Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Slack is considering a direct listing at some point this year, according to reports in both the WSJ and the FT on Friday.

Why it matters: The move would allow Slack stock to be traded on the stock exchange, but it's not an IPO — no new shares would be issued, and the company would not raise any money.

  • That's no great hardship for Slack, which has already raised some $1.2 billion, per Crunchbase, and has so much money that it has an in-house VC arm that invests in other companies. Whatever growth constraints it might have, they're not financial.
  • Another advantage of a direct listing: It doesn't dilute existing shareholders. If the share price turns out to be significantly lower than earlier-stage investors like SoftBank think the company is worth, then it's a great opportunity for them to increase their stake without the company having to answer pointed questions about taking Saudi money.
  • SoftBank's Vision Fund is designed as a private equity fund, not a public-equity fund. But SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son also talks about having a time horizon of hundreds of years, and he is happy to own public companies like Sprint.

The bottom line: A lot of people would love the opportunity to invest in Slack, while many others, including employees, would love the opportunity to be able to sell their stock at will and diversify their investments.

  • A direct listing is an elegant solution that brings those two sides together. And if CEO Stewart Butterfield wants to be able to show impressive long-term growth in his share price, then if anything it helps him to go public at a relatively low valuation.

Go deeper: Spotify inspires unicorns to ponder going public via direct listing

Go deeper

Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 7 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 12,389,660 — Total deaths: 557,279 — Total recoveries — 6,830,596Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 3,169,611 — Total deaths: 133,885 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.