Chargebee raises $55 million for subscription and billing automation

Chargebee, a San Francisco, California-based provider of subscription management and recurring billing tools, today raised $55 million. The company says the proceeds will be put toward product development and accelerating go-to-market efforts.

By some estimates, 40% of ecommerce revenue comes from repeat purchasers. (Streaming music subscriptions alone generated $19.1 billion in 2018.) This being the case, only 32% of online bills are made on a recurring basis, while the remaining 68% are made as one-time payments.

Chargebee’s platform automates things like funneling users toward plans and collecting payment information, as well as executing upgrade or downgrade billing adjustments and facilitating recurring subscription renewals. For tasks it can’t handle automatically, Chargebee recruits the help of human agents through customer relationship management dashboards from Zendesk, Salesforce, and Netsuite while guiding customers through a customizable zero-code checkout experience.

Courtesy of integrations with Stripe, Braintree, WorldPay, and PayPal payment products, customers can pay using digital wallets like Amazon Pay and Apple Pay; with credit or debit cards; or directly with their bank accounts. Chargebee supports over 480 recurring billing use cases, more than 23 payment gateways across over 53 countries, and upwards of 120 currencies and payment methods, along with dozens of languages.

Above: Chargebee’s dashboard.

Chargebee boasts a range of pricing schemes, including variable and usage-based pricing, and it’s able to renew billing cycles based on sign-up dates or other specific dates. It can also selectively route payments and currencies adherent to predefined rules. The platform’s optional Smart Dunning feature algorithmically susses out retry logic across days and times for failed payments. On the security side of the equation, Chargebee implements two-factor authentication, in addition to SAML-based single sign-on.

On Chargebee’s backend, managers get a visual customer organizational chart, from which they’re able to define payment and invoicing responsibilities. They’re also afforded access to templatized reports and KPI dashboards with metrics such as subscription revenue, discount, bad debt, and add-on metrics, all of which feed into accounting platforms like Netsuite, Intacct, and Xero. Teams receive real-time notifications if any tracked goals meet or exceed expectations, or if the team is in danger of falling behind.

Chargebee competes to a degree with the publicly traded Zuora and with ReCharge and Recurly, all of which similarly create and maintain software subscription-based service solutions for businesses. But Chargebee is evidently doing something right — current customers include Study.com, Freshworks, AB InBev, Jiobit.

Chargebee claims to have the largest footprint compared with other revenue management providers in its segment, with businesses in 160 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia processing over $3 billion in revenue. The company’s customer base has grown to 2,500 companies, up from 1,800 as of August 2019, and Chargebee says it’s continuing to benefit from a “global surge” in subscription services deployments. A report from Chargebee competitor Zuora suggests 22% of companies have seen their subscription growth accelerate since the start of the pandemic, particularly in categories like video streaming, digital news and media, e-learning, and communications.

This latest investment round (a series E) was led by Insight Venture Partners with participation from existing investors. It brings Chargebee’s total funding raised to date to $93.2 million following a $14 million round in August 2019.

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