According to the Wall Street Journal, Vancouver-born Slack is planning to go public through a direct public offering (DPO), potentially making it the second big technology company after Spotify to bypass a traditional initial public offering (IPO).
A DPO is similar to an IPO in that securities, such as stock or debt, are sold to investors, but unlike an IPO, a company uses a DPO to raise capital directly and without a “firm underwriting” from an investment banking firm or broker-dealer.
Founded by Stewart Butterfield, Slack is a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services.
Slack began as an internal tool used by his company, Tiny Speck, in the development of Glitch, a now defunct online game. The name is an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge”.
According to today’s report, Slack is likely to debut in the second quarter but, of course, its plans could change.