Instead, Uber switched to Atlassian HipChat, Slack’s main rival, for collaboration company-wide, Business Insider has learned.
It’s not a great sign for Slack’s ability to attract lucrative larger customers to the service and justify its $3.7 billion valuation.
Slack’s focus on helping companies cut down on email has led the company to massive success in just over two years, with even Microsoft tempted to make a takeover bid. But Slack’s weakness has always been that it’s better-suited for smaller teams, lacking certain security and identity controls necessary at global companies like Uber.
Fundamentally, HipChat, first released in 2009, offers a similar sales pitch to Slack. But HipChat is owned by publicly-traded $5 billion Australian software company Atlassian, which focuses on winning business customers. It means that HipChat already has a bunch of those vital big-business controls in place, and it’s quietly found success in that space.
Slack promises that a paid “Enterprise” edition of the service is coming in 2016, with a new set of features to help bridge the gap. And Slack has a ton of positive buzz and lots of paying customers — we use Slack at Business Insider, even.
But it’s great proof that good word-of-mouth and lots of Silicon Valley buzz doesn’t mean that it’s easy to overcome the established players in the market. And it’s probably a big jolt of confidence to Atlassian, which has largely been overshadowed by Slack’s hype for the last few years.
Slack and Uber did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.
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