With a valuation that’s ballooned from $0 to nearly $4 billion in just a few years, Slack is undeniably one of Silicon Valley’s fastest growing startups … ever.
And as I wrote in a recent post, what’s even more amazing is that Slack was able to accomplish much of this growth without using a traditional sales organization (see our piece on Slack’s growth strategy).
As I was poring over Slack’s valuation and user acquisition numbers for that post, it dawned on me:
“Holy crap. They grew that quickly? What does that even look like?”
In an attempt to answer that question, I created the infographic below.
One caveat before you dive in: There is still some debate around whether or not Slack was truly the fastest company to reach the $1 billion valuation mark.
The tricky part is that Slack — the messaging tool — was spun out of an online game that CEO/co-founder Stewart Butterfield and co. started working on in 2009.
So when Butterfield’s company (then called Tiny Speck) started working on Slack in earnest in 2012, they already had some money in the war chest. Hence, the argument can be made that the company is older than they claim to be.
I’d argue, however, that when Butterfield and co. gave up on the game and decided to focus on Slack as their core product, they effectively hit the reset button.
After all, they went out and raised new rounds of funding (visualized below) on the back of their new product. So when we look at Slack’s valuation through that lens, as Business Insider does, it’s clear that Slack was the fastest. (Note: If you disagree with that assessment, sound off in the comments section below!)