Slack Goes Public, But Not In A Traditional Way

Slack is the latest tech firm to go public on the New York Stock Exchange, beating investors' expectations and closing at $38.62 a share.
Posted at 7:23 PM, Jun 20, 2019

Slack started trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday in a non-traditional way, but the company still beat investors' expectations. 

The workplace messaging tool decided to go public by selling shares under a direct listing, instead of an official initial public offering. 

Here's how it fared: Slack opened at $38.50 a share, jumped above $40 a share at one point, and closed at $38.62. The performance topped Slack's reference price of $26 per share and gives it a market value of roughly $23 billion. 

Some experts say taking a different route for a public debut could be something other tech companies, like Airbnb, may take advantage of. In a direct listing, a company puts its existing shares on a public exchange at a market-determined price. That eliminates the need for investment banks to get involved like they would in a typical IPO. Next to Spotify, Slack is the second big U.S. tech firm to choose that approach. 

Analysts say that it's a good sign the market may be craving public offerings. Slack joins tech counterparts Uber and Lyft in going public, and a series of other tech IPOs are expected this year. 

According to the company, Slack had more than 10 million daily active users around the world as of January this year. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN