Slack Files to Go Public

Written by Jennifer Clark
Posted February 6, 2019

The initial public offering (IPO) market was supposed to be off to a great start in 2019. But then the U.S. government shutdown occurred, and that great start to 2019 didn’t quite happen.

To be fair, we’re still in the beginning of the year now, but we did miss a whole month, which could have a pretty big impact on IPOs for the rest of year.

Slack logo

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is back up and running and reviewing IPO paperwork to get things on track. By the end of 2018, we were hearing rumors that messaging platform company Slack Technologies would go public. Then the government shutdown happened, and as each day passed and the shutdown continued, it was unclear if Slack was still interested in a public debut anytime soon.

In January, the company announced that it was thinking of going the direct listing route.

Last year, music streaming company Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) decided to take that nontraditional route with a direct listing, so Slack didn’t really see that it would be that big of an issue if it worked for Spotify. Well, now that the government is back up and running, and the SEC can do what it does best — review and give feedback to companies on their IPO documents — then Slack shouldn’t have a problem considering the traditional IPO route instead of its backup direct listing plan.

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On Monday, February 4th, it was announced that Slack filed its S-1 form confidentially with the SEC.

Slack provides an integrated messaging platform that’s very popular in the workplace. We use Slack at my office, and it’s been more of a blessing than a burden. It’s made the workday more productive, and with programs you can add to the platform, it makes it easier to share and edit documents and to be aware of a coworker’s workflow.

Slack’s service has 10 million daily active users globally. As of July, Japan was the second-largest market, with half a million active daily users. The company has said that it has 85,000 paid customers worldwide. Its platform continues to grow, and those free users are becoming paid users.

The platform is very useful in the workplace, so it makes sense that it’s become such a highly valued company. Back in August, the company was valued at $7.1 billion. As of right now, it has raised about $1.2 billion from investors like SoftBank and Accel.

The platform launched in 2013 in San Francisco. In six short years, it has become one of tech’s highly regarded and well-known unicorn companies (a startup that has a value over $1 billion).

The announcement of Slack filing its S-1 is great news for the IPO market. It comes at time when we thought it would take some time for the market to warm back up, but now, one of the big tech companies we’ve been expecting to go public took the next step, and that is huge.

It will give other companies the confidence to file their S-1 paperwork. After all, we were expecting both ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft to go public in the first quarter of the year, and this news about Slack could give both companies the confidence to pick an IPO date... after the SEC fully reviews their IPO documents, of course.

We’re finally getting back in the groove! Keep a lookout for more information on Slack’s IPO.

Until next time,

Jennifer Clark
Pro Trader Today

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