Pretend I have a machine where you insert a quarter and, a year later, a dollar pops out. Do you a) insert the quarter you have in your pocket, wait a year, and then put all four quarters back in or b) go to the bank, borrow as much money as they’ll give you, get it changed into quarters, and start stuffing the machine?
A freemium startup which has a good idea of what customer lifetime value is and what customer acquisition costs are is, essentially, a quarter-into-dollar machine.
This factor becomes particularly acute when the ultimate goal of the startup is to sell their quarter-into-dollar machine for some multiple of the number of dollars it has produced in the most recent year.
[Edited in response to the above post going grey: Please do not downvote the post above me. He isn’t being malicious. The big picture strategic view is non-obvious and many smart people need to have it explained a few times for it to sink in. If you wish to correct the misconception, either explain it or upvote an explanation.]
[Edited to add: P.S. The expert on “(LTV > COCA) + source of capital => blow the doors off” is Dharmesh Shah. He has been banging the drum for a few years now. Example: