Cloud-based business software mammoth Salesforce is reportedly buying Slack, the searchable workplace chatroom interface for team organization and office-appropriate dog photos. This probably won’t impact the daily lives of us users, for whom Slack will remain a record where everything we say can be held against us in the court of human resources. Cool news for stock brokers. Cool news for Slack founder Stewart Butterfield, who sold his last company, Flickr, to Yahoo for $20 million.
Salesforce represents less consumer-facing products and more internal business platforms like customer support, e-commerce, subscription billing software, analytics, and internal communications. The deal, according to CNBC, is rumored to be announced tomorrow after the markets close. The outlet reports that the sale, likely half in cash and half stock, is expected to be one of the largest-ever software acquisitions, with the company’s market value currently at $24 billion; CNBC also reports that Salesforce will likely buy at a premium.
Since its founding in 2009, Slack has yet to turn a profit. In September, the company announced that only 130,000 customers pay for service, and less than 1,000 of those customers paid over $100,000 each. But customers are up 30,000 from last year. Slack announced last year that it has over 12 million daily active users, and in a more recent estimate, Microsoft reported that its own Slack-adjacent platform Teams has 115 daily active users. Earlier this year, Facebook reported that its own office space, Workplace, had 5 million paying users.
Neither Slack nor Salesforce immediately responded to request for comment.
Update 12/01/2020 5:14 ET: This afternoon, Salesforce officially announced that it will acquire Slack in a half-cash, half-stock deal valued at $27.7 billion. To no surprise, Salesforce apparently plans to integrate Slack into its constellation of apps which aggregate customer data. “Combining Slack with Salesforce Customer 360 will be transformative for customers and the industry,” the press release reads. “The combination will create the operating system for the new way to work, uniquely enabling companies to grow and succeed in the all-digital world.” Companies outside the cloud-based business software space, it seems, which Salesforce looks to dominate. Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield is quoted as saying that “this is the most strategic combination in the history of software.”