Accel Partners, which has backed global Internet majors like Facebook and Groupon, has invested $1 million (Rs 5 crore) in SaaS-based social customer support start-up Freshdesk, the company has said in a statement. The fund raised will be used to expand the product team and step up marketing and business development efforts.
The company plans to bridge the gap in the customer support software market where very few quality options are not available. As part of the investment, Shekhar Kirani from Accel Partners will now be joining Freshdesk’s board of directors.
Incorporated in October 2010, Freshdesk is founded by Girish Mathrubootham, former vice-president (product management) at Zoho Corp. The company offers customer support software for small and medium enterprises looking for a Cloud-based interface. Currently, Freshdesk has customers in more than 30 countries and is available in six languages. Freshdesk pricing starts at $9 per agent per month.
“A solid team, a product that customers love, significant traction and a big global market opportunity – all the ingredients for success are in place. SaaS is one of our key focus areas and Freshdesk is our first investment from the recently closed $155 million fund for India,” Shekhar Kirani from Accel Partners commented on the investment.
“The future of customer support is on the Cloud, and a good portion of it will happen on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages,” said Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of Freshdesk.
In November this year, Accel Partners raised an all-new $155 million venture capital fund that will focus on seed and early-stage investments in India. Accel India III is nearly two-and-a-half times bigger than its predecessor Accel India Venture Fund II, which raised $60 million three years ago. With the inception of the new fund, the assets under management of Accel India will reach $235 million across its three early-stage funds. The firm is led by four partners – Mahendran Balachandran, Shekhar Kirani, Subrata Mitra and Prashanth Prakash.
Accel has invested in nearly half-a-dozen e-commerce companies such as Babyoye, Exclusively.in, Flipkart, Letsbuy and Myntra. Its other India investments include Cnergyis, enStage, Deeksha (Ace), HealthcareMagic, Kaatizone, MuSigma, Perfint, QwikCilver, Sconce, Vinculum and Virident. Accel currently has 34 portfolio companies in India.