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SaaS Startups

6 MIN READ | 2022-02-15

SaaS Startups: A Complete Guide

The startup scene is booming worldwide, and the Netherlands is no exception. Over 2,000 Dutch startups are using the SaaS business model.

But what is SaaS? And which are the top SaaS startups in the Netherlands that are hiring? This guide provides a detailed overview of SaaS startups and what you can expect when joining one.

The Fundamentals

What is SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)?

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which an application is hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over the Internet. The most common example is webmail. SaaS allows for real-time interoperability, scalability, and easy access from anywhere via a web browser or a thin client.

The rise of SaaS companies

The rise of SaaS companies is due to the increased ease of access to funding and IT resources. In addition, as more consumer-based products are moving towards web applications, it's becoming easier for teams to create apps that can run over the Internet without requiring download or installation.

SaaS companies have proven to be cost-effective for customers; for example, customers save money by moving from traditional software licenses to a monthly subscription fee. These companies are unique due to their ability to grow and innovate quickly. As a result of this, they can provide better products and services for their customers.

Examples of SaaS providers

Common examples of SaaS include Gmail, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Zendesk, and Slack. SaaS providers offer various types of services. For example:

  1. Subscription platforms for hosting services like GitHub, Slack, Basecamp, and Spotify;
  2. Software products like Adobe Creative Cloud, Salesforce, and Dropbox;
  3. Infrastructure services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google App Engine, and DigitalOcean.

The Dutch scene

As of January 2022, there are 2,859 Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startups in the Netherlands, most of which provide niche apps. 

The Dutch government supports entrepreneurs who want to turn their ideas into reality by offering easy access to funding, office spaces, and IT resources. They also provide access to mentors who can guide you in launching a company.

Did you know? In 2020, ten Netherlands-based SaaS startups raised over €10 million.

The Dutch startup scene is known for its highly innovative and entrepreneurial culture. Over the past few decades, several successful companies have sprung from the Netherlands, including TomTom, Booking.com, Shapeways, Adyen, WeTransfer, and Showpad. The Netherlands is also the home of Fast Moving Targets (FMT), an accelerator that specialises in SaaS applications.

Working at a SaaS startup

Starting a SaaS company can be both exciting and challenging. On one hand, you get to build the next big thing to create an exceptional user experience. On the other hand, you usually have to juggle a wide variety of tasks.

Ownership & Responsibility

The most significant benefit of working for a SaaS startup is the sense of ownership and responsibility. The dynamic nature of SaaS startups allows employees to try out different roles and work across departments as needed. This also means that there's a lower risk in taking an entry-level job in SaaS, since you’ll learn many essential skills on the job.

Impact

Although SaaS startups can be somewhat chaotic, employees are often offered the chance to have a direct impact on projects right away. This level of participation is typically not available at larger companies where employees might be assigned narrow tasks that don't necessarily contribute to the company's overall purpose.

Challenges

Working at a SaaS startup does come with its fair share of downsides. Whether it's small startups or fast-growing companies, it can be difficult working in an environment where everyone is expected to wear many hats at once. However, you're likely aware of these challenges unless you are new to the startup scene.

Skills for working at a SaaS startup

If you're looking to work at a SaaS startup, there are specific skills that can be extremely valuable to your prospective employer.

Soft skills

Apart from a specific set of knowledge and skills, at a SaaS startup, you must have strong communication and collaboration skills to work with different teams. For example, you must know how to effectively communicate the benefits and challenges of a particular cloud platform to others to influence the decision-making process positively. An accomplished SaaS professional is a good seller too!

Hard skills

When looking for work at a SaaS startup, you must have a specific set of hard skills for certain roles. Few examples:

  • Database management: The most basic required SaaS skill includes the knowledge of languages such as MYSQL and Hadoop, in addition to resolving issues such as security hassles, storage limitations, and database performance.
  • Programming languages: Required programming languages may vary based on the job role you apply for, but generally, there is a large demand for Java, PHP and Python in the SaaS industry.


If you're interested in working for a SaaS startup company in the Netherlands, check out Techleap's startup job board with jobs at tech startups throughout the country.

Top SaaS companies in the Netherlands

Most people are familiar with the massive success stories of Uber, Airbnb, and Tinder. But did you know that SaaS startups that have raised millions in venture capital funding are operating in the Netherlands? Some of these companies have even created their own app stores, built APIs that have been integrated with several platforms and apps, or used blockchain technologies to provide a cryptocurrency for trade & exchange of products and services. 

WeTransfer

WeTransfer is a file-sharing service that is used by millions of people worldwide. The company is based in Amsterdam and has more than seventy employees. WeTransfer was founded in 2009 and has raised over $72 million in funding.

Are you interested in applying for a job at WeTransfer? Explore the available positions via Techleap's job board!

Castor

Castor is a web-based program that allows medical researchers to construct electronic Case Report Forms (eCRFs) for secure and reliable data collection. The platform aids with a variety of clinical trial procedures.

Features include:

  • Electronic Data Capture (EDC)
  • Data management
  • eCRF
  • ePRO application for online data collection for medical research

 Are you interested in applying for a job at Castor? Explore the available positions via Techleap's job board!

MessageBird

MessageBird is a global provider of inbound and outbound messaging APIs. It allows businesses to communicate with customers and consumers through various social media platforms. Clients send text messages via the website or API, converted to speech via an automatic response tool. It may be linked with WeChat, Facebook, Deliveroo, Uber, and Telegram.

Are you interested in applying for a job at MessageBird? Explore the available positions via Techleap's job board!

SendCloud

Provider of cloud-based multi-carrier shipping, SendCloud is an Eindhoven-based SaaS startup founded in 2012. It enables online retailers to book and manage parcel delivery services for their business purchases. SendCloud integrates various online web-stores such as eBay, Shopify, and Etsy to import sales orders, compare book shipping services, and print labels for shipping carriers such as DHL and PostNL.

Features include:

  • Real-time tracking
  • Email automation
  • Account management
  • Returns management


Are you interested in applying for a job at SendCloud? Explore the available positions via Techleap's job board!

FRISS

Friss is an analytics software platform for property and casualty insurers that helps them fight fraud, assess risk, and comply with regulations. Its hybrid detection engine and connections to external data sources help detect and prevent fraud.

Features include:

  • Fraud detection solutions for underwriting
  • Claim processing

Are you interested in applying for a job at FRISS? Explore the available positions via Techleap's job board!

EclecticIQ

Eclectic is a platform that provides services on cyber threat intelligence, analytics and management for government and commercial organisations. Its platform links and interprets information from open sources, commercial suppliers, and industry partnerships to create a common picture.

 Features include:

  • De-duplication & pattern recognition
  • Identification of threats
  • Real-time alerts
  • Integration with existing firewall

Are you interested in applying for a job at EclecticIQ? Explore the available positions via Techleap's job board!

StuDocu

StuDocu is a web platform for sharing educational materials such as study guides, summaries, tests, lecture notes, and assignments. Students may search for material on their college and see ratings by their peers. It's available in four languages on a free-to-use basis.

Are you interested in applying for a job at StuDocu? Explore the available positions via Techleap's job board!

Conclusion

With more and more startups adopting the SaaS model, there is no shortage of available roles in this sector within the Netherlands. Start today by applying for a job at a SaaS startup.