Fueled by subscription boom, Zuora raises $115 million

Zuora has hinged its success on the idea that recurring revenue streams would become standard practice in modern day businesses.

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Cloud-based subscription management company Zuora announced Wednesday a $115 million financing round involving mix of Silicon Valley heavyweights and public market investors.

The newbies of the who's who investor list include Wellington Management Company, Blackrock, and Passport Capital -- firms that typically save their investment dollars for after a startup joins the public market.

They join existing investors Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Index Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Vulcan Capital, Next World Capital, Dave Duffield, co-founder and chairman of the board of Workday; and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. The company's funding total is now at $250 million.

Since its founding in 2007, the Foster City, California-based startup has been a champion of the subscription-based business model, hinging its success on the idea that recurring revenue streams would become standard practice in modern day businesses.

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Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo

Zuora's core product is a relationship business management platform that allows companies to manage the entire lifecycle of a subscriber, including customer acquisition, recurring billing and payments, revenue recognition, and subscription metrics. Zuora says that in the last year it experienced a 109 percent increase in annual invoice volume running through its systems.

Zuora CEO and co-founder Tien Tzuo credits the current subscription-based business model boom for his company's growth and investment success.

"The subscription economy is permeating every industry -- entertainment, technology, healthcare, manufacturing with IoT, consumer products, everything," Tzuo said. "Our funding partners understand that this shift is creating a multibillion dollar opportunity for a new category of software that sits between traditional CRM and ERP."

Tzuo was an early employee at Salesforce, working to build the CRM giant's billing system. When he left in 2007 to found Zuora, he obviously took a piece of the Salesforce subscription model with him. Zuora now counts companies such as Box, Dell, DocuSign, Zendesk, HubSpot and Marketo as customers.

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