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Twilio Inc.
Type of businessPublic
Traded as
Founded2008; 15 years ago (2008) in Seattle, Washington, U.S.[1]
HeadquartersRincon Center
San Francisco, California, U.S.
  • Jeff Lawson
  • Evan Cooke
  • John Wolthuis
Key people
  • Jeff Lawson (CEO)
  • Evan Cooke (CTO)
RevenueIncrease US$2.84 billion (2021)[2]
Operating incomeDecreaseUS$915.6 million (2021)[2]
Net incomeDecreaseUS$949.9 million (2021)[2]
Total assetsIncrease US$13.00 billion (2021)[2]
Total equityIncrease US$11.03 billion (2021)[2]
Employees7,867 (Dec 2021)[2]

Twilio (/ˈtwɪli/) is an American company based in San Francisco, California, which provides programmable communication tools for making and receiving phone calls, sending and receiving text messages, and performing other communication functions using its web service APIs.


Twilio was founded in 2008 by Jeff Lawson, Evan Cooke, and John Wolthuis[3] and was originally based in both Seattle, Washington, and San Francisco, California.[4]

Twilio's first major press coverage, in November 2008, was the result of an application built by Jeff Lawson to rickroll people, which investor Dave McClure used on TechCrunch founder and editor Michael Arrington as a prank.[5] A few days later, on November 20, 2008, the company launched Twilio Voice, an API to make and receive phone calls completely hosted in the cloud.[6] Twilio's text messaging API was released in February 2010,[7] and SMS shortcodes were released in public beta in July 2011.[8]

Twilio raised approximately $103 million in venture capital growth funding. Twilio received its first round of seed funding in March 2009 for an undisclosed amount from Mitch Kapor, The Founders Fund, Dave McClure, David G. Cohen, Chris Sacca, Manu Kumar, from K9 Ventures and Jeff Fluhr.[9] Twilio's first A round of funding was led by Union Square Ventures for $3.7 million[3] and its second B round of funding, for $12 million, was led by Bessemer Venture Partners.[10] Twilio received $17 million in a Series C round in December 2011 from Bessemer Venture Partners and Union Square Ventures.[11] In July 2013 Twilio received another $70 million from Redpoint Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Bessemer Venture Partners.[12] In July 2015, Twilio raised a $130 million Series E from Fidelity, T Rowe Price, Altimeter Capital Management, and Arrowpoint Partners, in addition to Amazon and Salesforce.[13]

Twilio filed for IPO (NYSETWLO) and started trading on June 23, 2016 with a 92% increase on the first day.[14]

In March 2020, Twilio announced the appointment of Steve Pugh as Chief Security Officer and Glenn Weinstein as Chief Customer Officer.[15]

On August 4, 2022, an unknown attacker gained access to Twilio's internal network through an SMS phishing campaign targeting Twilio's employees. Twilio confirmed the breach three days later, clarifying that it affected only "a limited number" of customer accounts.[16] On August 15, Signal announced that it had been affected by the breach, indicating that the 125 customers affected included at least some enterprise accounts. [17]

In September 2022, Twilio laid off 11% of its workforce to become profitable.[18] In the company announcement, CEO Jeff Lawson claimed decisions of which employees to lay off were made through an "anti-racist/anti-oppression lens."[19][20]


Twilio is known for its use of platform evangelism to acquire customers.[21] An early example is GroupMe, which was founded in May 2010 at the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon and uses Twilio's text messaging product to facilitate group chat.[22] GroupMe raised $10.6 million in venture funding in January 2011.[23]

Following the success of TechCrunch Disrupt, seed accelerator 500 Startups (now 500 Global) announced the Twilio Fund, a $250,000 "micro-fund" to provide seed money to startups using Twilio in September 2010.[24][25]


In February 2015, Twilio acquired Authy, a Y Combinator-backed startup that offers two-factor authentication services to end users, developers and enterprises.[26]

In September 2016, Twilio acquired Tikal Technologies, the development team behind the Kurento WebRTC open source project, for $8.5 million.[27]

In February 2017, Twilio acquired Beepsend, a Swedish-based SMS messaging provider, for an undisclosed amount.[28]

In September 2018, Twilio announced they were acquiring Ytica, a Prague, Czech Republic-based speech analytics firm, for an undisclosed amount.[29]

In October 2018, Twilio announced they were acquiring SendGrid, a Denver, Colorado-based customer communication platform for transactional and marketing email, for $2 billion.[30] In February 2019, the two companies were formally merged in a deal valued at $3 billion.[31]

In November 2018, Twilio acquired Core Network Dynamics GmbH, a Berlin, Germany-based virtual evolved packet core company.[32]

In July 2020, Twilio announced they had acquired Electric Imp, an internet of things platform company, for an undisclosed amount.[33] In October of that year, Twilio acquired Segment, a platform to collect, clean, and activate customer data, for $3.2 billion.[34]

In May 2021, Twilio announced that they were acquiring Ionic Security, a data security platform for $30.2 million, [35][36] and Zipwhip, a toll-free messaging services provider, for $850 million.[37][38]

In January 2022, Twilio announced that they entered into an agreement to acquire Boku Identity, Inc. from Boku, Inc. for $32.3 million.[39][40]


Twilio uses Amazon Web Services to host its communication infrastructure via APIs.[41] Twilio follows a set of architectural design principles to protect against unexpected outages and received praise for staying online during the widespread Amazon Web Services outage in April 2011.[42]

Rather than using industry standard protocols such as SIP for call control Twilio uses a customized markup language known as TwIML to allow for direct integration with its services.[43] Twilio and the customer typically exchange TwIML documents via HTTP Webhook.

Open-source contributions[edit]

Twilio is known to support the development of open-source software. In June 2010 Twilio launched OpenVBX, an open-source product that lets business users configure phone numbers to receive and route phone calls.[44] One month later, Twilio engineer Kyle Conroy released Stashboard, an open-source status dashboard written in the Python programming language that any API or software service can use to display whether their service is functioning properly.[45]

Twilio also sponsors Localtunnel, created by former engineer Jeff Lindsay, which enables software developers to expose their local development environment to the public Internet from behind a NAT.[citation needed]

Twilio lists a number of other open-source projects on their website, such as:

  • Flask Restful: Python Flask (web framework) to build REST APIs.[46]
  • Shadow: Runs requests through a release candidate with real production traffic.[47]
  • Banker’s Box: Wrapper for storage backend.[48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Cook (24 September 2010). "Super angel McClure unveils 'micro-fund' for Twilio apps". Puget Sound Business Journal.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "US SEC: Twilio, Inc. Form 10-K". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 22 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Twilio Raises $3.7 Million For Powerful Telephony API". TechCrunch. 2009-12-30. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  4. ^ "Twilio scores funding to build telecom in the cloud business". Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  5. ^ Arrington, Michael (November 18, 2008). "Thanks Twilio, No One Is Safe From The RickRoll Now". TechCrunch
  6. ^ Kincaid, Jason (November 20, 2008). "Twilio: Powerful API For Phone Services That Can Recreate GrandCentral's Core Functionality In 15 Lines Of Code". TechCrunch.
  7. ^ Kincaid, Jason (February 9, 2010). "Twilio's Telephony API Now Lets Applications Send And Receive SMS Messages". TechCrunch.
  8. ^ Kincaid, Jason (July 13, 2011). "Twilio's Streamlined Shortcode API Now Open To All". TechCrunch.
  9. ^ "Twilio Closes Funding Round, Lands Major Customers For Its Telephony API". TechCrunch. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  10. ^ "Twilio Raises $12 Million For Powerful Telephony API". TechCrunch. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  11. ^ "Twilio Raises $17 Million Series C From Bessemer and Union Square To Expand Abroad". TechCrunch. 2011-12-07. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  12. ^ "Twilio Raises A $70M Series D As They Consider An IPO". TechCrunch. 2013-06-07. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  13. ^ "Twilio lands $130 million to make it easier to communicate via software". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  14. ^ Driebusch, Corrie; Farrell, Maureen (23 June 2016). "Twilio's Shares Jump 92% in Trading Debut". The Wall Street Journal.
  15. ^ "Twilio Welcomes Steve Pugh as Chief Security Officer and Glenn Weinstein as Chief Customer Officer". Valdosta Daily Times. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  16. ^ Roth, Emma (August 8, 2022). "Twilio suffers data breach after its employees were targeted by a phishing campaign". The Verge. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  17. ^ Oage, Carly (August 15, 2022). "Signal says 1,900 users' phone numbers exposed by Twilio breach". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  18. ^ Wiggers, Kyle (2022-09-14). "Twilio lays off 11% of its staff as it aims for profitability in 2023". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  19. ^ Robison, Kylie (2022-09-14). "Twilio promises 'anti-racist' layoffs as CEO says 11% job cuts won't hit workers from 'marginalized communities' more than others". Fortune. Archived from the original on 2022-09-16.
  20. ^ Lawson, Jeff. "A Message from Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson". Twilio. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  21. ^ "Twilio's Founder On How To Partner With 20,000 Developers - with Jeff Lawson". Mixergy. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  22. ^ "Inception: A Hackday Dream (The Story Of GroupMe)". TechCrunch. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  23. ^ Matthew Lynley (January 4, 2011). "Group texting startup GroupMe raises $10.6M despite being a long way from revenue". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  24. ^ Om Malik (2010-09-23). "Got a Twilio-based App? Get Some Investment Dollars". Gigaom. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  25. ^ "Announcing Twilio Fund for 500 Startups". Archived from the original on January 30, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  26. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (2015-02-24). "Twilio Acquires Two-Factor Authentication Service Authy". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  27. ^ "Twilio paid $8.5 million in cash for assets of Kurento Open Source Project". VentureBeat. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
  28. ^ Matney, Lucas (2017-02-07). "Twilio acquires Beepsend to make message delivery more efficient on its Super Network". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  29. ^ Miller, Ron (2018-09-11). "Twilio's contact center products just got more analytical with Ytica acquisition". TechCrunch.
  30. ^ "Twilio to Acquire SendGrid, the Leading Email API Platform". BusinessWire. 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  31. ^ "Value of Denver-based SendGrid goes up to $3B as San Francisco's Twilio completes acquisition". The Denver Post. 2019-02-05. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
  32. ^ "Twilio buys Core Network Dynamics". 2018-11-14.
  33. ^ "Electric Imp is now part of Twilio". Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  34. ^ "Twilio confirms it is buying Segment for $3.2B in an all-stock deal". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
  35. ^ MarketScreener. "Twilio Inc. acquired Ionic Security Inc. for $30.2 million. | MarketScreener". Retrieved 2022-11-22.
  36. ^ "Cybersecurity M&A Roundup: 36 Deals Announced in May 2021 | SecurityWeek.Com". Retrieved 2022-11-22.
  37. ^ Gagliordi, Natalie. "Twilio to acquire toll-free messaging provider Zipwhip for $850 million". ZDNet. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  38. ^ Schlosser, Kurt (2021-05-17). "Twilio to acquire Seattle business texting startup Zipwhip for $850M". GeekWire. Retrieved 2022-12-10.
  39. ^ MarketScreener. "Twilio Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire Boku Identity, Inc. from Boku, Inc. for $32.3 million. | MarketScreener". Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  40. ^ "Twilio and Boku Mobile Identity Come Together to Offer Secure Onboarding". Twilio Blog. Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  41. ^ Harris, Derrick (March 3, 2009). "Why Amazon Will Make or Break Twilio". Gigaom.
  42. ^ Dubray, Jean-Jacques (April 25, 2011). "Twilio's Cloud Architecture Principles". InfoQ.
  43. ^ Levent-Levi, Tsahi (2020-01-06). "The top 6 CPaaS trends to track in 2022". TechTarget. Retrieved 2022-12-10.
  44. ^ "Twilio Releases OpenVBX, An Open Source Google Voice For Businesses". TechCrunch. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  45. ^ Catacchio, Chad (2010-07-21). "Twilio open sources Stashboard, an API monitoring dashboard". TNW | Apps. Retrieved 2022-12-10.
  46. ^ "flask-restful/flask-restful". Github. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  47. ^ "twilio/shadow". Github. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  48. ^ "twilio/BankersBox". Github. Retrieved 2015-12-03.

External links[edit]