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Freshworks files for US IPO; founder thanks ‘maanaseega guru’ superstar Rajinikanth – Times of India

CHENNAI : After Cognizant and Sify, Chennai now has a third tech company making its debut in Nasdaq. SaaS firm Freshworks on Friday filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the US tech exchange Nasdaq.
While Freshworks listed the size of the offering as $100 million, this is set to change once terms are more well defined. Reuters reported in April that the company is aiming for a $10 billion valuation. Its key rival Salesforce currently has a valuation of around $3 billion.
“As I reflect on how far Freshworks has come these last 10+ years, this is a proud moment for all of us, and today, I feel really good,” Freshworks founder Girish Mathrubootham said in a letter filing with the exchanges. “From the beginning, I wanted to build a company optimized for employee happiness; we want our employees to have the best experience of their life at Freshworks. And for us, the journey will always be more important than the destination,” he added.
In a first, the founder also expressed his love and gratitude to superstar Rajinikanth for being his “maanaseega guru”. In a rare postscript part of his letter, Mathrubootham said the code name for the IPO was Project Super-Star. “SuperStar is a man who is loved and worshipped by millions of fans globally. He is immensely successful yet humble and down to earth. Thank you, Thalaivaa!,” he said.
Freshworks, like the Superstar, has had a humble beginning. It started in a 700 square foot warehouse in Chennai in 2010 to create a ‘fresh’ helpdesk software for customer service. “We didn’t plan nor expect to change the world. Our dreams came in increments, each building on the next and expanding our vision over time,” Mathrubootham said.
Mathrubootham also drew parallels with the iPhone and how Freshworks wants to bring the Apple experience to business software.
“One innovation marked a sea change in consumer behaviour, transforming the tech industry forever: the iPhone. Before 2007, we were all using multiple devices — I personally had a Nokia cellphone, a Garmin GPS, a Sandisk MP3 Player, and a Canon pointand-shoot camera….What if we can create an iPhone moment in business software by blending existing technology with unified, intuitive, and delightful experiences?” he wrote.
The company, in its regulatory filing, reported a 53% surge in revenue for the six months ended June 30. It earned $168.9 million in revenue for the six months ended June 30 this year — up from $110.5 million in the same period last year.
Net losses have also shrunk and came in at $9.8 million for the same period, down nearly 83% from a year earlier. Freshworks now has around 52,500 customers. Freshworks is backed by investors including Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global Management.