3 min - May 26, 2021

The SaaS Metrics that Matter Most with Shelley Kuipers, The51

By uniting Canada’s untapped women’s wealth, The51 is creating a new critical mass of women investors, making Canada the centre for women-powered capital. With women-founded startups only receiving 2.3% of venture capital available world-wide, The51’s vision spans globally. The51’s impact continues to grow with $16M invested, 30 ventures funded, 100+ investors activated, and a community of financial feminists over 15,500 strong at time of publication.

The51 is sector agnostic with investments in cleantech, agtech, enterprise and consumer digital platforms, fintech, health tech and more. The51 has invested in a number of standout, women-led Canadian digital platform companies including:

Sampler – A digital product sampling platform distributing direct-to-home samples to targeted consumers and post sampling survey data to 300+ brands in 24 countries including Kraft-Heinz, Nestle, L’Oreal.

Virtual Gurus – A digital platform for finding, hiring & training skilled and qualified North American Virtual Assistants.

Pocketed – A powerful grant matching platform that helps companies get informed about the more than $2.9 billion annual available grant funding in Canada.

The51 Co-founder and Co-CEO Shelley Kuipers advises founders to share data openly with investors, so they can help in the most informed way.

She highlights five metrics she recommends founders pay special attention to at the Series A stage.

Rule of 40 – Shelley notes that companies performing well here have a strong engine that may just require more capital.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) as % of Total Revenue – Shelley advises founders to ensure services revenue isn’t bundled with recurring revenue. Another way to think of this is to separate tech-driven revenue from human-driven revenue.

The next three metrics underscore Shelley’s thesis that user loyalty is an increasingly critical growth driver for subscription based businesses. Shelley cautions that the landscape here has changed – social media is becoming more locked down and brands that were paying for every customer are greatly impacted. While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and optimizing ad spending across different channels are still important, Shelley advises founders to build user loyalty versus relying only on paid marketing. Building a strong brand, adopting brand-led and community-led growth practices are strategies companies can use to foster affinity and loyalty.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

About SaaSCan

SaaSCan was created to bring deep 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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