Customer comms giant Twilio to acquire SendGrid for $2bn

Twilio has entered into an agreement to acquire email API platform SendGrid in a $2bn (£1.82bn) bid to build out its leading Platform-as-a-Service, which virtualises the world’s telecoms infrastructure through APIs.

Used by more than 40K companies globally such as Airbnb and Netflix, Twilio lets software developers add capabilities such as voice, video, chat and messaging into their applications, backed by a “Super Network” connecting communications networks around the world.

With the transaction expected to close in the first half of 2019, the San Francisco-based Twilio hopes to offer a “single, best-in-class platform” for all its users’ comms needs, with the addition of industry-leading email technology supplied by the merger.

“Increasingly, our customers are asking us to solve all of their strategic communications challenges - regardless of channel,” explained Twilio co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson. “Email is a vital communications channel for companies around the world, and so it was important to us to include this capability in our platform.”

According to Twilio, the two groups drive more than half a trillion customer interactions a year at their current rate combined, with this figure “growing rapidly”.  

"The two companies share the same vision, the same model, and the same values,” continued Lawson. “We believe this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together the two leading developer-focused communications platforms to create the unquestioned platform of choice for all companies looking to transform their customer engagement.”

According to the announcement, both companies’ boards of directors have approved the transaction, under which the Delaware-listed Twilio Merger Subsidiary Inc, a subsidiary of Twilio, will be merged with SendGrid, thus making it a Twillo subsidiary itself.

“This is a tremendous day for all SendGrid customers, employees and shareholders,” said Sameer Dholakia, SendGrid’s chief executive officer.

“Our two companies have always shared a common goal - to create powerful communications experiences for businesses by enabling developers to easily embed communications into the software they are building,” Dholakia added.

“Our mission is to help our customers deliver communications that drive engagement and growth, and this combination will allow us to accelerate that mission for our customers.”

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