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Category Archives: SaaS

Tech Updates – Complete Series #1-17

Since July, Clare Capital has been producing a weekly, two-page Tech Update incorporating different charts and listed company analysis for our distribution list. The Updates have included:

  1. SaaS Revenue per Employee;
  2. Remuneration vs Performance;
  3. Capital Used vs Recurring Revenue;
  4. Cash Burn & Runway; and
  5. The 40% Rule (which was highlighted by Michael O’Donnell in an October Stuff article).

On the back of the first FounderCon, which Clare Capital sponsored, we have released the Complete Series of Tech Updates #1-17 [this link takes you to the full report] on our Blog and on the ShowGizmo app.

Please feel free to download and share around with anyone who you think would find it useful.

Contact us if you would like to be on the distribution list.

Don’t confuse ARR and Forward Revenues

Not all revenue multiples are equal.

99%> of the time EV/ARR multiples should be greater than EV/Forward Revenue multiples, it is therefore very important to understand the difference between the two.

In both of these multiples, the Enterprise Value (EV) remains constant, it is the measure of revenue that is changing. Annualised Recurring Revenue (ARR) is the current Monthly Recurring Revenue multiplied by 12, whereas the Forward Revenue is the total forecasted revenue for the next financial year. Assuming the company is growing, then Forward Revenue will always be higher than ARR and therefore, EV/Forward Revenue will always be lower than EV/ARR.

The relationship between EV/Forward Revenue and EV/ARR is explained by growth. The faster a company is growing the bigger the difference between EV/ARR and EV/Forward Revenue multiples.

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Evolution of SaaS Multiples

Is profitability, or, at least, a path to profitability, becoming more of a factor in valuation multiples for SaaS companies?

Recently there has been considerable coverage of how median valuation multiples have fallen for publicly listed SaaS companies and the impact that this is having on multiples employed by private companies. To add to this debate Clare Capital has analysed the annual change in Forward Revenue Multiple for 73 public SaaS companies.

From this dataset, more than 80% of the companies (60) have experienced a reduction in valuation multiple and as a group the median valuation multiple has fallen by more than a quarter for the annual period (other SaaS commentators have been highlighting even larger declines, for example, see Tomasz Tunguz‘s blog post on the decline in SaaS Valuations).

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EV & Revenue Metrics from Listed SaaS Companies

Following a few twitter conversations between our own Mark Clare, technology commentator & investor Ben Kepes, corporate finance associate Sam Stewart and Mindscape CEO JD Trask, Clare Capital charted key EV and Revenue metrics for 50 listed SaaS companies with the results below:

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Congratulations to Mindscape (Again!)

Congratulations to one of our clients Mindscape for winning the Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the Year award at the 2015 NZ Hi-Tech Awards. This tops off another fantastic year for Mindscape, winning their second award at the NZ Hi-Tech Awards in as many years after taking out the Innovative Hi-Tech Software Product in 2014.

Mindscape were also nominated for the Innovative Hi-Tech Software Product award at the 2015 NZ Hi-Tech Awards.

Clare Capital is very proud of your achievements so far and look forward to where the business is heading.

Pushpay Equity Research

Below is a series of Equity Research pieces that Clare Capital has released on Pushpay as part of its mandate to produce reports on a periodic basis.

Pushpay provides mobile commerce tools that facilitate fast, secure and easy non-point of sale payments between consumers and merchants. Pushpay services three target markets: the Faith Sector; Non-Profit Organisations and Enterprises.

February 19, 2015: Clare Capital – Pushpay Holdings Limited – A SaaS play which makes donating and paying easy

April 28, 2015: Clare Capital – Pushpay Holdings Limited – Research Update

June 10, 2015: Clare Capital – Pushpay Holdings Limited – More than a pure SaaS play

July 16, 2015: Clare Capital – Pushpay Holdings Limited – $1m to $10m ACMR in less than 5 quarters

Tweets from MYOB Prospectus

On the 31st March, MYOB lodged its initial public offering (IPO) prospectus with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

As MYOB operates in the technology space and given Clare Capital’s past and current work with one of its competitors, Xero (NZX:XRO), the firm sent out a series of tweets regarding some brief analysis on MYOB’s Prospectus.

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Disruptive Innovation

If you haven’t read Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, it’s well worth a read and is the basis for this short blog post – providing far greater detail than that presented below. Here we are simply seeding the concept of Disruptive Innovation and how we believe it applies to the SaaS business model.

In a very stylistic view there are two key types of business evolution: Sustaining Innovation – incremental improvement of an existing product or service providing better value for the customer, and Disruptive Innovation – radically different perspective on innovation providing the market with something different from what might be expected by default.

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Dashboard Reporting

Traditionally financial modelling produces a series of forecast financial statements supplemented with industry specific metrics which management and investors use to analyse future performance. This information can become quite detailed and to support ease of understanding a “Dashboard” presenting summary information is often included as a reporting tool. The concept behind the “Dashboard” is to present a concise (relatively) uncluttered overview of the model outputs to aid decision making. The dashboard often includes a simplified set of statements, metrics and charts to present time series metric information.

We would like to suggest two additional charts that help to visually explaining the financial situation and performance of your business; 1. Hotspot Charts, and 2. Visual Income Statements

[Note: the information presented in the charts below is all from a fictional SaaS company, Company X with no relationship to any actual company performance]

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CAC Months of ARPU

A mash of two SaaS acronyms – CAC being the cost of acquisition and ARPU being average revenue per user; produces a metric which represents the time to payback the initial outlay in acquiring the customer. A simple example, it costs $250 to acquire a SaaS customer via marketing and sales costs (CAC) for a future monthly revenue of $50 (ARPU), in this case it takes 5 months of revenue to repay the outlay (i.e. 5 months of ARPU). The lower the CAC is relative to ARPU, the sooner the customer becomes profitable (assuming cost to serve or CTS is lower than ARPU – if it isn’t perhaps it is time to revisit the business plan).

Within SaaS companies, payback time (i.e. CAC months of ARPU) is a key component of the business’s success. SaaS companies tend to chase growth and customer acquisition in the near term as a pathway to adding long term value. This feature has significant implications on the company’s near term profitability, cash flows and therefore cash requirements – a large CAC months of ARPU results in a large near term expense taking a longer time to repay, therefore requiring significant cash to cover this expense.

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