Zendesk expands chat development centre in Singapore, to hire more developers and engineers

Zendesk founder and CEO Mikkel Svane said in a statement that Singapore is a key international market and its commercial headquarters in the Asia Pacific region.
Zendesk founder and CEO Mikkel Svane said in a statement that Singapore is a key international market and its commercial headquarters in the Asia Pacific region. PHOTO: LIGHTBOX PRODUCTIONS

SINGAPORE - US customer service software company Zendesk is expanding its Chat Development Centre in Singapore, which is also the company's Asia Pacific commercial headquarters, with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

The Singapore centre, which will accommodate more than 120 staff, is set to hire more developers and engineers for the its Zendesk Chat product over the next few years, the firm announced on Wednesday (Feb 22).

Zendesk set up its office at Haw Par Technocentre along Commonwealth Drive after acquiring homegrown startup Zopim Technologies, which specialised in Chat technology, for US$30 million in 2014.

Since the acquisition, Zendesk said it has grown its business here, with a 40 per cent year on year increase of paid customer accounts to end-December 2016.

Its Singapore customers include Lazada, FoodPanda, British Council Singapore and Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel).

"Singapore is a key international market for us and our commercial headquarters in the APAC region. It is home to a highly skilled workforce that understands technology and embraces innovation," said Zendesk founder and CEO Mikkel Svane in a statement.

As the Chat Development Centre expands, Zendesk will focus on hiring for its Chat Research and Development (R&D) team over the next few years, with roles distributed across the entire product development activity chain, it said.

It will continue to tap into deep engineering talent in Singapore, exploring opportunities to partner with local universities and research institutes to complement its efforts in product innovation and commercialization, the company added.

EDB assistant managing director Kiren Kumar said, "By leveraging Singapore's growing talent eco-system for digital, Zendesk is able to push the boundaries of big data analytics to carry out end-to-end development of its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for a global clientele."

"We hope that this partnership will help inspire young Singaporeans about the transformational and scalable possibilities in the digital sector, and support our drive to build an innovation-led economy," he said.

Zendesk has four other offices in the region - an Asia Pacific Development Centre in Melbourne, a Customer Experience Hub in Manila, and sales offices in Tokyo and Bengaluru.

Zendesk said the APAC region is a key focus for the company with paid customer accounts growing by over 35 per cent year on year to end-December 2016.