Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Chargebee raises $18.5 million from Insight Venture, others

Bengaluru:Enterprise software start-up Chargebee Inc., which was started primarily by former executives of Zoho Corp., has raised $18.5 million in a series C funding round from new investors such as New York-based Insight Venture Partners and existing investors such as Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management.

With the latest round, Chargebee has so far raised nearly $25 million, making it one of the best funded product start-ups in the country.

In 2015, Chargebee had raised $5 million from Accel and Tiger.

The latest funding also marks Insight’s first investment in India. Its past global investments include the likes of China’s and Alibaba.

Few other product start-ups in the country have managed to raise this kind of capital over a relatively short period of time, with the exception of Freshworks, which was earlier known as Freshdesk.

Freshworks, which also counts Accel Partners as an early investor, has so far raised at least $150 million.

In an interview on Tuesday, Chargebee co-founder and CEO Krish Subramanian said that the start-up would use the funds for increased investments in business expansion in its key markets like North America and Europe, sales and marketing efforts, and research & development.

“We’re close to break-even profitability. We’ve scaled our customers’ revenues to a point where it’s getting closer to the billion-dollar mark," said Subramanian, a former executive of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and US-based Cognizant Technology Solutions.

“We engaged with investors like Insight because they’ve got a track record with making great Saas (software as a service) bets."

Chargebee, which was founded in 2011 by Subramanian, K.P. Saravanan, Rajaraman S. and Thiyagarajan T., currently offers a payment subscription billing platform, which is compatible with other global payment networks and gateways such as Stripe, Braintree and PayPal.

The founders got the idea for Chargebee while working as product engineers at Zoho. Chargebee has created a solution for online payments to take care of the most essential components of SaaS and a subscription commerce businesses.

“When I now look at the possibility of building global Saas companies from India, that is starting to happen more and more. It validates our belief that there are opportunities to build Saas products for the global market from India. The success of Chargebee, and before that Freshworks, marks an inflection point of sorts for product start-ups in India," said Shekhar Kirani, partner at Accel Partners.

Kirani added that the number of Saas start-ups getting started or launched in India is still much smaller compared to the number of ventures in the consumer Internet space.

Companies essentially use the technology, platform and solutions created by Chargebee to manage their billing and subscription requirements. The company raises invoices on the basis of which it charges its clients. Chargebee currently operates mainly in North America, Europe, Australia, and the Asia Pacific region.

Chargebee primarily operates in the small and medium business Saas space. According to a March 2016 report by Google and Accel Partners India, the small and medium business Saas space is expected to grow to at least $76 billion by 2020, from levels of roughly $24 billion in 2015.

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