How many SaaS companies are there in the world? How about in the Nordic countries? And how many of them focus on sales and marketing technology? And how about HR tech, AgriTech, or LegalTech?
Standard industry classification systems, such as SIC and NAICS, couldn’t give us an answer to these questions, so we did the only rational thing one can do in that situation: We built our own industry classification taxonomy. We wanted a system that was able to segment and analyze companies on a granular level, and we’ve got just that with Vainu Custom Industry.
So, how many SaaS companies are there in the world?
How many SaaS companies are there in the world?
Well, our answer is that it depends. For us, it's not really a yes or no question, but rather a question of degree—how likely is it that a company is a SaaS company?
If we look at our whole database on April 19th, 2022, we have identified 128,305 companies as being SaaS companies. And that number is growing daily. Out of those 128,305 companies, almost 1,600 are from Sweden, roughly 1,200 from Finland and Denmark each, and a little less than 800 from Norway.
That being said, we could also have reported significantly higher or lower numbers. I’ll try to explain briefly why that's the case.
Vainu Custom Industry
Vainu Custom Industry is our machine learning-based model that we use to classify companies. Each company often gets associated with numerous industries, sometimes as many as 20, with SaaS just being one of the 900+ industries that we cover. Our model was trained with a carefully curated training and validation dataset of more than 1 million companies, and is therefore able to accurately classify companies’ economic activities based on their website and social media content.
Our model doesn't provide a binary answer to the question of whether a company is a SaaS company or not. Instead, each industry comes with a confidence score, which is a decimal between 0 and 1. One company can have a SaaS label with a confidence score of 0.99, which indicates a very high confidence level in our model's prediction. At least it’s a much stronger prediction than a SaaS label with a confidence score of 0.08, for example.
Confidence score threshold
We have tried to find a good default threshold for these confidence scores. A threshold that would ensure high precision but also provide a strong recall so that we would not miss any obvious matches. The numbers above were based on that default threshold. So if you want more SaaS companies than 128,305, just wait a day (our database is growing fast!) or lower the confidence threshold. If you want to get lower numbers, then you simply need to increase the thresholds and we will provide less but more accurate results.
Analyzing SaaS companies
With Vainu Custom Industry, it's easy to dig deeper, and you can further analyze SaaS companies for more granular sub-segments.
We've recently started running some tailored LinkedIn ads for SaaS segments that are very important to us. That exercise provided us with the following sub-segments:
SaaS & Payments: 4,173 companies
SaaS & Analytics: 23,166 companies
SaaS & Human Resources: 12,524 companies
SaaS & Logistics: 4,364 companies
SaaS & Lead Generation: 5,543 companies
SaaS & Marketing Automation: 13,972 companies
SaaS & E-Commerce: 25,107 companies
SaaS & FinTech: 8,242 companies
SaaS & Customer Engagement: 10,344 companies
As you probably already figured out, a single company can belong to many of those segments. All those segments are also pretty large, but we can also look at very specific subsets of SaaS businesses. Here are some examples:
SaaS & Insurance: 1,563 companies
SaaS & Sports: 620 companies
SaaS & Energy Management: 502 companies
SaaS & Fleet Management: 558 companies
SaaS & Navigation: 435 companies
The analysis could be continued by including geographical data, company size, and even some technology data, such as how many of them are using Google Analytics, Salesforce, HubSpot or Intercom. Or any other of our tens of thousands of technologies we keep an eye on.
The opportunities for both segmentation and analysis are almost endless.
So, if you want to access this data and the SaaS companies yourself, here are three easy options depending on your situation:
- We put together an excel list of 1,000 interesting SaaS companies from the Nordics. You can download it for free here.
- If you already have a Vainu account, check with our chat support or with your account manager that you have Vainu Custom Industry dataset activated and then you can build these searches yourself (and export the results) in our company profiles view.
- If you don’t have a Vainu account and/or you’re also interested in getting confidence scores, requesting a free Vainu API trial is the way to go. With our API, you can access the results you want and then sort them by confidence score so that you can see the highest confidence results first—the video below shows just how easy it can be.