39K
Customers
75K+
Subscriptions
Summary
  • Swiss-based Doodle simplifies the process of scheduling events, meetings, appointments
  • Doodle moved from a monolithic app to microservices. Subscription business model was at the heart of this move
  • Used a home-built subscription and billing system.
  • Challenges included heavy investment in development time, for every new use case
  • Doodle moved to Chargebee to automate most of its subscription needs. Evaluation criteria included Stripe support, pricing, full API access
  • Successfully migrated close to 39K customers and 75K+ subscriptions
  • Achieved global scale with support for multilingual emails
  • Scaled with tiered pricing model and internationalization support

World of Schedules and Calendars

Ask any company or team, what the biggest source of their time drain is. The resounding answer, apart from countless coffee breaks, would be meetings and managing schedules. The constant exchanging of emails back and forth, updating of calendars, making sure of everyone’s availability, scheduling, rescheduling… And then a no-show. Even the thought of it can be fatiguing.

But meetings are here to stay. And solutions have been built to deal with this workplace reality. The advent of scheduling software has helped businesses free up their time to focus on the aspects that directly enable their growth.

Doodle was launched to change the face of meetings and productivity. And change, they did. With 30 million monthly active users as of today, Doodle reduces the billions of wasted minutes that are otherwise spent on scheduling, rescheduling and emailing back and forth.

We know that Doodle is used for many things - from sign-ups for events and meeting friends, to business meetings and salespeople scheduling calls. We realized that there’s a use-case that we touched, but we haven't solved completely yet: the busy professional. They have multiple meetings in offices every week and need to find a suitable time for groups within and outside their organisation. So we set out to win this market.
Julien Balmont

Cliff des Ligneris

Senior Product Manager, Doodle

Doodle’s footing and growth…

In 2007, Doodle was founded to develop an online scheduling solution for personal use. A year later, they launched their first premium service and enhanced the calendar integration possibilities that lead to the Doodle calendar view in 2010.

There has been no stopping since then. Doodle’s usage spread globally for organizing any kind of reunions and meetings. Due to a large number of users, the platform was monetized successfully through ads and increasingly through subscriptions. Currently, Doodle is in a transition from a mainly ads-based to a mainly subscription-based business, with an ever-increasing focus on features for the busy professional.

We spoke with Cliff des Ligneris, the Product Manager at Doodle who is working at the heart of this shift. Cliff’s day-to-day job entailed building and managing the team that built the core services - these included billing and payments, building a developer platform, and user authentication. His customers are other teams at Doodle and his peers.

Discovering the subscriptions world… Doodle meets Chargebee

Last year, they decided to double down on the subscription business model, and offer more features for professional users. Doodle also decided to move from one huge monolithic application run on bare-metal servers, to a cloud-based microservice architecture. Creating building blocks on top of which they could build more products faster.

We already had a home-built subscription and billing system, so we knew the pain of developing and maintaining such a system well. Since we are moving from a monolithic application to a microservice-architecture, building a billing service from scratch seemed like a bad idea. It’s not our core business.
Julien Balmont

Jack Berglund

Chief Product Officer, Doodle

Naturally, having a good billing and payment service was key to the whole new stretch to going the subscriptions route. Doodle needed a building block for payments and subscription management. They were using a subscription-management engine that was built internally, for a long time. What followed was a heavy investment in more development time, every time they encountered a new use case.

After evaluating a few popular billing providers, Doodle decided to go with Chargebee to manage their subscriptions.

We were evaluating multiple vendors and had a set of criteria (i.e. multi-lingual, Stripe support, pricing, full API access, etc.) that we looked at. Chargebee scored best or at par with others on most points on our list, so it was an easy choice.
Julien Balmont

Jack Berglund

Chief Product Officer, Doodle

The biggest impact areas…

What brought Doodle closer to Chargebee was the personal touch, close collaboration with their team, openness to their feedback, and Chargebee’s empathetic sales process as opposed to the other players in the ‘Silicon Valley’. Beyond these softer aspects, Doodle wanted to scale globally with Chargebee’s capabilities.

Tiered pricing - Doodle’s free plan supports ads. Along with this, Doodle also offers two ad-free, paid plans using Chargebee’s tiered pricing - a ‘Private’ plan at €43 per year for a single user, and a ‘Business’ plan at a base price of €59 per year depending on the number of premium users signing up for the product. Typically, this works for businesses with professional teams of different sizes.

Internationalization Support - As a global SaaS with a huge audience based out of Europe, personalization was key for Doodle to scale across different geographies. The ability to configure multiple languages, including Spanish, German, French, among others, as well as the ability to offer their pricing in Euros took Doodle a few steps closer to winning the global market. Doodle offers their product in almost 20 languages.

Feature sets were similar, but many of your competitors don’t support multiple languages, and this was a major factor to choose Chargebee - small things that make a big difference.
Julien Balmont

Cliff des Ligneris

Product Manager, Doodle

Full access to clean APIs - Doodle has a full-fledged integration with Chargebee through APIs and that opens up avenues to do a lot more with Chargebee, including automating reporting via the API.

Customer Acquisition via Coupons - Doodle has the advantage of tapping into its millions of users to acquire more customers into Premium Doodle for the subscription business model. Coupons have been a huge advantage for them to win new customers and acquire existing ones to use Doodle on a recurring basis.

We have a full-fledged integration with our system. The API is mostly well documented and effective. We are especially happy that we can get events of changes in Chargebee [through API], so our systems can remain in-sync.
Julien Balmont

Cliff des Ligneris

Product Manager, Doodle

Conclusion…

Doodle, the consumer-facing SaaS, believes in product-led growth. The decision to move into the subscription business model stems from that belief. So is choosing Chargebee to automate their subscriptions and give them the flexibility to create an enhanced subscription experience for their customers. Try out Chargebee for free. And if you want to schedule your next meeting, go for Doodle.