May 30, 2017

Spotify could affect Uber's IPO plans

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Uber may closely watch Spotify's plan to go public via a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO, based on comments made last summer by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and relayed in a new book by Fortune's Adam Lashinsky:

"Kalanick loves nothing more than to bat around ideas, the zanier the better. He wonders aloud to Emil Michael, his top deal-maker and fund-raiser, if Uber could go public without investment bankers. Michael, a lawyer by training, suggests instead a reverse merger... Kalanick suggests using no bankers but giving 3% of the capital raised ― the fee bankers would have received ― to charity. When I suggest giving that money instead to drivers, Kalanick lights up. He says he wants to give equity to drivers... but Uber has found the securities-law implications to be complicated."

Fast forward: That part about "using no bankers" might have sounded zany in mid-2016, but that was before Spotify made its intentions known. Moreover, the Wall Street Journal today reports that New York Stock Exchange is asking the SEC to approve a change to its listing standards so as to permit direct listings on the Big Board (thus letting it better complete with Nasdaq, which already takes direct listings).

Bottom line: If Kalanick still likes this idea, then a blueprint may be waiting by the time Uber is ready to take its public plunge.

Go deeper

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.

Coronavirus hospitalizations keep falling

Data: COVID Tracking Project, Harvard Global Health Institute; Note: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee and Puerto Rico have not reported hospitalizations consistently. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to decline, particularly in New York and other northeastern states that were among the hardest hit by the virus.

Yes, but: Some states are still recording stagnant or rising amounts of hospitalizations.

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Protesters on Tuesday evening by the metal fence recently erected outside the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday night across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day.

The latest: Protesters were out en masse after curfews were in force in areas including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and Portland — one of the cities where there was a late-night flash-point between police and protesters.