SaaS Capital Index: Understanding Valuation Trends

The SaaS Capital Index is a robust tool designed to offer a precise, up-to-date valuation metric for pure-play, B2B SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses. Unlike other indices, this one focuses exclusively on companies with a SaaS revenue model, ensuring a more accurate representation of the sector's financial health and growth potential. The index excludes businesses with mixed revenue streams or those serving consumers directly, aiming to provide a clear picture of B2B SaaS company valuations.


The valuation multiple, a key metric in this index, is based on the Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) multiple. This approach is efficient for SaaS companies due to their subscription-based revenue model, which offers predictability and stability compared to traditional one-time sales models. Here’s a breakdown of the methodology:

1. Revenue Multiple Calculation: The primary focus is on the ARR multiple, calculated by dividing the company's market capitalisation by its ARR. This metric provides a snapshot of how the market values each pound of recurring revenue.

2. Pure-Play SaaS Focus: The index strictly includes companies that generate revenue predominantly through a SaaS model. This excludes businesses with significant non-recurring revenue streams or those that do not primarily operate in the B2B space.

3. Exclusion Criteria: Companies with substantial consumer-facing operations or those with diversified revenue models are excluded to maintain the index's purity and relevance to B2B SaaS valuations.

Trends Since Inception

The SaaS Capital Index tracks valuation multiples monthly, offering insights into how the market's perception of SaaS companies' value evolves. Here’s a summary of the trends since the index's inception:

1. Initial Volatility (2008-2010): The index began tracking in January 2008, a period marked by significant economic uncertainty due to the global financial crisis. During this period, valuation multiples were relatively volatile, reflecting broader market instability, with multiples ranging from 1.6x to around 4x.

2. Growth Phase (2011-2015): Post-crisis recovery saw a steady increase in valuation multiples. As the SaaS model proved its robustness and scalability, investor confidence grew, leading to higher valuations. Multiples typically ranged between 5x and 8x during this period.

3. Boom Period (2016-2019): The years leading up to the pandemic witnessed a boom in SaaS valuations. Companies like Adobe, Salesforce, and others set new revenue growth and profitability benchmarks, pushing average multiples to new highs, often between 8x and 12x.

4. Pandemic Surge (2020-2021): The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation globally, with businesses rapidly adopting SaaS solutions to enable remote work and digital operations. This led to a significant spike in valuations, with multiples soaring to as high as 20.9x in some cases.

5. Correction and Stabilisation (2022-Present): The rapid growth in valuations inevitably led to a market correction. As the initial pandemic-driven surge normalised, valuation multiples saw a slight pullback but have stabilised at higher levels than pre-pandemic, averaging around 7.7x recently. As of the latest data in June 2024, the median valuation multiple stands at 5.7x, reflecting a cautious but stable market outlook.

Current Outlook

As of June 2024, the SaaS Capital Index reflects a mature and stable market. While the exuberance of the boom period has tempered, the fundamentals of SaaS businesses remain strong. Investors are now more discerning, emphasising sustainable growth, efficient capital use, and profitability over mere revenue growth.


The SaaS Capital Index provides invaluable insights into the valuation trends of B2B SaaS companies. Focusing on ARR multiples and maintaining strict inclusion criteria offers a clear and accurate picture of the sector's financial health. Since its inception, the index has witnessed various growth, volatility, and stabilisation phases, reflecting broader economic trends and the SaaS sector's evolution. For investors, understanding these trends is crucial for making informed decisions. The focus on sustainable growth and profitability suggests a more mature market where long-term value creation precedes short-term gains.

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