September 28, 2018 / 1:14 PM / 19 days ago

Slack preparing to go public in early 2019: WSJ

(Reuters) - Slack Technologies Inc, a provider of chat services for businesses, is preparing for an initial public offering in the first half of 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the company’s plans.

FILE PHOTO - The Slack app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The San Francisco-based startup expects it could achieve a valuation well in excess of about $7 billion, the level at which a recent round of financing valued the company, the report said.

The startup competes with Microsoft’s Teams, Alphabet Inc’s Google Hangouts, Cisco Systems Inc’s Webex Teams, Workplace by Facebook Inc and others in the workplace collaboration market, which research firm IDC projects will be worth $3.2 billion by 2021.

Slack, which counts Softbank among its top investors, has more than 8 million daily active users and 3 million paid users, it said earlier this year.

The company has not hired underwriters yet but could do so soon, according to the report.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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