Amazon and Slack in discussions?

Could be a $9 billion deal, which is less than my guess

I can’t say I’m surprised, since it was the biggest of my 2017 predictions, back in January, was that Amazon would buy Slack. I bet then it would take more money, but the word is $9 billion, which would be Amazon’s largest acquisition, yet.

Message Startup Slack Said to Draw Interest From |Alex Sherman, Eric Newcomer, and Alex Barinka

Corporate chatroom startup Slack Technologies Inc. has received recent inquiries about a potential takeover from technology companies including Inc., people with knowledge of the situation said, a deal that would be the internet-commerce giant’s biggest ever.

San Francisco-based Slack could be valued at at least $9 billion in a sale, the people said. An agreement isn’t assured and discussions may not go further, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Buying Slack would help Seattle-based Amazon bolster its enterprise services as it seeks to compete with rivals like Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. The company’s cloud-hosting unit, Amazon Web Services, in February unveiled a paid-for video and audio conferencing service — Amazon Chime — that lets users chat and share content.

Representatives for and Slack declined to comment.

I bet it will happen, because Amazon’s capital could provide the leverage Butterfield wants to compete with Microsoft, Google, and other players. And they could build an entire suite around Slack, instead of trying to fit it in as an afterthought at Google Cloud or Office 365. And from Amazon’s viewpoint, why not build yet another billion dollar a year business?

Yes, Amazon has launched Chime — with chatrooms — but that could become more focused on realtime communications — video, etc — integrated into Slack. More interesting is the question of what other companies to buy, to attack the enterprise work technologies stack?

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Founder, Work Futures. Editor, GigaOm. My obsession is the ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

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