India's Next Unicorn is Here

Freshworks Inc has bagged a whopping $100 million investment led by Accel Partners and Sequoia.

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By Aashika Jain

Freshworks Inc

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Indian Saas companies are set to get sassier.

Freshworks Inc, headquartered out of India's Chennai and California's San Bruno, has bagged a whopping $100 million investment led by Accel Partners and Sequoia.

The fund raise comes soon after helpdesk software maker Freshworks rebranded itself from being called Freshdesk. Freshworks is the parent company behind the suite of products that includes Freshdesk, Freshservice, Freshsales and Freshcaller.

Freshworks began with founders Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnaswamy in October 2010. In less than a decade, the company has developed a host of customer engagement products to build a full suite.

The company's cloud-based suite of SaaS products are widely used by over 100,000 customers around the world including Honda, Bridgestone, Hugo Boss, University of Pennsylvania, Rightmove, Toshiba and Cisco. Freshdesk's customers in India include Saavn, Decathlon, Grofers, Lenskart, Oyo Rooms, Byju's, and Goibibo.

Backed by Accel, Tiger Global Management, CapitalG and Sequoia Capital India, Freshworks is among the fastest-growing product startups from India. It had raised $150 million earlier resulting in the funding-till-date to stand at $250 million.

"When we started Freshworks in 2010, we were a single-product company with a goal of offering better, easier-to-use customer service software than what was in the market. We've since scaled our company to $100M in annual recurring revenue and built a full SaaS platform where all of our products work together seamlessly, without requiring additional integration resources or consultants to make the software simply work," said Girish Mathrubootham, the co-founder and CEO of Freshworks.

Freshworks is expected to use the cash infusion to further expand worldwide and continue investment in its integrated SaaS platform. Its nine acquisitions till date include Zarget, JoeHukum, Pipemonk, Chatimity, and Konotor.

As software products move from on premise to a cloud based model, the SaaS market in India has seen a rapid evolution. Instant decision making, cost effectiveness, low risk, greater flexibility combined with an increasing mobile workforce and customers is driving SaaS adoption.

"Freshworks has built the only customer engagement platform on the market that elegantly meets the needs of a business of any size with software that is modern, intuitive and affordable. We're confident that the Freshworks approach is the way forward for businesses seeking a better approach," said Sameer Gandhi, a partner at Accel.

The Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India Advisors Mohit Bhatnagar lauded Mathrubhootam and his team for working relentlessly to build Freshworks into a leading SaaS company from India – one that is truly global with customers across 126 countries.

"The investment reinforces the Sequoia principle of being a long-term business partner to founders and supporting them at every stage of their company's growth," Bhatnagar said.

Freshworks has data centers in Mumbai in India, Virginia in the United States, Dublin in Ireland, Frankfurt in Germany, and Sydney in Australia.

The company also announced the appointment of Suresh Seshadri, former AppDynamics' Vice President of Finance & Treasury, as the Chief Financial Officer.

Seshadri, had previously helped prepare AppDynamics for its IPO before it was acquired by Cisco in 2017. Freshworks is expected to launch its IPO in the coming future.

Aashika Jain

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Associate Editor, Entrepreneur India

Journalist in the making since 2006! My fastest fingers have worked for India's business news channel CNBC-TV18, global news wire Thomson Reuters, the digital arm of India’s biggest newspaper The Economic Times and Entrepreneur India as the Digital Head. 

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