Chatbots are programs that mimic conversation with people using artificial intelligence. With recent advances in AI these have become much more accurate, especially when focused on a specific domain. Combine these advances with the consumer trend towards messaging —  people are now spending more time in messaging apps than in social media — and it seems we might be about to enter the age of the chatbot.

We decided to take a closer look at the top emerging chatbot start-ups in text chat, across a range of industries, and pick out the most promising.

You can find out more about the 25 companies below, or discover more chatbot startups on our search engine.

Talla / USA / Automated assistants for knowledge workers

Talla builds intelligent automated assistants for knowledge workers, using machine intelligence and other cutting edge technologies. Users can add Talla to their company’s slack and instantly give everyone an assistant to help them communicate, automate and coordinate on hundreds of tasks every day. Talla integrates with Office 365 and Google Apps documents and calendars allowing users to access everything from the chat interface of their choice.

Twyla / Germany / Customer support

Twyla is an artificial intelligence messaging platform that puts a smart chatbot in live customer support chat channels, to answer questions, deflect tickets and free up agents. The bots learn from human agents.

TARA (Gradberry Inc) / USA / On-demand freelancer teams

TARA has created an automated chatbot to target the rise of freelancer work. To alleviate the burden of recruiters sourcing the right talent for their business the chatbot, named TARA, works as an automated recruiter and project manager that assigns pre-screened contractors to small business projects.

Eternime  / USA / Digital afterlife

Eternime wants to let people create avatars of themselves that learn their speech patterns and life stories, and can then converse with loved ones after death. Eternime aims to preserve your most important thoughts, stories and memories for eternity.

Cyra (fka RECBO)  / UK / Smart AI recruiting assistant

Founded in 2016 within the Entrepreneur First accelerator, Cyra is a Smart AI recruiting assistant that uses machine learning and natural language processing techniques to provide employers with “exactly the right candidates” they are looking for. Cyra aims to assist with managing hiring workflow by automating the monotonous tasks involved in recruiting.

Aivo / Argentina / Customer service agents

Aivo develops automated software solutions with the goal of changing the way companies and people communicate. Aivo’s first solution is AgentBot, an automated virtual agent that intelligently recognizes, interprets, and responds to client questions across diverse digital channels. Aivo is the leader in Latin American virtual agents with presence in 10 countries. Its services are available in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

ReplyYes / USA / Conversational commerce

ReplyYes specializes in technology for buying products via text message. The company reached $1 million in sales in eight months through its first conversational commerce channel, focused on vinyl records. Each person get a daily text message with a personalized vinyl record suggestion. Users can then reply ‘yes’ to purchase the item, or simply respond ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ to help the chatbot learn their preferences. If users have more complex requests a human agent takes over to help. / India / Personal shopping assistant is developing a personal shopping assistant chatbot that automates end-to-end ordering through chat. Niki is fully functional AI-powered bot that can perform a variety of tasks ranging from mobile recharge to online shopping to cab booking “at your beck and call”. The compay aspires to be a one-stop destination for all of purchasing.

Pypestream / USA / Brand communication platform

Pypestream is a secure mobile messaging platform that uses real-time chat to transform the way brands and businesses connect with their customers. Through ‘Pypes’ listed in a searchable catalogue, businesses are provided with a direct connection to their customers for increased engagement, automated customer service, and in-message payment processing. The company aims to provide the ultimate customer engagement tool, including using proprietary AI and chatbot technology to allow conversations at scale.

BetterBrand / UK / Marketing

BetterBrand says it is the first management platform of its kind for publishers and marketers to create and scale chat campaigns across multiple chat apps simultaneously. Powered by state-of-the-art chatbot technology, the company helps customers fuel the conversation with their audiences. A full suite of conversational templates allows users to upload all content types to chat campaigns with the click of a button.

Demisto / USA / Security operations and incident management

Demisto Enterprise is a Bot-powered security ChatOps platform to automate and streamline security operations and incident management processes. With Demisto, security analysts can scale their time and effort during incident investigation stages while sharing knowledge and working collaboratively for faster resolution.

DigitalGenius / UK / Customer service

DigitalGenius brings practical applications of artificial intelligence into the customer service operations of global companies. Its Human+AI Customer Service Platform combines human intellect and artificial intelligence wit the aim of enabling companies to live up to and exceed rising consumer expectations. At its core are deep learning algorithms, which are trained on historical customer service transcripts and integrated directly into the contact center’s existing software.

Semantic Machines / USA / Conversational computing technology

Semantic Machines says it is developing the fundamental AI technology needed to make conversational computing a reality. It’s team was involved in building core AI technology for Siri and Google Now. Semantic Machines says it is developing a new, language-independent technology platform that goes beyond understanding commands to understanding conversations. Use cases — using text or voice — include: E-Commerce; Travel; Concierge; Calendar; Business; Search; Productivity; and Automotive.

Spixii / UK / Insurance agent

Spixii is an automated insurance agent dedicated to making insurance quicker, easier and more personal. With a simple conversation, the company wants to allow users to instantly find the insurance that is right for them. No more form-filling, no more confusing jargon.

Chatfuel (fka 200 Labs) / USA / Bot builder platform

Chatfuel is an intuitive bot builder with AI navigation that lets publishers (or anyone) create a bot for messaging apps, allowing users to focus on certain topics or ask questions about the news. The company says that more than 100k robots created on Chatfuel are serving 5M+ users worldwide.

Assist Inc / USA / Aggregated APIs to interact with a range of services

The Assist platform powers businesses on all messaging platforms by aggregating APIs and letting you text to interact with a range of services. Send a message to Assist and from there you can book reservations, order tickets, book hotels, send flowers, hire a courier, get food delivered, and more all by simply having a conversation. Some of the company’s underlying partners include Opentable, Resy, Seamless, Grubhub, Foursquare, Uber, Postmates, Stubhub, and FloristOne. Assist is available on Facebook Messenger, SMS, Slack, and Telegram.

JiffyBots / USA / Bots for brands

JiffyBots builds custom bots for brands designed to transform the way people and organizations interact. JiffyBots are used for intelligent messaging, in-app conversations, sales automation, intelligent Q&A, scheduling appointments, employee onboarding, accelerating customer service, call center automation, image/doc retrieval, broadcasting updates, polling databases, education assistance, entertainment, and more.

Motion AI / USA / Visual bot builder

Motion AI’s platform is designed to give anyone the ability to easily build and deploy chatbots on a variety of different mediums. The company’s visual approach to creating conversation flows makes it simple to design complex bots that are fun to build. Once a bot is deployed analytics allow you to see how users are interacting with your bots, and identify valuable business intelligence. From food ordering, surveys and healthcare to customer service – there are a range of possibilities. / Netherlands / AI Assistant says it’s bots can do almost anything imaginable – from taking food orders and accepting payments, to running customer service chats and booking a flight. Flow AI aims to create an AI assistant that can answer your customers questions using chat and can also present customised widgets with rich interaction for example showing your customer an instruction video or a widget with secure payment with Credit Card.

Myra Labs / USA / Conversational AI as a service

Myra Labs provides conversational AI as a service. Backed by investors including Slack, Myra Labs says it brings the latest in natural language and conversational AI to businesses building next-generation smart applications.

AdmitHub / USA / College guidance

AdmitHub uses machine learning to facilitate the path to and through college. the company has developed Oli™, a chatbot that combines AI with human experts to provide free college guidance to all students. For college customers, AdmitHub aims to eliminate repetitive tasks, help colleges meaningfully engage students at scale, and provide deep insights into their pipeline of prospects.

Hutoma / UK / Digital employees

Hutoma helps companies reduce staffing costs by deploying artificially intelligent programs that act and behave like their human counterparts but are significantly cheaper and infinitely scalable. Hutoma utilizes a proprietary deep learning technology to autonomously ingest company information (product info, support chat logs, etc.) and create a custom made conversational AI that can have meaningful conversations with end user via text or voice.

Helloumi / Spain / Real-time customer messaging

Helloumi allows you to use real-time messaging to interact with your customers and get closer to them, in a way that is faster than email and more effective and efficient than calling. Helloumi to create your own automatic responses system using chatbots, without technical experience. The company describes it as Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a human touch.

PullString / USA / Computer conversation with entertainment characters

PullString is an entertainment and technology company that combines art and science to enable computer conversation with characters. The company says its artists and engineers are defining an entirely new category of entertainment that lets characters and audiences talk to each other for the first time. The company’s content authoring software and AI platform powers the process that some of the world’s leading entertainment and technology companies use to create conversations with digital and physical characters.

Polly (by Subcurrent) / USA / Employee happiness is utilizing chatbots to help managers assess employee happiness. Its chatbot product integrates with popular office collaboration app Slack and lets managers poll employees on a one-time or recurring basis. The chatbot automatically collects feedback and data, tracking trends to provide insights for employers. Polly measures factors such as team happiness, meeting effectiveness, and product health.