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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After Spotify successfully went public in April via a direct listing, we didn't see any copycats. But that might be changing.

The big picture: Recode's Teddy Schleifer reports that both Airbnb and Slack are seriously weighing the prospect of direct listings, having gone so far as to have reached out to top Spotify executives for insights. We also hear that Pinterest is among several other "unicorns" to have at least kicked the direct listing tires.

Airbnb and Slack make sense in that they each have CEOs who like to buck conventional wisdom but, as Schleifer also points out, each has challenges when it comes to a direct listing:

  • Airbnb makes more sense on paper, but a historical lack of employee liquidity means its cap table needs a serious dust-busting. Don't be surprised to see it do some sort of major secondary financing if it opts for a direct listing — otherwise, it could experience a first-day employee sale stampede that tramples the share price.
  • Slack makes less sense in that the Spotify model was partially predicated on being a household name, consumer-facing product. But Slack's B2B SaaS model should be pretty familiar to public equities analysts and investors, which is important since there wouldn't be an investment bank holding Slack's hand and telling its story.
  • It's also worth remembering that direct listings don't create a balance sheet windfall, and we don't know the cash position of either company.

One big key for Spotify seems to have been its public investors day, which any new issuer is likely to ape. You might also see them take a new outside investment that has a multi-year lockup, as Spotify did with Tencent. That latter move results in new dilution, but also helps provide some shareholder base stability.

  • For context, Spotify's listing reference point was $132 per share. It hit a first-day high of $165.90 before settling down to close at $149.01, and closed trading yesterday at $130.79 per share.

The bottom line: It's still unlikely that either Airbnb or Slack will deviate from market norms but, if anyone's going to do it, they're among a small group that makes sense.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden's two-step negotiating process

President Biden departs Geneva. Photo: Martial Trezzini/Pool/AFP via Getty

President Biden's summit "reset" was less about trying to make a friend out of Russia than reframing what the U.S. believes can be accomplished by engaging with President Vladimir Putin.

Driving the news: The Geneva meeting yielded no immediate breakthroughs beyond agreements about ambassadors returning to work and plans to launch talks on nuclear security. But in classic Biden fashion — aviators on, jacket off and a one-liner about invading Russia he had to clarify was a joke — the U.S. president used a post-summit news conference to explain his approach.

Scoop: NRCC to accept cryptocurrency donations

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Republicans' House campaign arm will begin accepting contributions in cryptocurrency, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The National Republican Congressional Committee is the first national party committee to solicit crypto donations. That puts it at the forefront of a disruptive financial technology that could test campaign finance rules.

40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

By the numbers: Federal holiday adoption dates

Data: FederalPay; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

In the 244-year history of the United States, the government has created 10 federal holidays. Juneteenth — to be marked on June 19 — will become No. 11.

Why it matters: It's not clear how all Americans will come to commemorate a day celebrating the formal end of slavery in the U.S., but it will come with all the trappings of the others: a day off for federal employees, and a potential close of businesses.