Amplitude CFO defends growth profile amidst 60% stock drop

The software maker's multi-product expansion strategy is on track, says CFO Hoang Vuong.
Written by Tiernan Ray, Senior Contributing Writer

Following a mixed Q4 report Wednesday evening by software analytics vendor Amplitude, the company's CFO Hoang Vuong, spoke with ZDNet via Zoom.

"The things that are most important is that we are continuing to see really great growth both in revenue and in customers," said Vuong, 64% revenue growth, 54% customer growth, and we've improved net retention rate to 123%."

The company's shares plummeted by almost 60% on Thursday as investors digested Amplitude cutting its forecast for this year's revenue growth from 40% to a range of 35% to 40%. 

Amplitude provides tools to help product managers adjust product features and performance to improve user enagement.

Vuong said the revised forecast was "what we feel comfortable giving" to Wall Street. The issues that bear on the outlook are how some large customers sign business with Amplitude. 

"We already have 29 customers doing more than a million bucks" of business with Amplitude, he said. "That's a great thing because it shows we have huge potential, but it also means these large expansions may take longer to fully adopt what we are doing, it's about when these expansions will come in."

As a result, there was a pull-forward in 2021, he said, where some large customers "are still growing, there just probably not growing at the same rate they were a year ago."

"We're saying 37% growth [in 2022] at the midpoint — that's not a bad growth rate," said Vuong. "I've been at companies where I would have died for that growth rate."


"We're saying 37% growth [in 2022] at the midpoint — that's not a bad growth rate," says CFO Vuong. "I've been at companies where I would have died for that growth rate."

Amplitude Inc.

Regarding the sharp drop in shares, Vuong, a veteran of several software firms, including GoFundMe and NetIQ, was inclined to take it in stride.

"I was at a software company during the 2001 crash, the 2009 financial crisis," he explained. "We know we tend to over-react on either extreme — that's why Warren Buffett makes so much money: be greedy when others are fearful, and vice versa."

Amplitude's revenue in the December quarter rose to $49.4 million, yielding a net loss of 5 cents a share. Analysts had been modeling $46.9 million and an 8-cent loss.

For the current quarter, the company sees revenue in a range of $50 million to $51 million, and net loss in a range of 9 cents to 10 cents, versus consensus for $51.3 million and a 12-cent loss per share. 

As far as priorities for the company, Vuong emphasized the company's focus on expanding its product line. A year ago, the company had one product, "Amplitude Analytics." That is now the "base" product, said Vuong, to which Amplitude has since added two new products, "Recommend" and "Experiment."

"We have over 100 customers using our new products" in the past two quarters, he said, meaning, over 100 have added either or both of the two new products. Amplitude has 1,600 customers. 

That strategy is the same strategy developed by young software firms such as Datadog and Atlassian, noted Vuong. "We're following that same playbook, what we're doing is not too unique," said Vuong of the expansion of new products.

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