February 3, 2020 / 11:35 PM / 15 days ago

Workplace app Asana files to go public, may opt for direct listing

(Reuters) - Workplace app Asana Inc said on Monday it had confidentially filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public, indicating it would opt for a direct listing instead of a traditional initial public offering.

Asana would be the latest to pursue a direct listing, made popular by music streaming business Spotify Technology SA (SPOT.N) and workplace messaging firm Slack Technologies Inc (WORK.N).

A person familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters that Asana is pursuing a direct listing.

Founded in 2008 by Facebook Inc (FB.O) co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-Google-and-Facebook engineer Justin Rosenstein, Asana was most recently valued at around $1.5 billion, according to data provider PitchBook.

The listing is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review, Asana said.

No new shares are created in a direct public listing and it helps companies save millions in underwriting fees and also does not dilute the ownership stakes of existing investors.

Venture capitalists (VC) have backed direct listings as it avoids restrictions on stock sales by insiders, which often includes VCs.

Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru and Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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