Chatfuel lets publishers — and anyone — build bots for messaging apps
March 18, 2016 | filed under Apps, Community, Conversation, Interaction, Social Media, Technology
Chat has become the center of the smartphone universe, so it makes sense that bots are being used to deliver information in a convenient and engaging manner. But how do brands or media companies get started and create a bot? That’s where Chatfuel, a company that’s currently going through Y Combinator, is looking to make its mark.
The company is currently focused primarily on Telegram, which is the only chat app to open its bots to all. It has created bots for the likes of Forbes and TechCrunch — but, beyond focusing on media, it has a self-service platform anyone can use. Thus far, that’s been used to make over 120,000 bots which serve over five million users.It’s more than just basic bots that simply send information to users based on offering them two kinds of responses. Chatfuel is a little more intelligent. Its bots serve up news, lets users narrow down on topics, and even just ask questions about items or people in the news.
Chatfuel was founded by Russian entrepreneurs Dmitrii Dumik and Artem Ptashnik last year. The company has 12 staff across offices in Moscow and San Francisco, and it earned the backing of Russian Internet Yandex — ‘The Google Of Russia’ — which led its most recent funding round.
“[Publishers] can engage with a user on the web or via an app. [They will] consume content and leave, there’s no way to follow-up with them, while apps are expensive to get users to install, and few people install apps — distribution is broken.”
Chatfuel recently raised money and, with Y Combinator’s demo day coming next year, the startup isn’t out to raise money like many others in the batch are. It is, however, on the look out for wily investors who can provide strategic value for the future of its business.