Slack Invests $80 Million in Integrated App Development

January 5, 2016 - 2 minutes read

While some big names in the productivity-enhancement field strive to launch services to cover has many aspects of daily life as possible (a large corporation who’s name begins with “G” comes to mind), relative newcomer Slack just launched an initiative that puts a unique spin on scaling: an $80 million investment in startups and mobile app developers building software that integrates with Slack products.

The funding comes in partnership with a handful of the app-savvy investors that funded Slack as a young company, including Andreessen-Horowitz and Index Ventures.

Slack is aiming to position itself as the integral “glue” that holds together a vibrant ecosystem of business-focussed apps and software, making their platform integral to the social workplace in ways Slack-branded standalone apps could never achieve. Considering Slack’s impressively fast-paced growth from scrappy startup to $2.8 billion valuation in less than three years, Chicago mobile app developers aren’t taking that claim lightly. Industry experts expect to see iPhone and Android app developers joining desktop software developers in the scramble to tie into Slack’s success — not to mention take advantage of the compelling new developer kit, “Botkit.”

Predictably, Slack is predominantly backing startups producing products that tie in closely with their “vision” for a Slack-based social work ecosystem; apps like Awesome (a chat-summarizer app) that use go-to Slack elements like bots and chat interfaces to add value to the platform.

While reports on the Slack development drive have been overall positive, mobile app developers have been quick to point out some of the possible negative aspects of the platform. For starters, the proprietary nature of the system could be a turn-off to some developers, alongside security issues and other risks inherent in startup-backed ventures.

Overall, mobile app developers have high hopes that Slack hits the right note as they build out their community and provide the tools developers need to survive and thrive in the slack ecosystem. Slack, their users, and the mobile app development community all stand to benefit.

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