Two months ago Christoph attempted to answer the question on what it takes to raise money in SaaS in 2016. The result was a table outlining ballpark indicators across startup development stages that need to be met to get to the next financing stage in SaaS, i.e. from Seed to A, from A to B, etc.
It seems the SaaS fundraising napkin, as Christoph called it, was very helpful to SaaS founders out there. The feedback from the community was very good and many interesting discussions evolved.
Given that marketplaces are also a strong focus area for us, we immediately thought that it would be great to have a fundraising napkin for marketplaces too. After thinking about it for a bit, we came to the conclusion that this might be a bit more tricky, due to marketplaces being a less homogenous group than SaaS startups. Here are a number of areas in which the differences are visible:
Geography - SaaS startups tend to be global from day one, frequently go after the US market and raise funding from the same group of international SaaS investors. Marketplaces, on the other hand, are frequently multi-local, scale country by country - and have to raise funds, especially in the early stages, from local investors - who might vary in standards.
B2B vs B2C - when we talk about SaaS we typically talk about startups selling software to businesses. In contrast, marketplaces can be B2B, B2C, B2B2C..
Business model mechanics - marketplaces can have varying take rates, some own some do not own the transactions that happen on them, some are platforms for trading products versus others are about services and may or may not involve a SaaS component.