Twilio Acquires Indian CPaaS Startup ValueFirst

Gurugram-headquartered communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) company ValueFirst has been acquired by San Francisco-based cloud communications and customer engagement platform Twilio. The amount of the acquisition deal is not known.

ValueFirst has a presence across India, the Middle East, and Indonesia, and connects businesses with consumers over telecom (SMS and Voice) and the internet (chatbots, email and OTT) channels. Its clients include Google, IndiGo, TATA Motors, P&G, Info Edge and Axis Bank.

“We’re obsessed with customer centricity and helping businesses have joyful conversations. Twilio and ValueFirst share very similar values. Twilio’s trusted brand, services, and global reach will enable us to service our customers in more meaningful ways,” said Vishwadeep Bajaj, CEO and founder of Twilio.

Founded in 2003, ValueFirst itself has acquired three companies in the past, namely Cellnext Solutions in 2009, Gingersoft Media in 2012 and in 2017. To date, the company has raised $20.3 Mn in two funding rounds from two investors.

With the acquisition, Twilio will be able to penetrate the Indian market, which is the second-largest internet market in the world today with over 700 Mn internet users across mobile and broadband internet.

“With this merger, ValueFirst gets parentage of a world leader as it embarks upon its next phase of growth and leadership not just in India but also in the region,” said Ruchir Lahoty, an early ValueFirst investor with MegaDelta Capital.

According to experts, the coming years will see the CPaaS industry witness a convergence of various services, as demand for integrated communication services across voice, data, text, and chatbots increases.

Other trends in the space include greater use of AI. From data unification to intuitive chatbots to process automation, AI will continue to enhance the capabilities of existing communication platforms. Qualitative data will play a crucial role in helping businesses to understand their customers better.

AI-based analytics and data solutions will enable companies to gain real-time insights about their customers and power integrations for seamless interaction across all customer touchpoints. AI-powered predictions and personalized communication will help brands customize the brand experience to suit the needs of individual users, thereby optimizing the impact of their marketing efforts.

The widespread adoption of chatbots will be another trend that will shape the CPaaS sector in the near future. Already, startups such as Wysa are leveraging chatbots for the purpose of mental health counselling, evincing the many possible use cases of AI.

This article originally appeared in Inc42.

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