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India’s Freshworks raises $100 million from Accel, Sequoia and CapitalG



Girish Headshot_Freshworks
Freshworks CEO and
co-founder Girish Mathrubootham now runs one of India’s first

Courtesy of

  • Freshworks, an India-based sales and customer service
    software company, announced a $100 million funding round at a
    $1.5 billion valuation.
  • This makes it one of India’s first unicorns — and the
    country’s only unicorn in the enterprise software
  • The funding was led by Accel and Sequoia with
    participation from Google’s CapitalG.

Like many startup founders, the trajectory of Girish
Mathrubootham’s career changed because of an aha moment. 

The Chennai, India-based Mathrubootham had just moved back home
after living some time in Austin, Texas. A television he shipped
during his move arrived broken, and he wasn’t having any luck
getting through to customer service to get reimbursed for his

As these stories go, Mathrubootham knew there had to be a
better way to get customers in touch with the companies that
serve them. So he co-founded Freshworks — then known as Freshdesk
— to do just that.

“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,” Mathrubootham said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Freshworks announced $100 million in funding from
Silicon Valley investors Accel and Sequoia, with participation
from Google’s CapitalG. The company is now valued at $1.5
billion, making it the first enterprise software unicorn to ever
come out of India, according to the company.

And in June, the company
another milestone: $100 million in annual recurring
revenue, thanks to customers like Honda and Cisco. 

While India has deep connections to the US tech industry, so far
it has yielded very few globally successful startups. One major
exception to that is Flipkart, an e-commerce company
which sold to Walmart
for $16 billion in May. 

But Freshworks investors think the 8-year-old startup — which
positions itself as a low-cost alternative to customer service,
sales and marketing platforms such as Salesforce and ServiceNow —
could prove an exception to the rule.

“Sequoia first backed Freshworks in 2016 and didn’t
hesitate for a moment to double down on the investment,” Sequoia
investor Mohit Bhatnagar said in a statement. “Girish and his
team have worked relentlessly to build Freshworks into
a leading SaaS company from India – one that is truly global with
customers across 127 countries.”

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