Amazon is rumored to be mulling a purchase of Slack, the fast-growing corporate chat platform. A deal could give Slack a valuation of $9 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Slack now has 5 million daily users, including more than 1 million paying users.As of last year, Slack claimed 77 Fortune 100 companies among its clients.
It’s easy to see why Amazon would want to add a popular corporate communications tool to its suite of offerings to Amazon Web Services customers. But the more intriguing explanation of Amazon’s interest has to do with one of the company’s even bolder visions of the future.
Amazon is one of the major players in the fight for dominance in the realm of voice-activated artificial intelligence. As of January, Amazon had sold more than 11 million of its Echo home device, according to a report by the investment banker Morgan Stanley. Lex, the conversation interface that powers the Echo, already has a Slack integration.
Acquiring Slack could position Amazon for shaping the way workers use voice-activated technology at a time when Slack is already considered a possible email slayer. Just think of what bringing all that work data to the Echo’s capabilities would mean for the worker—and the further blurring of any remaining line between work and home.
Why It’s Hot
The fight to keep work and personal time separate is real. Keep your eyes on this one as the line continues to blur.