Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. She also has a folder full of dog GIFs and uses them liberally on Twitter at @lhockenson.
You know a piece of technology has really made it when it creates a booming cottage industry that is designed to support it. The latest company to achieve that seems to be messaging app Slack, which has seemingly attracted curious entrepreneurs willing to build upon its ecosystem of workplace communication, GIFs and emojis.
Enter Howdy, a new “workplace assistant” that just closed a seed round with participation from Bloomberg Beta, True Ventures, Betaworks, and Outlier, among others. In its launch-day blog post, XOXOCO co-founder Ben Brown says the company is bullish on the development of bots within the Slack ecosystem:
With our launch today, we hope to usher in a Cambrian explosion of applications and services built into and on top of messaging applications like Slack. Building upon Howdy’s core ability to listen, speak and act on the intent of its human counterparts, we envision a world where messaging bots deliver all manner of content and services to their users.
Howdy’s bot is currently designed to manage meetings from within Slack, and it can be deployed in both public and private chats. Using natural language, Howdy collects and organizes information before the meeting, including things like what a team member is working on and whether there are any blockers.
The results of the meeting are then either distributed publicly or delivered to the team leader for quick review before the meeting begins.
But that’s just the beginning. XOXOCO is keen on helping other developers quickly create and optimize bots for Slack, particularly in providing Howdy’s technology to others as a simple platform to build from. The company also manages a Dev4Slack channel, designed to bring engineers together to help create solutions for Slack.
It’s intriguing to see another company take up the mantle of developing tools for Slack– especially one that started well before the app was even launched. But it’s also a testament to the strength and malleability of that platform; don’t be surprised when you see more technologies like Howdy growing like weeds.
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