Smartsheet, a Seattle-area company that builds software to help companies manage their internal processes, announced today that it is acquiring Converse.AI, a Scotland-based startup that lets companies create bots to automate their business processes.
Converse’s platform makes it possible for business users to build workflows that connect services like Twilio, Slack, Salesforce, Google, HubSpot, and PayPal without writing code. It’s all powered by Converse’s Chatflow software, which launched in 2016.
This deal will support Smartsheet’s overall ambition to bring more automation to its own software. Its service already integrates with a number of third-party offerings, including Jira and Salesforce. But Converse.AI’s technology will make it easier for other companies to integrate with Smartsheet and make it easier for Smartsheet to create integrations for its customers.
Combining drag-and-drop workflow creation with chatbots taps into a number of trending approaches for business software over the past two years. Companies with overworked IT and software development departments are looking for new ways to drive efficiency across their organizations while requiring minimal work from technical talent.
In addition, businesses want to make it easier for employees to interact with systems that might otherwise require intensive training, or be more labor-intensive. Bots could be one solution, since employees should only have to talk with the bot, rather than figuring out a more complex interface.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Converse.AI will continue to exist as a wholly owned subsidiary of Smartsheet, and there are no immediate plans to change Converse’s product or pricing.
Smartsheet is also taking advantage of Converse.AI’s location in Edinburgh, Scotland to expand its geographic footprint into Europe and beyond as the company continues to grow.
Smartsheet raised $52.1 million last year at an $852 million valuation.