Apple Adversary Zuora Raises $36 Million For Subscription Services

Big funding round for the digital content subscription and billing specialist Zuora: the company has raised $36 million in a Series D round that it will use to expand internationally and commercialize new products.

Zuora, which was founded four years ago, focuses on services around what it calls the “subscription economy,” managing subscriptions to content and the billing behind it. Direct customers include News International, Reed Business Information, Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM), TripAdvisor, VNU Media, Ning, Ooyala, and Ustream, among others.

When Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) began to lay out the terms of its in-app subscription model for publishers on its iOS platform, Zuora’s CEO and founder, Tien Tzuo (pictured), was outspoken about Apple being potentially too powerful in dictating the terms of how the subscriptions would work, and how much publishers would get paid as a result.

Of course some of that could have been down to Zuora safeguarding its own place in the value chain, but from the looks of it, it would seem that both have been benefiting from the rise in subscription-based services.

Zuora said in a news release that it would be using the new funds to expand internationally as well as to launch new products.

Most immediately, Zuora is establishing new offices in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Ireland, and notes that it already has €2 billion ($2.7 billion) in subscription contract revenues in the EMEA region.

Leading this current Series D round was Index Ventures, along with investment from Greylock Partners, and a “personal investment” from Dave Duffield, founder and co-CEO, Workday. As part of the deal, Mike Volpi, a partner at Index and a tech industry veteran, will join the Zuora board of directors.

Existing investors include Benchmark Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Tenaya Capital and Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, also participated. Today’s funding round takes the total raised by Zuora to $82.5 million.

The company currently employs around 200 people.