A cloud-based software with dollar bills flowing from it

Monthly Recurring Revenue, commonly abbreviated as MRR, is a critical Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry. It is a measure of the predictable and recurring revenue components of your subscription business. This KPI is crucial for understanding cash flow and making informed decisions about your business strategy.

Understanding MRR is essential for any SaaS company, as it provides insight into the financial health and growth potential of the business. This article will delve into the intricacies of MRR, its importance, calculation, and how it impacts other SaaS KPIs.

Understanding Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

MRR is a calculation of the total predictable revenue that a company can expect on a monthly basis. It’s a normalized number that provides a clear picture of your revenue stream, excluding one-time payments, discounts, and refunds. This makes it an incredibly useful tool for tracking growth and forecasting future revenue.

For SaaS businesses, MRR is particularly important because it provides a reliable measure of the revenue generated from subscriptions, which are the lifeblood of this business model. It helps in understanding the financial health of the company and in making strategic decisions.

Components of MRR

MRR is composed of several different types of recurring revenue. The first is New MRR, which is the revenue added from new customers. The second is Expansion MRR, which is the additional revenue from existing customers who upgrade their plans or purchase additional services. The third is Churned MRR, which is the revenue lost from customers who cancel their subscriptions or downgrade their plans. The fourth is Reactivation MRR, which is the revenue regained from customers who reactivate their cancelled subscriptions.

By breaking down MRR into these components, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their revenue dynamics and identify areas for growth and improvement.

Calculation of MRR

The calculation of MRR depends on the pricing structure of your SaaS product. If you charge customers on a monthly basis, you can simply sum up the total amount of subscription fees paid by all customers for that month. If you charge on an annual or quarterly basis, you would divide the total subscription fees by the number of months in the billing period to get the MRR.

It’s important to note that MRR should only include recurring revenue. One-time charges, such as setup fees or non-recurring add-ons, should not be included in the MRR calculation.

The Importance of MRR for SaaS Businesses

MRR is a critical KPI for SaaS businesses for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a clear and predictable measure of revenue, which is crucial for budgeting and financial planning. Secondly, it allows businesses to track their growth over time and identify trends. Thirdly, it provides insight into customer behavior, such as their purchasing habits and loyalty.

Furthermore, MRR is a key metric for investors and stakeholders. A steady or growing MRR indicates a healthy business with a reliable income stream, making it an attractive investment. Conversely, a declining MRR could signal problems with customer retention or product-market fit.

Forecasting and Planning

One of the main uses of MRR is for forecasting and planning. By knowing your MRR, you can predict future revenue and make informed decisions about your business strategy. For example, if your MRR is growing, you might decide to invest in expanding your product line or entering new markets. If your MRR is declining, you might need to focus on improving customer retention or adjusting your pricing strategy.

Moreover, MRR can help you plan your cash flow. Since it’s a predictable measure of revenue, you can use it to estimate your income for the coming months and plan your expenses accordingly.

Investor Attraction

MRR is also a key metric for attracting investors. Investors in SaaS businesses are particularly interested in MRR because it provides a clear and reliable measure of a company’s financial health. A steady or growing MRR indicates a business that is sustainable and has the potential for growth, making it an attractive investment.

In addition, MRR can be used to calculate other important financial metrics, such as the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a customer and the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). These metrics provide further insight into the profitability and sustainability of a SaaS business, making them important for investors.

MRR and Other SaaS KPIs

MRR is closely related to several other key performance indicators in the SaaS industry. These include the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV), the Churn Rate, and the Expansion MRR. Understanding the relationship between MRR and these KPIs can provide valuable insights into your business.

For example, the ratio of LTV to CAC provides a measure of the return on investment for acquiring new customers. If this ratio is high, it means that the revenue generated from a customer over their lifetime significantly exceeds the cost of acquiring them, indicating a profitable business model.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

The Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the total cost of acquiring a new customer, including marketing expenses, sales expenses, and any other costs associated with customer acquisition. The CAC is a critical KPI for SaaS businesses because it directly impacts the profitability of the business.

Understanding the relationship between MRR and CAC can provide valuable insights into the efficiency of your customer acquisition efforts. If your MRR is growing faster than your CAC, it means that you’re acquiring customers efficiently and your business is likely to be profitable. Conversely, if your CAC is growing faster than your MRR, it could indicate that you’re spending too much on customer acquisition and need to improve your efficiency.

Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

The Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is the total revenue that a customer is expected to generate over the duration of their relationship with your business. It’s a critical KPI for SaaS businesses because it provides a measure of the long-term value of a customer.

Understanding the relationship between MRR and LTV can provide valuable insights into the profitability of your customer relationships. If your LTV is significantly higher than your CAC, it means that your customer relationships are profitable and your business model is sustainable. Conversely, if your LTV is lower than your CAC, it could indicate that you’re not generating enough revenue from your customers to cover the cost of acquiring them, which could threaten the sustainability of your business.

Improving MRR

Improving MRR is a key goal for any SaaS business. There are several strategies that can be used to achieve this, including improving customer retention, increasing the average revenue per user (ARPU), and reducing churn.

Improving customer retention involves keeping your existing customers satisfied so that they continue to use your product and generate revenue. This can be achieved through excellent customer service, regular product updates, and a strong value proposition.

Increasing ARPU

The Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is the total revenue divided by the number of users. Increasing the ARPU can be achieved by upselling and cross-selling to existing customers, increasing prices, or introducing premium features or services.

Upselling involves encouraging customers to upgrade to a higher-priced plan or package, while cross-selling involves selling additional products or services to existing customers. Both strategies can increase the ARPU and, consequently, the MRR.

Reducing Churn

Churn is the rate at which customers cancel their subscriptions. Reducing churn is crucial for improving MRR because it increases the lifetime value of a customer and ensures a steady stream of revenue.

There are several strategies for reducing churn, including improving customer service, addressing customer complaints promptly, and offering incentives for long-term subscriptions. By reducing churn, you can increase your MRR and improve the financial health of your business.


In conclusion, MRR is a critical KPI for SaaS businesses. It provides a clear and predictable measure of revenue, which is crucial for financial planning, forecasting, and investor attraction. By understanding MRR and its relationship with other KPIs, SaaS businesses can gain valuable insights into their financial health and make informed decisions about their business strategy.

Improving MRR should be a key goal for any SaaS business. This can be achieved through strategies such as improving customer retention, increasing ARPU, and reducing churn. By focusing on these areas, SaaS businesses can increase their MRR, improve their financial health, and ensure their long-term success.

Leave A Comment

Subscribe to the Tenbound Blog for the latest research releases, Sales Development thought leadership and best practices.

Related Articles