Enterprise collaboration app company Slack launched an $80 million fund for developers, backed by six of its investors.
The cash is meant to be a source of support for developers and small companies “deciding whether to make a bet on the Slack platform” to get started building apps.
“The Slack Fund will fund both ‘Slack-first’ apps as well as B2B and enterprise tools that make Slack integrations a core part of their offering,” the company said.
“We’ll measure the success of the fund in the quality and adoption of the apps built by Slack Fund companies and by the overall investment we see in the Slack ecosystem,” it added.
The investors in the fund are Accel, Andreessen-Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark and Social+Capital.
Slack also introduced an app directory, where users can find around 160 apps that can extend the capabilities of their team, sorted into curated lists.
There are listings from a variety of categories such as design, marketing, office management, developer tools, and productivity. Users can also search for apps from within the Slack app.
Slack also announced the launch of a new framework for development called Botkit, which simplifies the creation of apps (especially bots) with a flexible codebase that handles tasks such as authenticating apps to a team and the sending, receiving, and processing of messages with Slack’s API.
“With Botkit, developers can stop reinventing the wheel on basic functionality and instead get a head start on writing code for what their bots actually do and how their apps interact with Slack,” the company said.
These announcements “are both an investment into the future of Slack apps and an investment in the developers that help create these tools,” it added.