Today, there are more software as a service (SaaS) companies than ever before.
With so much competition, many SaaS businesses face a hard time finding ways to stand out and become market leaders.
Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your SaaS product, or want to learn how to build a successful SaaS company, you’ll definitely benefit from taking a look at these best SaaS examples.
In this article, we are sharing a list of top 15 successful SaaS examples. Read along to find out when these companies were launched, how much they make in annual recurring revenue (ARR), and what they are about. Let’s get started.
Top 15 SaaS Examples
Without further ado, here are the top 15 software as a service (SaaS) examples you should know about:
Launch Year: 2009
Slack is a SaaS company that provides a messaging app built specifically for workplaces.
Slack offers a variety of tools and features that help businesses optimize teamwork and automate their tasks, such as:
- Channels to organize conversations and files.
- Slack Connect, a tool that allows you to easily collaborate with teams from other companies.
- Integrations, which enables you to connect Slack with over 2,000 different apps.
- Workflow builder, a useful tool for automating communication and routine actions.
With 65 of the Fortune 100 businesses using Slack, it’s without a doubt one of the best and most successful SaaS platform examples.
Launch Year: 2006
HubSpot offers an all-in-one customer relationship management (CRM) platform that helps companies optimize their marketing, sales, customer service, and other departments while growing their business.
HubSpot hosts a handful of products that are powerful on their own but can also be integrated with each other for increased functionality. These products include:
- Marketing Hub, a software which enables you to automate your marketing strategy.
- Sales Hub, a sales CRM platform.
- CMS Hub, which is a content management system.
- Service Hub, a customer service software.
- Operations Hub, a software that helps you automate processes to boost your team’s efficiency.
Launch Year: 2006
Shopify is a SaaS business that provides a complete ecommerce platform for running an online business.
With Shopify, you can set up an online store in just minutes. The platform includes all the tools you need to open, run, and grow your online store, including:
- A drag-and-drop store builder
- 70+ customizable themes for online stores
- A point of sale (POS) payment system
- Marketing and SEO tools
- Mobile commerce compatibility
With a 32% market share in the United States, Shopify is the leading ecommerce platform and a SaaS example you definitely want to follow.
Launch Year: 2017
ClickUp is an all-in-one project management and collaboration tool that helps you simplify your workflow to increase efficiency and productivity.
ClickUp is easy to use and highly customizable. It comes with hundreds of useful task management and team collaboration tools.
One of the reasons why ClickUp is an excellent SaaS example is, without a doubt, their devotion to constantly improving their app. The company adds more features to their platform each week. In 2018 alone, the company released nearly 300 new features.
Additionally, in Q4 of 2021, they raised $400m in a Series C funding that pushed them to the $4B valuation mark. This is very impressive for the productivity software industry, as it’s one of the largest Series C rounds raised in the market.
Launch Year: 2011
Zapier is an app that enables you to automate your workflow with over 5,000 app integrations.
As such, Zapier is a very useful tool if you’re trying to increase your productivity while saving time. With Zapier, you can automate tasks across thousands of apps without having to build integrations yourself.
Zapier allows you to integrate nearly any web application, including the most successful SaaS examples we’ve mentioned above – Slack, HubSpot, Shopify, and ClickUp.
Zapier integration is in fact very beneficial for SaaS businesses, as it can reduce their customer churn and thus increase customer lifetime value.
Launch Year: 2012
Canva is a graphic design and video editing platform that enables users to create visual content with professionally-designed, easy-to-use templates.
Canva allows you to create graphics for social media, business cards, resumes, Zoom backgrounds, restaurant menus, and much more without any graphic design experience. It has over 60 million active monthly users.
In 2019, the company won three awards:
- Enterprise Tech 30 Mid-stage Category Award 2019
- Google Play Award 2019
- Great Place to Work Award 2019
Launch Year: 2011
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing app that allows users to connect with other people. Besides video conferences and chats, Zoom also enables you to host webinars and online events directly on the platform.
With 70% of Fortune 100 and around 50% of Fortune 500 companies using Zoom, it is the leading video conferencing app among the largest businesses in the United States.
Although Zoom entered the market years later than many of its well-established competitors such as Skype, today Zoom is one of the most reliable and popular video conferencing apps. Because of this, Zoom is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring SaaS company examples.
Launch Year: 1999
Similar to HubSpot, Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM platform. It helps you connect and unite your marketing, sales, customer service, IT, and commerce teams to increase customer satisfaction.
Salesforce provides all the tools needed to create a personalized customer experience, including tools for analytics, sales, marketing, and more.
On top of that, you can also integrate Salesforce with the above-mentioned Slack to optimize your workflow, allowing you to focus more time and energy on building stronger relationships with your customers.
Launch Year: 2007
Dropbox is a cloud-based storage service that allows you to save your files in the cloud and synchronize them across all of your devices.
Dropbox enables you to:
- Store, organize, and easily share files
- Sync files across multiple devices
- Keep your files secure
- Automatically backup and restore your files
- Add electronic signatures to documents
Dropbox is among the oldest file hosting services. Although today there are many alternatives to Dropbox, including Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, it still remains a market leader. This makes it one of the best SaaS company examples.
Launch Year: 2003
DocuSign is a cloud-based e-signature platform that allows organizations to easily and securely prepare, send, sign, and manage electronic agreements.
DocuSign works on practically any app and device, allowing you to sign documents anytime, anywhere.
Besides their electronic signature feature, DocuSign offers other useful products to manage your documents, such as:
- Contract lifecycle management software
- Document generation software
- Payments software
- Clickwrap software
Launch Year: 2002
Atlassian is an Australian software company that primarily develops productivity and collaboration tools for enterprises.
Atlassian has created a number of highly successful SaaS apps. Some of their best SaaS examples include:
- Jira. This software development and project management app helps developers track bugs and issues as well as manage teams and tasks.
- Trello. Trello is an easy-to-use project management tool that enables you to automate your tasks and collaborate with teams.
- Confluence. This is a collaboration and team workspace platform that allows you to create, organize, and manage tasks and projects.
Launch Year: 2010
Freshworks is a SaaS company that provides sales, customer support, marketing, and IT solutions for businesses.
All of Freshworks SaaS tools are easy to use, affordable, and well-designed. They suit companies of different sizes, from startups to large enterprises.
Most popular Freshworks products include:
- Freshdesk, a tool that enables you to optimize and improve your customer support and customer experience.
- Freshsales, a sales app that helps you drive sales and boost your revenue.
- Freshmarketer, a SaaS tool that allows you to increase conversions through marketing automation, personalized messages, and more.
Launch Year: 2012
Airtable is a cloud-based collaboration software that combines spreadsheets and databases into one platform.
Airtable is easy-to-use, visually appealing, and requires no coding experience.
Not to mention, you can use Airtable as a database for:
- Customer relationship management
- Task management
- Inventory tracking
- Project planning and management
Airtable is among the best SaaS examples of simple to use, yet very powerful software. Because of this, Airtable is flexible and can be used for a variety of tasks. From simple ones like creating shopping lists and wedding planning to more complex ones like organizing customer feedback and work projects – Airtable does it all.
Launch Year: 2015
Notion provides productivity, project management, and note-taking software in one. In other words, it’s an all-in-one workplace platform built to help people organize their tasks and improve their efficiency.
Notion is a highly customizable app – based on your needs, you can tailor it to be minimal or powerful, equipped with templates and integrations.
What’s more, Notion is very versatile and easy to use. All you need is to create blocks that include any type of content you need, such as text, code, images, and much more.
Launch Year: 2011
Handshake is an online job platform that connects college students with employers.
With over 9 million students and more than 650 thousand employers using the platform, Handshake is the leading early employment recruiting platform in the United States.
Handshake is very easy to use for both students and employers. The platform offers two products for employers: Handshake Core, which is their free plan, and Handshake Premium, a paid plan that comes with more advanced features such as analytics.
Students looking for a job, meanwhile, can simply download the Handshake app and create an account. From there, they can chat with employers and apply for jobs in just a few clicks.
Looking for more successful SaaS examples? Check out our SaaS database for insights into 30,000+ private SaaS companies.
And that’s all – hopefully, these 15 SaaS examples gave you some inspiration and a better idea in which direction you should steer your SaaS business.
As you might’ve noticed from these SaaS application examples, SaaS businesses offer a wide range of solutions to users, both individuals and businesses. Some of the best SaaS companies see this as an opportunity to enhance and promote their SaaS product through app integrations and collaboration with other SaaS businesses.
Ultimately, there is no single recipe for building a successful SaaS business. However, one thing is for certain – building a SaaS solution that is easy to use, customizable, flexible, AND powerful highly increases your chances of succeeding in the SaaS market.
SaaS Companies FAQ
#1. What is SaaS?
Software as a service (SaaS) is a type of cloud computing service allowing companies to provide apps to users over the internet.
Traditionally, SaaS businesses would provide their products to a wide variety of users, which is known as the horizontal SaaS model. Today, however, some businesses opt for the vertical SaaS model, where they offer SaaS built specifically for a niche industry.
#2. What is the difference between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS?
The main difference between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS is their cost and level of control.
SaaS is the most affordable cloud computing solution. It lets you host your app and deliver it to users over the internet. Because the SaaS vendor is responsible for managing your applications, operating system (OS), storage, data, etc., you have less control over your SaaS solution.
With PaaS (Platform as a Service), you get a platform for testing and running applications where the provider manages everything except your applications and data, which are in your control. PaaS solutions are typically moderately priced.
Meanwhile, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) comes with the whole functionality set you need to build, test, host, and run applications, all built into one platform. IaaS provides you with more control over your applications than the other two cloud computing types, but also comes at a higher price.
#3. Is launching a SaaS application expensive?
Many factors determine the cost of launching a SaaS application, including its features, API integration, and mobile compatibility.
As such, estimating the cost of launching a SaaS app isn’t exactly straightforward.
That said, building a SaaS app can cost you anywhere between $50k and $1 million.
#4. Is Zoom a SaaS?
Yes, Zoom is a SaaS app that uses the freemium pricing model.
The basic subscription for Zoom is free, but comes with limited features. To get their more advanced features, you need to buy one of their paid subscription plans.
#5. Is Netflix an example of SaaS?
Yes, Netflix is an excellent SaaS example. It provides users with software to watch movies and shows over the internet.
Netflix also uses a recurring subscription revenue model, where they charge users a fixed monthly fee to access content on their platform.
#6. Is WhatsApp a SaaS product?
Although it is an app that requires an internet connection, WhatsApp isn’t actually a SaaS product.
That’s because SaaS companies, unlike WhatsApp, are primarily subscription-based, meaning they charge a subscription fee to users.
That said, some SaaS businesses do provide messaging services. A good SaaS example of this is Slack.