According to sources, Slack is raising $250 million in funding led by Accel and Japanese internet giant SoftBank — the same company that’s looking to take a multibillion dollar stake in Uber.
The Series G funding puts the popular chat application at a $5 billion valuation, a big step up from the $3.8 billion valuation Slack had at its last funding round in April 2016.
Microsoft, Google and Amazon who valued the company at $9 billion are said to be interested in acquiring the startup
The San Francisco-based company has raised more than $500 million from venture capitalists and was valued at $3.8 billion at its last private financing round a year ago and if an acquisition had gone through, it would be have represented a major strategic shift for the company, which Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has repeatedly signaled he plans to keep independent.
The startup market has rebounded from a lull and probably at its highest point since December mainly lead by SoftBank Group Corp whose appetite for private tech companies is almost insatiable since raising a mega fund that could reach $100 billion in May this year
Katie Roof has listed the list of investments and potential investments that Softbank has made and may make with its $93 billion Vision Fund that it announced back in May.
ARM takes things out of the realm of startups and into the corporate world. Founded in 1985, ARM is a British semiconductors company.
SoftBank made a play to buy ARM last summer for $32 billion. The deal, which was the largest tech exit in British history, is expected to help SoftBank enhance its Internet of Things efforts.
OneWeb | OneWorld plans to launch a large constellation of low-orbit micro satellites in 2019. SoftBank invested $1 billion in the company back in December with the hope that OneWeb can enable global connectivity via satellite.
Once things kick into full gear, OneWeb expects to produce 15 satellites per week and create 3,000 new U.S. jobs.
With $502 million in funding led by SoftBank, Improbable is poised to scale its platform for the creation of virtual and simulated worlds.
In the short term, Improbable is helping game designers build immersive experiences. As VR matures, Improbable is positioning itself as the tool for large-scale 3D design.
Guardant Health is developing a blood test that can be used to identify cancer. SoftBank led a $360 million financing round for the startup to bankroll the sequencing of one million cancer patients over the next five years.
With fast and minimally invasive detection, the short-term hope is that patients would be able to seek cancer treatment earlier and increase their likelihood of survival.
NVIDIA is the company that needs no introduction. The chipmaker has struck gold in recent months refocusing its technology on the rise of AI and machine learning.
With its stock up over 200 percent in the last year, SoftBank decided to take a $4 billion stake in the company. Nvidia’s GPUs have become a valuable ingredient for deep learning, though the question remains of how much longer the stock can continue to rise.
SoftBank closed a deal to finance factory management platform OSIsoft back in May of this year. The company didn’t disclose the size of the investment, but did note that it was a minority stake.
The 37-year-old company aggregates IoT data pulled from factory hardware to inform decision making.
Nauto nabbed a $159 million round of financing last week led by SoftBank. The company builds cameras for cars to improve safety by identifying driver fatigue and distraction.
The core value of the company however is in the data it’s collecting. Some day the data set could become valuable in the production of self-driving cars. To this avail, GM, BMW and Toyota are all investors.