Here come the single-digit SaaS multiples

While stocks looked for a comeback on Friday after another torrid week of selloffs, it’s a fact that software valuations are testing new levels of price depression.

There’s widespread damage as a result of all of those red charts plummeting down and to the right: The decline in the value of public software companies has been a key leading indicator for the present slowdown in venture capital activity, for example, and the ability of startups to push their own valuations higher.

Day-to-day coverage, however, can provide snapshots instead of more complete images. So this fine Saturday, I want to slow down and take stock of where are regarding software (SaaS, effectively) valuations.

The smaller reality of SaaS valuations

There’s no need at this point to gloat about how much investors got things wrong last year. Markets have a way of teaching their own lessons; we don’t need to add to the lecture notes provided by public-market immiseration of recent tech IPOs or the panic that overpriced unicorns feel as they compare their revenue base to their sticker price.

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