Why you need a subscription billing system to scale your SaaS | Baargav Duggirala - Chargebee
Baargav: Chargebee is a subscription billing and revenue management platform for fast-growing SaaS. It’s not limited to SaaS companies. Anybody with a subscription or recurring billing model can use Chargebee’s platform to automate a big chunk of their operations or optimize a big part of those.
What is Chargebee for Startups?
Baargav: Chargebee for Startups is our team where we work with the early stage. If you go to our pricing page, we have our launch plan, which is the most basic plan for startups to get started. Startups can access that plan for free. It’s the $99 per month plan, and they can get started with Chargebee for free until they hit their first $100K in revenue. They can start automating some parts of it, they’re invoicing, recurring invoicing, and all that.
Chargebee best features
Baargav: One of the most basic things is automating your recurring billing and invoices. When you have, let’s say, three customers, and you have a recurring model, you have to invoice them every month, right? It’s fine for you to do it manually or send out a Stripe link or something like that. You don’t have to hit a million users, or you don’t have to hit a thousand users, but at the moment, when you have 30 users, it becomes an effort to send this manually and manage all this work.
That’s when you can set up specific processes and workflows where once the subscription is created, you can set some workflows to have beautiful tax compliance based on the region. Invoices can be generated automatically for your customers for any SaaS business, and you can also integrate them with multiple tools to ensure reconciliation with your accounting software.
Chargebee powerful integrations
Baargav: The main stack with the inflow of subscriptions usually comes from tools like HubSpot, subscriptions created from their CRM. There’s a straight-out integration with HubSpot, and the subscriptions can be created in Chargebee, and after that, it integrates with over 28 payment gateways. That’s one of the critical differentiators for Chargebee. You don’t have to rely on one payment gateway, and you may want to give your customers an option to use multiple payments. And as a business, it does not depend on one payment gateway.
On the other side, once the subscription is created, it’s integrated into your payment gateways when you want to collect payment. And once you receive the payment, invoices are generated, and you can do your reconciliation with accounting books like QuickBooks. There’s one more in between, with tax tools like TaxJar and Avalara, because tax compliances constantly evolve. As a SaaS company, most of them are global, so you can’t keep track of the tax compliances in each country and each state of those countries.
Success stories for Chargebee
Baargav: Regarding the Chargebee for Startups program, we have partnerships with the accelerators and VC. Customers like Airmeet use the partner coupon from one of our VC partners. Airmeet has scaled up, and they’re on our enterprise plan. They were using the free plan of Chargebee, and now they are an enterprise customer. Payhawk also went on to raise a significant amount of funding and has scaled up and become an enterprise customer as well. Apart from the startups from our startup programs, we have some customers like FreshWorks and Calendly. These are some of the key names that I could think of at the top of my mind.
What do you do as the head of Chargebee for Startups?
Baargav: As I said, I’m a part of the Chargebee for Startups team. One of the key things that we have is to build accelerator and VC partnerships. One of the main things that I do is to identify who would be the following key partners that we could work with. In our case, we also see which partners typically have more SaaS or subscription-based companies, right? Any startup could be a potential prospect for many other companies, right? For them, it’s more accessible to partner with as many accelerators and VCs as possible. For us, I believe we’d like to identify who are the ones that have some subscription-based or SaaS companies predominantly in their portfolio.
Onboarding is a part of it, and then also engaging with some of the key partners. What are the ways where we can add value from Chargebee’s perspective? There are a couple of things, like, you know, there’s a community where a lot of SaaS founders come together and have very, very interesting discussions. These are very candid conversations about how they went on to build their startups and specific aspects of it.
What is your story, Baargav?
Baargav: I previously worked at multiple startup accelerator programs. Now I jumped onto this side at Chargebee, working with startup accelerators. I think one good thing for me is that I can put myself in the shoes of the people running these accelerator programs and all that and kind of understand some of their pain points and see what else we can do from Chargebee’s side. How else can we add value to them? That’s the intent of our leadership. They always want us to create value first. I love spending time with early-stage startups, and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many early-stage startups.
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