Jeff Lawson, co-founder and CEO of Twilio Inc., will ring the opening bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on September 17, 2018.
Michael Neagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
In this weekly series, CNBC will cover the companies that created the first Disruptor 50 list 10 years later.
A rapid shift to digital customer engagement has already taken place.
Then a pandemic occurred.
With the closure of physical stores and lessons on walking transportation, there are suddenly fewer ways to connect with consumers, further accelerating the pivot of companies to bring digital engagement to the forefront of their business strategy.
This is a landscape of 4 CNBC Disruptor 50 companies. Twilio Is built for.
Talking to CNBC in 2014 when the company was on the Disruptor 50 list for the second time, co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson said Twilio “is moving the 150-year-old hardware industry to the future of software.” Said. It’s changed to what Amazon did to the technology infrastructure and what Salesforce did to CRM about how companies communicate with their customers.
Founded in 2008, the San Francisco-based company has been persuading developers to add call, voice, text, and image messaging to their apps from the early days using an application programming interface. I did.
By providing that level of communication enhancement, we received early support from customers such as Airbnb, Home Depot, Uber, and Walmart. It also helped Twilio raise about $ 240 million from investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures, with a valuation of about $ 1 billion by 2016.
The digital customer engagement promise led to the company’s IPO in June 2016 after being listed four times on the Disruptor 50 list.
“It’s literally the first day of the transformation of hardware and physical network legacy to a software-based future,” Lawson told CNBC’s Squawk Alley on IPO day. “If a software developer can think of how we can improve communication, perhaps communication with the companies we do business with, that developer can build Twilio. Hopefully you can scale up. “
Six years have passed, but perhaps nothing has been accelerated by a pandemic. With Jim Cramer on CNBCFlirt “In 2020, Lawson said,” All the trends that are already happening in our society when it comes to digitizing these processes, rationalizing them with this technology, and turning so many interactions into digital processes. It was accelerated by Covid. “
Overall, according to Lawson, the pandemic has accelerated a company’s digital communications strategy for about six years.
As a result, Twilio’s share price has risen sharply from $ 99.43 at the end of 2019 to over $ 400 by February 2021.
Lawson Told CNBC in January 2021 How Nike, using the product, turned some of its store salespeople to serve customers over digital channels. “Now, when Covid comes in, those stores are closed, and Nike moves to 100% e-commerce, its product knowledge and customer service methods are absolutely important to assist customers online. Now, “he said.
But as the world reopens, there is skepticism about whether the digital economy can continue to grow at the same pace. This trend line is further affected by rising inflation and lower consumer spending. Twilio’s share price fell 74.8% last year, despite continued earnings growth.
Barclays analyst Ryan McWilliams I recently wrote in a memo Twilio may be at an inflection, perhaps embarking on a “higher profitability, lower growth path.” The company expected to generate operating profit on a non-GAAP basis in 2023. Lawson spoke at CNBC on June 6, stating that the company is “focusing on lasers” to make a profit.
But as Twilio is currently focusing on profits, there are even more powerful cases for transforming digital customer communications. We believe that this world will provide more personalization and trust, and ultimately better customers. Twilio Research suggests Investing in digital customer engagement has increased average revenue by 70%.
“In such an environment where all companies are currently focused on profits, it is a period to understand the ROI of an investment and confirm profits. This is a period for all companies, regardless of technician, to: The focus is on the environment, Lawson said on June 6th, “Once you get that customer, you’re back with them through messaging, better campaigns, and better marketing that’s all personalized to what the customer wants. Get involved. This is the equation that runs the Internet. “
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