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Scaling SaaS for a Cybersecurity Industry Research Tool
The IT-Harvest Dashboard is Ready to Scale
Seven months after launch of the only platform for researching the entire cybersecurity industry we are at a point where we think we have honed our product-market-fit. We have done 84 demos to people with a diverse range of use cases and have 12 seat holders. If that 14% conversion rate continues we only have to do 200 more demos to meet our target of 40 seat holders after the first 12 months of operation. :-) It you want to save hundreds of hours of your own research time reach out. My email is email@example.com
There has been something missing from our SaaS model from day one: no option to subscribe monthly. There were some technical hurdles to overcome, but also a lot of consideration of value delivery.
First of all, how should we value a data set that we put well over 4,000 hours into collecting, refining, and categorizing? My billable rate is usually $250/hr. If you hired me to do this it would cost a cool million dollars.
Much of the refining and cleaning up of the data was done early on to publish Security Yearbook 2020, which provided a hard copy of the names of the vendors by category and country. The price of Security Yearbook 2022, the most recent edition, is $54. So those with little budget, or searching for an answer to one question can just purchase the book and be done. Job seekers, and CISOs use this resource to understand the 2,800 vendors that were cataloged and tracked in the current edition.
But the data changes every day as approximately 200 vendors fade away every year, we discover and initiate tracking on 300-400, and there are hundreds of M&A transaction. On top of that, there are hundreds of new funding events to record and the headcounts of 3,149 vendors to be updated on the 1st of every month.
So we built an app to expose all the data on the entire cybersecurity landscape. We made sure that an annual subscriber could download all of our database within two minutes of logging in. Regardless of our features and visualizations at launch, a subscriber would immediately get the value of all of our data. That may not be a million dollar value, but if it saves a seat holder 200 hours at $60/hour then a $11,997.00 investment pays for itself. (That said, a seat holder that leverages the data to sell an event sponsorship, find a new client, or locate an acquisition target, can easily earn 10X their investment.)
Even so, $12K is a lot of money to spend on a platform you have not tried out. How could we expose a trial account that was full featured but did not make it trivial to just download all the data? After a Herculean effort we moved the database to a platform that gave us granular control over data access, down to the record and field level. We started giving Trial access to prospects a couple of weeks ago.
But the primary benefit of the change was that we can finally fulfill the promise of SaaS: a monthly subscription tier. For $1,250.00 you can pay with a credit card, agree to the T&C, and be up and running in minutes. Unlike the Trial access, the monthly subscription gives you access to all the data and all the features. You can download CSV files of the vendors you find through a search and by applying filters. But you will not be able to download the entire database!
We have not put the new pricing tier on the site yet because we are working with our first monthly subscribers to help us test the process and refine the download limits (we are starting with more downloads than Pitchbook allows. :-) So reach out if you are ready to go today!
If you want to try before you buy, just get a monthly subscription. We will apply any of your monthly payments to a full annual subscription anytime you want to transition.
Stay tuned for more research and insights that will be published after we have collected the new data on November 1.
One last screen shot. We are working on an offering for Portfolio Tracking for investors. It will entail a monthly report with all the data and insights. Ideal for investors that do not hold board seats on their entire portfolio.