Freshdesk, the leading provider of cloud-based customer engagement software, on Wednesday announced the launch of Freshdesk Marketplace. The Marketplace currently has a portfolio of over 100 available apps, including Teamviewer, Slack, Salesforce, Jira, Skype and G-Suite, covering categories from collaboration to telephony.
Freshdesk was founded in 2010 by Girish Mathrubootham. After seeing the potential for a business opportunity on a Hacker News forum, he joined hands with Shan Krishnasamy to build a prototype in October 2010. At this stage, they were armed with a Plan B, and had decided that they would shut down if they were unable to ship out the product in nine months and if the product did not make $20,000 in another nine months.
The company did well, and in 2012, Freshdesk raised a $5 million Series B round from Tiger Global. Backed by further global growth, it raised a $50 million Series E round in April 2015 from Tiger Global, Google Capital, and Accel Partners.
As a leading provider of cloud-based customer engagement software, Freshdesk’s suite of products includes:
With a freemium pricing model, Freshdesk notes that their products are used by teams and companies of all sizes, from SMBs to enterprises. Based in San Bruno, California, with offices in Germany, the UK, Australia and India, Freshdesk claims to have over 100,000 customers around the world, including 3M, Honda,the University of Pennsylvania, Toshiba and Cisco, among others.
With their new Marketplace, Freshdesk aims to create an ecosystem for customers, developers and partners. The aim is to make it simpler for customers to discover and install apps and help maximise the capabilities of Freshdesk's helpdesk.
Through the developer portal, developers can now build apps for the marketplace and earn revenue through integrations and extensions. Freshdesk notes that being a part of this ecosystem has it benefits, as developers have the opportunity to reach an audience of more than 100,000 global customers. The ecosystem will also help System Integrators (SIs) and Independent Service Vendors (ISVs) create customisations and implementations for customers.
"Integrating with Freshdesk was simple with all the detailed documentation and personalised service. We collaborated with the technology and product teams to define a solid value proposition for customers. Freshdesk also helped us in go-to-market (GTM) with the apps to bring us more traffic and business," said Matthew Bieber, CEO, CDC Software.
The Freshdesk Marketplace aims to enable the flow of information between Freshdesk and various third party applications. Along with paving the way for integrations and customisations, Freshdesk believes that backend apps will boost productivity and enable personalised workflows. The release noted,
For example, with the help of a backend app, a customer can have a support request come into their helpdesk, and based on the request parameters, a notification can be sent to the corresponding agent in slack, as well as trigger an automated response to the customer with no intervention from agents.
A developer can create custom apps and charge a fee for building them, when customers ask for particular custom workflows/integrations. If this app has value for other customers, it can also be listed on the marketplace as a paid app and generate monthly revenue.
Girish, CEO of Freshdesk, said in a statement,
Each of our over 80,000 customers uses Freshdesk in a different way, customised to their needs with integrations and third party apps. We want to enable any customisation that our customers need, making it easy for them to find what they are looking for under one roof, and drive innovation, while simultaneously incentivising developers into building high-quality, useful integrations in customer engagement.
With the launch of Marketplace, Freshdesk seems to be expanding from its cloud-based customer engagement roots to being a full-fledged platform and customer support marketplace. It will now be in the same space as marketplaces like Zoho and Salesforce's App Exchange. But it is also interesting to note the presence of a symbiotic relationship here. Salesforce and Freshdesk are listed on each other's marketplaces, while Zoho is listed on Freshdesk (but not vice versa, as of now).
The launch of Marketplace follows Freshdesk’s seventh acquisition, of Pipemonk, with which it aimed to enhance its capabilities to build more native integrations, thus presenting a range of apps for customers to choose from. Freshdesk also noted that it is the preferred helpdesk partner for Google and a technology partner for Amazon Web Services (AWS).
You can also check out Freshdesk's new marketplace here