Scott Brinker published the 2017 Marketing Technology Landscape, his annual exercise in shrinking thousands of logos into a super graphic. This year, the list grew 40%, to a total of 5,381 solutions (from 4,891 unique companies). Over the past year, 4.7% of the vendors were removed and 3.5% “changed in some fundamental way — their name, their focus, or their ownership.”
- 6.9% have at least 1,000 employees or are public. Brinker describes these 300+ firms as enterprises.
- 44.2% are private businesses with either fewer than 1,000 employees or no funding data
- 48.8% are investor-funded startups at any pre-exit stage
“So for those who assumed most of these companies are tiny, it’s worth noting that over 300 are enterprises of significant scale,” said Brinker. “It’s also true that over 2,300 others have received some sort of investor funding — which implies scale beyond a couple of rogue developers in a garage (or, for a more modern-day cliché, two people in a coffee shop).”
The bottom group of “investor funded startups at any pre-exit stage,” which makes up nearly half the firms, is a growing phenomenon in the SaaS universe. Analyst Clement Vouillon of Point Nine Capital said that ten years ago, there were few SaaS companies that weren’t looking for VC-funding. Growth in self-funded SaaS ventures has been fed by a growth in underlying platforms and advice. Thus, “building and distributing a SaaS product is easier, faster and less expensive.”
Vouillon noted a number of additional reasons for self-funded bootstrappers:
- Experienced founders have previously worked at VC-backed firms and are looking to avoid the model.
- Competition prevents firms from scaling but permit the firm to operate as “a lean and profitable SaaS business.”
- The SaaS firm is a feature that can operate on SaaS platforms (vs. being a full product).
- The firm’s total addressable market (TAM) is not large enough to attract VC funds, but is sufficient to permit profitability.
- The firm is local but not easily scalable.
“The majority of these companies have their sweet spot in the tens to hundreds [of] thousands dollars of MRR,” said Vouillon. “Once reached they’ll continue to grow but more slowly and they won’t scale to millions dollars of MRR.”
The spectacular scope explosion of marketing — and the rate at which new disruptions and innovations continue to roil marketing and business at large — has made it impossible for any one vendor to deliver everything that every marketer needs in a digital world. Almost all of the major providers now acknowledge this, and they’ve shifted their strategies to embrace the ecosystem — becoming true “platforms” that make it easier for marketers to plug in a variety of more specialized and vertical solutions.
- Scott Brinker, Editor of ChiefMartec.com
Many of the firms covered in this blog are located in the Audience/Market Data and Data Enhancement section. This group includes predictive analytics companies, tech data vendors, DaaS hygiene, and alerting companies.
Other groupings with covered firms in this newsletter include ABM; Predictive Analytics; and Sales Automation, Enablement & Intelligence.