15 July / data analysis / trends published the Enterprise Tech 30 last week. It’s a coaches poll of the top enterprise startups broken into early, mid and growth stage. Congratulations to all the companies and in particular, the 8 Redpoint companies on the list: Mattermost, Cockroach Labs, LaunchDarkly,, AppZen, Snowflake, Hashicorp and Stripe. Coaches polls are fun because they provide a different perspective on the market. I analyzed the data set and added a few columns to it to see if there are any trends.
12 July / data analysis
In Rethinking Customer Churn Rate & LTV/CAC, Thibaud Clement illuminates a counter-intuitive concept about churn. The faster you increase your growth rate (acceleration rate), the higher the churn rate. Consider the same startup under two scenarios: one in which the acceleration rate is 50% and one in which the acceleration rate is 0%. In the 50% scenario, churn will be 67% higher. A surprising result. Why does this happen? Because the odds of churn decrease with time, particularly for products with monthly billing.
When I shared the Redpoint SaaS Metrics Template, I wrote about the difficulty I had identifying key engineering metrics. I was grateful for all the responses from leaders at many startups to share their expertise. I’ve updated the template with a few metrics. Reliability - percent of application requests that load. 1 minus reliability is the percentage downtime. This measures the durability of the application. Availability - percent of application requests that load within a certain latency.
24 June / data analysis / saas
When we published the results of the freemium survey earlier this year, we noticed respondents targeting the enterprise observed higher net dollar retention and lower churn than those startups targeting other segments. I wondered if we could observe any other patterns about enterprise businesses, so I produced this analysis of public companies with ACVs (annual contract values) of $100k or greater. In the series of charts that follow, the red bars indicate the value of the metric during the year of IPO.
20 June / data analysis
Every six months or so, I take a look at how the public markets are valuing next-generation software companies. There’s been quite a bit of volatility over the last five years, and this update is no exception. As of mid-June, the public markets value software companies at all-time highs. The chart above shows the total enterprise value (TEV)/forward revenue multiple for the basket of public software companies. Just a quick reminder on these metrics.
19 June
Just a few months ago, we partnered with Mattermost and led the Series A. We believe that open source applications will be an important part of the future of software because of their security, lower costs of customer acquisition and the flexibility they offer customers. Today, Mattermost is announcing a $50M Series B from Y Combinator Continuity and Battery. I’m thrilled to partner with Ali Rowghani from Y Combinator and Neeraj Agarwal from Battery for the next leg of the journey.
18 June / best practices / metrics
Over the last decade or so, I’ve compiled a metrics sheet to summarise a SaaS business. While no living document like this is ever perfect, this is currently the best board-level summary of the overall health of a business I have found. I’m sharing it so that others may benefit and improve it. If you have suggestions, please email me. Google Sheet: Redpoint SaaS Metrics Template Direct Download: Redpoint SaaS Metrics Template (xlsx)
17 June / office hours
Next week, on the 27th of June, Redpoint will host Office Hours with Guillaume Cabane. Guillaume is an exceptional marketer. He built the highly successful growth practices at Segment and Drift. He stands out because of his persistence at the cutting edge. I remember when he told me of how he used the Clearbit Reveal API to change the content of conversations in Drift pop-ups to meaningfully improve conversion. He’s always at the vanguard of using technology to drive awareness and demand for SaaS products.
11 June / exits / data analysis
Yesterday, Salesforce announced it would acquire Tableau for $15.7B. Tableau sells data visualization software and the team has built an incredible business. We analyzed the S-1 in 2014. The company has grown since its public offering to generate about $1.1B in revenue, growing at 29%. Let’s put this acquisition in context. First, it’s the third business intelligence related acquisition in the past month. Google announced the Looker acquisition last week. SiSense acquired Periscope Data.
10 June / product / saas / startups
You’ve found product market fit. You’ve hired a team, including some managers. Your initial, small customer base is very happy. You’ve discovered an initial channel of customer acquisition that’s working. You’ve raised a meaningful round of capital. And then, right then, product innovation decelerates to zero. The fast pace that characterized the past 12-18 months, when you would germinate an idea and write the code in less than a few days, has evaporated.