A Dutch software company, MessageBird, is set to acquire email marketing firm SparkPost for US$600 million in an all-cash deal to strengthen its North American focus and competition with Twilio, Bloomberg reported.
Twilio’s value has grown from US$1.23 billion to US$67.8 billion within four years of listing. MessageBird had procured US$800 million from investors including Eurazeo, Tiger Global, Owl Rock Capital, and BlackRock to fund the transaction. Eurazeo’s Nathalie Kornhoff-Bruls will join MessageBird’s board.
MessageBird aims to grow its US workforce from 20 to 300 by the transaction closure. MessageBird’s platform makes it easier for companies to communicate with their customers through a range of channels including SMS, voice and messaging platforms like WhatsApp. The acquisition of SparkPost will add email to MessageBird’s suite of communication tools, as well as top clients like Disney, JPMorgan and Adobe.
Making a big investment like this in email might seem like a kind of return to basics, but MessageBird CEO and founder Robert Vis said it’s still a widely-used method of communication between businesses and their customers.
MessageBird “wants to make communicating with a business to feel as natural as with a friend,” Vis told CNBC in an interview. “And if you define that as texting with a business, where are all the interactions happening today? They’re happening on email.”
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