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Samsara S-1: How 7 Key Benchmarks Stack Up

Founded by Sanjit Biswas, former CEO at Meraki and John Bicket former CTO at Merakihttps://www.samsara.com/, Samsara builds software to manage physical operations: truck fleets, mining, food & beverage, oil & gas. If a business has to manage physical assets with drivers, there’s a Samsara product for it. Incidentally, the name Samsara is the cycle of life and death in Sanskrit.

The software provides safety, video based coaching, dispatch productivity, and logistics efficiency by instrumenting vehicles and other assets with video and telematics (systems that send data to computers for analysis.) Atop these sensors, Samsara software executes workflows, provides drivers with apps, monitors equipment, and provides managers and executives visibility into the operations of a site.

Metric 2020 2021 2022E
Revenue, $M 119.9 249.9 432*
Revenue Growth - 108% 73%
Gross Margin 59.6% 69.8% -
Sales Efficiency - 0.57 0.70
Net Income Margin -188% -84% -
Cash Flow from Ops Margin -161% -69% -
NDR - 115% -
Average Customer Value, $k - 19.7 -
ACV, Core Customers - 35.2 -
Enterprise Customers 255 452 715*
ARR 194 342 492
ARR per Employee 267 330 -

Founded in 2016, Samsara has grown explosively from $119.9m in revenue in fiscal year 2020, to $432m in the first three quarters of fiscal 2022. The company’s metrics all recorded positive gains including gross margin moving from 60% to 70%, which is impressive for a business providing hardware. 71% is the public SaaS company median.

The company counts more than 25,000 customers of which 13,000 generate more than $5,000 in ARR, and 715 spend more than $100k annually with the company. In the S-1, Samsara highlights the frequent cross-pollination of products within accounts. 52% of all customers buy at least two products and 73% of customers worth more than $5k do the same. This results in a 115% NDR.

Samsara has adopted a few interesting go-to market techniques. The first is the company sell 3 or 5 year contracts that are non-refundable and non-cancellable at relatively small ACVs of $35k. The last public company to adopt a similar strategy also happened to be in telematics: Fleetmatics. Multi-year deals are much more common at price points greater than $150k. But these contracts produce compelling economics. Customers produce an LTV:CAC ratio of 8:1.

Because the contracts are secure and long term and the cash is collected up front, Samsara reinvests those dollars immediately into additional sales & marketing efforts, which produces a very efficient cash sales efficiency and presumably a very short days-sales-outstanding (though this isn’t disclosed. In addition, Samsara enjoys strong and improving accrual sales efficiency of 0.70.

Second, is the focus up-market after having amassed a significant customer base. The company writes, “We focus on customers representing over $100,000 in ARR…” The company aims to cross-sell more products and enable channel partners to deliver those solutions.

All this results in a tremendous business that has achieved about $500m in ARR in just six years.

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How much will Samsara be worth in the public markets? Using a linear regression on current cloud valuations and a combination of key metrics, about 41-42x which implies about $28-$32b.

Congratulations to the Samsara team on building an incredible company with a unique go-to-market strategy and achieving incredible scale so quickly.

* Estimated metrics using company data, but not reported by the company explicitly