This IT company tips hat to Rajinikanth with ‘Project Superstar’ moniker for IPO

Freshworks filed for an its initial public offering in the United States. The San Mateo-based customer engagement software provider had listed the size of the issue as $100 million, which will change when terms of the share sale are set.

In the postscript of his note in the filing, founder Girish Mathrubootham mentioned a curious piece of information about the IPO – how it pays homage to the superstar Rajinikanth.

Mathrubootham said the IPO was codenamed ‘Project Superstar’ in honour of Rajinikanth, who he considers his ‘maanaseega guru’.

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“The code name for our IPO was Project SuperStar, named after the most successful movie star from Tamil Nadu, Rajinikanth. I want to express my love and gratitude to him for being my maanaseega guru. There is no comparable English word to express what this means. It is a mentor; a role model that lives in your mind, from whom you learn a lot by watching from afar. SuperStar is a man who is loved and worshipped by millions of fans globally. He is immensely successful yet humble and down to earth. Thank you, Thalaivaa!,” the Freshworks founder wrote.

Mathrubootham founded Freshworks in Chennai with Shan Krishnasamy. The company later moved to San Mateo in California to be closer to customers. Even now, Freshworks retains a substantial workforce in the southern Indian city.

As the pandemic boosted software services, Freshworks hired a chief financial officer, made acquisitions to strengthen its artificial intelligence tools and won new customers. The Salesforce.com competitor now has a customer base of 52,500 spread across healthcare, education and government sector

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With more customers, Freshworks reported a 53 per cent rise in revenue, which rose to $169 million first six months of 2021, up from $110 million in the first half of last year. Its saw its net loss shrink to $9.8 million from $57 million in the year-ago period.

The SaaS player was valued at $3.5 billion after a 2019 funding round. Affiliates of Accel India and others of Tiger Global Management each control more than a quarter of the company’s Class B shares.

The Freshworks IPO is being led by Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. The company intends to list its shares on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the FRSH.

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