Slack’s missteps have now made the stock a ‘buy’ at the right price

Beth Kindig
8 min readSep 5, 2019

Slack Technologies is the fastest-growing software-as-a-service (SaaS) company of all time and a Silicon Valley favorite, yet the direct public offering (DPO) clearly did not go well for public investors.

The shares WORK, +8.03% opened at $38.50 on June 20, rose to $42 intraday, and have now sunk to a record-low of $26.25 in after-market hours leading into its first earnings report as a public company.

The losses are at 36% from its intraday high, and that occurred when many cloud-software initial public offerings (IPOs) have enjoyed triple-digit returns since going public.

So what went wrong? And, more importantly for growth investors, will things go right for San Francisco-based Slack soon?

Before the company releases second-quarter earnings Sept. 4, here’s insight into its revenue, valuation and competitors.

Slower growth

Slack’s product — an instant-messaging and collaboration system — has massive potential with a 143% net customer retention rate, yet the financials undermine the company’s growth trajectory. For instance, guidance for the current fiscal year is at 47% to 50% revenue growth year-over-year, down from 82% in the prior year. The slower growth, which was revealed in an updated prospectus two weeks before going public, was unlikely to win over many people regardless of how much traction the product has with current users.

Yet, there is impressive traction, with the average user keeping the app open for nine hours on her computer and engaging with it for 90 minutes a day. Compare that with the daily time spent on Facebook FB, +2.60% 58 minutes, Instagram, 53 minutes, YouTube, 40 minutes, Pinterest, 14 minutes, and messaging app WhatsApp, 28 minutes.

As I covered before the DPO, both sides of the debate have valid points when evaluating Slack’s future stock performance. However, due to Slack’s product strength, my prediction is the stock will have a turnaround as user loyalty will overcome the financial turbulence. The questions that remain: timing and valuation for entry.

Divergence in user base

Beth Kindig

CEO and Lead Tech Analyst for the I/O Fund with cumulative audited results of 141%, beating Ark and other leading active tech funds over four audit periods in 2