Slack announced today that it has invested in nearly a dozen new bot startups to bolster its Slack App Directory.
The team collaboration chat app has invested in 25 startups thus far with money from the Slack Fund, an $80 million investment fund backed by venture capital firms like Index Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
The first investments were made in December 2015 in startups Awesome.ai, Small Wins, and Howdy, maker of the Botkit open source framework that can be used to create bots for Slack. Last July, Slack announced its second round of investments in 11 companies, including Growbot and Automat.
Also in December 2015, the same day the Slack Fund went live, Slack launched its platform for bots and its Slack App Directory.
Since its launch of the platform and an initial 150 apps, the Slack App Directory has grown to include more than 750 apps, and apps have been downloaded more than six million times.
Slack declined to disclose the amount of money invested in each company.
Among investments announced today in a Slack blog post:
Guru makes enhanced search of conversations in Slack.
Bold is like Medium for internal company use and is meant to give employees a platform to think out loud and spread good ideas.
DataFox automates reports and notifications about companies that sales teams want to turn into customers.
Troops brings Salesforce data into Slack and serves up regular team performance reports.
Demisto automatically alerts IT security teams if a malicious URL or file is shared in Slack.
SwayFinance shares critical data about a company’s financial state.
Statsbot, one of the most popular bots in the Slack App Directory, serves up data from sources like Mixpanel, Salesforce, and Google Analytics.
Donut arranges one-on-one meetings between colleagues to improve team communication.
WorkRamp is a training platform for sales teams built into Slack.
Twine is a piece of hardware you plug into a TV or projector HDMI port to control video calls through Slack.
Synervoz is a voice chat platform for teams to communicate in real time.
Slack isn’t the only company giving money to startups interested in creating bots. IBM, Amazon, Twilio, and other companies are giving hundreds of millions of dollars to makers of bots, virtual assistants, and other innovative tech.