ChargeBee takes the pain out of subscription billing, raises $5M from Tiger Global, Accel

TECHINASIA:  Cloud-based billing platform ChargeBee has just announced its series B funding round of US$5 million led by Tiger Global. Its existing investor Accel Partners participated in the latest round. ChargeBee provides its clients with an easy plug-and-play interface to accept payments through a choice of 30 gateways, such as Authorize.Net, Braintree, Stripe, PayPal, eWay, Pin Payments, AmazonPayments, and WorldPay.

The Chennai-based startup has a comprehensive product that addresses recurring billing needs of businesses, including setting price plans, creating promotional coupons, and generating email notifications. Apart from payment gateways, it can be integrated with email marketing product Mailchimp as well as popular accounting packages. It also provides subscription billing analytics for business growth. Its customers include Freshdesk, Soylent, and VinylMePlease.

Technologists Krish Subramanian, Saravanan KP, Rajaraman Santhanam, and Thiyagarajan Thirugnanasambandam, who gained experience in building business applications at Zoho, joined hands to kickoff ChargeBee in June 2011. They bootstrapped for the first 18 months, before angel investors and Accel Partners came in with funding. Accel pumped in US$800,000 in a series A round in January 2014.

Tiger Global, which led the current series B funding round, has been one of the most active investors in India. It has funded some of India’s tech pioneers like Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, and JustDial. Recent investments this year include News in Shorts, Grofers, and now ChargeBee.

In an earlier interview with Tech in Asia, Krish Subramanian, co-founder of ChargeBee, described its product as a “beautiful abstraction layer” built on top of payment gateways. With more and more businesses from different verticals going online and mobile, it’s poised to play a pivotal role as a facilitator.

There was a time when the subscription-based business model was seen as a startup graveyard as it takes an enormous effort to set up processes that tackle month-on-month invoicing, track pending invoices and expiring cards, and promptly send notifications that urge customers to act. But lately, companies worldwide have been opting for a SaaS model as there are many tech tools like ChargeBee, Zuora, and Chargify that solve most of these external pain-points, allowing businesses to focus on their core products.