Messaging giant Ubiquity works closely with banks in its native Italy. That’s why it was at Money 20/20 last week. But the company has ambitions beyond financial services, says its VP of growth Daniel Mensi…
In the early part of the decade, Italian banks answered the call from customers to go mobile. They started to send notifications about transfers, account balances and so on direct to people’s phones.
The problem was, to offer these services, they needed a separate relationship with every Italian operator. It was very complex. Their challenge proved an opportunity for local aggregator Ubiquity.
“We were the first independent supplier to reach all subscribers in Italy,” says Daniele Mensi, general manager & VP of growth at Ubiquity.
So Ubiquity began working closely with the banks. These relationships were the foundation of the company’s eye catching success to date. Today, Ubiquity earns about 33m euros a year from its Italian business – and this is growing 20 per cent every year.
Sounds great. But Ubiquity recognises that providing messaging for banks – while lucrative – is not scalable. As Mensi says: “This kind of business is very local. It requires physical infrastructure, and you have compliance requirements that are specific to one country.”
“Ubiquity developed a cloud-based messaging product that can connect any company in the world on any device. Its masterstroke was to find a partner with a similar model, and with connections to thousands of enterprises: Oracle.”.
To address this, Ubiquity set about building a parallel business with global ambitions.
It developed a cloud-based messaging product that can connect any company in the world on any device. The question was how to distribute it.
Ubiquity’s masterstroke was to find a partner with a similar cloud-based model, and with connections to thousands of enterprises: Oracle.
In 2015, Ubiquity launched an SMS application inside the Oracle Marketing AppCloud. Effectively, it means marketers can use an Oracle app to run SMS-based campaigns with barely any set-up.
“We’re focused on APIs,” says Mensi. “It means you can reach your customers via our APIs from a plug in, and you don’t need to install an SDK. This approach is scalable. It can be for thousands of customers.”
Working with Oracle helped Ubiquity find many clients in automotive and e-commerce. Now, the company is pushing further into these areas and others – especially in developing markets.
Last year, it bought a majority stake in Solutions Infini, a Bengaluru-based cloud telephony startup. As a result, it’s now providing mobile comms for giants like Ola (India’s Uber) and FlipKart (India’s Amazon).