Everyone from Silicon Valley to Wall Street will be watching Twilio to see how the market reacts to the first U.S. venture-backed tech IPO of 2016.
San Francisco-based Twilio has grown rapidly — 88 percent last year — by selling software that helps companies communicate with their customers using voice, video and messaging in anonymized fashion. For example, OpenTable uses Twilio to send reservation notifications, while the technology lets Nordstrom salespeople chat with customers who are waiting for a specific product to arrive.
Uber is also a big client. The ride-hailing company facilitates one-on-one conversations between drivers and riders without divulging personal phone numbers. Airbnb does the same for hosts and guests.
As Twilio prepares to test the public markets Thursday, the company has yet to make a profit. In 2015, revenue almost doubled to $166.9 million, with a net loss of $35.5 million. Twilio said proceeds from the IPO will be used for investing in engineering and marketing, and for expanding its technology platform.
Twilio will trade under the ticker symbol TWLO, beginning Thursday on the NYSE.