Pitch wanted to launch its presentation software globally in 2020 via a freemium model, but this was already a crowded space with long-established competitors. Seeking paid adoption from its customers from day one, Pitch set out to establish itself as a premium product in the space by targeting professional teams. The goal was to maintain control over the user experience while enabling future iterations on pricing strategy without engineering complexity. During pre-launch tests, it became clear many third-party payment processors included hidden complexities which made global scaling difficult. They also lacked the customisation and level of control the team at Pitch wanted from a payments solution.
In January of 2020, Pitch moved to Stripe and simplified its codebase, enabling a flexible checkout experience that aligned with its design vision. By enrolling in Stripe’s closed beta programme and undergoing internal testing, Pitch was able to launch seamlessly and roll out paid subscriptions to its users from day one. The Stripe Dashboard helped Pitch avoid the need to build custom tools for billing support, all while maintaining pricing control. Today, paying customers are 95% self-serve, which frees up time for the Pitch team to focus on internal billing support and scaling the business.
During Pitch’s private beta, more than 25,000 teams were onboarded to the product, eventually creating more than 125,000 workspaces. This created an expectation around the main launch of the product. According to Ed Shelley, Pitch’s Head of Revenue, it was simple to layer on the billing element from Stripe. This made for a seamless product rollout by the time Pitch went live. Shelley praised “the speed at which we were able to put together a billing experience in our product—that was a really positive experience for us.”
A speedy collaboration with Stripe meant Pitch could unveil its freemium model with monetisation built in from the start. Pitch's public launch went without a hitch, and in the absence of any billing challenges, its engineering teams were able to shift their focus to other development projects with confidence.
Pitch also sees future opportunities in expanding global growth. Popularity in Brazil with the free version of Pitch was a pleasant surprise and reminded Pitch of its opportunities to use Stripe to offer pricing in local currencies. “It’s pretty easy for us to turn on an additional payment method in a certain country,” said Shelley. Having the Stripe logo attached to the freemium model also lent a sense of security to new customers, which was integral for rolling out a fresh product with a premium offering on Pitch’s terms.
The confidence in Stripe and the confidence in the team that we had working on these projects enabled us to do all of these really complicated things in parallel. It’s a little bit unique for most companies starting up—you’re not having to flip the switch on an audience that large. But it was something that we were able to do between having the right team and the right technology to make it all possible.