World News – CA – Asana and Palantir Debut Up More Than 30%, Well Above Benchmark Prices in Double Direct Listings


Asana Inc and Palantir Technologies Inc both debuted Wednesday in two direct listings with shares of the two software companies linked to Facebook Inc finishing more than 30% above their benchmark prices

started trading at 12:35 p.m. Eastern Time priced at around $ 27, valued at around $ 4 billion The New York Stock Exchange set a benchmark price of $ 21 for the stock Less 15 minutes after their first trade, Asana shares rose about 40% and closed 37% at $ 2880, after an intraday high of $ 2996

At 1:40 pm East, Palantir
stocks started trading, escaped, rising more than 50% above benchmark price Stocks ended up 31% to $ 9.50, after intraday high of $ 11.42 NYSE had priced benchmark of $ 725 a stock based on private market transactions for the stock, and the Wall Street Journal reported last week that the company expected the stock to open around $ 10

Reference prices for direct listings are based on private market trading prices before companies file for public listing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Direct listings differ from IPOs because there is no capital raised, which places a dollar amount on the shares in an IPO Direct listings should trade significantly above the benchmark price

Asana is a collaboration software company co-founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, who serves as managing director, while Palantir is a data software company co-founded by Facebook
investor and board member Peter Thiel The two companies chose to list their shares directly instead of selling new shares as part of an initial public offering, a route previously taken by Spotify Technology SA
and Slack Technologies Inc
who were also mature startups that repeatedly sold stocks in the private markets and sought to offer investors public trading options

In an interview with MarketWatch on Wednesday, Shyam Sankar, COO of Palantir, said the company made the decision to go public around mid-2019, keeping an eye on the back half of 2021 After the outbreak of the pandemic, he said the company accelerated its schedule on Wall Street

« COVID has really ramped up activity and it has become clear that now is the time for us to think about » an earlier IPO, Sankar said

Sankar called the direct listing « capital » and « exciting, » and said the company made the decision to list instead of going public because it did not need capital, but wanted to offer investors a chance to profit from their participation

“We have had incredibly patient investors – especially our biggest, the employees – and this immediately gives them better market access,” he said

Palantir launched its first software platform in 2008, and has long been known as a secret software startup focused on military and law enforcement issues, courting controversy for its work with the division of the Immigration and Customs of the UThe government s company has since launched a second offering that has attracted private sector clients and has become much louder about its business, including a Silicon Valley public divorce in which co-founder and chief executive Alexander Karp detailed a departure from California defended his company’s work for the government

Moskovitz also launched Asana in 2008, developing software tools in competition with Atlassian CorpS
Trello The San Francisco-based company reported $ 143 million in revenue in its fiscal 2020, up 86% year-over-year.The company also reported that losses had increased, reaching $ 118 6 million in fiscal 2020 from $ 50 9 million in fiscal 2019

« We’re happy with the results, but honestly it’s just one of many days, » Asana CFO Tim Wan told MarketWatch on Wednesday. « Our long-term goal is to deliver value to our 82,000 customers »

COVID has presented both benefits and challenges, said Wan An influx of so-called home knowledge workers has focused on the digital tools available to help them organize tasks efficiently, which is Asana’s business proposition

The challenge is that an unknown number of Asana’s customers are small businesses that have adopted its technology and are suffering from an economic downturn caused by the pandemic

« A lot of our customers are adopting our technology from the bottom up, and there has been churn among them due to the pandemic, » Wan said

Asana, a 700-person San Francisco-based company, reported $ 52 million in revenue for the quarter ended July 31, up 57% year-over-year Its loss net during the period rose to $ 41 1 million, compared to $ 15 6 million in losses for the same period last year The company has not yet made a profit

Palantir is also far from profitable, revealing in its SEC filings that its revenues rose to $ 742.6 million in 2019 from $ 595 million in 2018, while losses remained even at over ‘half a billion dollars a year – $ 579 6 million in 2019 and $ 580 million in 2018 In the first six months of this year, Palantir recorded a loss of $ 164 7 million on revenue of $ 481 million, after to have recorded a loss of 280 $ 5 million on sales of 322 $ 7 million in the same period of 2019

Choosing a direct listing instead of an IPO allowed both companies to publicly offer future performance forecasts Palantir calls for 46% to 47% revenue growth in the third quarter, from 41 % to 43% for full year 2020 and over 30% in 2021 For fiscal 2021, Asana forecasts revenue of $ 210 million to $ 213 million, which represents year-over-year growth. ‘other from 47% to 49%

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the IPO market has been strong in 2020 Besides direct listings on Wednesday, Wall Street was expecting 11 IPOs this week, ending the busiest third quarter for Offerings Since Dot-Com Boom, Renaissance Capital Says Software offerings have been a big part of it, as the pandemic has created demand for strong software offerings that can keep workers doing jobs from home – Snowflake Inc
Unity Inc Software
and others thrived when they first hit the market

The massive job cuts were the most telling among several harsh cost-cutting measures taken by Disney, which has lost billions of dollars in potential revenue due to the suspension of operations at its theme parks, its live production units and cruise lines since the closures imposed by COVID-19 in March

Wallace Witkowski came to The Associated Press’s MarketWatch in New York, where he was a business reporter specializing in pharmaceutical companies He previously wrote reports for trade publications covering the drug and medical device industries until 1998 Based in San Francisco, he focuses on US actions Follow Wally on Twitter at: @wmwitkowski

Jeremy Owens is the Chief Technology Editor of MarketWatch and the San Francisco Bureau Chief You can follow him on Twitter @ jowens510

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World News – CA – Asana, Palantir debuts up over 30%, well above benchmark prices in direct double registrations


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