A conversation with Constant Dacbert, Head of Sales from Gladia
Gladia is a B2B SaaS company building a tool that turns any audio into text in near real time. Powered by generative AI, Gladia is an Audio Intelligence API distinguished by exceptional accuracy and speed of transcription, extended multilingual capabilities, and state-of-the-art features, including speaker diarization and word-level timestamps. Gladia’s team aims to revolutionize how companies interact with audio data. Having a rock-solid transcription API is just step one for Gladia - they aspire to become an audio intelligence API.
The company currently collaborates with call center companies, virtual meeting services, emergency services and video publishers, including Claap, Livestorm and Selectra. “As long as a company is using audio, they can use Gladia” - as Constant Dacbert, Head of Sales at Gladia, likes to say.
Managing Pay-as-You-Go and Custom Sales Agreements
From the beginning of their journey, Gladia adopted a 3-tier pricing model. This includes:
- Free plan: a Free tier to enjoy up to 10 hours of transcription free of charge
- Pro plan: a Pay-as-you-go billing, where companies can easily monitor their usage and subscription (monthly or annual) and be charged for the exact volume of audio transcribed at the end of the month
- Enterprise plan: a monthly or annual subscription negotiated directly with the sales team, for large volumes of audio to transcribe - offering special discounts.
Gladia has maintained this pricing structure since day one, and 2024 will be a key milestone as they plan to iterate on it for the first time.
In the early stages, even before officially launching their product, Gladia's team aimed for a robust billing system. Drawing from experiences at OVH Cloud and Sqreen (acq. by Datadog), both Jean-Louis Queguiner (Gladia's founder) and Constant Dacbert (Head of Sales) understood the challenges of billing for a complex hybrid pricing model. Constant, in particular, faced difficulties with subscription management using traditional tools at his previous company:
“Recurly was so painful, mainly due to a very bad backend connection. That was a big no-go to start again with this solution."
Setting the right billing foundation from the beginning
Knowing that their AI-based solution would have a two-fold pricing approach, they sought a solution that could handle pay-as-you-go for SMEs and custom sales agreements for larger players and public entities.
“We wanted to have a unique billing tool to onboard our future customers autonomously on our free and pay-as-you-go plans and manage Enterprise subscriptions—all in one place,” said Constant.
Gladia’s team was looking for an end-to-end billing solution that is usage-based friendly, addressing all their use cases, including credits, subscription management, payment collection, and custom sales agreements.
“Very quickly, we understood that custom sales agreements would become a significant part of our business as we're growing. Today, about 15-20% of our paid customers have custom subscriptions,” noted Constant.
While exploring billing solutions on the market, the team encountered many providers, but none matched their needs perfectly. Some were too specialized and focused on metering, and the main reason they ruled out most solutions, including Stripe Billing, was that they were too time-consuming for the engineering team to customize and make them work.
A few weeks before our launch, we wanted the tech team to be 100% focused on the product rather than building our billing system or allocating dev time to an existing solution to ensure our complex use case works.
From early users to first ambassadors
Hyperline emerged as the all-in-one solution that met all their expectations and required the least development time during implementation and for subscription maintenance.
When Gladia launched their product in June 2023, they chose Hyperline as their exclusive billing platform. The business and tech teams received top-notch support from the Hyperline team, ensuring a seamless implementation of their billing system. A dedicated account manager stood ready to address all their inquiries, with Constant expressing, "The Hyperline team was not only present but exceptionally responsive during our integration. It quickly reassured us, and the overall experience was really smooth.”
Reflecting on Constant's daily use of Hyperline:
- Analytics: Hyperline provides a comprehensive view of active subscriptions, outstanding payments, pending payments, or any other metrics directly on the dashboard. This allows exporting reliable data and sharing it with third parties as needed.
- Non-tech friendly and intuitive platform: Hyperline empowers the Sales teams with total autonomy to create new clients, activate new subscriptions, and manage invoices easily.
- Alerting: Hyperline enables integration with messaging tools like Slack to receive alerts for each new self-serve subscription created. This allows the entire team to keep an eye on new customers!