Chargebee raises $18M to help businesses manage subscriptions

The subscription model is growing in popularity as a way to monetize a service, netting in trends in SaaS, media, e-commerce and other verticals that are in search of more predictable, recurring revenues. Now, a startup built to provide a subscription platform to businesses has raised a round of funding to grow.  San Francisco and Chennai-based Chargebee has raised an $18 million Series C round to help companies manage recurring billing. The funding was led by Insight Venture Partners, with participation from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management. Chargebee works with payment platforms like Stripe, Braintree, PayPal, Adyen and others to help its 7,000 customers keep tabs on recurring revenue, with customers that include Okta and Freshworks as well as other businesses in digital media, e-commerce and SaaS. It also helps companies manage accounting and taxation compliance across 53 countries. Chargebee has similarities to Zuora, which recently filed to go public.
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DocuSign has filed confidentially for IPO

DocuSign is gearing up to go public in the next six months, sources tell TechCrunch. The company, which pioneered the e-signature, has now filed confidentially, we are hearing. Utilizing a commonly used provision of the JOBS Act, DocuSign submitted its IPO filing behind closed doors and will reveal it weeks before its public debut. Like Dropbox, which is finally going public this week, San Francisco-based DocuSign has been an anticipated IPO for several years now. It’s raised over $500 million since it was founded in 2003 and has been valued at $3 billion. Kleiner Perkins, Bain Capital, Intel Capital, GV (Google Ventures) and Dell are amongst the many well-known names which have invested in DocuSign. But like many “unicorns” these days, the company took its time, spending 15 years as a private company. The DocuSign team decided that 2018 is the year for its debut and is targeting
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Tinder owner Match is suing Bumble over patents

Drama is heating up between the dating apps.

Tinder, which is owned by Match Group, is suing rival Bumble, alleging patent infringement and misuse of intellectual property.

The suit alleges that Bumble “copied Tinder’s world-changing, card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise.” The lawsuit also accuses Tinder-turned-Bumble employees Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick of copying elements of the design. “Bumble has released at least two features that its co-founders learned of and developed confidentially while at Tinder in violation of confidentiality agreements.”

It’s complicated because Bumble was founded by CEO Whitney Wolfe, who was also a co-founder at Tinder. She wound up suing Tinder for sexual harassment. 

Yet Match hasn’t let the history stop it from trying to buy hotter-than-hot Bumble anyway. As Axios’s Dan Primack pointed out, this lawsuit may actually try to force the hand for a deal. Bumble is majority-owned by Badoo, a dating company based in London

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Zscaler soars 106% on first day of trading

It was a big debut for enterprise cloud security company Zscaler, which saw its shares skyrocket 106% on its first day of trading. After pricing at $16, shares opened at $27.50, and closed at $34. This was also well above the original expected price range for its IPO of $10 to $12. The company ultimately raised $192 million. In other words, there was significantly better-than-expected demand for Zscaler. But not everyone likes a big pop. This means the company could have technically sold shares for more and raised more money. Zscaler works with enterprises and says it counts 200 of the Forbes Global 2000 companies as customers. In an interview with TechCrunch, CEO Jay Chaudhry described the business as “the platform which was built in the cloud for the cloud.” He went on to explain that his business was designed to help companies stay secure with a
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TheSkimm raises $12 million for its snarky newsletters

Seven million women (and men) love TheSkimm.  With its daily newsletters designed to keep you in the loop on the latest news and pop culture, TheSkimm has developed a loyal following, and even recruits fans called “Skimm’bassadors” to help spread the word. That word-of-mouth hype is helping and the startup has seen enough growth to warrant more funding. TheSkimm is announcing a $12 million round led by GV (Google Ventures), with participation from Spanx founder Sara Blakely as well as existing investors like RRE Ventures and Homebrew. Co-founded in 2012 in New York by former TV news producers Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, the company has expanded beyond its newsletters targeting millennial women and offers subscription products, too. TheSkimm’s app includes a calendar of upcoming news and televised events. It also has podcasts and an e-commerce business. Revenue is said to have more than doubled year over year since 2016,
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Equifax exec charged with insider trading, selling shares ahead of hack news

Former Equifax exec Jun Ying has been charged with insider trading, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ying is accused of knowing that Equifax had been hacked and selling company shares before the public was notified. Ying, who was “next in line to the be company’s global CIO, allegedly used confidential information entrusted to him by the company to conclude that Equifax had suffered a serious breach,” says the SEC release. He sold $1 million in shares and avoided a potential loss of $117,000. Following the revelation of a widespread hack at the credit reporting agency, Equifax shares took a tumble on the stock market. Shares were above $142 and quickly fell to beneath $93 in the subsequent days. Ying wasn’t the only employee who sold shares, resulting in several execs getting accused of insider trading. TechCrunch wrote something at the time about different executives, and received this defense from
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Warby Parker raises $75 million more for trendy glasses

Glasses have been en vogue for several years and with celebrities donning them on the Oscar’s red carpet, it doesn’t seem like the trend is about to fade away. One company that’s benefitted from and also contributed to the glasses craze is Warby Parker, which is getting another $75 million, led by T. Rowe Price, to grow its business. The news was first reported by Cheddar. And with the latest round, the New York-based startup is said to be valued at $1.75 billion. Warby Parker previously raised over $200 million, dating back to 2010. The company also announced that it’s now profitable. So what makes Warby Parker special? It has cute styles at relatively affordable prices, usually $95. I personally own a half dozen pairs of its glasses and sunglasses. Warby Parker, which does most of its sales online, has a try-it-before-you-buy-it approach, allowing customers to select a few pairs
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