Shares of Slack Technologies Inc, the fast-growing workplace messaging and communication platform, soared nearly 50% in their public trading debut on Thursday, valuing the company at more than $23 billion.The strong performance helped validate the unusual direct listing model the company used to go public as well as underscoring investor demand for business software makers. The stock closed at $38.62, compared with the New York Stock Exchange’s reference price of $26 apiece.Trade opened midday at $38.50. Slack’s direct listing differs from a traditional IPO because it does not raise fresh funds. The method was pioneered last year by music streaming business Spotify Technology SA.Slack’s trading price gave it a valuation of more than 50 times revenue. That multiple is lower than for other tech companies’ IPOs like Zoom Video Communications Inc, which trades at 88 times revenue, but is very high considering that Slack is not yet profitable, said Kathleen Smith, a principal and manager of IPO ETFs at Renaissance Capital. “They are going to have to do an awful lot to get the company’s fundamentals to justify that kind of valuation,” she said.Slack is a business-focused messaging and communications platform, similar to group chatrooms, with… Read full this story
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