Talkdesk Passes 50,000 Seats, $25M Raised To Be Your More Efficient Call Center with COO Gadi Shamia

Gadi Shamia

In Episode #677, Nathan interviews Gadi Shamia. He’s the chief operating officer at Talkdesk, the world’s leading call center software platform. It’s backed by DFJ, Storm Ventures and Salesforce Venture. Talkdesk has grown 8x over the past 2 years and has over 250 employees along with their thousand customers including Box, Shopify, Dropbox and Weather.com. Prior to Talkdesk, Gadi founded a company that was acquired by SAP and now generates $5M in global business. He was also a senior VP at SAP and a general manager at ReachLocal.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Innovator’s Dilemma
  • What CEO do you follow? – Marc Benioff
  • Favorite online tool? — Gmail and Slack
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6.5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Gadi wished he knew that he would be fine so that he could stress less about it

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:44 – Nathan introduces Gadi to the show
  • 01:26 – EchoSign was acquired by Adobe
  • 01:31 – TopManage was acquired by SAP
  • 01:53 – Talkdesk is a cloud-based call center solution
    • 01:58 – It is fully-integrated
  • 02:26 – Talkdesk charges users per license fee
  • 02:44 – Talkdesk is a SaaS company
  • 02:54 – Average pay per customer varies
    • 03:01 – A company with 50 users would pay $5K-7K a month
    • 03:28 – Per seat cost is around $65-125 depending on the subscription
  • 04:02 – Gadi joined Talkdesk 3 years ago
  • 04:16 – The call center space is an interesting market
    • 04:22 – It is still dominated by all players such as Avaya, Cisco and Genesis
  • 04:35 – Talkdesk already has a proven product
    • 04:41 – Talkdesk has a couple of hundred customers who like the product and has been using Talkdesk for years
  • 04:53 – Tiago, Talkdesk’s CEO, was one of the reasons Gadi joined Talkdesk
    • 05:14 – Tiago is the co-founder and his co-founder left Talkdesk after 4 and a half years
  • 05:50 – Gadi believes that co-founders leave because they might not feel as excited as they were in the early stages
    • 06:01 – Co-founders staying is also devastating for the company
    • 06:10 – When a co-founder can say that he’s leaving and he has done his job, it’s a healthy company
  • 06:44 – Talkdesk has broken the million ARR
  • 06:57 – Talkdesk had 50 people when Gadi came in
  • 07:17 – Tiago was the only salesperson at Talkdesk when he started it and he was able to get remarkable brands to use Talkdesk
  • 07:43 – Gadi met Tiago through Gadi’s friend from Storm Ventures
    • 08:06 – Gadi and Tiago met in 2014 several times
  • 08:38 – Talkdesk currently has 1200 customers
    • 08:48 – There are around 50K seats
  • 09:06 – Average MRR
  • 09:43 – Alot of Talkdesk customers are e-commerce customers and they are seasonal
  • 10:32 – Talkdesk is at a net negative churn
  • 11:00 – Talkdesk talks to their customers about their seasonal needs and adjusts the annual licensing fee
  • 11:42 – Talkdesk respects Workday, Salesforce and works with ServiceNow
  • 12:48 – The best companies will get 110-120 in aiming net revenue expansion
  • 13:03 – Most companies that have worked with Talkdesk benefit from it and grow
    • 13:10 – DoorDash grew from 40 seats to 800
  • 13:38 – Talkdesk currently has a team of 250 people
  • 14:40 – Talkdesk’s growth is mostly from new sign-ups
  • 14:56 – Talkdesk has raised a total of $24.5M
    • 15:01 – The last round was in 2015
  • 15:15 – Talkdesk is neither raising rounds or talking to Salesforce
  • 15:34 – Talkdesk focuses on building a real business
  • 16:24 – Talkdesk is still burning cash
  • 16:53 – Most of Talkdesk’s customers pay annually upfront
  • 18:13 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. When a co-founder leaves, it means he’s done his job and the company is healthy
  2. Be in a company where you believe in the product and know that you can accelerate its growth.
  3. Building a real business is about the service you provide your customers in helping them achieve growth.

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Hotjar – Gives Nathan a recording of what is happening on a website or where people are clicking and scrolling on the website
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives