$100 Mn annual recurring revenue: Check
$250 Mn total funding: Check
A unicorn club member with a $1.5 Bn valuation: Check
Freshworks, the SaaS-based business software provider, has risen phenomenally since it was founded in 2010 by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy.
It has been constantly innovating to make additions to its product portfolio — apart from its bundled Fresh360 offering, the company offers seven individual products in CRM, ITSM, Caller, Chat, etc. It has also been acquiring startups to add newer technology products and growing its user-base of more than 150K businesses and organisations worldwide.
The founders started the venture as Freshdesk in 2010 but rebranded it to Freshworks in June 2017 with a view to expanding the product to cover a bundle of services. Its pivot into offering a suite of services with individual products helped Freshworks amplify its focus on its separate portfolio services while adding several new ones.
Arvind Parthiban, director of marketing at Freshworks, had earlier told Inc42 that being able to emulate the Freshdesk support model across different SaaS segments and expanding the product line to CRM, ITSM, Caller, Chat etc has been their biggest revenue driver.
Freshworks recently raised $100 Mn in funding from investors such as Sequoia, Accel Partners, and CapitalG at a valuation of $1.5 Bn and joined the much-coveted unicorn club.
Being the 16th member of the Indian unicorn club within just eight years of operations comes as a huge achievement for the company. However, when we hosted Mathrubootham on Inc42 Ask Me Anything (AMA), he said that he doesn’t believe in celebrating the unicorn status.
He explained: “We all know that there are good unicorns, there are bad unicorns, and then are unicorns which are no longer unicorns and so on. So, I have never believed in celebrating this status.”
More than the valuation, Mathrubootham said he’s proud of the fact that “we are Chennai’s and Tamil Nadu’s first unicorn… we are the first B2B SaaS unicorn from India.”
He added that internally for the company, the newly achieved status raises the bar even as they are stronger and more excited than ever before.
Mathrubootham further said, “As a team we have to really respect the opportunity we have as India’s leading B2B SaaS startup, so we won’t really drop the ball. Since so many people are now watching Freshworks closely, we really want to perform well and hold responsibility with care.”
According to Inc42 DataLabs, in the period between January 2014 and June 2018, Indian SaaS startups raised $2.79 Bn across 520 deals. Of these, Chennai alone saw 32 deals, raising $289.73 Mn in the said period.
Expected to reach $1 Bn by 2020, the Indian SaaS/enterprise software market currently accounts for 9% of all software sales.
Whether Mathrubootham views the unicorn status as a feather in Freshworks’ cap or as an inspiration to do better and be better, the company’s achievements are commendable. With the company’s 10 year anniversary not too far away, Mathrubootham and his team are stepping on the gas pedal to take the company to greater heights.
Mathrubootham — the ‘thalaiva’ of the Indian SaaS industry — shared a lot more thoughts, insights, and experiences with Inc42 on AMA.
Stay tuned for our next article on Girish’s Ask Me Anything!