Exclusive: Another Big-Name International Startup Moves into The Factory – ZendeskJune 19, 2013
by Michelle Kuepper
Help desk software company Zendesk is officially the newest member to move into The Factory coworking space in the heart of Berlin’s startup ecosystem.
The latest business to be drawn to tech hub The Factory is yet another prominent international startup – US-launched Zendesk just signed an open-ended contract at the coworking space. The Factory will house the direct sales and customer enablement teams for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Eastern Europe. Steffen Teske, Zendesk’s director of Central and Eastern Europe, will head up the office.
Zendesk joins Mozilla and SoundCloud
For Mikkel Svane, CEO and founder of Zendesk, there was never a question of where the first German office should be. He was not only convinced that it had to be located in Berlin, he was also set on working in The Factory. “Berlin is the perfect location for our business. I can feel that there is something big brewing here,” he told us. “That aside, we feel very connected to the startup scene here and want to be a part of it. It all just works.”
The Factory already has a number of big-name startups calling it home, including Mozilla and SoundCloud. For Simon Schaefer, one of the key people behind The Factory, this is proof that the concept of a central tech hub is working.
The lowdown on Zendesk
The SaaS company is a well-received provider of web-based help desk software that helps businesses with their customer service. It is reportedly used by 30,000 companies serving over 200 million people in more than 100 countries. It’s drawn a number of large businesses, including Twitter, Tumblr and Core Media.
Along with Berlin, Zendesk has offices in San Francisco, Tokyo, Dublin, London and Copenhagen. The business is backed with around $85.5m financing from investors such as Goldman Sachs, Index Ventures, Benchmark and Matrix Partners.
In close quarters with their customers
Matt Price, General Manager of the European branch of Zendesk, revealed another reason the company was keen to move to The Factory: Its close proximity to their clients. “Over 1,000 are now in Germany. The number has doubled in the past year,” he said.
Many customers, like Groupon, are located in Berlin, while others are even closer to home and will be working alongside Zendesk in The Factory – including Mozilla. To encourage its adoption, the team at Zendesk have created a localised version of the help desk software for the German market.
But something Svane isn’t too keen to let out on is the size of their workspace in Berlin. “It’ll be a small office to begin with, with a few staff members.” While this may be true, at least the concept of The Factory supports the expansion of companies – so if Zendesk does grow, it will have the room it needs.
At the moment, the company is building a German team and has hired some more staff to support the expansion. To give them a hand while they settle in, the staff will collaborate with their German-speaking colleagues from Zendesk in London before they make the move over to Berlin as well.