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These SaaS startups look to follow in the footsteps of freshly-minted unicorn Freshworks

Apurva P
2nd Aug 2018
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With the SaaS industry all set to reach $73.6 billion by the end of the year, these startups have captured the interest of investors, who view them as the next unicorns in the IT cloud segment.

A majority of IT leaders today are in favour of cloud adoption due to the sizable investments that cloud providers have made to their own security.

Freshworks, a global leader in customer engagement software recently announced that it has secured $100 million in financing. The latest round of funding has catapulted the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) firm’s status to a ‘unicorn’.

Founded by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnaswamy in October 2010, the total amount of capital raised to date by Freshworks is $250 million.

According to industry analyst firm Gartner, the SaaS industry is expected to grow by 22.2 percent to reach $73.6 billion by the end of 2018. It is forecasted to grow to a whopping $117.1 billion by 2021.

Established players like Manthan, RateGain and Prime Focus Technologies, founded in 2003, 2004, and 2008, respectively, are already in the cloud space aiming high. While Manthan has raised a total of $98.4 million, RateGain raised $50 million, and Prime Focus Technologies a total of $27.5 million.

Below are some of the well-funded startups that have come up in the space in the last 10 years.

1. Icertis

Founded by Monish Darda and Samir Bodas in 2009, US–based Icertis makes cloud products and offers cloud-based services for the Windows Azure platform. It is a software company that provides contract management software to enterprise businesses. In four rounds, it raised a total of $96 million from multiple investors such as Meritech Capital partners, e.ventures, PSP Capital Partners among others. Recently it raised $50 million in Series-D funding in February 2018.

Ashwath Nagaraj, Founder, Aryaka

2. Aryaka

Headquartered in the US, Aryaka was founded by Ashwath Nagaraj in 2009. This software-driven networking platform eases the communication networks of organisations by using telecom services providers for voice and video services. In India, it has an office in Bengaluru. Aryaka has raised a total of $120 million and $45 million in 2017 alone, in its sixth round of funding.

3. BrowserStack

Mumbai-based BrowserStack was founded by Ritesh Arora and Nakul Aggarwal in 2011. It is an online tool that allows developers to test their web and mobile applications by running them on on-demand browsers, operating systems and mobile devices. Once the operating system is chosen and the browser that one wishes to emulate is done, Browserstack gets to work and provides a virtual environment within your browser. After bootstrapping for seven years, BrowserStack raised $50 million from Accel Partners a few months ago.

4. MindTickle

Headquartered in San Francisco with an operations team in India, MindTickle was started by Mohit Garg, Krishna Depura, Deepak Diwakar, and Nishant Mungali in August 2011. This SaaS platform enables sharing resources such as pitches, presentation decks, and product updates in real time. This allows companies to keep their sales representatives up to date on the latest product features and objection handling It claims to have over 1,50,000 users and has raised $41.3 million from multiple investors, such as Canaan Partners, Accel, New Enterprise Associates, among others. It raised $27 million in 2017 in a Series-B round.

Team MindTickle

5. HelpShift

Founded by Abhinash Tripathy and Baishampayan Ghose in 2011, Helpshift integrates seamlessly with mobile applications to offer businesses a new way to communicate and engage with customers in-app. It includes self-service support and algorithmic search features to reduce ticket volume, real-time notifications, and messaging to keep engagement in-app. HelpShift is headquartered in the US with a total funding of $38.5 million from multiple investors such as Intel Capital, Cisco Investments, True Ventures, among others. Its last round of funding was in 2016, where it raised $2 million.

6. ChargeBee

Launched in 2011, Chargebee is a recurring billing system for SaaS and subscription-based ecommerce businesses. Founded by Krish Subramanian, Rajaraman Santhanam, KP Saravanan and Thiyagarajan T, Chargebee addresses the need to automate billing for subscription businesses, and make payments. It is headquartered in the US and has raised $24.2 million from investors such as Accel, Tiger Global Management, among others. With a team of 135 employees operating out of offices in Chennai and San Francisco, Chargebee currently has over 7,000 customers across 50 countries. Recently in 2018, it raised $18 million.

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