Termed a ‘superstar’ initial public offering (IPO), the debut by Freshworks on the Nasdaq has not only raised the company’s valuation multifold but also made more than 12 per cent of its employees in India crorepatis overnight.
Over 70 of these new crorepatis are under the age of 30. When asked about the wealth generation the IPO has created via employee stock options, Girish Mathrubootham, founder and chief executive officer of Freshworks, said, “I truly believe that wealth has to be shared with the people who created it, and not just for the founders to get richer. More than 500 of our employees in India are crorepatis. I believe it is well deserved. They all earned it.”
The company has a total staff strength of 4,300; 76 per cent of them now hold stock or equity rewards in the company. “This IPO has given me the opportunity to fulfil my responsibility to all those employees who have believed in Freshworks for over 10 years. This is truly something that India needs to do more often. This is going to have a life-changing impact for many employees,” he added.
The company had started operations in Chennai with only six members in 2010 and had only 500 employees in 2015 before touching the current levels.
Freshworks is the first Indian software-as-a-service company to get listed on the Nasdaq.
At one point on Thursday, the company’s stocks were trading at around $47.76 a share, taking its market capitalisation to over $13.6 billion.
On Wednesday, the company opened $43.50 apiece, against the IPO price of $36, and closed at around $47.55 a share.
Mathrubootham said he is excited to see the next set of Indian companies going global. In a message to imminent start-ups, he said, “I am excited about what this means for India. We have a whole list of entrepreneurs who are building companies. We all share the dream of seeing India as the next product nation. I am excited to see the next set of companies.”
Tyler Sloat, chief financial officer of the company, said it is targeting to raise around $1 billion through the IPO. The two largest markets for Freshworks are the US and Europe.
“Our unique strategic advantage is our access to top talent in Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. We clearly see that as a big advantage. Also, India brings the ability to service a long list of global small and medium-sized business customers,” added Mathrubootham.
As of June, the customers who contributed to more than $5,000 in annual recurring revenue (ARR) represented 84 per cent of the total ARR, and customers with over $50,000, represented 37 per cent.