Trim, the San Francisco startup that launched seven months ago to help consumers spot and cancel unwanted subscriptions, just raised $2.2 million in venture funding, which it is using to expand its product to tell people how much they spend on Uber each month or to check their bank balance.
Trim’s chatbot will text you your monthly spend on Uber or your bank balance, but users can’t download an app to track their spending with Trim. Currently, the product is only a bot that users link to their SMS or Facebook.
“Anything that you can do on your mobile banking app, you can do with Trim, with the exception of moving money,” said CEO and Cofounder Thomas Smyth in an interview with TechCrunch.
Currently, the Trim bot is free, but the company plans to make money by charging for certain features. With the updates to the bot to include more features, the brains behind Trim are betting the service will become an alternative to banking and personal finance apps because, they argue, people prefer to use a messaging interface than an app. Since Trim launched, the company says it has saved users $6 million by identifying and canceling unwanted subscriptions. Among the venture capitalists funding Trim in the latest round are Sound Ventures, which is led by Ashton Kutcher, Eniac Ventures, who led the round, as well as Version One Ventures and Core Innovation Capital.
In the early spring, Facebook launched chatbots, a tool to engage consumers and give businesses new tools to reach them. With the chatbot platform, Facebook is betting a ecosystem of developers will swarm to the company, finding a variety of uses for bots and deciding to stop spending their time making Apple- and Android-based apps. Lots of businesses are currently testing the whole idea of bots to determine if it will catch on with their customers.