B2B SaaS stands for Business to Business Software as a Service. So far, so good. But why is it that startups within this category are some of the most sought after investments for venture capitalists? And what lessons can you take from internationally leading B2B SaaS startups for yourself? Well, let’s have a look!
B2B SaaS as a category has grown exponentially since it’s humble beginnings in the 1990s. From category leaders like SalesForce with it’s legendary approach to marketing customer relationship management software to nowadays a large number of NASDAQ listed companies, with Google, Facebook, Microsoft as three of the largest examples of essentially B2B SaaS businesses. The category has seen relentless growth as businesses have digitised over the past three decades.
And while COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the overall economy, demand for many B2B SaaS solutions such as video conferencing, cybersecurity, remote working tools, data analytics, online advertising and others has skyrocketed. Industry insiders claim that twenty years of technology adoption took place in a matter of mere months.
The State of B2B Saas in Denmark 2020
While relatively new to the global tech scene, Denmark has already seen its fair share of B2B SaaS unicorns such as Zendesk, Tradeshift, Unity, Trustpilot, Podio and several more all falling into this category over the past decade. More importantly, while in the first wave of B2B SaaS tech startups, founders would often move the majority of their operations to the US. We are now witnessing the rise of founders that keep and grow their companies firmly in Denmark with startups such as TooGoodToGo, Pleo and Labster leading the way. This is an important sign of a maturing ecosystem that is bringing real value to the Danish ecosystem. In fact, the Danish government across party lines has been supporting these startups with a number of programs and funding opportunities. While it is too early to say how COVID-19 will affect the Danish B2B SaaS scene, after a few hectic months of down and upscaling, Danish B2B SaaS startups are in a prime position to grow internationally.
Why do Danish B2B tech startups need to grow internationally?
For B2B SaaS startups to become scale-ups while retaining high-quality jobs in Denmark, internationalisation is essential. In many B2B SaaS verticals, from payments to cybersecurity to online advertising, the Danish market is simply too small to build a multi-million dollar revenue startup on the way towards the billion-dollar startup. Once startups do expand, they often find it hard to adjust to new markets, hire locally and make the cultures fit in addition to finding paying clients through repeatable processes. Main markets targeted by Danish startups often comprise the Nordics, Germany and the UK in a first step and the US and Asia after Series B or C funding. It is also important for startups to work with an investor pipeline from the beginning, with a balanced mix of investors from other ecosystems than the one they start in. Investor pipelines that are narrowly focused on the danish market mean narrowing their opportunities, and furthermore these connections support startups breaking into these new markets meaning faster growth.
Israel’s thriving B2B Saas Enterprise Ecosystem
However, as described above, one of the main challenges of this already very hard endeavour is to create a company with firm roots and operations in Denmark while expanding globally. Israeli startups have truly mastered this art of global expansion while staying local as evidenced by being #3 on the American technology stock index Nasdaq, surpassed only by the US itself and China. Of course, many factors have contributed to this development, but we can start with a thriving startup scene, the highest venture capital/capita globally and one of the highest concentrations of technical personnel/capita. Nevertheless, while only slightly larger, Israeli startups continuously raise 10x the amount of Danish startups when considering the entire ecosystem. On an individual basis, Israeli startups are somewhat like Silicon Valley based startups who also raise significantly larger rounds than Danish startups. What is truly fascinating is how these startups manage to expand globally to the US, the UK and other key enterprise markets while remaining truly Israeli companies at their core. The number of B2B SaaS unicorns is one of the highest globally on an absolute level, let alone on a relative level. Household B2B SaaS tech names such as WalkMe, Wix, Fiverr, SimilarWeb, Cybereason, Cyberark, Checkpoint and many others have left lasting marks in their industry.
What opportunities does Israel’s tech ecosystem offer Danish Startups?
Within almost all B2B SaaS verticals, Israeli startups are among the leading technology vendors globally. As such, much can be learnt from them and their surrounding ecosystem such as venture capitalists, corporate innovation scouts and others on the way to unicorn status. Danish B2B SaaS startups such as Pharma Score Software, Eachthing and CPH Nano have already benefited tremendously from this exchange as can be seen in this video.
Innovation Centre Denmark creating valuable connections in Israel
As you might have got by now, Tel Aviv is one of the world’s leading B2B SaaS startup hubs that has a profound ecosystem of entrepreneurs, venture capital and established companies. And Innovation Centre Denmark supports the development of business models and establishing partnerships in Israel, giving Danish startups access to world-leading knowledge.
During an Innovation Camp, Innovation Centre Denmark will provide twelve selected Danish tech startups with the opportunity to participate in the B2B SaaS Enterprise Innovation Camp, a truly unique forum to exchange with Israeli venture capitalists, corporates and serial entrepreneurs. This far-reaching and in-depth Innovation Camp will take place in person at Talent Garden Rainmaking in Copenhagen, the home to a large community of digital and tech entrepreneurs. The program will have live online sessions connecting participants with the vibrant startup scene in Tel Aviv.
Empowering Danish B2B Saas Startups entering the Israeli Market
The Innovation camp will have you walking away with meaningful connections in the Israeli tech ecosystem through interacting with leading corporates, business angels and VCs that could serve as board members, customers or investors in the future.
Other incredible highlights from the B2B SaaS Enterprise Innovation Camp:
- You will gain a clear understanding of what your startup needs to achieve to get funding from internationally acclaimed business angels, venture capitalists or corporate VCs.
- Discover extensive insights from experienced Israeli founders into how to scale your company globally from Denmark as you advance.
- Meet with potential customers in your vertical and have a roadmap for what it takes to close any prospects.
- Be exposed to all the potential ways of how a sustainable collaboration with Israel will work and explore in detail the Israeli B2B technology ecosystem.
- Make close ties and connect with new peers for exchanging thoughts, ideas and mentorship who will stay with you for many years to come.
- Learn how to increase your media & marketing exposure in order to be in touch with potential customers and venture capitalists.
- And walk away with greater ambitions and greater and skill.