Twilio nabs $17M for cloud computing, mobile services

Krystal Peak · December 7, 2011 · Short URL:

Bessemer, Union Square reinvest in cloud company helping companies with mobile extensions

Bessemer Venture Partners and Union Square Ventures, investors from Twilio's Series B funding, return to lead the start-up's $17 million Series C fundig announced Wednesday -- bringing the total company funding to just over $32.5 million.

The San Francisco-based cloud communications company, with big clients such as eBay, Salesforce, Hulu, Intuit and LinkedIn, has been aiding developers that want to add SMS, voice, and VoIP functionality to their apps.

Twilio is currently preparing to to roll out its services in 20 more European countries using the new round of funding.

The funding will be used to hire aggressively. The company quadrupled its staff in 2011 (from 25 to 100) and increased its customer base by 400% to assist 75,000 developers.

The company has leveraged the simplicity, scalability and risk-free pricing model it has built in just three years. Its customers used Twilio cloud computing to create an array of communications applications, including Web-based distributed call centers, voice and SMS notification systems, hosted IVRs, conferencing solutions and group messaging apps.

Michael Selvidge, a company representative spoke with me about the company's continued growth this year and the changes that they are looking forward to in coming months.

"We are in such an opportune space where Twilio doesn't have any peers to compete with in the cloud computing services that we offer," said Selvidge. "Our biggest competitors in the market are Skype and Cisco are these big companies that we are bulking up to go up against."

Customers have gravitated toward Twilio so that they can use telephone numbers from anywhere in the US as customer service hubs, political telephone lines, and calling services, based on their business needs.

Other than being able to choose and use telephone numbers from different countries, Twilio is gaining the ability for its customers to easily communicate across the globe via voice or text. Twilio has an international SMS product in beta, which is focused for developers to incorporate text communication between various countries.

In October, Twilio introduced its services to the UK and now has plans for France, Sweden, Italy, and most major European nations as the company's customers continue to covet an international audience. Currently, Twilio has 85 employees and is gearing up for a serious hiring phase in its UK office.

Selvidge said that as the company continues to roll out new products base on advancing technology and consumer responses, the biggest challenge will be acquiring talent in the competitive cloud technology market.

But the eager reinvestment by both Bessemer and Union Square shows the confidence the capital firms have in the growing desire for more mobile services through cloud-based companies. Bessemer’s Byron Deeter and Union Square’s Albert Wenger are already members of Twilio’s board of directors.

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