Girish Mathrubootham, founder of Freshworks
ÖOn one day in September 2018, an airship circled the Salesforce Tower, the tallest building in San Francisco, treating viewers, including thousands of attendees at the CRM cloud software giant’s annual Dreamforce conference, with a message posted on one side of the Airship was #Failsforce.
On the other hand it said ‘Freshworks’ and ‘Hit Refresh’. Around this time, Freshworks, founded by entrepreneur Girish Mathrubootham, had annual recurring sales of $ 100 million. The airship was Freshworks’ second and bolder guerrilla campaign, shamelessly targeting much larger US rivals like Salesforce, exhorting potential customers to give up “bloated software” and try Freshworks.
Four months before the airship, Freshworks marketers crashed an event run by another major competitor, ServiceNow, indulging attendees with Starbucks coffee and breakfast, and displaying signs encouraging people to try Freshworks’ Freshservice – the IT- The company’s service management product.
On Friday, Freshworks started the process for an initial public offering or initial public offering in the United States, marking a historic milestone for India’s software-as-a-service sector. Of course, companies like Freshworks and Zoho, where Mathrubootham got its first experience and which is still privately owned, and other SaaS successes spearheaded by Indian founders like Icertis, Postman and Browserstack, have successfully found customers in America, the biggest the world technology market and other advanced economies.
Most of them, like Freshworks, are also headquartered in the US, with the majority of their software development taking place in centers in Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune. India remains a less significant SaaS market for the time being, where customers take longer to adopt technology, ask for more features and / or lower prices, and often require more maneuverability. But Freshworks’ success and IPO will only drive more entrepreneurs to build for the world from Bengaluru and Chennai, which is something of an unofficial SaaS capital of India. Indian customers will also catch up.
As of June 30, Freshworks had revenues of $ 308 million in the first 12 months with more than 52,000 customers, up 49 percent over the previous 12 months. The net loss was $ 10 million and cash flow from operations was $ 35 million, according to the S1 document filed Friday with the Securities Exchange Commission – an initial registration form filed in the USA is required for public companies.
Based on data from technology market research firm IDC, Freshworks has an addressable market opportunity of $ 120 billion, the company said in its filing.
Mathrubootham has decided to be listed on the technology-friendly Nasdaq – where Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google’s parent company Alphabet, Facebook and Tesla are listed – and is looking for the symbol “FRSH”. Salesforce is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Freshworks plans to raise $ 100 million through the IPO, its registry states, but that could change.
“When I think about how far Freshworks has come in the last 10 years, this is a proud moment for all of us, and today I feel really good,” said Mathrubootham in the submission.
Click here to see Forbes India’s comprehensive coverage of the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and the economy