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In a world where cloud computing increasingly rules the roost, software-as-a-service (SaaS) has emerged as one of the predominant business model for software companies seeking predictable revenue. But creating a sticky platform that keeps customers away from the competition can be a challenge, one that has led to an array of subscription management tools hitting the market in recent times.
In the past few weeks alone, M3ter and Metronome have exited stealth with bucketloads of venture capital cash to power the burgeoning “usage-based pricing” (UBP) movement, which ensures SaaS users pay only for what they consume rather than a set monthly fee. Elsewhere, subscription management stalwart Chargebee raised $250 million at a hefty $3.5 billion valuation.
It’s clear there is growing demand for more tools and technologies to help companies manage their SaaS customers, which is why Subskribe is going to market today with the promise of a “more dynamic way to sell software,” as the company puts it, one that makes SaaS deals as flexible and customizable as the software itself.
Founded out of San Ramon, California, in 2020, Subskribe is pitched as an adaptive quoting and billing platform for “modern SaaS companies.” While it includes both traditional recurring billing and usage-based billing features, Subskribe allows businesses to design and bill any type of deal, including so-called “ramp-up” deals where the pricing changes over time, or new features and seats are layered in gradually.
“In speaking to more than 100 SaaS companies, we observed that businesses that offered flexible deal terms grew faster and brought in more revenue,” CEO and cofounder Durga Pandey told VentureBeat. “The problem is, existing solutions for quoting and billing are bad at handling dynamic deals. They were designed for simple subscriptions where you bill a customer the same amount month after month. They’re fine if you’re selling razors, but they’re not a good fit for B2B SaaS. They struggle with complex ramp-up deals or metered billing or bundled offers — or really any kind of dynamic deal.”
At its core, Subskribe is all about enabling sales teams to offer more flexible terms to seal the deal, while also allowing finance teams to invoice the correct amount as per the agreement. It’s about keeping everything in sync, and avoiding silos.
“We’ve built Subskribe around a single repository of dynamic orders that can change over time,” Pandey continued. “That way, everyone sees the same information in real-time, so there are no silos or version control problems or need for manual reconciliation. Sales can offer whatever deals it wants, and finance always knows how much to bill at any given moment.
Subskribe officially launches today with $18.4 million in seed and series A funding from Slow Ventures, 8VC, and a host of angel investors.
In its short tenure so far, Subskribe has amassed a fairly impressive roster of early partners and customers, including data privacy management provider BigID which used Subskribe to deploy usage-based pricing for its new SmallID product. Chaos engineering company Gremlin, meanwhile, has also signed up to Subskribe to keep its SaaS subscription management endeavors synchronized across departments.
“My team has had a difficult time gaining consistency between our CRM, our manually generated quotes, and then our invoicing and revenue recognition processes,” Gremlin’s senior director of finance Daryl Allen said. “Subskribe’s tool not only combines these key functions, it simplifies and enhances the process from start to finish.”
While companies have previously been able to achieve a similar outcome to what Subskribe promises, it has often involved patching together different systems and tools, which is resource-intensive and difficult to maintain. Subskribe sells itself as a unified experience, one that ships with a slew of pre-built integrations for the likes of Salesforce, Slack, Avalara, and Docusign.
The founding team hails from companies such as Okta and subscription management giant Zuora, including Pandey himself, who was a lead product manager at Google before joining Zuora as director of product management in 2019 which proved to be the genesis for Subskribe.
“Subskribe is part of a new generation of solutions designed to give SaaS businesses the flexibility they want, and their customers increasingly demand,” Pandey said.
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