DURHAM – Facebook is buying startup software firm Kustomer, which has an office in Durham, as part of an effort to improve its messaging business.

The deal, announced Monday, is worth some $1 billion, sources tell CNBC.

Kustomer is based in New York.

“Kustomer is an omnichannel CRM [customer relationship managing] platform that brings customer conversations from various channels together into a single-screen view.” say Dan Levy, VP of Ads and Business Products, and Matt Idema, COO, WhatsApp., in a blog post.

“It helps businesses automate repetitive tasks so their agents can maximize the time and quality of interactions with customers. Facebook plans to support Kustomer’s operations by providing the resources it needs to scale its business, improve and innovate its product offering, and delight its customers. That way, more people will benefit from customer service that is faster, richer and available whenever and however they need it, whether it’s phone, email, web chat or messaging.”

The company providrs “continuous omnichannel conversations” across multiple channels, including customized, actionable views of customers.

It employs artificial intelligence that automates simple communications, Kustomer adds.

Facebook is seeking to imrpove messaging over a variety of apps such as WhatApps and Messenger.

Kustomer opened its Durham office in 2019.