Categories Earnings Call Transcripts, Technology

Twilio Inc. (TWLO) Q3 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

TWLO Earnings Call - Final Transcript

Twilio Inc.  (NYSE: TWLO) Q3 2020 earnings call dated Oct. 26, 2020

Corporate Participants:

Andrew Zilli — Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasurer

Jeff Lawson — Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

George Hu — Chief Operating Officer

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Analysts:

Meta Marshall — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

Nikolay Beliov — Bank of America — Analyst

Michael Turrin — Wells Fargo — Analyst

Matt Stotler — William Blair — Analyst

Derrick Wood — Cowen & Company — Analyst

Alex Kurtz — KeyBanc — Analyst

Rishi Jaluria — D.A. Davidson & Company — Analyst

Ittai Kidron — Oppenheimer & Company — Analyst

Alex Zukin — RBC — Analyst

Brent Bracelin — Piper Sandler — Analyst

Mark Murphy — JPMorgan — Analyst

Will Power — Baird — Analyst

Siti Panigrahi — Mizuho — Analyst

Presentation:

Operator

Good afternoon and welcome to Twilio’s Third Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Rob and I will be your operator for today’s call. [Operator Instructions] I will now turn the call over to Andrew Zilli, Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasury. Mr. Zilli, you may begin.

Andrew Zilli — Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasurer

Thanks. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us for Twilio’s third quarter 2020 earnings conference call. Our earnings results press release, SEC filings and a replay of today’s call can be found on our IR website, at investors.twilio.com. Joining me virtually today are Jeff Lawson, Co-Founder and CEO; George Hu, COO; and Khozema Shipchandler, CFO.

As a reminder, some of our commentary today will be in non-GAAP terms. Reconciliations between our GAAP and non-GAAP results and guidance can be found in our earnings press release. Additionally, some of our discussion and responses may contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. In particular, our plans and timing to close the Segment acquisition, including the expected business benefits and financial impacts from the acquisition, and our expectations around the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results of operations and financial condition, and that of our customers and partners, is subject to change.

Should any of these risks materialize or should our assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual financial results could differ materially from our projections or those implied by these forward-looking statements, or ability to close the Segment acquisition in a timely fashion. A description of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions and other factors that could affect our financial results are included in our SEC filings, including our most recent report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports on Form 10-Q. And our remarks during today’s discussion should be considered to incorporate this information by reference.

Forward-looking statements represent our beliefs and assumptions only as of the date such statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made during this call to reflect events or circumstances after today or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.

With that, I’ll hand it over to you, Jeff.

Jeff Lawson — Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

Thanks, Zilli, and welcome everyone to this quarter’s earnings call. Before turning to earnings, I want to encourage all who are listening, especially here in the United States, to please vote; have a plan, find a way, make your voice heard.

At the top of our earnings calls, from time to time, I may briefly discuss some element of social justice, policy or societal issues in the hope that it has some impact. And it shows that we at Twilio take these issues seriously. On our last call, I referenced the fact the Black Lives Matter. And I want to say it, because it needs to be said, Black Lives Still Matter. And Twilio will continue to advance the dialog on this and other issues that we care about.

Now, on to earnings. We delivered another quarter of outstanding results. I could not be prouder of what we’ve accomplished during these trying times. Our success is a testament to the value proposition that Twilio’s platform offers businesses, digital engagement, software agility and cloud scale. Our goal is to build the world’s leading customer engagement platform. We’re going to achieve this vision by investing in our products, our platform and our people.

The demand and excitement for digital customer engagement was evident during our recent customer and developer conference, SIGNAL, where we had tens of thousands of people register for our first-ever virtual conference. Embracing our builder mentality, SIGNAL was run on Twilio’s platform, which our internal team developed in a matter of months, to great success. Throughout SIGNAL, we heard from leading enterprises like Nike, Delta Air Lines and Ernst & Young about how they are using Twilio’s platform to create new ways to engage with their customers over digital channels.

And to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our customers, we announced several new products and innovations to help the developers of the world continue to build solutions to solve today’s challenges as they execute on their digital transformation initiatives. We know our customers are looking to Twilio Flex to take on the largest and most complex contact center workloads out there. But they want to do that while continuing to use the best of breed solutions they have grown to love, such as their workforce management for their CRM.

We announced the Twilio Flex Ecosystem, enabling customers to access more than 30 validated solutions from partners, including Google, Salesforce, Zendesk and Calabrio, all built to accelerate contact center projects. Usage of Twilio Video has skyrocketed and we want to get video in the hands of as many developers as possible, so we announced a free version of Twilio Video for peer-to-peer use cases called Twilio Video WebRTC Go.

Twilio Frontline is a mobile app that provides a direct messaging-based connection between customer-facing employees and consumers in a way that is safe, secure, private and compliant as non-desk workers far outnumber desk workers. And Frontline can help drive greater sales, higher customer satisfaction and lower costs through more efficient operations. And we announced Twilio Microvisor, a complete device connectivity platform that eliminates the complexity of building for IoT. Microvisor runs on the connected device and creates a secure managed runtime with the intelligence to connect to different types of networks, including WiFi and of course, cellular via the Twilio Super SIM.

We also recently announced our intent to acquire Segment, the leading customer data platform. Segment enables developers and companies to unify customer data from every customer touch point and every system of record, empowering marketing, sales and service leaders with the insights they need to design and build relevant data-driven customer engagement. The combination of Segment and Twilio means that we will be able to help any business make their customer engagement across every channel more personalized, timely and impactful. This is an important step towards our vision of building the world’s leading customer engagement platform.

We also wouldn’t be able to execute on this vision without the strong culture and inclusive workforce our employees embrace every day, which is why I am excited to welcome Lybra Clemons, Twilio’s first Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Officer. Lybra is responsible for guiding and scaling Twilio’s inclusion strategy and diversity initiatives across the Company’s global workforce. There has never been a more important time to bring in a Head of Diversity to the C-suite of the Company, and I’m excited for where she will lead us.

I again want to thank our employees for their continued dedication to our customers and for delivering these great results, and a special thanks to the SIGNAL team for delivering such an outstanding virtual event. I also want to thank all of those who are on the front lines, those who are fighting the fires in California, those who continue to fight this pandemic and those will be working the election poll stations in just over a week. Thank you for everything you’re doing for the rest of us. And please remember to get out and vote.

With that, I’ll hand it over to George.

George Hu — Chief Operating Officer

Thanks, Jeff. The team delivered another quarter of great results in Q3. Our focus on growing our enterprise presence, expanding internationally and growing our partner ecosystem continues to drive great outcomes as companies turn to Twilio’s customer engagement platform and our opportunity is expanding as a result. I’m extremely impressed with our marketing and events team who created an amazing virtual experience for SIGNAL.

In addition to all of the great individual sessions, we hosted our Creator Summit, where we brought together more than 200 executives from customers and prospects to network, hear from inspirational speakers and learn about Twilio. We also had more than 800 developer attendees at our Superclass and delivered 40 hours of content on SIGNAL TV. And our brand experience team built our conference experience from the ground up, incorporating more than 10 Twilio products, including Flex, Video and SMS.

During the quarter, we also announced that Deloitte Digital would be joining the Twilio Build partner program as our first premier global systems integrator. Deloitte Digital’s Twilio practice will offer the entire Twilio product suite, including Flex for contact centers as well as the full set of Twilio communications APIs and platform services to help clients reinvent their marketing, sales, and service, and radically transform the customer engagement experience. This is a great step forward in our partner program as it significantly expands our reach and ability to leverage Deloitte’s expertise in our top industries such as health care and financial services where Twilio has helped institutions of all sizes dramatically transform the customer journey to adapt to these new circumstances.

In health care, the innovative solutions that have been built on top of Twilio to address the COVID-19 crisis provide an opportunity for the industry to advance the use of technology to better deliver outcomes for patients and create tools that fit seamlessly within a physician’s workflow. This has always been the vision, but the coronavirus crisis highlighted the urgency, immediacy, and magnitude of that need. The team has been hard at work to make many of Twilio’s most critical products HIPAA-eligible such as Twilio SMS, chat, conversations, video, voice, and SIP and runtime tools. As of today, Verify and Lookup are also HIPAA-eligible for health care customers.

And this focus on health care is paying off as you can see with a couple of deals we signed this quarter. We expanded our relationship with Philips, a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s lives and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum. In response to COVID, Philips built a virtual waiting room using Twilio SMS to replace the physical waiting space in just six weeks. Health systems like Yale New Haven Health and Boston Medical Center use solutions that curb viruses like COVID-19 and the flu. With this new solution, the patient texts the hospital when they arrive and hospital text them back when a room is available, so they can go straight to an exam room.

We entered into a new relationship with Banner Health, one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the country. After investigating several vendors, Banner Health selected Twilio to power patient notifications across multiple channels, beginning with our Voice API. They view Twilio as the leading engagement platform that can power a consistent digital patient experience across Banner Health.

In financial services, another highly regulated industry and a key focus area for Twilio, institutions have long had apps, chat box and other customer service tools to help them connect with customers. But COVID was the first time that these capabilities were put to the test as the primary way for people to interact with their service providers. With the pandemic hit, consumer banks, wealth managers and insurance companies were flooded with inbound calls from customers while being tasked with developing a richer set of capabilities and tools to enable their employees to safely and effectively work from home.

Now let’s provide a look to the future. They are implementing a range of new digital solution that create a better user experience for customers at any time and on any channel. We saw this in the third quarter as we expanded our relationship with a Fortune 50 bank that was forced to close many branches in response to COVID. They were looking for a better way to engage with customers via digital channels. They selected Flex, integrating it with Programmable Messaging and sales force to power their new omnichannel digital customer engagement strategy to improve lead conversion and provide better customer service on demand.

We also signed a new Flex deal with Robinhood, a pioneer of commission-free trading. As the demand for their platform has accelerated as a result of COVID, Robinhood is continuing to adapt, scale and power elements of its customer support with Flex.

As we discussed, we have a very broad customer base and our platform is used by companies across more than just health care and financial services. Some other great deals in the quarter include an expanded relationship with Alaska Airlines, the fifth largest US airline based on passenger traffic. In an effort to reduce direct interaction between employees and guests in response to COVID, Alaska is using our Programmable SMS connected to their reservation system to allow agents to send a customer’s boarding pass via SMS.

We entered in a new relationship with Prometric, a global leader at technology-enabled testing and assessment solutions. With the acceleration of digital technology driving new consumer behaviors as well as an increasing need for remote test proctoring as a result of COVID, Prometric selected Twilio as the video management service for their application with Flex as the user interface between the proctors, security agents, readiness agents and test takers.

Overall, our team continues to execute on our strategy as our investments in enterprise go-to-market, international expansion and our partner ecosystem are paying off. We are extremely well positioned as we look to close out the year and we’re excited about the massive opportunity ahead of us in the next several years.

And with that, I’ll hand it over to Khozema.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, George, and good afternoon, everyone. Total revenue for Q3 grew 52% year-over-year to $448 million. And dollar-based net expansion was 137% as we continued to see broad-based strength across the business. As we get closer to the election, political traffic is likely to pick up and we saw that in the third quarter as political traffic contributed approximately $10 million, or 2%, to revenue. Excluding political traffic in Q3 2020, revenue grew 48%.

Revenue from our Top 10 active customer accounts represented 14% of revenue compared to 15% last quarter and 13% last year. International revenue was 27% of total revenue in Q3 compared to 27% last quarter and 28% in Q3 2019. WhatsApp contributed approximately 6% of revenue, down from 7% last quarter. Starting in 2021, we will no longer breakout WhatsApp as a percentage of revenue. We continue to have a great relationship with WhatsApp. However, as our business is scaled coupled with the strong revenue diversification we discussed at our Investor Day, disclosing the contribution from a single customer is less meaningful.

Verizon’s A2P fees contributed approximately $10 million to revenue. As a reminder, this fee is a direct pass-through to customers and does not impact gross profit dollars. I did want to note that we expect to stop breaking this out in 2021 as we lap the implementation of the Verizon fees. If and when we experience fees from other carriers, we do expect to provide that information if relevant.

Third quarter non-GAAP gross margin was approximately 55% and was negatively impacted by 130 basis points from A2P fees. As you’ll recall from our recent Analyst Day, we discussed that gross margins would be negatively impacted in the short term as the growth of our messaging product has been re-accelerating, a trend that continued in Q3. To reiterate, this is a trade-off that we will gladly take as it adds gross profit dollars which we can continue to reinvest, delivering elevated levels of growth. Gross margin was also negatively impacted by about 100 basis points from foreign exchange, primarily from the euro appreciating relative to the US dollar.

Non-GAAP operating profit came in at approximately $7 million, stronger than originally forecasted, driven by higher-than-forecasted revenue and the timing of hiring within the quarter. While we were able to catch up on our hiring plans in the third quarter, the timing of some of the hires meant that we didn’t fully recognize the expenses we had forecasted.

Moving to guidance. Please note that our guidance today does not include the impact of our announced acquisition of Segment. We expect the acquisition to close during the quarter and we do expect a modest top and bottom line impact in the fourth quarter. As such, on a standalone basis, we expect Q4 revenue of $450 million to $455 million, including A2P fees, for year-over-year growth of 36% to 37%, and we expect a fourth quarter operating loss in the range of $10 million to $15 million.

While on the topic of guidance, I’d like to update you want to guidance philosophy. Going forward, we plan on only providing quarterly guidance. At our recent Investor Day, we provided medium-term guidance that we expect 30% organic annual revenue growth for the next four years. Also, our medium-term guidance does not incorporate the pending acquisition of Segment. This guidance was provided based on our forecast for Twilio’s existing business. We are managing the business for the long term, making decisions that benefit all stakeholders, and our medium-term revenue guidance reflects this.

As we discussed at our Analyst Day, some of the investments we plan on making this year did not materialize as we had originally forecast due to COVID. While still finalizing our 2021 plan, we intend to continue with our investment plans into 2021, which we anticipate will drive operating losses into next year. Also with our recent announcement to acquire Segment, there will be certain integration costs we will incur to further enhance Twilio’s customer engagement platform. Once the deal closes, we expect to provide more information on our Q4 call.

Lastly, I encourage those of you that may have missed our Investor Day held on October 1 as well as our announcement acquiring Segment to visit Twilio’s Investor Relations website at investors.twilio.com to view the presentations and webcasts. I wish everyone well, and hope you are healthy and safe. Thank you for joining.

Operator, please open the line for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And your first question comes from the line of Meta Marshall from Morgan Stanley. Your line is open.

Meta Marshall — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

Great. Thanks. Maybe first question just on SIGNAL. Could you give some color commentary as to what were the most attended sessions or where you kind of saw most customer questions around, and was any of that surprising? And then maybe to Khozema, any bounce back worth noting in key verticals like travel and hospitality? And that’s it from me. Thanks.

Jeff Lawson — Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

This is Jeff. Thank you for the question, Meta. So, I think SIGNAL was a broad-based success across the board in terms of, we had sessions for both the technical tracks [Phonetic] or the developers in the audience as well as for the executives with our Creator Summit. And so I think one of the key things about SIGNAL as we progressed and built on our engagement cloud strategy and started really building that dialog with the technical folks, but also now the executives. And that is increasing our strategic positioning and are allowing us to sell more broadly into organizations and actually unlock much bigger problem domains in some of those companies such as the broad-based question of customer engagement as opposed to the more narrower view of the digital communications workloads. And so that’s fantastic.

We’re really pleased by the growth of SIGNAL, 10 times the attendance of prior years. Now, obviously, a lot of that’s driven by the virtual nature of it, and as well, the participation by leading enterprises. So this year, we had the CEOs of both Nike, Delta Air Lines talking about their digital transformations and the acceleration of those digital transformations have gone on because of COVID. And so, I think those are some of the key highlights of SIGNAL.

And I don’t know — Khozema, you had something you wanted to add?

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

I think the second part of the question was around travel and hospitality, or the impacted industries. And now that we have seen some traffic in the more heavily impacted industries return but they are still below pre-COVID levels. I would characterize it more as green shoots.

Meta Marshall — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

Great. Thanks guys.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Nikolay Beliov from Bank of America. Your line is open.

Nikolay Beliov — Bank of America — Analyst

Hi. Thanks so much for taking my question. It’s a question for George. George, as you build out this comprehensive customer engagement platform, at what point do you start running into Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe, the legacy, if you will, customer engagement vendors. At what point do you guys step back and coexist and complement them? Just — philosophically, just wondering your thinking around this topic, please. Thank you.

George Hu — Chief Operating Officer

Yeah. I mean, it’s a great question. And we are very complementary. I would say that, many of our customers today are customers of these other companies. And we’re very complementary. We don’t often like see them in a sense that we don’t compete with them, because we’re coming at a different — coming at the problem in a very different way. We’re starting with developers and we’re working with them on really the communications and of customer engagement, which is really our strong point, obviously, and not where we see a lot of other companies that you mentioned focus. So I’d say overall, we’re very, very complementary and our customers view it that way. So I think that’s going very well for us.

Nikolay Beliov — Bank of America — Analyst

And George, as a follow-up. Around Flex, when do you think Flex will become a way to wholesale replace legacy call centers versus complementing them right now? Congratulations on the new wins around Flex. Some of them sound like complementing existing call center solutions versus call center replacement.

George Hu — Chief Operating Officer

I think that it’s a multi-year journey for us to mature the product. So we do have companies that do use us as the end-to-end contact center platform. We have many situations we are a complementary. And I think it’s just — I view it as normal enterprise software maturity. So we continue to mature the product. We’re very excited about the evolution of the product over time and we’re now several years in and we’re seeing that the market recognize that. So, I think you’re just going to see normal evolution there and we’re going to be more and more able over time to take on larger and larger workloads in the platform, but nothing — I just think it’s a normal evolution.

Nikolay Beliov — Bank of America — Analyst

Thanks so much.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Michael Turrin from Wells Fargo. Your line is open.

Michael Turrin — Wells Fargo — Analyst

Hey, there. Great, thanks. Good afternoon. I think the biggest takeaway was around the last point that Khozema laid out for many of us from the Investor Day around the ambition of that 30% organic revenue growth target over the next four years. So maybe going back to that, can you expand on what it is you’re seeing in the field today that gives you the confidence in your ability to execute on that multi-year vision as that would put you in admittedly Verify and [Phonetic] software if you are able to sustain that pace?

George Hu — Chief Operating Officer

Well, this is George, since you asked for the field perspective. We are seeing digital acceleration. We’re seeing that people are, especially in this environment, realizing that there is a greater push than ever to be able to engage consumers and customers on digital channels in new ways and new modalities. And so our research shows that this digital transformation is being accelerated by up to six years. And in fact, that was just last week on a CXO Conference where CIO of a major retailer also said that they’re seeing digital acceleration, or the other three panelists that I was with all talking about digital acceleration.

So at every level, I think that this is not just a temporal thing, but part of a new way that companies need to engage. And so I think it’s that macro shift we’re seeing in the market, this macro acceleration that gives us confidence that we are where the market is and is going, but this is a huge need, a tremendous need in the marketplace, that is the need of every company in the world has from small business all the way up through the enterprise.

And so I think that this just really speaks to this generational opportunity we have, which makes us believe that, a, we have the market size here to sustain that level of growth and also that we have really the right platform, the right message at the right time with the right go-to-market approach and product approach to address that need. And I think you see that in our numbers this quarter and I — we’re just also seeing that reflected in the conversation about the field. And even these 200-plus executives at our Creator Summit at Twilio, which is an awesome number for us speaks to the fact that even not just developers, now that more and more executives are starting to realize that this is a strategic area for them and Twilio is a company that then you think of in a very different way.

Michael Turrin — Wells Fargo — Analyst

It’s good color. Just maybe a quick follow-up on the dollar-based net expansion metric that step back up to 137%. I think we’ve all been talking more about SendGrid impacts normalization but that’s the highest organic level we’ve seen since mid last year. So anything else you can add around what’s allowing you sustain those levels as you move to even greater scale here? Thank you.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Mike — Michael, this is Khozema here. I think what we’re seeing across the board is, is that there’s just broad-based strength across the entirety of the business. And so there is no one specific thing that I would highlight as a result of that. I think it’s that there is companies that are continuing to digitally transform, as we pointed out a few times. And I think we’re seeing a lot of tailwinds based on some of the things that George just described and we’re super happy with the 137%. And we do think that will normalize and paid over time, but we’re certainly really happy about what happened in the quarter.

Michael Turrin — Wells Fargo — Analyst

Thanks. Excellent results. Appreciate it.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks very much.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Matt Stotler from William Blair. Your line is open.

Matt Stotler — William Blair — Analyst

Hey, thanks for taking my question. I guess just to start on IoT and obviously, a very interesting opportunity for you guys here, especially with the launch of Microvisor. How significant do you see IoT in terms of use cases for Twilio’s business today? And how do you think about over time what this could be for you and kind of how long you think it will take that business to become a more significant contributor to the overall business there?

Jeff Lawson — Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

Yeah. Thanks, Matt. I will take it. This is Jeff. So, IoT is a market we are very excited about. I think that of all the talk of IoT that’s gone on for the last, say, five, almost 10 years, this is a field that’s really still at its infancy, and we’re investing to capture a market that we feel is going to grow over the next decade or more. That said, it’s a smaller investments and it’s a smaller part of our business than are to the mainstay of our business, which is customer engagement.

But the way I look at it, the great thing about having a developer platform is you can start at the sort of the broadest, most applicable building blocks there are. Put them in the hands of developers and say, we can’t wait to see what you build. And as the market unfolds, developers show you where the big unsolved challenges are and that allows us to make smarter investments over time.

So for example, with IoT, we started with connectivity because that allowed us to leverage the skill that we had in taking very complex telco-oriented relationships and economics and technology, and package that up in an easy-to-use platform for developers that encourages innovation. And then based on that product, we’re able to understand that another big unsolved common priority developers [Phonetic] was actually on the chip itself and how you actually deploy code to those devices and how you make that code updatable, secure, inspectable, etc., and that led us to invest in Microvisor.

And so we see the IoT roadmap as it’s a long one and it’s a bet that we’re making that the IoT market will be one where there is a tremendous amount of innovation in the years to come. And not necessarily innovation in the places where we see it on a day-to-day basis, a lot of people think about IoT and they think about their home and their thermostat or their watch or whatever. And actually, I think there would be very big areas of growth when we start connecting just broad based, like hundreds of millions, maybe billions of sensors out there in the fields where crops are grown or detractors or to cities and investing in smart cities. Those are the types of use cases that are really just at their infancy.

And I — one of the things we talk about quite a bit internally as one of the drivers of IoT — one of the many drivers of IoT is actually environment and how with better connectedness, better information about what’s going on in our cities, we can direct resources better, whether it’s in our cities or in the fields or in framing and things like that to — in order to save energy and make our economy in our society more efficient. So there’s a lot of drivers of IoT that are coming and the technology solutions that are now arising such as narrowband 5G, smarter chips, things like that as well as the innovations that Twilio seeing in the market are the — are going to be significant drivers we believe over the coming decade and more.

Matt Stotler — William Blair — Analyst

Got it. Yeah, it’s very interesting. And then I guess one more just for Khozema. The color around the political contributions was helpful, or at least the political use cases and how it contributed to revenue. Maybe just any thoughts on what you’ve embedded in terms of guidance for that stable, up or down for Q4? And then any impact that that had on the dollar-based net expansion in the quarter would be helpful.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. It’s pretty modest in terms of the Q4 impact. I would say, it’s kind of in the same range. If you recall back to our Investor Day, we kind of called it around — this like 1% range we called it out, it’s about 2% today. We would expect it to increase a little bit, but again I think it will be pretty modest. Not a hugely significant impact on dollar-based net expansion. Obviously, that’s $1 million contribution will impact it a little bit. But the election is a week away and so I don’t think we expect a lot more to transpire after that.

Matt Stotler — William Blair — Analyst

Right, understood. Thanks again.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Matt.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Derrick Wood from Cowen & Company. Your line is open.

Derrick Wood — Cowen & Company — Analyst

Great. Thanks for taking my question and congrats on a very good quarter. I wanted to ask first question on Frontline. And it certainly seems to be an interesting opportunity to help further transform customer engagement initiatives. Two questions.

First, do you think this could become a material revenue driver, if you look over the next one to two years, especially considering we’ve already got some interesting referenceable customers?

And then second, this really seems like a greenfield opportunity that doesn’t exist in the market. I’m curious where you think an application like this where budgets are likely to come from, whether it’s on the customer service or marketing or even some other operational line? Thanks.

Jeff Lawson — Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

Yeah. Thanks, Derek. This is Jeff. So first of all, Frontline, we see this as a really emerging workload. If you think about it maybe five years ago, the need for these frontline workers, just on the quantity of frontline workers and just the number of roles that could have changed, not just as a result of COVID but as a result of the digitization of so many industries. This role is essentially growing and the role they play is being directly engaging with customers as a new role for a lot of these [Technical Issues]. And so I think this is an emerging workload that we’re investing in.

And so we’re excited because when we talk to customers, we see them using our platform for these types of workloads already organically, and we see [Technical Issues] their ability to find success in these use cases by instead of having to build, back up themselves, logic of being able to take something and get it in their hand so they can build more quickly on top of us. And that allows them to use all these frontline employees, whether they are retail workers, whether they are delivery drivers, whether they are field service technicians, there’s a lot of different types of workers [Technical Issues] allow them to be great omnichannel communicators and great agents of engagements with the end customers of those businesses.

And so — I think there was a second part to your question.

Derrick Wood — Cowen & Company — Analyst

Well…

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

I think the second…

Derrick Wood — Cowen & Company — Analyst

It is around where the budget would come from?

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

I think the other part of the question was in terms of revenue contribution. And I would just say that Frontline still in beta, and so we’re not really commenting on the contribution to revenue at this point in time. Obviously, over time we would expect that it would contribute to revenue. But like a lot of our beta products, it will kind of lead into our revenues over time.

Derrick Wood — Cowen & Company — Analyst

Got it. Okay. Maybe a follow up, Khozema. Regarding Q4 guidance, I think it’s about flat to up 2% sequentially and that’s much lower than you’ve historically seen into Q4. Is there something to be aware of that may not generate the seasonal strength this year versus past years, or is that most [Indecipherable] good degree of conservatism? And maybe if you could just speak to how you feel about the pipeline coming into Q4?

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I mean, I think, Derek, we feel good about what we turned in Q3 and we continue to see broad-based strength across what we feel is like a really diversified business at this point. There’s obviously persistent questions and kind of the macro environment, and we obviously are facing election here in the next week or so. So we continue to see strength, certainly in Q3 but that macro environment is a little bit uncertain and so I think we’re just being prudent.

I think our Q4 guidance as published certainly shows continued strong growth. We remain cautiously optimistic about our performance in the near term. And then in the medium term, as you’ll note, we provided guidance at the Investor Day of 30% over the next four years. So, we certainly remain confident in our growth prospects in both the near and medium terms.

Derrick Wood — Cowen & Company — Analyst

Thanks. Congrats.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Derek.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Alex Kurtz from KeyBanc. Your line is open.

Alex Kurtz — KeyBanc — Analyst

Yeah. Thanks for taking the question and congrats on the quarter. So when you think about the investments you’re making for next fiscal year, is there any big changes versus what you’re run rating through the end of the year here or is there something that you’re — can be layering on whether it’s Flex or the hypervisor product or a different — or maybe just telemedicine. Any changes this year versus next year and where the best are being made?

Jeff Lawson — Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

Yeah. Not really, Alex. I would say it’s a bit more steady as she goes. We’ve commented on investments that we’re going to make at the start of the year and we’ve kind of commented throughout the year how — it’s been a little bit harder to make those than we had originally set out. And so just as kind of a refresher, we’re continuing to make investments in go-to-market. We feel great about the traction that George is seeing, for example, in enterprise and Flex and international.

We called out previously a number of investments that we wanted to make in R&D, in particular, the center of excellence that we opened in India, that’s off to a good start. We’re going to continue investing there. And then there are just kind of the basics of building and scaling a company. We’ve talked about some systems and processes that we think are important to us. We called those out again during the recent Investor Day. And I think at this point we’re just trying to set up the business to take advantage of our growth and the scale. And we think if we can do those things then we set ourselves up nicely for the medium term.

Alex Kurtz — KeyBanc — Analyst

Thank you.

Jeff Lawson — Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

Thanks, Alex.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Rishi Jaluria from D.A. Davidson & Company. Your line is open.

Rishi Jaluria — D.A. Davidson & Company — Analyst

Hey, guys. Thanks so much for taking my questions and nice to see some continued strong execution. I just wanted to go a little bit deeper into the international side of the business. Maybe can you give us a little bit of color in terms of, a, where you’re seeing — if there is any particular geographies worth calling out that you are seeing particular strength in?

And alongside that, I mean, going back to just what a helpful color you gave us at the Analyst Day, just how we should be thinking about the investments you are making internationally and the trajectory of getting gross margin expansion as you continue to grow internationally both customers and traffic wise? Thanks.

George Hu — Chief Operating Officer

It’s George. I think the overall story is balanced growth globally. I do think that if they were in the areas that we’re seeing some particular strength, it would be in the Americas, both North America as well as in Latin America where we are seeing probably a little bit more strength there. But overall, I would say we’re seeing balanced growth.

I’ll turn you over to Khozema for the question around margins.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Rishi, in terms of margins really no change from the guidance that we provided at the Investor Day. In the short term, we’re very focused on growing gross profits. And we see a lot of opportunity out there and we talked about some of the dynamics with our accelerating messaging business, for example. We continue to see great paybacks in terms of enterprise reps and Flex, and we want to continue onboarding consultative selling experience, for example. But over time, we do anticipate that our gross margins are going to creep above that 50% range and no real change in terms of our philosophy there.

Rishi Jaluria — D.A. Davidson & Company — Analyst

All right. Great. Thank you.

Jeff Lawson — Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

Thanks, Rishi.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of the Ittai Kidron from Oppenheimer & Company. Your line is open.

Ittai Kidron — Oppenheimer & Company — Analyst

Thanks. It’s Ittai. Guys, congrats. Great quarter. Couple of questions from me. First for you, Khozema, on the OpEx. Clearly, you’re trying to hire a lot. Doesn’t seem to be working though, like you kind of falling short of plans for a few quarters in a row. What’s changing internally that will enable you to do that as we move into next year? It you makes a lot of sense for you to hire a lot? It seems a little more difficult than planned. So what’s going to change over that? And I have a follow up.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I think there’s a couple of dynamics there, Ittai. So the first thing is, is that some of the profit that dropped through is just as a result of increased revenue. So there’s a little bit of a dynamic there. I think the second thing is, is that, in Q3, it was probably the first quarter in the last couple of quarters that we are able to catch up our hiring. So you’re right, in terms of Q1 and Q2, we did have a little bit of difficulty just in terms of some COVID dynamics. But I think now we certainly appropriately staffed our talent acquisition team. And so I think now we’ll be in a position to be able to make investments on the pace that we would like to. And a lot of those investments underpin hiring, and I think we’ll be in great shape over the next year or so.

Ittai Kidron — Oppenheimer & Company — Analyst

That’s great. And then a follow-up for you, George, on the Deloitte Digital deal. Can you give us a little bit more color on how the ramp is going to go? How do we think about the investment that Deloitte has committed to make on its and in order to drive Twilio, how long before results start showing? And is there any exclusivity here? What are the odds we see other Deloitte Digital deals out there?

George Hu — Chief Operating Officer

Thanks. That’s a great question. We’re very excited about the Deloitte Digital partnership. And we think that, overall, it really speaks to the progress that we’re making in both the enterprise as well as with our broader platform story and also aligning to this broader story of digital acceleration that we have been talking about.

For — we just kicked off the partnership. So right now, we are ramping them up, we’re getting them trained, they are committing out certain number of consultants to basically get educated on the Twilio platform. We’re also in progress right now with a couple of lighthouse customers to jumpstart partnership. So for the first period of the partnership, we’re going to focusing on getting new lighthouse customers successful and then ramping up after that. And I think we mutually have, obviously, big vision of what we can do together. It’s not an exclusive partnership, but it’s an exciting partnership. And we think that this is just the beginning, hopefully, of how we continue to grow and expand our systems integrator program, especially at GSI level.

Ittai Kidron — Oppenheimer & Company — Analyst

Very good. Excellent. Congrats, guys. Good luck.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Scott Wilson from RBC. Your line is open.

Alex Zukin — RBC — Analyst

Hey guys, this is Alex Zukin. Thanks for taking my question. I guess maybe, Khozema, first one for you at a high level, if I think about the acceleration and the business trends that you’re seeing both at the new customer level, at the messaging level at the existing customer level, how important is bidirectional messaging to the business today, what percentage of messages that you send are kind of going in both directions and how should we think about that over the next three years? And I’ve got a quick follow-up.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I mean we don’t break it out at that level, Alex. We give you a number of break outs in terms of our product split at the Investor Day. And I think that’s about the direction that we’re planning to go down to in terms of disclosures. What I will say is, is that I think bidirectional is super important to us over the long term. As you know, just based on your own interactions as a consumer, the bidirectional nature of messaging is still in its relative infancy. And I think a number of the products that we have, in particular, our conversations product that we launched, and I guess it’s last year, we feel great about the way that that’s been adopted. And again, most businesses are still sending it one way and so we think there’s opportunity there over time.

Alex Zukin — RBC — Analyst

Got it. And then maybe another kind of big picture one which is, if you think about — you’ve obviously had been executing quite well this year. But there is still likely some headwinds to your business that are going to potentially turn into tailwinds next year, presuming the economy continues to recover. What are those — if you remind us, what those headwinds that could become tailwinds next year would be and how we should think about that as a growth driver?

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I mean I think in terms of the way that we have guided, we basically said over the next four or so years that we feel like we can continue delivering 30% revenue growth annually. And I think what we’ve seen over the last year or so is, is that there has been pretty consistent and broad-based revenue strength across the entirety of the business.

Now as we went into COVID, I think the one dynamic that we did see on sort of the negative side, it was that there were some heavily impacted industries like rideshare, like travel, hospitality. And as we talked about earlier in this call, the traffic in those industries is still lower than pre-COVID volumes, and so we would expect some bounce back in that. No, we’re not calling exactly when that is, obviously, it’s kind of hard to say.

The other thing I would just point out though is that some of the acceleration that we’ve seen, for example, in health care and education, e-commerce, but we also think that those use cases are going to be pretty resilient. So I don’t think there going to be a [Indecipherable] at all. In fact, I think, we see a lot more opportunity in some of those industries. And so I think that’s going to provide ongoing tailwind over the medium term as well.

Alex Zukin — RBC — Analyst

Got it. Khozema, if I could sneak one more in, just about Segment. A question I’ve gotten continuously is what roughly percentage of the revenue stream there is usage-based versus subscription? And how’s that going to impact the deferred right now?

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. Alex, we’re just not in a position to be able to provide financial information on the Segment transaction right now. We’re not closed yet. And I think once we get closed, as we disclose our Q4 results, we’ll give you a lot more information there, but we’re not going to provide accounting impacts and financials today.

Alex Zukin — RBC — Analyst

Fair enough. Thank you, guys. Congrats again.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Alex. Okay, thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Brent Bracelin from Piper Sandler. Your line is open.

Brent Bracelin — Piper Sandler — Analyst

Thank you and good afternoon. I guess, Jeff, maybe I’ll start with you. I know you can’t provide a lot of financial details around Segment, but I did see [Indecipherable] even more impressed with the opportunity here. I guess my question here, could you share any feedback on Segment from a customer and partner perspective in the last week or so?

Jeff Lawson — Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

Well, I think what we’ve heard so far from customers and partners is, a lot of excitement, because we’re going to be able to accelerate not only SendGrids — Segment’s roadmap and better visions, but really it’s what we can do together. And I think that’s what a lot of customers are looking for in terms of a single customer engagement platform that can take them end to end. Because if you think about it, we started with communications, but that’s really a means to an end.

For B2C companies, engaging with real customer really starts with understanding your customers. And for B2C companies that actually done with data and all those datas residing in all those different systems and all of a piece of the picture for essentially how you — what you know about the customer. And so once you are able to assemble a complete picture of your customer, well, then you can engage with them really effectively. And that’s communications.

So together, we can build this single platform to power end-to-end customer engagement, that’s our goal, by bringing together the understanding of the customer, that’s customer data, that Segment, with actually engaging with them, touching those customers, getting them relevant, timely and impactful communications that actually make them more loyal and happier customers.

And last, generally speaking the gist of how we framed it, and that is reflective of what customers have told us, they want — the problem that they want solved, and that’s why we’re building the customer engagement platform in the way we are.

Brent Bracelin — Piper Sandler — Analyst

Makes sense and helpful color. I guess, George, we’ve seen now two full quarters of this digital acceleration in a post-COVID era. I was hoping you could talk about just the enterprise customer journey, is it evolving? Are you landing with Flex and messaging, but the discussions are much broader or the expands accelerating? Just walk us through the — how that enterprise customer journey is changing now that you have two full quarters behind you.

George Hu — Chief Operating Officer

Well, while certainly we’ve been in this pandemic for a couple of quarters now, I think that the digital transformation of which digital acceleration is really a more recent phenomenon within that, that’s been happening for long time. And for us, some of the dynamics have stayed similar actually and I think will continue to stay similar which is that we are continuously being brought in by developers that messaging is an fantastic product for landing within an account. As a starting point it’s a very, I think, easy understand and fantastic starting point, really globally.

And then, what has changed in the acceleration is that really the speed of the acceleration and adoption of new channels, more complex use cases, a great example would be video. But there was a previous question on, like, SIGNAL session attendance. And what really interesting to me was that while I would have expected that messaging would have been by far our most attended breakout session. We had almost as many, if not more, attendees for voice, very similar level for Flex, even IoT had roughly half the attendees of the messaging section.

So we are now able to parlay that strength, that landing strength, investing into much broader conversation. And you saw at SIGNAL that we had two fantastic CEOs from Delta and from Nike speaking, that certainly was not the case a year ago. So I think there is a lot — there’s a confluence of a lot of things happening here both the need for digital acceleration as well as our capability and our — this investment that we’ve made both in our technology and our platforms as well as our go-to-market team to be able to now be in the right place at the right time to capture on this to have these level of discussions and expand our presence within the company.

So what becomes a [Indecipherable] start to the messaging eventually becomes contact center or Programmable Voice or all sorts of other interesting use cases that are coming out of that. So yeah, I think it’s a really, really exciting time for us and one that I think validates a lot of the investments that we’ve made and has led to also the Segment’s announcement, which I think just falls right in line with the strategy that we’ve laid out.

Brent Bracelin — Piper Sandler — Analyst

Awesome. Thank you. That’s all I had. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Mark Murphy from JPMorgan. Your line is open.

Mark Murphy — JPMorgan — Analyst

Yes. Thank you very much. Jeff, interested in how you’re thinking about investing in the voice channel relative to the messaging channel. It feels like voice is going to be pretty integral to the future of Flex. But I believe you had told us voice has settled in around 17% of revenue and messaging has just exploded to about 45%. And if you have younger generations that are gravitating more toward messaging, are you guys seeing on the margin reasons to shift investments that much more aggressively into messaging?

Jeff Lawson — Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

I just think the drivers between the different channels are different. If you think about like messaging, think about how many times you’ve actually had an engaging to a messaging conversation with the business. I mean, it’s actually still relatively small, but it’s growing. In fact, just a few years ago, it was novel when you got a text message from a business, and like just [Indecipherable], or whatever, like that was novel. And so messaging is seeing a growth in the number of use cases and how people are deploying messaging to help grow their businesses.

Whereas voice has been around for very long time, obviously. That’s a 100-year-old technology but how people use it is actually changing. And I think that the changing nature of how we use voice, there’s no way around that like people do use voice less than they did say 30 years ago, but how we use it is different, as well as how the technology works is different. And so the virtualization of voice, moving into the cloud, making it global by its very nature, as well as embedding it into the many workflows that we have as opposed to it being a standalone just like, here’s your desk phone, have fun, now voice is becoming an embedded part of many different software workflows, such as those in the contact center where voice is actually embedded in it or other workflows as well.

And so I just think the drivers of adoption and the ways in which these channels get used are different. And therefore we tailor our sales cycles [Indecipherable] like that is, is tailored to the drivers of what is the — what is driving companies to adopt messaging oftentimes for the first time to build out new use cases versus what’s causing them to potentially rearchitect how they do voice and capture emerging opportunities because of the new, more flexible nature of voice in the world of software. I’ll give you an example there. Things like being able to understand sentiment or to transcribe voice calls and to use them. And so consider a voice call as data, those are sort of net new capabilities of the median that are driving new ways for a variety of workloads to be considered inside of an enterprise.

Mark Murphy — JPMorgan — Analyst

Very thankful. Very great answer, Jeff. Khozema, just as a quick follow-up, are you able to approximate the rough dollar amount of systems investments that you are unable to make this year that you think would flow into 2021?

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. We’re just not going to provide guidance on that today, Mark. I mean, I think, we gave you some revenue guidance for the next several years. We’re going to give profit guidance or loss guidance, if you will, over the — kind of on a quarter-by-quarter basis. I will say that there is a number of areas that we spelled out at the beginning of the year, it’s kind of the same dynamic in terms of the areas of investment, but just not going to give a number today.

Mark Murphy — JPMorgan — Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Will Power from Baird. Your line is open.

Will Power — Baird — Analyst

Okay, great, thanks. Yeah, I think a couple of questions for Khozema. Maybe just coming back to Q3, I think given the largest dollar beat in your history, and so I guess, I’m sure the answer is probably partly broad based, but anything in particular you’d call out in terms of sources of upside whether SMS, video, anything else that really was an upside surprise driver.

And then the second question, looking at your net expansion rate, I’m just trying to kind of dig into the key drivers of that. I mean, how much of that’s increased usage of existing products versus perhaps greater migration, use of the engagement cloud products from existing customers, any color you provide on that front too?

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. Well, it’s a good question. You largely provided the answer in your question, but I’ll give you maybe a few additional details. So, you’re right that it is kind of broad-based strength across the board. We just saw a great performance kind of all around in terms of a number of our customer, segments, geographies, products, what have you.

Two of the things that we have pointed out, both at our Investor Day as well as today, we are continuing to see a re-acceleration, if you will, on our messaging business and we feel great about the additional growth that we’ve been able to drive there. And then I think the other dynamic is, is that I think at the Investor Day we’re probably about a closer to 1% of revenue in terms of political. We said today that we’re closer to 2%, about $10 million in terms of what we saw in Q3.

And then I think the other dynamic is in terms of DBNE, that was the other part of your question. Again, we’re seeing broad-based strength. We showed you a — kind of a graphic during the Investor Day in terms of how does usage on new products versus existing and engagement cloud and so forth affect the dynamic of DBNE. And I wouldn’t really say anything has changed significantly since then. So kind of a continuation of trends that we’re seeing and we feel really good about both DBNE as well as the revenue growth in the quarter.

Will Power — Baird — Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Khozema Shipchandler — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Will.

Operator

And your last question comes from the line of Siti Panigrahi from Mizuho. Your line is open.

Siti Panigrahi — Mizuho — Analyst

Thanks for taking my question. George, just wanted to ask about the Flex adoption at cloud contact center. So, since you talked about recent partnership with SIs to build out of the box solution. I’m wondering, how should we think about that penetration now into the contact center going forward having this out of the box solution?

George Hu — Chief Operating Officer

Well, I certainly think that we’ve always positioned Flex in differentiation around its programmability. And we believe that the combination of that plus the cloud is a very, very compelling value proposition for the market. And I think that you’ve seen during this particular situation we’re in right now that that’s accelerated the overall movement of contact center to the cloud. And certainly we are a beneficiary and we hope also a leader in that movement as well.

In terms of the SI dynamic of that, the SI impact on that, certainly there are a segment of companies in the market that want the value proposition of, a, the value of a programable highly-customized solution, but may not have the in-house development resources. I think that’s what makes SIs and our platform model such a fantastic natural fit. And I think that’s one of the things that Deloitte and other SIs that are in our build program are excited about.

And will it allow us to meet the needs? Yes, it will allow us to meet the needs of a broader set of companies in the world now that can now tap into these SIs for their solutions versus having to build them in-house. So I do think it opens our market. I think we’re still very beginning of that. We just announced this partnership. I think it remains to be seen how much of an impact that will have. But I think over time, it definitely will increase our addressable customer sign in. For that, I think we’re very excited.

Siti Panigrahi — Mizuho — Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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