Twitter has just announced that it made its first Indian acquisition: Twitter buys ZipDial, a Bangalore start-up company and by doing so it is going to reach millions of people in one of the world’s fastest growing mobile phone markets.
Twitter buys ZipDial, a mobile marketing company from Bangalore, for an estimated $30-$40 million. The company uses callback workarounds and SMS to help people who cannot afford have access to the Internet.
Many people in India can afford a mobile phone, but cannot afford a data plan, which prevents them from accessing the Internet or they cannot afford to actually make calls. This is where ZipDial comes in: it capitalizes on a method that many Indian mobile phone users do, the missed call method. This means that a person calls a number, but they hang up before they are billed, but after the person they are calling gets to see their number. ZipDial partners with businesses which call the people back or use SMS to get in touch with them.
Twitter’s market director for India, Rishi Jaitly, revealed that Twitter’s primary mission is to help every single Indian person with a mobile device to experience Twitter. He continued:
During our 2014 elections, the two national political parties—@BJP4India and @INCIndia—worked with Twitter and ZipDial to make their Twitter accounts accessible to all users in India on any phone, on any network and in any language.
India is the world’s second largest smartphone market, but almost 70% of mobile users use lower-end feature phones. Aside from that, India does not offer good mobile data connections and many users say that there is no real difference between 2G and 3G connectivity.
India isn’t the only country in the world who uses these types of methods of communication, such as callback and missed call. There are more developing markets in a similar situation and Twitter’s acquisition of ZipDial will help Twitter have access to those markets. Twitter buys ZipDial, which opens up a whole new world of opportunity for the social media giant.
ZipDial was founded in 2010 by Amiya Pathak, Sanjay Swamy and Valorie Wagoner. Its client list includes giants such as Disney, Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Cadbury. The start-up company has already raised money from Times Internet, Jungle Ventures, Mumbai Angels and Blume Venture.
Image Source: Startup Times India