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India buy: Twitter may pay $30 m for ZipDial

Micro-blogging site Twitter is in talks to acquire Bengaluru-based mobile marketing platform ZipDial for around $30 million.

The deal is likely to be closed by the end of this week, according to sources.

While Valerie Wagoner, Founder and CEO of ZipDial, did not respond to a query from BusinessLine, industry experts said that the deal suits Twitter’s overall game plan.

Venugopal Satyanarayana of Orios Venture Partners said the acquisition would help Twitter expand user base and have an edge over social networking site Facebook, which has a user base of 1.3 billion people globally. Twitter has about 280 million users.

ZipDial, founded by Wagoner, an US national, in February 2010 was ranked as the eighth most innovative Indian company ahead of Nandan Nilekani’s Aadhaar in 2014 by technology research firm FastCompany. Other co-founders of the company are Amiya Pathak (COO) and Sanjay Swami (Chairman) and the venture is funded by bunch of angel investors Blume Ventures, Mumbai Angel, YourNest Angel, 500 Startups and Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer.

Missed calls

ZipDial, which provides a unique marketing solution for brands to engage with consumers through missed calls, had last year partnered with Twitter India, enabling users to get Tweets from celebrities as SMSes on their mobile phones. ZipDial has over 500 clients for whom it has done over 7,000 campaigns, resulting in over 900 million engagements.

Angel investor Anil Joshi said the deal will offer Twitter an added revenue model. ZipDial has tie ups with all major consumer and media brands such as HUL, P&G and Colors where it charges these brands on a subscription model. This will help Twitter generate lot of leads for campaigns and capture data and then monetise that data.

Sumit Mahajan, Director, Walker Chandiok & Co LLP, said the deal will boost the mobile advertisement space.

The article appeared in the Hindu Business Line. The article can be found here.