Facebook announced Monday that it will buy a startup that specializes in helping businesses interact with customers online.
The five-year acquisition of Kustomer comes at a time when the leading social network continues to integrate e-commerce into its offerings, in particular its WhatsApp and Messenger messaging services.
More than 175 million people communicate with businesses via WhatsApp every day, and the number is growing, according to WhatsApp COO Matt Idema and Facebook VP of Business Products Dan Levy.
“With our complementary capabilities, we will be able to help more people benefit from customer service that is faster, more comprehensive, and available when and how they need it – by phone, email, text, web chat or messaging,” said the Kustomer CEO Brad Birnbaum. said of joining with Facebook.
“In particular, we hope to improve the messaging experience, which is one of the fastest growing ways for individuals and businesses to engage.”
New York-based Kustomer will continue to serve its existing clients after co-founders Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel and the rest of the startup team become part of Facebook, according to the companies.
The Kustomer platform provides software tools to help sales representatives better address customer inquiries or concerns.
Facebook will provide resources for Kustomer to innovate and grow, according to Idema and Levy.
“That way, more people will benefit from customer service that is faster, more comprehensive, and available when and how they need it,” said the Facebook and WhatsApp executives.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and must be approved by regulators.