Slack confirms $250 million USD raise from SoftBank to expand service in Japan

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Slack has raised $250 million USD from SoftBank, according to The Financial Times. Slack is now valued at $5.1 billion USD with the recent funding, and the recent cash injection puts Slack’s total funding to date to $841 million USD.

Accel and other private investors also participated in the round. Much of Japan-based SoftBank’s funding came from its $100 billion Vision Fund.

In June, Bloomberg reported that Slack was receiving takeover interest from Amazon and pursuing $500 million USD. By July, the publication would later report that those talks have cooled, and that Slack was looking to raise $250 million USD from SoftBank. The company declined to comment at the time.

While SoftBank wanted to invest more, CEO Stewart Butterfield said that SoftBank would likely remain an investor beyond its eventual IPO. The company plans to use the funding to expand in Japan — its third-biggest market — with a local language service. “It’s a strange world. If it was 10 years ago, we’d be public by now,” he said. CNBC reported that the service is also looking to shift its business model to start generating cash.

He added that the company likely wouldn’t IPO until after 2018 due to the risk of being a young company not meeting its business targets over the next year.

“Slack is the operating system for today’s fast-moving businesses, enabling teams to work together effectively at a time when businesses need to be responsive to rapid change and disruption,” Deep Nishar, senior managing partner at the SoftBank Vision Fund, said in a statement sent to CNBC on Monday.

Butterfield told The Financial Times that Slack is growing by 100 percent a year, and revealed that it hit a milestone of $200 million ARR last week.