In this episode of the GrowthTLDR, we talk to Krish Subramanian, the CEO, and co-founder of Chargebee.
Chargebee offers subscription and billing software; they process over 3 billion dollars in annual transactions. Krish and his co-founders bootstrapped the company for the first two years, and since then have raised $40 million.
We talk to Krish about how Chargebee found product-market fit, how founders should think about segmenting customers as they grow, what advice Krish would share with other founders, and the metrics all SaaS founders should be measuring.
Time Stamped Notes:
[3:10] - Chargebee offers subscription management and billing. Krish bootstrapped the company for the first two years, and since then has raised over $40 million. The company has more than 420 workers across several global offices and process $3 billion in annual transactions for their customers. Chargebee is growing 100% YoY.
[9:00] - Chargebee was a team-first company. All three founders worked in Zoho and dreamed of starting a company for 8 to 9 years before leaving. They originally had three ideas for creating that company before deciding to focus on recurring payments.
[11:20] - Krish got a lot of his early customer research from hanging out in payment providers forums to understand their problems. That helped the Chargebee team onboard their first bunch of customers and get to one million dollars in revenue.
[13:15] - Krish thinks of product-market fit in finding a segment of customers you can repeatedly acquire, and their retention/LTV looks healthy.
[15:10] - Krish recommends not worrying about customer segments until you've hit $1 million in revenue.
[16:45] - Chargebee has three different customer segments - Startups, Scaleups, Growth. They develop the product roadmap for the top 5% to 10% of customers. Krish talks about how they prioritize customer segments in their go-to-market efforts.
[20:45] - Chargebee has a freemium plan; the first $50k of payments on their software is free.
[23:00] - The growth team at Chargebee focuses on getting customers to process the first $50k of payments on the platform.
[24:30] - One of Krish's biggest learnings as a founder is to invest in a proper data team. He feels this is critical to make the right business decisions. It also helps the team to focus on fewer things. Krish talks through some of the most common advice he shares with other founders.
[31:10] - Krish recommends early-stage founders to focus on understanding their customers, who they are, the pain they have, and why they're using your product. Their north star metric should be a customer value metric that highlights the value customers are getting from the product.
As a company scales, Krish recommends founders optimize for cashflow and experiment to get more of their revenue in advance via 6 months and 12-month licenses.
He also recommends looking at revenue churn and classifying every customer who churns to find savable groups.