Insights from the Best SaaS Startups Across Different Industries
Move fast. Speed is one of your main advantages over large competitors. These words of Sam Altman, an American entrepreneur, are especially relevant when we talk about the SaaS market that witnesses more and more new startups being born, and a very cutthroat competition as a result.
The SaaS arket is indeed very lucrative, especially when looking at the numbers. In 2022, Forbes presented the top 100 of the best SaaS startups in various industries. And the value of some SaaS companies is just mind-blowing. For instance, Stripe was ranked a top startup worth $95 billion. To compare, Stripe’s closest competitor, Databricks, was valued at $38 billion.
Now, here’s a question: how did all these companies achieve unicorn status? The answer is pretty simple:
They studied the market, learned what the users were lacking, and came up with their unique SaaS startup ideas.
So, why can't we do the same? In this article, the Wetelo team is going to talk about some well-known SaaS startups, why users love their solutions, and how you can outshine them with a spot-on competitor analysis. Let's dive in!
Top SaaS startups across different niches
As more and more successful SaaS startups are setting the tone for trends and competition across different verticals, it’s worth arming yourself with a good strategy to beat your rivals. So let’s analyze the key SaaS players in communication, sales and marketing, and project management niches with an emphasis on their strengths and weaknesses.
In communication, Slack and Zoom are confident leaders, who help companies improve collaboration and communication, as well as streamline workflow within teams. But what are their stories worth telling? Let’s start with Slack.
Backstory. Initially, Slack was an indie game company. Yes, you read that right, and it was called Tiny Speck at that time. The idea to create Slack came when the team was working on their online game “Glitch”. The company wanted to have a team app to manage their workflow and communication, but there wasn’t any at that time. That’s why, in 2011, they built Slack and later moved from game development to SaaS.
Revenue. In 2022, the total revenue of Slack was $273,4 million, and the growth rate was 36%.
Strengths. First, Slack is very convenient and simple to use. For example, let’s say you need to look at a specific document, but can’t remember who you sent it to. No problem, just write the document’s name in the search bar and you will seamlessly find it.
Another winning point for Slack is integrations, which saves users a ton of time and effort. Currently, Slack has more than 2,000 integrations with other apps, including apps from Atlassian, ServiceNow, Salesforce, Workday, and Google.
Weaknesses. One of the disadvantages of Slack is its notification system. Let’s say, you send your colleague an important message. Until their response, you won’t even know whether they read it or not. And when we talk about sending a message to the group chat with 50+ people, chances become even slimmer, and tagging people with “@” doesn’t always help.
How you can benefit. Based on Slack’s example, you can develop a solution with a better notification system. A simple “Read” receipt is a thing many Slack users will thank for, especially when it comes to urgent cases.
Backstory. Zoom was founded in 2011 and positioned itself as a people-centric cloud service that transforms real-time collaboration experience. The major contributor to Zoom’s success was the COVID-19 pandemic when businesses started using this solution to hold online meetings. Zoom became the number one choice as with this solution you can hold free 40-minute conference calls, and due to the coronavirus lockdown, Zoom has temporarily removed this limit at all.
Revenue. In 2022, the annual revenue of Zoom was $4,1 billion, and the growth rate was 54%.
Strengths. First, Zoom is very simple to use and doesn’t require you to install it. You can click the invitation link and join the conference call right away. Another winning point for Zoom is its freemium model. Users can hold online meetings that last up to 40 minutes with 500 participants maxx for free or pay a subscription to access more advanced features.
Weaknesses. Security is one of the key weaknesses that cast a shadow on Zoom’s reputation. For example, in 2020 Zoom was hacked and 500,000 Zoom accounts were sold on the dark web.
How you can benefit. To avoid disasters like the ones Zoom experienced, you have to focus on data encryption to ensure total data protection and secure data transfer.
Sales and Marketing
Backstory. Salesforce started in 1999 with the idea that software should be available 24/7, which is why the company became an early cloud adopter. Currently, Salesforce is considered one of the largest companies in the world and the first cloud computing company to reach US$1 billion in annual revenue.
Revenue. In 2022, Salesforce's annual revenue was $26 billion, and the growth rate was almost 25%.
Strengths. Salesforce offers a very customizable CRM and can easily respond to every business's unique needs. Thanks to that, Salesforce clients can manage their business processes seamlessly.
Weaknesses. Despite Salesforce is operating in the USA, Asia, and Europe, the majority of its clients come from the U.S. market, leaving the rest of the world open to offers.
How you can benefit. You can take advantage of Salesforce’s situation and target different markets, where Salesforce doesn’t have a strong foothold.
Backstory. HubSpot’s story starts in 2004, when Brian and Dharmesh, HubSpot founders, noticed a shift in consumer behavior and the way people shop and buy. That’s why they decided to start a company focused on software products for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service that didn’t exist before. That’s how HubSpot was born in 2006.
Revenue. In 2022, HubSpot's annual revenue was $1,731 billion, and the growth rate was 33%.
Strengths. HubSpot positions itself as an all-in-one platform that includes all the tools needed for marketing, sales, and customer support. Furthermore, the platform is very easy to use and doesn’t require a lengthy onboarding process.
Weaknesses. The main issue about HubSpot is that while positioning itself as a one-stop shop for all your marketing needs, you can’t use it with any other solutions. For example, when you’re building a website, you have to use HubSpot’s CMS or it won’t work in any other case.
Secondly, HubSpot’s contracts aren’t flexible, as they oblige users to pay for the complete period even if they do not use and need it. The company does not offer early cancellations or refunds.
How you can benefit. You can use HubSpot's weakness and turn it into a gain. By making your solution more flexible and easy-to-integrate with other software tools, you may offer users a worthy alternative that would serve their needs better.
When it comes to project management, Monday.com and Wrike belong to one of the most valuable PM tools that help manage multiple projects, increase productivity, and automate routine tasks. Let’s look closely at them.
Backstory. In 2012, the company started as daPulse, but in 2014, it was rebranded into Monday.com. The company offers advanced project management software that allows teams from different industries to seamlessly plan, manage, and track their work. By 2019, Monday.com managed to achieve unicorn status in the tech space.
Revenue. In 2022, the revenue of Monday.com reached $149, 9 million, and the growth rate was estimated to be 60%.
Strengths. Monday.com has great tracking features that allow users to see the progress of tasks or the status of issues at a glance. It is also a very good communication tool that allows not only team members but also external partners to view boards and timelines by simply clicking the invitation link.
Weaknesses. Monday.com fails to integrate with many popular third-party applications like Sharepoint and Salesforce. What’s more, it has limited mobile app functionality. For example, Monday’s dashboards are not well-optimized on the mobile version.
How you can benefit. For you, this is a chance to create a solution that better integrates with third-party apps. You can also focus on developing a mobile app that can be used as easily as the desktop version.
Backstory. Wrike started in 2006 to transform the way people work and increase the team’s productivity. The company offers a collaborative work management platform that simplifies project planning, scheduling, and team-building activities. Today, Wrike serves more than 20,000 companies in over 140 different countries.
Revenue. In 2022, the revenue of Wrike reached $190 million.
Strengths. First, Wrike’s interactive Gantt chart is one of the most impressive features that allows to overview of the project’s progress and shows critical path analysis across multiple projects. Second, it offers flexible project templates that save time on project planning.
Weaknesses. Wrike does not have a chat option so users have to use third-party integrations. It also lacks a note-taking feature.
How you can benefit. You can develop a solution that would combine both project management and communication functions so that users won’t have to switch between apps and manage their projects in one place.
Though we’re not a part of the Forbes list (yet), here at Wetelo, we have developed an internal project management tool, Avanga, that stands out from the crowd. The strength of this tool is that it is powered by AI technology to optimize business processes within the company and automate routine tasks.
With Avanga, our company has improved project management, received a higher rate of completed tasks, and achieved process optimization and automation. And if you’re looking to build a similar AI-driven SaaS app, we’re here to help.
What do all successful SaaS startups have in common?
It may seem like all these growing SaaS companies hit the jackpot by starting their business as quickly as a flesh. But it is also obvious that all of them had to think outside the box to build their unique path to success. Let’s clarify, what all top SaaS startups have in common.
- They solve real problems. One of the reasons why the best SaaS companies are staying ahead of the pack is that they tackle problems many businesses face. Take any of the companies we covered, Zoom for example. During the pandemic, they solved the problem of communication, which allowed them to earn the crown in the communication vertical. That’s why, when creating your SaaS product, make sure it would solve a common problem many people encounter.
- They offer unique value propositions. Most successful SaaS startups do not imitate their competitors and offer unique value propositions that will be in demand among users. Some SaaS companies see the rationale in functional simplicity and convenience, while others see the competitive advantage in attractive design and sophisticated functionality. There are such SaaS startups that focus on enhanced productivity and high speed, while others decide to astonish users with affordability and numerous integrations. That’s why you have to stay committed to innovation and uniqueness, as they will differentiate your business from others.
- Customer orientation. Another secret of the success of analyzed SaaS startups is that they are customer-centered and align with their client's goals. They know that customers buy their products for a reason - whether it’s a better project management tool, convenient team communication, or quality and safe videoconferencing - and they always aim to make their solutions even better. Best SaaS startups value customer feedback and respond to them as fast as possible. Such an approach proves these companies to be human-first as they take customers’ needs into account to build a strong relationship along the way.
- They have a strong partner network. Building a strong network with channel partners is another strategy used by SaaS startups to boost their growth. Additional integrations with apps in a similar niche are a way to increase your customer base. In this case, top SaaS startups choose partners with growth stages and market segments relevant to theirs.
Our overview of the best SaaS startups in different industries proves that their tremendous growth is an outcome of the strategy they have chosen to succeed. So when you are looking to join them, you have to understand people’s pains and offer a SaaS app that would become their painkiller.
If you want to launch your own unique SaaS product and corner the market, feel free to check more info about our SaaS development service. And when you need a team to assist you, Wetelo has you covered.
We have expertise in such SaaS industries as communication, project management, and sales and marketing, we can take on your project and turn your SaaS ideas into reality. Don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What SaaS business is most profitable?
Currently, Stripe ranks first in Forbes’ top SaaS startups list, and is estimated to be $95 billion.
What SaaS companies are profitable?
Saas companies such as Stripe, Databricks, Canva, Miro, and Figma are the most profitable.
What percentage of SaaS startups succeed?
40% of SaaS startups succeed and become profitable. If companies do not achieve product-market fit first, they are condemned to failure.