Teji Mandi Explains: Freshworks IPO turns 500 employees ‘crorepatis’ overnight

04:33 PM Sep 24, 2021 | Teji Mandi

It’s always inspiring to see Indians making a name globally, and one such incident took place today. Founded in Chennai, customer service software maker Freshworks got listed on the Nasdaq and raised more than $1 billion from the market. This incident was even more remarkable when over 500 of the company’s employees became millionaires. And the best part? All of this happened in just one day!

Freshworks Journey


Founded in 2010 by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy as Freshdesk, the company rebranded itself as Freshworks in 2017. Mathrubootham hailed from a middle-class background in Trichy. In fact, the company began its operations in Chennai and later built a headquarters in the US.


Freshworks raised capital from investors like Accel, Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital. In about 10 years, Freshworks became a more than $10 billion valued company.

Successful IPO

Freshworks set its IPO price at $36/share, issuing 28.5 million class A common stock. Soon in the opening trade, the stock jumped 30% to trade at $46/share. With over 281 million outstanding shares, the company crossed a valuation of over $10 billion in just one day. The company intends to use the net proceeds from the IPO for general corporate purposes like working capital, operating expenses and capex.

How Did People Become Crorepatis?

76% of the company employees hold shares in Freshworks, which means over 500 employees from India already held the shares. This also means that all employees who had the shares are crorepatis now. Mathrubootham said that 70 out of the 500 employees are below the age of 30 years. He believes that they deserve it because of their hard work. Overnight, the company employees turned into millionaires, which is often unheard of.

Secret Mantra

Mathrubootham is immensely passionate about employee wealth creation. In a media interview from 2015, he once said to his wife that he is not starting Freshworks for him to buy a BMW. In fact, he is starting it so that all his employees can buy a BMW. And that’s what he delivered! He believes in all employees participating in making the company bigger and then sharing the rewards.

On the trading floor of Nasdaq, Mathrubootham came along with his family, employees and investors to ring the bell together.

Road Ahead For Freshworks

Freshworks had plans to offer class A common shares at a price range of $28 to $32 per share, but it rose to the levels of $46/share, which is even higher. With this IPO, Freshworks has already become the most valuable SaaS startup from India. Mathrubootham is looking forward to seeing the next set of Indian companies go global. He added that his strategy of accessing top talents from Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru will continue. He feels that this could be a very big advantage.

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