Let us talk about the SaaS industry and the startups working in this industry. First of all, we should know the full form of SaaS. SaaS stands for Software-as-a-Service. It is defined as a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted.
It is considered to be a part of cloud computing, along with infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, desktop as a service, management software as a service, mobile backend as a service, data center as a service, integration platform as a service, and information technology management as a service.
The software is being used in the strategy for almost all enterprise software companies. A forecast has been made by the company, Gartner, according to which SaaS remains the largest market segment on public cloud services. It is expected that the market will reach USD 122.6 billion by the end of the year 2021.
Advantages of using SaaS
SaaS software removes the need for organizations to install and run applications on their own computers or in their own data centers. This somewhere completely removes the expenditure of hardware acquisition, provisioning, maintenance, software licensing, installation, and support.
Some other benefits of SaaS are-
1.Payments are flexible– Customers do not need to purchase software to install or additional hardware to support it, they can instead just subscribe to the offerings. This gives an opportunity and chance to the business to have more predictable budgets. Users also have the option of canceling the subscription any time they want.
2. Usage is scalable– The services offered by SaaS have high Vertical scalability, thus giving the opportunity to the customers to make use of more or few services or features on-demand.
3. Automatic updates– SaaS brings in the facility of automatically performing the updates and patch management. This helps in reducing the burden on the IT officials.
4. Easy accessible– The applications are delivered over the internet, thus users can easily access them from anywhere
5. Customization available– The applications of SaaS are customized and can be easily integrated with the business applications from a common software provider.
Famous SaaS products
SaaS products are targeted to both B2B and B2C markets. Some of the famous SaaS products are-
- Google Microsoft Apps
- Microsoft 365
- Adobe Creative Cloud
According to a study done, the SaaS industry in the country has the potential to reach USD 1 trillion and give employment to almost half a million people by the end of the year 2030. The total amount raised by the SaaS industry in the year 2020 is around USD 1.5 billion, which is four times the investment in the year 2018.
Announcement of funding of SaaS startup
The SaaS startup, Clear, has raised a funding of USD 75 million, as announced on October 25, 2021. This round of funding was the Series C round of funding and was led by Kora Capital. The other participants of this round of funding were Stripe, Alua Capital, Think Investments, and many other investors. With this round of funding, the total funds raised by the startup to date have come to USD 140 million. Post this round of funding, the value of the startup has increased to USD 700 million.
The startup plans to utilize the funds raised in broadening and expanding its offerings and also executing its expansion plans overseas. The startup is already operating in the Middle East and is now planning to start its business in Europe soon. The earliest investors of the startup are Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital India, Founders Fund, and Elevation Capital.
About the newly funded SaaS startup
The startup, Clear, was founded in Bengaluru by Archit Gupta, Srivatsan Chari, and Ankit Solanki. The startup is on the mission to simplify finances, save money, and time for millions of Indian businesses and people. The startup is a technology company that builds trusted, useful, and insightful platforms for clients to run their finances and improve their relationships with money. It has a massive graph and cloud-based offerings, and because of it, the startup has become the leading platform of SaaS in the country. The technology of the startup has touched 10% of the Indian MSMEs, which is second to the Government of India.
The startup is engaged in creating value at a scale. It has products that perform seamlessly during any kind of surge, so customers need not worry about up-time and reliability. The users can easily upload and process any amount of data at any time of the day, without any hustle. The figures for this are-
More than INR 1,000 crore taxes saved per year
More than 50 million e-invoices run rate
Around USD 300 billion worth of invoices filed
More than USD 4 billion in tax payments were done in FY 2020
More than 6 million ITRs filed in the year 2020
More than 10 million e-Waybills every year
More than 1.8 million man-hours saved
The products offered by the startup are built on top of secured, AI-powered, cloud-based technology platforms. The team of the startup uses cutting-edge technology and data sciences to build products empowering Indians to make better financial choices.
The startup is also engaged in infusing capital into SMEs in many ways. The platform of the startup saves more than INR 100 crore for Indian businesses every year. They get payments early with Clear. It also provides collateral-free filing behavior-based loans to further boost their working capital needs. The products offered for this segment are – GST, e-Invoicing, and Clear App.
The notable figures for this are-
2-7% tax savings for SMEs
3X faster versus alternatives
600K SMEs on the platform
The startup is also engaged in powering Fortune 500s, their network in real-time. It partners with large businesses and their entire vendor-distributor network with a powerfully integrated e-Invoicing, GST, e-Waybill, and Vendor Stack. With 99.99% uptime and scale that supports upload of up to 1 GB of data in a few seconds, the startup is trusted by some of the country’s largest Fortune 500 companies. The products offered for this are- e-Invoicing, e-Waybill, GST, Vendor Management.
The data for this is –
USD 300 billion B2B invoice value flowing
2.3 million business visible in the network
24 man-days saved per GSTIN per year
The startup helps in more and easier wealth creation for millennials. It helps in oversimplifying wealth creation and savings. It has revolutionized the idea of self-filing with a click of a button. It understands that taxes, investments, and personal finances go hand in hand, so it is empowering the financial growth along with saving time money for the users. The products offered for this are- Black, File ITR, Invest, Services.
The data for this is-
7 minutes time taken to file taxes
40K organziations visible in Form 16S
More than 2 million man-hours saved in filing
It also helps tax professionals grow their practice. It empowers tax experts to maximize savings for their clients by claiming every input tax credit deserved. Tax experts are trusted by clients for accurate and timely compliance needs. The platform helps in eliminating filing errors and is 3X faster than the government, which creates time and peace of mind for the customers. The products offered for this are- GST, TaxCloud, TDS, ClearPro.
The data for this is-
INR 1000 crore tax savings delivered
3x times faster than alternatives
60K trusting experts on platforms
In total, the products and services offered by the startup are as follows-
ClearGST, ClearE-Invoicing, ClearE-Waybill, ClearTaxCloud, ClearTDS, ClearAirTravel, ClearProtect, ClearVendor, File ITR, ClearInvest, and ClearServices. The startup claims that more than 6 million individuals, more than 1 million small and medium-sized businesses and more than 30,000 companies use its platform.
What has been said about the deal?
The founder and the CEO of the startup, Clear, Archit Gupta proudly said that the startup is just one round of funding away from becoming the Unicorn startup.
He further said that he and the startup welcome Kora, Stripe, and other investors who have joined the organziation with this round of funding. He further said that Kora has experience in technology players in emerging markets and Stripe is a global technology company that is engaged in building economic infrastructure for the internet. He even said that the startup is excited and pumped up to learn from them.
The startup is doing great and we wish the startup a good luck and a bright future.
EDITED AND PROOFREAD BY: NIKITA