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SaaStr at Dreamforce '14: Benchmarking Your Start-Up: How Am I Doing -- Really?

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SaaStr at Dreamforce '14: Benchmarking Your Start-Up: How Am I Doing -- Really?

  1. 1. Benchmarking SaaS Start-Ups: How Am I Doing? Really? Brian Jacobs General Partner, Emergence Capital @brian_emcap Jason M. Lemkin SaaStr; Managing Director, Storm Ventures @jasonlk
  2. 2. Safe Harbor Safe harbor statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This presentation may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. If any such uncertainties materialize or if any of the assumptions proves incorrect, the results of salesforce.com, inc. could differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements we make. All statements other than statements of historical fact could be deemed forward-looking, including any projections of product or service availability, subscriber growth, earnings, revenues, or other financial items and any statements regarding strategies or plans of management for future operations, statements of belief, any statements concerning new, planned, or upgraded services or technology developments and customer contracts or use of our services. The risks and uncertainties referred to above include – but are not limited to – risks associated with developing and delivering new functionality for our service, new products and services, our new business model, our past operating losses, possible fluctuations in our operating results and rate of growth, interruptions or delays in our Web hosting, breach of our security measures, the outcome of any litigation, risks associated with completed and any possible mergers and acquisitions, the immature market in which we operate, our relatively limited operating history, our ability to expand, retain, and motivate our employees and manage our growth, new releases of our service and successful customer deployment, our limited history reselling non-salesforce.com products, and utilization and selling to larger enterprise customers. Further information on potential factors that could affect the financial results of salesforce.com, inc. is included in our annual report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year and in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the most recent fiscal quarter. These documents and others containing important disclosures are available on the SEC Filings section of the Investor Information section of our Web site. Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other presentations, press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase our services should make the purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com, inc. assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.
  3. 3. Brian Jacobs Founding Partner, Emergence Capital Investors in Salesforce, Successfactors, Veeva, Yammer, Box, InsideView, ServiceMax, Bill.com, EchoSign, Hightail, Lithium, etc.
  4. 4. Jason M. Lemkin SaaStr Founder Community – 1m Views/Mo Managing Director, Storm Ventures Founder/CEO – EchoSign/Adobe Investors in MobileIron, Marketo, EchoSign, GuideSpark, Metacloud, Sandforce, etc.
  5. 5. Benchmarking – What We’ll Discuss •The Journey •The Numbers: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Average is Good … But You (Probably) Have to Do Better  •The Live Case Studies: – Early-ish Stage: TalkDesk: $150K to $2.5m ARR in 12 mos.; the next phase – Growth Stage: GuideSpark $2m-$20m in 24 Mos. (but it took a while to get there)
  6. 6. The Journey What Matters – And What Doesn’t • The Best SaaS Companies Get to $100m in 7-10 Years • Outliers are rare: Workday, Salesforce, DropBox, but few others • Pace to $100m: – Box: 7 Years – Hubspot: 8 Years – Marketo: 6 Years – Zendesk: 8 Years – MobileIron: 6 Years – Veeva: 5 Years ($1m+ ACV) – LinkedIn: 7 Years
  7. 7. The Journey What Matters – And What Doesn’t • But … It Really Doesn’t Matter How Long it Takes You to Get to Initial Traction (first $1- $1.5m) – As Long As You Stay 100% Committed • Some get there in 1 Year. Some take 3 Years (GuideSpark). It doesn’t matter – if you are committed. • Key is Not to Burn Out Around Year 4-5
  8. 8. The Journey What Matters – And What Doesn’t • After Initial Traction, Growth Rate is Critical • Then … – The “Best” SaaS Companies go from $2-$10m ARR in 6 Quarters or Less: – 10% MoM – not red hot, but good enough – >=15% MoM <- Killer – 20% MoM = Outlier – Key is momentum coming up to $10m ARR (>=100% YoY)
  9. 9. Many Entrepreneurs Benchmark against the Growth of Public SaaS Companies… …How fast were they growing at the Early Stages?
  10. 10. Growth Trajectories 1.5X 2.0X 3.0X in Y2; then 2.0X
  11. 11. Top SaaS Players Grew Much Faster Pre-$10M in Revenue… Max: 10.83X Annual Revenue Growth Before Achieving $10M in Revenue Mean: 3.91X Target Range Min: 1.36X
  12. 12. …Without Sacrificing Sales Efficiency Dollars of Sales & Marketing Spend per Dollar of Revenue Max: $0.20 Mean: $0.94 Target Range Note: Sales Efficiency = Previous Year’s Sales and Marketing Spend / Change in Yearly Revenues Min: $2.21
  13. 13. The Live Case Studies: TalkDesk and GuideSpark Potential Outliers
  14. 14. Talkdesk: Getting to 20% MoM Growth – From Nothing From Hackathon, to Product-Market Fit • Talkdesk – Top Desk.com Partner • Call/Contact Center in the Cloud • History: – Started off winning Twillio hackathon – Then productized – Then monetized – Hit Initial Traction ($1.5m) 16 mos. After Launch – and velocity then increased (20%) – On pace grow $1m to $10m in < magic 5 quarters
  15. 15. Talkdesk: Getting to 20% MoM Growth – From Nothing From Hackathon, to Product-Market Fit • Q&A • Keys to igniting growth: – Partners and integrations (takes time) – Driving ACV and deal sizes up (to six figures) – Upgrades key: < 40% of target ACV bought upfront today – Understanding how do true enterprise-grade implemenations --- even for SMBs :) – Pricing for value – Lead Growth > Revenue Growth = VPS + Raise $$$
  16. 16. Talkdesk: Getting to 20% MoM Growth Post-Initial From Hackathon to Product-Market Fit to Outlier • Brian Jacobs: • Would you do the Series A? • Is It In the Ballpark vs. Other SaaS Investments? • Why or Why Not?
  17. 17. Case Study #2: Guidespark: 5 Years to Outlier Three Tough Years to Initial Traction. Then – Acceleration. GuideSpark: Employee Communications in the Cloud – Instead of In-Person or paper •Great customers like Adobe, 7-11, Pepsico, Workday, City of San Antonio, etc. •200 employees today vs. Sept’12 = 12 employees •Hired VPS as #10 in July‘12 – timed with start of acceleration customers closed
  18. 18. Case Study #2: Guidespark: 5 Years to Outlier Three Tough Years to Initial Traction. Then – Acceleration. GuideSpark: Employee Communications in the Cloud – Instead of In-Person •History: – Started off as a cloud-based wellness solution – Struggled for product-market fit until found one core use case, and one core enterprise customer – Doubled down on (x) enterprise + (y) employee communications – Hired their Great VP of Sales at <$1.5m ARR – once real business model proven and first enterprise customers closed
  19. 19. GuideSpark: Outlier Growth Post-Initial Scale A Long Journey to The Top • Brian Jacobs: • Would you do the Series C? • Why or Why Not?

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