Twitter in talks to acquire ZipDial: reports

Twitter is reported to be in talks to acquire ZipDial, an Indian mobile solution startup.

TechCrunch quoted multiple sources variously that the deal was in different stages of being settled, with one source saying the deal had already been closed at $30 million-$40 million but would only be announced later this week.

According to another source, a different company (possibly Facebook) was also eyeing ZipDial, though talks had cooled down "over the holidays". The report also cited another source as saying the deal had not been closed yet, and the two companies were still in talks.

ZipDial, founded by CEO Valarie R Wagoner, COO Amiya Pathak and chairman Sanjay Swamy in 2010, had already worked in collaboration with Twitter before.

The firm allows users to give a missed call on a particular number associated with a celebrity or other Twitter handle in order to receive their tweet alerts via a text message service on the handsets.

In July, the firm teamed up with Facebook to launch a new advertisement format with missed calls. Users would click on a 'missed call button', as part of the service, in an advertisement on Facebook and receive further alerts from the brand via SMS and more.

The size of the deal had been estimated around $30-40 million.

ZipDial's unique marketing solution allowed consumers to missed calls to a number to engage with an advertising brand. It already claimed to have over 500 clients for whom it had done over 7,000 campaigns resulting in over 900 million engagements.

With Facebook, ZipDial created a new ad format whereby users could click it to give a missed call and engage with the brand either over SMS or voice call back. According to ZipDial the ad format increased the reach of one of its clients by 16 times.

Wagoner founded ZipDial in February 2010, and prior to that Wagoner was the Head – Strategic Initiatives at mCheck where she targeted unbanked users.

She served a two-year stint at eBay and short stints at startups SayNow (which was acquired by Google) and Ning (which was acquired by Glam Media).

ZipDial would be the third Bangalore-based startup to be acquired by a global internet company in the last one year after Little Eye Labs and Bookpad acquired by Facebook and Yahoo respectively.