Facebook (FB) is close to sealing a deal to buy Kustomer, a startup specializing n chatbots and customer-service platforms, for more than $1 billion, according to media reports.
The deal could be completed Monday, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
New York-based Kustomer is already working with Facebook to help companies respond to customer inquiries that come through Facebook Messenger. Kustomer began integrating with Facebook’s Instagram messaging in October.
The deal could push forward Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to promote “social commerce” on the social-media platform, according to the Journal.
In efforts to further this plan, the Menlo Park, Calif., social media giant launched Facebook shops in May, enabling companies to create online stores through Facebook and Instagram.
The purchase of Kustomer would be one of more than 100 Facebook has closed, according to FactSet.
Past purchases include around $1 billion for Instagram in 2012 and around $19 billion for messaging app WhatsApp in 2014, among others.
In 2019, Kustomer’s total funding reached $173.5 million after it raised $60 million in a Series E round led by Tiger Global Management of New York and Battery Ventures of Boston.
Last week, Facebook said it might launch its Libra digital currency in January with a single stablecoin, according to a report in the Financial Times.
The Libra Association, the Geneva group that is aiming to enable and widen use of Libra as a currency, is planning to initially launch a single coin backed one-for-one by the dollar, as reported by the FT.
This would be followed at a later stage by other coins backed by other currencies, as well as a digital composite of all its coins.
Facebook shares at last check were off 1.4% at $273.81.