Our team gained so much from attending SaaStr Annual, and unsurprisingly, we learned the most from the time we spent talking with and listening to entrepreneurs. Here are five things we took away from the conference.
1) SaaStr Annual scales new heights
It was hard not to be impressed by the sheer size and scope of the conference this year. With 5,000 attendees from every type of SaaS company around the world, the energy was electric. The sessions featured renowned entrepreneurs sharing real world lessons and having discussions with attendees, without the self-promotion that can sometimes creep into conference content.
Networking opportunities and parties in San Francisco abounded. We had a blast hosting the Lighter Capital Happy Hour every afternoon. We were busy at Booth #1, so thank you to everyone who stopped by—we learned a lot talking with you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you want to continue the conversation.
A huge thanks to Jason Lemkin, Gretchen DeKnikker and the amazing team at SaaStr for organizing an event with great people, content and lots of fun.
2) Local is the New Global
“International companies are seeking to establish a local presence. Many European and Australian companies are active in the U.S. market and are looking to open sales offices in the country.”
–Rebecca Conner, CPA, Director, Investment Team
Rebecca Conner at SaaStr Annual
3) Lighter Capital customers are on a roll
“Our clients are thriving. Some have received follow-on funding from us, others have raised VC, nearly all are on a growth trajectory. We had great conversations with entrepreneurs from Back at You Media, MarketFactory, IPfolio, Launchpad, Glance and many more. It’s also really cool to introduce our clients to each other and hear what they have to say.”
–BJ Lackland, CEO
4) Seed and Series A funding is harder to get
“Here’s what I heard directly from entrepreneurs: it’s getting harder to raise seed or Series A funding. The venture market is tightening up and has changed substantially since last year. Venture Capitalists also don’t understand why raising VC isn’t always the right path for every company.”
–Jon Prentice, Associate, Investment Team
5) We love tech, but face-to-face matters
“We manage most of our funding process through phone calls and emails, but when talking with entrepreneurs in person, we really get a sense of the challenges and frustrations they face in raising capital. These face-to-face meetings make a real difference.”
–Doug Caplan, Investment Coordinator
Branden Harper on our Investment Team (center) with Eugene Markman (left) and Christian Reiss of MarketFactory.
Finally, here’s a SaaS business guide our team developed that we hope you find useful. Download The 8 SaaS Metrics that Matter. This guide outlines the key metrics that define SaaS company success and explains why each metric matters to investors.