Twitter buys Indian startup ZipDial

New Delhi/Bengaluru (IANS): Microblogging site Twitter Tuesday announced it has acquired ZipDial, a Bengaluru-based mobile value added services startup.

Though this is Twitter’s first acquisition in India, the company did not disclose the deal size.

ZipDial has built a mobile platform, which allows users to follow and engage with content across interfaces.

The user experience combines SMS, voice, mobile web and access to mobile apps to bridge users from offline to online.

ZipDial’s platform has about 60 million users with hundreds of marketer clients across the country, including the world’s leading brands and media firms.

“As we want to make Twitter more accessible to the people the world over, our partnership with ZipDial will make great content accessible to everyone,” Twitter’s market director for India and Southeast Asia Rishi Jaitly said in an e-mail to IANS.

Twitter expects billions of people to go online for the first time in many countries like Brazil, India and Indonesia in future.

“For many people, though their first online experience will be on a mobile device, the cost of data may prevent them from experiencing the true power of the Internet,” Twitter vice president Christian Oeslien said in a statement.

By acquiring ZipDial, Twitter wants to help every Indian with a mobile device enjoy its experience.

“We believe our platform, invented for SMS and rich in media, is a perfect match for India,” Jaitly said.

The acquisition also gives Twitter a new engineering office in Bengaluru and signifies its increasing investment in India, where it sees great potential for growth.

ZipDial has about 50 employees across the country.

“Over half of the world’s population lives in emerging and newly developed markets, where consumers use mobile phones differently. We build for them. Our innovative platform has scaled across South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa, where we operate,” ZipDial founder and chief executive Valerie Wagoner said.

Through ZipDial, it will be easy for a user to engage with a publisher or brand by making a toll-free missed call to a designated number.

“The caller will receive an inbound content and further engagement on his/her phone in real time through voice, SMS or an application notification,” the statement said.

Over the past two years, ZipDial and Twitter have collaborated on a variety of campaigns, including the general elections in 2014 and Bollywood promotions.

“People across India use ZipDial’s platform to access cricket scores, audio programming, tweets from Bollywood stars on their mobile phones,” the statement added.