What is a SaaS Company? [+ 36 Companies & Products to Watch in 2022]


Software as a service (SaaS) has been the largest and fastest-growing market segment for the past three years. According to Fortune Business Insights, the market is expected to grow to $716.52 billion by 2028. Businesses now spend 20% more on these cloud technologies than they did just a year ago, and they’re also growing more reliant on these top SaaS companies.

Two women excited about the SaaS business model

Software as a service is one of the most sought-after business opportunities. People looking for their next service role or business venture can develop valuable skills and knowledge in this fast-moving industry.

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But with so much opportunity for growth, how stable is SaaS? Let’s put it in perspective with a real-world example. On January 4, 2021, Slack, an instant messaging platform used by millions of teams daily, suffered a system-wide outage that put more than 12 million daily active users out of touch with their coworkers and clients for over three hours. Twitter went wild, the press was in a frenzy, and the memes ensued. A communication backup plan would’ve made this situation less of an issue, but it shows us how dependent we are on SaaS technology to make it through our work day.

This relationship between business and SaaS won’t unravel anytime soon, so let’s understand the big picture, structure, and examples of this big tech phenomenon.

This post will explore what a SaaS company is, what it sells, and how to follow its business model. Then, we’ll look at the top SaaS companies that have successfully used this approach.

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Table of Contents:

SaaS is changing the way organizations work. These products distribute data online to be accessible from a web browser on any device. SaaS companies continue to host the software and provide customer support for it. SaaS companies have more control over their products than traditional companies, which means they’re inclined to have greater security, faster updates, and a better user experience. They can also provide more transparent pricing as many operate on a monthly customer subscription.

How to Follow the SaaS Business Model

SaaS businesses are built in three phases: setup, growth, and stabilization. Let’s take a look at each stage in the sections below.

Setup

During the setup phase, the SaaS company’s foundation is built. The founders discover the consumer need for the products they plan to develop, identify their target market, and create the products. In this stage, they’ll also plan the campaign to bring the products to market. Creating an effective marketing and sales strategy, considering options for customer support, and organizing finances are also common in this stage.

Growth

After the products reach the market, the business (hopefully) experiences a great deal of growth. Because SaaS companies can expand their target market quite far, they can expect new customers to adopt the products, creating a sudden demand for marketing, sales, and customer service teams. The business will need to act quickly to capitalize on this timely opportunity to secure a loyal customer base.

Fortunately, this growth will be accompanied by additional revenue. By reinvesting the capital into products and services, companies usually have the resources needed to meet their current user demands, like IT support and customer service. The company will likely start seeing more money as they acquire and retain more customers.

Stabilization

At this point, the business continues to attain new customers without taking on more overhead costs. They’ve wisely reinvested into customer service software, marketing automation, and product updates. These tools help SaaS companies keep pace with customer demand, create a delightful user experience, and eventually pursue an exit strategy.

Now that we’ve explained the SaaS model let’s review SaaS products.

Hosted software, on the other hand, requires that users download products on their workplace’s servers. Some examples of hosted software include Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, and even the AOL discs you might have received in the mail in the early 2000s. In the digital age, some of these companies have begun to offer SaaS versions of their software, as we’ll see later in this article.

The type of product a company sells usually determines whether the organization is B2B or B2C.

B2B SaaS companies tend to focus on customer needs that are specific to business owners and management teams. As a result, these products are usually made for organizations. HubSpot, Google, and Asana are a few examples of B2B companies.

B2C SaaS companies, such as entertainment, personal finance, and organization companies, target people who buy products for personal use. Networking site LinkedIn Premium, credit report service Experian, and dating site Bumble are all B2C SaaS companies.

Since their products help businesses achieve goals, B2B SaaS companies are deeply invested in customer success. The latest SaaS trends for 2022 show that SaaS products are designed to be effective and easy to adopt. When customers succeed, they’re more likely to remain loyal to the SaaS business and even become advocates who refer their friends and colleagues to use the products. This fosters mutual growth between the company and its customers.

Some SaaS companies have stood out from the crowd this year — which is a tough feat to accomplish in their respective markets. To give you an idea of what these organizations look like, we’ve curated a list of the strongest, fastest-growing, and biggest SaaS companies you can learn from in 2022.

Strongest SaaS Companies and Products

This data was collected by G2. G2 uses Grid® Scoring Technology, which establishes its scores of top companies and products on a scale of 0-100 based on user reviews, online sources, and social networks. You can read more about the Grid® Scoring Technology here.

1. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey is an online survey developer tool that helps with data analysis and representation. The company was recognized as The Winter Momentum Leader for 2021. SurveyMonkey’s parent company Momentive Global has a market cap of $1.03 billion as of September 2022. Momentive Global’s year-over-year growth is 14.98% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B, B2C

2. HubSpot

HubSpot is an inbound marketing software company with tools focused on CRM, social media marketing, content management, web analytics, and SEO. HubSpot’s marketing hub was awarded as one of G2’s Top 100 Highest Satisfaction Products in 2020. Hubspot has a market cap of $14 billion as of September 2022, and Hubspot’s year-over-year growth is 42.26% as of September 2022.

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Type of SaaS Company: B2B, B2C

3. Microsoft

Microsoft owns over 100 cloud products that are used in a variety of software. Microsoft’s PowerPoint was acknowledged as a Top 100 Software Product in 2020. Microsoft has a market cap of $1.83 trillion as of September 2022 and year-over-year growth of 17.96% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B, B2C

4. Asana

Asana is a project management software that allows teams to manage, track, and connect on projects. Asana has a market cap of $5.07 billion and a year-over-year growth of 59.44% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2C

5. SAP Concur

Travel plans, expenses, and invoice management are all made simpler with SAP Concur. SAP has a market cap of $97.35 billion and a year-over-year growth of 8.59% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2

6. MailChimp

MailChimp is a marketing software company that owns three major products. Its main product, MailChimp, is an email marketing platform that allows you to schedule automated emails and track their results. This product was ranked as a Top 50 All-in-One Marketing Platform. In November of 2021, Mailchimp was acquired by Intuit. Intuit has a market cap of $119.23 billion as of September 2022. Mailchimp’s year-over-year growth is 32.11% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B, B2C

7. Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce business that owns four products. Shopify’s main product is an e-commerce platform for online stores and retail POS. Shopify was ranked as a Top 50 Small Business Product in 2020. Shopify has a market cap of $40.34 billion and a year-over-year growth of 29.82% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2C

8. Slack

Slack owns three products. Slack’s main product is a collaboration and chat tool that allows for internal messaging, video conferencing, and productivity bots. It was recognized as the Best Estimated ROI Enterprise company for Winter 2021. In July of 2021, Slack was acquired by Salesforce. Salesforce has a market cap of $151.36 billion and a year-over-year growth of 24.56% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

9. Adobe

Adobe owns over 50 computer software products in digital media and marketing, printing, and publishing. The company holds the G2 award as a Top 50 Enterprise Product in 2020. Adobe has a market cap of $139.85 billion and a s year-over-year growth of 13.86% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B, B2C

Fastest-Growing SaaS Companies & Products

This data was collected by the cloud service provider Okta for its Businesses @ Work report, which analyzes customer data in various categories and lists SaaS companies’ product growth rates within the last 12 months.

1. Snowflake

Snowflake is a data cloud that allows businesses to visualize their data. The market cap for Snowflake is $59.08 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 92.41% as of September 2022.

Type of Saas Company: B2B

2. Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform allows people and enterprises to build and run software using the internet to connect them. Google Cloud Platform’s parent company Alphabet has a market cap of $1.35 trillion, and its year-over-year growth is 26.27% as of September 2022.

Type of Saas Company: B2B

3. Splunk

Splunk provides software solutions for searching for, monitoring, analyzing, and interpreting machine-generated big data. Splunk has a market cap of $14.77 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 26.01% as of September 2022.

Type of Saas Company: B2B

4. KnowBe4

KnowBe4 provides Security Awareness Training to help educate users on solving IT security problems related to spear phishing, engineering, and ransomware attacks. KnowBe4 has a market cap of $3.04 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 39.63% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

5. Looker

Looker markets itself as business intelligence software that lets users explore, analyze, and share real-time business analytics. Looker’s parent company Alphabet has a market cap of $1.35 trillion, and its year-over-year growth is 26.27% as of September 2022.

Type of Saas Company: B2B

6. Jamf

Jamf provides simplified IT solutions for Apple device management. Jamf has a market cap of $2.76 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 34.91% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

7. Zoom

Zoom provides video conferencing tools for hosting remote meetings. Zoom has a market cap of $23.42 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 18.09% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

Biggest SaaS Companies

We created this list by referencing data collected from the Global Leading SaaS Companies report by Statista and additional data from digital marketing consultant Mike Sonders. This data is based on the market capitalization of each SaaS company. You can read more about The SaaS Report here.

1. Salesforce

Salesforce owns 58 cloud-computing products that help employees collaborate with their customers. Salesforce has a market cap of $152.36 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 24.56% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

2. ServiceNow

ServiceNow provides enterprise automation solutions for streamlining work and conversations across an organization. ServiceNow has a market cap of $85.85 billion as of 2022. ServiceNow’s year-over-year growth is 27.65% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

3. Square

Square is a credit card processing app that lets businesses easily accept credit payments without a cash register. Users buy the Square product, plug it into their phone, computer, or tablet, and their device immediately transforms into a credit card processor. Square has a market cap of $38.66 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 2.24% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

4. Atlassian Corporation

Atlassian provides products like Jira and Confluence that improve software development, team collaboration, project management, and code quality. Atlassian has a market cap of $61.93 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 34.16% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

5. Workday

Workday is a tool that human resources teams use for financial management and human capital management. Workday has a market cap of $38.99 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 21.42% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

6. Veeva

Veeva offers cloud solutions for pharmaceutical and global life sciences applications. Veeva Systems has a market cap of $27.18 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 20.29% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

7. Paycom

Paycom is a software provider that helps businesses manage and optimize their payroll operations. Paycom has a market cap of $20.23 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 30.03% as of July 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

8. Twilio

Twilio connects people by providing businesses with tools to communicate with internal and external stakeholders. Twilio has a market cap of $13.53 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 50.85% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

9. RingCentral

RingCentral is a communications provider offering messaging and video solutions to help businesses communicate internally. RingCentral has a market cap of $4.04 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 32.7% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

10. Okta

Okta is software that integrates applications into one interface to make each app accessible through one secure location. Okta has a market cap of $9.38 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 57.12% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B

Top B2C SaaS Companies

This data was collected by Mike Sonders. It measures the largest public SaaS companies based on market capitalization as of January 2020. Since there’s no exclusive list of B2C SaaS companies, we filtered this list to fit our specifications.

1. Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud-based storage solution for documents and data. Dropbox has a market cap of $7.77 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 10.68% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B, B2C

2. Wix

Wix is a website creation tool marketed toward users with little or no web-development experience. Wix has a market cap of $4.19 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 15.8% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B, B2C

3. Elastic NV

Elastic NV is a data analytics platform that helps users explore their data differently using a search feature. Elastic NV has a market cap of $7.78 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 36.66% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B, B2C

4. New Relic

New Relic is a data analytics platform that provides real-time app monitoring and troubleshooting. New Relic has a market cap of $3.93 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 19.83% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B, B2C

5. Appian

Appian is a low-code automation software that provides automation and case management. Appian has a market cap of $3.44 billion, and its year-over-year growth is 27.49% as of September 2022.

Type of SaaS Company: B2B, B2C

Set Goals for Your SaaS Company

These companies set a precedent for how a successful SaaS business should look. Studying the structure of SaaS organizations, understanding the difference between B2B and B2B companies, and determining the type of products the SaaS industry needs can set service professionals and entrepreneurs on the right path to growing a company or startup. The achievements of the 31 companies we featured will hopefully inspire you to set specific goals like increasing customer satisfaction and earning customer loyalty to experience similar growth in your business in 2022 and beyond.

Before you can grow your own SaaS organization, you’ll need to understand the most important factor of this model — customer service. This exclusive report will give you the latest practices for delighting your customers.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in [Month Year] and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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