Post-Effective Amendment No. 1
POS AMfalse0001803901Prior period results have been adjusted to reflect the exchange of Old Talkspace’s common stock for Talkspace’s common stock at an exchange ratio of approximately 1.134140 in June 2021 as a result of the Business Combination. See Note 3, “Business Combination” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further details.The expected term of options granted is calculated using the simplified method for “plain vanilla” stock options awards.The risk-free interest rate is based on the yield from U.S. treasury bonds with an equivalent term to the expected term of the options.The expected volatility was calculated based upon historical stock price movements of similar publicly traded peer companies over the most recent periods ending on the grant date, equal to the expected term of the options, as adequate historical experience is not available to provide a reasonable estimate.No dividends were paid during the years ending December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019.The aggregate intrinsic value of options outstanding at end of the year and options exercisable at end of the year does not include 4,459,905 and 515,313 options that are out of the money, respectively.Number of options and the weighted average exercise price have been adjusted to reflect the exchange of Old Talkspace’s common stock for Talkspace’s common stock at an exchange ratio of approximately 1.134140 in June 2021 as a result of the Business Combination. See Note 3, “Business Combination” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further details.Shares authorized and shares issued and outstanding have been adjusted to reflect the exchange of Old Talkspace’s common stock for Talkspace’s common stock at an exchange ratio of approximately 1.134140 in June 2021 as a result of the Business Combination. 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Table of Contents
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 9, 2022
Registration
No. 333-257686
 
 
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
POST-EFFECTIVE AMENDMENT
NO
. 1
TO
FORM
S-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
 
 
Talkspace, Inc.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
 
Delaware
 
8000
 
84-4636604
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
John C. Reilly
General Counsel
Talkspace, Inc.
(212)
284-7206
Address Not Applicable
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of Registrant’s principal executive offices)
 
 
C T Corporation System
28 Liberty Street
New York, New York 10005
(877)
467-3525
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)
 
 
Copies to:
Marc D. Jaffe, Esq.
Rachel W. Sheridan, Esq.
Latham & Watkins LLP
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
(212)
906-1200
 
 
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale of the securities to the public
: From time to time after this Registration Statement becomes effective.
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) check the following box:  ☒
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in
Rule 12b-2
of the Exchange Act.
 
Large accelerated filer
 
  
Accelerated filer
 
Non-accelerated
filer
 
  
Smaller reporting company
 
 
  
Emerging growth company
 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐
 
 
The registrant hereby amends this registration statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this registration statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act or until this registration statement shall become effective on such date as the SEC, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.
 
 
 

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EXPLANATORY NOTE
The original registration statement (the “Existing Registration Statement”) of Talkspace, Inc. (“Talkspace”) on Form
S-1
(File
No. 333-257686)
declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on July 12, 2021, to which this Registration Statement is Post-Effective Amendment No. 1 (this “Registration Statement”), covered (i) the resale of 67,082,670 shares of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share (the “common stock” or “Talkspace common stock”) issued in connection with the Business Combination (as defined below) by certain of the selling securityholders named in this prospectus, (ii) the resale of 28,700,000 shares of common stock issued in the PIPE Investment (as defined below) by certain of the selling securityholders, (iii) the resale of 5,000,000 shares of common stock originally sold as part of the units in the HEC Forward Purchase (as defined below), (iv) the issuance by us and resale of 17,987,755 shares of common stock reserved for issuance upon the exercise of options to purchase common stock, and (v) the issuance by us and resale of up to 33,480,000 shares of common stock upon the exercise of outstanding warrants. The prospectus also related to the resale of up to 12,780,000 of our outstanding warrants, consisting of 10,280,000 warrants originally issued in a private placement concurrent with the initial public offering of Hudson Executive Investment Corp., a Delaware corporation (“HEC”) and 2,500,000 warrants originally sold as part of the units in the HEC Forward Purchase. This Registration Statement constitutes a Post-Effective Amendment No. 1 to the Existing Registration Statement and contains an updated prospectus relating to the offering and sale of to (i) the resale of 65,180,872 shares of common stock issued in connection with the Business Combination by certain of the selling securityholders named in this prospectus, (ii) the resale of 7,750,000 shares of common stock issued in the PIPE Investment by certain of the selling securityholders, (iii) the resale of 5,000,000 shares of common stock originally sold as part of the units in the HEC Forward Purchase, (iv) the resale of 10,114,772 shares of common stock issued or reserved for issuance upon the exercise of options to purchase common stock, and (v) the issuance by us and resale of up to 33,480,000 shares of common stock upon the exercise of outstanding warrants. This Registration Statement amends and restates the information contained in the Existing Registration Statement (and all amendments thereto) under the headings contained herein.
All filing fees payable in connection with the registration of the shares of common stock and the Warrants covered by this Registration Statement were paid by the Registrant at the time of the initial filing of the Existing Registration Statement. No additional securities are registered hereby.

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The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
 
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED MARCH 9, 2022
PROSPECTUS FOR
88,045,644 SHARES OF COMMON STOCK AND
12,780,000 WARRANTS TO PURCHASE SHARES OF
COMMON STOCK
AND
33,480,000 SHARES OF COMMON STOCK UNDERLYING WARRANTS
OF
TALKSPACE, INC.
 
 
This prospectus relates to (i) the resale of 65,180,872 shares of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share (the “common stock” or “Talkspace common stock”) issued in connection with the Business Combination (as defined below) by certain of the selling securityholders named in this prospectus, (ii) the resale of 7,750,000 shares of common stock issued in the PIPE Investment (as defined below) by certain of the selling securityholders, (iii) the resale of 5,000,000 shares of common stock originally sold as part of the units in the HEC Forward Purchase (as defined below), (iv) the resale of 10,114,772 shares of common stock issued or reserved for issuance upon the exercise of options to purchase common stock, and (v) the issuance by us and resale of up to 33,480,000 shares of common stock upon the exercise of outstanding warrants. This prospectus also relates to the resale of up to 12,780,000 of our outstanding warrants, consisting of 10,280,000 warrants originally issued in a private placement concurrent with the initial public offering of Hudson Executive Investment Corp., a Delaware corporation (“HEC”) and 2,500,000 warrants originally sold as part of the units in the HEC Forward Purchase. We collectively refer to the selling securityholders covered by this prospectus as the “Selling Securityholders.”
On June 22, 2021, we consummated the transactions contemplated by that certain Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”), by and among HEC, Groop Internet Platform, Inc. (d/b/a “Talkspace”), a Delaware corporation (“Old Talkspace”), Tailwind Merger Sub I, Inc., a Delaware corporation and subsidiary of HEC (“First Merger Sub”), and Tailwind Merger Sub II, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and wholly owned subsidiary of HEC (“Second Merger Sub”). As contemplated by the Merger Agreement, (x) First Merger Sub merged with and into Old Talkspace (the “First Merger”), with Old Talkspace surviving the First Merger, and (y) immediately following the First Merger and as part of the same overall transaction as the First Merger, Old Talkspace merged with and into Second Merger Sub, with Second Merger Sub surviving the merger as a wholly owned subsidiary of HEC (the “Second Merger”, and together with the First Merger, the “Business Combination”). In connection with the Business Combination, HEC changed its name to “Talkspace, Inc.”
We are registering the resale of shares of common stock and warrants as required by (i) an amended and restated registration rights agreement, dated as of June 22, 2021 (the “Registration Rights Agreement”), entered into by and among Talkspace, Inc., Sponsor and certain former stockholders of Old Talkspace and (ii) the subscription agreements entered into by and between HEC and certain qualified institutional buyers and accredited investors relating to the purchase of shares of common stock in private placements consummated in connection with the Business Combination.
We are also registering (i) the resale of other shares of common stock held by certain of our shareholders and (ii) the resale of shares of common stock issued or reserved for issuance upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of common stock held by certain of our current and former employees and directors.
We will receive the proceeds from any exercise of the warrants or options for cash, but not from the resale of the shares of common stock or warrants registered hereby by the Selling Securityholders.
We will bear all costs, expenses and fees in connection with the registration of the shares of common stock and warrants. The Selling Securityholders will bear all commissions and discounts, if any, attributable to their respective sales of the shares of common stock and warrants.
Our common stock trades on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange (the “Nasdaq”) under the ticker symbol “TALK” and our warrants trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “TALKW”. On March 8, 2022, the closing sale price of our common stock as reported by Nasdaq was $1.47 per share and the closing price of our warrants was $0.19 per warrant.
 
 
Investing in shares of our common stock or warrants involves risks that are described in the “Risk Factors” section beginning on page 5 of this prospectus.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of the securities to be issued under this prospectus or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
 
 
The date of this prospectus is March 9, 2022.

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F-1
 
You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus. No one has been authorized to provide you with information that is different from that contained in this prospectus. This prospectus is dated as of the date set forth on the cover hereof. You should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus is accurate as of any date other than that date.
 
 
i

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
This prospectus is part of a registration statement on Form
S-1
that we filed with the SEC using the “shelf” registration process. Under the shelf registration process, the Selling Securityholders may, from time to time, sell the securities offered by them described in this prospectus. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale by such Selling Securityholders of the securities offered by them described in this prospectus. This prospectus also relates to the issuance by us of shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants. We will receive proceeds from any exercise of the warrants for cash.
Neither we nor the Selling Securityholders have authorized anyone to provide you with any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectuses prepared by or on behalf of us or to which we have referred you. Neither we nor the Selling Securityholders take responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. Neither we nor the Selling Securityholders will make an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where such offer or sale are not permitted. No dealer, salesperson or other person is authorized to give any information or to represent anything not contained in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus. You should assume that the information appearing in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement is accurate as of the date on the front of those documents only, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement, or any sale of a security. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.
The Selling Securityholders and their permitted transferees may use the shelf registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part to sell securities from time to time through any means described in the section titled “Plan of Distribution.” More specific terms of any securities that the Selling Securityholders and their permitted transferees offer and sell may be provided in a prospectus supplement that describes, among other things, the specific amounts and prices of the securities being offered and the terms of the offering.
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. Any statement contained in this prospectus will be deemed to be modified or superseded for purposes of this prospectus to the extent that a statement contained in such prospectus supplement or post-effective amendment modifies or supersedes such statement. Any statement so modified will be deemed to constitute a part of this prospectus only as so modified, and any statement so superseded will be deemed not to constitute a part of 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 sections of this prospectus titled “Where You Can Find More Information.”
Unless the context indicates otherwise, references in this prospectus to “Talkspace,” “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our” refer to the business of Talkspace, Inc. and its subsidiaries.
This prospectus contains summaries of certain provisions contained in some of the documents described herein, but reference is made to the actual documents for complete information. All of the summaries are qualified in their entirety by the actual documents. Copies of some of the documents referred to herein have been filed, will be filed or will be incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, and you may obtain copies of those documents as described below under “Where You Can Find More Information.”
 
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MARKET, INDUSTRY AND OTHER DATA
This prospectus includes estimates regarding market and industry data and forecasts, which are based on publicly available information, industry publications and surveys, reports from government agencies, reports by market research firms or other independent sources and our own estimates based on our management’s knowledge of and experience in the market sectors in which we compete.
Certain monetary amounts, percentages and other figures included in this prospectus have been subject to rounding adjustments. Accordingly, figures shown as totals in certain tables or charts may not be the arithmetic aggregation of the figures that precede them, and figures expressed as percentages in the text may not total 100% or, as applicable, when aggregated may not be the arithmetic aggregation of the percentages that precede them.
TRADEMARKS
This prospectus also contains trademarks, service marks, copyrights and trade names of other companies, which are the property of their respective owners. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trademarks, copyrights or trade names to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by any other companies. Solely for convenience, our trademarks and trade names referred to in this prospectus may appear without the
®
or
symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the right of the applicable licensor to these trademarks and trade names.
 
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SELECTED DEFINITIONS
Unless otherwise stated in this prospectus or the context otherwise requires, references to:
 
   
“2021 Plan” are to the Talkspace, Inc. 2021 Incentive Award Plan;
 
   
“Business Combination” are to, together, (i) the First Merger and (ii) the Second Merger;
 
   
“Bylaws” are to our bylaws dated June 22, 2021;
 
   
“Certificate of Incorporation” are to the second amended and restated certificate of incorporation of Talkspace, Inc. dated June 22, 2021;
 
   
“Closing” are to the consummation of the Business Combination;
 
   
“Code” are to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;
 
   
“DGCL” are to the Delaware General Corporation Law, as amended;
 
   
“Exchange Act” are to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended;
 
   
“First Merger” are to the merger of First Merger Sub with and into Old Talkspace;
 
   
“First Merger Sub” are to Tailwind Merger Sub I, Inc.;
 
   
“founder shares” are to shares of HEC’s Class B common stock and Talkspace’s common stock issued upon the automatic conversion thereof at Closing;
 
   
“HEC” are to Hudson Executive Investment Corp., a Delaware corporation;
 
   
“HEC Forward Purchase” are to the purchase by HEC Fund from HEC pursuant to the HEC Forward Purchase Agreement of 5,000,000 forward purchase units (the “Forward Purchase Units”), consisting of one share of Talkspace common stock and
one-half
of one warrant to purchase one share of Talkspace common stock, for $10.00 per unit, or an aggregate amount of $50,000,000, in a private placement closed concurrently with the Closing;
 
   
“HEC Forward Purchase Agreement” are to the forward purchase agreement, entered into as of June 8, 2020, by and between HEC and HEC Fund, as amended by that certain First Amendment to Forward Purchase Agreement, dated January 12, 2021;
 
   
“HEC Fund” are to HEC Master Fund LP, a Delaware limited partnership;
 
   
“HEC Insiders” are to, collectively, the Sponsor, Douglas Braunstein, Douglas Bergeron, Jonathan Dobres, Robert Greifeld, Amy Schulman and Thelma Duggin;
 
   
“HEC IPO” are to the initial public offering by HEC which closed on June 11, 2020;
 
   
“Merger Agreement” are to that certain Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of January 12, 2021, by and among HEC, Old Talkspace, First Merger Sub and Second Merger Sub;
 
   
“Old Talkspace” are to Groop Internet Platform, Inc. (d/b/a “Talkspace”), a Delaware corporation;
 
   
“PIPE Investment” are to the purchase of shares of Talkspace common stock pursuant to the Subscription Agreements;
 
   
“PIPE Investors” are to the investors participating in the PIPE Investment;
 
   
“private placement warrants” are to the warrants issued by HEC to the Sponsor in a private placement simultaneously with the closing of the HEC IPO and the warrants originally sold as part of the units in the HEC Forward Purchase;
 
   
“public shares” are to shares of HEC’s Class A common stock sold as part of the units in the HEC IPO (whether they were purchased in the HEC IPO or thereafter in the open market);
 
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“public warrants” are to the warrants originally sold as part of the units in the HEC IPO (whether they were purchased in the HEC IPO or thereafter in the open market);
 
   
“Registration Rights Agreement” are to that certain Amended and Restated Registration Rights Agreement entered into at Closing by and among Talkspace, Inc., Sponsor and certain former stockholders of Old Talkspace;
 
   
“SEC” are to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission;
 
   
“Second Merger Sub” are to Tailwind Merger Sub II, LLC;
 
   
“Sponsor” are to HEC Sponsor LLC, a Delaware limited liability company;
 
   
“Sponsor Support Agreement” are to that certain Support Agreement, dated as of January 12, 2021, by and among HEC, the HEC Insiders and Old Talkspace;
 
   
“Subscription Agreements” are to the subscription agreements entered into by and between HEC and the PIPE Investors, in each case, dated as of January 12, 2021 and entered into in connection with the PIPE Investment;
 
   
“Talkspace” are to HEC following the consummation of the Transactions and its name change from Hudson Executive Investment Corp. to Talkspace, Inc.;
 
   
“Transactions” are to, collectively, the business combination and the other transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement;
 
   
“Warrant Agreement” are to that certain Warrant Agreement, dated as of June 8, 2020, by and between HEC and Continental Stock Transfer & Trust Company; and
 
   
“warrants” are to the public warrants and the private placement warrants.
 
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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains statements that are forward-looking and as such are not historical facts. This includes, without limitation, statements regarding the financial position, business strategy and the plans and objectives of management for our future operations. These statements constitute projections, forecasts and forward-looking statements, and are not guarantees of performance. Such statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. When used in this prospectus, words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “targets,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “forecasts,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking.
Forward-looking statements in this prospectus and in any document incorporated by reference in this prospectus may include, for example, statements about:
 
   
the success of competitive services or technologies;
 
   
developments related to our existing or any future collaborations;
 
   
regulatory or legal developments in the United States and other countries;
 
   
developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property or other proprietary rights;
 
   
the recruitment or departure of key personnel;
 
   
actual or anticipated changes in estimates as to financial results, development timelines or recommendations by securities analysts;
 
   
variations in our financial results or those of companies that are perceived to be similar to us;
 
   
changes in the structure of healthcare payment systems;
 
   
changes in the market’s expectations about our operating results;
 
   
the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements and filings with the SEC;
 
   
speculation in the press or investment community;
 
   
commencement of, or involvement in, litigation involving us;
 
   
changes in our capital structure, such as future issuances of securities or the incurrence of additional debt;
 
   
the volume of our securities available for public sale;
 
   
changes in our board of directors or management;
 
   
general economic, industry and market conditions; and
 
   
the other factors described in this “Risk Factors” section.
These forward-looking statements are based on information available as of the date of this prospectus and current expectations, forecasts and assumptions, and involve a number of judgments, risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date they were made, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.
As a result of a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, our actual results or performance may be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
 
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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
This summary highlights selected information from this prospectus and may not contain all of the information that is important to you in making an investment decision. Before investing in our securities, you should carefully read this entire prospectus, including our financial statements and the related notes included in this prospectus and the information set forth under the headings “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” See also the section entitled “Where You Can Find Additional Information.”
Our Company
Our Mission
Our mission is to democratize access to high quality behavioral healthcare, so that those in need live a happier and healthier life.
Overview
Talkspace offers convenient and affordable access to a fully-credentialed network of highly qualified providers. We are a leading virtual behavioral health company and, since Talkspace’s founding in 2012, we have connected millions of patients, who we refer to as our members, with licensed mental health providers across a wide and growing spectrum of care through virtual counseling, psychotherapy and psychiatry. We created a purpose-built platform to address the vast, unmet and growing demand for mental health services of our members, serving our
business-to-consumer
(“B2C”) channel, comprised of individual consumers who subscribe directly to our platform, and our
business-to-business
(“B2B”) channel, comprised of large enterprise clients such as Google and Expedia and large health plans and employee assistance programs (collectively, “health plan clients”) such as Aetna, Cigna, Premera and Optum (collectively, our “clients”), who offer their employees and insured members access to our platform while their employer is under an active contract with Talkspace, or at
in-network
reimbursement rates, where applicable.
For the year ended December 31, 2021, approximately 280,000 members were registered on our platform, as compared to approximately 200,000 members for the year ended December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2021, we had approximately 56,000 active members receiving care through our B2C and B2B channels, including approximately 24,000 B2C active members, and approximately 69 million B2B eligible lives. We consider members “active” (i) in the case of our B2C members, commencing on the date such member initiates contact with a provider on our platform until the term of their monthly, quarterly or
bi-annual
subscription plan expires, unless terminated early and (ii) in the case of our B2B members, if such members have engaged on our platform during the preceding 25 days, such as sending a text, video or audio message to, or participating in a video call with, a provider, completing a satisfaction or progress report survey or signing up for our platform. While a growth in active members typically highlights strong engagement with our members, not all active members are associated with revenue in that particular period. We consider B2B lives “eligible” if such persons are eligible to receive treatment on the Talkspace platform, in the case of our enterprise clients, while their employer is under an active contract with Talkspace, or, in the case of health plan clients, at an agreed upon reimbursement rate through insurance under an employee assistance program or other network behavioral health paid benefit program. There may be instances where a person may be covered through multiple solutions, typically through behavioral health plans and employee assistance programs. In these instances, the person is counted each time they are covered in the B2B eligible lives calculation, which may cause this amount to reflect a higher number of members than we actually serve. For the year ended December 31, 2021, our clinicians completed 273,700 B2B sessions related to members covered under our health plan clients, as compared to 114,600 completed B2B sessions for the year ended December 31, 2020.
 
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The behavioral health market has traditionally been underserved for a number of reasons, including as a result of inadequate access, a limited universe of qualified providers, high cost and social stigma. We believe virtual is the ideal modality for mental health treatment because it removes or reduces these burdens associated with traditional
face-to-face
mental health services by improving convenience through 24/7 access to our platform, providing more accessible entry level price points, and reducing associated stigmas by promoting transparency, increasing ease of access and preserving privacy. Our platform connects consumers in need, including many of whom have never had an opportunity to benefit from high-quality behavioral healthcare, with experienced providers across all 50 U.S. states.
Through our psychotherapy offerings, our licensed therapists and counselors treat mental health conditions in over 21 specializations, such as depression, anxiety, trauma and other human challenges. Through our psychiatry offerings, our board-certified psychiatrists and prescription-eligible nurse practitioners treat a higher acuity patient demographic, including those who may have pharmacological needs. Like the traditional
face-to-face
models, Talkspace providers are able to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, bipolar disorders and depression, including through prescription medication and management from psychiatrists, up and until the point that the provider, in their discretion, feels it prudent to refer the member to a face-
to-face
psychiatrist to address potential needs for “controlled substances” under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which generally prohibits the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances via telehealth without performing an
in-person
examination.
While optimizing consumers’ access to care, we believe our platform also provides benefits to providers through expanded reach, steady access to member leads, reduced administrative burdens, more efficient time utilization and data-driven insights. These features, together with continuous training and professional growth opportunities we offer, empower providers to deliver what we believe will enable an enhanced care journey, higher member lifetime engagement, meaningful outcomes and greater margins when compared to
face-to-face
treatment.
Talkspace revenues were $76.2 million and $113.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2021, respectively, representing a period-over-period increase of 49.2%.
Risk Factors
Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those highlighted in the section entitled “Risk Factors” immediately following this prospectus summary, that represent challenges that we face in connection with the successful implementation of our strategy and the growth of our business. In particular, the following considerations, among others, may offset our competitive strengths or have a negative effect on our business strategy, which could cause a decline in the price of shares of our common stock or warrants and result in a loss of all or a portion of your investment:
 
   
We have a history of losses, which we expect to continue, and we may never achieve or sustain profitability.
 
   
Our business and the markets we operate in are new and rapidly evolving which makes it difficult to evaluate our future prospects and the risks and challenges we may encounter.
 
   
We may not grow at the rates we historically have achieved or at all, even if our key metrics may indicate growth, which could have a material adverse effect on the market price of our common stock.
 
   
The virtual behavioral health market is immature and volatile, and if it does not develop, if it develops more slowly than we expect, if it encounters negative publicity or if our services are not competitive, the growth of our business will be harmed.
 
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The outbreak of the novel coronavirus
(COVID-19)
and its impact on business and economic conditions could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition, and the extent and duration of those effects will be uncertain.
 
   
We operate in a competitive industry, and if we are not able to compete effectively, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be harmed.
 
   
If growth in the number of clients and members or providers on our platform decreases, or the number of products or services that we are able to sell to our clients and members decreases, due to legal, economic or business developments, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be harmed.
 
   
We may be unsuccessful in achieving broad market education and changing consumer purchasing habits.
 
   
Our growth depends in part on the success of our strategic relationships with third parties that we provide services to.
 
   
Our virtual behavioral healthcare strategies depend on our ability to maintain and expand our network of therapists, psychiatrists and other providers. If we are unable to do so, our future growth would be limited and our business, financial condition and results of operations would be harmed.
 
   
Developments affecting spending by the healthcare industry could adversely affect our business.
 
   
Our business could be adversely affected by legal challenges to our business model or by actions restricting our ability to provide the full range of our services in certain jurisdictions.
 
   
We are dependent on our relationships with affiliated professional entities, which we do not own, to provide physician and other professional services, and our business, financial condition and our ability to operate in certain jurisdictions would be adversely affected if those relationships were disrupted or if our arrangements with our providers or clients are found to violate state laws prohibiting the corporate practice of medicine or fee splitting.
 
   
The impact on us of recent healthcare legislation and other changes in the healthcare industry and in healthcare spending is currently unknown, but may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
   
Changes in consumer sentiment or laws, rules or regulations regarding the use of cookies and other tracking technologies and other privacy matters could have a material adverse effect on our ability to generate net revenues and could adversely affect our ability to collect proprietary data on consumer behavior.
 
   
Our use and disclosure of personal information, including PHI, personal data, and other health information, is subject to state, federal or other privacy and security regulations, and our failure to comply with those regulations or to adequately secure the information we hold could result in significant liability or reputational harm and, in turn, a material adverse effect on our client base and member bases and revenue.
 
   
Any failure to protect, enforce or defend our intellectual property rights could impair our ability to protect our technology and our brand.
 
   
Legal proceedings could cause us to incur unforeseen expenses and could occupy a significant amount of our management’s time and attention.
 
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Additional Information
Talkspace was originally incorporated as Hudson Executive Investment Corp. (“HEC”), a special purpose acquisition company, in Delaware on October 30, 2019 for the purpose of entering into a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, recapitalization or other similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities.
On January 12, 2021, HEC, entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of January 12, 2021 (the “Merger Agreement”), with Groop Internet Platform, Inc. (“Old Talkspace”), Tailwind Merger Sub I, Inc., a Delaware corporation and a direct wholly owned subsidiary of HEC (“First Merger Sub”), and Tailwind Merger Sub II, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Second Merger Sub”). On June 22, 2021, as contemplated by the Merger Agreement, First Merger Sub merged with and into Old Talkspace (the “First Merger”) with Old Talkspace surviving the First Merger, and immediately following the First Merger and as part of the same overall transaction as the First Merger, Old Talkspace merged with and into Second Merger Sub, with Second Merger Sub surviving the merger as a wholly owned subsidiary of HEC (the “Second Merger” and, together with the First Merger, the “Business Combination”). In connection with the Business Combination, HEC filed the Certificate of Incorporation and changed its name to “Talkspace, Inc.”
Our website address is talkspace.com. We make available free of charge at the investors section of this website our Annual Reports on Form
10-K,
Quarterly Reports on Form
10-Q,
Current Reports on Form
8-K,
other SEC filings and all amendments to those reports filed or furnished to the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after we file or furnish such materials to the SEC. The information on our website is not, and will not be deemed to be, a part of the Annual Report on Form
10-K
or incorporated into any of our other filings with the SEC, except where we expressly incorporated such information.
 
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RISK FACTORS
An investment in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below before making an investment decision. Our business, prospects, financial condition or operating results could be harmed by any of these risks, as well as other risks not currently known to us or that we currently consider immaterial. The trading price of our securities could decline due to any of these risks, and, as a result, you may lose all or part of your investment.
In the course of conducting our business operations, we are exposed to a variety of risks. Any of the risk factors we describe below have affected or could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. The market price of our securities could decline, possibly significantly or permanently, if one or more of these risks and uncertainties occurs. Certain statements in “Risk Factors” are forward-looking statements. See “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”
Risks Related to Our Operating Results and Early Stage of Growth
We have a history of losses, which we expect to continue, and we may never achieve or sustain profitability.
We have incurred significant losses in each period since our inception. We incurred net losses of $62.7 million, $22.4 million and $29.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. As of December 31, 2021, we had an accumulated deficit of $171.5 million. These losses and accumulated deficit reflect the substantial investments we made to acquire new clients and members and to develop our technology platform. To date, we have derived a substantial majority of our revenue from clients and members who pay for access to our virtual behavioral health platform, and our longer-term results of operations and continued growth will depend on our ability to successfully develop and market new virtual behavioral health products and services that our clients and members want and are willing to purchase. We intend to continue scaling our business to increase our client, member and provider bases, broaden the scope of services we offer, invest in research and development and expand the applications of our technology through which clients and members can access our services. Accordingly, we anticipate that cost of revenue and operating expenses will continue to increase in the foreseeable future. These efforts may prove more expensive than we currently anticipate, and we may not succeed in increasing our revenue sufficiently to offset these higher expenses. In addition, our results of operations would also suffer if our innovations are not responsive to the needs of our clients and members, appropriately timed with market opportunity, effectively brought to market or do not achieve market acceptance. We cannot assure you that we will achieve profitability in the future or that, if we do become profitable, we will be able to sustain or increase profitability. Our prior losses, combined with our expected future losses, have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on our stockholders’ equity and working capital. As a result of these factors, we may need to raise additional capital through debt or equity financings in order to fund our operations, and such capital may not be available on reasonable terms, if at all.
Our business and the markets we operate in are new and rapidly evolving, which makes it difficult to evaluate our future prospects and the risks and challenges we may encounter.
Our business and the markets we operate in are new and rapidly evolving which
make it difficult to evaluate and assess the success of our business to date, our future prospects and the risks and challenges that we may encounter. These risks and challenges include our ability to:
 
   
attract new clients and members to our platform and position our platform as a convenient and accepted way to access therapy and psychiatry;
 
   
retain our clients and members and encourage them to continue to utilize our platform and services;
 
   
attract new and existing clients and members to rapidly adopt new offerings on our platform;
 
   
increase the number of clients and members that use our subscription offerings or the number of subscription programs that we manage;
 
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retain our clients and members that subscribe to our subscription offerings;
 
   
gain market acceptance of our services and products with clients and members and maintain and expand such relationships;
 
   
attract and retain providers for inclusion in our platform;
 
   
comply with existing and new laws and regulations applicable to our business and in our industry;
 
   
anticipate and respond to macroeconomic changes, and industry pricing benchmarks and changes in the markets in which we operate;
 
   
react to challenges from existing and new competitors;
 
   
maintain and enhance the value of our reputation and brand;
 
   
effectively manage our growth and business operations;
 
   
forecast our revenue and budget for, and manage, our expenses and capital expenditures;
 
   
hire, integrate and retain talented people at all levels of our organization;
 
   
maintain and improve the infrastructure underlying our platform, including our apps and websites and with respect to data protection, intellectual property and cybersecurity; and
 
   
successfully update our platform, including expanding our platform and offerings into different healthcare products and services, develop and update our software, apps, features, offerings and services to benefit our clients and members and enhance their experience.
If we fail to understand fully or adequately address the challenges that we are currently encountering or that we may encounter in the future, including those challenges described here and elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected. If the risks and uncertainties that we plan for when operating our business are incorrect or change, or if we fail to manage these risks successfully, our results of operations could differ materially from our expectations and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We may not grow at the rates we historically have achieved or at all, even if our key metrics may indicate growth, which could have a material adverse effect on the market price of our common stock.
We have experienced significant growth in the last several years, and therefore our recent revenue growth rate and financial performance should not be considered indicative of our future performance. For the year ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, our revenue was $113.7 million, $76.2 million and $38.2 million, respectively, representing a 49.2% growth rate for the period between 2021 and 2020, and a 99.6% growth rate for the period between 2020 and 2019. In addition, as a result of the
COVID-19
pandemic, we have experienced a significant increase in revenue. The circumstances that have accelerated the growth of our business stemming from the effects of the
COVID-19
pandemic may not continue in the future, and future revenues may not grow at these same rates or may decline. For example, during the quarter ended December 31, 2021, revenues from our B2C business declined compared to the previous quarter. You should not rely on our revenue or key business metrics for any previous quarterly or annual period as any indication of our revenue, revenue growth, key business metrics, or key business metrics growth in future periods. In particular, our revenue growth rate has fluctuated in prior periods. Our future growth will depend, in part, on our ability to grow our revenue from existing clients and members, to acquire potential future clients and members, to expand our client, member and provider bases, to develop new products and services and to expand internationally. We can provide no assurances that we will be successful in executing on these growth strategies or that, even if our key metrics would indicate future growth, we will continue to grow our revenue or to generate net income. Our ability to execute on our existing sales pipeline, create additional sales pipelines, and expand our client and member bases depends on, among other things, the attractiveness of our services relative to those offered by our competitors,
 
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our ability to demonstrate the value of our existing and future services, and our ability to attract and retain a sufficient number of qualified sales and marketing leadership and support personnel. In addition, our existing clients and members may be slower to adopt our services than we currently anticipate, which could adversely affect our results of operations and growth prospects.
We may experience difficulties in managing our growth and expanding our operations.
We expect to experience significant growth in the scope of our operations. Our ability to manage our operations and future growth will require us to continue to improve our operational, financial and management controls, compliance programs and reporting systems. We may not be able to implement improvements in an efficient or timely manner and may discover deficiencies in existing controls, programs, systems and procedures, which could have an adverse effect on our business, reputation and financial results. Additionally, rapid growth in our business may place a strain on our human and capital resources.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
The virtual behavioral health market is immature and volatile, and if it does not develop, if it develops more slowly than we expect, if we encounter negative publicity or if our services are not competitive, the growth of our business will be harmed.
The virtual behavioral health market is relatively new and unproven, and it is uncertain whether it will achieve and sustain high levels of demand, consumer acceptance and market adoption. Our success will depend to a substantial extent on the willingness of our clients and members to use, and to increase the frequency and extent of their utilization of, our services and products, as well as on our ability to demonstrate the value of virtual behavioral healthcare to employers, health plans, government agencies and other purchasers of healthcare for beneficiaries. Our market may depend on our clients and members’ ability to obtain reimbursement from third-party payors, such as health plans and government agencies, as well as our ability to expand our B2B business and contract for direct reimbursement of our services from employers and health plan clients. Third-party payors in the United States may decline or reduce reimbursement for telehealth and teletherapy services, especially those provided through text messaging or other means via technology, and compliance with administrative procedures or requirements of third-party payors may result in delays in processing approvals by those payors for members to obtain coverage for our services. Failure by our members to obtain or maintain coverage or our inability to secure adequate reimbursement for our services could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial conditions. We derive a portion of our revenues from third-party payors, and we expect that this amount will continue to increase, so any reductions in reimbursement by third-party payors could have a material and adverse impact on our projected growth. In addition, negative publicity concerning our services or the virtual behavioral health market as a whole could limit market acceptance of our services. If our clients and members do not perceive the benefits of our services and drive member engagement, or if our services are not competitive, then our market may not develop at all, or it may develop more slowly than we expect. Similarly, individual and healthcare industry concerns or negative publicity regarding patient confidentiality and privacy in the context of virtual behavioral healthcare could limit market acceptance of our services. If any of these events occurs, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus
(COVID-19)
and its impact on business and economic conditions could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition, and the extent and duration of those effects will be uncertain.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared
COVID-19
a global pandemic. This contagious outbreak, which has continued to spread, and the related adverse public health developments, including orders to
shelter-in-place,
travel restrictions and mandated business closures, have adversely affected workforces, organizations, consumers, economies and financial markets globally, leading to an economic downturn and increased market volatility. It has also disrupted the normal operations of many businesses, including ours.
 
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As a result of the
COVID-19
pandemic, our personnel are working remotely, and it is possible that this could have a negative impact on the execution of our business plans and operations. If a natural disaster, power outage, connectivity issue, or other event occurred that impacted our employees’ ability to work remotely, it may be difficult or, in certain cases, impossible, for us to continue our business for a substantial period of time. The increase in remote working may also result in consumer privacy, IT security and fraud concerns as well as increase our exposure to potential wage and hour issues.
We cannot predict with any certainty whether and to what degree the impact caused by the
COVID-19
pandemic and reactions thereto will continue which may contribute to difficulty accurately predicting our internal financial forecasts.
The outbreak also presents challenges as our workforce is working remotely in helping new and existing clients, members and other consumers, many of whom are also generally working remotely.
It is not possible for us to accurately predict the duration or magnitude of the results of the
COVID-19
and its effects on our business, results of operations or financial condition at this time, but such effects may be material. The
COVID-19
pandemic may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks identified elsewhere in this section.
Rapid technological change in our industry presents us with significant risks and challenges.
The virtual behavioral health market is characterized by rapid technological change, changing consumer requirements, short product lifecycles and evolving industry standards. Our success will depend on our ability to enhance our solution with next-generation technologies and to develop or to acquire and market new services to access new client and member populations. There is no guarantee that we will possess the resources, either financial or personnel, for the research, design and development of new applications or services, or that we will be able to utilize these resources successfully and avoid technological or market obsolescence. Further, there can be no assurance that technological advances by one or more of our competitors or future competitors will not result in our present or future software-based products and services becoming uncompetitive or obsolete.
We operate in a competitive industry, and if we are not able to compete effectively, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be harmed.
While the virtual behavioral health market is in an early stage of development, it is competitive and we expect it to attract increased competition, which could make it difficult for us to succeed. We currently face competition from a range of companies, including specialized software and solution providers that offer similar solutions and that are continuing to develop additional products and becoming more sophisticated and effective. These competitors include American Well Corporation, Teladoc, Included Health, MDLive, BetterHelp, Lyra Health and Headspace. In addition, large, well-financed health systems and health plans have in some cases developed their own telehealth and teletherapy tools and may provide these solutions to their consumer at discounted prices. Competition may also increase from large technology companies, such as Apple, Amazon, Meta, Google, Verizon, or Microsoft, who may wish to develop their own virtual behavioral health solutions, as well as from large retailers like Amazon or Walmart. The surge in interest in virtual behavioral healthcare, including as a result of the
COVID-19
pandemic, and in particular the relaxation of HIPAA privacy and security requirements, has also attracted new competition from providers who utilize consumer-grade video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Twilio. Competition from large software companies or other specialized solution providers, health systems and health plans, communication tools and other parties could result in continued pricing pressures, which is likely to lead to price declines in certain product segments, which could negatively impact our sales, profitability and market share.
Some of our competitors may have greater name recognition, longer operating histories and significantly greater resources than we do. Further, our current or potential competitors may be acquired by third parties with
 
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greater available resources. As a result, our competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards or consumer requirements and may have the ability to initiate or withstand substantial price competition. In addition, current and potential competitors have established, and may in the future establish, cooperative relationships with vendors of complementary products, technologies or services to increase the availability of their solutions in the marketplace. Accordingly, new competitors or alliances may emerge that have greater market share, a larger consumer base, more widely adopted proprietary technologies, greater marketing expertise, greater financial resources and larger sales forces than we have, which could put us at a competitive disadvantage.
Our competitors could also be better positioned to serve certain segments of the virtual behavioral health market, which could create additional price pressure. In addition, many healthcare provider organizations are consolidating to create integrated healthcare delivery systems with greater market power. As provider networks and managed care organizations consolidate, thus decreasing the number of market participants, competition to provide products and services like ours could become more intense, and the importance of establishing and maintaining relationships with key industry participants could increase. These industry participants may try to use their market power to negotiate price reductions for our products and services. In light of these factors, even if our solution is more effective than those of our competitors, current or potential clients and members may accept competitive solutions in lieu of purchasing our solution. If we are unable to successfully compete in the virtual behavioral health market, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
If growth in the number of clients and members or providers on our platform decreases, or the number of products or services that we are able to sell to our clients and members decreases, due to legal, economic or business developments, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be harmed.
We currently generate most of our revenues from members who purchase subscription access to our platform. These subscriptions generally have stated initial terms of
one-to-six
months. We also generate revenues from our enterprise clients, which contracts generally have stated initial terms of one year, unless earlier terminated subject to notice and other requirements. Most of our clients and members have no obligation to renew their subscriptions for our services after the initial term expires. In addition, our clients may negotiate terms less advantageous to us upon renewal, which may reduce our revenue from these clients. Additionally, as we grow our client and member bases, we will need to maintain and grow our network of providers. Certain of our providers are permitted to provide services on other platforms, and therefore, our success will be dependent on our ability to retain and recruit highly trained and licensed therapists, psychiatrists and other providers to our platform. Additionally, our future results of operations depend, in part, on our ability to expand our services and offerings, including broadening our continuum of care. If our clients and members fail to renew their contracts, renew their contracts upon less favorable terms or at lower fee levels or fail to purchase new products and services from us, our revenue may decline or our future revenue growth may be constrained.
Additional factors that could affect our ability to sell products and services include, but are not limited to:
 
   
price, performance and functionality of our solution;
 
   
availability, price, performance and functionality of competing solutions;
 
   
our ability to develop and sell complementary products and services;
 
   
stability, performance and security of our hosting infrastructure and hosting services; and
 
   
changes in healthcare laws, regulations or trends.
Any of these consequences could lower retention and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
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Our future growth and profitability of our business will depend in large part upon the effectiveness and efficiency of our marketing efforts, and our ability to develop brand awareness cost-effectively.
Our business success depends on our ability to attract and retain clients and members, which significantly depends on our marketing practices. Our future growth and profitability will depend in large part upon the effectiveness and efficiency of our marketing efforts, including our ability to:
 
   
create greater awareness of our brand;
 
   
identify the most effective and efficient levels of spending in each market, media and specific media vehicle;
 
   
determine the appropriate creative messages and media mix for advertising, marketing and promotional expenditures;
 
   
effectively manage marketing costs (including creative and media) to maintain acceptable consumer acquisition costs;
 
   
select the most effective markets, media and specific media vehicles in which to advertise; and
 
   
convert consumer inquiries into clients and members.
We believe that developing and maintaining widespread awareness of our brand in a cost-effective manner is critical to achieving widespread adoption of our solution and attracting new clients and members. Our brand promotion activities may not generate consumer awareness or increase revenue, and even if they do, any increase in revenue may not offset the expenses we incur in building our brand. If we fail to successfully promote and maintain our brand, or incur substantial expenses in doing so, we may fail to attract or retain clients and members necessary to realize a sufficient return on our brand-building efforts or to achieve the widespread brand awareness that is critical for broad adoption of our brands.
We may be unsuccessful in achieving broad market education and changing consumer purchasing habits.
Our success and future growth largely depend on our ability to increase consumer awareness of our platform and offerings, and on the willingness of current and potential clients and members to utilize our platform to access information and behavioral health services. We believe the vast majority of consumers make purchasing decisions for behavioral health services on the basis of traditional factors, such as insurance coverage. This traditional decision-making process does not always account for restrictive and complex insurance plans, high deductibles, expensive
co-pays
and other factors, such as discounts or savings available at alternative therapists or practices. To effectively market our platform, we must educate consumers about the various purchase options and the benefits of using Talkspace for behavioral healthcare, including when such services may not be covered by their health insurance benefits. We focus our marketing and education efforts on potential clients, members and other consumers, but also aim to educate and inform healthcare providers and other participants that interact with consumers, including at the point of purchase. However, we cannot assure you that we will be successful in changing consumer purchasing habits or that we will achieve broad market education or awareness among consumers. Even if we are able to raise awareness among consumers, they may be slow in changing their habits and may be hesitant to use our platform for a variety of reasons, including:
 
   
lack of experience with our company and platform, and concerns that we are relatively new to the industry;
 
   
perceived health, safety or quality risks associated with the use of a new platform and applications for therapy and psychiatry;
 
   
traditional or existing relationships with therapists, psychiatrists or other providers;
 
   
concerns about the privacy and security of the data that consumers and providers share with or through our platform;
 
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competition and negative selling efforts from competitors, including competing platforms and price matching programs; and
 
   
perception regarding the time and complexity of using our platform.
If we fail to achieve broad market education of our platform and/or the options for purchasing healthcare products and services, or if we are unsuccessful in changing consumer purchasing habits, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.
Our growth depends in part on the success of our strategic relationships with third parties that we provide services to.
In order to grow our business, we anticipate that we will continue to depend on our existing and future relationships with third parties, such as third-party payors, including health plans and government agencies, as well as our ability to expand our B2B business with employers and health plan clients that we provide services to. Identifying potential clients, and negotiating and documenting relationships with them, requires significant time and resources. Our competitors may be effective in providing incentives to third parties to favor their products or services or to prevent or reduce subscriptions to, or utilization of, our products and services. In addition, acquisitions of our clients by our competitors could result in a decrease in the number of our current and potential clients and members, as our clients may no longer facilitate the adoption of our applications by potential members. If we are unsuccessful in establishing or maintaining our relationships with third parties that we provide services to, our ability to compete in the marketplace or to grow our revenue could be impaired and our results of operations may suffer. Even if we are successful, we cannot assure you that these relationships will result in increased client use of our services or increased revenue.
Our virtual behavioral healthcare strategies depend on our ability to maintain and expand our network of therapists, psychiatrists and other providers. If we are unable to do so, our future growth would be limited and our business, financial condition and results of operations would be harmed.
Our success is dependent upon our continued ability to maintain a network of highly trained and qualified therapists, psychiatrists and other providers. If we are unable to recruit and retain licensed therapists, psychiatrists and other providers, it would have a material adverse effect on our business and ability to grow and would adversely affect our results of operations. In any particular market, providers could demand higher payments or take other actions that could result in higher medical costs, less attractive service for our clients or members or difficulty meeting regulatory or accreditation requirements. The ability to develop and maintain satisfactory relationships with providers also may be negatively impacted by other factors not associated with us, such as changes in Medicare and/or Medicaid reimbursement levels, state therapist or psychiatrist licensing laws and standard of care requirements, and other pressures on healthcare providers and consolidation activity among hospitals, physician groups and healthcare providers. Our failure to maintain or to secure new cost-effective provider contracts may result in a loss of or inability to grow our client and member bases, higher costs, less attractive services for our clients and members and/or difficulty in meeting regulatory or accreditation requirements, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Developments affecting spending by the healthcare industry could adversely affect our business.
The U.S. healthcare industry has changed significantly in recent years, and we expect that significant changes will continue to occur. General reductions in expenditures by healthcare industry participants could result from, among other things:
 
   
government regulations or private initiatives that affect the manner in which healthcare providers interact with patients, payors or other healthcare industry participants, including changes in pricing or means of delivery of healthcare products and services;
 
   
consolidation of healthcare industry participants;
 
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federal amendments to, lack of enforcement or development of applicable regulations for, or repeal of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (the “Affordable Care Act” or the “ACA”);
 
   
reductions in government funding for healthcare; and
 
   
adverse changes in business or economic conditions affecting healthcare payors or providers or other healthcare industry participants.
Any of these changes in healthcare spending could adversely affect our revenue. Even if general expenditures by industry participants remain the same or increase, developments in the healthcare industry may result in reduced spending in some or all of the specific market segments that we serve now or in the future. However, the timing and impact of developments in the healthcare industry are difficult to predict. We cannot assure you that the demand for our solutions and services will continue to exist at current levels or that we will have adequate technical, financial, and marketing resources to react to changes in the healthcare industry.
Our estimated addressable market is subject to inherent challenges and uncertainties. If we have overestimated the size of our addressable market or the various markets in which we operate, our future growth opportunities may be limited.
Our total addressable market (“TAM”) is based on internal estimates and third-party estimates regarding the size of each of the U.S. and international behavioral health markets and is subject to significant uncertainty and is based on assumptions that may not prove to be accurate. These estimates, as well as the estimates and forecasts in this prospectus relating to the size and expected growth of the markets in which we operate, may change or prove to be inaccurate. While we believe the information on which we base our TAM is generally reliable, such information is inherently imprecise. In addition, our expectations, assumptions and estimates of future opportunities are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described herein. If third-party or internally generated data prove to be inaccurate or we make errors in our assumptions based on that data, our future growth opportunities may be affected. If our TAM, or the size of any of the various markets in which we operate, proves to be inaccurate, our future growth opportunities may be limited and there could be a material adverse effect on our prospects, business, financial condition and results of operations.
Negative media coverage could adversely affect our business.
We receive a substantial amount of media coverage in the United States. Unfavorable publicity regarding, among others, the healthcare industry, litigation or regulatory activity, the actions of the entities included or otherwise involved in our platform, virtual behavioral health services included on our platform or by other industry participants, our data privacy or data security practices, our platform or our revenue could materially adversely affect our reputation. For example, prior to the
COVID-19
pandemic and the resulting shift towards the acceptance of telehealth solutions, therapists advocacy groups have lobbied the American Psychological Association to reexamine its stance on telemental health, including challenging our contracts with healthcare providers and the efficacy of telemental health, including the use of text messaging. Therapy services are subject to state law requirements, and some states may prohibit the use of text messaging or other forms of technological modalities in delivering telemental health services. With advice of regulatory counsel, we aim to structure our contracts with healthcare providers and deliver telemental health services in compliance with applicable state laws. However, in response to the
COVID-19
pandemic and the limitations it created in delivering behavioral health services through
in-person
interactions, state and federal regulatory authorities loosened or removed a number of regulatory requirements in order to increase the availability of telehealth and teletherapy services, and both providers and patients have increasingly accepted telemental health as an alternative means of delivering and receiving behavioral health services. For more information on increased acceptance of telehealth and teletherapy services, see “Business—U.S. Government Regulation.” In addition, from time to time, news media outlets have provided negative coverage regarding our platform and privacy practices and any such negative
 
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media coverage, regardless of the accuracy of such reporting, may have an adverse impact on our business and reputation, as well as have an adverse effect on our ability to attract and retain clients, members, other consumers, or employees, and result in decreased revenue, which would materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Use of social media may adversely impact our reputation, subject us to fines or other penalties or be an ineffective source to market our offerings.
We use social media as part of our omnichannel approach to marketing and outreach to clients, members and other consumers. Changes to these social networking services’ terms of use or terms of service that limit promotional communications, restrictions that would limit our ability or our clients’ ability to send communications through their services, disruptions or downtime experienced by these social networking services or reductions in the use of or engagement with social networking services by current and potential clients and members could also harm our business. As laws and regulations rapidly evolve to govern the use of these channels, the failure by us, our employees or third parties acting at our direction to abide by applicable laws and regulations in the use of these channels could adversely affect our reputation or subject us to fines or other penalties. In addition, our employees or third parties acting at our direction may knowingly or inadvertently make use of social media in ways that could lead to the loss or infringement of intellectual property, as well as the public disclosure of proprietary, confidential or sensitive personal information of our business, employees, clients, members or others. Any such inappropriate use of social media could also cause reputational damage and adversely affect our business.
Our clients and members may engage with us online through our social media pages, including, for example, our presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, by providing feedback and public commentary about all aspects of our business. Information concerning us or our platform and offerings, whether accurate or not, may be posted on social media pages at any time and may have a disproportionately adverse impact on our brand, reputation or business. The harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
With respect to our plans for expansion of international operations, we may face political, legal and compliance, operational, regulatory, economic and other risks that we do not face or that are more significant than in our domestic operations.
With respect to our plans for expansion of international operations, we may face political, legal and compliance, operational, regulatory, economic and other risks that we do not face or that are more significant than in our domestic operations. These risks may vary widely by country and include varying regional and geopolitical business conditions and demands, government intervention and censorship, discriminatory regulation, nationalization or expropriation of assets and pricing constraints. Our future international services and products may need to meet country-specific client and member preferences as well as country-specific legal requirements, including those related to healthcare regulatory laws governing telemedicine and teletherapy services, licensing, privacy, data storage, location, protection and security. The interpretation of these laws is evolving and varies significantly from country to county and are enforced by governmental, judicial and regulatory authorities with broad discretion. We cannot be certain that our interpretation of such laws and regulations will be correct in how we plan to structure our international operations, and our arrangements with locally-licensed therapists, psychiatrists or other providers, as well as our international services agreements and client arrangements.
Our plans to expand our international operations will require us to overcome logistical and other challenges based on differing languages, cultures, legal and regulatory schemes and time zones. Our international operations may encounter labor laws, customs and employee relationships that can be difficult, less flexible than in our domestic operations and expensive to modify or terminate. In some countries we are required to, or choose to, operate with local business partners, which will require us to manage our partner relationships and may reduce our operational flexibility and ability to quickly respond to business challenges.
 
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Our planned international operations may be subject to particular risks in addition to those faced by our domestic operations, including:
 
   
the need to localize and adapt our solution for specific countries, including translation into foreign languages and associated expenses;
 
   
potential loss of proprietary information due to misappropriation or laws that may be less protective of our intellectual property rights than U.S. laws or that may not be adequately enforced;
 
   
requirements of foreign laws and other governmental controls, including cross-border compliance challenges related to the complexity of multiple, conflicting and changing governmental laws and regulations, including employment, healthcare, tax, privacy and data protection laws and regulations;
 
   
requirements of foreign laws and other governmental controls applicable to our ability to conduct telehealth and teletherapy services internationally, specifically laws governing remote care and the practice of medicine in such locations;
 
   
data privacy laws that require that client data be stored and processed in a designated territory;
 
   
new and different sources of competition and laws and business practices favoring local competitors;
 
   
local business and cultural factors that differ from our normal standards and practices, including business practices that we are prohibited from engaging in by the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (“FCPA”) and other anti-corruption laws and regulations;
 
   
changes to export controls and economic sanctions laws and regulations;
 
   
central bank and other restrictions on our ability to repatriate cash from international subsidiaries;
 
   
adverse tax consequences;
 
   
fluctuations in currency exchange rates, economic instability and inflationary conditions, which could make our solution more expensive or increase our costs of doing business in certain countries;
 
   
limitations on future growth or inability to maintain current levels of revenues from international sales if we do not invest sufficiently in our international operations;
 
   
different pricing environments, longer sales cycles and longer accounts receivable payment cycles and collections issues;
 
   
difficulties in staffing, managing and operating our international operations, including difficulties related to administering our stock plans in some foreign countries and increased financial accounting and reporting requirements and complexities;
 
   
difficulties in coordinating the activities of our geographically dispersed and culturally diverse operations; and
 
   
political unrest, war, terrorism or regional natural disasters, particularly in areas in which we have facilities.
Our overall success regarding our planned expansion in international markets will depend, in part, on our ability to anticipate and effectively manage these risks and there can be no assurance that we will be able to do so without incurring unexpected costs. If we are not able to manage the risks related to expansion of our international operations, we may not achieve the expected benefits of this expansion and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be harmed.
We may become subject to medical liability claims, which could cause us to incur significant expenses and may require us to pay significant damages if not covered by insurance.
Our overall business entails the risk of medical liability claims. Although Talkspace Provider Network, PA (“TPN”) and our affiliated professionals carry or will carry insurance covering medical malpractice claims in
 
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amounts that we believe are appropriate in light of the risks attendant to the services rendered, successful medical liability claims could result in substantial damage awards that exceed the limits of TPN’s and those affiliated professionals’ insurance coverage. TPN carries or will carry professional liability insurance for itself and each of its healthcare professionals (our providers). Additionally, all of our network providers that contract or will contract with TPN separately carry or will carry professional liability insurance for itself and its healthcare professionals. Professional liability insurance is expensive and insurance premiums may increase significantly in the future, particularly as we expand our services through TPN and our affiliated professionals. As a result, adequate professional liability insurance may not be available to TPN and our affiliated professionals in the future at acceptable costs or at all, which may negatively impact TPN and our affiliated professionals to provide services to our members, and thereby adversely affect our overall business and operations.
Any claims made against TPN or our affiliated professionals that are not fully covered by insurance could be costly to defend against, result in substantial damage awards, and divert the attention of our management and our affiliated professional entities from our operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, any claims may adversely affect our business or reputation.
A decline in the prevalence of employer-sponsored healthcare or the emergence of new technologies may adversely impact our
business-to-business
segment or require us to expend significant resources in order to remain competitive.
The U.S. healthcare industry is massive, with a number of large market participants with conflicting agendas, and it is subject to significant government regulation and is currently undergoing significant change. Changes in our industry, for example, such as the emergence of new technologies as more competitors enter our market, could adversely impact our
business-to
business segment where companies provide Talkspace to their employees as a benefit.
Some experts have predicted that future healthcare reform will encourage employer-sponsored health insurance to become significantly less prevalent as employees migrate to obtaining their own insurance over the state-sponsored insurance marketplaces. Were this to occur, there is no guarantee that we would be able to compensate for the loss in revenue from employers by increasing sales of our solution to health insurance companies or to individuals or government agencies. In such a case, our results of operations would be adversely impacted.
If healthcare benefits trends shift or entirely new technologies are developed that replace existing solutions, our existing or future solutions could be adversely impacted and our business could be adversely affected. In addition, we may experience difficulties with industry standards, design or marketing that could delay or prevent our development, introduction or implementation of new applications and enhancements.
We rely on third-party platforms such as the Apple App Store and Google Play App Store, to distribute our platform and offerings.
Our apps are accessed and operate through third-party platforms or marketplaces, including the Apple App Store and Google Play App Store, which also serve as significant online distribution platforms for our apps. As a result, the expansion and prospects of our business and our apps depend on our continued relationships with these providers and any other emerging platform providers that are widely adopted by consumers. We are subject to the standard terms and conditions that these providers have for application developers, which govern the content, promotion, distribution and operation of apps on their platforms or marketplaces, and which the providers can change unilaterally on short or no notice.
Thus, our business could suffer materially if platform providers change their standard terms and conditions, interpretations or other policies and practices in a way that is detrimental to us or if platform providers determine
 
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that we are in violation of their standard terms and conditions and prohibit us from distributing our apps on their platforms. In addition, our business would be harmed if the providers discontinue or limit our access to their platforms or marketplaces; the platforms or marketplaces decline in popularity; the platforms modify their algorithms, communication channels available to developers, respective terms of service or other policies, including fees; the providers adopt changes or updates to their technology that impede integration with other software systems or otherwise require us to modify our technology or update our apps in order to ensure that consumers can continue to access and use our virtual behavioral health services.
If alternative providers increase in popularity, we could be adversely impacted if we fail to create compatible versions of our apps in a timely manner, or if we fail to establish a relationship with such alternative providers. Likewise, if our current providers alter their operating platforms, we could be adversely impacted as our offerings may not be compatible with the altered platforms or may require significant and costly modifications in order to become compatible. If our providers do not perform their obligations in accordance with our platform agreements, we could be adversely impacted.
In the past, some of these platforms or marketplaces have been unavailable for short periods of time. If this or a similar event were to occur on a short- or long-term basis, or if these platforms or marketplaces otherwise experience issues that impact the ability of consumers to download or access our apps and other information, it could have a material adverse effect on our brand and reputation, as well as our business, financial condition and operating results.
We rely on data center providers, Internet infrastructure, bandwidth providers, third-party computer hardware and software, other third parties and our own systems for providing services to our clients and members, and any failure or interruption in the services provided by these third parties or our own systems could expose us to litigation and negatively impact our relationships with clients and members, adversely affecting our brand and our business.
We serve all of our clients and members from third party interconnection and data centers, such as Amazon Web Services. While we control and have access to our servers, we do not control the operation of these facilities. The cloud vendors and the owners of our data center facilities have no obligation to renew their agreements with us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. If we are unable to renew these agreements on commercially reasonable terms, or if one of our cloud vendors or data center operators is acquired, we may be required to transfer our servers and other infrastructure to a new vendor or a new data center facility, and we may incur significant costs and possible service interruption in connection with doing so. Problems faced by our cloud vendors or third-party data center locations with the telecommunications network providers with whom we or they contract, or with the systems by which our telecommunications providers allocate capacity among their clients, including us, could adversely affect the experience of our clients and members. Our third-party data center operators could decide to close their facilities without adequate notice. In addition, any financial difficulties, such as bankruptcy faced by our cloud vendors or third-party data centers operators or any of the service providers with whom we or they contract may have negative effects on our business, the nature and extent of which are difficult to predict.
Additionally, if our cloud or data center vendors are unable to keep up with our growing needs for capacity, this could have an adverse effect on our business. For example, a rapid expansion of our business could affect the service levels at our cloud vendors or data centers or cause such data centers and systems to fail. Any changes in third-party service levels at our data centers or any disruptions or other performance problems with our solution could adversely affect our reputation and may damage our clients and members’ stored files or result in lengthy interruptions in our services. Interruptions in our services may reduce our revenue, cause us to issue refunds to clients and members for prepaid and unused subscriptions, as well as loss of revenue related to service level credits and uptime, subject us to potential liability or adversely affect client retention.
In addition, our ability to deliver our Internet-based services depends on the development and maintenance of the infrastructure of the Internet by third parties. This includes maintenance of a reliable network backbone
 
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with the necessary speed, data capacity, bandwidth capacity and security. Our services are designed to operate without interruption in accordance with our service level commitments. However, we have experienced, including during the period immediately following the beginning of the
COVID-19
pandemic, and expect that we may experience in the future, interruptions and delays in services and availability from time to time. In the event of a catastrophic event with respect to one or more of our systems, we may experience an extended period of system unavailability, which could negatively impact our relationship with clients and members. To operate without interruption, both we and our service providers must guard against:
 
   
damage from fire, power loss, natural disasters and other force majeure events outside our control;
 
   
communications failures;
 
   
software and hardware errors, failures and crashes;
 
   
security breaches, computer viruses, hacking,
denial-of-service
attacks and similar disruptive problems; and
 
   
other potential interruptions.
We also rely on computer hardware purchased and software licensed from third parties in order to offer our services. These licenses are generally commercially available on varying terms. However, it is possible that this hardware and software may not continue to be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Any loss of the right to use any of this hardware or software could result in delays in the provisioning of our services until equivalent technology is either developed by us, or, if available from third parties, is identified, obtained and integrated.
We exercise limited control over third-party vendors, which increases our vulnerability to problems with technology and information services they provide. Interruptions in our network access and services may in connection with third-party technology and information services reduce our revenue, cause us to issue refunds to clients and members, subject us to potential liability or adversely affect client retention. Although we maintain a security and privacy damages insurance policy, the coverage under our policies may not be adequate to compensate us for all losses that may occur related to the services provided by our third-party vendors. In addition, we may not be able to continue to obtain adequate insurance coverage at an acceptable cost, if at all.
Our ability to rely on these services of third-party vendors could be impaired as a result of the failure of such providers to comply with applicable laws, regulations and contractual covenants, or as a result of events affecting such providers, such as power loss, telecommunication failures, software or hardware errors, computer viruses, cyber incidents and similar disruptive problems, fire, flood and natural disasters. Any such failure or event could adversely affect our relationships with our clients and members and damage our reputation. This could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition and operating results.
If our or our vendors’ security measures fail or are breached and unauthorized access to a client’s data or information systems is obtained, our services may be perceived as insecure, we may incur significant liabilities, our reputation may be harmed, and we could lose sales, clients and members.
Our services involve the storage and transmission of clients’ and our clients and members’ proprietary information, sensitive or confidential data, including valuable intellectual property and personal information of employees, clients, members and others, as well as the protected health information (“PHI”), of our clients and members. We are subject to laws and regulations relating to the collection, use, retention, security and transfer of this information. Because of the extreme sensitivity of the information we store and transmit, the security features of our and our third-party vendors’ computer, network, and communications systems infrastructure are critical to the success of our business. A breach or failure of our or our third-party vendors’ network, hosted service providers or vendor systems could result from a variety of circumstances and events, including third-party action, employee negligence or error, malfeasance, computer viruses, cyber-attacks by computer hackers
 
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such as
denial-of-service
and phishing attacks, failures during the process of upgrading or replacing software and databases, power outages, hardware failures, telecommunication failures, user errors, or catastrophic events. Information security risks have generally increased in recent years because of the proliferation of new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of perpetrators of cyber-attacks. Hackers and data thieves are increasingly sophisticated and operating large-scale and complex automated attacks, including on companies within the healthcare industry. As cyber threats continue to evolve, we may be required to expend additional resources to further enhance our information security measures and/or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities. If our or our third-party vendors’ security measures fail or are breached, it could result in unauthorized persons accessing sensitive client or member data (including PHI), a loss of or damage to our data, an inability to access data sources, or process data or provide our services to our clients and members. Such failures or breaches of our or our third-party vendors’ security measures, or our or our third-party vendors’ inability to effectively resolve such failures or breaches in a timely manner, could severely damage our reputation, adversely affect client, patient, member or investor confidence in us, and reduce the demand for our services from existing and potential clients and members. In addition, we could face litigation, damages for contract breach, monetary penalties, or regulatory actions for violation of applicable laws or regulations and incur significant costs for remedial measures to prevent future occurrences and mitigate past violations. Although we maintain insurance covering certain security and privacy damages and claim expenses, we may not carry insurance or maintain coverage sufficient to compensate for all liability and in any event, insurance coverage would not address the reputational damage that could result from a security incident.
Data privacy is also subject to frequently changing laws, rules and regulations in the various jurisdictions in which we operate. Such initiatives around the country could increase the cost of developing, implementing or securing our servers and require us to allocate more resources to improved technologies, adding to our IT and compliance costs. Our Board of Directors is briefed periodically on cybersecurity and risk management issues and we have implemented a number of processes to avoid cyber threats and to protect privacy. However, the processes we have implemented in connection with such initiatives may be insufficient to prevent or detect improper access to confidential, proprietary or sensitive data, including personal data. In addition, the competition for talent in the data privacy and cybersecurity space is intense, and we may be unable to hire, develop or retain suitable talent capable of adequately detecting, mitigating or remediating these risks. Our failure to adhere to, or successfully implement processes in response to, changing legal or regulatory requirements in this area could result in legal liability or damage to our reputation in the marketplace.
Should an attacker gain access to our network, including by way of example, using compromised credentials of an authorized user, we are at risk that the attacker might successfully leverage that access to compromise additional systems and data. Certain measures that we currently have in place in order to increase the security of our systems, such as data encryption (including data at rest encryption), heightened monitoring and logging, scanning for source code errors or deployment of multi-factor authentication, take significant time and resources to deploy broadly, and such measures may not be deployed in a timely manner or be effective against an attack. As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities. The inability to implement, maintain and upgrade adequate safeguards could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our information systems must be continually updated, patched and upgraded to protect against known vulnerabilities. The volume of new vulnerabilities has increased markedly, as has the criticality of patches and other remedial measures. In addition to remediating newly identified vulnerabilities, previously identified vulnerabilities must also be continuously addressed. Accordingly, we are at risk that cyber-attackers exploit these known vulnerabilities before they have been addressed. Any failure related to these activities and any breach of our information systems could result in significant liability and/or have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation and financial condition.
 
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We could experience losses or liability not covered by insurance.
Our business exposes us to risks that are inherent in the provision of virtual behavioral healthcare and access to remote, virtual healthcare and therapy. If clients, members or other individuals assert liability claims against us, any ensuing litigation, regardless of outcome, could result in a substantial cost to us, divert management’s attention from operations, and decrease market acceptance of our solution. We attempt to limit our liability to clients and members by contract; however, the limitations of liability set forth in the contracts may not be enforceable or may not otherwise protect us from liability for damages. Additionally, we may be subject to claims that are not explicitly covered by contract. We also maintain general liability coverage; however, this coverage may not continue to be available on acceptable terms, may not be available in sufficient amounts to cover one or more large claims against us, and may include larger self-insured retentions or exclusions for certain products. In addition, the insurer might disclaim coverage as to any future claim. A successful claim not fully covered by our insurance could have a material adverse impact on our liquidity, financial condition, and results of operations.
There may be adverse tax , legal and other consequences if the employment status of providers on our platform is challenged.
There is often uncertainty in the application of worker classification laws, especially in the medical field where individuals are required to hold professional licenses, and, consequently, there is risk that providers could be deemed to be misclassified under applicable law. We and TPN structure our relationships with the majority of our respective providers in a manner that we believe results in an independent contractor relationship, not an employee relationship. The tests governing whether a service provider is an independent contractor, or an employee are typically highly fact sensitive and vary by governing law. An independent contractor is generally distinguished from an employee by his or her degree of autonomy and independence in providing services. A high degree of autonomy and independence is generally indicative of a contractor relationship, while a high degree of control is generally indicative of an employment relationship. Although we believe that our and TPN’s providers are properly characterized as independent contractors, tax or other regulatory authorities may in the future challenge our characterization of these relationships. A misclassification determination or allegation creates potential exposure for us, including but not limited to: monetary exposure arising from or relating to failure to withhold and remit taxes, unpaid wages and wage and hour laws and requirements (such as those pertaining to minimum wage and overtime); claims for employee benefits, social security, Medicare, workers’ compensation and unemployment; claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation under civil rights laws; claims under laws pertaining to unionizing, collective bargaining and other concerted activity; and other claims, charges, or other proceedings under laws and regulations applicable to employers and employees, including risks relating to allegations of joint employer liability. Such claims could result in monetary damages or other liability, and any adverse determination, including potentially the requirement for us to indemnify a user, could also harm our brand, which could materially and adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations. While these risks are mitigated, in part, by our contractual rights of indemnification against third-party claims, such indemnification agreements could be determined to be unenforceable or costly to enforce and indemnification under such agreements may otherwise prove inadequate. As a result, any determination that our and/or TPN’s providers are employees could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Any future litigation against us could be costly and time-consuming to defend.
We may become subject, from time to time, to legal proceedings, payer audits, investigations, and claims that arise in the ordinary course of business such as claims brought by our clients in connection with commercial disputes or employment claims made by our current or former associates. Litigation and audits may result in substantial costs and may divert management’s attention and resources, which may substantially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Insurance may not cover such claims, may not provide sufficient payments to cover all of the costs to resolve one or more such claims and may not continue to be
 
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available on terms acceptable to us. A claim brought against us that is uninsured or underinsured could result in unanticipated costs, thereby reducing our earnings and leading analysts or potential investors to reduce their expectations of our performance, which could reduce the market price of our stock.
Changes in consumer sentiment or laws, rules or regulations regarding the use of cookies and other tracking technologies and other privacy matters could have a material adverse effect on our ability to generate net revenues and could adversely affect our ability to collect proprietary data on consumer behavior.
Consumers may become increasingly resistant to the collection, use and sharing of information online, including information used to deliver and optimize advertising, and take steps to prevent such collection, use and sharing of information. For example, consumer complaints and/or lawsuits regarding online advertising or the use of cookies or other tracking technologies in general and our practices specifically could adversely impact our business.
Consumers can currently opt out of the placement or use of most cookies for online advertising purposes by either deleting or disabling cookies on their browsers, visiting websites that allow consumers to place an
opt-out
cookie on their browsers, which instructs participating entities not to use certain data about consumers’ online activity for the delivery of targeted advertising, or by downloading browser
plug-ins
and other tools that can be set to: identify cookies and other tracking technologies used on websites; prevent websites from placing third-party cookies and other tracking technologies on the consumer’s browser; or block the delivery of online advertisements on apps and websites.
We are subject to evolving EU and UK privacy laws on cookies and
e-marketing.
In the EU and the UK, under national laws derived from the ePrivacy Directive, informed consent is required for the placement of a cookie or similar technologies on a user’s device and generally for direct electronic marketing to consumers. The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) also imposes conditions on obtaining valid consent, such as a prohibition on
pre-checked
consents and a requirement to ensure separate consents are sought for each type of cookie or similar technology. The current national laws that implement the ePrivacy Directive are highly likely to be replaced across the EU (but not directly in the UK) by an EU regulation known as the ePrivacy Regulation which will significantly increase fines for
non-compliance.
While the text of the ePrivacy Regulation is still under development, recent European court decisions regarding the consent requirements and regulators’ recent guidance are driving increased attention to cookies and tracking technologies. For example, in December 2020 the French data protection regulator (the CNIL) imposed fines of EUR 100M and EUR 35M respectively against certain Google and Amazon entities for alleged breaches of cookies consent and transparency requirements; and in December 2021, the CNIL imposed fines of EUR 150M and EUR 60M respectively against certain Google and Meta entities for alleged failures to allow users to easily reject cookies. In addition, NYOB (a not for profit organization led by Max Schrems) has recently issued approximately 500 complaints to European website operators regarding their cookie banners and referred 422 of these to relevant national regulators and has said that it aims to scan, warn and seek enforcement on up to 10,000 websites in Europe. If the trend of increasing enforcement by regulators of the strict approach in recent guidance and decisions continues, this could lead to substantial costs, require significant systems changes, limit the effectiveness of our marketing activities, divert the attention of our technology personnel, adversely affect our margins, increase costs and subject us to additional liabilities. Regulation of cookies and similar technologies, and any decline of cookies or similar online tracking technologies as a means to identify and potentially target users, may lead to broader restrictions and impairments on our marketing and personalization activities and may negatively impact our efforts to understand users.
In response to marketplace concerns about the usage of third-party cookies and web beacons to track user behaviors, providers of major browsers have included features that allow users to limit the collection of certain data generally or from specified websites. In addition, various software tools and applications have been developed that can block advertisements from a consumer’s screen or allow consumers to shift the location in which advertising appears on webpages or opt out of display, search and internet-based advertising entirely. In
 
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particular, Apple’s mobile operating system permits these technologies to work in its mobile Safari browser. In addition, changes in device and software features could make it easier for internet users to prevent the placement of cookies or to block other tracking technologies. In particular, the default settings of consumer devices and software may be set to prevent the placement of cookies unless the user actively elects to allow them. For example, Apple’s Safari browser currently has a default setting under which third-party cookies are not accepted and users must activate a browser setting to enable cookies to be set, and Apple has announced that its new mobile operating system will require consumers to opt in to the use of Apple’s resettable device identifier for advertising purposes. Various industry participants have worked to develop and finalize standards relating to a mechanism in which consumers choose whether to allow the tracking of their online search and browsing activities, and such standards may be implemented and adopted by industry participants at any time. These developments could impair our ability to collect user information, including personal data and usage information, that helps us provide more targeted advertising to our current and prospective consumers, which could adversely affect our business, given our use of cookies and similar technologies to target our marketing and personalize the consumer experience.
If consumer sentiment regarding privacy issues or the development and deployment of new browser solutions or other Do Not Track mechanisms result in a material increase in the number of consumers who choose to opt out or block cookies and other tracking technologies or who are otherwise using browsers where they need to, and fail to, allow the browser to accept cookies, or otherwise result in cookies or other tracking technologies not functioning properly, our ability to advertise effectively and conduct our business, and our results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.
Changes in U.S. tax laws could adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.
The United States enacted tax reform legislation in 2017 (the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017”) that, among other things, reduces the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate to 21%, imposes significant limitations on the deductibility of interest and executive compensation, allows for the expensing of capital expenditures, limits the deduction for net operating losses (“NOLs”) to 80% of current year taxable income in respect of losses arising in taxable years beginning after 2017, and modifies or repeals many business deductions and credits. The reduction in the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate is expected to be beneficial to us in future years in which we have net income subject to U.S. tax. The reduction in the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate also resulted in a remeasurement of our deferred tax assets and liabilities. There was no net impact on our deferred tax assets as we maintain a full valuation allowance. On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was enacted in response to the
COVID-19
pandemic. The CARES Act contains certain tax provisions, including provisions that retroactively and/or temporarily suspend or relax in certain respects the application of certain provisions, such as the limitations on the deduction of NOLs and interest, in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
There are a number of uncertainties and ambiguities as to the interpretation and application of many of the provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the CARES Act. In the absence of guidance on these issues, we will use what we believe are reasonable interpretations and assumptions in interpreting and applying the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the CARES Act, which may change as we receive additional clarification and implementation guidance. It is also possible that the Internal Revenue Service could issue subsequent guidance or take positions that differ from the interpretations and assumptions that we previously made, which could have a material adverse effect on our cash tax liabilities, results of operations and financial condition.
Certain U.S. state and local tax authorities may assert that we have a nexus with such states or localities and may seek to impose state and local income taxes on our income allocated to such state and localities.
There is a risk that certain state tax authorities where we do not currently file a state income tax return could assert that we are liable for state and local income taxes based upon income or gross receipts allocable to such states or localities. States and localities are becoming increasingly aggressive in asserting nexus for state and
 
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local income tax purposes. We could be subject to additional state and local income taxation, including penalties and interest attributable to prior periods, if a state or local tax authority in a state or locality where we do not currently file an income tax return successfully asserts that our activities give rise to nexus for state income tax purposes. Such tax assessments, penalties and interest may adversely affect our cash tax liabilities, results of operations and financial condition.
Taxing authorities may successfully assert that we should have collected or in the future should collect sales and use or similar taxes for virtual behavioral health services which could adversely affect our results of operations.
State taxing authorities may assert that we had economic nexus with their state and were required to collect sales and use or similar taxes with respect to past or future services that we have provided or will provide, which could result in tax assessments and penalties and interest. The assertion of such taxes against us for past services, or any requirement that we collect sales taxes on its provision of future services, could have a material adverse effect on our business, cash tax liabilities, results of operations, and financial condition.
Our ability to use our net operating losses and certain other attributes may be subject to certain limitations.
At December 31, 2021, the Company has federal and state net operating loss carryovers (“NOL”) of approximately $194.0 million and $180.6 million, respectively, which are available to reduce future taxable income. The NOL carryforwards begin to expire in 2032 and may become subject to annual limitation in the event of certain cumulative changes in the ownership interest of significant stockholders over a three-year period in excess of 50%, as defined under I.R.C. Section 382. This could limit the amount of tax attributes that can be utilized annually to offset future taxable income or future tax liabilities. The federal losses generated from 2018 onward do not expire.
It is possible that we will not generate taxable income in time to use these net operating loss carryforwards before their expiration (or that we will not generate taxable income at all). Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, U.S. federal net operating losses incurred in 2018 and in future years may be carried forward indefinitely, but the deductibility of such net operating losses is limited. It is uncertain if and to what extent various states will conform to these in federal tax laws. In addition, the federal and state net operating loss carryforwards and certain tax credits may be subject to significant limitations under Section 382 and Section 383 of the Internal Revenue Code, respectively, and similar provisions of state law. Under those sections of the Internal Revenue Code, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change,” the corporation’s ability to use its
pre-change
net operating loss carryforwards and other
pre-change
attributes, such as research tax credits, to offset its post-change income or tax may be limited. In general, an “ownership change” will occur if there is a cumulative change in our ownership by
“5-percent
shareholders” that exceeds 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. Similar rules may apply under state tax laws. We have not undertaken an analysis of whether we have experienced an “ownership change” for purposes of Section 382 and Section 383 of the Internal Revenue Code or whether there are any limitations on use with respect to our net operating losses and other tax attributes.
Our quarterly results may fluctuate significantly, which could adversely impact the value of our common stock.
Our quarterly results of operations, including our revenue, net loss and cash flows, has varied and may vary significantly in the future, and
period-to-period
comparisons of our results of operations may not be meaningful. Accordingly, our quarterly results should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. Our quarterly financial results may fluctuate as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control, including, without limitation, the following:
 
   
our ability to maintain and grow the number of clients and members on our platform;
 
   
the demand for and types of services that are offered on our platform by providers;
 
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the timing of recognition of revenue, including possible delays in the recognition of revenue due to sometimes unpredictable implementation timelines;
 
   
the amount and timing of operating expenses related to the maintenance and expansion of our business, operations and infrastructure;
 
   
our ability to effectively manage the size and composition of our network of healthcare providers relative to the level of demand for services from our members and our clients’ members and patients;
 
   
our ability to respond to competitive developments, including pricing changes and the introduction of new products and services by our competitors;
 
   
client and member retention and the timing and terms of client and member renewals;
 
   
changes to our pricing model;
 
   
our ability to introduce new features and services and enhance our existing platform and our ability to generate significant revenue from new features and services;
 
   
the mix of products and services sold during a period;
 
   
the impact of outages of our platform and associated reputational harm;
 
   
security or data privacy breaches and associated remediation costs;
 
   
the timing of expenses related to the development or acquisition of technologies or businesses and potential future charges for impairment of goodwill from acquired companies;
 
   
changes in the fair values of our financial instruments (including, but not limited to, certain warrants assumed in connection with the Business Combination); and
 
   
the
COVID-19
pandemic.
Most of our revenue in any given quarter is derived from contracts entered into with our clients during previous quarters. Consequently, a decline in new or renewed contracts in any one quarter may not be fully reflected in our revenue for that quarter. Such declines, however, would negatively affect our revenue in future periods and the effect of significant downturns in sales of and market demand for our solution, and potential changes in our renewals or renewal terms, may not be fully reflected in our results of operations until future periods. Our subscription model also makes it difficult for us to rapidly increase our total revenue through additional sales in any period, as revenue from new clients must be recognized over the applicable term of the contract. Accordingly, the effect of changes in the industry impacting our business or changes we experience in our new sales may not be reflected in our short-term results of operations. Any fluctuation in our quarterly results may not accurately reflect the underlying performance of our business and could cause a decline in the trading price of our securities.
We depend on our senior management team, and the loss of one or more of our executive officers or key employees or an inability to attract and retain highly skilled and diverse employees could adversely affect our business.
Our success depends largely upon the continued services of our key members of senior management. These members of senior management are
at-will
employees and therefore they may terminate employment with us at any time with no advance notice. We also rely on our leadership team in the areas of research and development, marketing, services and general and administrative functions. From time to time, there may be changes in our management team resulting from the hiring or departure of executives, which could disrupt our business. For instance, in November 2021 we announced the departure of Oren Frank, our former Chief Executive Officer and Roni Frank, our former Head of Clinical Services and the appointment of Douglas Braunstein as our interim Chief Executive Officer. We are in the process of searching for a permanent replacement to serve as Chief Executive Officer. The replacement of one or more of our executive officers or other key employees will likely
 
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involve significant time and costs and may significantly delay or prevent the achievement of our business objectives. Our business would also be adversely affected if we fail to adequately plan for succession of our executives and senior management; or if we fail to effectively recruit, integrate, retain and develop key talent and/or align our talent with our business needs, in light of the current rapidly changing environment. While we have employment arrangements with a limited number of key executives, these do not guarantee that the services of these or suitable successor executives will continue to be available to us.
Our success is dependent on our ability to align our talent with our business needs, engage our employees and inspire our employees to be open to change, to innovate and to maintain member- and client-focus when delivering our services. To continue to execute our growth strategy, we also must attract and retain highly skilled personnel. Competition is intense for qualified professionals. We may not be successful in continuing to attract and retain qualified personnel. We have from time to time in the past experienced, and we expect to continue to experience in the future, difficulty in hiring and retaining highly skilled personnel with appropriate qualifications. The pool of qualified personnel with experience working in the healthcare market is limited overall. In addition, many of the companies with which we compete for experienced personnel have greater resources than we have. In addition, as we expand internationally, we face the challenge of recruiting, integrating, educating, managing, retaining and developing a more culturally diverse workforce.
In addition, in making employment decisions, particularly in high-technology industries, job candidates often consider the value of the stock options or other equity instruments they are to receive in connection with their employment. Volatility in the price of our stock may, therefore, adversely affect our ability to attract or retain highly skilled personnel. Further, the requirement to expense stock options and other equity instruments may discourage us from granting the size or type of stock option or equity awards that job candidates require to join our company. Failure to attract new personnel or failure to retain and motivate our current personnel, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may acquire other companies or technologies, which could divert our management’s attention, result in dilution to our stockholders and otherwise disrupt our operations and we may have difficulty integrating any such acquisitions successfully or realizing the anticipated benefits therefrom, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We intend to seek to acquire or invest in businesses, software-based products and services or technologies that we believe could complement or expand our solution, enhance our technical capabilities or otherwise offer growth opportunities. To pursue this strategy successfully, we must identify attractive acquisition or investment opportunities and successfully complete transactions, some of which may be large and complex. We may not be able to identify or complete attractive acquisition or investment opportunities due to, among other things, the intense competition for these transactions. If we are not able to identify and complete such acquisition or investment opportunities, our future results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected. Additionally, the pursuit of potential acquisitions may divert the attention of management and cause us to incur various expenses in identifying, investigating and pursuing suitable acquisitions, whether or not they are consummated.
If we acquire additional businesses, we may not be able to integrate the acquired personnel, operations and technologies successfully, or effectively manage the combined business following the acquisition. We also may not achieve the anticipated benefits from the acquired business due to a number of factors, including, but not limited to:
 
   
an inability to integrate or benefit from acquired technologies or services in a profitable manner;
 
   
unanticipated costs or liabilities associated with the acquisition;
 
   
difficulty integrating the accounting systems, operations and personnel of the acquired business;
 
   
difficulties and additional expenses associated with supporting legacy products and hosting infrastructure of the acquired business;
 
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difficulty converting the clients of the acquired business onto our platform and contract terms, including disparities in the revenue, licensing, support or professional services model of the acquired company;
 
   
diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns;
 
   
adverse effects to our existing business relationships with business partners and clients as a result of the acquisition;
 
   
the potential loss of key employees;
 
   
use of resources that are needed in other parts of our business; and
 
   
use of substantial portions of our available cash to consummate the acquisition.
In addition, a significant portion of the purchase price of companies we acquire may be allocated to acquired goodwill and other intangible assets, which generally must be assessed for impairment at least annually. In the future, if our acquisitions do not yield expected returns, we may be required to take charges to our results of operations based on this impairment assessment process, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
Acquisitions could also result in dilutive issuances of equity securities or the incurrence of debt, which could adversely affect our results of operations. In addition, if an acquired business fails to meet our expectations, our business, financial condition and results of operations may suffer.
Economic uncertainties or downturns in the general economy or the industries in which our clients operate could disproportionately affect the demand for our solution and negatively impact our results of operations.
General worldwide economic conditions have experienced significant downturns during the last ten years, and market volatility and uncertainty remain widespread, making it potentially very difficult for our clients and us to accurately forecast and plan future business activities. During challenging economic times, our clients may have difficulty gaining timely access to sufficient credit or obtaining credit on reasonable terms, which could impair their ability to make timely payments to us and adversely affect our revenue. If that were to occur, our financial results could be harmed. Further, challenging economic conditions may impair the ability of our clients to pay for the software-based products and services they already have purchased from us and, as a result, our write-offs of accounts receivable could increase. We cannot predict the timing, strength or duration of any economic slowdown or recovery. If the condition of the general economy or markets in which we operate worsens, our business could be harmed.
Risks Related to Our Legal and Regulatory Environment
Our business could be adversely affected by legal challenges to our business model or by actions restricting our ability to provide the full range of our services in certain jurisdictions.
Our ability to conduct telehealth and teletherapy services through our network of providers in a particular jurisdiction is directly dependent upon the applicable laws governing remote care, the practice of medicine and healthcare delivery in general in such location, which are subject to changing political, regulatory and other influences. With respect to telehealth and teletherapy services, in the past, state medical boards have established new rules or interpreted existing rules in a manner that has limited or restricted our ability to conduct our business as it was conducted in other states. Some of these actions have resulted in the suspension or modification of our telehealth and teletherapy operations in certain states. However, the extent to which a jurisdiction considers particular actions or relationships to comply with the applicable standard of care is subject to change and to evolving interpretations by (in the case of U.S. states) medical boards and state attorneys general, among others, each with broad discretion. Accordingly, we must monitor our compliance with the law in every jurisdiction in which we operate, on an ongoing basis, and we cannot provide assurance that our activities and arrangements, if challenged, will be found to be in compliance with the law. Although the
COVID-19
 
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pandemic has led to the relaxation of certain Medicare, Medicaid and state licensure restrictions on the delivery of telehealth and teletherapy services, it is uncertain how long the relaxed policies will remain in effect, and, there can be no guarantee that once the
COVID-19
pandemic is over that such restrictions will not be reinstated or changed in a way that adversely affects our business.
Additionally, it is possible that the laws and rules governing the practice of medicine, including remote care and prescribing medication online, in one or more jurisdictions may change in a manner deleterious to our business. For instance, a few states have imposed different, and, in some cases, additional, standards regarding the provision of services via telehealth and teletherapy. Some states impose strict standards on using telehealth and teletherapy to prescribe certain classes of controlled substances that can be commonly used to treat behavioral health disorders. The unpredictability of this regulatory landscape means that sudden changes in policy regarding standards of care and reimbursement are possible. If a successful legal challenge or an adverse change in the relevant laws were to occur, and we or our affiliated medical group were unable to adapt our business model accordingly, our operations in the affected jurisdictions would be disrupted, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Evolving government regulations may result in increased costs or adversely affect our results of operations.
In a regulatory climate that is uncertain, our operations may be subject to direct and indirect adoption, expansion or reinterpretation of various laws and regulations. Compliance with these future laws and regulations may require us to change our practices at an undeterminable and possibly significant initial monetary and recurring expense. These additional monetary expenditures may increase future overhead, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. We have identified what we believe are the areas of government regulation that, if changed, would be costly to us. These include rules governing the practice of medicine by physicians and other licensed professionals; laws relating to licensure requirements for physicians and other licensed health professionals; laws limiting the corporate practice of medicine and professional
fee-splitting;
laws governing the issuances of prescriptions in an online setting; cybersecurity and privacy laws; and laws and rules relating to the distinction between independent contractors and employees. There could be laws and regulations applicable to our business that we have not identified or that, if changed, may be costly to us, and we cannot predict all the ways in which implementation of such laws and regulations may affect us.
In the jurisdictions in which we operate, even where we believe we are in compliance with all applicable laws, due to the uncertain regulatory environment, certain jurisdictions may determine that we are in violation of their laws. In the event that we must remedy such violations, we may be required to modify our services and products in a manner that undermines our solution’s attractiveness to our clients, members or providers or experts, we may become subject to fines or other penalties or, if we determine that the requirements to operate in compliance in such jurisdictions are overly burdensome, we may elect to terminate our operations in such places. In each case, our revenue may decline and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
Additionally, the introduction of new services may require us to comply with additional, yet undetermined, laws and regulations. Compliance may require obtaining appropriate licenses or certificates, increasing our security measures and expending additional resources to monitor developments in applicable rules and ensure compliance. The failure to adequately comply with these future laws and regulations may delay or possibly prevent some of our products or services from being offered to members and clients, or their members and patients, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
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We are dependent on our relationships with affiliated professional entities, which we do not own, to provide physician and other professional services, and our business, financial condition and our ability to operate in certain jurisdictions would be adversely affected if those relationships were disrupted or if our arrangements with our providers or clients are found to violate state laws prohibiting the corporate practice of medicine or fee splitting.
We are in the process of transitioning to a structure where we will enter into various agreements with a Texas professional association entity, TPN, which in turn will contract with our affiliated professional entities and physicians, therapists, and other licensed professionals for clinical and professional services provided to our members. Once this structure is implemented, there is a risk that U.S. state authorities in some jurisdictions may find that these contractual relationships with professional entities, physicians and other healthcare providers providing telehealth and teletherapy violate laws prohibiting the corporate practice of medicine and professional fee splitting. These laws generally prohibit the practice of medicine by lay persons or entities and prohibit us from employing physicians and certain licensed professionals, directing the clinical practice of physicians and certain licensed professionals, holding an ownership interest in an entity that employs physicians and certain licensed professionals or from engaging in certain financial arrangements, such as splitting professional fees with physicians and certain licensed professionals. The laws are intended to prevent unlicensed persons or entities from interfering with or inappropriately influencing a healthcare provider’s professional judgment. The extent to which each state considers particular actions or contractual relationships to constitute improper influence of professional judgment varies across the states and is subject to change and to evolving interpretations by state boards of medicine and professional counselors and therapists, and state attorneys general, among others. As such, we must monitor our compliance with applicable laws in every jurisdiction in which we operate on an ongoing basis and we cannot guarantee that subsequent interpretation of the corporate practice of medicine or fee splitting laws will not circumscribe our business operations.
TPN will contract with therapists and other licensed professionals or enter into agreements with our affiliated professional entities, physicians, therapists and other licensed professionals for the clinical and professional services provided to our members. We do not own TPN or the professional entities with which it will contract. TPN is 100% owned by an independent Texas-licensed physician, and the other professional entities will be owned by physicians qualified to own such professional entities in the respective states. Once fully implemented, we expect that these relationships will continue, however, we cannot guarantee that they will. A material change in our relationship with TPN or among TPN and the contracted professional entities, whether resulting from a dispute among the entities, a change in government regulation, or the loss of these affiliations, could impair our ability to provide services to members as we intend under the transitioned structure and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
State corporate practice of medicine doctrines also often impose penalties on physicians themselves for aiding the corporate practice of medicine, which could discourage physicians from participating in our network of providers. Due to the prevalence of the corporate practice of medicine doctrine, including in states where we conduct our business, we are in the process of finalizing certain agreements with TPN. One such agreement is a management services agreement with TPN, pursuant to which TPN reserves exclusive control and responsibility for all aspects of the practice of medicine and the delivery of medical services and we provide
non-clinical
management and administrative services in exchange for a management fee. The other professional entities, physicians, therapists and other licensed professionals who will provide clinical and professional services to our members through contracts with TPN will also retain exclusive control and responsibility for all aspects of medical services provided to our members. Although we seek to substantially comply with applicable state prohibitions on the corporate practice of medicine and fee splitting, state officials who administer these laws or other third parties may successfully challenge our organization and contractual arrangements with our providers once implemented. If such a claim were successful, we could be subject to civil and criminal penalties and could be required to restructure or terminate the applicable contractual arrangements. A determination that these arrangements violate state statutes, or our inability to successfully restructure our relationships with our providers to comply with these statutes, could eliminate clients located in certain states from the market for our services.
 
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Furthermore, the arrangements we are in the process of finalizing or will enter into to comply with state corporate practice of medicine doctrines and fee splitting laws could subject us to additional scrutiny by federal and state regulatory bodies regarding federal and state fraud and abuse laws. Any scrutiny, investigation, adverse determination or litigation with regard to our arrangements with TPN and our affiliated professional entities could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
The impact on us of recent healthcare legislation and other changes in the healthcare industry and in healthcare spending is currently unknown, but may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The impact on us of healthcare reform legislation and other changes in the healthcare industry and in healthcare spending is currently unknown, but may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our revenue is dependent on the healthcare industry and could be affected by changes in healthcare spending, reimbursement and policy. The healthcare industry is subject to changing political, regulatory and other influences. The ACA made major changes in how healthcare is delivered and reimbursed, and it increased access to health insurance benefits to the uninsured and underinsured population of the United States.
Since its enactment, there have been judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the ACA. For example, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was enacted, which includes a provision repealing, effective January 1, 2019, the
tax-based
shared responsibility payment imposed by the ACA on certain individuals who fail to maintain qualifying health coverage for all or part of a year that is commonly referred to as the “individual mandate.” Since the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, there have been additional amendments to certain provisions of the ACA. President Joe Biden and Congress may consider other legislation to change elements of the ACA. In December 2019, a federal appeals court held that the individual mandate portion of the ACA was unconstitutional and left open the question whether the remaining provisions of the ACA would be valid without the individual mandate. On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a case in Texas challenging the ACA without specifically ruling on the constitutionality of the ACA. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, President Biden issued an executive order to initiate a special enrollment period from February 15, 2021 through August 15, 2021 for purposes of obtaining health insurance coverage through the ACA marketplace. The executive order also instructed certain governmental agencies to review and reconsider their existing policies and rules that limit access to healthcare, including among others, reexamining Medicaid demonstration projects and waiver programs that include work requirements, and policies that create unnecessary barriers to obtaining access to health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the ACA. We continue to evaluate the effect that the ACA and its possible modification or repeal and replacement has on our business. It is uncertain the extent to which any such changes may impact our business or financial condition.
Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the ACA was enacted. These changes include aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of up to 2% per fiscal year pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011 and subsequent laws, which began in 2013 and will remain in effect through 2030, with the exception of a temporary suspension from May 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022, unless additional Congressional action is taken. In January 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law, which, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several types of providers, including hospitals, imaging centers and cancer treatment centers, and increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years. New laws may result in additional reductions in Medicare and other healthcare funding, which may materially adversely affect consumer demand and affordability for our products and services and, accordingly, the results of our financial operations. Additional changes that may affect our business include the expansion of new programs such as Medicare payment for performance initiatives for physicians under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) which first affected physician payment in 2019. At this time, it is unclear how the introduction of the Medicare quality payment program will impact overall physician reimbursement.
 
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In addition, in 2022, the No Surprises Act went into effect to prevent surprise medical bills to
non-federal
healthcare program patients. For patients who receive health coverage through their employer, the Marketplace, or an individual health insurance plan, healthcare providers, including psychiatrists and psychologists, are required to give notice explaining applicable billing protections. In addition, in the outpatient setting, beginning January 1, 2022 providers are required to give new and established patients who are uninsured or
self-pay
a good faith estimate of predicted costs for the services that they provide.
Such changes in the regulatory environment may also result in changes to our payer mix that may affect our operations and revenue. In addition, certain provisions of the ACA authorize voluntary demonstration projects, which include the development of bundling payments for acute, inpatient hospital services, physician services and post-acute services for episodes of hospital care. Further, the ACA may adversely affect payers by increasing medical costs generally, which could have an effect on the industry and potentially impact our business and revenue as payers seek to offset these increases by reducing costs in other areas. Certain of these provisions are still being implemented and the full impact of these changes on us cannot be determined at this time.
Uncertainty regarding future amendments to the ACA as well as new legislative proposals to reform healthcare and government insurance programs, along with the trend toward managed healthcare in the United States, could result in reduced demand and prices for our services. We expect that additional state and federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future, any of which could limit the amounts that federal and state governments and other third party payers will pay for healthcare products and services, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We conduct business in a heavily regulated industry and if we fail to comply with these laws and government regulations, we could incur penalties or be required to make significant changes to our operations or experience adverse publicity, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Although our services are not currently reimbursed by government healthcare programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, any future reimbursement from federal and/or state healthcare programs could expose our business to broadly applicable fraud and abuse laws and other healthcare laws and regulations that would regulate the business. The U.S. healthcare industry is heavily regulated and closely scrutinized by federal and state governments. Comprehensive statutes and regulations govern the manner in which we and our affiliated professional entities may provide and bill for services and collect reimbursement from governmental programs and private payers, our contractual relationships with TPN and its corresponding relationship with its contracted providers, vendors and clients, our marketing activities and other aspects of our operations. Applicable and potentially applicable U.S. federal and state healthcare laws and regulations include, but are not limited, to the following:
 
   
the federal physician self-referral law, commonly referred to as the Stark Law, that, unless one of the statutory or regulatory exceptions apply, prohibits physicians from referring Medicare or Medicaid patients to an entity for the provision of certain “designated health services” if the physician or a member of such physician’s immediate family has a direct or indirect financial relationship (including an ownership interest or a compensation arrangement) with the entity, and prohibit the entity from billing Medicare or Medicaid for such designated health services. Sanctions for violating the Stark Law include denial of payment, civil monetary penalties of up to $26,125 per claim submitted and exclusion from the federal health care programs. Failure to refund amounts received as a result of a prohibited referral on a timely basis may constitute a false or fraudulent claim and may result in civil penalties and additional penalties under the FCA. The statute also provides for a penalty of up to $174,172 for a circumvention scheme;
 
   
the federal Anti-Kickback Statute that prohibits the knowing and willful offer, payment, solicitation or receipt of any bribe, kickback, rebate or other remuneration for referring an individual, in return for ordering, leasing, purchasing or recommending or arranging for or to induce the referral of an
 
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individual or the ordering, purchasing or leasing of items or services covered, in whole or in part, by any federal healthcare program, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Remuneration has been interpreted broadly to be anything of value, and could include compensation, discounts, or free marketing services. A person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it to have committed a violation. In addition, the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the False Claims Act. Violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute may result in civil monetary penalties up to $105,563 for each violation, plus up to three times the remuneration involved. Civil penalties for such conduct can further be assessed under the federal False Claims Act. Violations can also result in criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $100,000 and imprisonment of up to 10 years. Similarly, violations can result in exclusion from participation in government healthcare programs, including Medicare and Medicaid;
 
   
the criminal healthcare fraud provisions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”), and their implementing regulations, which we collectively refer to as HIPAA, and related rules that prohibit knowingly and willfully executing a scheme or artifice to defraud any healthcare benefit program or falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any material false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services. Similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it to have committed a violation;
 
   
HIPAA, which also imposes certain regulatory and contractual requirements regarding the privacy, security and transmission of PHI;
 
   
the federal False Claims Act that imposes civil and criminal liability, including treble damages and mandatory minimum penalties of $11,803 to $23,607 per false claim or statement, on individuals or entities that knowingly submit false or fraudulent claims for payment to the government or knowingly making, or causing to be made, a false statement in order to have a false claim paid, including qui tam or whistleblower suits. A claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the False Claims Act;
 
   
the federal Civil Monetary Law prohibits, among other things, the offering or transfer of remuneration to a Medicare or state healthcare program beneficiary if the person knows or should know it is likely to influence the beneficiary’s selection of a particular provider, practitioner, or supplier of services reimbursable by Medicare or a state healthcare program, unless an exception applies;
 
   
similar state law provisions pertaining to Anti-Kickback, self-referral and false claims issues, some of which may apply to items or services reimbursed by any third party payer, including commercial insurers or services paid
out-of-pocket
by patients;
 
   
state laws that prohibit general business corporations, such as us, from practicing medicine, controlling physicians’ medical decisions or engaging in some practices such as splitting fees with physicians;
 
   
the Federal Trade Commission Act and federal and state consumer protection, advertisement and unfair competition laws, which broadly regulate marketplace activities and activities that could potentially harm consumers, including information practices;
 
   
laws that regulate debt collection practices as applied to our debt collection practices;
 
   
a provision of the Social Security Act that imposes criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to disclose or refund known overpayments; and
 
   
federal and state laws and policies that require healthcare providers to maintain licensure, certification or accreditation to provide physician and other professional services, to enroll and participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, to report certain changes in their operations to the agencies that administer these programs, as well as state insurance laws.
 
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Because of the breadth of these laws and the need to fit certain activities within one of the statutory exceptions and safe harbors available, it is possible that some of our business activities could be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. Achieving and sustaining compliance with these laws may prove costly. Failure to comply with these laws and other laws can result in civil and criminal penalties such as fines, damages, overpayment recoupment, loss of enrollment status and, if in the future we provide services reimbursable by government healthcare programs, exclusion from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The risk of our being found in violation of these laws and regulations is increased by the fact that many of them have not been fully interpreted by the regulatory authorities or the courts, and their provisions are sometimes open to a variety of interpretations. Our failure to accurately anticipate the application of these laws and regulations to our business or any other failure to comply with regulatory requirements could create liability for us and negatively affect our business. Any action against us for violation of these laws or regulations, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses, divert our management’s attention from the operation of our business and result in adverse publicity.
The laws, regulations and standards governing the provision of healthcare services may change significantly in the future. We cannot assure you that any new or changed healthcare laws, regulations or standards will not materially adversely affect our business. We cannot assure you that a review of our business by judicial, law enforcement, regulatory or accreditation authorities will not result in a determination that could adversely affect our operations.
Our use and disclosure of personal information, including PHI, personal data, and other health information, is subject to state, federal or other privacy and security regulations, and our failure to comply with those regulations or to adequately secure the information we hold could result in significant liability or reputational harm and, in turn, a material adverse effect on our client base and member bases and revenue.
The privacy and security of personal information stored, maintained, received or transmitted electronically is an enforcement priority in the United States and internationally. While we strive to comply with all applicable privacy and security laws and regulations, as well as our own posted privacy policies, legal standards for privacy, including but not limited to “unfairness” and “deception,” as enforced by the FTC and state attorneys general, any failure or perceived failure to comply with such requirements may result in proceedings or actions against us by government entities or private parties, or could cause us to lose clients or members, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Recently, there has been an increase in public awareness of privacy issues in the wake of revelations about the activities of various government agencies and in the number of private privacy-related lawsuits filed against companies. Any allegations about our practices with regard to the collection, use, disclosure, or security of personal information or other privacy-related matters, even if unfounded and even if we are in compliance with applicable laws, could damage our reputation and harm our business.
In the United States, numerous federal and state laws and regulations govern collection, storage, dissemination, use, retention, transfer, disposal, security and confidentiality of personal information, including HIPAA; U.S. state privacy, security and breach notification and healthcare information laws; the California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”); and other data protection laws.
HIPAA establishes a set of basic national privacy and security standards for the protection of PHI, to covered entities, including certain types of health care providers and their service providers that access PHI, known as business associates. When acting as a service provider to licensed therapists or employee assistance programs (group health plans), we are considered a business associate under HIPAA. In some instances we may be considered a covered entity under HIPAA where our own employees are providing direct therapeutic care. As such, HIPAA requires us to maintain policies and procedures governing PHI that is used or disclosed, and to implement administrative, physical and technical safeguards to protect PHI, including PHI maintained, used and disclosed in electronic form. These safeguards include employee training, identifying business associates (and subcontractor business associates) with whom we need to enter into HIPAA-compliant contractual arrangements and various other measures. Ongoing implementation and oversight of these measures involves significant time, effort and expense.
 
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HIPAA also implemented the use of standard transaction code sets and standard identifiers that covered entities must use when submitting or receiving certain electronic healthcare transactions, including activities associated with the billing and collection of healthcare claims.
HIPAA also requires that patients be notified of any unauthorized acquisition, access, use or disclosure of their unsecured PHI that compromises the privacy or security of such information, with certain exceptions related to unintentional or inadvertent use or disclosure by employees or authorized individuals. HIPAA specifies that such notifications must be made “without unreasonable delay and in no case later than 60 calendar days after discovery of the breach.” If a breach affects 500 patients or more, it must be reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office (“HHS”) without unreasonable delay, and HHS will post the name of the breaching entity on its public web site. Breaches affecting 500 patients or more in the same state or jurisdiction must also be reported to the local media. If a breach involves fewer than 500 people, the covered entity must record it in a log and notify HHS at least annually.
Entities that are found to be in violation of HIPAA as the result of a breach of unsecured PHI or following a complaint about privacy practices or an audit by HHS, may be subject to significant civil, criminal and administrative fines and penalties and/or additional reporting and oversight obligations if required to enter into a resolution agreement and corrective action plan with HHS to settle allegations of HIPAA
non-compliance.
HIPAA also authorizes state attorneys general to file suit on behalf of their residents. Courts may award damages, costs and attorneys’ fees related to violations of HIPAA in such cases. While HIPAA does not create a private right of action allowing individuals to sue us in civil court for violations of HIPAA, its standards have been used as the basis for duty of care in state civil suits such as those for negligence or recklessness in the misuse or breach of PHI. Any such penalties or lawsuits could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
In addition to HIPAA, the U.S. federal government and various states and governmental agencies have adopted or are considering adopting various laws, regulations and standards regarding the collection, use, retention, security, disclosure, transfer and other processing of sensitive and personal information, to which we are or may become subject. For example, California implemented the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, which came into effect in 2020, and to which we are subject. The CCPA imposes obligations and restrictions on businesses regarding their collection, use, processing, retaining and sharing of personal information and provides new and enhanced data privacy rights to California residents. Specifically, the CCPA mandates that covered companies provide new disclosures to California consumers and afford such consumers new data privacy rights that include, among other things, the right to request a copy from a covered company of the personal information collected about them, the right to request deletion of such personal information, and the right to request to
opt-out
of certain sales of such personal information. 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. The CCPA also provides a private right of action for certain data breaches that result in the loss of personal information. This private right of action may increase the likelihood of, and risks associated with, data breach litigation. Protected health information that is subject to HIPAA is excluded from the CCPA; however, information we hold about individual residents of California that is not subject to HIPAA would be subject to the CCPA. Furthermore, California voters approved the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) in November 2020, which will significantly amend and expand the CCPA, including by providing consumers with additional rights with respect to their personal information. The CPRA also creates a new state agency that will be vested with authority to implement and enforce the CCPA and the CPRA. The CPRA will come into effect on January 1, 2023, applying to information collected by businesses on or after January 1, 2022. We expect states to continue to enact legislation similar to the CCPA and CPRA that provides consumers with new privacy rights and increases the privacy and security obligations of entities handling certain personal information of such consumers. Laws similar to the CCPA and CPRA have passed in Virginia and Colorado, and have been proposed in other states and at the federal level, reflecting a trend toward more stringent privacy legislation in the United States.
 
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Moreover, we are subject to certain other state laws such as the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, which imposes restrictive requirements regulating the use and disclosure of health information and other personal information. Such laws and regulations are not necessarily preempted by HIPAA, particularly if a state affords greater protection to individuals than HIPAA. Where state laws are more protective, we have to comply with the stricter provisions. Further, in addition to fines and penalties imposed upon violators, some of these state laws, such as the CCPA, also afford private rights of action to individuals who believe their personal information has been misused.
In the aggregate, state-based data privacy and security laws and regulations may impact our business. All of these evolving compliance and operational requirements impose significant costs that are likely to increase over time, may require us to modify our data processing practices and policies, divert resources from other initiatives and projects could restrict the way services involving data are offered and could subject us to additional liabilities, all of which may adversely affect our results of operations, business, and financial condition.
In addition, the interplay of federal and state laws may be subject to varying interpretations by courts and government agencies, creating complex compliance issues for us and our clients and potentially exposing us to additional expense, adverse publicity and liability. Further, as regulatory focus on privacy issues continues to increase and laws and regulations concerning the protection of personal information expand and become more complex, these potential risks to our business could intensify. Changes in laws or regulations associated with the enhanced protection of certain types of sensitive data, such as PHI or personal information, along with increased customer demands for enhanced data security infrastructure, could greatly increase our cost of providing our services, decrease demand for our services, reduce our revenue and/or subject us to additional liabilities.
Furthermore, there are numerous foreign laws, regulations and directives regarding privacy and the collection, storage, transmission, use, processing, disclosure and protection of personal information, the scope of which is continually evolving and subject to differing interpretations. If we provide services to users outside the United States, we may be subject to such laws, regulations, directives and obligations in relation to processing of personal information, and we may be subject to significant consequences, including penalties, fines and contractual liability, for our failure to comply. We are subject to the EU GDPR and the UK data privacy regime consisting primarily of the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the UK Data Protection Act 2018 (the “UK GDPR”) (the EU GDPR and the UK GDPR, collectively the “GDPR”), which impose a strict data protection compliance regime including stringent data protection requirements, such as detailed disclosures about how personal information is collected and processed, enhanced obligations on the processing of sensitive data, including information that relates to mental health, granting rights for data subjects in regard to their personal information (including data access rights, the right to be “forgotten” and the right to data portability), the obligation to notify data protection authorities (and in certain cases, affected individuals) of significant data breaches, complying with the principal of accountability and the obligation to demonstrate compliance through policies, procedures, training and audit, and provides for significant penalties for breach (as detailed below). EU Member States and the UK are also able to legislate separately on sensitive data (i.e. mental health), and we must comply with these local laws where we offer our services.
The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data out of the EEA and the UK, including to the United States. Recent legal developments in Europe have created complexity and uncertainty regarding transfers of personal from the EEA and the UK to the United States. Most recently, on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) invalidated the
EU-US
Privacy Shield Framework (“Privacy Shield”) under which personal information could be transferred from the EEA to US entities who had self-certified under the Privacy Shield scheme. While the CJEU upheld the adequacy of the standard contractual clauses (a standard form of contract approved by the European Commission as an adequate personal data transfer mechanism, and potential alternative to the Privacy Shield), it made clear that reliance on them alone may not necessarily be sufficient in all circumstances. Use of the standard contractual clauses must now be assessed on a
case-by-case
basis taking into account the legal regime applicable in the destination country, in particular applicable surveillance laws and rights of individuals and additional measures and/or contractual provisions may need to be
 
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put in place, however, the nature of these additional measures is currently uncertain. The CJEU went on to state that if a competent supervisory authority believes that the standard contractual clauses cannot be complied with in the destination country and the required level of protection cannot be secured by other means, such supervisory authority is under an obligation to suspend or prohibit that transfer. The European Commission has published revised standard contractual clauses for data transfers from the EEA: the revised clauses must be used for relevant new data transfers from September 27, 2021; existing standard contractual clauses arrangements must be migrated to the revised clauses by December 27, 2022. We will be required to implement the revised standard contractual clauses within the relevant time frames. The revised standard contractual clauses apply only to the transfer of personal data outside of the EEA and not the UK; the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office launched a public consultation on its draft revised data transfers mechanisms in August 2021. We are monitoring the outcome of this, and we may be required to implement new or revised documentation and processes in relation to our data transfers subject to the UK GDPR, within the relevant time frames. As supervisory authorities issue further guidance on data export mechanisms, including circumstances where the standard contractual clauses cannot be used, and/or start taking enforcement action, we could suffer additional costs, complaints and/or regulatory investigations or fines, and/or if we are otherwise unable to transfer personal information between and among countries and regions in which we operate, it could affect the manner in which we provide our services, the geographical location or segregation of our relevant systems and operations, and could adversely affect our financial results.
The relationship between the UK and the EU in relation to certain aspects of data protection law, particularly transfers of personal data, remains unclear following the UK’s departure from the EU on January 1, 2021. The European Commission has adopted an adequacy decision in favor of the UK, enabling data transfers from EU member states to the UK without additional safeguards. However, the UK adequacy decision will automatically expire in June 2025 unless the European Commission
re-assesses
and renews/ extends that decision, and remains under review by the Commission during this period. In September 2021, the UK government launched a consultation on its proposals for wide-ranging reform of UK data protection laws following Brexit. There is a risk that any material changes which are made to the UK data protection regime could result in the Commission reviewing the UK adequacy decision, and the UK losing its adequacy decision if the Commission deems the UK to no longer provide adequate protection for personal data. The relationship between the UK and the EU in relation to certain aspects of data protection law remains unclear, and it is unclear how UK data protection laws and regulations will develop in the medium to longer term, and how data transfers to and from the UK will be regulated in the long term. These changes will lead to additional costs and increase our overall risk exposure.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the GDPR may result in fines of up to €20,000,000/ £17.5 million or up to 4% of our total worldwide annual revenue for the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. In addition, a breach of the GDPR could result in regulatory investigations, reputational damage, orders to cease/ change our processing of our data, enforcement notices, and/ or assessment notices (for a compulsory audit). We may also face civil claims including representative actions and other class action type litigation (where individuals have suffered harm), potentially amounting to significant compensation or damages liabilities, as well as associated costs, diversion of internal resources, and reputational harm.
We also publish statements to our clients and members that describe how we handle and protect personal information. If federal or state regulatory authorities or private litigants consider any portion of these statements to be inaccurate, incomplete, or not fully implemented, we may be subject to claims of deceptive practices or other violation of law, which could lead to significant liabilities and consequences, including, without limitation, costs of responding to investigations, defending against litigation, settling claims and complying with regulatory or court orders.
Furthermore, any failure, or perceived failure, by us to comply with or make effective modifications to our policies, or to comply with any federal, state, or international privacy, data-retention or data-protection-related laws, regulations, orders or industry self-regulatory principles could result in proceedings or actions against us by
 
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governmental entities or others, a loss of client and member confidence, damage to our brand and reputation, and a loss of clients and/or members, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business.
Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of their exceptions and safe harbors, it is possible that our business activities can be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. The applicability, scope and enforcement of each of these laws is uncertain and subject to rapid change in the current environment of healthcare reform. Federal, state and foreign enforcement bodies have recently increased their scrutiny of interactions between healthcare companies and healthcare providers and of processing of health data generally, which has led to a number of investigations, prosecutions, convictions and settlements in the healthcare industry. Any such investigations, prosecutions, convictions or settlements could result in significant financial penalties, damage to our brand and reputation, and a loss of clients and/or members, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business.
In addition, any significant change to applicable laws, regulations or industry practices regarding the collection, use, retention, security or disclosure of our users’ personal information content, or regarding the manner in which the express or implied consent of users for the collection, use, retention or disclosure of such content is obtained, could increase our costs and require us to modify our services and features, possibly in a material manner, which we may be unable to complete and may limit our ability to store and process users’ personal information data or develop new services and features. Any of the foregoing could harm our competitive position, business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Security breaches, loss of data and other disruptions could compromise personal information, including sensitive information related to our business or prevent us from accessing critical information and expose us to liability, which could adversely affect our business and our reputation.
Because of the extreme sensitivity of the information which we receive, store and transmit on behalf of therapists, clients, and others, the security features of our technology platform are very important. Information security risks have generally increased in recent years because of the proliferation of new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of perpetrators of cyber-attacks. Hackers and data thieves are increasingly sophisticated and operating large-scale and complex automated attacks.
In particular, ransomware attacks, including those from organized criminal threat actors, nation-states, and nation-state supported actors, are becoming increasingly prevalent and severe, and can lead to significant interruptions in our operations, loss of data and income, reputational loss, diversion of funds, and may result in fines, litigation and unwanted media attention. As cyber threats continue to evolve, we may be required to expend additional resources to further enhance our information security measures, develop additional protocols and/or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities.
If our security measures, some of which are managed by third parties, are breached or fail, unauthorized persons may be able to obtain access to sensitive client and member data, including personal information and PHI. As a result, our reputation could be severely damaged, adversely affecting client and member confidence. Members may curtail their use of or stop using our services or our client base could decrease, which would cause our business to suffer. In addition, we could face litigation, damages for contract breach, penalties and regulatory actions for violation of HIPAA and other applicable laws or regulations and significant costs for remediation, notification to individuals and for measures to prevent future occurrences. Any potential security breach could also result in increased costs associated with liability for stolen assets or information, repairing system damage that may have been caused by such breaches, incentives offered to clients or other business partners in an effort to maintain our business relationships after a breach and implementing measures to prevent future occurrences, including organizational changes, deploying additional personnel and protection technologies, training employees and engaging third-party experts and consultants. While we maintain insurance covering certain security and privacy damages and claim expenses, 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
 
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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.
We outsource important aspects of the storage and transmission of client and member information, and thus rely on third parties to manage functions that have material cyber-security risks. We attempt to address these risks by requiring outsourcing subcontractors who handle client and member information to sign agreements contractually requiring those subcontractors to adequately safeguard personal information and PHI to the same extent that applies to us and in some cases by requiring such outsourcing subcontractors to undergo third-party security examinations. In addition, we periodically hire third-party security experts to assess and test our security posture. However, we cannot assure you that these contractual measures and other safeguards will adequately protect us from the risks associated with the storage and transmission of client and members’ proprietary and protected health information.
Due to applicable laws and regulations or contractual obligations, we may be held responsible for any information security failure or cyber-attack attributed to our vendors as they relate to the information we share with them. In addition, because we do not control our vendors and our ability to monitor their data security is limited, we cannot ensure the security measures they take will be sufficient to protect confidential, proprietary, or sensitive data, including personal data. We are at risk of a cyber-attack involving a vendor or other third party, which could result in a breakdown of such third party’s data protection processes or the cyber-attackers gaining access to our information systems or data through the third party. Regardless of whether an actual or perceived cyber-attack is attributable to us or our vendors, such an incident could, among other things, result in improper disclosure of information, harm our reputation and brand, reduce the demand for our products and services, lead to loss of client confidence in the effectiveness of our security measures, disrupt normal business operations or result in our systems or products and services being unavailable. In addition, it may require us to spend material resources to investigate or correct the breach and to prevent future security breaches and incidents, expose us to uninsured liability, increase our risk of regulatory scrutiny, expose us to legal liabilities, including litigation, regulatory enforcement, indemnity obligations or damages for contract breach, divert the attention of management from the operation of our business and cause us to incur significant costs, any of which could affect our financial condition, operating results and our reputation. Moreover, there could be public announcements regarding any such incidents and any steps we take to respond to or remediate such incidents, and if securities analysts or investors perceive these announcements to be negative, it could, among other things, have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock. In addition, our remediation efforts may not be successful and any failure related to these activities could result in significant liability and/or have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation and financial condition.
We may be exposed to compliance obligations and risks under anti-corruption, export controls and economic sanctions laws and regulations of the United States and applicable
non-U.S.
jurisdictions, and any instances of noncompliance could have a material adverse effect on our reputation and the results of our operations.
Expansion of our operations into markets outside the United States is one of our strategies for the future growth of our business. In connection with those plans, we may be or may become subject to compliance obligations under anti-corruption laws and regulations imposed by governmental authorities around the world with jurisdiction over our operations, which may include the FCPA, as well as the anti-corruption laws and regulations of other jurisdictions where we conduct business. These laws and regulations apply to companies, directors, officers, employees and agents, and may impact the way we conduct our operations, trade practices, investment decisions and partnering activities. Where they apply, the FCPA and the U.K. Bribery Act of 2010 (the “UK Bribery Act”) prohibit us and our officers, directors and employees, as well as any third parties acting on our behalf, including joint venture partners and agents, from corruptly offering, promising, authorizing or providing anything of value to public officials or other persons for the purpose of influencing official decisions
 
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or obtaining or retaining business or otherwise obtaining an improper business benefit. As part of our business, we may deal with
non-U.S.
governments and state-owned business enterprises, the employees and representatives of which may be considered foreign officials for purposes of the FCPA.
In connection with our planned expansion of our international operations, we will become subject to the jurisdiction of various governments and regulatory agencies around the world, which may bring our personnel and agents into contact with public officials responsible for issuing or renewing permits, licenses or approvals or for enforcing other governmental regulations. Our business also will need to be conducted in compliance with applicable export controls and economic sanctions laws and regulations, including those of the U.S. government, the governments of other countries in which we operate or plan to operate in or conduct business and various multilateral organizations. Such laws and regulations include, without limitation, those administered and enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United Nations Security Council and other relevant sanctions authorities. Our provision of services to persons located outside the United States may be subject to certain regulatory prohibitions, restrictions or other requirements, including certain licensing or reporting requirements pursuant to export controls and economic sanctions laws and regulations. Our provision of services outside of the United States exposes us to the risk of violating, or being accused of violating, anti-corruption, exports controls and economic sanctions laws and regulations. Though we have implemented an anti-corruption policy, as well as formal training and monitoring programs, we cannot ensure that our policies and procedures will always protect us from risks associated with any unlawful acts carried out by our employees or agents. Violations of anti-corruption, exports controls or economic sanctions laws and regulations may expose us to reputational harm, as well as significant civil and criminal penalties, including monetary fines, imprisonment, disgorgement of profits, injunctions, suspension or debarment from government contracts, and other remedial measures. Investigations of alleged violations can be expensive and disruptive to our operations. Violations could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property
Any failure to protect, enforce or defend our intellectual property rights could impair our ability to protect our technology and our brand.
Our success depends in part on our ability to maintain, protect and enforce our intellectual property and other proprietary rights. We rely upon a combination of trademark, patent and trade secret laws, as well as license and access agreements and other contractual provisions, to protect our intellectual property rights. These laws, procedures and agreements provide only limited protection and any of our intellectual property rights may be challenged, invalidated, circumvented, infringed, diluted or misappropriated.
We attempt to protect our intellectual property and proprietary information by requiring our employees, consultants and certain of our contractors to execute confidentiality and assignment of inventions agreements. However, we may not obtain these agreements in all circumstances, and individuals with whom we have these agreements may not comply with their terms. The assignment of intellectual property rights under these agreements may not be self-executing or the assignment agreements may be breached, and we may be forced to bring claims against third parties, or defend claims that they may bring against us, to determine the ownership of what we regard as our intellectual property. In addition, we may not be able to prevent the unauthorized disclosure or use of our technical
know-how
or other trade secrets by the parties to these agreements despite the existence generally of confidentiality agreements and other contractual restrictions. Monitoring unauthorized uses and disclosures is difficult and we do not know whether the steps we have taken to protect our proprietary technologies will be effective. Additionally, if a competitor lawfully obtains or independently develops the technology we maintain as a trade secret, we would have no right to prevent such competitor from using that technology or information to compete with us, which could harm our competitive position.
Despite our efforts to protect our trade secrets and proprietary technologies, third parties may gain access to our proprietary information. They may also develop and market solutions similar to ours or use trademarks
 
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similar to ours, each of which could materially harm our business. Unauthorized parties may also attempt to copy or obtain and use our technology to develop applications with the same functionality as our solutions, and policing unauthorized use of our technology and intellectual property rights is difficult and may not be effective. The failure to adequately protect our intellectual property and other proprietary rights could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, we use open-source software in connection with our proprietary software and expect to continue to use open-source software in the future. Some open-source licenses require licensors to provide source code to licensees upon request or prohibit licensors from charging a fee to licensees. While we try to insulate our proprietary code from the effects of such open-source license provisions, we cannot guarantee we will be successful. Accordingly, we may face claims from others claiming ownership of, or seeking to enforce the license terms applicable to such open-source software, including by demanding release of the open-source software, derivative works or our proprietary source code that was developed or distributed with such software. These claims could also result in litigation, require us to purchase a costly license or require us to devote additional research and development resources to change our software, any of which would have a negative effect on our business and results of operations. In addition, if the license terms for the open-source code change, we may be forced to
re-engineer
our software or incur additional costs. We cannot assure you that we have not incorporated open-source software into our proprietary software in a manner that may subject our proprietary software to an open-source license that requires disclosure, to clients or members or the public, of the source code to such proprietary software. Any such disclosure would have a negative effect on our business and the value of our proprietary software.
Third parties may challenge the validity of our trademarks and patents or oppose trademark and patent applications. We may not be able to obtain and enforce additional patents to protect our proprietary rights from use by potential competitors. Companies with other patents could require us to stop using or pay to use required technology.
Our commercial success depends in large part on our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection through trademarks, patents, trade secrets and contracts in the United States and other countries with respect to our software and technology. If we do not adequately protect our intellectual property rights, competitors may be able to erode, negate or preempt any competitive advantage we may have, which could harm our business.
We rely on our trademarks, trade name and brand names to distinguish our products and services from the products and services of our competitors, and we have registered or applied to register many of these trademarks. We cannot assure you that any future trademark applications will be approved. Third parties may also oppose our future trademark applications, or otherwise challenge our use of our trademarks. In the event that our trademarks are successfully challenged, we could be forced to rebrand products or services, which could result in time and expense to
re-program
our software and websites, loss of brand recognition, and could require us to devote resources to advertising and marketing new brands.
We have applied for, and intend to continue to apply for, patents relating to our software and technology. Such applications may not result in the issuance of any patents, and any patents that may be issued may not provide adequate protection from competition. Furthermore, because the issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its inventorship, scope, validity or enforceability, it is possible that patents issued to us may be challenged successfully and found to be invalid or unenforceable in the future. In that event, any competitive advantage that such patents might provide would be lost. If we are unable to secure or maintain patent coverage, our technology could become subject to competition from the sale of similar competing products.
Competitors may also be able to design around our now held or later issued patents. Changes in either the patent laws or interpretation of the patent laws in the United States and other countries may diminish the value of such patents or narrow the scope of our patent protection. If these developments were to occur, we could face
 
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increased competition. In addition, filing, prosecuting, maintaining, defending and enforcing patents on our software and technology in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States can be less extensive than those in the United States.
From time to time, patents issued to us relating to our software and technology may be infringed by the products or processes of others. The cost of enforcing patent rights against infringers, if such enforcement is required, could be significant and the time demands could interfere with our normal operations. Efforts to defend our intellectual property rights could incur significant costs and may or may not be resolved in our favor. If we fail to successfully enforce our intellectual property rights, our competitive position could suffer, which could harm our operating results. Regardless of the outcome, the cost and distraction associated with any such enforcement efforts could harm our business.
We could incur substantial costs as a result of any claim of infringement of another party’s intellectual property rights.
We could become a party to intellectual property litigation and other infringement proceedings. The cost to us of any intellectual property litigation or other infringement or misappropriation proceeding, even if resolved in our favor, could be substantial. Some of our
would-be
competitors may sustain the costs of such litigation more effectively than we can because of their greater financial resources.
In recent years, there has been significant litigation in the United States involving patents and other intellectual property rights. Companies in the Internet and technology industries are increasingly bringing and becoming subject to suits alleging infringement of proprietary rights, particularly patent rights, and our competitors and other third parties may hold patents or have pending patent applications, which could be related to our business. These risks have been amplified by the increase in third parties, which we refer to as
non-practicing
entities, whose sole or primary business is to assert such claims. Regardless of the merits of any intellectual property litigation, we may be required to expend significant management time and financial resources on the defense of such claims, and any adverse outcome of any such claim or the above referenced review could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. We expect that we may receive in the future notices that claim we or our clients using our solution have misappropriated, misused or otherwise infringed other parties’ intellectual property rights, particularly as the number of competitors in our market grows and the functionality of applications amongst competitors overlaps. Our existing, or any future, litigation, whether or not successful, could be extremely costly to defend, divert our management’s time, attention and resources, damage our reputation and brand and substantially harm our business.
We employ individuals who were previously employed at other companies in our field, including our competitors or potential competitors. Although we try to ensure that our employees and consultants do not use the proprietary information or
know-how
of others in their work for us, we may be subject to claims that we or our employees, consultants or independent contractors have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed intellectual property, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of a former employer or other third parties. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. Additionally, in connection with such litigation, our use of such intellectual property could be temporarily or permanently enjoined forcing us to stop using such intellectual property altogether. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees.
In addition, in most instances, we have agreed to indemnify our clients against certain third-party claims, which may include claims that our solution infringes the intellectual property rights of such third parties. Our business could be adversely affected by any significant disputes between us and our clients as to the applicability
 
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or scope of our indemnification obligations to them. The results of any intellectual property litigation to which we may become a party, or for which we are required to provide indemnification, may require us to do one or more of the following:
 
   
cease offering or using technologies that incorporate the challenged intellectual property;
 
   
make substantial payments for legal fees, settlement payments or other costs or damages;
 
   
obtain a license, which may not be available on reasonable terms, to sell or use the relevant technology; or
 
   
redesign technology to avoid infringement.
If we are required to make substantial payments or undertake any of the other actions noted above as a result of any intellectual property infringement claims against us or any obligation to indemnify our clients for such claims, such payments or costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our proprietary software may not operate properly, which could damage our reputation, give rise to claims against us or divert application of our resources from other purposes, any of which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Proprietary software development is time-consuming, expensive and complex, and may involve unforeseen difficulties. We encounter technical obstacles from time to time, and it is possible that we may discover additional problems that prevent our proprietary applications from operating properly. If our solution does not function reliably or fails to achieve client expectations in terms of performance, clients could assert liability claims against us or attempt to cancel their contracts with us. This could damage our reputation and impair our ability to attract or maintain clients.
Moreover, data services are complex and those we offer have in the past contained, and may in the future develop or contain, undetected defects or errors. Material performance problems, defects or errors in our existing or new software-based products and services may arise in the future and may result from interface of our solution with systems and data that we did not develop and the function of which is outside of our control or undetected in our testing. These defects and errors, and any failure by us to identify and address them, could result in loss of revenue or market share, diversion of development resources, harm to our reputation and increased service and maintenance costs. Defects or errors may discourage existing or potential clients from purchasing our solution from us. Correction of defects or errors could prove to be impossible or impracticable. The costs incurred in correcting any defects or errors may be substantial and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If we cannot resolve any technical issues in a timely manner, we may lose clients and our reputation may be harmed.
Our clients depend on our support services to resolve any technical issues relating to our solution and services, and we may be unable to respond quickly enough to accommodate short-term increases in member demand for support services, particularly as we increase the size of our client, member and patient bases. We also may be unable to modify the format of our support services to compete with changes in support services provided by competitors. It is difficult to predict member demand for technical support services, and if member demand increases significantly, we may be unable to provide satisfactory support services to our clients. Further, if we are unable to address clients’ needs in a timely fashion or further develop and enhance our solution, or if a client or member is not satisfied with the quality of work performed by us or with the technical support services rendered, then we could incur additional costs to address the situation or be required to issue credits or refunds for amounts related to unused services, and our profitability may be impaired and clients’ dissatisfaction with our solution could damage our ability to expand the number of software-based products and services purchased by such
 
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clients. These clients may not renew their contracts, seek to terminate their relationship with us or renew on less favorable terms. Moreover, negative publicity related to our client relationships, regardless of its accuracy, may further damage our business by affecting our reputation or ability to compete for new business with current and prospective clients. If any of these were to occur, our revenue may decline and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We may enter into collaborations,
in-licensing
arrangements, joint ventures, strategic alliances or partnerships with third-parties that may not result in the development of commercially viable solutions or the generation of significant future revenues.
In the ordinary course of our business, we may enter into collaborations,
in-licensing
arrangements, joint ventures, strategic alliances, partnerships or other arrangements to develop products and to pursue new markets. Proposing, negotiating and implementing collaborations,
in-licensing
arrangements, joint ventures, strategic alliances or partnerships may be a lengthy and complex process. Other companies, including those with substantially greater financial, marketing, sales, technology or other business resources, may compete with us for these opportunities or arrangements. We may not identify, secure, or complete any such transactions or arrangements in a timely manner, on a cost-effective basis, on acceptable terms or at all. We have limited institutional knowledge and experience with respect to these business development activities, and we may also not realize the anticipated benefits of any such transaction or arrangement. In particular, these collaborations may not result in the development of products that achieve commercial success or result in significant revenues and could be terminated prior to developing any products. Additionally, we may not own, or may jointly own with a third party, the intellectual property rights in products and other works developed under our collaborations, joint ventures, strategic alliances or partnerships.
Additionally, we may not be in a position to exercise sole decision making authority regarding the transaction or arrangement, which could create the potential risk of creating impasses on decisions, and our future collaborators may have economic or business interests or goals that are, or that may become, inconsistent with our business interests or goals. It is possible that conflicts may arise with our collaborators, such as conflicts concerning the achievement of performance milestones, or the interpretation of significant terms under any agreement, such as those related to financial obligations or the ownership or control of intellectual property developed during the collaboration. If any conflicts arise with any future collaborators, they may act in their self-interest, which may be adverse to our best interest, and they may breach their obligations to us. In addition, we may have limited control over the amount and timing of resources that any future collaborators devote to our or their future products. Disputes between us and our collaborators may result in litigation or arbitration which would increase our expenses and divert the attention of our management. Further, these transactions and arrangements will be contractual in nature and will generally be terminable under the terms of the applicable agreements and, in such event, we may not continue to have rights to the products relating to such transaction or arrangement or may need to purchase such rights at a premium.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock, Our Warrants and Operating as a Public Company
We incur significantly increased costs and devote substantial management time as a result of operating as a public company.
As a public company, we incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. For example, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, and are required to comply with the applicable requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as well as rules and regulations of the SEC and Nasdaq, including the establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls, changes in corporate governance practices and required filing of annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and results of operations. Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement could harm our results of operations or cause us to fail to meet our reporting
 
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obligations. Compliance with these requirements has increased our legal and financial compliance costs and made some activities more time-consuming and costly. In addition, our management and other personnel are required to divert attention from operational and other business matters to devote substantial time to these public company requirements. In particular, we have incurred and expect to continue to incur significant expenses and devote substantial management effort toward ensuring compliance with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We are continuing to hire additional accounting and financial staff with appropriate public company experience and technical accounting knowledge and may need to establish an internal audit function.
Additionally, in the fourth quarter of 2021, Talkspace reviewed and revised its director and officer liability insurance coverage. As a result, the board approved two additional layers of coverage on its “Side A” insurance which covers the personal assets of the Company’s directors and officers. This would allow coverage for individual liability protection of up to $30.0 million (after a $15.0 million deductible). Talkspace also retains $5.0 million in additional coverage for general securities liability. The Company will revise and renew its directors and officer coverage in June 2022.
If we fail to establish and maintain proper and effective internal control over financial reporting as a public company, our ability to produce accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired, investors may lose confidence in our financial reporting and the trading price of our common stock may decline.
Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we are required to provide a report by management on, among other things, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for our annual reports on Form
10-K
filed with the SEC. This assessment will need to include disclosure of any material weaknesses identified by our management in our internal control over financial reporting. We are required to disclose changes made in our internal controls and procedures on a quarterly basis. In addition, our independent registered public accounting firm will be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting starting with our annual report for the year ended December 31, 2022 (second annual report) on Form
10-K
to be filed with the SEC.
The rules governing the standards that must be met for management to assess internal control over financial reporting are complex and require significant documentation, testing and possible remediation. To comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the requirements of being a reporting company under the Exchange Act and any complex accounting rules in the future, we may need to upgrade our information technology systems, implement additional financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures and hire additional accounting and finance staff.
If we are unable to hire the additional accounting and finance staff necessary to comply with these requirements, we may need to retain additional outside consultants. If we or, if required, our independent registered public accounting firm, are unable to conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, investors may lose confidence in our financial reporting, which could negatively impact the price of our securities.
Our management, with the participation of our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, evaluated, as of the end of the period covered by this Form
10-K,
the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures (as that term is defined in Rules
13a-15(e)
and
15d-15(e)
under the Exchange Act). Based on that evaluation, our principal executive officer and principal financial officer concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective as of December 31, 2021 due to the material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting.
We have identified material weaknesses in our controls related to the following (a) the aggregation of open control deficiencies across the Company’s financial reporting processes because the controls were not fully designed and operating effectively, (b) not fully designing, implementing and monitoring general information
 
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technology controls in the areas of user access and program change-management for systems supporting all of the Company’s internal control processes and (c) our controls on accounting for complex financial instruments such as warrants, did not operate effectively to appropriately apply the provisions of ASC
815-40,
resulting in the failure to prevent a material error in our accounting for warrants and the resulting restatement of our previously issued financial statements.
In addition, on April 12, 2021, the Acting Director of the Division of Corporation Finance and Acting Chief Accountant of the SEC together issued a statement regarding the accounting and reporting considerations for warrants issued by special purpose acquisition companies entitled “Staff Statement on Accounting and Reporting Considerations for Warrants Issued by Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPACs”) (the “SEC Statement”). Specifically, the SEC Statement focused on certain settlement terms and provisions related to certain tender offers following a business combination, which terms are similar to those contained in the Warrant Agreement governing our warrants and the HEC Forward Purchase Agreement. Following the issuance of the SEC Statement, on May 4, 2021, HEC concluded that it was appropriate to restate its previously issued audited financial statements as of December 31, 2020 and for the period from February 6, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020, as well as its financial data as of June 11, 2020 (the “restatement”), and as part of such process, HEC identified a material weakness in its internal control over financial reporting. As the accounting acquirer in the Business Combination, we have inherited this material weakness and the warrants.
HEC reevaluated the accounting treatment of 20,700,000 public warrants, 10,280,000 private placement warrants and the HEC Forward Purchase Agreement, and determined to classify the warrants and the HEC Forward Purchase Agreement as liabilities measured at fair value, with changes in fair value each period reported in earnings. As a result, these liabilities are subject to
re-measurement
at each balance sheet date, and any change in fair value is recognized in our statement of operations and comprehensive loss. As a result of the recurring fair value measurement, our consolidated financial statements and results of operations may fluctuate quarterly, based on factors, which are outside of our control. The recurring fair value measurement applies only to the private placement warrants, and we will continue to recognize
non-cash
gains or losses on our private placement warrants each reporting period, and the amount of such gains or losses could be material.
As a result of such material weakness, the restatement, the change in accounting for the warrants and HEC Forward Purchase Agreement, and other matters raised or that may in the future be raised by the SEC, we may face potential litigation or other disputes, which may include, among others, claims invoking the federal and state securities laws, contractual claims or other claims arising from the restatement and material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting and the preparation of our financial statements. As of the date of the annual report, we have no knowledge of any such litigation or dispute. However, we can provide no assurance that such litigation or dispute will not arise in the future. Any such litigation or dispute, whether successful or not, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We cannot assure you that there will not be additional material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting now or in the future. Any failure to maintain internal control over financial reporting could severely inhibit our ability to accurately report our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. If we are unable to conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm determines that we have a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, the market price of our securities could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by Nasdaq, the SEC or other regulatory authorities. Failure to remedy any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, or to implement or maintain other effective control systems required of public companies, could also restrict our future access to the capital markets.
For example, on November 26, 2021, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), a regulator of the Nasdaq stock market, commenced conducting a routine review of trading in the Company’s stock surrounding the November 15, 2021 announcements of the Company’s financial results for the third quarter of
 
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2021 and the resignation of the Company’s
co-founder
and former Chief Executive Officer, Oren Frank, and
co-founder
and former Head of Clinical Services, Roni Frank. The Company provided answers and documents to this routine initial contact inquiry on December 9, 2021 and there has been no further communications, requests or findings from FINRA since that date.
Delaware law and our organizational documents contain certain provisions, including anti-takeover provisions that limit the ability of stockholders to take certain actions and could delay or discourage takeover attempts that stockholders may consider favorable.
Our organizational documents and the DGCL contain provisions that could have the effect of rendering more difficult, delaying, or preventing an acquisition that stockholders may consider favorable, including transactions in which stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares. These provisions could also limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock, and therefore depress the trading price of our common stock. These provisions could also make it difficult for stockholders to take certain actions, including electing directors who are not nominated by the current members of our board of directors or taking other corporate actions, including effecting changes in our management. Among other things, our organizational documents include the following provisions or features that may make the acquisition of our company more difficult:
 
   
we have a classified board of directors with staggered, three-year terms;
 
   
our board of directors is permitted to issue shares of preferred stock, including “blank check” preferred stock and to determine the price and other terms of those shares, including preferences and voting rights, without stockholder approval, which could be used to significantly dilute the ownership of a hostile acquirer;
 
   
the Certificate of Incorporation prohibits cumulative voting in the election of directors, which limits the ability of minority stockholders to elect director candidates;
 
   
the limitation of the liability of, and the indemnification of, our directors and officers;
 
   
certain transactions are not “corporate opportunities” and the Identified Persons (as defined in the Certificate of Incorporation) are not subject to the doctrine of corporate opportunity and such Identified Persons do not have any fiduciary duty to refrain from engaging directly or indirectly in the same or similar business activities or lines of business as us;
 
   
we are not governed by Section 203 of the DGCL and, instead, our Certificate of Incorporation includes a provision that is substantially similar to Section 203 of the DGCL, and acknowledges that certain stockholders cannot be “interested stockholders” (as defined in the Certificate of Incorporation);
 
   
our board of directors has the ability to amend the bylaws, which may allow our board of directors to take additional actions to prevent an unsolicited takeover and inhibit the ability of an acquirer to amend the bylaws to facilitate an unsolicited takeover attempt; and
 
   
our bylaws contain advance notice procedures with which stockholders must comply to nominate candidates to our board of directors or to propose matters to be acted upon at a stockholders’ meeting, which could preclude stockholders from bringing matters before annual or special meetings of stockholders and delay changes in our board of directors and also may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.
These provisions, alone or together, could delay or prevent hostile takeovers and changes in control or changes in our board of directors or management.
 
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The provision of our certificate of incorporation requiring exclusive forum in certain courts in the State of Delaware or the federal district courts of the United States for certain types of lawsuits may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers.
The Certificate of Incorporation requires, to the fullest extent permitted by law, that (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or stockholders to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL or the Certificate of Incorporation or our bylaws or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us governed by the internal affairs doctrine will have to be brought in a state court located within the state of Delaware (or if no state court of the State of Delaware has jurisdiction, the federal district court for the District of Delaware), in all cases subject to the court’s having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants. The foregoing provisions do not apply to claims arising under the Securities Act, the Exchange Act or other federal securities laws for which there is exclusive federal or concurrent federal and state jurisdiction.
Additionally, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the federal district courts of the United States of America shall be the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act; provided, however, that our stockholders will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ organizational documents has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that, in connection with claims arising under federal securities laws, a court could find the choice of forum provisions contained in the Certificate of Incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable.
Although we believe these exclusive forum provisions benefit us by providing increased consistency in the application of Delaware law and federal securities laws in the types of lawsuits to which each applies, the exclusive forum provisions may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or any of our directors, officers or stockholders, which may discourage lawsuits with respect to such claims. Further, in the event a court finds either exclusive forum provision contained in the Certificate of Incorporation to be unenforceable or inapplicable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could harm our business, operating results and financial condition.
Our warrants are exercisable for common stock, which could increase the number of shares eligible for future resale in the public market and result in dilution to our stockholders.
Outstanding warrants to purchase an aggregate of 33,480,000 shares of common stock are exercisable in accordance with the terms of the Warrant Agreement governing those securities. To the extent such warrants are exercised, additional shares of common stock will be issued, which will result in dilution to the holders of our 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 could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. However, there is no guarantee that the public warrants will ever be in the money prior to their expiration, and as such, the warrants may expire worthless.
We do not intend to pay cash dividends for the foreseeable future.
We currently intend to retain our future earnings, if any, to finance the further development and expansion of our business and do not intend to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to pay dividends will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements and future agreements and financing instruments, business prospects and such other factors as our board of directors deems relevant.
 
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You may only be able to exercise your public warrants on a “cashless basis” under certain circumstances, and if you do so, you will receive fewer shares of common stock from such exercise than if you were to exercise such warrants for cash.
The Warrant Agreement provides that in the following circumstances holders of warrants who seek to exercise their warrants will not be permitted to do for cash and will, instead, be required to do so on a cashless basis in accordance with Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act: (i) if the common stock issuable upon exercise of the warrants are not registered under the Securities Act in accordance with the terms of the Warrant Agreement; (ii) if we have so elected and the common stock are at the time of any exercise of a warrant not listed on a national securities exchange such that they satisfy the definition of “covered securities” under Section 18(b)(1) of the Securities Act; and (iii) if we have so elected and we call the public warrants for redemption. If you exercise your public warrants on a cashless basis, you would pay the warrant exercise price by surrendering the warrants for that number of common stock equal to the quotient obtained by dividing (x) the product of the number of common stock underlying the warrants, multiplied by the excess of the “fair market value” of our common stock (as defined in the next sentence) over the exercise price of the warrants by (y) the fair market value. The “fair market value” is the average reported closing price of the common stock for the 10 trading days ending on the third trading day prior to the date on which the notice of exercise is received by the warrant agent or on which the notice of redemption is sent to the holders of warrants, as applicable. As a result, you would receive fewer shares of common stock from such exercise than if you were to exercise such warrants for cash.
We may amend the terms of the warrants in a manner that may be adverse to holders of public warrants with the approval by the holders of at least 50% of the then outstanding public warrants. As a result, the exercise price of your warrants could be increased, the exercise period could be shortened and the number of common stock purchasable upon exercise of a warrant could be decreased, all without your approval.
The Warrant Agreement provides that the terms of the warrants may be amended without the consent of any holder for the purpose of (i) curing any ambiguity or to correct any defective provision or mistake, including to conform the provisions of the Warrant Agreement to the description of the terms of the warrants and the Warrant Agreement, (ii) adjusting the provisions relating to cash dividends on common stock as contemplated by and in accordance with the Warrant Agreement or (iii) adding or changing any provisions with respect to matters or questions arising under the Warrant Agreement as the parties to the Warrant Agreement may deem necessary or desirable and that the parties deem to not adversely affect the rights of the registered holders of the warrants, provided that the approval by the holders of at least 50% of the then-outstanding public warrants is required to make any change that adversely affects the interests of the registered holders of public warrants. Accordingly, we may amend the terms of the public warrants in a manner adverse to a holder of public warrants if holders of at least 50% of the then outstanding public warrants approve of such amendment. Although our ability to amend the terms of the public warrants with the consent of at least 50% of the then outstanding public warrants is unlimited, examples of such amendments could be amendments to, among other things, increase the exercise price of the warrants, convert the warrants into cash or shares, shorten the exercise period or decrease the number of common stock purchasable upon exercise of a warrant.
The Warrant Agreement designates the courts of the State of New York or the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by holders of our warrants, which could limit the ability of warrant holders to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us.
The Warrant Agreement provides that, subject to applicable law, (i) any action, proceeding or claim against us arising out of or relating in any way to the Warrant Agreement, including under the Securities Act, will be brought and enforced in the courts of the State of New York or the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and (ii) that we irrevocably submit to such jurisdiction, which jurisdiction shall be the exclusive forum for any such action, proceeding or claim. We will waive any objection to such exclusive jurisdiction and that such courts represent an inconvenient forum.
 
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Notwithstanding the foregoing, these provisions of the Warrant Agreement will not apply to suits brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Exchange Act or any other claim for which the federal district courts of the United States of America are the sole and exclusive forum. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in any of our warrants shall be deemed to have notice of and to have consented to the forum provisions in our Warrant Agreement. If any action, the subject matter of which is within the scope the forum provisions of the Warrant Agreement, is filed in a court other than a court of the State of New York or the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (a “foreign action”) in the name of any holder of our warrants, such holder shall be deemed to have consented to: (x) the personal jurisdiction of the state and federal courts located in the State of New York in connection with any action brought in any such court to enforce the forum provisions (an “enforcement action”), and (y) having service of process made upon such warrant holder in any such enforcement action by service upon such warrant holder’s counsel in the foreign action as agent for such warrant holder.
This
choice-of-forum
provision may limit a warrant holder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us, which may discourage such lawsuits. Alternatively, if a court were to find this provision of our Warrant Agreement inapplicable or unenforceable with respect to one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and result in a diversion of the time and resources of our management and board of directors.
We may redeem your unexpired warrants prior to their exercise at a time that is disadvantageous to you, thereby making your warrants worthless.
We have the ability to redeem outstanding warrants at any time after they become exercisable and prior to their expiration, at a price of $0.01 per warrant, provided that the closing price of our common stock equals or exceeds $18.00 per share (as adjusted for stock splits, stock recapitalizations, reorganizations, recapitalizations and the like) for any 20 trading days within a 30
trading-day
period ending on the third trading day prior to the date on which we give proper notice of such redemption to the warrants holders and provided certain other conditions are met. If and when the 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. Redemption of the outstanding warrants could force you to (i) exercise your warrants and pay the exercise price at a time when it may be disadvantageous for you to do so, (ii) sell your warrants at the then-current market price when you might otherwise wish to hold your warrants or (iii) accept the nominal redemption price which, at the time the outstanding warrants are called for redemption, is likely to be substantially less than the market value of your warrants. None of the private placement warrants will be redeemable by us so long as they are held by the Sponsor or its permitted transferees.
General Risk Factors
The price of our securities may be volatile.
The price of our securities may fluctuate due to a variety of factors, including:
 
   
the success of competitive services or technologies;
 
   
developments related to our existing or any future collaborations;
 
   
regulatory or legal developments in the United States and other countries;
 
   
developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property or other proprietary rights;
 
   
the recruitment or departure of key personnel;
 
   
actual or anticipated changes in estimates as to financial results, development timelines or recommendations by securities analysts;
 
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variations in our financial results or those of companies that are perceived to be similar to us;
 
   
changes in the structure of healthcare payment systems;
 
   
changes in the market’s expectations about our operating results;
 
   
the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements and filings with the SEC;
 
   
speculation in the press or investment community;
 
   
commencement of, or involvement in, litigation involving us;
 
   
changes in our capital structure, such as future issuances of securities or the incurrence of additional debt;
 
   
the volume of our securities available for public sale;
 
   
changes in our board of directors or management;
 
   
general economic, industry and market conditions; and
 
   
the other factors described in this “Risk Factors” section.
These market and industry factors may materially reduce the market price of our common stock and warrants regardless of our operating performance.
We may need to raise additional capital in the future in order to execute our business plans, which may not be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all.
We have experienced recurring losses from operations, and negative cash flows at operations, and we expect our operating expenses will increase in the foreseeable future. We believe our cash and cash equivalents on hand, together with cash we expect to generate from future operations, will be sufficient to meet our working capital and capital expenditure requirements in the near future. However, in the future we may still require additional capital to respond to technological advancements, competitive dynamics or technologies, customer demands, business opportunities, challenges, acquisitions or unforeseen circumstances and we may determine to engage in equity or debt financings or enter into credit facilities for other reasons. We may not be able to timely secure additional debt or equity financing on favorable terms, or at all. If we raise additional funds through the issuance of equity or convertible debt or other equity-linked securities, our existing stockholders could experience significant dilution. Any debt financing obtained by us in the future could involve restrictive covenants relating to our capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities, including potential acquisitions. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us, when we require it, our ability to continue to grow or support our business and to respond to business challenges could be significantly limited.
We may be subject to securities litigation, which is expensive and could divert management attention.
The market price of our securities may be volatile and, in the past, companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their securities have been subject to securities class action litigation. We may be the target of this type of litigation in the future. Securities litigation against us could result in substantial costs and divert management’s attention from other business concerns, which could seriously harm its business.
Reports published by analysts, including projections in those reports that differ from our actual results, could adversely affect the price and trading volume of our common stock.
Securities research analysts may establish and publish their own periodic projections for our business. These projections may vary widely and may not accurately predict the results we actually achieve. Our share price may decline if our actual results do not match the projections of these securities research analysts. Similarly, if one or
 
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more of the analysts who write reports on us downgrades our stock or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our share price could decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of us or fails to publish reports on us regularly, our securities price or trading volume could decline. While we expect to receive research analyst coverage, if no analysts commence coverage of us, the market price and volume for our securities could be adversely affected.
 
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USE OF PROCEEDS
All of the shares of common stock and warrants offered by the Selling Securityholders pursuant to this prospectus will be sold by them for their respective accounts. We will not receive any of the proceeds from these sales.
We will receive the proceeds from any exercise of outstanding warrants for cash, but will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the shares of common stock issuable upon exercise. We expect to use the net proceeds from the exercise of the warrants for cash, if any, for general corporate purposes. We will have broad discretion over the use of any proceeds from the exercise of the warrants. There is no assurance that the holders of the warrants will elect to exercise for cash any or all of such warrants. To the extent that any warrants are exercised on a “cashless basis,” the amount of cash we would receive from the exercise of the warrants will decrease.
The Selling Securityholders will pay any underwriting fees, discounts, selling commissions, stock transfer taxes and certain legal expenses incurred by such Selling Securityholders in disposing of their shares of common stock and warrants, and we will bear all other costs, fees and expenses incurred in effecting the registration of such securities covered by this prospectus, including, without limitation, all registration and filing fees, Nasdaq listing fees and fees and expenses of our counsel and our independent registered public accountants.
 
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MARKET PRICE, TICKER SYMBOL & DIVIDEND INFORMATION
Market Information
On June 23, 2021, Talkspace, Inc.’s common stock and warrants began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbols “TALK” and “TALKW,” respectively. Prior to that time, there was no public market for our common stock or warrants.
Holders
As of February 21, 2022, there were 76 holders of record of our common stock and 13 holders of record of our warrants.
Dividends
We have not paid any cash dividends on our common stock to date and, prior to the Business Combination, HEC had not paid any dividends on its common stock. 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 of directors. Our ability to declare dividends may be limited by the terms of financing or other agreements entered into by us or our subsidiaries from time to time.
 
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BUSINESS
Our Mission
Our mission is to democratize access to high quality behavioral healthcare, so that those in need live a happier and healthier life.
Overview
Talkspace offers convenient and affordable access to a fully-credentialed network of highly qualified providers. We are a leading virtual behavioral health company and, since Talkspace’s founding in 2012, we have connected millions of patients, who we refer to as our members, with licensed mental health providers across a wide and growing spectrum of care through virtual counseling, psychotherapy and psychiatry. We created a purpose-built platform to address the vast, unmet and growing demand for mental health services of our members, serving our B2C channel, comprised of individual consumers who subscribe directly to our platform, and our B2B channel, comprised of large enterprise clients such as Google and Expedia and large health plans and employee assistance programs (collectively, “health plan clients”) such as Aetna, Cigna, Premera and Optum (collectively, our “clients”), who offer their employees and insured members access to our platform while their employer is under an active contract with Talkspace, or at
in-network
reimbursement rates, where applicable.
For the year ended December 31, 2021, approximately 280,000 members were registered on our platform, as compared to approximately 200,000 members for the year ended December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2021, we had approximately 56,000 active members receiving care through our B2C and B2B channels, including approximately 24,000 B2C active members, and approximately 69 million B2B eligible lives. We consider members “active” (i) in the case of our B2C members, commencing on the date such member initiates contact with a provider on our platform until the term of their monthly, quarterly or
bi-annual
subscription plan expires, unless terminated early and (ii) in the case of our B2B members, if such members have engaged on our platform during the preceding 25 days, such as sending a text, video or audio message to, or participating in a video call with, a provider, completing a satisfaction or progress report survey or signing up for our platform. While a growth in active members typically highlights strong engagement with our members, not all active members are associated with revenue in that particular period. We consider B2B lives “eligible” if such persons are eligible to receive treatment on the Talkspace platform, in the case of our enterprise clients, while their employer is under an active contract with Talkspace, or, in the case of health plan clients, at an agreed upon reimbursement rate through insurance under an employee assistance program or other network behavioral health paid benefit program. There may be instances where a person may be covered through multiple solutions, typically through behavioral health plans and employee assistance programs. In these instances, the person is counted each time they are covered in the B2B eligible lives calculation, which may cause this amount to reflect a higher number of members than we actually serve. For the year ended December 31, 2021, our clinicians completed 273,700 B2B sessions related to members covered under our health plan clients, as compared to 114,600 completed B2B sessions for the year ended December 31, 2020.
The behavioral health market has traditionally been underserved for a number of reasons, including as a result of inadequate access, a limited universe of qualified providers, high cost and social stigma. We believe virtual is the ideal modality for mental health treatment because it removes or reduces these burdens associated with traditional
face-to-face
mental health services by improving convenience through 24/7 access to our platform, providing more accessible entry level price points, and reducing associated stigmas by promoting transparency, increasing ease of access and preserving privacy.
Our platform connects consumers in need, including many of whom have never had an opportunity to benefit from high-quality behavioral healthcare, with experienced providers across all 50 U.S. states.
Through our psychotherapy offerings, our licensed therapists and counselors treat mental health conditions in over 21 specializations, such as depression, anxiety, trauma and other human challenges. Through our
 
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psychiatry offerings, our board-certified psychiatrists and prescription-eligible nurse practitioners treat a higher acuity patient demographic, including those who may have pharmacological needs. Like the traditional
face-to-face
models, Talkspace providers are able to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, bipolar disorders and depression, including through prescription medication and management from psychiatrists, up and until the point that the provider, in their discretion, feels it prudent to refer the member to a
face-to-face
psychiatrist to address potential needs for “controlled substances” under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which generally prohibits the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances via telehealth without performing an
in-person
examination.
While optimizing consumers’ access to care, we believe our platform also provides benefits to providers through expanded reach, steady access to member leads, reduced administrative burdens, more efficient time utilization and data-driven insights. These features, together with continuous training and professional growth opportunities we offer, empower providers to deliver what we believe will enable an enhanced care journey, higher member lifetime engagement, meaningful outcomes and greater margins when compared to
face-to-face
treatment.
The current state of behavioral health is characterized by the following key factors:
 
   
Growing incidence
:
There are rapidly rising occurrences of behavioral health conditions across the entire global population.
 
   
Limited access due to factors such as stigma, physical hurdles and prohibitive cost
:
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only approximately 46% of U.S. adults with a mental illness received treatment in 2020.
 
   
Inability to match demand for mental health services with therapists’ supply
: Patients face difficulties accessing providers, despite there being approximately 600,000 licensed providers in the United States.
 
   
Poor clinical outcomes and lack of care continuity.
 
   
Enormous societal cost.
 
   
Elevated healthcare system spend.
We believe virtual is the ideal modality for mental health treatment, and our platform is purpose-built to address the traditional constraints through a full range of virtual services exclusively focused on behavioral health. Our offering is highly differentiated, and we believe we are well-positioned to address the unmet needs in behavioral health, delivering significantly enhanced access at attractive price points and delivering meaningful clinical outcomes.
We believe there is significant total global addressable market opportunity for our services, driven in part by the access we believe our model provides to unlock unaddressed patient populations. In the United States alone, it is estimated that one in every five Americans suffer from mental illness every year, spread across all ethnic, socio-economic and age ranges, and that less than half of those in need receive care. This mental health pandemic has only been exacerbated by the
COVID-19
pandemic, with a 2020 study finding that the prevalence of depression symptoms grew three-fold since the
COVID-19
pandemic began.
We believe this market opportunity exists due in part to structural limitations in the traditional behavioral healthcare model such as slow adoption of technology to treat and monitor patients,
reactive-to-care
delivery that can lead to inconsistent outcomes, difficulties quantifying outcomes, and lack of reimbursement and insurance coverage leading to misaligned incentives.
To overcome these hurdles and achieve our mission of providing more people with convenient access to quality, affordable behavioral healthcare, we built a technology platform with the belief that the right solution
 
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can make care more personalized and effective. Our position as innovators in behavioral health is demonstrated by a series of major achievements since our formation in 2012:
 
   
A leading consumer brand in behavioral healthcare:
Our brand awareness continues to be instrumental in driving patient penetration and engagement.
 
   
Addressing a wide spectrum of care:
We offer virtual psychotherapy and psychiatry services at scale across B2C and B2B channels.
 
   
Cost-effective solution:
We offer affordable care with a transparent pricing model and a clear commitment to high-quality service, providing behavioral care access to underserved populations.
 
   
Integrated technology platform:
Our proprietary matching algorithm and machine-learning tools provide real-time engagement insights, inform treatment and track clinical progress.
 
   
Machine-learning powered clinicians’ sourcing and credentialing:
This process has allowed us to build a national network of high-quality licensed providers.
 
   
No overhead and administrative costs for clinicians:
Our platform enables providers to spend less time in administrative tasks associated with scheduling, invoicing and taking notes,
vis-a-vis
private practices, and spend more time treating patients.
 
   
Privacy and stigma-free access:
Talkspace data is fully encrypted, consistent with HIPAA and other state regulatory requirements and assessed annually by external privacy and security advisors.
 
   
Collaborations with mental health champions:
Our collaborations with Michael Phelps draw awareness and seek to humanize the
day-to-day
battle with mental illness.
Our platform is purpose-built to personalize treatment and drive outcomes with technology encompassing every step of our members’ treatment journey, which we believe is critical to drive care continuity and impact. Beginning with our secure mobile app, members are able to seamlessly provide information so that we can assess their condition and incorporate their preferences. We then leverage our proprietary algorithm to match members and providers, allowing for an optimized start of the relationship, which we believe is a key factor in delivering care continuity. Communication then occurs via live video and private messaging in a fully-encrypted virtual chat room. If deemed necessary, providers can decide to administer standardized tests to diagnose the disease and identify the best treatment plan. Throughout these patient interactions, our providers have access to our exclusive care delivery platform built for improving outcomes, featuring provider tools for case management, enhanced diagnosis, treatment planning, stress and resilience programming, risk mitigation, and clinical progress tracking. Providing multilayer insights through our data dashboards, providers can make informed, outcome-driven decisions to enhance the quality of care. In addition, since inception, we have expanded to support medication management and a variety of behavioral conditions for adults, adolescents and couples.
We believe that, through our platform, our providers are empowered with unique insights and capabilities that enable meaningful clinical outcomes. Additionally, our technology analyzes and manages our scaled provider network through a host of outcomes and satisfaction-focused metrics, providing an opportunity to chart both the patient and provider simultaneously in order to drive meaningful outcomes. Our platform capabilities also enable and continuously enhance evidence of care, care continuity, outcomes metrics and data-based learnings, built into a robust electronic health record (“EHR”) network. The depth of capabilities of this EHR network are only possible in part because of our virtual delivery model, whereas we believe much of this would be unachievable in traditional behavioral care settings.
We have a vast nationwide network of fully-credentialed providers, consisting of both psychotherapists and psychiatrists, across all 50 U.S. states. To ensure a high degree of success with our initial provider and member matching, we have built a diverse network inclusive of over 21 clinical specialties, over 30 languages spoken, approximately 30% people of color, and approximately 20% at or under the age of 35. Our network is sustained and enhanced by an attractive value proposition to our providers, including flexibility, convenience, efficiency,
 
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professional development opportunities and income. We designed our provider network to be scalable and to leverage a hybrid model of both employee providers and independently contracted providers to support multiple growth scenarios.
We believe another differentiating feature of our value proposition is that it aligns the incentives of all stakeholders across members, providers, plans and employers by simultaneously delivering (1) meaningful clinical outcomes and improved access to care; (2) affordable treatment with a platform designed to elevate member experience and engagement; (3) expanded reach to patients, providing lower administrative costs and flexibility to providers and (4) lower overall public healthcare costs through improved chronic-disease and
co-morbidity
incidence.
Our revenues were $113.7 million and $76.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, and 2020, respectively, representing a period-over-period increase of 49.2%. In recent periods, we have seen an improvement in our utilization rates for our services and expect this trend to continue
post-COVID-19.
We incurred net losses of $62.7 million, $22.4 million and $29.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively, primarily due to our investments in growth initiatives.
Our Offerings
Through our platform, we provide psychotherapy and psychiatry services to individuals, employers and health plans through both B2C and B2B channels. In psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” members work with a licensed therapist or counselor to treat specific mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, trauma and other human challenges, including by developing positive thinking and coping skills. In psychiatry, members receive personalized, expert care from a prescriber who specializes in mental healthcare and prescription management.
By seeking to eliminate barriers in accessing and utilizing mental healthcare and offering providers technology-enabled tools to provide high-quality clinical care with a data-driven approach to treatment, we offer our members a robust ecosystem for
end-to-end
behavioral healthcare.
Psychotherapy
: We offer text, audio and video-based psychotherapy from licensed therapists directly to consumers in the B2C channel. Individual subscribers sign up for individual plans (i.e., Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus, Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium, Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate, Talkspace Couples Therapy and Talkspace Teens Therapy) inclusive of text, video and audio messaging. In the B2B channel, psychotherapy services are offered through both employers and health plans.
Through
Talkspace for Business
, employees access our platform services on a benefit plan paid by the employer. Through
Talkspace Employee Assistance Program
(“EAP”) and
Talkspace Behavioral Health plan
(“BH”), we contract with a number of U.S. health plans to provide online therapy to employees through EAP and behavioral health benefits. These programs provide support and resources to enhance employees’ well-being and productivity, such as mental health, financial planning and work/life balance. Talkspace is also an accepted provider of behavioral health services by several large healthcare payors, including Aetna, Cigna, Premera and Optum.
Psychiatry
: Services are provided both to B2C consumers via the Talkspace platform, and through B2B health plans and employers. In both the B2C and B2B channels, typical packages include one initial video consultation, with
follow-up
video appointments as needed. Like the traditional
face-to-face
model, Talkspace providers can prescribe medication they deem necessary up and until the point, that in the providers discretion, the member requires a
face-to-face
provider for potential need of those prescriptions labeled a “controlled substance” under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Our psychiatry services are comprised of board-certified psychiatrists, as well as prescription-eligible nurse practitioners who may supplement the psychiatrist in
follow-up
visits and act in a medication management capacity.
 
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Our Customers
In pursuit of our mission to expand access to all individuals in need of behavioral services, we strive to deliver effective care to a broad range of customers through both our B2C and B2B channels.
Within our B2C channel, we serve a diverse customer base, with our members coming from all socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, genders, ethnicities, geographies and income level. Further, with both psychotherapy and psychiatry professionals, along with a comprehensive suite of self-help tools, our platform is designed to address the needs of members across a broad range of acuities. Our provider base has a diverse range of clinical expertise, with over 21 specializations, and is able to provide high quality care to all behavioral conditions. As of December 31, 2021, we had approximately 24,000 B2C active members located across all 50 U.S. states and select international markets.
In our B2B channel, we serve our health plan clients and enterprise clients and their respective employees and members through multiple offerings.
 
   
Health Plan Clients
: Through our EAP offering, we contract with major payor clients who are contracted with employers to deliver care. Through this solution, we are able to provide therapy and psychiatry services for our clients’ employees, who then pay a flat rate per session or interaction, of which we receive a portion of the fee. Through our BH offering, our members receive care directly covered through their individual health plan where our providers are considered
in-network.
Our members pay a flat
co-pay
per session or interaction, of which we receive a portion of the fee. A representative sample of our health plan clients include Aetna, Cigna, Optum and Premera.
 
   
Enterprise Clients
: Through our
direct-to-employer
offering, we contract directly with employers to provide their employees unlimited asynchronous care primarily on a
per-member-per-month
(“PMPM”) basis. A representative sample of our enterprise clients include Accenture, Blackstone, Expedia and Google.
In addition, we are increasingly chosen as a preferred vendor for higher education and government clients. Through our contracts with colleges, universities and Greek letter organizations, we provide mental health solutions to students and student athletes across the United States. We additionally hold a number of employer benefits and EAP relationships with municipalities across the United States. As of December 31, 2021, we had approximately 69 million eligible lives within our B2B channel.
Technology Platform
We believe that virtual therapy offers an attractive opportunity to improve behavioral health through data science and machine learning. Through digital phenotyping and predictive modeling, the data imprint left by interactions on our platform opens a new, quantitative viewpoint into the behavioral condition of our members. By securely leveraging our unique dataset to identify patterns, which is augmented by advanced, data-driven tools to personalize care, we believe we are able to optimize clinical outcomes. We have designed our technology platform and information practices to achieve and maintain compliance with HIPAA and other legal requirements regarding the confidentiality of patient information. We maintain a written privacy and information security management program, led by designated subject matter experts, in order to (i) limit how we will use and disclose the protected health information of the members who utilize our technology platform or therapeutic services, (ii) implement reasonable administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to protect such information from misuse, and (iii) assist our customers with certain duties such as access to information under the privacy standards, among other program elements. We require our agents and subcontractors who have access to such information to enter into written agreements to meet the same standards for security and privacy. We obtain third-party examinations of our controls relating to security and data privacy. Certain examinations are conducted under Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements, or SSAE, No. 16 (Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization). In particular, we regularly obtain a Type II Service Organization Control SOC 2 report (Reporting
 
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on Controls at a Service Organization relevant to security, availability and privacy), most recently in August 2021, which noted we had effective controls over our platform. We also retain outside consultants to regularly assess our compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule, including performing assessments of our risks and vulnerabilities.
The following table depicts the technology-enabled process flow that supports our platform:
 
 
Matching algorithm
: We utilize machine learning to predict a provider’s efficacy at onboarding. Our matching algorithm combines information from both structured and unstructured sources to predict which therapists have the greatest chance of success with each patient. Our matching model concurrently gathers client and therapist data and screens the therapists’ population to match the patient’s characteristics, clinical needs and preferences. Our machine learning technology also enables us to track the frequency and quality of clinical interactions, allowing us to provide a better therapist match should the patient request a new clinician.
 
 

Robust data ecosystem
: We have a closed-loop data ecosystem providing a multi-dimensional view of the individuals who seek treatment on our platform. This data provides a holistic picture of each user – the problems
 
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they manifest, diagnoses, treatment plans, medical history, personal history, and clinical outcomes. Our data contain over 5 billion words sent by millions of users over 100 million anonymized messages. We have over 1 million completed psychological assessments. Our data contain information about members collected by therapists, including over 500,000 diagnoses and 800,000 progress and psychotherapy notes. Our data also contains information about therapists reported by members, including over 800,000 therapist ratings. We believe the size and depth of our clinical data is vast relative to the industry and is a differentiating element of our digitally-native modality.
Empowering providers to deliver enhanced care
: Our providers are equipped with tools that allow them to optimize time utilization and improve clinical efficacy. One of the leading challenges in behavioral healthcare is a patient’s premature termination of engagement with the provider and, thus, a core focus of our machine learning strategy is to drive member engagement and increase care continuity, helping members to continue treatment long enough to reap its benefits. In order to extend the lifetime duration of our member base, we provide our providers insights on their patients’ needs and behaviors and offer techniques and suggestions that we believe are likely to maximize their patients’ satisfaction and engagement. These insights, delivered through our fully-integrated artificial intelligence platform, help providers to deliver effective treatments to their patients, and raise members’ awareness when tracking their own clinical progress.
Performance tracking and feedback
: Our “Intro and Expectations” system detects whether providers have followed best practices in the crucial introductory phase of the therapy relationship and reminds them to do so if they have not. Our “Crisis Risk system” monitors all incoming members’ messages for linguistic features associated with potential danger or self-harm and draws providers’ attention to these cases. Our “Session Highlights system” provides a weekly digest of patient messages and helps therapists draft notes on clinical progress. Our “Patient Engagement Monitor system” processes each new message sent on the platform and updates the projected probability of patient engagement based on previous behavior and the content of each message.
Competition
We view as competitors those companies whose primary business is developing and marketing telehealth and virtual behavioral health platforms and services. Competition focuses on, among other factors, technology, breadth and depth of functionality, range of associated services, operational experience, customer support, extent of client and member bases, and reputation. Our key competitors in the telehealth and teletherapy markets are American Well Corporation, Teladoc, Included Health, MDLive, BetterHelp, Lyra Health and Headspace, among other small industry participants.
In addition, large, well-financed health systems and health plans have in some cases developed their own virtual behavioral health tools and may provide these solutions to their consumer at discounted prices. Competition may also increase from large technology companies, such as Apple, Amazon, Meta, Verizon, or Microsoft, who may wish to develop their own virtual behavioral health solutions, as well as from large retailers like Amazon or Walmart. With the emergence of
COVID-19,
and in particular the relaxation of privacy and security requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), we have also seen increased competition from consumer-grade video solutions, such as Zoom Video and Twilio. We believe that the breadth of our existing client and member bases, the depth of our technology platform, and our
business-to-business
focus on promoting existing healthcare brands and integrating freely with multiple platforms increases the likelihood that stakeholders seeking to develop virtual behavioral healthcare solutions will choose instead to collaborate with Talkspace.
Therapists, Physicians and Healthcare Professionals
We are completing the transition of our structure with respect to our relationships with healthcare providers, transitioning to a structure where Talkspace LLC and Talkspace Network LLC have entered into various
 
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agreements with a Texas professional association entity, TPN, which in turn is contracting with our affiliated professional entities and physicians, therapists, and other licensed professionals for clinical and professional services provided to our members. We expect to conclude the transition by the third quarter of 2022, understanding that tax and accounting functions will continue to update for the rest of the fiscal year.
This transition is in response to our expansion of service offerings to include telepsychiatry services provided through licensed physicians. Our business initially began with arranging the delivery of virtual counseling and psychotherapy services, which are predominantly provided by
non-physician
professionals. Currently, all telepsychiatry services are being provided through independent contractor arrangements with our network licensed physicians who maintain exclusive control and responsibility over all medical aspects of the services provided to our members during the period prior to the completion of the transition. Although we believe we were operating in compliance with applicable regulatory laws, including laws that prohibit business entities, such as us, from providing professional services, employing certain healthcare professionals and exercising control over professional judgment (such activities generally referred to as the “corporate practice of medicine”), with the addition of telepsychiatry as a service offering, we decided to transition our provider network structure to a model that was well-understood and common in jurisdictions that prohibit the corporate practice of medicine. We believe the transition to a structure where we would enter into various management services agreements (“MSA”) with TPN, or an entity authorized by state law to contract with our affiliated professionals to delivery teletherapy services to our members, will better ensure we will be able to comply with additional regulatory requirements, including the corporate practice of medicine and
fee-splitting
laws, that are necessarily implicated by engaging in telehealth care that can only be delivered by physicians. Notably, because certain activities other than those directly related to the delivery of healthcare may be considered an element of the practice of medicine in certain states, we believe we have structured the MSA in each state so as to not violate any of these unique restrictions.
We will have the power to direct the activities of TPN and the other authorized entities in each state that will most significantly impact TPN’s and such other authorized entities’ economic performance as well as have the obligation to absorb significant losses and receive the benefits of TPN and the authorized entities. TPN is wholly owned by an independent Texas-licensed physician. Due to the prevalence of the corporate practice of medicine doctrine, including in the states where we predominantly conduct our business, we are finalizing certain agreements with TPN, including the MSA under which we will provide exclusive administrative, management and other business support services to TPN in exchange for a management fee. The
non-medical
functions and services we will provide under the MSA include billing, scheduling and other
non-clinical
services and staffing, the maintenance of medical, billing and accounting records, legal, human resources and the administration of quality assurance, and administration of a risk management program on behalf of TPN, as well as a license to use Talkspace technology and branding. TPN reserves exclusive control and responsibility for all aspects of the practice of medicine and the delivery of medical services. TPN will also directly employ or contract other professional entities, physicians, therapists and other licensed professionals who will provide clinical and professional services to our members.
These affiliated providers will also retain exclusive control and responsibility for all aspects of medical services provided to our members. Additionally, TPN is required to maintain medical malpractice insurance for covered providers as well as appropriate general liability, directors and officers, workers compensation and employment practices insurance. The MSA will have a long multi-year term unless earlier terminated upon mutual agreement of the parties or unilaterally by a party following a material default under the MSA by the
non-terminating
party.
We intend to sign MSAs with other TPN affiliated entities to provide similar administrative and management services for a management fee consistent with applicable corporate practice of medicine,
fee-splitting
and foreign entity requirements in each state.
 
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We are also in the process of finalizing a stock transfer restriction agreement between TPN and its current owner, which outlines the conditions under which we can ensure a transfer of the ownership of TPN to a different licensed provider.
Once the transition with TPN is complete, TPN and its affiliated professional entities will collect revenue from (i) patients directly, (ii) patient’s health plans or (iii) enterprise clients for each consultation performed on Talkspace telehealth and teletherapy platforms by its employed or contracted physicians, therapists and other licensed professionals. TPN in turn will pay the providers a per consult fee, or via an hourly or annual rate.
Although the contracting party under our current agreements with clients, members, providers and other business partners may change from Talkspace to TPN or an affiliated professional entity as a result of this transition, we do not anticipate that this transition will have a material financial impact on our operations. Through the mechanics set out in the MSAs and the management fee for administrative and management services set forth in our agreements with TPN, we do not expect there will be a material change in the overall economics of the business relationships we previously held with our clients, members, providers and other business partners. However, if there are regulatory challenges to our arrangements with TPN, we may have to restructure arrangements or enter into new agreements with other professional entities, which could result in changes to the economic relationships.
Human Capital Resources
Talkspace provides individuals and licensed therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists with an online platform for
one-on-one
therapy delivered via messaging, audio and video. The Company’s workforce is critical to the creation and delivery of its services and the success of the company. Our ability to attract, develop and retain talented employees with the skills and capabilities needed by its business is a key component of our long-term growth and our mission of providing more people with convenient access to quality, affordable behavioral healthcare.
As of December, 2021, we had 496 employees, of whom 480 were located in the U.S. and 16 were located abroad. None of our employees are represented by a labor union or party to a collective bargaining agreement. We have never experienced any work stoppages or strikes as a result of labor disputes. During the
COVID-19
pandemic, the Company transitioned over 95% of its employees to remote working while implementing additional safety measures for employees continuing
on-site
work.
The capabilities of the Company’s workforce have continued to evolve along with the Company’s business and strategy. During the
COVID-19
pandemic, the pace of this evolution increased, as changing consumer behavior accelerated the shift towards digital products and services. As the company has grown, we have also created new internal processes and systems, which the Company expects to increase collaboration across its employees and optimize the productivity and efficiency of its workforce
Culture and Values
We are committed to maintaining a respectful, secure and supportive workplace culture with open communication and accessible, safe channels for feedback. In addition, all employees are required to complete training and affirm compliance with the Talkspace Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (the “Conduct and Ethics Code”), which confirms the Company’s policy to conduct its affairs in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and observe the highest standards of business ethics. The Conduct and Ethics Code is reviewed regularly by the Audit Committee and approved by the Board of Directors, and is complemented by other policies and training. Any violations of our Conduct and Ethics Code are encouraged to be immediately reported and are kept anonymously.
 
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Diversity and Inclusion
Talkspace is committed to creating and maintaining a workplace in which all employees have an opportunity to participate and contribute to the success of the business. Talkspace provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, disability, gender identity, results of genetic testing, or service in the military. Equal employment opportunity applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, separation, transfers, compensation, and training. The Company is committed to cultivating diversity and broadening opportunities for inclusion across its business through its recruitment practices, employee development and mentoring and inclusivity programs.
Compensation and Benefits
The Company is committed to hiring the most qualified candidates to fill open positions. Whenever appropriate and possible, open positions are filled with internal candidates to help team members in their career development and enrich a culture of growth. Compensation and benefits programs are focused on attracting, retaining and motivating the top talent necessary to achieve the Company’s mission in ways that reflect its diverse workforce’s needs and priorities. In addition to competitive salaries, the Company and its businesses have established short and long-term incentive programs including stock-based compensation awards and cash-based performance bonus awards, which are designed to motivate and reward performance against key business objectives and facilitate retention. Performance bonus allocations are provided based on the organization meeting its financial goals, the employee achieving goals set by their supervisor, and per the employment agreements and/or any other written agreement. In addition, the Company provides a range of retirement benefits and other comprehensive benefit options to meet the needs of its employees, including healthcare benefits, tax advantaged savings vehicles, life and disability insurance, paid time off, flexible working arrangements, generous parental leave policies and access to wellness programs.
Training and Development
Our growth mindset culture begins with valuing learning over knowing – seeking out new ideas, driving innovation, embracing challenges, learning from failure, and improving over time. The Company strives to provide mentorship and career development to existing employees to help everyone on the team reach their full potential and employees are encouraged to reach out to their supervisors, if further development training is needed. Whenever possible, the Company’s policy is to promote current employees rather than hiring external people. When position vacancies occur, the supervisor or manager will determine whether there are eligible candidates within the Company.
Properties
Since terminating our prior office lease in New York City in August 2020, we currently have no permanent physical office space and the majority of our employees are working remotely. In August 2021, the Company entered into a temporary short-term
co-working
space agreement in New York City which expires in February 2022, and will not be renewed.
We have limited operations outside the United States. As of December 31, 2021, we have one foreign subsidiary located in Israel which leases its operating facilities under a
non-cancelable
short-term operating lease agreement, which expired in July, 2021 and renews monthly on the first day of every month.
U.S. Government Regulation
Our operations are subject to comprehensive United States federal, state and local and international regulation in the jurisdictions in which we do business. Our ability to operate profitably will depend in part upon
 
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our ability, and that of our affiliated providers, to maintain all necessary licenses and to operate in compliance with applicable laws and rules. Those laws and rules continue to evolve, and we therefore devote significant resources to monitoring developments in healthcare and medical practice regulation. As the applicable laws and rules change, we are likely to make conforming modifications in our business processes from time to time. In some jurisdictions where we operate, neither our current nor our anticipated business model has been the subject of formal judicial or administrative interpretation. We cannot be assured that a review of our business by courts or regulatory authorities will not result in determinations that could adversely affect our operations or that the healthcare regulatory environment will not change in a way that impacts our operations.
In response to the
COVID-19
pandemic, state and federal regulatory authorities loosened or removed a number of regulatory requirements in order to increase the availability of telehealth and teletherapy services. For example, many state governors issued executive orders permitting physicians and other health care professionals to practice in their state without any additional licensure or by using a temporary, expedited or abbreviated licensure process so long as they hold a valid license in another state. In addition, changes were made to the Medicare and Medicaid programs (through waivers and other regulatory authority) to increase access to telehealth and teletherapy services by, among other things, increasing reimbursement, permitting the enrollment of out of state providers and eliminating prior authorization requirements. It is uncertain how long these
COVID-19
related regulatory changes will remain in effect and whether they will continue beyond this public health emergency period.
We believe that a return to the status quo would not have a material negative impact on any commercial agreements we have entered into during 2021 and 2020. Each of these agreements has a defined term and generally do not allow for immediate termination for convenience by the client in question. For many healthcare companies engaging in telehealth and teletherapy, the most significant potential concern about returning to the status quo is the restrictions on the reimbursement of telehealth and teletherapy visits to federal or state healthcare program beneficiaries, such as when a patient presents to a medical professional from a rural area or at a clinical site.
Currently, TPN and our affiliated network providers does not perform these kinds of consultations. All patients who experienced a first-time visit with any network provider during the pandemic would be able to continue using the platform. In light of that, we do not believe that the visit volume on our platform or visit revenue will materially decrease based on a return to the status quo from a regulatory perspective. In fact, we believe that such a return would benefit the Company as the renewed enforcement of HIPAA regulations may force many marginal telehealth platforms out of the marketplace, thereby lessening our competition.
Telehealth and Teletherapy Provider Licensing, Medical Practice, Certification and Related Laws and Guidelines
The practice of medicine, including the provision of therapy services, is subject to various federal, state and local certification and licensing laws, regulations, approvals and standards, relating to, among other things, the adequacy of medical care, the practice of medicine and licensed professional services (including the provision of remote care), equipment, personnel, operating policies and procedures and the prerequisites for the prescription of medication and ordering of tests. The application of some of these laws to telehealth and teletherapy is unclear and subject to differing interpretation.
Physicians, therapists and other licensed professionals who provide professional medical and therapy services to a patient via telehealth and teletherapy must, in most instances, hold a valid license to practice medicine or another licensed profession in the state in which the patient is located. We have established systems for ensuring that TPN and our affiliated professionals are appropriately licensed under applicable state law and that their provision of telehealth and teletherapy to our members occurs in each instance in compliance with applicable rules governing telehealth and teletherapy. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could result in licensure actions against the professionals, our services being found to be
non-reimbursable,
or prior payments being subject to recoupments and can give rise to civil, criminal or administrative penalties.
 
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Corporate Practice of Medicine Laws in the U.S.; Fee Splitting
We contract with physicians or physician owned professional associations and professional corporations and therapists to provide access to our platform to them and their patients. We are in the process of finalizing a MSA with TPN and may enter into direct management services contracts with other TPN affiliated entities pursuant to which we provide them with billing, scheduling and a wide range of other administrative and management services, and they pay us for those services via management and other service fees. These contractual relationships are subject to various state laws that prohibit fee splitting or the corporate practice of medicine or professional services by lay entities or persons and that are intended to prevent unlicensed persons from interfering with or influencing a physician’s or another licensed professional’s clinical judgment. Activities other than those directly related to the delivery of healthcare may be considered an element of the practice of medicine in many states. Under the corporate practice of medicine and other licensed profession restrictions of certain states, decisions and activities such as contracting, setting rates and the hiring and management of personnel may implicate the restrictions on the corporate practice of medicine or a licensed profession.
State corporate practice of medicine or other licensed profession and fee splitting laws and rules vary from state to state. In addition, these requirements are subject to broad interpretation and enforcement by state regulators. Some of these requirements may apply to us even if we do not have a physical presence in the state, based solely on our engagement of a provider licensed in the state or the provision of telehealth and teletherapy to a resident of the state. Thus, regulatory authorities or other parties, including our providers, may assert that, despite these arrangements, we are engaged in the corporate practice of medicine or a licensed profession or that our contractual arrangements with affiliated providers constitute unlawful fee splitting. In such event, failure to comply could lead to adverse judicial or administrative action against us and/or our affiliated providers, civil, criminal or administrative penalties, receipt of cease and desist orders from state regulators, loss of provider licenses, the need to make changes to the terms of engagement of our providers that interfere with our business, and other materially adverse consequences.
U.S. Federal and State Fraud and Abuse Laws
Although our services are not currently reimbursed by government healthcare programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, any future reimbursement from federal and/or state healthcare programs could expose our business to broadly applicable fraud and abuse laws and other healthcare laws and regulations that would regulate the business. Applicable and potentially applicable U.S. federal and state healthcare laws and regulations include, but are not limited, to the following.
Federal Stark Law
If in the future some of our revenues come from federal health care programs, we will be subject to the federal self-referral prohibitions, commonly known as the Stark Law. Where applicable, this law prohibits a physician from referring Medicare patients for “designated health services” such as laboratory and other diagnostic services and prescription drugs that are furnished at an entity if the physician or a member of such physician’s immediate family has a “financial relationship” with the entity, unless an exception applies. Sanctions for violating the Stark Law include denial of payment, civil monetary penalties of up to $26,125 per claim submitted and exclusion from the federal health care programs. Failure to refund amounts received as a result of a prohibited referral on a timely basis may constitute a false or fraudulent claim and may result in civil penalties and additional penalties under the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”). The statute also provides for a penalty of up to $174,172 for a circumvention scheme. The Stark Law is a strict liability statute, which means proof of specific intent to violate the law is not required. In addition, the government and some courts have taken the position that claims presented in violation of the various statutes, including the Stark Law, can be considered a violation of the FCA (described below) based on the contention that a provider impliedly certifies compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and other rules when submitting claims for reimbursement. A determination of liability under the Stark Law for TPN or our affiliated physicians could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
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Federal Anti-Kickback Statute
We will also be subject to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute if any of our services become reimbursable by government healthcare programs. The Anti-Kickback Statute is broadly worded and prohibits the knowing and willful offer, payment, solicitation or receipt of any form of remuneration in return for, or to induce, (i) the referral of a person covered by Medicare, Medicaid or other governmental programs, (ii) the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of items or services reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid or other governmental programs or (iii) the purchasing, leasing or ordering or arranging or recommending purchasing, leasing or ordering of any item or service reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid or other governmental programs. Certain federal courts have held that the Anti-Kickback Statute can be violated if “one purpose” of a payment is to induce referrals. In addition, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of this statute or specific intent to violate it to have committed a violation, making it easier for the government to prove that a defendant had the requisite state of mind or “scienter” required for a violation. Moreover, the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the FCA, as discussed below. Violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute may result in civil monetary penalties up to $105,563 for each violation, plus up to three times the remuneration involved. Civil penalties for such conduct can further be assessed under the FCA. Violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute can also result in criminal penalties, including criminal fines of more than $100,000 and imprisonment of up to 10 years. Similarly, violations can result in exclusion from participation in government healthcare programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. Imposition of any of these remedies could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, if in the future we provide services reimbursable by government healthcare programs. In addition to a few statutory exceptions, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) has published safe-harbor regulations that outline categories of activities that are deemed protected from prosecution under the Anti-Kickback Statute provided all applicable criteria are met. The failure of a financial relationship to meet all of the applicable safe harbor criteria does not necessarily mean that the particular arrangement violates the Anti-Kickback Statute. However, conduct and business arrangements that do not fully satisfy each applicable safe harbor may result in increased scrutiny by government enforcement authorities, such as the OIG.
False Claims Act
Both federal and state government agencies have continued civil and criminal enforcement efforts as part of numerous ongoing investigations of healthcare companies and their executives and managers. Although there are a number of civil and criminal statutes that can be applied to healthcare providers, a significant number of these investigations involve the FCA. These investigations can be initiated not only by the government but also by a private party asserting direct knowledge of fraud. These “qui tam” whistleblower lawsuits may be initiated against any person or entity alleging such person or entity has knowingly or recklessly presented, or caused to be presented, a false or fraudulent request for payment from the federal government, or has made a false statement or used a false record to get a claim approved. In addition, the improper retention of an overpayment for 60 days or more is also a basis for an FCA action, even if the claim was originally submitted appropriately. Penalties for FCA violations include fines ranging from $11,803 to $23,607 for each false claim, plus up to three times the amount of damages sustained by the federal government. An FCA violation may provide the basis for exclusion from the federally funded healthcare programs.
State Fraud and Abuse Laws
Several states in which we operate have also adopted or may adopt similar self-referral, anti-kickback, fraud, whistleblower and false claims laws as described above. The scope of these laws and the interpretations of them vary by jurisdiction and are enforced by local courts and regulatory authorities, each with broad discretion. Some state fraud and abuse laws apply to items or services reimbursed by Medicaid programs and any third-party payer, including commercial insurers or to any payer, including to funds paid out of pocket by a patient. A determination of liability under such state fraud and abuse laws could result in fines and penalties and restrictions on our ability to operate in these jurisdictions.
 
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Other Healthcare Laws
HIPAA established several separate criminal penalties for making false or fraudulent claims to insurance companies and other
non-governmental
payers of healthcare services. Under HIPAA, these two additional federal crimes are: “Healthcare Fraud” and “False Statements Relating to Healthcare Matters.” The Healthcare Fraud statute prohibits knowingly and recklessly executing a scheme or artifice to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private payers. A violation of this statute is a felony and may result in fines, imprisonment, or exclusion from government sponsored programs. The False Statements Relating to Healthcare Matters statute prohibits knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing, or covering up a material fact by any trick, scheme or device or making any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items, or services. A violation of this statute is a felony and may result in fines or imprisonment. This statute could be used by the government to assert criminal liability if a healthcare provider knowingly fails to refund an overpayment. These provisions are intended to punish some of the same conduct in the submission of claims to private payers as the federal False Claims Act covers in connection with governmental health programs.
In addition, the Civil Monetary Penalties Law imposes civil administrative sanctions for, among other violations, inappropriate billing of services to federally funded healthcare programs and employing or contracting with individuals or entities who are excluded from participation in federally funded healthcare programs. Moreover, a person who offers or transfers to a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary any remuneration, including waivers of copayments and deductible amounts (or any part thereof), that the person knows or should know is likely to influence the beneficiary’s selection of a particular provider, practitioner or supplier of Medicare or Medicaid payable items or services may be liable for civil monetary penalties of up to $10,000 for each wrongful act. Furthermore, in certain cases, providers who routinely waive copayments and deductibles for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries can also be held liable under the Anti-Kickback Statute and civil False Claims Act, which can impose additional penalties associated with the wrongful act. One of the statutory exceptions to the prohibition is
non-routine,
unadvertised waivers of copayments or deductible amounts based on individualized determinations of financial need or exhaustion of reasonable collection efforts. The OIG emphasizes, however, that this exception should only be used occasionally to address special financial needs of a particular patient. Although this prohibition applies only to federal healthcare program beneficiaries, the routine waivers of copayments and deductibles offered to patients covered by commercial payers may implicate applicable state laws related to, among other things, unlawful schemes to defraud, excessive fees for services, tortious interference with patient contracts, and statutory or common law fraud.
U.S. State and Federal Health Information Privacy and Security Laws
There are numerous U.S. federal and state laws and regulations related to the privacy and security of personal information, including health information. In particular, HIPAA imposes a number of requirements on covered entities and their business associates relating to the use, disclosure and safeguarding of protected health information. These requirements include uniform standards of common electronic healthcare transactions; privacy and security regulations; and unique identifier rules for employers, health plans and providers. In addition, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH, provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and corresponding implementing regulations have imposed additional requirements on the use and disclosure of protected health information such as additional breach notification and reporting requirements, contracting requirements for HIPAA business associate agreements, strengthened enforcement mechanisms and increased penalties for HIPAA violations. Federal consumer protection laws may also apply in some instances to privacy and security practices related to personal information.
Violations of HIPAA may result in civil and criminal penalties. However, a single breach incident can result in violations of multiple standards. Our management responsibilities to TPN include assisting it with its obligations under HIPAA’s breach notification rule. Under the breach notification rule, covered entities must
 
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notify affected individuals without unreasonable delay in the case of a breach of unsecured protected health information (“PHI”), which may compromise the privacy, security or integrity of the PHI. In addition, notification must be provided to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and the local media in cases where a breach affects more than 500 individuals. Breaches affecting fewer than 500 individuals must be reported to HHS on an annual basis. HIPAA also requires a business associate to notify its covered entity clients of breaches by the business associate.
State attorneys general also have the right to prosecute HIPAA violations committed against residents of their states. While HIPAA does not create a private right of action that would allow individuals to sue in civil court for a HIPAA violation, its standards have been used as the basis for the duty of care in state civil suits, such as those for negligence or recklessness in misusing personal information. In addition, HIPAA mandates that HHS conduct periodic compliance audits of HIPAA covered entities and their business associates for compliance. It also tasks HHS with establishing a methodology whereby harmed individuals who were the victims of breaches of unsecured PHI may receive a percentage of the civil monetary penalty fine paid by the violator. In light of the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule, recent enforcement activity, and statements from HHS, we expect increased federal and state HIPAA privacy and security enforcement efforts.
HIPAA also required HHS to adopt national standards for electronic transactions that all healthcare providers must use when submitting or receiving certain healthcare transactions electronically. On January 16, 2009, HHS released the final rule mandating that everyone covered by HIPAA must implement ICD 10 for medical coding on October 1, 2013, which was subsequently extended to October 1, 2015 and is now in effect.
Many states in which we operate and in which our patients reside also have laws that protect the privacy and security of sensitive and personal information, including health information. Moreover, state laws may be similar to or even more protective than HIPAA and other federal privacy laws. For example, the laws of the State of California, in which we operate, are more restrictive than HIPAA. Where state laws are more protective than HIPAA, we must comply with the state laws we are subject to, in addition to HIPAA. In certain cases, it may be necessary to modify our planned operations and procedures to comply with these more stringent state laws. Not only may some of these state laws impose fines and penalties upon violators, but, unlike HIPAA, some may afford private rights of action to individuals who believe their personal information has been misused. In addition, state laws are changing rapidly, and there is discussion of a new federal privacy law or federal breach notification law, to which we may be subject.
In addition to HIPAA and state health information privacy laws, we may be subject to other state and federal privacy laws, including laws that prohibit unfair privacy and security acts or practices and deceptive statements about privacy and security and laws that place specific requirements on certain types of activities, such as data security and texting. The FTC and states’ attorneys general have brought enforcement actions and prosecuted some data breach cases as unfair and/or deceptive acts or practices under the FTC Act and similar state laws. Further, the California Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (the “CCPA”), which took effect in 2020 and to which we are subject, imposes obligations and restrictions on businesses regarding their collection, use, and sharing of personal information and provides new and enhanced data privacy rights to California residents, such as affording them the right to access and delete their personal information and to opt out of certain sharing of personal information.
In recent years, there have been a number of well publicized data breaches involving the improper use and disclosure of personal information and PHI. Many states have responded to these incidents by enacting laws requiring holders of personal information to maintain safeguards and to take certain actions in response to a data breach, such as providing prompt notification of the breach to affected individuals and state officials and provide credit monitoring services and/or other relevant services to impacted individuals. In addition, under HIPAA and pursuant to the related contracts that we enter into with our clients who are covered entities, we must report breaches of unsecured PHI to our clients following discovery of the breach. Notification must also be made in certain circumstances to affected individuals, federal authorities and others.
 
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International Regulation
We expect over time to continue to expand our operations in foreign countries through both organic growth and acquisitions. In such a case, our international operations will be subject to different, and sometimes more stringent, legal and regulatory requirements, which vary widely by jurisdiction, including anti-corruption laws; economic sanctions laws; various data security insurance, tax, tariff and trade laws and regulations; corporate governance; various data security and data protection laws (including the EU General Data Protection Regulation and UK data privacy regime); labor and employment, intellectual property, consumer protection and investment laws and regulations; discriminatory licensing procedures; required localization of records and funds; and limitations on dividends and repatriation of capital. In addition, the expansion of our operations into foreign countries increases our exposure to the anti-bribery, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering provisions of U.S. law, including the FCPA, and corresponding foreign laws, including the UK Bribery Act.
The FCPA prohibits offering, promising or authorizing others to give anything of value to a foreign government official to obtain or retain business or otherwise secure a business advantage. We also are subject to applicable anti-corruption laws of the jurisdictions in which we operate. Violations of the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws may result in severe criminal and civil sanctions as well as other penalties, and the SEC and the DOJ have increased their enforcement activities with respect to the FCPA. The UK Bribery Act is an anti-corruption law that is broader in scope than the FCPA and applies to all companies with a nexus to the United Kingdom. Disclosures of FCPA violations may be shared with the UK authorities, thus potentially exposing companies to liability and potential penalties in multiple jurisdictions. We have internal control policies and procedures and conduct training and compliance programs for our employees to deter prohibited practices. However, if our employees or agents fail to comply with applicable laws governing our international operations, we may face investigations, prosecutions and other legal proceedings and actions which could result in civil penalties, administrative remedies and criminal sanctions.
We also are subject to regulation by OFAC. OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. In addition, we may be subject to similar regulations in the
non-U.S.
jurisdictions in which we operate.
Intellectual Property
It is important to our business that we establish, protect and enforce our intellectual property. We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws as well as confidentiality procedures, contractual provisions and other legal rights to establish and enforce our brand, proprietary technology and other intellectual property rights.
As of February 21, 2022, the Company has been approved for one patent related to “System and Method in Monitoring Engagement” which relates to the tracking of therapeutic progress between therapist and client. We also have one patent that is pending and several other conditional applications in the United States. We intend to continue to apply for additional patents relating to our software and technology. We cannot assure you whether any of our patent applications will result in the issuance of a patent or whether the examination process will require us to narrow our claims.
We own and use trademarks and service marks on or in connection with our business and services, including both unregistered marks and registered trademarks in the United States. In addition, we rely on other forms of intellectual property protection including trade secrets,
know-how
and other unpatented proprietary processes, in each case in support of our business. We make efforts to maintain and protect our intellectual property and the proprietary aspects of our products and technologies, including through the use of nondisclosure agreements and the monitoring of our competitors. Although we take steps to protect our trade secrets and
know-how,
third
 
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parties may independently develop or otherwise gain access to our trade secrets and
know-how
by lawful means. We require our employees, consultants and certain of our contractors to execute confidentiality agreements in connection with their employment or consulting relationships with us but these agreements may not provide meaningful protection, and we cannot guarantee that we have executed such agreements with all applicable counterparties. Furthermore, these agreements also may be breached, and we may not have an adequate remedy for any such breach. We also require our employees and consultants to disclose and assign to us inventions conceived during the term of their employment or engagement while using our property or which relate to our business. We also license certain intellectual property rights that are used in our business from third parties.
From time to time, we may become involved in legal proceedings relating to intellectual property arising in the ordinary course of our business, including oppositions to our applications for patents, trademarks, challenges to the validity of our intellectual property rights, and claims of intellectual property infringement. We are not presently a party to any such legal proceedings that, in the opinion of our management, would individually or taken together have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Legal Proceedings
From time to time, we may become involved in legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of our business. We are not presently a party to any legal proceedings that, in the opinion of our management, would individually or taken together have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. See Note 9, “Commitments and Contingent Liabilities” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further details.
 
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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL
CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis provides information that our management believes is relevant to an assessment and understanding of our consolidated results of operations and financial condition. The discussion should be read together with our audited annual consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2021 and 2020 and for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, and the respective notes thereto, included elsewhere in this prospectus.
This discussion may contain forward-looking statements based upon current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth in the section of this prospectus titled “Risk Factors.”
Overview
As a healthcare company enabled by a purpose-built technology platform, Talkspace offers convenient and affordable access to a fully-credentialed network of highly qualified providers. We are a leading virtual behavioral health company and, since Talkspace’s founding in 2012, we have connected millions of patients, who we refer to as our members, with licensed mental health providers across a wide and growing spectrum of care through virtual counseling, psychotherapy and psychiatry. We created a purpose-built platform to address the vast, unmet and growing demand for mental health services of our members, serving our B2C channel, comprised of individual consumers who subscribe directly to our platform, and our B2B channel, comprised of large enterprise clients such as Google and Expedia and large health plans and employee assistance programs (“health plan clients”) such as Aetna, Cigna, Premera and Optum (collectively, our “clients”), who offer their employees and insured members access to our platform while their employer is under an active contract with Talkspace or at
in-network
reimbursement rates, where applicable.
For the year ended December 31, 2021, approximately 280,000 members were registered on our platform, as compared to approximately 200,000 for the year ended December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2021, we had approximately 56,000 active members receiving care through our B2C and B2B channels, including approximately 24,000 B2C active members, and approximately 69 million B2B eligible lives. We consider members “active” (i) in the case of our B2C members, commencing on the date such member initiates contact with a provider on our platform until the term of their monthly, quarterly or
bi-annual
subscription plan expires, unless terminated early and (ii) in the case of our B2B members, if such members have engaged on our platform during the preceding 25 days, such as sending a text, video or audio message to, or participating in a video call with, a provider, completing a satisfaction or progress report survey or signing up for our platform. While a growth in active members typically highlights strong engagement with our members, not all active members are associated with revenue in that particular period. We consider B2B lives “eligible” if such persons are eligible to receive treatment on the Talkspace platform, in the case of our enterprise clients, while their employer is under an active contract with Talkspace, or, in the case of health plan clients, at an agreed upon reimbursement rate through insurance under an employee assistance program or other network behavioral health paid benefit program. There may be instances where a person may be covered through multiple solutions, typically through behavioral health plans and employee assistance programs. In these instances, the person is counted each time they are covered in the B2B eligible lives calculation, which may cause this amount to reflect a higher number of members than we actually serve. For the year ended December 31, 2021, our clinicians completed 273,700 B2B sessions related to members covered under our health plan clients, as compared to 114,600 completed B2B sessions for the year ended December 31, 2020.
The behavioral health market has traditionally been underserved for a number of reasons, including as a result of inadequate access, a limited universe of qualified providers, high cost and social stigma. We believe virtual is the ideal modality for mental health treatment because it removes or reduces these burdens associated
 
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with traditional
face-to-face
mental health services by improving convenience through 24/7 access to our platform, providing more accessible entry level price points, and reducing associated stigmas by promoting transparency, increasing ease of access and preserving privacy. Our platform connects consumers in need, including many of whom have never had an opportunity to benefit from high-quality behavioral healthcare, with experienced providers across all 50 U.S. states.
Through our psychotherapy offerings, our licensed therapists and counselors treat mental health conditions in over 21 specializations, such as depression, anxiety, trauma and other human challenges. Through our psychiatry offerings, our board-certified psychiatrists and prescription-eligible nurse practitioners treat a higher acuity patient demographic, including those who may have pharmacological needs. Like the traditional
face-to-face
models, Talkspace providers are able to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, bipolar disorders and depression, including through prescription medication and management from psychiatrists, up and until the point that the provider, in their discretion, feels it prudent to refer the member to a
face-to-face
psychiatrist to address potential needs for “controlled substances” under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which generally prohibits the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances via telehealth without performing an
in-person
examination.
While optimizing consumers’ access to care, we believe our platform also provides benefits to providers through expanded reach, steady access to member leads, reduced administrative burdens, more efficient time utilization and data-driven insights. These features, together with continuous training and professional growth opportunities we offer, empower providers to deliver what we believe will enable an enhanced care journey, higher member lifetime engagement, meaningful outcomes and greater margins when compared to
face-to-face
treatment.
Recent Events
On January 12, 2021, HEC, entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of January 12, 2021 (the “Merger Agreement”), with Groop Internet Platform, Inc. (“Old Talkspace”), Tailwind Merger Sub I, Inc., a Delaware corporation and a direct wholly owned subsidiary of HEC (“First Merger Sub”), and Tailwind Merger Sub II, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Second Merger Sub”).
On June 22, 2021, as contemplated by the Merger Agreement, First Merger Sub merged with and into Old Talkspace (the “First Merger”) with Old Talkspace surviving the First Merger, and immediately following the First Merger and as part of the same overall transaction as the First Merger, Old Talkspace merged with and into Second Merger Sub, with Second Merger Sub surviving the merger as a wholly owned subsidiary of HEC (the “Second Merger” and, together with the First Merger, the “Business Combination”). In connection with the Business Combination, HEC filed the Certificate of Incorporation and changed its name to “Talkspace, Inc.”
COVID-19
Update
While the global crisis resulting from the spread of
COVID-19
has not had a negative impact on our business and results of operations so far, the
COVID-19
pandemic has caused general business disruption worldwide. The full extent to which the
COVID-19
pandemic will directly or indirectly impact our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be accurately predicted, and we continue to closely monitor how the
COVID-19
pandemic is impacting our business. Thus far, we believe that the
COVID-19
pandemic has been a contributing factor to the acceleration of growth of our business. However, we cannot determine the extent to which our results of operations and overall financial performance have been affected by the
COVID-19
pandemic. While our financial condition and results of operations were not negatively impacted by the
COVID-19
pandemic, the impact of the pandemic on our future growth, results of operations, cash flow and financial condition is unknown, and we are unable to accurately predict such future impact. There can be no assurance that the circumstances that have accelerated the growth of our business stemming from the effects of the
COVID-19
pandemic will continue over time whether
 
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during or after the
COVID-19
pandemic. See “Risk Factors” for further discussion of the impacts of the
COVID-19
pandemic on our business.
Operating Segments
We operate our business in a single segment and as one reporting unit, which is how our chief operating decision maker (who is our interim chief executive officer) reviews financial performance and allocates resources.
Key Business Metrics
We monitor the following key metrics to help us evaluate our business, identify trends affecting our business, formulate business plans and make strategic decisions. We believe the following metrics are useful in evaluating our business:
 
    
For the Years Ended
December 31,
 
(in thousands except number of health plan and enterprise clients or otherwise
indicated)
  
2021
    
2020
 
Number of B2C active members at year end
     23.8        29.5  
Number of B2B eligible lives at year end
(in millions)
     69        39  
Number of completed B2B sessions
     273.7        114.6  
Number of health plan clients at year end
     11        10  
Number of enterprise clients at year end
     158        72  
Total number of active members at year end
     55.6        50.0  
Total number of members treated on Talkspace platform
     279.3        197.3  
Active Members
: We consider members “active” (i) in the case of our B2C members, commencing on the date such member initiates contact with a provider on our platform until the term of their monthly, quarterly or
bi-annual
subscription plan expires, unless terminated early and (ii) in the case of our B2B members, if such members have engaged on our platform during the preceding 25 days, such as sending a text, video or audio message to, or participating in a video call with, a provider, completing a satisfaction or progress report survey or signing up for our platform. While a growth in active members typically highlights strong engagement with our members, not all active members are associated with revenue in that particular period.
B2B Eligible Lives
: We consider B2B lives “eligible” if such persons are eligible to receive treatment on the Talkspace platform, in the case of our enterprise clients, while their employer is under an active contract with Talkspace, or, in the case of health plan clients, at an agreed upon reimbursement rate through insurance under an employee assistance program or other network behavioral health paid benefit program. There may be instances where a person may be covered through multiple solutions, typically through behavioral health plans and employee assistance programs. In these instances, the person is counted each time they are covered in the B2B eligible lives calculation, which may cause this amount to reflect a higher number of members than we actually serve.
Non-GAAP Financial
Measures
In addition to our financial results determined in accordance with GAAP, we believe adjusted EBITDA,
a non-GAAP measure,
is useful in evaluating our operating performance. We use adjusted EBITDA to evaluate our ongoing operations and for internal planning and forecasting purposes. We believe that this
non-GAAP
financial measure, when taken together with the corresponding GAAP financial measures, provides meaningful supplemental information regarding our performance by excluding certain items that may not be indicative of our business, results of operations or outlook. We believe that the use of adjusted EBITDA is helpful to our investors as it is a metric used by management in assessing the health of our business and our operating performance.
 
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However, non-GAAP financial
information is presented for supplemental informational purposes only, has limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP. In addition, other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate similarly
titled non-GAAP measures
differently or may use other measures to evaluate their performance, all of which could reduce the usefulness of
our non-GAAP financial
measure as a tool for comparison. A reconciliation is provided below for this
non-GAAP
financial measure to net loss, the most directly comparable financial measure stated in accordance with GAAP. Investors are encouraged to review our GAAP financial measure and the reconciliation of
our non-GAAP financial
measure to its most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, and not to rely on any single financial measure to evaluate our business.
Adjusted EBITDA
Adjusted EBITDA is a key performance measure that our management uses to assess our operating performance. Because adjusted EBITDA facilitates internal comparisons of our historical operating performance on a more consistent basis, we use this measure for business planning purposes and in evaluating acquisition opportunities.
We calculate adjusted EBITDA as net loss adjusted to exclude (i) interest and other expenses (income), net, (ii) tax expense, (iii) depreciation and amortization, (iv) stock-based compensation expense and (v) certain
non-recurring
expenses, where applicable.
The following table presents a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA from the most comparable GAAP measure, net loss for the year ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019:
 
    
Year Ended
December 31,
 
(in thousands)
  
2021
    
2020
    
2019
 
Net loss
   $ (62,742    $ (22,370    $ (29,086
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Add:
        
Depreciation and amortization
     1,973        379        59  
Financial (income) expenses, net
(1)
     (31,228      364        (350
Taxes on income
     47        24        8  
Non-recurring
expenses
(2)
     3,677        177        —    
Stock-based compensation
     27,405        2,977        3,404  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Adjusted EBITDA
   $ (60,868    $ (18,449    $ (25,965
 
(1)
For the year ended December 31, 2021, financial income, net, primarily consisted of $36.0 million in gains resulting from the revaluation of warrant liabilities, partially offset by $4.2 million in warrant issuance costs in connection with the Closing of the Business Combination.
(2)
For the year ended December 31, 2021,
non-recurring
expenses primarily consisted of severance costs related to the separation of Oren Frank and Roni Frank,
co-founders
and former executives of the Company, in November 2021. For the year ended December 31, 2020, nonrecurring expenses consisted of legal expenses related to the acquisition of Lasting in November 2020.
Some of the limitations of adjusted EBITDA include (i) adjusted EBITDA does not properly reflect capital commitments to be paid in the future and (ii) although depreciation and amortization are
non-cash
charges, the underlying assets may need to be replaced and adjusted EBITDA does not reflect these capital expenditures. Our adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies because they may not calculate adjusted EBITDA in the same manner as we calculate the measure, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure. In evaluating adjusted EBITDA, you should be aware that in the future we will incur expenses similar to the adjustments described herein. Our presentation of adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by these expenses or any unusual or
 
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non-recurring
items. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to loss before income taxes, net loss, loss per share, or any other performance measures derived in accordance with U.S. GAAP. When evaluating our performance, you should consider adjusted EBITDA alongside other financial performance measures, including our net loss and other GAAP results.
Components of Results of Operations
Revenues
We generate revenues from the sale of monthly, quarterly,
bi-annual
and annual membership subscriptions to our therapy platform as well as supplementary a la carte offerings, payments from members and their respective insurance companies and annually contracted platform access fees paid to us by our enterprise clients for the delivery of therapy services to their members or employees. We recognize B2C member subscription revenues ratably over the subscription period, beginning when therapy services commence. B2C members may cancel at any time and will receive a
pro-rata
refund for the subscription price.
We recognize contracted revenue from our enterprise clients from the commencement of their contracted term through the annual period based primarily on a
per-member-per
month model. We recognize revenues from services provided to insured members at a point in time, as virtual therapy session is rendered. Revenue is recognized in an amount that reflects the consideration that is expected in exchange for the service. Contracts with our enterprise clients are for one or more years with the ability to provide 60 days advance notice prior to termination at each year mark during the term. On occasion and depending on the client, we allow a 60 or 90 day intra-year termination notice but only after the client has completed the first year of service.
Revenue growth is generated from increasing our membership subscriptions, contracting with enterprise clients and health plans.
We have demonstrated continued revenue growth during the last three years as a direct result of the increased penetration of the
direct-to-consumer
market, and the Company’s 2018 entry into the commercial insurance and enterprise sales markets. The Company’s revenues grew 99.6% from $38.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 to $76.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, and 49.2% from $76.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 to $113.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Cost of Revenues
Cost of revenues is comprised of therapist payments and hosting costs. Cost of revenues is largely driven by the size of our provider network that is required to service the growth of our customer base, in addition to the growth of our health plan and enterprise clients.
We designed our business model and our provider network to be scalable and to leverage a hybrid model of both employee providers and independently contracted providers to support multiple growth scenarios. The compensation paid to our independently contracted providers is variable, and the amount paid to a provider is generally based on the amount of time committed by such provider to our members. In addition, our network supervisors have broad authority to approve the payment of incentive bonuses to providers with certain licenses during periods of higher demand for providers with such licenses. For our employee providers, they receive a fixed-salary and discretionary bonuses, where applicable.
While we expect increased investments to support accelerated growth and the required investment to scale our provider network, we also expect increased efficiencies and economies of scale. Our cost of revenues as a percentage of revenues is expected to fluctuate from period to period depending on the interplay of these aforementioned factors.
 
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Operating Expenses
Operating expenses consist of research and development, clinical operations, sales and marketing, and general and administrative expenses.
Research and Development Expenses
Research and development expenses include personnel and related expenses for software development and engineering, information technology infrastructure, security and privacy compliance and product development (inclusive of stock-based compensation for our research and development employees), third-party services and contractors related to research and development, information technology, software-related costs and cost savings related to the application of research grant proceeds.
We expect research and development expenses will increase on an absolute dollar basis as we continue to grow our platform and product offerings; however, the anticipated corresponding future revenue growth is expected to result in lower research and development expenses as a percentage of revenue.
Clinical Operations Expenses
Clinical operations expenses are associated with the management of our provider network of therapists. Such costs are comprised of costs related to recruiting, onboarding, credentialing, training and ongoing quality assurance activities (inclusive of stock-based compensation for our clinical operations employees), costs of third-party services and contractors related to recruiting and training and software-related costs.
We expect clinical operations expenses will increase on an absolute dollar basis as we continue to grow our provider network and product offerings.
Sales and Marketing Expenses
Sales expenses consist primarily of employee-related expenses, including salaries, benefits, commissions, travel and stock-based compensation costs for our employees engaged in sales and account management.
We expect our sales expenses to increase as we continue to invest in the expansion of our health plan and enterprise business. We expect to hire additional sales personnel and related account management personnel to properly service our increasing client base, to develop additional growth opportunities within existing clients and to develop new market opportunities.
Marketing expenses consist primarily of advertising and marketing expenses for consumer acquisition and engagement, as well as personnel costs, including salaries, benefits, bonuses, stock-based compensation expense for marketing employees, third-party services and contractors. Marketing expenses also include third-party software subscription services, third-party independent research, participation in trade shows, brand messaging and costs of communications materials that are produced for our clients to generate greater awareness and utilization of our platform among our health plan and enterprise clients.
Consumer marketing expenses are primarily driven by investments to grow and retain our consumer base and may fluctuate as a percentage of our total revenue from period to period due to the timing and extent of our advertising and marketing expenses.
General and Administrative Expenses
General and administrative expenses consist primarily of personnel costs, including salaries, benefits, bonuses and stock-based compensation expense for our executive, finance, accounting, legal and human resources functions, as well as professional fees, occupancy costs, and other general overhead costs. We expect
 
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to incur additional general and administrative expenses in compliance, legal, investor relations, director’s and officer’s insurance, and professional services related to our compliance and reporting obligations as a public company.
We also anticipate that as we continue to grow as a company our general and administrative expenses will increase on an absolute dollar basis. However, we expect our general and administrative expenses to decrease as a percentage of our total revenue over the next several years.
Financial income (expense), net
Financial income (expense), net, includes the impact from changes in the fair value of our warrant liabilities, issuance costs related to our warrant liabilities, interest earned on cash equivalents deposited in our bank accounts and other financial expenses in connection with bank charges.
Taxes on income
Our taxes on income consists primarily of foreign income taxes related to income generated by our subsidiary organized under the laws of Israel. As we expand the scale of our international business activities, any changes in the U.S. and foreign taxation of such activities may increase our overall provision for income taxes in the future.
We have a full valuation allowance for our U.S. deferred tax assets, including federal and state NOLs. We expect to maintain this valuation allowance until it becomes more likely than not that the benefit of our federal and state deferred tax assets will be realized through expected future taxable income in the United States.
Results of Operations
Year Ended December 31, 2021 Compared to December 31, 2020
The following table presents the results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 and the dollar and percentage change between the respective periods:
 
    
Year ended
December 31,
    
Variance
 
    
2021
    
2020
    
$
    
%
 
    
(
$ in thousands, except percentages, share and per share data
)
 
Revenues
   $ 113,671      $ 76,190      $ 37,481        49.2  
Cost of revenues
     46,889        26,353        20,546        78.0  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Gross profit
     66,772        49,837        16,935        34.0  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Operating expenses:
           
Research and development, net
     15,919        9,583        6,336        66.1  
Clinical operations
     9,365        4,332        5,033        116.2  
Sales and marketing
     100,641        47,705        52,936        111.0  
General and administrative
     34,770        10,199        24,571        240.9  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Total operating expenses
     160,695        71,819        88,876        123.7  
Operating loss
     93,923        21,982        71,941        327.3  
Financial (income) expenses, net
     (31,228      364        (31,592      *  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Loss before taxes on income
     62,695        22,346        40,349        180.6  
Taxes on income
     47        24        23        95.8  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Net loss
   $ 62,742      $ 22,370        40,372        180.5  
Net loss per share
           
Basic and Diluted
(1)
   $ 0.72      $ 1.67      $ (0.95      (56.9
Weighted average number of common shares
           
Basic and Diluted
(1)
     86,775,948        13,359,350        73,416,598        549.6  
* Percentage not meaningful
 
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(1) Prior period results have been adjusted to reflect the exchange of Old Talkspace’s common stock for Talkspace’s common stock at an exchange ratio of approximately 1.134140 in June 2021 as a result of the Business Combination. See Note 3, “Business Combination” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further details.
Revenues
Revenues increased by $37.5 million, or 49.2%, to $113.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $76.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The increase was principally driven by an increase in year-over-year revenue from existing health plan clients, increased B2C member subscriptions and the addition of new enterprise clients, partially offset by higher revenue reserves primarily from our existing health plan clients. Revenue from our health plan clients, prior to the impact of revenue reserves, increased by $16.5 million, or 166.1%, to $26.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $9.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. During the year ended December 31, 2021, the Company recorded an increase in the revenue reserves of $4.1 million related to receivables from its health plan clients. This compares to an increase of $0.8 million in revenue reserves recorded during the year ended December 31, 2020. B2C member subscriptions revenue increased by $13.2 million, or 21.4%, to $74.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $61.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. Enterprise client contracts increased by 86 clients, or 119.4%, to 158 clients as of December 31, 2021 from 72 clients as of December 31, 2020. The increase in the number of enterprise clients increased revenue by $11.1 million, or 201.4%, to $16.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $5.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. We believe that the appeal of our technology platform, the quality of our providers and the cost of our services will continue to represent the primary drivers of revenue growth from B2C members and B2B clients.
Costs of revenues
Cost of revenues increased by $20.5 million, or 78.0%, to $46.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $26.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to costs associated with an increase of providers on our platform. This increase of providers was required to service the increased demand for our therapy services in both our B2C and B2B businesses.
Total employee provider headcount was 287 as of December 31, 2021.
Gross profit
Gross profit increased by $16.9 million, or 34.0%, to $66.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $49.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. This increase was primarily due to the 49.2% increase in revenues, partially offset by higher cost of revenues due to an increase of providers on our platform to support our increased demand. Gross margin was 58.7% for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to 65.4% during the year ended December 31, 2020. The decrease in gross margin was due primarily to a revenue shift to our B2B business, higher revenue reserves and growth in our employee provider headcount during the year ended December 31, 2021.
Research and development expenses
Research and development expenses increased by $6.3 million, or 66.1%, to $15.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $9.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. This was primarily due to an increase of $6.4 million in employee-related costs, inclusive of
non-cash
stock compensation expense, partially offset by $1.0 million in cost savings related to the application of research grant proceeds.
Total research and development employee headcount increased to 57 employees as of December 31, 2021, as compared to 38 employees as of December 31, 2020.
 
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Clinical operations expenses
Clinical operations expenses increased by $5.0 million, or 116.2%, to $9.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $4.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. This was primarily due to an increase of $3.6 million in employee-related costs, inclusive of
non-cash
stock compensation expense, and a $0.9 million increase in provider recruiting costs.
Total clinical operation employee headcount increased to 31 employees as of December 31, 2021, as compared to 21 employees as of December 31, 2020.
Sales and marketing expenses
Sales and marketing expenses increased by $52.9 million, or 111.0%, to $100.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $47.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The increase in sales and marketing expenses primarily consisted of a $38.4 million increase in direct marketing and promotional costs and a $10.6 million increase in employee-related costs inclusive of commissions and
non-cash
stock compensation expense.
Total sales and marketing employee headcount increased to 84 employees as of December 31, 2021, as compared to 61 employees as of December 31, 2020.
General and administrative expenses
General and administrative expenses increased by $24.6 million, or 240.9%, to $34.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $10.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. This was primarily due to an increase of $19.5 million in employee-related costs inclusive of
non-cash
stock compensation expense of which $10.1 million related primarily to the Closing of the Business Combination, a $3.1 million increase in consulting and professional fees, and a $1.7 million increase in insurance costs.
We expect to incur additional general and administrative costs in compliance, legal, investor relations, insurance, and professional services related to our compliance and reporting obligations as a public company. We also anticipate that as we continue to grow as a company our general and administrative costs will increase on an absolute dollar basis. However, we expect our general and administrative expenses to decrease as a percentage of our total revenue over the next several years.
Total general and administrative employee headcount increased to 37 employees as of December 31, 2021, as compared to 18 employees as of December 31, 2020.
Financial income (expense), net
Financial income, net was $31.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to financial expense, net of $0.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The change in financial income (expense), net was primarily driven by gains resulting from the revaluation of warrant liabilities during the year ended December 31, 2021, partially offset by $4.2 million in warrant issuance costs related to the Closing of the Business Combination.
Taxes on income
Taxes on income were minimal for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020.
 
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Year Ended December 31, 2020 Compared to December 31, 2019
The following table presents the results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2019:
 
    
Year ended
December 31,
    
Variance
 
    
2020
    
2019
    
$
    
%
 
    
(
$ in thousands, except percentages, share and per
share data
)
 
Revenues
   $ 76,190      $ 38,178      $ 38,012        99.6  
Cost of revenues
     26,353        18,042        8,311        46.1  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Gross profit
     49,837        20,136        29,701        147.5  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Operating expenses:
           
Research and development
     9,583        11,997        (2,414      20.1  
Clinical operations
     4,332        4,672        (340      7.3  
Sales and marketing
     47,705        27,536        20,169        73.2  
General and administrative
     10,199        5,359        4,840        90.3  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Total operating expenses
     71,819        49,564        22,255        44.9  
Operating loss
     21,982        29,428        (7,446      25.3  
Financial expenses (income), net
     364        (350      714        204.0  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Loss before taxes on income
     22,346        29,078        (6,732      23.2  
Taxes on i