SaaS Startups Ideas to Create a Unique Product
Users don’t want all their data to be stored on a single device, instead, they would like to access necessary data from different devices: laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Locally stored software is not suitable for this, so there must be a cloud service that synchronizes data across devices. Users also became accustomed to subscription-based services like Netflix — it seems more convenient and less expensive than one-time license fees for software. The SaaS model kills two birds with one stone, that’s why it’s so popular, and many entrepreneurs choose it for their startups. In this article, we would like to share some of the best SaaS ideas to create unique products.
What is SaaS?
SaaS (software-as-a-service) is a subscription-based software distribution model. Usually, such software is located in a cloud and provided to users over the Internet. Companies that develop SaaS products can either host them on their own servers or contract a cloud provider to host them.
It can be compared to taxi services. If a person makes trips several times a day or driving is a part of their job, it’s more profitable for them to buy a car. However, if a person drives only a couple times a week, taxi or car-sharing services are way more suitable. Car owners pay for gasoline, insurance, and taxes, while taxi customers only pay for the trip. They can also use taxi services from anywhere, while car owners need to have their cars nearby. Car owners face many inconveniences like the lack of parking places and spare parts and the need to prepare cars for winter and pass technical inspections. Taxi customers don’t need to bother about maintenance.
Basically, SaaS works the same way: Customers subscribe to a service and use it whenever they need it, without having to think about the system support. Users can access it from any device and any place in the world.
In 1999, Salesforce became the first SaaS company when they launched a CRM platform. Most of the services that you know now are SaaS — among them are Google Docs, Amazon Web Services, Zoom, and a lot more.
Profitable SaaS ideas for a startup
At Ronas IT, we have 15 years of experience in developing SaaS for small businesses and encountered a lot of good startup software ideas. If you become interested in what we do, more development insights are waiting in the Stories and articles. And here we compiled a list of relevant ideas for starting a SaaS business.
Electronic signatures are an effective and legal way to quickly sign electronic documents. Such signatures are in demand because they give users an opportunity to sign documents online and save time. Let’s say you want to buy a house abroad — if you decide to hand-sign the purchase agreement, the seller will need to send it to you by post, and then you will need to send the signed agreement back, which can take weeks. With an electronic signature, the whole process takes place online and can last less than 24 hours.
To create software for electronic signatures, it’s necessary to abide by the laws of the countries where the service will work. There are national and international safety standards and various regulations to comply with. ISO is an international standard on information security; most e-signature companies have such certificates. European companies need to comply with GDPR, while the USA has UETA and ESIGN regulations.
DocuSign is an example of a SaaS service for eSignatures.Today, DocuSign has more than million customers and millions of users in over 180 countries that trust their agreements to the service.
Despite the quarantine restrictions during the pandemic, people continued to go to events, except that they were virtual. Such events stayed on track, even since restrictions have already been lifted. It happened because virtual events have a serious advantage over offline ones — they’re available for way more people.
The Weekend Experience proves that online events are in demand. It was an innovative TikTok LIVE stream that drew over 2 million unique viewers, while videos with #TheWeekndEXP hashtag gained more than 1.3 billion views. This virtual concert also raised $350,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative from selling a limited collection of the Weeknd x TikTok merchandise.
To host such events, people need virtual platforms. You can create a streaming platform specifically for live concerts, or a conferencing app for other events like webinars, presentations, lectures, etc. For example, Dacast is a streaming platform with secure video hosting, integrated payments, analytics, and other features for concerts. Remo is a platform built specifically for work-related events, so it has features like a whiteboard, Q&A, chats, presentation mode, and more.
The pandemic and its consequences have affected the way services are provided now. People don’t want to spend a lot of time commuting and tend to do everything without leaving home. This also applies to medical appointments: It’s not necessary to be physically present at all of them, so why not make remote appointments?
Clinics that satisfy this request receive more clients and profit. Of course, Zoom calls don’t have enough functionality for medical examinations. The clinic would need a whole system with booking, patients’ histories, doctors’ schedules, confidentiality, and built-in payments.
Not every clinic can afford to develop its own system, that’s why it is much easier to pay a subscription for an existing service.
Arizona-based startup eVisit used the SaaS approach to develop a telemedicine system that covers everything from planning to payment. In 2020, they raised $14 million for the expansion of the company.
Now, with the help of AI and ML technologies, it’s possible to build better digital products for any industry — medicine, cybersecurity, training, logistics, finance, etc.
For instance, AI and ML are the reasons why Spotify knows you so well. They use customer data to train algorithms which then enhance the user experience. Spotify has several recommendation model types:
- Collaborative Filtering models that analyze user behavior.
- Natural Language Processing models that analyze online discussions of music and artists in blogs, news, social media platforms.
- Raw Audio models which analyze the songs’ characteristics like loudness, tempo, key, and mode.
These models are the basis of Spotify’s large ecosystem that makes its recommendations so good.
You can also use artificial intelligence and machine learning in your SaaS project to build a better user experience and compete more effectively.
OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is a goal-setting system used by Google, LinkedIn, Uber, and many other companies. We use OKR too. It allows companies to synchronize teams and motivate employees to fulfill goals. According to OKR, it’s not the company owners or chiefs of departments who should set the goals for employees, but employees set goals for themselves, which makes them more involved.
To set goals and monitor the results, you need an OKR tracker, which is why they have become so popular lately. Usually, such software exists in the cloud so that all team members have access to the data in the application and can use it from any device. Therefore, it is most convenient to distribute such software using the SaaS model.
Timely is an example of a SaaS application for creating an OKR system. The solution uses artificial intelligence, and it has raised $1.1 million through initial investment.
Micro-SaaS is a SaaS aimed at a specific market niche, managed by one person or a very small team, with small costs, and no external funding. Micro-SaaS allows entrepreneurs to work according to the SaaS model without maintaining offices and paying salaries to numerous team members. People often create micro-SaaS for sale or make it grow into a venture startup.
Here’s an example of a relevant micro-SaaS idea:
Linkody.com – a tool for tracking link building campaigns, for now the company has already gained $150,000. It shows that there’s a demand for software with narrow focus, and such companies can be successful.
B2B SaaS is software sold on a subscription basis to businesses. Usually, these are cloud-based services for accounting, office management, CRM, HR tasks, and other things that help companies improve. It is often more profitable for companies to subscribe to software rather than to purchase it. Especially when the price depends on the number of employees who use the software.
Slack is an example of a successful B2B SaaS idea. They started as a collaboration platform for enterprises, quickly raised about $120 million, and became the fastest-growing startup ever. Slack is now one of the most profitable SaaS companies with more than 169,000 paid customers and thousands of daily active users in 150+ countries.
How to start a SaaS company
You can take inspiration from these software-as-a-service business examples and make up your own startup. However, starting a SaaS business is not as simple as it may seem. It’s important to validate the concept and make sure that the product solves some problem of your target audience. Once you come up with a valuable idea, you can start the development of a SaaS product. If you need any help with bringing your business product ideas to life, do not hesitate to contact Ronas IT services.