A conversation with SaaS Insiders
Golub Capital recently hosted the first episode of SaaS Talk Live. To view the highlights, watch the video above which includes SaaS insiders discussing the impact COVID-19 has had on the software and technology sector and the modifications they have made to operate in the current environment.
Andy: 

What kind of needs and functionality requests are you getting at CloudBees that are helping you enable people to really do the things that they needed to do, which is enable software development?

Sacha: 

If you depend on specific hardware that will just be in an office, on manual processes or on people who might get sick, then you simply can’t function anymore. And I think it was a big wake-up call to understand that software automation is not a nice-to-have. It’s really a must-have. Organizations need to be able to push new value and new ideas fast and do so in a very reliable fashion.

Andy: 

How are your healthcare customers reacting to this crisis, and what are you seeing and what are you doing to help your doctor clients?

Dan: 

I think it’s important to note is we’ve seen obviously an exponential growth in COVID-19 diagnoses on the Kareo platform, which of course is something you would expect in a pandemic. But I think it highlights the fact that EHRs and the digitization of healthcare finally makes it sort of real-time surveillance of what’s happening among patients actually possible. We’ve seen a rapidly changing set of reimbursement rules, really trying to promote the use of telehealth and digital health in general as a way to continue to provide access to care during the pandemic.

Andy: 

So, at Bessemer, what adjustments have you made in the view of COVID, both from maybe from startups to late-stage venture companies in your investment criteria and how you’re approaching business today?

Brian: 

The consumer side is going through a whirlwind of change. E-commerce has more than doubled year-over-year overnight, off a very large base. Some people are talking about 10 years of e-commerce penetration in the span of a month. Gaming is seeing an explosion, video game activity, up 93% year-over-year off a pretty large base.

We’re going to see new purpose-built applications for different functional areas like sales, like support, like commerce, events, webinars like the one that we’re having, social interactions. And these tools are going to come with an additional layer of workflow and analytics across a variety of communication channels including video, SMS chat. We haven’t yet seen those, but we expect those to emerge.

Andy: 

What changes have you made to your sales approach to enable you to keep some of the momentum that you’ve had prior to COVID and continue that trajectory, given that most people expect SaaS businesses to be growth businesses?

Sacha: 

So there is a bit of “nobody moves, nobody gets hurt” type of attitude going on. And even so, their growth might still move forward, they might be reluctant to increase buying new tools or expanding their deals and so on. But they have a business to run. They have time. And so we help them make those investments, knowing that good things will happen for us if good things happen for our customers.

Dan: 

Almost overnight, doctors have really needed to do certain things that they didn’t need to do before. I mean, overnight they really started to adopt telehealth solutions in a serious way in their practice.

And we’ve been really trying to lean into that with our go-to-market and really accelerate switching campaigns and really introducing them to the benefits of the modern integrated platform.

Andy: 

What are you talking to people about things like debt financing, equity financing, M&A or even IPO, where people may have been talking about capital raising and funding pre-COVID. What are you now talking post-COVID?

Brian: 

So, on the private equity capital markets, when it comes to capital raising for the CEOs in the audience, if you need to do it now you should be able to get it done. So we’re seeing deals get done. It may take a bit longer.

Andy: 

So do you see a future where many of your employees work from remote locations?

Dan: 

We’re trying not to sort of overreact and take things kind of one month at a time to learn and sort of evolve. But I see a future where it’s more of a hybrid model. So I think we’re all learning and we’re all experiencing, we’re all going to be evolving from this in ways that are right for our own companies.

Andy: 

I was taking notes myself while we were talking, so I’m learning. I’d like to thank all three of you for joining us at SaaS Talk Live. Dan, Sacha, Brian, thank you and have a great day.

Golub Capital would like to thank Brian Feinstein, Sacha Labourey and Dan Rodrigues for participating in SaaS Talk Live.
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