Slack is investing $80 million in startups that build Slack bots

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Slack, the trendy enterprise collaboration tool (that we are so madly in love with), made three important announcements at its press event yesterday:

1: They are investing $80 into companies building Slack bots and integrations.

2: They have closed on 2 million daily active users

3: They have created an appstore for Slack bots. Slack App Directory, they are calling it.

Slack bots are the friendly, wonderful, witty digital assistants that provide more features for the platform. Slack is overrun with them. Outside of the facetious slackbot (the one that ships with Slack and is good for monologues), the Giphy bot is one of the funnier ones. That’s probably because it is remarkable at fetching GIFs that are wildly different from the one you had in mind when you punched in ‘/Giphy Awesome’. All these have always been done to a hilarious effect.

There are other bots. One that lets you set up a quick video conference, another to remind you to finish a story, place a lunch order or such inscrutable task as track how happy your coworkers are.

There are already more than 4,000 of these bots and integrations, according to VentureBeat, and Slack has created a fund, Slack Fund to support these organizations.

The $80 million fund is backed by Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Spark Capital, and Social Capital. According to VentureBeat, “Slack and the venture capital firms will provide the money, and funded startups will become part of Slack’s distribution network.”

Apps builts by these platform will feed into the Slack App Directory. A marketplace for Slack bots that Slack is positioning as the official store for Slack bots and integrations.

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Of the 4,000 apps that has so far been developed for the platform, only 150 have been vetted and recognized as official integrations.

Slack has already invested in Small Wins, Awesome and Howdy,  the company that developed Botkit, an open source framework that allows developers build Slack bots and integrations.

In building collaboration software, Slack competes most prominently with HipChat and Yammer. This latest move (backing developers and centralizing its app ecosystem) will no doubt help it extend the platform and secure its place as the most loved of them all.

Slack daily active users have shot up 16 percent since October when it had 1.7 million DAUs to 2 million DAUs in December.  

Are you interested in accessing the investment from Slack? Send them an email at slackfund@slack.com.

“We’re deeply committed to supporting a diverse and valuable ecosystem of third-party Apps and making them easy to discover,” April Underwood, Slack’s head of product told VentureBeat. “With the launch of the Slack Fund and App Directory, we’ll be able to both support developers, and help our customers derive more value from Slack.”

Image via Wired