Philippe Botteri is a UK based partner at Accel, a venture capital firm that has helped to fund some of Silicon Valley’s most famous exports including Facebook, Dropbox, Slack, Spotify, Etsy and Groupon.
The firm focuses on backing companies at fairly early stages in their growth, giving them the power to scale.
Botteri focuses his practice on digital services, mobile and software. This includes companies that offer software as a service (SaaS), which has virtually become a necessity to businesses who depend on online clouds or networks to operate.
Finances Online, a B2B finance solution website, released a report in 2018 predicting the SaaS market to grow by $76 billion by 2020. The report also stated that 33% of companies are using more SaaS products than they were in 2016 and 40 leading tech companies changed their acquisition strategies to consider SaaS product development – these included Microsoft and IBM.
SaaS describes some of the most powerful companies on the planet, such as Spotify, Dropbox and Slack. Companies can gain revenue by charging a monthly subscription fee to users which allows them the ability to run their software or, simply process transactions for services over an online system. Streaming music and movies is commonplace in many homes, as is hiring taxis or cleaners through an online platform.
Botteri specialises in SaaS investments and one company he has been backing since 2012, is DocuSign. It is a cloud-based platform that allows users to sign and approve documents from anywhere in the world and collect a payment digitally.
Docusign has achieved great success and is used by more than 370,000 companies around the world, hundreds of millions of people, and more than 700,000 transactions have already been performed on the platform.
The company made its public market debut on the NASDAQ in April 2018, after being valued at $3 billion in 2015.
Botteri is backing many other SaaS projects, including Helpling formerly known as Hassle, which connects users to cleaners as well as BlaBlaCar – an online marketplace for carpooling. All of these companies have grown successfully and it seems that Botteri is the epitome of a venture capitalist who is riding high on the wave of SaaS products and their proliferation.
Some of the world’s most recognisable companies provide software to use or to execute trades on but they produce no real physical product themselves. Spotify and Apple Music don’t produce records (although they could move into that space) and Airbnb doesn’t own any property, but by providing customers with the software to get what they want, they have consequently experienced great success. It will be interesting to see which of Botteri’s ventures will explode next.