Twilio buys Authy, gaining the startup's two-factor authentication API

Twilio will use Authy's API to offer embeddable two-factor authentication and phone verification to applications running Twilio's cloud-based communications services.

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Communication-as-a-service provider Twilio has purchased the Y Combinator-backed startup Authy. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Authy specializes in two-factor authentication, a measure used to ensure account security. Developers can use its authentication API to embed two-factor authentication and phone verification within applications. In addition to entering a password online, a user of a two-factor authenticated application is required to enter a random verification code generated upon login.

The security process of two-factor authentication is considered a step above password protection, and thanks to a slew of celebrity phone hacks last year, it has gained momentum beyond security communities.

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Which is what made Authy an attractive purchase for Twilio. The company has been working with Authy since 2012, with Twilio powering the underlying voice and SMS communications for the startup. Twilio has offered its own two-factor authentication features, but by buying Authy, the company is looking to bake those features in more seamlessly.

Twilio will use Authy's API to offer embeddable two-factor authentication and phone verification to applications running Twilio's cloud-based communications services.

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said current Twilio customers who have built two-factor authentication and phone verification with Twilio SMS and Voice will benefit from additional capabilities available from Authy, including pin-code generation, policy management and the ability to use a self-service interface to offload routine support tasks to end users.

"This acquisition puts another tool in the developer tool belt," Lawson said. "With Authys' deep identity expertise and product capabilities, combined with Twilio's global reach, we make it easy for customers to secure their applications and customer information."

Current Authy customers include Box, Intuit, and Bitcoin processor Coinbase, among others. It's elite list of backers include Box CEO Aaron Levie, Match.com CEO Sam Yagan, Winklevoss Capital, Digital Garage, Salesforce.com and Data Collective.

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