Slack takes a step closer to an IPO with confidential filing of its registration statement

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Stewart Butterfield, CEO, Slack (Slack Photo)

The first wave of 2019 initial public offerings appears back on track after the government shutdown, with Slack announcing Monday that it has submitted a draft registration statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The confidential submission of the draft registration allows Slack to keep its financial performance behind closed doors for at least a little bit longer before its S-1 is officially released to the public. The company behind one of the most popular workplace productivity apps in Silicon Valley has been heading down this road for several years after raising $1.2 billion in venture-capital funding at a valuation of $7.1 billion.

Slack’s hub for group communication and business apps competes directly with Microsoft Teams, as companies moving their business processes online look for ways to manage the chaos. Last week Slack said it had reached 10 million daily active users and that 65 companies in the Fortune 100 are using its product, while Microsoft said 89 companies in the coveted Fortune 100 are using Teams during its earnings call last week.

Now that the bureaucratic backlog caused by the government shutdown is easing, several tech companies are expected to follow Slack’s lead over the next couple of weeks, including Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber. Slack itself is expected to follow Spotify’s lead and pursue a direct listing of its share, which allows the company to cut out several underwriters in the usual process.



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