October 14, 2019 News Magazine

Top VCs, founders share how to build a successful SaaS company

Last week at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, we hosted a panel on the Extra Crunch stage on “How to build a billion-dollar SaaS company.” A better title probably would have been “How to build a successful SaaS company.”

We spoke to Whitney Bouck, COO at HelloSign; Jyoti Bansal, CEO and founder at Harness, and Neeraj Agrawal, a partner at Battery Ventures to get their view on how to move through the various stages to build that successful SaaS company.

While there is no magic formula, we covered a lot of ground, including finding a product-market fit, generating early revenue, the importance of building a team, what to do when growth slows and finally, how to resolve the tension between growth and profitability.

Finding product-market fit

Neeraj Agrawal: When we’re talking to the market, what we’re really looking for is a repeatable pattern of use cases. So when we’re talking to prospects — the words they use, the pain point they use — are very similar from call to call to call? Once we see that pattern, we know we have product-market fit, and then we can replicate that.

Jyoti Bansal: Revenue is one measure of product-market fit. Are customers adopting it and getting value out of it and renewing? Until you start getting a first set of renewals and a first set of expansions and happy successful customers, you don’t really have product-market fit. So that’s the only way you can know if the product is really working or not.

Whitney Bouck: It isn’t just about revenue — the measures of success at all phases have to somewhat morph. You’ve got to be looking at usage, at adoption, value renewals, expansion, and of course, the corollary, churn, to give you good health indicators about how you’re doing with product-market fit.

Generating early revenue

Jyoti Bansal: As founders we’ve realized, getting from idea to early revenue is one of the hardest things to do. The first million in revenue is all about street fighting. Founders have to go out there and win business and do whatever it takes to get to revenue.

As your revenue grows, what you focus on as a company changes. Zero to $1 million, your goal is to find the product-market fit, do whatever it takes to get early customers. One million to $10 million, you start scaling it. Ten million to $75 million is all about sales, execution, and [at] $75 million plus, the story changes to how do you go into new markets and things like that.

Whitney Bouck: You really do have to get that poll from the market to be able to really start the momentum and growth. The freemium model is one of the ways that we start to engage people — getting visibility into the product, getting exposure to the product, really getting people thinking about, and frankly, spreading the word about how this product can provide value.

48833421487 5933a39235 k

Photo: Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch

 


Source: TechCrunch

Tags: in Uncategorized
Banner
Related Posts

Hailo launches its newest deep learning chip

May 14, 2019

May 14, 2019

Hailo, a Tel Aviv-based AI chipmaker, today announced that it is now sampling its Hailo -8 chips, the first of...

SpaceX makes history by completing first private crew capsule mission

March 8, 2019

March 8, 2019

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule has safely splashed down in the Atlantic, making it the first privately built crew-capable spacecraft ever...

Google announces 18 new renewable energy deals

September 19, 2019

September 19, 2019

Google today announced its largest package of renewable energy deals yet. Worth a total of 1,600-megawatts, the package includes 18...

Sweet Escape, a platform for booking photographers, raises $6M

July 2, 2019

July 2, 2019

Sweet Escape, a startup founded in Indonesia that helps connect photographers with customers, is all smiles today after it announced...

Why Google engineers worked full-time to combat sex trafficking

January 15, 2019

January 15, 2019

When the government seized classified-ads site Backpage, forcing it to shut down in April, it became a lot harder to find...

The makers of Duet Display and Luna on life after Apple’s Sidecar

June 7, 2019

June 7, 2019

Of all of the WWDC announcements this week, Sidecar got me the most excited. I’m on the road a lot...

Gmail gets a strikethrough button

January 22, 2019

January 22, 2019

This is not earth-shattering news by any means, but Google today announced that Gmail is getting a strikethrough button in...

Skymind raises $11.5M to bring deep learning to more enterprises

March 20, 2019

March 20, 2019

Skymind, a Y Combinator-incubated AI platform that aims to make deep learning more accessible to enterprises, today announced that it...

Kong acquires Insomnia, launches Kong Studio for API development

October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

API and microservices platform Kong today announced that it has acquired Insomnia, a popular open source tool for debugging APIs....

Hit indie game Cuphead is headed to Tesla vehicles in August

July 27, 2019

July 27, 2019

Tesla’s games library is getting bigger, and the latest announced title is probably a familiar one to gaming fans: Cuphead....

Google Cloud’s new CEO on gaining customers, startups, supporting open source and more

April 9, 2019

April 9, 2019

After Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud’s recently minted CEO, joined the company, he took hundreds of meetings to learn what the...

Verified Expert Lawyer: James Alonso

February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019

While James Alonso has worked at big law firms for much of his career, he’s been working with startups the...

Vonage brings number programmability to its business service

March 19, 2019

March 19, 2019

Chances are you still mostly think of Vonage as a consumer VOIP player, but in recent years, the company also...

Here’s everything Microsoft announced at today’s Surface event

October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

This morning’s Surface event was all about “flow.” It was hard to miss, honestly. The company must have collectively uttered...

ChargedUp picks up £1.2M seed to grow its mobile charging network across UK

February 15, 2019

February 15, 2019

ChargedUp, a U.K. startup that offers a mobile charging network that takes inspiration from bike-sharing, has closed £1.2 million in...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *