Slack's corporate venturing subsidiary, now under the Salesforce Ventures umbrella, is looking to lead more rounds after launching Fund III, which is twice the size of its predecessor.

Slack Fund, the strategic investment vehicle formed by US-headquartered enterprise communication app developer Slack, has launched its third fund with $100m in capital. Founded in 2009, Slack runs a cloud-based messaging and collaboration platform with approximately 170,000 paying customers. Salesforce, the enterprise software producer which oversees its own thriving corporate venturing practice, closed a $27.7bn acquisition of the company in July 2021. The corporate had announced Slack Fund in 2015 with backing from limited partners Accel, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Social Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Spark Capital and an $80m allocation later cut to $25m, before adding a $50m sophomore fund in late 2020. Slack Fund has made more than 80 investments and targets IT, cybersecurity, software development and workplace productivity and wellness technology. The unit initially participated predominantly at seed and series A-stage but has gradually been increasing its late-stage deals, which have included virtual event software provider Hopin’s $450m series D round and a $120m series C for communication platform developer Nylas in the past year. The expanded third fund will enable Slack to lead and co-lead more rounds, and it said in a blog post it is mulling an expansion into new categories such as hardware, coaching and mental health and wellness tools. Jason Spinell, head of Slack Fund, said: “We have always thought about how technology and software can amplify and enhance the way knowledge workers collaborate, engage and connect with each other. “We are in the very early innings of watching how hybrid and remote work changes not only how software is built and utilised but how organisations are formed and structured, and we want the Slack Fund to be at the centre of helping to enable these transitions. “If there is someone thinking about starting a company that will drive the next wave of the future of work, we want to be on their radar.” Slack Fund also confirmed in the announcement of Fund III that it is actively working with Salesforce’s own strategic investment arm, Salesforce Ventures. The latter is also a Hopin investor, and the units share Crossbeam and Zylo as portfolio companies. Alex Kayyal, managing partner of Salesforce Ventures, said “At Salesforce Ventures, we partner with disruptive enterprise technology companies that are not only the most innovative in their field but are reinventing the way the world works. “Now with the Slack Fund as part of our investment family, we’re uniquely positioned to take our strategy a step…

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Robert Lavine

Robert Lavine is special features editor for Global Venturing.