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Salesforce rival Freshworks valued at over $12 billion in debut

Salesforce rival Freshworks valued at over $12 billion as shares climb in debut
Salesforce rival Freshworks valued at over $12 billion as shares climb in debut   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

-Business software company Freshworks Inc was valued at $12.2 billion in its Nasdaq debut on Wednesday after shares opened 21% above the initial offering price, indicating strong demand for firms that have thrived during the pandemic.

Shares of the Salesforce.com rival opened at $43.50 compared with the IPO price of $36 per share.

Freshworks joins a wave of listings from the software and technology sector, most of which have been welcomed by investors who see room for growth as companies increasingly embracing the hybrid work model drive up demand for such products.

The company, launched from the Indian city of Chennai, has a suite of products that helps businesses with customer management, such as a messaging platform and an artificial-intelligence powered chatbot for customer support.

Founded by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy, Freshworks raised its first round of funds in 2011 and got its first customer, the Atwell College in Australia, in the same year.

Venture capital firm Accel and New York-based technology investment giant Tiger Global Management were early investors in the company.

Freshworks said its technology is used by more than 50,000 companies, including high-profile names such as Delivery Hero SE, Swedish payments firm Klarna, Cisco Systems and General Electric Co.

On Tuesday, the company priced its IPO above the top end of the range to raise $1.03 billion. The San Mateo, California-based firm had earlier raised its price range, aiming to sell 28.5 million shares at between $32 and $34 each.

Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities were the lead underwriters for the offering.