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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Twilio (NYSE: TWLO) agreed to buy Segment, a San Francisco-based cloud customer data infrastructure company, for around $3.2 billion in stock.

Why it matters: The tie-up reflects how cloud company values have soared in the pandemic, with Twilio's market cap rising from $15 billion in mid-March to over $45 billion at Friday's market close.

  • ROI: Segment raised over $280 million in VC funding, most recently in 2019 at a $1.5 billion valuation, from firms like Accel, Founders Circle Capital, Greycroft, GV, Meritech Capital Partners, Sapphire Ventures, Thrive Capital, and Y Combinator.
  • Bottom line: "Segment's belief was that a traditional CRM wasn't robust enough for the enterprise to properly manage its pipe. Segment entered to provide customer data infrastructure to offer a more unified experience. Now under the Twilio umbrella, Segment can continue to build key integrations (like they have for Twilio data), which is being used globally inside Fortune 500 companies already." — Venture capitalist Semil Shah

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Dec 11, 2020 - Technology

TikTok owner ByteDance set to become world's most valuable VC-backed company

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

ByteDance is closing in $2 billion in new funding co-led by KKR and existing backer Sequoia Capital at a $180 billion valuation, per Reuters.

Why it matters: This would cement China-based ByteDance as the world's most valuable VC-backed company, worth 3X the next-largest unicorn, and comes despite the U.S. government's efforts to force its divestiture of TikTok.

Behind Wall Street’s soaring valuations

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Fears of the "B"-word (bubble) are growing louder. There's a staggering split screen: a teetering economy with millions unemployed in a pandemic that's killing thousands per day and newly public tech companies riding high on nosebleed valuations.

Yes, but: Investors acknowledge the backdrop is bad. They say investors are piling into and betting on companies like Airbnb and DoorDash for better times ahead.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two with the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.