Slack went public, and its stock sold 50% higher than expected

Slack hit the public market, and did it via direct listing.


June 21, 2019

Slack Technologies hit the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, and well, it went pretty well.

The San Francisco-based company saw its shares fly 50% higher than expected on its debut, pushing the company’s previous $20B valuation up to $24B.

It’s only the second direct listing from a major tech company

Slack evaded the traditional public offering via a direct listing, allowing its existing stockholders to begin trading their shares immediately on public markets.

A direct listing cuts down on banking costs, but can also lead to higher volatility in the share price. Spotify paved the straight-to-stock-market trail last year, and if Slack’s decision proves to be successful, there is a fresh batch of unprofitable juggernauts looking to do the same (Airbnb is likely next).

Is Slack going to kill off email?

Ahead of Slack’s NYSE debut, its chief, Stewart Butterfield, predicted that company email will be extinct in 7 years. But, even with over 95k paying customers, it’ll be a while before Slack wipes email off the face of the interwebs.

And if it’s going to, Slack is gonna need to learn how to save some money. Like most of its peppy peers, the company puts up big revenue, yet still can’t turn a profit.

Last year, it lost $138.9m and, according to the company, losses are going to continue to win out over the next few years.

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