Open main menu

Zendesk Inc. is a customer service software company headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA.[1] It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol ZEN and is a constituent of the Russell 2000 Index.[2] Founded in 2007, Zendesk had 2,000 employees and served 119,000 paying customers in 150 countries and territories as of 2017.[3][4]

Zendesk logo.svg
Type of businessPublic
Traded asNYSEZEN
Russell 1000 Index component
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, United States
OwnerZendesk, Inc.
Key people
  • Mikkel Svane
  • Alexander Aghassipour
  • Morten Primdahl
RevenueIncrease US$ 598 million (2018)
Launched2007; 12 years ago (2007)



Zendesk was founded in 2007 by Mikkel Svane, Morten Primdahl, and Alexander Aghassipour, who had experience with customer service software.[5] The company was started in a loft located in Copenhagen, Denmark.[6] In June 2008, it received US$500,000 in seed funding from angel investor Christoph Janz.[7] In 2009, following a $6 million series B funding from Charles River Ventures and Benchmark Capital,[8] the firm moved to San Francisco. In April 2014, it acquired Zopim Technologies Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based provider of live chat software,[9] which eventually became Zopim Premium Live Chat.[10] In May 2014, the firm became a publicly-traded company, debuting with an IPO price of $9 per share.[11] On October 13, 2015, the firm acquired for $45.0 million We Are Cloud SAS,[12] the maker of BIME Analytics software, the technology that Zendesk now uses to power its platform.[13]

Products and technologyEdit

Product familiesEdit

Zendesk's family of products[14] represent the shift the company has made from a single customer service product to a unified suite of products focused on improving customer relationships.[15] The family includes: Support, Guide, Connect, Explore, Help Center, Chat, Talk, and Message.[14]

The software is written in Ruby on Rails, and can be integrated with many content management systems, customer relationship management tools, and web apps.[16][17] The platform is available for mobile and tablet.[18] In 2011 the firm founded the Networked Help Desk initiative to create an open standard for sharing information between separate customer support applications.[19] In December 2013, the firm announced integration with SurveyMonkey and MailChimp to support surveys and email campaigns from within the program.[20]


Zendesk Support is a system for tracking, prioritizing, and solving customer support tickets.[21] It puts all customer information in one place so that everything is in a single location.[22][23]

Zendesk Guide provides machine learning powered, self-service customer support, using a combination of the Zendesk API, Web Widget, and Mobile SDK as Zendesk Embeddables. The program features the Answer Bot (an AI assistant) and the Knowledge Capture App (an agent-focused content creation app).[24]


Zendesk Connect is customer intelligence software built for targeted campaigns and proactive engagement.[25] Connect allows businesses to get to know their customers by collecting customer data from across the Zendesk family of products and providing a complete timeline of events and conversations.

By creating segments of customers based on behavior or profile, identifying trends, or triggering targeted campaigns, it works to get the right message to the right customers. As a result, use of the software can build loyalty and trust. A proactive heads up about issues or a well-timed tip for newbies may deliver assistance before customers know they need it. Zendesk CEO Michael Svane stated, "it provides predictors of where a relationship might move."[25]


Zendesk Explore, formerly BIME Analytics, provides analytics to measure and understand the entire customer experience.[26]

Chat (Formerly Zopim)Edit

Zendesk Chat (formerly Zopim) is an online marketing, live chat support and web analytics product that is offered as a SaaS (Software-as-a-service) model. The product enables companies to chat with visitors in real-time on their websites.[27] A website owner must embed the Zendesk Chat widget into their website's HTML code. Then they can chat with their visitors via the dashboard control panel.[28]

Zopim was founded in 2008 by Royston Tay, Wenxiang Wu, Yang Bin Kwok and Lim Qing Ru.[29] The idea for Zopim live chat emerged while the founders were studying together at Stanford on the NUS Overseas College Program in 2008.[30] In 2010, it incorporated as a private company and launched its freemium pricing model. They also received seed funding and investment from Media Development Authority's (MDA) i.JAM program, SPRING Singapore and NUS.[29][31] At that time it was listed in Asia's Top 10 Apps at Accelerate 2010.[32] In 2014, it was acquired by Zendesk Inc.[33][34][35]

In February 2015, Zopim moved to a new office in Singapore that also functions as Zendesk's Asia-Pacific Headquarters.[36][37]

In March 2015, Zendesk formed a partnership with Facebook’s new Businesses on Messenger product.[38] Zopim live chat was the technology powering Businesses on Messenger.[39][40]

In April 2015, Zopim introduced a Premium plan which offers support team leaders workforce management tools on top of the regular chat reports and metrics.[41] Later it was named best Live Chat Software in the Cloudswave Awards 2015.[42] On October 26, 2016, Zopim was renamed to Zendesk Chat, aligning with the Zendesk family of products.[43]


Zendesk Talk is a cloud-based call center software that puts customers in touch with a company representative via any Internet-connected device.[44] The program offers flexible IVR, group routing, and real-time queue monitoring to avoid bottlenecks. It allows businesses to create phone numbers and forward calls to customer representatives’ devices, forgoing the need for physical call centers.[45]


Zendesk Message is a messaging software that connects to familiar messaging apps, like Facebook and Twitter.[10]


Inbox allows Zendesk customers to collaborate on a marketing campaign or any other influx of emails, with the ability to add private notes and follow key conversations.[46]


Embeddables allows companies to build customer support functions into mobile and web applications.[47] This includes a mobile Software Development Kit, which lets companies offer self-service via Help Center. With embeddables users are able to create support tickets or chat real-time with a Help Center representative through their preferred mobile apps or online sites. This eliminates the need to leave the app for a third-party help center.[48] The tech support process is part of the native experience on the site or application.[49]


Relate is Zendesk's online publication, featuring editorial content dedicated to customer service and business relationships.[50] Relate has also been adopted as the branding name for Zendesk conferences, which specialize in customer service case studies, brand relationships and engagement, and industry changes.[51][52]


  • 2017 – Zendesk was recognized by DestinationCRM as a 2017 CRM Service Leader
  • 2016 – FastCompany ranked Zendesk 5th on its list of Most Innovative Companies in Enterprise Software[53]
  • 2016 – Svane included in the Inc. Founders 40 list[54]
  • 2015 – Winner of the Most Innovative Use of Big Data at the UK Cloud Awards[55]
  • 2015 – Svane, Primdahl, and Aghassipour were included in the Business Insider Silicon Valley 100[56]
  • 2015 – Svane was included in Inc. Magazine’s Top 40 CEOs to watch[57]
  • 2015 – Zendesk ranked first among Bay Area technology companies for highest percentage of women holding director roles and high-paying positions[58]
  • 2015 – Rachel Delacour, CEO of BIME Analytics, won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year for Business Products with 11 or more employees[59]


Zendesk Neighbor FoundationEdit

Zendesk's headquarters is located in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, CA and has made several philanthropic initiatives and charitable donations to the area. The Zendesk Neighbor Foundation, a nonprofit organization started by Zendesk, launched $1 million in funding for local charities working on social issues.[60] In 2015, Zendesk Neighbor Foundation donated $100,000 to St. Anthony's Tenderloin Technology Lab.[61] Since then, the Foundation has also expanded to the communities of Melbourne, Australia;[62] London, England;[63] and Madison, Wisconsin,[64] where the company has made $100,000+ donations per community to Boys and Girls Clubs, public libraries, employment workshops, Autism organizations, and other local non-profits.

Link-SF, Copenhelp and Link-DaneEdit

Aside from monetary contributions, Zendesk has also used its technology to develop Link-SF. Link-SF is an app that helps homeless people find shelter, food, medical care, technology access, and hygiene services.[65][66][67] Subsequent to Link SF, Zendesk launched two similar apps: Copenhelp (for Copenhagen)[68] and Link-Dane (for Madison, Wisconsin).[69]

Other initiativesEdit

Zendesk joined over 100 companies in filing an Amicus Brief opposing Executive Order 13769.[70]

Zendesk headquarters in San Francisco


Trademark disputesEdit

Zendesk has filled oppositions at the United States Patent and Trademark Office to 49 trademarks including the word "zen". These include ZenPayroll, Zenware, Zenbilling, Zenscore, Zenplan, ZenCash and ZenCache. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has denounced this practice as trademark trolling.[71][72][73]


  1. ^ DeFrancesco, Robert (25 September 2014). "Zendesk Masters Customer Service". CMS Wire. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  2. ^ Equities Staff (17 February 2016). "Zendesk Inc (ZEN) Jumps 8.93% on February 17". Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Zendesk Announces Third Quarter 2016 Results". Zendesk. 1 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  4. ^ "About Zendesk". Zendesk. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  5. ^ Rao, Leena (16 November 2013). "From Its Beginnings In A Denmark Loft, Zendesk's Steady Rise To The Top Of The Helpdesk Heap". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  6. ^ "In The Beginning". Zendesk. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  7. ^ Malik, Om (18 June 2008). "Zendesk for Help Gets Seed Funding — Tech News and Analysis". Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  8. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (17 August 2009). "Zendesk Raises $6 Million In B Round, Benchmark's Peter Fenton Joins Board". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Zendesk Acquires Live Chat Leader Zopim". Zendesk. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Zendesk Introduces Zopim Premium Live Chat for Larger Teams". Zendesk. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  11. ^ Owens, Jeremy C. (15 May 2014). "Zendesk prices IPO at $9 a share, brings in $100 million". Mercury News. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Zendesk Acquires the Company Behind BIME Analytics". Zendesk. 2015-10-13. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  13. ^ Novet, Jordan (13 October 2015). "Zendesk acquires cloud business intelligence startup BIME Analytics for $45M". Venture Beat. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  14. ^ a b Yeung, Ken (26 October 2016). "Zendesk launches new tools to help brands get ahead on customer service". Venture Beat. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  15. ^ Klie, Leonard (28 October 2016). "Zendesk Rebrands and Expands Offerings". Smart Customer Service. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Zendesk | The leading cloud-based customer service software solution". Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  17. ^ "Zendesk Apps & Integrations". Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  18. ^ Alex Williams (2013-03-26). "Zendesk's New iPad App Is Made For Simple Customer Service Tasks, Built For Mountains And Enhanced For Couches". Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  19. ^ Hinchcliffe, Dion (2011-06-18). "Enabling collaboration with open APIs". ZDNet. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  20. ^ "Zendesk Integrates with SurveyMonkey and MailChimp". 2013-10-10. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  21. ^ "Why Zendesk". Zendesk. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  22. ^ Haslam, Oliver (28 November 2016). "Zendesk Support". PC Mag. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  23. ^ Kim, Eugene (15 March 2016). "Zendesk can now predict who's likely to stop using your service before you do". Business Insider. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  24. ^ Zendesk launches next generation knowledge solution 'Guide'
  25. ^ a b Clancy, Heather (26 October 2016). "How Zendesk Is Looking Beyond Customer Service With These New Apps". Fortune. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  26. ^ Miller, Ron (26 October 2016). "Zendesk expands beyond the help desk". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  27. ^ Jon, Russell (5 July 2013). "Zopim unveils mobile-optimized live chat widget to improve customer support on tablets and smartphones". The Next Web. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  28. ^ Herrera, Adriana (1 May 2013). "One Entrepreneur's Favorite Start-Up Tools". New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  29. ^ a b Tan, Weizhen (12 April 2014). "US' Zendesk acquires home-grown start-up Zopim for S$37 million". Today. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  30. ^ Teoh, Minghao (16 January 2013). "The Story of Zopim: Struggle and Sacrifice on the Way to Startup Success". Tech In Asia. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  31. ^ Lee, Terence (10 April 2014). "Zendesk acquires Singapore startup Zopim for $30M, plans to raise $150M in IPO". Tech In Asia. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  32. ^ Toto, Serkan (26 September 2010). "From Accelerate 2010 In Singapore: List Of "Asia's Top 50 Apps"". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  33. ^ McCarthy, Erin (10 April 2014). "Zendesk Files IPO for Up to $150 Million". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  34. ^ Weber, Harrison (10 April 2014). "Customer service giant Zendesk plans $150M IPO, acquires live chat startup Zopim". VentureBeat. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  35. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (10 April 2014). "Zendesk Buys Live Chat Provider Zopim For Up To $29.8M As It Files For $150M IPO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  36. ^ Tan, Weizhen (27 February 2015). "Zendesk opens Asia head office in Singapore". Today. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  37. ^ Cheok, Jacquelyn (27 February 2015). "Zendesk opens Asia-Pac headquarters in Singapore". The Business Times. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  38. ^ Frier, Sarah (26 March 2015). "Facebook Opens Up Messenger App to Developers and Businesses". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  39. ^ Cheok, Jacquelyn (27 March 2015). "Zopim to power FB's Businesses on Messenger". The Business Times. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  40. ^ Albanesius, Chloe (26 March 2015). "Facebook Messenger to Integrate Apps, Businesses". PCMag. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  41. ^ Kepes, Ben (16 April 2015). "Zendesk Leverages Its Zopim Acquisition, Introduces Live Chat". Forbes. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  42. ^ "The 3 Best Live Chat Software 2015 According to Cloudswave". Cloudswave Blog. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  43. ^ "Zopim is Now Called Zendesk Chat". Zendesk Chat Support. Zendesk Chat. October 26, 2016.
  44. ^ "Zendesk Voice". Zendesk. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  45. ^ "Zendesk Simplifies Phone Support with New Voice Offering". Business Wire. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  46. ^ Zendesk Inbox
  47. ^ "Zendesk Introduces Embeddables to Put Customer Service at Forefront of Mobile and Online Experiences". Business Wire. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  48. ^ Wright, Mic (3 December 2014). "Zendesk Embeddables put customer service at the heart of websites and apps". The Next Web. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  49. ^ O’Connor, Fred (3 December 2014). "Zendesk brings embedded customer service tools to mobile apps". PC World. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  50. ^ "About". Relate. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  51. ^ "Relate Live". Eventbrite. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  52. ^ Roy, Rohit (7 October 2015). "Zendesk Launches Relate, an Online Magazine". Martech Advisor. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  53. ^ "The Most Innovate Companies of 2016: Top Companies by Sector". Fast Company. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  54. ^ Inc. Founders 40
  55. ^ "Zendesk Selected Winner In 2014-15 Cloud Awards Programme". Contact Centres. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  56. ^ Martin, Emmie; Kosoff, Maya; Stanger, Melissa (24 June 2015). "THE SILICON VALLEY 100: The most amazing and inspiring people in tech right now". Business Insider. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  57. ^ Schurenberg, Eric. "The Founders 40: Secrets of Crazy Fast Growth". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  58. ^ Quinn, Michelle (23 November 2015). "Quinn: Women changing Silicon Valley from the top". Mercury News. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  59. ^ "2015 Stevie Award Winners". Stevie Awards. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  60. ^ "Zendesk Announces Global Foundation for Local Giving". Zendesk. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  61. ^ Vanian, Jonathan (13 May 2015). "Zendesk's new nonprofit aims to do more than just customer service". Fortune. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  62. ^ Swan, David (9 November 2015). "Victorian government partners with global start-up Zendesk". The Australian Business Review. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  63. ^ Styles, Kirsty (16 June 2015). "#LDN TechWeek: Zendesk gives £150,000 to help youth employment in London". Tech City News. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  64. ^ Newman, Judy (28 May 2015). "Zendesk delivers a philanthropic message by air mail". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  65. ^ Homeless Mobile SF
  66. ^ Here and Now
  67. ^ SF Tackles Homelessness With Smartphones
  68. ^ "Copenhelp: An App To Help Copenhagen's Homeless Population". Zendesk Neighbor Foundation. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  69. ^ "Link-Dane Launch in Madison". Zendesk Neighbor Foundation. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  70. ^ Zendesk, Tesla and Adobe join amicus brief opposing Trump’s immigration order
  71. ^ "Startups fighting over the word 'zen'". December 19, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  72. ^ "Zendesk And The Art Of Trademark Maintenance". Forbes. December 20, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  73. ^ "Zendesk and the Art of Trademark Trolling". Electronic Frontier Foundation. May 20, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2018.