Salesforce announced today it is wading deeper into enterprise social by acquiring Slack in a $27.7 billion megadeal
Marc Benioff, co-founder, and CEO of Salesforce did not mince words about his new purchase. “This is a heaven-made match. Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of business software together and change the way everyone functions in the world of all-digital, work-from-anywhere,’ Benioff said in a statement.
Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, was no less effusive than his future boss. We share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power, and flexibility, and eventually, a greater degree of coordination and organizational agility as software plays a more and more critical role in any organization’s success. Personally, I think this is the most strategic blend in tech history, and I can’t wait to get rolling,’ said Butterfield in a statement.
Every employee needs to connect at every organization, something that Slack can empower ably. Moreover, it also enables external contact with clients and partners, something that can be very beneficial for a business like Salesforce and its offering family.
In the end, Slack was ripe for the grab. It has lost about 40 percent of its value since it went public at the beginning of 2020. Remember that the company lost 16 percent of its value after its most recent earnings report, and the company was worth just a few dollars per share more than its direct listing reference price before the Salesforce transaction leaked.
In the two quarters ended July 31, 2020, Slack’s uninspiring public value and its winding road to profitability lost $147.6 million in net losses and it was a sitting candidate for an acquisition like this one. The price is the only surprise here.
According to both Yahoo and Google Finance, Slack’s current value is just over $25 billion, which, considering its very small price shift after-hours, means the business was valued very efficiently by the market. From its valuation that preceded the deal being known, Slack is up around 48%.
With its arch competitor and sometime friend Microsoft, whose Teams product has directly challenged Slack in the industry, the new agreement also places Salesforce more on par and in competition. In recent quarters, Microsoft, which passed on buying Slack for a fraction of what Salesforce is paying today has made teams a key focus, loathing to cede some portion of the enterprise software market to another business.
Today’s offer comes after the acquisition of Quip by Salesforce in 2016 for $750 million. Quip introduced a way of publicly exchanging documents to the SaaS giant, and when combined with the Slack acquisition, Salesforce has a much more comprehensive social tale to tell than its internal alternative, Chatter, an early attempt at a social enterprise that never really caught on.