In the wake of Slack’s successful direct listing, it’s been easy to forget that the popular corporate chat company has competition. Lots of it.
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But while the tech press has been busy unpacking what a direct listing is, how it differs from an IPO, and other bits of grit from the public markets, Slack’s competitors have been busy raising and selling. Let’s take a look at a recent round and a new data point to understand how the companies and products with Slack on their radar are performing.
Slack vs. Microsoft vs. Mattermost
Mattermmost, a Slack competitor and Y Combinator-backed company, raised a $55 million Series B in mid-June. That capital came just months after the firm raised its Series A in February of this year. Combined, the two rounds total $70 million. Mattermost raised a Seed round back in 2017, but we don’t how large that transaction was.
Raising two rounds in such rapid succession—mere months apart—for such large and growing amounts indicates that Mattermost is resonating with the market.
And second, Microsoft has news out today regarding the number of daily and weekly active users that its Teams product currently sports. Teams is a Slack comp that lives inside of the Office 365 world; Office 365 is Microsoft’s SaaS product.
As such, Teams has had fertile ground to grow in. And grow it has. According to Microsoft, Teams now has 13 million daily active users and 19 million monthly active users. Is that a lot of folks? Slack hasn’t updated its DAU number since it noted that it had 10 million as of “the three months ended January 31, 2019” when it said that its tally “exceeded” the 10 million mark in its S-1.
Fair enough, but that figure is now quite out of date, and given that Microsoft now has the higher announced number, it could be that Slack will drop a new data point. Investors will certainly want to know how it stacks up against Microsoft’s growing score when earnings roll around again.
A Large, Growing Market
What matters more than whether Teams or Slack has the most DAUs is that the market for internal messaging tools is proving to be enormous. If there’s space for Slack, Teams, and Mattermost to all grow, there’s lots of addressable market to count up and go after.
(Mattermost is an open source product, which does set it in a slightly different space compared to the proprietary Slack and Teams services.)
Microsoft told Crunchbase News in a call that it is targeting frontline workers, a large chunk of the global workforce. Slack has a historically strong hold on tech shops and startups. Mattermost will have to find its own niche or try to take on its larger competitors.
We’ve tracked Slack vs. Teams since I can recall. What’s more fun now is that Slack is public, which means we’ll have a better look at its financial performance as the news continues. And with Mattermost raising tons of cash and going after Stewart and Microsoft, there is a new upstart to track.
This entire narrative has been an illustration of the startup circle of life: Slack started life as Tiny Speck, pivoted, nearly got sold to Microsoft and Amazon, stayed solo, attracted competing products from companies big and small, went public, and is now the incumbent itself.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.