Content, Channel investors, IT management

New Freshworks Funding, Cloud Bundle Push Beyond SaaS Help Desk Services

When Freshworks surfaced eight years ago, the company launched with a single product -- Freshdesk. The goal: Offer a better, easier-to-use customer service platform than legacy client-server systems.

Fast forward to present day, and Freshworks has raised multiple rounds of funding, pushed beyond $100 million in annual recurring revenues, and expanded to become a platform provider -- offering such SaaS solutions as Freshsales, Freshdesk, Freshservice, and more.

The company also has been a key mover in the fast-growing chatbot technology market. Last year Freshworks acquired Joe Hukum -- paving the way for the Freshchat customer messaging platform launch a few months later.

Not resting on its laurels, the company has unveiled a cloud bundle called Freshworks 360 -- which brings together sales, marketing and support applications.

More Funding Arrives

Amid all those moves, Freshworks has also lined up another round of funding -- this time, the sum is $100 million. The latest round was co-led by Accel (an investor from the start) and Sequoia, with participation from CapitalG.

New Freshworks CFO Suresh Seshadri
New Freshworks CFO Suresh Seshadri

Freshworks also hired former AppDynamics VP Suresh Seshadri as its chief financial officer. Seshadri previously helped prepare AppDynamics for an anticipated IPO before the company was acquired by Cisco in 2017. Prior to AppDynamics, he has worked in finance at many top tech companies including Microsoft, Skype, and VMware.

Seshadri said in a prepared statement, "Freshworks has been riding an incredible wave of growth. Coming on board to work with Girish and the rest of the executive team is an incredible opportunity and I am confident that we are well-positioned to reach the next phase of Freshworks' expansion."

Freshworks also has a partner program -- focused mostly on resellers, solutions providers, affiliates and peer software or cloud companies. So far, MSPs are noticeably absent from the company's marketing and partner materials. We'll be watching to see if, how or when that changes.

Service Management & SaaS Suite Competition

No doubt, the company is in growth mode. But competition remains intense. In some ways, key rivals include ServiceNow, Salesforce, ZendeskZoho and other platform providers that improve customer interactions and overall user support.

Among those with momentum: Zendesk today said revenue was $141.9 million for the quarter ended June 30 -- up 39 percent from the corresponding quarter last year. Despite the growth, Zendesk had a GAAP net loss of $34.4 million.

Back at Freshworks, that $100 million war chest should come in handy...

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.