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Recurly Charges Ahead With Simple Billing; Enters Public Beta

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Screen shot 2010-01-19 at 10.49.17 AMBack in mid-November, we wrote about a new startup called Recurly which aimed to help other startups alleviate the pain of implementing subscription-based payment systems for their products. Since that time, Recurly has accepted 172 companies into their private beta, and feel comfortable enough handling that load that they’re opening to a public beta today.

That will make the 450+ other companies on the wait list happy. And it should bring a rush of new interested customers as alongside the public beta launch, Recurly is announcing two new features. The first is that they’ve made the service international-friendly. “We learned from our beta that many international companies weren’t being served by the existing subscription providers, so we expanded our International Payment Gateway support. We have expanded gateway support from the US, UK, and Canada to also include companies in Europe, Asia and Australia,” co-founder Tim Van Loan tells us.

The second big addition involves the pricing model. Previously, Recurly’s model was to take 2-3% of the revenues clients were making with the product. While that model works for clients with a large amount of users charging small fees, feedback told them it didn’t work so well for clients with a small amount of customers charging large fees. So Recurly is introducing a tiered pricing structure based on the number of subscribers a customer has. And Recurly is adopting a hybrid pricing model so that they will automatically choose the method that is the best deal for the client of these two options, co-founder Isaac Hall says.

Recurly has also implemented some UI tweaks based on feedback.

Of the 172 companies that have currently signed up for Recurly, most are still in the planning stages of their startups and are only testing out the product. But 18 of those are actually up and running and pulling in money with Recurly already, we’re told. Two of those include ReTargeter, which is using Recurly’s hosted payment pages to carry out transactions. And using Recurly’s API, another site, WeddingJoJo, has created a completely white-labeled payment option on their own site.

Recurly has not yet started charging any of the companies using its service money yet while it was in private beta, and it says it won’t in this public beta either. The plan is to flip the money-making switch when the service exits beta and goes fully like which Van Loan expects to happen next month.

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[photo: flickr/steve punter]

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