Facebook to buy customer service startup Kustomer

FILE PHOTO: Facebook logos
FILE PHOTO: The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Illustration

November 30, 2020

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Monday it would buy customer service startup Kustomer, as the world’s largest social network adds tools to attract more sellers to its platforms.

Kustomer allows businesses to aggregate customer conversations from multiple channels into a single-screen, and also to automate some of the responses to prospective buyers. The New York-based firm already has its services integrated on Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

The deal will also enable Facebook to scale up its WhatsApp Business service, as more companies flock to the instant messaging app to answer customer queries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported about a likely acquisition, said the transaction valued Kustomer at $1 billion.

Facebook has doubled down on its e-commerce push, betting that it would help generate fresh ad revenue as user growth slows.

Earlier this year, it launched Shops, a service that allows businesses to display and sell products across Facebook’s platforms.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Sriraj Kalluvila)