A Bangalore-based mobile-based ad software firm ZipDial said on its website that it was taken over by social media giant Twitter.
The deal was reportedly in the range of Rs.200 crore ($35 to 40 million) but neither of the companies have confirmed the deal amount.
Confirming the M&A deal, Twitter Director Rishi Jaitley said, “India is one of the fastest growing countries for us. We have been focussed on growing our audience here and this acquisition will dramatically accelerate that strategy.”
Founded in 2010 by Valerie Wagoner and Amiya Pathak, ZipDial has built a fast mobile-based content transfer for any brand. ZipDial lets users to make a “missed call” to a brand, after which the caller gets inbound content and even a reply call from the company with a voice-recorded info, SMS or an app notification.
“Only one in 3 phones in India have active Internet connections and even the average consumption is very low at an average of 60 MB per month compared to 1.38 GB consumed each month by users in the US. Our technology allows brands to interact with the audiences, especially in areas where people aren’t always connected to data or only access data through intermittent WiFi networks,” Mr. Wagoner said.
Twitter has more than 284 million monthly active users. ZipDial has 50 employees and its investors included Blume Ventures, AngelPrime, Sunil Goyal of YourNest Ventures, Mumbai Angels, Jungle Ventures, Unilazer Ventures, among others.
Even Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg said it was introducing a new ad format in India during her visit last year, saying missed calls are a popular workaround in mobile-based ad platform.
“When a person sees an ad on Facebook they can place a ‘missed call’ by clicking the ad from their mobile device,” Facebook explained in a post announcing the new ad-format based on ZipDial. “In the return call, the person receives valuable content, such as music, cricket scores or celebrity messages, alongside a brand message from the advertiser — all without using airtime or data.”
ZipDial in a statement on its website siad: “We also eagerly anticipate everything we can achieve with Twitter. We’ll continue building upon the existing ZipDial platform, and now, by coming together with Twitter, we have the tremendous opportunity to elevate everything we’ve built to a global scale.”
“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. We could not be prouder to join the flock,” it said.