Slack ramps up efforts for IPO in early 2019

28 Sep 2018

Slack logo on mobile. Image: Piotr Swat/Shutterstock

Slack is preparing to go public as soon as the first quarter of next year, according to reports.

Enterprise messaging player Slack is making active plans to go public in Q1 of 2019, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The report said that the company expects its IPO to lead to a valuation in excess of $7bn. If accurate, this valuation could make Slack the biggest technology IPO since Snap’s $24bn valuation in 2017.

The company has apparently been working on going public since 2017, but recently stepped up its planning efforts. The company competes with the likes of Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and others in the growing collaboration software market.

An upward trajectory for Slack

While the company has not yet hired underwriters, the report said this would likely happen soon. In August, Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic led a Series H funding round worth $427m, which tipped Slack’s value past the $7bn mark.

At the time, Alan Tu, analyst at T Rowe Price Associates, said: “Slack has made strong progress in a very short time in this new era of enterprise collaboration. Our investment represents our belief in the company’s vision and leadership team, together with the product’s potential to increase productivity and change the way people work on an even larger scale.”

One of Slack’s other major investors is the Japanese tech powerhouse SoftBank. The latter led a $250m investment round in the messaging company in September of last year.

According to figures released by Slack earlier in 2018, the platform has more than 8m daily active users, with 3m of those using the premium paid version of the service. Since its launch in 2013, its user base has grown steadily. In February 2014, just 16,000 people used the service, but growth really began picking up steam in 2016. By the end of that year, the company had hit the 5m daily active users milestone.

Slack logo on mobile. Image: Piotr Swat/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects