Conquering the European SaaS market is anything but plain sailing. A variety of payment and language preferences. A plethora of compliance rules, and security norms. An ever-evolving regulatory landscape: eIDAS in 2014, GDPR in 2018, and PSD2 in 2019.
But Yousign, since 2013, has remarkably navigated these barriers and captured the European e-signature market. With more than 3600 customers, this European leader has successfully localized its way into France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Yousign’s suite comprises two products. i) The Yousign app offers companies an e-signature solution to have their commercial, legal, and financial documents signed. ii) The eSignature API, sold to dev teams at enterprises, is an entire signature service that can be directly integrated into their own applications.
After four years of operations, Yousign decided to move to the subscription business model to maximize its predictable revenue. Foreseeing the significant engineering efforts to be spent on building a billing infrastructure, Antoine Louiset, co-founder and CTO, decided to scout for solutions in the market.
He had three major requirements to be met:
Implement a hybrid pricing strategy: per-user pricing for the App as it is based on the size of teams using the solution within an org and tiered pricing for the API service as it is based on the volume of signatures consumed by enterprises.
Gate certain features on the plans offered. As customers scale and face problems during growth, they might need the features in Yousign’s higher plans and hence upgrade.
Experiment with customer acquisition strategies such as free trial for SMBs and custom pricing for enterprise sales
After evaluating Chargebee against Recurly, the team decided to go for Chargebee as their billing solution. Antoine exclaims “I became a big fan of Chargebee in the evaluation process. You have amazing features built on your platform and your documentation is very clear. I was sure that if we wanted to scale, then we better be prepared with the billing part.”
“Being paid without any manual intervention is more important”, says Antoine. Yousign automated recurring payments effortlessly with Chargebee.
With Chargebee’s support for every possible pricing model, Yousign nailed its pricing strategy by implementing a per-user pricing structure in tandem with tiered pricing.
By taking advantage of its database’s deep integration with Chargebee API and the custom fields feature, Yousign has been able to gate select features on its different plans.
Every user acquisition use case Yousign could come up with, whether for an outbound sales-driven model or a self-serve sign-up model, was handled by Chargebee — trial management, billing models, and offline payment methods for annual contracts.
Continued Expansion in Europe“Europe is complex. You need a lot of energy and courage to enter this market. Every country has its own culture, its own set of regulations, and a preference for language. As an entrepreneur, if you get over the fear of failure, then the benefits of nailing the EU SaaS market are worth it.”“It is a long road to dominating the entire European union but Chargebee has already done the groundwork. So when we make a strategic decision to move into a new region, there is nothing that can delay our expansion,” says Antoine.
The Payoff: Hyper-growth during COVID
Pipedrive to Salesforce
As Yousign started to acquire big-league customers in Europe, it gradually launched its outbound sales and made a big enhancement to its tech stack in January of 2020: Salesforce. Yousign transitioned from Pipedrive to Salesforce and what was strategic to this move was swapping Chargebee’s integration with Pipedrive to Salesforce in a flash.
2x growth in revenue and in customers during COVID
Sometimes it takes a pandemic and a lockdown for corporates to accelerate the digitization of their processes. In the COVID world, Yousign became a necessity rather than a convenience. In the six months that followed, Yousign doubled its customer base.
When Yousign noted that the field of notaries was facing difficulties in maintaining their validation and notarization activity, the team got into a war footing and immediately launched a new plan dedicated to Notaries.
It is a long road to dominating the entire European union but Chargebee has already done the groundwork. When we make a strategic decision to move into a new region, there is nothing that can delay our expansion.
Antoine Louiset, Co-founder and CTO, Yousign
Sales & Marketing