SaaStr Europa 2022 Recap

Check out highlights from our time last week at Europe’s largest SaaS event.
SaaStr Europa 2022 Recap

It’s a good time for B2B SaaS. This may sound strange considering what’s been happening in the public markets lately.

It’s certainly how we feel after having come off a jam-packed two days of SaaStr Europa last week with over 30 hours of content, 60+ speakers (including our very own founder and CEO Cristina!), lots of inspiring networking, and conversations with so many founders, VCs and leaders in the industry. We truly enjoyed every minute.

The event was top notch and after 2 years of Zoom, we and the 2,700+ attendees were ready for events to be back!

Without further ado, let’s dig in!

Insights for SaaS startups

Markets are down, but SaaS is up

With markets down, there’s no avoiding the current climate. But Jason Lemkin made it clear that we should zoom out and look at what really matters:

Companies are buying more cloud software than ever.

Gartner’s forecast of global SaaS spend shows another 16% of growth in 2022 to $177 billion, driven by both increased SaaS usage among companies that already use SaaS and more companies using SaaS for the first time.

At the end of the day, demand is what drives the market for everyone in our industry and that’s the metric that we should keep our eyes on. 

Repeatability is key to scaling

Startups and their products don’t just sell themselves. It’s necessary to conduct frequent experiments to figure out what works to grow your business. To scale, run repeatable experiments rather than go for one-off successes. 

Scaling is hard and you need a solid framework to succeed, especially since a lack of proven and repeatable processes is one of the factors that hold many startups back.

This insight was presented by Dave Kellog, an expert in the world of SaaS. He’s written about it extensively on his Kellblog. His focus applies to Sales, but the concept rings true for many departments. We recommend you follow Dave as his insights are on-point for anyone interested in startups, metrics, venture capital, and cloud. 

VCs want capital efficiency

VCs have become more discerning about their investment choices, but that doesn’t mean fundraising is impossible. During her talk, our founder and CEO Cristina Vila indicated that investors are looking for startups that are serious about their capital allocation.

If you’re in a startup, re-assess your investments. Focus efforts on improving your product and let data be your guide – not gut feeling. Investor pitches will go smoother, trust us. 

Cledara at SaaStr 

Team Cledara was in full swing across the show floor, exec sessions, and the metaverse!

1. PLG breakfast with Notion Capital and Paddle

Cledara joined a panel together with Andrew Davies (CMO @ Paddle), and Itxaso del Palacio (Partner @ Notion) to discuss how startups can transform their processes and become product-led growth (PLG) companies. 

2. Fundraise Journey session with our founder and CEO, Cristina Vila

Our founder and CEO Cristina Vila took attendees on a journey through the maze of funding rounds in volatile market conditions. Providing actionable insights on how founders (and investors) should determine how much to raise, how
to approach VCs in the current market, and best practices for success. Watch her talk here.

3. Jason Lemkin stepped into the SaaS metaverse

SaaStr’s own Jason Lemkin took a go at our SaaS VR experience along with 50+ others. The challenge: How many SaaS applications could he organize in 30 seconds? We created and debuted a new Cledara VR experience specifically for SaaStr, and already working on the next version.

4. Our first OOH advertising campaign

We launched our first outdoor advertising campaign to coincide with SaaStr Europa. Cledara visuals were all over Barcelona’s El Prat Airport Terminal 1, welcoming all international travelers and especially those attending SaaStr Europa. 

What about the market downturn?

We spoke to several attendees to gauge how SaaS leaders felt about the recent turmoil in the markets and if it had any effect on their day-to-day. Surprisingly, even in the current climate, spirits were high.

Market sentiment

It’s clear that the downturn has everyone’s attention. However, many feel that the market is undergoing a necessary correction. Founders and leaders are actually confident about the road ahead and feel that, as long as you have a focus on improving your product, there’s still enough money in the market to successfully fundraise. There’s also a confirmation of Jason Lemkin’s messaging that there is solid underlying demand in the SaaS market.

Are companies re-assessing their plans?

Even though no one we spoke to was particularly worried, there were clear signs of a renewed focus on capital efficiency. This was especially true for those startups actively looking to raise this year. The most common advice was to be proactive and ensure that your startup has at least 12 months of runway.

The key to success in volatile times

Here are the top three tips we heard from our conversations:

  • Be 100% product driven
  • Focus on your core competitive advantage
  • Build strong team dynamics

Looking forward

SaaStr Europa 2022 was great, and it’s been a breath of fresh air to attend an in-person event again. There is no doubt that the SaaS community is back and in-person is the best place to be.

In Barcelona in Sept? Join us at SaaStock local, held right here in sunny Barcelona on the 29th of September. If you’re part of a startup or scaleup, subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you get your early-bird tickets. 

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Jenny Liu
Head of Finance @ Marshmallow