If you ever tried to compile a list with European SaaS events, one quickly figured out that there was nearly no one in Europe and no way to think about an event like SaaS Str.
Sure. There have been some events e.g. organized by VC's like Point Nine and Christopher Janz in Berlin, but they are for portfolio companies, friends and selected participants.
You could maybe name the Eurocloud event in Germany, but the focus here is not on SaaS alone but cloud in general.
For the rest the topic SaaS was just one among the many sectors on the various startup events you can frequent in Europe.
a new and promissing SaaS event in Europe
Great news - this is going to change now: on October 15 and 17nd 2018 there will be SaaS Stock 2016 in Dublin, a conference in Europe exclusively built around the topic SaaS - especially B2B SaaS and European SaaS startups - for the first time.
Iceventure will of course participate which for us seems to be "a must", especially since the list of speakers and participants already looks more than interesting. The agenda also has a number of promising topics.
The top three topics on European SaaS from the agenda
As agendas are always good indicators of hot topics in an industry and you might not be able to attend I shortly present my top three SaaS topics:
Nr 1 - Don't F**k up: Scaling into the US
A fast market entry into the U.S. is it obligatory for European SaaS companies. Because the U.S.A. is the most important core market for software and an important element in the growth strategy (more in this interview). A consolidated insight into this topic for confronting our view is of course very interesting. Both participants from the company side - Nicolas Dessaigne of Algolia and Ray Smith of Datahug.com (besides there will be also Will Prendergast for Frontline Ventures) hopefully divide into and share many important experience from their own growth story. Especially the case of Algolia is very interesting in my point of view given they are based in France. It is a pity that CartoDB does not participate, too.
Nr. 2 - The customer success maturity model
Customer success and the roll of the customer success manager are still very much unknown in Germany and Europe. E.g., we very often encounter the question if at all and when this role should be introduced in a SaaS company. Thus, I am looking forward to see the model and criterial others deploy around this role and mission critical goal.
Nr. 3 - Genius or luck what it takes to build a successful SMB SaaS business
The title alone is very interesting. Because it still remains a fact that the diffusion of SaaS in Enterprise Software is only around 20% to 30%. This fact is interesting especially from the macroeconomic view we at Iceventure often take and consider it one of the unsolved questions concerning process innovation and competitiveness. This is for the fact that especially SMEs should particularly profit from SaaS solutions and therefor adopt faster. On the other side, especially small businesses have difficulties adopting SaaS partially for the data security issue partially since enterprise business SaaS solutions still need a lot of internal IT expertise to be used accordingly. Thus, I expect that this is triggering a good discussion.
Both speakers Alex Ferrera from Bessemer Venture Partner and Martin Henk from Pipedrive are a very promising. Moreover, this not only for the fact that I found the approach of Pipedrive to estimate the market volume to determine the target group very promising.
This concludes the top three SaaS hot issues list and I think customers of our SaaS business model seminar will profit form new inputs of these topics of the agenda at SaaS Stock.
But it is not only the excitement of finally having a European SaaS event that drives us to Dublin. It is more the fact that the event is a very good occasion to discuss a couple of issues with other participants, too.
The status fundraising for European SaaS is here among the first on the list (and a good reason to update our PDF who invest in European SaaS). By the way, the participation rate of investors (and the number of those who send partners) is very high and reported to be around 100. A great indicator that finally European SaaS moves. So think twice as SaaS startup, if you will not participate.
Then it is very important for me to hear what other participants think about the development of the customer acquisition costs (CAC) in recent years. In addition, what is their reaction to the developments? Because there are some real doubts recently that CAC are too high in comparison to the realistically realizable CTLV, but will stay so, given that there is more financing around coming from VCs and due to the favorable monetary conditions by FED and ECB.
Thus the question is, should you adjust CAC and the individual marketing strategy or might it be much better to adjust the pricing screw.
In sum, there are many issues on the agenda to discuss and to exchange experience around Software as a Service in Europe. It seems to be a great SaaS event already today, around which more reports and articles follow.