(updated May 6th, 2021)
Slack has completed an acquihire for the staff of calendar and scheduling app Woven. It was already an investor in Woven through its Slack Fund. The move sees the end of Woven as a product which will disappoint its current customer base. However, it could be good news for Slack.
What is surprising is that this move does not include any of the Woven IP, customers or data. That means that while Slack now has a team that can build new calendaring and scheduling capabilities, they will have to do so from scratch. That will take much more time to deliver but it could also lead to a Woven 2.0 although the team will need to make sure they are not seen to be reusing the Woven’s technology. Leading that team is likely to be Burc Arpat who was co-founder of Woven.
While Slack has remained quiet on the news, Woven has not. Tim Campos, CEO, Woven, published a farewell blog on the Woven website. In it, he talks about the effect Woven has had on its users. “In the 2+ years following our launch, Woven has scheduled over 2.2 million events and saved our users over 10 million minutes. We’ve helped our users make sense of over 250 million events across over 40 million people.”
Campos goes on to say: “Our mission has always been a very ambitious one. Yet as exciting as our progress has been, Burc and I decided that our pace wasn’t fast enough to achieve our mission with the current business. This is what led to the decision to discontinue Woven and to make some big changes.
While Arpat has joined Slack, Campos has not. What he does not will be closely watched.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean?
There is a lot of talk about the technology that has made a shift to remote working possible. Calendaring and scheduling, for all their importance, are rarely mentioned. Like many technologies, they are seen as being too boring or something that has already been done.
Woven has shaken that view up. It has grown rapidly and attracted a solid user base. However, the statement from Campos saying: “Burc and I decided that our pace wasn’t fast enough to achieve our mission with the current business” will raise eyebrows. It likely means that the company had failed to hit the numbers investors wanted before parting with more cash. That is unfortunate but, as already mentioned, is likely to be Slack’s gain.
What also needs to be called out here is the way that Woven has closed down. It has given customers ample notice, refunded their money and made their data available for download. More importantly, it has set a date by which it will irretrievably delete user data. It is to be commended for that and is something other companies should consider when closing shop.
(Updated to reflect this was an acquihire and not the acquisition of Woven, its IP or its customer base)