So if you were on social media this week, you probably saw a ton of YC companies talking about how they were in the 2023 Top Companies.
SaaStr Fund has invested in several of them, from Algolia to Treasury Prime to RevenueCat and more and it’s always fun to see awards and similar content from leaders like YCombinator.
But beyond the great stories of who is breaking out, I found a quiet set of statistics even more interesting: where they are breaking out.
It turns out that 58% of top YC companies are headquartered in the SF Bay Area … but at the same time, 82% are partially or fully remote.
This sort of summarizes where I think things are in SaaS in 2023. The SF Bay Area is no longer the true HQ of SaaS, but it remains the clear #1 center for founders. We likely will never again have 100s and 100s of AEs and SDRs sitting in offices in SOMA in SF, but the founders, many execs, and the plurality of SaaS VCs are still based in the SF Bay Area. Even if they aren’t always here quite as often.
But the companies themselves are mostly distributed.
And only 18% are fully in-office.
That does seem to be the world today in SaaS. I say still come to the SF Bay Area as founders if you can, if it makes sense. It’s worth it to be among the highest density of great founders, as well as ex-founders, those that have had big exits and IPOs and more. And it’s always easier to fundraise when you are close to VCs.
I felt this a lot when we spent 2 weeks in Singapore for SaaStr APAC. It was great being there, and everyone from Sequoia to Bessemer to Lightspeed to Accel was there. But even though in some ways Singapore felt like a more futuristic, slicker version of a hybrid of SF and Miami, it was lacking one thing … the density of late-stage and exited founders. There just weren’t a ton of folks that had gotten to $100m ARR, had exited, had IPO’d, and more.
The Bay Area still has the most density. Below the founder and exec level, though it’s different.
You don’t need density to win. But it helps. At least, it helped me. It pushes you, it makes connecting and mentoring and partnering that much easier.
I’ve been running RC from a bunker in the Midwest since 2020, but there is a 0% chance it would have gotten off the ground had we not started in the Bay Area. https://t.co/WYrL19qtMo
— Jacob Eiting (@jeiting) March 5, 2023