Who Owns Slack?

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Written By Angelo Sorbello

Tech entrepreneur and passionate about business



Slack, the popular messaging and collaboration platform, recently underwent a significant ownership change when it was acquired by Salesforce for a staggering $27.7 billion.

Since its inception in 2009, Slack has revolutionized team communication and collaboration with its efficient messaging and extensive integrations.

This article explores the journey of Slack's ownership and the impact of its acquisition by Salesforce, providing insights into the future outlook of this influential platform.

Key Takeaways

  • Slack Technologies, the software company behind Slack, was founded by Stewart Butterfield in 2009.
  • Slack emerged as a messaging and collaboration platform based on an internal communication tool developed for Tiny Speck.
  • Slack gained early success due to its real-time communication and collaboration features, increasing transparency and centralization in workplace communication.
  • Salesforce acquired Slack on December 1, 2020, for $27.7 billion, integrating it into Salesforce's software empire.

Founding of Slack Technologies

Slack Technologies was founded in 2009 by Stewart Butterfield, marking the inception of the innovative messaging and collaboration platform.

The founding of Slack had a significant impact on remote work, providing teams with a centralized platform for efficient communication and collaboration regardless of their physical location.

In the collaboration software market, Slack faced competition from various players, including Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, and Cisco Webex Teams.

However, Slack differentiated itself by offering a user-friendly interface, extensive integrations, and advanced features.

Its real-time messaging capabilities and organized channels quickly gained popularity, leading to rapid growth in its user base.

Despite facing competition, Slack's unique features and commitment to improving remote work made it a preferred choice for many organizations and teams.

Evolution From Ludicorp and Tiny Speck

The evolution of Slack can be traced back to the founding of Ludicorp and Tiny Speck by Stewart Butterfield, where the initial seeds of the messaging and collaboration platform were sown.

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The impact of the gaming industry on Slack's success is evident in the following ways:

  1. Expertise in User Experience: Butterfield's background in game design allowed him to create a platform that prioritized user engagement and enjoyment, resulting in a highly intuitive and immersive experience for Slack users.
  2. Focus on Collaboration: The gaming industry's emphasis on teamwork and cooperation influenced the development of Slack as a platform for seamless communication and collaboration among team members.
  3. Scalability and Performance: The gaming industry's demand for scalable and high-performance systems influenced the architecture of Slack, enabling it to handle large volumes of messages and users without compromising speed or reliability.
  4. Innovative Features: The gaming industry's culture of constant innovation and iteration inspired Slack to introduce unique features like custom emojis, integrations with other apps, and the ability to create custom automations, enhancing the overall user experience and productivity.

Early Success and Rapid Growth

During its early years, Slack experienced significant success and rapid growth, solidifying its position as a leading messaging and collaboration platform.

Factors contributing to Slack's rapid growth included its user-friendly interface, real-time communication features, and extensive integrations with third-party apps.

By November 2014, Slack had already garnered 30,000 teams and 73,000 premium subscriptions. This early success caught the attention of investors, leading to a $120 million funding round in 2014 and a valuation of $1.2 billion.

Slack's user base continued to grow rapidly, surpassing 500,000 daily active users in January 2015. By the start of the pandemic, Slack had reached 12 million daily active users.

This growth trajectory ultimately culminated in the acquisition of Slack by Salesforce in December 2020 for $27.7 billion, further solidifying its position in the market.

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Acquisition by Salesforce

Salesforce's acquisition of Slack in December 2020 for $27.7 billion solidified its position as the new owner of the popular messaging and collaboration platform. The acquisition was driven by Salesforce's motivation to expand its portfolio and strengthen its position in the digital workplace market.

The impact of the acquisition on Slack's user base has been significant. With Salesforce's extensive customer base and resources, Slack has gained access to a larger market and increased opportunities for growth.

The acquisition has also led to tighter integration between Salesforce's CRM platform and Slack, providing users with enhanced collaboration capabilities. Additionally, Salesforce's investment in Slack's development and innovation has resulted in the introduction of new features and improvements to the platform, further enhancing the user experience.

Current Ownership and Future Outlook

Following the acquisition by Salesforce in December 2020, Slack is now under new ownership and poised for a promising future.

As a result of the acquisition, Slack has become an integral part of Salesforce's software empire. This has had a significant impact on Salesforce's business strategy, as it allows the company to further expand its portfolio of communication and collaboration tools.

With its strong brand recognition and user base of over 12 million daily active users, Slack is well-positioned to compete in the current market. However, it faces competition from other messaging and collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace.

Despite this, Slack's integration into Salesforce's ecosystem and resources provide it with new opportunities for growth and innovation in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Current Valuation of Slack Technologies?

The current valuation of Slack Technologies, without considering the context of ownership, is not provided in the given information. The information available focuses on the features, revenue streams, and partnerships of Slack.

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How Many Premium Subscriptions Did Slack Have in November 2014?

In November 2014, Slack had 73,000 premium subscriptions, reflecting the platform's revenue growth and popularity among businesses. Despite competition in the market, Slack continued to attract users with its real-time communication and collaboration features.

What Was the Original Purpose of the Internal Communication Tool Developed for Tiny Speck?

The original purpose of the internal communication tool developed for Tiny Speck was to enhance team collaboration and streamline communication within the organization. It aimed to provide features and benefits such as real-time messaging and centralized information sharing.

How Many Daily Active Users Did Slack Have at the Start of the Pandemic?

At the start of the pandemic, Slack had 12 million daily active users, showcasing significant user growth. This growth contributed to the platform's success and eventual acquisition by Salesforce for $27.7 billion.

What Is the Future Outlook for Slack Under Salesforce's Ownership?

The future prospects for Slack under Salesforce's ownership include enhanced integration capabilities and expanded market reach. Salesforce's extensive resources and customer base provide opportunities for increased growth and innovation in the collaboration and communication software industry.


In conclusion, Slack Technologies, the popular messaging and collaboration platform, has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. Originally founded by Stewart Butterfield, Slack has grown rapidly and gained a large user base.

Its acquisition by Salesforce for $27.7 billion in December 2020 has solidified its place within Salesforce's software portfolio. This acquisition represents a new chapter for Slack, as it continues to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of team communication and collaboration.

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