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Chargebee raises $55 million to help businesses move to subscriptions

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Chargebee, which helps businesses set up and manage their billing, subscription, revenue operations and compliance, said on Tuesday it has raised $55 million in a new financing round as it looks to accelerate its expansion in global markets.

The new financing round, a Series F, for the San Francisco and Chennai-based firm was led by Insight Partners with existing investors Steadview Capital and Tiger Global participating in it. The nine-year-old startup, which kickstarted its journey in India, has raised $105 million to date.

For businesses, setting up and managing subscription service is a complex process. How do you manage the billing when your customers are on a free trial or want to change their subscription plan, for instance? This is where Chargebee comes into the picture.

Chargebee allows individuals, small businesses, and enterprises to automate subscriptions, billing, invoicing, payments and revenue recognition processes. It supports dozens of popular payment gateways including Stripe, Braintree, WorldPay, and PayPal and its global tax management coverage also helps businesses to expand to new markets. MakeSpace, an on-demand storage company, used Chargebee’s services to scale from four markets to 31 in one year, for instance.

The startup offers its services through a range of pricing schemes, including those that vary based on usage and it is able to renew billing cycles based on sign-up dates or other specific dates. It can also selectively route payments and currencies adherent to predefined rules. On the backend, Chargebee customers get a visual organizational chart of their customers and can easily define payment and invoicing responsibilities.

The startup told TechCrunch that businesses across the globe are moving to adopt a subscription model, which has made its platform more crucial than ever. Over 2,500 businesses including Freshworks, Calendly, Linux Academy, Fujitsu, Okta, and Envoy are clients of Chargebee.

Additionally, several businesses and individuals have signed up to the platform in recent months as they navigate the global pandemic. Some of these customers include individuals like teachers and small coffee chains.

Pret-a-manger, a coffee and sandwich super chain, went live with Chargebee after its physical stores were hit by the coronavirus outbreak. It sold 165,000 coffee subscriptions on the launch day.

AJ Malhotra, Vice President at Insight Partners, said there’s a global movement underway where businesses from cars to coffee pods are launching and scaling with a subscription-first model.

The adoption of subscription model has become popular in recent years as businesses from a range of categories including e-commerce and media look to better monetize their services.

“We believe that a steady SaaS-i-fication of the market is already underway, with traditional businesses replicating the best practices of SaaS pricing and business models even outside the realm of software. Subscription businesses today have to be ready at all times to identify and leverage market opportunities rapidly,” said Krish Subramanian, co-founder and CEO of Chargebee, in a statement.

What’s more, the startup provides its subscription invoicing service to customers at no charge until they reach $50,000 in revenue. Chargebee says it processes over $3 billion in revenue each year.

Chargebee, which also has offices in Chennai, Amsterdam, Salt Lake City, and Sydney and customers in over 160 countries, plans to use the fresh capital to further grow its footprints in international markets, an executive told TechCrunch.

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You can now buy Vizio’s rotating Atmos soundbar

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Vizio’s Elevate soundbar has finally hit shelves. You can buy it today for $999.99. The 48-inch soundbar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The soundbar houses 18 speakers and comes with a wireless eight-inch subwoofer. The cool thing is that some of the speakers rotate — they face upward while you’re playing Dolby Atmos content and point forward for standard audio.

I spoke to Vizio CEO William Wang about the Elevate earlier this year. He said the soundbar is intended to hook non-enthusiast customers on Dolby Atmos by showing them, visually, the difference between the two tiers of audio. He also noted that while the Elevate is asking a steep price, he expects the rotating speakers to appear in lower-cost devices down the road. The Elevate is being positioned as a good companion purchase for Vizio’s first 4K OLED TV, which is also now available.

Currently, you can order the Elevate at Best Buy and Walmart. Vizio says it’s coming to Amazon and Sam’s Club, too, but those don’t appear to have active links yet.

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Don’t Eat Deli Meat if You’re Pregnant or Old, CDC Says

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slices of salami on bread, surrounded by pretty food things

Photo: photocrew1 (Shutterstock)

There’s an outbreak of listeriosis linked to deli meat, the CDC says. The exact source has not been tracked down, but they say if you are pregnant, over 65, or have a weakened immune system, to not eat deli meat or take extra precautions.

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Listeria bacteria can live at refrigerator temperatures, but are killed by heat. That’s why they turn up in deli meats (including Italian style processed meats like salami) and soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. If you’ve ever been told not to eat brie while you were pregnant, this is why—although most soft cheeses in U.S. supermarkets aren’t made with raw milk. In the past few years, Listeria outbreaks have also been linked to lettuce and other produce.

If you don’t fall into those risk groups, listeriosis is not a serious illness. But if you are pregnant when you get it, it could cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or death of your newborn. It can also be serious for people who are elderly or have a weakened immune system.

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The CDC says it knows of 10 recent cases in which people were hospitalized, and one died. Here’s what they say about the source:

  • Ill people have reported eating Italian-style meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto.
  • People have reported purchasing both prepackaged deli meats and meats sliced at deli counters. The investigation is ongoing to determine if there is a specific type of deli meat or common supplier linked to illness.

If you are in one of the higher risk categories (pregnant, older, or with a weakened immune system) the CDC recommends either avoiding deli meats or making sure they are heated just before serving until they are steaming hot. (That’s an internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit, if you’re able to get a thermometer probe into your salami.)

You should also wash your hands after handling deli meats, clean any surfaces that deli meats or their juices have been in contact with (such as your refrigerator shelves) and make sure you’re not keeping deli meats in the fridge too long. Meat you buy from a deli counter is usually good in the fridge for five days; factory sealed packages are good for two weeks.

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See Who’s Mooching Off Your Netflix Account by Checking Its Recent Access

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A screenshot of the Netflix

Screenshot: Joel Cunningham

Depending on how much you pay for your plan, your Netflix account can only be used by so many people at once. Exes, old roommates, or thoughtless siblings—anyone you’ve unwisely trusted with your password—might be mooching off the account you pay good money for, but it’s not too difficult to find out if they are.

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A simple trip to your Netflix account settings will allow you to discover the IP addresses and locations of whoever has been accessing your account. Here’s how to find it:

  1. Head to the Netflix home page in your browser and sign in.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner you’ll see your account symbol. Mouse over it, then click “Account.”
  3. Scroll down and click the “Recent device streaming activity” link.
  4. Then click the “See recent account access” link.

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You’ll see the IP address, location and type of device that has been watching Netflix with your account, as well as when. You’ll probably be able to deduce who has been using your account from there. Once you know who is mooching, you can ask them to get their own account and stop filling your queue with bad movies, or you can just return to the Account page, choose “Sign out of all devices” and then change your password in your account settings and shut them out for good.

Netflix also allows you to download some content to your device(s), but how many are allowed to do so will once again vary based on the details of your monthly plan. From your Account page, you can also select “Manage download devices” to remove any that are unauthorized; this will remove content downloaded to those devices and free you up to offload content on your own phone or tablet.

This post was originally published in 2016 and updated on October 27, 2020 with more complete, up-to-date instructions and screenshots.

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