Kayako, the bootstrapped startup founded by a college dropout, just got acquired by a private equity firm
About two weeks ago, we wrote about ten of the most profitable and successful bootstrapped startups that started with little or no money. Among them is Kayako, a customer support software startup started by a young guy, Varun Shoor, from a remote village in India Jalandhar.
As we said back then, the story of Kayako is one of the most inspiring and encouraging bootstrap stories we’ve ever read. Kayako was founded in 2001 by Varun Shoor in Jalandhar, India. Varun Shoor started Kayako after dropping out of college. He learned to code when he was 13 years old, and started work on Kayako at the age of 17. Kayako did not take any investment from external investors, which is rare for a Software as a Service (SaaS) startup. Kayako is a help desk software and customer service software that helps businesses be more productive and build customer loyalty. It currently has over 131000 customers.
Yesterday, ESW Capital announced that it has acquired Kayako to further invest in creating a unified support experience centered around an integrated chat platform. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 1988, ESW Capital group is a private equity firm that specifically focuses on buying, transforming, and running mature business software companies. By taking advantage of its unique operating platform, ESW revitalizes its acquisitions for sustainable success while making customer satisfaction a top priority. ESW and its affiliated companies have been in the enterprise software space since 1988, and the group includes notable brands such as Aurea, Trilogy, Versata, Ignite Technologies, and GFI. ESW is an active acquirer of business software companies, including via divestiture and distressed situations.
When Kayako started in 2001, customer support technology was clunky and frustrating. They turned boring, confusing software into a user experience that customers and staff love. From startups and Fortune 100 companies to charities and governments, Kayako helps teams of all sizes get better at delivering effortless customer service.
“Real-time messaging and multichannel support have become the expectations of today’s buyers. By pulling together the critical components of customer communication into one platform, Kayako enables companies to connect with their customers on a more personal level while providing the ultimate real-time service. They created a platform that brings simplicity, transparency, and efficiency to support teams around the world,” said Andy Tryba, the new CEO of Kayako. “Our platform combines the best features of software like Intercom and Zendesk into one, highly effective, tool. Companies can simplify their operational platforms and dramatically lower their cost, by using Kayako’s single powerful solution.”
“ESW is thrilled to work with the 131,000 support professionals using Kayako’s scalable customer service platform. We are committed to continuing the mission to improve communication and transparency for the millions of customers they support on a daily basis,” the company said in a press release.