Slack Technologies—Collaboration Hub To Get Work Done Smoothly

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Apr 27, 2021 9 min read
Slack Technologies—Collaboration Hub To Get Work Done Smoothly

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Slack is the collaboration hub that brings the right people, information and tools together to get work done. From FTSE 100 companies to corner shops, millions of people around the world use Slack to connect their teams, unify their systems and drive their business forwards.

With over 2,000 apps and a robust API, the Slack platform team works with partners and developers globally to build apps and integrations that streamline their client's works, automate mundane tasks and bring context into their clients' conversations in Slack.

Slack - Company Highlights

Startup Name Slack Technologies
Formerly Called Tiny Speck
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Industry Software
Founded 2009
Founders Stewart Butterfield, Eric Costello, Cal Henderson, Serguei Mourachov
CEO] Stewart Butterfield (Mar 2009–Present)
Acquired By Salesforce (January 2021)
Area Served Worldwide
Website www.slack.com

Slack - About and How it Works?
Slack - Recent News
Slack - Logo and its Meaning
Slack - Founder and History
Slack - Mission
Slack - Business Model
Slack - Revenue and Growth
Slack - Funding and Investors
Slack - Investments
Slack - Acquisitions
Slack - Competitors
Slack - Future Plans
Slack - FAQs
Slack - Conclusion

Slack - About and How it Works?

Slack Technologies is an American international software company that designs and develops a communication platform that provides real-time messaging, file sharing, archiving, and searching services for teams. Slack offers a team communication tool that consists of a set of open, documented application programming interface (APIs), developer tools, and an App Directory that lists apps that have met the guidelines.

Organizations on Slack use its platform to create internal applications and integrations, ranging from simple notifications to complex internal workflows. Third-party developers build integrations and applications that make it easier for their existing customers to engage with their products as well as find new customers.

Slack is a layer of the business technology, where people work together connect all their other software tools and services and find the information they need. Slack users communicate with one another by posting messages to a channel or sending direct messages to a person or a group of people. Slack’s core organizing principle is the channel, which brings the right people together to collaborate, share information, and get work done. Channels offer flexibility and can be organized by project, topic, team, or whatever makes sense for a specific task or situation.

Slack enables communication and collaboration among organizations via shared channels and guest accounts. Shared channels securely connect the Slack workspaces of different organizations, enabling the same level of communication and collaboration between enterprises that Slack brings to teams within an organization.

Slack - Recent News

As of December 2020, Slack announced strong third quarter fiscal year 2020 results :

  • Total revenue of $234.5 million up 39% year-over-year
  • Added 12,000 net new Paid Customers, up 140% year-over-year
  • Over 520,000 connected endpoints on Slack Connect, up 240% year-over-year
“We had a phenomenal quarter, headlined by continued acceleration in new paid customer growth, with 12,000 net paid customer additions, up 140% from the same quarter last year,” said Stewart Butterfield, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Slack.

The accelerating growth is partly driven by increased awareness and demand due to the work from home environment, but we believe the larger portion comes from continued product momentum which shows up in the new user experience and, especially, from Slack Connect driving viral growth.

Slack - Logo and its Meaning

Slack's logo resembles a hashtag, or octothorpe. The hashtag is an organizing element in the platform, signaling the beginning of the channels where teams can talk about individual projects.

Slack's Company Logo

Slack - Founder and History

Slack is famous for reaching a valuation of $1B after just eight months without spending a penny on traditional advertising or a Chief Marketing Officer. Slack was a runaway success because it had a multi-year head start on everybody else.

Stewart Butterfield | Founder & CEO, Slack 

Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield and his team set out to create something new and original for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) market. As it turns out, they revolutionized how the companies communicate at work instead.

Video game developers might not seem like the most logical group to make a sticky, engaging communications tool for today’s workplace, but Tiny Speck’s expertise in gaming was a major competitive advantage. Butterfield and his team already knew how to make repetitive tasks fun and engaging, as this is core to the gameplay experience of the MMORPG genre. Making work-based communication fun and engaging would be the secret sauce that made Slack so wildly successful.


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Slack - Mission

Slack's mission statement says,

" We live by our mission, and improving people's working life starts with our own company. We're building a platform and products we believe in – as well as a strong, diverse team of curious, creative people who want to do the best work of their lives and support each other in the process. "

Slack - Business Model

Slack advertises that it is completely free to use for as long and with as many people as you want. So how does it make money?

Well, a percentage of organizations pay premiums for special features. Such features include access to an unlimited communication history, unlimited app integration, additional file storage, screen sharing, statistics, and more. With no apparent plans to run ads in the near future, Slack relies on a simple business model, charging monthly fees of $6.67 per user for the standard subscription and $12.50 per user for the plus subscription. It has also launched Enterprise Grid for larger organizations that have tens of thousands of users.

Slack - Revenue and Growth

For the full fiscal year 2020, Slack currently expects:
• Total revenue of $621 million to $623 million, representing year-over-year growth of 55% to 56%.
• Non-GAAP operating loss of $144 million to $142 million, including approximately $30 million of one-time direct listing related expenses.
• Non-GAAP net loss per share of $0.32 to $0.31, assuming weighted average shares outstanding of 399 million.
• Calculated Billings of $745 million to $760 million, representing year-over-year growth of 44% to 47%.
• Free Cash Flow net burn of $85 million to $80 million, including approximately $30 million of one-time direct listing-related expenses and $21 million of one-time direct listing related cash taxes related to RSU vesting.


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Slack - Funding and Investors

Slack has raised a total of $1.4B in funding over 12 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Jan 28, 2019 from a Secondary Market round. Slack is funded by 43 investors. Light Street Capital and General Atlantic are the most recent investors.

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Jan 28, 2019 Secondary Market - -
Aug 21, 2018 Series H $427M Dragoneer Investment Group, General Atlantic
Sep 17, 2017 Series G $412.7M SoftBank Vision Fund
May 1, 2017 Secondary Market - -
Apr 1, 2016 Series F $208M Thrive Capital
Apr 16, 2015 Series E $172.7M Social Capital
Oct 31, 2014 Series D $110.8M GV, Kleiner Perkins
Apr 27, 2014 Series C $42.8M Social Capital
Apr 1, 2011 Series B $10.7M Accel, Andreessen Horowitz
Apr 1, 2010 Series A $5M Accel

Slack - Investments

Slack has made 29 investments. Their most recent investment was on Jul 21, 2020, when Crosschq raised $6.5M.

Date Organization Name Round Amount
Jul 21, 2020 Crosschq Seed Round $6.5M
May 7, 2020 Compt Seed Round $1.5M
Mar 18, 2020 Meru Health Series A $8.1M
Sep 24, 2019 Sentry Series C $40M
Apr 4, 2019 Halp Seed Round $2.6M
Jan 30, 2018 Astound Venture Round $3.3M
May 22, 2017 Loom Seed Round $3.2M
May 1, 2017 Parabol Convertible Note $550K
Feb 9, 2017 Demisto Series B $20M

Slack - Acquisitions

Slack was acquired by tech giant Salesforce on an agreement for a value of approximately $27.7 billion. This gives Slack to compete with its competitors on a bigger platform. Now slack can target a bigger audience through Salesforce. This megadeal was said to be a "Deal made in heaven".

Salesforce Acquires Slack on January 2021

Slack has acquired 7 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was Rimeto on Jul 8, 2020.

Acquiree Date Round About Acquiree
Rimeto Jul 8, 2020 - Rimeto is an enterprise directory that provides customers with detailed employee profiles and information.
Astro Technology Sep 24, 2018 - Astro has been acquired by Slack! We’ve shut down our apps, but you can find us at Slack making email and channels work better together
HipChat Jul 27, 2018 - HipChat is a private group chat and IM network that provides real-time collaboration features for companies and teams.
Stride Jul 27, 2018 - Stride is a cloud-based team business communication and collaboration tool.
Missions Jul 17, 2018 - Missions is an enterprise software startup
Screenhero Jan 28, 2015 - Screenhero lets users screen share any application with anyone, no matter where they are.
Spaces Sep 26, 2014 - Program that allows remote workers collaborate on the same document simultaneously.

Slack - Competitors

Slack's main competitors include Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, Flock, Telegram, Mattermost, Rocket Chat, Hangout Chat, Matter most, Ryver, CAFlowdok, etc.


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Slack - Future Plans

“People deserve to do the best work of their lives,” Slack co-founder and chief executive officer Stewart Butterfield said in a video released alongside a live stream of its investor day event. “This desire of feeling aligned with your team, of removing confusion, of getting clarity; the desire for support in doing the best work of your life, that’s universal, that’s deeply human. It appeals to people with all kinds of roles, in all kinds of industries, at all scales of organization and all cultures.”

Slack currently boasts more than 10 million daily active users across more than 600,000 organizations — 88,000 on the paid plan and 550,000 on the free plan.

There are obviously a lot of privacy and security aspects to these Slack based communications, and Slack will provide granular options for IT admins to manage exactly what’s shared. Slack is also improving its channels’ user interface, so it’s very clear when you’re using a shared channel and who is participating in the channel.

There’s even some machine learning going on that will allow Slack to scan calendars across multiple organizations and help workers create meetings at appropriate times when everyone is free. Slack apps can also be shared across organizations, as long as both parties have them installed in their own Slack instance. Slack has a big incentive to gradually move businesses away from email.

“We believe that whoever is able to unlock that potential for people … is going to be the most important software company in the world. We aim to be that company,” he added.”

Slack - FAQs

What does slack technologies do?

Slack is the collaboration hub that brings the right people, information, and tools together to get work done.

When was Slack founded ?

Slack was founded in 2009.

Who founded Slack?

Slack was founded by Stewart Butterfield, Eric Costello, Cal Henderson, and Serguei Mourachov.

What was the former name of Slack?

Slack's former name was Tiny Speck.

Slack - Conclusion

Being the fastest-growing startup in history isn’t the only thing that makes Slack unique. Its product development process was unorthodox. Slack was actually born out of a gaming company called Tiny Speck. Butterfield and his team didn’t intentionally set out to create a SaaS product for the workplace. They built a tool for themselves. They only realized their tool’s commercial potential later on.

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