Twilio Sets Its Sights On Customer Data Platforms

The means by which businesses deliver goods and services, communicate, and gain new customers has changed drastically over the last few months. Consequently, many companies have digitally transformed their offerings and applications to keep up with the changes.

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Naturally, businesses are looking for an all-in-one solution, and Twilio's $3.2 billion acquisition of customer data platform Segment may be the offering they've been waiting for. In an all-stock deal, Twilio has agreed to buy Segment, eclipsing its $2 billion acquisition of SendGrid in 2018. Segment was valued at $1.5 billion at its last raise. It’s a move designed to enhance Twilio’s customer engagement software suite.

“A lot of people have thought about us as a communications company, but we think of ourselves as a customer engagement company. We really think about how we help businesses communicate more effectively with their customers,” said Chee Chew, Twilio’s Chief Product Officer.

The acquisition means that the San Francisco-based companies will enable businesses of all types to increase the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, improve the customer-service experience they deliver, and build greater brand loyalty. What's more interesting is that with Segment, Twilio will be able to consolidate customer data and interactions for intelligence on everything from marketing, to data warehousing, to communications, and analytics tools. Twilio will ultimately compete with Salesforce and Adobe to be the connective tissue between customer data and the enterprise technology stack.

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said the company with Segment can, "create more personalized, timely and impactful engagement across customer service, marketing, analytics, product and sales."

A source revealed to Forbes that Segment had been open to acquisition offers recently. The company, which has excelled during the global pandemic has obvious overlap with Twilio through its software tools, which also help clients connect with their customer base. As recently as September, Segment revealed that it works with more than 20,000 businesses including Intuit, FOX, and Levi’s, and employs more than 550 people.

Whichever way you slice it, the buyout is undoubtedly connected to the pandemic and the pressure being put on companies to serve customers digitally. Though, acquiring Segment is a move straight out of Twilio’s playbook, and it represents how the company has been able to evolve over the last decade.