By early 2009, a few million dollars from CRV was in the three-year-old SaaS company. With this new cash, Svane started to hire additional developers.
To be closer to Yellurkar, the trio started talking about possibly moving the company to the U.S. For Svane, he had always wanted to live in the U.S. at some point. Plus, they would be closer to investors, and their customers, which at the time, were mostly based in California. But the challenge of moving families away from home was daunting.
As Zendesk was contemplating the move, a bunch of VCs started calling. Many, including, Yelp, Twitter and OpenTable-investor Benchmark Capital, caught wind of Zendesk through portfolio companies using the customer service software. In a period of 10 days, three different Sand Hill road VCs flew in.
For Svane, Yellurkar had always felt like a member of the team since he joined, so the barrier to accepting another VC was high. It’s not that he didn’t trust institutional investors, but after being burned, he was wary of VCs who didn’t want to get their hands dirty. He knew Zendesk still had a long road ahead and he wanted a partner, not just an investor.
We really don’t talk about ourselves at CRV - we prefer for our work to continue speaking for itself. And more importantly, we prefer to always give credit to our founders - they are the real geniuses, no matter what. In the case of Zendesk, they are particularly brilliant!
But when articles like this come out crediting CRV as the very first VC and more importantly as a true partner to founders, it warms my heart. In this specific case, I love the public credit to my partner Devdutt Yellurkar for his work, support, and partnership with a great company like Zendesk.