Slack messenger valued at $5b after latest fundraising round

SLACK, the business-centric messaging service and darling of the startup scene, has achieved a valuation of US$5 billion after its latest fundraising round, which brought in US$250 million.

As reported by Tech Crunch, some of the big tech investors have taken part, including the increasingly ubiquitous Softbank, Accel Partners and others. The Silicon Valley startup will also reportedly allow employees and existing shareholders to sell off their shares to the new investors as part of the deal, an unnamed source said to Bloomberg.

Rumors and unconfirmed reports about the exact nature and scale of the round have been bouncing around the Internet for months now. Investigative reporting site Axios was the first to uncover the major players in the deal; while Recode initially said the round would raise US$500 million last month. Some sources, according to Tech Crunch, even said acquisitions could potentially be on the table.

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Slack, whose name is an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge”, was started as the company Tiny Speck’s internal messaging service, but eventually became a product they made for other businesses to use. The service has been criticized for its reliance on non-proprietary data servers, but its fans are religious.

Startups all over Silicon Valley evangelize the potentials and benefits of Slack, from the hundreds of integrations it can take on, to its modern interface. Investors in the company disclosed to Tech Crunch they believe the company has “strong exit potential” and could potentially be acquired or go public some time soon.

Slack’s business relies largely on enterprise usage, but it will have to spend some significant effort to tout its benefits over traditional forms of communication, as well as to users beyond the four walls of a company.