Asana Files for Direct Listing, It Is to Join New York Stock Exchange

| Updated
by Teuta Franjkovic · 3 min read
Asana Files for Direct Listing, It Is to Join New York Stock Exchange
Dustin Moskovitz, Asana CEO. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Work management platform Asana has filed for a direct listing on the NYSE. Meanwhile, the company’s FY20 revenue was $142.6M, up to 86% Y/Y. The net loss was $118.6M, up from the prior year’s $50.9M.

United States software provider for tracking group projects Asana, filed paperwork for a direct listing on Monday, six months after announcing it had confidentially filed draft paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Asana plans to join the New York Stock Exchange. The company however still hasn’t decided on its ticker symbol.

It’s not just Asana that’s looking to get its shares trading now. There are also telemedicine software company Amwell, data warehouse software company Snowflake and game engine company Unity who on Monday filed for their first public debut.

Asana was founded in 2008 by Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), and Justin Rosenstein, a former Google LLC (NASDAQ: GOOGL) product manager and Facebook engineering manager. Among investors, there are also Benchmark Capital, Founders Fund and Generation Investment Management. The latter gave $125 million through two quick investment rounds and was co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore.

Same as Facebook, Asana has two classes of stock, Class A and Class B. The shares being resold in the direct listing are Class A shares, and each is entitled to one vote. Each Class B gets 10 votes. Just as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the biggest holder of Facebook’s powerful Class B shares, Moskovitz (who remains a key Facebook shareholder) will have more of Asana’s Class B shares than anyone else.

From the company they said:

“Mr. Moskovitz could exert substantial influence over matters requiring approval by our stockholders.”

Moskowitz got total compensation of $1 for the fiscal year that ended on January 31.

Following Spotify’s Steps

The company did have an option to raise money through a more traditional initial public offering but chose to do a direct listing, which was first made popular by Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) in 2018 and avoids investment banks in share sales.

Asana is not really profitable, though. It filed a $118.6 million net loss on $142.6 million in revenue for the year that ended on January 31. While revenue went up by approximately 86% in that period, the company’s loss more than doubled from $50.9 million in the prior year. For the three months that ended on April 30, the net loss stood at $35.8 million, again more than double what it was in the same period one year earlier, while revenue was $47.7 million, up about 71%.

Competitors as Atlassian, Google, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), privately-held and Smartsheet. Customers include Facebook, GE, Google, Kaiser Permanente and Harvard University. Asana had a $1.5 billion valuation in association with a funding round in 2018.

Potential Converts as a Big Chance

Asana’s software enables members of teams to break up complicated projects into discrete tasks, assign and schedule new ones, and follow their progress while integrating the whole with email, calendars, and other applications. Rivals as are Trello and Basecamp have similar possibilities, but 35,000 paying companies prefer Asana’s version, and thanks to them Asana’s revenue is growing by 80% a year.

A good thing for the company may be the potential converts it still has yet to win over as paying customers. Asana boasts 3.2 million free accounts and has managed to make its bones off of only 75,000 paying customers. Given the rapid transition to remote work for many knowledge workers, project management tools only become more important.

Asana had announced its intentions to access public markets via a direct listing earlier this year — even before the pandemic had made the market more receptive to collaboration software tools like the ones it offers.

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