Instant messaging (IM) and productivity start-up Slack Technologies raised $250 million in a new round of private funding earlier this month, sources close to the San Francisco, California-based tech company said on Thursday. The news comes just over a month after rumors of an Amazon takeover emerged, indicating that the e-commerce giant may be interested in acquiring Slack for at least $9 billion. The latest set of venture capital investments enjoyed by Slack saw the company's valuation surpass $5 billion, representing a significant increase compared to the previous $3.8 billion figure. The new funding round led to another capital injection from investment firm Accel that already committed resources to Slack and led the round together with SoftBank Group Corporation, a Japanese tech conglomerate with a portfolio that spans a wide variety of products and services throughout the world.
It's currently unclear how much of the reported $250 million figure came from SoftBank and Accel, though the former likely invested in Slack through its recently launched Vision Fund. The software firm has yet to confirm its new round of funding and outright refused to comment on the report when approached by Reuters, with one of its spokespeople suggesting how the start-up isn't interested in reacting to "rumors." The latest turn of events, if the reports are accurate, would make the possibility of Amazon acquiring Slack more unlikely. Industry insiders close to the two companies previously claimed that Slack is still reluctant to sell as it's in the process of evaluating the possibility of doing another funding round instead, thus further increasing its valuation. With the newly uncovered information indicating how that is precisely what ended up happening, it seems probable that Slack is adamant to continue operating in an autonomous manner, with its business and overall performance still growing at a steady pace.
With the firm's valuation now reportedly surpassing $5 billion, any potential acquisition could be worth 11 figures, especially if Slack manages to maintain its current traction and continues expanding its user base while simultaneously coming up with new ways of monetizing it. In that hypothetical scenario, Slack may find itself closer to an initial public offering (IPO) than an acquisition in the coming years.