Plivo 2016 Year in Review: 100+ Team Members and 3 Years Profitable

TL;DR

2016 has been a turning point for Plivo in every way possible. As we push the envelope in revolutionizing telecommunications, we are also bringing in new technologies to scale our software infrastructure and ultimately build the best customer experience. Our focus for 2016 was to take what we do best and make it the best in the industry and I’m happy to say that it’s paying off.

2016 Year in Review Stats

  • Both Gartner and IDC have recognized Plivo as one of the top 3 vendors in CPaaS space.
  • Delivered 2 billion voice minutes and SMS messages combined.
  • Increased revenue by 200% to well into double digit millions.
  • Increased customer base by 180%.
  • Increased voice traffic by 150% and SMS traffic by 200%.
  • 2016 marks the third year we’ve been profitable, even with heavy investments and team growth.
  • Surpassed 100 team members.
  • Increased engineering team by 400%, marketing team by 300%, and sales team by 300%.
  • Moved into a new 20,000 square feet office in Bangalore, India. Take a photo tour and read the full details on our New Year, New Office blog.
  • Launched Zentrunk SIP Trunking Beta in all countries and Toll-Free SMS in the United States.
  • Launched Voice Infrastructure 2.0 to improve voice quality in all regions.
  • Added 15 local in-country carriers and added 2 new data centers: Northern California and São Paulo.

What to expect in 2017

  • More investment in infrastructure improvements for Voice and SMS.
  • Connections to more local in-country carriers to improve quality for all products (i.e., SMS API, Voice API, and Zentrunk SIP Trunking).
  • More investment in marketing and sales teams, to build a larger presence in the market and make a splash about the quality and transparency we bring to the industry.
  • More investment in customer success teams to better support existing customers and streamline new customer onboarding.

All the Details

Compared to 2015, we experienced 200% growth in SMS traffic and 150% growth in Voice traffic. This means that we delivered over 2 billion SMS messages and Voice minutes combined in 2016. To put this in context, the volume of SMS messages and Voice minutes we currently deliver in a week is the same as what we delivered in a month in early 2015. With such significant increases in volume, we took a step back to focus on quality and the market has noticed, including recognition by Gartner and IDC as one of the top 3 vendors in CPaaS space.

As a company, we decided early on that we won’t compromise on quality. That’s why in 2016, even in the middle of significant growth, we dedicated 6 months of time and resources to improve our voice quality and position our infrastructure for long term scalability. The result was our Voice Infrastructure 2.0, which featured significant improvements to our voice backbone. This included new data center locations in South America (Brazil) and US-West (Northern California), improvements in our global network and voice routing algorithm, Optimized Global Routing (OGR), optimized intra region connectivity, and under 20ms connectivity to carrier peering hubs. Read the complete details on our blog.

The underlying network of carriers is another big factor in the quality of service that Plivo brings to the table. In 2016, we built a dedicated team to focus on these critical relationships and resulted in 15 new direct connections to local in-country carriers, including Germany, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Singapore, Japan, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Sweden, Mexico, India, South Africa, UAE, and Spain. With these direction connections, we have seen significant improvements in call quality and SMS delivery rates in all regions. Going forward, we will continue to increase direct connections to local in-country carriers, increase carrier redundancy, and ultimately increase voice quality and SMS delivery in all regions.

All of these quality improvements directly impacts every Plivo product, which means that any new product or feature we release on our platform will be subject to the same high level quality of service. Last year, with the release of Zentrunk SIP Trunking Beta for all coverage areas, as well as Toll-Free SMS in the United States, we've seen quality improvements that lead to rapid growth and adoption from new and existing customers. We will be sure to make even more updates to our infrastructure in the next few months to future raise the bar on call quality and SMS delivery.

We also take a lot of pride in the amazing team that helped us get to this point. Naturally as our business grows, our team will grow as well. As of the end of 2016, we’re excited to say that we have broken the 100 team member milestone. The engineering is core to our business and hence the team grew by 400% last year. Comparatively, our sales and marketing teams also grew by 300%, which has been pivotal in our revenue growth last year. And in order to accommodate this growth, we moved our Bangalore, India office to a brand new 20,000 square feet space with a cafeteria, hot desk spaces, lounge areas, large meeting rooms, collaboration rooms, and even a games room (pictures and blog post to come).

This year marks the third year we’ve been profitable. And our profitability continues to grow even with our aggressive team growth, new office, infrastructure investment, increases in our marketing budget, and adding a significant amount of cash in the bank every month. We couldn't have achieved these milestones without our customer base, which grew 180% in 2016. This of course has a direct impact on our annual revenue, which I am happy to say (and without giving away too much) has also increased by 200% and is leading us well into double digit millions.

What we’ve learned and what you can expect in 2017

Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to move forward and this year we did just that. This year we took a step back from releasing multiple new features and products. Instead, we focused on quality and dedicated a lot of resources and time to improving our infrastructure and carrier connectivity and it’s already paying off. Our voice quality has not only improved qualitatively with faster connectivity, fewer dropped packets, less jitter, and less crosstalk; but our customers have also noticed the difference, especially during international voice calls. This means that in 2017, you can expect to see us investing a lot more in our infrastructure and signing on more local in-country carriers to improve quality for all of our products including SMS API, Voice API, and Zentrunk SIP Trunking.

In the past few years, we have remained relatively quiet in the market and focused more on building quality products for our customers. Though, last year, we decided to focus more on marketing and sales by increasing marketing budget by 400% and increasing our marketing and sales teams by 300%. From these initiatives, we have already seen significant increases in our revenue growth. In 2017, we will continue to invest in our marketing and sales teams, and build a larger presence in the market and make a splash about the quality and transparency we bring to the industry.

Thank you for joining us in this journey to disrupt the telecommunications industry and we know that we can bring you many more improvements, features, products and services that can add value to your experience.

If you have any feedback or feature requests, please contact us at https://www.plivo.com/contact/support/.

Cheers,

The Plivo Team

 

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