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What’s the ROI of Mergeflow?

Our goal with Mergeflow is to help you discover ideas, people, companies, and technologies that you might not have discovered otherwise; to help you map out a topic within 20 or 30 minutes; and to automate the continuous monitoring of new updates, so you don’t have to do it manually.

“OK,” I hear you ask, “but what’s the return on investment (ROI) of using Mergeflow?”

I estimated the ROI on time saved mapping out or exploring topics, and on time spent monitoring of new updates.

Here are my estimates for annual net savings (“net” means that the estimates take into account the cost of a Mergeflow subscription):

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Let me explain how I got these numbers.

Time saved on exploration

By “time saved on exploration”, I mean the time you save when you use Mergeflow to explore a topic from multiple angles. These angles include exploring venture capital investments, markets, patents, science, and news & blogs (depending on your topic, you might consult additional data sets). At Mergeflow we call such a multiple angle search a 360° search.

Time saved on monitoring

By “time saved on monitoring”, I mean the time you save when continuous monitoring of new updates is automated, as done by Mergeflow.

How I did my ROI calculations

The basics

I assume…

  • 48 work weeks per year.
  • $150 per R&D hour. R&D hour includes the salaries, overhead, infrastructure etc. Valispace, an engineering knowledge management software company, also assumes $150 per R&D hour as a default in their ROI calculations. So I think this is probably reasonable.

Time saved on monitoring topics

I assume that you typically have at least 5 topics that you need to monitor continuously. For example, if you’re interested in carbon capture, you’re probably also interested in “direct air capture, “carbon storage”, and “carbon sequestration”. In addition, you might be interested in updates on specific companies, Carbon Clean Solutions, for instance.

Then I assume that you’re interested in updates from the following 4 data sets:

  • venture capital fundings
  • scientific publications
  • news & blogs
  • patents

I assume that if you wanted to manually check each of these 4 data sets for updates, you’d probably spend at least 15 minutes per data set (3 minutes x 5 topics = 15 minutes) on average.

By contrast, with Mergeflow’s weekly email updates, our experience shows that you can accomplish this in 5 minutes per data set on average: with Mergeflow, all you have to do is quickly scan one email per day (Mergeflow sends out one email per data set every week, distributed across the week’s days). These emails contain all the updates you would otherwise need to collect manually from across different data sets.

So, with Mergeflow you get weekly time savings of…

(15 minutes – 5 minutes) x 4 data sets = 40 minutes.

Per year, this is…

40 minutes x 48 work weeks = 1,920 minutes = 32 hours.

Time saved on exploring or mapping out topics

I assume that on average, you have at least 1 new topic per month that you want to explore or map out. By “exploring” or “mapping out”, I mean getting a first useful — not comprehensive — overview of a topic. Such an overview should at least include:

  • Venture capital: Some interesting venture-capital-funded companies and their investors.
  • Markets: Notable companies that are active in the markets; fastest-growing and largest market segments related to your topic.
  • Patents: Important companies and inventors; relevant patent classes; some particularly noteworthy patents.
  • Science publications: Important researchers; interesting subtopics; some particularly noteworthy papers.
  • Blogs & news: Some news on important events (e.g. joint ventures), and some blog articles with interesting “food for thought” (e.g. articles that talk about interesting new research).

In order to compile such an overview manually, I assume you’d need at least 4 hours.

By contrast, with Mergeflow I can show you how to do this within 30 minutes or less.

So, with Mergeflow you get monthly savings of…

4 hours – 30 minutes = 3.5 hours.

Per year, this is…

3.5 hours x 12 months = 42 hours.

Annual net savings

When we add monitoring and exploring, we get…

32 hours + 42 hours = 74 hours

…per year.

Now plugging in our hourly R&D costs of $150, we get annual savings of…

74 hours x $150 = $11,100.

In order to get annual net savings, we now need to subtract from this the costs of an annual Mergeflow subscription:

$11,100 – $5,400 (Individual plan subscription) = $5,700.

ROI for teams

For teams ROI calculations, I made the following two assumptions:

(1) Less time saved per week

First, I assumed that rather than…

74 hours / year = 74 hours / 48 work weeks = 1.54 hours / week

…the time savings per week would be lower, 1 hour. So, for teams, I estimated annual savings to be…

1 hour x 48 weeks x $150 = $7,200.

Here’s why I did this: If somebody subscribes to a software for themselves directly (the Individual plan above), I assume they do so because they really want to use the software. With teams, the person making the purchase might not be the person using the software. So there might be less of a “usage commitment”.

(2) Not everybody is an active user

Very often, when companies purchase software solutions for entire teams, not every team member actually ends up using the software. And the bigger the teams, the higher the proportion of inactive users, I assume.

I made a simple “active user decay series”, mapping number of users against the percentage of active users:

Number of Users vs Percentage of Active Users

Mergeflow’s ROI for a team of 10 users…

For a team of 10 users, I assume 90% active users. So we get…

90% x 10 users = 9 active users.

And this means annual savings of…

9 users x 48 hours x $150 = $64,800.

Now we need to subtract the cost of the Mergeflow Team subscription for 50 people. This gives us net annual savings:

$64,800 – $36,000 (Mergeflow Team plan for 10 users) = $28,800.

…and for a team of 50 users

For a team of 50 users, I assume 75% active users. So we get…

75% x 50 users = 38 active users.

And this means annual savings of…

38 users x 48 hours x $150 = $270,00.

Now we need to subtract the cost of the Mergeflow Team subscription again, this time for 50 people. So the estimated net annual savings are:

$270,000 – $90,000 (Mergeflow Team plan for 50 users) = $180,000.

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