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Nathan Blecharczyk
Airbnb Cofounder

Travel-services startup, last valued at $31 billion

“We have already said that we are taking the steps to be ready to go public in 2019." According to TechCrunch, Airbnb was valued at $31 billion after the second half of its $1 billion Series F round in May 2017 and had revenue of over $1 billion in the third quarter of 2018.

Wall Street has been waiting for the initial public offering of Airbnb, one of the hottest Silicon Valley startups. When Dave Stephenson, a longtime Amazon vice president, joined Airbnb in November, the market's hopes were seemingly confirmed.

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Slack to be a DPO not an IPO

Slack has engaged Morgan Stanley to manage the process of collecting orders from prospective buyers and, based on these, to set a opening price for its shares. Morgan Stanley played a similar role for music streaming service Spotify, when that company went the DPO route in 2018.

By choosing a direct public offering (DPO), Slack should save tens of millions of dollars in fees that otherwise would be paid to investment bankers, underwriters, and members of the selling syndicate in a typical IPO.

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Headshot of Michael Zheng, Head of finance at Affinity
Stewart Butterfield
Slack Founder
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Peter Thiel
Palantir Cofounder

Palantir Could Become the IPO Star of 2019

While Wall Street focuses on the initial public offerings of companies like Lyft and Slack, one less-hyped public debut may emerge as a star. Palantir, a startup co-founded by venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Peter Thiel, may be positioned for massive growth as it builds momentum in its niche market.

The sixteen-year-old company, which provides tools for visualizing and making use of massive data sets with its proprietary software, is considering an IPO this year, according to several publications. Palantir could be looking at a valuation north of $41 billion.

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