CXTech Week 37 2021 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 37 2021 newsletter is to highlight, with commentary, some of the news stories in CXTech this week. What is CXTech?  The C stands for Connectivity, Communications, Collaboration, Conversation, Customer; X for Experience because that’s what matters; and Tech because the focus is enablers.

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Covered this week:

  • Unifonic has closed a $125M Series B round
  • KT Corp Acquires Epsilon Telecommunications
  • Identity Transaction: TransUnion buys Neustar for $3.1 Billion
  • Intuit (TurboTax) buys MailChimp (Email Marketing)
  • Wazo raises $7.5 million CAD Seed Round
  • $6.5k in Additional TADHack Global Prizes thanks to Telnyx and Symbl.ai
  • Enterprise Connect 2021 Goes Full Virtual
  • It’s time to sign up to the TADHack Global Developer Resources
  • thinQ Acquires Messaging API Platform teli, Rebrands as Commio
  • People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Unifonic has closed a $125M Series B round

Unifonic, a Middle East focused CPaaS, announces its $125M Series B funding round, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Sanabil Investments. Unifonic’s solutions integrate customer communication channels including text, voice, messaging and web into a single platform to enable companies to create stronger customer relationships.

Here’s a webinar I gave with Unifonic on “Cloud Communications – the New Powerhouse of Customer Engagement”.

KT Corp Acquires Epsilon Telecommunications

South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, has acquired Singapore-headquartered Epsilon Telecommunications, a global connectivity provider that simplifies how businesses connect applications and data around the world using Epsilon’s NaaS (Network as a Service) platform.

From TADSummit Asia 2021 you can see Liang Dong present on “Delivering the Future of Networking with Hyper-scalable Connectivity“. It provides a good overview of Epsilon’s NaaS. This is an example of a telco buying in programmable communications.

Identity Transaction: TransUnion buys Neustar for $3.1 Billion

TransUnion bought Neustar from a private investment group led by Golden Gate Capital. TransUnion providers credit checks, reports and scores. Neustar provides real-time information and analytics similar to what smartnumbers described at TADSummit 2020 (TeleSign and Prove being others in a similar category), and provides clearinghouse and directory services to the telecoms and Internet industries. Its the domain name registry for .biz, .us, .co, .nyc, and .in.

At the start of this year we saw Equifax buy KOUNT (identity verification), CXTech Week 2 2021. I also discussed raises from Socure and Seon in CXTech Week 25 2021. I think it’s inevitable that TransUnion or Experian or Equifax or one of their competitors will buy Prove or Socure given their positions in Banking, and the importance of intelligence around the mobile device. TeleSign is a bit more complex because of BICS, and being more focused on global web companies. However, they are all expanding their addressable markets.

Intuit (TurboTax) buys MailChimp (Email Marketing)

Intuit will buy Mailchimp for $12 billion. We’ve seen other email marketing companies bought by programmable comms companies: Twilo (SendGrid for $2B in 2018) and MessageBird (SparkPost for $1B in CXTech Week 17 2021).

$12B does look a little rich. I used MailChimp’s free and paid-for services over the years. But their pricing kept ratcheting up, so I moved the paid stuff over the MadMimi. Mailchimp is about 2-2.5 times the size of SendGrid, but SendGrid wins on growth given the increasing use of automations in omnichannel messaging.

I guess as part of a suite of SMB tools, Intuit’s acquisition makes sense. But email is increasingly one of a number of integrated messaging channels, across alerts, notifications, reminders, ecommerce, newsletters, etc. Let’s see if MailChimp tries to compete with SendGrid and SparkPost, or focuses on being the gorilla in email marketing.

Wazo raises $7.5 million CAD Seed Round

Congrats to the Wazo team! Launched in 2017, Wazo has succeeded in convincing nearly 30,000 users and more than fifty operators to adopt its solution. These include Hexatel, Waycom, IPLine, L’agence Télécom, Thym Business and the Convergence Group. 

Below is Sylvain Boily giving a keynote presentation at TADSummit in 2017 on “xCPaaS: The Convergence of CPaaS and UCaaS”.

$6.5k in Additional TADHack Global Prizes thanks to Telnyx and Symbl.ai

In addition to the TADHack prize pot covering Local and Global prizes, we have 2 additional bonus prizes:

Enterprise Connect 2021 Goes Full Virtual

EC21 will now be all-virtual. I was looking forward to wandering the quiet, socially distanced expo gathering as many freebies as I could 🙁

We’ll still be presenting the results of TADHack Global, the world’s largest programmable communications hackathon, at Enterprise Connect.

Get your free Virtual Pass to Enterprise Connect here: https://www.enterpriseconnect.com/orlando/virtualpass

It’s time to sign up to the TADHack Global Developer Resources

The weekend before TADHack is the best time to review the TADHack Global Sponsor Intro Videos AND sign up to their Developer Resources:

  • Symbl.ai – conversation intelligence
  • jambonz – open source telecoms
  • Subspace – faster than light real-time communications 😉
  • AWA_Network – SMS delivered your way
  • Telnyx – full suite of programmable communications

I know the inclination is to leave signing up to the day of TADHack, but for Subspace you must leave time to talk with them one-on-one during the week so they can set you up.  You’d better get that Subspace slot booked ASAP!

thinQ Acquires Messaging API Platform teli, Rebrands as Commio

ThinQ, the cloud communications platform (CPaaS) that powers programmable voice and text messaging in applications, has acquired teli, a privately-held, Denver-based provider of text messaging APIs, and has rebranded the combined entities under Commio.

The new Commio brand has customer communications at its core, reflecting its position as the only CPaaS with reliable, multi-carrier programmable voice and messaging that eliminates worry, unnecessary costs, and complexity, enabled by proprietary tools and technology (least cost routing in programmable communications).

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Filipe Leitão has left 8X8, more coming soon…

Alaa Herbawi is now Account Executive at Gartner

Rupert Baines is now Chief Marketing Officer at Codasip.

Afonso Caldeira is now Senior Product Manager at ELEVEN PORTUGAL

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