Q: What SaaS companies do you most admire?

It’s best not to play favorites in SaaS.  There are so many incredible SaaS companies these days.

But I’ll make a short list of my some of my Most Admired — and why:

  • Canva. Made a tool anyone can benefit from, kept at it, didn’t rip anyone off, and quietly grew to a $10B+ valuation and dominant market position.
  • Mailchimp. Got to $1B+ ARR without raising any capital at all. Respect.

  • Coupa. Quietly built a $10B+ market leader and disrupted SAP / Ariba just by doing it even better. A huge market (procurement and spend management) that others just didn’t lean into as much. But it was there to be disrupted. A deeper dive here.

  • Slack. I admire Slack for making its Free version totally awesome — truly a product you can use forever for free. And for not charging for seats you don’t use. Being hyper-user centric paid off to the tune of $28B. A bit more here.

  • Bill.comBill.com was CEO Rene Lacerte’s second try, after PayCycle was sold to Intuit for $100m+. The idea of using the web to truly connect all payments for SMBs seems obvious, but it was ahead of its time, and going was slow for a long time. Bill actually was never a rocketship until after it IPO’d. But today it’s a $10B+ leader that solved a huge pain point for SMBs, remains cheap and cost-effective, and just works. That’s going long. A bit more here.

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