- Slack Technologies Inc. announced an $80 million investment fund to back developers who are building apps that integrate with its software.
- Slack software lets teams of workers exchange online messages that include images and other files.
- Workforce collaboration platforms are becoming increasingly popular with companies of all types.
Slack’s co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield said the money will be used primarily to “kick start the ecosystem and encourage people to develop apps, and create examples that others can improve upon and get the flywheel spinning.”
“The real value of why we spend so much time on our smart phones today and why Apple is a multi-hundred billion-dollar company is apps,” said Andreessen Horowitz General Partner John O’Farrell, who sits on Slack’s board. “Apple and the iPhone become the way we interact with tens and hundreds and thousands of services developed by others.”
The workplace productivity arena has been gaining popularity, and Slack has several strong competitors, including Atlassian Inc., Google, Microsoft and Salesforce.com, all of whom are either developing or offering collaboration software.
Slack has raised $340 million since it was founded in 2009. The company now claims more than 2 million users, about 570,000 of whom pay for its messaging software.
Slack also announced several updates of its software to enable new functions, including integration with Amazon Web Services.