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Will the Tech App Slack Actually Go Public in 2019?

Slack has been thinking about taking its app public. Some are saying it's now or never, but will they actually take the company public in 2019?

slack

Who doesn’t love Slack?  I mean, if you’ve never used it before, then you definitely don’t know what you’re missing.  It’s so amazing that when I send standard iMessages, I get confused about the lack of features available to me.  Now, Slack is thinking about going public as soon as the first quarter of 2019.  Right now, it’s estimated that the company’s valuation would be somewhere around the $7 billion mark.  This is on the basis of a funding round from last year and would make it the largest tech IPO since Snap Inc’s debut on Wallstreet back in 2017, which hit $24 billion. That’s a big difference though, don’t you think?

If you’ve never used Slack, as I have suggested, you’re missing out.  That said, I’ll tell you what it is.  Slack is a business chat and collaboration tool.  It’s similar (but better) than Microsoft Teams and has over 8 million daily active users.  Three million users pay for the privilege of using the app.  This rumor of impending IPO comes not too long after it just raised $427 million in private funding in a round led by Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic earlier this year. Slack has apparently been quietly working on going public since at least 2017, but short of hiring underwriters for their IPO, those close to the matter internally believe that the company has completed every step necessary other than that, and even plan on talking to underwriters soon.

Chief Executive Stewart Butterfield came out and said that Slack was in the process of filing for an IPO, but it was a multi-year process and the firm had already ruled out 2018 as the year they were going to go public.  They either felt that it was too much of a rush, which presented some risk, but they are now looking at the first quarter of 2019.  Not everything is completely rosy though, as Slack still has competition from Amazon and Microsoft from Chime and Teams respectively. Both products offer different services and market to different needs of organizations, but Slack is still a popular choice for these organizations. If they are going up against harsher competition from the likes of those two juggernauts, there could very well be possible threats to the livelihood of Slack down the road that haven’t made themselves apparent yet.

All of that said, this IPO is actually quite a distance away.  Which means, it gives all parties involved time to organize and prepare.  What’s interesting is that the demand for the software is only rising, and the demand for tech stocks is currently absurd – which makes this an incredibly interesting IPO.  Well, potentially interesting.  Some people may be cynical, but there are definitely reasons to pay attention to Slack in the coming months.

It looks like they are trying to tighten up everything internally so the IPO will go off without a hitch.  Which does signal to everyone that this might be ready.  Not to mention, just last year, their value went from $5.1 billion to $7 billion, which is a 37% increase.  This has likely accelerated their timeline and adds fuel to the fire.  While none of this has been confirmed, get yourselves ready for this to go either way.  If they don’t do it now, they might never do it.

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