Zuora in 2022: Accelerating Growth

By Robert Burgelman, Raj Joshi
2022 | Case No. SM361 | Length 11 pgs.

On April 12, 2018, Zuora listed on NYSE under the ticker symbol ZUO, becoming a publicly traded company at a valuation of $1.4 billion. The software company had achieved fast growth in the rapidly expanding subscription economy—and was poised to differentiate itself from the pack by serving both incumbents and disruptors.

A subscription company itself, Zuora provided the billing products fueling the rapid growth of the subscription economy. The path ahead meant facing the challenge of innovating to meet an increasingly complex customer base, and rapidly growing companies like Zoom. But sustaining existing customer relationships—in addition to acquiring new customers—was critical for every SaaS company, and Zuora was no exception.

The growth leading to the IPO was a clear indicator of the value Zuora’s software products provided to customers. How would Zuora differentiate itself from competitors and enhance its subscription business model, but also retain long-time customers by easing the integration of new offerings with legacy enterprise resource planning applications? This ability to compete, to differentiate, and to continue to drive customer success meant it was time for a new blueprint for Zuora’s next steps.

Learning Objective

This case study is designed to help students understand strategic thinking in a fast-moving tech sector, and the balancing of company focus on existing and prospective customers. Students discuss the strategy the company adopted in the lead up to the IPO, and the ecosystem changes it is facing since then. Examining the path ahead, the case stimulates discussion of how Zuora can stay ahead of these ecosystem changes and carve out a distinct and difficult to emulate value-added role in the coopetitive battles ahead.
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