Twitter Inc. has confirmed it will buy ZipDial Mobile Solutions in what is probably the microblogging platform provider’s first major Indian acquisition.
No financial details were provided in the blog posts announcing the deal Tuesday by either Twitter or ZipDial, but the deal was reported last week by TechCrunch to be in the range of $30 million to $40 million.
India is one of the world’s fastest growing major smartphone markets, making its next generation of Internet users a prize catch as they will get their first taste of the Internet on their handsets. Twitter is also looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S., which still accounts for over two-thirds of its revenue.
In the short run, however, ZipDial's attraction is that its technology allows people using more basic phones also to access Twitter, a model that the companies have already monetized by working together to convince sponsors to spend on marketing campaigns.
This makes the access attractive to end users too, who call a pre-designated number -- usually advertized in marketing campaigns -- which then disconnects and the callers get Twitter streams or other content they are interested in.
"We’re very pleased to announce we’ve reached an agreement to acquire ZipDial (@zipdial), a product partner based in Bangalore, India, to make Twitter even more accessible to people around the world," Christian Oestlien, vice president of products at Twitter, said in the company’s post. "This acquisition significantly increases our investment in India, one of the countries where we’re seeing great growth, and also brings us a new engineering office in Bangalore."