We know what the current funding landscape means for founders – but what about the investors looking for the next SaaS unicorn? 

The industry is in a state of flux. On one hand, investors are securing funding, and backing promising startups and scaleups. On the other, the sector is struggling to settle after years of unprecedented growth

On top of market volatility, there’s fierce competition, and AI continues to transform not only SaaS product innovation but how VCs manage and source deals too

In times like this, having a solid network, sharing learnings, and getting face-to-face with visionary founders and potential co-investors is more valuable than ever. And it’s why we’ve made sure SaaStock USA is poised to unlock new opportunities, bridge the gap between investors and founders, and connect peers in the space.

Below, we take a closer look at the challenges investors are facing and explore how you’ll leave SaaStock USA ready to overcome them.

Clear visibility of the market landscape

The venture market in Q1? A “mixed bag” according to CB Insights

Unpacking that, there’s some good news:

  • Venture funding climbed 11% QoQ to $568B.
  • Mega-rounds ($100M+) were up 30% QoQ.
  • There were 19 new unicorns across the US, Asia, and Europe. 

But on closer inspection:

  • The 11% growth marks some rebound from Q4 2023 but it’s a 21% YoY decrease. The number is also bolstered by huge deals like Amazon’s $2.75B investment in Anthropic
  • Despite the overall climb, deals were down by 7% – dropping for an eighth straight quarter. 

This is just one view of market dynamics and it tells two stories. When you layer in how this looks across market segments, new technology developments, SaaS growth analysis, and portfolio performance, getting a clear view of the market becomes increasingly complex.

Leveraging data and community for a real-time view of the market landscape

There’s vast amounts of data available to inform market research. What’s important is understanding which sources and methods of analysis will give you the clearest narrative. An increasing number of firms are using AI to manage this process at scale.

Once you’ve got this in place, combine it with a real-time view of the market in action and insights into how other firms are interpreting market conditions. 

Admittedly, we’re slightly biassed but conferences are a great way to achieve this because the market is in the room. With over 1500 SaaS leaders and investors in attendance, SaaStock is a true representation of B2B SaaS from Seed through to Series C+. You can see it on the show floor, hear about successes and learnings through content, and meet other people working through the same issues. 

For the latter, we host an investor only day, Investock. It’s a chance to connect with other B2B SaaS investors – private equity funds, family offices, VCs and angels – to solve investment challenges. This year, we’ll be discussing how to accommodate fluctuating market trends, how to deploy capital over the next few years, and how to be more data driven in the due diligence process.

Increased competition

It’s well documented that there are  30,000 SaaS companies – a number likely much higher when you include AI SaaS. Estimates predict this to increase to over 70,000 (and well over 100,000 when you include AI) in 2024.

With this amount of companies in the market, it’s harder to find the promising startups and the scaleups gaining traction. 

But that’s only part of the problem when it comes to competition. 

More SaaS companies competing for funding is combined with a higher bar for due diligence – namely an ability to be able to prove high but sustainable growth and a path to profitability. 

So, while there are more companies vying for your attention, there are fewer high quality opportunities in the market.

It means a fuller inbox and even more first meetings before one that leads to a promising deal. It also means that your value as an investor needs to be crystal clear, as there’ll be more attention on a smaller pool of companies.

Connecting with the right investment prospects

We’ve spoken to VCs and founders across our podcast, events, and Founder Membership and hear all too often that part of the problem on both sides is connecting with the right people, at the right stage. 

Of course, online networks, zoom calls, and emails are foundational in 2024. Online databases with smart analytics can also help you to identify the startups and even founders you’re most compatible with. But getting in the room can increase the amount of founders you can meet in a given period, and increase the value of those conversations. 

At SaaStock USA, we’ll be connecting investors with SaaS companies from Seed through Series C+. Across the event, there’s dedicated networking areas on the show floor, speed networking events, and a high concentration of founders and operators to build relationships with. 

For early stage investors, we also have founder/investor matchmaking with our startup program participants and the chance to see some up and comers in our global pitch competition.

Join us in Austin

It’s just over three weeks until we touch down in Austin. 

Join us and Partners and Principals from Bessemer Ventures Partners, Accel, Atlassian, Sapphire Ventures, FE International, Battery Ventures, and more. 

Investor tickets are capped at 100 – get yours now to guarantee your spot.