Indian startup Freshworks successfully grows in global markets

How Google helped Freshworks become a global powerhouse in cloud-based business software


  • To launch products in a marketplace dominated by large incumbents
  • To serve companies of all sizes
  • To build a customer base in mature markets across the US and Europe


  • To use Google Search advertising
  • To provide a better on-boarding experience for customers
  • To filter leads back through Analytics and Google Ads to optimize campaigns and improve ROI


  • 60 markets currently worldwide, and growing
  • A customer base of over 130,000, and growing
  • 60% of business coming through Google products
  • 20% reduction in cost per acquisition YoY

Freshworks creates cloud-based software solutions for businesses. Founded in Chennai, India, in 2010 as Freshdesk, the company has a product suite ranging from sales CRM software to recruitment tools and customer-support helpdesk software. The company has grown quickly to 1,000+ employees globally, across five offices, and its software is already being used by over 130,000 organizations around the world.

So, how was Indian startup, Freshworks, able to successfully compete with huge, established competitors?

Freshworks not only was launching products in a marketplace dominated by large incumbents, but also aimed to achieve an ambitious mission to serve companies of all sizes, including the often hard-to-crack SMB segment.

Since its launch, Freshworks used Google Search advertising to build a customer base in mature markets across the US and Europe. With a unique global inside-sales model that lowered the company’s cost of selling, Freshworks could put more into its digital marketing budget, and improve the customer on-boarding experience. This allowed the startup to compete directly with its biggest competitors.

Google and Freshworks worked together to filter leads back through Analytics and Google Ads to optimize campaigns, and improve their ROI from Search, thus ensuring quality growth.

Although the company’s primary marketing medium is Search, with the help of Google it successfully expanded into other Google products too. YouTube played a key role in its branding strategy in 2016 and, since then, it has been experimenting with Google Marketing Platform and YouTube to complement the Google Ads campaigns.

Today, Freshworks is a global powerhouse in cloud-based business software with a majority of revenue coming from North America, followed by Europe. The company now has a customer base of over 130,000 with 60% of its business coming through Google products.

The metrics and insights from Google have played a big part in understanding and continuing its growth, and managing the budget. As Ramesh Ravishankar, Marketing Director of Freshworks, explains: “Google tools are the most sophisticated for measuring a channel’s effectiveness. We are well-armoured when having to talk about the return on investment of Google products.”

Freshworks will use a range of Google tools to continue acquiring new customers and increase global brand awareness. With an expanding portfolio of Freshworks products, the company plans to use Google Translation Services for further expanding into new global markets.

There are no doubts here that Google’s contribution has been an integral part of our growth. Girish Mathrubootham, Founder & CEO at Freshworks

Google products are a great vehicle to expansion if you want to grow your business quickly. Ramesh Ravishankar, Marketing Director, Freshworks