What does it take to raise capital, in SaaS, in 2023? + more

By  Recuro
Oct 18th 2023
Read time: 
4 minutes
Table of contents
Weekly News Roundup
1. Universal launches claims-free music subscription to rival Swedish frontrunners Epidemic Sound – Music Business Worldwide

Universal has launched a new subscription music licensing service with 50,000 tracks and 200,000 sound effects. Dubbed Universal Music for Creators, the new service gives content creators unlimited access to a pre-cleared music and sound effects library, starting at $5.99 per month.

“In launching Universal Music for Creators, the major music company is launching a serious new rival to existing royalty-free music platforms. One such service is Sweden-headquartered royalty-free soundtrack provider Epidemic Sound, which, in its recent annual report revealed that its music is heard 2 billion times a day on YouTube (up from 1.5 billion in 2020) and 14 billion times per month on TikTok.”

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2. Netflix password-sharing crackdown expected to add 6 million subscribers – Reuters

Netflix’ crackdown on password-sharing likely boosted subscribers by about 6 million in the third quarter and the streaming pioneer is expected to set the stage for price increases when it reports earnings on this Wednesday, writes Reuters.

“Netflix now closely resembles a utility in many markets,” analysts at Bernstein said. “The challenge of being labeled a utility is how a maturing company continues finding growth.”

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3. Coffee subscription start-up Incapto raises €6m to fuel European expansion  – World Coffee Portal

Barcelona-based Incapto has raised €6m to expand its coffee subscription and commercial coffee machine operations across new European markets.

”Founded in 2020, Incapto has 20,000 customers across its direct-to-consumer and business-to-business specialty coffee subscription services. The start-up also has more than 2,000 workplace and clients signed up to its corporate coffee platform, which includes the distribution of Incapto-manufactured super-automatic coffee machines, supplied by its coffee subscription service.”

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4. Cat food subscription brand KatKin strikes first retail deal in the UK – The Grocer
Fresh-cooked catfood subscription brand KatKin has launched its first retail partnership with Ocado. KatKin – which claims to be the UK’s first and only fresh catfood brand – has secured a number of listings with the online grocer for its ambient range.

“Having established itself with a DTC subscription model that provides cat owners with vet-formulated, fresh food recipes “made from 100% human-quality meat”, the company late last year raised $22m in a funding round to expand its offering. KatKin says since launch it has delivered 33 million fresh meals to more than 200,000 cats.”

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5. Kroger says their new meal subscription will take market share from restaurants – PYMNTS

As consumers seek out more convenient meal options, American retail company Kroger’s new heat-and-eat meal subscription service sees the opportunity to gain share from restaurants, grocers and meal kits.

“There are certainly going to be some people where this is replacing grocery,” Payne said. “There are some people who haven’t traditionally cooked in the past, so that might be replacing takeout, and there might even be traditional meal kits subscribers who are looking for something more convenient.”

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Weekly Analysis Roundup

1. How paid podcasts fit into The Economist’s subscription strategy – Digital Content Next

Claire Overstall, SVP, Global Head of Customer at The Economist tells Digital Content Next about the decision to put podcasts behind a paywall, how they have communicated the change to their millions of listeners, and what the company hopes to achieve with podcast subscriptions as part of its wider subscription strategy.

“There’s a whole audience there that for whatever reason enjoy our journalism but don’t want to pay the full $20 a month to subscribe,” said Overstall. “But in keeping with our belief that subscription should be the way that we fund our journalism, and making everything strategically match, we’ve decided that you can buy a podcast-only subscription in the hope that that might entice some of those millions of listeners who don’t want to pay for the full-fat product to support our journalism through paying for podcasts.”

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2. Americans can now get solar power with a Netflix-style subscription – Washington Post

Signing up for solar soon might be as easy as subscribing to Netflix, writes Washington Post. Scores of new small solar farms that sell clean, local electricity directly to customers are popping up. The setup, dubbed “community solar,” is designed to bring solar power to people who don’t own their own homes or can’t install panels – often at prices below retail electricity rates.

”“Finding a subscription to one, however, can feel like trying to score Taylor Swift tickets: They’re on sale, but only a lucky few can buy them. At least 22 states have passed legislation encouraging independent community solar projects, but developers are just beginning to expand. Most existing projects are booked.”

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3. What does it take to raise capital, in SaaS, in 2023? – Medium

Christoph Janz, entrepeneur and VC, has put together a “Funding Napkin” for SaaS companies wishing to raise capital in 2023, a year in which funding activity, across the board, is down 50-75 % from its peak.

“We collected data on 86 funding rounds occurring at the end of 2022 and in 2023, including 10 follow-on rounds in P9 companies, 8 new investments by ourselves, and 68 financings in companies outside of our portfolio.”

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