$125M in Series G, $1.4B valuation, and the Coming of Age of a Category

~ 4 min read | April 21

In 2020, MakeSpace, the leading full-service storage solution provider, saw their core market of consumers decline as the covid lockdown measures went into effect. Meanwhile, businesses that moved to a remote culture needed storage for their durables. Within days, MakeSpace launched storage-for-businesses.

Study.com capitalized on the overnight surge in demand for e-learning by foraying into 18 new markets within 90 days. Today, they are one of the leading online education platforms supporting over 34 million students and educators a month globally.

MakeSpace and Study.com both orchestrated these changes on top of their subscription revenue infrastructure – Chargebee.

So did countless others. 18,000 customers across 160 countries run their subscription revenue operations on Chargebee.

Today, I’m excited to announce that their faith has translated into a Series G of $125M at a $1.4B valuation. Our new investor Sapphire Ventures, and existing investors, Tiger Global and Insight Partners, co-led the round with participation from Steadview Capital. We are also delighted to have Gopal Srinivasan of TVS Capital on board as an investor and advisor in this round.

 

Rise of a Category

The most valuable businesses globally – from Google to Amazon, SAP to Nutanix – offer subscription services of some kind. The subscription model has been the norm for a few years now.

But, until recently, businesses defaulted to building their billing in-house. The billing ‘challenge’ was seen as a core component of product development. It was acceptable to dedicate development resources and significant real estate to the product roadmap for billing components. 

That’s changed now. The last few years, and 2020 particularly, have fundamentally redefined the expectations from a subscription billing system. It’s no longer the final piece of the puzzle that needs to be hacked; instead, subscription billing has become the core revenue infrastructure that lets businesses unlock hyper-scale and stay agile to respond to markets, come rain or shine.

  • Scalability for positively impacted businesses: Businesses like e-learning and video-conferencing that saw their markets explode found immediate scalability with Chargebee.
  • Quick pivot for negatively impacted businesses: Retail businesses that bore the brunt of the pandemic moved into a subscription model with Chargebee in as little as ten days.
  • Designed for hyper-growth: Designed for Idea-to-IPO, Chargebee became the revenue infrastructure for long-term customers like Freshworks, scaled from a single product business to today, supporting 18 product lines worldwide.

When the billing system stops limiting the boundaries of your GTM strategy, possibilities blow up, time-to-market shrinks. The average business on Chargebee doubles in revenue every 18 months. 

We can safely say that this round of funding and valuation for Chargebee means something for our category too. Pegged to grow at 14% CAGR, Subscription Billing has come of age, and we are happy to find ourselves right at the helm of it. Customer reviews ranked Chargebee as the #1 finance software of 2020, with the fastest time-to-ROI and implementation in its category.

Putting Customers First

We are in the business of service, through software. Our focus has and always will be to keep our ears to the ground and listen to customers. It has helped us continuously develop the product and services to support their hyper-scale ambitions without sacrificing the adaptability needed to prevent disruption

As recently as Q4 2020, we introduced more than a handful of capabilities that unlock hyper-growth. In Q1 2021, we completed our first series of remote user conferences across North America, Europe, and APAC, where over a thousand customers got to engage and swap strategies with their peers. To bolster the burgeoning startup community, we doubled our freemium offering from USD 50K of free revenue processing to USD 100K.

In turn, our customers rewarded us by trusting us with their journey from idea to IPO and beyond. The 18,000+ customers on Chargebee ranges from fast-growth startups like Calendly and Study.com to larger enterprises like Okta and Freshworks.

The Road Forward

This round of funding underlines the unwavering faith subscription businesses have placed in us; it is validation for our leadership of the category and the scope of the challenge we have undertaken. It is also a massive boost to the morale of our 600+ globally distributed team across 17 nationalities. 

We want to help you champion the subscription model and retain agility at scale to move with the market. The fund will be deployed towards R&D and scaling our presence across the globe to realize our mission to maximize the growth potential of every subscription business. We believe, given the potential of the subscription-led model, the proper revenue infrastructure can catapult businesses into the hyper-growth mode, and we want to be that long-term partner that helps you scale without complexity.

As always, none of this would have been possible without our customers, investors, partners, and team. So thank you once again!

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Krish Subramanian

Co-founder & CEO at Chargebee