Twilio, a private cloud communications company based in San Francisco, USA, offers affordable voice, text, and MMS communication services to several software developers.
Using the company’s services, developers can make and receive phone calls and send and receive text messages through the web. At the moment, over 400,000 developers are using Twilio’s telecommunications services.
It is hard to understand in writing so lets watch a video of the co-founder Jeff describing in layman’s how it works.
Twilio was founded by Jeff Lawson, Evan Cooke, and John Wolthuis. Co-founder, Jeff Lawson is the company’s current CEO.
Twilio was established in 2007. Initially, the company developed Twilio Voice, a pioneering API innovation that allowed developers to receive and make calls entirely based on cloud infrastructure. The text messaging API came much later, in 2010.
Latest News about the Company
Following Round D financing, during which Twilio raised $70 million, the company’s CEO, Lawson, strongly implied that the company might go public. The company’s current value is about $500 million.
— twilio (@twilio) December 8, 2014
Twilio is said to be a major influence on Samsung’s $200-million acquisition of SmartThings in August 2014. SmartThings is a startup that allows devices connected to the Internet to communicate with people through text messaging.
The critical text messaging feature in SmartThings is powered by Twilio, and was the major selling point in Samsung’s multi-million dollar acquisition.
Interesting Facts about Twilio
Although the company relies on Amazon Web Services, it was able to stay online when the host faced massive outages in 2011. The incident earned Twilio respect for the impressive feat, which it achieved through intelligent design architecture.
Another interesting fact about Twilio is that a lot of people have used and continue to use its service without knowing about it. For instance, last year, the company was able to communicate with 95% of American adults through applications using Twilio services. Very few of these people actually know about Twilio, let alone the fact that they occasional use their services.
In 2010, the company was named among the Dow Jones FASTech 50 Start-ups to Watch. In the same year, Twilio was named among Business Insider’s 20 Hot Silicon Valley Start-ups to watch.
A year later, the company also received recognition from Gartner as a “Cool Vendor”. Later, the company earned recognition as one of the most innovative companies by Fast Company in 2012.
In less than a decade of existence, Twilio has raised over $103.7 million from 16 investors, having raised $70 million in June last year. At the moment the company is worth about half a billion dollars. Last year (2013), the company made about $50 million in revenues, which was a 100% growth from the previous year.
Does Twilio offer a Service or Product?
Twilio is a services provision company. More specifically, the company offers IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).
Using Amazon Web Services as a host for its telecommunications infrastructure, Twilio offers connectivity between HTTP and PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) through its APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
API works by linking two applications and allowing them to communicate through voice, text, or multimedia messages. For instance, services such as Airbnb allow users to use Twilio’s technology to make voice calls without disclosing the owners’ phone numbers.
How can a Small Business use Twilio’s Services
Twilio is great for a small or medium-sized business that suddenly requires an increase in the size of its customer support.
As most entrepreneurs already understand, a start-ups growth can be the very cause of its downfall. Any business has to keep up with the growth in its business or risk losing credibility and any chance of recovery or survival in the cutthroat business world.
Small businesses can easily fail due to poor customer support, particularly when the needs for such services balloon overnight following a rapid growth in consumer base. Twilio offers the best solution to such scenarios.
Using the company’s platform, a business can build its own call center and deliver better customer experience through various communications products, for instance, interactive text messaging services.
For instance, Wix, a leading web publishing company was able to exploit Twilio’s services to keep up with its growing business at a time when it needed better customer support after experiencing exponential growth.
1. Twilio’s services are more cost effective
Twilio’s proprietary telecommunications services challenge the traditional physical infrastructure on which most communications networks are based.
Twilio’s services are available on a cloud, which substantially reduces the overall cost to users due to the growing number of people relying on the company’s cloud infrastructure.
Since a small business does not have to own the communications infrastructure, the costs of communications are substantially reduced.
2. Twilio’s cloud-based infrastructure offers better Scalability
When a small business is just starting off, it is hard to determine how much it needs to invest in communications infrastructure.
Consequently, the costs and complexity of maintaining or adding to an existing communications framework could prove to be unmanageable with regard to costs and physical requirements. With Twilio’s Internet-based communications services, such problems can be eliminated completely.
The company’s telecommunications API is highly scalable, and a business can easily adjust itself to existing telecommunications demands.
3. Twilio helps businesses keep track of important business information passing through employees’ devices without violating their privacy
For many small and medium-sized businesses, employees may bring in business using their private communication gadgets. Explicit attempts to keep track of such information may bring in a host of privacy and possibly legal issues, since the employer would gain access to private.
However, with Twilio, such a conundrum can be easily avoided since anonymity can be guaranteed.
The private nature of Twilio’s text and voice communications means that the required information can be obtained without revealing an employee’s private information. This idea is very popular with small and medium businesses, and has been made possible by Twilio’s innovations in the telecommunications sector.
4. Small businesses can use Twilio to send numerous automated real-time text message confirmations to clients
Manual communications systems offer several limitations. In cases where textual confirmation would be more appropriate, use of APIs would substantially cut down on the inefficiency and improve response time through automated texts to clients.
For instance, BookingBug.com, an online scheduling system was able to boost its efficiency through Twilio’s services by enabling its clients to configure text message confirmations, reminders, and even cancellations based on Twilio’s platform.
It goes without saying that the previous manual system was tedious, time-consuming and more limited in its list of features. Many small businesses can use these measures to improve their operational efficiency, particularly with regard to communication needs.