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HubSpot acquires Motion.ai to launch marketing bot platform

Marketing and sales company HubSpot today announced it has acquired bot creation platform Motion.ai. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition will bring bots to HubSpot’s more than 34,000 customers for the first time.

“We are going to bring the two products together and make sure that it comes as part of the core of the platform, and part of that is being able to leverage the data and information that exists in HubSpot, and being able to handle more standardization — that someone could come in and we have some recipes or templates that people can [use to] get started making bots,” HubSpot chief strategy officer Brad Coffey told VentureBeat in a phone interview.

The Chicago-based Motion.ai team will join the HubSpot team. This marks the second recent acquisition to be integrated into the HubSpot platform, following the acquisition in late July of Kemvi to give users automated research services.

HubSpot’s best-known bot may be GrowthBot, which was made last year by CTO and cofounder Dharmesh Shah.

The Motion.ai platform can currently be used to create bots for Slack and Facebook Messenger, and for chat on websites. Motion.ai has been used by brands like T-Mobile, Kia, Sony, and Wix.

HubSpot acquired Motion.ai, Coffey said, because the company has come to understand the importance of providing customers with services that reach them on chat apps.

“We see this as the big evolution that’s happening in marketing automation,” Coffey said. “What email is to marketing automation, we believe messaging is to bots and Motion.ai.”

Companies from Facebook Messenger to Twitter have also made bots for sales and marketing part of their platforms, while startups like DriftAutomat, and Conversable have launched services to provide businesses with sales and marketing bots.

Motion.ai currently offers about a dozen templates for bots that do things like handle FAQs or surveys, but Coffey is particularly interested in improving the handoff between a bot and a human in conversations. Motion.ai bots are currently only able to send alerts via email when a customer says they want to talk to a human.

Acquisition talks began, Coffey said, following the creation of GrowthBot and after HubSpot used Motion.ai bots for a series of events.

“As we were going through that, it just validated some of the assumptions we had in our belief that there was a massive opportunity here for marketers. And so we continued to move to try to acquire the company so we can bring this to each and every one of our customers and have our customers share in that success we’re starting to see,” he said.

Originally featured in VentureBeat.