9 UK SaaS Start-Ups To Watch In The Next Year
Software as a service (SaaS) is one of the most exciting industries in the world, packed with innovative products, new technologies, and fast-growing companies.
In basic terms, SaaS is a way of distributing digital applications that can be accessed on the internet. That means no time-consuming software installations or physical hardware management is required - clients can simply log in and use SaaS platforms.
SaaS providers host these web-based applications on their servers and manage security, access, and updates for customers.
These SaaS products are extremely convenient for clients, allowing them to access platforms from any location and easily scale up their subscriptions as they expand.
Unsurprisingly, SaaS has become increasingly popular in a number of different industries. Some of these are fairly obvious (i.e. legal and financial services) but SaaS companies are also penetrating markets like agriculture and manufacturing.
The SaaS industry is growing at lightning speed. The market size is expected to grow from $130bn in 2021 to $716bn in 2028, and it’s estimated that 78% of small businesses have already invested in SaaS products.
Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting SaaS start-ups in the UK, and explore their product offerings and plans for future growth.
Founded in 2019, Deployed uses artificial intelligence and intuitive tools to help businesses create statement-of-work documents more efficiently.
The platform offers a range of products that can help different departments (e.g. legal, human resources, procurement) to collaborate and increase productivity. Teams can use the Deployed platform to write and edit statements of work, measure business outcomes, and create compliant legal contracts.
Deployed focuses on helping businesses to prepare more effectively for project-based work, improving both outputs and decision-making in the process.
OutThink is a cyber-security start-up that takes security awareness training and cyber risk analysis to the next level. The company focuses on resolving a major cyber-security issue that’s often overlooked by businesses - human behaviour.
OutThink’s platform helps to provide bespoke training programmes for employees, identify risk patterns across organizations, and utilise predictive intelligence to lower the risk of cyber breaches.
All of this is delivered through a single SaaS platform that’s designed specifically for CISOs.
OutThink is headquartered in London but has offices in Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. The business has raised a total of $3.8m across 2 funding rounds and is continuing to expand its global presence.
Fluidly offers a suite of software tools that help businesses and accountants to easily forecast cash flow, model financial scenarios, and secure funding.
The company aims to transform cash flow forecasting from a manual, time-consuming chore to a task that’s simplified by real-time data.
Fluidly also provides clients with valuable insights on future decisions, enabling them to improve their finances rather than just analyse them.
Fluidly has enjoyed significant success since being founded in 2016, having been recognised by Wired in its ‘Top 100 European Startups’ list as well as winning the 2020 ‘Xero Practice App of the Year’ award. The start-up has also received $15.5m in funding to date and shows no signs of slowing down.
Nous was founded in 2021 and seeks to help households to control their finances and navigate the cost-of-living crisis.
The platform allows users to accurately track their household bills and monitor planned price rises to prepare for the future. Nous collects data from every major household provider in the UK, and uses these insights to provide customers with personalised financial forecasts.
Nous also recommends potential steps that users can take to save money and manage bill payments more effectively. The start-up has already secured £6.62m in fundraising, and as individuals continue to grapple with rising living costs, the platform will undoubtedly grow in popularity.
OpenDialog offers advanced software that enables companies to enhance customer service and business communications through ‘Conversational AI’.
The OpenDialog technology is specifically designed to be easily adopted, scaled, and managed by clients. By automating their customer interactions, businesses can instantly reduce their operational costs, reallocate resources, and boost revenue by improving conversion rates.
These solutions essentially allow companies to offer fully-optimised customer service that’s available around the clock. This is incredibly valuable for businesses, so it’s not surprising that OpenDialog recently completed a £4m seed funding round in May 2022.
With the LottieLab platform, businesses can instantly enhance their apps and websites with custom animations and graphic designs.
Users can create high-quality and professional graphics without needing any editing qualifications or expertise.
Slick and eye-catching animations are now a must-have for online businesses, whether it’s an attention-grabbing landing page or a highly engaging training video. The ability to communicate with customers and employees in a creative way is hugely important, and LottieLab allows companies to produce exceptional visual assets.
LottieLab has already proven itself to be one of the most exciting SaaS start-ups in the UK, having recently generated $4m in seed round funding in April this year.
Market research is massively important for modern marketers, and the Qudo platform aims to revolutionise the entire process.
Companies can use Qudo’s AI solutions to launch and review in-depth research programmes, all within a single SaaS platform. Comprehensive research campaigns and detailed questionnaires can be sent and completed within a matter of days and delivered at a minimal cost.
Qudo also acts as a one-stop shop for digital marketing, enabling advertisers to utilise advanced survey tools, analyse research results, and refine their audience targeting.
The start-up has received $4.5m in funding so far and was featured in Beauhurst’s ‘Top 50 SaaS Companies in the UK’ 2022 list.
Cynomi delivers advanced cybersecurity software that helps small-to-medium-sized businesses identify cyber threats and produce effective response plans.
The start-up uses industry-leading AI algorithms that can rapidly assess and highlight cybersecurity weaknesses. These insights are captured in a real-time dashboard that enables companies to review their security measures and analyse detailed reports.
Most importantly, Cynomi allows businesses to produce and execute their own cybersecurity and compliance strategies. This means that users aren’t just able to identify cyber threats - they can also put tailored plans in place to address them.
MSSPs and consulting firms can utilise this technology to easily provide vCISO solutions at scale.
Cynomi was founded in early 2020 but has already achieved impressive growth, having raised around $3.5m in seed funding from several investors.
London-based Loctax is effectively an all-in-one SaaS solution for global tax teams.
The platform is designed to help in-house tax teams to handle all of their key responsibilities, including compliance, audits, and project management. As tax compliance becomes more and more complex, tax teams can use Loctax to stay ahead of the curve.
The Loctax offering works in three separate stages. Teams can use the platform to connect with internal and external stakeholders, collaborate through streamlined workflows, and control tax affairs with an intuitive framework.
Loctax raised £15.6m of Series A funding in September 2022, proving the potential for SaaS start-ups to grow rapidly in the right sectors.
High levels of growth and investment are obviously very exciting for SaaS startups - but as businesses expand their offering, they require additional resources to avoid growing pains and ensure proper financial management.
Harmonic is here to offer a wealth of hiring experience and expertise, with a high-growth focus in finance and operations. If you need support building out your financial team, don’t hesitate to contact Thomas (Thomas.bryant@Harmonicfinance.com) to discuss your needs.