Research Outline

Cost of a SaaS Startup: Canada


To determine the average cost for starting up a SaaS tech company in Canada in its first year by category of business sector (such as marketing, accounting, R&D, legal) in order to make informed decisions.

Early Findings

Overview: SaaS in Canada

  • Majority of the startups in Canada are SaaS companies. Statistics show that venture funding has been on the rise. Several companies are now able to raise more capital and make deals.
  • Exits are the next stage after funding is raised. In comparison to the US, the exits in Canada seem to be on the lower end. Although private equity is less familiar, there is a notable increase over the past couple of years.
  • Canada's top verticals in SaaS include Enterprise Software, Analytics, FinTech, and AI/Machine Learning, and MarTech.


  • When developing a SaaS, one needs to consider several factors before diving into the software development phase. One would assume that the software is the main element of a SaaS. The most important element of any startup is people.
  • Determining the total starting cost can be difficult as there are vary aspects to consider, including the cost of all the different factors. The concept of passive income can be alluring, which may result in a quick build that fails as fast.
  • Building a SaaS is building a business, which incurs cost. These cost factors include:
    • Phone line: Depending on the size of the team, the startup will require a phone number.
    • Hosting the website/app: It is important that the company/app are securely hosted, with technicians available to maintain and secure the business/SaaS.
    • Software: This runs the daily tasks of the business.
    • Insurance: A startup will require insurance for employees, facilities, and the business at large.
    • Staff: The startup needs to pay their employees.

Summary of our Early Findings

  • Our initial one-hour research was able to provide insights into the general cost of SaaS startups. We were unable to provide specific numbers within the time allocated. Also, this information may not be publicly available, as it may defer based on industry and the purpose of the specific SaaS.
  • Our suggested research paths below have been scoped according to what could be available publicly. Select all/some additional research paths suggested below.