Software startup Slack Technologies Inc said it raised $250 million from SoftBank Group Corp and other investors in its latest funding round, boosting the company’s valuation to $5.1 billion. The latest fund-raising, led by SoftBank through its giant Vision Fund and joined by Accel and other investors, lifted Slack’s total funds raised to $841 million, the enterprise messaging operator said in an emailed statement. The fund provides resources which will help Slack to run as a cash-generating company and the raise will reduce its dependence on outside financing, Slack Chief Executive Stewart Butterfield said. In July, sources had told Reuters that Slack was raising $250 million in a new funding round led by SoftBank. The company in the past has raised money from venture firms including GGV Capital, Spark Capital and Thrive Capital, among others.
Slack’s sizeable funding round reflects the trend of a growing number of $100 million-plus checks pouring into technology startups. In the second quarter this year, there were 34 venture capital deals of $100 million or more, nearly triple the 12 such transactions in the first quarter, according to data firm PitchBook Inc. These large rounds have helped drive an uptick in startup funding since the end of last year, with venture capitalists investing $15.7 billion in companies during the second quarter this year, a 27 percent increase from the first quarter and making for the strongest quarter in a year, according to Thomson Reuters data. Bloomberg and Financial Times previously reported the funding deal.