How to Figure Out Your Competitors’ Revenues in About 70 Seconds

A friend of mine who heads business intelligence at a public web company taught me a little hack that does seem to work pretty well to figure out the revenues of any pre-public SaaS/web services company.  Here is the formula:

  • Take the # of employees the SaaS company has, as reported on LinkedIn’s Company profile for that company.

and

  • Multiply by $150,000 if well-funded.  $200,000 if modestly funded.  

And that’s the company’s revenues.  All done.

If the company is very heavily funded (>$40m+ plus, growing quickly), it may be as low as $100,000 in revenue per employee.  If it’s self-funded, and/or is primarily freemium, the number may be as high as $300,000.  (Higher than that is rare in SaaS, if less so in successful consumer internet).

But on average $150k revenue if well funded, else $200k / employee seems to work pretty well as soon as you are past a few million in ARR.  And LinkedIn is pretty accurate in telling you employee headcount, since basically everyone fills out their LinkedIn profile.

Let’s do a few checks, and compare to the actual company revenues we have for 2011 on a GAAP basis from our friends at Inc:

  • Marketo.  368 employees.  x $200k = $74m ARR.  Could be.  Lots of capital. x $150k = $55m ARR.
  • Hubspot.  468 employees x $200k = $93m ARR.  Probably too high since they did $29m in GAAP in 2011.  But lots of capital.  x $150k = $70m ARR.
  • YouSendit.  YSI is primarily freemium but well funded.  So 235 employees x say $250k = $58m ARR.  Makes sense if they did $38m in GAAP last year.

Anyhow I know this is no secret.  And it just gives you a range, but if you move the revenue number back and forth based on funding, stage, and business model … it gets you pretty close.

It’s especially useful for companies you have an interest in, but simply no idea how big they are.

{A nice summary for more mature tech companies at scale is here:

and a broader one here with a great Google Doc spreadsheet:

(Cross-posted @ saastr)

Articles in this series

  • How to Figure Out Your Competitors’ Revenues in About 70 Seconds

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Co-Founder and CEO of EchoSign from inception through tens of millions in cash-flow positive SaaS revenue and acquisition by Adobe Systems Inc. Jason then served as Vice President, Web Services at Adobe, where EchoSign was named the most successful acquisition of 2011-12, posting 199% YoY growth.

One response to “How to Figure Out Your Competitors’ Revenues in About 70 Seconds”

  1. Scott Raney

    Great rules of thumb!