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Startup Stories – Rival IQ

Seattle SaaS startup Rival IQ uses Visible to keep investors in 4 states and 2 countries engaged in the growth of the business.

The Challenge

Rival IQ is a digital marketing analytics tool that gives customer an edge in executive SEO, social and content strategies. They are based in Seattle and have raised money from top VC investors, individual angels, and angel groups. With investors in 4 states and 2 countries the company needed a low- friction way to send investor updates and keep all of their investors engaged in the growth of the company.

The Solution

With Visible, Rival IQ can efficiently keep VC investors and angels engaged with visualized dashboards complimented by longer-form business reports. As a SaaS company, Rival IQ is laser focused on MRR, CAC, and SaaS Churn Rate. One other key metric their investors like to keep an eye on is Cash Balance & the trend over time.

“A key value we embrace at Rival IQ is transparency and communication with our employees and our investors. make it easy to keep investors in the know with regular updates and the ability to review any metrics and how it is trending over time when it is convenient for them.” – John Clark, Founder and CEO at Rival IQ

Most Valuable Metrics

As a SaaS company, the most important metrics for Rival IQ don’t veer too far from what you would expect. They want to know how much it costs them to acquire a customer (CAC), how much revenue they can expect from that customer (MRR), and how long they can expect those customers to stick around (SaaS Churn). With those metrics, they can understand whether their LTV exceeds their CAC, something that is crucial for the long term viability of a SaaS business.



Net MRR gives a SaaS company a holistic overview of revenue gained from new subscriptions, upsells/upgrades and revenue lost from downgrades and cancellations.

Net MRR formula

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Simply put, a company’s Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the cost associated in acquiring a customer. This cost is inclusive of the product cost as well as the cost involved in research, marketing, and accessibility costs. When combined with other SaaS metrics like contract size and expected life of the contract, CAC can help you determine whether customers you are bringing in are actually profitable for your business.

Further reading on CAC:


Customer Churn

While acquiring customers gets  most of the attention, retaining those customers is where SaaS businesses can go from good to great. Retaining and upselling existing customers helps move the LTV : CAC ratio into your favor as retaining existing customers – by continually improving product and providing top-notch support – is far less expensive than acquiring new customers.

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