Hi, I'm a partner at Redpoint
. I invest in Series A and B SaaS companies. I write daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups. I co-authored the
book, Winning with Data
. Join more than 16,000 others receiving these blog posts by email. Subscribe.
Average Series A valuations have hovered around $15M for the last 9 quarters. Series B rounds have settled into $50M, while Series C rounds have rebounded to $100M. Later stage rounds, however, have fallen by 50% from their high of $400M to just under $200M.
When you're selling a SaaS product to a potential customer, you have to convince them switching is worth the effort. And once you've sold the product, you have to do the opposite - convince the customer that switching to anything else isn't worth it.
Channel distribution represents one of the biggest and most important changes in customers acquisition for SMB SaaS startups in quite a while. Historically, channel distribution has been reserved for the most expensive software and hardware. IBM, Intel, Cisco and their kin generate more than 80% of their revenues through a universe of resellers and distributors.
There are three pricing strategies for startups. Maximization dominates SaaS products in the mid-market and enterprise markets; penetration is synonymous with freemium in the SMB market. Once you've decided on the right strategy for your company, what is the best way to price? By seat? By minute? With or without a platform fee?
Through the end of July in 2016, $70B worth of SaaS companies sold. Their size follows a power law with LinkedIn at $26B and Netsuite at $9.3B. The more than $600B in cash on the balance sheets of large public tech companies combined with a recent pricing correction in SaaS companies presaged a flurry of acquisition activity. But it hasn't unfolded as expected in three different ways.
If a software company grows at 20% annually, it has a 92 percent chance of ceasing to exist within a few years.
Where is the budget to pay for your SaaS startup's software coming from? There are three possible pockets. First, they are dollars the competitor you displaced used to collect. Second, the company enlarges the current budget to finance the purchase. Third, the company creates a new budget.
What is the smallest price point at which a SaaS startup can justify building an inside sales team? This is a natural question that many SaaS startups raise as they begin to complement bottoms-up, product-led adoption with assisting customers through the sales process.
Over the last year, the amount of series A investment in US startups has fallen by nearly 33% from a high of $6 billion to about $4 billion in Q2 2016. Later stage investments have followed a similar path. Curiously, the series B/Expansion stage market has witnessed remarkable resilience, continuing to increase despite volatility.
The last time I learned a new programming language was 2004. I had been writing in Java for about four years, and then I heard whispers of a new framework called Rails that allowed engineers to write web applications in one-tenth the time of a Java web application. Over the course of a few weeks, I bought an armful of paper books, read them, and worked through the examples. A few weeks later, I built my first Rails application and brought it to work at Google.