Twitter is in talks to acquire Zipdial, TechCrunch reports. While not sure whether the deal has been closed or is in the process of getting closed, the publication is citing multiple sources with knowledge of talks taking place between the two companies. There could be a possibility of another company (Facebook?) also interested in acquiring ZipDial. The size of the deal is estimated to be between $30-40 million. Also Read - Twitter friends/followers seeking your unwanted attention could be UnmentionedAlso Read - Twitter vs Koo: Nigeria government joins India's Koo app after Twitter’s ban in the country
ZipDial offers unique marketing solution where consumers give missed calls to a number to engage with an advertising brand. It already claims to have over 500 clients for whom it has done over 7,000 campaigns resulting in over 900 million engagements. Also Read - Twitter seeks more time to comply with new rules in response to “one last notice”
ZipDial is no stranger to either Twitter or Facebook. It had partnered with Twitter in India earlier enabling non-Twitter subscribers to get tweets from celebrities over SMS on their mobile phones. Users had to give a missed call to a particular number that would be associated with a specific celebrity. The beauty of the solution was that it cost the user nothing to receive tweets and would work on any mobile phone even if it didn’t have data connectivity. This could be of importance to Twitter, which is trying to engage with users who are not logged in to Twitter.
With Facebook, ZipDial had created a new ad format where users could click it to give a missed call and engage with the brand either over SMS or voice call back. ZipDial claims that ad format increased the reach of one of its clients by 16 times.
ZipDial was founded by Valerie Wagoner (CEO) in February 2010. Prior to ZipDial, Wagoner was the Head – Strategic Initiatives at mCheck where she targeted the unbanked users. She also had a two-year stint at eBay and short stints at startups SayNow (which was acquired by Google) and Ning (which was acquired by Glam Media).
Wagoner co-founded ZipDial along with Amiya Pathak (COO), who had earlier stints at Ketera and Zapak; and Sanjay Swami (Chairman), who was earlier the CEO of mChek mobile and currently a partner at AngelPrime.
ZipDial would be the third Bangalore-based startup to be acquired by a global Internet company in the last one year. In January, last year Facebook acquired startup Little Eye Labs in a deal pegged between $10-12 million. In September, Yahoo acquired Bookpad for $8.3 million.