SaaS Exit Starter Pack

Minimum viable data set for acquirers

I recently had a chat with a sales person at ChartMogul. Apparently there are quite a few SaaS companies that are becoming customers to prepare for an exit.

Clearly, you shouldn't wait that long to start tracking your numbers.

Two other common scenarios I see:

  1. Billing / metrics tracking system that is not tailored to SaaS.

  2. Proprietary system that doesn’t track all important numbers.

In this post, I want to show you the minimum data founders should have ready for potential buyers. This is based on what we at request from founders in the first step.


Buyers usually prefer raw data in spreadsheet form because they want to work with those numbers. No PDFs, screenshots or the like. Otherwise, you risk leaving a bad impression.

Ideally, revenue and customer movements can be provided on a monthly basis, as in the example below. This enables buyers to calculate basic SaaS KPIs themselves (see my recent post).

Monthly Revenue Movements | Source: ChartMogul

Big Plus: Transaction data that can be transformed into a detailed MRR schedule. Ben Murray wrote a pretty good article on what that is and how to create it.

MRR Schedule | Source: The SaaS CFO

The MRR Schedule allows for a more detailed analysis of retention, customer concentration, and cohorts. If you want to do the latter yourself, see this helpful P9 Guide to Cohort Analysis.

Customer Cohorts | Source: Christoph Janz (P9)


We typically require income statements and balance sheets for the last 3+ fiscal years, as well as a financial forecast, if available. The more you can provide, the better. Again, spreadsheets are preferred, but PDF files are also accepted.

Big Plus: Monthly granularity + common line items you would expect in a SaaS P&L (see article from SaaS Capital).

Not recommended: Files that look like this, or - the other extreme - income statements with 200+ line items where even stamps for 50 cents are documented in a separate item.

SaaS Income Statement | Source: SaaS Capital

As you can see, there is no need for extraordinary numbers or sophisticated reports. But you'd be surprised how many SaaS companies can't provide this basic data.

A lack of data may cause buyers to drop out early in the process, or at least negatively impact a potential offer – as this is a risk that buyers would factor in.

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