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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.

Statue of KKK leader removed from side of Tennessee highway

Members of the Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan participate in Nathan Bedford Forrest Birthday march. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, was removed Tuesday from the side of a highway in Nashville, Tennessee.

Why it matters: The move to take down the 25-foot statue comes amid renewed scrutiny of Confederate memorials. Dozens of Confederate symbols have been removed, relocated or renamed since George Floyd's death last year.

Women politicians are under siege

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Kevin Dietsch, Stefani Reynolds, and Alex Wong/Getty Images

Women in Congress feel besieged and singled-out amid surging threats against lawmakers at all levels, with some frustrated more hasn't been done to halt the trend.

Why it matters: As record numbers of American women are being elected to public office, their growing political power is being met with death and rape threats, sexist and racist abuse and online disinformation. Collectively, it's discouraged women from running for office.

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