When you open the IPO window slack, he wants to be able to quickly open markets in the spring. Otherwise, he could see the acidic condition or unsuccessful IPO, other technology companies closed the window before he rings the opening bell. That’s why the sluggish CEO Stewart Butterfield says that it has already become his ducks in a row so that its ready IPO, when the time comes.

Today, Butterfield said, The Australian, that “three or four months ago we started an internal campaign for the IPO readiness, because we want to be able in the future and there is quite a bit of work that goes into it.”

A portrait of Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield

Portrait Slack Director General Stewart Butterfield

main enterprise in a private chat continued, “We made our first external audit, and we have put in place many of the controls and security practices. There’s a lot of predictability, which should be apparent in the business, so we spend a lot on the analysis and data infrastructure. ”

However, Butterfield warned “the absolute earliest that we could IPO, if all come right, will be 18 months from now,” he notes, “One of the things public investors look for is the predictability and when you’re growing as fast as we can not predict where we are going to be six months. ”

I asked Butterfield if he had any further comment, and he explained that “We are trying to manage the company so that we would be prepared to go public when we are ready. It does not mean we are going to want or need to go public in the near future. This is a course of self-defense in order to be ready for any eventuality (but without a common intention of going out and smashing people in the world). “

Born from the ashes of the game you start turning a tiny piece of Butterfield, sluggish became a phenomenon in the workplace communications. Now it turns into a platform that is the social fabric for the enterprise, weaving together other tools to work together in the office.

sluggish raised $ 160 million in back estimate of $ 2.8 billion in April. Bringing it to the $ 340 million in total funding, money came from major venture including Horizons Ventures, Digital Sky Technologies (DST Global), Index Ventures, candles Capital and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Social + Capital Partnership, Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.


Although it is basically a who’s who of the top-level of funds raised is not slack from any of the major investment banks which usually back later stage of start-ups in the hope of their underwriting an IPO. There may be potential to be another round of financing to lackadaisical goes public.

However, Butterfield says a lot of the $ 340 million is unspent, so it’s not desperate for cash from fund-raising, or IPO. “Part of it is to protect against changes in market conditions. Things are not always rosy, and if market conditions shift and we have a huge pile of money, we’ll be in a great location, because suddenly the competition engineering talent less, the rental rate for office space is reduced , advertising is becoming less and particularly companies that we could buy cheaper. “

This funding will be useful for a rough few open market for business start-ups and cold climate to raise funds in the private markets. Lauded investor Keith Rabois said recently that only startups with unusual metrics currently able to raise money, although sluggish might qualify. It has grown from 750,000 users in April, more than 1.7 million daily active users now and tells me to take away Butterfield plans to release more financial results next month.


closest to take away in open markets can now be Jive, up 15% this year. But soon, the developer of the slack competitor HipChat in Atlassian will IPO, and Butterfield will look.

“Atlassian is very similar in terms of sales and growth model. We have a little bit different, but largely overlapping markets, and to the extent that they are successful, and we hope that they -. That will be a good omen for us “The market for enterprise chat is so big, that believes Butterfield HipChat sluggish and could cooperate -exist.

But there is a third option Slack beyond an IPO or attract additional resources: get acquired. Butterfield acknowledged Australian Cliona O’Dowd that sluggish received “friendly overtures, to see if the (sales) is that we would be interested in pursuing, and still we were not interested.” Google and Microsoft, will undoubtedly reasonable suitors.

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It would be typical for all except Butterfield to be so ahead of the situation and plan for their company. It begs the question about what he is trying to drum up interest in fundraising or acquisition. But in fact, he tells me that he’s just a guy coming.

In the end, he’s a CEO who retweets jokes about his service down, and publishes the expletive-filled internal memo. Frankness can be inspiring when you explain the motivation to build a great company with a level of force: “In response to” Why “is” because why to fuck else would you even want to be alive, but to do things as well as you can? “