Why We Invested in Statsbot
As Techcrunch announced, last week we led the seed round for Statsbot joined by our friends at Betaworks and Innovation Endeavors. This turned out to be one of the most oversubscribed seed rounds we’ve seen since we started investing in 2010 so we are extremely excited to be involved.
Statsbot allows employees to discover and interact with their company’s data via a conversational user interface. Currently, Statsbot supports Slack as its user interface and can access data from a variety of sources including mixpanel, google analytics and salesforce. Users simply ask Statsbot for the data they want using natural language and it responds with results in a visually easy to digest format.
But this is just the beginning, we share the team’s belief that Statsbot has the ability to evolve into a broad virtual assistant for the enterprise.
Investment decisions tend to be complex but I’ve tried to boil this one down to the most important factors that drove us to invest.
It fits with one of our core themes: conversational user interfaces
We’ve had a thesis for a while now that conversational UI’s would change the way people interact with computing. I‘m very fortunate to have spent 4 years helping grow Vlingo into a sizable business, which has given my partners and I unique knowledge of conversational UI’s. Furthermore, we believe that disruption will happen first within the enterprise, with consumer mass adoption coming a bit later. This opinion is what drove our investment in both Statsbot and message.io.
When it comes to conversational UI’s there are three factors that we think will allow work related bots to thrive prior to consumer. Firstly, their use case tends to be more constrained, which allows them to work better given the current limitations of the underlying AI needed to fully understand natural language input and return results from a number of data sources. Secondly, business users are more likely to make the effort to learn how to interact with a bot that provides value to their workflow. On the other hand, consumers are more likely to give up quickly when a bot doesn’t understand them or even act maliciously in a way that can confuse the system’s underlying intelligence. Finally Slack is arguably the most robust platform for bots with the most tech savvy user base.
A tight, technically focused team
When we first met Artyom, Mike and Pavel, we were immediately drawn to them as founders as they personified some of the main characteristics we look for in founding teams. First of all they have known each other for many years. We’ve seen time and time again that founders who are close before starting a company perform better. Two Eniac companies that come to mind are Boxed and TapCommerce. Given that Tim, Nihal, Vic and I met 20 years ago as engineering students, we know firsthand how much it helps founding a company with strong bonds in place. Probably the main thing we loved about Artyom, Mike and Pavel was that they were all builders with deep experience as developers, designers and data scientists —the skills needed to build something as complex as Statsbot. We love small technically-oriented teams who build great products.
A solution that already has signs of product market fit with huge vision
Statsbot has already been wildly popular with over 20,000 companies on their platform. When we started digging into Statsbot’s traction, we were thrilled to see that three Eniac companies were already paying customers. Needless to say all three loved the product.
It is great to see such impressive traction given that Statsbot is still in its infancy. While it is already providing great value to customers, the team’s vision is much larger. We believe Statsbot has the ability to be a virtual assistant for the enterprise, much in the way Alexa and Siri want to be the consumer’s virtual assistant. Look for Statsbot to keep adding intelligence and scope to its product, building towards a vision where it is the primary interface for all knowledge worker activity.
If you haven’t tried Statsbot yet, give it a try and let us know what you think.