Twilio (TWLO) announced that it will provide the communications platform to power New York City’s coronavirus contact tracing initiative sending shares up 7.5% on Friday.
The cloud communications company said that New York City’s Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) is planning to deploy a cloud-based contact center on Twilio Flex to call, message or email COVID-19 patients, educate them on the virus, and identify their close contacts through self-reporting. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
The platform also provides messaging-based alerts using Twilio Voice, SMS, email or WhatsApp that prompt patients to fill out secure surveys on their symptoms. As governments around the world explore strategies to slow the spread of new coronavirus cases and safely reopen economies, public health departments have identified contact tracing as a step in the process.
“Throughout this pandemic, the ability for businesses and government agencies to quickly spin up and iterate ways to engage customers and constituents has never been more important,” said George Hu, chief operating officer at Twilio. “New York City’s contact tracing solution makes it possible for the city to connect with and support residents with COVID-19 and keep their known contacts safe and informed.”
Twilio stock jumped 7.5% to $208.62 on Friday. The value of the company’s shares has almost tripled since mid-March after it posted strong sales figures as the coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders fueled demand for its cloud technology solutions.
Last week, five-star analyst Patrick Walravens at JMP Securities ramped up the price target on Twilio’s stock to $200 from $160 and reiterated his Buy rating, in view of new business coming from verticals such as education, retail, and healthcare.
In the long-term, Walravens expects Twilio to benefit from its “clear lead” in a massive market with an estimated $45B opportunity coming from SMS unified communications and authentication.
The rest of the Wall Street community is cautiously optimistic about Twilio’s stock prospects. The Moderate Buy consensus splits into 14 Buys and 6 Holds. Given the recent share rally, the $164.33 average price target implies 21% downside potential in the next 12 months. (See Twilio stock analysis on TipRanks).
Google, Apple Roll Out Coronavirus Contact Tracing Technology
Google Cloud Wins Cyber Security Contract With U.S. Defense Department
Microsoft Buys Metaswitch For Cloud-Based Telecoms Move, 5G Expansion