Microsoft set to acquire Texas-based AI startup XOXCO

On Wednesday, Microsoft announced it’s acquiring chatbot startup XOXCO for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2009 by Ben Brown and Katie Spence, XOXCO is a software product design and development studio. It creates cutting-edge experiences through software. The Austin-based AI startup is known for having created a bot for Slack called Howdy and the Botkit for GitHub.

“Today, we are announcing we have signed an agreement to acquire XOXCO, a software product design and development studio known for its conversational AI and bot development capabilities. The company has been paving the way in conversational AI since 2013 and was responsible for the creation of Howdy, the first commercially available bot for Slack that helps schedule meetings, and Botkit, which provides the development tools used by hundreds of thousands of developers on GitHub. Over the years, we have partnered with XOXCO and have been inspired by this work,” Microsoft said in a blog post by Lili Cheng, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Conversational AI.

“Conversational AI is quickly becoming a way in which businesses engage with employees and customers: from creating virtual assistants and redesigning customer interactions to using conversational assistants to help employees communicate and work better together,” Cheng said.

The Microsoft Bot Framework, available as a service in Azure and on GitHub, supports over 360,000 developers today. With this acquisition, we are continuing to realize our approach of democratizing AI development, conversation and dialog, and integrating conversational experiences where people communicate.

“Over the last one year, Microsoft has made several strategic acquisitions including Semantic Machines, Bonsai, and Lobeto accelerate the pace of AI development.


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