Looking for good news despite all the market gloom

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

This morning we’re hunting up “green shoots” for software companies. Green shoots is financial slang for positive signals that could point to an economic recovery — or good news amidst a greater pullback. You can even use the term sarcastically, perhaps noting that unemployment claims, while still elevated to historic levels, are falling on a week-over-week basis: Only 2.5 million jobs lost last week! #greenshoots

You get the idea. But today we’re not joking. At the end trading yesterday, the Bessemer cloud index had recovered to around a 10% decline, in total, since the start of the COVID-19 era. Given that the same basket of cloud and SaaS companies was down as much as 37.9% at its 2020 low, its recovery has been little short of monstrous.

But there’s a bit more to dig into. This morning we’ve parsed a set of recent, fascinating survey data from Stifel, a wealth management and investment banking concern. The firm’s technology group asked a few hundred “tech executives, entrepreneurs, and investors” what they are seeing in the market regarding churn. There’s good news for software companies in the mix.

And we’ve pulled a grip of new data from Crunchbase to understand what we know about April’s venture capital market so far. It’s not bad news!

So, some positive vibes today, even if the markets are down. Let’s go!

Green Shoots

How bad SaaS churn will get during the present market downturn is not clear. TechCrunch has covered the issue, asking venture capitalists and doing various surveys of founders about what they are seeing in the market. The results are cautionary, with one survey indicating that three-quarters of founders expecting to see their net retention rates falling “by at least 3% and up to 20+.” That wasn’t a great sign.



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