The founder of Steepster bring you Member.ly a platform which enables businesses to run their own subscription programs all by themselves, without having to resort to anybody else. The site allows users to get a subscription page together without needing to code a single thing, and to have billing automatically handled out for them.
In 2009 Jack Cheng and two of his colleagues launched Steepster, an online tea community, not long after lauch, it occured to the eager entrepreneurs that a tea club, in which members receive a shipment of new teas each month, would be a perfect complement to the site. But they were working long hours to get their site off of the ground, and never thought about making the investment of time and money that starting such a program would entail .
Three years later, they decided to revisit the project — and while they were at it, solve the subscription program logistics problem for everyone else, too.
“With blogs, you don’t need to understand the backend [in order to make one],” Cheng says. “We wanted to give the same simplicity to running a subscription program.”
On Thursday, the team launched Memberly. The platform makes it easy to start and organize such a program — by offering a subscription page that doesn’t require coding, automatic billing of customers, auto-generated labels or a portal for handling customer correspondence.
Cheng says he hopes to appeal to businesses that would traditionally run a subscription service — such as coffee shops and wine sellers — as well as encourage people to be creative with new services.
Memberly fills a need not met by other similar services such as Goodsie, Ebay Etsy and Kickstarter. It’s a way to monetize an online community of followers in a sustainable way. Right now it’s free to set up and Memberly takes a 5% cut on top of each transaction which doesn’t include credit card processing.