Slack is going public, but without an IPO

SlackSlack, the workplace messaging platform, will be going public through a direct listing, instead of the previously anticipated IPO, according to the Wall Street Journal. During a direct share listing, a company will have existing shareholders sell their shares, instead of creating or offering any new stock, resulting in a lapse of revenue. Although direct listings are risky due to gaining little or no profit, companies can avoid the hefty underwriting fees that come along with an IPO.

Slack has hired Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Allen & Company as financial advisers, following Spotify’s footsteps. Previous to Slack, Spotify is the only other US company that has performed a direct share listing, using the same banks to go public in April of last year.

Slack, which has 8m daily users, increased its value to $7.1bn in August 2018, after an investment round led by Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic raised $427m for the company. Although there has been no official announcement of the direct share listing from Slack, it is expected to launch between April and June of this year.

IPOs and direct share listings may be subject to delays because of the ongoing US government shutdown. Slack will have to interact with regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who are currently not in session.