Enterprises are moving toward chatbot technology to help them scale and automate certain business processes such as customer interaction and workflow.
Much of the news indicates that chatbots will replace apps, but a new report from New York-based app analytics platform Roko Labs has indicated that this might not be the case.
It has completed a report on trends in apps versus chatbot funding from 2015 to 2016. It reviewed investments in both mobile app and bot technology across both those years.
The report shows that while bots are getting all the buzz, apps are still getting the lion's share of funding across the board.
The start of 2017 proved mammoth for Apple's App Store in terms of purchases, with $240 million spent on Jan. 1, 2017 alone. App developers earned $20 billion from the App Store in 2016, and increase of 40 percent compared to 2015.
Apps are here to stay, but bots are catching up fast.
The majority of funding in mobile app tech over the last couple of years has been from on-demand apps such as Uber, Lyft, and Didi Chuxing. These apps are determined to capture market share and are in a race to do so.
Apps for Uber were funded to the value of $3.6 billion in 2015, while Didi Chuxing received $2 billion investment. In 2016, the Didi Chuxing app received almost $7.42 billion, and Uber received $6.85 billion.
Bot funding has demonstrated that whilst still in their infancy, early-stage funding for bots has increased by 129 percent year over year.
Early stage funding is usually an indicator of where investors anticipate future growth. Series B funding for bots increased by over 400 percent from 2015 to 2016.
The funding for bots soared in Q2 2016, with B2B bots generating the highest increase in funding. This could be because the path to revenue is more clearly defined. There was also a surge in bot building platform investment.
Indicators show that bots could level out with app funding this year. Bots outpaced app funding a couple of times in 2016. Apps have their place in the market -- as do bots. They generally do not impact one another.
But with investors keen to focus on the next hot thing, it seems like chatbots may get the recognition and funding that they need to become truly mainstream in 2018.
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