SeedToScale | Curated by Accel

INSIGHTS#46 - Building SaaS business out of India for the global market: Shekhar Kirani & Krish Subramanian

Episode Summary

Spotify Link: Apple Podcast: We are back with the #InsightsPodcast series, and in this episode, we learn about Software-as-a-Service a.k.a. SaaS from none other than Shekhar Kirani and Krish Subramanian. Shekhar is a Partner at Accel, focuses on early-stage investments in SaaS and has been involved with Freshworks, Chargebee, Zenoti, ANSR among others. Krish is the co-founder and CEO of Chargebee, which specializes in subscription management and billing. Chargebee today serves customers in 53 countries and processes over 3 billion dollars of annual invoicing by managing millions of subscriptions around the world. Bootstrapped for initial 1.5 years, Chargebee has raised $39 million over the last six years and is comprised of a 400 member strong team based out of 4 countries.

Episode Notes

Spotify Link:


Apple Podcast:

The several success stories of Zoho, Freshworks, Browserstack, Icertis who have all reached several hundred million dollars in ARR with most of their product built in India give proof points for the possibility to build large scale SaaS companies coming out of India.

Unlike the 90s when software was a one-time sale, the subscription nature of SaaS pricing ensures that the interests of the customer and the software vendor are well aligned. Today, there are over a hundred thousand software companies serving over two thousand categories with over five hundred billion dollars spent on software purchases. The SaaS industry is just one hundred fifty to two hundred billion dollars, so there’s another three hundred billion dollars of traditional on-prem software that needs to be replaced. Another opportunity exists in creating a product for the customers currently being served by custom software solutions built by the large IT services companies. At the same time, new industries are seeing digitization, creating more opportunities for building software.


In terms of liquidity as well, SaaS as a sector offers significant options- from an active M&A market and active interest from venture capital and private equity to fund growth to several examples of companies going public.


Krish ends by quoting Jason Lemkin, “In a SaaS business, once you cross $10M with good momentum, you basically become unkillable because of the recurring nature of the business”