Spotify Technology’s unusual route in order to get as a public company is a test case for the other multibillion-dollar technology companies which are looking forward to selling their shares but do not need cash.
On Tuesday, the investors would be able to purchase and sell shares in the Swedish music streaming service in the New York Stock Exchange’s first direct floor listing. This is without Spotify hiring the investment banks as underwriters and undertaking an investor roadshow as is conventional in a traditional initial public offering. If everything goes well, the other eminently valued technology firms expected to undertake a listing in the future, with the likes of the US ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber Technologies could look forward to adopting a similar kind of approach. The Wall Street banks also would be seeking feedback from the investors on the day, and are looking forward to coming up with the ways to make up at least a part of the millions of dollars in potential lost underwriting fee revenue.
Professor John Coffee of the Columbia Law School said that everybody is going to watch what would happen with Spotify. Given the listing’s first-of-its-kind nature, the observers would be watching to make sure the public market valuation of Spotify does not plunge below the previous private valuation and trading holds steady. Spotify could eschew a traditional IPO as it does not need fresh capital and is a renowned consumer brand regarding which the investors do not require educating via a roadshow. Felix Capital managing partner Frederic Court, a European venture capitalist said that it is a big moment for the venture capital industry and it would enable billions to be returned back to the investors that would release more capital into Europe.
Even the direct listing of Spotify follows a mixed bag of current IPOs by some so-called technology unicorns that had been worth around 1 billion dollars. Owner of Snapchat Snap and meal-kit subscription company Blue Apron Holdings did not succeed to live up to their IPO valuations once they began trading in the public markets. In the case of Blue Apron, its market capitalization has descended from a peak of around 2.5 billion dollars to less than 400 million dollars. But the Dropbox’s March IPO experienced shares in the cloud-based file storage company surge greater than 35 percent on their initial day of trading, evidence the traditional IPO route still could be a success for the startups.
As said by Coffee, both Spotify and Dropbox are very prominent unicorns and those are two paths. Lyft told in the month of December that its latest round of funding brought around its valuation to 11.5 billion dollars. Latest valuation of Uber has been pegged at more than 70 billion dollars.
The loss-making Spotify that has prioritized rapid growth over the profit and whose closest contender is Apple Music launched in the year 2008 and had 71 million subscribers at the end of the year 2017. Formulated by Daniel Ek, the company was valued at about 20 billion dollars on the basis of private stock transactions in the month of February, in accordance with its filing for the listing.