Cloud Communications and Customer Engagement Platform ‘Twilio’ Acquires Indian CPaaS Startup ‘ValueFirst’

San Francisco-based cloud communications and customer engagement platform Twilio has acquired Gurugram-headquartered communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) company ValueFirst. The value of the acquisition deal is unknown.

ValueFirst has operations 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 P&G, Info Edge, IndiGo, Google, TATA Motors, and Axis Bank.

Vishwadeep Bajaj, CEO and founder of Twilio said, “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.”

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

The acquisition will enable Twilio to penetrate the Indian market, which is the second-largest internet market in the world today with more than 700 Mn internet users across mobile and broadband internet.

Ruchir Lahoty, an early ValueFirst investor with MegaDelta Capital said, “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.”

According to experts, in the upcoming years, the CPaaS industry witness a convergence of various services, as demand for integrated communication services across voice, data, text, and chatbots rise.

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

AI-based analytics and data solutions will help companies to gain real-time insights about their customers and power integrations for smooth 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 shortly. Already, startups such as Wysa are leveraging chatbots for mental health counseling, evincing the many possible use cases of AI.