More Awards for Workiva


The accolades for Workiva keep pouring in. In addition to other 2019 awards like Fortune’s Best Large Workplaces in Chicago and Best-In-Class Cloud Service Provider at the UK Cloud Awards, Workiva can add a couple more pieces of hardware to the trophy case:

Computerworld magazine named Workiva one of the Best Places to Work in IT

Workiva Wins Technical Innovation of the Year Award and the People’s Choice Award for Big Data Solutions from the American Business Awards

Workiva Wins Three More Stevie Awards

Read more about Workiva’s awards and company updates from the Workiva Newsroom here Slack going public in a red-hot IPO market, with a twist

slack logo Workplace-messaging firm Slack is about to go public in a red-hot IPO market, but it’s approach to going public — using a “direct listing” — is slightly different than an IPO.

The “direct listing” method revives some of the same issues and anxieties that came up when Spotify went public using the same method.

But the world is a lot different than when Spotify went public on April 3, 2018.

Direct listings allow a company to go public without involving underwriters — those intermediaries who buy shares from the company or insiders and then sell them to the public. Instead, the shares simply begin trading on an exchange, in this case the NYSE.

Spotify was the first large company to use a direct listing. The worry at that time was simple: direct listings were an untested way to go public. There were two concerns: 1) because direct listings do not have an initial price that is sold to investors, it was not clear where the stock would open, and 2) In a direct listing, most of the shares are immediately available for trading (in Spotify’s case, about 96%).

There was effectively no lock-up period. The fear was that insiders would dump the stock en masse on the first day, leading to chaos.

Reference price

Neither concern proved to be a major issue. Instead of an initial price that underwriters set to sell stock, Spotify and its advisors set a “reference price” of $132 that was roughly based on recent private trades. Spotify opened at $165.90 and closed at $149 on its first day of trading, up about 12 percent.

Fast forward to Slack, and those anxieties are much less evident. The NYSE has set a “reference price” of $26, based roughly on the price of private trades over the last few months (it has traded privately in a range of $25.75-$31.50).

As for the amount of shares available to trade, Renaissance Capital, which runs the Renaissance Capital IPO ETF (IPO), a basket of roughly the last 60 large IPOs, estimates that 283 million of the 599 million shares outstanding will be available to trade (47%).

Why isn’t the entire share count available to trade? Slack is restricting sales for those who bought private shares less than a year ago, and anyone who is an officer, director, or significant holder of the company.

A bigger concern is who might–or might not–be selling. The six largest shareholders (Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Social Capital, CEO Stewart Butterfield, Softbank, and co-founder Cal Henderson) control about 60% of the stock. Some are restricted, but if the majority who are not decide to sit on their shares, supply/demand could be out of whack and the stock could be much more volatile.

As for the IPO environment, it’s hard to envision a more perfect scenario. Investors have been eager to snap up any companies that show signs of growth this year, including those that are losing money:

Recent IPOs

(from initial price)

The two laggards — Uber (down 3%), and Lyft (down 11%), are in a space–ride-hailing — that investors believe may have a very hard time becoming profitable any time in the future.


Slack does have high growth with recurring revenues, but it also has plenty of negatives: trading at roughly 34 times trailing revenues, losing money, and with a very low barrier to entry.

A bigger concern may be that growth is decelerating: “2Q and FY20 revenue and billings guidance does suggest a meaningful deceleration from current levels,” DA Davidson analyst Rishi N. Jaluria wrote in a recent report, noting that first quarter revenue growth fell to 67% year-over-year from 78%.

The biggest concern, though, may be its size: depending on the price, almost $8 billion in stock could theoretically be available to trade. That is an awful lot for even a bull IPO market to absorb. By comparison, Uber was an $8 billion IPO.

“Big IPOs are harder to get elegantly into the market,” Kathleeen Smith from Renaissance Capital told me.

The hope is that Slack will trade better long-term than Spotify, which is trading at $146, below the $149 price it closed at on its first day of trading in April, 2018.

More articles on Slack’s IPO:

IPO Readiness Workshop: Philadelphia


Thursday, June 27 | 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
The Pyramid Club
1735 Market Street, 52nd Floor, Philadelphia

Join us for an exclusive IPO workshop featuring panelists from Duane Morris, Nasdaq, and PwC. This is your chance to hear from experts who have led issuers through some of the most recent high-profile IPOs.

Built specifically for executives at emerging growth companies, panelists will discuss how they approach common IPO challenges, what to consider given the current state of the market, infrastructure planning and execution advice, and lessons learned from their deal experiences.

The following panelists will provide insight through a 21st century lens:

  • Darrick Mix, Partner, Duane Morris LLP
  • Jordan Saxe, Senior Managing Director, Nasdaq
  • Mike Gould, Deals Partner and IPO Services Senior Partner, PwC

After this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Organize operational details in preparation for the IPO, including JOBS Act considerations
  • Identify technology and processes that scale to organizational needs
  • Adapt plans to address the current regulatory environment and finance trends

Workiva offers one complimentary CPE credit for this workshop.


Workiva Named One of the Best Large Workplaces in Chicago by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE

workiva company_image_1

CHICAGO – May 21, 2019Workiva (NYSE:WK), the leading cloud provider of connected data, reporting and compliance solutions, today announces that it has been ranked #18 of the 30 Best Large Workplaces in Chicago by Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE.

“Our company is based on core principles of integrity, trust and respect, and we value all backgrounds and perspectives,” said Marty Vanderploeg, CEO of Workiva. “We give our employees the freedom and resources they need – backed by our culture of collaboration, innovation and diverse thought – to keep breaking new ground.”

To determine the Best Workplaces in Chicago, Great Place to Work® analyzed responses from nearly 850,000 employees in the Chicago area at Great Place to Work-Certified™ organizations. Employees anonymously rated their employers on more than 60 survey questions.

“The companies featured on the 2019 Best Workplaces in Chicago list offer dynamic, flexible, and transparent workplaces,” said Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “These companies create cultures that invite all employees creating a competitive edge to their business and helping to realize the unique potential of each individual.”

The Best Workplaces in Chicago list is one of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE based on employee feedback from Great Place to Work-Certified™ organizations.

Earlier this year, Workiva was named one of the 2019 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® and Best Workplaces in Technology. This is the tenth award for Workiva from FORTUNE magazine.

Read full press release here >>

Workiva Named Best-In-Class Cloud Service Provider at UK Cloud Awards

LONDON – May 17, 2019Workiva (NYSE:WK), the leading cloud provider of connected data, reporting and compliance solutions, was named the Best-In-Class Cloud Service Provider by the UK Cloud Awards 2019 at a ceremony here last night.

Now in its sixth year, the UK Cloud Awards recognise innovation and excellence in the cloud industry by showcasing leading companies, customers and individuals in the United Kingdom.

Workiva was recognised for its Wdesk platform that helps organisations consolidate, connect and tag their data in a single, cloud environment so they are able to reduce risk and save time when filing reports with various regulators and other stakeholders.

Workiva, the global leader in XBRL and Inline XBRL, is also streamlining how customers comply with the European Securities and Markets Authority’s mandate for Inline XBRL for European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) reporting. More than 5,000 EU issuers will be required to use ESEF taxonomy for their annual financial reports, ending on or after January 1, 2020.

Multinational companies are also using Wdesk to improve efficiency and transparency in global statutory reporting, which is a complex process for reporting information to government agencies in compliance with each jurisdiction’s local GAAP requirements.

“We are honored to be recognised by the UK Cloud Awards,” said Marty Vanderploeg, CEO of Workiva. “Wdesk is the only cloud platform that provides data assurance throughout the entire reporting process — from ERP transactional data to final reports. We will continue to be a driving force in transforming financial reporting throughout the world.”

Workiva also recently won a DevOps Excellence Award by Computing in London.

A full list of the UK Cloud Awards 2019 can be found here.

Read full press release here >>