Chargebee's Success Story - A Subscription Management Unicorn Startup

Shalini Rath Shalini Rath Manisha Mishra Manisha Mishra
Sep 12, 2023 6 min read
Chargebee's Success Story - A Subscription Management Unicorn Startup

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For business owners, monitoring their clients' subscriptions and ensuring a positive experience with their product or service is no easy process. The list is limitless such as gathering client information, creating bills, collecting payments, etc. The challenge starts when a company has a large clientele because it gets too difficult to maintain the spreadsheet.

Gone are the days when companies do not have to manually update their subscriptions and manage their revenue operations. Several companies offer tools or software to help businesses enhance their sales growth and billing services.

In this article, we are going to talk about Chargebee, which is among the top 10 best subscription management software in the market today. Chargebee is a subscription management and recurring billing application that assists SaaS and SaaS-like enterprises in streamlining Revenue Operations.

Here's the success story of Chargebee that enfolds all about the company, including its startup story, business and revenue model, funding and investors details, acquisitions, growth, and more.

Chargebee - Company Highlights

Headquarters California, USA
Sector Financial Services
Founder Krish Subramanian, Rajaraman Santhanam, Saravanan KP, Thiyagarajan Thiyagu
Founded 2011
Valuation $3.5 billion

Chargebee - About
Chargebee - Industry Details
Chargebee - Founder and Team
Chargebee - Startup Story
Chargebee - Mission and Vision
Chargebee - Business Model
Chargebee - Growth and Revenue
Chargebee - Funding, and Investors
Chargebee - Mergers, and Acquisitions
Chargebee - Awards and Achievements
Chargebee - Competitors
Chargebee - Future Plans

Chargebee - About

Founded in 2011, Chargebee operates as a subscription and recurring billing management platform. It helps many SaaS-based businesses in simplifying their revenue processes and other billing services. The company claims to work with the world's largest payment gateways, such as Stripe, Braintree, and PayPal, to automate recurring payment collection, as well as invoicing, taxes, accounting, email alerts, SaaS Metrics, and customer management.

The company's intelligent platform manages all of its client's critical workflows from lead to ledger using powerful connectors such as Salesforce, Xero, Quickbooks, Avalara, and Slack, among others. Chargebee has four official offices in over 17 nationalities.

Chargebee - Industry Details

The financial services industry is one of the most important industries as it consists of money-related services and other activities like lending, payment, investments, insurance, fund transfers, etc. These services are used by every person, organization, corporates, government, and investment institution.

The global financial service industry is expected to touch $37,34.95 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 9.6%.

Chargebee - Founder and Team

Chargebee was founded by four friends; Krish Subramanian, Rajaraman Santhanam, Saravanan KP, and Thiyagarajan Thiyagu.

 Rajaraman Santhanam, Saravanan KP Thiyagarajan Thiyagu, and Krish Subramanian, Chargebee Founders
Rajaraman Santhanam, Saravanan KP Thiyagarajan Thiyagu, and Krish Subramanian, Chargebee Founders

Krish Subramanian

Krish Subramanian is the CEO and Co-Founder of Chargebee. He is a graduate of Bharathidasan University. Before co-founding Chargebee, Krish worked in companies like MatexNet Pvt Ltd, TCS, and Cognizant Technology Solutions.

Rajaraman Santhanam

Rajaraman Santhanam is the Co-founder and COO of Chargebee. He did his graduation in Computer Science and engineering from Bharathidasan University. Before Chargebee, Rajaraman was associated with Zoho Corporation for almost 10 years.

Saravanan KP

KP Saravanan is the Co-Founder and chief Technology Officer at Chargebee. Previously, he worked at Zoho Corporation as a Technical Architect for 12 years.

Thiyagarajan Thiyagu

Thiyagarajan Thiyagu is one of the co-founders of Chargebee. He is presently serving as an Architect at Chargebee. studied at Madurai Kamaraj University. Thiyagu has 15 years of experience in the business and was formerly a Technical Lead at Zoho Corporation, where he oversaw projects to establish integration frameworks for numerous products, notably the Zoho Office suite of apps.

Chargebee - Startup Story

The success story of Chargebee began in 2011 with its headquarters in San Francisco.

It began in 2009 when Krish Subramanian worked for Cognizant, he came to a fork in the road when he was offered a long-term chance to open an account and establish a team in the United States. It would have taken 5-7 years to invest. Instead, he chose to return to India and thought of starting his own business. Subramanian's college classmate, co-founder Rajaraman Santhanam, was working at Zoho at the time, designing a SaaS platform. They both had always wanted to start their own business since they were in college. With time, they enlisted the help of Saravanan KP and Thiyagarajan T, both of whom worked at Zoho with Santhanam. They all left Zoho to work with Subramanian as co-founders of Chargebee. In the beginning, their temporary workplace was a drawing room in the house of one of the co-founders. That's how they gradually got their headquarters in San Francisco.

The four founders claim that success did not come easy to them and they had to work hard to reach where they are today.

Chargebee - Mission and Vision

Chargebee's mission is to provide best-in-class infrastructure for every business they serve. Chargebee mentions, "We believe in the elegance of good code, the promise of subscriptions, and the importance of every single customer's experience."

Chargebee carries out its business activities based on the following values:

  • Curiosity
  • Empathy
  • Customer Centricity
  • Bias For Action

Chargebee - Name, Tagline, Logo

Chargebee - Business Model

Chargebee's business model operates on a B2B model. To be more precise, it operates on a SaaS business model.

The company's main business operations are designed to meet the SaaS demands of businesses that deliver solutions to clients in a variety of industries. They also give critical company data, statistics, and insights to assist businesses in fast growth.

Chargebee offers services to simplify subscription billing and management. The company's main focus is to assist businesses in retaining and expanding their consumer base with help of their advanced subscription management software.

Chargebee's top services are as follows:

Subscription Management

Recurring Billing

Product & Pricing Models

Recurring Payments

Revenue Recovery

SaaS Reporting and Analytics

Security and Compliance



Global Expansion

Checkout and Self-Serve Portal

Account Receivables

Chargebee - Growth and Revenue

Chargebee currently supports more than 100 currencies and has more than 6500 customers in 227 countries and territories.

Chargebee mainly found an exciting way to generate its revenue during the ongoing pandemic, when most individuals spent their days at their homes.

The company generates revenue through monthly subscriptions to its software, which streamlines the billing process for subscription businesses. It offers plan subscriptions like Launch Plan, Rise Plan, Scale Plan, and Enterprise Plan.

Every plan offered by Chargebee is designed to meet every business need.

Chargebee - Funding, and Investors

Chargebee has received $468.2 million in investment across eight rounds. Their most recent fundraising came from a Series H round on February 1, 2022. Chargebee is funded by six investors. Their most recent investors are Sequoia Capital India and Insight Partners.

Date Fund Round Amount Investors
February 1, 2022 Series H $250 million Sequoia Capital India, Tiger Global Management
April 20, 2021 Series G $125 million Insight Partners, Sapphire Ventures, Tiger Global Management
October 6, 2020 Series F $55 million Insight Partners
August 28, 2019 Series D $14 million Steadview Capital
March 20, 2018 Series C $18 million Insight Partners
March 3, 2015 Series B $5 million Tiger Global Management
January 13, 2014 Series A $800,000 Accel
October 1, 2012 Angel Round $370,000 -

Chargebee - Mergers, and Acquisitions

Chargebee has acquired two companies. On January 18, 2022, they made their most recent purchase, Brightback. Brightback provides subscription-based businesses with entrepreneurial guidance on customer lifetime value. The other company acquired by Chargebee is RevLock on October 5, 2021. RevLock is an American-based company that offers revenue recognition software for software firms that automates ASC 606 compliance.

Chargebee simplified client receivables automation by acquiring collections platform Numberz and launching Chargebee Receivables in February, 2022.

Chargebee - Awards and Achievements

Chargebee has won the following awards:

  • Chargebee has accomplished a remarkable feat by taking first place in the G2 Winter 2023 report across a number of categories, including Subscription billing, Subscription revenue management, Subscription analytics, Subscription management, and Revenue management, which is a significant accomplishment for the business.
  • Chargebee was ranked no. 6 in 'Best Small Business Products' and no. 19 in the 'Best Software Products of 2021' list
  • Chargebee has achieved Cloud Award Program for Best Payment, Finance, or Billing solution (2018-2019).

Chargebee - LayOffs

Chargebee's first layoff was on November 20, 2022, which affected 142 workers in total.

Company, has recently implemented a workforce reduction, impacting around 10% of its global employees, which translates to approximately 100 to 120 individuals across various departments on September 11, 2023. Company CEO, Krishna Subramanian, cited market shifts as the primary driver behind these layoffs.

Chargebee - Competitors

The top competitors of Chargebee are:

  1. Maxio
  2. Recurly
  3. Zoho Subscriptions
  4. Sage Intacct
  5. Chargify.
  6. Paddle
  7. Billsby
  8. Stripe Billing

Chargebee - Future Plans

Since the pandemic, Chargebee has seen exponential growth with a revenue of $115.4 million. It is taking a lead role in offering subscriptions to SaaS-based companies, and e-commerce in managing their revenue systems. The company is already making great progress in helping companies become more profitable, however, it intends to further automation in this sector and enhances commercial revenue processes to emerge as a better option for its clients and to keep up with their expectations.


Who is the CEO of Chargebee?

Krish Subramanian is the CEO of Chargebee.

Is Chargebee is Unicorn?

Yes, Chargebee is India's 11th Unicorn.

How many countries does Chargebee serve?

Chargebee serves more than 150 countries.

Where is the head office of Chargebee?

The head office of Chargebee is in Chennai.

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