Replit’s mission is to bring the next billion software creators online. Their vision is that widespread code literacy will make the world a better place on many axes – education, wealth equality, and power distribution.
Replit wanted to adopt a usage-based pricing model for a new product, but their existing billing system couldn't support the new model, and building a new billing system would delay the launch timeline.
The team turned to Orb with confidence that they would get a billing system up and running in time for launch. Implementing Orb allowed the team to make pricing changes up until the last minute and even reduced the time to launch. Replit is adding even more products to Orb and improving billing to empower engineering and other teams.
- Replit needed to integrate a usage-based billing system without delaying their launch date
- With Orb, they launched a new product with new pricing that best serves their customers
- By expanding their use of Orb to other products, they’re empowering engineers to focus on product launches, not billing
- Using Orb, billing is a repeatable motion and allows engineers to focus on Replit’s products
The Replit team implemented usage-based billing to move away from subscriptions and improve pricing for their GTM motions and customers. They landed on a model where users only pay when they incur costs—rather than forcing them to commit a dollar amount per month. Not only would this decrease the barrier to entry for users—a key tenet of the company’s mission—but it would also give Replit more flexibility in what it can offer.
As they prepared to launch their new deployment product, Autoscale, they knew that usage-based pricing would let users try and scale how they want to.
Billing infrastructure: Build or buy?
The Replit team contemplated using a billing provider and building an in-house system but ultimately realized that building the system internally would delay the new product launch.
Their primary criteria for a billing infrastructure provider were speed of integration, minimal hands-on work, and cost-effectiveness. They sought a solution that could seamlessly integrate and instill confidence in their ability to launch on time, and that is why they chose Orb. Plus, Orb offered non-trivial cost advantages over running the infrastructure internally.
Implementing quickly—and launching on time
As expected, Orb was up and running in one month with one engineer and support on the user interface and wrap-up tasks.
The Replit team was able to adapt to last-minute pricing changes even up to one week before the Autoscale launch using Orb. With minimal engineering intervention on pricing and billing, the team could focus on product roadmap priorities.
Orb as a source of truth—for Replit and their customers
Orb doesn’t just simplify billing—it’s become the source of truth for both Replit and its customers. Usage alerts notify Replit when users hit cost thresholds and provide insights into user spend and payment methods. And invoice webhooks help block users in cases of payment failures, preventing excessive overages.
With one source of truth, information is consistent, the team can better support customers, and customers can understand their usage.
Expanding to more products and improving ease of use
With Orb, Replit has the flexibility to adapt to market preferences, swiftly changing pricing models without major engineering roadblocks. For example, after receiving user feedback on a product sold at a flat daily rate, they are actively migrating a second product to Orb.
And, as Replit continues to scale, the team is creating an infrastructure layer that streamlines billing for engineers. With new usage-based products, the product engineer implementing integrations can pick up where the last person left off.
To add to this, Replit plans to build incrementally on top of the Autoscale implementation, leveraging existing familiarity with the Orb integration to launch new products.
Empowering the team by consolidating billing
Replit’s team hopes to consolidate their infrastructure so that Orb can handle more billing, further reducing the footprint in their codebase and database. This work will give more power to those outside the engineering team to iterate and build pricing with Orb—allowing everyone to focus on their area of expertise and increasing Replit’s overall velocity.