Barely six months after raising $1 million in series A from venture capital firm Accel Partners, SaaS-based social customer support startup Freshdesk has raised $5 million in another round of funding led by Tiger Global Management. Previous investor, Accel Partners, is also participating in the round.
The company will be using the funds raised in this round to ramp up engineering and build more product features. Freshdesk also plans to expand its global support team to meet the growing demand.
Freshdesk is a social customer service software that allows companies to support customers through both traditional support channels like email and phone, as well as social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Shekhar Kirani of Accel Partners, who joined the board of Freshdesk last year as part of first round of funding, said, “We have been impressed by the Freshdesk team’s ability to identify what customers really want in their help desk, and quickly roll out these capabilities into the product. This additional capital will help Freshdesk reach a broader base of businesses big and small.” Freshdesk is the first investment from Accel Partners’ recently closed $155 million India-focused fund.
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.
“With millions of customers voicing their opinions and complaints on Facebook and Twitter, social customer support is the new marketing. Today, the easiest way to build a powerful brand is to listen and engage with the customer,” according to Freshdesk CEO, Girish Mathrubootham.
Freshdesk has trebled its customer base in the last quarter (to 700 customers), a period in which it also launched what it calls ‘version 2.0’ of its helpdesk platform to make customer support more engaging, powerful and as simple as sending an email.
The new version of its offering came two months after a virtual slugfest with the CEO of Zendesk, the market leader in the same business, who attacked the firm (with offices in California and Chennai) as being a rip-off and then allegedly resorted to using a paid blogger-cum-analyst to bad mouth Freshdesk.
Freshdesk had also announced a freemium model along with the refreshed offering early this year where the first agent is always free. For small businesses with single agent helpdesks, Freshdesk is now essentially a free support software.
This is the fourth investment by Tiger Global in India in as many months. Its other deals this year include ANI Technologies(Olacabs), Salar Online (Zansaar.com) and Myntra Designs (myntra.com).