News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Slack opens Asia Pacific headquarters in Melbourne

Tech industry darling Slack, the team messaging platform now boasting over 2.3 million active daily users, has officially launched in Australia, today opening its new Asia Pacific headquarters in Melbourne. The new office, in the heritage Carlton Brewery site, will be home to 70 staff.

Slack cofounder and CEO Stewart Butterfield, in town for the launch, said, “Melbourne has been incredibly welcoming and offers a wealth of talent, which made choosing the city as our Asia Pacific headquarters an easy decision.

“We live in a golden age of software. Work tools are finally benefitting from the type of exciting innovation we’ve seen in consumer apps for years. We’re making a big investment here in Australia to grow our own Slack team, but more importantly to help teams of all sizes be happier and more productive.”

Officially launched in early 2014, Slack has had a fairly incredible rise over the last two years. The startup, which is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in New York, Vancouver, and Dublin, has raised over US$340 million to date, with its last funding round of $160 million in April 2015 giving it a valuation of $2.8 billion.

The messaging platform is now used by the likes of NASA, global companies including Buzzfeed, Airbnb, and Samsung, and local players such as the AFL, Seek, and RedBubble, with over 675,000 of its users now paid.

These figures highlight substantial growth over the last few months, with those reported in November putting the number of active daily users at 1.7 million, with 480,000 paid.

Slack states that the average user is connected to the platform for ten hours each weekday, and actively using it for more than two hours during that time, with the platform offering integration with dozens of other services.

Of course, Slack is just the latest global tech giant to land in Melbourne. Zendesk opened a new office in Melbourne last November after signing a deal that will see the Victorian Government give the company a five year grant in order to house its software engineering centre, with space for up to 200 employees, in the city.

GoPro also landed in Melbourne last November, announcing it had partnered with the Victorian Government in order to open its Australia and New Zealand regional headquarters in the city. The partnership will see GoPro receive business assistance through Invest Victoria.

Butterfield told The Australian last year that the final decision for the Asia Pacific headquarters came down to Singapore and Melbourne.

“Melbourne has a little bit less competition than some other centres for talent but a very well-educated, English-speaking population that would make great employees for us,” he said, adding that Melbourne’s night life also helped make the decision.

Image: Stewart Butterfield. Source: Supplied.





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