Markets are closed and the sentences are: investors liked what they saw in Palantir and Asana .
The two companies, which debuted this morning in double (and duel) direct listings, continued to prove that corporate technology companies without Spotify brand recognition (which ran its own direct listing in 2018) can make direct listings work. So far, the evidence is decent that the mechanism does not throw investors.
Asana closed its first trading day at $ 28.80 per share – earnings of 37% compared to the reference price of $ 21 per share. The company’s first trade was at $ 27. Meanwhile, Palantir closed the day at $ 9.73, gaining 34% from the reference price of $ 7.25. Its first trade was at $ 10. The asana is valued at about $ 4.3 billion up close, while Palantir reached $ 24.8 billion, based on its fully diluted number of shares, including the latest securities sold.
In addition, my Equity co-host Natasha Mascarenhas and I did an Equity Shot, telling more about these early numbers. Join if you want to hear our discussion and analysis:
With that, with big bold numbers on the board, there were a number of winners.
First and foremost, the Founders’ Fund, which is the only major investor shared between the two companies, has a lot of inflow capital. The company owns 5.8% of Asana and approximately 6.6% of Palantir, intercepting somewhere around $ 1.8 billion, given today’s estimates (this is definitely back-math).
Benchmark, meanwhile owns 9.3% of Asana, and a number of other investors, including Japanese insurer SOMPO, Disruptive Technology Solutions, UBS and 8VC, hold significant stakes in Palantir.
The other winners are the founders of these companies. Dustin Moskowitz retains a 36% stake in Asana, while co-founder Justin Rosenstein holds a 16.1% stake. In Palantir, the trio of founders Alex Carp, Stephen Cohen and Peter Teal already have billions in liquidity.
Of course, employees will be happy to receive liquidity. The asana has no blocking period and therefore its employees and insiders are free to trade. Palantir links direct listing to locking and so only about 28% of the company’s shares are eligible for sale today. The rest will be allowed for sale next year.
In an interview with Moskovitz shortly after the markets closed today, he said that “it was an exciting morning, but in the end it was only a step in a much longer journey towards fulfilling our mission” (you can read more from our interview with Moskovitz in Extra Crunch).
Although it was only one trading day, it was positive for both companies and this provides even more evidence that the classic IPO already has increased competition from direct listings and other alternative methods such as SPAC.