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BENGALURU: Software as a Service Unicorn Freshworks, which got a humble start from a 700-square-foot warehouse in Chennai, is the first start-up this year likely to be listed on the Nasdaq US stock exchange.
The California-based company plans to raise $ 100 million on a valuation of allegedly $ 10 billion, a significant increase from its valuation of $ 3.4 billion during its final funding round in 2019.
According to the prospectus filed with the US Securities Exchange Commission, Freshworks aims to be listed in a market like the US, which is where the majority of its 52,500 customers come from.
That only makes sense since the SaaS companies got the maximum venture capital from the US.
Freshworks, which started a decade ago by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy as a customer desk service company called Freshdesk, relocated to California in 2017. Several anecdotes in the company’s prospectus demonstrate the connection between Mathrubootham and its roots in Tamil Nadu.
Referring to the idea of Kudumba (Tamilian word for family), the CEO and founder of FreshWorks says that he built the company and grew it like a typical Indian family, even though the organization didn’t have the best talent pool and technology during the founding years.
India’s celebrated Tamil actor Rajnikanth, who is revered by Mathrubootham as his “guru”, was also thanked by the software technologist. He says the Freshworks IPO was named after Tamil Nadu’s most successful star.
“The code name for our IPO was Project SuperStar, named after the most successful film star from Tamil Nadu, Rajinikanth. I want to express my love and gratitude to him for being my maanaseega guru. There is no comparable English word to express what this means. It’s a mentor; a role model that lives in your head, from whom you learn a lot by watching from a distance. Superstar is a man who is loved and adored by millions of fans worldwide. He is immensely successful, but humble and down to earth. Thank you, Thalaivaa! ” said Freshworks boss.
The company said revenue for the past twelve months was up 45% year over year to $ 249.7 million in 2020, compared to $ 172.4 million in 2019. Net losses were $ 57.1 million and $ 9.8 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020 and 2021, respectively.
“We generate revenue primarily from the sale of subscriptions for Freshworks products,” says the company prospectus.