What SaaS Really Means at Salesforce: “Startup-as-a-Service”

Ten years ago when enterprise cloud computing and even our own Salesforce.com were in their infancy, starting a software company meant overcoming a lot of challenges. Identifying an idea, nailing the right customer requirements, sizing up the competition, quantifying the addressable market, and finally, raising money … A LOT of money. Most enterprise software companies born in the late ’90’s or early “aughts” typically meant a capital round in at least the low seven-figure range. Expenditures for things like server-based hardware, platform development engineers, and technology consultants were all required to simply get your venture off the ground.

Fast forward to now.

As you probably know, Salesforce has evolved from a CRM company into an enterprise cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Principally because we’ve created an ISV Partner program, a new Salesforce for Startups community, and the Salesforce Ventures funding vehicle for young entrepreneurs to grow their ideas by leveraging the same technology platform and proven business techniques that made us and our customers successful.  Unlike many angel investors, venture funds, and even Wall St, we fully understand the power of annual recurring revenue (ARR), the defining SaaS measure, and help our startups build a revenue base that grows exponentially year over year.

But Chris, give me an example you say…

Perhaps the best known illustration is Salesforce partner Veeva Systems who went public last fall. Not only is Veeva’s average revenue per customer (ARPC) 26x that of the average SaaS company, Veeva’s revenue has grown from $61M in year four of its life to $130M in year five, $210M in year six, and they start year seven with that $200MM+ run rate! By not having to build an entire cloud platform from the ground up, partners such as Veeva are able to re-invest more dollars into sales and marketing than the traditional tech company, thus accelerating their annual recurring revenue.

Pretty fast growth to say the least, no?

Together, Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce for Startups, and the Salesforce ISV Partner Program accelerate your startup journey from “ideation to revenue” in record time to become wildly successful.  We help you “fund and fertilize” your new business by allowing you to focus less on the commoditized stage of building complex machinery and more on leveraging our Force.com platform to create a specialized product with your specific industry know-how.

Create. Build. Market. Sell.

This is our message for new and prospective technology partners. Come join us at Dreamforce 2014 on Monday, October 13th, from 12pm – 2pm and Wednesday, October 15th, from 2pm – 6pm where we will have sessions and panels guiding you all the way from launching a new company to successful exit, whether by acquisition or IPO.


The Dreamforce Journey – From Startup to Post-IPO:

GROW OR DIE! From Idea to IPO: Fund and Grow your Startup

Monday, October 13th @ 12pm
Westin St. Francis, Tower Salon A

Featuring James Cham, Partner, Bloomberg Beta; Mike Jensen, CEO, Free & Clear.com; Jason Jue, CMO, Triblio; Robi Ganguly, CEO, Apptentive; Vincent Yang, CEO, EverString; Fred Tsai, Sr. Director, Salesforce.com

After the IPO: Lessons from Successful Executives

Monday, October 13th @ 1pm
Westin St. Francis, Tower Salon A

Featuring Vinay Bhagat, CEO, TrustRadius; Peter Wooster, former CRO, Marin Software; Andre Yee, CEO, Trlbio; Michael Weening, SVP, Salesforce.com

Investing in Enterprise Startups – A Seed Investor’s Perspective

Monday, October 13th @ 1pm
Westin Hotel @ 3rd & Mission, City View Room

Featuring Jeff Clavier, Founder, SoftTec VC; Laura Behrens Wu, Founder, Shippo; Adam Marchick, Founder, Kahuna

Beyond Friends and Family – Funding Your Enterprise Startup

Wednesday, October 15th @ 2pm
Westin St. Francis, Elizabethan A, B

Featuring BJ Lackland, Founder, Lighter Capital; Claire Lee, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank; Kristina Shen, Sr. Associate, Bessemer Venture Partners; Matt Garratt, Corporate Development,salesforce.com, Mike Kreaden, Sr. Director, Startup Relations, salesforce.com

The New Cloud Funding Model for Enterprise Apps

Wednesday, October 15th @ 3pm
Westin St. Francis, Elizabethan A, B

Featuring Matt Holleran, Founder, Cloud Apps Capital Partners; Judy Loehr, Venture Partner, Cloud Apps Capital Partners; Dave Yarnold, CEO, ServiceMax

How to Benchmark Your Enterprise Startup

Wednesday, October 15th @ 4:30pm
Westin St. Francis, Elizabethan C, D

Featuring Jason Lemkin, Managing Director, Storm Ventures; Brian Jacobs, General Partner, Emergence Capital Partners; Tiago Paiva, Founder, Talkdesk

Meet the Catalysts – Advice from the Hottest Enterprise Accelerators

Wednesday, October 15th @ 5:30pm
Westin St. Francis, Elizabethan C, D

Featuring Ravi Belani, Managing Director, Alchemist Accelerator; Michael Cardamone, Managing Director, Acceleprise SF; Gabriella Draney, Founder, Tech Wildcatters; Sanjay Puri, Founder, 9Mile Labs; Ludovic Ulrich, Director, Startup Relations, salesforce.com

Still hungry for more? Check out our Founders Forum sessions and panels for insight and inspiration from some of the most successful tech and business leaders in our industry. Be sure to drop by the Startup Zone (in the Dev Zone) at Moscone West to meet other startups and learn about the programs and events our Startup Relations team has in store for you.

See you at Dreamforce!

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What SaaS Really Means at Salesforce: “Startup-as-a-Service”