From Chennai to Nasdaq to New York – it’s Freshworks’ ten-year journey when it made history Wednesday by becoming India’s first software as a service (SaaS) provider to be listed on Nasdaq and create a valuation of more than 10 billion dollars.
After leaving Zoho 11 years ago, Girish Mathrubootham ventured into entrepreneurship by creating Freshdesk (now Freshworks) from a 700 square foot warehouse and raised $ 1 million as seed funding.
Today, Freshworks’ LTM revenue is $ 300 million with more than 52,000 customers in 120 countries; Over 4,300 employees and in pursuit of a total addressable market of $ 120 billion. Mathrubootham, now hailed as a “hero” of the SaaS industry, shares his point of view with Activity area after registration. Excerpts:
How satisfied / relieved were you personally when you rang the Nasdaq opening bell?
Unbelievable! So proud to be the first Indian SaaS company to go public in the United States.
Why an IPO? Now that it’s over, what’s your next step?
We are convinced that with our product demand, strong revenues and growth, now is the right time. It’s just Day Zero and we will continue to perform for our clients.
How do you plan to spend the money?
We will continue to invest in growth and scale. We will also focus on R&D and product innovation that make fun easier.
How has Freshworks’ journey been over the past 10 years and the roadmap for the next 10 years?
As the CEO of a public company, I can’t make any forward-looking statements that far, but the past 10 years have been a lot of learning for me personally – the journey from suburban Chennai to the Nasdaq has been amazing, and I’m so proud to have done this with the Freshworks team.
How did ‘Thalaivaa Rajinikanth’ influence you?
He has immense success but remains humble and down to earth. He is a mentor and role model from whom I have learned a lot. I encourage my employees to be authentic – and Superstar is my authentic inspiration.
Are you satisfied that you have created over 500 crorepatis?
It is so gratifying to see so many employees who have invested a good part of their careers at Freshworks being recognized, and I am honored that Freshworks was able to do so.
What is your advice for other industry players trying to go public?
My advice to entrepreneurs is that they must first focus on their product and its suitability for the market. It’s also important to have the right leaders in place who can help you grow, scale, and prepare your business to operate as a public company. . The last thing I would recommend is patience. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. If you get the right ingredients, it’s just a matter of execution to make it happen.
Has the dispute with Zoho affected the business?
We cannot comment on the pending litigation, but we are confident that we will prevail.