Slack, the workplace messaging tool is not just a mere service application but a verb now. With more than 10 million users, it now makes sense to say “I’ll slack you” as a shorthand for sending a message.
After becoming a synonym for workplace communication, Slack is now going public. Shares in Slack will start trading making it’s public debut this Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. As per reports coming in from the Wall Street Journal, the company has set a reference price of $26 per share for its direct listing, valuing the company at about $16 billion.
The tech company will enter the market not by the conventional initial public offering (IPO) but by a direct listing. This way only existing shares owned by the employees and investors are sold, without the involvement of the underwriters. A direct listing might be less pricey and time consuming, but it comes with it’s own risks.
Companies often popular and in good financial shape are said to be undertaking a direct listing to go public. These firms are already household names in the tech industry before they begin selling shares. Slack seems to be following the footsteps of the streaming giant Spotify, which went public through direct listing in April last year.
In the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, Slack almost doubled its revenues, to about $400 million despite it’s loss of nearly $139 million.
Slack, as per it’s acronym “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge” was publicly realized in 2014. It was founded by CEO Stewart Butterfied. Butterfield also co-founded Flickr which was then sold to Yahoo for a whooping $25 million back in 2015. He stuck on to Slack despite interests shown by other tech giants.