SoftBank leads investment in Slack, valuing it at $5bn

27 Jul 2017

SoftBank yacht. Image: lev radin/Shutterstock

SoftBank sails into smooth deal with Slack.

Slack has reportedly landed a $250m investment from Japanese investment giant SoftBank and venture capital firm Accel Partners, valuing the productivity company at $5bn.

SoftBank has increased its investments since raising a mega fund that could reach $100bn from investors including Apple.

Last year, Slack raised $200m in a massive funding round that valued the company at $3.8bn.

The company recently appointed Irish woman Sarah Friar, CFO of Square, to its board.

Revolutionising business communications

Slack was founded by Canadian Stewart Butterfield. The platform emerged from a project management tool for Glitch, a gaming company that Butterfield shuttered in 2012.

Prior to Slack, Butterfield co-founded image-sharing site Flickr with Caterina Fake and Jason Classon in 2002, originally as a video games business. Flickr was acquired by Yahoo in 2005 and Butterfield stayed on as product manager for three years.

Slack, which is creating 100 new jobs in Dublin, aims to revolutionise how businesses work and communicate, taking the social tools young workers have become accustomed to and right-sizing them for the workplace in a fun and engaging way.

In recent weeks, Slack revealed that it now has more than 1,000 apps in its App Directory, which it has moved onto its main platform.

In 2015, Slack cemented its position in the productivity world by fostering a new apps ecosystem and creating an $80m Slack developer fund.

SoftBank yacht. Image: lev radin/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years