NEW DELHI: Social networking giant Twitter has acquired Indian startup ZipDial, a Bangalore-based mobile VAS company, came into prominence with its implementation of missed calls for user verification, alerts and other use cases.
Rishi Jaitly, market director, India & Southeast Asia for Twitter shared the news through a blog post. “On behalf of our India operations, I’m delighted to welcome ZipDial’s leadership, employees and a new office in Bangalore to the spirited team that is @TwitterIndia,” he said.
While the monetary value of the deal has not been disclosed, an earlier report by TechCrunch mentioned that the deal had been closed between $30 to $40 million.
It appears that the acquisition will enable Twitter to reach out to users with feature phones or erratic mobile data connectivity, bringing on-demand alerts when users make missed calls (a call that disconnects before the other party answers).
ZipDial becomes Twitter’s first acquisition in India. In 2013, there were rumours that Twitter was in talks to acquire an India-based startup, Frrole, a Big Data company that analyses tweets by Twitter users to generate insights for media, consumer and entertainment verticals. However, the deal never materialised.
ZipDial was co-founded by Valerie Wagoner, Amiya Pathak, and Sanjay Swamy.
The company had previously partnered with Twitter to offer tweets from celebrities such as Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan as text messages to users when they registered by dialling a preset number and hanging up (essentially making a missed call). During the 2014 elections, two national political parties – BJP and Indian National Congress had worked with Twitter and ZipDial to make their Twitter accounts accessible to all users in India on via phones through ZipDial’s missed call-based alerts service.
ZipDial had also partnered with Facebook to offer updates from brands through its Facebook Click2Call ad service. It created mobile ads for brands that featured buttons to make a missed call and users received information via voice and text messages about the brand.
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