Slack has hired Goldman Sachs for 2019 IPO

Greg Roumeliotis, Carl O'Donnell
Key Points
  • Workplace chat provider Slack has hired Goldman Sachs to take it public, sources tell Reuters.
  • It could be valued over $10 billion.
Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of Slack, at the 2018 WEF in Davos, Switzerland.
Adam Galica | CNBC

Slack, a provider of chat and direct messaging services for businesses, has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to lead its initial public offering (IPO) next year as an underwriter, people familiar with the matter said.

The San Francisco-based company is among a string of Silicon Valley companies valued over $1 billion expected to debut in the stock market in 2019. Other IPO hopefuls include apartment-rental service Airbnb, analytics firm Palantir and Stripe, a digital payment company.

Ride-hailing company Lyft beat bigger rival Uber in filing for an IPO this week, defying the recent market jitters that have weighed on corporate valuations.

Slack is rounding up its underwriting syndicate and hopes to fetch a valuation of well over $10 billion in its IPO, whose exact timing will depend on market conditions, the sources said on Friday.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Slack and Goldman Sachs both declined to comment.

Slack is competing against the likes of Microsoft's Teams, Alphabet's Google Hangouts Chat and Cisco's Webex Teams in the so-called workplace collaboration market, which research firm IDC has projected will be worth $3.2 billion by 2021.

Slack last raised $427 million in August in a private fundraising round, led by Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic, giving it a valuation of more than $7.1 billion. It previously raised $250 million in 2017 at a $5.1 billion valuation, in a fundraising round led by Japan's SoftBank.

It is unclear how market turmoil fueled by the escalating trade tensions between the United States and China could impact Slack's IPO plans.

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