Slack, the business chat platform seems to have a new suitor in the form of Amazon. That said; it is not the first time Slack has faced acquisition inquiries and there is no surety either if the deal with Amazon will push through.
Interestingly, Slack is also pushing ahead with a new round of fundraising that aims to raise $500 million amidst news of it dealing with a takeover bid by Amazon. Slack is estimated to be worth over $9 billion, which would make it the biggest acquisition that Amazon has ever made. That if, things reach such a stage.
The highest that Amazon has ever paid in its acquisition efforts so far was when it had bought the video game service firm Twitch Interactive Inc. in 2014. The online retailer had then paid $970 million in an all cash deal.
It is learnt that Microsoft too were interested in Slack at one time and had proposed a similar takeover. However, things never proceeded to a stage that would have got the senior staff to become engaged. Last heard, the Redmond giant has since committed to build a similar service of its own.
As for Amazon, there are reasons for it to have a keen interest in Slack. True it had earlier launched its Amazon Chime service that allows users to engage in online and video chats from just about any device. However, having Slack under its belt would allow the company to further have a firm footing in the tech landscape.
Also, while Chime is a paid service, Slack is primarily free. Slack though offers exclusive services such as access to chat history, statistics and other records. It counts as its client some of the biggest names from the industry, which includes Airbnb, Samsung, BuzzFeed or even Harvard University, to name a few.
Slack has also been exhibiting strong growth since its launch in 2013. It currently has 5 million daily active users, of which 1.5 are paid clients.
Another reason for Amazon to harbour interest in Slack is the fact that it is the only tech company among America’s big five to not have a messaging platform of its own. Such a service will no doubt further bolster Amazon’s efforts as it aims to branch off to primality being an e-commerce company to other areas such as cloud computing. Having a reliable messaging platform will enable it to offer a more complete package of services to its business customers.