San Francisco-based start-up Zendesk is inching toward a public offering

Zendesk co-founder Mikkel Svane is calling in backup to prepare for an IPO.
Zendesk co-founder Mikkel Svane is calling in backup to prepare for an IPO.
Image: Getty Images/Steve Jennings
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A customer-service platform company, Zendesk is moving one step closer to launching an initial public offering.

The seven-year-old start-up has added three new members to its board with credentials at publicly-traded tech companies. They include Caryn Marooney, vice president of technology communications at Facebook, and Michelle Wilson, a former general counsel for Amazon. With the addition of these people, the company now has seven directors.

A formal announcement of the appointments is expected to sometime today (Feb. 4).

Zendesk is slated to go public sometime this year and has hired lead underwriters Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to handle an initial public offering, according to a recent report (paywall) by the Wall Street Journal. Bringing on board members with credentials from public companies usually signifies a firm’s intent to prepare for life under the public microscope. Zendesk has not commented on its plans for an IPO so far, and a spokesman declined to comment.

Launched in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2007, Zendesk represents a number of companies like Box Inc. and Dropbox, who have sought to offer retail and business consumers software products remotely. Zendesk provides online customer service through email, Twitter, phone calls and chat conversations.

Zendesk already has raised about $85 million and boasts roughly 400 employees housed in an office not far from Twitter’s headquarters. According to sources, the company now has 40,000 customers using software that serve more than 300 million people worldwide.