In this episode of SaaS Connect by Cloud Software Association, Rajiv Ramanan, Director of Startup Program and Technology Alliances at Freshworks, shares how the company concentrated on partnerships to grow the business, implementing a marketplace that resulted in 400 more integrations within two years.

At the time of the presentation, the company boasted 200,000 customers across seven offices, with nine SaaS products and more than 600 integrations.

Revamping their growth strategy meant setting up a marketplace, and the vision for this was twofold: 

  1. Grow their customer base, and complete retention of customers. 
  2. Work with companies that are innovators.


Within two years after setting up the marketplace, they had an extra 400 integrations. Rajiv provides valuable strategic information:

  • After getting rejected by approaching big brands, they rethought their strategy to find the right partners, and what that meant in terms of growth. For example, people started taking them more seriously, the company grew along with the amount of partnerships — so much so that they became almost the third biggest marketplace in the B2B space at that particular time.
  • Why their focus is on building strong partner relationships, and the benefits of this.
  • The impact of the marketplace on the company, starting out with just a lean team of three that generated close to 3,000 plus SQLs for partners across the marketplace.
  • The future of tech partnerships at Freshworks, and how their plans were to progress from the marketplace to a market network, because in a market network, people bring their identity in and interact with partner networks to generate more value for each other.
  • How they split their marketplace team into hunting (get more valuable partners into the marketplace) and farming (make marketplace partners into a revenue generation engine).
  • Reorganising to scale.


Here are the key takeaways of the presentation: 

  1. Go after strong value propositions, not brands
  2. First demonstrate value to partners
  3. Consider a marketplace; it may be a good idea for growth
  4. Create a strong partnership team to implement all your ideas


Resources Mentioned:



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