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Software Company Asana Files for Direct Listing

By Will Healy – Updated Aug 25, 2020 at 10:43AM

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It will circumvent investment banks and create two classes of shares.

Asana, a San Francisco-based company that builds software to help teams collaborate on group projects, on Monday filed paperwork to launch its IPO through a direct listing. 

The action came six months after the company filed draft paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The direct listing, by which existing investors in a private company can sell their stake on a stock exchange to the general public, will circumvent the investment banks, resembling the actions of Spotify during its 2018 IPO. The company announced that shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange, though it has not yet announced the stock symbol.

Asana will issue two classes of shares. The Class A shares will trade publicly and have one vote. Top executives will hold Class B shares, which will each have a value of 10 votes. 

Two workers coordinating a work schedule on a desktop.

Image source: Getty Images.

Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein, who founded the company, will be among the executives who receive B shares. Moskovitz was a co-founder of Facebook, while Rosenstein came to Facebook after serving as a product manager at what is now Alphabet. Frustrated about how a lack of coordination led to work never getting done, they developed an internal tool that reduced what they termed "work about work."

Moskovitz and Rosenstein subsequently left Facebook in 2008 to found Asana, to help other organizations become more productive. The company boasts more than 3.2 million active accounts. It has built a clientele of more than 75,000 paying customers and 1.2 million paid users in over 190 countries.

In the most recent quarter, which ended April 30, Asana reported just over $47.7 million in revenue, an increase of almost 71% from the same quarter last year. It also had a net loss of more than $35.8 million in the same period.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Will Healy has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Facebook, and Spotify Technology. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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