SoundThinking, Inc.

Q1 2024 Earnings Conference Call


spk01: And welcome to Sound Thinking's first quarter 2024 conference call. My name is Joe, and I will be your operator for today's call. Joining us are Sound Thinking's CEO, Ralph Clark, and CFO, Alan Stewart. Please note that certain information discussed on the call today will include forward-looking statements about future events and Sound Thinking's business strategy and future financial and operating performance. These forward-looking statements are only predictions and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict and may cause the actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by those statements. Certain of these risks and assumptions are discussed in Sound Thinking's SEC filings, including its registration statement on Form S-1. These forward-looking statements reflect management's beliefs, estimates, and predictions as of the date of this live broadcast, May 14, 2024, and Sound Thinking undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this call. Finally, I would like to remind everyone that this call will be recorded and made available for replay via a link available in the investor relations section of the company's website at Now, I would like to turn the call over to SoundThinking CEO, Ralph Clark. Sir, please go ahead.
spk03: Good afternoon, and thank you for joining our Q1 2024 earnings conference call. Before I review the specifics of this quarter's results, I want to first share with you how very excited we are about the growth prospects for this year and our strong start to 2024. As we highlighted in SoundThinking's recent investor letter, our growth strategy can be summarized as a land, expand, cross-sell, and retain model. Our land opportunities or new customer acquisitions have greatly expanded beyond our historical acoustic gunshot detection business. We're now going to market with five offerings that comprise our Safety Smart platform announced last year. As we land new customers on any specific solution on the platform, our goal is to maximize the value those customers experience. We believe this strategy drives retention. And if there's an identified need, it can also potentially lead to appropriate expansions and or cross-sell opportunities. We believe we're early in the law enforcement and now commercial security digital transformation market, and that this opportunity remains extremely attractive and significantly under penetrated. We believe our go-to-market strength as a trusted advisor uniquely positions us to capitalize on this opportunity as we're now able to offer relevant solutions that addresses the pressing needs of this large and growing market. Here's what we accomplished in Q1 of this year. Revenues were in line with our expectations of $25.4 million compared to Q1 2023 revenue of $20.6 million, representing over 23% year-over-year growth. Adjusted EBITDA was $3 million, or 12% of revenues, compared to $2.9 million, or 14% of revenues, for Q1 2023. Our revenue attainment was primarily the result of our previously booked and deferred revenue, professional services revenue from our technologic solutions business, combined with net new business from the platform. Net new business included go-live traction with 11 new ShotSpotter customers in the quarter, including one campus security deployment at University of Georgia. Four of the new public safety customers were in New Jersey, which is specifically budgeted for acoustic gunshot detection at the state level. We also went live with a strategic deployment in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Housing Authority. This gives us an important strategic foothold in the city of Philadelphia with the possible future expansion opportunity in a major Tier 1 city. ShotSpotter also saw two expansions in Boston and Suffolk Counties. Resource Router went live in three new cities in the quarter, and we're seeing exceptional pipeline and bookings traction in new customer captures and cross-sell opportunities for Resource Router this year. In addition, we added two new crime tracer data providers, growing our already exceptionally large data footprint. We continue to make progress on our New York City Department of Corrections case builder implementation, which has led to several new corrections opportunities, including Orleans Parish, which has been booked and is expected to go live in the next 60 days, along with a case builder deployment within the California Department of Justice. Lastly, we landed four new SafePoint customers consisting of a hospital, a gaming venue, and two schools. Looking forward, we have 16 ShotSpotter Go Live projects underway, representing eight new customers and eight expansions. We believe all these developments further validate the demand that we are seeing in the marketplace in the strong execution on our key growth initiatives. On the international side, we were very pleased to report on the rapid adoption of best practices by our Montevideo Uruguay shot water customer in the first 90 days of deployment. The client went live in mid-December 2023 with an array totaling 4.6 square miles. In the first 90 days of deployment, the agency has begun to effectively leverage ShotSpotter data to allocate policing resources to impacted areas and to support investigations, including the use of ShotSpotter data as evidence in a recent tragic killing of a police officer. In addition, the agency is fully embracing integrating ShotSpotter with other digital tools used in their policing and community engagement efforts. We believe these positive results in the client's willingness to broadly share their successes with other countries will seed the potential market opportunity for ShotSpotter in the larger South American market. In fact, we're making steady progress to book and go live with another major South American city in early Q3 of this year. Overall, we continue to refine and enhance the SafePoint solution, including a major software upgrade coming this quarter. We are leveraging the existing sound thinking software stack in order to provide a new and more modern user experience. For example, we're making it easier to monitor multiple facilities and entrances and to quickly find historical incidents of interest. Moving to this new code base will make future enhancements faster to deliver as well. We also expect to deliver an upgrade later in the year to the object detection classifier by integrating a new camera system and machine learning model using the company's deep experience in artificial intelligence and machine learning, which we believe will enhance SafePoint's detection efficacy. In fact, we've been granted a new fundamental patent on using passive magnetic moment in motion to detect weapons, which allows the systems to be unobtrusive helping to provide a better experience for visitors and employees, all the while providing an important layer of security protection. Our SafePoint demand generation engine is fully operational with two dedicated BDRs who are assigned to drive over 250 discovery calls for the year, of which they have successfully delivered on 65 calls in a compressed Q1 2024. As a reminder, We also have in place five seasoned territory sales professionals combined with two recently hired and experienced security experts as customer success directors to help guide our go-to-market discussions as well as onboard new live customers. So far this year, we've secured business from our top three verticals, healthcare systems, casinos, and enterprise corporate accounts. And our momentum in healthcare is particularly impressive with having either secured lanes or being in advanced contract negotiations with multiple healthcare systems. We've seen security professionals in the healthcare system vertical that have already deployed competing products turning to SafePoint due to its lower total cost of ownership and discrete footprint. The SafePoint pipeline continues to grow in these key verticals and is currently over $12 million. We believe this provides solid coverage to meet the $5 million target for book ARR forecasted for SafePoint this year. With respect to our full year outlook, we are reaffirming our revenue guidance of 104 to $106 million for 2024, along with our adjusted EBITDA margin guidance of 18 to 20% for the year. Now, Alan, over to you. Thank you, Ralph. We're pleased with our performance in the first quarter. As Ralph mentioned, this quarter we went live with our ShotSpotter gunshot detection solution in 10 new cities and one university, expanded our ShotSpotter coverage in two cities, and added seven new customers with our other software solutions, as well as several previously booked customers that have now gone live. Revenue is in line with our expectations and was attained from deferred revenue previously booked being recognized in the quarter, professional services revenue from our Technologic Solutions business, and also from new business mentioned above that went live. We had minor attrition of only six miles this quarter. Let me provide more details on the quarter, and then I will share some thoughts around the balance of the year. First quarter revenues were slightly above expectations at 25.4 million. Revenue is over 23% higher than first quarter of 2023, as we continue to grow in all aspects of our business. Gross profit for the first quarter of 2024 was 14.9 million or 59% of revenue versus 11.3 million or 55% of revenue for the prior year period. We expect gross margins to continue to improve as the year progresses. Our adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2024 was $3 million up slightly from $2.9 million in the first quarter of 2023. Our adjusted EBITDA is lower than analysts' expectations primarily because of continued higher than expected legal costs, some other one-time expenses, and also because we conducted our company all-hands meeting in the first quarter, which added a one-time cost of almost $1 million. It is important to understand that we do not provide guidance on a quarterly basis for revenue or adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, is calculated by taking our GAAP net loss and adding back interest expense, income taxes, depreciation, amortization, and impairment, stock-based compensation, and acquisition-related expenses, including adjustments to our contingent consideration obligation. Turning to our expenses, our operating expenses for the first quarter were $17.5 million, or 69% of revenues versus $13.1 million or 64% of revenues in the first quarter of 2023. Operating expense increases were primarily related to higher headcount and employee related costs, including personal cost increases related to expected save point growth. Breaking down our expenses, sales and marketing expense for the first quarter was $7.1 million or 28% of total revenue versus $5.8 million, also 28% of total revenue for the prior year period. Our sales and marketing teams continue to build our sales pipelines and expand our marketing efforts. We also continue to focus on maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction, which helps keep our attrition rates low. Our R&D expenses for the first quarter were $3.6 million or 14% of total revenue, compared to $2.7 million or 13% of total revenue for the prior year period. We continue to invest in increasing the functionality of all of our products. DNA expenses for the quarter were $6.8 million or 27% of total revenue compared to $4.6 million or 22% of total revenue for the prior year period. DNA expenses were higher due to legal costs, our headcount increased, and other employee-related costs such as our all-hands meeting mentioned previously. We expect our G&A expenses will fluctuate quarterly throughout the year in absolute dollars as the company growth will require some investment that will be offset by the expected reductions of certain one-time expenses incurred during Q1. Our net loss for the first quarter was $2.9 million, or 23 cents per share, based on 12.8 million basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding. This compares to net loss of $1.8 million or 15 cents per share based on 12.3 million basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding for the prior year period. Deferred revenue at the end of the quarter was $50.8 million versus $42.1 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2023. We ended the quarter with $8.5 million in cash and cash equivalents versus $5.7 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2023. The increase is primarily related to AR collections, partially offset by the payment of the company annual bonuses in February. We have approximately $7 million of debt outstanding on our $25 million line of credits, related to cash used to partially fund the SafePoint acquisition last year. Turning to our full 2024 outlook, we are reaffirming our full-year 2024 revenue guidance range of $104 million to $106 million, representing over 13% year-over-year growth at the midpoint compared to 2023. We are also reaffirming our expectation for adjusted EBITDA margin to the approximately 18% to 20% of forecasted revenues in 2024. Now back to Ralph for some final thoughts, and then we'll be happy to take your questions. Thanks, Alan. And just to close my prepared remarks, it was exactly one year ago when we acknowledged the ultimate sacrifice of Chicago police officer Ariana Preston, who was tragically killed in an attempted carjacking when returning home from work. Sadly, we are here again, one year later, with the killing of another Chicago police officer, Louis Huesca, this past month in another attempted carjacking. Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to his family, loved ones, and the Chicago Police Department. We believe these tragic incidents require us to even be more determined to do our part in providing tools and critical expertise to help law enforcement, first responders, and the communities they serve to save lives and to drive better public safety outcomes. We're now prepared to take your questions.
spk01: Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question, please press star 1 on your telephone keypad and a confirmation tone will indicate your line is in the question queue. You may press star 2 if you would like to remove your question from the queue. For participants using speaker equipment, it may be necessary to pick up your handset before pressing the start keys. And our first question comes from the line of Richard Baldry with Roth Capital Partners. Please proceed.
spk06: Thanks. I was wondering if you could go into a little more detail on the Philadelphia win. I noted it was with the Housing Authority. How will they work between themselves and the local police? Is it something where you have the ability to grow outside of the housing authority relatively easily, or do you have to build new relationships outside of that to grow into other areas of Philadelphia? So we sort of understand what that initial deployment represents.
spk03: Yeah, thanks for that question, Rich. This is Ralph. So there's a very strong collaboration between Philadelphia Housing Authority, which is the buyer of the ShotSpotter services for this particular implementation, and the broader Philadelphia Police Department. So we're really quite encouraged that they're, in fact, working very closely together. And we very much think that it will open up a potential opportunity for us to expand beyond Philadelphia Housing Authority to broader Philadelphia, because it can certainly use a technology like ShotSpotter and other solutions to help them address the crime problem in Philadelphia.
spk06: Thanks. And could you remind us in terms of the $12 million in identified pipeline on SafePoint, the economics around that, I think I recall it's $20,000 a lane, which would imply something like $600,000. So where was that pipeline when you bought the company so we can sort of gauge how quickly it's expanding?
spk03: Yeah, so when we bought the company, they had a pipeline, and we've gone through the vetting process to have that pipeline match up to our standards. So there were some puts and takes there. And so I think what you see in the current pipeline is some subtractions of the pipeline that we inherited. We kept some, but I think there's been a lot of healthy growth with the BDR investment that we've made. our five quota-carrying salespeople are also developing their own pipeline. So it's been fairly strong and really quite encouraged. And we're seeing that pipeline develop across those three key verticals that I spoke about earlier.
spk06: And maybe last for me, following on SafePoint, any challenges you'll see ahead or areas you might need to smooth out in the supply chain in order to kind of scale up your ability to do those deployments. Are there any custom deliverables you need to make sure you have access to, or is it something you feel that the friction to grow should be pretty minimal?
spk03: Pretty minimal. I think we're in pretty good shape from a supply chain point of view. So no constraints.
spk06: Great. Thanks.
spk01: And our next question comes from the line of CJ DiPolino with Craig Hellam Capital Group. Please proceed.
spk02: Hey, everyone. I'm on for Jeremy Hamblin tonight. Thanks for taking my questions. First, I wanted to touch on the income statement. It looks like you guys made some nice progress with gross margin expansion. Is there anything specifically that you could point to that led to the increase year over year and actually sequentially too?
spk03: Yeah, so this is Alan. Thanks for the question. Yeah, if you think about it, we've gone up 23 as a whole had a gross margin of about 57%. Q4 was 58%. Now we're 58.6%. So it continues to improve. As we expect, it's going to continue to go higher, and that's for a lot of things. As we continue to grow the revenues, we don't have to increase the cost of goods sold as much across the board for pretty much any of the software solutions that we have. Revenue growth is going to continue to help drive that gross margin a lot higher. We do expect to end the year closer to 60%.
spk02: Okay, great. Thank you. And then one more on the income statement. I know you cited G&A being higher due to what sounded like some one-time expenses. Do you mind just trying to quantify how much of the G&A increase of, we'll call it, you know, 2.2 million year over year came from the increase in headcount, just so we have, you know, sort of a baseline moving forward?
spk03: No, absolutely. Great question. This is Alan again as well. It's almost significantly in two major categories. Number one, last year we did our all-hands meeting in Q2. So you would see G&A go higher in Q2 last year. This year we did it in Q1, and that was almost a million dollars. The company has grown. We have over 300 people now, so it costs a lot more to do that. That was done in Q1. So out of that, a million dollars was there. We also had additional legal costs related to some issues that we had with two of our employees that did things that were inappropriate. We're continuing to defend ourselves on that. That was about almost a quarter million dollars as well. So just between those two alone, which are certainly the all-hands is one time, and the legal costs, we're hoping those continue to go down. That would have been a quarter million dollars. The delta is just slightly other higher things related to G&A with the growth of the company.
spk02: Okay, great. That's very helpful. And then one more on the Philadelphia Housing Authority contract, if you don't mind. Is there any details you could share on economics surrounding that deal, maybe the contract length, things of that nature?
spk03: Yeah, fairly standard. I mean, that's our standard MSRP pricing. We write annual contracts, so nothing unique there on the Philadelphia Housing Authority transaction.
spk02: Okay, got it. Thank you, guys. That's all for me.
spk01: And the next question comes from the line of Mike Lattimore with Northland Capital. Please proceed.
spk07: Hi, this is Aditya on behalf of Mike Lattimore. Could you give some color on the sales cycle for gunshot detection? Is it stabilizing or could you give some color on
spk03: Yeah, this is Ralph. Thank you for that question. So the question, just to repeat it, is what we're seeing in terms of sales cycle for our CUSA gunshot detection solution, otherwise known as ShotSpotter. I think there's some interesting puts and takes there. We're certainly seeing a little bit of headwind that's lengthening the sales process in certain situations because of some of the noise coming out of Chicago, to be candid. But then also, we're seeing some collapsing sales cycles as we more deeply penetrate Tier 4 and Tier 5. You've probably noticed that in this particular quarter we put up a lot of new customers, kind of 10 shot spotter customers, and a number of those customers were smaller customers, and those sales cycles tend to happen much shorter. You can think about those sales cycles being, you know, 9 to 12 months and our other sales cycles being more the traditional 18 months. with a little bit of headwind that's been added to the larger deals.
spk07: Got it. And what percentage of your gunshot detection pipeline is international?
spk03: Yeah, so this is Alan. I think at this point it's still relatively small. We have international deployments in the Bahamas and in South Africa. And also in Uruguay, we are expecting, and if you just add all those together, it's pretty much just a couple million dollars. But we are also looking to expand, and hopefully in Q3 we'll have another one in another country that we've talked about in the past. And that should add another probably $500,000, $600,000 per year for just the first deployment there. And we are still expecting some growth, both in the new one that we're going into, possibly in South Africa as well, as well as Uruguay.
spk07: Got it.
spk01: Fine. Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Trevor Walsh with J&P Securities. Please proceed.
spk05: Great. Thanks, gents, for taking my questions. Ralph, maybe I'll start with you. You made some comments in your prepared remarks about just best practices. I think it was more in the context of international business. But just piggybacking off of that a little bit, if a customer was to kind of want to evaluate the cost-benefit analysis specific to ShotSpotter, I know you've talked about in the past of not necessarily wanting to go down the slippery slope of kind of quantifying kind of human life save, even though we have kind of good examples of ShotSpotter doing just that. what in terms of best practices are you seeing customers that do want to do that kind of cost benefit analysis? What other metrics might they use to just help illustrate that and kind of justify to city councils, whoever that kind of might be, as kind of the spend being saving officer time, whatever it might be? How do you measure that?
spk03: Sure. Yeah, thank you very much for that question. So it's a couple of things. I think first there's the overall awareness of criminal gunfire. that takes place in neighborhoods. And we know from years of experience across multiple deployments that 80 to 90% of criminal gunfire goes unreported via the traditional, I would describe, broken 911 system, analog manual system. And so having the ability to have real-time alerts that are completely vetted get to a dispatch center and then dispatched out to an officer in less than 60 seconds with a very precise location is a game changer. It shows a community that police are prioritizing the response to gunfire. And when police are responding to gunfire, certainly they're getting there. If they're not encountering a perpetrator, perhaps they're aiding a victim, which is where you get into lives saved. We have lots of evidence that the physical forensic evidence collection process is significantly enhanced. And of course, that's really critical for downstream investigations, getting those shell casings and running them through the NIBIN system and embracing a kind of very strong, robust gun crime intelligence platform where you're investigating shootings that don't necessarily lead to a gunshot wound victim and the like. We're very excited about our Data for Good initiative where we're repurposing the data, or I should say our clients are repurposing the data and sharing it with other outside of law enforcement agency resources to help get critical non-enforcement resources to these communities that are suffering through the trauma of gun crime. We're also seeing our customers be able to aggregate the data over time and really being able to better plan their resource deployments based on exactly where gunfire is taking place over specific time windows. I think there's an overall theme of encouraging our customers to be much more transparent and sharing data and the outcomes that they're getting, and it really does get down to getting cops the dots, recovering physical forensic evidence, recovering crime guns, recovering physical forensic evidence in the form of shell casings. And I'm very much leaning into the idea of valuing the saving of a life because those lives are critically important and have values. They mean something. The line that we don't want to go down as much is taking on the responsibility for overall prevention and reduction of gun violence from a singular point of view, because we know that gun violence in total is a very complex issue, and it really does take a... a grouping of kind of technologies and processes all working together with very strong leadership that drives the effect of reductions in gun violence. You can't single out a particular technology to be able to do that on its own. So we do resist that non-line-of-sight, I guess, outcome, if you will. But I think there are several line-of-sight outcomes that our customers can embrace when they do implement best practices and really get cops to every single shooting area and try to save lives, recover physical forensic evidence, and take gun crimes off the street.
spk05: Great. Thanks for the color. Maybe one more higher-level question for you, and then I have a couple for Alan. You mentioned the kind of momentum within the state of New Jersey and how that's more state-level funded. What do you think the appetite is for that type of kind of funding profile to come from state government versus local kind of just more broadly across the U.S.?
spk03: Yeah, so there's a couple of states beyond New Jersey. I won't name them in this conference call, but we're working quite closely with a few states on copying basically what the governor of New Jersey did in terms of allocating some specific funding for acoustic gunshot detection because It is recognized how important this critical technology is in helping police better respond to criminal gunfire. So more to come there. But we're quite encouraged with some of the movement we're seeing in a couple of other states. Great. Terrific.
spk05: Alan, maybe for you, I appreciated the ARR guidance, kind of how you built your 2024 number. And I know you don't necessarily guide on a quarterly basis to that metric, but was there anything in the quarter from a trending perspective that gave you kind of more or less confidence around that 2024 college's 100 million ARR number?
spk03: No, thanks for the question. So, no, there's nothing that changed. We are still struggling a bit with Puerto Rico, trying to get that in there. are back online, but we already included that. So the ARR girls getting north of 100 already included that we didn't get Puerto Rico at all. So we're still working with that, hoping that we can be positive there. Nothing else has really changed based on the buildup to get that north of 100. You already heard about the pipeline with SafePoint. We're excited about that. We heard about the 10 cities going live. and the university, so things are going well there. Everything else seems to be going really well across the other products as well, so no major changes there.
spk05: Okay, great. Maybe just one more, just kind of piggybacking on some of the SafePoint questions. I appreciated the comments earlier around just the overall pipeline build. Have you seen, kind of maybe ask in a different way, have you seen a noticeable change in sales cycles, particular to SafePoint, kind of compare and contrasting from when the company was kind of standalone versus in the short time that it's been kind of part of the sound thinking family? Have you seen any kind of accelerations, I guess, there in terms of just the overall, the deal flow?
spk03: Yeah, so I think I would first acknowledge that this is still relatively new for us, but I think One of the approaches that we take is a very consultative approach in really making sure that we're thoughtful and intentional around doing diagnostics and discovery calls, if you will, with our customers. We're really making sure that we understand what they're trying to accomplish and and then making sure that our solution can fit with what they're trying to accomplish. So we take a little bit more of a deliberate approach. We're not trying to be transactional. That's never really been a part of the DNA of this company. We like it sticky. And so if we'd like to get in, solve a problem, and be able to be with a customer, really over decades. And so we're not into the transactional sale. So more to come there. We're pretty comfortable with the way we see the pipeline building. This is a huge market opportunity for us. There's certainly a very strong, compelling need out there, particularly in the verticals that we're addressing, to be able to provide a layer of security but then also have a fairly seamless experience for visitors and employees and the like that you don't want them to have to go through the friction of, you know, getting pressed down going through a traditional metal detector. So we're going to be picky and diligent, and I think our idea is that when we get a customer, we're going to have a customer for life.
spk05: Great. Thanks both for the questions. Appreciate it.
spk03: Thank you.
spk01: And the next question comes from the line of Yi-Fu Lee with Cantor Fitzgerald. Please proceed.
spk08: Thank you for taking my question. Hello, Ralph and Alan. So first question is really on the go-live customer on the way, you know, for sound thinking. And I think Alan mentioned there's 16 of them. Can you guys give us a little more color on this pipeline, you know, whether it be Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 cities? And, you know, what kind of profile are these?
spk03: I think we stayed early. This is Rob. I'll try to answer the question as much as I can. So we're trying to give people a flavor for obviously Q1 went very well with the customers that went live. We've got 16 customers, excuse me, 16 projects, I would say, in queue for ShotSpotter. And I think eight of those customers are expansion customers, so we know the customers very well, and that's a mix of various types of customers in that expansion side. And then on the new customers, I think it's another mix of customers. You know, certainly if there were huge kind of Tier 0 or Tier 1 city, we would call that out. But I think there's a combination of Tier 2, 3s, and 4s. I think you're going to see us kind of put up more higher customer numbers, new customer acquisitions, and they'll be smaller customers. But in aggregate, they'll add up to the miles. So we're still holding to our target of 120 miles going live this year for ShopSpot across the board. We're on track.
spk08: Okay. Thanks for that, Ralph. Along the same lines, great job on the cross-sell for the case builder and crime chaser on the Virginia win. And I understand you guys have done that in New York City as well, as well as looking to California. I was wondering if you could give us more color in terms of the cross-selling opportunities now that you have more experience in this motion. How frictionless is the selling experience now? that your sales team has a couple of these deals under your belt already.
spk03: Do you want me to take that, Alan? Either one of us. This is Alan. I think the good news is we've been doing cross-selling and bundling products now for over a year, and it is working. I think we've got about close to 17, almost 20 of our customers that have more than one at this point, and a couple of them have three of our products and one of them has four. So the good news is the more that we're doing this, the better our sales team is getting at doing it. So it's working well. We're just going to keep doing what we're doing and not change too much of that. We do give a slight discount for when they go from one product to three. Very small, though, and that hasn't really hurt us at all, as you can see in terms of the revenue growth.
spk08: Got it, got it. And then on the Puerto Rico incident, in terms of I understand – both of you gents are trying to get this back online. What needs to happen? I understand like in the past you mentioned there wasn't a second like competitor, right? You know, I guess what's the holdup to get this contract back live?
spk03: Yeah, 100% funding. It's a funding issue.
spk08: Oh, it's a funding issue. Okay, that's nice and easy, Alan. And then last one, Alan, it's more of a numbers, it's the long-term guidance you gave. in terms of 70% gross margin and obviously 40% EBITDA margin. What's the time horizon that we should think about this? Because right now we are about, you know, high 50s in terms of the GM gross margin and probably low double digits, right? High single digits in the EBITDA margin, right? How should we think about the time horizon? And that's it for me. Thank you.
spk03: Yeah, this is Alan. That's a great question. I mean, we've guided for 18% to 20% of just EBITDA right now. You can expect, and we are going to expect that it's going to go up about 5% a year. So maybe sometime in the next three and a half, four years, I would expect us to be close to that 40%.
spk08: So, Alan, 5% per year for the GM expansion, gross margin expansion.
spk03: To be fair, we're not giving you shyness on that right now. We're just trying to give you the long term in terms of where we think we can get. So the short answer is probably about four years. We would expect that gross margin to be close to that 70 and the adjusted even closer to that number.
spk08: Got it. Thanks for that, Alan. And thank you, Ralph. Congrats, I guess, on a strong start to 2024. Thank you.
spk01: As a reminder, ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question, please press star 1 on your telephone keypad. And our next question comes from the line of Louis DePalma with William Blair. Please proceed.
spk04: Ralph and Alan, good afternoon. How are you doing? I'm doing well. From a bookings perspective, at the end of 2023, I think you ended with 170 cities under contract and 19 campuses for gunshot detection. Did those figures move higher in the first quarter despite the noise from Chicago and the elongated sales cycles? This is Alan.
spk03: Yes, they did move higher. They did not move a lot higher, just to be honest. But that is somewhat lumpy. I mean, we have quarters where we add a lot, and then we have quarters where we're executing, going live in a lot, and the bookings maybe just take a little longer. But it went up.
spk04: Great. And you discussed cross-selling of Case Builder and Crime Tracer specifically with the Newport News account, which I believe is also a ShotSpotter customer, but how many of your existing ShotSpotter cities use multiple solutions and is there a lot of opportunities there in the pipeline for that?
spk03: This is Alan. At this point, there's about 20 of them that are using more than one. And we do expect that there's a pretty strong pipeline. We're seeing a relatively strong growth in some of the resource router that we have not necessarily seen in the past years, which is excellent. And, of course, case builder as well. So we're excited about where things are going. So the short answer is we are seeing more opportunity there in the pipelines.
spk04: Great. And for SafePoint, how significant are the software enhancements that you are implementing? And does the effectiveness of the solution continue to improve over time with the machine learning technology in terms of the different types of weapons that people attempt to bring past the scanners and how your technology works with that.
spk03: So we're making a fairly significant investment in the technology platform for SafePoint. We're really encouraged by the fact that we're starting in a really good place. I think that the innovation around using kind of magnetic moment in motion as a kind of a passive sensor technology that can be completely unobtrusive is really, really interesting and highly differentiated. And our plan is to continue to build on that, not only in terms of the core, in terms of improving the overall detection efficacy, but also the kind of applications that that are built around it. We have a lot of experience in applying that to ShotSpotter. When you think about ShotSpotter detecting and locating gunfire and all the apps that we've built around that that have really moved that solution forward, we're going to apply the same playbook to SavePoint. and we have a strong collaboration with the various engineering groups kind of working together. We're really excited about the fact that we can leverage the existing software, excuse me, the existing sound thinking software stack used for ShotSpire that can be applied to the application that SafePoint is going to be coming out to market with. So we're in a really good place, and we'll continue to invest in this because it's such a significant market opportunity.
spk04: Great. And one final one for me. Do you expect the Chicago noise to die down in that it seems that Chicago is an anomaly here in that you have 170 cities under contract and there's one very loud one here that seems to be opposed. But do you expect that to die down for the sales cycles to return to normal this year in terms of you meeting your guidance in terms of adding another 120 miles of coverage?
spk03: Yeah, well, first thing I'll say is Alan owes me $10 because I made him a bet that we weren't going to get through this call without someone asking about Chicago. But thank you for that question. So let me make it perfectly clear with Chicago. First and foremost, Our guidance is not dependent, our 2024 guidance is not impacted at all by Chicago's actions. And in fact, when you talk about the subject of Chicago, what you're really talking about is the mayor of Chicago, Mayor Brandon Johnson. I think if anyone's kind of following The news there is Brandon Johnson kind of versus what his superintendent has been fairly public in supporting ShotSpotter along with the city councilmen or the vast majority of the aldermen of the city of Chicago. And we know the residents of Chicago are being quite vocal along with the local press around the need for this technology. We've been deployed now in Chicago. since 2011, and our focus is to continue to build on that great service tradition through the end of the current contract period with 2000, excuse me, that'll take us through November of 2024. With respect to the impact around it, I think there might have been a little bit more noise late last year. As we kind of move into this, we don't see customers you know, really slowing down ultimately from jumping on the platform. We have to answer more questions, but I think, you know, people are understanding this to be a fairly kind of isolated situation. I mean, to wit, you know, we added 10 new customers in Q1, and we're working on, you know, eight new customers for Q2. So the momentum is still there. And 10 is the highest we've ever had on the quarter.
spk04: And is RFP activity similar or greater or less than this year versus last year? How would you assess just the RFP activity?
spk03: Yeah, so RFPs, with respect to Shots Fired, that was your question related to Shots Fired. RFPs have never really been a significant portion of our business because this is viewed fairly much as a kind of sole source technology. It's a... technology solution that we invented, and we continue to kind of, I guess, lead the category, if you will. So I don't know. RFP stuff is really kind of noise. And the RFPs that we have, the few RFPs that we have tended to respond to, I don't think we've ever lost one. No, but they ended up selecting someone. Yeah, if they selected someone, they selected us. They maybe did move forward with the RFP, but if they made a decision to execute against the RFP, we've been the winner.
spk04: Yeah, no, the context of my question is how some emerging competitors in the market, they are bundling gun detection with ALPR cameras. And I was wondering if that has had any impact on the win rate or even like the pipeline expanding in terms of RFP activity.
spk03: No low impact on wind rate, no impact on pipeline. I mean, there's questions that we have to answer about this, especially in some of the smaller cities, but I think that people recognize that you probably don't want to combine your ears with eyes on the same platform, the exact same physical platform. It's pretty challenging. So we're pretty comfortable that we're in a good space from a competitive landscape point of view.
spk04: Great. Thanks, Ralph and Alan.
spk03: Yeah. Thank you.
spk01: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our question and answer session. If your question was not taken, you may contact Sound Thinkings Investor Relations team by emailing ssti at Now I'd like to turn the call back over to Mr. Clark for his closing remarks.
spk03: Great. Thank you very much, Alan. And I want to thank everyone that took the time to dial in and thank you all very much for your questions and looking forward to a number of follow-on calls with you all in the next few hours. Thank you all very much. Be safe.
spk01: This concludes today's conference. You may now disconnect your lines at this time. Thank you for your participation.

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