Freshworks just became India’s fifth entrant to the unicorn club this year

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  • The Chennai-based Freshworks has raised $100 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and CapitalG, giving it a $1.5 billion valuation.
  • It has become the fifth Indian unicorn of 2018 along with Byju, Paytm Mall, Swiggy and PolicyBazaar.
  • Freshworks will use the latest investment to expand its platform, add clients in new markets and integrate AI into its core service offering.

After Byju, Paytm Mall, Swiggy and PolicyBazaar, India now has a fifth addition to a rarified group of startups with $1 billion valuations this year. Chennai-based Freshworks, a software as a service (SaaS) provider, has raised $100 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and CapitalG, which has given it a valuation of $1.5 billion.



Freshworks commenced operations in 2010 as a customer support company - Freshdesk - before rebranding itself and branching out into software services. It currently offers businesses a variety of services, ranging from IT systems, sales management software and customer service. It competes with the likes of Zendesk and Salesforce and has over 150,000 clients across the world including Cisco, Toshiba, Honda, Bridgestone and the University of Pennsylvania.

The company has raised $250 million to date. Its last major capital infusion came in 2016, wherein Sequoia led a $55 million funding round to give it a valuation of $700 million. It recently reached around $100 million in annual recurring revenues.

Freshworks will use the latest investment to expand its platform, add clients in new markets in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa and integrate artificial intelligence into its core service offering.

GIven the company’s plans of an initial public offering in the near future, this is likely the last time it will take the private funding route before going public. To this effect, Freshworks also announced the appointment of Suresh Seshadri, the former VP of finance at AppDynamics, as its new chief financial officer. Seshadri was instrumental in taking AppDynamics, a San Francisco-based IT analytics company, public last year.

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