What are some real life SaaS pricing models?

Following are a few examples of real life SaaS business models. Current as of 2017-10.

OnShape: Annual subscription

As of March  2019: OnShape.com, a cloud mechanical CAD provider and competitor to Solidworks, starts at $1500 per user per year. There was a modest price increase from 2017 to 2019.


Solidworks: Choice of one time fee versus annual subscription

Onshape competes head to head with Solidworks, which is a desktop app for mechical CAD. As of March 2019, the Solidworks automatic quoting feature on their app provides a quote for Solidworks Standard at either $3995 one-time cost per named license, or $1295 per user per year. This ratio is not uncommon - subscription version will end up costing more money than the installed app if you keep it for a few years - but in that time frame the installed app will have gone obsolete.

That's one way to help customers who are used to one kind of pricing transition to another kind of pricing. "your software would be obsolete by the time you end up paying more via subscription anyways - and you get instant upgrades and you don't have to worry about maintenance in the cloud! What a GREAT deal!"

Atlassian Jira cloud: Metered by user count

As of March 2019: Atlassian Jira Cloud pricing is metered by user count with floor. They used to do ranges, now it’s metered by user. These prices have stayed the same from 2017 to 2019 with the exception that the enterprise direct sales model now starts at 5000 users instead of 2000 in 2017.


  • <10 users: $10 per month flat rate. This is a nomimal fee. Self service
  • 10-100: $7 per user per month
  • 100-5000: Sliding scale that goes down for cost per user per month with increasing user count - capping out at $1.1 per user per month
  • 5000+: Call them 

Gerber Technology: Metered by user count with volume discount as well as discount for longer term subscriptions with upsell option for additional module

As of March 2019: Gerber Technology's YuniquePLM Cloud has the following pricing model. These prices have stayed the same from 2017 to 2019.


  • 3 months: 1-10 - $126; 11-50 - $112
  • 6 months: 1-10 - $121; 11-50 - $106
  • 12 months: 1-10 - $116; 11-50 - $101
  • Not clear what the upsell option costs

Salesforce: Pricing tiers based on functionality:

No scaling by user count, but different pricing tier based on functionality / modules. These prices have stayed the same from 2017 to 2019.


  • Starter: $25/user/m
  • Professional $75/user/m
  • Enterprise (“Most popular”) $150/user/m
  • Unlimited $300/user/m
Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful

      This website and all posts and content are intended for educational purposes only and for no other purposes. This website does not and is not intended to provide legal, financial or tax related advice. Although we take great care to make sure that all of our information is accurate and useful for it intended educational purposes, if you have a specific issue for which you need actionable advice, please come to the Martin Trust Center in person to speak to one of our Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) or consult a licensed attorney or other professional. Despite the backgrounds and qualifications of our staff, mentors, lecturers, authors, EIRs and speakers no attorney-client, advisor, or other confidential/privileged relationship exists or will be formed between you and the Martin Trust Center or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Under no circumstances should any content be relied upon in making any decisions that could have any financial or legal impact(s).
Have more questions? Submit a request


Powered by Zendesk