Salesforce ‘in talks’ to buy workplace chat app Slack
Salesforce is said to be in talks to acquire workplace messaging platform Slack as it looks to expand its cloud offering to businesses.
If discussions are successful, the takeover could be announced in the next few weeks, according to several media reports.
Shares in Slack surged almost 40 per cent on the reports, pushing its market value above $20bn (£14.9bn). Salesforce shares dropped five per cent.
The two tech firms have had differing fortunes this year as a result of the pandemic.
In August Salesforce raised its annual revenue forecast after cashing in on booming demand for cloud services,
By contrast, Slack has struggled to fully capitalise on the shift to home working amid fierce competition from other workplace apps such as Microsoft Teams.
Under chief executive and founder Marc Benioff, Salesforce has been strengthening its cloud offering through acquisitions in a bid to take on rivals such as Oracle and Germany’s SAP.
A move to buy Slack, however, would likely reflect efforts to draw in customers to its main software features, such as its customer relationship management service.
This is a strategy that has been successfully employed by Microsoft, which bundles Teams together with its software service.
Angela Ashenden, principal analyst at CCS Insight, said a takeover would be a “very positive and exciting move for both Slack and Salesforce”.
“Acquiring Slack would be a major boost here, and Slack’s integration and app story would also play well with Salesforce’s strategy,” she said.
“The potential of Slack Connect and creating a B2B collaboration network would also jive well with Salesforce’s business enablement story.”
Salesforce and Slack have been contacted for comment.