34 Types of Key Performance Indicators to Measure Your Startup

Startup metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are important to understand and keep track of so your startup can measure, analyze, and grow your business.

But not all key performance indicators were created equal. And not all KPIs that are applicable to different types of startups are the right match for your startup.

This post will help you to figure out most of what you need to know when it comes to KPIs and I’ll do my best to keep updating this post to continue helping you learn about the subject.

If you don’t know what a KPI is or you have a fuzzy understanding of what it is, then I recommend you read this following definition.

Definition of Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Just in case you’re brand new to key performance indicators, I’ll give you the definition. KPIs are certain metrics that you use to measure specific trends, patterns, data, or behaviors. You use them to determine the performance of your initiatives.

List of KPIs

There are quite a lot of key performance indicators that can be used. Below, you’ll find as many as I can provide you with and what each KPI means.

1) MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) = The amount of revenue you make that recurs monthly

2) ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) = The amount of revenue you receive that recurs yearly

3) ARPA (Annual Revenue per Account) = MRR / Total # of Customers

4) Gross Profit = Total revenue minus the cost of goods sold

5) TCV (Total Contract Value) = Value of one-time and recurring charges

6) ACV (Annual Contract Value) = The value that a contract will bring to your business annually

7) LTV (Lifetime Value) = Prediction of the net profit from the entire future relationship with a customer

8) Deferred Revenue = Amount that was received by a company in advance of earning it

9) Billings = Current quarterly revenue + deferred revenue from the previous quarter

10) CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) = How much it costs, on average, to acquire a customer

11) CCR (Customer Concentration Risk) = Revenue from largest customer / total revenue

12) DAU (Daily Active Users) = The number of users that return to your startup’s site or app on a daily basis

13) MAU (Monthly Active Users) = The number of users that return to your startup’s site or app on a monthly basis

14) Number of Logins = The amount of times users have logged in to your portal

15) Activation Rate = Number of users taking a specific action to get value out of a product

16) MoM (Month-on-Month Growth) = The rate of growth from month to month, comparing the the current month or past 30 days to the previous month or last 31 to 60 days.

17) CMGR (Compounded Monthly Growth Rate) = (Latest Month/First Month) ^ (1 / # of Months) – 1

18) MCR (Monthly Churn Rate) = Lost customers this month / prior month total

19) Retention by Cohort = % of original installed base (1st month) that are still transacting

20) GCR (Gross Churn Rate) = MRR lost in a given month / MRR at the beginning of the month

21) Net Churn = (MRR lost – MRR from upsells) this month / MRR at the beginning of the month

22) Monthly Cash Burn Rate = How much money you spend per month (gross)

23) Net Burn Rate = Revenues – gross burn

24) Gross Burn = Monthly expenses + any other cash outlays

25) TAM (Total Addressable Market) = Revenue opportunity available for a product

26) ARR (Annual Run Rate) = Projection of current MRR into the future, annualized

27) Gross Margin = Difference between revenue and cost of goods sold

28) Sell-Through Rate = Number of units sold in a period/number of items at the beginning of the period

29) Network Effects = Effect of one user on the value of that product to other people (example: Metcalfe’s Law)

30) Virality = Viral coefficient = average number of invitations sent existing user * conversion rate of invitation

31) NPS (Net Promoter Score) = How likely user is to recommend your product to a friend

32) Platform Risk = Dependence on a specific platform or channel

33) Direct Traffic = Traffic coming directly to your site via a link or entering the URL

34) Organic Traffic = Unpaid traffic from search results

Read on in the next section to learn about KPI goals.

Types of key performance indicators for startups. Analytics key performance indicators. Startup key performance indicators.

KPI Goals

Before you can measure any marketing campaign or startup website performance metrics, it’s crucial to have KPI goals.

Bob Parsons, the Founder of GoDaddy, once said: “Anything that is measured and watched, improves.” I would have to disagree because you don’t want to suffer from paralysis by analysis. It’s easy to measure and watch and waste your time.

To avoid wasting your time from paralysis by analysis, schedule specific times to monitor your conversion rates.

Moreover, if you set loose goals, then you’ll achieve mediocre results.

Goal Setting

Set specific goals for your startup’s metrics.

I’ve found it’s important to set numerical goals with time frames to achieve them by.

One way to help you achieve your numerical goal is by reverse engineering your goal.

Just as Stephen Covey describes in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he shares the second habit which is to “begin with the end in mind.”

You might have heard of that strategy and it works!

Just in case you don’t know how I’ll show you. 🙂

Reverse Engineering KPIs

With reverse engineering, we want to get as granular as possible.

That’s because if there’s a weekly goal or a monthly goal, you’ll have loose figures and won’t be able to correctly reverse engineer your efforts.

Nobody wants that!

So it’s important to have a daily goal, too.

Which KPIs you use, specifically, are up to you and your startup to decide because they depend on the goals of your website, product, and/or service.

Having a handful of key performance indicators is so important because you can have laser-focused attention on what matters most for your startup.


Key performance indicators are going to be your best friends.

They are how you measure your startup’s growth and everything in between.

What KPIs are the most important to you?

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