It takes a certain kind of company to announce the launch of an entirely redesigned platform and a $60 million funding round the day that every eyeball, ear, and salivating tongue in the tech world is guaranteed to be glued to the Apple product announcement. One company apparently confident and mission-focused enough to do just that is fiver year old online customer service platform provider Zendesk.
The company’s latest mega-round, was led by Redpoint Ventures with participation by Index Ventures, GGV Capital, Goldman Sachs, and Silicon Valley Bank (which provided $15 million via credit facility) as well as the company’s existing investors Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital, and Matrix Partners. The round brings Zendesk’s total financing to date to $85.5 million.
The new platform offers a fresh social media-inspired interface, with integrated multi-channel communication tools, including live chat, social media, online community forums, as well as email and phone support. The company believes that agents’ familiarity with this type of interface will make its use more popular and efficient.
Additional new features include a tabbed interface for managing multiple customer service inquiries simultaneously, as well as instant search and support for 11 additional languages. Not to be accused of underachieving, the company also introduced an API and application framework called as Zendesk Apps, which will enable organizations to customize and add to Zendesk through internal and third-party designed apps.
In a press release today, Zendesk founder and CEO Mikkel Svane explained the demand for a modern customers service platform, saying:
“Since we released Zendesk in 2007, the world has dramatically changed its perspective on customer service. Consumers are more empowered than ever, forcing companies to completely rethink how they engage with their customers. Today’s consumers expect ubiquitous, real-time customer service that is transparent and authentic. And companies are remodeling their customer relationships from being transactional-based to lifetime-value based.”
With software purchasing and deployment decisions being made by “users” instead of “buyers,” usability and experience are more important than ever before. Zendesk has placed these qualities at the forefront of its design decisions in the latest product.
Prior today’s redesign and financing announcement, this has already been a busy summer for Zendesk, with the company announcing multiple channel integrations and platform partnerships.
Zendesk is already a clear leader in its field, interacting with and supports more than 70 million consumers in 140 countries each year through its more than 20,000 customers. Notable customers include Sony, Zappos, OpenTable, Groupon, Dropbox, Yammer, and Four Seasons Resorts.
The company competes in an incredibly crowded space with companies like Uservoice, h2desk, TenderApp, CharmHQ, Assistly, and emerging Accel-backed upstart Freshdesk. The company is betting that “consumer-ized enterprise” redesign will set the standard which these competitors will have to match, nearly all of which will now find themselves tasked with doing so with far less capital in the bank than Zendesk.