Monday 30 November 2020 5:57 pm

Facebook snaps up chatbot startup Kustomer for ecommerce push

Facebook has agreed terms to buy customer service startup Kustomer as the social media platform prepares to expand further into ecommerce.

Financial details were not disclosed but the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal, said the terms valued Kustomer at $1bn (£750m).

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Kustomer, which was founded in 2015, allows businesses to combine customer conservations from various different channels into a single-screen view.

It also offers a range of chatbot services, allowing firms to automate responses on customer messaging platforms.

Facebook, which already uses Kustomer’s technology on Messenger and Instagram, said it will invest in the company to help scale its business and improve its product.

“We want businesses of all sizes and across all industries to discover the value of messaging — and having a vibrant partner ecosystem is critical in providing our customers with choices,” wrote Dan Levy, Facebook’s vice president of ads and business products, in a blog post.

It comes as Facebook looks to challenge the dominance of rival tech titan Amazon in the ecommerce market.

Earlier this year the social media firm launched a new shopping service allowing small businesses to sell their products through its platforms.

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Kustomer chief executive Brad Birnbaum said: “We look forward to working closely with Facebook, where we will continue to serve our customers and work with our partners as part of the Facebook family. 

“With our complementary capabilities, we will be able to help more people benefit from customer service that is faster, richer and available whenever and however they need it — via phone, email, text, web chat or messaging.”