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Twitter snaps up Indian startup ZipDial

Twitter has announced that it has acquired Indian startup ZipDial, for around $30 million (£20 million) according to rumours.

The Bangalore-based company will help Twitter establish itself in developing markets where these days many folks are coming online for the first time in droves.

ZipDial is the architect of a mobile platform which pushes content via voice, SMS, and mobile apps. Twitter notes that ZipDial can, for example, allow a user to engage with a brand by making a “missed call” (ringing a toll-free number, then hanging up), following which they will receive content via ZipDial’s platform promoting that brand in some way.

As Twitter observes, this is a vital piece of the monetisation puzzle in areas where folks don’t have access to the mobile web via 3G data or Wi-Fi networks.

Indians currently use ZipDial to find out things like the cricket scores, or indeed tweets from Bollywood stars, and many more snippets of info on their phones.

In a statement, Twitter said: “Leading figures, including actors, politicians and athletes, also use the platform to instantly reach millions of citizens on Twitter through text and voice messages. By coming together with ZipDial, we’ll help more people around the world enjoy great and relevant Twitter experiences on their mobile phones.”

Valerie Wagonera, founder and CEO of ZipDial, commented: “We’ll continue building upon the existing ZipDial platform, and now, by coming together with Twitter, we have the tremendous opportunity to elevate everything we’ve built to a global scale. Our ambitious goal is to make Twitter’s unique, great content accessible to 100% of the world’s mobile users, including those in emerging markets who will be experiencing the mobile Internet for the first time.”