I’ve been writing about helpdesk provider Zendesk now for going on five years. Their original employee, and now APAC head, Michael Hansen, likes to tell the story about their first blog coverage (a piece I wrote for ReadWriteWeb) corresponding with the beginning of their hockey-stick growth. I don’t know about that, but I do know that the tiny startup that was still based in Denmark at the time I wrote about them, has shifted cities twice (first to Boston and then to San Francisco), grown immensely but still managed to retain its slightly off-beat character. This despite some serious competition from the like of Assistly (acquired by Salesforce.com and now called desk.com) and Beetil (acquired just this week by Citrix). I did a tiny bit of writing for Zendesk for a short period back in the day, but my coverage has always been focused on the interesting trait they demonstrate – that of being an enterprise software company, but still fun.
That friendly attitude seems to have stood them in good stead as Zendesk is today announcing a further $60 million in funding – picked up from heavy hitters like Redpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs and the existing investors, Charles River, Benchmark and Matrix. The money, according to founder and CEO Mikkel Svane, is going to fun “technology innovation and continues global expansion”. The metrics behind the funding are impressive, according to Zendesk:
Zendesk’s monthly recurring revenues have grown nearly 500% since the last financing was completed in November 2010. Over the past 15 months, San Francisco-based Zendesk opened offices in London, Copenhagen, and Melbourne as well as established operations in Tokyo. Today, more than 100 million people in 140 countries get their customer service through Zendesk’s 20,000+ customers.
It’s a sure thing that business solutions need to better integrate disparate information systems in a pleasant and contextually appropriate interface. And judging by the legions of happy customers Zendesk has, they are delivering on this need. It will be interesting to see what changes $60M make to the business – here’s hoping the corporate MBA types don’t make them lose their sense of fun and frivolity!
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog - SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)