Slack telegraphs moves into healthcare as it gears up for IPO: report

Slack has completed the rollout of enterprise key management technology (Image MicroStockHub / iStockPhoto)
According to CNBC, Slack's HIPAA certification only covers file uploads on its enterprise system, although the company is working to expand that. (MicroStockHub/iStockPhoto)

The ubiquitous messaging company Slack has confidentially filed for an IPO—except not-so-confidentially, as it went public with the news on its own earlier this week with a press release.

But, interestingly, Slack also recently updated its website to say that its chat and collaboration program is now compliant with HIPAA security requirements for sharing health information, according to a report from CNBC.

According to CNBC’s sources, that certification currently only covers file and document uploads on its enterprise system—and not direct messaging between healthcare providers, although Slack is working on that.

On Wall Street, Slack is opting for a direct listing instead of a traditional IPO, and will sell its own shares straight to the general public instead of raising capital—although there’s no information yet on when or for how much. Its press release was brief, announcing only that it submitted the paperwork to the SEC to begin listing its Class A common stock.

The company passed 10 million daily users in January, including over 85,000 paying enterprise customers, and was valued at over $7.1 billion last year. It previously raised over $1.2 billion in funding, according to Crunchbase.

If it dives into the healthcare space, Slack will go up against offerings such as the clinic-focused startup Stitch—with its HIPAA-compliant messaging channels organized around individual patients—as well as Microsoft’s Teams app, which began adding features such as secure care coordination, image annotation and electronic health record integration last year.