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  • Writer's pictureOxx

Assembling the Nordic SaaS Community in one place

The Nordic countries have produced several outstanding SaaS companies and products that are widely used today. The Nordics have a strong culture of innovation, along with a vibrant community of individuals working for and supporting these companies. SaaS Nordic, led by Daniel Nackovski and Thomas Sjöberg, is an organisation dedicated to fostering this community spirit and assisting the next generation of entrepreneurs in their growth journey.

SaaS Nordic plays a vital role in the SaaS community, offering valuable resources and networking opportunities for SaaS companies across the Nordic region. Since its inception, Oxx has been a strong advocate of SaaS Nordic's vision. One of the organisation's flagship events, SaaSiest, provides an excellent platform for connecting with industry experts, showcasing the latest innovations and trends in SaaS.

SaaSiest 2023

This year, the event brought together 1,100 founders, executives, and venture capitalists to Malmö, Sweden, providing a forum for exchanging experiences, sharing best practices, and drawing inspiration from industry leaders. The highlight of the event was the introductory session by April Dunford, a positioning expert and author, which drew a full house. We were also fortunate to have an exclusive chat with April on the topic of positioning for scale-up companies, which will be available soon.

Mikael Johnsson, Oxx General Partner and co-founder, set the stage for the entire event with his presentation on the State of B2B SaaS in 2023. Ingrid Bonde Åkerlind and Bob Thomas followed with insightful sessions delving deeper into topics such as valuation, pricing, and practical strategies.

All sessions are available in full at, free for event ticket holders.

Key takeaways from the Oxx presentations

Mikael’s presentation on The State of Play in SaaS in 2023 highlighted the significant changes that the industry and the world have undergone in recent years, as well as the path forward. While 2020 and 2021 were prosperous years for B2B SaaS companies, 2022 brought a sobering realisation: the era of readily available capital and inexpensive funding has come to an end. The industry is now expected to settle into a new normal, with indications that the exit market will likely open up toward the end of this year. It's important to note that companies that were overvalued during the peak in 2021/22 are now facing challenges due to the overly optimistic market. Similarly, investors who adopted an excessively extravagant approach are experiencing difficulties. Moving forward, a growth-focused mindset that embraces the new reality and sets realistic expectations is crucial for survival and success. Mikael also emphasized that burning cash is acceptable as long as it contributes to growth at an efficient rate.

Addressing unrealistic standards, Bob's insightful data analysis challenged the validity of "The Rule of 40." By analysing data from the past couple of years, Bob highlighted that from a group of the most successful SaaS companies globally, only a rare few achieve that number. This observation underscores the need for a more nuanced understanding of performance metrics and emphasises the importance of setting realistic expectations within the SaaS industry and around the boardroom table.

“If you look at the rule of 40 performance of this index (EMCLOUD BVP SaaS Index), representing some of the best B2B SaaS software businesses in the world, it was never rule 40 profitable on average, it never broke that green line. I'm sure you're having board meetings on a monthly/quarterly basis where your investors will sit around the table and say, ‘How are we thinking about the rule of 40?’ It’s an unfair comparison.” Bob Thomas, during his presentation at SaaSiest 2023.

Ingrid's presentation, titled "Raise Your Prices!," drew a packed auditorium, indicating a high level of interest in pricing strategies. Ingrid guided the audience through a comprehensive journey, providing valuable tactical insights on determining optimal price points, involving key stakeholders in the process, and subsequently effectively implementing a pricing strategy.

If you're interested in learning more about pricing, growth, and data, be sure to visit our insights page for articles and explore our Go-To-Market Fit section (soon to be extended with more practical templates).


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