CPaaS Pioneers Twilio Challenged by Vonage Nexmo

Twilio may be the pioneers but Vonage are breathing down their CPaaS necks

CPaaS Pioneers Twilio Challenged by Vonage Nexmo

Since Vonage bought Nexmo in 2016 for $230m, Nexmo has been labelled “The Vonage API Platform”. Through the power of both brands, Nexmo has established itself as a firm player in the maturing CPaaS market, making it much more than just Vonage’s API platform. Twilio, considered the pioneers of CPaaS technology have no doubt a head start in the CPaaS market. But, through the combined power of Vonage and Nexmo, they could have a serious competitor on their hands.

Vonage versus Twilio

Last year, Vonage was awarded the 2018 Aragon Research Innovation Award for the Communications Platform as a Service Category. With functionality incredibly similar to Twilio and a wealth of considerable customers, it’s easy to see why Vonage invested in what was only a potential market back in 2016. Nexmo, (now the Vonage API Platform) already boasted 350 enterprise customers including Alibaba, Dailmer and SnapChat.

Already boasting the usual range of telephone, SMS and video APIs, Vonage announced last year the addition of Messages and Dispatch APIs, which enables reliable multi-channel messaging. Social media apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Viber are using this technology.  Vonage also has a partner programme and developer community and fully customisable contact center capabilities, including skills-based routing, real-time sentiment analysis, and text-to-speech. Vonage added 17 languages to its text-to-speech functionality in 2018 and now supports a market-leading 40 languages. Notable languages added last year include: Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Cantonese, Bahasa, Portuguese and Korean.

Blair Pleasant, Co-Founder of UCStrategies.com, agrees that the Vonage CPaaS play is the natural challenger to Twilio:

“Twilio is the market leader in this space, but Vonage’s Nexmo has also done a great job of evangelising the benefits of CPaaS and offers a competitive platform”.

On the 7th January, Vonage’s reputation was bolstered when Falcon Point Capital Llc increased its stake in Vonage Holdings Corp. (VG) by 66.89% based on its latest 2018Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC.

APIs on offer

Vonage focuses their CPaaS offering around these key offerings:

  • SMS: extend your reach and get results with access to every messaging-enabled mobile number
  • Voice: transform your call interactions with powerful, software-enabled capabilities
  • User Authentication: validate users while providing a fast login experience for your customers
  • Chat via social media: access to billions of users via their favorite social messaging apps with fallback to backup channels to ensure timely delivery
  • Phone number insights: find the best way to connect with real-time insight on any number in the world
  • Video: live video embedded to your website or apps for one-to-one, group meetings and live-stream broadcast to millions
  • SIP Trunking: connect your PBX to the world with elastic capacity, paying only for what you use

Although Twilio is a larger player in the CPaaS space, Vonage offers a more complete cloud communications offering, including Unified Communications and Contact Center applications. As these products become more integrated, customers will enjoy significant advantages not available from point providers. In addition, Vonage’s Nexmo offers a more complete solution for companies who have customers in all regions of the world, with more languages supported and a significant presence abroad. Finally, because Vonage has its own network, it can offer more innovative voice pricing models , including its unlimited US voice plan, and its 1 for 1 Voice plan, which offers one free US minute for every international minute.


Vonage are no strangers to acquisition. Since acquiring Nexmo, they have added TokBox and NewVoiceMedia to the Vonage brand. TokBox is a player in WebRTC programmable video sector. Its platform integrates live video into their apps and websites. Customers already using the TokBox platform before the acquisition included Kickstarter and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The programmable video element falls nicely into the CPaaS play as developers recognise the need for all mediums to be covered when servicing their customers.

NewVoiceMedia was purchased for $350m in September 2018. With a CTI and Contact Centre product readily packaged, this bolsters Vonage all-round Contact Centre play. Vonage is in the unique position of having a market-leading off-the-shelf Contact Centre product as well as an award-winning CPaaS offering.

Is there a stronger challenger to Twilio’s CPaaS crown? Read my full CPaaS overview for 2019 and let us know if there is anybody else that should be on the CPaaS radar.


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