News: Company also launched a framework for Slack development called Botkit.
Enterprise oriented software developer Slack Technologies has started an $80m venture fund to support other startups developing apps integrated with the company’s own software.
Slack runs a popular corporate chat service which allows teams of workers to exchange online messages including images and other files.
The company is expected to contribute to more than half of the total fund, with the rest of the funds to come from the backers of the company which includes Accel, Andreessen-Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark, and Social+Capital.
The Slack Fund will invest around $100,000 to $250,000 in smaller startups that build "Slack-first" apps as well as B2B and enterprise tools that make Slack integrations a core part of their offering.
With the initiative, the company expects to feature a diverse range of entrepreneurs working on solving problems for its teams in every industry, function, and corner of the world.
Slack Technologies said: "The Slack Fund will ensure a wide range of new apps from a variety of developers will get built and launched thanks to this new financial backing.
"Botkit will greatly simplify Slack programming and give us a world where a thousand bots can bloom."
The company also introduced Slack App Directory, which will allow users to find over 160 apps that can extend the capabilities Slack team, by sorted into curated lists by category, popularity, and staff favorites.