Sammy is the Managing Director and Cofounder of Blossom Street Ventures. Email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, especially seed to Series C founders.
What percent of SaaS employees should be in R&D, or sales & marketing, or G&A? It’s a question that was recently posed to us, so we dove into the prospectus’ of 41 large and recognizable SaaS companies to find the data. Observations are below.
Median headcount. The median headcount of the dataset was 834 and includes companies like Snowflake, Dropbox, and Zoom.
R&D and S&M composition. Medians for R&D and S&M were 31% and 39%. 24 of the companies shared their R&D headcount and 15 companies shared their S&M headcount, so these figures will be most representative of a typical SaaS company. G&A was roughly 16% of headcount, as reported by 12 companies. Only 4 shared their customer success numbers and not surprisingly, those companies have huge CS teams given their business model, so it’s not a good sample set from which to derive conclusions on CS headcounts.
Some companies go heavy R&D. 47% of Dropbox’s is R&D. 38% of ZoomInfo’s headcount is R&D. 69% of Unity’s employees are in R&D. Palantir’s figure is 39% and DataDog is at 38%. These are remarkable levels of concentration, and the leaders in their respective spaces.
Heavy S&M. Likewise, some companies have massive sales and marketing teams. 56% of Snowflake’s headcount is in sales. Docusign comes in at 64%.