Yoonkee Sull, Will Griffith, Murali Joshi and Max Franzblau | May 7, 2021
ReCharge Payments: Enabling a New Merchant-Consumer Relationship
Over the last several years, we have witnessed the rapid rise and success of independent ecommerce brands around the world. Technology has enabled this growth in global commerce by democratizing access to high quality tools for an increasingly diverse set of merchants and opening up entirely new channels for consumers to discover and purchase directly from brands. The result is a new merchant-consumer relationship paradigm through which merchants can access a much broader economic opportunity and consumers benefit from increased choices and improved experiences.
Co-founders Oisin O’Connor and Mike Flynn identified the potential and significance of this trend early on. In 2013, they started Bootstrap Heroes, a development agency, to build products for ecommerce merchants. They believed in the structural trends powering the ecosystem’s growth and built for the opportunity.
It took a few tries to land on the right idea. Oisin and Mike iterated on a few different products before keying in on a subscription billing and management platform. This immediately struck a chord with merchants, quickly showing early but very promising signals of product-market fit. ReCharge Payments was born in December 2014.
Since then, we have seen subscription ecommerce grow quickly and believe the tailwinds remain very strong, only accelerating through the global pandemic. More merchants are adopting recurring models given the clear benefits of growing LTVs and increasing touchpoints with their customers. Consumers have shifted to buying more products on a subscription basis given the convenience and the flexibility to easily manage everyday purchases from their favorite brands. We believe there is growing interest from both merchants and consumers to deepen and build long-term relationships through interactions only made possible by recurring purchases. Delivering an elegant subscription experience is foundational to this new merchant-consumer relationship and ReCharge is doing just that for leading brands like Oatly, Billie, Hint Water, Lola and HarperCollins.
With an exceptional focus on product, Oisin, Mike and the team spent years actively calling and intently listening to their customers to build features that are both easy to use and deeply customizable. This symbiotic combination enables ReCharge to support the smallest merchants just starting their journeys while also meeting the high demands of scale from the largest global brands. The feature set includes customer management, inventory management, tax compliance, fulfillment management, billing, APIs to create personalized shopping experiences, integrations, custom themes, SMS capabilities and the list goes on. We believe their product-first and customer-obsessed focus has been a core competitive advantage that has compounded significantly with time. In fact, Oisin at one point spoke to 15+ customers per day when he used to leave his personal number in the sign-up flow! In addition, the team bootstrapped the company for the first several years and grew the business both very rapidly and very efficiently by offering a platform that truly sold itself.
ReCharge is now the clear market-leading subscription management platform for ecommerce merchants. The company powers subscriptions for more than 15K merchants and 20M subscribers globally and has processed over $5B since inception.
While the company has already achieved so much success, we are even more excited about the path ahead. Consistent with their roots, we believe the team will continue to focus on meeting their merchants and customers where they are to consistently provide the best platform available in the category. We believe ReCharge will further define and champion the advantages of subscription commerce. And the team has a unique opportunity to use its core product as the gateway to offer merchants many other ways to communicate with, provide flexibility to and build lasting relationships with customers.
We at ICONIQ Growth are beyond energized to lead the latest financing round in ReCharge and to join our partners at Summit Partners and Bain Capital Ventures as the company’s first institutional investors. We look forward to supporting Oisin, Mike and the entire ReCharge team to build upon their amazing success and together define the next chapter of this exciting journey.