is a public company headquartered in San Francisco, California
. It provides software-as-a-service products related to customer support, sales, and other customer communications. The company was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark
in 2007. Zendesk raised about $86 million in venture capital investments before going public in 2014. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange
with the symbol ZEN and is a constituent of the Russell 1000 Index
Zendesk was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark
in 2007 by three friends: Morten Primdahl, Alexander Aghassipour, and Mikkel Svane.
The founders started developing the Zendesk software in Svane's loft.
Initially, Zendesk was funded by the founders
with each cofounder doing consulting gigs on the side to support their family.
Within a couple months of the Zendesk software-as-a-service product being released in the Fall of 2007, it had about 1,000 trial customers.
Initially, interest in the software spread slowly through word-of-mouth
predominantly among startups.
Adoption accelerated in 2008, due to an increased interest in responding to customer complaints on social media and after Twitter
started using Zendesk.
Venture capital investors were willing to invest in Zendesk only if the company moved to the United States
where most of their customers were.
Zendesk moved to Boston, Massachusetts
in 2009 for about six months before moving again to San Francisco, California
The company raised $500,000 in seed funding, which was followed by a series A funding round for an undisclosed amount
and a series B round for $6 million.
Zendesk raised $19 million in a series C funding round in December 2010,
followed by $60 million in a series D funding round in 2012.
This brought total venture capital funding to about $86 million.
In 2010, many customers threatened to leave Zendesk in response to a substantial price increase after new features were introduced.
Zendesk apologized, abandoned the pricing, and promised never to change pricing on pre-existing customers for features they already have.
That same year, Zendesk created its first sales team.
Zendesk moved to larger offices in the Tenderloin
neighborhood of San Francisco in 2011.
The city and county of San Francisco provided Zendesk with a six-year payroll tax incentive to move to the area in exchange for doing community service.
Zendesk grew internationally. Offices were established in Ireland
among others, and in Singapore
As of 2011, half of Zendesk's customers were outside the U.S.
Although the company was not yet profitable, Zendesk's revenues grew five-fold from 2010 to 2012.
Revenues grew from $38 million in 2012 to $72 million in 2013.
Zendesk introduced its first app marketplace for third-party Zendesk software in 2012.
By 2013, the company had 450 employees.
In 2014, Zendesk filed an initial public offering
and was valued at $1.7 billion.
The IPO raised $100 million.
That same year, Zendesk announced its first acquisition.
It bought a live-chat company called Zopim for $29.8 million.
It acquired a French analytics company called BIME for $45 million.
It also acquired Outbound.io, which developed software to manage direct communications with customers on social media sites.
Additionally, Zendesk acquired Base, who developed sales automation software that competed with Salesforce.com
, for $50 million.
Initially, Zendesk's software was focused on helping small businesses.
Zendesk transitioned to larger companies over time.
Zendesk also transitioned from a focus on inbound customer inquiries into communicating with customers proactively based on comments they made online.
In 2016, Zendesk changed its logo and did other rebranding to emphasize contacting customers proactively.
It added features that turn online reviews and comments into a customer help ticket in September 2016
and acquired Outbound.io, which helps businesses respond to online complaints, in 2017.
Zendesk introduced new analytics and automation products in 2012
In 2016, it added features that tell customer service agents which portions of the website a customer visited before contacting customer support.
That same year, Zendesk added features that attempt to predict which customers are most likely to cancel their subscription service.
In 2017, Zendesk added an AI bot that has conversations with customers and attempts to direct the customer to the answer they're looking for.
The bot initially had limited functionality, but was expanded in 2019.
In 2018, the company introduced Zendesk Suite, which combines social media, live-chat, email, and other communications into a single ticket system.
Zendesk's customer support forum tools were also revamped
and it added algorithms that better predict the answer a customer is looking for.
An enterprise version of the software-as-a-service product was released in 2018.
By that time, 40 percent of Zendesk's revenue was coming from larger companies.
In 2019, Zendesk first released its "Sunshine" tool, which is focused on direct-messaging customers on social media sites.
Zendesk eventually expanded from just customer service to also helping manage other customer interactions, such as sales.
The company first moved into sales software with its September 2018 acquisition of competitor Base.
Base was later renamed Sell and a Sell Marketplace was created for corresponding third-party apps.
Part of the social media software acquired from Smooch was rebranded as Sunshine Conversations, a tool that competes with Salesforce.com.
Zendesk's sales automation software was later revamped with Zendesk Sell in 2020, which improved integration with Zendesk's customer support software.
By 2018, Zendesk had annual revenues of $500 million.
In October 2019, Zendesk disclosed that it was hacked in 2016, resulting in a potential leak of information about customer service agents using Zendesk.
In May 2019, Zendesk acquired Montreal, Canada
-based Smooch, for an undisclosed amount. Smooch provided messaging services on websites for live-chat customer support.
In 2020, Zendesk announced more tools for messaging customers on social media
and enhancements to its customer relationship management features.
Zendesk headquarters in San Francisco
Software and services
Zendesk develops and markets software for customer service,
sales, and other customer interactions.
Zendesk generates customer support tickets from social media posts or customer inquiries.
The ticket is then assigned to a customer service agent to respond to.
Programmed "triggers" and "automations" do something with the ticket based on the passing of time or the actions of a customer service agent.
Users can view and organize tickets, as well as generate reports or analytics.
It also supports self-help tools like forums.
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Last edited on 16 October 2021, at 00:17
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