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Summary
  • Since Spotify broke new ground with a direct listing in 2018, followed by Slack in 2019, there has been growing interest among startups in the direct-listing option (vs. an IPO); one survey by The Information in Jul 2019 found that 34% of respondents with a potential IPO the following year were considering a direct listing.
  • On Oct 1, well-known venture capitalist Bill Gurley organized an invitation-only event on direct listings that was financially backed by 25 venture firms and attended by 100+ late-stage startup CEOs and 200+ CFOs/investors; the event caused a furor in the industry, re-energizing the conversation on direct listings.
  • Soon after, outlets reported that Airbnb is “laying the groundwork” for a direct listing in 2020, with a 70% likelihood.
  • Some industry watchers are saying we may see as many as 5 direct listings next year.
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