On May 24, Agora, Inc. (NASDAQ: API) ("Agora" or "Company"), a pioneer and leading platform for real-time engagement APIs, today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021.
Source: Agora, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2021 Financial Results
According to the report, total revenues were $40.2 million in Q1 2021, reaching a record high, up 13.1% year-over-year and 20.7% sequentially. The strong revenue growth primary is due to the increased usage of Agora's video and voice products as a result of its business expansion and usage growth in emerging use cases such as interactive lecture hall and audio live cast.
Cost of revenues was USD16.9 million for Q1 2021, an increase of 52.1% from $ 11.1 million in the same period of 2020. This is because as the Company scaled its business, the costs in bandwidth and co-location and depreciation of servers and network equipment rose. As a result, gross margin decreased from 69.9% in Q1 2020 to 58.1% in this quarter.
Operating margin was -39.8% in Q1 2021, compared to 9.1% in Q1 2020, mainly driven by the surge of operating expenses, up 86.8% from $21.2 million for Q1 2020 to $39.7 million this quarter. In Q1 2021, research and development expenses were $25.2 million, up 115.7% year-over-year, sales and marketing expenses were $8.7 million, up 45.5% year-over-year, and general and administrative expenses were $5.7 million, up 61.4% year-over-year.
As for the bottom line, net loss was $14.7 million in Q1 2021, compared to a net income of $3.0 million in the same quarter of 2020.
The report shows that Agora considers free cash flow to be a liquidity measure. The free cash flow for Q1 2021 was negative $8.0 million, compared to a negative $3.4 million for Q1 2020. In addition, net cash used in operating activities was $2.7million for this quarter, compared to $0.9 million in Q1 2020.
Cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments were $876.8 million for Q1 2021, indicating a robust liquidity position compared to $635.4 million.
Source: 2021 Q1 Earning Presentation
As of March 31, 2021, active customers totaled 2,324, increasing 97.6% from 1,176 as of March 31, 2020. Accumulated registered applications reached 306,000, an increase of 67.2% from as of March 31, 2020.
"We opened the year with another quarter of strong growth, as developers and innovators around the world continue to create new immersive experiences with our real time voice, video, chat and streaming APIs, transforming all industries," said Tony Zhao, founder, chairman and CEO of Agora. "In particular, we are excited to see early signs of the emergence of next-generation use cases such as extended reality and metaverse on the Agora platform, and we are committed to helping developers to bring about groundbreaking innovations."
Founded in 2014, Agora has provided real-time voice and video technology services to many educational institutions, including New Oriental, TAL, and Huohua Siwei.
In March 2021, Agora released two aPaas products：Flexible Classroom for interactive online classes and an Interactive While Board that supports H5 courseware. According to the Company's statistics, since launching the official website of Flexible Classroom, as of March 31, registered customers have exceeded 1,000. The product has supported more than 500,000 classes per month and served over 4 million students.
In April 2021, Agora Native SDK 3.4.0 was released, which added real-time voice beautifier, screen sharing, virtual metronome, and other functions and achieved sub-second latency while maintaining the same playback fluency as traditional CDN.