15 SaaS predictions for 2015

At eFounders, we’ve launched 7 SaaS products in 3 years. As a startup studio, we’re watching the trends in order to build only successful startups. This list is, of course, non-exhaustive, and we’d love to hear your comments.

Product Trends

Free SaaS

Software products will be available for free, meaning they will get a very large user base. As a consequence, we will observe a B2C-ish indirect business model arise, based on lead generation or advertising for example.

Inspiration: Quartzy, Zenefits, eFounders’ project OfficeX

Voice Power

Voice will conquer enterprise for support, training, and even communication. The advantages of voice, compared to text, are that it doesn’t need an interface and perfectly fits portable and wearable devices.

Inspiration: Aircall, Solved, CodeMentor, AirPair, Twilio

Vertical SaaS

Software has been eating the world for few years already. There is now a software for almost each specific industry and jobs. This trend is going to strengthen, and get to all sorts of jobs, doctors, lawyers, hairdressers, etc. Each needs a new, user-friendly and affordable software to replace outdated tools.

Inspiration: Clio, Lightspeed

On-demand services

The buzzword (that was already a buzzword for the few SaaS lovers around here) is “uberization”. It means that On-Demand Services like Uber will be copied by food delivery companies, cleaning companies, etc. This trend started with individuals, but will reach the enterprise world, which leads to opportunities for new stakeholders.

Inspiration: ManagedByQ, Uber for business

Mobile SaaS

There will be more and more B2B businesses completely based on mobile with no or almost no web/desktop version. It is convenient for many employees than have no desktop at work but smartphones or tablets.

Inspiration: Slack, ShowPad

B2B connected Objects

We’re likely to observe the same trend for connected objects: if the Internet of things was mainly a consumer issue, there’s a great chance to see connected objects leveraging communications of productivity issues in the enterprise world -in other words, a “nestification” of economy.

Inspiration: GetKisi, LocalMotion, Viewsy

End-to-End Marketplaces

The B2B world is still full of intermediates that are costly and outdated. It leaves great opportunities for SaaS players to get rid of this intermediation.

Inspiration: Solved, Illustrio, Textmaster

Content is democratic

Inbound marketing will become essential to SaaS businesses, big and small, also outside the U.S. They will become their own media: they will need to rely on their own metrics and use their own voice to leverage content as a user acquisition and retention channel.

Inspiration: Hubspot, Helpscout, Intercom, Mention

Local Saas for Boring Stuff

Although SaaS businesses target international markets, there will be more and more SaaS focused on specific geographical regions, especially to handle accounting, HR, or legal issues — that differ from one country to another

Inspiration: Clerky, Concur

B2B Sharing economy

The sharing economy is everywhere: it will be in the enterprise world as well. The advantages brought to consumers by P2P can be applied to B2B: greater efficiency, adaptability, cost. Next buzzword: airbnbinization?

Inspiration: Crowdsource, Storefront, Flow2

Industry Trends

Acquisitions

SaaS and enterprise Internet giants like SalesForce, Oracle, Google, Linkedin, Microsoft, Workday, ServiceNow, or Adobe will continue to acquire businesses in the US and also start in the rest of the world. Ex: Adobe acquired Neolane and Fotolia.

Fortune 5,000 000

For software focused on Fortune 5,000 000 companies (as opposed to Fortune 500), such as Mailchimp, Hootsuite or SurveyMonkey, “more and more” and “bigger and bigger” will become the next unicorn.

Fundraising acceleration

We’ll witness a fundraising acceleration, more and more “giants” rounds of funding like Slack’s, Zenefit’s or Domo’s funding.

IPOs

This year’s IPOs: after Zendek, Hubspot or New Relic, entreprise IPOs will continue with companies like Atlassian or Box.

Results

We can expect good performance for public SaaS companies after a not-as-bad-as-expected 2014 year (New Relic, Hubspot, Zendesk, Tableau).