Why “friendly fraud” matters to subscription businesses + more

By  Recuro
Jun 7th 2023
Read time: 
4 minutes
Table of contents
Weekly News Roundup
1. Volvo restructures car-sharing service and cuts 30 jobs  – Dagens industri

Five years ago, Volvo Cars introduced the "M" brand, a car sharing service that took over from the old offer Sunfleet. Last year they changed their name to Volvo On Demand. Now the company behind the investment is shutting down.

"There is a transfer of operations, but for the customers of the sharing service, there is no difference," says Maria Dagman. The service where you can book a Volvo car for a longer or shorter period of time was launched in 2019. According to the company, it had 250,000 registered users last year.”

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2. Swedish streamer Viaplay ousts chief and issues profit warning – Financial Times

Swedish streaming service Viaplay has ousted its chief executive, warned of a loss this quarter and scrapped its forecasts, sending shares in the group that bet heavily on a mix of football and Nordic noir drama down by more than 60 per cent.

“The company, which had styled itself as a competitor to Netflix in Europe, shocked investors after disclosing the rapid deterioration in its business in a press release issued at 2am Swedish time on Monday.”

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3. Positive outlook for Flowery after sales slump – Breakit

Flowery, a Swedish startup, lets customers subscribe to cut flowers. The company was founded five years ago with the goal of taking on traditional flower shops. The company's figures for 2022 show a decline in revenue for the first time, while the result lands at breakeven. The revenue amounts to 7.5 million SEK.

"We see continued positive development for Flowery where the forecast is increased turnover with a positive result. Sales will be spurred, among other things, by growing B2B business and that the company is expanding both offers and subscriptions to the whole of Sweden.”

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4. Swedish SaaS company Lumera is enroute for an IPO - Breakit

Lumera's business idea is to digitize the pension industry, having companies in the sector as their customers. Now, the Swedish pension providers Skandia and AMF become minority owners, while the majority owner Monterro is announcing that Lumera is heading towards an IPO.

“Seven years ago, Lumera (then named Itello) was valued at 150 million SEK. Since then, it has grown significantly, and now AMF is paying 380 million SEK for a 12.5 percent stake in the company.”

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5. Capchase gets into buy now, pay later with SaaS financing - Techcrunch

Capchase, a provider of non-dilutive growth capital, is now in the buy now, pay later space after launching a platform to help software-as-a-service companies close deals faster. Capchase Pay enables SaaS companies to collect the full contract value for their software while also providing their customers with flexible payment terms.

“[Co-founder Miguel Hernandez] called buy now, pay later offerings “one of the last B2B payment frontiers to be done in software.” Enterprise companies like Microsoft, SAP, Salesforce and Oracle are able to bring their own financing solutions to the table to help conversion, but it’s still a nascent area for mid-market companies.

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Weekly Analysis Roundup

1. Study: The effectiveness of different advertising messages in promoting newspapers’ online subscriptions – International Journal of Communication

Readers enjoy digital offers, being part of a community, and supporting independent news. But what really convinces them to pay for your product is the right combination of arguments, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Communication.

“The findings show that a subscription pitch that includes both a normative appeal and a price transparency appeal significantly increases people’s willingness to pay. Therefore, the findings indicate that—in combination with a normative appeal that informs audiences that their subscription will support independent, inclusive, and watchdog journalism of a newspaper they like—price transparency is a particularly powerful argument in a subscription pitch.”

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2. “Factors to consider before pricing AI-enabled SaaS” – Techcrunch

The meteoric rise of third-party foundational AI model providers like OpenAI, MosaicML and more, enables many SaaS players to integrate powerful AI into their application. This in turn raises the question of how to think about pricing the AI in your SaaS application, writes Techcrunch.

“Then ask yourself how differentiated your AI offerings are. If the majority of the value your AI feature creates can be garnered by going directly to ChatGPT, don’t try to make a significant margin on that feature. Reselling is not a sustainable value creation strategy.”

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3. How to limit the impact of a paywall on SEO – Poool.fr

Google is becoming increasingly more adapted to paywalled content, but there are still some key rules to follow. Poool.fr takes a look at how you can launch a paywall and subscription strategy while minimizing risks to SEO.

“It’s ultimately about finding the balance between a successful subscription strategy and effective SEO, and we recommend taking it article-by-article, potentially employing different strategies across your site.”

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4. Why “friendly fraud” matters to subscription businesses - Subscribed.com

Subscription businesses have a lot to keep track of when it comes to their payments. One of those things are chargebacks. They can occur for valid reasons – for example if the cardholder is a victim of a crime. But up to 70% of chargebacks occur due to what’s called “friendly fraud” or chargeback fraud, writes Subscribed.com.

“While subscription businesses may be vulnerable to friendly fraud chargebacks, they are also equipped with the data and evidence necessary to win these disputes and protect the revenue they’ve collected.”

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