One thing we’ve talked a ton about at SaaStr since inception is the power of going global as early as you have customer pull in other geographies.  The internet works everywhere.  You should be selling everywhere, assuming there are no regulatory or related issues in your space.

Some examples:

So as you can see, the leaders in B2B SaaS are very international.

My rough rule has been to even lean in with a first regional country head as early as $1.5m ARR there.  Why?  They’ll help it get to $3m, then $6m, then $12m and $24m faster.  $1.5m ARR is material and enough to fund the hire and small office.

In an even deeper dive, Frontline Ventures took a look at the leading public SaaS companies as a group, and how much EMEA/European revenue they have.

The learning?  The top quartile of SaaS leaders have 28% of their revenue from EMEA/Europa, and the median is 19%.

And they had a bunch of other great learnings:

#1.  19% of SaaS companies have at least a local sales office by Series A:

”On average, US companies hire their first European employee two to three years after founding and typically wait even later to open their first European office — six years after founding.”

#2.  71% of SaaS companies put their first Europa/EMEA office in the U.K.:

#3.  42% start with a GM of EMEA/Europe, But the Majority Start with a VP of Sales or Marketing for EMEA/Europe.

Back in the day, we started with a GM with a CS background.  There’s no prefect answer here, but this data is helpful to see how others approach it.

#4.  The Average GM/VP of Europe/EMEA Doesn’t Make it Even 24 Months.  Tough but helpful to see.

Slow it down and make the right hire.  It’s just harder when they are further.

We’ll do a deeper dive on Going Global at 2023 SaaStr Annual in the SF Bay Area on Sep 6-8.  See everyone there!


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