Facebook to acquire Kustomer in $1 billion deal

The social media platform is incorporating more ways for businesses to communicate with their customers.

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This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) announced in a blog post on Monday that it would acquire privately held start-up Kustomer. The company provides a customer-relationship management (CRM) platform that helps businesses manage customer communications across a variety of channels.  

The price of the deal wasn't disclosed but was reportedly worth just over $1 billion, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, citing "people familiar with the matter." 

One of the consequences of the pandemic has been an acceleration in the digital transformation. Facebook noted this shift, pointing out that "texts and messages have become just as important as that phone call -- and businesses need to adapt." More than 175 million people contact businesses via its WhatsApp social media platform, and the number is growing, according to Facebook.

After releasing several tools recently to allow customers to communicate with businesses more easily via Messenger and WhatsApp, Facebook was ready to take the next step, bringing Kustomer onboard. The CRM platform is an omnichannel tool that gathers customer communications from a variety of channels and brings them together in a single screen. It also automates repetitive tasks, allowing customer-service personnel to "maximize the time and quality of interactions with customers."

Kustomer allows businesses to aggregate and respond to customer communications, and was previously integrated with Messenger. Facebook began incorporating similar capabilities into Instagram just last month.

Kustomer's founders, Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, spent a previous stint at Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE: CRM) and have a history of successful start-ups. The pair sold their cloud-based customer app Assistly to Salesforce in 2011 for $80 million.

This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Danny Vena owns shares of Facebook. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Facebook and Salesforce.com. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Facebook. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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