San Francisco-based Talkdesk closed an “opportunistic” $230 million Series D, pushing the valuation of the cloud-based contact center company to more than $10 billion.
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The round came from new investors Whale Rock Capital Management, TI Platform Management and Alpha Square Group, as well as from existing investors Amity Ventures, Franklin Templeton, Top Tier Capital Partners, Viking Global Investors and Willoughby Capital. Founded in 2011, the company has now raised $498 million in total funding.
In addition to the new cash infusion, the company also named industry veteran Sydney Carey as its first chief financial officer. Carey joins Talkdesk from Sumo Logic, where she led the organization through an initial public offering.
Tiago Paiva, founder and chief executive officer, said the company was not looking to raise capital, and in fact still had a majority of the $143 million Series C it raised last July.
However, investors showed a strong interest in investing and reached out to Talkdesk, he said.
“There was just a lot of inbound interest,” said Paiva, adding the new round more than tripled Talkdesk’s Series C valuation. “This was an opportunistic round.”
Contact centers and the cloud
Paiva attributes some of the interest in Talkdesk to both the general movement of many enterprise segments — including human resources, customer relationship management and now contact centers — to the cloud, as well as the growing services contact centers must provide to encompass all forms of communication.
“The world has changed from an expectation perspective,” he said.
The contact centers space is large and includes other established companies such as NICE inContact, Genesys, Five9 and others. Nevertheless, Talkdesk’s technology and cloud-based platform help differentiate itself in the market, Paiva added. The company works with more than 1,800 customers, many of which are enterprises.
”There is still a lot of space for the company to grow and enhance its market share,” said Alex Bangash, co-founder at TI Platform Management. “Despite the fact that the industry is heavily crowded, with over 100 competitors and at least 10 new startups launching every year, Talkdesk remains a dominant player and one of the go-to software for businesses.”
While the appointment of Carey will get people buzzing about an IPO for the 2,000-person company, Paiva would not commit to such an exit for the company.
“We are not stating we are going public,” he said with a laugh.
However, investors are bullish on the idea.
“We anticipate that the company will IPO and we are very bullish about Tiago and Talkdesk,” said Trang Nguyen, also a co-founder at TI Platform Management. “If you identify Steve Jobs or Apple early on, you want to hold this for a long-term. Just like Apple or Amazon, we would want to hold Talkdesk in the public market for (the) long-term when the company goes public.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.
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