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Slack gets slice of SoftBank's US$100b tech bounty

[SAN FRANCISCO] Slack Technologies Inc closed a US$250 million funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp's Vision Fund, giving it more ammunition for expansion  in an increasingly competitive market for workplace messaging services.

The financing round values the startup at US$5.1 billion, up from US$3.8 billion the last time. The Vision Fund is joined by Accel and other investors, Slack said on Sunday. Bloomberg reported on the latest funding in July.

San Francisco-based Slack said the money is for "operational flexibility", not for a particular use, and added that it still has much of the US$591 million it already raised.

The company this month announced an expansion of its service to work in German, French, Spanish and Japanese as it competes with Microsoft Corp's Teams and Atlassian Corp's HipChat service for corporate customers.

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SoftBank's Vision Fund raised almost US$100 billion this year and is blanketing the venture capital market and tech sector with the money.

It invested US$4.4 billion in shared-office company WeWork Cos in August, and is mulling an investment in Uber Technologies Inc of up to US$12 billion with three other investors, Bloomberg has reported. 

Last month, the Vision Fund was said to invest about US$2.5 billion in Flipkart Group, the biggest Indian e-commerce operator. That deal was the largest venture deal in India, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

Slack has more than nine million weekly active users and six million daily active users. The company has more than two million people paying to use the service on more than 50,000 paid teams and revenue from subscriptions has reached US$200 million.