Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Freshdesk rebrands as Freshworks to reflect bigger business management software ambition

The company has expanded its portfolio of products aimed at the flatter organisations of the digital age — with solutions for both helping their end-customers, but also better managing their own operations

Harichandan Arakali
Published: Jun 7, 2017 10:07:36 AM IST
Updated: Jun 7, 2017 10:31:27 AM IST

Freshdesk rebrands as Freshworks to reflect bigger business management software ambition
Girish Mathrubootham, Chief Executive Officer and Founder , Freshworks
Image: Sri Manikandan for Forbes India

Freshdesk, the first Indian startup to be backed by Google’s CapitalG, has changed its name to Freshworks to reflect the growing portfolio of products for the flatter organisations of the digital age. Freshworks will be a new umbrella brand that will bring together the company’s growing suite of business software, as the company has grown beyond its flagship internet-based customer support software, the San Bruno and Chennai company said in a press release on Wednesday.

Freshworks includes the company’s products for IT services management, called Freshservice, a customer relationship management product, Freshsales and Freshcaller, a cloud-based call centres. Founder Girish Mathrubootham added in the press release on Wednesday: “We’re not in this just to change the way businesses do customer support, but to refresh the way they do business.”

Freshworks represents the growing success of business-to-business software ventures with roots in India, but which have customers around the world. Collectively, Indian startups such as Zoho, Freshworks, Capillary and Manthan, which make Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products, can earn as much as $10 billion in revenues — or about 8 percent of the projected $132-billion global demand — by 2025, Google and Accel projected in a study in March 2016. Global demand for such software at the time was about $60 billion.

Six-year-old Freshworks has thus far raised over $150 million and has made seven acquisitions to build out its technologies. In addition to Google, investors in the startup include Accel, Sequoia Capital India and Tiger Global Management.

While Freshworks’s over 100,000 customers are mostly smaller and medium-sized enterprises, large businesses such as Honda Motor Co, Bridgestone Corp, Hugo Boss AG, Toshiba Corp, Cisco Systems, Inc also use its products, as well as the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania. It has offices in London, Berlin and Sydney as well.

Mathrubootham started his company after a bad customer support experience with a shipper that broke his flat-screen television. He built the company up to be recognised as one of the two best-prepared ventures out of India to tap the global business-to-business software opportunity, in a survey conducted by Microsoft last year.

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