Thursday, February 28, 2008

More on BVP's Top 10 Rules for Being SaaS-y

If any of the "Bessemer's Top 10 Rules for Being SaaS-y" from my previous post resonated with you but left you wishing you had more background, you should check out my colleague Byron Deeter's recent guest post on Bessemer’s Top 10 Laws for Being “SaaS-y.” Definitely great reading.

Also worth checking out is my colleague Philippe Botteri's blog post "Launch of the SaaS 13 Index" in which Philippe tracks how a selection of the public SaaS comps are doing. Great idea.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bessemer Venture Partners: SaaSy!

Bessemer may have a reputation in some circles of being an old fashioned firm, but really, we're quite SaaSy.

Over the past decade, BVP has quietly been investing in a once low-profile area of software now known as Software as a Service (SaaS). Early BVP SaaS investment include companies such as Verisign (VRSN), Keynote (KEYN), Cyota (Acq. by RSA) and more recently, Postini (Acq. by Google) and Endeca, and this investment focus shows no sign of fading away anytime soon.

Last year alone, BVP made new investments in five pure SaaS companies including Perimeter eSecurity, Eloqua, Cornerstone OnDemand, SelectMinds, and LinkedIn. Bessemer’s combined software and SaaS portfolio is now projected to reach an impressive $1.2B in aggregate revenues in 2008.
With 2007 marking a clear inflection point for the wider acceptance of SaaS (including in the public marke
ts with the successful IPOs of NetSuite, SuccessFactors, DemandTec,, Aprimo and Constant Contact), we decided it was high time to bring together SaaS thought leaders, SaaSy BVP portfolio company executives, and a few close friends for a discussion of SaaS best practices and the changing SaaS landscape.

The invite-only event attracted 40+ companies and 80+ attendees, and as my colleague Philippe Botteri pointed out in his blog post on the event, represented around 80% of the revenues of the SaaS industry in 2007.

Speakers included Quentin Gallivan (former CEO of Postini), Keith Krach (former CEO & Chairman of Ariba), Joe Payne (CEO of Eloqua), Parker Harris (Co-founder and EVP Technology of, Jim McGeever (CFO of NetSuite) and several other luminaries in the space.

In addition, BVP shared some of the best practices we've learned over the years and more than a dozen SaaS investments. You can checked out some of the resources we've put together on SaaS in a special section of our website. But for a taste, below is a slide show of our 10 Rules for SaaS. Happy to discuss any of the points....:

Also check out my colleague Philippe's blog post for a better summary of the event!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Facebook: Please don't ban me!

First, a facebook confession: I am, or at least was, a facebook page squatter (see A VC's post about the subject). Curious about facebook's new (but poorly executed) offering, I decided to experiment and squat on numerous facebook pages that were close to my heart.

A little viral growth later (and with the help of some press), my Starbucks page (my then pride and joy) had amassed several hundred Facebook "fans". But before my pages reached compelling scale, I received warning after warning (three warnings, all told) and was stripped of my Starbucks, Amazon and eBay pages. I then quickly closed down my Coca-Cola, Stoli, Diet Dr. Pepper, Dell, JetBlue, Ikea and a bunch of other pages for fear of losing my Facebook profile.

Unfortunately, today, a close friend of mine who was also experimenting suffered exactly that fate.

Now, I really don't want to lose my facebook profile, but I'm left with one page: The Economist. With 1,761 fans, I'm adding about 60 per day. If you're curious, here's what my Insights page looks like:

So now, do I close it down? Strangely, Facebook just wipes these pages out of existence, leaving the fans in a lurch. Wish there was a way to transfer the ownership, but no one from the Economist has posted on the discussion board...

[Okay - last facebook post for a while. Promise!]