Jan 22, 2020

Email startup Front raises $59 million

Photo: Front

Front, a San Francisco-based maker of email collaboration software, raised $59 million in Series C funding led by a group of top executives from enterprise software companies Atlassian, Qualtrics and Zoom.

Why it matters: It's not common for individuals to lead such a large round, but Front thinks that it will gain insights from executives who have had success in changing the way people work.

Go deeper: Tomorrow's workplace apps are pretty, cloud-based and collaborative

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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

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

Scoop: Headspace raises $93 million

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Meditation app maker Headspace has raised $53 million in new equity funding and another $40 million in debt.

Bottom line: Headpsace will use some of the proceeds to differentiate itself from rivals, via the development of a new product that will focus on mental health tools for patients with certain chronic diseases.