Slack’s In Talks With Coatue, Others For Another Round At A $2.5B Valuation

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Why Don’t Makers Have Higher Social Status?

Slack, the communication platform that has taken the workplace world by storm, is on a roll of another sort. After announcing a fundraise of $120 million at a $1 billion-plus valuation less than six months ago, TechCrunch has heard that the company is talking to investors for yet another round, this time at a valuation of around $2.5-2.6 billion.

Investors that we have heard involved in this round, which is not closed, include Coatue Management, a backer of Box, Snapchat and Lyft; and Horizons Ventures, the prolific investment firm of Li Ka-Shing.

On top of this we have also heard that the company is making some early moves to look at potentially replacing co-founder Stewart Butterfield as CEO, for a “more operational” leader to take the company to its next level of growth.

A spokesperson for Slack declined to comment on the fundraise, and denied the CEO report outright.

Prior to Tiny Speck, Butterfield was one of the co-founders of photo-sharing site Flickr, and he joined Yahoo after the site was acquired by the search company. He left to start Tiny Speck in 2009. Other Slack co-founders are Eric Costello, Cal Henderson and Serguei Mourachov.

Slack — a platform for sending messages and sharing files with people you work with — competes against the likes of Yammer, Hipchat and others in the general space of enterprise social networking. It also positions itself as an email “killer” — or at least something that is a more active and used complement to your often overstuffed and ignored inbox.

Slack celebrated its one-year anniversary in February, and reported 500,000 daily users across more than 60,000 teams at the time, with users spending “over 100 million hours connected to Slack, sending 300 million messages.” Basic use of the service is free, with a set of increasing prices per user/per month based on added functionality such as more storage, unlimited third-party app integrations and so on.

That fast growth and faithful use from current Slackers has been a large part of why investors have taken such interest.

“They’ve cracked the code in a very short period of time,” John Doerr, general partner at Kleiner Perkins, said in an interview with the WSJ around the time of the last funding round. “Slack is growing more rapidly, with no marketing, than anyone else transforming enterprise communications.”

Previous investors in the company in addition to KPCB include Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Social+Capital Partnership, SV Angel and various angels, who have collectively invested $180 million over six rounds — Series A-D and two Seed rounds — covering both Slack and Tiny Speck’s previous incarnation as a games company.

Bloomberg earlier reported also that Slack was raising at a $2-billion-plus valuation.