I'm a partner at Redpoint. I invest in Series A and Series B SaaS companies. Please get in touch if you're an early stage founder.

I write daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups including how to fund raise, startup benchmarks, management best practices and team building. I co-authored the book, Winning with Data. Join more than fifteen thousand others receiving these blog posts daily by email.


Do Vertical SaaS Companies Benefit from Higher Sales Efficiency?

When writing the post Vertical SaaS Startups Require Different Go To Market Than Horizontal SaaS Companies, I realized that there is a perception on my part and perhaps more broadly that vertical SaaS companies enjoy greater sales efficiencies than horizontal SaaS companies.After all, vertical SaaS companies target a smaller number of potential buyers. The marketing team concentrates their media buys to target this audience, the sales team focuses on a smaller lead list. Does the data support this notion?

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Vertical SaaS Startups Require Different Go To Market than Horizontal SaaS Companies

Vertical SaaS requires a different go-to-market than horizontal SaaS companies. Vertical software companies, a recent important trend in SaaS startups, pursue customers only in a particular industry. They trade a more narrow customer base and consequent reduction in market size for a competitive advantage in that market segment.

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Why Skillful Fundraising is a Huge Competitive Advantage

During fundraising process, founders often tell me "I'd really like to get back to building the business." I'm certain it's true. Every founder surely would certainly rather be building their product and company than fundraising. Nevertheless, a founder skilled in fundraising can create enormous leverage for their business and develop unassailable competitive advantages. This is why it's critical for early stage founders to invest time to perfect their pitches.

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Why Bottoms Up Selling is a Fundamental Shift in SaaS

Much has been written about the consumerization of IT, the movement fueling many SaaS startup's growth by targeting individuals in a target customer called B2C2B, rather than selling top down. But until yesterday, I hadn't found anyone who had quantified the size of the movement.

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Four Important Data Points about Purchasing Behavior in SaaS

The SaaS ecosystem has been evolving incredibly quickly. Most of the time, the changes in the ecosystem are embodied in one particular company which grows exceptionally quickly. Focusing on these fast-growers, the macro shifts can be hard to discern. Last week, Okta released a report Business at Work sweeps across SaaS to reveal these recent evolutions. These are the points that I found most interesting.

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What SaaS Startups Miss in User Onboarding

Over dinner, a veteran product manager argued most SaaS products' onboarding practices miss a crucial step: create value for the user in the first session. After that conversation, I signed up for many brand-name SaaS products pretending it was for the first time, and I couldn't help but agree with him.

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The Impact of the Stock Market on SaaS Valuations in 2015

The public markets are down more than 10% from their highs in the last few months. Public SaaS companies have been particularly hard hit. The chart above shows the enterprise value of publicly traded SaaS companies. Many of them are down substantially more than 10%. Let's dig in a bit more.

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Startup Trends from YCombinator's Demo Day

I've been to many YC Demo Days and I always look forward to them. This year was no exception. There are so many wonderful ideas and companies founded by terrific entrepreneurs. In addition to the pitches themselves, the types of companies presenting forbear trends in the startup world more broadly.

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The Number One Objection in the Sales Funnel

The most potent weapon in sales is understanding a buyer's perception of time. As Mark Roberge wrote, "At HubSpot, this lacking sense of urgency is the number one objection we face in the sales funnel." To succeed, SaaS startups' sales teams must consistently create urgency in the sales process.

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The 3 Ways Culture Enables Startups to Scale

While culture may seem an ambiguous and fuzzy concept, strong cultures are the best way for leaders to manage their companies throughout their evolution. One founder/CEO described his company's rapid growth to several hundred employees in just a few years this way. First, I was one of a few founders. As we grew, I became a manager of people. Then a manager of managers. And now I'm a manager of managers of managers. At this scale, CEOs can't be in every room opining on each choice, but they can influence how each decision in those rooms is made.

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