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Learnings from Southern SaaS Conference

Tips and Tricks 

Attending the recent SaaS conference was an amazing experience. It was the first one of its kind which I attended, and I was thoroughly impressed by its impeccable organisation, evident in every aspect of the event. From seamless registration to engaging sessions, everything ran smoothly. The lineup of speakers was exceptional, featuring both local talents and renowned international figures, each delivering insights that left a lasting impact. What truly stood out was the range of topics covered, spanning the entire spectrum of the SaaS industry - how to deliver a powerful SaaS story, how to tackle SaaS stresses, how to master the art of SaaS metrics and how to compete for capital raise in 2024, what to expect when going global and a real-life example of an iconic Kiwi business which made it to that phase. And, of course, a lot of talk about AI.

All hail to Bruce Jarvis - it was truly a testament to the conference's commitment to providing attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the SaaS sector.

What stood out for me was Lovina McMurchy’s presentation ‘SaaS in 2024 and Beyond’. Anybody considering the capital raise in US this year had to deeply appreciate the insights from a Kiwi working in the US. Here are the key notes:

  • SaaS is the most powerful delivery model of our era

  • We are in the “Climbing the Slope” phase of Hype Cycle – the more mature phase of a “new” technology 

  • Public market –SCI valuation multiples is around 7.1x, a deep dive from almost 20x at the peak back in 2020/2021

  • Private markets – VCs are absolutely crazy for AI. Forward revenue multiples for AI companies are approaching 3x non-AI and 80% of raises involve AI. It is very difficult to even get in touch with VCs if the business does not have AI.

So, what were the recommendation for ‘how do you compete for US funding when you are a Kiwi company in 2024’?

  • Deeply embrace AI

  • Find a unique/unfair advantage

  • Target complex ecosystems

  • Look for regulated markets