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Slack Technologies Inc said on Monday it expects revenue to grow as much as 50 per cent by 2020. Conversely, the owner of the workplace instant messaging app also anticipates a loss for the year ahead of its listing this month.

Slack is one of the most high-profile companies left yet to list their shares in 2019, following initial public offerings of Pinterest Inc, Zoom Video Communications, and Beyond Meat.

However, the struggles of ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc, and its smaller rival Lyft Inc, the two biggest IPOs so far this year, have cast a pall over new tech listings.

San Francisco-based Slack, whose customers include Electronic Arts Inc, Nordstrom Inc, and Ford Motor Co, said it was seeing strong user retention and engagement rates, ahead of its plans to go public via a direct listing instead of an IPO on June 20.

Slack said it continued to see ‘broad adaption’ across a variety of industries and geographies in the first quarter, with user retention and engagement rates rising.

“Users, (who) are paid customers spend more than 9 hours a day connected to Slack, and ninety minutes actively using the platform on a typical workday,” Chief Executive Officer Stewart Butterfield said.

The company, which competes with platforms such as Microsoft Teams — a free chat add-on for Microsoft’s Office365 users — forecast fiscal 2020 revenue in the range of US$590-million to US$600-million. Slack’s announcement represents a growth of 47 to 50 per cent revenue over the previous year.

Slack also expects an adjusted operating loss between US$192-million and US$182-million and forecast full-year billings of US$725-million to US$745-million, up 40 to 44 per cent from a year earlier.

Slack ended the first quarter with 95,000 paid customers and posted 67 per cent growth in quarterly revenue at US$134.8-million. The company reported an adjusted operating loss of US$33.8-million for the quarter, compared with a US$20.2-million loss a year earlier.

The company said it expects second-quarter revenue to grow by 51 to 53 per cent to a range of US$139-million to US$141-million, with an adjusted loss of between US$77-million and US$75-million.