Freshdesk has been moving beyond the pure customer service help desk for some time, and today it got $55 million to continue that expansion.
The round was led by Sequoia Capital India with participation from Accel Partners, which has been investing in the company from the beginning, according to Freshdesk president Dilawar Syed. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $150.5 million.
Syed said that the company is looking to aggressively expand across the entire product line, and this money gives them plenty of space to do that. He believes each product could be a major business down the line. He said the company didn’t want to worry about go-to market funds or be restricted in any way. Certainly, $55 million gives them a great deal of flexibility moving forward.
In spite of talk of tightening money for startups, Syed says he had plenty of suitors. His attitude is that if you have a good product and a large addressable market, the funding takes care of itself. He says having a big presence in India where programming talent tends to cost less than in the Silicon Valley, is also attractive to investors. Certainly, pulling in $55 million in 2016 is a good chunk of change.
While they don’t intend to build a data product like Zendesk recently announced, that doesn’t mean the company doesn’t have big plans to use the data it collects in its products to deliver smarter, more data-driven functionality. In fact, they have been working on adding more intelligence to their products in 2017, even before the new funding. Ideally, the software can assist the agent to take the most reasonable course of action to help a customer, whether that customer is external or internal.
Freshdesk currently has 100,000 customers, mostly small-to-medium size businesses, and offer a range of products including their namesake customer support product, Freshservice, the company’s IT help desk product, and Freshsales, a CRM product Freshdesk added this year.
CRM in particular may seem like an odd choice for Freshdesk, a mature market led by giants like Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and others. Yet Syed seems unperturbed by the bigger competitors. In his view these companies aren’t addressing his SMB target or more specifically what he called “high velocity digital sales.”
Earlier this year, Freshdesk opened its fifth global office in Berlin. It also has offices in London, Sydney and Chennai, India in addition to its office in San Bruno, CA. The company hopes to expand its global presence with today’s investment.