Founded in 2008 by Jeff Lawson, Evan Cooke, and John Wolthuis, Twilio is a cloud communications platform as a service (CPaaS) company based in San Francisco. The founders started Twilio after struggling to integrate communication features like voice, messaging, and video chat into their own web applications. They realized there was a need for a cloud-based API platform that made communication simple for any developer.
Twilio’s APIs allow developers to embed voice calls, messaging, video chat, and authentication services into web and mobile applications with just a few lines of code. The Twilio platform handles all the complex telecommunication infrastructure in the cloud - no need to build your own servers or integrate with telecom carriers.
Some of Twilio’s Core Offerings:
- Twilio Programmable Voice - This API set allows you to make and receive phone calls from your web and mobile apps. Key features include call routing, call recording, text-to-speech, conferencing, and global availability.
- Twilio Programmable Messaging - SMS and MMS messaging capabilities for your apps. Features include two-way messaging, message queuing, delivery receipts, and scalability. The API also supports WhatsApp messaging.
- Twilio Video - Fully programmable webRTC video chat embedded right in your apps. Includes group rooms, screen sharing, real-time video/audio, and client SDKs for every major platform.
- Twilio Verify - Add multi-factor authentication to apps to verify user identities via SMS one-time codes or push notifications.
- Twilio Flex - Fully-programmable cloud contact center platform for building customizable call center apps.
- Twilio Studio - Visual workflow builder to create advanced call flows, such as IVRs or call routing logic, using a drag-and-drop interface.
- Twilio Functions - Serverless environment to run your backend application logic without provisioning infrastructure.
- Twilio Segment - Customer data platform for managing customer data and powering cross-channel marketing campaigns.
The simplicity of Twilio’s APIs has attracted hundreds of thousands of global developers who have built apps powered by its communication services. High-profile Twilio customers include Airbnb, Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Grab, Intuit, Lyft, Salesforce, Uber, and many more.
Twilio had its IPO in June 2016 at a share price of $15, closing its first day 63% higher at over $23 per share. Twilio was publicly valued at over $5 billion upon its market debut. Since the IPO, Twilio’s share price has continued to climb to over $100 per share thanks to strong revenue growth.
In 2020, Twilio acquired customer data infrastructure company Segment for $3.2 billion to add customer engagement capabilities to its communication platform. The Segment acquisition positions Twilio to become an end-to-end customer engagement platform.
With simple APIs abstracting away communication network complexity, built-in scalability and reliability, and constant platform expansion into new engagement channels, Twilio has become a mission-critical platform for businesses across industries. Twilio is leading the future of cloud-based business engagement with its APIs-first approach.