Twilio and 500 Startups take their seed fund to Europe

Twilio and 500 Startups take their seed fund to Europe

Taking to the stage at the London Web Summit today, Twilio co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson announced an extension to their partnership with Dave McLure’s seed accelerator 500 Startups, which will see a new micro-fund made available specifically for Twilio-powered startups in Europe.

Just to recap, four years ago, Jeff Lawson, Evan Cooke, and John Wolthuis launched Twilio to create a platform that offered a scalable API for developers to access for phone service applications (calls and text messages). A lot has changed since then.

Following the launch of its voice and SMS API in Europe back in 2011, it has steadily been growing its reach to cover more than forty countries across six continents.

It has previously offered a 500 Startups-backed fund, launched initially in 2010, but this latest move marks its official launch for Europe-based companies, which can now apply for seed funding.

As with the US-based fund, Twilio Fund Europe will be managed by 500 Startups, and in addition to the upfront investment, successful applicants will receive free Twilio credits to be used as they see fit, as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco to feature at Twilio’s annual conference.

We managed to catch a few words with Lawson at the London Web Summit earlier today:


In terms of eligibility, startups will either be in the process of building, or about to launch, a product or service powered by Twilio’s Web service APIs. They must also be privately held, less than five years old, and have had less than $1m in funding to date. Applicants should be able to display a creative use of the Twilio API.

Lawson noted that the Twilio Fund has made more than a dozen investments to date, including the 2012 finalists, which were announced today: Babelverse, Call Loop, Healthsouk, Sessions, and Wedgies. Previous ‘winners’ include TalkDesk, Mobonics, FastCall, Magnolia Prime, OrderMapper and Turnstar.

“It is our pleasure to continue to work with 500 Startups on the Twilio Fund,” said Lawson. “We are very enthusiastic about the level of quality we see among European entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to see what they build.”

Startups are invited to apply from today through to May 1 (07:59 CET). Meanwhile, you can follow all our coverage from the London Web Summit here.

Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock

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