Ama­zon, other tech firms may have eyes on Slack

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY - Mike Snider @mikesnider

Slack re­port­edly has caught the eye of Ama­zon.

The San Fran­cisco-head­quar­tered com­pany, which launched its workplace messaging and collaboration plat­form four years ago, has got­ten inquiries re­cently from tech com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Ama­zon about a pos­si­ble takeover, Bloomberg re­ported Thurs- day, cit­ing peo­ple with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion.

Oth­ers in the hunt, ac­cord­ing to Recode, in­clude Google, Salesforce and Mi­crosoft, which re­port­edly con­sid­ered an $8 bil­lion bid of its own for Slack last year but has since put its weight be­hind its own Of­fice 365 collaboration tool known as Teams.

A deal is not as­sured, but should one be con­sum­mated, Slack could be val­ued at about $9 bil­lion, Bloomberg said.

Slack de­clined to com­ment. Ama­zon did not im­me­di­ately re- turn a re­quest for com­ment.

In­ter­est could be spurred be­cause Slack is seek­ing to raise an ad­di­tional $500 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Recode. Slack al­ready has raised $540 mil­lion in fund­ing, is val­ued at nearly $4 bil­lion and has 5 mil­lion daily ac­tive users.

Ear­lier this year, it un­veiled its Slack En­ter­prise Grid soft­ware de­signed for com­pa­nies with 500 to 500,000 users. Among its cus­tomers is IBM, which is work­ing to in­te­grate its Wat­son ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence sys­tem with Slack for new workplace ap­pli­ca­tions. Slack’s ini­tial cha­t­room soft­ware tar­geted small groups with a freemium model and sub­scrip­tions for larger teams.

In an in­ter­view last month with Bloomberg TV, CEO and com­pany co-founder Ste­wart But­ter­field said an IPO for Slack would be “years away.”

For Ama­zon, Slack would be com­ple­men­tary to its al­ready­dom­i­nant Ama­zon Web Ser­vices cloud-com­put­ing plat­form, says Patrick Moor­head, pres­i­dent and prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst at Moor In­sights & Strat­egy.


Slack CEO Ste­wart But­ter­field re­cently said an IPO for Slack would be “years away.”

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