Collaborative team communication tool Slack has swept the business world since it launched back in 2013–racking up 8,000 customers in its first 24 hours alone. (Full disclosure: Fast Company began using Slack last year.)
Now Slack has made an acquisition it hopes will keep it atop the enterprise communications heap: a startup, called Screenhero, that lets multiple users easily share their desktops with one another and conduct voice chats.
Screenhero graduated from the Y Combinator startup incubator two years ago. The acquisition, for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock, makes sense for both companies. Screenhero gets exposure to a much broader range of customers, while Slack adds two new (and incredibly useful) tools to its range of services. There is already considerable overlap between the two companies–with around half of Screenhero’s users reportedly already using Slack.
The plan is to integrate Screenhero into the current Slack service, as opposed to keeping it a standalone product. This means that in the near future, it will be possible to click an extra button in Slack to share a desktop or carry out a voice or video chat. As with Slack’s existing text-based communication, these activities will also be archived for later consultation.
It’s a promising development for the fast-growing chat company, which reached a billion-dollar valuation in October 2014. While the communications industry is a constantly evolving, crowded space, Slack has come out ahead thanks to its ability to streamline group communication and to help remote teams feel like they are working under the same roof.
You can check out our 2013 interview with Slack cofounder Stewart Butterfield here.