VIDEO: Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane talks growing pains, famous clients and IPO rumours

Michelle Kuepper 2013-11-04 2

Twitter, Airbnb, Groupon and Dropbox. Aside from being among the world’s most popular startups, these companies have something else in common – they were all early adopters of SaaS customer support company Zendesk, the startup hailing from Copenhagen which now services over 30,000 companies.

With a $6m Series B funding round under their belts, in 2009 the Zendesk team made the move to San Francisco in an effort to scale more rapidly. The relocation was a fruitful one – last year, the company received another $60m financing boost and now employs over 500 staff in offices in around the world. Zendesk is also one of the startups housed in Berlin’s Factory tech hub.

In Berlin to visit the new office and check out TechCrunch Disrupt, Zendesk cofounder and CEO Mikkel Svane was in a jovial mood when we met him at the conference last week. Jokes and big smiles aside, Svane has been dealing with a lot of management changes as Zendesk rapidly expands: “We added a third of our workforce over the past six to eight months – meaning our company is a completely different company than six or eight months ago.”

How to avoid growing pains, why European companies shouldn’t make the move to the Valley without local investors and how building a non-sexy product can be a good thing – Svane revealed all this and more in our interview…

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