Markets are closed and judgments have been made: investors liked what they saw in Palantir and Asana .
The two companies, which debuted in double (and duel) direct listings this morning, have further proven that enterprise tech companies can make direct listings work without Spotify's brand awareness (which ran their own direct listing back in 2018). So far, the evidence is decent that the mechanism does not deter investors.
Asana closed its first day of trading at $ 28.80 per share, up 37% from the reference price of $ 21 per share. The company's first trade was $ 27. Meanwhile, Palantir closed the day at $ 9.73, up 34% from the reference price of $ 7.25. His first trade was for $ 10. Asana is valued at approximately $ 4.3 billion at close of trading while Palantir hit $ 24.8 billion based on the fully diluted number of stocks, including those securities recently sold.
That being said, my equity co-host Natasha Mascarenhas and I took an equity shot where we talked more about those early numbers. Tune in if you'd like to hear our discussion and analysis:
After that was done, there were a number of winners with large numbers in bold.
Primarily start-up funds, The only major investor shared between the two companies has a lot of capital. The company owns 5.8% of Asana and approximately 6.6% of Palantir, which brings it to around $ 1.8 billion based on today's valuations (which is definitely a good thing).
Meanwhile benchmark owns 9.3% of Asana and a number of other investors, including Japanese insurer SOMPO, Disruptive Technology Solutions, UBS and 8VC, have significant stakes in Palantir.
The other winners are the founders of these companies. Dustin Moskovitz retains a 36% stake in Asana, while its co-founder Justin Rosenstein holds a 16.1% stake. Over in Palantir, the three founders of Alex Karp, Stephen Cohen and Peter Thiel now have liquid billions.
Of course, the employees are also happy about the liquidity. Asana does not have a vesting period, so its employees and insiders can act freely. Palantir combined a direct listing with a lock, so only about 28% of the company's shares are up for sale today. The remainder will be approved for sale next year.
In an interview with Moskovitz shortly after the markets closed today, he said, "It's been an exciting morning, but ultimately it's just one step on a much longer road to fulfilling our mission" (you can read more from our interview with Moskovitz on Extra Read Crunch).
While it's just a trading day, it has been positive for both companies, and this is further evidence that the classic IPO now faces stiff competition from direct listings and other alternative methods like SPACs.