SkyGiraffe, the development platform that lets you deploy highly connected apps, has announced a new funding round of $6 million to help them expand their offerings. The startup, based in San Francisco, has also made their single REST endpoint for Slack and other third-party apps available to developers, and has open-sourced its code to help anyone create powerful Slackbots without as much effort.
The funding round was led by SGVC, with assistance from Trilogy Equity Partners and angel investments from James Lindenbaum, the founder and CEO of Heroku; Ilya Sukhar, the founder and CEO of Parse; and Kevin Mahaffey, the founder and CTO of Lookout.
SkyGiraffe handles the complex connections into an Oracle, SAP, Salesforce, or another backend database. As an example, a retailer might want to provide an inventory management system within Slack. A branch manager decides to discuss inventory issues with a store manager. Normally, the two of them need to switch over to another app to look into the supply chain, but a Slackbot can feed the inventory data within the chat window. The app uses simple commands to call up the information, similar to how a chatbot might present data.
The retailer could start developing a Slackbot with the REST endpoint from SkyGiraffe, and then connect to the backend database from within Slack. It eases the burden on the developers, who might want to pick the colors, create the UI elements, and design the features for the frontend, but have no interest in creating the backend links by coding the middleware components.
Another scenario has to do with expense approvals. So many companies now use Slack as a way for employees to communicate on the fly, and it’s begun to feel laborious to constantly switch over to other apps. A Slackbot for expense reporting could be used to pull up the actual receipts for a dinner meeting and also show the associated approvals. Putting the information directly into the Slack interface in this manner makes the business process flow smoother and faster.
“To build a Slack application, you simply copy and paste our frontend code and we provide all of the logic to connect to a an enterprise system using SkyGiraffe,” says Boaz Hecht, the SkyGiraffe founder and CEO. “We connect to virtually any enterprise system.”
The frontend code is available now on GitHub: https://github.com/skygiraffe
The funding announcement and availability of the open source code is important not just because it helps SkyGiraffe build out their platform, but also because it allows developers to come to market faster with a Slack integration that can speed up a business process.
“Today more than ever, businesses need to be able to quickly and continuously build mobile-first enterprise applications that access SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, and others,” said James Lindenbaum, quoted in the SkyGiraffe press release. “For the first time, SkyGiraffe has made it possible for developers to easily build and deploy these apps.”
SkyGiraffe had previously raised a round of $4.5 million last year from 500 Startups, Microsoft Ventures, Trilogy Equity Partners, and angel investors.