Patrick McKenzie+ Your Authors @patio11 I work for the Internet, at @stripe, mostly on accelerating startups. Opinions here are my own. Sep. 15, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

TinySeed (the first fund I ever invested in) is raising Fund 2. They describe the goal as making an index of early stage B2B SaaS companies.

The memo is here, and it makes for interesting reading:  https://tinyseed.com/thesis 

3 things I think are true:

B2B SaaS is, like enterprise software before it, increasingly a playbook. Unlike enterprise software, the minimum business required to have a saleable product is achievable in single digit founder months.

These companies are getting better over time.

Money is flooding into B2B SaaS both from the traditional LP to VC fund pipeline and from, increasingly, “software money going to software people.”

I think the second should crowd out the first, especially where raw $ isn’t the deciding factor. It is smarter and more helpful.

The increased interest of PE funds in software companies creates a natural exit opportunity which previously was sorely lacking for reasonably successful software companies which didn’t reach sufficient scale to be interesting to AppAmaGooBookSoft.

Think “$N million a year.”

I think this counsels a group of founders to aim for a different trajectory than the traditional two (bootstrap or rocket ship):

Find a hole in any market. Write the relatively boring SaaS app that plugs that hole. Grow the business for five years and sell it to highest bidder.

This model changes the math, operating conditions, culture, etc of that company relative to traditionally funded companies. No changing the world. Probably less La Croix.

But darn if it doesn’t work; we’ve seen it happen up close many, many times. It is attractive to founders.

TinySeed, and similar efforts funding these companies, derisks and accelerates these companies through the sloggiest point of their existence, which is the first 18 months where the founder is alone and watching their savings dwindle wondering whether they should get a job.


You can follow @patio11.



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