Slack is one of several highly valued start-up IPOs

Slack, the workplace messaging app, has hired Goldman Sachs to underwrite an initial public offering planned for next year… The San Francisco company is one of several highly valued start-ups, along with Uber and Lyft, that are expected to list on public markets in 2019 after spending years raising money from deep-pocketed private investors… Slack was valued at $7.1 billion in its latest fundraising in August. It has raised almost $1.3 billion in total from private investors including SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic, making it one of the best-financed business software start-ups. The company was co-founded in 2014 by Stewart Butterfield, who previously co-founded the photo site Flickr and sold it to Yahoo in 2004, and Cal Henderson, who was a senior leader at Flickr. It aims to replace email at companies with an app that integrates software ranging from chat to cloud storage to collaborative spreadsheets. It has more than 8 million daily active users, many of whom use its basic free offering, and more than 3 million paying users… Slack has not disclosed recent revenue figures but the company said in August last year it had hit annual recurring revenue of $200 million and was growing at 100 per cent a year.

Shannon Bond and James Fontanella-Khan