In 2019, we doubled cohort size, number of founders, cumulative startup revenue growth & our team size.
In small numbers it is easy. But then, we improved our NPS from +79 to +87. The icing is that the highest recorded NPS is at +92.
This year Gokul K. S joined us to lead the end to end Founder Experience as we scale further. He will keep the community highly engaged and ensure that it translates into peer learning. Gokul has worked with founders in the last decade in various capacities. He was part of the core team that made Startup Village in Kerala, a force to reckon with. Most recently he worked with Zone Startups to catalyze the fintech startups ecosystem in India.
Across the broader Saas landscape from India many things happened in 2019.
More explosive growth happened (Freshworks hit $200m), More exits happened (most notably Cloudcherry was acquired by Cisco). New normals are set now as Sumanth notes here.
More investment funds have flown in to India. Existing funds have baked in Saas thesis and half dozen new funds that have a B2B thesis that have shaped this year.
Encompassing all this, SaasBoomi has set eyes on the vision of one trillion dollar in market cap of Saas from India.
As we noted in our 2018 update, we have no doubt that there will be thousands of founders building Saas from India.
Grand vision needs bite sized steps. First step is to get to $100k in ARR.
Many founders requested us to help here. We launched our Value Saas guide book, an Indian founders guide to getting to first $100K in ARR. It was downloaded by over 1500 founders. For 3 months from launch, it became the #1 seller in the Business & Investment category in Amazon India. Scores of founders reached out thanking us for writing this guide book.
What was a hunch starting Upekkha is turning into deeper conviction for us. Many in Upekkha and outside have demonstrated this with data now.
It is possible to get to $1m in ARR with less than $200k of any external investment.
Amit of InterviewMocha taught us another important lesson and crystallized a surprising insight when he said “IT Services founder building a Saas business is the natural path. It is like going from Washing dishes for dollars to building VIM bar soap”
However, the biggest surprise for us is the city of Ahmedabad. Usually it is the debate between Bangalore, Chennai when it comes to startup ecosystems. We saw several startups from Ahmedabad that applied to us last year. There is something in the water and wind that melds capital efficiency in the DNA of the founder. They don’t need the lessons on the importance of unit economics. With a minor adjustment in the direction of mountains they are climbing, they are able to unlock growth.
This is one of the cities for us to watch out for.
Globally, after the WeWork saga the world of investment is swinging back to capital efficiency. Bessemer released new benchmarks on capital efficiency for startups. Music to our ears.
Excited to see that Value SaaS is spreading globally.