Slack, the enterprise chat tool, has acquired the IP of Atlassian's Hipchat and Stride, which means the two apps will shut down as Slack looks to consolidate its position as workplace chat market leader.
On a larger scale, Slack and software company Atlassian, which develops tools including Trello and Jira, have formed a partnership, which sees Slack acquiring the Hipchat and Stride IP, in return for Atlassian making a "small, but symbolically important investment" in Slack.
Hipchat and Stride are Atlassian's two enterprise chat tools; Stride launched in 2017 as the successor to Hipchat, with the client-hosted version of Hipchat, named Hipchat Data Center, continuing to be supported. However, seeing as Slack has bought the IP to both, Stride cannot have been the success that Atlassian was hoping it would be.
Enterprise chat and communication has exploded in recent years into a market worth multiple billions of dollars. Tech giants Google and Microsoft have both muscled in to compete with Slack, with the former launching Microsoft Teams, part of the Office 365 suite, and the latter re-purposing its consumer messaging tool, Hangouts, into Hangouts Chat, for workplace communication. Finally, Flock is another Slack competitor, founded by serial entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia, who also founded Directi, a multinational technology company. As you may expect from one of Slack's main rivals, Flock is being fairly aggressive in attempting to attract former Hipchat and Stride users, offering an entire year of Flock Pro for free, which could potentially save a company thousands over the course of a single year.(See Slacking? Meet Flock & Its Productivity Promise.)
After its launch in 2013, Slack signed up 8,000 companies in just 24 hours. (Image: Pankaj Patel, Unsplash)
Slack, meanwhile, has become a cult product to many in the tech and startup scene, with huge numbers of young, growing tech companies using the product as their chief communication and productivity tool. Having largely conquered that sector, Slack has been aiming at becoming the workplace communication tool, no matter the size of the company, industry, or location. As of its previous funding round in September 2017, where it raised $250 million in a round led by SoftBank, the company was worth $5.1 billion. Not bad going for a company which originally did not have its sights set on revolutionizing workplace communication. (See SoftBank Aims to Raise $100B on Top of Existing Vision Fund.)
Atlassian will provide a migration path to Slack for all Hipchat and Stride users as part of the new partnership. The two companies will also work on providing deeper integration between Slack and Atlassian's other products, such as Trello, Jira and Bitbucket. Hipchat, Hipchat Server, Hipchat Data Center and Stride will be discontinued after February 15, 2019.