In August, workplace collaboration startup Asana filed for an IPO, opting to go public through the direct listing route. Major tech companies Spotify and Slack have also gone public through a direct listing, and data-mining-software specialist Palantir Technologies is set to take this route as well on Sept. 29. When is the Asana stock direct listing date, and how can you purchase the company’s shares?
What is Asana?
Asana, a workplace management software maker, was created by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz in 2008. Asana’s major competitor is Atlassian's Jira. As of January 31, 2020, Asana had nearly 75,000 paying customers globally and about 1.2 million paid users. According to Business Insider, Asana was previously valued at $1.5 billion in Nov. 2018. The company has raised about $213.5 million to date, and has been trading on secondary markets for about $5 billion.
Asana has incurred net losses in each financial year since its inception and doesn't expect to be profitable in the near term. In its IPO filing, Asana said, “These losses reflect, among other things, the significant investments we made to develop and commercialize our platform, serve our existing customers, and broaden our customer base.”
In fiscal 2020 (ended Jan. 31), Asana reported a net loss of $118.6 million, more than doubling its $50.9 million net loss in fiscal 2019. Its sales in fiscal 2020 surged 85.8 percent YoY (year-over-year) to $142.6 million.
And in the first half of fiscal 2021 (ended July 31), Asana reported a net loss of $76.9 million, again more than doubling its $30.5 million net loss in the first half of fiscal 2020. It had higher research, sales, and marketing expenses. In the first half of fiscal 2020, Asana's sales surged 63.3 percent YoY to $99.7 million.
When is the Asana stock direct listing date?
The Asana stock IPO direct listing date hasn't been set but could happen around Sept. 30. There are no underwriters to the Asana stock offering. However, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, and Jefferies are serving as financial advisors on the direct listing.
Direct listing versus IPO
In a traditional IPO, new shares are created, underwritten, and sold to the public. The company going public hires underwriters, who facilitate the IPO process and charge a fee for their services. Meanwhile, in a direct listing, no news shares are created—only existing outstanding shares are sold, with no underwriters involved.
What is Asana's stock price and ticker symbol?
Asana stock is set to trade on the NYSE under the symbol “ASAN.” In a direct listing, the share price of a company going public is determined by market demand and supply. Unlike in traditional IPOs, the underwriters never sell shares to a select group of purchasers, and never set an IPO price. After Asana stock starts trading on the debut day, you can start buying it through brokerages such as Robinhood, E*Trade, and TD Ameritrade.