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Dutch tech firm MessageBird buys British startup Pusher for $35 million

·1-min read
Visitors attend the MessageBird messaging platform booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -MessageBird, the Dutch company that helps businesses communicate with their customers regardless of which messaging, chat, e-mail or other service the consumer uses, has brought London tech startup Pusher Ltd for $35 million in cash, it said on Wednesday.

MessageBird CEO Robert Vis, who has said his company is ready for an initial public offering (IPO) in 2021, said the deal would widen the group's product portfolio ahead of a possible IPO, though the company has yet to declare an intention to float.

Pusher's 25 employees will become part of MessageBird and CEO Max Williams said the acquisition would help Pusher reach some of MessageBird's 15,000 customers which include Deliveroo, Lufthansa, Heineken and SAP.

Vis said Pusher's technology - which allows developers to incorporate "push" notifications and real-time messaging into smartphone apps was a rare example of a capacity MessageBird did not already have.

MessageBird, sometimes described as the European competitor to the larger Twilio of the U.S., raised $200 million in private funding in October in a deal valuing the company at $3 billion.

"We're ready as a company to go public in Q1, Q2 next year," Vis said in a telephone interview. "Whether we actually do it or not, that's a matter that we'll decide internally."

(Reporting by Toby SterlingEditing by David Goodman and Louise Heavens)