TrueCar
TrueCar, Inc. (Form: 10-Q, Received: 11/09/2016 16:20:03)
Table of Contents

 

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-Q 
x QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 
For the quarterly period ended September 30, 2016
¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission File Number: 001-36449
 
 
TRUECAR, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
Delaware
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
04-3807511
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
 
120 Broadway, Suite 200
Santa Monica, California 90401
(800) 200-2000
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices) 
 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No   ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x     No   ¨  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer ¨
Accelerated filer x
Non-accelerated filer ¨
(do not check if a
smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company ¨
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ¨  No  x
As of November 3, 2016 , 85,461,094 shares of the registrant’s common stock were outstanding.
 




Table of Contents

TRUECAR, INC.
INDEX
 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties.  Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or our future financial or operating performance.  In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “likely,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “projects,” “seeks,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. Forward-looking statements contained in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q include, but are not limited to, statements about:
our future financial performance and our expectations regarding our revenue, cost of revenue, gross profit or gross margin, operating expenses, ability to grow revenue, ability to generate cash flow, and ability to achieve, and maintain, future profitability; 
our relationship with key industry participants, including car dealers and automobile manufacturers;
anticipated trends, growth rates and challenges in our business and in the markets in which we operate;
our ability to anticipate market needs and develop new and enhanced products and services to meet those needs, and our ability to successfully monetize them; 
maintaining and expanding our customer base in key geographies, including our ability to increase the number of high volume brand dealers in our network generally and in key geographies; 
our reliance on our third-party service providers; 
the impact of competition in our industry and innovation by our competitors; 
our anticipated growth and growth strategies, including our ability to increase the rate at which site visitors obtain Guaranteed Savings Certificates and close rates;  
our ability to anticipate or adapt to future changes in our industry; 
the impact of seasonality on our business; 
our ability to hire and retain necessary qualified employees, including anticipated additions to our dealer, product and technology teams;  
our ability to integrate recent additions to our management team; 
our continuing ability to provide customers access to our products and services and the impact of any failure of our solution innovations; 
the evolution of technology affecting our products, services and markets; 
our ability to adequately protect our intellectual property; 
the anticipated effect on our business of litigation to which we are a party; 
our ability to stay abreast of new or modified laws and regulations that currently apply or become applicable to our business; 
the expense and administrative workload associated with being a public company; 
failure to maintain an effective system of internal controls necessary to accurately report our financial results and prevent fraud;
our liquidity and working capital requirements;
the estimates and estimate methodologies used in preparing our consolidated financial statements;
the future trading prices of our common stock and the impact of securities analysts’ reports on these prices;
the preceding and other factors discussed in Part II, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” and in other reports we may file with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time; and
the factors set forth in Part I, Item 2, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
We caution you that the foregoing list may not contain all of the forward-looking statements made in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. We discuss these risks in greater detail in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.  Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statements are made. We assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws. If we do update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that we will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.

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TRUECAR, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except par value and share data)
(Unaudited)
 
September 30, 2016
 
December 31, 2015
 
 
 
 
Assets
 
 
 
Current assets
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
102,973

 
$
112,371

Accounts receivable, net of allowances of $2,362 and $2,720 at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, respectively (includes related party receivables of $318 and $328 at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, respectively)
35,872

 
33,761

Prepaid expenses
7,205

 
6,048

Other current assets
1,417

 
779

Total current assets
147,467

 
152,959

Property and equipment, net
67,238

 
71,390

Goodwill
53,270

 
53,270

Intangible assets, net
20,740

 
23,815

Other assets
1,251

 
940

Total assets
$
289,966

 
$
302,374

Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity
 
 
 
Current liabilities
 
 
 
Accounts payable (includes related party payables of $2,414 and $7,490 at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, respectively)
$
13,009

 
$
18,880

Accrued employee expenses
8,555

 
7,799

Accrued expenses and other current liabilities (includes related party accrued expenses of $655 and $318 at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, respectively)
11,809

 
12,425

Total current liabilities
33,373

 
39,104

Deferred tax liabilities
2,850

 
2,413

Lease financing obligations, net of current portion
28,774

 
26,987

Other liabilities
2,574

 
1,178

Total liabilities
67,571

 
69,682

Commitments and contingencies (Note 6)

 

Stockholders’ Equity
 
 
 
Preferred stock — $0.0001 par value; 20,000,000 shares authorized at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, respectively; no shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015

 

Common stock — $0.0001 par value; 1,000,000,000 shares authorized at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015; 85,289,658 and 83,016,735 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, respectively
8

 
8

Additional paid-in capital
532,672

 
508,584

Accumulated deficit
(310,285
)
 
(275,900
)
Total stockholders’ equity
222,395

 
232,692

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity
$
289,966

 
$
302,374

See accompanying notes to condensed consolidated financial statements.

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Table of Contents

TRUECAR, INC. 
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE LOSS
(in thousands except per share data)
(Unaudited)
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
Revenues
$
75,139

 
$
72,405

 
$
203,426

 
$
196,250

Costs and operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization presented separately below)
6,320

 
5,952

 
18,910

 
17,670

Sales and marketing (includes related party expenses of $3,724 and $7,701 for the three months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015, and $10,384 and $17,872 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively)
42,557

 
43,969

 
112,797

 
116,135

Technology and development
13,153

 
12,340

 
40,315

 
33,079

General and administrative
13,765

 
16,467

 
45,259

 
53,643

Depreciation and amortization
6,035

 
4,477

 
17,807

 
12,521

Total costs and operating expenses
81,830

 
83,205

 
235,088

 
233,048

Loss from operations
(6,691
)
 
(10,800
)
 
(31,662
)
 
(36,798
)
Interest income
91

 
27

 
286

 
71

Interest expense
(645
)
 
(159
)
 
(1,885
)
 
(322
)
Other income

 

 

 
14

Loss before provision for income taxes
(7,245
)
 
(10,932
)
 
(33,261
)
 
(37,035
)
Provision for income taxes
191

 
173

 
497

 
432

Net loss
$
(7,436
)
 
$
(11,105
)
 
$
(33,758
)
 
$
(37,467
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss per share, basic and diluted
$
(0.09
)
 
$
(0.13
)
 
$
(0.40
)
 
$
(0.46
)
Weighted average common shares outstanding, basic and diluted
84,822

 
82,417

 
84,075

 
81,637

Other comprehensive loss :
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Comprehensive loss
$
(7,436
)
 
$
(11,105
)
 
$
(33,758
)
 
$
(37,467
)
See accompanying notes to condensed consolidated financial statements.


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TRUECAR, INC. 
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
(in thousands except share data)
(Unaudited)  
 
Common Stock
 
 
 
Accumulated
Deficit
 
Stockholders’
Equity
 
Shares
 
Amount
 
APIC
 
 
Balance at December 31, 2015
83,016,735

 
$
8

 
$
508,584

 
$
(275,900
)
 
$
232,692

Cumulative-effect of accounting change adopted as of January 1, 2016

 

 
627

 
(627
)
 

Net loss

 

 

 
(33,758
)
 
(33,758
)
Stock-based compensation

 

 
18,793

 

 
18,793

Issuance of warrants relating to marketing agreements

 

 
13

 

 
13

Shares issued in connection with employee stock plans, net of shares withheld for employee taxes
2,272,923

 

 
4,655

 

 
4,655

Balance at September 30, 2016
85,289,658

 
$
8

 
$
532,672

 
$
(310,285
)
 
$
222,395

See accompanying notes to condensed consolidated financial statements.


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Table of Contents

TRUECAR, INC. 
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(in thousands)
(Unaudited)
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
Cash flows from operating activities
 
 
 
Net loss
$
(33,758
)
 
$
(37,467
)
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization
17,711

 
12,474

Deferred income taxes
437

 
415

Bad debt expense and other reserves
817

 
605

Stock-based compensation
18,033

 
26,151

Common stock warrant expense
13

 
(788
)
Non-cash interest expense on lease financing obligation
314

 

Write-off and loss on disposal of fixed assets
392

 
177

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
 
 
 
Accounts receivable
(2,928
)
 
(9,249
)
Prepaid expenses
(1,181
)
 
117

Other current assets
(638
)
 
1,097

Other assets
(311
)
 
(507
)
Accounts payable
(5,134
)
 
7,337

Accrued employee expenses
756

 
(8,387
)
Accrued expenses and other liabilities
1,479

 
(1,694
)
Other liabilities
1,396

 
7

Net cash used in operating activities
(2,602
)
 
(9,712
)
Cash flows from investing activities
 
 
 
Purchase of property and equipment
(12,872
)
 
(19,626
)
Net cash used in investing activities
(12,872
)
 
(19,626
)
Cash flows from financing activities
 

 
 

Repurchase of common stock option awards
(100
)
 

Proceeds from exercise of common stock options
5,406

 
5,566

Taxes paid related to net share settlement of equity awards
(751
)
 
(683
)
Proceeds from financing obligation drawdown
1,521

 
622

Net cash provided by financing activities
6,076

 
5,505

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents
(9,398
)
 
(23,833
)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period
112,371

 
147,539

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period
$
102,973

 
$
123,706

Supplemental disclosures of non-cash activities
 

 
 

Recognition of leased facility asset acquired and lease financing obligation

 
23,349

Stock-based compensation capitalized for software development
760

 
1,064

Change in capitalized assets included in accounts payable, accrued employee expenses and other accrued expenses
(2,780
)
 
4,313

 See accompanying notes to condensed consolidated financial statements.

7


TRUECAR, INC. 
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)
1.
Organization and Nature of Business
TrueCar, Inc. (“TrueCar”) is an Internet-based information, technology, and communication services company. Hereinafter, TrueCar, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries TrueCar.com, Inc. and ALG, Inc. are collectively referred to as “TrueCar” or the “Company”; TrueCar.com, Inc. is referred to as “TrueCar.com” and ALG, Inc. is referred to as “ALG”. TrueCar was incorporated in the state of Delaware in February 2005 and began business operations in April 2005. Its principal corporate offices are located in Santa Monica, California.
TrueCar is a digital automotive marketplace that (i) provides pricing transparency about what other people paid for their cars and enables consumers to engage with TrueCar Certified Dealers who are committed to providing a superior purchase experience; (ii) empowers Certified Dealers to attract these informed, in-market consumers in a cost-effective, accountable manner; and (iii) allows automobile manufacturers ("OEMs") to more effectively target their incentive spending at deep-in-market consumers during their purchase process. TrueCar has established an intelligent, data-driven online platform operating on a common technology infrastructure, powered by proprietary data and analytics. Consumers access TrueCar’s platform through the TrueCar.com website and TrueCar mobile applications or through the car-buying websites and mobile applications that TrueCar operates for its affinity group marketing partners (“Auto Buying Programs”). An affinity group is comprised of a network of members or employees that provides discounts to its members.
ALG provides forecasts, consulting, and other services regarding determination of the residual value of an automobile at future given points in time, which are used to underwrite automotive loans and leases and by financial institutions to measure exposure and risk across loan, lease, and fleet portfolios. ALG also obtains automobile purchase data from a variety of sources and uses this data to provide consumers and dealers with highly accurate, geographically specific, real-time pricing information.
2.
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation
The Company’s unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) and applicable rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Article 10-1 of Regulation S-X. Accordingly, some information and footnote disclosures required by GAAP for complete financial statements have been condensed or omitted pursuant to such rules and regulations. In the opinion of the Company’s management, the accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and notes have been prepared on the same basis as the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2015 and include all adjustments (consisting of normal recurring adjustments) necessary for a fair statement of the interim periods presented.
The condensed consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2015 has been derived from the audited financial statements at that date, but does not include all of the disclosures required by GAAP. The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto contained in the Company’s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 10, 2016. 
Use of Estimates
The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the dates of the consolidated financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Assets and liabilities which are subject to judgment and use of estimates include sales allowances and allowances for doubtful accounts, the fair value of assets and liabilities assumed in business combinations, fair value of the capitalized facility leases, the recoverability of goodwill and long-lived assets, valuation allowances with respect to deferred tax assets, useful lives associated with property and equipment and intangible assets, lease exit liabilities, contingencies, and the valuation and assumptions underlying stock-based compensation and other equity instruments. On an ongoing basis, the Company evaluates its estimates compared to historical experience and trends, which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities. In addition, the Company engaged valuation specialists to assist with management’s determination of the valuation of its capitalized facility leases, fair values of assets and liabilities assumed in business combinations, the fair value of reporting units in connection with annual goodwill impairment testing, and in periods prior to the Company’s initial public offering, valuation of common stock.

8


Segments
The Company has one operating segment. The Company’s chief operating decision maker (“CODM”) is the President and Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer, who manage the Company’s operations based on consolidated financial information for purposes of evaluating financial performance and allocating resources.
The CODM review financial information on a consolidated basis, accompanied by information about transaction revenue and forecasts, consulting and other revenue (Note 11). All of the Company’s principal operations, decision-making functions and assets are located in the United States.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”), the Company meets the definition of an emerging growth company. The Company has irrevocably elected to opt out of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards pursuant to Section 107(b) of the JOBS Act.
In March 2016, the FASB issued guidance to simplify several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment award transactions, including accounting for income tax, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, forfeitures, statutory tax withholding requirements, and classification in the statement of cash flows. The new guidance is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within those annual periods. Early adoption is permitted if it is applied from the beginning of the fiscal year of adoption. The Company adopted this guidance in the third quarter of 2016, which required retroactive application to the beginning of 2016.
With this adoption, the Company recognized $18.0 million of accumulated excess tax benefits as deferred tax assets that under previous guidance could not be recognized until the benefits were realized through a reduction in cash taxes paid. However, given the full valuation allowance placed on the additional $18.0 million of deferred tax assets, the recognition upon adoption had no impact to our accumulated deficit as of January 1, 2016.
Also with this adoption, the Company elected to account for forfeitures when they occur instead of estimating the expected forfeiture rate. Adoption of this provision during the third quarter resulted in a cumulative effect adjustment as of January 1, 2016 to increase accumulated deficit by $0.6 million .
In February 2016, the FASB issued guidance amending the existing accounting standards for lease accounting, including requiring lessees to recognize most leases on their balance sheets and making targeted changes to lessor accounting. The new guidance will be effective for public entities for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018 and interim periods therein. Early adoption is permitted. The new leases standard requires a modified retrospective transition approach for all leases existing at, or entered into after, the date of initial application, with an option to use certain transition relief. The Company is evaluating the methods and impact of adopting this guidance on its consolidated financial statements.
In May 2014, the FASB issued guidance related to revenue from contracts with customers. Under this guidance, revenue is recognized when promised goods or services are transferred to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration that is expected to be received for those goods or services. The updated standard will replace all existing revenue recognition guidance under GAAP when it becomes effective and permits the use of either the retrospective or cumulative effect transition method. In August 2015, the FASB deferred the effective date to January 1, 2018, with early adoption beginning January 1, 2017. In 2016, the FASB issued additional guidance to clarify the implementation guidance. The Company is evaluating the impact of adopting this guidance on its consolidated financial statements. 
3.
Fair Value Measurements
Fair value is defined as the exchange price that would be received for an asset or paid to transfer a liability (an exit price) in the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability in an orderly transaction between market participants on the measurement date.
Valuation techniques used to measure fair value must maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs. Accounting standards describe a fair value hierarchy based on three levels of inputs, of which the first two are considered observable and the last unobservable, that may be used to measure fair value which are the following:
Level 1 — Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities or funds.
Level 2 — Inputs other than Level 1 that are observable, either directly or indirectly, such as quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities; quoted prices in markets that are not active; or other inputs that are observable or can be corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets or liabilities.

9


Level 3 — Unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity and that are significant to the fair value of the assets or liabilities.
The carrying amounts of cash equivalents, accounts receivable, prepaid and other current assets, accounts payable, and accrued expenses and other current liabilities approximate fair value because of the short maturity of these items.
 The following table summarizes the Company’s financial assets measured at fair value on a recurring basis at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 by level within the fair value hierarchy. Financial assets are classified in their entirety based on the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurement (in thousands):
 
At September 30, 2016
 
At December 31, 2015
 
Level 1
 
Total Fair
Value
 
Level 1
 
Total Fair
Value
Cash equivalents
$
102,969

 
$
102,969

 
$
112,131

 
$
112,131

Total Assets
$
102,969

 
$
102,969

 
$
112,131

 
$
112,131


4.
Property and Equipment, net
Property and equipment consisted of the following at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 (in thousands):
 
September 30,
2016
 
December 31,
2015
 
 
Computer equipment, software, and internally developed software
$
63,584

 
$
53,862

Furniture and fixtures
3,704

 
3,575

Leasehold improvements
4,804

 
4,410

Capitalized facility leases
39,302

 
39,154

 
111,394

 
101,001

Less: Accumulated depreciation
(44,156
)
 
(29,611
)
Total property and equipment, net
$
67,238

 
$
71,390

The Company is considered the owner, for accounting purposes only, of one of its Santa Monica, California leased office spaces and of its San Francisco, California leased office space (collectively, the “Premises”) as it had taken on certain risks of construction build cost overages above normal tenant improvement allowances. Accordingly, at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 , the Company has capitalized $39.3 million and $39.2 million , respectively, related to the Premises, which represents the estimated fair value of the leased properties, additions for capitalized interest incurred during the construction periods, and capitalized costs related to improvements to the building. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015 , the Company capitalized approximately $0.5 million and $1.6 million of interest costs related to the Premises. There were no capitalized interest costs related to the Premises for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016 . At September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 , the Company recorded accumulated amortization of $1.0 million and $0.2 million , respectively. Additionally, at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 , the Company recognized a corresponding lease financing obligation of approximately $31.0 million and $28.9 million , respectively.
Included in the table above are property and equipment of $2.3 million and $5.3 million at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 , respectively, which are capitalizable, but had not yet been placed in service. The $2.3 million and $5.3 million balances at September 30, 2016 at December 31, 2015 , respectively, were comprised primarily of capitalized software not ready for its intended use.
Total depreciation and amortization expense of property and equipment was $5.0 million and $3.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , respectively. Total depreciation and amortization expense of property and equipment was $14.7 million and $9.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , respectively.
Amortization of internal use capitalized software development costs was $3.9 million and $2.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , respectively. Amortization of internal use capitalized software development costs was $11.3 million and $6.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , respectively.

10


5.
Credit Facility
In February 2015, the Company entered into a third amended and restated loan and security agreement (“Third Amended Credit Facility”) with a financial institution for a $35.0 million secured revolving credit facility that expires on February 18, 2018. The Third Amended Credit Facility provides a $10.0 million subfacility for the issuance of letters of credit and contains an increase option permitting the Company, subject to the lender's consent, to increase the revolving credit facility by up to $15.0 million , to an aggregate maximum of $50 million .
The Third Amended Credit Facility bears interest, at the Company’s option, at either (i) the prime rate published by The Wall Street Journal, plus a spread of -0.25% to 0.50% , or (ii) a LIBOR rate determined in accordance with the terms of the Third Amended Credit Facility, plus a spread of 1.75% to 2.50% . In each case, the spread is based on the Company’s adjusted quick ratio, which is a ratio of the Company’s cash and cash equivalents plus net billed accounts receivable to current liabilities plus all borrowings under the credit facility.
Interest is due and payable quarterly in arrears for prime rate loans and on the earlier of the last day of each quarter or the end of an interest period, as defined in the Third Amended Credit Facility, for LIBOR rate loans. The Company is also obligated to pay an unused revolving line facility fee of 0.00% to 0.20% per annum based on the Company’s adjusted quick ratio.
Third Amended Credit Facility requires the Company to maintain an adjusted quick ratio of at least 1.5 to 1 on the last day of each quarter. If this adjusted quick ratio is not maintained, then the facility requires the Company to maintain, as measured at each quarter end, a maximum consolidated leverage ratio of 3.00 or 2.50 to 1.00 , and a fixed charge coverage ratio of at least 1.25 to 1.00 .
Consolidated leverage ratio is a ratio of all funded indebtedness, including all capital lease obligations, plus all letters of credit under the facility to the Company’s Adjusted EBITDA for the trailing twelve months. Fixed charge coverage ratio is the ratio of our Adjusted EBITDA less cash paid for income taxes to our cash paid for interest plus capital expenditures for the trailing twelve months. This credit facility also limits the Company’s ability to pay dividends. At September 30, 2016 , the Company was in compliance with all financial covenants.
The Company’s future material domestic subsidiaries are required, upon the lender’s request, to become co-borrowers under the credit facility. The credit facility contains acceleration clauses that accelerate any borrowings in the event of default. The obligations of the Company and its future material domestic subsidiaries are collateralized by substantially all of their respective assets, subject to certain exceptions and limitations.
At September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 , the Company had no outstanding amounts under the Third Amended Credit Facility. The amount available was $30.7 million , reduced for the letters of credit issued and outstanding under the subfacility of $4.3 million at September 30, 2016 .
6.
Commitments and Contingencies
Austin Office Lease Commitment
In May 2016, the Company entered into a new office lease for approximately 38,000 square feet near Austin, Texas. The lease is expected to commence in February 2017 and has a ten -year term. The Company has the option to extend the lease for two additional five -year periods. The cumulative base rent over the initial lease term is approximately $9.9 million .
Lease Exit Costs
In December 2015, the Company consolidated its Santa Monica, California office locations and recognized a liability for lease exit costs incurred based on the remaining lease rental due, reduced by estimated sublease rental income that could be reasonably obtained for the properties. In the second quarter of 2016, the Company updated its estimates of sublease rental income for the spaces exited in December 2015 and recorded an additional $2.7 million in lease exit costs. Due to a deterioration in the local commercial real estate market, the Company now expects both a longer period of time to sublease the spaces as well as lower rental rates than originally estimated in the fourth quarter of 2015. The costs are recorded in general and administrative expense in the consolidated statement of comprehensive loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 . The liability is recorded in accrued expenses and other current liabilities (current portion) and other liabilities (non-current portion) within the consolidated balance sheets.

11


The following table presents a roll forward of the lease exit liability for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 :
 
Lease Exit Costs
Accrual at December 31, 2015
$
1,988

Expense
2,684

Cash Payments
(1,821
)
Accrual at September 30, 2016
$
2,851

Legal Proceedings
From time to time, the Company may become subject to legal proceedings, claims, and litigation arising in the ordinary course of business. When the Company becomes aware of a claim or potential claim, it assesses the likelihood of any loss or exposure. In accordance with authoritative guidance, the Company records loss contingencies in its financial statements only for matters in which losses are probable and can be reasonably estimated. Where a range of loss can be reasonably estimated with no best estimate in the range, the Company records the minimum estimated liability. If the loss is not probable or the amount of the loss cannot be reasonably estimated, the Company discloses the nature of the specific claim if the likelihood of a potential loss is reasonably possible and the amount involved is material. The Company continuously assesses the potential liability related to the Company’s pending litigation and revises its estimates when additional information becomes available. The Company is not currently a party to any material legal proceedings, other than as described below.

On March 9, 2015, the Company was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York (the "NY Lanham Act Litigation"). The complaint in the NY Lanham Act Litigation, purportedly filed on behalf of numerous automotive dealers who are not participating on the TrueCar platform, alleges that the Company has violated the Lanham Act as well as various state laws prohibiting unfair competition and deceptive acts or practices related to the Company’s advertising and promotional activities. The complaint seeks injunctive relief in addition to over $250 million in damages as a result of the alleged diversion of customers from the plaintiffs’ dealerships to TrueCar Certified Dealers. On April 7, 2015, the Company filed an answer to the complaint. Thereafter, the plaintiffs amended their complaint, and on July 13, 2015, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint. On January 6, 2016, the Court granted the Company’s motion to dismiss with respect to some, but not all, of the advertising and promotional activities challenged in the amended complaint. The litigation is currently in the discovery phase. The Company believes that the portions of the amended complaint that survived the Company’s motion to dismiss are without merit, and it intends to vigorously defend itself in this matter. We have not recorded an accrual related to this matter as of September 30, 2016 , as we do not believe a loss is probable or reasonably estimable.

On May 20, 2015, the Company was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the California New Car Dealers Association in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles (the "CNCDA Litigation"). The complaint in the CNCDA Litigation seeks declaratory and injunctive relief based on allegations that the Company is operating in the State of California as an unlicensed automobile dealer and autobroker. The complaint does not seek monetary relief. On July 20, 2015, the Company filed a "demurrer" to the complaint, which is a pleading that requests the court to dismiss the case. Thereafter, the plaintiffs amended their complaint, and on September 11, 2015, the Company filed a demurrer to the amended complaint. On December 7, 2015, the Court granted the Company’s demurrer in its entirety, but afforded the CNCDA the opportunity to file a second amended complaint. The CNCDA filed a second amended complaint on January 4, 2016. The second amended complaint reiterates the claims in the prior complaints and adds claims under theories based on the federal Lanham Act and California unfair competition law. On February 3, 2016, the Company filed a demurrer to the second amended complaint. On March 30, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part the Company’s demurrer to the second amended complaint, dismissing the Lanham Act claim but declining to dismiss the balance of the claims at the demurrer stage of the litigation. On May 31, 2016, based on certain intervening developments in state law, the Court announced that it would reconsider its March 30, 2016 order, and it invited the parties to file new briefs on the demurrer issues. On July 15, 2016, the Court heard oral argument on reconsideration of the demurrer issues. On July 25, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part the Company’s demurrer to the second amended complaint, just as it had done in its March 30, 2016 order. The litigation is currently in the discovery phase. The Company believes that the portions of the second amended complaint that survived the Court’s reconsideration of the Company’s demurrer are without merit, and it intends to vigorously defend itself in this matter. The Company has not recorded an accrual related to this matter as of September 30, 2016 , as the Company does not believe a loss is probable or reasonably estimable.

On May 27, 2015, a purported securities class action complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (the “Federal Securities Litigation”) by Satyabrata Mahapatra naming the Company and two other

12


individuals not affiliated with the Company as defendants. On June 15, 2015, the plaintiff filed a Notice of Errata and Correction purporting to name Scott Painter, the Company’s then Chief Executive Officer, and Michael Guthrie, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, as individual defendants in lieu of the two individual defendants named in the complaint. On October 5, 2015, the plaintiffs amended their complaint. As amended, the complaint in the Federal Securities Litigation seeks an award of unspecified damages, interest and attorneys' fees based on allegations that the defendants made false and/or misleading statements, and failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, prospects and performance. Specifically, the amended complaint alleges that during the putative class period, the defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) the Company’s business practices violated unfair competition and deceptive trade practice laws (i.e., the issues raised in the NY Lanham Act Litigation); (ii) the Company acts as a dealer and broker in car sales transactions without proper licensing, in violation of various states’ laws that govern car sales (i.e., the issues raised in the CNCDA Litigation); and (iii) as a result of the above, the Company’s registration statements, prospectuses, quarterly and annual reports, financial statements, SEC filings, press releases, and other statements and documents were materially false and misleading at times relevant to the amended complaint and putative class period. The amended complaint asserts a putative class period stemming from May 16, 2014 to July 23, 2015. On October 19, 2015, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint. On December 9, 2015, the Court granted the Company’s motion to dismiss and dismissed the case in its entirety. On January 8, 2016, the plaintiff filed a notice of appeal. On June 20, 2016, the plaintiff filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of the appeal. The motion was granted by the Court on June 27, 2016. As the case has been dismissed, no loss was deemed probable and no accrual related to this matter has been recorded.

On December 23, 2015, the Company was named as a defendant in a putative class action lawsuit filed by Gordon Rose in the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles (the “California Consumer Class Action”). The complaint asserted claims for unjust enrichment, violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and violation of the California Business and Professions Code, based principally on factual allegations similar to those asserted in the NY Lanham Act Litigation and the CNCDA Litigation. The complaint sought an award of unspecified damages, interest, disgorgement, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees. In the complaint, the plaintiff sought to represent a class of California consumers defined as “[a]ll California consumers who purchased an automobile by using TrueCar, Inc.’s price certificate during the applicable statute of limitations.” On January 12, 2016, the Court entered an order staying all proceedings in the case pending an initial status conference, which was previously scheduled for April 13, 2016. On March 16, 2016, the case was reassigned to a different judge. As a result of that reassignment, the initial status conference was rescheduled for and held on May 26, 2016. By stipulation, the stay of discovery has been continued until a second status conference, which was scheduled for October 12, 2016. On July 13, 2016, the plaintiff amended his complaint. The amended complaint continues to assert claims for unjust enrichment, violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and violation of the California Business and Professions Code. The amended complaint retains the same proposed class definition as the initial complaint. Like the initial complaint, the amended complaint seeks an award of unspecified damages, interest, disgorgement, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees. On September 12, 2016, the Company filed a demurrer to the amended complaint. On October 12, 2016, the Court heard oral argument on the demurrer. On October 13, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part the Company’s demurrer to the amended complaint, dismissing the unjust enrichment claim but declining to dismiss the balance of the claims at the demurrer stage of the litigation. On October 17, 2016, the Court entered an order scheduling a further status conference for January 26, 2017. The Company believes that the amended complaint is without merit, and it intends to vigorously defend itself in this matter. The Company has not recorded an accrual related to this matter as of September 30, 2016 , as the Company does not believe a loss is probable or reasonably estimable.
Employment Contracts
The Company has entered into employment contracts with certain executives of the Company. Employment under these contracts is at-will employment. However, under the provisions of the contracts, the Company would incur severance obligations up to twelve months of the executive’s annual base salary for certain events such as involuntary terminations.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, the Company incurred severance costs related to its former CEO and several executive-level employees who terminated their employment. In the second quarter of 2016, the Company incurred additional severance costs totaling $1.8 million related to an executive who terminated during the period, and several other employees whose terminations related to a reorganization of the Company's product and technology teams. The reorganization of the Company's product and technology teams was necessary to better align the Company's resources during its transition from multiple software platforms to a unified architecture. Of the total severance costs, the Company recorded $1.3 million in technology and development and $0.5 million in sales and marketing in the Company's consolidated statements of comprehensive loss during the second quarter. There was no additional severance liability recorded in the third quarter of 2016.
The following table presents a roll forward of this severance liability for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 :

13


 
Executive Severance and Reorganization Costs
Accrual at December 31, 2015
2,803

Severance Costs
1,783

Cash Payments
(3,727
)
Accrual at September 30, 2016
$
859

Indemnifications
In the ordinary course of business, the Company may provide indemnities of varying scope and terms to customers, vendors, lessors, investors, directors, officers, employees and other parties with respect to certain matters, including, but not limited to, losses arising out of the Company’s breach of such agreements, services to be provided by the Company, or from intellectual property infringement claims made by third-parties. These indemnifications may survive termination of the underlying agreement and the maximum potential amount of future payments the Company could be required to make under these indemnification provisions may not be subject to maximum loss provisions. The maximum potential amount of future payments the Company could be required to make under these indemnification provisions is indeterminable. To date, there has not been a material claim paid by the Company, nor has the Company been sued in connection with these indemnification arrangements. At September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 , the Company has not accrued a liability for these guarantees, because the likelihood of incurring a payment obligation, if any, in connection with these guarantees is not probable or reasonably estimable. 
7.
Stock-based Awards
Stock Options
A summary of the Company’s stock option activity for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 is as follows:
 
Number of
Options
 
Weighted-Average Exercise Price
 
Weighted-Average
Remaining
Contractual Life
 
 
 
 
 
(in years)
Outstanding at December 31, 2015
24,277,901

 
$
8.12

 
5.62
Granted
4,589,003

 
9.50

 
 
Exercised
(1,368,110
)
 
3.95

 
 
Canceled/forfeited
(1,946,322
)
 
11.38

 
 
Outstanding at September 30, 2016
25,552,472

 
$
8.34

 
5.81
At September 30, 2016 , total remaining stock-based compensation expense for unvested stock option awards was $36.4 million , which is expected to be recognized over a weighted-average period of 3.1 years . For the three months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , the Company recorded stock-based compensation expense for stock option awards of $3.5 million and $6.2 million , respectively. For the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , the Company recorded stock-based compensation expense for stock option awards of $10.9 million , and $20.5 million , respectively.

14


Restricted Stock Units
Activity in connection with restricted stock units is as follows for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 :
 
Number of
Shares
 
Weighted- Average Grant Date Fair Value
Non-vested — December 31, 2015
3,747,340

 
$
8.18

Granted
2,528,567

 
7.11

Vested
(998,958
)
 
8.08

Canceled/forfeited
(699,154
)
 
7.36

Non-vested — September 30, 2016
4,577,795

 
$
7.74

At September 30, 2016 , total remaining stock-based compensation expense for non-vested restricted stock units is $31.9 million , which is expected to be recognized over a weighted-average period of 3.2 years . The Company recorded $2.8 million and $1.4 million in stock-based compensation expense for restricted stock units for the three months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , respectively. The Company recorded $7.1 million and $5.7 million in stock-based compensation expense for restricted stock units for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 .
Stock-based Compensation Cost
The Company recorded stock-based compensation cost relating to stock options and restricted stock awards in the following categories on the accompanying consolidated statements of comprehensive loss (in thousands):
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cost of revenue
$
256

 
$
217

 
$
711

 
$
581

Sales and marketing
1,655

 
1,131

 
4,154

 
3,739

Technology and development
1,200

 
889

 
3,025

 
3,042

General and administrative
3,130

 
5,294

 
10,143

 
18,789

Total stock-based compensation expense
6,241

 
7,531

 
18,033

 
26,151

Amount capitalized to internal software use
292

 
389

 
760

 
1,064

Total stock-based compensation cost
$
6,533

 
$
7,920

 
$
18,793

 
$
27,215

 

8.
Income Taxes
In determining quarterly provisions for income taxes, the Company uses the annual estimated effective tax rate applied to the actual year-to-date loss. The Company’s annual estimated effective tax rate differs from the statutory rate primarily as a result of state taxes, tax amortization of goodwill and changes in the Company’s valuation allowance. The Company recorded $0.2 million income tax expense for the three months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 . The Company recorded $0.5 million and $0.4 million in income tax expense for each of the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , respectively.
Tax Benefits Related to Stock-Based Compensation
As described in Note 2, the Company early adopted the new share based compensation guidance in the three months ended September 30, 2016. The adoption of this guidance had no impact to the current income tax expense as the Company does not believe that it is more likely than not that the income tax benefits associated with the stock-based compensation will be realized and has therefore recorded a full valuation allowance against these tax benefits. The income tax benefits related to stock-based compensation were  $0.5 million and $0.3 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016, respectively; the income tax benefits were not recognized as a result of the full valuation allowance.
There were no material changes to the Company’s unrecognized tax benefits in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016 , and the Company does not expect to have any significant changes to unrecognized tax benefits through the end of the fiscal year. Due to the presence of net operating loss carryforwards, all income tax years remain open for examination by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS") and various state taxing authorities.

15


9.
Net Loss Per Share
The following table sets forth the computation of basic and diluted net loss per share (in thousands, except per share data): 
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss
$
(7,436
)
 
$
(11,105
)
 
$
(33,758
)
 
$
(37,467
)
Weighted-average common shares outstanding
84,822

 
82,417

 
84,075

 
81,637

Net loss per share - basic and diluted
$
(0.09
)
 
$
(0.13
)
 
$
(0.40
)
 
$
(0.46
)
The following table presents the number of anti-dilutive shares excluded from the calculation of diluted net loss per share at September 30, 2016 and 2015 (in thousands):
 
September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
Options to purchase common stock
25,552

 
25,527

Common stock warrants
1,605

 
2,486

Non-vested restricted stock unit awards
4,578

 
1,612

Total shares excluded from net loss per share
31,735

 
29,625

 
10.
Related Party Transactions
Service Provider
From October 2013 to October 2015, an executive officer of the Company was an officer of a firm that provided marketing services to the Company. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015, the Company recorded sales and marketing expense of $2.7 million and $6.8 million related to this marketing firm. Additionally, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015, the Company capitalized as property and equipment amounts paid to this marketing firm of $0.2 million and  $0.8 million , respectively.
Transactions with USAA
USAA is the Company's largest stockholder and most significant affinity marketing partner. The Company has entered into arrangements with USAA to operate its Auto Buying Program. The Company has amounts due from USAA at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 of $0.3 million . In addition, the Company has amounts due to USAA at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 of $3.1 million and $7.8 million , respectively. The Company recorded sales and marketing expense of $3.7 million and $5.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , respectively, related to service arrangements entered into with USAA. The Company recorded sales and marketing expenses of $10.4 million and $11.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , respectively, including non-cash expense associated with warrants to purchase shares of common stock.

16


11.
Revenue Information
The CODM reviews separate revenue information for its Transaction and Forecasts, Consulting and Other service offerings. All other financial information is reviewed by the CODM on a consolidated basis.
The following table presents the Company’s revenue categories during the periods presented (in thousands):
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Transaction revenue
$
70,306

 
$
67,441

 
$
189,556

 
$
182,117

Forecasts, consulting and other revenue
4,833

 
4,964

 
13,870

 
14,133

Total revenues
$
75,139

 
$
72,405

 
$
203,426

 
$
196,250


Item 2.   MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included in Item 1 “Financial Statements” in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. In addition to historical financial information, the following discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Our actual results and timing of selected events may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of many factors, including, but not limited to, those discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.  See “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”
Overview
Our mission is to deliver the best car-buying experience for consumers and provide dealers and automakers with an excellent return on their marketing dollars. We have established an intelligent, data-driven online platform operating on a common technology infrastructure, powered by proprietary data and analytics. We operate our company-branded platform on the TrueCar website and our branded mobile experience. In addition, we customize and operate our platform on a co-branded basis for our many affinity group marketing partners, including financial institutions like USAA and American Express, membership-based organizations like Consumer Reports, AARP, Sam's Club, and AAA, and employee buying programs for large enterprises such as IBM and Walmart. We enable users to obtain market-based pricing data on new and used cars, and to connect with our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers. We also allow automobile manufacturers, known in the industry as OEMs, to connect with TrueCar users in the purchase process and efficiently deliver targeted incentives to consumers.
We benefit consumers by providing information related to what others have paid for a make and model of car in their area and, where available, estimated prices for that make and model, which we refer to as upfront pricing information, from our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers. This upfront pricing information generally includes guaranteed savings off MSRP which the consumer may then take to the dealer in the form of a Guaranteed Savings Certificate and apply toward the purchase of the specified make and model of car. We benefit our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers by enabling them to attract these informed, in-market consumers in a cost-effective, accountable manner, which we believe helps them to sell more cars profitably. We benefit OEMs by allowing them to more effectively target their incentive spending at deep-in-market consumers during their purchase process.
Our subsidiary, ALG, Inc., provides forecasts and consulting services regarding determination of the residual value of an automobile at given future points in time. These residual values are used to underwrite automotive loans and leases to determine payments by consumers. In addition, financial institutions use this information to measure exposure and risk across loan, lease, and fleet portfolios. We also obtain automobile purchase data from a variety of sources and use this data to provide consumers and dealers with highly accurate, geographically specific, real-time pricing information.
During the three months ended September 30, 2016 , we generated revenues of $75.1 million and recorded a net loss of $7.4 million . Of the $75.1 million in revenues, $70.3 million or 93.6% , consisted of transaction revenues with the remaining $4.8 million , or 6.4% , derived primarily from the sale of forecasts, consulting and other revenue to the automotive and financial services industries. Revenues from the sale of forecasts, consulting and other services are derived primarily from the operations of our ALG subsidiary. Transaction revenues primarily consist of fees paid to us by our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers

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Table of Contents

under our pay-for-performance business model where we generally earn a fee only when a TrueCar user purchases a car from them.
When compared to the same quarters in prior years, the rate of growth in our revenues has slowed significantly over the past several quarters. This is primarily the result of declines in close rates related to a decline in the proportion of dealers representing high volume brands in our network. We believe close rates have now begun to stabilize. Over time, we intend to increase the number of transactions on our platform, and thereby revenue, by:
(i) increasing the rate at which visitors to our website and our affinity group marketing partner sites, and users of our mobile applications, obtain a Guaranteed Savings Certificate by investing in delivering a more engaging experience to consumers and dealers;
(ii) improving close rates by investing in additional dealer support personnel to improve and expand our dealer relationships; and
(iii) better communicating the benefits of fully registering on TrueCar to consumers using different and stronger messaging.
This will require continued focus on cost containments in areas outside of our dealer, product, technology, and research efforts in order to invest in the changes that will continue to improve the consumer and dealer experiences and drive revenue growth in the future. We expect our quarter-over-quarter revenue growth to modestly improve as we implement these changes.
Key Metrics
We regularly review a number of key metrics to evaluate our business, measure our performance, identify trends affecting our business, formulate financial projections and make operating and strategic decisions.
 
Three Months Ended September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
Average Monthly Unique Visitors
7,600,900

 
6,634,659

 
6,991,128

 
6,035,985

Units(1)
220,633

 
208,034

 
588,146

 
566,951

Monetization
$
319

 
$
324

 
$
322

 
$
321

Franchise Dealer Count
10,759

 
8,702

 
10,759

 
8,702

Transaction Revenue Per Franchise Dealer
$
6,730

 
$
7,493

 
$
19,096

 
$
21,173

 
(1)
We issued full credits of the amount originally invoiced with respect to 4,547 and 3,319 units during the three months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , respectively. For the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 , we issued full credits of the amount originally invoiced with respect to 13,285 and 8,880 units, respectively. The number of units has not been adjusted downwards related to units credited as discussed in the description of the unit metric, below.
Average Monthly Unique Visitors
We define a monthly unique visitor as an individual who has visited our website, our landing page on our affinity group marketing partner sites, or our mobile applications within a calendar month. We identify unique visitors through cookies for browser-based visits on either a desktop computer or mobile device and through device IDs for mobile application visits. In addition, if a TrueCar.com user logs-in, we supplement their identification with their log-in credentials to attempt to avoid double counting on TrueCar.com across devices, browsers and mobile applications. If an individual accesses our service using different devices or different browsers on the same device within a given month, the first access through each such device or browser is counted as a separate monthly unique visitor, except where adjusted based upon TrueCar.com log-in information. We calculate average monthly unique visitors as the sum of the monthly unique visitors in a given period, divided by the number of months in that period. We view our average monthly unique visitors as a key indicator of the growth in our business and audience reach, the strength of our brand, and the visibility of car-buying services to the member base of our affinity group marketing partners.
The number of average monthly unique visitors increased 14.6% to approximately 7.6 million in the three months ended September 30, 2016 from approximately 6.6 million in the same period of 2015 . The number of average monthly unique visitors increased 15.8% to 7.0 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2016 from 6.0 million in the same period of 2015 . We attribute the growth in our average monthly unique visitors principally to television, radio and digital marketing advertising campaigns that have led to increased brand awareness and also to increased efforts from our affinity group marketing partners to drive increased member awareness and traffic to our platform.

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Table of Contents

Units
We define units as the number of automobiles purchased by our users from TrueCar Certified Dealers through TrueCar.com, our TrueCar branded mobile applications or the car-buying sites we maintain for our affinity group marketing partners. A unit is counted following such time as we have matched the sale to a TrueCar user with one of TrueCar Certified Dealers. We view units as a key indicator of the growth of our business, the effectiveness of our product and the size and geographic coverage of our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers.
On occasion we issue credits to our TrueCar Certified Dealers with respect to units sold. However, we do not adjust our unit metric for these credits as we believe that in substantially all cases a vehicle has in fact been purchased through our platform given the high degree of accuracy of our sales matching process. Credits are most frequently issued to a dealer that claims that it had a pre-existing relationship with a purchaser of a vehicle, and we determine whether we will issue a credit based on a number of factors, including the facts and circumstances related to the dealer claim and the level of claim activity at the dealership. In most cases, we issue credits in order to maintain strong business relations with the dealer and not because we have made an erroneous sales match or billing error.
The number of units increased 6.1% to 220,633 in the three months ended September 30, 2016 from 208,034 in the three months ended September 30, 2015 while, as noted above, the number of average monthly unique visitors increased 14.6% . The number of units increased 3.7% to 588,146 in the nine months ended September 30, 2016 from 566,951 in the same period of 2015 . Historically, the growth in average monthly unique visitors and units has been more closely correlated. During the second half of 2015, we experienced a decline in the proportion of dealers representing high volume brands in our network. As a result, our close rates fell in the fourth quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016 and have only marginally recovered beginning in the second quarter of 2016 leading to the slight increase in the number of units sold in the three months ended September 30, 2016 .
Monetization
We define monetization as the average transaction revenue per unit, which we calculate by dividing all of our transaction revenue in a given period by the number of units in that period. Our monetization decreased 1.5% to $319 during the three months ended September 30, 2016 from $324 for the same period in 2015 . For the nine months ended September 30, 2016 , our monetization increased 0.3% to $322 from $321 for the same period in 2015 . We expect our monetization to be affected in the future by changes in our pricing structure, the unit mix between new and used cars, with used cars currently providing higher monetization, and by the introduction of new products and services.
Franchise Dealer Count
We define franchise dealer count as the number of franchise dealers in the network of TrueCar Certified Dealers at the end of a given period. This number is calculated by counting the number of brands of new cars sold by dealers in the TrueCar Certified Dealer network at their locations, and includes both single-location proprietorships as well as large consolidated dealer groups. The network comprises of dealers with a range of unit sales volume per dealer, with dealers representing certain brands consistently achieving higher than average unit sales volume. We view our ability to increase our franchise dealer count, particularly dealers representing high volume brands, as an indicator of our market penetration and the likelihood of converting users of our platform into unit sales. Our TrueCar Certified Dealer network includes non-franchised dealers that primarily sell used cars and are not included in franchise dealer count. Our franchise dealer count was 10,759 at September 30, 2016 , an increase from 8,702 at September 30, 2015 , and an increase from 9,094 at December 31, 2015, 9,281 at March 31, 2016 and 10,135 at June 30, 2016.   Note that our franchise dealer count of 10,759 at September 30, 2016 excludes 383 Genesis franchises on our program as of September 30, 2016 due to Hyundai’s recent transition of Genesis to a stand-alone brand. In order to facilitate period over period comparisons, we have continued to count each Hyundai franchise that also has a Genesis franchise as one franchise dealer rather than two. We intend to increase the number of dealers representing high volume brands in our dealer network, generally, and in key geographies, by investing to improve the dealer experience and increasing dealer satisfaction.
Transaction Revenue Per Franchise Dealer
We define transaction revenue per franchise dealer as transaction revenue in a given period divided by the average franchise dealer count in that period. Our transaction revenue per franchise dealer decreased 10.2% to $6,730 during the three months ended September 30, 2016 compared to $7,493 for the same period in 2015 . For the nine months ended September 30, 2016 , our transaction revenue per franchise dealer decreased 9.8% to $19,096 from $21,173 in the same period of 2015 . As discussed above, during the second half of 2015, we experienced a decline in the proportion of dealers representing high volume brands in our network, and as a result, our close rates fell in the fourth quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016 and only marginally recovered beginning in the second quarter of 2016, resulting in slower revenue growth for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016 . We intend to grow transaction revenue per franchise dealer as we make investments in our

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dealer, product, technology, and research efforts. By investing in these efforts, we intend to improve the consumer and dealer experiences, which will help improve close rates.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss are financial measures that are not calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or GAAP. We define Adjusted EBITDA as net loss adjusted to exclude interest income, interest expense, depreciation and amortization, non-cash warrant expense, stock-based compensation, certain litigation costs, severance charges, real estate exit costs, and income taxes. We define Non-GAAP net loss as net loss adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation, non-cash warrant expense, certain litigation costs, severance charges, and real estate exit costs. We have provided below a reconciliation of each of Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss to net loss, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure. Neither Adjusted EBITDA nor Non-GAAP net loss should be considered as an alternative to net loss or any other measure of financial performance calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. In addition, our Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other organizations as they may not calculate Adjusted EBITDA or Non-GAAP net loss in the same manner as we calculate these measures. 
We use Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss as operating performance measures as each is (i) an integral part of our reporting and planning processes; (ii) used by our management and board of directors to assess our operational performance, and together with operational objectives, as a measure in evaluating employee compensation and bonuses; and (iii) used by our management to make financial and strategic planning decisions regarding future operating investments. We believe that using Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss facilitates operating performance comparisons on a period-to-period basis because these measures exclude variations primarily caused by changes in the excluded items noted above. In addition, we believe that Adjusted EBITDA, Non-GAAP net loss and similar measures are widely used by investors, securities analysts, rating agencies and other parties in evaluating companies as measures of financial performance and debt service capabilities.
Our use of each of Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider them in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:
Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect the payment or receipt of interest or the payment of income taxes; 
neither Adjusted EBITDA nor Non-GAAP net loss reflects changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs; 
although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized may have to be replaced in the future, and Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect cash capital expenditure requirements for such replacements or for new capital expenditures or any other contractual commitments;
neither Adjusted EBITDA nor Non-GAAP net loss reflects the costs to advance our claims in respect of certain litigation or the costs to defend ourselves in various complaints filed against us, which we expect to continue to be significant;
neither Adjusted EBITDA nor Non-GAAP net loss reflects the severance costs due to former executives and former members of our product and technology teams affected by a reorganization;
neither Adjusted EBITDA nor Non-GAAP net loss reflects the real estate exit costs associated with consolidation of the Company's office locations in Santa Monica, California;
neither Adjusted EBITDA nor Non-GAAP net loss consider the potentially dilutive impact of shares issued or to be issued in connection with stock-based compensation or warrant issuances; and
other companies, including companies in our own industry, may calculate Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss differently than we do, limiting their usefulness as a comparative measure.
Because of these limitations, you should consider Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss alongside other financial performance measures, including our net loss, our other GAAP results, and various cash flow metrics. In addition, in evaluating Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss you should be aware that in the future we will incur expenses such as those that are the subject of adjustments in deriving Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss, and you should not infer from our presentation of Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss that our future results will not be affected by these expenses or any unusual or non-recurring items.

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The following table presents a reconciliation of net loss to Adjusted EBITDA for each of the periods presented:
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(in thousands)
 
(in thousands)
Reconciliation of Net Loss to Adjusted EBITDA:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss
$
(7,436
)
 
$
(11,105
)
 
$
(33,758
)
 
$
(37,467
)
Non-GAAP adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest income
(91
)
 
(27
)
 
(286
)
 
(71
)
Interest expense
645

 
159

 
1,885

 
322

Depreciation and amortization
6,035

 
4,477

 
17,807

 
12,521

Stock-based compensation
6,241

 
7,531

 
18,033

 
26,151

Warrant expense (reduction)
13

 
(308
)
 
13

 
(788
)
Certain litigation costs (1)
193

 
1,180

 
615

 
5,742

Severance charges (2)

 
571

 
1,783

 
571

Lease exit costs (3)

 

 
2,684

 

Provision for income taxes
191

 
173

 
497

 
432

Adjusted EBITDA
$
5,791

 
$
2,651

 
$
9,273

 
$
7,413

 
 
 
 
 
(1)
The excluded amounts relate to legal costs incurred in connection with a claim we filed against Sonic Automotive Holdings, Inc. (the "Sonic Litigation"), complaints filed by non-TrueCar dealers and the California New Car Dealers Association against TrueCar, and securities and consumer class action lawsuits. We believe the exclusion of these costs is appropriate to facilitate comparisons of our core operating performance on a period-to-period basis. We do not believe significant trademark litigation like the Sonic Litigation is reflective of a trend in our underlying operations. Based on the nature of the specific claims underlying the excluded litigation matters, once these matters are resolved, we do not believe our operations are likely to entail defending against the types of claims raised by these matters. We expect the cost of defending these claims to continue to be significant pending resolution.
(2)
We incurred $1.3 million in severance costs in the second quarter of 2016 related to a reorganization of our product and technology teams to better align our resources with business objectives as we transition from multiple software platforms to a unified architecture. In addition, we incurred severance costs of $0.5 million related to an executive who terminated during the second quarter of 2016. Furthermore, we incurred severance costs for four executive-level employees who terminated in the third quarter of 2015. We believe excluding the impacts of these terminations is consistent with our use of Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss as we do not believe they are useful indicators of ongoing operating results.
(3)
Represents updated estimates to our lease termination costs in the second quarter of 2016 associated with the consolidation of the Company's office locations in Santa Monica, California in December 2015. We believe that their exclusion is appropriate to facilitate period-to-period operating performance comparisons.


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The following table presents a reconciliation of net loss to Non-GAAP net loss for each of the periods presented:
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(in thousands)
 
(in thousands)
Reconciliation of Net Loss to Non-GAAP Net Loss:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss
$
(7,436
)
 
$
(11,105
)
 
$
(33,758
)
 
$
(37,467
)
Non-GAAP adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stock-based compensation
6,241

 
7,531

 
18,033

 
26,151

Warrant expense (reduction)
13

 
(308
)
 
13

 
(788
)
Certain litigation costs (1)
193

 
1,180

 
615

 
5,742

Severance charges (2)

 
571

 
1,783

 
571

Lease exit costs (3)

 

 
2,684

 

Non-GAAP net loss (4)
$
(989
)
 
$
(2,131
)
 
$
(10,630
)
 
$
(5,791
)
 
 
 
 
 
(1)
The excluded amounts relate to legal costs incurred in connection with a claim we filed against Sonic Automotive Holdings, Inc. (the "Sonic Litigation"), complaints filed by non-TrueCar dealers and the California New Car Dealers Association against TrueCar, and securities and consumer class action lawsuits. We believe the exclusion of these costs is appropriate to facilitate comparisons of our core operating performance on a period-to-period basis. We do not believe significant trademark litigation like the Sonic Litigation is reflective of a trend in our underlying operations. Based on the nature of the specific claims underlying the excluded litigation matters, once these matters are resolved, we do not believe our operations are likely to entail defending against the types of claims raised by these matters. We expect the cost of defending these claims to continue to be significant pending resolution.
(2)
We incurred $1.3 million in severance costs in the second quarter of 2016 related to a reorganization of our product and technology teams to better align our resources with business objectives as we transition from multiple software platforms to a unified architecture. In addition, we incurred severance costs of $0.5 million related to an executive who terminated during the second quarter of 2016. Furthermore, we incurred severance costs for four executive-level employees who terminated in the third quarter of 2015. We believe excluding the impacts of these terminations is consistent with our use of Adjusted EBITDA and Non-GAAP net loss as we do not believe they are useful indicators of ongoing operating results.
(3)
Represents updated estimates to our lease termination costs in the second quarter of 2016 associated with the consolidation of the Company's office locations in Santa Monica, California in December 2015. We believe that their exclusion is appropriate to facilitate period-to-period operating performance comparisons.
(4)
There is no income tax impact related to the adjustments made to calculate Non-GAAP net loss because of our available net operating loss carryforwards and the full valuation allowance recorded against our net deferred tax assets at September 30, 2016 and September 30, 2015 .
Components of Operating Results 
Revenues
Our revenues are comprised of transaction revenue, and forecasts, consulting and other revenue.
Transaction Revenue. Revenue consists of fees paid by dealers participating in our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers. Dealers pay us these fees either on a per vehicle basis for sales to our users or in the form of a subscription arrangement. Subscription arrangements fall into several types: flat rate subscriptions, subscriptions subject to downward adjustment based on a minimum number of vehicle sales (“guaranteed sales”) and subscriptions based on introduction volume, including those subject to downward adjustment based on a minimum number of introductions (“guaranteed introductions”).
Under flat rate subscription arrangements, fees are charged at a monthly flat rate regardless of the number of sales made to users of our platform by the dealer. For flat rate subscription arrangements, we recognize the fees as revenue over the subscription period on a straight line basis which corresponds to the period that we are providing the dealer with access to our platform.

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Under guaranteed sales subscription arrangements, fees are charged based on the number of guaranteed sales multiplied by a fixed amount per vehicle. To the extent that the actual number of vehicles sold by the dealers to users of our platform is less than the number of guaranteed sales, we provide a credit to the dealer. To the extent that the actual number of vehicles sold exceeds the number of guaranteed sales, we are not entitled to any additional fees.
Certain of our subscription arrangements are charged based on volume of introductions provided while other introduction based subscription arrangements operate under a guaranteed introduction model. Under guaranteed introductions subscription arrangements, fees are charged based on a periodically-updated formula that considers, among other things, the introductions anticipated to be provided to the dealer. To the extent that the number of actual introductions is less than the number of guaranteed introductions, we provide a credit to the dealer. To the extent that the actual number of introductions provided exceeds the number guaranteed, we are not entitled to any additional fees.
For guaranteed sales and guaranteed introductions subscription arrangements, we recognize revenue based on the lesser of (i) the actual number of sales generated or introductions delivered through our platform during the subscription period multiplied by the contracted price per sale/introduction or (ii) the guaranteed number of sales or introductions multiplied by the contracted price per sale/introduction .
In addition, we enter into arrangements with automobile manufacturers to promote the sale of their vehicles through the offering of additional consumer incentives to members of our affinity group marketing partners. These manufacturers pay us a per-vehicle fee for promotion of the incentive and we recognize the per-vehicle incentive fee when the vehicle sale has occurred between the member of our affinity group marketing partner and the dealer.
  Forecasts, Consulting and Other Revenue. We derive this type of revenue primarily from the provision of forecasts and consulting services to the automotive and financial services industries through our ALG subsidiary. The forecasts and consulting services that ALG provides typically relate to the determination of the residual value of an automobile at given future points in time. These residual values are used to underwrite automotive loans and leases to determine payments by consumers. In addition, financial institutions use this information to measure exposure and risk across loan, lease and fleet portfolios. Our customers generally pay us for these services as information is delivered to them.
Costs and Operating Expenses
Cost of Revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization). Cost of revenue includes expenses related to the fulfillment of our services, consisting primarily of data costs and licensing fees paid to third party service providers and expenses related to operating our website and mobile applications, including those associated with our data centers, hosting fees, data processing costs required to deliver introductions to our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers, employee costs related to dealer operations, sales matching, employee and consulting costs related to delivering data and consulting services to our customers, and facilities costs. Cost of revenue excludes depreciation and amortization of software costs and other hosting and data infrastructure equipment used to operate our platforms, which are included in the depreciation and amortization line item on our statement of comprehensive loss.
Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing expenses consist primarily of: television and radio advertising; affinity group partner marketing fees, which also includes loan subvention costs where we pay certain affinity group marketing partners a portion of consumers’ borrowing costs for car loan products offered by these affinity group marketing partners, and common stock warrants issued to USAA; marketing sponsorship programs; and digital customer acquisition. In addition, sales and marketing expenses include employee related expenses for sales, customer support, marketing and public relations employees, including salaries, bonuses, benefits, severance, and stock-based compensation expenses; third-party contractor fees; and allocated overhead, including facilities costs. Sales and marketing expenses also include costs related to common stock warrants issued to a service provider as part of our commercial arrangements with them. Marketing and advertising costs promote our services and are expensed as incurred, except for media production costs which are expensed the first time the advertisement is aired.
  Technology and Development. Technology and development expenses consist primarily of employee related expenses including salaries, bonuses, benefits, severance, and stock-based compensation expenses, third-party contractor fees, software license costs, and allocated overhead primarily associated with development of our platform as well as facilities costs, as well as our product development, product management, research and analytics and internal IT functions.
  General and Administrative. General and administrative expenses consist primarily of employee related expenses including salaries, bonuses, benefits, severance, and stock-based compensation expenses for executive, finance, accounting, legal, human resources, and business intelligence personnel. General and administrative expenses also include legal, accounting, and other third-party professional service fees, bad debt, and allocated overhead, including facilities costs.
  Depreciation and Amortization. Depreciation consists primarily of depreciation expense recorded on property and equipment. Amortization expense consists primarily of amortization recorded on intangible assets, capitalized software costs and leasehold improvements.

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  Interest Income. Interest income consists of interest earned on our cash and cash equivalents.
  Interest Expense. Interest expense consists primarily of interest on our built-to-suit lease financing obligation.  
Provision for Income Taxes. We are subject to federal and state income taxes in the United States. We provided a full valuation allowance against our net deferred tax assets at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 as it is more likely than not that some or all of our deferred tax assets will not be realized. As a result of the valuation allowance, our income tax benefit (or expense) is significantly less than the federal statutory rate of 34%. Our provision for income taxes in the three and nine months ended months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 primarily reflected a tax expense associated with the amortization of tax deductible goodwill that is not an available source of income to realize deferred tax assets.
Results of Operations
The following table sets forth our selected consolidated statements of operations data for each of the periods indicated.
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(in thousands)
 
(in thousands)
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues
$
75,139

 
$
72,405

 
$
203,426

 
$
196,250

Costs and operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization presented separately below)
6,320

 
5,952

 
18,910

 
17,670

Sales and marketing
42,557

 
43,969

 
112,797

 
116,135

Technology and development
13,153

 
12,340

 
40,315

 
33,079

General and administrative
13,765

 
16,467

 
45,259

 
53,643

Depreciation and amortization
6,035

 
4,477

 
17,807

 
12,521

Total costs and operating expenses
81,830

 
83,205

 
235,088

 
233,048

Loss from operations
(6,691
)
 
(10,800
)
 
(31,662
)
 
(36,798
)
Interest income
91

 
27

 
286

 
71

Interest expense
(645
)
 
(159
)
 
(1,885
)
 
(322
)
Other income, net

 

 

 
14

Loss before provision for income taxes
(7,245
)
 
(10,932
)
 
(33,261
)
 
(37,035
)
Provision for income taxes
191

 
173

 
497

 
432

Net loss
$
(7,436
)
 
$
(11,105
)
 
$
(33,758
)
 
$
(37,467
)
Other Non-GAAP Financial Information:
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Adjusted EBITDA
$
5,791

 
$
2,651

 
$
9,273

 
$
7,413

Non-GAAP net (loss) income
$
(989
)
 
$
(2,131
)
 
$
(10,630
)
 
$
(5,791
)
Comparison of the Three and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2016 and 2015
Revenues
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(in thousands)
Transaction revenue
$
70,306

 
$
67,441

 
$
189,556

 
$
182,117

Forecasts, consulting and other revenue
4,833

 
4,964

 
$
13,870

 
$
14,133

Revenues
$
75,139

 
$
72,405

 
$
203,426

 
$
196,250

Three months ended September 30, 2016 compared to three months ended September 30, 2015 . The increase in our revenues of $2.7 million or 3.8% for the three months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the three months ended

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September 30, 2015 primarily reflected the increase in our transaction revenue. Transaction revenue and forecasts, consulting and other revenue comprised 93.6% and 6.4% , respectively, of revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to 93.1% and 6.9% , respectively, for the same period in 2015 . The increase in transaction revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2016 primarily reflected a 6.1% increase in units partially offset by a 1.5% decrease in monetization. At the same time, our average monthly unique visitors grew 14.6% to 7.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016 from 6.6 million for the same period in 2015, reflecting our advertising campaigns which improved brand awareness and the viability of our car-buying services to our users and also the increased efforts from our affinity group marketing partners to drive increased member awareness and traffic to our platform. The decrease in forecasts, consulting and other revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the three months ended September 30, 2015 of $0.1 million or 2.6% is primarily due to a decrease in lead referral fees.
Nine months ended September 30, 2016 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2015 . The increase in our revenues of $7.2 million or 3.7% for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2015 primarily reflected the increase in our transaction revenue. Transaction revenue and forecasts, consulting and other revenue comprised 93.2% and 6.8% , respectively, of revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to 92.8% and 7.2% , respectively, for the same period in 2015 . The increase in transaction revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 primarily reflected a 3.7% increase in units and a 0.3% increase in monetization. The decrease in forecasts, consulting and other revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2015 of 0.3 million or 1.9% is primarily due to a decrease in lead referral fees.
Growth in our transaction revenue has historically been more closely correlated with growth in average monthly unique visitors. In the second half of 2015, our close rates decreased as the result of a decline in the proportion of dealers representing high volume brands in our network. The lower close rates have dampened the impact of increases in unique visitors on transaction revenue. To increase revenue growth, we intend to: (i) increase the rate at which visitors to our website and our affinity group marketing partner sites, and users of our mobile applications, obtain a Guaranteed Savings Certificate by investing in delivering a more engaging experience to consumers and dealers; (ii) improve close rates by investing in additional dealer support personnel to improve and expand our dealer relationships; and (iii) better communicating the benefits of registering with TrueCar to consumers using different and stronger messaging. In doing so, we have re-allocated dollars from marketing and advertising to make investments in our dealer, product, technology, and research efforts in order to make the changes that will improve the consumer and dealer experiences and drive revenue growth in the future. We expect our quarter-over-quarter revenue growth to modestly improve as we implement these changes.
Costs and Operating Expenses
Cost of Revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization)
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(dollars in thousands)
Cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization)
$
6,320

 
$
5,952

 
$
18,910

 
$
17,670

Cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization) as a percentage of revenues
8.4
%
 
8.2
%
 
9.3
%
 
9.0
%
Three months ended September 30, 2016 compared to three months ended September 30, 2015 . Cost of revenue increased $0.4 million or 6.2% for the three months ended September 30, 2016  as compared to the three months ended September 30, 2015 primarily due to increased employee related costs.  Although we expect our cost of revenue to increase in dollar amount as we add additional data sources in the near term, we believe that the nature of our cost structure will enable us to realize operating leverage in our business over time.
Nine months ended September 30, 2016 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2015 . Cost of revenue increased $1.2 million or 7.0% for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2015 primarily due to increased employee related costs.


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Table of Contents

Sales and Marketing Expenses
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(dollars in thousands)
Sales and marketing expenses
$
42,557

 
$
43,969

 
$
112,797

 
$
116,135

Sales and marketing expenses as a percentage of revenues
56.6
%
 
60.7
%
 
55.4
%
 
59.2
%
Three months ended September 30, 2016 compared to three months ended September 30, 2015 . Sales and marketing expenses decreased $1.4 million or 3.2% for the three months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the three months ended September 30, 2015 . The decrease primarily reflected a $1.8 million decrease in revenue share paid to affinity marketing partners and a $1.1 million reduction in advertising costs as we reduced our expenditures to maintain the efficiency of our customer acquisition spending. The decrease was partially offset by a $1.8 million increase in salaries and employee related expenses primarily due to our increased headcount. We expect sales and marketing expenses to continue to increase in total due to increased headcount to better serve our existing dealers, as well as television and radio advertising, digital customer acquisition costs, affinity group marketing partner fees, and marketing programs as we grow our business.
Nine months ended September 30, 2016 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2015 . Sales and marketing expenses decreased $3.3 million or 2.9% for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2015 primarily due to a $7.3 million decrease in advertising costs, a $1.6 million decrease in revenue share paid to affinity marketing partners, and a $1.4 million decrease in outsourced services and consulting costs. The decrease was partially offset by a $6.0 million increase in salaries and employee related expenses primarily due to our increased headcount and by a $0.8 million increase in warrant expense as we recorded virtually no warrant expense during the nine months ended September 30, 2016 , and recorded a reduction in warrant expense during the nine months ended September 30, 2015 related to the changes in the warrant's fair value during the service period, which primarily resulted from a decrease in the Company's common stock price.
Technology and Development Expenses
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(dollars in thousands)
Technology and development expenses
$
13,153

 
$
12,340

 
$
40,315

 
33,079

Technology and development expenses as a percentage of revenues
17.5
%
 
17.0
%
 
19.8
%
 
16.9
%
Capitalized software costs
$
3,020

 
$
4,226

 
$
9,361

 
$
11,705

Three months ended September 30, 2016 compared to three months ended September 30, 2015 . Technology and development expenses increased $ 0.8 million or  6.6% for the three months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the three months ended September 30, 2015 . The increase primarily reflected $0.6 million in increased software license and hosting expenses. Capitalized software costs decreased $1.2 million primarily due to a decrease in third-party capitalized software development costs. We expect our technology and development expenses to increase in dollar amount as we continue to increase our developer headcount to upgrade and enhance our technology infrastructure, invest in our products, expand the functionality of our platform and provide new product offerings. We also expect technology and development expenses to continue to be affected by variations in the amount of capitalized internally developed software.
Nine months ended September 30, 2016 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2015 . Technology and development expenses increased $7.2 million or 21.9% for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2015 . The increase primarily reflected $7.3 million in increased salaries and employee related expenses primarily due to an increase in headcount in the first half of 2016 and due to $1.3 million in severance costs related to a reorganization in our product and technology teams made in the second quarter of 2016 to better align our resources with business objectives as we transition from multiple software platforms to a unified architecture. Capitalized software costs decreased $2.3 million primarily due to a decrease in third-party capitalized software development costs.

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General and Administrative Expenses
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(dollars in thousands)
General and administrative expenses
$
13,765

 
$
16,467

 
$
45,259

 
$
53,643

General and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenues
18.3
%
 
22.7
%
 
22.2
%
 
27.3
%
Three months ended September 30, 2016 compared to three months ended September 30, 2015 . General and administrative expenses decreased  $2.7 million  or 16.4%  for the three months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the three months ended September 30, 2015 . The decrease reflected a $2.2 million decrease in stock-based compensation primarily due to certain executives who terminated from the Company in the fourth quarter of 2015 and a $1.0 million decrease in legal fees primarily related to a claim we filed against Sonic Automotive Holdings that was settled in August 2015. We expect to continue to incur significant legal fees related to ongoing litigation.
Nine months ended September 30, 2016 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2015 . General and administrative expenses decreased $8.4 million or 15.6% for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2015 . The decrease reflected an $8.6 million decrease in stock-based compensation primarily due to certain executives who terminated from the Company in the fourth quarter of 2015 and a $5.7 million decrease in legal fees primarily related to a claim we filed against Sonic Automotive Holdings that was settled in August 2015. The decreases in general and administrative expense was partially offset by a $3.5 million increase in facilities expense, primarily related to an additional $2.7 million lease exit charge recorded in the second quarter of 2016 as discussed further in Note 6 of our condensed consolidated financial statements herein and by a $2.0 million increase in payroll and employee related costs primarily due to increased headcount and increased bonus expense.
Depreciation and Amortization Expenses
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(dollars in thousands)
Depreciation and amortization expenses
$
6,035

 
$
4,477

 
$
17,807

 
$
12,521

Three months ended September 30, 2016 compared to three months ended September 30, 2015 . Depreciation and amortization expenses increased $1.6 million or 34.8% for the three months ended September 30, 2016 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2015 . The increase is primarily related to growth in capitalized software costs and includes $0.7 million in accelerated depreciation related to software assets that we have determined to have shortened useful lives in light of recently commenced efforts to upgrade our technology infrastructure. The shortened useful lives of these assets result in comparatively greater depreciation in 2016 than the corresponding periods in 2015. We also expect our depreciation and amortization expenses to continue to be affected by the amount of capitalized internally developed software costs, property and equipment, and the timing of placing projects in service.
Nine months ended September 30, 2016 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2015 . Depreciation and amortization expenses increased $5.3 million or 42.2% for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2015 . The increase is primarily related to growth in capitalized software costs and includes $2.0 million in accelerated depreciation related to software assets that we have determined to have shortened useful lives in light of recently commenced efforts to upgrade our technology infrastructure.

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Interest Expense
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(dollars in thousands)
Interest expense
$
645

 
$
159

 
$
1,885

 
$
322

Three months ended September 30, 2016 compared to three months ended September 30, 2015 . Interest expense increased $0.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the three months ended September 30, 2015 , due to interest expense incurred on our lease financing obligation for our Santa Monica leased office space and our San Francisco leased office space. We expect to incur a consistent level of interest expense on our lease financing obligation in future periods.
Nine months ended September 30, 2016 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2015 . Interest expense increased $1.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 as compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2015 due to interest expense incurred on our lease financing obligation for our Santa Monica leased office space and our San Francisco leased office space.
Provision for Income Taxes
 
Three Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
Nine Months Ended 
 September 30,
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(dollars in thousands)
Provision for income taxes
$
191

 
$
173

 
$
497

 
$
432

Our provision for income taxes for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015 primarily reflected tax expense due to amortization of tax deductible goodwill that is not an available source of income to realize our deferred tax assets.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
At September 30, 2016 , our principal sources of liquidity were cash and cash equivalents totaling $103.0 million .
We have incurred cumulative losses of $310.3 million from our operations through September 30, 2016 , and expect to incur additional losses in the future. We believe that our existing sources of liquidity will be sufficient to fund our operations for at least the next 12 months. However, our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including our rate of revenue growth, the expansion of our sales and marketing activities, and the timing and extent of our spending to support our technology and development efforts. To the extent that existing cash and cash equivalents, and cash from operations are insufficient to fund our future activities, we may need to raise additional funds through public or private equity or debt financing. Additional funds may not be available on terms favorable to us or at all.
Credit Facility
On February 18, 2015, we amended our credit facility to provide advances of up to $35.0 million. This credit facility provides a $10.0 million subfacility for the issuance of letters of credit and contains an increase option permitting us, subject to the lender's consent, to increase the revolving credit facility by up to $15.0 million, to an aggregate maximum of $50 million. The credit facility has a three-year term and matures on February 18, 2018. No amounts were outstanding at September 30, 2016 . The amount available under the amended credit facility at September 30, 2016 was $30.7 million , reduced for the letters of credit issued and outstanding under the subfacility of $4.3 million . See Note 5 of our condensed consolidated financial statements herein for more information about our amended credit facility.

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Cash Flows
The following table summarizes our cash flows:
 
Nine Months Ended September 30,
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
 
Consolidated Cash Flow Data:
(in thousands)
Net cash used in operating activities
$
(2,602
)
 
$
(9,712
)
Net cash used in investing activities
(12,872
)
 
(19,626
)
Net cash provided by financing activities
6,076

 
5,505

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents
$
(9,398
)
 
$
(23,833
)
Operating Activities
Our net loss and cash flows used in operating activities are significantly influenced by our investments in headcount and infrastructure to support our growth, marketing, advertising, and sponsorship expenses. Our net loss has been significantly greater than cash provided by or used in operating activities due to the inclusion of non-cash expenses and charges.
Cash used in operating activities for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 was $2.6 million . This was primarily due to our net loss of $33.8 million , which, adjusted for non-cash items, including depreciation and amortization expense of $17.7 million and stock-based compensation expense of $18.0 million , resulted in $4.0 million in cash provided by operations. Net cash used in operations was also impacted by a decrease of $6.6 million related to changes in operating assets and liabilities, which primarily reflected a decrease of $5.1 million in accounts payable primarily due to decreased affinity group marketing fees, an increase of $2.9 million in accounts receivable primarily due to an increase in revenue, and an increase of $1.2 million in prepaid expenses primarily due to an increase in prepaid insurance and marketing fees. These uses of cash were partially offset by a $1.5 million increase in accrued expenses and other liabilities primarily due to increased accrued legal and marketing fees and a $1.4 million increase in other liabilities primarily due to an increase in lease exit costs recorded in the second quarter of 2016.
Cash used in operating activities for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was $9.7 million. This was primarily due to our net loss of $37.5 million, which, adjusted for non-cash items, including depreciation and amortization expense of $12.5 million and stock-based compensation expense of $26.2 million, resulted in $1.6 million in cash provided by operations. This was offset by a decrease of $11.3 million in changes to operating assets and liabilities, which primarily reflected an increase of $9.2 million in accounts receivable primarily related to increased revenues, a decrease of $8.4 million in accrued employee expenses primarily related to bonus payments made in the first quarter of 2015, and a decrease of $1.7 million in accrued expenses and other liabilities primarily due to decreased marketing fees. These were partially offset by a $7.3 million increase in accounts payable primarily due to increased affinity group marketing fees and growth in our business.
Investing Activities
Our investing activities consist primarily of capital expenditures for capitalized software development costs and property and equipment, and the acquisition of other intangible assets.
Cash used in investing activities of $12.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 resulted from $9.1 million of investments in software, $2.8 million of investments in furniture, leasehold, and facility improvements, and $1.0 million of investments in computer hardware.
Cash used in investing activities of $19.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 resulted primarily from $11.3 million of investments in software, $5.7 million of investments in furniture, leasehold, and facility improvements primarily associated with our San Francisco and Santa Monica office spaces, and $2.6 million of investment in computer hardware.
Financing Activities
Cash provided by financing activities of $6.1 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 primarily reflects $4.7 million of proceeds from the exercise of stock options, net of taxes paid for the net share settlement of certain equity awards, a $1.5 million tenant improvement reimbursement related to our Santa Monica capitalized facility lease, partially offset by $0.1 million paid for the repurchase of common stock option awards.

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Cash provided by financing activities of $5.5 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 primarily reflects $4.9 million of proceeds from the exercise of stock options, net of taxes paid for the net share settlement of certain equity awards, and $0.6 million of tenant improvement reimbursements related to a build-to-suit lease.

Contractual Obligations and Known Future Cash Requirements
In May 2016, we entered into a new office lease for approximately 38,000 square feet near Austin, Texas. The lease is expected to commence in February 2017 and has a ten year term. We have the option to extend the lease for two additional five-year periods. The cumulative base rent over the initial lease term is approximately $9.9 million.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We do not engage in transactions that generate relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, such as entities often referred to as structured finance or special purpose entities, as part of our ongoing business. Accordingly, our operating results, financial condition and cash flows are not subject to off-balance sheet risks.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is based upon our condensed consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The preparation of these condensed consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, expenses, and related disclosures. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates and assumptions, including, but not limited to, those related to revenue recognition, allowance for doubtful accounts and sales allowances, stock-based compensation, income taxes, goodwill and other intangible assets, internal use capitalized software development costs, and contingencies and litigation. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other estimates and assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results could differ from these estimates and assumptions.
There have been no material changes to the critical accounting policies previously disclosed in our annual report on Form 10-K, filed with the SEC on March 10, 2016.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
See Note 2 to our condensed consolidated financial statements included herein.
Item 3.   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk
Market risk represents the risk of loss that may affect our financial position due to adverse changes in financial market prices and rates. We are exposed to market risks related to changes in interest rates.
Interest Rate Risk
We had cash and cash equivalents of $103.0 million at September 30, 2016 , which consists entirely of bank deposits and short-term money market funds. Such interest-earning instruments carry a degree of interest rate risk. To date, fluctuations in interest income have not been significant.
We do not enter into investments for trading or speculative purposes and have not used any derivative financial instruments to manage our interest rate risk exposure.
To the extent we borrow funds under our credit facility, we would be subject to fluctuations in interest rates. See Note 5 to the condensed consolidated financial statements herein. As of September 30, 2016 , we had no borrowings under the credit facility. We believe that we do not have a material exposure to changes in the fair value as a result of changes in interest rates.
Inflation Risk
We do not believe that inflation has had a material effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. However, if our costs were to become subject to significant inflationary pressures, we may not be able to fully offset such higher costs through price increases. Our inability or failure to do so could harm our business, operating results and financial condition.
Foreign Currency Exchange Risk

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Historically, as our operations and sales have been primarily in the United States, we have not faced any significant foreign currency risk. If we plan for international expansion, our risks associated with fluctuation in currency rates will become greater, and we will continue to reassess our approach to managing this risk. 
Item 4.   Controls and Procedures
Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
Our management, with the participation of our chief executive officer and chief financial officer, evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures as of September 30, 2016 . The term “disclosure controls and procedures,” as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (or the “Exchange Act”), means controls and other procedures of a company that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by a company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported, within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms. Disclosure controls and procedures include, without limitation, controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by a company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to the company’s management, including its principal executive and principal financial officers, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. Management recognizes that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives and management necessarily applies its judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of possible controls and procedures. Based on the evaluation of our disclosure controls and procedures as of September 30, 2016 , our chief executive officer and chief financial officer concluded that, as of such date, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective at the reasonable assurance level. 
Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting
There was no change in our internal control over financial reporting identified in connection with the evaluation required by Rule 13a-15(d) and 15d-15(d) of the Exchange Act that occurred during the period covered by this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

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PART II—OTHER INFORMATION
Item 1. Legal Proceedings
Refer to the disclosure under the heading “Legal Proceedings” in Note 6 “Commitments and Contingencies” to our condensed consolidated financial statements included in this report for legal proceedings. From time to time, we may be involved in various legal proceedings arising from the normal course of our business activities.
Item 1A.    Risk Factors
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should consider carefully the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this report, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes, and Part I, Item 2, “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” before making an investment in our common stock. If any of the following risks is realized, our business, financial condition, operating results and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In that event, the trading price of our common stock could decline and you could lose part or all of your investment. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or not believed by us to be material could also impact us.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

The growth of our business relies significantly on our ability to grow and optimize the geographic coverage of dealers in our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers and increase the representation of high volume brands in our network, such that we are able to increase the number of transactions between our users and TrueCar Certified Dealers. Failure to do so would limit our growth.

Some automotive brands consistently achieve higher than average sales volume per dealer. As a consequence, dealers representing those brands make a disproportionately greater contribution to our unit volume. Our ability to grow and to optimize the geographic coverage of dealers in our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers, increase the number of dealers representing high volume brands and grow the overall number of dealers in our network is an important factor in growing our business.

As described elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section, we are a relatively new participant in the automobile retail industry and our business has sometimes been viewed in a negative light by car dealerships. Although we have taken steps intended to improve our relationships with, and image among, car dealerships, including the commitments made in our pledge to dealers, there can be no assurance that our efforts will be successful. We may be unable to maintain or grow the number of car dealers in our network, in a geographically optimized manner or at all, or increase the proportion of dealers in our network representing high volume brands. During the second half of 2015, we experienced both a decline in the proportion of such high volume dealers in our network and slowed quarter-over-quarter revenue growth. There can be no assurance we will be successful in sustainably reversing these declines. Failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business, growth, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In addition, our ability to increase the number of TrueCar Certified Dealers in an optimized manner depends on strong relationships with other constituents, including car manufacturers and state dealership associations. From time to time, car manufacturers have communicated concerns about our business to the dealers in our network. For example, some car manufacturers maintain guidelines that prohibit dealers from advertising a car at a price that is below an established floor. If a TrueCar Certified Dealer submits pricing information to our users that falls below pricing guidelines established by the applicable manufacturer, the manufacturer may discourage that dealer from remaining in the network and may discourage other dealers within its brand from joining the network. For example, in late 2011, Honda publicly announced that it would not provide advertising allowances to dealers that remained in our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers. While we subsequently addressed Honda’s concerns and it ceased withholding advertising allowances from our TrueCar Certified Dealers, discord with specific car manufacturers impedes our ability to grow our dealer network. More recently, in January 2016, Toyota modified its marketing covenant to include guidelines on minimum allowable advertised pricing. We have implemented certain changes designed to accommodate these guidelines; however it is unclear whether we will ultimately be able to do so without making material, unfavorable adjustments to our business practices or user experience. If we are unable to successfully accommodate these guidelines without making material, unfavorable adjustments to our business practices or user experience, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, growth, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.


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In addition, state dealership associations maintain significant influence over the dealerships in their state as lobbying groups and as thought leaders. To the extent that these associations view us in a negative light, our reputation with car dealers in the corresponding state may be negatively affected. If our relationships with car manufacturers or state dealership associations suffer, our ability to maintain and grow the number of car dealers in our network will be harmed.

We cannot assure you that we will expand our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers in a manner that provides a sufficient number of dealers by brand and geography for our unique visitors and failure to do so would limit our growth.

If key industry participants, including car dealers and automobile manufacturers, perceive us in a negative light or our relationships with them suffer harm, our ability to grow and our financial performance may be damaged.

Our primary source of revenue consists of fees paid by TrueCar Certified Dealers to us in connection with the sales of automobiles to our users. In addition, our value proposition to consumers depends on our ability to provide pricing information on automobiles from a sufficient number of automobile dealers by brand and in a given consumer’s geographic area. If our relationships with our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers suffer harm in a manner that leads to the departure of these dealers from our network, then our revenue and ability to maintain and grow unique visitor traffic will be adversely affected.

At the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, due to certain regulatory and publicity-related challenges, many dealers canceled their agreements with us and our franchise dealer count fell from 5,571 at November 30, 2011 to 3,599 at February 28, 2012. More recently, 279 franchise dealers became inactive as the result of a contractual dispute with a large dealer group, and our franchise dealer count decreased from 9,300 at June 30, 2015 to 8,702 at September 30, 2015. At September 30, 2016 our franchise dealer count was 10,759 .

TrueCar Certified Dealers have no contractual obligation to maintain their relationship with us. Accordingly, these dealers may leave our network at any time or may develop or use other products or services in lieu of ours. Further, while we believe that our service provides a lower cost, accountable customer acquisition channel, dealers may have difficulty rationalizing their marketing spend across TrueCar and other channels, which potentially has the effect of diluting our dealer value proposition. If we are unable to create and maintain a compelling value proposition for dealers to become and remain TrueCar Certified Dealers, our dealer network would not grow and could decline.

In addition, although the automobile dealership industry is fragmented, a small number of groups have significant influence over the industry. These groups include state and national dealership associations, state regulators, car manufacturers, consumer groups, individual dealers and consolidated dealer groups. To the extent that these groups believe that automobile dealerships should not do business with us, this belief may become quickly and widely shared by automobile dealerships and we may lose a significant number of dealers in our network. In May 2015, the California New Car Dealers Association filed a lawsuit alleging that we are operating in the State of California as an unlicensed automobile dealer and autobroker. For more information concerning this lawsuit, refer to the risk factor below, “We face litigation and are party to legal proceedings that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.” A significant number of automobile dealerships are also members of larger dealer groups, and to the extent that a group decides to leave our network, this decision would typically apply to all dealerships within the group.

Furthermore, automobile manufacturers may provide their franchise dealers with financial or other marketing support, provided that such dealers adhere to certain marketing guidelines. Automobile manufacturers may determine that the manner in which certain of their franchise dealers use our platform is inconsistent with the terms of such marketing guidelines, which determination could result in potential or actual loss of the manufacturers’ financial or other marketing support to the dealers whose use of the platform is deemed objectionable. The potential or actual loss of such marketing support may cause such dealers to cease being members of our TrueCar Certified Dealer network, which may adversely affect our ability to maintain or grow the number and productivity of dealers in our network or the revenue derived from those dealers.

We cannot assure you that we will maintain strong relationships with the dealers in our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers or that we will not suffer dealer attrition in the future. We may also have disputes with dealers from time to time, including relating to the collection of fees from them and other matters. We may need to modify our products, change pricing or take other actions to address dealer concerns in the future. If a significant number of these automobile dealerships decided to leave our network or change their financial or business relationship with us, then our business, growth, operating results, financial condition and prospects would suffer.


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If we are unable to provide a compelling car-buying experience to our users, the number of transactions between our users and TrueCar Certified Dealers will decline and our revenue and results of operations will suffer harm.

The user experience on our company-branded platform on the TrueCar website has evolved since its launch in 2010, but has not changed dramatically. We cannot assure you that we are able to provide a compelling car-buying experience to our users, and our failure to do so could mean that the number of transactions between our users and TrueCar Certified Dealers may decline and we would be unable to effectively monetize our user traffic. We believe that our ability to provide a compelling car-buying experience is subject to a number of factors, including:

our ability to launch new products that are effective and have a high degree of consumer engagement;
our ability to constantly innovate and improve our existing products;
compliance of the dealers within our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers with applicable laws, regulations and the rules of our platform, including honoring the TrueCar certificates submitted by our users; and
our access to a sufficient amount of data to enable us to provide relevant pricing information to consumers.

If we suffer a significant interruption in our ability to gain access to third-party data, we may be unable to maintain key aspects of our user experience, including the TrueCar Curve, and our business and operating results will suffer.
 
Our business relies on our ability to analyze data for the benefit of our users and the TrueCar Certified Dealers in our network. We use data obtained pursuant to agreements with third parties to power certain aspects of the user experience on our platform, including the TrueCar Curve, a graphical distribution of what others paid for the same make and model of car. In addition, the effectiveness of our user acquisition efforts depends in part on the availability of data relating to existing and potential users of our platform. If we are unable to renew data agreements, or utilize alternative data sources, as certain agreements expire, and we experience a material disruption in the data provided to us, the information that we provide to our users and TrueCar Certified Dealers may be limited, the quality of this information may suffer, the user experience may be negatively affected and certain functionality on our platform may be disabled, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.

Changes to management, including continued turnover of our top executives, or an inability to retain, attract and integrate qualified personnel, could harm our ability to develop and successfully grow our business.

We believe our success has depended, and continues to depend, on the efforts and talents of our executives and employees. Our future success depends on our continuing ability to attract, develop, motivate and retain highly qualified and skilled employees. Qualified individuals are in high demand, and we may incur significant costs to attract and retain them. In order to attract and retain executives and other key employees in a competitive marketplace, we must provide competitive compensation packages, including cash and stock-based compensation. Our primary forms of stock-based incentive awards are stock options and restricted stock units. The exercise prices of the majority of the stock options held by our executives exceed the price of our common stock at the close of the third quarter of 2016. If the anticipated value of such stock-based incentive awards does not materialize, if our stock-based compensation otherwise ceases to be viewed as a valuable benefit, or if our total compensation package is not viewed as being competitive, our ability to attract, retain and motivate executives and key employees could be weakened.

The loss of any of our senior management or key employees could materially adversely affect our ability to execute our business plan and strategy, and we may not be able to find adequate replacements on a timely basis, or at all. Our executive officers and other employees are at-will employees, which means they may terminate their employment relationship with us at any time, and their knowledge of our business and industry would be extremely difficult to replace. In the second half of 2015, we experienced increased turnover in key executive positions, including our chief executive officer and president. Recently hired executives may view the business differently than prior members of management, and over time may make changes to our strategic focus, operations or business plans with corresponding changes in how we report our results of operations. We can make no assurances that our new executives will be able to properly manage any such shift in focus or that any changes to our business would ultimately prove successful. We cannot ensure that we will be able to retain the services of any members of our senior management or other key employees. If we do not succeed in attracting well-qualified employees, retaining and motivating existing employees or integrating new executives and employees, our business could be materially and adversely affected.


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Our growth in recent years may not be indicative of our future growth and, we may not be able to manage future growth effectively.

Our revenue grew from $38.1 million in 2010 to $259.8 million in 2015. However, since the second half of 2015, we have experienced slowed quarter over quarter revenue growth. We expect that in the future, as our revenue increases, our rate of growth may continue to decline. In addition, we may not be able to grow as fast or at all if we do not accomplish the following: 

expand our dealer network in a geographically optimized manner, including increasing dealers in our network representing high volume brands; 
increase the number of transactions between our users and TrueCar Certified Dealers;
maintain and grow our affinity group marketing partner relationships and increase the productivity of our current affinity group marketing partners; 
increase the number of users of our products and services, and in particular the number of unique visitors to the TrueCar website and our TrueCar branded mobile applications; 
further improve the quality of our existing products and services, and introduce high quality new products and services; and 
introduce third party ancillary products and services.
 
We may not successfully accomplish any of these objectives. We plan to continue our investment in future growth. We expect to continue to expend substantial financial and other resources on:

marketing and advertising; 
dealer outreach and training, including the hiring of significant additional personnel in our dealer team;
technology and product development, including the hiring of additional personnel in our product development and technical teams, harmonization of our software infrastructure, and the development of new products and new features for existing products; and 
general administration, including legal, accounting and other compliance expenses related to being a public company.
 
In addition, our historical growth has placed and may continue to place significant demands on our management and our operational and financial resources. We have also experienced significant growth in the number of users of our platform as well as the amount of data that we analyze. We have hired, and expect to continue hiring, additional personnel, particularly in our dealer and technology teams. The additional personnel in our dealer team are intended to enhance the service experience and the productivity of our dealer network while the additional personnel in our technology team are focusing on delivering a better experience to consumers and dealers. Finally, our organizational structure is becoming more complex as we continue to add additional staff, and we will need to improve our operational, financial and management controls as well as our reporting systems and procedures. We will require significant capital expenditures and the allocation of valuable management resources to grow and change in these areas without undermining our corporate culture of rapid innovation, teamwork and attention to the car-buying experience for the consumer and the economics of the dealer.
 
We may be unable to maintain or grow relationships with information data providers or may experience interruptions in the data feeds they provide, which may limit the information that we are able to provide to our users and dealers as well as the timeliness of such information and may impair our ability to attract or retain consumers and TrueCar Certified Dealers and to timely invoice our dealers.
 
We receive automobile purchase data from many third-party data providers, including our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers, dealer management system, or DMS, data feed providers, data aggregators and integrators, survey companies, purveyors of registration data and our affinity group marketing partners. In the states in which we employ a pay-per-sale billing model, we use this data to match purchases with users that obtained a Guaranteed Savings Certificate from a TrueCar Certified Dealer so that we may collect a transaction fee from those dealers and recognize revenue from the related transactions.

From time to time, we experience interruptions in one or more data feeds that we receive from third-party data providers, particularly DMS system data feed providers, in a manner that affects our ability to timely invoice the dealers in our network. These interruptions may occur for a number of reasons, including changes to the software used by these data feed providers and difficulties in renewing our agreements with third-party data feed providers. In the states in which we employ a pay-per-sale billing model, an interruption in the data feeds that we receive may affect our ability to match automobile purchases with users that obtained a Guaranteed Savings Certificate from a TrueCar Certified Dealer, thereby delaying our submission of an invoice to an automobile dealer in our network for a given transaction and delaying the timing of cash receipts

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from the dealer. The redundancies of data feeds received from multiple providers may not result in sufficient data to match automobile purchases with users that obtained a Guaranteed Savings Certificate from a TrueCar Certified Dealer. In the case of an interruption in our data feeds, our billing structure may transition to a subscription model for automobile dealers in our network until the interruption ceases. However, our subscription billing model may result in lower revenues during an interruption and, when an interruption ceases, we are not always able to retroactively match a transaction and collect a fee. In addition, our likelihood of collection of the fee owed to us for a given transaction decreases for those periods in which we are unable to submit an invoice to automobile dealers. Interruptions which occur in close proximity to the end of a given reporting period could result in delays in our ability to recognize those transaction revenues in that reporting period and these shortfalls in transaction revenue could be material to our operating results.
 
We have a history of losses and we may not achieve or maintain profitability in the future.
 
We have not been profitable since inception and had an accumulated deficit of $310.3 million at September 30, 2016 . From time to time in the past, we have made significant investments in our operations which have not resulted in corresponding revenue growth and, as a result, increased our losses. We expect to make significant future investments to support the further development and expansion of our business and these investments may not result in increased revenue or growth on a timely basis or at all. Our revenue growth has been highly influenced by marketing expenditures. Incremental marketing expenditures in certain situations do not result in sufficient incremental revenue to cover their cost. This limits the growth in revenue that can be achieved through marketing expenditures. In addition, as a public company, we have and will continue to incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. As a result of these increased expenditures, we have to generate and sustain increased revenue to achieve and maintain profitability.
 
We may incur significant losses in the future for a number of reasons, including slowing demand for our products and services, increasing competition, weakness in the automobile industry generally, as well as other risks described in this report, and we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications and delays, and other unknown factors. If we incur losses in the future, we may not be able to reduce costs effectively because many of our costs are fixed. In addition, to the extent that we reduce variable costs to respond to losses, this may affect our ability to acquire consumers and dealers and grow our revenues. Accordingly, we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability and we may continue to incur significant losses in the future, and this could cause the price of our common stock to decline.

We have operated our business at scale for a limited period of time and we cannot predict whether we will continue to grow. If we are unable to successfully respond to changes in the market, our business could be harmed.
 
Our business has grown as users and automobile dealers have increasingly used our products and services. However, our business is relatively new and has operated at a substantial scale for only a limited period of time. Given this limited history, it is difficult to predict whether we will be able to maintain or grow our business. We expect that our business will evolve in ways which may be difficult to predict. For example, marketing expenditures in certain situations become inefficient, particularly with respect to the TrueCar website and our branded mobile applications. Continued revenue growth will require more focus on increasing the number of transactions from which we derive revenue by growing our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers, including dealers representing high volume brands, both on an overall basis and in important geographies. It is also possible that car dealers could broadly determine that they no longer believe in the value of our services. In the event of these or any other developments, our continued success will depend on our ability to successfully adjust our strategy to meet the changing market dynamics. If we are unable to do so, our business could be harmed and our results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected.

The loss of a significant affinity group marketing partner or a significant reduction in the number of cars purchased from our TrueCar Certified Dealers by members of our affinity group marketing partners would reduce our revenue and harm our operating results.
 
Our financial performance is substantially dependent upon the number of automobiles purchased from TrueCar Certified Dealers by users of the TrueCar website, our branded mobile applications and the car-buying sites we maintain for our affinity group marketing partners. Currently, a majority of the automobiles purchased by our users were matched to the car-buying sites we maintain for our affinity group marketing partners. As a result, our relationships with our affinity group marketing partners are critical to our business and financial performance. However, several aspects of our relationship with affinity groups might change in a manner that harms our business and financial performance, including: 
affinity group marketing partners might terminate their relationship with us or make such relationship non-exclusive, resulting in a reduction in the number of transactions between users of our platform and TrueCar Certified Dealers; 

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affinity group marketing partners might de-emphasize the automobile buying programs within their offerings, resulting in a decrease in the number of transactions between their members and our TrueCar Certified Dealers; or 
the economic structure of our agreements with affinity group marketing partners might change, resulting in a decrease in our operating margins on transactions by their members.

A significant change to our relationships with affinity group marketing partners may have a negative effect on our business in other ways. For example, the termination by an affinity group marketing partner of our relationship may create the perception that our products and services are no longer beneficial to the members of affinity groups or a more general negative association with our business. In addition, a termination by an affinity group marketing partner may result in the loss of the data provided to us by them with respect to automobile transactions. This loss of data may decrease the quantity and quality of the information that we provide to consumers and may also reduce our ability to identify transactions for which we can invoice dealers. If our relationships with affinity group marketing partners change our business, revenue, operating results and prospects may be harmed.
 
Any adverse change in our relationship with United Services Automobile Association, or USAA, could harm our business.
 
The single largest source of user traffic from our affinity group marketing partners comes from the site we maintain for USAA, and USAA is our largest stockholder. At September 30, 2016 , USAA beneficially owned 12,168,669 shares, which represented 14.2% of our outstanding common stock. In 2015 and the nine months ended September 30, 2016 , nearly 234,233 units and 185,596 units, respectively, or 31% and 32% , respectively, of all units purchased by users from TrueCar Certified Dealers, were matched to users of the car-buying site we maintain for USAA. We define units as the number of automobiles purchased by our users from TrueCar Certified Dealers through the TrueCar website and our branded mobile applications or the car-buying sites we maintain for our affinity group marketing partners. As such, USAA has a significant influence on our operating results.
 
In May 2014, we entered into an extension of our affinity group marketing agreement with USAA that extends through February 13, 2020, but we cannot assure you that our agreement with USAA will be extended at the expiration of the current agreement on terms satisfactory to us, or at all. In addition, USAA has broad discretion in how the car-buying site we maintain for USAA is promoted and marketed on its own website. Changes in this promotion and marketing have in the past and may in the future adversely affect the volume of user traffic we receive from USAA. Changes in our relationship with USAA or its promotion and marketing of our platform could adversely affect our business and operating results in the future. 

The success of our business relies heavily on our marketing and branding efforts, especially with respect to the TrueCar website and our branded mobile applications, as well as those efforts of the affinity group marketing partners whose websites we power, and these efforts may not be successful.
 
We believe that an important component of our growth will be the growth of our business derived from the TrueCar website and our TrueCar branded mobile applications. Because TrueCar.com is a consumer brand, we rely heavily on marketing and advertising to increase the visibility of this brand with potential users of our products and services. We currently advertise through television and radio marketing campaigns, digital and online media, sponsorship programs and other means, the goal of which is to increase the strength, recognition and trust in the TrueCar brand and drive more unique visitors to our website and mobile applications. We incurred expenses of $151.0 million and $112.8 million on sales and marketing during 2015 and the nine months ended September 30, 2016 , respectively.
 
Our business model relies on our ability to scale rapidly and to decrease incremental user acquisition costs as we grow. Our revenue growth has been highly influenced by marketing expenditures. Incremental marketing expenditures in certain situations do not result in the acquisition of sufficient users visiting our website and mobile applications to permit recovery of such costs through revenue growth. This limits the growth in revenue that can be achieved through marketing expenditures. If we are unable to recover our marketing costs through increases in user traffic and in the number of transactions by users of our platform it could have a material adverse effect on our growth, results of operations and financial condition.

Additionally, to the extent that we discontinue our broad marketing campaigns or elect to reduce our sales and marketing costs to decrease our losses, this may affect our ability to acquire consumers and dealers and grow our revenues. Our current and potential competitors may have significantly more financial, marketing and other resources than we have and the ability to devote greater resources to the promotion and support of their products and services. The realities of competing for users and brand visibility, as well as ensuring the satisfaction of our dealers, may limit our ability to reduce our own marketing expenditures, potentially negatively impacting our operating margins and financial results.
 

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In addition, the number of transactions generated by the members of our affinity group marketing partners depends in part on the emphasis that these affinity group marketing partners place on marketing the purchase of cars within their platforms. For example, USAA is a large diversified financial services group of companies serving the United States military community with hundreds of highly competitive product and service offerings. At any given time, USAA’s car-buying service may or may not be a priority relative to its other offerings. Consequently, changes in how USAA promotes and markets the car-buying site we maintain for them can and has, from time to time in the past, affected the volume of purchases generated by USAA members. For example, in the past USAA adjusted the location and prominence of the links to our platform on its web pages, adversely affecting the volume of traffic to our platform. Should USAA or one or more of our other affinity group marketing partners decide to de-emphasize the marketing of our platform, or if their marketing efforts are otherwise unsuccessful, our revenue, business and financial results will be harmed.

Failure to increase our revenue or reduce our sales and marketing expense as a percentage of revenue would adversely affect our financial condition and profitability.

We expect to make significant future investments to support the further development and expansion of our business and these investments may not result in increased revenue or growth on a timely basis or at all. Furthermore, these investments may not decrease as a percentage of revenue if our business grows. In particular, we intend to increase expenditures to grow our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers and to improve the satisfaction of the dealers in our network. We also intend to continue investing to increase awareness of our brand, including via television and radio advertisements. There can be no assurance that these investments will increase revenue or that we will eventually be able to decrease our sales and marketing expense as a percentage of revenue, and failure to do so would adversely affect our financial condition and profitability.

We are subject to a complex framework of federal and state laws and regulations primarily concerning vehicle sales, advertising and brokering, many of which are unsettled, still developing and contradictory, which have in the past, and could in the future, subject us to claims, challenge our business model or otherwise harm our business.

Various aspects of our business are or may be subject, directly or indirectly, to U.S. federal and state laws and regulations. Failure to comply with such laws or regulations may result in the suspension or termination of our ability to do business in affected jurisdictions or the imposition of significant civil and criminal penalties, including fines or the award of significant damages against us and our TrueCar Certified Dealers in class action or other civil litigation.

State Motor Vehicle Sales, Advertising and Brokering Laws

The advertising and sale of new or used motor vehicles is highly regulated by the states in which we do business. Although we do not sell motor vehicles, state regulatory authorities or third parties could take the position that some of the regulations applicable to dealers or to the manner in which motor vehicles are advertised and sold generally are directly applicable to our business. If our products and services are determined to not comply with relevant regulatory requirements, we or our TrueCar Certified Dealers could be subject to significant civil and criminal penalties, including fines, or the award of significant damages in class action or other civil litigation as well as orders interfering with our ability to continue providing our products and services in certain states. In addition, even absent such a determination, to the extent dealers are uncertain about the applicability of such laws and regulations to our business, we may lose, or have difficulty increasing the number of, TrueCar Certified Dealers in our network, which would affect our future growth.

Several states in which we do business have laws and regulations that strictly regulate or prohibit the brokering of motor vehicles or the making of so-called “bird-dog” payments by dealers to third parties in connection with the sale of motor vehicles through persons other than licensed salespersons. If our products or services are determined to fall within the scope of such laws or regulations, we may be forced to implement new measures, which could be costly, to reduce our exposure to those obligations, including the discontinuation of certain products or services in affected jurisdictions. Additionally, such a determination could subject us or our TrueCar Certified Dealers to significant civil or criminal penalties, including fines, or the award of significant damages in class action or other civil litigation.

In addition to generally applicable consumer protection laws, many states in which we do business have laws and regulations that specifically regulate the advertising for sale of new or used motor vehicles. These state advertising laws and regulations are frequently subject to multiple interpretations and are not uniform from state to state, sometimes imposing inconsistent requirements on the advertiser of a new or used motor vehicle. If the content displayed on the websites we operate is determined or alleged to be inaccurate or misleading, under motor vehicle advertising laws, generally applicable consumer protection laws, or otherwise, we could be subject to significant civil and criminal penalties, including fines, or the award of significant damages in class action or other civil litigation. Moreover, such allegations, even if unfounded or decided in our

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favor, could be extremely costly to defend, could require us to pay significant sums in settlements, and could interfere with our ability to continue providing our products and services in certain states.

From time to time, certain state authorities, dealer associations, and others have taken the position that aspects of our products and services violate state brokering, bird-dog, or advertising laws. When such allegations have arisen, we have endeavored to resolve the identified concerns on a consensual and expeditious basis, through negotiation and education efforts, without resorting to the judicial process. In certain instances, we have nevertheless been obligated to suspend all or certain aspects of our business operations in a state pending the resolution of such issues, the resolution of which included the payment of fines in 2011 and 2012 in the aggregate amount of approximately $26,000. For example, in the beginning of 2012, following implementation of our first nationwide television advertising campaign, state regulatory inquiries with respect to the compliance of our products and services with state brokering, bird-dog, and advertising laws intensified to a degree not previously experienced by us. Responding to and resolving these inquiries, as well as our efforts to ameliorate the related adverse publicity and loss of TrueCar Certified Dealers from our network, resulted in decreased revenues and increased expenses and, accordingly, increased our losses during much of 2012.

In May 2015, we were named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles (the “CNCDA Litigation”). The complaint, filed by the California New Car Dealers Association, seeks declaratory and injunctive relief based on allegations that we are operating in the State of California as an unlicensed automobile dealer and autobroker. For more information concerning the CNCDA Litigation, refer to the risk factor below, “We face litigation and are party to legal proceedings that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.”

In July 2015, we were named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles (the “Participating Dealer Litigation”). The complaint, filed by numerous dealers participating on the TrueCar platform, and as subsequently amended, sought declaratory and injunctive relief based on allegations that the Company is engaging in unfairly competitive practices and is operating as an unlicensed automobile dealer and autobroker in contravention of various state laws. On September 29, 2015, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed this lawsuit “without prejudice,” which means that the Participating Dealer Litigation is currently resolved, but that it could be re-filed at a later date. For more information concerning this lawsuit, refer to the risk factor below, “We face litigation and are party to legal proceedings that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.”

In September 2015, we received a letter from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (the “Texas DMV Notice”) asserting that certain aspects of our advertising in Texas constitute false, deceptive, unfair, or misleading advertising within the meaning of applicable Texas law. On September 24, 2015, we responded to the Texas DMV Notice in an effort to resolve the concerns raised by the Texas DMV Notice without making material, unfavorable adjustments to our business practices or user experience in Texas. In light of the fact that no further action has been taken with respect to this matter subsequent to our response to the Texas DMV Notice, we consider the issues raised by the Texas DMV Notice to be informally resolved, but we cannot assure you that this matter or similar matters will not reemerge in the future.

In December 2015, we were named as a defendant in a putative class action lawsuit filed by Gordon Rose in the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles (the “California Consumer Class Action”). The complaint asserts claims for unjust enrichment, violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and violation of the California Business and Professions Code, based in part on allegations that we are operating in the State of California as an unlicensed automobile dealer and autobroker. The plaintiff seeks to represent a class of California consumers defined as “[a]ll California consumers who purchased an automobile by using TrueCar, Inc.’s price certificate during the applicable statute of limitations.” For more information concerning this lawsuit, refer to the risk factor below, “We face litigation and are party to legal proceedings that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.”
In July 2016, we received a letter from the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Commission (the “Mississippi MVC Letter”) asserting that an aspect of our advertising in Mississippi was not in compliance with a regulation adopted by the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Commission. On July 19, we responded to the Mississippi MVC Letter in an effort to resolve the concerns raised by the Mississippi MVC Letter without making material, unfavorable adjustments to our business practices or user experience in Mississippi. In light of the fact that no further action has been taken with respect to this matter subsequent to our response to the Mississippi MVC Letter, we consider the issues raised by the Mississippi MVC Letter to be informally resolved, but we cannot assure you that this matter or similar matters will not reemerge in the future.
In August 2016, we met with investigators from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (the “California DMV”) regarding an allegation made by a dealer that we were operating as an unlicensed automobile auction in California (the “Unlicensed Auction Allegation”). We provided the investigators with information about our business in an effort to resolve the

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concerns raised by the Unlicensed Auction Allegation. In October 2016, we were informally advised by an investigator for the California DMV that the concerns raised by the Unlicensed Auction Allegation had been resolved, but that the investigators will continue to evaluate our responses regarding certain matters related to the advertising of new motor vehicles. We cannot assure you that this matter or similar matters will not reemerge in the future.
If state regulators or other third parties take the position in the future that our products or services violate applicable brokering, bird-dog, or advertising laws or regulations, responding to such allegations could be costly, could require us to pay significant sums in settlements, could require us to pay civil and criminal penalties, including fines, could interfere with our ability to continue providing our products and services in certain states, or could require us to make adjustments to our products and services or the manner in which we derive revenue from our participating dealers, any or all of which could result in substantial adverse publicity, loss of TrueCar Certified Dealers from our network, decreased revenues, increased expenses, and decreased profitability.

Federal Advertising Regulations

The Federal Trade Commission, or the FTC, has authority to take actions to remedy or prevent advertising practices that it considers to be unfair or deceptive and that affect commerce in the United States. If the FTC takes the position in the future that any aspect of our business constitutes an unfair or deceptive advertising practice, responding to such allegations could require us to pay significant damages, settlements, and civil penalties, or could require us to make adjustments to our products and services, any or all of which could result in substantial adverse publicity, loss of participating dealers, lost revenues, increased expenses, and decreased profitability.

In March 2015, we were named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York (the “NY Lanham Act Litigation”). The complaint, purportedly filed on behalf of numerous automotive dealers who are not on the TrueCar platform, seeks injunctive relief in addition to over $250 million in damages based on allegations that we violated the Lanham Act as well as various state laws prohibiting unfair competition and deceptive acts or practices related to our advertising and promotional activities. For more information concerning the NY Lanham Act Litigation, refer to the risk factor below, “We face litigation and are party to legal proceedings that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.”

Federal Antitrust Laws

The antitrust laws prohibit, among other things, any joint conduct among competitors that would lessen competition in the marketplace. Some of the information that we obtain from dealers is competitively sensitive and, if disclosed inappropriately, could potentially be used by dealers to impede competition or otherwise diminish independent pricing activity. A governmental or private civil action alleging the improper exchange of information, or unlawful participation in price maintenance or other unlawful or anticompetitive activity, even if unfounded, could be costly to defend and adversely impact our ability to maintain and grow our dealer network.

In addition, governmental or private civil actions related to the antitrust laws could result in orders suspending or terminating our ability to do business or otherwise altering or limiting certain of our business practices, including the manner in which we handle or disclose dealer pricing information, or the imposition of significant civil or criminal penalties, including fines or the award of significant damages against us and our TrueCar Certified Dealers in class action or other civil litigation.

Other

The foregoing description of laws and regulations to which we are or may be subject is not exhaustive, and the regulatory framework governing our operations is subject to continuous change. The enactment of new laws and regulations or the interpretation of existing laws and regulations in an unfavorable way may affect the operation of our business, directly or indirectly, which could result in substantial regulatory compliance costs, civil or criminal penalties, including fines, adverse publicity, loss of participating dealers, lost revenues, increased expenses, and decreased profitability. Further, investigations by government agencies, including the FTC, into allegedly anticompetitive, unfair, deceptive or other business practices by us or our TrueCar Certified Dealers, could cause us to incur additional expenses and, if adversely concluded, could result in substantial civil or criminal penalties and significant legal liability.

We face litigation and are party to legal proceedings that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.


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In March 2015, we were named as a defendant in the NY Lanham Act Litigation. The complaint in the NY Lanham Act Litigation, purportedly filed on behalf of numerous automotive dealers who are not on the TrueCar platform, alleges that we violated the Lanham Act as well as various state laws prohibiting unfair competition and deceptive acts or practices related to our advertising and promotional activities. The complaint seeks injunctive relief in addition to over $250 million in damages as a result of the alleged diversion of customers from the plaintiffs’ dealerships to TrueCar Certified Dealers. On April 7, 2015, we filed an answer to the complaint. Thereafter, the plaintiffs amended their complaint, and on July 13, 2015, we filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint. On January 6, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part our motion to dismiss. The litigation is currently in the discovery phase. We believe that the portions of the amended complaint that survived our motion to dismiss are without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves in this matter. Based on the preliminary nature of the proceedings in this case, the outcome of this legal proceeding, including the anticipated legal defense costs, remains uncertain; however, we may incur significant legal fees, settlements or damage awards resulting from this or other civil litigation. If this matter is not resolved in our favor, losses arising from the results of litigation or settlements, as well as ongoing defense costs, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In May 2015, we were named as a defendant in the CNCDA Litigation. The complaint in the CNCDA Litigation seeks declaratory and injunctive relief based on allegations that we are operating in the State of California as an unlicensed automobile dealer and autobroker. On July 20, 2015, we filed a "demurrer" to the complaint, which is a pleading that requests the court to dismiss the case. The plaintiffs subsequently amended their complaint, and on September 11, 2015, we filed a demurrer to the amended complaint. On December 7, 2015, the Court granted our demurrer in its entirety, but afforded the CNCDA the opportunity to file a second amended complaint. The CNCDA filed a second amended complaint on January 4, 2016. The second amended complaint reiterates the claims in the prior complaints and adds claims under theories based on the federal Lanham Act and California unfair competition law. On February 3, 2016, we filed a demurrer to the second amended complaint. On March 30, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part our demurrer to the second amended complaint, dismissing the Lanham Act claim but declining to dismiss the balance of the claims at the demurrer stage of the litigation. On May 31, 2016, based on certain intervening developments in state law, the Court announced that it would reconsider its March 30, 2016 order, and it invited the parties to file new briefs on the demurrer issues. On July 15, 2016, the Court heard oral argument on reconsideration of the demurrer issues. On July 25, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part the Company’s demurrer to the second amended complaint, just as it had done in its March 30, 2016 order. The litigation is currently in the discovery phase. We believe that the portions of the second amended complaint that survived the Court’s reconsideration of our demurrer are without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves in this matter. Based on the preliminary nature of the proceedings in this case, the outcome of this legal proceeding, including the anticipated legal defense costs, remains uncertain; however, we may incur significant legal fees, settlements or damage awards resulting from this or other civil litigation. If this matter is not resolved in our favor, losses arising from the results of litigation or settlements, as well as ongoing defense costs, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In May 2015, a purported securities class action complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (the “Federal Securities Litigation”) by Satyabrata Mahapatra naming TrueCar and two other individuals not affiliated with TrueCar as defendants. On June 15, 2015, the plaintiff filed a Notice of Errata and Correction purporting to name Scott Painter and Michael Guthrie as individual defendants in lieu of the two individual defendants named in the complaint. On October 5, 2015, the plaintiffs amended their complaint. As amended, the complaint in the Federal Securities Litigation seeks an award of unspecified damages, interest and attorneys' fees based on allegations that the defendants made false and/or misleading statements, and failed to disclose material adverse facts about TrueCar’s business, operations, prospects and performance. Specifically, the amended complaint alleges that during the putative class period, the defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) TrueCar’s business practices violated unfair competition and deceptive trade practice laws (i.e., the issues raised in the NY Lanham Act Litigation); (ii) TrueCar acts as a dealer and broker in car sales transactions without proper licensing, in violation of various states’ laws that govern car sales (i.e., the issues raised in the CNCDA Litigation); and (iii) as a result of the above, TrueCar’s registration statements, prospectuses, quarterly and annual reports, financial statements, SEC filings, press releases, and other statements and documents were materially false and misleading at times relevant to the amended complaint and putative class period. The amended complaint asserts a putative class period stemming from May 16, 2014 to July 23, 2015. On October 19, 2015, we filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint. On December 9, 2015, the Court granted our motion to dismiss and dismissed the case in its entirety. On January 8, 2016, the plaintiff filed a notice of appeal. On June 20, 2016, the plaintiff filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of the appeal. The motion was granted by the Court on June 27, 2016. As this case has been dismissed, we do not anticipate a loss related to this matter. However, if similar litigation is filed against us, we may incur significant legal fees, adverse changes in our dealer network, settlements or damage awards as a result. If any such matters are not resolved in our favor, losses arising from the results of litigation or settlements, as well as ongoing defense costs or adverse changes in our dealer network, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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In July 2015, we were named as a defendant in the Participating Dealer Litigation. Both as originally filed and as subsequently amended, the complaint in the Participating Dealer Litigation sought declaratory and injunctive relief based on allegations that the Company is engaging in unfairly competitive practices and is operating as an unlicensed automobile dealer and autobroker in contravention of various state laws. Neither the original nor amended complaint sought an award of money damages. On September 29, 2015, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed this lawsuit “without prejudice,” which means that the Participating Dealer Litigation is currently resolved, but that it could be re-filed at a later date. If the Participating Dealer Litigation is re-filed at a later date or if similar litigation is filed against us, we may incur significant legal fees, adverse changes in our dealer network, settlements or damage awards as a result. If any such matters are not resolved in our favor, losses arising from the results of litigation or settlements, as well as ongoing defense costs or adverse changes in our dealer network, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In August 2015, the Company, certain of its executives and directors, and the underwriters of the Company’s initial public offering and secondary offering were named as defendants in a putative class action lawsuit filed by Ning Shen and William Fitzpatrick in California Superior Court under the federal securities laws (the “California State Court Securities Litigation”).  The complaint alleged that TrueCar’s registration statements in connection with the offerings contained false or misleading statements of material facts, and failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, prospects, and performance.  On September 2, 2015, following our removal of the action from California state court to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed this lawsuit “without prejudice,” which means that the California State Court Securities Litigation is currently resolved, but that it could be re-filed at a later date. If the California State Court Securities Litigation is re-filed at a later date or if additional similar litigation, such as the Federal Securities Litigation, is filed against us, we may incur significant legal fees, settlements or damage awards as a result. If any such matters are not resolved in our favor, losses arising from the results of litigation or settlements, as well as ongoing defense costs, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In December 2015, we were named as a defendant in a putative class action lawsuit filed by Gordon Rose in the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles (the “California Consumer Class Action”). The complaint asserted claims for unjust enrichment, violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and violation of the California Business and Professions Code, based principally on factual allegations similar to those asserted in the NY Lanham Act Litigation and the CNCDA Litigation. In the complaint, the plaintiff sought to represent a class of California consumers defined as “[a]ll California consumers who purchased an automobile by using TrueCar, Inc.’s price certificate during the applicable statute of limitations.” On January 12, 2016, the Court entered an order staying all proceedings in the case pending an initial status conference, which was previously scheduled for April 13, 2016. On March 16, 2016, the case was reassigned to a different judge. As a result of that reassignment, the initial status conference was rescheduled for and held on May 26, 2016. By stipulation, the stay of discovery has been continued until a second status conference, which is scheduled for October 12, 2016. On July 13, 2016, the plaintiff amended his complaint. The amended complaint continues to assert claims for unjust enrichment, violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and violation of the California Business and Professions Code. The amended complaint retains the same proposed class definition as the initial complaint. Like the initial complaint, the amended complaint seeks an award of unspecified damages, interest, disgorgement, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees. On September 12, 2016, the Company filed a demurrer to the amended complaint. On October 12, 2016, the Court heard oral argument on the demurrer. On October 13, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part the Company’s demurrer to the amended complaint, dismissing the unjust enrichment claim but declining to dismiss the balance of the claims at the demurrer stage of the litigation. On October 17, 2016, the Court entered an order scheduling a further status conference for January 26, 2017. We believe that the amended complaint is without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves in this matter. Based on the preliminary nature of the proceedings in this case, the outcome of this legal proceeding, including the anticipated legal defense costs, remains uncertain; however, we may incur significant legal fees, settlements or damage awards resulting from this or other civil litigation. If this matter is not resolved in our favor, losses arising from the results of litigation or settlements, as well as ongoing defense costs, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
As a public company, we face the risk of shareholder lawsuits, particularly if we experience declines in the price of our common stock. In the past, following periods of volatility in the overall market and the market prices of a particular company’s securities, securities class action lawsuits have often been instituted against affected companies, and as noted immediately above, such lawsuits have been instituted against us in the form of the Federal Securities Litigation and the California State Court Securities Litigation. Additional lawsuits of this type or similar types, if instituted against us or one or more of our officers or directors, whether arising from alleged facts the same as, similar to, or different from those alleged in the Federal Securities Litigation or the California State Court Securities Litigation, could result in significant legal fees, settlements, or damage awards, as well as the diversion of our management’s attention and resources, and thus could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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We will incur significant legal fees in our defense of the NY Lanham Act Litigation, the CNCDA Litigation and the California Consumer Class Action, and we may incur fees associated with additional lawsuits that may be filed against us or one or more of our officers or directors hereafter.  The legal fees arising from any or all of these matters could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows
 
We participate in a highly competitive market, and pressure from existing and new companies may adversely affect our business and operating results.
 
We face significant competition from companies that provide listings, information, lead generation, and car-buying services designed to reach consumers and enable dealers to reach these consumers.
 
Our competitors offer various products and services that compete with us. Some of these competitors include:
 
Internet search engines and online automotive sites such as Google, AutoTrader.com, eBay Motors, Edmunds.com, KBB.com, Autobytel.com and Cars.com; 
sites operated by automobile manufacturers such as General Motors and Ford;
providers of offline, membership-based car-buying services such as the Costco Auto Program; and 
offline automotive classified listings, such as trade periodicals and local newspapers. 

We compete with many of the above-mentioned companies and other companies for a share of car dealers’ overall marketing budget for online and offline media marketing spend. To the extent that car dealers view alternative marketing and media strategies to be superior to TrueCar, we may not be able to maintain or grow the number of TrueCar Certified Dealers and our TrueCar Certified Dealers may sell fewer cars to users of our platform, and our business, operating results and financial condition will be harmed.
 
We also expect that new competitors will continue to enter the online automotive retail industry with competing products and services, which could have an adverse effect on our revenue, business and financial results.
 
Our competitors could significantly impede our ability to expand and optimize our network of TrueCar Certified Dealers and to reach consumers. Our competitors may also develop and market new technologies that render our existing or future products and services less competitive, unmarketable or obsolete. In addition, if our competitors develop products or services with similar or superior functionality to our solutions, we may need to decrease the prices for our solutions in order to remain competitive. If we are unable to maintain our current pricing structure due to competitive pressures, our revenue will be reduced and our operating results will be negatively affected.
 
Our current and potential competitors may have significantly more financial, technical, marketing and other resources than we have, and the ability to devote greater resources to the development, promotion, and support of their products and services. Additionally, they may have more extensive automotive industry relationships than we have, longer operating histories and greater name recognition. As a result, these competitors may be better able to respond more quickly with new technologies and to undertake more extensive marketing or promotional campaigns. In addition, to the extent any of our competitors have existing relationships with dealers or automobile manufacturers for marketing or data analytics solutions, those dealers and automobile manufacturers may be unwilling to continue to partner with us. If we are unable to compete with these companies, the demand for our products and services could substantially decline.
 
In addition, if one or more of our competitors were to merge or partner with another of our competitors, the change in the competitive landscape could adversely affect our ability to compete effectively. Our competitors may also establish or strengthen cooperative relationships with our current or future third-party data providers, technology partners, or other parties with whom we have relationships, thereby limiting our ability to develop, improve, and promote our solutions. We may not be able to compete successfully against current or future competitors, and competitive pressures may harm our revenue, business and financial results.
 

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We rely, in part, on Internet search engines to drive traffic to our website, and if we fail to appear prominently in the search results, our traffic would decline and our business would be adversely affected.
 
We depend in part on Internet search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! to drive traffic to our website. For example, when a user types an automobile into an Internet search engine, we rely on a high organic search ranking of our webpages in these search results to refer the user to our website. However, our ability to maintain high, non-paid search result rankings is not within our control. Our competitors’ Internet search engine optimization efforts may result in their websites receiving a higher search result page ranking than ours, or Internet search engines could revise their methodologies in a way that would adversely affect our search result rankings. If Internet search engines modify their search algorithms in ways that are detrimental to us, or if our competitors’ efforts are more successful than ours, overall growth in our user base could slow or our user base could decline. Internet search engine providers could provide automobile dealer and pricing information directly in search results, align with our competitors or choose to develop competing services. Our website has experienced fluctuations in search result rankings in the past, and we anticipate similar fluctuations in the future. Any reduction in the number of users directed to our website through Internet search engines could harm our business and operating results.
 
The failure to maintain our brand would harm our ability to grow unique visitor traffic and to expand our dealer network.