It’s been close to a year since Bloomberg Business first reported that Spotify was aiming to go public in Q3 2017. While it hasn’t happened just yet, Reuters is reporting that the music streaming giant is aiming to go public by early 2018.
Unlike the conventional method of going public with an initial public offering (IPO), it looks like Spotify is potentially opting to go straight to listing directly on the New York Stock Exchange at a 13 billion dollar valuation. Almost all major companies opt for the conventional approach of going public via initial public offering which is what makes Spotify’s decision so interesting. Reuters also reported that they’re currently working with investment banks Mogan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Allen & Co through this process.
By opting for a direct listing, Spotify is essentially choosing to cut out the Wall Street middle-man valuation of its company via investment bankers and brokers, and going straight to the marketplace on its own. Also, instead of diluting existing shares from the current shareholders to raise options for more shareholders, direct listings allow companies to make their existing shares immediately available to the public. This mean’s that current employees and investors can purchase as they please.
Spotify has had several fundraising rounds in the past, last March they raised $1 billion in a convertible note from private equity group TPG Capital Management LP and hedge fund Dragoneer Investment Group. That $1 billion was raised at an $8 billion valuation and came with a provision allowing both firms to convert their debt into equity at a discounted rate of the IPO. With Spotify potentially leaning towards the direct listing approach, there could be some other contingencies put in place for both firms.
Spotify has yet to become profitable surpassing $2 billion in revenue 2015 at a $194 million loss.