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Facebook Buys Kustomer, Facebook’s Commerce Ambition

Facebook has reached an agreement to acquire Kustomer, a startup focused on customer service technology and chatbots, the social media giant said in an announcement last week

Kustomer offers a CRM that enables businesses to effectively manage all customer interactions across channels. The Wall Street Journal reported citing unnamed sources that the deal valued Kustomer at $1 billion. Under the deal, Kustomer's co-founders Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel will join Facebook when the deal closes after receiving regulatory approvals.

One major challenge customer care support people face routinely is that there are too many channels and thus too many windows where customers communicate and an agent needs to attend to. This is unproductive and makes the entire process complicated. Kustomer offers a solution to address this challenge. “Kustomer is an omnichannel CRM platform that brings customer conversations from various channels together, including phone, email, webchat, and messaging, into a single-screen view. It helps businesses automate repetitive tasks so their agents can maximize the time and quality of interactions with customers.” It means as you integrate Kustomer, you no longer need to manage all these channels. It is all in one place. 

This is interesting for Facebook because a number of dominant messaging and chat platforms for businesses today are owned by Facebook. Facebook offers a glimpse and ambition of that in the press release: “we’ve witnessed this shift firsthand as every day more than 175 million people contact businesses via WhatsApp. This number is growing because messaging provides a better overall customer experience and drives sales for businesses. To that end, we recently announced several API updates for WhatsApp and Messenger, allowing for further integration into our partners’ tools and faster onboarding to help businesses manage their communications with customers.” As Facebook continues to go deeper into serving businesses across markets, the company aims to make it easier for businesses that use its messaging and chat platforms for customer management. It also indicates that Facebook is only getting started in this space. 

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