Facebook was approached by venture capitalists to spin off its Workplace app and make it a new company valued at over $1 billion. But Facebook declined.

Workplace, Facebook’s collaboration tool for businesses has gained more than seven million paid enterprise users.

It was originally built as a version of Facebook for its own employees to communicate with one another.

According to a report in TechCrunch, Facebook was approached by enterprise investors offering the social network a “proposition”, “spin-off the organization, they said, and let us back it as a startup”.

A deal would have valued a newly independent Workplace as a “unicorn” (at least at $1 billion).

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Facebook declined the offer as it sees the Workplace as a “strategic asset”.

“It helps make Facebook (and Meta) look like an adult,” the report said, citing a source.

Meta and Workplace declined to comment on the report.

Founded as a “work” version of Facebook, Workplace was launched as a response to the rise of Slack and other chat apps for office workers.

Large multinational companies like Danone, Starbucks, and Booking.com, international nonprofits such as Oxfam and regional leaders such as YES Bank in India and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore have all embraced Workplace.

Microsoft and Meta in November last year collaborated to integrate video chat app Teams and Facebook’s Workplace that will be available to companies next year at no extra cost.

The integration between Workplace and Teams will give employees access to content from Workplace within Teams without having to switch back and forth between the two apps.

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