When asked why he took Zendesk public this week, CEO Mikkel Svane replied, "At some point you have to move out of your parent's basement." It's a witty quip with some truth to it. Evolving into a public company is a step for about 25-30 venture backed IT companies per year, and it can be a worthwhile, if strenuous, journey.
Earlier this week, we examined the trends in the major categories of startup investment including eCommerce, Software, Social Networking and Education. But which lesser known startup sectors are starting to raise venture dollars? Where are founders finding unique opportunities to innovate?
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." This line from Simon Sinek's TED talk captures the power of a values based marketing campaign. Simon contrasts feature-based marketing - start with *what* the company is selling continue to *how* they do it and finishes with *why* - to value based campaigns which reverse the story-telling order. Values campaigns start with the why.
In the last six months, VCs have invested more than $57B according to Mattermark data, which puts 2015 on pace to exceed 2000 as the year the most venture capital will be deployed, ever. Which sectors are benefitting from all these venture dollars?
In every sales process for every SaaS startup, there is one ultimate internal champion advocating the purchasing decision. And it's their budget that will be used to pay for it. So, which departments within customers spend most on SaaS?
According to ChiefMarTec, in 2015 there are 1875 marketing technology companies, up from 947 last year. If the number of marketing software companies is any indication, there is a huge expansion in the number of SaaS companies in almost every segment including sales tools, engineering productivity, finance, and human resources. This fragmentation trend has been happening for quite some time.
About two years ago, we examined the new Second Seed, a tactic employed by startups who raise an initial seed round, achieve a set of milestones and raise a second seed round, before raising a series A. During the two years since that analysis, this trend has continued.
This time last year, I analyzed the state of the startup acquisition market. Two key trends surfaced. First, the larger acquisitions were becoming larger. Second, that the total number of acquisitions in 2014 would achieve a 5 year high. As of mid-2015, the first trend continues while the second seems to have faltered.
Ultimately, the goal of most content marketing campaigns is email address capture. When a reader decides to receive content consistently via email, a content marketer knows they're developing a deeper relationship with that person. Whether the marketers selling software or venture capital, retaining an email address is a victory.
When startups achieve hyper-growth, many of the key internal processes begin to fail under the strain of a newer, larger organization. So they must be reinvented. One of the most important internal processes, but least considered, is scheduling meetings.