Shasta SaaS Operating Model

  • as a Series A-focused fund, this model is geared towards companies with early revenue and without distinct sales motions for different customer segments
  • the model fits a sales-led business with annual contracts
  • the use of this model is for monthly operational & cash planning, not valuation — so not your annual investment banking model. No P&L, balance sheet, cash flow statement, nor DCF-IRR
  • this is v1.0, so please send feedback via comments on Excel online or email :)

Inputs: Macro assumptions

  • The long-term gross margin and customer lifetime drive the LTV/CAC ratio in the Quarterly Dashboard tab. At the early revenue stage, past data is a rough indicator because gross margins tend to be lower, and the startup is too young to have a good sense of churn.
  • This drives the Top Line tab since this shapes the deals that we expect account executives (AEs) to bring. AEs are typically outbound quota-carrying salespeople.
  • The traveler flag is a pre-COVID artifact to flag which positions need a higher monthly traveling budget.
  • As you input your historical numbers, say from Quickbooks, you can get a sense of the average levels to guide your assumptions here.

Inputs: Top line

Inputs: Team

Inputs: Expenses

Inputs: Cash analysis

Output: Key metrics

Output: Quarterly dashboard

Final note

FAQs & Guidelines

  • Cell color: yellow means input cells that you should change
  • Font color: blue means inputs, black means formulas, and green means it is linked to other tabs
  • [XX] are placeholders for job titles and expense items
  • Ends fiscal year in January like a lot of SaaS companies but can be adjusted, go to Top Line J4
  • To adjust the forecast period, adjust Top Line row 5
  • To change scenarios, toggle between 1–3 in Macro D4
  • Minimum cash threshold is when the cash balance cells will turn red

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At Shasta, we elevate early stage enterprise SaaS companies. For 15 years we’ve helped over 30 startups go public or get acquired by providing the capital and e

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Shasta Ventures

Shasta Ventures

At Shasta, we elevate early stage enterprise SaaS companies. For 15 years we’ve helped over 30 startups go public or get acquired by providing the capital and e

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