Amazon Considering A $9 Billion Bet To Acquire Slack Messaging Startup

A popular messaging startup used in business settings is starting to see some interest among major technology players about a possible acquisition. That messaging startup is Slack, and one of the interested parties is Amazon. To make the deal happen, Amazon—or any other technology outfit—would have to come at Slack hard with a 10-digit offer, as the messaging service is said to command $9 billion (or more) from interested parties.

Should Amazon make a play for Slack, it would likely qualify as the online retailer's largest acquisition ever. It is also one that Amazon could afford, though even so, a $9 billion investment is not something to be taken lightly. As it stands right now, no agreement has been reached. It is also possible that discussions will stall out if both sides cannot come to favorable terms in a proposed deal.


On the flip side, if Amazon can pull this off, it would be a huge win for the company and its efforts in the enterprise market. Amazon is fairly well fleshed out in that regard with its cloud-hosting Amazon Web Services (AWS) and also Amazon Chime, a video and audio conferencing service. Adding Slack would give Amazon a legitimate business-oriented chatroom service to offer clients, one that is already popular.

The question is, how much is Amazon willing to spend? Its largest acquisition to date was for Twitch, and that was for $970 million back in 2014. With Slack in its sights, Amazon is looking at spending perhaps 10 times as much. An acquisition of that size would eat into its $21.5 billion of cash and equivalents that Amazon is said to have (as of the end of March).

Whether or not this deal happens, it is at least interesting to see Amazon continue to expand beyond e-commerce. The company started out as an online book store and has since morphed into the world's largest online retailer. Whether it is car parts or diapers you're after, Amazon carries it. However, it's also spread its wings and flown into other market segments, such as streaming music and videos, smart speaker technologies, data hosting, and others.

As for Slack, the company recent raised $200 million in its latest funding round, giving the company a value of $3.8 billion. Selling for in the neighborhood of $9 billion would be a big win for its developers, and a significant bet on the chat service's future. As big of a bet as that might seem, Slack's potential value was reinforced last year when Microsoft nearly acquired the company for $8 billion. At the time, Slack had 2.3 million users and was pulling in over $64 million annually.