Slack raises $250m to go forth and conquer the workplace

18 Sep 201736 Shares

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Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield being interviewed on stage by CNN’s Laurie Segall at the Web Summit in Dublin in 2015. Image: Web Summit/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Workplace messaging and productivity app Slack is now valued at $5.1bn.

It is a start-up that was a case of third time lucky for Stewart Butterfield and the Slack founding team. And now, with a $250m injection, Slack is well fuelled to reinvent the workplace.

The investment round was led by SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund. It values productivity player Slack at $5.1bn, with Accel and private investors also contributing.

Last year, Slack raised $200m in a massive funding round that valued the company at $3.8bn. It is understood that the company still has much of the $591m it already raised.

The investment comes as competition emerges from players such as Microsoft, with its Teams technology in Office 365, and Facebook, which has created a Facebook at Work product.

Creating enough Slack for operational flexibility

Butterfield and the founding team of Slack created Flickr, the Web 2.0, era-defining, photo-sharing platform that was acquired by Yahoo.

After being lost in the Yahoo jungle for a while, the founders cashed in their chips and decided to fulfil their dreams of creating a massively multiplayer game called Glitch.

Slack was founded by Butterfield, Cal Henderson and Serguei Mourachov after they shuttered Glitch in 2012. A project-management tool that had been used at Glitch to help developers communicate and stay productive caught the eye of investors, and Slack was born.

The company today is the mainstay communications tool for many fast-growth companies.

Slack currently has 9m weekly active users and 6m daily active users. Out of these, there are 2m paid users and 50,000-plus paid teams. Revenues from subscriptions are understood to be around $200m.

The technology is used by giants such as IBM, NBC, Adobe, Autodesk and Capital One. At any one time, there are 3.5m people simultaneously connected to Slack.

The workplace productivity platform recently revealed that there are now 1,000-plus apps in the Slack directory.

Slack, which has expanded its workforce in Dublin, earlier this year appointed Irish woman and Square CFO Sarah Friar to its board.

Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield being interviewed on stage by CNN’s Laurie Segall at the Web Summit in Dublin in 2015. Image: Web Summit/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com