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Powering B2B subscription management: Kognity success story

How Kognity, the award-winning digital publisher, saved more time, reduced manual errors, and grew its ARR with a subscription management system.
Emelie Linheden
By Emelie Linheden on January 03, 2022

Every Olympian swimmer is world-class. Yet, they have something that sets them apart from each other. One champion may be all about speed. The other would have superlative endurance. And, yet another would be an outstanding Paralympian.

But, the common thread that binds them all is the razor focus on their physical stats. They are constantly striving to improve these metrics. Also, none of them got to where they are overnight.

The world of advanced B2B subscription management is much the same.

As with the swimmers’ time, pace, distance, stroke, calories, and heart rate, you cannot expect to go from zero to excellence in one go with SaaS business KPIs. 

Growing these SaaS metrics is likely to be a long-term, iterative and data-backed process, where goals need to be set, reviewed, and optimized many times over.

That’s where a powerful subscription management system comes into play. Owing to its many quantifiable merits, this centralized system is being rapidly adopted by notable SaaS companies, world-over. So much so that the subscription management system market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.7%  from 2020–2029.

Is your business exploring investing in a subscription management platform?

To make an informed decision, read about how award-winning digital publisher Kognity leveraged a subscription management platform to effortlessly grow annual recurring revenue (ARR) and much more.

Kognity’s sprint from paddling pool to the big leagues

Established in 2015, Kognity is an EdTech company that recently raised $20M to continue its mission of improving learning globally. They have already established a global school customer base across more than 100 countries. And they aim to further grow to new markets and solve the massive challenges that are affecting the education sector.

But, when this Stockholm-based SaaS business was starting on its journey of acquiring new customers and managing subscriptions, they struggled with the following issues:

  • Scattered subscription and billing data and really complex spreadsheets
  • Difficulty getting the sales and finance team to collaborate on managing spreadsheets
  • Disconnect between usage and billing, since excess user access were difficult to track
  • Excessive time spent on admin and billing
  • Lack of transparent self-service options for customers

Driven by the need to better manage subscriptions, in 2018, Kognity tried to incorporate a module in their current ERP. This effort bore little success.

Then, in 2020 they adopted Younium’s B2B subscription software to plug all the billing gaps and grow sustainably.  

Things were much different this time around. Younium thoroughly integrated with the Kognity platform in just under three months and started delivering immediate ROI.

But, the platform’s biggest contribution came from how it helped track and measure usage, update the orders, and send new invoices to schools.

Thanks to the integration, Kognity was also able to offer self-service features within its platform that offered institutions increased subscription transparency. So now, the customers know exactly what they are paying for.

Last but not the least, Younium automated parts of Kognity’s billing process and subscription data analysis, thus reducing their efforts to track usage and follow up on payments.

Ultimately, such improvements to Kognity’s subscription and billing workflow led to:

  1. Significant boost in ARR
  2. Fewer manual errors
  3. 30% reduction in time spent on admin and billing
  4. Spike in customer delight

In retrospect, Nicholas Johansson, Co-Founder of Kognity, feels like the one thing they could have done differently is onboarded Younium several  years earlier, to maximize ROI.  

This is why he recommends that all B2B SaaS businesses adopt subscription management hub by the time their business attains an ARR of SEK 10M to 30M.

3 lessons from the Kognity-Younium journey

To build a world-class B2B SaaS business, you need a best-of-breed subscription hub that really understands your business, automates processes, and helps you optimize your systems every day, all day.

A subscription management system is what helped Kognity achieve some of its key business goals. The three big learnings from this case study are as follows:

1.   Put core processes on autopilot

As the number of customers increases, it becomes increasingly overwhelming to process, track, and analyze subscription and billing. This is why you need a subscription management software that integrates with your financial and ERP systems to automate key customer lifecycle processes.

“Champion swimmers don't have to worry about staying afloat because that core process is on autopilot. This leaves the athlete with more time to fine-tune their skills and gain a competitive edge.

“Similarly, across the subscription lifecycle, you need to facilitate accurate and automatic provisioning of recurring services, billing of users, issuance of invoices, and revenue recognition. Time thus saved can be refocused on more strategic tasks such as improving sales, customer service, and customer interactions,” said Niclas Lilja, Founder and CEO, Younium.

Subscription management helps automate mundane tasks such as setting up and changing subscriptions, billing, and financial reporting. This will lead to fewer subscription errors and reduced stress on admin staff as your business grows.

2.   Enjoy the fruits of a single source of truth

Typically subscription data is fragmented in CRMs, finance systems, and spreadsheets. Not only is this inefficient but also doesn't give CXOs a clear picture of the business opportunities and threats. This is why it's important to ensure all the historic data, from pricing to ARR, churn rate, and net retention is structured, up-to-date, and accessible from within one hub.

A 360o visibility of every in-use license will enable your business to enjoy improved subscription control and efficiency.

“Younium enables us to keep both subscriptions and invoicing effectively in the same system. Changes and alterations on subscriptions were a tedious process in our ERP system and are now much smoother and it saves us a lot of time and reduces the risk for errors”, said Nicholas Johansson.

And if such a data scoreboard is accessible to everyone, regardless of department and rank, your business can easily capitalize on all possible opportunities as a team.

3.   Constantly optimize for big gains

For a SaaS business to stay competitive, it needs to continually optimize pricing, customer communication (about upcoming renewals and changes), plans, features, add-ons, etc.  

And the key to making such data-backed decisions time and again is regular monitoring and analysis of subscription data. Again, this is something that Younium can help with. 

Convinced about adding a subscription hub to your SaaS business’ tech stack? Click here to see Younium’s B2B subscription management offerings in action.


Published by Emelie Linheden January 3, 2022
Emelie Linheden

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