As Novac/Bernard Ivezic writes, Twilio has 4,500 employees, generates 1.76 billion US dollars in revenue annually and has a market value of 51.85 billion dollars. It is a company that the founders of the Vodnjan company Infobip – Silvio Kutic, Izabel Jelenic and Roberto Kutic – most often point out as their main competitor. By comparison, Infobip has about 3,000 employees, revenue of 1.25 billion dollars, and last year its market value exceeded an impressive 1 billion dollars.
Due to the difference of 1:52 in relation to Twilio, the first Croatian unicorn startup is preparing to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of next year or at the beginning of 2023 at the very latest. As one of the preparatory steps, the Vodnjan company Infobip aims to raise a 500 million dollar investment by the end of August 2021. It will purchase its own competition with those finds.
Twilio will not be on that list because of its value, but which smaller competitors will be there is problematic to predict because it also depends on the aspirations of their own respective investors. That’s why it’s good to understand who, in fact, Infobip’s competitors actually are and in which direction the business in which they operate is developing.
Both Infobip and Twilio are engaged in a business that is quite exotic. There are SMS messages, connections to applications (apps) on the web and on mobiles, chatbots, emails, support for the omnichannel communication of brands, geolocation solutions and many other similar services.
Both companies have developed a variety of software, which, like Lego bricks, companies can integrate into their own web and mobile applications, thus communicating with their users more easily and securely. Infobip and Twilio are therefore communication platforms that sell their software as a service (Communication platform as a Service – CpaaS).
The main reason why companies that sell over the internet, and today that is almost all of them, have a need for their services is the necessity to control costs and communication to all their customers, no matter where they’re located. This cannot be offered by any teleoperator, not even the likes of Starlink.
Although Elon Musk created the first true global operator with Starlink, meaning one that has its own planetary infrastructure, it doesn’t offer mobile services. Large global telecoms, which form the backbone of the Internet, such as Level 3, Telie, GTT, Cogent and NTT, also show no interest in offering companies software solutions for specific forms of communication. The only ones slowly moving towards the field where Twilio and Infobip compete are Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
Currently, another company that the Vodnjan company Infobip founders often cite as a competitor is the Swedish Sinch. It has a market value of 9.76 billion dollars, revenue of just under 1 billion dollars and more than 1,600 employees. Sinch follows a similar tactic and is intensively active in acquisitions.
Recently, Sinch has acquired SAP’s SAP Digital Interconnect business unit, followed by Brazil’s Wavy and the largest independent voice communications operator in the US, Inteliquent.
A European challenger
Infobip’s competitor is also RingCentral, an American company that offers other companies similar communication solutions as Zoom and MS Teams. RingCentral, which had revenue of 1.2 billion dollars last year, also offers a communications platform as a service, forcing Microsoft and other major technology companies to potentially enter the segment.
Finally, there is another major European challenger in the mix, MessageBird. This Dutch company is particularly interesting because it promotes business in a very similar way to Croatia’s own Infobip. It boasts of collaborating with giants such as Facebook, Google, Uber and WhatsApp and offering an omnichannel communication platform. Behind MessageBird are (financially) the largest VC fund in Europe, Atomico, Y Combinator and Accel.
In addition, the Dutch are also targeting expansion into the United States. Back in April, they raised a 800 million dollars investment to buy the American mail marketing company SparkPost, and this is just the beginning of the list in the CPaaS market, which also includes the Indian Plivo, the American Vonage Communications and many others, so it is obvious that consolidation will follow in the next period.
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