California-based e-commerce and subscription billing firm Zuora just locked down a $36 million round from boldface investors including Index Ventures (which led the financing), Shasta, Redpoint, Benchmark, Tenaya Capital and Salesforce.com CEO and Chairman Marc Benioff.
As part of the financing, Michelangelo Volpi, partner at Index Ventures and formerly a veteran of Cisco, will join Zuora’s board. Greylock Partners and Dave Duffield, founder and co-CEO of Workday, with which Zuora recently formed a plan to “join forces” (details were unavailable), also backed Zuora’s latest round, a Series D. Already, Tien Tzou, CEO of Zuora, has paid us a visit at peHUB with a guest post on why Wall St. loves the subscription economy. That Zuora was oversubscribed seems to validate that the business model is loved elsewhere, as well.
Tzou said that Zuora’s expansion in Europe will be strategically facilitated by Index Ventures, which he called the continent’s “leading VC firm.”
Oh, and about that little issue of debt contagion sweeping the continent? Yeah, he’s not terribly concerned.
“European expansion is a big part of our plans,” Tzou said when asked how Europe’s ongoing fiscal crisis could impact his developing business model (peHUB gently pointed out that investors seem to be increasingly exiting Europe). “When other investors are leaving Europe, we think it’s the time to get in. We like the turmoil.”
In rough seas, having a bigger crew always helps to steady the ship. To that end, Tzou said, part of the startup’s European expansion goals including doubling, even tripling its current staff of 10.
Already, Zuora has relationships with strategic partners in cloud computing and commerce, like Salesforce and Paypal. Other clients include Dell, Reed Business Information, Box, Splunk and Qualcomm.
It was unclear whether Tzou and Zuora will be putting its most recent round toward M&A—he acknowledges that with the war chest, the company is much better equipped to be making deals now. However, when it comes to an IPO, Tzou seems ambiguous—he’s one of those CEOs with a long-term role envisioned for himself with his organization. Sure, it’s in the cards, he admits.
“The vision we have takes 10 to 20 years to build,” he said.