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Twilio Launches $50 Million Development Fund

The fund will be run by some Twilio investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, DFJ and Redpoint Ventures.

Via Twilio

Twilio, the cloud software platform that gives developers the ability to add phone calls, text messaging and other communications features to their applications, launched a $50 million investment fund to back companies using its technology.

Twilio COO Roy Ng said the company will team up with three of its venture capital investors — Bessemer Venture Partners, DFJ and Redpoint Ventures — to invest in companies using Twilio to build Web and mobile applications. Companies that receive investments will not only get funding, but marketing support and credits toward the use of Twilio service.

The fund’s first investment is Speakeasy, a conference calling app. It announced a $5 million investment from Bessemer and Salesforce Ventures.

Byron Deeter, a Bessemer partner who is helping run the fund, said that investments won’t be limited to early-stage companies. “The fund is meant to be flexible, so we’ll consider seed investments all the way through to later-stage venture rounds,” he said.

News of the fund comes as Twilio was reported earlier this month to be close to closing its own $100 million round from unknown investors at a valuation said to be north of $1 billion.

At an event in San Francisco that is continuing today, Twilio said it has almost 700,000 software developers registered to use its platform. Its two best known customers are Airbnb and Uber, which use it to connect customers to hosts or drivers via text messages and phone calls.

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