SaaS Accounted For 20 Of Total Venture Capital And Growth Equity Investments In H1 2020

SaaS (Software as a service) corporations based by Indian entrepreneurs are poised to succeed in between $18 to $20 billion in income, with the potential to seize a 7 to 9 p.c share of the worldwide SaaS market by 2022, based on a brand new report by Bain & Company titled, “India SaaS Report 2020 – an insight into the India SaaS ecosystem and the future roadmap for founders and investors”, launched immediately. The report analysed a variety of Indian SaaS corporations, which have since 2010, advanced from the rise of some upstarts to a multibillion greenback business immediately. 

The report highlights corporations resembling Zoho, Druva, Icertis and Freshworks, who’ve breached the $100 million annual recurring income (ARR) mark, with a wholesome pipeline of corporations properly positioned to observe over the subsequent 12 to 18 months. Acclaimed first-gen founders, resembling Sridhar Vembu of Zoho and Girish Mathrubootham of Freshworks, have performed a pivotal function in India’s SaaS journey by actively partaking to construct a neighborhood of budding entrepreneurs, which led to the event of many new ventures and immense job creation. For instance, Freshworks created an entrepreneurship cascade of greater than 25 corporations, together with Voonik, Revv and SurveySparrow, which in flip have already created 500 to 1,000 jobs. 

Commenting on the report, Arpan Sheth, companion and chief of Bain & Company’s Asia-Pacific Technology, Vector and Advanced Analytics practices, stated: “The Indian SaaS landscape is on the cusp of a transformation. We now have a thriving ecosystem of enablers comprised of both domestic and global SaaS investors, over a hundred SaaS angels with four or more investments, incubators and accelerators and SaaS development events and initiatives sponsored by communities such as SaaSBOOMi. The impact of these enablers can be witnessed in SaaS companies’ faster trajectory to scale in recent years, with over 50 companies having breached the $10 million ARR milestone and many more are expected to follow.” 

Indian SaaS corporations immediately have totally different areas of focus, categorised throughout a number of vectors resembling measurement of buyer, sort of answer and geography of focus. Bain expects 4 key archetypes of corporations to emerge which embrace SMB (small and mediumsized companies) focussed SaaS corporations focusing on world shores, vertical-specific corporations which have the potential to upend underserved verticals like healthcare and logistics, globally aggressive corporations in rising tech and India initiators with SaaS and B2B tech merchandise tailor-made for the home market. 

The home Indian market has historically been difficult to monetise, owing to decrease consciousness and better worth sensitivity in comparison with world markets. However, Indian SaaS corporations try to scale via particular initiatives resembling funding in market creation through freemium choices, revolutionary monetisation fashions and clear articulation of advantages to the client with tangible return on funding (ROI) metrics. Companies resembling Yellow Messenger and Vernacular.ai are closing massive, global-sized contracts by focusing on marquee prospects within the Indian market. 

The report highlights important skills which Indian SaaS corporations should have, in the event that they need to win in a post-Covid world: 

  • Embracing distant gross sales, as Covid-19 is pushing enterprises to turn out to be comfy with finishing massive offers over digital channels 
  • Setting up an efficient enterprise gross sales engine to concentrate on transferring upmarket and increasing to massive world markets at an early stage 
  • Creating a powerful product-market match to resolve a selected use case by working with early prospects and sharpening the worth proposition in an more and more aggressive market 
  • Fostering worker success and innovation inside the organisation even because the workforce turns into extra distributed and distant in nature

From an investor’s lens, founders can put together by upskilling their methods to play in a big and rising market, implement a clearly differentiated ‘product-led’, ‘distribution-led’ or ‘pricing-led’ strategy, create a enterprise mannequin that ties income enlargement to buyer development and have a powerful founding crew with complimentary talent units. 

Lalit Reddy, companion and chief in Bain India’s Private Equity and Digital Delivery practices stated: “SaaS in India has recently witnessed significant funding traction, surpassing $1.3 billion of annual investment in 2019. Horizontal business software was the largest sub-segment, accounting for two-thirds of all SaaS investment and vertical-specific SaaS grew the fastest, albeit on a small base. Even amidst Covid-19, SaaS has been a prominent investment theme with a growing share of venture capital (VC) and growth equity (GE) investments. SaaS investments were 15 percent of VC and GE investments in the first half (H1) of 2019 versus 20 percent in H1 2020. SaaS also emerged as the top priority technology sub-sector of focus in an investor survey, we conducted last year.” 

The report concludes with Bain’s evaluation of this momentum and the six funding themes which can turn out to be extra outstanding transferring ahead: 

  • Infrastructure administration instruments and platforms will proceed to proliferate. The DevOps neighborhood offers a gorgeous alternative given its excessive diploma of standardisation, robust community results and enormous native developer base to construct and check instruments. 
  • Increase in distant working with robust Covid-19 tailwinds will proceed to drive salience for choose classes resembling collaboration and productiveness instruments. 
  • Tools fuelling the API economic system will proceed to develop and develop as APIs turn out to be central to trendy utility improvement. 
  • Intelligent automation of enterprise processes enabled by developments in synthetic intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing will drive use instances resembling speech recognition and chatbots, and permit for automation of contact centre features. 
  • B2B tech platforms and marketplaces leveraging software program are anticipated to entrench and disrupt current worth chains. 
  • E-commerce enablement options will proceed to develop to handle the wants of a quickly rising e-commerce market

SaaS founders additionally consider that buyers can meaningfully add worth to their companies. Before funding, founders admire buyers who consider totally different corporations with a personalized evaluation lens, taking into account how metrics like development and adoption fluctuate by goal buyer segments and industries. Post-investment, founders worth buyers who mentor in making important selections (e.g. worldwide enlargement), facilitate potential buyer introductions in new geographies and segments, assist with hiring key management roles notably in gross sales and product, and encourage portfolio corporations to experiment and resolve complicated challenges via innovation.


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