Nexmo, a telecom carrier that offers communications services from the cloud, had quite the 2014 as it saw the calls to various APIs double. Like its larger and better-known rival Twilio, Nexmo sells access to voice, SMS and other old-school telco services to developers, which they can embed into their apps and websites with only a few lines of code.
Nexmo, which has raised about $22.8 million in its three-year lifespan, started out as an SMS specialist, and the humble text message remains its core business today. It saw 2.8 billion calls to its communications APIs in 2014, up from 1.4 billion in 2013, but the vast majority of those calls tapped its texting capabilities. For example, it ships SMS confirmations, alerts and booking notices to both Airbnb tenants and landlords.
But it launched its voice API last February so developers could trigger phone calls from their apps as well as provision virtual phone numbers in the cloud. While 97 percent of Nexmo’s revenues came from SMS in 2013, voice now accounts for 15 percent of its revenue, and it’s growing quickly, the company told me (Nexmo isn’t revealing its total revenue numbers, though).
While most of Nexmo’s customers tend to be smaller operations, it has some big fish clients like Airbnb, WeChat, Viber, Expedia, and Chinese internet giant Alibaba. In the last year it’s also signed up cosmetics giant L’Oreal and car-sharing service Zipcar as well as few clients you wouldn’t normally think of as developers: the Centers for Disease Control and the United Nations.