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Hurdle Rate

In the fast-paced SaaS industry, making strategic investment decisions is crucial for growth and long-term success. One essential metric for evaluating the viability of new projects, product features, or marketing campaigns is the Hurdle Rate. In this article, we'll explore what the Hurdle Rate is, why it's important, its benefits, and how to calculate it for your SaaS business.

What is Hurdle Rate?

The Hurdle Rate is a metric that represents the minimum acceptable rate of return on investment (ROI) for a SaaS business. It serves as a benchmark for assessing the financial viability of potential investments and helps businesses determine whether a project is worth pursuing. If the expected ROI of a project exceeds the Hurdle Rate, it is considered a viable investment. Conversely, if the expected ROI is below the Hurdle Rate, the project may not be worth the risk.

Why is Hurdle Rate important?

Hurdle Rate is important for several reasons:

  1. Investment decisions: Hurdle Rate helps businesses evaluate the financial viability of potential investments, ensuring that resources are allocated to projects with the highest potential for returns.
  2. Risk management: By setting a minimum acceptable ROI, the Hurdle Rate helps businesses mitigate risk by avoiding investments that may not generate sufficient returns.
  3. Opportunity cost: Hurdle Rate takes into account the opportunity cost of capital, ensuring that businesses consider alternative investments when making decisions.
  4. Performance measurement: Hurdle Rate can be used to measure the performance of completed projects, comparing their actual ROI to the initial benchmark.

Benefits of Hurdle Rate:

Some benefits of using Hurdle Rate include:

  1. Informed investment decisions: Hurdle Rate provides a clear benchmark for evaluating potential investments, leading to more strategic and data-driven decision-making.
  2. Improved risk management: By setting a minimum acceptable ROI, businesses can minimize the risk associated with investments that may not generate sufficient returns.
  3. Enhanced resource allocation: Hurdle Rate helps businesses allocate resources more effectively by prioritizing projects with the highest potential for returns.
  4. Better performance measurement: Hurdle Rate enables businesses to measure the success of completed projects, ensuring that investments are generating the expected returns.

How to calculate Hurdle Rate:

Calculating the Hurdle Rate typically involves the following steps:

  1. Determine the cost of capital: Calculate the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), which represents the average rate of return required by all providers of capital (debt and equity) to the company.
  2. Estimate the risk premium: Assess the risk associated with the specific investment and assign a risk premium to account for potential uncertainties.
  3. Calculate the Hurdle Rate: Add the risk premium to the cost of capital to obtain the Hurdle Rate.

Hurdle Rate = Cost of Capital + Risk Premium
It's important to note that the risk premium and cost of capital may vary depending on the specific project or investment being considered.


The Hurdle Rate is a key metric for evaluating investment decisions in SaaS businesses. By understanding and utilizing the Hurdle Rate, companies can make more informed decisions, improve risk management, and allocate resources more effectively. Regularly assessing potential investments against the Hurdle Rate can help drive growth and long-term success.