3 VCs discuss the state of SaaS investing in 2020

Yesterday during Disrupt 2020 I sat down with three investors who know the SaaS startup market very well, hoping to get my head around how hot things are today. Coming on the heels of the epic Snowflake IPO (more to come on that in this weekend’s newsletter), it was a great time for a chat.


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I’ve boiled our 40-minute discussion down to my favorite parts, getting you the goods in quick fashion.

What follows are notes on:

  • how fast the SaaS investing market is today
  • why Snowflake priced where it did and what that tells us about today’s market
  • how SaaS companies are seeing different growth results based on their sales motion
  • why some private-market SaaS multiples can get so high
  • which software sectors are accelerating
  • and what I learned about international SaaS.

There are more things to pull out later, like the investors’ thoughts regarding diversity in their part of the venture world and SaaS startups, but I want to give that topic its own space.

So, into today’s SaaS market with an eye on the future, guided by commentary from Canaan’s Maha Ibrahim, Andreessen Horowitz’s David Ulevitch¬†and Bessemer’s Mary D’Onofrio.

Inside SaaS

To help us get through a good bit of the written word without slowing down, I’ll introduce an idea, share a quote and provide a little commentary. This should be good fun.

Announcing the Startup Battlefield companies at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020

TechCrunch is thrilled to announce the 20 companies pitching in Startup Battlefield. Over the next five days, founders from around the world will be connecting in remotely to pitch live on the virtual TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 stage. Our most competitive batch to-date, startups will be vying for $100,000 in equity-free prize money, the attention of tier-1 investors and global press.

The competition is stiff. The selected startups have undergone a rigorous application process, with a 2% acceptance rate. This year’s batch is exceptional. From green engine design to social networking video tools, GIS construction management to central American banking platforms for women, adaptive Sub-Saharan African transportation to healthcare affordability , these companies make ground breaking innovations in their verticals. Startups featured run the gamut – water conserving vertical farming in India, screen-less interfaces, security tech, multi-lingual adaptive children’s learning toys, and even 3-D printed rocket fuel.

Teams have trained for weeks with the Startup Battlefield team to hone their pitches, polish their live demos, and strengthen their business launch strategy. Monday through Thursday, startups will pitch live for six minutes followed by a six minute Q&A session with our expert judges. On Friday, the finalist companies selected will pitch again for the final Startup Battlefield round – this time with a new set of judges.

Startup Battlefield starts on Monday, September 14th at 10:30am Pacific Time, with Startup Battlefield moderator and TechCrunch Senior Writer Anthony Ha. To watch the live stream simply log in to TechCrunch.com. You can also gain access to the full Disrupt 2020 experience here.

Let’s check out the companies:

Monday 

Session 1: 10:30am – 11:35am PT

Matidor, Clinic Price Check, Firehawk Aerospace, Satellite Vu, DaVinci Kitchen**

Tuesday

Session 2: 10:30am – 11:35am PT

SoloSuit, Tuverl, Latent AI, HacWare, Vibe**

Wednesday

Session 3: 10:30am – 11:35am PT

Jefa, Touchwood Labs, Rally.video, Luther AI, Kiri

Thursday

Session 3: 10:40am – 11:45am PT

Perigee, Urban Kisaan, Crover, ClearFlame Engines Technologies, Canix

Friday

Finals begin at 10:40am PT. Companies will be announced online Thursday night.

*As a part of Startup Alley, companies are eligible for the Wild Card. These are the companies selected for Wild Card and can compete in Startup Battlefield. They are selected only days before the event.