Customer engagement service Freshworks, which you may still remember under its old name of Freshdesk, today announced that it has acquired Natero, a customer success service with some AI/ML smarts that helps businesses prevent churn and manage their customers.
The acquisition, Freshworks CEO Girish Mathrubootham told me, will help the company complete its mission to provide its users with a 360-degree view of their customers. As Mathrubootham stressed, Freshdesk started out with a focus on customer support and then added additional functionality for marketers and other roles over time. Today, however, companies want this full 360-degree view of a customer and to be able to offer differentiated service to their top customers, for example. In many ways, the acquisition of Natero closes the loop here.
“The acquisition extends our ‘customer-for-life’ vision to all teams, including account and customer success managers who require up-to-date customer usage and health data to proactively engage those accounts at risk of churn or ready to buy more,” Mathrubootham said.
Natero founder and CEO Craig Soules echoed this, and noted that the only way to do this is to have a rich customer model at the core of these efforts. “More and more people wanted to take data from Natero and take it to sales tools,” he said when I asked him about how his company will fit into the Freshworks portfolio — and why he sold the company. “We, Freshworks, we saw a company that was going into this direction and that was doing customer success for a very long time. […] It felt like a very natural fit to leverage this customer model.”
Mathrubootham also noted that Freshworks was actually a Natero customer, so when Natero got to the point where it was looking for more capital to expand this focus on its customer model, the two companies started talking.
Natero will continue to exist as a standalone product, but it will also become part of the Freshworks 360 suite, Freshworks’ integrated customer engagement suite.
Ahead of today’s acquisition, Natero had raised a total of $3.3 million. That’s not a lot for a startup that launched back in 2012, but Soules noted how he was able to fund the company’s expansion through revenue. The two companies did not disclose the acquisition price.