Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
E22: A SaaS Metrics DEEP Dive with Alex Clayton of Meritech Capital
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E22: A SaaS Metrics DEEP Dive with Alex Clayton of Meritech Capital

In this episode, CJ Gustafson interviews Alex Clayton of Meritech Capital who leads the firm’s enterprise software, infrastructure, and fintech practices. They discuss the most important metrics used in the software industry, including ARR per employee, average contract value (ACV), net dollar retention (NDR), and valuation multiples. Alex also goes deeper into understanding market structure as a crucial factor to consider when evaluating whether a company will go to IPO. Tropic is the next-generation Procurement Platform that’s helping modern CFOs take control of their budgets and bottom line, head to www.tropicapp.io/metrics

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SPONSORS:

Tropic is the next-generation Procurement Platform that’s helping modern CFOs take control of their budgets and bottom line. By combining approval workflows, supplier management, and pricing benchmarks all in one place, Tropic makes savings opportunities easy to find and act on. 🌴 Visit www.tropicapp.io/metrics to learn how.

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X / TWITTER:

@afc (Alex)

@cjgustafson222 (CJ)

@TurpentineMedia (Turpentine)

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LINKS:

Alex’s S-1 Breakdowns at Meritech https://www.meritechcapital.com/insights/category/s-1-breakdowns

Run The Numbers episode w/ Tomasz Tungus: https://youtu.be/ExU7Muwmi0M

TIMESTAMPS:

(00:00) Intro

(01:05) Mailbag questions - where should the customer success team show up as a cost?

(04:56) Introducing Alex

(08:19) Measuring overall efficiency of a business and rules of thumb for people out there of what good looks like?

(10:46) Can you game the gross profit per employee metric?

(11:29) Looking at operating plans, what's the metric that matters as per Alex?

(12:52) Average contract value does not matter to long term value creation

(15:31) The metrics public companies disclose

(16:48) Disclosing net dollar retention

(19:05) On the relationship between NDR and CAC payback period

(23:12) Why Alex doesn't believe that LTV or LTV to CAC ratio is a very valuable metric for many software companies

(28:18) How much revenue you should have when you go public?

(32:40) On going public after you raise a certain amount and doing it sooner

(33:55) would you say that founding teams are showing up to IPO with less equity than they used to historically?

(35:43) The average age of a CEO when when they go public

(36:42) On long-term company performance: is it better for founder CEOs or for professional CEOs?

(40:18) Alex's latest thinking on valuation multiples

(43:32) One thing Alex screwed up at work

(44:35) Tropic presents Rep Yo Stack: Alex's VC tool stack

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Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
Run the Numbers is a twice-weekly podcast about financial metrics and business models, designed for ambitious people operating tech startups. It's a collection of things host CJ Gustafson (CFO at Partstech and writer of Mostly Metrics) has learned and thought about in the trenches as a tech CFO. This show is meant to serve as a playbook of sorts for the stuff CJ wishes he knew earlier in his career, both from experience and from copying people smarter than himself. Topics frequently touch upon Startup SaaS Metrics, Annual Budgeting, Financial Forecasting, Headcount, Equity, Dilution, and Fundraising – and how all of these drive business performance and growth.