Plivo was founded after its founders, Venky Balasubramanian and Michael Ricordeau, found each other on Github and collectively decided, "[t]elephony is complex." Today, Plivo's focus is simple in statement, but complex in execution: Plivo offers "simple and powerful APIs that make it easier for businesses to develop telephony applications." Plivo's building block APIs allow developers to create telephony applications without learning the nuts and bolts of legacy telephony.
Basic telephony features are readily available through Plivo's APIs: voice calls (SIP and traditional numbers), text messaging, buy local/toll-free phone numbers, and carrier options. Additionally, the building blocks allow developers to expand basic offering to more robust applications (e.g. conferencing, contact center, etc.). Plivo has already gained popularity and "supported 25 million voice minutes on their platform."
Plivo uses a REST API and XML data format. The Plivo cloud receives a call, accepts the call, and then makes an HTTP request to the integrated application. Plivo supports multiple languages including Java, Ruby, Python, and PHP. Accordingly, developers require limited (if any) alterations to their web presence to integrate telephony applications.
Plivo is one of the first "Telephony as a Service" startups, and hopes to surpass its peers through simplicity and scalability. Its strategy seems to have legs as its first five customers switched to Plivo from a competitor based on these two competitive advantages. Those interested can find out more here.