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Facebook near the purchase of a startup worth $ 1 billion

Facebook Inc. is approaching a deal to buy Kustomer, a startup company specializing in customer service platforms and chat bots, according to insiders.

The deal, which could be completed immediately after Monday afternoon, provided the talks do not fall apart, will cost New York-based Kustomer just over $ 1 billion, people said. The closely spaced Customer is valued at $ 710 million in private funding about a year ago, according to PitchBook.

Customer already has a connection to Facebook. Its offerings allow companies to summarize and respond to customer inquiries that log in via Facebook Messenger. In October, Customer said he had also begun integrating with Facebook messages on Instagram.

Facebook, which has been in the spotlight with its work on political and other content on its platform, has made a big push in what CEO Mark Zuckerberg called “social commerce.”

; This deal can contribute to this effort. In May, the social media giant launched Facebook Shops, which allows companies to create online stores via Facebook and Instagram.

Kustomer was founded in 2015 by Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, two entrepreneurs who sold a previous company to Salesforce.com Inc. Kustomer’s investors include Coatue Management and Tiger Global Management.

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