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India’s newest unicorn Freshworks raises $100 million

Business software provider Freshworks, headquartered out of India’s Chennai and California’s San Bruno has become the third Indian startup to enter the unicorn club this year after it raised $100 million at a valuation of more than a billion dollars. The infusion, led by Sequoia and Accel Partners and CapitalG.

Chennai-based Freshworks is one of the first pure-play India-based SaaS companies to become a unicorn. The company has so far raised $250 million in funding.

Freshworks has more than 150,000 businesses and organisations as clients, including enterprises such as Honda, Bridgestone, Hugo Boss, Toshiba, Cisco and global small and medium business (SMB) customers. The company has also made nine acquisitions till date.

“We will continue our worldwide expansion. Being a SaaS company, geography has never been a limiting factor. At this time, we are expanding in the US, Australia and New Zealand, EMEA, APAC and Europe markets,” said Girish Mathrubootham, the co-founder and CEO of Freshworks.

“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,” added Mathrubootham.

“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.

While Mathrubootham is underplaying his achievement saying “This [the unicorn status] does not change the way we look at ourselves in any way”, there is no denying the fact that Freshworks is a flag bearer. However, as Klaas Oskam, managing director of DCS Advisory, pointed out to the daily, a broader group of India-based SaaS companies are now starting to see meaningful scale.

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

Suresh, 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.

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