Slack launches new $80M fund, app directory for platform partners

The budding workplace collaboration platform has been busy over the last several months with introducing new features taking on both traditional email as well as ​other cloud-based chat services.

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As a startup valued at more than $1 billion, Slack -- like many other so-called "unicorn" companies -- has grown and picked up many loyal followers rather quickly over the last few years.

Now the San Francisco-based company is aiming to grow even bigger -- and potentially faster -- with two major platform expansion plans unveiled on Tuesday evening.

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The first is a new $80 million early-stage investment fund to be doled out to other companies with "Slack-first" apps, meaning those that integrate Slack functions into their core products.

The pool of money is being backed by some of the biggest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley -- namely Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark, and Social+Capital.

Slack is also bolstering ties to more established names in tech with the opening of a digital app directory.

The Slack App Directory is launching immediately with an initial set of 150 work-friendly apps. Familiar names include Google Drive, Dropbox and Twitter, among others.

Slack now counts more than two million daily active users. The company further boasted it has already seen at least 4,000 platform integrations installed approximately 2.2 million times to date.

The budding workplace collaboration platform has been busy over the last several months with introducing new features taking on both traditional email as well as other cloud-based chat services.

Most recently in October, Slack opened up the option for establishing user groups, allowing users to mass-message entire departments within an organization rather than just posting a message to a channel. Slack also updated its API in accordance with the groups function, enabling developers to build apps that support programmatic group creation and management.

All of this came after Slack hired Google and Twitter vet April Underwood in June to oversee API integrations and developer relations, among other platform-related products.

Slack also slipped in a few nitty-gritty platform upgrades this week, ranging from API updates to an AWS Lambda blueprint integration for running cloud apps.

Image via Slack

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