Who are the most successful VC in SaaS? To answer that question, we looked at the past 41 SaaS IPOs and who their major investors were. The list is below.

The best. Not surprisingly, Sequoia and Accel top the list with 6 each. August, NEA, and TPG have 3 each.

Lots of 2’s. Ten firms have 2 IPOs each. These include Vista, Benchmark, Thoma Bravo, Bessemer, Sapphire, and Tiger.

The rest of the firms shown have 1 IPO each. There were others with 1 each, but we stopped with our current list as we’re really looking for those firms with multiple SaaS IPO’s. Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly, Softbank only has 1.

Sammy is the Managing Director and Cofounder of Blossom Street Ventures. Connect on LinkedIn or email him directly at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com, especially founders at all stages.


Sammy is the Managing Director and Cofounder of Blossom Street Ventures. Connect on LinkedIn or email him directly at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com, especially founders at all stages.

The founders of Jfrog owned 24% of the business at IPO. Viant’s founders owned 93% and Datto’s founder owned 15%. The range of founder ownership at exit/IPO can be quite wide and is dependent on a number of factors, the primary of which are the ability to command high valuations during fundraising and capital efficiency.

The list below shows founder ownership of the last 41 SaaS companies at IPO. The median level of founders ownership…


Sammy is the Managing Director and Cofounder of Blossom Street Ventures. Email him directly at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com, especially founders.

The book ‘Founders at Work’ interviews well known tech founders about their earliest days. It’s well worth the full read, but below I summarized portions that really stood out to me.

Introduction

“Perseverance is important because, in a startup, nothing goes according to plan. Founders live day to day with a sense of uncertainty, isolation, and sometimes lack of progress. Plus, startups, by their nature, are doing new things — and when you do new things, people often reject you.”

“Don’t worry…


Sammy is the Managing Director and Cofounder of Blossom Street Ventures. Email him directly at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com, especially founders.

Entrepreneurs are always looking for “Strategic Investors” — corporate VC such as Intel, Verizon, SAP, Microsoft, Salesforce, Cisco, InQTel, etc. The view is that these investors provide not only capital, but also guidance on the product roadmap, engineering/dev resources, critical introductions, and they’re often customers themselves. Demand for strategic investors lead us to ask: how important are Strategic Investors and are they critical to success? The answer in our view is ‘no’.

To arrive at that conclusion, we looked at the major…


Sammy is the Managing Director and Cofounder of Blossom Street Ventures. Connect on LinkedIn or email him directly at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com, especially founders at all stages.

We’ve seen a wide range of CEO salaries in our portfolio, from as low as $35k annually to as much as $400k (plus bonus). While there is no dataset explicitly outlining salary levels at early stage SaaS companies, we can use the salaries from tech companies at their IPO to get a sense for what the salary should be for a successfully exiting CEO. …


The book ‘Founders at Work’ interviews well known tech founders about their earliest days. It’s well worth the full read, but below I summarized portions that really stood out to me.

Introduction

“Perseverance is important because, in a startup, nothing goes according to plan. Founders live day to day with a sense of uncertainty, isolation, and sometimes lack of progress. Plus, startups, by their nature, are doing new things — and when you do new things, people often reject you.”

“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. …


Sammy is the Managing Director and Cofounder of Blossom Street Ventures. Email him directly at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com, especially founders.

A startup founder recently asked “so what’s the right amount of equity to give to advisors and board members?” The answer is none. Here’s why.

No one cares who your advisors are. We’re a Series A investor and never have I asked “so who are your advisors?” It’s just not important. What investors care about are the milestones you’ve achieved, your statistics and financials, valuation, and where you’re headed. Advisors mean nothing.

Advisors fizzle out. The vast majority of advisors want to…


Sammy is the Founding Managing Partner at Blossom Street Ventures. Founders should email him at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com

UiPath went public last week at a fantastic valuation, so we read through the S1. The business has some unique attributes and plenty of learnings; we summarize the S1 below.

The road was long. The company started with 10 people in Romania in 2005. It got to $50mm in ARR by 2018, then exploded to $580mm in ARR as of 2020. Nonetheless, the CEO’s letter highlights humility as a key theme.

PATH makes automation. “Our platform enables employees to quickly build automations for both…


Sammy is the Managing Director and Cofounder of Blossom Street Ventures. Email him directly at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com, especially founders.

Average Contract Value is important, but don’t obsess over it. Maximizing ACV shouldn’t be the goal and as you’ll see below, the last 38 SaaS companies to IPO had a modest median ACV of $26,985. A few observations:

Bigger software companies have smaller ACV’s. Below is a data set of 38 publicly traded SaaS companies and their estimated ACV’s when they went public. To do the analysis, we looked at each companies’ annual revenue relative to the number of customers prior to…


Nicholas Carlson wrote a fantastic book about Yahoo entitled “Marissa Mayer and The Fight to Save Yahoo.” Below I have paraphrased what I found to be valuable sections, verbatim; the full book is definitely worth the read.

Allow employs to give feedback, anonymously. The questions were submitted during the week leading up to the FYI through an application called “Yahoo Moderator” on Yahoo’s internal network. Everyone in the company could see questions after they were submitted, and employees would vote on which questions they wanted Mayor to answer that week.

Don’t cut entire divisions. Project Alpha sought to reduce Yahoo’s…

Sammy Abdullah

co-founder at Blossom Street Ventures. Email me at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com

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