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INITIATING COVERAGE

Slack is slated for success as a public company—but here’s why you should keep asking questions

Slack IPO
Reuters/Thomas White
This probably looks familiar

Slack’s regulatory filings in advance of its public stock offering last week show how successful the messaging company has become since its founding in 2009. Slack’s customers and revenue are growing rapidly, powered by a sales and marketing strategy premised on viral user growth and converting free members to paid subscribers. Companies all over the world have essentially replaced email for many important functions and now depend on Slack for internal communication. There are thousands of outside developers creating applications that work in Slack, making it even more valuable for customers.

We’d have nothing but positive things to say in the run-up to Slack going public if the company showed some indication of future profitability and if it wasn’t pursuing a risky direct listing process, but those remain significant concerns.

Here are our five biggest takeaways that we think investors should be considering:

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