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- After Slack launched on the public market Thursday in a nontraditional direct listing, a prominent venture capitalist is recommending the approach – and a particular bank to execute the deals.
- “If your company is interested in a direct-listing, recommend you call Morgan Stanley,” Benchmark’s Bill Gurley said Thursday in an unconventional tweet.
- Slack is the second notable technology company to debut on the public market through a direct listing. The first was Spotify’s 2018 debut, to which Gurley also nodded.
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A prominent venture capitalist, Benchmark Capital partner Bill Gurley, is now applauding the launch, pushing the direct listing approach, and even boosting one of Slack’s financial advisers in the process.
“If your company is interested in a direct-listing, recommend you call Morgan Stanley,” Gurley said Thursday in a tweet thread. “Other banks want to position direct listings as ‘exceptional’ or ‘rare.’ MS believes they are 1) a better mousetrap, and 2) can be used broadly.”
Direct listings are relatively new territory for the technology landscape, as Slack is only the second noted tech company to go this route after Spotify’s 2018 debut.
It’s notable that Gurley is not only touting this approach, but in essence marketing Morgan Stanley as the choice investment bank to carry out such a deal.
Morgan Stanley, along with Goldman Sachs and Allen & Company, served as Slack’s financial advisers on its direct listing; they also ran Spotify’s direct listing last year. Morgan Stanley served as the adviser to the designated market maker, Citadel, on the Spotify listing, and is the named adviser to the DMM on the Slack listing.
Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Benchmark’s Gurley has long been known for his early investment in Uber, which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year through a traditional IPO. Morgan Stanley also led the ride-hailing giant’s offering.
On Friday, Slack slipped below its opening trade price of $38.50.
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