Facebook has reached a deal to acquire Kustomer, the maker of a “customer service CRM platform built for today.”
The deal, rumored to be worth at least $1 billion, would be a departure from Facebook’s traditional acquisitions. The company usually buys companies aligned with its consumer-oriented focus, whereas Kustomer’s software is aimed at businesses.
The move demonstrates Facebook’s interest in monetizing some of its existing businesses, specifically WhatsApp. The company looked at integrating ads in the platform before abandoning the idea due to backlash. Instead, the company has focused on providing businesses with a way to communicate and support their customers via the platform.
Executives Dan Levy, Facebook VP of Ads and Business Products, and Matt Idema, COO, WhatsApp, made it clear Kustomer is integral to those goals:
As businesses adjust to an evolving digital environment, they’re seeking solutions that place people at the center, especially when it comes to communication. Any business knows that when the phone rings, they need to answer it. Increasingly, texts and messages have become just as important as that phone call — and businesses need to adapt.
Kustomer’s platform will help businesses better support and engage with their customers:
Kustomer is an omnichannel CRM platform that brings customer conversations from various channels together into a single-screen view. It helps businesses automate repetitive tasks so their agents can maximize the time and quality of interactions with customers. Facebook plans to support Kustomer’s operations by providing the resources it needs to scale its business, improve and innovate its product offering, and delight its customers. That way, more people will benefit from customer service that is faster, richer and available whenever and however they need it, whether it’s phone, email, web chat or messaging.
Facebook is already under scrutiny over antitrust concerns. It remains to be seen if there will be any obstacles to Facebook’s latest acquisition, especially with the incoming Biden/Harris administration.