4 min - May 26, 2021

The SaaS Metrics that Matter Most with Pranavi Cheemakurti, Forum Ventures

Forum Ventures, formerly Acceleprise, was founded in 2012 in Washington DC in response to a lack of resources for early stage enterprise technology companies at the time. The Forum accelerator program now runs in San Francisco, New York, and Toronto.  Forum invests in B2B SaaS businesses across a wide range of industries. Examples of Canadian SaaS investments at the pre-seed stage include:

Broca A smart assistant for marketers and copywriters. Broca helps to create new variations for Google Ads, to optimize website copy, and to generate more content. 

Calico Calico’s platform is everything eCommerce brands need before their products get on Shopify and Stripe. We are the product development OS that powers the $1.4 trillion eCommerce production market from concept to doorstep. For the first time ever, brands and suppliers can leverage Calico’s AI workflows and factory network to transform the way their products get to market.

SuperVisas A legal software that makes visa applications simple, affordable, and fast. SuperVisas is registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).

Knowing both the US and Canadian markets, Venture Investor Pranavi Cheemakurti notes that Canadian women founders in particular face two taxes: a “Canadian tax” and a “woman tax”. Unfortunately these lead to lower valuations, lower prices, and higher dilution. She advises Canadian women founders to think big, own the boldness of their vision, and surround themselves with people who can show them what’s possible, especially investors. 

At the pre-seed stage, Pranavi looks for companies with a clear path towards building a venture scale business, in other words the ability to reach $100M in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) one day. She calls out 6 key indicators she looks at during the pre-seed stage:  

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) In Market – Ideally she likes to see a product in-market, but not always. For example, if a product relies on deep technology that is more difficult for competitors to catch up to, and there’s a clear vision and market potential, Forum Ventures has invested even before an initial product release.

Existing Users – Again while it’s ideal to have existing users getting value, it’s not required.

Founding Team – Acceleprise expects the founding team to be working full time on the business.

Incorporated – The company must be incorporated for Forum to invest.

Total Addressable Market (TAM) – Needs to be huge.

Fundraisability – How fundable is the idea, the founder, this space. Does this company have the ability to hit seed metrics in time, which are 10-15K in MRR, growing 20-30% month over month.

As a closing piece of advice, Pranavi advises Canadian SaaS founders to structure their fundraises around momentum, market potential and opportunity vs survival and runway and having enough cash in the bank. This way, founders will get more favourable terms.

About SaaSCan

SaaSCan was created to bring deep of experience in customer-centric growth and SaaS metrics to Canada’s growing SaaS ecosystem. 

SaaSCan for Startups services were born in the early days of COVID-19 to help Canadian SaaS companies understand COVID’s impact on churn and retention. We have expanded to provide enablement for SaaS startups on SaaS metrics and benchmarks.

SaaSCan for Early Stage Growth services emerged from the need startups have to adopt a customer-centric approach as they grow, so they can deliver ongoing value to existing customers and optimize key SaaS retention, expansion, and efficiency metrics.

SaaSCan for Later Stage Growth services empower SaaS companies to be customer-centric and metrics-savvy at scale, further optimizing customer retention, SaaS metric performance, and company valuation.


To learn more about our Advisors, Partners, and Services, please visit www.saascan.ca.

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