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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Zoom and Slack are very similar companies. One of them is riding high, however, while the other, beset by losses and a sluggish share price, has ended up selling itself to a strategic acquirer.

Details: Zoom and Slack are both high-profile and highly successful examples of the new breed of enterprise software. The sales technique is to create a super-popular free version that gets adopted by so many people in a company that eventually the CTO agrees to make it official and buy it.

  • Because they make software that facilitates remote work, the companies have been helped rather than harmed by the pandemic.
  • Both companies also face intense competition. Zoom entered a crowded videoconferencing market when it was born, which has only become more competitive as Google and Microsoft build video capabilities into their own workplace suites. Slack faced less competition in early days but was eventually overtaken by Microsoft's Teams product.

The two companies went public in the second quarter of 2019. They had roughly equal revenues that quarter ($122 million for Zoom, $135 million for Slack), but while Zoom managed to eke out a tiny profit of $200,000, Slack lost more than $30 million.

  • Since then, Zoom has made $428 million in profits, while Slack has racked up $753 million in losses.

The bottom line: One chart tells the whole story. The $25 billion market cap for Slack incorporates the takeover premium being paid by Salesforce, which would almost certainly love to own Zoom as well. Right now, however, Zoom is well out of Salesforce's league.

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Go deeper

Dec 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Communication tech companies are booming

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

Software firms that help other companies communicate are booming this year thanks to pandemic-driven remote-work.

Why it matters: Even when a vaccine is rolled out and lockdown provisions are lifted, most companies will likely maintain at least some work-from-home flexibility, which will bode well for software firms like Zoom, DocuSign, Twilio, Microsoft, Slack and others.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

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