Two direct listings a day. So much to talk about.
Posture Just started trading a little after noon today, zooming to about $ 29 per share in early trading this afternoon. We are still waiting for Palantir’s first trades to hit the market.
Asan’s reference price was revealed yesterday by the NYSE, and was set for $ 21 per share. The company had approximately 150 million shares of stock outstanding on a fully diluted basis, giving it a pre-market reference value of $ 3.2 billion. Palantir was assigned a reference price of $ 7.25 for its share, giving it a $ 16 billion implication. At its current share price, Asan is valued at approximately $ 4.4 billion.
Both companies trade on the NYSE under Ticker ASAN and Palantir under Ticker PLTR.
For both companies, which are well capitalized, a straightforward listing seems to be the right approach to give liquidity options to early crews and other insiders to maintain tight control of the ship. One difference between the two initiatives is that Asan has no lockup for employee and other insider shares as is typically customary with direct listings. Palantir pioneered the lockup provision with a direct listing, which would potentially provide only 29% of the company’s shares for today’s business. The remainder of those shares become eligible for sale in the coming months.
As with all direct listings, no shares are offered by the company upon its market debut, and the reference price published by the NYSE is fictitious if bankers believe a fictitious value is implied for these two companies.
As my colleague John Shibber reported a few weeks ago, Asan is an interesting entry into the markets as the stalwart of a long-time SaaS company that continues to lose buckets of revenue. Despite a sharp revenue growth of roughly 71%, the company lost $ 118.6 million on revenue of $ 142.6 million in FY 2020 (Asan has a fiscal year calendar on February 1, so those figures are for the bulk of 2019 ).
The company was last valued at $ 1.5 billion in late 2018. The venture has secured more than $ 200 million in financing since its founding in 2009, and its founders Dustin Moskowitz and Justin Rosenstein hold a large stake of approximately 36% and 16.1% in the company. Respectively.
In Palantir, which we have covered extensively over the past few weeks, the company is many times over, with large contracted government sales that have grown over the years. The company reported a total of 125 customers, a loss of $ 580 million on revenue of $ 743 million last year, and projected revenue of upwards of $ 1 billion for 2020.
However, Palantir’s reference price was below the last secondary trades held by the company in early September, before it closed the window to its IPO, well above the average trade of the previous 18 months.
Now for both companies, public markets are beckons, and the first public quarterly results are coming here in a few weeks. You can read more about Asan on the company’s Investor Relations page. There is a lot in Palantir as of the time of writing this article, it does not have an investor relations page (yet?), But perhaps the company would like to connect with investors at some point in the near future, one would hope.