Direct listing gave us an opportunity to treat all investors equally: Roblox CBO
Website-hosting service Squarespace Inc. publicly confirmed its plans to go public through a direct listing.
Squarespace spelled out its plans in a filing Friday in which it also disclosed details of its finances, including 28 per cent growth in revenue last year. The filing confirms an earlier Bloomberg News report that Squarespace would follow a handful of other technology-based companies -- most recently cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. -- in choosing a direct listing rather than a traditional initial public offering.
In a direct listing, a company doesn’t raise fresh capital and existing investors can typically begin selling their shares on the first day of trading without the usual lockup period restrictions in an IPO. It can save on banking fees and the time spent on an investor roadshow.
Roblox Corp., Palantir Technologies Inc. and Asana Inc. have gone public through direct listings in the past year, after earlier listings by Spotify Technology SA and Slack Technologies Inc.
Squarespace is planning to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, following in the footsteps of every major direct listing except Coinbase. While investment banks don’t underwrite offerings as they do in IPOs, they advise the company on the listing. Squarespace is working with with banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to its filing.
Led by founder and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Casalena, Squarespace competes against publicly traded rivals Wix.com Ltd. and GoDaddy Inc., among others. It’s backed by investors including General Atlantic, Index Ventures and Accel.
The company, which is expanding beyond web hosting to e-commerce, was valued at US$10 billion in March in a funding round. It said in January that it had confidentially submitted a draft filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Squarespace had a net income of about US$31 million on revenue of US$621 million last year, compared with US$58 million on revenue of US$485 million in 2019, according to its filing. Its 2020 revenue included US$143 million from its e-commerce business, according to the filing.
The company plans for its shares to trade under the symbol SQSP.