Facebook announced the purchase of Kustomer, a customer relations management startup founded in 2015 for a price slightly over $1 billion.
- It’s not the usual acquisition type for Facebook. Kustomer is a business software company that handles omni-channel marketing for companies using conversational agents, aka chatbots.
- Prior acquisitions of Facbook have been consumer-oriented companies: think Giphy the gif company which happened in May and PlayGiga, the cloud video gaming company which happened in December 2019.
- Focus on the ad business. Facebook makes its money selling ads and wants to use WhatsApp to help small businesses provide customer service to its customers. This is where Kustomers chatbot tech fits in well. FB can add features to help businesses close sales on its platform, and thereby buy more ads.
- Quote from FB execs in a blog post. “Any business knows that when the phone rings, they need to answer it. Increasingly, texts and messages have become just as important as that phone call -- and businesses need to adapt.”