SaaSBoomi Awards 2023 – SaaS in the age of AI

It’s that time of the year.

No, not just the time for Christmas, winter and holidays! But the time to look back at the year that went by to recognize and honour the exemplary SaaS startups in our community that made 2023 a year to remember.

And what a year it has been.

The previous few years were remarkable in their own ways, with the Covid black swan fluttering its wings to trigger an avalanche of VC dollars backing SaaS startups in 2020 and 2021 to the cold funding winter and the dissipation of the pandemic in 2022.

But 2023 was all the more remarkable for one reason and one reason only – the rise of Gen AI. The emergence and mainstreaming of AI represents not just a platform shift but a paradigm shift – a complete rewrite of the entire technology stack and all the business models, marketing strategies, core assumptions and value propositions that SaaS companies had envisaged previously. AI is a “liminal moment” – a rite of passage as the world shifts from SaaS to SaaS.AI. If SaaS and software were eating the world earlier, AI is undoubtedly eating SaaS now.

It is against this period of transition that we are announcing the fourth edition of the SaaSBoomi Awards.

AI is at once both an existential risk as well an unprecedented opportunity for our intrepid SaaS founders – it is their ambition, adeptness and enterprise that will make the difference between ignominious failure and glorious victory

It is therefore our privilege at SaaSBoomi to celebrate our SaaS companies and their founders who are navigating this shift in the best possible manner – to recognize and laud their achievements, to bring to little-known light gems, to inspire others to follow their path.

Why should you apply for the SaaSBoomi Awards?

SaaSBoomi Awards is the first and only startup awards program in India that is shaped and judged entirely by the community. You will be judged and recognized not by corporate sponsors or VC investors but by your peers in the Indian SaaS community. By folks who have walked in your shoes but have strode to great heights – community members who have taken their companies to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, who have bootstrapped their startups to profitability at scale with hundreds of team members, who have set global standards in deep tech and cutting-edge innovation.

The SaaSBoomi Awards program is designed to recognize a select set of exemplary startups along a thoughtfully constructed set of categories that will in essence serve as a proxy for the entire Indian SaaS industry. Winning an award here is all but guaranteed to give you and your startup enduring recognition and respect – all done by the community, for the community. 

Winning a SaaSBOOMi award will also allow you to join a cohort of high-quality exemplar startups who have leveraged their success in the awards event to garner global success and recognition in subsequent years. Companies such as BrowserStack, CleverTap, Kovai, Rategain and other award winners that have emblazoned the globe with their success stories. Joining this peer group will open up access to a tight-knit tribe within the larger community.

As always, we have taken our learnings while running the awards process from previous years to streamline and finetune the selection process as well as the award categories for this year.

For SaaSBoomi Awards 2023, we’re inviting applications for the following award categories:

  • SaaS startup of the year – For the best SaaS startup in India, which has achieved great heights at a global level and serves as a lighthouse for all other SaaS entrepreneurs in India. This will be selected by jury members among all the SaaS startups in India.
  • Scale-up startups of the year – For startups that have crossed the chasm and achieved an ARR of $25m or more in the last two years.
  • Breakout SaaS startup of the year – For startups that have achieved phenomenal traction or recognition in the recent past, whether through a pivot, paradigm shift, focussed execution, or through the acceleration of funding.
  • Emerging SaaS Startup of the year – For startups below $1M in ARR, which has achieved phenomenal traction in their journey from the start.
  • Bootstrapped SaaS startup of the year – For startups that have scaled to $2M in ARR or more without raising any institutional money (maximum of $100K funding) and only rely on revenue to fund and grow their operations.
  • Developer, Tools, and Infra SaaS Startup of the year – For startups that are building tools for developers, DevOps, DataOps, Security Ops, or those used by applications or infrastructure teams, and have received critical acclaim for the same. 
  • AI SaaS Startup of the year – For startups that are leveraging Gen AI in a fundamentally different or innovative manner and have received global recognition or traction for this.
  • “Build for Bharat” SaaS Startup of the year – For startups that have scaled to $3m ARR or more and have more than 50% of revenue from India.
  • “The Next Frontier” SaaS Startup of the year – For startups that are headquartered in a city or town outside of the usual startup hubs like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Gurgaon, and Delhi and have achieved $2m ARR or more.

So if you’re a SaaS startup or know someone who you think deserves to be recognized, head straight to this link. Please note that you can nominate a company for up to three categories if you feel that you are eligible.

Applications are open till Jan 20, 2024.

About the author

Pallav Nadhani

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