AppDirect

AppDirect's image

Company

AppDirect

Industry

Software-as-a-Service

Challenge

  • Find an open and transparent technology for advanced subscription billing in a complex multi-sided environment
  • Ensure billing platform scalability to satisfy ambitious growth plans
  • Find a billing platform that could be easily tailored to accommodate future unknowns

Solution

jBilling

Results

  • Multi-sided commerce platform driving sales of 800+ web-based products with over five million paid subscribers
  • $245M in venture funding
  • Transformative solution with extraordinary growth opportunity

AppDirect Transforms Software Distribution with jBilling

Founded with the mission of helping businesses find, buy and manage the best applications the cloud has to offer, AppDirect has become the world’s leading cloud software delivery marketplace, fueling the transactions that make businesses productive and successful. Developing and maintaining the infrastructure to broker web-based software is a big investment, and few companies can justify the expense and risk of an in-house build. AppDirect has solved this problem by offering a SaaS white-label marketplace. In a matter of weeks, customers can launch their own branded marketplace offering “sticky” services such as Office Suites, Collaboration and Accounting. These marketplaces generate new, recurring revenue streams and strengthen relationships with end customers. AppDirect has spun up marketplaces for some of the world’s largest service providers including AT&T, Deutsche Tekekom and Comcast, transforming the way software is distributed.

Challenge

AppDirect had an ambitious business plan to sell their while label marketplace to top-tier service providers. The small and medium business (SMB) segment was rapidly adopting cloud services, and telcos were facing pressure from commoditized hardware and broadband connections—they had to start offering value added services or risk losing business. Telco’s were thus a natural fit.

With this type of customer in mind, and eager pioneer infrastructure to resell cloud apps, AppDirect looked for ways to speed time to market. “In the early days we realized it was really important for us to deliver software having capabilities around robust and flexible recurring billing,” explains Daniel Saks, President & Co-CEO, AppDirect. “So we evaluated whether to build in-house, partner, or buy the technology. We realized quickly that the core competency here would take us years, cost us too much money, and we didn’t have the time to waste." 

"When we looked at who could come in with the billing component the field was quickly narrowed down to one company that had an open source platform that we could leverage and start testing with.”

AppDirect needed billing that could automate complex transactions, allocating revenue to a number of parties based on differing and complex business rules. Because of the complexity, the platform needed to be transparent and capable of fulfilling future pricing and business models as the marketplace evolved. “Often times the start-up hockey stick plateaus,” adds Daniel Saks. “Businesses aren’t thinking about consistently innovating. They’re only thinking about scaling the first thing they did. As soon as a business gets traction they need to come up with a plan to have a second, third and fourth idea; so they can continue to grow.”

AppDirect selected jBilling as a strategic enabler of their disruptive platform—one that now dominates the new market for cloud software distribution.

Solution

jBilling powers the multi-sided SaaS platform’s billing automation systems needed to support referral, bonus, discount, and revenue-share programs for a number of integrated services.

  • AppDirect’s cloud services marketplace allows customers to select and sell from a leading catalog of over 250 apps including Microsoft Office 365, Symantec, Box, Google Apps and many more. End users benefit from single sign-on, billing and provisioning: they pay and manage subscriptions to multiple applications in one secure place. To increase revenue per user, customers can include their own offerings too, and create unique bundles and plans, all of which are supported by underlying configuration and billing flexibility. 
  • AppDirect provides a distribution service to independent software vendors (ISVs). With a single integration to the AppDirect marketplace and turnkey commercial agreement, ISVs can reach millions of customers via AppDirect’s network of marketplaces.
  • AppDirect also offers a reseller management service so that Telco customers can sell to end-users via resellers they choose.

Daniel Saks continues, “So within a very short period of time we were able to go from no billing capability to one of the most robust billing capabilities globally by leveraging this company which also had a developer community and was really internationally known. And then as we got to know jBilling we figured out that it would actually be a great approach to acquire them. That enabled us to accelerate our growth even faster."

 

"Not only did we leverage jBilling for our own core billing we kept the business as a stand-alone entity that continues to help forward-looking companies realize their own visions.”

Results

AppDirect is the leader at the forefront of powering the global cloud economy. Currently brokering a significant portion of Microsoft’s cloud app sales, AppDirect was also instrumental in the launch of customer-facing marketplaces for iconic companies such as BT, Telstra and Samsung. Benefiting from the marketplaces are over 5 million subscribers who are transforming their businesses with access to powerful cloud software through a centralized, integrated market for information, tools and apps.

Recognizing AppDirect’s early market success and extraordinary growth potential, investors have invested $245M in venture funding, which has enabled AppDirect to make additional acquisitions. The group is now valued at US $1B with 500+ employees in 4 continents. 

AppDirect was named to Forbes America’s Most Promising Companies (2014 and 2015) and Inc 5000 fastest growing software companies (2015).

“When we initially built our platform we knew billing would be core to this capability. We did a landscape analysis where we looked at all the billing players around and we found jBilling, which at the time had over 10 years of experience, extensive experience in the billing space, great capabilities and a passionate founders whose values aligned with our own.”

—Daniel Saks, President & Co-CEO, AppDirect