Sastrify snags $7M to help SMEs manage SaaS buying

 With so much startup activity in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry, it can be difficult for companies to determine which SaaS (SaaSes?) are genuinely helpful and worth paying for. Sastrify, a Cologne-based startup, is here to help, with a "highly automated" platform (encompassing over 20,000 SaaS solutions) to assist other organisations with third-party service purchase and management.

Despite only launching earlier this year, Sastrify is already cash-flow positive – and can boast "high six-digit recurring revenue" just a few months after launch. Not bad for a company that only began operations last summer.

It announced today that it has closed a $7 million seed round led by HV Capital and the founders of FlixMobility, Personio, and SumUp. This comes after a $1.3 million pre-seed funding round in late 2020, just before the launch.

At this point, Sastry says it has roughly 50 customers, including "unicorn firms like Gorillas." It claims that its strategy works best for companies with 100 or more people and that it is particularly well suited to European digital scale-ups.

On the competition front, the business mentions Vendr and Tropic, both of which are based in the United States, which could explain the geographical focus (albeit it doesn't solely sell in Europe).

Sastrify's sales pitch to SMEs includes claims that current clients have received a 6.5x return on their investment, as well as “thousands of working hours” saved from “wasted” SaaS procurement operations.

Another carrot is cost savings, with the business stating that its customers save “typically” 20-30% on their SaaS costs.

So, how does it help firms navigate the benefits and drawbacks of the plethora of SaaS(es) now available?

“Our fundamental credo is: ‘Effective procurement asks the appropriate questions at the right time,'” explains co-founder Sven Lackinger, who, of course, previously co-founded and exited a SaaS startup (evopark).

“To ensure that we've developed and executed a five-step process into our platform that covers the entire life-cycle of SaaS apps within companies, we've defined and implemented a five-step process into our platform. Our clients can look for appropriate SaaS solutions as we walk them through the proper evaluation process for each use case and tool (for example, what do similar organisations use?).

“We then take over the whole buying process, aka automatically reaching out to different vendors, AI-/OCR-based comparing and benchmarking for offers. Once the tool is implemented, we make sure to track usage frequently (via regular, automated surveys to tool owners) and re-evaluate over time so there is no ongoing waste of licenses.”

“We have a more automated platform [than Vendr and Tropic] and can also resell licenses to our customers directly (e.g. for Google, Microsoft and others) to ensure best prices and fast delivery,” he also tells us. “This allows us to offer a faster and cheaper solution which is more suited to the European market (where the average SaaS expense per company is still smaller than in the US).” 

Why not acquire a specific service to keep track of how you do that as well if you're outsourcing everything else to SaaS providers?

The seed financing will be used by the 30-person Sastrify team to speed sales, marketing, and product development in order to expand its SaaS management service to additional enterprises in Europe and beyond.

“Cloud software adoption is tremendously accelerating, and practically every firm currently employs SaaS solutions but does not buy and manage them efficiently,” said Jasper Masemann, partner at HV Capital, in a statement about the funding. The phenomenal growth of Sastrify demonstrates the broad customer value that the team has already established. It is early days but Sastrify could create an SAP Arriba with a payment solution for SMB – a massive market just in Europe.”