Freshdesk raises $55m in Series F round to roll out new products

Sequoia Capital India and Accel Partners have invested $55 million into customer engagement software company Freshdesk.

Freshdesk, a customer engagement software company, has raised $55 million in a Series F round led by new investor Sequoia Capital India, with contribution from existing investor Accel Partners. This brings the total amount raised by the company to $150.5 million, with previous backers also including Google Capital and Tiger Global.

The latest round of funding will be used to roll out Freshdesk's new products Hotline.io and Freshsales, which are aimed at expanding the company's reach to mobile-first companies and sales teams.

Hotline.io is an in-app support and engagement platform, while Freshsales is a CRM and sales system that competes with CRM giants like Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP.

The latest round of investment will also help fund the expansion of regional teams across the world. Freshdesk is currently headquartered in San Bruno, California, with offices in the UK, Australia, India, and Germany.

Girish Mathrubootham launched Freshdesk in India in 2011 with co-founder Shan Krishnasamy.

Operating on a SaaS model, Freshdesk allows companies to manage all their customer communications via one dashboard. It competes with the likes of Zendesk and Desk.com.

The company's first paying customer was Atwell College in Western Australia. Last year, Freshdesk set up an Australian base in Sydney to strengthen its position in the local market.

Nishant Rao, Freshdesk's chief operating officer, described Australia as a critical market for the company, in particular the small to medium-size business sector, which has driven a majority of the company's business locally.

Freshdesk claims to have more than 6,000 customers in Australia, and boasts 100,000 customers around the world including 3M, Honda, Toshiba, and Cisco.

Since its last round of funding in April 2015, Freshdesk has completed six acquisitions, the latest being of social chat platform Chatimity to strengthen its AI chatbot capabilities.

The company made its first acquisition in August 2015 when it bought live video chat platform 1CLICK. The aim of the acquisition was to strengthen Freshdesk's real-time chat support capabilities through co-browsing technology, which enables help desk agents to see a customer's screen and interact with it in real-time to resolve issues.

Freshdesk has also acquired social media customer care app Airwoot, messaging app Konotor, cloud-based feedback platform Framebench, and social recommendation app Frilp.

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