85: How to invest in and grow early-stage B2B SaaS companies | Fred Soneya and Jeremy Luzinda of Haatch Ventures

14 Nov 2023 / Podcast Tax Advantaged

B2B SaaS is a very popular business model amongst venture capital and (S)EIS/VCT investors. Haatch Ventures specialises in investing in this area and we ask partner Fred Soneya and principal Jeremy Luzinda to talk about how they work and how they help the companies scale.

We look at several topics about managing these companies. We define B2B SaaS and why it is attractive to investors. We discuss the merits of additional service revenue and when it is a positive or becomes a distraction. We chat through when a company should add new features or expand its product range. And we consider what metrics are of interest, with Jeremy diving deep into a couple of these.

Haatch has a particular interest in supporting sales processes. Within this we talk about how to develop the right channels and what factors to consider; how lead times on sales affect how companies operate; and how (S)EIS fund managers can support companies in developing their sales. We also discuss some of the typical mistakes that founders make and the prospects for the future for B2B SaaS and venture capital investors in this area.

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Fred Soneya E: [email protected] | Jeremy Luzinda E: [email protected]

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Fred Soneya, co-founder and partner of Haatch, is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Haatch funds where he has led both the completion of over 150 investments into 70+ companies over the last 10 years and the onboarding of over 600 investors into the funds. Fred was responsible for a number of high-profile, large-scale innovation projects across Kiddicare.com and, post-acquisition, Morrisons. He created award-winning digital customer experiences by working with cutting-edge early-stage technology startups, bridging the online-offline gap at Morrisons. This included the launch of browse-and-order points, mobile payments and electronic shelf-edge labels.

Jeremy Luzinda, principal of Haatch, began his career as COO at a VC-backed startup that raised from venture funds Forward Partners and Founders Factory, as well as esteemed angel investors such as Sir John Hegarty and Tom Teichman, amongst the first investors in the likes of lastminute.com, MADE.co and notonthehighstreet.com. It ultimately failed, but he learnt a lot in the process. He then became Managing Director at Surechill, a software-enabled cold-storage company co-founded by Peter Saunders OBE, which raised more than £10m. Following this experience, he joined Playfair Capital, an early-stage VC that has backed companies like Stripe, Thought Machine and Trouva. He worked on exciting companies like Omnipresent, which he saw go from £0 to over £500m in value in under 18 months. He leans on this wealth of experience to offer hands-on support to Haatch’s portfolio post-transaction, particularly on B2B SaaS sales. Alongside Haatch, he is a GTM consultant at Vencha, supporting B2B SaaS companies with GTM challenges.