Before SaaS ...
By the time I came across Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the company I was in, was discovering just prior to an IPO that it was in fact a SaaS company.
The Founders of Diligent were noticing Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff talk about SaaS as a new industry. They quickly realised that someone had changed the terminology and Diligent was no longer a software business using an ASP (Active Server Page) delivery model; but a Software-as-a-Service business. We were one of the pioneers, proving the security and business model as an Enterprise SaaS offering.
By then we had about $1m ARR and ended up raising $24m at an IPO with a total value of $115m. It was 2007 and the Diligent Founders had declined an acquisition offer by Nasdaq and investment capital from Venture Capital (VCs), preferring to stay largely independent and use the IPO as a major capital event.
Being unconventional in the SaaS world is all I’ve ever known.