In a bid to strengthen its social commerce’ arm, Facebook has recently paid top dollar for their recent acquisition.
The social media giant acquired Kustomer for a whopping $1 billion which is a startup that helps aggregates conversations with customers from various channels onto a single-screen, and automate responses.
Co-Founded by Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, Kustomer, last valued at $710 million, raised close to $174 million in private funding from investors such as Coatue, Tiger Global Management, Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Cisco Investments, Canaan Partners and more.
Facebook’s interest in the omnichannel customer service platform is pretty straightforward. By acquiring Kustomer, the social media giant is probably looking to provide superior customer services to businesses on its platform.
Now, it could either come as a free feature to its already existing suite of business tools such as Facebook Pages or as a paid service. No matter which route they opt to go for, this acquisition will definitely help Zuckerberg pursue businesses to stay loyal to the Facebook ecosystem to some extent.
Customer service is a very interesting play for the social media major because it is perfectly complementary to their other more significant area of focus – social commerce.
It is well known that Facebook made a big push into this space in the month of May when they launched Facebook Shops – an option which lets businesses create online stores through Facebook and Instagram.
Therefore, one can view this acquisition as a necessary add-on to Facebook’s goal of further accelerating their pace with social commerce as well.
Kustomer’s aim has always been to make customer service agents more efficient via their platform. It allows businesses to see a complete picture of many different places wherein conversations are taking place with customers. It could be on apps, on social media, in websites, via chatbots, emails, etc. And thus this is something that even Facebook themselves can leverage internally for their family of apps.
Using Kustomer, Facebook can spread out their customer service experience beyond the walls of their primary app and in many ways control the bigger picture by forging better relationships with their users regardless of the platform or medium they are reaching out from.
This way, the social media behemoth will also be able to stay ahead of their rivals which have been making some similar moves as of late. Coincidentally, Snapchat for instance, earlier this month acquired Voca.ai which helps create customer support voice bots.
While there exist very less information to fully understand how Snap will be leveraging that tech, some have speculated that it could be used to build various voice commands and audio based tech for their Spectacles. That being said, the bottom line is the fact that social media platforms are also becoming a customer relationship management platform portal as more and more businesses get onboard them. Thus the acquisition of Kustomer by Facebook makes a lot of sense.
Now, how Facebook will be leveraging this omnichannel customer servicing tool is anybody’s guess right now. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.