1. Slack Goes Public by Direct Listing
On Thursday, workplace messaging company, Slack, went public, but not in the way that you would expect. Slack has foregone a traditional IPO approach (e.g. using an underwriter such as Goldman Sachs or JPMorganChase) and has opted for a direct listing. Why not do it on the cheap when it doesn’t look so hard? It seems to have worked, no pun intended given that their stock symbol is WORK. As of this writing, the stock was up 48.54%. Isn’t WORK the best stock symbol, ever? Slack followed in the footsteps of Spotify which has analysts wondering if direct listings could be the future of IPOs—completely cutting out the need for an underwriter and the 180 day-day lock-up. However, others believe that traditional IPOs are not going anywhere.
So how much does Slack hope to be worth?
The company is seeking a $16B to $17B valuation—almost double its current $7M private valuation. As a result of its successful IPO, Slack’s market cap is now above $17B at $19B.
2. Shareholders Upset with Alphabet
At the annual shareholder’s meeting this Wednesday, shareholders and employees of Alphabet raised burning questions looking to confront the company on a range of issues. Google’s parent company came under scrutiny about diversity, contract labor and the absence of CEO Larry Page. These issues are added on to what Alphabet has already been under fire for failed data privacy, unintended consequences of products, and labor abuses. Larry Page’s glaring absence caused tensions to increase with shareholders saying “we can’t address him at least once a year. I think that’s disgraceful.”
Currently, Larry Page holds the largest stake in the company. This fact alone has caused concern for many of the shareholders—they do not want to see the majority shareholder absent from the most important meetings. They are worried that the company rests on the vision of only two people and have even presented a resolution at the meeting to reduce the founder’s control of the company.
3. The US and China go Head-to-Head
What started out as a trade war between two world superpowers, has quickly escalated to a cold war on technology. Since Google has cut off the Chinese tech empire Huawei, the president signed an executive order blacklisting their android phones. With these bans, China is fighting tooth and nail to stay on par and one-up the US in this war on technology. China’s goal to become the number one economic power and the leading technological leader was put into motion with their plan, “Made in China 2025.” And the US is doing everything in its power to delay their project including doubling the tariffs to about $200B worth of goods from food to tech. In doing so, Chinese businesses are preparing to come up with the tech that would help them survive a freeze-out by the US and its allies.
Will this tech war come to an end?
The two countries are at a stand-off and no one is willing to concede. The US is wary of what tech they share with their Chinese counterparts, and China is refusing to back down. Technology has become a core element to becoming a super-power and both countries are unwilling to lose.
Check out the video for more information.
(Source: BBC News)