Twitter acquires Indian mobile startup ZipDial
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Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot/ ZipDial CEO, Valerie Wagoner

It increases Twitter’s investment in India and also brings the company a new engineering office in Bangalore

e27

Twitter today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire India-based ZipDial, its product partner based in Bangalore, for an undisclosed sum with an aim to make Twitter even more accessible to people around the world.

This is Twitter’s first ever acquisition in India.

Christian Oestlien, VP of Product, Twitter explained, “Over the next several years, billions of people will come online for the first time in countries like Brazil, India and Indonesia. For many, their first online experience will be on a mobile device — but the cost of data may prevent them from experiencing the true power of the Internet. Twitter, in partnership with ZipDial, can make great content more accessible to everyone.”

ZipDial has built a mobile platform that lets people follow and engage with content across all interfaces. The user experience combines SMS, voice, mobile web, and access to mobile apps to bridge users from offline to online. For example, through ZipDial, one can engage with a publisher or brand by making a toll-free “missed call” to a designated phone number. The caller will then begin receiving inbound content and further engagement on their phone in real time through voice, SMS or an app notification. These interactions are especially appealing in areas where people aren’t always connected to data or only access data through intermittent WiFi networks.

Valerie Wagoner, Founder and CEO, ZipDial said, “More than half of the world’s population live in emerging and newly developed markets, and these consumers use their mobile phones differently. We build for them. ZipDial’s innovative platform has already scaled across South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa, where we operate. We are thrilled to expand our impact to a global level with Twitter.”

Wagoner was one of the speakers at Echelon 2013, Asia’s premiere technology and business conference that caters to the startup industry, organised by e27.

A natural next step

Over the past two years, ZipDial and Twitter have collaborated on a variety of campaigns, including the Indian elections, Bollywood film promotions and @MTVIndia’s #RockTheVote “Dial the Hashtag” campaign. Today, people in India use ZipDial’s platform to access cricket scores, audio programming, and tweets from their favourite Bollywood stars on their mobile phones.

Rishi Jaitly, Market Director, India and Southeast Asia, Twitter said, “In India, our primary mission, which is bolstered by this acquisition, is to help every Indian with a mobile device enjoy a great, relevant Twitter experience. We believe Twitter — a platform invented for SMS and rich in media — is a perfect match for India, a mobile-first country with a celebrated media heritage.”

It significantly increases Twitter’s investment in India, one of the countries where the company is seeing great growth, and also brings the company a new engineering office in Bangalore.

This post was originally published on e27

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Twishy Shahi

About Twishy Shahi


A writer at heart, Twishy thinks that no idea is small and nothing is a mistake. Some of the great works come from beautiful mistakes that are perfectly imperfect. She believes in unearthing new talent and feels that genius can be written on a bar napkin too. Incisive reporting coupled with exceptional ideas has been the love of her life. When not writing, one can find her exploring the best places to hang out with loved ones.

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