Meet Unicorns, Phoenixes, and Other SaaS Animals

Today, we are having some fun. GTM Club introduces the animal kingdom of SaaS. Meet unicorns, cockroaches, camels, zebras, and phoenixes.

Meet Unicorns, Phoenixes, and Other SaaS Animals

This one is just for the fun. We will return to our regular programming after this one.

Our previous blog introduced the concept of comparing SaaS deal sizes to different animals (see how elephants are relevant for sales-led GTM). Uploading the blog to our AI, GTM Explorer, and testing it afterwards inspired us to introduce you to unicorns and other "SaaS animals" (or saasnimals?)

What is this all about?

In the SaaS industry, companies are often categorised using animal metaphors, vividly depicting their business dynamics and market stance.

Meet the Unicorn, the best-known of them all!

Proud unicorn appearing amids mist and competition.
Unicorns are what the SaaS world aspires to become!

Unicorns are the superstars of the SaaS world, valued at over $1 billion. They are synonymous with rapid growth and significant market impact and often set trends and benchmarks within the industry. They tend to look for growth at any price, and most are constantly looking for VC funding. Think of companies like UiPath, Canva, and Uber.

And with unicorns, the world of business is roamed by animals such as:

Resilient cockroach survives nearly anything.
Cockroaches can last nearly anything, both in business and in nature.

Cockroaches represent resilience in the SaaS ecosystem. Although not as fast-growing as unicorns, they are known for their survivability, demonstrating their sustainability and robustness in volatile markets. Scientists claim that a cockroach can survive a nuclear blast; similarly, cockroach startups are built to last nearly anything.

Camels, as businesses, balance growth and sustainability.
Camels are built to endure harsh conditions.

In this landscape, camels and cockroaches have many similarities. In the context of SaaS and startups, Camels are organisations built to withstand challenging conditions (camels last long in the desert without water). They are characterised by sustainable growth, financial discipline, and resilience. Unlike unicorns, which chase rapid growth and high valuations, and cockroaches, which focus on survival in harsh environments, camels balance growth and sustainability.

Zebras are black (profitable) and white (responsible).
Zebras combine black and white: profitability and responsibility.

Zebras stand out for their ethical approach, which combines profitability with social responsibility. They provide sustainable alternatives to traditional growth-centric models, balancing economic success with societal benefits.

SaaS phoenix represent rebirth and pivot in business.
Phoenixes represent rebirth, also in business.

Phoenixes symbolise adaptability and resurgence. These companies have overcome setbacks and transformed their challenges into opportunities, rising anew with strength and renewed focus.

These classifications offer a quick and engaging way to understand the varied nature of SaaS companies and startups. The naming convention reflects their selected growth strategies, market positions, and resilience levels in a competitive environment.

Now you know what to look for during your next business safari!