Slack is raising a $250 million round at $5 billion valuation

Enterprise messaging service Slack is raising a $250 million round at a $5 billion valuation, TechCrunch has confirmed. We’re hearing that SoftBank, Accel Partners and other existing investors participated.

The $250 million financing amount was reported by Bloomberg. Axios first had the names of the lead investors. Recode originally reported on a $500 million round last month, but we’re hearing that was likely in reference to the same round and the amount just wound up being $250 million.

There have also been various reports about acquisition conversations, but at least one source with direct knowledge claims the parties never came close to finalizing a deal.

Yet investors certainly believe Slack has strong “exit” potential. Over $500 million in equity funding has been disclosed so far, and the $5 billion valuation means that some investors believe it will be acquired or go public at a value significantly higher than that.

We use Slack at TechCrunch for much of our internal communication. A lot of people love the instant messaging service for its modern interface. (And gifs! Some people are really excited about the Giphy integration.)

Slack has almost a cult following in Silicon Valley, but much of its success will be contingent on whether it is able to convince large enterprises around the world to┬áswitch services. Slack has touted itself as an alternative to email, but it’s not a platform for communicating with people outside your company.

Yammer once gained significant traction, but after it was acquired by Microsoft it became less trendy.