Freshdesk’s New Funding Opens the Door to AI Service Solutions

After securing $55 million from Sequoia Capital India in a round of funding earlier this week, Freshdesk is continuing to expand its solutions beyond customer service. Its recently launched CRM tool, Freshsales, and mobile-first support platform, Hotline, are big areas of excitement and growth at the moment, according to company executives.

Together with the newly earned $55 million, Freshdesk’s total funding tops $150 million, providing the company the flexibility to innovate, says Dilawar Syed, president at Freshdesk. The company’s key appeal for investors has been its multiple "ambitious" product lines, Syed says.

Introducing the CRM tool was a logical move for Freshdesk because most of the company's customers needed a modernized CRM system."The majority of our customers use CRM, so we see all of the pain points that exist. Often, the CRM systems they use were built for a different era," Syed says.

Freshsales, a more intuitive and flexible tool, appealed to Freshdesk customers. Though the company didn’t invest a lot in marketing the solution, customers were eager to get their hands on the product, and interest in it grew organically. Hotline followed a similar trajectory—customers were hungry for a tool that delivered mobile-first functionality.

In addition to further developing and improving Hotline and Freshsales, Freshdesk has other plans for its funding. For example, the company plans to continue moving further up market, working with larger organizations. Freshdesk plans to also invest heavily in artificial intelligence, namely machine learning. Artificial intelligence has been a buzzed-about topic in the industry, but when it comes to actually building artificially intelligent products, "the market has to be ready to adopt," Syed says. That's why the company is focusing on solutions that leverage artificial intelligence but in a largely familiar way.

"Email is still supreme," Syed says, "but there's lots of insight that we can gather through email using machine learning. We can pick up on sentiment, for example, and determine if that customer is happy and satisfied or not. We can watch patterns and enable agents to be more proactive in their customer support."

Machine learning can also play a role in next-best-action tools, which can provide agents with predictive insight and support suggestions. "With the amount of data we have today, we should be able to be more prescriptive in customer service. We're testing a lot of tools internally, and, once they're ready, we'll put them out there," Syed says.

As Freshdesk continues to build itself up, Syed says he's impressed with the growth so far. When he joined the company three years ago, there were about 5,000 customers on board, but now, thanks to the introduction of new features and solutions, Freshdesk has about 100,000 customers across its different product lines. "That's 20x growth over only three years, and we're really only in the second inning," he says.

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