Slack Technologies

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Slack Technologies
Slack Logo 2019.svg
Type of businessPrivate
Type of site
Collaborative software[1]
Available inMultilingual
FoundedVancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2009)[2]
Area servedWorldwide
OwnerSlack Technologies, Inc.
Founder(s)Stewart Butterfield, CEO
Eric Costello
Cal Henderson
Serguei Mourachov[3]
(formerly video game)[4]
RevenueIncrease ~$64 million (2016)[5]
Employees1,000+ (March 2018)[6] 700 (Q4 2016)[7]
Alexa rankIncrease 243 (January 2019)[8]
Users10 million (January 2019)[9]
Current statusActive

Slack Technologies, Inc. (originally Tiny Speck) is an American (formerly Canadian) 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.[10] Outside its headquarters in San Francisco, California, Slack operates offices in Dublin, Vancouver, New York City, Toronto, London, Tokyo, Oslo, Paris, Hong Kong and Melbourne.[11]


Initial funding and Glitch[edit]

Tiny Speck received angel funding of $1.5 million in 2009,[12] followed by Series A funding of $5 million in 2010 from Accel Partners and Andreessen Horowitz.[13] A Series B round of $10.7 million was raised in 2011.[14]

Tiny Speck's first product was a computer game called Glitch—a social MMORPG with highly stylized 2D graphics, in which "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".[15] Originally scheduled for release in Spring 2011,[16] Glitch launched on September 27, 2011,[17][18] but subsequently "unlaunched" to improve gameplay.[19] In November, 2012, it was announced that Glitch would be closed, effective December 9, 2012.[4]

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 Partners and The Social+Capital Partnership.[20] After the launch of Slack, the company renamed itself to Slack Technologies in August 2014.[21] The name is an acronym for "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge".[22] Slack had been an internal tool used for the development of Glitch.

The company raised $42.75 million in April 2014.[23] In October 2014, the company raised $120 million in venture capital with a $1.2 billion valuation led by Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures.[24] 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.[25] In April 2015, the company raised another $160 million.[26] In May 2015, Social Capital was a leading investor in a funding round for Slack Technologies.[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 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.[29] This round puts Slack's total fundraising at $841 million and its valuation at $5.1 billion (including cash raised).[30] In early 2018, Slack announced the company's first CFO, Allen Shim.[31] In September 2018, it was announced the firm was preparing for an initial public offering in the first half of 2019.[32] On December 11, 2018, it was reported that Slack was considering a direct public listing.[33]


  1. ^ a b c "Crunchbase – Slack Technologies". CrunchBase. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
  2. ^ "Tiny Speck Finds More Than a Glitch and Closes Game for Good". TechVibes. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
  3. ^ "Slack's Co-Founders Take Home The Crunchie For Founder Of The Year". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
  4. ^ a b "A Sad Announcement from Tiny Speck". Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  5. ^ Erik Sherman (3 November 2014). "Here's Why Year-Old Startup Slack Has a $1.1 Billion Valuation". Inc. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  6. ^ Flynn, Kerry (21 March 2018). "How Slack's employees use Slack". Mashable. Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  7. ^ Bort, Julie (8 November 2016). "Two more executives have quietly left $3.8 billion startup Slack". Business Insider. Axel Springer SE. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  8. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  9. ^ Zaleski, Olivia (2019-02-04). "Messaging Platform Slack Says It's Filed to Go Public". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  10. ^ Kara Swisher. "Flickr Co-Founder Butterfield Talks About His New Game startup, Glitch". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  11. ^ Slack. "About Us". Slack. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  12. ^ Mathew Ingram. "Q&A with Stewart Butterfield on the launch of Glitch". GigaOM. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  13. ^ Om Malik. "Stewart Butterfield's Tiny Speck Raises 5 Million from VCs". GigaOM. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Daniel Terdiman. "In depth with Tiny Speck's Glitch". CNet. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  16. ^ "Tiny Speck CrunchBase profile". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ "Vancouver's Tiny Speck puts massively multiplayer game Glitch online". Vancouver Sun. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  19. ^ "Glitch 'unlaunches' to add new features - Massively". Retrieved 2011-12-02.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Tiny Speck is no more. We're now Slack Technologies, Inc. See @SlackHQ. Bye!". Twitter. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Ingrid Lunden (25 April 2014). "Slack, Stewart Butterfield's Collaboration Software Startup, Has Raised $42.75M". Techcrunch. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  24. ^ Alex Hern (3 November 2014). "Why Slack is worth $1bn: it's trying to change how we work". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  25. ^ Macmillan, Douglas. "Slack's Valuation More Than Doubles to $2.8 Billion in Five Months". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  26. ^ Ingrid Lunden (15 April 2015). "Used Daily By 750K Workers, Slack Raises $160M, Valuing Collaboration Startup At $2.8B". Techcrunch. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  27. ^ Jeff Bercovici (December 2015). "Slack Is Our Company of the Year. Here's Why Everybody's Talking About It". Inc. Retrieved February 7, 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. ^ Andrew Nusca (20 September 2017). "Slack Raises $250 million; Tops $5 Billion Valuation". Techcrunch. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  31. ^ Miller, Ron. "Slack names Allen Shim as company's first CFO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  32. ^ Farrell, Maureen (2018-09-28). "Slack Actively Preparing for Early 2019 IPO". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  33. ^ Term Sheet: A Direct Public Debut, Fortune

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