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Communications service Twilio just got a little more secure with its acquisition of authentication startup Authy.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Twilio is most known for developing quirky stunt projects, like its translation service that you can text a picture to and have that object identified and translated into Spanish or French. My personal favorite is the text service that adheres mustaches to selfies.

But silliness aside, Twilio provides texting and calling services to a variety of major businesses and organizations so they can effectively communicate with their consumers and clients. For instance, Doctors Without Borders uses Twilio to connect patients in remote areas with health care workers. On the other end of the spectrum, Walmart uses Twilio to send discounts out to consumers via SMS.

To help ensure Twilio’s clients are chatting the right people, the company has scooped up authentication startup Authy.

Over the last two years, identity theft has become one the biggest crimes we can’t seem to get a handle on. With more breaches in 2014 than in 2013, consumers are starting to become aware that everything is vulnerable to a cyberattack and they need to better secure their personal accounts.

Adding two-factor authentication or additional identification measures can be really difficult for developers to figure out. Especially when it comes to implementing secure authentication practices that are also user-friendly.
“What’s amazing about the Authy solution is that it’s a great product for developers. I just saw a demo where we add two-factor in 10 minutes using Authy,” says Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson.

Authy makes both a consumer two-factor authentication app (used by a little over one million people) and a developer API, so companies can incorporate stronger authentication measures into their websites and mobile apps. While Authy was seeing some success, in order to scale quickly the company needed some help.

The acquisition will allow Authy to focus on building out its developer offering and scaling its customer base. Its authentication software will be baked into Twilio’s client dashboard, which is used by roughly half a million developers. Together Authy and Twilio plan to offer a variety of identification services including handling the user registration process, changes to user records, and account suspension for its clients. Authy COO Mark Boroditsky says the company also has plans to expand its authentication services to connected devices.

Authy had raised $3.8 million before being acquired.


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