If there’s any company that’s been virtually synonymous with growth over the past year or so, it’s Slack, and now the team-software vendor is taking a big step to make sure that momentum continues.
The company has established an $80 million fund to provide early-stage investments to companies building for the Slack platform, with a particular focus on apps that are designed to be “Slack-first” as well as enterprise tools that are making Slack integration a core part of their offering.
”We’re deeply committed to supporting a diverse and valuable ecosystem of third-party apps and making them easy to discover,” said April Underwood, Slack’s head of platform.
Toward that second goal, Slack also debuted a new App Directory listing approved integrations. There are 150 apps available in the directory today—including offerings from services such as Dropbox and Twitter—and as new ones emerge, they’ll be visible there as well.
Also on Tuesday Slack introduced platform updates including Botkit—an open source framework for building bots and other Slack integrations—as well as several API updates and an AWS Lambda blueprint integration.
Not long after Slack joined the widely hyped “unicorn club” last year, its valuation rose to $2.8 billion. The company now boasts 2 million daily active users of its team-communication software, including 570,000 paid seats—up significantly just since August, when the numbers were 1.1 million and 300,000, respectively.
The company’s API ecosystem is a widely considered a core part of its increasing popularity.
Launched in 2014, Slack’s enterprise software as a service (SaaS) offers real-time messaging, archiving and search. There’s a free “lite” version of its software as well as a fully featured version starting at $6.67 per user per month. An enterprise plan is expected early next year with features such as federation across multiple teams with a unified team directory and unified security, data retention and compliance policies.
The new fund is backed by Slack in partnership with Accel; Andreessen Horowitz; Index Ventures; Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers; Spark Growth; and Social Capital.