For any Software as a Service (SaaS) company, finding effective financing solutions can prove difficult. Because SaaS is a fairly new business model, many SaaS owners do not know how to accurately value their companies, as there is not a one-size-fits-all equation or standard.
These figures are not only important for long-term selling plans, but also for the present as you try to grow your business. Without a correct SaaS valuation, you will severely limit the financing options that are available for your business. We want to help you understand SaaS company valuations and the impact they have on your financing options.
How to Determine the Value of a SaaS Company?
Determining the valuation of your company can be a difficult process that involves the input of outside investors. However, the valuation of SaaS companies on public markets differ from those of private markets, pure-play, and B2B SaaS companies.
For fast-growing public SaaS companies, this valuation number is easily determined. The most common formula for SaaS companies on the public market is Enterprise Value (EV) divided by annual revenue. The Enterprise Value is determined by adding up equity and debt and subtracting all cash on the balance sheet.
Determining the value of high-growth private SaaS companies is much more difficult, however. One of the best multiple-based formulas for determining the value of your private SaaS company goes something like this: Annualized Recurring Revenue (ARR) x multiple = Company Value.
Factors that Affect the Valuation of a SaaS Company
The difficulty with SaaS is that there is not an exact science for determining the SaaS revenue multiple. A multiple is an agreed determined number that will be multiplied against the revenue to determine the value number. To develop this number, anything that affects future monthly revenue, cash flow, gross margins, or the growth rate will be a determining factor.
Thomas Smale, CEO of FE International, says in an article about SaaS valuation that “hundreds of different data points” impact the multiple. For him, “these boil down to the transferability, scalability, and sustainability of the enterprise,” and include factors such as financials, traffic, operations, niche, management teams, and customer base. Deciding which multiples to use for your valuation will largely impact the outcome.
Another factor that can influence the value of your SaaS business is revenue. The revenue retention and growth of your company over the last 12 months to 24 months can give great insights as to how your company will continue to grow. A study conducted by SaaS Capital Insights found that “for every 1 percentage point increase in revenue retention, a SaaS company’s value increases by 12% after five years.”
Retaining revenue is of particular importance to your company’s valuation because it impacts many other factors, such as your actual revenue, your addressable market, and growth rate.
Conversely, churn, which is the loss of expected ARR due to loss of customers or subscriptions, can lead to negative valuation. Some churn is always expected, but if churn is increasing year over year, your company will not be valued at a rate of high profitability.
What Impact Does This Valuation Have on Financing Options?
Regardless of what type of financing options you are seeking, the value of your company will influence the terms of your SaaS financing. For Venture Capital and other types of equity financing, the higher the value, the less ownership you will have to give away.
While higher valuation generally helps you keep more equity, you shouldn’t always choose the investor that values your SaaS company the highest. More influential firms may offer lower valuations but are able to bring expertise and relationships that will ultimately increase the value of the company over time.
In terms of debt financing, valuation can also impact what types of interest rates, terms, and collateral requirements are included. As the chart below shows, there are a variety of debt and hybrid funding options that SaaS companies can choose from depending on their needs and expectations.
SaaS Company Valuation
Further down the road, the valuation of your company will have a significant impact on your profits when you try to sell your business. While choosing a lower valuation may allow you to obtain ideal financing options earlier, it also can limit your profits. Therefore it is wise to weigh the cost against your plans for the future.
How does RevTek Finance SaaS Companies?
Here at RevTek, our goal is to give you the best possible financing model that will increase the valuation of your SaaS business. Our model is simple: we provide you with growth capital that you need to expand your operations (and therefore, the value) of your business in exchange for manageable monthly payments based on your monthly, recurring revenue.
We don’t take equity, we don’t need a seat on your board, and our terms and execution are simple. To be eligible, you needn’t be profitable, but you should have a predictable recurring revenue.
To begin a conversation about how to use your SaaS company valuation to gain financing in order to grow to the next level, contact us at (602) 730-4558 to schedule an appointment.