Shared Insight: Growth of UK SaaS Market and Top Companies to Watch

The software-as-a-service sector is one of the fastest growing in the world. In similar ways to MedTech, EdTech and AI, the Covid-19 pandemic has fuelled the desire for faster, smarter, and more progressive technological solutions that support everything from communications to banking, to entertainment.

The UK is home to a significant portion of the global SaaS market, attracting investors and entrepreneurs alike, generating multiple rounds of equity funding and fuelling 9% of high-growth companies in the UK. In this Shared Insight article, we review some of the top SaaS companies in the UK, as named by Beauhurst, and what that means for the UK's SaaS market.

What is SaaS?

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) starts with software that executes a specific function or performs a certain process. This software is then provided to businesses or individuals, usually through the internet or cloud platform, as a service to improve operations, serve customers, manage payments, carry out marketing activities, or countless other functions. A SaaS company develops and provides the software, and will host, update, and upgrade the product as part of the product lifecycle or when customers require additional functionality.

SaaS is utilised across a huge range of different industries, from e-commerce solutions to banking, FinTech, and increasingly so within Artificial intelligence. The scope of possibilities within SaaS is vast, and growing at an ever more rapid rate, often facilitating processes and tasks that lots of people aren't aware of.

Shared Insight: Growth of UK SaaS Market and Top Companies to Watch

Lots of businesses thought of as the world's tech giants are SaaS companies, such as HubSpot, Dropbox, Adobe, Microsoft and many more. Zoom is another SaaS platform that has seen unprecedented growth over the last few years because of the pandemic. SaaS solutions are often created to make processes more manageable or make our everyday lives easier - serving both B2C and B2B markets - and their success is often rapid because the models are easily scalable.

Top B2B SaaS companies in the UK

The UK businesses that have secured the most equity funding in the B2B sector are all private, high-growth businesses. Between them, they have raised £3.495 billion across 29 equity rounds. Exclusively headquartered in London, the top 5 B2B SaaS companies feature younger businesses like Teya, also trading as SaltPay, which provides payment processing technology, and the well-known Starling Bank, who were established in 2014 and provide core technology to the banking market.

All but one of the Top 5 B2B SaaS companies provide financial solutions - either to support banking systems or process payments. Improbable, the only non-finance SaaS company in the B2B top 5, offers software to create virtual worlds and simulations, both as entertainment and in defence applications.

The top B2B SaaS company,, was established in 2012 and boasts clients like Pizza Hut, H&M and Revolut. Having already made several acquisitions, it's easy to see how swiftly this sector is growing.

Shared Insight: Growth of UK SaaS Market and Top Companies to Watch

Top B2C SaaS companies in the UK

The top 5 B2C SaaS businesses in the UK have secured £1.97 billion across 39 rounds of equity funding. The average age of these top 5 are older than their B2B counterparts with a few not always located directly at the capital city.

ClearBank, the oldest business on this list, was established in 2005 and is located in Bristol and offers innovative banking solutions. Interestingly, ClearBank provides both B2C and B2B solutions, alongside Starling Bank, which takes the number one spot on the B2C list and number two on the B2B list.

Again, finance plays a large part in the functions served by these top 5 B2C SaaS companies. Monese is an app that allows people to open different bank accounts in various currencies, Wagestream enables employees to monitor their earnings through their platform and app, ClearBank serves individuals and businesses with banking solutions, Zepz enables migrants and expatriates to send payments to family and friends abroad, and Starling Bank provides mobile-based current accounts.

Shared Insight: Growth of UK SaaS Market and Top Companies to Watch

What does the future hold for SaaS in the UK?

With a continued increase in digitalisation across industries and a reliance on cloud-based and ever more creative technological solutions, there's no doubt that the SaaS market will continue to grow around the world. In the UK, businesses are now more ready to recognise the benefits of SaaS, taking advantage of their scalability, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness in achieving their goals.

The SaaS market in the UK is by no means dominated by the big players previously mentioned in the B2B and B2C arenas, and various early-stage businesses might deliver some insight into the future of the market in the UK.

All at seed stage, businesses like Translucent, providing an accounting platform to consolidate financial data, and Holdpapers, offering a digital platform and app for monitoring investment portfolios, still sit firmly within the financial industry. But businesses like ElevenLabs, a tool to automatically translate audio and video, or Isometric, a platform for the carbon removal industry, are seeking to improve how people and businesses experience the world.

All early-stage start-ups that have raised their first equity deal in 2023, these SaaS businesses to watch have raised more than £107 million in equity funding, speaking to the need for cutting-edge innovation in the market, adapting to current needs, while also being able to look ahead to what will be needed in the future.

Whether you are buying, selling, or raising equity for your Software-as-a-Service business, the need for expert advice is essential.

The GS Verde Group are business focused experts in getting deals done, combining multiple disciplines including law, tax, finance, and communications, to provide end-to-end support as a complete advisory team.