20vc: three core lessons scaling freshworks to a $5.2bn mark

Girish Mathrubootham is the founder and CEO of Freshworks, India’s first SaaS company to list on NASDAQ. Today, Freshworks has over $596M in ARR with a $5.27BN market cap, with investors like Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, and CapitalG. Girish is also a founding member of SaaSBOOMi, Asia’s largest community of founders and product builders, and has invested in over 60 startups. On top of that, Girish is also the Founder of Together Fund, a $150M fund focusing on Indian B2B companies going global from day 1.

In Today’s Episode with Girish Mathrubootham We Discuss:

  1. From Online Forum to the Founding of a $5BN Company:

  • How did a horrible customer service experience prompt Girish to start Freshworks? What was the aha moment?

  • What were Girish’s biggest challenges founding Freshwork in 2010?

  • How was building the first product? What worked? What didn’t work?

  1. Biggest Lessons on Product, Pricing and People Scaling to $5.2BN:

  • Why does Girish believe Indian companies have to win globally before winning India?

  • What were Girish’s biggest mistakes scaling Freshworks? What were his lessons?

  • Why does Girish believe starting high and going down never works in software?

  • When does Girish think is the best time to build the second product?

  • How did Freshworks lose against Slack? What did he learn from the experience?

  1. The Biggest Lessons to Becoming the Best Leader:

  • How has Girish’s leadership style changed over time?

  • What were Girish’s biggest hiring mistakes?

  • What was Girish’s biggest challenge in building culture during COVID?

  • What is one piece of advice Girish believes every CEO should follow?

  1. How India Will Become a Global Player in Tech, AI and Football:

  • Why does Girish believe now is the time for India tech?

  • What are the most common misconceptions of India tech?

  • What traits does Girish look for in founders he invests in?

  • What was Girish’s biggest investment mistake? What did he learn from it?