They might not sound as sexy as some consumer apps, but business-to-business (B2B) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) startups have a knack that many customer-facing companies lack: they’re good at raising — and making — money.
Investors plugged more than $5bn into B2B and SaaS startups in Europe in 2019, up from $2bn in 2016, with the continent boasting 16 unicorns (startups valued at above $1bn) in the sector, including Copenhagen-based customer service platform Zendesk and Tel Aviv-headquartered website builder Wix.
By 2023, it is expected that 80% of businesses globally will be using SaaS applications — that is, if the rise in remote working doesn’t make that happen even sooner. What’s more, SaaS companies have found themselves in a stronger position than most to weather the current crisis thanks to their recurring revenues.
In September, B2B Rocks, a conference (taking place online this year) will give founders and investors the opportunity to learn about how to make the most of the economic rebound, from the biggest names in B2B SaaS like digital health insurance company Alan and business banking app Spendesk, through insightful sessions, keynotes, panel discussions, workshops, networking and more. Other star speakers include Marie Outtier, cofounder of AI marketing analytics platform Aiden.ai and Hanno Renner, cofounder and chief executive of HR management software Personio.
We spoke to two B2B and SaaS gurus speaking at the event this year; Laura Urquizu, chief executive of brand protection software solution Red Points and Alexandre Prot, founder of business banking platform Qonto, to find out what impact Covid-19 had on their companies and how they keep their A-game in retaining customers and attracting new ones.
The Barcelona-headquartered firm, which also has offices in New York, Salt Lake City and Beijing, was founded in 2011. It has a team of over 200 and raised its $38m Series C round last year from investors including Northzone. Its chief executive, Laura Urquizu is one of very few women at the helm of a B2B SaaS company and is hailed as a role model for a new wave of female founders in the software industry.
What impact has Covid-19 had on your business?
Covid-19 has not decreased our business activity. In fact, we’ve even seen significant growth in some sectors such as entertainment and pharma, which have grown substantially in the last weeks.
As a result of Covid-19, 73% of consumers we surveyed expect to increase their purchases on the internet compared to shopping in physical stores.
Covid-19 has increased sales on the internet significantly, and the more ecommerce increases, the more likely there is to be counterfeiting on the internet. For this reason, brands need our technology more than ever to fight counterfeiting, piracy or illegal distribution.
How do you plan to grow customers over the next few months — and how will you do that?
In order to better protect our clients’ revenue during these difficult times and to grow customers at Red Points we just opened an office in China.
Read the full article in Sifted.