Your background, how did you get into what you do now?
I started my career as software engineer in a small startup. My 3 other cofounders are hardened product engineers, building various products at Zoho for about 10-14 years each before starting Chargebee. One of the cofounders, Rajaraman, was my college classmate & buddy when we did Engineering in Computer Science.
Over the past few years we were inspired by the transformation of Zoho, watching 37Signals from sidelines and how small teams make a big imapct. We just wanted to have fun building a company with friends and were ready to bootstrap it (we didn’t even think about raising capital etc., then, because we just didn’t know).
With our background of building software products, it was an obvious and natural evolution to relate very closely to the problem we are solving, which is having an infrastructure that solves all your billing, invoicing & payments problems. And it is more pronounced and relevant in the world of Subscriptions and newer systems are required for the next generation of companies that are getting built out.
So, we decided that was our opportunity and started building out Chargebee Subscription Billing.
— ChargeBee (@chargebee) September 25, 2015
1 minute pitch, what does ChargeBee do and why is it awesome?
Chargebee is an Online Billing and Subscription Management Platform with RESTFUL APIs for SaaS Products. We deliver a Stripe like API experience for billing, with extreme flexibility on top of 15+ popular gateways worldwide like Braintree, Authorize.Net, PayPal, WorldPay.
It is a full stack billing solution that you can plug in & activate all kinds of payment methods saving a ton of product design and development time for something that enables great customer billing experience.
With a simple integration, startups get to deliver great billing experience without spending any mindshare and their entire team’s needs to provide amazing billing support are just taken care of. They start small and grow with us activating various features than building features that aren’t core to their product.
More than the product, our consultative customer support is something our customers say it is one of the best across all the SaaS applications they use around the world. That I believe is something to be extremely proud of. (included link of G2Crowd reviews).
One of the best articles I've read on SaaS: https://t.co/PCCEpyT3ZC about winner-takes-all myth & how some of the great SaaS businesses grew
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) September 26, 2015
What are you excited by at the moment?
I am very excited by a number of features we are working on including alternate payments in different parts of the world. And most importantly all the upcoming product changes around Invoicing to enable our customers to stay compliant with standard accounting practices effortlessly.
We have a great team and have now doubled our engineering strength in the last few months. I am very excited by the slew of new features we will be releasing in coming months.
Any of these that will help in your day to day work also / what sort innovations are you looking to introduce?
Absolutely. As more SaaS companies are globally relevant, we need solutions that effortlessly allows customer facing teams to experiment with pricing, accept local currencies, alternate payments and be more local showing intent to do business. And these I believe will become basic infrastructure needs as solutions mature.
— ChargeBee (@chargebee) September 22, 2015
How was the last 12 months for you?
The last 12 months has been fantastic. As a team we have more than doubled in team size in the last 12 months to 50 members, with most folks in engineering. From a solution perspective we are now processing over $250MM USD of annual customer transactions, which is 300% of what we were processing last year.
What are you most happy about?
Extremely happy about the way product is shaping into a next generation billing infrastructure. The next generation of SaaS products do more by focusing on most important customer facing parts and enabling them to deliver the best in customer facing billing support is what is most exciting for us.
— ChargeBee (@chargebee) July 29, 2015
Anything you would do differently if you could?
I would have loved to reduce certain fringe features and focus more on core value proposition. That is my advice to early stage startups as well. To focus harder on core value proposition and doubling down on only those to make better progress.
Where do you hope to be in next 1 – 3 years?
We will be more global with new office setup in USA (already there) and a few other locations. As a solution I am confident we will be one of the very best solutions in the space with a comprehensive solution offering for any global startup to operate like a Google Adwords like billing using Chargebee anywhere in the world.
Have you been to the Dublin Web Summit before?
No. First time in Web Summit for us. We did attend the RISE in Hong Kong and loved the experience.
(Better read our guide then!)
What will you be speaking about when you attend this year / who might it appeal to?
We will be talking about alternative payments, impact of EU Taxation compliance requirements for Digital / SaaS startups and of course lessons & challenges of building global startups to learn from each other.
What tech do you wish was already invented and available to make your life easier?
I wish we could do teleporting to make it much easier to meet customers globally. That would be way more cooler than Skype & Hangouts. And to attend conferences. Imagine that I could have my entire team with me attending Web Summit for some of the conversations they would love to be part of. 🙂
Life / work, online / offline, what are your strategies for managing it?
I am a father of two hyperactive boys. I love spending time with kids and I don’t need a strategy to unwind. Just hanging out with them is sufficient.
I think it is very important to understand big picture of why we are doing what we are doing to not over complicate work with life. Startup work plays a big part in defining who we are but it is important to understand the relevance in bigger scheme of things.
How / where do you create time for yourself to be a dreamer and a thinker?
I love to go for long walks / cycle to think alone. Sometimes I just go for long drives with music (classical) in my car alone to think.
Anything else we should have asked you / you’d like to add?
If you are building a globally relevant SaaS startup, we would love to meet you and say “Hello” at the Web Summit.