It’s early days for bots, but based on what is being made, VB Insights believes the bot landscape is made up of more than 170 companies who have received more than $4 billion in funding.
On Wednesday the influential Botness group released a survey to get a better feel for the bot community.
“The aim is to give everyone who is investing in messaging and bots access to the same information. Once published, we will extract the list of pressing problems and issues to be discussed at the next Botness event and solicit for participants for working groups,” the group said in a Medium post penned by Chris Messina of Uber, Jon Bruner of O’Reilly Media, and Automat CEO Andy Mauro.
Botness has held two events. The first Botness, held in April at Slack headquarters, attracted about 20 people. Among them: Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson, Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, Veronica Belmont of Growbot, early bot investor Phil Libin of General Catalyst, and Lili Cheng of Microsoft Research.
Leaders from Facebook Messenger, Kik, Slack, Twilio, Microsoft, and Google — owners of the largest chat apps on the planet — attended the last Botness event, held June 13-14 in San Francisco.
Also in attendance were more than 100 people representing 30 startups like Howdy, ManyChat, and Kip, as well as Matt Hartman and Peter Rojas from betaworks, creators of bot camp, possibly the first startup accelerator for bots.
“I think what you’re seeing is the community rallying together around the fact that it’s an early market and there are no standards and the APIs are immature, so that we can all figure out how to solve this together, which is also I think pretty amazing,” Mauro told VentureBeat at Botness.
Mauro led two workshops at the Botness gathering that brought startups and major chat platforms together to discuss what developers need to create awesome bots. Botness and the workshops encouraged collaboration to make a vibrant bot ecosystem. The survey is the first step in that direction, he said in the Medium post Wednesday.
“Everyone quickly realized that transparency and collaboration were essential to turning the promise of messaging and bots into a viable market where both platform companies and startups can thrive building experiences consumers love,” Mauro said about the workshops.
Final day to fill in the survey is Sept. 1.
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