5 Interesting Learnings from Docebo at $145,000,000 in ARR

So there’s a quiet SaaS success story you probably don’t know much about, but can learn a lot from.

It’s Docebo.  It’s a leader in a pretty crowded space (Learning Management Systems) with dozens of top vendors.  And yet …

It’s worth $1.1 Billion today, doing $145,000,000 in ARR.  It’s growing 40%+ on a constant currency basis.  It’s cash-flow positive, and … it only burned $14,000,000 to get there.

That’s right.  It burned just $14m to get to $145m in ARR and a $1.1 Billion Market Cap.

And while it’s stock price is down from its 2021 peaks, it’s still up 2x since its 2020 IPO.  Profitable and capital-efficient is back in fashion:

(Still, I’d argue it should be worth much more with these metrics, especially given that it has $212m in cash on its balance sheet).

5 Interesting Learnings:

#1.  3,245 Customers, Up 23% — While ARR is up 40%.  A good example of how driving deal sizes up (see the next point) and strong NRR lets you drive NRR up well about new logo growth.

#2.  $44,000 ACV, up from $39,000 a year ago — and up from $16k 5 years ago.  Docebo’s pricing is on the “corporate” side of LMS.  It doesn’t compete at the bottom of the market, and targets top logos with a reasonably priced product.  But importantly, it’s raised its ACV 4x since 2016.  Without that, the company would likely be a fraction of its current ARR.

#3.  7% of Revenue from Professional Services — down from 12% in 2018.  Docebo doesn’t do proserv for all customers, but it also doesn’t shy away from it for larger customers.  Many do need help scaling up their learning systems.  Just under 7% of their revenues come from services.

#4.  Incredibly capital efficient growth — Docebo got to $144m+ ARR burning just $14m.  Wow.  Wow.  The company was bootstrapped its first 7 years or so, and then mainly sold secondary shares.

#5. 113% NRR.  Not enterprise-high NRR, but about what I’d expect from their ACV and category.

And a few other interesting learnings:

#6.  Founder Has Been CEO since founding in 2005, ownership down to 3.7%.  The founders sold many of their shares 7+ years in to private equity, so this isn’t all “dilution” per se, but still a learning.

#7.  80% of customers sign multi-year contracts.  Always good to learn how others do this.  The LMS category is a large time investment, so it makes sense to try to get customers to do longer deals.

#8.  No Year of 100% Growth After $10m ARR.  Just Quiet Compounding.   Docebo took 17 years to get to $140m+ ARR, so that’s a while.  But still, it’s path after $10m ARR is a reminder that very solid growth (60%+ each year) can still get you to an IPO.  You don’t have to grow 100% any years after $10m ARR necessarily to still build a true unicorn.

Docebo — a quiet success story of going long in a crowded category.  15 years to IPO, and carefully and steadily going upmarket.  And of doing it in a very capital-efficient way.  The way more of us may be doing these days.

And a few others in this series:

 

 

Published on January 11, 2023

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