Cloud software company Salesforce.com Inc is reportedly in talks to buy workplace messaging app Slack Technologies Inc in what would be one of the biggest acquisition in software space, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Founded by an ex-Oracle staffer Mark Benioff, Salesforce pioneered the model of delivering application software via the cloud through a subscription by challenging the traditional approach of on-premise implementation which often involved costly upfront installation and lengthy implementation cycle.
With market capitalisation now close to at $230 billion, Salesforce has been among the big winners from disruption due to pandemic. Salesforce‘s strong growth has been spurred by rising demand for its online business software that supports remote work and business.
In contrast, Slack has been struggling to fully capitalise on the switch to remote working during the pandemic as it faces fierce competition from Microsoft Corp's Teams and other workplace apps.
Salesforce’s acquisition attempt may also fit well as part of its grand strategy to take on Microsoft. It can potentially incorporate Slack as an unified front-end to access its business enterprise suite. Microsoft has positioned its Team as a gateway to its other business application offerings.
Salesforce has embarked on an aggressive acquisition strategy in recent years to boost its ability to battle Microsoft. It completed a $15 billion-plus takeover of data-analytics platform Tableau Software in 2019. It also acquired cloud-software provider Vlocity Inc.
Salesforce was also in negotiations to buy microblogging platform Twitter but abandoned the plan after resistance from its shareholders.
After WSJ reported the news of ongoing negotiations, Slack Technologies shares jumped 25 per cent. The company’s Chief Executive Stewart Butterfield and few venture-capital firms control a majority of the company’s voting stock through supervoting shares,
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