Twilio, the cloud communications company, has today announced that it has raised a $17 million Series C round of funding from Bessemer Venture Partners and Union Square Ventures, who were also investors in Twilio’s Series B round.
The Series C round comes at the end of an eventful 2011 for Twilio. This year, the company grew its customer base by 400% to nearly 75,000 developers, expanded its offering overseas to Europe, opened an office in London and expanded its product line dramatically with the introduction of SMS Short Codes, Twilio Client and Twilio Connect. The company now employs nearly 100 people, with most located at its San Francisco headquarters.
Twilio is the market-leading cloud communications platform. The company simplifies a century of complex telecommunications technologies into simple, web-based building blocks that anyone with access to basic programming skills can configure. Using Twilio, companies and developers can easily build voice, VoIP and text messaging capabilities into their existing applications or build totally new kinds of communications applications from scratch. Unlike traditional telecom vendors, Twilio requires no contracts and charges no upfront fees. Customers only pay for the resources they use, when they use them, and nothing else.
“At Twilio, we’re opening the black box of telecom to developers and companies that can now innovate in this previously esoteric field,” said Jeff Lawson, CEO and co-founder of Twilio. “With this new round of funding, we look forward to expanding that mission.”
Because of Twilio’s simplicity, scalability and risk-free pricing model, the community of developers and businesses on its platform has built a vast array of communications applications, including web-based distributed call centres, voice and SMS notification systems, hosted IVRs, conferencing solutions, group messaging apps and much more.
Twilio, which announced its product availability in the United Kingdom in October, plans to continue its expansion into Europe. All told, Twilio intends to offer its services locally in twenty European countries in the coming months, including Poland, France, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Romania, Greece, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Finland. The London office, opened in October, will support this European expansion.
“We have had the privilege of working with Twilio for three years, beginning with our initial investment in their seed round in early 2009,” said Byron Deeter, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, who joined the Twilio board during their Series B round. “Jeff and his exceptional team have exceeded our expectations, grabbing the hearts and minds of more than 75,000 developers and creating thousands of new products and companies in the process. We look forward to watching them continue to take market share in the exciting and massive telephony applications market.”
Bessemer is a long-time investor in SaaS and voice, having backed companies including Skype, VeriSign and Cornerstone OnDemand.
“There are very few opportunities to create new platform companies,” said Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures. “Twilio has figured out how to make communication networks accessible to all developers, unlocking many new use cases. With this financing they are really well positioned to grow as a new cloud communications platform.”