In the News

January 21st, 2014

Freshdesk Targets Small Businesses With New IT Service Desk In The Cloud

Freshdesk, which raised $7 million in Series C funding from Accel India and Tiger Global in November last year, is using some of that capital to enter the IT service management (ITSM) market currently dominated by BMC’s Remedy and ServiceNow.

Freshdesk, which raised $7 million in Series C funding from Accel India and Tiger Global in November last year, is using some of that capital to enter the IT service management (ITSM) market currently dominated by BMC’s Remedy and ServiceNow.

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January 22nd, 2014

10 Powerful, Cloud-Based Helpdesk Services To Help You Win at Customer Service

Help desk software has changed a lot over the years. It’s gotten prettier, for starters, and it’s more accessible. But the changes go beyond features: many companies are realizing that when customers want to vent, they’re going to do it in public. As a result, help desk software is increasingly multichannel, making flagging — and responding to — Twitter mentions and Facebook posts just as important as fielding direct support emails or phone calls. Here are a few of the newer, more nimble help desk companies out here.

Freshdesk’s help desk offers many of the features companies have come to expect. These features include team-wide support inboxes, automated ticket dispatching, social customer support, and community forums. Freshdesk also offers built-in ticket time-tracking, which it says helps find bottlenecks in the support process.

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January 20th, 2014

The report of my death was an exaggeration, Freshdesk tells Forbes & Microsoft

Cash-rich companies like Microsoft have an easy way to get new ideas and talent: acquire smaller, more innovative companies. But when a big company acquires a startup, what happens to other startups in the space? According to an article in Forbes, that’s the end of competition in that domain, and the other small players might as well shut shop.

Such a tall claim made in an international US-based business publication may have normally gone unchallenged, and misled readers around the world, not to mention clients of all the companies concerned. Freshdesk's CEO Girish Mathrubootham has made it clear that the game was far from being up.

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January 14th, 2014

G2 Crowd Announces Rankings of Best Customer Support Software

This G2 Crowd Grid℠ charts only best of breed help desk software by scale and satisfaction and excludes broader CRM suites that also include strong help desk capabilities. Freshdesk has been named 'High Performer' based on high customer satisfaction scores.

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January 8th, 2014

'Dumb' Customer Questions: Are They Your Fault?

So, this elderly and exhausted woman calls in to a tech support line. She goes on and on about how she just bought a new PC and the “cup holder” in it broke when she placed her coffee. The support rep begins apologizing without even knowing what he was apologizing for, and she demands a replacement immediately. A few questions later, the puzzled support agent finally realizes the “cup holder” is the DVD tray!

Heard similar “dumb” questions before? Customer Support Representatives (when they had finally stopped laughing at the questions) call these questions “User Errors” or “ID10T errors.” But, look at the situation this way: If you built something for your customers, and they can’t even get started with it, where do you think the problem lies? 

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December 30th, 2013

How can you hire people you'll never have to fire?

Today, I want to share some perspectives from Girish Mathrubootham. Girish has over 15 years of experience in building enterprise products and is on a mission to make the world a happier place for customers everywhere.

Girish has been talking a lot about how to hire long term employees that you will never have to fire, and focuses a lot on non-technical attributes (i.e., "not hard skills") when he hires. It seems to work for him, so I recently did a "5 Questions" interview with him on this subject.

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December 19th, 2013

Freshdesk absorbs $7M to turn customer service into a game

The Walnut, Calif. -based startup just pulled in $7 million to spread its cloud-based support software to more businesses, with a focus on U.S. expansion. Its software automatically turns queries across multiple channels (email, forums, live chat, and social media) into tickets, enabling support teams to keep track of and respond to all of their company’s customer queries.

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December 19th, 2013

Freshdesk Nabs $7 Million Series C

Customer support startup Freshdesk announced on Thursday it had raised $7 million in a Series C round of venture funding. Existing investors Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management participated in the round. Freshdesk has raised $13 million in venture funding since its launch in mid-2011.

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December 19th, 2013

Freshdesk Secures $7M at Valuation Higher Than $50M

Tiger Global Management and Accel Partners doubled down on customer support startup Freshdesk Inc., putting $7 million more into the company to better battle Zendesk Inc ., Assistly Inc . and others reshaping the way businesses respond to customers.

Tiger Global, which is better known for its large late-stage investments, led the round at a valuation north of $50 million, VentureWire learned.

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December 6th, 2013

The Customer Support Hierarchy of Needs

If you looked at how different organizations handled their customer support, the maturity of their operations, and the problems they were trying to solve, companies fall into 4 distinct strata — from a state of chaos, all the way up to the point where their support is perfectly aligned with their business goals. And as you move up the chain towards alignment, the number of companies in each strata steadily falls. I call this the Great Pyramid of Support Needs.

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September 19th, 2013

Small, Medium Businesses Become Startup Darlings

A new breed of Indian software companies is profiting from the hunger of smaller enterprises for cutting-edge technologies, unlike their bigger IT services brethren that depend on large corporations in markets abroad.

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September 11th, 2013

With 10,000 customers, Freshdesk continues the battle with Zendesk

The online customer service software platform war wages on. In one corner, we have the large and well-established Zendesk. In the other, the two-year-old up-and-comer upstart, Freshdesk. And, of course, in a third corner we have a slew of other contenders like Uservoice, h2desk, TenderApp, Desk.com, CharmHQ, to just name a few.

But let’s take the two biggest, the Hertz and Avis of customer service platform companies. Like Avis, Freshdesk implies that it tries harder, and just announced that it has reached 10,000 customers. Given that the company launched its product in mid-2011, this shows steady improvement.

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August 22nd, 2013

Freshdesk’s New In-Sync Customer-Service App Is Integrated With Facebook

Cloud-based help-desk-software developer Freshdesk announced that its new In-Sync Facebook application is integrated with the social network, allowing its users to synchronize their customer-service and social efforts.

Customer-service agents will now be able to engage with users and support customers directly within the social network, and information such as how-to guides is automatically synchronized between service portals and the Facebook app.

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August 15th, 2013

India’s hottest tech products

At the core of Freshdesk’s customer support software—which it sells as a service at between $16 and $40 a month for each customer service agent—is a simple premise: happy customer support executives make for happy customers.

That’s easier said than done. Customer support is one of those repetitive, mind-numbing tasks, albeit one that is critical to a company’s success, especially in the age of social media when an unhappy customer can amplify his or her angst on Twitter or Facebook.

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July 23rd, 2013

Customer Support: Is It Actually Everyone’s Job?

We hear much about customer centricity. Yet when you look behind the words, it is often isolated to front line customer support and customer facing groups.

Sometimes it is applied to a few “tiers” beyond that. Yet true customer centricity is a culture and practice where everyone’s job is customer support! For this post, I asked Vikram Bhaskaran, Director of Marketing for customer support solution provider, Freshdesk, to tell me what is happening there.

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July 8th, 2013

Freshdesk provides a platform for SMBs with vocal customers

Chennai-based startup Freshdesk is looking to provide a self-service portal and community platform to help small and midsize businesses (SMBs) better engage customers in a social media era.

Founded in October 2010, Freshdesk provides an on-demand customer support software that works across multiple support channels as well as a helpdesk, a knowledge-based, self-service portal for consumers, and a community platform to engage the customer community. Its customers are typically SMBs looking for cloud-based customer support software.

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June 25th, 2013

6 Social Media Insights Bound to Change Your Customer Support

Customer support, as a business function, has been around for almost forever, gathering its fair share of best practices and processes. But with customers moving their issues from support hotlines to social channels, businesses today are looking for a whole new battery of silver bullets.

Freshdesk, a leading customer support solution provider, analyzed data gathered from over 6,000 customers to test whether some popular myths of modern customer support are really what they claim to be.

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June 10th, 2013

Freshdesk Releases Report On State Of Consumer Support

Freshdesk, the customer support solution company, has released its report on the ‘State of Consumer Support’ which offers interesting insights and analysis as to where customer support is heading to, and how the field might evolve in the near future(or shall we say already evolving) thanks to digital media and social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The study, based on findings from responses of more than 2,50,000 customers, has thrown light on how businesses adapt to new age digital mediums for providing customer support and experience to their end users and how far the customers of these companies are satisfied from the interaction with the support staff on social media and chat mediums.

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June 6th, 2013

Freshdesk Report Confirms that Customers Are Increasingly Adopting Social Media in lieu of Phone and Email for Lodging Complaints

Freshdesk, one of the best known startup success stories to emerge from India, has published a State of Customer Support report based on the data gleaned from the 250,000 users of its customer support software.

The key takeaways are not very surprising. Customers hate being put on hold, and are the happiest when their queries are resolved within a reasonable amount of time following which satisfaction ratings plummet. In most cases, customers expect their queries to be resolved within a day. However, resolution time isn’t the sole parameter that determines customer satisfaction. Transparent and effective communication is also of paramount importance.

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March 2nd, 2013

Delighting Customers

Ideas can come from anywhere. Sometimes it could be staring you right in the face for years and you may not see it. Luckily for Girish Mathrubootham, his eureka moment happened by accident. In mid-2010, the techie was browsing through Hacker News, a web community for geeks, where he read that online customer support company Zendesk had increased its rates by 60-300%, leaving its customers very unhappy.

One irate customer had remarked that there was a huge opening in the market for someone with a product at the right price. “It was like a slap on my face for not seeing the business opportunity in customer support, especially since I had been building on-premise helpdesk systems since 2004 at Zoho,” recalls 37-year-old Mathrubootham, who was a vice-president at the Chennai-based customer relationship management (CRM) software company at the time.

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February 4th, 2013

Freshdesk Launches Free Support Ticketing Plan for Startups

Customer support software company Freshdesk took the plunge into the freemium space on Monday, launching its “forever free” Sprout plan, geared towards serving growing startups with overflowing email inboxes.

The plan, pared down to the absolute essentials, was created to help small businesses and startups transition from email-based customer support to a more organized and dedicated system of ticketing, says Vikram Bhaskaran,

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January 8th, 2013

The Rise of Entrepreneurship In Chennai, India

Once known as the Detroit of India because of its automobile industry, Chennai is getting much of its current economic growth from the information technology sector. Chennai has a highly literate population and the availability of skilled technical talent at a reasonable price-point, over time, has attracted many multinational companies to set up their operations in the city.

The more interesting story, however, is the rise of entrepreneurship in Chennai, a relatively new phenomenon. Below are three that have done particularly well.

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December 21st, 2012

Freshdesk takes the fight to larger competitors after a year of massive growth

When you’re an up-and-comer in a competitive industry, there’s a time to keep your head down and focus on execution and a time for brass-knuckle tactics. For Accel-backed virtual customer support startup Freshdesk, the time has arrived for hyper-aggressive moves following a year of impressive growth in a hotly contested market.

Today, the company announced a “Refresh Offer” aimed at siphoning off competitors’ customers. Specifically

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December 10th, 2012

All for his customers

This is the story of how a simple comment online (Hacker News, Zendesk’s pricing policy) on expensive and poor quality helpdesk services inspired a man to launch something in an effort to provide better services at a low cost.

In his role as VP of product management at Zoho Corporation for several years, Girish Mathrubhootham built several successful products in the IT management domain. He has over 13 years of experience in making and marketing IT management products. At Zoho Mathrubhootham realised there weren’t many customer service providers. In June 2010 he launched Freshdesk with partner, Shan Krishnaswamy with an initial investment of `35-40 lakh and a loan of $50,000 from friends.

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December 7th, 2012

Power of Ideas 2012: How Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai are catching up to startup culture

Bangalore has consistently emerged as the best place to launch and nurture startups in the country. Access to a deep talent pool and risk capital has helped the city catapult to the top. But Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad are catching up, finds Team ET.

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November 13th, 2012

A Help Desk for Mobile Apps- Freshdesk-MobiHelp

Mobile app developers have to put in a lot of work to not only create apps, but also to maintain and fix any problems along the way. The problem for many is finding a way to receive customer feedback without negatively impacting the app’s public reputation. That’s why help desk provider Freshdesk developed its new in-app solution, MobiHelp.

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November 12th, 2012

Freshdesk Introduces A Help Desk for Mobile Apps With MobiHelp

Mobile app developers have to put in a lot of work to not only create apps, but also to maintain and fix any problems along the way. The problem for many is finding a way to receive customer feedback without negatively impacting the app’s public reputation. That’s why help desk provider Freshdesk developed its new in-app solution, MobiHelp.

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November 10th, 2012

Freshdesk’s MobiHelp SDK helps developers engage with consumers right from their iOS apps

Cloud-based customer support platform Freshdesk unveiled MobiHelp SDK for iOS developers, allowing them to improve customer support within mobile applications. On the other hand, customers get the option to complain about some feature and ask for improvement/change rather than (just) giving an app a bad review in the AppStore.

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November 9th, 2012

Freshdesk Launches MobiHelp, the Free in-app Help Desk Plugin That Enables iOS Developers to Engage with Users Right From their Apps

Today Freshdesk, the fastest growing cloud-based customer support platform, announces the debut of MobiHelp, a free mobile SDK for iOS developers. MobiHelp is designed to solve the growing problem of poor customer support within mobile applications. With over 750,000 iOS apps for users to choose from, ease of use and the ability to give real-time feedback is often the difference between viral adoption and just deleting an app.

Disgruntled consumers go into the iTunes store and give apps bad reviews and low ratings, and complaints become guesswork for developers to fix issues. With MobiHelp, Freshdesk reengineered and streamlined its innovative and comprehensive help desk platform for use within iOS applications.

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November 9th, 2012

Freshdesk launches mobile software development kit for iOS developers

SaaS-based customer support platform Freshdesk has launched a free mobile software development kit (SDK) for iOS developers, which it claims, will help identify and solve issues related to customer support within mobile apps.

Set up in 2010 by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy, the Chennai-based startup said that the new kit called MobiHelp would enable developers to integrate the Freshdesk help desk into their apps with just a single line of code in order to identify critical issue areas and complete the conversation loop with their users.

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November 8th, 2012

Freshdesk launches free SDK to provide in-app customer support for iOS apps

In June, Google decided to update Google Play with a very useful feature for developers: the ability to respond to the user reviews attached to their apps in the store. The feature is an important one, allowing developers to respond to criticisms, provide updates on necessary upcoming fixes, and perhaps most importantly, communicate directly with their users. Google’s decision to introduce the feature made it clear the App Store needs to revamp its customer support—and developers agreed.

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November 8th, 2012

A little help from your friends at FreshDesk

Today Freshdesk, the fastest growing cloud-based customer support platform, announces the debut of MobiHelp, a free mobile SDK for iOS developers. MobiHelp is designed to solve the growing problem of poor customer support within mobile applications. With over 750,000 iOS apps for users to choose from, ease of use and the ability to give real-time feedback is often the difference between viral adoption and just deleting an app.

Disgruntled consumers go into the Apple App Store and give apps bad reviews and low ratings, and complaints become guesswork for developers to fix issues. With MobiHelp, Freshdesk reengineered and streamlined its innovative and comprehensive help desk platform for use within iOS applications.

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November 8th, 2012

Freshdesk launches MobiHelp, developers can integrate in app customer support to iOS apps now

Cloud based customer support platform Freshdesk has launched MobiHelp, a free mobile software development kit for Apple’s iOS developers. With MobiHelp, developers can integrate their Freshdesk help desk to apps with a line of code.

Developers get to use all the customer support capabilities in Freshdesk to automate workflows, identify critical issue areas and complete the conversation loop with their users.

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November 8th, 2012

Freshdesk's new MobiHelp SDK enables direct customer support for iOS apps

One of the key complaints from iOS developers is they can't directly respond to feedback from their users.
Instead, this situation typically ends in one star iTunes reviews, even when the issue could be easily resolved - a developer's worst nightmare.

Presumably Apple will get around to an official solution at some point, but in the meantime, cloud-based US/Indian customer support outfit Freshdesk is rolling out its version.

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November 3rd, 2012

Freshdesk Launches FreshPlugs; Support Teams Can Now Integrate Third Party Data Into Their Help Desk

Today Freshdesk, the online customer support platform, announces the debut of FreshPlugs, allowing customer service teams to bring real-time consumer information from any third party applications right into their help desk. Freshdesk also brings screen sharing into customer support, with its integration with LogMeIn Rescue. With this integration, agents and consumers can see the same problem on screen simultaneously and in real time.

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November 2nd, 2012

Freshdesk launches FreshPlugs for real-time information from third-party services

FreshPlugs is a customizable support solution where service departments can integrate data from any third-party tools, databases, legacy systems or applications.

Bringing different data sources together should provide ways for support teams to find better solutions as well as being able to monitor specific areas for a better insight into the context behind a situation and customer habits.

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November 2nd, 2012

Freshdesk Launches FreshPlugs to Give Support Teams Access to Third Party Data for Smarter Customer Service

Today Freshdesk, the fastest growing online customer support platform on the planet, announces the debut of FreshPlugs, allowing customer service teams to bring real-time consumer information from any third party applications right into their help desk. Freshdesk also brings screen sharing into customer support, with its integration with LogMeIn Rescue. With this integration, agents and consumers can see the same problem on screen simultaneously and in real time.

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September 18th, 2012

Can Gamification Make Customer Support Fun?

Help desk software company Freshdesk launched its new gamified help desk product, Freskdesk Arcade, on Monday.

The platform enables agents to win points and earn badges for completing customer support tasks, including customizable games that can be created to align with business goals, as highlighted in the video above. Agents can level up from “Support Newbies” to “Help Gurus” and earn all kinds of digital bling, such as the “Speed Racer” and “Customer Wow Champ” trophies. Potentially the most coveted trophy of all, is the “Most Valuable Player” trophy, awarded monthly to top scorers.

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September 17th, 2012

Freshdesk Wants To Make Customer Service Fun With Game Mechanics

Today Freshdesk announced Freshdesk Arcade, a new game mechanics system for its web-based help desk software.

Freshdesk Arcade will award points based on several factors, including the amount of time it takes to close a ticket, whether an issue is resolved in one call, and customer satisfaction. Points can be tracked through internal leaderboards, and agents will be able to rise through several levels, starting with “Support Newbie” and rising to “Support Guru.”

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August 31st, 2012

Techcircle SaaS Forum 2012 announces top 10 SaaS startups in India

The two-year-old startup offers on-demand customer support software and provides multi-channel social support (e-mail, website and social networks like Twitter and Facebook) for businesses. It’s on the Cloud, which means it’s inexpensive, can be set up within a few minutes and can be operated from anywhere. Currently, Freshdesk has more than 1,000 global customers across 50 countries, out of which more than half are paid subscribers.

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August 7th, 2012

Freshdesk announces its HTML5 app for customer support agents on mobile devices

Freshdesk, the cloud-based customer support platform, has released FreshMobile, the mobile app version of its help desk solution.

FreshMobile is an HTML5 mobile application for customer support teams to manage and resolve their help desk duties from any device’s mobile browser without having to download an app.

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August 7th, 2012

Freshdesk Launches FreshMobile

Freshdesk, a provider of customer support platforms, today released FreshMobile, the mobile app version of its help desk solution.

With this latest addition, Freshdesk can now support agents with an HTML5 mobile app. Support teams across the globe can resolve tickets and manage their help desks from any device's mobile browser at any time without the need to download an app.

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August 7th, 2012

Freshdesk takes swing at rival Zendesk with HTML5 mobile app

Online help-desk software vendor Freshdesk is hoping to draw a fresh contrast between itself and rival Zendesk with a new HTML5-based mobile application, announced Tuesday.

Freshdesk and Zendesk are known for their feud centering on whether Freshdesk, a newer company than Zendesk, was a "ripoff" based on the use of the word "desk" in its name. Apparently seeing the value in any type of publicity, whether negative or not, Freshdesk put up a website detailing the blow-by-blow.

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August 8th, 2012

Freshdesk Releases HTML5 Mobile Site for Customer Support

Freshdesk officials today rolled out a mobile site version of the company’s flagship online customer support software.

On the Go Customer Help, Regardless of Device

The offering — dubbed FreshMobile — enables users worldwide to resolve tickets, manage email templates and respond to customer queries from an interface catered to tablets and smartphones. Unlike native mobile applications, Freshdesk developers used HTML5 coding to optimize navigation regardless of the device type or operating system.

FreshMobile integrates features that streamline the mobile work experience in several ways. Intelligent algorithms, for example, serve up suggested resolutions from the knowledge base using keywords in the customer ticket. This saves the agent from re-typing search terms in the knowledge base. Once the correct resolution is selected, FreshMobile immediately provides the corresponding preset response.

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August 7th, 2012

Freshdesk Takes Swing at Rival Zendesk With HTML5 Mobile App

Online help-desk software vendor Freshdesk is hoping to draw a fresh contrast between itself and rival Zendesk with a new HTML5-based mobile application, announced Tuesday.

Freshdesk and Zendesk are known for their feud centering on whether Freshdesk, a newer company than Zendesk, was a "ripoff" based on the use of the word "desk" in its name. Apparently seeing the value in any type of publicity, whether negative or not, Freshdesk put up a website detailing the blow-by-blow.

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August 7th, 2012

Freshdesk takes swing at rival Zendesk with HTML5 mobile app

Online help-desk software vendor Freshdesk is hoping to draw a fresh contrast between itself and rival Zendesk with a new HTML5-based mobile application, announced Tuesday.

Freshdesk and Zendesk are known for their feud centering on whether Freshdesk, a newer company than Zendesk, was a "ripoff" based on the use of the word "desk" in its name. Apparently seeing the value in any type of publicity, whether negative or not, Freshdesk put up a website detailing the blow-by-blow.

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July 19th, 2012

CRM Should Be Added To Every Service Your Company Uses. Make Support Your Sales Team.

Freshdesk, a social help desk service, recently announced integration with SugarCRM and Salesforce.com. I think this integration is important for two reasons.

  1. The help desk software can now tie into the customer and sales knowledge base of a company.
  2. The support team can be enlisted to help more with customer service, and upsells.

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July 18th, 2012

Freshdesk announces integration with SugarCRM and Salesforce.com

Customer support has been evolving and embracing social technologies to better connect with customers. Some companies are embracing social and integrating social streams into the CRM process.

In an ideal world, when customers submit support queries, support agents should be able to see which sales person closed the deal and who is currently working with them. This would give support teams more information and insight to prioritize issues and determine the amount of attention needed for each request.

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June 21st, 2012

Freshdesk offers a whiff of fresh air from the Indian SaaS space

Early this year, the founders of the US and India-based SaaS-based customer support startup Freshdesk Inc were in a big dilemma although elated. Even in a cash-strapped environment, as many as eight investors were ready to invest in the company at a multi-million dollar valuation, but the founders were not sure whether to take the money and from whom to take it.

For Freshdesk had raised Series A funding of $1 million from Accel Partners only a few months ago, which was also hotly bid by three or four venture capital firms. Finally, in April this year, they accepted $5 million in Series B funding from the existing investor Accel Partners, and who else, but Tiger Global Management, another large Internet investor in India (Also see The believers: Top 5 investors in Indian Internet biz).

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June 15th, 2012

Lessons from 50 start-ups: How Freshdesk is providing digital support for customer woes

Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy were senior executives at enterprise software maker Zoho when they spotted a gap to build a customer support platform.

The two founded Freshdesk in 2010 as a platform that integrates traditional support channels like phone and email with social channels like Twitter and Facebook.

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June 1st, 2012

CRM Idol 2012: Let the Games Begin!

Each year, as many of you all know, we run CRM Idol. This is year 2 so we are still babes in the woods and learning but because we have an amazing braintrust in Brent Leary, Esteban Kolsky, Denis Pombriant, Jesus Hoyos, Laurence Buchanan, Mark Tamis and Silvana Buljan, (and me) we just make improvements both from year to year and on the fly.

Well, this morning, we announced the provisional contestants for CRM Idol 2012. Here’s what we published on the site with the names of those who are going to compete:

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May 18th, 2012

Freshdesk launches Future Fund to help startups provide better customer care

Freshdesk, the online help desk service is providing a boost for startups with the launch of its Future Fund. The initiative will provide 501 new companies with $10m worth of Freshdesk’s cloud-based support solution for one year.

The company feels that getting up close to startup culture will help it to share and spread the entrepreneurial spirit and as a result, Freshdesk is teaming up with leading technology incubators including: YouWeb, Tandem Entrepreneurs, Internet India Fund, 500 Startups and Proudly Made in DC.

Through the fund, startups can get up to three full-time customer support agents on Freshdesk’s Garden plan free for an entire year. The plan includes multi-channel support capabilities with which startups can support their customers through email, phone, their website, Facebook and Twitter.

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May 17th, 2012

Freshdesk Launches $10M “Future Fund” To Bring Free Help Desk Support To 500+ Startups

Freshdesk is trying to make waves in cloud customer support. Launched in June of last year, the young company is on a mission to help businesses of all sizes manage customer service through both traditional channels, like email and phone, as well on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Earlier this week, Freshdesk added to its customer support suite, launching support for private customer messages via the new Brand Pages Facebook launched back in February. This means that, using the new Pages, customers can initiate private conversations with brands, with the ability to share the kind of sensitive information they wouldn’t post publicly on Facebook or Twitter, like passwords and credit card numbers.

Freshdesk said that it’s the first customer support platform to offer this kind of integration, a shot across the bow of its two largest and well-established competitors, Zendesk and Salesforce’s Desk.com. To compete, the startup is making a push to differentiate its platform, adding private messaging via Brand Pages on top of what it believes is its core differentiator: Allowing its customers to support and manage multiple products and brands from one simple web interface.

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May 17th, 2012

Freshdesk Announces Free Customer Support Software for 501 Refreshing Startups

Today Freshdesk, the fast growing online help desk solution, announces the Freshdesk Future Fund, through which it will equip startups, sponsored by select incubators, with its cutting edge customer support solution free for three full time support agents for a whole year.

Startups have their finger on the pulse when it comes to new technologies and disruptive ideas. In order to capitalize on this innovative spirit, Freshdesk is teaming up with leading technology incubators and angel funds including: YouWeb, Tandem Entrepreneurs, Internet India Fund, 500 Startups and Proudly Made in DC.

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May 14th, 2012

Freshdesk Adds Support For Private Customer Service Messages On Facebook

It looks like customer support via Facebook is about to get more useful, thanks to a new feature from startup Freshdesk.

Freshdesk helps businesses manage their customer service through traditional channels like email and phone, as well as social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Now it’s integrating with the messaging feature that was part of the new Brand Pages that Facebook launched in February. In the new Pages, users can send a private message to a brand the first time, and brands can respond.

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April 27th, 2012

Tiger Global, Accel invest Rs 25 crore in Freshdesk

Technology product start-up Freshdesk has raised about Rs 25 crore ($5 million) from international fund, Tiger Global, and existing investor, Accel Partners, said Girish Mathrubootham, cofounder of the company. Tiger Global led the investment round.

The start-up had received about Rs 5 crore ($1 million) in seed investment from Accel in October last year. Founded in 2010 by Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy, both former senior executives of enterprise software maker Zoho, Freshdesk offers a cloud-based customer support platform that integrates traditional support channels such as phone and email with social channels like Twitter and Facebook. The company claims to have clients in over 40 countries.

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April 26th, 2012

Freshdesk Raises $5M To Expand Online Help Desk Tool

Online help desk tool Freshdesk announced today it has raised $5 million in funding from Tiger Global Management and existing investor Accel Partners. Started in 2010, the SaaS customer support tool launched to the public in June 2011, and raised $1 million in funding from Accel Partners in October 2011. They have tripled their customer base in the last quarter, though didn’t comment on how many customers they have to date.

Freshdesk founder Girish Mathrubootham said this is Tiger Global’s first investment in the SaaS space, as they have typically focused on investments in ecommerce companies including Warby Parker and One King’s Lane. “Obviously they see a lot of value in what we are doing in terms of social customer support,” he said in an interview. “Most of these ecommerce companies realize the importance of not just traditional customer support through email or phone, but also the capability to do social customer support. What we are doing is combining the aspects of a traditional support solution and the social aspects.”

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March 26th, 2012

Freshdesk Announces Integration with Popular Bug Tracking Tool, JIRA 5; Marries Customer Support and Engineering

Freshdesk, the cloud-based social help desk software provider, has announced an integration with the latest version of Atlassian’s popular bug and issue tracking tool, JIRA 5.

The new integration brings the software engineering team even closer to the end customer. Support agents can directly link bugs reported by customers to existing issues in JIRA, or even create a new issue from within Freshdesk. Through this integration, Freshdesk automatically maps status updates and bug-related data in JIRA to the corresponding tickets raised by customers in the help desk.

“JIRA helps software development teams provide their end-users with high-quality software, while Freshdesk allows them to continue the relationship through exceptional customer support,” says Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of Freshdesk. “With the new integration, engineering teams will be able to identify the bugs that most customers want to be fixed first, and prioritize their projects and tasks accordingly.”

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February 23rd, 2012

Accel-Backed Freshdesk Wants To Take On Zendesk With Customer Support Platform

Freshdesk, which has raised $1 million in funding from Accel Partners, is debuting a new version of its cloud-based customer support platform today. Similar to the leader in the space, Zendesk, the India-based startup aims to bring customer service to the cloud by offering a simple, online help desk and support ticketing application.

With the new version of Freshdesk, customer service agents can support, update and assign projects directly from an email client, without needing to log in or use a mobile app. Agents simply email or forward a request to a Freshdesk unique email address and the request will be added to Freshdesk’s interface. Freshdesk automatically processes the command, makes the update, and sends the rest of the email to the appropriate customer. Agents can also directly send an email to a specific address, automatically converting the ticket to a knowledge base article that can be accessed by any agent.

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December 1st, 2011

Freshdesk Takes Customer Support Social, Raises $1 Million from Accel Partners

SaaS-based, social customer support startup Freshdesk today announced that it has secured US $1 Million in funding from global venture capital firm Accel Partners. The investment will be used to expand the product team and step up marketing and business development efforts.

“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. Freshdesk also places particular emphasis on ease of use and intuitiveness, with the view that any company should be able to get it up and running in a few minutes.” says Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of Freshdesk.

Freshdesk was founded in 2010 by former Zoho executives, Girish Mathrubootham and Shanmugam Krishnasamy. In March this year, a chance listing on AngelList drew enormous investor interest, which led to the Series A funding. As part of the investment, Shekhar Kirani from Accel Partners will now be joining Freshdesk’s board of directors. The Series A Funding comes just as Freshdesk released a host of new features, including Facebook and Twitter integration, enabling businesses to take complete control of their customer service over social media.

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November 15th, 2011

The 10 Hot Indian Startups You Need To Watch

For the past 14 years, India's economy has been a freight train moving at full speed. Since 1997 the country has averaged 7% GDP growth, lifted millions out of poverty and provided a young generation of entrepreneurs with the chance to do something great.

We found some of the brightest startups the world's second-largest country has to offer. From simplified banking that helps rural communities access money to a platform that streamlines agricultural supply chains, Indian entrepreneurs are taking advantage of their country's significant growth.

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November 12th, 2011

The Cloud Of Opportunities

Circa 2010. Chennai-based Girish Mathrubootham was getting restless in his job as a marketing executive in Zoho Corp. The Internet was evolving rapidly. He was fidgeting around for the right business on the Internet, but that Eureka moment was evading him. Until, he was convinced that he could quit to make a living out of the ‘cloud’. Mathrubootham’s moment arrived when he had an epiphany in a business meeting in Chennai in early 2011. That led to the creation of Freshdesk, a firm that enables sales teams and brand managers to reach out to customers who voice their problems against a firm on social media such as Facebook. “With social networks becoming a powerful tool to reach out to customers, it was only natural that even help desks moved to the cloud,” says Mathrubootham.

As opposed to the Internet, with which it is often mistaken, cloud computing (or grid computing) refers to the capability of delivering computing as a service — using an inter-connected grid of computers — to a host of users who pay for the service as per use. What is offered could be basic computing or storage, software or data.

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June 24th, 2011

Freshdesk and Reach 360 sparkle at Microsoft's BizSpark Startup Challenge

Bangalore, June 24, 2011: Microsoft India, today announced the winners of the BizSpark Startup Challenge 2011. At the event that witnessed top 15 startups battling it out for the coveted prize, Freshdesk and Reach 360 emerged winners of the challenge. The two winners were rewarded with a grant of USD 40,000 and the runner-up teams; Zevenseas and Live Inbox got a grant of USD 10,000 each.

Microsoft BizSpark Challenge is a unique contest for start-ups in the field of product software to showcase their innovative business plans, receive feedback, and mentorship from top investors and Microsoft. The challenge was open to startups that currently have product/IP and are leveraging Microsoft technologies. The participants were assessed on three key parameters; innovation, market potential of the business and a compelling story behind the idea. The challenge was launched in April 2011 and within six weeks of the launch, over 400 product start-ups enrolled for the challenge and 15 startups were shortlisted for the finals.

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June 16th, 2011

The 1M/1M Incubation Radar: Freshdesk, Chennai, India

A finalist in the Microsoft BizSpark India Startup Challenge, Freshdesk is a SaaS company that provides small and medium businesses with on-demand customer support software that offers multi-channel social support. Freshdesk introduces itself as a kind of Salesforce.com for customer support so to speak. Small- and medium-business owners can set up online customer support platforms that combine the backend help desk system used by agents (ticketing, knowledge management) with an online customer portal (self service, forums, idea management, voting, etc) on the front end.

Freshdesk was founded in 2010 by CEO, Girish Mathrubootham and CTO, Shan Krishnasamy. Before starting Freshdesk, Mathrubootham worked as a vice-president of product management and Krishnasamy as a technical architect for the Manage Engine division of Zoho Corporation. Mathrubootham successfully built products such as the Manage Engine Service Desk Plus, an ITIL service desk software used for internal IT support. It generated millions of dollars in revenues in 2010. Mathrubootham, with help from Krishnasamy, also built Op Manager, a network monitoring software that also generated several million dollars in revenues in 2010. Krishnasamy wrote the 1.0 version of the Manage Engine Netflow Analyzer, which is now a multi-million dollar product.

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April 14th, 2011

Strategy Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: 1M/1M Announces Partnership With TiE Chennai

First up, Girish Mathrubootham from Chennai, India, presented Freshdesk, a SaaS solution for multi-channel customer support including knowledge base and social CRM support. Girish and his team are former Zoho employees and bring to their entrepreneurial efforts the perspective and learnings of Zoho, which has been successful in drastically undercutting high-end competitors in a major market, namely CRM, the office suite, and so on.

I liked this venture very much and see the basic framework of using the Indian cost structure to provide SaaS products that are competitive in terms of performance and functionality at drastically lower prices as a massive opportunity for Indian entrepreneurs to go after. Almost a thousand SaaS/cloud startups have been launched over the past decade, and in each niche there are opportunities for concept arbitrage using this basic formula.

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September 19th, 2013

Small, Medium Businesses Become Startup Darlings

A new breed of Indian software companies is profiting from the hunger of smaller enterprises for cutting-edge technologies, unlike their bigger IT services brethren that depend on large corporations in markets abroad.

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