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Slack unveils an app store and $80m development fund

The business communication tool Slack is trying to end the year on a high note, and looking at what the company announced yesterday, it seems to be on the right track.

The team-communication app, which now has two million daily users and 570,000 paying customers has announced three things – an app store which will offer other productivity tools (like Trello, for example) to integrate with Slack, an $80 million fund to help developers create more apps for the store, and a new framework called Botkit which should simplify the process of creating apps.

The Slack App Directory, available on this link, currently offers 160 apps sorted into different lists: by category, popularity, staff favourites.

“Installation is easy—you’ll be using these new apps inside your Slack team after just a few clicks,” the company said in a blog post announcing the novelties.

The fund, aimed at motivating developers to take part, is backed by Slack and six of its investors: Accel, Andreessen-Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark, and Social+Capital.

“If you’re a developer or small company deciding whether to make a bet on the Slack platform, the Slack Fund is a new source of support to help you get started building apps,” Slack says.

The Slack Fund will fund both “Slack-first” apps as well as B2B and enterprise tools that make Slack integrations a core part of their offering.

Botkit, which was developed by Howdy, “greatly simplifies the creation of apps (especially bots) with a flexible codebase that handles things like authenticating apps to a team and the sending, receiving, and processing of messages with our API.”