Activist Investor Pushes Twilio to Sell Up

If Twilio cannot find a buyer, the investor would like Twilio to divest Flex, Segment, and more

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Published: December 4, 2023

James Stephen

Activist investor Anson Funds is pressuring Twilio to sell up entirely.

Moreover, if Twilio cannot find a buyer, the investor would like Twilio to sell its data and applications business, according to the investor letter cited by The Information. This would include Flex, Segment, Engage, and several other solutions.

Legion Partners also petitioned for the customer engagement platform to take a similar course earlier this year.

A spokesperson for Twilio provided a response to CNBC:

Twilio regularly engages with shareholders and appreciates constructive input that furthers our goal of creating sustainable long-term value.

Anson Funds has a stake valued at $50 million, which it invested sometime following September 30th, 2023 – around the same time that Sagar Gupta moved from Legion Partners to Anson.

Gupta was in charge of Legion Partners’ dealings with Twilio and Nutanix, the cloud computing firm.

This may explain why the two investors have made such similar requests to Twilio in a relatively short space of time.

Furthermore, Legion Partners also holds a $50 million stake in Twilio, which is roughly the same as Anson Funds.

Twilio’s Data and Applications Business

In February this year, Twilio divided into two core business units: data and applications and communications.

Data and applications offer tools for enhancing customer engagement, while communications bring messaging software, SMS text messaging integrations, and more.

However, the latter drives significantly more revenue. Last quarter, it contributed $906.7MN. Meanwhile, data and applications, drove a much smaller $127.0MN.

Moreover, Twilio has struggled to cross-sell solutions like Flex, Engage, and Segment to its broader communications install base.

As such, it’s perhaps unsurprising that both Legion Partners and Anson Funds believe that Twilio should let go of its ‘data and applications’ arm it fails to find a strategic buyer for the whole company.

This wouldn’t be the first time Twilio has let go of a business unit. Last year, Twilio announced it would permanently shutter Zipwhip, just 18 months after acquiring it for $850 million.

After, Twilio sold its IoT business unit to Kore, recieving ten million shares of Kore common stock as payment.




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