TechCrunch – Zoho’s Latest Service Targets Subscription Economy
October 22, 2014
By Ron Miller
Zoho.com has been delivering online applications since 2005. That’s long before most of us were calling it the cloud, and today it has over 30 applications, most of which to this point have been aimed at the front office with applications such as an office suite, email, CRM and project management. But Zoho.com wants to begin focusing on the back office more –and today it announced a new subscription management service called Zoho Subscriptions that is tightly integrated with its accounting package, Zoho Books.
Zoho.com differentiates itself from the pack by offering enterprise-grade programs in the cloud for a competitive price, and they are not shy about pointing out that, while their competitors in the cloud take millions of dollars in venture capital and bleed red ink, their company has never taken a penny of outside money. It’s worth noting that Zoho.com is a division of Zoho Corporation, which also includes ManageEngine and WebNMS.
As company president Raj Sabhlok told me, they spend their money carefully and diversify across these different services, which helps keep them profitable. “We’ve never taken any funding. [We are completely] bootstrapped. So, we’ve been profitable nearly since inception, 18 years ago (when the parent company launched). The company is in many lines of business, but our guiding philosophy has been don’t invest ahead of our means. See success, and then invest more incrementally. We remain a private company, and have no plans to go public or sell. In fact, we want to become one of those rare private billion dollar companies,” he wrote to me in an email.
The new subscription service the company is launching today is part of that diversity. They want to begin building applications aimed at back office management. Sabhlok says what separates Zoho Subscriptions from the competition is the tight integration with the accounting package, creating what he calls “a bridge between the subscription economy and traditional accounting.”
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