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Although responding politely to a maelstrom of confused and vituperative queries doesn’t sound like our idea of a great time, software maker Freshdesk aims to make customer service fun.

The Walnut, Calif.-based startup just pulled in $7 million to spread its cloud-based support software to more businesses, with a focus on U.S. expansion. Its software automatically turns queries across multiple channels (email, forums, live chat, and social media) into tickets, enabling support teams to keep track of and respond to all of their company’s customer queries.

Freshdesk competes with Zendesk,, and Service Cloud, but the company thinks its gamification system sets it apart.

“We believe customer support should be fun, which is why we integrated a gamification component for our customers’ internal service agents,” Girish Mathrubootham, Freshdesk’s founder and CEO, told VentureBeat. “Freshdesk is the only platform that builds in gamification.”


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Freshdesk’s “Arcade” is effectively an achievement system, with specific goals for support reps and leaderboards that keep track of points they accrue. Bosses can create custom objectives for their teams, too. (Freshdesk created the following video to explain the Arcade, which does not actually involve a 2D platformer starring an orange — although someone should probably make that game.)

Mathrubootham also highlighted Freshdesk’s customization options as another distinguishing factor. The software includes more than 30 out-of-the-box integrations and an API that enables organizations to tie customer support into marketing, sales, and billing workflows.

Freshdesk’s $7 million funding round comes from existing investors Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management, which previously poured $6 million into the help desk vendor.

Since its June 2011 launch, Freshdesk has built up a customer base of around 14,000, recently nabbing Sony Pictures, Hugo Boss, and UNICEF, among others. The company currently has 152 employees between its Walnut, Calif. headquarters and Chennai, India development center.

“We’ve achieved incredible growth over the past two and a half years,” said Mathrubootham.

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