SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 2, 2016) - Octane AI, a platform that enables businesses to set up a powerful chatbot on Facebook Messenger in minutes, today announced the release of its private beta product. In addition, Octane AI announced $1.5 million in funding led by General Catalyst Partners, including investments from notable institutional and angel investors such as Boost VC, Dimension 6, Ustream founder Brad Hunstable, Hired and Talkable founder Allan Grant and angel Lawrence Braitman.
Instead of building a chatbot from the ground up, Octane AI enables businesses to create a chatbot simply by choosing and customizing plugins. Octane AI's chatbot plugins are designed using industry best practices and can show off merchandise, feature content, send notifications, answer questions automatically, schedule meetings and more.
"It's hard to imagine running any type business today without a solid website. Soon chatbots will be just as transformative and ubiquitous," said Phil Libin, managing director at General Catalyst. "The team at Octane has a super crisp and compelling plan for making this a reality."
Octane AI is currently an invite-only beta program, powering the chatbots for a number of influential partners on Messenger's one billion user platform including: 50 Cent, Aerosmith, Curejoy, Epic Rights, KISS, Magic Mike, NextShark, Shots Studios, SPiN and more -- along with partners in Asia including Cinta Laura, Gushcloud and Joanne Peh.
Every Business Will Have a Chatbot
Chatbots enable businesses to automate one-on-one conversations with hundreds, thousands and even millions of customers via messaging. Instead of emailing the business, people can message the chatbot and get an answer instantly. Instead of calling the business to schedule an appointment, the chatbot can do it for them.
"At Octane AI, we believe chatbots are lightweight mobile applications that are delivered to people via existing messaging platforms like Messenger," said Ben Parr, Octane AI Co-founder and CMO.
As messaging apps become the most popular form of communication, chatbots will become the primary way that customers and businesses communicate. And similarly to how every business has an email and social media strategy, every business will have a messaging strategy.
"99 percent of businesses don't want to spend months, weeks or even hours setting up a chatbot," said Octane AI Co-founder and CEO Matt Schlicht. "That's why Octane AI enables you to build a powerful chatbot in minutes without the need to code anything. We provide the technology so that you can focus on the content, experience and personality."
The Story of Octane AI
Octane AI was founded in May 2016 by Y Combinator alum, former Ustream product manager, 2x Forbes 30 Under 30 and Chatbots Magazine creator Matt Schlicht; alongside former Mashable co-editor and editor-at-large, CNET columnist, venture capitalist, Forbes 30 under 30, and Captivology author Ben Parr; and Omegle creator and owner Leif K-Brooks.
Octane AI came into existence as a result of the difficulty that exists in creating and managing chatbots today. Matt became fascinated with messaging since discovering that top messaging platforms are bigger and growing faster than the top social networks. His interest in messaging led him to create Chatbots Magazine, the Bots Group on Facebook and the definitive beginner's guide to chatbots.
Chatbots Magazine now captivates over 200,000 readers per month, and the Bots Group has become the largest community of chatbot developers in the world, with 17,000+ developers, investors and enthusiasts discussing bots, messaging and artificial intelligence.
About Octane AI
Octane AI enables businesses to set up a powerful chatbot in minutes and gives them the power to engage their customers via messaging apps. Octane AI chatbots help businesses, brands and individuals with tasks such as customer support, showing off content, showcasing merchandise, answering frequently asked questions, letting customers subscribe to notifications and more. The company was founded in 2016 by Matt Schlicht, Ben Parr and Leif K-Brooks and is based in San Francisco.
Visit Octane AI's website to sign up for the private beta. You can also check out Chatbots Magazine at this link and follow Octane AI on Facebook, Twitter, Medium and of course, the Octane AI chatbot, Octie.