Slack is putting money where its mouth is with an $80 million program designed to bring in developers to integrate applications. It is part of an effort to be more competitive in the team collaboration tools space. The only catch is the applications that come out of it, must focus on ‘Slack-first’ and be part of the ecosystem.
The fund has been set up and is expected to bring in developers from around the world. Contributors to the fund include Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark Growth and Social Capital – all venture capital firms.
Slack is competing with a number of companies that play in the team collaboration space. Cisco, Microsoft, Google, and others all have their own features and applications that serve similar purposes. The idea behind the fund is that developers will gain the resources to develop on Slack’s platform and create even more to the already vibrant ecosystem. Slack already integrates with various web-based tools and platforms, making it a popular tool for small and medium-sized companies that have diverse sets of employees and contributors. Slack is still mostly used by smaller teams and really hasn’t taken on entire companies in general. That may change with an enhanced feature-rich ecosystem of new applications that may emerge from the program.
Slack’s ambition to grow apart from being an application and onward towards a full on platform is significant. Workflows and integrations are already a big part of its compelling features and it enjoys an energized base of growing companies. Time will tell if the enterprise begins adoption of a tool that has largely been on the fringe of engagement with this sector of the market. Slack is incredibly easy to use however and it is rapidly gaining momentum. The program can only help to bring in more users, more developers, and more avid advocates than ever before.