Corporate IMer Slack pockets $250m from SoftBank and pals – report

Reports throw cold water on Amazon buyout rumours

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Corporate messaging biz Slack is reportedly raising $250m in its latest funding round.

According to Bloomberg, Japanese investor SoftBank is co-leading the latest round, which would value Slack at more than $5bn.

The other lead investor is said to be Accel Partners, which has invested in the software startup at all but two of the nine funding rounds.

That includes leading initial seed funding for Tiny Speck – Slack's predecessor – back in 2009, along with the series A round in April 2010. It also co-led the series B round in April 2011.

The most recent round, series F, was in April 2016 and brought in $200m for Slack.

Last month there were reports that the corporate messaging software firm was being eyed up by a range of suitors, including Amazon.

The fresh rumours of an imminent funding round suggest that such interest has cooled off – and the valuation of $5bn is some way off previous reports that the sale was worth up to $9bn.

Tiny Speck was officially renamed Slack in 2014 after the synonymous real-time messaging software developed and launched by the firm the previous year took off.

The service now has five million daily users, of which 1.5 million pay for access to their older messages. The free version is limited to 10,000 most recent messages.

Slack, SoftBank and Accel Partners did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ®


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