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SAAS Benchmarks: Funding stages

This is the third article in our 6-part series covering SAAS benchmarks. This article focuses on funding by growth stage, so we think you’ll find it particularly interesting.

We include data from the USA, Europe, UK, as well as the impact of covid. Keep reading for all the juicy details…

What are those funding stages?

Have you ever noticed that people refer to ‘pre-seed’, ‘seed’, or ‘Series A’ rounds as if there is a global definition? While this does simplify discussions, it can mask huge variances. Here is a graphical view of the ranges of money raised by stage:

This data is sourced from Open View’s global 2020 SAAS benchmarking study, based on input from more than 1200 companies.

While helpful, this also highlights some holes in the data. (A quick glance at the numbers suggests that there just aren’t many companies. What happened to companies that raise $5M?)

To provide a broader picture of each round, here are details on the number of employees by funding size as well as the ARR (or annual recurring revenue).

This should help clarify where your business is on the table.

The Open View data set, while global, does disproportionally focus on the USA.

Leading us to question….

How much money is raised in Europe?

Sadly European specific benchmarks are harder to find. This study, by Serena Capital, is based on a much smaller sample, just 100 companies from across Europe.

It may ask large regional differences. Additionally, data from Series B onwards is difficult to deduce.

And how much is raised by UK SAAS companies?

Try as we might, we simply can not find substantial benchmarking studies for UK SAAS businesses.
To provide a qualitative assessment of the data, we asked our friends at Founders Factory, who have invested in over 200 companies and have ongoing relationships with so many VCs, to provide a qualitative view of the market.

Input was provided by Darren Mulvihill, who is in the epicentre of fundraising.

The key takeaways are:

  • For companies raising a Series B or later, funding markets are global, with little distinction between the UK and international data
  • The Angel, Pre-Seed, Seed and even Series A rounds tend to be more local, with funding rounds as shown here:

What has been the impact of covid on SAAS companies?

Globally, the economic uncertainty of covid has had little impact on SAAS valuations. This is partially driven by USA equity markets which have seen material increases in valuation for software companies since March 2020.
 
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, studies suggest that investment in enterprise SAAS has been recession proof with most businesses reporting little to no negative impact on their software spend over the last 18 months. Only 10% of companies have reduced their enterprise SAAS spending, ensuring that both established and smaller SAAS businesses continue to grow.

And so...

 
Funding for SAAS companies remains strong in the UK and globally.
 
This article is number 3 in our 6 part series. Next weeks topic – monthly cash burn by growth or funding stage – should be of interest to everyone.
 
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And, if you have any thoughts or input, we would love to see them in the comments below.

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