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State of the Cloud 2023 pt. 2

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Janelle Teng

SaaS Metrics & Benchmarks

#1: Efficient Growth

Adopt new solutions to gain control of their Cloud and SaaS spend, including the infrastructure cost to deliver SaaS Solutions. Tools include Cloud FinOps tools, SaaS Spend Solutions, and engineering productivity tools to improve R&D processes.

One of the areas of focus is on Cloud Spend as a way to manage the Cost of Goods Sold and thus increase Gross Margin which sets the ceiling for Saas profitability. Public SaaS companies with Gross Margins under 50% have a hard time driving Free Cash Flow of 20% or greater which is critical to enterprise value multiples.

Some examples of tools to gain control of Cloud Spend are included in the Bessemer Ventures technical playbook of 40 tactics to drive profitable growth - this playbook can be found on Atlas on the website - the report is called the "CEOs tactical guide to drive profitable growth".

#2: Climate Software will drive the Green Energy Transition

With the increase in consumer activism and government regulation, the green energy revolution is here. To support this green economy, cloud software that is tailored made to power the transition to green energy will explode. Examples are software dedicated to solar, infrastructure, sustainable design, and fossil fuel infrastructure transition.

#3: Initial value of AI will be to the user

The AI and Large Language Model business ecosystems are evolving quickly. Bessemer believes the ultimate winner is the user to increase individual productivity at work and in their personal lives. AI research is now democratized so end users can have access to and build upon the latest AI capabilities.

One example is ChatGPT being released to the general public and acquiring over 100 million users in the first three months - the faster-growing internet site ever!!!

Bessemer calls the current AI revolution a B2C2B motion. This highlights the consumer excitement about the benefits of AI, which will in return bring these tools and techniques to the corporate workplace.

#4: The application layer is where the most impact from AI will happen first

Due to the democratization of access to AI, the power of AI will be available to any company, that can embed AI without their own AI team. This will make horizontal B2B SaaS companies to provide AI driven workflows and processes without the need for a large internal AI development team.

With the number of transactions in many SaaS platforms, the opportunity to accelerate the insights to enhance business process efficiency.

#5: AI companies will grow twice as fast as traditional B2B Cloud companies

Bessemer predicts the time the best AI companies will require to grow from $100M to $1B will be 50% faster than the historic fastest growers like Canva, Zoom, and Twilio. That is truly impressive as these companies scaled from $100M to $1B in four years or less!

If you are a student of the Cloud industry or just SaaS-curious about where the industry is heading - the Bessemer Venture Partners "State of the Cloud 2023" is a great read and this podcast discussing the top five predictions is a must-listen!

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