Drawboard’s suite comprises of two products. Drawboard PDF is based around single-user PDF markup and is a top productivity app on the Microsoft Store. Bullclip, on the other hand, is a central platform for design review, where some of the largest architecture and engineering firms in the world markup, discuss and track changes in real-time.
While Drawboard PDF uses Microsoft’s subscription service, it was a classic case of build vs buy for Bullclip. Building the billing architecture was likely to have an impact on Bullclip’s launch — they concluded at the time that a significant portion of their time would be spent on building the billing platform rather than actually building the product. There were clear legacy and tech debt decisions that came into play here.
In Nathan’s words, “For example, we're currently getting to the point where we want to build out our custom internal licensing dashboard internally for our SaaS team as it grows. But until now, we have been able to rely on a third-party platform for this. Simply, our IP is not billing, our IP is not a sales dashboard. Our IP is our value prop in Drawboard products, and so we focus our 16 engineers on that. Not the things that somebody else like Chargebee does better.”
After evaluating Chargebee against Recurly, Chargify, and Zoho to handle their billing component for Drawboard, and even considering building it within Salesforce, the team decided to go for Chargebee as the choice of solution for four main reasons:
Chargebee showed promise in terms of managing licensing because of its well-thought-out API structure.
- Every use case that they could come up for the present and future was handled by Chargebee — including billing models, pricing models, and offline payment methods.
The freemium plan offered by Chargebee helped them focus on scaling their business across different channels, rather than worry about payments at their early stage.
The Chargebee dashboard was an excellent interface for the sales team to manage licenses from.
Nathan says it better — “We felt confident in scaling with Chargebee for the foreseeable future. It’s been four years with Chargebee. We're now expanding how we use Chargebee, but I don't see us moving off Chargebee for the next several years just because it's just so well considered in the way that it's been designed for a use case like ours.”