Facebook has agreed to acquire Kustomer, a startup specialising in customer-service platforms and chatbots, for a reported amount of $1 billion.
Kustomer, the SaaS platform reimagining enterprise customer service, in December 2019 that it raised $60 million in Series E funding — led by Coatue with participation from current investors Tiger Global Management and Battery Ventures.
Kustomer has raised $161 million of funding across four rounds, bringing the company’s total funding to $173.5 million. Kustomer was last valued at $710 million in a private funding round. Kustomer’s co-founders are Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel.
The company is powering satisfaction and loyalty for some of today’s most iconic, people-first brands, including Glossier, Ring, ThirdLove, Rent the Runway, Sweetgreen, Glovo, Away, and UNTUCKit.
Facebook said that Kustomer businesses will continue to own the data that comes from interactions with their customers.
“Facebook eventually expects to host Kustomer data on secure Facebook infrastructure,” said Dan Levy, VP of Ads and Business Products. Facebook will act as a service provider at the instruction of business customers.
While Facebook will not automatically use Kustomer data to inform the ads that a user sees, businesses will have the option to use their data at Kustomer for their own marketing purposes, which may include separate advertising services on Facebook.
“Our goal with Kustomer is simple: to give businesses access to best-in-class tools that deliver excellent service and support,” said Matt Idema, COO of WhatsApp.
Some 50 million businesses and 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day.
This number is growing because messaging provides a better overall customer experience and drives sales for businesses.
Kustomer is an omnichannel CRM platform that brings customer conversations from various channels together into a single-screen view.