Slack announced earlier today at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco that it will be opening a new office in Toronto in December, located at at 171 John Street, and looking to hire for 145 new jobs over the next two years.
Slack is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Vancouver, Dublin, and Melbourne, Australia, and now has more than 600 employees worldwide.
“Toronto is one of the most diverse and dynamic cities in North America and an ideal location for Slack’s global expansion,” said Slack Director of Customer Experience, Ali Rayl. “We looked at a number of potential locations, but Toronto stood out for several reasons; it is home to a vibrant and diverse community of educated people, it has competitive business costs, and it’s a great place to live and work. We are excited to be part of this innovative community, and appreciate the warm welcome we have received so far.”
Slack began life as a workplace communication tool developed by Stewart Butterfield’s previous Vancouver-based company Tiny Speck, creators of the failed but much-loved online game Glitch.
Previous to that Butterfield sold the photo sharing platform Flickr to Yahoo in 2005, going on to work unhappily for that company for three years.
“We are so pleased that Slack has chosen to expand to Toronto,” said Terrie O’Leary, Interim CEO of Invest Toronto. “Toronto’s biggest asset is its people. We are the most multicultural city in North America, with over fifty percent of our population having been born outside of the country and speaking nearly 140 languages. For businesses that are globally active, access to a talent pool that is multicultural and multilingual allows them to leverage international markets. We are thrilled to welcome one of the fastest growing tech companies to our business community.”
Slack has gone on to become one of the hottest tech companies in the San Francisco Bay area, raising US$540 million in funding through Social Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and Google Ventures, and is now valued at over $4 billion, a figure which Stewart Butterfield candidly describes as “arbitrary”, while its workplace collaboration tool is now used by more than 2.7 million daily active users, 800,000 of which are paying users, including the U.S. State Department, Salesforce.com, Harvard University and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield grew up in sleepy Lund, British Columbia, surrounded by descendants of Swedish immigrants and Salish First Nations, where he was raised by hippie parents.
“Toronto is drawing the attention of the world for its emerging technology scene, vibrant culture and the way we live together as the most diverse city in North America,” said Mayor John Tory. “I’m thrilled that Slack will call Toronto home, create jobs for our talented residents and contribute to our reputation as a global centre for innovation and economic growth.”
A few months ago, the City of Toronto put together a video to pitch Slack on the idea of opening an office there, complete with the ukulele and whistling theme music common to every start-up style video pitch. Evidently, the video worked.
Oh, Canada! Land of maple syrup, Justin Trudeau, poutine and our newest Slack office. Come join us in Toronto: https://t.co/zmXfvH3bCl
— Slack (@SlackHQ) September 12, 2016