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About to go public, Slack posts first-quarter loss on 67% rise in revenue – SiliconANGLE News


Slack Technologies Inc. today posted its full financial results for the first time as it gears up for its direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this month.

The workplace collaboration tools company first said it was planning to go public in April, shunning the more traditional initial public offering in favor of a direct listing, which is a process where existing shareholders sell stock directly to investors. The direct listing method is somewhat unconventional, but also has big potential upsides, the main one being that it avoids the large underwriting expenses that accompany a traditional IPO.

As part of that process, Slack needs to be more open about its finances, hence it reported its first-quarter earnings today. The company reported a loss before certain costs such as stock compensation of 23 cents per share on revenue of $134.8 million, up 67% from a year ago. Its net loss came to $31.8 million. The company also reported billings of $149.6 million, up 47% from a year ago.

In its S-1 filing back in April, Slack reported that it had more than 10 million daily active users, with about 88,000 paying customers. Now, the company says its paying customer base has grown to 95,000, with 645 of those bringing in annual recurring revenue of $100,000 or more.

Slack also provided guidance for the second quarter and full year. For the next three-month period, it expects a loss of 19 to 20 cents per share on revenue of $139 million to $141 million. For the full year, Slack is forecasting a loss of 41 to 44 cents, with revenue between $590 million and $600 million.

Slack, which is expected to list on June 20, recently took its direct listing pitch onto the road. Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Stewart Butterfield met with numerous potential investors, telling them how Slack was benefiting from companies shifting away from email communications to more feature-packed messaging services.

While keeping busy pitching investors, Slack has also made moves to make its collaboration tools more enticing to large enterprises. In recent weeks, the company announced several key integrations with Microsoft Corp.’s Office suite, plus a new encryption tool that enables companies to secure their communications using their own cryptographic keys.

Slack’s direct listing comes at a time when several so-called tech unicorns have taken a battering from investors. Ride-hailing firms such as Lyft Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. both recently went public only to see millions wiped off their market value. Other, smaller companies have fared better, most notably Zoom Video Communications Inc. and Pinterest Inc.

Photo: Scott Schiller/Flickr

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