maker. The results of operations presented below should be reviewed in conjunction with the audited annual consolidated financial statements and the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. The period-to-period comparisons below of financial results are not necessarily indicative of future results.
Comparison of the nine months ended September 30, 2022 and September 30, 2021
|Nine Months Ended|
|(in thousands)||2022||2021||$ Change||% Change|
|Cost of revenue||11,538||11,214||324||2.9||%|
|Selling and general||5,950||5,758||192||3.3||%|
|Depreciation and amortization||1,169||1,368||(199||)||(14.5||)%|
|Total operating expenses||15,257||12,709||2,548||20.0||%|
|Other income (expense), net|
|Loss from remeasurement of derivative liability||(165||)||—||(165||)||—||%|
|Total other income (expense), net||(1,641||)||3,100||(4,741||)||(152.9||)%|
|Net income (loss)|