Three acquisitions from the past have played a key role in building Freshworks’ latest product Freshchat. It’s a messaging product that provides a suite of website and in-product engagement capabilities which help businesses capture more leads and drive sales.
Acquisition #6 (Chatmity) and #8 (Joe Hukum) for FreshWorks have helped the company in shaping its new product. On Monday, September 18, the leading cloud-based business software provider announced the launch of Freshchat, a messaging product that helps businesses better communicate with their customers. This takes the product offering tally of Freshworks to six, which include Freshdesk, Freshservice, Freshsales, Freshcaller, and Freshteam.
Freshchat is currently headed by Srikrishnan Ganesh, who continues to build hotline.io (previously Konotor), mobile-first customer support and engagement offering from Freshworks. His startup Konotor was Freshwork’s third acquisition.
According to 2016-17 Gartner CMO Spending Survey, even though marketers are spending more on digital marketing to attract customers to their websites and apps, they end up converting only two to three percent of these visitors into customers.
To increase engagement and thereby conversions, Freshchat enables businesses to target visitors with highly contextual messages. Once the end user responds, an intelligent bot screens and qualifies leads effortlessly before bringing in a sales rep. This information is auto-synced into the CRM, providing context for sales reps and enabling intelligent conversations.
Freshchat can integrate into websites, web-apps, native mobile apps, and other messaging products like Facebook Messenger. It claims to deliver a modern messaging experience similar to personal messaging apps like WhatsApp.
In addition to the standalone chat offering, Freshchat will integrate into Freshsales and Freshdesk, making it easy for sales and support teams to adopt the product into their workflow. Freshchat is available to businesses of all sizes, with a free plan for companies with less than 10 team members in sales and support.
Freshworks acquired Chatmity, a social chat platform that developed artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbot technology in October 2016, and Joe Hukum, a platform that enables businesses to build their own chat bots based on logical workflows in July 2017.
Chatimity core product was a multipurpose AI-based bot, MITI, which used a combination of NLP (Natural Language Processing), state machines and AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) to hold conversations across thousands of users in real time. The cash plus equity deal with Chatmity resulted in the seven-member team joining Freshworks.
After the acquisition, Joe Hukum team was responsible for building bots on top of existing Freshworks products, enabling workflow automation for demand generation, knowledge management, and dynamic in-app self-service.
The company said in the official release of the product launch,
Leveraging technology from recent acquisitions, Freshchat enables smarter conversations without the burden of traditional live chat on either party - no missed chats or sessions timing out for the customer, and no staffing up during peaks for the business.
Girish Mathrubootham, CEO and Founder of Freshworks, believes that businesses today want to provide their consumers with contextual, intelligent and personalised chat experiences. He said,
There is a huge gap that live chat products don’t address compared to consumer messaging apps, which are creating high benchmarks for user experience. Sales and support agents need to be empowered with a single platform that provides the flexibility to engage with prospects and customers who are always multi-tasking.
With Freshchat, Freshworks now has six products in its suite:
Freshworks products are in similar space as Zoho and Salesforce.
Freshworks has raised $149 million and acquired nine startups so far. Headquartered in San Bruno, California, it has global offices in India, UK, Australia, and Germany.
As of now, SaaS is going after verticals rather than horizontals and there are several new companies that are changing the game. A recent report by Accel Partners and Google said that SaaS will contribute to more than 75 percent of public cloud revenues, driving the global SaaS industry to $132 billion revenue by 2020.