Outside the Box: Why Slack’s IPO will have more in common with Spotify than Uber or Lyft

Slack Technologies is going to directly list its shares for public trading on the New York Stock Exchange this summer. In doing so, Slack is following in the footsteps of Spotify Technology, which last year did a successful direct listing on the NYSE.

In a direct listing, a private company registers the shares of its existing holders so they can choose to sell their shares on a public trading market. By contrast, in an initial public offering, a public company registers its own shares and raises more capital by selling them to investors.

With Lyft LYFT, +1.48% , Uber Technologies, Pintrest PINS, +0.00% and other “unicorn” companies taking the traditional IPO route, Slack’s direct listing is admittedly unusual and unorthodox.

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