May 2nd, 2018
Across all our developer platforms, from Android to Chrome to Actions on Google and more, we've focused on fostering an open ecosystem where developers can build rich experiences for their users. We’ve continued this approach with the Google Assistant, providing tools for developers to create natural conversational experiences. We’re also working closely with device partners to create new surfaces for the Assistant. Developers have created a wide range of Actions—some practical, some inspirational—that help you get things done in new ways we couldn’t have predicted just a few years ago, whether that’s helping you control your smart home, find subway times, or even helping you meditate.
To promote more of this creativity, we're opening a new investment program for early-stage startups that share our passion for the digital assistant ecosystem, helping to push new ideas forward and advance the possibilities of what digital assistants can do.
This new program will consist of several components:
- Investment capital from Google to provide additional financial resources for the development, hiring, and management of these startups.
- Advice from Google engineers, product managers, and design experts to share technical guidance and product development feedback.
- Google partnership programs that provide early access to upcoming features and tools so startups can bring their products to market as quickly as possible.
- Access to the Google Cloud Platform, our suite of cloud computing services that run on the same infrastructure that we use for products like Google Search and YouTube.
- Promotional support through Google marketing channels to drive greater awareness for the features and functionality of these new applications.
We’re welcoming companies across a diverse range of fields, including startups that are developing technologies that broaden the Assistant’s set of features, or are building new hardware devices for digital assistants, or that focus on a particular industry such as travel, games, or hospitality. We’re sharing the first batch of investments and look forward to helping them succeed in the Assistant ecosystem:
- GoMoment: Creator of Ivy, a 24/7 concierge for hotel guests, capable of providing instant answers to common questions like "Is there a happy hour at the bar tonight?" or “Can I get a late checkout?” Anything requiring human expertise is sent to hotel staff and tracked for quick and reliable resolution. Ivy is used by leading hotels like Caesars Palace, Treasure Island and Hard Rock.
- Edwin: Your personal English tutor powered by AI. Edwin prepares students looking to take English as a foreign language test, such as the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL). Edwin combines advanced AI technology with the expertise of professional English teachers to tailor every lesson to your individual needs, learning style and pace.
- BotSociety: You can say a million things in a billion different ways to voice assistants, so BotSociety created a tool that allows developers to design, prototype and user test voice interfaces. More than 30,000 developers worldwide have designed their voice assistant applications using Botsociety.
- Pulse Labs: Helping voice application designers understand what their users want to do. With Pulse Labs, developers can test their applications with real people, quickly acquire in-depth insights, and use that feedback to refine the experience.