Facebook is acquiring a five-year-old startup Kustomer. It is a New York-based startup co-founded in 2015 by CEO Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel. The two are former employees of Airtime, AOL, and previous owners of startup Salesforce. The company creates a platform for companies to manage customer service over social media apps like Facebook Messenger and Instagram. The startup helps its users automate and aligns all customer support related issues into one stream. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Facebook will be acquiring Kustomer for $1 billion.
In the last financial quarter, Kustomer raised around $174 million in private funding from investors Coatue, Tiger Global Management, Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Cisco investments, Canaan Partners, Boldstart Ventures, and Social Leverage. According to Pitchbook, Kustomer’s last valuation is $710 million.
Facebook has lately been branching into all forms of e-commerce. They have been investing and building several features that allow businesses to branch into social media seamlessly. Recently, Facebook-owned Instagram announced a feature where people will order food in the app itself. Along with this, gift card management has also been seamlessly integrated with social media platforms.
Earlier this year, Facebook launched Shops, a service that permits businesses to display and sell products. According to WhatsApp COO Matt Idema and Facebook VP of Business Products Dan Levy, there are almost 175 million people who contact businesses via WhatsApp daily. With the help of Kustomer, Facebook will integrate a single channel of customer service throughout all their e-commerce platforms.