Slack, the highly rated cloud-based collaboration tools and services company, is valued at about $5.1bn after its latest funding round of $250m, which was led by Japanese multinational telecoms and internet company SoftBank Group.
The most recent fund-raising round included investors such as Accel, and SoftBank's Vision Fund, making Slack's total funds raised to date $841m.
According to a Financial Times report, the CEO of Slack, Stewart Butterfield suggested that the company is experiencing rapid growth of more than 100 per cent annually and $200m in annual recurring revenue. He suggested that the San Francisco-based company would have gone public by now, if it had been around a decade ago, but said that a Slack IPO will come after 2018.
Butterfield added that the fund will help Slack to cut its dependence on outside financing and instead run as a cash-generating company.
Slack was previously valued at $3.8bn. It had raised money from venture firms including GGV Capital, Spark Capital and Thrive Capital.
The tech company, which has an app of the same name, competes with the likes of Atlassian, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
Microsoft launched Teams back in November 2016 in a bid to take on the popularity of Slack, and integrate it with its Office 365 suite. After the launch of Teams, Slack took out a full-page newspaper advert with an open letter to Microsoft, welcoming the competition and slyly taking a dig at the company for playing catch-up.
Mark Ridley, Group CTO at Blenheim Chalcot, said that Teams felt "unfinished" and couldn't compete with Stack in its current form. He also said that while Teams would be a welcome addition to the Microsoft stack - because the company had not been very strong in the collaborative tools space - that there would still be confusion about which tools to use.
"They brought in Yammer [too], and as an administrator it just looks like a really, really confusing set of tools to use. Do you use Yammer, do you use Teams, do you use Skype for Business, do you use normal Skype?"
He suggested that Microsoft simply consolidates their collaboration and social services.
Meanwhile, Atlassian, the enterprise software firm behind Trello, has developed a new team-based tool called Stride which incorporates voice, video, text chat and file sharing. It launched the new platform this month, and unlike its existing HipChat platform, Stride has been built specifically for enterprise use.
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