Payments made a big difference to digital platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic – shopping went online for many consumers and businesses; And a large proportion of those who continued to buy and sell individually went cash-free. Today a startup focusing on one specific aspect of payments — recurring billing — is announcing a round of funding to capitalize on that growth with its own expansion. billogram, which has created a platform for third parties to create and handle recurring payments (not one-time purchases) of any kind, has closed a $45 million round.
The funding is coming from one investor, PartTech, and will be used to help the Stockholm-based startup expand into six more markets from its current base in Sweden, Jonas Suijkerbuijk, CEO and founder of Billogram, said in an interview, To cover more of Germany (where it is already active), Norway, Finland, Ireland, France, Spain and Italy.
The company started working with SMBs in 2011, but a few years later shifted to working with the larger enterprises that make up the majority of its business today. Suijkerbuijk said that in 2020, there was a 300% increase in signed deals, and a 50% more increase on that in the first half of 2021. Its users include facilities such as Skanska Energy and broadband company Onit, and others such as remote healthcare company Cry, businesses that charge invoices and monthly payments from their customers.
while a lot has happened Attention How companies like Apple and Google are handling subscriptions and payments in apps, which Billogram focuses on is a different animal, and much more complex: it’s more integrated into the services a business provides, and includes a variety of services. and charges may vary per billing period. That’s why, in fact, large companies in the digital payments space, such as Stripe, which may already have products that can help manage subscriptions on their platform, have partnered with companies like Billogram to start their own business. Can create experience for more management. Includes types of paid services.
I should point out here that Suzkarbuijk told me that Stripe recently became a partner of Billograms, which is very interesting… but he also said that several major payments companies have spoken to Billograms. He also confirmed that Stripe is not currently an investor in the company. “We have a very good relationship,” he said.
It’s not surprising to see Stripe and others wanting more in the field of more complex, recurring billing services. researchers estimate That the market size (revenue and services) for subscription and recurring billing will be close to $6 billion this year, with that number exceeding $10 billion by 2025. And really, attempting to make payments or transactions of any kind remains a point of friction in the world of commerce, so any sort of systems that bring technology to make it easier and something that consumers or Businesses will do without thinking about it, be valuable, and possibly grow in dominance. (This is why more basic subscription services, such as Prime memberships or Netflix subscriptions, or cloud storage accounts, are such winners.)
Within that much larger pie, Suzkerbuijk noted that rather than the apples and Googles of the world, the types of businesses that Billogram currently competes against are addressing the same thorny end of the payments spectrum that Bilogram is. These include several existing companies that do a lot of their business in areas like debt recovery, and other experts like Scaleworks-backed Chargeify — which received a major investment injection from Battery Ventures earlier this year, which $150 million In both this and another billing provider, SaaSOptics, in April.
He added that the former group of contestants currently do not pose a threat to Billogram.
“Debt collecting agencies are big at invoicing, but nobody – neither their clients, nor their clients’ clients – loves them, so they are great competitors,” joked Suzkerbuijk.
It also means that Billogram is unlikely to go into debt collection as it continues to expand. Instead, he said, the focus will be on building more tools to make the invoicing and payment experience better and less painful for customers. This will include more steps in customer service and generally improve the overall billing experience – something we have seen become a bigger area even during the pandemic, as companies realized they had to separate non-payments. The manner in which they are used needs to be addressed. , looking at world events and their impact on individuals.
“We are excited to partner with Jonas and the team at Billogram.” Omri Benaune, general partner of PartTech, said in a statement. “Having seen a gap in the market, they have quietly built the most advanced platform for large B2C enterprises looking to integrate billing, payment and collection into a single solution. Leading utilities, telecommunications, e-health across Europe And in our discussions with all other customers, we realized how valuable Billogram was to them in order to connect with their end users through a top-notch billing and payment experience. The excellent commercial traction displayed by Billogram further strengthened our trust And we can’t wait to support the team in bringing our solution to many more customers in Europe and beyond!”