SaaS in NYC: The Time is Now!

As most of you know, we’ve got two main sector focus areas at Primary Venture Partners. Ben spends his life in the world of NextGen Commerce, exploring the changing retail and ecommerce landscape and investing in both direct-to-consumer models and disruptive technologies that are enabling a revolution in the way consumers engage in the economy. I cover what has historically been viewed as the ‘boring’ side of the house – Software-as-a-Service and Enterprise Mobile applications.

We’ve never had a hard time explaining why Ben’s focus is a relevant overlay on our geographic focus in New York City. This has been a retail and commerce oriented city for well over a century. I’ve had a far more difficult time getting people to share our excitement in what we’ve long believed was a landscape perfectly suited to building a generation of industry-leading SaaS companies.

Lately that’s gotten a fair bit easier, as the SaaS bandwagon nationally has gotten fairly crowded and folks in NYC have realized that we just might have something to offer to this market. But enterprise businesses still struggle for credibility here, so we set out to put a bit more of a spotlight on why we’re such believers in NYC SaaS. And frankly, when we dug into the data, even we were surprised by how compelling it is.

Here are a few highlights of what we saw:

  • SaaS company formation and investing has been rapidly accelerating in recent years, and growing much more quickly than in the Bay Area
  • We’ve seen a number of great exits recently, but with a growing pipeline of extremely well-funded, high growth successes, we should expect many, many more
  • Some unique dynamics of the NYC market make us particularly well positioned to lead as vertical SaaS applications continue to grow in importance vs. the historic horizontal paradigm