Slack is a $17 Billion Company Now

Slack is a $17 Billion Company Now

  • 6/22/2019

I love Slack; in fact, I love anything that doesn't resemble an Email box of a social media feed. “Slack” is a universal term like Uber or Zoom, or even Dropbox to some extent.

Slack is, however, going IPO with a direct listing set for June 20th. So when that goes live this month, according to a Bloomberg report, Slack should be worth upwards of $16 or 17 Billion.

Communications are critical, and in spite of Microsoft Teams and others trying to clone and compete with them, Slack remains by far the favorites of most startups, remote workers and freelancers I know. Slack is user-friendly, in a way that Email probably is not.

Slack like Dropbox needs to evolve. The San Francisco-based messaging platform which has offices in Toronto and Vancouver too needs to grow, and this IPO will enable it to do that. I love what companies like DropBox, The We Company (WeWork) and Slack can become because these are tools that can empower startups, innovation, self-employed workers, teamwork, and the kinds of companies we need, the sort of companies we want to work in and work with.

According to LinkedIn Editors, Slack is pursuing an unusual direct listing, where investors can begin selling existing shares immediately. With remote work driving the need for mobile communication, 10 million people spend over 50 million hours on the platform per week, says Slack CEO, Stewart Butterfield.

As an investor, I like Slack more than Pinterest, Zoom or similar companies going IPO this year. Think about it; Slack said Q1 revenue was up 67% with over 95,000 paid customers. Slack was founded in 2009, and even withstood an attack from a giant like Microsoft. Nobody also knows what Microsoft Team is, right? It’s like Twitch (game streaming) jumping on Microsoft Mixer, and it just doesn’t happen very much.

For the full 2020 fiscal year that ends on Jan. 31, 2020, it’s expecting $590 million to $600 million in revenue, which would indicate 49% growth. I’ll take those figures for a ten-year-old company in a highly competitive space, that’s impressive growth.

Screw Facebook B2C chat centralizing with encrypted privacy to bolster advertising, I want to see enterprise chat do well. This is because I believe in the culture of Slack, as a company and as a product. It’s a likable brand, and that kind of sentiment is precious.

Slack is the little guy, the perennial underdog. I mean Slack considers it competes with Cisco, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, among others. What the hell, how is this company still even around then? It must have an excellent product, tools, upgrades, in-depth features, and community.

Slack is planning to have its shares start trading June 20 on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker WORK. I love it! That’s stealing the ticker of the We Company; it’s fucking hilarious.

Sources, the Bloomberg report said this “suggests the company could bring in almost $900 million in the fiscal year 2021, and investors are looking to value the company at roughly 20 times that projected revenue.

Slack deserves all the success it finds; it’s beaten its way up through a pile of garbage monopolies who don’t even understand how to do chat for enterprise and startups.

That’s the kind of Unicorn and success story that moves me, a product for the little guys, product startups love. Slack has a spiritual force among startups; it’s a product. It is complementary to everything needed for collaboration, hustle, creativity, and software that’s empowering to our (potential) productivity.

Slack is going public through an unusual direct listing. The company won’t issue new shares to raise funds for itself. Instead, its investors will be allowed to begin selling existing shares immediately. Even the way it’s going public is part of a new paradigm. That shows you the cultural shift of Millennial run companies. It shows you that also as yet another IPO (that may never be profitable) enters the arena, the stakes are higher to be an ethical leader.

Slack in 2020 deserves a $20 Billion valuation, and I think we will live to see the day soon enough.

Slack won’t get much press and fanfare, but we know who the real startups and Unicorns of the world are, the ones that impact our daily lives in startups, as freelancers, in small businesses and as teams in the world at large. Slack doesn’t need to do substantial PR campaigns and marketing; it’s a good enough product to get new users only by word-of-mouth.

So what do I and other analysts like about slack on fundamentals? Oh, Slack’s near-ubiquitous nature, secular tailwinds, rapid growth, and significant market opportunity. There’s a heck of a lot of growth possibilities here. There’s also the possibility of it getting acquired. If you can’t beat them, don’t join them, buy them.

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