Slack Technologies has announced that it is acquiring HipChat and Stride, both of which will be discontinued though their experiences are expected to be mingled within the Slack client over time. Alongside the acquisition, the San Francisco-based company that is taking on Microsoft Teams with its native chat service and domination in the workplace collaboration software (WCS) market is receiving an equity investment from Atlassian, the company behind HipChat and Stride solutions. Slack has more than eight million daily active users and three million paid users as well as has a base of over 70,000 paying organisations, as of May. While Microsoft Teams lately emerged as one of few the strong competitors against the cloud-based workplace chat client, this is also rivaling the likes of Cisco System's Webex Teams and Workplace by Facebook. However, it was initially HipChat that offered a tough competition to Slack.
Confirming the deal, Slack Technologies said in a statement that Atlassian would discontinue HipChat and Stride and provide a migration path to Slack for all their customers. "We are purchasing the IP for HipChat Cloud and Stride to better support that path to Slack, while Atlassian is making a small, but symbolically important investment in our business," the company adds, without formally disclosing any financial terms.
The relationship between Slack and Atlassian isn't fresh. Both companies previously worked together to offer products such as BitBucket, JIRA, and Trello for Slack users. Having said that, the Australian software company last year launched Stride to eventually upgrade the workplace communication experience with a unified solution for chats, conference calls, and project tracking. The aim apparently was to enhance what was offered through HipChat at the initial stage. But eventually, the company failed to convince enterprises to switch from Slack to its native solution.
"While we've made great early progress with Stride, we believe the best way forward for our customers and for Atlassian is to enter into a strategic partnership with Slack and no longer offer our own real-time communications products," asserts Joff Redfern, VP of Product Management, Atlassian, in a separate statement.
As a result of the acquisition, Atlassian's HipChat Cloud and Stride will be discontinued in February next year. An FAQ page confirms that the last day for HipChat and Stride will be February 15, 2019. Likewise, Atlassian is set to discontinue HipChat Server and HipChat Data Center as well and working with Slack to provide a migration path for existing users. More than 2,600 Atlassian employees will also start using Slack. This will contribute a bit to the growing userbase of the workspace chat behemoth. That being said, existing customers who're currently using HipChat with their dedicated servers will be able to use the service for up to two years - depending on the version.
"There are several components, all aligned around cementing the partnership and, most importantly, taking some big steps together to drive fundamental improvements in the experience of the millions of people around the world who are using our products together every single day," says Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield in a tweet.
The latest development comes days after Microsoft announced a free tier of its WCS solution Teams to make some difficulties for Slack. The free version is essentially designed for small teams. The Redmond company is also offering a deeper integration for Office 365 subscribers to provide enterprise communication tools through Microsoft Office and Skype.