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Tech firm Zendesk opens $12.7M Madison expansion

With state tax credit incentives, Madison tech firm Zendesk has opened a $12.7 million expansion of its facilities there as part of an effort to establish a regional hub for the Midwest.

Zendesk, which provides software that helps clients track and resolve customer service issues, is expected to create 136 jobs in its expanded facility over the next three years. The publicly traded San Francisco-based company says its freshly remodeled Madison location, on Capitol Square, is its second-largest of 15 locations across the country.

The company says it launched its Madison location in 2014 with five employees, and has grown its workforce to nearly 300 since then.

“Since our earliest days in Madison, the city has felt like a second home for Zendesk,” Mikkel Svane, Zendesk CEO and founder, said in a statement. “It offers a vibrant tech and business community, an abundance of talent, and a culture that supports our growth in the region and globally.”

The company’s $12.7 million expansion will focus on growing and enhancing the customer service functions of the company and grow its capabilities in finance, information technology and professional services.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will kick in $800,000 in state tax credits to aid the company’s expansion. The tax credits are tied to job creation and will be awarded based on the amount of the company’s capital investment and the number of jobs the company creates over a three-year period.

“Companies have a choice when deciding to expand, and Zendesk’s decision to establish a regional hub in Madison is a testament to Wisconsin’s strong business climate and dedicated workforce,” said Tricia Braun, deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. “This investment will allow Zendesk to position itself for continued growth and success, and at the same time, create family-supporting jobs in the Madison area.”

The Zendesk Madison office, which had a grand opening on West Main Street on Friday, is home to the company’s global customer advocacy organization as well as engineering, sales, customer success, corporate social responsibility, and business and technology operations teams.

John Geschke, the company’s chief legal officer, praised Madison’s “burgeoning tech scene and talented workforce,” as factors that encourage growth.

Founded in 2007, Zendesk serves businesses across a multitude of industries, with more than 125,000 paid customer accounts, and offers services in more than 30 languages. The company has 15 offices in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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