SaaS is a pretty simple business: You pay to acquire a customer on day one. Over time as you invoice that customer you recover your acquisition cost. From then on, the longer you keep that customer the more profitable they are. As the years go on and you keep more and more customers that you have already paid for, your business as a whole becomes profitable. Simple, right?
Tomasz Tunguz from Redpoint recently asked whether SaaS startups are less profitable these days. According to his data (below), no matter whether you sell to small companies or enterprise, over time the profitability of SaaS companies converges around a similar median.
Continue reading Two ways to grow your SaaS business
So far in the SaaS Math series, we have looked at why investors love SaaS, definitions of the key terms in SaaS math and last week we looked at user acquisition math. This week we’re talking about activation, retention and its polar opposite – churn. As you will see, churn and retention are the most important metrics to the long-term success of a SaaS business.
To recap, activation is just getting that 1st use of your product or service. Churn is the % of users / customers that abandon the service over time. This can be measured weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. You will want to measure churn for users and churn for customers (assuming you have a free trial or freemium product). Retention is the inverse – the % of users that you keep.
Continue reading SaaS Math: Activation, Retention and Churn