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Just to be clear re: Mattermark Series A deck slide 12 it was a goal based on our growth rate at that time, not a prediction.

First, I commend you for being so open about your company's finances. A lot of people don't really understand how venture-backed companies operate, so it's really helpful to have real-world examples.

That said, it doesn't really matter whether you refer to your financial projections as projections, goals, etc. What I would observe is that the growth in revenue you targeted and presented to investors apparently has not materialized. At the same time, based on this[1], it appears your burn has doubled in less than a year, and your quarterly burn appears to be significantly higher than what you projected here[2].

This is a quintessential demonstration of what I wrote above: it's far easier to spend money in anticipation of growth than it is to actually grow revenues. I would add that it's usually doubly difficult for venture-backed companies to cut spending, even when it becomes clear it's the fiscally prudent thing to do, because it sends all sorts of negative signals to the investors you're going to be asking to continue buying into your growth story.

[1] https://medium.com/@DanielleMorrill/is-my-startup-burn-rate-...

[2] http://www.slideshare.net/DanielleMorrill/mattermark-1st-ser...

From what we understand from investors, it is actually pretty typical to raise enough money for 18 months of runway. Additionally, we still had ~1.5m in the bank when we raised.

I will certainly report back on how it goes though!

Actually, we announced the Referly shut down in March 2013 (1) and played with several ideas after that. Based on our most popular content, we thought we would be a tech blog for about 4 weeks... code named "Cursive".

The first commit for Mattermark was made Apr 22, 2013 and we didn't buy the domain for more than a month after that.

(1) http://www.daniellemorrill.com/2013/03/zombie-startups/


Love this question, I think most SaaS companies underprice (including us!). We have raised our prices once since we started, and probably will continue to do this yearly. We make most of our money on expansion revenue (additional seats or services like our API), so the per seat pricing isn't that limiting. But why collect $600 when you could collect $1000? We try to price at the highest point where people will complain but still buy.


"try to price at the highest point where people will complain but still buy" --Probably the most elegant pricing advice I've yet to come across.


Thank you, I am afraid there isn't enough published on this, which is part of what motivated me to write it. I know the content is a bit dense, I hope it was at least palatable enough to get to the end.

For further reading I highly recommend SaaStr.com which is a blog on SaaS and helpful for most recurring revenue type businesses. I also think it is wonderful to work with an accountant, and once you start getting revenue it is worth it. We waited a long time to do this (which is part of why I know as much as I do about this stuff) and that was probably a mistake, as it made a lot of cleanup work for us later on. Hope that helps, good luck with starting your company!




I think it varies in terms of what companies do, but I loved having this visibility at Twilio from our CEO while I was there so I brought the practice with me at Mattermark. It always made me feel like I had a better understanding of the trade-offs we were making and level of risk, and I hope it brings the same feelings and thoughts to my team.


Can you give any indication of how this info was shared? Was it a presentation every quarter? A quick email every month?


Part of the company all-hands on a monthly basis


Creator of the graphs and author of the original post (here: https://medium.com/mattermark-daily/why-is-the-number-of-see...)

All the quarters from Q1 2005 through Q4 2014 were plotted. The axis labels do not show all of them due to space constraints. Apologies that this was confusing, I will make sure to add all the tick marks and labels in the future.


I don't think you need all, I mean, there were space constraints. This is why a bar graph can be clearer than a line graph for discrete data though. They may be boring, but they are often effective at communication. :-) Oh and it's helpful to label both ends of the graph, from Q1 2005 to Q4 2014, then fill in what labels you can in the middle. If you'd picked random Qs or even just every year, perhaps to shade the backgrounds of each year, that might have made for a more understandable graph. Our fault for misunderstanding it in the first place, of course... This is also why some places link to tables of data used in the graph. You could click to view the table if you had any questions about what you're seeing in the graph. Stephen Few's an accessible read on this subject.


Cool, this is great feedback. I'll check out Stephen Few's work too -- thanks for reading and caring!


This is great for niche SaaS that can get recurring revenue going within 6 months but might have market size challenges that would make it difficult to get venture backing.

But if all you need to do that is $100K, there are a lot of ways to get that (like saving money for a couple years).


Thank you.

After we announced the 2nd seed round the interest in us increased and we ended up raising more, and then when Brad Feld (at Foundry Group) offered to do the FG Angels syndicate on AngelList I figured "why not?" and I was curious to see the internal mechanics of doing one of those. So basically we raised because we've always be fans of "take money when you can".

By this point we had a ton of momentum in sales, had clarified our vision a ton in our month-long company retreat in August, and were not in a position of desperation for once. I felt like I should take heed of the old advice that "the best time to raise is when you don't need the money" so we did some analysis, had some coffees, and picked 6 firms to pitch. We committed to testing the market again.

This time, it worked.

This stuff is just messy.


trolls gonna troll


To be fair, you're probably becoming a worse employee every day :)



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