Slack is continuing its quest for enterprise dominance, investing in 11 new bot startups to expand its repertoire from communications to productivity.
The investments are part of the Slack Fund, which the company launched in 2015 to partner with companies that can build tools on top of Slack to continue developing the platform and finding new use cases. In July 2016, the Slack Fund announced investments of nearly $2 million in 14 companies. The new investments bring the total number of companies involved in the fund to 25.
"The Slack Fund backs new companies that bring more streamlined workflows to Slack—reducing the small, yet high-frequency tasks that consume chunks of our time," a Slack blog post said. "These teams are reimagining how a salesperson closes deals, reinventing the way we share and access information, and redesigning in-person meetings."
Slack has made several moves to enhance its usefulness for businesses recently, including adding video calls and integration with Google Cloud. Slack for Enterprise is also scheduled to launch early this year.
In the blog post, Slack placed the 11 new bots into three different general categories:
- Statsbot: An analytics bot that connects with Mixpanel, Salesforce, and Google Analytics so employees can see alerts about data, or query reports directly from Slack.
- SwayFinance: Helps employees stay up to date with their company's finances within Slack.
- Guru: Builds a searchable knowledge base for a work team based on Slack conversations.
- Bold: An internal blog. The content an employee writes on bold is automatically pushed to the appropriate Slack channel to keep everyone updated.
- Demisto: Alerts users if a malicious URL or file is shared in Slack.
- DataFox: Provides real-time alerts for companies to automate the prospecting process. It also customizes notifications, so the sales team can know the best time to reach out to companies.
- Troops: Brings Salesforce data into Slack so a sales team can search records and schedule automatic reports.
- WorkRamp: A sales team training platform built in Slack that allows managers to create training and development paths for employees, and to view progress.
- Synervoz: A voice chat platform that helps distributed teams communicate at any time.
- Twine: Allows employees to start a video call, share content, or move rooms, all within slack.
- Donut: Pairs employees together for coffee or donuts on a regular basis to build team relationships.
This latest bot news comes as the company faces competition from Microsoft's group chat product, Teams, a free add-on for enterprise Office 365 subscribers. Facebook also recently unveiled its Workplace as a social network for businesses.
As of October 2016, Slack had surpassed 4 million daily active users. However, the company's rate of growth is slowing, TechCrunch reported, so it's likely the company is hoping these bot additions will entice new users to join.
- Bots give Microsoft Teams an edge on the competition—and on the future (TechRepublic)
- Slack intros 'Sign in with Slack' to streamline app logins (ZDNet)
- Siri's legacy: How next-gen bots will change the way business gets done (TechRepublic)
- Slack versus Microsoft Teams: It's really no contest (ZDNet)
- Google messaging app Spaces keeps conversations under control (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.