A look at the most active VC’s investing in SaaS (software as a service) startups right now.
With a huge burst of SaaS companies entering the market, we’re seeing disruptive software services working their way into enterprise processes in all manner of ways – from marketing tools to payment systems. With SaaS helping to optimize business processes, leading to more fluid and automated operations, venture capital firms are diving headfirst into the pool to find the best and brightest entrepreneurs to back.
From imaging software to collaboration tools, SaaS is becoming an extremely profitable route for venture capital companies. To get an idea of which venture capital firms are leading the way below is a rundown of the foremost faces on the circuit. If you’re looking for funding for your SaaS startup, this is a great place to start
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Founded in 1972 by Dona Valentine, Sequoia Capital is one of the giants in SaaS investment. Based out of Menlo Park, California, Sequoia focuses its investments on finance, energy, enterprise, healthcare, and the internet.
Their enterprise-angled investments are currently leaning heavily toward SaaS, taking ideas from all sectors and assisting a small number of entrepreneurs in reaching their full potential each year.
A $90 million venture fund, The SaaStr Fund was born from the SaaStr blog that focuses on helping founders launch and scale SaaS startups. This fund is pooling its resources and energy to assist in early-stage funding, aimed directly at SaaS/B2B/enterprise startups.
The fund dedicates between $500K and $6 million per startup, while also offering expertise to support and promote their ventures. They will also help their projects by appointing C-Suite staff to run the operations of the business.
SaaS startups that they’ve been involved with include Mixmax, a productivity-boosting software; Automile, a tracking, and management system for commercial fleets and assets; and Teamable, a platform for referring employees and hiring in a more diverse manner.
A household name in tech investments, Andreessen Horowitz began in Silicon Valley, California in 2009. Referring to themselves as ‘stage agnostic’, the VC provides funding at various stages of development. While they have a broad focus to which they assign the $2.7 billion they currently have under management, they tend to look at disruptive technologies in the AI, machine learning, Big Data, and SaaS realms. They have a vast team of academics, specialists, engineers, and executives poised to bolster their investments.
Some of the most poignant SaaS startups in their remit include Alluxio, a data management and analytics platform for enterprises; Granular, data management for agricultural enterprises; and Journera, a customer management system for travel companies.
4. Point Nine
A Berlin-based venture capital company, Point Nine aims its funding toward SaaS companies, as well as online marketplaces and mobile apps. While the team is small, they work across Europe providing early-stage investment and mentorship to their brands. They believe in a straightforward approach and assist in everything from acquisitions to employment.
Some of the interesting SaaS projects that have crossed their desk includes Container xChange, a container logistics platform based in Germany; Spain-based Factorial, an HR software for small to medium businesses; and France-based company, Zenaton, an organizational tool to improve businesses processes.
Costanoa Ventures is an entrepreneur-focused venture capital company looking to boost innovative thinkers with disruptive ideas for a future-proof world. Focusing on early-stage funding and development, Costanoa Venture is a value-driven company hot on making sure the technologies that they support are meaningful, accessible, and educative. They help their companies with business processes, getting to scale, and understanding how to manage operations, as well as getting them to market.
Investing predominantly in SaaS startups, Costanoa Ventures pride themselves on their achievements with companies like Elevate Security, a SaaS platform that helps to prevent security breaches by employees; Alation, a data accessibility platform for employees with large organizations; and Skedulo, a mobile workforce scheduling and management app for enterprise integration.
Managing more than $4 billion of invested capital in over 130 companies worldwide, Bessemer Venture Partners is one of the big dogs in the SaaS venture capital game. Having been on the scene for over 50 years, BVP looks mostly at working with enterprise, consumer, and healthcare industries. Some of their most famous investments include Skype, Pinterest. Shopify, Yelp, and Wix. They start out by offering seed and Series A funding, but tend to stick with their companies as they build and grow.
Some of their most recent SaaS investments include Mambu, a banking software to help with the management of loans and deposits; Claroty, cyber security software for industrial control networks; and Main Street Hub, a CRM for local businesses.
First check investors for tech-focused enterprise startups, Boldstart Ventures aims to give imaginative and innovative founders the initial leg-up on their route to success. Investing in disruptive technologies, the NYC-based venture capital firm is taking their companies from founders to ‘fit for market’.
They have invested in 60 startups for far, with several being acquired by corporate giants such as Google, Salesforce, and LinkedIn. With a strong advisory board at their fingertips, they can pinpoint the pain points for business models in a commercial and corporate world, to help founders find their feet.
In terms of SaaS, they’ve been investing in companies across the industries, including BigID, a customer data security platform for enterprises; Catalytic, software to improve team performance in business operations; and SecurityScorecard, predictive security software for risk management in organizations.
One of the most well-known venture capital firms, Accel works on a global scale with 30 years worth of experience under their belt. With significant companies such as Slack, Facebook, Etsy, and Spotify on their books, it’s no wonder that they are the first choice for many upcoming technology firms.
With their focus on driving change, Accel has got their fingers in many SaaS pies, such as Adroll, a retargeting software for advertisers; Docusign, the most prominent digital signature platform; and PackLink, a SaaS logistics platform.
NEA focus on tech and healthcare, often combining both industries. With a global reach, NEA has been operating since 1977, giving them a wealth of experience and expertise to offer their clients. Since their doors opened, they’ve invested over $19 billion in multiple stages of capital for their companies, while offering industry insights and expertise to help build the operational aspects of those in their portfolio.
With a major emphasis on enterprise-level development, NEA is heavy into SaaS, having backed companies such as MindTickle, a SaaS cloud-based and mobile training platform; VividCortex, a behavior and performance data management system; and greytHR, a payment and HR system based in India.
An early-stage investment firm, Northzone is based out of Sweden. Having invested in notable companies such as Spotify, Trustpilot, and Lastminute.com, Northzone is branching out into more disruptive technologies that aim to shake up enterprise-level workings in various industries. Founded in 1996, Northzone works as both an early-stage funder and a long-term partner, with over 130 companies have worked with them since their opening.
Some of the most valuable SaaS companies they’re working with include HappyOrNot, a Finland-based business assisting with customer and employee satisfaction reporting; Aevy, an HR and recruitment service; and iZettle, point-of-sales solutions.
11. 500 Startups
A worldwide venture capital company, 500 Startups is based in Silicon Valley. They have over $454 million of committed capital to help startups find their feet with early-stage investment. Having already backed over 2200 tech startups across the globe, 500 Startups are one of the leaders in investing in startups. Some of their most well-known tech projects include GitHub, Canva, Udemy, Grab, and Intercom.
Their team is spread across 20 countries and speaks over 25 languages, making them one of the most accessible venture capital and mentorship companies in the world.
SaaS is their 4th biggest investment area, with SaaS companies such as YayPay, accounts receivable, and automated workflow software; inagrab, an AI-driven enterprise deal assistant; and Ovation, a CRM for restaurants and retailers.
12. Battery Ventures
Battery Ventures funds tech companies, with offices based in Boston, Silicon Valley, and Israel. Their main focus is on cutting-edge ideas to promote growth across various sectors, with a particular eye on consumer-internet, mobile services, industrial tech, and enterprise software. A veteran in the industry, Battery Ventures has been around since 1983, and pride itself on their team of experienced experts and entrepreneurs who provide in-house mentorship to the companies they support.
Offering funding for early-stage development and more late-stage business growth, Battery Ventures has been involved with SaaS ventures for a while. Some of the more innovative SaaS projects on their books include Stella Connect, a platform to provide actionable data analytics for customer service teams; Collibra, a data management automation platform to enhance collaboration; and Gong.io, a conversation intelligence software for recording, transcribing, and analyzing sales discussions.
SaaS Venture Capital is a seed-stage venture capital company looking to harness the ideas of SaaS companies and leverage their expertise and resources to promote those companies in the enterprise space across various industry sectors.
Their belief is that SaaS companies have the highest likelihood of being successful, especially if they have a full, experienced team of advisors and mentors behind them – something that SaaS is offering alongside their investment. They also assist with identifying other high-class investors that may be able to help their projects at the seed round.
Their most prominent projects at the moment include Huntress, an offensive-driven security software; Balto, a call center optimization software; and Scythe, an enterprise risk assessment and management tool.
14. OpenView Venture
OpenView is a venture capital company that focuses on the expansion of software businesses to turn them into leaders in their fields. They not only provide investment but also have an Expansion Platform that helps businesses to hire talent, acquire customers and find industry leaders for mentorship and partnership.
With a plethora of operational resources at their fingertips, OpenView leverages their experience to help provide rock-solid advice to direct investments toward producing more successful software companies – particularly in the enterprise and SaaS fields.
A couple of the projects that they’ve helped toward better product monetization and growth are Highspot, a sales enablement platform; Fieldlens, a communication and collab platform for the construction industry; and Deputy, an employee management tool.
15. Atlanta Ventures
Atlanta Ventures focus only on SaaS-driven business models as they feel this is the most prosperous route for software companies. Not only are they providing investment capital. They also help to connect entrepreneurs with advisors and mentors, creating a supportive community on an intentional basis. In doing this, they are attempting to provide an exponentially educative atmosphere for all-around better next-gen technology across the board.
As seed investors, they direct their funding to help entrepreneurs reach the next level of business operations – beyond the mere idea or software and into an enterprise of its own.
With an impressive repertoire in their remit, some of the SaaS companies that stand out include SalesLoft, a sales engagement platform for businesses, and WideAngle Software, which provide a meeting platform for managers to prepare before meetings and produce reports afterward.
Based in Dublin and London, Frontline Ventures directs its venture capital investment to early-stage B2B companies. They have a particular interest in businesses that are powered by the innovative people behind them, pointedly looking for dynamic entrepreneurs and leaders.
With an interest in bridging the human/technology gap, Frontline Ventures provide investment and expertise, along with a comprehensive team of ex-business operators and industry experts. Their aim is to fast-track the development and expansion of companies from the UK into the US, by assisting with everything from funding to recruitment.
Their SaaS portfolio is quite extensive, including AQMETRICS, risk and compliance, and legal governance software aimed at financial services; Localistico, a local marketing and analytics tool for retailers; and Astronomer, a data workflow platform.
With offices in Japan, India, China, and the UK, Eight Roads Ventures is spread across Asia and Europe, with a particular focus in healthcare and technology. The proprietary investment branch of Fidelity International Limited, Eight Roads Ventures has invested over $6 billion in healthcare and tech in the last decade.
The company aims to help provided concerted support for entrepreneurs with extreme dedication to their projects, leading them to have a highly selective process for finding software companies that they want to invest in. Their process not only includes funding, but also advice on recruitment, operations optimization, and marketing. They have a strong focus on helping brands to expand internationally.
In terms of their SaaS investments, they’re supporting companies like Neo4, a data and graphing platform that assists in showcasing the interactions between people and computers; Silot, a scalable AI platform for banks; and ForceClouds, a cloud solution focused on life sciences.
18. Frog Capital
Frog Capital direct their funds and effort to software companies in Europe, with a particular emphasis on enterprise-level technology. Having invested in over 100 companies since 2008, Frog Capital offers a long-term partnership with its projects to enhance expansion via industry knowledge and a vast network of connections across Europe and worldwide.
As a scale-up stage capital funder, Frog Capital tends to look at companies worth €3m to €30m, in need €5m – €20m of growth capital.
Interested in boosting SaaS investments, Frog Capital has made investments in projects such as Dynamic Action, an analytics system for the retail industry; Vulog, customizable SaaS solutions to enable mobile operators to operate more effectively; and Dealflo, agreement automation services for the finance sector.
Despite only having been in operation for the last 4 years, Acceleprise is making waves in the tech venture capital world. Offering both investment and an accelerator program, Acceleprise directs its attention to early-stage B2B SaaS and enterprise tech. Via their mentors, they are creating an international network and community of entrepreneurs.
With offices in San Francisco and NYC, Acceleprise has already raised $70 million to invest pre-seed capital in founders with disruptive SaaS technology. Having stockpiled over 95 companies in the enterprise software arena, Acceleprise has managed to attract some significant mentors to help their cause, including the CEOs of Gainsight, Five9, and Zuora, alongside execs from Cisco, Apple, and SalesForce.
For the startups they are investing in, they’re providing excellent educational opportunities for expansion. Projects they’ve already been involved with include AdinMo, an advertising software for the gaming industry; Pulse Q&A, innovation and spend decision software for CIOs; and Datch, a voice-only interface for factory floor operations..
A growth-stage venture capital firm, IVP has raised over $7.6 billion since it was in founded in 1995. Focusing on market-leading companies, IVP are very flexible investors, providing both large and small deals for their projects. They concentrate on scaling technology companies to provide breakthrough innovations in all sectors of the labor market and economy.
IVP has an accomplished team of operating executives and technology investors who provide in-depth knowledge to move their projects into the next phases.
When it comes to SaaS, they have an impressive catalog including Appriss, who offers data analytics solutions to address risk; Campaign Monitor, an email marketing tool; and DrillingInfo, a workflow optimization tool for the gas and oil industry.
Founded in 1998, Ventech’s expertise is in early-stage investment for startups in the B2B and B2C arena. Their investments cover the whole spectrum of industry sectors, mainly focused in Europe. Investing between €2 million and €5 million in Series A rounds, they do offer slightly lower investments for seed rounds.
They are looking to be lead investors for innovative tech companies who are producing disruptive technology, especially in the enterprise field. They have offices spread across Europe, with VenTech China investing in Asian companies.
Focused on the European market, Prime Ventures invest in technology and tech-related fields using capital and expertise to build a network of founders that can become a global leader in their fields.
They manage around 700 million euros and work from offices in The Netherlands and the UK. They focus on high-level entrepreneurs who want to push for international expansion, turning their attention to digital media, e-commerce, software, infrastructure services, and communications.
Looking to accelerate tech startups rapidly, they have several SaaS projects at their fingertips, including Perpule, a self-checkout software for businesses; Falcon.io, a marketing platform for creating social media campaigns, and 4CInsights, a platform for managing audience insights.
23. Draper Esprit
Working as a pan-European investor, Draper Esprit is one of the most active venture capital companies on the continent. They have a strong belief that European entrepreneurs can lead the way in global innovation, investing in tech and tech-related businesses. By providing long-term capital, they’re driving the development of their projects, bolstered by a network of experienced industry experts for intricate mentorship. In 2016, Draper Esprit went public in order to re-invent the traditional model of venture capital for more flexible funding.
Having worked with some high-profile companies, they’ve backed SaaS ventures such as Iceye, satellite imagery software for businesses and governmental organizations; Conversocial, a platform for converting audience insights into actionable social media campaigns; and Netronome, premium cloud services software for businesses.
This London-based venture capital firm is entrepreneur-oriented, looking to push dynamic founders into producing sustainable business models to support their cutting-edge technology. Founders supported by PROfounders capital have access to a range of knowledgeable investment partners who have all independently built successful business empires. They are driving investment in tech companies that are specifically trying to liberate some of the bottlenecks in current enterprise operations.
In this sense, SaaS is their bread and butter, backing companies such as Syft, a flexible staffing platform; and Tweetdeck (acquired by Twitter), a social media data management tool.
In search of exceptional entrepreneurs and business people in Europe and Israel, 83North is a global venture capital company with a focus on enterprise-related startups. With $550 million under management, they have an extremely large team that spans the distance between London and Tel Aviv, providing industry-specific expertise where needed. While mentorship is not their main priority, they do offer operational advice to help businesses use their funding wisely.
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