Slack, the workplace communication and filesharing platform, will be going public on the New York Stock Exchange through a direct listing, according to the Wall Street Journal. The team-focused messaging service has been teasing this type of listing for months and would become part of a handful of unicorn status companies to begin trading directly.
Last year, music-streaming service Spotify had a successful public launch, using the direct listing method to avoid the extra costs and limitations that come with using underwriters and big banks. By going public through trading stock directly, companies can also sell as many shares as they would like at any time, without lockup expirations or preferential treatment for involved bankers.
Although Slack’s S-1 file has not been released yet, the company reportedly had $900m in cash on hand last October when prepping to go public. Speculation has started circulating as to why, like Spotify, Slack will be using an unconventional direct listing, because they obviously do not need to save on costs.
Both the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange have been in stiff competition with the slew of tech companies guaranteed or rumored to be going public this year. Nasdaq’s year started off promising but took a sharp turn downwards last week with the whirlwind IPO of ride-sharing app Lyft.
Slack has already raised around $1.bn through investment rounds, with leaders including Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Dragoneer Investments, General Atlantic, GV, Kleiner Perkins, Social Capital, Softbank Group, and Thrive Capital. The company is expected to go public sometime this summer.