What is Vertical SaaS? (Compared to a Typical SaaS)

In the rapidly evolving world of software solutions online, understanding the difference between vertical SaaS and horizontal SaaS is crucial for businesses looking to succeed in the market.

Vertical SaaS refers to a collection of software solutions designed specifically for a particular industry. Think of is like an online service designed for a niche business. In simple terms, these companies provide software that meets the unique requirements of a single industry, like bloggers, retail, gyms, or content creators.

With the growth and evolution of the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry, it is important to grasp the concepts of vertical and horizontal SaaS, their unique characteristics, and how they cater to different audiences and industries.

Vertical SaaS

A Vertical SaaS is a specialized software solution that caters to a specific industry or niche. Unlike horizontal SaaS, which provides a broad service, vertical SaaS companies focus on meeting the unique needs and requirements of a particular industry. This specialization allows them to offer industry-specific features and functionalities, tailored to the specific challenges and demands of their target audience.

Vertical SaaS companies concentrate their efforts on industries like blogging, real estate, finance, or hospitality. By understanding the specific pain points and requirements of these industries, vertical SaaS providers can deliver specialized solutions that offer higher value to their customers. This narrow focus enables vertical SaaS companies to position themselves as industry experts and gain a competitive edge.

For instance, a vertical SaaS company serving the healthcare industry might offer a comprehensive electronic medical records system, specifically designed to meet the regulatory requirements and workflow needs of healthcare providers. Similarly, a vertical SaaS company targeting the real estate industry might offer a platform that streamlines property management and facilitates seamless communication between landlords, tenants, and property managers.

Horizontal SaaS

For reference a Horizontal SaaS is a cloud-based software solution that caters to a wide range of business users, regardless of their industry. This model has been around for over a decade and is considered the more mature form of SaaS in terms of market share. Unlike vertical SaaS, which focuses on specific industries, horizontal SaaS aims to meet the general needs of businesses rather than individual consumers.

Some notable examples of horizontal SaaS include QuickBooks for accounting, Salesforce for CRM, and HubSpot for marketing. These companies provide services that cover a broad range of industries, such as insurance, supply chains, retail, and manufacturing. By targeting a wide audience, horizontal SaaS businesses can benefit from economies of scale, lowering customer acquisition costs.

Marketing and sales strategies play a significant role in reaching the diverse industries that horizontal SaaS aims to serve. This may involve employing resources and tools like automated marketing emails, campaigns, and other inbound marketing strategies. Running parallel marketing campaigns allows horizontal SaaS companies to effectively engage with their target audience.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between vertical SaaS and horizontal SaaS is crucial for businesses operating in the SaaS industry. While horizontal SaaS aims to serve a wide range of industries and business users, vertical SaaS specializes in meeting the unique needs of specific industries or niches. By recognizing the distinctions between these two approaches, businesses can make informed decisions and develop strategies to effectively cater to their target audience.

So, whether your business requires a broad solution that satisfies general business needs or a specialized software that addresses the specific challenges of your industry, understanding the concepts of vertical and horizontal SaaS will guide you in selecting the right software solution for your organization’s growth and success.

Leave a Comment