Table of Contents

As confidentially submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 5, 2019.
This draft registration statement has not been publicly filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and all information herein remains strictly confidential.

Registration No. 333-           

 

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



FORM S-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933



ACCOLADE, INC.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)



Delaware
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  7389
(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
  01-0969591
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)

1201 Third Avenue, Suite 1700
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 926-8100

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including
area code, of Registrant's principal executive offices)



Rajeev Singh
Chief Executive Officer
Accolade, Inc.
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 1700
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 926-8100

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)



Copies to:

John W. Robertson
Alan D. Hambelton
Cooley LLP
1700 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1900
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 452-8800

 

Richard Eskew
General Counsel
660 West Germantown Pike, Suite 500
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
(610) 834-2989

 

Christopher J. Austin
Stephen C. Ashley
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 506-5000

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:
As soon as practicable after this Registration Statement is declared effective.

            If any of the securities being registered on this form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box.    o

            If this form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.    o

            If this form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.    o

            If this form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.    o

            Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer o   Accelerated filer o   Non-accelerated filer ý   Smaller reporting company o

Emerging growth company ý

            If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act. o



CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

       
 
Title of Each Class of Securities
To Be Registered

  Proposed Maximum
Aggregate Offering
Price(1)(2)

  Amount of
Registration Fee

 

Common Stock, $0.0001 par value per share

  $   $

 

(1)
Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(o) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(2)
Includes offering price of shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase from us.

            The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

   


Table of Contents

The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities, nor does it seek an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

Subject to Completion. Dated                  , 2020.

                  Shares

LOGO

Common Stock

          This is an initial public offering of shares of common stock of Accolade, Inc.

          Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our common stock. It is currently estimated that the initial public offering price per share will be between $              and $             . We intend to list our common stock on                  under the symbol "             ."

          Upon the completion of this offering, the members of our Board of Directors, our executive officers and our 5% or greater stockholders will beneficially own, in the aggregate, approximately         % of our outstanding common stock.

          We are an "emerging growth company" as defined under the federal securities laws and, as such, we intend to comply with reduced disclosure and regulatory requirements.

          Investing in our common stock involves risks. See "Risk Factors" beginning on page 18 to read about factors you should consider before buying shares of our common stock.



          Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.



  Per Share   Total
 

Initial public offering price

  $                     $                    

Underwriting discount(1)

  $                     $                    

Proceeds, before expenses, to Accolade, Inc. 

  $                     $                    

(1)
See the section titled "Underwriting" for a description of the compensation payable to the underwriters.

          To the extent that the underwriters sell more than             shares of common stock, the underwriters have the option to purchase up to an additional             shares from us at the initial public offering price less the underwriting discount.

          The underwriters expect to deliver the shares against payment in New York, New York on                  , 2020.



Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC   Morgan Stanley   BofA Securities

Piper Jaffray

 

Credit Suisse

 

William Blair

Baird

 

 

 

SVB Leerink



   

Prospectus dated                  , 2020.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prospectus

    Page
 

Prospectus Summary

    1  

Risk Factors

    18  

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

    59  

Market and Industry Data

    61  

Use of Proceeds

    62  

Dividend Policy

    63  

Capitalization

    64  

Dilution

    67  

Selected Consolidated Financial and Other Data

    70  

Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

    72  

Business

    90  

Management

    116  

Executive Compensation

    124  

Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions

    136  

Principal Stockholders

    139  

Description of Capital Stock

    142  

Shares Eligible for Future Sale

    147  

Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences to Non-U.S. Holders of Our Common Stock

    150  

Underwriting

    155  

Legal Matters

    161  

Experts

    161  

Where You Can Find More Information

    161  

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements

    F-1  

          Neither we nor any of the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide you with any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectuses we have prepared. Neither we nor any of the underwriters take any responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. We are offering to sell, and seeking offers to buy, shares of our common stock only in jurisdictions where offers and sales are permitted. The information contained in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or of any sale of our common stock. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and future growth prospects may have changed since that date.

          For investors outside the United States: Neither we nor any of the underwriters have done anything that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons outside of the United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the shares of our common stock and the distribution of this prospectus outside of the United States.

i


Table of Contents



PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

          This summary highlights selected information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information you should consider before investing in our common stock. You should read this entire prospectus carefully, including the sections titled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus, before making an investment decision. Our fiscal year ends on the last day of February, and our fiscal quarters end on May 31, August 31, November 30, and the last day of February.

          Unless the context otherwise requires, all references in this prospectus to "we," "us," "our," "our company" and "Accolade" refer to Accolade, Inc. and, where appropriate, its consolidated subsidiaries.

Our Mission

          We envision a world where every person can live their "healthiest life" — a concept that encompasses physical, emotional, financial, and professional wellness. Our mission is to empower people through expertise, empathy, and technology to make the best decisions for their health and well-being.

Business Overview

          We provide personalized, technology-enabled solutions that help people better understand, navigate, and utilize the healthcare system and their workplace benefits. Our customers are primarily employers that deploy Accolade in order to provide employees and their families (our "members") a single place to turn for their health, healthcare, and benefits needs. Our innovative platform combines open, cloud-based intelligent technology with multimodal support from a team of empathetic and knowledgeable Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians (including nurses, physician medical directors, and behavioral health specialists). We leverage our integrated capabilities, connectivity with providers and the broader healthcare ecosystem, and longitudinal data to engage across the entire member population, rather than focusing solely on high-cost claimants or those with chronic conditions. Our goal is to build trusted relationships with our members that ultimately position us to deliver personalized recommendations and interventions. We believe that our platform dramatically improves the member experience, encourages better health outcomes, and lowers costs for both our members and our customers.

          The U.S. healthcare system is complex and places significant strain on consumers, who struggle to effectively use their healthcare and benefits, make informed decisions about their health, and navigate the fragmented network of providers and third-party benefit programs. Partly as a result of these challenges, the payers of healthcare, including managed care companies, the government, employers, and consumers, face significant and rising costs. For large employers in particular, the direct costs are substantial: the total annual employer cost for healthcare is estimated at more than $10,000 per employee. Over the past five years, this cost has increased roughly 6% per year and is expected to continue to grow at that rate. Employers also bear indirect costs in the form of absenteeism, decreased productivity, and diminished morale. Despite the significant and growing spend on care, health outcomes are not improving, and misaligned incentives among key constituents thwart meaningful change. A suboptimal consumer experience persists.

          We believe the most effective way to improve health outcomes and control cost is to help consumers make better, data-driven healthcare and benefits-related decisions. Based on this belief,

1


Table of Contents

we have developed a differentiated platform to support and influence consumer decision-making that is built on a foundation of mission-driven people and purpose-built technology:

    Accolade Health Assistants.  Our Accolade Health Assistants develop trusted relationships with our members and serve as their primary and ongoing point of contact for all issues related to healthcare and benefits. Our Accolade Health Assistants are trained in our proprietary engagement approach and leverage our integrated technology platform to provide data-informed, personalized health and benefits support to members in friendly, simple terms.

    Clinicians.  Our clinicians include registered nurses, physician medical directors, pharmacists, behavioral health specialists, and women's health specialists. When an Accolade Health Assistant identifies that a member may benefit from clinical support, they bring a nurse into the conversation. Our nurses have deep expertise, with on average more than 17 years of clinical experience across a wide variety of specializations. Our nurses work with our other clinicians to help members demystify their care needs through personalized, evidence-based, and data-driven protocols. Examples of our clinical services include helping members identify high-quality, cost-effective providers, assisting members as they prepare for visits and procedures, supporting members in understanding medication options and identifying prescription conflicts, coordinating with providers to close gaps in care, and providing complex case management to help members manage serious illness.

    Technology.  Our technology platform was designed to deliver highly personalized member experiences at scale, leveraging data and machine learning to derive actionable insights, optimize our care team's workflows, and accelerate the pace of our innovation. We ingest and link disparate data points to Accolade-generated data to create a 360-degree member view which our Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians access in our purpose-built member CRM tool, InView. Our proprietary artificial intelligence engine informs recommended actions which guide our interactions with members and enhance the self-serve functionality on our member web portal and highly rated mobile application. We seamlessly integrate with the healthcare and benefits ecosystem, including providers and third-party applications (e.g., telemedicine, wellness programs, condition-specific point solutions), positioning us to further increase members' understanding, access, and utilization of these programs. In addition, our secure, open technology platform supports our continuous innovation and the development of additional capabilities to benefit our members.

          Developing trusted relationships positions us to positively influence their healthcare and benefits-related decision-making and ultimately deliver on our value proposition. Engagement is therefore paramount to our success. We have consistently achieved and sustained annual engagement rates of greater than 50% across our member population, where engagement rate is defined as the percentage of member families who engaged (meaning they or someone on their behalf had at least one phone- or secure messaging-based "encounter" with an Accolade Health Assistant or clinician) at least once during a given year. Our proactive, long-term approach also encourages deep engagement across member spend bands: among the engaged group, we historically have averaged approximately five encounters per year with the least costly users of the healthcare system and approximately 25 encounters per year with the most. We achieve these engagement levels through our commitment to a set of core tenets:

    always do right by the member;

    reach every member;

    reinvent member support;

2


Table of Contents

    support the member throughout their healthcare journey;

    predict healthcare needs and proactively intervene to support members; and

    innovate to deliver increasing value to members.

          Our relentless focus on member engagement and the delivery of an outstanding member experience has resulted in our 94% average member satisfaction rating and average Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 60 over the past three years. In comparison, in a 2019 study, the median NPS for health insurance companies was 14. Through trusted, ongoing engagement, we can meaningfully influence member decisions and help increase valuable healthcare utilization (e.g., primary care visits, prescription refills) and reduce wasteful healthcare utilization (e.g., unnecessary emergency room visits, hospital readmissions, excessive inpatient stays). We further enhance the member experience by educating members on relevant, available benefits, such as wellness programs and telemedicine. In raising awareness of these benefits and seamlessly integrating them into our platform, we can significantly increase their utilization rates.

          Our approach results in real, measurable, actuarially validated savings for our customers, starting with average savings of approximately 4% of total employer healthcare spend during a customer's first year and often increasing to more than 10% per year for our more tenured customers, amounts significantly higher than the fee we charge our employer customers. In a 2018 study by Aon, Accolade's primary offering was shown to reduce claims costs for an employer with more than 10,000 members by 6.5%, or $782 per employee per year, and for an employer with more than 100,000 members it was able to generate a 4.7% reduction in claims costs, or $527 per employee per year, versus similar employer groups not using Accolade. These reductions were generated exclusive of plan design changes, were measured across the entire member population, started in year one, and were sustained over the respective study periods.

          Our investments in a scalable technology platform have enabled us to implement a multi-offering strategy that meets the diverse needs of our existing and prospective customers. Buyers of our offerings have varying priorities and appetites for change to their existing health and benefits packages, and we have therefore developed a solutions portfolio that is designed to support a range of integrations for employers of all sizes. Our most comprehensive offering, Accolade Total Health and Benefits, provides fully integrated healthcare navigation and benefits management. Our technology platform has enabled us to unbundle aspects of this comprehensive offering to create two additional standalone offerings: Accolade Total Benefits (focused on member benefits engagement) and Accolade Total Care (focused on guiding members to high-quality, cost-effective providers). We have further leveraged our technology platform to develop add-on offerings, such as Accolade Boost and our Trusted Supplier Program, that target specific challenges faced by our customers.

          We currently have 47 customers across many industries, including media, technology, financial services, transportation, energy, and retail, comprising approximately 1.4 million members. We principally generate revenue from our customers on a contractually recurring per-member-per-month (PMPM) fee, which provides us with significant revenue visibility. Our typical customer contract length is three years, and we have experienced gross dollar retention for our employer customers of 100% and 95% for the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, respectively. For the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, our total revenue was $76.8 million and $94.8 million, respectively, representing 23% year-over-year growth. For the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, our net losses were $61.3 million and $56.5 million, respectively. As of February 28, 2019, our accumulated deficit was $269.5 million.

3


Table of Contents

Industry Challenges

          All stakeholders — including consumers, their employers, and providers — face myriad challenges given the increasing complexity, misaligned incentives, and rising costs of the healthcare system.

    The Consumer's Healthcare Journey is Increasingly Complex

          The consumer's healthcare journey, as depicted below, often starts with frustration during health plan enrollment that extends into provider selection, post-care follow-up, and ongoing care management. Further, many consumers operate from an information deficit or turn to unverified and potentially biased sources to learn about their conditions, which can lead them to seek too much, too little, or the wrong care for their needs.

GRAPHIC

    Misaligned Incentives Result in a Suboptimal Consumer Experience

    Payors:  Consumers' healthcare support is generally provided by large health plans whose core competencies are underwriting risk, managing claims, administering benefits, and developing provider networks on behalf of their insured populations. When a consumer turns to their health plan for help understanding administrative processes or how to navigate the healthcare system, the health plans typically default to a call-center approach that does not leverage integrated data, technology, or consumer-facing tools and therefore cannot support a holistic discussion.

    Providers:  Providers have traditionally been compensated on a fee-for-service model, which incentivizes episodic care across a large number of patients rather than comprehensive, integrated care. This model has led to narrowly focused, limited, and often insufficient patient interactions, which can have a significant negative impact on the patient's use of the healthcare system. For example, negative patient experiences with a primary care provider have been associated with a higher likelihood of non-urgent use of emergency departments, contributing to inefficient and more expensive care delivery.

    Employers:  Employers strive to build comprehensive, attractive benefits packages in order to recruit and retain a talented workforce, as well as to ensure that their employees' overall well-being is maintained so they remain engaged and productive. However, their human resource departments typically handle a wide range of responsibilities of which benefits are only a portion. As a result, employers are generally not equipped to provide comprehensive advice to help their employees navigate the healthcare system, nor do they employ the

4


Table of Contents

      resources to provide personalized clinical guidance to help their employees understand treatment and care options.

    Employer and Consumer Healthcare Costs Continue to Increase

          Approximately 80% of employers with more than 500 employees are self-insured. In 2019, large employer spending on healthcare is estimated at over $10,000 per employee per year. Annual cost increases of employer-sponsored healthcare are on an unsustainable trend, having consistently exceeded the annual rate of inflation, with approximately 6% per year increases over the past few years. This trend is expected to continue.

          As costs continue to rise, employers are increasingly focused on managing their healthcare expense, in many cases shifting more of the cost burden to employees in the form of increased premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. The average premium for family coverage has increased 54% over the last ten years, while the average deductible has more than doubled (both rates significantly outpacing growth in wages and inflation).

Our Value Proposition

          Accolade provides consumers a single place to turn for their health, healthcare, and benefits needs. Our innovative platform combines open, cloud-based intelligent technology with multimodal support from a team of empathetic and knowledgeable Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians. Foundational to our success is our ability to effectively engage with our members, which allows us to form trusted relationships and influence members' decisions for the better, ultimately leading to better outcomes and ongoing engagement: our "member flywheel."

          The aggregate impact of this deep engagement across a customer's employee population is improved healthcare and benefits awareness, knowledge, and decision-making, a healthier and more engaged workforce, and healthcare cost savings. We become a trusted partner to our customers and gain the opportunity to support them on their population health strategies and benefits procurement. This position allows us to identify additional solutions that may meet our customers' needs, which, when implemented, result in additional opportunities for member engagement and better health outcomes. Thus, our member flywheel drives our "customer flywheel."

5


Table of Contents


Accolade's Member and Customer Flywheels

GRAPHIC

    Member Value Proposition

          Our members face structural, clinical, financial, and administrative challenges in managing their health and wellness. Our engagement model simplifies and streamlines the healthcare and benefits experience for our members by making guidance from our Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians available via phone, mobile application, and web portal whenever it is needed.

          Frequently, the holistic approach of our empathetic care team will uncover that a simple transactional concern exposes much greater support and care needs. Examples of the types of questions that might prompt our members to initially turn to us include:

GRAPHIC

Once we establish a connection, our Accolade Health Assistants help to resolve the member's often basic transactional issue, and then expand the conversation as appropriate based on our proprietary, technology-enabled engagement framework, LEARN2 (Listen, Engage, Assess, Resolve,

6


Table of Contents

INfluence, ENhance), to grow the value proposition for the member. Expansion in action may look like:

    turning a request for a replacement health plan ID card into a discussion about a member's new diagnosis, including identifying unmet behavioral health and social needs and connecting the member with recommended clinical and non-clinical resources for education and ongoing support;

    expanding a search for an in-network provider into a dialogue about identifying the right provider for the member based on quality and cost data, as well as coordinating care between providers to avoid unnecessary duplication of services;

    migrating a discussion about the details of a bill to a review of options for lowering a member's overall out-of-pocket costs, including through the use of generic medications and lower cost sites of care; and

    evolving a review of benefits into a detailed discussion about different treatment options and their associated cost and then a connection to a nurse so the member can make informed decisions about treatment options based on their preferences.

          For a representative interaction between an Accolade Total Health and Benefits member and an Accolade Health Assistant, please see the section titled "Business — Results."

    Customer Value Proposition

          We provide dual value for our customers, serving both as a valuable benefit that is well liked by their employees and a tool to help reduce healthcare costs and increase adoption of existing benefits. By engaging repeatedly and meaningfully with members across the spectrum of healthcare spending, our model has demonstrated significant healthcare cost savings for our customers by increasing valuable healthcare utilization and decreasing wasteful utilization.

          In a recent study by Aon of Accolade's primary offering's impact on two self-insured employer groups of 10,000+ (Employer A) and 100,000+ (Employer B) members, the results were dramatic: savings of $782 and $527 per employee per year, respectively, compared to similar employer groups not using Accolade, and demonstrated savings significantly greater than the fee we charge our employer customers. The study analyzed data for these two employers against a control group of typical employer members based on similar demographic, geographic, and comorbidity profiles. The study showed improvements in total cost and cost trends resulting from multiple factors, including lowered inpatient, outpatient, and professional medical spend, as well as lower brand-name and specialty pharmacy spend. Savings were generated across the subject employee populations, leading to lower costs across age ranges, comorbidity groups (as defined by number of chronic conditions), and cost distributions. These results were independent of any significant changes to the benefits or plan design of the respective subject employer.

          In addition to achieving healthcare cost savings, our platform can also be a valuable tool for promoting member engagement with additional benefits. Through our Trusted Supplier Program, we serve as a strategic partner in helping our customers navigate the complexity of the growing ecosystem of potential benefits to identify and procure high-quality solutions that would be valuable to their employees.

Our Market Opportunity

          We believe our market opportunity is substantial and estimate the total addressable market for our current solutions to be approximately $24 billion. Our core market is currently comprised of self-insured employers, inclusive of state and local governments and unions. Based on the

7


Table of Contents

estimated number of addressable employees and the PMPM fee opportunity of our current offerings, we believe the self-insured employer market alone represents at least an $11.7 billion addressable market.

          We have begun to explore new opportunities in the fully insured market and have recently added customers that we believe are indicative of our potential to expand in this market. We estimate that these employers represent an additional $1.7 billion addressable market opportunity. In addition to employer-sponsored plans, we believe our solutions address critical pain points that also exist in government-sponsored programs including Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and Veterans Affairs. We estimate that the government-sponsored programs market represents an additional $10.7 billion addressable market opportunity. We intend to grow our addressable market through the introduction of new offerings and expansion into longer-term adjacent opportunities, including with risk-bearing provider organizations and health plans, as well as a direct-to-consumer offering.

Competitive Strengths

          Our operational and financial success is based on the following key strengths:

          Commitment to a differentiated member engagement model.    We fundamentally believe in engaging the entire member population to have a sustainable impact on health outcomes and cost. Once engaged, our members frequently have a dedicated Accolade Health Assistant, and, when a member may benefit from clinical support, a dedicated nurse. Our engagement model is self-reinforcing, such that we are continuously learning about our members and developing an increasingly effective set of strategic interventions to better serve them.

          Highly qualified and empathetic team with deep clinical experience.    Our engagement model integrates "human touch" with a proprietary technology platform to encourage better outcomes for our members. Our care team is highly qualified: two-thirds of our Accolade Health Assistants are degreed professionals, with approximately 15% holding advanced degrees, and our nurses have on average more than 17 years of clinical experience. This care team supports members through their entire healthcare experience, accounting for our holistic member view and utilizing our data-driven processes to better understand and anticipate a member's healthcare needs in order to proactively intervene to support members.

          Long-term strategic partner to our customers.    We are engaged by employers to solve real issues around the design, coordination, and utilization of their employee benefits programs. Because we help their employees live their healthiest lives, our customers view us as a strategic partner that can provide population health insights and help them manage healthcare benefit costs and complexity. This position allows us to recommend new, targeted offerings to our customers, which can help further reduce their costs, and, when implemented, result in additional opportunities for member engagement and expand our role as the customer's trusted partner.

          Significant investment in our purpose-built, scalable technology platform.    Our offerings are built on an open, cloud-based intelligent platform designed to deliver a highly personalized member experience at scale. Our technology platform supports seamless integration with the healthcare and benefits ecosystem, which allows us to recommend additional point solutions and programs to our customers that can provide additional value to their employees.

          Attractive operating model supported by a PMPM recurring revenue model, providing a high degree of visibility.    We currently have 47 customers that collectively purchase access to our solutions for approximately 1.4 million members. We principally generate revenue from our customers on a recurring PMPM fee basis, with contracts averaging three years in length, which together provide us with significant revenue visibility.

8


Table of Contents

          Deeply experienced management team dedicated to cultivating a mission-driven culture.    Our senior leadership team has extensive healthcare, technology, and business-scaling expertise from decades of leadership experience at world-class organizations. Some members of our senior leadership team have worked together for over 20 years. We foster a culture of transparency and alignment whereby we educate our employees on how their contributions each day drive us toward the achievement of our mission. We work together to solve complex problems, and we strive to "do well and do good."

Our Growth Strategy

          Grow our customer base.    We believe there is a substantial opportunity to further grow our customer base in our large and under-penetrated market of approximately 22,000 self- and fully-insured employers. Our sales and marketing team draws on advanced demand-generation strategies to reach and educate the market about our offerings and increase the opportunities to grow our customer base. We maintain a cohort of highly referenceable customers in support of new customer acquisition.

          Retain and expand relationships with our customers.    By delivering measurable outcomes to our customers, we can achieve strong customer retention, which enables us to expand and deepen these relationships. Accolade Boost and our Trusted Supplier Program are examples of new add-on offerings that target specific challenges faced by our customers, complement our existing solutions, and provide cross-sell opportunities to drive incremental revenue.

          Invest in technology.    We have made significant investments in our technology platform to expand our capabilities with respect to how we engage with our members and deliver our solutions and care interventions. By leveraging our technology in areas such as machine learning, predictive analytics, and multimodal communication, we believe we can generate more efficiencies in our operating model while simultaneously improving our ability to deliver better health outcomes and lowers costs for both our members and our customers.

          Continue to develop new offerings.    We are constantly innovating to enhance our model and develop new offerings, including our recently introduced standalone offerings, Accolade Total Benefits and Accolade Total Care. Our technology platform also allows us to efficiently add new applications on top of our existing solutions, such as Accolade Boost and our Trusted Supplier Program. We believe that as we expand our customer base and enter into new markets, we will be adept at identifying and deploying innovative new solutions, whether developed internally or through acquisitions.

          Expand into adjacent markets.    We see further opportunity to enter adjacent markets, including government-sponsored health plans, such as Medicare Advantage and Managed Medicaid, as well as traditional Medicare and Medicaid. We believe that we can leverage our existing platform and scalable solutions to successfully expand into these markets.

          Opportunistically pursue partnerships.    We have historically integrated new and complementary capabilities into our offerings by forming strategic partnerships and other relationships with third parties. We believe our partners choose us because of our entrepreneurial and collaborative culture and dedication to continuous innovation. For example, in March 2019 we partnered with Humana to form a joint go-to-market strategy that integrates our respective capabilities to create a differentiated healthcare and benefits experience for employees and employers.

9


Table of Contents

Risks Associated with Our Business

          Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those highlighted in the section titled "Risk Factors." These risks include the following:

    We have a history of net losses, we anticipate increasing expenses in the future, and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability.

    We derive a significant portion of our revenue from our largest customers. The loss of any of these customers, or renegotiation of any of our contracts with these customers, could negatively impact our results.

    We have a limited operating history with our current offerings, which makes it difficult to evaluate our current and future business prospects and increases the risk of your investment.

    Our business, results of operations, and financial condition may fluctuate on a quarterly and annual basis, which may result in a decline in our stock price if such fluctuations result in a failure to meet any projections that we may provide or the expectations of securities analysts or investors.

    Our sales cycle can be long and unpredictable and requires considerable time and expense. As a result, our sales, revenue, and cash flows are difficult to predict and may vary substantially from period to period, which may cause our results of operations to fluctuate significantly.

    Certain of our operating results and financial metrics may be difficult to predict as a result of seasonality and due to the fact that a portion of our revenue is subject to the achievement of performance metrics and healthcare cost savings.

    If we fail to effectively manage our growth and organizational change, our mission-driven culture could be impacted, and our business could be harmed.

    If we are unable to attract, integrate, and retain additional qualified personnel, especially for Accolade Health Assistant, clinical, and various product and technology roles, our business could be adversely affected.

    We may face intense competition, which could limit our ability to maintain or expand market share within our industry, and if we do not maintain or expand our market share our business and operating results will be harmed.

    If we fail to comply with healthcare laws and regulations, we could face substantial penalties and our business could be harmed.

    Upon completion of this offering, our executive officers, directors, and holders of 5% or more of our common stock will collectively beneficially own approximately             % of the outstanding shares of our common stock and continue to have substantial control over us, which will limit your ability to influence the outcome of important transactions, including a change in control.

Corporate Information

          We were formed under the laws of the state of Delaware in January 2007 under the name Accretive Care LLC, and we converted to a Delaware corporation under the name Accolade, Inc. in June 2010. Our principal executive offices are located at 1201 Third Avenue, Suite 1700, Seattle, WA 98101, and we have co-headquarters at 660 West Germantown Pike, Suite 500, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462. Our telephone number is (206) 926-8100. Our website address is

10


Table of Contents

www.accolade.com. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and you should not consider information on our website to be part of this prospectus.

          The Accolade design logo, "Accolade," and our other registered or common law trademarks, service marks, or trade names appearing in this prospectus are the property of Accolade, Inc. Other trade names, trademarks, and service marks used in this prospectus are the property of their respective owners.

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company

          As a company with less than $1.07 billion in revenue during our last fiscal year, we qualify as an "emerging growth company" as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) enacted in April 2012. An emerging growth company may take advantage of reduced reporting requirements that are otherwise applicable to public companies. These provisions include:

    not being required to comply for a certain period of time with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended (the Sarbanes-Oxley Act);

    reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports, proxy statements and registration statements; and

    exemptions from the requirements of holding a stockholder advisory vote on executive compensation and any golden parachute payments not previously approved.

          We may take advantage of these provisions until the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the first sale of our common stock in this offering. However, if certain events occur prior to the end of such five-year period, including if: (i) we become a "large accelerated filer," with at least $700 million of equity securities held by non-affiliates; (ii) our annual gross revenue exceeds $1.07 billion; or (iii) we issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt in any three-year period, we will cease to be an emerging growth company prior to the end of such five-year period.

          We have elected to take advantage of certain of the reduced disclosure obligations in this prospectus and in the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part and may elect to take advantage of other reduced reporting requirements in future filings. As a result, the information in this prospectus and that we provide to our stockholders in the future may be different from what you might receive from other public reporting companies in which you hold equity interests.

          In addition, pursuant to the JOBS Act, as an emerging growth company we have elected to take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. This effectively permits us to delay adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. As a result, our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to the financial statements of issuers who are required to comply with the effective dates for new or revised accounting standards that are applicable to public companies, which may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

11


Table of Contents

 


THE OFFERING

Common stock offered by us

                    shares

Option to purchase additional shares

 

We have granted to the underwriters the option, exercisable for 30 days from the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to             additional shares of common stock.

Common stock to be outstanding after this offering

 

                  shares (             shares if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of common stock in full).

Use of proceeds

 

We estimate that our net proceeds from the sale of our common stock will be approximately $             million (or approximately $             million if the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares of our common stock is exercised in full), assuming an initial public offering price of $             per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

We currently intend to use the net proceeds we receive from this offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses, and capital expenditures, and which may include the repayment of indebtedness. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds for acquisitions or strategic investments in complementary businesses, products, services, or technologies, although we do not currently have any plans or commitments for any such acquisitions or investments. See the section titled "Use of Proceeds" for additional information.

Risk factors

 

See the section titled "Risk Factors" and other information included in this prospectus for a discussion of factors you should carefully consider before deciding to invest in our common stock.

Proposed             trading symbol

 

"                  "

          The number of shares of our common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on             shares of our common stock (including preferred stock on an as-converted basis based on the assumptions described below) outstanding as of February 28, 2019, and excludes:

    40,737,537 shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our common stock outstanding as of February 28, 2019, with a weighted-average exercise price of $0.88 per share;

    800,000 shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding warrant as of February 28, 2019, with an exercise price of $2.75 per share;

                 shares of our common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2020 Equity Incentive Plan (2020 Plan), which includes an annual evergreen increase and will become

12


Table of Contents

      effective in connection with this offering, including the             shares of common stock reserved for issuance as of February 28, 2019 under our Amended and Restated 2007 Stock Option Plan, as amended (2007 Plan), which shares will be added to the shares reserved under the 2020 Plan;

                 shares of our common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2020 Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP), which includes an annual evergreen increase and will become effective in connection with this offering;

    4,365,191 shares of our Series F preferred stock issued subsequent to February 28, 2019;

    the issuance of                          shares of common stock issuable upon the automatic net exercise of warrants issued subsequent to February 28, 2019, with a weighted-average exercise price of $1.48 per share, immediately prior to the closing of this offering, assuming an initial public offering price of $              per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus; and

    the issuance of             shares of common stock, and the reservation for issuance of up to             additional shares of our common stock, pursuant to an acquisition completed subsequent to February 28, 2019.

          Unless otherwise indicated, the information in this prospectus assumes:

    the completion of the one-for             reverse stock split of our common stock, which will occur prior to the completion of this offering;

    the filing of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and the effectiveness of our amended and restated bylaws, each of which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering;

    the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of our preferred stock as of February 28, 2019, into an aggregate of 93,204,800 shares of our common stock, which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering;

                 additional shares of common stock to be issued upon the conversion of all outstanding shares of our Series A-1 preferred stock, Series A-2 preferred stock, Series B preferred stock, Series C preferred stock, Series D preferred stock, and Series E preferred stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering pursuant to provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation as currently in effect, assuming an initial public offering price of $              per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus;

                 shares of common stock to be issued upon the automatic net exercise of warrants outstanding as of February 28, 2019, with a weighted-average exercise price of $0.06 per share, immediately prior to the completion of this offering, assuming an initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus;

    no exercise of the outstanding options or warrants described above (other than the net exercises described above); and

    no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to an additional             shares of common stock from us.

13


Table of Contents

Additional Preferred Stock Conversion and Warrant Net Exercise Shares

          The number of shares of our common stock to be issued upon the conversion of all outstanding shares of our Series A-1 preferred stock, Series A-2 preferred stock, Series B preferred stock, Series C preferred stock, Series D preferred stock, and Series E preferred stock depends in part on the initial public offering price of our common stock. The terms of such series of preferred stock provide that the ratio at which each share of such series converts into shares of our common stock in connection with this offering will be 1:1 plus a fraction of a share equal to the quotient of the original issue price of such series of preferred stock divided by the initial public offering price of our common stock, which will result in additional shares of our common stock being issued upon conversion of such series of preferred stock upon the completion of this offering. Based upon an assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, the outstanding shares of our Series A-1 preferred stock, Series A-2 preferred stock, Series B preferred stock, Series C preferred stock, Series D preferred stock, and Series E preferred stock will convert into an aggregate of                          shares of our common stock upon the completion of this offering. The ratio at which each share of Series F preferred stock converts into shares of our common stock in connection with this offering will be 1:1 and the aggregate number of shares of our common stock to be issued upon conversion of all outstanding shares of our Series F preferred stock will be                           shares. For illustrative purposes only, the table below shows the conversion ratio for each series of preferred stock at various initial public offering prices, the total number of shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of the preferred stock as a result, the total number of shares of common stock issuable upon the automatic net exercise of the warrants as described above, and the resulting total number of outstanding shares of our common stock upon the completion of this offering, assuming that the number of shares to be offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same:

                                              Total
Shares of
Common
Stock
Issuable
Upon
Conversion
of the
    Total
Shares of
Common
Stock
Issuable
Upon
Automatic
Net
Exercise
    Total
Shares
of Common
Stock
Outstanding
 

Assumed Initial Public Offering

    Preferred Stock Conversion Ratio     Preferred     of the     After this
 

Price ($) 

  Series A-1     Series A-2     Series B     Series C     Series D     Series E     Series F     Stock     Warrants     Offering    

14


Table of Contents



SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OTHER DATA

          The following summary consolidated statements of operations data for the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, and the summary consolidated balance sheet data as of February 28, 2019, have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future. You should read the consolidated financial and other data set forth below in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes and the information in the section titled "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" contained elsewhere in this prospectus. Our fiscal year ends on the last day of February, and our fiscal quarters end on May 31, August 31, November 30, and the last day of February.

    Fiscal Year Ended
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

    (in thousands, except share and per
share data)
 

Consolidated statements of operations:

             

Revenue

  $ 76,828   $ 94,811  

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization(1)

    53,435     60,568  

Operating expenses:

             

Product and technology(1)

    31,487     35,708  

Sales and marketing(1)

    22,263     23,456  

General and administrative(1)

    21,122     19,665  

Depreciation and amortization

    7,982     9,391  

Total operating expenses

    82,854     88,220  

Loss from operations

    (59,461 )   (53,977 )

Interest expense, net

    (1,799 )   (2,374 )

Other expense

    (26 )   (90 )

Loss before income taxes

    (61,286 )   (56,441 )

Income tax expense

        (55 )

Net loss

  $ (61,286 ) $ (56,496 )

Net loss per common share, basic and diluted(2)

  $ (3.28 ) $ (2.43 )

Weighted-average shares used to compute net loss per common share, basic and diluted(2)

    18,659,570     23,206,587  

Pro forma net loss per common share, basic and diluted (unaudited)(2)

  $     $    

Weighted-average shares used to compute pro forma net loss per common share, basic and diluted (unaudited)(2)

             

(1)
The stock-based compensation expense included above was as follows:

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

    (in thousands)  

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization

  $ 376   $ 255  

Product and technology

    1,420     1,108  

Sales and marketing

    1,750     1,199  

General and administrative

    4,860     3,159  

Total stock-based compensation

  $ 8,406   $ 5,721  
(2)
See Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus for an explanation of the method used to calculate the historical and pro forma basic and diluted net loss per common share and the number of shares used in the computation of the per share amounts.

15


Table of Contents

    As of February 28, 2019
 

  Actual     Pro Forma(1)     Pro Forma(2)
As Adjusted
 
 

          (unaudited)  

    (in thousands)  

Consolidated balance sheet data:

                   

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 42,701   $               $              

Working capital

    (9,780 )                                

Total assets

    65,762                                  

Deferred revenue (current and noncurrent)

    22,908                                  

Total liabilities

    81,719                                  

Convertible preferred stock

    214,664                                  

Accumulated deficit

    (269,503 )                                

Total stockholders' (deficit) equity

    (230,621 )                      

(1)
The pro forma column reflects (i) the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of our preferred stock as of February 28, 2019, into an aggregate of                      shares of our common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering assuming an initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, (ii) the issuance of             shares of common stock issuable upon the automatic net exercise of warrants outstanding as of February 28, 2019, with a weighted-average exercise price of $0.06 per share, immediately prior to the completion of this offering, assuming an initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and (iii) the filing and effectiveness of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, in each case as if such conversion, issuance, filing, and effectiveness had occurred on February 28, 2019. For additional information on the conversion ratio of the preferred stock, which depends in part on the actual initial public offering price of our common stock, see the section titled "— The Offering."

(2)
The pro forma as adjusted column reflects the pro forma adjustments set forth above plus the receipt of the estimated net proceeds from the sale of              shares of common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting the underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us. A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $              per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets, and total stockholders' (deficit) equity by approximately $              million, assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares of our common stock offered by us would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets, and total stockholders' (deficit) equity by approximately $              million, assuming that the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, after deducting the underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us. The pro forma as adjusted information discussed above is illustrative only and will be adjusted based on the actual initial public offering price and the other terms of this offering determined at pricing.

16


Table of Contents

Key Metrics

          We regularly monitor a number of financial and operating metrics in order to measure our current performance and estimate our future performance. For a description of how we calculate these financial and operating metrics as well as their uses, see "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Metrics."

    As of
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

Annual Contract Value (in millions)

  $ 90.1   $ 121.5  

Customer Count

    15     20  

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

Gross Dollar Retention

    100 %   95 %

Certain Non-GAAP Financial Measures

          In addition to our financial results determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (GAAP), we use the following non-GAAP financial measures to help us evaluate trends, establish budgets, measure the effectiveness and efficiency of our operations, and determine employee incentives. For additional information and reconciliations of our non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures stated in accordance with GAAP, see "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Certain Non-GAAP Financial Measures."

    Fiscal Year Ended
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

    (in thousands,
except percentages)
 

Adjusted Gross Profit

  $ 23,769   $ 34,498  

Adjusted Gross Margin

    30.9 %   36.4 %

Adjusted EBITDA

  $ (43,073 ) $ (38,865 )

17


Table of Contents


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 prospectus, including the section titled "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and our consolidated financial statements and related notes, before making a decision to invest in our common stock. Our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects could also be harmed by risks and uncertainties that are not presently known to us or that we currently believe are not material. If any of the risks actually occur, our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. Unless otherwise indicated, references in these risk factors to our business being harmed will include harm to our business, reputation, brand, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects. In such event, the market price of our common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

           We have a history of net losses, we anticipate increasing expenses in the future, and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability.

          We have incurred net losses in every period since our inception. We incurred net losses of $61.3 million and $56.5 million for the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, respectively. We had an accumulated deficit of $269.5 million as of February 28, 2019. We expect our costs will increase substantially in the foreseeable future and our losses will continue as we expect to invest significant additional funds towards growing our business and operating as a public company and as we continue to invest in increasing our customer base, expanding our operations, hiring additional employees, and developing future offerings. These efforts may prove more expensive than we currently anticipate, and we may not succeed in increasing our revenue sufficiently to offset these higher expenses. We are unable to accurately predict when, or if, we will be able to achieve profitability. Even if we achieve profitability in the future, we may not be able to sustain profitability in subsequent periods. To date, we have financed our operations principally from the sale of our equity, revenue from sales of our offerings, and the incurrence of indebtedness. Our cash flow from operations was negative for the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, and we may not generate positive cash flow from operations in any given period. If we are not able to achieve or maintain positive cash flow in the long term, we may require additional financing, which may not be available on favorable terms or at all and/or which would be dilutive to our stockholders. If we are unable to successfully address these risks and challenges as we encounter them, our business may be harmed. Our failure to achieve or maintain profitability or positive cash flow could negatively impact the value of our common stock.

           We derive a significant portion of our revenue from our largest customers. The loss of any of these customers, or renegotiation of any of our contracts with these customers, could negatively impact our results.

          Historically, we have relied on a limited number of customers for a significant portion of our revenue. Our three largest customers (Comcast, Lowe's and United Airlines) in the aggregate comprised 60% of our revenue for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019, and our future revenue may be similarly concentrated. The loss of any of our largest customers or the renegotiation of any of our largest customer contracts could adversely affect our results of operations. Although we typically enter into three-year contracts with our customers, after a specified period, certain of these contracts, including existing contracts with some of our largest customers, are terminable for convenience by our customers after an initial period and a notice period has passed. In the ordinary course of business, including in connection with renewals or extensions of these

18


Table of Contents

agreements, we engage in active discussions and renegotiations with our customers in respect of the solutions we provide and the terms of our customer agreements, including our fees. In addition, as our customers' businesses respond to market dynamics and financial pressures, and as our customers make decisions with respect to the health and other benefits they provide to their employees, our customers may seek to renegotiate or terminate their agreements with us. These discussions and future discussions could result in reductions to the fees and changes to the scope of offerings contemplated by our original customer contracts and consequently could negatively impact our business. In addition, because we rely on a limited number of customers for a significant portion of our revenue, delayed payments by a few of our largest customers could result in a reduction of our available cash, which in turn may cause fluctuation in our liquidity. We also depend on the creditworthiness of these customers. If the financial condition of our largest customers declines, our credit risk could increase. Should one or more of our largest customers declare bankruptcy, it could adversely affect the collectability of our accounts receivable and affect our bad debt reserves and net income.

           We have a limited operating history with our current offerings, which makes it difficult to evaluate our current and future business prospects and increases the risk of your investment.

          While we served our first customer in 2009, we have significantly altered our offerings and executive management team over the last five years. Our limited operating history with respect to our current offerings and current executive management team makes it difficult to effectively assess or forecast our future prospects. For example, we recently began offering Accolade Total Benefits and Accolade Total Care, and our sales efforts with respect to these offerings may not be as successful as our sales of Accolade Total Health and Benefits and our primary offering. You should consider our business and prospects in light of the risks and difficulties we encounter or may encounter. These risks and difficulties include our ability to cost-effectively acquire new customers, retain existing customers and expand the scope of solutions we sell to new and existing customers. Furthermore, in pursuit of our growth strategy, we may enter into new partnerships to further penetrate our targeted markets and adoption of our solutions, but it is uncertain whether these efforts will be successful. If we fail to address the risks and difficulties that we face, including those associated with the challenges listed above, our business may be harmed.

           Our business, results of operations, and financial condition may fluctuate on a quarterly and annual basis, which may result in a decline in our stock price if such fluctuations result in a failure to meet any projections that we may provide or the expectations of securities analysts or investors.

          Our operating results have in the past and could in the future vary significantly from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year and may fail to match our past performance, our projections or the expectations of securities analysts because of a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control and, as a result, should not be relied upon as an indicator of future performance. As a result, we may not be able to accurately forecast our operating results and growth rate. Any of these events could cause the market price of our common stock to fluctuate. Factors that may contribute to the variability of our operating results include:

19


Table of Contents

          The impact of one or more of the foregoing and other factors may cause our operating results to vary significantly. As such, we believe that quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year comparisons of our operating results may not be meaningful and should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance.

20


Table of Contents

           Our sales cycle can be long and unpredictable and requires considerable time and expense. As a result, our sales, revenue, and cash flows are difficult to predict and may vary substantially from period to period, which may cause our results of operations to fluctuate significantly.

          The timing of our sales, revenue, and cash flows is difficult to predict because of the length and unpredictability of our sales cycle. The sales cycle for our solutions from initial contact to launch varies widely by potential customer. Some of our potential customers, especially in the case of our prospective strategic and enterprise customers, undertake a significant and prolonged evaluation process, including to determine whether our solutions meet the specific needs of their group health plan, employee benefits programs, corporate budgets, and other goals, which frequently involves evaluation of not only our solutions but also an evaluation of other available solutions. Such evaluations have in the past resulted in extended sales cycles that, due to changes in corporate objectives, leadership involved in the selection process, and other factors, may result in delayed or suspended decision-making in awarding the sale. During the sales cycle, we expend significant time and money on sales and marketing activities, which lowers our operating margins, particularly if no sale occurs. For example, there may be unexpected delays in a potential customer's internal procurement processes, which involve intensive financial, operational, and security reviews, and for which our solutions represent a significant purchase. In addition, the significance and timing of our offering enhancements, and the introduction of new products by our competitors, may also affect our potential customers' purchases. For all of these reasons, it is difficult to predict whether a sale will be completed, the particular period in which a sale will be completed, or the period in which revenue from a sale will be recognized.

           Certain of our operating results and financial metrics may be difficult to predict as a result of seasonality.

          We believe there are significant seasonal factors that may cause us to record higher revenue in some quarters compared with others. We believe this variability is largely due to our focus on the healthcare industry. For example, with respect to our customers, in particular our Accolade Total Heath and Benefits customers with contract years commencing at the beginning of a calendar year, we record a disproportionate amount of revenue from such customers during the fourth quarter of our fiscal year relative to the first three quarters of our fiscal year. This timing is caused, in part, by the measurement, achievement, and associated revenue recognition of performance metrics and healthcare costs savings components of certain of our customer contracts during the fourth quarter of each fiscal year. While we believe we have visibility into the seasonality of our business, our rapid growth rate over the last several years may have made seasonal fluctuations more difficult to detect. If our rate of growth slows over time, seasonal or cyclical variations in our operations may become more pronounced, and our business may be harmed.

           The recognition of a portion of our revenue is subject to the achievement of performance metrics and healthcare cost savings and may not be representative of revenue for future periods.

          We price our services based upon a per-member-per-month (PMPM) fee times the number of members served, typically with a portion of the PMPM fee fixed (base PMPM fee) and the remainder of the fee variable (variable PMPM fee). Revenue from variable PMPM fees can be earned through either, or a combination of, the achievement of certain performance metrics or the realization of healthcare savings resulting from the utilization of our services. Although we have typically achieved these performance metrics and realization in savings of healthcare spend, resulting in our earning over 95% of the aggregate maximum potential revenue under our customer contracts (measured on the corresponding calendar year basis in fiscal years 2018 and 2019), our

21


Table of Contents

revenue and financial results in the future may be variable based on whether we earn this performance-based revenue. In addition, since our customers typically pay the full PMPM fee in advance on a periodic basis, any required refund as a result of our failure to earn the performance-based revenue could have a negative impact on cash flows. Under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), we recognize revenue when control of the promised services is transferred to our customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which we expect to be entitled in exchange for those services. The majority of the fees we earn are considered to be variable consideration under GAAP. We typically invoice our customers on a periodic basis for the base PMPM fees and variable PMPM fees in advance of performing the services, and these advances are classified as deferred revenue on our consolidated balance sheet until such time that the associated revenue can be recognized. As of February 28, 2019, we had $22.9 million of deferred revenue recorded as a liability on our consolidated balance sheet. Due to the need for us to satisfy performance metrics and healthcare savings requirements, deferred revenue at any particular date may not be representative of actual revenue for any current or future period.

           If we fail to effectively manage our growth and organizational change, our mission-driven culture could be impacted, and our business could be harmed.

          We have experienced, and may continue to experience, growth and organizational change, which has placed, and may continue to place, significant demands on our management, operational, and financial resources. For example, our headcount has grown from 679 as of February 28, 2016, to 1,035 as of February 28, 2019. Most of our employees have been with us for fewer than three years as a result of our rapid growth. We believe that our mission-driven culture has been an important contributor to our success, which we believe fosters empathy, innovation, teamwork, and passion for providing high levels of customer satisfaction and member engagement. If we fail to successfully integrate, develop, and motivate new employees, it could harm our mission-driven culture. In addition, as we grow and develop the infrastructure of a public company, we may find it difficult to maintain the important aspects of our mission-driven culture, which could limit our ability to innovate and operate effectively. Any failure to preserve our culture could also negatively affect our ability to retain and recruit personnel, maintain our performance, or execute on our business strategy.

          To manage our current and anticipated future growth and organizational change effectively, we must also continue to maintain, and may need to enhance, our information technology infrastructure and financial and accounting systems and controls, as well as manage expanded operations in geographically distributed locations, which will place additional demands on our resources and operations. Failure to manage our growth and organizational change effectively could lead us to over-invest or under-invest in technology and operations; result in weaknesses in our infrastructure, systems, or controls; give rise to operational mistakes, losses, or loss of productivity or business opportunities; reduce customer or member satisfaction; limit our ability to respond to competitive pressures; and result in loss of team members and reduced productivity of remaining team members. Our growth and organization change could require significant capital expenditures and may divert financial resources and management attention from other projects, such as the development of new or enhanced solutions or the acquisition of suitable businesses or technologies. If our management is unable to effectively manage our growth and organizational change, our expenses may increase more than expected, our revenue could decline or may grow more slowly than expected, and we may be unable to implement our business strategy.

22


Table of Contents

           If we are unable to attract, integrate, and retain additional qualified personnel, especially for Accolade Health Assistant, clinical, and various product and technology roles, our business could be adversely affected.

          Our future success depends in part on our ability to identify, attract, integrate, and retain empathetic and knowledgeable Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians, as well as highly qualified and motivated product developers and engineers, who embody our mission-driven culture. We seek to employ Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians who demonstrate empathy and problem-solving skills and hire from diverse professional backgrounds, including social work, teaching, customer care, and benefits. We have from time to time in the past experienced, and may in the future experience, difficulty in hiring and retaining employees with appropriate qualifications. Qualified individuals in the regions where we have offices are in high demand, and we may incur significant costs to attract them. For example, the market for software engineers in the Seattle area is particularly competitive. In addition, with a current shortage of certain qualified nurses in many areas of the United States, competition for the hiring of these professionals remains intense. We compete for qualified individuals with numerous other companies, many of whom have greater financial and other resources than we do. In addition, in the future, we may experiment with different staffing and scheduling models to help attract and retain qualified personnel, including hiring individuals that work remotely, incorporating more flexible work schedules, or deploying a temporary workforce. If we fail to effectively manage our hiring needs or successfully integrate new hires, our employee morale and retention could suffer. Any of these events could also adversely affect our customer and member satisfaction and harm our business.

          Attracting, integrating, and retaining personnel will require us to invest in and commit significant financial, operational, and management resources to grow and change in these areas without undermining the mission-driven culture that has been critical to our growth so far. For example, newly hired Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians require significant training and, in many cases, take significant time before they achieve full productivity. We train Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians in our proprietary engagement approach and integrated technology platform to provide data-informed, personalized health and benefit support to members in friendly, simple terms. This new hire training process lasts approximately two months, including classroom sessions and supervised live call training. If we do not achieve the benefits anticipated from these investments, or if the realization of these benefits is delayed, our results of operations may be adversely affected and our reputation could suffer.

          We also may also incur significant costs to attract and retain qualified personnel, including significant expenditures related to salaries and benefits and compensation expenses related to equity awards, and we may lose new employees to our competitors or other companies before we realize the benefit of our investment in recruiting and training them. Additionally, we have granted certain, but not all of, our employees equity-based awards under our equity incentive plans and expect to continue this practice. However, if we do not grant equity awards, or if we reduce the value of the equity awards we grant, we may not be able to attract and retain key personnel. Volatility in the price of our common stock underlying equity awards may adversely affect our ability to attract or retain key personnel. If we grant more equity awards to attract and retain key personnel, the expenses associated with such additional equity awards could affect our results of operations.

          Further, 61% of our U.S. based labor force are hourly employees, including Accolade Health Assistants and certain clinicians, who are paid wage rates that currently are above the applicable U.S. federal and state minimum wage requirements. These employees are classified as non-exempt, overtime eligible under U.S. federal and state law. If we fail to effectively manage these hourly employees, then we may face claims alleging violations of wage and hour employment laws, including claims of back wages, unpaid overtime pay, and missed meal and rest periods. For

23


Table of Contents

example, we recently entered into a settlement agreement (subject to final court approval) related to a matter brought by a class of our Accolade Health Assistants employed from August 2014 through August 2017 alleging misclassification of exemption status and a failure to pay appropriate overtime wages. Any such employee litigation could be attempted on a class or representative basis. Such litigation can be expensive and time-consuming regardless of whether the claims against us are valid or whether we are ultimately determined to be liable and could divert management's attention from our business. We also could be adversely affected by negative publicity, litigation costs resulting from the defense of these claims, and the diversion of time and resources from our operations. Although we have historically maintained a good relationship with our employees, our employees could unionize or any of our employees could engage in a strike, work stoppage, or other slowdown that would adversely affect our operations and could result in higher labor costs, which would harm our business.

           We may face intense competition, which could limit our ability to maintain or expand market share within our industry, and if we do not maintain or expand our market share our business and operating results will be harmed.

          The market for our offerings is underpenetrated, competitive, and characterized by rapidly evolving technology standards, customer and member needs, and the frequent introduction of new products and services. Our competitors range from smaller niche companies to large, well-financed health plans. As costs fall and technology improves, increased market saturation may change the competitive landscape in favor of competitors with greater scale than we currently possess. We compete on the basis of several factors, including level of member engagement, ability to influence members to improve health and financial incomes, customer and member satisfaction, and price. Some of our competitors have greater name recognition, longer operating histories, and significantly greater resources than we do. As a result, our competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards, or customer requirements.

          In addition to new niche vendors, who offer stand-alone products and services, we also face competition from health plans, which may have existing systems in place at customers in our target market. These competitors may now, or in the future, offer or promise products or services similar to ours, and which offer ease of integration with existing systems and which leverage existing customer and vendor relationships.

          In addition, current and potential competitors have established, and may in the future establish, cooperative relationships with vendors of complementary products, our trusted suppliers, or other third parties, technologies, or services to increase the availability of their products to the marketplace. For example, our current competitors may persuade our trusted suppliers to terminate their relationship with us and engage exclusively with our competitors. Accordingly, new competitors or alliances may emerge that have greater market share, larger customer bases, more widely adopted proprietary technologies, greater marketing expertise, greater financial resources, and larger sales forces than we have, which could put us at a competitive disadvantage. Further, in light of these advantages, even if our offerings are more effective than the product or service offerings of our competitors, current or potential customers might accept competitive products and services in lieu of purchasing our solutions.

          Our partners, including our trusted suppliers, could become our competitors by offering similar services. Some of our partners may begin to offer services in the same or similar manner as we do. For example, a trusted supplier may expand their business model from a point solution into an engagement model similar to ours. Although there are many potential opportunities for, and applications of, these services, our partners may seek opportunities or target new customers in areas that may overlap with those that we have chosen to pursue. In such cases, we may

24


Table of Contents

potentially compete against our partners. Competition from our partners may adversely affect our business and results from operations. In addition, some of the terms of our partner relationships may include exclusivity or other restrictive clauses. Any agreements with partners that include exclusivity or other restrictive provisions may limit our ability to partner with or provide services to potential customers or other third parties, which could harm our business.

          We also compete on the basis of price. We may be subject to pricing pressures as a result of, among other things, competition within the industry, practices of managed care organizations, government action, and financial stress experienced by our customers. If our pricing experiences significant downward pressure, our business will be less profitable, and our results of operations will be adversely affected. We cannot be certain that we will be able to retain our current customers or expand our customer base in this competitive environment. If we do not retain current customers or expand our customer base, or if we have to renegotiate existing contracts, our business will be harmed.

          Moreover, we expect that competition will continue to increase as a result of consolidation in both the healthcare information technology and healthcare industries. If one or more of our competitors or potential competitors were to merge or partner with another of our competitors or one of our trusted suppliers, the change in the competitive landscape could also adversely affect our ability to compete effectively and could harm our business. In addition, as the healthcare industry consolidates, competition to provide services to this segment will become more intense. These healthcare industry participants may try to use their market power to negotiate price reductions for our existing and future offerings. If we reduce our prices because of consolidation in the healthcare industry, our revenue would decrease, which could harm our business.

           The growth of our business relies, in part, on the growth and success of our customers and the number of members with access to our offerings, which are difficult to predict and are affected by factors outside of our control.

          We enter into agreements with our customers under which our fees are generally dependent upon the number of their employees enrolled in in-scope health plans and those employees' enrolled dependents each month. If the number of members covered by one or more of our customers' health and other benefits programs were to decline, such decrease would lead to a decrease in our revenue. Some of our fees are also subject to credits if certain performance criteria are not met, which in some cases depend on the behavior of our members, such as their continued engagement with our existing and future offerings, and other factors outside of our control. See "— The recognition of a portion of our revenue is subject to achievement of performance metrics and healthcare cost savings and may not be representative of revenue for future periods." In addition, some of our customers' members may request to opt out of our service, which could cause our customers to only pay for those members that have not opted out, and as a result, may result in utilization-based pricing, which could lead to a decrease in revenue from that customer and harm our business.

           We may be unable to successfully execute on our growth initiatives, business strategies, or operating plans.

          We are continually executing on growth initiatives, strategies, and operating plans designed to enhance our business and extend our existing and future offerings to address evolving needs. For example, we recently developed add-on offerings that target specific challenges faced by our customers, including Accolade Boost and our Trusted Supplier Program. The anticipated benefits from these efforts are based on several assumptions that may prove to be inaccurate. Moreover, we may not be able to successfully complete these growth initiatives, strategies, and operating plans and realize all of the benefits, including growth targets and cost savings, that we expect to achieve,

25


Table of Contents

or it may be more costly to do so than we anticipate. A variety of risks could cause us not to realize some or all of the expected benefits. These risks include, among others, delays in the anticipated timing of activities related to such growth initiatives, strategies, and operating plans, increased difficulty and cost in implementing these efforts, including difficulties in complying with new regulatory requirements, the incurrence of other unexpected costs associated with operating our business, and lack of acceptance by our customers. Moreover, our continued implementation of these programs may disrupt our operations and performance. As a result, we cannot assure you that we will realize these benefits. If, for any reason, the benefits we realize are less than our estimates or the implementation of these growth initiatives, strategies, and operating plans adversely affect our operations or cost more or take longer to effectuate than we expect, or if our assumptions prove inaccurate, our business may be harmed.

           We may acquire other companies or technologies, which could divert our management's attention, result in dilution to our stockholders, and otherwise disrupt our operations, and we may have difficulty integrating any such acquisitions successfully or realizing the anticipated benefits therefrom, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

          We may seek to acquire or invest in businesses, applications, services, or technologies that we believe could complement or expand our existing and future offerings, enhance our technical capabilities, or otherwise offer growth opportunities. The pursuit of potential acquisitions may divert the attention of management and cause us to incur various expenses in identifying, investigating, and pursuing suitable acquisitions, whether or not they are consummated. In addition, we have limited experience in acquiring other businesses and may have difficulty integrating acquired businesses. For example, in July 2019, we acquired MD Insider, which we are in the process of integrating with our offerings. If we acquire additional businesses, we may not be able to integrate the acquired operations and technologies successfully, or effectively manage the combined business following the acquisition. Integration may prove to be difficult due to the necessity of integrating personnel with disparate business backgrounds and accustomed to different corporate cultures.

          We also may not achieve the anticipated benefits from any acquired business due to a number of factors, including:

          We may issue equity securities or incur indebtedness to pay for any such acquisition or investment, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, or financial condition. Any such issuances of additional capital stock may cause stockholders to experience significant

26


Table of Contents

dilution of their ownership interests and the per share value of our common stock to decline. In addition, a significant portion of the purchase price of any companies we acquire may be allocated to acquired goodwill and other intangible assets, which must be assessed for impairment at least annually. In the future, if our acquisitions do not yield expected returns, we may be required to take charges to our results of operations based on this impairment assessment process, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

           If we do not continue to innovate and provide offerings that are useful to customers and members that achieve and maintain market acceptance, we may not remain competitive, and our revenue and results of operations could suffer.

          Our success depends on our ability to keep pace with technological developments, satisfy increasingly sophisticated customer and member requirements, and achieve and maintain market acceptance on our existing and future offerings in the rapidly evolving market for healthcare and benefits in the United States. In addition, market acceptance and adoption of our existing and future offerings depends on the acceptance by employers, payors, health plans, and government entities as to the distinct features, cost savings, and other perceived benefits of our existing and future offerings as compared to competitive solutions. Our competitors are constantly developing products and services that may become more efficient or appealing to our customers or members. As a result, we must continue to invest significant resources in research and development in order to enhance our existing offerings and introduce new offerings that customers and members will want, while offering our existing and future offerings at competitive prices. If we are unable to predict customer and member preferences or industry changes, or if we are unable to modify our existing and future offerings on a timely or cost-effective basis, we may lose customers. If we are not successful in demonstrating to existing and potential customers the benefits of our existing and future offerings, or if we are not able to achieve the support of employers, healthcare providers, and insurance carriers for our existing and future offerings, our revenue may decline or we may fail to increase our revenue in line with our forecasts. Our results of operations also would suffer if our innovations are not responsive to the needs of our customers and members, are not timed to match the corresponding market opportunity, or are not effectively brought to market, including as the result of delayed releases or releases that are ineffective or have errors or defects.

           The growth of our business and future success relies in part on our partnerships and other relationships with third parties and our business could be harmed if we fail to maintain or expand these relationships.

          We selectively form partnerships and engage with a range of third parties, including brokers, agents, benefits consultants, carriers, third-party administrators, trusted suppliers, and co-marketing and co-selling partners to grow our customer base and adoption of our offerings. For example, in March 2019, we partnered with Humana and formed a joint go-to-market strategy, which we launched in two initial geographic markets. In October 2019, concurrent with an equity investment from Humana, we expanded our partnership to add a broader base of solutions targeting self- and fully-insured customer prospects and significantly expand our target geographic markets. We may fail to retain and expand these partnerships and other third-party relationships for various reasons, and any such failure could harm our relationship with our customers, our reputation and brand, our prospects, and our business.

          In order to grow our business, we anticipate that we will continue to depend on our relationships with our partners. As we seek to form additional partnerships and other third-party relationships, it is uncertain whether these efforts will be successful, or that these relationships will result in increased customer or member use of our solutions or increased revenue. In the event that we are unable to effectively utilize, maintain, and expand these partnerships and other third-party

27


Table of Contents

relationships, our revenue growth could slow. Additionally, our partnerships and other third-party relationships may demand, or demand greater, referral fees or commissions.

           If the estimates and assumptions we use to determine the size of our total addressable market are inaccurate, our future growth rate may be impacted and our business would be harmed.

          Market estimates and growth forecasts are subject to significant uncertainty and are based on assumptions and estimates that may prove to be inaccurate. Even if the market in which we compete meets our size estimates and forecasted growth, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, if at all. The principal assumptions relating to our market opportunity include the number of self- and fully-insured employers, which is estimated to be approximately 22,000 employers. Our market opportunity is also based on the assumption that our existing and future offerings will be more attractive to our customers and potential customers than competing solutions. If these assumptions prove inaccurate, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely affected. For more information regarding our estimates of market opportunity and the forecasts of market growth included in this prospectus, see the section titled "Market and Industry Data."

           We depend on our senior management team, and the loss of one or more of these employees, or an inability to attract and retain qualified key personnel, could adversely affect our business.

          Our success depends, in part, on the skills, working relationships and continued services of Rajeev Singh (Chief Executive Officer), other senior management team members and other key personnel. We do not currently maintain key-person insurance on the lives of any of our key personnel. From time to time, there may be changes in our senior management team resulting from the hiring or departure of executives, which could disrupt our business. The replacement of one or more of our executive officers or other key employees would likely involve significant time and costs and may significantly delay or prevent the achievement of our business objectives.

          While we have entered into offer letters or employment agreements with certain of our executive officers, all of our employees are "at-will" employees, and their employment can be terminated by us or them at any time, for any reason and without notice, subject, in certain cases, to severance payment rights. In order to retain valuable employees, in addition to salary and cash incentives, we may provide equity awards that vest over time or based on performance. The value to employees of equity awards that vest over time or based on performance will be significantly affected by movements in our stock price that are beyond our control and may at any time be insufficient to counteract offers from other organizations. The departure of key personnel could adversely affect the conduct of our business. In such event, we would be required to hire other personnel to manage and operate our business, and there can be no assurance that we would be able to employ a suitable replacement for the departing individual, or that a replacement could be hired on terms that are favorable to us. In addition, volatility or lack of performance in our stock price may affect our ability to attract and retain replacements should key personnel depart. If we are not able to retain any of our key personnel, our business could be harmed.

           If we are not able to maintain and enhance our reputation and brand recognition, our business and results of operations will be harmed.

          We believe that maintaining and enhancing our reputation and brand recognition is critical to our relationships with our existing customers and partners, including our trusted suppliers, and to our ability to attract new customers and partners. The promotion of our brand may require us to make substantial investments and we anticipate that, as our market becomes increasingly

28


Table of Contents

competitive, these marketing initiatives may become increasingly difficult and expensive. Brand promotion and marketing activities may not be successful or yield increased revenue, and to the extent that these activities yield increased revenue, the increased revenue may not offset the expenses we incur and our results of operations could be harmed. In addition, any factor that diminishes our reputation or that of our management, including failing to meet the expectations of customers, members, and partners, and failure to maintain high-quality support, could harm our reputation and brand and make it substantially more difficult for us to attract new customers and trusted suppliers or form new partnerships. Additionally, the performance of third parties with whom we have a relationship, including our trusted suppliers, may also affect our brand and reputation, particularly if our customers and members do not have a positive experience with our trusted suppliers or other third parties. In addition, our sales process is highly dependent on the reputation of our offerings and business and on positive recommendations from our existing customers. If we do not successfully maintain and enhance our reputation and brand recognition, our business may not grow and we could lose our relationships with existing and prospective customers, which would harm our business.

           Any failure to offer high-quality customer and member support services could adversely affect our relationships with our customers and partners and our operating results.

          Our customers and members depend on our support to assist members with their healthcare and other benefits needs. We may be unable to accurately predict our members' demand for services or respond quickly enough to accommodate short-term increases in customer or member demand for services. Increased customer or member demand for services, without a corresponding increase in productivity or revenue, could increase costs and adversely affect our operating results. Any failure to maintain high-quality support, or a market perception that we do not maintain high-quality support, could adversely affect our reputation, our ability to sell our solutions to existing and prospective customers, our relationships with third parties and our ability to form new partnerships, and our business and operating results.

           If our existing customers do not continue to renew their contracts with us, renew at lower fee levels, decline to purchase additional offerings from us, or terminate their contracts for convenience, our business could be harmed.

          We expect to derive a significant portion of our revenue from the renewal of existing customers' contracts and sales of additional solutions to existing customers. As part of our growth strategy, for instance, we have recently focused on expanding our solutions among current customers. For example, we recently launched Accolade Boost, which leverages our technology platform's decision influence models to identify member population segments for multichannel messaging to encourage additional engagement and member utilization of benefit programs, and our Trusted Supplier Program, which simplifies a customer's vetting and procurement processes for point solutions (including financial, information security, and clinical audits). Achieving a high customer retention rate and selling additional applications and solutions are critical to our future business, revenue growth, and results of operations. Factors that may affect our retention rate and our ability to sell additional applications and solutions include the following:

29


Table of Contents

          We typically enter into contracts with our customers with a stated initial term of three years and various termination rights, which if invoked may cause such contracts to be terminated before the term expires. For example, after a specified period, certain of these contracts are terminable for convenience by our customers after a notice period has passed, including existing contracts with some of our largest customers. Approximately 30% of our customer contracts are up for renewal in any given year. If any of our contracts with our customers is terminated, we may not be able to recover all fees due under the terminated contract, which may adversely affect our operating results. Should any of our customers terminate their relationship with us after implementation of our solutions has begun, we not only would lose our time, effort, and resources invested in that implementation, but also we would have lost the opportunity to leverage those resources to build a relationship with other customers over that same period of time. Our customers may negotiate terms less advantageous to us upon renewal, which may reduce our revenue from these customers and may decrease our annual revenue. Mergers and acquisitions involving our customers have in the past and may in the future lead to non-renewal or termination of our contracts with those customers or by the acquiring or combining companies. If our customers fail to renew their contracts, renew their contracts upon less favorable terms or at lower fee levels, or fail to purchase new solutions from us, our revenue may decline or our future revenue growth may be constrained.

           The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving and the market for technology-enabled solutions that empower healthcare consumers is relatively immature and unproven. If we are not successful in promoting the benefits of our existing and future offerings, our growth may be limited.

          The market for our solutions is subject to rapid and significant changes. The market for technology-enabled solutions that empower healthcare consumers is characterized by rapid technological change, new product and service introductions, increasing consumer financial responsibility, consumerism and engagement, and the entrance of non-traditional competitors. In addition, there may be a limited-time opportunity to achieve and maintain a significant share of this market due in part to the rapidly evolving nature of the healthcare and technology industries and the substantial resources available to our existing and potential competitors. The market for technology-enabled solutions that empower healthcare consumers is relatively new and unproven, and it is uncertain whether this market will achieve and sustain high levels of demand and market adoption. In order to remain competitive, we are continually involved in a number of projects to compete with new market entrants by developing new offerings, growing our customer base, and expanding into adjacent markets. For example, the Accolade Boost solution and our Trusted Supplier Program are examples of add-on offerings we have recently deployed to complement our traditional offerings and generate additional value to our customers. These projects carry risks, such as cost overruns, delays in delivery, performance problems, and lack of acceptance by our customers. If we cannot adapt to rapidly evolving industry standards, technology, and increasingly sophisticated customers and their employees, our existing technology could become undesirable, obsolete, or harm our reputation.

          We must continue to invest significant resources in our personnel and technology in a timely and cost-effective manner in order to enhance our existing offerings and introduce new offerings that existing customers and potential new customers will want. If our new or modified offerings are not responsive to the preferences of customers and their employees, emerging industry standards, or regulatory changes, are not appropriately timed with market opportunity, or are not effectively brought to market, we may lose existing customers or be unable to obtain new customers, and our results of operations may suffer.

          Our success also depends to a substantial extent on the ability of our existing and future offerings to increase member engagement and our ability to demonstrate the value of our existing

30


Table of Contents

and future offerings to customers. If our existing customers do not recognize or acknowledge the benefits of our existing and future offerings or our offerings do not increase member engagement, then the market for our solutions might not develop at all, or it might develop more slowly than we expect, either of which could adversely affect our operating results. In addition, we have limited insight into trends that might develop and affect our business, which could lead to errors in our predicting and reacting to relevant business, legal, and regulatory trends and healthcare reform. If any of these events occur, it could harm our business.

           We have identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting and may identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls, which may result in material misstatements of our financial statements or cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations.

          As a public company, we will be required to maintain internal control over financial reporting and to report any material weaknesses in such internal control. Prior to this offering, we were a private company and have limited accounting and financial reporting personnel and other resources with which to address our internal controls and procedures. In connection with the audit of our financial statements for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. We determined that we had a material weakness because we lacked internal controls related to the review and approval of manual journal entries. This material weakness could result in a misstatement of account balances or disclosures that would result in a material misstatement to the annual or interim consolidated financial statements that would not be prevented or detected. To address this material weakness, we plan to hire additional accounting personnel and implement process level and management review controls. While we intend to implement a plan to remediate this material weakness, we cannot predict the success of such plan or the outcome of our assessment of this plan at this time. If our steps are insufficient to successfully remediate the material weakness and otherwise establish and maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, the reliability of our financial reporting, investor confidence in us, and the value of our common stock could be materially and adversely affected. We can give no assurance that this implementation will remediate this deficiency in internal control or that additional material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting will not be identified in the future. Our failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in errors in our financial statements that could result in a restatement of our financial statements, or cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations. Effective internal control over financial reporting is necessary for us to provide reliable and timely financial reports and, together with adequate disclosure controls and procedures, are designed to reasonably detect and prevent fraud. Any failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation, could cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations. For as long as we are an "emerging growth company" under the JOBS Act, our independent registered public accounting firm will not be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404. We could be an "emerging growth company" for up to five years. An independent assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting could detect problems that our management's assessment might not. Undetected material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting could lead to financial statement restatements and require us to incur the expense of remediation.

31


Table of Contents

           We have been and may in the future become subject to litigation, which could harm our business.

          Our business entails the risk of liability claims against us, and we have been and may in the future become subject to litigation. Claims against us may be asserted by or on behalf of a variety of parties, including our customers, our members, vendors of our customers, government agencies, our current or former employees, or our stockholders. Some of these claims may result in significant defense costs and potentially significant judgments against us, some of which are not, or cannot be, covered by adequate insurance. Although we carry professional errors and omissions insurance in amounts that we believe are appropriate in light of the risks attendant to our business, successful claims could result in substantial damage awards that exceed the limits of our insurance coverage. In addition, any determination that we are acting in the capacity of a healthcare provider, or exercising undue influence or control over a healthcare provider, may subject us to claims not covered by our professional errors and omissions insurance coverage, or could result in significant sanctions against us and our clinicians, additional compliance requirements, expense, and liability to us. In addition, professional liability insurance is expensive and insurance premiums may increase significantly in the future, particularly as we expand our solutions. As a result, adequate professional liability insurance may not be available to us or to our partners in the future at acceptable costs or at all. We generally intend to defend ourselves vigorously; however, we cannot be certain of the ultimate outcomes of any claims that may arise in the future. Resolution of some of these types of matters against us may result in our having to pay significant fines, judgments, or settlements, which, if uninsured, or if the fines, judgments, and settlements exceed insured levels, could adversely impact our earnings and cash flows, thereby harming our business and per share trading price of our common stock. For example, fines or assessments could be levied against us under domestic or foreign data privacy laws (such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), or the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA)) or under authority of privacy enforcing governmental entities (such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)) or as a result of private actions, such as class actions based on data breaches or based on private rights of action (such as that contained in the CCPA). Certain litigation or the resolution of certain litigation may affect the availability or cost of some of our insurance coverage, which could adversely impact our results of operations and cash flows, expose us to increased risks that would be uninsured and adversely impact our ability to attract directors and officers. In addition, such litigation could result in increased scrutiny by government authorities having authority over our business, such as the FTC, the HHS, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and state attorney generals.

           Security breaches, loss of data, and other disruptions could compromise sensitive information related to our business, customers, members, or partners, or prevent us from accessing critical information and expose us to liability, which could adversely affect our business and our reputation.

          In the ordinary course of our business, we collect, store, use, and disclose sensitive data, including protected health information (PHI), and other types of personal data or personally identifiable information (PII). We also process and store, and use additional third parties to process and store, sensitive information including intellectual property and other proprietary business information, including that of our customers and members. We manage and maintain our technology platform and data utilizing a combination of on-site systems, mobile applications, managed data center systems, and cloud-based computing center systems. We are highly dependent on information technology networks, mobile applications, and systems, including the Internet, to securely process, transmit, and store this critical information. Security breaches of this infrastructure, including physical or electronic break-ins, computer viruses, attacks by hackers, and

32


Table of Contents

similar breaches, and employee or contractor error, negligence, or malfeasance, can create system disruptions, shutdowns, or unauthorized disclosure or modifications of confidential information, causing member health information to be accessed or acquired without authorization or to become publicly available. We utilize third-party service providers for important aspects of the collection, storage, and transmission of customer and member information, and other confidential and sensitive information, and therefore rely on third parties to manage functions that have material cybersecurity risks. Our technology platform also utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to provide services, and this technology is susceptible to cybersecurity threats, as PHI, PII, and other confidential and sensitive information may be integrated into the platform. Because of the sensitivity of the PHI, other PII, and other confidential information we and our service providers collect, store, transmit, and otherwise process, the security of our technology platform and other aspects of our solutions, including those provided or facilitated by our third-party service providers, are important to our operations and business strategy.

          We take certain administrative, physical, and technological safeguards to address these risks, such as by requiring outsourcing subcontractors and partners, including trusted suppliers, who handle customer and member information for us to enter into agreements that contractually obligate those subcontractors and partners to comply with applicable privacy laws, such as HIPAA, and otherwise use reasonable efforts to safeguard PHI, other PII, and other sensitive information. For those subcontractors and partners who handle PHI on our behalf, we enter into business associate agreements as required by HIPAA. Measures taken to protect our systems, those of our subcontractors and partners, or the PHI, other PII, or other sensitive data we, our subcontractors, or our partners process or maintain, may not adequately protect us from the risks associated with the collection, storage, and transmission of such information.

          Although we take steps to help protect confidential and other sensitive information from unauthorized access or disclosure, our information technology and infrastructure has been in the past and may be vulnerable in the future to attacks by hackers or viruses, failures, or breaches due to third-party action, employee negligence or error, malfeasance, or other incidents or disruptions. A security incident or privacy violation that we experience (or that occurs at a trusted supplier or customer) that leads to disclosure or unauthorized use or modification of, or that prevents access to or otherwise impacts the confidentiality, security, or integrity of, member information, including PHI or other PII, or other sensitive information we, our subcontractors, or our partners maintain or otherwise process, could harm our reputation, compel us to comply with breach notification laws, cause us to incur significant costs for remediation, fines, penalties, notification to customers, affected individuals, including regulatory authorities and the media, and for measures intended to repair or replace systems or technology and to prevent future occurrences, potential increases in insurance premiums, handling of contractual claims (including breach of contract or breach of confidentiality issues), and require us to verify the accuracy of database contents, resulting in increased costs or loss of revenue. In the event of a security breach, we may also be subject to private causes of action and/or statutory penalties under certain state laws, such as the CCPA, which provides a private right of action for data breaches of certain unencrypted or unredacted personal information and establishes statutory penalties for violations of the law. If we are unable to prevent such security breaches or privacy violations or implement satisfactory remedial measures, or if it is perceived that we have been unable to do so, our operations could be disrupted, we may be unable to provide access to our technology platform, and we could suffer a loss of customers, members, or trusted suppliers or a decrease in the use of our existing and future offerings, and we may suffer loss of reputation, adverse impacts on customer, member, partner, and investor confidence, financial loss, governmental investigations or other actions, regulatory or contractual penalties, and other claims and liability. In addition, health plans, benefits administrators, customers, members, and our trusted suppliers may then refuse to provide data to us, or restrict our ability to use such data, in which event our business could be harmed.

33


Table of Contents

          In addition, security incidents and other inappropriate access to, or acquisition or processing of, information can be difficult to detect or may occur outside of our network (such as in our supply chain or at our customers or trusted suppliers), and any delay in identifying or responding to such incidents or in providing any notification of such incidents may lead to increased harm. Any such breach or interruption of our systems, or the systems of any of our third-party information technology partners, could compromise our networks or data security processes and sensitive information could be inaccessible or could be accessed by unauthorized parties, publicly disclosed, lost, or stolen. Any such interruption in access, improper access, disclosure, or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws and regulations that protect the privacy of member information or other personal information, such as HIPAA, CCPA, or GDPR, and regulatory penalties.

          Unauthorized access, loss, or dissemination could also disrupt our operations, including our ability to perform our services, provide member assistance services, conduct research and development activities, collect, process, and prepare company financial information, provide information about our current and future solutions, and engage in other member and clinician education and outreach efforts. Any such breach could also result in the compromise of our trade secrets and other proprietary information, which could adversely affect our business and competitive position. Additionally, actual, potential, or anticipated attacks may cause us to incur increasing costs, including costs to deploy additional personnel and protection technologies, train employees, and engage third-party experts and consultants. Although we maintain insurance covering certain security and privacy damages and claim expenses, we may not carry insurance or maintain coverage sufficient to compensate for all liability and, in any event, insurance coverage would not address the reputational damage that could result from a security incident.

           If we fail to provide accurate and timely information, or if our Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians, our content, or any other element of our existing and future offerings is associated with faulty administrative or clinical decisions or treatment, we could have liability to customers or members, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

          Our Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians, our member web portal, and our mobile application all use our technology platform to support our members in making healthcare and benefits-related decisions. In addition, our Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians use our technology platform to help guide interactions with members. Our technology platform applies artificial intelligence and machine learning tactics to generate predictive insights about our members, which are then translated into recommended interventions for our Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians and used to enhance our member self-service capabilities. For example, our Accolade Health Assistants can leverage our technology platform to provide quotes to a member about that member's healthcare benefits, including in-network services, balance billing, or claims quotes. If we fail to provide accurate and timely information regarding these benefits or if the data generated by our technology platform (including the artificial intelligence and machine learning components) are inaccurate, fail, or are subject to security incidents, this could lead to claims against us that could result in substantial costs to us or cause demand for our solutions to decline. If our Accolade Health Assistants, clinicians, or technology platform guide people to care settings and providers resulting in faulty clinical decisions or treatment, then our customers or our members could assert claims against us that could result in substantial costs to us, harm our reputation in the industry, and cause demand for our existing and future offerings to decline. For example, our nurses have access to extensive intelligence on provider quality and cost, which allows them to present various options to members when they are selecting a primary care physician or specialist. If the member relies on this provider recommendation, and that provider subsequently makes faulty clinical decisions or treatment recommendations, we could be subject to claims by such member. In addition, if our Accolade Health Assistants or clinicians make recommendations outside of our

34


Table of Contents

standard protocol that result in faulty clinical decisions or treatments, then our customers or our members could assert claims against us.

          The assertion of such claims and ensuing litigation, regardless of its outcome, could result in substantial cost to us, divert management's attention from operations, damage our reputation, and decrease market acceptance of our existing and future offerings. We maintain general liability and insurance coverage, but this coverage may not continue to be available on acceptable terms, may not be available in sufficient amounts to cover one or more large claims against us, or may not provide coverage if our Accolade Health Assistants or clinicians were to engage in the unlicensed practice of medicine. In addition, the insurer might disclaim coverage as to any future claim. One or more large claims could exceed our available insurance coverage. Adequate professional liability insurance may not be available to our providers or to us in the future at acceptable costs or at all. Any claims made against us that are not fully covered by insurance could be costly to defend against, result in substantial damage awards against us, and divert the attention of our management and our providers from our operations, which may harm our business. In addition, any claims may adversely affect our business or reputation.

          Our technology platform may contain errors or failures that are not detected until after the software is introduced or updates and new versions are released. From time to time, we have discovered defects or errors in our software, and such defects or errors can be expected to appear in the future. Defects and errors that are not timely detected and remedied could expose us to risk of liability to customers and members and cause delays in introduction of new solutions, result in increased costs and diversion of development resources, require design modifications, or decrease market acceptance or customer satisfaction with our solutions. If any of these risks occur, they could harm our business.

           We rely on Internet infrastructure, bandwidth providers, data center providers, other third parties, and our own systems for providing solutions to our customers, and any failure or interruption in the services provided by these third parties or our own systems could expose us to litigation and negatively impact our relationships with customers, adversely affecting our brand and our business.

          Our ability to deliver our solutions is dependent on the development and maintenance of the infrastructure of the Internet and other telecommunications services by third parties. We currently host our technology platform, serve our customers and members, and support our operations primarily using third-party data centers and telecommunications solutions, including cloud infrastructure services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud. We also use a third-party call center for off-hours clinical support. We do not have control over the operations of the facilities of our data and call center providers, AWS, or Google Cloud. These facilities are vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fires, cyber security attacks, terrorist attacks, power losses, telecommunications failures, and similar events. The occurrence of a natural disaster or an act of terrorism, a decision to close the facilities without adequate notice, or other unanticipated problems could result in lengthy interruptions in our solution. The facilities also could be subject to break-ins, computer viruses, sabotage, intentional acts of vandalism, and other misconduct. Any errors, failures, interruptions, or delays experienced in connection with these third-party technologies and information services or our own systems could negatively impact our relationships with customers and adversely affect our business and could expose us to third-party liabilities.

          For some of these services, we may not maintain redundant systems or facilities. Our technology platform's continuing and uninterrupted performance is critical to our success. Members may become dissatisfied by any system failure that interrupts our ability to provide our solutions to them. We may not be able to easily switch our AWS and Google Cloud operations to another cloud

35


Table of Contents

service provider if there are disruptions or interference with our use of AWS or Google Cloud. Sustained or repeated system failures would reduce the attractiveness of our technology platform to customers and members and result in contract terminations, thereby reducing revenue. Moreover, negative publicity arising from these types of disruptions could damage our reputation and may adversely impact use of our existing and future offerings. We may not carry sufficient business interruption insurance to compensate us for losses that may occur as a result of any events that cause interruptions in our service. Neither our third-party data and call center providers nor AWS or Google Cloud have an obligation to renew their agreements with us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. If we are unable to renew our agreements with these providers on commercially reasonable terms, if our agreements with our providers are prematurely terminated, or if in the future we add additional data or call center providers or cloud service providers, we may experience costs or downtime in connection with the transfer to, or the addition of, new providers. If these providers were to increase the cost of their services, we may have to increase the price of our existing and future offerings, and our business may be harmed.

           Natural or man-made disasters, events outside our reasonable control, and other similar events may significantly disrupt our operations and negatively impact our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

          Our offices, third-party data and call centers, or cloud infrastructure services may be harmed or rendered inoperable by natural or man-made disasters, including earthquakes, power outages, fires, floods, nuclear disasters, acts of terrorism or other criminal activities, or other events outside our reasonable control such as a general and widespread failure of the Internet or telecommunications, which may render it difficult or impossible for us to operate our business for some period of time. Any disruptions in our operations related to the repair or replacement of our offices, third-party data and call centers, or cloud infrastructure services could negatively impact our business and results of operations and harm our reputation. Insurance may not be sufficient to compensate for losses that may occur. Any such losses or damages could harm our business.

Risks Related to Governmental Regulation

           Changes in the health insurance market, ERISA laws, state insurance laws, or other laws could harm our business.

          The market for private health insurance in the United States is evolving and, as our customers are primarily employers that deploy our offerings to employees and their families, our future financial performance will depend in part on the growth in this market. Changes and developments in the health insurance system in the United States could reduce demand for our existing and future offerings and harm our business. For example, there has been an ongoing national debate relating to the healthcare reimbursement system in the United States. Some members of Congress and presidential candidates have introduced proposals that would create a new single payor national health insurance program for all United States residents; others have proposed more incremental approaches, such as creating a new public health insurance plan option as a supplement to private sources of coverage. In the event that laws, regulations or rules that eliminate or reduce private sources of health insurance or require such benefits to be taxable are adopted, the subsequent impact on the workplace benefits provided by our customers may in turn have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

          In addition, changes in laws or regulations regarding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), changes in state insurance laws, or other changes in laws could materially impact the self-insured employer healthcare and benefits markets, or the markets in which our other existing or potential customers procure and provide benefits.

36


Table of Contents

           If we fail to comply with healthcare laws and regulations, we could face substantial penalties and our business could be harmed.

          Our existing and future offerings, as well as our business activities, including our relationships with our commercial partners and customers, are or may be in the future subject to a complex set of regulations and rigorous enforcement, including by the HHS, Office of the Inspector General and Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Justice, and numerous other federal and state governmental authorities. In addition, our employees, consultants, and commercial partners may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including non-compliance with regulatory standards and requirements. Certain aspects of our business model may also trigger scrutiny under healthcare and related laws. Federal and state healthcare and related laws and regulations that may now or in the future affect our ability to conduct business include:

37


Table of Contents

          The Affordable Care Act, among other things, amends the intent requirement of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and criminal healthcare fraud statutes. A person or entity no longer needs to have actual knowledge of this statute or specific intent to violate it. In addition, the Affordable Care Act provides that the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal False Claims Act.

          Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of available statutory and regulatory exemptions, it is possible that some of our activities could be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. For example, there is a risk that regulatory authorities in some states may find that certain of our contractual relationships with healthcare providers are in violation of state anti-kickback or fee-splitting laws. Any action brought against us for violations of these laws or regulations, even if successfully defended, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and divert our management's attention from the operation of our business. We may be subject to private "qui tam" actions brought by individual whistleblowers on behalf of the federal or state governments, with potential liability under the federal False Claims Act including mandatory treble damages and significant per-claim penalties.

          Although we have adopted policies and procedures designed to comply with these laws and regulations and conduct internal reviews of our compliance with these laws, our compliance is also subject to governmental review. The growth of our business and sales organization may increase the potential of violating these laws or our internal policies and procedures. The risk of our being found in violation of these or other laws and regulations is further increased by the fact that many have not been fully interpreted by the regulatory authorities or the courts, and their provisions are open to a variety of interpretations. Any action brought against us for violation of these or other laws or regulations, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and divert our management's attention from the operation of our business. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of the federal, state and foreign laws described above or any other current or future fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations that apply to us, we may be subject to penalties, including significant criminal, civil and administrative penalties, damages and fines, disgorgement, additional reporting requirements and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or similar agreement to resolve allegations of noncompliance with these laws, imprisonment for individuals and exclusion from participation in government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as contractual damages and reputational harm. We could also be required to curtail or cease our operations. Any of the foregoing consequences could seriously harm our business and our financial results.

38


Table of Contents

           Our use, disclosure, and other processing of PII and PHI is subject to HIPAA and other federal, state, and foreign privacy and security regulations, and our failure to comply with those regulations or to adequately secure the information we hold could result in significant liability or reputational harm and, in turn, a material adverse effect on our customer base, member base and revenue.

          Numerous state and federal laws and regulations govern the collection, dissemination, use, privacy, confidentiality, security, availability, integrity, and other processing of PHI and PII. These laws and regulations include HIPAA, which establishes a set of national privacy and security standards for the protection of PHI by health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and certain healthcare providers, referred to as covered entities, and the business associates with whom such covered entities contract for services. We are considered a business associate under HIPAA, and we execute business associate agreements with our customers, subcontractors, and trusted suppliers. HIPAA requires covered entities and business associates, such as us, to develop and maintain policies and procedures with respect to PHI that is used or disclosed, including the adoption of administrative, physical and technical safeguards to protect such information.

          Some of our business activities require that we or our partners obtain permissions consistent with HIPAA to provide certain marketing and data aggregation services as well as those activities that require the creation and use of de-identified information. We may also require large sets of de-identified information to enable us to continue to develop and enhance our data and analytics platform. If we or our partners are unable to secure these rights, or if there is a future change in law, we may face limitations on the use of PHI and our ability to provide marketing services and use de-identified information, which could harm our business or subject us to potential government actions or penalties. Also, there are ongoing public policy discussions regarding whether the standards for de-identified, anonymous or pseudonomized health information are sufficient, and the risk of re-identification sufficiently small, to adequately protect patient privacy. These discussions may lead to further restrictions on the use of such information or create additional regulatory burdens. There can be no assurance that these initiatives or future initiatives will not adversely affect our ability to access and use data or to develop or market current or future services.

          In addition, we could be subject to periodic audits for compliance with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Standards by HHS and our customers. HIPAA also implemented the use of standard transaction code sets and standard identifiers that covered entities must use when submitting or receiving certain electronic healthcare transactions, including activities associated with the billing and collection of healthcare claims. HIPAA imposes mandatory penalties for certain violations. Penalties for violations of HIPAA and its implementing regulations start at $100 per violation and are not to exceed $50,000 per violation, subject to a cap of $1.5 million for violations of the same standard in a single calendar year. However, a single breach incident can result in violations of multiple standards. HIPAA also authorizes state attorneys general to file suit on behalf of their residents. Courts may award damages, costs and attorneys' fees related to violations of HIPAA in such cases. While HIPAA does not create a private right of action allowing individuals to sue us in civil court for violations of HIPAA, its standards have been used as the basis for duty of care in state civil suits such as those for negligence or recklessness in the misuse or breach of PHI.

          In addition to HIPAA, numerous other federal, state, and foreign laws and regulations protect the confidentiality, privacy, availability, integrity, and security of PHI and other types of PII. In the case of our European subsidiary, Accolade may have obligations under GDPR and related EU privacy laws and regulations related to the use, transfer, and protection of employee-related data. These laws and regulations in many cases may be more restrictive than, and may not be preempted by, HIPAA and its implementing rules. These laws and regulations may also require additional compliance obligations relating to the transfer of data between Accolade and its subsidiaries. There is a risk that regulatory authorities may determine that we have not implemented

39


Table of Contents

our compliance obligations in a timely or appropriate manner. Penalties for noncompliance under GDPR and related EU privacy laws may include significant monetary fines. These laws and regulations are often uncertain, contradictory, and subject to changed or differing interpretations, and we expect new laws, rules and regulations regarding privacy, data protection, and information security to be proposed and enacted in the future.

          Such new regulations and legislative actions (or changes in interpretation of existing laws or regulations regarding data privacy and security together with applicable industry standards) may increase our costs of doing business. In this regard, we expect that there will continue to be new laws, regulations, and industry standards relating to privacy and data protection in the United States, the EU and other jurisdictions, such as the CCPA which has been characterized as the first "GDPR-like" privacy statute to be enacted in the United States, and we cannot determine how broadly or narrowly regulators will interpret and enforce such new laws, regulations, and standards and the corresponding impact it may have on our business. Although we are modifying our data collection, use and processing practices and policies in an effort to comply with the law, there is a risk that the California Attorney General does not find our practices or policies to be compliant with the CCPA, which would potentially subject us to civil penalties or an inability to use information collected from California consumers.

          This complex, dynamic legal landscape regarding privacy, data protection, and information security creates significant compliance issues for us and our customers and potentially exposes us to additional expense, adverse publicity and liability. Although we take steps to help protect confidential and other sensitive information from unauthorized access or disclosure, our information technology and infrastructure has been in the past and may be vulnerable in the future to attacks by hackers or viruses, failures, or breaches due to third-party action, employee negligence or error, malfeasance, or other incidents or disruptions. For example, we have been the target of phishing attacks seeking confidential information regarding our employees. Furthermore, while we have implemented data privacy and security measures in an effort to comply with applicable laws and regulations relating to privacy and data protection, some PHI and other PII or confidential information is transmitted to us by third parties, who may not implement adequate security and privacy measures, and it is possible that laws, rules and regulations relating to privacy, data protection, or information security may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent with our practices or those of third parties who transmit PHI and other PII or confidential information to us. If we or these third parties are found to have violated such laws, rules or regulations, it could result in government-imposed fines, orders requiring that we or these third parties change our or their practices, or criminal charges, which could adversely affect our business.

          We outsource important aspects of the storage and transmission of customer and member information, and thus, rely on third parties to manage functions that have material cyber-security risks. A breach of privacy or security of such information by a subcontractor may result in an enforcement action against us. We attempt to address these risks by requiring outsourcing subcontractors who handle such information to sign business associate agreements contractually requiring those subcontractors to adequately safeguard such information. However, we cannot be assured that these contractual measures and other safeguards will adequately protect us from the risks associated with the storage and transmission of such information on our behalf by our subcontractors.

          Complying with these various laws and regulations could cause us to incur substantial costs or require us to change our business practices, systems and compliance procedures in a manner adverse to our business. We also publish statements to our customers and members that describe how we handle and protect PHI (for example, through our privacy policies connected with our website, mobile applications and other digital tools). If federal or state regulatory authorities, such as the FTC or state attorneys general, or private litigants consider any portion of these statements

40


Table of Contents

to be untrue, we may be subject to claims of deceptive practices, which could lead to significant liabilities and consequences, including costs of responding to investigations, defending against litigation, settling claims, and complying with regulatory or court orders. Any of the foregoing consequences could seriously harm our business and our financial results. Furthermore, the costs of compliance with, and other burdens imposed by, the laws, regulations and policies that are applicable to the businesses of our customers may limit the use and adoption of, and reduce the overall demand for, our existing and future offerings. Any of the foregoing consequences could harm our business.

           Our employment and use of nurses, physician medical directors and our other clinicians may subject us to licensing and other regulatory risks.

          Our employment and use of nurses, physician medical directors, and our other clinicians may subject us to state and other licensing and regulatory risks. For example, there may be restrictions on the ability of our clinicians to provide services to our members residing in states outside of the state or states in which such clinicians are licensed or registered. The services provided by our clinicians may be subject to review by state or other regulatory bodies. In addition, any activities conducted by our clinicians that are in violation of practice rules could subject us to fines or other penalties. For example, our clinicians could be found to be practicing outside the scope of their respective licenses in violation of applicable laws. Further, if one of our clinicians is found to be acting outside the scope of their professional license in violation of the applicable state's practice laws, such activity could result in disciplinary action against the clinician by the applicable licensing agency. The definition of what constitutes the practice of medicine, nursing or other health professions varies by state.

          In addition, there is a risk that we may be found in violation of the prohibition of the corporate practice of a health profession under certain state laws, which may result in the imposition of civil or criminal penalties. Certain states prevent corporations from being licensed as practitioners and prohibit physicians from practicing medicine in partnership with non-physicians, such as business corporations. Activities other than those directly related to the delivery of healthcare may be considered an element of the practice of medicine in certain states. These laws, which vary by state, may also prevent the sharing of professional services income with non-professional or business interests. Any determination that we are acting in the capacity as a healthcare provider, exercising undue influence or control over a healthcare provider or impermissibly sharing fees with a healthcare provider, may result in significant sanctions against us and our clinicians, including civil and criminal penalties and fines, additional compliance requirements, expense, and liability to us, and require us to change or terminate some portions of our contractual arrangements or business.

           Evolving government regulations may require increased costs or adversely affect our results of operations.

          In a regulatory climate that is uncertain, our operations may be subject to direct and indirect adoption, expansion, or reinterpretation of various laws and regulations. Compliance with these future laws and regulations may require us to change our practices at an undeterminable and possibly significant initial monetary and annual expense. These additional monetary expenditures may increase future overhead, which could harm our business. For example, since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, there have been judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the law, as well as efforts by the Trump administration to repeal or replace certain aspects of Affordable Care Act. Since January 2017, President Trump has signed two Executive Orders and other directives designed to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act or otherwise circumvent some of the requirements for health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Concurrently, Congress has considered legislation that would repeal or repeal

41


Table of Contents

and replace all or part of the Affordable Care Act. While Congress has not passed comprehensive repeal legislation, two bills affecting the implementation of certain taxes under the Affordable Care Act have been signed into law. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Tax Act), included a provision which repealed, effective January 1, 2019, the tax-based shared responsibility payment imposed by the Affordable Care Act on certain individuals who fail to maintain qualifying health coverage for all or part of a year that is commonly referred to as the "individual mandate."

          On January 22, 2018, President Trump signed a continuing resolution on appropriations for fiscal year 2018 that delayed the implementation of certain fees, including the so-called "Cadillac" tax on certain high cost employer-sponsored insurance plans, the annual fee imposed on certain health insurance providers based on market share, and the medical device excise tax on non-exempt medical devices. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, among other things, amended the Affordable Care Act, effective January 1, 2019, to close the coverage gap in most Medicare drug plans, commonly referred to as the "donut hole." On December 14, 2018, a Texas U.S. District Court Judge ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional in its entirety because the "individual mandate" was repealed by Congress as part of the Tax Act. While the Texas U.S. District Court Judge, as well as the Trump administration and CMS, have stated that the ruling will have no immediate effect pending appeal of the decision, it is unclear how this decision, subsequent appeals, and other efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will impact the Affordable Care Act. We continue to evaluate the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act and its possible repeal or replacement on our business.

          There could be laws and regulations applicable to our business that we have not identified or that, if changed, may be costly to us, and we cannot predict all the ways in which implementation of such laws and regulations may affect us. In the states in which we operate, we believe we are in compliance with all applicable material regulations, but, due to the uncertain regulatory environment, certain states may determine that we are in violation of their laws and regulations. In the event that we must remedy such violations, we may be required to modify our existing and future offerings and solutions in such states in a manner that undermines our existing and future offerings' attractiveness to partners, customers or members, we may become subject to fines or other penalties or, if we determine that the requirements to operate in compliance in such states are overly burdensome, we may elect to terminate our operations in such states. In each case, our revenue may decline and our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely affected.

          Additionally, the introduction of new solutions may require us to comply with additional, yet undetermined, laws and regulations. Compliance may require obtaining appropriate state medical board licenses or certificates, increasing our security measures and expending additional resources to monitor developments in applicable rules and ensure compliance. The failure to adequately comply with these future laws and regulations may delay or possibly prevent our existing and future offerings from being offered to partners, customers and members, which could harm our business.

           Individuals may claim our outbound engagement techniques, including outbound telephone calls and digital outreach, are not compliant with HIPAA or federal marketing laws.

          Several federal laws are designed to protect consumers from various types and modes of marketing. HIPAA prohibits certain types of marketing to individuals using PHI, except for certain treatment and healthcare operations, including communications made to describe a health-related product or service (or payment for such product or service) that is provided by, or included in, a plan of benefits. Our solutions may be subject to review by HHS or OCR and deemed in violation of HIPAA, which could subject us to fines or other penalties. In addition, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), is a federal statute that protects consumers from unwanted telephone calls and faxes. Since its inception, the TCPA's purview has extended to text messages sent to

42


Table of Contents

consumers. We may communicate with and perform outreach to members through multiple modes of communication, including phone, email, and secure messaging. We must ensure that our solutions that leverage telephone and secure messaging comply with TCPA regulations and agency guidance. While we strive to adhere to strict policies and procedures, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as the agency that implements and enforces the TCPA, may disagree with our interpretation of the TCPA and subject us to penalties and other consequences for noncompliance. Determination by a court or regulatory agency that our solutions violate the TCPA could subject us to civil penalties, could invalidate all or portions of some of our customer contracts, could require us to change or terminate some portions of our offerings, could require us to refund portions of our fees, and could have an adverse effect on our business. Even an unsuccessful challenge by consumers or regulatory authorities of our activities could result in adverse publicity and could require a costly response from us. Other laws focus on unsolicited email, such as the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, (CAN-SPAM Act), which establishes requirements for the transmission of commercial email messages and specifies penalties for unsolicited commercial email messages that follow a recipient's opt-out request or deceive the receiving consumer.

          In addition, some of our marketing activities require that we obtain permissions consistent with HIPAA and applicable state health information privacy laws. If we are unable to secure such permissions, or if there is a future change in law, we may face limitations on the use of such information, which may harm our business.

           The U.S. Food and Drug Administration may in the future determine that our technology solutions are subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and we may face additional costs and risks as a result.

          There is a risk that our existing and future offerings, including the operational/technical component of our business model, such as our decision support software incorporating machine learning, meets the definition of a medical device under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Medical devices are subject to extensive regulation by the FDA under the FDCA. Under the FDCA, medical devices include any instrument, apparatus, machine, contrivance, or other similar or related articles that is intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. FDA regulations govern among other things, product development, testing, manufacture, packaging, labeling, storage, clearance or approval, advertising and promotion, sales and distribution, and import and export.

          Failure to appropriately seek FDA approval or noncompliance with applicable FDA requirements can result in, among other things, public warning letters, fines, injunctions, civil penalties, recall or seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production, failure of the FDA to grant marketing approvals, withdrawal of marketing approvals, a recommendation by the FDA to disallow us from entering into government contracts, and criminal prosecutions. The FDA also has the authority to request repair, replace, or refund of the cost of any device.

           Changes in tax laws or regulations that are applied adversely to us or our customers may have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flow, financial condition, or results of operations.

          The Tax Act enacted many significant changes to the U.S. tax laws. Future guidance from the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities with respect to the Tax Act may affect us, and certain aspects of the Tax Act could be repealed or modified in future legislation. Changes in corporate tax rates, the realization of net deferred tax assets relating to our U.S. operations, and the deductibility of expenses under the Tax Act or future tax reform legislation could have a material impact on the value of our deferred tax assets, could result in significant one-time charges in the current or future taxable years, and could increase our future U.S. tax expense. The foregoing items, as well as any other future changes in tax laws, could have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flow, financial condition, or results of operations. In addition, it is uncertain if and to what extent various states will conform to the Tax Act or any newly enacted federal tax legislation.

43


Table of Contents

           Taxing authorities may successfully assert that we should have collected or in the future should collect sales and use, value-added, or similar taxes, and we could be subject to liability with respect to past or future sales, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

          We do not collect sales and use, value-added, and similar taxes in all jurisdictions in which we have sales, based on our understanding that such taxes are not applicable. Sales and use, value-added, and similar tax laws and rates vary greatly by jurisdiction. Certain jurisdictions in which we do not collect such taxes may assert that such taxes are applicable, or jurisdictions in which we collect sales tax may assert that we have under-collected sales tax, either of which could result in tax assessments, penalties, and interest, and we may be required to collect such taxes in the future. Although our customer contracts typically provide that our customers must pay all applicable sales and similar taxes, our customers may be reluctant to pay back-taxes and associated interest and penalties, or we may determine that it would not be commercially feasible to seek reimbursement from such customers, in which event any such tax assessments, penalties, and interest, or future requirements may adversely affect our results of operations.

           Our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be limited.

          As of February 28, 2019, we had U.S. federal net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs), of $198.9 million and state NOLs of $189.6 million. Unused NOLs for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019 and prior tax years will carry forward to offset future taxable income, if any, until such unused losses expire. Unused losses generated in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, which would be our tax year ending February 28, 2018 and thereafter, pursuant to the Tax Act, will not expire and may be carried forward indefinitely but will only be deductible to the extent of 80% of current year taxable income in any given year. It is uncertain if and to what extent various states will conform to the Tax Act. As a result, if we earn net taxable income in future years, our NOLs arising in tax years ending February 28, 2018 and earlier may expire prior to being used and our NOLs generated in later tax years will be subject to a percentage limitation. Under Sections 382 and 383 of the Code, if a corporation undergoes an "ownership change," the corporation's ability to use its pre-change NOLs and other tax attributes and to offset its post-change income and taxes may be limited. In general, an "ownership change" occurs if there is a cumulative change in our ownership by "5% stockholders" that exceed 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. Our existing NOLs may be subject to limitations arising from previous ownership changes, and if we undergo an ownership change in connection with or after this offering, our ability to utilize NOLs could be further limited by Section 382 of the Code. Future changes in our stock ownership, some of which are outside of our control, could result in an ownership change under Section 382 of the Code. The existing NOLs of one of our subsidiaries may be subject to limitations arising from ownership changes prior to, or in connection with, their acquisition by us. Furthermore, our ability to utilize NOLs of companies that we may acquire in the future may be subject to limitations. There is also a risk that due to regulatory changes, such as suspensions on the use of NOLs or other unforeseen reasons, our existing NOLs could expire or otherwise be unavailable to reduce future income tax liabilities, including for state tax purposes. For these reasons, we may not be able to utilize some portion of our NOLs, none of which are currently reflected on our balance sheet, even if we attain profitability.

Risks Related to our Intellectual Property

           Failure to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights could harm our business and results of operations.

          Our intellectual property includes our processes, methodologies, algorithms, applications, technology platform, software code, website content, user interfaces, graphics, registered and

44


Table of Contents

unregistered copyrights, trademarks, trade dress, databases, domain names, and patents and patent applications. We believe that our intellectual property is an essential asset of our business. If we do not adequately protect our intellectual property, our brand and reputation could be harmed and competitors may be able to use our technologies and erode or negate any competitive advantage we may have, which could harm our business, negatively affect our position in the marketplace, limit our ability to commercialize our technology, and delay or render impossible our achievement of profitability. A failure to protect our intellectual property in a cost-effective and meaningful manner could have a material adverse effect on our ability to compete. We regard the protection of our trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, trade dress, databases, domain names, and patents as critical to our success.

          We strive to protect our intellectual property rights by relying on federal, state, and common law rights and other rights provided under foreign laws. These laws are subject to change at any time and could further restrict our ability to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights. In addition, the existing laws of certain foreign countries in which we operate may not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as do the laws of the United States.

          We generally enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and contractors, and confidentiality agreements with other parties, with whom we conduct business in order to limit access to, and disclosure and use of, our proprietary information. However, we may not be successful in executing these agreements with every party who has access to our confidential information or contributes to the development of our intellectual property.

          The agreements that we execute may be breached, and we may not have adequate remedies for any such breach. These contractual arrangements and the other steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property may not prevent the misappropriation of our intellectual property or deter independent development of similar intellectual property by others.

          Obtaining and maintaining effective intellectual property rights is expensive, including the costs of monitoring unauthorized use of our intellectual property and defending our rights. We make business decisions about when to seek patent protection for a particular technology and when to rely upon trade secret protection, and the approach we select may ultimately prove to be inadequate. We strive to protect certain of our intellectual property rights through filing applications for trademarks, patents, and domain names in a number of jurisdictions, a process that is expensive and may not be successful in all jurisdictions. However, there is no assurance that any resulting patents or other intellectual property rights will adequately protect our intellectual property, or provide us with any competitive advantages. Moreover, we cannot guarantee that any of our pending patent or trademark applications will issue or be approved. Even where we have intellectual property rights, they may later be found to be unenforceable or have a limited scope of enforceability. In addition, we may not seek to pursue such protection in every jurisdiction. The United States Patent and Trademark Office also requires compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment, and other similar provisions during the patent application process and after a patent has issued. Noncompliance with such requirements and processes may result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. In such an event, our competitors might be able to develop and commercialize substantially similar and competing applications, which would harm our business.

          We believe it is important to maintain, protect and enhance our brands. Accordingly, we pursue the registration of domain names and our trademarks and service marks in the United States. Third parties may challenge our use of our trademarks, oppose our trademark applications, or otherwise impede our efforts to protect our intellectual property in certain jurisdictions. In the event that we are unable to register our trademarks in certain jurisdictions, we

45


Table of Contents

could be forced to rebrand our solutions, which would result in loss of brand recognition and could require us to devote resources to advertising and marketing new brands. Our competitors and others could also attempt to capitalize on our brand recognition by using domain names or business names similar to ours. Domain names similar to ours have been registered in the United States and elsewhere. We may be unable to prevent third parties from acquiring or using domain names and other trademarks that infringe on, are similar to, or otherwise decrease the value of, our brands, trademarks, or service marks. We also may incur significant costs in enforcing our trademarks against those who attempt to imitate our brand and other valuable trademarks and service marks.

          In order to protect our intellectual property rights, we may be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect these rights. We may not be able to detect infringement or unauthorized use of our intellectual property rights, and defending or enforcing our intellectual property rights, even if successfully detected, prosecuted, enjoined, or remedied, could result in the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources. Litigation has in the past and may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights, protect our proprietary rights, or determine the validity and scope of proprietary rights claimed by others. Any litigation of this nature, regardless of outcome or merit, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management and technical resources, any of which could harm our business. Furthermore, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims, countersuits, and adversarial proceedings such as oppositions, inter partes review, post-grant review, re-examination, or other post-issuance proceedings, that attack the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property rights. An adverse determination of any litigation proceedings could put our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and could put our related pending patent applications at risk of not issuing. Further, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential or sensitive information could be compromised by disclosure in the event of litigation. In addition, during the course of litigation there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions, or other interim proceedings or developments. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock. If we fail to maintain, protect, and enhance our intellectual property rights, our business may be harmed and the market price of our common stock could decline.

          Our competitors also may independently develop similar technology that does not infringe on or misappropriate our intellectual property rights. The laws of some foreign countries may not be as protective of intellectual property rights as those in the United States, and mechanisms for enforcement of intellectual property rights may be inadequate. Effective patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret protection may not be available to us in every country in which our solutions or technology are developed. Further, legal standards relating to the validity, enforceability, and scope of protection of intellectual property rights are uncertain. The laws in the United States and elsewhere change rapidly, and any future changes could adversely affect us and our intellectual property. Our failure to meaningfully protect our intellectual property could result in competitors offering solutions that incorporate our most technologically advanced features, which could seriously reduce demand for existing and future offerings.

           Third parties may initiate legal proceedings alleging that we are infringing or otherwise violating their intellectual property rights, the outcome of which would be uncertain and could harm our business.

          Our success depends in part on our ability to develop and commercialize our offerings and use our proprietary technology without infringing the intellectual property or proprietary rights of third parties. Intellectual property disputes can be costly to defend and may cause our business,

46


Table of Contents

operating results, and financial condition to suffer. As the market for healthcare in the United States expands and more patents are issued, the risk increases that there may be patents issued to third parties that relate to our offerings and technology of which we are not aware or that we must challenge to continue our operations as currently contemplated. Whether merited or not, we may face allegations that we, our partners, our licensees, or parties indemnified by us have infringed or otherwise violated the patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights of third parties. Such claims may be made by competitors seeking to obtain a competitive advantage or by other parties.

          Additionally, in recent years, individuals and groups have begun purchasing intellectual property assets for the purpose of making claims of infringement and attempting to extract settlements from companies like ours. We may also face allegations that our employees have misappropriated the intellectual property or proprietary rights of their former employers or other third parties. We have in the past initiated, and it may in the future be necessary for us to initiate, litigation to defend ourselves in order to determine the scope, enforceability, and validity of third-party intellectual property or proprietary rights, or to establish our respective rights. Regardless of whether claims that we are infringing patents or other intellectual property rights have merit, such claims can be time-consuming, divert management's attention and financial resources, and can be costly to evaluate and defend. Results of any such litigation are difficult to predict and may require us to stop commercializing or using our solutions or technology, obtain licenses, modify our solutions and technology while we develop non-infringing substitutes, or incur substantial damages, settlement costs, or face a temporary or permanent injunction prohibiting us from marketing or providing the affected solutions. If we require a third-party license, it may not be available on reasonable terms or at all, and we may have to pay substantial royalties, upfront fees, or grant cross-licenses to intellectual property rights for our solutions. We may also have to redesign our solutions so that they do not infringe third-party intellectual property rights, which may not be possible or may require substantial monetary expenditures and time, during which our technology and solutions may not be available for commercialization or use. Even if we have an agreement to indemnify us against such costs, the indemnifying party may be unable to uphold its contractual obligations. If we cannot or do not obtain a third-party license to the infringed technology, license the technology on reasonable terms, or obtain similar technology from another source, our revenue and earnings could be adversely impacted.

          From time to time, we have been and may be subject to legal proceedings and claims in the ordinary course of business with respect to intellectual property. Some third parties may be able to sustain the costs of complex litigation more effectively than we can because they have substantially greater resources. Even if resolved in our favor, litigation or other legal proceedings relating to intellectual property claims may cause us to incur significant expenses and could distract our technical and management personnel from their normal responsibilities. In addition, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions, or other interim proceedings or developments, and if securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a material adverse effect on the price of our common stock. Moreover, any uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of any legal proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise the funds necessary to continue our operations. Assertions by third parties that we violate their intellectual property rights could therefore harm our business.

           Our use of open source software could adversely affect our ability to offer our solutions and subject us to possible litigation.

          We use open source software in connection with our existing and future offerings. Some of these licenses contain requirements that we make available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon the open source software, and that we license such

47


Table of Contents

modifications or derivative works under the terms of a particular open source license or other license granting third-parties certain rights of further use. By the terms of certain open source licenses, we could be required to release the source code of our proprietary software and to make our proprietary software available under open source licenses, if we combine and/or distribute our proprietary software with open source software in certain manners. Although we monitor our use of open source software, we cannot be sure that all open source software is reviewed prior to use in our proprietary software, that our programmers have not incorporated open source software into our proprietary software, or that they will not do so in the future. Additionally, the terms of many open source licenses to which we are subject have not been interpreted by U.S. or foreign courts. There is a risk that open source software licenses could be construed in a manner that imposes unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to provide our existing and future offerings to our customers and members. In addition, the terms of open source software licenses may require us to provide software that we develop using such open source software, to others, including our competitors, on unfavorable license terms. As a result of our current or future use of open source software, we may face claims or litigation, be required to release our proprietary source code, pay damages for breach of contract, re-engineer our technology, discontinue sales in the event re-engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely basis, or take other remedial action that may divert resources away from our development efforts, any of which could harm our business.

           Any restrictions on our ability to obtain or use data could harm our business.

          Our business depends in part on data provided to us by, among other sources, health plans, benefits administrators, data warehouses, electronic data interchange (EDI) transaction data providers, and our trusted suppliers. Any errors or defects in any third-party data or other technology could result in errors in our existing and future offerings that could harm our business and damage our reputation and cause losses in revenue, and we could be required to spend significant amounts of additional resources to fix any problems. In addition, certain of our offerings, including Accolade Total Care and Accolade Total Health and Benefits, depend on maintaining our data and analytics technology platform, which is populated with data provided by third parties. While our existing agreements with these data providers have multiple-year terms, these providers could become our competitors in the future. Any loss of the right to use of data provided by any health plan providers, benefits administrators, or other entities that provide us data, could result in delays in producing or delivering our solutions until equivalent data, other technology, or intellectual property is identified and integrated, which delays could harm our business. In this situation we would be required to either redesign our solutions to function with technology, data, or intellectual property available from other parties or to develop these components ourselves, which would result in increased costs. Furthermore, we might be forced to limit the features available in our existing or future offerings. If we fail to maintain or renegotiate any of these technology or intellectual property licenses, we could face significant delays and diversion of resources in attempting to develop similar or replacement offerings or to license and integrate a functional equivalent of the technology or intellectual property. The occurrence of any of these events may harm our business.

          In addition, some of our business activities require that we obtain permissions consistent with HIPAA to provide certain marketing and data aggregation solutions as well as those activities that require the creation and use of de-identified information. We also require large sets of de-identified information to enable us to continue to develop and enhance our data and analytics platform. If we are unable to secure these rights, or if there is a future change in law, we may face limitations on the use of PHI and our ability to use de-identified information that could harm our business. There is also a risk that we may fail to properly de-identify PHI and/or PII under applicable state laws, some of which impose different standards for de-identification than those imposed by HIPAA.

48


Table of Contents

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock and this Offering

           We will incur increased costs and demands upon management as a result of complying with the laws and regulations affecting public companies, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

          As a public company, we will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), the listing standards of                      and other applicable securities rules and regulations. We expect that the requirements of these rules and regulations will continue to increase our legal, accounting, and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming and costly, and place significant strain on our personnel, systems and resources. For example, the Exchange Act requires, among other things, that we file annual, quarterly, and current reports with respect to our business and results of operations. As a result of the complexity involved in complying with the rules and regulations applicable to public companies, our management's attention may be diverted from other business concerns, which could harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Although we have already hired additional employees and engaged outside consultants to assist us in complying with these requirements, we will need to hire more employees in the future or may need to engage additional outside consultants, which will increase our operating expenses. In addition, changing laws, regulations, and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure are creating uncertainty for public companies, increasing legal and financial compliance costs, and making some activities more time-consuming. These laws, regulations, and standards are subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. These factors could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. We intend to invest substantial resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations, and standards, and this investment may result in increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management's time and attention from business operations to compliance activities. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations, and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to their application and practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us and our business may be harmed. We also expect that being a public company and these new rules and regulations will make it more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors, particularly to serve on our audit committee and compensation committee, and qualified executive officers. As a result of disclosure of information in this prospectus and in filings required of a public company, our business and financial condition will become more visible, which may result in pricing pressure from customers or an increased risk of threatened or actual litigation, including by competitors and other third parties. If such claims are successful, our business and results of operations could be harmed, and even if the claims do not result in litigation or are resolved in our favor, these claims, and the time and resources necessary to resolve them, could divert the resources of our management and harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

           We are an "emerging growth company," and our election to comply with the reduced disclosure requirements as a public company may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

          For as long as we remain an "emerging growth company," as defined in the JOBS Act, we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various requirements that are applicable to public companies that are not "emerging growth companies," including not being required to comply with

49


Table of Contents

the independent auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, being permitted to provide fewer years of audited financial statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. We would cease to be an "emerging growth company" upon the earliest to occur of: (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have more than $1.07 billion in annual revenue; (ii) the date we qualify as a large accelerated filer, with at least $700 million of equity securities held by non-affiliates; (iii) the date on which we have, in any three-year period, issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities; and (iv) the last day of the fiscal year ending after the fifth anniversary of this offering. We may choose to take advantage of some but not all of these reduced reporting burdens, and we have taken advantage of certain reduced reporting burdens in this prospectus. Accordingly, the information contained herein may be different from the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold stock. In addition, the JOBS Act also provides that an "emerging growth company" can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. We have elected to take advantage of this extended transition period under the JOBS Act. As a result, our operating results and consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to the operating results and financial statements of other companies who have adopted the new or revised accounting standards as of the public company effectiveness dates. It is possible that some investors will find our common stock less attractive as a result, which may result in a less active trading market for our common stock and higher volatility in our stock price. Investors may find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock, and our stock price may be more volatile and may decline.

           If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.

          As a public company, we will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the rules and regulations of the applicable listing standards of                          . We expect that the requirements of these rules and regulations will continue to increase our legal, accounting, and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming, and costly and place significant strain on our personnel, systems, and resources. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. We are continuing to develop and refine our disclosure controls and other procedures that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we will file with the SEC is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in SEC rules and forms and that information required to be disclosed in reports under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to our principal executive and financial officers. We are also continuing to improve our internal control over financial reporting, which includes hiring additional accounting and financial personnel to implement such processes and controls. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, we have expended, and anticipate that we will continue to expend, significant resources, including accounting-related costs and significant management oversight. If any of these new or improved controls and systems do not perform as expected, we may experience material weaknesses in our controls. See "— We have identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting and may identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls, which may result in material misstatements of our financial statements or cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations." Our current controls and

50


Table of Contents

any new controls that we develop may become inadequate because of changes in conditions in our business. Further, weaknesses in our disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting may be discovered in the future.

          Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement could harm our results of operations or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and may result in a restatement of our financial statements for prior periods. Any failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting also could adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual independent registered public accounting firm attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting that we will eventually be required to include in our periodic reports that will be filed with the SEC. Ineffective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial and other information, which would likely have a negative effect on the trading price of our common stock. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on             . We are not currently required to comply with the SEC rules that implement Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and are therefore not required to make a formal assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for that purpose. As a public company, we will be required to provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting commencing with our second annual report on Form 10-K. Our independent registered public accounting firm is not required to formally attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until after we are no longer an "emerging growth company" as defined in the JOBS Act. At such time, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue a report that is adverse in the event it is not satisfied with the level at which our internal control over financial reporting is documented, designed, or operating. Any failure to maintain effective disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations and could cause a decline in the price of our common stock.

           Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public markets, or the perception that such sales could occur, could reduce the price that our common stock might otherwise attain.

          Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market after this offering, or the perception that such sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and may make it more difficult for you to sell your common stock at a time and price that you deem appropriate. Based on the total number of outstanding shares of our capital stock as of             , upon completion of this offering, we will have approximately             shares of capital stock outstanding, assuming no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares. All of the shares of common stock sold in this offering will be freely tradable without restrictions or further registration under the Securities Act, except for any shares held by our "affiliates" as defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act. As a result of the lock-up agreements and market standoff agreements described below, and subject to the provisions of Rule 144 or Rule 701, shares of our common stock will be available for sale in the public market as follows:

51


Table of Contents

          Our executive officers, directors, and substantially all holders of our capital stock and securities convertible into or exchangeable for our capital stock are subject to market standoff agreements with us or have agreed to enter into lock-up agreements with the underwriters agreeing, subject to certain exceptions, not to, without the prior written consent of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, and BofA Securities, Inc., on behalf of the underwriters, dispose of or hedge any shares or any securities convertible into or exchangeable for shares of our capital stock for a period of 180 days after the date of this prospectus. When the lock-up period in the lock-up agreements expires, our locked-up security holders will be able to sell our shares in the public market, subject in some cases to the volume and other restrictions of Rule 144. In addition, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, and BofA Securities, Inc., on behalf of the underwriters, may release all or some portion of the shares subject to the lock-up agreements prior to the expiration of the lock-up period. See the section titled "Shares Eligible for Future Sale" for more information. Sales of a substantial number of such shares, or the perception that such sales may occur, upon expiration of, or early release of the securities subject to, the lock-up agreements, could cause our stock price to fall or make it more difficult for you to sell your common stock at a time and price that you deem appropriate.

          Upon completion of this offering, stockholders owning an aggregate of up to             shares will be entitled, under our registration rights agreement, to require us to register shares owned by them for public sale in the United States. In addition, we intend to file a registration statement to register shares reserved for future issuance under our equity compensation plans. Upon effectiveness of that registration statement, subject to the satisfaction of applicable exercise periods and the expiration or waiver of the market standoff agreements and lock-up agreements referred to above, the shares issued upon exercise or vesting of outstanding equity awards will be available for immediate resale in the United States in the open market. Sales of our shares as restrictions end or pursuant to registration rights may make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate. These sales also could cause the trading price of our common stock to fall and make it more difficult for you to sell shares of our common stock.

           Our debt agreements contain certain restrictions that may limit our ability to operate our business.

          The terms of our existing loan and security agreement with Escalate Capital Partners SBIC III, LP and credit agreement with Comerica Bank and the related collateral documents contain, and any future indebtedness would likely contain, a number of restrictive covenants that impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us, including restrictions on our ability, and the ability of our subsidiaries, to take actions that may be in our best interests, including, among others, disposing of assets, entering into change of control transactions, mergers or acquisitions, incurring additional indebtedness, granting liens on our assets, declaring and paying dividends, and agreeing to do any of the foregoing. These agreements require us to satisfy a specified minimum liquidity level at all times and to achieve certain minimum covenant revenue, as defined, on a trailing six-month basis. Our ability to meet financial covenants can be affected by events beyond our control, and we may not be able to continue to meet these covenants. A breach of any of these covenants or the occurrence of other events (including a material adverse effect) specified in these agreements and/or the related collateral documents would result in an event of default under such agreements. Upon the occurrence of an event of default, Escalate Capital Partners SBIC III, LP and Comerica Bank as administrative agent for the revolving lenders could elect to declare all amounts outstanding, if any, under these agreements to be immediately due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit. If we were unable to repay those amounts, Escalate Capital Partners SBIC III, LP and/or Comerica Bank as administrative agent for the revolving lenders could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure such indebtedness. We have pledged substantially all of our assets as collateral under the loan documents. If Escalate Capital Partners

52


Table of Contents

SBIC III, LP and/or Comerica Bank as administrative agent for the revolving lenders accelerate the repayment of borrowings, if any, we may not have sufficient funds to repay our existing debt.

           There has been no prior public trading market for our common stock, and an active trading market may not develop or be sustained following this offering.

          We have been approved to list our common stock on             under the symbol "             ." However, prior to this offering, there has been no prior public trading market for our common stock. An active trading market for our common stock may not develop on such exchange or elsewhere or, if developed, any market may not be sustained. The initial public offering price of our common stock was determined through negotiations between us and the underwriters. This price will not necessarily reflect the price at which investors in the market will be willing to buy and sell shares of our common stock following this offering.

          In addition, the market price of our common stock following this offering is likely to be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, we cannot assure you of the liquidity of an active trading market, your ability to sell your shares of our common stock when desired, or the prices that you may obtain for your shares of our common stock. An inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital to continue to fund operations by selling shares of our common stock and may impair our ability to acquire or make investments in complementary companies, products, or technologies by using shares of our common stock as consideration.

           Upon completion of this offering, our executive officers, directors, and holders of 5% or more of our common stock will collectively beneficially own approximately         % of the outstanding shares of our common stock and continue to have substantial control over us, which will limit your ability to influence the outcome of important transactions, including a change in control.

          Upon completion of this offering, our executive officers, directors, and each of our stockholders who own 5% or more of our outstanding common stock and their affiliates, in the aggregate, will beneficially own approximately         % of the outstanding shares of our common stock, based on the number of shares outstanding as of February 28, 2019. As a result, these stockholders, if acting together, will be able to influence or control matters requiring approval by our stockholders, including the election of directors and the approval of mergers, acquisitions, or other extraordinary transactions. They may also have interests that differ from yours and may vote in a way with which you disagree and which may be adverse to your interests. This concentration of ownership may have the effect of delaying, preventing, or deterring a change in control of our company, could deprive our stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common stock as part of a sale of our company, and might ultimately affect the market price of our common stock.

           In order to support the growth of our business, we may need to incur additional indebtedness under our current credit facilities or seek capital through new equity or debt financings, which sources of additional capital may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all.

          Our operations have consumed substantial amounts of cash since inception, and we intend to continue to make significant investments to support our business growth, respond to business challenges or opportunities, develop new applications and solutions, enhance our existing solutions, enhance our operating infrastructure, and potentially acquire complementary businesses and technologies. For the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019, our net cash used in operating activities was $16.5 million. As of February 28, 2019, we had $42.7 million of cash and cash

53


Table of Contents

equivalents, which are held for working capital purposes. As of February 28, 2019, we had borrowings of $20.0 million under our previous loan and security agreement and the ability to borrow up to an additional $20.0 million under our revolving credit facility.

          Our future capital requirements may be significantly different from our current estimates and will depend on many factors, including the need to:

          Accordingly, we may need to engage in equity or debt financings to secure additional funds. Additional financing may not be available on terms favorable to us, or at all. If we raise additional funds through further issuances of equity or convertible debt securities, our existing stockholders could suffer significant dilution, and any new equity securities we issue could have rights, preferences, and privileges superior to those of holders of our common stock. Any debt financing secured by us in the future could involve additional restrictive covenants relating to our capital-raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities, including potential acquisitions. In addition, during times of economic instability, it has been difficult for many companies to obtain financing in the public markets or to obtain debt financing, and we may not be able to obtain additional financing on commercially reasonable terms, if at all. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us, it could harm our business.

           The trading price of our common stock could be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

          The trading price of our common stock following this offering may fluctuate substantially and be higher or lower than the initial public offering price, depending on a number of factors, including those described in this "Risk Factors" section, many of which are beyond our control and may not be related to our operating performance. These fluctuations could cause you to lose all or part of your investment in our common stock. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the trading price of our common stock include the following:

54


Table of Contents

          In addition, if the market for healthcare technology stocks or the stock market in general experiences a loss of investor confidence, the trading price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, financial condition, or results of operations. The trading price of our common stock might also decline in reaction to events that affect other companies in our industry even if these events do not directly affect us. In the past, following periods of volatility in the trading price of a company's securities, securities class action litigation has often been brought against that company. If our stock price is volatile, we may become the target of securities litigation. Securities litigation could result in substantial costs and divert our management's attention and resources from our business. This could harm our business.

           If securities or industry analysts publish reports that are interpreted negatively by the investment community or publish negative or inaccurate research reports about our business, our share price and trading volume could decline.

          The trading market for our common stock following the completion of this offering will depend, to some extent, on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. We do not have any control over these analysts or the information contained in their reports. Securities and industry analysts do not currently, and may never, publish research on our business. If one or more analysts commence coverage of us and publish research reports that are

55


Table of Contents

interpreted negatively by the investment community, or have a negative tone regarding our business, financial condition, operating performance, industry, or end-markets, or downgrade our common stock, our share price could decline. In addition, if a majority of these analysts ceases coverage of our company or fails to regularly publish reports about us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which could cause our share price or trading volume to decline.

           We have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds from this offering and may not use them effectively.

          We cannot specify with certainty the particular uses of the net proceeds we will receive from this offering. Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds, including for any of the purposes described in the section titled "Use of Proceeds." Accordingly, you will have to rely upon the judgment of our management with respect to the use of the net proceeds, with only limited information concerning management's specific intentions. Our management may spend a portion or all of the net proceeds from this offering in ways that our stockholders may not desire or that may not yield a favorable return. The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could harm our business. Pending their use, we may invest the net proceeds from this offering in a manner that does not produce income or that loses value.

           We do not currently intend to pay dividends on our common stock and, consequently, your ability to achieve a return on your investment will depend on appreciation in the price of our common stock.

          We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock and do not currently intend to do so for the foreseeable future. We currently intend to invest our future earnings, if any, to fund our growth. In addition, the terms of our existing loan and security agreement with Escalate Capital Partners SBIC III, LP and credit agreement with Comerica Bank and the related collateral documents contain, and any future indebtedness would likely contain, prohibitions on our paying any cash dividends without the consent of the lenders. Therefore, you are not likely to receive any dividends on your common stock for the foreseeable future and the success of an investment in shares of our common stock will depend upon any future appreciation in its value. There is no guarantee that shares of our common stock will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which our stockholders have purchased their shares.

           Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of us more difficult, limit attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management, and may limit the market price of our common stock.

          Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, as they will be in effect upon the completion of this offering, may have the effect of rendering more difficult, delaying, or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. Among other things, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws will include provisions:

56


Table of Contents

          These provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our board of directors, which is responsible for appointing the members of our management. In addition, institutional stockholder representative groups, stockholder activists, and others may disagree with our corporate governance provisions or other practices, including anti-takeover provisions, such as those listed above. We generally will consider recommendations of institutional stockholder representative groups, but we will make decisions based on what our board and management believe to be in the best long-term interests of our company and stockholders; however, these groups could make recommendations to our stockholders against our practices or our board members if they disagree with our positions.

          Finally, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which generally prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any of a broad range of business combinations with any "interested" stockholder for a period of three years following the date on which the stockholder became an "interested" stockholder.

          Any of the foregoing provisions could limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock, and they could deter potential acquirers of our company, thereby reducing the likelihood that you would receive a premium for your shares of our common stock in an acquisition.

           Our amended and restated bylaws will provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders' ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or employees.

          Our amended and restated bylaws, as will be in effect upon the completion of this offering, will provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for the following types of actions or proceedings under Delaware statutory or common law:

57


Table of Contents

          This exclusive forum provision will not apply to any causes of action arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction. This exclusive forum provision may limit a stockholder's ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or other employees, which may discourage lawsuits against us and our directors, officers, and other employees. Furthermore, the enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies' charter documents has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that a court could find these types of provisions to be inapplicable or unenforceable. For example, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware recently determined that a provision stating that U.S. federal district courts are the exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act is not enforceable. However, this decision may be reviewed and ultimately overturned by the Delaware Supreme Court. If a court were to find the exclusive forum provision in our amended and restated bylaws to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving the dispute in other jurisdictions, which could seriously harm our business.

           Our issuance of additional capital stock in connection with financings, acquisitions, investments, our stock incentive plans, or otherwise will dilute all other stockholders.

          We expect to issue additional capital stock in the future that will result in dilution to all other stockholders. We expect to grant equity awards to employees, directors, and consultants under our stock incentive plans. We also may raise capital through equity financings in the future. As part of our business strategy, we may acquire or make investments in complementary companies, products, or technologies and issue equity securities to pay for any such acquisition or investment. Any such issuances of additional capital stock may cause stockholders to experience significant dilution of their ownership interests and the per share value of our common stock to decline.

58


Table of Contents


SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

          This prospectus contains forward-looking statements about us and our industry that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this prospectus are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as "anticipate," "believe," "contemplate," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "target," "will," or "would" or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this prospectus include, statements about:

          You should not rely on forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition, and operating results. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors described in the section titled "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in this prospectus. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus. The results, events, and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur, and actual results, events, or circumstances could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.

          In addition, statements that "we believe" and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this prospectus. While we believe that such information provides a reasonable basis for

59


Table of Contents

these statements, that information may be limited or incomplete. Our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain, and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely on these statements.

          The forward-looking statements made in this prospectus relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this prospectus to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this prospectus or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures, or investments we may make.

60


Table of Contents


MARKET AND INDUSTRY DATA

          This prospectus contains estimates and information concerning our industry, including market position and the size and growth rates of the markets in which we participate, that are based on industry publications and reports and other information from our internal sources. This information involves a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to these estimates. We have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the data contained in these industry publications and reports. The industry in which we operate is subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in the section titled "Risk Factors." These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in these publications and reports.

          Certain information in the text of this prospectus is contained in independent industry publications. The sources of these independent industry publications are provided below:

          Certain information included in this prospectus concerning our industry and the markets we serve, including our market share, is also based on our good-faith estimates derived from management's knowledge of the industry and other information currently available to us.

61


Table of Contents


USE OF PROCEEDS

          We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering of approximately $              million (or approximately $              million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of our common stock in full) based on an assumed initial public offering price of $             per share of common stock, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting the estimated underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

          A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share of common stock, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $              million, assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares of common stock offered by us would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $              million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We do not expect that a change in the initial public offering price or the number of shares by these amounts would have a material effect on our uses of the proceeds from this offering, although it may accelerate the time at which we will need to seek additional capital.

          The principal purposes of this offering are to increase our capitalization and financial flexibility and create a public market for our common stock. We currently intend to use the net proceeds we receive from this offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses, and capital expenditures, and which may include the repayment of indebtedness. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds for acquisitions or strategic investments in complementary businesses, products, services, or technologies. However, we do not have agreements or commitments to enter into any such acquisitions or investments at this time. We cannot specify with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds to us from this offering. We will have broad discretion over how to use the net proceeds to us from this offering. We intend to invest the net proceeds to us from the offering that are not used as described above in investment-grade, interest-bearing instruments.

62


Table of Contents


DIVIDEND POLICY

          We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain all available funds and future earnings, if any, to fund the development and expansion of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Our ability to pay dividends on our common stock is restricted by our credit facilities. See "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources." Any future determination regarding the declaration and payment of dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors, subject to applicable laws, and will depend on then-existing conditions, including our financial condition, operating results, contractual restrictions, capital requirements, business prospects, and other factors our board of directors may deem relevant.

63


Table of Contents


CAPITALIZATION

          The following table sets forth our cash and cash equivalents and our capitalization as of February 28, 2019 as follows:

          The pro forma and pro forma as adjusted information below is illustrative only, and our capitalization following the completion of this offering will be adjusted based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. For additional information on the conversion ratios of the preferred stock, see the section titled "Prospectus Summary — The Offering." You should read this information in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included in this prospectus and the section titled

64


Table of Contents

"Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and other financial information contained in this prospectus.

    As of February 28, 2019
 

    Actual     Pro Forma     Pro Forma
as
Adjusted(1)
 

    (in thousands, except share and
per share data)
 

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 42,701   $     $    

Loans payable (current and noncurrent)

    19,200              

Convertible preferred stock, $0.0001 par value per share; 93,204,800 shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual; no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

    214,664            

Stockholders' (deficit) equity:

                   

Preferred stock, $0.0001 par value per share; no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;             shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

                 

Common stock, $0.0001 par value per share; 165,000,000 shares authorized, 18,083,441 shares issued and outstanding, actual;             shares authorized,             shares issued and outstanding, pro forma;             shares authorized,             shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

    1              

Additional paid-in capital

    38,881              

Accumulated deficit

    (269,503 )            

Total stockholders' (deficit) equity

    (230,621 )            

Total capitalization

  $ (15,957 )            

(1)
Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share of common stock, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash and cash equivalents, total stockholders' (deficit) equity, and total capitalization by approximately $              million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares offered by us would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash and cash equivalents, total stockholders' (deficit) equity, and total capitalization by approximately $              million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

          The outstanding share information in the table above is based on             shares of our common stock (including preferred stock on an as-converted basis) outstanding as of February 28, 2019, and excludes:

65


Table of Contents

66


Table of Contents


DILUTION

          If you invest in our common stock in this offering, your ownership interest will be immediately diluted to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per share and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our common stock after this offering.

          As of February 28, 2019, we had a pro forma net tangible book value (deficit) of $              million, or $             per share. Pro forma net tangible book value per share represents the amount of our total tangible assets less our total liabilities, divided by the number of shares of our common stock outstanding as of February 28, 2019, after giving effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all shares of our preferred stock outstanding as of February 28, 2019, into an aggregate of                  shares of our common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering and (ii) the issuance of                  shares of common stock issuable upon the automatic net exercise of warrants outstanding as of February 28, 2019, with a weighted-average exercise price of $0.06 per share, immediately prior to the completion of this offering, in each case assuming an initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus.

          After giving further effect to the sale of                  shares of common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of February 28, 2019, would have been approximately $              million, or approximately $             per share. This amount represents an immediate increase in pro forma net tangible book value of approximately $             per share to our existing stockholders and an immediate dilution in pro forma net tangible book value of approximately $             per share to new investors purchasing shares of common stock in this offering.

          Dilution per share to new investors is determined by subtracting pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering from the initial public offering price per share paid by new investors. The following table illustrates this dilution (without giving effect to any exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares):

Assumed initial public offering price per share

        $    

Pro forma net tangible book value per share as of February 28, 2019

  $          

Increase in pro forma net tangible book value per share attributable to this offering

             

Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering

             

Dilution per share to new investors participating in this offering

        $    

          The dilution information discussed above is illustrative only and will change based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. For additional information on the conversion ratios of the preferred stock, see the section titled "Prospectus Summary — The Offering".

          Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering by approximately $             , and dilution in pro forma net tangible book value per share to new investors participating in this offering by approximately $             , assuming that the number of shares of common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Each increase (decrease) of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares of common

67


Table of Contents

stock offered by us would increase (decrease) our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering by approximately $             per share and decrease (increase) the dilution to new investors participating in this offering by approximately $             per share, assuming that the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

          If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of our common stock in full, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value after the offering would be $             per share, the increase in pro forma net tangible book value per share to existing stockholders would be $             per share and the dilution per share to new investors participating in this offering would be $             per share, in each case assuming an initial public offering price of $             per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus.

          The following table summarizes, as of February 28, 2019, on the pro forma as adjusted basis described above, the number of shares of common stock purchased or to be purchased from us, the total consideration paid or to be paid to us, and the average price per share paid or to be paid to us by existing stockholders and new investors participating in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, before deducting the estimated underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by us. As the table below shows, new investors participating in this offering will pay an average price per share substantially higher than our existing stockholders paid.

    Shares Purchased     Total Consideration     Average Price
Per Share
 

    Number     Percent     Amount     Percent        

                (in thousands)              

Existing stockholders

            % $         % $    

New investors

                               

Total

          100 % $       100 %      

          The outstanding share information in the table above is based on                  shares of our common stock (including preferred stock on an as-converted basis) outstanding as of February 28, 2019, and excludes:

68


Table of Contents

          To the extent any outstanding options or warrants are exercised, there will be further dilution to new investors. If all of such outstanding options and warrants (in addition to the warrants that will be net exercised in connection with this offering) had been exercised as of February 28, 2019, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering would be $             , and total dilution per share to new investors would be $             , assuming an initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus.

          If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of our common stock in full, our existing stockholders would own         %, and the investors purchasing shares of our common stock in this offering would own         % of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding immediately after completion of this offering.

69


Table of Contents


SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OTHER DATA

          The following selected consolidated statements of operations data for the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of February 28, 2018 and February 28, 2019, have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future. You should read the consolidated financial and other data set forth below in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes and the information in the section titled "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" contained elsewhere in this prospectus. Our fiscal year ends on the last day of February and our fiscal quarters end on May 31, August 31, November 30, and the last day of February.

    Fiscal Year Ended
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

    (in thousands, except share
and per share data)
 

Consolidated statements of operations:

             

Revenue

  $ 76,828   $ 94,811  

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization(1)

    53,435     60,568  

Operating expenses:

             

Product and technology(1)

    31,487     35,708  

Sales and marketing(1)

    22,263     23,456  

General and administrative(1)

    21,122     19,665  

Depreciation and amortization

    7,982     9,391  

Total operating expenses

    82,854     88,220  

Loss from operations

    (59,461 )   (53,977 )

Interest expense, net

    (1,799 )   (2,374 )

Other expense

    (26 )   (90 )

Loss before income taxes

    (61,286 )   (56,441 )

Income tax expense

        (55 )

Net loss

  $ (61,286 ) $ (56,496 )

Net loss per common share, basic and diluted(2)

  $ (3.28 ) $ (2.43 )

Weighted-average shares used to compute net loss per common share, basic and diluted(2)

    18,659,570     23,206,587  

Pro forma net loss per common share, basic and diluted (unaudited)(2)

  $     $    

Weighted-average shares used to compute pro forma net loss per common share, basic and diluted (unaudited)(2)

             

(1)
The stock-based compensation expense included above was as follows:

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

    (in thousands)  

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization

  $ 376   $ 255  

Product and technology

    1,420     1,108  

Sales and marketing

    1,750     1,199  

General and administrative

    4,860     3,159  

Total stock-based compensation

  $ 8,406   $ 5,721  
(2)
See Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus for an explanation of the method used to calculate the historical and pro forma basic and diluted net loss per common share and the number of shares used in the computation of the per share amounts.

70


    As of February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

    (in thousands)  

Consolidated balance sheet data:

             

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 13,534   $ 42,701  

Working capital

    (18,054 )   (9,780 )

Total assets

    47,082     65,762  

Deferred revenue (current and noncurrent)

    10,086     22,908  

Total liabilities

    63,768     81,719  

Convertible preferred stock

    167,010     214,664  

Accumulated deficit

    (213,007 )   (269,503 )

Total stockholders' deficit

    (183,696 )   (230,621 )

Key Metrics

          We regularly monitor a number of financial and operating metrics in order to measure our current performance and estimate our future performance. For a description of how we calculate these financial and operating metrics as well as their uses, see "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Metrics."

    As of
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

Annual Contract Value (in millions)

  $ 90.1   $ 121.5  

Customer Count

    15     20  

 

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

Gross Dollar Retention

    100 %   95 %

Certain Non-GAAP Financial Measures

          In addition to our financial results determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (GAAP), we use the following non-GAAP financial measures to help us evaluate trends, establish budgets, measure the effectiveness and efficiency of our operations, and determine employee incentives. For additional information and reconciliations of our non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures stated in accordance with GAAP, see "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Certain Non-GAAP Financial Measures."

    Fiscal Year Ended
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

    (in thousands,
except percentages)
 

Adjusted Gross Profit

  $ 23,769   $ 34,498  

Adjusted Gross Margin

    30.9 %   36.4 %

Adjusted EBITDA

  $ (43,073 ) $ (38,865 )

Table of Contents


MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

          The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of our operations should be read together with our audited consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, together with related notes thereto, included elsewhere in this prospectus. The following discussion contains forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ significantly from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause future results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the sections titled "Risk Factors" and "Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our fiscal year ends on the last day of February, and our fiscal quarters end on May 31, August 31, November 30, and the last day of February.

Overview

          We provide personalized, technology-enabled solutions that help people better understand, navigate, and utilize the healthcare system and their workplace benefits. Our customers are primarily employers that deploy Accolade in order to provide employees and their families (our "members") a single place to turn for their health, healthcare, and benefits needs. Our innovative platform combines open, cloud-based intelligent technology with multimodal support from a team of empathetic and knowledgeable Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians (including nurses, physician medical directors, and behavioral health specialists). We leverage our integrated capabilities, connectivity with providers and the broader healthcare ecosystem, and longitudinal data to engage across the entire member population, rather than focusing solely on high-cost claimants or those with chronic conditions. Our goal is to build trusted relationships with our members that ultimately position us to deliver personalized recommendations and interventions. We believe that our platform dramatically improves the member experience, encourages better health outcomes, and lowers costs for both our members and our customers.

          Accolade Total Health and Benefits is our most comprehensive offering and most closely aligns to our "Premier" solution on which the company was founded and which the majority of our customers are using today. Within the last year, we have introduced two new offerings, Accolade Total Benefits (formerly Accolade Connect) and Accolade Total Care, which package components of the Accolade Total Health and Benefits into more targeted, lower cost solutions with simpler implementations.

          We were founded in 2007 and launched our initial offering in 2009. We have seen significant growth in recent years since the changes to our executive management team in 2015 and the subsequent investments we have made in product, technology, sales, and distribution. We have grown to 47 customers and approximately 1.4 million members from 11 customers and approximately 0.7 million members as of February 28, 2017. Our customers come from across industries, including media, technology, financial services, transportation, energy, and retail.

          For the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, our total revenue was $76.8 million and $94.8 million, respectively, representing 23% year-over-year growth. For the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, our net losses were $61.3 million and $56.5 million, respectively. As of February 28, 2019, our accumulated deficit was $269.5 million.

Our Business Model

          We provide our solutions primarily to employers that deploy Accolade offerings to our members. We earn revenue from providing personalized health guidance solutions to the members of our employer customers' health plans and to members of fully insured plans offered via health

72


Table of Contents

insurance companies. Our solutions are priced based on a recurring per-member-per-month (PMPM) fee, typically consisting of both a base fee and a performance-based fee component. As a result, generally, a portion of our potential revenue is variable, subject to our achievement of performance metrics and the realization of savings in healthcare spend by our customers resulting from the utilization of our solutions. We typically achieve a substantial portion of the contractual performance metrics and realization in savings of healthcare spend. For the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, we earned approximately 98% and 96%, respectively, of the maximum potential revenue under our contracts measured for the corresponding calendar year.

          We currently have 47 customers that collectively purchase access to our solutions for approximately 1.4 million members. The combination of our contracts having an average length of three years and our PMPM recurring revenue model provides us with significant revenue visibility. Our ability to deliver significant and measurable return on investment for our customers in the form of improved clinical and financial outcomes has led to a gross dollar retention of 100% and 95% for the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, respectively. Typically, when a customer engages Accolade, such customer deploys our offerings across their organization to all eligible employees. Therefore, our cross-sell and upsell ability depends on our ability to offer additional solutions or enhancements.

          The primary cost of delivering our service includes the personnel costs of Accolade Health Assistants, clinicians, including registered nurses, physician medical directors, pharmacists, behavioral health specialists, and women's health specialists, as well as software and tools for telephony, business analytics, allocated overhead costs, and other expenses related to delivery and implementation of our solutions. As we support more customers with an increasing number of members over time, we expect that our support costs per member will decline due to economies of scale and improved operational efficiencies driven by continued enhancements of our technology platform and capabilities. We have experienced and expect to continue to achieve operational efficiencies realized from continued enhancements of our technology platform and capabilities.

          We employ a multipronged go-to-market strategy to increase adoption of our solutions to new and existing customers. We principally sell our solutions through our direct salesforce which is stratified by account size (i.e., strategic (more than 35,000 employees), enterprise (5,000 to 35,000 employees), and mid-market (500 to 5,000 employees)), region, and existing versus prospective customer. Our sales team possesses deep domain expertise in health benefits management and brings substantial experience selling to key decision makers within our current and prospective customer organizations (CFOs, benefits executives, benefits consultants, and benefits brokers). We believe the effectiveness of our sales organization is evidenced by growing adoption of our platform by large strategic customers, recent traction with enterprise and mid-market customers and demonstrated demand for add-on offerings from existing customers.

          We have chosen to invest significantly in growing our customer base, and plan to both continue adding new customers as well as expanding our relationships with existing customers, which we believe will allow us to increase margins over time. When a customer renews their contract or purchases additional solutions or enhancements, the value realized from that customer increases because we generally do not incur significant incremental acquisition or implementation costs for the renewal or expansion. We believe that as our customer base grows and a higher percentage of our revenue is attributable to renewals and upsells or cross-sells to existing customers, relative to acquisition of new customers, associated sales and marketing expenses and other upfront costs will decrease as a percentage of revenue.

          In addition, we have strategically curated our offering portfolio to ensure we have a compelling value proposition at an appropriate price point that resonates with each identified customer segment. Based on our experience, the opportunity to cross-sell is meaningfully enhanced once a customer has been on-boarded onto our platform and has benefited from a measureable and

73


Table of Contents

compelling return on their investment. Our customer partnerships team provides strategic insights, point solution recommendations, and day-to-day account support to our customers. They are focused on existing customer retention, cross-sell, and upsell.

          We maintain relationships with a range of third parties, including brokers, agents, benefits consultants, carriers, third-party administrators, trusted suppliers, and co-marketing and co-selling partners. These third parties provide an important source of referrals for our sales organization. We also selectively form strategic alliances to further drive customer acquisition and adoption of our solutions. For example, in March 2019, we partnered with Humana and formed a joint go-to-market strategy, which we launched in two initial geographic markets. In October 2019, concurrent with an equity investment from Humana, we expanded our partnership to add a broader base of solutions targeting self- and fully-insured customer prospects and significantly expand our target geographic markets. We believe the breadth of our go-to-market and distribution strategy enables us to reach customers of nearly every size and across markets.

          We have demonstrated a consistent track record of product and technology innovation over time as evidenced by continuous improvement of our platform and new offerings. This innovation is driven by feedback we receive from our customers, industry experts, and the market generally. For example, our technology platform has enabled us to unbundle aspects of Accolade Total Health and Benefits to create two additional standalone offerings: Accolade Total Benefits and Accolade Total Care. We have further leveraged our technology platform to develop add-on offerings that target specific challenges faced by our customers, including Accolade Boost and our Trusted Supplier Program. Our investments in product and technology have been focused on increasing the value we provide via our personalized member health guidance solutions and expanding the market segments we can serve with a portfolio of offerings and associated price points.

Factors Affecting Our Performance

          The following factors have been important to our business and we expect them to impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition in future periods:

Growth of Our Customer Base

          We believe there is a substantial opportunity to further grow our customer base in our large and under-penetrated market through our sales and marketing strategy. Across our existing customer base and as we acquire new customers, we intend to expand and deepen these relationships. As we build trust through our proven model, we seek to cross-sell our add-on offerings, such as Accolade Boost and our Trusted Supplier Program. We plan to continue to invest in sales and marketing in order to grow our customer base and increase sales to existing customers. Any investments we make in our sales and marketing organization will occur in advance of experiencing any benefits from such investments, so it may be difficult for us to determine if we are efficiently allocating our resources in these areas.

Customer Retention

          Our ability to increase revenue depends in large part on our ability to retain our existing customers. Customer retention is dependent on delivering measurable outcomes to the customer related to their employees' benefits utilization and, for certain offerings, overall healthcare cost savings. To achieve these outcomes, we must engage with a meaningful portion of our customers' employee populations. We have consistently achieved and sustained annual engagement rates of greater than 50% across our member population. For the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, we achieved 55% and 56% member engagement, respectively, measured for the corresponding calendar year. The aggregate impact of this deep engagement across a customer's employee population is improved healthcare and benefits awareness, knowledge, and decision-

74


Table of Contents

making, a healthier and more engaged workforce, and healthcare cost savings. We become a trusted partner to our customers and gain the opportunity to support them on their population health strategies and benefits procurement. This position allows us to identify additional solutions that may meet our customers' needs, which, when implemented, result in additional opportunities for member engagement and better health outcomes. Achieving a high customer retention rate and selling additional offerings are critical to our future business, revenue growth, and results of operations.

Adoption of Current and Future Solutions

          We are constantly innovating to enhance our model and develop new offerings. Our ability to act as a trusted advisor to our members and customers positions us to identify new opportunities for additional offerings that can meet their existing and emerging needs. Our open technology platform also allows us to efficiently add new offerings and applications on top of our existing technology stack, which we have demonstrated with the recent roll-out of two new offerings, Accolade Total Benefits and Accolade Total Care, as well as our new add-on offerings, Accolade Boost and our Trusted Supplier Program. We believe that as we expand our customer base and enter into new markets, we will be adept at identifying and deploying innovative new solutions whether developed internally or through acquisitions.

Achievement of Performance-Based Revenue

          In most of our contracts, a portion of our potential fee is variable, subject to our achievement of performance metrics and the realization of savings in healthcare spend by our customers resulting from the utilization of our solutions and thus we might record higher revenue in some quarters compared to others. Examples of performance metrics included in our customer contracts are achievement of specified member engagement levels, member satisfaction levels, and various operational metrics. Although we have earned over 95% of the aggregate maximum potential revenue under our contracts (measured on the corresponding calendar year basis) in fiscal years 2018 and 2019, our revenue and financial results in the future may vary as a result of our ability to earn this performance-based revenue. In addition, because our customers typically pay both the base PMPM fees and variable PMPM fees in advance on a periodic basis, any required refund as a result of our failure to earn the performance-based revenue could have a negative impact on cash flows.

Investments in Technology

          Significant investments in our technology platform have enhanced our capabilities with respect to how we engage with our members and deliver our solutions and care interventions. By leveraging our technology in areas such as machine learning, predictive analytics, and multimodal communication, we believe we can generate more efficiencies in our operating model while simultaneously improving our ability to deliver better health outcomes and lowers costs for both our members and our customers. We will continue to invest in our technology platform to empower our Accolade Health Assistants, our clinicians, and our members to further improve and optimize efficiencies in our operating model. However, our investments in our technology platform may be more expensive or take longer to develop than we expect and may not result in operational efficiencies.

Customer Concentration

          We have historically relied on a limited number of customers for a significant portion of our total revenue. If we do not retain some or all of those customers, it could have a material negative impact on future results. For the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018, we had two customers that

75


Table of Contents

each accounted for more than 10% of our total revenue, and in aggregate those two customers represented 61% of our total revenue. For the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019, we had three customers that each accounted for more than 10% of our total revenue, and in aggregate those three customers represented 60% of our total revenue. The loss of any of our largest customers or the renegotiation of any of our largest customer contracts could adversely affect our results of operations. In the ordinary course of business, we engage in active discussions and renegotiations with our customers in respect to the solutions we provide and the terms of our customer agreements, including our fees. Most of our customer contracts have a three-year term, and some have rights to terminate prior to the end of the term.

Key Metrics

          We regularly monitor a number of financial and operating metrics in order to measure our current performance and estimate our future performance.

    As of
February 28,
 

    2018     2019
 

Annual Contract Value (in millions)

  $ 90.1   $ 121.5  

Customer Count

    15     20  

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
 

    2018     2019
 

Gross Dollar Retention

    100 %   95 %

          Annual Contract Value (ACV) — ACV represents the annualized value of our in-force contracts as of the measurement date, including base contractual revenue and the amount of performance-based variable revenue we expect to realize based on the number of members as of the measurement date. Over the past two complete fiscal years, we have realized in excess of 95% of maximum contract value across our book of business. The ACV amounts above reflect 95% of the total revenue opportunity, consistent with the percentages realized in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 (calculated on the corresponding calendar year basis). We believe ACV provides investors with useful information on period-to-period performance as evaluated by management, comparison with our past financial performance, and a view toward potential future financial performance.

          As required by GAAP, we recognize performance-based revenue over the minimum term of the applicable contract. In some cases, especially with regard to revenue associated with the realization of healthcare cost savings, revenue may be recognized in a fiscal period later than the period in which the required metric was achieved. Conversely, a fiscal period's revenue may include the recognition of revenue related to the achievement in prior periods of performance metrics and healthcare cost savings.

          Customer Count — We believe that our ability to increase our number of customers is an indicator of our market penetration, the growth of our business, and our potential future business opportunities. We have successfully demonstrated a history of growing our customer base. As of the date of this prospectus, we have 47 customers. We define the number of customers as of the measurement date as the number of companies that have entered into a contract with us for which the term has not ended and for which we have no reason to believe the customer intends to terminate or not renew the contract.

          Gross Dollar Retention Rate (GDR) — Our ability to increase revenue depends in large part on our ability to retain our existing customers and their associated ACV. We typically enjoy a high

76


Table of Contents

rate of customer retention. For example, our GDR was 100% and 95% for the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, respectively. We monitor GDR specifically as it relates to our employer customers, as our employer customers represent our primary strategic focus and today account for approximately 95% of our ACV. We calculate GDR for a period by starting with the sum of the ACV from all employer customers as of the beginning of such period (beginning of period ACV); we then subtract the ACV associated with terminated employer customers during the period and divide the result by the beginning of period ACV.

Certain Non-GAAP Financial Measures

          We use the following non-GAAP financial measures to help us evaluate trends, establish budgets, measure the effectiveness and efficiency of our operations, and determine employee incentives.

    Fiscal Year Ended
February 28,
 

    2018     2019
 

    (in thousands,
except
percentages)
 

Adjusted Gross Profit

  $ 23,769   $ 34,498  

Adjusted Gross Margin

    30.9 %   36.4 %

Adjusted EBITDA

  $ (43,073 ) $ (38,865 )

          Adjusted Gross Profit is a non-GAAP financial measure that we define as revenue less cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation, and acquisition-related costs. We define Adjusted Gross Margin as our Adjusted Gross Profit divided by our revenue. We expect Adjusted Gross Margin to continue to improve over time to the extent that we are able to gain efficiencies through technology and successfully cross-sell and upsell our current and future offerings. However, our ability to improve Adjusted Gross Margin over time is not guaranteed and will be impacted by the factors affecting our performance discussed above and the risks outlined in the section titled "Risk Factors." We believe Adjusted Gross Profit and Adjusted Gross Margin are useful to investors, as they eliminate the impact of certain non-cash expenses and allow a direct comparison of these measures between periods without the impact of non-cash expenses and certain other nonrecurring operating expenses.

          Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure that we define as net loss adjusted to exclude interest expense (net), income tax expense (benefit), depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation, and acquisition and integration-related costs. We believe Adjusted EBITDA provides investors with useful information on period-to-period performance as evaluated by management and comparison with our past financial performance. We believe Adjusted EBITDA is useful in evaluating our operating performance compared to that of other companies in our industry, as this metric generally eliminates the effects of certain items that may vary from company to company for reasons unrelated to overall operating performance.

          Adjusted Gross Profit, Adjusted Gross Margin and Adjusted EBITDA have certain limitations, including that they exclude the impact of certain non-cash charges, such as depreciation and amortization, whereas underlying assets may need to be replaced and result in cash capital expenditures, and stock-based compensation expense, which is a recurring charge. These non-GAAP financial measures may also not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other

77


Table of Contents

companies because they may not calculate such measures in the same manner, limiting their usefulness as comparative measures. In evaluating these non-GAAP financial measures, you should be aware that in the future we expect to incur expenses similar to the adjustments in this presentation. Our presentation of non-GAAP financial measures should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by these expenses or any unusual or nonrecurring items. When evaluating our performance, you should consider these non-GAAP financial measures alongside other financial performance measures, including the most directly comparable GAAP measures set forth in the reconciliation tables below and our other GAAP results.

          The following table presents, for the periods indicated, the calculation of our Adjusted Gross Profit and Adjusted Gross Margin:

    Fiscal Year Ended
February 28,
 

    2018     2019
 

    (in thousands)  

Revenue

  $ 76,828   $ 94,811  

Less:

             

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization

    (53,435 )   (60,568 )

Add:

             

Stock-based compensation, cost of revenue

    376     255  

Adjusted Gross Profit

  $ 23,769   $ 34,498  

Adjusted Gross Margin

    30.9 %   36.4 %

          The following table presents, for the periods indicated, a reconciliation of our Adjusted EBITDA to our net loss:

    Fiscal Year Ended
February 28,
 

    2018     2019
 

    (in thousands)  

Net Loss

  $ (61,286 ) $ (56,496 )

Adjusted for:

             

Interest expense, net

    1,799     2,374  

Income tax provision

        55  

Depreciation and amortization

    7,982     9,391  

Stock-based compensation

    8,406     5,721  

Other expense

    26     90  

Adjusted EBITDA

  $ (43,073 ) $ (38,865 )

Basis of Presentation and Components of Revenue and Expenses

          We operate our business through a single reportable segment. We operate on a fiscal year ending at the end of February of each year, and our fiscal quarters end on May 31, August 31, November 30, and the last day of February.

Revenue

          We earn revenue from providing personalized technology-enabled solutions to the members of our employer customers' health plans and to members of fully insured plans offered via health

78


Table of Contents

insurance companies. Our solutions are priced based on a recurring PMPM fee, and frequently include a base PMPM fee based on members served and a performance-based component. As a result, a portion of our potential fee is typically variable, subject to our achievement of performance metrics, the realization of savings in healthcare spend by our customers resulting from the utilization of our solutions, and the number of members during the respective period. For the fiscal years ended February 28, 2018 and 2019, we earned approximately 98% and 96%, respectively, of the maximum aggregate potential revenue under our contracts measured for the corresponding calendar year.

Cost of Revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization

          Our cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization consists primarily of personnel costs including salaries, wages, overtime, bonuses, stock-based compensation expense and benefits, as well as software and tools for telephony, business analytics, allocated overhead costs, and other expenses related to delivery and implementation of our personalized technology-enabled solutions.

Operating Expenses

          Product and technology.    Product and technology expenses include costs to build new offerings, add new features to our existing solutions, and to manage, operate, and ensure the reliability and scalability of our existing technology platform. Products and technology expenses consist of personnel expenses, including salaries, bonuses, stock-based compensation expense, and benefits for employees and contractors for our engineering, product, and design teams, and allocated overhead costs, as well as costs of software and tools for business analytics, data management, and IT applications that are not directly associated with delivery of our solutions to customers. We expect products and technology expenses to increase in absolute dollars but decrease as a percentage of revenue over time.

          Sales and marketing.    Sales and marketing expenses consist of personnel expenses including sales commissions for our direct sales force, as well as promotional costs, client conferences, public relations, other marketing events, and allocated overhead costs. Personnel expenses include salaries, bonuses, stock-based compensation expense, and benefits for employees and contractors. We expect sales and marketing to increase in absolute dollars but decrease as a percentage of revenue over time.

          General and administrative.    General and administrative expenses consist of personnel expenses and related expenses for our executive, finance and accounting, human resources, legal, and corporate organizations. Personnel expenses include salaries, bonuses, stock-based compensation expense, and benefits for employees and contractors. In addition, general and administrative expenses include external legal, accounting, and other professional fees, and allocated overhead costs. We expect general and administrative expenses to increase in absolute dollars as we incur costs associated with being a public company, but decrease as a percentage of revenue over time.

          Depreciation and amortization.    Depreciation and amortization expenses are primarily attributable to our capital investments and consist of fixed asset depreciation, amortization of intangibles considered to have definite lives, and amortization of capitalized internal-use software costs.

79


Table of Contents

Results of Operations

          The following table presents a summary of our consolidated statements of operations for the periods indicated:

    Fiscal Year Ended
February 28,
 

    2018     2019
 

    (in thousands)  

Revenue

  $ 76,828   $ 94,811  

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization(1)

   
53,435
   
60,568
 

Operating expenses:

             

Product and technology(1)

    31,487     35,708  

Sales and marketing(1)

    22,263     23,456  

General and administrative(1)

    21,122     19,665  

Depreciation and amortization

    7,982     9,391  

Total operating expenses

    82,854     88,220  

Loss from operations

    (59,461 )   (53,977 )

Interest expense, net

    (1,799 )   (2,374 )

Other expense

    (26 )   (90 )

Loss before income taxes

    (61,286 )   (56,441 )

Income tax expense

        (55 )

Net loss

  $ (61,286 ) $ (56,496 )

(1)
The stock-based compensation expense included above was as follows:

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
 

    2018     2019
 

    (in thousands)  

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization

  $ 376   $ 255  

Product and technology

    1,420     1,108  

Sales and marketing

    1,750     1,199  

General and administrative

    4,860     3,159  

Total stock-based compensation

  $ 8,406   $ 5,721  

80


Table of Contents

          The following table sets forth our consolidated statements of operation data expressed as a percentage of revenue:

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

Revenue

    100 %   100 %

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization

    70 %   64 %

Operating expenses:

             

Product and technology

    41 %   38 %

Sales and marketing

    29 %   25 %

General and administrative

    27 %   21 %

Depreciation and amortization

    10 %   10 %

Total operating expenses

    108 %   93 %

Loss from operations

    (77 )%   (57 )%

Interest expense, net

    (2 )%   (3 )%

Other expense

    (0 )%   (0 )%

Loss before income taxes

    (80 )%   (59 )%

Income tax expense

        (0 )%

Net loss

    (80 )%   (60 )%

Comparison of Fiscal Years Ended February 28, 2018 and 2019

Revenue

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
    Changes
 

  2018     2019     Amount     %    

    (dollars in thousands)  

Revenue

  $ 76,828   $ 94,811   $ 17,983     23 %

          Revenue increased $18.0 million, or 23%, to $94.8 million for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019, referred to as fiscal 2019, as compared to $76.8 million for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018, referred to as fiscal 2018. The increase was attributable primarily to growth in the number of customers served in fiscal 2019 over fiscal 2018, as well as the impact of serving customers that launched in January 2018 for twelve months during fiscal 2019 versus only two months in fiscal 2018.

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
    Changes
 

  2018     2019     Amount     %    

    (dollars in thousands)  

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization

  $ 53,435   $ 60,568   $ 7,133     13 %

81


Table of Contents

          Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization increased $7.1 million, or 13%, to $60.6 million for fiscal 2019, as compared to $53.4 million for fiscal 2018. The increase was primarily due to an increase in personnel and related costs to serve the customer base which grew in fiscal 2019 versus fiscal 2018.

Operating expenses

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
    Changes
 
 
  2018   2019   Amount   %  

    (dollars in thousands)  

Operating expenses:

                         

Product and technology

  $ 31,487   $ 35,708   $ 4,221     13 %

Sales and marketing

    22,263     23,456     1,193     5 %

General and administrative

    21,122     19,665     (1,457 )   (7 )%

Depreciation and amortization

    7,982     9,391     1,409     18 %

Total operating expenses

  $ 82,854   $ 88,220   $ 5,366     6 %

          Product and technology.    Product and technology expense increased $4.2 million, or 13%, to $35.7 million for fiscal 2019, as compared to $31.5 million for fiscal 2018. The increase was primarily due to the addition of personnel in product development and product management in support of the development of new and existing offerings in connection with the expansion of our business.

          Sales and marketing.    Sales and marketing expense increased $1.2 million, or 5%, to $23.5 million for fiscal 2019, as compared to $22.3 million for fiscal 2018. The increase was primarily due to an increase in the size of our direct sales force, account management, marketing, and supporting functions associated with the expansion of our business, offset by a $0.6 million decrease in stock-based compensation.

          General and administrative.    General and administrative expense decreased $1.5 million, or 7%, to $19.7 million for fiscal 2019, as compared to $21.1 million for fiscal 2018. The decrease was primarily due to a $1.7 million decline in stock-based compensation in fiscal 2019, as compared to fiscal 2018.

          Depreciation and amortization.    Depreciation and amortization expense increased $1.4 million, or 18%, to $9.4 million for fiscal 2019, as compared to $8.0 million for fiscal 2018. The increase was primarily due to an increase of $1.4 million in amortization expense of capitalized software during fiscal 2019.

Interest expense, net

    Fiscal Year
Ended
February 28,
    Changes
 

  2018     2019     Amount     %    

    (dollars in thousands)  

Interest expense, net

  $ (1,799 ) $ (2,374 ) $ (575 )   32 %

          Interest expense, net increased $0.6 million, or 32%, to $2.4 million for fiscal 2019, as compared to $1.8 million for fiscal 2018. The increase primarily reflected the increase in our debt

82


Table of Contents

borrowings during the second half of fiscal 2018, which remained outstanding for the full 2019 fiscal year, as discussed under "— Liquidity and Capital Resources" below, offset by interest income as a result of increased cash and cash equivalents.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

          We had cash and cash equivalents of $13.5 million as of February 28, 2018 and $42.7 million as of February 28, 2019. Our cash equivalents and short-term investments are comprised primarily of cash, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts held at banks.

          We have incurred net losses and cumulative negative cash flows from operations since our formation. To date, we have funded our working capital with cash flows from operations and equity capital raised from investors and, to a lesser extent, debt. We believe that our cash and cash equivalents, together with operating cash flows and available borrowings under our revolving credit facility are sufficient to fund our operations for at least the next 12 months. We may require additional financing to successfully implement our long-term strategy. There can be no assurance that additional financing, if needed, can be obtained on terms acceptable to us.

          We had outstanding debt (including short-term portion) of $19.2 million as of February 28, 2019. We currently have a term loan ("Term Loan"), which we entered into on January 30, 2017 and amended twice thereafter, and a revolving credit facility ("2019 Revolver"), which we entered into on July 19, 2019.

          The Term Loan is a secured credit facility that allows us to borrow up to an aggregate principal amount of $22.0 million, with the total amount of available borrowings subject to certain monthly recurring revenue calculations. We had $17.0 million outstanding under the Term Loan as of February 28, 2018, $20.0 million as of February 28, 2019, and $22.0 million as of November 30, 2019. Interest on the outstanding balance is payable monthly at a rate of 10.0% per annum, plus 2.0% per annum deferred until the end of the term. The Term Loan matures on December 31, 2022.

          The 2019 Revolver provides for a senior secured revolving line of credit in the amount of up to $50.0 million, with borrowing availability subject to certain monthly recurring revenue calculations. The capacity under the 2019 Revolver may be increased by an additional amount of up to $30.0 million, to the extent we achieve certain customer bookings thresholds. The interest rate on any outstanding borrowings will be at LIBOR plus 350 basis points or the lending institution's base rate plus 250 basis points, and interest payments are to be made quarterly. The full $50.0 million under the 2019 Revolver was available for borrowing as of November 30, 2019. The 2019 Revolver expires in July 2021 and may be automatically extended for an additional 12 months if we meet certain revenue thresholds defined under the credit agreement.

          The Term Loan and 2019 Revolver each contain a liquidity covenant calculated based on cash on hand plus available borrowings under the 2019 Revolver, a revenue covenant and certain reporting covenants. We were in compliance with all such applicable covenants as of February 28, 2019, and believe we are in compliance as of the date of this prospectus. The Term Loan and 2019 Revolver are collateralized by substantially all of our assets.

83


Table of Contents

Cash Flows

          The following table summarizes our cash flows for the periods indicated:

    Fiscal Year Ended
February 28,
 

  2018     2019    

    (dollars in
thousands)
 

Net cash used in operating activities

  $ (38,285 ) $ (16,548 )

Net cash used in investing activities

    (7,153 )   (3,118 )

Net cash provided by financing activities

    15,039     48,833  

          Operating Activities.    Net cash used in operating activities decreased by $21.7 million to $16.5 million in fiscal 2019 from $38.3 million in fiscal 2018, primarily reflecting our improved net loss from operations, and a substantial increase in deferred revenue and amounts due to customers associated with the result of growth in the customer base and timing of payments from customers.

          Investing Activities.    Net cash used in investing activities was $3.1 million in fiscal 2019 compared to $7.2 million in fiscal 2018. In both periods, investing activities were comprised of capitalization of software development costs and purchases of property and equipment. Capitalized software development costs decreased $3.8 million as more costs were incurred in fiscal 2018 for the development of our technology applications for internal use compared to fiscal 2019, when more of our product development activities related to upgrades and enhancements to our platform. Purchases of property and equipment were relatively constant at $1.4 million and $1.2 million for fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, respectively.

          Financing Activities.    Our cash flows from financing activities amounted to $48.8 million in fiscal 2019, mainly reflecting proceeds from a $49.9 million Series E preferred stock financing, compared to $15.0 million in fiscal 2018, primarily reflecting $14.5 million in new borrowings under our debt arrangements.

Contractual Obligations

          The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of November 30, 2019:

    Payments due by period
 

  Less than
1 year
 
  Years 1 - 3     Years 4 - 5     More than
5 years
 
  Total    

    (in thousands)  

Operating lease obligations(1)

                               

Term loan

                               

Revolving credit facility

                               

Interest and fees on debt(2)

                               

(1)
Includes the lease of our (a) corporate co-headquarters in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, which expires in June 2027, subject to certain early termination rights, (b) corporate co-headquarters in Seattle, Washington, which expires in September 2030, subject to certain early termination rights, (c) office space in Scottsdale, Arizona, which expires in April 2024, subject to certain early termination rights, and (d) office space in Prague, Czech Republic, which expires in November 2021.

(2)
Interest on our outstanding debt is calculated at the applicable fixed interest rate for the Term Loan.

          We did not have any other contractual obligations, except as discussed above.

84


Table of Contents

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

          We did not have any relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, such as entities often referred to as structured finance or variable interest entities, which would have been established for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements or other purposes. We did not have any other off-balance sheet arrangements, except to the extent reflected under "— Contractual Obligations" above and in Note 12 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

          Our financial statements are prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses, as well as related disclosures. We evaluate our estimates and assumptions on an ongoing basis. Our estimates are based on historical experience and various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Our actual results could differ from these estimates.

          The critical accounting estimates, assumptions and judgments that we believe have the most significant impact on our consolidated financial statements are described below.

Revenue Recognition

          We earn revenue from our customers by providing personalized health guidance solutions to the participants of our employer customers' health plans and, in some cases, to members of fully insured plans offered by health insurance companies. Our solutions allow members to interact with our Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians through various means of communication, including telephony and secure messaging via our mobile application and member web portal. We price our services using a recurring PMPM fee, typically with a portion of the fee calculated as the product of a fixed fee times the number of members and the remainder of the fee variable, which can be earned through either, or a combination of, the achievement of certain performance metrics or the realization of healthcare cost savings. In addition, our revenue is dependent on the number of members each month and the timing of revenue recognition discussed under "Key Metrics—Annual Contract Value." As a result, we may report higher revenue in certain quarters relative to others. While we believe we have visibility into the seasonality of our business on a customer-by-customer basis, our rapid growth over the periods discussed in this prospectus may have made seasonal fluctuations more difficult to detect. If our rate of growth slows over time, seasonal or cyclical variations in our operations may become more pronounced, and the comparability of our results of operations between periods may be materially affected.

          During 2018, we adopted Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, using the full retrospective method. Under ASC 606, we recognize revenue when control of the promised services is transferred to our customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which we expect to be entitled in exchange for those services. Accordingly, we determine revenue recognition by applying the following steps:

85


Table of Contents

          At contract inception, we assess the type of services being provided and the performance obligations in the contract. The majority of our contracts include stand ready services to provide members access to our services and to perform an unspecified quantity of interactions with members during the contract period. Accordingly, our services are generally viewed as stand ready performance obligations comprised of a series of distinct daily services that are substantially the same and have the same pattern of transfer. We satisfy these performance obligations over time and recognize revenue related to our services monthly as the services are provided based upon the actual number of members served during the period.

          We include consideration for our revenue related to the achievement of performance metrics and the realization of healthcare cost savings when it is probable that a significant reversal of cumulative revenue will not occur. We estimate revenue using the most likely amount that we will receive. Estimates are based on our historical experience and best judgment at the time. Our estimates related to variable consideration are updated quarterly, and the total transaction price and revenue recognized are adjusted accordingly.

          Some of our contracts include multiple performance obligations. We account for performance obligations separately if they are capable of being distinct within the context of the contract. In these circumstances, the transaction price is allocated to the separate performance obligations on a relative standalone selling price basis. We determine the standalone selling prices based on overall pricing objectives, taking into consideration market conditions and other factors.

          Specifically, some contracts contain an additional performance obligation, pre-launch open enrollment, for which the performance obligation is satisfied before the launch of our primary offering. For contracts that include pre-launch open enrollment support, we recognize related revenue over the pre-launch open enrollment period based on the number of eligible participants served.

Stock-Based Compensation

          We estimate the fair value of our stock options using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. This requires the input of subjective assumptions, including the fair value of our underlying common stock, the expected term of stock options, the expected volatility of the price of our common stock, risk-free interest rates, and the expected dividend yield of our common stock, the most critical of which is the estimated fair value of common stock. The assumptions used in our option pricing model represent our best estimates. These estimates involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management's judgment. If factors change and different assumptions are used, our stock-based compensation expense could be materially different in the future. The resulting fair value, net of actual forfeitures, is recognized on a straight-line basis over the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award.

          These assumptions used in the Black-Scholes option pricing model, other than the fair value of our common stock, are estimated as follows:

86


Table of Contents

          We are required to estimate the fair value of the common stock underlying our stock-based awards when performing fair value calculations.

          Historically for all periods prior to this offering, given the absence of a public trading market for our common stock, and in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Practice Guide, Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation, or AICPA Guide, we exercised reasonable judgment and considered numerous objective and subjective factors to determine the best estimate of the fair value of our common stock including:

          In valuing our common stock, our board of directors determined the enterprise value of our company using both the income approach and market approach valuation methods. The income approach estimates value based on the expectation of future cash flows that a company will generate. These future cash flows are discounted to their present values using a discount rate based on the cost of capital at a company's stage of development. The market approach estimates value based on a comparison of the subject company to comparable public companies in a similar line of business. From the comparable companies, a representative market value multiple is determined and then applied to the subject company's financial results to estimate the enterprise value of the subject company.

87


Table of Contents

          The resulting equity values derived by the income approach and market approach were then allocated between share classes by a hybrid of the Probability Weighted Expected Return Method (PWERM) and the Option Pricing Method (OPM). The hybrid method was selected to consider various outcomes for our company including an initial public offering or continuing as a private company. The values of the share classes under an initial public offering scenario were based on the expected pricing and timing of the anticipated event according to the PWERM. Conversely, the OPM was used to estimate the value of the share classes assuming we stayed private.

          The PWERM estimates the value of the various equity classes based upon analysis of the future value for the enterprise under different potential outcomes including sale, merger, IPO, and dissolution. For each scenario, the value determined for the enterprise is allocated to each class of stock based upon the assumption that each class will maximize its value. The values determined for each class of stock under each scenario are weighted by the probability of each scenario and then discounted to a present value.

          The OPM treats common stock and convertible preferred stock as call options on the enterprise's value, with exercise prices based on the liquidation preference of the convertible preferred stock. Under this method, the common stock has value only if the funds available for distribution exceed the value of liquidation preference at the time of a liquidity event. If the total equity value exceeds the total liquidation preference of the convertible preferred stock, the preferred stock will receive a payout in cash in the case of a liquidation event or in common stock in the case of an IPO, and the preferred stock will then convert to common stock. Any incremental value above the total liquidation preference would be shared based on the converted ownership interests. In the application of this method, the convertible features of the preferred equity classes, common options and warrants outstanding are considered.

          After the equity value is determined and allocated to the various classes of shares, a discount for lack of marketability (DLOM) is applied to the various outcomes to arrive at the fair value of the common stock. A DLOM is applied based on the theory that as a private company, an owner of the stock has limited opportunities to sell this stock and any such sale would involve significant transaction costs, thereby reducing overall fair market value.

          Application of these valuation approaches involves the use of estimates, judgment, and assumptions that are highly complex and subjective, such as those regarding our expected future revenue, expenses and future cash flows, discount rates, market multiples, the selection of comparable companies, and the probability of possible future events. Changes in any or all of these estimates and assumptions or the relationships between those assumptions impact our valuations as of each valuation date and may have a material impact on the valuation of our common stock.

          Following this offering, our board of directors will rely on the closing price of our common stock as reported on the date of grant to determine the fair value of our common stock, as shares of our common stock will be traded in the public market.

Recently Issued and Adopted Accounting Pronouncements Adopted

          For more information on recently issued accounting pronouncements, see Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.

Emerging Growth Company Status

          We are an "emerging growth company," as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier of (i) February 28, 2026 (the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of our initial public offering), (ii) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total annual gross revenue of at least $1.07 billion, (iii) the

88


Table of Contents

last day of the fiscal year in which we are deemed to be a "large accelerated filer", as defined in the rules under the Exchange Act, and (iv) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt during the prior three-year period. We refer to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 herein as the "JOBS Act," and any reference herein to "emerging growth company" has the meaning ascribed to it in the JOBS Act.

          We have elected to take advantage of certain of the reduced disclosure obligations in this prospectus and may elect to take advantage of other reduced reporting requirements in our future filings with the SEC. As a result, the information that we provide to our stockholders may be different from the information you might receive from other public reporting companies in which you hold equity interests. In particular, Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. Thus, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected to avail ourselves of this extended transition period and, as a result, so long as we remain an emerging growth company, we will not be subject to the same implementation timing of new or revised accounting standards as other public companies that are not emerging growth companies until these standards apply to private companies unless we elect to early adopt as permitted by the relevant guidance for private companies.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

          We had cash and cash equivalents of $13.5 million as of February 28, 2018 and $42.7 million as of February 28, 2019. Our cash equivalents are comprised primarily of cash, certificates of deposit and money market accounts held at banks. Due to the short-term nature of these instruments, we believe that we do not have any material exposure to changes in the fair value of our investment portfolio as a result of changes in interest rates. Declines in interest rates, however, would reduce future interest income.

          We have in the past and may in the future be exposed to foreign currency exchange risks in the ordinary course of our business, but that exposure is not currently material to our business or results of operations.

89


Table of Contents


BUSINESS

Our Mission

          We envision a world where every person can live their "healthiest life" — a concept that encompasses physical, emotional, financial, and professional wellness. Our mission is to empower people through expertise, empathy, and technology to make the best decisions for their health and well-being.

Business Overview

          We provide personalized, technology-enabled solutions that help people better understand, navigate, and utilize the healthcare system and their workplace benefits. Our customers are primarily employers that deploy Accolade in order to provide employees and their families (our "members") a single place to turn for their health, healthcare, and benefits needs. Our innovative platform combines open, cloud-based intelligent technology with multimodal support from a team of empathetic and knowledgeable Accolade Health Assistants and clinicians (including nurses, physician medical directors, and behavioral health specialists). We leverage our integrated capabilities, connectivity with providers and the broader healthcare ecosystem, and longitudinal data to engage across the entire member population, rather than focusing solely on high-cost claimants or those with chronic conditions. Our goal is to build trusted relationships with our members that ultimately position us to deliver personalized recommendations and interventions. We believe that our platform dramatically improves the member experience, encourages better health outcomes, and lowers costs for both our members and our customers.

          The U.S. healthcare system is complex and places significant strain on consumers, who struggle to effectively use their healthcare and benefits, make informed decisions about their health, and navigate the fragmented network of providers and third-party benefit programs. Partly as a result of these challenges, the payers of healthcare, including managed care companies, the government, employers, and consumers, face significant and rising costs. For large employers in particular, the direct costs are substantial: the total annual employer cost for healthcare is estimated at more than $10,000 per employee. Over the past five years, this cost has increased roughly 6% per year and is expected to continue to grow at that rate. Employers also bear indirect costs in the form of absenteeism, decreased productivity, and diminished morale. Despite the significant and growing spend on care, health outcomes are not improving, and misaligned incentives among key constituents thwart meaningful change. A suboptimal consumer experience persists.

          We believe the most effective way to improve health outcomes and control cost is to help consumers make better, data-driven healthcare and benefits-related decisions. Based on this belief, we have developed a differentiated platform to support and influence consumer decision-making that is built on a foundation of mission-driven people and purpose-built technology: