This post was originally posted by our colleague Shantal Erlich on the Saasler blog, you can find related topics here.
If you are in any way connected to the SaaS world, you are part of a booming industry that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
The rise of cloud-based services and software innovations has reinvented the industry and opened up a completely new line of business for up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the tech space.
This new pool of innovators is raising the bar for new generations and bringing a renewed sense of excitement to the industry, which is perfect for all of us techies out there.
So, what are some of the names bringing real change to SaaS?
These are the people you should be keeping an eye on.
- Jakob Marovt: This Copenhagen-based engineer was bit by the entrepreneurial bug early on in his career, which forced him to try on many hats, finally finding his passion in marketing. He served as CMO and Co-Founder of all-in-one sales prospecting solution, Pipetop, before shifting his attention to a new venture, Pleo.io. Jakob has a long history of working with early stage startups in a technical marketing role, and his thoughts can usually be found on industry blogs like Bizible and Saascribe.
“I think the most important learning for me was just getting used to the no’s and that there are so many different forms of no’s…You’re getting 10 no’s a day and you have to get really comfortable with it. There’s nothing wrong with it because once you get one yes after 10 no’s it feels great.”
- Aaron Levie: He is the co-founder and CEO of the enterprise cloud company Box. This college dropout co-founded his company when he was just 20 years old, and has since helped it raise millions in financing, recently bringing its value up to $1 billion. Levie’s entrepreneurial spirit started from a young age with an obsession of running an internet company. During his teenage years, he launched about 15 companies, including one called Zizap, which he has jokingly described as “the fastest search engine on the Internet – minus Google.” Today, he gives back to the industry by investing heavily on new ventures, around 26 to be exact, including Stripe, Gusto, and Instacart.
- Steli Efti: Born and raised in Germany, Efti left school at 18 to pursue his passion: to become an entrepreneur. He started with a simple premise, “Never again should a great company fail because of a lack of sales,” and built his ventures around it. Today, he is CEO and Co-Founder of Close.io, a platform that makes calls, sends emails, and conveniently automatically tracks all activity, as well as ElasticSales, where he helps thousands of startups succeed in scaling their sales efforts. His experience has helped position him as a thought leader in the sales world, which he shares on a weekly podcast, The Startup Chat.
- Mathilde Collin: At only 27, this Parisian lego-lover has cofounded and lead a successful SaaS venture, Front App. In only three years, this collaborative inbox for businesses has raised $15 million from investors such as Social Capital, SoftTech VC, and Slack’s CEO Stewart Butterfield. She was featured on this year’s edition of Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 in enterprise technology, and her experience can be seen on prestigious publications like The Wall Street Journal, and Techcrunch.
“I think the reason why we’ve been able to raise that much money in two weeks is because the idea of Front is big enough to sound exciting to a lot of people. We don’t know yet if we’ll become like a big company, but at least the idea is big enough to sound attractive.”
- Eoghan McCabe: With offices in Silicon Valley and Dublin, McCabe’s most recent venture, Intercom, is proving very successful.This customer communications platform has taken the SaaS world by storm in the last few years with 116 million in VC funding from huge players like Bessemer, Social Capital and Index Ventures. However, this has not been McCabe’s first taste at entrepreneurial success. He previously founded an award-winning software design consultancy called Contrast, and co-founded Exceptional, a developer tool startup acquired in 2011, and now a part of Rackspace. His work is constantly featured on major publications, including Forbes, Irish Time, and Saastr.
Do you know other up-and-comers in the SaaS space? What about cool blogs to follow? Share your thoughts with us.
We would love to connect with other SaaS-lovers and help you grow your business with intelligent integrations.