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Twilio makes a pandemic mega-buy

October 12, 2020, 2:43 PM UTC

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I wrote last week of the incredible soaring stock price of Twilio (NYSE: TWLO), the customer engagement platform that has gone from a $15 billion business to a $46 billion one over the course of the year, spurred by the pandemic and investors’ love of all things digital.

On Monday, the company leveraged its mega valuation to make its largest acquisition yet: Confirming an earlier report from Forbes, Twilio said it would acquire Segment, a customer data platform, for $3.2 billion in—yes—an all-stock transaction. Soaring stock prices, after all, make for good acquisition currency.

Segment was valued at $1.5 billion in its last private round of fundraising, and has raised from investors including Y-Combinator, Kleiner Perkins, Accel, Thrive Capital, and Meritech Capital Partners. 

Companies buy a bevy of apps to help with online payments, traffic analysis, email marketing, and so on—resulting in disconnected pools of data. Segment, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said in a Monday morning call with investors, attempts to bring together all that information, allowing companies “to have the infrastructure they bought” and “to form a [whole] picture of the customer base.”

The deal between Twilio and Segment is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the year.

One thing I wouldn’t be surprised to see in the near future: even more mergers and acquisitions and investments by companies, such as Peloton, Zoom, or Shopify, whose stocks have gained valuable dealmaking currency in the pandemic (see Grubhub combining with Just Eat Takeaway).

LEON BLACK AND JEFFREY EPSTEIN: The Apollo Global Management CEO has often been questioned over his connections with Jeffrey Epstein, which he has said have been of a limited kind. But The New York Times reported on Monday that Black may have had deeper connections than previously assumed, and wired at least $50 million to Epstein in the years after the latter was convicted of soliciting prostitution from an underage girl in 2008. Read more.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda


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Breakups and Hangups

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