SaaS funding continues to reach all-time highs, and SaaS investors are dishing out more capital than ever before.
While the dollars invested into SaaS businesses is increasing, the total number of SaaS investment deals is seeing a drop, which shows that SaaS investors are putting more backing into fewer, yet larger deals.
SaaS companies looking to get funding have several options to pursue, and what works best for enterprise businesses may not be the best choices for early-stage startups.
Here we take a look at how to get funding for your SaaS business, with several options to choose from depending on the size and stage of your company.
If you’re an early-stage SaaS company, crowdfunding is one of the more accessible means of raising capital, but it requires knowledge of the available platforms to understand which can best suit your purposes.
For example, Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two major crowdfunding platforms. They both feature SaaS company campaigns, but these campaigns can easily be overlooked by all the other flashy gadgets, wearables, and consumables that dominate their landing pages.
It’s not to say that a SaaS company can’t be successful on these platforms, but there are other options that can be more beneficial to those in the industry.
Crowdfunder, for example, is an “equity crowdfunding leader for sourcing and funding high-growth ventures with a network of over 130,000 entrepreneurs and investors.”
With a network of tens of thousands of entrepreneurs who understand what it’s like to start-up, Crowdfunder has helped SaaS companies raise millions.
Fundable is another example of a crowdfunding platform where SaaS companies can raise funds.
In fact, Fundable itself is a SaaS crowdfunding platform, and it has an extensive list of SaaS campaigns raising capital.
There are many other crowdfunding platforms available with various offerings, and as always, due diligence is required in researching which ones best suit your needs.
SaaS Accelerators and Incubators
Just as there are multiple crowdfunding options available, so too are numerous SaaS accelerators and incubators that offer access to their VC networks.
SaaS incubators are aimed more at getting business ideas off the ground, and while they do offer access to venture capital, their most sought-after value is in providing guidance and mentorship.
Incubatorlist has a directory of over 400 incubators and accelerators that specialize in different industries across diverse regions.
For SaaS companies that are looking for more growth opportunities, SaaS accelerators are where it’s at.
With programs and partnerships all over the world, these major accelerators always dominate headlines when it comes to growing and investing in startups.
In Canada, the L-SPARK is the premiere SaaS accelerator, having accelerated 51 companies to date, with over 50% of those companies raising follow-on funding, which now totals over $45 million.
From a funding perspective, SaaS incubators and accelerators provide access to their networks of investors, and once again, you should always do your research to find out which works best for you.
Venture Capital Firms
If you’re a more established SaaS company looking to raise funding and don’t want to go the route of crowdfunding or accelerators and incubators, then you can apply directly to major venture capital (VC) firms.
VC firms have access to enormous amounts of capital and many of them also partner with incubators and accelerators.
Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ’s total value, and in partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from 47 years of tribal knowledge from working with founders like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Google’s Larry Page, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.
The SaaStr Fund is a $90 million fund whose current and prior investments include Talkdesk, Algolia, RainforestQA, Logikcull, Automile, Salesloft, Pipedrive, and Greenhouse. As well as these, SaaStr Fund has made smaller investments in other SaaS leaders including Front, Showpad, Retention Science, and AnyPerk.
Additionally, Andreesen Horowitz invests in seed to late-stage technology companies, across the consumer, enterprise, bio/healthcare, crypto, and fintech spaces, with over $11 billion in assets under management across multiple funds.
These are just a few of the VC firms investing in SaaS, but there are many more, and each has their own terms and conditions.
If you’re considering funding directly from a VC firm, be sure to read the fine print.
Crowdfunding, accelerators, incubators, and major VCs are all ways of getting funding for your SaaS company, but the industry is highly competitive.
In fact, it’s anticipated that the industry will grow at a rate of 21.2% annually between now and 2023.
As such, it’s important to have a comprehensive SaaS PR strategy to get your company the ample media coverage needed to stand out above the rest.
Founders can improve their social proof through thought leadership pieces while an effective PR campaign can get their company mission and message in front of the right audience at the right time.
For example, while most SaaS companies dream of being featured on major media publications like TechCrunch, the reality is that more niche publications are often the better target because that is where industry-specific investors are looking.
In this way, SaaS PR, when done effectively, can lead to more referrals, more potential clients looking at your solutions, and more investors looking to fund their next ventures.