Slack and Zoom are flying high; theye also being chased already by upstarts

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Two of the highest-flying now-public enterprise companies of the year — Slack( and Zoom( — are different in many ways, besides the fact that one is focused on workplace messaging while the other is centered around video conferencing.

Slack ( began life as a very different startup(; Zoom founder Eric Yuan knew from the outset that he wanted to take on his former employer, WebEx. Slack raised a lot of money from many sources before hitting the public market — roughly $1.4 billion over 10 rounds; Zoom ( raised $160 million across five rounds, including a $100 million Series D round funded entirely by Sequoia. The two also approached their public offerings differently. Slack chose a direct listing( that didn’t raise new money for the company; Zoom chose a traditional IPO, raising half a billion dollars in funding for its coffers just ahead of its first day of trading.

Still, the two companies also have much in common. Both took on incumbents (WebEx and email, respectively). Both are rooted in workplace collaboration and, as such, have some of the same competitors, including Microsoft Teams.

As Zoom investor Gordon Ritter of Emergence Capital Partners( also notes, both are “powered by viral