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.
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).
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:
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
Clare Capital was the financial adviser to Heyday on their majority sale to WPP / JWT a global advertising and branding company based in the UK.
Heyday (formerly Doubleclique) is a Wellington-based digital design agency. Heyday’s full range of digital design services includes:
- Insight – marketing and audience research, digital strategy, proposition design, content strategy and technical architecture.
- Ideas – conceptual & prototyping, digital content and communications, social media marketing.
- Design – visual design, UX and interaction design, rich media.
- Delivery – website development, web application development, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing, mobile application development, project management, copywriting, digital video production.
- Improvement – analytics and measurement, support, training, performance optimisation.
Through our M&A experience and capital raising, we think this article hits the nail on the head in terms of how Founders should be thinking about selling their business. Moreover, it does not necessarily relate to just start-up tech companies, but provides an overview of the process for entrepreneurs if you are thinking about selling your company. It is definitely worth a read.
As a sequel to last week’s post about What is the right EV/Revenue multiple? We thought we would follow this up with the same EV/Revenue & ACMR graph – but relating to the six NZX-listed Tech companies. This also coincides with the release of Wynyard Group’s and SLI Systems’ financial statements earlier this week.
ACMR is Annualised Committed Monthly Revenue – which is the most recent monthly revenues annualised. While the size of the bubble represents the company’s overall Enterprise Value.
Chart 1 – NZ Tech companies
This is a question often asked, and is a difficult one to answer. To help visualise the relationship between Enterprise Value (EV), Revenue (ACMR) and the commonly used multiple, EV/Revenue we have created the following charts comparing online companies.
NB: ACMR = Annualised Committed Monthly Revenue, which is the most recent monthly revenues annualised.
Understanding the charts:
Along with each company’s position on the chart representing EV/Revenue multiple in relation to Revenue, the size of the bubble represents the company’s overall EV.
Chart 1 – Low to Mid range ACMR companies
Chart 2 – High ACMR companies
Clare Capital uses the Enterprise Value/2P reserves ratio to give an indication of how the market is valuing a number of New Zealand and Australian comparators in the oil and gas exploration and production industry (as at 22nd September 2016). Companies with an EV less than NZ$20 million are excluded (such as Pan Pacific Petroleum).
The graph above highlights three values of each company in the Australasian Oil & Gas (O&G) Industry:
- Enterprise Value of the O&G company / Amount of latest reported 2P reserves [vertical axis]
- Amount of latest reported 2P reserves [horizontal axis]
- Enterprise Value of the O&G company [size of the bubble]
Green colouration denotes companies with New Zealand operations, while blue colouration represents Australian only operations. The closer a company is to the horizontal axis, the ‘cheaper’ its market valuation.
We produced a Thought Piece on our take on Xero’s valuation at the beginning of October 2013, before the US$150 million capital raise and when the share price was trading at $19.00. Three months later the share price is now at $42.00.
The Executive Summary of the Thought Piece is highlighted in the bullet points below:
- Xero is a high-growth technology company and not a Ponzi scheme.
- Losses are fine as long as value is being created.
- However – from a fundamental valuation perspective Xero is a challenge. First – there are a wide range of future potential growth scenarios. Second – we don’t know when Xero will move to being cash flow positive. From patient for profit and impatient for growth – to the reverse.