SaaS growth appears to slow as churn concerns rise

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

Yesterday we explored what the SaaS world thinks about churn. A cohort of SaaS executives surveyed by Gainsight are expecting medium-bad churn (our take on their reported forecasts); select software companies will see booming demand; and the impact of churn won’t be felt evenly around the world, leaving some markets stronger than others, offering SaaS startups and their public brethren a chance to grow.

What mattered (read the piece if you have time) is that there is a general expectation that churn will rise as the world’s economy slips in the face of a historic pandemic and its constituent city- and country-wide shutterings. In time, we should see the impact of rising churn in public earnings reports, lower startup valuations, slower growth curves, and changing go-to-market motions.

But, something that we can see today is a falling growth rate among SaaS companies focused on both other businesses and consumers. This is thanks to new data from ProfitWell, a Boston-based software company that helps other firms track their subscription businesses and work to reduce churn. A set of charts provided to TechCrunch detail how the growth rate of SaaS companies, in both B2B and B2C, are falling. Add in a rising churn expectation for the modern software industry, and the market could be in for SaaS’s first patch of hard times in recent memory.


According to ProfitWell CEO and co-founder Patrick Campbell, the following data is predicated on “just under 20,000 subscription [and] SaaS companies” that range “from small startups to Fortune 50 companies.”

Given that we tend to focus a bit more on the B2B world, we’ll start there. The following chart tracks growth amongst business-focused SaaS startups that ProfitWell has data on. Try to spot where the trendlines change, and then check the data associated with the turn: