Slack goes public at $26 a share

Workplace messaging firm plans to go public today in a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange

20Jun

Slack has set its reference price at $26 per share for its direct listing as it goes live on the New York Stock Exchange today. This means the company would value $15.7bn at IPO, slightly below the $16bn–$17bn Bloomberg predicted last week.

The San Francisco-based workplace messaging firm is expected to begin trading at the start of day under the ticker WORK.

By choosing the unusual route of going public through a direct listing, Slack is following Spotify's lead "after the music streamer's listing last year went off without a major hitch", according to the Wall Street Journal. Through this approach, the company would be able to list without actually selling shares, guarantee liquidity and would allow it to be more transparent in the way it conducts business.

It also means that Slack can let the public dictate its worth as opposed to bankers, hoping, as Spotify put it, "the wisdom of crowds trumps expert intervention".

The company, which was founded in 2009, is one of many ageing startups choosing 2019 as the year to go public, with Uber, Lyft and Pinterest all going to IPO in the last few months. Earlier this month, Slack revealed that its revenue had grown 67% in 1Q19 alone.

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