a description of the growth of Twilio from $0 to $1.2 billion

Twilio was started in 2007 by Jeff Lawson and two other men.

Like a dozen other weird startups in this field, they sought to offer speech APIs.

Investors predicted it wouldn’t succeed: “wrong product, wrong audience.”


Their business was worth $1.2 billion 9 years later.


How did they manage to reach $2.94 billion?


They introduce their product in 2008, immediately following the onset of the global financial crisis.

Nobody trusted them because they were unknown. As a result, they independently developed the first app, RickRoll, based on their API.

Twilio is recognised by investor Dave McClure when this software receives extensive news coverage.


They raise $4.7M in 2009.

Unlike other startups in this field, they placed a strong emphasis on developers and gave them a straightforward approach to incorporate voice calls into their operations.

A developer community was expanding. This is how:

They first employ a mobile group of developer evangelists.

  1. Contribute to hackathons
  2. Post eminently credible documentation on the webpage.
  3. Include comprehensive coding instructions in the blog.


They permit the addition of SMS-based functionality to web apps around 2010.


During the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon in May 2010, the GroupMe app used Twilio’s text messaging service to enable group discussion. Eventually, Skype pays $85 million to purchase GroupMe.

The GroupMe success served as an inspiration for Twilio and solidified its place in the app ecosystem.


Twilio Micro Fund, which makes investments in firms utilising Twilio, will receive $250,000 from 500 Startups in 2010.


They raise $12 million in November 2010.


AppSumo provides a cheap collection of SaaS products in March 2011 that also includes Twilio credit.


They began offering developers the choice to use only IP connections in July 2011 in addition to conventional phone and mobile networks.


Uber joins Twilio in October 2011, when it is still a small business. In five years, they will be paying Twilio more than $30 million annually.


Twilio receives $17M (Series C) in December 2011 to broaden the communications platform internationally.


Twilio began enabling iOS app developers to incorporate VoIP in February 2012.


They launch their international SMS service in July 2012.


SendGrid announced connections to the well-liked Twilio APIs in December 2013, allowing SMS text and voice connectivity in mobile apps.


Twilio raises a $70 million Series D in June 2013.


Following that, they began to buy up more startups.


They raise $150 million at a $1.2 billion valuation in their 2016 IPO.


They only lose 4% of their consumer base year, which is an interesting fact.

Source: gigaom

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