The SaaS Business Model Explained

SAAS Business Model Guide

June 09, 2022 04:30 PM

SaaS Business Model

Start-ups...multi-million-dollar funding...another company turned unicorn... These are just a few of the buzzwords that you may have been hearing in the news, particularly over the past 10 years. It appears that SaaS is dominating the world! Ever since John Koenig first coined the term "SaaS" back in 2005, the software-as-a-service industry has been one of the fastest-moving and creative in the world. It has gone through several " knockout expansion years," with more money flowing into SaaS than ever before, there has never been a more exciting moment for a budding SaaS business.

This SaaS business model that powers the entire process is unique, fresh and tied to the potential that clouds computing offers. Knowing the basics of the way SaaS operates is essential in establishing a strategy for the company's future growth.

What exactly is SaaS?

SaaS, also known as software as a service, or SaaS is a model of delivery that is hosted centrally. the software can be licensed out to users through a subscription plan. Any business which leases its software using an internet-based cloud-based platform could be considered a SaaS business and can have SaaS app development.

A SaaS company is responsible for its servers, databases (and the data that they hold) as well as the other software that permits its products to be used and accessed. The subscription plans available to customers vary between different companies. Some SaaS business models of companies involve providing several applications within their product and different subscription plans that provide access to various services.

What is the SaaS business model work?

The reason we're separating SaaS and the SaaS business model canvas of business and other models is the fact that the SaaS model is characterized by a variety of unique aspects like:

Recurring payments

SaaS customers do not purchase hardware. The software development companies business and pricing model involves providing a subscription service to use the app, so you will have to worry about paying the yearly or monthly subscription as opposed to only once. Recurring payments can be described as the result of monthly recurring revenue or MRR. Since SaaS businesses provide a service and not an item, accounting for revenues properly can be a challenge.

If your client signs the contract and then subscribes they may receive cash in the beginning, but that cash can't be considered revenue until you've earned the money. In the meantime, it's an obligation. Your client can request to return anytime in the event you don't provide the service. In the end, revenue recognition is an essential element in the SaaS commercial model.

Increased customer retention

Every business is concerned about keeping their customers happy, however, in SaaS business models of earning revenue, it's 10 times more crucial since retention of customers who pay can be the sole thing keeping your business afloat. After 2 months, you'll lose the remaining after that, you'll be without the remaining 10 months of income.

In the end, this SaaS business model places enormous value on building customer relationships and increasing sales. A current SaaS customer will spend more on average than a new client and is more than 7 times as likely to turn over (leave your company) to a competitor due to bad customer support than they are to purchase an improved product.

Consistent updates

While other software may launch with "next-gen" versions of their product, SaaS consistently provides smaller and more frequent updates to their products to ensure that their customers are satisfied and offer a greater lifetime value. This is partly due to the nature of the software industry security vulnerabilities in software can expose information of customers to hackers, which is why constantly reviewing the status of security fixes is a high priority for SaaS. SaaS model. Hosting their software also means that SaaS companies can push out updates as they want to release new features, improved versions of their old products as well as new enhancements to their products. When you combine this with effective customer communications, SaaS app development services can be extremely flexible to demands as well as customer feedback.

SaaS Business Stages

As we'll discover in the coming days, extremely profitable SaaS companies can boast valuations of up to $100 million as well as serve an immense amount of customers and fundamentally alter the way that industries approach aspects of their businesses. However, this is the last and most profitable phase that is the most successful phase of SaaS. SaaS commercial model.

The general idea is that the SaaS business's life is broken down into three phases.


At the beginning of the SaaS business you, as the owner or the entrepreneur are operating at a minimal stage. It is unlikely that you will have a large number of customers as your product will remain in the early stage of development. You might be looking for your first pre-seed financing or decide to take using the bootstrapping strategy to have control of your business.

In the beginning, your team's roster is likely to be small. you be likely working on a single product that you're focusing your efforts on, and you might not be making an actual profit. At this point you must ask yourself these questions: Do I track the metrics, bring on new customers, and try to improve pricing? Have I begun to develop a business plan that allows me to find the best type of financing and utilize it efficiently?

Stage of growth

The stage of growth is when things get exciting. You've created something that is growing quickly Your product is growing followers, and it's starting to earn MRR and maybe an increase in cash flows.

To begin your growth phase and keep pushing forward you'll need to start raising money to allow your business to increase its staff as well as invest in the development of its products and scaling, iteration. Several financing options can be used to support scaling, iteration and SaaS commercial model such as:

Venture Capital. The glitzy way to raise money for your startup Venture capital is offered by funds or companies which have excellent growth potential or an impressive history of rapid growth for a SaaS business, sufficient to warrant substantial financial support.

Angel Investors: An angel investor is an individual with significant financial resources who is ready to invest in your business. Angel investors are ideal for businesses that are looking to start.

For their first significant purchase, however, in recent times "super" angels are beginning to play a significant role in subsequent funding rounds as well.

Angel investors and venture capitalists aren't the only options to grow your company. Some businesses go through incubators at the beginning of their beginnings; while other, more established SaaS businesses find startup accelerators that can meet their requirements and utilize them to provide an entirely different type of financing. Certain companies continue to bootstrap for a longer period, while others have become so proficient at generating revenues from the beginning that they do not require external financing until later.

You should now be asking yourself the following questions Are I establishing the key performance indicator (KPIs) to make sure I'm prepared for future growth? Have I formulated a solid strategy for monetization in place by the time I decide to look into a different type of investment?

Stage of maturity

A SaaS business that has reached the stage of maturity has proven its worth and is established. A company that is at the maturity stage has a clear target audience that it is catering to and has a stable product that is being updated. The company has an impressive MRR and all other KPIs (more on these to follow) are solid. The mature-stage companies may continue to seek and receive funding, however, they'll do it on a greater magnitude, to develop new markets or purchase competitors.

The primary question that the SaaS business should be asking themselves at this point is when is the last time that we reviewed your pricing plans? SaaS companies typically reach the stage of maturation and fall into a sense of smugness and believe that since their business is thriving and operating at its full potential. In reality in the middle of their maturation, SaaS businesses are usually situated on a mountain of revenue potential that they're losing due to poor pricing.

SaaS business models

The range of SaaS-based companies is staggering. SaaS Business models are expanding day in and out. There are numerous instances of incredible growth in both areas like the B2B and B2C areas, such as AI as well as video hosting eCommerce, Data Analytics, and many more. To illustrate the extent of success SaaS could be, we've created an inventory of SaaS companies that have made an impact in their field -- as well, and in certain instances, they have even invented new ones!


Wistia is a company that offers services for video hosting for companies that range from uploads to tracking performances, to gaining audience and brand awareness. Brendan Schwartz and Chris Savage started the business in 2006, and in the same year, they got their very first client, a medical device company.

The outlook is looking good for Wistia. Although it was a relatively modest investment in its beginning It's now the video hosting service preferred by more than 300,000 businesses in 50 countries who rely on Wistia and deliver them the most innovative and authentic communications.


Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows online stores to operate that allows businesses to build online stores without having to learn how to program. Shopify has revolutionized the way that businesses consider e-commerce in the past; today retailers of all sizes, large or small, that want to sell their products online, through social media or in person, have an integrated solution which can satisfy their needs.

Shopify is awash with praise for its innovative e-commerce solutions. It earned more than one billion dollars last year, and exceeded that number in 2019, having over 1 million sellers registering through the site.

Artificial Intelligence has been one of the main development areas within SaaS in the last decade No company has demonstrated the potential of this area more than Chorus is a top voice technology for Sales teams. It functions as an interface to video-calling service which allows sales teams to record their calls for business and collect meaningful data. Through recording and analysing the content of sales calls, commercial teams can modify their selling methods and develop new training programs for their employees and develop fresh strategies for communicating with customers.

Chorus Solutions are utilized by top revenue teams in another top (SaaS!) companies such as Zoom, Adobe, Asana and Segment.


Just when you thought that recruiting was one of those areas that would never change the way it was done, a SaaS business popped up that revolutionized the entire industry. Lever revolutionized the world of recruitment by facilitating the process of recruiting, sourcing new talent, and bringing them on board. The company's software for talent allows employers to screen applicants, manage marketing for talent and build connections between employees and employers via the cloud computing services of the company.

Similar Chorus Similar to Chorus, evidence of Lever's popularity is the fact that it is used by iconic companies like Shopify, Eventbrite, and Netflix to ensure that their offices are filled with the top employees.


Clearbit is a company that develops products and data APIs designed to provide insight throughout the entire customer cycle, helping businesses expand. Clearbit's capability to accomplish this, along with its innovative methods of identifying potential leads and personalizing marketing strategies has allowed it to be named among the most rapidly growing businesses in SaaS.


UiPath can be described as a system that allows automated robotic processes. The use of robots and advanced scripts enables users to automate routine or redundant tasks from their schedules. Additionally, its advancements in drag-and-drop technology provide completely new possibilities for front office intelligent automation.

Like other businesses on our list, it's not doing poorly also. UiPath has an annual revenue of more than 300 million as well as been ranked as the top company within the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 on the 6th of November 2019.


A segment is an API tool with a single API which allows you to collect, standardize and then activate customer information to provide a data-based foundation to grow. The amount of data owned by businesses grow more overwhelming and inaccessible and the desire of the public increases for greater transparency and accuracy in the handling of data, Segment has slotted seamlessly into the market of demand within the SaaS market.

Segment, just like Clearbit is an emerging company and is valued at $1.5 billion--has been able to do this by attending to the real-world ethical and practical requirements in the field.

The SaaS business metrics that you should keep an in mind

SaaS businesses run on data and the success of a SaaS business depends on your ability to keep track of the most important metrics, their interactions and how you can enhance them. Here are five important business metrics that affect the performance and potential of a SaaS company.


LTV, also known as a lifetime value, is the amount you're owed in return from the client during the duration of their contract using your service. It is important to understand that the level of value of users is one of the most crucial indicators for a SaaS company and it's essential to do it the right method. Retention-rate statistics (which we'll discuss shortly) are crucial, but they don't provide a clear picture of the amount that your customers who are retained generate every month, and don't reveal much about the success you're (or not) getting from increasing sales. This is the exact understanding you need.


CAC or cost of acquisition for customers is the sum of marketing and sales efforts which are required to obtain customers.

The reality is that bringing in new customers is expensive. It'll take an extended time after you've brought an additional customer in that the added MRR helps offset the cost of gaining the new customer. It's important to keep an eye on your CAC to make sure that your LTV can easily surpass it. Being too cautious about the amount you're willing to invest in CAC can result in missing revenue opportunities and expansion from new customers However, being reckless about it can result in extremely low profits.


MRR, also known as the monthly revenue recurring, as well as ARR, also known as annual recurring revenue, are the heartbeat of the SaaS business. They are the sum of predictable revenue an organization anticipates on an annual, annually or monthly basis. A lot of companies create a mess with their MRR however, they do it. A survey conducted by Profit Well revealed that one in five SaaS firms weren't accounting for expenses properly when accounting for MRR. Two out of five had incorrectly included free or trial users in one way or another in their MRR. Additionally, the majority of them were making errors in separating quarterly, monthly and annual payment timeframes.

Churn rate

Churn rate is the number of customers who leave your service within a certain time. This is the worst statistic that can be found in the SaaS business model. Even small amounts of it could be catastrophic to the hopes of a business for continuing its expansion. Churn can cause havoc for businesses even if all the other metrics are healthy. Knowing the basis of your customer churn percentage and ways you can decrease it not be more vital in SaaS. It's not an easy measurement to draw a complete view of. Breaking your churn down into groups and segments will help you understand the various factors that drive your churn, but failing to take into account trailers or seasonal/episodic customers when calculating churn may make the picture unclear. In our last analysis, there were 43 different ways that public SaaS businesses were watching this measure.

What's the next step for SaaS companies?

The number of options available for SaaS is practically limitless and with the methods of raising money continuing to expand and expand, there's never an ideal time to enter the field. Still, all of the most successful software-as-a-service companies underpin their success by adhering to a few fundamentals in the SaaS business model: a reliance on good statistics and the use of the right tools and solutions. Apply these identical principles to your own business and you could see yourself moving in the same direction. Contact us for Book Appointment services regarding SaaS Mobile application development.


What's the SaaS Business model?

The SaaS business model is built on selling cloud-based software to customers for a monthly subscription cost. Cloud-based software is typically accessible via desktop, mobile as well as web-based apps The subscription fee typically is monthly or annual.

What exactly is SaaS the revenue structure?

The SaaS revenue model is founded on continuous and regular payments for the use of software or another digital tool or item. The payments are set for a specific time frame which is usually two are annually and monthly.

Is Netflix a SaaS?

It might sound odd at first however, Netflix is an SaaS. Netflix sells its software that streams TV and films that are licensed via distribution agreements as well as produced by Netflix.

What are the advantages of making use of SaaS?

There are numerous benefits of SaaS software. Most notable are cost-effectiveness scaling, security, better scalability without licensing management and much more scaling.

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