Feb 4, 2020 - Technology

Asana confidentially files for a direct listing

Asana co-founder and CEO Dustin Moskovitz. Photo: Horacio Villalobos - Corbis/Getty Images

Asana, a San Francisco-based maker of project management software, said on Monday that it has confidentially filed with the SEC to go public, with a spokesperson confirming it will be via direct listing — making it only the third to do so after Spotify and Slack.

Why it matters: This alternative route has become a hot topic in the past year in Silicon Valley, with some vocal proponents touting its benefits, such as more market-based stock pricing and letting employees sell their stock earlier. Asana could go public before Airbnb, which has also been rumored to be considering a direct listing.

Go deeper: Direct listings challenge benefits of traditional IPOs for unicorns

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Slack shares whipsaw amid confusion over IBM contract

Photo: Slack

Slack shares soared and trading in the workplace collaboration company was briefly halted on Monday, after a report stating the company had landed IBM as its biggest-ever customer.

Yes, but: The thing is, IBM was already Slack's largest customer and has been for a couple of years. In an SEC filing, Slack said IBM has been adding additional Slack licenses over time and that it is not changing its financial forecast for the current quarter.

Tech sees increased funding ahead of IPOs

Data: CB Insights; Chart: Axios Visuals

Tech companies are seeing significantly more funding before they go public.

What's new: Data from CB Insights shows that in the last eight years, the median amount of funding raised has jumped by more than four times to just under $300 million as of early December. That data includes IPOs or direct listings of U.S.-headquartered, VC-backed tech companies on major U.S. exchanges only.

Go deeper: Unprofitable company IPOs were a big zero in 2019

Spotify acquires Bill Simmons' "The Ringer" to boost podcast business

Photo: Spotify

Spotify announced Wednesday plans to acquire The Ringer, a sports media company founded by former ESPN personality Bill Simmons.

Why it matters: The acquisition speaks to Spotify's massive investment in podcasting over the past year, as the company aims to expand its offering solely from music to audio including podcasts.