- The traditional initial public offering process may be in the process of being disrupted.
- Spotify went public last year using a different process and may soon be followed by enterprise software company Slack.
- Startups have good reasons to spurn regular IPOs — they’re costly and time-consuming.
- Thanks to the massive amounts of money that have flowed into Silicon Valley in recent years, many companies are likely well positioned to go public a different way.
The avalanche of money that’s piled into Silicon Valley lately may be starting to disrupt more than just the taxi business and commercial real estate — it might upend one of the most celebrated and time-honored traditions of tech startups: the IPO.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Slack, the popular corporate messaging provider, plans to hit the public markets later this year through a direct listing. That’s the unusual process that subscription music service Spotify used last year to go public. Should Slack’s listing prove as successful as Spotify’s, expect the floodgates to open for more of these listings.