In one of the most widely anticipated events of the year, Facebook announced a Messenger platform complete with chatbots that will enable users to speak to businesses via a bot.
Facebook’s Messenger Platform currently doesn’t allow payments directly through a credit card added to Messenger.
Not to be outdone, Telegram launched their new Bot Platform a couple of days before F8 and has a lot of great features. Telegram seems to be the pioneer (at least in the West; WeChat is the true messaging pioneer) and it will be interesting to see how many of these features become mainstream within other platforms such as Messenger, Slack and others.
Betaworks is today announcing that applications are open for BotCamp, a 90-day pre-seed program for chat bot startups. Investors in the program include betaworks and the Chernin Group, with sponsors from KPCB, General Catalyst, Atomico and RRE.
Begin, the bot startup co-founded by Ryan Block and Brian LeRoux has secured funding from General Catalyst in one of Phil Libin's first investments.
Details for Begin are slim — one reference point we have is from Libin, who says Begin is “a bot for making it easier to get work done, for people, for teams.”
x.ai the intelligent personal assistant that schedules your calendars raised $23M in Series B funding led by Two Sigma Ventures. All of x.ai’s existing investors, IA Ventures, Firstmark Capital, Softbank Capital / SBNY, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Crunchfund, and Pritzker Group Venture Capital, have also participated. The investment will support the continued expansion of x.ai’s data science team as well as the development of its customer acquisition and enterprise sales teams.