Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): SaaS KPIs Explained

A cloud-based software system with dollar signs recurring in a monthly cycle to represent the concept of monthly recurring revenue in saas kpis

In the world of Software as a Service (SaaS), understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial to the success of any business. One of the most important KPIs in this industry is Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). This metric provides a snapshot of the predictable revenue a company can expect to receive on a monthly basis, and it’s a critical tool for forecasting, budgeting, and strategic planning.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is a measure of the predictable and recurring revenue components of your subscription business. It is a metric that provides a consolidated view of revenue and allows for better understanding of your business momentum. MRR is a key performance indicator (KPI) that is closely monitored by SaaS businesses and investors alike. It’s a measure of the health and viability of a SaaS business.

Understanding Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is a normalized measure of subscription revenue. In other words, it’s a way to calculate your revenue in a consistent way across different customers, even if they have different billing cycles. This is crucial for SaaS businesses, where customers might be billed monthly, quarterly, or annually.

The calculation of MRR is relatively straightforward. It involves adding up the recurring revenue from each customer, and then dividing by the number of customers. This gives you an average revenue per customer, which can then be multiplied by the total number of customers to give the MRR.

Types of MRR

There are several types of MRR that SaaS businesses should be aware of. Each type provides a different perspective on the company’s revenue and can help identify trends and potential issues. These types are: New MRR, Expansion MRR, Churn MRR, and Contraction MRR.

New MRR is the revenue from new customers. Expansion MRR is the additional revenue from existing customers, either through upsells or cross-sells. Churn MRR is the revenue lost from customers who cancel their subscriptions. Finally, Contraction MRR is the revenue lost from customers who downgrade their subscriptions.

Importance of MRR

MRR is a critical metric for SaaS businesses for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a clear and predictable measure of revenue. This is crucial for budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning. Without a clear understanding of MRR, it’s difficult to make informed decisions about the future of the business.

Secondly, MRR is a key indicator of business health. A rising MRR indicates a growing business, while a falling MRR could be a sign of problems. By monitoring MRR closely, businesses can identify issues early and take action to address them.

Calculating MRR

Calculating MRR can be a complex process, particularly for businesses with a diverse range of customers and billing cycles. However, the basic formula is relatively straightforward: MRR = (Total number of customers) x (Average revenue per customer).

The challenge comes in accurately calculating the average revenue per customer. This involves taking into account the different billing cycles and pricing plans of your customers. For example, a customer who is billed annually will contribute more to the MRR than a customer who is billed monthly.

Considerations in MRR Calculation

There are several important considerations when calculating MRR. One of the most important is the inclusion of discounts. If a customer is given a discount, this should be reflected in the MRR. Similarly, any changes in pricing should be taken into account.

Another important consideration is the timing of revenue recognition. In SaaS businesses, revenue is often recognized over the life of the subscription, rather than at the time of sale. This means that the MRR should reflect the revenue that is expected to be recognized in the future, rather than the revenue that has already been recognized.

Common Mistakes in MRR Calculation

There are several common mistakes that businesses make when calculating MRR. One of the most common is including one-time fees in the calculation. MRR should only include recurring revenue, so any one-time fees should be excluded.

Another common mistake is failing to account for churn. If a customer cancels their subscription, this should be reflected in the MRR. Similarly, if a customer downgrades their subscription, this should also be taken into account.

Using MRR to Drive Business Decisions

MRR is a powerful tool that can be used to drive business decisions. By understanding your MRR, you can make informed decisions about where to invest resources, how to price your product, and how to grow your business.

For example, if your MRR is growing, this might be a sign that you should invest more in marketing and sales to capitalize on this momentum. Conversely, if your MRR is falling, this might be a sign that you need to focus on customer retention and reducing churn.

Forecasting with MRR

MRR can be used to forecast future revenue. By looking at trends in your MRR, you can predict how your revenue will change in the future. This can be a powerful tool for budgeting and strategic planning.

For example, if your MRR has been growing steadily, you might predict that this growth will continue in the future. This could inform decisions about hiring, investment, and other strategic decisions.

Investor Relations and MRR

MRR is also a key metric for investors. Investors want to see a steady and predictable revenue stream, and MRR provides this. By demonstrating a strong MRR, you can attract investment and grow your business.

Furthermore, investors will often use MRR to value a SaaS business. A high MRR can lead to a higher valuation, while a low MRR can reduce the value of the business.


In conclusion, Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is a critical KPI for SaaS businesses. It provides a clear and predictable measure of revenue, which is crucial for budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning. By understanding and monitoring your MRR, you can make informed decisions that drive the success of your business.

Whether you’re a startup looking to attract investment, or an established business looking to grow, understanding your MRR is crucial. It’s a key indicator of business health, and a powerful tool for driving business decisions.

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