NL #26: industry news, the “software” vs “anti-software” race and SaaS based marketplaces

SaaS Weekly Newsletter - 08 July 2015 edition

Concept of this newsletter: every week I alternate between an industry news focused email and a product focused email. This week: Industry analysis. Past editions are available here.

Industry News

1- Fundings

Adaptive Insight, cloud finance intelligence, raises $75M, Distil Networks, software bots blocker, raises $21M, Frame, run your desktop apps in your browser, raises $10M, Bugsnag, bug monitoring, raises $7.2M, Snips, AI layer for the phone, raises $6.3M.

2- Acquisitions

I missed the news last April but Grasshopper got acquired by Citrix. Grasshopper was an interesting startup to follow because they had a very traditional and yet counterintuitive approach when it comes to user acquisition: lots of TV and radio ads…

OpenDNS was acquired by Cisco for $635M.

3- Microsoft is now at full speed with its mobile cross-platforms strategy as they just launched Office for Android phones. A great aggressive strategy in line with their recent acquisitions.

Data Points

Slack shared some numbers last week. The other noteworthy news is that they hired a head of platform. I already wrote about the potential of Slack being the new SalesForce (in terms of software marketplace) and I still think it makes a lot of sense.

Dropbox also shared some numbers this week. They had already shared this 100k businesses mark more than 7 months ago. So not sure that it’s such a good news in term of momentum.

After Grasshopper acquisition the team shared some figures

For those who like to read early stage startup transparency reports (and there are more and more of them) I advise you to read WP-rocket reports. Very insightful posts.

Hubspot also shared some figures concerning its new line of products: CRM and sales tools. Now that Hubspot has reached a certain scale it’s interesting to see which strategy they will follow. Apparently they are adopting the “let’s diversify our products” rather than the “marketing platform” one at the moment.

Trends

The “software” versus “anti-software” race

As software gets everywhere, as it gets more and more automated and as its gets more and more intrusive, we’ll increasingly see specific software markets branch in two parallel paths: the players building / leveraging these software and the players building the ‘software-blocker’ version:

Many new opportunities on that side too.

The SaaS based marketplaces

We’re currently witnessing the rise of SaaS players with strong network effect components. SaaS is actually becoming a great “trojan horse” to kickstart a network effect business and to solve the “chicken and egg” problem.

“Come for the tool, stay for the network” (from cdixon)

Also a great article on TC:

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