Looks Like Salesforce Is Buying Slack

Looks Like Salesforce Is Buying Slack
Image: Drew Angerer, Getty Images

Cloud-based business software mammoth Salesforce is reportedly buying Slack, the searchable workplace chatroom interface for team organisation 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 $US20 ($27) 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 rumoured 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 $US24 ($33) 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 $US100,000 ($135,720) 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.

As the Wall Street Journal has pointed out, a deal would intensify competition with Microsoft. It may also put an end to the recent partnership in which Teams integrated Salesforce features.

Neither Slack nor Salesforce immediately responded to request for comment.