The SaaS sell-off is steepening

By now you may be tired of stories detailing the bad news in the market. Too bad! More are coming.

If the deluge of negative headlines feels like a pile-on, recall that in 2020 and 2021, TechCrunch obsessively covered the technology, startup and venture capital markets’ various excesses; to not cover the party’s comedown would be a gross oversight.

For a broader think on the slowdown, and what falling prices for stocks and crypto assets mean for startups and unicorns more generally, head here. From here on out, we’re only talking SaaS.

What’s the matter with software companies?

Software companies, viewed through the public subset of the larger cohort, had a simply amazing run after COVID settled onto the global stage. Public software companies were beneficiaries of two things: First, it quickly became clear that software would keep selling, even in a downturn. And, second, there was little to no growth in other places to invest in, so money piled into tech concerns.

This was the pandemic trade, in effect. And as it became a defining period for the value of tech stocks, its unraveling is having a similar effect, in reverse.

That reversal is not done. Not yet. Despite a massive sell-off since November highs, tech stocks are proving today that there are new depths to plumb. For example:

Image Credits: Yahoo Finance

This particular ETF tracks the Bessemer Cloud Index, a list of public software companies that mostly deliver their business through the cloud. The basket of stocks peaked at $65.51 per share, meaning that as I write to you, it’s off 54% and change.