IPOs are SO 2019

IPOs are SO 2019. Companies are finding new ways to go public

Sure, Beyond Meat (BYND) soared. But Uber (UBER) and fellow ridesharing unicorn Lyft (LYFT) both flopped in their Wall Street debuts. WeWork struggled due to significant concerns about its business model and corporate governance.

You'd think companies would want to avoid Wall Street in 2020. Not so fast.

As Spotify (SPOT) and Slack (WORK) have proved, this is an efficient way for companies to go public without needing to raise money.

Both companies recently sold shares on the NYSE through a direct listing, which allowed them to bypass expensive underwriting fees for bankers and splashy road shows to target potential investors. Radio and billboard company iHeartMedia (IHRT) also went public via a direct listing on the Nasdaq in 2019.

Now, Airbnb is widely expected to do a direct listing later this year. The CEO of open source software company GitLab, which is currently worth about $2.8 billion according to research firm CB Insights, has also said in numerous interviews that a direct listing for the company is possible some time in 2020.

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Source: CNN, January 22nd 2020