The startup journey for entrepreneurs isn’t a piece of cake. Innovators need to find a solution, develop scalable products, create a need for the products, attract customers, and build the entire company with hard work, effort, patience and passion.
In the latest episode of the Prime Venture Partners podcast Krish Subramanian, Co-Founder and CEO of Chargebee, spoke about his entrepreneurial journey from “zero to one”, ie building a unique product and disrupting the market.
In an interview with Sanjay Swamy, Managing Partner at Prime Venture Partners, Krish explained this Chargebee’s journey from phase zero to one was not a straight line even after the product launch.
Chargebee was launched in 2011 with a The aim is to support SaaS companies in streamlining their sales activities. Krish said the innovations were not only attracting interest in SaaS but also in other sectors such as e-commerce. Initially looking after all customers, but the startup “Lost Trail” of the unique insight on which it was actually built.
Based in San Francisco and Chennai Chargebee provides a tool for managing recurring billing and subscriptions That helps SaaS and SaaS-like companies.
“As a first-time founder, you are excited about everyone who comes up and says, ‘Hey, I want a solution’ when you try to get them on board. We founded the company with the idea that not every SaaS company has to create certain components itself and that we should be able to provide this API. However, when we were in the process of getting customers, we lost track of that part, ”said Krish.
Rajaraman Santhanam, KP Saravanan, Thiyagarajan Thiyagu and Krish Subramanian, Co-Founders, Chargebee [Image Credit: Chargebee Website]
Krish explained that meanwhile Chargebee’s product was specially developed for SaaS companiesThe need to solve solutions from customers from all industries made the company try to be everywhere.
“We built the API of the first product based on our main focus and still thought about getting someone as a customer … and we went a bit everywhere to try to solve the problem. So we had to make certain decisions like letting go. Although multiple markets are being attracted, we had to focus on SaaS and SaaS-like companies for a while before we could focus on other segments, ”he said.
According to the co-founder, this early decision helped the company focus on segments that worked well for them, while choosing to let go of certain segments.
“These were some of the most important takeaways for us to begin with and also acted as filters to remove certain segments that we didn’t want to serve,” he added.
Regarding the initial decisions, Krish said that introducing iterations and price changes is also scary at first because of fear of losing customers. Even then Chargebee implemented a freemium pricing model If customers could start with a free model but then collect a total bill of $ 50,000, they would automatically switch to a paid tier.
“We were afraid to think that enough people would actually buy the product. It turned out to be a good decision, however, because only by changing prices can we actually find out what is resonating with the market, ”he said.
Understanding the most important metrics
The co-founder explained Chargebee’s metrics, stating that he initially believed the revenues were Chargebee’s North Star Metric However (metric used by the company to focus on growth) realized that sales as a North Star metric can be an iterative process.
“What we found out for ourselves was that Our North Star Metric was our customers’ sales and, overall, how much we processed as a company. We thought who’s really using the product well, and when they grow we grow, ”said Krish.
He added that segmented Metrics for customer acquisition, activation, new customers, ASP as well as churn and NRR are also very important.
Krish also stated that the team realized they didn’t have the right product market customization initially, as they found that while logo churn (customer churn) was high, sales churn wasn’t going in the right direction.
He believes metrics help business owners make decisions related to customer support, customer success, marketing, etc., which in turn has an impact on sales.
To hear more, listen to the podcast here.