The status of a unicorn has always been a coveted one, but for some reason, they are popping up like pinecones these days. The first four months have already seen many Indian start-ups become unicorns. On Tuesday, Chennai and San Francisco-based start-up Chargebee became the latest addition to this family raising $125 million in its Series G financing round led by Sapphire Ventures and existing investors Tiger Global and Insight Venture Partners.
Chargebee helps small and medium enterprises by managing their subscription billing, invoice and payments, revenue operations, and compliance. It also helps large enterprises move to a subscription model within 10 days. The latest funding round, which comes six months after it had raised $55 million in a Series F funding round, puts Chargebee’s valuation at $1.4 billion, an increase of more than 3 times from its valuation of $505 million in October.
Chargebee joins fintech firm CRED, digital payments platform Razorpay, e-pharmacy company PharmEasy, social commerce platform Meesho, investment platform Groww, and several other Indian start-ups to become a unicorn in April 2021.
According to Chargebee, the proceeds from the funds would be used to ramp up its global operations amidst a shift in the industry towards software-as-a-service subscription models. It will also be increasing its investment into global expansion and key partnerships. “Every business from streamed content to e-commerce to e-learning has become subscription-based, needs global pricing and recurring billing systems,” said Krish Subramanian, co-founder, and CEO of Chargebee.
Ten-year-old Chargebee has come a long way from its earliest days in an apartment in Chennai. Not only has it gone global, but it also has a customer base of about 3, 000 customers, like cloud software Okta, business software firm Freshworks, calendar invites manager Calendly, training platform Linux Academy, and Japanese tech giant Fujitsu. Chargebee supports over a hundred currencies, as well as digital payment options like PayPal and Stripe. With the doubling of revenue in the past 12 months and the increase of customer revenue by 125%, Chargebee has big plans for the future.
“We want to quickly scale to 30,000 clients in the coming years and drive innovation,” co-founder and chief operating officer Rajaraman Santhanam said. He added that there was always some part of a product that a company never wants to build from scratch, and a subscription billing model was one of them.
Subramanian said that a window of opportunity for the next five years has been created, to “build out this category beautifully and serve a lot of customers.”