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May 21, 2015

Wheelings & Dealings: Twilio Debuts $50 Million App Development Fund

Twilio has launched a $50 million development investment fund, focused on attracting new developers and businesses to build on its platform, while giving existing developers resources to do more.

“We live in a software-defined world that’s changing every day for the better, thanks to the work of developers,” said Kyle Kelly-Yahner, community content manager for Twilio. “Investing in developer ecosystems is essential to fuel those ingenious inventions that let you do anything from crowdsourcing language translation, to building a social polling platform good enough for the President’s State of the Union.”

With the support of venture capitalist investors Bessemer Venture Partners, DFJ and Redpoint Ventures, Twilio Fund offers a two-pronged incentive plan. First is a cash investment opportunity provided by the VC partners, while a second branch offers qualified companies the opportunity to receive Twilio credits, marketing support and technical advice on best practices with the company.

Image via Shutterstock

Twilio specializes in providing an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform for creating software-embedded, contextual communications. As such, it provides APIs for Web developers to build cloud communications applications using voice and SMS.

The fund is already bearing fruit: The first investment went to Speakeasy, which launched a new iPhone app that offers simple conference calling without the need for any PIN codes.

“Powered by Twilio, Speakeasy’s iPhone app and Web client to are set to transform today’s out-of-touch conference call technology into an engaging, shared mobile experience where businesses communicate more productively with customers and colleagues,” said Kelly-Yahner.

Wedgies, Babelverse and TalkDesk have also received investment from the fund.

Wedgies offers users real-time social polls for the Web. They can share a poll on Twitter or broadcast an SMS poll, for example. Bableverse is a real-time, universal language translator; and TalkDesk offers call center apps.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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