Founders, CEOs, and other executives from hundreds of private companies are gathering with venture capitalists in Silicon Valley on Tuesday to discuss this year's most underwhelming IPO performances, according to a Bloomberg report. The summit comes on the heels of disappointing public debuts from much-hyped companies like Lyft, Uber, and most recently, Peloton--not to mention WeWork, which shelved its IPO plans indefinitely on Monday.
The group is expected to discuss alternate strategies for 2020 and beyond. That's likely to include direct listings, in which companies use computer algorithms to directly shift their privately held shares to a public market. The method minimizes assistance from figures like investment bankers and financial underwriters, who are often crucial to successful IPOs.
Two of the summit's featured speakers represent companies with recent direct-listing experience, Bloomberg reports: Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy and Slack general counsel David Schellhase. Others, like Stitch Fix's Katrina Lake and Zillow's Rich Barton, are founders who still helm their companies years after using traditional IPOs to go public.
In June, McCarthy gave Inc. a full breakdown of Spotify's direct listing, noting significant financial savings for his business. The IPO process hadn't changed in decades, he argued: "It's moronic."
Investment bankers, Bloomberg notes, are "largely uninvited" to the summit.