Salesforce is buying messaging app Slack for $27.7 billion

David Brancaccio and Marielle Segarra Dec 2, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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Marc Benioff, founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Salesforce is buying messaging app Slack for $27.7 billion

David Brancaccio and Marielle Segarra Dec 2, 2020
Marc Benioff, founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images
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Salesforce, the San Francisco-based business software firm, is buying the business messaging app Slack for nearly $28 billion.

Marketplace’s Marielle Segarra has more on the deal, and the following is an edited transcript of her conversation with “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio.

David Brancaccio: It’s hard to overstate how much this Salesforce thing is woven into the work life of so many people.

Marielle Segarra: Right, if you work in sales or marketing, it’s very likely that you use Salesforce’s software to keep track of your customers. It’s kind of like a sophisticated rolodex. You can see a customer’s name, what they’ve bought, what they paid, when and if they had any customer service issues — stuff like that. And Salesforce software can also do things like data analysis, so it’s a competitor to Microsoft.

Slack, on the other hand, touts itself as an alternative to email. It’s a messaging platform that you can use on your phone or computer. Imagine Google Chat or, to go way back, AOL Instant Messenger, except with your coworkers. And you often chat in groups. Slack allows you to acknowledge someone’s message without saying anything, so you can just like it or send a smiley face. Really, in a world where you’re forced to work from home, it replaces those kind of casual office interactions, where you used to talk over your cubicle or wander by someone’s desk to chat about something.

Brancaccio: How do Slack and Salesforce make their money?

Segarra: Through subscriptions. Salesforce has more than 150,000 customers, including big companies like Amazon and Adidas. And Slack sells subscriptions to companies as well.

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