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Twilio (NYSE: TWLO) | Company Profile, History, Competitors


Twilio (NYSE: TWLO) provides a communications platform for customers to develop communications applications. As of 2017, Twilio had 48,979 customers and over one million developer accounts. It was founded in 2008 and headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

Twilio offers its software as a Communications-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS). Twilio provides a comprehensive communications platform, with a strong developer community and intuitive API environments.

Business Model

Twilio offers a platform with several key products:

Programmable Voice
Allows developers to send and receive calls within an application. The API includes features like text-to-speech, audio conferencing, recording and transcription.

Programmable Messaging
Lets  developers to enable their applications to send and receive text messages around the world. This can be used to send reminders, order confirmations and delivery arts. Twilio's API is integrated globally and can use long-code and short-code numbers, integrates with messaging apps and over IP.

Programmable Video
Lets developers embed multi-party video in applications. This can be used for collaboration and customer care.

Use Case APIs
These APIs provide additional functions to the core platform. Examples include two-factor authentication.

Add-On Marketplace
Helps third-parties add their functionality to Twilio's customers.

Super Network
Twilio's APIs are overlayed on the company's  Super Network. The company constantly monitors the traffic traveling through it to optimize performance.

In March 2018, Twilio introduced the Flex software, which is a fully programmable contact center solution. This will be fully customizable and can support call centers with up to 50,000 agents.


TWLO charges typically on a volume basis:
  • Programmable Voice Charged per minute or per phone number per month
  • Programmable Messaging Charged per text or per phone number per month
  • Programmable Video Charges per endpoint and per gbps
  • Use Case APIs Charges per API use
  • Add-on Marketplace Revenue share agreements


As of 2017, TWLO has 48,979 customers:
Technology: Atlassian, Dell, DocuSign, Hulu, Intuit, Netflix, New York Times, Paypal, RealPage, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Twitter, Venmo, WhatsApp, Zendesk
Financials: ING Bank
Food: Coca-Cola, Instacart, Postmates, TaskRabbit
Travel: Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, TripAdvisor,
Transportation: BMW, DriveNow,
Retail: The Home Depot, Nike, Nordstrom, Yelp, Sears, EBay


TWLO has several competitors in the CPaaS space. Nexmo (owned by Vonage)  frequently competes with Twilio on price., Bandwidth provides a CPaaS solution on their own IP voice network MessageBird and Plivo are also competitors.

In the contact center space, TWLO's Flex product will compete against Cisco, Genesys and Avaya.


The company was founded in 2008 by Jeff Lawson. Evan Cooke and John Wolthuis. In 2008 Twilio launched its first product, Programmable Voice. In 2010, Twilio launched Programmable Messaging. In 2015, Twilio launched Programmable Authentication and Programmable Video. In 2016, the company went public.


Jeff Lawson (CEO): Jeff Lawson is the CEO and founder of Twilio. Prior, he founded Nine Star, and He has also worked as a Product Manager at Amazon Web Services.

Lee Kirkpatrick (CFO): Lee Kirkpatrick serves as CFO since 2012. Prior, he served as CFO at Say Media, COO at Kodak Gallery and CFO at Ofoto.


 $ USD in millions    2013    2014 2015 2016 2017
 Revenues $50 
 Gross Profit $24 
 Operating Profit($27)($27)($35)($41)($66)
 Net Income($27)($27)($39)($41)($64)

Twilio, Inc.
  Ticker     NYSE: TWLO
  Industry Technology
  Founded 2008
  Headquarters San Francisco, CA
  Customers 48,979 (2017)
$399mm (2017)
  Employees 996 (2017)