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Business software firm Freshworks Inc on Wednesday made a stellar debut on Nasdaq exchange after its billion-dollar IPO. With this, the company becomes the first Indian 'SaaS' company and the first unicorn to list on the exchange.

The company was valued at $12.2 billion in its Nasdaq debut on Wednesday after shares opened 21% above the initial offering price, indicating strong demand for firms that have thrived during the pandemic.

The firm had priced its US initial public offering (IPO) well above the target range to raise $1.03 billion, valuing the rival at $10.13 billion. Shares of the rival opened at $43.50 compared with the IPO price of $36 per share.

Freshworks priced 28.5 million shares at $36 per share, the company backed by Accel and Sequoia Capital said on Tuesday. It had earlier expected to raise $969 million at the top end of its increased price range of $32 to $34 per share.

“Today is a dream come true for me - from humble beginnings in #Trichy to ringing the bell at@Nasdaq for the FreshWorks IPO. Thank you to our employees, customers, partners, and investors for believing in this dream. #Freshworks #IPO #NASDAQ," tweeted founder and CEO Girish Mathrubootham. 

San Mateo, California-based Freshworks joins a number of big names from the enterprise software business that have taken advantage of red-hot U.S. capital markets over the past 18 months.

Most software IPOs during that period have been well-received by investors who see room for growth in the sector even after the pandemic, as the adoption of hybrid work models by companies across the world drive up demand for enterprise software products.

Founded in Chennai, India, in 2010, Freshworks helps businesses with customer management, offering products including a messaging platform, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot for customer support and call-center solutions that promise shorter wait times.

Freshworks shares are scheduled to start trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday under the symbol "FRSH".

Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, BofA Securities are the lead underwriters for the offering.

With agency inputs

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