You’ve got your SaaS business off the ground. You turned that inspired idea into a product that you knew customers would love. From there, you got the word out about your site and service. That helped you capture those all-important early adopters.
As customers rolled in, intelligent marketing helped you grow your base still further. If you’re going to take that next step, though, you need to find some outside investment. You need the kind of financing that will help you make those bold moves that your firm needs to go to the next level.
What you need to know is where you can get that funding. If you need serious cash that you can’t raise organically, venture capital funds (VCs) may be your best bet. The following are 25 top SaaS investors that might just hold the key to your business’s future.
SaaS companies typically go through five startup funding stages. The SaaS investors listed below are VCs that may provide you with finance at any one of those stages. The VCs are based all around the world, and each have their individual investment preferences. What they all have in common is that they already work with many SaaS companies.
A global venture capital fund, 500 Startups calls Silicon Valley home. The fund has over $450 million worth of capital invested in helping startups grow and develop.
Focussed on tech, SaaS is one of 500 Startups’ four largest investment sectors. They work with notable firms in the niche, including YayPay and Ovation. According to the firm’s website, their mission is:
“to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems.”
83North is a VC company based in Tel-Aviv. The fund’s primary focus is on enterprise-related companies in Israel and Europe. Able to offer operational assistance as well as cash, 83North boasts over $550 million under management.
This fund works with SaaS firms to provide seed and later-stage financing. Cooladata and iZettle are businesses within the niche that presently work with 83North.
Accel is one of the best-known VCs across the world. Founded in 1983 by Jim Swartz and Arthur Patterson, the fund has over three decades’ of invaluable experience. They have also worked or continue to work with some of the biggest names in software:
Working with both B2C and B2B firms at all stages of development, Accel should be near the top of any VC shortlist.
Despite having only started out in 2012, Acceleprise is now one of the best VC options for any SaaS firm. Based in San Francisco, USA, the fund describes itself as ‘the top B2B SaaS accelerator’.
Acceleprise focusses on smaller B2B SaaS companies looking for early-stage funding. As well as investment, the fund provides specialist mentors to help the firms they work with. Such SaaS firms connected with Acceleprise include AdinMo and Fomo.
Few VCs have a better track record on software investments than Andreessen Horowitz. The world-renowned fund has in the past invested in these tech and software goliaths:
The fund got founded in Silicon Valley in 2009 by Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen. They like to describe their VC as ‘stage agnostic’. That means if a business is promising enough, they will invest at any stage of its development.
If you’re looking for SaaS investors to help you raise seed funding, Atlanta Ventures may be the best place to turn. The fund specialises in early-stage funding. Not only that, according to their website, Atlanta Ventures:
“Empowers entrepreneurs to achieve their potential through community, content, and capital.”
Advice and operational support, then, are also routinely provided by the fund. Firms in the SaaS niche that have benefitted from that kind of help include SalesLoft and WideAngle Software.
Battery Ventures is another VC that focusses on early-stage investment. The fund has bases in Silicon Valley, Boston, and Israel and boasts close to 40 year’s worth of experience.
In the close to four decades that Battery Ventures has operated, it has funded over 300 firms. Amongst the SaaS firms on their books are customer service platform Stella Connect and Gong.io.
Even longer-tenured than Battery Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners has been in business for over half a century. The fund is one of the biggest players in SaaS investment. Bessemer has over $40 billion of cash currently invested in close to 150 firms.
Some of the fund’s most important investments were in businesses like Skype and Shopify. More recently, Bessemer has committed finance to Mambu and Claroty. Those firms, respectively, are SaaS businesses in the banking and cyber security sectors.
Boldstart Ventures is a VC fund with a primary focus on seed funding. The fund specialises in providing businesses with their first outside investment. That’s why Boldstart likes to describe themselves as ‘first check, lead investors’.
The New York-based VC has so far invested in over 60 startups. Some of the most successful were ultimately acquired by Google, LinkedIn, and SalesForce. Amongst their current investments are a raft of SaaS firms. Those include SecurityScorecard and BigID.
The next of our SaaS investors provide primarily for seed and Series A funding. That means they work with startups and firms looking to take that first big leap into VC investment. The fund in question is the California-based Costanoa Ventures.
Costanoa is a fund that’s particularly interested in entrepreneurship. The decision-makers at the VC like to invest in what they describe as ‘disruptive ideas’. Costanoa’s existing SaaS investments span niches, such as cyber security and scheduling.
First and foremost a pan-European fund, Draper Esprit has a presence that extends around the globe. According to the fund’s website, they have a network that spans “the US, Europe, Asia, South America – and everywhere in between”.
Innovation is at the heart of Draper Esprit’s operation. In 2016, they broke the VC mould and went public so that they could offer more flexible funding. One of the highest-profile firms the fund worked with is review business Trustpilot. In the SaaS field, Iceye and Conversocial have both received funds from Draper Esprit.
Taking a particular interest in healthcare and tech, Eight Roads Ventures is a genuine global VC. The fund has offices in ten countries, including significant bases in China, the UK, and the USA. Since its foundation in 1969, Eight Roads has funded over 300 separate businesses.
In spite of that high number of investments, the fund is very selective. Businesses that do get Eight Roads funding also get advice on recruitment, marketing, and operations. In the past, the fund has worked with Alibaba and Avidity. It also has an active SaaS portfolio, featuring firms like Silot and ForceClouds.
Any European SaaS business could do worse than to hop on over to Frog Capital’s website if they need finance. The fund works almost solely with European software firms. It also offers investment at every stage of the startup funding process.
Frog Capital boasts a global network of connections and plenty of industry expertise. Those things allow the fund to offer long-term partnerships to firms in which it invests. SaaS companies already enjoying such partnerships include Dealflo and Dynamic Action.
This entry on our list of SaaS investors caters only to a particular kind of company. If you’re a B2B SaaS firm looking for seed funding, Frontline Ventures could be the fund for you. According to the fund’s site, it seeks to invest in “ambitious seed-stage B2B founders”.
Headquartered in Dublin and London, Frontline works mostly with UK-based businesses. The fund specialises in speeding those firms toward expansion in the USA. Data workflow platform Astronomer and marketing and analytics firm Localisto are among the fund’s existing SaaS partners.
While the fund calls New York home, Insight Venture Partners has a global reputation. It helps firms the world over and is flexible in the finance it offers. The fund prefers to work with market-leading outfits. It will also, though, provide smaller deals for the right companies.
Insight Venture Partners has over $20 billion under management. Much of that investment is committed to the SaaS niche. The fund’s impressive SaaS catalogue includes a good number of firms. Good examples include Email marketing platform, Campaign Monitor, and workflow tool DrillingInfo.
Like some of our other SaaS investors, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) focusses on healthcare and tech. NEA started working with clients in 1977 and has since invested over $19 billion. The fund has also accounted for over 350 mergers and acquisitions, and more than 200 IPOs.
NEA is a live option for any SaaS business searching for late-stage funding. The fund has already backed many companies with SaaS models. Those firms include cloud-based training platform CloudTickle and Indian HR system greytHR.
Northzone is a VC that calls Stockholm home. As such, it’s a live funding option for any European SaaS business. The fund first started investing back in 1996. In the ensuing 23 years has financed lots of significant companies, including:
Today, Northzone likes to focus on firms that develop disruptive technologies. The fund offers seed and early-stage finance. Current Northzone partners include HappyOrNot and Aevy.
This VC tailors to established software companies, looking to expand. OpenView Venture specialises in taking such firms to the next level in their development. As well as finance, it offers an ‘Expansion Platform’. That platform aids in hiring talent, growing customer bases, and finding industry mentors.
OpenView has helped a few SaaS firms to expand successfully. Deputy is a prime example. The employee management tool used finance and help from the fund to go from strength to strength.
Describing itself as an “Angel VC”, Point Nine specialises in seed and early-stage financing. The Berlin-based VC also sometimes gets involved in the latter part of the funding process. SaaS firms and the digital marketplace account for much of Point Nine’s portfolio.
Investing all over the globe, the German VC works with a few exciting SaaS companies. Those firms include both Factorial and Zanaton, providers of small business software solutions.
Prime Ventures is a VC fund focussed on the European market. It has offices in the UK and the Netherlands and manages over 700 million Euros in investments. SaaS investments of the fund include stakes in Perpule and Falcon.io.
According to Prime Ventures own website, the fund is:
“a leading venture capital and growth equity firm focused on investing in European companies in the technology and related industries.”
The London-based PROfounders Capital is a VC pitched at entrepreneurs. The fund enjoys investing in dynamic and forward-thinking business founders. It then uses its resources and expertise to help founders make their firms viable.
PROfounders often focusses investments on SaaS firms that aim to solve enterprise problems. One of the fund’s biggest success stories is the social media data management tool, Tweetdeck. After working with PROfounders, Tweetdeck got acquired by Twitter in a significant deal.
As its name suggests, SaaS Venture Capital is a VC with a specific interest in SaaS businesses. The fund views the SaaS model as the most likely to succeed in the software niche. That’s why it describes itself as;
“a seed-stage venture capital fund focused on enterprise tech.”
SaaS Venture Capital works with a few prominent SaaS companies. The fund’s current projects include those with Huntress and Balto. Respectively, those are firms in the security and call centre software niches.
A giant in the VC industry as a whole, Sequoia Capital is also one of the most prominent SaaS investors. Don Valentine founded the fund in 1972, and it has been based in California ever since. The fund caters to investments in finance, energy, enterprise, healthcare, and internet.
Sequoia has invested in well over 1000 companies. Those businesses include world-famous names like Airbnb, Zoom, and Drift. It’s not easy for smaller firms to get the fund’s attention. The VC, though, does invest in some of the world’s fastest growing SaaS startups.
The SaaStr Blog was an online resource to help founders launch and scale SaaS firms. From that blog, the SaaStr Fund was born. The fund takes things a step further than its parent blog by investing in promising SaaS startups.
The SaaStr Fund is now a $90 million VC. It provides not only finance, but also expertise to assist and market companies. Some SaaS startups that have partnered with this fund include Mixmax and Automile.
VenTech is a Series A specific VC. The fund will often only invest in startups that have already received between €2 million and €5 million in seed capital. VenTech started out in 1998 and mostly limits itself to investing in European firms.
The fund is only interested in the tech sector but will invest in either B2B or B2C firms. In its 21 years’ of operation, VenTech has worked with many SaaS enterprises. At present, 365talents and Albacross are among the fund’s SaaS portfolio.
Starting and then scaling a SaaS business isn’t easy. In the early going, you have to think about all manner of promotion and marketing. You need to get your name out there and grow your customer base. Then, once you’re established, the biggest challenge becomes seeking funding to take that next leap.
Securing VC investment for a startup is a tricky proposition. The majority of VCs you reach out to will turn you down. That’s why you need to know about as many funds as possible, that might be interested in SaaS investment. Our list has introduced you to 25 of the best SaaS investors around. The rest is up to you.
Nick Brown is the founder & CEO of accelerate agency, a SaaS SEO agency. Nick has launched several successful online businesses, writes for Forbes, published a book and has grown accelerate from a UK agency to a company that now operates across US, APAC and EMEA and employs 160 people. He was also once charged at by a mountain gorilla