When Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy launched Freshdesk, a startup they founded in India four years ago, their first ever paying customer to sign up for the platform just so happened to be Atwell College in Western Australia. Today, the company has made two announcements – the first being, the closing of its latest Series E round of $50 million. Secondly, Freshdesk has just set up official operations within the Australian market, with people on the ground in Sydney, and plans to expand over the coming 12 months.
Freshdesk is a service that brings all of your customer communication points such as email and social media channels into the one platform, allowing business owners to manage all their communications via one dashboard – it makes managing customer focused communications better.
“Freshdesk enables companies of all sizes to deliver world-class customer service,” said Mathrubootham. “This investment will help us continue to evolve our products and scale our business to meet demand from customers around the world. We are excited about the shared commitment that our investors have in Freshdesk and our vision.”
This current funding round was led by existing investor Tiger Global and was joined by Accel Partners and Google Capital, who have all participated in previous rounds, the total amount of capital raised to date by the company is $94 million. This new round of funding will be used by Freshdesk to scale its international operations further as well as enhance current products as well as scale its newest product, the Freshservice platform.
Where Freshdesk is a customer support solution targeted at companies that want to interact seamlessly with their customers across various channels; Freshservice is a platform that allows companies to enhance their own internal communications. Essentially it allows companies to set up their own internal admin service desks that can be used for employees to communicate IT issues, change management issues and incident management concerns. The platform is described as “a SaaS IT service desk that is providing a modern alternative to complex legacy IT support systems”.
This product in particular is something that investors see as a strong complimentary opportunity, hence the reason between the three firms they have participated in multiple of five rounds raised so far. It is also worth noting that Freshdesk was actually the first Indian startup ever to receive funding from Google Capital – which at the time of investing only had five other startups in its portfolio.
“Freshdesk offers a compelling, modern customer experience delivered with cloud-scale cost and flexibility,” said Gene Frantz, General Partner at Google Capital. “We are excited to support Freshdesk with additional investment as it continues to innovate, scale and reach new heights.”
The company has grown rapidly over the last 12 months doubling its customer base to 40,000 users. Not all of those are paying customers, but the average customer pays between $25 and $40 a month for the service. Right now, about 2,000 of those customers are based in Australia and include major brands such as Westrac, Coates Hire and the University of New South Wales, to name a few.
The space is a pretty crowded one with companies such as Desk.com and Zendesk being major competitors to Freshdesk. Those two companies also have some significant cash behind them with Salesforce.com being the creator of Desk.com and Zendesk going public last May after raising $85 million in cash. Mathrubootham did not seem fazed by competition stating that the space they are playing in is a big market and everyone would be able to find their place.