It just has been announced that corporate messaging firm Slack is launching its IPO. For those working in tech or media, like here at Wiredelta®, Slack is the go-to workplace messaging tool. So, how is Slack going public and why?
How exactly is Slack going public?
According to their S-1 filing, the company plans to make $100 million worth of shares available for the public. Although, this is likely a placeholder figure, Slack is the second company to try out this new strategy of going public. Known as a direct listing, this strategy means selling existing shares to anyone who wants to buy them, on opening day, just as Spotify did last year. In contrast, the traditional method revolves around selling shares to a Wall-street insider, days before the official launch.
Slack going public by direct listing is more risky due to it being more of a B2B product. First of all, Slack does not enjoy the hype that a household name like Spotify has. Secondly, financiers consider it conventional wisdom that direct listings make more sense for brands like Airbnb, Uber and of course Spotify. Clearly, Slack is confident that enough people are aware of their product, to back their venture during its stock market launch.
There’s noting Slack about its growth!
Originally, the company started out as a gaming startup called Tiny Speck, founded by Stewart Butterfield, but sadly, failed. However, Butterfield’s organisation reinvested the savings they had left into developing the platform we today know as Slack. This forced the messaging infrastructure Tiny Speck used internally to be re-configured for workplace use. Since its launch in August 2013, Slack has prospered tremendously.
In 2017, Slack registered $140.1 million net loss and $220.5 million in revenue. The next year, the company’s loss was around $139 million, but their revenue doubled, reaching $400.6 million.
Today, Slack counts an astonishing 10 million active users, across more than 600,000 businesses and organisations. So, as one of its users since 2015, who relies extensively on this messenger platform, we here at Wiredelta are excited to see Slack going public.