Adds details and background on Asana's direct listing
Sept 30 (Reuters) - Shares of workplace software maker Asana Inc ASAN.N surged nearly 29% in their debut on the New York Stock Exchange, marking a strong opening for the first of two notable direct listings on Wednesday.
Asana's stock opened at $27 per share, giving it a valuation of $4.17 billion. The NYSE had set a reference price of $21 per share. In early trade, the company's shares were up nearly 40%.
Asana will be joined later in the day by Palantir Technologies, another company backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel that will debut via a direct listing on the NYSE.
At 1.29 p.m. ET, Palantir was indicated to open between $9.95 and $10.05 a share, compared to its reference price of $7.25.
Existing investors can sell their shares directly to the market in a direct listing. Unlike an IPO, companies are not allowed to raise capital.
Music-streaming business Spotify Technology SA SPOT.N went public in 2018 via a direct listing and communications platform Slack Technologies Inc WORK.N followed suit in 2019.
Asana was founded in 2008 by Facebook Inc FB.O co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and a former Google and Facebook engineer, Justin Rosenstein.
Prior to its public debut, at the top end of its price range, Asana traded at $28 per share in the private market in August, with the shares priced at $14.24 apiece at the lower end. The weighted average price was $25.11.
The company reported revenue of $99.7 million for the six months ended July 31, up 63% from a year earlier. Its net loss widened to $76.9 million from $30.54 million, according to its filing.
Morgan Stanley & Co LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Jefferies LLC served as financial advisers for the listing.
(Reporting by Madhvi Pokhriyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)
((Madhvi.Pokhriyal@thomsonreuters.com; Outside the U.S. + 9620394604;))
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