Facebook co-founder’s Asana caps wild day of IPO plans with filing for a direct listing

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Asana Inc., a software “unicorn” started by a Facebook Inc. co-founder, formally announced its intention to list its shares on the public markets Monday afternoon, capping a wild day for software filings. Asana was at least the fifth software startup to announce its intention to go public Monday, following filings from Snowflake Inc., Unity Software Inc., Sumo Logic and Jfrog Ltd. Asana is taking a different route than the others with a direct listing, which fellow workplace-communications and -organization software company Slack Technologies Inc. also employed to go public. Asana was co-founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz 11 years ago, and he still runs the company as president, chief executive and chair and will maintain a voting majority with supervoting shares similar to the control wielded at Facebook by one of the other co-founders of that company, Mark Zuckerberg. Asana revenue nearly doubled in its 2020 fiscal year, which ended Jan. 31, rising to $142.6 million from $76.8 million. Net losses more than doubled, however, increasing to $118.6 million from $50.9 million in the 2019 fiscal year. The pattern held in the first three months of the current fiscal year, which ended April 31 — revenue gained to $47.7 million from $28 million, while losses increased to $35.8 million from $15 million. Asana expects to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under a still-to-be-determined ticker symbol, and has enlisted Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and Jefferies as financial advisers in the transaction, according to Monday’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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