Twilio, the powerful API for phone services that allows developers to quickly integrate telephony functionality into their apps, has closed its first institutional investment round, which was led by Founders Fund and Mitchell Kapor. The company plans to use the new funding to increase its efforts in sales and marketing, and to enhance the infrastructure of the service (likely to cope with increasing demand). The amount of the round was not disclosed.
In conjunction with the funding announcement, Twilio has also announced some of its early customers, including Cheetos, Earth911, and Tumblr, which used the service to launch its Call-to-audio feature last month. Sony Music has also been using Twilio to promote some of its album releases; musicians have been recording phone messages, which can then be sent to fans of the band (you can hear a sample recording below).
The Twilio service allows developers to integrate common phone actions (like placing calls or playing back a recording) using a small set of basic API commands. Building basic projects, like this Rick Roll app, takes only a few lines of code, though developers can create far more advanced applications (Earth911 used Twilio to replace the systems behind their 1-800-CLEANUP recycling hotline).
With a solid business model and a growing customer base that includes Fortune 500 companies, Twilio seems to be off to a great start. While some commenters in my original post noted that there are a number of enterprise solutions that offer similar functionality, it’s clear that Twilio’s simplicity and use-based pricing structure has a strong appeal for many developers.