Answering Customers Seamlessly in the Cloud

Today customers need to do more than fire off a simple tweet or post on Facebook to let brands know how happy, or potentially unhappy, they are with the service they’ve received.

Freshdesk, a Silicon Valley-based startup, wants to make this easier for brands big and small. The cloud company creates a digital helpdesk which allows businesses to virtually manage their customer service solutions in real time, which has become increasingly important to consumers, says President Dilawar Syed.

“Consumers expect top-notch customer service and we felt like we could come in and address that for the main street economy,” Syed says.  “We provide them with a customer service platform, and have a custom help desk set up within minutes. We help them to see every time a customer sends an email, or posts a Tweet or Facebook message, and manage that.”

The 4-year-old brand has 23,000 customers globally, and has expanded its reach beyond just the small mom-and-pop. They now work with larger companies like Hugo Boss and 3M, to name a few. There is a freemium model, in which the first three customer service representatives are available at no cost, and additional reps are $15 per agent, per month, in a pay-as-you-go model.

The company declined to release profit or sales data, but Syed says even startups need between three and four customer service reps each, allowing them to grow quickly in terms of demand for the Freshdesk platform.

“It’s a fairly profitable model, and our business model is lean—we have relied on online sales channels and don’t have a huge marketing cost,” he says. “We were able to become profitable quickly.”

This lean model has also allowed Freshdesk to attract serious venture capital funding, the latest being a $31 million Series D round of funds from Tiger Global Management, Accel Partners and Google Capital, bringing its total funding to date to $44 million.

The big competitors in this business-to-business customer service solutions model are ZenDesk, which went public in May after raising $85 million in venture funding, and Salesforce. But Freshdesk isn’t quite ready to leap into the IPO process just yet, says Syed.

Instead, he says the goal is to use this cash to scale, and to do so seamlessly.

“We are growing so rapidly, and serving everyone on one platform,” he says. “It’s making sure we scale and invest in our own customer support.”

Scaling efficiently is also a big hurdle he admits.

“The ability to scale without dropping a single ball has been the biggest challenge we have had, and the most exciting challenge we’ve had,” he says. “Whether it’s a small business, or large brand, it’s something we all take very seriously.”