Software Startups Who WILL Launch in 2019, Prepare For Demanding Customers, Investors.
Authored By Tara Spalding and the Hen House Ventures team.
In the startup world, 2019 is off to a strong start.
Recapping 2018, $130 billion was invested into US based startups, funded through almost 9,000 deals. This funding volume was watermarked by PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor. 2018 set an all-time record of startup funding by venture firms since the turn of the century (Y2K!). According to venture capital data firm Tracxn, 2018 saw investments of $3.09 billion in B2B startups, 28% more than the $2.41 billion allocated in 2017.
With the influx of money, and the growth in B2B startup funding with institutional capital, 2019 is set to be very exciting for the entrepreneur who is ready to embark on this journey.
Because Hen House Ventures prepares startups for capital raising, we recognize that the investment community is becoming smarter, more connected, uses technology to evaluate risk, and most importantly is digging deeper when evaluating investment deals. For all of you startups out there - get ready for a fun and detailed diligence process to close your next round.
Hen House Ventures also had a fantastic year.
Hen House spent more than 2,000 hours assisting software startups fortify their go-to-market plans and raise capital. We helped 10 companies with solutions covering Social Media Monitoring, Digital Payments, Employee Benefits Software, Contact Center Software, Investor Relations Platform, CRM, and API Platform. Our contributions to the enterprise SaaS-based software and to marketplaces were very rewarding for us. Our primarily Utah-based team truly enjoyed working with companies headquartered across the United States and Canada.
We are excited to help companies focus their go-to-market strategy in 2019. Here’s what the experts at Hen House Ventures predict to be 2019 startup influencers.
1. Test your target’s appetite toward value (not solution)
Targeting markets is a waste of time if you don’t test their interest first. Smart startups will test their product market fit to a highly profiled sample group, to see if the need really exists and if the market is willing to adopt new technology to overcome their frustrations. Also, solutions change - but your company’s value to the customer shouldn’t.
Read more about this in Megan Russell’s blog post.
2. Your startup brand essence should reflect the leader and culture
The startup culture is absolutely captivating. The founding team’s culture is strong and constant in every aspect of the business. Hen House Ventures believes that the best brand development approach is by augmenting the character and qualities of the startup leader and feature the founding team culture. The person who drives the startup vision and will be the public storyteller should influence the branding. If the brand approach does not jive with the leader and culture, branding will be a forced experience, and the authenticity will be missing from the magic formula.
Read more from Josh Glover’s blog post.
3. Recruit an engaged and relevant social network
Leveraging a network on social media is a fast and easy way to test messaging, offers and engagement points with your prospective target market. However, building that network strictly relies upon helpful and consistent content that is tagged correctly and asks readers to engage if it’s applicable to them. Social media is not about sharing articles anymore, consider it a public email conversation.
Read more about this in Elizabeth Sugg’s blog post. (coming soon!)
4. Good content is king (or queen)
No one debates the importance of content marketing. It brings awareness, educates, helps persuade users, and establishes trust. However, in today’s day and age and with the savviness of search spiders, AI and a variety of communication channels, the importance of consistent messaging and messaging strategy shouldn’t be underrated. Startups who want to make an impression should meticulously plan their approach, tempo, tone. They should also put in ways to measure the messaging impact too.
Read more about this in Kathy Eckel’s blog post.
5. Showcase whomever validates your solution
When you get a fish on the hook (your first user or customer), treat it like a prize-winning tuna, even if it’s a small win. It’s important to espouse your innovation’s value by using your customer’s words and experiences. Your readers are all human, and humans enjoy and can easily remember stories. Many startups think that a public launch is about extending the truth and creating overarching promises that ambiguously addresses a problem. We see that fail when it comes to getting the media and public attention. Just showcase early wins, let them explain how they use your innovation and the attention will soon follow.
Read more from Ray George’s blog post. (coming soon!)
If you are ready to take the plunge as an entrepreneur into the exciting and rewarding world of SaaS startups, but need extra help or mentorship, reach out to us as Hen House Ventures is happy to help you out. Otherwise, do YOU have any startup predictions that you want to share? If so, please leave them in the comments below. We look forward to hearing your startup perspective.