June 23, 2016

Twilio IPO and the Year of Communications?

Honey, I know times are changing, it’s time we all reach for something new, that means you, too. “Purple Rain” by Prince

Last night, Twilio (TWLO) successfully priced its IPO above the expected range. As of this morning, it’s up nearly 60% from the IPO price. This raises the question about whether the IPO window is now open for VC-backed tech companies. My answer: perhaps. A steady flow of exits would be welcomed by many. I wonder if this might also signal the beginning of a new era in communications?

Twilio’s in-app communications service allows customers to message customer service reps, and it counts the likes of Uber, Nordstrom, Affirm, Zendesk, and Polaris as customers.

You may have seen Mary Meeker’s report citing the growth of messaging and new modes of communications used by Millenials and GenXers, with a heavy emphasis on images. Slack is becoming the platform for business communications and collaboration platform. Next generation services are being created on top of a messaging foundation.

And yesterday I was visiting with Jose Barreau, the founder and CEO of DocHalo, #startupcincy company. DocHalo is experiencing rapid growth as a “clinical communications platform.” It’s basically Slack for healthcare: using a secure platform, DocHalo takes care coordination to a new level, and it integrates with existing technologies used by healthcare providers.

For startups, you might want to think about how your service is leveraging communications. Is messaging and communications a foundation of your tech stack? If not, you might be left behind.