Bessemer Venture Partners’ (BVP’s) recent presentation entitled “State of the Cloud Report for 2017 is well worth a look. (See here.)
The State of the Cloud report has three sections:
- A look back at 2016.
- BVP’s thoughts on appropriate growth and burn rates for start-up CEOs, and
- Seven predictions for 2017.
The last section of the State of the Cloud report is the most interesting to B2B software nerds.
BVP’s Seven Cloud Predictions for 2017
Bessemer’s cloud predictions apply to both B2B and B2C SaaS companies and most are trends you have read about already:
We read a lot about AI, APIs and infinite scale. But the fourth prediction, mobile applications for non-desk (often called “field”) workers is, by definition, B2B focused.
SaaS Applications for “Non-Desk” Workers
As smart phone penetration skyrocketed over the past few years, gigantic companies have lined up to play in this market:
- GE announced its intent to buy ServiceMax late last year for nearly $1 billion
- Oracle acquired TOA Technologies in 2015 for an undisclosed sum
- Microsoft purchased FieldOne Services in 2015 and
- Salesforce is making a push to ensure its Service Cloud is relevant to mobile workers
BVP’s presentation highlights nine portfolio companies targeted at non-desk workers in healthcare, construction, event planning, retail, education, and agriculture among other industries:
Square generates a ton of attention as does Procore, to a lesser extent. The other companies, however, were new to me. Each of them is intriguing, but their markets–events, healthcare, safety and compliance, and farming–are all now teeming with mobile-first applications.
I was interested by BVP’s two investments in horizontal B2B applications designed to replace paper: Canvas and Invoice2go. The opportunity found in replacing paper documents with electronic ones is one I blogged about recently here.
Canvas is all about turning forms of many kinds into digital documents. Invoice2go helps SMBs, especially one with mobile workforces, issue and track invoices. With 15+billion commercial invoices issued in the US each year, and about 75% of them still paper-based, electronic invoicing will grow at 20% annually for a long time. (The same long-run trend has been true for electronic commercial payments.) If Invoice2go can find their niche, a big if, there is plenty of headroom.