Welcome to The SaaSgarage, European SaaS Co-founding, Angel investing and mentoring. The SaaSgarage is the cradle of many leading International SaaS companies like Contentful, Free Agent, Riskmethods, Softgarden and many more.
The SaaSgarage is a collective term for all of Alexander Bruehl’s Business Angel activities from co-founding, mentoring, coaching to investing in early stage companies, who deliver software or platforms via the internet (cloud), and charge monthly or annual recurring subscription fees, better known as SaaS ( Software as a Service ) or PaaS ( Platform as a Service ) companies.
Since 2008 a number of leading European SaaS companies took advantage of The SaaSgarage’s unique cooperation model. Jointly with Alexander Bruehl, the founder of The SaaSgarage, SaaS expert, serial software entrepreneur and passionate SaaS company builder, they refined and shaped their business-, execution- and funding strategy, before they’ve hit the global roads in full speed.
is to deliver true value-add and credible advice and support to SaaS and PaaS entrepreneurs by leveraging my …
→ business competency, which I gained from more than 15 years as an entrepreneur and co-founder of a B2B software company.
→ Venture Capital insights, collected as a Senior Partner in a leading trans-Atlantic Venture Capital firm.
→ SaaS startup learnings, gained from hands-on work with my portfolio companies from inception to tradesale or IPO as a board member, a SaaS advisor or mentor and coach.
… and reap the rewards later, alongside with the founders no matter when.
In Germany, we have the proverb “A cobbler should stick to his last.” As a serial entrepreneur I have founded, built and exited Enterprise software companies myself. Admittedly, the software at that time was neither distributed via the internet, nor hosted in the cloud and certainly not charged repeatedly as a service. But after all, a software company today still has to invest in R&D, to write code, to design and develop the product, and still has to plan and execute a suitable, sustainable sales strategy.
Luckily many drawbacks and obstacles of previous sales & distribution models, e.g. client server, open source, managed service, have been fading away with the introduction of the SaaS model. Ideally there is only one single instance of the product/software out in the market, provided globally via a cloud and distributed individually to the user devices via the Internet. That is one of the main reasons why I love the SaaS model. It allows companies to deliver more attractive business KPIs, which in turn support higher revenue multiples when it comes to company valuation.
Since selling a software as a service to a private individual is very different from selling to a small, medium or even large company or enterprise, one must distinguish between Enterprise SaaS (B2B SaaS) and Consumer SaaS. My personal distinction of the two are simple and to the point:
→ Consumer SaaS requires a very analytical and big data driven sales process. Sales progress can be best understood and subsequently optimized by analysing consumer behavior on one’s website. Knowing what drove consumers to your site, why they eventually registered and what caused them to finally subscribe is half of the rent. A/B testing and informed tweaking of every element along the steps to a subscription, is the other half.
→ Enterprise ( B2B) SaaS is less about understanding a prospect’s behavior on your website, but much more about optimizing the classic sales KPIs such as sales cycle, reduced trial periods paid or free, onboarding times, contract details and sales efficiency, measured by pipeline velocity.
As you can easily grasp from my portfolio, my heart beats for any B2B SaaS startup, may they belong to
→ Horizontal SaaS, i.e. software and services focused on a category of software, addressing a broad need, spanning across most industries. Good examples are categories like accounting, customer relationship management (CRM) or customer service (CS), with prominent SaaS players such as Quickbooks, Salesforce and Zendesk.
→ Vertical SaaS, i.e., in contrast to horizontal SaaS, software and services targeted to a very particular need in a specific industry. SaaS is one of the key enablers of successful vertical software distribution. Vertical software, purpose built for one industry has a narrow focus and addresses a specific niche. With the advent of global software distribution as SaaS, the underlaying business metrics suddenly looked very compelling. In fact, one can speculate that, by now, there are more opportunities for new vertical SaaS than for horizontal SaaS.
If you want to learn more about my focus and why I prefer B2B SaaS contact me and I can share a few more thoughts and findngs with you.
There are many fantastic websites out there who all describe SaaS in quite some detail. They provide hints and even execution models about how to build a SaaS company. That is great and highly appreciated, and I may refer to those sites here and there. I am a serial entrepreneur myself and I have a passion for starting up businesses. Therefore, my focus is less on theories and studies about Software as a Service but on hands-on teamwork with the founders.