Microsoft Is Acquiring Austin-Based Chatbot Startup XOXCO

Doris Richards
November 16, 2018

Microsoft has announced its intent to buy XOXCO - an Austin based software developer company focused on bot design and development. Microsoft continues its expansion in the AI field with the recent agreement to acquire XOXCO.

XOXCO was initially founded in 2009, though the company came into bot development in 2013.

"This signals a bright future for bots and bot builders and is a deep commitment from myself and everyone involved to creating an open platform to build this exciting new type of software".

In 2015, it secured US$1.5 million to develop chatbots, which can perform productivity tasks such as allowing people to automatically chatbotse online meetings in their digital calendars.


As conversational AI gains momentum, it is quickly becoming the 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.

Microsoft has made its strongest move yet into the emerging field of conversational AI by acquiring XOXCO for an undisclosed amount. "We're excited to welcome the XOXCO team and look forward to working with the community to accelerate innovation and help customers capitalize on the many benefits AI can offer", said Lili Cheng, corporate vice president for conversational AI at Microsoft, in her blog post. Nowhere has that been more obvious over the past year than in its acquisition targets, which have largely focused on a variety of companies that have significant experience in pushing AI forward, and Microsoft's latest acquisition is no different.

Further commenting on the objective of this acquisition, Cheng remarked, "The Microsoft Bot Framework, available as a service in Azure and on GitHub, supports over 360,000 developers today". The acquisition of Semantic Machines in May brought a revolutionary new approach to conversational AI. In July, we acquired Bonsai to help reduce the barriers to AI development by combining machine teaching, reinforcement learning and simulation. Then in September, the company acquired Lobe and recently in October it acquired GitHub in one of the most significant acquisitions of the year.

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