Asana, founded by Facebook co-founder, may go public next year

Asana has crossed $100 million in annual recurring revenue.

Asana, a team management app founded in 2008, is planning a direct listing as it aims to go public next year, according to a report by Miles Kruppa on Financial Times.

It was founded by Dustin Moskovitz, who co-founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg while at Harvard, along with Facebook engineer Justin Rosenstein. The idea was to enable teams to work seamlessly without using emails or chat messages to communicate and assign work. 

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Today the company has five offices around the world, including two in the US, one in Ireland, one in Australia and one in Canada. It serves more than 70,000 customers and millions of users in 195 countries. It was last valued at $1.5 billion.

A slow-but-sure success story!

Asana has expanded its customer base as well as office space since it started. In early 2009, it closed a $1.2 million angel investment round from notable investors like Peter Thiel and Sean Parker

In the same year, Asana closed a Series A round of $9 million by Benchmark Capital. Benchmark Capital has a long list of successful investments in companies like eBay, Dropbox, Twitter, Uber, Instagram, Snapchat, Yelp, WeWork, and so on.  

In 2012, a Series B round of $28 million was closed as well by Founders FundAndreessen-Horowitz, who just invested $80 million in Twitter in 2011, also was a part of this round. 

In 2016, the company with a valuation of $600 million reported a $50m Series C round of funding.

Two years later, in 2018, Asana announced two rounds i.e., Series D round of $75 million and Series E round of $50 million. The company was valued at $900 million and $1.5 billion, respectively. Asana was also named as one of the top 5 best places to work by Fortune.

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Asana further opened up about its growth in each quarter of 2018 with over 50,000 paid customers at the end of the year vs. 30,000 at the start. Asana customers include organizations like Spotify, Uber, and Autodesk. However, Dustin Moskovitz said while talking to TechCrunch that “We are not yet profitable, but we’re rapidly approaching it.”

READ: Asana Crosses $100M ARR After Eight Quarters Of Accelerating Growth

With a valuation of over $1.5 billion and $100 million in annual recurring revenue, Asana now in talks with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase to advise on direct listing and achieve a private share sale, bypassing the IPO, to raise more money. However, according to the Financial Times, the IPO option is not fully off the table. 

Direct Listing & Silicon Valley

‘Direct listing’ is getting more traction in Silicon Valley startups as it is a more straight forward way of going public with less involvement of banks and underwriters. Spotify and Slack opt for it for the public offering.

Airbnb, last valued at $31bn in September 2017, has announced to go public next year after WeWork withdrew IPO recently. Airbnb is also leaned towards direct listing over a traditional IPO. 

The word Asana itself means a yoga pose, giving a message of freshness and calmness to working teams.

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Images: Asana

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