In the market for office messaging services, Atlassian’s HipChat has long been a popular option, but a recent startup named Slack is starting to dominate the industry and steal customers.
Slack has seen its daily users grow from less than 150,000 in July of 2014, to over 1 million currently. The company raised a whopping $160 million in April and is now valued at $2.8 billion.
And it continues to be a hit with users.
The nature of office messaging versus traditional email is a big part of the incredible growth story. Group chats are one of the most-used features in office messaging, and allow for real-time collaboration, which isn’t possible with group emails.
Slack’s highly customizable search capability allows for users to find what they are looking for in past messages there is also the ability to smoothly integrate Twitter, Google Docs, and other applications that one may already be using.
Slack is acquiring users that had never before used an office messaging application, and CEO Stewart Butterfield estimates that English-speaking users alone could reach 200 million.
The applications functionality across multiple devices and numerous features are cited as the reason behind its runaway success, even the New York Times has been using the service. Most users operate the free version of software, but those who pay $2 a month are given access to more functions.
Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes does not shy away from good competition, but stated that HipChat would not lose any more users to the competing startup. Atlassian did not disclose specific numbers regarding its user base, but did illustrate the incredible growth in the market in general with Cannon-Brookes stating, “We just passed 6 billion messages sent. The first billion took about three years, the last billion took about three months. You know, it’s on a hockey stick.”
Analysts estimate the potential market for office messaging to be multiple billions of dollars, and Slack’s latest efforts look to be differentiating it from the many competitors.