Twilio has been creating ripples in the US and across the cloud-based communications sphere for a few years now. And now it has announced its full launch in the UK, which will include its first office outside of the US.
If you’ve not heard of these guys before, the company is setting out to reinvent telecom by merging the worlds of cloud computing, Web services and telecommunications. Twilio is a simple API for developers. It hosts a telephony infrastructure Web service in the cloud, allowing developers to integrate phone calls, text messages and IP voice communications into their phone applications.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Twilio is now launching Twilio Voice in the UK, where it has been in beta for the past few months, and alongside its new office in East London it’s hoping to gain traction in the UK market. Twilio developers will be able to buy local UK telephone numbers from the Twilio.com website and Twilio’s API, allowing them to reach local consumers and businesses in the UK more easily.
On top of this, Twilio is expanding massively across Europe, launching in beta today in Poland, France, Portugal, Austria and Denmark, and an additional 11 countries will be added by the end of the year.
“International functionality has been among our top customer requested features since the company launched three years ago,” said Jeff Lawson, Twilio’s CEO and co-founder. “Through our powerful APIs we enable developers to build fantastic, innovative products. We estimate there are more than 10 million software developers worldwide, and we look forward to serving a greater number of them than ever before from our European HQ in London.”
If you’re wondering about costs, geographic telephone numbers (e.g. London, Manchester etc) cost $1 a month through Twilio, whilst freephone numbers cost $2 amonth. In terms of outbound calls through these numbers, it costs $0.02 to landline numbers, and $0.16 to mobile “that’s about half the price that Skype charges”, says Lawson
Twilio has also announced its first major Europe-based customer, Zendesk, a San Francisco-based company which we recently reported had launched its European HQ in London. Zendesk is a cloud-based helpdesk platform for businesses, and it is now launching Zendesk Voice built on Twilio’s API, which is designed to help businesses create cloud-based call-centres cheaper and more easily than traditional means. “Zendesk isn’t a telecoms company, it’s a software company”, said Lawson at today’s launch event in central London, to emphasize the point that Twilio’s API circumvents the need for companies to use niche telecoms developers.
Twilio currently serves more than 60,000 developers globally with customers including eBay, Sony and Linkedin, though Lawson says he’s looking to tap into the 10m developers across the world.
Twilio’s a very interesting company for sure, and we’ll be keeping tabs on its progress in the wake of its European launch.