Slack Technologies

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Slack Technologies, Inc.
Tiny Speck (2009–2014)
Traded asNYSEWORK (Class A)
ISINUS83088V1026 Edit this on Wikidata
IndustryInternet[1] (formerly video games)[2]
FoundedVancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2009)[3]
FoundersStewart Butterfield
Eric Costello
Cal Henderson
Serguei Mourachov[4]
Area served
Key people
Stewart Butterfield (co-Founder and CEO)
RevenueIncrease $401 million (2019)[5]
Number of employees
1,664 (April 2019)[5]

Slack Technologies, Inc. is an international software company founded in 2009 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The core team is largely drawn from the founders of Ludicorp, the company that created Flickr.[6]

Outside its headquarters in San Francisco, California, Slack operates offices in Dublin, Vancouver, New York City, Toronto, Denver, London, Tokyo, Pune, Paris, Istanbul and Melbourne.[7] In June 2019, Slack Technologies went public on the New York Stock Exchange via a direct stock listing.[8]


Initial funding and Glitch[edit]

Tiny Speck received angel funding of $1.5 million in 2009,[9] followed by Series A funding of $5 million in 2010 from Accel Partners and Andreessen Horowitz.[10] A Series B round of $10.7 million was raised in 2011.[11]

Tiny Speck's first product was a computer game called Glitch—a social MMORPG with highly stylized 2D graphics. The gameplay was described as "players must learn how to find and grow resources, identify and build community and, at the higher levels of the game, proselytize to those around them".[12] Originally scheduled for release in Spring 2011,[13] Glitch launched on September 27, 2011,[14][15] but subsequently "unlaunched" to improve gameplay.[16] In November 2012, it was announced that Glitch would be closed, effective December 9, 2012.[2]

Slack and further funding[edit]

After the closure of Glitch, the company launched the Slack real-time collaboration app and platform, raising $17 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Accel and Social Capital.[17] After the launch of Slack, the company renamed itself to Slack Technologies in August 2014.[18] The name is an acronym for "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge".[19] Slack had been an internal tool used for the development of Glitch.

The company raised $42.75 million in April 2014.[20] In October 2014, the company raised $120 million in venture capital with a $1.2 billion valuation led by Kleiner Perkins and GV.[21] Earlier investors Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners and The Social+Capital Partnership also participated in this round.[21] In January 2015, Slack announced the acquisition of Screenhero, a specialist in voice, video, and screen sharing.[22] In March 2015, Slack signed a deal with investors to raise up to $160 million in a funding round that valued the company at $2.76 billion. New investors include Institutional Venture Partners, Horizons Ventures, Index Ventures and DST Global.[23] In April 2015, the company raised another $160 million.[24] In May 2015, Social Capital was a leading investor in a funding round for Slack Technologies.[25] In April 2016, Slack raised another $200 million, led by Thrive Capital, with participation by GGV, Comcast Ventures and existing investors, including Accel, Index Ventures and Social Capital.[26][27] In 2016, Slack was ranked #1 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list.[28] In September 2017, Slack raised $250 million, the majority of which came from Softbank's Vision Fund, with about 45% of that, or $112.5 million, originally from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.[29][30] This round put Slack's total fundraising at $841 million and its valuation at $5.1 billion (including cash raised).[31] In early 2018, Slack announced the company's first CFO, Allen Shim.[32]

On July 26, 2018, Atlassian announced the shutdown of its competing HipChat and Stride effective February 11, 2019, and the sale of their intellectual property to Slack.[33] Slack was to pay an undisclosed amount over three years to assume the user bases of the services, and Atlassian was to take a minority investment in Slack. The companies also announced a commitment to work on integration of Slack with Atlassian services.[34][35]

Slack's direct offering on the NYSE – June 20, 2019

In September 2018, it was announced the firm was preparing for an initial public offering in the first half of 2019.[36] In November 2018, Slack was recognized in Credit Suisse AG's inaugural Disruptive Technology Recognition (DTR) Program, an annual recognition of five top companies who are disrupting traditional enterprise information technology.[37] On January 16, 2019, Slack announced the launch of the company's new logo.[38]

On December 11, 2018, it was reported that Slack was considering a direct public listing.[39] In the lead-up to its DPO, Slack reported that, for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2019, it had generated $400.6 million in revenue, up from $220.5 million in the previous year[40] and up from $105.2 million in 2017.[41] Slack also reported losses of $138.9 million for the fiscal year ending in January 2019.[40][42] On February 4, 2019, several media news outlets reported that Slack had filed for taking the company public. According to The Wall Street Journal, sources indicated the company would pursue a Direct Listing Process (DLP) instead of the traditional IPO.[43][44] On April 26, 2019, Slack filed its S-1 to go public through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange,[45] similar to Spotify in 2018.[46] Its stock, ticker WORK, started trading on June 20, 2019. The NYSE set a reference price of $26 to start off trading and the stock rose to more than $41 in the initial hours of trading.


  1. ^ a b "Crunchbase – Slack Technologies". CrunchBase. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
  2. ^ a b "A Sad Announcement from Tiny Speck". Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  3. ^ "Tiny Speck Finds More Than a Glitch and Closes Game for Good". TechVibes. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
  4. ^ "Slack's Co-Founders Take Home The Crunchie For Founder Of The Year". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
  5. ^ a b "Form S-1 Slack Technologies, Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  6. ^ Kara Swisher. "Flickr Co-Founder Butterfield Talks About His New Game startup, Glitch". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  7. ^ "About Us". Slack. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  8. ^ "Slack Just Went Public and the Stock Is Trading Well Above Expectations". Barron's. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  9. ^ Mathew Ingram. "Q&A with Stewart Butterfield on the launch of Glitch". GigaOM. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  10. ^ Om Malik. "Stewart Butterfield's Tiny Speck Raises 5 Million from VCs". GigaOM. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Daniel Terdiman. "In depth with Tiny Speck's Glitch". CNet. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  13. ^ "Tiny Speck CrunchBase profile". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  14. ^ "A Flickr Founder's Glitch: Can A Game That Wants You To Play Nice Be A Blockbuster?". Fast Company. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  15. ^ "Vancouver's Tiny Speck puts massively multiplayer game Glitch online". Vancouver Sun. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  16. ^ "Glitch 'unlaunches' to add new features - Massively". Retrieved 2011-12-02.
  17. ^ "Flickr Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield Turns to Workplace Communication Tools With Slack".
  18. ^ "Tiny Speck is no more. We're now Slack Technologies, Inc. See @SlackHQ. Bye!". Twitter. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  19. ^ Kim, Eugene (September 27, 2016). "Slack, the red hot $3.8 billion startup, has a hidden meaning behind its name". UK Business Insider. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  20. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (25 April 2014). "Slack, Stewart Butterfield's Collaboration Software Startup, Has Raised $42.75M". TechCrunch. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  21. ^ a b Hern, Alex (November 3, 2014). "Why Slack is worth $1bn: it's trying to change how we work". The Guardian. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  22. ^ "Screenhero joins Slack". The Screenhero Blog. January 28, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  23. ^ Macmillan, Douglas. "Slack's Valuation More Than Doubles to $2.8 Billion in Five Months". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  24. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (15 April 2015). "Used Daily By 750K Workers, Slack Raises $160M, Valuing Collaboration Startup At $2.8B". Techcrunch. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  25. ^ Jeff Bercovici (December 2015). "Slack Is Our Company of the Year. Here's Why Everybody's Talking About It". Inc. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  26. ^ "Forbes Cloud 100". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  27. ^ Roof, Katie; Constine, Josh (April 1, 2016). "Slack is work chat's runaway train, raises $200M at $3.8B". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  28. ^ "Forbes Cloud 100". Forbes. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  29. ^ Fiegerman, Seth. "Silicon Valley wrestles with Saudi Arabia ties". CNN Business. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  30. ^ "Slack's Financials Are Released". Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. June 20, 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  31. ^ Andrew Nusca (20 September 2017). "Slack Raises $250 million; Tops $5 Billion Valuation". Techcrunch. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  32. ^ Miller, Ron. "Slack names Allen Shim as company's first CFO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  33. ^ Miller, Ron (July 26, 2018). "Slack forms key alliance as Atlassian throws in the towel on enterprise chat". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  34. ^ Etienne, Stefan (July 26, 2018). "Slack buys HipChat with plans to shut it down and migrate users to its chat service". The Verge. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  35. ^ Kumparak, Greg (July 26, 2018). "Atlassian's HipChat and Stride to be discontinued, with Slack buying up the IP". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  36. ^ Farrell, Maureen (2018-09-28). "Slack Actively Preparing for Early 2019 IPO". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  37. ^ Byrne, Karina (20 November 2018). "Credit Suisse AG Announces the Disruptive Technology Recognition Program". Credit Suisse (Press release). Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  38. ^ "Say hello, new logo". Several People Are Typing. 2019-01-16. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  39. ^ Term Sheet: A Direct Public Debut, Fortune
  40. ^ a b Fiegerman, Seth; O'Brien, Sara Ashley (26 April 2019). "Slack files to go public with an unusual approach". CNN. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  41. ^ Taulli, Tom. "What You Need To Know About The Slack IPO". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  42. ^ Feiner, Lauren (2019-04-26). "Slack files to go public, revealing $400 million in revenue and $139 million in losses". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  43. ^ Farrell, Maureen (2019-02-04). "Slack Files Confidentially to Go Public With Direct Listing". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  44. ^ Feiner, Lauren (2019-02-04). "Slack confidentially files to go public". Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  45. ^ "Form S-1 Registration Statement". Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  46. ^ "Slack files to go public, reports $138.9M in losses on revenue of $400.6M". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-29.

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