|Type of business||Private|
Type of site
|Founded||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2009)|
|Owner||Slack Technologies, Inc.|
|Founder(s)||Stewart Butterfield, CEO|
(formerly video game)
|Revenue||~$64 million (2016)|
|Employees||1,000+ (March 2018) 700 (Q4 2016)|
|Alexa rank||243 (January 2019[update])|
|Users||10 million (January 2019)|
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. 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.
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, 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". 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 Partners and The Social+Capital Partnership. 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 Google Ventures. 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 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. This round puts 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. In September 2018, it was announced the firm was preparing for an initial public offering in the first half of 2019. On December 11, 2018, it was reported that Slack was considering a direct public listing.
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