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Evolving Pricing and Scaling Revenue: Our Series A Investment in Orb

March 29, 2023

Nailing your monetization strategy has become more important than ever in today’s weakened macroeconomic climate, and it’s no longer as simple as charging per seat. The rise of product-led growth (PLG) unlocks the opportunity for companies to incorporate usage metrics into their pricing models, such as API calls, storage, GPUs, and messages.

In 2022, 61% of SaaS companies used hybrid pricing models that integrate seats and usage, up from 41% in 2021. And doing so has clear pay off—companies that leverage hybrid pricing models outperform SaaS growth averages by 31%

That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with Orb as they unveil their modern pricing platform, showcasing an end-to-end workflow for revenue, from metering and billing to pricing and reporting. After years of canvassing the market, and even (painfully) building a version of this infrastructure in-house at Naomi’s last company, we were eager to find a flexible, developer-approved platform for pricing and packaging. When we met the Orb founders, Alvaro Morales and Kshitij Grover, we immediately bonded over shared pain points around pricing and a vision for the dream solution. It was clear that this was the team we wanted to back.

Source: Orb

Optimizing Revenue, Saving Development Costs

Orb helps high-growth companies across sectors like SaaS, infrastructure, AI and fintech implement and iterate on complex pricing models. The platform drives hard ROI by reducing manual work from engineering and finance teams, reallocating developers back to core business features, and unlocking incremental revenue via optimized pricing and packaging. For Orb customers like Airbyte, Materialize and Stytch, billing is no longer a headache—it’s a vehicle for revenue growth.

While hybrid pricing supercharges revenue, implementing it poses a real technical challenge. Orb saves their customers significant development costs—building a modern billing system in-house can take years’ worth of engineering cycles—while simultaneously unlocking new revenue streams. Unlike competitors who have rigid data models, Orb’s approach offers a highly scalable backend that ingests all usage events, not just billable ones, so that teams can quickly iterate on their optimal value metrics. Improving monetization is one of the most effective levers for growth, yet often the most underutilized due to poor infrastructure, until now. With Orb’s flexible approach, commercial teams can quickly iterate on pricing and packaging without having to rely on engineering.

A Unified Platform for Monetization

Modern monetization requires updated tooling up and down the stack, and consolidated platforms like Orb compound in value over point solutions. Orb unifies all stakeholders with a single pane of glass for quote-to-cash: engineering to track and meter customer usage, growth and product to iterate on monetization strategy, sales and success to navigate deal terms, and finance to collect and report revenue.

Orb’s founders Alvaro and Kshitij lived through a fraught billing system implementation and cumbersome pricing iteration while working at Asana—at one point, five out of 30 engineering teams were working on the internal monetization system. Alvaro and Kshitij decided there must be a better solution and teamed up to build Orb. From their experience, they knew Orb had to:

  • Scale to ingest tens of thousands of events per second. Lost events are lost revenue in the hybrid pricing world; Orb built scalable technical infrastructure that earns customer trust.
  • Support any pricing model. Hybrid monetization schemes can get complex. Orb supports volume discounts, prepaid credits, minimum commitments, overages, pay-as-you-go, and more.
  • Provide an end-to-end solution for devs, sales, product, and finance teams. Hybrid billing is a team sport. Orb is dev-friendly for easy implementation, usable for commercial teams to easily customize pricing plans, and reliable for finance teams to invoice, run reports, and handle revenue recognition.
  • Become a hub for pricing intelligence. Revenue teams are constantly iterating to perfect their pricing models. Orb’s robust data model allows for easy scenario forecasting and pricing experiments.

A Breakout Team

We attribute much of Orb’s early success to Alvaro and Kshitij’s talent as technologists and leaders. They were seen as top 1% engineers at Asana, and have demonstrated enormous technical prowess in developing complex software that seamlessly bridges technical and business needs. We at Menlo Ventures have been so impressed by their ability to ship a great product, service customers, and recruit a world-class team. Alvaro and Kshitij are special leaders, and we’re thrilled to back them on this journey to help customers accelerate revenue growth.

We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Orb to the Menlo portfolio. Orb will join Eppo, Endgame, and Matik in what we call the “Modern Growth Stack”—the next evolution of data-enabled platforms that drive attributable growth/revenue.

If you are building data-powered B2B tooling, we’re eager to hear about it.

Naomi Ionita: