Even as stocks sell off, SaaS valuation remain unshakeable.: of the 76 SaaS companies we follow, the average public SaaS business is trading at 8.91x revenue while the median is 8.29x中位数和平均数近持平于7月当我们最后提交数据,这是非常不可思议的考虑到近期股市动荡下面的数据。



消极的EBITDA,积极的现金流。The median SaaS business had trailing twelve month revenue of $347mm, EBITDA of -$12mm, but positive cash flow of $36mm thanks to deferred revenue and up-front collections on annual contracts.  Indeed so long as you’re growing (the median annual growth rate is a respectable 30%), investors will overlook negative EBITDA especially if the business is cash flow positive after working capital changes.


这一趋势依然强劲。The chart below shows median revenue multiples we’ve collected since Q4 2014.  During that period, the median SaaS multiple has ranged from 4.43x to 9.32x with an average of 6.69x.  Today, we’re at the high end of that range which makes valuations fragile – if you believe in mean reversion, then valuations and more likely to fall in the future.  However, it hasn’t happened yet.



SaaS利润率仍然是可怕的。  Investors and founders love saying “SaaS margins are great.”  They’re not.  They’re horrible.  The median EBITDA margin for the companies above was -5% and the average was -4%.  Fixed costs for SaaS are terribly high and worse yet those fixed costs are mostly people, meaning the only way to materially cut costs is layoffs.   If you’ve ever fired someone, you know cutting costs by cutting people is not easy and hurts the culture and morale of remaining members.


增长是受人尊敬的。We’d actually expect stronger growth given these high valuations.  30% is not terrible, but you’re not lighting the world on fire either, especially for these premium valuations.   The profitability profile hasn’t changed (the majority of our list is unprofitable as it has always been), so it’s not as if the businesses are getting better, just bigger.


SaaS业务是健康的几乎没有债务这些企业——银行不喜欢“asset-lite”企业喜欢的软件Additionally, these companies have $204mm of cash on the balance sheet on median, equivalent to over a decade of burn (recall EBITDA is -$12mm).  The number of years of cash on the balance sheet is less important given that these businesses are generally cash flow positive (median of $36mm), and indeed only 16 out of the 76 have negative cash flow.  Note that 42 out of the 76 have negative EBITDA, but again that’s acceptable so long as the growth is there and cash flow overall is positive.


最近上市的杀戮。Four of the latest SaaS IPO’s (Docusign, Smartsheet, Z-Scaler, Zuora) are trading at an average valuation of 15x revenue.  It shows that now is a great time to come to market whether you’re raising money or selling the business调查猴子,最新betway88help IPO交易更低的7.57倍,但在很大程度上是由于它几乎增长持平。


So what’s this data mean for a fast growing private SaaS business? Public multiples and trends tend to guide what’s happening in the private markets:我)作为流动性不足的补偿、大小和缺乏盈利能力,谨慎的投资者将寻求投资你的私人SaaS业务10倍以下地方除非你的平均增长率明显高于30%;(二)融资将继续来自股票,那么从债务,尽管我们已经看到银行像桥银行变得更为大胆和贷款人轻资本更有创造力;3)and burning cash is still acceptable on an EBITDA basis, so long as free cash flow is positive or moving in the right direction.  Finally, given the high revenue multiples, now is an excellent time to sell your business or raise money.