Twilio has been making strides to improve its WebRTC capabilities and part of its strategy includes making acquisitions to advance its objective. In September, the cloud-based telephony company purchased the team behind the Kurento Open Source Project and its assets. At the time, the financial terms were not disclosed, but now we know the deal was for $8.5 million in cash.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Twilio revealed that it had picked up proprietary WebRTC media processing technologies; select licenses, patents, and trademarks; and some employees who worked on the service, although specifics were not provided.
Of the total purchase price, $1.5 million was set aside in escrow for 24 months and 10 days from the acquisition date as a precaution. Twilio wanted to make sure there weren’t any “breaches of general representation, warranties, claims, and tax compliance matters” that hadn’t been uncovered during its due diligence.
Kurento was started by open source development firm Tikal Technologies. It’s a project that provides developers with a toolkit to integrate group communication. The vision was “to democratize multimedia technologies, helping all developers to include advanced multimedia capabilities into their [web] and smartphone applications in a simple, direct, and fast manner.”
The acquisition doesn’t spell the end of the project, however. Tikal Technologies will continue to maintain it, but Twilio is spending resources to stabilize Kurento’s core functionality so it’ll still be compatible with all major WebRTC-compatible browsers.