When Cola formally launched in 2016, bot technology was still in its infancy, but there seemed to be promise with Slack, Kik, Microsoft, and Facebook getting in on the act. Nearly 12 months later, Cola finds itself on the downside of this trend and is in the process of selling its messaging app assets to Layer for $ 75,000 and is expected to subsequently shut down, VentureBeat has learned. It is not yet clear if the deal has closed.
Layer declined to comment.
Cola aimed to be a messaging operating system with “bubbles” that sought to streamline conversations and eliminating the needless text-a-thons. Initially there were six pre-installed bubbles, essentially templated messages with actions, before the company added more and opened it up to third-party developers last summer.
Bubbles that exist now include being able to track one’s flight, watch YouTube videos, add animated GIFs through Giphy, display the weather, create a poll, manage a conference call, share a to-do list, send your location, find out times to meet, take a photo or video, access your media library, and inform others you’re on your way.
“Cola was always envisioned as more than ‘just another messaging app’,” company chief executive David Temkin said in July. “It’s an extensible platform that empowers developers to build their own vision for the future of messaging.”
It’s unknown how popular Cola and its bubble development kit (BDK) were, but the company has run out of cash, according to a document we obtained. Layer is buying Cola’s technology, but not the team, although the company is bringing on board two of Cola’s engineers likely to continue running the product and integrating it into the communication infrastructure.
While this may not have been a likely outcome Cola wanted, the company did look for a deal that would have benefited both the team and technology, but but none of the businesses that Cola spoke with were interested.
Layer is a communication infrastructure service similar to Twilio, but focused on chat messaging. It launched in 2013 with the aim of helping developers implement messaging capabilities into their apps without all the countless hours building it themselves.
The addition of Cola’s technology may benefit Layer’s customers, introducing new ways for users to communicate within a text message. Developers hopefully will be able to instantly slide these new capabilities right into their apps without having to do it all manually.
Cola had raised $ 1.3 million in venture capital, with funding coming from Tribeca Angels, Tribe of Angels, Steve Case, Brad Garlinghouse, and Naval Ravikant.