Slack is one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley, but we see that there is lack of shine in it, as there is dampening of the rapid pace of growth that it has seen over all these years. The growth that was attributed to the intuitive chat-based interface, supporting seamless communication all over the organization. This often leads into low-value socializing and procrastination from the employees, enough to drive away businesses from Slack, as believed by TechCrunch.
Slack Technologies Inc, the workplace collaboration tool has a $ 80 million fund that was launched by the company in 2015 as well as an app directory. This happens to be the third round of investments that Slack has made, since then. Slack has a portfolio of bots called VentureBeat and it has recently announced 11 new startups on bots, taking the total list up to 25.
Why was the Slack Fund Evolved?
Slack has witnessed a slower growth and wanted to become a wider productivity platform, which meant to attain a level of creativity, unforeseen so far. The reason for which Slack adopted this tactics was more due to the increasing competition that the company faced from the technology giants of the likes of Microsoft and Facebook, as they entered the same space with their Teams and Workplace respectively. Slack wanted an early entry in the collaboration space, which acts as an advantage for the company, but it can be a drawback as the other two companies are bigger and have successfully occupied the mindshare of the users.
Hence we saw Slack onboarding as many developers as possible, who have the ability to develop the most unique of use cases. But, other than the efforts that are made by Slack, the company also came out with the concept of the Slack Fund, that was able to invest in startups, building tools on top of Slack. It was critical for Slack for jumpstarting the already robust app ecosystem that it has, with a proper utilization of resources and letting the other companies in understanding, how best to use the sleek work messaging platform. The ecosystem of startups were not only for enticing the developers, but also new users. Slack is now growing at a faster rate, with its addition of 4 million users who are active and the number of paid users have increased by 1.25 million.
The latest cohorts of Slack include addressing a wide range of needs, whether that is sending of automated alerts based on the services of Salesforce.com Inc. or Google Analytics Data, for a simplified version of a video conferencing or an always-on voice chat. In the words of Slack itself, they are looking for startups who will be able to develop simple or impactful tools specifically those, which will be performing the most repetitive tasks. It is the small and high-frequency tasks that are most time consuming. Slack is searching for such companies which are based on streamlined workflows, that they will bring to Slack.
We have seen the development of chatbots as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is developing fast, along with messaging as an interface. Many businesses have started to invest in the bot economy.
There is detailed report on the chatbots from BI Intelligence, a premium research service which narrates details on the disruptive bot landscape, finding the biggest impact that they have and how businesses are successfully leveraging the bot technology.
The report segregates the bot ecosystem by segments, distribution channels and even third-party bots. It also gives an idea on the cost savings as these chatbots can simply replace the salesforce and the customer service for your company.
Finally, it elaborates the potential for monetization of chatbots on the Facebook Messenger platform.