Twitter acquires Bangalore-based 'missed call' startup ZipDial
The company, which Twitter bought for an undisclosed amount, is an important part of its strategy to expand its footprints into emerging markets which data penetration is still poor.
Banglore-based marketing and analytics platform, ZipDial, has been acquired by Twitter for an undisclosed amount, according to an official announcement from both Twitter and ZipDial. This confirms a report by TechCrunch published last week, which said that Twitter was in final talks to acquire ZipDial for between $30 and $40 million.
ZipDial, which was founded in 2010 by Valerie Wagoner (CEO), Amiya Pathak (COO) and Sanjay Swamy (chairman and investor), allows people to give a missed call to a toll-free number to start receiving content like SMS messages, voice calls or app notifications from brands or their favoutite celebrities or organisations. In doing so, ZipDial turned India's unique 'missed call' phenomenon into a marketing platform that allows users who can't afford data plans and smartphones to access content on the go. Users in India consumer an average of 60 MB of data per month, only 4.5% of the 1.38 GB consumed each month by users in the United States, according to Wagoner's post on the ZipDial blog.
Bollywood actors like Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth and religious leaders like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have used ZipDial in the past to connect with fans. During the 2014 elections, both the BJP and the Congress worked with Twitter and ZipDial to make their Twitter accounts accessible to all users in India on any phone, on any network and in any language. Television channels like MTV and Times Now have also used ZipDial to launch hashtag campaigns and breaking election alerts via SMS messages.
'Our ambitious goal is to make Twitter's unique, great content accessible to 100% of the world's mobile users, including those in emerging markets who will be experiencing the mobile Internet for the first time,' writes Wagoner.