The Indian SaaS market is poised to provide a massive boost to the Indian economy in terms of growth and employment rates.
Over the last two decades, the Indian Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) space has witnessed significant investment. The Indian SaaS market is expected to touch US$30 billion in revenue by 2025, accounting for approximately eight to nine percent of the global SaaS market. In 2021, US$4.5 billion was invested in SaaS startups in India, an increase of 170% from 2020 as per Bain & Company’s report.
What is an SaaS company?
SaaS is a type of software delivery model in which software is provided over the internet and, often on-demand, via a web application. An SaaS company is a hosting service provider for applications that can be accessed from almost all devices by the users. The company hosts and maintains databases and servers.
Today’s SaaS technology allows customers to quickly deploy, manage and scale applications without having to worry about programming, maintenance or operations. It enhances efficiency and reduces costs for countless sectors, such as education, healthcare, wellness and businesses.
The huge demand for SaaS products in India has given birth to a number of new companies in this space. Let’s take a look at the five Indian SaaS startups that are all set to revolutionize tech-driven businesses:
Launched as Freshdesk in 2010, Freshworks has come a long way in developing its brand as a profitable business-to-business (B2B) SaaS platform. The Chennai-based firm is the country’s first SaaS unicorn, with a market valuation of over US$13 billion. Not only that, but on September 22, 2021, it became the buzz of the town for its Nasdaq debut. Freshworks is also the latest venture-funded company in India to aggressively grow outside private markets.
Founder of Freshwork Girish Mathrubootham started the firm upon knowing that the customers of Zendesk (an American SaaS company that offers customer support-related services) were dissatisfied when the company hiked its fees by 60-300 percent. He immediately joined hands with a friend and colleague, Shan Krishnasamy, to provide clients with a competitive and effective product at a reduced price. Freshworks, with an emphasis on convenience, provides simple-to-use and creative customer engagement software solutions to deliver business success to over 50,000 small, medium and big enterprises all around the world.
Founded in 2012 by Suresh Sambandam in Chennai, Kissflow is a B2B SaaS platform with 10,000 clients in 160 countries. The company is a digital workplace that offers a cloud-based solution that is designed for simplicity and minimal distraction, helping streamline all aspects of business processes from tracking case workflows to project and process management and more.
Kissflow was among the first in the industry to explore a new hybrid work model, “Remote+”, which “enables employees to enjoy the benefits of both remote work and co-located in-office work”. In keeping with this concept, the firm recently launched the campaign #ThePowerofSimple, which emphasizes the need for a single solution rather than fragmented digital tools for an efficient digital workplace culture.
LeadSquared, a sales efficiency partner to over 1,500 brands worldwide, optimizes sales and marketing processes to assist organizations in increasing pipeline velocity (the speed of deals moving through the sales pipeline). Founded in 2013, the company is currently a major sales technology solution for organizations, with a year-on-year growth rate of 100 percent since 2018. With its sales execution platform, the business assists numerous premium lenders with reducing their turnaround time (TAT) by 95%, improving process efficiency by more than 70% and increasing loan disbursal rates by 50%.
Recently, the company has partnered with Mi Credit, a personal loan app, to enable its process efficiency and accelerate loan disbursal. With this brand-new partnership with Mi Credit, LeadSquared will help craft more efficient loan journeys.
Chargebee is a recurring billing and subscription management platform that helps organizations automate and streamline the entire subscription process life cycle. The startup was founded in 2011 by KP Saravanan, Krish Subramanian, Rajaraman Santhanam and Thiyagarajan Thiyagu in Chennai. After securing a US$250 million investment deal led by Tiger Global and Sequoia, Chargebee Inc. is now valued at US$3.5 billion, more than double the price it obtained in April 2021.
Further, with smart acquisitions of leaders in revenue recognition (read: RevLock) and customer retention (read: Brightback), the firm has extended its capabilities to establish a unified revenue management platform.
Founded in Mumbai in 2011 by Avlesh Singh and Ankit Ultra, WebEngage is one of the most popular business-to-consumer (B2C) multichannel marketing automation platforms. Valued at over US$21.6 million, the startup helps consumer businesses drive user engagement through a range of mediums, including push notifications, in-app notifications, SMS, on-site notifications, email, web-push, social media and more. Following a data-driven approach, WebEngage specializes in customizing brand communication and campaigns to help establish personalized experiences on a large scale.
The global SaaS industry is expected to reach a whopping US$400 billion by 2025, making it an extremely profitable arena for Indian SaaS enterprises to play in. With the increased interest from global venture capitalists and a large pool of digitally-trained technological personnel, we can anticipate that the Indian SaaS startups will only grow.
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