|Tiny Speck (2009–2014)|
|Traded as||NYSE: WORK (Class A)|
|Industry||Internet (formerly video games)|
|Founded||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2009)|
|Stewart Butterfield (co-Founder and CEO)|
|Revenue||$401 million (2019)|
Number of employees
|1,664 (April 2019)|
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.
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. In June 2019, Slack Technologies went public on the New York Stock Exchange via a direct stock listing.
Initial funding and Glitch
Tiny Speck received angel funding of $1.5 million in 2009, followed by Series A funding of $5 million in 2010 from Accel Partners and Andreessen Horowitz. A Series B round of $10.7 million was raised in 2011.
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". Originally scheduled for release in Spring 2011, Glitch launched on September 27, 2011, but subsequently "unlaunched" to improve gameplay. In November 2012, it was announced that Glitch would be closed, effective December 9, 2012.
Slack and further funding
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. After the launch of Slack, the company renamed itself to Slack Technologies in August 2014. The name is an acronym for "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge". Slack had been an internal tool used for the development of Glitch.
The company raised $42.75 million in April 2014. In October 2014, the company raised $120 million in venture capital with a $1.2 billion valuation led by Kleiner Perkins and GV. Earlier investors Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners and The Social+Capital Partnership also participated in this round. In January 2015, Slack announced the acquisition of Screenhero, a specialist in voice, video, and screen sharing. 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. In April 2015, the company raised another $160 million. In May 2015, Social Capital was a leading investor in a funding round for Slack Technologies. 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. In 2016, Slack was ranked #1 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list. 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. This round put Slack's total fundraising at $841 million and its valuation at $5.1 billion (including cash raised). In early 2018, Slack announced the company's first CFO, Allen Shim.
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. 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.
In September 2018, it was announced the firm was preparing for an initial public offering in the first half of 2019. 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. On January 16, 2019, Slack announced the launch of the company's new logo.
On December 11, 2018, it was reported that Slack was considering a direct public listing. 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 and up from $105.2 million in 2017. Slack also reported losses of $138.9 million for the fiscal year ending in January 2019. 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. On April 26, 2019, Slack filed its S-1 to go public through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, similar to Spotify in 2018. 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.
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- Business data for Slack Technologies: