Why Slack Could Be the New Facebook and CrowdStrike for Accel


Jun. 20 2019, Updated 11:07 a.m. ET

Slack investors

Since 2009, Slack (WORK) has raised $1.4 billion from investors through two seed and eight venture rounds. The company boasts a legendary investor lineup, which includes Softbank, General Atlantic, and Andreessen Horowitz. Accel is Slack’s biggest investor with a 23.8% stake followed by Andreessen Horowitz, which holds 13% in the company.

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Accel to make billions

Back in 2005, Accel invested $12.2 million Series-A capital in a relatively unknown social media company named Thefacebook (FB). Seven years later, Zuckerberg-led Facebook went public, turning Accel’s investment into a $9 billion jackpot. Last week’s IPO of CrowdStrike (CRWD) turned Accel’s $30 million investment in the security software company into $2.8 billion. CrowdStrike rose around 70% on the first trading day.

Accel is set to recreate that magic with Slack (WORK) without originally investing in its current product. A decade ago, Accel invested $1.5 million in seed funding in a gaming company named Tiny Speck founded by Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield. Although the gaming idea didn’t work, Butterfield and his team pivoted to focus on commercializing messaging software they had built for internal use. That’s Slack!

Accel believed in the team and didn’t exit the startup after the gaming idea failed. The result? Accel is set to turn its 23.8% stake in Slack into a $3.1 billion fortune.


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