Startup SaaSDirect Launches New Breed Of Channel To Get Discounts For SMBs

Kyle Alspach | June 24, 2016

The world of Software-as-a-Service is often assumed to be unsuited for the world of resellers. SaaS is about self-service and cutting out the go-between, right? But that doesn’t necessarily mean a good price outcome for the end customer–something that Silicon Valley startup SaaS Direct is now looking to rectify by bringing its own reseller approach to the SaaS arena.

SaaS Direct launched a new site in May at that lets customers buy popular SaaS products at a discount, something it’s able to accomplish through bundling products (a sort of Groupon for B2B).

And the more products that customers buy together, the better the savings, according to SaaS Direct co-founder and CEO Nav Sandhu. Products available through the site include Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox for Business, Intuit QuickBooks and Cisco WebEx.

SaaS Direct is targeted toward small and medium-sized businesses–generally, those with 300 or fewer employees. Businesses of that size typically don’t enjoy the sorts of discounts on software product purchases that larger companies can get through buying licenses in volume, Sandhu said.

Vendors are interested in working with SaaS Direct, too, as a way to reach more businesses on the smaller end of the spectrum, Sandhu said. “We say to vendors, ‘We will be your small and medium-size sales channel,’” Sandhu said. “That’s what these vendors like to hear. It’s cost-prohibitive for them to spend the same resources on small and medium-size customers.”

Along with the monetary savings, there’s also a time savings in using SaaS Direct, said one of the site’s early customers, Bob Singh of Phy Pro Labs. “It’s just a one-stop shop – you can use it rather than going to each vendor and searching for products,” Singh said.

Vendors, meanwhile, are also keen to work with Menlo Park., Calif.-based SaaS Direct because the startup provides analytical data about the software SMBs are buying, said William Wood, the company’s co-founder and VP of marketing/sales.

“We can tell (vendors) where their software is being sold geographically, which verticals it’s succeeding in,” Wood said. “Vendors find value from that.”