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BNPL bonanza, scraping Toast’s S-1/A, early-stage SaaS pricing – Fundingnewsasia

Are founders in fundraising mode short-sighted when it comes to working with Chinese venture funds?

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Are founders in fundraising mode short-sighted when it comes to working with Chinese venture funds?

Runa Capital’s Asia business development manager Denis Kalinin studied data from iTjuzi, a database of Chinese venture capitalists, and found:

“…Chinese funds invested around $250 billion in 2020 (three times higher than the figure reported in Crunchbase). This figure puts Chinese VC investments only 30% lower than investments by U.S. funds, but three times that of U.K. funds and 12.5 times more than German funds.”

The pandemic, geopolitical tensions and other factors led many Chinese venture funds to pare back their international investments, but that’s largely “because during COVID, China’s economy recovered much faster than other countries’,” writes Kalinin.

His analysis covers multiple angles: Chinese investments in Europe are catching up with those in Asia and the United States, half of China’s top cross-border investors are CVCs, and investors are particularly interested in fintech, deep tech and digital health at the moment.

“Chinese investors can bring value to foreign startups, but you need to study their expertise and how it can be useful for you.”

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Today at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET on Twitter Spaces, Managing Editor Danny Crichton and immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn will discuss whether remote work is making H-1B visas less critical for international founders.

It’s a provocative question: If remote teams are becoming the norm, tech hubs are decentralizing and investors are comfortable cutting checks after a Zoom call, how important is it to do business as a startup inside the U.S?

It’s sure to be an interesting conversation; to get a reminder, please follow @Fundingnewsasia on Twitter.

Thanks very much for reading Extra Crunch this week!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, Fundingnewsasia
@yourprotagonist

Toast looks toward $18B valuation in upcoming IPO

Toast released an early IPO price range of $30 to $33 per share on Monday, and Alex Wilhelm digs into the S-1/A filing to “better understand how to value vertical SaaS startups that are pursuing a payments-and-SaaS business approach.”

Is the restaurant software startup worth the $18 billion valuation it’s aiming for?

3 keys to pricing early-stage SaaS products

Every founder who launches an enterprise software startup has to figure out the “right” pricing model for their products.

It’s a consequential decision: Per-seat licenses are easy to manage, but what if customers prefer a concurrent licensing model?

“Early pricing discussions should center around the buyer’s perspective and the value the product creates for them,” says Ridge Ventures partner Yousuf Khan, who previously worked as a CIO.

“Of course,” he notes, “self-evaluation is hard, especially when you’re asking someone else to pay you for something you’ve created.”

Is India’s BNPL 2.0 set to disrupt B2B?

india money

Image Credits: jayk7 / Getty Images

India’s mom-and-pop businesses are experiencing a digital transformation that’s creating new e-commerce opportunities; smartphones have replaced paper records, and a new government-backed instant payments system is disrupting how value is exchanged.

But instead of importing legacy credit systems, buy now, pay later systems are the “next step for solving the digital B2B puzzle,” writes Anubhav Jain, co-founder and CEO of Rupifi.

What to make of Freshworks’ first IPO price range

Developing programming and coding technologies. Website design. Programmer working in a software develop company office.

Image Credits: scyther5 / Getty Images

Freshworks, which develops and offers a variety of business software tools, set an IPO price range of $28 to $32 per share on Monday, meaning its valuation could reach nearly $10 billion, Alex Wilhelm writes.

“It appears that the Freshworks IPO is pretty reasonably priced as is, though a boost to its price range is not out of the question if public market investors decide that they are bullish on its future growth prospects. We just don’t see dramatic upside.”

ish on its future growth prospects. We just don’t see dramatic upside.”

Here’s what your BNPL startup could be worth

The multibillion-dollar exits of Japanese startup Paidy (to PayPal) and Australian buy now, pay later company Afterpay (to Square) “provided hard market proof that what BNPL startups are building has value beyond simple operating results,” Alex Wilhelm writes in The Exchange.

He breaks down the value of Afterpay, Paidy and Klarna using a simple metric: What would you pay for $1 of BNPL GMV?

3 methodologies for automated video game highlight detection and capture

Video game livestreaming is booming.

Twitch has an average of almost 3 million concurrent viewers; by comparison, on the night of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, CNN’s livestream averaged 1.1 million.

The most successful streamers use their ad revenue and sponsorship money to hire video editors and social media teams to make them look good, but new automated tools are giving part-time streamers the ability to spotlight their best moments as well.

Have ‘The Privacy Talk’ with your business partners

A data breach costs a company an average of $3.8 million, Marc Ellenbogen, Foursquare’s general counsel, notes in a guest post, adding up to a “concrete financial incentive to having The Privacy Talk.”

What is it?

“It’s the conversation that goes beyond the written, publicly posted privacy policy and dives deep into a customer, vendor, supplier or partner’s approach to ethics,” he writes.

If you think the talk doesn’t apply to you, think again.

Advanced rider assistance systems: Tech spawned by the politics of micromobility

In an effort to “reassure local administrations that micromobility is safe, compliant and a good thing for cities,” scooter operators are “implementing technology similar to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) usually found in cars,” Rebecca Bellan writes.

She breaks down how the tech could help prevent unwanted behavior and explores the cost for scooter operators and opportunities for startups.

The pandemic, geopolitical tensions and other factors led many Chinese venture funds to pare back their international investments, but that’s largely “because during COVID, China’s economy recovered much faster than other countries’,” writes Kalinin.

Source: https://fundingnewsasia.com/bnpl-bonanza-scraping-toasts-s-1-a-early-stage-saas-pricing-fundingnewsasia/

SaaS

Startup Mantra: SaaS ‘Lego bricks’ re-create a smarter workplace

The Pune-based enterprise SaaS platform Zvolv is an intelligent no-code, or low-code, platform for automating business processes. In the words of Zvolv’s co-founders Hardik Gandhi and Sujoy Chakravarty, it’s the “Lego Bricks” version of application development with the best combination of features, flexibility and price. Every technology component that you…

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The Pune-based enterprise SaaS platform Zvolv is an intelligent no-code, or low-code, platform for automating business processes.

In the words of Zvolv’s co-founders Hardik Gandhi and Sujoy Chakravarty, it’s the “Lego Bricks” version of application development with the best combination of features, flexibility and price.

Every technology component that you need to build a complex enterprise application is pre-build, pre-tested and available for you to configure and stitch together as you want in this intelligent process automation platform for enterprises.

In the beginning…

Gandhi and Chakravarty share a lot of things in common. They studied in St Vincent’s school and later went to the College of Engineering Pune (COEP). Post-graduation they both moved to Bengaluru and joined Texas Instruments.

Gandhi later moved to the USA to pursue his higher education and Chakravarty stayed in Bengaluru to build a new start-up.

Says Gandhi, “After working at TI and Apple and observing other companies too, we had a few ideas about improving the employee experience at workplaces. Companies still work with tools that were designed years ago. Employees are using state-of-the-art applications in their daily lives, but when it comes to work applications, those are large antiquated applications which are cumbersome to use. So, we thought why not build applications to manage the employee work-life?”

“We started to build a proof-of-concept to validate our ideas. We wanted this to be an enterprise product. We hired some IITians and did some experiments. In 2018 we had something worthy to show,” Gandhi added.

Proof of concept (POC)

After the POC was ready, Gandhi decided to move back to India in 2018. Chakravarty, a repeat entrepreneur, too moved from Bengaluru to Pune. The duo considered Pune over Bengaluru to start their venture as the tech-talent pool was much better in Pune and that they also could leverage their connects.

Says Gandhi, “When I was in the US during the initial days, we had setup a team here to run the initial experiments. There were four to five people at that time in the team. Chakravarty and I thought these engineers can start building a product. In 2018 we decided to actually start setting up and running a company. We were around 12 people at that time. Chakravarty actually did the initial hiring mostly through the contacts that we had. Later on, very senior people took pay cuts to join us. As founders we were very liberal and open about distributing equity and ESOPs to our employees.”

Customers ring in

Gandhi believes it’s the value of connections when you are a startup in the early stages. “The connection at Future Group happened through a banker who was a part of the team which was evaluating us for their use case. It’s all about demonstrating value to anyone that you meet and work with, and eventually that leads to some connect or other. The other two big customers – Dominos and Titan – came through a public event and during our participation in the Wadhwani accelerator respectively. These first three customers were acquired even before we formally launched a product. We didn’t really build a sales team in the early stage. We got all this organic growth. Now we have to have proper sales team to generate leads from scratch,” Gandhi said.

“The first 20 customers are still with us. We had the writing on the wall that we will make sure we never lose our first 10 customers and we have ensured that. A lot of our success is because of them. Now we have a total of 35 enterprise customers of which a third are large companies, and others are mid-sized companies,” he added.

Seed funding

Says Gandhi, “Three big enterprises using our product gave us confidence and hence, we decided to raise a seed funding round of $0.5 million. I had put in around $0.5 million while we were bootstrapped. Angel investors, CEOs and CIOs of companies joined this round and we used that money to hire a stronger engineering team. We were focussed on India as a base and we ‘stress-tested’ our product as India has a varied set of users, with finicky demands of customers which pushed us to build all kinds of flexibility into the product.”

“During Covid we decided to double down on the accumulated customers. Our focus this year was what we can do in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Middle East market. Earlier in the year we got Srivatsan Srinivasan, a veteran from Salesforce, who wanted to be part of our team. It was a great validation for us. He joined as board advisor and then took an executive role as chief revenue officer. He became a part of our leadership team which gave us confidence to expand. In the last two years we have got clients like Swiggy, Lenskart and partners like KPMG and Accenture. Now we are a 30-member strong team and continuing to hire as much as we can,” added Gandhi.

Employee churn

“Today, hiring is one of the biggest challenges for a young company,” says Gandhi. “We are lucky that lot of our early employees are excited about the platform and its future potential and that they are all still around us. With a solid leadership base, we can keep on hiring younger people underneath and thus handling churn in the right way.”

On ESOP, Gandhi says, “In today’s day and age it can be your life changing event if you have enough equity in a company that is fast growing and goes through an exit. That’s what excites a lot of employees joining. Your return on equity can be multi-fold compared to the salary you are losing out by working with a younger startup. A lot of our employees are in our ESOP pool and are getting more and more equity. We have demonstrated every year that the value of the equity keeps on growing as we are raising funding at higher and higher valuations. They see the growth and future potential roadmap and that’s what motivates them to stick on.”

Funding and expansion

Elaborating on the expansion plans, Gandhi said, “Our India operations are now self-sustainable, but not enough to expand in other geographies. So we raised just enough money to run the experiments in APAC and the Middle East. JSW Ventures, a tech focused venture capital fund and Riso Capital, a Silicon Valley- based VC fund that invests in India-based startups solving global problems at scale, had showed an interest and we started engaging with them. We raised $1.5million this month and now we are aggressively building out a proper global sales infrastructure and process.”

“JSW brings a lot of large industry exposure for us while Riso Capital brings us the Silicon Valley connection, where they can help us in all aspects of migrating our company to US at some point. We also have individual advisors who have reinvested and who come from the ‘large industry’ background,” he stated.

Impact of Covid

The impact of Covid-19 was positive for platforms like Zvolv. “A lot of enterprises saw the need for evolving their legacy applications to modern no-code or low-code platforms. IT teams were backlogged during the outbreak and hence, building apps was least priority for them. So, the natural alternative was the no-code, low-code platforms.”

“As a platform, Zvolv reduces or eliminates dependence on developers for developing enterprise applications. It is designed for business users to conceptualise, experiment and build applications by themselves. Some support is needed to ensure IT security and scalability and compliance aspects,” claims Gandhi.

Future plans

With its international expansion in the offing, Zvolv will now compete with global giants on their turf. Says Gandhi, “There are a very few enterprise companies from India that have become global success stories. Along with a focus on customer success and on the products’ UI/UX, we are expanding in APAC and Middle East and will generate a few million-dollar revenues from those geographies in addition to India. We will also be raising a Series A from US based investors towards end of next year. We want to utilise that money specifically to make an entry into the US market and to make any meaningful entry to the US enterprise market you need to raise about $10 million dollars to have enough of a presence there.”

“In the next three years we want to be at a $50 million revenue run rate. And in five years we want to be a $1 billion revenue company and not a $1 billion valuation company,” said Gandhi.

Competitors

Explaining the market potential for no-code, low-code…

Gandhi and Chakravarty share a lot of things in common. They studied in St Vincent’s school and later went to the College of Engineering Pune (COEP). Post-graduation they both moved to Bengaluru and joined Texas Instruments.

Source: https://workplacenewshubb.com/2021/11/27/startup-mantra-saas-lego-bricks-re-create-a-smarter-workplace/

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SaaS Leader Bret Griess Joins Siris as Executive Partner

NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Siris, a leading private equity firm focused on investing and driving value creation in technology and tele…

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NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Siris, a leading private equity firm focused on investing and driving value creation in technology and telecommunications companies, today announced that Bret Griess has joined the firm as an Executive Partner. In close partnership with Siris and the Executive Partner and Advisor team, Mr. Griess will help to identify, validate and execute on Siris investments and drive performance across the Siris portfolio.

Mr. Griess was most recently President and Chief Executive Officer of CSG Systems International, a global leader in revenue management and cloud payments solutions. He was with CSG for nearly 25 years, holding a variety of positions in Operations and Information Technology. Mr. Griess oversaw the development of CSG’s first comprehensive cybersecurity program, introduced the industry’s first public, cloud-based business support solution and led the company through its largest acquisition and contracts, valued at more than $2 billion. Mr. Griess’ proven track record of managing the growth of a customer engagement software provider will be an invaluable asset to Siris as he helps the firm capture value-creation opportunities in vertical services areas across different industry segments.

“Bret’s extensive experience in the technology space – combined with his commitment to turning ideas into impact – will be beneficial for Siris,” said Frank Baker, a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Siris. “We expect Bret’s success in creating value-added, cloud-based business solutions will help our portfolio companies achieve their goals. We look forward to having Bret on board.”

Mr. Griess currently serves on the Board of Directors of Nebraska Methodist Health System, Midland University, and previously held board positions at the Student Loan Finance Corp and CSG Systems International.

Mr. Griess will join 15 experienced operating executives on the Siris Executive Partner and Advisor team. Executive Partners and Advisors are not employees of Siris, but provide invaluable sourcing and due diligence assistance to the Siris team and help direct strategic and operational improvements post-investment.

About Siris
Siris is a leading private equity firm that invests primarily in mature technology and telecommunications companies with mission-critical products and services, facing industry changes or other significant transitions. Siris’ development of proprietary research to identify opportunities and its extensive collaboration with its Executive Partners and Advisors are integral to its approach. Siris’ Executive Partners and Advisors are experienced senior operating executives that actively participate in key aspects of the transaction lifecycle to help identify opportunities and drive strategic and operational value. Siris has offices in New York, Silicon Valley and West Palm Beach, and has raised nearly $6 billion in cumulative capital commitments. www.siris.com.

Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/saas-leader-bret-griess-joins-siris-as-executive-partner-301413906.html

SOURCE Siris Capital Group, LLC

Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

Mr. Griess currently serves on the Board of Directors of Nebraska Methodist Health System, Midland University, and previously held board positions at the Student Loan Finance Corp and CSG Systems International.

Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/saas-leader-bret-griess-joins-siris-as-executive-partner-1030925383?op=1

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2021 SaaS Survey Results – Part 1

2021 SAAS SURVEY – Part 1 For the ninth year in a row, we’re proud to work with KBCM Technology Group (formerly Pacific Crest Securities) Thank you to the readers of forEntrepreneurs who participated in taking the survey! Thank you also to Adam Noily and the team at KBCM Technology Group for their work on… […]

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2021 SAAS SURVEY – Part 1 For the ninth year in a row, we’re proud to work with KBCM Technology Group (formerly Pacific Crest Securities) Thank you to the readers of forEntrepreneurs who participated in taking the survey! Thank you also to Adam Noily and the team at KBCM Technology Group for their work on…

Source: https://file4me.com/2021-saas-survey-results-part-1/

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