Freshdesk buys social media client support start-up Airwoot

Bengaluru: Customer support software maker Freshdesk Inc. on Wednesday said it has acquired Airwoot, which helps companies spot customer queries and complaints on social media that require urgent attention.

Customer support on social channels is key for digital businesses and using platforms like Airwoot enables them to predict conversations that may go viral and take action. “This will have a tremendous upside for quickly expanding Airwoot’s impact to Freshdesk’s 70,000+ customers around the globe. Airwoot technology complements Freshdesk’s with added layer of intelligence on social,” said Saurbh Arora, chief executive officer, Airwoot, who will now head social products at Freshdesk.

“Delivering customer support via social media continues to be a challenge for many companies given the high volume of noise in the medium. Airwoot’s AI (artificial intelligence) technology provides us a powerful platform to power the social engagement centers of the future,” said Girish Mathrubootham, chief executive officer, Freshdesk, in a statement.

Airwoot, used by firms such as Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd), Xiaomi Corp., Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd), Grofers , Paytm (One97 Communications Ltd), Jet Airways (India) Ltd, MakeMyTrip and Cleartrip.com, will continue as a standalone product.

For Freshdesk, one of India’s most well-funded product start-ups, Airwoot from Memeticlabs Technologies Pvt. Ltd is the fifth acquisition in nine months. Last April, Freshdesk raised $50 million from investors Tiger Global Management, Accel Partners and Google Capital, bringing its total funding to $90 million.

Apart from acquisitions, the Chennai-based (and San Bruno, California-headquartered) start-up has made several senior hires, including bringing on board former LinkedIn India head Nishant Rao as its chief operating officer.

The firm also appointed two sales executives, former Cisco veteran Bobby Jaffari as vice-president of sales, North America, and former sales director at AppNexus Arun Mani as managing director, Freshdesk Continental Europe, as it looks to expand its footprint in mid-market enterprises and in Europe.

The company has been successfully integrating start-ups it bought, into its own product portfolio. In February, Freshdesk rolled out a new product, Hotline.io, its third since its launch in 2011. Hotline.io was built on the back of its December acquisition of Konotor, which helps businesses chat with their consumers inside apps.

Previously, Freshdesk has acquired Framebench, a file collaboration platform in February; Frilp, a social recommendation app in October; and 1CLICK.io, a video chat platform in August.