Team communication app, Slack which is currently having a valuation of $2.8 billion, has launched a new $80 million VC fund to make investment in startups building apps on top of Slack. Alongside the investment fund, the company has also launched an app store called App Directory where users can download third party apps that integrate with Slack.
The new fund is backed by Slack with additional capital coming from its partners, including Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Spark, and Social Capital. It will primarily make investments worth $100,000 to $250,000 in seed stage startups that make Slack their core foundation.
The app directory includes more than 160 apps that integrate with Slack’s platform including Twitter, Google Drive, Dropbox and Trello. The company has already made three investments out of the new fund including Howdy, an Austin-based startup that builds Slack bots, apps that automate certain tasks within the Slack environment; Awesome, which has created software for summarizing a user’s activity within Slack; and Small Wins, a stealth startup founded by former Engadget editor-in-chief Ryan Block.
Other players like Salesforce, Box, Zendesk, and Atlassian also have their own app marketplaces. Atlassian, the Australian-based company behind tools like HipChat and Jira, went public on the Nasdaq last week.
Launching a VC fund is also a common tactic among enterprise players, like Salesforce, Cisco, and Intel have already launched a sizable investment arms.