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All eyes on Freshworks' NASDAQ listing today; here's what makes it special

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With a US market debut. Freshworks will become the first Indian software as a service (SaaS) company to go public.

Freshworks will list on the NASDAQ today. Girish Mathrubootham, founder and CEO of Freshworks, said in an S-1 filing, “Freshworks is the company which wasn't supposed to win. The doubts were always there. There are 600 help-desks in the market, so how do you expect to win? You cannot find talent in Chennai; you cannot win unless you move to Bangalore. Microsoft just acquired a company, they will put you out of business.”
Yet, Freshworks won, and today it is going to list its shares on the NASDAQ eyeing a valuation of $10 billion.
What makes Freshworks so special?
With a US market debut, Freshworks will become the first Indian software as a service (SaaS) company to go public and is also expected to open the floodgates for many SaaS companies from India to go public. It is a company that has stood its ground against legacy companies like Oracle, SAP, Zendesk and Salesforce.
With an anticipated market capitalisation of $10 billion, Freshworks is competing with the likes of SAP, which has a market value of $200 billion.
What does the company do?
It is a SaaS company focused on customer relationship tools. It has products like Fresh Desk Fresh Service and Fresh Sales, which provides tools to help you interact with your customers, and with sales sales as well as marketing. It also has HR tools.
But what's the biggest differentiating factor against large players like Salesforce?
Salesforce is entrenched with larger enterprises, while Freshworks is focused on small and medium enterprises, and with that, it has managed to hit an annual revenue run rate of $300 million. Its growth in the last 12 months was 49 percent. And now, the company is eyeing a $1 billion opportunity.
Founded in 2010 in a tiny warehouse in Chennai, Freshworks today is all set for its Wall Street debut with a valuation of $10 billion. It is a company that has put the India SaaS on the global technology map.